Peace Talks May Generate New Obama-Netanyahu Showdown

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Kennedy-Khrushchev.jpgDespite the flurry of initial applause from groups ranging from AIPAC to J Street to the Israel Project to the American Task Force for Palestine that direct negotiations were resuming between Israel and Palestine, pessimism has been the order of the day since. As one senior White House official recently told me, this just gets us back to the previously messy status quo.
One has to give credit to President Obama for not ducking this problem — which he probably could, at least for a while. Obama chose Senator George Mitchell on his second day in office, pushed a showdown which he lost on settlements with Prime Minister Netanyahu, made the lack of progress between Israel and Palestine a key point of focus during his September 2009 UN General Assembly remarks, and is now inviting regional leaders as well as Quartet Representative Tony Blair to give this effort another shove.
By cajoling the Palestinians and Israelis to engage, Barack Obama is again putting himself in the vulnerable position of another potential battle with Israel’s Prime Minister — and this time Obama can’t afford to lose.
As with Khrushchev and Kennedy, the Soviet premier took the first couple of rounds — but Kennedy came out on top.
Beyond what ultimately happens in these peace talks, Obama needs to prevail over any pugnacious obstinacy by Netanyahu.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

142 comments on “Peace Talks May Generate New Obama-Netanyahu Showdown

  1. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Nadine..I’m not confused about the answer I was given when I asked why Arafat turned down the agreement at Camp David. Again, when something is first proposed publicly is ofter different from when it is first proposed privately.
    The Palestine-Israel conflict is not a primary focus of mine, professionally or privately, so I claim no particular expertise on this topic. I am simply an average citizen trying to fullfill my duties as a citizen in a system of self government, to be informed on important issues…
    Two Jewish Israeli views on Boycott:
    1. Israeli author Michael Warschawski, former Director of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem, makes the case for boycotting Israel, not just the colonial settlements
    2. Israeli academics boycott settlements.
    http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/blogs/michael-warschawski/2838-blue-and-white-where-uri-avnery-has-it-wrong-
    Blue and White: Where Uri Avnery has it Wrong
    Tuesday, 31 August 2010
    Michael Warschawski, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
    Once again Uri Avnery is using his blog to criticize the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Under the title “Red and Green,” Avnery comments on the long and interesting program recently broadcast on Israeli Channel 10 on the growing international isolation of Israel.
    Avnery, the veteran journalist and activist, repeats his main arguments against “boycott Israel” campaign and the need to focus only on the boycott of settlers and settlement products. I have already reacted to a similar criticism by Avnery , but the well-deserved authority of Uri Avnery within the international solidarity movement requires a debate of what I consider to be his (very few indeed) mistaken views.
    “Indeed there is no need for a world-wide [BDS] organization [the reportage] says, because all over the place there is a spontaneous surge of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli feeling. Following the “Cast Lead” operation and the flotilla affair, this process has gathered momentum,” summarizes Avnery.
    After this summary, Uri’s blog focuses on a criticism of the campaign of boycotting Israel. His main argument is that the campaign doesn’t distinguish between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). For Avnery, while the OPT should be totally freed from Israeli control and domination, the territories west of the “Green Line” are “naturally” Israeli, just as Manchester is Great Britain and Hanover is Germany. There should be no challenge to this reality and, as Uri said once, he will be the first to defend Israel from any such challenge. For Avnery, the colonial nature of the State of Israel is obsolete within 1948.
    Confronted with the colonial behavior and continuous dynamics of the state of Israel, more and more people are questioning Avnery

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  2. JohnH says:

    As usual, Nadine, you’re wrong. It wasn’t a page. It was a page and a half.
    But you have to admit–it was a REALLY GOOD page and a half!

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  3. nadine says:

    In other words, you have read that one page that one page from Rabin’s memoirs, and nothing else. Gotcha.

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  4. JohnH says:

    Nadine, I read history–Yitzhak Rabin’s autobiography, where he admitted to ethnic cleansing and propaganda intended to create the impression that all Arabs left Israel of their own accord.
    If you want a serious discussion, which you don’t, stop pushing such lies.

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  5. nadine says:

    JohnH, why don’t you read a damn history book sometime? The situation in Haifa is corroborated by the Brits who were right there. As even you must know, relations between the Zionists and the Brits were very bad in the years leading up to 1948. The Brits were in the process of bugging out by 1948, so they had no axe to grind, or if they did, it was usually against the Jews. This is a British Police report from April 1948.
    District Police Headquarters
    (C.I.D.)
    P.O.B. 700.
    Haifa.
    26th April, 1948.
    S E C R E T
    A/A.I.G., C.I.D.
    Subject:- General Situation Haifa District.
    Haifa remains quiet. Yesterday produced a noticeable change in the general atmosphere and businesses and shops in the lower town were open for the first time in many days. Traffic started to move normally around the town and people returning to the places of business filled the streets. In fact, Haifa presented a more normal appearance than it had done for a long while. Some Arabs were seen moving among the Jews in the lower town and German Colony area and these were allowed free and unmolested passage. An appeal has been made to the Arabs by the Jews to reopen their shops and businesses in order to relieve the difficulties of feeding the Arab population. Evacuation was still going on yesterday and several trips were made by ‘Z’ craft to Acre. Roads too, were crowded with people leaving Haifa with all their belongings. At a meeting yesterday afternoon Arab leaders reiterated their determination to evacuate the entire Arab population and they have been given the loan of ten 3-ton military trucks as from this morning to assist the evacuation.
    Yesterday morning a Jew attempted to pass the drop barrier of Police H.Q. facing Palmers Gate wheeling a barrow. He was shot and killed by a Police sentry.
    At 0640 hrs. yesterday Tireh village was again attacked with mortar fire. Casualties and damage not known.
    A report has been received from Military to the effect that at 23.50 hrs. yesterday Jews attacked Acre from the direction of Ein Hamifratz and Tall al Pukhkhar. An advance Party succeeded in demolishing three houses in the Manshiya Quarter and then heavy mortar fire was directed at the town. Several mortar bombs landed in Acre Prison and all the inmates have escaped. The British Warden staff are safe. Military proceeded to the scene and opened fire with artillery on Ein Hemifratz. The Jews thereupon withdrew and a convoy of 11 vehicles was seen proceeding in the direction of Haifa. Casualties to both sides are not known.
    (A.J. Bidmead.)
    for SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE
    Copy:-.District Commissioner, Haifa
    Superintendent of Police, Haifa
    File
    http://www.mideastweb.org/haifa1948.htm

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  6. JohnH says:

    Yeah, right. Like Golda Meir is a credible source. She had everything to gain from disseminating hasbara, such as her “memory” that BG stood on the beach and begged Palestinians not to leave.
    Memoirs are never reliable when they are self serving or further the agenda, only when they confess sins or admit inconvenient truths.
    And Rabin admitted to SUBSTANTIAL ethnic cleansing, roughly 10% of it in Lod, Ramle and Rami.
    And Rabin admitted to Israeli propaganda convinced to convince people that Palestinians hadn’t been forced out, but that they left of their own accord. The propaganda served to deceive the world and assuage the consciences of Israelis with Western values, something that is becoming an endangered species in today’s Israel.

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  7. nadine says:

    Yes, Lod and Ramle were forcibly depopulated. That was due to the military situation in the war the Arabs chose, and was the exception, not the rule, as the historians relate.
    While we are are on memoirs, read Golda Meir’s. She relates how she and Ben Gurion stood on the beach in Haifa in April 1948 and tried to persuade the Arab population of Haifa not to leave, telling them they had nothing to fear. The Arab leaders said, “We know. But we have to go anyway.” They had been threatened by the Arab High Command, who said they would be taken for renegades if they found them sitting next to the Jews. The Arabs of Haifa borrowed trucks from the Brits and evacuated to Lebanon. It was very orderly. That was 70,000 Arabs who left Haifa, over 10% of the entire exodus right there.

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  8. JohnH says:

    Nadine, it was Rabin’s memoir. And he described ethnic cleansing, the suffering it put on Palestinians as well as Jews who had been “inculcated with values such as international brotherhood and humanness.” To bad today’s Jewish Supremacists were never taught these values.
    Here is the quote, which I just scanned in from the copy I kept. I plan to add it to my “hasbara” file to respond in a timely fashion to more of your inevitable BS.
    “PASSAGE CENSORED FROM THE FIRST EDITION
    The following passage, describing the forced eviction of Arabs from Lod and Ramle during the 19488 War of Independence, was omitted from the first edition of the Memoirs. It should follow the words

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  9. nadine says:

    Hey JohnH, most of the quotes you told me of (until now, it was Ben Gurion’s diary) have been faked or twisted out of context. Let me mail you a clue: when a policy really exists, you don’t have to go to diary snippets to find it: it will be in 10s of speeches, hundreds of orders and thousands of verifiable actions.

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  10. JohnH says:

    Nadine spews her BS again! Itzhak Rabin talked specifically about Israeli ethnic cleansing in his autobiography. And Nadine knows it, because I have told her so several times.
    Hey, Nadine, do you ever tire of trying to bullshit us?

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  11. nadine says:

    “The formation of the state of Israel, during several stages, has required the forced removal of Palestinian Arabs from land on which they lived for many centuries. ” (Dan Kervick)
    Stop right there. When did this “forced removal” happen? During the Zionist settlement 1880-1948? No, the Zionists bought their land, enriching the local owners. Did the Arab population drop during this period? No, it tripled. It more than tripled in areas of Jewish settlement. It was noted by many that Arabs were immigrating to Palestine as fast as the Jews, drawn by the economic activity and better wages – so at half of the Arabs had not been there for “many centuries” but 10 or 20 years at most, just like most of the Zionists.
    Some tenants were displaced when the landowner sold their land. But most of the land the Zionists bought was uninhabited. Tel Aviv was sand dunes. The Jezreel Valley was empty swampland. Palestine was very sparsely populated in the 19th century – the biggest town, Jerusalem, had 20,000 people before 1870.
    So step one is lie. Shall we proceed to 1948, the Nakba? Let’s see is this picture of Israeli bulldozers pushing out helpless peasants accurate? Have you not forgotten something, namely five Arab armies, outgunning and outmanning the Zionists by far, vowing to exterminate them in a slaughter unseen since the Crusades? The Zionists lost 1% of their whole population in that war — how did that happen, if they were so powerful and the Palestinian Arabs were so helpless? Ans: it didn’t happen either, step two is another lie.
    As has also been well documented, the vast majority of Arab refugees evacuated before the fighting started or fled in panic when the promised Arab victory failed to materialize. To claim that those who fled in panic without seeing a single Israeli soldier suffered a “forced removal” is pure malicious invention.
    The formation of Israel could have followed the partition plan of 1947, which didn’t require anybody’s removal. It was not the Zionists’ choice that it did not. The Arabs bet on war and lost. You regard them as virtuous innocents by reason of their class status, so you airbrush this detail out of the picture, and assign the responsibility for their actions to the Israelis.
    Forty years ago you would have mangled history just as badly, but made the socialist Israelis the heroes.
    The one thing Lefties can never to do with history, is to look at the facts. It’s always got to be forced to fit the prevailing dialectic.

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  12. JohnH says:

    Oh, the self-righteous indignation of Zionist hypocrisy!! “No Israelis living on Palestinian soil,” an outrage they whine. How anti-Semitic!!!
    But in fact there are no Palestinians living on Israeli soil–they’re called “Israeli Arabs,” a relic of Zionist tradition, which asserted that there was no such thing as a Palestinian.
    Who knows what outrage Abbas will commit next? Maybe he’ll suggest a loyalty oath for Jews living on Palestinian soil, virtually identical to the one that Avigdor Lieberman has proposed for Palestinians living in Israel.
    Or maybe the PA will wave a wand and declare certain choice real estate to consist of illegally constructed Jewish settlements (the truth in fact), and kick the residents out. OMG!!! Kicking out Jews! But when Palestinians are ethnically cleansed from East Jerusalem, Nadine and her ilk approve.
    The problem with Nadine and her ilk is that they want Israel to be free to do whatever it wants. But when Palestinians imitate Israeli behavior, it’s proof of their evil nature!

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  13. Dan Kervick says:

    A travesty, Nadine? really?
    The formation of the state of Israel, during several stages, has required the forced removal of Palestinian Arabs from land on which they lived for many centuries. The bulldozer has been one of the weapons of choice in this long campaign to cleanse, rename and redefine that land. It is clear that you regard those Arabs as squatters on land owned by the Ottoman Empire, land which was then somehow free for the taking following the collapse of the Ottoman state. If you think only Leninist and Stalinist communists are repulsed by that kind of behavior, or sympathize with the plight of the weak and poor when they are driven from the places they live by people with bigger guns, more money and more powerful backers, you are wrong.
    It is interesting that a lot of contemporary Zionists don

    Reply

  14. nadine says:

    I forgot to add: forty years ago Dan would have mangled history just as badly in the opposite direction, to celebrate the victory of the secular socialist Israelis over the reactionary religious Arabs. It’s not that the history has changed so much, but the lefty filter applied to it certainly has.
    POA, when it comes to the artform of making as ass of yourself, I must bow to your greater expertise.

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  15. Carroll says:

    Let’s save nadine all her typing and just translate her past and future post to save everyone the trouble of replying….

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You must be so broken-hearted over the end of the USSR”
    See???? Great thought goes into the effort Nadine puts into making an ass of herself. It really is an artform, and she’s a master.

    Reply

  17. nadine says:


    “All you are really demanding to do is destroy the current stable situation and spark a major regional conflagration.”
    The current situation is not stable.”
    Au contraire, the situation is incredibly stable. It resists all efforts by either side to make any significant change in it, and has done for forty years. Whatever else you call it, it’s stable as hell. Stalemates are very stable — that’s why they are stalemates.
    “I’m a lefty. I say if the serfs or sharecroppers and their families have poured their labor into some land for centuries, it belongs to them – not to the distant plantation owners and manorial lords. But if the Jews of the late 20th and early 21st century want to align themselves with the cause of bulldozing the field niggers out of their hovels, ”
    Oh bullshit, what a travesty of history.
    But then, we know that being a lefty means there is one set of rules for those in the deserving revolutionary ethno-class identity groups, and quite another for those in the undeserving reactionary ethno-class identity groups. What is noble and proper disregard of bourgeois laws for member of one group, is outrageous theft and upholding of an unjust property system for members of the other.
    As for history, for lefties the future is always known. It’s the past that keeps changing.
    Thanks for the example.
    You must be so broken-hearted over the end of the USSR. Cheer up, Putin is doing wonders to reinstate it.

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  18. Dan Kervick says:

    “… the rest being state land for centuries.”
    I’m a lefty. I say if the serfs or sharecroppers and their families have poured their labor into some land for centuries, it belongs to them – not to the distant plantation owners and manorial lords.
    But if the Jews of the late 20th and early 21st century want to align themselves with the cause of bulldozing the field niggers out of their hovels, they can be my guests to take that side of the argument. No doubt they will then go on to spin elaborate and ever more convoluted and epicyclical psycho-social theories to explain why so many people despise this behavior.
    “what’s the difference between Tel Aviv and say, Ariel?”
    Only that after Western countries assuaged their guilt and tried to offload their “Jewish problem” by helping Jewish invaders seize most of the land that now comprises the accepted territory of Israel, and build a state there, the international community then formally ratified and legitimized that questionable decision with decades of UN resolutions and international legal decisions. So Israel’s right to exist on that territory in now secure. But not so for the rest of their current West Bank colonies.
    “You have taught them that as long as they say NO NO NO, the international community will do their negotiating for them.”
    The same lesson of the positive wages of intransigence has been taught to the Israelis. It’s time to teach them all a new lesson.
    “All you are really demanding to do is destroy the current stable situation and spark a major regional conflagration.”
    The current situation is not stable. Israel is a rogue nation lead by extremist politicians and animated by an increasingly fascistic population comprising an intensely xenophobic and violence-worshipping national-religious cult. Their persecution complex and attendant aggression appear deep and not easily curable, and are going to play out with very dangerous consequences for the world.

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  19. nadine says:

    “>>Do you mean we should make Arabs leave Israel the same way Jews should leave Palestine?”
    “I thought the Arabs in Israel were citizens of Israel. I think it would probably be a good idea if the new Palestinian state were to offer citizenship to Jewish residents of Palestine. Of course, if the latter decline to accept that offer, they should be expected to relocate to Israel.”
    They are. I was trying to figure out what your ‘each side to their own line’ meant, it sounded like a transfer of populations. The Palestinians have already made their position clear:
    Abu Mazen, speaking in Cairo last June 29, “I will never agree that there be Jewish soldiers in NATO, and I will never agree that there will be a single Israeli among us on Palestinian soil.”
    Every single I/P negotiation has as its absolute core assumption, which neither side argues, that Arabs can stay in Israel but NOT ONE JEW can live in Palestine. That was true with Arafat, and it’s true with Abu Mazen.
    One would expect this assymetry might have an effect on your thinking, being so concerned with equitable solutions; yet it never does.
    “In any case, ordinary standards of human common law and conventional morality should inform any resolution, and those standards would tell us that it is more appropriate to remove people from land they have stolen than to remove people from land they have not stolen”
    Oh really? The Palestinians own the West Bank? Pray, when did this ownership begin? Here I thought that Palestinians only owned about 20% of the West Bank, with the rest being state land for centuries.
    When did this ownership begin? They didn’t own it when Jordan occupied it. They didn’t own it when the British occupied it. They didn’t own it when Ottomans ruled it. So when, pray, did this transfer of ownership occur? When Israel repelled Jordan’s attack in 1967 and occupied it?
    You have an extremely fuzzy idea of ownership at play here, which seems to boil down, at base, to “Arabs good. Jews bad.”
    Do the Israelis “own” Israel? Just asking. Because as you must know, the vast majority of Arabs say they don’t. So if it’s just a matter of opinion about who “stole” what from whom, what’s the difference between Tel Aviv and say, Ariel? Seriously, what’s the difference?
    So somebody in the UN says the Green Line is a border. So what, the neighbors have never accepted any border that Israel is inside of, they just use old borders to demand new concessions.
    “The Israelis have learned over the years that there is not a single violation or act of aggression for which they need to expect to be held to account by the United States, the most powerful member of the world community.”
    On the contrary, the Israelis are constantly restrained from effective counter-terrorism, which is why there can be no solution. They were effectively prevented from removing Hamas from power (much to the secret disappointment of Fatah and Egypt), they waged war with far more care than the Americans or Brits do in Afghanistan, and they still got endless grief designed to delegitimize all their self defense.
    It is the Palestinians that you and the international community seek to protect, always crying, “They’re helpless! They’re oppressed! They’re not responsible! Their rockets don’t kill too many people, so Israel must not notice them!”
    “Similarly Palestinian rejectionists must be made to understand clearly that there is not going to be a historic reversal of the Nakhba; no one-state solution; no Palestinian Arab sovereignty over the whole of the Palestinian mandate. Some waters are too far gone under the bridge to be turned back. The rejectionists shouldn’t be appeased either. The world needs to draw a line, and define for the Palestinians and Israelis the border between Palestine and Israel, since the Palestinians and Israelis are evidently incapable of settling that question themselves – at least not in a manner whose risks the world can tolerate.”
    They don’t understand this at all. Cf this recent poll http://www.awrad.org/pdfs/English%20tables%20part%201%20peace%20August%202010.pdf
    You and the ‘international community’ have taught them the exact and precise opposite. You have taught them that they need never compromise or sign a deal, they never need to put down their own rejectionists. Money (in billions of $$$) and approval will flow regardless. Notably, you neglect the fact that Israel has offered a border of 95% + of WB with land swaps; but it is the Palestinians who refused.
    Yet you do not criticize them for refusing that offer. You do not pressure them to make their own counter-offer. You have taught them that as long as they say NO NO NO, the international community will do their negotiating for them.
    Well, great, they would be fools to negotiate for themselves in that case. If they negotiated for themselves, they’d have to agree to something!
    But if you negotiate for them (which is what your proposed border-making amounts to), they don’t need to agree to a thing. They will take the land and concessions, commit more terrorism and make more demands. The rejectionists will be thrilled and stoked for total victory. Far from peace, you will have guaranteed war.
    You say you’ll think of Israel differently if they withdraw from the West Bank? Why should Israelis think so, when they withdrew from Gaza and got less than no credit from the international community?
    Oh, you say you’ll put in UN peacekeepers?
    UN peacekeepers make great human shields, and never interfere with terrorists. Hizbullah just imported 50,000 rockets into Lebanon under the nose of peacekeepers who were stationed there expressly to prevent it.
    All you are really demanding to do is destroy the current stable situation and spark a major regional conflagration. All because you are tired of the conflict and can’t be bothered to learn what’s really going on.

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  20. Dan Kervick says:

    “Do you mean we should make Arabs leave Israel the same way Jews should leave Palestine?”
    I thought the Arabs in Israel were citizens of Israel. I think it would probably be a good idea if the new Palestinian state were to offer citizenship to Jewish residents of Palestine. Of course, if the latter decline to accept that offer, they should be expected to relocate to Israel.
    In any case, ordinary standards of human common law and conventional morality should inform any resolution, and those standards would tell us that it is more appropriate to remove people from land they have stolen than to remove people from land they have not stolen. The Palestinians living in Israel are living, for the most part, on land that was theirs and that the Israelis simply declined to take from them. Israelis on Palestine, on the other hand, are living on land they took away from its Palestinian Arab inhabitants.
    I am sensitive to the dangers of appeasement. The Israelis have learned over the years that there is not a single violation or act of aggression for which they need to expect to be held to account by the United States, the most powerful member of the world community. Not a hint of a breath of a sanction awaits them. All meaningful UN resolutions will be vetoed in council or thwarted in practice. We have already seen Netanyahu bragging about how easy it is to take care of the Americans; but he is just continuing in the common knowledge established by his predecessors. American leaders are weak, and Israel knows it. So considerations of self-interest provide them with little reason to halt their expansion. To halt that expansion, the world must give them a reason.
    Similarly Palestinian rejectionists must be made to understand clearly that there is not going to be a historic reversal of the Nakhba; no one-state solution; no Palestinian Arab sovereignty over the whole of the Palestinian mandate. Some waters are too far gone under the bridge to be turned back. The rejectionists shouldn’t be appeased either. The world needs to draw a line, and define for the Palestinians and Israelis the border between Palestine and Israel, since the Palestinians and Israelis are evidently incapable of settling that question themselves – at least not in a manner whose risks the world can tolerate.
    I’m surprised if this is the first time you have heard this line from me, Nadine, because I’m pretty sure I made the same case for a firm and decisive hand by the international community, and a prescriptive, sanctions-based approach to the conflict that diminishes the direct role of the two warring parties and negotiations between them, way back around the time of the Obama transition and early months of the administration. And I have mocked “peace-processism” several times since then.

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  21. nadine says:

    “Why do you think I’m picking on Israel? I said we need to make *both* sides get on their side of the line and stay there.”
    First I heard of it. Do you mean we should make Arabs leave Israel the same way Jews should leave Palestine?

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  22. Dan Kervick says:

    “All you want to do is appease.”
    Why do you think I’m picking on Israel? I said we need to make *both* sides get on their side of the line and stay there.

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  23. nadine says:

    Dan, we are not fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for Israel, any more than Thomas Jefferson sent the Marines into Tripoli for Israel. The Muslim world’s internal disorder and inimical attitude to all non Muslim powers is centuries old.
    All you want to do is appease: throw Israel to the crocodile in the hope that he will eat you last, as Churchill said. It won’t work any better today than it did in the 30s. The one thing Arab politics can absolutely identify is who is strong and who is weak. Weakness invites not compromise, but aggression.

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  24. nadine says:

    “nadine…I have no reason to question the veracity of what I was told by Dr. Fouda based on my knowledge of his character, education and profession and his associates in Connecticut and at Yale. Often when something is first proposed publicly differs from when it was first proposed privately.” (Kathleen)
    Then you are being totally unclear as to which “concrete barriers” are being referred to. None of the principles or their associates on either side mentioned “concrete barriers” as an issue during Camp David or Taba, in 2000 or early 2001. Certainly not in public.
    It did become a huge issue when Israel began building the Security Fence two years later. Could it be that you are just confusing the timeline, as you did with Rabin vs Barak?
    Another possibility: Have you considered that when one side is looking for an excuse for why they turned down a deal that was the best they ever saw, or are ever likely to see, that it’s not surprising some heretofore unmentioned minor issue will be dragged out and made much of, as the “real” reason?
    I think its worth noting that even such a pro-Palestinian partisan as you, who think all their demands are “just”, should have been disappointed that they didn’t take the deal at Taba, or offer a counter. Hint: their reaction to Taba should offer a clue that their real demands are not what you think their demands are. Not even close. If they had been, they would have wanted to do a deal.

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  25. downtwon says:

    “I would happily recommend butting out of Israel if Israel would butt out of my country and stop dragging us into their fight.”
    Agreed. Let’s get rid of America’s Tar Baby…
    “Then you will do more good urging your government to stop clutching the Tar Baby and get out of the business of trying to solve the Mideast Conflict.”
    Posted by nadine, Aug 30 2010, 12:08AM

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  26. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    nadine…I have no reason to question the veracity of what I was told by Dr. Fouda based on my knowledge of his character, education and profession and his associates in Connecticut and at Yale. Often when something is first proposed publicly differs from when it was first proposed privately.
    I do not consider Palestinian demands sacred…I consider them just. I do consider Israel’s demands, with regard to the settlements, illegal.

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  27. Dan Kervick says:

    “If you don’t care, I suggest you butt out of life-and-death issues for other people.”
    I would happily recommend butting out of Israel if Israel would butt out of my country and stop dragging us into their fight. The Israelis talk brave and tough, and try to puff up their chests and tell the world that they don’t need anyone. But they are actually a bunch of dependent cowards and small-time local hoods who throw a few slaps and then come running to their big brother and their friends and cousins in the US Congress. And cooperative, indulgent Washington is crawling with people who care more about the needs and desires of a few million Jews in Israel than about the hundreds of millions of Americans who will pay the price for their idiot nephew.
    You and your allies are putting me and mine at great risk. And if the shit ever does come raining down on me, I’m going to remember who dumped it. Stop agitating for American support for the holy state of Israel, and I’ll stop agitating for American intervention to end the conflict.

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  28. Dan Kervick says:

    “The problem with standing outside a conflict with some sort of view from nowhere is that your version of negotiations ends up failing as you have no “feeling” for the two sides.”
    It’s not a view from nowhere, questions. It is a view from the United States. I mainly view the conflict in the light of its effects and potential effects on Americans, and the approach I would like my government to take toward the conflict is the approach that would have the most positive outcome for Americans.
    You didn’t read what I said. I didn’t recommend a “negotiation”, whether one with feeling or without feeling. I didn’t recommend impartiality. I recommended coercion, in the American interest. And I suggested that since other large and powerful countries share interests on this issue with Americans, the United States could find partners in a coercive effort.
    I’ve followed this conflict off and on for decades now. I’ve read the memoirs and histories, and the manifestos and tracts, and observed several previous rounds of negotiation. My opinion is that the negotiations aren’t going to resolve anything, long run or short run. And we can’t afford the kind of patience you recommend. This conflict is going to end up getting a lot of people killed, most of whom probably won’t be either Jews or Palestinian Arabs.
    I don’t care about the Nakhba. I don’t care about the Holocaust. Those events are long-passed and dead. Most of the people who were involved in them and remember them are dead too. I’ve had enough of the violin music and tear-fests.
    These two countries are absolutely dependent on the outside world for their survival. Just draw a line, tell the two sides to get on the right side of the line, and then cut off all funds and trade if they don’t do it. Enough is enough with these drama queens.

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  29. nadine says:

    questions, do you ever read Yaacov Lozowick? I think you’d find his response to Lauren Booth interesting, as it addresses the question of perspective in viewing conflicts: http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/08/response-to-lauren-booth.html
    David Horovitz also has a well-written editorial in the Jpost where he explains, in brief, that there is no need to wonder what’s the story with the peace talks: Abbas only accepted Hillary Clinton’s “invitation” (which she gave him no chance to refuse) in the certainty that Netanyahu will not renew the 10 month building moratorium when it ends in September, at which point Abbas will gratefully bolt, screeching loudly & blaming Israel.
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=186172

    Reply

  30. questions says:

    Dan,
    The problem with standing outside a conflict with some sort of view from nowhere is that your version of negotiations ends up failing as you have no “feeling” for the two sides.
    Yes we want impartial judges, but we want an impartiality that deeply understands both (or all) sides of the conflict and thus can help set up a solution that “feels right” to the complainants.
    The endless negotiation is an attempt to construct a face-saving set of images that each side can take home and bring up at the next election, or use to ward off power challenges.
    There are real conflicts between real people who really have a wide range of emotional and political and practical claims.
    It’s certainly irritating that they can’t just get rational or can’t just do the right thing or can’t just give up on something they’ve staked their identities, careers, political lives on. They’ve lost soldiers and martyrs to the cause. They’ve created fantasies and a whole culture around the conflict. There’s money at stake. Power and status, too.
    So, yeah, years of negotiation, conflict management, containment of one sort or another, and eventually something shifts a bit.
    The patience of a saint, not the irritation of a bystander, is what is called for.

    Reply

  31. nadine says:

    “I think the Middle East is crazy-town, and I would just like my government – and other governments – to pacify the asylum and put locks on the gates before the inmates make the rest of us completely crazy too.” (Dan Kervick)
    Then you will do more good urging your government to stop clutching the Tar Baby and get out of the business of trying to solve the Mideast Conflict.
    Because just like you, your government can’t be bothered to try to understand. Yet they propose an endless stream of solutions — “oh, I don’t know if it will work or not, the Middle East is crazy-town, but just for kicks Israel should pull back to the Green Line, uproot 500,000 Jews (but no Arabs, Arabs have rights) and see if that helps.” And when Hamas takes over the WB and plans its final solution to Israel, what will you say? “Oh, I don’t really care if Jews or Arabs get their national vision”?
    If you don’t care, I suggest you butt out of life-and-death issues for other people. They are not your toys to play with.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    “nadine…the “security fence” was proposed and part of the agreement Arafat rejected.”
    That is simply not true. The Security Fence was not seriously proposed until Israeli casualties began mounting into the hundred and thousands during the Second Intifada, which started in Sept 2000, post Camp David but pre Taba. “In June 2001, a grass roots organization called “Fence for Life – The Public Movement for The Security Fence” began the grassroots effort for the construction of a continuous security fence. The movement was founded by people from all over Israel following the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier
    Come on Kathleen, this history is only 10 years old, can you try to get it right?
    “I am aware that Palestine was a Brittish Colony and that attempts were made by the US, UK, Un to create two states, but that required many Palestinians to be driven from their homes..”
    It’s good that you know it was a British colony. But it is absolutely false that the Partition required Palesitinian Arabs to be driven out. Not a single person would have had to be driven out, neither Arabs from the Jewish state nor Jews from the Arab state. “The resolution also contained a plan for an economic union between the proposed states, and a plan for the protection of religious and minority rights. The resolution sought to address the conflicting objectives and claims to the Mandate territory of two competing nationalist movements, Zionism (Jewish nationalism) and Arab nationalism, as well as to resolve the plight of Jews displaced as a result of the Holocaust” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine
    It was the Arab choice for war that created the refugee crisis. Many of the Arabs of Palestine began evacuating after the partition vote in Nov 1947 because they knew war was coming. The wealthiest went first because they had transport and where to go. At the time, they expected the war to be short and result in quick Arab victory.
    Had the Arabs accepted the partition, nobody would have had to leave.
    The Palestinians are ashamed now of the actual history of the ‘nakba’ so they have rewritten it. But you can sympathize with them without buying into such revisionism.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Israel has to be far and away the most INEPT practitioner of genocide in the history of the world. The palestinian population seems to increase at a geometric rate”
    On an ever diminishing tract of land, with less and less infrastructural amenities and resources. There is more than one way to commit genocide.
    Isn’t it interesting that Jews like Nadine and Pearlman are so selective in the areas of Israeli policy that they are willing to discuss? Did you note the silence of these Jews while we were addressing Israel’s reincarnation of “Hitlers Youth”, with a policy of recruiting Jewish teens to assist in evictions and the defacement of Arab properties? And what do Jews like Nadine and Pearlman have to say about Yosef’s dangerous radical and racist spew???? Have you ever seen this fuckin’ ghoul Nadine ever comment about Israel’s policy of shooting PEACEFUL AND LEGALLY ENGAGED American activists in the head with tear gas canisters?
    Honestly, I am disgusted by such Jews. They diminish their own people. They foster anti-semitism. It is not a stretch to state that they ENDANGER Israel and the Jews.

    Reply

  34. Cee says:

    And the 800,000 Jews driven out of the Arab/Persian world, with all their property expropriated, what are they owed and by whom?
    Nadine,
    Let Israel make them whole again. They caused it.
    Naeim Giladi: “I write this book to tell the American people, and especially the American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that, to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews; and that, to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors. I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called ‘cruel Zionism.’ I write about it because I was a part of it.” Giladi delivers the painful truth about the Zionist rape of Palestine and deliberate planting of anti-Semitism in Iraqi Jewish communities during David Ben-Gurion’s political career in order to persuade the Iraqi Jews to immigrate to Israel. The goal of the Zionists was to import raw Jewish labor from the Middle East to plow and plant the newly-vacated lands. Also, the military ranks had to be filled with conscripts to defend the stolen lands.
    http://www.amazon.com/Ben-Gurions-Scandals-Haganah-Mossad-Eliminated/dp/1893302407

    Reply

  35. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    nadine…the “security fence” was proposed and part of the agreement Arafat rejected. On who should compensate the 800,000 Jews expelled from Arab/Persia…those who perpetrated the injustice should make resothing to do with the holocaust.titution..
    I am aware that Palestine was a Brittish Colony and that attempts were made by the US, UK, Un to create two states, but that required many Palestinians to be driven from their homes….not going to be a popular proposal for people who had nothing to do with the Holocaust…why would any sane person agree to being driven from their home to make way for people from somewhere else….get real…and Israel never stops with the land grabs so people who sympathized with Israel initially are hard pressed to justify the blatant encroachments into the West Bank and Gaza.
    I’m sorry but I think Germans should have had to give up their homes to the Holocaust survivors, not the Palestinians and bleating endlessly about Israel’s right to exist is specious…you exist..you’re a reality…Palestine is yet to be created now that you send your squatters to settle in their land further, destroy their olive groves and farms, making it impossible to survive as a people…somebody needs to start proclaiming Palestine’s right to exist.

    Reply

  36. JohnH says:

    What difference does “no further demands on Israel” make? And an end to the conflict? Does that mean that Israel will just stop stealing Palestinian land without compensation? I’ll believe it when I see it.
    They routinely ignored any demand that was ever made. For starters, the world’s longest list of UNSC resolutions…
    And an end to the conflict? Does that mean that Israel will just stop stealing Palestinian land without compensation? I’ll believe that when I see it.

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    “Washington – Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu spelled out Sunday the key components for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, AFP news agency reported.
    A recognition of Israel by Palestinians as “the national state of the Jewish people,” was first and foremost according to a statement from Netanyahu.
    In addition, he called for “an end to the conflict and an end to further demands on Israel,” AFP quoted.”
    Excellent. For far too long Israel has passively allowed the Israel-hating Left to frame the entire peace process as “Israel Gives & Palestinians Get (then demand More)”
    The Palestinians, the Lefties figure, being helpless oppressed people, could not possibly need to make any compromises themselves, or be asked to get their own act together in any way, shape or form. The general idea of the Israel bashers (and the naive Lefties they tow in their wake) is that the peace process will end when the Palestinians declare themselves satisfied. Which is never, or when the last Jews flee the Mideast, whichever comes first.
    The sooner the peace process is reframed back to being a negotiation, in which, as in all negotiations, both sides have demands and both sides must make compromises, the better.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    State Dept.: Direct Talks to Begin Without Preconditions
    State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley on Monday reiterated that the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) would begin without preconditions, blablablah….
    http://www.aipac.org/130.asp#38536
    Amazing, isn’t it??? As this sack of shit Netanyahu lists his preconditions, AIPAC and the State Department twist reality to fit the narrative.
    All the Palestinians must do is recognize Israel as a Jewish State, (including the lands stolen from them), forego being able to defend themselves should they manage to get a state of their own, and accept continued settlement activity that diminishes the size of any “state” they manage to acquire. But these aren’t “preconditions” mind you, they are simply “key components of a peace deal”.

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Netanyahu lists his terms for peace
    Washington – Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu spelled out Sunday the key components for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, AFP news agency reported.
    A recognition of Israel by Palestinians as “the national state of the Jewish people,” was first and foremost according to a statement from Netanyahu.
    In addition, he called for “an end to the conflict and an end to further demands on Israel,” AFP quoted.
    The report continued:
    Such a move would imply they are dropping their claim that refugees who fled or were expelled when Israel was created in 1948, and their descendants, should be able to reclaim former homes now within Israel.
    Netanyahu told reporters that he would also seek “real security arrangements on the ground” to prevent a recurrence in the West Bank of events that took place in the Gaza Strip after Israel pulled out in 2005 and in south Lebanon after the Israeli withdrawal in 2000.
    The Islamist Hamas seized control in Gaza and used the coastal strip as a launching pad for attacks into Israel. Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah fought a bloody war with the Jewish state in 2006.
    A major obstacle looming over the peace talks is the resumption of settlement construction once the partial building moratorium ends Sept. 26. There have been hints from Jerusalem and Washington that something will be done to curtail settlement construction, but no official statement has been made on the subject.
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/news/archive/2010/08/29/netanyahu-lists-his-terms-for-peace.aspx
    Ya gotta love that “Islamist Hamas seized control in Gaza” part, doncha??? Never mind they were elected in a democratic process, a victory lubricated by the fascist and racist policies of the “Jewish State”.
    Its interesting that Palestinian demands are known as “preconditions”, yet when this piece of shit Netanyahu makes demands they are called “key components of a peace deal”.
    How about instead of the Palestinians recognizing “Israel as the national state of the Jewish people”, (including tracts of land STOLEN from the Palestinians), they recognize Israel as a racist little theocracy of a country that wishes to put Palestinians in reservations, or, better yet, cemetaries. Oh, oops, I forgot the Palestinians already know this. When will the rest of the global community get wise, (or admit to), this fact?
    “Who thinks “Nadine” is even a person?”
    Someone in a position to know once told me that Nadine is “a private citizen”, as if that somehow countered my contention that she is just a slimey lying mouthpiece reading from the Hasbarist and Megaphone script. Point of fact, it is the Israeli lobby’s success at harnessing the racist energy of far right wing American Jews that has made the Megaphone and Hasbara campaigns so successful. An army of brainwashed American Jews, far removed from the actual reality of Israel’s abuses and attrocities in Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank, spewing forth with an arsenal of propaganda and ignorance.
    And leading the troops are these rabid racist American Jews like Horowitz and Dershowitz, who are given a free soapbox by a media bought and paid for by by their Jewish masters. “Conspiracy theory”, MY ASS. Ask your nieghbor about the Israel/Palestine issue, and marvel at how completely and utterly they have assimiliated the departure from reality that constitutes the Israeli narrative.
    Nadine is an anamoly, as she has stumbled upon an audience that sees her for EXACTLY what she is. Its amazing to me that such a person can be so despicable that they are willing to lie to and propagandize an audience that KNOWS they are being lied to and propagandized. Such a campaign telegraphs a moral bankruptcy that is indeed hard to fathom. What kind of person consistently argues a platform that is so indefensible that it requires maintaining a steady litany of lies and revision of history? The inexplicable nature of such an effort is simply compounded by the fact that she knows we aren’t buying it.

    Reply

  40. nadine says:

    “Who thinks “Nadine” is even a person. Seems like a very crude Zionist “Eliza” to me—nowhere close to passing the Turing test.”
    What a great sample of what passes for wit eloquence among the ignorant Israel bashing rabble — who are anti-Zionist for the sole and entire reason that it’s fashionable in their circles to be so.
    Sure beats having to answer the arguments.

    Reply

  41. MarkL says:

    Who thinks “Nadine” is even a person. Seems like a very crude Zionist “Eliza” to me—nowhere close to passing the Turing test.

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Dan routinely claims that everybody who needs to be regarded accepts Israel’s right to exist, so that peace would break out all over if Israel withdrew from the West Bank”
    No, you lying sack of shit, Dan doesn’t “routinely”, or ever, say that. Are you so far gone that you think making such disingenuous and asinine statements convince your readers of anything other than your dishonesty?

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    “You have documented that you have a brain, Nadine. Why
    doesn’t it function properly when someone criticizes Israel?
    Dan hasn’t denied the fact that some forces in the region
    question Israel’s right to exist. His point was simply that this
    doesn’t immunize Israel from criticism. Criticism is a sound
    thing. And criticism is not the same as challenging the
    criticized’s right to exist.” (Paul Norheim)
    Because when you criticize based on provably false assumptions, there comes a point where the criticism becomes a cover story for bad faith and bad intent. Dan routinely claims that everybody who needs to be regarded accepts Israel’s right to exist, so that peace would break out all over if Israel withdrew from the West Bank. This is so far from the stated position and track record of the major players as to be simply a lie.
    It’s as if you told a woman who had long been beaten by her husband, and who had finally left him and taken out a restraining order, who was now carrying a gun because he was stalking her and threatening to kill her, that the husband would behave in a civilized manner if only she wouldn’t be so aggressive and paranoid, so she should go back to him. It’s true that this would be “criticism,” not denial of the wife’s right to live, but can you see why she might not take it that way?

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    “nadine…Ehud Barak…yes. I was told, when I expressed my disappointment at Arafat’s refusal to accept the agreement, that the concrete barriers were Arafat’s reason for not accepting the agreement by Hassan Fouda, who until recently, headed that CT. Palestinian support group and has regularly been to Isreal and Palestine on various good will missions. When I was shown pictures of them and maps with their locations, cutting through Palestinian territory, with many checkpoints, I could understand the objection. ”
    I don’t know what you could possibly be referring to except the Security Fence. The construction of the Security Fence began in 2002 as a reaction to the Second Intifada; therefore it could not have been Arafat’s reason in 2000. If anybody is telling you it was, they are counting on your ignorance.
    “That survivors of the Holocaust were owed compensatory and exemplary damages is without question, but those damages were owed by Germany, not Palestine. The US, the UK. and other western allies,made restitution by wiping Palestine off the map, without any regard for their innocence in the Holocaust. ”
    And the 800,000 Jews driven out of the Arab/Persian world, with all their property expropriated, what are they owed and by whom?
    The bad faith in your argument is that there is always one standard for the demands of Palestinians, which are sacred, and another for the demands of Israelis, which are illegitimate and can be disregarded.
    Just a small reminder, the UN, UK, etc, tried to create a two-state solution in 1947 which would have created an Arab country of Palestine, for the first time ever. The Jews accepted but the Arabs refused, preferring war. They promised to slaughter the Jews and drive them into the sea.
    Remember, Palestine was a British colony with borders the British had drawn in 1920, which disregarded the previous Ottoman borders. The Arabs in Palestine in 1947 did not regard themselves as “Palestinian”; that was one reason they didn’t organize to fight for themselves but depended on the armies of the Arab High Command to fight for them. This aspect of history has proven so shameful for the Palestinians that they have tried to write it out of the accounts. Nonetheless, it’s true.

    Reply

  45. JohnH says:

    I bet we don’t hear Nadine or kotz condemning Shas’ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, either. Instead, Nadine will excuse Yosef by saying that he didn’t really say what he said what he said. Or maybe he didn’t mean what he said, though it’s pretty clear.
    But if Ahmadinejad were to say something similar about her tribe, OMG, there would be a rant!

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres a “must read”. It looks like Obama is as big a whore for BP as he is for Israel.
    http://www.truth-out.org/mississippi-sound-tests-positive-oil62735

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….surely you can appreciate their position in this”
    ROFLMAO!!!! Yeah, right. As if Nadine is capable of such an assessment.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “At the end of the intensive year, the framework agreement for ending the conflict is supposed to be signed. From that moment onward, the agreement will be implemented gradually over a number of years”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/white-house-briefing-for-jewish-american-leadership-outlines-strategy-for-israeli-palestinian-talks.html
    Amazing. How fuckin’ stupid does Obama think we are? This whole scenario is designed to allow him to spew forth with a Bush-like “mission accomplished” when in fact he won’t have accomplished jack shit. Safely under the blanket of an elitist’s retirement, obscenely wealthy, the fact that the “accomplishments” of these talks were complete and utter bullshit won’t affect him in the least.
    One of the latest “conspiracy theories” is that Obama is a CIA construct. I don’t know about that, but one thing is for sure, the sack of shit is DEFINITELY not what he claimed, or claims, to be.
    BTW, are there any plans to “brief” Muslim leaders about this transparent bit of status quo “strategy”??? Undoubtedly not. The Muslims just might embarrass this fuckin’ empty suit by publically outlining what a pathetic con-job this whole thing is. That is, if our media would give themn a voice, which is doubtful.
    These talks are a scam. A charade. And as they get nearer, and more information becomes available, it becomes more and more evident. Obama has morphed into just one more shameless political whore pandering to the Israelis. I wonder what price he is paying for getting the Israelis to play along with this charade? Or should I be wondering what compensation he requested from the Israels? Either way, the Palestinians are about to get fucked again.

    Reply

  49. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    nadine…Ehud Barak…yes. I was told, when I expressed my disappointment at Arafat’s refusal to accept the agreement, that the concrete barriers were Arafat’s reason for not accepting the agreement by Hassan Fouda, who until recently, headed that CT. Palestinian support group and has regularly been to Isreal and Palestine on various good will missions. When I was shown pictures of them and maps with their locations, cutting through Palestinian territory, with many checkpoints, I could understand the objection.
    “Right of return” is, of course, a pivotal issue…but when Jews from all over the world are invited to migrate to Isreal, it hardly seems fair to Palestinians whose property was summarilly expropriated to make room for these immigrants….surely you can appreciate their position in this.
    That survivors of the Holocaust were owed compensatory and exemplary damages is without question, but those damages were owed by Germany, not Palestine. The US, the UK. and other western allies,made restitution by wiping Palestine off the map, without any regard for their innocence in the Holocaust.
    To add insult to injury, we rewarded the Germans, for purging Europe of most Jews through our Marshall Plan. How could any Palestinian, or for that matter, any other Arabs, look at our foreign policy, as “even handed”.
    From a Crusader’s point of view, wiping Palestine off the map by ridding Europe of it’s Jews would be a “twoffer”.
    But, back to the question of referendums and letting the people involved, not just the “leaders” decide. Having Roman ancestors, I guess I’m partial ot plebiscites.

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Meanwhile, going into these talks, the spiritual leader of the Shas’, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is calling for the assassination of Abbas, and the extermination of the Palestinian people….
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3945494,00.html
    But you won’t see our media reporting on the religious radicalism driving Israel’s policies, will you? I wonder, will the issue of the far right Jews calling for the ERADICATION of the Palestinians be given the platform that the media is giving Hamas’ refusal to accept a Jewish State in the stolen lands of Palestine?
    Its all theatre anyway. Is there really anyone that believes this piece of shit Netanyahu wants peace, or a two state solution? The only difference between Yosef and Netanyahu is surface rhetoric. If Netanyahu was speaking from the heart, instead of following the script, he would be echoing Yosef’s sentiments. We all KNOW this to be true, even Nadine, for Yosef speaks for her as well. Who can doubt it after reading Nadine’s last year of bigotry, propaganda, and hateful spew against the Muslim’s. This Yosef fanatic is actually less detestable than the likes of Netanyahu or Nadine, as he is HONEST in expressing his hatred and bigotry, where Nadine and Netanyahu seek to hide it through Hasbara talking points and disingenuous attempts to portray the Palestinians as the only “radicals” in the mix.

    Reply

  51. JohnH says:

    Nadine loves to accuse others of questioning Israel’s right to exist. But has she ever granted Palestinians’ right to exist? No. Never.
    Apparently, she believes that her tribe is the only one that has a right to exist and lead productive lives, albeit on constant life support from the US government and the diaspora.
    But if you suggest that both Jews and Arabs have a right to exist in Palestine, then you’re obviously anti-Semitic! Go figure!

    Reply

  52. Paul Norheim says:

    You have documented that you have a brain, Nadine. Why
    doesn’t it function properly when someone criticizes Israel?
    Dan hasn’t denied the fact that some forces in the region
    question Israel’s right to exist. His point was simply that this
    doesn’t immunize Israel from criticism. Criticism is a sound
    thing. And criticism is not the same as challenging the
    criticized’s right to exist.
    If I criticize you, wouldn’t it be unreasonable to interpret that as
    if I question your right to exist – just because other people in
    the world hate Jews?
    Sure, if I were a holy cow in India, I would certainly perceive
    any hint of criticism of the principle of Sacred Cows as an en
    existential threat initiated by the cow-haters.
    On a metaphorical level though, these rules do not necessarily
    apply. Criticizing might even help the cow survive in a cruel
    world. Build a conspicuous fence around a particularly
    aggressive bull, and you’ll soon see your sacred animal
    surrounded by carnivores, attracted by the fence. And that’s
    exactly the dynamics we are witnessing today. By building that
    provocative fence, and by screaming to the whole world:
    “Approaching this fence is highly forbidden!”, you and your
    friends are actually undermining Israel’s security.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    “In Jerusalem in 1971, I heard the foreign minister, Abba
    Eban, entertain his guests with the story of his visit to the
    White House during the Johnson administration.

    Reply

  54. nadine says:

    “If you want your tribe and tribal camp ground to continue to exist I suggest you imitate the Quakers.”
    Why don’t we plop some Quakers down in the Mideast — let’s say Syria — and see how they do?
    You think Israel came into existence because of the US? That only shows you are as ignorant of history as you are bigoted — Israel was socialist then, and got most of its support from the eastern bloc. It fought the War of Independence with Czech arms.
    The US didn’t begin to sell Israel weapons until after 1967, when it took Israel’s side to counterbalance the Soviet embrace of the Arabs. Even now, it’s most loan guarantees tied to US weapons sales.
    No, Israel is no welfare queen and would do a helluva lot better if its “friends” butted out and stopped trying to manipulate a solution of a problem they badly misunderstand.
    If you want to see real welfare queens, look at the poor Palestinians. Highest per capita recipients of foreign on the planet. Of course, half the aid goes straight into Swiss bank accounts. And Israel’s “friends” wonder that the Palestinian leadership doesn’t want to settle. Are you crazy? And risk all that money?

    Reply

  55. Carroll says:

    Posted by nadine, Aug 27 2010, 8:15AM – Link
    So Israel has no right to exist, and the Jews have no right to survive? Is that your position, Dan. The position of the modern liberal?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well actually everyone has a right to exist….if they can, on their own.
    But no one owes it to the Jews or Israel to ‘see to it’ that they do exist.
    And so far Israel hasn’t been able to exist on it’s own. Hell, it wouldn’t even have been born if not for the US and UN to begin with….and would have ceased to exist long ago if not for Uncle Sam Sugar Daddy’s protection.
    Same thing goes for the Jews, if the allies hadn’t defeated Hitler there would be no Jews left anywhere probably, except in the US,
    and maybe not even in the US.
    So there you have it nadie…the Jews and Israel have a ‘right to exist’ but you haven’t been able to exist” on your own, without help. You’ve been the worlds biggest welfare babies for six decades because of your handicapped victim designation.
    I would think since you are such a advocate of capitalism and conservatism you would be ashamed to be a international welfare queen.
    Anyway, most people of tired of helping Israel to exist, it’s not exactly a plus to the universe.
    If you want your tribe and tribal camp ground to continue to exist I suggest you imitate the Quakers.

    Reply

  56. nadine says:

    Palestine Media Watch reports on how the so-called “moderate” Palestinian Authority denies Israel’s right to exist, glorifies jihad and terror, and is routinely anti-Semitic at Nazi-like levels. Hundreds of examples given:
    http://palwatch.org/STORAGE/special%20reports/Proximity_Talks_June_2010_Final.pdf
    I suggest you read it, Dan. This is what they say when they are talking to their own people, not the New York Times.

    Reply

  57. nadine says:

    “There have been many countries that have gone through fascist eras in the past. That doesn’t mean that their countries didn’t have a right to exist or that their people didn’t have a right to survive.
    Not every challenge to the way some Jews behave and the attitudes some Jews have is an existential challenge to the existence of the Jewish people, Nadine. You have built up a remarkably convenient all-purpose wall against criticism.” (Dan Kervick)
    It’s true that nobody ever denied Germany’s right to exist, even after 1945. But it seems to have entirely escaped your notice, Dan, that Israel (which is not now, nor ever has been, fascist) IS denied the right to exist by every Arab country except Jordan and Egypt (barely), and by Iran as well, which keeps hinting strongly that as soon as it gets nukes, it may do something to end Israel.
    The Palestinians, both Hamas and Fatah, routinely say that Israel has no right to exist; more than that, they routinely claim the Jews are all Europeans and Ethiopians with no connection to Palestine, ever, who didn’t show up until 1948 when they stole Palestine.
    But, nobody can mention this rather salient fact or inquire how Israel is supposed to negotiate a border with entities who not only deny its right to exist, but say Allah told them they must NEVER accept its right to exist, without being accused of leaps of illogic or making excuses to deflect criticism.
    Facts inconvenient to Dan Kervick’s world view don’t exist, apparently.

    Reply

  58. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Charles Freeman: Stifling debate on Israel has deadly consequences
    12
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    By Jared Malsin
    New York – When it comes to the normally stultified American debate on Middle East issues, Charles Freeman, the former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, is one of the most outspoken US officials.
    Ambassador Charles Freeman speaks at the Nixon Center in Washington in July. [Photo: Nixon Center]
    His pronouncements, by his own admission, break established taboos against criticism of Israel, against skepticism about the two-state solution, against supporting engagement with Hamas. And the central taboo, he argues, which underpins the others, prohibits discussion of the role of right wing organizations lobbying for Israel, such as AIPAC.
    Freeman’s own career took a bizarre detour as a result of the the Israel lobby, when in 2009 his appointment to chair the National Intelligence Council was cancelled after a series of right-wing officials furiously attacked him for allegedly not supporting Israel strongly enough.
    Freeman is a strict realist. He argues that by kowtowing to the most hardline backers of Israel, the US is undermining its own strategic interests, and in the long run is undermining Israel’s own security.
    The need to open up the debate about Israel and its role in steering US policy, Freeman says, is imperative in order to achieve security and avert further bloodshed.
    “There

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    US to Fund Installation of Israeli Rocket Defense System
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8681919.stm
    And hey, WHY THE FUCK NOT?????????
    I mean, its not like we need the money or anything, is it?
    How’s the Israeli economy doing, Bigot Nadine???? According to you, they’re riding high
    WHY THE HELL ARE MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO THIS RACIST LITTLE MURDEROUS THEOCRACY???? Isn’t it about time they imprison and fry Palestinians sans my dime?

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I don’t think you have factored in the abrupt change of thinking caused by 9/11. Before 9/11, nobody seriously thought that al Qaeda could carry off a terror attack of that scale in the US”
    Just another piece of shit working feverishly to somehow connect 9/11 and Iraq. When will these lying shills realize that no one here buys this garbage?

    Reply

  61. nadine says:

    “Camp David with Rabin and Arafat came so close, but, in my opinion, Shaorn intentionally stirred things up when he took people to the Temple Mount during the Camp David Talks. Yes, Arafat did reject the plan, on the grounds that he objected to the concrete barriers..I can see why.”
    Kathleen Camp David was in 2000; Rabin had been dead for five years already. The Israeli PM was Ehud Barak, the current DM.
    Arafat did not reject the deals at Camp David or Taba because of borders or “concrete barriers” (? first time I’ve even heard that claim. Do you mean the security fence? It didn’t start until 2002). He broke it — and there is not disagreement among the parties on this point — over the “right of return” — the right 5 million Palestinian refugees to return, not to Palestine, but to Israel.
    “Isreal needs to get out of what is supposed to be Palestine now. Enough, already”
    The problem is, that while you may be referring to Israel outside the Green Line, the Palestinians are referring to all of Israel. Hamas or Fatah, it doesn’t matter, neither of them recognize Israel as a legitimate state. That’s why their strategy is “Never agree to anything. Demand concessions, pocket concessions, but never sign anything.” It’s the salami plan. They hope to get all of Israel piece by piece.

    Reply

  62. nadine says:

    “I agree that it is very likely that “finishing the business”
    from the days of Bush p

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Did you just admit that Operation Cast Lead WORKED to stop the Hamas rockets, where all the prior years of Israeli restraint and diplomacy failed?”
    See???
    I’m telling ya, these assholes put a lot of thought into what stupid thing they’re going to say next. Its an art.

    Reply

  64. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “To me, these questions remain open”
    Re-read “Bagdad Year Zero”.
    http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2004/09/baghdad-year-zero-pillaging-iraq-pursuit-neo-con-utopia

    Reply

  65. nadine says:

    Hi questions, yup, Indyck is hopey-changey alright, enough to merit a short fisking:
    “But there are four factors that distinguish the direct talks that will get under way on Sept. 2 in Washington from previous attempts

    Reply

  66. Paul Norheim says:

    “Since Joe is so close to SOS Hillary, I’ll suggest it to
    him…see if it gets any traction.”
    Please do that, Kathleen.
    And I hope he’ll reply with more background stories
    regarding the referendum. I grew up with not only
    Ethiopians, but also Eritreans. Two of them, my age, were
    living in our house for a while when I was a small kid.
    Later, Feqadua, an Eritrean girl who as a grown up moved
    to Italy and married an Italian, was babysitting in our
    house while we grew up. I, together with my father, spend
    a wonderful week with her family in Perugia some years
    ago. She died in July this year. In short, our families had
    strong personal ties both to Ethiopians and to Eritreans
    during those years. And in our book shelfs in our
    missionary home in Debre Zeit, south of Addis Abeba,
    there were plenty of books about David ben Gurion,
    Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Armageddon, and more in the
    same genre.. I read all of them and much more!
    If you don’t get an answer from OA, Kathleen, you can
    reach me at paulnorheim at hotmail dot com.

    Reply

  67. Paul Norheim says:

    An addition to my comment to Drew:
    You said to Kathleen: “KGA, in regard to our disinterest in
    the genocide practiced by Saddam against the Kurds,
    before we became interested, this is why I find it hard to
    dismiss out of hand the democracy imperialists of the
    neocon community. Once one decides that democracy is a
    condition deserved by all, this kind or realpolitik is
    irrelevant.”
    To return to the question of the Iraqi invasion in 2003,
    Drew, I certainly agree that neocon ideology played an
    influential role, especially towards the public, but I think it
    also influenced 43. There was something about the
    combination of Jesus, nation building, capitalism, Clint
    Eastwood, democracy in the Middle East etc, that attracted
    him.
    On the other hand, I sincerely doubt that neocon ideology
    had a huge impact on old hands like Cheney and
    Rumsfeld. And that’s one of the things that makes me
    think that the motives may be something else, or a
    convergence of different, to some extent contradicting
    motives.
    What do you think?

    Reply

  68. Paul Norheim says:

    Drew: sorry for the late reply.
    You said: “Deposing Saddam was an explicit goal of 41,
    Paul. There’s no reason to question that, he said so
    publicly and he publicly invited the Iraqi opposition to
    finish the job.”
    I know, Drew, and that invitation was a tragic mistake by
    41. Yes, deposing Saddam was part of the publicly
    announced goal in 1991; and the WMD’s and a link to 9.11
    were the publicly announced, and highly suggestive
    MOTIVES for the second invasion. We also remember the
    publicly announced goals in 2003: Removal of Saddam,
    regime change, nation building – presumably with a US-
    friendly capitalist democracy as the preferred outcome.
    When we go from the officially announced goals to the real
    goals; from officially expressed explanations to real
    motives (see for example Wolfowitz on this), things are of
    course slightly less clear – like most wars in history and
    most explanations of those wars to the public. With regard
    to Iraq, the motivations behind the second invasion were
    not sufficiently explained to the public, to say the least.
    I agree that it is very likely that “finishing the business”
    from the days of Bush p

    Reply

  69. questions says:

    Indyk is all hopey changey today.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/opinion/27indyk.html?_r=1&hp
    “But there are four factors that distinguish the direct talks that will get under way on Sept. 2 in Washington from previous attempts

    Reply

  70. nadine says:

    “the UN and both sides at the time determined that the 1967 borders were acceptable”
    KGA, do you mean Resolution 242? Are you not aware it was the Arabs who rejected it, because it referred to borders settled by negotiation?

    Reply

  71. drew says:

    KGA, in regard to our disinterest in the genocide practiced by
    Saddam against the Kurds, before we became interested, this is
    why I find it hard to dismiss out of hand the democracy imperialists
    of the neocon community. Once one decides that democracy is a
    condition deserved by all, this kind or realpolitik is irrelevant.
    Still and all, we have enough problems at home, and should
    probably let the rest of the world police itself for awhile. It’s not as
    though we’re getting credit for attempting to guarantee women’s
    suffrage in the muslim world, and I’m tired of going to work in the
    morning in order to produce the money that the government takes
    in order to protect the angry opponents … of our system.

    Reply

  72. drew says:

    Foregoing was a comment to KGA.

    Reply

  73. drew says:

    Well, it’s a rabbit hole, this topic, but Hamas’ official position is that
    the real border is the low water mark of the eastern Mediterranean,
    not that of 1967. So I don’t understand how any Israeli concession,
    other than the Helen Thomas solution, gets anybody anywhere.
    Frankly, it makes sense for Hamas to have this position.
    Demographics, locally and globally, appear to favor them.
    Perhaps the only observation I can add to what everyone here
    already knows is that I think few intellectuals, who tend to be
    secular, do not understand the depth of American evangelicals’
    devotion to the state of Israel. This is a more powerful USA
    political impulse than anything mounted by AIPAC.

    Reply

  74. Paul Norheim says:

    Yes Kathleen,
    May the 17th. So you’ve been at Karl Johan Street in Oslo
    with your husband and daughters on that day, watching
    King Harald (or the late King Olav, his father, who died
    during the first Gulf War) surrounded by his family from
    the balcony of his castle? It’s an almost surreal image of a
    peaceful and harmonic little country, blessed by it’s
    distance from the drama called World History throughout
    the 20th century (well, almost).
    You bet I remember your role in the Eritrean referendum;
    I’ve given enthusiastic reports to my brothers (one of
    them, Ole Frithjof, was a doctor for 6 months in Southern
    Ethiopia last winter; and right now, I think he is – by sheer
    coincidence – a co-host of some conference here in
    Bergen with one of Nadine’s “death panel” enemies:
    Ezekiel Emanuel, who visits Norway frequently.
    Ezekiel told my brother as early as in 2005, i think, on a
    visit to R

    Reply

  75. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    drew…Isreal would do anything to disarm???? I don’t see that, but why not start with honoring the 1967 borders? Then they wouldn’t need arms. Does Hamas have the bomb or are they still lobbing stones with a sling shot? oh yeah, they figured out how to lob a missile with a sling shot….ooooh.

    Reply

  76. JohnH says:

    Gotta love Nadine: Jewish Supremacy = survival!
    Kervick said, “”in their little Middle East neighborhood, Israel’s Jew’s evidently consider themselves the master race, who are entitled to rule and take by virtue of their inherent racial or tribal superiority.”
    Nadine’s heard, “So Israel has no right to exist, and the Jews have no right to survive.”
    Thanks for clarifying, Nadine, that you believe that Israel can’t survive unless it acts as the master race. Now we see the essence of the problem–Israel’s very identity depends on brutalizing and humiliating others. And Obama thinks he can foster peace with the likes of such people? You got to be kidding!
    BTW, Nadine the 2008 figures I cited did not include Gaza. WB per capita income ranks 166th in the world. But, according to Nadine, WB Palestinians are “sitting pretty.” on $8 per day. She should try it someday, particularly when prices for the goods you need for survival are inflated by Israeli transportation charges and customs duties.

    Reply

  77. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    POA…exactly…when the Kurds testified at the UN Commission for Human Rights about being gassed by Iraq, the US couldn’t have cared less. Of course, we were busy poisoning Navajo wells oursevles at the time, to force them to accept relocation to make way for Peabody Coal Company’s expansion plans. Kurds and Navajo and Palestinians are just the little people who get in the way of the great capitalization of the world…God forbid any part of the planet should be closed to venture capital…that would interfere with the chosen peoples’ fortunes.

    Reply

  78. Dan Kervick says:

    “So Israel has no right to exist, and the Jews have no right to survive?”
    ???
    It’s pretty hard to discuss anything with someone who leaps to such an illogical, paranoid and unwarranted inference from what I said.
    There have been many countries that have gone through fascist eras in the past. That doesn’t mean that their countries didn’t have a right to exist or that their people didn’t have a right to survive.
    Not every challenge to the way some Jews behave and the attitudes some Jews have is an existential challenge to the existence of the Jewish people, Nadine. You have built up a remarkably convenient all-purpose wall against criticism.

    Reply

  79. drew says:

    KGA, I think Israel would do just about anything to disarm. Who
    will disarm Hamas, again?

    Reply

  80. drew says:

    POA,
    Number one, swear and cuss and dribble your vulgarities across
    someone else. Just ignore my notes if they annoy you.
    Number two, I was responding to the discussion about 91 v. 2003,
    not whether or not Churchill should have created Iraq to begin with
    in 1921. History is messy and we look at instances of history,
    necessarily arbitrary. Everybody already knows that the USA
    enabled Saddam before we didn’t. So what?

    Reply

  81. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Thats not a clown nose, Paul. Its her Propaganda Reciever. Note the red glow???? Thats the Assimilation Indicator. When you see that blue Star Of David blinking, that means she’s done recieving, and has switched to output mode.
    Besides, clowns are supposed to be funny rather than pathetic.

    Reply

  82. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “But in the end, if we’re going to play what-if, I think we need to go back to at least 1991, and replay the 15 minutes in which Bush allowed Saddam’s army to live”
    Oh bullshit. Better wee go back and examine the creation of Saddam, and why we gave him a wink and a nod when he let it be known he intended to invade Kuwait. Course, we might wanna examine why these fuckers Cheney and Rumsfeld armed Saddam with chemical weapons too. It was alright for Saddam to possess WMDs as long as he was gassin’ those nasty Iranians, eh?

    Reply

  83. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine said to me (wearing a clown nose): “What a
    dishonest shell game you are playing. Wigwag points out
    that Americans support Israel more than the Palestinians,
    and you turn that into support for “the xenophobic and
    chauvinistic forces in Israel.” Wigwag never said anything
    of the kind. You’re putting words into her mouth.”
    Sorry, Nadine. I think you’re correct. WigWag was
    objectively stating some neutral facts. And I paraphrased
    her words in a clumsy and very biased manner.
    Shame on me!
    What she actually said, was that the Americans “DETEST”
    and express a “DISTASTE” for the Palestinians, and regard
    them as an adversary.
    I’m sorry if I gave the impression that “detest” and
    “distaste” has anything to do with certain despicable
    attitudes like chauvinism, or xenophobia. The American
    People shows no sign of despicable attitudes, no more
    than the Norwegian People, and I am ashamed of even
    suggesting anything undermining the wisdom of the
    American People (Or the Norwegian People). Not to speak
    of the well intended, and eloquently expressed statements
    of fellow commenter WigWag.
    Here is what WigWag actually said (the capital letters done
    by yours truly, to underline the unchauvinistic tendency of
    WigWag’s statement):
    “In the second decade of the 21st century, it’s not the
    Israelis or their leader, Mr. Netanyahu, that Americans
    DETEST; it’s the Palestinians or at least the rulers of the
    Palestinians. It’s not just Jewish Americans who consider
    Israel to be a vital ally and the Palestinians to be an
    ADVERSARY, its Christian Americans. Given how few
    American Jews there are and how many Christian
    Americans there are (25 percent of the American public
    self-identifies as evangelical Christians) support for Israel
    and DISTASTE for Palestinians is mostly a Christian
    phenomenon.”

    Reply

  84. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Paul Norheim…May 17th, wasn’t it? Independence from Sweden. Love those special almond ring cakes with the flags all over it.
    Speaking of Independence, Paul…I just made a surpising discovery with regard to the UN Observed second referendum on Eritrean independence..as you know, in 1987, I served as liaison at the UN in Geneva for the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UN and the Eritreans there to press their cause for independence from Ethiopia. After reviewing all the relevant documents, including the Ethiopian Constitution, I suggested that they hold another UN observed referendum on the question of Eritrean independence and agree that the results would be binding. Much to my surprise, both sides agreed to do this.
    Just recently, again, much to my surprise, I discovered that one of my oldest friends, and one of Steve’s, Joe Duffey, was appointed to co-chair the UN delegation that went to Ethiopia to observe that referedum. I’m going to have to write to him and tell him how that mission originated…small world dept.
    Perhaps a UN observed referendum in Palestine-Isreal should be held on the question of the 1967 borders…I’d be willing to bet that most Isrealis would prefer the 1967 borders to the never ending war zone in which they now live.

    Reply

  85. drew says:

    Deposing Saddam was an explicit goal of 41, Paul. There’s no
    reason to question that, he said so publicly and he publicly
    invited the Iraqi opposition to finish the job. His intelligence was
    bad, Saddam remained stronger than thought, and he chose not
    to incinerate the army on that highway when he had the chance.
    Nothing is clear in war and certainly not when you have 15
    minutes in which to decide the fate of a nation.
    I think the hypothetical — what would the USA mission and
    standing be had Iraq2 not been prosecuted — is interesting as
    far as it goes. I would add, however, that Europe has benefited
    mightily from Iraq2, and that Europe, too, should wonder what
    today might look like with a second expansionist, nuclear, fascist
    state in the near East. I would add, too, to our list of
    hypotheticals, what would the UN look like today if it had chosen
    to better enforce the Iraqi sanctions. I mark the point of no
    return, in respect of UN credibility, to be the corrupt
    management of the sanctions regime, pre- and post-2003.
    But in the end, if we’re going to play what-if, I think we need to
    go back to at least 1991, and replay the 15 minutes in which
    Bush allowed Saddam’s army to live. In the future, I’ll wager two
    things will happen if that scenario ever reappears: one) there
    will be a total media blackout of the battle space; two) no one
    will call off the dogs of war once the shooting starts. Our
    country has suffered mightily, and the Iraqis have suffered
    mightily, because Scowcroft and Bush, not Marshall and Truman,
    were in charge at that moment.
    Someday we’ll know if 41 would like that decision back, but
    surely not until he has been dead for a while.

    Reply

  86. Paul Norheim says:

    “When were the Norwegian people invented, Paul? 1905?”
    Approximately in 1814, Nadine, when we got our own
    constitution, inspired by the French and the Americans.

    Reply

  87. Paul Norheim says:

    “America’s goal was to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and depose
    Saddam Hussein in 1991.”
    And depose Saddam Hussein? Really? Who was in charge
    then? You Nadine, or Bush?
    As for Saddam’s “supposed 500,000 dead kids and other
    bogus numbers”, Albright famously confirmed that it was
    worth it. On the record. But perhaps The American People
    in it’s divine wisdom has informed you through the polls
    that the half million is exaggerated?
    “What would Saddam’s position have been in 2003 if the
    US had backed down and sanctions had ended?”
    If you are the American patriot you claim to be, don’t you
    think that a more relevant question would be: What would
    America’s position have been in 2010 if the US had not
    invaded Iraq while hunting for al Qaeda in Afghanistan?
    Secondly: What would Iran’s position have been in 2010 if
    the US had not invaded Iraq?
    (Of course this contrafactual historical reflection also leads
    to some interesting and unexpected speculations: If the US
    had not been bogged down in Iraq – would they by now
    have been at war with Pakistan as well?”

    Reply

  88. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    If BO can’t prevail over Repugs when he has the majority, why would anyone expect him to be better at strategy with Netanyahooo? The only way he could possibly prevail in bringing about peace in the Palestine-Isreal “conflict” is to do the right thing…demand that Isreal honor UN Resolutions regarding the 1967 borders or forego any further US Aid. But he won’t do that because it would require some balls and he doesn’t want to be seen as an angry black man, so he’d rather do the hat in hand approach that got him virtually nowhere with delivering on his campaign promises, domestically.
    Here’s a hint, Bo….we don’t need Israel as much as they need us, so you can call the shots. Don’t tuck tail and don’t go begging. LAY IT ALL DOWN, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. JUSTICE FOR BOTH PLAESTINE AND ISREAL. or else no more money.Full Stop.

    Reply

  89. drew says:

    Paul,
    That Iraq2 is related to Iraq1 one is self-evident: the same
    regime was attacked in both events, and obviously Bush1
    concluded incorrectly that Saddam would be eliminated and
    replaced by internal forces.
    Whether or not Iraq represented a threat to the West in 2003 is a
    separate matter.
    Countries such as Norway benefited from the Germans being
    driven from western Europe *and* being unconditionally
    defeated, their leaders deposed, and their country restructured. I
    think Europe would have been a far unhappier place these last
    65 years had Patton stopped at the Rhine and the Allies had
    permitted either a constrained Nazi state, or a Russian-
    controlled state (the inevitable outcome, since Stalin was not
    going to stop).
    So, no, it’s not illogical to say that having driven Saddam from
    Kuwait that the USA/Allies had not accomplished their mission.
    But Bush1 didn’t want to kill (as Powell had promised) Saddam’s
    army on the highway of death (for the CNN cameras to
    document), and the Scowcroft realist school is one favoring
    containment in such instances, not nation-building of the sort
    practiced in the Big One.

    Reply

  90. nadine says:

    “And finally, do you put on your clown nose before
    explaining to us that the young Palestinian People is a
    dubious fiction, in contrast to the real thing: The Biblical
    Jewish People, God’s chosen ones?”
    I suppose you could say that every people have been invented at some point. When were the Norwegian people invented, Paul? 1905?

    Reply

  91. Paul Norheim says:

    “Well, you have this in common with Jon Stewart, Paul.
    Whenever Jon Stewart makes some stupid comment that
    he can’t back up, he runs and puts on his clown nose too.”
    When you make some stupid comment, Nadine, like
    arguing that the Americans believe that Obama is a
    Muslim terrorist sympathizer born in Kenya, and that they
    have good reasons to believe so – are you putting on your
    clown nose too?
    What about when you defend the stupid and tragic second
    invasion of Iraq? Are you wearing your clown mask then?
    Or are you just respecting the will and wisdom of the
    religious (Douglas) Feith-based American community in
    those days?
    And finally, do you put on your clown nose before
    explaining to us that the young Palestinian People is a
    dubious fiction, in contrast to the real thing: The Biblical
    Jewish People, God’s chosen ones?

    Reply

  92. nadine says:

    “But, as WigWag never gets tired of reminding Dan and others:
    the polls suggest that the xenophobic and chauvinistic forces
    in Israel are supported by a majority of Americans. Thus,
    WigWag argues, Dan Kervick’s arguments are simply irrelevant.” (Paul Norheim)
    What a dishonest shell game you are playing. Wigwag points out that Americans support Israel more than the Palestinians, and you turn that into support for “the xenophobic and chauvinistic forces in Israel.” Wigwag never said anything of the kind. You’re putting words into her mouth.

    Reply

  93. nadine says:

    America’s goal was to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and depose Saddam Hussein in 1991. Bush I listened to the Saudis who said over and over, “he’s done with, he’ll be gone in a few months, somebody else will replace him” and stopped the war too soon.
    Didn’t work out that way. Instead Saddam slaughtered the Kurds and Shia after Bush had called on them to rise — and Bush just watched. Then we began 12 years of a cat and mouse game — where Saddam worked to break out of his ‘box’ and America got all the grief and work of trying to keep him in the ‘box’. Meanwhile, the international purist brigades had lots of fun yelling at America for Saddam’s supposed 500,000 dead kids and other bogus numbers.
    What would Saddam’s position have been in 2003 if the US had backed down and sanctions had ended? How would the Arab League have treated him? What would Saddam have bought with his full revenues? What would have happened to the Kurds and Shia? Whose fault would the international purist brigades have said it was?

    Reply

  94. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine to Dan Kervick: “Does it seriously not occur to you
    that the Second Gulf War was a direct result of the
    inconclusive and unsatisfactory results of the First Gulf War;
    that it was in essence, round one and two of the same war?”
    A direct result? Are you saying that the Americans didn’t
    achieve their goal of driving Iraq out of Kuwait and
    weakening Bagdad in the first round? Or are you saying that
    the yellow cakes from Niger indicated that Iraq could attack
    Kuwait again? If not, please explain how Iraq represented a
    threat to America or its allies in 2003?

    Reply

  95. Paul Norheim says:

    “The same ugliness is spreading like an infection here in the
    United States, prodded on by Jewish and Christian ultra-
    Zionists and supremacists, and their increasingly vocal and
    dangerous disciples of xenophobic and chauvinistic hate.” (Dan
    Kervick)
    But, as WigWag never gets tired of reminding Dan and others:
    the polls suggest that the xenophobic and chauvinistic forces
    in Israel are supported by a majority of Americans. Thus,
    WigWag argues, Dan Kervick’s arguments are simply irrelevant.
    Apart from the obvious glee and vitriol in this kind of
    comments from WigWag, it also illustrates how her position
    contains approximately 50% nihilism, and 50% Zionism
    (pluss/minus).
    She uses the same argument within the Middle East context:
    The Israelis are simply stronger than the Palestinians. America
    will not help them. Neither will China or India in the future, and
    Europe is in decay. Thus, the only thing left to the Palestinians
    is to beg for mercy and accept what they get.
    I’m sure WigWag will deny the nihilistic part of the equation,
    and argue that his position is based on “realism”. But WigWag’s
    Middle East “realism” is of the cherry picking type.
    Why such sudden idealism on behalf of Afghan women and
    gays in Saudi Arabia? Why statements like “Brzezinski and
    Carter screwed up Afghanistan, and even if it takes 100 years
    to repair it, the US should stay there until the job is finished”.
    Realism?
    If the men are stronger, if the Saudis and the Wahabists have
    the power to stone gays and women in Saudi Arabia – why
    whine about that? Do the polls suggest that America should
    attack Saudi Arabia?
    They don’t, as far as I know. The women in Afghanistan are
    powerless, just like the gays in Saudi Arabia, and the
    Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank – so why all this fuzz?
    The poor in America, and even more elsewhere, are harassed
    by the rich and powerful because they are rich and powerful.
    As for America, the polls suggest that the Republicans will gain
    strength in the midterm elections. So why the fuzz? The poor
    should accept the hard facts and be happy that they live in a
    democracy.
    It’s a sad fact of life that Joe Six-Pack (Arizona) and Goran
    (Sarajevo) home-brewed-plum- liqueur are stronger than Jill
    Boxed-Whitewine and Natasha home-brewed-pear-liqueur –
    but, regrettable as it is, Jill and Natasha have no choice but to
    beg for mercy and accept what they get. Rasmussen and Gallup
    suggest that they are losers.
    Just like the Palestinians.

    Reply

  96. samuelburke says:

    AZC, AIPAC and the Media – Stephen Lendman
    “In the old days, journalists were bought off to ignore them.
    They now do it willingly and reflexively, knowing the
    consequences otherwise, the Israeli Lobby’s power to remove
    unfriendly voices – from Congress, academia and the media.
    Demanded is that Israel be portrayed as peaceful, never
    aggressive, surrounded, beleaguered, and victimized, acting
    solely in self-defense. In contrast, Palestinians are called militant
    terrorist threats to Israeli security, its propaganda machine
    relentless in pounding that message, the Senate’s investigation
    failing to expose and halt it.
    As a result, it’s more virulent and pervasive than ever, what no
    congressional committee will touch, what no major media report
    will reveal. Israel’s power in America suppresses everything
    unfavorable, willing fourth estate stooges going along, or else.”
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Israeli-Lobby-Declass-
    by-Stephen-Lendman-100826-568.html

    Reply

  97. nadine says:

    “Well, if there were millions of people supporting him, then I’m
    sure he’s a nice fellow. However, if Rasmussen or Gallup says
    he’s one of the bad guys, I’m ready to change my mind. I think
    the left should do so too.” (Paul Norheim)
    Well, you have this in common with Jon Stewart, Paul. Whenever Jon Stewart makes some stupid comment that he can’t back up, he runs and puts on his clown nose too.

    Reply

  98. nadine says:

    “At least in their little Middle East neighborhood, Israel’s Jew’s evidently consider themselves the master race, who are entitled to rule and take by virtue of their inherent racial or tribal superiority, and their mystical legends of national entitlement, ancestral right and divine election. No number of domestic elections can wash away the stink of this kind of fascism, or paint it up like liberal democracy.” (Dan Kervick)
    So Israel has no right to exist, and the Jews have no right to survive? Is that your position, Dan. The position of the modern liberal?

    Reply

  99. samuelburke says:

    Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses recent Mossad
    intelligence operations in America based out of the Israel mission to
    the U.N. in New York , the one-way street intelligence sharing
    between the CIA and Israel, why FBI and DOJ espionage
    investigations never go anywhere and the evidence that Israeli
    agents in America had foreknowledge of 9/11.
    http://antiwar.com/radio/2010/08/26/philip-giraldi-32/

    Reply

  100. nadine says:

    “I think a lot of modern liberal believe in the international rules of the road”
    That might be useful if modern liberals didn’t have a child’s conception of international rules of the road and a memory span shorter than six months. Does it seriously not occur to you that the Second Gulf War was a direct result of the inconclusive and unsatisfactory results of the First Gulf War; that it was in essence, round one and two of the same war?
    “Anyway, it is clear where one finds the most striking examples of contemporary fascism. The racial chauvinism; the idolatrous worship of violence and militarism; the unapologetic endorsement of the rights of conquest and the division of the spoils of the conquered; the will to humiliate and subjugate; the craving for Lebensraum; the cult of tribal grievance and national victimization; the proclivity toward seeing past and contemporary history in grandiose civilizational and ethno-national terms: these phenomena are all on vivid display in contemporary Israel”
    Oh for crying out tears. Go read this account of the Hezbullah enclave in Southern Lebanon, a totalitarian enclave more Iranian than Iran, of which all the the other Lebanese whisper in fear, “don’t go there.” An enclave filled with pictures of Khomenei, martyrs for Allah, and the severed heads of Israeli soldiers. And you claim it’s the Israelis who maintain a cult of tribal grievance?
    http://pajamasmedia.com/michaeltotten/2010/08/25/the-perfect-iranian-storm-on-the-horizon/
    Modern liberals have absolutely, completely lost the ability to recognize out-and-out fascism when it is staring them in the face.
    All the fascist has to do is cry “I’m oppressed!” and he gets a pass on anything. The ultimate trump card. Then they go yell at the guy who is fighting the fascist — What’s the matter with you? Don’t you know you’re not supposed to fight? Don’t tell me he started it, you’re the only grown-up in the room! He says he’s oppressed, so it’s up to you to make him happy! Don’t tell me he wants you dead, I’m not going to fall for that line!

    Reply

  101. Dan Kervick says:

    “The modern liberal always supports a fascist regime against a Western democracy.”
    I think a lot of modern liberal believe in the international rules of the road, so it all depends on who’s invading whom. Who is the taker and who is the takee? I supported the first Gulf War, because it was Saddam who was breaking the rules then by invading a neighbor. I opposed the second Gulf War because those rules do not permit non-defensive invasions for the sake of changing the political system of the invaded country.
    Anyway, it is clear where one finds the most striking examples of contemporary fascism. The racial chauvinism; the idolatrous worship of violence and militarism; the unapologetic endorsement of the rights of conquest and the division of the spoils of the conquered; the will to humiliate and subjugate; the craving for Lebensraum; the cult of tribal grievance and national victimization; the proclivity toward seeing past and contemporary history in grandiose civilizational and ethno-national terms: these phenomena are all on vivid and unabashed display in contemporary Israel, and increasingly among Israel’s backers abroad.
    At least in their little Middle East neighborhood, Israel’s Jew’s evidently consider themselves the master race, who are entitled to rule and take by virtue of their inherent racial or tribal superiority, and their mystical legends of national entitlement, ancestral right and divine election. No number of domestic elections can wash away the stink of this kind of fascism, or paint it up like liberal democracy.
    The same ugliness is spreading like an infection here in the United States, prodded on by Jewish and Christian ultra-Zionists and supremacists, and their increasingly vocal and dangerous disciples of xenophobic and chauvinistic hate. You no doubt heard about the Muslim cab driver who was brutally attacked in New York after being asked if he was a Muslim, and whose drunken attacker then yelled, “consider this a checkpoint!”

    Reply

  102. Paul Norheim says:

    Dear Nadine,
    a Zionist friend of mine from New York generously sent me an
    airbrush last Christmas, but I’ve not used it yet. Right now, I’m
    studying the manual.
    Tell me, how do you operate this damned thing? Are you – as
    the manual suggests – “depressing the trigger on the top of the
    airbrush with the index finger to release air only, and drawing
    it back gradually to the paint release threshold?”
    That sounds fine in theory, but I can’t do this without spilling a
    lot of ink. How on earth do you master the dagger stroke? How
    do you make the crimes of the settlers vanish? Netanyahu’s
    lies? The allegations in the Goldstone report? And how do you
    avoid the so called “bar bell” line?
    Please help me as soon as possible! Right now my kitchen
    looks like a Pollock painting!

    Reply

  103. Paul Norheim says:

    “…they marched in the streets by the millions to save Saddam”
    (Nadine)
    Well, if there were millions of people supporting him, then I’m
    sure he’s a nice fellow. However, if Rasmussen or Gallup says
    he’s one of the bad guys, I’m ready to change my mind. I think
    the left should do so too.
    But what if Rasmussen disagrees with Gallup?
    PS:
    Do the polls opine on whether Saddam is currently working as
    an NGO in India, or in Bulgaria? Do they argue for or against
    that Saddam is born again, or even born once?
    Bu the way: What does Gallup say about the Palestinians? Do
    they exist, or are they just pretending?

    Reply

  104. Cee says:

    I noticed that Bibi said talks must focus on security for Israel before they can discuss borders.
    I’m waiting for the rockets attacks to start again.
    Guess who I’m going to blame?
    Haaretz
    Gaza militant: Hamas stopping rocket fire into Israel
    Last week, Hamas told the BBC that the group was working to curb rocket attacks by Strip militants.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/gaza-militant-hamas-stopping-rocket-fire-into-israel-1.284117
    From Jerusalem Post
    Hamas accuses Israel of Eilat rockets
    By BY AP KHALED ABU TOAMEH AND TOVAH LAZAROFF
    08/07/2010 18:26
    Gaza group claims attack a pretext for violence against Palestinians.
    Hamas accused Israel Saturday of launching the rockets that struck near Eilat and Jordan last week, as a pretext for further attacks against the Palestinians. The six rockets killed one and wounded three more at the Intercontinental Hotel in Aqaba.
    The terrorist group denied being behind the attacks, saying it had “no interest” in launching the rockets, also denying they were fired from the Sinai in Egypt.
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=183972

    Reply

  105. nadine says:

    Um, Paul, Allende? got any example more recent than 40 years ago? Because, as I think we can both agree, the Left has changed since then.
    Saddam pre 90 — what kind of example is that? The Left only opposed Saddam because they claimed America supported him! As soon as America wanted to depose him, they marched in the streets by the millions to save Saddam! Saddam is an example in my side of the ledger.

    Reply

  106. Paul Norheim says:

    “F-16 made in America”
    Nadine, are you sure the polls can verify that the F-16s are made
    in America?

    Reply

  107. Cee says:

    Israel probably still sells everything that we provide to China! Ungrateful bastards.
    CIA officials specializing in aviation technology were stunned at the 3-D images generated by the computers. China’s newest fighter jet was in fact a copy of the Israeli Lavi, which itself was modeled upon the U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role aircraft.
    Although Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), Israel’s biggest state-owned manufacturer of arms and defense technology, was the Lavi’s prime contractor, nearly 90 percent of the Lavi was funded by the Pentagon. This is just one astonishing aspect of the story of the U.S.-Israeli aircraft, the evolution of which was almost as Byzantine as its surprise ending as the most formidable weapon in China’s military arsenal.
    The Lavi program, as conceived in the early 1980s by Israeli military planners and their supporters in the Pentagon and Congress, was intended as an exceedingly generous gift from America to the people of Israel. The Pentagon never had any intention of including the Lavi in its own military aviation fleet.
    The thinking among U.S. Defense Department officials was that the United States, having provided Israel for two decades with some of America’s best fighter aircraft

    Reply

  108. Paul Norheim says:

    No, Nadine, I don’t have a counter example. Because, as you so
    precisely stated upthread, my world view is the opposite of
    yours.
    So yeah, let’s just say that I surrender, and agree with you. And
    allow me to provide one of the most famous examples, the
    9.11. event in 1973 – when the left supported Allende’s fascist
    dictatorship in Chile, while the conservatives supported the
    Western, democratically elected General Augusto Pinochet. But
    that’s of course just one among countless of examples –
    Greece in the 70’s, Indonesia in the 60’s, Saudi Arabia until
    2010, the Shah, Saddam pre 1990, Mobutu against Lumumba
    in Congo until the 90’s… – the list supporting your satiric
    maxim is endless.
    No. The right NEVER support dictatorships and fascist regimes.
    While the left ALWAYS do so.
    Ha. Ha.
    Ha.
    You ARE a comedian, Nadine. I realize it now. But not a very
    good one. Did you steal that maxim from Rasmussen or from
    Rush?

    Reply

  109. Cee says:

    I think of this every time I hear about any peace process:
    Dov Weisglass, a close adviser of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, stated in an interview with the newspaper Ha’aretz in October 2004 that the plan was intended to put the peace process in “formaldehyde,” to postpone the creation of a Palestinian state indefinitely, and to relieve pressure on Israel to make further withdrawals from the West Bank
    http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/israeli-palestinian-conflict-101

    Reply

  110. nadine says:

    “President Obama’s about face on Israel and his willingness to pretend that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu see eye to eye is because Obama understands one thing clearly; if he’s viewed as even the slightest bit hostile to Israel, the Democratic Party will lose seats in the House and Senate and he could easily lose his bid for reelection.” (Wigwag)
    Oh, President Obama is viewed as hostile to Israel, Wigwag. The last little pretend love fest didn’t fool anybody, though it may have temporarily mollified a few people. Evelyn Gordon notes that the Obama admin’s hostility for Israel shines through under the radar, e.g. in the F-35 deal:
    “Washington has attached unprecedented restrictions to the F-35 sale

    Reply

  111. nadine says:

    Oh, speaking of Jon Stewart, he is one of the few liberals around today who occasionally will take a non-modern-liberal stance because he hasn’t completely jettisoned the idea that behavior matters. He was down on Obama for the evasions of the Great Race Speech (“What about the wacky preacher?!”), for example. Another example is where he said that he thought most reporters were too stupid to try to understand the issues of the Middle East; they just show up and go, “Oh, who’s the victim here?” Which is spot-on.

    Reply

  112. nadine says:

    Good quote from Jen Rubin:
    “Much of the left

    Reply

  113. Paul Norheim says:

    “”You see how [Rush Limbaugh] works. He drops in
    suggestions, hints, notes that

    Reply

  114. nadine says:

    “Once again Nadine proves that she knows absolutely nothing about the situation in Palestine, where people have indeed lost everything. Far from “sitting pretty,” as Nadine blithely asserts, the most recent CIA statistics rank per capita GDP in the West Bank at 166th in the world, the equivalent of having virtually nothing. ”
    Once again, JohnH proves he can’t read very well. Those CIA figures are a) 5 years old and reflect the depths of the intifada-caused recession, before the recent growth (the 2009 est. is $1,554), b) include Gaza, which was always poorer than the WB and is not growing, c) don’t include the roughly 1- 2 Billion in foreign aid per year the West Bank and Gaza receive. When half the population is on the dole, all paid for by foreign aid, it pulls the average GDP down.
    http://middleeastprogress.org/2010/06/west-bank-and-gaza-by-numbers/

    Reply

  115. nadine says:

    Ah, Dan, how I pine for the good old days, when progressives didn’t like fascists who attempted genocidal wars of extermination. (You know, like that little fracas in 1948 you have so conveniently air-brushed out of history?) Can you imagine? Why, back then, they even thought that if fascists lost wars like that, it was a good thing. Back then, liberals were so benighted, they actually thought fascists should become democrats. That was before they learned about post-colonialism and Orientalism and became enlightened.
    Nowadays, all the fascists have to say is, “we’re not Western! we’re oppressed! we suffer from Imperialism!” and you will back them 100%, and even say that they are not responsible for the mass casualties they cause. You will search for some Western actor to assign the responsibility to, no matter how far-fetched the logic.
    The modern liberal always supports a fascist regime against a Western democracy.

    Reply

  116. PissedOffAmerican says:

    EU’s Ashton slams Israel’s conviction of Bil’in leader
    New York – The European Union’s highest foreign policy official condemned on Wednesday Israel’s conviction of Abdallah Abu Rahma, a key organizer of the nonviolent protest movement in the West Bank village of Bil’in.
    Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy released the following statement:
    “The High Representative is concerned by the conviction of 39-year-old Abdallah Abu Rahma in an Israeli military court on charges of incitement and organising and attending demonstrations. He is due to be sentenced shortly. The EU considers Abdallah Abu Rahma to be a Human Rights Defender committed to non violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bil’in.
    The EU considers the route of the barrier where it is built on Palestinian land to be illegal. The High Representative is deeply concerned that the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahma is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner. ”
    An Israeli military court convicted Abu Rahma on Tuesday of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations in what civil society groups say is an effort to end peaceful political activity.
    Abu Rahma has been detained in an Israeli prison since he was seized from his Ramallah home on December 10, 2009.
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/news/archive/2010/08/25/eu-s-ashton-slams-israel-s-conviction-of-bil-in-leader.aspx
    Well, at least the Israeli fascists didn’t shoot him in the head, eh???
    Yet.
    Hey, I’ve got an idea!!! Lets send these sacks of shit a few more billion dollars!! Its not like we need the money here, is it?

    Reply

  117. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Remember the so called “easing of the blockade” this piece of shit Netanyahu promised????
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/blogs/archive/2010/08/25/notes-from-besieged-gaza.aspx
    Stephen Lendman
    Notes from Besieged Gaza
    On June 17, Israel’s Cabinet issued a six point plan, agreeing to ease access for civilian goods entering Gaza without loosening inflexible security measures to restrict them. So what’s changed? Not much. Increased truck traffic has been modest at best. The consumer ban was partially lifted, permitting previously prohibited items like ketchup, chocolate and children’s toys.
    Yet, banned products still include vitally needed industrial and construction items, unrelated to security concerns Israel claims, bogusly calling them “dual use.” As a result, the promised ease is unfulfilled. Strangling Gaza economically continues. Raw materials, spare parts, essential equipment, and numerous other non-military related goods are denied. In addition, no policy change eased people movement into and out of Gaza, those inside effectively imprisoned, exports still banned, and humanitarian flotillas threatened with forcible interdiction, in some cases their cargos and personal possessions stolen to prevent essential goods and cash donations from being delivered.
    In an August 22 Common Dreams article, Ann Wright headlined,” “Israeli Soldiers Sell Gaza Flotilla Passengers’ Computers and Steal Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Cash,” saying:
    “An Israeli newspaper has revealed that four to six computers (among the hundreds seized from Mavi Marmara passengers were) sold by an Israeli First Lieutenant to three junior military personnel. On August 18, a second officer was arrested in connection with the theft.”
    Labor Party MK Eitan Kabel called the revelation “embarrassing, humiliating and infuriating,” but there’s more. “Israeli commandos also took cash and credit cards from passengers,” an estimated $1,000 or more from each, or at least $750,000, donations intended for Gazans. Four passengers alone had $68,000 stolen, money needy Gazans didn’t get.
    Other items were also taken, including cell phones, cameras, and electronic equipment, supposedly kept safe but not returned when passengers were released.
    continues……
    Cute, huh??? I wonder if these people who were ripped of by these slimey thieving jackboots might just be prone to a bit of the ‘ol “anti-semitism”, eh???

    Reply

  118. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Beyond what ultimately happens in these peace talks, Obama needs to prevail over any pugnacious obstinacy by Netanyahu”
    You gotta be kidding. Obama has already shown us what he is made of, and it ain’t the kinda stuff that is even gonna stand up to Hillary Clinton, much less Netanyahu. Then of course, theres the harem of Israel’s whores known as “Congress”.
    After watching him fold up on the settlement thing, and seeing this worthless sack of shit SOS Clinton tell the world how “seriously flawed” the Goldstone Report is, it amazes me that you can offer such unfounded optimism on this issue.
    And why are they called “Peace Talks”? They should be called “We’re Gonna Fuck Over The Palestinians Aqain Talks”. The last year hasn’t been example enough of what Netanyahu is all about, and how spineless Obama is?
    “Pugnacious obstinancy”???? Try “murderous and despicable racism”. This isn’t about Sluggo acting out in the schoolyard at recess. This is about some murderous racist son of a bitch who thinks we send him billions so he can shoot American kids in the head and fry Muslims in white phosphorous. “Pugnacious obstinancy” my ass. Ask Tristan or Emily’s family if that’s what they would call it. Or ask the farmer whose crops have been razed, the fishermen who’s boats have been sunk, or the bedouin who have been evicted by little sneering Jewish teenyboppers being trained to be nazi clones.
    We already know how Obama will deal with this ghoul Netanyahu. The only thing we don’t know is whether or not Netanyahu will use a lubricant. I suppose Netanyahu might leave that decision up to Hillary and Congress. If so, Obama’s in a world of hurt.
    Does it disgust anyone else seeing so-called “americans” like pearlman, wig-wag, drew, and nadine in gleeful celebration seeing some racist sack of shit murderous scheming lying thieving ghoul like Netanyahu making a jackass out of the President of the United States?

    Reply

  119. JohnH says:

    Wigwag is right! “The number of Jews who vote Democratic just isn’t that important.”
    It’s the money that matters. And Republiscum are drooling at the prospect of siphoning off some of that stash from Democrap coffers.

    Reply

  120. JohnH says:

    Once again Nadine proves that she knows absolutely nothing about the situation in Palestine, where people have indeed lost everything. Far from “sitting pretty,” as Nadine blithely asserts, the most recent CIA statistics rank per capita GDP in the West Bank at 166th in the world, the equivalent of having virtually nothing.
    And, last time I checked, 7% growth on a base of virtually nothing means that you still have…virtually nothing.
    Israel’s problem is that it has taken everything from the Palestinian majority but still can’t get them to leave.

    Reply

  121. WigWag says:

    “If the rest of the Dem party has any influence over the White House, they will head off a confrontation. Wouldn’t that be just the thing to make the Jewish vote tip Republican? I saw a poll the other day that said Jewish support for Dems was down to 60%, a 13 point swing since 2008.” (Nadine)
    Nadine, I think the number of Jews who vote Democratic just isn’t that important. Once you get outside of New York and Florida, the Jewish vote isn’t large enough to be consequential. In New York, practically every Jewish voter you can find is going to vote for Schumer and Gilibrand (and for Governor they will vote for Cuomo). But it’s not just Jewish voters, every voter is going to vote for these three candidates in large numbers and they are all assured of winning. In Florida, Kendrick Meek, who is a strong supporter of Israel and comes from a wonderful family, is just too far behind to win. Your right, the Jewish vote is so alienated from Obama that Meek will get fewer Jewish votes than he otherwise might; but it won’t make any difference. Meek simply isn’t going to win.
    If the race in California is incredibly close, the Jewish vote might make the difference, but I predict that Boxer (who is Jewish) and Brown (who is not) will get the overwhelming percentage of the Jewish vote.
    In an extraordinarily close race in Pennsylvania it is possible, though unlikely, that the Jewish vote could determine whether Sestack or Toomey wins and the vote would have to be even closer in Ohio for the Jewish vote to be consequential in either the Gubernatorial or senatorial race there.
    While it is probably numerically impossible for the Jewish vote to decide any of the elections taking place in November (Jewish campaign contributions are another story), the Zionist vote could be hugely important.
    It’s important to remember that the vast majority of Zionists are devout Christians, and not only are they dramatically larger as a voting bloc than pro-Israel Jews are, they tend to far more likely to consider a candidates

    Reply

  122. Dan Kervick says:

    “People who have really “lost everything” are forced to sign painful & humiliating surrenders and then are forced to keep them — because they will be clobbered but good if they don’t.”
    Ah, those were the days! Eh, Nadine? It’s inspiring to know that some people are still keeping the Israeli dream alive. Keep the faith. The Palestinians will have to bend over for you eventually.
    “This does not remotely describe the cossetted and protected status of the Palestinian leadership.”
    Yeah, and I have heard there are some Jews in the United States who have a lot of money, even though they lost most of their family in the Holocaust.
    I guess when I said, they have “lost everything”, I meant that they have lost most of what they really care about, and the things that they have been willing to die for from time to time. Sorry I overlooked some of the blue jeans, lentils, cars, and the meager leadership perquisites of an elite few.
    On a purely material level, per capita income in Palestine is about 1/10th of that in Israel.
    Whatever the merits or demerits of the Palestinian leadership, that leadership is not the party that stole all of that Arab land, bulldozed all of the Arab towns and changed all of the place names from Arab names to Hebrew names.
    The Israeli argument is always something like, “Those nasty Palestinian bugs forced us into stealing ever bigger chunks of their land, because they refused to acquiesce in the loss of the initial chunks we took.”

    Reply

  123. nadine says:

    Warren Metzler, the problem with your pacifist recommendations is that as President, Obama actually has to care whether his actions cause large numbers of dead Americans. As a candidate he didn’t, so he could demagogue the issue all day long, but as President he has to take responsibility. Which is why no President will ever do what you want, not even one as feckless as Barack Obama.
    Dan Kervick, I am surprised to see you mouth the same “the Palestinians have lost everything” line that JohnH does. JohnH is stupid enough to believe it but I had thought better of you. The Palestinians are sitting pretty in Ramallah, collecting over a billion a year in aid now when you tote it all up, well over. They broke every agreement they ever signed and now nobody expects them to agree to anything or get their act together in any way, shape or form — yet none of this threatens their billions in aid or their self-proclaimed status as the World’s Most Important Victims.
    Let me see if I can mail you a clue. People who have really “lost everything” are forced to sign painful & humiliating surrenders and then are forced to keep them — because they will be clobbered but good if they don’t. This does not remotely describe the cossetted and protected status of the Palestinian leadership. And if you come back at me by saying the some of the Palestinian people suffer, that is by the will of their leadership. Arab autocrats don’t give a damn when their people suffer, so long as their troops and cronies eat well.

    Reply

  124. nadine says:

    Warren Metzler, the problem with your pacifist recommendations is that as President, Obama actually has to care whether his actions cause large numbers of dead Americans. As a candidate he didn’t, so he could demagogue the issue all day long, but as President he has to take responsibility. Which is why no President will ever do what you want, even one as feckless as Barack Obama.

    Reply

  125. JohnH says:

    Agreed, “the war is over and the Palestinians have lost everything.”
    And Obama is telling Arabs they can go pound sand, get prepared to see Palestinians humiliated for several more generations, and move Al-Quds and their holy sites to Amman. Brilliant! Why didn’t anyone think of such a public relations debacle before? Have they completely lost their senses?

    Reply

  126. drew says:

    Boxing metaphors? Seriously? It’s all just a sporting event?
    Wig Wag already said it, but Obama is too much the self-involved
    pretty boy to even approach the overmatched Kennedy in role and
    effect. Kennedy was overwhelmed in his first meeting with
    Krushchev. Obama would be overwhelmed in an encounter with
    Pink.

    Reply

  127. Dan Kervick says:

    “By cajoling the Palestinians and Israelis to engage, Barack Obama is again putting himself in the vulnerable position of another potential battle with Israel’s Prime Minister.”
    I doubt that is true. The renewal of “peace-processism” is a politically convenient holding pattern. There is no risk at all for the Israelis, so I see no reason to think Netanyahu will give Obama any trouble over it. Obama gets a another year where he doesn’t have to accomplish anything and tamps down some of the domestic blowback. The Israelis get another year where they deflect criticism through talk while continuing to improve their position on the ground, and further separate West Bank Palestinians from Gaza Palestinians. Washington and Israel can use the proceedings to move forward with their efforts to put a fork in the Palestinian National Movement once and for all. At the end of the process, the defeated Palestinians will be told to accept whatever offers of a Palestinian indian reservation and outlet shopping mall the US and Israel hold out to them, or else take all the blame for failure.
    The war is over and the Palestinians have lost everything. Obama is just the page who has been appointed to deliver the surrender terms to them in an extended, gradual format so that they don’t go down too hard.

    Reply

  128. Warren Metzler says:

    Here we go again. I am amazed that after all the broken promises Barack could have kept (solely as president without a smidgen of input from the House of the Senate), which he didn’t, Steve still doesn’t recognize that man has not a cell in his body that has integrity, or an interest in having real peace and congeniality occur anywhere in the world. He could have closed Guantanamo and sent every one back the country in which they were picked up (just drop them off where you got them, you don’t have to even notify the local government), he could have stated that never again will an American government used secret rendition, he could have canceled drones (that they are militarily an advantage is absurd; why can’t you have special forces on the ground calling in air force manned strikes????, we did in Vietnam), he could have withdrawn all our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, he could have eliminated the base in Uzbekistan (whose president is giving Mao and Stalin serious competition for how many of his citizens he tortures and kills), he could have paid off every American home mortgage that is in trouble for a few billion (far less than the trillions paid to banks) thereby eliminating the sub-prime crisis while having a lot lower deficit, he could eliminated all the restrictions on visits and business in Cuba (which have never done any good; I know there is Burton:Helms, but that can be ignored if he wanted to), he could have canceled don’t ask don’t tell which is of no value, he could have had the Justice Department appeal to the courts to eliminate every ruling that favors Bush’s and Cheney’s police state fantasies instead of having the Justice Dept. do it best to expand each one.
    To invite Murbarak without demanding he radically change the dictatorship he runs is impossible if you have a desire to genuinely find peace. It would be like inviting Mao to conference on free enterprise entrepreneurship.
    If Barak is setting it up, it’s a guarantee it is a public relations scheme.

    Reply

  129. JohnH says:

    Once again, Nadine asserts, “Bibi has been calling for [negotiations].” But we still don’t know if he is sincere or not. Likud has always opposed peace talks. Oslo was sabotaged by Bibi. Taba ended the moment Sharon took office.
    But we do know that Likud has a long, long history of “appearing reasonable” while conceding nothing.
    My guess that these negotiations are just more Israeli flimflam. Netanyahu has tested Obama and found him to be a weakling. If Obama gets anything at all, it will like painting a turd, something that will further expose Obama as all pretty words and no punch.
    Amazing how the Democratically controlled US Congress is so eager to expose Obama’s weakness before a tiny foreign nation to the whole world.

    Reply

  130. jonst says:

    I really hope that you are correct Steve. I often hope you are correct. You seem to represent our ‘better angles’ Steve. At least from my narrow perspective. But I am a bit more of a pessimist. Which is not to say i am wrong.

    Reply

  131. nadine says:

    “Peace Talks May Generate New Obama-Netanyahu Showdown”
    Wigwag, don’t you see this is Steve’s fondest wish? To make the US regard Israel as an enemy and make an alliance with Iran instead? That’s why Steve keeps posting Kennedy & Khruschev pictures If he were more historically minded, he’d remember that Khruschev won that encounter, hands down, and Kennedy was worth 10 of Obama, even when inexperienced. We can all thank our stars that Netanyahu is actually the head of a small regional ally, not a rival superpower.
    It’s an insane game of think-tank abstraction, as if countries didn’t have cultures, histories or values. As if governments didn’t have ideologies. As if countries were made of paper.
    Steve is just panting with hopes of creating an Obama-Bibi showdown. He’s going to be disappointed. Abbas is so desperate to get out of the talks (while Bibi has been calling for them) that he will make it obvious that the Palestinians don’t have their act together; you could say the Palestinians have made a strategic decision never to get their act together.
    If the rest of the Dem party has any influence over the White House, they will head off a confrontation. Wouldn’t that be just the thing to make the Jewish vote tip Republican? I saw a poll the other day that said Jewish support for Dems was down to 60%, a 13 point swing since 2008.

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  132. JohnH says:

    Steve’s assertion that Khrushchev backed down out of weakness is an interesting one. It is certainly consistent with the conventional, triumphalist American recounting of the event.
    In fact, the Soviet Union’s position in Cuba was far stronger than known at the time. And Kennedy’s range of options was far more limited, due to the Joint Chiefs’ intense desire to nuke the Soviet Union and to a public atmosphere of rabid anti-Soviet jingoism. History seems to indicate that Khrushchev actually bailed Kennedy out of an impossible situation and saved the world from nuclear war in one fell swoop. The result was not that the Soviet Union lost, but that a deal was done: The Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba and the US removed its missiles from Turkey some months later. And Vietnam bore the brunt of US militarism, not Cuba.
    In terms of Obama’s doing a deal with Netanyahu, it’s unclear what he can offer. Contrary to what Steve asserts, Netanyahu is not in a position of weakness after considerable testing. Rather, the Lobby has been outstandingly successful in granting Israel most everything it could possibly want. In fact, about the best that Obama can hope for is that, like Khrushchev, Netanyahu deigns to bail Obama out, giving him some face saving “peace treaty.”
    The only way for Obama to reign Israel in is for him to deprive Israel of things it really needs. Unless Obama shows that he is willing to do that, Netanyahu will continue to walk all over him and make a mockery of any “peace process,” confirming that Obama is in fact the weakling after considerable testing among the two.

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  133. Franklin says:

    WigWag,
    The analogy probably is too clever by a half.
    With respect to attitudes you are certainly right that there was almost near uniform hatred of Khrushchev, whereas someone like Netanyahu merely divides the opinion of those Americans who have an opinion concerning the I-P Conflict.
    The other side of the coin is that the Soviets were a major world power. The Israelis are regional power.
    The analogy holds though in terms of the hazards of the relationship. Sometimes “friends” can pose just as much of a hazard to a nation’s interest and security as enemies. In terms of espionage too, Israel has probably done the U.S. more harm in recent years than any other nation.
    The “special relationship” designation at this point seems like something of a sad, outdated punchline.

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  134. WigWag says:

    Steve’s comparison between Kennedy and Obama and Netanyahu and Khrushchev is entertaining but too clever by half.
    Throughout the Cold War, including the early 1960s, Americans detested to Soviets and thought that their leaders were tyrants. In the second decade of the 21st century, it’s not the Israelis or their leader, Mr. Netanyahu, that Americans detest; it’s the Palestinians or at least the rulers of the Palestinians. It’s not just Jewish Americans who consider Israel to be a vital ally and the Palestinians to be an adversary, its Christian Americans. Given how few American Jews there are and how many Christian Americans there are (25 percent of the American public self-identifies as evangelical Christians) support for Israel and distaste for Palestinians is mostly a Christian phenomenon.
    This afternoon, the New America Foundation will be hosting Shibley Telhami to talk about his recent poll of Arab public opinion; but its American public opinion that Steve should pay more attention to. All of the polling shows that Americans believe that Fatah is almost as bad as Hamas in the terrorism department. According to Gallup, Fatah is viewed almost as negatively as Iran and Hezbollah; in the United States, its approval level hovers around 10 percent. Gallup didn’t poll the approval level of Hamas amongst Americans but given the number of Americans who have positive feelings about Fatah, it’s hard to overstate how unpopular Hamas must be (interestingly, Gallup never asked about the “Palestinian Authority.”)
    With Palestinian leaders about as popular amongst Americans as Soviet leaders during the Cold War, the question to be asked isn’t whether Netanyahu is reminiscent of Khrushchev but whether Abbas is.
    The proof of all of this can be found in the only poll that really counts, actual American elections. In election after election, Americans vote in overwhelming numbers for Democrats and Republicans who vigorously side with Israel and view the Palestinians with little more than contempt. Even Obama, to get elected, pretended that he was far more pro-Israel than he turned out to be. It’s little surprise that with the midterm elections coming (and the next Presidential election not far behind) that Obama switched his tune and started pressuring Palestinians instead of Israelis.
    Oh, and one more thing, to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, I remember Jack Kennedy; Barack Obama is no Jack Kennedy.

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  135. davidt says:

    Steve,
    Greetings from California. Thanks for some kind words
    about Obama as on this issue in particular, your saying
    positive things about this administration isn’t very common.
    But aren’t you kind of setting him up? I can already
    anticipate your expressions of disappointment.
    I’m hardly a fan of the Israeli prime minister but is it really a
    question of winning a round against our adversary — one
    might even say our enemy (and yes, a greater threat to our
    security than almost any we’ve ever faced) when comparing
    the Kennedy-Khrushchev situation with the current one?
    And what does winning a round or eventually getting the
    upper hand mean? Perhaps if the Israeli’s are stopped from
    placing missiles, in say, Chile, can Obama declare victory?
    And anything less is a failure? I somehow thought Israel
    was an ally but perhaps I missed something.
    I don’t think its unfair to express hopes that he finds a way
    to pressure the Israeli prime minister, the Goldberg profile
    of him notwithstanding, into making serious concessions
    and moves him and his party towards giving up some things
    for the long-term security of his people and the region his
    country inhabits. I don’t know how he does this (and would
    be interested to hear you tell us how he does this). My fear
    is not that he doesn’t outflank Netanyahu but that there’s
    few ways to do so — particularly given so many people’s
    view in this country about Israel and its understandable
    interests and views of security vis-a-vis its neighbors and the
    Palestinians (not to mention Netanyahu’s political
    challenges at home with major concessions). If the debate
    over the Cordoba center doesn’t provide a backdrop for the
    challenges, what does?
    Again, what should, considering the tradeoffs, Obama do
    other than come “out on top?” And how does he do that
    (i.e. how does he pressure Netanyahu, address Netanyahu’s
    political concerns, address his countrymen’s view of their
    own security, etc. as well as address Hamas government
    and satisfy Abbas and so on and so on).
    What I would particularly enjoy, as I think this is a very hard
    question to answer, is how he’s going to make use of
    Mubarak and the King of Saudi Arabia. I find it remarkable
    that they agreed to be part of this. Would a possible photo
    of Abdullah with Netanyahu be a bit like a photo of Carter
    kissing Brezhnev or Charlie Christ hugging Obama? Lucky he
    doesn’t have to run for election, but still :).
    Thanks.

    Reply

  136. John Waring says:

    When Bibi stiffed Barack over the settlements, Bibi got off scott free. If the Israel stiffs the President of the United States one more time, what will the consequences be? Further destruction of American prestige. Our feebleness will be transparent to the world.
    If you say peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is a vital interest of the United States, then you have to mean it, or no one will take you seriously again.
    I pray that Obama shall prevail over pugnacious obstinacy, but forgive me if I doubt he has the means or the will to do so.
    The international system of sovereign states, in which we are condemned to live, tends towards anarchy. A world in which the United States cannot or will not enforce its vital interests will be a world where anarchy is re-doubled.
    The stakes could not be higher.

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  137. Steve Clemons says:

    JohnH — I respectfully disagree. I think that the analogy is useful
    and apt as the Soviets were testing Kennedy early in his tenure and
    that it was their over-reach, premised on a calculation of US
    weakness, that led to the missile crisis. I believe that there are
    similar sets of tests, globally though Israel one of the most
    important, of Obama’s resolve and capabilities. best, steve

    Reply

  138. JohnH says:

    The Khrushchev-Kennedy analogy is a poor one. After a couple rounds, Khrushchev and Kennedy became secret allies in the interest of peace and reducing the threat of nuclear war. Both realized that letting their military establishments dominate policy would lead to war and mutually assured destruction.
    Nowhere has Netanyahu ever indicated any serious interest in peace. His primary interest is in the territorial integrity of Eretz Israel, a country without clear boundaries and without goyim. For Netanyahu and most Israeli leaders, terrorism is an annoyance that can and has been managed successfully to bring enormous benefits to Israel–foreign aid, diaspora aid, and a burgeoning homeland security industry that has its tentacles deep within the world’s telecommunications infrastructure.
    Netanyahu is no Khrushchev. He is rather more like Bush 43, still trying to measure up to his father, former executive director of the New Zionist Organization of America, which was distinguished primarily from other ideologies within Zionism by its territorial maximalism.

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  139. Colin Dale says:

    There can be no peace in the MIDDLE EAST until all
    NUCLEAR WEAPONS/ WMD are removed.
    There can be no peace and no conclusion to any
    peace talks until all NUCLEAR WEAPONS/ WMD are
    dismantled and removed from the Middle East and
    that the entire region, including both ISRAEL and
    IRAN, is declared a NUCLEAR WEAPONS FREE ZONE.
    This is the imperative that the international
    community should be working towards as a matter of
    urgency.
    To wait until either Israel or the US attacks Iran
    and then, inevitably, nuclear weapons of mass
    destruction are deployed by Israel to protect its
    cities from Iranian reprisals with long-range
    rockets, will draw the entire world into a nuclear
    conflict, the consequences of which are unknown to
    anyone, past or present.
    To avoid this Armageddon needs statesmanship and
    ruthless action to remove all weapons of mass
    destruction from states who will use them without
    hesitation to expand their land and influence.
    In short, both Iran and Israel must be made
    impotent from bringing the world into global
    conflict.

    Reply

  140. Steve Clemons says:

    hi jonst — thanks for note. don’t intend to argue that this will be a “better” negotiation. i think chances are low of success, but that doesn’t alter the consequences for the President of continuing to bring this affair to his doorstep and having people reminded of America’s inability to resolve this mess. But being pessimistic about something doesn’t mean that success is impossible. I think that there is a chance for more significant US leadership in the bridging proposals that will no doubt come in months to come. best, steve

    Reply

  141. jonst says:

    In this post, to exaggerate for artistic sake, you sound like promoter being interviewed on radio…and assuring his listeners ‘that this year’s 41st reunion at Woodstock will be even better than the original kids!’.
    The American National Security Apparatus is not going to push Israel. The expansion goes on. Has gone on. And will go on. What the Americans want be damned.

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