A Proposal: Undermine the Planned Failure that Netanyahu and Abbas are Both Counting On

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This is a guest note by Fadi Elsalameen, Managing Director of the Palestine Note, an Internet newspaper about Palestine, Israel and the Middle East. This essay first appeared in Haaretz.
Give Them Something to Lose
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced earlier this week that he will consider Israel fully to blame for the collapse of the negotiations that were scheduled to commence yesterday, should it resume construction in the settlements. That statement could be seen as a reiteration of last week’s reports by several news outlets that the PA intended to pull out of the peace talks with Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to extend the partial West Bank settlement freeze when it expires on September 26.
Even as they were getting ready to commence with direct talks, the PA and Israel were both preparing for the day when they will pull out of them. The announcements made by Abbas and others in the PA were a response to information they had that, regardless of what Netanyahu may hint about a continuation to the freeze, he will not extend it in the end. Therefore, Abbas is already making it clear to the world why he plans to quit the talks at the end of the month.
Last month, I met with senior PA and Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan at his office in Ramallah. Dahlan told me: “We know that Netanyahu signed a letter to [Likud MK and minister] Benny Begin and others promising them not to extend the settlement freeze.” The letter, Dahlan explained, confirmed a secret deal that the premier had made with Begin. Dahlan added that Netanyahu’s plan was to reveal the existence of the letter when the nine-month period of the freeze elapses, and say: “‘Look, I signed this as an earlier commitment, and before we entered direct talks. I can’t back out now, it would be at a huge political cost for me.'”
Dahlan added that when that time comes, the Palestinians’ plan is to walk out of the talks.
The fact that both the Palestinians and the Israelis are entering the U.S.-sponsored negotiations in bad faith is not only disturbing, but extremely dangerous. If indeed Netanyahu does not extend the freeze beyond the deadline, rest assured he will have hammered the last nail in the PA’s coffin.
Likewise, Israel will be left without a partner for peace or even cooperation in security matters on the Palestinian side.
The failure of direct talks will automatically bolster Hamas and strengthen its standing among the Palestinians. The Islamist organization is already preparing for the moment it can tell the Palestinian public: “We told you so. Talking with the Israelis can only lead to more talks, while they continue to take away our land to build settlements.” In fact, Hamas’ killing of four Israeli settlers in the southern Hebron Hills on Tuesday, and another, failed attack the following night, show how far it will go to spoil the direct talks, and to make its presence felt.
What is crucial at this point, then, is for the Palestinians and Israelis to find a way to continue the direct talks, and not allow the issue of ongoing settlement construction to be a deal breaker. After all, according to President Abbas, the so-called proximity talks and the insistence on direct talks conditioned on a prior agreement by Israel to freeze construction in the territories, were American ideas, not Palestinian or Israeli ones.
The United States’ role as a mediator allows it to offer creative solutions to both sides. To be effective, these solutions must address Abbas’ and Netanyahu’s concerns at home. Abbas does not want an end to the settlement freeze, while Netanyahu does not want his coalition to collapse on him. Is there a middle ground?
Knowing what we know about how unconvinced both Palestinians and Israelis are about the chances of success in Washington, President Obama might do well to establish a ground rule to the effect that, whatever prior commitments were made by either Netanyahu or Abbas to their own constituencies, these commitments must be set aside throughout the duration of direct talks. This point should be communicated clearly and publicly to Netanyahu and Abbas.
If Netanyahu agrees to this proposal, he can accomplish two goals: He will have appeased the settler movement by not formally extending the settlement freeze. This will allow the premier to play a double game: to show good will to the United States and the international community, while at the same time keeping his Palestinian partner engaged in direct talks.
So long as negotiations continue, Netanyahu will be giving Abbas something very concrete to lose if he chooses to walk away from direct talks. Furthermore, Netanyahu will in this way protect Israel’s image internationally and prevent the world from blaming Israel for the failure of the talks.
For the Palestinians, continuing to engage in the talks will be the only way to guarantee that the bulldozers and cement mixers remain idle in the West Bank.
— Fadi Elsalameen

Comments

158 comments on “A Proposal: Undermine the Planned Failure that Netanyahu and Abbas are Both Counting On

  1. JohnH says:

    “As opposed to answering the points I made.”
    So juvenile…

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    I do not respond to your hypothetical question because I
    don’t accept the premises. If you say that you don’t
    support Meier Kahane, Ovadiah Yosef, and Yaakov Teitel –
    I’ll respect that this is your expressed position. I’ll not go
    on and on insisting that you support them indirectly,
    subconsciously, secretly, functionally, or whatever.
    And if I say that I don’t support Hamas or Hizbullah or al
    Qaeda, nor do I sympathize with their methods, you
    should recognize that this is my actual position. There is
    no secret admiration for the “authenticity” of these
    movements hidden somewhere in or between the lines of
    what I write.
    Now I could turn your hypothetical argument around and
    say:
    “If you did love Kahane, Yosef, and Teitel, wouldn’t you
    behave exactly the way you have been behaving? i.e.
    blame the situation in Gaza entirely on the Palestinians,
    bash their leaders, demand that they accept what the
    winners are willing to offer them?”
    I could also say: “If you did love Jones and the Koran
    burners, wouldn’t you behave exactly the way you have
    been behaving?” Ergo: Nadine supports the burning of the
    Koran.
    But that would be a deliberate distortion of your actual
    positions, wouldn’t it? That would show a lack of respect
    for your intellectual integrity (assuming that you have
    one), and the (potential) nuances in your position.
    If you prefer to see the world in black & white, fine, go on.
    But don’t expect any patience from those who you try to
    drag into this crude world of friends and enemies engaged
    in a total war surrounded by existential threats
    everywhere, when some of us explicitly express our
    positions in more nuanced ways.

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    “BTW, did you notice how Nadine”s Sep 07 2010, 2:48AM post is
    begging for being treated with your eminent cut and paste
    technique?” (Paul Norheim)
    As opposed to answering the points I made.
    Bad money drives out good. Always.

    Reply

  4. JohnH says:

    Mearsheimer is right to say that apartheid is the outcome. Actually, it’s a continuation of the status quo, preferable from a PR perspective to mass expulsion or killing off the Palestinians. Israel hopes that Palestinians will somehow magically disappear over the next few generations.
    Israel’s problem is that apartheid carries such a negative image, apart from being an abomination morally. It will prevent any economic integration with neighboring states, particularly petro states, which have the fastest increases in disposable income these days. And it will cause chronic friction in the West’s dealings with those states, both from a marketing and an energy sourcing stanpoint.
    It used to be that Israeli PR could offset the grim realities on the ground with glossy images of making the desert bloom or of a homeland for deserving victims. But that PR is getting old and stale, and the grim reality of apartheid is ever present and becoming people’s dominant impression of Israel.
    Personally, I don’t give the Israeli apartheid system a decade more. Any recklessness, like attacking Hezbollah, shorten its life considerably.

    Reply

  5. Kathleen says:

    Have folks seen this?
    Important interview. Important discussion. Great information
    Mearsheimer: There will be no two-state solution, only a greater Israel, and Palestinians will need the int

    Reply

  6. JohnH says:

    I was deeply touched by poor Nadine’s feelings of being affronted…

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    Yes, John.
    BTW, did you notice how Nadine”s Sep 07 2010, 2:48AM post is
    begging for being treated with your eminent cut and paste
    technique?

    Reply

  8. JohnH says:

    But first Nadine should answer why she worships Meier Kahane, Ovadiah Yosef (Shas spiritual leader who advocates killing Palestinians), and Yaakov Teitel, who wrote a book justifying the murder of Gentiles…

    Reply

  9. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Sand…exactly so…left to Rahm, D’s will soon be in the minority again….

    Reply

  10. Paul Norheim says:

    I would love to answer that question, Nadine, if you answer
    me why you insist that the Palestinians have to speak
    Hebrew or Yiddish during the direct talks, and why you
    think they should be represented by the Vatican.
    I think that’s pretty extreme, even for you.

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    Paul, go ahead, talk to your shrink. But maybe you can answer just one question: if you did love Hamas, wouldn’t you behave exactly the way you have been behaving? i.e. blame the situation in Gaza entirely on Israel, bash Israel, demand the blockade of Gaza be lifted?
    Whereas if you did not love Hamas, you might be inclined to notice that their own violent and undemocratic actions had something to do with setting up the current situation, i.e. blockade by Israel and Egypt. If you did not love Hamas, you might call on them to stop the violence (both internal and external), recognize the existence of Israel, and return Gaza to democracy by calling new elections.
    Just asking. Because when I look at your recommendations and those of your Free Gaza allies, I notice they amount to exactly what someone would do who DID love Hamas.
    Okay, you don’t send money directly to Hamas — but if you give it to the Free Gaza movement, that’s just fine with Hamas. They’ll take indirect support any day.

    Reply

  12. Don Bacon says:

    I think POA is suggesting that Kotz is down under.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Or maybe that old story about what happens when you seat a monkey at a keyboard is actually true…”
    Oh, roo the day.

    Reply

  14. JohnH says:

    kotz definitely gives new meaning to the word ‘banter.’ It must have some arcane, Talmudic meaning unknown to us mortals, something along the lines of ‘pontificating in an alternative universe.’ Or perhaps it refers to the art of stringing together sentences based around big words generated randomly by a computer’s search function. Or maybe that old story about what happens when you seat a monkey at a keyboard is actually true…

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ya gotta pity that Kotzaroo, doncha? Poor fellow.
    Sometime in the early years of the last century, he awoke as a child, wandering through the outback in his skivvies, (unsure of how he got there, or why). He musta stumbled upon a dictionary, left behind by wayward wallaroo hunters who had ran out of toilet paper. Adopted and raised by a charitable family of Tasmanian Devils, and having no recollection of his early childhood, (nor of normal human interaction), he has fabricated an entire world view based on Webster’s stoic tome. Unfortunately, the wallaroo hunters had removed crucial pages, and, uh, wiped away the words that held any hope poor Kotz had of formulating a realistic and well rounded concept of what it means to be human.
    But he does have one hell of a vocabulary.

    Reply

  16. kotzabasis says:

    The political courtesans, a la Kervick and Norheim, not to mention the less charming ones of TWN, provocatively egged on by their madam Clemons, are transforming the sweetness of their profession into the bitterness of their politics against Israel. It is foolish to continue arguing with them; one can only banter with such a throng of intellectual lacklustre.

    Reply

  17. JohnH says:

    I don’t know about consulting your shrink, Paul. His answers may tell you more about his religious beliefs and political affiliations than about your latent love for the Muslim Brotherhood. Who knows, Nadine may even be a shrink, and she’s got you pretty well diagnosed, from what I can see.
    Wonder what the cure is? Ten years of expensive therapy?

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, what do you suppose is the future of a nation that actually nurtures generational bigotry against a people that outnumber them at least 100 to 1, and who SURROUND said nation of carefully nurtured and upcoming bigots????
    Poll: Half of Israeli teens don’t want Arab students in their class
    Study polling 500 teens aged 15 to 18 finds that most don’t think Arabs enjoy equal rights in Israel, and most of those don’t think Arabs deserve equal rights.
    By Or Kashti
    Sixty four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 say that Arab Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent believe that they should not have full equal rights, according to a special survey prepared for the “Education in the Digital Age” conference held in Haifa on Monday.
    continues…..
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/poll-half-of-israeli-teens-don-t-want-arab-students-in-their-class-1.312479
    Pretty amazing, isn’t it??? A nation that has based its entire rationale and justification for existence on the victimhood of the Jews, is raising a nation of little fuckin’ bigots who will grow up to continue the hatreds, and hate based policies, of their fathers. Its hard to imagine that such a society can be long lived, especially since they are decidedly inferior in numbers to the very people they are teaching thier youngsters to hate. No wonder the collective Israeli Jewish pysche seems to be leaning towards the delusional netherworld of mass societal paranoia. When one considers using Jewish teens to perform evictions and property destruction, with governmental programs and policies treating Palestinians as little more than heathen animals, it is no wonder that Israeli schools are becoming breeding grounds for future Jewish terrorists and bigots. Such a perverse atmosphere of upbringing can only contribute to the bigotry being a contagion that contributes to the anti-semitism of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim youth. It is self perpetuating.
    No wonder the Israelis are holding onto their nukes with such fervor and dedication. When the nurturing of this self-perpetuating mechanism of hatred finally “pays” its inevitable dividends, the only chance the Israeli Jews will have of surviving is by killing ten thousand muslims for every one dead Jew. The numbers demand it. If the sanity of MAD prevails, with Israel’s neighbors acquiring Nukes, Israel will be forced into a ground war that is unwinnable if the major arab states become involved. And if China and Russia tell us to stay out of it, OR ELSE, what are we going to do? Commit to World War III because some racist ungrateful little shithole of a country, that has nurtured hatred in the ranks of its youth, and cooked its own goose, demands our protection? I hope not, for the sake of MY family, who have no stake in this, and had NOTHING TO DO with marching Jews into poisonous showers, or firing rockets into Sedot.
    This bigoted little enclave of arrogant bigoted monsters is a threat to mankind and world peace on its current course. Its time the global community stepped up to the plate and put an END to Israeli sabre rattling, intransigence, collective punishment, and destabilizing policies and actions. Jews or not, the world cannot continue to abide the machinations of a nuclear power led by radicals and madmen. Its time we forgot they are “Jews”, and came to terms with the danger they pose. Before it is too late. While we look to Iran for the nuclear villain, the REAL nuclear boogie man is lurking in plain site.

    Reply

  19. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok, Nadine,
    I’ll phone my shrink tomorrow and ask if I happen to love the
    Muslim brotherhood, or if he can detect some deep admiration
    for Hizbullah or Hamas or His Majesty King Harald of Norway
    on a subconscious level inside me. He may even detect a nasty
    little Jew hater and Holocaust denier deep within my dark
    fauxgressive soul, because this guy is a real pro, and I pay him
    well.
    We’ll do some rorchach tests and stuff in the morning, and my
    shrink has also quite a reputation as a hypnotherapist, so I
    have high expectations that he’ll find something exotic and
    unpleasant sooner or later.
    Sorry that I can’t give you a clear answer myself. But my shrink
    has always been very honest and straight forward with me, so
    I’m sure he will tell it as it is.
    I promise that I’ll let you know when I get the answer!

    Reply

  20. JohnH says:

    Sand, this is where Obama’s refusal to use his rhetorical skills and bully pulpit cost him and his party big time. In similar circumstances FDR fought the monied interests by going over their heads and making his case directly to the American people.
    Everyone knew that the economy would still be in the doldrums in November 2010, particularly employment, a lagging indicator. But instead of trying to engage with the people and their problems, Obama chose to go with the monied flow, spending his time in smoke fill rooms, and ignoring the very people who would be asked to re-elect him and his party.
    They let themselves be out-flanked by the tea party, on health care reform, on stimulus and job creation, and now in the elections. With the tea party descending on them, they have the look of a deer in the headlights–paralyzed and incapacitated.
    It’s as if Democrats have this death wish and get some perverse satisfaction out of singing their way to the guillotine. “What, me worry?”

    Reply

  21. Sand says:

    And this is what happens when you have a Party with ‘no principles’:
    –Major Democratic donors shift donations to the right
    By John Byrne
    Monday, September 6th, 2010 — 7:44 am
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/major-democratic-donors-shift-donations/
    “The DLC/Rahm’s Party: 1994-2012 “Mission Accomplished”

    Reply

  22. Don Bacon says:

    Nadine is creating yet again, this time “admiration” as a substitute for recognizing political realities. Touchy-feely labels have no place in rational political discourse. I hate them.

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    Who admires Hezbollah and Hamas?
    Nadine’s imagination running amok again. But that’s to be expected from someone who worships Meier Kahan, Ovadiah Yosef, and Yaakov Teitel, who wrote a book justifying the murder of Gentiles…

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    “In the 1970’s or 80’s, our “leftist” may say Mitterand, or Castro
    and Ortega, or perhaps Mao, even Pol Pot – and you would
    immediately see where he belonged. ” (Paul Norheim)
    The Left’s 70s and 80s admiration for Mao and Pol Pot has a lot in common with their current admiration for Hizbullah and Hamas. In both cases, there is no way you can take a clear-eyed look these movements’ anti-humanist utopian schemes or the number of people these movements killed to try to achieve them (millions, in the case of Pol Pot and Mao), so the Left simply resorted to lying about the movements, apologizing for them, and claiming anybody who pointed out the massive humans rights abuses was “demonizing” them out of political antipathy.
    Much the same goes on today vis-a-vis the various Islamist movements. The human rights abuses of Hamas, Hizbullah, Muslim Brotherhood, Iran are minimized or ignored. The Left preaches the need for respect and engagement to mollify and moderate these groups. The Right is accused of demonizing them. Even the Taliban gets the ‘moderate’ treatment. Al Qaeda alone is left out there (usually minimized as far as possible) as being the only group beyond the pale; this is only because 9/11 happened in the US so Americans have not forgotten it. The Left wishes they would.

    Reply

  25. JohnH says:

    I agree, Paul. the ideologies people fought for have all but disappeared, doomed by practical realities and corruption of the regimes that exploited them.
    Some still fight on principle–for choice or against abortion, for gay rights and the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. But the issues are less grand and more issue oriented.
    The grand issues of freedom, democracy, and human rights have been degraded into nothing more than evocative words deployed in public relations and propaganda campaigns. Antisemitism is suffering the same fate, as are fascism and socialism.
    With the degradation of traditional bogeymen, new ones have arisen to take their place–Saddam Hussein, the Baath Party, the Taliban,
    the Muslim Brotherhood, Ayatollahs, etc. While I am not particularly sympathetic to any of them, they have all been aggrandized by propaganda well beyond any real threat they represent.
    One of the reasons that I think that this economic depression is going to turn out very differently from the Great Depression is that a significant portion of the American elites are fat, dumb and happy. They have not had the bejeezus scared out of them by Communism and the Russian Revolution. Since the elites have nothing to fear from the proletariat, why should they bother taking care of them?

    Reply

  26. Carroll says:

    Posted by nadine, Sep 05 2010, 10:02PM – Link
    So this isn’t about your bleeding heart for a “just settlement” for the poor dears, is it? No matter what Israel offers, it won’t be “just” to the Palestinians so it will just offer anti-Semites like you a bigger excuse to hate Jews.
    Well we survived Hitler, we can certainly survive you’
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    nadine you are a true psychopath…you just can’t conceive of anyone feeling outraged by
    injustice or sympathy for people being bullied and crushed can you?
    Yet, your entire life is about how the world owes the Jews for their suffering and how that excuses all Israel’s crimes against others.
    The Jews didn’t ‘survive’ Hitler, they were ‘saved’ from Hitler’s total extermination by others. Your kind thinks that WWII was only about the Jews and that the allies should have abandoned all strategy and made saving the jews their primary goal, ignoring all other considerations and people also at risk.
    Tell us why you think the Jews should have been first in line to be saved over the Pacific Islanders or ally soldiers in Japanese prison camps or the British civilians being bombed.
    What is you case for why Jewish lives were worth more than theirs?
    Israel after 65 years still isn’t self sufficient and can’t even survive without the help and protection of the US.
    The fact of life is that minorities are dependent on acceptance by majorities and cooperative
    interaction within the countries and world they live in.
    Israel and the zionist were given every chance and trillions of dollars in aid to exist as a normal nation. After ‘defending’ their boarders they could have left it at that and stuck to ‘only defending their boarders.
    And demonstrated some willingness to fit in as a non expansionist peaceful country… but their greed and psycho mentality demanded more and more.
    As I said, what has been given can be taken away.
    When you continuously bite the hands that feed you they quit feeding you after a while.
    There is no doubt in my mind that the boycott
    movement against Israel by people and governments will only get larger.

    Reply

  27. Paul Norheim says:

    JohnH,
    yes, I agree: the McCarthy era was especially characterized by
    demonization, just like our era, and even more so.
    But before and after the 1950’s – especially between the two
    world wars, and in the 1970’s, there were a lot of dreams,
    utopian aspirations and idolization distributed both on the
    right and on the left: Stalinism, Fascism, Nazism, Free Marked
    Capitalism…stuff that was supposed to save the world.
    In the 1930’s this was perhaps more visible in Europe (for
    example during the Spanish Civil war); but in the 1970’s and
    80’s you also had these ideological arguments within the US-
    context: Allende versus Pinochet… Contras versus Daniel
    Ortega and Castro… etc. etc.
    In Europe at that time (late 70’s, early 80’s), I didn’t know many
    people on the extreme right, but I remember countless of
    discussions with people on the extreme left, who either
    idolized or defended major sinister figures from Stalin and Mao
    to Pol Pot. All of this can not be explained solely by the Cold
    War context or the polarizations due to the Vietnam war.
    These totalitarian people on the left had their own agenda,
    their own dreams, and seriously and actively idolized Mao,
    Stalin, and Pol Pot. They actually dominated much of the
    political and cultural debate in Scandinavia for more than a
    decade. Other people admired all sorts of liberation groups
    from the left to the right.
    I think we live in a period where people are not so much
    blinded by dreams, because the 20’t century implemented
    many of these dreams, both fascist dreams and communist
    dreams, and showed us their darker, totalitarian side.
    We’ve also learned more about the shadow sides of capitalism
    and free marked ideology, especially during the last couple of
    years.
    At the moment, I believe that the theocratic experiment in
    Tehran is going through a similar sinister phase, after a more
    liberal tendency in the 1990’s; and I hope that the opposition is
    able to correct it’s course – regardless of the nuclear program
    issue. But I am not optimistic. I also think that Israel’s constant
    threats are counterproductive in this regard.
    I have been around for a while and traveled a bit, but I have not
    yet met, or personally heard of any Westerner who sympathizes
    with the late Saddam Hussein, the Baath Party, the Taliban, or
    the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor with the ideological-religious
    program of Hamas, as formulated in their charter.

    Reply

  28. JohnH says:

    I was at a Chautauqua ideas conference two decades ago. The Oslo process was about to get under way. Speakers were full of rosy projections about the benefits of peace, though entirely from the Zionist point of view, of course. I bit my tongue and asked a tough question as inoffensively as I could. Talk about a stony silence! And a dismissive answer! It was so quiet that you could almost hear the ghost of Joseph McCarthy rustling in the background.
    Those days are gone. Thank goodness!

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    It wasn’t so may years ago that one criticized neocons and Zionist zealots at peril off being overwhelmed with accusations of anti-Semitism, to the point where it felt risky to speak. Of course the zealots in comments here, few though they are, still try the same tactic, even to the point of attacking the host as a crypto anti-Semite. But the atmosphere of deligetimizing questions of US ME policy seems to have changed. But are all the horses already out of the barn? An equally important, will the policy change?

    Reply

  30. JohnH says:

    I’m not sure that the propaganda environment has changed all that much over the years.
    During the Joe McCarthy era, if you weren’t loudly trumpeting your anti-Communism, you were suspected of harboring communist sympathies, of being a fellow traveler. America was ginning up its anti-Communist jingoism, and everyone had to be on board to assure that the military got to be the first standing military in US history.
    Fifty years later, during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, if you weren’t “with us, you were against us.” Joe Lieberman and Lynne Cheney even starting drawing up blacklists of professors expressing opinions that were not fully in synch with official Bush BS about Iraq. And military expenditures ballooned well beyond any conceivable need.
    The is the context that Nadine and Wigwag operate out of. Wigwag is more sly, undermining and casting doubts. Nadine is the flame thrower. If, like Don Bacon, you think that a women without a nose is not fully representative of the Taliban, then you must harbor doubts about the wisdom of the Afghan fiasco, therefore you must be anti-American, hence pro-Taliban, pro-terrorist. Black or white–no room for doubts or thought–with us or against us.
    If you think that killing unarmed civilians aboard the Mavi Marmara was a crime, counterproductive, or stupid, then you must be anti-Israel, against us, hence pro-terrorist.
    Orwell would have recognized all of his, and certainly wrote about it, though my reading of him is too distant for me to cite verse and chapter.
    The problem for Nadine and Wigwag is that they are not operating within the confines of an authoritarian system any more, though AIPAC got as close as you can get to locking down free speech in a democracy. But AIPAC no longer controls the narrative, and that is deeply disturbing for the authoritarian, Israel Right or Wrong crowd.
    If the Israel Right or Wrong Crowd learned one thing from the Nazis, it was how to master the art of propaganda. They turned Joseph Goebbels’ methods to their own uses, which is highly ironic, of course, since the same methods will one day used against them. And that day will not be long in coming, now that the Lobby has become arrogant in its abuse of its privileges. No it is trying to gin up yet another foreign policy catastrophe, one that is likely to have dire consequences for the industrialized world in general. And the blow-back will not be pretty.
    But all Wigwag and Nadine care about is allowing Israel be king of the mountain for another moment. The future be damned.

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    Twenty, forty or eighty years ago, you would know precisely
    where on the political spectrum a Westerner had his or her
    loyalties, by knowing who he or she supported, admired, or
    even idolized.
    After 1989, I believe that the dynamics have changed. Since
    then it’s become increasingly difficult to read a person’s
    political inclinations by asking her or him who they endorse or
    sympathize with.
    If you want to find out where on the political spectrum
    someone in the Western world find themselves today, you
    should not ask: “Who do you love?” or “Who do you idolize?”
    In 2010 you should rather ask: “Who do you hate?” “Who do
    you demonize?” “Who do you think deserves pariah status?”
    Ok. That was the short version.
    WARNING:
    If you get bored by some of my long posts, you may stop
    reading right here. What follows is a somewhat longwinded
    elaboration and general reflections on this issue, triggered by
    WigWag’s thinly supported claim that “the left loves the Muslim
    Brotherhood”.
    Of course, WigWag’s claim was baseless, just like certain claims
    by Nadine that “the left” support this or that rouge country,
    dictator, or extremist group. They are not able to provide
    convincing arguments, nor are they willing or able to document
    these alleged sympathies or support – except for perhaos a
    reference to a couple of book reviews in the New York Review
    of Books, or – as Nadine said above on this thread:
    “Now, most on the left don’t consciously love Hamas et al…”
    What she apparently meant was that they love them on the
    “functional” level, or subconsciously, whatever that means.
    So some people here don’t love Hamas consciously, but still…?
    Does this imply that we from now on have to visit the office of
    our opponent’s psychiatrist to detect their subconscious
    political sympathies? Or perhaps do some hobby analysis
    ourselves of the subconscious level of our opponents to see
    where they really belong – themselves perhaps not even
    knowing it? Perhaps we’ll discover some pretty exotic
    reactionary or freedom-loving Jungian archetypes deep down
    in the soul of our opponents?
    WigWag’s and Nadine’s obvious trouble in proving who
    sympathize with whom, triggered some interesting – at least in
    my view – historical reflections on ideological sympathies and
    antipathies.
    My hypothesis is that sympathies and idolization was a fairly
    adequate parameter for a long historical period before and
    during the Cold War – periods when people invested in
    distinctive models, distinctive kinds of utopian or nostalgic
    dreams.
    If you asked a European to the right of the political spectrum in
    the 1930’s who he sympathized with or admired, he might
    have mentioned some conservative leader in England or France,
    or perhaps Franco, Mussolini, even Adolf Hitler.
    Ask an American or European in the 1970’s or 80s, and he may
    say Nixon, Reagan, Pinochet, the Contras in Latin America. The
    answer would give you a pretty good clue, and he would often
    be proud of his endorsement, not only of Reagan, but also of
    the Chilean Dictator, or the Contras, because he would regard
    the latter as “freedom fighters”.
    In the same manner, you would quickly find out where
    someone on the left belonged, by hearing that he supported a
    social democratic leader in the Weimar Republic, or perhaps
    Stalin, if he was a communist.
    In the 1970’s or 80’s, our “leftist” may say Mitterand, or Castro
    and Ortega, or perhaps Mao, even Pol Pot – and you would
    immediately see where he belonged.
    During the 1990’s, the global political landscape changed
    significantly. Not only in the former USSR, but also in many
    countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, there was a
    notable change from one-party systems to multi-party secular
    democratic systems – at least in theory.
    Due to certain regional circumstances – notable among them
    the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the vast energy resources
    (gas and oil) in the area – these changes did not have a
    significant impact in the Middle East (although some notable
    reforms took place in some countries).
    But in the optimistic interregnum period of the early 1990s,
    Fukuyama wrote his “End of History” essay, declaring capitalism
    and democracy the winner. And at the end of the decade, the
    West, headed by Bill Clinton, more and more defined the
    political line as between freedom loving democracies on one
    side, and “Rogue States” on the other; the latter threatening the
    international community of democracies.
    Despite the dramatic changes after 9.11. and during Bush, I
    think this distinction under Bill Clinton still has a huge impact
    as to how we, conservatives or liberals/progressives, hawks or
    doves, define friend and foe.
    If you are on the left, you may strongly oppose the US embargo
    on Cuba. You may feel sympathy for Cuba, but you are
    probably not very proud of the Cuban system anymore. Why?
    Quite simple: It’s not a democracy.
    And if you still support some of the autocracies in the Middle
    East – the Saudis, Egypt and so forth – you would not boast
    about your support. You feel no sympathy for them, but
    support them due to geopolitical considerations. You may even
    be ashamed of your endorsement of these nasty regimes.
    There are simply no longer any utopian dreams energizing the
    left or the right (for “freedom” or “justice” or “equality”). To the
    extent the left or the right defend someone who by their
    opponents are defined as outside the internationally accepted
    community of democracies, as pariah states, they do so as a
    defense act against the establishment’s attempt to
    excommunicate them , and not out of deep love for a particular
    non-democratic regime.
    The big issues in 2010 are not defined in questions like: “Who
    are the good guys?” Or: “Which regime shines like a beacon?”
    The big issues today are rather defined in questions like: “Who
    is to blame?” Who represent a threat?” This also extends to
    non-state movements and organizations.
    Who deserves a status as pariahs? Who should be excluded
    from the global community of well intended, rule abiding
    nations and organizations?
    Zimbabwe? Burma? North Korea? Iran? Hamas? Taliban?
    Hezbullah? Syria? Sudan? Pakistan? Venezuela? Even Russia?
    Even China?
    Or perhaps Israel? AIPAC? Honduras? Even the US?
    And as the names above (that came up immediately in my
    mind) suggest, the neocons and the liberal interventionists
    seem more obsessed with a will to excommunicate certain
    elements – nations, organizations, etc – from the global
    community of democracies than the left seems to be nowadays.
    Further: Are the Evangelical Christians in America so bat-shit
    crazy that they should be excluded from politics? Or is perhaps
    Islam as a religion and ideology so reactionary, fascistoid,
    misogyne, resentful, violent and freedom-hating that it should
    be fought with all means – even escalating into a “clash of
    civilizations”?
    No, left or right, we don’t idolize or romanticize leaders or
    countries anymore. The long lasting utopian era of
    endorsement and idolization and ideological dreams is gone in
    the fight between “conservatives” and “progressives” and other
    positions among Westerners. Since Clinton, it’s all been about
    demonization and excommunication, and defending the
    demonized from being demonized. That’s the game today.
    P.S.
    Is Zionism perhaps an exception that doesn’t fit into this
    diagnosis?
    I don’t think so. I think the hardcore zionists are not members
    of a vital utopian movement anymore; they have been reduced
    into a bunch of paranoid and bragging desperados. Please tell
    me who sincerely believe in Israel and Zionism in 2010, with
    even a shadow of the spirit and aspirations of the days of the
    Kibbutz?
    Yes, sure, you’ll always find a handful of blind loyalists who
    will cling to the dream to the bitter end, just like there is a
    handful who desperately, or out of old habit, cling to the
    dream of Castro’s Cuba as a beacon surrounded by doomed
    capitalist countries. But the minority of fanatic believers within
    the Zionist movement are so detached from reality that they
    would be completely irrelevant, if not for the propaganda
    machinery invested in keeping them going.
    Everybody knows that the reality on the ground is different.
    And the majority of Israel-supporters probably regret the fact
    that Netanyahu and Lieberman represent Israel. They may
    support the current government of Israel out of loyalty, but not
    with much enthusiasm. Thus their energy is also concentrated
    on demonizing Israel’s many enemies, instead of praising the
    virtues of the one they once loved.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    Don Bacon from a previous TWN thread:
    “Paul, would you disparage the brave Norwegian resistance to the Germans? (back on topic — similar to the Iraqi and Afghan resistance)”
    So the Taliban are just like the Norwegians partisans against the Nazis. When I pointed out the Time Magazine cover of a girl without a nose as typical of the Taliban, he replied
    “The Time magazine photo was an example of war propaganda at its best — demonizing the enemy.”
    So Don Bacon supports the Taliban and is opposed to their being “demonized”.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “……just consider why so many on TWN openly support medieval barbarians like the Taliban…”
    Here the crazy bitch invents an argument out of thin air that has no basis in reality, or in opinions anyone here at TWN has expressed. She really is batshit crazy.

    Reply

  34. JohnH says:

    As usual, Nadine states the mirror image of what could be said about her side–
    “As always, [Nadine], you confuse the niceness of individual people with the reasonableness of their national goals and their political leadership. ‘These are nice people so they must be just like me’ is classic projection. If the Israelis as a political entity were remotely like [normal people,] they would want to make peace and a settlement would have been hammered out long ago.”
    Yes, the Jews survived the Inquisition, Hitler, and the end of colonialism, which destroyed their last, privileged “court” position. But when they survive again, let’s hope that Jewish Supremacists come away with a little humility, tolerance and a desire to foster a just system based on equal treatment under the law. Maybe the experience of their secular brethren in America could inform them and guide them…

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “So this isn’t about your bleeding heart for a “just settlement” for the poor dears, is it? No matter what Israel offers, it won’t be “just” to the Palestinians so it will just offer anti-Semites like you a bigger excuse to hate Jews.”
    Ever seen such a despicable piece of shit excuse for a human being??

    Reply

  36. nadine says:

    As always, jd, you confuse the niceness of individual people with the reasonableness of their national goals and their political leadership. ‘These are nice people so they must be just like me’ is classic projection. If the Palestinians as a political entity were remotely like the Israelis, they would want to make peace and a settlement would have been hammered out long ago.
    “Would you please stop with the left loves thugs. It isn’t true, there are many millions of people who identify as liberals but I don’t know many people on the left who love Hamas, Hezballah, the Muslim Brotherhood etc. I know many people who are rational realists who recognize that thesee non-state actors have to be dealt with.”
    No, I won’t stop it, because it’s true. Now, most on the left don’t consciously love Hamas et al (though there are many leftists who love to romanticize revolutionary violence, just consider why so many on TWN openly support medieval barbarians like the Taliban), but as long as the majority of leftists are willing to stand on their head and twist themselves into intellectual pretzels to make excuses for them, it amounts to the same thing, functionally speaking. They practically prostrate themselves before a smooth talker like Tarik Ramadan crying, ‘Oh please, please lie to us, we love it!’
    As far as dealing with non-state actors like Hamas, the “rational realists'” only proposal is to give them lollipops, diplomatically speaking, in the apparent belief that rewarding extremism has a moderating effect on religious fanatics. Unsurprisingly, evidence of real-world success using this method is thin on the ground.
    L’shana tova to to you too.

    Reply

  37. nadine says:

    “The anti israel sentiment cannot now be turned around unless there is a just settlement for Palestine
    It just can’t, this is how the world works.”
    Just like you, the world doesn’t give a flying f— about the Palestinians, they only exist as an excuse to hate the Jews.
    When they are killed by each other or fellow Arabs, nobody cares. 2000 dead in internecine fighting in just the last 2 years. Who cares? Nobody. Certainly not you.
    So this isn’t about your bleeding heart for a “just settlement” for the poor dears, is it? No matter what Israel offers, it won’t be “just” to the Palestinians so it will just offer anti-Semites like you a bigger excuse to hate Jews.
    Well we survived Hitler, we can certainly survive you.
    The world will soon have other fish to fry, as Iran and its proxies flex their muscle.

    Reply

  38. Sand says:

    Found it!…
    How’s this for ‘chair color’ co-ordination ūüėČ
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/obamanetanyahuresized.jpg

    Reply

  39. samuelburke says:

    I love to see the wheels coming off the zio-zombie wagon.
    I still can’t believe my eyes.
    when you’re racist and elitist…sic semper tyranis.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/bds-and-one-state-as-an-
    alternative-to-the-peace-process.html
    “An article in today’s Haaretz would seem to indicate that Israelis
    are taking notice of the growing BDS movement. After describing
    the recent announcement of Israeli artists and academics to
    boycott settlement institutions, Nehemia Shtrasler writes,
    “There’s another boycott, an international one, that’s gaining
    momentum – an economic boycott. . . The sums involved are not
    large, but their international significance is huge.” He continues:
    The anti-Israel tide rose right after Operation Cast Lead, as the
    world watched Israel pound Gaza with bombs on live television.
    No public-relations machine in the world could explain the
    deaths of hundreds of children, the destruction of
    neighborhoods and the grinding poverty afflicting a people
    under curfew for years. They weren’t even allowed to bring in
    screws to build school desks. Then came the flotilla, complete
    with prominent peace activists, which ended in nine deaths,
    adding fuel to the fire.
    But underlying the anger against Israel lies disappointment.
    Since the establishment of the state, and before, we demanded
    special terms of the world. We played on their feelings of guilt,
    for standing idle while six million Jews were murdered. . .
    But then came the occupation, which turned us into the evil
    Goliath, the cruel oppressor, a darkness on the nations. And
    now we are paying the price of presenting ourselves as righteous
    and causing disappointment: boycott.”

    Reply

  40. JohnH says:

    For Israel to have “secure borders,” it would have to control Beirut, Damascus, Amman, etc. That way, it would be virtually surrounded by deserts and seas. But even then, crusaders could get ’em from the sea. Numerically superior Arab populations could rebel against their numerically minuscule overlords. And others could shoot missiles over the top of the deserts and the seas.
    The whole “secure borders” thing is so 20th century…
    Meanwhile, the rest of the region is moving toward economic integration, which will totally bypass the Jewish state, if it continues to insist on the illusion of “secure borders.”

    Reply

  41. DonS says:

    Thanks,Don, for the link. Very slick video. JCPA, your tax deductible dollars at work.

    Reply

  42. Don Bacon says:

    UN 242 calls for secure state borders, so Israel claims it needs virtually all of the former Palestine to have secure borders. See it here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytWmPqY8TE0&feature=player_embedded

    Reply

  43. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen Grasso Andersen, Sep 05 2010, 4:11PM – Link
    ..to end the Palestine-Israel conflict we need to enforce UN 242, 1967
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yep, exactly.

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    If there are any jews or supporters of Israel lurking here other than nadine and wig, this is for you. Consider it friendly advice.
    The below is just the begining.
    The anti israel sentiment cannot now be turned around unless there is a just settlement for Palestine
    It just can’t, this is how the world works.
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/business/anti-israel-economic-boycotts-are-gaining-speed-1.312210
    Published 01:19 05.09.10
    Latest update 01:19 05.09.10
    Anti-Israel economic boycotts are gaining speed
    The sums involved are not large, but their international significance is huge. Boycotts by governments gives a boost to boycotts by non-government bodies around the world.
    By Nehemia Shtrasler
    The entire week was marked by boycotts. It began with a few dozen theater people boycotting the new culture center in Ariel, and continued with a group of authors and artists publishing a statement of support on behalf of those theater people. Then a group of 150 lecturers from various universities announced they would not teach at Ariel College or take part in any cultural events in the territories. Naturally, all that spurred a flurry of responses, including threats of counter-sanctions.
    That was all at the local level. There’s another boycott, an international one, that’s gaining momentum – an economic boycott. Last week the Chilean parliament decided to adopt the boycott of Israeli products made in the settlements, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, which imposed a boycott on such products several months ago.
    In September 2009, Norway’s finance minister announced that a major government pension fund was selling its shares in Elbit Systems because of that company’s role in building the separation fence. In March, a major Swedish investment fund said it would eschew Elbit Systems shares on the same grounds. Last month the Norwegian pension fund announced that it was selling its holdings in Africa Israel and in its subsidiary Danya Cebus because of their involvement in constructing settlements in the occupied territories.
    The sums involved are not large, but their international significance is huge. Boycotts by governments gives a boost to boycotts by non-government bodies around the world.
    New world
    Human-rights organizations in Europe are essentially running campaigns to boycott Israeli products. They are demonstrating at supermarkets, brandishing signs against Israeli goods. Worker organizations, with millions of members, send circulars to their people calling on them to forgo Israeli products.
    Photo by: AP
    I talked with farmers who say there are retail chains in Europe no longer prepared to buy Israeli products. The same is true for a chain in Washington.
    The world is changing before our eyes. Five years ago the anti-Israel movement may have been marginal. Now it is growing into an economic problem.
    Until now boycott organizers had been on the far left. They have a new ally: Islamic organizations that have strengthened greatly throughout Europe in the past two decades. The upshot is a red and green alliance with a significant power base. The red side has a name for championing human rights, while the green side has money. Their union is what led to the success of the Turkish flotilla.
    They note that boycott is an especially effective weapon against Israel because Israel is a small country, dependent on exports and imports. They also point to the success of the economic boycott against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
    The anti-Israel tide rose right after Operation Cast Lead, as the world watched Israel pound Gaza with bombs on live television. No public-relations machine in the world could explain the deaths of hundreds of children, the destruction of neighborhoods and the grinding poverty afflicting a people under curfew for years. They weren’t even allowed to bring in screws to build school desks. Then came the flotilla, complete with prominent peace activists, which ended in nine deaths, adding fuel to the fire.
    But underlying the anger against Israel lies disappointment. Since the establishment of the state, and before, we demanded special terms of the world. We played on their feelings of guilt, for standing idle while six million Jews were murdered.
    David Ben-Gurion called us a light unto the nations and we stood tall and said, we, little David, would stand strong and righteous against the great evil Goliath.
    The world appreciated that message and even, according to the foreign press, enabled us to develop the atom bomb in order to prevent a second Holocaust.
    But then came the occupation, which turned us into the evil Goliath, the cruel oppressor, a darkness on the nations. And now we are paying the price of presenting ourselves as righteous and causing disappointment: boycott
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There is something very important that Jews and zionist alike do not understand…some gentiles, Arabs and others, even some here don’t even understand the importance of it.
    For all the talk of Jewish power and AIPAC power the truth is they have no power that gentiles and others haven’t given them.
    Jewish campaign money that is said to and does power our parties and policy on Israel doesn’t come from Jews doing business only with and accumulating money from only other Jews. They have to have gentiles and others patronage to prosper. Jews had to be accepted into the primary gentile and European controlled financial world in order to prosper to being with. They had to be accepted on local levels by others to even prosper in small businesses. The gentile world had to drop discrimination against Jews for them rise economically and in society.
    What was given to and shared with one people for fairness sake can also be taken away from those people for fairness sake..and that is what these boycotts represent.
    That Israel and the zionist who always talk about how deprived and discriminated against the Jews were don’t grasp they came to be accepted and given opportunity originally, not thru jewish aggression and demands but, because of sympathy and sense of fairness from others is amazing in it’s stupidity.

    Reply

  45. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Caroll..Don Bacon…exactly…to end the Palestine-Israel conflict we need to enforce UN 242, 1967…I’ve suggested in another thread, that there should be a UN Observed Referendum on the 1967 borders being the official borders… Only the people, not the leaders, with their personal ambitions at play, can arrive at a solution that the public will ultimately accept because they made it.

    Reply

  46. Carroll says:

    I have to say this thread is even more Orwellian
    than usual due mostly to wiggie and nadine.
    Listen it doesn’t matter what ‘intellectuals’ think or say, or what jews or muslims say, or whether Hamas is moderate or not, or whether they want to impose their brand of Islam or about the jews delusions and security and holocaust excuses for land theft….what matters are the facts.
    The fact is Israel has violated all international laws in seizing Palestine land thru ‘war crimes and collective punishment.’
    THAT…is what this is about. It’s about the law and justice and enforcement of law and justice.
    And why the US has joined in these violations of the international laws it helped create.
    All the other nattering is irrelevant and just the nadine and wig cows chewing their cud of bad Islam and jewish victimhood to try and avoid
    the real point.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Meanwhile………
    Ramadan Goes Down Under Rubble
    September 4, 2010 at 13:47 |
    JOHR AL-DIK, Eastern Gaza Strip, Sep 4, 2010 (IPS) – With power cuts up to 16 hours to full days, a soaring heat wave and unbearable humidity, the Israeli-led siege on Gaza is but one of many factors leaving Ramadan miserable for the majority of Palestinians in Gaza.
    Abu Hani, 54, lives with his wife Umm Hani, 54, and three sons in Johr al-Dik, eastern Gaza, in the rubble of their demolished home, destroyed in the 2008- 2009 Israeli war on Gaza.
    “When we returned after the war, everything was destroyed. We have five dunams of land (one dunam is 1,000 square metres), on which we had olive and fruit trees, chickens, sheep and some pigeons,” recalls Abu Hani.
    “My children and grandchildren all lived together in our two-storey house. When the Israelis destroyed it, they left nothing standing. Everything was torn up. There was nothing to distinguish our house and land from our neighbours’ land.”
    In the last war on Gaza, more than 6,400 homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the Israeli army. In Johr al-Dik alone roughly 140 houses were demolished. Using bits of rubble and broken asbestos, the family created a small room from the rubble.
    But the problems extend beyond targeted demolitions a year and a half ago.
    “We live just a few hundred metres from the Green Line border between Gaza and Israel. Israeli military vehicles are always at the border, as well as the remotely-controlled machine gun tower. The Israelis randomly open fire on us.”
    From January to August alone, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reports 37 Palestinians have been killed and 93 injured in Israeli attacks in Gaza’s border regions.
    “Two days ago, they bombed open land nearby,” Abu Hani adds.
    Save the Children reports that, since ten years ago, 70 percent of households in border regions have been either temporarily or permanently displaced by Israeli attacks or demolitions.
    Umm Hani longs for her house again. “We salvaged a few pans and some plates from our wrecked house. But even those aren’t enough for all the mouths to feed.”
    The family is living a barebones existence.
    “Every day I collect wood from our destroyed trees in order to make a fire. But we have very little to cook. I wish we had milk and yogurt for our grandchildren, but it’s expensive and we have no income whatsoever.”
    Aside from the children’s health, she has other worries. “There’s no place here away from danger. Our children play outside and the Israelis are always shooting.”
    In the intense heat, the Strip-wide sanitation problems add another element of misery. “We have so many mosquitoes and flies, and no escape from them,” she says.
    While the family have grown accustomed to their impossible existence, the month of Ramadan reminds them of their poverty.
    “During Ramadan, people need to buy certain foods and juices to break our fasts with, like dates and yogurt. But we can’t afford these.” A kilo of potatoes costs 10 shekels (2.5 dollars). The cheapest dates cost 15 shekels a kilo. Yogurt runs 10 shekels a kilo and chicken 15 shekels a kilo.
    Abu Hani recalls the harvest his land used to bring in. “This was an olive tree,” he says, holding a mangled stump. “The Israelis bulldozed all of them. We used to eat olives from these trees and press olives into oil. We could eat off of the land, without going to the market. Today, we don’t have anything and I can’t afford to go to the market.”
    Aside from food, during Ramadan people buy clothing and toys for their children, as well as decorative lamps. “Of course we can’t buy those either,” says Abu Hani.
    Desperate as the family’s situation is, a staggering 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza likewise live below the poverty line, and unemployment hovers at 65 percent. The average income per day per person is two dollars.
    The United Nations (UN) reports that as unemployment and poverty rates increase, so does the price of many food items, including locally grown produce.
    But Abu Hani is quick to point out that for his family, the siege is not the root problem.
    “Even if the siege stopped and there was more meat and fruit in the markets, I still couldn’t buy it. I have no work. And it’s not just me, it’s all the workers like me who have been cut off from their employment.”
    Like Abu Hani, tens of thousands from Gaza were employed in Israel. “When the borders closed, we were cut off from our work. I began farming our land. We made a little money from our olives, sheep and pigeons. But now we have no means, and none of my sons have work.”
    Funds from foundations in neighbouring Arab countries have trickled into Gaza for the month of Ramadan to provide food for Gaza’s poorest, as well as to rebuild 1,250 of the destroyed houses.
    Umm Hani says they have not seen any aid since their house was demolished.
    “No one sees what happens to us in the border regions or understands the danger we face or the problems we endure. No groups working to help children come here because it’s so close to the border,” she says.
    At the moment, they are more distressed about not being able to help others. Giving to the poor is one of the most important concepts during Ramadan.
    “In past years, we used to give poorer families olives, olive oil, and dates from our trees,” Abu Hani says. “But now I’ve got nothing: no trees, no olives, no oil….we can barely take care of ourselves.”
    For Umm Hani, Ramadan brings little joy. “All my sons and daughters and their children used to gather in our house during Ramadan. But now, there is no place for them here.
    “And this is what the Israelis want: for us to leave this area. But we are steadfast and will stay on our land, this Ramadan and those to come.”
    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/ramadan-goes-down-under-rubble/

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And whats with that photograph???? Is that Hillary? Gads, it looks like she just sat on a vibrating replica of the Statue of Liberty.

    Reply

  49. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    jd…thanks for the clarification…having your hands on-first hand experience makes your position more valid…
    nadine..wigwag…are you American, Israeli or both?
    nadine…you ask why Hamas should have a seat a the table…because they are who Palestinians want at the table speaking for them….are Palestinians required to vote for someone Israel and the US would prefer?

    Reply

  50. Carroll says:

    Posted by jdledell, Sep 05 2010, 7:56AM – Link
    Even if ALL the arab countries went to war with Israel at the same time, Israel would not even need all 6 days to defeat them. So lets put that canard off to the side.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    O.K. jdledell….now you veering off into the delusional yourself… you need to back up and not encourage this kind of fantasy.
    Israel knows it can’t even strike Iran successfully..hence the push to get the US to do it for them.
    Even during it’s short attack on Lebanon it had to have extra fuel and supplies shipped to them by the US. Their Gaza Cast Iron war was immediately after we shipped them jet fuel from a US refinery in Texas. We do this every year.
    The latest, just two months ago in July…2 billion worth of jet fuel.
    How on earth do you think Israel could defeat all the Arab countries or even a good number of them joined together…alone..without the US doing most of the heavy lifting in a Israeli war?
    The fact is it couldn’t. It couldn’t even keep planes in the air. It doesn’t have the resources and it’s military doesn’t have the training to fight a conventional war, which is what it would be unless Israel resorted to nuking the ME. And that’s not just my common sense observation, it’s the opinion of the US War College studies, the US military command and all intelligence services.
    This kind of fanasty thinking is where even half way reasonable Jews because of their emotional identification with Israel part from reality and
    go off the rails.
    The Israel government and zionist don’t spend 99% of their time propagandizing in the US for support of Israel and twisting arms in the US congress for no reason.
    If a US president so much as ‘whispered’ in someone’s ear that the US no longer supported Israel…it would be the whisper heard round the world and Israel’s only option for survival in that case would be shrinking back behind their own wall and trying to avoid any conflict.
    I wouldn’t be encouraging the zio nutcases already drunk on hubris to think Israel had a snowballs chance in hell of defeating a combined Arab war against them on their own.

    Reply

  51. Sand says:

    JohnH: “…Meanwhile, the West is belatedly beginning to realize that it can’t get at natural resources simply by conquest and occupation of countries like Iraq and Iran. Instead, it must do deals based on mutual self interest.** The problem for Israel is that it creates friction in the deal making mechanism,** because of the antipathy it has generated in the Muslim world and the West’s complicity with Israeli behavior.
    I think that Israel fully realizes that it represents a strategic burden to the West. But instead of exercising strategic restraint and trying to accommodate itself to its neighbors, **Israel grows ever more reckless,** threatening to bomb Lebanon, Gaza, and even Iran to drag the US into yet another pointless, futile war against a Muslim nation. Here they are cheered on by the lemmings here who robotic-ally agree with the Israeli government in whatever brutality or lunacy they choose to engage in…”
    I agree…
    …with Israel, not Iran looking (intentionally?) more and more ‘suicidal’ — It’s Israel that the West should be dealing with ‘1st’ — and that includes the matter of Israel’s nukes.
    + [I know it’s been brought up before — but I do believe Europe is getting rather jittery over the US not dealing with what is becoming an out-of-control Israel. Europe is in a recession too — so it’s obvious it wants wants to expand it’s economic trade in the ME not be hampered by sanctions, and esp. not be blatantly out-maneuvered by the Chinese and Russians, and hell even by the Indians]. Sanctions can only last so long this time.
    Cockburn/Blankfort:

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    Agree, it’s a good post. And particularly the first part, having to do with the WWII guilt, patiently and carefully nurtured both by Israel and it’s willing and enthusiastic mouthpieces, albeit actual institutional component, AIPAC. I’ve struggled with expressing the ramifications of this commoditized (sic)guilt for a long time, including over the past ten years on the net.
    A difficult matter since there are roots in truth and one does not trivialize genocide even if it’s only one genocide among many in history. For the Israeli Zionists, of course, it is a guilt that can and has been commoditized by a well position and extremely intelligent and arrogant cadre.
    But time has begun to work it’s inevitable effect of eroding the sting of even the most dramatic events (witness the scandal and shame of the US in Iraq). And the emerging generations do not have the first and memory of the Holocaust. And even AIPAC seemingly limitless reach in time will wear thin as American politicians grow tired of being fearful of it’s electoral punishment. At least if we want to reclaim that aspect of our democracy one had best hope for such an eventuality.
    The impulse for eternal punishment has been subdued over time the most harsh faction, nation, civilization. It cannot be otherwise with Israel. Hopefully sooner than later for all concerned.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    Good post, John.

    Reply

  54. JohnH says:

    The problem with Wigwag and Nadine’s position is that it offers Israel no hope and no solution–nada. All that can result from their paranoia about Muslims (and just about everyone else) is a continuation of apartheid, mass expulsion of Palestinians, or killing them all off. None of these will make Israel any safer, because global public opinion will not condone any of them, and Israel will be stigmatized for generations, as it is today in much of the world for their ethnic cleansing and apartheid. And, as the sore festers, the stigmatization will only grow worse.
    Israeli leaders have carefully nurtured the paranoia, taking full advantage of the Holocaust and marketing it to promote paranoia among Jews, sympathy and guilt in the West, and general disgust among those affected by the Israeli behaviors it enabled and among those informed about its affects.
    In the midst of all of this, Wigwag and Nadine bring nothing to the table but blame for Muslims They lend their voices to the choir of many in their tribe, trying to stigmatize the quarter of the world’s people who happen to be Muslim, a project that has zero possibility of long term success.
    So far they have been amazingly successful, much of it dumb luck. Initially, Nixon chose to make Israel an “ally,” to counter Soviet influence in the region.
    The Soviet union gone, the industrialized world began to recognize its dependency of foreign natural resources, many of which are buried underground in the Muslim world. And so Israel was able to conflate its battle with Palestinians into a broader war to control resources in Muslim lands.
    But time is running out. Ever more lethal and accurate rockets on Israel’s borders threaten Israel with substantial damage in the next war. And the militaristic culture engaged in a constant battle against Amalek has begun to erode Israel’s democracy and liberal institutions, eventually exacerbating the exodus of the best and brightest parts of society.
    Meanwhile, the West is belatedly beginning to realize that it can’t get at natural resources simply by conquest and occupation of countries like Iraq and Iran. Instead, it must do deals based on mutual self interest. The problem for Israel is that it creates friction in the deal making mechanism, because of the antipathy it has generated in the Muslim world and the West’s complicity with Israeli behavior.
    I think that Israel fully realizes that it represents a strategic burden to the West. But instead of exercising strategic restraint and trying to accommodate itself to its neighbors, Israel grows ever more reckless, threatening to bomb Lebanon, Gaza, and even Iran to drag the US into yet another pointless, futile war against a Muslim nation. Here they are cheered on by the lemmings here who robotic-ally agree with the Israeli government in whatever brutality or lunacy they choose to engage in.
    The result of such a war, instead of being positive, will more likely be catastrophic. And those who formed the chorus for more war will likely pay the price in terms their own social stigmatization.
    And so, Wigwag and Nadine, enjoy your moment as kings of the hill. It won’t last long. And when it ends, you will once again see how it feels to be on the other person’s position. Sad that you can’t encourage Israel to deal with its neighbors and Palestinians residents as magnanimous victors and establish institutions that guarantee the rights of all. It’s the only long term solution, one that your paranoia prevents you from entertaining.

    Reply

  55. rc says:

    …and this …

    “Chomsky: Obama’s Imperialist Policies”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiwAFIgGCkQ

    Reply

  56. rc says:

    While this side show goes on for distraction try some recent intelligent analysis by Chomsky

    “Noam Chomsky’s recorded address to the United National Peace Conference, 7/24/2010”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcIVNzcMucU

    Reply

  57. DonS says:

    JDledell, I’m tempted to quibble with your characterization of wigwag and nadine as ‘hysterical’ since I smell something more sinister behind both their intent and presentation. But overall I think you’ve nailed them quite well.
    BTW, we also enjoy seeking out old Jewish quarters though we haven’t been to the mideast yet. But those in eastern Europe are fascinating; Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Vienna, Paris . . . in a moving and poignant way of course. I hope I can say that without cuing the clowns.
    OT: second phase of Rachael Corrie trial begins:
    http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/69289

    Reply

  58. jdledell says:

    Nadine and wigwag – The two of you are getting hysterical. My west bank relatives don’t want to nuke arab capitals and neither do the many Palestinians I know want to nuke Tel Aviv. You have blown the anger and threats of Hamas, Hezballah and Iran into these huge scary boogymen that at any moment are going to wipe out Israel.
    Israel can take care of itself – it is the strongest military power in the mideast and can defend itself against any and all of it’s enemies. It faces NO conventional existential threats. Even if ALL the arab countries went to war with Israel at the same time, Israel would not even need all 6 days to defeat them. So lets put that canard off to the side.
    A jewish state in Israel faces two existential threats. The first is nuclear weapons in the mideast. This is a very real threat but I believe can be handled diplomatically (a subject to complex to be handled in this limited space) The other threat comes from a continued occupation. The world will not allow Israel to hold millions of people stateless indefinitely. Until the situation is resolved the low grade warfare will continue to grind away at Israel’s world standing.
    The Palestinians are a people and were prior to the 67 war. I met and talked with Palestinians in the 50’s and 60’s and there was a definite identification. They did not like Jordanian control of the west bank anymore than they liked Israel’s control. The Palestinians national identification arose during the British mandate and it has continued to strengthen ever since, especially in the period after 1948 when Jews were subject to civilian rule and arabs were subject to military rule. This separation by Israel solidified their self identification as a distinct and separate people.
    I lived in Israel in the early 80’s and witnessed almost weekly peaceful demonstrations by Palestinians for some type of separation from Israel. They were totally ignored and laughed at. Israel was still feeling it’s oats after the 67 war. Ignoring Palestinian peaceful requests is what led to the first infitada in 1987.
    Would you please stop with the left loves thugs. It isn’t true, there are many millions of people who identify as liberals but I don’t know many people on the left who love Hamas, Hezballah, the Muslim Brotherhood etc. I know many people who are rational realists who recognize that thesee non-state actors have to be dealt with. As we are finding out in Iraq and Afganistan a strictly military approach is ineffective.
    So without letting our defenses down, we talk to these people and see if a MUTUALLY acceptable accomodation can be made. This is no different than the action we took in turning Iraq around. We went to the Sunni terrorists and with money and political promises we got them to change over to our side.
    Mistakes are made by both sides of the political spectrum. Remember in the 1930’s it was the right in the US that thought Hitler wasn’t so bad. It was the left that mistakenly thought the communists were not so bad. I’m also old enough to remember that it was Republicans who gave Jews the most grief about their proper status in the US. Why do you think most Jews identify with democrats – it’s because we REMEMBER.
    Please stop with the demonization of arabs. It is not true and if you ever visited some of these countries you would realize these are real and almost exclusively decent human beings. I travel on my American passport and in my past have visited Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Egypt etc. Primarily because of my interest in Jewish history, I seek out the current and old Jewish quarters. I do not hide my Jewishness yet I have always been treated warmly and respectfully by the arabs I meet.
    The mideast problems are not black and white. It is not Jews good – arabs bad. It’s not the right is right and the left is wrong. Both of you with your bluster and anger will do nothing to help the situation. In fact, it is my opinion that the way the two of you express your support for Israel does more to hurt their cause than help. When people read your diatribes, all they can see is the anger and hatred that drips from every word. It is no different than reading the arab press or the talkbacks of JPost. It is this equivelency that is very dangerous to Israel’s long term survival.
    Since I will be leaving tomorrow for Israel let me say now: L’shanah tovah tikatevi v’taihatemi

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I never gave Jewishness much thought until this piece of shit Nadine started posting here. I’ve never actually met a Jew as despicable as she is. If she’s the new model, fuck ’em, they won’t last long.
    And whats up with Wiggie letting it slip that she’s actually a man???? Why the hell would someone post on a forum like this and totally misrepresent themself to the other participants??? Carroll is right, these two wackjobs are REALLY sick puppies. Is Netanyahu this despicably deviant? If so, the Israelis, and the Palestinians, are in for a tough go of it. And so are we. These “talks” are kinda like hosting a block party when Charley Manson is your next door neighbor.
    And anyone that has posted here for any length of time knows that the most despicable of the ad hominem has always been from those most staunchly defending Zionism. Crude and vulgar sexual insinuations, attacks on commenter’s family, such as the witch (can I still call HIM that???) Wig-wag launched against Nina (a Jew, btw). There is no degree of lowness these scumbags will not employ in order to counter criticism of Israel and the Zionist radicals.
    Truth is, Nadine has pretty much ruined the comment section. (As she intends). No one buys her horseshit, yet there is vast steaming amounts of it heaped here on a daily basis. And Wiggie, through a careless slip has revealed herself, (himself??), as nothing more than a fuckin’ posturing fraud whose very personna is nothing more than just another bit of zionist propaganda.
    Where are the Jews, other than that Jdiddle character, telling them to put a cork in it??? Is he the only Jewish reader that is offended by these two insane and despicable jackasses presuming to speak for the Jews?

    Reply

  60. Carroll says:

    Posted by nadine, Sep 04 2010, 5:56PM – Link
    Carroll, have you hated Jews all your life? When you were a little girl, did your family whisper to you about Hitler having the right idea?
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Well actually my family never talked about Jews one way or another, although they did fight in WWII against Germany.
    What did yours do?
    One doesn’t have to hate Jews to hate the kind of people that you represent.
    People will always hate your kind of mentality and that’s a good thing….it means you will always lose in the end just like the nazi supremist did.
    Since you are such a student of history or pretend to be, you should know that this is inevitable.

    Reply

  61. nadine says:

    Wigwag, I also saw the “Berman’s attack is unbalanced because it’s longer than Buruma’s article” nonsense. It wasn’t even the first major non-sequitur on the first page of Ruthven’s review.
    The first bit of nonsense I tripped over was this
    “The Brotherhood proved fertile soil for the Nazi bacillus. As a result of Hajj Amin

    Reply

  62. There's Something About Marry ... says:

    Just needs a huge cow lick, some gooo and a few miles off the clock … and there you have it in a 1,000 words — http://www.dvdideas.com/2007/04/
    URL link to Cameron Diaz playing Marry Jensen playing Hillary Clinton and Matt Dillon playing Healy parodying Abbas the Palestinian.
    Monica

    Reply

  63. WigWag says:

    “Malise Ruthven has a different take on the Ramadan affaire in a long, but interesting essay in the New York Review of Books.” (Paul Norheim)
    I had read the Ruthven book review, Paul. I am a regular reader of the New York Review of Books; while their politics are asinine, unfortunately, it is the only place to go for intelligent reviews, especially for biography, history and fiction. Now that the New York Times Book Review section has become worthless and the London Review of Books moronic, poor souls like me simply have nowhere else to go to learn about books.
    I’ve read both Berman’s book (The Flight of the Intellectuals) and Hirsi Ali’s book (Nomad: From Islam to America) so I feel perfectly comfortable commenting on Ruthven’s book review. It’s hard to overstate how tendentious it is; Ruthven is little more than an intellectual fop.
    I could go on chapter and verse, but let me give just two examples.
    Unbelievably, one of the criticisms Ruthven makes of Berman is the fact that Berman’s book is longer than Buruma’s article. Ruthven says,
    “This attack is oddly unbalanced, since the space Berman allows himself vastly exceeds the Times

    Reply

  64. Paul Norheim says:

    How on earth does anything of this justify a statement like
    “The left loves the Muslim Brotherhood”?
    The extreme left has been in bed with extremely problematic
    figures from Stalin to Mao and Pol Pot. I have no issue with
    that. But saying that the left likes the Muslim Brotherhood,
    based on the fact that two critics happen to express
    sympathy for Ramadan is simply incorrect. False. A lie.
    Bullshit.

    Reply

  65. JohnH says:

    “The mere fact that Steve wants to legitimize Hamas in the West is all the evidence we need that he thinks they’re not so bad.”
    Or maybe Steve thinks that you can only make peace with your enemies, not your friends.
    Sixty years of failed Israeli strategy–denying the existence of the Palestinians, then ignoring them–has not made them magically disappear or brought peace.
    Why do Wigwag and Nadine want to wait until some Palestinian appears who will give Israel everything? Why do they think such a Palestinian would have any legitimacy with either the Palestinian population or the Arab world in general?
    Waiting for that mythical Palestinian to appear is just delusional thinking–or a desire to avoid a serious peace process in favor delusional thinking that Palestinians will magically disappear someday.

    Reply

  66. Paul Norheim says:

    Malise Ruthven has a different take on the Ramadan affaire in
    a long, but interesting essay in the New York Review of
    Books:
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/aug/19/righteo
    us-wrong/

    Reply

  67. nadine says:

    Wigwag, Can you imagine Paul saying so dismissively, “Ramadan doesn’t distance himself from his grandfather” if his grandfather had been, say, Adolf Hitler?
    But Hassan al Banna is no problem. (Actually in real life, Hassan al Banna was an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler, just like his friend Haj Amin al Husseini, The Mufti of Jerusalem). Despite Hassan al Banna’s penchant for violence and insistence on the strictest adherence to the most violent and oppressive aspects of Sharia.
    Today’s intellectual leftist elite remind me of a woman who has begun to sell her body but denies to herself that she is a whore. She keeps insisting all her Johns tell her they love her. In order to comply, the Johns hire from among themselves the smoothest talker they can find, who introduces each new client to the women with an explanation of how ardently the client would tell he he loves her, if only he wasn’t too shy to speak.
    Such a smooth talker is Tarik Ramadan, and the Johns he is introducing are the whole Muslim Brotherhood crowd of illiberal Muslim totalitarian theocrats, who oppose every progressive principle in existence.
    Since the smooth talker allows the woman to keep up all her pretenses to herself, naturally she values him most highly and thinks very well of him.

    Reply

  68. WigWag says:

    “Ramadan doesn’t distance himself from his grandfather. Garton-Ash and Buruma have expressed sympathy for Ramadan’s role as a bridge between Muslims and the West. Ergo: The left is in love with the Muslim Brotherhood!” (Paul Norheim)
    It’s far more than Ramadan’s refusal to distance himself from his grandfather. It’s his hatred for women’s rights, his support of capital punishment for adultery, his abhorence of homosexuality, his desire for the restoration of the caliphate, his belief that when the caliphate is restored that Christians and Jews should be relegated to an inferior status; I could go on and on.
    If these views were espoused by, lets say, a conservative Christian, Buruma, Garton-Ash and their ilk would heap scorn on them. But how do they react when these views are expressed by the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood? They write flattering articles and help the man find a job at a prestigious university.
    What else about the integrity of the pretend-left do we need to know?

    Reply

  69. Paul Norheim says:

    My suspicion is confirmed, Wig; you assumed too much based
    on too little:
    Ramadan doesn’t distance himself from his grandfather.
    Garton-Ash and Buruma have expressed sympathy for
    Ramadan’s role as a bridge between Muslims and the West.
    Ergo: The left is in love with the Muslim Brotherhood!

    Reply

  70. nadine says:

    “Arguing that groups like Sinn Feinn or Hamas
    should have a seat at the table does not automatically imply
    that you agree with their ideology or condone the actions of
    IRA or Hamas. ” (Paul Norheim)
    Going out of your way to give rewards to an organization may not automatically mean you condone their behavior, but it sure implies it in a big way. Particular if you do so on the same day or week that organization has just proudly, with public celebrations, claimed the credit for killing 5 more (innocent civilian) Jews in cold blood.
    There ought to be a price for an extremist group to pay before it gets the reward of being christened moderate. At the very least, it ought to promise to stop murdering civilians instead of celebrating it as a great victory. George Mitchell explains why Hamas is not like Sinn Fein:
    “The U.S. scoffs at references to the peace process in Northern Ireland, but how all the parties were brought to the negotiating table there remains relevant to the Mideast process.

    Reply

  71. WigWag says:

    “A couple of intellectuals – Garton-Ash and Buruma – have expressed some reservations regarding Hirsi Ali’s position. Are your claims based on anything more than that, WigWag?” (Paul Norheim)
    It’s not just their reservations about Hirsi Ali; it’s their fascination with Ramadan. As I suspect you know perfectly well, Paul, Ian Buruma has written about Ramadan in a flattering fashion. I’m quite sure that you’ve already read this article but for those who haven’t here’s a link,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/magazine/04ramadan.t.html
    It has also been widely reported that after Ramadan was denied his visa by the Bush Administration and thus unable to take up the position offered to him by Notre Dame that Garton-Ash helped him secure his position at Oxford.
    Garton-Ash and Buruma are two of the biggest cheerleaders for Ramadan and they are both well know leftist intellectuals. Ramadan’s hatred of women, his support for making the veil mandatory (for Muslim women), his refusal to rule out stoning as a form of capital punishment and his support for the violence as a legitimate response gto the publication of the Danish cartoons didn’t bother Garton-Ash or Buruma enough to prevent them from championing his cause.
    As for Clemons and his fellow travelers, Steve must thing Hamas is relatively moderate or he wouldn’t have spent the past several months supporting a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah nor would he be advocating a role for them in the peace process. Steve wouldn’t advocate including Al Qaeda in the peace process would he? Nor would he be so anxious to reach out to them. No one doubts that Hamas is not quite Al Qaeda, but like their brethren in the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is far from moderate. The mere fact that Steve wants to legitimize Hamas in the West is all the evidence we need that he thinks they’re not so bad.
    Others like Mark Lynch (who sees eye to eye with Steve on alot of things) has actually been more up front than Steve. He’s specifically alluded to the moderate nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and suggested that the West should be more inclined to engage the Muslim Brotherhood than to worry unduly about the warnings from Hirsi Ali.
    Here’s Lynch’s article if you haven’t seen it yet.
    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/66468/marc-lynch/veiled-truths

    Reply

  72. Paul Norheim says:

    The left loves The Muslim Brotherhood.
    The left thinks that God does not exist.
    Steve Clemons thinks that Hamas is moderate.
    If such empty claims are a sign of the thinking on the right
    today, there can be no doubt who is intellectually bankrupt.
    Only hebraic allowed in the direct talks? That’s pretty
    extreme, even for you, Nadine.

    Reply

  73. Paul Norheim says:

    Pure fantasies. Arguing that groups like Sinn Feinn or Hamas
    should have a seat at the table does not automatically imply
    that you agree with their ideology or condone the actions of
    IRA or Hamas.

    Reply

  74. nadine says:

    “Does Clemons and “his fellow travellers” regard Hamas as
    “moderate”? Can you document that?”
    How many times has Steve Clemons posted TWN entries that said “we must engage with Hamas. We must treat them with dignity as a full partner to the talks. They must have a seat at the table. We can’t negotiate without them.” I can think of a dozen such entries just in the last few months, from Clemons and others.
    Do you negotiate with extremists whose demands are non-negotiable and whose behavior has put them beyond the pale, or with moderates? Do you sit down at the table with Osama bin Laden?
    Steve’s many posts speak to one of two beliefs: a) either that Hamas is already moderate, or b) Hamas will become moderate as soon as it is properly engaged; is only extreme now because they haven’t been treated with proper respect and courtesy. Maybe there is a third option: c) Steve understands that Hamas is extreme and will remain extreme, but he doesn’t care. He thinks Hamas is on the winning side, and he wants to go with the winners.
    The one thing all three viewpoints have in common is a disbelief in the existence or seriousness of Hamas’ commitment to its own religious ideology.
    As I said to Wigwag, it’s either intellectually or morally bankrupt; take your pick.

    Reply

  75. JohnH says:

    Nadine, “nobody with a mental age over eight thinks that” your arguments are persuasive. That is why I cut and past from them. They are “nothing but a testimonial to petty-minded idiocy and ignorance of the one who tries [makes such baseless assertions.] If you enjoy looking like stupid ten year old, by all means keep it up.”
    Sorry you don’t appreciate my mockery.
    But neither do you appreciate that the imaginary outrages that you rant about coincide with the ones that your side commits. Which is why your ravings about the intentions of the Palestinian side fall into the category of paranoid projections.

    Reply

  76. Paul Norheim says:

    Yeah, hurrah for empty words!
    Who says that Hamas is moderate?
    And why, Nadine, do you insist that the Palestinians should
    be represented by the Vatican and the generals in Myanmar?

    Reply

  77. nadine says:

    Excellent, Wigwag
    “All of this is a sign of how intellectually and morally bankrupt the left has become.”
    It’s really intellectually OR morally bankrupt if you think about it. If you believe this nonsense about Hamas being moderate, then you are intellectually bankrupt. But if (like Mark Perry) you explain that calling Hamas ‘moderate’ is just the cover story you need to engage them, then you are morally bankrupt.
    People like Mark Perry (Chuck Hagel is also of this camp) may think they are hurting Israel. But the people they have really targeted for destruction are those Muslims who want to reform the Muslim world and bring the concept of human rights into it. People like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ali Salem, the Egyptian playwright.

    Reply

  78. Paul Norheim says:

    Or are you perhaps just reading Hitchens’ autobiography and
    got carried away a little bit?

    Reply

  79. Paul Norheim says:

    A couple of intellectuals – Garton-Ash and Buruma – have
    expressed some reservations regarding Hirsi Ali’s position.
    Are your claims based on anything more than that, WigWag?
    Does Clemons and “his fellow travellers” regard Hamas as
    “moderate”? Can you document that?
    And the love affair between the left and the Muslim
    Brotherhood?
    We know you are angry, WigWag, but I see nothing more
    than empty and undocumented claims and distortions of your
    opponents’ positions here.

    Reply

  80. WigWag says:

    “Before you start yelling Hamas, Hamas, Gaza, Gaza, my position is the withdrawal from Gaza was not a good test of their ultimate intentions.” (jdledell)
    Yes, we know jdledell, you are making this assertion as a Jew who has special insight because your crazy settler relatives hate Hamas so Hamas must not be so bad after all.
    Your position about Hamas is ignorant for many reasons but to be fair to you, it isn’t any more ignorant than the position advocated by many others, including the proprietor of this blog and numerous members of the leftist intelligentsia who have an increasingly difficult time distinguishing what is radical from what is moderate. Even more disturbingly, they have an increasingly difficult time distinguishing right from wrong.
    To Steve Clemons and his fellow travelers, Hamas exemplifies moderate Islam; they reserve the term “extremist” for Al Qaeda and similar organizations that like to fly airplanes into buildings. In their minds, merely shooting pregnant women in the stomach or bombing pizzerias earns you the gentler moniker of

    Reply

  81. samuelburke says:

    check out this months time magazine…the tide has turned and is
    coming in.
    this article over at mondoweiss is also good to see.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/report-finds-us-policy-toward-
    israelpalestine-contradicts-american-values.html

    Reply

  82. nadine says:

    The point for those not blinded by guilt (jd) or hatred (Carroll and Neo) is that you may be able to solve a territorial dispute with territorial concessions, but you can never solve an existential dispute with territorial concessions.

    Reply

  83. Neo Controll says:

    ” . . . or do they just think that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jews?”
    This is a nadine fall back position? The illegal settlers aren’t so bad because they just want to illegally control everything they can grab. Hey, they don’t want to roast the Arabs. Only they do, and did. Not so many months ago . White phosphorus.
    I mean, JD, what kind of a Jew are you anyway. Wink wink. It’s all in the family eh? It’s not like we want to nuke’em all now, is it? We just want to kill them, steal their land, degrade them. But not nuke them. What a mensch.

    Reply

  84. Neo Controll says:

    Zio-neo nadine never sleeps. Not in her AIPAC contract. Always attacking, grabbing the byline Always changing the subject. Always offering red meet for the weak minded exceptionalists.
    — NCHQ

    Reply

  85. nadine says:

    “A senior Iranian cleric, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, dismissed the Nazi Holocaust of Jews during World War II as a new “superstition” for the West, media reported on Saturday.
    “The Holocaust is nothing but superstition, but Zionists say that people of the world should be forced to accept this,” he was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.
    “Americans and Westerners are affected by newly appeared superstitions such as the Holocaust,” he said according to ISNA news agency.
    “The truth about the Holocaust is not clear, and when the researchers want to examine whether it is true or the Jews have created it to pose as victims, they jail the researchers,” said Makarem Shirazi, who is a “marja,” or among the highest authorities in Shiite Islam. ”
    Carroll ideological soulmate, obviously.
    Listen, jd, tell me this, do your relatives in Kiryat Arba want to nuke Riyadh and Amman and Cairo and Damascus and Baghdad and genocide all the Arabs and destroy all Arab rule anywhere, or do they just think that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jews?
    Because this is at base, the fundamental difference between Arabs and the Jews. Arab rule anywhere does not offend the Jews. Jewish rule anywhere does offend the Arabs. The Palestinians are just a new nationality invented to press home the cause. You never heard ‘boo’ about Arab Palestine from any Arab before 1967, nor would one have been created if the Arabs had won the 1967 war.

    Reply

  86. jdledell says:

    Kathleen – I am a dual citizen currently retired and living in the US. I aquired my Israeli citizenship when I lived there in 1982-1983. I have 35 relatives living in West Bank settlements(my entire side of the family except me) and I’ve been going back and forth to Israel twice a year for the High Holidays. I had my bar mitzvah in Haifa in 1956, courtesy of my Irgun grandfather.
    I leave Monday to celebrate Rosh Hashanah in Israel. In fact this year, all the relatives are gathering in Kiryat Arba with my niece and her family. The community wants to show solidarity to the 4 settlers from nearby Beit Hagai killed by Hamas. My niece was friends with Kochava Even-Haim, one of the women killed.
    I have kind of a parental relationship with Israel. Just as I did with my own children, I applaud Israel when it does something right and scold it when I believe it is wrong. Just as with my own children, I have absolute standards for behavior – it doesn’t matter if Johnny across the street (or other arab countries) is not as bad, that neither let my kids or Israel off the hook.
    As you can probably tell, I am passionate about Israel but unlike Nadine and wigwag, I have been close enough to see the Israeli warts and have enough Palestinian friends and acquaintences to see their warts. Both sides have their good, bad and ugly.

    Reply

  87. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine’s tone has changed. A different handler? Different script? Shift change at the Mossad? Inquiring minds want to know. These Zio-neo propagandists need no sleep.
    — NCHQ

    Reply

  88. samuelburke says:

    thanks for the confirmation.

    Reply

  89. nadine says:

    Carroll, have you hated Jews all your life? When you were a little girl, did your family whisper to you about Hitler having the right idea?

    Reply

  90. nadine says:

    “When the Palestinians see a JUST peace agreement on the table, I believe they will accept it and build a decent democracy and society. Taba was close but Barak pulled it. None of the other offers, Camp David or Olmert was worth accepting from everything I know about it. ” (jdledell)
    Okay, jd, one more time. If the Palestinians want this “just” peace agreement that is “close” to Taba, why don’t they ever put their own version on the table? Then we could have it out there to talk about, black and white, no accusations of pulling this or not meaning that. In fact, if what you say is right, that Netanyahu would refuse such a “just” agreement out of hand, Abbas could count on that fact to make himself a hero of peace: put the Palestinian’s just demands on the table, and watch the US join the Quartet in putting the screws to Netanyahu to make him say yes. Abbas could write his own ticket!
    C’mon, why doesn’t Abbas do it? For extra credit: why will it never happen?
    The Palestinians of your imagination, who are longing for a “just” agreement, would behave very differently from the real ones. Now, I hope you’re right about what most Palestinians want, I really do, but in the current situation, it doesn’t really matter what most Palestinians want, does it? They can’t vote Hamas or Fatah out of office.

    Reply

  91. Carroll says:

    I see everyone has finally caught onto the real wig wag…..nadine has always been obvious.
    People like this are mentally and emotionally sick, it doesn’t even matter if they are Jews or not except in that they are representative of the Jews who have the most influence in the US-Isr scheme and I/P.
    But what is so amazing about the wigs and nadines is their complete stupidity.
    Consider the facts; every day more people around the world turn against Israel, every day more people ridicule the jewish victimhood claim and their holocaust because of the hypocritical way they use it, every day more people see the Jews through the “Jewish state”.
    Those like wig and their leaders think that a minority of 11 million jews in the world led by the zionist with their hubris and philosophy of revenge and protected by the declining US will somehow impose their will on the billions of other people in the world who oppose what they are doing. They think of this as their Victory” for themselves as jews because of their own personal sense of being the world’s ‘losers’.
    This is sheer delusion.
    The history of the jews reminds me of a light bulb going on and off, on and off, on and off.
    They attain something and then because their leaders use it wrongly,or becuase of natural conflict of competing powers, they lose it, over and over and over again.
    The zionist make what they call anti semitism, the jewish truism they created for themselves long ago, a self fulfilling prophecy. And when the light bulb goes off once again due to their actions they will again claim they are innocent victims and blame anti semitism instead of accepting responsibility for the actions that brought on their downfall.
    Even if Israel does destroys the Palestines it won’t be enough. Palestine is just the scapegoat for the hatred those like the uber zionist wigs and nadines have for the world at large that has always in their mind persecuted the Jews for no reason.
    The zionist never learn and eventually they will pick the wrong enemy. Their hubris and greed and desire for power will over reach even more and they will lose again.
    Yes, I am willing to put money on that prediction.
    Minority tyrannies always get taken down eventually.

    Reply

  92. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Hmmm…much food for thought..jd..I think it’s good too know that you are speaking as a Jew…not having ever been to the Middle East myself, it is really difficult to know/find the truth sometimes. Are you also currently an Israeli?
    This from a Palestinian Israeli…
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-tibi-mideast-talks-20100903,0,726670.story
    Pressing Netanyahu is the key to success in Mideast peace talks
    The Israeli leader is not entering the Mideast peace talks in good faith. If he can derail the talks, he will.
    By Ahmad Tibi
    September 3, 2010
    It is unfortunate that the direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that got underway this week are saddled with an Israeli prime minister who has made clear his unwillingness to reach an equitable two-state solution.
    Nine years ago, in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, Benjamin Netanyahu was secretly recorded voicing his opinions of the Oslo accords reached during negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in 1993. “They asked me before the election if I’d honor [the Oslo accords],” he said. “I said I would, but … I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the 1967 borders.” The result according to Netanyahu? “I de facto put an end to the Oslo accords.”
    This kind of talk is consistent with Netanyahu’s actions when he was last prime minister during the late 1990s. Challenged by then-President Clinton to make peace, Netanyahu instead upended the Oslo talks by exploiting every loophole he could find.
    The prime minister did not enter negotiations then, nor does he enter them now, in good faith. If he can derail the talks, he will. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton surely knows his history.
    I am not alone in being pessimistic. Most Palestinians are. Young people in particular have been betrayed. A whole generation of Palestinians has grown up watching as talks failed. They have seen deepening colonization rather than freedom.
    To succeed this time, the international community, and the U.S. most particularly, will have to press Netanyahu. Despite a good start to his presidency, Obama has spent the last few months complying with the demands of right-wing Israelis. His recent rhetoric and actions indicate he lacks the intestinal fortitude to stand up to Netanyahu. And, were he to unexpectedly challenge the prime minister on settlements, as he did early in his administration, he would be excoriated by members of the U.S. Congress who tolerate little opposition to Israeli policy.
    The direct talks are likely to falter quickly. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has already written to Obama that a resumption of settlement activity by the Israelis will doom these negotiations. Abbas was very clear: “If Israel resumes settlement activities in the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, we cannot continue negotiations.”
    Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s right flank continues to assert its determination to get back to colonizing the West Bank. A minimal moratorium on new settlement construction is set to end later this month, and National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau has declared his support for new construction. “Everyone will build as he wants to and needs to,” he said in a radio interview.
    Unless Netanyahu bucks his base and extends the moratorium, direct talks are likely to be abruptly stopped.
    Assuming talks fail, Netanyahu will undoubtedly pin the blame on stubborn Palestinian negotiators, Palestinian rhetoric or violent Palestinian resistance to decades of subjugation. In the short run, he and his expansionist outlook will prevail.
    But what comes tomorrow, when the West Bank and East Jerusalem are so filled with entrenched settlements that no Israeli leader will dare to pull settlers out from their illegally established strongholds? Then Israel will rue the day it did not seize the opportunity to negotiate a two-state solution that was honorable and just for Palestinians and Israelis alike. This possibility will not be there forever.
    For successful negotiations, Israeli leaders must move away from “divide and conquer” strategies and treat Palestinians, both in Israel and the territories, as equals.
    Negotiations that split the West Bank from East Jerusalem will fail. So too will negotiations that divide the West Bank from the Gaza Strip. Finally, no Palestinian negotiator I know of will bow before the Israeli demand

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  93. jdledell says:

    Nadine – You’re the one projecting your dreams onto Israel. Pristine purity is all you can see. When the Palestinians see a JUST peace agreement on the table, I believe they will accept it and build a decent democracy and society. Taba was close but Barak pulled it. None of the other offers, Camp David or Olmert was worth accepting from everything I know about it.
    Palestinian Christians are not leaving because of Palestinian arabs – It’s the Israeli occupation and hassle of daily living that drives them away. Go over there and talk to some REAL Palestinian Christians.
    I have no guilt over my grandfather’s actions. He had some guilt but I did not. I have always felt he did what he had to do to establish a Jewish homeland in Israel, something I am STRONGLY in favor of. I have never been convinced there was a realistic alternative to achieving that goal except to fight for it.
    Your hatred of Palestinians and arabs is blinding you to the fact that the great, great majority of them are decent human beings. These people are NOT irredeamable as you seem to suggest. They are fighting for a homeland, same as the Jews did. Before you start yelling Hamas, Hamas, Gaza, Gaza, my position is the withdrawal from Gaza was not a good test of their ultimate intentions. They were still penned in a large open air prison. Rightly or wrongly they felt they needed to continue fighting not only for their release but also for the west bank.
    Revolutionary movements eventually die out as the need for governance takes priority. It will happen to Hamas in time.

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  94. nadine says:

    jd, you have the worst case of projection I have ever seen. Because you carry guilt for your Irgun grandfather and settler relatives, you really think the other side must be the just the same, to the point of tuning out everything they say and do.
    How do I know they are not like the Zionists? Because the Zionists wanted an independent democracy with a chain of command and got one, even to the point of fighting the Irgun. They were willing to make painful compromises (like no Jerusalem) to get their state. They didn’t want all the Arabs dead, they didn’t want an ethnically cleansed state for Jews only, they didn’t want a fascist autocracy, How do I know? Because they didn’t chose to make any of these things happen even though they had the power to.
    Now, look at how Fatah has run the West Bank and how Hamas runs Gaza. No democracy, except as a lame minstrel show for the donors. Autocracy with no real elections, no parties. No Jews anywhere they rule, and loud proclamations there never will be. Still louder proclaimaions that all Palestine is theirs and Jewish are European thieves with no connection to Palestine, none! A political culture where you advance by killing more Jews than the other guy. Christians as second class dhimmis who are fleeing in droves. No desire to have independence next to Israel if they have to give up their dream of all Palestine on a landfill of dead Jews.
    All you have to observe is what the Palestinians have done and listen to what they say. If they wanted independence next to Israel they could have had it anytime from 1979 on.
    Both Barry Rubin and Yaacov Lozowick are by temperament and history doves who advocated a two-state solution for thirty years. But unlike you, they saw that when it was offered, the Palestinians did everything to avoid it, refuse it, up their demands. Both men drew the obvious conclusion: the Palestinians only say they want a deal to sucker their supporters. They don’t want any part of a two state solution. They want their dream: dead Jews and all Palestine from the river to the sea. Concessions do nothing but encourage their irridentism.
    For both the Zionists and the Palestinians, their choices have shown their true priorities.

    Reply

  95. nadine says:

    JohnH, you are without doubt the biggest effing maroon on this whole board, and you have beaten out some tough competition for the award. Nobody with a mental age over eight thinks that random cut and paste is a persuasive argument; or is an argument at all; or is anything but a testimonial to petty-minded idiocy and ignorance of the one who tries it. If you enjoy looking like stupid ten year old, by all means keep it up. But I’m done reading you.

    Reply

  96. jdledell says:

    Nadine – Stop hyperbolizing. The culture of the Palestinians is no more blood thirsty than the Zionist Jews of the 1940’s. In both situations the people did what they thought they had to in order to acheive Independence. My grandfather was a terrorist – no different than Hamas. He deliberately blew up and shot innocent arabs. All the Irgun did. Can you get it thru your head that Jews, for their own cause, were no different than today’s Palestinians.
    I can’t believe you are so brainwashed that you still think Jews s#*t doesn’t stink as bad as Palestinian’s. We’re human and don’t belong on the pedestal you’ve tried to build.

    Reply

  97. JohnH says:

    Nadine’s too good to be true! Just substitute a couple words and you get the following, totally accurate statement:
    “[Nadine], you are the one who is not serious — not remotely serious. We are dealing with the case of a whole political culture that is criminal, that glorifies crime, that lauds murderers as its greatest heroes [eg. Sharon] and [total removal of Palestinians], and you dismiss it because they haven’t killed enough [Palestinians] for you yet. Not only do you dismiss it, you are adamant that murderers get [to keep] their own country, their own army, and the wherewithal to kill with impunity.
    The thousand dead and thousands maimed during the last [pogroms in Lebanon and Gaza] weren’t enough for you? How many kills does this hunting license have on it, that you are issuing [Likud and Kadima]? No where near 100 times? When [Likud] [uses] the hills around [Ramallah] for its shooting galleries? And of course you are deeply opposed to keeping [Israel non-nuclear], mustn’t humiliate the poor dears. The poor dears want to kill you, have you noticed?”
    Nadine’s projection of her desires onto Palestinians is truly astounding. But, of course, she could ever admit what her supremacist friends are actually doing, could she?

    Reply

  98. rc says:

    Who’s side …?
    Hmmm, let’s see … the side of simple truth perhaps?

    Reply

  99. nadine says:

    jd, you are the one who is not serious — not remotely serious. We are dealing with the case of a whole political culture that is criminal, that glorifies crime, that lauds murderers as its greatest heroes and genocide as its goal, and you dismiss it because they haven’t killed enough Israelis for you yet. Not only do you dismiss it, you are adamant that murderers get their own country, their own army, and the wherewithal to kill with impunity.
    The thousand dead and thousands maimed during the last intifada weren’t enough for you? How many kills does this hunting license have on it, that you are issuing Hamas and Fatah? No where near 100 times? When Hamas gets back the hills around Jerusalem for its shooting galleries? And of course you are deeply opposed to keeping Palestine demiliterized, mustn’t humiliate the poor dears. The poor dears want to kill you, have you noticed?
    Whose side are you on anyway?

    Reply

  100. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The two maggots here that cannot find anything wrong with Israeli behaviour have had NO COMMENT on the daily harrassment, violence, murders, and attrocities that the settlers inflict upon their Palestinian neighbors.
    Who benefits from these Israeli deaths?? Surely not the Palestinians. Yet just like clockwork, everytime the Isr/Pal goes to the forefront of media reporting, an incident occurs that casts the Palestinians as the spoilers. It is an indisputable fact that false flag attacks are a regular Israeli tactic. Therefore, we have no “truth” through which to assign blame to terrorist attacks committed against the settlers.
    However, despite the fact ANY murder is a horrendous act, one must look for an underlying driving factor behind the violence. Settlers are stealing Palestinian land. Their violence against the rightful owners of this land is designed for ONE PURPOSE ONLY, TO STEAL MORE LAND AND TO RID THE AREA OF PALESTINIANS.When viewed in such a context, the murder of Israeli settlers is EVERY BIT THE ACT OF DEFENSE THAT ISRAEL CLAIMS EVERYTIME IT COMMITS ACTS OF TERRORISM AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS. Are only the Israeli Jews allowed to defend themselves?

    Reply

  101. jdledell says:

    ” When innocent Israelis die, as they died the day before yesterday, what do you demand but that Israelis must make themselves 100 times more vulnerable to the murderers? This is your morality?”
    Nadine – Lets put this into some perspective. No society is completely immune to violence. This is true of Israel as well. For example, in 2009 there were 121 murders in Israel and 8 terror deaths. My question to you is why did not the Israel police stop those 121 deaths? You expect the Palestinians to stop 100% of their terror killings!
    So lets be serious here. Before, during and after a peace agreement there are going to be some murders. The goal is minimization not elimination. I abhor all violent deaths but I am at least realistic about it. Somehow, when a west bank or Gaza Palestinian murders an Israeli it is worse than when Israeli kills another Israeli.
    Yes, there is a chance the number of Israelis murdered in a year might go up but the risk is no where near 100 times. If you are so concerned about the murders of Israelis then there is a lot of work to be done in our own back yard before worrying about Palestinians.

    Reply

  102. rc says:

    I agree. Someone being Jewish makes no difference to me. But it does add credibility to your opinions on these themes. Noam Chomsky has a similar additional credibility, as does Goldstone and others prepared to buck the tribal system when it is producing flawed outcomes. 2,000 years ago there was a judgment that it was better that one man die than the (tribal) system fail: What has changed? Rock on sister …!

    Reply

  103. Paul Norheim says:

    Thanks jdledell,
    and remember: no one is “offended” here. I think it is
    especially important in the current climate that you speak
    with a loud voice “as a Jew”. In that sense, your voice is
    much more important than my rants from the “fjords of
    Norway”.
    What is threatening to these distant “pro Israel” partisans
    from Florida to Canada, is probably the fact that you’ve
    been there during the decades and observed the
    development on the ground – while the American Might-
    Makes-Right crowd at TWN – frivolously, or out of sheer
    paranoia – encourage a Clash of Civilizations with the
    same remote control device they get their entire
    information from.
    I’ve not yet seen one single militant Zionist voice at TWN in
    the last years referring to direct experiences from the
    actual region. The sources are all a mixture of Huntington,
    Lewis, travelogues, punditry, and newspapers. Your
    combination of direct experience and reading is rare here.

    Reply

  104. jdledell says:

    Paul – Your comparison of Afgan women to Palestinians was excellent. But we can bring that analogy even closer to home. There are millions of American women who live in abusive relationships. They live under the stress of physical and psychological domination of the man in their lives. Sometimes they snap and kill the man and sometimes the man kills them.
    But hey, why should we care they married the SOB and still live with him. Whatever happens to her, it’s her own damn fault. That in a nutshell is Israel’s attitude toward Palestinians.

    Reply

  105. jdledell says:

    Paul – Your comparison of Afgan women to Palestinians was excellent. But we can bring that analogy even closer to home. There are millions of American women who live in abusive relationships. They live under the stress of physical and psychological domination of the man in their lives. Sometimes they snap and kill the man and sometimes the man kills them.
    But hey, why should we care they married the SOB and still live with him. Whatever happens to her, it’s her own damn fault. That in a nutshell is Israel’s attitude toward Palestinians.

    Reply

  106. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok WigWag,
    what you’ve been saying for a long time here is that the
    Palestinians and their progressive supporters should
    accept that the Israelis (supported by the Americans) are
    stronger, and resign. The Palestinians are a bunch of
    losers.
    That’s not Progressive Realism

    Reply

  107. nadine says:

    “But they decided against it. They made the decision to try to defeat the Israelis with violence and terrorism and they failed.” (Wigwag)
    They are clinging to ideas more than ever. The recent Fatah convention confirmed that “armed resistance” to eliminate “the Zionist entity” is their goal.
    But it’s now considered the “realist” position to call you a hater if you notice such things.
    Notice that nobody answered my question why Abbas doesn’t put forth a plan he knows Netanyahu will turn down?

    Reply

  108. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Unbelievable. This thread substantiates every adjective and noun I have ever used to describe Wig-wag and Nadine. These two people are pure scum.

    Reply

  109. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Blablablah…I would be a wealthy man…blahblahblah….”
    Egads. Am I missing something?? Is that an accidental slip of honesty??? Uhm, didn’t Wig-wag profess to be an woman at one time?
    Oh well, she/he/it once claimed to be left wing as well.
    One ponders the motives behind so egregiously and disingenuously misrepresenting her/him/self.

    Reply

  110. JohnH says:

    “It never seems to occur to people like you that if the Israelis were really seething with the desire for vengeance they have long had the power to destroy the Palestinians, yet never did so.”
    Actually, Israelis were smarter than that. Hitler killed the unwanted. Israelis prolong the agony over generations, stealing land, water, dignity and then driving Palestinians into gigantic open air prison camps.
    But the problem for Israel is: what to do now? There are still all these Palestinians, who simply refuse to simply “commit suicide” as Wigwag wishes. In fact, Palestinians now represent the majority of historical Palestine.
    Jewish Supremacists have no answer–other than apartheid or mass expulsion–for how to deal with their problem. And, last I checked, apartheid and mass expulsion are simply not acceptable in the modern world.
    Israel has reached a dead end, with a gigantic sore on its underbelly, marking Israelis for eternity like Cain, who committed a great sin against his brother.

    Reply

  111. WigWag says:

    Oh, Dan, one more thing. It’s past 10:30 pm and I’m going to sleep. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when I wake up tomorrow morning and turn on my computer, I’ll find you’ve written some additional chapters in your thesis.
    Now that you’ve explained to us that the Israelis are so mean to the Palestinians because of the psychological trauma the Jews experienced at the hands of the Nazis and how this is ultimately going to lead to Jewish national suicide; perhaps your next chapter will expostulate on Turkish-Kurdish relations. I’m quite interested in your psychological insights into what motivates the Turks to treat the Kurds the way that they do and would love to hear your speculation about how long it’s likely to be before the Turks destroy themselves.
    I don’t know if you’ve given it much thought, but given your profound insights into the human soul, it would be great to hear your views about what motivates the Russians to treat the Chechens the way that they do. My guess is that it must have something to do with the Russian penchant for angst and self-doubt, but you know much more about this than I do. By the way, how long do you think the Russians have before they self-destruct?
    I don’t know if you’ve been following it, but the relations in the Sudan between the Islamic north and the animist and Christian south are pretty dicey. There’s quite alot of violence going on there; in fact so many people have died that it makes the number of deaths amongst Israelis and Palestinians look like a rounding error. What do you think the psychological motivations of the Northern Sudanese are? What about the Southern Sudanese? Which region is likely to destroy itself first?
    There’s another situation I’ve been wondering about that maybe you could “shrink” out for us. I understand that the ethnic Balochs in Iran don’t get along too well with their Persian countrymen. Psychologically speaking, what is it about those Iranians? Are they going to destroy themselves too?
    On that one, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
    I look forward to your insights.

    Reply

  112. WigWag says:

    “Ironically, your description of a people full of vengeance and rage describes the Palestinians quite well. Unlike the Zionists, who arose to build a state, the Palestinians have built their identity around destroying a state. It’s a negative ethos.” (Nadine)
    Actually, Dan has it backwards, the party to the Israel-Palestine dispute that is in the process of committing suicide is the Palestinians. As even he admits, the liklihood that they will achieve their national aspirations grows dimmer by the day. Of course, they could have had their nation ten years ago if they were willing to accept a state that was significantly smaller and less powerful than they wanted. But they decided against it. They made the decision to try to defeat the Israelis with violence and terrorism and they failed.
    Now they are sowing what they’ve reaped. As their hopes fade and their national aspirations descend towards extremis, they have no one to blame but themselves. Considering the bigotry, anti-Semitism, violence and hatred that pervades Palestinian society, it is very hard to summon up any sumpathy for them, but I suppose we should try.

    Reply

  113. Dan Kervick says:

    I wasn’t ranting Nadine. I’m very calm, and in a very good mood tonight.

    Reply

  114. nadine says:

    Dan,this rant belongs in some alternate universe. It never seems to occur to people like you that if the Israelis were really seething with the desire for vengeance they have long had the power to destroy the Palestinians, yet never did so; far from it, the Palestinians prospered under Israeli rule and greatly increased their numbers. The Israelis wanted the survival of Israel and peace with the neighbors; showed they were willing to make painful compromises; then came to to the conclusion they had no partner for peace. Unlike you, the Israelis hear and say what the Palestinians say and do.
    Ironically, your description of a people full of vengeance and rage describes the Palestinians quite well. Unlike the Zionists, who arose to build a state, the Palestinians have built their identity around destroying a state. It’s a negative ethos.

    Reply

  115. WigWag says:

    Dan Kervick as Dr. Phil; it’s really quite compelling!

    Reply

  116. Dan Kervick says:

    “This is exactly the attitude others have shown toward Jews for a couple thousand years.”
    jledell, every day in the ongoing annals of Zionist discourse we see more and more frequent and frank expressions of an attitude which boils down to “Let’s stick it to THEM the way others stuck it to US.” Every theme and complexion of fascist ideology is revisited, resurrected, and turned by the former victims back against the most vulnerable and accessible victim at hand.
    There is nothing the remotest bit lofty in this bitter and twisted contemporary Zionism. It’s all a charnal house of vengeance, rage and an anxious kind of hollowness, as though all remaining meaning and reason for existence can be found only inside the the self-sustaining and ethnically introverted circle of hate. I think that’s why we encounter constant hysteria in the Zionist camp about “existential” threats and fears. The contemporary Zionist screams out, “I am nothing; only my hate and aggression sustains my appearance of being, and if The Other didn’t exist for me to hate, mock and subjugate, I would evaporate into the wind.”
    Of course, the Israelis can’t stick it to the Germans, the people who passed the sadistic disease of hatred onto them, so they have to stick it to someone puny, more vulnerable and less capable – just as the Nazis victimized the more vulnerable Jews, and gloried in their “masterful” humiliation of the weak.
    And yet most of the Jews I have actually known were – would you believe it – nice, warm, bright and enjoyable people! It is only the bitter and soul-poisoned minority, who are attracted to hardline Zionist politics and the sad and apocalyptic religion of Israel, The Eternally Embattled, that are dragging those around them down into their own hell. All of the politicians in Washington who think of themselves as “friends of the Jews” for their defense of the increasingly unapologetic crusade of conquest and pillage in Palestine are actually nothing of the kind. For as so often, it is the worst who are most full of passionate intensity.
    Richard Nixon, a very intelligent and highly capable politician with real flashes of brilliance, idealism and human feeling, was twisted by hatred, paranoia, vengefulness and resentment into a tragically defeated failure. It was only when he had crushed himself, and had to face the greatest humilation an American politician can face, that he exhausted his rage and achieved some flickering measure of self-knowledge in his farewell speech:
    “Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”
    Personally, I’m optimistic even though I am world-weary. I don’t believe in the enduring strength of hate. Hate dies; hate is death. It doesn’t last. After it does its job of destroying others it then goes on to destroy itself. The worst that hate can inflict is death; but there are worse things than death. We are all dead in the end.
    Israel might succeed in destroying the Palestinians utterly. They might extinguish the last dying fires of a century of Palestinian revolt against subjugation and dispossession. Their centurions might destroy the mosque on the temple mount, and disperse the Palestinians to the corners of the world, exporting them to Europe or elsewhere in the Middle East, or even the United States. Their agents and allies might even succeed in eradicating Islam from parts of New York, and a few southern US states.
    But there will then just be more people to hate; more people upon which the seemingly inexhaustible Israeli passion for vengeance and taking and humiliation can work itself out. So without a conversion in its fundamental outlook, eventually Israel is going to destroy itself.

    Reply

  117. jdledell says:

    wigwag – I notice you did not respond to my points about the fallacy behind your attitude that might makes right. So I identify as a jew – is something wrong with that? I am merely trying to explain where I am coming from when I make my comments. I can’t believe anyone finds that offensive.

    Reply

  118. Neo Controll says:

    The covers pulled back, the sick and nasty Wig Wag emerges from behind the patina of gentile urbanity. The morph with nadine is complete and they may have passed each other on the race to the bottom exemplifying the worst of ethnic depravity.

    Reply

  119. Neo Controll says:

    “You cannot simply ignore that the dominant Palestinian culture glorifies the murder of Jews as a virtue and continue to claim the high ground. When innocent Israelis die, as they died the day before yesterday, what do you demand but that Israelis must make themselves 100 times more vulnerable to the murderers?”
    This is utter bullshit from the neocon wench on all counts. Her glorification and excuse of Israelis from responsibility for the murder of countless more Palestinians than Israel has ever suffered. Viz., Jew killed in the Halocaust don’t count against Arabs as the Zionist mind finds perfectly normal to project.
    The sick exceptionalist rhetoric that adheres the most base notion of ‘might makes right’ in contrast to any sense of morality other than the crudest of Old Testament interpretation.
    A piece of unprincipled work she is. With nonstop backing from her Israeli handlers. An embarrassment to Jews and to conscience.

    Reply

  120. WigWag says:

    I think your great jdledell! You’re the only person who comments at the Washington Note regularly who begins almost every post with a profession of your religious and ethnic affiliation. If I had a dime for every comment that you began with “As a Jew…” or “As a fellow Jew…” or “As a Jew with meshugana settler relatives…” I would be a wealthy man.
    You’re very entertaining.

    Reply

  121. nadine says:

    jd, could you pause in your overview from the superior moral high ground and consider the view of this opinion by the historian Yaakov Lozowick:
    “In a few hours the negotiations between Israel and Palestinians are to start once again. About 18 hours ago Hamas had its say, when it sent a team of murderers to kill some Jews, unarmed civilians all of them.
    I accept that the leaders of the Palestinian Authority are furious, and their crackdown on Hamas is real. On the diplomatic front the attack weakened their hand, they hate Hamas, and so on. (Though the question remains: why clamp down today, and not last week, or last month…). The problem is that the position of the PA is not really important, since there’s no way they can deliver.
    I am in favor of the two-state solution, and have been since the 1970s, many years before mainstream Israel accepted it, and even more years before the PLO did. If peace can’t be achieved, as I’m sadly convinced, I’m in favor of Israel moving behind the fence and dismantling the settlements beyond it. However, I’m also in favor of Jews living their lives in peace, or if that can’t be achieved, in relative security. Here are some images I recommend be pondered on this afternoon after the murder of four Israelis by Palestinians and before the renewal of talks.
    The first is the map suggested by the Israelis, Palestinians and Europeans of the Geneva Initiative. The significance of the map is that at least some moderate Israelis and moderate Palestinians signed on it, even though there’s probably little popular support for it on either side. Still, we can use it as an approximation of what a border between the two states might be.
    [picture]
    Now, let’s look at the ground-level picture, the one people live at:
    [picture]
    This was taken a few weeks ago by Michael Totten. Note the mosque turret in the lower right corner: That’s Beit Safafa. Everything else in the picture is West Jerusalem, from Ramat Sharet in the foreground, the government offices in the middle, and the central bus station and the Crowne Plaza hotel on the skyline. Olmert’s “Holyland” Project is on the left edge, and just beyond the edge is the Knesset. Here, I’ve drawn a rough outline of the section of Jerusalem in the picture:
    [picture]
    Can anyone imagine allowing Hamas murderers or some future permutation of Islamist thugs onto the hill in Beit Safafa Michel Totten was on when he took that picture? Remember, it will be a sovereign foreign country; if Israel tries to stop anyone from shooting from there it will be a breach of that sovereignty, or, in simpler language, an invasion. ”
    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2010/09/heres-risk.html
    You cannot simply ignore that the dominant Palestinian culture glorifies the murder of Jews as a virtue and continue to claim the high ground. When innocent Israelis die, as they died the day before yesterday, what do you demand but that Israelis must make themselves 100 times more vulnerable to the murderers? This is your morality?

    Reply

  122. jdledell says:

    wigwag – As a fellow Jew I am ashamed to consider you a fellow member of the tribe. Your position relative to the Palestinians shows no compassion or emphathy. Hey – Israel is stronger so who the hell cares if we make their lives miserable. This is exactly the attitude others have shown toward Jews for a couple thousand years. Guess what – we didn’t like it so why the Hell are we doing it to others.
    Having lost countless relatives not only in the holocaust but many prior pograms in Romania and Croatia, I cannot condone treating others as we have been treated. When the nuclear bombs fall on Israel, you can just chaulk it off to someone else is stronger this time – no big deal – right?
    Israel simply must find a way to integrate itself with it’s middle east neighbors if it’s going to survive long term. The WMD genie is out of the bottle and it’s never going back in. It won’t take more than a couple of decades until Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iran and Saudia Arabia have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
    You and Nadine seem to have this idea that Israel can keep poking a stick in arab eyes and there won’t be any repercussions. That may be true today but don’t count on it being so forever. Your simplistic arrogant attitude that Hey we won the war so we can continue to kick Palestinians when they are down is sickenly amoral.
    may G-d have mercy on your cold black soul.

    Reply

  123. Dan Kervick says:

    After reading several recent posts from the ever-evolving WigWag, it appears to me that the WigWagian philosophy now boils down to this:
    *The Palestinians are losers. They are weak and stupid and emotionally erratic, and incapable of governing themselves in the manner required by modern life.
    *Losers lose. That’s why Israel has beaten them and taken their land from them.
    *It is the law of nature for winners to crush losers, and take from losers whatever they have. All other law is insipid.
    *Losers shouldn’t blame others when they are beaten by winners.

    Reply

  124. JohnH says:

    As usual, Nadine engages in total projection. So let’s substitute the word “Likud” for the word “Palestinian:” Likud “never learned to seriously reflect that rejecting compromise and coexistence, preferring to throw double-or-nothing and try to kill Palestinians in war, is a big mistake.” It never solved anything nor brought Israel any closer to the inevitable accommodation with Palestinians.
    That, Nadine, is the bottom line of the “Iron Wall” philosophy as played out by Likud’s long term policy of “acting reasonable but conceding nothing.”
    Would you like me to repeat the evidence of Likud policy of stonewalling?
    But to Nadine, all the blame–all of it–falls to the Palestinians, who had land, water, air as well as their dignity stolen. But it’s all their fault!

    Reply

  125. Don Bacon says:

    nadine: “Meanwhile the word ‘Iran’ never arises, which what the Arabs are desperately worried about now.”
    nadine might be interested in the IAEA General Conference Report of 8 September 2006 which includes this:
    “On behalf of the Arab States that are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Tunisia, the Republic of Algeria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Sudan, the State of Qatar, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Republic of Iraq, the Sultanate of Oman (observer), the State of Kuwait, the Republic of Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Yemen and Palestine (observer)), I have the honour to forward to you the request of those countries kindly to include an item entitled

    Reply

  126. nadine says:

    “Yeah right, Nadine. Palestinians’ loss of land and lack of control over borders, air and water is entirely their own fault. Israel has nothing to do with any of that. Keep dreaming!!”
    JohnH, I know you will not comprehend my answer, but others who read this thread might.
    People who reflexively blame their problems on others are not immune from having to deal with others. Nor are they immune from making mistakes like other people.
    What they have self-immunized themselves from is learning from their mistakes. So they make the same mistake over and over and over, which generally renders their position worse and worse and worse.
    In 90 years of conflict, the Palestinians have never learned to seriously reflect that rejecting compromise and coexistence, preferring to throw double-or-nothing and try to kill the Jews in war, is a big mistake. One thing at goes along with no self-reflection is an inability to correctly assess ones strengths and weaknesses.
    The Palestinians have learned to protect themselves from the usual disastrous results of losing by becoming World Class Whiners and getting busybodies all over the world to share their self-pity, as well as the native self-restraint of the Israelis. (If the Israelis behaved like Arabs, Israel would be all of Palestine and there would be no Arabs in it. Any Arab power would have cleansed the land of Jews, as Jordan did in 1948.) But this has just turned them into corrupt, dependent, violent welfare queens. Half live on Western aid, half on Iranian aid.
    Of course, the Kurds and Chechens don’t have their advantage of having Jews for their enemies. Nobody gets off on hating on the Turks and Russians but their actual enemies/victims. But the Jews are wonderful scapegoats you can beat up on with no fear of reprisal.
    If you ever read a history book (which you have admitted you have not) you might understand that societies’ own choices affect their outcomes. Even if they blame everything on their more successful neighbors, that doesn’t make it true.
    For instance, if we manage to bankrupt the Federal Government with our fiscal profligacy, it won’t be because the Chinese screwed us over. It will just look that way when the Chinese start to collect their on their loans.

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  127. Paul Norheim says:

    This discussion about the Palestinian mentality of blaming
    others for their failure is trully surreal.

    Reply

  128. JohnH says:

    Yeah right, Nadine. Palestinians’ loss of land and lack of control over borders, air and water is entirely their own fault. Israel has nothing to do with any of that. Keep dreaming!!

    Reply

  129. nadine says:

    “”Only when they stop blaming others for their failures will they be on the road to better times.”
    Think about how free of human decency you have to be to write crap like this?” (Matthew)
    Just how free of human understanding do you have to be to write a crap reaction like that? Wigwag is only saying exactly the same as Arab reformers say themselves: that societies which reflexively blame all their problems on outsiders never muster enough self-reflection to fix any of their home-grown problems. Cf Fouad Ajami, “The Dream Palace of the Arabs.”

    Reply

  130. nadine says:

    “On Afghanistan he’s been dealt a terrible hand, but it’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job than Obama has and recent polls suggest that Obama’s Afghanistan policy is not particularly unpopular (it’s not hugely popular either).”
    You must be joking. You think anybody with any understanding of the job of Commander in Chief (which even his reliable propagandists at the New York Times say he doesn’t like and isn’t comfortable with) would announce our fricken withdrawal date to the enemy with the war still raging, still in doubt? Not once but twice? And treat the whole thing as a dreary distraction from domestic policy? Which side do you think takes comfort from an announcement like that?
    “President Obama says we don’t have to hold on for much longer to win, because the Americans will bug out on schedule. Just look at him, there’s no stomach for a fight in that wimp. Get the clip up on Youtube, Ahmed! Let everybody in Kabul know.”

    Reply

  131. nadine says:

    Obama thinks he’s too big for the job of President. He has said several times that he would rather be a significant one term President than a mediocre two term President. So all bets are off on what stunts he might pull after the midterms, imo.
    Re: improving relations with Russia. Obama is not improving relations, he is surrendering to Russia’s desire for resurgence over Eastern Europe. LOL, from Putin’s point of view it’s an improvement.
    p.s. Time Magazine just ran an article called “How did Obama become Mr. Unpopular?” Time Magazine, that had Obama-as-FDR on the cover! Sections of the article sounded just like Pat Caddell “disappointment verging on betrayal,” they called the mood in Indiana. I can’t see America re-electing this shallow narcissist, now that his true personality can no longer be hidden under campaign rhetoric. I certainly can’t see Democrats rallying around a man who trashed their party’s standing in record time. Look how they all run from Obama now.

    Reply

  132. WigWag says:

    “It’s his best card. What she should all be worried about, is that it will be his only card after he loses his Congressional majorities after November. This moron can do a lot more damage to America than he already has, just by indulging in the moral preening that wins kudos from the international leftist purist brigades.” (Nadine)
    This is actually a very good point. If, as expected, the Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress, any ambitions that the President has for domestic policy will be completely impossible to enact. President Obama would then do what any President would do in that circumstance; turn his attention to foreign policy. Obviously while the Congress exercises some influence on the foreign policy arena, the President has far more discretion in this area than in the domestic realm.
    It’s true that Obama could do alot of harm, but he might also do some good. Despite what the neocons think, Obama is doing the right thing by improving relations with Russia. He’s planning a trip to India and if he pays more attention to making India a major ally he will have done something important.
    On Afghanistan he’s been dealt a terrible hand, but it’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job than Obama has and recent polls suggest that Obama’s Afghanistan policy is not particularly unpopular (it’s not hugely popular either).
    But you are right, Nadine, when it comes to the Middle East, President Obama is a lost soul. As a pupil of Jeremiah Wright and Rasheed Khalidi, Obama has all the sophistication about the Israel-Palestine dispute of a pimple faced high school sophomore.
    Fortunately, Obama’s instinct for political self-preservation is likely to prevent him from doing anything too stupid, but if Obama is reelected, as I bet he will be, than all bets are off.

    Reply

  133. JohnH says:

    “Carroll lists all the reasons Arabists … use to explain why we should dump an ally with the strongest regional army like Israel.”
    With an ally like Israel, who needs enemies? Are there any benefits to having an “ally” like Israel?
    Nadine, I’d say that Israel is more trouble than it’s worth, but I’m not convinced that it’s worth anything to the US. It just causes trouble. The cost-benefit analysis is a slam dunk.

    Reply

  134. Matthew says:

    Take this quote from Wigwag:
    “Only when they stop blaming others for their failures will they be on the road to better times.”
    Think about how free of human decency you have to be to write crap like this?

    Reply

  135. WigWag says:

    “And just whose responsibility is it anyway, that the Palestinians don’t have institutions, rule of law, a unified government?” (Nadine)
    I think you’re being a little unfair to the Palestinians, Nadine. Stable governments, the rule of law, minority rights, democracy and institutions rooted in civil society are absent from almost every majority Muslim nation in the world. It’s not just the Palestinians who are having trouble adapting to modernity it’s the vast majority of nations where the majority of citizens are Muslims. The cause of this is open to debate but the reality is not and the exceptions are few.
    Is it really fair to expect the Palestinians to forge a more advanced and normal society than any of their co-religionists have achieved?
    You are right though about the tendecy that we see in Palestinian society and many other majority Muslim societies to see conspiracies everywhere and blame others (especially in the West) for their own failures. Pakistan comes to mind immediately when thinking about this. It’s not just the Palestinians; it’s the entire Muslim world that’s in the grip of paranoid delusions.
    Only when they stop blaming others for their failures will they be on the road to better times.

    Reply

  136. nadine says:

    “With the Palestinians preferring to defer and the Israelis happy to defer, the real question that should be asked is why these negotiations should be held in the first place.
    The best that I can tell is that their main purpose is to provide a forum for an inexperienced, naive and narcissistic President of the United States, to strut his feathers on the world stage.” (Wigwag)
    It’s his best card. What she should all be worried about, is that it will be his only card after he loses his Congressional majorities after November. This moron can do a lot more damage to America than he already has, just by indulging in the moral preening that wins kudos from the international leftist purist brigades.
    I don’t see Obama doing a Clinton and pivoting to the center. Far too much of an ideologue.

    Reply

  137. Carroll says:

    We can find dozens and dozens of letters from former lawmakers like this explaining why I/P exist and is never settled.
    Letter from James Abourezk, former US Senator from South Dakota to Jeff Blankfort on the Israel Lobby
    Dear Jeff:
    I just finished reading your critique of Noam Chomsky’s positions in an e mail sent to me by Tony Saidy.
    I had never paid much attention to Chomsky’s writings, as I had all along assumed that he was correct and proper in his position on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    But now, upon learning that his first assumption is that Israel is simply doing what the imperial leaders in the U.S. wants them to do, I concur with you that this assumption is completely wrong.
    I can tell you from personal experience that, at least in the Congress, the support Israel has in that body is based completely on political fear–fear of defeat by anyone who does not do what Israel wants done. I can also tell you that very few members of Congress–at least when I served there–have any affection for Israel or for its Lobby. What they have is contempt, but it is silenced by fear of being found out exactly how they feel. I’ve heard too many cloakroom conversations in which members of the Senate will voice their bitter feelings about how they’re pushed around by the Lobby to think otherwise. In private one hears the dislike of Israel and the tactics of the Lobby, but not one of them is willing to risk the Lobby’s animosity by making their feelings public.
    Thus, I see no desire on the part of Members of Congress to further any U.S. imperial dreams by using Israel as their pit bull. The only exceptions to that rule are the feelings of Jewish members, whom, I believe, are sincere in their efforts to keep U.S. money flowing to Israel. But that minority does not a U.S. imperial policy make.
    Secondly, the Lobby is quite clear in its efforts to suppress any congressional dissent from the policy of complete support for Israel which might hurt annual appropriations. Even one voice is attacked, as I was, on grounds that if Congress is completely silent on the issue, the press will have no one to quote, which effectively silences the press as well. Any journalists or editors who step out of line are quickly brought under control by well organized economic pressure against the newspaper caught sinning.
    I once made a trip through the Middle East, taking with me a reporter friend who wrote for Knight-Ridder newspapers. He was writing honestly about what he saw with respect to the Palestinians and other countries bordering on Israel. The St. Paul Pioneer press executives received threats from several of their large advertisers that their advertising would be terminated if they continued publishing the journalist’s articles. It’s a lesson quickly learned by those who controlled the paper.
    With respect to the positions of several administrations on the question of Israel, there are two things that bring them into line: One is pressure from members of Congress who bring that pressure resulting in the demands of AIPAC, and the other is the desire on the part of the President and his advisers to keep their respective political parties from crumbling under that pressure. I do not recall a single instance where any administration saw the need for Israel’s military power to advance U.S. Imperial interests. In fact, as we saw in the Gulf War, Israel’s involvement was detrimental to what Bush, Sr. wanted to accomplish in that war. They had, as you might remember, to suppress any Israeli assistance so that the coalition would not be destroyed by their involvement.
    So far as the argument that we need to use Israel as a base for U.S. operations, I’m not aware of any U.S. bases there of any kind. The U.S. has enough military bases, and fleets, in the area to be able to handle any kind of military needs without using Israel. In fact I can’t think of an instance where the U.S. would want to involve Israel militarily for fear of upsetting the current allies the U.S. has, i.e., Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. The public in those countries would not allow the monarchies to continue their alliance with the U.S. should Israel become involved.
    I suppose one could argue that Bush’s encouragement of Israel in the Lebanon war this summer was the result of some imperial urge, but it was merely an extension of the U.S. policy of helping Israel because of the Lobby’s continual pressure. In fact, I heard not one voice of opposition to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon this summer (except Chuck Hagel). Lebanon always has been a “throw away” country so far as the congress is concerned, that is, what happens there has no effect on U.S. interests. There is no Lebanon Lobby. The same was true in 1982, when the Congress fell completely silent over the invasion that year.
    I think in the heart of hearts of both members of congress and of the administrations they would prefer not to have Israel fouling things up for U.S. foreign policy, which is to keep oil flowing to the Western world to prevent an economic depression. But what our policy makers do is to juggle the Lobby’s pressure on them to support Israel with keeping the oil countries from cutting off oil to the western nations. So far they’ve been able to do that. With the exception of King Feisal and his oil embargo, there hasn’t been a Saudi leader able to stand up to U.S. policy.
    So I believe that divestment, and especially cutting off U.S. aid to Israel would immediately result in Israel’s giving up the West Bank and leaving the Gaza to the Palestinians. Such pressure would work, I think, because the Israeli public would be able to determine what is causing their misery and would demand that an immediate peace agreement be made with the Palestinians. It would work because of the democracy there, unlike sanctions against a dictatorship where the public could do little about changing their leaders’ minds. One need only look at the objectives of the Israeli Lobby to determine how to best change their minds. The Lobby’s principal objectives are to keep money flowing from the U.S. treasury to Israel, requiring a docile congress and a compliant administration. As Willie Sutton once said, “That’s where the money is.”
    Jim Abourezk

    Reply

  138. Carroll says:

    Posted by JohnH, Sep 03 2010, 3:13PM – Link
    I hate to break this to Chas Freeman, but the Lobby is as active and effective in Europe as it is in the United States, even though Europeans are much less supportive of Isreal that the well propagandized American public.
    \http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/03/eu-official-antisemitism-middle-east-peace-talks
    It’s truly amazing how a minuscule, but dedicated and energized foreign lobby can hijack the self interests of large, powerful nations.
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    The majority of Americans are in a “I don’t believe or trust a “blanking” thing the government or politicans say” mood.
    The perfect time to do a little radicalizing of Americans on the Israeli issue.
    You just have to be as fanatical as they are.
    There’s plenty of mad to go around, adding one more enemy is easy.

    Reply

  139. nadine says:

    Wigwag, you’re right about Agha and Malley exercise in pre-excuse making for Abbas: “Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is the head of a stable state with the ability to deliver on his commitments. Celebrations of supposed institution-building notwithstanding, Palestinians have no robust central authority. Their territory is divided between the West Bank and Gaza. On their own, Palestinians would find it difficult to implement an agreement, however much they might wish to. Israel controls all material assets; Palestinians at best can offer intangible declarations and promises. ”
    How much material control do you need to stop shooting Israeli civilians? stop naming public squares after terrorists? stop praising terrorist murderers as the heroes of Palestine? the dominant Palestinian political culture is one where killing Jews is like scoring touchdowns in the NFL: altogether a good thing which racks up points for your side. That’s why Hamas is out there shooting Jews now that Obama has declared Open Season for them by hauling Netanyahu into this charade.
    And just whose responsibility is it anyway, that the Palestinians don’t have institutions, rule of law, a unified government? Did big bad Israel do that to them too, or did they do it to themselves? And yet the conclusion is never that the Palestinians need to get their act together; always that somebody else should do more for them, give them more, artificially level the balance for the poor helpless dears. Oh yes, that’ll teach them.

    Reply

  140. JohnH says:

    I hate to break this to Chas Freeman, but the Lobby is as active and effective in Europe as it is in the United States, even though Europeans are much less supportive of Isreal that the well propagandized American public.
    \http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/03/eu-official-antisemitism-middle-east-peace-talks
    It’s truly amazing how a minuscule, but dedicated and energized foreign lobby can hijack the self interests of large, powerful nations.

    Reply

  141. nadine says:

    Blah, blah, blah. Carroll lists all the reasons Arabists (and open anti-Semites like her) use to explain why we should dump an ally with the strongest regional army like Israel, and plant our lips even more firmly on the butts of Our Friends the Saudis, who have to hire Pakistanis to fly their American fighter planes and couldn’t defend themselves for a single day, whom our troops have been guarding since 1990.
    This by her is a wise strategic move.
    Meanwhile the word “Iran” never arises, which what the Arabs are desperately worried about now. Truth is, never have their cared less about the Palestinians. It is a remnant of a charade, except to megalomaniac idiots like Obama.

    Reply

  142. Carroll says:

    “….so now what can be done?”…Sand
    Well, what can be done is to keep informing Americans on how the US zionist and Israelis have stolen the US government out from under it’s citizens.
    I make it a point to start conversations every where I can so I can introduce the subject of how the zios and Israel have done so much harm to America and are ‘enemy within’ threat to America and give them the factual info on how it hurts them and their own family personally. When you ask someone if they think America was to blame for the holocaust and we should support Israel becuase of that they first get this puzzled look and then the light bulb goes on and they say ‘No we weren’t!.. so why are we americans paying for it all these years?’ And then you can tell them why. They understand political payola even if they didn’t know Israel was one of the politicl payloa deals.
    I’ve had people tell me they are shocked by what they finally found out about the US-Isr scheme that they never had any idea of before.
    As well as the net for spreading the truth about Isr-USA and I/P you have to do grassroots work…using your personal friends and contacts in your every day life to educate people about what is really behind the US-Isr relationship…and give them official sources to go to and check for themselves.
    You will be amazed at how incensed even formerly politically uninvolved or even formerly pro Israel people are when they find out what the real story is on I/P and Israel and what it has cost Americans in money and respect.
    The real goal besides keeping the Palestines from being finally genocided by Israel is to get the Jewish lobby and their politicans out of the US government.
    There are people working on this like Charles Freeman quoted below who keeps laying this out for the policy circles but you need to take the message to the less informed grassroots public thru personal contacts.
    Freeman:..debunking a zio’s claim that Israel is an asset to the US.
    “A few facts to ponder when considering his assertion that Israel is a huge and essential asset for US global and regional strategy:
    — the US has no bases or troop presence in Israel and stores only minimal military supplies in the country (and these under terms that allow these supplies to be used essentially at will by the IDF).
    — Israeli bases are not available for US use.
    — none of Israel’s neighbors will facilitate overflight for military aircraft transiting Israeli territory, let alone taking off from there. Israel is useless for purposes of strategic logistics or power projection.
    — Israel is worse than irrelevant to the defense of Middle Eastern energy supplies; the US relationship with Israel has jeopardized these supplies (as in 1973), not contributed to securing them.
    — US relations with Israel do not bolster US prestige in Middle Eastern oil-producing countries or assist the US to “dominate” them, they complicate and weaken US influence; they have at times resulted in the suspension of US relations with such countries.
    — Israel does not have the diplomatic prestige or capacity to marshal support for US interests or policies globally or in its own region and does not do so; on the contrary, it requires constant American defense against political condemnation and sanctions by the international community.
    — Israel does not fund aid programs in third countries to complement and support US foreign or military policy as other allies and strategic partners do.
    –Japan provides multiple bases and pays “host nation support” for the US presence (though that presence as well as the fact that Japan is paying for a good deal of it are growing political issues in Japan).
    –The air base in Qatar from which the US directs air operations throughout the region (including in both Iraq and Afghanistan) was built and is maintained at host nation expense.
    –So too the ground force and naval facilities we use elsewhere in the Gulf.
    — The US is paid for the weapons and military services it provides to its European and Asian allies as well as its Arab strategic partners.
    — Washington has never had to exercise a veto or pay a similar political price to protect any of them from condemnation or sanctions by the international community.
    –Japan and various Arab countries, as well as European nations, have often paid for US foreign assistance and military programs in third countries or designed their own programs specifically to supplement US activities.
    –Washington has made Israel our largest recipient of foreign aid, encouraged private transfers to it through unique tax breaks, transferred huge quantities of weapons and munitions to it gratis, directly and indirectly subsidized the Israeli defense industry, allocated military R&D to Israeli rather than US institutions, offered Israeli armaments manufacturers the same status as US manufacturers for purposes of US defense procurement, etc..
    — Almost all US vetoes at the United Nations and decisions to boycott international conferences and meetings have been on behalf of Israel. Israel treats its ability to command support from Washington as a major tool of diplomatic influence in third countries; it does not exercise its very limited influence abroad in support of US as opposed to its own objectives.
    As others have said with greater indirection than I have here, one must look elsewhere than Israel’s strategic utility to the United States for the explanation of its privileged status in US foreign policy.”

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  143. Sand says:

    Ouch! that hurts the eyes — she certainly likes to be seen.

    Reply

  144. Don Bacon says:

    but then she wore it again on a recent state visit to Barbados.
    http://tinyurl.com/24rejum

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  145. Don Bacon says:

    Hey, I thought that Hillary had come upstream since the last DNC when she wore that orange pantsuit that made her look like a CalTrans worker on the Hollywood Freeway.
    http://tinyurl.com/ydmga3m

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  146. Sand says:

    Here’s another good one.
    http://images.politico.com/global/blogs/100903_clinton_joint_interview_blog.jpg
    Politico/Laura Rozen photo h/t: Clinton gives joint interview to Israeli-Palestinian media
    — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a joint interview to Israel Channel 2’s Udi Segal and to Palestine TV’s Amirah Hananiah Friday. No interpretaton needed of the symbolism implied.
    Comment [Not Mine]: *** Who the hell is responsible for dressing Madame Secretary!!!??? *** There at the very minimum needs to be someone at the door to make sure she doesn’t walk outside, much less give an interview, in something that hideous.
    LOL!!
    It’s when they upholstery the chairs in the same color I really have to howl…
    Showing off the the Dept of State’s ‘State’ Colors so to speak…

    Reply

  147. Sand says:

    Yeah — It’s such a shame Obama never had the guts to bring Chas Freeman into his [cough] ‘Team of Rivals’
    CHAS FREEMAN: “…The Clinton Administration … did little to protect them [Oslo Accords] from subversion and overthrow, and nothing to insist on their implementation. Only a peace process that is protected from Israel

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  148. Sand says:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_images/100903_clinton222.jpg
    FP Photo h/t: “SPECIAL BRIEFING SKIPPER: George Mitchell on the peace talks” Posted By Josh Rogin [9/3/10]
    …reminds me of Hills doing that song from Andrew Lloyd Webber 1993 musical, “Sunset Boulevard”
    The name of the song was “With One Look.”
    However, someone should tell her no one is buying especially with Netanyahu’s hand up her butt.
    http://images.politico.com/global/news/100902_peacetalks_whitehouse_ap_605.jpg
    Politico Photo h/t: “PRESIDENT OBAMA FLEXES MUSCLES” Posted By Ben smith 9/2/10
    * President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt [Check in the Mail] — Yep
    * Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel [Check[s] and Weapons sent via Express Mail] — Yep
    * President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority [Check in the Mail] — Yep
    * King Abdullah of Jordan [Check in the Mail] — Yep
    OK — let the ‘kabuki theater’ begin.

    Reply

  149. WigWag says:

    Actually the lyrics to Sondheim’s song “Send in the Clowns” epitomizes the situation in the Middle East and the futility of these negotiations almost perfectly. It should be adopted as the theme song for negotiations between Israelis, the Palestinians and the rest of the crew.
    To wit,
    Isn’t it rich?
    Are we a pair?
    Me here at last on the ground,
    You in mid-air.
    Send in the clowns.
    Isn’t it bliss?
    Don’t you approve?
    One who keeps tearing around,
    One who can’t move.
    Where are the clowns?
    Send in the clowns.
    Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
    Finally knowing that what I wanted was yours,
    Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
    Sure of my lines,
    No one is there.
    Don’t you love farce?
    My fault I fear.
    I thought that you’d want what I want.
    Sorry, my dear.
    But where are the clowns?
    Quick, send in the clowns.
    Don’t bother, they’re here.
    Isn’t it rich?
    Isn’t it queer,
    Losing my timing this late
    In my career?
    And where are the clowns?
    There ought to be clowns.
    Well, maybe next year.

    Reply

  150. Don Bacon says:

    UN 242, 1967, included the following:
    . . .the fulfillment of [UN] Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
    (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
    (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force
    Israel’s position is, it seems to me, considering that a state of belligerency still exists, that its “secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” include virtually all of the former Palestine and that anything less would not offer Israel security.

    Reply

  151. Carroll says:

    More bizarre reasoning.
    Israel stole Palestine land.
    In violation of all international law.
    It’s that simple.
    No one need “talks’ to settle it.
    It just needs enforcement of the law.
    The comedy continues.

    Reply

  152. Don Bacon says:

    Similes are often strained but the situation isn’t unlike the US/Iran standoff. The US is endlessly demanding that Iran negotiate away its lawful nuclear program when Iran is in a position of strength both regionally and in the world and doesn’t need to negotiate away anything. So it plays the US like a fish.
    Getting back to I/P if Obama’s intent going into a midterm election is to take American’s minds off the economy it won’t work. The new jobless figures are out. He should worry about Hillary in 2012 too — that smile is just too large and unwarranted by the charade taking place in front of her. She knows something.

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  153. JohnH says:

    For the Palestinian side to continue in the talks, there must be some indication that Likud is willing to concede something. Otherwise, why should the Palestinian side waste its time? They’ve been there, done that.
    Likud has a long, proven history of “appearing reasonable but conceding nothing.” Shamir admitted as much two decades ago. Bibi admitted to sabotaging Oslo. Taba ended the moment Sharon took office. And Bibi admitted that the ONLY way to deal with Palestinians was to “beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it

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  154. WigWag says:

    It’s always been a mystery to me why commentators like Fadi Elsalameen work so hard to make the Israeli-Palestinian dispute so complicated. In fact, it’s not complicated at all; it’s pretty much like every other dispute in the history of the world where one side has been victorious and the other side has been defeated.
    From the Israeli perspective this is all rather simple; they engaged in a war in 1967 with the Arabs and they won and the Arabs lost. Like all victors, the Israelis are in a position to determine what conquered territory they want to keep as a spoil of war and what territory they are willing to disgorge to their defeated adversary.
    It’s not all that different from the wars in the 19th and 20th centuries between France and Germany. After the French went down to an ignoble defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, France acquiesced to the reality that the formerly French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine would be handed over to Germany; the Germans, in return, disgorged Paris to the defeated French.
    Moreover, the French were required to pay 5 billion francs to the Germans and in return, the Germans lifted the siege of Paris and allowed food in which prevented the starvation of hundreds of thousands of Parisians. Perhaps the defeated Palestinians should consider themselves lucky that in order to achieve peace, Israel isn’t requesting a war tribute from them. The idea may seem astounding to some, but massive payments from the losers of wars to the winners has been the rule not the exception throughout history.
    Of course the stakes were reversed, including the payment of tribute, after both the First and Second World Wars when the French were on the winning side and the Germans were on the losing side.
    As Robert Malley stated so forthrightly in his Washington Post op-ed published yesterday, the Israelis don’t need a peace deal and are unlikely to accept one unless it

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  155. Don Bacon says:

    re: “The United States’ role as a mediator allows it to offer creative solutions to both sides.”
    Mediator? There has been no indication that the US will “mediate” these talks. It will, according to Secretary Clinton, “support” and “help” the two negotiators in their bi-weekly meetings all of which will not even be attended by a US representative.
    The State press secretary Crowley has gone a bit further than Clinton and used the words “full and substantive participants” and “we will try to move both sides closer to an agreement that ends the conflict” but he also did not use the word “mediate.”
    We will see how this plays out but the indications so far is that Obama, through Clinton, is taking his usual disinterested hands-off approach and acting merely as the facilitator-in-chief.
    The whole thing is totally boring. One gets the sense that they’re just going through the motions. Obama should have put the Zionist Biden on the matter, at least then there’d be some words and action. On second thought, . . .

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  156. silverslipper says:

    I think Hillary Clinton must like this picture. It is rather nice. Everyone looks – well – happy.

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  157. DonS says:

    While it can be nit picked as to whether both Israeli and Palestinian positioning prior to entering negotiations represent ‘bad faith’ or not, that is a really insignificant distinction without a difference. What is important is possible progress regardless of all the obstacles. Slim at best.
    The above commenter notes that might be enticed to slow or stop the illegal settlements “they want a major Palestinian concession in return.” OK, what would that be? Recognition of Israel’s right to exist? Done. Abrogation of the right to self defense and other attributes of statehood? A non-starter.

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  158. WigWag says:

    Fadi Elsalameen says,
    “The fact that both the Palestinians and the Israelis are entering the U.S.-sponsored negotiations in bad faith is not only disturbing, but extremely dangerous…”
    But he’s wrong about both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Whatever one thinks about the Palestinians, they’be been perfectly upfront about the fact that they didn’t want to participate in direct talks. Abbas has announced to the world that the only reason he agreed was because of unprecedented pressure from the American President. Mohammed Dahlan himself has disparaged the talks and said that Abbas shouldn’t be there. Fatah has been lukewarm at best in endorsing the talks and practically every other faction has expressed the vehement objection. The Palestinians have never made any secret of what they thought about this process. Whatever one thinks of the Palestinians, where’s the bad faith?
    The Israelis have never made any secret about what they plan to do when the settlement freeze expires. President Obama asked them over and over again to extend the freeze and they’ve told him “no.” The Palestinians tried to make the settlement freeze a precondition for the direct talks; Israel refused in a very public way. Whatever one thinks of the settlements, the Israelis have been very upfront about what they plan to do. Where’s the bad faith?
    It’s been widely reported that Dennis Ross and other U.S. officials have been trying to work out a creative arrangement to resolve this issue. The United States understood long before it pushed for direct talks that Israel wouldn’t extend the settlement freeze (at least in its current form) and it advocated direct talks anyway. Where’s the bad faith in that?
    It has nothing to do with good faith or bad faith and everything to do with negotiating strategy. The Palestinians wanted an extended settlement freeze delivered to them by the United States for next to nothing. They thought that just showing up was enough of a price to pay for a settlement freeze. In this, they were encouraged by the stupid strategy that Obama adopted at the beginning of his presidency and has now abandoned.
    The Israelis have a different view; if they are going to freeze or even slow settlements, they want a major Palestinian concession in return.
    One can believe that the Palestinian position is more justified or one can believe that the Israeli position is more justified. But Elsalameen is wrong; “bad faith” simply has nothing to do with it.

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