Israel Lobby Too Powerful?


Does the Israel lobby have too much influence over U.S. decisions?


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David Responds
Fareed Responds on the Discussion <-->


Posted by David Ignatius and Fareed Zakaria on November 12, 2007 10:41 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (189)

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Today’s Post Global GPB

http://www.secure-x-001.net/SecureGeo/Issue/SecureObservationComments.asp

And the topic of discussion is...

“Will Bush rescue the Annapolis accord as he visits the Middle East for essentially the first time?”

And the answer provided by the author is...

No Annapolis rescue...just another photo op to enable radical Islamists.

“Most analysts believe President Bush won't start crafting constructive policies now, in his last year, when he has had no vision for the region for 7 years. What most thought leaders are asking is whether the President has any real priority beyond an attempt to reach for some type of better legacy than he has now. Few believe he does and that will make it difficult for this trip to achieve much if anything other than photo ops. Unfortunately, it provides the opportunity for US opponents, particularly radical Islamists, to achieve much as they direct anger and rage toward the most unpopular US President in memory.”

I concur. Ata boy W!

v :

carlotta gall is one of my favorite journalists

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

WITH RESPECT TO THE ASSASSINATION OF BENAZIR BHUTTO

This is a glimpse of the world’s future if the Zionist so called “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA don’t wise up and vacate the Middle East.

That’s right Victoria, they can’t blame this one on the general Muslim population.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/yossi_melman/2007/12/bhutto_conspiracy_theories_wil/all_comments.html

We may find out, however, that the culprit is the Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) who are enabled by the foolish greed of the colonial USA and Israel.

Certainly Musharraf is one of those with the most to gain. He can now postpone elections indefinitely and hold onto his power, although he may have quite a revolt on his hands if he does so.

On the other hand, Bhutto was a strong ally of the US and an outspoken opponent of the Islamic fundamentalists. That is the kiss of death in this region of the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/28/world/asia/28pakistan.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

“In October, Ms. Bhutto survived another deadly suicide attack in the southern city of Karachi on the day she returned from years of self-imposed exile abroad to contest the parliamentary elections. Ms. Bhutto blamed extremist Islamic groups who she said wanted to take over the country for that attack, which narrowly missed her but killed 134 people. But she also complained that the government had taken insufficient steps to safeguard her parade…

She was openly critical of Mr. Musharraf’s ineffectiveness at dealing with Islamic militants and welcomed American involvement…

The assassination comes just days after Mr. Musharraf lifted a state of emergency in the country, which he had used to suspend the Constitution and arrest thousands of political opponents, and which he said he had imposed in part because of terrorist threats by extremists in Pakistan…”

So this is how my crystal ball has it. We just took another step along the path to WW III. The Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) hold all the cards. Musharraf may or may not be making a serious effort to rein them in. He may be playing live and let live as they build their strength in NW Pakistan and continue to weaken Afghanistan.

The Zionist invader in Palestine keeps the entire Middle East inflamed at both them and the USA for supporting them. Of course our preemptive attack on Iraq and continued occupation of Afghanistan just adds fuel to the flames.

China, India and Pakistan’s thirst for Middle East oil makes them natural allies of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other Arabian Gulf oil states. They will be eager to supply whatever these countries need in the way of precision guided land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) like the US Tomahawk. These are precision, Global Position System (GPS) satellite guided, low flying cruise missiles that hug the earth and can be programmed to attack Israel from multiple directions. Israel will never know what hit them. These will not be like the thousands of ballistic Katyusha rockets fired from Southern Lebanon, which mostly land in the olive orchards and sage brush fields. These missiles will each have a high rise building or other high value target and street number programmed in them like our Tomahawk attacks on Baghdad in 1991 and 2003.

Our thirst for oil and 10 Trillion dollar national debt, with much of it owed to China, puts us in a very weak strategic position. China could bankrupt us at will by flooding the market with our worthless paper IOUs. That’s why the US dollar has lost ~33% of its value relative to the Euro, which is on its way to becoming the world standard currency. The US dollar will soon be known as the US Peso.

Israel only produces ~1% of its required oil from its own oil wells, and must import 99%, 90% from Russia. Russia is anything but a reliable ally and is known to have used its natural gas supplied to Eastern Europe as a political tool in the past.

So standby for action the so called Zionist “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA. We live in interesting times.

Sorry :

Yes, and you're paying for it. You are as guilty as the worst of the savage Israelis.

As long as AMericans don't do something...as long as there is the media, and AIPAC...and that nasty little mayor of New York, who fully expects to buy the Us Presidency--this will go on.

And you are paying for it. You are guilty.

Sorry :

Yes, and you're paying for it. You are as guilty as the worst of the savage Israelis.

As long as AMericans don't do something...as long as there is the media, and AIPAC...and that nasty little mayor of New York, who fully expects to buy the Us Presidency--this will go on.

And you are paying for it. You are guilty.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Here is and interesting post by JDLEDELL @ December 27, 2007 7:26 AM from Yossi Melmans’s blog:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/yossi_melman/2007/12/hopeful_for_bethlehem/all_comments.html

Yossi - Pay no attention to the extremists on both sides that populate this blog. I am extremely pessimistic about the chances for peace. I have dozens of relatives living in West Bank settlements and I have been going to Israel, at least annually, for more than 40 years. I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly of this situation.

It's easy to put the blame on the Palestinians for they have made numerous mistakes which have significantly aggravated the problem. Suicide bombers, rockets and armed resistance are just a few of the well known errors. However, Jewish mistakes are less well known. The settlement enterprise is the primary problem. My sister and her family were one of the first to move from Haifa to the West Bank after the 67 war. Settlements were planned with three express goals: first, dividing up the west bank with Jews so that a viable Palestinian state could never emerge. Second, to surround Jerusalem with Jewish settlements so that Palestinians could never use it as their capital (to that end, in 1967 Israel tripled the size of Jerusalem's historical dimensions). Third, to build on top of and control the West Bank aquifers.

I’m sure you are aware that Israel is not really trying to forge a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The settlement game is still being played. Some of my settler relatives are being recruited to seed a new settlement in Atarot, for a 11,000 person city on the doorstep of Ramallah. Others are being recruited to seed Giv’at Yael, a 20,000 person settlement near Bethlehem. Plans have been developed to build another new settlement, Shimo’n Hatsedeeq , near Abu Dis.

Eventually the world will catch on to Israel’s word games. Like Jerusalem's expanded boundries, Ma’ale Adumim's municipal boundries extend all the way to Jericho, empty land that can accomodate hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Ariel city boundries are proposed to expand to encompass all the small surrounding settlements that will make Ariel geographically 4 times larger, on the theory Ariel will be allowed to stay under a peace agreement. These kind of games will not lead to “land for peace” or “peace for peace”.

Look at the maps the settlers pass around, you will see four “reservations” for Palestinians with Israel taking all the rest, including the Jordan Valley. This is the game plan and I don’t think any Israeli politician is strong enough to stop it or slow it down. There is no such thing as the status quo, if peace is delayed Israeli settlement expansion will surely prevent the birth of a viable Palestinian state.

This is a recipe for disaster as internal and external Palestinians demand citizenship and a bi-national state. Yossi, our mutual dream of a Jewish homeland will disappear as it has so many times in the past few thousand years. I, for one, find that to be an unforgivable mistake. However, an even worse outcome is possible, the loss of the jewish soul. I have seen IDF and settler depravity first hand in the West Bank. I have two nephews serving in the IDF and they are thugs, who have already lost their souls to hatred, along with numerous of my relatives. I cherish my Jewish faith and the wisdom of the Torah but I see too many Israelis abandoning this wisdom in their greed and visceral hatred for “others”. If we lose our soul, land will not matter.

Rick Joones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Hi Victoria,

Thank you, what a charming holiday greeting and the best to you and yours.

Merry Chritmas.

VICTORIA :

HI RICK- I HOPE YOUR HOLIDAYS WERE FULL OF FRUIT

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

PRO-ISRAEL FORCES WANT TO RE-OPEN A PIPELINE FROM IRAQ TO HAIFA, ISRAEL

The fact that American-Israelis in our government are endeavoring to use the war on Iraq as a way for Israel to gain control over oil in the Middle East is rarely reported in the mainstream pro-Israel US media with your average American readership, however it has been reported in Jewish newspapers with Jewish readership and in Israeli papers.

A case in point is the fact that American-Israelis in our government want to "re-open" or re-instate, the pipeline that used to exist between Iraq and Palestine, which is now specifically Haifa, Israel. When Israel was created in 1948, that pipeline was re-directed by Iraq to Syria. Now pro-Israel forces are actively seeking to cut off the pipeline to Syria and re-direct it to Haifa, Israel. For more information on this, please do a Google-search using such keywords such as "Iraq oil pipeline to Haifa, Israel" and see what you come up with.

Just as Israel's connection to the war on Iraq has been kept out of the US mainstream media (as you may have noticed, Israel has not even been mentioned as one of our "allies" in the war on Iraq), this choice nugget of information with regards to Israel's ambition to get a basically free supply of Iraqi oil is also kept out of view for vast American public consumption.

VICTORIA :

i dont think the importance of water can be understated in the palestinian/israel issue

whiuke the world is nauseated by triumphant stories of the israelis "making the desert bloom",apparently no one ever thinks to notcie that it is a decision of making ones front yard a more important priority than another human beings quality of life.

every israeli has 4 TIMES the amount of water allotted to them than every palesitinian-

and as you noted palestinians are subsisting on HALF of what is necessary by health standards top maintain life and health-

which means, israelis are greedily sucking up twice thew amount of what is needed to maintian life and health-

when one looks at the maps drawn to distribute land- it is around water sources, and depriving palestinians access to water that these boundaries are artifically imposed-

ever wonder why the boundary lines are such squiggly and incoherent messes?

it is drawn around water access (for the israeli benefit, naturally)

i gues the israelis decided that telling people they were being pushed into the sea sounded alarming enough after thay actually DID IT TO 35,000 PALESTINIANS

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Haifa/Haifa/


The mass majority of Haifa's Palestinian population, numbering at least 35,000, were pushed into the sea. Similarly, Jaffa's population, numbering at least 50,000, suffered the same fate on May 13th,1948. Click here to view a map that illustrates refugees' migration routes.

Via boats, many Palestinian refugees landed in Sour (Tyre), Sayda, and Beirut Lebanon, and some boats managed to land in Acre City. It's very sad that some of the people who landed in Acre were ethnically cleansed again few weeks later.

Ironically, often Zionists accuse the Arabs of plotting to push the Jews into the sea!


http://www.palestineremembered.com/index.html

this site has a great search engine

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Hi Victoria,

Yes, that is very interesting indeed. There will be very little weeping in the world when the racist, terrorist, war criminal, so called “State of Israel” expires, and hopefully her demise is not far away.

Here is an article from B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/Without_Running_Water.asp

“Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the local population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

Even Israel’s own human rights organization considers them to be racist, illegal and “discriminates on racial grounds”. Israel hogs 80% of the regions water supply to keep their swimming pools full and lawns green, while leaving the Palestinians less than half the amount considered necessary of minimum health requirements by the WHO and USAID organizations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
More from B’Tselem on International Law relative to water rights:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/International_Law.asp

International law on water

“The water resources in the Occupied Territories were integrated into the legal and bureaucratic system of Israel, severely limiting the ability of Palestinians to develop those resources…

Article 55 of the Hague Regulations limits the right of occupying states to utilize the water sources of occupied territory. The use is limited to military needs and may not exceed past use. Use of groundwater of the Occupied Territories in the settlements does not meet these criteria and therefore breaches article 55…

Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits an occupying state from discriminating between residents of occupied territory. The quantity of water supplied to the settlements is vastly larger than that which is supplied to the Palestinians. Similarly, the regularity of supply is much greater in the settlements. This discrimination is especially blatant during the summer months when the supply to Palestinians in some areas of the West Bank is reduced in order to meet the increased demand for water in the settlements receiving their water from the same pipelines…

Under international law, the main principle for division of shared water between states is the principle of equitable and reasonable use. This principle is based on the limited-sovereignty doctrine, which provides that, because all parts of the drainage basins of watercourses are hydrologically interdependent, states are not allowed to utilize water located in their territory as they wish, but must take into account the other states that share the resource.

This principle does not state a precise formula quantifying the rights of each state sharing an international watercourse. Rather, it lists the factors to be considered in negotiations between the states to determine the division. Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses enumerates seven of these factors:

1. The natural features of the shared watercourse (geographic, climatic, hydrologic, and the like);

2. The social and economic needs of the watercourse states;

3. The population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse state;

4. The effects of the use of the watercourses in one watercourse state on other watercourse states;

5. Existing and potential uses of the watercourse;

Conservation, protection, and development of the water resources of the watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect;

The availability of alternatives to a particular planned or existing use.

Taking into account the components of the principle of equitable and reasonable use, examination of the current division of water between Israel and the Palestinians leads to the conclusion that this division violates Palestinian rights and contravenes international water law.

VICTORIA :

THIS WEEK AT WAR WILL DOBSON FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE-
transcript of show

FOREMAN: Wow. Just amazing. Dear Osama, we're breaking up. Another one of your headlines. What does that mean?

DOBSON: That's right. In September, a very prominent radical cleric in Saudi Arabia denounced Osama Bin Laden. This is important because this is a man who once mentored Osama Bin Laden. So this is a very important shift because it suggests that there's real fissures, differences of opinion even in the corners of radical Islam and a place like Saudi Arabia.

FOREMAN: When you look at things like the awakening movement in Iraq, do you see that as being related to this?

DOBSON: Well, it's clear right now that there is a war within Islam of ideas going on right now. And so this, we may look back at this as being a turning point where people began to ask questions. And this is important because this is a real blow to Osama Bin Laden's ideology and following.
***************************************
FOREMAN: A very controversial idea is your next headline here. AMERICAN JEWS TURN AWAY FROM ISRAEL. What do you mean?

DOBSON: Well, as we know, the U.S. foreign policy is made up by many different lobbies and one of them that's often credited that's being particularly powerful is the Israel lobby. Well, right now in America, a new study that really was just completely overlooked, it appears that though Americans, young American Jews, are beginning to feel less of an attachment to Israel.

In a survey that was done, young American Jews, 48% under 35 said they would not consider it a personal tragedy if Israel was destroyed. That's compared to 77% of those 65 and older. Likewise, 54% of young American Jews said that they felt no - they were even uncomfortable with the notion of a Jewish state compared again to 81% of those 65 or older. So what's clearly there is a shift, a generational shift going on in the Jewish community in America today.

FOREMAN: Well, that must cause enormous angst among the older Jewish community. So many of whom have memories of World War II and who feel like Israel was so hard-won to the young people saying you must understand your heritage.

DOBSON: That's exactly right. I mean, clearly what we're seeing and the authors of the report said one, this is a by-product of intermarriage between faiths. People are feeling less of an attachment to the homeland. And it's also a little bit of distance from history. They don't remember the holocaust as being the personal experience that their grandparents do. And so clearly, it's causing a weakening among Jews in America of seeing their jewishness as a collective identity.

INTERESTING, YES?

VICTORIA :

EID AL-ADHA MUBARAK ALL

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Here is an open letter to my friend Allan from another site:

Alan,

Concerning your ridiculous claim that the Jews “may have” purchased 95% of the land of the so called “State of Israel” legally, here is an interesting article from Middle East Quarterly that claims that the true number is 16.4%. So I stand corrected, all Israeli Jews may not be land thieves; only 83.6% of them are:

http://www.meforum.org/article/370

What do you think about them as a source? I’m sure that they are not as unbiased as The Jewish Virtual Library, but they claim to be an honest source of information. Here is what they say about themselves:

“Since its founding in 1994, the Middle East Quarterly has become America's most authoritative journal of Middle Eastern affairs. Policymakers, opinion-makers, academics, and journalists turn first to the Quarterly, for in-depth analysis of the rapidly-changing landscape of the world's most volatile region. The Quarterly publishes groundbreaking studies, exclusive interviews, insightful commentary, and hard-hitting reviews that tackle the entire range of contemporary concerns – from politics to economics to culture, across a region that stretches from Morocco to Afghanistan. The Quarterly, founded by Daniel Pipes and edited by Michael Rubin, appears in a print edition, and is available in full-text (except the current issue) on this website.

The Quarterly welcomes submissions of original articles, and will consider pre-publication of chapters from forthcoming books. The Quarterly specializes in timely and expeditious publication of articles that impact on today's critical issues.”

[I would say that they are about as unreliable as The Jewish Virtual Library given the pro-Israeli slant on the article that follows; nevertheless it will prove useful for our purposes. It will show that in 1901, 8.7% of the current land area of the “State of Israel” had been purchased by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). More than 70% of the remainder was public land vested in the British Mandatory Authority (Meaning that it was owned by the people, and the vast majority of the people were Palestinians).

With the establishment of the “State of Israel” in 1948, the new government inherited the state-owned lands formerly in the possession of British Mandatory authority as well as property abandoned by Arab refugees. The situation today is that 80.4% of the land is owned by the government, 13.1% is owned by the JNF (These lands were never sold, either to Jews or Arabs, but instead were leased on a long—term basis for kibbutzim and other forms of Jewish settlement), and only 6.5% is evenly divided between Arab and Jewish owners. So the 13.1% of land owned by the JNF plus 3.25% privately owned by Jews amounts to a total of 16.4% of the land of the current “State of Israel” that was actually purchased by the Jews; a far sight from your 95% number.]

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

An interesting article in today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121301470_pf.html

Churchill's Other Alliance
Why the British leader bucked the anti-Semitism of his time.

Reviewed by Glenn Frankel

Sunday, December 16, 2007; BW04

CHURCHILL AND THE JEWS

A Lifelong Friendship

By Martin Gilbert

Henry Holt. 352 pp. $30

"Even Winston had a fault," Gen. Edward Louis Spears, a dear friend of Winston Churchill, once told historian Martin Gilbert. "He was too fond of Jews."...

Churchill's profound admiration for the Jews, which was not shared by many of his closest political colleagues, was all the more amazing because it survived the rise of Bolshevism, which Churchill abhorred and which he believed was dominated, intellectually and politically, by men and women of Jewish origin. It even survived the turbulent years during and after World War II when Zionist extremists conducted a campaign of political murder against British officials, policemen and soldiers. That campaign reached its nadir with the 1944 assassination in Cairo of Lord Moyne, Britain's top colonial administrator in the region and one of Churchill's closest friends, and the 1946 bombing of British administration offices at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 people died...

Why did the great man shower his affection on a people that could be, by his own reckoning, so cantankerous and problematic? It was, Gilbert writes, partly because Churchill saw Jewish ethics as the foundation stone for Western moral teachings... [Codswallop!]

It's also the case that Churchill had little use for Muslims... [A true anti-Semite; i.e. Arab hater.]

Churchill was often accused by political opponents and anti-Semites of being in the pocket of wealthy Jews...

Lord Alfred Douglas, the poet and former lover of playwright Oscar Wilde, alleged that Churchill accepted bribes from Jewish financiers during World War I to manipulate wartime information for their financial advantage while he was secretary of the Royal Navy. Douglas was convicted of criminal libel and sentenced to six months in prison. [Let that be a lesson to you, it never pays to speak truth to power.]

Anonymous :

The whole issue of Israel , the very existence, is one which in reality helps the mostly autocratic middle east muslim dominated regimes than anyone else.
If we are to look at the last 100 or so years this becomes very clear.
Why didnt the whole Arab world do anything regarding the refugee camps? Why does the Arab world accept the state of Jordan ? This was also a creation of the so called IMPERIALISTIC powers namely Great Britain.
The namely MUSLIM palestianians ( cause we realy cannot say that Palestine was a muslim country /state from time immemorial because MULSIM faith is not as ancient as ZIONISM or CHRISTIANITY) right from the time Israel as a nation was estabished has been used by the ARAB political class to ensure that thier Home issues were kept at the back burner and the so caled issue of palestianians was always in the forefront and kept burninbg so that predominantly illeterate or semi illeterate population in these middle eastern countries had a cause . This immensly helped the political class in keeping thier regimes intact.
This has also helped the MUSLIM religious groups and IMAMS to spread thier power and influence.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Victoria,

Here is an article in today’s Times that you may enjoy if you haven’t seen it.

Muslims Mark Hajj's Spiritual High Point

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Saudi-Hajj.html?pagewanted=print

Peace.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Scanning the newspapers this morning I see that Paris conferees have pledged $7.4 Billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying that an infusion of cash would help the peace process begun by the United States last month in Annapolis, Md.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121700210.html

“But some delegates said that pumping money into the West Bank and Gaza Strip would not lead to long-term economic growth or political moderation as long as Israel continued expanding Jewish settlements and imposing a regime of checkpoints and closures that was strangling the Palestinian economy...

"Economic development is the best guarantee of lasting peace and long-term security for Israel," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the conference host...

But it was unclear how much of the $7.4 billion pledged Monday would go to Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, a radical Islamic group whose forces expelled the Palestinian Authority from the strip in June.

Events that followed the Nov. 27 Annapolis conference contributed to Palestinian resentment here and in the territories leading up to the Paris meeting. A week after both sides pledged to adhere to the U.S.-backed "road map" for peace -- a plan launched in 2003 that calls for Israel to stop settlement activities and for Palestinians to disarm militant groups and boost security -- Israel announced the construction of more than 300 homes on occupied land on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

"I'll be eager to implement all our commitments under the road map, and I expect the Israeli side to do the same, comprehensively, and without excuses from our side or theirs," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the delegates. "I expect them to stop all settlement activities, without exceptions."

There is a fat chance that the Zionists will let up on their expansionist settlements and strangle hold on the Palestinian economy. They will prefer to keep their West Bank settlements, hog 80% of the water supply to keep their lawns green and swimming pools full, while denying the Palestinian natives the right to drill wells; even though both the UN and USA agree that the Palestinians are being deprived the minimum amount of water to maintain health.

Some people cannot be lived with; they must be expelled once again from the Middle East.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Hey Victoria,

Thanks for the news. Darn, I missed my favorite politician. If I'd known that...nah, I'd still have gone to work anyway.

Stay well.

victoria :

of course i never DID answer that question on bosnia, did i?

soory bout that tom-

rick- this made me think of you-
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/12/20071217-2.html

bush in fredricksburg today-

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Tom,

Thanks for the kind words. You are a gentleman and a scholar. It’s always a pleasure.

But let’s not get too maudlin!

Tom Wonacott :

Rick and Victoria

Thanks for the excellent discussions on the problems of the Middle East. I learned more from these discussions than the previous year on this site. Keep up the good work...

Victoria, I apologize for my behavior while discussing Bosnia with you. I was way out of line (too much time on this site, I guess). Bosnia was most certainly a tragedy.

Tom

victoria :

but he did enter the mosque, and with armed troops,
and conveniently, it led to his being propelled inot the public eye to his benefit

so there is that

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Here’s a good example of how AIPAC is not the only source of Israeli influence that misled us into the disastrous preemptive invasion of Iraq and continues to stoke our world wide War on Islam:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/opinion/12dowd.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

December 12, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist
The Dream Is Dead

By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

“The man crowned by Tommy Franks as “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet” just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet.

Doug Feith, the former Rummy gofer who drove the neocon plan to get us into Iraq, and then dawdled without a plan as Iraq crashed into chaos, was the headliner at a reunion meeting of the wooly-headed hawks Monday night at the American Enterprise Institute.

The room was packed as the former No. 3 at the Pentagon, previewing his upcoming book, “War and Decision,” conceded that the case could be made that “mistakes were made.” His former boss, Paul Wolfowitz, and the former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle sat supportively in the front row.”...

“In “Fiasco,” Tom Ricks wrote that Feith’s Pentagon office was dubbed the “black hole” of policy by generals watching him drop the ball...

Jay Garner, America’s first viceroy in Iraq, deemed him “incredibly dangerous” and said his “electrons aren’t connected.”

Feith’s disdain for diplomacy and his credo that weakness invites aggression were shaped, Ricks reported, by personal history: “Like Wolfowitz, Feith came from a family devastated by the Holocaust. His father lost both parents, three brothers, and four sisters to the Nazis.”...

What’s the answer to bin Laden? According to Feith, it was an attack on an unrelated dictator. He oversaw the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group, whose mission was to amp up links between Saddam and Al Qaeda...

It defies reason, but there are still some who think the chuckleheads who orchestrated the Iraq misadventure have wisdom to impart.

The Pentagon neocons dumped Condi Rice out of the loop. Yet, according to Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff, Condi has now offered Wolfie a job. It wasn’t enough that he trashed Iraq and the World Bank. (He’s still larking around town with Shaha, the sweetheart he gave the sweetheart deal to.)
Condi wants Wolfie to advise her on nuclear proliferation and W.M.D. as part of a State Department panel that has access to highly classified intelligence.

Once you’ve helped distort W.M.D. intelligence to trick the country into war, shouldn’t you be banned for life from ever having another top-level government post concerning W.M.D.?”

Tom Wonacott :

Victoria

GlobalSecurity.org

“…Additionally, the Israeli government received some assurances from the Palestinian government that Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount would not cause violence…”

Wikipedia

“…When Sharon expressed interest in visiting the Temple Mount, Barak ordered GSS chief Ami Ayalon to approach Jibril Rajoub with a special request to facilitate a smooth and friendly visit [...] Rajoub promised it would be smooth as long as Sharon would refrain from entering any of the mosques or praying publicly [...] Just to be on the safe side, Barak personally approached Arafat and once again got assurances that Sharon's visit would be smooth as long as he did not attempt to enter the Holy Mosques…”

Palestine History.com

“…Sharon's impending visit was officially announced and approved in advance with many Palestinian officials including Arafat himself, though prior to it some people on both sides protested, because of his controversial political stance….”

Sharon’s visit was not a great idea, and provocative, but some have written that the intifada was pre planned by Arafat - well in advance of the peace talks. Regardless, the war resulted from the failure of the peace talks in which Arafat rejected the Israeli offer without a counter offer…

Thanks for the post. I only hope that this set of talks leads to some kind of resolution of the issues.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Here is an article that shows what we are up against. It shows how Barack Obama executed his abrupt flip flop on Palestinian support when he began his campaign for a US Senate seat from Illinois:

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6619.shtml

How Barack Obama learned to love Israel

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007

...“In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”…

…“But Obama's gradual shift into the AIPAC camp had begun as early as 2002 as he planned his move from small time Illinois politics to the national scene. In 2003, Forward reported on how he had "been courting the pro-Israel constituency." He co-sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code allowing the state of Illinois to lend money to the Israeli government. Among his early backers was Penny Pritzker -- now his national campaign finance chair -- scion of the liberal but staunchly Zionist family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain. (The Hyatt Regency hotel on Mount Scopus was built on land forcibly expropriated from Palestinian owners after Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967). He has also appointed several prominent pro-Israel advisors.”…

…“If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising. He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power.”…

“Only if enough people know what Obama and his competitors stand for, and organize to compel them to pay attention to their concerns can there be any hope of altering the disastrous course of US policy in the Middle East. It is at best a very long-term project that cannot substitute for support for the growing campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions needed to hold Israel accountable for its escalating violence and solidifying apartheid.”

It is clear to me that our only hope for an honest government is campaign reform with total taxpayer financing of political campaigns. All lobbying must be totally banned.

victoria :

hi tom-
actually the intifada was started when sharon stormed the mosque on a friday when the people were at prayer with, conincidentally- 1000 troops.

people at prayer tom- that is what started it-
worked well politically for sharon too, didnt it?

i was talking about intentions-
the israeli people apparently preceived killing palestinians at prayer as exactly the kind of "strong' militant leadership they wanted.

the numbers i gave (despite your objections- prove them wrong then)

really dramatically illustrate the intentions on both sides.

iraeli deaths cut in half to a mere 23

the CHILDREN killed were 6 times that!

the use of civilians as human shields actually came to the fore when ISRAELI soldiers used them- not palestinians

http://www.imemc.org/article/51965

just today- TODAY Palestinian medical sources reported on Tuesday that six Palestinians have been killed and 19 others wounded, during an Israeli army ground offensive on southern Gaza Strip today.

what about yesterday?
the day before?
year before? years before???

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Sorry, I gave you the wrong link in the previous post.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11302007/transcript2.html

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Ken Krimmer,

Thanks for the fascinating link. I find it very interesting indeed. When are we going to figure out how to give the American people as much pull with the Congress as AIPAC has?

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/2007/11/israel_lobby_too_powerful/comments.html#comments

Here is the part I like best:

BILL MOYERS: But in this country the right wing, the radicals, if you will, you call them radicals, they are radicals. They're organized. They have the money. They have this alliance with the Republican Party. And AIPAC and others make it impossible for Democrats to have the kind of conversation that you're having here. I mean, you don't hear this debate in the Democratic debates, do you?

M.J. ROSENBERG: You don't. And that's-- it's so amazing that no one asks the candidates about Israel and Palestine in debates, ever.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

M.J. ROSENBERG: I think the reason they don't ask is that they know what the candidates are going to say is, "I love Israel. I stand with Israel. Israel is great." End of the discussion.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

M.J. ROSENBERG: Because they are intimidated...

BILL MOYERS: By?

M.J. ROSENBERG: By the lobby which basically does not want a debate on this issue. But, you know, I don't blame the lobby. I blame the politicians. They're not going to lose their seats in Congress. They're not going to lose the presidency because they endorsed a two-state solution. The-- it is not losing that they're afraid of. They're afraid of getting any static from a couple of right wing donors...

BILL MOYERS: --I mean, you have seen the candidates for Congress lose because of opposition from supporters of Israel.

M.J. ROSENBERG: You know what? I think that the only people say that candidates for Congress have lost because of that opposition is, one, the lobby itself to tout its own power. And those candidates who lost for other reasons and want someone to blame. No, I can go over those case by case--

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, but-- but in your newsletter you keep talking about the power of the lobby to intimidate the discussion among Democrats in particular...

BILL MOYERS: --talk about Barney Frank, who's a good liberal Democrat but never discusses this. You talk about Nancy Pelosi writes a letter to Bush before the Annapolis conference and says the only solution can be one that deals primarily with what Palestinians are doing and has no reciprocity from Israel.

M.J. ROSENBERG: Oh, absolutely. The-- they have a real chilling effect on debate...

BILL MOYERS: More so than CUFI, don't they?

M.J. ROSENBERG: Oh, much more. CUFI doesn't really-- I don't see them as really counting on this issue. No, they have a much more-- I go up to the Hill all the time, talk to members of Congress. And what they always are say is, "I'm with you 100 percent. I'm for the two-state solution. I know it's the best thing for America and it's the best thing for Israel. But you really don't want me to go out and say that in public." So they say, like, in my heart I agree with you. But that's not good enough.

RON SIDER: I think that MJ's basically right on that. And I'm sorry about that. I wish they did. I wish they had the political courage to-- in fact, say what they think. Because I mean, it's really momentous in terms of the U.S. and the history of the world and our foreign policy. Because 1.3 billion Muslims in the world tend to judge the U.S. and see it through the lens of Israel-Palestine. And all those Muslims perceive the U.S. as very one-sided. If we would solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, that would remove one major problem in the huge dangerous relationship between the U.S. with its large Christian majority and the Muslim world.

M.J. ROSENBERG: And, you know, on top of it, you have in the Jewish community some 70 percent of our community supports the two-state solution, supports the peace process, supports what Bush tried to do this week in Annapolis. But under our current system, it isn't majorities that matter, it's special interest groups based in Washington. It's a problem with our system right now and how it works...

David T. :

Sen Lieberman should move to Israel and join their government... he's a zionist goon.

Extremism in any form is poisonous. Zionists are no different than Jihadists or Christian zealots... ready to kill for their beliefs... what kind of God approves of killng?

Ken Krimmer :

If anyone had the chance to watch Bill Moyers interviews they can here:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11302007/profile2.html

WATCH AND LEARN

Anonymous :

If anyone had the chance to watch Bill Moyers interviews they can here:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11302007/profile2.html

WATCH AND LEARN

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

“Just look at the casualty figures posted by Victoria. Maybe it’s in the best interest of the Palestinians to attempt some diplomacy...”

I Googled “Death before Dishonor” looking for some good historical references to this fundamental issue and got a punk rock band, a movie, and a musical album soundtrack to the movie.

Anyway, I think we all get the idea. For many proud people, death is preferable to subjugation to an oppressive, apartheid, tyrannical regime.

Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” comes to mind.

You know, a funny thing is that I cannot fully access this blog from my home computer. That is why the “Test” message is posted on Saturday morning. Apparently I can transmit but not receive. I transmitted the test message but never saw it posted. From my home computer, I can see all posts up to my post @ November 28, 2007 9:19 AM and nothing beyond. Que pasa?

Tom Wonacott :

Good morning Rick

"...Targeting civilians is not only O.K., it is absolutely necessary, just as is the case in Iraq. If they don’t like being targeted, then they should vacate the country..."

Just look at the casualty figures posted by Victoria. Maybe its in the best interest of the Palestinians to attempt some diplomacy...

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Test.

Compared to Palestine or Lebanon :

If we are comparing lobbies among these folks, you bet-- I do not see Lebanon or Palestine asking the USA to put themselves second but for AIPAC and even the ADL trickery, YOU bet I do. Personally I do not like the NEW WLD Order stuff, the Zionist claims for ownership, the destruction of people and land in a brutal manner. Your question.. do I think AIPAC and Equals have too much influence? Just follow the money we give Israel and look-up the word "turn-around" as it applies to orders of goods and think. Bought and paid for.. and in reality we are paying for it. confidentialsources/theradioavenger

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Hello Tom,

“Since we have been discussing this issue, I have not seen even once where you have criticized Palestinian tactics. Do you believe that targeting civilians is OK? That the goals of Hamas (elected leader of Palestine) are consistent with peace in the ME? That rocket fire into Israel is justified especially while peace talks are being conducted?”

Although not addressed to me, I will volunteer my opinion anyway.

The Israeli citizens are actually the foot soldiers in this death struggle for the land of Palestine. They invaded and are squatting on the land illegally and are thus legitimate targets of the asymmetrical warfare that is being conducted by the Palestinians against the overwhelming military might of the US and Israel. Targeting civilians is not only O.K., it is absolutely necessary, just as is the case in Iraq. If they don’t like being targeted, then they should vacate the country.

Likewise, the goals of Hamas are the only legitimate peace in Israel and rocket fire into Israel is justified; i.e. the abolishment of the illegitimate “State of Israel”.

The ongoing peace talks are not legitimate. The appeaser/collaborator Abbas does not represent the Palestinian people. Hamas represents the democratically elected sovereign government of Palestine.

Tom Wonacott :

Victoria

Let me start with your most important point - the high amount of Palestinian versus Israeli deaths.
As you mentioned in your post, half of Palestinian deaths have been civilians (many children) and half are enemy combatants (involved in terrorist activity).

1. During the 2000 (2000-2005) intifada, over 1000 Israelis were killed primarily from terrorist attacks. Civilians were the main target of Palestinian terrorist (read - not freedom fighters). Israel built a wall to prevent terrorist from entering Israel and the wall has been very effective - reducing by about 90%potential attacks against Israeli citizens. So in part, at least, the low amount of deaths to Israelis reflects greater security and NOT that the Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad have not been trying. In fact, there have been many FAILED attempts to kill Israelis, but their attacks were blunted.

2. As you know, it is illegal to target civilians under the Geneva convention, however, in the course of war, the international community recognizes that civilians will be killed while targeting enemy combatants. Israel does not target civilians, and, in fact, Israel issues an apology when a rocket goes astray and kills some civilians, while Palestinian terrorist specifically target women, old men and children at supermarkets, coffee shops, bookstores, schools and so on. Ever heard them issue an apology? Targeting civilians as opposed to killing civilians in the course of war are not morally or legally equivalent acts of violence. NO MORAL EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN TACTICS.

3. The Palestinian method of war is neither legal or moral. On July 10th, 2007, the Jerusalem Post reported “…army lookouts had spotted the four militants approaching the border fence in an armored jeep marked with “TV” and “PRESS” insignia, “thought they were foreign reporters, so did not shoot at them.” The cell then broke through a gate in the barrier and took over an Israeli military post, which was empty at the time…” Palestinian journalist objected because they knew that this action put them at risk. Likewise, Children and women (some pregnant) have been used in terrorist activities by the Palestinians including their use as suicide bombers. This puts all Palestinian women and children at greater risk. In addition, terrorist have used ambulances to transport weapons or attack, and hidden in schools, mosques, hospitals and churches. Bomb factories have been located next to schools. It is well documented that Palestinian terrorist use civilian populations for as a shield which is a violation of international law. Its no wonder that civilians are “accidentally” killed on occasion. Palestinian terrorist are a walking war crime.

4. Israel will retaliate when Islamic Jihad shoots rockets into Israel. Just about everyday, Palestinian terrorist fire rockets and mortars at Israeli population centers even as Abbas meets with Israel to try to reach an agreement on peace. The goal of the terrorist is to evoke an invasion by Israel into Gaza where hundreds of civilians will be killed (and, of course, to undermine the peace process). They hope (sacrifice civilians) to bring world-wide condemnation to Israel through the “impartial” UN.

Hamas believes in the one state solution - void of any Jews (Jerusalem Post - reported also by the BBC?):

“…Hamas on Thursday called on the UN to rescind the 1947 decision to partition Palestine into two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs. The group said in a statement, released on the 60th anniversary of the UN vote, that "Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem... there is no room in it for the Jews.”…”

How do you reach peace with Hamas the ELECTED leader of the Palestinians? Does Israel overreact? Absolutely. Far too many people are being killed in this endless conflict. Israel has planted numerous illegal settlements in the West Bank, but the greater problem lies with the Palestinians unwillingness to negotiate (for example, the 2000 peace talks) to reach an agreement and their continued attacks against Israel. Furthermore, Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas could care less about the occupation of the West Bank since they are interested in the grand prize of greater Israel.

“…wikipedia is a questionable source becuase it is written by individual people, and their subjective opinions…”

“…so now i looked at the wikipedia post-
the first 2 paragraphs, who knows who wrote them?
they are opinion…”

“…look at the bbc story and stats i provided below…”

What gives you the misguided idea that the BBC is a neutral source of information or that their reporting is unbased? They have often been accused of anti Israeli prejudice.

Recently the “non partisan” British National Union of Journalists voted for an economic boycott of Israel. Mind you, the BBC has a policy against the use of the word “terrorist” even when the UK is attacked because the word implies a “value judgment“ and “partiality“:

“…"Our credibility is undermined by the careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgements.....The value judgements frequently implicit in the use of the words "terrorist" or "terrorist group" can create inconsistency in their use or, to audiences, raise doubts about our impartiality…”

Hamas appreciated the British “impartiality” and succeeded in obtaining the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston who was being held in Gaza by terrorists. ALL sources of information are biased in one fashion or another. How about the story of the Palestinian child that allegedly was killed by Israeli gunfire (French television)? From Clifford May, Scripps Howard News Service, March 3, 2005:

“…The image is as disturbing and iconic as any seen during the many decades of the Arab-Israeli conflict: Mohammed al-Durra, just 12 years old, caught in a cross-fire in Gaza, trembling against a wall, his father desperately attempting to shield him. And then, heartbreakingly, Mohammed al-Durra, shot and killed by Israeli gunfire.
His death, in September 2000, inspired poems -- and suicide bombings. According to the 2001 Mitchell report it was one of the events that set off the intifada.
A poster of Mohammed al-Durra is in the background of the video of the butchering of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Osama bin Laden used the boy's image in recruitment tapes and began a list of indictments against America by saying that President Bush “must not forget the image of Mohammed al-Durra and his fellow Muslims in Palestine and Iraq.”
But there is something most people don't know about this story: It didn't happen the way I described it above. It may not have happened at all…”

This false story wrongly generated huge world condemnation for Israel and was used by Bin Laden to justify attacks against the US (of course, al Qaeda TARGETED and killed numerous children in Iraq which he nevers seems to mention). All sources should be questioned, but Wikipedia is still a reasonable source of information regardless of what you think so I will continue to use Wikipedia in the future.

Finally, the UN and their bias toward Israel. The problem with the UN passing resolutions condemning Israel but no one else is that the UN loses their credibility, thus countries with extreme human rights violations that far exceed Israel’s such as Sudan which looks to the “neutral” world organization for fairness and impartiality are reduced to skepticism and cynicism because of the politics involved in the world body.

Am I saying that Israel has not committed any crimes against the Palestinians? Absolutely not. They most certainly have and they deserve to be condemned by the UN, but the Palestinians have also perpetrated numerous war crimes including targeting civilians, using the civilian population as shields, etc. which should also be condemned by the UN as well.

If Olmert said that all Israeli Palestinians should be forced out of Israel, that would rightly bring condemnation from the world body, but when Hamas which is an elected representative of the Palestinian people, says “Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem... there is no room in it for the Jews.”, we get absolutely nothing from the UN. When the UN passes a resolution condemning Israel for one thing or another, I don’t even read the article because, just like Demetris, only half of the story is being told (and I didn‘t accuse Demetris of being biased, HE WAS BIASED). The US recognizes this bias, thus they always vote against these resolutions - a stand I totally agree with (until the UN changes from a political body to a neutral arbitrator of world problems - which they are not).

Since we have been discussing this issue, I have not seen even once where you have criticized Palestinian tactics. Do you believe that targeting civilians is OK? That the goals of Hamas (elected leader of Palestine) are consistent with peace in the ME? That rocket fire into Israel is justified especially while peace talks are being conducted?

VICTORIA :

just a quick quip-
i saw on hardball yesterday that every single american is in debt to the tune of 30,000 dollars-
(because of the enormous national debt- its a breakdown, not personal debt)

on second thought, maybe we should keep that 23k and spread it around here a little

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Tom,

Thanks for the tip on the tip on Rami G. Khouri and the Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star. I’ve added it to my favorites list and will try to find time to keep up on it.

Victoria,

You always have such a delightful way of putting things into perspective:

“so have the irish, alot MORE in fact-but do you see anoyne suggesting we send 23,000 dollars a year to every irish man woman and baby? (which is the current amount we GIVE israel)”

Yup, I agree with you and BobL, I would prefer to give it to the Irish. But if we have to give it to anyone, I would give it to the Palestinians until we had evened things out. There must be something wrong with your figures though. If we give 23,000 dollars per Israeli, times 5 Million Israelis, that is 115 Billion dollars per year, or 4 Trillion dollars total in 35 years. Oops, back to the calculator.

BobL,

“At least they're [the Irish] not taking other people's land, settling on it and when they complain killing them. “

and

“…Given the history of Israel, which includes the displacement of a couple of million Palestinians and the 60 straight years of constant conflict, I could understand an argument that stated the US and Britian in hindsight made a terrible mistake…”

Yup, I agree, good point.

Tom,

“About 700,000 Palestinians and about the same amount of Jews were displaced (although the Jewish displacement from the Middle East and elsewhere - where they had lived for centuries - is rarely mentioned).”

Yes, but the Jews had it coming; they were the instigators.

“What I find particularly disturbing is the one-sided view of the conflict that is constantly argued on this site. The Israelis ACCEPTED the two state solution”...

Yes, some of us see the Palestinians as the victim of the Israeli/US aggressors. The Palestinians have fought back using some unsavory techniques, which some call terrorism and others call asymmetric warfare, but it seems to me that they have no choice. To yield to the overpowering Israeli/US military might and accept the two-state solution is just unimaginable. They would be giving up their last vestige of human dignity, hence the exploding Muslim.

“You and I both know that Israel was attacked by the Arabs the day after Israel declared independence which resulted in the Palestinian refugees that are now located in camps littered throughout the Middle East. THE REFUGEES ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF ARABS ATTACKING ISRAEL.”

Yes, but you and I both know that the Arab cause was just. They had no other choice if they were to maintain any claim of human rights and dignity.

Yes, I know that the peace offer made to the Palestinians in 2000 sounds good to you, but it doesn’t to me. I’ll take your word that it included 97% of the occupied territories, but that’s not good enough. They still would have kept 58% of the Palestine mandate that the British chose to split between the Jews and Palestinians. The have no right to any land in Palestine after being absent for almost 2,000 years; accept for the 2% of the population that was there at the turn of the 20th century.

“I am not optimistic about peace in the Middle East, but the Palestinians bear their fair share of the blame.”

I agree there will be no peace, but Palestine does not bear part of the blame. Their unending fight for their land and dignity is just.

“Finally, there can be no peace in the Middle East as long as there is state sponsored terrorism against Israel and who will suffer the most?”

Yes, the Palestinians will suffer the most, but the US and Israel are the terrorist states.

“Also, there are secessionists all over the world who would disagree with your statement.”

But Israel is not a secessionist (withdrawer). It is an invader and occupier.

Demitris,

I can’t agree that the Zionists want to occupy all the land between the Nile and Euphrates. Oh maybe some do but not many. But it’s enough that I agree strongly with your contention that they have no right to occupy any part of Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and between Egypt and Lebanon and Syria.

Phew, I’m long winded today; I don’t expect anyone to read this.

Thanks for the posts all.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Hi Victoria, Tom, BobL, Demetris, (Where's AM?)

Gee, I go away for just a few days thinking this blog is dead, and look at you guys. It will take a while to get caught up. Meantime, here is some stuff for you to chew on that you may not have seen.

Here is the 2nd of two articles in the WP this week about the exhumation in Washington D.C. and reburial in Israel of Theodore Herzl’s grandson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120502025_pf.html

Here is the link to the 1st.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/29/AR2007112902368_pf.html

This is the tragic story of the Zionists’ greatest hero. The first article mentions in passing what an incredible simpleton Herzl was. It never occurred to him that the Palestinians would not readily give up their land and welcome the invading Zionists with open arms.

"Historians and others still sift through Herzl's writings and see many legacies. They note that he envisioned a Jewish state where people spoke not Hebrew, but German; that he and other early Zionists failed to understand Arab nationalism; and that in a utopian novel Herzl wrote, he describes a binational, egalitarian state."

From the 2nd article:

“Sixty years after jumping off a bridge to his death, the last descendant of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, was buried Wednesday in a Jerusalem cemetery bearing his grandfather's name _ bringing an end to a torturous family saga and finally fulfilling Herzl's century-old will.

Herzl's son also committed suicide. He had a daughter who was mentally ill and another who was killed in the Holocaust. In the past year, three of the founder's four descendants have been buried in Israel_ no easy task because of rabbinical injunctions against Jewish burials for those who have killed themselves or converted to other religions.”...

"His vision was realized, and now there is an exemplary nation," said Liora Herzl, the great-granddaughter of Herzl's cousin. But she noted that Zionism's founder left behind a broken, cash-strapped family. "He was completely consumed with his commitment to the Zionist idea, and his family ultimately paid the price for that."

“Norman was the lone family member committed to Herzl's Zionist cause. He read about his grandfather's work and was active in his movement.”

So here we have the idealist Zionist simpleton who is the principal founder responsible for the incredible mess we have in the Middle East today. The question for us to unravel is: what are we going to do about it?

Clearly, the rightful owners of the land of Palestine are in no mood to welcome the Zionist invaders with open arms and they continue to demand the return of their land. The USA is stuck with the consequences of its incredibly poor judgment in siding with the Zionists on this issue.

We are stuck with only two very unattractive options that I can see:

1. Continue with the present approach of funding (with my tax dollars) the slow genocide of the Palestinian people through the denial of their basic human rights and dignity. This is a fate worse than death as evidenced by the tasteless joke of the occasional exploding Muslim. The Israelis confiscate most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

2. Admit what horrendous mistakes were made by the League of Nations in the 20th century with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN Partition of Palestine in 1947 and correct them. How do we correct them? Restore the original pre-1947 boundary of the map of Palestine, go back to the single state solution, recognize the Palestinian Refugee right of return, form a UN mandate to control the allocation of water and enforce the peace. The Israeli planes, tanks, ships and nuclear weapons and all Palestinian arms would be destroyed.

To my mind the 2nd option is the clear choice. What are the odds of this happening? I would say not so good; it is very difficult to admit when one has made a mistake.

Tom Wonacott :

Victoria

Thanks for the post, and I will get back to you, hopefully, by tomorrow.

Tom Wonacott :

Demetris

I said,

“Demetris, when you say fair and just, impartially and without prejudice, would you say that YOUR summary of the [HISTORY OF EVENTS] surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fair and just, impartial and without prejudice?…”

You said:

“…In my post I listed a number of irrefutable facts which, as a whole, constitute the root-cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Show me the unfairness and partiality in my statements and please be specific…”.

The root cause of the Palestinian conflict is really simple. The Israelis accepted a two state solution and the Arabs did not. This still persist today via Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah (and Iran who funds and directs these terrorist organizations).

The unfairness and partiality in your statements is because they represent only one side of the history of events in the Palestinian-Israeli story.

For example, where, in your statements do you mention that the Arabs attacked Israel immediately after Israel claimed independence? Where do you mention that the state of Israel is a legal state under international law? Where do you mention that the Palestinian refugees were created as a direct result of that initial attack? Where do you mention that there were 850,000 Jews forced from their homes in the Middle East (and elsewhere)) by the Arabs after 1947 so that today, a paltry 50,000 still remain? The Palestinian resistance (terrorism) had nothing to do with the West Bank and Gaza until Arafat signed the 1993 Oslo Accords. Until that point in time, the Palestinians were fighting for the eradication of Israel. It became an issue when Arafat recognized Israel wasn’t going anywhere and they lowered their expectations. In 2002, the Arab League offered Israel full diplomatic recognition in return for Israel to move back to the 1967 borders, thus, the Arabs fought for a half of a century to eradicate the state of Israel.

Where do you mention that the Arabs attacked Israel in 1967 and 1973 with the intent of (illegally) targeting Israeli population centers and destroying Israel. Where do you mention that Israel acquired the West bank and Gaza as a direct result of Arab aggression in 1967? That the greatest proportion of Israeli acquisition of land has come AFTER they had been attacked.

In your unbiased view of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where do you mention that Israel dismantled settlements in the Sanai and returned the land to Egypt after Egypt announced their intentions for peace? Or that Israel dismantled their settlements in Gaza? Or that Israel offered to dismantle 64 (illegal) settlements in the West Bank in 2000 when they offered peace to the Palestinians and Arafat REJECTED the plan WITHOUT a counter offer.

Terrorism

“…During WWII, in virtually all the Nazi-occupied countries in Europe, the patriotic resistance against the occupiers was encouraged and actively supported by the United States. Many of the freedom-fighters did not hesitate to place their own lives on the line in the cause of freedom from their Nazi oppressor. The similarity with the acts of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation forces is evident and a distinction should be made between freedom-fighters and terrorists…”

Now that is an interesting view of history. In 1921, Mohammad Amin al-Husayne was appointed the grand mufti of Jerusalem - a title he kept until 1947. Al-Husayne was a virulent anti Semite. He inspired the Hebron massacre of 1929 in which over 100 Jews were slaughtered, and other acts of violence against the Jews. He welcomed the Nazis to Jerusalem after Hitler came to power and spent his war years in Germany where he participated in atrocities against the Jews. He was a ”…full fledged war criminal and he was so declared at Nuremberg…” In 2002, Arafat declared Husayne a hero to the Palestinian people. Some hero. A leader of the Palestinians BEHOLDEN to Hitler.

Targeting civilians is a trademark of Arab “resistance”. I could publish a long list of Palestinian atrocities perpetrated against Israeli civilians by your so called “freedom fighters”. After the failed peace talks in 2000, Arafat directed a wave of suicide bombers against Israeli civilians targeting old people, pregnant women and children at markets, coffee shops and other high value targets. In all, over 1000 Israelis were killed.

Look up any definition of “terrorism” and most begin with “targeting civilians” so your view of “freedom fighters” is misguided at best. The 2000 intifada led to the current conditions in the West Bank where the Palestinians have little freedom of movement because of the checkpoints and the wall, but Israel will move to protect her citizens. The Palestinians ALWAYS pay a higher price than the Israelis - a price the Palestinian leadership is willing to pay, however, in my opinion, to turn world opinion against the Israelis. I agree that Israel needs to remove her settlements to the approximate 1967 border. Terrorism (targeting civilians) against Israeli citizens by Arafat began in the 1960s and continued to his death.

“…A. To begin with, an immediate cessation of all hostilities must be IMPOSED by the United Nations on both sides…”

You said in your own post that Arafat could not (even if he wanted) stop terrorist attacks. What makes you believe that the UN can? Or that Abbas can? Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah are continually undermining peace efforts. All three including Iran believe Israel should be eradicated. This is what you said.

“…Item: When Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister of Israel, he had adopted the satanic ploy of demanding from Palestinian Chairman Arafat to “rein-in the terrorist groups”. This impossible-to –comply-with demand had allowed Sharon to launch his hard line campaign of assassination and destruction with presumed impunity…”.

As you are implying, you cannot impose peace on the Palestinians. So, who really wants peace?
(This is also an effective strategy to counter the rockets being launched from Gaza.)

“…C. Israel must be compelled to:
1) Declare unequivocally that it has no aspirations to any land other than that whose boundaries were defined in the U.N. Declaration which established it as a state….”

What you are really saying is that the Arabs made a huge mistake attacking Israel after independence. To expect the Israelis to move back to the 1947 boundaries is completely unrealistic.

“…2) Withdraw from the occupied territories including all the illegal settlements and the Golan Heights….”

As soon as Syria which has her hands soiled in Lebanon as well as Israel, comes to grips with her open sponsorship of terrorism including the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafiki Hariri, Israel will hand over the Golan heights. In the 2000 peace initiative, Israel offered to withdraw from 64 illegal settlements in the West bank which was rejected by Arafat WITHOUT a counter offer. Arafat did not want peace (in my opinion).


“…3) Accept the creation of an independent Palestinian State.
4) Allow the return of Palestinians who were forced out of their homes under the Israeli ethnic cleansing campaign…”

Israel accepted the Palestinian state in 1947 but was immediately attacked. The refugees will not be allowed back into Israel for obvious reasons (fair or not). Of course, you would support the same for the 850,000 Israelis forced off of Arab land, right? How convenient that you for got these people.

“…5) Provide just compensation for the homes and lands previously owned by Palestinians and forcibly appropriated by Israel or return such homes and lands to their rightful owners.
6) Accord and guarantee equal human rights and civil liberties to all Palestinians who choose to live within Israel as stipulated by the U.N. resolution which created the state of Israel….”

Just like the Jews are granted equal rights throughout the Middle East? The Israeli Palestinians are granted equal rights under the law, but their rights could improve. Jews and other minorities are second class citizens at best in all Arab (and Persian) countries. Arab and Persian children’s schoolbooks teach hatred to the next generation of Arabs and Persians which includes refering to Jews as pigs and teaching martyrdom.

At the 2000 peace talks, Israel offered $30 billion in compensation for the refugees and was rejected.

“…7) Adhere to all U.N. resolutions aimed at establishing peace in the region.
8) Sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.
9) Recognize the authority and jurisdiction of the World Court as the sole arbiter of disputes regarding international law…”

Won’t happen.

“…D. The Palestinians:
1) Must accept that the existence of the state of Israel is a fact with which they must live.

2) They must refrain from future hostile acts against Israel…”

What do you do about Hamas and Islamic Jihad? They are Palestinian terror groups, supported financially and directed by Iran. Hamas was elected by the Palestinians, so do the Palestinians really want peace? What concrete steps can the Palestinians take to disarm these terrorist? You have already mentioned, its an impossible task. They are much too powerful to be defeated militarily by the PA as the PA found out in Gaza.

In addition, Hezbollah started the war in Lebanon 2006.

It's not that you are incorrect in what you wrote, only that you left out half of the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

VICTORIA :

here ill make it easy to access


About half of those killed by Israeli forces were not involved in hostilities
Israeli security forces killed 660 Palestinians in 2006 - three times more than in 2005, according to an Israeli human rights group.
B'Tselem, which monitors human rights in the occupied territories, said the figure included 141 children.

At least 322 had taken no part in hostile acts, the group said.

In the same period, the number of deadly Palestinian attacks on Israelis has fallen - 23 Israelis were killed in 2006 compared with 50 last year.

The Israeli military renewed large scale ground operations in the Gaza Strip after militants captured an Israeli soldier in a cross border raid in June.

Throughout the year, the Israeli military has used air strikes and shelling in an attempt to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets into Israel.

Since June, Israeli troops have killed about 405 Palestinians in Gaza, including 88 children. More than half of the casualties were civilians, B'Tselem said.

As of November, 9,075 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails. This number included 345 minors, it said.

Of these, 738 (22 minors) were being detained without trial and without knowing the charges against them, the group said.


a recap-

HALF iinocent of hostilities 322 out of 660
3 x more than the year before

141 CHILDREN

+
88 CHILDREN (gaza strip since june-405)
-------------
229 CHILDREN

OVERALL 1,065

COMPARE THAT TO ISRAELI DEATHS CAUSED BY PALESTINIANS

50 -2005

23 2006

DROPPED BY HALF

it says alot for intentions doesnt it?


VICTORIA :

hoestly tom i didnt read wikipedia-
if you know that i dont have any use for wikipedia, in advance, why would you use it?

as i stated before- people came from 1000s of miles away to go to israel-
history has too numerous to count examples of people expanding their borders and invading and occupying their neighbors lands-
(look at mexico and texas)

israel wasnt formed as a government invading its neighbor- it was formed from individuals who used a tragic occurrence to justify stealing someone elses land

ghana made an offer to the displaced jewish people - it was rejected

the people living in palestine didnt hurt the jewish peole- but they are the ones who have suffered

rothschild and herzl and others with not a shred of filial piety or religiuous inclinations pressured and lobbied the biritish


its a land grab= as to the lawyers-

you had to state here there is some perceived bias against israel because it isnt a conclusion a normal person would come to

for 60 years, every injustice, every child killed tree felled house destroyed when questioned is met with screams of anti-semitism

people are terrified of being likened to nazis-
(the mind naturally flies to that comparison)

consider this obvious and logical conclusion one could draw from the lawyers

THERE IS A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF ATTENTION GIVEN TO ISRAEL BECAUSE ISRAEL HAS SUPPLIED A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF INJUSTICE TO GET THE ATTENTION TO BEGIN WITH

so , as you see, i actually did comment on the lawyers

as you can see-
"and your list, written by jewish lawyers (and you accuse demetrius of being slanted?)
proves, rather than disproves the great injustices
are you saying tat the entire body of the UN and its various countries are ALL victimizing israel?
or that the injustices are so numerous, and so exponentially compounding every day that an investigator was hired to try to keep track of them?"

wikipedia is a questionable source becuase it is written by individual people, and their subjective opinions

often and often the articles are disputed

of course sources are important!
that is how one can guage if a statement is true or not-

that is why i really really make an effort to let people define themselves-
on israel i post jewish writers to get their insight
on palestine i get palestinian sources

so now i looked at the wikipedia post-

the first 2 paragraphs, who knows who wrote them?
they are opinion

the only thing kofi annan said was that too much focus was placed on israel when other issues such as darfur needed attention

he also said this doesnt give israel a free pass-

so am i to surmise from your piece that since a disproportionate amount of attention is paid to israel (not that it makes a bit of difference, which also might be one of the reasons)
that it means the reolutions and charges have no validity?

now, see, i ma not seeing that.
the lawyers have not made any mention of the falseness of the charges-
made no reference to WHY attention is being paid to israel

isnt that the most important question?

if the attention paid were unjust- becuase they argue that the charges are untrue-
they would have a point

if you have 2 kids and one always tirotures the vcat, and you find the cat bleeding- and you accuse the known torturer, that kid can scream all day- you ALWAYS pick on me!

it doesnt distract from the fact that he is guilty

so maybe they are picking on israels issues

why doesnt israel address them then?

you see, it really does go to intention

if their intention was to defend themselves- they would do so-
but theyre not

trying to deflect criticism by crying foul doesnt make the crimes go away

so even if you are entirely right, it doesnt make any difference

ok- lets say you are completely 100% correct and the UN is picking on Israel

now lets move on to the actual charges actions and intention of israel

for instance-
look at the bbc story and stats i provided below

its pretty easy to surmise intentions from that

6 times more innocent children were killed than actual israelis

tell me what you think of that article
dec.1,2007 3:27pm

thats why i post simple things
long articles get bogged down and eventually ignored even if they contain substantive material

Tom Wonacott :

Victoria

“…tibet- there was no influx of an imported people who took over their land…”

Tibet (which is considered under International Law to be an independent nation) is occupied by the Chinese which invaded Tibet in 1950 and claimed Tibet to be a part of China. Its as if Israel claimed the entire West Bank and Gaza (which they have not) and began a systematic influx of Jews to dilute the Palestinian culture (which they have, but have offered to dismantle - 2000).

The Chinese have relocated hundreds of thousands of Hans Chinese to Tibet (millions?). In 1960, the International Commission of Jurist “…found that acts of genocide had been committed in Tibet in an attempt to destroy the Tibetans as a religious group, and that such acts are acts of genocide independently of any conventional obligation…”

Tibet is an extreme case of the situation in Palestine.

“…and your list, written by jewish lawyers (and you accuse demetrius of being slanted?)…”

“…please dont post wikipedia
i dont even read it
it is so questionable that i never ever use it - and if i ever do it is after ive used several other sources
by itself it is invalid as a source
so go back, readdress the question if you like
just disagreeing is not sufficient…”

The reason I used a second source (Wikipedia) was because I knew you would make that very statement. You didn’t dispute what the “Jewish lawyers” said though, did you? In addition, you haven’t disputed what Wikipedia said as well (which quotes Kofi Annan). Wikipedia is a reasonable source regardless if you read it or not.

Besides, the source is irrelevant if the statements are true. Maybe you should send me a list of sources I can use when discussing a topic with you.

Israel has violated international law and should be held accountable for their actions, but that, in no way, alleviates the UN from their obvious bias against Israel.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

The Iranians and Israelis can relax. We have no plan to end our dependence on Middle East oil any time soon.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/opinion/05friedman.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

December 5, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist

Intercepting Iran’s Take on America

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

There are two intelligence analyses that are relevant to the balance of power between the U.S. and Iran — one is the latest U.S. assessment of Iran, which certainly gave a much more complex view of what is happening there. The other is the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America, which — my guess — would read something like this:

To: President Ahmadinejad

From: The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence

Subject: America

As you’ll recall, in the wake of 9/11, we were extremely concerned that the U.S. would develop a covert program to end its addiction to oil, which would be the greatest threat to Iranian [and Israeli] national security. In fact, after Bush’s 2006 State of the Union, in which he decried America’s oil addiction, we had “high confidence” that a comprehensive U.S. clean energy policy would emerge. We were wrong.

Our fears that the U.S. was engaged in a covert “Manhattan Project” to achieve energy independence have been “assuaged.” America’s Manhattan Project turns out to be largely confined to the production of corn ethanol in Iowa, which, our analysts have confirmed from cell phone intercepts between lobbyists and Congressmen, is nothing more than a multibillion-dollar payoff to big Iowa farmers and agro-businesses…

Demetris Zettos :

Tom Wonacott

In my post I listed a number of irrefutable facts which, as a whole, constitute the root-cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Show me the unfairness and partiality in my statements and please be specific.

Demetris Zettos :

Tom Wonacott

In my post I listed a number of irrefutable facts which, as a whole, constitute the root-cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Show me the unfairness and partiality of my statements and please be specific.

VICTORIA :

well tom, i think that your comparison are nto equivalent

tibet- there was no influx of an imported people who took over their land-
the same with your other examples-

so , just disagreeing doesnt really prove anything

and your list, written by jewish lawyers (and you accuse demetrius of being slanted?)
proves, rather than disproves the great injustices

are you saying tat the entire body of the UN and its various countries are ALL victimizing israel?

or that the injustices are so numerous, and so exponentially compounding every day that an investigator was hired to try to keep track of them?

please dont post wikipedia

i dont even read it
it is so questionable that i never ever use it - and if i ever do it is after ive used several other sources

by itself it is invalid as a source

so go back, readdress the question if you like
just disagreeing is not sufficient

Tom Wonacott :

Demetris Zettos


“…Is there a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? The answer is yes. But the solution has to be fair and just, based on international laws and treating both parties impartially and without prejudice…”

Demetris, when you say fair and just, impartially and without prejudice, would you say that YOUR summary of the history of events surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fair and just, impartial and without prejudice?

Need I say more?

Demetris Zettos :

The Zionist fanatics’ aspiration is to use every means possible to create a incontestable “Eretz Yisrael” (Greater Usrael) stretching between the two great rivers: The Nile and the Euphrates. To accomplish this the existence of five nations (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq) has to be compromised. If the world allowed Israel to pursue such a schizophrenic course what would be the consequences?

Zionism comes from the bowels of the Old Testament. A book written by Jews for their own self-serving interests.

In a display of chutzpah even more galling than the Balfour Declaration, the first Zionists invented a God who “commanded them” to commit genocide. After declaring that their “God gave them” land which had belonged to other peoples for thousands of years, the spiritual ancestors of today's Zionists embarked upon a campaign of mass murder:
…”In the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has “commanded” (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).
The Jebusites were the people of Jerusalem, and like the other nations that were slated for destruction, they had no quarrel with the Israelites. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that The People Of The Book were bent on genocide according to the modern definition of the word:
"They should be utterly destroyed and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses . . Utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling..."(Joshua 11:20 . . . First Samuel 15:3).

Then the Jews decided to disperse among charitable nations which provided them with refuge. By the end of the 19th century, using the lessons provided by their religious books, they managed to elevate themselves to positions of economic and political power which enabled them to influence the decisions of the Superpowers that eventually allowed them to reclaim part of the land which they had originally grabbed, claiming that “God had promised it to them”. But that land was already occupied for thousands of years by the Palestinians (descendants of ancient Canaanites and Philistines); and the Palestinians had to be evicted sometimes by the same methods that the ancient Jews used: Genocide and extermination.

Item: Israel has perpetrated many well documented massacres as well as ethnic cleansing operations against Palestinians (http://www.ummah.net/unity/palestine/massacres.htm).
Item: For the past 59 years, Israel has pursued a policy of brutal oppression against a people whose homeland was arbitrarily taken away from them. During the same period, Israeli occupation forces have killed thousands of Palestinians and never hesitated to kill unarmed Palestinian children or to arrest and torture them in order to elicit from them information regarding members of resistance organizations including possibly their parents.

Item: It is documented that a large portion of the US financial aid to Israel is used for the construction of settlements most of which are on illegally occupied territory. Many of the settlement homes are used by American and European Jews as summer vacation or retirement homes.

Item: Whereas Israel owes its existence to a United Nations resolution, it has repeatedly violated the provisions of the U.N. charter and with the concurrence of the United States arrogantly thumbed its nose to subsequent U.N. resolutions regarding its borders, and its persistent violations of the human rights and civil liberties of Palestinians.

Item: The U.S. legislative and executive branches, kowtowing to the powerful Zionist lobby (11 Senators, 26 Congressmen, tens of pro-Zionist organizations, many Zionists in key decision-making positions), have blindly aligned themselves with Israel giving over two hundred billion dollars of US taxpayers' money in economic and military aid to Israel's oppressive regime. US arms were and are still being used against Palestinians. (The total cost in lives and financial resources incurred by the United States in its support for Israel to date is immense). This selective, one-sided, US policy has aptly branded the US as an accomplice to Israel's crimes against the Palestinians and is the root cause of many terrorist acts against the United States.
Item: In the absence of any other rational explanation for the blind subservience to Israeli interests, would it be unreasonable for one to assume that some of the aid funds are sent back to the United States and are given to American-Jewish organizations or individuals who, in turn, pass them on as political contributions to both party candidates for office in order to secure their support for the Israeli cause?

Item: There are some people who say that Israel is a friend of the United States and deserves such unquestioned support. The intentional Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 and wounding 172 American servicemen (http://www.ussliberty.com) is indicative of the absurdity of such blind support of Israel. As one of the survivors of the attack stated: “With friends like Israel, the U.S. needs no enemies”

Item: During WWII, in virtually all the Nazi-occupied countries in Europe, the patriotic resistance against the occupiers was encouraged and actively supported by the United States. Many of the freedom-fighters did not hesitate to place their own lives on the line in the cause of freedom from their Nazi oppressor. The similarity with the acts of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation forces is evident and a distinction should be made between freedom-fighters and terrorists.

Item: Many of the past and present Israeli political and military personalities had also been leaders or members of Zionist terrorist organizations such as the “Irgun Z'vai Leumi”, “Stern Gang”, “Haganah”, “Giddy Paglin”, “Palmach” etc. (The assassination of U.N. mediator Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte was an act of one of these organizations). These Zionist organizations “wrote the book” on modern terrorism which, until their appearance, constituted but random and isolated acts by anarchists.

Item: When Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister of Israel, he had adopted the satanic ploy of demanding from Palestinian Chairman Arafat to “rein-in the terrorist groups”. This impossible-to –comply-with demand had allowed Sharon to launch his hard line campaign of assassination and destruction with presumed impunity. Unfortunately, this absurd demand had also been echoed by President Bush. Given the facts that there are almost 3.5 million Palestinians living in Israel the West Bank and the other occupied territories and that every Palestinian family has been brutally victimized by the Israeli occupation forces, how in the name of reason could Yasser Arafat know who the next Palestinian -who had had sufficient reasons to seek revenge and, in his or her desperation, was determined to sacrifice his or her life to achieve it- be reined-in? Furthermore, How could Arafat arrest resistance fighters when the Israeli occupation forces systematically targeted Palestinian police installations and policemen? Needless to say, similar irrational demands are constantly made on the Palestinians by the intransigent Israeli government. Such demands seem to have one purpose: to stonewall any final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Out of the tragedy of the terrorist atrocities of September 11th, renewed hopes had also emerged that a permanent solution would be found to the 59-year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of a solution, and in spite of the obvious ability of the U.S. -as the sole Superpower- to impose one, we became witnesses to a severe deterioration of the situation with hostilities from both sides. In light of this, the US foreign policy, blatantly supportive of Israel's aggressive posture, has to be re-evaluated using more pragmatic and objective criteria. For a correct assessment of that situation, one has to view the above historical facts through their proper perspective. By so doing, one will discover one of the real causes of the September 11th attack on the United States. (The other being the unabashed U.S. support of oppressive regimes in Muslim nations.)

Is there a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? The answer is yes. But the solution has to be fair and just, based on international laws and treating both parties impartially and without prejudice.

In order to bring an end to the wanton killings and to the suffering of millions of people, and since the United States government is the key sponsor and supporter of Israel, the initiative rests with the United States. However, any final agreement has to be endorsed and enforced by the United Nations.

Following are some suggestions for a viable solution:

A. To begin with, an immediate cessation of all hostilities must be IMPOSED by the United Nations on both sides..

B. The city of Jerusalem should be completely demilitarized and declared a neutral “Holy City”
protected by the United Nations.

C. Israel must be compelled to:
1) Declare unequivocally that it has no aspirations to any land other than that whose boundaries were defined in the U.N. Declaration which established it as a state.
2) Withdraw from the occupied territories including all the illegal settlements and the Golan Heights.
3) Accept the creation of an independent Palestinian State.
4) Allow the return of Palestinians who were forced out of their homes under the Israeli ethnic cleansing campaign.
5) Provide just compensation for the homes and lands previously owned by Palestinians and forcibly appropriated by Israel or return such homes and lands to their rightful owners.
6) Accord and guarantee equal human rights and civil liberties to all Palestinians who choose to live within Israel as stipulated by the U.N. resolution which created the state of Israel.
7) Adhere to all U.N. resolutions aimed at establishing peace in the region.
8) Sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.
9) Recognize the authority and jurisdiction of the World Court as the sole arbiter of disputes regarding international law.

D. The Palestinians:
1) Must accept that the existence of the state of Israel is a fact with which they must live.
2) They must refrain from future hostile acts against Israel.

When Israelis and Palestinians have fulfilled their obligations, the Palestinians can redirect their energies into building a peaceful and prosperous nation without animosity for their neighbors. Time can be relied-upon to heal many wounds opened by both sides.

Both sides must exclude the religious fanatics from the peace-making processes.

The other Arab nations must also regognize Israel as an independent sovereign state.

Unless both sides can “bite the bullet” and sincerely work towards establishing permanent
peace, it is obvious that the world can anticipate the open wound of their conflict to become an incurable gangrene that would cause the demise of the afflicted and perhaps the entire humankind.

Demetris Zettos :

The Zionist fanatics’ aspiration is to use every means possible to create a incontestable “Eretz Yisrael” (Greater Usrael) stretching between the two great rivers: The Nile and the Euphrates. To accomplish this the existence of five nations (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq) has to be compromised. If the world allowed Israel to pursue such a schizophrenic course what would be the consequences?

Zionism comes from the bowels of the Old Testament. A book written by Jews for their own self-serving interests.

In a display of chutzpah even more galling than the Balfour Declaration, the first Zionists invented a God who “commanded them” to commit genocide. After declaring that their “God gave them” land which had belonged to other peoples for thousands of years, the spiritual ancestors of today's Zionists embarked upon a campaign of mass murder:
…”In the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has “commanded” (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).
The Jebusites were the people of Jerusalem, and like the other nations that were slated for destruction, they had no quarrel with the Israelites. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that The People Of The Book were bent on genocide according to the modern definition of the word:
"They should be utterly destroyed and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses . . Utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling..."(Joshua 11:20 . . . First Samuel 15:3).

Then the Jews decided to disperse among charitable nations which provided them with refuge. By the end of the 19th century, using the lessons provided by their religious books, they managed to elevate themselves to positions of economic and political power which enabled them to influence the decisions of the Superpowers that eventually allowed them to reclaim part of the land which they had originally grabbed, claiming that “God had promised it to them”. But that land was already occupied for thousands of years by the Palestinians (descendants of ancient Canaanites and Philistines); and the Palestinians had to be evicted sometimes by the same methods that the ancient Jews used: Genocide and extermination.

Item: Israel has perpetrated many well documented massacres as well as ethnic cleansing operations against Palestinians (http://www.ummah.net/unity/palestine/massacres.htm).
Item: For the past 59 years, Israel has pursued a policy of brutal oppression against a people whose homeland was arbitrarily taken away from them. During the same period, Israeli occupation forces have killed thousands of Palestinians and never hesitated to kill unarmed Palestinian children or to arrest and torture them in order to elicit from them information regarding members of resistance organizations including possibly their parents.

Item: It is documented that a large portion of the US financial aid to Israel is used for the construction of settlements most of which are on illegally occupied territory. Many of the settlement homes are used by American and European Jews as summer vacation or retirement homes.

Item: Whereas Israel owes its existence to a United Nations resolution, it has repeatedly violated the provisions of the U.N. charter and with the concurrence of the United States arrogantly thumbed its nose to subsequent U.N. resolutions regarding its borders, and its persistent violations of the human rights and civil liberties of Palestinians.

Item: The U.S. legislative and executive branches, kowtowing to the powerful Zionist lobby (11 Senators, 26 Congressmen, tens of pro-Zionist organizations, many Zionists in key decision-making positions), have blindly aligned themselves with Israel giving over two hundred billion dollars of US taxpayers' money in economic and military aid to Israel's oppressive regime. US arms were and are still being used against Palestinians. (The total cost in lives and financial resources incurred by the United States in its support for Israel to date is immense). This selective, one-sided, US policy has aptly branded the US as an accomplice to Israel's crimes against the Palestinians and is the root cause of many terrorist acts against the United States.
Item: In the absence of any other rational explanation for the blind subservience to Israeli interests, would it be unreasonable for one to assume that some of the aid funds are sent back to the United States and are given to American-Jewish organizations or individuals who, in turn, pass them on as political contributions to both party candidates for office in order to secure their support for the Israeli cause?

Item: There are some people who say that Israel is a friend of the United States and deserves such unquestioned support. The intentional Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 and wounding 172 American servicemen (http://www.ussliberty.com) is indicative of the absurdity of such blind support of Israel. As one of the survivors of the attack stated: “With friends like Israel, the U.S. needs no enemies”

Item: During WWII, in virtually all the Nazi-occupied countries in Europe, the patriotic resistance against the occupiers was encouraged and actively supported by the United States. Many of the freedom-fighters did not hesitate to place their own lives on the line in the cause of freedom from their Nazi oppressor. The similarity with the acts of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation forces is evident and a distinction should be made between freedom-fighters and terrorists.

Item: Many of the past and present Israeli political and military personalities had also been leaders or members of Zionist terrorist organizations such as the “Irgun Z'vai Leumi”, “Stern Gang”, “Haganah”, “Giddy Paglin”, “Palmach” etc. (The assassination of U.N. mediator Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte was an act of one of these organizations). These Zionist organizations “wrote the book” on modern terrorism which, until their appearance, constituted but random and isolated acts by anarchists.

Item: When Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister of Israel, he had adopted the satanic ploy of demanding from Palestinian Chairman Arafat to “rein-in the terrorist groups”. This impossible-to –comply-with demand had allowed Sharon to launch his hard line campaign of assassination and destruction with presumed impunity. Unfortunately, this absurd demand had also been echoed by President Bush. Given the facts that there are almost 3.5 million Palestinians living in Israel the West Bank and the other occupied territories and that every Palestinian family has been brutally victimized by the Israeli occupation forces, how in the name of reason could Yasser Arafat know who the next Palestinian -who had had sufficient reasons to seek revenge and, in his or her desperation, was determined to sacrifice his or her life to achieve it- be reined-in? Furthermore, How could Arafat arrest resistance fighters when the Israeli occupation forces systematically targeted Palestinian police installations and policemen? Needless to say, similar irrational demands are constantly made on the Palestinians by the intransigent Israeli government. Such demands seem to have one purpose: to stonewall any final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Out of the tragedy of the terrorist atrocities of September 11th, renewed hopes had also emerged that a permanent solution would be found to the 59-year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead of a solution, and in spite of the obvious ability of the U.S. -as the sole Superpower- to impose one, we became witnesses to a severe deterioration of the situation with hostilities from both sides. In light of this, the US foreign policy, blatantly supportive of Israel's aggressive posture, has to be re-evaluated using more pragmatic and objective criteria. For a correct assessment of that situation, one has to view the above historical facts through their proper perspective. By so doing, one will discover one of the real causes of the September 11th attack on the United States. (The other being the unabashed U.S. support of oppressive regimes in Muslim nations.)

Is there a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? The answer is yes. But the solution has to be fair and just, based on international laws and treating both parties impartially and without prejudice.

In order to bring an end to the wanton killings and to the suffering of millions of people, and since the United States government is the key sponsor and supporter of Israel, the initiative rests with the United States. However, any final agreement has to be endorsed and enforced by the United Nations.

Following are some suggestions for a viable solution:

A. To begin with, an immediate cessation of all hostilities must be IMPOSED by the United Nations on both sides..

B. The city of Jerusalem should be completely demilitarized and declared a neutral “Holy City”
protected by the United Nations.

C. Israel must be compelled to:
1) Declare unequivocally that it has no aspirations to any land other than that whose boundaries were defined in the U.N. Declaration which established it as a state.
2) Withdraw from the occupied territories including all the illegal settlements and the Golan Heights.
3) Accept the creation of an independent Palestinian State.
4) Allow the return of Palestinians who were forced out of their homes under the Israeli ethnic cleansing campaign.
5) Provide just compensation for the homes and lands previously owned by Palestinians and forcibly appropriated by Israel or return such homes and lands to their rightful owners.
6) Accord and guarantee equal human rights and civil liberties to all Palestinians who choose to live within Israel as stipulated by the U.N. resolution which created the state of Israel.
7) Adhere to all U.N. resolutions aimed at establishing peace in the region.
8) Sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.
9) Recognize the authority and jurisdiction of the World Court as the sole arbiter of disputes regarding international law.

D. The Palestinians:
1) Must accept that the existence of the state of Israel is a fact with which they must live.
2) They must refrain from future hostile acts against Israel.

When Israelis and Palestinians have fulfilled their obligations, the Palestinians can redirect their energies into building a peaceful and prosperous nation without animosity for their neighbors. Time can be relied-upon to heal many wounds opened by both sides.

Both sides must exclude the religious fanatics from the peace-making processes.

The other Arab nations must also regognize Israel as an independent sovereign state.

Unless both sides can “bite the bullet” and sincerely work towards establishing permanent
peace, it is obvious that the world can anticipate the open wound of their conflict to become an
incurable gangrene that would cause the demise of the afflicted and perhaps the entire humankind.

Tom Wonacott :

Hello Victoria

“…israel is unique in history for its land grab-…”

Hardly, but I am against the Israeli settlements anyway. How about Tibet? Also, there are secessionist all over the world who would disagree with your statement. For example, should Kashmir be a part of India? Chechnya a part of Russia?

The UN should watch and report human rights violations perpetrated by Israel, but they have unequally and unfairly singled out Israel and that‘s my problem with posters on this site as well as the UN itself. From the conference titled "Hijacking Human Rights: The Demonization of Israel by the United Nations.”, sponsored by The Hudson Institute, Touro Law Center, and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists:

1. Each year, there are 20 times more General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel than any other country on earth.
2. There have been hundreds of thousands murdered and millions displaced during the ongoing genocide in Darfur and yet there has been no General Assembly resolution condemning Sudan for human rights violations in the past five years.
3. 70% of all UN Human Rights Council country-specific criticisms have been on Israel.
4. In its history, the UN Human Rights Commission never adopted a single resolution critical of states like China, Syria, Saudi Arabia or Zimbabwe; one-third of its country condemnations were directed at Israel alone.
5. Three of five special sessions of the Human Rights Council have been on Israel.
6. The only country permanently on the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council is Israel.
7. The only UN country human rights investigator with a never-ending mandate is assigned to Israel.
“…The only UN member state not permitted to be a full and equal member of any UN regional group (which determines elections to UN bodies and voting patterns, and shares information) is Israel…”

So, as you can see from the above information, unfortunately, the UN is governed by politics. As proof, from Wikepedia:

“…The new UN Human Rights Council has specifically condemned only one country, Israel. Meanwhile, in the cases of other countries with severe human rights abuses documented by the Council's own work groups, such as Sudan, it has only expressed "deep concern."[15] It voted on 30 June 2006 to make a review of alleged human rights abuses by Israel a permanent feature of every council session. The Council’s special rapporteur on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is its only expert mandate with no year of expiry. The resolution, which was sponsored by Organization of the Islamic Conference, passed by a vote of 29 to 12 with five abstentions. By April 2007, the Council had passed nine resolutions condemning Israel, and none condemning any other country.[15] More resolutions targeting Israel have been proposed for upcoming sessions. Israel, the United States and some human rights groups raised concerns about this revival of a practice of the UN's discredited former Commission on Human Rights.[16]

At its Second Special Session in August 2006, the Council announced the establishment of a High-Level Commission of Inquiry charged with probing allegations that Israel systematically targeted and killed Lebanese civilians during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[17] The resolution was passed by a vote of 27 in favour to 11 against, with 8 abstentions. Before and after the vote several member states and NGOs objected that by targeting the resolution solely at Israel and failing to address Hezbollah attacks on Israeli civilians, the Council risked damaging its credibility. The members of the Commission of Inquiry, as announced on 1 September 2006, are Clemente Baena Soares of Brazil, Mohamed Chande Othman of Tanzania, and Stelios Perrakis of Greece. The Commission noted that its report on the conflict would be incomplete without fully investigating both sides, but that "the Commission is not entitled, even if it had wished, to construe [its charter] as equally authorizing the investigation of the actions by Hezbollah in Israel,"[18] as the Council had explicitly prohibited it from investigating the actions of Hezbollah.

On 29 November 2006, Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticised the Human Rights Council for "disproportionate focus on violations by Israel" while neglecting other parts of the world such as Darfur, which had what he termed "graver" crises.[19][20] Annan reiterated this position in his formal address on 8 December 2006 (International Human Rights Day), noting the Commission's "disproportionate focus on violations by Israel. Not that Israel should be given a free pass. Absolutely not. But the Council should give the same attention to grave violations committed by other states as well."[21]…”

The human rights commission of the UN is a joke and really has little credibility - especially concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (because of their obvious prejudice).

Finally, based on the above instances of obvious bias against Israel, it is liberals (not all) that have been brainwashed because many treat human rights abuses just like the UN - they repeat the standard party line against Israel while condoning (mostly through ignorance or silence) human rights abuses all over the world - especially the darling of the left, China. In addition, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are ignored despite targeting civilians.

Thanks for the post.

VICTORIA :

tom- even if we assume that disparate jewish populations descending upon someone elses land and overwhelming and killing the locals is a just and reasonable enterprise-

theres an extremely loooong list of resolutions AGAINST istrael by the UN of atrocities and injustices and humans rights abuses that have never been acknowledged or addressed.

someone is keeping score n an international level-

israel is unique in history for its land grab-
no amount of its big bully brother america's backing validates it to anyone but americans (who have been brainwashed) and israelis.

there are NO resolutions against the occupied territory of palestine from the UN.

how do you explain this?

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

From your previous post to me (11/15) and your post of 12/1:

“…Given the history of Israel, which includes the displacement of a couple of million Palestinians and the 60 straight years of constant conflict, I could understand an argument that stated the US and Britian in hindsight made a terrible mistake…”

There was approximately 1,500,000 (+/-) people displaced as a result of the formation of the state of Israel. About 700,000 Palestinians and about the same amount of Jews were displaced (although the Jewish displacement from the Middle East and elsewhere - where they had lived for centuries - is rarely mentioned). I don't know how many Palestinians have been FORCED to leave since the initial war.

The “mistake” was mostly due to the British which controlled the mandate for Palestine which came under its control after WWI, but the US has backed the creation of a Jewish state from the beginning.

“…However, what I find particularly disturbing is an unwavering support for a State that has resulted in a constant state of war and the dismissal of human rights violations against such a large group of people…”

What I find particularly disturbing is the one-sided view of the conflict that is constantly argued on this site. The Israelis ACCEPTED the two state solution, and yes, there were some Jewish immigrants that wanted the West Bank, Gaza and Transjordan, but they settled for the UN partition even though Jerusalem was put under the administration of the UN.

You and I both know that Israel was attacked by the Arabs the day after Israel declared independence which resulted in the Palestinian refugees that are now located in camps littered throughout the Middle East. THE REFUGEES ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF ARABS ATTACKING ISRAEL.

Israel was attacked in 1967 and 1973 as well which resulted in Israeli occupation of the West bank, Gaza and other Arab land. Once again, Arab aggression RESULTED in the occupation. Note that terrorism against Israeli citizens began BEFORE there was any occupation of the West Bank so the goal was the annihilation of the state of Israel (until the Oslo Accords - 1993). Arabs would not accept any settlement with Israel until Anwar Sadat settled with Israel in 1979(?). Israel disbanded their settlements in the Sinai to make peace with Egypt. In addition, Israel also disbanded settlements in the Gaza when they pulled out of that Palestinian area. I don’t agree with the West Bank settlements, and I believe they have done immeasurable damage to the their international image, but the Israelis have traded land for peace before and they offered land for peace again in 2000.

The offer of peace made to the Palestinians in 2000 “…gave the Palestinian state about 97% of the occupied territories, the old City of Jerusalem other than the Jewish and Armenian quarters, and $30 billion in compensation for the refugees…”. It was not a perfect offer simply because of the time (too much in my opinion) to implement the complete turnover of land. This included Israel disbanding 64 settlements located throughout the West bank. Arafat REJECTED the offer without even submitting a counter offer. The 2000 intifada was then implemented by Arafat which resulted in the deaths of over 1000 Israelis - most from suicide bombers. Many more Palestinians died from Israel’s RETALIATION. I’ll state again what I’ve stated (often) in the past. Targeting civilians and killing civilians while targeting Palestinian militia are not morally or legally equivalent acts of violence.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, the Palestinians live in suffocating conditions under the Israeli occupation, and there is absolutely no freedom of movement within or between the West Bank and Gaza, however, from our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, without security, the state or government under siege will fail and that is one of the main goals of terrorism. The checkpoints, the wall and the heavy presence of the IDF are all for security, and Israel will keep her population secure - no matter what conditions the Palestinians are forced to live under. Victoria's statistics indicate that the Palestinians will bear the brunt of terrorist attacks against Israel. Much harsher steps are possible, however, for example, Chechnya (Russians), Tibet (Chinese), Bosnia (Serbs) and so on.

“…Count me in. I'd much rather give 23K a year to the Irish. At least they're not taking other people's land, settling on it and when they complain killing them…”

The statement is absurdly one-sided, and I thought you were neutral on this issue. More importantly, its false.

“…Presently, Bush/Cheney have dragged us deeper into this abyss which for all partical purposes is a religious conflict…”

How come the Saudis and other Arab states attended a peace conference with the Israelis present for the first time (even as liberals say that the US image and credibility is at an all time low)? Who else in the world can pull off Annapolis but the US?

I am not optimistic about peace in the Middle East, but the Palestinians bear their fair share of the blame. Columnist and editorials from the Jerusalem Post suggests the failure will be due the issue of SECURITY. Terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are funded and directed by Syria and Iran, and even today are working to undermine any agreement (like firing qassam rockets or mortars into Israel on a daily basis). A nuclear armed Iran will only further embolden terrorist (dang, Bob, there is that word “embolden“ again). Finally, there can be no peace in the Middle East as long as there is state sponsored terrorism against Israel and who will suffer the most? The Palestinians, but Iran could care less. In fact, Ill go so far as to say that WE care more about the Palestinians than the Arabs (or Persians).

BobL-VA :

Victoria,

Count me in. I'd much rather give 23K a year to the Irish. At least they're not taking other people's land, settling on it and when they complain killing them.

VICTORIA :

one thing i love about statistics is the honesty of math

sure, you can abuse statistics if youre so inclined and have a weasel mentality-
but these just speak for themsleves


Thursday, 28 December 2006, 23:06 GMT

Palestinian deaths rose in 2006

About half of those killed by Israeli forces were not involved in hostilities
Israeli security forces killed 660 Palestinians in 2006 - three times more than in 2005, according to an Israeli human rights group.
B'Tselem, which monitors human rights in the occupied territories, said the figure included 141 children.

At least 322 had taken no part in hostile acts, the group said.

In the same period, the number of deadly Palestinian attacks on Israelis has fallen - 23 Israelis were killed in 2006 compared with 50 last year.

The Israeli military renewed large scale ground operations in the Gaza Strip after militants captured an Israeli soldier in a cross border raid in June.

Throughout the year, the Israeli military has used air strikes and shelling in an attempt to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets into Israel.

Since June, Israeli troops have killed about 405 Palestinians in Gaza, including 88 children. More than half of the casualties were civilians, B'Tselem said.

As of November, 9,075 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails. This number included 345 minors, it said.

Of these, 738 (22 minors) were being detained without trial and without knowing the charges against them, the group said.

a recap-

HALF iinocent of hostilities 322 out of 660
3 x more than the year before

141 CHILDREN

+
88 CHILDREN (gaza strip since june-405)
-------------
229 CHILDREN

OVERALL 1,065

COMAPRE THAT TO ISRAELI DEATHS CAUSED BY PALESTINIANS

50 -2005

23 2006

DROPPED BY HALF

it says alot for intentions doesnt it?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6215769.stm



victoria :

hi rick, tom, friends,

since i always end up linking too much and messing up my posts, im going to give info that one can verfiy ontheir own-
it seems only 2 links will get thru at a time-

for one thing, rick is alot more politic and understadning in his exchanges-
for some of elevated's questions-

1. “We can't let them go at it because that will disrupt our oil supply (one of the reasons if not the main reason we are so interested in the region).”

baaaagh- what a disgusting reason
because WE want to keep our suvs, we should keep the palestinians powerless?
(not letting them 'go at it',means one thing- keeping the balance of pwoer so disproportionate in favor of israel, that the only recourse is pali kids throwing stones at tanks)

i can only assume elevateds name means an elevated sense of their own importance- its not an elevated sense of conscience thats for sure

2. “The Jewish people have done and continue to do a lot for this country... So ask yourself where would your loyalties lie?”

like WHAT?????

so have the irish, alot MORE in fact-
but do you see anoyne suggesting we send 23,000 dollars a year to every irish man woman and baby?
(which is the current amount we GIVE israel)

how about 300 BILLION DOLLARS IN THE LAST 35 YEARS??

stephen zunes (source)


http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/2007/02/criticism_of_israel/comments.html#comments

heres a discussion i had with a zionist fellow for about 2 months-

i had to go halfway down the page before i started getting to many of the pages and pages of research- and links etc-
since the work was already done- maybe youll find something useful there-
sorry i havent been able to join in the conversation lately-

for some reason i wasnt able top copy and paste tonight-

and its too late to start now- peace

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

I read Rami G. Khouri on a fairly regular basis in a Lebanese newspaper called "The Daily Star". Although I don't agree with him much of the time, he is an interesting columnist - especially on Middle Eastern issues. The opinion section is very good with writers from all over the world.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Surrender,

Your post came over a little disjointed with the multiple posts and all. This site can be a little difficult to use at times, but we got your message that peace is good and war is bad.

Also:

“The Jewish state has come to stay and should be permitted to flourish. At the same time Palestinian problem should be settled by adjusting the territories around with a peaceful Palestinian state. A time has come to forsake the violence and live with peace and in peace everywhere.”

Amen Brother and I hope it happens but I’m a skeptic.

Here is an exchange of posts that Elevate and I had on a different board the may be of interest:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/america/2007/11/hezbollah-america_lebanon.html#comments

1. “We can't let them go at it because that will disrupt our oil supply (one of the reasons if not the main reason we are so interested in the region).”

Excellent point; you are exactly right. That’s why we need to develop alternate energy sources to end our dependence on Middle East (and other, including domestic) sources of oil. The Greenies are right; damaging our environment is not required. Thankfully, the Google geniuses are now getting into this big time, so expect major advances in this area soon. See my previous post on November 28, 2007 8:44 AM.

2. “The Jewish people have done and continue to do a lot for this country... So ask yourself where would your loyalties lie?”

My sympathies lie with the oppressed Palestinians. No amount of contribution to our society or lobbying (purchasing) of our politicians can justify the illegal theft of Palestinian homes and land and atrocious oppression of basic human rights and dignity that has been and continues to be perpetrated on the Palestinians with the aid of my tax dollars.

3. “As for the North and South Korea example I believe that the DMZ and the largest landmine field in the world has a lot to do with the peace over there.”

Another excellent point; maybe we should surround Israel with an equivalent DMZ and police it with UN or US forces. It would serve a similar function as the Israeli wall, but would divide the land more equitably between Israel and Palestine. The water supply would also be UN controlled and equitably distributed between the two sides. Our billions of dollars of foreign aid would be shifted from Israel to Palestine until their economy recovers to a point equal to Israel’s.

Thanks again for the post; you are clearly an honest broker and great thinker. Now all we have to do is convince our geniuses in Washington D.C.

P.S.:

Unfortunately, after a moment of euphoric optimism, reality sets in and we realize that this approach is also doomed to failure. The hard liners of the region will never permit the “State of Israel” to remain on Arab land, nor should they. With the advent of the modern Cruise Missile that is low flying, GPS guided and impervious to radar detection, it is only a matter of time until downtown Tel Aviv and other major Israeli targets are flattened. Russia, Iran, Pakistan or someone will give or sell these weapons to the Arabs. They could but won’t use nuclear warheads because they want the land to remain habitable. They can be programmed to fly various land hugging profiles, approach from multiple directions, and no one will know where they came from.

surender :

surender:
Any measure which can bring peace any where is good and any thing which destroys peace is bad.The jews have been persecuted for several centuries almost everywhere except in India.The responsibilities for persecution lies with those who were not able to accept them.The jewish home land was granted after the second world war at a place which everybody knew that such a step would result in confrontation.No body was prepared to grant them a homeland in Europe but jews were forced to accept a place in an unfriendly envioronment,not withstanding the fact that they had ancient links with promised land.It is not the fault of a common man or people or an individual to be a christian or jew or a Budhist or Hindu, a man may acquire any identity by virtue of his birth or by convictions or compulsions of living.No person anywhere should be harassed or harmed or persecuted because of his peculiar identity or faith.It is no good to resort to violence because violence is the gateway to uncertain future and enslavement.Violence and counter violence resulted in distortion of peace,derailment of literacy and step into poverty and revenge.The peace in middle east can be brought about by broad concensus with gurantee of terrtorial integrity of all concerned nations .The jewish state has come to stay and should be permitted to flourish.At the same time palestinian problem should be settled by adjusting the territories around with a peacful Palestinian state.A time has come to forsake the violence and live with peace and in peace everywhere.The whole West Asian problem could have been solved by sitting across the table rather than by resorting to violence and permitting percolation of continued seize mentality on both sides with loss of lives of innocent people ,particularly of women and children.The responsibilty for continued unrest were deep and lie in old era of cold war politics which meant pinpricking major rivals in the game for control of influence of various regions in the world.The peace be restored since that compulsion for supremacy is over.

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surender:
Any measure which can bring peace any where is good and any thing which destroys peace is bad.The jews have been persecuted for several centuries almost everywhere except in India.The responsibilities for persecution lies with those who were not able to accept them.The jewish home land was granted after the second world war at a place which everybody knew that such a step would result in confrontation.No body was prepared to grant them a homeland in Europe but jews were forced to accept a place in an unfriendly envioronment,not withstanding the fact that they had ancient links with promised land.It is not the fault of a common man or people or an individual to be a christian or jew or a Budhist or Hindu, a man may acquire any identity by virtue of his birth or by convictions or compulsions of living.No person anywhere should be harassed or harmed or persecuted because of his peculiar identity or faith.It is no good to resort to violence because violence is the gateway to uncertain future and enslavement.Violence and counter violence resulted in distortion of peace,derailment of literacy and step into poverty and revenge.The peace in middle east can be brought about by broad concensus with gurantee of terrtorial integrity of all concerned nations .The jewish state has come to stay and should be permitted to flourish.At the same time palestinian problem should be settled by adjusting the territories around with a peacful Palestinian state.A time has come to forsake the violence and live with peace and in peace everywhere.The whole West Asian problem could have been solved by sitting across the table rather than by resorting to violence and permitting percolation of continued seize mentality on both sides with loss of lives of innocent people ,particularly of women and children.The responsibilty for continued unrest were deep and lie in old era of cold war politics which meant pinpricking major rivals in the game for control of influence of various regions in the world.The peace be restored since that compulsion for supremacy is over.

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surender:
Any measure which can bring peace any where is good and any thing which destroys peace is bad.The jews have been persecuted for several centuries almost everywhere except in India.The responsibilities for persecution lies with those who were not able to accept them.The jewish home land was granted after the second world war at a place which everybody knew that such a step would result in confrontation.No body was prepared to grant them a homeland in Europe but jews were forced to accept a place in an unfriendly envioronment,not withstanding the fact that they had ancient links with promised land.It is not the fault of a common man or people or an individual to be a christian or jew or a Budhist or Hindu, a man may acquire any identity by virtue of his birth or by convictions or compulsions of living.No person anywhere should be harassed or harmed or persecuted because of his peculiar identity or faith.It is no good to resort to violence because violence is the gateway to uncertain future and enslavement.Violence and counter violence resulted in distortion of peace,derailment of literacy and step into poverty and revenge.The peace in middle east can be brought about by broad concensus with gurantee of terrtorial integrity of all concerned nations .The jewish state has come to stay and should be permitted to flourish.At the same time palestinian problem should be settled by adjusting the territories around with a peacful Palestinian state.A time has come to forsake the violence and live with peace and in peace everywhere.The whole West Asian problem could have been solved by sitting across the table rather than by resorting to violence and permitting percolation of continued seize mentality on both sides with loss of lives of innocent people ,particularly of women and children.The responsibilty for continued unrest were deep and lie in old era of cold war politics which meant pinpricking major rivals in the game for control of influence of various regions in the world.The peace be restored since that compulsion for supremacy is over.

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» surender:
Any measure which can bring peace any where is good and any thing which destroys peace is bad.The jews have been persecuted for several centuries almost everywhere except in India.The responsibilities for persecution lies with those who were not able to accept them.The jewish home land was granted after the second world war at a place which everybody knew that such a step would result in confrontation.No body was prepared to grant them a homeland in Europe but jews were forced to accept a place in an unfriendly envioronment,not withstanding the fact that they had ancient links with promised land.It is not the fault of a common man or people or an individual to be a christian or jew or a Budhist or Hindu, a man may acquire any identity by virtue of his birth or by convictions or compulsions of living.No person anywhere should be harassed or harmed or persecuted because of his peculiar identity or faith.It is no good to resort to violence because violence is the gateway to uncertain future and enslavement.Violence and counter violence resulted in distortion of peace,derailment of literacy and step into poverty and revenge.The peace in middle east can be brought about by broad concensus with gurantee of terrtorial integrity of all concerned nations .The jewish state has come to stay and should be permitted to flourish.At the same time palestinian problem should be settled by adjusting the territories around with a peacful Palestinian state.A time has come to forsake the violence and live with peace and in peace everywhere.The whole West Asian problem could have been solved by sitting across the table rather than by resorting to violence and permitting percolation of continued seize mentality on both sides with loss of lives of innocent people ,particularly of women and children.The responsibilty for continued unrest were deep and lie in old era of cold war politics which meant pinpricking major rivals in the game for control of influence of various regions around the world.That compulsion for supremacy is over.The only solution to middle east problem is prolonged talks for peace.

Feeryarrow :

Name one Arab/Muslim country that isn't homophobic, anti-women, authoritarian.
Name a Muslim/Arab state that allows full religious freedom.

Feeryarrow :

Name one Muslim country that isn't anti-women, homophobic, democratic & allows for religious freedom?

Al T. Alana :

Arabs are playing the race card.

Too bad they just don't know what a democracy is all about.

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

Don't get me wrong on the Israeli-Palestinian question. Israel has done much wrong. The Palestinians are suffering under a stifling occupation. I disagree with the settlements and that has cost Israel politically (around the world). Israel has a radical population of their own that believes that the West Bank is a part of greater Israel and Israeli retaliation has always been more costly to the Palestinians.

There are plenty of problems to resolve and I hope that all of the countries in the ME can reach some kind of agreement - for the good of the Palestinians and Israelis. However, peace seems remote.

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

You fooled me, anyway, thanks for the post

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Hello Tom,

Nope, I’m the same Rick.

“...Do you sincerely believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one-sided? That the Palestinians are innocent...”

Nope, it’s not one sided. Yup, the Palestinians are innocent, just trying to repel the illegal emigrants as I expect we would under similar conditions.

“...That Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad will recognize Israel...”

Nope, never, nor should they.

“...That Iran will not wipe Israel off the map...”

Yup, it’s only a matter of time; If not Iran, then someone else.

“...and the goal of the Arabs (which includes the Palestinians) was genocide of the Jews in Israel...”

Nope, the goal is to chase them out of Palestine and back to Europe or America where they belong.

“...Even if the Israelis completely pull out of the West Bank, that will not bring peace for Israel because "occupation" means ALL of Israel to the above organizations (terrorist [freedom fighters]) and Iran.”

Correct, this peace process will fail because the two-state solution is a nonstarter. The Jews have no right to a piece of Palestine after being absent for almost 2 millennia prior to 1947. The 5 million Israeli Jews should join their 5.7 million brethren in the USA and form a legitimate Jewish homeland with 80% of the Jews on the planet. We can support it; Palestine cannot.

Thanks for the post and sorry for the name confusion.

Tom Wonacott :

Rick Jones (assuming you are not the same Rick as has been posting on this question)

“…Is that what you call the atrocities being perpetrated with our support against the native Palestinians (“social justice, tolerance and equality”)?…”

Do you sincerely believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one-sided? That the Palestinians are innocent? That the Palestinians did not kill over 1000 Israelis during the 2000 Intifada which began directly after Arafat refused Israel's offer of peace to form a Palestinian State? That the Palestinians were really working toward a peaceful solution at the Camp David Summit in 2000 when Arafat turned down the Israeli offer of 97% of the West Bank WITHOUT even a counter offer. That Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad will recognize Israel? That Hamas, and Islamic Jihad will refrain from firing rockets (at civilians) to undermine this latest effort at peace? That Iran will not continue to fund and DIRECT Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah to undermine the Annapolis peace effort? That Iran will not wipe Israel off the map? That Iran's nuclear program is really peaceful, and wouldn't, of course, embolden the terrorist against Israel? That Iran via their proxy Hezbollah did not start the war in 2006 against Israel?

Israel was attacked in 1947, 1967 (a defensive war) and 1973, and the goal of the Arabs (which includes the Palestinians) was genocide of the Jews in Israel. That goal still applies today for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Iran and many Arabs around the Middle East. Even if the Israelis completely pull out of the West Bank, that will not bring peace for Israel because "occupation" means ALL of Israel to the above organizations (terrorist) and Iran.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

Tom,

“We don’t believe we are better than Arabs (or Persians), but we DO BELIEVE we have created a better society based on social justice, tolerance (especially toward minorities) and equality - which are completely lacking in ALL Arab countries.”

Is that what you call the atrocities being perpetrated with our support against the native Palestinians (“social justice, tolerance and equality”)?

Tom Wonacott :

Tarik :

Pakistan was created in the same manner as Israel - by a British partition of land to accommodate the right of self determination of the Jews in Palestine as well as the Muslims in India. Even though Jews were scattered throughout the Middle East, they certainly had an historic connection to Palestine which included the nation of Israel.

Jewish immigration began under the Ottoman Empire and when the British assumed control over the future of Palestine, the Jewish community numbered 80-90,000 people (from about 10,000 in 1880) and according to Winston Churchill:

“…This community, then, with it’s town and country population, its political, religious and social organizations, its own language, its own customs, its own life, has in fact “national characteristics…”

In addition, Israel was created where there was NO existing state as opposed to Pakistan which was partitioned FROM India. About one million people died from the violence associated with the partition of Pakistan so there was great disagreement over the British plan.

“…This is what makes Americans dislike Arabs. Deep down in its psyche America says gee we are better than the Arabs and yet they produced someone like Mohammad and we could not…”

Americans certainly relate more closely to Israel than Arab states because of religion and our similar democratic societies, that’s true. Arabs have created oppressive autocratic societies under brutal dictatorships such as al-Assad of Syria and the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. In addition, there is a great deal of mistreatment of minorities within Arab countries (and Persian) such as Shia within Sunni dominated regions, women, or the Jews that lived in the Middle East for centuries and were forced out when Israel was created. We feel the pain of the recent rape victim in Saudi Arabia and others like her caught in similar systems full of injustices to minorities. We view (with contempt) the hate literature taught in Middle Eastern schools that seeks to brainwash young children and produce another generation of intolerant Muslims.

We see the rise of radical Islam which hopes to copy the society created by the intolerant seventh century-loving Taliban in Afghanistan. We witness the brutal massacre of innocent civilians all over the globe and see the imperialistic design of radical Islam. Radical Islam is not interested in justice, but seeks power like any totalitarian movement such as communism and Nazism.

We don’t believe we are bettor than Arabs (or Persians), but we DO BELIEVE we have created a better society based on social justice, tolerance (especially toward minorities) and equality - which are completely lacking in ALL Arab countries.

Thanks for the post.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

NRGlaw:

“What drives you so? Do you really hate Jews that much?”

I do not hate Jews, as I think you know. I embrace the Jews and want to bring them to America where they belong, with their 5.7 million brethren (as of 2002, latest survey that I could find). They certainly do not belong in the Middle East amidst the billions of Muslims who detest them, and rightly so, after the atrocities that the Zionists have perpetrated on the native Palestinians.

If the 5.0 million Israeli Jews were to come to America, this would give us 10.7 million, or 80% of the total 13.3 million Jewish worldwide population; a true homeland. We can support them; Palestine cannot.

I am anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian, and enraged at the atrocities that my tax dollars are being used to enable in Palestine. I am sure that you, as a thoughtful, reasonable person are embarrassed by the plight of the Palestinians as well.

nrglaw :

I read Rick's posts and I see the sheer volume of them, and I really wonder: What drives you so? Do you really hate Jews that much?

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

[So we can easily handle another 5 million or so from Israel.]

I'll bet that Mr. Brooks was thinking that very thought.

Rick :

Israel is dependent on imported oil and gets it primarily from Russia. But are they a reliable source? Recall that they recently threatened to cut off their East European customers if they didn’t behave as expected.

http://www.slate.com/id/2145704/

Where Does Israel Get Oil?If you're selling, they're buying.

By Daniel Engber
Posted Friday, July 14, 2006, at 6:19 PM ET

The leader of Hezbollah declared "open war" against Israel on Friday following the bombing of his offices in Beirut, Lebanon. The president of Iran has announced that if Israel were to expand the hostilities by attacking Syria, that would represent "an attack on the whole Islamic world and the regime will face a crushing response." Given the grim state of Arab-Israeli relations, where does Israel get its oil?

From Russia and former Soviet republics. Israel produces only a couple thousand barrels of oil a day, which means it relies on the global market for more than 99 percent of its consumption. It's difficult to name all of the country's suppliers—in 2004, Israel's minister of national infrastructures admitted that "Israel's situation is complicated. We don't have diplomatic relations with most of the countries from which we import oil." But over the past 25 years, significant fuel imports have come from Angola, Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, and Norway. In more recent times, the Israelis have turned to Russia, Kazakhstan, and some of the other -stans for the bulk of their oil.

Israel has long sought a local source of oil, especially since the oil crisis of 1973. Having a nearby supplier would increase Israel's energy security and reduce the cost of its imports. Iran filled that need for a while: Starting in 1968, the Israelis used a pipe called the "TIPline" to import Iranian oil from the Red Sea. But the shah was overthrown in 1979, and Iran shut off the tap. (These days, Israel lets the Russians use the TIPline to pump oil in the opposite direction.)

Rick :

Here’s an article about two mothers who lost their daughters (17 and 18 years old) in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem that shows how difficult (or impossible) this is going to be.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/26/AR2007112601853_pf.html

“Beyond the Reach of Annapolis
__
By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, November 27, 2007; A17

On March 29, 2002, an 18-year-old woman walked into a Jerusalem supermarket and blew herself up. One of her victims was a woman just a year younger than herself. The two women looked so much alike, Palestinian and Israeli, and their mortal wounds were so similar, that the pathologist had trouble reassembling the two girls. They had so much in common...

Avigail Levy's [Jewish mother] attempt to reach an understanding with Um Samir al-Akhras [Palestinian mother] is told in an HBO documentary called " To Die in Jerusalem." It is a frustrating film, lacking the snapping flags and sleek limos of the Middle East peace conference convened in Annapolis. But more than the communiques sure to be issued and the statements sure to be made, the inability of two mothers just to meet -- not to mention understand one another -- gives a true and depressing picture of why no peace agreement is on the horizon. God is not in these details. The devil is...

Israel must relent. That's for sure. The Palestinians must forswear terrorism. That's for sure, too. The occupation has to end. Suicide bombings have to end. A Palestinian state has to be created. Gaza cannot remain a terrorist base. The West Bank cannot become a terrorist base. It's all so sensible. It's all so logical. But, really, down where it counts, the mothers of two dead daughters cannot even talk to each other.

"I didn't understand anything," Avigail says after four years of trying to establish a dialogue. "She didn't understand anything."

They issued no communique.”

Rick :

A pep talk from my favorite conservative columnist:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/opinion/27brooks.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

November 27, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist

Follow the Fundamentals

By DAVID BROOKS

“...So it’s worth pointing out now more than ever that Dobbsianism is fundamentally wrong. It plays on legitimate anxieties, but it rests at heart on a more existential fear — the fear that America is under assault and is fundamentally fragile. It rests on fears that the America we once knew is bleeding away.

And that’s just not true. In the first place, despite the ups and downs of the business cycle, the United States still possesses the most potent economy on earth. Recently the World Economic Forum and the International Institute for Management Development produced global competitiveness indexes, and once again they both ranked the United States first in the world.

In the World Economic Forum survey, the U.S. comes in just ahead of Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany (China is 34th). The U.S. gets poor marks for macroeconomic stability (the long-term federal debt), for its tax structure and for the low savings rate. But it leads the world in a range of categories: higher education and training, labor market flexibility, the ability to attract global talent, the availability of venture capital, the quality of corporate management and the capacity to innovate.
William W. Lewis of McKinsey surveyed global competitive in dozens of business sectors a few years ago, and concluded, “The United States is the productivity leader in virtually every industry.”

Second, America’s fundamental economic strength is rooted in the most stable of assets — its values. The U.S. is still an astonishing assimilation machine. It has successfully absorbed more than 20 million legal immigrants over the past quarter-century, an extraordinary influx of human capital. Americans are remarkably fertile. Birthrates are relatively high, meaning that in 2050, the average American will be under 40, while the average European, Chinese and Japanese will be more than a decade older...

[So we can easily handle another 5 million or so from Israel.]

Rick :

Hi Victoria,

It’s about time you decided to come back and join us. Don’t you know why we continue give billions of dollars to Israel every year, even though we can’t afford it, and have to borrow the money from the Chinese (plus interest)?

Neither do I unless maybe it’s because AIPAC owns the congress, senate, and executive branches of our government.

victoria :

one of the unique things about this expansion, or natural growth of the israeli borders is that in the original agreement in 1948 when israel was formed- it promised not to expand its borders

what other country decides on its own to redraw its own borders?

the democratically elected hamas is not invited to this meeting

it must be clear, even to hardline republicans/neocons that bush is looking to his 'legacy', knows there is no hope for success-
but wants the histroy books to say he tried(belatedly and half -heartedly)

omigoodness- i have s-span on in the background- a woman just called in and suggested that all the leaders in the meetings change their names to Jim, John, and Pedro(?) so that americans could feel a stronger affinity to them

but- the continuing question that i have never seen anwered anywhere- and i expect it iwll be ignored again but i must ask-

who among the israeli supporters can tell us clearly exactly WHY america should support it?

i have never heard a reasonable repsonse-

i debated fror 5 months onfaith with a fellow who claimed he taught tanakh(torah etc...) and even HE could never give me a religious or secular reason

every man, woman and baby in israel receives 23,000 dollars from the USA every year

whay is that?


Rick :

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/world/middleeast/26cnd-rice.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

November 26, 2007

Behind Rice’s Shift on Leading Mideast Peace Efforts

By ELISABETH BUMILLER

I found the most interesting thing in this article to be that President Bush decided in 2004 that Palestinian Refugees would be allowed to return to a possible future Palestinian State, but never to their homes in Israel. The “State Department had always taken the position that the issue — along with the final borders of a Palestinian state and how Jerusalem might be shared by the two sides — should be decided through negotiations, not by fiat from Washington.”

“…By the spring of 2004, when Mr. Bush agreed to support a plan by Mr. Sharon to withdraw Israeli settlers and forces from Gaza, Mr. Sharon asked for something more that set off a huge fight within the administration: American recognition that Palestinian refugees and their descendants who had fled in the 1940s would have a right of return to a new Palestinian state, but not to Israel itself.

Ms. Rice well knew that allowing Palestinians to return to Israel would overwhelm the Jewish population and effectively obliterate Israel’s identity as a Jewish state. Mr. Cheney and his allies supported Mr. Sharon’s request, but the State Department had always taken the position that the issue — along with the final borders of a Palestinian state and how Jerusalem might be shared by the two sides — should be decided through negotiations, not by fiat from Washington.

Aware of the debate within the Bush administration, Tzipi Livni, now the Israeli foreign minister but then the minister for immigrant absorption, went to plead her case to Ms. Rice in Washington. “I had the opportunity to convince Rice,” Ms. Livni said in an interview with The New York Times earlier this year.

Ms. Rice said she understood the issue was “very, very core” to Ms. Livni, and acknowledged that Ms. Livni’s appeal “was taken into account in the president’s words” when Mr. Bush made a pivotal announcement, in April 2004, that any “just, fair and realistic framework” for Israel would mean that Palestinians would have to settle in their own state — an enormous benefit for to Mr. Sharon…”

[This was a huge mistake in my opinion. We should not be dictating to the people of the region that they must accept an apartheid, racist, theocratic state in the place of historic Palestine.]

Rick :

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/world/middleeast/25annapolis.html?pagewanted=print

“News Analysis

In Annapolis, Much Hope for Leaders’ Cooperation, but Little for Results
By STEVEN ERLANGER

Israeli and Palestinian leaders gather tomorrow under American tutelage, with Arab foreign ministers in attendance amid anxiety about Iran, to try again to negotiate an end to nearly 60 years of conflict.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, respect each other. They have the potential to negotiate and sign the most far-reaching agreement ever between Israelis and Palestinians. But even if they do, can they carry it out?

“There’s never been less skepticism about the peaceful intentions of the leadership of the other side,” said David Makovsky, an analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “But there’s never been more skepticism about their capabilities to deliver.”

If Israel is serious about peace, it has a major internal conflict coming with the settler movement, with those who do not wish to risk the security of Israel by withdrawing from the West Bank and from those who believe that Jerusalem must never again be divided…

There is a deep sense, among Palestinians and not just Israelis, that Mr. Abbas, although he was elected essentially unopposed, is a virtual president in charge of little, and that if the Israeli military pulled out of the West Bank, he would not last more than a day…

As important, Hamas remains ideologically opposed to a permanent two-state solution and the right of Israel to exist. Hamas remains committed to taking over the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Mr. Abbas and Fatah dominate…

Hamas’s formal position is that Annapolis is a waste of time and that Mr. Abbas must not make serious concessions to Israel…

As Hamas builds an army in Gaza — contradicting the diplomatic consensus that a new Palestinian state should have a police force but no army — the temptation for Israel to invade Gaza will be severe. But the damage of such an attack to Mr. Abbas, who may be seen as riding an Israeli tank back to power in Gaza, could be fatal — threatening not just his negotiating authority, but his life…”

[In my opinion, Hamas represents the Palestinian people, not the appeaser and collaborator Abbas. As much as I would support a successful two-state (or any workable) solution, this attempt at a two-station solution is doomed to failure. The Israelis have no claim on this land from which they were absent for nearly two millennia prior to the twentieth century illegal Zionist invasion and occupation. The single-state solution with Palestinian right of return is the only just and workable solution. The Israelis must and will be coerced to leave once again.]

Rick :

Tarik,

Welcome aboard. It’s good to have a participant who understands the history of Pakistan. I for one certainly do not.

You also have good instincts on the Middle East in general:

“For these reasons I do not feel that America has enough intellectual acumen to resolve this issue (this is beyond Condi Rice)! The solution will have to come from the Middle East no matter how long it takes.”

Well said. I only regret that my tax dollars are being wasted in such foolish and unbalanced support for one side; the unjust side in my opinion.

Tarik :

Where was I when all this wonderful discussion was going on!
Excellent postings.

To Tom Wonacott-who said Britain created Pakistan in the same way it created Isreal...

Pakistan is different from Israel.
Its people were not imported from Europe or else where. Its natural inhabitants voted for Jinnah who created this new nation-state.
Let me point out that he is perhaps one of the very few leaders in history who:
1.changed the course of history.
2. changed the map of the world.
3.created a new Nation-State. (according to Stanley Wolpert. "Jinnah did all three".

The only common factor between Pakistan and Israel is the religion played a pivotal role in its founding.

Only a fool would discount the influence of Religion.
Imagine the West inspite of its great intellectual accomplishments has not been able to produce a Prophet of the calibre of those from the Middle East (that venerable lists giants of our history like Abraham,Moses,David,Jesus,and Mohammad). And that, continues to influence human events in many parts of the world.

By the way Joseph Smith and Elijah Mohammad can be cited as examples of American contribution,
(I mean it seriously).
This is what makes Americans dislike Arabs. Deep down in its psyche America says gee we are better than the Arabs and yet they produced someone like Mohammad and we could not. We rule the world via our Veto in the UN and our Military and Economic power and yet the Arabs still control the hearts and mind of 1.3 Billion people who are Non-Arabs.

For these reasons I do not feel that America has enough intellectual acumen to resolve this issue
(this is beyond Condi Rice)!
The solution will have to come from the Middle East no matter how long it takes.

Rick :

We need AIPAC to ensure the continuation of the illegal Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/23/AR2007112300401_pf.html

Uneasy neighbors in occupied West Bank

By Alastair Macdonald
Reuters
Friday, November 23, 2007; 6:26 AM

ARIEL/MARDA, West Bank (Reuters) - The rolling hills inland from Israel's busy coastal strip are dotted with towns and villages nestled under towers rising above the olive groves.

Look closely, though, and one sees differences. Some towers are the minarets of mosques, others are concrete lookout posts for Israeli troops guarding Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

These are uneasy neighbors and the future of the settlers, who have built on land occupied by Israel in 1967, is among the "core issues" Palestinians and Israelis must resolve if they are ever to make peace in negotiations to be launched at next week's U.S.-hosted Middle East conference in Annapolis, Maryland.

Few around the settlement of Ariel see much chance of that -- Israeli residents are determined to stay and build, whatever their government decides, and Palestinians insist the settlers must go in order for them to establish a functioning state.

"My vision is ... to build here a city of 60,000 people," says Ron Nachman, mayor of Ariel, today home to about 18,000.

"As long as I live and I have the power and the strength I'll do everything in order to fulfill this vision," Nachman added, sitting in his office in the neat, hilltop industrial town, 40 km (25 miles) east of Tel Aviv's beaches.

"I want to live in peace with my neighbors."

A few hundred meters (yards) down the hill, that vision is not shared by Sadeq al-Khuffash, the mayor of Marda: "I don't dream of us living together ... These are settlements built illegally on our lands. They should be removed ... You can't expect me to live with the people who took our land by force."…

The World Court says settlements, home to some 270,000 Jews among 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, are illegal…

Asked about an incident this week in which gunmen killed a settler nearby, Khuffash says: "This is our home and resistance is a legal right. If there is no respect for agreements and international law, things will go on like this, with violence."

But neither violence nor an Israeli government withdrawal persuade Nachman Ariel's future is in doubt: "What I have done here is a fact on the ground," he says. "When Tony Blair has passed away, and President Bush, and I, this will remain."

Rick :

The Saudis are in, now all we need is Syria:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/world/middleeast/24mideast.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

“November 24, 2007

Saudis to Join Mideast Talks; Syria Wavers
By MONA EL-NAGGAR and ISABEL KERSHNER

CAIRO, Nov. 23 — Saudi Arabia joined 14 other Arab nations on Friday in an agreement to attend the American-sponsored Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Md., next week, while Syria — the last key holdout — was inching closer toward agreeing to participate.

If Syria’s primary demand is met, that the conference also address the dispute over the Golan Heights, Syrian land that Israel has occupied since 1967, the conference could be the first chance in years to begin a dialogue aimed at a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

But it will get off to a chilly start — the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, who said he would attend, made it clear there would be no handshake with Israeli officials…

There is a saying in the Middle East, that there can not be war without Egypt — but there can not be peace without Syria. The Syrians know well the spoiler role they can play in the region and have used that as leverage — knowing that the conference will not be as credible if the chair for Damascus is empty. Saudi and Syrian attendance was seen as essential.

“We will not decide to participate until we receive the agenda and read that the second issue on the agenda is the Syrian-Israeli track, that is, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights,” said Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem…

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, hailed the Arab decision to participate. “Staying away would have ensured the meeting’s failure,” he said. “Coming gives the Arabs leverage to say to the Bush administration: ‘Do now what you didn’t do leading up to this.’” Mr. Zogby said that Arab officials would now press the United States to try to wring concessions out of Israel…

Israeli officials insist that the Annapolis meeting will focus on the Israeli-Palestinian agenda. But to encourage Saudi and Syrian attendance, they, too, have signaled more readiness in recent days to consider a comprehensive Middle East peace, and specifically, a possible resumption of Israeli-Syrian negotiations down the road…

After meeting with Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, in Sharm el Sheik on Tuesday, the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, also nodded toward the Syrians and Saudis by relating to the Arab peace initiative of 2002 in warmer tones than before.

The Arab initiative, which grew out of a Saudi peace plan, was reaffirmed by the Arab League at a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in late March. It offers Israel full relations with the Arab world in return for a full withdrawal to the 1967 lines, the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and an agreed solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

Mr. Olmert said that Israel “attributes great importance” to the Arab peace initiative “as part of efforts to reach a comprehensive peace agreement in the end.”

The Islamic group Hamas, which took control of the Gaza Strip in June after routing pro-Abbas forces there, called on Arab countries not to normalize relations with Israel.

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, told the Palestinian news agency Ramatan that Annapolis was a “dangerous” event intended to tempt the Palestinians and the Arabs into “making concessions at the expense of Palestinian rights.”

Rick :

Here is why we need AIPAC:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/23/AR2007112300332_pf.html

We want to make sure the Zionist land grabbers keep the rightful landowners from their land.

“Father to son, keys to Palestinian home cherished”

By Yara Bayoumy
Reuters
Friday, November 23, 2007; 5:55 AM

“AIN AL-HILWEH, Lebanon (Reuters) - The portrait of Hussein Saleh al-Me'ari holding a slim iron key and the legend "We will return" hangs on a wall with peeling paint in a tiny room at the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

His 45-year-old son, Salah, was born and later married in the camp. Salah's four children and extended family live in a few cramped rooms in the sprawling, decrepit camp which is Lebanon's largest and houses about 70,000 Palestinian refugees.

There is no immediate prospect for any of them to return to the family home in what is now Israel, even as Israelis and Palestinians prepare to meet in the United States next week for talks on a Palestinian state.

Yet Salah still keeps 18 carefully folded, yellowing pages of land documents that show his father and grandfather own 67 hectares (170 acres) of land in the small Palestinian village of Akbarah, near Safed town north of the Sea of Galilee.

Salah's grandfather and father fled along with hundreds of thousands of other Palestinians in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war in which the state of Israel was created…”

Rick :

Neil,

I thought that I had made such a comment but couldn’t find it, am ashamed of it and apologize for it. I sometimes let my blood pressure get too hot and speak out of school. If I lose my head, being far removed from the conflict, no wonder the participants lose control. I know that is no excuse and appreciate being flagged. I still claim that I am no anti-Semite, but am anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian. I am very disgusted that my government is so pro-Israel. It sounds like you have had some interesting experiences in the region.

“…None of these are natural country boundaries nor have their leaders been historically chosen by the people of the country (with periodic exceptions)…”

So the British royally messed things up, realized they had made a mistake in Palestine at least, tried to stop the Zionist immigration but couldn’t. They and the Palestinians came under attack by terrorists like Menachem Begin’s Irgun, until they finally gave up and asked the U.N. to bail them out.

“…I am not anti-Palestinian. I would like to see a two state solution with peace on both sides. I would like to see the Palestinian people have a good life for themselves…”

I would also like to see a two state solution (any workable solution), but think it is even more unlikely than the single state solution as well as unjust. This is mainly because the Israelis have no moral (or legal) claim on the land after being absent for almost two millennia, and the displaced Palestinians must have right of return.

“…Until people like you stop talking about genocide and ethnic cleansing that never happened we cannot have this discussion…”

Consider it done; I know better and am ashamed of my words; although I’m sure that others who feel much more strongly than I will never cool their rhetoric, or their violent actions. Also, as I said, even though we (the U.S. and Israel) have not committed genocide, our oppression of Palestinian human rights and dignity has given them a fate worse than death.

“…Israel is a nuclear armed state. its not going away. The Palestinians are not going away either…”

I agree, but what are we going to do about it? We need to rid the entire world of nuclear weapons, but cannot do so until we are willing to give up our own.

“…The answers are in compromise on both sides. But don't expect either side to commit suicide…”

Let’s hope that we succeed, but compromise is unlikely. The Palestinians are the righteous landowners, but the Israelis believe (irrationally) that they are God’s chosen and the land is theirs. Go figure. I say the Israelis must be coerced to leave once again, and it won’t be pretty.

Neil :

Rick,

Actually, on the 16th, you said the following about genocide:

"I am no anti-Semite. I am anti-Zionist, and don’t tell me that there is no difference. One is a Jew hater; the other is a hater of land stealing genocidal murderers."

So, its pretty clear that you are accusing the Israelis of genocide in spite of the fact that you seem to have forgotten this comment.

As to the origin of the countries in the Middle East, Syria is ruled by an Alawite minority, Jordan is ruled by a Hashemite minority, Iraq was given by the British to a Hashemite minority (encompassing groups like the Kurds who did not want to be part of Iraq) and Lebanon's boundaries which had always been part of the Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire, were drawn around a small area of Maronite Christians. None of these are natural country boundaries nor have their leaders been historically chosen by the people of the country (with periodic exceptions).

I am not anti-Palestinian. I would like to see a two state solution with peace on both sides. I would like to see the Palestinian people have a good life for themselves.

I have talked to many Israelis and Palestinians who feel like they are caught in a bear trap they cannot get out of. None of them are happy with their roles. I talked to an Israeli general who really fears what Israel's role on the West bank is doing to their young people who have to enforce harsh rules to protect their own people. I have talked to Palestinians who would like to have a real dialogue for peace, but realistically fear that they will be killed for voicing such a position.

Until people like you stop talking about genocide and ethnic cleansing that never happened we cannot have this discussion. Israel is a nuclear armed state. its not going away. The Palestinians are not going away either.

The answers are in compromise on both sides. But don't expect either side to commit suicide.

Rick :

Neil:

“For future reference, genocide is when 90 percent of the population is gassed to death and their bodies incinerated in ovens.”

We all sympathize with the mistreatment of the Jews at the hands of Nazis and others; however, this in no way should be laid at the door of the Palestinians. If you want to make amends, here is a suggestion that I have made to another anti-Palestinian friend who happens to live in San Antonio:

Consider this:

From: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761575008/Israel.html

“The total area of Israel, based on the frontiers established at the end of the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949, is about 20,700 sq km (about 8,000 sq mi).”

From Wikipedia:

“Texas (IPA: /ˈtɛksəs/) is a state located in the American South and Southwest regions of the United States of America. With an area of 261,797 square miles (678,051 km²) and a population of 23 million in 254 counties, the state is second-largest in both area and population. About half the state's population resides in Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas.

The state's name derives from táyshaʔ, a word in the Caddoan language of the Hasinai, which means "friends" or "allies".[3][4][5] Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1836 and existed as the independent Republic of Texas for nearly a decade. In 1845, it joined the United States as the 28th state. Texas is one of only four states that was an independent nation before becoming a constituent state of the U.S.”

[Since you are so anxious to provide the Israelis a homeland, and Texas has ample room to fit in the “State of Israel” 32 times over; where shall we put her?]

Bexar; 1,185,394 people; 1,248 sq. mi
Wilson; 32,408 people; 809 sq. mi
Karnes; 15,446 people; 753 sq. mi
Bee; 32,359 people; 880 sq. mi
San Patricio; 67,138 people; 707 sq. mi
Nueces; 313,645 people; 1,166 sq. mi
Aransas; 22,497 people; 528 sq. mi
Refugio; 7,828 people; 819 sq. mi
Calhoun; 20,647 people; 1,032 sq. mi
Matagorda; 37,957 people; 1,612 sq. mi

Total: 1,735,319 people; 9,554 sq. mi

The shape of the country will be a tilted “L”, with the top of the near-vertical (north/south) leg beginning at San Antonio (Bexar County) and running SSW to Corpus Christi (Nueces County). The base of the “L” will extend along the coast from Corpus Christi toward Houston, to Matagorda County.

This will displace 1,735,319 of the native population (2000 census), but I am sure that they will get over it.

The Israelis will probably be happy with this arrangement; and if not, they can feel free to settle the remainder of the state as they see fit. I will have to do some research to insure that I have given them control of the 80% of the state’s available water supply to which they are accustomed. I will have to get back to you on that one.

Rick :

Neil,

“I am a little disturbed that words and ideas are being used in this discussion that don't mesh with the actual data. Some thoughts.

Genocide --...”

Searching for the word “genocide”, I find it used twice on this page prior to your post:

1. Once by our friend Tom, @ November 14 8:48 AM, in which responding to Victoria (Where is Victoria?) he noted:

“Finally, for far worse tragedies than the Palestinians, try the Indians of North America, the Maoris or the Aborigines who lost most of their homelands. Current conflicts in Africa such as Darfur and the Congo are extreme tragedies. Genocides in the twentieth century include the Armenians, Bosnians, Rwandans and the Holocaust...”

2. Once by me in response to Tom @ November 14 12:17 PM:

“Yes, but having committed genocide on the Native Americans and stealing their land does not justify the same treatment of the Palestinians.”

In my case, I was not accusing the Israelis of having committed genocide on the Palestinians, but rather was cautioning them (and us) that they should not do so.

In my opinion, the way the Palestinian refugees are forced to live today, in the squalor of the refugee camps, and being deprived of their basic human rights and dignity, is a fate worse than death. This is the reason that there is no shortage of “exploding Muslim bombs” (to quote a vicious joke) in the region today.

As for the forced exodus of Jews from Muslim countries following the illegal land grab and atrocities following 1947, what should one expect?

As for the creation by Britain of Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon having some equivalence to the creation of the “State of Israel”, I disagree. The creation of Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon was just a partitioning of the land before returning it to the existing native population as promised in return for Arab support during the war. The deeding of Palestine to the Jews was in direct violation of the promise which had already been made to the Arabs with respect to this land as well.

As a result, in my opinion, the “State of Israel” is by no means legal.

Thanks for the post.

Tom Wonacott :

Neil

Jewish people forced to leave Arab countries is rarely mentioned in discussions involving the Israel-Palestinian conflict, in fact, it’s rarely (if ever) mentioned at the UN. From the Jerusalem Post (11-16-07):

“The government needs to bring up the issue of hundreds of thousands of Jews who left their homes in Arab countries following the establishment of the State of Israel as part of any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, the president of the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries said Thursday.
About 850,000 Jews fled Arab countries after Israel's founding in 1948, leaving behind assets valued today at more than $300 billion, said Heskel M. Haddad.
He added that the New York-based organization has decades-old property deeds of Jews from Arab countries on a total area of 100,000 sq.km. - which is five times the size of the State of Israel…the Arab League urged Arab governments to facilitate the exit of Jews from Arab countries, a resolution which was carried out with a series of punitive measures and discriminatory decrees making it untenable for the Jews to stay in the countries…”

Neil :

I am a little disturbed that words and ideas are being used in this discussion that don't mesh with the actual data. Some thoughts.

Genocide -- In 1948 there were about 900,000 Arabs living in the area of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Today there are about 5,200,000 Arabs in this same area, including 1,200,000 in Israel proper. In the last 60 years you would be hard pressed to find 15,000 Palestinians killed by Israelis (not including other Arabs killed in the primary wars)- hard to believe, but true. For context there were 12,000+ murders in Washington, DC during the same period, a city of only 500,000. For future reference, genocide is when 90 percent of the population is gassed to death and their bodies incinerated in ovens. When the population increases by 500%+, its usually a good indication that there is no genocide happening. If you use the word genocide in this context you really need to come to grips with the fact that you are an anti-Semite since there is no data to back you up.

Ethnic Cleansing -- In 1948 there were about 900,000 Jews living in Muslim majority countries. Today, there are less than 50,000. For future reference, this is ethnic cleansing. The vast majority of Palestinians live within 60 miles of where they were in 1948. Ahmadinejad would have you believe that Israel was created to house the Jewish refugees flowing out of Europe after WWII. In actuality half the population is Jews who are refugees from Islamic countries.

Aid To Israel -- Since 1990 the US has given Israel more than $45B in predominantly military aid. If you look more closely, you will see that this aid was used to balance the $75B in military aid and sales the US made to Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. In a single category, Main Battle Tanks, the US has given Egypt more tanks than Britain & France together have in inventory. If the US would stop providing the Arabs with arms, we could stop sending Israel military aid.

Legitimacy of Israel -- Israel was created in exactly the same way the other countries in the region were created -- by international decisions. Four states were created from League of Nations mandates derived from the the Treaty of Sevres breaking up the Ottoman Empire:

Jordan - created by Britain (1921)
Iraq - created by Britain (1921)
Syria - created by France (1936)
Lebanon - created by France (1943)

Lebanon was created specifically to provide a Maronite Christian majority state, just as the UN created a Jewish majority state a few years later in Israel.

Saudi Arabia was created by inter-clan war in the mid-1920s. I am hard pressed to understand how Israel's existence is more or less legitimate than any of the other states in the area. None were created from "the will of the people."

Mearsheimer & Walt -- I studied with Mearsheimer's predecessors at the University of Chicago in the 1970s. They would be embarrassed by this work. This paper and the subsequent book remove all the data points Mearsheimer and Walt don't like. Read the book. Anyone who knows anything about the topic can find errors or omissions of fact in almost every page.

Rick :

From AP, a glimpse of the life of the Palestinian Refugee in Jordan:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/J/JORDAN_REFUGEES_VOTE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2007-11-19-12-30-17

November 19, 2007

Palestinian Refugees Vote in Jordan

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 12:30 p.m. ET

BAQAA CAMP, Jordan (AP) -- Election time is a unique moment for Palestinian refugees in Jordan: A chance to try to improve their lot in their adopted land and press their dreams of returning to homes in what is now Israel.

Some in this squalid camp, where frustration and poverty are widespread, see little use in voting in Tuesday's parliamentary elections. But unlike Palestinian refugees elsewhere in the Middle East, refugees here at least have a voice -- Jordan is the only Arab nation that has given them the right to vote…

''We want all the perks and rights offered to Jordanian citizens,'' said Wael al-Sharif, a 40-year-old contractor who lives in Baqaa, home to 120,000 refugees, where raw sewage flows into the alleyway, creating an acrid stench as barefoot children play.

''We want to get on with our lives until we return to our long lost homeland,'' he said.
The refugees, Palestinians who lost their homes in 1948 and their descendants, say they are relegated to second-class status in Jordan.

They say government jobs, particularly in the royal palace, the foreign and interior ministries, army and intelligence are closed to them. So is the free university education offered to the Bedouin tribes who form the bedrock of support for Jordan's King Abdullah II.

The so-called ''1948 Palestinians'' who make up 1.9 million of Jordan's 5.5 million population, live mostly in 10 impoverished camps around the country, relying on U.N. aid -- a condition that imposes a degree of segregation from the rest of the population. Frustration among camp youth provides fertile ground for Islamic extremists.

An additional 800,000 Palestinians who fled their homes in the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war are more integrated into the society because they lived under Jordanian rule between 1950 and 1967, when Israel seized the land.

The 1948 Palestinians have about 10 percent of parliament's 110 seats, a proportion they are expected to maintain after Tuesday's vote -- though they note that it doesn't reflect their 34 percent of the population…

Rick :

From today’s WP:

Analysis: Mideast Peace As Tough As Ever

By STEVEN GUTKIN
The Associated Press
Saturday, November 17, 2007; 1:43 PM

JERUSALEM -- Years of negotiations have already revealed the only workable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sizable majorities on both sides want peace and the cost of failure is clear: a victory for Hamas and its patron, Iran.

Yet despite what appear to be ideal conditions for relaunching peace talks, the two sides are finding it as difficult as ever to get to work _ bogged down by domestic weakness, mutual distrust and the growing influence of extremists...

In recent days, the two sides have disagreed heatedly over a fresh Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. And Palestinian negotiators said Israel's offer to partially freeze settlement construction and release a few hundred prisoners before Annapolis falls far short of their expectations...

Palestinians fear that Israeli "facts on the ground" _ expanding West Bank settlements, far-flung Jewish outposts, a massive separation barrier jutting deep into Palestinian territory _ have eroded prospects for a viable Palestinian state.

After the past six years of bloodshed killed more than 4,400 Palestinians and 1,100 Israelis, the sides are again coming together for peace talks _ a paradoxical consequence of Hamas' Gaza takeover, which led to the creation of a moderate West Bank government viewed as a credible negotiating partner by Israel and the West...

The stakes also seem higher now than before, especially with Hamas and Iran ready to pounce on failure as a way to bolster Mideast extremists. But with Hamas in control of Gaza and Olmert plagued by a series of corruption probes, the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are likely to have a difficult time mustering the strength and support needed to achieve a peace deal.

Though talks at Camp David and Taba failed, they did sketch what many still see as the only way out of the last six decades of conflict:

_ A non-militarized Palestinian state would be created based on Israeli frontiers before the 1967 Mideast War. Israel would keep most of its so-called settlement blocs where some 80 percent of its West Bank settlers reside. In exchange, Palestinians would be compensated for such land with equal amounts of Israeli territory.

_ Jerusalem would be the capital of both states, with Arab sections going to Palestine and Jewish neighborhoods to Israel. The deal would include a delicate power-sharing arrangement for the Old City, with each side controlling its respective holy sites.

_ Palestinian refugees who lost their homes when Israel was created in 1948 would get financial compensation and resettlement assistance, and Israel would offer some acknowledgment of their suffering.

_ An international presence in Israel/Palestine would help monitor implementation of the deal.

The proposed solution entails bitter pills for each side. The Palestinians would have to give up their dream of having all refugees return to cities or villages inside Israel, and Israel would have to relinquish its long-standing demand to keep all of Jerusalem...

"The devil lies in the details," he said. "It's a big devil."

Polls show a majority of Palestinians and Israelis now favoring the establishment of a Palestinian state on territory captured by Israel in 1967. Yet overcoming the historical stumbling blocks _ the religious attachments to the Holy Land, the shadow of the Holocaust on the Israeli psyche, Palestinians' deep-seated sense of victimhood _ will never be easy.

Shortly after the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting in 2001, President Clinton gave a speech in which he said the choices facing Israelis and Palestinians would remain the same, regardless of "whether they come today or after several years of heartbreak and bloodshed."

"The parties will face the same history, the same geography, the same neighbors, the same passions, the same hatreds," he said. "This is not a problem time will take care of."

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA :

From today’s NY Times:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/19/AR2007111900716_pf.html

High-level Saudi presence seen unlikely at Annapolis

By Andrew Hammond
Reuters
Monday, November 19, 2007; 11:23 AM

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia could keep the United States guessing until the last minute on whether it will attend a Middle East peace conference next week, but analysts and diplomats say a high-level delegation is unlikely.

Saudi Arabia -- a key U.S. ally whose presence would give a major boost to the U.S.-sponsored November 26-27 summit in Annapolis, Maryland -- has said it will attend only if core issues are tackled at the latest in a line of high-profile Arab-Israeli meetings dating back to Madrid in 1992.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal declined to speak on the issue, telling reporters on Sunday: "The Arab countries will meet on November 22 and the Arab position will be fixed then." He was referring to an Arab foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League in Cairo...

They said Riyadh fears that without clear results on a peace deal, the conference could play into the hands of Iran, whose growing regional influence has alarmed U.S. and Saudi leaders.

"People here would rather not see the conference take place than for it to happen and come to nothing. That would reinforce Iran and weaken Abbas," one diplomat said.
In Riyadh for an OPEC summit this week Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked Arabs who attend.

"Those who plan to go there -- who will they represent? The people of Palestine have not given them permission to represent them," he told a news conference.

Rick :

Good morning Tom,

Yes, I found the poll results interesting so thought I would share them. I knew that most Americans favored the Israeli side of the conflict, and wondered what the numbers were.

They are not all that surprising I think: 59% sympathize with Israelis, 15% sympathize with Palestinians and 26% have no opinion. Since the more people pay attention, the more they sympathize with the Israelis; I think that your analysis that the “terrorist” attacks on civilians by suicide bombers are largely responsible. People fail to realize that this is just the only response left to the Palestinians who have been unjustly displaced from their homes. The Israeli civilians and settlers are actually foot soldiers in a battle to the death against the displaced rightful owners of their land.

I think that other factors are at work, like political/religious and cultural factors. Democrats and independents are roughly neutral on the subject, while 77% of Republicans sympathize with Israelis. Ah, that explains it; the same people who gave us George W. Bush are also giving us a pro-Israeli bias.

I think that religious/cultural influences play a strong role. It is telling that the mainly secular Europeans side with the underdog Palestinians, while the mainly religious U.S. sides with Israel. Most of us identify with the Old Testament stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the Whale, David and Goliath, etc. David and Goliath is a particularly apt one considering tiny Israel being perceived as the underdog David fighting the giant Goliath Arab League of Nations; when actually the opposite is the case with the world’s only superpower giving the Israelis unconditional support.

Ignorance of the history of the conflict has a lot to do with the poll results I think. Most, unlike you and I, are unaware of the manner in which the land was taken from its rightful owners (in my opinion) and transferred to the illegal and unwanted Zionist immigrants.

A parallel case might be if a powerful alien invader were to decide that we were not the rightful owners of the good ole U.S. of A., and decided to return everything west of the Mississippi to the Mexicans and Native Americans. They would have a much more valid case to make, since we have only occupied this land for less than two hundred years, whereas the Arabs had occupied Palestine for almost two millennia.

Oh well, “things” are about to change dramatically I think. The coming energy wars, the $100 per barrel (and rising) cost of oil, and our $10 Trillion (and rising) national debt is about to cool our enthusiasm for financing our colonialist ambitions by borrowing from the Chinese. If not, the Chinese and oil exporting nations will dictate terms to us on just about any matter of their choosing.

Thanks for the post.

Tom Wonacott :

Rick

Thanks for another interesting discussion on the Israel-Palestinian fiasco.

Your polling figures indicate a long standing, consistent support for Israel in this country, in part, because the media has televised the results of Palestinian suicide bombers for the past forty years. This has skewed public opinion sympathetically toward Israel - especially because the victims were generally innocent civilians.

You might say that terrorism has helped the Jewish lobby build support for the Israeli cause. One of the great failures of terrorism (and I mean targeting civilians principally) has been rallying American support for Israel.

Terrorism has succeeded, however, in provoking responses from Israel which many see as out of proportion, and that has succeeded in rallying support from the Europeans (and others including the American left) for the Palestinian cause. The Israelis have not helped their own cause by building settlements in the West Bank also.

Rick :

Most Americans support Israel in her war against Palestinian Islamic terrorists

Gallup has published a poll that clearly shows that a large majority of the American people supports Israel in their war against Palestinian Islamic terrorists:

http://factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000832.html

...“Increased Sympathy for the Israelis

Gallup's long-standing trend question on the Middle East, first measured in 1988, asks Americans whether their sympathies in the conflict lie more with the Israelis or the Palestinians. As has typically been the case, Americans are much more likely to sympathize with the Israelis (59%) than with the Palestinians (15%), with the remaining 26% not taking either side or not having an opinion. The current figures represent one of the most lopsided margins in favor of the Israelis ever recorded by Gallup. The only other times sympathy has been this high were during the first Persian Gulf War in February 1991 (when Iraq was launching Scud missiles into Israeli territory) and shortly before the start of the second war with Iraq, in February 2003 (58%). In 2004 and 2005, sympathy toward the Palestinians, though still low, was as high as it has been historically (18%).

Republicans (77%) are significantly more likely to sympathize with the Israelis than are Democrats (50%) or independents (50%). Gallup also finds that Americans who say they follow news about world affairs "very closely" are more likely to sympathize with the Israelis (66%) than Americans who follow foreign news only somewhat closely (59%) or who do not follow it closely (52%).

Gallup's World Affairs Poll also obtains basic favorable ratings of a variety of countries each year, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The new poll finds 68% of Americans saying they have a favorable opinion of Israel, including 21% who are "very favorable" toward it. Twenty-three percent view Israel unfavorably. Those numbers are essentially unchanged from last year, and are the most positive for Israel aside from a 79% favorable rating in February 1991 during the first Persian Gulf War.

In stark contrast, just 11% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian Authority, while 78% have an unfavorable view (29% say their view is "very unfavorable"). Last year, opinion was considerably more positive, with 27% favorable and 62% unfavorable. In fact, the current readings are the most negative Gallup has found since it began asking about the Palestinian Authority in 2000, while last year's were the most positive...”

Rick :

Why Americans Support Israel And Europeans Don`t

http://www.netanyahu.org/whyamsupisan.html

Posted 5/15/2002

By Glenn M. Frazier

"Glenn M. Frazier is a freelance writer and editor of GlennFrazier.com."

“The European bureautocracy is shocked by the American stance toward Israel. The common views outside the United States range from seeing Israel as an oppressor state — some say "terrorist" — to the milder "well, both sides are guilty, but Israel is stronger."...

In a poll taken by the Pew Research Center in early April, the growing transatlantic gap in opinions on the Israel-Palestine conflict was confirmed. According to the poll, most people on the continent (France 63 per cent, Germany 63 per cent, Italy 51 per cent) disapprove of current U.S. policies with regard to the Middle East, while only 26 per cent of Americans themselves polled said they "disapprove".

Further, when asked to choose sides between Israel and the Palestinians, most Europeans either primarily sided with the Palestinians (France 36 per cent, Great Britain 28 per cent), or selected "neither" (Germany 33 per cent, Italy 32 per cent). Most Americans, on the other hand, placed their sympathies with Israel (41 per cent), with 21 per cent saying "neither" and only 13 per cent choosing the Palestinians. (Interestingly, in every country surveyed, those sympathizing with "both" were outnumbered by those choosing "neither.")...

President Bush`s popularity is in large part due to the great gift he brought us in September: moral clarity.”...

[Obviously this is an old document (May 2002)]

“As idealistic as many Americans are when it comes to notions of right and wrong, we are deeply, deeply cynical when it comes to words and ideas. We are the "show-me" nation. And that`s one more reason the notion of a conspiratorial Jewish Controlled Media is so silly to the average American. Who trusts the media?!...

This, in the end, is the great divide between Europe and the U.S.: We believe nothing, they believe in nothing.”

Rick :

From today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/19/AR2007111900213_pf.html

Olmert acts to bolster Abbas before meeting

By Jeffrey Heller
Reuters
Monday, November 19, 2007; 8:29 AM

“JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought wide Arab support on Monday for a U.S.-led peace conference by agreeing to release 441 Palestinian prisoners and reaffirming a pledge not to build new Jewish settlements....

Olmert did not say in earlier remarks to his cabinet if he would freeze construction within existing settlements in the occupied West Bank, as sought by the Palestinians and the United States. A senior Palestinian negotiator, latching on to the uncertainty, called Olmert's comments "nonsense."...

In addition, settlers have set up several dozen hilltop outposts without government approval.

Olmert repeated at the cabinet session a long-standing promise to remove the outposts, but again set no date.

In a gesture to Abbas, he also won cabinet approval to release 441 Palestinian prisoners, a government official said.

All were members of Abbas's Fatah faction "without blood on their hands" and could go free as early as Friday after a review of a release list by a ministerial committee, the official said. Abbas had wanted 2,000 freed...

SAUDI PARTICIPATION

Saudi Arabia, which has not said whether it would attend the November 26-27 conference, had demanded a "freeze of settlements" before the meeting. It was unclear whether Olmert's remarks would go far enough to persuade Riyadh to participate.

"What Olmert announced today is nonsense," senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "Olmert has to understand he either declares a full settlement freeze in all occupied areas including East Jerusalem, or it's nothing."

The road map calls for a freeze to "all settlement activity," including "natural growth," a reference to building in existing settlements to accommodate growing families.

"If Olmert does not halt 'natural growth' then nothing has changed," said Nabil Abu Rdainah, an Abbas aide.

About 270,000 Jewish settlers live among 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians. The World Court has branded all settlements on land captured by Israel in a 1967 war as illegal.

Abbas's chief negotiator said Israeli and Palestinian teams had failed to make progress on a pre-conference joint document that would address in general terms core issues such as borders and the future of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

In a surprise announcement, Olmert's office said the prime minister planned to go to Egypt on Tuesday for talks with President Hosni Mubarak.

His trip appeared to be part of efforts to ensure broad Arab participation in the Annapolis meeting, a launching pad for formal talks on Palestinian statehood. Arab League foreign ministers meet in Cairo on Friday to decide whether to attend...

Rick :

Thanks AM,

The United Nations Information
System on the Question of
Palestine (UNISPAL) is also no “PALESTINIAN agency”:

http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/cf02d057b04d356385256ddb006dc02f/aeac80e740c782e4852561150071fdb0!OpenDocument

The Origins and Evolution
of the Palestine Problem:
1917-1988

I am no anti-Semite. I am anti-Zionist, and don’t tell me that there is no difference. One is a Jew hater; the other is a hater of land stealing genocidal murderers.

AMviennaVA :

MikeB @November 16, 2007 2:59 PM: I do not believe that the NY Times, WashingtonPost, and JDL are Palestinian agencies!

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott @November 16, 2007 9:15 AM: I agree that legal and right are not the same. What I said, however, is that the League of Nations had no legal standing to give away what was not theirs. It's kind of like passing a law here: if it is not constitutionalk the law is invalid - illegal that is. To be sure in the 'international' arena there is not 'Supreme Court'; but invalid actions lead to long wars, and that is a measure of the legality of an action.

To be sure, whatever happens now, there will be (more) war.

MikeB :

Rick - Every single citation you provide is from a PALESTINIAN agency. I went off and read their posts. Basically, the posts are the worst sort of virilant antisemitism you can find anywhere - a lot worse than anything even on NeoNazi web sites. How can you post this trash, even references to these vile organizations, with a straight face? Replace Hispanics or homosexuals with the "jews" referenced on these sites and you would be jailed in most countries! At least have the decency to admit ythat you are a rabid antisemitic!

Salamon :

MikeB:

I am anti zionist, I am pro Jew [or anyother subdivision of the species homo sapiens, excluding the neocon cabal in Washington], I would support a single state, and I think that the Jewish Lobby within the USA is causing trouble for both the State of Israel and the USA [moral, philosophical and not the least but last politico/economic].

While I am not properly versed in the history of the establishment of the Jewish State[whether via legal or illigal modus operandi under international law] I still maintain that the issue is essentially a colonization effort brought forth by essentially anti-Jewish culture of the UK/British Empire. [We do recall the Merchant of Venice, that UK/USA/Canada/Australia did not permit Jewish immigration at the time of NAZI progroma, etc].

While I carefully read the postings of Tom W and others, where necessary to disregard same due to propagaqnda value, I put them aside as trivia; where their position is logigal and based on ascertainable facts, I acknowledge the rightness of their viewpoint.
Unfortunately for the USA/Israel issue, too much of Zionist arguments are propaganda, where there is no benefit derivable to either the USA nor to Israel, except it perpetrates the STATUS QUO; and permits the most inhuman behavoir by the IDF and its politicaql masters. This inhumaness will eventually [sadly?] an elimination of the ZIONIST State, for without UNCLE SAM that state [legal or not] is totally corrupt in its leqadership [as is USA under the present K Street dictat].

I do not know the answer to the question : Can Jews [non zionist] and Palestinans survive as a society in a fairly governed single state? I am sure however, that the Status quo will eventiually fail both Israelis and Palestinians.

Rick :

Have you folks been following the discussion on Yossi Melman’s blog?

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/yossi_melman/2007/11/limiting_lobbys_power_is_misgu/all_comments.html

Joseph says:

“So for 1800 years, the Jews abandoned their claim to the territory, which, even by their own records, they originally took by force in any case.”

Anonymous (I think William, San Antonio in disguise) says:

Not so fast my friend and references:

http://www.jdl.org/israel/israel_or_palestine.shtml

“Legal Title

Not only did this land persist solely within the framework of Jewish history and tradition, but the Jews alone have upheld their claim to it as a country in its own right. Contrary to widely held misconceptions, Israel's presence in all parts of Palestine remains legal on both historical and mandatory grounds.”

Rick :

Good Morning AM:

“Rick: Please don't get me wrong: Although I favor the 1 state solution, I do not expect it will happen. I think there will be a bloodbath (that everyone will of course bemoan).”

Good Morning Tom:

“If you look at the history of Palestinian Arab and Jewish relations, there is absolutely no hope for a single state solution short of shipping 5 million Jews to Texas (fogitaboutit Rick). Israel was created as a JEWISH State. Israel will not allow the demographics to change the Jewish majority, thus, the Palestinian refugees will never be allowed to resettle in Israel. Israel will not incorporate the West bank and Gaza for the same reason (one of the main reasons they withdrew from Gaza). At any rate, the Israeli Jews would never agree to a Palestinian majority, and the loss of their democracy. Maybe in a millennium?”

Reluctantly...I suppose you guys are right, but can we at least get our government to stop its unfair bias toward the Israelis. Let’s do this:

1. Declare a no fly zone over the region.

2. Demand that Israel destroy all planes, tanks and nuclear weapons. If they refuse, we do it for them.

3. Stand back and say: “O.K. boys and girls, have at it.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

There is a difference between "right" and "legal". The state of Israel just like Jordan ,Iraq, Pakistan and Bangladesh (etc.) and in the future, Kosovo are legally recognized countries.

I agree that the result may be war, but as in the case of Kashmir, the Kurds, Tamil Tigers etc., the result of not creating a separate state is just as likely to result in wars.

Rick :

From the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/lweb13plo.html?pagewanted=print

[What to do with the refugees?]

November 13, 2007

Palestinian Refugees

To the Editor:

Re “Group Spotlights Jews Who Left Arab Lands” (news article, Nov. 5):

The Palestinian people, being the victims of mass expulsion and exile, understand fully what it means to be a refugee; however, there is no reason to link the Palestinian refugee problem that was caused by the creation of the state of Israel in historic Palestine in 1948 (which led to the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians) and any claims by Jews in other countries.

Any solution to the Palestinian refugee question should be based on the internationally recognized United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948, with all its components.

The Annapolis conference is expected to deal with this thorny issue, without which there will be no solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to the Arab-Israeli conflict at large.

Maen Rashid Areikat
Director General
P.L.O. Negotiations Affairs Dept.
Ramallah, West Bank, Nov. 7, 2007

[Hit him again AM.]

AMviennaVA :

Tom: I think we have been through this: NOONE, not the League of Nations, the UN, the US, NOONE can give away what is not theirs. DEFINITELY NOT PEOPLES' HOMES - that is a sure, guaranteed, recipe for war, attrocities, and other disasters. The blame for these falls on the perpetrators of the decision, not those who react to it, by the way.

The short way to put it is that Israel is one more of the outrages of the colonial era. Unfortunately, we have to accomodate is, as well as the other outrages. But there is nothing 'legal' about it.

Rick :

From today’s NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Palestinians-Politics.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

November 15, 2007

Palestinian Political Movement Launched
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 4:38 p.m. ET

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Hundreds of Palestinian business people and professionals, led by an influential billionaire, launched a new political movement Thursday, reflecting growing disillusionment with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.

Fatah dominated Palestinian politics for decades, but failed to reform or clean up its corrupt image, even after a painful loss to Hamas in parliament elections two years ago.

Billionaire businessman Munib al-Masri, 73, inaugurated his ''Palestine Forum'' with meetings in Ramallah and Gaza, linked by video conference. Supporters said he would convert the new group into a political party and field candidates in the next Palestinian election. No date for an election has been set.

Fatah and Hamas have been locked in a bitter struggle since the 2006 election swept Fatah from power. In June, Hamas forces overran Gaza, prompting Abbas to dismiss the Hamas-led government and appoint his own, which, in effect, rules only the West Bank.

Recent polls have shown that about a third of the people have no faith in either party. Al-Masri said he plans to step into that breech, emphasizing the economy, education and welfare programs for the needy as well as reuniting the West Bank and Gaza.

[Sounds like the U.S. eh BobL?]

''My concern about the fate of my people has driven me to form a national democratic body that cares about people,'' al-Masri told The Associated Press. ''The situation is very difficult, the national cause is deteriorating and people are frustrated.''

The U.S.-educated al-Masri runs an investment company that controls the telecommunications sector and has holdings in industry, agriculture, tourism and in banks. His leadership appeals to the West Bank's elite and middle class, trying to protect their investments and businesses in a chaotic political situation.

Since Abbas formed his new government, the West has resumed aid to his regime, but the situation remains critical, with overall unemployment of about 30 percent and more than half the people under the poverty line.

[One wonders how al-Masri became a billionaire in such an environment. He must have a few skeletons in his closet. At the risk of being called a commie pinko, I don’t trust any system that creates billionaires, let alone one where 30% of the citizens are unemployed, and more than half the people are below the poverty line.]

At the same time, Israel sealed the borders of Hamas-ruled Gaza, deepening poverty there. Hamas, which rejects the existence of Israel, is listed as a terror group by Israel, Europe and the United States. Fatah favors peace with Israel.

[Of course the U.S./Israel supports the appeaser/collaborator Abbas, which is the kiss of death.]

The 2006 election reflected frustration with Fatah for corruption, nepotism and ineffective rule as much as support for Hamas. Members of the Palestine Forum said if Fatah does not reform itself, the new group is poised to replace it.

Palestinian public opinion expert Jamil Rabah said that is a distinct possibility. The people ''are closer to Fatah,'' supporting a peaceful solution to the conflict with Israel, so ''if Fatah doesn't reform itself, people would see the Forum as an alternative.''

[I wonder if the majority of the people actually support the two-state solution.]

Tom Wonacott :

John, AM, Rick, MikeB

The holocaust was not the reason for the creation of the state of Israel, although it certainly influenced the UN. The state of Israel was proposed before WWII.

Jewish immigration began in approximately 1880. At the time, the population of Palestine (excluding Transjordan) was about 400,000 which was predominantly Palestinian Arab with other minorities present including Jews (who numbered about 10,000 +/- one or two). The land in 1880 was relatively desolate and underdeveloped. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, the British were granted control over the administration of Palestine which included the West Bank, Gaza, the boundaries of Israel (today) and Transjordan (Jordan today).

The Balfour Declaration was signed in 1917 which promised a homeland for the Zionist. This declaration was heavily influenced by Zionist in Britain and leaders of the allies that supported Zionism (Winston Churchill, for example). In 1922, the League of Nations incorporated the Balfour Declaration into the British mandate for Palestine thus making the establishment of a Jewish homeland a LEGALLY BINDING requirement under the mandate. The Balfour Declaration also mandated more Jewish immigration.

By 1937, the British recognized that the Jews and Arabs were two different people that were incompatible because of the animosity that existed between them. Arabs resented the immigration of Jews because they feared the establishment of a Jewish homeland (and for good reason). The Peel commission was established to find a solution and in 1937suggested a partition of Palestine into two states which was rejected by the Arabs and Jews, BUT WAS ACCEPTED IN PRINCIPAL BY THE JEWS with some adjustments to the proposed boundaries.

Note that A Jewish homeland was legally mandated in 1922 and the state of Israel was proposed in 1937 - before the holocaust.

After WWII, the UN established the “legal” state of Israel and clearly with plenty of sympathy regarding the Holocaust.

Conclusions:

1. Israel is a LEGAL state, albeit created by Britain. Ditto for Pakistan. What’s the difference? The boundaries of Israel created in 1947 contained a Jewish majority and Pakistan contained a Muslim majority. The British were consistent anyway. We are still creating new states today as in Kosovo. Separatist are fighting all over the world to create new states - most, probably, with some justification.

2. The Zionist claim a historic connection to the land and, certainly, the Jews have a strong religious/cultural connection to Palestine. Israel was, in fact, a state in the distant past, however, the land belonged to the Palestinian Arabs at the time when Jewish immigration began around 1880. In my opinion, they were wrongly displaced from their land when Israel was formed - regardless of Jewish history.

3. If you look at the history of Palestinian Arab and Jewish relations, there is absolutely no hope for a single state solution short of shipping 5 million Jews to Texas (fogitaboutit Rick). Israel was created as a JEWISH State. Israel will not allow the demographics to change the Jewish majority, thus, the Palestinian refugees will never be allowed to resettle in Israel. Israel will not incorporate the West bank and Gaza for the same reason (one of the main reasons they withdrew from Gaza). At any rate, the Israeli Jews would never agree to a Palestinian majority, and the loss of their democracy. Maybe in a millennium?

4. My best guess is that Israel would have formed a state regardless of whether the UN voted for or against their statehood.

AMviennaVA :

Rick: Please don't get me wrong: Although I favor the 1 state solution, I do nopt expect it will happen. I think there will be a bloodbath (that everyone will of course bemoan).

I also do not blame the Israeli Jews for being in Israel, just I hope noone blames me for where I was born and raised; that is my parents' fault - and the sins of the father should NOT fall on the son; the daughter perhaps ;). I also cannot blame the Jews who went to the Holy Lands in the 40's. I know I would go ... somewhere other than north central Europe.

The fact is that the Holy Lands are NOW home to two different peoples. They need to decide to live in peace or not. But I strongly object to the fact that we willingly and consciously oppress a people whose only fault is that they are the victims of OUR anti-semitism (that is after all why we did not want the Jews in the US back in the 40's).

Rick :

Hi AM,

We have had this discussion before. Haven’t I convinced you yet? Oh well, I don’t give up easily. At least we agree on the “Single State” solution, but surely you agree that the Jews and Palestinians could never share it.

“I understand the sentiment, but the Israelis now legitimately call Israel HOME.”

I disagree, they are illegitimate and that is just the point.

Compliments of Salamon:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18716.htm

“According to first and still existing draft of history, Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN Partition Resolution of 29 November 1947. This is nonsense.

In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own.

Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a proposal – meaning that it could have no effect, would not become policy, unless approved by the Security Council.

The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the US knew that, if approved, it could only be implemented by force; and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine.

So the partition plan was vitiated, became invalid, and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine (after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away) was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence – actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration.

The truth of the time was that the Zionist state, which came into being mainly as a consequence of Zionism terrorism and ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless ….. Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved. And that legitimacy was the only thing the Zionists could not take from the Palestinians by force.”

AMviennaVA :

Rick : "In my opinion we should bring the 5 million Israelis to the U.S. and make a homeland for them here, since Palestine was not ours to give away." I understand the sentiment, but the Israelis now legitimately call Israel HOME. Another way to put it is that you can make omellette out of eggs, but you cannot make eggs out of omellette!

That is why I favor, strongly, the 1 state solution. Any division will be 'Solomonic', and I never admired his solution!

AMviennaVA :

John @November 15, 2007 9:25 PM: I AM anti-Zionist. The concept of a state that is reserved for adherents of a religion is distasteful to me. To actually import millions from somewhere else, is even worse, it is repugnant!

Do Jews need a state as protection from 'the pogroms, holocaust, etc., they experienced throughout the 19th and (first half of) 20th centuries'? It seems to me that those who have that opinion should give up some of their own land, not someone else's. So if the US feels strongly about that, it may donate Florida, New York, California, Alabama, whatever. They are for the US to donate. To give someone else's land and then call them 'terrorist' for not agreeing, is at best hypocritical. It is also terrorism on our part against those who did none of those wrongs. (Anticipating the outcry: what the Palestinians are doing is NOT trerrorism but resistance - all resistance has always been called terrorism by the occupiers. Even the Ben Gurion and Begin were called terrorists by the British).

On the second question: that is a general category, and I find our (US) outrage to be selective. A case in point is the Balkans in the 90's. The term 'ethnic cleansing' was created to describe what the Albanians did to the Serbs in Kosovo. A majority Serb area was transformed into one where after more than 1 million Serbs were forcibly evicted is now almost entirely Albanian. But our 'ire' has been directed at the Serbs. Actually it was against Milosevic, but we are not sufficiently intelligent an dcapable to punish the leader we do not like without causing suffering for millions. As it applies specifically to Israel, I see no difference between the policies of the Israeli govenment follows and those that the South African did. The name for it is still Apartheid. It is just as hateful and wrong now as then. And it only breeds justified resistance.

Rick :

Hello John,

Thanks for the post.

“I do agree that our policy in the Middle East has at times been too much in favor of Israel…”

You do have a gift for understatement in my opinion.

“What do you think about the argument that the state of Israel is needed as a homeland or a place of safety for the Jewish people, particularly after the pogroms, holocaust, etc., they experienced throughout the 19th and (first half of) 20th centuries? Consider this question regardless of how you believe Israel has acted since its creation, which is something of a different issue.”

Good question. Yes, the Jews were treated badly by Hitler and others. I agree with President Truman who wanted to allow 100,000 of the 250,000 European Jewish Refugees of WWII to immigrate to the U.S., 50,000 to immigrate to Palestine and the remainder be accommodated in Europe. Unfortunately, the majority of U.S. citizens at the time were opposed, it was an election year, and Dewey was tearing him up in the poles. So he went along with the U.N. Partition plan and recognized the illegitimate “State of Israel”. So much for the “buck stops here”!

In my opinion we should bring the 5 million Israelis to the U.S. and make a homeland for them here, since Palestine was not ours to give away. That will never happen of course, but it is the most logical and just solution to the problem. It would also be a bargain at twice the price considering the national prestige and wealth that we have squandered supporting their illegal occupation of Palestine. The Israelis would not like it, but they should not be given a choice in the matter.

“The second question is a more general and ideological one...does your discussion ever move on to the other tragedies affecting people across the globe? Other instances of ethnic cleansing, unjust suppressions of cultures, genocidal policies in Africa, all over Asia, the Caucuses, South America?”

Yes, you will find a broad range of topics discussed on the boards; just stay tuned. Personally, I get more emotionally involved when I perceive my tax dollars to be used to commit heinous crimes as in the case of Palestine, Iraq and standby for Iran.

John :

Interesting discussion here. I've been following it and am more or less familiar with the history of the region. I do agree that our policy in the Middle East has at times been too much in favor of Isreal - whether that is the fault of AIPAC or stems from other causes, I don't know.

I do have a couple questions for those that have been expressing anti-zionist views, and this is just sheer curiousity.

What do you think about the argument that the state of Isreal is needed as a homeland or a place of safety for the Jewish people, particularly after the pogroms, holocaust, etc., they experienced throughout the 19th and (first half of) 20th centuries? Consider this question regardless of how you believe Israel has acted since its creation, which is something of a different issue.

The second question is a more general and ideological one...when discussing Isreal, it's creation and it's actions since it's creation - the treatment of the Palestinians, not allowing certain refugees in the county, potentially racist societal norms, etc. - does your discussion ever move on to the other tragedies affecting people across the globe? Other instances of ethnic cleansing, unjust suppressions of cultures, genocidal policies in
Africa, all over Asia, the Caucuses, south America?

Thanks.

Rick :

Salamon

Thanks for the link. I found it most interesting and totally agree that the "Single State" solution is the only viable option. I also frequently note that I am anti-Zionist, not anti-Semite.

MikeB

“The official Ottoman census of 1893 had the entire Arabic population for all of Palestine as 186,000 with a Christian and Jewish population of 281,000. The same trend held forth until after WWI, when a series of pograms sought to exterminate the Jewish/Chrsitian majority.”

I find your version of the history of the region to be much different than any other source that I have read. Do you have references to support your version?

Here is one reference that I found when I Googled “Ottoman census of 1893”

http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm

“In the Ottoman Turkish Census of 1893, there were 371,959 Muslims and 42,689 Christians, for a total of 414,648 Arab Palestinians, and only about 9,000 Jews.”

This reference would put the Jewish population at just 2% of the total population of Palestine.

What do you think of this source that I have been quoting?

http://www.cyberus.ca/~baker/pal_hist.htm

Note that just prior to the turn of the 20th century (1895), the total population of Palestine was 500,000 of whom 47,000 (9%) were Jews who owned 0.5% of the land.

In 1917, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, the total population was 700,000 of which 56,000 (8%) were Jews.

In 1947, after 30 years of Zionist immigration, the illegal UN partition of Palestine allocated 53% of the land to the Jews who accounted for only 30% of the population and owned only 8% of the land. Only 47% of the land went to the Arab Palestinians who accounted for 70% of the population and actually owned 92% of the land.

MikeB :

Salamon - That is simply another propaganda piece from the Palestinian side. Look, you know me and know that I am playing devil's advocate here. The fact is, when people start arguing about past injustices and who owned what way back when, we end up with a Hatfield's and McCoy's generations long feud. The Jews aren't devil's. They are human beings! Neither are the Palestinian's. They aren't different spies and conflicts between them are worse than juvinile. So what if the Jews want to practice their ancient religion. And, so what is Muslim's want to practice their religion. That mosque in Jeruselum was built as a purposeful affront to the Jews way back when. The Jews, in turn, have this "thing" for the remnants of some moldy old temple that the Roman's tore down. Let both groups worship there. If someone wants to start a fight over it, toss 'em out forever! If the cannot get along, bulldoze the whole mess and sew it with salt. I'm sick of people fighting and killing each other over NOTHING!

Salamon :

MikeB and AMviennaVA:

you may wish to peruse:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18716.htm

I found your discussion interesting

MikeB :

AMviennaVA - In Biblical times the region known as Palestine was inhabited by the Jewish people, too. The Egyptian's in the Old and Middle Kingdom periods refer to tribes of people, making raids into Egypt, as the "Hibaru". ALmost all scholars agrree that these were the ancestors of the Jewish people. Jump foreward 3000 years to the Roman period - the population pof Syria and Lebanon were Greek and Roman and Germanic, not an Arab in sight. Go read some basic archeology. There is a report of a new 3rd Century Roman town in Syria being excavated today here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21818580/.

The Arabic populations of most of the Middle East are very very recent, following their conquests that began in the eighth century and ended with the conquest of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 1400's. As for Palestine, it had always been either proto-Jewish, Jewish or Greek-Roman right up until the very beginning of the 20th Century. The interlopers *ARE* what you call the Palestinian's.

AMviennaVA :

MIkeB : Obviously I was not sufficiently sarcastic. I was referring to biblical times. :)

As for the change of population size between 1891 and 194x, well that can be attributed to many things: For instance, how accurate was the census (my money is NOT). Another factor is that people do leave. For instance, the Christian population since the Israeli occupation started has been reduced - there was a ong standing custome of the Palestinian leader to attend Orthodox Christmas services in Bethlehem, but the occupying authorities have not allowed that in almost 10 years.

Just examples.

MIkeB :

AMviennaVA - Well, your recollection is wrong. Go read some basic history of that region. The official Ottoman census of 1893 had the entire Arabic population for all of Palestine as 186,000 with a Christian and Jewish population of 281,000. The same trend held forth until after WWI, when a series of pograms sought to exterminate the Jewish/Chrsitian majority.

AMviennaVA :

MikeB @November 15, 2007 1:19 PM: Actually as I recall, when the Hebrews/Jews first arrived, that land was already populated. So, it seems to me that they do not have the valid claim.

MikeB :

The chief problem with the Palestinian/Arab claim to Israeli land is that prior to the pograms at the turn of the 20th Century, the majority of people living on land that is modern day Israel were Jewish! They were driven out or butchered by the grandfathers of these same Plaestinian's. Beyond that, is you care to go back only 500 years or so, there were no Arabs in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, large parts of the Middle East. Those people are the result of invading armies that slaughtered the original Greek, Roman, and Jewish residents and forceably settled whole communities of Arabic people.

If you cut through all of this, historically the land that is Irael belong to the Jews. Not jst that land, but quite a bit more. No one one else has anywhere near the claim that the Jews do to that land. I hoinestly think the best thing for all concerned would be to expel Muslims and Arabs from Israel and Lebanon (founded, by the way, as a Christian Democracy. The Arabs are *all* recent, and usually illegal, immigrants), bulldoze all mosques and other Islamic "holy places" (especially the Dome Of The Rock which was never anything more than a poke in the eye to the Jews and Christian by one barabaric Muslim dictator of Palestine), and turn the works over to Israel.

AMviennaVA :

BobL-VA @November 15, 2007 9:34 AM: I share your sentiment about Zionism. It is as fanatical and distasteful as the fanatical Muslims. And I was reading earlier that now Israel wants a s PRE-CONDITION for the November 'meeting' that the Palestinians must accept that Israel is a state for Jewish people.

I find it upsetting that we (the US) do not object to something like that. After all, what will happen to the non-Jews in such a democratic state?

But as you point out, poor as our policy was, the Bush/Cheney roup have made it considerably worse, and narrowed our options tremendously. I wonder how long the recovery will be. Actually I am not optimistic, because NONE of the candidates for President have shown any interest other than trying to prostate them selves before the altar of the great AIPAC.

(Yes, that was a way of saying that the Israeli lobby is too powerful).

AMviennaVA :

Rick @November 15, 2007 8:36 AM: I found it an interesting article too. Especially what is NOT exlicitly mentioned: Neither Israel nor the US want the Palestinians to show 'progress' and actually, actively, inhibit it. However, both Israel and the US feel free and entitled to punish the Palestinians for not succeeding.

The other interesting ommission of course, though not directly a topic for that article, is the failure by both Israel and the US to satisfy any of their/our obligations. Afterall, I have not heard of any end to the settlements in the occupied territories, have you? Nor any desire to deal with a legally elected Palestinian government!

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott & Rick : Hello to both. I have been 'kind of' following the discussion. But my stance is that YES, the Israeli lobby is too powerful for the good of Israel even. But the fault lies here with 'gentiles', if you will. Too many have made themselves the pawns and willingly go along. So I don't really know whom to pile onto.

So Tom, I will try not to 'pile on' you this time at least ;)

Anju Chandel :

Yes, apparently it seems so. The reasons are well known to everybody : the presence of people of Israeli origin in most of the positions of power in America. And, this is because of Israelis' inherent high level of intelligence : just have a look at the list of eminent scientists, mathematicians, economists, etc. the world has known so far, and we will know that most of them have been from the land of Israel. ... It, however, doesn't at all justify their 'illegal' occupation of Palestine.

Anju Chandel :

Yes, apparently it seems so. The reasons are well known to everybody : the presence of people of Israeli origin in most of the positions of power in America. And, this is because of Israelis' inherent high level of intelligence : just have a look at the list of eminent scientists, mathematicians, economists, etc. the world has known so far, and we will know that most of them have been from the land of Israel. ... It, however, doesn't at all justify their 'illegal' occupation of Palestine.

Anju Chandel :

Yes, apparently it seems so. The reasons are well known to everybody : the presence of people of Israeli origin in most of the positions of power in America. And, this is because of Israelis' inherent high level of intelligence : just have a look at the list of eminent scientists, mathematicians, economists, etc. the world has known so far, and we will know that most of them have been from the land of Israel. ... It, however, doesn't at all justify their 'illegal' occupation of Palestine.

Anju Chandel :

Yes, apparently it seems so. The reasons are well known to everybody : the presence of people of Israeli origin in most of the positions of power in America. And, this is because of Israelis' inherent high level of intelligence : just have a look at the list of eminent scientists, mathematicians, economists, etc. the world has known so far, and we will know that most of them have been from the land of Israel. ... It, however, doesn't at all justify their 'illegal' occupation of Palestine.

BobL-VA :

Tom Wonacott,

Given the history of Israel, which includes the displacement of a couple of million Palestinians and the 60 straight years of constant conflict, I could understand an argument that stated the US and Britian in hindsight made a terrible mistake. However, after 60 years there is very little that can be done about the basic mistake that was made. However, what I find particularly disturbing is an unwavering support for a State that has resulted in a constant state of war and the dismissal of human rights violations against such a large group of people.

I certainly understand why the Zionists have developed their positions. The creation and the continued existance of the State of Israel is as dogmatic as radical Islam is. They are both strict agendas with little to no concept of the consequences of their actions. Presently, Bush/Cheney have dragged us deeper into this abyss which for all partical purposes is a religious conflict.

We either need to get out of the ME and stop all military and intelligence services to all of them, and that includes Israel, or we are headed down the road to, as Bush said, WWIII. Personally, since I'm not interested in killing 10's of millions of people I'd rather get out.


Rick :

In today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/14/AR2007111402032_pf.html

Palestinian Security Paradox

By David Ignatius
Thursday, November 15, 2007; A25

“JERUSALEM -- Here's a safe prediction in advance of the Annapolis peace conference scheduled to take place in a few weeks: The Palestinians won't be ready to fulfill their obligation to provide security in the West Bank under the "road map to peace."

The Palestinian Authority simply doesn't have the people, the training or the equipment to maintain order in the territories.

Why is this so? The answer, in part, is that the Palestinians haven't built up their security forces because the Israelis haven't permitted them to do so. And they haven't trained or equipped these forces, as envisaged under the road map, because the United States has failed to provide the necessary funds.

Security is the magic word. No peace deal will work until the Palestinians are able to provide security that Israelis can trust. But right now, people are paying lip service to this idea rather than actually helping the Palestinians build a credible force.

If Annapolis is to be anything more than another exercise in frustration, Americans, Israelis and Palestinians should face this problem directly. The peace conference is premised on expectations about security that are unrealistic and can't be fulfilled. If the Israelis really want the Palestinians to take more responsibility for curbing terror and maintaining order, they will have to allow them the resources and training to learn how. That's risky, but the alternative is permanent Israeli occupation, which nobody wants...”

“To carry out the road map, the Bush administration in 2005 created the office of U.S. security coordinator, reporting to the State Department. Since late 2005, that post has been filled by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton. But until recently, his office has had little money from Congress to carry out its responsibilities. That's because Congress, mistrusting the Palestinians, wouldn't appropriate the funds...”

“Fayyad wants to build a strong security force that can stop terrorism -- but one that Palestinians will see as their own rather than something imposed by America or Israel. That's a goal everyone should share, but it won't be a reality when the Annapolis conference convenes. If people are serious about security in a future Palestinian state, they need to let Palestinians learn to do the job.”

That sounds good David, but I think there can never be enough security (Palestinian, Israeli or U.S.) to protect the illegitimate “State of Israel” from attack by Palestinians and freedom fighters (Hezbollah and Hamas) in neighboring states. The “two-state” solution is a nonstarter. The opposition will merely wait out the declining U.S. Empire, which can’t solve its dependency problem on Middle East oil, until it becomes increasingly bankrupted by the world’s oil suppliers.

Rick :

Tom,

AM is itching to land a blow but doesn’t want to be seen as piling on.

VICTORIA :

hi again rick- look at the volcano stuff-
sorry for the interruption folks

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/2007/10/are_we_heading_for_wwiii/comments.html#comments

VICTORIA :

tom- that was barely the tiniest tap!

rick, he was swinging though
go rick go

Tom Wonacott :

Victoria and Rick

When I posted this morning, I expected to get hammered so I appreciate the hammering I got. Thanks for your posts

AM

I expected to see you hammer me the most...


VICTORIA :

tom- your fgure of 400,000 wasn't the population of palestinians but the amount of people who became the largest refugee population the world had ever seen

the gaza strip is the most densely populated piece of land on the entire planet.

Rick :

Tom

...“To Arabs, it's not about the Palestinian people, it's about the land. The Palestinian people get much more support from Western society than the Arabs (and Persians).”...

Actually, I think it’s more about pride. The Palestinians are faced with the choice of either swallowing their pride, and bowing to the US/Israeli world’s most powerful war machine, or fighting for their human rights. Admirably I believe, they have chosen the latter, and their neighbors rightly support them in that endeavor.

“About 400,000 Palestinians (which included different ethnic groups, but primarily Arab) lived in the current Israel-Palestine area in 1880. Yes, they were wrongly displaced from Arab land when Israel was created, but as far as tragedies go, in terms of world events, it ranks way down the list - just above the Titanic.”

Today it’s more like 5 million (equal to the number of Israelis) living in squalor under the Israeli jackboot, with the Israelis controlling their food, water and energy supply, and giving one Israeli an equal annual water supply to every four Palestinians.

“In Iraq, it’s safer to be an American soldier than a grandmother and the killers will more than likely be an Arab, and worse, SHE IS TARGETED.”

And whose fault is that? Who toppled the sovereign government and left anarchy in its place. As Colin Powell said, “If we break it, we own it.”

“Finally, for far worse tragedies than the Palestinians, try the Indians of North America...”

Yes, but having committed genocide on the Native Americans and stealing their land does not justify the same treatment of the Palestinians.

Rick :

Thanks for the post BobL.

I claim credit for the brilliant idea of giving Texas to the Jews. Rationale: (1) It's ours to give; Palestine most definately was not, and (2) it's pay back time to Texas for giving us George W. Bush.

Hello Tom

Here’s a link that you may enjoy.

Thanks for this link Victoria, it’s a good one:

http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/tik0711/frontpage/lobby

Tikkun Magazine is a bimonthly critique of politics, culture and society. We are published six times annually. For the past 21 years, we have been the pre-eminent North American publisher of analytical articles on Israel/Palestine, Jewish culture, and the intersection of religion and politics in the United States...

Iran, the Christian Zionists, and the American People

...I had the honor to be a guest on a very exciting PBS television show, Bill Moyers Journal, which aired October 5th. Please take time to listen to it.

I was invited to comment on a TV segment that his staff had put together about the Christian Zionist movement. What was particularly striking was how explicit and adamant the Christian Zionists were that Israel must refuse to make any deals that would lead to a transfer of land for peace. They were equally clear that the U.S. and Israel need a “preemptive” war with Iran. The Christian Zionists may be the largest element in the Israel Lobby, though they are not Jewish (and in fact, some of them believe that a Middle East nuclear conflagration might be the necessary step to bringing about Jesus’ second coming). According to some informed observers, they represent 20 million Americans (far less than the 50 million they claim, but four times as many as there are Jews in the U.S.)...

...The Christian Zionists, thus, are an integral and powerful part of the Israel Lobby’s campaign to stop pressuring Israel to swap land for peace and to popularize the notion that war with Iran is desirable and inevitable. This kind of rhetoric is now flowing through the Washington, D.C. news and news analysis/entertainment hub, giving the same clear signals given before the “preemptive” strike on Iraq four years ago...

Archbishop Tutu

...On October 4, 2007 the Associated Press reported that St. Thomas University in Minneapolis had decided to not invite Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Prize winner for his role in challenging apartheid in South Africa, to speak on their campus. According to Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations, “He [Tutu] has been critical of Israel and Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians, so we talked with people in the Jewish community and they said they believed it would be hurtful to the Jewish community, because of things he’s said.”...

Walt & Mearsheimer, Congressman Moran

...The week before, Washington was reeling from another such manifestation of power by the Israel Lobby. The Israel Lobby (see our Sept/Oct 2007 issue) not only managed to get most editorialists and book reviewers to vigorously deny the Mearsheimer/Walt thesis (that, in regard to Middle East issues, AIPAC and related groups exercise disproportionate power), but simultaneously got leaders of both major political parties to publicly denounce Congressman Jim Moran for daring to criticize AIPAC in the pages of this magazine. When I pointed out to various reporters who were writing stories about the attack on Moran that there are dozens of powerful lobbies that get criticized all the time, but only an attack on AIPAC is a news story and only an attack on AIPAC unites Republicans and Democrats in derision against the critic, they simply refused to mention this in their stories, thereby once again confirming the Israel Lobby’s amazing media power...

BobL-VA :

Rick & Victoria,

All I did was respond to the question. Had the question been along the lines of whether we should support Israel or not I would have responded very differently. However, the question was whether Pro-Israel lobby's are too powerful. I answered no since we all know the issues.

I feel very strongly Israel was a terrible mistake. Now before you go and start calling me anti-semetic let me explain. I don't buy the land was basically deeded over to the Jews by God. Hence, the displacement of the Palestinians has been a tragedy of great porportion. Add to this the creation of a non-Muslim state in the middle of the Muslim world and anyone who really thought it would be a peaceful coexistance was either stupid or dillusional.

60 straight years of strife in the ME should have been a clue Israel in the ME hasn't been a good idea. One poster said let's relocate Israel to Texas and I agree. Maybe not Texas, but anywhere besides the ME. If the Jews believe God has given them that land they should be able to believe God changed its' mind and gave them Texas instead. See, I'm not opposed to a Jewish state. I'm only opposed to the location of the current Jewish state.


Tom Wonacott :

Victoria

My goodness, Victoria, the real estate granted to Israel was about the size of three golf courses. Over 40 Israels would fit inside the land area of Pakistan which was partitioned from India at the same time as Israel was created.

About 400,000 Palestinians (which included different ethnic groups, but primarily Arab) lived in the current Israel-Palestine area in 1880. Yes, they were wrongly displaced from Arab land when Israel was created, but as far as tragedies go, in terms of world events, it ranks way down the list - just above the Titanic. For the Arabs, however, and as Rick has said, this was the “crime of the twentieth century”. A non Muslim people ruling over MUSLIM land. And a Democracy no less. To Arabs, it's not about the Palestinian people, it's about the land. The Palestinian people get much more support from Western society than the Arabs (and Persians). Now, if you take the reverse situation, as in Kosovo, Muslims don’t seem to mind one bit if land is handed to them. Right or wrong never enters the equation then.

Third world Muslims don’t seem to realize that we really are in the twenty first century. They kill each other at an alarming rate as in Iraq, Afghanistan (throughout the 90’s and today), Sudan, Algeria, Pakistan and so on. In Iraq, it’s safer to be an American soldier than a grandmother and the killers will more than likely be an Arab, and worse, SHE IS TARGETED. Probably half the conflicts in the world today involve Muslims.

To most Arabs, electing antidemocratic Islamic fundamentalist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas constitutes a democracy. Minority rights? At best minorities are second class citizens, or non citizens. Women’s rights - non existent in many Arab countries. Illiteracy, lack of economic diversity, intolerance, oppression, monarchies, dictatorships, suicide bombers, plenty of oil and school systems that teach children hatred and martyrdom. The tragedy is not just the Palestinians, it’s the entire Arab Middle East.

Finally, for far worse tragedies than the Palestinians, try the Indians of North America, the Maoris or the Aborigines who lost most of their homelands. Current conflicts in Africa such as Darfur and the Congo are extreme tragedies. Genocides in the twentieth century include the Armenians, Bosnians, Rwandans and the Holocaust. A large part of the tragedy in the Palestinian conflict has been how the Arabs have used the Palestinians as pawns (including Palestinian leadership) against the state of Israel. Even today, Hamas is all but inviting Israel to attack Gaza knowing full well hundreds of Palestinian civilians will be killed, and for what? To PREVENT peace and to turn world opinion against Israel. What a strategy.

I apologize if I seem more than a little cynical this morning.

v :

rats!!!!!!!!!

wheres the post- i spent anhour on some great links! and pastes too-

i must have lost it with my inept typing

victoria :

now to try an coalesce that disparate info into a whole-

it seems that COINTLEPRO is an FBI offshoot wose sole purpose was the dismantling of the plack panther party(BPP)

the death of alex rackley (which seems to be blamed on the agent provacteur place by the fbi to create anarchy in the ranks) was aimed at taking down the co-founder of the BPP, Bobby Seale.

the trial exploded into the new haven demonstration at yale- which was promising to explode into all out racial war (except in a WHITE neighborhood)

some theorize that the invasion of the neutral country cambodia by nixon (2?)days later was to draw the mobs in another direction (actually it did)

you know rick, i had to do a completely different search to get those links

all the links from the standard names there all turned up super right wing hillary bashing hippie hating blogs!

it seems this new vitriol was inspired by the book "Destructive Generation" by david horowitz and peter collier

i googled underground weather (the weathermen) and stuff to get to some interesting (and not so rightwing) sites

(the weathermen were the OTHER left anarchist group - they were white)

well, i need a break, i did alot of reading

that assassination archives research site looked really interesting
http://www.aarclibrary.org/index.htm

i finally leared how to spell assassination

but definitely look at that first link- it is unbelievable

peace


Yousuf Hashmi :

What a brilliant question

For last 40 years or so since i start reading foreign news papers I was almost brain washed that US foreign policy is not only influenced by the Jewish lobby which is economically strong but also more or less hostage to protect Jewish interest in all foreign relations.

Today when i asked this question my self which is supposed to be so obvious I say no this perception is totally false.

This is logical that Israel use this perception to elevate its position and to keep the neigbours on hold and also it was quite natural that Arab governmnets use this theory to justify their cause of authoratain rules convincing their own people that the problem is not Israel but US which naturally we can not afford to ignore,

Again how true it is

I am not a US resident and so do not have the access of the detailed informations and local politics which is avilable to US residents but what I see is that today Arab investment in US is much higher than Israel, Many multi national companies with 100% US front are actually owned by nameless Arabs. With Oil prices reaching 100 $ their weath is increased with out any effort by 4-5 times.

They are the biggest importers of all US products which starts from GM and goes to Big Mac.

Then why should US Government be influenced by Jewish Lobby

US Government is playing a politics in middle east which is quite intelligent. On one hand they let go Israel to do what it wants then when the opposition is strong then they send one envoy to the region and it starts talking about committment to Palestine state but practically maintains status-quo

This policy is consistent and not effected by the change in governments in US .

I can only explain this policy by one example.

One factory is at isolated places where their owners can not sit and look for day to day job. They have many managers and always afraid that if they Unite then their influence will be shattered.

So when their envoy visits the factory he give a special previlage to one person making other jealous. After some time they discard that card and start pampering another manager.

For them no body is favourite, It is their own interest which is important.

Rick :

Hi AM,

Have you voted? Does the Israeli Lobby have to much influence over U.S. decisions?

Answer YES! After 27 votes: 81% Yes, 19% No.

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=966

AMviennaVA :

BobL-VA @November 13, 2007 10:17 AM: A valid statement "The arguments for and against Israel are very transparent and it simply comes down to who and what you believe." With one serious exception: We do NOT discuss the Palestinian viewpoint; when it is raised, it is condemned as 'anti-semitism'. By now, that term has degenerated to include ANY disagreement with any position that the government of Israel takes.

This has happened with the full cooperation of the political class in the US.

Rick :

Never mind Victoria,

A quick Google search for Alex Rackley and Hillary Clinton turned up the following link:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/panthers.asp

The story is a hoax. But the point is, this is the type of story that can be broadcast by Swift Boaters to a gullible public when unlimited money is provided by lobbyists to pay for air time. This is why I say that political attack ads and smear campaigns should be illegal. This is the type of thing that gives us presidents like George W. Bush.

Rick :

See, the silly season has started. The Swift Boaters are already out.

The following is an example of the email making the rounds at the office:

(1) Two Black Panthers torture with boiling water and put bullet in head of third Black Panther,

(2) First two Black Panthers released from jail after 7 year term; the shooter gets scholarship to Harvard, becomes friend of Al Gore, and is now Assistant Dean ay Connecticut State College.

(3) Radical law students shutting down Yale in protest during the trial are the cause of the perpetrators early release,

(4) Hillary Clinton and Mr. Bill Lan Lee is now head of the United States Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, appointed by none other than Bill Clinton.

Victoria, you’re my research specialist. I’m sure that you can help me run down the truth behind this story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THIS WILL OPEN YOUR EYES or at least make you wonder. By Paul Harvey

Conveniently Forgotten Facts: Back in 1969 a group of Black Panthers decided that a fellow black panther named Alex Rackley needed to die.

Rackley was suspected of disloyalty. Rackley was first tied to a chair. Once safely immobilized, his friends tortured him for hours by, among other things, pouring boiling water on him. When they got tired of torturing Rackley, Black Panther member, Warren Kimbo took Rackley outside and put a bullet in his head. Rackley's body was later found floating in a river about 25 miles North of New Haven, Connecticut.

Perhaps at this point you're curious as to what happened to these Black Panthers?

In 1977, eight years later, only one of the killers was still in jail. The shooter, Warren Kimbro, managed to get a scholarship to Harvard and became good friends with none other than Al Gore. He later became an assistant dean at a Connecticut State College. Isn't that something? As a '60s Radical you can pump a bullet into someone's head and a few years later, in the same state, you can become an assistant college dean! Only in America!

Erica Higgins was the woman who served the Panthers by boiling the water for Mr. Rackley's torture. Some years later Ms. Huggins was elected to a California School Board.

How in the world do you think these killers got off so easy? Maybe it was in some part due to the efforts of two people who came to the defense of the Panthers.

These two people actually went so far as to shut down Yale University with demonstrations in defense of the accused Black Panthers during their trial. One of these people was none other than Bill Lan Lee. Mr. Lee, or Mr. Lan Lee, as the case may be, isn't a college dean. He isn't a member of a California School Board. He is now head of the United States Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, appointed by none other than Bill Clinton.

O.K., so who was the other Panther defender? Is this other notable Panther defender now a school board member? Is this other Panther Apologist now an assistant college dean? No, neither! The other Panther defender was, like Lee, a radical law student at Yale University at the time. She is now known as the "smartest woman in the world." She is none other than the Democratic Senator from the State of New York our former First Lady, the Incredible Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And now, as Paul Harvey said; "You know the rest of the story".

daniel :

Does the Israel lobby have too much influence over U.S. decisions?

Probably the Israel lobby is becoming more and more desperate because the Middle Eastern nations are becoming more and more powerful and the U.S. is becoming increasingly weakened and in need of oil.

In other words we can expect as the U.S. becomes increasingly weakened yet dependent on oil and the Middle Eastern nations continue to rise in power for Israel to be increasingly marginalized by the U.S. and this results in a more desperate Israel lobby.

But probably the U.S. will not overthrow Israel completely because the problems in the Middle East are not of Israel's doing. If anyone thinks otherwise, ask yourself if say, the U.S. were to obliterate Israel for the Middle Eastern nations--What would occur? Would the Middle East become more peaceful? I think not. I think what we have in the Middle East is a typical rise of nations out of religion (as occurred in Europe) and these nations are going to disasterously conflict with themselves and other civilizations.

I think quite simply for all the problems Israel is causing, all the problems the U.S. and colonial powers in general have caused, that the real problem is Islamic civilization in respect to the modern world and it is an open question of how we get the Islamic peoples to become something of a European Union without passing through the history the European nations had to pass through (all the warfare).

The influence of the Israel lobby can be characterized as asking for support in the ocean of violence all around them. And Israel will probably always have to be supported--even if a breakthrough in technology occurs by which the U.S. is no longer dependent on oil.

For now though everyone seems optimistic--that Israel can be overthrown for good relations with Islamic oil nations and that after all, the Islamic world will not pass through the terrible history Europe passed through.

I see no real evidence of that at all.

And lest anyone think I am biased toward Israel, do not see her clearly, let me point out some terrible flaws in this conception of "Israel" in the middle east. I believe that even in the best scenario--complete peace between Israel and the Islamic nations--that Israel is threatened because her numbers are so few and peace would just be a slower death than outright war. In other words, although many Jews like to say that being Jewish means they belong to a religion and that they are not a people, even if we grant them that,--their religion does not spread and is confined to the few people they are--and the truth is what we have is a group of people in an ocean of the rest of humanity. The best scenario we can expect for this group is to eventually see them dissolve into the peoples surrounding them.

Unless of course Israel manages to keep in a state of conflict with surrounding peoples perpetually--which is to say prevents peace from occurring but does not allow enemy nations to ever get the upper hand to the point of the outright destruction of Israel.

In short, if one wants to criticize the Israel lobby it might be along the lines of being realistic about this concept called Israel, what future she has, what it takes to maintain this idea, etc.

I personally believe Israel to be an unsustainable idea, a nation which would quickly lose its identity if suddenly the Middle East would become peaceful and like the European Union. She would probably come to resemble Lebanon on her way to a loss of identity.

So we can see there is tension all around in the Middle East. But I can hardly see why the blame should fall on Israel. I believe virtually all the Middle Eastern countries will continue to grow in power and become more and more problematic. And it seems the rest of the world is just letting the U.S. have to deal with it--which is to say players such as China are just waiting to align with Middle Eastern nations as things get worse when really the Middle East is just as incompatible with China as anywhere else.

Of course the Israel lobby is extremely powerful in the U.S., but believing problems will go away by cutting loose of Israel is delusion--really a sign of national weakness as any. The U.S. must rather remove itself from oil dependency and align intelligently with other powers to steer the Middle East toward something like the European Union.

That seems to me the intelligent course. At the least I would hope we have an intelligent discussion when it comes to the Middle East.

Rick :

Thanks PaulM,

The answer is YES, the Israeli Lobby has too much influence, 82% Yes, to 18% No after 17 votes.

Vic van Meter :

In essence, the Israeli lobby is no different from any other lobby. Their goal is to shape American policy to support Israel. And no other factor anywhere can be attributed to Israel's survival than its lawyers and lobbyists.

If anything, it's the military that gets Israel into trouble. Their political troubles that end with gunfire has been all that their Arabic neighbors can talk about much anymore to generate sympathy. But when their lobby takes over, it's really a sight to behold.

America has committed to Israel in the long term, obviously, and we have everything to lose if it should go belly-up. You can say what you want about strategic importance and how much they cost us politically, the fact that Israel is still there is a testement to what little power America in particular still wields. Turkey, Kuwait, and other allies in the Middle East get grudging recognition from their neighbors and bad looks across the border sometimes. Israel has been trading fire with its neighbors almost since its creation and is bigger than when it started. Again, their fault is mostly because they basically colonialized land, a big no-no in the modern age.

But the jewel of their survival is still their lobbies. They somehow make all the right plays and moves. No politician has really seriously backed off of our almost complete support of Israel, not because it would destroy them as politicians, but because the Israeli lobby has really made it a viable option. Rwandan refugees WISH they had someone in Washington who could empower them the way the Israeli lobby has empowered the Jewish people both in America and in Israel.

Their power and success comes from a meticulous approach to just about everything. You have to hand it to their success, even objectively. That lobby has had more success than the Tobacco lobby, the Oil Lobby, or really anyone. I'd say even the Christian Lobby doesn't do as well as the Israeli lobby, and the Israeli lobby is technically a foreign relations bloc.

Israel will, barring some incredible unforseen circumstance, stand, whether on the backs of the Palestinian people or next door to them is up for the future. But as long as the Israeli lobby keeps playing their cards consistently and intelligently, Israel will always have U.S. support.

I wish the lobby working to nationalize health care was half that efficient. Socialized medicine doesn't even make it past committee here in America!

PaulM :

Great post, the subject is rarely visited. The subject is alway met with an attitude of how dare you. The truth of the matter any politician can end his career if he does not support Israel and Israeli policies in America.

Does the Israel lobby have too much influence over U.S. decisions?

------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=966

.

John Smith :

What strategic or economic benefit do the American people (as opposed to politicians) get from antagonising hundreds of millions of muslims (many from oil producing countries) in support of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank that benefits only Israeli Jews? Israeli and US interests are not always mutual, our politicians are basing their actions on receiving funds from interest groups not on what's actually best for America

Robert Mendez :

Israel and its US supporters are very smart, mega-rich and organized. They have carefully calculated where they stand in the world scheme of power and their lobbies, including the neocons to whom all of Washington bows, know that if they do not control the Pentagon and the media, they will cease to exist in a very short time. They are the most hated, most vilified and most endangered population on the planet, in spite of their amassed wealth and power. Just how long they can control the West, and how far they can push the West, remains to be seen. I see no exaggeration about their hegemony and you simply need to look to their vocal opposition which is non existent. Few with any power dare speak against them, just look at Carter. Yet they are far more sinister than Carter or Mearshimer and Walt portrayed them in their analyses and books. They have played the pity card with the holocaust and they know how to obfuscate the public because of their vast media wealth and power. Having said all of this, their days are numbered and when they fall, they will never recover. On the other hand, as scary as they are, when the Muslim world obliterates them, then we will really have trouble.

AEC :

The very words cause many people to grin at what appears to be simply a play on words. No one reads about such people in european authored history books and there are only a few references to "Ethiopian Jews" in white Jewish sources. Yet Black Hebrews have existed since biblical times. In fact, they are the original or proto-typical Hebrews.

Their story begins with the Patriarch Abraham (2117-1942 B.C.), a native of the Sumerian city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia. Archaeological discoveries have proven that the earliest inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia were members of the "Brown Race," i.e., the Negroid branch of humanity.


It has been confirmed that the ancient Sumerians were akin to the modern Black Dravidians of India. The Sumerians also had an affinity with a people known as the Elamites, the very first Semitic group mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 10:22). The Elamites were a black-skinned and woolly-haired people as the colorful glazed artwork on the royal palace walls of the ancient Persian city of Susa clearly show.Thus Abraham, the native of Sumerian and the founding father of the Israelite nation, was a black man. The black racial origins of the Patriarchs is not based on mere conjecture, it is in complete agreement with the picture one gets from examining the identity of the earliest inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia.


This truth is grossly neglected, suppressed, and distorted in most European and American historical texts which are flavored with race prejudice. Fortunately, however, there are enough well authored and highly researched works by Black historians that challenge the Eurocentric revisions of history and correct the various erroneous views regarding the ethnic identity of the Hebrews.


Biblical history relates that the descendants of Abraham, namely Jacob (Israel) and his twelve sons and their wives, 70 in all, migrated from Canaan to Egypt around the year 1827 B.C. During their sojourn in Egypt the Children of Israel multiplied from being a family of 70 souls to a nation of over 3 million people at the time of the Exodus which took place in 1612 B.C.


This astounding number of people in so short a time can only be adequately explained by intermarriage between the family of Jacob and the native Egyptian populace. It is an established fact that the ancient Egyptians were a black African people. Thus, even if the Hebrews were not black before they arrived in Egypt, which is unlikely given Abraham's background, they were definitely black by the time they left Egypt under Moses


The biblical Hebrews were indistinguishable from native Egyptians and Ethiopians. The Bible is full of examples which demonstrates this, and even ancient secular historians remarked of the physical appearances of the Hebrews. The historian Tacitus, for example, stated that it was a common opinion among the Romans that the Jews "were an Ethiopian race." In Roman times PalestinianIsraelites were classed among Black Africans because it was almost impossible to tell them apart.


Hence, the Eurocentric notion of the Black Hebrew as a kind of Johnnie-come-lately in Hebraic history does not accord with the facts. On the contrary, the historical record is abundantly clear that the majority of white European Jewry are not Hebrews in the biological sense but are actually the descendants of converts to Judaism during Greco-Roman and Mediaeval times. Professor Roland B. Dixon states emphatically that: "The great majority of all Jews [Ashkenazi] to-day are 'Semites' only in speech, and their true ancestry goes back not so much to Palestine and Arabia as to the uplands of Anatolia and Armenia, the Caucasus and the steppes of Central Asia, and their nearest relatives are still to be found in these areas to-day" (Racial History Of Man, p. 175).


Caucasian Jews are not the lineal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nor do they constitute a separate race but rather a religious fraternity which adheres to the ethnic tradition of a people whose origins are inextricably linked to Black Africa.


But if the original Hebrews were black where are their descendants in the world today? Are all black people Hebrews? The answer to the latter question is obviously no. The Israelites were only one of several black people existing in ancient the ancient world. Nevertheless, it is certain that the ancient Hebrews customs and practices who's legacy orginated in Africa, were adopted by that of white Jews in Europe. Very little is heard about the hundreds of thousands of Black Hebrews living in various parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, India, Arabia, the Caribbean islands, South America, and North America.


The history of Black Hebrews in North America is perhaps one of the most important chapters in US history which has yet to be fully written. The ancestors of African Americans came from West Africa during the era of slavery. That particular region of Africa was once home to a number of Black Hebrew tribes that migrated from North and East Africa over many centuries. In speaking of these migrations, Dr. Yoseph A. A. ben-Yochannan writes that: "In North Africa, just before the period of Christianity's legal entry into Rome - due to Constantine "the Great" conversion in the 4th century - there were many Hebrew (Jewish) 'tribes' that are of indigenous African (the so-called 'Negroes') origin.


These African Jews, as all other Romanized-African of this era, were caught in a rebellion in Cyrene (Cyrenaica) during 115 C.E. against Roman imperialism and colonialism. This rebellion also marked the beginning of a mass Jewish migration southward into Soudan (Sudan or West Africa) along the way of the city Aer (Air) and into the countries of Futa Jalon and Senegal (Sene-Gambia) which lie below the parabolic curve of the Niger River's most northern reaches, where the City of Tumbut (Timbuktu, Timbuctoo, etc.), Melle (Mali) presently stands." ("African Origins of the Major Western Religions," 1970, p. 76).

Dr. Ben goes on to relate that Black Israelite immigrants from northern and eastern Africa merged with indigenous groups in western Africa to become the Fulani of Futa Jalon, Bornu, Kamen, and Lake Chad. They also formed the parent-stock of groups such as the Ashanti, the Hausa, the B'nai Ephraim (mentioned in earlier posts), and the Bavumbu (Mavumbu or Ma-yomba). All of these groups suffered tremendous population decreases during the years the Atlantic slave trade was in operation, others were completely eliminated.

Thus, every so-called African American has Israelite ancestry in their family tree whether he or she knows it or not. Even in the very crucible of slavery the descendants of West African Hebrew captives in America struggled to keep their heritages from being obliterated by forced assimilation and acculturation. Their distinctive traditions became submerged in Christianity but always remained a part of the oral tradition via the so-called Negro Spirituals which praise the memory of ancestors and kinsmen like Moses, David, Joshua, and Daniel.

Since the African-American conviction of having Israelite ancestry antedates the Civil War it is not surprising that the earliest Black Hebrew congregation to be established in North America was founded in the 1880s in Chattanooga, Tennessee by F. S. Cherry (the group later moved to Philadelphia). Cherry was a railroad worker and seaman who was fluent in both Yiddish and Hebrew. He adamantly preached that so-called American Negroes are really the lost sheep of the House of Israel whose true legacy was stolen from them during slavery. He urged his hearers to investigate their history in order to rediscover this truth and reclaim their heritage.

In 1896, a man by the name of William S. Crowdy established another Hebrew congregation in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1899, Leon Richlieu established the Moorish Zionist Temple in Brooklyn. To date there are literally hundreds of uncharted Black Hebrew congregations in North America. They do not exist because of an aversion for mainstream American Protestantism or an attraction to white Jewish culture. As stated earlier, Black Hebrews have always been in the world; and they repudiate the notion that they are usurpers of the heritage of white Jews.

The great proliferation of Black Hebrew groups occurred after World War I during the Great Migration of Blacks from rural areas in the South to urban centers in the North. There were at least nine Black Hebrew congregations in New York in the early 1900s, one of which was founded by a West Indian named Arnold Josiah Ford called "Beth B'nai Abraham Congregation." In 1918, another West Indian born Israelite named Wentworth Arthur Matthews founded the "Commandment Keepers," and emerged as one of the leading Black Israelite rabbis in Harlem. Born in 1892 of African Hebraic parentage in Lagos, West Africa, Matthews moved with his family to St. Kitts in the West Indies before coming to America in 1911.

Branches of the "Commandment Keepers" exist in many American cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Chicago, Ohio, Virginia, and New Jersey. In 1965, the "House of Judah" was founded by William Lewis in Wetumpka, Alabama. The group later purchased a twenty-acre tract near Grand Junction, Michigan where they practice a communal life-style. Black Hebrews feel that by reclaiming their Israelite identity they have also recovered an important part of their ancestral heritage. They hold to the conviction that their "Hebrewness" is directly traceable to their African forebears of Israelite extraction who were brought to this country during slavery. They are cognizant and proud of their non-Hebrew African heritages but like many other people with mixed backgrounds they opt to give certain of their forebears a more pronounced place in their identity.

Black Israelite groups in America are decentralized and varied in ideology.Unlike white Orthodox Jews, Black Hebrews reject the Talmud, a collection of commentaries, as being on a par with the Bible and so they do not conform to rabbinical judgments which emphasize the need of conversion to Talmudism in order to be considered "truly" Jewish.

Since the Bible recognizes patrilineal as well as matrilineal descent, Black Hebrews (like Reform Jews) do not place any special significance on having a "Jewish" mother as do Orthodox Jews. Another major reason why the Talmud is rejected is due to its role in creating the so-called Hamitic Myth which is the doctrine that teaches that all black-skinned people are the cursed descendants of Ham in the Bible.

It was the promulgation of this erroneous myth, passing under the guise of "Jewish" talmudic scholarship, which provided the moral pretext for European slavery of Africans. The Talmud was not the product of ethnic Hebrews but of proselytized Babylonian sages who worked on editing it from the 3rd to in the 6th century A.D. It should not be used as the litmus test on Hebrew identity, particularly since it was of men who were clearly prejudice of Blacks, Israelites or otherwise.

A major dilemma facing many Black Hebrews who wish to settle in Israel has to do with the Talmud and the fact that conversion is a mandatory prerequisite for gaining Israeli citizenship. The Black Jews from Ethiopian were not allowed to immigrate to Israel until they agreed to undergo a ceremonial conversion to white Judaism (which was tantamount to a denial of their own Hebrewness) and embrace the Talmud. However, many Ethiopian Jews, particular in the aftermath of the recent blood scandal in Israel, are seriously rethinking their decision to adopt the Talmud because it has not given them equal status with other white Israelis.

Ethiopians Jews occupy the bottom rung of Israeli society today because they are black and are not considered "true" Hebrews because of their blackness. American Black Hebrews wanting to join their Ethiopian brethren feel that the Israeli Law of Return is unjust because it forces recognition of a racist text (the Talmud) in order to be considered eligible for citizenship It is truly ironic that the descendants of the original Hebrews are not considered to be Hebrews even in their own land because they happen to look like their distant forebears.

Fareed Zakaria should be ashamed :

Fareed Zakaria should be beyond ashamed for asking this question. Debate foreign policy and engage in intellectually honest discussions about what's in the best interest of the United States. But don't pretend that we have Israeli operatives running around the United States deciding our foreign policy (or that our government officials are so easily swayed), or suggest that because we have Jews in the country that means they are by definition promoting the interests of Israel over those of the United States or that Jews are disloyal U.S. citizens. It's outrageous that someone of Fareed Zakaria's standing would do this, and he should be publicly criticized --- not for criticizing Israel -- not for speaking up on specific foreign policy issues --- but for being lazy and disingenuous in the way he has approached this topic. Would Mr. Zakaria propose that to remedy this problem we bar Jews from voicing their opinions because they are necessarily more loyal to Israel than the U.S., i.e. promoting an entirely erroneous assumption by inappropriately questioning their ethics and integrity? Would he propose that we allow our government to function without allowing our citizens to write in with their opinions and leave that to task to brilliant scholars like Fareed? Would he propose that we suspend the right to freely associate? The real complaint that Fareed Zakaria is raising -- albeit in an utterly, disgenuous way -- is that he doesn't like the public opinion polls in the U.S. showing continuous and substantial support for Israel and wants to do whatever he can to change that fact. So, he co-opts the language of Mearshimer & Walt and asks about the "Israel lobby" when in fact we are only talking about the activities of U.S. citizens. This is really an effort by the liberal elite, of which Fareed Zakaria is a part, to try and change the direction of U.S. foreign policy to match the views held by Al-Quada and leaders of oppressive regimes. This is a new low for Fareed, and unless he apologizes, this is one that he should never be allowed to live down. To quote Former Secretary of State George Shultz in reference to the same words used by Mearshimer & Walt, this is a conspiracy theory plain and simple and [he] should be ashamed to be promulgating it.

Rick :

Hi Victoria,

Thanks for the great posts!

victoria :

HI RICK-

are we exaggerating the power of the israeli lobby?

http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/tik0711/frontpage/lobby


the words of the us government in 1942

http://www3.sympatico.ca/qudsey/Zionist_Terror.html


"Palestine Arabs have occupied Palestine for more than a thousand years
they deny the Jewish historical claims to Palestine
* * * * * * * * *
In issuing the Balfour Declaration, the British Government WERE GIVING AAWAY SOMETHING THAT DID NOT BELONG TO BRITAIN
* * * * * * * *
the Mandate CONFLICTED with the Covenant of the League of Nations from which it derived its AUTHORITY
the Mandate is a violation of the Palestinian's right of self-determination since it is forcing upon them an immigration which they do not desire and will not tolerate - an invasion of Palestine by the Jews ...
the part played by the British in freeing them from the Turks did not give Great Britain a right to dispose of their country and eventually subjugate them to Jewish rule
the suggestion that self-government should be withheld from Palestine until the Jews have acquired a majority is outrageous
The Palestinians wish to be masters in their own house
They were opposed to the idea of a Jewish national home even before the Biltmore Programme and the demand for a Jewish State. Their opposition has become more intense and more bitter since that programme was adopted ..."

Rick :

BobL-VA:

“Considering the offical American position supporting Israel it's fair to assume our administation and congress buy the Israeli lobbyist rhetoric. Hence, are the Israeli lobbyists too powerful? Of course not. The arguments for and against Israel are very transparent and it simply comes down to who and what you believe.”

Do you believe that justice was served by taking Palestine away from the Palestinians and giving it to the Jews as a spoil of war? Do our politicians really believe that, or are they just too frightened to take a principled stand on the issue? I believe it is the latter.

Your words sound good and reasonable, but the result is the status quo. We will stay bogged down in the Middle East at the behest of the Jewish and Big Oil lobbyists.

We need to get all private funding out of national (and local) elections, and make political attack ads on TV as illegal as selling crack cocaine to kids on the corner. We need to focus on the candidates’ positive solutions to problems and kill the attack ads and smear campaigns.

victoria :

and israel wasnt a state created in an already hostile muslim population

it was a real estate grab and a stealing of land that made the muslims hostile

even in america bob- if a bunch of mormons decided that vermont was their spiritual home (it is where joseph smith had his revelations, and the fabled golden plates were given) and made a mass exodus to vermont to reclaim their spiritual heritage and burned their homes and shot their kids- people would probably be a tad disgruntled.

and that would be americans in america, and not strangers from a diasporic panorama

besides, the zionists were, every man, atheists anyway
the religious aspect didnt really show up widely unitl after 1967

im not buying the argument
do you have another one perhaps?

victoria :

thats a really poor argument though bob-

300 billion dollars in 60 years later (currently every israeli man woman and child receives $23,000 from the USA)

and its a brand NEW argument

what was the argument 60 years ago? 50? 40?

the formation of the illegal apartheid state of israel is what CAUSED the instability in the region

and guilt?

that card has been played out, besides, why should the palestinians be punished for the actions of the germans?

why didnt germany and absorb the dispersed jewish population?

why didnt the atheist zionist forefathers accept the offer of ghana where land was available for settlement without creating the largest refugee population the planet had ever witnessed?

why did the idelaogue of one man, hertzl- in the late 1890's justify the expulsion and oppression of the people who already lived there?

why has the almost 200 resolutions made against israel by the united nations been ignored?

are they above international censure?
apparently so-

how many resolutions have been levied agianst palestine by the UN?

0 ZERO


i dont buy that argument bob


the entire argument is the creation of a stability of israel whose very existence caused the instabilty to begin with?

hankomatic :

ZIONISM IS THE REAL ENEMY OF THE JEWS..........

BobL-VA :

Easy questions deserve easy answers. No, they don't have too much power.

Everybody realizes AIPAC and other pro-Israeli lobbies have an agenda. That agenda is simply to promote what Israel believes is in their best interests. Like every other lobbying group in Washington they will attempt to show how our best interests are identical to theirs. That's the way the game is played. We all know this.

Israel, since it's inception, has been a country in peril. A Jewish state created in the middle of a hostile Muslim region. It is only natural they would seek allies to support them in their fight to make an attempt at securing their existance. In seeking allies, especially western allies, they will use the tools they have available to them to influence opinion. These tools include how the establishment of a stable democracy in the region is a good and desirable natural outcome and when this doesn't work the guilt card among other techniques. The guilt card is the west owes them something for the holocaust. We all know this as well.

Ultimately it comes down to whether or not one buys Israeli's arguments.

Arguments against the support of Israel center around the legitimacy of creating the State of Israel and displacing the Palastinean people in the process. This argument is countered by the Israeli's as the land was chosen for them by the Almighty and none of us have the right to question the Almighty. Personally, I have a severe problem with this argument as it can neither be proven nor disproven. The second argument against supporting Israel is the creation of a democratic state in the region has not brought about stability to the region. In fact it has brought more unrest and military conflicts. Top both of these arguments off with the seemingly unfair treatment of the Palastineans and you have the arguments AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbys are always trying to counter.

Considering the offical American position supporting Israel it's fair to assume our administation and congress buy the Israeli lobbyist rhetoric. Hence, are the Israeli lobbyists too powerful? Of course not. The arguments for and against Israel are very transparent and it simply comes down to who and what you believe.

Rick :

Tom Wonacott:

“How, then, do you regulate lobbying since it’s free speech and how do you determine that one lobby has too much influence, and at what point does it cross the line? Who determines that a lobby has crossed the line? Should we assume that if a particular lobby is too powerful and some kind of restrictions are necessary that whoever lobbied against the lobby is, in fact, too powerful of a lobby in itself?”

These are all excellent points. In my opinion, what makes lobbying wrong is when the lobbyists become able to buy our government. I can’t prove that this is the case, but I do strongly suspect that this is the case.

I think that the solution is to totally ban all lobbying except that by the ordinary citizen such as you me writing to our elected representative. We need to go to federally funded national elections and take all private money out of politics.

Tom Wonacott :

PG

Lobbying the government is a right granted under the US constitution.

From Wikepedia:

“…argue that such restrictions infringe on the right to petition government officials, which is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States…”

“…The right to petition includes under its umbrella the right to sue the government[6], and the right of individuals, groups, and corporations (via corporate personhood), to lobby[4] the government…”

From John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt:

"There is nothing improper about American Jews and their Christian allies attempting to sway U.S. policy; the Lobby's activities are not a conspiracy... For the most part the individuals and groups in it are only doing what other special interest groups do, but doing it very much better…”

There is no doubt that the Jewish (and Christian) lobby influences American foreign policy, and, in fact, they are to be commended for this effort. As long as the lobbying is conducted in a legal manner, their right to lobby the government is guarded by first amendment to the US constitution. Certainly the Arab League also lobbies the US in support of Arab interest, as well.

Does the lobby have too much control on US foreign policy? This seems highly unlikely to me. Is Jewish influence greater on our foreign policy than the oil lobby? For example, does anyone believe the CIA removed the elected Premier of Iran (1952) from office because of the Jewish Lobby? Who believes that we are so involved in the Middle East (at all) because of the Jewish lobby? Clearly, oil has driven our policies for the last 75 years. Does the Jewish lobby have more influence than the military industrial complex i.e., the weapons lobby? Does Halliburton and related corporations, which have benefited from US conflicts, have too much influence?

How, then, do you regulate lobbying since it’s free speech and how do you determine that one lobby has too much influence, and at what point does it cross the line? Who determines that a lobby has crossed the line? Should we assume that if a particular lobby is too powerful and some kind of restrictions are necessary that whoever lobbied against the lobby is, in fact, too powerful of a lobby in itself?

Was the antiwar movement during the Viet Nam war too powerful of a lobby since they certainly influenced our foreign policy? Should we limit demonstrations because they influence policy? Should we restrict the media because they may favor a policy? Does the media have too much influence, for example, Iraq or Viet Nam?

The issue is free speech, and in my opinion, as long as it's LEGAL, placing restrictions on a lobby is wrong.

Mohammad allam :

To have great influence in the decision making of a goverment you need certain things.
1controll of powerfull media
2controll of financial system
3controll of educational system
4 controll of cultural centres
5 controll of employemnt agencies/employment beaurue
6 organisation of think tank
After see all the above, can any one deny that the sympathiser of israel are not controlling all these in America?Can any goverment of America controll all these ?certainly not then see what the usa israel lobby getting which is prove of much influenc e of israel lobby.
1.due to strong israel lobby no goverment of America questioned the nuclear adventure of israel in middle east.
2 No American goverment allowed any UNO anti israel resolution to pass.
3 No American goverment tried to implement the passed uNo resoltuion.while the same American goverment destroyed Iraq.
4 No American goverment questioned the Human rights violation of Israel in Palestine.
5.Due American support Israel defaeted the arab powers by calling it interest of america.
6.No other nation got so much patronage from israel and receieved ad in term of economic,social or military.
7.The present Iraq was also destroyed just to provide the safety to israel and faciliate the creation of great Israel in long run.
8.No American goverment defy the economic interest of israel in America and the world.
Inspite of all these we have to accept this truth that the present America is also made by these Israeli people.

Qahtani :

No country in the face of the earth can get the level of support and financial help that Israel receives, from the U.S. and Europe in particular. Despite its deliberate bombing of the U.S.S. Liberty in the Mediterranean during the six-day war (June 1967) which resulted in the killing of American Servicemen, and its frequent high-profile espionage by Israli agents (e.g., Jonathan Polard) that compromised U.S. national security; Israel still gets continous and unwavering supports of succeeding U.S. administrations. The reason for this puzzling scenario is that Israel has huge armies of writers, journalists, acadmics, bussinessmen, high-ranking officials, showbiz people, elected individuals, and constituents who are staunchly supporting and defending Israli interests at any cost. No wonder then Israli intetrests supersede American national interests, and that may explain why American foreign policy lost its credibility around the world and the Middle East in perticular.
The real question, howevere, who dares to speak out?!

victoria :

at the very beginning of his campaign, barak obama spoke in idaho- (march 13 2007)

“Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.”

less than a week later the criticism was strong-
he was criticized for vowing to "take an even hand when it came to palestine and israel"
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0307/3177.html

a flurry of AIPAC cries of outrage, and he soon softened it to -
"
, nobody suffers more than “the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize (Israel), to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region.”

then this "correction appeared at the bottom of the article-

Correction: March 15, 2007


An article yesterday about competition for Jewish support between Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama incorrectly described Mr. Obama’s views about the culpability for stalled peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. Mr. Obama blames Hamas, which controls much of the Palestinian government, for the stalled peace talks; he does not blame Israel.


within 2 days of his remark (which was excused by an AIPAC convention goer as "he's just inexperienced"

he hurriedly corrected is gaff-
may 3,2007 christian science monitor
To answer those questions, Obama has delivered a series of speeches since March before Jewish audiences – two before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the influential pro-Israel lobby, and one, last week, before the National Jewish Democratic Council here.


barak did a 180 degree flip-


"US presidential candidate Barack Obama has told a pro-Israel lobbying group, that he is committed to protecting the security of Israel.

In his second formal foreign policy pronouncement, the Democrat senator, also called Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime 'a threat to all of us'.

Mr Obama, a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be the primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.

However, he added that a military option should remain on the table."


and then-
"Israel is "our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy," Obama said, assuring his audience that "we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs." Such advanced multi-billion dollar systems he asserted, would help Israel "deter missile attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza."

That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That will always be my starting point. And when we see all of the growing threats in the region: from Iran to Iraq to the resurgence of al-Qaeda to the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah, that loyalty and that friendship will guide me as we begin to lay the stones that will build the road that takes us from the current instability to lasting peace and security.
But together, we will begin again.

. Iran's President Ahmadinejad's regime is a threat to all of us. His words contain a chilling echo of some of the world's most tragic history.

Unfortunately, history has a terrible way of repeating itself. President Ahmadinejad has denied the Holocaust. He held a conference in his country, claiming it was a myth. But we know the Holocaust was as real as the 6 million who died in mass graves at Buchenwald, or the cattle cars to Dachau or whose ashes clouded the sky at Auschwitz. We have seen the pictures. We have walked the halls of the Holocaust museum in Washington and Yad Vashem. We have touched the tattoos on loved-ones arms. After 60 years, it is time to deny the deniers.

In the 21st century, it is unacceptable that a member state of the United Nations would openly call for the elimination of another member state. But that is exactly what he has done. Neither Israel nor the United States has the luxury of dismissing these outrages as mere rhetoric.

The world must work to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy. And while we should take no option, including military action, off the table, sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be our primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
then 6 paragraphs against arab countries
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
. There is great hope in their ability to see his hatred for what it is: hatred and a threat to peace in the region.

At the same time, we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza. And when Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself. Last summer, Hezbollah attacked Israel. By using Lebanon as an outpost for terrorism, and innocent people as shields, Hezbollah has also engulfed that entire nation in violence and conflict, and threatened the fledgling movement for democracy there. That's why we have to press for enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which demands the cessation of arms shipments to Hezbollah, a resolution which Syria and Iran continue to disregard. Their support and shipment of weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which threatens the peace and security in the region, must end.

These are great challenges that we face. And in moments like these, true allies do not walk away. For six years, the administration has missed opportunities to increase the United States' influence in the region and help Israel achieve the peace she wants and the security she needs. The time has come for us to seize those opportunities.

we must maintain the isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel's destruction.

The U.S. and our partners have put before Hamas three very simple conditions to end this isolation: recognize Israel's right to exist; renounce the use of violence; and abide by past agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

We should all be concerned about the agreement negotiated among Palestinians in Mecca last month. The reports of this agreement suggest that Hamas, Fatah, and independent ministers would sit in a government together, under a Hamas Prime Minister, without any recognition of Israel, without a renunciation of violence, and with only an ambiguous promise to "respect" previous agreements.

This should concern us all because it suggests that Mahmoud Abbas, who is a Palestinian leader I believe is committed to peace, felt forced to compromise with Hamas. However, if we are serious about the Quartet's conditions, we must tell the Palestinians this is not good enough.

But as I said at the outset, Israel will have some heavy stones to carry as well. Its history has been full of tough choices in search of peace and security.

Yitzhak Rabin had the vision to reach out to longtime enemies. Ariel Sharon had the determination to lead Israel out of Gaza. These were difficult, painful decisions that went to the heart of Israel's identity as a nation.

keep searching for peace and security -- even though it can seem distant. This search is in the best interests of Israel. It is in the best interests of the United States. It is in the best interests of all of us.

But in the end, we also know that we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli Prime Minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States.

(a side note)

Senator Clinton learned the price of striking an off note on Middle East politics early in her first Senate campaign. In 1999, she kissed Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, moments after Mrs. Arafat accused Israel of gassing Palestinian women and children. Clinton later claimed Mrs. Arafat's remarks had been mistranslated and eventually denounced them, but the episode threatened to derail her campaign.


well, its politics
sorry so long- it was an evolution

Jeremy Sher :

I have a third perspective: AIPAC doesn't fully represent the pro-Israel feelings of American Jews. AIPAC promulgates only one of many perspectives in the American Jewish community, and AIPAC's is a minority view in that community.

Most American Jews have for years favored peace in Israel and in the future state of Palestine. The Jewish religion promotes peace, and peace is what most American Jews want for Israel. Today, even hawkish American Jews are recognizing that Israel's survival as a Jewish state depends on the creation of a separate Palestinian state sooner rather than later, but most American Jews -- the majority that isn't active in AIPAC -- have felt this way for years.

AIPAC's views are authentic American Jewish views, but they're not the only game in town, and they're significantly more hawkish than what a majority of American Jewish voters actually think.

AIPAC's outsize power is due to its success (and, until recently, lack of competition) promoting itself as the voice of American Jewry, when it does not represent the actual range of views of American Jews.

nrglaw :

Aren't you ashamed even to ask such a question? Which other ethnic group has to bear this sort of scrutiny?

To those who say that this sort of thing is not anti-Semitism, I say open a history book. Every modern anti-Semitic movement has included the claim that the Jews have too much power.

Sherlock :

None of this is 'rocket science', it's simply plain 'common sense' (something that no longer exists for the common man).
Jews own and operate the everyday 'machine' of information, also known as TV, newspapers, movies,
videos, ad infinitum. They also hold 'high' office in government, as well as on the supreme court; and we must not forget the esteemed Harvard Professor, Alan Dershowitz who headed the defense of the poor, defenseless, forever innocent OJ Simpson. And this is a mere fraction of the whole dis-ease.
Then we must remember those organizations like the ADL who support 'human rights', another Jewish run group.
And you dare to even pose the question, does the Israel Lobby have too much influence over US decisions? The humor there is beyond belief; actually it isn't humorous at all, it's tragic.
Because there's no stopping total Jewish control.

Rick :

MikeB

Maybe “the barbarism of Nazi Germany, horrors of the Inquisition, the Muslim butchery of the Jews of Mecca, are all events that should haunt us”, but why should the Palestinians pay the price for it?

Let’s gives the Jews the state of Texas for their homeland.

MikeB :

Of course they do. To even ask this question is silly. Israel has played upon European and American guilt and gotten away with a lot. What other country could get away with selling the secrets of our AWAC system to China or the plans for our latest fighter jet?

Now, it's an entirely different question that needs answering as to if we deserve that guilt or not. I honestly think we do deserve much of it. If nothing else, the barbarism of Nazi Germany, horrors of the Inquisition, the Muslim butchery of the Jews of Mecca, are all events that should haunt us. As to how much they should haunt us, I cannot say. But anyone who denies those events, anyone who is not troubled by them, has lost their humanity.

Rick :

The illegitimate “State of Israel” owes its very existence to lobbyists:

Some argue that the “State of Israel” is legal because of the Balfour Declaration and its inclusion by the League of Nations in the British Mandate following WWI. However, the Balfour Declaration was the British response to the lobbying influence of the powerful Jews Baron Rothschild and Baron Hirsch.

So as a spoil of war after WWI, and as a result of the lobbying influence of wealthy Jews on the British government, Palestine was taken away from its rightful owners, the Palestinian people who had tended their flocks and orchards and farmed this land for millennia, and given instead to the Jews.

omop. :


Kvetching, kvetching Israel gets $ 7 miilion a day 365 days a year from the US.. From 1949 to 1997 Israel received $134.8 billion dollars according to the US Budget Bureau.

In looking at the amount of dollars all of Africa has and does receive from the US its as clear as water that Africa has more influence over the US than Israel.

And its clearer than clear that the Palestenian have more influence over the US than both Israel and Africa.

Its a shame Ariel Sharon is still in a coma. Cause he has been quoted in almost all the news media in the world including Israel but excepting the US's media that the US does what it is told by Israel and/or AIPAC.

But hey he's been known to lie through his teeth. And any one providing critical comment is called an antisemite and if the individual is of the Jewish faith he/she is called a "self-hating jew".


omop. :

Kvetching, kvetching Israel gets $ 7 miilion a day 365 days a year from the US.. From 1949 to 1997 Israel received $134.8 billion dollars according to the US Budget Bureau.

In looking at the amount of dollars all of Africa has and does receive from the US its as clear as water that Africa has more influence over the US than Israel.

And its clearer than clear that the Palestenian have more influence over the US than both Israel and Africa.

Its a shame Ariel Sharon is still in a coma. Cause he has been quoted in almost all the news media in the world including Israel but excepting the US's media that the US does what it is told by Israel and/or AIPAC.

But hey he's been known to lie through his teeth. And any one providing critical comment is called an antisemite and if the individual is of the Jewish faith he/she is called a "self-hating jew".


omop. :

Kvetching, kvetching Israel gets $ 7 miilion a day 365 days a year from the US.. From 1949 to 1997 Israel received $134.8 billion dollars according to the US Budget Bureau.

In looking at the amount of dollars all of Africa has and does receive from the US its as clear as water that Africa has more influence over the US than Israel.

And its clearer than clear that the Palestenian have more influence over the US than both Israel and Africa.

Its a shame Ariel Sharon is still in a coma. Cause he has been quoted in almost all the news media in the world including Israel but excepting the US's media that the US does what it is told by Israel and/or AIPAC.

But hey he's been known to lie through his teeth. And any one providing critical comment is called an antisemite and if the individual is of the Jewish faith he/she is called a "self-hating jew".


Amar C. Bakshi :

On this topic, I recommend a cold-shower article by Walter Russell Mead in the latest edition of of foreign affairs. Traveling for www.washingtonpost.com/america, I hear lots of talk about vast conspiracies controlling major interests across the world and within the U.S., but they all underestimate 1) how diverse the actors are who shape U.S. foreign policy, and 2) how concerted and unidirectional that action is anyway. Take a look at the article anyway. Worth a read:
http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20071101fareviewessay86611/walter-russell-mead/jerusalem-syndrome.html

Salamon :

Lobbyist in the USA have way too much power to influence Congress and WhiteHouse actions. The notion that the USA is Governed by the people for the people has completely escaped most members of Congress and the denizens of the Whitehouse. And in this respect there is no question that the Democracy of USA is almost completely gutted.

As to the question of the strength of the Israel Lobby, especially that of AIPAC the obvious conclusion is that these lobbies are very influential. That the actions of these Jewish Lobbies is destructive to the USA and Israel in economic and moral fields is beyongd question.

Leading journalists in Israel and in UK have often depicted the moral corrosion [among Jews in Israel] due to the occupation and inhumane behavor by IDF and the Zionist Political powerstucture.

The negative consequences in the world for the USA/UK governments in their total approval of Israeli Government's actions with respect to Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Palestinans does nothing but increase intolarance and to rise in the Muslim World.

The false atonement of the USA/UK for not doing more for Jews at the time of the Holocust is irreconciable with what they permit and advocate for the ZIONIST government as far as opposing Palestinians, Iraqi's and for the last while Iranis. Upsetting the whole political establishment from Pakistan to Morocco with military aid to some of the worst dictators will not solve the JEWSIH PROBLEM IN ISRAEL - contrary to the advocacy of AIPAC, the Jewish Lobby and AEI, even if the actions of the Bush cohort could be ruled by sanity rather than the vision thing.

So I would suggest that Both Israel, the Jews in General and the USA would bebetter off where the power of the USA Jewsih Lobby be decreased.


mikes :

What Rick refuses to understand (or chooses to ignore, for whatever reason) is that Mearsheimer, et.al. have been completely discredited and that virtually all of their "research" has been well proven to be dishonest, ignores provable fact, and panders to those who think that the "downtrodden" Palestinians are the most put upon people on earth.

mikes :

What Rick refuses to understand (or chooses to ignore, for whatever reason) is that Mearsheimer, et.al. have been completely discredited and that virtually all of their "research" has been well proven to be dishonest, ignores provable fact, and panders to those who think that the "downtrodden" Palestinians are the most put upon people on earth.

Rick :

From today’s NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/world/middleeast/12annapolis.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print

November 12, 2007

Diplomatic Memo
U.S. and Israel Play Down Hopes for Peace Talks

By STEVEN ERLANGER

JERUSALEM, Nov. 10 — The American-sponsored Middle East peace conference expected by the end of the month looks to be thin on content, mostly serving as a stage to begin formal negotiations on a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli and American officials have been so busy dampening expectations that they are not even calling the event a conference anymore, instead referring to it merely as a “meeting.”...

The risks of failure, all agree, are extremely high, both for Mr. Abbas and the concept of a negotiated two-state solution. Many Israelis and Palestinians — and not just Hamas — say they think that Annapolis is ill-timed and bound to disappoint...

The problem, he said, is how both Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas “can come up with a paper and both of them stay alive politically.”

As for Mr. Abbas and Fatah, the risks are existential, a senior Palestinian aide said. He pointed not just to the Hamas takeover of Gaza, but to the warnings of senior Hamas leaders like Mahmoud Zahar that Mr. Abbas was a collaborator with Israel and that the West Bank could be next. Mr. Zahar said Friday, “We say to the West Bank, ‘Take a lesson from what happened in Gaza.’”

“Israel says the party in Ramallah serves Israel,” Mr. Zahar continued, referring to Fatah, “and if Israel quits the West Bank, Hamas will take it over. And we say this is true.”

Rick :

From Time Magazine:

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1681362,00.html?xid=newsletter-weekly

Wednesday, Nov. 07, 2007

Oil Prices: It Gets Worse

By Vivienne Walt/PARIS

Oil prices hit a record high of $97 a barrel on Tuesday, but the next generation of consumers could look back on that price with envy. The dire predictions of a key report on international oil supplies released Wednesday suggest that oil prices could move irreversibly over the $100-a-barrel threshold in the not too distant future, as the global economy faces a serious energy shortage.

This gloomy assessment comes from the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based organization representing the 26 rich, gas-guzzling member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The agency is not known for alarmist warnings, and its World Energy Outlook is typically viewed by policy wonks as a solid indicator of global energy supplies. In a marked change from its traditionally bland, measured tones, the IEA's 2007 report says governments need to make urgent, bold decisions on energy policy, or risk massive environmental and energy-supply crises within two decades — crises and shortages that could spark serious global conflicts.

"I am sorry to say this, but we are headed toward really bad days," IEA chief economist Fatih Birol told TIME this week. "Lots of targets have been set but very little has been done. There is a lot of talk and no action."

The reason for the IEA's alarm is its expectation that economic development will raise global energy demands by about 50% in a generation, from today's 85 million barrels a day to about 116 million barrels a day in 2030. Nearly half that increase in demand will come from just two countries — China and India, which are electrifying hundreds of cities and putting millions of new cars on their roads, most driven by people who once walked, or rode bicycles and buses. By 2030, those two countries will be responsible for two-thirds of the world's carbon gas emissions, which are the primary human activity causing global warming.

Rick :

Zoltan,

I’m not sure that I understand you? Are you saying: “What will happen when petrol runs short, and support for those few countries that still have some of it left (like Saudi Arabia) becomes more important than support for a financially well-off minority (like Israel)?”

Zoltan :

You might ask this same question the other way round: "Is the unconditional support by the USA of any Israeli polocy a good way for Israel ?"

Remember: Israel is surrounded by 1/2 billion Muslims, what will happen when - not *IF, *WHEN* - the USA stops having Israel as important ally ? Who controls whom ? What will happen when petrol runs short, and support for those few countries that still have some of it left becomes more omportant that support for a financially well-off minority ?

Rick :

Why do Americans irrationally support Israel unconditionally against our own best interests?

See this link for answers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Israel_Lobby_and_U.S._Foreign_Policy

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy[1] (a condensed version used the title The Israel Lobby[2]) is the title of a work by John Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, The Robert and Rene Belfer Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, that has gone through several versions from 2002 to 2007. The most recent version is The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a New York Times Best Seller, published in September 2007 by Farrah, Strauss, and Giroux.

The work claims that "the United States has been willing to set aside its own security in order to advance the interests of another state [Israel]", and further that U.S. Middle East policy is driven primarily by the "Israel Lobby," defined as a "loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction."[2]

The authors state that the "core of the Lobby" is "American Jews who make a significant effort in their daily lives to bend U.S. foreign policy so that it advances Israel's interests." They note that "not all Jewish-Americans are part of the Lobby," and that "Jewish-Americans also differ on specific Israeli policies."

The paper was originally commissioned in 2002 by The Atlantic Monthly, which then rejected it.[3] It became available as a working paper at the Kennedy School's website in 2006. The paper was finally published in March 2006 by the London Review of Books. Philip Weiss discusses some of the background to the creation of the paper in an article in The Nation.[4] A third, revised version addressing some of the criticism was published in the Fall 2006 issue of Middle East Policy. The authors state that "In terms of its core claims, however, this revised version does not depart from the original Working Paper."[5] In late August 2007 an enlarged version was published as a book.[6][7]

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