U.S., Israel on a Crash Course Over Iran?


Are Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama on a collision course over Iran and the Palestinian problem? What would be the consequences of a breach between the United States and Israel?

Posted by David Ignatius on May 12, 2009 1:51 PM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (99)

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

What's wrong with you? Birth right vs. historical connection. Ok, let's play symantec ping-pong.

Trivializing the persecution the Jews have endured? Again, what is wrong with you? I have consistently stated it has been an atrocity. All I have done is point out other peoples throughout history have also faced atrocities. If you really want to believe your atrocity tops someone elses go ahead, but I fail to see the difference.

Oh, now 181 doesn't make any difference because it's the Arabs fault? And I thought you wanted to talk about facts. Silly me. Facts have no meaning unless they support your agenda and when they don't support it they don't matter. Like I said earlier you might as well be wearing a white shirt and knocking on doors trying to convert people.

Historically, it could be well argued prior to the 1920's there was very little racial tension in the ME. This all changed when Jewish immigration mounted in the 20's along with the Balfour Declaration letting the Arabs know Britian would at least support an area where Jews could live without fear of persecution. Once large numbers of Jews started immigrating to Palestine violence broke out. Prior to the immigration there wasn't the type of violence we have witnessed every minute since. It's also very interesting as the British were backtracking on the Balfour Declaration and it's principles along with the UN putting on hold partitioning the land the British started to die and be assassinated and attacked by Jews. In fact, since you love facts so much, Israel declared itself a state even before the British Mandate controlling Palestine/TransJordan expired. I'm sorry, but where is this legal basis again? Every time I look I see the exact opposite.

Why not just get real and say, we believe we have a right to the land and we're willing to fight for it and we really don't care who gets hurt if they get in our way. We'll assassinate British Ambassadors in Cairo, we'll kill 92 Englishmen in the King David Hotel, we'll spy on the United States, we'll starve the Palestinians. We don't care what we have to do to protect our vision. At least that would approach honest. Instead all we here is we've been persecuted like no one else, nothing we do is wrong, the Arabs are nasty and everything is their fault along with we have a legal right (which would never stand up in a court of law).

Here's a prediction for you. The Jews will stay in Israel and they will continue to act badly and blame everybody else for their behavior. Now that was a real bold of me since in my life time it's all I've ever witnessed. You should have taken Uganda and I'm still willing to let you have Alaska, but that will never happen because of what happened on the land 3,000 years ago? After all, it's only ancient history that compels a Jewish State to exist in the middle of the Muslim Arab world where they are not welcome and where violence is a normal occurance because of their presence.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

Your emotions on this issue overtake your reason.

You originally said that the Jews took Palestine as a "birthright".

The definition of birthright according to my Merriam Webster is:

"a privilege granted to a person by virtue of his or her birth".

I told you that this was not the case for the Jewish claim to SOME part of Palestine. I told you that it was rooted in the Balfour Declaration and the 1947 partition.

Now you come back and tell me that your interpretations of those historical facts are different than the accepted history. Well, that is great, but it still says that the Jewish claims are based on their interpretation of those historical issues and not a "birth right". If you don't like their interpretations, that is cool. However, history is history and not birthright.
Right?

By the way, as far as your facts go, it is really not relevant what happened to resolution 181 in the Security Council. The Arabs never had any intention of allowing the Jews to have anything. No matter what happened at the UN they were determined to drive the Jews out and divide the territory between Jordan, Egypt and Syria. They never even considered an independent Palestinian state after their war to annihilate the Jews was finished. That is a fact. Look it up in Wikipedia.

As for the Jews wanting to settle in Palestine, again that has nothing to do with "birthright". It has to do with historical connection, a resident population of some Jews for over 2,000 years, and continued Jewish immigration since the late nineteenth century That isn't any kind of "birthright" or "privilege", it is a historical connection. They had no connection to Uganda. Why should they care to go there?

Finally, I won't even dignify your comments about the Holocaust with a rejoinder. Your need to trivialize what happened to six million Jews through the application of industrial methods of murder in Nazi Germany is really kind of beyond the pale.

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

Facts, you want facts. Let's start with your, "Nobody, but some extreme right wing Jews, make any such claim. The Jewish claims go back to the Balfour declaration and the 1947 UN partition."

First, Balfour never promised a "State." A minor point to those who would interrupt it did, but it didn't. It basically promised an area where Jews could live without persecution. At the same time the discussions were going on over Balfour the British were also cutting deals to give the land to the Arabs. Not exactly a rock hard piece of evidence to use for the formation of a State. As far as the UN Partition of 1947. Go back and look at it again. It was never put into effect. Resolution 181 had passed the general assembly, but was stopped by the security council. Not only was UN 181 shelved, 181ii disbanded the Palestine Commission. There was no UN mandate in force to partition the land. Now where exactly does this legal authority come from?

Let's move on. How about your, " None of these 20th century political developments has anything to do with religious birthrights.
That is not historical and is inaccurate." How inaccurate are they? If your trying to make the case Zionism wasn't primarily interested in Palestine why did they turn down Uganda? Why did Weizman say to Balfour the Jews wanted Palestine prior to the Balfour declaration? Did the Zionist movement just throw a dart at a globe and it just happened to hit Palestine? Get real.

This statement, "Is it conceivable that some of you have never heard that the Jews are the only people subjected to mass murder through the use of 20th century industrial methodology on an international scale in Europe?" is patently false.
The Jews weren't the group Hitler went after. He also went after both gypsy's and homosexuals with the same vengenance he went after Jews. Also, you fail to take into account what Stalin did in Russia and Eastern Europe, Mao did in China, Pol Pot, Japan to the Koreans and Chinese and even what's going on in Sudan today. Nobody is arguing Jews haven't been treated badly in the 20th century. However, they are by no means the only or the largest group on this planet that has had atrocties committed against them. So if you really want to go down the road of our atrocities committed against us are worse then the atrocities committed against other groups on this planet good luck. However, please don't feel slighted when these other groups don't buy your argument that your atrocities are more special then theirs.

You should have taken Uganda when the British offered it to you. It would have saved the world 62 years of fighting, death and destruction with no end in sight.


captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

You do have your opinions, but you have yet to present any facts about the conflict.

"Everybody keeps telling us it's the Jews land by birth right... ."

Nobody, but some extreme right wing Jews, make any such claim. The Jewish claims go back to the Balfour declaration and the 1947 UN partition.
None of these 20th century political developments has anything to do with religious birthrights.
That is not historical and is inaccurate.

"....and they have been persecuted throughout history for no reason other then their religion."

Would you care to tell me what reasons beyond the need for a religious scapegoat have resulted in Jewish persecution, and please provide verifiable historical citations beyond the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"?

"It really is inconceivable some of us could actually say, "how is that any different then most societies?"

Is it conceivable that some of you have never heard that the Jews are the only people subjected to mass murder through the use of 20th century industrial methodology on an international scale in Europe? Perhaps, for reasons of your own you find that part of WWII annoying, mundane, or common in world history?

" We also are fond of saying, "considering the history of the land how is the Jews claim any better then the Arabs who inhabited the region before the Jews were there or have been there since Judea fell?"

The Jews never made any such claim. You did, but the Jews didn't. The Palestinians received most of British Mandate Palestine in the form of Jordan in the 1920s. The remainder was divided between the Jews and the Arabs in 1947, with the Arabs receiving the areas with the greatest Arab population and the Jews the areas with the greatest Jewish population. The area given to the Jews was mostly Negev desert. The Jews accepted the compromise, and the Arabs rejected it. The Arabs didn't want the Jews to have anything. The Arabs started a war to eradicate the Jews, and the Palestinian refugees resulted from that failed war.

The Palestinians were again offered a state under Bill Clinton in 2000, and again refused to make a counter offer. Arafat walked out of Camp David without making a counter offer.

Now because of that rejection, further violence, and the failure of the Palestinians to make a peaceful go of Gaza, the Israelis now have a right wing government. They also continue to build settlements. That is all true, but that is not the root of the conflict.

Now, tell me, what part of the facts don't you understand?

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

Yes, it was Simon and Garfunkel and it's apparent you never learned from the saying. Anyone who disagrees with you is wrong and probably an anti-semite. We are all aware that you have no doubt your version of reality is carved in granite and anyone who disagrees is ignorant.

Please excuse those of us who are idiots for not buying into your version of history and current events. I have no doubt we do this because we just haven't seen the light according to the Captn yet. Give us morons time. Everybody keeps telling us it's the Jews land by birth right and they have been persecuted throughout history for no reason other then their religion. It really is inconceivable some of us could actually say, "how is that any different then most societies?" We also are fond of saying, "considering the history of the land how is the Jews claim any better then the Arabs who inhabited the region before the Jews were there or have been there since Judea fell? I know these are only minor points when you have an agenda to defend. I know in your opinion that while every story has two sides, this one is the exception. It's only the Jewish side of the story that matters and everything and everybody else is irrelevant.

You might as well be a Mormon who goes around and knocks on doors looking for converts for all the stock I put in your truth.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

Wasn't it Simon and Garfunkel who sang:

"Well, the man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest...."

Wikipedia on Arab anti Semitism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs_and_antisemitism

[edit] Growth in the twentieth century

....While anti-Semitism was certainly heightened by the Arab-Israeli conflict, there were pogroms against Jews prior to the foundation of Israel, including Nazi-inspired pogroms in Algeria in the 1930s, and attacks on the Jews in Iraq and Libya in the 1940s (see Farhud). George Gruen attributes the increased animosity towards Jews in the Arab world to several factors including: The breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; domination by Western colonial powers under which Jews gained a disproportionately large role in the commercial, professional, and administrative life of the region; the rise of Arab nationalism, whose proponents sought the wealth and positions of local Jews through government channels; resentment over Jewish nationalism and the Zionist movement; and the readiness of unpopular regimes to scapegoat local Jews for political purposes.[19]

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Palestinian exodus, the creation of the state of Israel, and the independence of Arab countries from European control, conditions for Jews in the Arab world deteriorated. Over the next few decades, almost all would flee the Arab world, some willingly, and some under threat (see Jewish exodus from Arab lands). In 1945 there were between 758,000 and 866,000 Jews (see table below) living in communities throughout the Arab world. Today, there are fewer than 8,000. In some Arab states, such as Libya (which was once around 3% Jewish), the Jewish community no longer exists; in other Arab countries, only a few hundred Jews remain.


[edit] Modern examples

[edit] Arab League
On December 2, 1945, the newly formed Arab League Council declared a formal boycott against Jewish products. "Jewish products and manufactured goods shall be considered undesirable to the Arab countries." All Arab "institutions, organizations, merchants, commission agents and individuals" were called upon "to refuse to deal in, distribute, or consume Zionist products or manufactured goods." [20] The boycott began to wane only in the 1970s.


[edit] Saudi Arabia
A Saudi government website initially stated that Jews would not be granted tourist visas to enter the country.[21][22] It has since removed this statement, and apologized for posting "erroneous information". Members of religions other than Islam, including Jews, are not permitted to practice their religion publicly in Saudi Arabia; according to the U.S. State Department,[23] religious freedom "does not exist" in Saudi Arabia. Islam is the official religion of Saudi Arabia, and the tenets of that religion are enforced by law.

Saudi Arabian media often attacks Jews in books, news articles, at their Mosques[24] and with what some describe as antisemitic satire.[25] Saudi Arabian government officials and state religious leaders often promote the idea that Jews are conspiring to take over the entire world; as proof of their claims they publish and frequently cite The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as factual.[26][27]

One Saudi Arabian government newspaper suggested that hatred of all Jews is justifiable. "Why are they (the Jews) hated by all the people which hosted them, such as Iraq and Egypt thousands years ago, and Germany, Spain, France and the UK, up to the days they gained of power over the capital and the press, in order to rewrite the history?"[28]

Saudi textbooks vilify Jews (and Christians and non-Wahabi Muslims): according to the May 21, 2006 issue of The Washington Post, Saudi textbooks claimed by them to have been sanitized of anti-Semitism still call Jews apes (and Christians swine); demand that students avoid and not befriend Jews; claim that Jews worship the devil; and encourage Muslims to engage in Jihad to vanquish Jews.[29]


[edit] Palestinian Authority
The Hamas, an offshoot of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood, has a foundational statement of principles, or "covenant" which claims that the French revolution, the Russian revolution, colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists. It also claims the Freemasons and Rotary clubs are Zionist fronts and refers to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.[30] Claims that Jews and Freemasons were behind the French Revolution originated in Germany in the mid-19th century.[31]

Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the PLO, published a Ph.D. thesis (at Moscow University) in 1982, called The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement.[32][33] His doctoral thesis later became a book, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism, which, following his appointment as Palestinian Prime Minister in 2003, was heavily criticized as an example of Holocaust denial. In his book, Abbas wrote:

"It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand." [34][35][36]

According to Palestinian Authority religious law, selling a home or other property to Jews is a crime that carries the death penalty. The penalty also applies to real estate agents and middlemen involved in such transactions. There is a separate ban on renting out property to Jewish individuals and organizations.[37][38]


[edit] Egypt
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef has denounced what he called "the myth of the Holocaust" in defending Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of it.[39]

The Egyptian government run newspaper, Al-Akhbar, on 29 April 2002, published an editorial denying the Holocaust as a fraud. The next paragraph decries the failure of the Holocaust to eliminate all of the Jews....

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Wikipedia has a good section on anti-Semitism. The address is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Semitism for anybody that is interested. Following are some excerpts:

“Examples of antipathy to Jews and Judaism during ancient times are abundant. Statements exhibiting prejudice towards Jews and their religion can be found in the works of many pagan Greek and Roman writers.[23] There are examples of Greek rulers desecrating the Temple and banning Jewish religious practices, such as circumcision, Shabbat observance, study of Jewish religious books, etc. Examples may also be found in anti-Jewish riots in Alexandria in the 3rd century BCE. Philo of Alexandria described an attack on Jews in Alexandria in 38 CE in which thousands of Jews died.”
“From the 9th century CE, the medieval Islamic world classified Jews (and Christians) as dhimmi, and were allowed to practice their religion more freely than they could do in medieval Christian Europe. Under Islamic rule, there was a Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain that lasted until at least the 11th century,[27] when several Muslim pogroms against Jews took place in the Iberian Peninsula”

“During the Middle Ages in Europe there was persecution against Jews in many places, with blood libels, expulsions, forced conversions and massacres. A main justification of prejudice against Jews in Europe was religious. The persecution hit its first peak during the Crusades. In the First Crusade (1096) flourishing communities on the Rhine and the Danube were destroyed; see German Crusade, 1096. In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in Germany were subject to several massacres. The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds' Crusades of 1251 and 1320. The Crusades were followed by expulsions, including in, 1290, the banishing of all English Jews; in 1396, 100,000 Jews were expelled from France; and, in 1421 thousands were expelled from Austria. Many of the expelled Jews fled to Poland.[38]”

“During the mid-to-late 17th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was devastated by several conflicts, in which the Commonwealth lost over a third of its population (over 3 million people), and Jewish losses were counted in hundreds of thousands. First, the Chmielnicki Uprising when Bohdan Khmelnytsky's Cossacks massacred tens of thousands of Jews in the eastern and southern areas he controlled (today's Ukraine). The precise number of dead may never be known, but the decrease of the Jewish population during that period is estimated at 100,000 to 200,000, which also includes emigration, deaths from diseases and jasyr (captivity in the Ottoman Empire).[“

“In 1744, Frederick II of Prussia limited the number of Jews allowed to live in Breslau to only ten so-called "protected" Jewish families and encouraged a similar practice in other Prussian cities. In 1750 he issued the Revidiertes General Privilegium und Reglement vor die Judenschaft: the "protected" Jews had an alternative to "either abstain from marriage or leave Berlin" (quoting Simon Dubnow). In the same year, Archduchess of Austria Maria Theresa ordered Jews out of Bohemia but soon reversed her position, on the condition that Jews pay for their readmission every ten years. This extortion was known as malke-geld (queen's money).”

“Historian Martin Gilbert writes that it was in the 19th century that the position of Jews worsened in Muslim countries. Benny Morris writes that one symbol of Jewish degradation was the phenomenon of stone-throwing at Jews by Muslim children. Morris quotes a 19th century traveler: "I have seen a little fellow of six years old, with a troop of fat toddlers of only three and four, teaching [them] to throw stones at a Jew, and one little urchin would, with the greatest coolness, waddle up to the man and literally spit upon his Jewish gaberdine. To all this the Jew is obliged to submit; it would be more than his life was worth to offer to strike a Mahommedan.”

“In the first half of the twentieth century, in the USA, Jews were discriminated against in employment, access to residential and resort areas, membership in clubs and organizations, and in tightened quotas on Jewish enrollment and teaching positions in colleges and universities. The Leo Frank lynching by a mob of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia in 1915 turned the spotlight on antisemitism in the United States. The case was also used to build support for the renewal of the Ku Klux Klan which had been inactive since 1870.
In the beginning of 20th century, the Beilis Trial in Russia represented incidents of blood libel in Europe. Unproven rumours of Jews killing Christians were used as justification for killing of Jews by Christians.
Antisemitism in America reached its peak during the interwar period. The pioneer automobile manufacturer Henry Ford propagated antisemitic ideas in his newspaper The Dearborn Independent. The radio speeches of Father Coughlin in the late 1930s attacked Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and promoted the notion of a Jewish financial conspiracy. Such views were also shared by some prominent politicians; Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency, blamed Jews for president Roosevelt's decision to abandon the gold standard, and claimed that "in the United States today, the Gentiles have the slips of paper while the Jews have the lawful money."[

“In Nazi occupied Europe, oppressive discrimination of the Jews and denial of basic civil rights, escalated into a campaign of mass murder, culminating, from 1941 to 1945, in genocide: the Holocaust.[47] Eleven million Jews were targeted for extermination by the Nazis, and some six million were eventually killed.[48][49][47] This is seen by many as the culmination of generations of antisemitism in Europe.”

“Certain historians have noted that the New Testament, although recognized as being largely authored by Jews within a Jewish cultural context, has been singled out for its progressively antagonistic tone and hostile attitude toward Jews. Particularly, the Gospel of John has been singled out in antisemitic texts, because it includes many anti-Jewish episodes[citation needed], and it contains many references to Jews in a pejorative manner.[“

“The New Testament states that while on trial, Jesus was struck in the face by a Jewish guard for allegedly speaking ill of the high priest (John 18:20-22). Such incidents were the source[citation needed] of the myth of the wandering Jew, who was doomed to the punishment of endless roaming and suffering fated to never die.[60]
The death of Jesus, according to the New Testament, was done in brutal mockery by the Roman soldiers. Pontius Pilate's words (Matthew 27:24-25) imply that the Jews were entirely responsible for the killing. When Jesus is nailed to the cross, the New Testament states that those present mocked Jesus (Matthew 27:39); some have speculated that the unnamed individuals were in fact Jews. Further speculation states that the overall impression on Christians was that the Jews controlled the events that lead to the death of Jesus,[61] although the Roman involvement in the affair, specifically the form of execution, is attested to within the New Testament text.”

“Various definitions of antisemitism in the context of Islam are given. The extent of antisemitism among Muslims varies depending on the chosen definition:
• Scholars like Claude Cahen and Shelomo Dov Goitein define it to be the animosity specifically applied to Jews only and do not include discriminations practiced against Non-Muslims in general.[78][79][80] For these scholars, antisemitism in Medieval Islam has been local and sporadic rather than general and endemic [Shelomo Dov Goitein],[78] not at all present [Claude Cahen],[79] or rarely present.[80]
• According to Bernard Lewis, antisemitism is marked by two distinct features: Jews are judged according to a standard different from that applied to others, and they are accused of "cosmic evil."[81] For Lewis, from the late nineteenth century, movements appear among Muslims of which for the first time one can legitimately use the term anti-semitic.”
The document clearly shows that anti-Semitism has always been a problem in Europe while in the Middle East the ancient Arab and Jewish tribes were able to live relatively peaceful lives together. The conflict between the Middle Eastern tribes (Jewish and Arab) has always been over land ownership. So the present anti-Semitic behavior by the Arabs and also Arab hatred by the Jews have their roots in Jewish mass immigration to the Middle East.

The Anti-Semitism in Europe and America has subsided decisively since its peek in WWII and it is not an existential problem anymore. Jews are able to perform to the best of their abilities and have reached high positions in both government and science. Legal and social protections have made it impossible for the old anti-Semitism fever to ever come back in the Western countries.

Anti-Semitic behavior in the East has flared up since the forceful establishment of Israel. Peace can subdue this fever but peace can not be reached if it is conditioned to elimination of Anti-Semitism in the Arab world.

Since Ben Gurion’s decision to break Palestinian resistance thru application of brut force and the Arabs decision not to bend at any cost, both sides have spent all of their time and resources to fight each other. Somewhere in there they forgot how to make peace.

nisar789 Author Profile Page :

consequences will be
1)There will be sharp decline in the hatred for us in muslim community around the world.
2)Israel will try to make problems for Obama.
3)There will be growing understanding in US public that US stance to support Israel is not in the interest of the US and this support is the main reason for hatred of muslims for US.
Nisar789

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

shiveh:

Captn_Ahab,

"There are member countries in the UN that are not fond of Israel and there are members that are fond of her;"

What interests me about your post is that there is a record of institutional anti Semitism at the UN and its meetings on racism led by the Arab countries, and you do not address it or acknowledge it. It is overt, verifiable, and extant, and affects most resolutions toward Israel passed in the UN. You discount its importance by saying in passing that there are some members at the UN that like Israel and some that don't. That is not acknowledging the real politics and facts vis a vis UN resolutions, and is to a large extent being disingenuous.


"I imagine that there are some also that do not care, but if Israel is a member of UN and a signatory to it’s charter then Israel is obligated to respect her own signature and abide by the decision’s of the UN collective. The alternative would be to exit. In my book, you can not pick and choose."

Israel is not obligated to abide by resolutions, when they are clearly and overtly filled with animus and bias. That would be both stupid and suicidal. Neither the US, Russia, nor China would either, and they are also signatories. In my book, it is better to have Israel in the UN trying to improve the climate there rather than resigning and leaving it to the anti Semites among nations. Resigning because of UN resolutions such as "Zionism is racism" or attacks on Jews at UN conferences in Durban would help neither the UN nor Israel. It is to the benefit of the UN to have the US, Israel, and Canada objecting to resolutions filled with Arab animus and bias at the UN.

"It is annoying to me when I am accused of being ant-Semite. As you should have noticed as you continued to read my post, I did not dismiss anti-Semitism's role."

You may not have dismissed it, but you never seriously acknowledged it, nor its prevalence in the Arab world. You acknowledged it to the extent that it allows you to ignore its influence in the Middle Eastern politics. I would say you never seriously acknowledged what I showed you, but you minimized it.
………………………….
"You can move Palestinians including Hamas gradually and with many stumbles in the way toward final recognition but asking for recognition before the talks start is not going to get you anywhere. Just may be if Israel was as unsecure as Mullahs . . ."

I disagree with you here. Asking the Palestinian side to acknowledge reality is not asking for much. It is asking them to put aside their bias, resentment, and anti Semitism, such that they can engage in legitimate political negotiation.

Israel exists. If the Palestinians fail to recognize that and believe that denial of reality is more important than having a state, then who or what is Israel really negotiating with? This has been a 60 year war with the Palestinians continually denying reality, their dire situation, the futility of violence, and the chaos their defeats have brought them Don't you think it is time that we stop indulging their fantasies and ask them to join the real world in the name of compassion for their own children?

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Finding a few minutes in the middle of regular work to respond to a post in PG is not always an easy task, especially when there are constant interruptions. Any way, my remark regarding UN was so simplistic that for all practical matters it was nonsense. But the problem with UN remains. If you have to pick and choose, if you can pick and choose, what does UN really stands for? It looks like at this stage UN is nothing more than a club for the 5 permanent members of the SC, and a tool to be used when needed and discarded when in the way. Captn_Ahab says UN has changed but was it ever anything more?

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Captn_Ahab,

There are member countries in the UN that are not fond of Israel and there are members that are fond of her; I imagine that there are some also that do not care, but if Israel is a member of UN and a signatory to it’s charter then Israel is obligated to respect her own signature and abide by the decision’s of the UN collective. The alternative would be to exit. In my book, you can not pick and choose.

It is annoying to me when I am accused of being ant-Semite. As you should have noticed as you continued to read my post, I did not dismiss anti-Semitism's role.
………………………….
…………………………
Let me finish with an observation- Mullah’s of Iran are mostly uneducated people but with a lot of street smarts. They know the value of incremental success very well and by following the right strategy so far they have outsmarted the best think-tanks of the West and Israel. I suggest that instead of trying to dot every I and cross every T before you start the peace process, get in to it and step by step move closer to your final goal. You can move Palestinians including Hamas gradually and with many stumbles in the way toward final recognition but asking for recognition before the talks start is not going to get you anywhere. Just may be if Israel was as unsecure as Mullahs . . .

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

"Israel gets its legitimacy from UN yet discredits this institution at any chance it gets. The same UN that is used to put sanctions on Iran or attack and control Iraq is not good enough when it requires Israel to obey international norms in occupied territories. I have no doubt that UN is far from perfect and that the General Assembly is not as tame as the Security Council, but do not agree with your generalization."

The Israel that created the UN in 1947 is not the same UN that has continued to sanction it since 1967. The UN that has evolved since 1948 has evolved is an institution with a clear bias against Israel, if not overt animus toward a Jewish majority state. This is a verifiable fact. That is not to say that sometimes Israel should not be criticized for actions that are stupid or brutal. The fact is that if you don't present the reality of the UN now versus 1948 you are playing fast and loose with the facts.

"Let me be blunt here, this anti-Semitism accusation is getting more annoying every time it is used. The criticism is directed at what the government of Israel does, not who you are. It is political. It is not personal."

There are clear ways to distinguish animus from legitimate criticism. Completely dismissing a role for anti Semitism in all this, especially in the Arab world, is again to be playing fast and loose with the facts.

"Personally I am respectful and enjoy both work and play with my many Jewish friends. I share many of the Jewish values in regards to love of knowledge and general kindness toward fellow human beings and most importantly the civility that I’ve witnessed in Jewish communities. This strong affinity is mostly responsible for my interest in Israeli affairs."

I think its great that you admire Jews. I admire many Arabs and much of their culture inheritance. However, there are ways to distinguish anti Jewish feeling from legitimate criticism of Israel. It can and should be done by all discussants, and it ain't rocket science to do it.

"Having said this let me add that anti-Semitism is real and it has existed for a very long time; with mostly European roots. Most of the anti-Semitism that is pointed out these days is regarding Arabs (Moslems in general) and has a lot to do with Israel."

You are correct. Much of European anti Semitism has bee grafted on to Moslem intolerance of Jewish majority state. The Arab anti Semitism has more to do with the EXISTENCE of a Jewish majority state than its actual actions. As Israel has been militarily successful against the Arabs, their success has fanned an Arab sense of humiliation that feeds their anti Semitism Finally, since Allah's last message to Mohammed suggested the Islam has replaced Judaism and Judaism is an infider religion, it is emotionally confusing to Arabs to see a powerful Israel. This also feeds their anti Semitism.

You should really read the PLO and Hamas charters.

"You complain that Israel is being singled out while there are many more points of conflict in the world. You are correct but there are many legitimate reasons for it. One reason is that frankly many people are tired of this conflict. It has taken too long and has caused too many problems. The Idea is that the balance of power has tilted too much in Israel’s favor and she won’t make the necessary compromises for peace unless this balance has changed. Hence pressure is put on Israel."

I am really sorry that Israel's struggle to survive against Arab hostility since 1948 has tired out you and many others. Imgaine how tired the Jews in Israel must be of being constantly threatened by Arabs and now Iranians. They must be more tired than you are.

I am, however, at a loss to understand how the balance has shifted too much in favor of Israel, unless of course you believe that the Arabs should have more power to destroy Israel. Perhaps, you don't believe this has been an existential struggle.

This post is becoming too long and I believe there will be more opportunities to discuss this and other matters in the future. This is an open forum for exchange of ideas. I’ll be glad to read yours but without personal attacks please.

Pressure must be brought on BOTH parties to compromise. For instance, why is it so difficult for the Palestinians, both Hamas and Fateh to admit that Israel is a Jewish majority state. If they acknowledged that and its right to exist in peace and that were coupled with some REAL withdrawal of Israeli settlements from the West Bank we might be on our way to peace.

Suggesting that the onus is on Israel alone completely misunderstands the conflict.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Salamon

I agree with you for the most part. If the cost of production exceeds what the market will pay to recover the oil, tar sands, oil shale etc., then obviously, there is no sense trying to recover the oil or oil equivalent (tar sands, etc.) unless the government subsidizes the energy source - like ethanol. Ethanol should not even be developed because we have to subsidize it for producers to make any money, and it takes farmland out of food production.

Depletion of oil - as you have pointed out - will cause the price of oil to increase. In fact, in the not too distant future, the price of oil could skyrocket and alternative energy supplies will become economically feasible. Gas prices will go up and electric cars or hybrids will become a better investment for automakers. Obviously, the Canadian government has to subsidize the production of oil sands now, but that will not be the case when oil reaches greater than $85 per barrel. Its at about fifty dollars now. Maybe oil will have to reach $120/barrel to enable a cost effective recovery of 60-70% of oil fields?

None of this says we should not continue to look for more oil and natural gas, however. Its still the cheapest energy available - and it will be for awhile yet. If nothing else, it will stall the inevitable price climb expected from the shortage of oil.

China and India will put a lot of pressure on the price of oil in the near future, however, this will certainly affect their energy consumption habits just like us so developing nations will be forced to adjust their use of oil as well.

Overall, your point is well made concerning shortages of energy in the future.

None of the above, however, will force Israel to accept a one state solution.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Tom,

You are right. I think that is what I said too.

If you are referring to my claim that the original Zionist’s concerns are not relevant anymore, let me emphasis that the anti-Semitism is under control thru legislation in all of the hot spots that the Zionists were concerned about (Europe.) The recent flare-ups are caused by Israel’s perceived excesses. Clearly “cause” can not be considered the “cure”.

There is much truth in your post regarding what terrorism has accomplished for the Palestinians. I have to agree that Palestinians have been their own worst enemies throughout this conflict.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Captn_Ahab

Nice try Captain. The comments you dissected were in response to your sarcasm pointed at me. You wrote, "I'm not anti Semitic. I just think Israel has no right to exist and should be held to a different standard than all other nations." I used your own style in my reply to show it works both ways. And also because it was fun!!

Let’s put all of our cards on the table. I believe Israel sometimes does as she pleases with little regard for world opinion and she does it because she receives too much unconditional support from her powerful allies. It is one thing to act on your legitimate interests, it is quite another to bully others because you can. The West Bank is criss-crossed by roads that are closed to local residents; it is being systematically annexed thru settlements; walls separate farmers from their farms and houses get bulldozed at will. These actions prolong the status quo and impede any peace movement.

Israel gets its legitimacy from UN yet discredits this institution at any chance it gets. The same UN that is used to put sanctions on Iran or attack and control Iraq is not good enough when it requires Israel to obey international norms in occupied territories. I have no doubt that UN is far from perfect and that the General Assembly is not as tame as the Security Council, but do not agree with your generalization.

Let me be blunt here, this anti-Semitism accusation is getting more annoying every time it is used. The criticism is directed at what the government of Israel does, not who you are. It is political. It is not personal. Personally I am respectful and enjoy both work and play with my many Jewish friends. I share many of the Jewish values in regards to love of knowledge and general kindness toward fellow human beings and most importantly the civility that I’ve witnessed in Jewish communities. This strong affinity is mostly responsible for my interest in Israeli affairs. Let me admit that sometimes it makes me write most absurd statements too; like a few days ago on this tread when I said ‘ … I’m just a guy that is not happy with seeing Israel representing all of the Jewish people.” I understand that many Jews do not make a distinction between Israel and the Jewish people. But that is an inside view and may not be even very accurate. I make a distinction between 15 million Jews around the world and a few thousand that directly run Israel. I may disagree with many of the Israel’s actions regarding her neighbors, but I’m pleased with the prosperity and progress that the Jewish population of Israel has brought to that barren piece of land. Having said this let me add that anti-Semitism is real and it has existed for a very long time; with mostly European roots. Most of the anti-Semitism that is pointed out these days is regarding Arabs (Moslems in general) and has a lot to do with Israel.

You complain that Israel is being singled out while there are many more points of conflict in the world. You are correct but there are many legitimate reasons for it. One reason is that frankly many people are tired of this conflict. It has taken too long and has caused too many problems. The Idea is that the balance of power has tilted too much in Israel’s favor and she won’t make the necessary compromises for peace unless this balance has changed. Hence pressure is put on Israel.

This post is becoming too long and I believe there will be more opportunities to discuss this and other matters in the future. This is an open forum for exchange of ideas. I’ll be glad to read yours but without personal attacks please.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Shiveh

Anti Semitism does occur because of Israel. That was shown conclusively to be the case during the war in Gaza. There is no reason for that to be the case, however. Jews world-wide shouldn’t be held responsible for the acts of Israel anymore than Muslims should be held accountable for the acts of Hamas. That’s anti Semitism at its core. Some Jews aren’t even Zionist, and many Jews are completely opposed to the West Bank settlements.

It should be noted that Israel does not attack Muslims anywhere in the world for terrorist acts committed by Hamas or the PLO (under Arafat).

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

shiveh:

“I do as it pleases me. I disregard all UN resolutions. I believe I should be held to the lowest denominator of decency standards because there are bad people around. If you are critical of my actions I’ll scream bigotry. Because I can’t be judged; either love me or you hate me.”
“I do as it pleases me. I disregard all UN resolutions."

“I do as it pleases me."

1. ALL sovereign nations do what is in there best interests, and act to defend themselves against overt aggression with the force available to them.

2. "I disregard all UN resolutions."
The UN has an overt and verifiable bias against Israel, and much of it comes from its Arab members. You may remember the Zionism is racism resolution. I suggest you get real. As you well know, the UN has been openly anti Semitic. Have you followed the two recent UN Meetings on Racism in Durban? Decent countries were forced to walk out last month because of the overt anti Semitism at this UN meeting, and this is nothing new.
You are in denial.

3. "I believe I should be held to the lowest denominator of decency standards because there are bad people around."

Actually, Israel holds itself to a rather high standard, which is pretty decent and above that of most nations, especially its neighbors. Check the record and you will see. If the Palestinians do not like being battered they should not call for and provoke a war. This has been going on for 60 years based on the Arab/Islamic world's complete rejection of any Jewish majority nation in the region. Of course, war is an ugly business, and the Israelis have been brutal at times. Better not to provoke a militarily superior enemy, unless you enjoy the fruits of the propaganda from the consequences.

3. "If you are critical of my actions I’ll scream bigotry."

That is nonsense. Even paranoids have enemies. The facts show that the Arabs are terribly anti Semitic, as well as much of the UN. Sorry, if you have a hard time with that. It doesn't change the facts. Beyond that, Israel is subject to lots of criticism. Sometimes it is valid and sometimes it is anti Semitic. The fact that you make that generalization says more about you, than the reality surrounding your accusation.

4. "Because I can’t be judged; either love me or you hate me.”
“I do as it pleases me. I disregard all UN resolutions."

Israel is judged all the time; however, as with any sovereign nation it will do what it sees as in its best interest. Most nations including the US will say the same. Why should Israel be judged differently????

As you well know, the UN has been openly anti Semitic. Have you followed the two recent UN Meetings on Racism in Durban? Decent countries were forced to walk out last month because of the overt anti Semitism

You need to get a grip on reality.

AMviennaVA Author Profile Page :

blund & Captn_Ahab: Speaking as a Christian, though I am not of the fundamentalist cliques, I must note that Chrisians in the area have coexisted with Muslims for thousands of years, literally. However, within 30 years of British control, and simultaneously with Israel's founding, they have become 'stateless' refugees. In Iraq of course, most of the Christian population became refugees within 3 years of US arrival. For the record, please note that the Christian populations in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran are still active.

It seems to me that intolerance is not peculiar to Muslims; but that Israel and US-British rule have been disastrous.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Captn_Ahab

“I do as it pleases me. I disregard all UN resolutions. I believe I should be held to the lowest denominator of decency standards because there are bad people around. If you are critical of my actions I’ll scream bigotry. Because I can’t be judged; either love me or you hate me.”

AMviennaVA Author Profile Page :

slim2 posted "Americans might just get to see who is the dog and who is the tail." We are the dog. Afterall, last January the US vetoed a US resolution at the UN because Israel objected to it!

AMviennaVA Author Profile Page :

What would be the consequences of a breach between the US and Israel? For the US, none of consequence. For Israel either a disaster or an actual peace arrangement.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

shiveh:

You've got it all backwards.

Anti Semitism existed long before Israel.

Israel is just a new excuse for that old time religion.

"I'm not anti Semitic. I just think Israel has no right to exist and should be held to a different standard than all other nations."

ROFL!!!

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

I’m sorry Tom but I can not stop thinking about Salamon’s energy equation at its relation to Israel and Anti-Semitism!! He says if you have to put more energy in than what you get out, it is time to stop. I mean isn’t it because of Israel that most of the Anti-Semitic acts happen!?

Thanks for the reply Captn_Ahab

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

shiveh:

I agree with you that continued building of settlements in the West Bank inflames the Palestinians and impedes progress toward peace. However, no real peace will ever be possible until Hamas and Fateh accept Israel as a Jewish state. This is especially true for Hamas. As long as they insist that the liberation of all of Mandate Palestine is their goal and they continue to embrace the philosophy that any deal with Israel is an intermediate step toward eventually destroying Israel, there can be no peace. Their popularity is partially based on their social services, but their militancy and willingness to kill Jews also enhances their popularity. Peace will need to be a two way street. It will require Israel withdrawing settlements from the West Bank, but it will also require real proof that the Palestinians have relinquished their desire to destroy a Jewish majority state and their institutionalized anti Semitism. Saying that the problem is the occupation, is a way of avoiding what the Palestinians must do to achieve peace. They must want to live side by side PEACEFULLY with a JEWISH MAJORITY Israel. All else is commentary and propaganda.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

TOM:

Oil start here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5395

With respect to Canadain oil sands while the resource is of unknown size [extremely big] recoverable segment is much smaller, and is very energy demanding [limitations are availabilty of water, natural gas and tremendous capital; cost never mind the problem of CO2] resent cost of transporting out put to Texas for refining is approx $17 / barrel. breakeven cost for new investment is approx 85 dollar per barrel - the above information is the best available from Calgary [I live 60 miles from there]. At present Alberta does not get royalties form any of the operations, not withstanding over 1 mil barrel daily production.

With the best present technology only 35% of oil is recoverable from standard oil fields [less in certain others]. Technologies semm to indicate that extremme investment may boost same to 60-70%, however energy cost of investment/operation might be more than eenrgy gained from the process - THIS IS THE LIMITING FACTOR ON ALL NATURAL ENERGY RESOURCES - energy in and energy out.

For your information maximum oil production was in 2005 [including opil sands], maximum liquid production was in 2008, with all major fields declining, in case of Cantrell [Mexico] it is 30% per annum at present.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Shiveh

A plot was uncovered by the FBI to bomb four synagogues in New York (NYT this morning).

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Salamon

You are listening to Al Gore, and watching too many of his movies. Can you say for sure that we have reached peak oil yet? The answer is no. We may not reach peak oil for another twenty years. However, the coming shortage of oil will drive prices up which will make alternative energy supplies more cost effective. The US can mitigate the effects of peak oil by planning for the future, and that includes conservation as well as developing new energy sources like offshore oil deposits, ANWR, oil shale etc. Forget carbon production - that’s a total waste of time because third world countries are not interested in reducing their carbon production. China is now the largest producer of carbon in the world.

Electric cars, for example, will bring the demand for oil way down. Just the sudden recent raise of gas prices at the pump in the US sent demand way down and dropped the price of gas to less the $2 per gallon from almost $5 per gallon. About 55% of oil use comes from transportation (70% in the US).

Current reserves of Li may be found mostly in Bolivia, but increased demand will may exploration for Li more cost-effective - as well as lower grade deposits more economic (as the price of Li is driven higher by demand). Just like gold, the high price of gold has resulted in world-wide exploration and made low grade recovery economically viable. It’s a little early to say that Bolivia will completely control supplies of Lithium, or that alternatives for Lithium in batteries might become more cost effective. In addition, Bolivia - like the oil producers - will be happy to sell Li to anyone.

There will not be 15,000,000 million people in Israel so how the Palestinians are fed will be entirely up to their own “leadership” which means they will continue to sacrifice their own children warring with their neighbor and collecting international welfare to eat.

Palestine will not be a single state because of economic or energy considerations, but only if an international boycott forces Israel like South Africa (political driven). That won’t happen, however.

Food shortages may come about, but because of idiotic subsidies like ethanol which takes food out of the system and forcing prices up.

Nothing will force a single state solution in the near future. Nothing.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

What terrorism has accomplished for the Palestinians

Has terrorism worked for the Palestinians? Yes and no. Its worked - but not in the way expected. Terrorism has, in fact, done nothing to further the Palestinian cause, and, in reality, its cost them in land, economic opportunity and a peaceful settlement i.e., the two state solution. Israel has not been forced by violence to return to the 1967 borders. On the contrary, the Israelis have encroached into the West Bank, and built a wall (on Palestinian land) to curtail suicide bombings and they continue to increase the size of their settlements. Israel is booming economically. No one can argue that terrorism has done anything to help the Palestinian cause.

So what has worked for the Palestinians? Misery. Just plain old everyday misery. The leaders of the Palestinians understand and exploit Palestinian misery for propaganda purposes. The more desperate the Palestinians appear, the more the international community rallies to their aid. Disproportionate responses by the Israel military have worked wonders for the Palestinian cause. The more killed the better.

Clearly, Hamas understood the ramifications of launching hundreds of rockets into Siderot shortly after the cease fire expired in 2008. They knew that Israel would respond harshly. Hamas knew that many more Palestinians would be killed than Israelis. Hamas planned and exploited the carnage with the full knowledge that the Palestinian people always suffer the consequences of Palestinian terrorism. The approximate 100:1 Palestinian to Israeli death ratio couldn’t have been written any better by a Palestinian propaganda fiction writer. Protest were conducted world-wide. Muslims were incensed. Anti Semitic acts of retribution against Jewish interest spiked - especially in Europe. The media and the UN condemned Israel.

The Palestinians are economically (and politically) dysfunctional. The squalid economic conditions and the dependence on international welfare serve the same purpose. The Palestinians don’t get enough food, or medical supplies. Unemployment has skyrocketed. The international community is incensed by the conditions in Gaza, and Israel is blamed. Ironically, Gaza is compared to the Warsaw ghetto. Israel is accused of genocide. Israel is charged with racism. Israel is compared to former apartheid state, South Africa.

The “elected” leaders in Gaza plan and exploit misery for propaganda purposes - and its working.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

Yeolds:

This is a funny thread. I provide history and citations supporting history and all that comes back are the same tired unsupported shibboleths accepted like they are facts.

OK let's look at the misconceptions you posted.

"If Jews have a right to return to Israel, on land which was stolen form Arabs via colonization.
by the Greaqt powers, why can not have the Palestinians have the same right of return?"

Israel was not stolen from Arabs. Israel was created by a UN partition in 1947. That partition gave Israel land that was predominantly Jewish settled, and Palestinians land that was predominantly Arab settled. Most of the Palestine Mandate was given to the Arabs in the 1920s and is now called Jordan (70% Palestinian). Take a look at the map and see how little land the Jews actually have.

In addition, this was not a colonial enterprise, as there is no metropole and no provision of resources or labor to a mother country. Israel is the result of a nationalist movement. Countries are created by immigration and wars of independence throughout history. Thus, despite the Arab protestations, Israel is not unique among nations, except that it was created by a vote of the community of nations, the UN.

The Palestinians have no right of return, because Israel is a sovereign nation which can control its own immigration policies. If the Arabs hadn't started a war in 1948 there would have been no refugees. There would have been a Palestinian state.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

Shiveh:
your note to captn is very good.

Points you could have included:
If Jews have a right to return to Israel, on land which was stolen form Arabs via colonisation by the Greaqt powers, why can not have th3e Pqlestinians have the same right of return? you note that the European etc Jews are many generation removed from Palestine Mandate, while the refugee Palestiinas are away but 61 years.

The other point worth mentioning is thaa Hams grew in power due to Israeli/USe effort and finances to undermine the PLO, .

Disregarding Hamas at this point is not possible, and there is no time for USA/Israel attempt to create a new Palestininan organization. Fatah is DOA as of January, when the Presidential mandate expired.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Captn_Ahab,

For any peace agreement to be sustainable, grievances of all involved parties must be addressed. How do you think the right of return demand (ridicules or not) should be addressed? Do you think that the government should completely disregard this demand or try to purchase the right by suggesting some sort of payoff? Do you have a specific area in mind when suggesting a land swap? What compromises are acceptable in Jerusalem?

I believe that the animosities between Palestinians and Israelis in the area can not end overnight by signing any peace document. A peace agreement should be viewed as a starting point for gradual reduction of hostilities thru trust building cooperative programs that can visibly improve the standard of living in the Arab areas. 10 Years is a long time; with the right approach, Palestinians may find the benefits of peace with Israel just too good to let go of!

Hamas popularity among Palestinians is a result of their social work programs. The helping hand they extend to the Arab communities is much needed and appreciated. The way to confront them is by reducing the need and offering other avenues for help. This can be done only in a peaceful environment. So, just maybe instead of trying to solve the Hamas problem before agreeing on peace, we should agree on peace (even if it involves Hamas) before we solve the Hamas problem.

The settlements are a huge obstacle to any peace agreement. As long as the current policy is continued, it is hard to convince the feuding parties that Israel is really for peace. The first steps for peace should be taken by freezing the settlements and opening the economic lifelines of the West Bank and Gaza. The trick is in continuing the process after the first violent acts committed by forces opposed to it. What do you think?

yeolds Author Profile Page :

TOM:

It is easy to get both Israel and Palestine to have thier respective nominal seat of governemnt in Jerusalem [e.g. President]:

The UN declares that Jerusalem is a world heritage site [reasonable, for it is the center of major religions encompassing approx 1/2 of world's population] and as such it is sovereign unto itself under UN rule,, with free access to any citizen of the world.

With respect to world economy in a few years hence, consider that basic food prices explode [weather, global warming changes], oil is at $200 or more a barrel [probably loss of 10 million barrels a day] and all metal prices reflect that resources are running out [some only have 5-10 years' supply left] Li is essentially controlled by Bolivia [or another S. American state] and China - thus the control of electric cars. airplane travel very dear and restricted, the sealanes getting less crowded as buker oil very expensive, etc..

So tell me how the USA or ISrael or any other country will be able to devote so much money to war making and armed forces. After you answered this you can show me how Israel will be self-sufficient with 15 000 000+ in the old Palestine Mandate.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

If behind the scenes negotiations between the Arab leaders and between King Abdullah and President Obama yield a modified Arab plan that alters the ridiculous Palestinian demands for right of return, proposes reasonable swaps on territory, and some acceptable compromise on Jerusalem the Arab plan could become a way forward toward peace. It would become a plan that would finally allow the rational Arab states to acknowledge Israel as a neighbor and allow the Palestinians a state. The wild card remains Hamas. If Hamas would currently win an election in the West Bank, then it is difficult to see a way forward in the near future. Any so called 10 year armistice with Hamas, while a state is formed, would only be a 10 year hiatus for Hamas to build a guerrilla infrastructure in the new Palestinian entity. It would also be a state in which a general Palestinian resentment and hostility continues to be fostered by Islamist terrorists in the new state. How to get around Hamas is something that is not discussed.

nealhugh Author Profile Page :

Let's see now:
The US sent the Liberty to near Egypt-Israel in '67 and Israel attacked/disabled the ship.
Pollard is still in jail.

If you know the answers to the above---why? in both cases---then you may have info we don't.

With the info we have now, there is hope that there will be peace in the ME...and Iran WILL NOT
test a nuc.

Obama is strong and good...so let's give it all a chance.

Anything that hurts Israel from anywhere, inside or out, is bad. We will all be watching.

Best, Neal

Neal H. Hurwitz
NY, NY

former Ass't. Nat'l. FR Director, UJA, Inc.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Bob

Sorry, I missed your question.

"...You already know I don't think there's a chance of peace breaking out in the ME until one side or the other finally prevails. However, just as an academic exercise let's try this. Israel agrees to move back inside their pre-1967 war borders. We turn Jerusalem into an international city under UN control. NATO agrees to secure the borders of Israel and go to war with any country that attacks Israel. Do you think there's a chance Israel would accept such a deal?..."

No. Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, however, Jerusalem must also necessarily be the capital of a Palestinian state (and they should settle for nothing less). They must split Jerusalem. How? I don't know.

As I've mentioned, the biggest fear of a new Palestinian state (for Israel) is that Hamas will eventually rule, thus, Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

That's the way I see it, but you will most likely be right.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Bob

I knew if I kept attacking the left, you would eventually respond. I am not, however, attacking Democrats who are really very strong supporters of Israel - the main reason that PAW doesn’t see any change in US policy. This is one time I actually agree with the Democratic Party.

I am attacking the European and Canadian left more than the US left which is clearly more conservative than their counterparts (with the exception of the moveon.org crowd).

“…Thank God for liberals. Without them you won't even have a reason to get of bed…”

I agree whole heartedly with that statement although you have personally condemned women to cultural discriminatory practices with your stand on cultural relativism. I hope you remember this particular statement in the future. Unfortunately, liberalism is dominated by an intolerant, hateful strain of far left “liberals”(?) - which is anything but liberalism in my opinion. I just want real liberalism to return - a real concern for human and civil rights. Take back “liberalism“, Bob.

PS Japan was a brutal WWII opponent - and defended themselves remarkably well for such a small island nation. Their whole country was fanatical and more than willing to die for their cause. Unfortunately, their brutality left a mark everywhere they went. Their refusal to consider an unconditional surrender resulted in the nukes. They turned their energy to their economy and today, they are a great ally to the US and the idea of a democracy.

blund Author Profile Page :

YEOLDS,

You're picking on the resident Zionist. Tsk, tsk. I've already picked on him enough for all of us.

PS: Captn, I'd drop Japan from your line of thinking. They didn't defend themselves very well in WWII and haven't had much of a military since. The sovreignty you see today in Japan was a reflection of MacArthur's vision. Not a great example.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Salamon

“…Without Uncle Sam, Israel does not have the moneys and armaments for wars, thus will settle for the one state solution….”

That’s the most asinine, head in the sand, unrealistic and absurd statement that you can make. How is taking on an international welfare state going to improve their economy to begin with? That would be like the US annexing Mexico (OK, we could use the oil, but nothing else).

yeolds Author Profile Page :

captn_ahab:

you, Sir, seem to live in some dreamland, else you are not reading the various post available on the net on economics and resource availability.

To repeat: Israel will have economic constraint on her ability to fund IDF, to fund "police actions" in occupied territories, and to feed her 6+ million inhabitants, for the simple reason that the whole world will be restrained by lack of cheap energy.

It takes 10 years [at least] to redevelop the USA power supply and distribution system at a cost which does not appear to be financially available within the USA, for the tremmendous costs of DoD, wars and federal, state, county and city deficits, unfunded medicare, social security etc. Without Uncle Sam, Israel does not have the moneys and armaments for wars, thus will settle for the one state solution.

The only countries which can redevelop their energy situations are those which have cash - this excludes Uncle Sam, most of W. Europe and Israel among developed nations, leaving China [command efconomy, they decide to build, no one can stop them and have the cash], Russia, has the natural resources and command economy, and the Persian Gulf States.

Neither USa nor Israel can afford their military industrial complexxes, for allmost all natural resources have to be purchased off shore, at a time that the states will be in economic constraints.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

Yeolds:

Economic constraints will never destroy Israeli sovereignty. Just like America or Japan, Israel can and will defend its sovereignty and use economic measures to redefine their economic strength. It is actually the Palestinian Arabs who will eventually be most constrained by economic issues, and perhaps prodded to settle by continuing economic chaos. Unless they can attract investment and build a robust economic base, they will continue to be a global beggar people.

Agreeing to the best settlement they could get with Israel will lead to the economic investment that would come with political stability. In addition, if they can submerge their hatred and resentment of a Jewish state, they could make an economic partnership with a regional economic powerhouse that is their next door neighbor. The Arabs have yet to get to the point where will they will cease nibbling at their noses to spite their faces. The more they nibble the less nose they have left, and the worse deal for land they will be left with.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Tom,

Happy to get the old reasonable Tom back.

Now that you agree that I’m not a Hamas loving Anti America leftist bigot, let me tell you who I am! I’m just a guy that is not happy with seeing Israel representing all of the Jewish people. Simple and Clear.

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

I'm so happy to see you sparing no amount of words to attack the left. I'm shocked. I thought with your new found sense of humor you were leaning our way.

I'm very liberal and I don't hate America. I have repeatedly said how much I love America. I don't even know any liberals who hate America who reside here. European liberals may hate America for not being liberal enough. I have to admit I get the biggest kick out of you trying to call all liberals American haters. Not just because it's a mornonic statement, but more so because it's so old and worn out. It's kind of like this. We're republicans and we don't have a clue what we stand for, but at least we don't hate America. In essence this is the minority party in the US calling the majority party un-American and you wonder why people just laugh at it?

If you want to go down the road of demonizing the Muslims and Sainting the Israeli's go ahead. Of course the price you pay for such a one sided view of the world is rational people think you've lost touch with reality. Oh, that's right you are a conservative so reality doesn't have any meaning.

The problem with the conservative movement (and I'll throw all republicans into this classification) is they have lost their roots and don't have a clue what they stand for today. The only thing they seem to agree on any longer is attacking liberals for anything and everything no matter how ludicrous. There's no platform left. There's no voice left. There isn't even a vision left. Without their unified attacks against liberals there wouldn't even be a reason for their existance today. Thank God for liberals. Without them you won't even have a reason to get of bed.

On the issue of human rights I hope this was a joke. Coming from the party of torture talking about human rights seems rather disingenuous. Oh that's right, the republicans are the party of the disingenuous.

Now that I've made my attempt at evening out your anti-liberal tirade let's move on to the topic. Both sides in the Israeli/Palestinian/Arab/Muslim conflict have acted badly. Israel is fighting each and everyday for it's very existance. They have acted heavy handed and for cause. Any perceived weaknesses will be immediately exploited by the other side. When the Palestinians kill 3 or 4 Israeli's over a 3 or 4 year period (they must have terrible rockets) Israel responds and kills 1,100 Palestinians in a week.

You already know I don't think there's a chance of peace breaking out in the ME until one side or the other finally prevails. However, just as an academic exercise let's try this. Israel agrees to move back inside their pre-1967 war borders. We turn Jerusalem into an international city under UN control. NATO agrees to secure the borders of Israel and go to war with any country that attacks Israel. Do you think there's a chance Israel would accept such a deal?

yeolds Author Profile Page :

TOM:

You misunderstood my posating to Mike. I am far from bitter, perhaps a realist with respect to economy and history - have read lots in the past.

In fact I am an optimist regarding individuals of whatever color creed or sexual orientation etc. Deeply distrustful of spin doctors, neo-con or liberal, and have great loathing for self [or elite] promoting politicians. I do maintain that social democracy is as close as one can get to UTOPIA taking human nature into consideration.

I resent prognisticators who diesregard the evidence of facts on the ground.

I understand your strong desire for a successful Jewsih State, and do not have any negative feeling towards you, as a person. However, I regret that you do not go and do more research on peak oil, energy production costs versus recoverable benefits, be it gas oil, coal, tidal, solar, biomass or anything else.

I am aware that you are capable of fine research - at least points which substantiate your view point. I regret that you semmingly have neglected to read daily at http://www.theoildrum.com which is written by energy workers energy researchers and collates energy related data from world over. For without understanding the intimate correlation between energy and standard of living, its effects if cheap energy becomes obsolate, you will never have a realist view of the future.

Aside from the above, I did clearly state that two state solution is possible, IF AND ONLY IF, that comes about in 2-3 or 5 years, thereafter there will be no choice caused by ECONOMIC CONSTRAINTS.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Salamon

“…I understand your frustation regarding your experience with "white" culture. This culture - or rather some subsection thereof -over time has tried and succeeded to enslave all others [ and at times the less fortunate white people] based on minor details as the amount of menoline [??? - ther dark pigment] in their skin….”

You are the bitterest Hungarian I’ve ever met. Do all Hungarians blame whites for all the world’s ills, Salamon?

“…Oil and Gas are in terminal decline, coal [based on ENERGY cost of pruduction vs. ENERGY GAINED] is limited to some 30 odd years [on the same basis that some oil can not be produced, for the energy requisite for production is more than the energy gained]…”

Has oil even reached “peak” production, Salamon? Dire shortages have been predicted for years. The tar sands in Canada may contain the equivalent of one trillion barrels of oil (and is in production). The oil sands of Utah and Colorado also may contain a significant amount of equivalent oil. The price in oil will increase, however.

That’s why its so important to keep drilling to increase reserves (like in Alaska, or the continental shelf), but the enviro-wackos right now are controlling the Democratic party.

“… Soon Isreal will not be able to afford IDF [as the USA can not afford DoD and related expenses] - at that point voluntary one statehood might be more desirable with its inherent problems, than taking chance on more war [sans nuclear issues -which is suicide] than trying to keep up with the finances of OPEC - the source of 40+% of future cheap energy…”

I cannot believe that you keep predicting a one-state solution, Salamon. No matter how bad the Israeli economy gets, they will NOT become minorities in their own state - subject to the rule of the Palestinians (Hamas?). Instantly, five million Jews would be on a boat to anywhere. The Israeli economy, however, is strong. The IDF will not disband. Your prediction is more hope than reality.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Shiveh

Sorry, but it took three paragraphs to explain why I believe that Israel is constantly referred to as an apartheid and racist state - and it’s the “left” that has made that label stick, for example, Virginia Tilley. I think its just meant to simplify a complex conflict and vilify Israel. Again I apologize, but in my opinion, the left is not driven by the human rights (at least entirely).

Israel is held to a different standard than all other countries on earth. From Palestinian civilian casualties to their democracy, no other country gets that kind of scrutiny, or is held to a higher standard. They are considered the number one threat to world peace and blamed for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism - especially by the “left“.

The last war in Gaza proved that Israel is held to a much different standard than anyone else. Compare the response from the war in Gaza to the wars in Chechnya or Sri Lanka. Do you even remember the Chechnya conflicts (over 100,000 civilians killed)? You even blame Zionism for the possibility of a nuclear war. Why not Arab intransigence? Why not take Ahmadinejad’s threats to destroy Israel more seriously? Iran is not even an Arab state.

“…Their main goal was to establish a homeland for the Jewish people so they could live in peace and safe from persecution and Anti-Semitism. I mentioned that this quest has caused a series of events that have brought mayhem and carnage to both Jews and Arabs in the area and may end in a nuclear nightmare. And I basically asked if the initial goals are still relevant and if the project has been a net positive or a net negative for the Jewish people…”

Well, I guess that depends on who you ask, but whether the idea of a Jewish state is relevant or not - and I believe that it still is - this question should not be forced on the state of Israel by people hell-bent on answering that question for them. Do you believe that the Jews would get a fair shake in a single state? Consider that there are zero Arab democracies. Consider also that one of the main arguments against the war in Iraq has been, you can’t force democracy on people, and wasn’t it Stanley Fish of the New York Times that suggested some people(s) may not want democracy. Consider the bitterness toward Israel displayed not only by the Arabs, but by people all over the world. The British determined as early as 1937 that a single state solution was not viable. I think that a single state will possibly come to fruition in the future, but not anytime soon. There is far too much hate and differences to reconcile at this point in time.

In addition, anti Semitism is still alive and well in the world today. The war in Gaza has brought that to the surface. All Jews are blamed for the actions of Israel. And, as has been pointed out in the past, polls show that many Europeans believe that Jews bear the responsibility for the collapse of the financial markets. The idea of a Jewish state is still appears relevant - at least to me.

“…You call Israel a country that is biased towards a religion and a race. Here in America we do not stand for even the smallest hint of such bias in our social and legal contracts. I would think questioning our support for a country that defers from us in this regard makes me respectful of the American system rather than an America hater. I also believe that no country is a democracy unless it respects the rights of its minorities with the most basic among them being the right to become the majority…”

Protection of minorities is the highest priority of western democracies and liberalism. That’s the main reason for the creation of Israel - not colonialism. Remember the west celebrates multiculturalism which is the recognition of other cultures, peoples, religions and races (Chinatown, for example). Why should we draw a line at the creation of a Jewish state, but accept the Organization of the Islamic Conference which is comprised of 57 countries? Why not question the creation of the terror-supporting Islamic state of Pakistan? Was the creation of Pakistan a mistake? Should Pakistan be dissolved and become a part of India again? Another application of a single state solution. Would it be viable? Is it just plain idiotic to even suggest it?

Also, you should credit the US for recognizing a state for the Muslims in Kosovo. In supporting the new state of Kosovo, the US fully recognizes that ethnicity and religiosity forms a basis for a state - which is consistent with the idea of Israel and Pakistan. Note that it was protection of the Muslim minority in Bosnia and Kosovo which led to our involvement in that region to begin with.

Sorry if you were offended by the last post, but that’s the way I visualize the world today - right or wrong. When I said that Liberalism has been hijacked by the radical left, that doesn’t include all liberals anymore that neo-conservatism includes all conservatives. The radical left, however, is a vocal group and, unfortunately, they hold considerable influence in the world today - just like neoconservatives did after 911.

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

I'm not Jewish, I'm not Muslim and I don't live in the ME. I have no axe to grind with either the Muslims or the Jews.

I have maintained I believe Israel was located in the wrong part of the world simply because I believe the Muslim/Arabs have a better claim and because of the constant fighting that has existed. If I thought the Jews had a better claim I would state it and say the fighting was even more stupid then it is.

I'm not asking you to agree with me. I know you are an ardent supporter of Israel. I already know you'll slant history in your favor as will a Muslim in theirs. I already know you feel the Israelis can do no wrong and everything is the Muslims fault. I already know the Muslims feel they can do no wrong and it's all the Israelis fault.

There are zealots on both sides and I'm not one of them. Repeatedly accusing me of bias for not taking sides and caring who wins is rather idiotic, don't you think?

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Tom,

This time your response is way off! Simple questions require simple answers. Bundling liberal bias with Tamil murders and adding leftist Anti American flavor to any dislike of Israeli policies can only mean desperation to me.

Let’s make a few points clear.
1. Questioning Israeli policies does not make anybody anti-American.
2. Labels like left and right are meaningless generalizations. Great majority of people with political views do not fit in any of the 2 constraints.
3. Critiquing Israeli policies does not make anybody a leftist, a bigot or a Jew hater.
4. Disliking Israeli policies does not automatically make anybody a supporter of the Palestinian cause.

In this forum we had an extensive debate about Israel a few months ago. Historical facts were presented and both sides of the conflict were thoroughly examined. I assumed people interested in that debate had enough to make up their minds. So today I did not mean to start that debate again. If you look at my questions once more, you can see that I’m looking at the subject from a different perspective. Zionists started the quest for Israel to achieve defined goals. Their main goal was to establish a homeland for the Jewish people so they could live in peace and safe from persecution and Anti-Semitism. I mentioned that this quest has caused a series of events that have brought mayhem and carnage to both Jews and Arabs in the area and may end in a nuclear nightmare. And I basically asked if the initial goals are still relevant and if the project has been a net positive or a net negative for the Jewish people.

Wasn’t it easier (and proper) to answer these simple questions instead of accusing me of being an America hater leftist who loves Hamas and despises anything resembling democracy and the Jews? It is arrogant to question any country’s right to exist. But is it arrogant to ask if the Zionists achieved the goals they had before the country was established? Is it arrogant to question if these goals are still relevant?

You call Israel a country that is biased towards a religion and a race. Here in America we do not stand for even the smallest hint of such bias in our social and legal contracts. I would think questioning our support for a country that defers from us in this regard makes me respectful of the American system rather than an America hater. I also believe that no country is a democracy unless it respects the rights of its minorities with the most basic among them being the right to become the majority. That is why I ask if Israel has an apartheid system.

The world is full of countries that harm their people. There are many people in different regions of this world that are being shamefully treated by criminal despots. But there is only on conflict that can bring the whole world into the brink of destruction.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Shiveh

Well, I can see that people are getting a little more heated up on this question. Its about time.

Let me answer your series of questions in a round about way. I’m highly suspicious of the left, and what motivates them. I’ve posted it numerous times. The left has changed, and human rights is no longer the priority that once was the hallmark of the left**. Today, the left is driven by anti Americanism - thus, they are anti Israel. The left views the two as one (US support of Israel). Many leftist are totally obsessed by their hatred of the US and Israel. Do liberals even care that several thousand civilians were killed in the Sri Lanka civil war? Most are not interested that 10,000 Sri Lankan civilians were killed, but will scream genocide when 800 Palestinian civilians are killed in Gaza - and Hamas started the conflict. The left is “selectively” morally outraged, but its not because of the human rights of the Palestinians.

One of the strangest bedfellows in politics is the alignment of the left and the Islamists - especially as it pertains to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Europe is the classic example, but the far left in the US is another example. Liberals (who I will lump in with the left) make every attempt to label Israel the worst possible violators of human rights to justify their support for an antidemocratic terrorist organization that routinely targets and murders children and pregnant women, and seeks the destruction of an internationally recognized state. Hamas, in every sense of the word, is “antithetical” to liberal values, and frankly, nothing but a two bit civilian targeting terrorist organization as defined by the Geneva Convention (say that ten times real fast).

Israel is the most democratic state in the Middle East, so how does the left accomplish demonizing the state of Israel? By referring to Israel as a racist state. By labeling Israel as an apartheid system of government like former South Africa. By calling Israel a terrorist state. The treatment of the Palestinians is compared to Nazi Germany, and Gaza has been compared to the Warsaw ghetto - all by liberals. Its simply a matter of justification, Shiveh. Its much easier to justify your support of Hamas when Israel is compared to South Africa and Nazi Germany - the states that represented hatred and racial purity like no other in modern history. But much of this is fabricated by the left because the wall, for example, is called an apartheid feature, but was used by Israel to stop suicide bombings.

That should answer your question about why I believe that the left labels Israel apartheid. Also, I find it ironic that you would ask me why I support Israel because it will always be an imperfect democracy. Remember, it’s the left that now supports multiculturalism, as well as cultural and moral relativism (despite the obvious human rights violations that occur in the name of culture). I support Israel because they have every right to exist in their present location - free of terrorism, and despite the limitations of a state based on a religion or ethnicity, they are mostly a democratic state. I realize their shortcomings, but don’t condemn them like the hypocritical left.

“…The state is maintained for the Jewish people, and they hold power over all others who wish to live there…”, “…Considering that this action has caused 60+ years of mayhem and carnage for both Arabs and Israelis…”

You need to review your history. Your statement is completely false - and you should know that. The Israelis, to begin with, accepted a two state solution, and the Palestinians rejected it. The Palestinians attacked the Jews in 1947 after the UN announced the partition plan. The Arabs attacked Israel in 1948 after Israel declared their independence. The Arabs have simply never accepted the idea of a Jewish state on Muslim land which has led to the wars and mayhem that you allude to. Yes, the Israelis need to leave the West Bank, but how many times do you want me to repeat that?

You want the Israelis to disband their state because this is a “failed experiment”? And, basically, to do the world (and the Jewish Diaspora) a favor? Israel - defending their right to exist - could even cause a nuclear war! I give you credit Shiveh for the most radical ideas I’ve heard to date - and maybe a little bit of arrogance as well.

Finally, anti Semitism is on the rise around the world, and certainly there was a surge of anti Semitic incidents during the war in Gaza - especially in Europe - but Jews were targeted world-wide. What do Jews who don’t live in Israel, and may not even be Zionist, have to do with Israel? All Jews are blamed for the actions of Israel. This is the definition of anti Semitism, wouldn’t you agree?

Has Israel ever threatened to kill Muslims in Indonesia or the UK because of terrorist attacks in Israel? Remember that Hezbollah attacked a Jewish Community Center in Argentina because, apparently, all Jews are responsible for the actions of Israel. Anti Semitism is by no means, history.

** In addition, the left has become intolerant and driven by hate. The treatment of Miss California is a case in point. She was labeled a b..ch for exercising her free speech and defining what she believed was the definition of marriage. I don’t need to post the anti Christian bigotry from leftist posting on the NYT, again. Simply put, the far left has hijacked liberalism.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

Mike:

I understand your frustation regarding your experience with "white" culture. This culture - or rather some subsection thereof -over time has tried and succeeded to enslave all others [ and at times the less fortunate white people] based on minor details as the amount of menoline [??? - ther dark pigment] in their skin.

Fortunately a large segment of the "white culture" rejects this laisse faire attitude toward the OTHER - be they Indians of North America, or Indians of India, be they Semite [Jewish or Arab] or Roman [a.ka. gypsy]. The power elite, be they in government, business or organized religion to a large extent live in another world, where they support each other to retain power. At present this is quite clear with respect to Palestinians vs. Jews, Arabs in general vs USA neocons and born again christians, the treatment difference re :the Masters of the Universe versus the common folk etc.

I agree with you that the Swedish model of social democracy is among the fairest to the population of a country. Unfortunately the power elite of the USA purchased a majority of the Congress, and further through oligarchy type of communication media control the input into political discourse, thus negating any progress towards a more just society.

The best illustration of this destructive control [versus the common good] is the adulation towards Brown vs Topeka, wherein 50 years further on, educational equal opportunity with respect to available standard of curricula and qualification/ability of the teaching staff is still described as the most unequal one of the worst outcomes in OECD land.

So please quit the ALL ENCOMPASSING loathing, for it is not the culture which degrades you [and did me and many others] it is the individual actor, and the political cohort [with the help of overpaid bureaucrats and the other lackeys, the various judges of the various courts].

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

You wrote:

"Your history lesson on why the Jews deserve the terrority I find nothing more then wishful thinking used to justify horrific acts against the Palestinian people."

I wrote that a compromise was proposed in 1947 that would have given BOTH sides something, but the Arabs rejected it in favor of multiple wars. Thus, I said BOTH sides deserved something. It was the Arabs who declared war on multiple occasions, and said the Jews deserved nothing. That is an indisputable fact. So I wonder what your problem is in discerning who initiated the horrific acts, i.e. wars. It was the Arab initiated war rather than accepting a UN compromise that created the original refugees. There were no refugees before the Arabs rejected a compromise, that would have given them all the Arab majority territory in Palestine. You deny facts and logic.

"Your logic assumes the Jews have more of a right to the land then the Palestinians and I don't buy it."

My logic is that BOTH sides had rights to some land, and I have stated that in multiple posts. You keep warping what I write to fit your bias. The Arab position IS and WAS that the Jews are entitled to NOTHING. Thus, you demonstrate a complete lack of logic and abnegation of the facts similar to the Arab position.

"I don't buy it because many of the Palestinians ancestors pre-date the Jews in that area of the world."

Here again you refuse to acknowledge the real facts, even as they are presented in Wikipedia. I showed with real history, not cloudy suppositions, that BOTH sides had roots, both modern and historic, in the land . For you to say that the Arab rights predates any Jewish rights is illogical and inconsistent with real history. I wonder who is demonstrating clear bias for everyone on the forum to clearly see.

"It becomes a ridiculous argument to take either side on an historical claim. Maybe it makes you feel better, but it's a terrible argument designed for ignorant people."

It is not ridiculous to say that BOTH sides had claims, and a compromise was presented that would have given both sides something. In fact the UN compromise of 1947 recognized the claims of both sides. To deny that BOTH sides had claims rooted in history and politics is to deny reality. In fact, as I previously showed you, the 1947 partition gave that part of Palestine that was majority Arab to the Arabs, and that part that was majority Jewish to the Jews.

Hey man, you are entitled to your bias. It's a free country. You can dislike or like whomever you like. zI personally don't care. Just stop pretending that you are some kind of objective observer who sees this as some mindless quarrel in which the Jews deserve nothing and the Arabs are victims. That is playing fast and losse with the truth, and doesn't hold up to the facts or logic.

You have clearly shown that even your support of the Arab position (which is, by the way, your absolute right) requires you to ignore all the facts and history. Good luck, but stop pretending you are some paradigm of logic and truth.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

TOMW2- I've heard Savage. He's very bright and given to hyperbole. So am I. As for my politics, think Swedish liberal. In this country there is no such thing any longer - at one time, people like me were known as Jeffersonian liberals. In general the policies advocated would be universal health insurance, universal retirement insurance, "protectionism" to keep jobs here and *punishment* for corporate Benedict Arnold's, isolationism (mind our own business), gun rights (I am a strong proponent of the Second Amendment), a strong military, respect for mainstream religion and the opinions of them. I am also pro-nuclear power, pro-death penalty, pro-environment, anti-dam, anti-big business. I have lots of Pakistani and Kurdish friends and love them and their culture, but the Pakistani's honestly and truly hate Jews and would kill them en mass. So, we/somebody needs to ensure the integrity of Israel, for all of it's wrongs, to ensure that another Holocaust doesn't happen. History teaches us that Israel really is "the land of the Jews", so we need to guaranty it's survival. Likewise, Kashmir really is a part of Pakistan. It was imply grabbed by India and that shouldn't be tolerated. So, what does that make me? A liberals? A conservative? A moral absolutist? A human being, a Naive American, in fact, who has witnessed all of the horrors and wrongs and bigotry that "modern civilization" has to offer. Try imagining working your way through college, as I did, pushing a mop at nights (free college, free anything for Native American's is pure fiction), getting a masters degree in mathematics and another degree in engineering and being called "chief" by your boss at work. Try and imagine, after 50 patents, making a minor mistake and having you boss say something to the effect that drunken Indian's make mistakes. Oh, and that guy is a self described liberal. I LOATHE white culture and the little boxes you live in and try to place everyone else in.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Tom,

This is what you write and believe in regarding Israel,” The state is maintained for the Jewish people, and they hold power over all others who wish to live there…” Considering that this action has caused 60+ years of mayhem and carnage for both Arabs and Israelis; considering that the social standing of the Jews in Europe and the U.S. has improved to a satisfactory level and can not go back to a pre WWII stage; considering that an overwhelming majority of the Jews do not want to live in Israel, considering that this Zionist’s adventure can eventually end by engulfing our world in a nuclear nightmare, please tell me why you believe that Israel is not an apartheid state; why a sane none Semite (Arab or Jew) bystander shouldn’t want the whole problem to just go away even if it means disintegration of Israel and finally why you and I as American’s who are proud of our Constitution that outlaws any bias based on race or religion have and should support Israel.

I do understand why the Zionist Jews dreamt of a homeland for all of the Jewish people as any people without a place to call home would. And history shows that they accepted a great sacrifice of Jewish blood to reach this goal. But circumstances have changed completely. Jews have become the first truly global race that thrives wherever they reside. Israel has lost its justification and has become a liability for the Jews. Even someone as rational as you can not truly justify their actions. So why continue a failed experiment with an expired usefulness? Aren’t we missing the jungle because of the trees?

On a completely different matter – regarding participation on this forum – is it possible that people you named are providing a (reality) show that others prefer to watch rather than participate in? Could it be that we are crowding the forum quite a bit? - Just a hunch! It is possible that the never ending give and take between a few of us is closing the door to others. But is it a problem? The Global Power Barometer main board is quite readable even though it is mainly give and take between two people. I like the continuity and flow of PG over singular comments posted on the main pages of WP that are plenty in quantity but poor in usefulness. Every once in a while we get someone like Captn_Ahab that can hold his own in our gang. Let’s be extra nice to him – at least for a while – till he is a regular!

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

I still think we should swap Alaska for Israel. If we were to do this we could send Palin over to the ME to run the country. This would give her more foreign policy experience as she would have so many more neighbors. Just a thought.

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

I know, I know. The Jews are right and everything in that part of the world is the Muslims fault. If the Zionists were Catholics the Pope would be Sainting them all.

Now, do you want to get real or do you just want to spew the same old Jewish rhetoric?

I have told you before and I'll tell you again I am biased towards people acting badly against each other. There's my bias. I could give a Tinker's damn about their religion.

Your history lesson on why the Jews deserve the terrority I find nothing more then wishful thinking used to justify horrific acts against the Palestinian people. Your logic assumes the Jews have more of a right to the land then the Palestinians and I don't buy it. I don't buy it because many of the Palestinians ancestors pre-date the Jews in that area of the world. It becomes a ridiculous argument to take either side on an historical claim. Maybe it makes you feel better, but it's a terrible argument designed for ignorant people.

Let's face it. The Jews want the land because they believe God gave it to them and it is "the promised land." The rest of it is all crap. Not being a big believer in God I think you can see why I reject this line of reasoning.

So go ahead and keep blaming all of Israels problems on the Arabs and those nasty Muslims and continue to wash your hands of the blood spilled and take no responsibility. The Zionists want Israel. They want it where it is and they are willing to do whatever they deem in their best interest to keept it. In your world anyone who doesn't agree with their actions is an anti-semite who is against the Jews. It doesn't matter to you whether they are or are not actually anti-semites as you can no longer make the distinction. No matter what Israel does is right and no matter what the Arabs do it's wrong. You can't make yourself acknowledge the Arabs in the area have an equal ancestral claim. You are so one sided you should be a lobbyist. You have lost the ability to critically analyze anything. Now before you screaming into the night I told you this guy was an anti-semite I'd say the exact same about your enemies. I have no desire to share dinner with either a Muslim extremist or an Israeli extremist. Both sides are hideous and when the best someone can come up with is the other side is worse I cringe. Both sides deserve each other. Unfortunately, both sides want the world's approval and support for their horrible treatment of people. I can only hope one side or the other finally prevails and I don't care who it is. Frankly, you're both unworthy of the land.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

TOM:

I agree with you regarding IRan and other states which presumably or factually are based on religous adherence. However, that these Muslim nations are based on faith is as repugnant as Israel being based on faith.

I am aware that the history of Europe is an example of faith based empires with numerous progroms based on lack of adherhece to the "perceived truth" the heretic wars/progroms. Europe has managed to put that behind herself, and it is desirable that this be reflected world wide.

The dispute in Palestine is not only about religion, in fact, in my opinion it is based on economic reality: land being stolen, water being restricted to selct groups' enjoyment, income disparity is tremendous, and internatinal law is disregarded.

Now that Israel is an economic powerhouse has much to do with official and unofficial subsidies, be they by "holocust reparations" voluntary foreign military aid by USA, or by individuals sending monies to Israel, be it for NGO, family relatios, buckshee [as some recent political scqandals related on this issue] or rich families moving their wealth to Israel, as the Reichmans did from Canada, or fundamentalists financing West Bank settlements.

All this help does not balance the basic fact, that the Palestinian Mandate area is incapable of feeding its population from local produce, it does not change the fact that the Earth is running out of some very important minerals needed for War making - which has limiting effect on the major war suppliers, the USA and ISreal [also Germany, UK, Chezh Republic,etc; but not necessarily to Russia, and most likely not China - the last two having access to many of the needed ores in their territory].

The limiting factor for industrial society is access to cheap energy. All sources of cheap energy are in short supply for 6.5 billion people. Oil and Gas are in terminal decline, coal [based on ENERGY cost of pruduction vs. ENERGY GAINED] is limited to some 30 odd years [on the same basis that some oil can not be produced, for the energy requisite for production is more than the energy gained]. This limitation has the greatest effect on those nations which are the greatest importers on basis of internal GDP.

Israels' GDP is approx 123 billion, which includes the above mentioned "gifts". If due to economic constraints [as the present recession/depression if it last longer] influenses the amount of "gifts" to that extent Israels' economy is greatly effected. At present Israels' GDP is contracting at 3.6 %, its "gifts" represent approx 10% of GDP. the prognosis is not good. Soon Isreal will not be able to afford IDF [as the USA can not afford DoD and related expenses] - at that point voluntary one statehood might be more desirable with its inherent problems, than taking chance on more war [sans nuclear issues -which is suicide] than trying to keep up with the finances of OPEC - the source of 40+% of future cheap energy.

The above is the esence of my position if the two state solution does not materialize in the next 2-3 years, then the one state solution will be imposed on the area by economic necessity.

While I understand Bob's [and mine] reference ot Jewish state of Alaska - is a joke, it, however, reflects clearly the colonial aspect of the creation of Israel. If it can be established by GREAT POWERS, on someone else's land, it shoud behoove the Great Powers, to relieve the subsequent tensions, and re-establish the State of Israel on their own previously occupied territory - during which process the citizens of the Great Power will be dispossessed of their land,m rationed water, rationed power, and be open to general abuse.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

Your continued posting actually displays your bias. You ignore every fact of history and contemporary politics that rebuts your position. Your only response is that if the Arabs object to an ethnic minority state in their part of the world it should not be there. That is basically saying that Arab/Islamist intolerance is acceptable to you and should be acceptable to everyone. That makes no sense based on the history and politics I summarized, and is morally inexcusable. It just means that you will not be sympathetic or open to considering any facts beyond what Arabs object to. I have shown you that much of the Arab objection has little to do with anything but intolerance of ethnic minorities, especially when those minorities wield any real power. I have shown you that the Jews have verifiable and legitimate historical claims in the region, and I have shown you that there are a number of states whose histories in the region are just as problematic. This is ignored by you, such that you can continue to make an exceptional case of Israel in the Middle East. Your case is merely based on the fact that we should accept Arab intolerance, because we don't want to upset Arabs.

Your position comes down to Israel shouldn't be there because the Arabs are intolerant of any minority ethnic state in the region, and we should accept their intolerance. In fact, you say their intolerance doesn't mean a tinker's damn to you. However, it is related to the same intolerance that lead the Saudis to host the Wahaabism that led to 9/11. If you accept Arab/Islamist intolerance in the region then you set the stage for accepting intolerance everywhere. That is extremely dangerous. Arab intolerance is acceptable to you if it affects the Jews. That is interesting.

You should really read the PLO and Hamas charters if you really want to understand what this is all about.

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

Since I've been posting on this forum the question I remember that had the largest response was the one on same sex marriages. That question brought the opponents of same sex marriage out in abundance. Nothing against the same sex marriage question, but on a scale of importance it doesn't rate very high. However, these types of questions are entertaining.

If peace is a laudable goal, which I believe it is (but not at any cost), then the most pressing questions will center on the situation in the ME. The implications are staggering.

Living in Alexandria, Virginia this forum has the feeling of a home town discussion for me. Even though I know in the electronic era it shouldn't really matter I have always liked the fact this discussion originates a couple of miles from where I live.

Like you, I would like to see more posters with differing points of view. I thought my tongue in cheek, "I guess I'm an anti-semite who hates Allah," would illicit more response then it did. Alas, it did not.

I'm guessing PostGlobal has done a rather poor job of promotion and user friendliness. The reason I'm guessing is the WP Online only has so much space to work with and they might have already turned down a PostGlobal attempt at such a link. If they haven't then they need to link it to the main page of the Post's Site along with the question. On the Post's main site hundreds of people will respond to news stories routinely. Many of these stories are about exactly what this forum discusses. Someone reads a story and responds. They don't have to go hunting for this forum.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Bob

There was an article posted last week in the Guardian by Benny Morris (Israeli new historian) that received almost 500 post from people like you and me. Just knock down dragout arguments from the left and right. Unfortunately, I missed that one. It’s a similar format to this one. Instantaneous post and response to posts.

I remember when we had the question of people in Europe believing that the US is more dangerous than Iran - and there were 500 post or so. You could expect to be challenged if you said the US was comprised of 50 states. Very little response now a days. Basically, the same people post.

Now a days, we might get fifty responses. You, me, Daniel, Shiveh, Zolko, MikeB, PAW and a few others might make up 75% of the posts or more. However, from this small group, we do get a diversity of opinion, that’s for sure.

The question posed this week by the moderators is a very good question that leaves us open to a lot of speculation on not only Iran, Israel and the Palestinians, but the whole direction of the Middle east. It should draw more than thirty eight of forty responses. This was an excellent question in my opinion.

Oh well.

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

No offense taken. I was just trying to make a point Israel would be much better off anywhere except where they are. Besides, it would put Palin out of a job and that's worth giving away Alaska.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Salamon
(sorry this is so long winded)

“…The notion that there could be a state in the xxi-st century based EXLUSIVELY on race and or on religion is an anathema to the very foundation of democracy and or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The aim of defining Israel as a JEWISH STATE is but apartheit lite, replacing the old measure of Republic of South Africa, or Rhodesia, or any other ex-UK colony…”

I agree with you to a certain extent, Salamon. The state is maintained for the Jewish people, and they hold power over all others who wish to live there, for example, the Palestinians. In addition, to maintain a majority population of Jews, they must stack the deck in favor of Jewish immigrants. If 10 million Catholics decide to immigrate to Palestine to be near the birth place of Jesus, they will be denied because the Jews would become a minority, thus, the Jews must discriminate to maintain a majority. That’s inevitable because the Jews are a small population world-wide.

The right of return of refugees is discriminatory as well. This comes about because the Jews are surrounded demographically by the much more populous Arabs. They necessarily must discriminate to maintain a majority. Not necessarily a racist system, but certainly favorable to Jews.

But if you object to the idea of Israel because it’s a Jewish state, then unless you are an anti Semite (and based on your past stories in Hungary, you are not), then it should bother you just as much if Israel becomes the 58th member of the Organization of Islamic Conference which would be their fate if the single state solution was applied. After all, the membership in the conference is based on a religion.

You should also object to Islamic Iran which is a state run “by and for Islam“. The Supreme leader is Islamic, and the Guardian Council selects which Islamic candidates can run for President of Iran. No matter what, if you are a protestant, Republican, communist or Tamil Tiger, you can never be President of Iran. I have never heard you object to Iran under the “…notion that there could be a state in the xxi-st century based EXLUSIVELY on race and or on religion..." - especially in terms of human rights and democracy. Or Hamas? Or the Taliban?

In addition, Pakistan was formed as a dominantly Muslim state as was Bosnia and Kosovo. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are secessionist ethnic communities within Georgia that Russia has given cover to secede. Armenia is occupying part of  Azerbaijan after their war in the 1990s. Armenia (which is composed mainly of ethnic Armenians) occupies the part of Azerbaijan that host the Armenian ethnic community. The ethnic minority Tamils are led by the terrorist organization, the LTTE, which wants to secede from Sri Lanka and form an ethnic Tamil state. States based on religion or ethnicity are fairly common.

That Israel is based on a religion is certainly not unique, but that we are going to selectively demonize her because a Jewish state does not reach the highest ideal of democracy (yet is much higher than the surrounding states) is hypocritical to say the least. Why should you hold Israel to a different standard than other religion-based states?

The Jewish state, however, was created for a different reasons than just for preservation of the Jewish religion. The Jews were persecuted throughout their history as a minority who were (always) dependent on the will of the majority. They haven’t fared so well - especially in Europe. Israel is a refuge from persecution (and murder) like the holocaust. It was Russian anti Semitism that led to the initial immigration to Palestine which began in the 1880’s. In addition, Jews have a historic connection to Jerusalem - their most holy site - and have been a part of Palestine for several thousand years.

The concept of Israel, that is, a Jewish state is morally right (in my opinion), but there were many obvious problems created as a result of the founding of Israel. Regardless, the Palestinian objection to the Jewish state has nothing to do with democracy. The Arabs - including the Palestinians - are anything but democratic. Their objection is that there is a Jewish state in the Muslim Middle East. Interestingly enough - a whole region based on a religion. Any objections to that, Salamon?

“…I still maintain that the two state issue is dead on arrival, and in less then 10 years there will be [by economic necessity] a single state…”

The concept of a single state may be viable in 100-200 years, but in ten years, there is no chance. Israel is thriving economically. It’s the Palestinians who continue to suffer economically. During the early years of Jewish immigration, the Jewish (and British) economy in Palestine far surpassed surrounding Arab states. Palestinian Arabs migrated and immigrated to Jewish centers of economic activity - and thrived. Palestinian standard of living as well as life expectancy improved - and surpassed surrounding Arab states..

The Palestinians must necessarily return to these same economic conditions to survive as a state that is not supported by international welfare. Trade with Israel is a necessity, but impossible, under the direction of Hamas which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state.

Bob's idea to give the Jews a homeland in Alaska is idiotic (no offense, Bob).

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

That's the best you can come up with? Several wrongs make a right? This concept works very well as long as logic isn't part of the equation.

I think it would be rather difficult for you to argue the ME isn't predominately Arab/Muslim. Considering we have Egypt, Saudi, Kuwait, UAE, Jordon, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, etc.

Simply put, your postion isn't defensible. Whether you like the Muslim countries or not isn't even the point. They exist and they don't want Israel to exist. That's what you're fighting. The Muslims look at the Jews and Christians as a bunch of unclean pagans. Had there been a holocaust against Arabs in Europe in WWII the ME would have welcomed the surviors with open arms. Instead they view Israel as an invasion of foreigners who are unwanted and who they think are are a threat to their way of life.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

TOM:

The notion that there could be a state in the xxi-st century based EXLUSIVELY on race and or on religion is an anathema to the very foundation of democracy and or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The aim of defining Israel as a JEWISH STATE is but apartheit lite, replacing the old measure of Republic of South Africa, or Rhodesia, or any other ex-UK colony.

This will not happen. Even mr.Olmert {???] admitted that that this outcome would result in total sanction of Israel. Israel [and or the Old Palestine] is not self-sufficient in food or anything else to be able to survive past a few months without trade.

At cerain point the internal politics of USA, re: AIPAC and the Funeamentalist born-again citizens, is of negligable political power if it comes to endangering the "peace" between the satraps of EU land, or the Leaders of the nuclear club, who demand changes in international relations by USA.

The printing press of the Feds, the Nuclear armamanets of USA are totally useless, except if the USA aims to commit ECONOMIC and or Survival based suicide.

The window of opportunity regarding any war-like attempts is limited to the next 10 years, at most, for the military industrial complex of the USA depends in IMPORTED RAW MATERIALS to create their VERY EXPENSIVE AND USELESS TOYS: Predators, F-22-s, F-35-w armored Humvees and even bullets.

In the last 200 odd years the USA has managed to almost completely destroy/use up her mineral wealth. your oil and gas production is 30-40% of your daily needs; your alloy supply is from offshore [almost 100%], which is similar to Israel's constraint on her armaqment industry.

As a large percentage of the West Bank Jews are dual USA/Israeli citizens, the freedom of action is limited to a certain extent regarding forceful removal. On the other hand, even cut in Foreign aid and restriction of money transfer to Israel [that is short of total sanctions] would greatly encourage Israel's government to settle the two state solution.

I still maintain that the two state issue is dead on arrival, and in less then 10 years there will be [by economic necessity] a single state.

With respect to captn's comment on the rise of Saud family [ and the related political mess of all the other Persian Gulf] are the unknownable [in 1919] backlash for imperial efforts of Uk until 1956 [Suez war], to be replaced by the imperial ambitions of the USA.

Blund's notion to give SAlaska [or New York City] as a home of 5.6 million Jews in Israel is at least a better solution than the mess created in Arab Lands [for if truth be known, ther is almost more Jews in USA than in Israel, with their major power base being New York and California]. Historically analysing the USA, the natives in Alaska do not count, if we the whites want their land].

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

Well, talk about regional mistakes. I think that giving Arabia to the ultraconservative Saud family was a huge mistake. Those idiots spread Wahaabi Islam that led to 9/11. They suppress all other religious minorities, and let's not even go into women's rights. What the heck do I care what happens in Saudi Arabia? Doesn't matter to me. Other religions are minorities there anyway, and it's their women to do with as they will.

What about the creation of Pakistan? What a mistake that was. Islam doesn't even belong in the region. It was brought there by invaders. Why should they have their own country? Who cares if Pakistan is taken over by Islamic fundamentalists. The Indians and Pakis will hate each other forever. I say let them go at each other. Who cares who wins?

You want to talk about historical mistakes? Let's talk about Iraq. The Brits created that mess out of whole cloth. There are really no Iraqi people. There is an agglomeration of Suuni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Kurds, Turkomens, Jews, and who knows what else in Mesopotamia. They all needed to be held together by a brutal dictator. Let them all go at each other and blow themselves to bits. What the hell do I care who wins?

As far as Israel eventually being overwhelmed and massacred by the Arabs, that is unlikely now. The punctured Arab pride at losing to Israel is less important to them now than their fear of Iran. The Arabs have already lost 3 wars trying to eliminate Israel. Israel is now of more value to them in countering Iranian ascendancy, which scares the hell out of the Arabs. The Palestinians will settle before there is another united Arab attack against Israel. Realpolitic, if you like.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

Well, history gave Saudi Arabia to an incredibly conservative and stupid Islamic family, the Sauds. These idiots encouraged Wahaabi fundamentalism that led to 9/11, and brutally suppress the rights of all other religions and women. Why the hell should I care what Saudi Arabia does? I think the Saudis should just be left to their own devices. After all other religions are minorities there anyway, and their women are their women.

History created the Islamic state of Pakistan next to India. That was stupid. Islam is an intrusive religion in that area anyway. These people hate each other for all times. What the hell do I care who wins? If the Pakis want Islamic fundamentalism let them have it, and let them go at the Indians. What's it to me?

You want to talk about historical mistakes? Let's talk Iraq. Now the creation of Iraq after WWI was a real mistake. There is no such thing as Iraq. It was created out of whole cloth by the British. It is an artificial agglomeration of Arab Shiites, Arab Suunis, Kurds, Turkomens, Marsh Arabs, Jew and who knows what else. Those people never wanted to live together peacefully, and they never will. It took a brutal psychopathic dictator to hold that artificial country together. Why the hell should I care who wins in Iraq? If they want Islamic fundamentalism let them have it, no?

As far as six million Israelis being surrounded by
twenty two million Arabs, that is correct. However, it is unlikely at this point that they will be able to overrun Israel and massacre its inhabitants. It is more likely that, at some point in the not so distant future, pragmatism will overtake their sense of resentment and ethnic hatred, and they will settle. They will settle because they will have no other choice, and the Arab world will no longer unite against Israel. Iran is now a greater threat to the Arabs than their pride being punctured by a bunch of stinking infidel Jews, and the Arabs will unite around their fears of an ascending Iran with real regional aspirations.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

The Importance of Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State - the Only Roadmap to True Peace

From the Jerusalem Post, Apr 26, 2009, “Iran Will Honor Any Two-State Decision“:

“…Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the Islamic republic would honor any decision made by the Palestinians with regards to a two-state solution in a future peace deal with Israel.
"Whatever decision they take, we will support that. We think that this is the right of the Palestinian people," he told ABC's This Week in a rare face-to-face interview with an American news network…”

This is certainly a reasonable statement by the President of Iran. Iran will recognize whatever the Palestinian people determine should be the conditions for the two-state solution. Iran is looking for a just peace for the Palestinians - like everyone else. This is certainly not the hard line rhetoric of Ahmadinejad who has threatened to destroy Israel on numerous occasions. He's really only interested in a just solution to the conflict.

In the Jerusalem Post, May 17, 2009, “Iran Threat Boost Need for Two States”, National Security Advisor James Jones links the “resolution of the Iranian nuclear standoff to progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”.

“…However, Jones went on to stress that the Iranian threat only reinforces the need for peace in the region.
"By the same token, there are a lot of things that you can do to diminish that existential threat by working hard towards achieving a two-state solution," he said…”

Most observers believe that a two state solution will undercut Iran’s expanding regional power - especially if the Israelis can reach a peace agreement with Syria (and Lebanon) at the same time. Iran’s regional influence has increased dramatically by masterfully using the Palestinian conflict to enhance their regional standing. Ahmadinejad enjoys great popularity on the Arab street because of his stand against Israel and the US. The Obama administration has taken the approach that solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will undermine Iranian regional influence, and would help solve the Iranian nuclear issue - even though there is no evidence linking the two. Again, a just solution will lead to regional peace.

As it stands right now, however, this approach to regional peace will, in fact INCREASE Iranian influence unless Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. The importance of Hamas recognizing Israel as a Jewish state cannot be stated emphatically enough. Hamas will certainly enter into a ceasefire agreement with Israel (hudna), but it’s not a peace agreement - and the two shouldn’t be confused. The long term goal of Hamas is to destroy Israel who they (still) consider to be illegally occupying Palestine.

The PA under the leadership of Abbas is corrupt and incompetent, so there is a very real possibility (if not a foregone conclusion) that Hamas will be “elected” to govern the new Palestinian state. The Palestinian state can only succeed if Israel and Palestine have a vibrant system of economic trade between the two states - not one separated by barriers, checkpoints and walls. Other than that, international welfare will persist and these are the same conditions that foment the violence we see today. Without the trust to develop mutually beneficial economic ties, Palestine will fail.

In addition, Hamas has a system of Mosque and schools that teach and foment hate against the Jewish state. For example, the social wing of Hamas teaches (through Mosque and schools) that Jews are the “sons of apes and pigs”. They teach that Israelis are illegally occupying Palestinian land. There can be no peace while this kind of hatred persist. Is Hamas willing to put aside hatred for the benefit of the Palestinians? Not while their long term goals of a single Palestinian state persist.

Israel’s insistence of recognition from Hamas is not just for the benefit of Israel, but will insure that a Palestinian state will succeed. Israel has nothing to gain from a failed Palestinian state - but more violence and hatred. In my opinion, that’s all that an Islamic state governed by Hamas offers. Palestine will fail under the leadership of Hamas.

Iran will then hold sway over a hostile Islamic state on Israel’s border - the biggest fear of Israel leadership. This is the reason that seemingly agreeable Iran supports a two state solution, and will have just the opposite affect than is envisioned not only by the Obama administration, but Europe as well. Iran’s influence will increase. There will be no real peace.

You cannot force a two state solution on the Palestinians. The Palestinians have never accepted the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine - the real reason that peace is impossible at this time.

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

For the last time I don't care who wins. My bias is against people acting badly. The Muslims have acted badly and the Jews have acted badly. If you want to stick your head in the sand and support Israel no matter what they do be my guest. However, don't get indignant when people look at you like your a loon.

No matter how you look at this situation the US, Britian and the UN made one of the world's grave errors creating the State of Israel in the ME. How can I make such a statement? It's real simple. 62 straight years of unending violence with no end in sight. Israel, which only comprises 1 out of every 8,000 people on this planet, because of it's location has created a destabilizing effect around this globe. I'm still in favor of giving Alaska to the Jews to settle. At least they wouldn't be surrounded by Muslims who want to drive them into the sea.

I've never been against a Jewish State. I have always been against where it was created.

As to who has a greater claim on the land I am fully aware there is an historical link between many modern day Jews and much of the area we now call Israel. I am fully aware there are direct links between the people's we call Palestinians today and the same land going back as far or farther depending on whose reserch you want to believe. I am also aware that the overwhelming majority of people residing the territory in the last 2000 years have been Arabs. This is not to say there weren't Jews still living in the area, but only they were an insignificant minority. Hence, if I was a judge and adjudicating this dispute I would find for the Palestinians. I simply would not be willing to right a 2,000 year old wrong at the expense of the last 100 generations of people occupying a land.

Something you may or may not ever be able to come to grips with is not everyone who doesn't support the State of Israel is an anti-Semite. I aTm not a religous person, but I have learned that Christians think they are right as do Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddist's, etc. etc.. I do understand why the Jews want Israel and want it where it is. I also understand why the Arabs don't. These are the two immovable forces of a religous war. It's a war that has really been going on almost a hundred years and has heated up since the 1948 war. There isn't any end in sight and that translates into more human suffering, destruction and death on both sides. If history is any guide it's fair to assume the Arab/Muslims will keep attacking Israel at every opportunity. Israel will retaliate with a vengance. Sound familar? However, as a country of 6 million being surrounded by Muslims that outnumber Israel by a factor of 20 will utlimately probably lead to Israel's demise.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

Having ignored all the historical corrections I provided you, you continue to spout uninformed nonsense.

1. Israel was not given to Jews as reparations for the Holocaust. That is an uninformed biased statement. The Jews had been lobbying for a homeland and resettlment in the non sovereign territory of Palestine since the late 1800s, when the Dreyfus Affair in France made it clear that there would always be rabid anti Semitism in Europe. Look it up! The British Mandate in 1917 promised land in Palestine to BOTH Arabs and Jews, trying to balance to claims of one group against the other. After the Holocaust, the Jews fought for their rights in Palestine. It was clear to most nations at the UN, after what happened in Europe during WWII, that the Jews NEEDED a homeland, and that they had a verifiable historical and political connection to Palestine. Whether that is acceptable to you or the Arab Ummah is beside the point. That is how history works. How you or the Arabs work out your resentment over history is your problem. It should not, however, involve suicide bombing and 60 years of stupid wars against Israel.

You should also remember that when the UN partitioned the sliver remaining of the Palestine Mandate in 1947, they allocated the areas that were PREDOMINANTLY Jewish to the Jews and the areas that were PREDOMINANTLY Arab to the Arabs. The so called Palestinian refugee problem resulted from the ARAB rejection of any compromise over land, and the resulting 1948 war.
The so called Arab refugees resulted from the rejection of compromise and the resort to a failed war.

Thus far, Israeli expansion in the Mid East has resulted in the return of Sinai to the Egyptians, the return of Southern Lebanon to the Lebanese the return of Gaza to the Palestinans. The settlements in the West Bank are stupid, but they result as much from Palestinian intransigence and failure to settle as Israeli right wing politics.

Them's the facts, bub, but of course don't let them interfere with your bias.

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

Yup, it certainly looks like she lied through her teeth. Grade for truthfulness: F. Moral Barometer number: 0. The next thing we'll hear is she shot one of her friends by accident. After all, you are known by your acts and when they start looking a lot like the very people you're trying to villify you have become them.

If this situation keeps heading down the road it appears to be heading she should apologize for lying and resign from office.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Bob

From the Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2009, “CIA Chief Rebuts Pelosi on Briefings”.

“…Apart from the institutional contretemps, the matter has put Ms. Pelosi in conflict with CIA director Leon Panetta, a former colleague when both belonged to California's Democratic congressional delegation.
"CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, describing 'the enhanced techniques that had been employed,'" Mr. Panetta wrote in a memo to agency employees. He was referring to an alleged senior al Qaeda detainee in CIA custody in September 2002, when Ms. Pelosi attended a briefing in her capacity as the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
"Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress," he wrote. "That is against our laws and our values."
Other intelligence officials also contradicted Ms. Pelosi's account of the briefing, saying her assertion that she wasn't told waterboarding was in use at the time is wrong. "That's 180 degrees different from what the CIA's records show," an intelligence official said…”

Another classic example of Democrats supporting the methods of “torture” used by the CIA in 2002 - directly after 911 - then politicizing the same issue today to score political points. Liberal Grandma Pelosi is totally gutless, and a card carrying member of the lying left. She should lose her job as Speaker of the House.

It also points out that in times of war, security outweighs civil liberties. Bush acted properly, albeit controversially - just as most Democrats would have taken the same steps (in my opinion). Liberal Democrats like Pelosi would like the general public to believe they hold a monopoly on morality - and they are willing to lie to prove their point.

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn,

You're absolutely right. The Arabs Muslims didn't want and still don't want the Jews to have one acre of land. That is the crux of the problem, is it not?

What bothers me is the last 60+ years of hostilities with no end in sight. These hostilities are caused by diametrically opposed views that aren't going to change.

Your statement, "I'm really sorry that you think the Jews are "playing the Holocaust card", because they think they deserve a country. I mean I really feel for the fact that you find their requirement for a country after having been decimated in Europe a bit too much!" is exactly what I'm talking about. It implies a Jewish State is deserved as reparations for the holocaust. It is simply playing the holocaust card. I'm sorry, I wasn't born when the holocaust happened. I had nothing to do with it and still consider it one of the world's great atrocities. The operative word there is "one" of the world's great atrocities. There have been many more that equal or exceed the holocaust. Constantly calling people who don't support Israel's policies anti-semites just gets real old.

"Then the UN gave Israel a small indefensible slice of what was left,..." Is this supposed to be a justification for military expansion and settlements at the expense of the Palestinians?

I have absolutely nothing against a Jewish State. I just have something against where the UN, Britian and the US put it. The location had to be the worst idea the West ever had. All that creating Israel in the ME has done is brought unending violence by both sides with zero end in sight. At some point the overwhelming hordes of Arabs will probably do what MIBOOKS said, "The result will be war between Israel and every other country in the region, with Israel eventually loosing, following by mass slaughter." The only other option is the Israeli's will do it to the Arabs. Like I originally said, it doesn't matter to me which side wins. Unless you are a Muslim or Jewish it shouldn't matter. It's their fight and as much as they would like to drag the rest of the world into it anyone who doesn't have a stake in it is playing a fools game.

PS: If I was a judge having to decide a legal chain of title on the land I'd award it to the Palestinians. Sorry, but I don't buy Israel's claim to the land as one that supercedes the Arab/Muslim claims. (And this is coming from an anti-semite who hates Allah)

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Mike

Your position on many issues reminds me a lot of Michael Savage who was recently banned in liberal Britain. I'm sure you know him. I've never been able to pigeon hole you into a political category (dem or repub), but your positions remind me a lot of Mr. Savage. Anyway, thought I would find out if you know him.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

The result? The result would *THE* Holocaust. The butchery of Jews, Christians, any non-Muslims, would make Hitler's pogroms look like a Sunday School picnic. Only a clueless Western reporter, safely ensconced in the New York cubical, would be so clueless, so naive, as to not understand the depths of hatred and violence the average Arab-in-the-street has been ginned up to by their Mullah's and leaders. The result will be war between Israel and every other country in the region, with Israel eventually loosing, following by mass slaughter.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

First of all, you need to get your history right instead of generalizing.

As you can see from actual history, the Islamic Arabs controlled Palestine exclusively only for about 500 years (638-1135). It was then controlled by Christians, Mongols, and Ottoman Turks, and British. The only constant cultural presence in Palestine for 3,000 years was Judaic.

Second of all, the Palestinians were given a country called Jordan (cut out of Palestine Mandate and 70% Palestinian). Then the UN gave Israel a small indefensible slice of what was left, and gave all the predominant Arab regions not already Jordan to the Palestinians. That wasn't good enough. They didn't want the Jews to have anything. Take a look at the map. I think the Arabs are a bit outrageous, if you look at the map. I'm really sorry that you think the Jews are "playing the Holocaust card", because they think they deserve a country. I mean I really feel for the fact that you find their requirement for a country after having been decimated in Europe a bit too much!

By the way, despite the Monroe doctrine you will find bits of European territory dotting the entire Caribean Sea, and Canada remains a British Commonwealth nation. You really are reaching.

I'm sure that the Mexicans resent the loss of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, but that is history. It would not justify their sending suicide bombers across the border to blow themselves up in El Paso or Phoenix out of continued resentment over 1848.

I'm not sure what really bothers you, but I could guess....

From Wikipedia:

Byzantine Period 330–638 CE
Byzantine empire sub-province boundaries

* Byzantines rename the entire geographic area as Palaestina ("Palestine")

The Land of Palestine became part of the Eastern Roman Empire ("Byzantium") after the division of the Roman Empire into east and west (a fitful process that was not finalized until 395 CE).

Around 390 CE, the Byzantines redrew the borders of the Land of Palestine. The various Roman provinces (Syria Palaestina, Samaria, Galilee, and Peraea) were reorganized into three diocese of Palaestina. According to historian H.H. Ben-Sasson,[7] under Diocletian (284-305) the region was divided into Palaestina Prima which was Judea, Samaria, Idumea, Peraea and the coastal plain with Caesarea as capital, Palaestina Secunda which was Galilee, Decapolis, Golan with Beth-shean as capital, and Palaestina Tertia which was the Negev with Petra as capital.

In 351 CE, the Jews launched another revolt, provoking heavy retribution.

In 438 CE, Empress Eudocia allows Jews to return to Jerusalem to live.

By the third century during the Late Roman Period, the Nabateans stopped writing in Aramaic and began writing in Greek, and by the Byzantine Period they converted to Christianity.[8]

The two diocese of Palaestina proper also became increasingly Christianized. The Christian monk, Bar-Şawmā, in the 5th century, records that Jews and heathens formed the majority of the population. The Jews and Samaritans who ruled the country persecuted Christians.[9] Some areas, like Gaza, were well-known as pagan holdouts, and remained attached to the worship of Dagon and other deities as their ancestors had been for thousands of years.[10]

Under Byzantine rule, the region became a center of Christianity, while retaining significant Jewish and Samaritan communities (although the Samaritans were greatly reduced following Julianus ben Sabar's revolt.)

In 613 CE, the Persian Sassanian Empire under Khosrau II invaded Palaestina. Jews under Benjamin of Tiberias assisted the conquering Persians, revolting against the Byzantine Empire under Heraclius in the hopes of controlling Jerusalem autonomously. In 614 CE, the Persians conquered Jerusalem, destroying most of the churches and expelling 37,000 Christians. The Jews of Jerusalem gained autonomy to some degree, but frustrated with its limitations and anticipating its loss offered to assist the Byzantines in return for amnesty for the revolt.
In 634 CE, the Byzantine Empire lost control of the entire Mideast. The Arab Islamic Empire under Caliph Umar conquered Jerusalem along with the lands of Mesopotamia, Syria, Palaestina, and Egypt.

[edit] Islamic Period

[edit] Arab Caliphate Period 638–1099 CE
8th century CE: Territory of the Caliphate (1926 map)

[edit] Umayyad Period 638–750 CE

In 638 CE, the Christians of Jerusalem surrendered to the conquering armies of the Caliphate (Islamic Empire) under Caliph (Emperor) Umar, the second of the initial four Rashideen Caliphs.

Umar allowed seventy families from Tiberias in Galilee to move to Jerusalem to live. Christians, who were expelled from Arabia by Umar also moved to Palestine.

In Arabic, the area approximating the Byzantine Diocese of Palaestina I in the south (roughly Judea, Philistia, and southern Jordan) was called Jund Filastin (meaning Division of Palestine, as a tax administrative area),[11] and the Diocese of Palaestina II in the north (roughly Samaria, Galilee, Golan, and northern Jordan) Jund al-Urdunn.

In 661 CE, with the assassination of Ali, the last of the Rashidun Caliphs, Muawiyah I became the uncontested Caliph and founded the Ummayad Dynasty.
Palestine as described by the medieval Arab geographers. (19th century map)

After the Arabs conquered the area, waves of Bedouin garrisons began to settle there.

[edit] Period of Abbasids, Tulunids, Ikshidids, Fatimids, Seljuks 750–1099 CE

The Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads in 750.

In the 900s, the Fatimids, a self-proclaimed Shia caliphate, took control and appointed a Jewish governor. In the next century, Seljuk Turks invaded large portions of West Asia, including Asia Minor and Palestine.
Palestine and the Near East in 1135 CE, in the period between the First and Second Crusades

[edit] Crusader Period 1099–1244
Main article: The Crusades

After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 CE, the Crusader Kingdom survived throughout the Ayyubid Period until 1291 CE well into the Mamluk Period.

[edit] Kingdom of Jerusalem 1099–1187
Main article: Kingdom of Jerusalem
See also: History of Jerusalem (Middle Ages)

The proximate cause of the Crusades, following 1095, by the Christian European powers was the desire to reconquer the birth place of Christianity, which had been lost to the Islamic Arab invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 7th century. The Christian forces established the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which lasted from 1099 until 1291, though Saladin reconquered the city of Jerusalem in 1187.

[edit] Ayyubid Period 1187–1244

The Ayyubid Sultanate, founded by Saladin, controlled Jerusalem and some but not all of the region until 1250, when it was defeated by the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt.

[edit] Mamluk Period 1244–1517

After the Mongols decimated Baghdad and Damascus in the mid-1200s, the center of Islamic power moved to Cairo, under the Egyptian slave warriors, the Mamluks. T

In the late 1200s, Palestine and Syria were the primary front for battles between the Egyptian Mamluks and the Mongol Empire. The pivotal battle was the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, when the Mamluks, after having brokered a cautious neutrality with the Crusaders (who regarded the Mongols as a greater threat), were able to advance northwards and achieve a decisive victory over the Mongols at Ain Jalut, near Galilee. The Mongols were, however, able to engage into some brief Mongol raids into Palestine in 1260 and 1300, reaching as far as Gaza.

Due to the many earthquakes, the religious extremism and the black plague that hit during this era, the population dwindled to around 200,000. It is during this period that the land began to have a Levantine Muslim majority and even in the traditional Jewish stronghold of Eastern Galilee, a new Jewish-Muslim culture began to develop.[citation needed]

The Mamluk Sultanate ultimately became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, in the wake of campaigns waged by Selim I in the 16th century.

[edit] Ottoman Period 1517-1917
Image:Ottoman empire 1481-1683. (1923 map)

In 1516 the Ottoman Turks occupied Palestine.[12] The country became part of the Ottoman Empire. Constantinople appointed local governors. Public works, including the city walls, were rebuilt in Jerusalem by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1537. An area around Tiberias was given to Don Joseph HaNasi for a Jewish enclave.[citation needed] Following the expulsions from Spain, the Jewish population of Palestine rose to around 25% (includes non-Ottoman citizens, excludes Bedouin) and regained its former stronghold of Eastern Galilee. That ended in 1660 when they were massacred at Safed and Jerusalem. He was later assassinated and his brothers formed an army with Ottoman permission to conquer the Galilee. Turkish rule lasted until World War I.

Jewish immigration to Palestine, particularly to the "four sacred cities" (Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron) which already had significant Jewish communities,[citation needed] increased particularly towards the end of Ottoman rule;[citation needed] Jews of European origin lived mostly on charity while many Sephardic Jews found themselves a trade. Many Circassians and Bosnian Muslims were settled in the north of Palestine by the Ottomans in the early 19th Century. In the 1830s Egypt conquered Palestine and many Egyptians soldiers settled there. In 1838 Palestine was given back to the Turks. However, with the advent of early Zionism, just prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Jews had become a small majority in the central Judea region. Many were not Ottoman citizens and were expelled to Egypt at the time that war was declared.

blund Author Profile Page :

Captn_Ahab,

Interesting perspective, but completely unsupported by any historical analysis. The Arabs and then Arab/Muslims have ruled that region in some form for well over 2,000 years. While the Jews held the land for different periods of time with the exception of the last 60 years you have to go back to ancient history to support their claim.

Frankly, I don't like either side. I'm sick of the Jews playing the Holocaust card to justify their transgressions. I'm sick of the Arabs playing the Jihad card to justify theirs. Like war is a holy or moral endeavor, which it is not. All you have here is the Jews who claim they are the chosen people and God has given them this land so it is rightfully theirs. On the other side you have the Arab/Muslims who claim this is their homeland and has been from the time of Christ up through 1947. The Muslims don't like the Jews and the Jews don't like the Muslims. Since their positions are completely immovable all we've seen and will continue to see is conflict. (People acting badly towards other people)

I simply don't support either side in this conflict and wish we'd (the US) would withdraw from it. It's a no win scenario in every sense of the phrase. It simply doesn't matter who wins it. There is no oil or natural resources we have to have in these territories. The argument that Israel brings stability through a democracy in the ME is a joke. If what we've witnessed in the last 60+ years is stability I'd hate to see what instability was.

I'm not anti-Israel. I am anti-Israel in that part of the world. My suggestion has been to create a Jewish State in Alaska. This way we can kill two birds with one stone. We get the root cause of the conflict out of the region and at the same time we rid ourselves of Sarah Palin. That's a win win scenario if there ever was one.

Seriously, the question remains do regions of the world have a right to seek self interest through limiting outside interference or presences of unwanted people's within their regions? You might think this is a silly question, but I would reference you back to the Monroe Doctrine in the US. The US has not and will not put up with foreign interests interferring in the Western Hemisphere specifically based on this prinicple. Now we're asking the Arabs/Muslims to ignore a principle we're willing to go to war over at the drop of a hat. We're telling the Arab world since Western and European powers created Israel the Arabs have to live with it and play nice. I'm sorry, no they don't. They don't have to play nice because we tell them they do. It's their region of the world and they should have a say in their self-determination.

Anyway, I hope the next time you make a statement like, "If Israel were to lose, it would be the victory of intolerance and Islamic authoritarian hegemony over a democratic ethnic minority state in the Middle East." you can back it up with something more then, "then you have blinders to history over your oh so pained eyes." I'm all for listening to well thought out arguments whether I agree with them or not. Try formulating one if you want anyone to take you seriously.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

blund:

Ahh, but you are wrong.

It does matter who wins or loses in the Middle East. If Israel were to lose, it would be the victory of intolerance and Islamic authoritarian hegemony over a democratic ethnic minority state in the Middle East. That does matter, for reasons beyond oil. If you don't care, then you have blinders to history over your oh so pained eyes.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

The question asked can be reformulated to the following:

Will president Obama be a realist vs human rights in Palestine [that is the CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN] or will he follow the USA response since 1956 [when the USA replaced UK in ME land] and turn into Bush LITE?

Were Mr. Obama consider the problems of human rights, war crimes, etc in Palestine, he could would and should force a measure of peace a la numerous UN resolutions of the past.

Were Mr. Obama turn into an agent of AIPAC etc, a la Mr. Deceiver, a,k,a. Bush the 43rd, he will hasten the dcline of the USA and Israel, where the limitations are imposed by nature [declinig natural resources, declining agricultural production vs. rising population etc] for this route will lead to more war, fought with finances of the next genration{s!!!] wasting resources already in precartious limitations, where many of the needed metals, energy sources are limited to 10-20 years of supply with very dangerous consequences for industrial societies - never mind the problem of global warning].

As to the issue of Iran, there will be no war, if necessary the USA Navy's carrier groups will stop the Israeli planes, for the USA can not gamble on the possibility that the Kuwait/Saudi oil ports be set on fire. There is no possible replacement for resources from those two ports. without 13 million barrels a day import the USA economy would collapse - and the Chinese/ Japanese/EU members have the cash to buy the oil on higher prices, while the USA is technically bankrupt -sans the Fed;s Printing Presses.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

PAW

Thanks for the reply.

"...Let me therefore suggest the possibility that Americans identify with the people of Israel simply because both Americans and Israelis massively, commonly, and abusively subsume "aggression" under "the right to defend oneself"..."

Hay mucho animales in el rancho grande. Si?

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

TomW2

"I have some sympathy for your statement (although, admittedly, that‘s fairly rare)... Americans, for whatever reason, identify with the people of Israel."

Tom, we both know we're on the same side of things, so much so that most of the time, neither of us deems it necessary to get into that anymore. Don't we both know from experience anyway that toward the end of the conversation, our comments would fall into the moderators' hands never to be seen again?

Yet you know how much I would hate to disappoint you...

Let me therefore suggest the possibility that Americans identify with the people of Israel simply because both Americans and Israelis massively, commonly, and abusively subsume "aggression" under "the right to defend oneself".

I shall stop here. In the moderators' black hole, there already are enough messages to keep them busy.

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

Wow Blund, pretty powerful post. Brilliantly leading up to the brilliant last sentence. I am truly impressed. No joke. No BS. That to me is creative thinking. I wish I had done it.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Tom,

I do have faith. It is just not misplaced!

Throughout my years, I’ve always been a good judge of character. I’m sure about this one too. Was there some praise for Obama disguised in you last post?

It is possible that Obama, being the first black president, feels he has something to prove or maybe he just can’t imagine himself as a seat wormer. In any case although he can play politics as well as best of them, he is not your regular politician. I believe that his mind is set on making history his own style and he is just smart enough to succeed. Let’s hope that he won’t get interrupted as JFK was.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Shiveh

I thought you were an atheist, but you exhibit more blind faith than most men of the cloth I've met. I haven't seen that kind of support for a President since...well...uh...the six o'clock news....

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

PAW

“…We may all rest in peace, there never was any danger of a crash course. Had there been any, Obama would not have been elected president of the United States…”

I have some sympathy for your statement (although, admittedly, that‘s fairly rare). Consider what Rami Khouri wrote in The Daily Star, January 14, 2009 (“Obama’s pro Israel congressional welcome”):

“…Obama has tried to remain aloof and stay out of the political battle over the Gaza war by making no substantive statements about it. Israel and its supporters in Washington have different plans. Obama has stayed away from the war, but they brought the war to him - shoving it down his throat as his first pre-incumbency lesson in how American presidents must behave with respect to Israel's desires, if they wish to remain in power.
The House of Representatives voted last Friday by 390-5 for a resolution that backed Israel in its Gaza onslaught, affirming "Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza." A day earlier, the Senate overwhelmingly supported Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism.
Such extraordinary one-sided support for Israel by Congress mirrors the same position taken by the administration. Both President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared on Monday that Hamas was to blame for the current war and for the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza, and that any ceasefire had to guarantee that Hamas stopped attacking Israel. They seemed incomprehensibly blind to Israel's combined strangulation of and assault on Gaza….”

Its rare to see the Democrats and Republicans agree on an issue so thoroughly, but that is what Obama is up against (and I believe that Obama would like to change the status quo). Politically, Obama will be walking a tightrope at home. Israel, despite a weakening of popularity in the US, still enjoys a great deal of support from the American population. Americans, for whatever reason, identify with the people of Israel. Its risky politically for Obama to be seen as bullying Israel into an agreement which could be perceived as threatening her security. For example, Obama could threaten to withhold military aid to Israel to force Netanyahu to the table on the Palestinian issue. Political considerations at home will limit how far Obama will push Israel.

President Obama is a world class politician. He understands the election process. Change may be a popular slogan but real change will come very slowly in the US - incrementally. Obama could be the one to initiate the process, however.

Bogdan_in_Chicago Author Profile Page :

If a breach between US and Israel were to occur then AIPAC would dissolve and Israel might have to ask the Pope for protection. The Pope would accept the responsibility because he knows his origins, similarly to the way the United States knows that its origins are English. In a standoff between the Ayatollah and the Pope, I would bet on the Pope. So the result would be a two state solution and an armed Iran but no nuclear strikes on Israel.

Bogdan_in_Chicago Author Profile Page :

Our elder statesmen of Kissinger, Brzezinski and Scowcorft have clearly conveyed their positions on the Israeli – Iranian conflict. “America and World” by Ignatius is also very foretelling. It seems that a peace agreement will be negotiated during this administration. Emmanuel also subscribes to this position. Netanyahu must continue to posture to maintain his leverage but he will not get permission to strike first. After the election, Iran will restate its position on Israel and remove the destruction of Israel rhetoric from its presidential statements. But a breach between the US and Israel would make things very unpredictable (AIPAC hare-kiri?). Maybe France would send some banquettes.

blund Author Profile Page :

US presidents come and they go. Israeli prime minitsters come and they go. The only thing that has remained a constant is the Muslims want Israel gone and the Israeli's are not only entrenched, but expanding at every opportunity.

Does it really matter if relations between the Obama adminstration and Israel are strained? Of course not. Nothing substantial will change one way or the other. From Israel's point you are either a die hard pro Israeli supporter or you're an anti-semite. From the Arabs perspective you either agree with them or you hate Allah.

I guess this makes me an anti-semite who hates Allah because I'm so sick of the ME I don't care who wins or losses.

captn_ahab Author Profile Page :

Mr Ignatius:

Can you explain to your readers how the conspiratorial nonsense and bigoted thinking exhibited by writer's like Mr. Ali Ettefagh in this space are passed off as legitimate political commentary by the Washington Post?

Is it that the Washington Post is trying to demonstrate, to Westerners, the kind of fringe bigotry and conspiratorial analysis that passes for political wisdom among the elites of the Middle East? If this is so, I find it really scary.

dnjake Author Profile Page :

There are surely likely to be more tensions in the relationship between Israel and the US under Obama than there were under George Bush. There is also a large amount of uncertainty in how the context for the relationship will unfold. But a crash appears to be one of the less likely scenarios. There is no doubt that President Obama is interested in a more constructive relationship with Iran. It is far less clear how interested Iran is in improving that relationship. The issue of Iran's attitude toward Israel is only one of the major differences blocking improved US Iran relations. It is hard to see an evolution in Iran's behavior that would isolate Israel as the sole source of major problems in US relations with the region. It is also hard to see how isolating Israel would serve US interests. The more isolated Israel feels the more it is likely to think in terms of preemptive strikes and the less it is likely to think in terms of any kind of accomodation with the Palestinians. The Obama administration is likely to emphasize diplomacy in an effort to reduce tensions in the region, improve US Iran relations, and improve the situation of the Palestinians. But it is also likely to realize that Israel's comfort that it can rely on its relationship with Washington is central to any hope of influencing Israeli behavior.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

We may all rest in peace, there never was any danger of a crash course. Had there been any, Obama would not have been elected president of the United States.

In IBM parlance, Obama will simply follow Bush, release 2.2.

As Professor Noam Chomsky has argued convincingly recently: "La política exterior de Obama será como la segunda Administración Bush" (telesurTV.net)

On the Palestinian question more particularly, dissident Noam Chomsky has rightly pointed out that Obama's continued deafening silence on the atrocities that took place in Gaza has already been more telling than anything anybody could write on the subject:

"Esta administración será menos confrontacional con el resto del mundo, pero va a seguir las mísmas políticas. Esto se puede notar con los recientes ataques a Gaza. La campa~na en Gaza fue un ejemplo asombroso. Fue planeada muy cuidadosamente con meses de anticipación, y la prensa Isreaeli lo dice abiertamente. Fue meticulosa y claramente planeada para que concluyese justamente antes de la inauguración presidencial, concluyó un día antes de la toma de poseción.

Esto no es ninguna casualidad, ya que le hizo posible a Obama aparentar que él no podía decir nada al respecto. Mientras occurrían las atrocidades dijo, "Sólo hay un Presidente, por lo tanto no puedo decir nada al respecto". Por supuesto que él opinaba sobre todo lo demás, y no le impidió que hablase sobre la "ideología de odio", detrás de los ataques terrorístas en Mumbay. Él sí podía opinar sobre esto, pero no podía hablar de lo otro porque, "sólo hay un Presidente".

...

... ya es el Presidente, ?Entonces qué dice ahora?"

We may all rest in peace, there is not the slightest danger of a crash course.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

PG

The Israel-Palestinian conflict is the most divisive issue in the world today, and draws more world attention than any other by far (including Darfur). In the past, the US has been heavily criticized for their one-sided support of Israel. The Obama administration is politically invested in changing the US approach to the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Obama has personally reached out to the Muslim world - including Iran. He traveled to Turkey to give an important speech. Next month, Obama plans to travel to Cairo. Obama has gone out of his way to encourage better relations with the Muslim world which became contentious under Bush.

At this first meeting, Obama will (hope to) gain a commitment from Netanyahu to freeze expansion of West Bank settlements, and allow greater freedom of movement for the Palestinians by removing some checkpoints. Israel will want the US to set a timetable on negotiating with Iran to halt their nuclear program. Time is of the essence for Israel which considers Iran an existential threat to the state of Israel and thus, their number one priority. The most contentious issue between the US and Israel may be the use of force to halt Iran’s nuclear program - which Israel clearly supports as an option. The US is against this option.

Obama clearly will be seen as weak if he caves in any way to Netanyahu, but whatever these two leaders agree on, they both will take great pains to avoid Obama looking weak. There will be no breach in the US-Israel relationship although it might be strained. A falling out will damage Israel far more than the US, but the prestige of the US (and Obama) could suffer as well. The threat of the loss of military aid (from the US) and the possibility of a boycott loom for Israel - especially if the right wing Netanyahu is viewed as obstructing the two state solution by Europe where boycotts have gained in popularity.

In addition, another failure to form a Palestinian state will, more than likely, result in another round of violence. Expectations are high. In a way, Obama has painted himself into a corner with so many expectations, yet the world‘s attention is focused on solving this issue so it may be possible to achieve a two state solution at this time - or at least set a process in motion toward final status so that a final solution can be attained in a few years.

Currently, the West Bank and Gaza are ruled by different Palestinian factions. Hamas and Fattah are bitter enemies. Both are vying for power. Peace attempts probably will be futile without the formation of a unity government so that all the Palestinians will be represented at negotiations. A unity government is a critical step for resolving the final boundaries of a new Palestinian state, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Reality suggests that terrorism (resistance) over the last half century has failed. Years of terrorism produced the walls, barriers and checkpoints that make life miserable for the West Bank and Gaza populations today. Palestinian leadership failed. The Palestinian people have paid the ultimate price for a failed policy of terror while the Israelis thrive economically (without the benefit of oil) and politically.

The Palestinians - whether Hamas or Fattah - have never accepted a “Jewish” state in Palestine. Until that mindset changes, the Palestinian population will be doomed to a life of international welfare with little necessary economic interaction and trade with the Israelis. The walls and barriers will not come down. Living conditions will not change. Hatred will fester.

Unfortunately, you can’t force a two state solution on the Palestinians. This will lead to a failed Palestinian state - and more violence.

SujaNawab Author Profile Page :

One possible outcome could be - for sake of it own defense Israel may opt to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities.

Dear Lord, let me prove that winning the lottery won't spoil me.

Aprogressiveindependent Author Profile Page :

Obama has been, so far, a basically very cautious, highly politically driven, centrist president, who has abandoned some of his key campaign promises and rhetoric. Being popular with moderates and winning re-election seem high priorities with Obama, his advisors, even at the cost of substantially alienating his progressive base.

Given these apparent political "facts," there is very little likelihood Obama will do anything to diminish his political appeal among Jewish voters, by challenging Israel on any substantive issues. The Obama administration will essentially acquiesce in any Israel actions and policies. Basically no change, aaide from perhaps slightly different rhetoric now and then, from Bush administration.

ripvanwinkleincollege Author Profile Page :

I hope that the US and Israel are on a collision course, and that this administration will put the first serious pressure on Israel to trade land for peace that has been made in over 16 years.

slim2 Author Profile Page :

There could be a silver lining in any confrontation. Americans might just get to see who is the dog and who is the tail.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

This time we got lucky! President Obama is the right man coming to lead at the right time. He is a bright and confident leader who is not afraid to employ and work with the best talent around him. He is humble and ready to listen. He learns at the same time that he teaches. And I do believe that he is selfless and eager to serve without compromising his principles. He sets his goals high and what completes his attributes is a firm belief that nothing can stop him from reaching his goals.

The world is ready for a fundamental change. Old systems are falling apart and old solutions do not work anymore. Historically at moments like this, war would be the agent of change, but this time we got lucky. We have the right man for the right time.

I believe that the remnants of the old system, the leaders of Israel and Iran among them, have also felt that an inevitable change is coming. This unavoidability is a powerful psychological tool that can break much of their resistance to change. Submission is what I expect not collision. Hence better times are ahead of us.

The following from Yossi Melman of daily Haaretz posted in today’s Postglobal is a good indicator that the time for hardheaded extremism is coming to an end. “Many Israelis hope that this time the U.S. administration will slam the hammer on Israel's head. They wish that the Obama administration would help to save Israel from its own destiny of occupation and dangerous demographic trends, which threaten to undermine the very nature of Israel as a democratic society.”

jimeglrd8 Author Profile Page :

I don't know if I have Jewish ancestors or not. Depends upon whether Judaism is a race or a religion. Nevertheless, My grandfather, who never went to Temple past age 16, had a Jewish mother and if it is a race then I am part Jewish. If it is a religion my mother was not Jewish and I don't go to Temple or profess to be Jewish.
Despite that fact until a few years ago I supported almost everything Israel did to survive. As a man of 68 I was very fond of Golda Meir. In the last ten years, despite a strong dislike for Muslims, I have come to intensely dislike the policies of Israel. This is also true of many of my Jewish friends some of whom are "Sabra".
Israel is ruled and has been ruined by religious zealots who are ever bit as crazy as the Islamic crazies who are killing "infidels" and each other all over the world. The Israel government has pursued a policy of "ethnic cleansing" and done everything they could to drive Palestinians out of the area and to impoverish those who have stayed. The crazies in Israel who say that "God" gave them the lands they have misappropriated will probably find in the next few years that "God" lacked a proper title. They may also find that "God" doesn't like cruelty like that the Israeli government has employed towards the Palestinians. Currently the US protects Israel but the time is fast approaching when the US will not be able to provide protection. When that happens the Middle East will absorb Israel like the hot air of the Negev desert is absorbing the waters of the "Dead Sea".

Daho Author Profile Page :

Even if President Obama's attitude towards Israel may not be the same as his predecessor's, he will always keep in mind that Israel is the only democratic friend it has in the region.
It is strange that Israel is always blamed for not concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians, when the Palestinian Authority has never been able to prove that it can abide by the conditions of the Road Map, which the main condition is to have all violence stop. It is a fact that it does not control Hamas who keeps Gaza beyond and could not sign any peace document biding the Palestinian people as a whole. Israel is accused of having created colonies in the West Bank after the six days war in 1967. They were created as a way to control the occupied territories, and their elimination or other arrangements will certainly be an important item in any peace talks. Concerning the security wall, it has proved to have reduced the violent terrorist acts. Why is America not blamed to build a wall along the Mexican border to avoid illegal immigration, and not taxed of creating an apartheid situation?
The unfortunate Gaza war was the consequence of Hamas who, instead of taking care of its citizens and enhance their economic activities after the evacuation of the Israeli army and the colonies from Gaza, started to send increasing numbers of rockets on Israeli civilian targets. A situation which was unacceptable and the United Nations or the world countries did not really criticize Hamas for their belligerent attitude.
Israel has proven that it respects any peace agreement they sign. Egypt and Jordan are a living example.
When the Palestinians will prove that they want peace in secure borders for themselves and Israel and that they have leaders who can have its people respect the conditions of a peace treaty, Israel would be justly criticized if they do not sign it. In the meantime, Hamas refuses to recognize the authority of the Palestinian Authority and impose their dictatorship on Gaza, killing and maiming members of Fatah living there. Hamas also refuses to recognize Israel and to accept any agreements already signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
If Israel has an extreme right Foreign Minister, what kind of extremism can we call Hamas'?
Finally, the question of Iran concerns the United Nations, the U.S. and the western world, including Israel, who have obtained a number of UN decisions requesting Iran to stop its nuclear developments.

Zolko Author Profile Page :

I think it's rather tough talk only, but should the US really distance from Israel on meaningful issues, it would be devastating for Israel. Since they have the atomic bomb, and since the "final solution" is part of the jewish culture, the prospect of Israel using them in a desperate move cannot be excluded. Israel would then, indeed, be wiped off the map, but not from the pages of history.

tommyj7648 Author Profile Page :

George Washington on Israel

"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification." ~George Washington Farewell Address

"The nation which indulges toward another habitual hatred or habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interests." ~ George Washington

"Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." ~ Thomas Jefferson

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

U.S. and Israel on a collision course on the problem of Iran and Palestine? What would be the consequences of a breach between the U.S. and Israel?

I do believe that for all their talk of supporting each other that the U.S. and Israel cannot help but be in conflict with each other over Iran and Palestine. For Israel Iran and Palestine are far more of an existential problem than they are for the U.S. Sure the U.S. needs Middle Eastern oil, has interests in the Middle East, but Israel has to live there. We can clearly see that the U.S. is proceeding with the Iranian and Palestinian problem in a less severe way than Israel is--and precisely for proceeding in a less severe manner than Israel a divide is opened up between Israel and the U.S.

At bottom the U.S. does not feel as threatened as Israel, therefore concerns about oil take precedence over Israel. Israel is far more concerned about its existence than oil. The U.S. is far more concerned about oil than its existence with respect to the Middle East for the simple reason that the U.S. is not as threatened as Israel. But in the final analysis both the U.S. and Israel should be worried about the Middle East. The Islamic world is radically at odds with all the U.S. and Israel stand for. I know it is not fashionable to speak of a clash of civilizations today--not least because Obama is supposed to be able to talk his way out of anything--but I believe a clash of civilizations is inevitable.

What I mean can be explained with taking just one issue of difference between the U.S./Israel and the Islamic world. Right now I am reading Machiavelli and have been repeatedly struck with a process--a historical process--Machiavelli describes. He describes how so much of human history is a history of conspirators against ruling powers they are unsatisfied with and these ruling powers implementing counter conspiracy powers against the conspirators. Therefore slowly but surely, for all revolution and conspiracy against powers, what accrues steadily is counter conspiracy powers to the point that we have for example today in an advanced democracy only certain channels by which political power is reached, and no one seriously entertains a conspiracy against ruling powers. In other words powers of conspiracy have been crushed before they can even begin.--But then a curious phenomenon takes place: People have a vague feeling because they cannot conspire that they are being conspired against by ruling powers--especially in times of economic and political crisis.

Now what this has to do with the Middle East is pretty obvious. The Middle East is largely entrenched in this historical process that Machiavelli describes. To be clearer, in the Middle East it is routine to attempt to conspire against ruling powers, and it is of course routine for powers to implement counter conspiracy measures the best they can. This makes the Islamic world radically at odds with the U.S. and Israel. Precisely because in the U.S. and Israel counter conspiracy measures have won out and people have pretty much accepted the channels that have opened up by these measures and by which one can gain political power, the U.S. and Israel politically seem monstrous, radically constrictive to the Middle Eastern mind. In fact Middle Easterners cannot help but feel a conspiracy is afoot against them. In general they feel a conspiracy is afoot against them from their own rulers, and they constantly entertain conspiracy theories and attempt to conspire, therefore powers that have solidified in being counter conspiracy like the U.S. and Israel cannot help but be seen as malignant.

The typical Muslim is a person who entertains arriving at political power by a giant leap, simply crushing all rivals. He conspires and constantly feels conspired against. And no matter how benign the U.S. and Israel seem or even are, they cannot help but be seen as massively constrictive for the simple reason, and to say it again, that after centuries counter conspiracy powers have won out. In the U.S. and Israel the political process is no longer typified in conspiracy versus counter conspiracy terms. In general the more advanced powers have emerged from this historical process and are now in the midst of a new historical process, an attempt to be firmly counter conspiratorial without falling into totalitarian states whether of the left or right. But the Middle East is largely stuck in the prior historical process--one of conspiracy versus counter conspiracy. This explains to a large degree the puzzling phenomenon of Islamic people being strangely removed from the facts of what the average person would call general history and being inordinately engrossed in conspiracy theories.

So the U.S. really at bottom should not allow oil concerns to take precedence over Israel. It is an illusion to think that pulling away from Israel and trying to talk to and ally oneself with Middle Eastern powers will work to the benefit of the Islamic world and the West. The West simply fails to grasp the difference in mindsets between the Islamic world and the West. In short it would be tragic for the U.S. and Israel to break over the problems of Iran and Palestine. The U.S. and Israel must stand fast with each other or potentially go down together. And the world under Muslim influence descend back to earlier historical processes of conspiracy versus counter conspiracy....

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.