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The occupation will last forever, Netanyahu clarifies

When Abbas joins the next UN body and signs the next international treaty or makes his next move aimed at advancing statehood, remember why he is doing so.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday put to rest any lingering speculation or hopes that the long-comatose two-state solution might ever be revived.

All of a sudden, the prime minister’s refusal to discuss borders or maps in negotiations with the Palestinians makes sense. After all, why negotiate over a map you have no intention of ever compromising on?

“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” Netanyahu said in a televised statement about the current Gaza military operation, the Times of Israel reported.

Yes. You read that right. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister for the coming years (unless he is unseated by a political opponent who outflanks him from the right) said that there is no way he would ever pull the Israeli army out of the West Bank.

It’s official, not that this should really surprise anyone: as long as Netanyahu is the Israeli prime minister, the occupation is forever and there will be no sovereign Palestine.

Click to read more on the diplomatic process

So when PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas takes his next international diplomatic step aimed at advancing Palestinian statehood and claiming a seat among the community of nations, remember why he is doing so. (Abbas is reportedly discussing joining the International Criminal Court.) It is not because negotiations broke down over some minor details, a clash of personalities or just bad timing.

No. It’s because at the negotiations table, Abbas was the only one even talking about a two-state solution. It’s now clear why U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was unable to draft an acceptable — to Israel — “framework” document in his efforts to budge negotiations along just a few feet further. Netanyahu outright rejects the most fundamental piece of the puzzle: the land on which it lays.

Denouncing the current violent escalation between Israel and Hamas Friday night, Mahmoud Abbas said: “The only solution to the current crisis is a diplomatic one, but I don’t have a partner for a two-state solution,” Haaretz reported.

And remember, if there is no two-state solution, and assuming a one-state solution isn’t around the corner either, then the occupation is forever — and that seems to be okay with most Israelis.

Related:
U.S. post-mortem on peace talks: Israel killed them
Abbas’ generous offer to Israel
What’s the significance of a ‘settlement-free Europe?’

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Rab

      Oh knock it off, Israel offered the Palestinians almost all of Judea and Samaria more than once and the Palestinians said no or walked away or kept demanding to flood Israel with descendants of refugees.

      And, more to the point, they have kept attacking Israel. This is the third Gaza operation in the past 6 years. So you blame Israel for learning from ongoing events?

      Netanyahu offered the possibility of two states and sent Livni to negotiate. Does it seem to you that she’s trying to buy time? Of course not, she’s very serious about this. But what can you learn when the Palestinians refuse to come to the table (which they did: they refused to meet with Israelis directly after November 2013), then create a unity agreement with a terror organization and hand out candy when some Israeli teenagers are kidnapped?

      Answer: you figure out the obvious, that what happened in Gaza will inevitably happen in Judea and Samaria if Israel pulls out.

      People such as you and the other writers on 972 have done everything in your power to vilify everything and anything that Israel has done in the past years while ignoring Palestinian activism to avoid peace, negotiations and even Oslo. You did this even after Israel offered peace and received war. Now you’re trying to place the blame on Israel again?

      Maybe you’ll convince some JVP activists and some ignorant shmucks who don’t know better, but don’t kid yourself: Gaza and Gazans have proven that all of our dreams of peace are for naught.

      Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        “Judea and Samaria” I didn’t realize we were using biblical names to describe the modern world. Well, let’s go one further and refer the whole Levant as the province of Kemet and the patrimony of Amenhotep II. Get out of there, invaders! The progeny of Menes owned Canaan long before those invader Hyskos swarmed in like a bunch of locusts! See, this game is fun. And fucking stupid.

        Reply to Comment
        • Enzo

          Genious words!

          Reply to Comment
        • SK

          Brilliant, Y-man.

          Reply to Comment
        • Arad

          Y-Man, “Judea and Samaria” is what this territory is called by the Jews. This is what they called it 3000 years ago, 2000 years ago, 1000 years ago and 500 years ago, and this is what we call it today. Your comment implies that you have no respect for Jews as a people and as a culture.

          Reply to Comment
          • David

            Setting aside the fact that thus far, no archeological evidence or most importantly, no contemporaneous writings of neighboring civilizations prove that David or Solomon ever existed, the United Kingdom of Israel existed a mere 73 years, a blip in the history of Canaan/Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            But there is plenty of evidence that Jews lived in this area at least 2700 years ago. They have found Hebrew inscriptions, biblical inscriptions, the Dead Sea Scrolls, some stones indicating the second Temple existed…and they’ve never tried to dig directly under the Haram al Sharif where most believe the original temple existed as well as the Second Temple.

            Reply to Comment
          • Swami

            David, there is no archaeological evidence of a “King Arthur”. Do we thus disbelieve in the historical existence of England?
            The fact that modern Israel has cultural, geographical, and yes, genetic ties to ancient Israel is verifiable. It is the principle reason for the creation of Israel. That they obviously need this homeland is demonstrated by the oppression they face elsewhere, including in the rest of the middle east, where the native Jewish population, oppressed, abused, and exiled, is all but extinct.

            One might think a fair solution would be to compensate Palestinian Arabs with property seized from Jews throughout the middle east and North Africa, but then, who in their right mind would want to live in Iraq, Iran, Libya or Syria when Israel is there?

            Bigotry against Jews throughout the Middle East is extreme and crosses the border into deranged psychopathy; journalist Richard Engels estimated that of the fighters opposing Gaddafi, 20% believed Gaddafi (who had exiled the Jewish population of Libya) was in fact secretly Jewish. “Secret Jew” is a charge leveled at Assad, Al-Sisi, and basically anyone Arabs are fighting, regardless of the plausibility. “Jewish” is the evil bogeyman for the Middle East. In that light, Jews cannot be considered safe, free, or even welcome in the rest of the middle east, and Israel is for them a necessity.

            Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          Actually, this is the name many Christians gave this territory.

          If you really and truly have a problem with the name of this area because of history, then how do you countenance calling this area “West Bank” when it was so named by TransJordan in an attempt to annex the land – an attempt rejected by all states in the world except for England – and which lasted all of 19 years, when the Jordanians’ occupation of this territory ended? You respect a name that lasted all of 19 years but reject one that has lasted thousands?

          Reply to Comment
          • David

            Firstly, what was referred to as Transjordan following WWI became known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan when it acquired independence from Britain in May, 1946.

            Also, the term “West Bank,” which included East Jerusalem, was in use long before Israel was established.

            In 1950, Jordan’s King Abdullah illegally annexed the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. (For the record, West Bank Palestinians were given full Jordanian citizenship and equal parliamentary representation with what were known as East Bankers.)

            Israel launched the June 1967 war, seized the remaining 22% of mandated Palestine and ended Jordan’s control of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

            In 1988, in effect acknowledging that his grandfather’s annexation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was illegal, King Hussein formally conceded that the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) belonged to the Palestinians.

            UNSC Res. 465: “…measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity…practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention…”

            Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was unanimously rejected by the UNSC in Resolutions 476 and 478.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            “Transjordan became known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan when it acquired independence from Britain in May, 1946.”

            False. It renamed itself Jordan in 1948. Up until then it was TransJordan because it existed entirely to the east of the Jordan River, hence “Trans”Jordan. After it occupied Judea and Samaria in 1948, it called the territory “West Bank” and renamed itself “Jordan” because it was no longer solely across the river. Then it sought to annex the territory but nobody except England (and Pakistan provisionally) accepted the annexation.

            “Also, the term “West Bank,” which included East Jerusalem, was in use long before Israel was established.”

            Incorrect.

            If you need any evidence, go and look at 181 or any of the British White Papers and see if the term is used. It isn’t.

            “Jordan and supposed democracy”

            Jordan has no equal representation. It is a monarchy and Palestinians do not have equal rights, especially since they are the majority of the population.

            “Israel launched the June 1967 war,”

            No, Egypt did. Israel just attacked them first. And with respect to Jordanian controlled territory, it is irrefutable that Jordan attacked first after being warned by Israel not to attack.

            “seized the remaining 22% of mandated Palestine”

            No, they seized the 22% of the 22% of Mandated Palestine remaining after Jordan got the other 78% in 1922. Mandatory Palestine included all of Gaza, Israel, Judea, Samaria, and Jordan. The 22% of which you speak is just Gaza, Israel, Judea and Samaria. The Israelis and Palestinians are basically debating about whether the Arabs get 84% of Mandatory Palestine or just 78%.

            “King Hussein and annexation”

            Jordan has never conceded the annexation was illegal.

            “UNSC Res. 465, 476 and 478.”

            Lovely. Except these are all under Title VI and therefore are advisory.

            Reply to Comment
        • Sam_Dobermann

          Actually the name “West Bank” was given to that area after Jordan occupied it and annexed the territory to Jordan. They called it the West Bank because it was the west bank of the Jordan river. This should be obvious because it is on the east side of what was called Palestine — a name given to the whole area east of the Jordan River by the Roman conquerors.

          Question: Why when Jordan occupied the West Bank didn’t the Palestinians form a government and become their own state? Israel had no control, no contact and no power. Why didn’t the Palestinians form their own state?

          Reply to Comment
      • David

        Utter nonsense.

        In 1988, the PLO accepted Israel as a sovereign state within the borders of the 1947 recommendatory only UNGA Partition Plan (Res. 181.) By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO agreed to UNSC Res. 242 and thereby recognized a sovereign Israel within its internationally accepted boundaries, i.e., in accordance with international law (“…the inadmissibiity of the acquistion of territory by war…” as declared in the preamble of Res. 242), those of 4 June 1967.

        The PLO agreed to the US supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state, exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if Israel complies with international law and its previous commitments. Fully aware of Israel’s demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not call for the return of all Palestinian refugees. It “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.” (In accordance with UNGA Res. 194 derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and binding on all UN members, the vast majority would accept financial compensation.) Regrettably, then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon dismissed the Arab League’s peace overture, as did Israel’s govt. in 2008.

        BTW, Hamas has long since accepted the two state solution. A headline in the November 9, 2008 edition of Haaretz reads: “Haniyeh : Hamas Willing to Accept Palestinian State with 1967 Borders,” for a report that Hamas Prime Minister Islmail Haniyeh had told 11 members of the European Parliament that Hamas would accept the 1967 borders with Israel and had offered a long-term truce in exchange for Israel’s recognition of Palestinian national rights. In an op-ed column in the New York Times the following year, Robert Malley, a special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs under President Bill Clinton, said Hamas’s acceptance of a two state solution “has now grown from a hint to a certainty.”

        For the record, other peace initiatives that Israeli governments have rebuffed include: U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ The Rogers Plan (1969); The Scranton Mission on behalf of President Nixon (1970); Egyptian President Sadat’s land for peace and mutual recognition proposal (1971); U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s call for a Geneva international conference (1977); Saudi Arabian King Fahd’s peace offer (1981); U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Reagan Plan (1982); U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz’s Schultz Plan (1988); U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s Baker Plan (1989); and of course, the previously mentioned 1993 Oslo accords signed by Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that unravelled following the latter’s assassination and subsequent return to power of the Likud party from 1996-1999 under Benjamin Netanyahu; continuation of the Taba II negotiations (2001), and the unofficial Geneva Peace Initiative of November/December 2003.

        As for the 2000 Camp David Summit, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat. It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then Israel’s foreign minister and lead
        negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

        Regrettably, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states, i.e., a sovereign Palestinian state comprised of a mere 22% of their original homeland, has been escalation of illegal settlement construction in belligerently/illegally occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

        Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          My response to your cut and paste fell to the bottom of the thread.

          Reply to Comment
      • Johnboy

        Rab: …”Israel offered the Palestinians almost all of Judea and Samaria”….

        The very glibness of that statement explains why it is so false.

        After all, exactly what was being “offered” to the Palestinians?

        Was it “sovereignty”?
        Was it “autonomy”?
        Was it “bantustans”?

        What, exactly, was the nature of that “offer”?

        After all, in the Oslo II Accords Israel “offered” to give the PA complete authority – both civil and security – over Area A, and the Palestinians accepted that offer.

        That agreement with Israel turned out to mean exactly n.o.t.h.i.n.g. the moment Netanyahu decided that it suited his purpose to turn all of Area C upside down in his “search” for three Israeli teenagers that he already knew were dead.

        Sovereignty isn’t just a word: it actually has a meaning, which Rab should look up.

        Now, one more time: did Israel ever “offer the Palestinians sovereignty over almost all of Judea and Samaria”?

        Answer: No.

        Not once. Not ever.

        Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          “Now, one more time: did Israel ever “offer the Palestinians sovereignty over almost all of Judea and Samaria”?”

          First time: At Camp David Barak offered sovereignty over 90% of Judea and Samaria, in which I’m including parts of Jerusalem that were supposed to become under Palestinian sovereignty eventually. My source, so you can’t challenge me, is Hussein Agha and Robert Malley’s famous article putting the blame for the failure of those talks on Barak and Clinton instead of Arafat.

          Second time: At Taba, several months after Camp David (during which the two sides were negotiating and the Palestinians launched their war) when Israel offered the Clinton Parameters more or less in their entirety. That upped sovereignty over Judea and Samaria to about 93% and eliminated a couple of the bisecting roads from the Camp David offer so that it became inarguable that the territory wasn’t contiguous. The Palestinians did not budge on their positions in those talks.

          Third time: 2008 Olmert offer. Increased Barak’s offer to 95% of Judea and Samaria.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Arad

      Wrong.

      What Netanyahu mean by “territory west of the River Jordan” is not the entire West Bank, but parts of the Jordan valley. And he’s not talking about maintaining Israeli sovereignty in that area (which is part of the West Bank), but some sort of security control.

      This is unacceptable to the Palestinians, and I think they are right and that Netanyahu’s point is a nonsensical one. But it does not negate the two states solution.

      As an Israeli you should know that this is what Netanyahu means. He’s been talking about it for decades. It appears you are purposefully misleading your readers.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Rab

      “Utter nonsense.”

      Actually, indisputable facts.

      “1988, PLO accepted Res. 181.”

      Really? So did their charter change at that point? Of course not. That’s why Clinton had to travel all the way to Israel to ask them to change it…which they claimed then to do but they did it in a closed door session. In other words, they accepted nothing. Besides, they rejected 181 and started a war. You don’t get a do-over.

      “242 and recognized a sovereign Israel…in accordance with international law”

      As Rostow and Caradon who were both instrumental diplomats in writing 242 have noted, the clauses in which they wrote “territories” instead of “the territories” were written after intense and lengthy wrangling over the language. The intent of leaving out “the” was to ensure that Israel did not have to return to 1967 lines and the reasoning was that it would be unfair to reward belligerents for war or to place Israel again in a situation where its borders would be so narrow and prone to attack. There are those who try to pretend that this reading of 242 is incorrect, but if the former dean of Yale Law School (Rostow) says this is what they meant, it’s fairly hard to challenge.

      “The PLO agreed to the US supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative”

      International law does not call for what the 2002 deal offers. Not even close. That’s precisely why the deal seeks to incorporate 194 into its language…because otherwise 194 is nothing more than an advisory ruling by the General Assembly. That’s without getting into 242 or whose land this territory is since there was no sovereign of it after the Ottomans.

      “Israel’s demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not call for the return of all Palestinian refugees. It “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.” (In accordance with UNGA Res. 194 derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and binding on all UN members….”

      Thanks for putting 194 in brackets as if we’re all idiots. 194 is the key to the entire subterfuge and people know how to read. 194 is read by most Arabs and certainly by Palestinians and their advocates as establishing a “right of return.” They don’t equivocate or fudge. 194 is not mandated at all, it is advisory.

      Also the Saudi led offer of the Arab League requires that Israel move back to 1949 lines which is incredibly offensive considering that the Temple Mount, Western Wall and Jewish Quarter are excluded from what Israel would keep.

      Oh, and by the way, the Arab League has not offered to negotiate this deal. It has been a take it or leave it offer. Let’s assume for a moment that Israel accepted the offer. Of the countries that belong to the Arab League Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan and Yemen have seen considerable political turmoil that undermines these countries’ political leadership’s influence and in some cases has destroyed it completely and left it up for grabs. That’s without getting into League members under threat such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia. So who will keep this deal after Israel walks back from any territory? The non-existent Iraqi government? The Jordanians trying to keep ISIS away? Thank goodness Israel didn’t sign off on anything!

      “BTW, Hamas has long since accepted the two state solution.”

      Oh. Well, I don’t have the patience to bring you 200 articles that say otherwise, but how about this one which is reported a year after the supposed claim you’ve given us by Haniyeh, in which his boss at the time specifically states that Hamas won’t accept Israel:

      http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/09/Hamas-leader-rejects-two-state-solution/UPI-65911241892443/

      “Malley…said Hamas’s acceptance of a two state solution “has now grown from a hint to a certainty.”

      Apparently Malley doesn’t read press conferences with Hamas leaders that deny this. Nor does he read the Hamas Charter which specifically denies this. But let’s face it, Malley has been playing the Arab angle since Camp David, so perhaps he’s not the best source for information about this.

      “For the record, other peace initiatives that Israeli governments have rebuffed include: U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers’ The Rogers Plan (1969);”

      This was not a comprehensive peace plan. And while Israel rejected it, so did Nasser and his bosses in the USSR. According to Benny Morris, it was Nasser’s rejection which killed the deal, not Israel’s.

      “The Scranton Mission on behalf of President Nixon (1970);”

      No peace offer was made or plan offered. Scranton proposed a more “even handed” American policy vis a vis American and the Arabs and American and Israel. Nixon distanced himself from this proposal.

      “Egyptian President Sadat’s land for peace and mutual recognition proposal (1971);”

      Yeah, a proposal that did not include diplomatic recognition of Israel. Sadat didn’t even agree to speak to Israel at the time or after. It was basically a “give us the Sinai and let refugees into Israel and we’ll make peace while treating you as if you don’t exist” offer. To see how nonsensical this is, compare it to Sadat’s visit to Israel and the Knesset in 1977. For doing that he received all of the Sinai back – a landmass three times Israel’s size.

      “U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s call for a Geneva international conference (1977);”

      What peace offer was made there? As far as I know, the Egyptians preferred to make peace with Israel directly and circumvented Carter’s plans for talks – talks that Israel agreed to attend and even put out a press release with the US government stating they were going to proceed on the basis of 242 and 338. There was no peace offer in this instance.

      “Saudi Arabian King Fahd’s peace offer (1981);”

      Yeah. That’s the deal where Israel has to give up all lands, allow all refugees, and let Palestinians control all of Jerusalem. Great deal! Those Israelis are such warmongers for refusing it.

      “U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Reagan Plan (1982);”

      Yup, but this wasn’t a peace plan. This was an attempt to give the Palestinians autonomy so that perhaps at some point in the future there could be peace. Ironically, this plan fairly resembles Oslo, which Israel accepted a decade later. Needless to say, this plan was also rejected by the Palestinians as well as by other Arab countries because it didn’t give them sovereignty.

      “U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz’s Schultz Plan (1988);”

      Israel agreed to work on this plan. The Palestinians refused to meet with Schultz. Therefore, it died.

      “U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s Baker Plan (1989);”

      Like all of your other supposed peace opportunities, this was merely a proposal to conduct talks. That’s miles away from a peace offer or a deal. Also, James Baker is famous for his “fuck the Jews” moment, so it’s understandable if Israelis didn’t have much faith in him.

      “and of course, the previously mentioned 1993 Oslo accords;”

      Um, under Oslo Israel offered peace and a Palestinian state.

      “continuation of the Taba II negotiations (2001),”

      Um, at Taba II Israel improved its offer to the Palestinians from Camp David dramatically. Unfortunately, the Palestinians were busy with a war against Israel during the negotiations and they were also not budging on their demands regarding Jerusalem and refugees, and as elections in Israel were coming up, Barak finally stopped the talks. He lost the election anyway because only an idiot agrees to negotiate a permanent peace with such far-reaching concessions while his people are being murdered by suicide bombers and snipers. But before he walked away, he made an extremely generous peace offer to the Palestinians. Had they not wanted to destroy Israel, they could have a state for many years now already.

      “…and the unofficial Geneva Peace Initiative of November/December 2003.”

      194 is part of that language. No go.

      “As for the 2000 Camp David Summit, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat.”

      No, it was a good deal. For the first time ever the Palestinians would have had a state.

      “It could only be rejected.”

      Bullshit.

      “Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami…”

      Right, because he’s the fool who then returned to the negotiations at Taba and offered the Palestinians far more even as they were attacking Israel. He begged them to accept joint sovereignty over the Temple Mount where the Jews would control the Western Wall and he was shocked when they said “no.” So of course he feels they were right to say no at Camp David, because they correctly assessed that an idiot like him would want peace so desperately that he would offer them much more. Which he did. And which still got him nowhere.

      “Israel’s response to every peace overture…has been escalation of illegal settlement construction in belligerently/illegally occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.”

      These are not illegally occupied. 242 essentially allows for occupation to proceed until all the parties in the region accept Israel’s borders in peace. Second, Israel has been the one to offer peace 3 times in the past 14 years and the Palestinians have only agreed to the 2002 Arab League offer, which as noted, does not remove the refugee descendants issue off the table or allow Israel to control its holiest and most historic sites in Jerusalem.

      Please cut and paste better information next time.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Johnboy

      Rab: “So did their charter change at that point? Of course not.”

      Not that the word used is “change”, not “rewrite”?

      The PLO Charter was, indeed, “changed”. Those articles of the Charter that were inconsistent with the exchange of letters between Arafat and Rabin were annulled.

      That “changed” the Charter, even though Rab insists that the Charter was not changed.

      Or, in short: Rab does not know what he is talking about.

      Reply to Comment
      • Rab

        I have excellent news for you. NOBODY other than the delegates in the room knows what’s in the charter. The “changes” were made behind closed doors.

        Glad this and the fact you don’t trust Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School and an Undersecretary of State, because he’s a Jew are the only two objections you could find to my lengthy and detailed comment. Now that we’ve cleared up these two objections, I’m sure we’re in full agreement and you see the errors of your ways.

        Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy

          Rab: “I have excellent news for you. NOBODY other than the delegates in the room knows what’s in the charter.”

          An odd claim indeed, since the Israeli mission to the UN tells us that no less than 29 Articles of the PNC Charter were annulled:
          http://www.usembassy-israel.org.il/publish/peace/plo_note.html

          Pretty hard to pretend otherwise, of course, since Arafat stood up in the UN General Assembly on March 5 1997 and listed all 29 of them.

          Here, I’ll even list them for you:
          “Articles 6-10,15, 19-23, and 30 have been nullified, and the parts in Articles 1-5, 11-14, 16-l8, 25-27 and 29 that are inconsistent with the above mentioned commitments have also been nullified”

          Now, so sorry, but unless you want to claim that a meeting of the UN General Assembly is a “closed shop”, or unless you want to consider that Bill Clinton is a “Palestinian Delegate” then I’d have to say you are blowing smoke.

          One more time:
          Article 6
          Article 7
          Article 8
          Article 9
          Article 10
          Article 15
          Article 19
          Article 20
          Article 21
          Article 22
          Article 23
          Article 30
          are all completely and utterly “out” of the Charter, and:
          Parts of Article 1
          Parts of Article 2
          Parts of Article 3
          Parts of Article 4
          Parts of Article 5
          Parts of Article 11
          Parts of Article 12
          Parts of Article 13
          Parts of Article 14
          Parts of Article 16
          Parts of Article 17
          Parts of Article l8
          Parts of Article 25
          Parts of Article 26
          Parts of Article 27
          Parts of Article 29
          are also “out” of the Charter.

          Didn’t you know that?

          Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            “Kaddoumi: PLO charter was never changed [back the Iraqi terror; happy Israel will leave Gaza]******
            Jerusalem Post ^ | Apr. 22, 2004 | KHALED ABU TOAMEH

            Posted on 04/22/2004 12:38:31 PM

            Farouk Kaddoumi, the PLO’s hard-line “foreign minister,” said Thursday that when Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat talks about the need to pursue the struggle against Israel, he is referring to the armed struggle. Kaddoumi said the armed struggle was the only way to force Israel to accept the demands of the Palestinians.

            Kaddoumi’s remarks were made in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab. He admitted that the PLO charter, which denies Israel’s right to exist, was never changed.

            In response to a question what does Arafat mean when he talks about the continuation of the struggle, Kaddoumi, who is one of the few PLO leaders still living in Tunisia, said: “Yes, the national struggle must continue. I mean the armed struggle. In the past we abandoned our political parties in favor of the armed struggle.

            “Fatah was established on the basis of the armed struggle and that this was the only way to leading to political negotiations that would force the enemy to accept our national aspirations. Therefore there is no struggle other than the armed military struggle.” ”

            And this was in 2004.

            In 1998, two years after your supposed claims, Clinton had to attend a meeting of the Palestinian national council precisely because nobody believed the changes were actually made. When he attended, all that was said to the delegates was whether they approved the changes – the changes were not listed in front of them or Clinton – and a large enough majority said yes. However, nobody has seen the new draft language because it was supposedly constructed by a closed-door committee.

            And you will note, by looking at this AP report that the chair of the PNC explicitly stated that what the delegates were voting on was NOT the charter but the letters exchanged between Arafat and Clinton.

            http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1998/PLO-Charter-Clauses-To-Be-Revoked/id-fbec2168b6f9a86871f6ba2efa6908d0

            It was a ruse. Pure and simple.

            Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy

          Rab: “because he’s a Jew”

          Ahem, even the best lawyer gets dealt a hopeless brief, Rab.

          Rostow was an ardent Zionist, and since he was an ardent Zionist he argued the Zionist brief.

          Good for him, but it’s a hopeless brief.

          Rab: “are the only two objections you could find to my lengthy and detailed comment.”

          No, actually, I posted a lengthy rebuttal to your preposterous interpretation of the meaning of that missing “the”.

          I have no idea where it went, so I’ll post it again…

          Reply to Comment
    5. Johnboy

      Rab: “but if the former dean of Yale Law School (Rostow) says this is what they meant, it’s fairly hard to challenge”

      *chortle*

      That’s akin to insisting that anything Alan Dershowitz has to say on Israel is undoubtedly correct, being unquestionably the unbiased opinion of a brilliant legal mind.

      But nobody would dream of suggesting that, for the simple reason that The Dersh (though undoubtedly a legal talent) has an obvious, ahem, bias.

      The same bias, in fact, that Rostow carried around with him for all of his life.

      Rostow was a brilliant legal mind, no doubt.

      He also had a tribal affiliation, of which there was also no doubt.

      So when Rostow opined about UNSCR242 who was doing the talking?

      1) The unbiased legal mind?
      2) The unabashed Zionist?

      I would suggest that the answer was the same for Rostow as it is for Dershowitz i.e. Option (2).

      Rostow was not beyond placing his tribal loyalty above his legal reputation.

      It’s actually pretty common amongst lawyers, since they are very well trained in the art of rationalization.

      Reply to Comment
      • Rab

        I’ll bet that when a Jewish lawyer or scholar agrees with your viewpoint, you don’t come up with the tribal bullshit excuse.

        Anyway, since you need a goy to prove you wrong, here you go:

        “Lord Caradon (Hugh M. Foot) was the permanent representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, 1964-1970, and chief drafter of Resolution 242.

        • Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, pg. 13, qtd. in Egypt’s Struggle for Peace: Continuity and Change, 1967-1977, Yoram Meital, pg. 49:

        Much play has been made of the fact that we didn’t say “the” territories or “all the” territories. But that was deliberate. I myself knew very well the 1967 boundaries and if we had put in the “the” or “all the” that could only have meant that we wished to see the 1967 boundaries perpetuated in the form of a permanent frontier. This I was certainly not prepared to recommend.

        • Journal of Palestine Studies, “An Interview with Lord Caradon,” Spring – Summer 1976, pgs 144-45:

        Q. The basis for any settlement will be United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, of which you were the architect. Would you say there is a contradiction between the part of the resolution that stresses the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and that which calls for Israeli withdrawal from “occupied territories,” but not from “the occupied territories”?

        A. I defend the resolution as it stands. What it states, as you know, is first the general principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. That means that you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it. We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.

        Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong. In New York, what did we know about Tayyibe and Qalqilya? If we had attempted in New York to draw a new line, we would have been rather vague. So what we stated was the principle that you couldn’t hold territory because you conquered it, therefore there must be a withdrawal to – let’s read the words carefully – “secure and recognized boundaries.” They can only be secure if they are recognized. The boundaries have to be agreed; it’s only when you get agreement that you get security. I think that now people begin to realize what we had in mind – that security doesn’t come from arms, it doesn’t come from territory, it doesn’t come from geography, it doesn’t come from one side domination the other, it can only come from agreement and mutual respect and understanding.

        Therefore, what we did, I think, was right; what the resolution said was right and I would stand by it. It needs to be added to now, of course. … We didn’t attempt to deal with [the questions of the Palestinians and of Jerusalem] then, but merely to state the general principles of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. We meant that the occupied territories could not be held merely because they were occupied, but we deliberately did not say that the old line, where the troops happened to be on that particular night many years ago, was an ideal demarcation line.

        • MacNeil/Lehrer Report, March 30, 1978:

        We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ’67 line; we did not put the “the” in, we did not say “all the territories” deliberately. We all knew that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… . We did not say that the ’67 boundaries must be forever.

        • Daily Star (Beirut), June 12, 1974. Qtd. in Myths and Facts, Leonard J. Davis, pg. 48:

        It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967 because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places the soldiers of each side happened to be the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them and I think we were right not to …

        • Interview on Kol Israel radio, February 1973, qtd. on Web site of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

        Q. This matter of the (definite) article which is there in French and is missing in English, is that really significant?

        A. The purposes are perfectly clear, the principle is stated in the preamble, the necessity for withdrawal is stated in the operative section. And then the essential phrase which is not sufficiently recognized is that withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized. And that is why one has to work for agreement. This is essential. I would defend absolutely what we did. It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1947, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary… “

        Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy

          Rab: “because he’s a Jew”

          Ahem, even the best lawyer gets dealt a hopeless brief, Rab.

          Rostow was an ardent Zionist, and since he was an ardent Zionist he argued the Zionist brief.

          Good for him, but it’s a hopeless brief.

          Rab: “are the only two objections you could find to my lengthy and detailed comment.”

          No, actually, I posted a lengthy rebuttal to your preposterous interpretation of the meaning of that missing “the”.

          I have no idea where it went, so I’ll post it again…

          Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy

          Rab: “I’ll bet that when a Jewish lawyer or scholar agrees with your viewpoint, you don’t come up with the tribal bullshit excuse.”

          Actually, that’s an interesting observation well worth mulling.

          Think of it this way:
          Here are two tribes (Tribe X and Tribe Y), and Tribe X is advancing **this** or **that** legal point.

          Here are the legal fraternity, and it is divided on the legal merits of that argument.

          Q: Who is in the “these dudes are right!” camp?
          A: That camp is entirely comprised of Legal Eagles Who Belong To Tribe X. Nobody else will touch that argument with a 10-foot pole.

          Q: Who is in the “they’re talking nonsense!” camp?
          A: Well, heck, everyone else.

          Which is funny, because **if** the argument really did have legal merit **then** there would be a wide cross-section of the legal fraternity who (even if grudgingly) accept that there is merit to the argument.

          But that’s not the case here: the “By Golly They’re Right!” camp consists entirely of people who are already “theys”.

          The argument – axiomatically – is a partisan argument, because that’s what “partisan” means.

          Reply to Comment
          • Rab

            Well then, I’m glad to hear that you reject all Arab and Muslim diplomatic and legal opinions as they relate to (and profoundly influence other countries with whom they have significant dealings) the Arab-Israeli conflict.

            I’m also glad to hear that you essentially reject any argument made by a Christian lawyer regarding, say, abortion.

            That you reject all claims made by lesbian lawyers regarding gay and lesbian issues.

            And I presume you don’t stop at lawyers. Doctors of a certain faith who hold certain views, even if backed by science? Well, tough titties for them. Right?

            Come to think of it, you would have really enjoyed engaging in violence against those who claimed the world wasn’t flat when everyone believed it was. After all, the vast majority of people absolutely KNEW the world was flat and those pigs who were trying to change their minds were, how did you put it, “partisan.”

            Read Rostow and weep, kiddo. He’s not only brilliant – dean of the best or one of the top three law schools in the land – but he explains very clearly not only why 242 is precisely as I describe it, but also why settlements aren’t illegal. Read it and learn something.

            And by the way, your smugness is laughable. It takes a real fool to believe that just because a majority of countries say something, that this is actually what that something means. There are 57 Muslim bloc countries and 120 non-aligned movement countries dominated by the Muslim bloc in the UN. The countries that don’t belong to these two massive groups rely on significant trade with them or have other political interests. Israel, on the other hand, is its own advocate and has 8 million people, only 6 million of whom are Jewish. To suggest that what you see on the world stage is normal and what advocates for Israel who happen to be Jewish is simply tribal and “partisan” is to show naivete and ignorance of the highest degree.

            Reply to Comment
        • Johnboy

          Rab: “Anyway, since you need a goy to prove you wrong, here you go”

          Followed immediately by long quotes from Caradon that Rab doesn’t understand, which is why Rab doesn’t realize that Caradon disagreed with him.

          Just to recap, Rab’s argument is this: “The intent of leaving out “the” was to ensure that Israel did not have to return to 1967 lines”

          Got that?

          Rab is clearly saying that UNSCR242 was intended “ensure” that Israel could refuse the 1967 Liness.

          But that’s not what Caradon said.

          He clearly said that UNSCR242 was intentionally drafted not to EXCLUDE the possibility of Some Other Arrangement being arrived at.

          Rab doesn’t understand the difference, but those are indeed two very different propositions.

          Caradon himself points to the flaw in Rab’s argument: “first the general principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”

          Rab, please, actually go and r.e.a.d. the plain text of UNSCR242.

          It clearly says that “peace” will require that Israel “withdraws from territory occupied in the recent conflict”.

          Caradon was perfectly correct: Israel was at liberty to propose an alternative, and UNSCR242 does not preclude Israel from putting an offer on the table.

          But he was also perfectly correct to point out that if nobody accepts Israel’s proposal then, so sorry, that territory remains “occupied”, and Israel is not at liberty to “claim” it.

          It’s been 4 decades now, and nobody has ever agreed to any Israeli proposition that Maybe They Would Like To Accept Some Other Line.

          Caradon’s view on such a situation is stated above: “you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it”.

          Nothing in UNSCR242 precludes Israel from **asking** for some line other than the 1967 lines.

          But if the offer isn’t taken up (and it hasn’t been, and it never will be) then that territory is “occupied”, and UNSCR242 says that “peace” will require that the IDF “withdraw” from that territory.

          Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          This statement is clear:

          “Much play has been made of the fact that we didn’t say “the” territories or “all the” territories. But that was deliberate. I myself knew very well the 1967 boundaries and if we had put in the “the” or “all the” that could only have meant that we wished to see the 1967 boundaries perpetuated in the form of a permanent frontier. This I was certainly not prepared to recommend.”

          What does this mean, Johnboy? Does it mean that he intended Israel to move back to 1967 boundaries or does it mean that he is opposed to making ’67 lines permanent?

          And when Caradon says,

          “Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong.”

          What does that mean? Is that not clear enough for you?

          And then:

          “…“secure and recognized boundaries.” They can only be secure if they are recognized. The boundaries have to be agreed; it’s only when you get agreement that you get security…security…can only come from agreement and mutual respect and understanding.”

          Sounds like you negotiate and then you figure out boundaries and then you make peace based on everyone’s agreement. Right, Johnboy, you little bigot who will only respect a non-Jew’s word on this issue?

          And what about this:

          “We all knew that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… . We did not say that the ’67 boundaries must be forever.”

          Something unclear about that?

          Or this:

          “I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1947, just where they happened to be that night, that is not a permanent boundary… “

          And that’s without bringing the brilliant lawyer Rostow into this since you’re a bigot who can’t abide the truth if it comes from a Jew’s mouth.

          Now let’s be clear. Based on what Caradon says here, Israel could negotiate tomorrow on the basis that it has given up the Sinai and Gaza already and therefore it would from now on only negotiate on the basis of having moved to what it considers to be viable lines. If the Palestinians and others accept this, then that’s lovely. If they don’t, then Israel is under zero obligation to do anything, particularly as long as the other requirements of 242 aren’t met, namely the recognition by all states of Israel’s borders and right to live in peace. You do realize it will be years and years and years before Syria can make this commitment, right? And you do realize that Lebanon is beholden to Iranian proxy Hizbullah which will also not sign off on peace, right? And, of course the Palestinians have not agreed to anything, right? Even if you could convince Israel to commit suicide and accept the Saudi 2002 plan, the Arab League cannot guarantee that its part will be upheld because Syria and Iraq are no longer viable states.

          No, basically what it comes down to is that the Palestinians can make a deal with Israel or not. They choose not to and the status quo is not only legal, it is going to remain. The only point of debate is whether settlements in areas not annexed by Israel are legal or not.

          Oh, and let’s not forget this is without even getting into the very strong legal argument Israel has regarding Judea and Samaria due to the League of Nations and Article 80 in the UN Charter.

          Reply to Comment
    6. I am actually delighted, although amazed, that Talmudic argument is flourishing in modern Israel.
      As a Brit and a Jew and above all, as a human being, all the comments, especially Rab and the counter-arguments, show that the current situation will indeed prevail and develop over the years, probably centuries, but at the end of the day, say 500 years from now, it will in fact, be different. Not to either side’s current liking.
      We are back to the great philosphical question: why on earth are human being so ghastly (remembering I am one)?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Berel Dov Lerner

      Excellent! Everybody keeps on telling the Palestinians that without a two-state solution Israel will disappear. So why should they make peace? Only the fear of a genuinely permanent occupation can make a negotiated peace attractive for Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
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