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The Bibi-Lieberman deal: A wake-up call to the world about Israel

By unifying himself and the country’s ruling party with an internationally despised neo-fascist, Netanyahu has brought Israel a sizable step closer to the limits of Western tolerance. Ultimately, that’s good news.

The only way Israel is ever going to give up the occupation and its habit of military aggression is by going too far – by becoming such a Goliath that the Western world finally tells it to clean up its act or find some new allies. Tonight’s union between Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu into one big Likud Beiteinu – “Likud Is Our Home” – marks a sizable step in that direction.

Netanyahu hurt himself. I don’t know whether the new party will win more Knesset seats in the January 22 election than Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu could have won separately, but Netanyahu has dirtied himself in the eyes of the world, including even a lot of his mainstream Jewish supporters in the United States. Avigdor Lieberman has a thoroughly deserved international reputation as an Arab-hating, war-loving neo-fascist (this last label having been pinned on him even by Martin Peretz, the stridently pro-Israel ex-publisher of The New Republic.)

Foreign Minister Lieberman calls for expelling, by means of a land swap, hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens simply for being Arab. He ran an election campaign highlighted by the slogan, “Only Lieberman understands Arabic.” He was a member of Kach in the late 1970s, which he understandably denies but which Kach veterans from that era swear to. He’s fantasized aloud in the Knesset about executing Arab MKs and threatened to bomb Egypt’s Aswan Dam. Plus, of course, he’s been under Israel Police investigation for corruption for nearly 15 years, and could face indictment pretty soon.

And now Netanyahu, who made Lieberman his right-hand man during his first term as prime minister, has identified himself completely with this guy. There was a report tonight by Channel 2′s well-connected Amnon Abramovitch that the unity deal calls for Lieberman to take over as PM in the fourth year of the next term, which Likud Beiteinu is likely to win in the upcoming election.

A lot of people in Israel, the U.S., Canada and maybe some other countries, and certainly a lot of Jews all over the world, think Netanyahu is a centrist, if for no other reason than that he demonstrably represents the Israeli consensus. But even these people realize that Lieberman is not a centrist; he’s Israel’s answer to Jean Marie Le Pen, the late Jorg Haider, Geert Wilders and other enthusiastic Muslim-bashers, only he’s more militaristic.

And now there’s one more difference – unlike Le Pen, Haider and Wilders, Lieberman and his party have become one with their country’s prime minister and ruling party.

What does this say about Israel’s unchallenged political leader, and what does it say about Israel? A lot of moderate-minded people here and overseas who were ready to give Bibi a pass, who even came to admire him, are now, I believe, feeling a little ill. It’s a terrible night for this country, but unfortunately there’s no other way it’s going to get right, if it’s ever going to get right, than by going on like it’s been going for the last several years until it crashes into the wall, into the limits of Western tolerance. There are worse, more painful ways for this to happen than by the raising up of Lieberman. On present-day Israel, at least, Lenin was right – things have to get worse before they can get better, and they sure as hell got worse tonight.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. mrdana

      I’d like to see a referendum on Israel on the US balot.It would be eye opening.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      The global BDS movement is now smiling from ear to ear, and tipping their hats to Netanyahu for his gracious gesture towards them and their cause. From today, it has become several orders of magnitude easier to put in place some serious boycotts against Israel – a country which in a few months will have an overtly fascist party at the head of its government. Well played sir, well played!

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Danny, don’t you realize that it was your – BDS – effort which made such alliance possible.

        Contrary to what you think, that, rather laughable (due to lack of any positive results) movement of yours won’t be able to cause any significant damage – you just lack some qualities, abilities and knowledge.

        Your only achievement is weakening of Palestinians positions – all due to your destructive activity.

        Thank you, silly.

        P.S. Larry, it’s not just Lieberman and his party – it’s entire big aliyah are breaching into what some people thought to be their own domain. Surprise, surprise!
        Reminds you roar of Russian tanks in Prague?

        Reply to Comment
        • You would spend no time at all laughing at BDS if there were not some fear of autonomous thought. Trying to quash other options, even the words of such, is a clear sign of distress; or of a hunger for corporate power which will force all into the true way.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Greg,
            BDS is not an option – it’s bunch of silly, irresponsible people, nothing more.

            Their only two achievements are more unemployment of Palestinians and rise of nationalistic movements in Israel.

            Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Definitely it is the wisest move for both leaders.

        “Dirtied in the eyes of the world” rhetoric is of least significance – those who’s opinion is of interest are at least as dirty and those who are “clean” – well, they’ll have to stay “clean”.

        Finally Israel is going to be ruled by stable government which would be able not only lay some course but actually keep it.

        Of course there is going to be strong Left-Center block, with Clown of Staff, that TV lady, Jerusalem Thief and Gazan Scourge… Lovely company indeed.

        Now these are going to be interesting elections. I even might consider voting myself – haven’t done it since 1998 or something.

        Reply to Comment
    3. [...] endgültig dessavouieren könnte. Selbst die am meisten Wohlmeinenden müssten, so Derfner nun einsehen: Netanyahu has dirtied himself in the eyes of the world, including even a lot of his [...]

      Reply to Comment
    4. Kolumn9

      Oh stop exaggerating. Lieberman has no ideological scruples about partitioning the country. He is also very liberal on social issues. Pretending that he is some kind of fanatic nationalist is entirely a fiction put on by the left to deter Likud prime ministers from bringing him and YB into a government in senior roles (here it has obviously failed). It is just nonsense. This is a party that has been in government more often than not in the past 10 years. I also don’t see any serious international reactions to Lieberman being foreign minister, so I don’t have any idea what you are so worked up about.

      The real question is whether Likud Beyteinu can get over 40 seats. I doubt it. It will be interesting to see if this merger will push any center-right voters towards Lapid or Kadima, though that is still unlikely to allow the left to form a government. I look forward to the polls.

      Reply to Comment
      • Mitchell Cohen

        Let’s see: Lieberman is in favor of civil marriages in Israel, separation of religion and state, and is willing to leave his home in Nokdim for a two-state solution. Yeah, a real “fascist”. LOL Once again, the leftist sirens are drumming up a “dooms day” scenario (reminds me of the Meretz commercial before the 2003 elections of Israel becoming a virtual pariah if Sharon was elected PM)….Pleeze!!!!

        Reply to Comment
        • Woody

          It’s frightening to me that the only hope I have of marrying my girlfriend is if a fascist becomes a member of the ruling party. This is what Israel has become though – so-called “democratic rights” for citizens at the expense of dead Palestinians. Now we’ll be led by a childish liar and a brawny fascist. Fun times…

          Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          They are just trying to work themselves up into a frenzy. It is just absurd. It is as if a couple of days ago YB wasn’t the senior coalition partner in the government and Lieberman wasn’t the Foreign Minister, and that the same situation wasn’t expected to continue in the next government. Until a few days ago it was just an election. Now, EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED. Now, it is a moral battle of everything good versus everything evil, and if god forbid ‘evil’ wins, the world will end(well, most of the leftists don’t believe in god, but they do seem to believe in good, evil and the apocalypse). The propensity of the left for exaggerated hysterics is impressive indeed.

          Reply to Comment
    5. “he’s been under Israel Police investigation for corruption for nearly 15 years, and could face indictment pretty soon” : another recent post on +972 has suggested that mid level, career, administration has been trying to shift some resources toward Arab citizens in equity. I’d say also that your mid level police, when the topic is not related directly to defense/occupation, also act as a check to some degree. The political elite has deranged from governmnt careerists. Israel has some internal independence.

      As I pointed out on another post, elite American Democrats are repulsed by Lieberman’s advocacy of striping entire Arab Israeli villages of citizenship in future land deals. The same is true of moderate right Europe (UK Tories, German Christian Demos), let alone center to left Europe. One could say earlier than Bibi needed the coaltion; now, however, he has merged views. Frankly, American Republicans won’t care very much; Israel is the wayward child of God, or the 51st and last frontier State–and in the frontier, you do what you have to do.

      This move says something else: politics in Israel is perceived as top down; the roll list entry into the Knesset gives opponents basically one outside option: bolt or form a new party, the latter hard to do when there is (or seems to me) no independent group formation (apart from special interest/elite NGOs) upon which to call for grass roots support. With one crucial exception: the ultra-orthodox and settler movement are strong autonomous groupings. Israel is not only going through an occupation crisis; it is also facing a growing disconnect between elite party games such as this and the lived worlds of its citizenry. The combination is the wall you speak of.

      But still–don’t expect the world to save you. I won’t. Change must begin within. Once underway, help will be waiting. Writing isn’t enough now (no comment directly on Larry).

      Given how I surmise you must feel about the last few years, this is a very restrained post.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Greg,
        “he’s been under Israel Police investigation for corruption for nearly 15 years, and could face indictment pretty soon”
        Man, please. For 15 (fifteen, it’s ten years plus another five) police weren’t able to preset any evidence that Lieberman have done something wrong.

        This investigation is of pure political nature and is waged by Leftist Israeli establishment.

        :mid level, career, administration has been trying to shift some resources toward Arab citizens in equity.”
        No.

        “I’d say also that your mid level police, when the topic is not related directly to defense/occupation, also act as a check to some degree.”
        No.

        “The political elite has deranged from governmnt careerists. Israel has some internal independence.”
        Yep. This is exactly what Lieberman’s party is.

        “elite American Democrats are repulsed by Lieberman’s advocacy of striping entire Arab Israeli villages of citizenship in future land deals”
        What exactly is wrong with that?

        “But still–don’t expect the world to save you. I won’t. Change must begin within.”
        Oh, changes have already begun.
        Mere 5 years ago people here would laugh at idea of join Likud/IOH

        You see, switch to right in Israeli society happens strictly due to external pressure.
        Didn’t you happen to read “The Wars of the Jews” by Josefus Flavius? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wars_of_the_Jews

        Extremely interesting book. Largely unknown although it should be taught in all schools IMO.

        Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        The same people were repulsed by Begin, Shamir and Sharon. They got over it and moved on.

        I have no idea what you are talking about in the rest of your post. Seriously, I tried.

        Reply to Comment
    6. How many martyrs do you want, Larry? How many would make a sufficient number to prove that racism and fascism are the order of the day for the Israeli government?

      This move isn’t good. This move enables even greater violence to take place. Yes – the world will see that fascism is on the rise in Israel. But so will the Palestinians.

      Wake up, please. People are dying, and peoples’ livelihoods are at stake. That’s not just an Israeli policy, its so much more. Its incredibly disingenuous for you to say that the increased suffering of others is, ultimately, a good thing.

      Reply to Comment
    7. sh

      Look, Eretz Nehederet came out with an accurate sketch of things to come the day of the election that put Netanyahu into the PM’s seat. Almost four years have elapsed and during them many of us must have remembered that sketch with a rueful laugh. The world that we are told hadn’t awoken until now saw much more of Lieberman than we did. He was and still is, don’t forget, Foreign Minister of the State of Israel and all things told, has been spending much of his time abroad. The world knows him as well as it does Bibi. This is not a wake-up call to the world but a wake-up call to those Israelis who, despite all the signs to the contrary, pretended to themselves that this was a(nother) purely Likud government, only with a businessman at its head instead of the firebrand intellectual who put the party on the map. And all one can say to them is boker tov.

      (Truth is, I heard perfectly average people in Israel say “maybe Lieberman’s got a point” already during the first year of this government. And as for transfer, Sayed Kashua said it in his book Let It Be Morning well before this coalition took over the reins from Olmert’s.)

      Reply to Comment
    8. David michaelis

      Tonight the choice becomes clearer
      Democracy Now or Apartheid Now

      Reply to Comment
    9. etinzon

      Be real , maybe Lieberman was known as a fascist and Bibi as a centrist , but what were the differences in policies , actual policies , between these two ? The Israel Beitenu party was a party by Russian immigrants for Russian immigrants , a tribal party that whoever is for democracy must be glad about it disappearing.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        This comment has been deleted.

        Reply to Comment
        • etinzon

          Trespasser : It is known and clear – they MIGHT have some non Russian Knesset members and activists , but 90% of their voters are Russian. Come on , the party logo said “DA , Liebermann”. You sure know what language it is , no ? clue : it is not hebrew. And chances are it is your mother tongue……

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Etinzon
            It is known and clear – they MIGHT have some non Russian Knesset members and activists , but 90% of their voters are Russian.”
            As 90% of Avoda voters are Ashkenazi and about 80% of Likud voter are Mizrahi, let alone Shas and Yahadut Hatora

            “Come on , the party logo said “DA , Liebermann”.”
            Party logo never said “Da, Liebermann”

            It has nothing whatsoever to do with my mother tongues.

            Reply to Comment
          • etinzon

            ok , so you are a Russian supporter of a Russian party for Russian speakers trying to justify your tribal vote by finding some very vague and bad analogies. Peretz was the head of Labor and Ashkenazim kept voting for them. If a non-ex-URSS would have been the head of IOH then they would have lost 95% of their vote…..

            Tribes should not exist in the 21st century….

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Etinzon,
            “ok, so you are a Russian supporter of a Russian party for Russian speakers”
            No.
            1 – I’m not Russian.
            2 – There is no Russian party for Russian speakers, unless you claim that only Russian speakers could call Israel their home.

            “trying to justify your tribal vote by finding some very vague and bad analogies.”
            No, my friend. It is you who is trying to justify own nazism under the disguise of universalism.

            My analogies are perfect: Avoda and Likud both were started as “tribal” parties.

            “Peretz was the head of Labor and Ashkenazim kept voting for them.”
            Not really. Mere 19 seats…

            “If a non-ex-URSS would have been the head of IOH then they would have lost 95% of their vote…..”
            Baseless speculation.

            “Tribes should not exist in the 21st century…”
            Nice chunk of nonsense lol.

            Humans are first of all tribal.

            Reply to Comment
          • etinzon

            Indeed , humans were tribal. That was millions of years ago. Some of us had developed since. Unlucky , this is not the case for all of us.

            And for the proof that each of your words is a lie , here is the image you say does not exist

            http://www.nrg.co.il/images/archive/gallery/472/848.jpg

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Etinzon,
            You are even dumber than I thought.
            Millions years ago there were no humans unless of course you consider yourself direct relative to chimpanzee.

            Modern society is largely tribal – traditional totems replaced by iPhones, loose pants and such.
            Arabs are totally tribal – hamula in Arabic.

            It’s not a logo with “da” in it.

            It’s flyer, with some content.
            The logo is in bottom part with text
            Israel our Home
            and slogan
            Going after certain.

            Reply to Comment
          • etinzon

            Yes , Arabs are mostly tribal. Israelis are tribal. Swedish , Danish , and lots of other civilized countries are not tribal anymore. Do USAmericans vote for Italian , Irish and German parties ?

            And that IS a logo with “DA , Lieberman” inside it.

            Sorry to bother you with facts , but sometimes these are useful in a discussion.

            You can continue lying and insulting. I guess that most readers are accustomed by now to your “style”…..let me see….rude and anonymous….sounds like a very classic basic rightwinger…..no surprises there….

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Etinzon

            Dude, humanity is inherently tribal.
            You are confusing it with hospitality.

            “Do USAmericans vote for Italian , Irish and German parties ?”
            How is it relevant?

            “And that IS a logo with “DA , Lieberman” inside it.”
            And again – it is flyer with campaign slogan AND separate logo.

            “Sorry to bother you with facts , but sometimes these are useful in a discussion.”
            Facts?
            Sorry, no facts detected.

            “You can continue lying and insulting.”
            Of course I can continue insulting for the fun of it, however no-one can accuse me of lying.

            Whatever I’m saying might be beyond your comprehension due to its severe limitations. You are welcome to prove me wrong however. Just bring some facts.

            P.S. And learn what is the difference between slogan and logo.
            P.P.S. I find it very hard not to mention your exceptional thinking abilities once again.

            Reply to Comment
          • etinzon

            oh , it is a “campaign slogan” in Russian , not a logo in Russian….

            You’re a giant , indeed…..But I can see your messages getting erased…..

            BS…..

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            You see, now you know the difference between slogan and logotype.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Etinzon,
            You’ve claimed that YB had “Da” on it’s logotype.

            I’ve proved that you are wrong.
            Got problem with that?
            Not only you
            ROFL

            Reply to Comment
    10. XYZ

      The hysteria by some of the “progressives” here is laughable. Matthew is worried that there is going to be violence. Matthew-ALL THE BIG OUTBREAKS OF VIOLENCE SINCE OSLO IN 1992 WERE WHEN THE LEFT-I.E. THE “PEACE CAMP” WAS IN POWER! You got that? It was the when the Olmert-Livni-Peretz-Barak doves were in power that there were the two massive bombing campaigns against the Lebanon and Gaza. The quietest periods are when the “hard-line” Right is in power.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Richard Witty

      This is a move towards a two-party system in Israel, and away from parliamentary coalition building, with the strange bedfellows that it engenders.

      It should stimulate a real center-left super-party to form, that could include the Arab parties.

      If it doesn’t, then Israel has driven off a cliff, by its populace, and by the neglect to publish, argue, organize on the left (not just the actions of the right).

      The relations with the US will get strained. All other international relations will get very strained. Can you imagine Morsi cooperating with this party in power, or the PA?

      Where does Netanyahu think that funding will come from in the event of conflict or to pursue adventurism? The US, Europe, Asia is going into another recession (if not there already, give a year to be seen, worse if Romney is elected). Israel is NOT immune to that.

      The same maldistribution of wealth occurs in Israel as in the US, maybe worse, and gradual decline of local economy. The high-tech glory sector is dependent on healthy European markets.

      Netanyahu would only do this if he felt that the relationship with the US was not in doubt, but it always remains conditional, even when there is “no daylight”.

      Maybe Lieberman will finally get actually indicted, or maybe there will be a falling out, and the party is temporary.

      Or maybe Netanyahu will get ill, and Lieberman will take over, order something stupid, face a mutiny of senior military …..

      Likely, likud and Lieberman have decided that it is time to act on the Area C annexation plan, even moreso than motivated by Iran.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        Richard-
        Your worries are totally imaginary and have no grounding in reality.

        This coalition, including both parties and with Lieberman as Foreign Minister has made Israel stronger in international circles than it ever has been. Israel has diplomatic relations with more countries than ever before, burgeoning trade with new economic powers like India, China, South Korea, Indochina and Latin America.
        Israel just signed a new trade agreement with the EU, (THE EU!) giving Israeli pharmaceuticals greater access to the EU market.
        This fear of Lieberman is totally irrational, a “progressive” Jewish angst that is disconnected from reality. Zionism was supposed to cure the Jew of the “what is the (Leftist) non-Jew going to say”. Time to grow up.

        BTW-I find Derfer’s “journalistic exaggeration” of claiming that Lieberman want to “expel Arabs” goes against journalistic ethics, I would think. No one is talking about “expelling anyone”, but Lieberman has propsed having the Israeli Arabs live in in the same regime as their Palestinian brother. Naturally, they object to this. But I’ll bet that Derfner supports the Left’s proposal “expelling” the east Jerusalem Arabs and unilaterally stripping them of their Israeli residence rights and putting them under the Palestinian rule that the Israeli Arabs rightly fear. What’s the difference. Why is Lieberman’s plan (which I oppose) “racist” but putting the Jerusalem Arabs under Palestinian rule “not racist”?

        Reply to Comment
        • Richard Witty

          So, you are risk averse when it comes to military concerns, but dismiss risk aversion when it applies to diplomatic, legal and domestic?

          The Netanyahu regime has seen a strain in international relations with the US, PA, Egypt, Jordan, most of Europe, Russia and China.

          Really everyone. Israel has improved relations with Greece, Spain and with Italy (occassionally).

          Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            Richard,
            Most people in the world couldn’t care less about the Arab-Israeli conflict, they don’t care about the Palestinians and they don’t care about the settlements. They realize that the Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the numerous ongoing conflicts in the world that is unresolvable. They know, as does President Obama, for example, that the Palestinians will not agree to a compromise, contractual peace on ANY terms.
            Sure, most people would like a compromise peace agreement, but they understand it simply is not attainable because of Arab intransigence. Intensive negotiations were carried out by “peace-camp” governments lead by Rabin, Peres, Barak and Olmert and all failed to advance any real agreement in spite of increasing Israeli concessions. This is visible to everyone in the world.

            Most compaints by people like the Russians and the EU are perfunctory, made in order to placate the Arab petrodollar states, which demand regular, ritual denunciations of Israel policy. Everyone in the world sees the terrible anarchy that is tearing large parts of the Muslim world apart and understand Israel’s predicament. Thus, I don’t see any real strain in Israel’s relations with the EU, Russia and China.
            Regarding Israeli relations with the PA, everyone quietly realizes that Israel is propping up the PA by arresting HAMAS people whose names are given to the SHABAK by PA authorities, and Israel is always trying to raise funds to keep the PA operating. The average Palestinian in the street has benefitted from the quiet in the security realm and the ecnomic situation which is better than it was 10 years ago during the suicide bomber war (that is not to say that there aren’t problems).

            I am aware that the situation could easily change, but there isn’t any real political alternative to the current situation because, as I have repeated many times, the Palestinian and their Arab backers will not accept any terms that Israel could offer.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            “as I have repeated many times, the Palestinian and their Arab backers will not accept any terms that Israel could offer.”
            Repeating it many times doesn’t make it true. There was nothing at all on offer from the current coalition and the master plan is in motion as we speak.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            ““as I have repeated many times, the Palestinian and their Arab backers will not accept any terms that Israel could offer.”
            Repeating it many times doesn’t make it true.”

            Arabs are well known for not accepting peace offers – and facing grave consequences. I guess it’s cultural tradition or something.

            However soon enough they will have to accept what’s offered, for they won’t be given any choices.

            p.s. I suppose you, SH, are unaware that creation of independent Palestinian state is in Liberman’s agenda.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            ““as I have repeated many times, the Palestinian and their Arab backers will not accept any terms that Israel could offer.”
            Repeating it many times doesn’t make it true.”

            Arabs are well known for not accepting peace offers – and facing grave consequences. I guess it’s cultural tradition or something.

            However soon enough they will have to accept what’s offered, for they won’t be given any choices.

            p.s. I suppose you, SH, are unaware that creation of independent Palestinian state is on IOHs agenda.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            Palestinians accepted Oslo, and all of the subsequent incremental applications. To say they have never accepted a peace agreement is a bold lie. Better that you stop telling it to yourself, and to others.

            Lieberman’s policy is to annex Area C, and leave the rest to Palestine. If adopted, likely already behind the scenes, then that will be Israel’s official policy.

            It is IMPOSSIBLE for the US to consent to that. (I guess anything is possible.)

            At the UN, Netanyahu suggested that if a state, the US, conveys clear and consistent “red lines”, that that action is more likely to deter (for its clarity), than more ambiguous response.

            The unification of likud/Israel Beitanhu is the opposite. It is the advocacy for vagueness. Consider the statements that have come out from the foreign minister over the last decade, and more importantly, while foreign minister. They are anything but consistent, clear, rational, unified.

            I guess if Lieberman were prime minister of an opposition-proof super-party, then his single pronouncements might be consistent, probably not then either.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Richard,
            Palestinians have never REALLY accepted any peace agreement.

            Furthermore, only Palestinians themselves are responsible for the rise of Likud in 1996 – the year in which permanent peace negotiations was to be started, according to Oslo 1.

            1990 23
            1991 26
            1992 39
            1993 64 (38 before Oslo; 26 after Oslo)
            1994 73
            1995 52
            1996 92
            1997 29

            These are Israeli casualties due to attacks inside Israel/Territories
            https://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/1990_1999/1998/9/More%20Israelis%20Have%20Been%20Killed%20by%20Palestinian%20Terr

            As it clearly could be seen there were 2-4 times more attacks in years after signing the Oslo 1, which inevitably paved way for Likud in 1996.

            You see, Palestinians actually thought that it is their resistance what is brought Israel to the negotiations table. Nothing could be further from truth of course, however Palestinians (I’d put the blame on Arafat personally) thought that use of force will cause Israel to withdraw faster/further.
            Such a disappointment these Israelis are…

            “Lieberman’s policy is to annex Area C, and leave the rest to Palestine.”
            No.

            “If adopted, likely already behind the scenes, then that will be Israel’s official policy.”
            Official Israeli policy will be to create Palestinian state. Since Palestinians are not willing to do it themselves someone will have to do it for them.

            “It is IMPOSSIBLE for the US to consent to that. (I guess anything is possible.)”
            Impossible to consent to independent Palestinian state?

            Rethink it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            The really GROSS problem with your (and many many others’ analysis) “the trespasser”, is your use of the term “the Palestinians”.

            It’s a falsehood as Palestinian views are various, if that is not at all evident to you.

            There are those individuals and groups that have formed exclusive ideology (meaning no room for other), as there are MANY Zionists and Zionist groups that have formed exclusive ideology, Kach for example.

            There are MANY Palestinians seeking peace. If you don’t see it, you are just ignorant (sorry to use such a word).

            The assertion that Palestinians have not sought peace is a lie, one that you’ve heard and gullibly ingested, and now one that you’ve repeated and repeated, seeking subsequent gullible.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Richard,

            The fact that there is some (a lot?) individuals of Palestinian Arab descent who are willing to peacefully live side by side with Jews is of very little interest.

            What’s interesting is what’s going on in the field, so to say.

            What was happening is that to each and every Israeli peace initiative Palestinian Arabs have responded with increased violence.

            There are two shining examples which I’ve mentioned in previous post, but if you research it you’ll find a whole bunch more.

            I’ve never claimed that Palestinian have not sought peace – only that they have done nothing to achieve it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            There is a difference between accepting a peace that ends all claims and accepting interim agreements where you get land for giving empty promises while keeping open all issues. Oslo was not a peace agreement. Neither was the Wye River Memorandum. Therefore, to say that the Palestinians have never accepted a peace agreement is entirely accurate.

            Annexing area C (or parts thereof) has been Israeli policy for the past 45 years. Since Oslo failed the dispute between the left and the right in Israel is about how much to annex and whether to do it unilaterally or to wait for the Arabs to come around. It is entirely unclear to me what impact American consent or lack thereof would have on the matter. Israel annexed the Golan and Jerusalem without American consent and I don’t see any significant consequences. The Americans will abstain or vote for a UNSC resolution rejecting the annexation as they did for the Golan and Jerusalem. Then everyone would move on.

            I have no idea what vagueness you are referring to when talking about Lieberman. They are entirely within the Israeli consensus – there is no Palestinian partner willing to make peace, the conflict is an Arab/Jewish one, Israel needs to be strong, partition is necessary to ensure a strong Jewish majority, Israeli Arabs when they adopt a Palestinian identity are a threat, the 1967 lines are meaningless.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            Oh, I’m quite aware of the product description and It’s on *written* agendas all over the show, yes. That’s what kept so many of us hanging on for so long.

            No longer. Squeezing Palestinians into the tiniest enclaves possible and exile is on the agenda, but that’s oral law (you do know we have both written and oral law that they can often contradict each other, don’t you?). For the latter, time is of the essence, and all governments so far have been past masters at stringing it out for as long as it takes.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Sh,
            Palestinians failed Israeli Leftists twice:
            When they escalated violence between 1993 and 1996, and in 2000.

            It’s a fact but you can deny it as long as you please – not that it would matter.

            This time however it’s going to be different – Palestinians will take what is given.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            “The Trespasser”.

            Give the Palestinians a chance to vote on a proposal.

            You don’t have a clue how their populace regards the questions that you say they believe.

            The only good faith way to pursue that is to cease all settlement expansion activity, period.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Richard,

            Palestinians were given numerous chances to vote.

            No viable results really.

            Whatever they think is of very little concern to tell the truth.

            Why? Because of the very diversity you’ve mentioned in another post.

            If they can’t reach an internal agreement even on such simple issue as whether slaughter all Jews or not, why would someone want to negotiate with them or even give option to vote? Gaza example is still too vibrant.

            Shimon Peres said back in 2000, when second Intifada erupted “we have no partner”
            It took him 30 or so years to realize that.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            The Palestinians (the populace) have never been given an opportunity to vote on a proposal, at least not yet.

            On the timing of violence. The groups that initiate violence when peace is being pursued are the groups that desire that peace not occur. That includes Palestinian and Israeli.

            Back to Larry Derfner’s points. The merger of Israel Beitanhu and Likud is the end of no daylight between the US and Israel.

            It is a losing strategy for likud/Israel Beitanhu to spit in the face of the US, and sober moderate politicians are cringing.

            The US will never leave Israeli civilians swinging in the wind. They will always rise to defend limited Israel’s existence.

            They will however shift from diplomatic support if the Israeli policies conflict more grossly with US than currently.

            If the US did not veto the Palestinian membership resolution for example, Palestine would now be a sovereign member of the UN, able to make claims before legislative and judicial bodies.

            If Israel acted in conformity with law, then that wouldn’t be a problem.

            It’s the coveting (and acting for it) of the West Bank, and the willingness to suppress Palestinian individual rights and desire for self-governance that is the problem.

            This is where the merger of Israel Beitanhu and likud takes American Jews’ attitudes, to “wiping our hands”.

            It is that severe.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Richard,

            But who are the Palestinians who is going to vote?
            Ok, no problem to organize such vote in WB. Hardly in Gaza, or in Jordan or elsewhere.
            And what if Palestinians say “no”.
            Shall we wait another 20 years than?

            There is just no point in voting – whatever has to be done will be done in semi-decent towards Palestinians manner.

            On the timing of violence.
            It takes effort of few to start a war and effort of many to end it (c) someone smart
            Lack of visible nation-wide condemnation of terrorist attacks (the only one condemned was if I remember well that brutal family massacre) and Palestinians’ jubilation after each successful militant operation were sufficient prove to Israeli society.
            Hardly there were any celebrations in Tel Aviv after successful bombardment raid.

            I really don’t see how and why would Lieberman affect Israel-US relations so badly. He has bad breath or something?

            I don’t really believe in US desire to protect Israel by any cost.

            Currently there is only one world policy on the issue – GIVE THESE PALESTINIANS SOME STATE ALREADY
            Strangely, it’s on Lieberman’s agenda as well.

            What exactly Palestine could be the UN member? WB? Gaza? Who is legal representative? What’s it status? In what borders? 1967? Hamas would never agreed. 1947? 1929?

            Palestine is currently not able to function as a state, maybe like two different states….

            What law exactly?

            Israel only suppresses Palestinian individual rights to kill Jews.

            I think it’s severely fine. Some things will finally be moving.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            It’s up to them.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            I think you would agree that abandoning the settlements in Gaza was a disaster for Israel, in that it left Hamas in control there.

            The reason that that was the result of Israel leaving was that Sharon refused to inform and coordinate the evacuation with the PA, leaving chaos.

            The same would likely occur if Israel similarly unilaterally withdrew from the West Bank. The same meaning chaos and internal violence, not necessarily that Hamas would end up controlling.

            Israel NEEDS to conduct any withdrawal or change in status in an orderly manner, which requires coordination with the PA and the US.

            An agreement is like buying/selling a car. You can’t force someone to take a deal. To blame the PA for not accepting a bad deal, is absurd to my mind.

            Israel needs to sell that car. Palestine needs to buy that car. They are the only car on the market.

            And, it needs to be an actual functioning car that is sold, not only a car’s body.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Richard,

            I really don’t think that withdraw from Gaza proved to be any disaster (except for Gazans themselves of course) with obvious benefit of exposing how dangerous Palestinian democracy could be.

            I’m unaware of any lack of coordination with PA (PA? Why PA? Hamas has called shots in Gaza for a long while, and for obvious reasons Israel wouldn’t be coordinating anything with Hamas) however what exactly was Israel supposed to coordinate?

            I think you are worried too much about withdrawal from WB. Situation is more or less under control there, unlike Gaza. Militant fractions largely dismantled due to Israel and PA security forces cooperation – not much to worry about.

            If someone would bother to force Palestinians to take initial offer some 70 years ago they would be by now living in own state for quite a long while.
            The funniest part is that deal hasn’t changed much. Not improved for sure tho. Waiting 70 years to buy the very same car just for higher price? Sounds like antisemitic joke.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            Now we are in Mitt Romney territory, you know changing one’s tune.

            Reply to Comment
    12. rsgengland

      Lieberman has been a successful Foreign Minister , by doing his job.
      He has travelled the world and created diplomatic openings in many places , where there wern’t any .
      My initial misgivings about him have not been realized .
      Violence and unrest in an extremely turbulent period and arena is low .
      There have been no wars or serious incidents involving Israel and her neighbours .
      Trade all over the world has been good , despite the world downturn .
      He has not talked about expulsion , but possible territorial and population transfers in those areas.
      All of these things are ideas to be discussed in real time politics

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        “He has not talked about expulsion , but possible territorial and population transfers in those areas.”

        What’s the difference between the two? One is straight talk, the other, convoluted double-talk.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          “What’s the difference between the two? One is straight talk, the other, convoluted double-talk.”

          Population transfer means that land + people who live on it are completely transferred to PA as is.

          Reply to Comment
          • sh

            Precisely, hence the drive to squeeze West Bank Palestinians into ever-smaller spaces if they flatly refuse to pick up and leave of their own accord. But as we know, it also means possible transfer of land that internal refugees who are now Israeli citizens live on. A little worrying that you avoided mentioning that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieberman_Plan

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            “Precisely, hence the drive to squeeze West Bank Palestinians into ever-smaller spaces if they flatly refuse to pick up and leave of their own accord.”

            Dude, is it my English that is too difficult to comprehend or something else?

            As I’ve written earlier
            “Population transfer means that land + people who live on it are completely transferred to PA as is.”

            It’s only in your imagination Lieberman intends to displace any population, except for some settlements probably.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            In my imagination and in the internet’s. I loved the timid little tail attached to your bold claim as to Yvet’s intentions: “except for some settlements probably”. Right.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Sh,
            Internet has no more imagination than power grid.

            Your sarcasm is really out of place, btw.
            Israeli government has rather decent record of dismantling Jewish settlements.

            Reply to Comment
      • He proposes stripping hundreds of thousands of Israelis of their citizenship, against their will, solely on the basis of their being Arabs. He proposes trading sovereign Israeli land only where Arabs live; the parts in the areas to be traded where Jews live would be cut out and preserved as part of Israel. You go right on defending that.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Right, so he has a proposal to partition land on the basis of ethnicity. So, how is this conceptually different from the Clinton parameters? Or the partition plan of 1947?

          Reply to Comment
          • The difference is that the Arabs in the Galilee whom Lieberamn wants to chuck out are citizens of a purported democracy, and they want to remain citizens. The Arabs to be separated from Israel in the 47 and Clinton proposals were not Israeli citizens, did not want to become Israeli citizens, and did want to be citizens of a Palestinian state.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Larry,

            1 – If Galilean Arabs want to remain citizens so badly than they should have no problems with citizenship law. Druze support it, for instance.
            By the way, one can’t declare war on state while enjoying it’s social services. Naturei Karta is good example.

            2 – Palestinian Arabs who have no Israeli citizenship would like to get it at least as badly as those who are lucky to have it are afraid to lose it.

            You see, it’s much better to be an “oppressed” Arab in Israel than to be “free” Arab in most Arab countries.

            Reply to Comment
          • The citizenship law requires Arabs to declare loyalty to a Jewish state – first let’s run a pilot program – American Jews will have to declare loyalty to a Christian state – see how it works. BTW, the Israeli Arabs are not at war against Israel – it would be at least as true to say that Israel is at war against them.
            2. You say Palestinians wish they were Israeli citizens – how many of them have you heard, or heard about, or read about, saying that?

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Nope, still don’t see the conceptual difference between Lieberman’s plan and the 1947 partition plan and the Clinton parameters. The citizenship issue is a red herring. If partition is accepted as a legitimate solution to political problems of conflicts between two ethnic groups then I fail to see how the citizenship of Israeli Arabs makes much difference given that there most certainly is an ethnic conflict within the State of Israel between Jews and Arabs which is an extension of the general conflict between Jews and Arabs that has been going on for the past 100 years. This isn’t my framing of the issue. This is how it is presented by the vast majority of the elected representatives of the Israeli Arab public (certainly Balad, Ra’am-Ta’al, and even the Arab representatives of the ‘communist’ Hadash when they go off-script).

            According to Lieberman’s plan, within a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian leadership some Israeli Arabs, many of whom prefer to be called ‘Palestinians with Israeli citizenship’ would exchange their Israeli citizenship for Palestinian citizenship and all without moving from their homes. In other words, their claimed nationality would now correspond to their passport. I fail to see what all the outrage is about.

            Reply to Comment
          • In a democracy, citizenship is not a red herring. A democracy doesn’t strip people’s citizenship against their will because of their nationality or ethnicity or religion. The Israeli Arabs have been at least as loyal to Israel as Israel has been to them. If Israel cannot live with an Arab minority, who the hell needs it?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Larry,
            “A democracy doesn’t strip people’s citizenship against their will because of their nationality or ethnicity or religion.”

            Which is why the oath of allegiance is needed – perfect basis to strip citizen rights, keeping civilian rights intact thought.

            Reply to Comment
    13. Piotr Berman

      Loose talk about transferring some towns and villages to PA are a bit from the parallel universe in which GoI ends the occupation. The latest updates on Lieberman’s idea on that matter, already as Foreign Minister were (a) give Area A to PA, perhaps Area B as well, making it a patchwork of 50 pieces (or is it 40?), (b) wait 20-50 years.

      While within Israel such views are “centrist”, making them the official position of Israel could well trigger sanctions from EU, break treaties with Egypt and Jordan and perhaps even trigger at least some “reviews” in USA. Thus Netanyahu denies that those are anything but the private views of Lieberman who, after all, is a mere simple minister of Foreign Affairs. This fiction is easier to maintain if Lieberman is forced upon the government by a coalition partner.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Isn’t that Israeli policy since Oslo?

        Reply to Comment
    14. Good to see that next to the walls and fences, the Iron Wall is back too. Likud is loyal to its fascist roots. If Breivik’s extended family is taking over the country, it’s because voted the wrong way. Read more history, less hasbara is my advice. you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, but there is no guarantee that the omelette is what we want. We could lose both.

      Reply to Comment
    15. david shalev, esq.

      The biggest precursor to violence is Israeli concessions. See Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and Gaza.

      As far Mr. Derfner is concerned, his neuroticism/paranoia would fit well with Woody Allen or Portnoy’s Complaint. There is no place for such hysteria in a sovereign Israel that needs to defend itself.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        The withdrawal from Lebanon was not an Israeli concession. (Neither was the withdrawal from Gaza, but the reasons for the two are different.) It was a hastily beaten retreat.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          “The withdrawal from Lebanon was not an Israeli concession. (Neither was the withdrawal from Gaza, but the reasons for the two are different.) It was a hastily beaten retreat.”
          Nonsense.

          There were no military reasons to withdraw from either – only political ones.

          Reply to Comment
          • sh

            Too many IDF dead and injured is not a political problem even if your favorite sources delicately put it that way. It’s a military one.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Sh,
            Losing 10-20 soldiers per year is really nothing by any army standards.

            It was Israeli public which did not want to send it’s children to battlefield.

            Decision to withdraw from Lebanon was nothing more than cheap populism by a lousy politic.

            Gaza is a bit different story – it was rather smart move by Sharon to show how would Palestinian democracy look like.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            Ah, casualties and injuries are measured per year in Israel. OK. Odd, isn’t it, how shell-shocked so many military returnees were re the stuff that went on in Lebanon during those years. How perplexed and flummoxed they were and still are by what they called “the mentality” of their Christian allies. And how pointless the whole drawn-out, blood-drenched affair turned out to be once the Palestinians had left for Tunis. Political you call Israel’s withdrawal after 18 years, without noticing that those murderous years kicked off with regime-change. Installing a President in a country not your own is apolitical, right?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Sh,
            To invade a country is a political decision.
            To withdraw from a country is political decision as well.

            It could be military decision only in case when it is no longer possible to maintain presence due to heavy losses, disrupted supplies and such so the army has to run for it’s life.

            Quite not truth here.

            Again – Barak’s decision was nothing more but cheap populism.

            Reply to Comment
    16. ginger

      Lieberman is the perfect poster boy for the dismantling of Israeli Apartheid – he is the distilled essence of modern Israel

      Reply to Comment
    17. The Trespasser

      Larry,
      1
      Similar procedure exists in US – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_Allegiance_%28United_States%29
      I don’t think there is anything wrong with adopting similar law and obliging all new immigrants and current holders of Israeli citizenship – Jews, Arabs, Russians, Druze, Circassian, Ethiopian, Ivory Coastans, Phillipinians and others making such oath.

      I did not say that Israel is not at war against Israel Arabs – to some extent it is truth.
      Obviously I’m not claiming that ALL Israeli Arabs are at war, however the situation is a bit more complex.

      It is a regretful truth that in all communities there is some element which is operating against the State, i.e. against State policies, citizens and non-citizen (legal or not)

      For that matter there is any hardly any difference between Arab freedom-fighters and Israeli milk cartels.

      One of reasons to that, by the way, is the lack of written constitution.

      Such element must be dealt with and oath of allegiance for ALL citizens is really not bad to begin with.
      Ex. someone who is using one’s position to gain profit from state affairs could be sued, stripped of citizenship rights (no balloting) and imprisoned.
      Terrifying thought it is for some.

      Basically what I’m saying is that Arabs are not the main target of Lieberman’s program – there are far more important issues.

      2
      I’ve heard that quite a few times in Israel and WB – never been to Gaza.
      If you’d like to have some factual figures you could research how many Palestinians were applying to enter Israel yearly before the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_and_Entry_into_Israel_Law

      If I remember well there were some 15000 such migrations into Israel, and almost none (like 3-5 per year) to Palestine/other countries.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Jenny

      this is a (alas, and heartbreakingly) comprehensive solution to the failed social justice protests.

      Reply to Comment
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