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After the UN, the EU must lead the way on Israeli settlements

Resolution 2334 should be seen as a belated step towards mobilizing the international consensus. But to give it any real effect, states will need to build on the resolution with a view to making it operational. The EU is best positioned to do so.

By Hugh Lovatt

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini,September 26, 2014. (State Dept Photo)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, September 26, 2014. (State Dept Photo)

Much of the discussion about the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements over the past week has focused on the U.S. decision to abstain, thus allowing it to pass. But Resolution 2334 also opens the door for practical measures to challenge Israel’s prolonged occupation and disincentives its illegal annexation of Palestinian territory, by following the example of Europe’s differentiation policy.

Last week’s resolution was a slow train coming.

Since assuming office, President Obama has repeatedly warned of the consequences that Israel risks by continuing its settlement project – most notably in his March 2013 address in Jerusalem, in which he warned that, “given the frustration in the international community about this conflict, Israel needs to reverse an undertow of isolation.”

Secretary Kerry has also been ringing the alarm bell, arguing in his December 2016 address at the Saban Forum that, “there’s a basic choice that has to be made by Israelis, … And that is: Are there going to be continued settlements? Is there going to be a continued implementation of settlement policy, or is there going to be separation and the creation of two states.”

Lest any of these signals be missed, in its report this summer, the Middle East Quartet – comprised of the EU, Russia, UN, and U.S. – flagged Israel settlement activities as major threat to the two-state solution. Alongside these comments have come frequent warnings – including from former Mossad chief Meir Dagan – of the dangers Israel faces in entrenching “a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict that is incompatible with realizing the national aspirations of both peoples.” Both issues were again a major theme of Secretary Kerry’s State Department speech on Wednesday.

To date, the Israeli government has shrugged off such concerns in the exact same manner it dismisses international condemnations of its settlement activities: absolute rejection, accusing the world of singling it out, and trying to deflect the source of the conflict back onto the Palestinians. But the thing that has repeatedly raised Israel’s anxiety levels has been EU measures to differentiate between Israel and its settlements.

A number of moves by the EU in recent years — most notably, the 2013 decision to exclude settlement entities from the Horizon 2020 research and development project, and the November 2015 publication of guidelines on labeling settlement goods — have raised the levels of hysteria in Israel’s government comparable to those on display following the latest Security Council vote.

The similar reactions are unsurprising perhaps, since EU differentiation measures publicly challenge Israel’s attempts to normalize its settlement enterprise. These efforts are meant to ensure that the EU’s own economic, academic and diplomatic ties with Israel do not undermine its support for a two-state solution. These have been combined with coordinated efforts to raise EU-based companies’ awareness of the legal, financial and reputational risks of doing business with Israel’s settlements.

Differentiation has proven an effective tool for chipping away at the incentives structure that underpins continued Israeli support for the status quo of occupation and settlement expansion. Requiring Israel to accommodate the EU’s differentiation requirements has highlight the contradictions inherent in Israel’s desire to grow its international relations even as it deepens its hold over Palestinian territories. In past cases, the Israeli government has eventually agreed to implement its own internal differentiation by upholding the saliency of the pre-June 1967 Green Line (the future basis of a Palestinian state) in order to continue accessing those aspects of its bilateral relations with the EU that it values.

It is this differentiation requirement that is alluded to in Paragraph 5 of Resolution 2334, which “calls upon all states (…) to distinguish in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” Ironically, near identical language was included in a draft of EU’s Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) Conclusions in January 2016, but ultimately removed following Israeli pressure on member states.

The Security Council’s endorsement of the idea and practice of differentiation should be seen as a signal to Europe to redouble its own differentiation measures, and as an invitation for other countries and trading blocs to follow suit. In particular, Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela (which co-sponsored the UNSC), whose free trade agreement with Israel currently gives settlement products preferential trade tariffs.

The resolution does not foreclose changes to the pre-1967 lines through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations nor does it impose a final agreement on either side. What it does do is reaffirm, with clarity, long-standing international policy position that the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory. That type of declaration goes a long way in countering attempts to conflate Israel with its extraterritorial settlements, and Israeli attempts negate or sideline the protections afforded to Palestinians under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL).

Providing legal clarity is vital for businesses involved in dealings with Israeli settlements at a time when the ICC has expressed its willingness to consider crimes resulting from the exploitation of natural resources and the illegal dispossession of land. It also comes as the UN Human Rights Council is moving forward with a database listing business enterprises with activities in or related to the settlements. Reaffirming the unlawfulness of the settlements and the occupied status of the Palestinian territory will also prove useful to FIFA as it decides on the fate of Israeli settlement-based football teams and their participation in Israel’s league system under UEFA auspices.

Above all, Resolution 2334 should be seen as a belated step towards mobilizing the international consensus in defense of the two-state solution and Palestinian rights. But to give it any real effect, states will need to build on the resolution with a view to make operational the clauses relating to international law and third-state responsibilities. While further developments could be expected in the wake of Secretary Kerry’s speech and in the final weeks of the Obama presidency, it will fall to the EU and its member states to lead by example over the coming years during the U.S. interregnum under President Trump.

Hugh Lovatt is Policy Fellow and Israel/Palestine Project Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), based in London.

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    1. i_like_ike52

      I saw Kerry’s pathetic performance last night. Ranging on an on and on about the settlements. All he ever demanded from the Palestinians, in an effort to show “balance”, was that they stop “incitement”. No demand that the Palestinians actually make peace with Israel. In any event the Palestinians will, on the one hand say that they don’t tolerate incitement, but then they will turn around and say they are a “democracy” and can’t prevent “freedom of speech”.
      In a truly bizarre turn, Kerry, who keeps claiming he cares about the Palestinian’s “democratic rights” rejects the claim that since Arabs citizens live inside pre-67 Israel, Jews should be allowed to live on the West Bank. However, he makes the odd statement that “no Jews would want to live under Palestinian rule”. Why not? Didn’t he just say they supposedly want democracy and would set a democratic regime similar to Israel’s?

      Of course, Obama, for the last EIGHT years has offered the Palestinians “the solution everyone knows the terms of” which is complete Israel withdrawal to the pre-67 lines in return for the Palestinians making peace with Israel which would entail them giving up their demand for complete and unrestricted return of all Palestinian refugees to within Israel’s pre-67 lines. This demand is non-negotiable and Abbas, like Arafat before him, turned down this offer. When Obama got Netanyahu to agree to the original settlement freeze at the beginning of his President, he pleaded with the Palestinians and the other Arab states (who Kerry falsely claimed are dying to make peace with Israel as well) to make some gesture to recognizing Israel and indicating in a concrete way they want peace with Israel. They all refused. Obama begged Abbas to publicly agree to these terms, pointing out that the settlements would all be removed in any case, so there was no point in demanding a settlement freeze as a precondition to starting negotiations. Abbas rejected all of this.
      So, Obama and Kerry, in their impotence, but staking out a position for future Arab monetary favors, decide to dump all their frustrations on Israel. It will pay off for them in their pocket, even though it is all based on lies.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Another fanciful “history” of the conflict. I can’t bother correcting the many half-truths and whole falsehoods anymore. I read that 40-50% of the Israeli public firmly believes that “we gave them everything and they rejected it!” It’s like a cult. And that’s not even including the crazy anti-Obama stuff. A separate subcult in itself.

        “since Arabs citizens live inside pre-67 Israel, Jews should be allowed to live on the West Bank.”

        This makes it sound like the Palestinians transferred their population into what is now Israel but of course the Israeli Palestinian population is indigenous. This is not the case with the belligerents transferred into the West Bank. You could always work out a two state accord where some of them remain under Palestinian sovereignty. What’s stopping you? John Kerry? And how about some Palestinian refugees be allowed to live inside pre-67 Israel? This could be done as a 1:1 swap. “A settler for you, a refugee for me.”

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “This makes it sound like the Palestinians transferred their population into what is now Israel but of course the Israeli Palestinian population is indigenous”

          But most of Hebron’s Jews in 1929, before they were massacred were not indigenous? Or many of Jerusalem’s Jews, who were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanians and Palestinian Arab militias in 1948? They were not indigenous, Benny? Those Jews lived there continuously since before the arrival of the Arab invaders in the seventh century. But suddenly now, any presence of Jews in those places are just “settlements”? Because once the Arabs manage to get rid of Jews from any place, those places must remain Jew free forever? Thank you Benny but no thank you. We don’t see it that way. We don’t care what one eyed bigots think. Yes, we!

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​“…Jew free forever?”

            Who said that? Not Abbas. And not me. Go back and read what I actually wrote to you, not your hallucination of what I wrote. No “Jew free” concept there. I’ve noticed lately that egregious bigotizing is the only thing you have to offer. You’re a one-note Charlie. And by the way, what is this “one eyed” thing you’re always going on about? Since when are you two eyed? Gustav, the Zionist Ideological Ophthalmologist. Who sees blind spots in everybody but himself. And lets you know about it. Have you noticed that people like Bruce and me don’t ever mouth such crudities as “You one eyed Arab-hating bigot!!!!”

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “…Jew free forever?”

            Who said that?”

            You said it Benny. Don’t you even know what you are saying? Here let me demonstrate how you said it:

            In 1948, all Jews were expelled by the Arabs from the West Bank. Are you with me so far? ALL Jews!!!

            In 1967 after Israel’s victory, Israel started allowing Israeli Jews to return where Jews always lived in the West Bank. Are you still with me, Benny?

            You are on the record of saying that the return of Jews to the West Bank was an illegal act. In other words the West Bank must remain Jew free. Hey I know you are not alone in making that claim. We disagree with the lot of you who say it. But that is not what we are discussing in this post. We are discussing what you said above. And clearly you said that Jews had no right to return to the West Bank since 1967 to date. That may not be “forever” but you must admit it is kinda for a long time. Also, realistically, had we not started to return after 1967, the status of judenrein would have become a fact on the ground. And realistically, it would be more likely to turn into a “forever” status than it will be now. Because, now, because we did not let it happen after 1967, Jews will keep on living in places where we lived historically for millennia, whether you like it or not. We will make sure of it.

            Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @I_Like_Ike: Blame who you will, but the peace process and the two-state solution can survive incompetent leadership, mutual hostility and recriminations, past wars and violence. The only thing the peace process can’t survive is the continued expansion of the settlements, because it’s impossible to have a state for the Palestinians if there’s no continuous, viable area of land to have it on.

        I thought that was the essence of Kerry’s speech, and I find it hard to deny.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “I thought that was the essence of Kerry’s speech, and I find it hard to deny.”

          You find anything that is anti Israel and pro Arab to deny, Bruce. But what is pro Israel, you deny as a matter of routine.

          As for the viability of a Palestinian Arab state, have you heard of Monaco? San Marino? The Vatican? All small statelets, yet all viable.

          You know what, Bruce? The longer the Arabs keep on rejecting the prospects of peace with a Jewish state, the greater the chance that they will end up with such small statelets. And to think of it, had they agreed to Ehud Barak’s peace terms in 2000/2001 or to Olmert’s peace offer in 2006, or had they even negotiated with Netanyahu instead of sitting on their hands since 2006, they could have had much much more. Now, we will just have to see what will happen.

          But no matter what happens, feast your eyes on the map of the Middle East and North Africa. Unless you are wilfully blind, you’ll see wall to wall Arab states. Huge swathes of Arab lands, many are rich with oil. Compared to those Arab lands, Israel is still just a tiny spec representing maybe about 0.5% of lands controlled by Arabs. So, please, please…please, Bruce, don’t be too sad for Arabs. They are not as hard done by as you pretend.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Bet the Afrikaners said the same kind of thing. “Look at Africa, its huuuuge, feast yer eyes on that! All those black states! And wall to wall black people! So why can’t we have our little white state? If the blacks here don’t like it they got all of Africa to move to!”

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            This has nothing to do with Afrikaners whose ancestral home was Europe.

            This has to do with Jews whose ancestral home was Judea and Samaria and the land of Israel.

            It also has to do with Arabs whose ancestral home was the Arab peninsula before they spread themselves to the entire Middle East and North Africa but even that is insufficient for them. They must have tiny Israel too. And bigots like you, Benny support that.

            Never mind. They and the likes of you won’t turn us into another South Africa. And heaven help you and us if you ever come even close to succeeding. Israel is our last hope. Without it, life is not worth living but this time we won’t walk into gas ovens without taking those who want to murder us with us. Get my drift Benny?

            Ok, now I expect Benny to lurch into moralising about how evil we Israeli Jews are for daring to even contemplate the Sampson option. Guess what Benny, we care about you as much as you care about us!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Oh and I bet Benny will call me hysterical for talking about the Samson option.

            But hystrionics has nothing to do with it. Rather than that, take it as a warning and pass it on to whoever you can. Don’t play with fire. Or to put it differently, sow the wind and reap the whirlwind! Don’t push for something that you won’t be able to control. Nothing good can come of it for anyone.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​Well, look at it. I’d call it hysterical, yes, but not only hysterical. It’s apocalyptic. You’re the one using bug-eyed crazy language. I’ve come to see the Israeli Right Wing-Settler-Complex as a kind of paranoid cult with a self-justifying, Obama-demonizing delusion. (Obama and others.) They have lost it. They relate to the outside world in cult-like ways. Like the Branch Davidians at Waco. Really, can they be intervened with without their blowing the place to smithereens? ==>

            NYT: “The fury of Mr. Netanyahu’s response has generated debate at home. Mitchell Barak, a political consultant, said the political left considered the resolution “an epic foreign policy and diplomatic debacle” by Mr. Netanyahu. But to his base, the Security Council action confirmed what they believed all along, that Mr. Obama is inherently anti-Israel, and so the prime minister comes across as a champion beset by enemies. “For them,” Mr. Barak said, “Netanyahu emerges from this unscathed, as the lone wolf in a lion’s den of hatred.”

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Calling Benny… hey earth to Benny… care to point out where I demonised Obama?

            As for us being a cult. If fiercely defending our independence as a Jewish majority state is a cult then we are a cult. I can live with that. But we are in good company. Every self respecting people defend their own independence and rights. Hey, isn’t that what the Palestinian Arabs do? Are they a cult too, Benny? Or just we Israeli Jews a cult according to you because Jews haven’t the same rights as other regular non Jewish folks?

            Don’t bother answering Benny. You already demonstrated yourself to be a bigot on many other threads.

            PS
            Much as I was against apartheid in South Africa, I now feel sorry for the whites of SA. That country (a very rich country) has been going from bad to worse under the ANCs rule. It is literally going down the drain. Consequently, the ruling elites of SA will need a scape goat to blame. And guess who they will pick on? SA will become another Zimbabwe.

            So you see why I reacted to your implied threat of turning us into another South Africa, Benny? Your kind has a wet dream about doing that to us. I just gave you a warning that you are playing with fire. We are nothing like South Africa, the whites of SA trusted the world. We on the other hand know what can happen to us if we put too much trust in “the civilised” world. So under no circumstances will we allow ourselves to become another SA. You can mock us for it, you can fume or be as stupid as you already are Benny. But your wet dream will stay just your wet dream. Or else…

            Reply to Comment
          • Chris

            “This has to do with Jews whose ancestral home was Judea and Samaria and the land of Israel.”

            The “land of Israel” is a Bible story. Jews don’t have an “ancestral home”.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Tommy Goldberg

      “since Arabs citizens live inside pre-67 Israel, Jews should be allowed to live on the West Bank.”

      Alrighty. And since Israeli Jews are allowed to move from Tel Aviv to the West Bank, Palestinians should be allowed to move from Nablus to Haifa. That’s the logical conclusion of your argument, isn’t it?

      Congratulations, you’re a one-stater, just like Hanin Zoabi!

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “Alrighty. And since Israeli Jews are allowed to move from Tel Aviv to the West Bank, Palestinians should be allowed to move from Nablus to Haifa. That’s the logical conclusion of your argument, isn’t it?”

        Should be, Tommy? According to whom? The likes of you? But we don’t listen to the likes of you.

        Also, Jews haven’t just moved to the West Bank. Jews returned to places where Jews always lived or had the right to live before Arabs ethnically cleansed Jews from those places. Places like the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, Hebron, Gush Etzion and some other places. So try and see that the situation did not have the symmetry that you attempt to peddle. In 1948, Israel ended up with a large population of Arabs who became Israeli citizens. The West Bank on the other hand, was entirely cleansed of Jews by your Arab friends. That is why in 1967, Israel had the opportunity to redress that injustice and to move Jews back to those places. Anyone in Israel’s shoes would have done the same thing. Yes, even the Arabs would have done it with their people if they had won the 1967 war and people like you, Tommy, would have cheered them on.

        For the second time I notice you have trouble with reality so let me enlighten you about it again. A deal will eventually be negotiated and that will be reality. If it would involve some people (Jews and/or Arabs) moving then that will become reality. If not, then that will be reality. Get it? No? It doesn’t matter either way. Try and sleep well nevertheless. Don’t carry the weight of the world on your little ol’ shoulders.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Yeah but that’s Tommy’s point, as least as I read it. To put it in your terms, Palestinians return to places where Palestinians always lived or had the right to live before Jews ethnically cleansed Arabs from those places. You have not logically made a dent in what Tommy is saying.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Tommy Goldberg

      Exactly. AJew’s argument appears to be:

      ‘Jews used to live in Hebron at some point, so any Jew now has a claim to it, no matter what the current residents think.
      ‘Arabs used to live in [insert name of any Arab town within the Green line], but since they’re not there anymore, they have no right to return.’

      It doesn’t add up, of course, UNLESS you rely on the Bible. That’s your ONLY argument that cannot be fact-checked and thus cannot be debunked.

      Reply to Comment
    4. AJew

      Typical. They only take notice of what they want to notice. I’ll give them one last chance to see the point that I made which both Tommy and Benny deliberately let go over their head: whoosh…

      After 1948 no Jews were left in the West Bank, zero, zip, zilch, nada. Why? Because the Arabs got rid of ALL Jews. Compare that to what Israel did. Lotsa Arabs remained in Israel. And they became Israeli citizens. Today, we have nearly 1.6 million Arab citizens.

      So, in 1967, Israel redressed the balance. Instead of having no Jews in the West Bank, Israel allowed some Jews to return. So that today, we have about half a million Jews in the West Bank and 1.6 million Arabs in Israel. Care to point out where the imbalance is?

      Waiting..waiting..waiting….

      PS
      We also absorbed nearly another 1 million Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Countries where many Palestinian Arab refugees ended up. Anything wrong with the idea of a population exchange? That’s what happened in other conflicts. Go google the India Pakistan conflict.

      PSPS
      But if you want to get rid of all Jews from the West Bank and if you want fairness and symmetry, maybe you should also advocate getting rid of the 1.6 million Israeli Arabs from Israel? Hey, before you get outraged, I am not advocating it. I am just showing you how inconsistent, one eyed and unfair you two are. Yes, you Tommy and you too Benny (Benny of course is not a surprise to me. He is a well known bigot around here) but Tommy, what are you like? Are you big enough to acknowledge that I make a valid poont?

      Reply to Comment
      • Chris

        “After 1948 no Jews were left in the West Bank, zero, zip, zilch, nada. Why?”

        Because by the time 1948 had rolled round, the foreign fakestinian Zionist invaders, colonizers and usurpers in Palestine had already ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland and they did this in the name of all Jews.

        “Because the Arabs got rid of ALL Jews.”

        Go whine to “the Arabs” about that racist nonsense.

        “Compare that to what Israel did. Lotsa Arabs remained in Israel. And they became Israeli citizens. Today, we have nearly 1.6 million Arab citizens.”

        Foreign Zionists invaded, colonized, ethically cleansed, dispossessed, massacred, then unilaterally declared an “independent” republic within a clearly delineated and defined part of Palestine, and now control all of Palestine. Today you have more than six million Palestinians living under israeli apartheid.

        “So, in 1967, Israel redressed the balance. Instead of having no Jews in the West Bank, Israel allowed some Jews to return. So that today, we have about half a million Jews in the West Bank and 1.6 million Arabs in Israel.”

        There was no “balance” to be “redressed”, just more invasion, ethic cleansing, dispossession, land theft, massacres and colonization, carried out under the guise of belligerent occupation.

        “Care to point out where the imbalance is?”

        The Palestinians haven’t brought in the big guns yet.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Chris

      “If fiercely defending our independence as a Jewish majority state is a cult then we are a cult. I can live with that.”

      You are defending state-sanctioned racism, ethnic cleansing, colonialism, subjugation, land theft, dispossession and murder, in the name of all Jews. You are not in good company.

      Don’t expect others to just “live with that”.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Blah blah blah blah.

        Stop barking Chris. You are like a dog barking at a moon. Your rantings impresses only your own kind.

        Then again, if you want, keep on spewing your hateful anti Israel ideology. You will only be a laughing stock for normal people. Normal folk recognise hatred when they see it. You Chris are full of hatred. Pity there is no medication to cure hatred. Otherwise I would recommend something for you. You evoke pity in me. It must be terrible to feel such hatred bubbling within you, poor soul.

        Reply to Comment
        • Chris

          “Stop barking Chris.”

          Stop projecting, Anti-SemiteJew.

          Reply to Comment
        • Chris

          “Stop barking Chris.”

          Blah blah blah blah.

          Stop projecting, Anti-SemiteJew.

          Reply to Comment
        • Carmen

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J_H7GeklTo

          Down boy. Your rantings impresses only other rabid dogs.

          Keep spewing your hateful antisemitic ideology because it’s all you have. Watch the spittle though. Normal people recognise hatred when they see what you write and your compadres write. You AJew are full of hatred and project that emotion and all the feels associated with it onto anyone who doesn’t smell like you. Pity there is no medication to cure stupid. I feel sorry for anyone whose path you cross, but have no pity at all for the likes of you and yours. You’ll get what you deserve and the hell that you would impose on others will be your destiny.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            There must be a full moon. All the nut jobs are out howling 😂

            Reply to Comment
    6. AJew

      “The “land of Israel” is a Bible story. Jews don’t have an “ancestral home”

      Really Chris? Well guess what: I just pinched myself and found that I am awake and not dreaming and I am here in Israel which exists with lots of archaelogical evidence that Jewish people inhabited these lands thousands of years ago. Fancy that.

      And Jews don’t have ancestral homeland, only according to Jew haters like you. I could actually prove to you that Israel IS our ancestral homeland but really, it would be a waste of time. You are clearly a doctronaire hater of the Jewish people of Israel. Nothing I can say will change your “mind”. So why bother? Now do me a favor and please stop talking to me, I don’t like you either. So there is no point in having a shouting match between us, is there? 🤔

      Reply to Comment
      • Chris

        “Really Chris?”

        Yes, really.

        “Well guess what: I just pinched myself and found that I am awake and not dreaming and I am here in Israel which exists with lots of archaelogical evidence that Jewish people inhabited these lands thousands of years ago. Fancy that.”

        And you are telling me this because?

        “And Jews don’t have ancestral homeland, only according to Jew haters like you.”

        No, only according to psychotic Zionist anti-Semites, like you.

        “I could actually prove to you that Israel IS our ancestral homeland but really, it would be a waste of time.”

        No you actually couldn’t because “Israel” didn’t exist before May 1948. Stop wasting everybody’s time. Or don’t.

        “You are clearly a doctronaire hater of the Jewish people of Israel. Nothing I can say will change your “mind”. So why bother? Now do me a favor and please stop talking to me, I don’t like you either. So there is no point in having a shouting match between us, is there?”

        And you are clearly a psychotic “Arab” and “Jew” hating Zionist anti-Semite. I don’t owe you “a favor”, your likes and dislikes are of no interst and whether or not you choose to have a shouting match with yourself is entirely your business.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      ​“So, in 1967, Israel redressed the balance….”

      There are many dishonesties in this post, but I’ll focus on one: the false and quite devious concept of “balance.” Israel addressed no felt “imbalance.” If it could have gotten rid of every Arab person west of the green line it would have. Ben Gurion said as much in writing many times. It just did not find a practical way to do it and get away with it. In taking advantage of a cease fire to belligerently and illegally transfer its population into occupied territory (see: UNSCR 2334, resolved 14-0-1, 2016) Israel was not seeking “balance.” It was and is seeking territory. It has located settlements with strategic exactitude in this real estate “enterprise,” incessantly, and maps don’t lie. Naftali Bennet’s public statements do not lie. And the very idea that post-Nakba Israel still felt things were not “balanced” is quite telling.

      Amir Oren: “The location of the settlements is important. If they are distributed in such a way that the West Bank state is squeezed between them, it will not be viable. Without withdrawal, there will not be peace. Without a freeze on new settlement, the veteran settlements will not be evacuated. Whoever is eager to continue settlement-building wants a never-ending war of attrition and a clash with the entire world.”

      Gustav if you truly espoused the goals you say you do you would be allied with me and others like me here. Insead of busying yourself with throwing childish temper tantrums and incessantly calling people “bigots” and “haters” in the most empty, tiresome, ad hominem way.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “If it could have gotten rid of every Arab person west of the green line it would have.”

        This is the kind of dishonesty which Ben engages in, day in day out.

        Let us pretend for the sake of argument that what he says above would be true. Which it isn’t. Even then:

        Israel did not get rid of EVERY single Arab person. Prooof? We have 1.6 million Arab people within Israel who are Israeli cotizens.

        Now look at what the Arabs ACTUALLY DID:

        The Arabs got rid of every single Jewish person from the West Bank, in 1948, when they overran and conquered the West Bank. And to top that, they got rid of 99.9% of the Jewish people in Arab countries, a total of nearly 1 million Jews.

        Get it? Actual getting rid of (the Arabs got rid of Jews) versus getting rid of ALL Arabs if the Jews COULD. Actual versus if maybe they could. I’ll say it again: ACTUAL versus IF COULD HAVE.

        And Benny suggests that I should contemplate aligning myself with the like of him. What next, Benny? Should I shoot myself in the foot? LOL don’t answer that. I am sure you’ll retort with a yes, and mean it. Thanks but no thanks. I politely decline your offer Benny 😝

        Reply to Comment
        • Chris

          “Israel did not get rid of EVERY single Arab person. Prooof? We have 1.6 million Arab people within Israel who are Israeli cotizens.”

          This is the kind of dishonesty, bordering on group psychosis that Arab hating Zionist anti-Semites engage in, day in day out.

          Here’s what the Arab hating Zionist anti-Semites ACTUALLY DID:

          Foreign Zionists began targeting Palestine for invasion and colonization more than 100 years ago. Between 1947 and 1949 these foreign Zionist invaders, colonizers, usurpers and anti-Semites ethnically cleansed Palestine so they could unilaterally declare an “independent” republic within a clearly delineated and defined part of Palestine with as few “Arabs” in it as possible. In 1967, the Zionist aggressors fought another war of conquest against multiple other “Arab” countries and now control all of Palestine. Today, more than six million Palestinians are living under israeli apartheid.

          Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          “Should I shoot myself in the foot?”

          You do it often enough that one more time probably wouldn’t hurt too much. I’ve tried to stop you but to no avail. “Him With His Foot In His Mouth” would be a good online name if you decide to change it again though. Do you read Saul Bellow? In “Him with His Foot in His Mouth,” Herschel Shawmut is a musicologist who has a disastrously, comically loose tongue. He is “not conscious of any will to offend,” but he acknowledges that “I am, as Arabs say, a hostage to my tongue.”

          Reply to Comment
    8. Ben

      ​I disagree with ‘Chris’ that the concept of an “ancestral home” has no validity. But therein lies all the difference. I side on this issue with Noam Scheizaf. Noam says that “a Jewish state” will always be an exclusive and discriminatory state. And he makes important distinctions. With the following excerpt I abbreviate his argument–readers should should read all of it. To me it’s the definitive word on this subject:

      ‘…However, even if Netanyahu’s demand was genuine and not part of his (non)negotiation strategy, it should be opposed – not just by the Palestinians but also by Israelis. Because a “Jewish” state – as opposed to a state whose culture is Jewish or is “a national homeland” for Jews – will always be a racist, discriminatory state…. Most mainstream Zionists would argue that “a Jewish State” is no different than a German state or an Italian state, or any similar nation-state…. But this argument is only half true…. Jewish identity cannot and does not wish to be inclusive (in my mind, that’s part of the beauty of Judaism – that it never tried to convert the non-believers). A state that sees itself as “a Jewish State” is inherently an exclusive state, because a person cannot become Palestinian-Jewish or Muslim-Jewish….’
      http://972mag.com/why-i-oppose-recognizing-israel-as-a-jewish-state/78751/

      So that if Palestinians were to be asked, as part of a final status accord, to recognize something like “a Jewish state,” the accord’s official language would have to codify in many explicit sentences that what is meant by that is what Scheizaf means when he says “a state whose culture is Jewish or is “a national homeland” for Jews” and not what Scheizaf means by “Jewish state.” And such careful codification is in Israel’s interest and eminently possible to men of good will. But good will must be present. People like Gustav, and Netanyahu, use the opposite technique: throw around code words that mean whatever they want it to mean and then get belligerent and accusatory when people start asking questions.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Oh and on that thread, I clarified what I mean by Jewish state. I believe Netanyahu means the same thing but if need be, I am sure it could be clarified without ambiguity in any final status agreement which the Palestinian Arabs would be asked to sign.

        The trouble is that so far, Abbas is on the record of saying that he won’t sign such a document no matter how much the term “Jewish state” would be clarified and no matter what form it takes.

        Now Benny, if you want to continue this discussion please don’t ruin this thread too. Others here have done quite a good job of it already with their dogged and unsubstantiated partisan assertions. Instead, let’s go back to that other thread and give me anything new that you want to say about this subject. I will respond to new stuff but not to repetition.

        Reply to Comment
        • Chris

          “Oh and on that thread, I clarified what I mean by Jewish state.”

          Yes, and you won’t be getting one.

          “I believe Netanyahu means the same thing but if need be, I am sure it could be clarified without ambiguity in any final status agreement which the Palestinian Arabs would be asked to sign.”

          You can believe what you like. The fact of the matter is that the Palestinians are under no obligation to “sign” anything.

          “The trouble is that so far, Abbas is on the record of saying that he won’t sign such a document no matter how much the term “Jewish state” would be clarified and no matter what form it takes.”

          The trouble for you is that no Palestinian will ever sign such a document…Oh, and that the Right of Return is an individual right and non-negotiable.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            See Ben?

            Chris is a great example of what Israel has been and still is up against with the Palestinian Arabs.

            According to Chris: Jews have no ancestry, we have no history, no country, we are not even people and Jews like me who try to argue with Chris are anti-Semites. I’ll say it again because it is actually funny. Jews like me are anti-Semites according to Chris. Presumably because the only Jews who the the Chrises of this world are used to are meek Jews whom they shove around, insult, can kick or even murder whenever they feel like it if they have a bad hair day. “Poor Chris” is nostalgic for those days.

            Well, Chris, darling, those days are gone. Get used to it. Or don’t. Either way, those days are gone and are not coming back.

            As for what you, the Palestinians, are obliged to do: you are right. You are not obliged to sign anything or even accept the right of the Jewish people of Israel to exist. But if you don’t, then we are not obliged to change the current situation either. And if you “bring on the big guns” in order to try and force us (as you threatened in one of your previous posts), then watch out because we too have even bigger guns. Let’s hope it doesn’t have to come to that, Chris.

            So Chris, for now, I see no point in arguing with you. You do a fine job of proving your complete ignorance on your own. You and I have nothing more to say to each other. As I said, I don’t want to have this kind of repetitive shouting match with you. But please come back and let’s talk some more whenever you are prepared to accept the fact that the Jewish people of Israel have rights too and that we too have concerns which need to be addressed.

            PS
            About the refugees: you might want to watch this ‘you-Tube’ video. It sums up the disgraceful way that some very cynical people have been using them as pawns in order to line their own pockets and to further their own aims at the expense of the refugees.

            http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/a-palestinian-refugee-just-asked-a-question-that-shocked-the-entire-united-nations/?omhide=true

            Disgraceful!!!! DISGRACE is too mild a word for it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Chris

            “Chris is a great example of what Israel has been and still is up against with the Palestinian Arabs.”

            No, that would be 1930s Germany and their “war” against the untermenschen.

            “According to Chris: Jews have no ancestry, we have no history, no country, we are not even people”

            No, this is according to you.

            “and Jews like me who try to argue with Chris are anti-Semites.”

            I don’t care what your religion is and you “try to argue with” yourself.

            “I’ll say it again because it is actually funny. Jews like me are anti-Semites according to Chris.”

            Anti-Semitism isn’t remotely funny.

            “Presumably because the only Jews who the the Chrises of this world are used to are meek Jews whom they shove around, insult, can kick or even murder whenever they feel like it if they have a bad hair day. “Poor Chris” is nostalgic for those days.”

            Presumably because they have internet access in lunatic asylums for bat**** insane Zionist self-haters these days.

            “Well, Chris, darling, those days are gone. Get used to it. Or don’t.”

            If you say so, anti-Semite.

            “Either way, those days are gone and are not coming back.”

            Along with your “mind”, presumably.

            “As for what you, the Palestinians, are obliged to do: you are right.”

            Huh? Hang on a second anti-Semite, presuming as you did above, that the “only Jews” who “the Chrises of this world are used to are meek Jews whom they shove around, insult, can kick or even murder whenever they feel like it if they have a bad hair day”, how did I suddenly morph into “you, the Palestinians” inside your brain?

            “You are not obliged to sign anything or even accept the right of the Jewish people of Israel to exist.”

            Or the Palestinians.

            “But if you don’t, then we are not obliged to change the current situation either.”

            Whether or not Zionists are obliged to we themselves in order to feel relevant is outside the scope of international law.

            “And if you “bring on the big guns” in order to try and force us (as you threatened in one of your previous posts), then watch out because we too have even bigger guns.”

            Only if they allow bat**** insane Zionist self-haters to have “even bigger guns” in lunatic asylums these days too.

            “Let’s hope it doesn’t have to come to that, Chris.”

            I sincerely hope that a nurse will always be on hand to administer a sedative every time it ever has to “come to that”.

            “You and I have nothing more to say to each other. As I said, I don’t want to have this kind of repetitive shouting match with you.”

            Whether or not you elect to have a “shouting match” with yourself is your business.

            “But please come back and let’s talk some more whenever you are prepared to accept the fact that the Jewish people of Israel have rights too and that we too have concerns which need to be addressed.”

            Please, I’m not here to hold your hand for you, or to validate your repugnant Zionist anti-Semitism for you.

            P.S. The Right of Return is an individual right and therefore non-negotiable.

            Reply to Comment
    9. Eliza

      Para 5 calling upon States to ‘distinguish in their relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967’ does provide approval for States to ‘differentiate’. It seems to me that this para also gives the green light to non-State actors to also differentiate. If States have the backing of the SC to differentiate, then the boycott or divestment actions of non-State actors also have respectability or good purpose.

      Marry that up with the any possible action of the ICC with resource exploitation and land theft, then pressure can be put upon companies that profit from the occupation.

      I think the USA has just passed the baton onto the EU and given the thumbs up to BDS.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Eliza: Precisely stated and correct. Yes, I think it is in fact a kind of thumbs up to BDS. And to taking Israel to court (ICC). I think decent and knowledgeable people in the U.S. government like John Kerry and many, many others know how truly intractable and devious Israel is at this point and they understand that this passing of the baton as you say is necessary because they understand that the U.S. is crippled, has its hands tied, and that the United States has now become an obstacle to peace, something to be gotten around – both by other states (it was 14-0 in the SC) and by non-state actors. As Gideon Levy says, change simply will not come from inside Israeli society – it is far too brainwashed, extreme-nationalistic, and racist, and more and more every day. Noam Scheizaf knew this when he started this English language magazine. External pressure and punishment is necessary. Take Israel to court. Take it before the ICC. Isolate it. Press it. Boycott it. All these things together. It will not be one thing but an accumulation towards a tipping point. And I think the Israeli Right knows this. It knows that UNSCR 2334 is the direct outcome of the realization of all this and that the U.S. is impotent and the charade is over; and the Right knows that 2334 makes boycotts and legal action more possible, and that 2334 is explicit about Jerusalem too, and so they just fear and loathe it. They talked about it as a horrible thing that cannot be allowed to happen before it happened and now it has happened. Gideon Levy is right. Two states is dead. Let Naftali “Occupation? What occupation?” Bennett and Ayalet Shaked annex Ma’aleh Adumim and then Area C. It will be a slow moving annexation and a slow moving disaster for Israel but by now it is a disaster waiting to happen for many long years. Kerry’s speech, and Trump, remove any fig leaf. You heard Kerry talk about how even when the U.S. government was strapped for cash for its own needs it generously supplied Israel, only to be spit in the face by Netanyahu. For how long then will Americans’ tax dollars continue to directly support organized crime?

        Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “I think the USA has just passed the baton onto the EU and given the thumbs up to BDS.”

        You mean Kery’s US. But Kery’s US is yesterday’s US. It ain’t necessarily today’s US.

        I really don’t understand this misplaced optimism of the Palestinian Arabs and their fawning lap dogs. The poor Palestinians have been on a steady backwards slide ever since they rejected UN Resolution 181 back in 1947. Had they accepted that resolution, they could have had one and a half states today while we the Jews of Israel would have had just half a state.

        Between 1948 and 1967, the Palestinian Arabs could have had ALL of the West Bank and East Jerusalem while Jordan was in control of those places. But they did not even attempt to demand their claims to Jordan because they wete perfectly happy little tomatoes being Jordanians. Instead they kept up their terrorism against Israel which was at that stage within the 1967 lines.

        And so it goes on. After 1967, Israel offered to give up most of the West Bank minus East Jerusalem in exchange for peace but the Palestinian Arabs kept on saying no to peace.

        In 2000/2001 again, the Arabs said no to Barak. And again in 2008, they ignored Olmert. So now they have to deal with the Netanyahu government in the Trump era maybe for the next 8 years. Hands up those (fools) who think that any forthcoming peace conditions from Israel would be more generous than past peace offers?

        And hands up those (fools) who think that in the Trump and BREXIT era and with the likelihood of other dominoes falling in Europe in places like France and the Netherlands, and maybe even in Sweden (Norway already fell) where leftist governments are being knocked down like skittles, hands up those (fools) who think that the pressure on Israel is going to increase, rather than the pressure on the Palestinian Arabs?

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          ​Thanks for the mythologies. One of you signature rhetorical tactics is to focus doggedly on (a warped version of) the past so as to avoid the uncomfortable present reality. Two states is dead. The Israelis killed it. As Bruce says, You won! Your premise however is that you can indefinitely continue to hold Area C as a perpetual no-man’s land to maintain the illusion of a policy of two states. And that Trump is somehow King of the World. (Putin will shortly disabuse him.) AND that even if he were, that he is trustworthy and stable, and knows what he is doing, even from one minute to the next. This is a cause for mirth. And great worry. But good luck with that one state option Naftali and Ayalet are preparing for you. That will go over swell post-2334. But I forgot! You’re Samson’s Grandson! You’re ready to bring the whole place down around you in a malignant narcissistic temper tantrum because you can’t have settlements deep in the West Bank and you just can’t share Jerusalem, just gotta have it all. Kinda like Bibi just had to have those graft items Lauder funneled him. Had to live beyond his means by hook or by crook. Livin’ large. Really, Bibi and Sarah are not simply idiosyncratic occupants of office, they have emerged now as emblematic of the ethos and spirit of the occupation. “Gotta have it all. Just gotta. Because I can. I’m Bibi. I’m a Netanyahu. Given by God. I deserve it. And it makes up for all the unfair persecution by the haters in the Israeli press….”

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Benny is crying over spilt milk. Please refer to my last post (of January 3, 2017).

            Benny’s Palestinian Arabs coulda have had much more. But seeing they held out for their zero sum game since 1947, they are now stuck with Bibi, Trump, BREXIT and more dominoes to fall. But they and Benny are still stuck in the past and still think that ultimately everything will fall into their lap without them having to compromise. It won’t happen Benny.

            1. There won’t be a one state solution in which the Arabs will be second class citizens.

            2. There won’t be a one state solution in which the Arabs would be a majority or roughly equal in size to the Jewish population and with full democracy.

            3. There WILL be a democratic Israel which will have a minority of Arabs (roughly the same number as now) with full democratic rights.

            4. The rest of the Arabs, the ones now in the WB and Gaza may end up with their own state or will become Jordanian and Egyptian citizens. Whatever they prefer. Their own state or part of another Arab state. Those are the only possible outcomes. Their wet dream of forcing Israel to accept them as Israeli citizens, is just that. A wet dream. They can yell, they can accuse, they can blame, they can threaten, they can throw tantrums all they like. They will never become Israeli citizens.

            All they can do is:

            1. Continue to cut off their own noses to spite their faces and complain how it hurts.

            Or

            2. They can bite the bullet. Compromise. Negotiate a peace deal. Have their state and concentrate of building their state instead of trying to render the only Jewish state into the 23rd Arab state. That just will NOT happen!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ​Well I disagree. In my view, your notions of compromise are perverse, and you are basically throwing a temper tantrum. As Amira Hass states: “It’s hard to admit that the Zionist ideology and its creation – Israel – have created a thieving, racist, arrogant monster that robs water and land and history, which has blood on its hands using the excuse of security, which has been deliberately planning today’s dangerous Bantustan situation for decades, on both sides of the Green Line.”

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Ok Benny. You dismiss Arabs and Muslims who are pro Israel as “outliers”. Well guess what: I’ll give your Amira Hass the same treatment: She is an outlier.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Hass is a serious and credible journalist. Of great knowledge and intelligence and persuasiveness. There is no comparison. Quality matters. This is not a game of internet statements one can prop up like chips in a poker game.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Sure, sure Benny. You are the judge, hugh? And you are not even slightly biased are you? And the earth is flat, right?

            Reply to Comment
    10. AJew

      “This is the kind of dishonesty, bordering on group psychosis that Arab hating Zionist anti-Semites engage in, day in day out.”

      Hey Chrissy, you keep on omitting pertinent history. Any reason why? Propaganda maybe?

      You forgot to mention that more than 100 years ago when Jews started returning, Palestine was under populated. In 1850, there were no more than 350,000 people here some of them were Jews who never left and were here before the Arab invaders. And by 1850, Palestine has not been part of the Arab empire for hundreds of years. Rather, it was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire.

      So, Palestine had plenty of room for both Arabs and Jews. That is why the Jewish refugees from pogroms had every right to return and settle on spare lands or lands for which other more well to do Jews bought for them and paid for with hard currency.

      You also forgot to mention that the violence was started by the Arabs against Jews at the instigation of their fanatic leader, Haj Amin Al Hussaini. For instance, in 1929, the Arabs massacred the Jewish population of Hebron and Tzefat. In response to which the Jews created their own militia, the Haganah. And much later, the Jews too resorted to terrorism when they formed groups like the Irgun and Lehi.

      Again, in 1947, the Arabs were the first to resort to violence when they rioted in protest to the UN vote to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted the vote the Arabs rejected it and started murdering Jews randomly. Did you expect the Jews to just take that on the chin? Of course they didn’t. The Haganah went on the offensive and in the ensuing war, large numbers of Arabs fled and became refugees. Yes, some were actually expelled from places which were located in militarily strategic locations. Many more fled on their own as civilians flee from most war zones (see Syria). And in the same war, Jewish civilians too were expelled by Arabs. It wasn’t just one way traffic. The difference was that Arab lands became virtually Jew free (the West Bank became entirely Jew free between 1948 and 1967), while Israel ended up with quite a large number of Arab population.

      That is the entire history, Chrissy boy. Not the selective history which you try to peddle.

      Reply to Comment
    11. AJew

      Want a serious journalist? Try Nonie Darwish. Here, read about her:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonie_Darwish

      “Nonie Darwish (Arabic: نوني درويش‎‎; born 1949)[1][2] is an Egyptian-American human rights activist and critic of Islam, and founder of Arabs for Israel, and is Director of Former Muslims United. She is the author of three books: Now They Call Me Infidel; Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, and The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East. Darwish’s speech topics cover human rights, with emphasis on women’s rights and minority rights in the Middle East. Born in Egypt, Darwish is the daughter of an Egyptian Army lieutenant general, who was called a “shahid” by the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser,[3] after being killed in a targeted killing by the Israel Defense Forces in 1956. Darwish blames “the Middle Eastern Islamic culture and the propaganda of hatred taught to children from birth” for his death. In 1978, she moved with her husband to the United States, and converted to Christianitythere. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, she has written on Islam-related topics.[3]”

      Reply to Comment
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