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Israel still holds all the cards

The relative quiet on the ground in recent years, enforced by the Palestinian Authority on Israel’s behalf, led Israelis to believe they can enjoy peace and prosperity without ending the occupation.

Palestinian youths hold Molotov cocktails on as they sit not he sidelines of clashes taking place in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, October 4, 2015. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Palestinian youths hold Molotov cocktails on as they sit not he sidelines of clashes taking place in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, October 4, 2015. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Thirteen years passed between the First Intifada, which broke out in December 1987, and the start of the second in October 2000. Both intifadas lasted for roughly five years. It has been 15 years since the start of the Second Intifada, and 10 years since it ended.

If history and experience teach us anything, the timeframe is exactly right for the arrival of a new generation of young Palestinians who are willing to confront Israel — like their big brothers did, and before them, their parents. That theory also holds if you look at the profile of those carrying out the stabbing attacks and those taking part in demonstrations in recent days — mostly people under the age of 20.

The events of the past few weeks are not an intifada. Attacks and demonstrations against Israeli symbols and targets, civilian and military alike, have taken place since the 1970s with varying frequency. The intifadas, on the other hand, were characterized by an uprising that saw an almost across-the-board mobilization of the whole of Palestinian society and its institutions (although the Second Intifada quickly became an armed struggle carried out by a relatively small number of militants).

The current situation is different. Even Netanyahu has been forced to admit that the Palestinian Authority is not taking part in the current unrest. Things are centered in East Jerusalem, which is under direct Israeli control, and not in the West Bank. That also demonstrates why Israel will do everything it can to prevent the collapse of the PA, thereby preventing a return to the pre-Oslo situation, something for which a number of demagogues on the Israeli Right are calling. The PA, as Israel’s security contractor, is far more efficient at maintaining the peace than the Shin Bet or IDF ever were. Israel will dispose of it only when it completely stops performing its role.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference about the wave of violence across Israel, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, October 8, 2015. Sitting with him are (from left to right): IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisencot, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Acting Police Commissioner Benzi Sau. (GPO/Amos Ben-Gershom)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference about the wave of violence across Israel, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, October 8, 2015. Sitting with him are (from left to right): IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisencot, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Acting Police Commissioner Benzi Sau. (GPO/Amos Ben-Gershom)

The PLO’s international strategy has collapsed

The PA is an unusual institution. A massive part of its budget — 25 percent, it is said — is dedicated to security. Not securing Palestinians but rather securing Israelis. Palestinian police officers are forbidden from protecting Palestinian villagers against settler attacks. They need to call the Israeli police for that.

Over the past decade the Palestinian Authority took upon itself the role of Israel’s operations contractor of the occupation, with an understanding that quiet in the West Bank would create the requisite conditions for progress in peace talks with Israel. That’s what the Palestinians have always been promised, at least — if the violence stops, we’ll talk and you’ll get your state.

But it’s now clear that the dynamic is the exact opposite. The calm on the ground made Israelis believe that they can enjoy peace and prosperity without ending the occupation. The tragic paradox is that it was the intifadas that led to Israeli concessions (Oslo, the Gaza Disengagement), while the peaceful years resulted in more hardline Israeli positions and the expansion of settlements. In weeks like this one, it is sad to recall the commotion Netanyahu raised with his demands that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” and not just as “The State of Israel,” as if Israel needs Abbas to define its identity. Be sure that if Abbas had recognized Israel as a Jewish state, Netanyahu would have invented something new to demand. Anything in order to not reach an agreement.

When the PLO leadership understood that it wasn’t going to get anywhere with Israel, it took a gamble by seeking international pressure — first from the United states and then from Europe. The thing is, Washington will never seriously pressure Israel. If one compares America’s commitment to the Iran deal to its flaccid approach to the Palestinian issue, things come into focus rather quickly. The Iran deal was a matter of American interests for the Obama administration. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was little more than an irritation.

Dramatic developments in the Arab world, particularly in Syria, are the final nails in the coffin of Palestine’s international strategy. Syria has gone from an Iranian-Turkish-Saudi proxy war to an American-Russian one, with massive consequences for the entire region and beyond — and as if that weren’t enough, the Americans are now worried about the stability of Jordan. Under these conditions, Israel’s strategy of strengthening and maintaining the status quo in the occupied territories suddenly seams reasonable to the United States. Hillary Clinton, who is still considered the Democratic frontrunner, said last week that Israeli-Palestinian conflict will probably have to wait, and it’s clear that no Republican candidate would even ponder putting pressure on Israel to end the occupation. The PLO’s international strategy completely collapsed this year, and Abbas never had a plan B.

An Israeli soldier checks a Palestinian man’s documents at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Hebron on June 17, 2014, as the hunt for three Israeli teenagers believed kidnapped by militants entered its fifth day. (Photo: Tess Scheflan/Activestills.org)

An Israeli soldier checks a Palestinian man’s documents at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Hebron on June 17, 2014. (Photo: Tess Scheflan/Activestills.org)

A one-party conflict

I don’t know how much the Palestinian youngsters protesting in the West Bank and East Jerusalem think or care about broad geo-political considerations. What’s absolutely clear is that over the past couple of years diplomatic developments have evoked nothing but utter despondency in the occupied territories. That is something I’ve heard from every single Palestinian with whom I’ve spoken — an inability to even imagine what theoretic chain of events might one day bring about the end of the occupation. Under these circumstances, some hold to their daily lives in Ramallah or Jenin, which recovered a bit in the past decade, while others are willing to take desperate measures.

Israelis love to talk about “incitement” in the occupied territories. It provides a comforting explanation for the violence that breaks out now and again. Israel’s sense of righteousness is only reinforced by the feeling that Palestinians support violence, and that the Israeli side only wants peace and quiet — a little bit of normalcy, commerce, removing a few checkpoints here and there as signs of goodwill, etc.

But the situation, of course, is entirely different. The Palestinians are always subject to the violence of the occupation, which is daily as it is arbitrary, while Israelis primarily enjoy quiet and prosperity. The “Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” most of the time, exists for one side and one side only.

The Palestinians are prisoners in their own land. They cannot move around freely, they cannot enter and exit their country. Receiving visitors is dependent on the goodwill of the Israeli military regime. The same goes for keeping roads open and building new neighborhoods and even individual homes. They are entirely dependent on the goodwill of Israel for protection against attacks by Jews, and the Israeli army has never viewed protecting the Palestinian population as part of its mission in controlling the Palestinian territories. They are judged in Israeli military courts, they can be imprisoned without charge or trial, and on and on. And of course, they have no political rights like voting or political representation.

Politics has always been a substitute for violence in managing relations between various populations, and those who have no right to participate in politics quickly reach the conclusion that they have nothing but violence at their disposal. Even if every last social media post against Israel, the Jews or the Zionists was deleted from the Internet, the violence would still continue. Likewise, even completely dismantling every single organ and network of Hamas would not stop the organization from sprouting right back up, time and again.

We have to remind ourselves over and over and over again: the occupation is the ultimate terrorist infrastructure. One must be especially blind to think that extreme inequality and more than half a century of oppression could bring about any other result. We also needn’t delude ourselves about the reverse: ending the occupation may not bring peace, certainly not in the short term, but continuing it will definitely lead to a civil war, of which we’ve gotten a small taste this week. True, it’s not Syria or Yugoslavia. Not even close. But even Syria and Yugoslavia weren’t Syria and Yugoslavia until they were, either. The situation in Israel — two mixed populations that have zero-sum outlooks, and in which one side has all the power and the rights and the other has only crumbs — is the fundamental problem.

In that context, the most worrying phenomenon this week has been the spontaneous violence by regular citizens on both sides. Part of the reason for that is that both sides are exposed only to the terror wrought by the other. Jews saw the video of Adelle Bennett screaming for help and receiving only ridicule from shopkeepers in East Jerusalem. Arabs saw the mob chasing Fadi Alloun — one of the alleged Jerusalem stabbers — until police executed him in cold blood. Maybe that’s another explanation for the young age of the stabbers: they are the ones who are most exposed to social media, where all of the videos and reports are circulating.

Quiet comes with a price

The bad news is two-fold. Firstly, it is much more difficult to reach political solutions in the absence of central power structures. Secondly, in previous rounds it took four to five years of reciprocal bloodletting — during which Israel paid a heavy price, and the Palestinians several times that — until there formed an Israeli consensus that was willing to consider real concessions (Oslo and the Gaza Disengagement). There is no prospect for a temporary or permanent solution at the moment. There is no public support and there are no politicians to lead us in that direction.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog this week demanded that the government put the entire occupied territories under siege. Collective punishment that would not bring us a meter closer to any solution, military or diplomatic. Minister Naftali Bennett proposed establishing new West Bank settlements. Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman called on the public to take revenge on Arabs. Yair Lapid proposed activating a “lawnmower” policy (god only knows what that means), and expressed support for Jewish settlers living in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Netanyahu looks like the most rational and cool-headed among all those who want to dethrone him, but it’s clear that he’s not going to be the one who leads us to a major breakthrough.

And yet, there is no way to justify for the feeling of helplessness and victimhood with which the streets of Israel are lined at the moment. Our current situation is not a “tragedy,” but rather a reality that elected Israel’s political leadership, with the backing of the vast majority of Jewish voters, marched directly into with eyes wide open.

The cards are still in Israel’s hands, and they hold great power. Israel can initiate new peace talks with a few simple gestures. It can even decide with whom: Fatah or a Palestinian unity government. It can rally an international coalition to support it — from the Arab states to Turkey, Russia, the United States and the European Union. Ours is one of the few issues in the world on which all of those states would happily cooperate. It could unilaterally end its military regime in the West Bank. In a nutshell, Israel has a full set of tools at its disposal that, in the medium- to long-term, could fundamentally alter relations between Jews and Arabs in this land. But doing so carries a price: putting an end to settlement building, releasing prisoners, and all of the rest of the steps that not only the political leadership, but also the majority of the Jewish public, rejects out of hand at the moment.

A version of this article first appeared in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    1. Gustav

      “The tragic paradox is that it was the intifadas that led to Israeli concessions (Oslo, the Gaza disengagement), while peaceful years resulted in more hardline Israeli positions”

      Let’s just examine this claim shall we?

      The first intifada ended when the gulf war commenced, in 1991. The Oslo accords were signed in 1993. And the incidents of terrorism against Israeli Jews peaked AFTER the Oslo accords were signed.

      Now let’s look at the Gaza disengagement.

      “The disengagement was proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005. Those Israeli citizens who refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline, were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days.[1] The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005.[2”

      And what was Israel’s reward for that withdrawal?

      Hamas took over Gaza. The rocket attacks against the civilians of Southern Israel escalated and Israel had to conduct several bloody operations to at least temporarily stop the rockets from Gaza.

      So much for the idea of trying to appease an implaccable enemy of the Jewish state like Hamas. And the PA isn’t much better. They are just much more sneaky.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        It is still true that overall peaceful years resulted in more hardline Israeli positions. This is the essential dynamic of the “peace process.”

        Regarding: “And the PA isn’t much better. They are just much more sneaky.”

        Two comments:

        The settlement enterprise has from start to finish been carried out with a sneakiness par excellence, unsurpassed sneakiness, world champion sneakiness.

        The PA has been Netanyahu’s and Ya’alon’s faithful security contractor in the West Bank for years now. And got nothing in return. Your comment rings utterly false. The sheer overlord arrogance of Bougie Ya’alon today to lecture Abbas about “not escalating” all the while Abbas’s security forces are keeping the lid on with all their might, acting as Ya’alon’s security contractor. What a benighted man Ya’alon is. How mired in illusions the Israeli public is

        Reply to Comment
    2. Gustav

      …and even more importantly; what caused the second Intifada?

      ANSWER: Ehud Barak’s year 2000 peace offer which exceeded even what was promised under the Oslo agreement.

      Arafat still didn’t like it so he planned and triggered a bloody Intifada which resulted in the deaths or maimings of over 8000 Israelis over the next 4 years and was only partially stopped by Sharon’s very harsh response which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Palestinian Arabs too.

      I say slowed down, not ended, because intermittent terror attacks against us never stopped.

      Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “Clinton blamed Arafat after the failure of the talks, stating, “I regret that in 2000 Arafat missed the opportunity to bring that nation into being and pray for the day when the dreams of the Palestinian people for a state and a better life will be realized in a just and lasting peace.”

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Camp_David_Summit

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Again, the Israel’s have worked hard to propagate the myth that the offer was “generous” when it was not. To the reigning Israeli overlord mentality, even “offering” a two state solution is “generous.”

            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/apr/14/comment.israelandthepalestinians
            Source: “The real deal; Ewen Macaskill: Israel’s View That Arafat Missed A Chance For Peace Under Barak Is Dangerously Deluded”

            And, a U.S. President’s careful political remarks for public consumption to the contrary notwithstanding, even Clinton’s own special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs from 1998 to 2001 and a member of the American peace team at Camp David, identified three “fictions” about the Palestinian failure at Camp David. It’s in the first linked-to article.

            Barak was justifiably fearful from an electioneering standpoint that Sharon would defeat him if he offered something truly generous. He did not. And he lost to Sharon anyway on account of it. For even offering anything.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Clinton’s own special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs from 1998 to 2001 and a member of the American peace team at Camp David, identified three “fictions” about the Palestinian failure at Camp David.”

            You mean Robert Malley, this man…

            Middle East and North Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group
            Formerly served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs
            Son of Simon Malley, a key figure in the Egyptian Communist Party
            Blamed Israel for the failed Camp David peace negotiations with Yasser Arafat in 2000.
            His word counts for more than Bill Clinton and Dennis Ross who was Bill Clinton’s chief negotiator who also blamed Arafat?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No peace plan had ever gone as far as Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2001, proposing a Palestinian State on 97% of the West Bank and dividing Jerusalem. This plan, far more than Rabin had conceded (or intended to, based on his own statements).

            Yet Arafat went along with Rabin’s offer and signed Oslo. Why? Coz he saw an opportunity to get something for nothing. But by 2000/2001 he had all of that and he wanted even more than what Barak offered. And when he didn’t get it, he resorted to a violent intifada. He admitted as much to his wife Suha who subsequently revealed that fact on Arab TV in 2012.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Your “97%” fiction and your “dividing” Jerusalem distortion are refuted in Nigel Parry’s article, linked to above.

            By the way, to say “no peace plan had ever gone as far as Ehud Barak” is like saying you and somebody went to third base, the farthest you’ve ever gone, and you’re surprised she’s not pregnant. It’s amazing how the Israelis’ overlord sense of entitlement leads to their astonishment that, because a certain “offer” was the most they ever bestowed on their subjects, the ungrateful wretches still refused it. The Israelis appear to expect a discount based on past truculence. “We’re less truculent than we have ever been, why aren’t you amazed, and prostrate with gratitude?”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Your “97%” fiction and your “dividing” Jerusalem distortion are refuted in Nigel Parry’s article, linked to above.”

            Yes, Benny, we know… We know…

            Some people claim that thevearth is flat too. And some people claim that the Holocaust is just a fiction. But that does not make their claims true.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”and somebody went to third base, the farthest you’ve ever gone, and you’re surprised she’s not pregnant.”

            Now let’s define what Benny and his Palestinians define as third base as opposed to a home run…

            Third base is the compromise with land swaps which two past Israeli prime ministers offered. But according to Benny and his Palestinians, that is not enough. Them greedy Joooooos want too much them greedy Joooos should offer the poor Palestinians a home run, Israel within the green line instead, if they want to get pregnant. Only Benny forgets to mention that pregnancy would be the least of our worry then. Coz our real worry would be that we would wake up to find ourselves dead.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Robert Malley is of Arab ancestry, so he’s biased. Whereas Dennis Ross and Elliot Abrams are of Jewish ancestry but they’re not biased. LoL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Robert Malley is of Arab ancestry, so he’s biased. Whereas Dennis Ross and Elliot Abrams are of Jewish ancestry but they’re not biased. LoL.”

            Actually, Robert Malley’s bias does not stem from his Egyptian ancestry. It stems from his background as coming from a communist family.

            But in addition to the Jew Dennis Ross coz according to you Benny, Joooos cannot be trusted, there is the “small matter” of Bill Clinton who blamed Arafat in no uncertain terms. Was he a biased Jew too? LOL, you are incorrigible, Benny-leh.

            Reply to Comment
    3. been there

      Quoting the writer, “The PA, as Israel’s security contractor, is far more efficient at maintaining the peace ” and “Palestinian police officers are forbidden from protecting Palestinian villagers against settler attacks.” and then calling Oslo a ‘concession’ by the Israelis.. Oslo was a disastrous betrayal of the Palestinian people.’Quiet’, to Israelis, means no Israeli hurt. And when Palestinians are being murdered, children taken away in the middle of the night, houses demolished, huge numbers arrested under ‘administrative detention’, the situation is still ‘quiet’. Israelis don’t care what happens to the Other, the untermenschen….and the PA takes its orders from Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ben

      “Palestinian police officers are forbidden from protecting Palestinian villagers against settler attacks. They need to call the Israeli police for that.” While the Israeli police stand passively alongside and protect marauding settlers. While Palestinian security forces protect Israelis from attacking Palestinians.

      Isn’t that the post-Oslo occupation in a nutshell?

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Yea Benny, pull the other one. Now please explain how come over 8000 Israelis were killed or maimed between 2000 and 2005.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Ben

      “But it’s now clear that the dynamic is the exact opposite. The calm on the ground made Israelis believe that they can enjoy peace and prosperity without ending the occupation. The tragic paradox is that it was the intifadas that led to Israeli concessions (Oslo, the Gaza Disengagement), while the peaceful years resulted in more hardline Israeli positions and the expansion of settlements.”

      That’s the essential dynamic of the occupation in two sentences.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Gustav

      Yea Benny, pull the other one. Now please explain how come over 8000 Israelis were killed or maimed between 2000 and 2005.

      Reply to Comment
    7. GKJames

      While it can be entertaining and cathartic to debate without end cause-and-effect as well as who’s more responsible for what, and even who has the right to be here or there. But it’s obvious that the status quo suits the party with all the cards just fine. In other words, what Palestinians do or not has zero bearing on what Israel does or not, all hysterical rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. As the author rightly days, “Netanyahu would have invented something new to demand.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Nah, you are right, the past does not matter. It doesn’t matter that the dear Palestinian Arabs could have stopped this nonsense years ago but they didn’t coz they wanted it all. And you know for sure that now it’s all Netanyahu’s fault and the dear Palestinian Arabs would be willing to compromise.

        Yep, and the earth is flat.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Anyone who talks incessantly about the past from a blame-externalizing perspective that leaves out the elephant in the room, the 48 past years of ruthless and ever-expanding settlements in occupied territories, is confused. Anyone who leaves out Netanyahu’s past statements on the matter is confused. For this is not about the past, it is about the *future*. Welcome to your binational state and thank Netanyahu. Barak Ravid: “That same Netanyahu who warned of a binational state exacerbated the severity of the threat in recent years, both actively and passively. He continued to move more and more Israelis deeper into the territory of a future Palestinian state, outside the settlement blocs that Israel seeks to annex as part of a peace agreement. During a Likud faction meeting on Monday, he even boasted that over the past six and a half years, the number of settlers in the West Bank grew from 280,000 to 400,000. Whether willingly or forcibly, blindly or with eyes wide open, Netanyahu is threatening to turn Israel into the Middle Eastern version of Yugoslavia. . . . Even more disconcerting is the tendency by Netanyahu and his ministers to disassociate the current crisis from its context. . . . ignoring 48 years of occupation, and is refusing to admit that, maybe – only maybe – they have something to do with the current wave of violence. . . The explosion that we are experiencing is part of an “atomization” of the conflict; the fight isn’t against the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, but against an entire generation of young Palestinians, some of them kids, who don’t see a future for themselves. They are frustrated, desperate and incensed. They hate Israel as much as they hate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.”

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Anyone who talks incessantly about the past from a blame-externalizing perspective”

            Look who is talking. That would be yo, no Benny? But we are not allow to do as you do? We have no gripes? Only your Palestinian Arabs who started the violence against us 100 years ago have gripes? Was there occupation 100 years ago Benny?

            BEN:”that leaves out the elephant in the room, the 48 past years of ruthless and ever-expanding settlements in occupied territories, is confused.”

            There were no settlements 100 years ago Benny. But there was violence against us carried out by your dear Palestinian Arabs 100 years ago. How do you explain that Benny?

            Anyone who leaves out Netanyahu’s past statements on the matter is confused. For this is not about the past, it is about the *future*. Welcome to your binational state and thank Netanyahu. Barak Ravid: “That same Netanyahu who warned of a binational state exacerbated the severity of the threat in recent years, both actively and passively. He continued to move more and more Israelis deeper into the territory of a future Palestinian state, outside the settlement blocs that Israel seeks to annex as part of a peace agreement. During a Likud faction meeting on Monday, he even boasted that over the past six and a half years, the number of settlers in the West Bank grew from 280,000 to 400,000. Whether willingly or forcibly, blindly or with eyes wide open, Netanyahu is threatening to turn Israel into the Middle Eastern version of Yugoslavia. . . . Even more disconcerting is the tendency by Netanyahu and his ministers to disassociate the current crisis from its context. . . . ignoring 48 years of occupation, and is refusing to admit that, maybe – only maybe – they have something to do with the current wave of violence. . . The explosion that we are experiencing is part of an “atomization” of the conflict; the fight isn’t against the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, but against an entire generation of young Palestinians, some of them kids, who don’t see a future for themselves. They are frustrated, desperate and incensed.

            BEN:”They hate Israel as much as they hate Abbas”

            Nothing new under the sun Benny. They hated us 100 years ago and they still hate us.

            100 years ago they hated us because they entertained the illusion that they could butcher us or drive us into the sea because they thought we were just Jews that they could trample as was the custom of many throughout history.

            Now they hate us coz we showed them that we are more than a match to them and that we can do things which does not suit their liking either.

            This has been a case of a struggle between two nationalist groups. A struggle for territory. We were prepared to compromise, they were not.

            Ah but the settlements, say Benny. But he ignores the elephant in the room. The struggle is much more than just the settlements. The settlements are just their latest convenient excuse.

            Ehhud Barak and Ehud Olmert between them offered land swaps to compensate for the settlements they didn’t have to. But they wanted an end to the war and the occupation. But that wan’t it, was it Benny? Your Palestinian Arabs consider Israel within the green lines as settlements too.

            Ask Sawsan Khalife. And if she denies it, ask her to explain how come she said what she said before in her online interview. You know exactly what I am talking about Benny.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Anyone who talks incessantly about the past from a blame-externalizing perspective”

            Look who is talking. That would be you, no Benny? But we are not allow to do as you do? We have no gripes? Only your Palestinian Arabs who started the violence against us 100 years ago have gripes? Was there occupation 100 years ago Benny?

            BEN:”that leaves out the elephant in the room, the 48 past years of ruthless and ever-expanding settlements in occupied territories, is confused.”

            There were no settlements 100 years ago Benny. But there was violence against us carried out by your dear Palestinian Arabs 100 years ago. How do you explain that Benny?

            BEN:”They hate Israel as much as they hate Abbas”

            Nothing new under the sun Benny. They hated us 100 years ago and they still hate us.

            100 years ago they hated us because they entertained the illusion that they could butcher us or drive us into the sea because they thought we were just Jews that they could trample as was the custom of many throughout history.

            Now they hate us coz we showed them that we are more than a match to them and that we can do things which does not suit their liking either.

            This has been a case of a struggle between two nationalist groups. A struggle for territory. We were prepared to compromise, they were not.

            Ah but the settlements, say Benny. But he ignores the elephant in the room. The struggle is much more than just the settlements. The settlements are just their latest convenient excuse.

            Ehhud Barak and Ehud Olmert between them offered land swaps to compensate for the settlements they didn’t have to. But they wanted an end to the war and the occupation. But that wan’t it, was it Benny? Your Palestinian Arabs consider Israel within the green lines as settlements too.

            Ask Sawsan Khalife. And if she denies it, ask her to explain how come she said what she said before in her online interview. You know exactly what I am talking about Benny.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Chemi Shalev: “…In Prime Minister Netanyahu’s two recent addresses to the Knesset about the latest wave of terror and violence that has engulfed Israel, he uttered the word “incitement” in one way or another 14 times. The word “occupation” or any of its synonyms wasn’t mentioned even once. . . . The prevailing Israeli motto, to paraphrase the immortal “The Germans” episode of Fawlty Towers is “Don’t mention the occupation”. If you utter the explicit word, it seems, you stand accused of justifying the terrorists and if you don’t, you’re not culpable in any way. That’s very convenient, of course, if you happen to be a prime minister who’s been in power for the past six years: ignoring the occupation allows Netanyahu to dodge questions about why you’ve done virtually nothing to get rid of it. As long as the prime minister turns a blind eye to the occupation and convinces others to do the same, he doesn’t have to explain why it keeps blowing up in everyone’s face. So the stabbings and the shootings are a product of Palestinian “lies” about the Temple Mount; the result of the Palestinian Authority’s outrageous agitation; the consequence of inflammatory textbooks and rabble-rousing religious leaders; the manifestation of a culture of hate and terror that is spreading throughout the Middle East; another chapter in the long saga of Muslim rejection of Jews in Palestine that’s been there since time immemorial. All valid points, perhaps, but all pale in the shadow of occupation.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You mean the occupation which could have ended at least twice in the last decade alone Benny?

            …that occupation? The one which they didn’t want to end by signing a peace deal which would have got them only to third base, instead of a home run? A home run which would have meant the end of the Jewish state? That occupation, Benny-leh?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            There typically comes a point where our ‘discussions’ dead end into mere repetitiveness or recycle to the top. This is one of those points. Recycle to the top. An endless loop. This is not a bug, it’s the product. See “The Barak generosity myth,” and proceed…

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I know what you mean Benny. That point is when you mention the occupation which you want ONLY Israel to solve without requiring YOUR Palestinians to do ANYTHING in return.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            They’re already doing a huge amount. Huge. They are enduring the occupation, for years. Huge. And they are serving as your faithful security contractor, for years. Huge. They’ve accepted 22% of their historic homeland. Huge. Only a Lord of the Land could fail to see it. And in a final status accord obviously will be required to do a lot of things. But you know that already. But Israel is nowhere near ready to get serious. The problem for Israel now is that, as Talal Jabari notes, Israel has a scapegoat problem. Here, escape the loop:

            http://972mag.com/israels-scapegoat-problem/112769/

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            LOL.

            If anyone wants lessons in circular arguments, please see Benny…

            Here is history:

            Bennie’s Palestinians resorted to violence against Israel for nearly 100 years. First to try to prevent the birth of the Jewish state, and then to try to destroy us.

            In 1967, we defeated their sponsors and in the process, the Palestinian people were subjected to our occupation.

            The Palestinian Arabs continued their violence sporadically. Sometimes intensely and sometimes less intensely after we cracked down.

            As mentioned above, twice in the last decade the Palestinian Arabs were offered peace deals which would have ended the occupation.

            According to Benny, they did not sign those deals because they were not offered all they wanted.

            I reminded Benny that it was impossible to offer them all they wanted because what they still want is to destroy the Jewish state. The Jewish state which the UN voted for using the words “Jewish State”, back in 1947. And I said to Benny that if the Palestinian Arabs want an end to the occupation, then they must give something in return too.

            Benny then retorts, that they have been policing their people to prevent violence against us (which of course is false or at least worthless) and that according to him, obliges us to give up the occupation without the Palestinian Arabs renouncing their 100 year policy of trying to destroy the Jewish state.

            Give us a break, Benny. You can accuse us of many things but please don’t act as if we are stupid!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Who exactly is this “we” that is not stupid? Care to demarcate to the boundaries of “we”? Certainly Noam Sheizaf is not stupid.

            “Even Netanyahu has been forced to admit that the Palestinian Authority is not taking part in the current unrest. Things are centered in East Jerusalem, which is under direct Israeli control, and not in the West Bank. That also demonstrates why Israel will do everything it can to prevent the collapse of the PA, thereby preventing a return to the pre-Oslo situation, something for which a number of demagogues on the Israeli Right are calling. The PA, as Israel’s security contractor, is far more efficient at maintaining the peace than the Shin Bet or IDF ever were.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Certainly Noam Sheizaf is not stupid.”

            Ok Benny, you are saying that the rest of us are stupid. I get it and I don’t care. But hear this…

            Us, the great unwashed “stupid” people are the majority, NOT Sheizaf.

            So if you want us to do your bidding, then you’ll have to be more persuasive. Not just whine, scream and make cartoonish one sided accusations. Wanna know why? Coz you ain’t gonna ride rough shod over us. Persuade or perish.

            Right now you ain’t doin’ a good job persuading. You appear to be perishing instead coz nothing will happen without our agreement.

            PS
            In case you ask your stupid question again about who is the “we” that I am talking about, the ANSWER is, us, the MAJORITY of the Israelis. Coz sure as hell, your Sheizaf does not represent the majority of us!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Look, Gustav, you can sit there with your arms folded defiantly and demand I or others persuade you, but it kind of misses the point. I’m not the one who is in the midst of the trouble. You are. This is your country you’re playing with fire with. It’s not up to me to persuade you of anything. It’s up to you all to persuade yourselves and do something.

            Or, as Natasha Roth puts it, “If the recalcitrance of the Israeli leadership — of whom Benjamin Netanyahu is simply the latest, and probably worst, incarnation — continues, the occupation will be ended on Israel’s behalf. The unpredictability of such a process does not need spelling out and risks coming at a price greater than anything we have witnessed until now. . . . Unless real leadership emerges from somewhere, there is no knowing where we will be when the music stops.”

            As Edo Konrad puts it, “History, after all, may not end up being so kind to us.”

            As Mairav Zonszein puts it, “That is because there is no endgame. It will likely get much worse still. The question is if Israelis will begin to realize that more of the same will only lead to further horrors.”

            As Sam Bahour puts it, “the entire political paradigm of a two-state solution is being relegated to the history books. What comes next will not be the vanishing of the Palestinians, or Israel’s success in battering them into submission, but rather a new generation of Palestinians, armed with history and determined to wrest their emancipation from whomever stands in their way.”

            These people ARE your countrymen and women whether you like it or not.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”These people ARE your countrymen and women whether you like it or not.”

            And they are the smart ones according to you? Well, we (the majority) don’t see it that way because history and common sense tells us that they are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG….!!!!

            … in this 100 year war, the aim of the Palestinian Arabs, at best, was/is to establish an Arab majority state on the entire land that is the West Bank AND including Israel itself. At worst, they did not want ANY Jews on this land.

            Our (Israel’s) aim was/is to establish a Jewish majority state on PART of the land. What part of the land? Given that we were forced to fight a war with the Palestinian Arabs, we want better borders than the 1949 armistice lines (which are the 1967 boundaries) and which are about 15 miles narrow at their narrowest points which happen to be near Israel’s major population centres, it’s main industries and it’s international airport.

            Wars can end in one of two ways…

            1. With total victory to one side which then imposes it’s will on the other side.

            2. With a stalemate. In which case the two sides negotiate and come to some sort of agreement which usually require compromise by both sides.

            I think that it is fair to say that the Israeli – Arab conflict is of type (2) above even though Israel is overwhelmingly stronger militarily. But the Arabs have more political clout due to their economic influence (oil) and the large Islamic bloc.

            Yet the Arabs pretend to have won total victory and they try to dictate terms. They want Israel to give up land unconditionally without them (the Arabs) renouncing their policy to destroy the Jewish majority state. That will just not happen. We are not quite that weak politically. We are not ready to surrender unconditionally. They want their own state? They can have it. But they won’t be the ones to dictate…

            1. The final boundaries.

            2. Nor can they get away with not renouncing their past agressive policies against us.

            Imagine Germany trying to hang onto their racial policies after WW2 and dictating their own borders. Ya know what Benny? Had the Germans tried such a stunt, they would still be under occupation today. Unlike your Palestinian Arabs, they chose unconditional surrender instead and they never looked back. Yes, they lost some lands and had to give up their policies of aggression, even eat humble pie, but ever since then, they never had it so good!

            Get it Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Strawman: The Palestinians who won’t eat humble pie. 22% of the pie is pretty humble. (The Germans did not have 22% shoved down their throats and you know it but “the Germans” is a misleading analogy from the get go so enough of that propaganda.) But you gotta have more. But beware that what you’re ending up with is the whole damn nightmare pie, the one state binational but apartheid nightmare pie that is taking place on your streets as I write. Netanyahu brags in secret that he killed the two state solution. What a Pyrrhic victory.

            Look at the picture at the top: “What are you going to do about her, send in the tanks? A negotiating team? AP” ==>

            http://www.haaretz.com/wwwMobileSite/news/features/1.680431

            “Based on the volume of violent incidents and, more importantly, the identity of the people behind them, it’s easy to say: this isn’t an intifada. It’s something far worse. . . . It is a new, and terrifying, type of horizontal terror: random, leaderless, and uncoordinated. . . . Diplomacy and force won’t work this time because despite the kneejerk appellation of intifada, this is not an intifada.This is something far more sinister: A terrifying preview to a binational, one-state Israel that already exists to a large degree on the ground. . . . “

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            The straw man is your 22%, Benny.

            As for this “new terrifying scenario”, BS, Benny. There is nothing new about it. This is ground hog day. We have been here before. Don’t get me wrong, not pleasant at all. There WILL be suffering for sure. But rest assured that your darling Palestinians who just don’t want to learn from their past mistakes, will have their share of suffering. After a while of course, they will wake up and there will be a lull in the violence again. But maybe, just maybe this time this generation of theirs will produce a leader who will lead them to compromise, peace and an end to this cycle.

            See Benny? You can’t scare us with your promises of brimstone and fire. Wanna know why? Not because we are stupid. Not because we are brave. Just because we know that the alternative would be far worse. If we would surrender to them as you demand, Hamas and the PA together, or Hamas alone, would arm themselves to their teeth with modern weaponry and their attacks against us would be far worse than what we are experincing now.

            You see Benny? That’s why our choice is easy. We have to choose between bad and worse. Of course we choose bad. But nevertheless, we are confident of our final victory.

            Wanna know how WE define victory? We define it as the two state solution and both our peoples living side by side in peace. Uneasy peace initially but gradually, over a couple of generations, evolving into good neighborly relations. Unfortunately Abbas is too old school to be able to deliver such a vision and I won’t even mention Hamas who represents well in excess of 50% of the Palestinian Arabs today. That is why we need Netanyahu today even if he too may not be a peace maker.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Chemi Shalev: “At its extreme, the refusal to countenance a link between the occupation and the violence that it breeds, despite overwhelming empirical and historical evidence to the contrary, in Israel and around the world, is a form of what is sometimes termed “denialism”. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a denialist is “”A person who does not acknowledge the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence” while denialism has been defined as “the employment of rhetorical arguments to give the appearance of legitimate debate where there is none”. In the past few decades, the most prominent contemporary examples have been the denial of evolution, of climate change, of the Holocaust, of the link between HIV and AIDS, between smoking and lung cancer. “

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            You said it Benny.

            DENIALISM!

            Your ARE a DENIALIST with a one track mind. I liken you to an old saying…

            “You like your clothing in all colors, as long as they are black”

            …at the end of the day, no matter what facts are presented to you. No matter what history is brought to your attention. No matter how logically arguments are presented to you. You always reach the same conclusion…

            “Your Palestinian Arabs are always 100% right and we Israelis are always 100% wrong”.

            And I know why you are like that Benny. Coz you are a cynical propagandist. You have a job to do.

            No problems, Benny, hey it’s a job and someone has to do it. Why not you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The straw men are popping up all over the place tonight: Benny the 100 per center, Benny the cynic, Benny the demander of surrender, Benny the scary one, etc. Pre-Halloween special, Gustav?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Sigh Benny, ya want it every which way, don’t ya? So I’ll tell ya what. I’ll give you a big chance to catch me out and embarass me…

            Tell me where I misrepresented you on your list below and show me how. For example…

            1. “Benny the 100 per center,”

            Tell me where you think that we are right and your Palestinian Arabs are wrong.

            2. “Benny the cynic”

            Tell me how did you debunk my claims about what Sawsan Khalife said in her interview. And if you can’t then tell me why you are still denying that many Palestinian Arabs want to destroy the Jewish majority state.

            3. “Benny the demander of surrender”

            That one you are on really weak ground. Show me what do you expect from us (Israel) and then show me what do you expect from the Palestinian Arabs.

            4. “Benny the scary one”

            Nah, I never said that. That is just your over sized ego at work. You are not scary, Benny dear. You are pitiful.

            5. “etc. Pre-Halloween special, Gustav?”

            Whatever. But this type of reply certainly shows up your cynicism. Avoidance, ducking, slipperiness, anything but responding or debunking serious points which I made.

            Never mind. I expect more of the same from you in response to this post. Coz you ain’t got no substance to you, Benny. There, add that to your silly rhetorical list.

            Luv
            Gustav

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            … in this 100 year war, the aim of the Palestinian Arabs, at best, was/is to establish an Arab majority state on the entire land that is the West Bank AND including Israel itself. At worst, they did not want ANY Jews on this land.

            Our (Israel’s) aim was/is to establish a Jewish majority state on PART of the land. What part of the land? Given that we were forced to fight a war with the Palestinian Arabs, we want better borders than the 1949 armistice lines (which are the 1967 boundaries) and which are about 15 miles narrow at their narrowest points which happen to be near Israel’s major population centres, it’s main industries and it’s international airport.

            Wars can end in one of two ways…

            1. With total victory to one side which then imposes it’s will on the other side.

            2. With a stalemate. In which case the two sides negotiate and come to some sort of agreement which usually require compromise by both sides.

            I think that it is fair to say that the Israeli – Arab conflict is of type (2) above even though Israel is overwhelmingly stronger militarily. But the Arabs have more political clout due to their economic influence (oil) and the large Islamic bloc.

            Yet the Arabs pretend to have won total victory and they try to dictate terms. They want Israel to give up land unconditionally without them (the Arabs) renouncing their policy to destroy the Jewish majority state. That will just not happen. We are not quite that weak politically. We are not ready to surrender unconditionally. They want their own state? They can have it. But they won’t be the ones to dictate…

            1. The final boundaries.

            2. Nor can they get away with not renouncing their past agressive policies against us.

            Imagine Germany trying to hang onto their racial policies after WW2 and dictating their own borders. Ya know what Benny? Had the Germans tried such a stunt, they would still be under occupation today. Unlike your Palestinian Arabs, they chose unconditional surrender instead and they never looked back. Yes, they lost some lands and had to give up their policies of aggression, even eat humble pie, but ever since then, they never had it so good!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Your comparisons to Germany are just ridiculous. The 1949 armistice lines were just that. Armistice lines. They were not the fall of Berlin to the Soviets. And the Soviets withdrew from East Germany, and did not try to colonize it with Russians and annex it. At least the world didn’t let them. There are a thousand other differences. No one is demanding Israel engage in “total surrender.” Hello? Exceedingly far from it. Just who do you think you’re kidding? No one is demanding the Palestinians dictate borders. No Palestinian pretends to have won total victory. It’s comical. On the one hand if an Israeli Arab so much as says the word “Nakba” you demand they be shut up, locked up, defunded, and generally persecuted with the legal and procedural equivalents of washing their mouths out with soap. Yet at the same time you hallucinate their bragging about total victory! LoL!
            So the Palestinians cannot be allowed to “get away with not renouncing their past aggressive policies”? OK, now are you, and Ayalet and Naftali and Bibi going to likewise renounce your past and present aggressive occupation of them? Your entitlement boggles the mind. The Palestinians are not holding on to a “policy to destroy the Jewish majority state.”*

            Your incessant comparisons to Germany are just r i d i c u l o u s. Symptomatic of how warped your perspective is. Your posts showcase the Right Wing’s detachment from reality.

            _________________
            *The Palestinians already put in writing as early as 1988 a willingness to relate to Israel as a Jewish state, in their actual statements in the Palestinian “Declaration of Independence” from November 18, 1988. And in discussions over a final status accord held after Oslo Yossi Beilin has testified that their Palestinian counterparts told the Israelis that “as far as they were concerned there was no doubt that Israel is the state of the Jewish people, but they added that Arab Knesset members pointed out a problem to them: Such recognition could well give validity to discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” These spoken words were reflected in the wording of the 2003 Geneva Initiative: “Affirming that this agreement marks the recognition of the right of the Jewish people to statehood and the recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, without prejudice to the equal rights of the Parties’ respective citizens. … The Parties recognize Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples. The Parties are committed not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Note to Gustav:

            In any cheap Halloween slasher flick there’s always a late appearing zombie strawman (personification of a straw man argument) popping up out of the ground. Or two. Or three. Or four. One as predictable as the last.

            Behold “Benny the egotist” who falsely pretends that Gustav called him scary or a scaremonger, but, oops…

            “See Benny? You can’t scare us with your promises of brimstone and fire….”

            Gustav: the whole, black-and-white way you frame my thinking inside your mind is itself a straw man argument:

            “Benny the Fiend who says for example, ‘the tactics of the second intifada and the mentality of the Hamas are right’.

            And “Benny who says ‘Israel inside the Green Line has no right to exist.'”

            And “Benny who shouts ‘the Palestinians Arabs are right!”

            As if the real Benny does not actually speak in far more nuanced and intelligent ways. (And as if GrossKatze ever did.)

            Or “Benny who failed to ‘debunk’ Gustav’s (axiomatic, hostile, paranoid) interpretations of (an enigmatic interview transcript phrasing of) Sawsan Khalife. The same Sawsan Khalife who has by now written at least three very smart and very nice essays here on +972 recently for all the world to see, but move along children nothing to see here, and the same Sawsan Khalife who has apparently earned Noam Sheizaf’s and the other +972 writers’ high esteem and trust.

            Or “Benny the guy who never told Gustav that (1) incessant generalizing, to all of “them” from what some of “them” say they think, is a mistake; (2) what some of “them” say is not “just the way those people are” but certain to shift and evolve if Israel showed an ounce of good faith and sincerity, unless of course you harbor racist notions about subhuman hordes.

            These being subsets of a general strawman personification: “Benny the Denier.”

            Or “Benny the Surrender Demander.” Hello? It’s Jello or Yoghurt or Milkshake or whatever, or a guy named Gustav for that matter, who are fond of drawing nifty lessons from capsule “histories” of WWII and demanding Japanese style surrender while perpetuating a plethora of severe distortions predicated on terribly specious comparisons of the occupations of Germany, Japan, and Palestine.

            The main tactic and strategy is to distract from the real issues and make the hot topic “Benny the Fiend, Fie on him that Foe.” It’s as silly as it sounds. As I keep telling ‘Jason Kidd’ et al., he of the multiple personalities, who now has taken to calling himself “Ben” in a whacky behind-the-lines counterinsurgency disinformation op, it’s not about me and it’s not about you. It’s the occupation, stupid. And that ain’t no straw man.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Again, Benny, a few posts ago I asked you several specific questions. They are not hard questions. You haven’t answered any of them. Obviously you have a problem answering these questions because you are hiding. What are you hiding from Benny dear?

            Tell me where I misrepresented you on your list below and show me how. For example…

            1. “Benny the 100 per center,”

            Tell me where you think that we are right and your Palestinian Arabs are wrong.

            2. “Benny the cynic”

            Tell me how did you debunk my claims about what Sawsan Khalife said in her interview. And if you can’t then tell me why you are still denying that many Palestinian Arabs want to destroy the Jewish majority state.

            3. “Benny the demander of surrender”

            That one you are on really weak ground. Show me what do you expect from us (Israel) and then show me what do you expect from the Palestinian Arabs.

            4. “Benny the scary one”

            Nah, I never said that. That is just your over sized ego at work. You are not scary, Benny dear. You are pitiful.

            5. “etc. Pre-Halloween special, Gustav?”

            Whatever. But this type of reply certainly shows up your cynicism. Avoidance, ducking, slipperiness, anything but responding or debunking serious points which I made.

            Never mind. I expect more of the same from you in response to this post. Coz you ain’t got no substance to you, Benny. There, add that to your silly rhetorical list.

            Luv
            Gustav

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            And Benny, your “new terrifying scenario”, BS, Benny. There is nothing new about it. This is ground hog day. We have been here before. Don’t get me wrong, not pleasant at all. There WILL be suffering for sure. But rest assured that your darling Palestinians who just don’t want to learn from their past mistakes, will have their share of suffering. After a while of course, they will wake up and there will be a lull in the violence again. But maybe, just maybe this time this generation of theirs will produce a leader who will lead them to compromise, peace and an end to this cycle.
            See Benny? You can’t scare us with your promises of brimstone and fire. Wanna know why? Not because we are stupid. Not because we are brave. Just because we know that the alternative would be far worse. If we would surrender to them as you demand, Hamas and the PA together, or Hamas alone, would arm themselves to their teeth with modern weaponry and their attacks against us would be far worse than what we are experincing now.

            You see Benny? That’s why our choice is easy. We have to choose between bad and worse. Of course we choose bad. But nevertheless, we are confident of our final victory.

            Wanna know how WE define victory? We define it as the two state solution and both our peoples living side by side in peace. Uneasy peace initially but gradually, over a couple of generations, evolving into good neighborly relations. Unfortunately Abbas is too old school to be able to deliver such a vision and I won’t even mention Hamas who represents well in excess of 50% of the Palestinian Arabs today. That is why we need Netanyahu today even if he too may not be a peace maker.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            INTERVIEWER: “What is your opinion of Mahmoud Abbas’ attempt at the United Nations for recognition of Palestinian statehood?”
            SAWSAN KHALIFE:” I think we can’t as Palestinians bid for statehood unless all Palestine is reunited. Maybe Palestinians can benefit from the bid. But the West Bank is not Palestine. I see the Galilee, al-Quds [Jerusalem], Haifa and Acre also as part of Palestine. We can ask for independence when we have reunited our land. After we have gained control over the air, the sea, the borders, we can be independent. I see the statehood bid as a bit of an illusion. Abu Mazen’s [Mahmoud Abbas’s] approach is not at the right time.”

            …but how does Benny react to this? A clear statement by his heroine, Sawsan Khalife, that as far as she is concerned, there is no such thing as Israel, there is ONLY Palestine…

            …Benny’s reaction to this ….?

            BENNY:”The same Sawsan Khalife who has by now written at least three very smart and very nice essays here on +972 recently for all the world to see, but move along children nothing to see here”

            OK Benny, we get it. She is cool according to you …

            Indeed, move along children, nothing to see here. From his own mouth, Benny confirms what I said about him.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            [Chuckle] Aaaaand…as always, we are stuck in an endless loop of tiresome nonsense. Have a nice day, Gustav.

            “It would be as meaningful and a lot more pleasant to substitute this exchange:
            Have a nice day, Gussie.
            Have a nice day, Benny.
            Have a nice day, Gussie.
            No! YOU have a nice day, Benny.
            No! YOU have a nice day, Gussie.
            I clearly said have a nice day Benny and you are not having one! And then I said have a nice day Benny and you still ignore me!
            Strawman of “Benny who won’t have a nice day!” Benny is having a great day! You made it, Gussie!
            Benny is such a cynic! Note how I said have a nice…………….”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            LOL. Witness Benny unrevelling and rambling nonsense…

            Still no response to my questions or to the points that I made…

            The longer he goes on, the more he vindicates what I said about him.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I dispute however the idea that a spontaneous upwelling by preteens and teens among you in East Jerusalem mainly and who barely remember the second intifada if they remember it at all, but enraged by the lifelong oppression and discrimination they and their parents have experienced, and using only kitchen knives and willing to die, and telling Abu Mazen to go to hell, but taking orders from no one, this being no intifada but something more horizontal, spontaneous, undetectable and unstoppable–I dispute that this is Groundhog Day and not something new and a harbinger of what a 1SS-based apartheid will be like. This is what your leaders and your public have wrought with their managing the conflict arrogance and heartlessness.

            The bias, as always, in favor of the Israeli right in the outside world’s mainstream press is striking however. There is an article in Foreign Policy today by an Israeli Hebrew U.-trained think tank guy that is classic hasbara disinformation and actually makes me wonder if Israeli counterintelligence did not commission him as an agent to write it and place it. It confidently and in a coldly dismissive “this is nothing to worry about” tone asserts that this latest horizontal uprising is entirely Hamas-organized and fomented and is aaaaall about Hamas sticking it to Abbas. And nothing else. That it is entirely driven by intra-Palestinian rivalries and even says something like “Abbas’s fight is not with Israel it’s with Hamas.” Oh really? That’s it? No fight with Israel? Nothing to see, move along? In the whole article the Palestinians as people are not even considered except as mindless pawns of Hamas because “this is what it’s ‘really’ all about.” Written in coldly dismissive foreign policy think tank-embassy-speak from a detached mile high view. A blatant piece of disinformation. Classic attempt to foist this on a scapegoat. Anything but the occupation. Anything. “Occupation? What occupation? It’s not an occupation, it’s a dispute. That’s all.” I’m sure you’ll love it. I highly recommend it to you. It’s classic Hasbara because it pretends to be addressing something substantive while quite studiously ignoring the major cause of the Palestinian furor by droning on about Hamas. Which equals ISIS of course. And so of course the status quo must be maintained even though it’s just a blatant lie that it’s all about Hamas this time around. You’ll love it. Classic hasbara posing as mainstream foreign policy establishment analysis and drawing on “what everybody knows.” LoL. Only problem is fewer and fewer are buying it.

            This is why +972 is so different, so exceptional. And why you dislike it so and demonize it’s writers. To the degree +972 goes “mainstream” and becomes “relevant” in conventional circles, to that degree the conflict will be solvable. And Noam Sheizaf will be able to say “that’s great but I could have told you that years ago–and did–look at our archives.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Here is one of my posts which Benny could not bring himself to answer…

            INTERVIEWER: “What is your opinion of Mahmoud Abbas’ attempt at the United Nations for recognition of Palestinian statehood?”
            SAWSAN KHALIFE:” I think we can’t as Palestinians bid for statehood unless all Palestine is reunited. Maybe Palestinians can benefit from the bid. But the West Bank is not Palestine. I see the Galilee, al-Quds [Jerusalem], Haifa and Acre also as part of Palestine. We can ask for independence when we have reunited our land. After we have gained control over the air, the sea, the borders, we can be independent. I see the statehood bid as a bit of an illusion. Abu Mazen’s [Mahmoud Abbas’s] approach is not at the right time.”

            …but how does Benny react to this? A clear statement by his heroine, Sawsan Khalife, that as far as she is concerned, there is no such thing as Israel, there is ONLY Palestine…

            …Benny’s reaction to this ….?

            BENNY:”The same Sawsan Khalife who has by now written at least three very smart and very nice essays here on +972 recently for all the world to see, but move along children nothing to see here”

            OK Benny, we get it. She is cool according to you …

            Indeed, move along children, nothing to see here. From his own mouth, Benny confirms what I said about him.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            ” as far as she is concerned, there is no such thing as Israel, there is ONLY Palestine…” (so says Gustav the Supreme Omniscient Interpreter)

            We’ll make up your mind, Bud. Two states? Or one state? Of Palestine*? What? Better get cracking. Decisions, decisions…. And you were so sure time was on your side. Status quo ‘n all that, chap?

            *See for example the interesting words of Richard Flantz, in response to Edo Konrad’s article:

            http://972mag.com/lets-not-forget-that-east-jerusalem-palestinians-are-stateless/112840/

            “I agree with your concluding paragraph, but need to add that (imho) there can be a just binational state in Palestine (Eretz-Yisrael) only if this state is not called Israel but Palestine (EY), as during the Mandate years, & if it guarantees equal rights to all its citizens & cultural autonomy to its two national entities: Arab Palestinians & Hebrew Palestinians. I do think it’s by now incumbent on Israeli Jews to renounce the narrative of the “Israeli’ legend & admit that they are in fact Palestinians too, who until now, in the name of their legend, have continued to dispossess & abuse (& much more & much worse) their Arab countrymen.”
            .

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Nehemia Shtrasler: “When Uri Ariel and his wacky pals provocatively go to Temple Mount, to blow up the little stability that remains – that’s incitement. Settling 15 (!) messianic organizations in the Old City, which occupy themselves with practicing animal sacrifice in the Temple that will be built “soon, in our days” on the ruins of Al­­­­­-Aqsa Mosque – that’s incitement. The far-right religious Ateret Cohanim organization’s making the lives of the Muslim quarter’s residents a misery and financing dozens of families who moved into the quarter’s center – that’s incitement. Setting up protected compounds of ultra-fanatic Jews in the heart of the Arab neighborhoods in the east of the city – that’s incitement. These Jews daily humiliate and harass the fathers and mothers of the youngsters who live in complete despair, squalor and wretchedness – that’s incitement. These youngsters live under oppression, with no future and no chance of attaining an independent state of their own, which will restore their dignity, which is more important to them than food or career. The fact that this isn’t an organized uprising, but individual assailants who grabbed a knife or screwdriver and went on a vengeance and suicide quest, proves the intensity of the despair they live – and die – in.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Here is another post of mine which stumped Benny. The most he mumbled about it is that my analogy is not apt. But he still cannot explain why on earth anyone in their right mind would hand over lands to an enemy who refuses to renounce their 100 year policy to eradicate the Jewish state…

            … in this 100 year war, the aim of the Palestinian Arabs, at best, was/is to establish an Arab majority state on the entire land that is the West Bank AND including Israel itself. At worst, they did not want ANY Jews on this land.

            Our (Israel’s) aim was/is to establish a Jewish majority state on PART of the land. What part of the land? Given that we were forced to fight a war with the Palestinian Arabs, we want better borders than the 1949 armistice lines (which are the 1967 boundaries) and which are about 15 miles narrow at their narrowest points which happen to be near Israel’s major population centres, it’s main industries and it’s international airport.

            Wars can end in one of two ways…

            1. With total victory to one side which then imposes it’s will on the other side.

            2. With a stalemate. In which case the two sides negotiate and come to some sort of agreement which usually require compromise by both sides.

            I think that it is fair to say that the Israeli – Arab conflict is of type (2) above even though Israel is overwhelmingly stronger militarily. But the Arabs have more political clout due to their economic influence (oil) and the large Islamic bloc.

            Yet the Arabs pretend to have won total victory and they try to dictate terms. They want Israel to give up land unconditionally without them (the Arabs) renouncing their policy to destroy the Jewish majority state. That will just not happen. We are not quite that weak politically. We are not ready to surrender unconditionally. They want their own state? They can have it. But they won’t be the ones to dictate…

            1. The final boundaries.

            2. Nor can they get away with not renouncing their past agressive policies against us.

            Imagine Germany trying to hang onto their racial policies after WW2 and dictating their own borders. Ya know what Benny? Had the Germans tried such a stunt, they would still be under occupation today. Unlike your Palestinian Arabs, they chose unconditional surrender instead and they never looked back. Yes, they lost some lands and had to give up their policies of aggression, even eat humble pie, but ever since then, they never had it so good!

            Get it Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            It’s ok, Gustav the Stumper (a legend in your own mind) you can stop pretending I didn’t answer you. I did answer you. Look. You appear to way overestimates “the point I made.” You should be satisfied with the record–I am–why aren’t you?–and not repetitively belabor the same point with endless cut and pastes of your own regurgitations. You lack insight about this IMHO. People can figure it out. They don’t need a lovingly annotated instant replay of your ‘greatest hits.’ It’s tedious.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No Benny dear. You did not answer a single point which I raised. You kept on dancing around it. Here is one last chance for you. Copy and paste your answer to this copy and paste question of mine…

            INTERVIEWER: “What is your opinion of Mahmoud Abbas’ attempt at the United Nations for recognition of Palestinian statehood?”

            SAWSAN KHALIFE:” I think we can’t as Palestinians bid for statehood unless all Palestine is reunited. Maybe Palestinians can benefit from the bid. But the West Bank is not Palestine. I see the Galilee, al-Quds [Jerusalem], Haifa and Acre also as part of Palestine. We can ask for independence when we have reunited our land. After we have gained control over the air, the sea, the borders, we can be independent. I see the statehood bid as a bit of an illusion. Abu Mazen’s [Mahmoud Abbas’s] approach is not at the right time.”

            …but how does Benny react to this? A clear statement by his heroine, Sawsan Khalife, that as far as she is concerned, there is no such thing as Israel, there is ONLY Palestine…

            …Benny’s reaction to this ….?

            BENNY:”The same Sawsan Khalife who has by now written at least three very smart and very nice essays here on +972 recently for all the world to see, but move along children nothing to see here”

            OK Benny, we get it. She is cool according to you …

            If you can’t even copy and pastre, then indeed, move along children, nothing to see here. From his own mouth, Benny confirms what I said about him.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Bizarre. I answered this exact post above. Whatever point you think you’re making is lost on us–it is not transmitting. Seriously. You smoking something funny tonight?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Was this your answer, Benny?

            BENNY:”The same Sawsan Khalife who has by now written at least three very smart and very nice essays here on +972 recently for all the world to see, but move along children nothing to see here”

            If so, YOUR answer is bizarre. She stands accused of wanting to replace the Jewish majority state with an Arab majority state between the river and the sea. And your answer is…. she is a cool person who said cool things so that’s ok….

            Are you serious? Is that a serious response if you claim that you are not a 100% ter abd a cynic?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Was this your answer, Benny?

            BENNY:”The same Sawsan Khalife who has by now written at least three very smart and very nice essays here on +972 recently for all the world to see, but move along children nothing to see here”

            If so, YOUR answer is bizarre. She stands accused of wanting to replace the Jewish majority state with an Arab majority state between the river and the sea (she said so herself). And your answer is…. she is a cool person who said cool things so that’s ok….

            Are you serious? Is that a serious response if you claim that you are not a 100% ter and a cynic?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I haven’t invented what she said Benny. Here are her own words again…

            INTERVIEWER: “What is your opinion of Mahmoud Abbas’ attempt at the United Nations for recognition of Palestinian statehood?”

            SAWSAN KHALIFE:” I think we can’t as Palestinians bid for statehood unless all Palestine is reunited. Maybe Palestinians can benefit from the bid. But the West Bank is not Palestine. I see the Galilee, al-Quds [Jerusalem], Haifa and Acre also as part of Palestine. We can ask for independence when we have reunited our land. After we have gained control over the air, the sea, the borders, we can be independent. I see the statehood bid as a bit of an illusion. Abu Mazen’s [Mahmoud Abbas’s] approach is not at the right time.”

            Are you denying that she advocates the Jewish state’s destruction and it’s replacement by an Arab majority state, Benny? Are you denying that she advocates the one state solution, not the two state solution, Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ok Benny, I went back and looked again and I found you quoting this guy…

            *See for example the interesting words of Richard Flantz, in response to Edo Konrad’s article:

            “… (imho) there can be a just binational state in Palestine (Eretz-Yisrael) only if this state is not called Israel but Palestine (EY)”

            Who the F… is that guy? But never mind. Are you now saying you agree with him? You agree with the one state solution?

            So what happened to your previous claim a few threads ago that you are not against a Jewish majority state? Was that a lie, Benny….?!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “She stands accused.” LoL! What a joke. By who? You?? The First Officer of the Official Ayalet Q. Shaked Inquisition?? LoL.

            Am I “against a Jewish majority state?” No not at all though I might be against what YOU mean by a Jewish majority state. These are not the same things.

            Khalife might be arguing for a one state solution. So what? Where’s the fire? What’s the shanda? Read your own papers. I’ve lost track of how many Jewish writers are arguing that the jig is up, the 1ss is the only viable option given the fanatic devotion of the settlers and their nurturing and mollycoddling by the Israeli state over 48 years. (And see: Richard Flantz.) “Jewish state’s destruction”? That’s YOUR melodramatic propaganda spin. Look, pal, if YOU don’t want a 1ss — which could work fine if you and they worked together to stop being racists and supremacists and entitled fanatics — and I’ve always said Israel feigns helplessness when it suits it but is anything but helpless when it wants to be — WHERE is the Entebbe of peacemaking? Where is the Entebbe of settler removal? Where is the Entebbe of Jerusalem-sharing? — and a 1ss may actually be all you’ve got at this late hour since you dicked around for so many years saying “Lets manage the conflict at their expense and it will all work out, that’s the smart thing, we, lords of the land, have time.” If YOU don’t want a 1ss then it is incumbent on YOU to offer yourselves and them at long last a fair, dignified, no bullsh*t two state solution — without your patented “since in our minds we were forced to fight a war we get to screw them over even more than we already have” clause — and without dicking around the Americans and the Europeans and abusing their good efforts mercilessly. Mercilessly. The abuse of U. S. President Barack H. Obama is electrifying. You have to be the one of the most narcissistically entitled “nations” (where’s the borders? nations have borders) currently upon the Earth! See:

            http://972mag.com/in-nabi-saleh-an-occupiers-sense-of-entitlement/111322/

            “The lack of self-awareness here, based entirely on how impressive one looks to others, is pure narcissism – of which entitlement is a primary symptom. Parents believe they are entitled to demand that a man lose his livelihood, because he is filmed not supporting the violent arrest of a minor; Ramat Gan’s mayor evidently believes in such entitlement, too. Underscoring all of this is the ultimate object of Israel’s sense of entitlement — land. The ruling coalition, along with huge swathes of Israeli society, believe that they are entitled to every patch of land between the river and the sea – and as a result, are entitled to react however they deem necessary to those who might stand in their way, whether it is the Palestinians whose land they are trying to take or the Israelis and internationals who support them.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Am I “against a Jewish majority state?” No not at all”

            So what are you for and what are you against Benny? Go on, stake your claim. Stop being a shape shifter you spineless wonder.

            BEN:”though I might be against what YOU mean by a Jewish majority state.”

            What I mean about a Jewish majority state? Don’t make it sound like rocket science, Benny. What I mean by it is that our state is committed to maintain a Jewish majority population through immigration policies so as to ensure that our people and culture survives.

            BEN:”These are not the same things.”

            What are not the same things, Benny? So what is your idea of a Jewish majority state?

            BEN:”Khalife might be arguing for a one state solution. So what? Where’s the fire?”

            Where is the fire? Where was the fire in Yogoslavia Benny? Where was the fire in Rwanda, Benny? Where was the fire in the Lebanese civil war Benny? Show me an Arab majority state which permits it’s minorities to have equal rights Benny? Show me an Arab state that does not suppress the languages and cultures of their minorities, Benny?

            And Benny, there are already 22 Arab majority states. Your one state solution of Palestine would be the 23rd Arab state.

            To be continued….

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            If you insist that a one state solution absolutely has to end up a Yugoslavia (and ya’ll can certainly assiduously work towards that end as you are now and make it a forgone conclusion, just keep doing what you’re doing you’re right on track) then get out of the territories and that includes occupied East Jerusalem! You can’t have your settler cake and eat it too and then incessantly whine about the consequences. The world is fed up with that.

            Even the Jerusalem Post gets it:

            “The violence here is over a low flame, especially in comparison to what’s happening in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Sinai, where dozens, if not hundreds, are killed every week. Therefore, the world’s attention is focused on other centers of violence and terrorism. The world is tired of efforts to advance the moribund peace process. Netanyahu speaks of Palestinian “incitement” and “terror” and ignores the fact that the entire world sees the Israeli occupation as the biggest cause of the violence. And the occupation is not going to end. The Israeli government continues to strengthen the occupation and manage the conflict. In short, we are going to experience more of the same for days and weeks, and perhaps even years, unless a process of Deus ex machina (outside intervention) occurs.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Continued from my previous post…

            BEN:”What’s the shanda? Read your own papers. I’ve lost track of how many Jewish writers are arguing that the jig is up, the 1ss is the only viable option given the fanatic devotion of the settlers and their nurturing and mollycoddling by the Israeli state over 48 years.”

            More one sided Benny BS. How can this be because of our settlers, Benny? In 1947 there were no settlers. But there was violence against us by your Palestinian Arabs. Because they wanted the land between the river and the sea to be Arab (not necessarily to be Palestine)

            Between 1948 and 1967 there were no settlers. But there was violence against us by your Palestinian Arabs because they wanted the land between the river and the sea to be Arab. I say, Arab, not Palestinian because had they wanted this land to be known as Palestine, they could have created a Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza which was under the control of Jordan and Egypt respectively.

            And today, many of them (like Sawsan Khalife) still want an Arab land between the river and the sea.

            So tell me, Benny, why is it that you are stuck on our “settlers” and aportion all the blame on them for what we have? Are they the only ones who are the zero sum gamers? Your Arabs are not?

            I’ll tell ya what, Benny, had your Arabs been peace loving, we would not be talking about settlers today. The settlers are our response to Arab supremacism and intransigence. And there is no turning back.

            To be continued….

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Look, pal, if YOU don’t want a 1ss —”

            Look pal, no I don’t and I certainly am not looking for YOUR advice about what to do or not do.

            BEN:”which could work fine”

            Oh sure, buddy, sure… and we have your personal guarantee that it would, huh? Guess what, Benny, the likes of you have no credibility in our eyes. And before you ask (again), by “WE”, I mean us, the majority of Israelis.

            BEN:”if you and they worked together”

            Hey, bud, we have tried since 1947 to work with them. They just didn’t wanna, ok? So now we have to deal with the product of their intransigence. And by the way, that does not mean that we suddenly give up everything purely on trust.

            Reminder: they always said they wanted a Palestine from the river to the sea where they would be a majority.

            The UN voted for two states, one Jewish state (yes they used the word Jewish state) and one Arab state.

            The Arabs rejected the UN vote and started a war. But now you want us to surrender unconditianall to the Arab supremacists and agree to THEIR solution? Why should we Benny? Coz they’ll kill us otherwise? Let them try Benny. But don’t whine about it if we teach them once again that violence against us does not pay!

            BEN:”to stop being racists and supremacists and entitled fanatics —”

            Yeah, Right, please don’t confuse us with yourself and your darling Palestinian Arabs, Benny!

            To be continued….

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”and I’ve always said Israel feigns helplessness when it suits it but is anything but helpless”

            You are right Benny. We are not helpless. Now can you tell me when did we feign helplesness, Benny? We pride ourselves for not being helpless here. Unlike your other so called middle eastern allies, we never asked America to fight our wars. That is the very purpose of our Jewish state. Not to be helpless anymore and not to have to rely on someone else to protect us.

            BEN:”when it wants to be — WHERE is the Entebbe of peacemaking?”

            It went away after Arafat responded with an Intifada in response to Ehud Barak’s peace offer in 2000/2001. It also went away after Sharon uprooted 10,000 of our people from Gaza and we got rockets in return.

            Hey Benny, unlike you, we are not slow learners. We have learnt that our peace gestures don’t work. Only our counter violence works.

            Why don’t you ask your darling Palestinians to make a gesture first Benny? Get them to renounce their past policy of rejecting the Jewish state! Hey it’s their turn to take a risk.

            BEN:”Where is the Entebbe of settler removal? ”

            It went with Gaza. By the way, the settlements are not contrary to the spirit of UN SC resolution 242, no matter how many times our critics repeat their lies about it.

            BEN:”Where is the Entebbe of Jerusalem-sharing?”

            Again, it went with Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert who offered it but your darling Palestinian Arabs didn’t think it was enough of a compromise. So now, they won’t even get as much.

            To be continued….

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            There are zero sum gamers on both sides. Naftali Bennet as we speak is shouting that Abu Mazen should not be talked to and should be frozen out, and that a Palestinian state should be killed before it is born. Israel very deliberately freezes out the non-zero-sum-gamers and promotes the zero-sum game, all the while whining about being a victim. This is how f—ed up Netanyahu is and how f—ed up Israel has gotten things:

            Chemi Shalev: “Into this mix [of toxicity in the US-Israel relationship] a new layer of suspicion was added: Just as [U.S.] administration officials were acutely aware, far more than the Israeli public, of the great gap between Netanyahu’s description of the Iran deal as a colossal catastrophe and the much more positive view of Israel’s security establishment, they are now closely monitoring the blatant dissonance between the onslaught of Netanyahu and his ministers against Abbas and the relatively positive reviews of Abbas’ efforts to quell the violence that army and Shin Bet sources have been studiously leaking to the Israeli media. Some officials are worriedly that Netanyahu’s assault on Abbas is anything but innocent: in their opinion, the Israeli prime minister may actually be encouraging the Palestinian president’s downfall and his replacement by more extreme leadership, from Hamas on up. In one fell swoop, diplomatic pressure on Israel would evaporate, the international boycott movement could collapse and Israel might even exploit a moment of crisis in order annex parts of the West Bank in which few Palestinians live while turning Palestinian cities into autonomic Bantustans. The IDF, which is loathe to carry the military and financial burden of such ambitions, is trying to preempt them instead.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”There are zero sum gamers on both sides.”

            Really? Was Rabin a zero sum gamer? He loves ved for two years before that idiot Yigal Amir assassinated him but in those two years all he got for his efforts to resolve the conflict was terrorism.

            Was Ehud Barak a zero sum gamer? No, he wasn’t but all he got for his effort to compromise was a murderous intifada.

            Was Olmert a sum gamer? No he wasn’t yet he got ignored by your so called non zero sum gamer Abbas.

            Was even Sharon a zero sum gamer? No he wasn’t he uprooted 10,000 of our people from Gaza but how did Hamas repay him? With more rockets fired on our civilians.

            So hear this Benny, we may have SOME zero sum gamers but all of your darling Palestinian Arabs are zero sum gamers. Not the least, your heroine Sawsan Khalife which by implication makes you too a zero sum gamer, stop pretending otherwise. You have said several times now that you are full of adoration towards her.

            Zero summer indeed. Physician, heal thyself!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN” — and a 1ss may actually be all you’ve got at this late hour since you dicked around for so many years”

            Again, Benny, you are the one who is feigning confusion. Ever since 1947, we have tried everything to make peace. Your darling Palestinian Arabs were the ones to reject everything because they wanted, and they still want, all the land from the river to the sea.

            You deny it? Go read again what your heroine Sawsan Khalife says openly. Go ask Hamas too…

            BEN:”saying “Lets manage the conflict at theirexpense”

            Better at THEIR expense, Benny, rather than OURS. Hey they want to play a zero sum game, why shouldn’t we too play a little bit of THEIR game too especially if it gives us more secure defendible borders.

            BEN:”and it will all work out,”

            Yep it will Benny. Just wait and see…

            BEN:”that’s the smart thing”

            Yes it is. If an idiot like you thinks it’s not smart, that’s the only stamp of approval we need to know that it is smarter than the alternatives.

            BEN:”we, lords of the land, have time.”

            LOL Benny, coming from anyone else, other than an idiot like you, this “lord of the land” crap would start to be annoying. But from a no hoper, no talent like you it is just water off a duck’s back.

            BEN:”If YOU don’t want a 1ss then it is incumbent on YOU to offer yourselves and them at long last a fair, dignified, no bullsh*t two state solution — ”

            We already did Benny. They want all the land between the river and the sea and now you too have accepted that demand. What does that say about you? It says that in our (the majority of Israelis) people like you have no credibility.

            BEN:”without your patented “since in our minds we were forced to fight a war we get to screw them over even more than we already have” clause — ”

            No Benny, don’t put words into our mouths. “Screwing them” is not our motive. Our motive is to ensure that WE don’t get screwed by accepting less secure borders.

            There is a huge difference between the way YOU put it and the way we feel!

            BEN:”and without dicking around the Americans and the Europeans and abusing their good efforts mercilessly. Mercilessly.”

            Excuse me? Their efforts? Who is asking them to be involved? Not us! They want to be involved because they defend their perceived interests in the Middle East. And we have our interests to defend. Sometimes we synchronize, sometimes we don’t, cest lavie

            To be continued…

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Excuse me? Their efforts? Who is asking them to be involved? Not us!”

            Nothing gives away the astonishingly shallow and dishonest and selfish and ungrateful game you are playing better than this.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            So says the most dishonest poster on this site, YOU, Benny.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”The abuse of U. S. President Barack H. Obama is electrifying.”

            Where did that come from? Where did you see me abuse your Obama? You on the other hand YOU are not holding back on us.

            Compare and contrast.

            BEN:”You have to be the one of the most narcissistically entitled “nations” (where’s the borders? nations have borders) currently upon the Earth!”

            Ahhhh Benny, we know you love us so….

            BEN:”See:

            http://972mag.com/in-nabi-saleh-an-occupiers-sense-of-entitlement/111322/

            Must I?

            BEN:“The lack of self-awareness here, based entirely on how impressive one looks to others, is pure narcissism – ”

            You’d be surprised how aware we are. We are aware of the visceral hatred, by people like you, against our people.

            BEN:”blah, blah, blah…”

            I have no more stomach left to respond to your hateful garbage, Benny

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”(where’s the borders? nations have borders)”

            What a disingenuous little sh@@t you are Benny. Where have you been all your life, hmmmmm?

            Between 1947 and 1993, your Palestinian Arab darlings point blank refused to even agree to the concept that we exist. They euphomistically called us “the Zionist entity” and that’s when they were in a good mood. When they were in a bad mood, which was more often, they called us “a cancer in their midst”. Get it Benny? They refused to recognize us within ANY borders. After Oslo, they paid lip service to our existence but to date they are refusing to sign any document which would designate our borders.

            So you want our borders, Benny? Ask them to at long last sign a peace deal with us which will define the borders.

            Unless of course you want us to unilaterally declare our borders in spite of the so called peace process which requires us to negotiate our borders?

            Again, Benny is throwing a hissy fit and demands to know our borders but he rejected any attempt by our past prime ministers who put forward offers to declare our borders which would have included land swaps.

            Reply to Comment
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