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US Mideast policy: Well on its way to total irrelevance

By following Jerusalem’s lead regarding the Palestinian UN bid, the United State is diminishing its own position in the region, and actually proving that the Palestinians have nothing to hope for in negotiations with Israel

President Barack Obama at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2011 (photo: AIPAC)

President Barack Obama at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2011 (photo: AIPAC)

A few months ago, there was still speculation in Jerusalem that the White House is behind the new wave of diplomatic pressure from the EU. Some even wondered whether the administration is secretly supporting the Palestinian UN bid, hoping that this would finally get Israel to take a step or two towards the Palestinians, possibly even freeze settlement construction, so that negotiations could resume.

Nobody thinks so now. The administration has clearly decided to throw its entire weight behind Jerusalem and against the Palestinian move. Washington is threatening both in public and in private that the UN bid would seriously harm American relations with Ramallah, and might even bring to an end the financial aid for the Palestinian Authority. As usual, the US congress—which seems crazier than the Knesset, impossible as this is to imagine—is threatening to stop all financial aid to the PA, and there are even talks of withdrawing funds from the UN itself if its members dare to vote in the Palestinian favor.

Punishing the entire world for seeking to end the occupation! It seems that American foreign policy was taken hostage by the Likud. Current political circumstances in Washington could be blamed, but the facts are pretty clear. One could find in the Israeli mainstream media, and even in the Israeli administration, those who are inclined to support the Palestinian UN bid, yet America seems to be speaking in one voice against it.

Even the New York Times, whose editorial was at times very critical of recent Israeli policies, warned the Palestinians of the possible consequences of their UN move.

The best way, likely the only way, to head off this debacle is with the start of serious negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The two sides haven’t even been in the same room together since September 2010.

(…)

Arab leaders haven’t given the Israelis any incentive to compromise. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, seemed to give up on diplomacy when Mr. Obama could not deliver a promised settlement freeze. We see no sign that he has thought even one step beyond the U.N. vote.

It’s been twenty years—since the term of George H W Bush—that the United States has allowed Israel to continue its settlement activities. While Palestinian “unilateralism” consists of turning to the international community, with the blessing and support of most of the world, Israel is engaging every day in the real unilateral activities, ones that change the reality on the ground in ways that would make Palestine, if such a state is ever to be born, no more then a tiny Bantustan (just this week Israel has approved a couple more projects that would make a compromise in Jerusalem impossible).

While the destructive Israeli policy is answered with fable condemnations from Washington – yesterday’s statements hardly made it to the papers – the Palestinians are threatened with very concrete punishments, including a move that would leave thousands of Palestinian Authority employees without means to support their families (one could guess how happy they would be to continue doing Israel’s policing work in the West Bank). To sum it up, when the US blocks a Security Council resolution condemning the settlements, and in the same year, vetoes Palestinian statehood, it’s clear that regardless of the rhetoric coming out of Washington, American policy in the Middle East is similar to that of Israel’s expansionist right.

The New York Times editorial did get something right though:

If the Palestinians want full U.N. membership, they have to win the backing of the Security Council. The United States will undoubtedly veto any resolution, and that will further isolate both Israel and Washington.

It’s not really important whether US Middle East policy is the result of the mess on Capitol Hill or whether the administration really believes in what it is doing (I imagine Dennis Ross does). In both cases, the result will be the same: Washington becoming less and less relevant in the region’s geo-political game. I even guess that Russia and China recognize that, and that’s another reason for them to support the Palestinian bid.

The irony is that all the “punishments” America inflicts on the Palestinians will just speed up this process: funds means influence, and once the United States stop supporting the PA, there are two options: either the Authority collapses, or it survives on alternative sources, in Europe or the Arab world (the latter is less likely, given the current economic and political situation). In both cases, America is out of the game.

The last few months have proved one more thing: Abbas is right in refusing to negotiate with Israel under such conditions. With Washington as a broker, what could he expect from such talks? He’ll be lucky to keep his shirt before leaving the negotiation table.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Danny

      Noam, we are one year away from an election in the U.S. Keep that in mind please. Everybody and his sister is sucking up to AIPAC and Israel’s fundamental Christian supporters in key bible belt states. This is par for the course. Should Obama regain the white house in 2012, we will see a new policy towards Israel quickly take shape – one that is immune to any pressure from AIPAC. My guess is that Obama will finally show Bibi America’s real policy in the Middle East – one that does not support Jewish settlement construction is any way, shape or form. Bibi would be smart to get on Obama’s good graces right now, and not wait for 2013 when Obama will finally kick his ass. But unfortunately, Bibi is proving to be not all that smart (he was blind-sided by J14 from right under his very nose!)

      Reply to Comment
    2. @danny – I always wonder where people get this idea that AIPAC has less power during the second term of a president. What, Democrats won’t want to win again in 2016?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Danny

      @Ami:
      My guess is that Obama’s loathing of Bibi will prove to be more powerful than his caring for what happens in 2016. Bibi has so far made every effort to publicly humiliate Obama, in the (false) hope that he will be a one-term president. Bibi will end up eating his hat and asking for seconds! And you know what, I think many U.S. Jews will applaud Obama when that happens!

      Reply to Comment
    4. I hope you’re right. But I think we’ll both be disappointed.

      Reply to Comment
    5. No surprise here. To be able to protect your interests, you better be in a permanent state of conflict, so you can justify almost any move you make.
      As Danny Danon said this week in an interview on Al Jazeera: “This land was promised to us 2000 years ago. Read the bible.”
      The Likud Charter says: “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel.”
      Who really ever believed in this “peace” crap? It’s not about peace, it’s about justice and dignity. No American president will change the Zionist ambitions. Change has to come from within, from the Israeli’s who refuse to continue this insane display of power at the cost of the Palestinians. Leave the US out of it, reset your own moral compass.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Mark

      @Engelbert-
      I wholeheartedly agree that Israel needs to get it’s house in order and stop the occupation…
      But as a USAmerican I do feel my country holds a significant amount of the blame. America is a sole super-power. If the big guy has your back, it makes getting into any conflict seem less risky.
      The US needs to stop it’s wholesale support of every Israeli policy decision if there is to be an end to the current apartheid.

      Reply to Comment
    7. aristeides

      There is a whole raft full of Democrats like Danny who cling to the baseless notion that Obama possesses actual values and will some day act on them.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Noam W

      Danny – where was the administration in the three years that were not one year before the elections?

      As hard as it is to believe, I’ve noticed in a few op-eds over the last few weeks, the mention of Jerusalem pressuring DC to do X instead of the other way around. It’s pathetic.

      In this sense the current administration is as effective in its middle east diplomacy as it was in its health care reform, its budget policy, its ending the civil rights abuses in Guantanamo and elsewhere where American operatives are active.

      If Obama cannot step up he should step down.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Sam Smith

      “either the Authority collapses, or it survives on alternative sources, in Europe or the Arab world (the latter is less likely, given the current economic and political situation).”
      Actually, neither seem likely, given Europe’s
      current debt crisis, which is just getting worse.
      That does not mean I know what will happen if the US cuts funding. Unfortunately, Abbas doesn’t either.

      Reply to Comment
    10. David

      One other possibility is that Israel moves to have early elections following the protests – that’s an optimistic view but surely less optimistic than believing Obama will develop a backbone in a year’s time.

      I don’t believe the US will actually stop funding the PA though. The existence of the PA is a good thing for Israel, it gives them someone to coordinate security with on the Palestinian side and it allows a pretence of peace negotiations while building settlements.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Danny

      @ARISTEIDES:
      While I have nothing but contempt for most members of the Republican party, I am not a Democrat. I am probably a left-leaning independent. Having said that, I do think that Obama is the lesser of all evils at this point. He has so far disappointed me in almost everything he has done (or hasn’t done), but in relative terms, he is head and shoulders above all the the loony tunes who are running the Republican party today. My hope is that his second term will far eclipse his first. He certainly has the ability; all he needs to do is to stop being such a damned coward.

      Reply to Comment
    12. aristeides

      Danny – Obama may or may not have the ability to produce real change, but there isn’t the slightest scrap of evidence that he has the desire to do this. So many people cling to the notion that Obama would if he could give justice to Palestine, but this is just the pipesmoke of the hopium addict.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Taoist

      @ NOAM,

      Timely and very relevant article. Thanks.

      @ DANNY,

      IMHO, you will be severely disappointed, twice in a row. I gave Obama the benefit of the doubt for three years, aware as I was of the mess he inherited in all fronts from the Repugnicans. It is clear for me now, and for many of my friends who also voted for him, that Obama became Bush II Lite, and there is no hope for change in the horizon.

      Your view is optimistic, and given there is no love lost between Bibi and Obama, a second term might become a turning point for US policies vis-a-vis Israel, but I seriously doubt it, as long as La Clinton remains SofS.

      I am more in agreement with ENGELBERT LUITSZ, in believing Israelis have the enormous potential and responsibility, before the world and history, to right the wrongs of their forefathers. The social justice movement has broken the image at home and abroad of a monolithic Israel, and hopefully, slowly but surely, the great white elephant in the room will make it to Israelis’ consciousness.

      That can be a fools’ hope, but I consider betting on the Israelis a better option than hoping the combination of religious wingnuts, neo-con artists, and tea-partiers at US Congress, will break out of their moronic mindset, or that spineless Obama will ever take his rightful place in history.

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    14. Bosko

      Ok, I am willing to stick my neck out. Let’s try this little thought experiment …

      Let’s say (pretend) that tomorrow Bibi would announce that all the settlements would be dismantled and Israel would accept the 1967 boundaries.

      How many people here really believe that peace would break out, Hamas and Hezbollah would change their charter and everybody in the Middle East would become bosom buddies forever?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Kernod

      This article provides an interesting context to the Israeli strategy which is wholly reliant on the US. Israel’s expansionist policies are clearly directing it to a political cul-de-sac which can only result in one of three scenarios — 

      * An apartheid state with a huge, disenfranchised, oppressed population

      * An attempt to retain a Jewish-dominant state through massive ethnic cleansing — another Nakba

      * Destruction of the Zionist state in favor of a state of its citizens that will sooner or later become a (hopefully progressive) Arab state

      Clearly the (arguably unsustainable and/or unachievable) first two are not possible without external support. While it is not clear that American support wil suffice, its absence will doom them to certain failure. Thus, US irrelevance is clearly yet another nail in the coffin of the Zionist state and a precursor to its destruction, leaving the already very likely third option as the only one possible.

      I cannot imagine what the Israeli mainstream is smoking, but it must be *very* good shit. I say let history take its course.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Ben Israel

      Bosko-
      Not only would “peace” not break out, there would be a massive outbreak of violence. This is what happened after the Oslo Agreements went into effect, after Barak’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon and two wars broke out after the destruction of Gush Katif. The radical Arabs would say after the Israeli gov’t making such a declaration..”you see, just as the Qur’an tells us about Jews being cowards..they are on their last legs and one more push of violence will finish them off”

      Reply to Comment
    17. Ben Israel

      Here is an article about how the awakening of the “Arab Street” in the recent turmoil in the Arab countries is forcing their governments to oppose normalization of ties with Israel. Now, here is a quiz question:
      Will opposition to normalization by the “Arab Street” and increased militancy in support fo the Palestinians around the Arab make the Palestinian leader MORE or LESS inclined to make the necessary concessions (such as giving up implementation of the “Right of Return” of the Palestinians refugees) in order to reach a compromise peace with Israel?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/world/middleeast/10palestinians.html?ref=middleeast

      Reply to Comment
    18. Taoist

      “…Let’s say (pretend) that tomorrow Bibi would announce that all the settlements would be dismantled and Israel would accept the 1967 boundaries…”

      ————————

      @ BOSKO,

      Guess that’s a rhetorical question. And a waste of time to even consider it.

      ———————–

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-to-build-thousands-of-new-housing-units-in-east-jerusalem-1.378146

      Israel to build thousands of new housing units in East Jerusalem

      ————————

      Bibi would need a lobotomy, a difficult thing to do on troglodytes. Can’t crack their heads open.

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    19. Bosko

      @Kernod – The Schadenfreude and glee in your writing is unmistakable. But don’t celebrate too soon. People like you are once again going to be hugely disappointed.
      עם ישראל חי

      Reply to Comment
    20. Fuad Saba

      Folks, the Likud has played Obama like a cheap violin. I am completely disappointed as he has achieved nothing in Palestine / Israel. As for Hillary, I never had expectations of anything good from her. But maybe J14 will do the job for us and crack open that thick Bibi skull? Is it possible that those demonstrators can be shown the social injustice towards the Arabs all around them in old Palestine? Do you think they could care about more than just the Jewish population? What a powerful movement that could be. I’m convinced that only the people can make the change happen. If you leave it to AIPAC, the Likud, Lieberman etc. you are just going to get Apartheid, BDS and eventually the ghetto-ization of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Bosko

      @Taoist – “Guess that’s a rhetorical question. And a waste of time to even consider it”
      But you DO know what the answer IS, don’t you? Peace would not break out because the problem is not what Israel does or does not do. The problem is that there are still too many Arabs who have not reconciled themselves to the idea of an independent Jewish nation state in the Middle East.
      But much to your collective disappointment, Israel is here to stay for good.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Hostage

      I always wonder where people get this idea that AIPAC has less power during the second term of a president.

      The elections are in November and the loser remains President until January. A lame duck President would have nothing whatever to loose if he decided to punish AIPAC and establish a legacy by recognizing the State of Palestine within the 67 borders. Unlike diplomatic recognition, recognition of statehood is customarily considered irrevocable. That practice is reflected in Article 6 of the Montevideo Convention, a treaty that the US State Departments still lists in its publication on Treaties in Force.

      So many people cling to the notion that Obama would if he could give justice to Palestine, but this is just the pipesmoke of the hopium addict.

      Unless the Supreme Court reverses its landmark decision in US v Belmont as a result of the upcoming Jerusalem passport case, then the President will continue to possess the exclusive constitutional authority to recognize sovereignty over foreign territory.

      §204 “Recognition and Maintaining Diplomatic Relations: Law of the United States”, in “The Restatement of the Law (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States” explains that under the Constitution of the United States the President has exclusive authority to recognize or not to recognize a foreign state or government and to recognize foreign sovereignty over territory. The President has the constitutional authority to conclude international agreements related to recognition without authorization from Congress or consent of the Senate. See United States v Belmont, 301, US 324, 57 S Ct. 758, 81 L.Ed. 1134 (1937); or §204 “Recognition and Maintaining Diplomatic Relations: Law of the United States”, Volume 1, page 89; and §303 Reporters Note 11 “Sole Executive Agreements”, Volume 1, page 167, in “The Restatement of the Law (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States”, American Law Institute, 1986, ISBN 0314301380.

      http://supreme.justia.com/us/301/324/case.html

      Reply to Comment
    23. aristeides

      A recent study demonstrated how many people cling to false and irrational beliefs, even when confronted with factual proof that they are wrong. The emotional commitment to the belief is so strong that their minds twist and turn to find some rationalization for it, in defiance of the facts.

      It’s no surprise that we can find so many people clinging to such irrational beliefs in these discussions:

      The belief on the left that Barack Obama really wants to do good things and would do so if not for political expediency.

      And the Zionist belief that “Arabs only want to kill Jews” and thus peace is impossible. This one is a very convenient belief because it justifies the Zionist refusal to relinquish its ill-gotten lands.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Taoist

      @ BOSKO

      But you DO know what the answer IS, don’t you?

      ———–
      TAOIST

      Nope, but you did, hence the “rhetorical quality” of your question, and besides Bibi’s new land grab, a waste of time to consider it for an answer.

      —————-
      BOSKO

      Peace would not break out because the problem is not what Israel does or does not do.

      —————-
      TAOIST

      A total abdication of responsibility, and a central part of the ostrich politics mindset of Israel’s mainstream society.

      —————–
      BOSKO

      The problem is that there are still too many Arabs who have not reconciled themselves to the idea of an independent Jewish nation state in the Middle East.

      ——————-
      TAOIST

      Nope, the problem is that there are still too many Arabs, period. But you’re already hard at work on that realm, killing them at will, and having 1.5 million Palestinians in an open-air prison in Gaza “on a diet,” as proto-fascist Dov Weisglass stated a few years ago.

      ——————-
      BOSKO

      But much to your collective disappointment, Israel is here to stay for good.

      ——————-
      TAOIST

      That much we knew, and we would like for Israel to stay for good too, as much of the world does. However, the type of ostrich politics you preach, is forever endangering Israel’s existence, and that’s the crux of the matter. Knee-jerk/neurotic answers to the Israeli occupation are only kicking the can down the road, and not providing a comprehensive answer to the existential problem inherited by your generation.

      ———————

      “The definition of madness is repeating the same action and expecting a different result.”

      Albert Einstein (yet another anti-Semitic, self-hating Jew.)

      ———————-

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    25. Bosko

      @Aristedes – “And the Zionist belief that “Arabs only want to kill Jews” and thus peace is impossible. This one is a very convenient belief because it justifies the Zionist refusal to relinquish its ill-gotten lands”
      Talking on behalf of Zionists, I want to take the liberty to correct your above paragraph about what we believe …
      We don’t believe that the Arabs “only want” to kill Jews. We do believe that many if not most Arabs “have no problems with killing Jews” in order to get them what they want, which is the destruction of the only independent Jewish nation state in the world and replacing it with another Muslim Arab nation state.
      @ Taoist – That’s my response to you too.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Taoist

      @ BOSKO,

      Suuuuuuuuuuure.

      🙂

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    27. Bosko

      @Taoist – Which bit of Hamas’s charter don’t you understand? Which bits of Hamas’s actions don’t you understand? Ditto for Hezbollah. And what has Ahmedinejad been promising to do to Zionists?
      Last but not least, who got the majority vote in the last Palestinian elections? Wasn’t it Hamas? Of course it was!

      Unlike some, us Zionists can read those signals. They are flashing RED for anyone who looks. But some prefer to bury their heads in the sand ….

      Reply to Comment
    28. Taoist

      @ BOSKO

      But some prefer to bury their heads in the sand ….

      —————–
      🙂

      Suuuuuuuuuuure.

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    29. Bosko

      @Directorb – “One day you should stop thinking “Arabs” and “Jews”. Every person in unique and does not deserve to be described by a single word and be hated as part of a group”
      Like I said before, I have no problems with Arabs as people. Like us, some of them are good people, some of them are not so good.
      My problem is with their national agenda. Their cynical leaders esrablished an agenda long ago to negate our quest for self determination which has a good historical basis. And their leaders, to this day, still persist with THEIR supremacist agenda. Of course, through the years they managed to brain wash the majority of the Arab peoples, to justify and support that agenda.
      We Zionists say, we ignore that at our own peril.

      “If you want to keep Israel Jewish fear the peace loving determined nonviolent people..”
      We fear misguided people who wilfully ignore threats against us, demonise us in order to bully us into more pointless concessions. We would like those people to open their eyes and try to see this conflict in the Middle East for what it is really. A quest by supremacist Arabs to squash the bid for self determination of the Jewish people. We have at least as much right to it as the Palesrinian Arab people have the right to it. Yet those misguided people only question our right to it. Why?

      Reply to Comment
    30. aristeides

      Why? Because they were already there and you weren’t.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Bosko

      Actually, some of us were there too. And some of them were relatively recent migrants too. Moreover, even many of ours have been there since the late 1800s.
      Question: Don’t you beliieve that there is room in there for their state as well as ours? Or do you believe that the Middle East HAS to BE monolithic Arab Muslim only?

      Reply to Comment
    32. aristeides

      The Middle East has never been a monolithic Muslim culture. There were Christians in the region centuries before Mohammed was born.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Taoist

      Talking about irrelevance…

      What has the WH/La Clinton said about the latest Bibi’s land theft in Jerusalem, cynically described as “economical” not “political” by his minions, who are using the housing/social justice protests to cynically carved out what rightly belongs to the Palestinians?

      Zilch. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Nil.

      State Dept. spokesman expresses their “concern” in such a sheepish manner, they are barely heard inside D.C.’s beltway. What a shame to have the only “super-power” kowtowing to a religious-based mafia, whose only aim is to pillage and plunder the Palestinians from what the world and international law rightly recognizes as theirs.

      As long as the Likud gang continues to hijack our foreign policy, being an American will carry with it an enormous sense of shame. We have to shake this monkey off our back, or we will never be fully free again.

      If only Truman would have heard the prophetic words of Gen. George C. Marshall…..

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    34. Bosko

      @Aristedes – “The Middle East has never been a monolithic Muslim culture. There were Christians in the region centuries before Mohammed was born”
      I don’t disagree. But for some odd reason, whenever a non Muslim non Arab culture seeks self determination anywhere in the Middle East, supremacist Arabs/Muslims seek to squash such attempts.
      One of the great mysteries of life for me is why some elements on the left (not all lefties) seem to approve of such supremacist behaviour.
      I ask again … What is wrong with the two state solution?

      Reply to Comment
    35. Bosko

      @Taoist – “… theft in Jerusalem …”
      You want to hear about land theft in Jerusalem? It happened in 1948 when the Jordanian Arab Legion and Palestinian Arab irregular forces over ran East Jerusalem and ethnically cleansed the Jewish population who lived in the Jewish quarter. Many of the Jews there could trace their ancestry back for millenia, not centuries. That was land theft Taoist. Jews resettling back in their old homes in East Jerusalem after 1967 is NOT land theft, Kapish?
      I know, now you are going to give me your standard intellectual answer …
      “—————–
      🙂
      Suuuuuuuuuuure.
      Taoist”

      Reply to Comment
    36. Taoist

      @ BOSKO,

      Suuuuuuuuuuuure!!

      🙂

      It makes no sense to waste time with someone whose fear has turned into a siege mentality. Any psychologist would have a field day with your posts, extracting words for a psychological study of the deep irrational neurosis behind Israel’s current predicament.

      Just a little sample,

      ———————–

      “We fear misguided people…” Fear

      “…threats against us…” Threats, us

      “…demonise (sic!) us…” Demonize, us

      “…bully us…” Bully, us

      ——————————–

      Those samples are from one post only. In order to debate someone, there has to be a degree of rational thought, which creates the space for mutual learning, the whole purpose of any debate, IMHO. However, that is clearly not the case with your posts and your positions, which only reveal an entrenched mind, ready to circle the wagons around the proto-fascists (Likud), the Stalinists (Yisrael Beitenu), and the religious nuts of all kinds, which abound in Israel.

      Hence my reluctance to answer your posts, from which there is nothing to learn debate-wise, and, since I am not a psychologist, I am not interested in your paranoia.

      So, anything you said will always be,

      Suuuuuuuuuure…..

      🙂

      Have a good day. Hope those pesky Arabs let you sleep sometime.

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    37. aristeides

      Bosko – Jews returning to their Palestinian homes where they resided prior to the war is perfectly legitimate in my eyes, and I believe the Palestinians have no objection to accepting them as citizens.

      Jews coming from Brooklyn to claim hegemony over Palestinian land and displace the Palestinian population is another matter.

      Jews aren’t fungible. And “self-determination” doesn’t involve expelling the native population and shipping in another to replace it. As long as Palestinians are in refugee camps, talk of Jewish “self-dermination” in Palestine is a sick joke.

      Reply to Comment
    38. directrob

      Israel as a strategic partner (since 1967) is now clearly more important for America than human rights and peace. I am not so sure America is becoming irrelevant because of that.
      Not much has changed the last 40 years.

      Reply to Comment
    39. Bosko

      @Aristedes – nobody is advocating expulsion or displacement of Arabs. Israel has a 20% Arab population who are full citizens. Yes, there is discrimination but it goes both ways. I am sure you can list many wrong doings by Israel, I can list just as many if not more wrongs that Arabs do. The only way to look at it is that the war itself is wrong and it is not the choice of most Israelis to have this war. But it is not the choice of most Israelis to capitulate either. Most Israelis are willing to compromise but not to capitulate. That will never happen.

      In the meanwhile, show me a war elsewhere now or any other time in history where wrongs were not perpetrated by both sides and often much bigger wrongs than you might find against us Zionists.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Bosko

      Why can’t I post a reply? Have I been banned for my views? Or is it just a system glitch?
      My post was no more rude than the latest one that Taoist posted to me …

      Reply to Comment
    41. Deïr Yassin

      Bosko writes:
      “Israel has a 20% Arab population who are full citizens. Yes, there are discrimination but it goes both ways”
      I would love to know more about that dicrimination that ‘goes both ways’. Has Bosko not been accepted on the footballteam in Sakhnin ? Maybe he wasn’t good enough ….

      Reply to Comment
    42. Bosko

      Answer to Deir Yassin’s questuon:
      “An Arab-owned restaurant in the Israeli city of Haifa has been caught in a whirlwind of legal action and threats of violence after staff refused to serve a soldier in military uniform, an incident that is rapidly tarnishing the city’s reputation as a model of good Jewish-Arabs relations”
      http://www.jkcook.net/Articles3/0466.htm

      “PA court: Sale of Palestinian land to Israelis is punishable by death”
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/pa-court-sale-of-palestinian-land-to-israelis-is-punishable-by-death-1.314735
      Let me guess …” It’s just Hasbarah, right”?
      “Or … Ah ok … Stop acting like victims yo Zionist scum .. You deserve it”
      Like I said. It goes both ways …

      Reply to Comment
    43. Bosko

      Now let me break up my earlier attempt to respond to Taoist into two parts. Maybe this way, at least some of it may be published …

      @Taoist – Thanks for your attempts at psychoanalysing me, if I were you I wouldn’t give up my day job.

      Now let me try and do a bit of an analysis of the likes of you. So far, I presented the following historical FACTS (you do know what facts are, don’t you?). 

      1. Hamas’s, Hezbollah’s and Iran’s publicly stated intentions to eliminate Israel.
      2. The well documented fact that Jews inhabited East Jerusalem prior to 1948.

      What was your reaction? It was D-E-N-I-A-L. I am sure psychologists have a clinical description for those who withdraw into themselves and just deny, deny, deny …

      Reply to Comment
    44. Bosko

      @Taoist – Now let me try and analyse your possible motive …

      1. You may be of Arab descent and you just want to defend your tribe. I guess, if that would be the case, I could understand that. But you are not going about it the right way. You would do better to urge your people to try to reach a compromise insted of continuing to play your zero sum game.
      2. You could be a very sheltered individual who reads only restricted “history” based on propaganda. As a result, you live in a ‘make believe’ cartoon world where Jews/Zionists cannot do anything right while Muslim/Arabs can do nothing wrong. In that case, my suggestion to you is that you should get out and about a bit more and try to educate yourself.
      3. Of course, it is possible that you are just a plain old garden variety bigot. In which case I have no suggestions for you. I have only pity for people like that because their world is bitter and twisted.
      שלום

      Reply to Comment
    45. Deïr Yassin

      So Bosko’s statement about “Israel has a 20% Arab population who are full citizens. Yes, there are discrimination but it goes both ways” is exemplified by one case from within the State of Israel and one case from the OT. This shows us everything we need to know about Bosko and his intellectual level …. or maybe he has already incorporated the West Bank into Israel, but in that case tha Arab population is far more than 20%.
      And Bosko’s right: an Israeli soldier in uniform who is refused service in an Arab restaurant is comparable to an Arab family who isn’t allowed to buy a house in an Araberrein Jewish town or the fact that the Jewish school system is much better funded than the Arab system. Poor soldier, he must be traumatized, well, he was probably sent to the West Bank afterwards so he could beat up some Aravim.
      I encourage people to read the whole article by Jonathan Cook, linked by Bosko. There are two amazing exemples at the end.
      One of them is about Nizar Hassan, a famous Palestinian film-maker and lecturer who told a student not to come back to class with his IDF-uniform and his gun. Hassan was asked to apologize publicly and as he refused, he was suspended from Sapir College where he was teaching. A Jewish professor who asked an Arab female student to take off her headscarf had the right to do so, in ‘the name of academic freedom’. “Discrimination goes both way”, sure …
      http://electronicintifada.net/content/academic-freedom-not-arabs-israel/7398

      Reply to Comment
    46. Taoist

      @ BOSKO,

      1. Hamas’s, Hezbollah’s and Iran’s publicly stated intentions to eliminate Israel.
      2. The well documented fact that Jews inhabited East Jerusalem prior to 1948.

      ———————–

      Guess that’s the official hasbara line pushed by Lieberman’s cyber-zombies, and your repetition of it won’t make it more real than your original rhetorical “question.” Siege mentality is a serious mental sanity breach, no doubt, when the majority of countries (and people) in the world, are calling your actions wrong, and the response is a continuation of ostrich politics.

      Talk about denial.

      Or you prefer the Nile?

      Either way, Israel (and you with it) are heading full speed toward a train wreck come September, but I seriously doubt you have any awareness of it. Or any awareness, period. Life in a mental trench might be a real treat, eh?

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
    47. Bosko

      The difference between Deir Yassin and Zionists like me is that we see discrimination and call it what it is no matter who is the discriminator and who is the victim.
      The Deir Yassins of this world on the other hand see only discrimination by Zionists and they ignore and excuse discrimination perpetrated by Arabs.
      Oh weell … That’s why there are wars, that’s why people on both sides suffer and that’s why discrimination continues byboth sides.

      Reply to Comment
    48. Bosko

      @Taoist – “1. Hamas’s, Hezbollah’s and Iran’s publicly stated intentions to eliminate Israel.
      2. The well documented fact that Jews inhabited East Jerusalem prior to 1948.
      ———————–
      That’s the official Hasbarah line …”
      _________________
      Like I said Taoist, you are in denial. Go educate yourself. In fact, don’t I don’t care what you think. The important thing is that there are still decent sane people out there who see both sides of the story, not just the side that is presented by propagandists like you.

      By the way, I am not the least worried by September.

      Reply to Comment
    49. Taoist

      @BOSKO,

      🙂

      Suuuuuuuure…

      Taoist

      Reply to Comment
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