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13 December 2010


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No progress. The weasel words were still there: Netanyahu: "essential issues".

Ehud Barak: "core issues".

This is the standard Israeli play book line. "Peace First"! Let's you capitulate to us, then we can discuss the terms of your surrender.

For the Palestinians, the boundaries of their land is the core issue. They cannot make peace without those boundaries delineated. Israel argues that boundaries are a "non essential", "non core" issue that can be debated later.

And after the treaty is signed, what's to debate? Possession is Nine tenths of the law, or as the Israeli playbook puts it: "No one should have to leave their homes as a result of a peace treaty". Then of course Israel requires the arable land of the Jordna valley as a "security zone".


What the hell have these people been smoking? Because I want some of it...

Mitchell: "... But the way to get there is by engaging, in good faith, with the full complexities of the core issues and by working to narrow the gaps between the two."

Netanyahoo, regarding the US decision to stop pushing for a construction moratorium: "I welcome this American decision. It is good for Israel. It is good for peace."

Honesty is not always useful in diplomacy - but I think that the interests of the United States might be well served right now with a bit of frankness - 'Understand that we stopped pushing for a freeze, NOT because we have once again caved to your expansionist ideology, but because we have finally and once-and-for-all given up on finding a way to a deal. You're on your own now, and the subsidies we've been giving you will end next week.'

Well, I can dream, can't I?

Robert C

I am truly amazed by the Palestinians lack of PR skills. Perhaps it is because they need US aid to feed their people etc. However, I simply do not understand why they don't release simple, concise, terse statements as such: "Our land is being stolen, and Israel is playing American taxpayers for fools. Peace and continued settlements are mutually exclusive." Yes, yes, many Americans will ignore such comments. But if repeated and repeated and repeated, just enough Americans might take a second look.



IMO the only absolute truth about Israel is that it will not change it's goals or attitude.
Bullies don't quit bullying until someone stops them. No one is stopping them. Could be wrong but I'd have to see it to believe it.

But the Israelis are doing a number on the US to try and censor anything critical of Israel. Including attacking blog owners who allow discussion of Israel.
I read the Washington Note occasionally, not much, it's too "diplomatic" for my taste, but I noticed this today:

"Steve, I have followed The Washington Note periodically and have been increasingly concerned to see in the "Comments" how your website has attracted progressively more and stronger reactions of the vilest racist kind in response to your repeated, usually reasonable but sometimes strident attacks on Israeli policy and critiques of US failure to toughen up its policy on the "peace process."
Of course, opposition to Israeli policy and anti-Semitism are hardly the same thing, but the Comments on your site are often obscuring the difference. I hope you realize that you are providing "acceptable" space for some truly hateful rantings. With "friends" like these that you are attracting, you don't need enemies.

Disappointed, a one-time mentor."

A 'note" from someone Steve the blog owner says was his past mentor and identifies as one of the country's "strategic thinkers." Perhaps I am too suspicious by nature but it didn't sound like the wording a 'strategic thinker' would use. Sounds like a pro Israel activist to me...and like a warning.

The criticism of Israel on the net has gotten even hotter lately, very hot, for whatever reason...so this may be the Israeli activist response....uping the censorship efforts.

I wonder if the Col. has experienced any similar, attempts to prevent critical comments on Israel and their merry band.


I think we should acknowledge, however, that Netanyahu's words have been co-ordinated with the Secretary of State, given her recent speech at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center.

Robert R. Rock

Things are not really so bad for them. Do you see a major war? Nope. Do you see uncontrolled acts of violence/terrorism? Nope.
Do you see starvation? Nope.
The two sides can not agree on the meaning of the word "peace". It's going to take time whether Hillary likes it or not.Once the neighbors get over the jealousy of Israel's success, they will greatly benefit from having Israel as an ally.
The two sides, although there is little or no love nor trust, both understand the importance of "cooperating" with The US for now.
The two sides are both uncomfortable with Mr. Obama and are worried he is going to allow Iran to become nuclearized. An attack on Israel will decimate the "Palestinians", so yes, there is some mutual interests.
The two sides are in no rush to conclude an agreement which will cause a bloodbath. Therefore by mutual agreement there will be no agreement.
Abbas is afraid of being run over by Hamas. He prefers to have Israel's protection and America's generous handouts. On the other hand, The Israelis are preparing for the day The US curtails aid to The Jewish State. With the discovery of huge natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean off the Northern Coast, Israel will probably manage okay without "Uncle Scam"
At that point, I would imagine The Israelis success in concluding trade and security pacts with a large number of up and coming countries; whether The US likes it or not.In short, The US may lose more than it saves by cutting Israel loose.The Israeli economy is doing well according to many indicators, for example, new patents are amongst the highest in the world.
I predict before The US cuts aid, Israel will decline it, freeing the way for certain trade agreements which were forbidden by Washington. This may take time in terms of our lives Colonel Lang, but will be sooner than one may think possible. I would guess 10-20 years, roughly.


How can there be peace when this is going on?

"I can appreciate in full the horrifying account Ms Osborne gave of the plight of Palestinian children prisoners. Details of Hebrew confessions signed by children under physical or emotional torture, of solitary confinement, of beatings and threats and months without seeing or hearing from family are all realities that thousands of Palestinian children are facing now. One can only imagine the horror of families whose children have been taken and are being subject to these violations.

The taking of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the terrorizing of them seems to be a calculated policy of Israel in their attempt to destroy the very fabric of Palestinian life. "



And to think, our Congress gives the Bibi crowd $3 - 5 Billion free gratis each year, just for the privilege of them lying to U.S. and murdering U.S. citizens on a continual basis. Amazing, simply a VISA moment.

Robert C

An attack on Israel will decimate the "Palestinians", so yes, there is some mutual interests.

Robert Rock...why are quotes used around the word Palestinians?

Robert C.

Roy G

Didn't he just announce they are taking all of Jerusalem?

On the flip side, Natanyahoo and his crony coalition are taking a huge hit for their incredibly poor response to the Carmel wild fire.

Many Israelis are appalled at the lack of firefighting equipment, planning and leadership, and how their govt. can minutely plan for every detail in multiple war scenarios, but they had to rely on Turkey and other countries to come in and help put out the fire. Perhaps it was a warning?

Medicine Man

@Robert Rock:

Quality agitprop. The US should cut Israel off right now, just to test your theory about how much they'll gain vs how much they'll lose. You see, I have a theory too: With less dependent states in the region, I think the US would be able to safely ignore a nuclearized Iran.

PS: "Uncle Scam"?


Obama’s last card – Will he play it?

"President Obama ought to have trouble sleeping at night knowing that by allowing Israel to continue its illegal settlement activity on the occupied West Bank he has made himself, and his country, openly complicit in the Zionist state’s defiance of international law. In a different America that ought to be enough to have any president removed from office. "

Charles I

Robert Rock, Things may not be "so bad" for "them"

What about the rest of us?

If you think Israel can continue its present behaviour for 20 years, or that the US will still be supporting Israel 10 years from now, you have a belief in the measured unfolding of history in a linear discernible format that I don't think accords with current reality.

Or Murphy's law, or the random distribution of banana peels, or human nature.

The "two sides", although you mention the U.S as well as Hamas, are not the only actors, and avoiding a bloodbath is not the sole or universally guiding imperative of all.

I'm not even involved, yet I and other poster's here have our tiny passionate oars in the water.

The next Lebanese war will see Israel, according to its own experts, for the first time subject to thousands of missile strikes throughout the country. The national consternation over the response to the Carmel fire, about seven square miles I believe, has already focused attention on that point. The increasing simplicity of irradiating all of Israel whatever the consequences is discussed.

State CONTROLLED occupation, violence, and terrorism, doled out world wide using stolen/forged Canadian passports by a renegade state demanding supra-state legitimacy, whilst spouting biblical gibberish and asserting existential entitlement to nakedly oppress on that basis, is bad enough for me.

It appears to me to be pathologically against Israel's interests, which I acknowledge to me is a secure 1967 Israel and a real Palestinian state, second choice an eventual bi-national federation.

IRON DOME fantasies or political adjustments to avoid peace are not security or justice.

I don't want my government supporting it, and I will tilt at it from here.


Robert Rock, "Things are not really so bad for them...." that's quite a litany of hogwash.
"Uncle Scam", that's just an insult.


Dear BillWade,
A demand towards ALL Holocaust Museums to include the history of Israeli crimes against Palestinians is perhaps the only effective kind of non-violent protest against the Israeli atrocities. “Never again” was related to the humankind; if Holocaust Museums disagree with this premise, then there is no point in their existence.

Once the neighbors get over the jealousy of Israel's success, they will greatly benefit from having Israel as an ally.

Yes, that's it, of course. They're just jealousssss! What else could it be?

Charles I

Hlow to Win Friends And Influence People:

Palestinian firefighters who fought Israeli blaze denied entry for ceremony.

JERUSALEM—Organizers say a ceremony in honour of Palestinian firefighters who helped battle Israel’s worst wildfire had to be cancelled after some of them were denied entry into Israel.

The 11 men planned to attend the event in northern Israel, where the fire raged earlier this month. The event was called off when three of them were refused entry.

Ahmad Tibi, an Israeli-Arab member of parliament and one of the event’s organizers, said on Tuesday the army turned the Palestinians away on security grounds.

Tibi says the ceremony was meant to recognize the bravery of the Palestinians who “fought the flames despite the occupation.”

The Israeli military had no comment.

About 20 Palestinian firefighters joined the international effort against the blaze that killed 43 people.



Dear Anna-Marina,

That's a good idea but will probably fall on deaf ears. That being said, is there a mechanism in-place to do that? I'm all for it.


I see by the WP and NYT the zios and neos are still agitating to bomb Iran. Evidently Graham and Lieberman, and the usual suspects are leading the charge.

And of course Israel's minions are panting for it:
"Washington Post columnist David Broder recently opined that "with strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power, President Obama can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve."

I'd like to see a scenario on what happens if we do bomb Iran. Nothing? A minor war? An all out ME war? Will some one finally blow up Israel?

I am with Leonard Pitts....."My fellow Americans, we are gathered here today to mourn the lose of America's sanity."


Todays BBC America with Matt Frei was interesting -an interview with Ehud Barak - Frei asked him good questions, what will happen if US financial support in billions of dollars disappears, Barak was deflecting and said that it will not disappear because "we have a true democracy, share the same values" - almost sounded like US and Israel are the same entity. But the fact these questions were asked on MSM was noteworthy.

Robert R. Rock

To: "Uncle Scam Hogwash"
Jerusalem Post editor Dovid Horowitz wrote [12-1-10], “Obama was not the prisoner of a misconception, convinced in absolute good faith that if he could deliver Israeli concessions at the negotiating table he might stand a greater chance of getting the Arabs on board for the battle with the mullahs. No, he had the diplomatic cables to prove that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was no obstacle to wide Arab backing, indeed wide Arab entreaties, for the toughest possible measures against Iran, emphatically including military action…
“Obama had internalized full well that he didn’t actually need the cover of a substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace process to generate Arab support for tackling Iran’s nuclear program, but chose to pressure Israel just the same, as a tactic, because he felt Israel was not being sufficiently forthcoming on the Palestinian front…
“It is not fair to indicate to the Israeli prime minister, when it’s patently untrue, that he ought to put aside some of his skepticism and take risks for peace because otherwise Israel might impede the US’s capacity to thwart the genocidal enemy, Iran.”
A Jerusalem Post editorial (11-30-10) stated: “Prominent pundits of Mideast affairs have argued Israel alone was pushing for military attack on Iran, WikiLeaks debunked these theories. In recent years, prominent pundits of Middle East affairs such as Foreign Policy’s Marc Lynch, The Nation’s Robert Dreyfuss, and Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authors of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, have argued that Israel alone was pushing for a military attack on Iran.
“It was the ubiquitous “Israel lobby” that would make sure the US continued to threaten Iran with military strikes, said Walt and Mearsheimer. It was clear to all that “for Saudi Arabia the worst thing that could happen would be... an Israeli attack on Iran,” Dreyfuss claimed just this month. Lynch, meanwhile, asserted that “while Arab leaders would certainly like Iranian influence checked, they generally strongly oppose military action which could expose them to retaliation.” Warmongering Israel, ran the thesis, was single-handedly endangering geopolitical stability by attempting to plunge the Middle East into a war with the US.

Robert R. Rock

TO:Charles 1

Thank you for your reply to my posting. I do not really understand all of the hostility towards Israel. I would like to explain in detail, but alas I spent a long day in The OR today and I am exhausted. Try this:


Obama will bomb Iran. He will be told that it guarantees his (1) Candidacy, and (2) His re - election as a "strong leader in times of trouble."

Nothing surer.


Sex, Lies, Iran, Israel and WikiLeaks


Robert Rock,

US middle east relations did not begin in 2010.

Iran and any nuclear capabilites real or imagined is not the sole item of US national interest, regardless of whether or not every Arab and Isreali citizen and politician supports the US attacking Iran.

I love Isreal, just don't like thier stealing our military secrets and selling them to our enemies:



Then there's that attacking of US Navy vesels and killing Americans:


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