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23 January 2011

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anthony

it has become such a cliche but Israeli does not want peace the way we want peace. they want to procrastinate and let settlers build and create "new realities on the ground". heck they would be more than happy to do as Geelt Wilders suggests. turn Jordan into Palestine.

Cal

Why?
Simple..because they are Israelis.
It doesn't matter what they are 'offered'..if they were offered 'all' of Palestine they would want the world to establish a billions dollar fund to pay them to accept it.

You don't make 'offerings' to governments like Israel and it's supporters. You give them an ultimatum and if they don't comply you force a settlement on them.

Otherwise we will still be talking about this another 40 years or at least until Palestine and the Palestinians disappear.

It's a mystery to me why more people don't get the mentality and nature of what they are dealing with concerning Israel.

Simon

I can't wait to hear how Israel and allies spin their reason for rejecting the PA's near capitulation. All their claims of the PA's intransigence have been blown to pieces. Abbas and his cronies have no integrity. Hamas must be sneering at the PA's public humiliation.

Castellio

There is no part of Jerusalem which the Israelis don't see as theirs.

Its not the Israelis who don't know what they're doing, they know.

It's the American public, who think its a complex issue and that their government is doing the best it can. They are the ones deceived.

Les

Simple. Israel wants it all. The peace process has always been Israel's way of gaining international legitimacy without offering anything of real worth to the Palestinians. More documents to come from Al Jazeera in the next 4 days. Stay tuned.

Lysander

Why? Because they want to rebuild the temple and therefore will need to destroy the Dome of the Rock.

They've never actually said it, but with this they pretty much have.

Abbas and his cronies are traitors for participating in this charade. When they get to hell, I'm sure they will have an interesting conversation with Pierre Laval and Marshal Petain.

Charles

Could be all these things but also could have something to do with the suicide bombings in Feb and Apr of 2008 and Fatah backing out of the deal to refrain from suicide bombing in exchange for amnesty in August 2007. Would be hard to trust pacific statements when placed in the context of the speakers' actions. Maybe this was a genuine offer of peace, but how would the Israelis know?

Patrick Lang

Charles

Hopeless. Hopeless. pl

mo

"but how would the Israelis know?"
Charles, you are kidding right? Someone offers you just about everything they have on the table to offer and these guys reject it on the basis of trust?

A decent and practiced negotiator, politician or diplomat would have, ESPECIALLY in your context, seen that offer as a win/win. Delivered and you get everything, not delivered and you come out smelling of roses. Its not rocket science.

The truth, as we have been saying for years, is that Israel does not want peace. I doubt it even wants surrender. It would be too costly for them to no longer be able to portray themselves as the victim, as the sheep surrounded by wolves.

The real scandal here is not even the fact that every time you think Abbas has become as cretinous as he possibly can, he proves you wrong.

The real scandal is that even though they made this offer they could not make any political hay out of the fact or its rejection.

Never have so many been led by the so pathetic.

Clifford Kiracofe

When I was in Egypt in 2002, I asked the foreign minister (Maher) about the Taba Summit of 2001.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taba_Summit

He told me "We were 95 percent there."

I felt that Clinton had gotten close at Taba but then his Administration ran out of time in office.

Incoming Bush had two options: 1) continue the Clinton initiative and work to develop Taba toward a settlement; 2) drop the Clinton initiative and kill the process. Advised by the Neocons, Bush did the latter.

We need to stop being in denial: the Israelis do not want peace and have not wanted peace since 1948. It is about land and pushing the Palestinians off of their land in whatever way that can be done.

I believe the two-state solution is dead. This leaves a one-state solution in which everybody participates or a one-state solution where the Israelis have ethnically cleansed all Palestinians from their territory. This latter process is referred to as "transfer" by the Israelis and it is the policy of expulsion.

The partition of Palestine was a mistake. Truman's policy was a mistake. Now we are where we are. In the game of nations, mistakes cause problems sometimes very serious ones.


Lysander,

Laval was a German agent from WWI days according to some reports. A truly evil man.

Petain did what he did and protected elements of the Resistance and elements cooperating with the US. Many are not aware of Vichy secret cooperation (and funding) of elements of the French Resistance and Vichy secret cooperation with the US. We can consider Admiral Leahy's mission for example. I would point out that we not only obtained intelligence on the German enemy and Fascist elements in France (including in the Vichy gov itself!) but we also obtained intelligence on our enemy Japan. The latter is not well known.

Fred

"Among other documents due to be released is an Israeli offer to transfer Israeli Arabs citizens to the territory of a future Palestinian state."

Of what value is Israeli citizenship if your government can strip it from you at will? According to wiki that would be almost 20% of Israel's population. I wonder what the Arab members of the IDF think of this proposal?

How soon until they propose to evict the Christians?

Lysander

Prof Kiracofe,

Thank you. I stand corrected. Abbas and his cronies do not have any of the virtues or modicum of patriotism that even other traitors and collaborators had. They will likely be at a much lower level of hell and so will never meet Petain. Perhaps not even Laval.

What are your thoughts regarding the rebuilding of the temple and destruction of the Haram? Do you think they intend it at some future date? I assume their Fundamentalist supporters can't wait.

steve

Fred,

As far as I know, Israel has never made a distinction between its Arab Christian and Arab Muslim citizens. I think it goes without saying that the intent was to expel both Christians and Muslims.

Odd I think that this fails to interest the Christian Zionists.

Charles

If I have spoken wrong show me where.

Castellio

If one hasn't yet given the historian Shlomo Sand the time, now is perhaps a good moment. It starts slowly, and is a bit long, but definitely ends up worth any attention you can bring.

He moves the whole conversation forward, which isn't so easy. He also deals with the inevitable counter-arguments very efficiently.

His opposition to the one-state is interesting... his fears of a bloodbath very real.

If possible: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EmvANgw9Mk

confusedponderer

Why did it not come to peace?

(a) The US were not an honest broker but partisans of the Israelis side. They were totally dismissive of the Palestinians; the only side being pressured by them were the Palestinians.
(b) The Israelis were comfortable in their position of strength visa vis the Palestinians, and that is reflected in their unyielding approach. They were under no pressure to make concessions.
(c) The Israelis apparently hoped that they would get more land more if they didn't yield than if they yielded. If the concession of ceding large parts of "Yerushalayim" by the Palestinians wasn't good enough, then probably only unconditional surrender and all of Jerusalem would have been sufficient.

Here is the overview offered by the Guardian: The Palestine Papers.

What is dead after that is at the very least Barak's narrative that Israel has no partner for peace in the Palestinians. Well, that is so only to the extent the Israelis apparently view peace - as a 'Siegfrieden' - as an unconditional surrender in which they dictate terms.

Grimgrin

The most revealing line so far for me is this: "Among other documents due to be released is an Israeli offer to transfer Israeli Arabs citizens to the territory of a future Palestinian state. " I'm still looking for the source document, and so can't evaluate how serious an offer this was, or how accurate the report.

Still. Assuming for the moment it's credible it says something about the Israelis doesn't it?

confusedponderer

steve

Odd I think that this fails to interest the Christian Zionists.
The Christians in the ME are mostly orthodox in different varieties, and have not "embraced Jesus Christ as their saviour" and are thus according to Armageddonites probably not Christian enough (if at all) i.e. they are unsaved. In that light they aren't worth bothering beyond attempts to convert them.

And speaking of that, their love for the Jews is about them being a necessary ingredient in the prophecy. Beyond that, they too, of course, are welcome to convert. If not, alas, they're unsaved too. It can't be helped.

The prophecy must be fulfilled for the Rapture to begin already. Instant salvation - without the troublesome messiness of having to die first - is all that counts.

Clifford Kiracofe

All,

1. the morning Al Jazeera and Guardian websites indicate that they are in possession of a massive amount of secret documents relating to the negotiations and are releasing them now. This is a signficant development to say the least:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/palestine-papers-expose-peace-concession

http://english.aljazeera.net/palestinepapers/

2. Prof. Karma Nabulsi's comments reflect the reality:

"It's over. Given the shocking nature, extent and detail of these ghastly revelations from behind the closed doors of the Middle East peace process, the seemingly endless and ugly game is now, finally, over. Not one of the villains on the Palestinian side can survive it. With any luck the sheer horror of this account of how the US and Britain covertly facilitated and even implemented Israeli military expansion – while creating an oligarchy to manage it – might overcome the entrenched interests and venality that have kept the peace process going. A small group of men who have polluted the Palestinian public sphere with their private activities are now exposed...."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/23/middle-east-peace-process-over-palestinians?intcmp=239

Clifford Kiracofe

Lysander,

Both extreme Christian Zionists elements and Israeli Jewish Zionist elements seek the physical rebuilding of the temple. By definition this means destruction of what is there now.

For the Christian Zionists there is an "End Times" clock. They believe this clock passed significant marks during the 20th century: Allenby's capture of Jerusalem in WWI; foundation of state of Israel in 1948; 6 Day War of 1967. and so on.

One of the best presentations of the present Christian Zionist ideology is Rev. Hagee's "Jerusalem Countdown". It's an inexpensive paperback and lays it out.

Hal Lindsay's "Late Great Planet Earth" was an early mass market paperback in the Christian Zionist cult genre.

David Habakkuk

mo,

It would be too costly for them to no longer be able to portray themselves as the victim, as the sheep surrounded by wolves.

I think you are attributing to the leadership of Israel much more intelligence than they actually possess. What these leaks amply confirm is that Israeli leaders may be adept tactically – in particular in manipulating the American political system – but they are strategically utterly inept.

An extraordinary blog post by Jeffrey Goldberg just after Christmas demonstrated that at long last some American Zionists were beginning to grasp the dead-end into which Israel has got itself by confusing an immense short-term preponderance of power with long-term strategic sustainability. Having noted the – rather obvious – point that holding on to the West Bank will leave Israel with a choice of being a Jewish state or a democratic one, Goldberg continues:

I will admit here that my assumption has usually been that Israelis, when they finally realize the choice before them (many have already, of course, but many more haven't, it seems), will choose democracy, and somehow extract themselves from the management of the lives of West Bank Palestinians. But I've had a couple of conversations this week with people, in Jerusalem and out of Jerusalem, that suggest to me that democracy is something less than a religious value for wide swaths of Israeli Jewish society. I'm speaking here of four groups, each ascendant to varying degrees:The haredim, the ultra-Orthodox Jews, whose community continues to grow at a rapid clip; the working-class religious Sephardim -- Jews from Arab countries, mainly -- whose interests are represented in the Knesset by the obscurantist rabbis of the Shas Party; the settler movement, which still seems to get whatever it needs in order to grow; and the million or so recent immigrants from Russia, who support, in distressing numbers, the Putin-like Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister and leader of the "Israel is Our Home" party.

Let's just say, as a hypothetical, that one day in the near future, Prime Minister Lieberman's government (don't laugh, it's not funny) proposes a bill that echoes the recent call by some rabbis to discourage Jews from selling their homes to Arabs. Or let's say that Lieberman's government annexes swaths of the West Bank in order to take in Jewish settlements, but announces summarily that the Arabs in the annexed territory are in fact citizens of Jordan, and can vote there if they want to, but they won't be voting in Israel. What happens then? Do the courts come to the rescue? I hope so. Do the Israeli people come to the rescue? I'm not entirely sure. There are many Israelis who value democracy, but they might not possess the strength to fight. Does American Jewry come to the rescue? Well, most of American Jewry would be so disgusted by Israel's abandonment of democratic principles that I think the majority would simply write off Israel as a tragic, failed experiment.

(See http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/12/what-if-israel-ceases-to-be-a-democracy/68582/ )

If faced with the kind of concessions these documents show were offered, the Israeli leadership still chose to continue into a blind alley which must inevitably split Jews outside Israel, and thus undermine a key basis for the survival of the state, all one can conclude is that they are idiots.

confusedponderer

Re: Jerusalem countdown, it is inexpensive as in a couple cents for a second hand book, without shipping. It is a startling read.

batondor

David Habakkuk,

Thanks for your comment... if only because it gave me the confidence to post the one that I wrote yesterday...

To All,

Please indulge a simple and heartfelt observation that is a reaction to the tone expressed about this story because I am troubled by the generalizations that prevail in what has preceded:

Only "some" Israelis (and only "some" Jews) "want it all"...

... and by "some", I do not mean "most" in both cases.

However, it seems quite accurate to conclude that the influence wanes from those who are appalled by opportunities lost such as the one recounted at the beginning of this thread [and now elsewhere in the world press...].

I also sense that many, if not most, of those who contribute here do not believe - as I do - that the Obama administration, starting with the President himself, is sincerely attempting to broker an approach that would adequately include Palestinian interests in any agreements as an alternative to the current situation...

... but I do not agree with the notion that the US or any international coalition can impose a solution on the parties, especially not one that is "just" (whatever that means, in deference to Pat)...

... and I think we can all agree [as David Habakkuk has just presented above ever so clearly] that the current leadership of Israel is taking the country down a narrow one-way street that ends at a precipice.

Some of you might argue that this was inherent in the originating ethos that was both narrowly cast for some of its proponents while high-minded for others, in its horrifically reinforced legitimation on the world stage after the Shoah, or in the misguided obstinacy and roguishness of Israel's leaders from all sides of the political spectrum (especially since 1967 and regardless of the openness or lack thereof of adversaries to a peaceful and definitive solution to the conflict)...

... but for me, if I may, the only question that remains is whether there remains, in reality, any alternative leadership or an effective collective consciousness in Israel for radically different approach. "Clearing the swamp" when demographically at risk may have worked in the 19th century - especially in North America - but it is no longer (imho)... and the precipice to which I alluded earlier is potentially hiding a very deep and dark chasm in the unexplored geography of the future of our world...

Thank you.

Charles I

Charles, re "How would the Israelis know?"

Holy moly, al Jezeera has this junk, tho its being reportedly spun as an Al Jezeera pro-Hamas info op:

"Palestinians attack al-Jazeera 'distorted' talks leaks

The Palestinian Authority has accused al-Jazeera TV of distortion, after it leaked documents purporting to show offers of major concessions to Israel.

President Mahmoud Abbas said the leaks had deliberately confused Palestinian and Israeli negotiating positions....

The secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Yasser Abed Rabbo, alleged that al-Jazeera was engaged in "media games... to trick and mislead the simple citizen" and was working for a "certain political trend" - a reference to the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, which controls Gaza."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12263671


How long has Israel been jerking this, and previous casts of characters around like fish on a pole? With the connivance of everyone else? How corrupt, demoralized, penetrated both politically and electronically, if not actually managed, do you think the PA, the UN and the US State Dept is or isn't? There can be no state of any kind without the active co-operation of Israe and the GOI.

We're big on cui bono and Occam's razor here and I put both to you because I can't for the life of me see what a tall tactician like Abbas could be up to by lying as you posit, given the tremendous BATNA he has up his sleeve

Whatever the case, until I see a map, I assume each deal is as devoid of Palestinian water, never mind sovereignty, never mind the right of return, and not a practical offer of statehood acceptable to any, as Arafat is said to have put it once, but the suicidal.

Charles I

David Habbakuk, the courts have come to the rescue in the past, but the governement, IDF and the police refuse to act.

"Israel sees court rulings on Palestinian land as mere 'recommendations'
Supreme Court rebukes state for failing to carry out order to move route of West Bank separation fence."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/israel-sees-court-rulings-on-palestinian-land-as-mere-recommendations-1.6200

"Despite court ruling, IDF took Arab land for train line
Former Civil Administration head signed order expropriating 50 dunams from West Bank village for rail line connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/despite-court-ruling-idf-took-arab-land-for-train-line-1.331027

Idiots indeed. Living in a lawless banana republic. I wouldn't pin my hopes on the courts where the government is the criminal.

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