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25 May 2011


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I look forward to the Palestineans going to the UN and having their nation recognized, against the objections of 'the neighbors'.

That is what the Israeli's did after all.


I long for Ike...a man who would teach Bibi a lesson he would never forget.


Charles: keep going?

Not when you make comments like this: "Israel is not an occupier."' That is such an intellectually dishonest statement, it defeats anything else you may have been trying to argue.

Margaret Steinfels

Egypt is opening the Rafah crossing between it and Gaza on the week-end. The beginning of the end of Israeli control?

Roy G

Charles, the Palestinian Authority has already agreed to recognize Israel as a State. The fly in the ointment is the insertion of the canard 'as a Jewish state.' Nations recognize nations, not religions. This language was knowingly inserted into the dialogue, in order to obstruct the proceedings. I'm not aware of any country with this special designation.

As for the political party Hamas recognizing Israel, please let us know when Yisrael Beitenu recognizes the Palestinians' right to exist in their homeland.


The contrast between the two speeches (BN and BO) could not have been greater...


Roy G,

We recognize the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan and Iran -- that's recognizing their religious identity. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan contains a minority tribal name with claims to have descended from the prophet -- we recognize their tribal identity. We recognize the Arab Republics of Egypt and Syria because they choose to call themselves Arab although there are non-Arabs living there. We recognize all kinds of religious and ethnic identities. Just not Jewish for some reason.

The PA agreed to recognition with a poison pill in it knowing that it wouldn't have to really make peace. What is it to them who their neighbors claim to be?

New Orleans

Charles: Since there is no occupation, I assume Israel would have no objection should the Palestinians ask the United Nations to recognize their independence as a state.

Perhaps there is some subtlety in the term "occupation" which escapes me, so excuse my ignorance. But I think it's fair to say Israel imposes its will in the West Bank and Gaza by force of arms. Either way, the result is the same.

I would not be so quick to dismiss the possibility of Palestinians seeking Israeli citizenship. The idea might not seem viable now, but history has many examples of outrageous ideas becoming reality. A Palestinian leader who comprehends demographics is not such a reach.


This reminds me of a scene in the movie "The life of Brian", the Israeli suicide squad.

Someone's laughing in hell at the utter self-destructible madness of it.


I wish the UN had given the Jews South Carolina as their promised land. Then it would all have been over by 1949 and Israel would have been the shortest footnote in the dustbin of history.

clifford kiracofe

Bibi, "the Jews", and whatever are not alone in this matter.

The White House and the US Congress share the blame. Washington has given Israel a blank check for decades.

Washington, under international Zionist influence, pressured the UN for partition of historic Palestine back when. Truman frankly admitted he recognized Israel out of domestic political (reelection) considerations.
Israel can count on at least three quarters of the House and the Senate for automatic support.

Until Washington changes, I would expect any Israeli politician of Bibi's ilk to do same. Israeli leaders are merely exploiting US vulnerability and naivete.

Washington will not change until there is a "change" in the American public. I do not expect that change in what is left of my life or any time thereafter.


NO: What BN said was he had no objections to a Palestinian state as long as it does not have as its core tenet the destruction of its neighbor. No one can argue that is anything but a sane request. Just as countries get to pick their identities, they get to pick who they recognize. Why would any country recognize another who is dedicated to its destruction?

As far as occupation, it is complicated. I said IS is not an occupier. What I mean is that many on this forum consider any existence of Israel to be occupation of Palestinian land. I don't. They were given the (largely unpopulated) land in the 1948 UN mandate. They do dominate (occupy?) both the West Bank and Gaza, as you say, but they have also almost completely removed their presence inside of those areas and allowed the PA and Hamas to rule them. For that they get rocketed, particularly from Gaza, and they are supposed to trust that it would get better if they would just recognize the Palestinian state.

Years ago when Arafat took control of the West Bank, I said it was the beginning of the end for him because the people would see just how inept his leadership was; built on nothing but empty rhetoric and hatred for the Jews, offering nothing positive for the people. I was right that his leadership would be worse than inept and his successors have proven no better, but I was wrong that the people would finally say kifayah of the poverty and wasted energy and worry more about improving their own condition than destroying their neighbor's. The internal terrorism, killing any emerging leader who might be open to peaceful coexistence, was far beyond what I thought probable. My limited experience with Palestinian leaders and my observation of what they have wrought over the past 40 years does not encourage me that there is a strategic thinker in the group dedicated to the welfare of the people. I hope every day I am wrong.

Charles I

No, Charles, Bibi, and all his predecessors demand recognition of a "Jewish" state. Then they demand imposed discrimination on powers of any "state", er, plots of land, they deign to discard from Judea and Samaria and return to the inhabitants.

Please explicitly address the demand for recognition of a Jewish state, which is the constantly stated demand, and constantly manipulated by omission of the phrase by interlocutors such as yourself.

They know the difference between a state and a Jewish entitled state. So do the rest.

Roy G

Thank you Charles, for your answer. I was unaware of the diplomatic religious designations of these countries. However, i'm not sure how well they compare to Israel, as none of them has such a large 'non-designated' population (and someday to be majority) as Israel. Seems to me like the US wanting to be recognized as a 'White Nation.'

Also, since the Muslim countries are so roundly decried as backwards and primitive, it doesn't behoove Israel to use them as a model for its own behavior.

Finally, the insistence on recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is a recent phenomenon, no? Why is that?

New Orleans

Charles: I agree the Palestinians lack the leader they need. Why? I'm not smart enough to explain it, but I think it a serious mistake to conclude a leader will never emerge.


Its just another exercise in holistic politics, where the politicians games are not in correspondence with material reality. Bibi is obviously panicking, and has decided to fight til the end and drag the whole cardhouse down with him. Either that, or he is clinicaly insane and believes he is manifesting destiny and has the Big Guy behind him.

Looking forward, if the Pals can keep up a real surge of massive non-violent (as in military violence) demonstrations and insurrections then they have a real big momentum going. Israel has allied itself with Geert Wilders and the extreme right in Europe under this gvmnt, and so there is very very little sympathy left. In a year, sanctions could be in place. And then we shall see what we shall see. But Im afraid that Israel may go all zealot on us.


My goodness, Charles, you are flapping in the wind. After doubling down on your brain-dead assertion that "Israel is not an occupier," you are still chirping about recognition of a Jewish State.

I'll take the bait. The Palestinians will not recognize Israel as a "Jewish State" because that (a) implies that the Palestinians were squatters instead of the rightful former residents of modern-day Israel; and (b) it permanently assigns the Palestinians of the State of Israel to the status of second-class (and provisional) citizenship. Essentially, if Israel is a Jewish state, then a non-Jewish Israeli citizen is, at best, a quasi-Israeli. Parden the Palestinians for passing on that badge of servitude.

It might help if you actually practice the rhetorical principle of charity--i.e., actually understanding an opposing point of view and being able to state it properly --before you act so puzzled by the responses to your posts.



"We recognize the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan and Iran -- that's recognizing their religious identity. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan contains a minority tribal name with claims to have descended from the prophet -- we recognize their tribal identity. We recognize the Arab Republics of Egypt and Syria because they choose to call themselves Arab although there are non-Arabs living there. We recognize all kinds of religious and ethnic identities. Just not Jewish for some reason."

We recognize those countries by the name by which they call themselves. The US recognizes the Peoples Republic of China simply because that is the name of that nation, not because anyone with any sense thinks that it is a "republic of the people".

Truman did not recognize Israel as the "Jewish State", but only as Israel. Why do you ask more of the Palestinians than of the US?



Odd that you should take that view of the Irish Question, Charles (and then again, it isn't). Zionists have been known to take note of IRA tactics when it suits them. Yitzhak Shamir was a great admirer of Collins, you know.

It worked out pretty well for Lloyd George, to answer your question. The Treaty contributed to his defeat in the following election, but even at the time it was clear to many that he got himself a deal and the Irish got rolled.
Worst off of all, of course, were the Northern Catholics who were abandoned by the Treaty to the tender mercies of the Orangemen -- speaking of dead civilians. Today's Orangemen look at Israel and nod approvingly. But I digress.

Given the state of matters on the Palestinian side, Israel’s force majeure, and the favoritism of the USA, I think Israel could negotiate an agreement considerably more favorable to themselves than even Lloyd George managed but that’s not enough, it seems.


I don't ask more of the Palestinians than I ask of the US. I only said that it is common to accept countries as what they say they are -- Islamic, Peoples Republics -- they get to choose. Except for Israel, of course, because we can project all kind of actions that haven't happened on them.

I think my point on Lloyd George was well articulated by Steph. Congratulations to him for stopping the violence and solving the Irish question.

Matt: I must have been too brain dead to exercise charity you asked for. I will adhere closer to your example in the future.

Patrick Lang


I think that Israel is a special case for the US. The attitude of the Israelis and their committed supporters here is that what is ours is theirs. It does not work the other way around for the Israelis or AIPAC but that is of no import because they have nothing that is very useful to the US. What do they have? Religious tourism (as they would call it)? Armed forces that are not biddable by us nor do they have any sort of expeditionary capability since they are based logistically on their home stations, technology that mirrors our own, is based on ours and which competes with ours in the world? Produce? Bagels" What? The answer is that they have nothing useful to us. Nevertheless, the governmental relationship is very close. We just saw a demonstration of that. Therefore it is logical, IMO to ask why it is that we support a government that is a theocracy and which says that it is for Jews, all others are tolerated.. That is a form of government inimical to American philosophy of government. We recognize Saudi Arabia and other places but the the relationship is transactional. Is our relationship with Israel transactional? pl


Pat, the bagels are better in NY. We should ask for their falafels and orange juice, both of which are excellent.

Patrick Lang


All the food in Israel that is worth eating is basically Arab cooking. pl


Col PL,

I don't think we have ever disagreed that the Israelis can be a pain to deal with, but your argument can be made equally about the Palestinians. What would we get from them? They want a theocracy that we are supposed to support without any quid pro quo? And I would argue that the so-called theocracies that we support are nothing more than dictatorships with a patina of religiosity to justify the rulers' hold on power. Besides, anyone who has been to Israel can see that much of the population is pretty secular.

I'm for the American value of self-determination. If Israel wants to be a democratic Jewish state which tolerates the Arabs in its midst, great. I don't see the Palestinians calling for a Muslim state which tolerates the Jews in its midst, but fine, have what you want. Just don't ask me to support a state which takes as its central premise the destruction of its neighbor. Israel has agreed to accept a Palestinian State without condition on its makeup as long as it gives up Israel's destruction. I still don't see where that is unreasonable.

Patrick Lang


Hamas may want a theocracy but the rest of the Palestinians do not.

I am not an advocate for the Palestinians. I don't care if they have a state or not. I agree that they are just as big a nuisance but in a different way.

My bitch about the Israelis/AIPAC is that the yare dragging my counry around by the nose in pursuit of their own narrow inerests. They do this by manipulating Americans' ignorance and gullibility. They actually succees in convincing the american public that all of Israel's enemies are Americas enemies, an obvious untruth. If they would disengage from American politics and media I wouldn't care at all what they did with their neighbors or what the neighbors did to them. pl

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