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07 November 2013


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Kerry, Biden, and Obama fail to appreciate that "no daylight" means "steal more land."

Carrots for Israel and sticks for Palestine will never work.

My fear is that Abbas will enter into an other "intermim" agreement, which will further entrench the occupation. The Palestinians desperately need a "Mandela," i.e., a patriot person more familiar with an Israeli prison than a cocktail party at Davos.

David Habakkuk


I may be too suspicious, but it seems to me possible that you are still dreaming of some kind of 'agreement' which is never going to happen.

The Likudnik delusion is that strategies of deception, to circumvent such possibilities of agreement as might have existed, work to the advantage of Jews.

In fact, all that happens is that Israelis brutalise Palestinians -- without realising that, by doing this, they are brutalising themselves.

What emerges is that one of the great myths has been that of Jewish cleverness.

The end result will be that Jews have no future in the Middle East, and are liable to call into question the extraordinarily favourable position they have enjoyed in the post-war United States and Western Europe.

If there ever was a 'promised land' for East European Jews, it was America. It was the land that made possible Billy Wilder, George Gershwin, Danny Kaye. People who are an integral part of growing up, to many of us of my generation in Britain.

Why do American Jews want to turn their back on that heritage? Why do they seem determined to tell us that the true, representative Jew, is Benjamin Netanyahu -- who most of the traditional friends of Jews in this country cannot but see as a 'barrow boy'?

There should be some limits to human stupidity, but, apparently, no.

Hank Foresman

It seems to me that Mr. Kerry is trying to make chicken salad out of chickens%^t!

Babak Makkinejad

It is appeal to religious and tribal "Assabiyah".

When Natan Sharansky went to Israel from USSR, he stated he was going to "his country".

Likewise, I have heard off-hand remarks by Iranian Jews who consider Israel to be their country.

An American friend whose wife was Israeli mentioned how his wife - considered to be cosmopolitan & liberal in Israel - thought that Arabs should all leave Israel because there are so many other Arab states and "Jews have only a single country".

I think Jews will continue to have a future in Iran - if they wish it.

Everywhere else, inside or outside of the Middle East, history does not offer any reassurances at all - even in North America.

The Twisted Genius

FP has an interesting article detailing their efforts to build Sunni rebel forces in Syria. The Saudi's have a well known reputation for incompetence in military affairs. Beyond internal security forces, they can only buy what they need. So they are contracting the Pakistanis to raise and train Sunni brigades in Jordan.


I've also seen the reports about Saudi readiness to buy Pakistani nukes. As an old SF master sergeant often told me, "The shit's on, good buddy!"

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

The late Tony Judt -- son of a Dutch Jewish immigrant to Britain, who was educated at Cambridge and ended up in the U.S. -- thought that the emergence of the Israeli Lobby in its modern form had a lot to do with American identity politics. I do not know how plausible his argument is, but what he had to say in a 2007 interview is, at the least, thought-provoking:

'As a teenager, Judt became involved in leftwing Zionism. In 1967, he travelled to Israel as a volunteer during the Six Day War. He worked as a translator of French and Hebrew, and drove captured Syrian trucks. “Up on the Golan Heights, I met and heard officers talking, and for the first time I was seeing a side of Israel I had managed to turn a blind eye to,” he tells me. “Until then, the dominant rhetoric in Israel had still been that you didn't disparage the Arabs, you believed in socialism and equality. Now it was straightforward anti-Arab sentiment. What began in 1967, and accelerated in a great tumble through the mid-1970s, was the rise of a different Israel: hard-line, rightwing, very often religious, believing they had a real-estate pact with God. It was very ugly, at least I found it very ugly.”

'In those years, he says, America didn't care so much for Israel. France was the great friend of Israel, he says, providing jets for the Israeli air force. But that changed, he says, due in part to the rise of identity politics in the US. This, he argues, eventually had an effect on American foreign policy.

'“America at that time had a very low collective public consciousness of the Holocaust,” he says, eating the carbonade carefully. “People were not reading Primo Levi. They were not even reading Anne Frank. It became possible, fashionable and in the end almost necessary to identify yourself - Irish-American, Italian- American, Native American, Asian-American. Part of it was because of the rise of the culture of the victim but also because it was a way of being part of the new multicultural space.”

'You couldn't just be Jewish-American, however, he says. To create an identity, he says, Jewish people instead tied themselves to the Holocaust and to Israel. “So it became very much a threat to American-Jewish identity to unravel one of these.”'

(See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3824ee52-d316-11db-829f-000b5df10621.html#axzz2k3C8VaDP )

There is, certainly, a difference with Britain, where the notion that a 'second identity' is natural and normal is very recent.


So the Saudis want to buy nukes to counter Iran, not Israel? The quicker "Saudi" Arabia falls, the better it will be for humanity.

Babak Makkinejad

To your point:

Israelis will tell you with a straight face that all swear words in Hebrew come from Arabic - since Hebrew is religious language and evidently lacked such suppleness.

Babak Makkinejad

There is no chance of anyone selling any one else a nuclear weapon.

NPT does not forbid it, though.

I think this is another attempt at manipulation.


And then there is this:

"Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization's goal: to "restore" Israel and the Jews and bring about the second coming of Christ."

Evidently there is big money and power behind this effort. I wonder how the folks at AIPAC explain this to the many religious Jews who support them in this country.



Babak is a Zionist. Why don't you come out and say it? I bet you want Israel to nuke Iran.


Who says the Saudi's don't already have nukes (obviously, in secret)? Why else would they also maintain a force of MRBMs? Such a situation would certainly explain why they can seem to get along so chummily with their nuclear armed neighbor Israel.


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