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21 February 2015

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jdledell

Harper - The 2 state solution is not only dead, it's already buried 6 feet under. My background is Jewish and I'm a dual citizen but have resided in the U.S for 95% of my life. My entire side of the family resides in Greater Israel. They live in Kiryat Arba, Bat Ayin, Itamar etc. and if you know anything about Israel you can well imagine what their political leanings are.

In any event I've been going back and forth to Israel a couple times a year for more than 50 years and my grandfather was Irgun. I consider myself a Zionist wanting a Jewish majority state. However, Israel has lost sight of that original goal. In it's hubris and arrogance, it has decided to claim that vast majority of the land between the river and the sea. They have no intention of giving the West Bank Palestinians full voting citizenship - just autonomous zones with local voting privileges only like East Jerusalem Palestinians. Essential Palestinian islands of Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Bethlehem and the Palestinian part of Hebron will be surrounded by, and totally controlled by Israel. Everything and everyone entering or exiting Palestinian cities will be subject to Israel approval.

Even before Oslo, I attending discussion group meetings held by Sari Nusseibeh at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem. These discussions would include a eclectic group of Israelis and Palestinians and Saab Erekat usually attended to bring people up to date on the state of the 2 states. I've watched the pessimism grow over the decades to the point where not a single person in the room last fall thought there was even a 1% chance a a negotiated division of the land. What Netanyahu offered in the last negotiations was simply a variation on the island city theme. Essentially, Netanyahu took the entire Jordan Valley off the table as ever belonging to the Palestinians. The Palestinians were offered their cities and expanding that territory was to be subject to negotiations down the road. The Palestinians realized that day would never come.

Likud and Jewish Home(Bennett's party) politicians have been very open with the electorate about not giving the Palestinians a real state and suggesting Israel can easily survive the world's scorn and sanctions because they can rely on the U.S. to take up the slack. They really do think they can control our country sufficiently to avoid disaster.

I fear for Israel and my people because I think they are making a gigantic and irreversible mistake that will eventually lead to a non-Jewish majority Israel. We will once again be scattered to the 4 corners of the world.

turcopolier

jdleddel

"my people" When I was a lieutenant platoon leader in the infantry I had a conversation with my radio operator about officers. He said they were more intelligent than he had expected. He was a draftee with an MA from NYU. I said he did not know them well enough to understand but in any case they were "my people." He said, standing in the snow next to me, "I thought we were your people." He was referring to the other 43 men in my platoon. I have not forgotten. His name was Shapiro. pl

Jack

Harper

Wouldn't whatever damage have been done with the Obama administration go away with the next Republican or Democratic president?

Wouldn't all the leading GOP candidates as well as Hillary affirm their obsequious support no matter how Bibi treats the US government?

turcopolier

jdledell

IMO the last real chance of a two-state solution died with Rabin. That is why he was killed. IMO the present and future Israel will choke to death on its internal contradictions and conquests. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

That encounter must have been a powerful learning experience for you, and you had the openness to take it in an let it make you a better officer for it.

Imagine

Reference please on Washington releasing details of Israel's bombs?

My most recent is a Grant Smith article Feb '15 that still states they HAVE NOT admitted this:

http://www.wrmea.org/2015-january-february/lawsuit-challenges-u.s.-ambiguity-toward-israels-nuclear-arsenal.html

"Congress has never debated or held open hearings on Israel’s nuclear weapons program. A 2008 congressional report on nuclear proliferation excludes Israel and simply does “not take a position on the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons.” The penalties for lower level government officials making even passing references to Israel as a nuclear weapons state are swift and harsh. Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear analyst James Doyle wrote candidly about Israel’s nuclear weapons for a magazine in 2013. After a congressional staffer read the article, which had passed a classification review, it was referred to classification officials for a second review. Doyle’s pay was then cut, his home computer searched, and he was fired.

Two gag rules are known to exist as a result of Doyle’s unsuccessful appeals to get his job back. GEN-16 is a “no-comment” policy on “classified information in the public domain” (which President Obama apparently invoked). The other is “DOE Classification Bulletin WPN-136 on Foreign Nuclear Capabilities,” which is secret but presumably forbids publicly stating that Israel is a nuclear power."

Babak Makkinejad

In fact, Ayatollah Khamenei, the highest state authority in Iran, has declared in 2014 that henceforth it shall be the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to arm Palestinians in the West Bank - just like in the Gaza Strip.

Tyler

Bibi knows how to build a border fence and deal with illegal aliens, I'll say that.

Bring him here and have him replace that hack Jeh Johnson as head of DHS. I'd be pulling down O/T hand over fist for the next few years.

confusedponderer

Yes. It won't be the Palestinians or Arabs or even Iranians who'll undo Israel. Israel will undo itself ('and vanish from the page of time, just like the Crusader States of old').

In a sense, Israel is the last colonial power and came to the scene too late. They may have succeeded had they started in 1800, then necessarily with unconditional Britsh support.

But the Israeli project of teh colonisation of Palestine was started at a time when people already started to look weary at colonial conquest, having come to understand that it means subduing, expelling or killing off the local population first. There is something foul about the taste for ethnic cleansing and Lebensraum im Osten ever since World War II. The west, at least officially, has lost the taste for it.

It is an open question whether Israel will, recognising that, at some point just go full bore and drive Gaza into Egypt or the West Bank into Jordan.

They would plunge both neighbouring country into chaos and probably civil war - a lovely prospect given ISIS - and Israel wouldn't be an iota safer for it, but they'd finally have thrown the tantrum that's building up for a few decades now.

That is to say, Israel will undo itself specifically by excess.

David Habakkuk

Harper,

'I think they've lost much of Europe already, maybe with the exception of Britain and Germany (for very different historic reasons, obviously)."

This is questionable with regard to Britain. It also may be increasingly so with regard to Germany, although that is something I can't judge – CP might have interesting things to say.

As to the views of the general public in Britain – the annual BBC Worldwide poll for 2014 registered mainly negative attitudes towards Israel in Britain at 72%, and mainly positive at 19%. The figures for Germany were 67% and 11%, for France 64% and 21%, for Spain 61% and 14%.

(See http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/country-rating-poll.pdf .)

The views of the general public and of those who make influence political decision-making are commonly distinctly different. However, the (strongly Zionist) British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, warned the Israelis last November that they were 'slowly losing, bit by bit, the elite centre ground of British public opinion'.

(See http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/british-onslaught-ambassador .)

As one might expect, there is some tendency for hostility to Israel to morph into anti-Semitism. The report in the 'Guardian' last month of a survey carried out by YouGov for the 'Campaign Against Anti-Semitism' was headlined 'Almost half of Britons hold antisemitic view, poll suggests.'

(See http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/14/uk-jewish-antisemitism-rise-yougov-poll .)

There are I think all kinds of problems with this poll – and even more with the separate survey carried out by the 'Campaign Against Anti-Semitism' of attitudes among British Jews, which paints an apocalyptic picture of fear on the basis of a sample selected by distinctly questionable methods.

The most basic problem is that the questions implicitly presuppose that those answering them will share the belief, common alike among Zionists and anti-Semites, that Jews have common characteristics. Anyone who knows anything about Jews in Britain is aware that this is simply not the case.

It does not however help when Zionists like Michael Oren insist that all Jews have some kind of common 'story' and 'destiny'. One cannot consistently maintain this position and hold the view, implicit in the CAA poll, that to believe that Jews cannot be unequivocally loyal to countries other than Israel is anti-Semitic.

(For Oren's remarks to David Rothkopf, see http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/05/15/a-jewish-state-vs-the-jewish-state/ .)

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

"I think they've lost much of Europe already, maybe with the exception of Britain and Germany (for very different historic reasons, obviously)."

This is questionable with regard to Britain."

David - I confess to not understanding your meaning. Is Harper not saying the same thing? pl

turcopolier

CP

"and vanish from the page of time, just like the Crusader States of old"

Will it take 200 years? pl

Bryn P

Jdledell, given that a 2-state solution is not likely, are we to expect the current conflict to continue until a single Israeli state has been established with as small a number of Palestinians as possible and then only as second-class citizens? Isn't this a recipe for continual conflict?

I am always amazed why instead of invading the Falkland Islands the Argentinians did not adopt a policy of positively encouraging closer links and ties through trade and tourism, by offering scholarships to their universities and by many other actions of this kind. Such a policy would, I feel sure, eventually have led to the islanders recognising that their best interests might lie with tieing themselves in some way to their nearest neighbour rather than to a country thousnds of miles away. "Killing them with kindness" would have been far more effective way of winning the Malvinas than sending in an invading force. It just would have been a bit slower.

Why don't the Israelis try this with the people of Gaza instead of imprisoning them under conditions that are an affront to humanity? Is not the average citizen in both Israel and Gaza totally sick of war and conflict, or are the extremists on both sides too entranched to see that such a policy COULD lead to a single Palestinian Israeli state under which both sides might live in peace, with the rights of both sides guaranteed by both the US and by the neighbouring Arab States?

This idea might seem somwhat utopian,but given how the establishment of the State of Israel has led to chaos throughout the Middle-East and beyond then surely anything is better than what is going on there now?

William R. Cumming

When I entered Artillery OCS at Ft. Sill in January 1968 we were the first all college OCS battalion since 1965!

I believe LT. Calley had 10 years of formal education outside the military.

And from 1972-1975 the US Army RIFFED many fine and brave officers, many decorated with multiple RVN tours because they were not in possession of a college degrees.

I often wondered about the quality of Officer Ops at Ft. Monroe,VA, and the OER system.

William R. Cumming

ALL: IMO all discussion of the JEWISH population today west of the URALS should begin with the conclusion that the HOLOCAUST largely succeeded.

William R. Cumming

It continues to amaze me how ignorant most of the US leadership and citizenry is about modern Israel. Demographics, Citizenry [who can become an Israeli citizen], and the wide-scale corruption of Israel by former Soviet citizens, and even economics all are largely unexplored territory by American MSM and Academia.

But perhaps of the greatest issue facing Israel is decline of its military capability and recognition that its opponents have defeated that capability largely by burrowing. That is another untold story.

confusedponderer

Who knows. So far, Israel is in the year 67, and honestly, I have a hard time seeing them reaching a hundred.

I don't think that absent US support Israel's position is tenable in face of their conduct. Bibi poking the US in the eye is sawing on the proverbial branch of the tree he is sitting on.

The attitude of the 'rest of the west', German guilt notwithstanding, is a little bit like that of some northerners before the American Civil War towards southern states and slavery - for the sake of the Union you can keep slavery all you want, but I want no part in it, and do not want you to extend it any further and do not ask or expect me to vote for it.

The countries who actually do consistently vote in favour of Israel are really rare.

For Israel to continue settlement expansion, expropriation and disenfranchisement of Palestinians means provoking anybody else and thus pushing them towards the breaking point.

In that analogy, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is a sign of things to come.

And empires fade fast these days. It took the Soviet Union only a couple years to fall apart. Nobody really had either predicted the event itself or the speed in which it took place.

Israel's fall, should it happen, will be more violent than that. The likes of Bibi won't exit gracefully. The man is psychologically incapable of being graceful towards anybody.

But the allusion was, of course, to a sermon by Ayatollah Khomeini that Ahmadinejad quoted, and what is habitually misreported as him having said that he wanted to 'wipe Israel of the map'.

The handiwork of the likes of MEMRI in action.

IMO the statement is not so much indicative of murderous intent but, and that may be more distressing for the likes of Bibi, expresses a rather clearsighted long term view.

You put a sword into salt water. Give it time and it will rust. That is the way of oxidisation. No maliciousness involved in predicting that.

Babak Makkinejad

I don't think Israel is going to "undo" herself.

That is wishful thinking, just like the one that hopes that ISIS will implode, or USSR, or Cuba, or North Korea.

Israel will be around for decades, even with her current practices since Protestant Christians lover her and will make sure that state resources of US, UK, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Holland are spent to support her.

And then there is Germany and France who would support it to the hilt, come whatever.

There will be decades of low intensity war until Israel is ejected out of the West Bank.

And then there would be a Cordon Sanitaire around her...

Charles I

Tyler, the man doesn't even know where his own border is.

David Habakkuk

Pat,

What I understood 'Harper' to be suggesting was that the shift of opinion against Israel was perhaps less significant in Britain in Germany than elsewhere in Europe.

It is easy to be taken in by the continued highly level of influence of 'neocon' attitudes in the British political elite, as evidenced by our government's dogged persistance in supporting dotty American policies on Iran and in particular Syria. So, from a distance, changes in underlying attitudes have been easy to miss.

What in my view is dying is what Babak Makkinejad, aptly in my view, has referred to as the 'secular cult of the Holocaust'.

Some of the background to this, however, may not be clear to BM – any more than I think it is in the minds of many Zionists. A critical element in the 'secular cult', for many of us, had quite precisely to with the fact that the Jewish refugees we knew had nothing in common apart from the fact that Hitler wanted to exterminate them.

Identity is partly a matter of the hand we are dealt by where we come from, and partly of the choices our forefathers have made, and we ourselves make – and the effort and sacrifice we are prepared to make to demonstrate that we our serious about them.

It was precisely because in both my parents' generation and my own we encountered German Jews whose commitment to the country from which they came had been unqualified that Nazi anti-Semitism seemed absolutely evil.

It remains the case that Jews have very little in common, apart from the fact that Hitler wanted to exterminate them. Accordingly, the definition of Jewish identify given by Israeli Zionists has become, in essence, as a tribe whom the 'goyim' want to kill.

Given that this is preposterous, one result is that more and more people come to feel that Zionists are manipulating a sacred taboo for essentially cynical ends – the predictable effect of which is the kind of destruction of the taboo which is evident in the 'Campaign Against Anti-Semitism' poll.

At the same time, the definition of Jews as a tribe whom people want to kill does not provide a viable basis for Jewish life in Britain. But partly because of deep inhibitions about challenging the Israeli leadership, the actual effect is a polarisation.

For many of us, conflicting pressures pull us towards and away from 'tribal' allegiances. Obviously, among those who I have called 'Dreyfusard' Jews – who wanted to get away from the ghetto – the natural tendency, which was particularly strong among German Jews, was for them to disappear: to merge into the general population.

In the post-Holocaust world, the tensions between these pressures have played themselves out in very odd ways. Is Jewish identity a thing to be valued, or a kind of burden that one would like to shake off, but are afraid of doing so because the gentiles might again turn on you, as the Germans did on their 'assimilationist' Jews?

These are confusing questions, which produce confused responses. The most 'Zionist' of my old colleagues, visiting Israel, was told that as he was a mathematician, he could become a fighter pilot. He came back to England, and married a Welsh girl, so his children aren't actually Jewish.

A general pattern is however I think visible. Children of secular Jewish families to whom the kind of definition of Jewish identity proposed by Netanyahu is antipathetic do not propose an alternative version of that identity: instead, they are likely to 'marry out' and merge into the general population.

So in terms of the battle for Jewish identity, the Zionists are left holding the battlefield by default.

The predictable results are 1. that the Zionists will fail to find a secure basis for a long-term Jewish presence in the Middle East, and 2. that one will see a continued revival – probably less than apocalyptic, but extremely unpleasant all the same, in anti-Semitism in Britain.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

As regards Britain, you are simply wrong.

One does not like to talk about friends and family, but I had the opportunity of sampling the views of English Protestants at a family wedding shortly after Operation 'Cast Lead'.

The evangelical members of the family were deeply troubled. A more conventional Anglican produced the 'Blairite' line on Israel/Palestine. I can tell you that she would not do so today.

Even among evangelicals here, the cynical alliance between fundamentalist American Christians dreaming of the 'Second Coming' and ethnonationalist Jewish fanatics inspires revulsion.

More mainstream liberal Protestants, traditional allies of Jews, look open-mouthed at the way in which the empowerment of Jews in the United States seems to have brought with it the empowerment of the elements of the Protestant tradition they have always regarded with contempt.

eakens

Spit my coffee out

Babak Makkinejad

Let us wait for the next Gaza War and see if Her Majesty's Government will break diplomatic relations with Israel - or at least degrade them.

Babak Makkinejad

What you have written is a very specific and personal experience pertaining to UK.

The inconvenient facts for Zionists and their Christian fellow-travelers has been the existence of Non-European Jews in North Africa and in the Near East; Arabs, Persians, and Ethiopians.

These are the people who - per Zionist beliefs - should not have existed or should now cease to exist; their culture being inferior to that of European Jewry etc...

If one is a Jew in Iran, with a continuous Jewish presence of 2500 year or more, what is your country; Israel?

The young Jew who was shot in Paris, Haddad, he was an Arab Jew, from Tunisia, I believe. Was Tunisia his country or was it Israel?

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

Or was it France?

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