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26 March 2015


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During the Oslo years, the number of illegal settlers rose from 250,000 to 380,000. Half of the land of the West Bank was confiscated by Israel. It didn't start with Netanyahu.

different clue


My theory is that Rabin would have stopped it and was going to stop it, ran for re-election (right after the revealment of Oslo to Israel and the world) on stopping it and got re-elected there-on. Likud knew he meant it so Likud elements worked with Security elements to engineer the Rabin assassination. Likudyahu was gambling that Peres would understand himself to have no real credibility and would do something "retaliatory" or "pretaliatory" or whatever against the Palestinian side to create the cardboard-replica appearance of warrior's credibility for himself. So he authorised the assassination of Hamas's Mr. Ayyash "the engineer".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahya_Ayyash I believe that a re-elected Rabin would have held that assassination in suspension at the very least for the entire term of ongoing negotiations to a 2SS finish . . . but we will never know.

Do figures exist on how many more settlers were put there during the Peres Prime-Ministership and then how many were put there under the Netanyahu PMship? Was it the same per year or did it jump under Netanyahu?


Col. Lang and all of the correspondents,

The link I drop into this thread may be slightly "off thread", but if so, not very much so, as some of the offensive actions discussed in the post were surely authorized by, if not outright engineered by, Netanyahu. Kindly note that in the linked post, attention is drawn to prior journalism by our friend, Richard Sale.


Houston, we have a problem.


Ben-Meir is correct in his analysis of Netanyahu. My relatives in the settlements have said that the Israel Home (Bennett) party has been telling settlers that Netanyahu's semi-retraction of his no Palestinian state pledge was just B.S. to get Obama off his back. Bennett says that Bibi has assured him that he flatly will not allow a Palestinian state regardless of how much pressure the West puts on Israel. This situation is going to get much worse as Netanyahu has promised Bennett that as soon as this dust up with the U.S. has passed, Israel will annex Area C (66%) of the West Bank leaving Palestinian cities as little islands of local autonomy.


Bibi can rampage as he pleases. Both Jeb and Hillary as well as the Republicans and Democrats in Congress will continue their fealty to the Ziocon vision. I doubt Obama will be taking Bibi to task anytime soon either.

The Palestinians are on their own.


Raimondo narrates Israeli acts of spying at least as far back as 1979 (the year of the Iranian revolution, oddly enough).

I learned in a video about USS Liberty http://tinyurl.com/nzzu4pw

that shortly after US and Israel figured out a way to paper over Israel's attack on a US ship and slaughter of 34 US personnel, LBJ formed a secret agreement with Israel to exchange intelligence. http://tinyurl.com/o5nwjsj
It's not unlikely those of you who worked for CIA know all about this, but it was new news to me. I also wonder what the US gets out of the deal.

Does the existence of an agreement between US and Israel to share intelligence, dating back to 1968 and revised and expanded at least twice since then, vitiate Raimondo's charges that "Israel spied on US" numerous times?



I did not work for CIA. Johnson's purpose was to prevent another attack by misadventure. He believed it was an accident. pl



I don't think that this intelligence sharing agreement vitiates Mr. Raimondo's argument, at least not entirely. I think it likely (anyone in the way of knowing otherwise, please correct me on this) that the intelligence sharing was not intended to share the workings of each other's innermost governmental deliberations, but rather intelligence gathered on other parties, both states and non-state actors. Certainly, one could expect that intelligence gathering on each other by both the US and Israel will go on.

What Mr. Raimondo finds inexcusable is how Israel has used those intelligence gathering operations targeted against the US to attempt from time to time to sabotage the conduct of United States foreign policy and outcomes to advance US interests. Rather than merely employing this intelligence in order to be informed in advance of US policy goals, they have instead used this intelligence to meddle in US domestic politics. Israel has in times past derailed US foreign policy initiatives, and striven instead to replace them with outcomes perceived to be in Israel's interests.

This latest case where Boehner conspired with Dermer to go around Obama's back was, in its own right, a serious interference in our domestic politics; but beyond that, that the fruits of espionage against our diplomats negotiating with Iran were SHARED INAPPROPRIATELY with members of Congress is egregious conduct indeed.

But then, Bibi has expressed the opinion that the United States is something easily moved, so this is thoroughly in character for him.

The abomination of the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty goes unexamined.

Pollard can remain in prison until it's time to carry him out feet first.

Were one to ask me, I would opine that it surely is time for those interrupted cases against the AIPAC spies to be thawed out and prosecuted to a faretheewell. Furthermore, all of that intelligence sharing with Israel, if not outright terminated, should be subject to draconian curtailment.

This seems reasonable to me in light of there being so many grievous past and present provocations.



Many of you still are unable to disaggregate the functions of government. Intelligence is about information. Information can be exchanged with or provided to foreign governments for specific reasons of state. Such exchanges are always limited in nature and almost always concerning adversaries or possible adversaries of both states. Such agreements do not commit the states involved to joint foreign policy and certainly do not include information on the other party to the agreement. The existence of such intelligence exchange agreements do not commit either party to agreement on policy. pl

Larry Kart

Per the long article from the London Review of Books that I posted at the end of the "A Clean Break" thread, I believe that Israeli writer is correct in asserting that, however one wishes to characterize Netanyahu, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between Bibi/Likud and the leaders and adherents of any of the other major Israeli parties, the renamed Labor Party in particular. As for the numerous former Israeli top security official who opposed Bibi, and those who rallied to support them, as the writer of the LRB piece points out, the stance of those former officials is/was essentially "not Bibi"; they offered no policy remedies that conceivably could lead to "genuine peace" because they know that no such remedies could win the support of anything but a small segment of the Israeli electorate.


Grant Smith of Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP.org) has successfully gotten the DoD to release a 1987 document admitting Israel has nukes. Not only nukes, but 1000x H-bomb capability. The few newspaper articles do not discuss something even more worrisome: Israel has developed neutron bomb capability, along with Jericho III ICBMs that can hit Washington, which would allow them to kill everyone in a city while leaving the buildings standing. Third-tier news orgs are starting to pick the H-bomb story up:

Both America and Israel will be safer when Israel mans up and joins the NPT.

Please do not let this story die. Please start discussions of it with your Senators and local news.


Israel annexing Area C?

To fully understand just how little that leaves of the West Bank of that step one has to visualise it. Area C makes up more than 60% of the West Bank.


Here's the lates report on Area C by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Occupied Palestinian Teritory:


Kyle Pearson

Absolutely -

What amazes me about the US rhetoric on Israel is how the entire US media is in abject denial about the Rabin assassination, which was essentially a right-wing coup by colonialist Israeli racists who were determined to derail any peaceful solution with the indigenous Palestinians.

Rabin was murdered by the Israeli equivalent of the KKK. The groups responsible have not been disbanded nor ostracized in any meaningful sense (they have merely regrouped and reformed under different names), and since the murder of Rabin the government there has been dominated by the political cliques who benefited most from his assassination - chief among them, Netanyahu.

I do not understand why it is so difficult for Americans to see this blatant, obvious fact about recent Israeli history.

Kyle Pearson

>>>>Many of you still are unable to disaggregate the functions of government.

I just want to say, Colonel, that the years of careful study i have spent on this committee of correspondents you have put together, here, has done more to educate me on the inner workings of government and foreign policy than any other resource i have ever encountered.

Thank you for putting it together, and thanks to your various correspondents for taking the time to participate.

This is the one blog i recommend to all of my friends - both older (if they are astute enough) and younger (always, when they are interested in how the international world works) - for study, reflection, and careful consideration.


I really recommend the web site of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Occupied Palestinian Teritory for everybody to inform himself on the realities in the occupied territories.


Their collection of before/after images on Gaza is eye opening, in particular as it underlines the great extent to which the IDF used artillery in Gaza:


US officers described the use of artillery by the IDF in their last Gaza war as follows:

"That's a massive amount of firepower, and it's absolutely deadly"
"The only possible reason for doing that is to kill a lot of people in as short a period of time as possible"
"That rate of fire over that period of time is astonishing. If the figures are even half right, Israel’s response was absolutely disproportionate."
[Israel’s artillery used] “suppressing fire to protect their forward units but then poured in everything they had, in a kind of walking barrage. Suppressing fire is perfectly defensible. A walking barrage isn’t.” [in a city]


And that sais nothing about their equally intense use of air power and engineer demolitions in addition to that.



It's not bad to know what knowledge other governments base their decisions on, or if they possibly have something they hide publicly. I wouldn't mind to know too in my everyday life, to be quite honest. ;)



It really is just a matter of common sense to want to know what your interlocutors are hiding from you. pl

Ishmael Zechariah


Despite all the murders, jailings, repression, etc. the izzies are not winning. The issue refuses to go away; it is becoming much more visible. The izzie hasbara for hiding the actual agenda is becoming less effective: Few goyim give a damn about the holocaust guilt trip, despite persistent ziocon attempts to keep this issue front and center. Ziocon trolls, spokepersons, izzie government officials, soldiers, rulers, etc. continue to blatantly lie- but are being called on their lies more frequently. These seem to have little immediately perceivable consequences; but even the izzies cannot deny that a gradual erosion of their legitimacy is taking place. The repercussions of their policy is also corroding their society from within; one can murder only so many of the "untermenschen" before suffering psychological damage. The smart ziocons, per the cover article for the thread, see that this will end, sooner or later, in disaster.

Until the game plays out "The Palestinians are on their own" as "Jack" remarked above. Maybe they can learn from the Hizbullah.

Ishmael Zechariah


The problem is the cocoon in connection with the extreme rights trump card, if you will. The argument that discussion of Israel's rights in the occupied territories/Judea & Samaria ultimately will trigger debates about Israel proper. At least it feels to me.


jdledell: So full apartheid. Bring it on. Again, I'd rather oppose Senator Bilbo than Senator Russia.


Larry Kart: The goal is to act like Begin but talk like Abba Eban. Israel just can't pull that off anymore.

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this important comment! Unfortunately, US FP continues to support nuclear proliferation to its "friends"!

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this interesting post and comments. Perhaps slightly off thread but after some study IMO Israel has the wrong military for its self-defense
and as a result it is more than less likely that Israel will from stupidity and fear of its leaders and populace more forward its nuclear option!


Perhaps against Israel?


It has to be said in addition to that that Area C is relatively lightly settled, when compared to Area A and B.

Bennett's plan would make the Palestinian inhabitants Israeli citizens, which sounds generous, and from the poimnt of view of the affected Palestinians it would probably be an improvement in terms of governance even with the discriminations. Given how fracticidal the Palestinians are the Israelis may just persuade them. For annexation, Area C is simply the low hanging fruit.

Needless to say, the plan is deceptive. All in all, some 300.000 Palestinians live in Area C - and 341.000 settlers. That means that Israel already has a slight demographic majority there - and that can easily be expanded further with additional settlements. This limited number of new citizens will not 'upset' Jewish demographic dominance in Israel proper.

Area B and A are much more tightly settled, and thus far less attractive. If Bennet's plan was applied to Area A and B would then mean 2 million + new Arab Israelis, and that would double their number. Heaven forbid! It's supposed to be and remain a JEWISH State after all.

What Bennet proposes is to take what's easy pickings and lock up and screw the rest. For now.


... and in addition to that, being rich in arable land and water, exploitable dead sea minerals (potash and bromine), large amounts of stone for quarrying, not to mention dead sea tourism - Area C is an economic prize in its own right.

Israeli restrictions imposed on Palestinians have prevented them from benefitting from the economic possibilities that Area C offers.

For details, the World bank report on the economic opportunites in Area C:

"i. Restrictions on economic activity in Area C of the West Bank have been particularly detrimental to the Palestinian economy. Area C constitutes about 61 percent of the West Bank territory. It is defined by the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as “areas of the West Bank outside Areas A and B, which, except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, will be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction in accordance with this Agreement”. According to the Interim Agreement, the gradual transfer should have been completed by 1997. However, it has not been implemented as envisaged in the Interim Agreement and in the meantime, access to this area for most kinds of economic activity has been severely limited. Yet, the potential contribution of Area C to the Palestinian economy is large. Area C is richly endowed with natural resources and it is contiguous, whereas Areas A and B are smaller territorial islands. The manner in which Area C is currently administered virtually precludes Palestinian businesses from investing there.


Bennett's plan should be named for what it is: GRAND THEFT PALESTINE.

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