« Who Is Kidding Whom About Iraq or Africa or Anywhere? | Main | Asteroid Mining on The Athenaeum »

18 March 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


"This should make one ask: if a social democracy is more economically free than the US, why exactly are we pursuing laissez faire capitalism?"

Then the Heritage Foundation is lying and has obviously been undermined by socialists because the US of A are the bestest country ever, and all the founders were laissez faire capitalists. It's in the constitution, look it up. USA! USA! USA!

Sez the GOP gospel.

Ok, that was a bit tongue in cheek.


Did I write "been undermined"? 'Been infiltrated', of course.


The good thing about this election is that by now nobody can seriously deny that the two state solution is dead, and has to accept that for annexation, or a one state solution, there is a broad consensus in Israel, for different motives.

That would then be hawks and doves.

The Bibi faction will be the hawks, who see annexation only as a first step before expropriation and, if marginalisation doesn't suffice, expulsion, because that is the only way for them to ensure a Jewish majority in face of Palestinian demographic advantage.

The doves faction are then the ones who maintain that the Israelis will win the breeding race (yes, you ultra- orthodox, be quiverful!) and dominate the state anyway, which then implies that they still think that a Jewish majority will pursdue tribal interests so the Jewish character of the 'one state' can be secureed.

Irrespective of who is in power, the Izzies will have to be kept from pursuing their tribal interests at Palestinian expense in an Israel that has formally annexed the territories.

That will only work with pressure. I agree that the US and EU must change policy to take into account that now indisputable reality.

Another interesting open question is whether Israel is in fact a democracy to begin with. Ok, it has tumultous elections and a tumultous parliament, but democracy is nowhere written in the basic law, so ...

"Maybe it is an oligarchy, or an aristocracy, or some sort of anarchistic monarchy?"



No surprise here at all. Bibi's actions speak volumes.

r whitman

The Palestinians urgently need new leadership not wedded to the old two state idea. It would be also preferable if the new leadership would be 40 years younger than the present one.


r whitman

"... the old two state idea." What do you suggest as the new idea they should adopt? I suspect that the "revenge of the cradle" will be popular among the Arab Israelis. The growth of the Israeli Arab vote will summon a response among the likudnik Right that will seek to limit the franchise among the Arabs. pl


Yasser Arafat said the ultimate weapon against the Jewish state was "the womb of the Arab woman".

So, in a one state solution, there probably will be a race in which Palestinians and the ultra-orthodox trying to outbreed each other. Given the demographic trends, Israel will have to undertake a national effort in order to prevent a dangerous "birth gap" from emerging.

A straightforward solution with which th Netanyahoo could try to remedy that would of course be re-allowing polygamy. That would allow ultra-orthodox to have not just 5 to 8 kids but 15 to 24! Quite a game changer.

Unless, of course, the Palestinians adopt polygamy, too.

Babak Makkinejad


The one-state solution is the official position of the Islamic Republic of Iran - pending the outcome of plebiscite to determine the form of the government.

In practice, it could be modeled after South Africa; a two-stage constitutional arrangement; with an interim constitution followed by elections and a new constitution.


ALS: I wanted Bibi to win because he will further eviscerate the illusion that Israel ever wanted a Two-State Solution.

If you are fighting injustice, you want your enemy to be Senator Bilbo, not Senator Russell.

Paul Escobar

[Sorry to Mr. Silverman for interjecting & going off-topic]


Do you have a site of your own?

Might be my imagination...but I remember maybe a year or two ago, visiting your site & chuckling at a post you wrote about "krav maga".

Though I can't seem to find anything in my bookmarks, so thought I would ask for the link.



I think the big difference this time around is the world was paying attention to the Israeli election, so it was a topic on the news cycle when Netanyahu made his statements against the "two state solution" and his arab citizens. Now, it will be difficult for Israel and the clear majority of Israelis to hide from "racist" accusations that have previously been attributed to "anti-semites" with some success. But this was an election, and the discriminatory statements were made, with the electorate's approval.

So an appropriate comparator to current Israel is Apartheid South Africa, clearly, imo.

The world's most powerful countries must now take the next step and call out racism as racism, as eventually happened with South Africa. Israelis must then look at their collective faces in the mirror, and if they don't like what they see (they won't), they will change their country. Whether it becomes one state or two states then becomes less important than the change itself.

But alternatively, more darkly, the Israelis may attempt to distract from that conversation by continuing to stir the pot against arabs, inviting more "terrorism." The result is pretty horrible to contemplate.



"The US will need to leverage its power … in order to ensure that the Palestinians are properly integrated into the life of the Israeli state and society should Israel move towards a single state solution. “

I can’t find this obligation to foreigners in the US Constitution. Can you point out to me just where that is stated?

"...the US must develop a new strategy..."
Yes, we must put our own national interests ahead of that of Palestinians and Israelis and their domestic US backers.


Yes, limiting the franchise is one way for the Zionists to continue their "will to power", even under a one state scenario. More likely, however, would be a discrete, sub-rosa even, strategy of "birth denial" or some other program designed to deplete the Palestinian cradle and preemptively lower the pool of potential voters.


Pirate Laddie

"birth denial" Yes, there are any number of ways to seek to limit the number of Israeli Arabs who can vote. BTW, I think we should call them that rather than Palestinians. pl


" And before anyone starts screaming socialism, please remember that the US ranks below Denmark on The Heritage Foundation's economic freedom index. Denmark is a social democracy. This should make one ask: if a social democracy is more economically free than the US, why exactly are we pursuing laissez faire capitalism?"

We are infinitely far away from laissez faire capitalism. If we had it, there would be no special interest welfare tax loopholes pushed by Republicans and Democrats, no monetary central planing politburo, no broad redistribution of wealth via social programs like social security, medicare, welfare, and so on. To call Republicans or Netanyahoo types as far right is not correct. When Republicans are in charge, the government gets bigger and more draconian. War-mongering does not make one far right, it just makes one a war mongerer.


"Israeli Arabs," point well taken. Of course, the more "air tight" solution is simply to limit the #s who qualify for that category. If I recall, the Pharaoh was faced with a similar problem in his dealings with a recalcitrant bunch of stiff-necked sojourners. I wouldn't be surprised if the Babylonian Talmud has some guidance as well.

Abu Sinan

Edward Said came out for a one state solution and rejected the two state solution, years before his death. Considering the "facts on the ground" the one state solution is the only viable option. Israel just has to decide whether or not the Palestinians it now controls will be assimilated in one fashion or another, or ethnically cleansed.


Netanyahu's announcement that there would be no Palestinian state made news in the West but was greeted by a big yawn in Israel. Most Israelis already thought that was Netanyahu's position. The Netanyahu announcement that "Israeli Arabs were being driven to the polls in droves" is what scared Israelis into a made rush to vote Likud.

I know Israelis who were going to vote for Yesh Adid or even Zionist Union to fell for the "boogyman" the Arabs are coming- the Arabs are coming. In the 10 days before the election, television stations were commenting on the how the Joint Arab List was going to get a lot of seats and could be the kingmaker in assembling a coalition. There is great fear of Israeli Arabs that they could become a powerful force in government.

Look for bills in the next Knesset which restrict Israeli Arab citizenship with loyalty oaths, restrictions on voting unless a person has fulfilled military duty, community service or Torah studies. Another idea that has been tossed around by right wing politicians is no automatic citizenship for being born in Israel, only resident cards. Citizenship can be conferred at age 18 based on an examination of knowledge of Israel's history, biblical to current, understanding of the precepts of the Torah as well as ability to be a "productive citizen". Fat chance of most Israeli Arabs being given a fair shot at passing.

This could get very ugly between Israel and the Western world. Even now, I think the Christian Right in the U.S. will prevent a total break with Israel. Even last night I got a call from an Evangelical Christian friend who called with "congratulations" on Netanyahu's victory so that he can finally do something about those muslims in Israel who don't belong there.


"birth denial"

The Israelis tried something like that on Ethiopian Jews.


"From a sociological perspective, this incident shows the strain between Israel’s religious heritage and its modern political agenda. “Behold, the heritage of the Lord is sons, the reward is the fruit of the innards. Like arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the sons of one’s youth. Praiseworthy is the man who has filled his quiver with them,” the Torah proclaims. The involuntary sterilization of African immigrants suggests that the Jewish moral code (inextricably connected with Israel’s domestic legal codes) can be selectively applied to those with ‘desirable’ backgrounds. It is hard, indeed almost impossible to believe that an American Jewish woman immigrating to Israel would be forced to take birth control."



"Such a failure would result in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute remaining the wickedest and most intractable of problems, which further complicates every other US policy objective in the Levant and the Middle East."

I agree Adam,

just noticed that my friend Phil, interestingly enough, surrendered without me noticing to his American optimism.


Your 60% remind me of the troubles I occasionally had in the comment section there.

Let's wait and see how this works out.

Admittedly a very, very long time ago by now I was shocked, shocked by Uri Avnery telling me in an article that Israel never intended to give Palestinians a state. And its really very hard to ignore by now.

Is there any way but a one-state-solution anyway?

Adam L. Silverman


I agree, as an American, that for the US, America's interests should be prioritized. In this case adjusting our policy and strategy is in America's interest. One of the constants is that the US gets blamed for Israeli activities - largely because we 1) provide them with more aid than anyone else and 2) provide cover for them within various international institutions. Should whatever coalition Netanyahu cobbles together go this actively pursue this option, which I think is as likely as just continuing to stall and doing it de facto, we can either adjust and lever our power for the best possible outcome or get blamed regardless of what happens. The latter will only further complicate all the rest of our relations in the region.


Ok, I see.

What are we doing concerning Ukraine-Russia if we are all somewhat limited in our however modified cold-war stereotypes?

I take your Heritage Foundation as undermined by socialists as humor. (never looked into equivalent stereotypes over here though, in the US they no doubt sticked out for me) But I am absolutely aware that the cold war had a different effect on the general "American mind" then on us over here.

r whitman

I am confused by your response. The Israeli Arabs seem to have decent leadership. After all they took 14 seats in the election and if they can use their power to get better schools, roads and sewers they might attract even more non-Jewish voters. The Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza on the other hand urgently need new leadership with new ideas. What these new ideas should be are subject to debate but the old two-state idea is dead.

Adam L. Silverman


You're correct - I should have been more specific. Parts of our economy are laissez fair(ish): the demands to reduce or remove all regulation, the drive to reduce or remove all taxation, etc. These are wedded to the remaining elements of the blended economy that developed during and after the New Deal - the blend itself now being severely out of balance. An additional component includes a drive to oligarchy if not kleptocracy. Part of the problem that we are experiencing in the US is that we do not discuss economics in terms of the most efficient way to deliver goods and services or how to effectively deliver public goods and services, which really are not designed to be done for profit. Rather our discussions of economics, especially macro economics, is a discussion of morality. And while there has always been a moral philosophy component to economics as the normative underpinnings, our discussion has moved from that to economics as morality play. And that's before we ever address the insanity of treating a national or state or even municipal budget like one's personal finances. The fact that almost no one pays for everything in cash and has absolutely no debt at the end of every month (mortgages, car loans, revolving lines of business and personal credit, student loans, etc), no family is trying to pay for a fleet of aircraft carriers or maintain, let alone upgrade and re/retrofit a highway system, bridges and tunnels, and a power grid.


Thank you for the clarification. Very good points Mr. Silverman.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad