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29 December 2016


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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

What, in your estimation, is the probability or possibility of a cease-fire deal along the lines of the 99-Year HAMAS offer?

Larry Kart

I agree with Siegman wholeheartedly. But what of Trump and Bibi, now and down the road? Is Trump's recent "We're with Bibi and the settlements all the way" stance and his choice of ambassador to Israel merely a matter of positioning vis-a-vis Obama and the ""We're with Bibi all the way" etc. wing of the GOP? Or what?

Given that many here look on Israel askance (as, at the very least, the client state that thinks it's in charge) and also regard the president-elect in a generally positive light, how do they see this seeming anomaly playing out?



Zero. The Israelis do not want a truce with Hamas. pl


Larry Kart

IMO the likudniks are making a big mistake if they expect Trump to be a subservient gentile. His "friendliness" will last until they cross him. pl

Margaret Steinfels

I see that Kerry tried to neutralize the usual dismissal of Netanyahu's policies:

"And the truth is, the extraordinary polarization in this conflict extends beyond Israelis and Palestinians. Allies of both sides are content to reinforce this “with us or against us mentality” where too often anyone who questions Palestinian actions is an apologist for the occupation and anyone who disagrees with Israeli policy is cast as anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic."

The Twisted Genius

Larry Kart,

We just don't know what Trump will do. Yes, he's making all the right "I'm with Bibi" noises now. But if the deal is everything to Trump, I imagine the billions we're handing over to Israel for nothing in return have got to bother him. If he thinks the Iran deal is a gyp, the Israel deal must truly stick in his craw. Trump could be bullshiting Bibi, just like he bullshits everyone else. OTOH, if Bibi just strokes Trump's oversized ego hard enough, he might end up with another loyal lapdog. We won't know for at least another month.


Bibi's hysteria is, IMO, quite intentional but not directed at Obama. It's to establish dominance over Trump by serving as a warning. It's a raw display of political power.

Trump's primary focus is domestic. Bibi is moving to enlarge the options Israel has in their handling of the Palestinians, as well as other ME players in return for enabling Trump's domestic policy. Trump is cool with that as long as it doesn't get in his way domestically.

Trump is already looked askance at by most of the political and FP establishment. He's being put on a short leash re Israel and, if he becomes too obstreperous which is unlikely, he will have a short reign.


Trumps love of dealmaking, his ego, and the challenge and fame of a peace settlement might make for an interesting combination. Interesting times. If he goes there. he will want to shake up both parties before proposing a deal.

Patrick D


IMO the likudniks are making a big mistake if they expect Trump to be a subservient gentile. His "friendliness" will last until they cross him.

One of my initial thoughts about the abstention and the reaction was that Trump will likely come to appreciate the recent precedent.

Nancy K

I agree they do not want peace. They want the entire area and they want us to go after Iran for them. Are you so sure Trump will not be controlled by Israel, many of those he is choosing to advice him are Israel firsters. Friedman could not be more right wing.

Larry Kart

I would agree that Trump's "friendliness" toward Bibi and Co. calls for inverted commas, as does his "friendliness" toward any interest group, but how do you see Bibi and the Likudniks crossing Trump? In terms of policy, if not in terms of ego, they seem to be on the same page.



Reading the vitriol of all the Israel Firsters is fascinating. According to their logic then the 14 countries that voted for the UN resolution are all anti-Semitic including UK, France, Russia and China.

Is the abstention by Obama a payback for Bibi dissing him? In your opinion why did Kerry go out on a limb yesterday? And how do you interpret Trump's tweets noting the "perfidy" of Obama?


IMO, Israel wants annexation and an expulsion of all Muslims. They already have the Palestinians in little Bantustans. Maybe they'll revive the idea that Muslims should be in Jordan and Egypt.

Brad Ruble

Like him or not Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Netanyahus contempt for Obama and America in general, should upset anyone whom considers themselves an American. Watching him gloat on 60 minutes says all you need to know about the American political establishment.
I hope you are right, but if he gets away with what he does now, what could he do to upset these people.


I can't speak for others who are Israel skeptics and Trump supporters, but I would resolve the seeming inconsistency this way.

You cannot get elected in the US without being pro-Israel Now if non-whites like Keith Ellison who view Israel as an extension of the European 'white oppressor' succeed in their bid to takeover the reigns of the Democratic Party from the Jewish-WASP elites, that may no longer be true for the left side of the spectrum. (I for one am highly amused to see the to see the coalition of the fringe commence a civil war). But for Republicans with a large contingent of (white) Zionist evangelicals in their base and 50 odd years worth of neoconservative brain-washing, the calculus won't change on the right side. Moreover, since Jews make up a disproportionate and highly influential compliment of the elite, for now one either needs the assent of the Zionist or liberal Semitic faction to become President. Since a right wing candidate will NEVER receive the endorsement of liberal Jews ('its anudda shoah'), support for Zionism is non-optional.

IMO, Trump probably privately supports the 'liberal' two state solution, but he's playing these people off against one another. And while he may wax eloquent about ARE GREATEST ALLY, if you look closely his Zionism is strictly limited to the Palestinian issue. Israel's regional agenda championed by the neoconservatives has been trashed. What about Trump's hardline approach to Iran? That's a legitimate counter-proposition against Trump's Unconventional Anti Zionism. Yes, he's attacked the deal but ultimately he was just bloviating, once again to assuage the residual neoconservative paranoia about Iran residing in Red States. And as Assad himself pointed out, if the Russian-American relationship is stabilized, everything else will fall into place. Consider: If Trump reaches an understanding with Russia, he's automatically reached an understanding with Iran on all but the nuclear issue, which is mediated by contract now anyway.

By vehemently taking the Zionist side, Trump will force a split between liberal and Zionist Jews on the Israel issue. By the end of Trump's term(s), Israel will have lost all support except from a conservative American faction/demographic. Conterminously, their regional agenda will have been squashed.


Col, or anyone, do you any opinion on the broad generalization making its way around, that there is a growing split, particularly on campuses, between a less supportive, or increasingly hostile, for that matter, base of the Democratic Party, versus the leadership in the Congress that is hoplessly enamoured with Israel?

Do you think it possible that younger Dems will turn away from Israel? The BDS movement will gain some traction in the US? Especially given the knee jerk response that if 'Trump is for it, I'm agin it'? Leaving aside the sound notion that you at least raise, paraphrasing you; 'I would not count on Trump too much if I were Israel'.


And on the reverse side Trump is being hailed as the new Messiah in all of the Israeli papers except Haaretz. The second he says no, just once, they will turn on him like wolves and as you mentioned that will not go well for them.

Netanyahu has been telling a story in Israel for the last few years that he has the green light for more settlements from every one from the GCC to the UNSC. The rest of the story is that no one was requesting any longer that they do a deal with the Palestinians. That just blew up in his face. He is now being investigated for taking bribes and corruption in relation to the latest submarine deal and some corvettes they ordered. When ever Bibi has gotten into real trouble his go to move has been to start a fight with some one to distract the people. If either of these issues get mileage after the holidays it is time to take cover.



I am surprised that so many of you do not understand the meaninglessness of Trump's "business development" technique and negotiating positions. He will say anything, anything to compromise your position and get you to say you love him and then he will screw you(not the nice way) when you cross him or do not give up your interests to him. IMO Ivanka and her hubby should consider some nifty real estate down on the Gulf of Aqaba for use after the intra-family fight with daddy's ego. pl

Babak Makkinejad

In case of Jordan: once the Islamic Republic of Palestine is established on the current territory of Jordan, the liberation of all of Palestine will be written into its constitution.

Next, the nascent Islamic Republic of Palestine, will seek help from the Resistance Axis to defend herself against Israel....

In my opinion, Israelis are fools to not see this scenario as an actual possibility...


Col: As evidenced by Trump's truce with Paul Ryan! Very conditional.

Trump's transactional nature is strangely reassuring. The "idealists" have been killing us.



"We won't know for at least another month."

I wonder.

If he truly is an Israel firster, then he is going to give them enough rope to hang themselves.

- Eliot


Colonel Lang, I wish,someone could explain and precisely define what will be considered/constitute anti-Semitism, how different and how broader is anti-Semitism, to that of anti black anti Asian anti Martians, anti Iranian, or is there any difrrence between anti-Semitism, with anti Zionism. One really need to know how close one can get without " approaching" it's borders. I think Jewish people owe non Jew Americans and other no Jewish world citizens a real clear difination so the non Jews can understand thier limitations.

Larry Kart

Colonel, TTG, and others: I understand about the supposed meaninglessness (as in lack of content) of Trump's "business development" technique and negotiating positions. and that "he will say ... anything to compromise your position and get you to say you love him and then he will screw you (not the nice way) when you cross him or do not give up your interests to him." What I don't see is any likely circumstance down the road where his interests (which again are largely devoid of content here?) and those of the Israeli Right will not coincide. Or perhaps, taking a step back, what do you think Trump's interests (if any) re: Israel (or re: those matters that impinge on Israel) are that differ enough from the interests of the Israeli Right that Trump will demand that the Israeli Right "give up their [interests} to him"? The answer may be simple; it may be complicated, but again if it has to do with interests rather than merely or essentially with Trump's need to periodically (as we used to say in the jazz world on the '50s) "whip game" on other parties just for sake and satisfaction of doing so, I'm stumped.


They want annexation and much more. Most people have given up on the Israelis long ago. I'm Jewish on my father's side, and my paternal relatives, very establishment people raised to be Jewish are too fed up with them for words. They are ethnically Jewish quasi-Borg but ardently anti-Zionist, or better, ardently anti-the present Israeli Government.

The ideology of Netanyahu's father was admittedly fascist, a word I hate to use since it's been so abused as to be meaningless by now. The 'iron wall' ideology or some such thing. And to think that his father was one of the fore most scholars on the Spanish Inquisition. Albert Einstein warned the world about Begin and the Likudniks in the 50's just before he died, calling them outright criminals.

The Colonel is fortunate to have known someone like Seigman, just as I have been fortunate to know Jews who cannot stomach the Israeli status quo and have the courage to speak out, though speaking out is the hard part for many as it can be a career ender and worse. But it barely needs saying that there are many Jews who are 180 degrees from Seigman, and it might do people some good to have been a fly on the wall, as it were, and speak to such people in confidence as I have-- at one time they believed I was Jewish. Their thoughts don't bear dwelling on, but they are as racist and intolerant as anything out of the mouth of the klan or Carl Paladino.

Certainly the US Intel community knows all about such things given that they are able to listen to telephone conversations of world leaders. I've often wondered if some of the animosity that Obama has felt for Netanyahu isn't in large part due to his listening in to certain things.

Many American Jews are troubled IMHO not only by what they perceive as an unethical and politically unwise Israeli policy, but because their upbringing taught them to identify with the Jewish people, and when they found that they could no longer continue to do so they became unmoored, lost, like the 'stranger in a strange land' who is 'no one' according to Bram Stoker.

More and more people, Jews and non Jews, have given up on Israel and see accurately that they will never change course of their own initiative. In fact 'give them enough rope and they will hang themselves' is the only advice on offer from people who once labored tirelessly at peace proposals. But that is old news.

Babak Makkinejad

Within the Cult of Shoah, Jews occupy the same position as Ahl Beyt occupy in Islam and specially the Descendants of Imam Hussein among Shia Muslims.

They are especial people who are beyond reproach or criticism - in an abstract manner.

Like when one is in the market in Iran and one over-hears that so and so is a seyyed and the shopkeeper says: "Please Ma'am, pray for me too."

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is trying to muzzle Free Speech there in case of Jews; I suppose she is thinking that she is protecting them.

I think Iran also has some laws against insulting the Prophet and the Household of the Prophet but I am not sure.

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