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11 February 2017

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DH

An interesting prediction, thank you.

BraveNewWorld

Even under the peace deals as planned at Camp David and the few times they tried afterwards, Israel's idea plan was that Palestine would still be under Israeli military control with Israeli soldiers patrolling the streets etc. There was never a plan for an actual Palestinian state other than in name. The Palestinians know that. Obama proposed to have NATO replace the IDF in Palestine if a deal was reached and the Israelis refused. That is one of the reasons Israel was admitted into NATO as an observer.

We have had several cease fires. In one of them the Israelis used a missile from a drone to kill Ahmed al-Jabari who was in charge of enforcing the cease fire, starting a war that got Bibi out of trouble and elected again.

A cease fire would still leave the Palestinians with out citizenship, so no ability to travel, no way to emigrate. No way to sell their goods to the world with out first selling them to a Jew that marks if up 15% on the way out and 15% to transfer the payment in. That doesn't even take into account the diaspora.

Mean while the Israelis will not stop building settlements even if Trump screamed it at the top of his lungs at the press conference. The Israelis would just go around the president to the Republicans in Congress again.

Support for the 2SS is down in the mid 30% range among Palestinians right now. Support for a 2SS in a century would have 0% support. Abbas is pushing 82 years old and there isn't another "Uncle Tom" waiting in the wings. It is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. The only questions are who lights the match and when?

BraveNewWorld

Maybe that is where we land. But in the first 2 weeks of Trumps administration the Israelis announced more settlements that they did in all of 2016.

But the real game changer is the Regulation Bill that was passed after Trump told them to knock it off, which makes all the past illegal settlements legal, even if built on privately owned Palestinian land. It is also the first law that would make Israeli civil law the the law in the West Bank rather than Israeli military law. Basically annexation. It is definitely illegal under International Law and it is very likely illegal under Israelis Law. The Attorney General says he won't defend it in court. (sound familiar?)

The courts are going to ask what the legal basis for Israel extending it's laws over Palestine (not to mention a group of people that didn't vote for the people passing the law) are and no one has presented an answer beyond "God promised us the land". That would make it a 100% theocratic law and 0% democratic. Good by to the nonsense about "Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East". But more importantly the decision the Israeli Supreme court hands down is likely to include for the first time defined limits on what the state can and can not do in the occupied territories. If the Supreme court says it is illegal and Trumps says go ahead then what?

The Regulation Bill has sparked outrage even in Germany which has traditionally been more pro Israel than the US and has been holding back the EU from dropping the hammer on Israel over settlements. 95% of the worlds population voted to make Palestine an Observer State at the UN. 70% of the worlds population has already recognized the state of Palestine. The map here is worth looking at.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_the_State_of_Palestine

I have no idea what Trump really has in mind, but what ever it is, it is going to be consequential and with the the bulk of the world aligned against the US it is highly unlikely to #MAGA.

Babak Makkinejad

The lighted match would only get many more Palestinians killed and will not budge the Israelis.

It would further serve to inflame the public opinion in the world of Islam against Israel and all the Black Knights that are her champions.

The idea of 99-year cease fire deal has the major merit of avoiding the above situation.

Chris Chuba

Patrick, I am taking the invitation to look at this strategically and leave my feelings out of the matter.

The worst case scenario is that Iran gains a local proxy that is able to shut down access to the Suez for some time period. They would use this as a poison pill to make an attack on their country very expensive. If Iran exercises this option, they would be signing their own death warrant because we would shut down their oil shipping. We get an oil shock, they lose all of their oil exports. Also, arming proxies with advanced weapons is dangerous because you lose control. It is true that Iran did this for Hezbollah but they have an unusually close relationship.

Now why would a controlling faction of Yemenis be willing to fall on the sword for Iran? Under normal circumstances they wouldn't. However, by going out of our way to assist this murderous Sunni alliance (uh-oh those treacherous feelings starting to surface) we are pretty much giving them no other option. The longer we wait the harder it will be to pull off but we should look for a semi-graceful way for the Saudis to withdraw, a clever way for them to pay reparations without making it look like reparations, and build a multi-national fleet to protect access to the Suez that includes Iran. The Houthis won't fire on their allies, especially if there is a way to make it hard to identify the nationality of individual vessels. This is a very rough idea, lots of holes, I'm just suggesting a general way to approach the problem. Kicking the bees nest always leads to trouble.

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