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Ear to the Ground

There Will Be Peace In Israel ... Sort of

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Posted on Jun 15, 2009
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prophetictrends.com

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pictured at right, spoke for the first time of the possibility of a two-state solution, but only under certain conditions: the Palestinian state cannot have a military or control of its borders and airspace and it must recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Palestinian officials aren’t exactly thrilled by these terms.

Voice of America:

The Palestinian government has called on the international community to confront Israel about the Israeli prime minister’s remarks Sunday that he would endorse a Palestinian state with certain conditions.

[...] Palestinian leaders said Monday that Mr. Netanyahu’s proposition stands in the way of any prospects for peace. A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdainah, denounced Mr. Netanyahu’s speech as “sabotaging” peace efforts.

But the European Union and the United States say Mr. Netanyahu’s discussion of Palestinian statehood is a step forward.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, June 18, 2009 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

What Does He Mean When He Says “Yes”?

The Case of Netanyahu and the Curious Incident

By URI AVNERY

“You must be celebrating,” the interviewer from a popular radio station told me after Netanyahu’s speech. “After all, he is accepting the plan which you proposed 42 years ago!” Actually it was 60 years ago, but who is counting?

The front page of Haaretz carried an article by Gideon Levy, in which he wrote that “the courageous call of Avnery and his friends four decades ago is now being echoed, though feebly, from end to end (of the Israeli political spectrum).”

I would be lying if I denied feeling a brief glow of satisfaction, but it faded quickly. This was no “historic” speech, not even a “great” speech. It was a clever speech.

It contained some sanctimonious verbiage to appease Obama, followed right away by the opposite, to pacify the Israeli extreme right. Not much more.

NETANYAHU DECLARED that “our hand is extended for peace.”

In my ears, that rang a bell: in the 1956 Sinai war, a member of my editorial staff was attached to the brigade that conquered Sharm-al-Sheikh. Since he had grown up in Egypt, he interviewed the senior captured Egyptian officer, a colonel. “Every time David Ben-Gurion announced that his hand was stretched out for peace,” the Egyptian told him, “we were put on high alert.”

And indeed, that was Ben-Gurion’s method. Before every provocation he would declare that “our hands are extended for peace”, adding conditions that he knew were totally unacceptable to the other side. Thus an ideal situation (for him) was created: The world saw Israel as a peace-loving country, while the Arabs looked like serial peace-killers. Our secret weapon is the Arab refusal, it used to be joked in Jerusalem at the time.

This week, Netanyahu wheeled out the same old trick.


I DO NOT underrate, of course, the significance of the chief of the Likud uttering the two words: “Palestinian state”.

Words carry political weight. Once released into the world, they have a life of their own. Unlike dogs, they cannot be called back.

In a popular Israeli love song, the boy asks the girl: “When you say no, what do you mean?” One could well ask: When Netanyahu says yes, what does he mean?

But even if the words “Palestinian state” passed his lips only under duress, and when Netanyahu has no intention at all of turning them into reality, it is still important that the head of the government and the chief of the Likud was compelled to utter them. The idea of the Palestinian state has now become a part of the national consensus, and only a handful of ultra-rightists reject it directly. But this is only the beginning. The main struggle will be about turning the idea into reality. 

THE ENTIRE speech was addressed to one single person: Barack Obama. It was not designed to appeal to the Palestinians. It was quite clear that the Palestinians are only the passive object of a discussion between the President of the USA and the Prime Minister of Israel. Except in some tired old clichés, Netanyahu spoke about them, not to them.

He is ready, so he says, to conduct negotiations with the “Palestinian community”, and that, of course, “without preconditions”. Meaning: without Palestinian preconditions. On Netanyahu’s part, there are plenty of preconditions, every one of which is designed to make certain that no Palestinian, no Arab and indeed no Muslim will agree to enter negotiations.

Condition 1: The Arabs have to recognize Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” (and not just “a Jewish state”, as many in the media erroneously reported.) As Mubarak has already answered: No Arab will accept this, because it would mean that 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel are cut off from the state, and because it would deny in advance the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees - the main bargaining chip of the Arab side.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery06182009.html

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By Robert, June 18, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May-June 2009

The Nakba Continues

“Security” as Land Theft: The Case of Jayyous

By William Parry
 

“IT WAS A joke of exasperation that I heard from a number of Palestinian farmers months ago: “Next we’ll need permits from the Israelis to sleep with our wives,” they would say after they had summarized the bureaucratic hoops they have to jump through to go about their normal lives. Having witnessed the catalogue of Kafkaesque routines and requirements that they patiently undergo to, for example, access their farmland to earn an honest living, it didn’t sound so outlandish a prediction.

What should be outlandish—and outrageous—is Israel’s blatant duplicity concerning the separation wall it has erected within much of the Palestinian West Bank. Israel speciously calls it a “security barrier.” Anyone who examines Israel’s policies and methods of ethnic cleansing of Palestine, however, will quickly realize that “security” is an over-exploited ruse used to legitimize its colonial policies and to shield itself as a nation from moral responsibility for its actions. The annexation, apartheid or separation wall, or barrier, or fence—whatever phraseology one wishes to use—is a de facto land grab that is destroying lives, livelihoods, communities and a people.

Israel’s PR machine is sophisticated, far-reaching and efficient. Articulate and media-savvy spokespersons use air time on our televisions and radios to explain that the wall, incursions, blockades, bombardments, targeted assassinations and the like are regrettable but necessary for the sake of “security,” to safeguard innocent, peace-seeking Israelis. But when you witness firsthand Israel’s illegal and destructive occupation of Palestine, it becomes clear that “security,” like “anti-Semitism,” is a term whose intrinsic gravity is greatly—and dangerously—undermined and eroded by Israeli spin.
“Security” Issues
   

While literally tens of thousands of individual examples could be used up and down the West Bank to reveal the true nature and consequences of Israel’s annexation wall, take the experiences of the residents from the verdant Palestinian town of Jayyous as an example. Home to 3,500 Palestinians, Jayyous has two things that Israel covets: prime agricultural land and important aquifers. The wall, slicing two and a half miles deep into Jayyous from the Green Line, is simply about annexing land and water resources—5,585 dunams of land and four aquifers to be exact.

Jayyous is one of several Palestinian villages that in recent months has seen its peaceful demonstrations against the destruction and expropriation of its land met with severe brutality by the Israeli army. These weekly demonstrations, which began in November 2008, are organized by the Stop the Wall Youth Campaign in Jayyous to challenge the Israeli High Court’s decision last year to re-route the wall in Jayyous—which would destroy hundreds of dunams more of agricultural land and uproot 200 additional trees (6,000 were uprooted to make way for the wall in 2003).

Sharif Omar, known as Abu Azzam, is one of Jayyous’ most charismatic and—although 67—indefatigable sons (see October 2004 Washington Report, p. 49). He is Jayyous’ largest land owner and proudly lists what he grows as if they were his children: “We grow whatever the earth gives—loquat, twelve types of citrus, apricots, olives, guava, avocados, figs, walnuts, almonds, pomegranate and grapes,” he says with a warm laugh.

Last September, Abu Azzam received me at his home. Two years earlier I had met him and his wife, Seham, on their farmland, but this time he was waiting for his permit to access his land to be renewed—it was 50 days late.”

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/May-June_2009/0905020.html

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By Sepharad, June 17, 2009 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

Inherit—basically agree with your analysis of Netanyahu. Problem is how to manipulate his behavior, if possible. Unfortunately, Sharon was the only one who could slap him down, and the two were bitter antagonists (also because Sharon rejected the religious right that drove Likud).

Inherit, Shingo and nefesh—I finally found a book I’ve had for years but had gone missing (as it turns out, fell off behind the shelf) which I want to reread before commenting much more on the current situation. It’s Omar Massalha’s “Towards the Long-Promised Peace” and this edition was published in 1994 by Saqi Books in London. Copyright held by Albin Michel S.A.—Paris, 1992. Massalha was the Permanent Observer of Palestine at UNESCO from 1980-1993 and at the time of publication was consultant to that organization. Also, he’s been, may still be, on the Executive Committee of ALECSO, the Administrative Board of the “Palestinian Encyclopedia” and the Higher Council for Palestinian Education, Culture and Science, and Secretary-General of the International Association for the Palestinian Cultural Heritage. This book is a detailed study of the conflict from all angles, from the biblical history of the region through Jewish immigration and British mandate, the Arab-Israeli wars and the various stages of the US-mediated peace process. It also addresses in detail topics that will form the basis of future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, including the status of Jerusalem, the Jewish settlements, water resources and a possible confederation with Jordan. The nearly 50 pages of appendices and notes at the book’s end are rich in material I think it’s worth reexamining, from his point of view. I remember not agreeing with every single statement, but finding it an unusually solid set of information.

In the foreword, Federico Mayor, then Director-General of Unesco, notes that Massalha dedicates his work to the yearning of both Palestinians and Israelis for the promise of peace. The two qualities Mayor says stand out are: 1) a lucid and well-documented profound insight into a dauntingly complex conflict fraught with symbolism and motion that mark it out from other conflicts around the world; 2) manifest honesty and moderation in addressing the most controversial aspects of the conflict, especially in the legal sphere, devoid of the shibboleths and invective, the bias and rewriting of history that have bedeviled approaches to the subject. Though the author is not 100% non-partisan, which is impossible in this subject, Mayor notes, this book is a serious and rigorous treatise for not just specialists for for those hoping to understand. Most important, as Mayor writes, endeavors such as this are a necessary prelude to any productive dialogue. The book’s ISBN is 0 86356 065 2.

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By Robert, June 17, 2009 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

June 17, 2009

All in a Day’s Work for the IDF

Beating and Torturing Children

By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

“The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel’s security forces, according to a new report that says beatings and torture are common. In addition, hundreds of Palestinian minors are prosecuted by Israel each year without a proper trial and are denied family visits.

The findings by Defence for Children International (DCI) come in the wake of revelations from Israeli soldiers and senior commanders that it is “normal procedure” in the West Bank to terrorise Palestinian civilians, including children.

Col Itai Virob, commander of the Kfir Brigade, disclosed last month that to accomplish a mission, “aggressiveness towards every one of the residents in the village is common”. Questioning included slaps, beatings and kickings, he said.

As a result, Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the armed services, was forced to appear before the Israeli parliament to disavow the behaviour of his soldiers. Beatings were “absolutely prohibited”, he told legislators.

Col Virob made his remarks during court testimony in defence of two soldiers, including his deputy commander, who are accused of beating Palestinians in the village of Qaddum, close to Nablus. One told the court that “soldiers are educated towards aggression in the IDF [army]”.

Col Virob appeared to confirm his observation, saying it was policy to “disturb the balance” of village life during missions and that the vast majority of assaults were “against uninvolved people”.

Last week, further disclosures of ill-treatment of Palestinians, some as young as 14, were aired on Israeli TV, using material collected by dissident soldiers as part of the Breaking the Silence project, which highlights army brutality.

Two soldiers serving in the Harub battalion said they had witnessed beatings at a school in the West Bank village of Hares, south-west of Nablus, in an operation in March to stop stone-throwing. Many of those held were not involved, the soldiers said.

During a 12-hour operation that began at 3am, 150 detainees were blindfolded and handcuffed from behind, with the nylon restraints so tight their hands turned blue. The worst beatings, the soldiers said, occurred in the school toilets.

According to one soldier’s testimony, a boy of about 15 was given “a slap that brought him to the ground”. He added that many of his comrades “just knee [Palestinians] because it’s boring, because you stand there 10 hours, you’re not doing anything, so they beat people up”.

The picture from serving soldiers confirms the findings of DCI, which noted that many children were picked up in general sweeps after disturbances or during late-night raids of their homes.

Its report includes a selection of testimonies from children it represented in 2008 in which they describe Israeli soldiers beating them or being tortured by interrogators.

One 10-year-old boy, identified as Ezzat H, described an army search of his family home for a gun. He said a soldier slapped and punched him repeatedly during two hours of questioning, before another soldier pointed a rifle at him: “The rifle barrel was a few centimetres away from my face. I was so terrified that I started to shiver. He made fun of me.””


http://www.counterpunch.org/cook06172009.html

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By Inherit The Wind, June 17, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Netanyahu is playing the Menachem Begin game: Be incredibly obnoxious, give as little as possible, show NO good faith, complain bitterly about ANYONE not accepting your position, and, when necessary, bring up the Holocaust.

Even in 1978 he pissed Jimmy Carter off at Camp David and only Carter’s INCREDIBLE patience (along with Sadat’s patience and desperation) saved the day.

I don’t think it’s going to work this time.  Carter has Obama’s ear as he was an early supporter. I think Mrs. Clinton has been much more careful and circumspect than I expected her to be.  And I REALLY think that Obama’s reaction to Netanyahu is about the same as Carter’s to Begin.  I think he personally detests that man.  Which I find VERY easy to understand—Bibi is just SO easy to detest!

I think Netanyahu is short-sighted and more concerned with cementing his internal right-wing Likud base than in the international implications and it’s made him myopic and dangerous.

Netanyahu’s ONLY positive characteristic is that he makes Arial Sharon look good….

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By ardee, June 17, 2009 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

Shingo:

If you want to delegitimize Hamas, stop feeding the beast and give the Palestinians freedom.  Further violence and militarisms playing into the hands of Hamas.

Exactly! I think it is up to the people of Palestine to give legitimacy or revoke it. The group in question, Hamas, has two wings, one of which is a conduit for much social service to the people, as is Hezbollah as well in fact. Your last sentence is most relevant.

Sepharad

Netanyahu, being a realist, must know that there can be no feasible Palestinian state without its own army and police, or how could they defend themselves against enemies inside or out? (The biggest at present is Hamas, along with other extremists—including the illegal Jewish settlers.) He also knows, being a realist, that until Palestinians have the leadership and desire to coexist peacably next to Israel rather than glorifying terrorist heroes who want the Jews to vanish, there is nothing that can be done without endangering the existence of Israel.

Netanyahu , being a bloody butcher, knows full well that his smarmy and meaningless conditions regarding the establishment of a Palestinian State are meant to placate, in a small way, our new President. They make impossible the establishment of that state.

I wonder how a nation possessing the finest armed forces and nuclear weaponry in the region can defend its position based upon the danger of its further existence? Further, every action of Israel against Palestine cements the extremist in place among those wretched and needy people. I believe that is done exactly for that purpose.

When I was a lad I took great pleasure in collecting money to plant trees in Israel. As a Jew I was transported with joy at the reclamation of our ancestral homeland after so many, many years. As an adult I am thoroughly and completely ashamed of the actions of the state of Israel from its inception onward to this date. I do understand that there are many within that state that deplore its govts. actions as much as all civilized people do elsewhere.

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By Shingo, June 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

How do you suggest that Egypt and Jordan help Fatah defeat Hamas in the West Bank?  That would be suicidal as it would only incite chaos in their own countries.

If you want to delegitimize Hamas, stop feeding the beast and give the Palestinians freedom.  Further violence and militarisms playing into the hands of Hamas. 

Hamas have stated that they want a 2 state solution and that they will not stand nit eh way of the Arab Peace initiative, which not only offers to recognize Israel, but normalize relations.

Hamas are clearly trying to take a more moderate line, but from their perspective they too need to be careful.  Arafat jumped in and trusted the Israelis and he ended up under house arrest and dead.

Fatah are not necessarily the way forward either, because Abbas and his minions have sacrificed their credibility by playing nice with Israel and yet being shunned by Netenyahu for all their effort.

Carter is apparently back from talks with Hamas, having escaped an assassination attempt on his life, which Hamas foiled.  Al Qaeda is being blamed, though one would have thought that Sunni militants would have shown more respect to Hamas.  One can’t help but wonder if Israel didn’t have a part to play.  It woudln’t be the first time they tried to take out a US diplomat.

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By Sepharad, June 16, 2009 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

nefesh and Inherit the Wind—you are both seemingly in agreement in your 6/15 9:35 and 10:15 posts except for whether Netanyahu has missed an opportunity or called it out as it is. Let me try to present something you both could agree with, or at least discuss: Netanyahu, being a realist, must know that there can be no feasible Palestinian state without its own army and police, or how could they defend themselves against enemies inside or out? (The biggest at present is Hamas, along with other extremists—including the illegal Jewish settlers.) He also knows, being a realist, that until Palestinians have the leadership and desire to coexist peacably next to Israel rather than glorifying terrorist heroes who want the Jews to vanish, there is nothing that can be done without endangering the existence of Israel. To escape this chicken-or-the-egg situation, perhaps negotiaters Mitchell and Erekat could suggest that Egypt and Jordan help Fatah defeat Hamas in the West Bank, if indeed they need help, and at that time Israel as well as Egypt and Jordan could help the Palestinians build and train the army and police they need, while Israeli soldiers take responsibility for removing most of the settlements.

There is much much more needed to be done, of course, but without agreement on the ability of the Palestinians to defend themselves as well as a real accept the existence of a neighboring Jewish state, no progress can be made. Both sides distrust each other so much, and both have their reasons, that they each absolutely must feel secure if they are to move to the next level.

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By Robert, June 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Carter Says Palestinians Treated ‘Like Animals’

By Joseph Krauss

June 16, 2009 “AFP” - “Former US president Jimmy Carter on Tuesday met Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in the Gaza Strip, where he called for a lifting of Israel’s blockade, saying Palestinians are being treated “like animals.”

Following the talks, Carter called for an end of “all violence” against both Israelis and Palestinians.

“This is holy land for us all and my hope is that we can have peace… all of us are children of Abraham,” he said at a joint news conference with Haniya, prime minister of the Hamas government in the Palestinian enclave.

Haniya in turn said Hamas supported the creation of a Palestinian state in the territories Israel has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day war.

While Hamas has made similar statements in the past, it has more often insisted that the future state should encompass not only the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but also all of Israel.

“If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it,” Haniya said.

He also praised US President Barack Obama’s June 4 speech in Cairo to the Muslim world.

“We saw a new tone, a new language and a new spirit in the official US rhetoric,” he said.

Such praise is rare coming from Hamas, a group pledged to the destruction of the Jewish state and which is listed as a terrorist group by the United States, Israel and the European Union.

The Islamist movement violently seized power in Gaza two years ago, ousting forces loyal to the secular and Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Carter was expected to pass on a letter from the parents of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier seized by Gaza militants including Hamas in a cross-border raid almost three years ago, and who remains in captivity.

Earlier Carter denounced the Israeli blockade and the destruction wrought by its 22-day military offensive against Gaza in December and January.

“My primary feeling today is one of grief and despair and an element of anger when I see the destruction perpetrated against innocent people,” Carter said as he toured the impoverished territory.

“Tragically, the international community too often ignores the cries for help and the citizens of Palestine are treated more like animals than like human beings,” he said.

“The starving of 1.5 million human beings of the necessities of life—never before in history has a large community like this been savaged by bombs and missiles and then denied the means to repair itself,” Carter said at a UN school graduation ceremony in Gaza City.

The United States and Europe “must try to do all that is necessary to convince Israel and Egypt to allow basic goods into Gaza,” he said.

“At same time, there must be no more rockets” from Gaza into Israel, said Carter, who brokered the historic 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

“I have to hold back tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been wracked against your people,” he said at a destroyed American school, saying it was “deliberately destroyed by bombs from F16s made in my country.”

Israel’s offensive killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and left large swathes of the coastal strip sandwiched between Israel and Egypt in ruins. Thirteen Israelis also died in the conflict.

“I feel partially responsible for this as must all Americans and Israelis,” Carter said.

Israel has insisted that the Gaza blockade, which bars all but essential humanitarian supplies from entering the enclave, is necessary to prevent Hamas from arming, but human rights groups have slammed it as collective punishment.”

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22842.htm

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By Shingo, June 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

ITW

You might speak for yourself, but I wished you spoke for most Israelis, because your ideas of what Israel should be represent a vision I and many others would support.

Inherit The Wind, June 16 at 5:33 pm #

Maybe I should speak for myself.

Of course Netanyahu is playing games. It’s a classic case of proposing somethign ridiculous, knowing that he will have to give away more ground when negotiations begin.  If talks do ensue, they will take place behind closed doors, but meanwhile this speech was like you said, fodder for the right wing.

Like I said, when it comes down to it, Netanyahu is proposing another version of Gaza for the West Bank.  another open air prison.  So like you said, when those imprisoned in those fenced off communities retaliate, it will be a self fulfilling prophecy.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Maybe I should speak for myself.

Netanyahu is playing an internal game of saying “See? I’m negotiating. I’m playing for peace. But I’m not giving up Israel’s right to expand and take over all of Judea. I’ll give the world what it wants, a Palestinian state, but I’m going to CRIPPLE it as its price of existence so if any terrorists act, we’ll have the excuse to crush them.”

This is not a quote but my interpretation of his actions.

But since President Obama’s speech, I haven’t seen the Palestinians miss an opportunity.  Maybe they will—I don’t know—but they haven’t yet.  Like a fool, Yahoo responded to Obama’s speech with more red meat for the Right.  I think finally we have a President who is “playing” the Israelis and not getting played.

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By Shingo, June 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Netanyahu,

Thanks for the broken link.  What else would one expect from a fan of a facist?

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By richard east, June 16, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

nefresh,

I couldn’t help but shake my head and sigh when I read your posts.

“...lawless, brutal, misogynistic, homophobic, Jew-hating, virtually ungovernable and newly-invented people called “Palestnians” (a whopper of a misnomer if you know your history)...”

Since you feel so at ease classifying and labeling an entire population of people, I’m curious, just how would you describe the newly-invented people called “Israelis?”

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By Shingo, June 15, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Nefesh,

Seeing as you’re a fan of Abba Eben, here is an interesting quote from him:

“There was a rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that affected populations would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities, satisfying Israel’s goals.”

Commenting on a speech by Menachem Begin, that resented a picture, Eben said,

“of an Israel wantonly inflicting every possible measure of death and anguish on civilian populations, in a mood reminiscent of regimes which neither Mr Begin nor I would dare to mention by name (i.e. the Nazis)”

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By Shingo, June 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

nefesh,

“all the bitching and moaning from the non-Jewish Palestinians is that they can’t handle their end of the bargain.”

Indeed Nefesh.  The Palestinians can’t handle the idea of living under apartheid rule.  Even the Clintons think Bibbis speach was a joke.

“Had they truly renounced terror (AKA that rather sick euphemism ‘resistance’)”

Translation: Because, by definition, Israel is always defending itself and Arabs are not allowed to resist.

“and embraced the egalitarian notion that there actually IS a Jewish people”

Whether there is such a thing as a Jewish people or not, it is of no consequence to anyone but Jewish people.
“who constitute a real nation and have established by self-determination a sovereign state”
Which Israel have denied the Palestinians for 60 years.
“there likely would be no pre-conditions of demilitarization, and other security measures for Israelis.”
Of course there would.  If it’s one thing Israel has never tolerated is her neighbors being able to resist Israel’s military attacks.

“When the Arabs of Hebron and Ramallah and Jenin stop establishing formal holidays in honor of mass-murdering homicide-bombers”

You mean like settlers who have turned Baruch Goldstein’s grave into a Shrine or the 60th anniversary exacerbation’s Israel had for the bombing of the King David Hotel, or the honoring of two former terrorist gang leaders by electing them to the office of Prime Minister?

Netanyahu is already history.  Whichever way he goes, his fragile fascist coalition is sure to break apart. His base has already condemned his speech.

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By Folktruther, June 15, 2009 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Fadel, I think that the solution to the Israeli problem is situated in Washington. If the US power sructure wanted a two state solution, Israel would be forced to grant one.  I don’t think the obstacle is the unspeakable regime that Israel has now, but Obama.  If Obama said, no more money, trade diplomatic support until a two state solution, it wouldn’t matter if a chimpanzee were premier of Israel, they would have to do it.

but apparently the American ruling class wants the Israelis as their mid-East pitbull, even if Israel is eventually destroyed historically.  that is why occasionally a right wing Israeli leader will say that Israel is on a bankrupt historical trajectory, but continues to pursue it, or simple withdraws from politics, like the head of the Israeli Knesset and goes to Paris.  Israel is apparently stuck by its need for the support of the US.

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By Shingo, June 15, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

nefesh,

ITW knows far more about his topic that you ever will.

What Netanyahu is proposing is another version of Gaza in the West Bank.  With all the conditions and caveats that Bibbi has made, a state would not be possible.

Even the Clinton’s are laughing at the proposal, albeit behind his back.

Abba Eban’s statement is one of the many Zionist myths out there, just like the lie that Arafat waklked away from a golden opportunity at Camp David, when even Shlomo Ben Ami, Israel’s foreign minister at the time, said he woudl have rejected the offer.

It turns out that Barak and Clinton both realized what a BS proposal that was, which is why they then held talks at Taba, where both Arafatand Barak said they woudl have reached a political settlement if only they had more time.  Time ran out because of the Israeli elections, which Sharon won.  Dov Weislglass told us that Sharon woudl then suspect the peace process in formaldehyde.

Netanyahu is indeed playing internal politics, but he si not doing well at all.  He thought he could pull the rug from under Obama the way he did Clinton in 1996, and hit a stone wall because unlike 1996, Congress is no longer republican controlled.  The Clintons woudl have told Obama what to expect from Bibbi and they were ready for him.

The irony is that some as now suggesting it was Netanyahu who missed the opportunity on this occasion.

So please, elinghten us. Name ONE opportunity that the Arabs have squandered. Just one and let’s see whether you have a clue about this subject at all.

You care clearly a racist and a biggot, is labelling all Arabs as lawless, brutal, misogynistic, homophobic, Jew-hating, virtually ungovernable.  And you are clarly ingornt of history is you believe that the Palestinians were newly-invented. 

“... anyone with roots in the land that is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza is technically a Palestinian ...”
(Source: The online encyclopedia; Jewish Virtual Library)

Any Jew in Israel today, who descends from a jewish citizen in British mandated Palestine, is technically a Palestinian.

Tel Aviv University scholar Shlomo Zand estimates that perhaps 10,000 ancient Judeans were vanquished during the Roman wars, and the remaining inhabitants of ancient Judea remained, converting to Islam and assimilating with their conquerors when Arabs subjugated the area. They became the progenitors of today’s Palestinian Arabs, many of whom now live as refugees who were exiled from their homeland during the 20th century.

Chew on that for a while.

Yes, ITW does know better.  You evidently know nothing at all.

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By nefesh, June 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, June 15 at 10:15 pm wrote:

You are funny.  Over the last couple of years, Fadel, Ed Harges, Robert, et al, have called me every kind of Zionist insult you can imagine.  Now you accuse me of the opposite….Imagine my amusement!

I didn’t accuse you of being anything. I was lamenting the fact that you, apart from others here who are genuinely unable to see merit in at least parts of both sides narratives, imply by omission that the Arabs are both blameless for this impasse, and that they are now a credible partner for real deal-making. I am shaking my head. I have watched recently how you call the “Contingent” on their cartoonish bigotry, and I smile at that. I wish you would express more of that kind of refreshing common sense here, a dark corner of the internet that desperately needs the light of reason. By the way, you say Zionist like it’s a bad thing.
====================================

Abba Eban once said about the Palestinians “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”  Now it seems the same can be said about the Right-wing in Israel, who now hold power.  Netanyahu may play internal politics well, but in the international arena, he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

And what, exactly, is that opportunity you say he is missing? Can you not name at least half a dozen major opportunities the Arabs are now squandering? How is it that a lawless, brutal, misogynistic, homophobic, Jew-hating, virtually ungovernable and newly-invented people called “Palestnians” (a whopper of a misnomer if you know your history) are the complete and perpetual victims? I truly believe you know better than that, ITW.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 15, 2009 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

Nefesh:

You are funny.  Over the last couple of years, Fadel, Ed Harges, Robert, et al, have called me every kind of Zionist insult you can imagine.  Now you accuse me of the opposite….Imagine my amusement!

Abba Eban once said about the Palestinians “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”  Now it seems the same can be said about the Right-wing in Israel, who now hold power.  Netanyahu may play internal politics well, but in the international arena, he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

And he’s done it again.

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By Robert, June 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

From Benjamin to El-Sousy

The Angel of History and the Ghetto of Gaza

By LEONARD SCHWARTZ

June 15, 2009

“Normally a city opens up to other cities, infinite in itself because infinitely open to the world; one moves with a certain freedom through space and imagination. What is it like instead to live and write from inside a ghetto, or an open air prison, or a city closed to other cities, one in which nearly every act of resistance is taken as a pretext by the warders to tighten that very straightjacket? A famous example of such writing comes to us from the great German-Jewish litterateur Walter Benjamin, in his essays written after Hitler’s rise to power. Fleeing the Nazis Benjamin committed suicide near the closed Spanish border, rather than risk being sent to a camp the next day. It was in his “Theses on the Philosophy of History”, however, that Benjamin wrote of “The Angel of History”. The figure of “The Angel of History” has been much discussed ever since.

Benjamin wrote:

  “his eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread… His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he (the angel of history) sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been crushed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”

In our century it is the Palestinians of Gaza who are experiencing mass incarceration of the kind the Venetian word “ghetto” once meant for the Jews of Europe. We can see this dilemma embodied in the prose poetry of Sumaiya el-Sousy, a poet living and writing in Gaza City, active internationally but rooted in her city. In her recent prose poem “The City” el-Sousy writes:

  What will this sad, silent, fallen city by the old sea oppressed by time give you? It will give you a lot if you listen to its nightly voice strewn amongst the rustling of the trees and the lapping of the waves. No one tries to listen to that angelic voice emanating from it. Everyone only hears his own voice and strives to search for himself among the city’s heaps…Often I think if only geography wasn’t so clever, if only it bestowed the city with a few more coastal kilometers and released it from its existing borders; how would your seashore look, oh Gaza? Which ships would reach you? What would be the State of your residents, teeming with feelings of exile, cries, and fear? Perhaps it is the constant thought of escaping the city’s boundaries weighing on me, or at least the idea that my city is without borders, drowning in isolation. A city where whoever enters is lost, and whoever leaves writes himself a new life story. Now there is no leaving and no entering. A city of imprisonment that consumes its own inhabitants and which everyone wants to escape…”

http://www.counterpunch.org/schwartz06152009.html

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By nefesh, June 15, 2009 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind -

I’ve re-read Netanyahu’s speech several times over and wouldn’t you know it, the realist and pragmatist in me says that all the bitching and moaning from the non-Jewish Palestinians is that they can’t handle their end of the bargain.

Had they truly renounced terror (AKA that rather sick euphemism ‘resistance’), and embraced the egalitarian notion that there actually IS a Jewish people who constitute a real nation and have established by self-determination a sovereign state, there likely would be no pre-conditions of demilitarization, and other security measures for Israelis. It’s the big elephant in the room everyone pretends just isn’t there.

When the Arabs of Hebron and Ramallah and Jenin stop establishing formal holidays in honor of mass-murdering homicide-bombers, and naming streets and soccer stadiums after them, I would think the Israeli voters would have more confidence in their non-Jewish Palestinian neighbors to use their new independence for constructive purposes rather than continuing their war against Israel.

But go ahead, keep ignoring the responsibilities of the Arabs in this mess. At least I can say Netanyahu calls it out when all you people here keep pretending that negotiation is a one-way street.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 15, 2009 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah, June 15 at 6:37 pm #

This is the latest gimmick-scheme coming from fascist Israel. The mention of the phrase “Palestinian State” along side all these imperialist conditions is no starter. And evil Netanyahu knew in advance that not even the most moderate and accommodating Palestinians would would think that this any thing new to be thrilled about!

I am not usually in the business of makin predictions about the real intentions and consequences of such false stingy talk coming from the filthy rectum of the Yahuu guy, however, as a student of the Zionist fascist politics and a surviving victim of it I can connect the dots and read behind the words and the hidden intentions.

This is the latest Zionist ploy to addressed to the stupid and ignorant public opinion of the world. Knowing in advance that this nonsense will not fly even with the most defeatist Palestinians and Arabs (like Mahmoud Abbas, evil plotting Yahuu, hopes to turn world opinion against Palestinians by saying, “Here we are offering them some crumbs, but they refuse to eat!” Here we are offering them “false peace” but they reject it.

However, the scheme will not end here. As a result of this latest affront to Palestinians aspirations, the evil Yahuu hopes that some Palestinian freedom-fighters groups would react by carrying out an armed operation either inside Israel or against some of the Jewish settlements in the relatively peaceful occupied West Bank. If such operation / operations take place, then this would be the awaited opportunity for the fascist occupiers towards a final solution to the Palestinian problem. They will carry on a state-sponsored large scale terrorist operation as a retaliatory reaction and they will not stop till they drive huge numbers of terrorized civilian Palestinians across the Jordan River into proper Jordan. Remember! Just two weeks ago the notorious fascist Israeli foreign minster, Liebermann, openly stated that the Palestinians’ homeland should be in Jordan.

Even if the Palestinians don’t react with a bloody military operation inside Israel or against a settlement in the West Bank, you can always count on the alternative plan put forward secretly in the form of a false flag operation, so that the final solution could still be justified and implemented.

The days and months ahead are indeed pregnant with horrible events that will dwarf the latest Israeli terrorist operation in Gaza and the one before that in Lebanon! And this would be Zionist Israel response to the fake Obama’s talk about peace between the Israelis and Palestinians! Wait and see!
**********************************************

While his inflammatory didactic language annoys me, other then the last two paragraphs (which I think are wrong) the ONLY part of Fadel’s analysis I disagree with is I think “Fascist Israel” is more properly described as “Fascist Israeli Government under Netanyahu”.

I read this thinking “what crap is Fadel putting out now?” but when I got past the rhetoric and vitriol, I realized it is NOT crap but analysis I agree with.

As for the last 2 paragraphs:

I think a “false flag” operation is now more the stuff of Ludlum novels and conspiracy theorists than reality. I think the world would be on to such a scam. And, I think the Palestinians NOW would enhance their position by NOT reacting violently and playing into the Likudniks hopes. That will force the Yahoo the either back off or do something INCREDIBLY stupid.

Since most TDrs have been wrong about Obama on most everything, I expect they will be wrong yet again about him.  I think Obama knows what a crass bastard Netanyahu is and neither likes nor trusts him.  I do NOT think it is in America’s OR Israel’s best interest to let Yahoo fulfill his plans.

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By Sepharad, June 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad Bibi finally got “a Palestinian state” out of his mouth, but it has to have an airport, its own army and its own police. How else can Palestinians protect themselves from enemies inside and out? And, in the case of the airport, develop economically?

Neanyahu’s government is also considering trading some of the heavily Israeli Arab-populated triangle in northeastern Galilee land for natural grown of the largest existing settlements—which would be a good deal for the Palestinians as that part of the Galilee is green, wet, fertile and productive whereas the large settlements are on more arid soil.
But the last time something like this was suggested the Israeli Arabs living in the towns that would be tranferred objected strongly, and now the East Jerusalem Arabs say that although they want East Jerusalem they don’t want to give up Israeli citizenship and its benefits. (Read this in the Arutz7 radio’s daily Israeli newsletter on line.) So it would be hard to not assume that he’s offering something he knows that the Israeli Arabs will not accept.

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By Virginia777, June 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

who CARES what this liar says??

he will never keep to what he says anyway, we have learned that the hard way.

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By Fadel Abdallah, June 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

This is the latest gimmick-scheme coming from fascist Israel. The mention of the phrase “Palestinian State” along side all these imperialist conditions is no starter. And evil Netanyahu knew in advance that not even the most moderate and accommodating Palestinians would would think that this any thing new to be thrilled about!

I am not usually in the business of makin predictions about the real intentions and consequences of such false stingy talk coming from the filthy rectum of the Yahuu guy, however, as a student of the Zionist fascist politics and a surviving victim of it I can connect the dots and read behind the words and the hidden intentions.

This is the latest Zionist ploy to addressed to the stupid and ignorant public opinion of the world. Knowing in advance that this nonsense will not fly even with the most defeatist Palestinians and Arabs (like Mahmoud Abbas, evil plotting Yahuu, hopes to turn world opinion against Palestinians by saying, “Here we are offering them some crumbs, but they refuse to eat!” Here we are offering them “false peace” but they reject it.

However, the scheme will not end here. As a result of this latest affront to Palestinians aspirations, the evil Yahuu hopes that some Palestinian freedom-fighters groups would react by carrying out an armed operation either inside Israel or against some of the Jewish settlements in the relatively peaceful occupied West Bank. If such operation / operations take place, then this would be the awaited opportunity for the fascist occupiers towards a final solution to the Palestinian problem. They will carry on a state-sponsored large scale terrorist operation as a retaliatory reaction and they will not stop till they drive huge numbers of terrorized civilian Palestinians across the Jordan River into proper Jordan. Remember! Just two weeks ago the notorious fascist Israeli foreign minster, Liebermann, openly stated that the Palestinians’ homeland should be in Jordan.

Even if the Palestinians don’t react with a bloody military operation inside Israel or against a settlement in the West Bank, you can always count on the alternative plan put forward secretly in the form of a false flag operation, so that the final solution could still be justified and implemented.

The days and months ahead are indeed pregnant with horrible events that will dwarf the latest Israeli terrorist operation in Gaza and the one before that in Lebanon! And this would be Zionist Israel response to the fake Obama’s talk about peace between the Israelis and Palestinians! Wait and see!

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By richard east, June 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

So now Netanyahu mentions an “independent Palestinian state.” Hmmm, I wonder what the catch is?

Oh yeah, this new “state” wouldn’t be allowed by Israel to have an army, control its airspace and borders, would be forced to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, give up any claim of Jerusalem as its capital/religious center, shrink from the continued illegal settlement expansion, suffer further civilian casualties from future war crimes, face possible extermination, etc, etc, etc. 

Last night, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said something to the tune: “...it’s really up to President Obama tonight. He has the choice.”

Gee, I wonder who he’ll choose.

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By Alfred, June 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is how it goes when only one side is interested in peace.
Israel makes an offer, the Palestinians reject it. Talks begin, talks end. Terrorist acts against Israel never stop.

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By ardee, June 15, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Netqanyahu throws a bone to Obama. On closer inspection the conditions and terms guarrantee that no state will come from this sort of cooperation.

Maybe Obama will get the hint and understand that it is going to take more than eloquent words to force Isarel to do the right thing.

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By Spiritgirl, June 15, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

While it is a good thing that Mr. Netanyahu is finally able to even say the words “Palestinian State”, his proposition is to continue to keep the Palestinian people on their knees in servitude to the wishes of Israel!  Maybe now is the time for the US to start cutting back on the amount of Foreign Aid that Israel receives from America!

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