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View Diary: Right Wing Israeli Government Moves to End Jewish State (59 comments)

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  •  Netanyahu does not have or need a workable plan (7+ / 0-)

    I posted a comment awhile ago and it seems like the internet ate it, so if it comes through later and I double post, sorry about that.

    Netanyahu is a Machiavellian thinker.  The ends justifies the means.  His ends is a Greater Israel incorporating all the land of Palestine, with Palestinians marginalized and dependent.  If he can't get that, he is happy to continue the status quo for the next five decades, and blame the Palestinians for blocking peace.

    It is a civil rights issue, today as much as it was in 1968.  And the only way Netanyahu will see it as one is if the US forces him to.

    Cutting off Palestine from Jordan is far more serious that cutting Palestine north and south.  By preventing Palestine from having external borders, Israel is stating that Palestine will never be sovereign.  Which is no surprise because Netanyahu has been saying that for decades.

    Palestine has already been severed north and south.  Here is a map with areas under limited Palestinian control in red.

    And here are my thoughts on the treatment of Israeli Palestinians if you care to read them.

    •  So what's your problem? (6+ / 0-)

      Those red areas (at least the bigger ones) would make nice little Palestinian Bantustans.  

      Jimmy Carter was excoriated for comparing current Israeli policy with apartheid, but it seems to me the comparison is a very valid one.  Both had as their goal confining an indigenous popuation on small parcels that were completely non-viable as genuinely independent entities, but then using the supposed "sovereignty" of these parcels as an excuse to providing political rights to the indigenous population.

      The sad thing is that they pretty much used our policy toward Native Americans, as it existed for many years, as a model.  And I think the problem many Americans have with criticizing Israel for this policy is that one really cannot do so without acknowledging our national guilt in doing much the same thing -- which is something that many Americans are still unwilling to do.

      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

      by leevank on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:57:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timothy J, corvo, Claudius Bombarnac

        First part of your comment I am totally on-board with.

        From an earlier comment I made:

        Ironically, the best president on this issue was GHW Bush.  As the Soviet Union disintegrated, it became politically impossible for the US to enable apartheid states like Israel and South Africa.  Any perceived cold war advantage in maintaining these client states disappeared, and Bush made the decision to give the ultimatum to these countries: either transform or lose US patronage.
        The second half makes me uncomfortable because I have seen this logic used before to quash criticism of Israel.  

        A broader point I made is that all colonial nations from Australia to the US to South Africa had to go through this process of maturation, wherein the elite colonial class had to come to terms with and recognize indigenous rights and provide equal protection under the law.

        This natural process has been halted in Israel due to unconditional US support.

        The history of first nations people in the US does not disqualify Americans from criticizing ongoing Israeli occupation and apartheidism.  

        Ongoing racism and disenfranchisement is not comparable to current legal denial of any protections of civil law.  Your statement:

        our national guilt in doing much the same thing
        makes me uncomfortable because it suggests there is an ongoing policy in the US that places Native Americans in the same status as Palestinians.  

        There is no comparison.  If Palestinians were given citizen status by Israel there would still be racism and inequity, but ending refugee status would be transformative.  

        •  You misunderstand my point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timothy J, letsgetreal

          We DID do the same thing, but since we legally gave our indigenous population full citizenship rights in 1924 (although it took decades longer than that to fully implement those rights in some states), we are no longer doing the same thing.  I'm not suggesting that this is a basis for not criticizing states that do the same thing we did -- whether it's Israel now or South Africa during the apartheid era -- but rather that I think this explains why some Americans are so reluctant to do so.

          Many of us (myself included) have ancestors who were the moral equivalent of the Israeli settlers on the West Bank.  I've got no problem with saying that my ancestors were wrong, or that the settlers are wrong.  I'm only responsible for the morality of my own conduct, not that of my ancestors.  Referring to our own national guilt for similar conduct in no way excuses others for doing much the same thing, it simply recognizes reality.

          Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

          by leevank on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:27:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  However your ancestors who settled (1+ / 0-)
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            in the US were not returning to their original homeland. While I understand it was a long time ago, the Jews who are retuning to Zion (as in zionism) are returning to their ancestral homeland.  The Jews were ethnically cleansed from Palestine by the Romans. I'm just trying to give some historical perspective.

            •  quick question (6+ / 0-)

              Do you recognize Palestine as the ancestral homeland of the Palestinians too and defend their right to live peaceable in their homeland and enjoy the protections of civil law?

              It is a very eloquent argument that seems to put Palestinians at least on equal terms with Israelis, if not better terms as their ethnic cleansing is still on-going.

              •  The area we call the west bank (0+ / 0-)

                was part of Jordan before 1967. I would like to see Israel and Jordan work out the border and how the area should be governed.  Which will involve compromise on both sides.  

                •  and before 1947 (5+ / 0-)

                  It was a British Mandate, and before 1918, it was an Ottoman dependency.  And neither the Jordanians or the British or the Turks make any active claims to Palestine, and in fact, all of those nations support Palestinian statehood.

                  The current king of Jordan, Abdullah, recognizes his border as the Jordan river.  Hence Trans-Jordan (1947-1967) became Jordan.

                  And for 45 years it has been governed as a military occupation with no recognition of rights for the indigenous people, and no attempt at annexation, as the spoils of war.

                  I don't see the relevance of your weird Jordan reference.

                  My question was simple.  Do you recognize the rights of Palestinians to live in Palestine?  Or do you deny the very existence of the Palestinian people, as is in vogue on certain Israeli extremist propaganda sites?

                  I have two degrees in ancient languages with a specialization in ancient eastern mediterranean Judaism and early Christianity.  You do realize that there were never only Jewish people living in the levant?  Jews always shared the land with Palestinians.  

                  I can't get over the fact that you just justified Israeli colonialism and ethnic cleansing based on 2,000 year old land claims, but couldn't recognize the land claims of millions of indigenous people still living on the land, and currently being ethnically cleansed.  My head is still spinning from the stupid.

                  Here's a newsflash: five million Palestinians are not going to conveniently disappear for the sake of your irrational need for a Jewish-only homeland.

                  •  When you say five million (0+ / 0-)

                    Palestinians, there are between 2.5 and 3 million Palestinians in the west bank. I have advocated, and it may now come to pass, that Gaza will again become part of Egypt like it was pre-1967. Hopefully demilitarized.

                    Why can't the Palestinians of the West Bank be given Jordanian citizenship as part of an overall settlement? I don't deny the existance of the Palestinian people, but I don't see the need for a separate Palestinian country, when the neighboring countries--Egypt and Jordan-- share the same religion (Sunni Islam) and language (Arabic) as the Palestinians. Isn't it easier to re-draw the border with Jordan?

                    •  I lived in Britain and Ireland for several years (3+ / 0-)

                      Me being an American of British, Scottish and Irish ancestry.  You would be surprised by how people who generally look alike, and talk alike, and dress alike, and watch the same TV shows and worship the same god get real picky when it comes to issues of their citizenship and nationality.  

                      Seriously, I was one of the people who called your suggestion that Gaza be annexed to Egypt ridiculous.  Not to be disrespectful, I want to explain what I mean.  These solutions apparently make sense to you.  They don't make sense to any of the people actually involved.

                      Gaza does not want to be part of Egypt.  Egypt does not want to annex Gaza.  Israel does not want Egypt to annex Gaza.  In your own way you did offer a solution that everyone can agree on: it's a bad idea.

                      Same goes for the West Bank.  Jordan doesn't want it.  West Bank Palestinians don't want it.  Israel doesn't want it.  

                      Easy solution in your mind, but something none of the people involved actually want.

                      Five million Palestinians is just a rounded number.  I am including WB and Gaza, and even some Israeli Palestinians who would relocate to a free Palestine, and Diaspora Palestinians who would also want to relocate to their ancestral land as much as any Jew might long for Israel.  Also taking into account general under-counting of occupied people living in refugee camps and very rapid population growth.

                      •  Maybe you're right, (0+ / 0-)

                        that none of the parties want it. I'm not so sure. Independant polling agencies could do survey in Gaza and WB whether the people prefer independant state or joining with Egypt (for Gaza) and Jordan (for WB).

                •  Jordan ceded their claims (1+ / 0-)
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                  to west bank lands to the PLO in the '80's.

            •  Where does this argument stop? (6+ / 0-)

              Do the Roma get to claim a part of India simply because their ancestors came from there?  Do the descendants of the Bushmen get to push not only whites but Bantus out of South Africa because it was originally all theirs?  

              And if you get right down to it, and believe the Hebrew Bible, the original homeland of the Hebrew people wasn't what is presently Israel/Palestine at all, but rather the general area of what is now Iraq.

              This "God gave it to us and it was originally our homeland" argument is simply a formula for continual war and injustice.  We have to recognize what exists NOW, or at least what has existed within the lifetimes of people now living, not what existed hundreds or thousands of years ago, as the basis for a just solution for any international problem.

              Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

              by leevank on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:22:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm just trying to point out that (1+ / 0-)
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                the "who are the indiginous people" argument is complex when we talk about Israel. As it is in many other places throughout the world.

                •  It's complex everywhere! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sandbox, wu ming, Claudius Bombarnac

                  Who were the indigenous people of the American Southwest?  Well, the Navojos and Apaches (among others) were there when the first Europeans arrived, but they had arrived relatively recently, displacing others.  The Aztecs were also relatively recent arrivals in the area of what is now Mexico City, and the Dakota were relatively recent arrivals in much of the northern plains.

                  And it's not just in Israel/Palestine and North America that the question is a complicated one, either.  The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes didn't displace the native Celts in today's England until the time of the Roman Empire, so are the English really the indigenous people of England?

                  I'm just not impressed with the argument that "God gave it to my ancestors thousands of years ago," especially when other people and their ancestors have been living there for centuries.  The Israelis aren't going to disappear, and neither are the Palestinians, and either the settlements will be pulled back sufficiently to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state, or Israel will cease to be a Jewish state, or there will be horrendous ethnic cleansing of one group or the other.  I really see no other possibility, and anything (by either side) that tends to make the first alternative more difficult is seriously problematic.

                  Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

                  by leevank on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:53:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  He does indeed need a plan (0+ / 0-)

      if he wants a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.  

      A Jewish state the rules over a disenfranchised (or never has been enfranchised) non-Jewish majority won't be sustainable in the long run, politically or economically.  It seems like you might share Bibi's delusion to the contrary.  My contention here is that he is dooming the very vision he seeks to secure.  It will be a long and painful demise, but nonetheless...

      Unless Palestinians demand citizenship and enfranchisement in Israel, which would force the issue.  But, as I note in the diary, there are valid, or at least very understandable reasons that this is unlikely.

      Either way, what Bibi is doing is totally unrealistic.

      A quibble about whether is worse, severing Palestine from Jordan or bisecting it seems silly at this point.  The way to confront the center-right (which at this point is really just the right) in Israel is to press this question of the end game.  And this is exactly what we should pressure the administration to do, pessimistic dismissals aside.  The perspective of "nothing new" is self-ossifying.  There are new developments that must be confronted.  If one truly believes there's really nothing new to observe and analyze and nothing to be done, it seems a silly waste of time to bother commenting on a diary.

      •  I like the intention of your diary. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Lepanto
        A Jewish state the rules over a disenfranchised (or never has been enfranchised) non-Jewish majority won't be sustainable in the long run, politically or economically.
        45 years of maintaining the largest stateless population of refugees in the world is in some ways an impressive accomplishment for a nation the size of Israel.  I have no doubt that Netanyahu believes that he can maintain the statue quo.
        It seems like you might share Bibi's delusion to the contrary.
        I agree with you.  It is madness.  If the Israeli right respected the concept of Palestinian territory, they wouldn't be building settlements all over Palestine.  It seems naive to me that this latest example comes as a surprise to you.
        My contention here is that he is dooming the very vision he seeks to secure.
        His vision is greater Israel.  All other considerations are secondary.  Is there another way to make sense of these facts?
        Either way, what Bibi is doing is totally unrealistic.

        A quibble about whether is worse, severing Palestine from Jordan or bisecting it seems silly at this point.

        Amen, brother or sister.
        The way to confront the center-right (which at this point is really just the right) in Israel is to press this question of the end game.
        Here let's play a game.  I will pretend I am the Israeli right:  

        Palestinians are terrorists who want to wipe us off the face of the earth.  We will negotiate when they agree to our terms.  We will never allow Palestinians to have sovereignty in any part of territory we control.  They would be happier in Jordan anyway.  We can't defend our borders, we depend on Samarian aquifers, we will always control access to these lands, and it's airspace.  Palestinian sovereignty is incompatible with a Jewish state of Israel.  G-d gave us this land.  And anyone who questions these facts is probably a nazi.  Blah blah blah.

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
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          Winston Sm1th

          First off, I'm not surprised.  Not clear why you would think this.  What is significant here is how branzenly this dispenses with any thread of deniability, that he is pragmatic in any sense.  And given that he can no longer dissimulate about being pragmatic, I think it eminently possible that he simply thinks in purely short term, tactical modes motivated primarily by immediate fear.  It's possible that he is incapable of long term thinking.

          And I think this might be an opportunity, both in America and in Israel.  There has never before been this kind of support for a Palestinian state in the international community:

          Finally, no one will ever convince someone who uses the script you proposed.  But not all those who have voted for center-right parties would argue in this fashion.  There are plenty of people here who once voted Meretz but then voted for Barak and then for Sharon's Kadima when they thought that there was a pragmatic center that was going to proceed toward a final status agreement.  There are even some who still argued this about Bibi when he gave his 'speech' supposedly embracing 2 states 4 years ago.  I assume you knew it was crap as I did.  All one needed to do was look past one sentence and pay attention to the rest of the speech to know it wasn't anything new.  But regardless, it's these folks both in the US and in Israel we need to address.  We need to swing 15 mandates to the center-left parties and pressure them to act, not convert the hilltop youth and price tag maniacs.

          PM Salaam Fayyad has made heroic efforts in the West Bank, building institutions and developing the economy.  We can try to awaken a center and a left to these efforts and use Bibi's response to the UN as proof that he's leading Israel into an even darker place.  That's the challenge we face.

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