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In the Daily Beast. Peter Beinhart's incisive analysis, Jews and Americans Losing Ability to Shape Mideast,  serves as a wake up call for American Jews, and progressive Democrats, who support Israel, and our national security goals in the middle east.  And, also, to Benjamin Netanyahu, and his right-wing "Likud-Shas" coalition.  

Beinhart argues that the US, and Israel are losing our historic ability to control events in the middle east, "and that if Israel and the U.S. don't work toward a Palestinian state near 1967 lines, others will seize the initiative in shaping the Middle East."

Beginning in the early 20th century, Zionists created facts on the ground. Sometimes the great powers applauded; sometimes they condemned, but acre by acre, Jews seized control of their fate. As David Ben-Gurion liked to say, “Our future does not depend on what gentiles say but on what Jews do.” The Arabs reacted with fury, occasional violence, and in Palestine, a national movement of their own. But they could rarely compete, either politically or militarily. We went from strength to strength; they never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

That world is gone. America and Israel are no longer driving history in the Middle East; for the first time in a long time, Arabs are. In Tahrir Square, Egypt’s young made a revolution.

President Obama bowed to reality and helped show Hosni Mubarak the door; Benjamin Netanyahu stood athwart history, impotently yelling stop.

....snip

Netanyahu and his American backers are demanding that Obama rewind the clock, but he can’t. The Palestinians no longer listen to functionaries like George Mitchell. They have lost faith in American promises, and they no longer fear American threats. Instead, they are putting aside their internal divisions and creating facts on the ground.

And, in other news, Fatah has re-unitied with Hamas, Hamas has pronounced its desire to become a responsible member of the world community, the Palestinians have announced their intention to apply to join the United Nation, and be recognized by the General Assembly as a sovereign state.

"Anyone else thinking, "hey, wait, are they allowed to do that without our permission?"

Well, apparently, our permission is no longer even sought, for such endeavors.  But, don't panic, this could turn out to be a good thing for us, and the prospects for peace.

These are the issues Beinhart is trying to get us to think about more clearly.  

This is only a nightmare if you've bought into the backward, and dysfunctional Netanyahu nightmare mindset.  From the perspective of the US, and Beinhart's perception of Israel's best national security interests, this could be a giant step forward, to a successful implementation of a two state solution.  A last chance, perhaps.  

One expert tells, us that over 151 countries will endorse the Palestinians Declaration of Independence.   Given such an overwhelming expression of support for freedom, and democracy, in the very tradition President Obama helped launch with his Cairo speech, why would, and how could President Obama risk the enormous political cost and apparent hypocracy, damage to our perceived legitimacy, and standing in the international community, by having to veto such an overwhelming, and symbollic UN decision.  

What would we be saying?  Democracy is good for every other country, and peoples of the world, except for the Palestinians, for no other reason, than because our allies in Israel insist on it?

A gruesome position for an ally to put us in.  This would damage our US standing in the international community, and also our national security.  And, even worse for the state of Israel.  Read Haaretz, and the Jerusalem post, if you want to see what a fuss this is creating in Israel.

www.haaretz.com
www.jpost.com

But, it may not matter, anyway, as the General Assembly can apparently, invoke Article 377 to overiden, by calling an emergency session, with UN rules we sponsored to override a Soviet veto decades ago, would be embarassing, for all of us.  And, would also, percipitate an international crisis with our other world allies.  

Do you start to see the golden beams of sunlight shining through, the new ever larger "daylight gap" in our divergent national security interests, that Netanyahu, and AIPAK are sadly, opening ever wider, between two nations.  

This is only the tip of the iceberg, of what Peter Beinhart is calling our attention to, also giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and our allies in Israel a heads up on.

But, Peter Beinhardt knows Israeli politics well.  

While Netanyahu and the gerontocrats of the American Jewish establishment yearn for a return to the days of George W. Bush, Fayyad has developed a strategy for the post-American age. He knows that if Netanyahu continues to entrench the occupation and Palestinian leaders keep nonviolently demanding a state near the Green Line, it won’t ultimately matter what Obama does.

The more America sticks by Netanyahu, the less relevant America will become. Other powers will begin taking matters into their own hands, and their strategies for achieving a two-state solution will have none of the tenderness of Dennis Ross. Just last week, German and French companies pulled out of railway projects in the West Bank.

The Palestinians are taking control of their destiny because Israel has not. Zionism, which at its best is the purposeful, ethical effort to make Jews safe in the land of Israel, has become—in this government—a mindless land grab, that threatens Jewish safety and Jewish ethics alike. Once upon a time, when the Arabs were hapless and America was omnipotent, Israel could get away with that. Not anymore.

If Barack Obama cannot get Benjamin Netanyahu to endorse—and work toward—a Palestinian state near 1967 lines, events will pass them both by. Others will take the initiative; in the Middle East, the U.S. and Israel will increasingly find their destinies in other nation’s hands. For those of us raised to believe that Americanism and Zionism were can-do faiths, it is harder to imagine any crueler irony than that.


Peter Beinart builds on his track record of foreseeing change in the US-Israeli relationship before most others.  And, here is he alerting to us an emerging change in the traditional balance of power in the middle east.  

We are in a new regime now.

The momentum is shifting to the UN.  Experts are telling us the General Assembly will be very likely to vote to accept the Palestinian state as a member nation, and will have at least 151 countries endorsing their Declaration of Independence.  

So maybe President Obama's new strategy is to punt to the UN, until after the 2012 election?  

When Palestine is accepted into the UN as a sovereign nation, all of it's terroritorial issues with Israel, become subject to UN jurisdiction, giving the international community much greater power.  Let's let the UN do the dirty work, and the things President Obama would face criticism for, if he tried to do the same from the US stage.  

Letting the UN "run point" on these next most difficult stages, presents  so many  comparitive advantages to Presidents Obama's position, that is is hard for me not to imagine that this is his highly tuned, calculated strategy.  

Rosenberg writes in the TPM that Obama appears to plan to do nothing before 2012 that would depart from Netanyahu's blueprint.

Could President Obama be saying to Prime Minister Netanyahu, "Congratulations, you, and AIPAK, are getting exactly what you want out of the American political system.  Please keep those cards and campaign donations coming in."

"And, good luck at the UN.  Stay in touch."

And, no one will blame President Obama if he smiles, and thinks to himself, "and, remember this, next time you decide to humiliate, and manipulate, the President of the US, and your strongest ally."

It would appear, President Obama has decided to wait until his second term to resume great attention to the middle east.  But, this delay will probably not be to the advantage of Israel, the way Natanyahu, and the Likud-Shas coalition sees it.  By that time, Palestine may be a fully recognized soveriegn state, and their land and border claims will now have full standing in the UN Committees, and World Courts.

I recommend everyone with an interest in peace in the middle east, and who hopes for a peaceful, and stable two-state solution to the Israel - Palestine deadlock, read Peter Beinhardts excellent, and thought provoking essay.  It may be time for a new optimism for the prospects of a peaceful, establishment of a fully sovereign, free, and democratic Palestinian State.  That we can quicly transform into our model to new democratic Arab states, in Egypt, Tunesia, Jordan, Syria, etc.  

Peter Beinhardt officially launches a new outlook that will receive much debate, and interest.  And, more importantly, Beinhardt, provides American Jews, and progressive Democrats safe cover for remaining friends with Israel, while splitting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and his extreme right-wing, Likud-Shas, "Greater Israel" coalition.    

PS I appreciate any spelling, grammatical, rhetorical,logical, and data improvements,  or other suggestions, as I am hoping to edit it down, by half, and try to republish it somewhere.  Thanks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bebe and the Likud Party are, at this time, one of (10+ / 0-)

    the biggest detriments to the entire citizenry of Israel.  The people of Israel want peace and prosperity, not continual fear and violence.  It’s long overdue that we end our support of this diplomacy game where everyone loses in the end in that region of the world.

    Hey Boehner and the Republicans: WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS YOU PROMISED????

    by LamontCranston on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:45:47 AM PDT

  •  I just found another interesting article (8+ / 0-)

    urging Israel to recognize the Palestinian State first.

    http://www.politico.com/...
    Why Israel Should Be The First To Recognize the Palestinian State
    By DAVID AVITAL | 5/18/11 6:40 AM EDT

    President Barack Obama’s speech Thursday about the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s impending visit and Special Envoy George Mitchell’s recent resignation, makes this a unique moment for Washington to set a new Mideast policy direction focused on one goal: a borders agreement.
    Rather than view the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September as a threat to derail Middle East peace, Obama could use the opportunity to move both sides forward and promote a return to negotiations on the border before the U.N. vote.

    Even as more than 140 nations at the U.N. stand ready to recognize a Palestinian state, Palestinian leaders still indicate the Palestine Liberation Organization’s preference of talking with Israel. But after a prolonged stalemate, each side is reluctant to break away from its deeply entrenched, public position.

    While the momentum toward recognition is strong, Washington can capitalize on the historic opportunity offered by the Israelis and Palestinians current vulnerabilities by developing a plan for Israel to applaud Palestine’s recognition rather than be threatened by it.
    The road to peace begins with clearly defined borders.
    For the Jewish state, this agreement could stem the increasing isolation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. It would enable systematic negotiations to begin with settlers living in areas due to become part of Palestine, while construction in areas expected to remain part of Israel could continue. This also allows the Israelis to sustain the status quo on key issues like security.
    The approach could also establish a context for greater Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation, consistent with Netanyahu’s vision of an “economic peace first.”
    However, the alternative – a U.N. vote in favor of a Palestinian state which the U.S. and Israel oppose – could unleash what Defense Minister Ehud Barak described as a “diplomatic tsunami,” engulfing Israel in de-legitimizing campaigns and international legal battles against Israel’s “occupation” of a newly sovereign nation.
    “Palestine’s admission to the United Nations,” PA President .

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:55:16 AM PDT

  •  Our permission was never sought by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn

    the general assembly on anything I/P related.

    Well, apparently, our permission is no longer even sought

    That's the status quo.  The GA regularly passes pro-Palestine resolutions and has never sought to consult the US.
    When Palestine is accepted into the UN as a sovereign nation, all of it's terroritorial issues with Israel, become subject to UN jurisdiction, giving the international community much greater power.  

    I doubt it.  The only thing that could flow from UN recognition is that the ICC decides to take a cue and recognize Palestine, which would then sign the Rome Statute and proceed to initiate lawfare.
    •  But do you not think this would be a significant (0+ / 0-)

      development Johnny?  Nothing else has worked, and lawfare is less violent than warfare.

      Is that not our ultimate goal in a civilization that believes in the rule-of-law, rather than the law-of-the-jungle?

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:01:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frankly (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, cotterperson, HoundDog, IM

    I have thought for some time that the US should step away from the I/P conflict, peace talks and the finding of some resolution. We cannot be an honest broker in talks while at the same time acting like Israel's lawyer.

    However should the UN recognize Palestine I'm not seeing much changing. It will just be another UN resolution that Israel will ignore.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:54:45 AM PDT

    •  The US has actually encouraged.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, cotterperson, HoundDog

      ....the most hawkish elements of Israeli politics, because the US has found Israel useful as their cop in the Middle East. I think that if we let Israelis and Palestinians find a way to work things out, the Middle East would be much better off.

      •  Agreed. No peace deal will stick if one side, or (0+ / 0-)

        both in this case, think a third party stuck it down their throat(s).  They will only value what they have done.  

        So they have to do it, and at this point, IMO talks seem to me to be far away, because no matter what anyone else says, the successive Israel governments are proceeding on the premise that they need not in fact talk, but rather have this shifting list of desiderata which are always non negotiable, and many of their US supporters likewise.

        Their 'put everything on the table' is so R in that it has a list of 'but not this or this or this' prefacing it so that less and less is available even to be discussed, and they keep adding to the list. And a lot of their pronouncements are them debating with themselves about what the desiderata should be.  Is giving half of Jerusalem to the Ps  a no no ever, or isn't it. What about demilitarizing the Ps but not the Is.  Right of Return when Aliyah continues.  And silience about the real problems like the hostile settlements, water, techology and the like.

        Where they promise to enter into talks and then shut them down cold the day they are supposed to start, they don't have a lot of ground to contend that talks are the preferred method of going forward because they are not going forward at any such talks, having snarled up the ground rules so nothing gets done, and we end up listening to the Taha deal they didn't finish or the Olmert deal they didn't finish or . . . . ..  

        It is therefore not surprising that the other side doesn't see talks getting anywhere and comes up with an alternative to continue toward its goal of autonomous independence.

        •  I have to re-read you comment Christy1947. (0+ / 0-)

          I just woke up after crashing all day.   Sorry, I didn't respond earlier.

          I think I agree with a lot of what you are saying here, in sentiment.

          My question, which I would like to hear your views on, are would it, or might it, be helpful to encourage the parties to agree on the border issues, in the UN, leaving everything else to their mutual negotiation.

          Even, perhaps, the resolution of Jerusalum, as the one terroritorial issues, they can't immediately resolve.

          But, then have Quartet troops replace, the IDF, in those areas agreed upon by mutual treaty, or enforced by UN declarations, (essentially the mutually agreed upon modification of the 67 borders.)

          Then, the PA , and Quartet are legally responsible for the governance, and internal security problems.

          Ideally, they give stranded settlers, the right to apply for Palestinian citizenship, or residency visas.

          But, this alone could be a breakthroug, would it not?

          The new strategy here, would be to take big impossible problems, and break them up into more tangible, possibly resolvable smaller problems.

          If it then takes the parties another couple decades to resolve the other issues, that might be okay, compared to the alternative, of Israel having to chose between democracy, and being a Jewish State, as the demographic trends continue.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:39:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Coughing up maps is one of those things. like (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IM

            sorting out water in an area which is now in drought in what used to be the damper spots, that is on the 'never gets done' list which I mentioned. One of the demands that showed up in the Palestinian Papers Wiki pile of paper that the Guardian reproduced was repeated demands for the Israeli version of the map which never got answers or maps other than one which did not work because it surrounded P terrotories with areas isolating them with I roads leading to I settlements and among said settlements, the Olmert map.  

            IMO, part of the problem here is that under the current Israeli administration it is not clear that an intention exists to do a negotiation which ends up within a reasonable time in a deal.  

            Olmert got as far as saying "Sign it"  on his version of a deal, but not this administration which refused to adopt and move on the Olmert proposal. Some of the other older conversations led to proposals which some Israeli influentials have brought forward as a 'new' place to start. But none of them got done. Ever

             There is a considerable amount of commentary in the letters to the articles in this week's  Israeli papers which suggests that our notion of a clean two state solution is absolutely a matter of contention in Israel, where it is not universally accepted , and might not survive a referendum, or even to September.  so that there are still some on both sides who are not even on board for a two state solution, much less anything else. Unlike some others here, I do not weight one as more evil and untrustworthy than the other.

            A lot of things if done could be breakthroughs but only if they get jump started the process of doing the entire deal and everyone keeps moving. The most theoretically correct solution is to make them both start again and keep going until they are done, with no preconditions on either side, but that has already been rejected, and the precondictions turn out to be the most, not the least, contentious issues.

            But some of them IMO have to be resolved together if the interim status you mentioned is to go forward as an autonomous independent state.

            They could theoretically  agree borders but that doesn't help if the hostile settlers are still there and the IDF is also there to protect them, and the little new state is 'demilitarized,' because while that protects Israel from Palestinians, it does not protect Palestinians  from Israelis, and a couple of years of reading accounts of IDF doings and other bureaucratic Israeli entites' doings says that only protecting  Israel from Palestinians will not work as the Rule of Law is not available from IDF or whatever passes for law enforcement in WB.  It is also not clear that the current Israeli administration has any real intention of doing a deal including both WB and Gaza, as to whom there keep being murmurs of the need for another IDF intervention, the last one being Cast Lead.

            Nor will borders  alone work unless they figure out how to divide water, now disproportionately going to one of the partisans. Nor will borders work if the other country controls the telecommunications, air space and such like, also in the mix of 'borders' as a single issue.  Or insists on control of the border with Jordan and the part of the Jordan Valley as is presently the case. And having the Quartet replace IDF may be tricky given the number of people who came to Israel to get out of one or another of the Quartet states, have their own opinions of those states, and don't want to go back there. NOne of the Quartet has a good reputation as a successful  neutral temporary intervening force either, viz Iraq  and Afghanistan as to the US.  

            A peculiarity of the September proposal is that it would take a Gordian knot sword to the border problem by saying the borders ARE the 1967 borders.  But there are some who were writing comments to articles in Ha'aretz and JP just today who are listening to Danny Danon  (Sp?) whose idea is that Israel should simply annex everything it wants, and make someone else try to make them give any of it back, before September, so it would be a 'done deal' by then. And another batch urging the settlers to declare independence from the Palestinians and go to the UN themselves, even giving that new proposed state a name.

             The same papers had accounts of the PM winking to the left that it supported their ideas while simultaneously signaling to the right that it supported theirs and they should ignore the winking going the other way. Not a good sign for the willingness to negotiatate any of the winked on issues with the Palestinians if he hasn't got agreement about any of them among his own and is indicating by the winks in both directions that he is not working toward agreement at home.

            This is why I think the peace treaty talks will not go forward unless and until the current or a subsequent Israeli government is genuinely willing to do so. Or leaned on until they get on with it. Which the current one IMO absolutely is not.

      •  I'm reccing both jffox, and metal prophets for (0+ / 0-)

        giving us deeper insight into this complex issue.

        My only difference is that I am more optmistic about possible progress facilitated by having the issues "brokered" by the UN.

        Once Palestine is a state, then the UN will have complete jurdisdiction over the matter, and it can be settled within a framework of the rule-of-law, rather than American enforced "law-of-the-junlge" aka "might-makes-right."

        But, I'll be the first to acknowledge neither or world, nor the US, has really lived up to the ideal of 'rule-of-law" so the resolution here will have to be some sad-realpolitik compromise between the two.

        But, it may be a small step in the right direction.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:30:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for bringing this to light here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, HoundDog

    This shows a way forward that makes a lot of sense.

    And I would expect no less from no-drama Obama.

    No one is outside the circle of the heart

    by kafkananda on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:15:09 AM PDT

    •  thanks for commenting kafkananda. Sorry I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kafkananda

      dissappeared.  This article took so much longer to write, that I stayed up all night, and just woke up.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:40:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know how time consuming putting an article (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        together can be.... and that's for something silly. An important piece might take me a day or two.  :-)

        I think the scenario that you and Peter pointed out is a very hopeful one and I think you caught Obama's method well.

        I wonder if Bibi understands who he is dealing with.  Here's a little video from the primaries that I have posted a few times.  

        No one is outside the circle of the heart

        by kafkananda on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:16:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have a lot of respect for President Obama's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kafkananda

          intelligence and capabililty.

          And, from the OBL actions, we can see he is able to listen to, and work well with our intelligence, and military functions.

          I sort of wish I had left the last comments about Obama's possible thoughts out of  the article, as I think it distracted from what I had hoped would be a deeper conversation on Beinhart's continued movement accross an interesting spectrum of political positions, over the last years.

          Thanks for your supportive comments. kafananda.

          I do not believe we've heard the last from our President.

          I hope we can re-elect for his second term, because I think he would/will come back to these issues with a lot more zest, because he has real beliefs here, that I think are being "back-burnered" to political considerations.

           

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:26:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  i recced this diary... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, JNEREBEL, volleyboy1, HoundDog, livosh1

    because israel's intransigence is a fact.

    though i am certain that the US will not veto any sort of resolution regarding palestinian sovereignty, my quibble is in  placing the blame solely at israel's feet. its not as if the message being sent is the palestinians (or their leadership anyhow) are committed to peace. anyone with interest in the mid-east knows that this is not a one-sided affair. just today, hamas:

    Hamas spokesman Mahmoud al-Zahar insisted his organization would not negotiate with Israel despite a statement to the contrary made by Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, the Palestinian paper Al-Quds reported Wednesday.

    Mashaal's statement "does not represent the movement's official stance, which is based on a plan of resistance and not negotiations", al-Zahar said

    this bluster is more failed leadership rather than statements or actions that will help bring about peace, much like what netanyhu often does.

    "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

    by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:31:25 AM PDT

    •  You make a good point canadian gal. But, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      canadian gal, Brecht, IM

      my impression from those who've read the "Palestinian Papers" is that the PA was willing to give on almost everything, in this last round.

      But, there is no doubt that the Palestinians are not only going to have to give on some of their points, but some of them will have to be designated as criminals and arrested.

      A responsibility the PA will have, and can be held accountable for, only if they are a sovereign state, and the legal authority of the area.

      They will also need to be held accountable for the safety of the minority citizens, and will need to arrest anyone who perpetrated violence on their fellow minority citizens,

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:07:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the last round? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        i'm not sure i'd agree but in any case, i think the last point of contention is the right of return, one which in my opinion, has some room to work if both parties are creative.

        "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

        by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:43:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do you thnk about the possibility (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          canadian gal, Brecht

          that in the UN Israel, and Palestine could settle their terroritorial issues, leaving the right of return and other issues, to mutual negotiation for as long as it takes.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:52:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i think... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht, HoundDog

            that would be more than great!

            "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

            by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:31:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  this is the evaluation I've been coming too, as (0+ / 0-)

              well.  Although, it's challenging to understand the subtleties from a distance.

              It seems such a shame that this conflict has festered for so long, and is now negatively affecting the US reputation in the international community, and the Arab world.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:28:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  BTW Sorry to all I haven't been here. I staid up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Celtic Merlin, canadian gal

      all night writing this and reading about other things so i just woke up at 800 pm.

      I'll try to respond to all comments.

      Thanks to everyone who commented.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:14:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes Israel is poised (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, HoundDog

    to take the U.S. down with it if we vote against U.N. recognition of Palestinian sovereignty.  

    There is a new world order in the Middle East and we can either choose to embrace it or be cast aside as irrelevant.  

    Control of the Middle East is no longer possible in the same way it was when we unquestioningly supported brutal and oppressive regimes in exchange for access to oil.  The sooner we realize this, the better off we will be.

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free" -- Von Goethe

    by Lawguy101 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:11:38 AM PDT

    •  Although your language may be a little more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht

      dramatic than I would have used, I think I agree with your basic point.

      The US will survive, but it appears to me that we would take a big hit to our credibility, and standing in the eyes of the international community, and the Arab street, if we were to veto the vote of 150 other nations to accept Palestine as a member state.

      We should not do this, or it will damage the UN, and perhaps, force the world to reorganize it without Security Council Veto's of things such as membership.

      Our veto, would imply that the US alone sees, a threat to global national security that 150 other nations are incorrect about, and that our one nation, can overrule 150 others.

      This will highlight to many that this aspect of the UN's structure is being abused, and needs changing.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:16:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An odd triumphalism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    The Arab world has never been weaker than it is now, and the actions of the General Assembly change nothing, so long as the Security Council remains what it is.

    I don't know why people would believe that the citizens, once represented in Egypt and Syria, would really encourage pouring out what little wealth they have to help Palestine.  That kind of a diversionary tactic has always been the favored action of dictators, who need to divert attention from the home front.

  •  Thanks, HoundDog (4+ / 0-)

    I find this diary, and many of your recent comments, quite illuminating.

    "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

    by Brecht on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:17:38 AM PDT

  •  This is surprising (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Brecht

    I always thought of Beinhart as being a liberal arch-hawk, so if he's on the side of a reasonable and fair solution for Israel and Palestine, that's a pretty big shift.

  •  It is a pipedream... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, HoundDog

    that:

    we can quicly transform into our model to new democratic Arab states, in Egypt, Tunesia, Jordan, Syria, etc.

    From the trends, it seems more likely that authoritarianism will still rule, not democracy as we know it.

    It is a pipedream that:

    Hamas has pronounced its desire to become a responsible member of the world community

    In Arabic they say otherwise.

    I am all for peace, but I don't think Beinhart is as in touch as he thinks and, in truth, the Palestinians and other states will proceed on their own agendas irrespective of his beliefs or those of Rosenberg.

    •  To make the point better than me... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1

      here is Hamas MP and cleric Yunis al Astal on Hamas Al Aqsa TV last week.

      Interesting what is said in Arabic.

      I do not provide this for any reason other than to show that the pipedream, although I would love to see it occur, is perhaps blind to the intentions of ALL the actors, too often looking to Israel in a bad light while the Palestinians are peaceful and benign.
       

    •  I agree that Hamas has been a font of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht

      contradiction.

      That was my point though, that these events are progressing on different agenda line, that previously, in that the Palestinians are proceeding on their own with the UN, and, at least, some, are responding to international prompts, as to what changes in language are necessary to gain international support.

      We will never get 100%  conversion to support for peaceful change.

      Even in the American Revolution, around 30% to 40% were supported the Tories, and opposed the revolution.

      At, the founding times of Israel, some who later became respected leaders, were originally "terrorists," or "violent freedom fighters," depending on your frame of reference.

      The question is can we get enough of a critical mass to move towards a successful two state solution.  

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:40:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They supported the Tories... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        without calling for genocide of Americans.  Nor did the Jewish terrorists, fighting to open the Jewish homeland that was closed by the British while the Holocaust was on the horizon, seek to eliminate every Arab or Muslim on the planet.  They were trying to save Jewish lives against a corrupt imperial power and enemies that not only massacred people, but mutilated them.

        Look at the clip above, the Hamas cleric and legislator, and tell me how you think that this hate can be eliminated.  That, more than anything, stands in the way of peace, two state solution or not.

        And when someone like me, or even a Muslim comes forth and calls for change, out comes the chants of neocon stooge and Islamophobe.  Tell me that does not happen.

        Pipedreams are nice, but not when people are blind to the reality that sits right before them, put forth by people who are not hesitant to express their intentions.

        •  I understand you point citizen53. I'll watch (0+ / 0-)

          the video.

          We don't know if the Tories wanted to elements the "federalists."

          We do know some of them gave small pox infected blankets to the indigenous American indians, which ended up wiping out 95% of them.

          Such people have always existed, in to many places, and on both sides of most issues.

          We can't let the extremist loud few, derail a peace agreement that appears to be in the best interests of the majority.

          You know there are extremists in the extreme right wing of Israel, who want to focus all the attention of the world, on the extremist of the opposite spectrum to stop all progress towards a peaceful two-state solution.

          And, vice-a-versa.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:39:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If it was a few, no sweat... (0+ / 0-)

            but it's NOT and everyone knows it.  Aside from it being from many leaders, if 5% of Arabs are persuaded by these offerings in mosques and on TV, how many is that?  25 million!  The numbers indicate it is a larger percentage, much larger in some places.  If it was the same percentage of Jews, based on their total population worldwide, that is 700,000.  Then think of all Muslims.  Yet people try to make it seem equal.

            Let's just ignore it and pretend it's not there.  It really makes for a good approach by us to look the other way when people are calling for genocide.  They call for no less.

            That does not mean that ALL Muslims are bad or ALL Jews good.  The red herrings get old.  What I speak of is bad all by itself.

            The Genocide Convention requires prevention and to punishment of conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, or complicity in genocide.  Statements of the nature I refer to violate these precepts.

            So, how can there ever be peace if one side aspires to eliminate others because the latter are less than bacteria, among other things?  Who will continue this cause?  It follows from what they express.  They should be taken seriously.  We have learned how a few can lead many down a road to destruction.

            The truth is that it's to be resolved by Muslims as to what they stand for.  I have read Muslims who speak to the issue but they are ridiculed here.  Ironically, this is the venue with shallow thinking, because it is generally monolithic, and real discussion and debate would expose this.  The most interesting stuff about the Middle East is found far from the often idiotic squabbles here, where people act like anything except serious thinkers, save a few.  But that's for another day.

            •  So what's your position with a two state (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IM

              solution?  

              Delay it until opinion polls show 99% of Arabs give up their positions about Israel?

              Do you not have concerns about demographic trends leading to Arab majorities between the Meditteranean Sea, and Jordan river?

              In a single state democracy, they will vote, to end religious affiliation.

              Can we not separate the issue of a Palestinian State from the public opinions of the average citizen?

              Public opinion polls during the cold war, shows a majority of Russian, and Soviet populations thought the US was an evil hegemonistic nation.  This did not stop us with having treaties with their leadership, who often suggested we were evil.

              If Palestine were a state, the leadership can be legally, and morally held accountable to hold their own criminals, or terrorists accountable.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:15:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  a two-state solution sooner, rather than later (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog, IM

                would also serve to disassociate much of the mainstream Arab sentiment from that of the extremists--a track that--and here I agree with citizen53--too many Arab/Muslim moderates have taken.

              •  Nope, I want two states... (0+ / 0-)

                but I don't think it will make much difference, unlike the people who do not hear the genocidal calls.  I have my ears and eyes open.

                I also believe that when Palestine becomes a state, it will be duty bound to comply with international norms, but will it comply and implement such protections?  Will it adhere to the UDHR, or choose the Cairo Declration and the standard of norms in human rights?  Will it ratify the Rome Statute and be accountable for its undeniable war crimes?  

                Soviets did not call for genocide against Americans, by the way.

                Anyway, that is what I think and make no secrets.  It does not make one a hater or Islamophobe to show what is going on in Muslim societies and elsewhere.

                 

                •  what's your threshold, though? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HoundDog, IM

                  for Hamas to renounce the eliminationist rhetoric?  That I can see, although you would still have elements either directly or loosely associated with Hamas that continue small-scale attacks, which Israel would respond to in force, and the genocidal elements would come back into the cycle.

                  It has long been my belief that violence can NEVER be fully eradicated from the conflict--and there will always be some elements that call for genocide.  The best that can be hoped for is for the violent elements to be marginalised, deligimatised, and that is the way forward.

                  What's the alternative?  To keep the status quo?

                  •  I don't have one... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bevenro

                    as it is beyond my power to control.  I just see what is at this point.  The problem seems intractable until the calls for genocide go away, for real.  At least then Jews could take a breath and devise some real approaches for peace resulting in a win-win.  Because it's proven that when Palestinian Arabs have worked with Jews, the former has succeeded far better in quality of life from the association than any other Arabs, except for those few swimming in oil.

                    What bugs me here is the difficulty to use moderate Muslims and Arabs as sources because they are disparaged an puppets of the right wing, when they stand for separation of mosque and state and human rights in Muslim societies.  It makes me wonder what these people actually stand for.  

                    •  Do you really have to ask? (0+ / 0-)

                      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                      by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:27:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I am concerned that your approach will take too (0+ / 0-)

                      long.

                      By that time, Arabs may be a majority.

                      Some say they would be now if you count all those in Gaza, West Bank, Israel, and the refugees, in Jordan, Lebanon, etc.

                      So which will you choose when Irael has to choose between being a Jewish state, or a democratic one?

                      Do you not see the status quo as unacceptable?

                      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                      by HoundDog on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:51:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My approach? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HoundDog

                        I don't have one.  I am an observer.  I said what I want, but I think it will not happen.  In that case, you prepare that your enemies will do what they say.  It does not mean that you treat them unfairly.  It's a fine line, often determined on a case by case basis.  It can even include help.

                        What is more important is to at least get people to recognize what is the case so that the pressure will be as great on the Palestinians as with Israelis, including at the UN.  To also allow moderates to come forth to challenge the doctrine of genocide toward Jews, among other things.  There are no quick fixes.

                        The level of tolerance at this site to disseminate information that evidences the genocidal hatred is unwelcome, however, and results in fake charges on political grounds.  It's a cynical game that only exacerbates the situation and leads me to ask how ANYONE would not speak out when others call for genocide or recognize the effects on a people who experienced genocide already, or the anti-Semitism of the Arab world exemplified by the Mufti.

                        As for your point, I do not follow how Israel will have to make a choice.  It can clearly be both Jewish and democratic, just as other states are.

                        I did not call for status quo.  I would like to see Israel end the occupation of the West Bank, perhaps to declare borders much like the parties already agreed, and start to prepare for the next stage of the long term struggle it faces.

                        •  The point about having to choose between (0+ / 0-)

                          being a Jewish state, or a democratic state has to do with population demographics.

                          From what I've read, from Israeli demographies, is that the birth rates of the 20% or 25% or current Arab, and other non-Jewish populations, living in Isreal  is twice or more as high as that of the Jewish population that by 2040 or 2050 they will be the majority, and vote not to be a Jewish state.

                          And, that's from withing a strick 1967 borders.

                          If you count those Arabs, and non-Jews living in the West Bank and Gaza strip, and those refugees in Jordan, the populations are closer to 45% to maybe even 47% percent to 53% with the Arab, non-Jewish population exceeding the Jewish population much sooner.

                          How much longer can Israel occupy Gaza, and the West Bank, without giving these residents the right to vote.  In a democracy you have one person, one vote.

                          Those that advocate a system, where only a select minority gets to vote, while the majority population does not, by virtue of their ethnicity, or religion are not only giving up democracy, but advocating apartheid.

                          So, withing Israel there is a big debate about this.  For example, while non-Jewish official Israel citizens make up almost a quarter of the population, I've read they make up less than 6% of the government jobs.  Leading to charges, by some of racism, of the sort America has been struggling with for the last century.

                          When these kinds of tensions came to a head in the US, in the 1960s, with the civil rights movement, the Democratic Party, with considerable help, and leadership from the American Jewish communities, passed the voting rights act, giving all American's citizens equal rights, and the rights to vote.   And, with affirmative action programs, the percentage of minorities represented in government and top level civilian jobs is increasing.

                          What is the plan in Israel?  

                          Failure to acheive a two state solution, in a fairly urgent timeline, leaves us with a de-facto one state solution.

                          If we acknowlege the reality of a de-facto one state system, with no viable prospects of chance, then what provisions will be made to give all residents within Israel citizenship and the right to vote?

                          Which choice will be made?  Democracy, where the Arab, non-Jewish majority, choses a secular state, or apartheid, where a minority, deprives the the rest of the population of the right to vote.

                          With regard to this comment:

                          I do not follow how Israel will have to make a choice.  It can clearly be both Jewish and democratic, just as other states are.

                          I do not know of any other state that is both Jewish and Democratic.  We regularly argue here, with wingnuts from the right who suggest the United States is founded as  "Christian Nation."   It most certainly was not.

                          Our founding fathers put the separation of church and state in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, as part of the initial approval of our Constitution.

                          The list of theological defined states such as Iran, say they have democracy, but without freedom, of speech, religions, etc, they really do not have viable opposition parties.

                          I appreciate your willingness to discuss this.  I'm not trying to "hound" you.  Just curious.

                          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                          by HoundDog on Thu May 19, 2011 at 12:48:23 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I will be brief... (0+ / 0-)

                            If the population thing occurs, you deal with it then.  Who is to say that some Palestinians will not choose to emigrate to Palestine?  For now, the idea is to be recognized and not threatened with extermination.  Not such a great price to pay if one really wants peace.  

                            Gaza is NOT occupied.  Hopefully the West Bank will not for much longer.  In any event, speaking of voting rights in this context is nonsense, and not Israel's to afford.  

                            The record of Israel on human rights is such that I would prefer it over one of the Muslim states any day.  Your assumptions of apartheid are absurd, based on the record.  It's crazy.  We worry so much about this by Israel yet it occurs and is far worse today in Arab states and hardly a peep.  Israel as a Jewish state would have separation of church and state.  Does it not already?  Jews are a people.  Israel is a Jewish state now, and it has a more vibrant democracy than most states on the planet.

                            I hope you raise some of the issues I mentioned with the other side of this issue.  I look forward to seeing the defense.  Or will they just dismiss like they are too prone to do?

                            Did you watch the video?  Any idea how you would respond if you were the object?

                            Later  

  •  NYT oped: President Obama and the Arab Spring (5+ / 0-)
    Frankly, we do not see how Mr. Obama can talk persuasively about transformation in the Arab world without showing Palestinians a peaceful way forward. It is time for Mr. Obama, alone or with crucial allies, to put a map and a deal on the table. The two sides will not break the impasse by themselves.

    This is a singular moment of great opportunity and challenge in the Arab world. The United States and other democracies cannot dictate the outcome but must invest maximum effort and creativity to help shape it. There is no one-size-fits-all doctrine for dealing with disparate countries. The United States and its allies are right to balance values and strategic interests.
    ....
    President Obama raised great hopes in 2009 when he spoke in Cairo about “a new beginning” with the Muslim world. The glow has faded. He has another chance this week to bolster this country’s image and to help support democratic change in the region. Reviving the peace process must be part of that effort. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict wasn’t central to protests in Egypt, Libya or Syria. But as Mr. Assad proved, it is still a far too potent weapon for autocrats and extremists.


    http://www.nytimes.com/...
  •  I wonder if perhaps O's thinking includes seeing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Brecht, IM

    how the Fatah-Hamas deal shakes out on fact. It's one thing for one of two factions holding one of two landmasses to make a deal captioned 'peace', and another and more powerful, if the two factions get together and make a 'peace deal' that includes all of their input AT THIS TIME and is one they are prepared to put to a referendum of the people in both territories, all of the land masses,  and when it is something they have required of themselves. The second one is much more likely to stick.

    If the deal is not in fact working, then he can go back to laying things out as he sees them, but I do see why he might want to see how the new development works on its own steam, if it has any, since then the deal becomes both of 'theirs' not something they have agreed to fight over, and both are responsible for it. As with Ireland and the recent bombing threats over the Queen's visit, they are not going to get all of the teeny groups in, but this is not Heaven, and I don't think anyone expects that in a world where Al Quaeda still is running around. And the US will have shown respect for the effort of those actually involved on both sides, not just one.

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