Skip to main content

After the State of Palestine's successful bid to attain non-member state observer status at the U.N., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with unusual candor on the topic of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

On Friday, speaking at the Saban Forum 2012 in Washington, D.C., Clinton critiqued Israel's continued occupation and near non-existent peace efforts.

Per Haaretz:

Clinton said she wasn't naïve about the prospects for achieving a lasting peace. She explained that she thought "that even if you cannot reach complete agreement, it's in Israel's interest to try. It gives Israel a moral high ground that I want Israel to occupy. That's what I want Israel to occupy."
The comment, one of many Clinton made which revealed honest critiques of Israeli policy, came in the wake of Israel's announcement that it would be building an additional 3,000 units in the occupied West Bank. The move by Israel, which came as retaliation for Palestine's bid for statehood at the U.N., was swiftly condemned by the Obama administration on Friday. And on Friday evening, Clinton seemed willing to offer expanded critiques and to use the word "occupy" with all its intended weight.

In short, after the U.S. was one of only nine nations to vote against Palestinian statehood at the U.N., Clinton pivoted and called upon Israel to pursue peace and to end its occupation of Palestine.

Clinton, who was also miffed by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's disingenuous critiques of Palestinian efforts, warned Israel that it was standing on the precipice of a one-state solution being the only remaining path to coexistence:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned on Friday that without progress toward peace, Israel will be forced to choose between "preserving democracy and the Jewish identity of the state." ‫

Speaking at the Saban Forum 2012 at the Willard InterContinental in Washington D.C., Clinton rejected Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's pessimism concerning the Palestinian Authority's capability of governing its territory and bring about a lasting peace.

"With very little money, and no natural resources, they have accomplished quite a bit, building a security force that works every single day with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). They have entrepreneurial successes. They are nationalistic - but largely secular. Israel should support them."

"Some Israelis claim [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas is not a partner for peace," Clinton continued, "Well, I think that should be tested."‬

It was a much different tone than that offered by Ambassador Susan Rice at the U.N on Thursday, when 138 countries voted for Palestinian statehood as the U.S. joined an unenviable list of those who voted against, a list which included Canada, the Czech Republic, Israel, Panama, The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Micronesia.

Clinton, on her way out as Secretary of State, was likely echoing both personal feelings and pent-up frustrations which have long permeated the Obama administration concerning Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's hawkish administration.

Whether they are frustrations which will lead to policy shifts remains to be seen. However, they are frustrations leaking out in the wake of America's rousing defeat at the U.N., its increasing international isolation on the issue and Israeli obstinance.

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:24 PM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I believe this has been her stance since early on (27+ / 0-)

    and Obama's as well.  Settlements were criticized early--but they backed off.  I think that they were backed into a corner by the RW message machine so that strong wording would have played into the Obama is anti-Israel frame that the right used fairly effectively, even though it was a completely myth.

    I wish the wording would have been stronger over the past couple of years although I don't think it would have made a lick of difference regarding Netanyahu's actions.

    This may be a diplomatic signal toward a more even-handed dealing with the I/P issue which would be welcome--although I still think that both N-yahu and the Hamas leadership have to either go or strongly moderate their positions if ANY progress is to be made.

    •  How close President Arafat and Premier Rabin were (30+ / 0-)

      … to working out a lasting peace under Oslo, we'll never know. What we do know is that Premier Rabin was assassinated, and the Israeli settler movement and others who want land more than peace have been calling the tune ever since.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:25:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That assassination (13+ / 0-)

        and the events that followed is undoubtedly to my mind the greatest tragedy in Isreal's history.

        The radicalisation of Isreali politics brought on both by a determined wave if suicide bombings ( prior to Netanyahu's first electioral victory) and an ever more pronounced and dramatic veer to the right ( which exists in a form of symbiosis with Arab extremism- see Sharon's actions prior to his election win) make me very skeptical about the future, which given all the promise that existed in the mid 90s is as I said a profound tradegy.

        hope springs eternal

        by ahyums on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:09:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  just to be clear (4+ / 0-)

          It was an Israeli right-wing extremist who murdered Rabin.  

          •  yes of course (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but I don't see either how I gave a contrary impression, or what difference it makes to the above. Extremism on both sides is the calamity.

            hope springs eternal

            by ahyums on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 04:56:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is wrong (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              You say that after the detente, Israel went far to the right in response to Palestinian terrorism and as a response to Arab extremism.  This is fucked up analysis.

              The Israeli right became radicalized (or stayed radicalized) in response to the imminent creation of a sovereign Palestine.  It wasn't violence that inspired right-wing Israelis, it was peace.

              When Arafat and Rabin recognized each other's right to exist, and the peace process started, there was a cessation of violence on both sides.  The IDF committed no acts of violence against Palestinians, and the Hamas and Al-Aqsa declared an end to violence and agreed to work within the framework of the peace negotiations.

              This peace was perceived as a threat to the state of "Greater Israel."  It was the Israeli extremists who dismantled the peace.  First with the Rabin murder, then the take-over of the government by Likud, which proceeded to reverse policies on settlements.  Instead of dismantling settlements, Likud began a massive program of ethnic cleansing and settlement construction in the West Bank, which has quadrupled the population of Israeli settlers in land Israel promised to recognize as Palestine.

              Netanyahu then traveled all over the US appearing for interviews in which he was full and free in sharing his beliefs that Palestinian sovereignty was incompatible with Israeli sovereignty and would never be allowed to happen.

              Then there was a massacre at a mosque in the West Bank (by a Jewish ER doctor from New York) and deliberate desecrations of Palestinian holy sites.  Only then did the second intifada begin.  

              Your commentary suggests that the second intifada began first, and the Israeli actions above were a response to the uprising.  Please correct your commentary.

              •  as someone who lived there moths before (0+ / 0-)

                Rabin's assassination, I find it interesting that you deliberately ignore everything that happened under Peres' leadership (i.e. major suicide bombings) in 1996.  Not to mention significant attacks even during Rabin's leadership (I'm thinking of one in particular in Aug. 1995--Egged bus 26--I should know because I rode that line daily until June of that year)

                Your comment is incredibly biased.

                •  so after this happened? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WattleBreakfast, Lepanto

                  The Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre

                  Despite the fact that Israeli settlers built various monuments to their hero, I don't hold the Israeli government responsible for his crimes.  Most Israelis condemned this terrorist, and the government strongly condemned his actions.

                  During Rabin's tenure, both the PA and Israelis made difficult but necessary progress toward a peaceful resolution of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, despite violent extremists.

                  After Likud took over power, Israel stopped acting in good faith.  Evidence is the massive expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory beginning in 1996, and Netanyahu's public statements that Israel would never allow Palestinian sovereignty.

                  So, Israeli settlers in West Bank enjoy the protection of civil law, and indigenous Palestinians do not.  Explain what you mean by "bias."

              •  It's all about wherever the olitical center lies (0+ / 0-)


                While the Isreali radical right existed but they did not have political momentum. I remain convinced that the second intifada and the vacuum created by Rabin's death led to the radical right becoming  electable.

                I am also confident that strategists on both sides had a fair idea that this was going to happen. They feed off each other, because they both see it as some kind of millennial struggle.and both are convinced they will emerge victorious.

                hope springs eternal

                by ahyums on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:13:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Assassinated by (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lepanto, lotlizard, frostbite, PeterHug

        A rabid right-wing settler, no less.  Shimon Peres missed a great opportunity to continue the process, and also push through a constitutional change to decrease the influence of junky little parties like Shas by imposing a minimum limit for representation, as Germany does in the Bundestag.

    •  The RW attacks Susan Rice for (23+ / 0-)

      failing to use the magic word "terrorism" in the Benghazi attack.  But the RW refuses to define exactly what they mean by terrorism because no matter how they phrase it, it would end up including any number of actions by Israel against the Palestinians (and vice versa), and, unfortunately, actions by the U.S. against Pakistan (and other places).  

      This refusal goes back to Bush and 9/11, for mostly the same reasons.  

      Perhaps, as a defense of Susan Rice, we should press McCain on this point.  If "terrorism" is such a magic word, let's go ahead and try to define it.  See if McCain is willing to put up or shut up.  

      •  One needs to remember that in some respects (16+ / 0-)

        the difference between 'terrorists' and 'revolutionary governments' is the number of people on the t/r side and their relative political power. Using 'terrorist' as a red line boundary word, as in 'we will never deal with . . . ." and then sticking it on whatever political opponents are there to the speaker, in the moment, merely removes content from the idea, because what the word then means is a marginal group rather than a successful one for the people it rules and sometimes serves, to whom one send diplomats.

        •  Yep, that's kinda the point. nt (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, Anorish, elwior, WattleBreakfast
        •  Let's remember (4+ / 0-)

          Menachem Begin had a price on his head for bombing the King David hotel when he was with Irgun, speaking of terrorists.

        •  It was never about Terrorism (0+ / 0-)

          Their criticism against Rice, and to a lesser extent Obama was that he was mean to Terry Jones. It was NEVER about terrorism or about an administrative coverup.

          The right wing is FUMING that the President singled out a film made by one of their hate-preachers and openly criticized it. Remember Authoritarians are very in-group and out-group centric.

          When they say Benghazi was a "coverup" and "should've called it out as a terrorist attack from the start" what they're really saying is: "HOW DARE OBAMA CRITICIZE TERRY JONES! In America we stand up for our own first! (Our own meaning only rabid right-wing in groups like fundamentalist preachers) He was just trying to blame US for this whole thing! I SMELL A COVERUP! Let's see if we can tar him somehow for this!"

          •  One might think that decent Americans would be (0+ / 0-)

            a bit more careful of their Free Speech rights when the connection between the exercise of them in the way the film people did had a connection to the deaths of Americans abroad. Even if it was only a connection which gave the burners a hint of opportunity to do what they did.

      •  Another DK diary by The Troubadour (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eikyu Saha

        today was titled

        HillaryClinton: Israel-should-occupy-the-moral-high-ground-not-Palestine

        That diary points out how quickly the White House spin has changed regarding the I/P issues. The Rice UN spin is no longer the policy?

        In my opinion the words "terrorist or terrorism" are completely political and should not be used in factual reporting. A good description of whatever incident is being reported should be self-explanatory.

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:48:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know what to make of Rice's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WattleBreakfast, Lepanto

          UN comments, but I am glad to see Hillary moving away from the Israel-is-infallible-and-Palestinians-are-always-horrible position that the U.S. has usually gravitated to.  Now, if John Kerry were to back Jimmy Carter's assessment, the RW might just go scurrying back to Susan Rice, and throw Scott Brown back under his SUV.  

    •  But not occupying Palestine... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, mickT, Gemut

      implies abandoning Israel.  Wasn't it British Palestine that was partitioned?  I really see no moral high ground that rests upon a foundation of ethnic partition.  A two state solution is premised upon such a partitioning, but there seems no just way to accomplish that.  We're really only left with a one state solution, but that is not viable unless the Jewish population relinquishes dominance while the Palestinian population must relinquish hostilities.  No justice, no peace.  That goes for both sides.

      •  I don't see the one state solution happening... (4+ / 0-)

        particularly given that Israel has laws that apply specifically to people of a given religion.  Just don't see it becoming a completely secular democracy.

        •  One state = impossible; Two state = improbable (7+ / 0-)

          I hear this everywhere.

          So I'm trying to figure whether the three state or zero state solution is more likely.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:45:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  With the status quo being the (8+ / 0-)

            "Rogue state solution"?  Given the recent vote, seems to warrant the label almost as much as Iran.

            •  This is the only way to move the process (8+ / 0-)

              Israel has never had to exist as a rogue state due to the intercession of the US.  If actually faced with that choice, it would be forced to go through that maturation process wherein its disenfranchised population was provided the protection of civil law.

              If Americans cared about Israel, it would force this issue: either advance the peace process or lose US support and wallow as a failed rogue nation.  Then Israel would go through the process as other developed nations have.

              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.

              South Africa went through the process rapidly.  Botha was out, de Klerk was in, and South Africa went from defending apartheid forever, to President Nelson Mandela in less than 6 years.

              The same process was started in Israel.  Shamir was out, Rabin was in, and the peace process went from an impossible dream to 95% complete.  The PLO recognized Israel, Israel agreed in principle to a sovereign Palestine with defined borders.  All terrorism stopped, Palestine began constructing the infrastructure of government including an international airport and a parliament building, both opened by Bill Clinton.

              More importantly, all settlement building stopped and Rabin ordered the dismantling of settlements in preparation for return of Palestinian territory.

              But Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli, and the Netanyahu factions believed that they could manipulate the US political system to allow them to maintain US support while reversing Rabin's moves to peace.  So far they are correct.  As Netanyahu bragged in 2001, it is easy to move the US.  

              The reason that Israel began a sincere peace process in the early 90's was because the government totally believed the Bush ultimatum.  Now the entire Israeli government laughs at the US.  They get their billions in US money every year, and our votes in the UN, and they play lip service to peace, while defining the process in way that can never lead to a final disposition.  

              Americans need to make Israel believe again that our support and cash can be withdrawn at anytime, and to prove it, we need a government that actually ties support to progress to peace.  If we don't Israel makes us look stupid and weak.

        •  The one-state solution (8+ / 0-)

          has already happened.   It's called Israel, the Jewish State.

          The Palestinians don't get a state.  Period.  

          •  No, the one-state solution is already happening (9+ / 0-)

            We know that's the intention behind building & forcing out Arabs in East Jerusalem & West Bank, grabbing all the water, starving out Gaza.

            Reading your comments in this diary, you seem determined to piss on any sliver of hope. I know you are just expressing frank and brutal truths, and I'm not asking you to stop. But that stance seems to me defeatist and self-defeating.

            Bibi would like nothing better than for us all to believe that "The Palestinians don't get a state.  Period." If he can fool the world into that, he wins.

            In WWII, attempts were made to exterminate the Jews. There was almost no realistic hope left for their future. Then things changed enormously, the world woke up their plight, and made room for them.

            There is always hope. We are a small part of that. Never say that Palestine is over.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:18:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The very idea of a partition between "East (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, Johnny Nucleo

              Jerusalem" (90% of which is in no historic sense part of Jerusalem" and the rest of the West Bank serves Bibi's interests far more than Corvo ever has.

              "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

              by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:31:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, what I intend to piss on (8+ / 0-)

              is the notion that our politicians, and specifically those of our party, are interested in anything other than the perpetuation of the status quo.

              We should never forget that historically the Democratic Party has been more reflexively pro-Israel than That Other Party.  Our Party's stance hasn't changed; it's only that the takeover by the other Party by fundamentalist wingnuts has left us, rather undeservedly, all too easily assuming that ours is Reason and Light in the matter.  It ain't.

              As for the rest of the piss, my aim isn't always the best.

              •  wrt. US & Israel, you're 95% right. The other 5% (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mdmslle, mahakali overdrive

                is incredibly important. Everything you're saying makes sense to me, but for two things.

                First, we here at Daily Kos are the enlightened tip of the iceberg that is US media discourse. Well, OK, Maddow & Hayes (&Cole&Greenwald) are the tip, but we're up there.

                We have a responsibility/opportunity to look at that 5%, to see and argue for the possibility of improvement the beltway can't yet imagine. If we hope too much, we lose little. If we get it right, early, we contribute to the solution.

                Clearly, I'm more sanguine than you on this.

                Secondly, as mahakali overdrive says downstream:

                Fact: the UN just recognized Palestine despite decades of exactly the opposite. We have a very big shift in the Middle East right now. Syria, we're backing the rebels to whatever degree. Egypt, we did the same. Iran is emboldened. And Palestine is now recognized by the UN. So yes, Occam's Razor says that we are in a new set of circumstances which will require new responses and strategies. Many are still predicating things based on what things looked like a week ago or a year ago or in 2009. That's the wrong tack to take. Things are shifting and shifting fast.
                That is why I say 5% instead of 2%.

                "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:59:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think our Party ever considered... (4+ / 0-)

                Israel becoming, essentially, a Republican colony, intentionally doing everything it could to manipulate world events not just for its own organized right, but for the Republicans.

                Some Dems are waking up to this. Others seem to be in denial; afraid of losing AIPAC donations; or genuinely fooled by Netanyahu (i. e. Biden, unfortunately).

                I'm a progressive Jew. Dems don't have to agree with Netanyahu, the Israeli Dick Cheney, to get my vote. In fact, I'd rather they didn't. How hard is this for some people to understand?

          •  Says who? The International community thinks (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mdmslle, Lepanto

            otherwise. And remember that we tried to use the whole international community thing to justify invading Iraq. Who is to say another country or groups of countries won't use that same premise in regards to a war with Israel to "bring it into compliance with international law". We ignored a Security Council veto why should not some one else do like wise.

            Israel was created by an act of the UN in 1947. Before 1947 there was no Israel. Only territory that had been conquered dozens of times by dozens of empires. Maybe there should not have been an uprising in 70 CE. But that is the last time you can talk about an Israeli state. The Palestinians get a state if the international community decides they get one.

      •  You can not have a Jewish Israel and a one (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mdmslle, Lepanto, melfunction

        state solution. If the rights of both religious groups are to be protected then there must be a two state solution. Israelis are culturally different from Palestinians. If only because most Israelis come from Europe. Not better, not superior, just different. As we in the US are different than people in Mexico. But Israel must give up the settlements and dismantle the fences. Respect the 67 borders and work out a solution to the Jerusalem issue that is acceptable to both Jews and Muslims.

        Until you address the concerns of Palestinians on the issues of right of return, compensation and settlements there is no chance for peace. We could guarantee Israeli security at a price. The price should be justice for Palestinians.

        •  I agree with a lot of what you say here (4+ / 0-)

          But the idea of defending ethnic segregation is absurd.  Israel can play demographics all it wants, but ultimately will need to recognize all citizen as equal under the law if it wants to be thought of as a modern nation.

          I am trying to think of an example of a developed democracy that presumes to maintain a class segregation based on religion or ethnicity and I can't.

          Scandinavia tried it in the 50's and 60's when there was a worker shortage.  They invited foreign guest workers, mostly Turks and Arabs, to be permanent residents, with the idea that they would not integrate with the native people and eventually return home.  It didn't work of course, and they now have full citizenship.

          Japan also had the resident Korean issue for decades.  Technically they were citizens of South Korea, but for those born in Japan and speaking only Japanese, it was just discrimination.  After years of activism and liberalization of attitudes and laws, resident Koreans have little trouble getting full Japanese citizenship.  

          The current status of Palestinian citizens of Israel is untenable.  Of course, Jewish Palestinians have been fully integrated, while Muslim and Christian Palestinians are treated as guest residents rather than citizens, with restrictions on travel and the purchase of property.  

          No one pays much attention to the second class status of Palestinians in Israel because their status is so much better then Palestinians in occupied territory, but with a resolution of the occupation there will be immediate demands for full status of all citizens of Israel.  Suggesting that that doesn't have to happen because of cultural differences is wrong.

      •  hey leave us out of this! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think we had a mandate (not in the ACA meaning of the word) to administer the place after the Ottoman Empire collapsed.  It was never part of the British Empire, honest.

        The Mandate covered what is now Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

        And IIRC we abstained in the UN vote for the creation of Israel; alas we also abstained in the recent vote on Palestine's status.

      •  a 'one state solution' basically says that the (0+ / 0-)

        notion of a Jewish homeland the size of New Jersey is null and void, although all other major religions have enormous land masses in which they can feel--at least culturally--at home and protected.

        The so-called 'one-state solution' is an anti-Semitic solution any way you slice it.  In other words: Sorry Jews--you'll have to deal with being a minority in a land of people who hate you.

        This isn't a victim complex-this is reality.

        Two state solution, or war.  There is no other way.

    •  Settlements and Conditions for Talks (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, halef, Smoh, elwior, zesty grapher, Lepanto

      But earlier this week we were met with the chorus of "the Palestinians must return to talks without preconditions".  That came from the U.S., the Brits, Canada, etc.  

      I ask you, would you return to a poker game where one side is allowed to grab chips from the kitty at will?  Isn't that precisely what additional settlements accomplish?  Until the U.S. calls out Israel on the settlements in a forceful way on this, then we abet the unfair "game" being played.  Facts on the ground keep adding up, and a two state solution slips further away.

    •  It's also the only logical stance (11+ / 0-)

      Israel is locked into this idea, ever more that every one hates it and it is surrounded by enemies. There is and always has been undoubtedly some truth to that but lately there seems to have been an embrace of the creation of enmity (everyone hates us so it doesn't matter what we do) which is very much a self fulfilling prophesy.

      Time was when Israel had an enormous  amount of global goodwill and could legitimately be seen as occupying the higher moral ground but unfortunately that is long since squandered and the current direction is making things worse rather than better.

      hope springs eternal

      by ahyums on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:19:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh yes, yes to this (nt) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Smoh
      •  as a Jew who spent the last 6 years in Europe (0+ / 0-)

        there isn't 'some truth' to the notion--it's as real as real gets.

        European/North African anti-Semitism is enormous.  What's worse is that a lot of it is latent--as in 'I'm not anti-Semitic--but why do Jews this?  Or why do Jews that?'   And this from a lot of highly intelligent friends of mine.

        Look.  Historically, and currently, the world really doesn't like Jews very  much.  We do well, we're influential, we have some really cool achievements on the world stage..

        but we're always Jeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwws to far too many people out there.

        Israel may be an out-of-control military power, but these global sentiments are NOT as quaint as many here seem to believe.

        •  I'm painfully aware of this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My father survived incredibly high  odds to avoid ending up in Treblinka ( a child in Warsaw Ghetto did not get out until Feb 43 - that's a subject for another diary).

          What is even more painful is how the issue of Israel has fudged matters. The reasons for anti semitism  were always, always ridiculous. Nowadays though I can't argue that to criticise Israel's action is entirely legitimate, and so whatever the rights and wrongs of it the line gets blurred and that hurts.

          hope springs eternal

          by ahyums on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:21:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  that's refreshing (17+ / 0-)

    Without looking to major outcomes, I believe diplomacy is all about miniscule gradations in the tone of how things are phrased. I'm sure this gradation will produce some shock waves. And it certainly has made my day a bit better.

  •  Let us stop insulting the 'hawks.' (7+ / 0-)

    Hawks are among the most beautiful and powerful birds of prey. What I really like about them is that they have dignity; they won't eat dead flesh or a sick prey.

    I know "Hawkish" or "Hawks" are common terms describing the anti-peace attitudes of warlike, uncompromising political heads like Netanyahu and his administration in general but I think it is time we stop the practice and use 'vulturish' or 'vultures,' instead. To me, they are more fitting as scavengers:

    concerning Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's hawkish administration.
    Any input?

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:51:20 PM PST

  •  Israel is missing an opportunity (8+ / 0-)

    To delegitimize Hamas and groups like it by supporting Abbas in the West Bank. Demonstrate that they'll come down like a hammer on any aggression against them, but give meaningful concessions to the guy trying to work with you in peace and people will notice.

    •  Not that I think they should be (0+ / 0-)

      In the first place, mind, but in light of their current policy.

    •  Don't forget that the Israeli FM takes the public (7+ / 0-)

      position that Israel should depose Abbas if he continues not to do what they want, and the same for Hamas.  The notion of a government giving official approval to such fouling of other foreign areas is itself a sick pattern, one which simply demonstrates that Israeli  government does not care and will not heed anything the international community does, probably including ICC rulings, and has no problem with flaunting its contempt for the international community whenever Israel does not get what it wants. This is based, of course, on the premise that the US will protect it from any and all real life consequences of its really, really bad choices from the international sphere. As long as those successive governments feel safe  when they act outrageously, they will continue to do so.

    •  I think this misses the point (13+ / 0-)

      of what Israel's trying to do. Israel doesn't want a PA to conclude a peace agreement with, because it rejects the even the minimum terms any Palestinian leadership could accept while remaining in power.

      Rather it wants the PA as a politically obedient partner in the peace process charade and as a loyal security contractor, the combined effect of which has been - as one former Israeli foreign minister puts it - to 'make Israel’s occupation one of the most convenient in world history'.

      So what happens when the PA disobeys? In the past Israel has cracked down hard. But this is a very costly strategy: international aid has to skyrocket to contain with the resultant instability, and Israel has to resume direct military control of the territories, with all the financial, military and political costs that implies. So it's actually quite a complicated dynamic: the PA is Israel's puppet, but Israel needs the PA, too, which gives the latter some leverage.

    •  Missing an opportunity? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto, PrahaPartizan

      Likud is entirely OK with having Hamas as an enemy and putting Abbas on the sidelines, because it legitimizes land grabs in the West Bank.  Property theft started under Golda Meir, but it really accelerated with Begin because he needed support from the extremists, who've been running the show ever since.

  •  Its been a sorry spectical to watch (16+ / 0-)

    the untoward influence on US politics by interest groups who lobby for Israel but against US core values.

    New occupation actions should be followed by quick freezing of assets and funding imo.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:01:17 PM PST

    •  oops should be 'spectacle" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Smoh

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:22:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Core US values" (0+ / 0-)

      Of course it's so much more complicated than that.

      Some people think core American values include a equality of women, a free press, freedom of speech and religious tolerance, none of which is truly present in the PA or Gaza today.  

      Were you thinking of other "core US values"?

      •  We do not have the right to talk about core (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, elwior, Lepanto

        American values. We do not have any. So lets stop the bullshit. A significant part of this country would deny equality to racial ethnic minorities and women. So to expect of others that which we can not deliver ourselves is peevish at best. How much equality do Orthodox Jewish women get. How much religious tolerance is there among the Orthodox in Israel when they demand every one in Israel observe the Sabbath the way they do. Why would you demand of the Palestinians what you allow the orthodox Jews in Israel.

        Israel is illegally occupying territory that belongs to some one else. They get away with it because we protect them from international law. And the Israeli record on human rights is not very clean. So quit with the false comparisons.

  •  Those 3,000 housing units which Israel announced (33+ / 0-)

    would be built in the West Bank were Netanyahu and his Government throwing a tantrum over the U.N. vote.
       Netanyahu displays a small-minded, narcissistic attitude here, and is all too willing to back that attitude up with hostile actions, no matter what his Nation's best friend and ally telling him.
       He's a fool, and he seeks to condemn his Nation to having to live on a war footing, having to maintain the shame and the dangers of being an occupier, having to be an International rogue nation for many years to come.

       Netanyahu is interested in maintaining his hold on power based on fear, mistrust, and by ramping up prejudices, rather than the sort of enlightened, open-minded, peace-seeking attitude his Nation was built on.
       He is a disgrace to the legacy of his Founding Fathers and Mothers, and his Nation and the region his Nation resides in will suffer while he retains power with no hope of the Peace that is so desperately needed.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:08:29 PM PST

    •  Netanyaboob was already voted (5+ / 0-)

      out of office years ago for corruption. He's a crooked, piece of s*t RWer. The Israelis put his worthless a* back into power. They deserve what they get.

      We Americans need to figure out who actually is controlling the political bribery that keeps us locked to this idiot nation. We need to throw them in jail, and get out of there.

      T and R!!

      Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

      by orlbucfan on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:18:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't personalise this (11+ / 0-)

      The idea of Greater Israel and YESHA are part of the ideology that founded the state. Not just that, successive generations have believed in it and acted upon it. Successive governments whether of the right or left have implemented it. That's why we are where we are now in Israel. And I think the 'founding fathers' of Israel stand on shaky ground when they founded their state on ethnic cleansing and massacres, refusing to accept that people lived on the land and acting to throw out the people their neighbours whose only sin was not being Jewish.

      •  There's an assessment I very much disagree with. (4+ / 0-)

        I lived in Israel back in the days when Golda Meir and then Yitzhak Rabin were Prime Ministers.
           It was their Party who founded the Nation, and their desire has always been peaceful co-existence with their neighbors in a time when the feeling certainly was not mutual.
           Have there been narrow-minded extremists in that Nation since its origins?
          Yes.  Menachem Begin and his Likud Party always had a vision of a "greater Israel." Their tactics even before the State was founded were much the same as groups like Hamas are now.
           But Israel, when I knew it well was a good country with fair-minded people in positions of leadership. Not perfect, but certainly not the blood-thirsty maniacs that you're portraying.

           What they are now is not the same, and I know that people like Golda Meir would see Netanyahu as every bit the fool that I do, and would want to remove him from office with a well-deserved kick in the ass.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:31:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The country they founded (8+ / 0-)

          was founded on exclusion of the people already living there. That's not me pulling this out of my hat, that's just a fact. If you choose to ignore that then I'd say you are not in the reality-based universe.

          And Golda Meir said :

          “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It’s not as if we came and threw them out… They didn’t exist.”

          Not sure I'd call that fair-minded.

          •  You ought to produce that entire quote: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive, highacidity


            "There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist."
              That's accurate in a geopolitical sense, though as a cultural matter, it's a whole lot less so. Is there a Kurdish People even though there is no Kurdish nation? I say there is, and therefore I'd argue with that statement.
               But there's a Jewish People too, and Israel was the land they were expelled from, albeit some 1,900 years before the Nation was reconstituted after the Jewish people suffered so much indignity, including attempted genocide against them.
               The matter was decided in the U.N. in 1947, and Israel was attacked repeatedly by armies and by terrorists.
               I don't agree with that statement by Mrs. Meir, but I know that she would gladly have returned those occupied territories and seen a Palestinian State established to have her Nation live in Peace alongside its neighbors.

              Saeb Erekat said back in 2000, when the hope of peace still existed that the conflict there was between those who want peace and those who don't.
               I stand with those who do on both sides. Even though I see the situation clearly, I hold onto the hope, and so I don;t look for who is to blame so much as who is it that can ultimately make peace.

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:14:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The full quote is even worse (0+ / 0-)

              it shows exactly what is wrong with Zionist thinking about Palestine and Palestinians and it is there to comfort those who know they did wrong while sweeping the consquences of their actions under the rug by minimising them. And if you can't understand why Palestinians would feel so offended by this statement, go talk to one.

              As for your contention about Golda Meir returning the OPT, you are wrong. General Matti Peled, who fought to create the Israeli state and was a general in 1967 became a peace activist after the war and advocated the return of the OPT and creating a Palestinian state. He found no takers, not even PM Meir. See the book by Miko Peled, The General's Son for more.

            •  As for the cultural issues (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              you assertions are not entirely correct. Half of Jews are Arab Jews who have a 'culture' that is far more similar to that of Palestinians than that of the Ashkenazi elite. Not only that, they faced discrimination in Israel as well as the loss of their language and culture. As an example see this article on Cafe Noah in Tel Aviv where Arab Jews gathered, often in secret to listen and play Arabic music and the arts. The history of Arab Jews was and to some extent still is denied/diminshed in Euro-cenric/Americanised Israel but people like Ella Shohat whose essays and books analyse the Arab Jewish experience are invaluable in our understanding of this displaced community. And it's ironic since the Modern Hebrew as spoken in Israel owes much to the Arabic language particularly in vocabulary and syntactical structures.

        •  You know (7+ / 0-)

          I have to say that comments like these that ignore the wrongs done to Palestinians by Jews and Israelis really shock me for the (I think) unconscious exclusion of the Palestinians and what was done to them. I find myself wondering about the processes of perception and cognition of my interlocutor who for some reason can only see the reasons for Zionism and ignores completely the effects of Zionism on the already existing non-Jewish population in Palestine. At least someone like Benny Morris (the Israeli historian) is more honest - he does not deny the atrocities committed in setting up the Israeli state, he just thinks that the price was worth it. But I can't understand maintaining the myth of Israeli innocence when the facts are so contrary to that myth. What is it that makes people cling to myths that are so contrary to facts?

          After the founding of the Israeli state, things got no better for Palestinians. Despite UN resolutions and conferences, Palestinians were not allowed back. Almost 500 villages were razed to the ground. Palestinians remaining in Israel were subjected to marital law until 1966. In the meantime, Israel expropriated refugees lands and homes and did not allow thousands of internal refugees within Israel to return to their homes. It set up the structures for institutional and systemic racism against Arabs. Meanwhile massacres continued (I particularly remember Sharon's work at Qibya) as did incursions in Gaza (like 1956).

          Open your eyes. Where we are today is a continuation of where it started.


          •  I know the history. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PrahaPartizan, highacidity

            Jews and Israelis are not blameless. But neither are the Palestinians nor neighboring and supporting Arab Nations blameless either.
               If you stand on one side or the other, you can pretend that your side is angelic in nature while the rat bastards on the other side have dirt in their souls.
               Just as you point out what one side did, I could read you a litany of what the other side did, and perhaps what they would have done had they prevailed in their attempts to drive the Jews into the Sea.
              I'm not so shocked by people's ability on both sides to ignore their own wrongs and the positions of those on the other side. Even decent people are capable of that.
               But making peace requires each side to get beyond that and to begin to understand how much there is to gain if only you'd give up a little, including the self-righteousness which neither side needs or deserves.

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:32:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are (4+ / 0-)

              now moving beyond Israeli innocence and moving into some sort of equivalence between Palestinians and Israelis. There is no equivalence between the people who ethnically cleansed and those who were ethnically cleansed. There is no equivalence between occupier and occupied. The original sin is with the Jews and Israelis who coveted another's land and decided to take it and exclude the original inhabitants. Whatever good reasons the Jews who did that thought they had, to do what they did to Palestinians was wrong. And it needs to be acknowledged before we can move to any sort of future.  

              •  your apriori 'the blame lies with the Jews' (0+ / 0-)

                approach is unhelpful, false, and extremist.  

                Have a nice day.

                •  It is neither a priori (0+ / 0-)

                  nor unhelpful nor extremist. It is a priori to not see the injustices done to the Palestinians and only see the case for zionism. It is false, unhelpful and extremist to ignore the very real wrongs done to one side by another. It is false, unhelpful and extremist for one side to seek to impose a solution on another while denying their rights. It is false, unhelpful and extremist to not even hear what people who are suffering are saying.  

                  •  if you honestly believe my point-of-view is (0+ / 0-)

                    one-sided you have never read (or understood) my posts.

                    I have NEVER absolved Israel of blame.  I have never 'only seen the case for Zionism'.  I have never 'not seen the injustices done to Palestinians.'  Ever.  For you to suggest that is ludicrous.  

      •  Do not confuse Zionism with neoZionism. (5+ / 0-)

        The early Zionists wanted a land to farm and live in peace. The neoZionists come later in the process. Greater Israel is a militaristic fantasy. Unless they are going to convert people at the point of a gun. Or deny great parts of the people who live in the country basic civil rights. Greater Israel is a war of conquest. A war that they would lose and could cost them the state of Israel.

        •  Before 1948 (5+ / 0-)

          the Palestinians were well aware of Zionist aims in Palestine and that there were European Jews who wanted to create a state on their land for Jews. They were aware of the Balfour Declaration, the Jewish pressure placed on Britain as the Mandate power to give primacy to Jewish aims, they were aware of the myriad of institutions that Jews set up in Palestine in preparation for setting up a state, they were aware of Hebrew labor and their exclusion from certain workplaces etc. They were aware of the military forces that were set up by Jews, the terrorism that Jews brought to the Middle East (the bombing of the King David Hotel killing Count Folke Bernadotte being the most famous). Which is why you had resistance to Jewish aims, including the Arab revolts in 1936. (The Arab Spring is nothing new).

          The Palestinians also knew that Herzl dreamed of spiriting away the local population so they could be replaced with Jews. From the moment those words were written to 1947, someone somewhere put those words in to action. Millions are refugees as a result. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed and lands expropriated by the Israeli state. I'd say the neo-zionists were there before 1948. Jabotinsky anyone? Iron Wall anyone?

      •  you need to go to a library (0+ / 0-)

        and consult unbiased sources.  I have never ONCE seen you recognize the contribution Palestinians may have had to the unreset in the early 20th century.  I don't even think you remember the 4 wars in the middle of it.  Or Jordan's 'ethnic cleansing' (since you throw that term around so loosely) of the Jews in the Jewish Quarter of the old city.  Among countless other things.  The Jewish 'side' is not the only cause of the conflict, FBTP--and it's high time you recognized that.

        The fact that you would rather implicate an entire people based on ethno-national sentiments that defined all of Europe at the time--and were heightened by the obvious, widespread and brutal persecutions --  rather than fault the current practictioners of separation on the Israeli side (i.e. the Likud) is telling.

        •  My sources (0+ / 0-)

          are Israeli historians as well as Palestinian historian. Benny  Morris, Tom Segev, Ilan Pappe as well as Palestinian ones like Ghassan Kanafani, Ruh Masalha and Walid Khalidi. The problem for your case is that the new Israeli historians show that what Palestinians have been saying all along is factual but, apparently, we had to wait for confirmation from Israeli historians before those Palestinians would be believed and the myths that many Israelis clung to were exposed.

          This issue is not about what comments you have or have not seen me make this is about (This is about rights and wrongs, not personalities so stop making it personal). This is about how a particular situation occurred. Each side bears responsibility for what they did and  the Jews who coveted the land and nation of Palestine and wanted to build their own state there have primary responsibility for this outcome. The attempts to draw equivalence or cling to myths are merely attempts to distract from that. Your point about me denying the wars and unrest of the early 20th century is ridiculous since what happened in 47/48 and after relies on earlier events - WW1, Balfour, the Mandate periods, WW2, Jewish colonisation of Palestine, the Shoah and Jewish refugees, the Arab revolts etc.

          For you to try to draw equivalence between the majority of Palestinians in mandate Palestine and the minority of Jews who chose to take up arms after the Partition vote and begin to ethnically cleanse the areas outside the Jewish partition of Palestinians months prior to the arrival of any Arab army is alarming and wrong. It's why I began the comment I made here about my interlocutors who can only see the case for Zionism and justify or remain blind to (as you appear to do) the costs of Zionism on the Palestinian people. I think that is should occur to you that since I mention the case for zionism that I am aware of it and the history of underlying injustices etc? No, of course you don't want to admit that since you've got it wrong on the facts and need to attack me personally in order to discredit what I say. Good luck with that.

          •  Forgot to add (0+ / 0-)

            that the contemptible efforts of the Jordanians and Lebanese Maronites to collude with Jewish forces (the former because they had an expansionary agenda and wanted what became the West Bank, the latter because they wanted a sectarian ally to their dream (nightmare) of a sectarian Christian state in Lebanon) are, in fact, just as contemptible as what the Israelis did. But the Palestinians had not part in that and were just as much victims of Jewish Israeli intentions towards a land and a country not their own as Jordanian and Lebanese Maronite intentions.

            See, if you hung around I/P diaries more and read my diaries you would see I deliver harsh judgements on various Arab governments too.

    •  Netanyahu is culpable... (9+ / 0-)

      ..but let's not forget it is the Israeli people who have endorsed his behavior.  If they didn't embrace him with their votes, he'd have been unable to perpetrate the violence and injustice that has been the hallmark of the Israeli government for all this time.  

      •  I wouldn't want to have that rhetoric (13+ / 0-)

        applied to me though, as a US citizen, when Bush was elected and oops! invaded Iraq for no reason and then killed what, a million people? I, and a lot of other people, were outraged and protested this, and slunk around the world with the albatross of "American" hung around our necks for GWB who many of us would have personally liked to (I won't say due to not wanting to get in trouble with the PTB for my rhetoric here) "give a helluva beating at Tiddly-winks to."

        I'm sensitive to the distinction between Israelis and their Government for this specific reason.

        "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

        by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:46:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, but it gets applied (4+ / 0-)

          whether we like it or not.  One may not be personally guilty, but one can be a citizen of a guilty nation, and suffer the consequences.

          In fact, I'd say the more the state approaches representative democracy, the more culpable its citizens.

          •  Yes but it's kind of pointless. (12+ / 0-)

            I mean, it may be cathartic to blame the Israeli population morally, but what good does it do?

            If you really wanted to go into the moral calculus you'd have to take all sorts of countervailing considerations into account - the effect of being socialised into a particular set of values and worldview when they were too young to offer any real intellectual resistance, etc. I mean when you're living in a society as thoroughly militarised as Israel it takes almost some kind of hero to go against it all. How much can you blame people who don't? I don't think it's really possible to weigh all that up, but in any case, as I say, I don't think it's a useful approach.

            What matters is that the policies are wrong, that we are at fault for enabling them, and thus that it is up to us to act to change the cost-benefit calculus of our own and Israeli politicians, such that those policies are halted.

            •  I totally agree and partially because (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              heathlander, elwior, Brecht, Smoh, timewarp

              I like what you are talking about here in terms of social indoctrination. My mother's ex had served in the IDF as is required before moving to the US. He was radically anti-war, totally pro-peace, and very strongly pro-two state solution as an also proud Jewish man. It reminds me of how we have to understand our own military, who are all there right now voluntarily no less and not even because they are drafted into involuntary service, and that there are huge social factors involved which lead to young people joining the MIC in the US. In the past, I was outspokenly opposed to this until I was educated about the prevalent social forces which created this system. I won't say it's indoctrination, but I will say that in Israel, there are obvious social factors which contribute. It's true that there were just a thousand rockets dropped on civilians, even if these were picked up by the Israeli Government's anti-bomb stuff, and that this lead to outright terror. That kind of thing is why I don't believe in blame. How can you blame individuals who have grown up fearing "the Other" due to the wayward actions of their governance?

              There is terrible xenophobia at play here that stem out of the violence in the region, I feel. Israel is very diverse too, so there are a lot of potential "Others." But the IDF draft, that's going to impact things in and of itself, as my friend has told me. Then you have things like two governments refusing to recognize the existential existence of the other group, and some saying "we want you gone." That's not good. That's not the way.

              If we want peace, and I think we all do, we need to stop blaming and start analyzing and acting instead.

              "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

              by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:23:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, I agree. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fire bad tree pretty

              I just don't care for the other extreme: making excuses for a populace because of the behavior of its politicians.

        •  Sorry, but the alternative... (5+ / 0-)

 for a populace to deny any accountability for the leaders it has elected.  It could be argued that the very problem of Israel is that its people are able to deny and dismiss what they are doing to the Palestinians.  Allowing them to wash their hands of Netanyahu contributes to this convenient fiction.  

          •  There are a lot of voters who are far Right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            voters indeed. That's an outcome, from all that I've read on the demographic shifts in Israel, of ultra-Orthodox non-belief in birth control (like Catholics).

            But there is a huge divide right now in Likud and the other various Parties -- and those who voted for these -- who have been vocal online enough that even I, as an unaffiliated American reading, can easily hear many, many very dismayed Israeli Jewish voices who are frustrated with Netanyahu's settlement decision, and who are really angry about what this makes Israel look like. I respect those points of view too and won't create a convenient fiction that a huge number of dissenting voices DO exist in Israel, which is politically diverse. More so, in many ways, than in the U.S.

            "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

            by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:53:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well apply the same argument to us. Are we not (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Lepanto

            morally cupable for what our government does in our names. Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama and the whole drone thing. Because we live in a representative government we are partially responsible. each one of us , no matter how we voted. And so are the Israelis.

  •  David, "moral highground" is a term I can't (3+ / 0-)

    compute.  It is difficult for me to imagine that anyone who supported the vote to commence war on Iraq had any.  

    I do have faith in the majority of Israeli citizens,  and Muslims in the world to seek a "moral compass" within the confines of their minds and territories.

  •  I did not boldface the above. Guess I caught (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, wader

    a gremlin.

    Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

    by orlbucfan on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:19:03 PM PST

  •  I love when she hints at what she actually thinks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Lepanto

    Romney/Caligula 2012!

    by sujigu on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:19:36 PM PST

  •  What will Susan Rice say about the new buildings? (13+ / 0-)

    She issued statement explaining how disruptive Palestinian statehood is:

    The United States will continue to urge all parties to avoid any further provocative actions—in the region, in New York, or elsewhere.

    We will continue to oppose firmly any and all unilateral actions in international bodies or treaties that circumvent or prejudge the very outcomes that can only be negotiated, including Palestinian statehood. And, we will continue to stand up to every effort that seeks to delegitimize Israel or undermine its security.

    She was so right. It's completely "provocative" of the Palestinians to look to the UN to advance the rights of Palestinians and the two-state solution. What more can they possibly want, when Israel has been so helpful and the US so fair-minded for decades now? We must all agree with her, the Palestinians are just upsetting the apple-cart and trying to "delegitimize Israel" when they seek statehood.

    I hope she will stand behind Israel's new buildings, which are clearly just an attempt to stabilize the apple-cart and prevent this terrible progress which threatens the entirely reasonable and helpful status quo.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:23:21 PM PST

    •  I agree with your point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, Lepanto

      but just want to point out that Susan Rice IS the mouthpiece for the policies of the American government. She's not up there spouting her personal views on the issues.

      "Religion is the smile on a dog." Edie Brickell

      by zesty grapher on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:15:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, that point is worth making explicit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zesty grapher

        I do get it already; it's just that, in many respects, the whole mess is complex and contradicts itself, so my opinions do too. The big picure truth is an integration of this nebulous mass of facets.

        On Friday I said, of the executive branch:

        Do they feel justified? Or constrained? I mean, when Obama attempts an I/P balance, we have votes in congress saying there's no daylight between the US and the Israel position. Then there's the constraint of standing tough by our number one ally.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:05:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As far as I'm concerned, the "outrage" (14+ / 0-)

    is entirely phony until and unless it is backed up with concrete action.

    •  I only half agree with you. Ok, actions speak much (5+ / 0-)

      louder than words, and in the long run, are all that really count.

      In the short run, especially with the Middle East in such volatile transition right now, this is very refreshing to hear from Hillary, and could certainly contribute to a broader discussion of this situation in our media and among US policy-makers.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:31:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Meh. Spare me all the expressions (5+ / 0-)

        of outrage that regularly issue from the lips of American diplomats, scrupulously unaccompanied by real action.

        Heck, we can even start with the current SoS's expressions of outrage re Bahrain.

      •  I would argue instead (5+ / 0-)
        and could certainly contribute to a broader discussion of this situation in our media and among US policy-makers
        that they instead forestall such discussion.  "See?  We're outraged.  Now let's go worry about something else."
        •  That does happen, especially re. Israel. Still.... (13+ / 0-)

          What Hillary's saying doesn't strike me as boilerplate. Her words are encouraging, and are bringing new and very relevant points into our media discourse:

          It gives Israel a moral high ground that I want Israel to occupy. That's what I want Israel to occupy
          Sharp and effective double-edged use of "occupy"
          Israel will be forced to choose between "preserving democracy and the Jewish identity of the state."
          This is a crucial dilemma in Israel's culture, which we rarely look at squarely in the US
          ...concerning the Palestinian Authority's capability of governing its territory and bring about a lasting peace.

          "With very little money, and no natural resources, they have accomplished quite a bit, building a security force that works every single day with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). They have entrepreneurial successes. They are nationalistic - but largely secular. Israel should support them."

          "Some Israelis claim [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas is not a partner for peace," Clinton continued, "Well, I think that should be tested."‬

          All of this is spot-on, positive, productive. It's essential to what the conversation about Palestine, statehood, Hamas/Fatah should be about.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:57:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This will be gone from the "media discourse" (5+ / 0-)

            in a matter of hours, leaving only the encouraging memory in the minds of those of us who are supposed to vote for her in 2016.

            And of course she says it while practically walking out the door, thus rendering the "outrage" even more meaningless.  Kinda like Ike and his (political) deathbed conversion regarding the "military-industrial complex" he'd served so faithfully all his life.

            •  Obama's not going anywhere though (11+ / 0-)

              and he is less close with Bibi than the Clinton's have been, historically. So I'm curious to see how he tackles this, especially since if he's not going up for reelection, he doesn't need to "prove" he's not a Muslim to people quite so much. I believe some of his embrace of Israel has been, perhaps, reflective of that.

              But if he's not going up for reelection, he has less to lose if he wants to be more sharp.

              One thing I've noticed about President Obama: he's not one to take broken promises lightly. Not when they undermine U.S. credibility.

              We shall see what happens next. I am not entirely cynical. I thought the UN statehood bid would be fruitful for Palestine when others were saying "No way, no how."

              "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

              by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:08:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obama is certainly not so foolish (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader, JesseCW

                as to think that anyone thinks the USA has any credibility in the Middle East.  That leaves, with regard to any reaction to "broken promises," only personal pique, and he's too professional to let that get in the way of ensuring Democratic electoral victories in elections in which he himself will not be running.

                •  I mean with the whole world (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, Brecht, wader, elwior

                  there are many Muslim countries outside of the Middle East who are concerned with matters there, and in general, he's trying to rebuild America's credibility with various nations worldwide post-Bush. Like with his recent trip to Myanmar.

                  I think this is an International embarrassment for the US! It is unless we want to spend our time hanging around no one but Nauru, Palau, and the Czech Republic!

                  "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                  by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:23:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Myanmar was all about (6+ / 0-)

                    bringing that country back into the capitalist fold.  

                    •  All of our attempts to restore (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poco, elwior, highacidity, zesty grapher

                      International repute are, aren't they? We are a Capitalist nation, by definition. And again, this sort of embarassment bodes poorly. There is a lot of chitter in many newspapers worldwide about how the Israeli settlements will probably cause economic harm to Israel due to a reduction in International aid and trade both. Are we sure we want to hang out with those guys on a Saturday night? No. We wouldn't hurt our economic reputation, first and foremost.

                      But if our actions have a secondary impact of helping nations in turmoil, good. And in this case, they would do that.

                      So whatever our primary motivation, and yes, it's a transparent one, but so are all nations' motives in a global capitalistic system, the secondary outcomes are good.

                      We can't fuck around here, in short. The world is quickly questioning our UN vote in newspapers 'round the globe.

                      I want to see more action.

                      "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                      by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:08:07 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  oh, probably not. (3+ / 0-)
                        about how the Israeli settlements will probably cause economic harm to Israel due to a reduction in International aid and trade both
                        Aid comes mostly from the USA and Germany.  We'll never stop, nor will the Germans, for obvious reasons.

                        As for trade, one of my fondest memories of living in Germany was watching all of the kids protest against Pershings and cruise missiles, Camels and Marlboros clenched firmly between their lips.

                        •  It was just something I was reading (0+ / 0-)

                          this morning, but I don't have the citation now, sorry. I was scouring the International news. The UK and Ireland have been very pointed about this both (I remember that). France seems to also have a bit of that going on. And yes, Merkel came out talking out of two sides of her mouth on the issue, abstaining in the vote but also saying "We'll keep funding you!"

                          I don't know how the aid is apportioned, just that there was some serious critique of funds drying up and the U.S. being laughed at a whole lot.

                          Interesting about Germany. You will have to tell me about this sometime. I went to a German school pre-Berlin wall, and boy did people talk shit, especially because I was Jewish (and this was in the U.S.). I don't remember my German at all and couldn't ever wrap my head around it. My Turkish is better.

                          Sorry, got off-topic there.

                          "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

                          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:41:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

              •  I took a short poli sci course last summer (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, Brecht, wader

                on the threat (such as it is or isn't) from al-Qaida. The prof, who specializes in foreign policy and war, was distraught that Obama wasn't going to be re-elected (in the summer of 2011, this was not an unreasonable position) specifically because Presidents have such a marked history of becoming reasonable once they don't have to run again.

                Given how much of that class made me want to throw things in anger over what Obama (and Hillary Clinton) were doing to further Bush's legacy rather than curtail it (Jane Mayer's original drone exposé was part of the reading material, and it still drives me to distraction every time I read it), it does give me hope that he won and can maybe listen to Biden more often.

                Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                Code Monkey like you!

                Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                by Code Monkey on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:20:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Cynical, aren't you? (2+ / 0-)

              Your view may be the realistic one, but still appears narrow to me.

              Ike, just by saying such truth (after WWII and the White House, from a postion of knowledge and credibility) made thousands of students of politics question the powers that be. Clearly, his wisdom has not prevailed and set things right overall. But it sure beats just staying asleep.

              Humans are not machines. There is always hope.

              "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

              by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:39:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  not much of an accomplishment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                made thousands of students of politics question the powers that be
                for someone who'd been POTUS for eight years and pursued exactly the opposite goals.

                Otherwise, it's not my fault if reality, which famously (around here at least) has a Democratic bias, also sometimes has a cynical one as well.

              •  "You might be a realist, but you say stuff (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I really don't want to hear".


                "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

                by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:36:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, Brecht, that most of the (9+ / 0-)

            statements you have quoted and TT's diary has mentioned are encouraging. They are welcome.

            But something sticks in my craw when Clinton says approvingly:

            building a security force that works every single day with the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).
            Is the IDF interested in maintaining "peace" in the West Bank so that the Palestinians are protected from robbers, burglars, pickpockets, murderers, etc? To ask this question is to realize how ridiculous it is.

            So what are the security forces working alongside IDF doing? They are repressing the protests--right?

            Its like another country praising Indian troops for working alongside British soldiers in suppressing the protests that erupted during India's fight for independence. There is something very wrong here.  

            It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

            by poco on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:30:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The PA exists (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              poco, JesseCW, Fire bad tree pretty

              to make the WB safe -- for settlers.  Whether it does anything else is really none of Israel's concern, but then, it doesn't seem to be much of Abbas's either.

            •  "There is something very wrong here." Absolutely. (3+ / 0-)

              Your comment is true.

              Within what passes for truth in Washington, especially within an executive with its tongue tied behind its back in speaking about Israel, Hillary is being refreshingly honest, no?

              I'm not certain.

              I do think, if I were in her shoes, my head would explode. Also, that if she spoke entirely frankly, it would be too easy for Bibi & our own Rethug shits to just laugh/ignore instead of addressing her points.

              "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

              by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:56:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Well Clinton is leaving office (7+ / 0-)

      politicians in both Israel and the US only seem to regain a measure of sanity on this issue upon leaving office. Thus there won't be concrete action but they can say in their autobiographies that they were on the right side of history (when it was too late).

      •  Her husband attempted the same, more ambitiously (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, mahakali overdrive, orlbucfan

        I'd much rather see her further Bill's legacy than see W. invade Iraq to get imaginary egg off Daddy's face...

        The slim hopes I have are based more on the changes sweeping the Middle East, and the increasing obviousness of how untenable Israel's present (and continually expanding) trenches are. Something's gotta give, and there ain't much give left in Gaza.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:21:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Occam's Razor and one thing that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Portlaw, Brecht

          folks are having a hard time getting past. What you say here. Something's got to give. Not only does it have to, but the proof is in the puttin' as the saying goes. Fact: the UN just recognized Palestine despite decades of exactly the opposite. We have a very big shift in the Middle East right now. Syria, we're backing the rebels to whatever degree. Egypt, we did the same. Iran is emboldened. And Palestine is now recognized by the UN. So yes, Occam's Razor says that we are in a new set of circumstances which will require new responses and strategies. Many are still predicating things based on what things looked like a week ago or a year ago or in 2009. That's the wrong tack to take. Things are shifting and shifting fast.

          The U.S. is facing International embarrassment, as is Israel, and Israel is facing outright condemnation, if both don't work to stop building settlements across the Green Line AND if we don't show strongly that we support Israel by supporting the UN's recommendations for a peaceful resolution. I think the executive branch realizes this a lot more than Congress.

          "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:58:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Her husband tried to browbeat Palestinians (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          into giving Israel everything else they still wanted.

          He also laid siege to Iraq for 8 years killing between 100,000 and 500,000 civilians, laying the ground work for a future invasion (one his spouse voted for).

          I'm sorry if reality is ugly when compared to the pretty stories you're dedicated to believing in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

          "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

          by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:39:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  But is she ending her political career? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, mahakali overdrive

        If, as many suspect, she is going to run again in 2016, then this has to be seen as a brave and thoughtful statement. She initially lost the 2008 nomination largely because of her support of Bush's invasion of Iraq. Perhaps she has learned something from Obama about learning from mistakes and will no longer be so quick to do what conventional wisdom says is politically expedient.

        If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

        by MikePhoenix on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:22:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good to hear, thanks for letting us know. :) n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    "Really nice, but also very serious about his job." Jackie Evancho on President Obama 6/7/12

    by BarackStarObama on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:23:50 PM PST

  •  Thank you for a very important diary (7+ / 0-)

    SoS Clinton is, of course, concerned that this may signal the death knell for a two-state solution, as has been stated in the media recently again and again. The two-state solution is supported by American Jews as well as both a majority of Israeli Jews and Palestinians, not to mention the UN en masse.

    It is very shameful that as of last week, Netanyahu told President Obama that he would not do anything retaliatory to the Palestinians after their vote request. And then he went, about an hour after that request, and started building outside of the Green Line! Is he mad?

    Israelis are not impressed from what I'm reading. This is very serious. This is acting outside of Israel's agreement with the UN, in fact. And moreover, it is antagonistic toward Palestine. Palestinian leaders spoke this morning saying, to paraphrase, "We know we're being antagonized to react, but we aren't going to react; we're not sure what we're even being baited to do" (this was not from Hamas but the PA, I believe).

    I think this is a key moment for everyone on both sides of this conversation to seriously COME TOGETHER and talk to the U.S. and write and call and say "Speak up." Because otherwise, we're painting ourselves into the corner as a bit of an International joke.

    This move disbenefits and makes less safe Israelis, for one thing, because random factions could start blowing up busses again, not to mention, the Israeli Government WILL lose credibility and monies from the greater International community. Who loses there? The Israeli people. It also disbenefits Palestinians because if random groups react to this with anger, then that's going to cast them in a negative light. Right now, they're showing strong restraint even though settlements are being built in "off-limits" lands which physically obstruct the two-states. Everyone knows that the 1967 lines have some obvious flaws in them now, but the E1 region is NOT part of this.

    This is embarassing and juvenile. Many in Israel's Government are quietly angry with Netanyahu, and there are all manner of leaked reports about to what degree. He's not a dictator, and he doesn't have the right to build outside of the Green Line because he didn't like the UN vote! America should be as firm as possible on this. And We, as Americans, be we on the side of Israel or Palestine or both, should very much have words with our Government to push for more vocal distancing from this ridiculous, petty, unrestrained, and yes, in the words of the Palestinian official, "provocative" action. It does nothing to advance peace AND it potentially imperils it. Is that what Israel wants? To piss off their neighbors? Why? There are ongoing peace negotiations that must happen whether or not Netanyahu wants one state or not: it's not going to happen, it was not the plan, and the UN opposes this, period.

    This defies ANY previous Israeli leadership in terms of audacity from what I've seen. Why the fuck should the US cheer for it? Our words should be yet more stern. To make that happen, we the People need to speak the Hell up to the US Government, because even if the executive branch is showing some reason here, our Congress is in the dark on this one with all the fundies, neocons, and GOP sneaking around in their, drooling.

    "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:44:24 PM PST

  •  "Stop pretending US is uninvolved helpless party": (15+ / 0-)

    Saying "Both sides are awful" ignores the key role of U.S. government:

    U.S. overseeing mysterious construction project in Israel:

    For better or worse, America has bent over backwards to support Israel since 1967, when LBJ even played down an Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in order to prevent damage to U.S.-Israel relations.

    Jimmy Carter has said what he thinks, but only after he retired. You'd think some active U.S. leader could have said an honest word, ally to ally, at some moment before this, rather than letting the situation slide until it reached this point.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:06:45 PM PST

    •  To Carter's credit, (6+ / 0-)

      if it weren't for his administration, it'd still be the Israel/Palestine/Egypt conflict. (Not that Egypt is gone from the equation, of course.) So I think he more than most has earned the right to criticize; maybe he didn't get as far on Palestine in particular, but he made a good chunk of progress.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:11:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jimmy Carter ended up showing many people like me (5+ / 0-)

        … what big fools we were. We were part of an America that failed to appreciate how big a treasure, how great a gift America and the world had in President Carter.

        Too many of us allowed ourselves to be conned into voting for Reagan, oblivious to the "roll back the Sixties" revisionists and reactionaries backing him.

        Woolly what-might-have-been thought that occurred to me often in the Nineties: "If only we hadn't been so stupid, the world's post-Cold-War political architects could have been Carter and Gorbachev."

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:06:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciated Carter and was (3+ / 0-)

          never swayed by Reagan. I still appreciate Carter and rank him as a great moral force.

        •  Yes, but...the Russians are pretty stupid, too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:32:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Carter started a war in Afghanistan which (3+ / 0-)

          has raged for over thirty years and taken over 1.5 million lives, overwhelmingly civilians.

          He has yet to voice a peep of apology for it.

          He didn't just appoint Brzezinski, he was that monsters hand puppet.

          "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

          by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:42:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Those of us who admire Carter (4+ / 0-)

            do so largely because of his post-Presidential career, or because our memories are selective.

            Let's not forget that enough Democrats were appalled by his performance that Ted Kennedy was able to launch a highly damaging primary campaign against him.

            Which isn't to say Carter wouldn't have won reelection if it weren't for Reagan's little deal with the Iranians, and the siphoning off of some votes by John Anderson.

          •  All political idols have feet of clay, don't they? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Those are also good points. As with President Obama, in many areas it was a question of "yeah, but the other guys were even worse."

            From the Wikipedia article on Zbigniew Brzezinski:

            In his 1970 piece Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era, Brzezinski argued that a coordinated policy among developed nations was necessary in order to counter global instability erupting from increasing economic inequality. Out of this thesis, Brzezinski co-founded the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, serving as director from 1973 to 1976. The Trilateral Commission is a group of prominent political and business leaders and academics primarily from the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Its purpose was to strengthen relations among the three most industrially advanced regions of the capitalist world. Brzezinski selected Georgia governor Jimmy Carter as a member.


            Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for the 1976 presidential campaign to a skeptical media and proclaimed himself an "eager student" of Brzezinski.[citation needed] Brzezinski became Carter's principal foreign policy advisor by late 1975. He became an outspoken critic of the Nixon-Kissinger over-reliance on détente, a situation preferred by the Soviet Union, favoring the Helsinki process instead, which focused on human rights, international law and peaceful engagement in Eastern Europe. Brzezinski has been considered to be the Democrats' response to Republican Henry Kissinger.[11] Carter engaged Ford in foreign policy debates by contrasting the Trilateral vision with Ford's détente.[12]

            "The Democrats' response to Republican Henry Kissinger." Just think about that for a moment. Is that as repulsive as it sounds, or is it just me?

            As for Afghanistan, folks my age may recall that it was once a favored destination of hippie backpackers: a sleepy, timeless backwater, a magic kingdom where one could live on little money and hashish was legal.

            Then the monarchy was overthrown and a pro-Soviet puppet government set up in its place. Socialism! Secular ideology! Equality of women! The U.S. couldn't have that! "This is Langley, Virginia calling. Get me a database of Islamic fundamentalists, stat!"

            The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

            by lotlizard on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 04:15:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Today, most Democrats think the Trilateral (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Commission is a fantasy of the conspiracy theorists, no more real than the Illuminati.

              "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

              by JesseCW on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 04:37:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I wish I remembered the source, (3+ / 0-)

    but I always liked the summary of Israel's options that went like this:

    A democratic state; a Jewish state; post-1967 borders. Pick two.

    It sounds like Clinton is saying something similar; I like it. Very clear-headed. Too much of the I/P discussion tends to be centered around blame and evil and other intangibles, when I think the more pragmatic “how can this end well” is a much better starting point.

    I also like the idea of not just assuming that Abbas isn't a partner for peace. That sort of attitude is often very self-fulfilling.

    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
    Code Monkey like you!

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    by Code Monkey on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:08:48 PM PST

  •  In other words: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, mickT, poco, Brecht, JesseCW
    'Please, Israel, go back to the less abrasive, less overtly confrontational occupation of the Labour governments. Stop making us so unpopular for bailing you out at the UN. Settlements are fine - cf. all the Labour government we've supported over the years, who built them as fast as Likud - but you've got to do it discreetly, or you make us look bad.'
    •  I imagine there will be disagreement here (6+ / 0-)

      over whether secretly in their heart of hearts Obama, Clinton et al. want Israel to end the occupation.

      Luckily it doesn't, as a practical issue, matter very much. Either Obama and Clinton personally actually support or don't care about the occupation, in which case it falls to U.S. citizens to build enough pressure on them to force a change in U.S. policy regardless. Or Obama and Clinton secretly want the occupation to end, in which case, it falls to U.S. citizens to build enough pressure to enable them to overcome political resistance and follow their hearts' true calling, by forcing Israel to withdraw. The same action, on the popular level, is called for either way.

  •  She should support that with... (6+ / 0-)

    She should support that with actions that do not give them cover in the UN, or supply them with weapons to militarily secure the low ground.

    This is all talk and no action from Hillary.

    Progressive, Independent, Unitarian, Vermonter.

    by Opinionated Ed on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:47:52 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure there is anything that Israel can do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    & still not be considered the good guys. Not here.

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:18:59 PM PST

  •  Israel cannot be a "Jewish state" unless (5+ / 0-)

    it ceases to be a democracy.

    That chimera, a "Jewish AND democratic state," became a demographic impossibility years ago. In a truly democratic Israel, where the Palestinian population is granted full rights, it will cease to have a uniquely Jewish character.

    Americans are American because they are citizens of America, not because of some shared ethno-religious concept of the "American people." More and more this is becoming a hallmark of modern nation-states. America has struggled and is struggling with this idea, so is Europe, and in the next few decades so too will Israel.

    The two-state solution is equally a chimera. The Palestinians are not like raisins in a cake to be picked out and sifted into a separate state. The longer the occupation continues, the more intermingled they become with the Israeli culture.

    Lincoln advocated the repatriation of freed slaves to Africa, but it was already far too late for that; African-Americans were thoroughly integrated into the fabric of America. Despite the later attempts at Jim Crow and segregation and ghettoization, what had happened could not be undone. African Americans were and are part of America, now and forever.

    As has happened to every ethnic-nationalist or religious-nationalist or ethno-religious-nationalist ideal (whatever category you believe Zionism falls into) in all human history, demographic realities will eventually cause its downfall. In the case of Israel, the occupation is hastening its own end. The more territory they grab and the more settlements they build the more thoroughly and inextricably they intertwine the Palestinians into Israel. No matter how many incentives the state of Israel offers Jews to immigrate, they can't increase the Jewish population fast enough to outpace the growth of the Palestinian demographic.

    De facto, the Palestinians are citizens of Israel who are denied their full rights by the state--indeed, who are deemed enemies of the state. The leaders of Israel and many of its citizens and supporters refuse to acknowledge this fact, but someday events will force them to acknowledge it in word, deed, and law.

    The idea of a binational Israeli state is only deemed radical and unthinkable by those for whom the Zionist dream is an unquestioned and absolute value. For those who don't hold such a position, then it's obviously the most reasonable solution.

    The only real alternative to the binational solution is most succinctly stated by Avigdor Lieberman: "when it comes down to the choice between a Jewish or Democratic Israel it has to be Jewish."

    First of all, he understands very clearly (as many others do not) that there IS a choice to be made. If you really, truly want Israel to be a Jewish state, you have to get rid of the Palestinians. Either by forcibly uprooting them, or if that doesn't work, by liquidating them to the last man, woman, and child.

    To paraphrase Moby Dick: all Lieberman's means are sane, his motive and his object mad.

    That object is not so different from the object of the more moderate supporters of Israel. It's simply that Lieberman sees the problem--and its solution--with the merciless, terrible clarity of the fascist, while the moderates shrink from the implications of what a "Jewish state" entails. Maybe the "peace process" will turn up something, they think, or maybe if we just build the settlements slowly to avoid raising international ire and try to avoid too openly repressive measures, the problem will solve itself.

    They wait for someone else to take the burden of making that choice from them--or they hope that that choice need not be made at all and that another alternative will magically appear that doesn't require them either to give up the notion of a Jewish state or to commit themselves to open wholesale ethnic cleansing. Anything to postpone the day of decision.

    And yet it's been many decades and that third alternative hasn't appeared. So what's to be done now?

    What happens next has grave implications for the world, not just Israel and the US. We all have a stake in it.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:53:07 PM PST

    •  Until The Paradigm Shifts (0+ / 0-)

      The right-wing dream that Israel can be Jewish, democratic, and extend its borders to encompass all of the Occupied Territories depends on the PA's willingness to play along with the charade.  So long as the PA pursues an independent state, some politicians in Israel can pretend that they don't need to worry about what happens to the Palestinian people.  If there is to be a Palestinian state, then those people will be located there and we don't need to worry about what's happening inside Israel.  The morning the PA deduces that the two-state solution has drifted away like smoke on the wind and formally requests the UN to stipulate that Israel owns the Occupied Territories and the population therein and the refugees now living outside them, those politicians will come up hard against a very nasty stone wall at a very high speed.  Just how does a government ask another to continue to extend considerable support and place their own citizens and interests at international risk when the policies being implemented cannot be denies international opprobrium?  We in the US forget that the reason civil rights for our African-American population began to come to the fore in the post-WW2 period is our recognition of just what had happened in Europe under a regime we had just destroyed.  How long could a similar situation be ignored when the PA requests full citizenship in Israel for its supporters?  

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:14:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No Double-Standards (2+ / 0-)

    I have a big problems with Hillary's statement. Why should Israel have to occupy the moral high ground?  Why aren't both sides held to the same standard?

    Both sides have to stop the killing, especially the killing of civilians. Both sides have to recognize each other's right to exist. Both sides have to treat each other as equal in the eyes of God. Both sides have to recognize that they both have valid historical claims to the land (which should make those claims irrelevant to future bargaining, since they cancel each other out).  And both sides need to stop their posturing, get their own political houses in order, then sit down at the bargaining table. None of those things can be a one-way street.

  •  Good n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:26:52 PM PST

  •  Unfortunately, occupying the moral high ground (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't help you when people are determined to end your existence.

    In any case, I don't know where these new units are, but I do know Israel knows where it thinks the final borders should be.  It involves a land swap - some land that's now inside Israel, traded for some land on the West Bank.  So, if these new units are inside the area where Israel wants the final borders to be, it makes sense to put them there as a unilateral move in response to Abbas' unilateral move.

    I realize the anti-Israel majority on this blog won't agree with me, so fire away.  I'm not going to keep arguing on this.  I just wanted to make those two points.

  •  It is conduct like this (0+ / 0-)

    that many people find difficult to stomach-

    This is an action alert---as well.

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:31:34 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site