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Bibi Netanyahu's response to the UN vote is nothing less than the manufacturing of an unmistakable Pyrrhic victory:

Israel plans to build some 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements in response to the Palestinians' successful bid for recognition at the UN General Assembly this week, a senior diplomatic source told Haaretz on Friday.

According to the source, Israel also plans to advance long-frozen plans for the E1 area, which covers an area that links the city of Jerusalem with the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim.

If built, the controversial plan would prevent territorial contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank, making it difficult for a future Palestinian state to function.

Paper, such as the UN vote upgrading the international status of Palestine, rarely competes with bulldozers, unless the drivers of the bulldozers recognize the authority of the paper in question.

Israelis as centrist as former Likud politician and Kadima Prime Minister Ehud Olmert supported the UN initiative.  Staunch supporters of Israel in the US like David Frum recognized the conciliatory language in Abu Mazen's (PA President Abbas') remarks at the vote:

I am here to say on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation Organization: We extend our hands to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peace-making. I say to them: Let us urgently build together a future for our children where they can enjoy freedom, security and prosperity. Let us build the bridges of dialogue instead of checkpoints and walls of separation, and build cooperative relations based on parity and equity between two neighbouring states — Palestine and Israel — instead of policies of occupation, settlement, war and eliminating the other.


The state we want will be a state characterized by the rule of law, democratic exercise and protection of the freedoms and equality of all citizens without any discrimination, and the transfer of power through the ballot box.

Of course, Frum casts plenty of doubt upon the sincerity of these remarks and explicitly accuses Abu Mazen of hypocrisy, which is a bit rich when considered in context.

But that brings us to the Likud led government's response, which commits to effectively bisecting the occupied West Bank of the Jordan from East to West.  Netanyahu must have deluded himself into believing that Palestinians will settle for three bantustans (Gaza, West Bank North, and West Bank South) as their de-militarized state, with no control of their borders, air space, and water, and whose treaties and trade agreements with other nation-states are contingent upon Israeli approval.  Or perhaps he really believes that if Israel holds on long enough, Palestinians will simply give up and go away.  Maybe he really thinks they will fade from history and assimilate into other nations and cultures.  History demonstrates that this is absurd, at least in the short term calculation of decades and centuries, spans more significant when measured in lifetimes.  Ethically, to wish another people out of existence is an abomination.  

Since neither Palestinian acceptance of a mockery of a "state" nor their historical melting away are likely or represent an ethically sustainablel wish, Netanyahu should expect Palestinians to hold him to Principle #5 of his Likud Party Charter.

ה. קיום משטר ממלכתי-דמוקרטי במדינה: הבטחת עליונות החוק, זכויות האדם והאזרח, חופש המצפון, חרות הפרט, שוויון זכויות והזדמנות כל אזרחי המדינה ומניעת כל אפליה על
.רקע מין, גזע, עדה, דת, מעמד או השקפה

The maintenance of sovereign democratic rule in the state: Assurance of the primacy of the law, human and civil rights, freedom of conscience, individual liberty, equality of rights and opportunities for all citizens of the state and prevention of all discrimination on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, class, or perspective. (translation mine)

Sounds enlightened, yes?  Unbeknownst to most who only know Likud through its odious policies, it grew out of a movement that characterized itself as liberal, at least in the classical sense.  If Ronald Reagan would be booted from today's Republican Party, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, intellectual founder of this movement, might very well be shot out of a cannon by today's Likud Central Committee.  

If Netanyahu and his allies are going to scuttle all possibilities for a viable Palestinian state, they will do the same for a viable Jewish/Zionist state.  For the demographic situation that keeps the internal conflict between liberalism and nationalism within Zionism at bay requires two states.  One's viability depends upon the other's.  I have been arguing for years, along with a handful of other Jewish Israelis and some Palestinian thinkers and activists, that the one thing that might change the trajectory of things here would be a popular movement among Palestinian non-citizens to apply for Israeli citizenship.  

One of the key arguments against the apartheid analogy has some truth to it.  The ANC didn't want either to dismantle or separate from the Republic of South Africa, they wanted to join it.  If stateless, occupied Palestinians were to demand full rights of citizenship in Israel, even the Likud would have trouble justifying a refusal.  Israel would be faced with three possibilities: refusing and thus formalizing an Apartheid; instituting a two state solution; or granting these applications and the enfranchisement that they entail, which would enable either a process leading to a bi-national secular state or an agreement to divide into two states from within the Knesset (Israeli Parliament).  

For the record, as I understand the central principle of Zionism to be full enfranchisement of Jews in Israel, not Jewish sovereignty that limits the enfranchisement of others, I would be quite happy in a bi-national secular republic with a constitution that recognizes the dignity of all the competing historical/national narratives of its communities, individual rights and liberties, and ensures that equitable distribution of resources does not depend upon demographic "superiority."  I bow, however, to the aspirations of Palestinians to build their own nation state.  I may be skeptical that two ethnocratic nationalisms are better than one, but I don't see myself in the position to dictate that to members of another national/cultural community.

And thus, I understand why an Israeli citizenship movement among Palestinians is unlikely.  For many Palestinians in the territories, this would be a betrayal of their cultural and national identities and an abandonment of their historical narrative.  But it would be a game changer.  The question is, given the  "facts on the ground" established by successive Israeli governments and crowned by this announcement to brazenly vivisect the West Bank, the final straw in rendering a Palestinian state unviable, what else is left?


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Comment Preferences

  •  The Jewish people have legitimate historical (4+ / 0-)

    grievances of the highest magnitude.

    They should not expect, however, that Palestinians will willingly be booted out of their homes and off their land to redress those grievances

    The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

    by magnetics on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:13:23 AM PST

    •  "the Jewish people" do not expect that (8+ / 0-)

      these are the actions of the right wing Israeli Government.

      The Jewish people is a much MUCH broader group. so please do not paint all with such a wide brush stroke.

      As the diarist says...even Centerist Israeli's supported this UN measure. IIC

      The majority of "The Jewish People" do not live in Israel and are not represnted by that right wing government.

      You may think this is just semantics but it's important not to paint an entire group of people by the actions of a subset. I can give you examples if you need them. Thanks.

      •  Excellent points jplanner, very well-stated. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins, jplanner
      •  The Israeli people somehow manage to (0+ / 0-)

        tolerate such a government, and the West Bank settlements (since 1973), not to mention the recent bombing of Lebanese infrastructure.  That's bad enough, I think.  I do not condone rocket attacks by Hamas -- they are acts of terrorism-- but also, be it said, of desperation.  The damage is highly disproportionate.  In the past year, something like 3 Israelis died in rocket attacks, and 78 Palestinians from Israeli gun fire. Over this same period, approximately 400 Israelis were killed in automobile accidents.

        In any case, my grandfather brought his family to America from Grodno (in present-day Belarus) in 1908 (in 1908 my father was 12 years old) exactly because he wished not to go to Palestine (there was a Zionist movement even then, so emigration to Palestine was an option).

        My grandfather's reasoning was (in essence) that the Arabs are already there, so why disturb them?

        The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

        by magnetics on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:24:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not disputing that, just use of JEWISH (0+ / 0-)

          (a religion and  a people) rather than ISRAELI a country

          Bush made immoral war and killed tens of thousands of Iraqi's. Yet half of all Americans re elected him.

          YET his right wing immoral goverment did not stand for us.

          It may be that Bibis actions do not stand for many Israelis either.
          REgardless of that
          it is not just to label all Jews (poster said JEWISH PEOPLE) by the actions of this right wing government of this particular country.

          You needn't argue the other things I don't dispute them

      •  I only wish that AIPAC were not so (0+ / 0-)

        audible a Jewish voice in matters of public policy touching Israel.

        I have Israeli colleagues (one of whom I recently hosted in the US) and we got on very amicably.  He is orthodox, but not ultra.

        He invited me to visit him in Israel (I hedged).  We discussed politics a lot, amicably on the whole.  Without stating it directly I think I gave him to understand that if I lived in Israel, I would likely be part of the Peace Movement there.

        You surely have heard that with three Jews in a room you will have five political parties.

        The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

        by magnetics on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:30:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. Most Jews are Dems but they are not heard (0+ / 0-)

          70% at least
          Many are very progressive. Huge movement for Palestinian rights amongst American Jews as well.

          The righties with the money have the voice. As usual...not just true about Jews.

          Jews support Israel's right to exist (ie not die) so Hamas freaks people out...all the "Death to Jews" talk in Arabic but never heard in English...all the "Israel must be pushed into the sea' talk by Arab leaders in Arabic (and in PErsian in Iran) make many Jews firm on that.

          But most want peace and two state plan beyond that. Those that are policially aware ...many (everyone I know...I never met a right wing Jew until the last ten years to be  honest and I grew up amongst Jews on East one I knew was like that.) are horrified and frustrated by the Right wing governmet and the Settlers.

          We need to remember that all ISraeli governments were not this way. Hope something happens t

          I don't think the Israeli people can hack being hit with missles and maintain there desire for peace. I think it's too scary for them. The people are now leaning more right then they did before. Israel needs to stop settlements ASAP and they need to stop the missles. Doesn't matter if they are innefficient. Civillains freak out with the threat while living surrounded by enemies who have the rhetoric they want you dead. It' s human nature. Not saying it's right.

          Foolish foolish righties are screwing up Israeli's chance for peadce and justice. they need ot give carrots to those that renounce violence (West Bank) not just sticks to those who don't

          they give all JEws a bad name.

          AIPAC and Jews:

          Maybe like American and moderate Muslims in a way...I have a lot of Muslim friends from N. Africa. Moderates. The extremists give Muslims a bad name and extremists seem to have a much larger voice than the larger numbers of moderates. My friends lament that every time extremists bomb and kill it gives all Muslims a bad name.

          it's like that

          So when someone says "The Jewish people" for what Right wing Israeli's do, it is wrong and offensive even to many Jews. I'd NEVER say "MUSLIMS" for what extremists do. That would not be fair to over generalize. I speak up whenever Americans do this to all Muslims.

  •  So Israel has been building settlements (8+ / 0-)

    all over the West Bank for generations.  Israel has ethnically cleansed the Jordan River valley, to cut off Palestine from Jordan.  Israel has literally built buildings that cross into Palestine.  Israel has been building walls and constructing barricades for generations.  What the fuck is the difference?

    I saw this news story on TV earlier today, and I thought it was uninformed commentary then too.

    Netayahu has a plan:  to continue the annexation of Palestinian land while simultaneously denying Palestinians any protections of civil law; to make life so unbearable for Palestinians they disappear, or to destroy their soul so completely they become exactly how Ben Gurion described them to Einstein in the 1936 - of no account.

    This plan was just as immoral and unacceptable in the 1970's as it is this current decade.  

    But so long as his dog, the USA, is trained to heel and obey his commands, he will continue its pursuit.  

    And this Vladimir Jabotinsky love that has been going on in these threads is very offensive.  Jabotinsky was committed to ethnically cleansing Palestine, despite rather feeble denials, and his political descendants are among the most extreme right-wing political parties.

    Here he is in 1923:

    Any native people – its all the same whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs.

    Compromisers in our midst attempt to convince us that the Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked by a softened formulation of our goals, or a tribe of money grubbers who will abandon their birth right to Palestine for cultural and economic gains.

    I flatly reject this assessment of the Palestinian Arabs. Culturally they are 500 years behind us, spiritually they do not have our endurance or our strength of will, but this exhausts all of the internal differences.

    We can talk as much as we want about our good intentions; but they understand as well as we what is not good for them. They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie.

    To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile.

    And here is his youth movement in the 21st century:
    Betar supports the concept of a Jewish state with a Jewish Majority in its biblical-homeland. The entire land of Israel as given to the Jewish people by G-d with it's eternal capital Jerusalem. We therefore wholeheartedly support the settlement of all of Israel including Judea, Samaria, [i.e. the West Bank] Gaza and the Golan Heights, and support the rights of all Jews to live anywhere in Israel.
    Note that Jabotinsky's spiritual children support the right of Jews to live anywhere in the levant, but Muslims and Christians are not welcome.
    •  You misread entirely (4+ / 0-)

      There's no Jabotinsky love in this diary at all.  Any more than there is Reagan love involved in acknowledging that he would be unacceptable to the contemporary GOP.  

      Self-contradictory or not (and I think it clearly is) Jabotinsky's ideological descendants have clung to certain classical liberal principles.  This is why Dan Meridor, Benny Begin, Ruby Rivlin, and others find themselves without a place in the party.  Even if they had made the lost in the primaries, they cannot support Lieberman's undermining of Israeli democratic principles as they see them.  The Likud is now even more than it has been the political wing of the settlement movement.  And Labor isn't offering a clear enough alternative, if it ever did.  How many settlements were established under Meir, Rabin, Peres, and Barak?

      The difference you ask for here is an east-west bi-section of the West Bank, which is significantly more damaging to the prospects of a two state solution than severing it geographically from Jordan.

      As such, regardless of what Netanyahu wants or intends, if he even has a realistic strategy with a clear end game, at a certain point this must become a struggle for civil rights, one that will be painful in the short term but will critically damage any dreams of Jewish sovereignty.

      •  "Vivisection of the West Bank" (6+ / 0-)


        How long will Americans not just stand by and watch, but actively assist?

        The countries of the United Nations might be unable to do much to protect the Palestinians against the combined military forces of Israel and America, but they have sent a nearly unanimous message to us that should cause us to reflect on the course we've chosen. Worse than the act of stealing real estate is the implication that "such is our power over you that we can and we will if want to."

        What is good and defensible about the sovereignty of nations that flout human human rights and dignity?

        “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

        by RJDixon74135 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:29:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Native Americans... (6+ / 0-)

          ...must understand all too well what the Palestinians are suffering. The Palestinian tragedy echoes that of myriad native American nations all too closely.

          The propaganda of the American frontier portrayed the natives as savages capable only of killing and cruelty; is it any wonder that we Americans, who grew up with the cowboys vs. Indians meme, so easily accept the notion that civilized Israel is merely defending itself against savage Palestinians?

          •  Yes, and I think it is no coincidence that both (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            letsgetreal, Lepanto

            cases involve aggression by people who believe(d) they carried out evil at the behest of God.

            “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

            by RJDixon74135 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:57:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

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

          [ Parent ]

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

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

            From an earlier comment I made:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

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

              [ Parent ]

              •  However your ancestors who settled (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

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

                •  quick question (6+ / 0-)

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

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

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

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

                    •  and before 1947 (5+ / 0-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    •  Jordan ceded their claims (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      to west bank lands to the PLO in the '80's.

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

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

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

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

                  Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

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

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm just trying to point out that (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    the "who are the indiginous people" argument is complex when we talk about Israel. As it is in many other places throughout the world.

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

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

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

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

                      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

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

                      [ Parent ]

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

          if he wants a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.  

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

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

          Either way, what Bibi is doing is totally unrealistic.

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

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

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

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

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

            •  Well (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Winston Sm1th

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

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

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

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

  •  Folks should read or watch Israel National News, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ortheother, Timothy J, corvo, wu ming

    … or Arutz Sheva — the media voice of the settler movement.

    It's extremely important to hear and understand what's being said by opinion leaders on that side of the I/P equation, in their own words. The settler movement has great power, influence, and international support. They've been pretty much in the driver's seat since Premier Rabin was assassinated.

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

    by lotlizard on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:46:48 AM PST

  •  How does Gaza fit into this? (0+ / 0-)

    Does it become part of Egypt like it was pre-1967?

  •  Alternative idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winston Sm1th

    I think Israeli Jews should start to move into the occupied territories and request Palestinian citizenship. There would be no problem with that, would there? I mean, surely there are clauses in the Fatah and Hamas charters that parallel the one quoted from Likud's, right? The Palestinians would welcome the opportunity to show off their liberal, democratic, secular regime, wouldn't they? [fade in: chorus of "it's a Small, Small World." Tutto il mondo è paese.].

    •  I like this idea (0+ / 0-)

      I appreciate the snarkiness, of course.  I mean, I think we both know why Israelis can't apply for Palestinian citizenship.  Because Palestinians can't apply for Palestinian citizenship.  Because there is no Palestine.

      But in your own way, you make a great point.  In a sovereign Palestine, Muslim and Christian Palestinians will have to ensure the rights of Israeli Jews living in Palestine.  And Israel will have to ensure equality under the law for Palestinians living in Israel, which, of course, it currently does not do.

      For centuries Palestinian Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in relative peace, if only perhaps because of perpetual occupation, and because they all considered themselves Arabs.  And historically Muslims and Jews have always had far more in common with each other, than with Christians.  

      Its odd that recent history has resulted in the absorption of of Palestinian Jews, and the polarization of Jews versus Christians and Muslims in the levant, instead of Christians versus everybody else.  I guess colonization and occupation make strange bedfellows.

      Either way, failure to imagine this small world can never be an excuse for the systematic denial of any citizenship rights for millions of people decade after decade.  I think we both can agree on that.

  •  Did you read this diary? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J, corvo, letsgetreal, Lepanto

    About a Jerusalem Post report in 2010, referring to an interview with Netanyahu in 2001?

    Check it out.

    BIBI:  "The world won’t say a thing. The world will say we’re defending.  Especially today, with America, I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They [America] won’t get their way ...  They won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way.”
    ~Bibi Netanyahu in 2001
    Well, how about that, Bibi knows exactly what the "world" will say ... "Israel is defending...."  How convenient for Bibi.
          To ask a similar question that the Jerusalem Post asked:

          What does this 2001 tape tell those of us who already had serious doubts about Netanyahu’s sincerity?

  •  I have a question for which I have not been (0+ / 0-)

    able to obtain an answer, but for which I received a lot of grief that I didn't really understand.  

    If Israel is a Jewish state, and to be a full citizen one must be Jewish, why can't Palestinians convert to Judaism and be fully enfranchised?  Or if it is a matter of race, then would a DNA test for those special Jewish genetic markers be an objective test?  I seem to remember something about African Jews who claimed to be Jewish finally got DNA tested that proved they were really Jewish, (although the white Jews weren't too happy about it).  I'm certain that many Palestinians are descendants of the same people that inhabited the area 2000 years ago, so they should share the DNA markers as well.  

    According to my brother-in-law, it isn't possible for Palestinians to convert  because being Jewish isn't just about religion. (Mind you, I know people who have become Jewish, so WTF?)  So when I ask if being Jewish is a question of race? And would a DNA test resolve the issue, he got really angry with me and said being Jewish was not a racial issue.  So what is it then?  

    How can Palestinians become Jewish enough to be full citizens or do they have to be second class citizens for ever? If there were a pathway for Palestinians to become full citizens of Israel, I'm certain many would do it for purely practical reasons.  My view is that most people are not so moved by ideology or religion and do whatever to get by.

    And why is asking these questions anti-semitic? (At least, according to my bro-in-law, who may or may not be an idiot.)  

    •  approx. 20% of Israeli citizens are non-Jews (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There have been non-Jewish ministers in governments, there has never been a Knesset without non-Jews sitting in it, there is a non-Jewish Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court who does not stand for its Zionist national anthem.  There are problems indeed relating to minority citizens, but these are de facto and there are many who work to address such grievances, just as in the US with its minorities.  As such, I don't think it's accurate to argue that full citizenship is contingent upon being Jewishness.

      However, it seems deeply awful to ask someone to give up his or her identity in order to attain enfranchisement.  And Palestinians in the territories could demand citizenship without converting.  If you read the diary, you would know that I consider this an unlikely but powerful way to move things forward and force the issue.

      •  A DK diary said 1million Israeli settlers in WB (0+ / 0-)

        are Russian Israelis  and not Jewish. True?

        I did read the diary and I think I agree with you, but if Israelis are like my relative, the goalposts for Palestinians will shift and they won't be allowed to return.  

        Why can't a Palestinian convert and receive the subsidy to (re)settle in Israel?  Why can't there be a pathway for Palestinians to have the option of becoming citizens of Israel and reclaiming their ancestral land to which they may still hold a land deed?

    •  FYI, the Palestinians (0+ / 0-)

      who live in pre-1967 Israel (whether Muslim, Christian and-of course- Jewish) are citizens of Israel.


  •  I like summarizing things (0+ / 0-)

    Does the diary boil down to

    "Jewish, democratic, West Bank: pick any two."

  •  Detailed maps of Palestine 2012 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redrobin, ortheother
    This complete, interactive map of the West Bank and Gaza includes information about Palestinian communities and Israeli settlements, checkpoints, the separation barrier, agricultural gates in the separation barrier, settlement zones in East Jerusalem, etc. Plus ongoing B’Tselem reports and video clips, organized by location.

  •  Moving to Israel (0+ / 0-)

    If I have to do that I will, but one way or another, Bibi is going down even if he is reelected.

    "The president was committed; elected on the basis that he was not Romney and Romney was a poopy head and you should vote against Romney and he won by two points." The increasingly irrelevant Grover Norquist

    by Wolfox on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:08:50 PM PST

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