Friday, September 16, 2011

FRY'DAZE - Progressive Zionist Style

Welcome to the return of Fry'd Daze. Fry'd Daze has been a long running series on Daily Kos dedicated to dialogue in the Middle East. For a while I pulled it, but recently was asked to bring it back and decided that I should. These articles are not intended to be a flame forum, but rather something where community members can meet and exchange ideas about I/P and/or issues that concern the Middle East.
Generally, these articles take the form of four to five news articles and short commentary selected by the diarist. These stories however, are just a platform to get discussion going.

Our lead this week is:

Abbas: Palestinians to seek full UN membership:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that the Palestinians plan to approach the United Nations Security Council for full recognition, clarifying that they are seeking to delegitimize the occupation, not Israel, by taking the UN route for Palestinian statehood.

He stressed that Israel is a legitimate state, but that by continuing to build in the settlements and rejecting the internationally recognized borders of a future Palestinian state, they are engaging in illegitimate activity.

"What I will take to the UN will be the suffering and concerns of our people that have been taking place over 63 years living under the occupation," Abbas said, adding that the Palestinians, like every nation, deserve independence, adding that the Palestinians want a state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

So, President Abbas is determined to take this to the U.N. Security Council where the U.S. has promised that it will veto the move.

Ynet further reports Abbas as saying the following:

I’m going to the UN in order to demand our legitimate rights and secure full membership for the state of Palestine," the Palestinian president said in Ramallah. "We hope to secure full membership."

We are not going to annul Israel's legitimacy," he said. "Nobody can annul Israel's legitimacy. It's a recognized state," he said. "We wish to isolate Israel's policy."
Israel's policy of occupation is the Palestinians' "catastrophe and nightmare," Abbas said, slamming Israeli arrests and attacks by settlers.
"We wish to isolate the legitimacy of the occupation, but not Israel's legitimacy," he said.

He also does go on to say that he does not advocate violence and he did urge that all marches and demonstrations be peaceful.  Rumors in the area talk of the P.A. buying crowd control devices/weapons (the P.A. denies)  from the Israelis so that they can better handle crowds and not allow for clashes between Israeli Settlers and Palestinians.

One thing about about Abbas' comments stands out to me. It is when he talks about 63 years of occupation. The 1967 war was 44 years ago so the 63 years he talks about is the founding of the State of Israel (1948). YET... he says that he doesn't want to delegitimize the State, he just wants to delegitimize the occupation. However, he considers the State of Israel as an occupation. So... What does this mean?

To me it says that he refuses to consider Israel as the National State and Homeland of the Jewish People. He seems willing to accept that there is a State of Israel but he also seems to want to insist on Palestinian Right of Return to that State. Hence the comment about occupation. In effect it seems that Mr. Abbas is talking about recognizing Palestine now and negotiating for Palestine within Israel of 1967.

The second question I have is where are the Palestinians going to get their funding for their State? By going to the U.N. Security Council, they force the U.S. into a corner. This move is obviously going to succeed in the United Nations General Assembly. Despite a promise of ethnic cleansing from Ambassador Areikat and the P.L.O. this move will pass. So the U.S. now needs to do something completely against regional and world general opinion.  In doing this the U.S. puts its various alliances at risk and opens itself to losing regional influence to Turkey and Iran, two countries trying to force their own hegemonistic visions on the area.

Given that the U.S. is the largest single funder of the Palestinian Authority ($400 - $600 million per year), and is contemplating cutting off all funds to the P.A., exactly where do they think that money is going to come from? Their brother Arab States have been notoriously bad at keeping debt promises and the European Union simply doesn't have the kind of continual flow of money that the P.A. needs to sustain itself. Haaretz covers the myriad of congressional responses here:

Congress mulls closing PLO mission in light of UN bid -

Congress is considering taking punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority or closing the Palestinian Liberation Organization's mission in Washington should it go ahead with plans to seek full membership at the United Nations Security Council next Friday.

The Americans were frustrated that years of financial aid, currently comprising 600 million dollars annually, intended to promote peace negotiations and stability did not yield many material results.
At the discussions, which took place at the House of Committee on Foreign Affairs, some experts called to cut the aid, while others warned it might undermine the Palestinian-Israeli security cooperation, and would thereby undermine Israeli security.

Both President Abbas and PM Netanyahu will be addressing the U.N. next week AND President Obama will be meeting with both Israeli PM Netanyahu and Turkish Premier Erdogan in NY, so look for a great deal of movement on both sides in the coming seven days.

Our second story comes from Maan:  Israel calls in Egypt envoy, says peace deal vital -

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel's Foreign Ministry called in the Egyptian ambassador on Friday to stress the importance of the two countries' historic peace accord, an Israeli official said, after Egypt's prime minister said the treaty was not "sacred".

Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf told Turkish television on Thursday that the 1979 peace accord with Israel could be changed for the benefit of the region.

An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak told Egyptian envoy Yasser Reda that treaties must be honored to the letter.


and Haaretz delves into further depth here with:

The Foreign Ministry summoned Egypt's ambassador to Israel to a meeting on Friday morning, in order to clarify remarks made by Egypt's interim Prime Minister that the Israel-Egypt peace treaty should be revised.

A source in the Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak requested clarifications over the remarks, especially considering previous contradictory remarks made by the Egypt's military council that the peace treaty should be preserved.

Earlier in the week Egypt's ruling cabinet had called for an emergency meeting to deal with the aftermath and diplomatic repercussions of the incident when protesters had stormed the Israeli embassy and Egyptians commandos had to rescue the besieged Israelis.

Finally,

Erdogan: Those in Syria who inflict repression will not survive 

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his rhetoric against Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday, saying those in Syria who inflict repression on the people will not survive.

Erdogan, who is visiting Libya, told a cheering crowd in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square, formerly Green Square, that by ousting Muammar Gadhafi the Libyan people had set an example to others seeking to throw off oppression.....

....The Turkish prime minister added, "do not forget this: those in Syria who inflict repression on the people will not be able to stand on their feet because oppression and prosperity cannot exist together."

In yesterday's column called "Suggested Reading" there is an article about Erdogan as the rising star of Middle Eastern politics. It is well worth a read after this.
Please participate. The only thing we ask is that you keep comments respectful, reality based and please no use of Anti-Semetic or Anti-Arab memes. Enjoy!

56 comments:

  1. The same thing stuck out to me as well when I read it, namely the "63 years." I think, unfortunately, it was a slip of the tongue that indicated the real end-game here, namely the end of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People. It seems Abbas' ultimate goal in the two-state solution is Palestine and Palestine. He, and others, need to understand that the whole point of the two-state solution is two states for two peoples, not two states for one people. Further, after the reiteration the other day that there would be no Jews in a future Palestine, should this come to pass, it is reasonable to ask if they would make all of the former mandate Judenfrei.

    Given this, I am now much more open to the idea that we should, in fact, cease aid to the Palestinian Authority if they decide to go this route. As a country, what does it say when we fund organizations that are dedicated, both in word and deed, to ending the existence of our allies?

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  2. Paul in San FranciscoSeptember 16, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Abbas also showed that he's entitled to his own facts when he said the Palestinians are the only people living under occupation. I'm sure the Tibetans feel much better now.

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  3. Well Reuvan that is the devil in all of this... While it is totally understandable that the U.S. would react this way at the same time is it in our best interests? Breaking the Palestinians financially will only push them more to Hamas instead to a more moderate incarnation. Right now, Iran is willing to bankroll anyone who will by thier line of crap. Do we really want to see an Iranian vassel state in part of the West Bank?

    Right now, Turkey is making a big push at Regional Hegemony and using Israel as the football to kick around to get crowds riled up and chanting "Erdogan". Do we want to cede leadershipof the issue to them?

    Really it currently comes down to the fact that if we do indeed cut aid (again totally understandable) will the outcome be in our interests.

    There has to be a modified use of this "stick".

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  4. @ Paul... yeah not only Abbas says that... or rather it shows the level of caring by those claiming to be "human rights activists". Whoops.

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  5. Exactly, Reuven.

    'Baby steps,' is what it (the "63 years" stuff) sounds like to me, too, unfortunately...

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  6. Well, volley, the stick is needed. We just have to figure out how to use that stick. Also, Iran's aid comes, to a great deal, in the provision of arms. For everything that people might want to say, look at what the Second Intifada did for the Palestinians, namely it was effectively suppressed, in the end, by Israel. Yes, many innocents were killed because of terrorism, but Israel effectively ended most of the terrorism and the Palestinians are still stateless.

    I am hoping that it does not come down to a military solution. War should be avoided whenever possible and the loss of innocent life is always tragic, and, also, an unfortunate and unavoidable guarantee of war. I think Abbas is intelligent enough to understand what happens as a result of war, and, I believe, he does not want to turn into another Arafat, besieged in his compound and a pariah in the world.

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  7. One would hope Reuven that President Abbas would see turning to Iran would be a huge mistake but when payrolls aren't met and security forces don't get paid, and people can't eat then what do you do?

    Abbas painted himself into a corner (as did Erdogan, as did Netanyahu)... he has to go for it. Plus, he has public opinion on his side. Polls show the Palestinians would rather have been negotiating first but now that this is in motion, the majority say: "Don't turn back".

    If he does turn back and doesn't get anything for it, he just handed power over to Hamas. He will never be taken seriously by anyone again. Ever.

    The thing is that with a Republican in office this kind of thing is not going to go away in fact the sticks are going to be much harsher.

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  8. Leftynyc here (having trouble posting) - while the US would be well within their rights to cut/stop the aid, I'm not sure that's the best course for the reasons given - this would further push people towards hamas. I honestly don't know what the best course of action is - plusses and minuses on both sides.

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  9. And New Zealand's out -

    http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=238244

    "New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced on Friday that New Zealand will boycott the Durban III conference on September, 22 because the anti-racism event is plagued by anti-Semitism.

    In a statement issued to The Jerusalem Post on Friday, McCully said: "We remain concerned that the commemoration of the 2001 Durban Declaration could re-open the offensive and anti-Semitic debates which undermined the original World Conference. For these reasons, we have decided not to participate.”

    He added that "New Zealand is fully committed to combating racism and we agree the UN should lead discussions on the elimination of racism. That is why we engaged constructively in the preparatory discussions in New York. However, in the end, the text is not one that we could support.”

    The New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministry statement said “New Zealand joins a growing list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Israel and the USA, that have also indicated they will not participate in the event."

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  10. @ Leftynyc... WELCOME!!! Glad to see you here.

    @ Jay... Thanks for posting this - good on N.Z. for joining in the stand against racism and hatred!

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  11. I agree with most others about Abbas. A state will not end the conflict, but enhance it.

    As to Palestinian intentions, I suggest that look here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j8YI9tqTHQ&feature=player_detailpage

    Sorry that I am so poor knowing html code.

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  12. No problem oldschool....

    Given the comments of Ambassador Areikat and President Abbas, along with the commentary of other PA, PLO, and Hamas officials, I am inclined to agree with you at this point.

    Because of those comments I see no reason to support their bid at the U.N.

    I do see a need to get to the negotiating table, particularly as that is what both sides want to do (at least according to the polls).

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  13. It's not as if these people have no been consistent all along.

    I am not sure what to do. I'd like to see a state and then the ICC prosecutor show up at their door.

    All I believe is that there will be no cessation in the conflict one way or the other unless Palestinians and others decide it will be so. However, for them it may be too great a humiliation for the Jews, who come from apes and pigs and are inferior as non-Muslims, to have a successful state in what they believe is their territory, even if a sliver. It is even worse because the comparison between Israel and them on a myriad of issues, particularly human rights, exposes the faults of their societies.

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  14. Well I think both sides have to see it, not just the Palestinians. The Israelis are sending pretty clear messages at this point that they are not that interested in full peace either.

    As you are well aware I am a proponent of the last Kadima offer that Olmert made.. I think Israel should re-offer that map. Should that not be accepted then Israel has to revisit the next steps BUT honestly, time and world opinion are not on their side. The Palestinians know this and are working it.

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  15. Actually, time may be on Israel's side as it seems more and more in the West are coming to grips with the issues of Muslim aggression and intolerance, seeing what Israel and Jews have experienced for too long.

    This does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists, a canard that is too often put forth by those who want not to see, or not to realize that they are among those whose rights and values that they take for granted would be trampled.

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  16. In the last 11 years, the Palestinians have had two very generous offers, both based upon the June 4, 1967 borders. Both times, the Palestinians have turned those offers down. That's not to say the Israelis are without fault. This current government is certainly not helping. However, at some point the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for its failures and its behaviors. They turned down those offers. They spent 9 months of the 10-month settlement freeze refusing to negotiate. They are not children. They are not innocent little bunnies. If they demand that Israel be held accountable for her actions, then they have no right to complain when they are held accountable for theirs. The time has come for that to happen.

    I do not think the Israelis should initially put out the Olmert Plan, even if that is pretty much their final goal. They need to save that for when negotiations progress. They should, instead, declare that they seek a resolution that recognizes the legitimate interests in national self-determination and that can only come about through two states for two peoples.

    Had Abbas said "44 years of occupation," perhaps I would be of a different mindset right now. However, he said, "63 years of occupation." The only interpretation to take away from that is that Israel's existence, itself, is the occupation, and not the lands taken as a consequence of the Six-Day War. Further, by extension, it indicates, as I stated above, that Abbas' seeming end-game is the end of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People.

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  17. I can't really agree with this oldschool, there is no indication that anyone outside of American Republicans, European Rightists and a few Democrats that would support this.

    In fact a recent poll done found that Muslim Americans (by a higher % than anyone else) overwhelmingly rejected violence as means to recourse.

    I just don't see anyone taking Israel's side as presented by P.M. Netanyahu and F.M. Lieberman on this issue outside of the U.S. and Canada and some small South Pacific Islands.

    E.U. countries may not vote for a Palestinian State, but have you seen the public opinion polls???

    My feeling is that if Israel went back to the final Olmert offer (a plan that was supported by many in the Israeli Security apparatus btw) and was rejected at that point they would have that support you see, but, until then and with continued settlement building there is simply not the support you claim.

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  18. Ruevan... I am going to have to disagree with you here as well. I would start with the Olmert pland and finish with the Olmert plan. Given the Palestinian leaderships clear statements that no treaty will be good enough. They get to revisit the offer of a lifetime.

    If they don't take it, it's on them.

    But this is all just shouting in the wind. Israel is not going to do this and the Palestinians are going to force a showdown at the U.N. and both peoples are going to lose!

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  19. Changes continue to brew in Europe that sheds a light on these issues. It will only accelerate. It is not limited to rightists, although people will gravitate to those that recognize the issues. I am not saying this will occur overnight, but I believe it is inevitable as the OIC is emboldened and the violence in Africa and Asia spreads and receives attention. I do not like it, and unlike others will not ignore what occurs in front of our eyes. What happens at the UN and thereafter will crystallize the crystallize matters. Of course, in the interim, Israel and Jews will continue to suffer the most abuse.

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  20. Well I think we are going to have to agree to disagree.... People will react to zealous overreach on the part of Islamists but they certainly are not going to swing to support Jews or Israel.

    The fact of the matter is that Israel needs to divest itself from part of the territories and part of Jerusalem. It is the best chance for long term survival and peace. But just longterm survival if not peace, in any case.

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  21. I agree that Israel needs to find a way, but I think the landscape will look much different in 5 years because the threats will be more obvious. I understand that Israel is in a precarious position with no easy escape and insatiable foes.

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  22. Does Israel have five years before irreperable harm is done? \

    Jeremy Ben-Ami is right when he says Israel can only be two of the following three things:

    1. Israel can be a Jewish State
    2. Israel can be a Democracy
    3. Israel can be a State from the Med. to the Jordan.

    It simply cannot be all three in the long term UNLESS it ethnically cleanses the Palestinians from the West Bank. The Demographics are there for all to see. If Israel does "cleanse" the territories then what has the country become. As Jews can we really condone anything that horrible particularly after what has been done to us?

    I don't think so. There are no easy answers but there are answers... the IPPI is one of them, Kadima's plan is another. If worse comes to worse and negotiations fail, unilateralism is another (I mean if the PLO can do it, who can complain?) The next few years will be telling.

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  23. livosh1 here (I too am having trouble posting). I am inclined to agree with volley that it is time to put the Olmert plan on the table. Finger pointing and playing cards close to the vest is simply a recipe for going nowhere with these negotiations. Serious proposals only, please.

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  24. The Olmert Plan was already offered and rejected. Palestinians believe they are in a stronger position. They have no incentive to make a deal. They know what the objective is, and it should be understood, whether we like it or not. All this talk of what to do matters little. If the Palestinians don't believe in peace, and I don't think the leadership does, then it will look the other way when more extreme elements instigate the situation. Hopefully, Israel will develop a better strategy for this asymmetrical warfare and lawfare.

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  25. Hey Livosh... I am so glad you are here and adding to the discussion. I think you and I are on the same page.

    oldschool you may have a point about the Palestinian Leadership but I think you have to be specific. I don't think Abbas looks the other way, and I know that Fayyad doesn't.

    There are not many Hamasnikim left in the West Bank and who do you think helped the Shin Bet break up the terror cell in J'slem last month.

    My bet is that publicly they take a hard line but privately... they are working for some compromise.

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  26. Perhaps they are keeping a front, but it must be pierced if there will be progress. I think they cooperate because they must, on a practical level, but as they grow in power, or as the threat from the radicals increases, this cooperation may well be replaced by belligerency, which is the natural tendency of the leadership since the 1920s, with few exceptions like Fayyad and Faisal I.

    Don't get me wrong. I am all for what you say. I just do not believe that Israel will have a partner so long as hatred of Jews is a main element of Arab life, from the classroom to the media to the mosque.

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  27. There's one article that you missed, but it might be of much greater import than Areikat's (allegedly misquoted) statement that a state of Palestine must be free of Jews. It is the statement in Lebanon's Daily Star (from the PA Ambassador to Lebanon) that descendants of Palestinian refugees who are in refugee camps-- even those that would be WITHIN a state of Palestine-- would not automatically be citizens of that Palestinian state. (see http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Sep-15/148791-interview-refugees-will-not-be-citizens-of-new-state.ashx#axzz1YAtlOc00) Thus, statehood for Palestinians would not end their refugee status, nor the use of the refugees as a political weapon against Israel.
    I think it's a fair statement that those who support both Zionism and the national rights of the Palestinians recognize that the quid pro quo for the latter is "an end to the conflict"; the declaration, in Arabic, to the Palestinian people from their leadership that they will have Ramallah, they have Nablus, they have Jenin but they will give up claims to Haifa, and Jaffa, and Ashkelon, and certainly to most of Jerusalem. And that the great grandchildren of the refugees from the failed Arab war of 1947-8 will go "home" to the former but not to the latter.
    If this statement is indeed a reflection of their policy, then they have set back the cause of Palestinian statehood by another decade. Unless, of course, that isn't really the issue...

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  28. First of all... DrMike.. Great to see you, glad you could join us.

    I didn't miss that article but I should have put it in. I think that this is very indicative of where the PLO leadership is heading and gives lie to their recognition of Israel.

    One of the rhetorical tricks that gets used is that they claim to recognize Israel as a State. What is not discussed is the Jewish Nature of the State. So.. sure they will recognize a nation called Israel, it's just that this nation would not serve the purpose for which it was founded. As the National State and Homeland of the Jewish people.

    Couple this with Ambassador Areikat's statement of delegitimizing the Occupation of 63 years.... and POW!

    I will say one thing, this last week has been very informative and has changed my position somewhat (as you can imagine).....

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  29. First of all let me say that I do not believe this is Mets for a variety of reasons. SO...

    To whoever, did post this...

    I cannot agree with this at all. Not one bit.

    I am angry about what Ambassador Areikat said as well, but, talking about transfer.....

    The Palestinians that live in the West Bank - that is their home. Jordan, is a separate nation and as such, IS NOT not their home. To propose Transfer is a vile meme. This is the 21st century not the 8th Century. Just because the Palestinian leadership proposes that for Jews doesn't mean we have to do the same.

    This site endorses a true Two State solution west of the Jordan river.

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  30. You know, it's interesting that someone claiming to be Mets102 would post such a provocative comment --- one not in keeping with what he usually states. Particularly INTERESTING since Mets has told a number of us that he is off the grid for the duration of Shabbat. IOW, I think the comment from 1:19 AM is a false flag, meant to smear Mets. Perhaps, I am wrong, and Mets will clear things up after Shabbat ends. But, for now, I will take the comment as a bad example of false flagging.

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  31. I agree Anon... it seems pretty obvious for that reason but also for another that I will not divulge here. Frankly it is a fairly pathetic attempt to smear Mets and the site itself by projecting that posters simplistic (and frankly moronic) view of the conflict onto another poster.

    Oh well, I suppose that rather than give honest commentary this coward had to pretend to be someone else.

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  32. There is no way that Mets102 would argue for transfer.

    Furthermore, we know the name that Mets is using in this forum and it is not "Mets102."

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  33. Exactly Karma.. I just didn't want to give that one away. It exposes the obvious zombies.

    But you are right Karma... Mets doesn't believe that for one minute.

    The only reason I have deleted that false post is to show everyone how silly the smear on Mets (and by extension me since they know Mets is a "Front Pager") is.

    It just gives me a chance to fully defend what I believe and to show those who read here what is the truth.

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  34. Here's a question.

    It may not be a particularly welcome question, but it is one that I would like to ask this forum.

    If transferring Palestinians out of Israel is wrong, how is it that transferring Jews out of Judea is not?

    I'm not trying to cause trouble, you understand, I just honestly do not understand the answer to that question.

    The reason that I raise the question is because it seems clear to me that progressive Zionists oppose transfer of Arabs and yet favor transfer of Jews.

    I honestly do not get it.

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  35. Karmafish: Unless Israel annexes the land on which they live, then the Israeli Jews in Judea are living on land that doesn't belong to their country. Israeli Arabs are citizens of Israel.

    So in the event (incredibly unlikely in the near future)that there is a peace agreement in which parts of Judea would be transferred to a Palestinian state, then the Jews living there won't be safe; even if the Palestinian leadership states they can remain, we all know that the Fogel family murders would be repeated countless times.

    But given that the Palestinians won't even accept descendants of refugees as citizens, they certainly aren't going to accept Israelis. They might accept a few token Neturei Karta crazies as evidence that they aren't Judenrein.

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  36. I just find it interesting that so many Palestinians would prefer to live in Israel, not to destroy it, but to prosper.

    As for transfer, in this day and age it's not something than can or should be coerced. In this regard, the Palestinians seem to have no qualms what present norms are.

    As for the pretend user, it's sad that people can be so deceitful.

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  37. The hell you do not get it. You are trying to claim that there is some equivalence between removing Palestinian citizens of Israel out of Israel, on the one hand, and removing settlers from an illegal and unauthorized outpost on the West Bank, on the other. Disgusting.

    Karmafish -- you have once again demonstrated that you are a racist piece of shit, no better than any of the Jew-hating, anti-Zionists on Daily Kos or Mondoweiss. You are an embarrassment to Jews and supporters of Israel.

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  38. Anon,

    You sound no less than what you accuse others of. That is the matter with so many of you that claim such concern for other humans. The concern only applies to those who agree with you.

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  39. DrMike,

    you look vaguely familiar to me.

    In fact, I think that we've met once or twice.

    Most recently at the Commonwealth club.

    Cheers!

    And, believe me, I understand your point, but still fail to understand how it is that liberal Jews can demand the transference of Jews out of Judea while claiming that the transference of Palestinians out of Israel is immoral.

    You might argue, as you seem to, that there are pragmatic reasons for doing so, but then you are making a pragmatic argument that simply ignores the moral component.

    Am I wrong?

    In any case, I do think that this question is one of those central questions that cuts directly to the heart of progressive-left thinking on the I-P conflict.

    btw, I intend to mirror this conversation at my own blog.

    And with that I am off to wedding.

    http://karmafishies.blogspot.com/

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  40. Anon,

    When is population transfer "racist," and when is it a just and proper removal of illegal squatters from land they shouldn't be in?

    A trick question, I know. The answer is already in the question itself. But there is another question that is all-important, because it determines one's entire focus:

    Who are the illegal settlers here, and who are the Palestinians?

    Because, you see, from my point of view (full disclosure: I label myself a right-winger, part of Israeli Jewish Right), the Jews are the only true Palestinians, and the falsely called "Palestinians" are Arab settlers stealing those true Palestinians' lands.

    Chew on that issue for a while and you'll realize where your moral pontifications can get you.

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  41. Shavuah tov everyone. Volley, since you're the admin, will you please delete the troll comment? I'm just getting back on now after the end of Shabbat here in New York. My only real question is which troll wanted to smear me like that. As everyone pointed out, I would never advocate transfer, and, furthermore, everyone knows exactly how much I dislike Lieberman and YB, to say nothing even crazier than that position.

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  42. @ volley, livosh, I think our main difference is not what we want for the outcome, but, rather, what should be the starting point for the Israelis in the negotiations. I don't believe in putting your cards out on the table to begin with or starting with, what is, essentially, a take it or leave it offer.

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  43. Reuven, would you like me to remove that really? I think it shows how pathetic those people are that would resort to such a stupid tactic to think that you or I would support that outcome.

    I will if you still want that, but, I feel like that and your friends responses to that pathetic attempt both in defending you and refuting that post stand as a good sign of the site, particularly in it's first week.

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  44. I think the subsequent comments provide more than enough context and the troll is thoroughly humiliated. They get my name wrong and they post at a time when people know that I am off the computer because it is Shabbat. Unfortunately, given the behavior of some, we know that people would likely use that comment in other places to smear me. Therefore, thanks for deleting it.

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  45. Yeah but they'd stand revealed as morons if they did.

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  46. I find it interesting that no one can tell me why forcibly removing Jews from Judea is moral, while forcibly removing Arabs from Israel is not.

    This is particularly odd given how certain so many on the Left are the settlements must absolutely be removed.

    How odd.

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  47. From whom are you looking for an answer, Karma?

    I can make that argument as Corwin and Dr. Mike made it. Both good answers. Judea and Samaria (better known as the occupied territories - which they are) are not part of Israel. Parts are settled by Israelis, but are not formerly in Israel. If you are talking about annexing the territories that is one thing. If not then the difference is very clear.

    Arab citizens living in Israel are Israeli citizens. Why the hell should they be forced out? They shouldn't.

    I guess I am not sure of what you are asking.

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  48. Really?

    It's very clear.

    Jews are living in Judea and some on the progressive-left want to see them forced out.

    That is unjust.

    There is no reason why Jews should not be allowed to live on the west bank of the Jordan and any calls for their forcible expulsion reeks of "ethnic cleansing."

    Do you disagree?

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  49. Karma... It's kind of a silly question. Of course they should not be forced out for being Jewish.

    As far as "Some on the Progressive Left"... so what? Some on the Progressive Left DON'T want them forced out. See it's an easy statement to counter.

    More over many on the Conservative Right do want the Arabs forced out or transferred. How can you complain about what the Arabs want to do to us, when you want to do the same to them?

    Forcible explusion or subtlely pushing people to move also reeks of "ethnic cleansing". Wouldn't you agree?

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  50. It's not a silly question at all.

    In fact, it goes directly to progessive-left policy on the I-P conflict.

    Obama claims that the Jewish presence in Judea stands in the way of a negotiated settlement, but that is nonsense.

    By making the Jewish presence on historical Jewish land a problem, Obama threw away the possibilities for a negotiated settlement.

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  51. Karma -

    That is absolutely NOT true. President Obama never said that it was the "Jewish presesence" in the occupied territories that stands in the way of a negotiated settlement.

    President Obama RIGHTLY said that it is continued Israeli Settlement activity in the territories that are an impediment to negotiations. And you know what? He is right.

    That land is not Israel's to settle. Israel has not annexed it nor do they claim soverignty over it. If you want them to then that is a different story but as of now, establishing Israeli settlements in disputed/occupied territory is wrong. Asking the Palestinians to negotiate for a State while Israel is taking land widely believed to be Palestinian is not conducive to better negotiations.

    Your framing Karma, is absolutely and completely wrong. President Obama has not questioned Jewish presence. He questions ISRAELI settlement building.

    In fact the U.S. strongly rejected PLO Ambassador Areikat's statement regarding ethnic cleansing. The facts are pretty black and white here. The areas of the Occupied Territories are for the most part Palestinian and continued building serves only excerbate an already bad situation.

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  52. Yes, but how can you have a Jewish presence without allowing those Jews to build houses and rec centers... and second bedrooms and so forth.

    ;O)

    In any case, those are just Jewish people living on traditionally Jewish land.

    Why should that be such a problem?

    Why should the mere presence of Jews mean that Abbas cannot sit down with Netanyahu and draw those final lines?

    See, what I think is that you guys (by which I mean sorta liberals, in general) have decided that the Israeli-Jewish building on traditional Jewish land is somehow a problem that must be overcome and so you treat as a problem that must be overcome, but it is only a problem because you guys keep telling yourselves its a problem and the Palestinians, and their supporters, are certainly not going to disabuse you of the notion.

    It's like we are hamstringing ourselves.

    I find it counterproductive.

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  53. Oh come on Karma.. that is a weak arugment at best.

    And stop with the YESHA framing. The territories are NOT "legally" Jewish land anymore. They are not and were not part of Israel. I can see Jerusalem because that was never declared anything but the rest of the territories, No.

    I don't care what the Palestinians and their supporters say about this, I care about what I think is right. After all isn't that the point of political advocacy... One advocates for what is right.

    Hey, if Jewish people want to live there.. no problem, they can be citizens of Palestine, and Kol Ha'Kvod if they want to stay.

    So, there goes that. Were I the P.A. I would tell the Settlers they can stay in their homes and that now they aren't Israeli citizens anymore. If they wanted to stay, I see no reason why they shouldn't. But I would say that they shouldn't get to be Israelis AND if they choose to move from under Israel's protection that is their deal.

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  55. Karmafish said...
    VB,

    I am not arguing that "the territories" are part of contemporary Israel. I honestly do not understand why you are making that assumption, but that most certainly is not my argument.

    Actually, I do not have an argument in this conversation, so much as I have a question.

    My question is this:

    Why should the mere presence of Jews on historically Jewish land, and their natural right to build on that land, mean that Abbas cannot sit down with Netanyahu and draw those final lines?

    Why?

    And why is no one acknowledging the obvious by asking that question?

    Surely no one outside of the PA is suggesting that Jews should not be allowed to live on the land where Jews came from?

    I would very much like to continue this conversation and I will probably chew on it at my place, as well.

    What I would leave you with, in this comment, is that, imo, we need to be wary of incorporating the so-called "Palestinian Narrative" into our own understanding of the conflict.

    The Palestinian narrative is just that, a narrative, mainly a fiction. One thing that we can be proud of is that Morris and the "New Historians" revised the earlier narrative of Jewish-Israeli purity during the War for Independence.

    The Palestinians, and the Arabs as a group, have yet to do so on their end.

    This is one reason why so many continue to think of all Jews everywhere as something akin to evil... particularly these evil "settlers."

    I suspect that most of those people, these settlers, are good and decent people who are looking for reasonably priced housing.

    These people should not be demonized, yet are there any more hated people on the planet than Jewish settlers on the West Bank?

    I do not thinks so.

    btw, if I write a comment this long you know that it's going to FP on my own blog.

    I very much hope that this is not a problem for you.

    Sincerely.
    September 19, 2011 10:03 PM

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