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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some points worth making

First of all, if you haven't already done so... go watch the short video I posted yesterday.  It is good... but perhaps not great.  There are a few side-points in the film that seem to distract some viewers from the main point... but while it isn't a slam dunk, it certainly makes many excellent points.

The video is intended to be the opening salvo in what promises to be a very active grass-roots campaign designed to get people to begin thinking critically about the current conventional wisdom surrounding the proposed 2-state solution.

For those not in the loop, 'the 2- state solution' is short hand for what many presume to be a done deal; the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the current Jewish State.  The conventional wisdom holds that while the final borders of this new state remain to be perfectly defined, they will most likely incorporate most or all of the west bank as well as Gaza (with some provision for continuity between them).

Here's a short list of questions that should occur to anyone thinking critically about 2-state:

Why us?

Why is Israel - and only Israel - presumed to be 100% responsible for providing land to create a Palestinian State.  Certainly, of all the countries that contributed to the creation of the Palestinian refugees (what some would call the creation of the Palestinian people), Israel is the least responsible... if for no other reason than that we accepted the UN Partition plan in 1947 while all the Arab countries did not.  And they attacked us... and lost.   So why is it that Israel is assumed to be the one that will pick up the check (i.e. pay war reparations in the form of land) to give these stateless people a state?

Why here?

Again, why is it accepted by almost all people today that Israel must carve out a huge piece of itself in order to make room for this new Palestinian state?  Why not Jordan?  Why not Egypt?  Why not Syria or Lebanon or Saudi Arabia?  Why not Iraq?   Why not some combination of them?  Certainly they all have far more land reserves - not to mention a commonality of language, culture and religion - that would lend a far better long-term fit for a Palestinian State!

Many people answer preemptively with, "But the Arab countries will never agree to such a thing so why waste time even suggesting it".  That right there should tell you something important about the justice of the proposed 2-state solution and the mindset of those who are pushing it.  Israel is essentially being penalized because we don't have the wit, or the ability, to say no.

Why should Israel suffer because it is the only reasonable entity in the region?  The Arab countries I named above attacked Israel and lost not one, but three different regional wars.  And throughout all this time, these same countries have kept their Palestinians locked up in virtual prison camps so as not to have to take any responsibility for the refugees their armed aggression helped to create.    

Why now?

Seriously, what's the hurry.  This sense of urgency to 'make peace' by creating a Palestinian state within some arbitrary time-frame is entirely artificial and can only work to the advantage of one party... not both.  Let's assume that the Palestinians are 'entitled' to a state of their own (not a fact that anyone has been able to demonstrate to me).  There was no urgency to create it when they were all living under Jordanian and Egyptian rule, respectively.  So why the sudden rush?  The obvious answer is that a ticking clock distracts the negotiating parties from looking too closely at the terms and conditions... and at the alternatives.

The Arabs have always used time as a negotiating tool.  When something is demanded of them, time becomes endlessly elastic.  But when they require something of us, yesterday is not soon enough. 

I'm not against negotiating with anyone who wants to sit down at the table with us.  But the terms and substance that each of the negotiating parties brings to the table are what matter... not how long anyone will agree to remain seated.  That is extortion... and a U.S. administration that will sanction such extortion (even in the name of leaving a legacy) is no friend of Israel.

Why at all?

Again, the idea of 'The 18' campaign is not about voting for or against anything... or doing anything more than getting people to begin thinking critically about something that has been taken as political gospel up until now. 

This may sound blunt... but if someone has a problem with taking a close, critical look at ANYTHING that - once done - will be both irreversible and will have long-lasting implications for an entire region... well, I question their interest in a just solution.

The world is full of failed or failing states that have sucked dry the resources and patience of their regional and global neighbors.  Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Chad top the list... but there are plenty more that are continually in the news (and not to report Nobel laureates or medical breakthroughs). 

What if the international community had had an opportunity to examine any of these failed states when they were still 'proto-states', and it was revealed that they had nothing to show for themselves but armed, warring factions, staggering corruption, negligible legal, legislative or fiscal transparency, and a complete lack of economic, educational, infrastructure or medical planning.  Could the international community, in good conscience, support and recommend their graduation to full-fledged nationhood?  Could it do so at the expense of any neighboring countries territory and/or security?  If not... why are the Palestinians being vetted for nationhood?

Given a choice, would you accept Chad or Somalia as neighbors?  Israel already has a failed proto-state cum Islamic terror base (Gaza) on our southern flank.  Why are we being rushed to accept another on our eastern flank? 

The essential appeal of the two state solution is that everyone is making the mistaken assumption that international Islamic terrorism is only about supporting Palestinian rights, and that it will evaporate the moment the Palestinians have their own state.  That is demonstratively false.  Islamic terrorism predates Israel's 'occupation' of the west bank and Gaza... and in fact predates the creation of the State of Israel. 

Although Israel and Jews have been singled out for particularly harsh treatment at the hands of Muslim terrorists and their state sponsors, few countries/peoples in the world have been spared the sting of this poisonous, expansionist ideology.  We only lack the common sense to take the Muslim world at their word when they say - quite plainly - that the entire planet belongs to them.

Why Obama?

President-elect Obama has a clear mandate, with huge popularity and both houses of congress in the hands of his party.  Few presidents have begin to govern with such an advantage.  Without prejudice for or against this president, the real danger for Israel is that her strongest ally in the world has officially endorsed the 2-state solution and is the driving force behind both the artificial timetables and the need for Israel to make massive territorial concessions.

Where Presidents Clinton and Bush were both partially hamstrung into inaction by partisan politics and scandals, Obama can push forward with pretty much any popular initiative he chooses.  And few initiative enjoy more popularity or bipartisan support than 2-state. 

Therefore there is a pressing need to remove as much of that popular support as possible... for all of the reasons listed above.  That's where 'The 18' comes into play.

Why The 18?

The goal of the campaign is to do nothing more or less than to get people to think critically about 2 state.  Question it!  Ask difficult (but obvious) questions about why Israel is being required to create such a state.  'The 18' demands that people begin to think critically about historical precedent for such a thing as well as what has happened in the wake of nearly every previous territorial concession Israel has made.   

Saying that 'the current situation is untenable' is not a good enough reason to go ahead with 2 state.  It simply means that other solutions must be found and examined.

As I wrote above, there are other countries with far more land and resources in this region who are far more responsible for the current plight (and existence) of the Palestinians than Israel. Why should it be accepted as gospel that a Palestinian state must be rushed into existence... and that only Israel need give birth to this new state out of its own loins? 

This new campaign called 'The 18' is simply about getting people to start thinking critically about 2 state instead of automatically accepting it as the only solution.  I can't imagine anyone would have a problem with a clarion call to simply think!

I hope I'm not wrong about that.

Posted by David Bogner on December 10, 2008 | Permalink

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Weakening - if there's no will to relentlessly negotiate with Iranians, Palestinians and Syrians, then confront the world! I honestly think there’s a better approach to this, why not give them what they want, and let the world, blind as it may be, have it in history that Israel hesitantly made great concessions (like it did with Egypt) to pursue peace with its neighbors – one more “Geneva 2” in 2009 hosting a bunch of phony pr*cks questioning Israel’s policies in the “OTs”, and we’re back to 2001.

Posted by: Rami | Dec 10, 2008 3:32:52 PM

There is much to agree with in the video, but if you have any memory, the half truths get in the way.

First of all, a 2 state solution has been U.S. policy for more than 30 years. Historically, a one state solution is either the destruction of Israel or Kach's program. I think what the 18 are saying is that establishing a state of Palestine is not Israel's problem and requires no process, at least from Israel.

The US has pursued a 2 state solution from Wye River, to the Road Map, to Annapolis the US has pushed a two state solution under UN Resolutions including 242. The 18 seem to have no collective memory. If the Jewish people do anything well it is to remember. Here, the 18 want us to think that the 2 state solution is a new idea. Unfortunately, both Democrats and Republicans, Labor, Likud and Kadima have pursued it for years. Democrats with a Democratic Congress and Republicans with a Republican Congress have pushed this policy.

Therefore, the idea that Obama is some how more dangerous is yet another rerun of the disinformation campaign of the recent election. It is wrong and makes no practical sense. Why tell the 78% of American Jews who actually voted for the guy that they are enemies of the state (of Israel)?

I think it makes sense to say that Israel is not surrendering another inch. I am not sure the 18 have plan beyond that, but that is a good beginning. It takes off the table the presupposition that it is necessary for Israel to do something to satisfy an international desire to establish a state of Palestine.

One last point, I would have picked 10 rather than 18 for obvious reasons. Even Gandhi said that if he had 10, he could liberate India from the British.

Posted by: lrg | Dec 10, 2008 4:39:10 PM

Dear Dave,
I normally don't comment on Treppenwitz on political issues anymore. I'm more of a warm, fuzzy, "see how the kids and the old people are doing" kind of a reader.I value our friendship, and it seems to me that my point of view is becoming less and less common among your commenters. I also don't like to stir up debate, when it often gets a little heated, since people write whatever comes to their fingers (note I didn't say "minds")on a comment board. But this "18" group you're supporting warrants a bit of assessment.
I will now attempt to bring up a few thorny issues.
You say that other Arab countries should donate land to a Palestinian state or should be responsible for it, perhaps because they have large land reserves. I don't understand. It is true that the Brits and the Frogs arbitrarily carved up the Middle East after World War I. But assuming you accept the sovereign borders of those countries, they have no requirement, nor is there any international expectation that they should give squat.
On the other hand, Israel was formed under a U.N. charter that assumed 2 countries-- or at least 2 sovereign entities-- would exist in the space between the Jordan River and the Mediteranean Sea. It is true that the Jewish entity that existed in 1948 was savagely attacked by many Arab countries, and that we won the war and even increased the size of our country, based on armistice lines that were accepted by the U.N., but that does not abrogate the original U.N. partition plan. That is why the world expects a Palestinian State within Israel's present borders. Fair? Probably not. Legal? I'm afraid so.
The other thing I don't understand is what you propose should happen to the Arabs in Gaza and on the West Bank. Do they get to become Israeli citizens? Do they get voting rights? Do they remain permanent refugees, and if so, refugees from what? This is a very thorny problem. Is Israel a democracy? If so, is it a democracy only for Jews? Yes, there are Israeli Arabs within the 1948 border, but that's only O.K. because they are a minority. Something has to be done with the Arab population of the territories. Yes, the Arab world has treated their Palestinian "visitors" terribly, but what does that have to do with what Israel does?
Now, I openly aknowledge that I am not proposing a solution. I also aknowledge that the Gaza evacuation was and is a total disaster. But I don't see how you claim that a Palestinian state shouldn't happen.
That is an opposing point of view.
Thanks for listening, Larry

Posted by: Larry | Dec 10, 2008 4:46:45 PM

Rami ... Sorry, I'm not willing to slit my wrists (or my throat) just to prove to the world that I'm a giver.

lrg... You seem to be mistaken. No US administration before Clinton officially sanctioned the establishment of a Palestinian state. In fact his declarations on the subject were considered historic at the time. Everything else is commentary. Also, I never said Obama was dangerous. That is your filter working overtime. What I said was that Obama has a much clearer mandate to act than any predecessor in recent memory. This makes him much more likely to act on 2-state since that is an accepted part of US policy at present. While 2-state is dangerous to Israel... I never called Obama dangerous.

Larry... You seem to be fuzzy on both history and International Law. It doesn't matter what the UN intended with the partition plan in 1947 since it was stillborn the moment the Arabs rejected it and attacked. The last legal sovereign over the west bank was the Ottoman Empire. The British had a caretaker mandate but were not legally sovereign. Jordan was an occupier from 48 until 67 but never had clear legal standing. Further, Jordan formally relinquished all legal claims to the west bank in the 80s. Since there is no legal entity called Palestine, and no citizens or legal territory thereof, the so called Palestinians are not parties to any legal discussion of who owns the land. Yes, as individuals many Palestinians have standing... as do you if your family had property in Germany during the war. But neither you nor the Palestinians are legally recognized as sovereign nations. To be clear, the legal status of the west bank is not a slam dunk by any standard. But Israel has at least as strong a claim as any other sovereign nation in the region. Now that I've said all that, I don't make any claim to know what will become of the Palestinians nor do I feel it is worth discussing at this point. That is putting the cart before the horse. First and foremost 2-state must be debunked and declared dead in the water. Once (and if) the Palestinians get their own state, the people living in the West Bank can decide whether to move there or become loyal, citizens of Israel.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 10, 2008 5:26:55 PM

I found the video quite inspiring and I'm all for thinking critically about any issue, but in particular, this one.

I would take issue with only one of your statements regarding Obama. While it may appear that he has a mandate, I would argue that he does not. Nearly half our country's popular vote did not go to him. Yes, he has a fawning press and there will be a democratic majority in congress, but there are still those of us "out here" who are neither. Having said this, I think I know what you meant...Obama has the power to influence Israel's situation.

In addition, as the world has watched, the U.S. on a daily basis is "rocking and rolling" with troubles of its own. I wonder how preoccupied Obama will be with this and how our own travails will take his attention away from pressuring Israel. We just had a prominent governor arrested for terrible corruption, the workers of a large company strong-armed a bank to actually fulfill its promises so they could get paid for work performed and the "big three" auto makers are crying that they'll go down in flames if they don't get millions from our government. Every time I turn around people are being laid off (including my husband) and the very people who used to donate to food banks are now standing line.

It's getting quite dicey over here in the U.S. So I wonder how much our country will be doing in terms of Israel.

Posted by: Maya | Dec 10, 2008 5:36:28 PM

And they attacked us... and lost.

That's exactly the part I don't get. Using 2-state logic, Hawaii should belong to the Japanese, and NYC and DC should belong to Saudi. And yet, I don't see anyone lining up to sign that "treaty."

Posted by: Tanya | Dec 10, 2008 6:13:11 PM

@ Tanya,

Perhaps the logic would be clearer if it read, "they attacked us, started a way, and lost the war." Japan surrendered in WWII which is why they don't own Hawaii and terror attacks by cowards do not a war with nations make.

Posted by: Jendeis | Dec 10, 2008 6:54:30 PM

That's "started a WAR". Darn sticking keyboard.

Posted by: Jendeis | Dec 10, 2008 6:55:23 PM

Oh, and one more thing...
President Bush was hamstrung by partisan politics? He ruled 6 of his 8 years with a republican majority in both houses. And after 9/11 he engaged the U.S. in a war that was a tad controversial, yet he still managed to invade. There were very few constraints on what he could do in his first four years. Still, he tried to push for a 2 state solution in his last 2 yrs in office. By then, of course, no one took him seriously. Also, it was his pushing for elections in Gaza that led to the wondeful Hamasistan that we presently enjoy.
And President Clinton certainly pushed for a Palestinian state.
As for President Obama, I'm really not sure why there are so many preconceived notions of what he's going to do. Still, he certainly wouldn't be the 1st president to approve of the 2 state solution.Why not wait and see his policies before rejecting them?
Larry

Posted by: Larry | Dec 10, 2008 6:58:55 PM

Larry has a point about President Bush. He, at first, was not hamstrung.

President Bush at one point, even departed from previous administrations, and listed the responsibilities the Palestinians had in terms creating their own state. Unfortunately, during his last two years, those requirements got relaxed and forgotten.

However the reason to be concerned about President-elect Obama has less to do with his mandate than his commitment.

First of all, as a candidate, Obama declared that too many people equated being pro-Israel with being pro-Likud and made it clear that he was the former, not the latter. This is code for saying that anyone who doesn't accept the formulation of "land for peace" as defined by the Palestinians, UN et al. is not just wrong, but beyond the pale. (Never mind that in 1997 Netanyahu surrendered most of Chevron to the PA.)

Olmert, Livni, and Ramon are all feeding this perception too. They know that they are poisoning the well of American-Israeli relations in the hope that it will convince Israelis not to vote for Likud. What happens if Netanyahu wins regardless? Well, for one thing we can look forward to a repeat of the Clinton administration's "snub diplomacy" after the Chevron accord, when Netanyahu called on Clinton to stand by his assurances and Clinton told Netanyahu to make Arafat happy.

This effort to paint Likud as beyond the pale is not just happening in Israel, it's happening in the United States too. Many people don't remember but in 1997, the Israel Policy Forum released a poll showing that a majority of American Jews supported the administration using "moderate" pressure, if necessary, on Israel to achieve peace in the Middle East. This gave cover to Clinton to pressure Netanyahu to withdraw more than Netanyahu was prepared to (and eventually to Wye) and still be considered pro-Israel.

When Olmert made his comments about his regrets, both the NYT and WaPo responded with editorials crowing that Olmert's words were way overdue and that Israelis had to come to terms with his newfound "wisdom."

On Obama's side is a group called J-Street, that believes that the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East is to pressure Israel. J-Street was founded, in part, by Alan Solomont, who is also a major supporter of the President-elect. So J-Street will be providing the cover for Obama that IPF provided for Clinton to insist that pressuring Israel is good for Israel.

What the 18 seem to realize is that there is a massive campaign to delegitimize a centrist party in Israel. The 18 is looking to fight that and question the assumptions of that campaign.

Today, President-elect Obama said that he feels the need to reach out to the Muslim world. My suspicion is that he's more likely to go to Durban II and commiserate than to speak out against the rampant antisemitism and anti-Zionism that will be on display there. One of Obama's advisers, Martin Indyk, says that Israel will no longer have a "blank check" to do as it pleases.

Never mind that pressure on Israel has not brought us any closer to peace during the past fifteen years. Never mind that Camp David and Oslo originated outside of the eyes of the American foreign policy establishment. Never mind that the Arab world is stuck in a time warp and is as hostile to the existence of Israel as it was sixty years ago.

There is a massive effort to get us all to drink the waters of Lethe and pretend that the only thing preventing peace in the Middle East is insufficient Israel flexibility and that the only way to achieve that flexibility is American pressure.

The 18 appear to realize this and to be focused on fighting such enforced ignorance. I hope they're successful.

Posted by: soccerdad | Dec 10, 2008 7:35:01 PM

Hebrew, Hebrew!
If you want any influence here, you gotta do it in Hebrew.
Good luck.

Posted by: Alex | Dec 10, 2008 11:38:34 PM

Not to be cliche, but well-said, David.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Dec 11, 2008 12:13:32 AM

Actually, Clinton never called for a Palestinian state.

Posted by: jordan Hirsch | Dec 11, 2008 3:00:40 AM

I stand corrected. The US has supported a 2 state solution for 15 years since the self inflicted 1993 Oslo Accords. What I should have said is that the US has supported withdrawal from the 1967 truce lines within the meaning of UN Resolution 242 since President Johnson, which I also believe to be a bad policy.

I would never accuse you of attacking President Elect Obama as being dangerous. In fact you have been a model of civility. My apologies that I conveyed the opposite message.

However, this is what the 18 manifesto says, in part:

"Several top foreign policy advisors in the Obama camp have regularly called for imposing a two-state solution on Israel. The key word is 'imposing.'
Look at the Obama line-up starting with Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy guru Zbigniew Brzezinski. Leftie ideologues like Robert (Sure, I advise Obama, and sure I talk with Hamas, so what) Malley and perennial two-state advocates Dennis Ross and Tony McPeak, and let’s not forget Israel’s 'friend,' Samantha Power. Scary.

"Tellingly, within days of the American election, President-elect Obama sent Robert Malley scurrying to Damascus and Cairo."

Since I believe that Obama will continue current bad US policy (as McCain would have with his adviser Jim Baker) the 18 misleads by making it sound like a great change.

I think the 18 are taking an otherwise valid message and as a practical matter alienating the majority of US voters including the majority of US Jewish voters. I meant no more and no less.

Posted by: lrg | Dec 11, 2008 4:04:59 PM

I'm a bit surprised at the narrow scope of the arguments presented, however I do agree with your idea of starting a grass roots campaign to change the discussion of a two state solution as a forgone conclusion. This I state with the understanding that leading Muslim Arab intellectuals such as Edward Said along with persons such as Ex-President Jimmy Carter have already begun the call for a one State Solution with an Arab majority in all the land East of the Jordan, North to Lebanon, South and West to Egypt and the Red Sea. There arguments have gained much traction and they are without merit, historically or politically. Here is just a taste of a great website I use as the basis of many of my arguments for Israel's historical as well as modern political right to exist.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mftoc.html

Larry, this site would be especially helpful for you. You see the justification for the nation now known as Jordan was originally partitioned for the Arabs as the whole of Israel, Judea and Samaria was partioned for the Jews in the British White paper. You see, the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan is 60% so called "Palestinian". Abdullah was granted this land as a booby prize for losing Saudi Arabia to the royal family of Saud

The defense of true Zionism is a must. This site provides much insight. Here's a taste from the historical perspective:

MYTH

“Palestine was always an Arab country.”

FACT

The term "Palestine" is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th Century B.C.E., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what are now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century C.E., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word "Filastin" is derived from this Latin name.3

The Hebrews entered the Land of Israel about 1300 B.C.E., living under a tribal confederation until being united under the first monarch, King Saul. The second king, David, established Jerusalem as the capital around 1000 B.C.E. David's son, Solomon built the Temple soon thereafter and consolidated the military, administrative and religious functions of the kingdom. The nation was divided under Solomon's son, with the northern kingdom (Israel) lasting until 722 B.C.E., when the Assyrians destroyed it, and the southern kingdom (Judah) surviving until the Babylonian conquest in 586 B.C.E. The Jewish people enjoyed brief periods of sovereignty afterward before most Jews were finally driven from their homeland in 135 C.E.

Jewish independence in the Land of Israel lasted for more than 400 years. This is much longer than Americans have enjoyed independence in what has become known as the United States.4 In fact, if not for foreign conquerors, Israel would be 3,000 years old today.

Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: "There is no such thing as 'Palestine' in history, absolutely not."5

Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:

We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.6

In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: "There is no such country [as Palestine]! 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria."7

The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations submitted a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947 that said "Palestine was part of the Province of Syria" and that, "politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity." A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: "It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."8

Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War and Israel's capture of the West Bank.

.

Posted by: steveoh | Dec 11, 2008 6:41:51 PM

Please excuse my mistake. I meant to say, Balfour Declarartion, not White Paper which later tried to reverse Jewish emigration to Israel.

Posted by: steveoh | Dec 11, 2008 7:37:06 PM

Please excuse my mistake. I meant to say, Balfour Declarartion, not White Paper which later tried to reverse Jewish emigration to Israel.

Posted by: steveoh | Dec 11, 2008 7:37:13 PM

Palestine was created by the League of Nations in the early 1920's as a homeland for the Jews. The partition plan of 1947 recommended ending this 'Mandate', but that's as far as it went, a recommendation.

So-called 'International Law' is perfectly ambiguous. You can justify any result the armies leave us.

Making Obama unpopular is not within our abilities and will be seen as racist.

Abbas is old; A West Bank Arab state will soon be taken over by Hamas, Syria, or Hezbollah.

A Palestinian State will not bring peace, it will make the next war much more bloody.

Lasting peace will require steps more drastic than is politically possible, including significant expulsions of Arabs, and even Jews.

Nuclearization of Iran changes everything. It gives the US even more leverage on Israel.

The Root Cause of all the trouble is the flood of oil money going to the Muslims. Until the West stops paying them, there will be war.

Negotiations between Netanyahu and Obama should be interesting.

Posted by: Fred | Dec 11, 2008 7:40:54 PM

David - I agree with you. I find it incredibly awful that Jews should be forced to give up what I, using the terminology by which Australians discuss Native Title, would call Jewish/ Hebrew Traditional Land full of Jewish/ Hebrew Sacred Sites, in order to provide the Arab Muslim supremacist imperialists with yet more territory to gloat over - territory that everyone seems to take for granted should be (once it becomes Arab Muslim 'Palestine') perfectly Judenrein for ever and ever, even while they also take it for granted that Israel MUST put up with a large & ever-more-aggressive and demanding Muslim fifth column.

I suggest that whenever the subject of Gaza, Judea and Samaria arises, you should point out the parallel with the predicament of India, where Muslims are using the pretext of 'occupied Kashmir' [originally Hindu-Buddhist traditional homeland - only Islamised by violent conquest] to wage jihad on India from within and from without, although it's clear that even if they got all of Kashmir the jihad would continue under other pretexts, since their long-term goal, openly stated by many, is to annihilate the non-Muslim secular pluralist Indian state & absorb it into dar-al-Islam as yet another Muslim despotism.

Mention Thailand and the Philippines, too. In each of these cases a Muslim population that absolutely refuses to accept a situation in which it does not have total politico-social dominance- since 'Islam is to dominate, and not be dominated' - is overtly or covertly aided & sponsored by neighbouring Muslim states as it wages jihad against its host; in so doing these 'minority' Muslims pretend to be merely seeking regional autonomy, or ideally 'a state of their own', but if such demands are granted, the jihad will continue unabated, with fresh demands,

since the overarching agenda, driven by the instructions in the Quran-Sira-Hadith, is to extend indefinitely the area of land in which Islam, and Muslims, rule, and non-Muslims are either dead, or enduring dhimmitude - a condition of degradation, humiliation and physical insecurity (as exemplified by, for example, the misery of Christians and Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan, or of Arabised Christians in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, Lebanon, and Iraq, or of Copts in Egypt, today).

The two-state 'solution' is meaningless. If the local Arab Muslims get their 'state' - commanding the military high ground - they will use it to continue their jihad against the Jews.

Posted by: dumbledoresarmy | Dec 12, 2008 12:51:51 AM


My apologies on behalf of any of our politicians who think, that by sticking their noses into *your* business, they are doing anyone any good. Just because they are my representatives (in spite of how I personally voted), doesn't mean I have to agree with them on everything.

The darkest of dark humor parts of me still gets a kick every time It thinks of the Arab states having their hinders handed to them by the "inferior peoples" in their midst. Not once. Not twice.

We have a saying in varsity sports: "score board." When the other team's blow-hard is mouthing off in the 4th quarter of a rout in our favor, we merely point and say it.

Here's to Israel, Australia, and Scotland, and Ireland, and all the other regional pains in the ***. May you prosper and be a pain until the end of the Earth.

We here in the US are slowly succumbing to the lusts of world conformance. Do not follow our sad example.

PS I would be one of the 18, but am afraid that would take up one of the 18 valuable slots. So put me down for one of the dozens of "auxiliary 18" positions; perhaps 18.37 is still available?

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Dec 12, 2008 1:00:32 AM

To my above remarks, I will add the following lapidary summary of the strategic situation, as provided by the brilliant 'Hugh Fitzgerald' at scholar-author Robert Spencer's informative jihadwatch.org website, two years ago. I may have posted this statement here before, but it bears repeating. All Jewish MKs should be got to learn it by heart and think about the implications.

"Neither Israel itself, nor many in the outside world, seem willing to comprehend that there is no solution, one-state or two-state or n-state, to the Jihad.

"There is only the matter of remaining overwhelmingly -- and perceptibly -- more powerful, capable of wreaking great damage on those who would attack.

"No treaty with Infidel states, and Israel is such a state, can conceivably be permanently honored by a Muslim signatory.

"Pacta sunt servanda is a Western idea.

"In the Muslim world, treaties – if made with Infidels - are not to be obeyed, but to be violated, as soon as the Muslim side feels itself strong enough to press its advantage.

"The model for all time -- see Majid Khadduri, 'War and Peace in the Law of Islam', and Robert Spencer, 'The Truth About Muhammad', pp. 136-139 - is Muhammad's Treaty with the Meccans in 628 A.D, the Treaty of Hudaybiyya." Thus, Fitzgerald.

I will add, for the benefit of anyone who cannot currently consult the books by Khadduri and Spencer, that according to Muslim legend, devoutly believed by Muslims, Muhammad cleverly and feigningly made a treaty with the Meccans, which was supposed to last for ten years, but which - as soon as he felt strong enough to get away with it - he treacherously broke, on a pretext, after a mere 18 months, crushing his deluded treaty partners. In all mainstream Muslim texts his cleverness in doing so is greatly admired; for *everything* Mohammed did (and that really does mean *everything*) is viewed by Muslims as good and right, and Mohammed is the 'perfect man', an 'excellent model of conduct', to be imitated in every particular by all pious Muslims from that day to this.

Jewish readers are advised to obtain, and read, Spencer's book, since the very next section [pp. 139-143] after the discussion of Hudaybiyya concerns Mohammed's assault on the Jews of the Khaybar Oasis, and what he did to them - and how he added the Khaybar Jewish girl, Safiyya, to his harem, raping her on the evening of the very same day that he had had her fiance Kinana tortured to death.

Spencer observes that "the chant is popular among 'Palestinians' and their allies - 'Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return'. That can mean nothing less than the destruction of the State of Israel, as surely as the Jewish stronghold of Khaybar was destroyed."

Posted by: dumbledoresarmy | Dec 12, 2008 1:09:58 AM

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