December 5, 2017

"President Trump told Israeli and Arab leaders on Tuesday that he plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel..."

"... a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians," the NYT reports.

174 comments:

Rick said...

If Trump does this Palestinians might retaliate by blowing up children in ice cream shops.

Drago said...

Rick: "If Trump does this Palestinians might retaliate by blowing up children in ice cream shops."

And LLR Chuck will find creative ways to blame Trump for the wars of '67 and '73.

madAsHell said...

Go Big!! or Go Home!!

Achilles said...

I think the Palestinians will be agreeing to a peace settlement soon. There was only going to be peace one way and that is forcing the Palestinians to choose between peace and destruction. Saudi Arabia is going to put a horse head in their bed.

Big Mike said...

There ought to be consequences for starting a war and losing it.

Rick said...

There ought to be consequences for starting a war and losing it.

Not just losing, refusing to sign a peace treaty even after they lost. All the while posing as the victims.

Murph said...

Decades' worth of effort to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians has achieved nothing, and it will not achieve anything so long as one party fails to negotiate in good faith and continues to call for the destruction of the other party.
Holding a decision regarding [re]location of the U.S. embassy hostage to "peace" negotiations is simply giving Palestinians unearned leverage for their seven-decades' long refusal to acknowledge the reality of Israel.

It's time, as well, for the U.N. to discontinue its indulgent financial support of the intransigent Palestinian position: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNRWA

Humperdink said...

Trump continues to think outside the swamp .... er.... box. This news is awesome, especially coming on the heels of Trump undoing Obama's Utah land grab.

Winning conservative moves, right LLR?

Martin said...

I hope that we locate the embassy in West Jerusalem, the area controlled by Israel before the 6-Day War. And, we should be clear that this does not prejudge the final disposition of Jerusalem in any peace agreement.

The Arab response to that would be very clarifying. If they want a 2-state solution based on the 1949-67 borders, they can have no objection; if they strenuously object it means they still intend that Israel be destroyed and cannot tolerate even a symbolic problem.

gspencer said...

"a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy"

Not really. What it would do is adhere to the law, passed in 1995 (yep, with votes from Ds and from Rs), that the embassy will be moved. DJT is merely faithfully executing here.

Rick Turley said...

"... a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians,"

Channeling my inner Dr. Phil: "How's that working for you?"

Sal said...

upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians

After decades of these efforts, they're how close? Why not stir the pot.

Ambrose said...

I think we are witnessing the birth of a new media narrative. "In 2017, thanks to Obama, peace in the Middle East was in hand. But, then Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem and peace efforts were back to square one."

They'll be teaching this in middle schools in 10 years.

Curious George said...

Jimmy "Fuck the Jews" Carter is not going to like this.

TreeJoe said...

I wonder when it was exactly that the right words and intentions started counting more than actual results among a majority of our society.

Drago said...

Ambrose: "They'll be teaching this in middle schools in 10 years"

Indeed. The islamo-leftist alliance requires it.

Should have been done a long time ago. Nothing operational or strategic would have changed for us. The Arabs would be doing the same things they've always done, just with a different excuse.

Drago said...

TreeJoe: "I wonder when it was exactly that the right words and intentions started counting more than actual results among a majority of our society."

Wanna bet it correlates almost perfectly with the ascendance of liberal and then leftist thought and increasing capture of our institutions by the left?

Luke Lea said...

Might trigger new intifada? Possible PR disaster for Trump? I dunno.

Drago said...

Luke Lea: "Might trigger new intifada? Possible PR disaster for Trump? I dunno"

Yep.

It might lead the usually hesitant and reasoned MSM and their LLR allies to contemplate whether or not Trump is behaving badly.

Michael K said...

Th Palestinians were as close as they were ever going to get in 2000.

Bill Clinton, who wanted a Nobel Peace Prize, leaned on Barak and Dennis Ross wrote that there were investors lined up to build stuff in the West Bank.

Arafat walked away and began the Intifada.

The East Prussians and Sudeten Germans learned what happens when you start a war and lose it.

Time for the Arabs and Palestinians.

Patrick said...

Well, those decades of policy and efforts to broker a peace really haven't done much, have they?

Dude1394 said...

Sounds like a great way to get us off top dead center (and when I say dead, I am thinking of innocent israelis being murdered ).

Dude1394 said...

"a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy"

Not really. What it would do is adhere to the law, passed in 1995 (yep, with votes from Ds and from Rs), that the embassy will be moved. DJT is merely faithfully executing here."

Interesting...in time after time Trump actually follows the law more than many of his predecessors.
- This, if it is law, it should be upheld.
- DACA, unconstitutional, trying to get it right.

In every case I can recall, trump has come down on the actual LEGAL side of issues. Nothing extra-legal about it.

So all I can conclude is that the democrat-media party are not interested in the rule of law ( not that I had any doubt really ).

Unknown said...

Lessee: Support a people who's highest praise goes to mothers who strap bombs to their children and send them off to suicide in an attempt to kill other children.... or support a people who actually have liberty and rights?

It's one of my fundamental reasons I can never be a leftist: They love love love Palestine and the barbaric actions that people partake in. And hate Israel and want it destroyed and the Holocaust repeated.

Good for Trump.

--Vance

Bay Area Guy said...

Heh - "Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel - New York Times Hardest Hit"

mockturtle said...

The word will come tomorrow, apparently, and will probably be 'Yes'. Not just draining the swamp but sweeping away policy stagnation.

readering said...

Latest news is he extends waiver 6 months.

MikeR said...

Art of the Deal. It will (in the long run) make it easier to deal with the Palestinians if they have less to start with. They need to feel that they have to actually deal or they will keep losing more.
A reasonable next step would be encourage Israel - instead of what the Obama administration did - to keep building in Jerusalem, and ultimately in the settlements as well. The impact would be the same: Palestinians need to see that they are paying a price for refusing to deal, and the price will just keep getting bigger. An eventual peace settlement will have to include some of the occupied territory, and so they should see it getting occupied.
Another thing that Mr. Trump and Nikki Haley are doing to help is convincing the Palestinians that the United Nations cannot help them. They have been getting mixed messages, and (again in the long run) it will help them deal if the United States is clearer.

traditionalguy said...

The Obama method was a paying the Jew Murderers a $400,000,000.00 per year reward. The Palestinians will not even consider a peace Treaty until that slush fund is cut off, for good.

Iran got $1,400.000.000.00 cash from Obama for pretending to stop their Nuclear Bomb making, with no verification inspections allowed.

It is likely the Mohammed cult will fight to keep East Jerusalem that prohibited Jews in it prior to the 1967 War. That was why Obama kept saying over and over that the Jews had to go back to the 1949 Armistice Boundary that the Jews was dumped after they captured Jerusalem in the 1967 War in 6 days. That took the TEMPLE MOUNT from Mohammed's guys.

And the entire War is about the Temple Mount...always has been and always will be. The West Bank land is worth nothing at all to the Mohammed's guys except to surround the Temple Mount.



Michael K said...

Now, I hear he has no plans to move the embassy, which is a mistake,

Real American said...

Trump should move the embassy and dare the Palestinians to do something about it. When they riot and murder innocents, which they will because they're stupid, he should take away any foreign aid we currently send there. They can get some of it back by stopping the terrorism and recognizing Israel's right to exist. Only after that, go to the negotiating table for the particulars. If they don't want to, then give Israel to the green light to do as they please.

n.n said...

It's time to bring the parties to the table.

There will not be another Arab Spring, and subsequent trail of tears, from Tripoli to Damascus to Kiev to Berlin and Paris, too, which progressed, redistributed, and concluded with the last piece price.

Scott McGlasson said...

"... a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians,"

American policy--hell, world policy--on this issue has failed for decades. How about we try something different?

Inga said...

Trump should make up his mind. Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.

What he’s really doing is wagging the dog, hoping his followers will be distracted from his legal troubles.

Murph said...

Whatever his longer-range intentions, Trump should discuss plans and coordinate his actions WITH the Israelis, who, after all, will live (and quite possibly die) with the consequences.

If that means a delay in implementation, then fine. It behooves the U.S. and Israel to minimize adverse effects.
Two quotes come to mind: "Haste makes waste." And, notwithstanding that one, "The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a-gley."
I lied: a third is, "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best." ;-)

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

For the fun of it, we can consider the fact that the Archeology scholars have determined the Dome of the Rock is not built on the site of the Temple of Solomon. Instead it isbuilt on the Antonia Fortress that was used for the Roman Administration and Legion barracks.

So the Jews can rebuild their Temple without needing to tear down the Gold Domed Mohammedan structure. If Trump's son-in-law succeeds at that deal, the Hasidic Jews will likely declare Jared is the Messiah. But the Christians will call him the Anti-Christ. Jared could perform that role well.

Humperdink said...

"Whatever his longer-range intentions, Trump should discuss plans and coordinate his actions WITH the Israelis, who, after all, will live (and quite possibly die) with the consequences."

Ah, I would trust that Trump did consult with Israel. In fact, I would bet Israel consulted with Trump first regarding the implementation process.

Drago said...

This is exactly what Hitler would do--Every Leftist

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

As with Rocket Boy and China, introducing an element of uncertainty seems to be a big part of how Trump negotiates. Let them guess what you're going to do. It's a great way to lessen their expectations without driving them away altogether.
And I would bet Humperdink is right. Anything that looks like waffling is strategy coordinated with Israel.

Michael K said...

" hoping his followers will be distracted from his legal troubles."

Inga never disappoints. They made a movie about you. It was called, Obsession.

James Pawlak said...

There will be no peace with Palestinians until they honestly and effectively give up their goal of destroying Israel. (I am not of the Jewish Faith nor do I have any financial interests in the State of Israel.)

J. Farmer said...

If true, this is yet another unforced blunder from the administration. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the US embassy upends decades of US policy towards foolishly trying to mediate that godforsaken conflict. The status of East Jerusalem is to be left to future negotiations, and Israeli attempts to illegally annex it should be pushed back against, not indulged. As usual, this bit of pro-settlement, pro-hardliner stance will get the US nothing of strategic value in return. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have already paid lip service to opposing the move, but push back from them is minimal as they are likely to want to keep flattering the administration and obtain US support for their destabilizing policies (e.g. Yemeni War).

Unknown said...

For all of J. Farmer's many virtues, he sure sides against the Jews and Israel a lot. Not sure why, but he's more anti Israel than Jimmy Carter.
-Vance

Drago said...

"..upends decades of US policy towards foolishly trying to mediate that godforsaken conflict. "

This conflict will be mediated when one side or the other completely wins.

Period.

Either the Arabs push the Israelis into the sea or the Israelis smash the Arabs completely.

The Arabs are never, ever, going to accept the continued existence of Israel. Quite frankly, given the Western left/islamist alliance, there is no current strategic reason for the Arabs to compromise.

J. Farmer said...

@Vance:

First, my opinion of the Israeli government has nothing to do with "Jews," anymore that my opinion about the British government has anything to do with Anglos. Most Jewish people do not live in Israel. Second, I am not "anti-Israel." Israel is a state that has a right to defend itself, and I would defend that right (as I would for any state). Third, as I have said repeatedly, I do not believe that the US should be giving Israel (or any other country) welfare, and I do not believe in the foolish notion that there should be "no daylight" between US and Israeli foreign policy. I think that is an absurd construction. And I would think it was absurd if it was applied to any other country. As for the claim about Jimmy Carter, I will just quote words from a more junior former president:

"The point of departure for permanent status negotiations to realize this vision seems clear: There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. These negotiations must ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders. And they must ensure that the state of Palestine is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent."

-George W. Bush, 01/10/2008

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

That W., he was one naive sonofagun.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

Either the Arabs push the Israelis into the sea or the Israelis smash the Arabs completely.

That is a completely jaundiced view of the conflict, and it completely ignores one of the linchpins: the right of return. That is why settling the conflict is largely vexed. The Palestinians are not likely to give up the right of return, and the Israelis are not likely to agree to a divided Jerusalem. Support for a two-state solution has topped 50% in the past, though it has fallen a bit over the last several years, especially as the two-state solution seems to have been all but abandoned. The PA has renounced violent resistance to the occupation for years, and nearly three-fourths of West Bank residents oppose violent resistance.

J. Farmer said...

@The Cracker Emcee Activist:

That W., he was one naive sonofagun.

By repeating what had been US policy for over 40 years at that point?

buwaya said...

"nearly three-fourths of West Bank residents oppose violent resistance."

It does not require very many people active in "violent resistance" to make any modern state ungovernable. I wonder even what proportion of the population of Gaza are for (really, truly for) shooting off rockets at Israel.

Michael said...

Bravo!

Biotrekker said...

How about "symbolically potent"? Next NYT Weekend Magazine theme will be "Israel, why don't you die, already"?

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"By repeating what had been US policy for over 40 years at that point?"

It hasn't exactly been a riotous success.

Darrell said...

I see the Palestinian capital on Atlantis. Why wait for the oceans to rise?

buwaya said...

George Bush's desiderata are unfeasible.
A look at a map shows that.

- There is no way to make a contiguous Palestinian state. That is unless one wishes to do "ethnic cleansing" in Gaza and move those people somewhere in the West Bank. Israel would be idiotic to agree to a corridor cutting its own country in half.

- Defensible borders for Israel are impossible without oversight (truly speaking, sovereignty, police control) over the West Bank and Gaza. Its gotten flack for even claiming important pieces of the high ground overlooking critical parts of the Israeli lowlands, not to mention the Jerusalem corridor. And no Israeli government can risk some future Palestinian entity moving serious weapons into its territories. It would be extremely easy to move Hezbollah-style rocket batteries within very easy, accurate range of the vast majority of the Israeli population. And mobile SAM systems could shut down Israeli civilian airspace. No, the threat of retaliation through invasion and bombing is not adequate. The Israelis have been through this sort of thing for decades.

From either side, this is not a fixable problem.

buwaya said...

One reason for this is the fact that the geopolitical situation has changed. The Saudis/Arabs have a much less powerful "oil-weapon". There is no longer a Cold War reason to prevent anyone from switching to the other bloc. There isn't really another bloc, simply a world market.

The Palestinians have less powerful backers with the collapse of Syria into a disaster zone. The Egyptians have not been sympathetic in decades.

buwaya said...

The Palestinians are in a worse negotiating position even than they usually are.
Their traditional friends are weaker or have disappeared.

PB said...

If the Israelis tell us their capital is Jerusalem there should be no argument. Our outpost in that capital is then an embassy. Our offices in other cities are consulates.

Michael K said...

"The Palestinians are not likely to give up the right of return"

The East Prussians and the Sudeten Germans do not have "right of return." Don't start a war and lose it.

QED

buwaya said...

The best fix has always been for the neighboring Arab states to annex those bits like Gaza into their territory.

And let the Palestinians be absorbed into these states and disperse the refugees.
And negotiate some personal compensation scheme for property losses, etc.
This was the obvious solution in 1949, but the Arab governments maintained a fantasy of a glorious, annihilating victory over Israel for thirty years, or in some cases far more.

buwaya said...

"The East Prussians and the Sudeten Germans do not have "right of return."

But they do have the right, perhaps, to their sequestered property or compensation. This is still a matter of argument apparently, wrt to the Sudeten Germans at least.

And, IIRC, there have been ongoing issues with East Prussians claiming property in Poland.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the US embassy upends decades of US policy towards foolishly trying to mediate that godforsaken conflict.

The decades of US policy haven't produced a whole lot of success, so I'm not sure why that matters.

dreams said...

Trump has got backbone and that is what scares the liberals.

Drago said...

Farmer: "That is a completely jaundiced view of the conflict, and it completely ignores one of the linchpins: the right of return. "

Play your word games.

The Arabs want the jews dead and no amount of sophistry or doublespeak will change that immutable fact.

Oh sure, as the last jew is pushed into the sea I would expect you to look up iver the top of your glasses and mutter -oh, that was unfortunate.

Happily the Israelis are not as stupid as you would like them to be.

Michael K said...

The Sudeten Germans and the East Prussians might get some compensation now that the Soviet Union has collapsed.

Those Germans, however were absorbed into the German society. The Arabs want nothing to do with the Palestinians.

They even were expelled from the few places that had taken them in to work when they supported Saddam when he invaded Kuwait,

Israel might have to push them out if the Gaza maniacs start another war, Egypt wants no part of Gaza.

eddie willers said...

Knock down the Dome of the Rock and put up a Trump Hotel.

I'm only half kidding.

Rich Vail said...

It won't upend the possibility of peace because the pelishtim have made it clear they don't want peace.

JPS said...

J. Farmer:

"Israeli attempts to illegally annex [East Jerusalem] should be pushed back against, not indulged."

As should the fiction that Israel is temporary, and that one day they will have relinquished all of Jerusalem.

This is a hell of a way to push back against, and not indulge, that fantasy.

J. Farmer said...

@The Cracker Emcee Activist:

It hasn't exactly been a riotous success.

All the more reason to stay out of it (my preferred position). But it's worth remembering that while that is the policy the US has paid lip service to, in reality it has been significantly slanted to the Israeli side, particularly since the early 1970s.


@buwaya:

From either side, this is not a fixable problem.

"Not fixable" is probably harsher than I would judge it, but I certainly think it is a difficult problem. However, it is not a problem that involves significant US interests and is better left to those in the region.

@Michael K:

The East Prussians and the Sudeten Germans do not have "right of return." Don't start a war and lose it.

Those examples have nothing to do with either the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict or its present situation.

The Arabs want nothing to do with the Palestinians.

Even conceding that that were true, it does not make the cause of Palestinian statehood any less legitimate. In fact, it strengthens the argument for a Palestinian state, given that most opponents of the two-state solution believe that Palestinians should just go live in Jordan with other Arabs.

@Drago:

The Arabs want the jews dead and no amount of sophistry or doublespeak will change that immutable fact.

That "fact" is, in fact, mutable. Ignoring the fact that it is not even possible to say what "The Arabs" want, the data we do have on the topic show large majority of Palestinians renouncing violence as a solution to the occupation.

J. Farmer said...

@JPS:

As should the fiction that Israel is temporary, and that one day they will have relinquished all of Jerusalem.

This is a hell of a way to push back against, and not indulge, that fantasy.


Nobody is talking about Israel relinquishing "all of Jerusalem." But East Jerusalem is not Israel. It is occupied territory.

Robert Cook said...

"They killed Jesus, they might as well take his city too."

Who is this "they?" The Jews who turned Jesus over to the Romans, or the Romans?

JPS said...

J. Farmer:

"Nobody is talking about Israel relinquishing 'all of Jerusalem.'"

Nobody in Palestinian society considers Israel a temporary mistake, and speaks or dreams of a future in which there is no Israel? How sure are you of that?

Michael K said...

"But East Jerusalem is not Israel. It is occupied territory."

So is the USA if you ask the right people.

Robert Cook said...

As usual, there is one person commenting on this thread who is rational, and nearly everyone else, who is not.

Michael K said...

The East Prussians and the Sudeten Germans do not have "right of return." Don't start a war and lose it.

Those examples have nothing to do with either the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict or its present situation.


They have everything to do with it, Start a war and lose it and you have lost your rights.

Each war Israel has won has been an attempt at genocide by the Arabs. They cannot even run their own miserable shitholes.

Read a description of Palestine in the 19th century, The American Indians did about as well with this continent.

Robert Cook said...

"'But East Jerusalem is not Israel. It is occupied territory.'

"So is the USA if you ask the right people."


Yeah...look how we treated them, and we didn't have any claims to the continent being our homeland!

And look where they are now.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

So is the USA if you ask the right people.

By the "right people," you mean a small fringe of anti-colonialists. The opinion, I am talking about, is the opinion of the US, the UK, Germany, France, China, and Russia. It is also the opinion of numerous Israeli jurists, including Theodor Meron, who was the chief counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 1967.

@JPS:

Nobody in Palestinian society considers Israel a temporary mistake, and speaks or dreams of a future in which there is no Israel? How sure are you of that?

That is a completely absurd bar. There are nearly 4,000,000 Palestinians. There are undoubtedly some portion who do feel the way you do. So what? That is not a defense for the collective punishment of all Palestinians.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

They have everything to do with it, Start a war and lose it and you have lost your rights.

Presumably you are speaking of the Six Day War, but in what way can you say the residents of Gaza or West Bank started that war? Also, this ignores the fact that Israel is a signatory to the UN Charter, which expressly forbids acquisition of territory by war.

Read a description of Palestine in the 19th century, The American Indians did about as well with this continent.

That is completely irrelevant. That does not give a foreign power the right to take that land for their own state. But again, the morality and legality of the settlements is a sideshow. Even if I agreed that they were 100% illegal, it would not judge my opinion about what US foreign policy should be.

narciso said...

Gaza wee under Egyptian control and the westbank under Jordanian control, interesting the late sheiks yasin of hamas had a degree from Al azhar. Now the hashemites did rebel against the Turks, ironically ibn saud reaped the benefit (which makes the end credits of Lawrence of Arabia interesting.)

Add to that how many Jews were expelled from Jordan Iraq Syria it al.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

The decades of US policy haven't produced a whole lot of success, so I'm not sure why that matters.

Well, I would distinguish between official US policy and what the US has actually done. They are not the same thing. So, for example, it is official policy of most of the world that Taiwan and China are the same country under the authority of Beijing. In reality, we all act as if it is an independent country. The ability to do the latter relies explicitly on the former. Because the US seeks to be intimately involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict, it must seek a measure of neutrality and honest broker status in the relationship. Even though it is widely known that the US tilts massively in favor of Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would eliminate any last vestige of this important illusion.

Michael K said...

"Presumably you are speaking of the Six Day War,"

No, I am referring to the four wars the Palestinians and Arabs have started to try to kill all the Jews.

1948

1967

1973

The 20 years of rocket attacks on civilians.

If Israel had lost any one of those wars, especially the first three, the country and its residents would have been destroyed.

These were wars of extermination and the UN's hands are not clean.

They have fed this rage and revanchism since 1948.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem doesn't change the status of East Jerusalem or the West Bank. It simply grants Israel the courtesy of recognizing its capital and deprives the Arabs of their veto over U.S. policy. It does not change the fundamental facts: Israel doesn't want to expose itself to a genocidal attack and therefore wants to hold on to a portion of the occupied territories, and the Palestinians want to create one country, from the river to the sea, and therefore are loathe to make concessions, even when offered a credible deal like Bill's. The aftermath of the Gaza return did not inspire confidence in Israel and dampened interest in trading land for peace.

If the Palestinians want to restore Jerusalem's status as an international city, we should discuss that with them. Right after Breslau becomes a German city again.

narciso said...

The French the British and the Dutch will find too late they 'imported a people' bent in displacing them. Theresa may most recently.

Sebastian said...

A broker whose services depend on an illusion cannot be honest.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem makes us a more honest broker, because it tells the world we are not neutral in a basic sense: our bottom line is that Israel must be independent and secure, regardless of any interests and demands on the Arab side. It adds more honesty by making it unmistakably clear that there can be no return to 1947. That gives Israel some leverage over us, perhaps too much at times, but it need not determine U.S. policy. An actual resolution is unlikely in any case, regardless of our posture, so the costs to "peace" are minimal.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

No, I am referring to the four wars the Palestinians and Arabs have started to try to kill all the Jews.

"The Palestinians and Arabs" are not interchangeable quantities. The wars of 1948, 1967, and 1973 were started by large Arab states, notably Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Israel currently has formal peace treaties with two of these countries. And again, you ignore the fact that large majorities of Palestinians have renounced violence as a response to the occupation. The PA has renounced violence. Majorities of Gaza's and West Bank residents are in favor of a ceasefire. What happened in 1873 does not change any of that.

These were wars of extermination and the UN's hands are not clean.

I think that is a completely over-the-top, histrionic reading of events. These were wars for political control. The notion that had these territories come under Arab control, there would have been mass extermination of Jews is fanciful nonsense. Jews would most probably be forced to live under discriminatory legal conditions, as is true of Jewish communities in other Muslim-majority nations. And there very likely would have been mass reprisals, but none of that is anywhere near "extermination."

They have fed this rage and revanchism since 1948.

Why start the clock at 1948? The most proximate cause of the Israel-Arab conflict was the mass immigration of European and American Jewry into Palestine in the first half of the 20th century. Now, whatever your moral and legal opinion of those events is, it is a matter of history. Israel exists and is a legitimate state. In the same way, Palestine exists and is a legitimate state. It has a right, under national self-determination, to oppose its occupation by a foreign power.

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem doesn't change the status of East Jerusalem or the West Bank. It simply grants Israel the courtesy of recognizing its capital and deprives the Arabs of their veto over U.S. policy.

It does not "simply" do that. The law passed in Israel making Jerusalem the capital was in 1980 and stated, "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." This implies permanents Israeli control and annexation of all of Jerusalem. The status of East Jerusalem is a major component of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Asserting that Israel has complete control of Jerusalem, which is considered illegal by the UN Security Council (with the US abstaining) and conflicts with the view of close US allies, is a major escalation in the conflict. How can the US ask the Palestinians to come to the table when it is preemptively nullifying one of their most important concerns?


narciso said...

Except the 1920 and 1929 intifadas under the leadership of haj Husseini arafats uncle, followed by the 1936 one directed in large part by fritz grobba. Husseini then became a guest pig mussolini and hitler, inspiring the scinitar divisions in the balkans working with eichmann in hungary, and aiding the golden square coup in Iraq,

James K said...

The most proximate cause of the Israel-Arab conflict was the mass immigration of European and American Jewry into Palestine in the first half of the 20th century.

Complete crap. There were very few Americans, first of all. And in fact by 1950 something like 50% or more of the Jewish population of Israel came from other parts of the Middle East, not Europe.

In the same way, Palestine exists and is a legitimate state. It has a right, under national self-determination, to oppose its occupation by a foreign power.

BS. They had their chance in '48 and blew it. It doesn't exist because they refused to accept the partition.

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem makes us a more honest broker, because it tells the world we are not neutral in a basic sense: our bottom line is that Israel must be independent and secure, regardless of any interests and demands on the Arab side.

Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem has nothing to do with Israel being "indecent and secure." In fact, annexing that territory inflames attitudes towards Israel and makes them less secure.

It adds more honesty by making it unmistakably clear that there can be no return to 1947.

Nobody of political significance is asking for a "return to 1947." The parameters of the settlement have been in place for 50 years: recognition of Israel, resolution of the refugee question, and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

Michael K said...

"that large majorities of Palestinians have renounced violence as a response to the occupation. "

Absolute nonsense.

Who elected Hamas and by what margin ?

Come one.

Steven said...

The one and only time Palestinians ever had an even approximately free, fair, and contested election, the Palestinian voters returned a majority for Hamas. So no one other than Hamas has anything even approaching a legitimate claim to represent the Palestinian people.

Whatever Abbas (or Fatah or the PLO or the Palestinian Authority or any other group that is a synonym for "people who take orders from Abbas") has to say is utterly irrelevant, because he does not not speak for Hamas, which is the group that the Palestinians have freely chosen as their representatives.

Show me where Hamas has renounced the destruction of Israel by force of arms and agreed to negotiate a permanent peace with Israel, and I'll agree that there's an actual, legitimate chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But before that happens, there isn't. Any attempt to have a "peace process" where the Palestinians are represented by anyone other than Hamas is a bad joke.

And any US policy on the issue should reflect the reality that Abbas does not actually speak for the Palestinians, and accordingly cannot make binding agreements on behalf of the Palestinians, however nice it might be if he could.

Michael K said...

Farmer, I respect your opinions in most things but you are in cloud cuckoo land on Palestine.

Each attempt at war with Israel, including 1948, was a plan to massacre the Jews.

Just like they were massacred in the 1930s and 1020s.

And in fact by 1950 something like 50% or more of the Jewish population of Israel came from other parts of the Middle East, not Europe.

Yes, the Middle East is judenfrei.

My dental hygienist was a kid in Ethiopia facing extinction because she was a Jew. A black Jew.

The Israelis swooped in and took her entire family to Israel where she grew up.

The entire Jewish population of the Middle east was driven out or massacred.

James K said...

And incidentally, "East Jerusalem" includes the Old City, which Jews lived in for centuries until they were kicked out in 1948. So that shouldn't be part of Israel?

narciso said...

Then you have passer who along with sadat, collaborated during the war, inviting Otto skorzeny (one of the inspiration for shaws character in battle of the bulge) but together a missile program to target Israel with chemical weapons.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Absolute nonsense.

Who elected Hamas and by what margin ?

Come one.


First, Hamas only exists in Gaza. More than 60% of Palestinians live in the West Bank. Second, support for Hamas among Gazans is complex and multifaceted. If someone told you that people voted for Trump because they were racist and hated Mexicans, how seriously would you take that analysis? Yet, among a people whose lives you have less than minuscule knowledge of, you claim to know the reasons and motivations behind their votes in a bargain basement democracy?

Come on!

Just like they were massacred in the 1930s and 1020s.

You mean, "Just like they were massacred in [Europe]? In the last millennia, a Jew was much safer as a dhimmi in a Muslim state than in Europe, where they were subject to routine violent pogroms and routine expulsions from places like England and Spain.

narciso said...

Add to that the fellow who directed the Munich massacre was the son of husseinis top aides, the one who raised funds for black September was mahmoud abbas himself.

Michael K said...

I give up Farmer. Not sure what your point is.

J. Farmer said...

@James K:

Complete crap. There were very few Americans, first of all. And in fact by 1950 something like 50% or more of the Jewish population of Israel came from other parts of the Middle East, not Europe.

In 1890, there were about 40,000 Jews living in Palestine. In 1947, there were over 600,000. That's a 15-fold increase. And this was before the mass exodus of mainly Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews from Muslim countries. That kind of demographic disruption is almost certain to cause social upheaval. It is the same social upheaval those of us have been warning about in terms of mass immigration into America and Western Europe of foreign peoples.

BS. They had their chance in '48 and blew it. It doesn't exist because they refused to accept the partition.

Who is "they?" The overwhelming majority of Palestinians were not even alive when those events transpired. They are today a stateless people under occupation by a foreign power. No fair minded reading of the facts could deny that.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

I give up Farmer. Not sure what your point is.

Was not aware I was being unclear. The notion that Palestinians are single-mindedly determined to massacre Jews and any accommodation with them is essentially capitulation to the Final Solution is a bizarre caricature of what is actually going on. The founding of the State of Israel, however benign its most idealistic advocates may have been in their intentions, involved an injustice to the people already living there who did not ask for their land to be transformed before their eyes. I would not expect any proud people to tolerate such demographic displacement. It is the precise reason I am an immigration restrictionist and diversity skeptic at home. It is also, incidentally, why I support Israeli immigration policies which are designed to maintain Israel Jewish majorities.

Paddy O said...

"They are today a stateless people under occupation by a foreign power."

When were they not?

James K said...

In 1890, there were about 40,000 Jews living in Palestine. In 1947, there were over 600,000. That's a 15-fold increase.

There was also a very large immigration of non-Jews into Palestine. In any case the solution was offered and rejected in 1948. Tough.

Who is "they?" The overwhelming majority of Palestinians were not even alive when those events transpired.

Completely irrelevant. Decisions made by one generation have lasting implications. The American Indians today were not alive when their ancestors sold the island of Manhattan to the Dutch. So they get it back?

And this is relevant because for the most part the Jews settling in Palestine purchased the land from Arab landowners, often for a huge premium.

Paul said...

I'm 110 percent in favor of moving the embassy to Jerusalem!

Long past due!

As for the Arabs, tough nuts. You wanna red line? We will give you a red line (and not a pussy Obama line.)

James K said...

The founding of the State of Israel, however benign its most idealistic advocates may have been in their intentions, involved an injustice to the people already living there who did not ask for their land to be transformed before their eyes.

No it did not. As I said, Jews came and purchased land at a premium from Arab landholders. The original partition plan was largely along demographic lines, and would have given the non-Jews substantial portions of what is now Israel, along with all of the West Bank. But they wanted it all. Too bad for them.

J. Farmer said...

@James K:

There was also a very large immigration of non-Jews into Palestine.

Between 1890 and 1947, the number of Christians increased from 60,000 to 140,000 (little more than 2x increase) and the number of Muslims increased from 400,000 to 750,000 (little less than 2x increase). The total population of Palestine was about 500,000 in 1890 and nearly 2,000,000. Jews were about 8% of Palestine in 1890 and about 33% of Palestine in 1947.

The American Indians today were not alive when their ancestors sold the island of Manhattan to the Dutch. So they get it back?

No, but they are American citizens and have votes in local, state, and federal elections. Palestinians have nothing comparable.

And this is relevant because for the most part the Jews settling in Palestine purchased the land from Arab landowners, often for a huge premium.

Incorrect. The number of Jews in Palestine in 1920 was about 75,000. By 1947, it was 600,000. These were not people who "purchased the land from Arab landowners, often for a huge premium."

But they wanted it all. Too bad for them.

What people may or may not have wanted 70 years ago is irrelevant. The Palestinians want a state within internationally recognized borders that they regulate. That is the core of national self-determination. Otherwise, you are declaring that Palestinians, by the nature of their birth, are obligated to live statelessly and under foreign occupation.

mockturtle said...

Palestinians refuse to concede that Israel has a right to exist, a fact that present an obstacle to equitable resolutions.

J. Farmer said...

@James K:

The original partition plan was largely along demographic lines, and would have given the non-Jews substantial portions of what is now Israel, along with all of the West Bank. But they wanted it all. Too bad for them.

Tiny thought experiment. Hispanic Americans in the Southeast US, having achieved a substantial demographic plurality, decide that they would be better off in a separate state and take actions to declare substantial portions of the US a separate state under control of the dominant population. Then imagine that Americans living within and outside of this region expressed objection to this. Then imagine that Russia, China, Britain, and Germany got together and told us that they looked at the territory and decided to carve up some of it for Americans and some of it for this new Hispanic state. If Americans objected and said no it's all ours, please explain to them why they would be wrong.

mockturtle said...

Apples are not oranges, Farmer.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

Palestinians refuse to concede that Israel has a right to exist, a fact that present an obstacle to equitable resolutions.

That is completely false. Palestinian political leaders have conceded Israel's right to exist for nearly 30 years. And for what it's worth, no country has a "right to exist." Countries have a right to defend themselves. Mahmoud Abbas had renounced all violence in response to the occupation and has signed his name to Alan Dershowitz's peace plan. Israel cannot have it both ways. It wants to rule over the Palestinians, but it will not given them citizenship, since that would demographically destroy Israel as a Jewish state. There are numerous committed Zionists who see the settlements as destructive to their project. If Israel wants to say that all of Jerusalem is its territory, then it must declare the hundreds of thousands Palestinians living in East Jerusalem as Israeli citizens. But of course it will not. This is occupation, anyway you slice it.

narciso said...

And that Al aqsa brigades are what again,

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

Apples are not oranges, Farmer.

Let me ask you a simple question. Do Americans and Europeans have a right to resist mass immigration into their lands by foreign populations? If so, why did Palestinian Muslims lack this right in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Even if we accept James K's "they bought the land' argument, that does not give one right's to individual statehood. China towns in large urban centers are a result of Chinese immigrants legally purchasing land. But if they declared that they wanted to live in a separated, Chinese-dominated state, Americans would balk.

Steven said...

The reason Hamas doesn't exist in the West Bank is that it was suppressed by main military force.

Hamas, in the only free, fair, and contested election in Palestinian history (in 2006) won 74 of 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. That was not just in Gaza (where they won the majority in 4 out of 5 constituencies), but also in the West Bank, where they won a majority of the seats in 8 of 11 constituencies.

The fact was, is, and (given the unwillingness of the West Bank's dictator Abbas to allow contested elections) for the foreseeable future will be that the only democratically-legitimate representative of the Palestinian people ever is Hamas.

No one else is entitled to speak for what Palestinians want, even if it would be convenient for hopes of peace, because no one else has been selected by the Palestinians in a contested election.

Birkel said...

I see smug has returned to discuss Jews.

mockturtle said...

The Israeli question is one of Isaac vs. Ishmael and precedes by thousands of years any policies of the modern era. Semitic peoples, which includes both Muslims and Jews, have a very old axe to grind. Concessions to the Palestinians--even a homeland--will not solve this any more than the partition of Pakistan as a Muslim nation prevented Muslims in India from continuing to create havoc for the Hindu population.

narciso said...

Because that part of the levant didn't constitute a country in the 19th century,

James K said...

please explain to them why they would be wrong.

You are aware that there was no state in Palestine. So there was nothing to "carve up," and your thought experiment is a non-starter.

J. Farmer said...

@Steven:

Even if every single Palestinian threatened war with Israel, that is not a reason to deny statehood to Palestinians. Again, Israel has every right to defend itself. It does not have a right to occupy foreign lands and foreign people.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

The Israeli question is one of Isaac vs. Ishmael and precedes by thousands of years any policies of the modern era.

I know those kinds of sweeping historical statements are fashionable to make, but they really aren't true. There is no "thousands of years" that is relevant to the current situation. Zionism in any recognizable form is is less than 150 years old.

Concessions to the Palestinians--even a homeland--will not solve this any more than the partition of Pakistan as a Muslim nation prevented Muslims in India from continuing to create havoc for the Hindu population.

That may very well be true. But it is still no reason to deny Palestinian statehood. Palestinians may very well choose that path. Or they may not. It's up to them to decide. It's not up to you, and it's no up to me.

J. Farmer said...

@James K:

You are aware that there was no state in Palestine.

Of course not. It was a region of the Ottoman Empire, but life most regions had achieved a great deal of autonomy. None of that is justification for foreigners being allowed to take a big chunk of it away for their own state. Again, if there is an argument for foreigners doing that, please make it.

Sebastian said...

"a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem." Why? Jerusalem was an international city (hence my reference to 1947) before Jordan took the eastern part. The status quo ante is either international or Jordan. There is no basis in "international law" for making it the capital of a new-fangled "Palestinian" state. Of course, negotiations can create new facts. But that would require the Palestinians, with their Arab friends, to negotiate in good faith. For half a century, they have refused. Too late now.

Sebastian said...

"it is still no reason to deny Palestinian statehood" I'd like them to have a state. But not the state they want: the one state, from the river to the sea, with the "right of return." That is not "up to them."

Lem said...

"... a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians,"

This is such garbage, it's worse that the Nobel winner Althouse posted about the other day.

What the NY Times seems to be saying is "Trump Fails To Give Failure a Chance."

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

Why? Jerusalem was an international city (hence my reference to 1947) before Jordan took the eastern part.

Jerusalem was never "an international city." The proposal to transform Jerusalem into such an entity began with the UN Partition plan.

There is no basis in "international law" for making it the capital of a new-fangled "Palestinian" state.

Yes, there is. There is broad international consensus that the Fourth Geneva Convention makes the settlements illegal. This has also been US opinion for decades.

J. Farmer said...

@Lem:

This is such garbage, it's worse that the Nobel winner Althouse posted about the other day.

What the NY Times seems to be saying is "Trump Fails To Give Failure a Chance."


If by failure you mean consistent fealty to extreme right-wing Israeli Zionism, then you are mistaken. Trump is apparently all too happy to continue this decades long tradition of failure.

Birkel said...

Smug wraps itself in whatever garment does the most damage to the group smug doesn't like. We may never know why all roads lead to one outcome.

Mystery abounds.

Sebastian said...

"There is broad international consensus that the Fourth Geneva Convention makes the settlements illegal." That "consensus" about the implications of a convention for the settlements is no lawful basis for making Jerusalem the capital of a state that doesn't exist and has never existed.

As long as we are talking about international law, the status quo ante, before Jordan took part of the place, was indeed the UN plan. The status quo ante prior to 1967 in East Jerusalem was Jordanian incorporation, however you judge that as a matter of law. That doesn't mean East Jerusalem couldn't have become the capital of a Palestinian state. It could have, with a lot of good will and a genuine desire for peace and real compromise. After half a century of the opposite, it is now too late.

David Begley said...

Love the first comment. I also love how Trump follows the law passed by Congress and fulfills another campaign promise.

I saw candidate Trump make that promise live in front of an Iowa audience. They went wild. I doubt if there was a single Jew in the crowd of 2000.

Pookie Number 2 said...

But it is still no reason to deny Palestinian statehood.

Once you've conceded that Israel has a right to defend itself, then you've acknowledged that it has the right to consider existential threats hiding behind governmental lip service supporting peace.

I think you're right that most Palestinians want to live peacefully, but the minority that don't are numerous enough as to pose a legitimate risk to Israeli security, and no Palestinian government to date has shown the willingness to adequately stand up to that minority.

I think you're very wrong about the Israeli willingness to cede East Jerusalem - there's more than enough support for that, if it could credibly improve Israeli safety. The fact that this expectation is not credible is due entirely to intransigent Palestinian leadership.

Rick said...

No, but [American Indians] are American citizens and have votes in local, state, and federal elections. Palestinians have nothing comparable.

I wonder why people keep saying this. Palestinians voted and they elected Hamas.

Palestinians effectively have a state. It's a failed state sure but that's their only option because they're a failed people. They actively embrace the role of victims so others including Iran and Syria can use them to motivate terrorists. Naturally embracing this role has included a cost including condemning their own children to poverty and ignorance. This is entirely within their power to change. So their blaming others for not changing their own choices is amusing but ultimately pointless.

The best thing we can do for future Palestinians is tell them they are on their own. They refuse to take responsibility for themselves because they hold out hope some future American government will force Israel into a better deal for them. As long as they believe that they will not give up their current counterproductive intransigence.

Michael K said...

If by failure you mean consistent fealty to extreme right-wing Israeli Zionism, then you are mistaken.

Here comes the truth. Got it, farmer.

It's those dam Joooooz again.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Yes, there is. There is broad international consensus that the Fourth Geneva Convention makes the settlements illegal. This has also been US opinion for decades.

Oh, so that's why Russia has withdrawn from Crimea and the Donbas.

Someone remind me what good the UN has accomplished in its existence? Because we could use the real estate.

Robert Cook said...

"Israel doesn't want to expose itself to a genocidal attack...."

Which, of course, the Palestinians are capable of carrying out.

Hahahahahaha!

Robert Cook said...

J. Farmer, I applaud you for your comments on this post. The braying (m)asses here assail you, but you patiently persist in trying to educate them, as if they were actually teachable. Alas, they are immune to education.

Rusty said...

"Palestinian" is no longer a national identity. rather it has become a rent seeking political entity.
So, bottom line, J. Israel has no right to exist.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

Once you've conceded that Israel has a right to defend itself, then you've acknowledged that it has the right to consider existential threats hiding behind governmental lip service supporting peace.

The notion that the Palestinians pose an "existential" threat to Israel is pretty laughable. Israel is a wealthy regional military power with about double the population of the Palestinians. Also, security concerns do not justify illegally occupying and taking other people's land. The civilian settlement outposts require IDF protection (removing resources from Israel proper) and the local Palestinian population is forced to live under apartheid conditions, where the military force of a foreign country places extreme restrictions on their rights to conduct commerce and move about in their own town. How does that increase Israeli security?

I think you're very wrong about the Israeli willingness to cede East Jerusalem - there's more than enough support for that, if it could credibly improve Israeli safety. The fact that this expectation is not credible is due entirely to intransigent Palestinian leadership.

The Jerusalem Law was passed by the Knesset in 1980, years before the First Intifada. It had nothing to do with Israeli security.

@Rick:

Palestinians effectively have a state.

Except that it's a state whose borders, airspace, water rights, and internal movements are controlled and enforced by a foreign military power. If the Chinese controlled our borders, our airspace, our access to the water, and our internal movement, you think we would be satisfied with "effectively' having a state?

So their blaming others for not changing their own choices is amusing but ultimately pointless.

Right. That couldn't possibly be aggrieved by illegal foreign settlements and annexation of their land by a foreign power.

@Micheael K:

Here comes the truth. Got it, farmer.

It's those dam Joooooz again.


Funny how people like you immediately start arguing like SJW's when the subject of Israel comes up. This has nothing to do with Jewish people. Most Zionists in America are not Jewish but rather evangelical Christians.

@Rusty:

So, bottom line, J. Israel has no right to exist.

Like I have said. No country has a "right to exist." Countries have rights to defend themselves.

Birkel said...

Smug doesn't like that people point out the result that Smug wishes would happen is the result Smug advocates.

And Smug wishes that nobody notices he argues like the SJW he derided when people accurately point out what is obvious. Calling names makes Smug small. Smug should avoid calling names.

Robert Cook is pure unadulterated evil. The 100 million killed last century were a good start that Cook would prefer kept going.

Rick said...

Except that it's a state whose borders, airspace, water rights, and internal movements are controlled and enforced by a foreign military power

Yes, that's one effect of being a failed state which supports terrorism. If these effects bother them they should stop being a failed state which supports terrorism.

That couldn't possibly be aggrieved by illegal foreign settlements and annexation of their land by a foreign power.

I'm sure they are aggrieved over land. TFB, next time don't start wars you can't win. What do we think about Germans still pining for the return of Alsace? We think they're cranks and tell them to grow up and get over it. But somehow being able to blame America and/or the Jews makes everything different.

But let's not pretend the land is the core issue. It's a distraction, something Palestinians developed to hide their core issue. Those annexed lands supposedly triggering the grievance were offered back in exchange for a peace treaty. If the grievances came after the land issue why was this offer rejected? Somehow even though the Palestinians refused the Jews are at fault. The way to identify bias is to compare an unbiased analysis to that offered. When the differences all run the same direction we consider that proof.

James K said...

None of that is justification for foreigners being allowed to take a big chunk of it away for their own state. Again, if there is an argument for foreigners doing that, please make it.

The concept of "foreigners" in an area without any actual boundaries or state is pretty ludicrous. Add to that the fact that a substantial portion of the "Palestinians" were also immigrants into the area, and it becomes pretty easy to see. Given that a Jewish population had lived in the area for most of the years since biblical times, the notion that only Jews are "foreigners" becomes laughable.

The notion that the Palestinians pose an "existential" threat to Israel is pretty laughable.

They don't now, but that's the point. With a state based on pre-1967 armistice lines, allied with Iran or God knows who, Israel would be indefensible.

Rusty said...

@Rusty:

So, bottom line, J. Israel has no right to exist.

Like I have said. No country has a "right to exist." Countries have rights to defend themselves.

Good. Then Israel is doing the right thing.

Rusty said...

How's Gaza doing? Have the Palestinians made a garden out of the place yet?

Pookie Number 2 said...

The notion that the Palestinians pose an "existential" threat to Israel is pretty laughable.

Disagree. Even on their own, the Palestinians have enough malefactors to disrupt Israeli life to an intolerable level. Add in the inevitable "support" from explicitly anti-Semitic countries like Iran, and there's a legitimate concern about Israel's viability.

The bottom line has always been that there will be peace as soon as Israel can have confidence in the Palestinians, and that lack of confidence is the fault of the Palestinian leadership.

J. Farmer said...

@Rick:

Yes, that's one effect of being a failed state which supports terrorism. If these effects bother them they should stop being a failed state which supports terrorism.

There is no state to be failed, but even if that were true, being a failed state does not give foreign powers a right to occupy and annex your land. Libya is a failed state. That does not permit Mali to build settlements on Libyan territory and claim it as its own.

But let's not pretend the land is the core issue. It's a distraction, something Palestinians developed to hide their core issue.

And you have access to this "core issue" how, exactly?

But somehow being able to blame America and/or the Jews makes everything different.

This has nothing to do with blaming America or "Jews." Most Jews do not live in Israel. It is the fault of successive Israeli governments which have pursued annexation and settlements which contravene international agreements Israel agreed to.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Palestinians effectively have a state. It's a failed state sure but that's their only option because they're a failed people. They actively embrace the role of victims so others including Iran and Syria can use them to motivate terrorists. Naturally embracing this role has included a cost including condemning their own children to poverty and ignorance. This is entirely within their power to change. So their blaming others for not changing their own choices is amusing but ultimately pointless.”

The left asserts that all cultures are equivalent, but they aren’t. There is an implied fatalism in Islam that makes victimhood more likely. The Palestinians almost seem to embrace this. And the contrast with majority Jewish Israel can’t be more stark - tiny Israel that has many more Nobel science prizes than the entire Islamic world combined. When the Israelis gave the Gaza back, it had infrastructure. They had made the desert bloom. Greenhouses, water, electricity, etc. and the Palestinians who took it back over apparently very quickly destroyed much of that infrastructure that had been left for them. The Israelis send them cement to build schools and hospitals with, and it gets immediately diverted to building bunkers and tunnels in order to attack the country that gave them the cement in the first place. They accept with Islamic fatalism that they have a completely dysfunctional society, and don’t try to improve their state. Submission to fate, as Allah wills.

J. Farmer said...

@James K:

Given that a Jewish population had lived in the area for most of the years since biblical times, the notion that only Jews are "foreigners" becomes laughable.

I have already given you the population figures; if you wish to refute them go ahead. The fact that "some" Jews have lived in Palestine for millennia does not mean that Jews have a right to move en mass into the area and take it as its own state. But again, that's a judgment of history. It happened, and the state was created. But that remains the proximate cause of the Israel-Palestine conflict. A large influx of foreigners moved into an area and took control. And not just from Arab Muslims. Israeli immigrants also fought a terrorist war against the British government in order to end the British mandate.

They don't now, but that's the point. With a state based on pre-1967 armistice lines, allied with Iran or God knows who, Israel would be indefensible.

That is completely ahistorical. Israel was not "indefensible" at the "pre-1967 armistice lines." Israel defeated a large coalition of Arab states in 1967. Plus, given the economic and technological disparities, Israel would remain a dominant power in regards to the Palestinians for decades.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

The bottom line has always been that there will be peace as soon as Israel can have confidence in the Palestinians, and that lack of confidence is the fault of the Palestinian leadership.

So then explain civilian Israeli settlements in the West Bank to me. How does Hebron improve Israeli security or viability? Given that Israel controls the West Bank, imposes itself on the Palestinian population, and deny the Palestinians any voice in Israeli politics, there really is not much left.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

Good. Then Israel is doing the right thing.

No. Annexing another people's territory is not executing your right to defend yourself.

How's Gaza doing? Have the Palestinians made a garden out of the place yet?

First, just because there are no settlements, Gaza is still occupied territory. But the fact that Israel is a superior culture to Arabs is irrelevant. If the Gazans make a complete shithole of Gaza, that's their business. Somalia is a shithole, too. That does not give neighboring countries rights to occupy it

J. Farmer said...

@Bruce Hayden:

They accept with Islamic fatalism that they have a completely dysfunctional society, and don’t try to improve their state. Submission to fate, as Allah wills.

I agree with a lot of what you wrote, but it still misses the point. Most of sub-Saharan Africa is culturally and economically backwater compared to Europe. That does not give Europeans the rights to occupy and annex their lands. That's a pretty elementary concept, and it is the cornerstone of nationalism.

Pookie Number 2 said...

So then explain civilian Israeli settlements in the West Bank to me. How does Hebron improve Israeli security or viability? Given that Israel controls the West Bank, imposes itself on the Palestinian population, and deny the Palestinians any voice in Israeli politics, there really is not much left.

I don't understand what this question has to do with the point I made, but the answer (at least as I see it) is that by his own accounting, Anwar Sadat's willingness to make peace with Israel stemmed directly from his recognition and admission that the Jews weren't, in fact, leaving. So when Jews assert that violent antisemitic opposition to their presence in Hebron or the West Bank (that violent opposition is the only reason for unpleasant security measures) no longer constitutes a veto, their viewpoint is informed by the belief that eventually, Palestinian decision-makers will abandon their fantasy of a Jew-free Middle East.

Rick said...

being a failed state does not give foreign powers a right to occupy and annex your land.

That's right losing wars does, as does promoting terrorism.

And you have access to this "core issue" how, exactly?

By watching what choices people make. When people choose war over the return of their land we can conclude they prioritize war over the return of their land. It seems pretty clear cut.

This has nothing to do with blaming America or "Jews." Most Jews do not live in Israel.

Note the irrelevant issue again, it doesn't matter whether Jews live in Israel or not. The issue is why people [including you] have different standards whenever America or Jews are involved.

It is the fault of successive Israeli governments which have pursued annexation and settlements which contravene international agreements Israel agreed to.

Now you're asserting the Israelis have a time machine such that current government went back and somehow forced the Palestinians to refuse a peace treaty almost 50 years ago?

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number #2:

So when Jews assert that violent antisemitic opposition to their presence in Hebron or the West Bank (that violent opposition is the only reason for unpleasant security measures),

And why is there "violent opposition?" Because a foreign military is taking land it does not own and giving it to its citizens to live in.

their viewpoint is informed by the belief that eventually, Palestinian decision-makers will abandon their fantasy of a Jew-free Middle East.

There are no significant Palestinians who are talking about a "Jew-free Middle East." The demand on the Palestinians (that Israel cannot tolerate) is the allow of the return of refugees, which would nullify Israel as a Jewish state. I think Israel is correct to be concerned about maintaining its demographic integrity. But annexation of East Jerusalem and settler outposts throughout the West Bank are not answers to those problems. If Israel wishes to take that territory, then it must make those inhabitants citizens. But, of course, to do so would only contribute to the demographic problem.

J. Farmer said...

@Rick:

That's right losing wars does, as does promoting terrorism.

No, they do not. Israel fought wars with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It now has peace treaties with two out of the three countries. Israel has obligations under UN Security Council resolutions, and there is no international legitimacy for Gaza and the West Bank to be considered territory of Israel. If that were the case, then the Palestinian population would be citizens of Israel. Israel has no right to unilaterally annex any of that territory.

The issue is why people [including you] have different standards whenever America or Jews are involved.

I don't. Care to provide a single instance of my supposed "different standards?"

Now you're asserting the Israelis have a time machine such that current government went back and somehow forced the Palestinians to refuse a peace treaty almost 50 years ago?

Which peace treaty are you referring to? It has been the consensus of the US, all of our major allies, and all major international bodies that Israeli settlements are illegal, and that Gaza and the West Bank are occupied territory. And as I said before, that was the opinion of the chief counsel of Israel's Foreign Ministry in 1967.

Pookie Number 2 said...

And why is there "violent opposition?" Because a foreign military is taking land it does not own and giving it to its citizens to live in.

The violent opposition (such as Hebron, 1929) preceded the foreign military. The only adequate explanation, unfortunately, is Jew-hatred.

There are no significant Palestinians who are talking about a "Jew-free Middle East."

Unfortunately, there really are. They tend to talk about it in Arabic (and there's any number of monitoring organizations that confirm this), but they do it on Palestinian media, with no pushback from Abbas et al.

It's not Israel's obligation to ignore politically-incorrect truths.

James K said...

That is completely ahistorical. Israel was not "indefensible" at the "pre-1967 armistice lines." Israel defeated a large coalition of Arab states in 1967.

Jeez, I hope you don't invest in the stock market based on past performance. What does any of this have to do with Israel's *future* vulnerability? Aside from the fact that Israel very nearly lost in '73 but for the last-minute intervention by the US.

Thanks to Obama, Iran projects to be much stronger in the future and a potential ally of any Palestinian state. Who knows what will happen in Iraq or Turkey or Syria. I'm sure the Israelis appreciate your declaration that they can never lose, but I'm guessing they can't really count on that.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

The violent opposition (such as Hebron, 1929) preceded the foreign military. The only adequate explanation, unfortunately, is Jew-hatred.

Preceded a "foreign military" but did not precede Jewish paramilitary organizations that had been in existence since at least the Second Aliyah. "Jew-hatred" is not the "only adequate explanation," though it is certainly part of the reason. The other explanation is the entirely predictable backlash of large numbers of Eastern European Jews immigrating into Palestine. And this is all occurring in the shadow of the Balfour Declaration.

They tend to talk about it in Arabic (and there's any number of monitoring organizations that confirm this), but they do it on Palestinian media, with no pushback from Abbas et al.

Who are some of these significant figures, and what have they said?

J. Farmer said...

@James K:

What does any of this have to do with Israel's *future* vulnerability?

You made the claim that Israel's pre-1967 borders were "indefensible." I pointed out that that is obviously historically false.

Aside from the fact that Israel very nearly lost in '73 but for the last-minute intervention by the US.

The Yom Kippur War involved numerous Arab state belligerents, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. A Palestinian state would have nowhere near the combined economic and military power that this coalition possessed.

Thanks to Obama, Iran projects to be much stronger in the future and a potential ally of any Palestinian state.

Nothing Obama did will make Iran "much stronger in the future." What projections are you referring to and who has made them?

I'm sure the Israelis appreciate your declaration that they can never lose, but I'm guessing they can't really count on that.

Civilian settlements in the West Bank do not increase Israeli security. They cost Israel security. So your notion that Israel is only motivated by security concerns is already out of touch with the facts on the ground.




Pookie Number 2 said...

J. Farmer -

You can start here.

https://www.memri.org/countries/palestine

Birkel said...

Smug believes there is such a thing as International Law. That concept does not exist except in the mind of people who imagine it might. Ask Tibet. Or Crimea.

Ask the people murdered and starved by countries in three continents. Hell, ask the Obama Administration about domestic law that got in their way.

Smug is wrong on first principles. The end of history didn't happen. The world cares not one whit for form room pontificating about what Smug prefers.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

https://www.memri.org/countries/palestine

I am very familiar with MEMRI's work. And I stand by my assertion. If you want to claim that there are significant Palestinian figures calling for a "Jew-free Middle East," then you need to produce evidence for that.

J. Farmer said...

p.s. Smug believes there is such a thing as International Law.

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;"

Rick said...

It now has peace treaties with two out of the three countries.

Why would anyone believe those who refused to sign a peace treaty should be treated as those who did? Peace treaties pretty clearly change the circumstances including changes in borders.

Israel has no right to unilaterally annex any of that territory.

Israel has whatever rights it wants to have just as we had with regard to Japan. Those rights were returned to Japan after and in accordance with a peace treaty. If Palestinians want their rights returned they need to negotiate a peace which include them.

there is no international legitimacy for Gaza and the West Bank to be considered territory of Israel.

Appeals to faux authority are even more amusing and less relevant than appeals to authority.

I don't. Care to provide a single instance of my supposed "different standards?"

I already did. No one cares about Germans losing Alsace yet Israeli settlements are portrayed as monstrous. If you don't want to lose a war don't start it. I have no sympathy for people start wars killing thousands if not more and then whine they need to be made whole for their own lost property.

There are no significant Palestinians who are talking about a "Jew-free Middle East."

Only in the sense there are no significant Palestinians. Even if this were true it would signal a change in rhetoric rather than intent. But I'm sure it means a lot to Israelis J. Farmer is satisfied with their risk of death.

The Yom Kippur War involved numerous Arab state belligerents, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. A Palestinian state would have nowhere near the combined economic and military power that this coalition possessed.

Why would this be relevant? There's no reason to believe a future Palestinian attack on Israel would not include allies. It's bizarre your position seems to be that once we assume away the risk there's no risk! Why can't everyone see that!

J. Farmer said...

@Rick:

Why would anyone believe those who refused to sign a peace treaty should be treated as those who did? Peace treaties pretty clearly change the circumstances including changes in borders.

The Palestinians signed the Oslo accords nearly 25 years ago. The Palestinians have accepted the two-state solution.

If Palestinians want their rights returned they need to negotiate a peace which include them.

What do you think negotiators have been doing for the last several decades? It is not a question of one side not wanting to negotiate, it's that a mutual basis between the two parties has not been achieved. As I have said before, Israel is strongly committed to a united Jerusalem, and Palestinians believe strongly in the right of return. These are the issues that have been slowly ground down over years of negotiations.

Appeals to faux authority are even more amusing and less relevant than appeals to authority.

That statement had nothing to do with an appeal to authority, faux or otherwise. It is how the international system works. Countries have political borders when other countries recognize those borders and act accordingly. The only power borders have is the agreement among nations to respect the borders.

No one cares about Germans losing Alsace yet Israeli settlements are portrayed as monstrous.

You will have to give me an example of me portraying it as "monstrous." And, if I am understanding you correctly, your evidence of my "double standards" is that I do not discuss an event from more than 70 years ago the same way as what it is going on in the present?

But I'm sure it means a lot to Israelis J. Farmer is satisfied with their risk of death.

There are actually quite a few Israelis who make the same exact arguments I make. Have you read any of them? The notion that the settlements are illegal was made by chief counsel of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Why would this be relevant?

Because it was in response to another commenter brining up the 1973 war.

There's no reason to believe a future Palestinian attack on Israel would not include allies.

The combined populations of Iran and Syria are nearly 100,000,000. You think 4,000,000 Palestinians changes the calculus? Iran and Syria are deterred because not only is Israel is a regional military power, they are a nuclear-armed power. The notion that because Palestine could hypothetically maybe attack Israel in the indeterminate future, it can never be a state is bizarre. If Israel wants to annex that land, then the population will become citizens. Until then, they are a stateless people under foreign occupation.

Unknown said...

Is there a list of efforts by the Palestinians to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Asking for a friend.

-sw

Rick said...

The Palestinians signed the Oslo accords nearly 25 years ago.

Yep, and refused to sign a peace treaty. Maybe if you quit convincing them they can get a better deal by killing more Israelis first they would get around to it faster.

What do you think negotiators have been doing for the last several decades?

Performance art in self-aggrandizement, narcissism, and political naivete. Political theater.

That statement had nothing to do with an appeal to authority, faux or otherwise.

What nonsense. You cited "international legitimacy" as if it were something that had to be followed.

And, if I am understanding you correctly, your evidence of my "double standards" is that I do not discuss an event from more than 70 years ago the same way as what it is going on in the present?

In fact this statement is more evidence of your double standards. Alsace is still French and thus us is still "in the present" in the same way settlements are. Apparently we're to believe the strict rule for relevance is 50 years. How convenient! But wait, 40 years ago were you or the left pressuring France to give it back? No? So maybe there's something more than the passage of time driving your disparate treatment?

You think 4,000,000 Palestinians changes the calculus?

Manpower close to / inside your defensive zone is very different from manpower outside. It's interesting to note how flexible your justifications are though. One moment the Palestinians are all alone and impotent and the next their allies are so powerful the Palestinians don't matter. The rationale constantly shifts but never the conclusions. That's completely credible.

The notion that because Palestine could hypothetically maybe attack Israel in the indeterminate future, it can never be a state is bizarre.

The idea anyone said this is bizarre but instructive of the strawmen you must create to support your position. The Palestinians effectively are a state - they have a nominal government and negotiate with other governments - and can return to full statehood once they sign a peace treaty. Only their intransigence prevents it.

Until then, they are a stateless people under foreign occupation.

You seem to think this is meaningful but I see it as meaningless blather. They're there because of their leaders' choices and they can get out as soon as their leaders choose. You want to insist on calling them stateless? So what? They're occupied? That's what happens when you lose a war. If you didn't start the war maybe you'd have a basis for complaint.

J. Farmer said...

@Rick:

Maybe if you quit convincing them they can get a better deal by killing more Israelis first they would get around to it faster.

As I have said repeatedly, my preferred position for the US government is to stay out of the conflict entirely.

Performance art in self-aggrandizement, narcissism, and political naivete. Political theater.

Further evidence of your abject ignorance of the events going on in a small part of the world you have very big opinions about. But then again, why should that burden you with actually knowing something about the people you are talking about.

You cited "international legitimacy" as if it were something that had to be followed.

Reliance on "international legitimacy" has been a cornerstone for US foreign policy for centuries. Israel is a signatory to the UN charter. If you want to argue that international agreements mean nothing, then how do you suppose that international trade or diplomacy actually works?

Alsace is still French and thus us is still "in the present" in the same way settlements are.

If there is a significant separatist movement there, then I guess I missed it in the papers. Perhaps you can tell us about it. The issue of Alsace-Lorraine has been settled. The same cannot be said about the Israel-Palestine conflict. That is why the issues are different. The notion that this betrays "double standards" on my part is laughable.

One moment the Palestinians are all alone and impotent and the next their allies are so powerful the Palestinians don't matter. The rationale constantly shifts but never the conclusions. That's completely credible.

If that is how you read the argument, it is no wonder you are so confused. As I have said twice now, it was another commenter who invoked the 1973 war. Even in that situation, Israel prevailed...against a much more powerful threat than the Palestinians hope to ever embody.

The Palestinians effectively are a state - they have a nominal government and negotiate with other governments - and can return to full statehood once they sign a peace treaty. Only their intransigence prevents it.

They are not "effectively" a state. Again, if a foreign power controlled another state's airspace, borders, water access, and internal movement, how "effective" of a state would that be? Your notion of how negotiations work is bizarre. So one side presents a deal that is totally favored and biased towards them, and if the other side rejects it, they are the bad guys. Pathetic. If I offer you a buck for your house and property, and you say no, is that evidence of your "intransigence?"

Rick said...

So one side presents a deal that is totally favored and biased towards them,...If I offer you a buck for your house and property, and you say no, is that evidence of your "intransigence?"

It's very strange your describe 'don't blow up Israeli children in ice cream parlors' as "totally favored" to Israelis. Most people think this element is hard for the Palestinians to justify rather than some sort of sweetheart deal. Revealing.

why should that burden you with actually knowing something about the people you are talking about.

I think 45 years of complete and total failure ought to inspire some humility but apparently this is how you define success. There's a difference between knowing a lot or meaning well and making progress.

Reliance on "international legitimacy" has been a cornerstone for US foreign policy for centuries.

In one comment you argue you didn't appeal to authority and the next you argue the authority you cited is appropriately controlling. Maybe you should keep a scorecard of your arguments so you contradict yourself less. Maybe diagram them out.

If there is a significant separatist movement there, then I guess I missed it in the papers.

I see you're making progress. Now you're claiming because Palestinians are violent and intransigent we must treat them differently than we do reasonable people. Most people believe incentivizing violence increases the likelihood of more violence. So while you claim this is a reason to give them what they want I see it as a reason not to.

They are not "effectively" a state.

Of course they are. The key element is whether they have a government and try to organize basic public needs. Sure they suck, mostly because they're more interested in supporting terrorism and stealing relief funds than in doing their jobs. But there are plenty of full blown states which suffer these failings so I don't see why that disqualifies only this case. You're correct they don't have full rights but that is completely natural because they lost a war and refuse to sign a peace treaty. Was Japan not a state during our occupation? I've never heard them described that way. Nor Germany. Is this some racist thing, Palestinians can't be judged by the same standards as everyone else?

But the problem is that you're so locked into your meaningless definition debate you're not even making a point. What do you think labeling Palestinians stateless people gets you? You set great store on the label, tell us what you think it means. I think it means nothing and while you've spent a great deal of time arguing they are stateless you've spent none explaining what this means. Apparently you think because a number of groups have decided this means X the rest of us have to accept X that without your even arguing it. This is false.

As I have said repeatedly, my preferred position for the US government is to stay out of the conflict entirely.

Even if this were true it is not responsive to the point. As long as an American political movement pressures the government to give a better deal to Palestinians than the current offer Palestinians will delay in hopes that group will come to power. The impact is to keep the Palestinians in the current circumstance you claim to oppose and increase the number of Israeli dead.

Rusty said...

@Rusty:

Good. Then Israel is doing the right thing.
"No. Annexing another people's territory is not executing your right to defend yourself. "


Wrong. Annexing conquered land as a buffer between you and your enemies is a good strategic policy.

How's Gaza doing? Have the Palestinians made a garden out of the place yet?

"First, just because there are no settlements, Gaza is still occupied territory. But the fact that Israel is a superior culture to Arabs is irrelevant. If the Gazans make a complete shithole of Gaza, that's their business. Somalia is a shithole, too. That does not give neighboring countries rights to occupy it"

No it's not. It was handed over to the Palestinians without conditionss. "Gazans"? It is a de facto Palestinian state. It is not occupied by the Israelis. In fact I think Israel built a wall around it.

Birkel said...

Smug believes quoting the Constitution answers the question.

Any treaty entered can be withdrawn, unilaterally, by any country as it prefers. So that quote means precisely what the nation wishes it to mean.

Smug does smug well. Other things, less well.

Robert Cook said...

Nitwit thinks using cute names to refer to commenters for whom he has no compelling counterarguments is effective as a counterargument, and makes him look clever.

In both assumptions, exactly the opposite is true. Nitwit does nothing well.

Robert Cook said...

"Smug believes there is such a thing as International Law. That concept does not exist except in the mind of people who imagine it might. Ask Tibet. Or Crimea."

Or ask the many people who have been murdered and maimed by the U.S. of A or its client states.

Rick said...

I wonder why Cookie never counts the benefits of America like the roughly billion people freed from communist dominance with their risks of death and penury greatly reduced.

Never mind, we already know.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

Wrong. Annexing conquered land as a buffer between you and your enemies is a good strategic policy.

First, this land is not between Israel and its "enemies." Second, annexing the land is a violation of agreements that Israel signed onto. Third, if that land were truly annexed, then its people would become Israeli citizens.

No it's not. It was handed over to the Palestinians without conditionss.

Wrong. Israel still controls Gaza's borders, territorial waters, airspace, its population register, and who may enter or leave. That is not a "de facto Palestinian state."

Birkel said...

Law: a set of enforceable rules

Who enforces those international agreements except by the leave of the nations? Is there international law for copyright? A few billion pirated DVDs would like to know.

You're arguing morals, not law.

Krumhorn said...

There is no state to be failed, but even if that were true, being a failed state does not give foreign powers a right to occupy and annex your land. Libya is a failed state. That does not permit Mali to build settlements on Libyan territory and claim it as its own.

I thought you had earlier posited that states don’t have a right to exist; they only have a right to defend themselves. I would take that to suggest that Mali can most certainly do so, and Libya can’t complain unless it defends itself and runs the invaders out.

Farmer, you have made a great many excellent knowledgeable arguments and have done so with a good and decent tone. Admirable. However, I disagree with you entirely. You discounted completely the one most significant point that has been made. Mockturtle nailed it completely. It is pure hubris to think that the origins for this problem magically started in our lifetime....or that of our parents.

My view is simpleminded and crass. Too much time has passed on this conflict and with absolutely no resolution anywhere in sight. It’s time for action that simply imposes resolution. It may not be fair. It may not be just. I have no more craps to give. Palestinians need to bite down on their misfortune and either drink their lives away like many of the American Indians or build casinos like others of the Indians and make themselves wealthy. This must come to an end. If there is resistance, it must be squashed like a cock-a-roach.

The single point you made with which it is hard to argue is that if Israel establishes control of East Jerusalem, they most certainly must give full citizenship to anyone who is currently resident.

- Krumhorn

Birkel said...

Those pesky Jews, wrote Smug again.

We get it.