According to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Bibi Netanyahu has delivered "the worst possible slap in the face" to President Obama. Olmert was referring, of course, to Netanyahu's announcement that Israel will proceed with a settlement project that, the New York Times reported, "has long been condemned by Washington as effectively dooming any prospect of a two-state solution." (An article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz seconds Washington's assessment--see headline above.)Olmert may be overstating things, but not by much. Certainly Netanyahu's settlement surprise isn't the show of gratitude Obama had reason to expect after the US voted with Israel against Palestine's bid for nonmember observer status at the UN--a bid so reasonable and innocuous that Israel and the US, in opposing it, were in a minority of 9 out of 147 voting nations. And some of those 9 were on our side only because of American arm twisting. (Olmert himself thought it was a mistake for Israel to oppose the resolution.)In a way this was more than a slap at Obama. It was a slap at the United States. Terrorism is one of America's main national security threats, and the hatred of America by some Arabs and Muslims is the most valuable asset terrorist recruiters have. So stoking that hatred by voting to thwart the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians makes America less secure. To put a finer point on it: Stoking that hatred makes our children more likely to die a violent death 5, 10, 15 years from now.I'm not saying this UN vote alone increased the chances of terrorism by much. In fact, it increased them by only a very tiny bit. But that's more than zero, and every increment matters. And, however tiny the increment, it was only increased when Netanyahu then turned around and announced an epically indefensible settlement project; America, especially after its display of loyalty to Israel at the UN, is naturally seen as complicit in things like that. (And, no, toothless diplomatic protests by the US don't do much to change that perception.)http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/12/how...Get real, Israelhttp://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/181872011.ht...When people talk about how Israel is such a great ally to the US, I often wonder what they are thinking about.Peter
When people talk about how Israel is such a great ally to the US, I often wonder what they are thinking about.+1
When people talk about how Israel is such a great ally to the US, I often wonder what they are thinking about.__________________They are thinking about the past and former Presidents. Netanyahu has been lied to and treated awful by Obama and no longer trusts him. Remember in the debates when Obama said an attack on Israel would be seen as an attack on the US? Well the Palenstinians sent 100 rockets into Israel a few weeks ago. The US response wasn't to fight back but to restrain Israel. If it was really like an attack on the US, the US would have sent troops to help Israel. Afterall if 100 Rockets were sent into the US, whoever did it would have been bombed back to the Stone Age. Obama hates Israel, his actions have made that clear although his words tell a different story...and he really hates Netanyahu. We got that from his words to Sarkozy.
...and he really hates Netanyahu. Obama's not so special there.Lot's of people hate Netanyahu.Lot's of Israelis hate Netanyahu.It is hard to overestimate the risks that Benjamin Netanyahu poses to the future of his own country... Netanyahu’s opponents include the current leaders of the Israeli military and the major intelligence branches and their most recent predecessors, to say nothing of a decisive majority of the Israeli population. Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/09/have-...
Obama's not so special there.Lot's of people hate Netanyahu.Lot's of Israelis hate Netanyahu._____________No denying that...and lots of people hate Obama. Netanyahu isn't alone with that. Heck in Israel Obama has approval numbers that rival Abbas.
No denying that...and lots of people hate Obama. Netanyahu isn't alone with that.Yeah, but my point is that hating Bibi doesn't imply hatred of Israel. One could easily argue the opposite.Building new settlements in E1 makes Bibi look "tough," solidifies his political base of rightwingnut Israelis ahead of elections in January, but is as disastrous for Israel in the long run as it is for Palestinians. It's another example of Netanyahu putting his personal political interests ahead of the national interest. It's also another example of how Israel is not (and never really has been) serious about a two-state solution to the conflict.
Yeah, but my point is that hating Bibi doesn't imply hatred of Israel. One could easily argue the opposite._______________I agree completely with that. But Obama wasn't a friend of Israel before Bibi returned to power either. I think he hates Bibi and Israel together, but if someone else was in power, he could like them personally but still wouldn't like the country as a whole. The two state solution isn't a serious one. Giving Hamas it's own country doesn't stop the Rockets from coming in. It doesn't stop the bus and school bombings. It just causes Israel to be less secure.
cjb The two state solution isn't a serious one. Serious or not, it is no longer possible.So what solution do you suggest?Peter
When people talk about how Israel is such a great ally to the US, I often wonder what they are thinking about.Nukes, I presume. Also, many of the teavangelicals feel that their 'good' book says that the end times get to start (yay!) when the Jews are all back in Jerusalem, so they want that to happen.6
I agree completely with that. But Obama wasn't a friend of Israel before Bibi returned to power either.Well, at least 70-percent of American Jews disagree with you. So does a panel of top Israeli foreign policy experts.A panel of Israeli national security experts now rates President Obama as better than Mitt Romney for Israel, according to a new survey.http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/08/expert-index-puts...What makes you believe Obama is in any way anti-Israel?
PeterRabit saysWhen people talk about how Israel is such a great ally to the US, I often wonder what they are thinking about.Stand by to be accused of antisemitism.
cf Stand by to be accused of antisemitism.The weird thing is: I never expected this post to get more than a few recs.I think attitudes towards Israel are slowly changing. People are more able to distinguish between the Jewish people and this particular government of this particular state.The Netanyahu government is creating facts on the ground that make a two-state solution impossible. (Makes me wonder whose side they are on.) Many writers are suggesting that building in the E1 sector is the last straw. Perhaps, but I think the bridge to a two-state solution was burned long ago.What does that leave? xLife says:A one-state solution will take one of three forms:1. a state with a Jewish minority 2. a state with an apartheid-like system making the Palestinian second-class status official 3. ethnic cleansing to prevent 1 and avoid 2I would like to see a real one-state solution where most Gaza and West Bank residents become Israeli citizens. xLife thinks this is politically impossible and suggests:The end game now probably looks something like this: A tiny Palestinian "statelet" in Gaza, if they ever come to their senses and stop shelling Israel. Palestinian "bantustans" (or whatever the Hebrew and Arab words are for bantustans) scattered across the West Bank, more or less surrounded by Jews-only Israeli settlements. The Israelis will maintain overall political control by granting Palestinian cities, towns and villages some degree of local autonomy without giving them equal political rights within the state.http://boards.fool.com/in-israel-proper-the-fertility-rates-...See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BantustanOf course this becomes indistinguishable from apartheid.Peter
What does that leave? xLife says:A one-state solution will take one of three forms:1. a state with a Jewish minority2. a state with an apartheid-like system making the Palestinian second-class status official3. ethnic cleansing to prevent 1 and avoid 2Not necessarily. It could take the following form:- Gaza falls under Egyptian control- Golan Heights goes back to Syria- West Bank goes back to JordanWhy does there necessarily have to be the creation of "Palestine"? Will there be a Kurdish state next? Grape
So what solution do you suggest?______________As harsh as it sounds...there must be a victor. Let Israel and Hamas fight it out. A compromised truce never lasts. One side must win before anything else can happen. How did Israel and Egypt come to terms? Egypt was beaten and didn't want to go through another war. A brokered peace only lasts until Hamas has a chance to reload. You wouldn't give Al Queda a country. You wouldn't give the Taliban a country, so why would you give Hamas and Hezbollah a country? And we need to stop placing western values on Hamas, they strap bombs to their children and the handicapped for their cause. They don't value life the same way we do. They believe that death with honor is a great thing. (Although if the leaders thought that they'd be dead).People need to realize that sometimes there is no peaceful answer between waring parties. Ask Clinton about that. He has repeatedly said Arafat for 95% of what we wanted but that wasn't enough. Clinton was that close to getting Middle East peace.
What makes you believe Obama is in any way anti-Israel? His actions and his words when speaking to Arab groupsWell, at least 70-percent of American Jews disagree with you. So does a panel of top Israeli foreign policy experts.And Obama's approval rating in Israel is in the single digits. Regrettably, there are blinders on many American Jews (my inlaws come to mind) who can't believe it. We call these people "Badenhiems"; ones who's politics blind their judgements to reality.
Not necessarily. It could take the following form:- Gaza falls under Egyptian control- Golan Heights goes back to Syria- West Bank goes back to JordanNone of that is even remotely likely. Returning the West Bank to Jordan is impossible. There've are too many settlements in the West Bank now. Israel will never dismantle or evacuate them.
FGA:- Gaza falls under Egyptian control- Golan Heights goes back to Syria- West Bank goes back to JordanI think this at least deserves a 4. designation, but I also think that Israel will veto this solution faster than anyone else.Without the West Bank, Israel is about 12 miles wide at its narrowest point.http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/israel.g...And, of course, the Golan Heights are the high ground in the north.I think the word is "indefensible".Peter
As harsh as it sounds...there must be a victor. Israel has already won. A big part of the problem is that it has refused to take on the winner's responsibility of either politically assimilating the losers or of kicking them out. Instead, it's done neither. Hence the perpetual problem.
cjb Let Israel and Hamas fight it out. Israel won that fight 40 years ago.What do you do with the Gaza residents?Ethnic cleansing?Peter
None of that is even remotely likely. Returning the West Bank to Jordan is impossible. There've are too many settlements in the West Bank now. Israel will never dismantle or evacuate them. Maybe not all of it, but what about having Egypt take control of the Gaza Strip? That's nothing but a headache for Israel. It's also a bit of a headache for Egypt having to control the border. Egypt takes that back and opens up travel and commerce, the Gazan's get a better life and potentially are willing to now live in peace, and Israel no longer has to deal with missile launches from Gaza. At that point, it may be easier to create a Palestinian state with the West Bank and Golan Heights. Grape
I think this at least deserves a 4. designation, but I also think that Israel will veto this solution faster than anyone else.It could be a hybrid solution as I posted in my response to xLife. I don't know if that's ever been explored as an option. I never recall hearing it kicked around. Grape
What makes you believe Obama is in any way anti-Israel? ---His actions and his words when speaking to Arab groups.You're going to have to be a little more specific than that. What actions has Obama taken and what has he said that makes you believe he is anti-Israel?And Obama's approval rating in Israel is in the single digits. Not true, unless there's been a precipitous drop in his popularity over the last year. In December 2011, Obama had an approval rating over 50% in Israel, among Jews only. If you included Israeli Arabs, who are no less Israeli, it'd be even higher. In contrast with 2010, when majorities of Israeli Jews expressed unfavorable views of President Obama, a majority (54%) of Israeli Jews polled in 2011 expressed a favorable view of the U.S. President while 39% expressed negative views.http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2011/12/01-israel-...Regrettably, there are blinders on many American Jews...Blinders? So Israeli Jews know Obama better than American Jews? Weird thought.
Israel won that fight 40 years ago.What do you do with the Gaza residents?Ethnic cleansing?I don't know why people always try to make this so complicated. There are only two choices: 1. Allow Palestinians political independence.2. Or not.And if not, there are three choices:1. Kick them out.2. Let them stay and give them political rights as Israelis3. Or not.
FGA Maybe not all of it, but what about having Egypt take control of the Gaza Strip? It would certainly be better than the status quo. The Gazans are still in prison; I imagine it tends to drive them crazy.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Gaza_Strip_by...Peace Prospects for Gaza Hinge on Egypt's Sinaihttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732402080457814...From the moment when Hamas took over Gaza in 2007 while the West Bank remained under the control of the Fatah Party and the Palestinian Authority, the question of Gaza’s relationship to Egypt has been open.Gaza was under Egyptian control from 1948 to 1967, under Israeli control from 1967 to 2005, and under PA control from 2005 to 2007. After the Hamas coup in June 2007, Egypt under Mubarak largely retained the border controls that Israel had put in place. Mubarak viewed Hamas with suspicion, as a radical group that was part of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Perhaps more surprisingly, Egypt’s new government, itself dominated by the MB, has continued those controls.But that will change. Egypt’s new MB president, Mohammed Morsi, met in Cairo last week with the Hamas leader Khaled Meshal (and will meet soon with the Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh). According to the Hamas spokesman, Gaza will soon be connected to the Egyptian electricity grid and natural gas pipeline. This means its economy will be tied to Egypt, not Israel—its current energy supplier.The ability of Gazans to travel to Egypt is also being broadened. Some press reports state that “Egyptian officials announced Monday that Palestinians will no longer need visas to enter the country, ending part of a five-year blockade on the Gaza Strip …. Gazans will now be able to leave the coastal enclave freely. The decision also applies to Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Officials at Cairo’s airport said they have received instructions to allow Palestinians of all ages to enter Egypt without any procedural impediments. Deportation rulings for Gazans in Egypt were also canceled.” Other reports suggest that “Cairo will facilitate the entry of Palestinians to Egypt, but will not entirely remove regulations.” At the very least, more Gazans will travel more easily to Egypt.http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2012/07/23/egypt-opens-to-gaza/But this was dated July 23, 2012 and I don't think freedom of travel has happened.Impact of Regional Shifts Egypt’s transitional government announced in May 2011 that it would permanently open its border with Gaza, despite Israeli protests. The new Egyptian border policy has made little difference, but Egypt’s revolution and its reduced policing in the Sinai have had a profound effect. Since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian police no longer stop the smugglers who ferry consumer goods and building materials to Gaza through tunnels under the border.The North Sinai region is dominated by Bedouin tribes and is a perennial hotbed of illegal weapons sales, smuggling and other activities. The Egyptian police have never been very welcome there, and since the Egyptian revolution they have all but vanished, leaving local Bedouin tribes to provide the only law and order.The area is near the border with Israel and with Gaza, and the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt imposes limits on the Egyptian military presence there. But Egyptian and Israeli news reports said the Egyptian government had obtained Israel’s agreement for a temporary increase in troop strength there to address security problems.http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesan...Peter
What makes you believe Obama is in any way anti-Israel?Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart.com, Red State, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck....the driving force of the right wing nuttery.I may have left off an important component or person. I'm not that familiar with all the squirrels and their nutty ideas.
Bibi Netanyahu has delivered "the worst possible slap in the face" to President Obama.It's about time somebody b-slapped that arrogant skinny socialist.
It's about time somebody b-slapped that arrogant skinny socialist.Netanyahu is 10X more socialist than Obama.It's funny how socialist Israel is the darling of the anti-socialist right. Israel is the ultimate welfare state, on two levels. One it receives a huge subsidy from the U.S. (about $3 billion a year). And two, about 20% of Israelis are on welfare. It has socialized health care and educational systems. The country's electric and water systems are nationalized, as is much of its defense industry. The largest residential construction and management company is 20% state-owned. Until recently, were telecomms and banking were state-owned too. Much of Israel's "economic miracle" -- turning the desert green and high tech and all that -- had its seeds in communist Kibbutzim.