Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

Benjamin Netanyahu, in a surprising turn of events after months of pressure from our President Barack Obama, today endorsed the creation of a Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), and urged the peace negotiations to begin. This coming after years of heartache and heartbreak over the peace process, from when Arafat rejected the 2000 offer from Prime Minister Ehud Barak, to the second intifada, the withdrawal of all Israelis from the Gaza Strip, which led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza (which could now be called the Islamic Republic of Hamastan), to the present day, and Netanyahu's earlier foot dragging on this issue.

At Bar-Ilan University in Israel, Netanyahu said:

"In my vision, there are two free peoples living side by side each with each other, each with its own flag and national anthem," he said.

Netanyahu also said that the new Palestinian state must be demilitarized, in the name of protecting Israeli security, and preventing another Gaza, only in a much bigger form. He also brought up the contentious issue of Jerusalem, known to Arabs as Al-Quds, and said:

"Israel's capital will remain united."
I expect this issue to be a hard line of contention, given the number of Islamic holy sights. Personally, I hope Netanyahu is flexible on this issue, however, the Jews should also be able to maintain control of the Old City's Jewish quarter.

Netanyahu also stressed that Palestine must recognize Israel for what it is, the Jewish State, which means no return of millions of Palestinians and their kids to Israel. After all, why would a Palestinian state be made if Palestinians are going to go to Israel?

"Our right to form our sovereign state here in the land of Israel stems from one simple fact. The Land of Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish people,"

Of course, Hamas is leading the charge of its rejectionism:

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the speech "racist" and called on Arab nations "form stronger opposition" toward Israel. Hamas ideology does not recognize a Jewish state in an Islamic Middle East and has sent dozens of suicide bombers into Israel.

Right, we're going to listen to a group dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State, who has turned Gaza into a land devoid of any semblance of law.

I know the Palestinian Authority leadership is going to oppose some of the points made, and I can understand why. However, I hope for the sake of peace, that they realize this is their chance, and that there is consensus across the board among American leaders for a demilitarized Palestine. Why would Israel risk having another hostile country with potential for damage on its borders?

Israel, and even hawk Netanyahu have laid down their cards for peace, and Bibi, formerly an unconscionably stubborn man, as he was during the Clinton years, who led President Clinton to ask "who the fuck does he think the superpower is here" has pissed off many in his own coalition. It is now time for the Palestinians to come to the table and work for peace. Netanyahu has now stepped into the door of history. He may very well fail, but he may very well succeed. After all, it was hardline PM Menachem Begin who forged peace with Egypt, and earned the title that Netanyahu may himself hold, and it is that of peacemaker.

Tags: bibi, Israel, Palestinians (all tags)

Comments

70 Comments

Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

Let's see: No we will not freeze settlements, Jerusalem  not even going to talk about it. Defend yourselves no way, refugees they stay that way. And no we are not occupiers. Well I suppose it's a beginning (please read with appropriate amount of sarcasm)

by jsfox 2009-06-14 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

In my opinion, Netanyahu merely followed in the steps of Sharon and went from a no-state position to the Bantustan position ala the Alon Plan with the intent of keeping 40-50% of the West Bank and all of East Jerusalem. No settlements will be dismantled and Israel will control the borders, eventually annexing that portion.

Forget the settlement freeze, divided Jerusalem, return of refugees.

It is essentially what we have now: Apartheid with the military controlling access to the "Palestine" gulag.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 03:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

It's the same old same old. No removal of settlements, then no progress can be made; that's the only way to move forward. Unfortunately, no Israeli gov't can maintain power by agreeing to such a move, so the conflict will continue as is, for the next couple of decades until the situation becomes completely untenable.

by hnic357 2009-06-14 03:18PM | 0 recs
What a strange statement

"In my vision, there are two free peoples living side by side each with each other, each with its own flag and national anthem," he said.

Is this what Netanyahu thinks defines a state, a flag and national anthem?

This is not a serious outreach and will go nowhere.

by JJE 2009-06-14 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

I am a little confused about what exactly Netanyahu is agreeing to give up in this arrangement.  How has his position changed?

by Steve M 2009-06-14 03:28PM | 0 recs
they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

which many Israelis see as the Land of Israel. More than the Palestinians have offered. All they can come up with is the Trojan Horse called right of return.

by Lakrosse 2009-06-14 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

Not if he won't freeze or dismantle the settlements he isn't.

Let me ask you a question: way back before the first Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein took a handful of British hostages and declared that "this is a humanitarian enterprise", did you buy that one too?

by Jess81 2009-06-14 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

Doesn't really seem like a new breakthrough to me, but maybe I'm missing something.

by Steve M 2009-06-14 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

It's worse than that.  The speech marks an explicit rejection of the Road Map.

by Jess81 2009-06-14 09:25PM | 0 recs
Re: they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

Not explicit enough for me, I guess.  Could you spell out what you mean?

by Steve M 2009-06-14 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

There's already a peace plan agreed to by Israel and the Palestinian authority.  If one of the parties unveils another peace plan it means they're backing out of the present one.

Is it possible that the tactic would be more obvious to you if the shoe was on the other foot?

by Jess81 2009-06-15 02:34AM | 0 recs
Re: they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

No, probably not, and I don't think that was a very constructive question to ask.

I'm asking you what in Netanyahu's speech was explicitly inconsistent with the road map.

by Steve M 2009-06-15 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: they'd be giving up Judea and Samaria

I actually meant implicit.

I hoped you wouldn't be insulted, but I was imagining a scenario wherein Fatah, after refusing to impliment the Road Map, restates its maximalist aims but throws in "we look to a time where we recognize a state of Israel somewhere in Palestine".  Then they get hailed as peacemakers by apologist organs.

"This is really nothing new" doesn't quite put the needle on it.

by Jess81 2009-06-15 12:06PM | 0 recs
He's giving

up nothing so far as I can tell.  The settlements will cotinue, and as for Jerusalem, well, forget about it.

by fladem 2009-06-14 10:23PM | 0 recs
actually...

i was a bit surprised with quite how toned down netanyahu was here - he endorsed a demilitarised palestinian state for him that's quite something for him.   it seems that he has reached the moment when he must decide between adhering to his outdated political platform or advancing the israeli interests by achieving a peace deal with the palestinians and maintaining good relations with the US.

but frankly i was also surprised by abbas' response.  not because he should have been jumping for joy since there were quite a few outstanding issues that would seemingly need to be negotiated - but make no mistake, this speech was real progress.

in any case - if this speech was unacceptable - it really doesn't matter - the hard-right will be bringing down the government pretty soon.

by canadian gal 2009-06-14 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

I'm not sure how it's progress - Netanyahu is describing the status quo.  No right of return, no army, no removal of settlements, Israel reserves the right to militarily enter at any time and place of its choosing.

Now some of those are negotiable, but all of them?  Why wait for a negotiation at all?  Why not just say "okay, the areas still under Palestinian control in the West Bank are the new Palestinian state" and be done with it?

by Jess81 2009-06-14 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

well a marked change in tenor and position would be the basis of my use of therm progress. and netanyahu did say that israel would not build any new settlements and would refrain from expanding existing israeli communities in the west bank. that is precisely what obama and us asked for.

isn't that something for a hard-line, settlement supported wingo? the army and right-of-return are non-starters as most of us know.

where i think he danced around a bit was on jerusalem.  but inasmuch as defining it the 'jewish' capital that doesn't mean east jerusalem necessarily right?

the fact is - this is real sea-change in tone and rhetoric from the right in israel - not that i like the guy any better but i do acknowledge what he did today.

by canadian gal 2009-06-14 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Not to mention that there's already a peace plan agreed to by both Israel and the PA in place.  For Netenyahu to say essentially "I am now unveiling a plan for peace" is to leave unsaid "I am tearing up the old one".

The rhetoric is fine, but that's an area by and large where Israel has absolutely no room for improvement.  For the longest time there's been an understanding between the U.S. and Israel that they can have carte blance SO LONG AS they continue to insist on their desire for peace and their willingness to adhere to previous agreements.

by Jess81 2009-06-14 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

"this is real sea-change in tone and rhetoric from the right in israel - not that i like the guy any better but i do acknowledge what he did today."

I gave you credit for more intelligence than someone who could be taken in by Netanyahu's alleged peace rhetoric and apparent change. He did little more than switch to Sharon's Kadima position supporting Palestinian bantustans, the Alon Plan. Apartheid would be on the way formally were this plan to be even considered. Frankly it is what exists today.

However, the US and Mitchell have already called it 'inadequate,' and that is only a mild rebuke considering the actual content of the speech. Only Likudniks could be pleased with it.

It is a stall tactic, and settlement building will go on. Obama's move.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 03:40AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Surprised at Abbas response?

The Palestinians have been listening to Israeli, especially, Likudnik double-talk since Oslo. Try some Palestinian views here:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/6/14/2023 38/371

Remember Olmert's acceptance of the two state solution? Just where did that go, except to the bimonthly teas between Olmert and Abbas. Nowhere.

In the meantime, and since the beginning of Oslo, the colonialism of the Palestinian territories continued unabated, and it did so during Kadima's and Labor's administrations, as of course it would during Likud's times. Needless to say, there hasn't been a single Israeli government, except for a few months during Rabin's, that had any serious interest in peace ala two states.

by MainStreet 2009-06-14 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

perhaps it would have been better if he had held on to his more wingnutty positions then?

its was a speech and he said the right things im afraid - whether or not this leads to anything is something else entirely - but im afraid this rounds talking points don't smell quite right.

by canadian gal 2009-06-14 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

I suggested in another diary that Netayahu may have taken the same road as Sharon and adopted the Alon-Oslo plan, which would allow Israel to take 40-50% of the Palestinian territories, and like Sharon, there would be no sovereign borders of the Palestinian state that is left, no Jordan Valley, no divided Jerusalem, and no return of refugees per UN Res. 194. Only bantustans.

This is an Apartheid conception that Bibi has in mind. It is a come down from Likud's no state position, but it is really no better than the no state position. Both the Apartheid and the no state positions stink, I'm certain you agree.

by MainStreet 2009-06-14 08:15PM | 0 recs
UN Resolution 194

never said that Palestinian refugees MUST be able to return. It said

Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date

There is no reason for 4 million to come back, as the original refugees are the only ones who you can even try to argue have any sort of right. Second, the Palestinians, since the early 1920s under Husseini never wished to live at peace, and began their pogroms years before Jews even tried to defend themselves. And third, their homes are gone or taken up. The Israelis own them, with deeds, or they're gone as in not there, and build over. Not to mention it was the Arab leaders who forced them from their homes.

Sorry, but the "right or return" is nothing but a demographic Trojan Horse designed to destroy the Jewish State, and make Israel another Islamic dictatorship, given who Palestinians have as their leaders, and who they vote for, ie Hamas. We do not need a massive Islamic Republic of Hamastan. That already exists in Gaza.

by Lakrosse 2009-06-14 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: UN Resolution 194

Ignorance is one thing, but deception is quite another. I frankly don't believe that you are not a member of Little Green Footballs, or at a minimum, a GIYUS troll. You keep repeating all of their "talking points," lies and propaganda.

Your material is so ancient, that it should be embarrassing to present it on a liberal blog.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 03:30AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

I have to differ with you here CG.  I thought this was classic Netanyahu, both in tenor and content.  It reminds me of the press conference he gave at Madrid almost 20 years ago.  He did in fact utter the words "Palestinian state," but as I note below, buried under the same tonnage of qualifications that Likud (and Kadima and Labor to a great extent) have imposed.  The whole thing was retro.  Yes, the most extreme of his coalition partners on the right are throwing a hissy fit.  But this isn't over policy.  rather it's about ideological issues, which is exactly where they live.  

I tend to be among the cynics here.  Though I think many on the right are sincere in this perspective that frames everything according to immediate and historical threats to Jewish existence, as opposed to a more realist engagement of situational particularities, I think Bibi knew exactly what he was doing.  By demanding an affirmation of Zionism as a pre-condition, taking Jerusalem off the table, refusing to even negotiate refugees, and refusing the Palestinians any control over borders or air space (and not as an interim arrangement but as the outer limits of what he might accept) he has offered them something they cannot accept in order to stymie progress and to attempt to paint them as the rejectionists.  Outside of right wing Zionist and neo-con circles, this won't work.  The logical trajectory of this policy will bring the conflict between ethno-nationalism and liberalism to a head.  Twenty years ago this was already a dead end.  Twenty years from now, Israel will find itself in an unsustainable position with regard to political stability, economics, and morality.  The only way this works is if either Palestinians relinquish their national identity or accept this form of subjection.  I don't think that either of those is likely.  Some studies suggest that Jews will be a minority between the river and the sea as early as 2016.

But I'm sorry if I'm hammering home points many of which we agree upon.  Our real disagreement here has to do with whether Bibi's speech represents anything new or promising.  I emphatically think it does not.  I had few expectations and this is on the lower end.  What he did was offer a group of starving people a pizza, but without a crust or sauce and on the condition that he first chew the crust for them.  Would you accept that?

Obama's move now.  Gibbs deftly grabbed those two words (Palestinian state) buried under conditions in the middle of a speech and ran with them.  It bears mention that Bibi opened with a call for immediate talks without any pre-conditions, then spent the rest of the speech posing pre-conditions and their rationale.   It's not even a trustworthy stance.  Would you negotiate with someone who refuses your pre-conditions and proceeds to dictate his own?

It was the disaster I expected and hoped was not coming.  I hope Obama and his team are indeed exceptional, historically so.  Otherwise, the headlines are liable to look the same or worse when they throw dirt on my grave.  A generation later, things might look better than I could ever have hoped.  But those for whom a Jewish state is an end in itself, a historical and moral imperative, will be disappointed.  This is its last chance.  And Bibi, the arch-Zionist, is determined to stand in its way.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 12:56AM | 0 recs
I agree with everything except

It was the disaster I expected and hoped was not coming.

I had no doubt that this was coming.  Just suprised that it came so soon.  Netanyahu is going to use every little rhetorical trick to deflect attention away from the fact the he never allow a Palestinian state with sovereignty.  

I dont expect him to ever change.  The US now has to start leveraging its influence.  We will see shortly if the Obama commitment to a true disposition for the Palestinian people is real, or will be placated by lies.  

by Winston Smith 2009-06-15 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with everything except

One can receive terminal diagnosis and still hope it proves otherwise.  Bibi's direction is terminal, and for no one more than political Zionists.  The hegemony of minorities over majorities (as will come to pass here in the next decade or so) never proves sustainable.  My embrace of two states is a concession to two realities: 1. it's the most proximate way to end the occupation and 2. a higher percentage on both sides support it.  But Zionist hegemony will have to give way in the end.  Partition of land and populations is the only way to preserve it, something about which I am generally and profoundly ambivalent.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

perhaps your cynicism is the problem then. not that i like the guy or am stating the he will herald in the new dawn. but if you fail to see how this is a change in tenor, well then strum im afraid it seems that nothing he could of said that would have appeased your cynicism.

as i said above - this speech doesn't necessarily mean that anything will come from it - but on its own it represents a hardliner moving away from extreme position. he was asked specifically by obama to cease the settlements and he said they would.

but i guess time will tell then who is right. but what does an arch-zionist wear i wonder? daggers for teeth and tefillim?

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

He actually could have said a lot more.  I do not see this as a hardliner moving to the center.  I see it as a hardliner dressing up an ossified hard line position with the tiniest nod to a US administration.  It's cosmetic.  Two new words surrounded by Madrid apologetics.  If that constitutes a sea change in your eyes, or even the smallest drop of sincere sea water, I wish you joy of it.  Or in your terms, perhaps your need to see something positive here is the problem.  Have fun with it.  It solves nothing for anyone at all.  

As for your last line about daggers and tefillin (not tefilli*m* by the way) I honestly do not get your meaning.  Unless you are accusing me of demonizing someone.  Seems like an anti-Semitic caricature.  If so, I call foul.  It's unwarranted and not what I meant.  "arch" like "ultra" as a prefix connotes extremism not moral position.  One can be an arch-liberal, and arch-angel or an arch-bishop as well as an arch-enemy.  But if I was to caricature an arch-Zionist, I would not use religious imagery.  One can be an arch-Zionist without being religious.  Many are.  Zionism began as a reaction against religion.  Regardless, if that was your intention, it's beneath the level of discourse we have maintained between us.  I voiced my disagreement with you respectfully, as I always do.  I don't think it warrants this kind of cheap shot.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 05:11AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

he could have done a lot more no doubt.  he also could have done a lot less which is precisely why i think his speech shows a bit of promise here. but as you say above - perhaps we are just bringing in our own pre-defined positions to interpret this speech without really hearing what was said.

i am well aware of the precepts of zionism and am proud to be a supporter of its principles. as to the dig - about teffilin (sorry about the typo) i indeed did give you a snarky response to you characterization of a 'ultra-zionist' - you may choose to qualify it, but there are those that seek to make zionism an evil word as you are most certainly aware. buying in to and promoting this hyperbole does nothing but diminish the weight of one's argument. in this case it seemed like you were trying to (perhaps unintentionally) do the same?

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Placing someone on an ideological spectrum is not the same as demonizing them.  Implying that your interlocutor is demonizing someone is a subtle way of demonizing them.  Bibi is nothing if not a hardline, hardcore, ultra-, arch, Zionist and wouldn't hesitate to embrace any of those designations, I assure you.  And one should be able to critique Zionism itself without being responded to is such shoddy fashion.  Regardless, that is not what I am doing here.  So I suggest you fight that out in the appropriate place.

But you are simply wrong here.  Bibi could not have done a lot less.  He could have done a little less.  He could have omitted the single word "state."  That's all he could have done less.  Everything else was boilerplate Likud since Begin used the term "autonomy."  The fact that he uttered it and proceeded to empty it of any meaning shows exactly how little he actually did.  This "move" is thus tantamount to a non-move.  The fact that you are celebrating such a minuscule and empty concession when so much is needed here shows me how little this has to do with my cynicism and how desperate the situation actually is.  It's hard to stare such a stark reality in the face.  I would hope you'd be up to the task.  Patting Bibi on the back for this is not very different from being his dupe.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

okay - you placed him on a spectrum and i demonized you. i guess i am light-trodden zionist then.

celebrating bibi? i am stating - along with the obama administration i might add, that i commend his willingness to stop the settlements.

parsing, analysis and what-he-really-meant is not the means to beginning a long negotiation which is why i was surprised at abbas' response. he has previously shown himself to be quite astute at this game, yet his reaction to the speech illustrates why this problem is light-years from being solved.

netanyahu did not deliver a speech that will end the conflict, he did not promise much new (save for stopping the settlements), he didn't change the world - but he changed his tone.  one must not forget that his platform for getting elected and what we saw yesterday marks a large difference from that platform.

but again - it does not matter - the coalition will fall sooner rather than later.

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

May I ask what you are basing this "change in tone" idea on?  This is exactly the tone I've come to expect from Bibi's speeches.  And I've watched several.  Sure, this wasn't the incitement he offered at Kikar Tzion before the Rabin assassination.  But it was typical of his "big" speeches in tone, as well as content.

Regardless, just because some use "Zionist" as such in the pejorative and others demand that it be put beyond critique as something as sacrosanct as ethinc or religious identity, when in fact it is a particular political expression of that identity, doesn't mean it must always be either a sign of absolute good or absolute evil.  I use it as a descriptor.  I do not dispute your right to call yourself whatever kind of Zionist you want.  I can work with many of those on the left of the Zionist spectrum even if my own embrace stops at its cultural and community (as opposed to state) building expression.  But again, yes, Bibi is at the extreme end.  I stand by my description even if you want the term placed out of bounds, for all the good that does for honest and open discourse.

And I must say, you are the only person from anywhere across the political spectrum who is surprised at Abbas' response.  No one over here is.  And it's not just Abbas.  Mubarak as well, and he's an ally, at least on paper.  Try for 10 seconds to stand in a position analogous to that of a Palestinian.  How would you respond?  My response would be along the same lines.  Actually, it would be about where it stands today.  Bibi is continuing the same long tradition of spitting in the face of Palestinian moderates and playing into the hands of HAMAS that he's always supported.  I'm sick of watching the Israeli right and HAMAS play ping pong.  Your ambiguous "change in tone" is not such a change and its effects are as predictable as the baseball standings on opening day.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

did you actually use mydd as a barmoter for opinion? surely you know that is ridiculous. both the US and EU response to bib's speech was positive btw.

perhaps i should be clearer about my surprise to abbas' response. the man is not leader to anyone right now. we - the people who want resolution - myself included - have been propping him up in the hopes that if we push long enough the palestinian people - gazans included - will accept him as their leader and representative. so in this capacity - making noises about the content rather than the style seem designed to continue the vicious cycle.  this is the foundation of my surprise.

as to egypy - yes - the biggest bone of contention for them is the acceptance of israel as a jewish state. again - netanyahu did v. little except state that settlement construction will stop - but this is a marked change from the past.

i mean seriously - is the foundation for building peace include a declaration that israel will no longer be a jewish state?

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

He did not say that settlement construction will stop.  He maintained the "natural growth" loophole.  This is not a marked change from the past that I have lived through.

Finally, no one is asking for a declaration that Israel cease being a Jewish state.  Bibi is asking for Palestinians to affirm political Zionism, which he knows they cannot do without denying their own historical experience.  All that is required for those who really want peace is a solid treaty with reciprocal recognition of the other's right to determine themselves as they see fit.  Everything else is obfuscation.

But you still have not backed up your enigmatic claim regarding tone or tenor with anything at all.

As for this: "did you actually use mydd as a barmoter for opinion?"

Yeah.  I actually did.  Being in Israel at the moment and having direct access to Israeli TV commentary and press, I took MyDD as a barometer of everything for my positions.

Let me know when you want to have a serious discussion about this.  I can trade infantile barbs with MainStreet.  This is beneath both of us.  And I don't think you'd be taking these cheap shots over at the Moose.

You can signal your seriousness by answering my question regarding the basis for your claim that Bibi has altered either tone or tenor, or for that matter what you see as new in content besides a buried and emptied out five letter word.  There is nothing new about settlements here.  Sorry.  Nothing.  Note that he excludes from even this East Jerusalem, which he doesn't consider settlements.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

i think i shall make this my last response here since i am beginning to get offended at the level of personal animosity that is being put forth. i would state that this is unacceptable at the moose as well.

i am being more than serious in my comments to you - i just happen to disagree - is that ok?

mydd is a barometer of nothing as evidenced in the fact that aside from a few community members remaining - most have left the debate that have had any semblance of balanced positions. if you choose - just google the polls that show that 65% of american and 60% of canadians are zionists which definitely proves that this site is the barometer of itself only.

you can claim, analyze and parse netanyahu's words the way you want.  but that doesn't make them true. think i am so off the mark about the speech?  haaretz doesn't:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1091 173.html

nor does the US, the EU and countless others. hey - but its a free world any you know what - we are are entitled to our opinions right? peace.

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

I have never taken offense at disagreement, just the form of it you have evinced here.  I am sorry to have sunk to the level you introduced.

I have never taken MyDD as a barometer for anything.  Your accusation that I did reveals the level to which you have sunk.  My initial point was delivered respectfully.  You embraced MainStreet's tactic of saying "if that's what you think, then you have a problem."

We are both parsing and interpreting.  The difference between us is that you are spinning around with ill defined "tone" and "tenor" while I invoke relevant context.

You are being bamboozled.  

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

I don't know what specific comment led to the misunderstanding, but I suspect that at some point you said "here" referring to Israel, and CG interpreted "here" to refer to MyDD, hence the understandable confusion.  There, now I'm a peacemaker.

by Steve M 2009-06-15 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

And I bequeath you a virtual slice of the pizza of your choice as a token of my esteem.  We'll call it the MyDD Nobel Pizza Prize.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 10:57AM | 0 recs
What?

That Haaretz article was written before Netanyahu's speech.

by JJE 2009-06-15 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: What?

whoops - sorry linked the wrong one. gideon levy:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1093 076.html

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

I accept this infantile response as meeting a basic level of adequacy in this discussion. There is nothing that the Israeli government can say or do that CG is not there pumping it up. She obviously doesn't know the difference between a good Pastrami sandwich and a bad one.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

i would just add a couple of other things...

first - i acknowledge the what followed bibi's no precondition clause followed a whole slew of preconditions and that of course that cries from the rafters was sure to follow - but if we are going to begin anew as obama said - then perhaps the knee-jerk reaction could have waited.

by no means does this speech erase all of my reservations and dislike for netanyahu - rather i acknowledge the reality of what this speech represented - a small, but albeit positive step to me.

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Anyone who can approve more Likud subterfuge is dancing with elves.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

You are humoring us of course. Except for one minor religious party, the entire Israeli right wing approved of Netanyahu's proposal. Tells you something.

Netanyahu is no peacemaker. The Palestinians have already rejected his proposal. He said no preconditions, but then ended the negotiations by providing the final unacceptable results.

Netanyahu said he would not stop settlement building, expanding existing settlements, the 150 the block the way to a Palestinian state. Israel doesn't need new settlements. There are already too many to keep track of.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

do you think that by repeating falsities that this will then make it true?

"The territorial question will be discussed as part of the final peace agreement. In the meantime, we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements. But there is a need to enable the residents to live normal lives":

source: liveleak

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Israel has already created 150 settlements on the West Bank alone. That's 150 villages, towns, and cities (over 25,000 population) on Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Israel has no need for more settlements. It only wants to expand what it has already stolen from the Palestinians (see B'Tselem's statistics on the expropriation of Palestinian owned lands for settlement building).

There is no place for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, unless Israel agrees to dismantle most of these settlements. Where is Netanyahu on that point? Nowhere. He is with you, in making the grand gesture of only building in already established settlements.

Israel will not agree to dismantle any settlements.

There goes you peace and the grand gestures of Netanyahu that you come here to approve.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

ah i see.

your concern is valid - and i share it.  the settlements need to either be dismantled or more probable - handed over governing control to the palestinian leadership (when one becomes elected) at the time in which a negotiation is being worked on.

but you might be advised to stop this nonsense - lying about what was said does nothing to help the cause of the palestinians or move peace forward. nor does creating a strawman about my position in these matters.

by canadian gal 2009-06-15 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

You just don't know how to read slick Israeli proposals that mean the opposite of what is intended. Appearance and reality are often quite different when you discuss the IP conflict.

Putting lipstick on a pig is precisely what this diary attempts to do. Lakosse came on here as a troll spouting Israei propaganda left and right, and now we some people giving him legitimacy. Trolls lie by instinct and training.

A troll is a troll is a troll.

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

I don't agree with your analysis of the speech.  If the pizza has no crust, how can Netanyahu be chewing the crust?  Makes no sense.

by Steve M 2009-06-15 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Oops.  I meant cheese.  Here's the second try.

What Bibi did was offer a bunch of starving people a pizza, but without crust or sauce, and after chewing up the cheese, spitting it into a box, tossing it down and saying:

"Here's your pizza.  Thank me.  If you don't want it, you're not really hungry.  Now leave me alone I've done my part.  And if you want more, I'll meet you anywhere at any time for more of the same."

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Setting aside the analogy, which is only serving to make me hungry, I'm not sure if I agree 100% with your analysis.  I'm not as savvy about the nuances of this issue as you so all I can do is try to infer things from the way various parties react.

From where I sit, the harsh criticisms of the speech by Israel's far-right parties suggest to me that it wasn't nothing.  I have a hard time seeing the speech as a major step, but if it didn't at least create the possibility of a move in the right direction, I wouldn't think the wingers would be as unhappy as they are.

On the flip side, I don't think there's very much here for anyone to work with, that's for sure.  Having some experience in mediating conflicts myself, I suspect the favorable reaction from the White House indicates not that they have been bamboozled into thinking Netanyahu is the new man of peace, but simply that they feel as long as someone is making constructive moves, it's unproductive to publicly denounce them.

Having said that, I sure hope the arm-twisting continues behind the scenes.  I am hopeful regarding the overall context of events, but events will not magically unfold in the right direction.  A positive outcome will be a direct result of Obama remaining involved and keeping this issue a top priority.

by Steve M 2009-06-15 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: actually...

Well, if chewed up and spit out cheese in a pizza box is what makes you hungry, you're in a hard place indeed, my friend!

I do not make much of the hissy fit primarily thrown by one far right party (Habayit Hayehudi).  First off, they are so ideologically determined as to have sunk into the same paranoid inquisitorial squat that marks the extreme right in the US.  Basically, all they do is wait until someone says or does something that provides them with an opportunity to ramp up their outrage machine: "Blasphemy!"  "Idiots!"  "How dare they!"  "This is the end of civilization!"  Think Limbaugh with a yarmulke.  Plus a persecution complex that is about 50 times greater.  The majority of the hardliners, like Moshe (Boogie) Ya'alon, within Likud are very pleased.  He claimed today that Bibi exposed the Palestinians' rejectionism.  And the content of what Bibi proposed does not differ much from the "autonomy" that both Begin and Shamir talked about more than 20 years ago.

I come close to your read of the WH response.  I think it's more of another one of Obama's aikido moves and the EU is following his lead.  Instead of voicing opposition, like the Palestinian leadership and Egypt's Mubarak, they are siezing on the five letters that suit them and embracing them in a way that amplifies them.  It's about positioning.  They're not deluded as to Bibi's intent.  They know what he's doing.  But it's a way of trying to deflect it into something positive.  Smart, in my eyes.  Whether the move is truly productive or not, they are trying to frame it as such and it's indeed not helpful to denounce if they can do that.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

He wants them to live with no reasonable means to defend themselves. A nation that cannot defend itself is not a soveriegn state, and Netanyahu knows this. This is a nonstarter disguised as an offer of peace and you know it.

Here is how this plays out IF it were to somehow happen. Palestine would be a "demilitarized state," some radical would launch a rocket or hurl a gernade, or some kid would throw a rock and the Isreali military would launch a full scale attack while saying it proved that now Palestinian state could ever be trusted. Hundreds or thousands of civilians would die; Israel wouldn't care, and you would post a diary on here talking about how brave Israel was to defend itself against their enemies.

In short, you are deliberatly trying to sell the lie here that Netanyahu tried to sell earlier today. You sir, are an idiot or something worse.

by JDF 2009-06-14 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

oh come now.

did you ever think that israel would agree to a palestinian military considering the past 60 years and the aggression of its regional neighbours particularly in the name of the palestinian people?

this seems to me similar to ireland from 1922 to 1948 which was independent in everything internally and for almost all foreign policy issues save that britain did so to prevent ireland from aligning with Germany during WW2. other than that though, it was essentially a totally sovereign state.

in any case thought the palestinian police force is already substantially larger than the army of the irish free state, which had a similar population so defending its citizens is a non-starter.

by canadian gal 2009-06-14 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu: Likudnik forever.

I got quite a kick out of reading this nonsense.

Just who the hell has been keeping who under a military occupation for over 40 years, while stealing, and there is no better word for it except maybe colonizing, their lands. This is rediculous. Do you have any idea how many Palestinians have died and been wounded by Israel's modern armed forces in the territories?

You probably have bought into Israel's grand post 9/11 propaganda scheme to cast the Palestinians as terrorists, while Palestinian civilians including children were being killed left and right at a ratio of more than 5 to 1.

The world, and I believe most Americans, no longer buy into these lies.

by MainStreet 2009-06-14 07:45PM | 0 recs
yawn.

okay mainstreet.

by canadian gal 2009-06-14 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu: Likudnik forever.

You have a poor understanding of reality.  It is not the winners who are forced to accept demilitarization.

by Steve M 2009-06-14 08:47PM | 0 recs
the guilt ridden anti-I watchword:

"to the vanquished belongs the spoils."

Also, Bibi offered a peace deal first. the PA/Hamas didn't.

by Lakrosse 2009-06-14 09:07PM | 0 recs
Re: the guilt ridden anti-I watchword:

Actually, they did - it's called The Road Map.

by Jess81 2009-06-14 09:28PM | 0 recs
the spoils

With the spoils (Palestinian territory) come its people.  Israel took the land and now makes it clear that it will not lose control.  I think that means that everyone in the West Bank get to vote in the next Israeli election.  

by Winston Smith 2009-06-15 03:56AM | 0 recs
Re: the spoils

I have long supported a mass citizenship drive for West Bank residents.  SO have others, such as Georgetown Law professor and feminist activist Lama Abu Odeh.  Sari Nusseibeh made a stir with this in the late 1980s and discusses it in his memoir Once Upon a Country.  It will either pressure Israel into two states or enfranchise Palestinians to effect this or move towards bi-nationalism "from within."  Either way, it would attract a great amount of support internationally and among progressives within Israel.  Let's force the establishment in Israel to simultaneously and publicly refuse the stateless their own state and/or citizenship in the "democratic" state that controls every aspect of their lives.

In the mean time, it's time to start putting on the the table how the "natural growth" of villagers next to the settlements and in East Jerusalem has been aggressively ignored.  Their families grow to, and yet building permits are as disproportionately allotted as per capita water rights.

by Strummerson 2009-06-15 04:12AM | 0 recs
Not always

the founding of Israel shows that if you get vanquished a hell of a lot and make the powers that be feel guilty, you have a good shot at getting somebody else's land.

by JJE 2009-06-15 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's your reality.

A diary I am working on, a preview:

Why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must end

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict must end. Israel speaks of concern for its "security," but what  has Palestinian security been like this past decade (even excluding the previous 30 years and the ethnic cleanings of 1948), while the Palestinians endured an incessant military occupation just for the purpose of colonizing their lands?

To appreciate the toll on life and limb since 2000, here are the death et cetera statistics on both sides.

From time to time, it is worthwhile appreciating just what that toll has been for continuing the occupation/colonization in the Palestinian territories. With the help of the site, If Americans Knew, I am presenting the stats. Anyone not familiar with this conflict might doubt these figures, but their sources seem veritable if not exact. The lopsided nature of these statistics appear to reflect what a modern  military force can do to a civilian population defended by local militants, who at times resorted to retaliatory suicide bombings, what Israel calls "terrorism," the intentional killing of civilians Yet by this definition of  terrorism, and it is evident that most of those killed since 2000 were innocent civilians, both sides have engaged in terrorism, as Jimmy Carter contends.

If Obama can bring this conflict to an end, nobody would be happier than the families of the victims on both sides. If there is any reason why this conflict cannot be tolerated any longer, it is the lives lost and the wounded, who continue to live with serious disabilities.

Links to the sources of the statistical information are in the original (above).

123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,487 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

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"The majority of these [Palestinian] children were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes. Sixty-four percent of children killed during the first six months of 2003 died as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks, or from indiscriminate fire from Israeli soldiers." - Catherine Cook

Source: Remember These Children, a coalition of groups calling for an end to the killing of children and a fair resolution of the conflict, reports that 1,056 Palestinian children and 123 Israeli children were killed between Sep 29, 2000 and early December 2008. (View the complete list of the victims, which was last updated on February 3, 2009.) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that at least 431 Palestinian children (and no Israeli children) were killed during Israel's Dec 27, 2008 - Jan 18, 2009 assault on the Gaza strip. This number does not include any killings of Palestinian children in the West Bank, which may have taken place since the beginning of 2009.

At least 6,348 Palestinians and 1,072 Israelis have been killed since September 29, 2000.

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Source: The number of Palestinian deaths is almost certainly an underestimate as it does not include the most recent deaths in the West Bank. B'Tselem, The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories reports that 4,908 Palestinians were killed by Israelis and 1,062 Israelis were killed by Palestinians between September 29, 2000 and December 26, 2008. (Visit their statistics page.) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that at least 1,440 Palestinians were killed during the Israel's assault on the Gaza strip, between December 27, 2008 and February 5, 2009. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that 5 Israeli soldiers and 4 civilians were killed by Palestinians between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, and 1 soldier was killed on January 27, 2009.

39,019 Palestinians and 8,864 Israelis have been injured since September 29, 2000.

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Source: The Palestine Red Crescent Society, reports that between Sep 29, 2000 and Dec 31, 2008, 33,639 Palestinians were injured. (Visit their statistics page.) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that approximately 5,380 Palestinians were injured in Israel's assault on Gaza from Dec 27, 2008 - Jan 18, 2009. (This does not include Palestinians injured in the West Bank durng this time.)

Israel's Foreign Ministry reports that 8,341 Israelis were injured by Palestinians between Sep 29, 2000 and Dec 31, 2007. (Visit their list. Their statistics may be somewhat inflated they may include non-Israelis injured in the conflict as well as Israelis who were injured in other places or by people who are not Palestinian.) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that approximately 523 Israelis were injured during Israel's assault on Gaza from Dec 27, 2008 - Jan 18, 2009.

1 Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 10,756 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

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Source: The Mandela Institute for Human Rights - Palestine (last updated March 31, 2007) and Reuters.

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 18,147 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967.

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Source: Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions - This is the total number of homes demolished from 1967 through 2006.

In addition to the homes demolished by Israel, thousands of Palestinian homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged by Israeli bombing and shelling. On the flip side, while Palestinians have not demolished any Israeli homes, there is one known case of a Palestinian destroying an Israeli home in an explosion.

American news reports repeatedly describe Israeli military attacks against the Palestinian population as "retaliation." However, when one looks into the chronology of death in this conflict, the reality turns out to be quite different.

(Obama did not come on the scene too soon. This conflict must stop now. Mainstreet)

by MainStreet 2009-06-15 07:48AM | 0 recs
Most Americans buy it, sadly

In this, as in most matters, Americans are far to the right of everyone else in the world.  The fundamental principle shared by Israelis and most Americans is that an Arab has no rights a white man is bound to respect.

by JJE 2009-06-15 06:14AM | 0 recs
Of course you are right

Israel will never accept a Palestinian state as the term "state" is commonly understood.  That is why so many are calling bullshit on Netanyahu's silly speech.

by JJE 2009-06-15 09:25AM | 0 recs
Except for

one mention of a "Palestinian State" buried in the middle of this speech under a 4 tons of qualifications, this speech might have been given by Shamir at Madrid.  Nothing new at all here, not in tenor or content except for that one turn of phrase.  Of course some hardliners in the Likud and the head-in-the-sand crowd from the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home, not to be confused with Lieberman's Israel is our Home) are screaming bloody murder and threatening th ecoalition over those two words.  But they are moree interested in ideology than solutions.

In short, there is really nothing new here, as most of us expected.  Obama's move now.  Gibbs picked up on those two words and ignored the rest.  We'll see how much yardage they can squeeze out of them.

by Strummerson 2009-06-14 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

Bibi's speech was just a stall tactic to try and continue stealing more land putting effectively the last nails in the coffin of a 2 state solution while putting off a confrontation with the US.

In the end though on the Palestinian side, the right of return will have to be given up as will 100% of the settlements and East Jerusalem on the Israeli side.

As far as not having an army. Costa Rica has only a national police force. That has not hobbled it's ability to defend itself. How much of a new Palestine's resources do you think should be diverted to a military which would be useless against the IDF but would likely be a threat to Palestinian democracy? It would be a waste of resources better used rebuilding Palestine's economy and society.

While we are on the subject of armaments when will the US insist that Israel sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and give up it's nuclear arsenal. A bit rich threatening any nation in the Middle East with military action over nuclear weapons when we ignore the only country actually building weapons of mass destruction in the region. And to add insult to injury we pay a huge chunk of Israel's defense budget so they can use the money to build nuclear weapons and enforce colonization and ethnic cleansing.

It's no wonder we never make any progress towards peace as politicians ignore reality and talk platitudes and propaganda.

by hankg 2009-06-15 03:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu, peacemaker.

Israel has the wrong leader Shimon Perez should be the Prime Minister and be the peace broker. If the Netenya coalition falls apart, Shimon Perez will be the deal broker and broker the peace deal, give the Palestinians 100% of Gaza and the West Bank and split Jeruselum 50% with the Palestians and have a split capital only then will the Palestians accept that peace deal.

by olawakandi 2009-06-16 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Benjamin Netanyahu,

Israel has the wrong leader Shimon Perez should be the Prime Minister and be the peace broker. If the Netenya coalition falls apart, Shimon Perez will be the deal broker and broker the peace deal, give the Palestinians 100% of Gaza and the West Bank and split Jeruselum 50% with the Palestians and have a split capital only then will the Palestians accept that peace deal.

by olawakandi 2009-06-16 10:24AM | 0 recs

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