Clinton: U.S. firmly committed to two-state solution

Sec. Clinton in Middle East; Critics in a Lather

Firedoglake posted this story about Hillary Clinton's apparent turnabout concerning the resolution of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the latest episode being the Gaza massacre of civilians and children by Israeli armed forces. Hillary demands that Israel allow humanitarian aid into Gaza unrestricted, while Obama pledged 900 million to rebuild Gaza, which was heavily destroyed by Israel's aerial pounding. Over 1,300 Palestinians were killed including over 411 children. The wounded were five times as many. Yet the entrances to Gaza remain closed.

If that were not enough, Hillary just announced that the US remains committed to the two state solution, which is a wakeup call for the right wing Netanyahu government to be, as well as the Israeli people, who voted overwhelmingly for right wing parties. This commitment was reported this morning in the Haaretz newspaper:

Clinton: U.S. firm on commitment to two-state solution.

Odd that Hillary would be pilloried by right wing Zionist advocates, when it was Obama who provided the policy that a new age is here concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US will no longer be dragged into the abyss of human rights injustices by carte blanc support of Israel's anything goes policy.

In the meantime, critics of critics of Israel continue their rants about Hamas, as an apparent attempt to cover the colonialism Israel continues in the Palestinian territories (see video)

Sec. of State Hilary Clinton is heading to the MidEast this weekend with a stop at the Egyptian conference on aid for Gaza - as well as visits to Israel and the West Bank. As I've been reading the reports on this upcoming trip - and on the uproar about Clinton's recent attempt to press Israel to allow aid into Gaza at a faster pace, I was struck again by how messy the state of US policy on Palestine really is.

Let's start with what Clinton has said over the past week. She's announced that the US will provide $900 million in aid and there are multiple reports that she and her staff have been "pressing Israel to stop blocking aid to the besieged Gaza Strip and will raise the issue during her visit next week" with "envoy George Mitchell expected to issue a strongly-worded statement on the situation" to Israel prior to Clinton's arrival."

These statements seem to have sent some earlier supporters of Clinton into a vitriolic tailspin (see the youtube above):

A new age has apparently come upon us. Under Obama, the US may regain its ascendancy as an advocate of civil and human rights internationally. It is equality for everyone or for no one. We have finally chosen the correct path.

Tags: clinton, Israel, obama, Palestine (all tags)



The big question is:

What will Clinton and Obama do when Bibieberman tells them to shove the two-state solution where the sun doesn't shine?

by Geekesque 2009-03-01 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: The big question is:

If I'm not mistaken, Lieberman, in contrast to Netanyahu, came out in support of the two state solution. His motives of course are racist and his tactic is to get rid of the Palestinians as citizens of Israel, and the only way to do that short of Apartheid, which doesn't do the trick, is to give them their own state.

His ideal is that Israel is a Jewish and democratic state in no need of Arabs to corrupt it.

Twisted and distorted from any American's point of view, that seems to be where things stand for Lieberman at present. We actually don't know what his idea of a Palestinian state is, nor do we really know what Livni and Kadima have in mind.

by MainStreet 2009-03-01 09:09AM | 0 recs
Okay, when Bieberman

tell Clinton and Obama that there will be no Palestinian state without some Slobo-style ethnic cleansing, what will the response be?

by Geekesque 2009-03-01 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Okay, when Bieberman

I can give you the hopeful response; what it will actually be may be something else again.

"No more income supplement for you! And no more phorphous and DIME bombs either! And definitely no bunker busters!"

by MainStreet 2009-03-01 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Okay, when Bieberman

The United States has the option of playing hardball.

The borders will be determined by the UN Security Council.

Expelling Palestinians in violation of international law will probably run afoul of the International Criminal Court.

While the Court doesn't have automatic jurisdiction in Israel/Palestine (Israel failed to ratify the treaty), the UN Security Council does have the power to refer charges to the ICC.

American Jews will stand with Israel, but sacrificing a few asshole Israeli politicians as a peace offering will probably be acceptable.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-03 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The big question is:

I hope what the do, Barack and Hillary, is to suggest that they need to meet with the Palestinians in top level negotiations, non stop, if they want to continue receiving our aid.  I hope they suggest that American lawmakers visit the occupied territories and make reports on living conditions there. I hope she suggests that the Palestinians vote on principles, not on parties, they want a two-state solution, they don't want to get rid of Isrealis, the Palestinian people, for now  anyway, are far more rational and practical about what can be achieved.

Why can't Palestinians have green cards so some can live in Israel, but without the possibility of citizenship and thus voting rights? Why can't the settlers pay taxes to the Palestinian authority, and travel fees?  

by anna shane 2009-03-03 01:15PM | 0 recs
green cards...

interesting idea.  quick question for you though anna - would you also reverse this - meaning if palestinian leadership - including hamas does not accept and meet with the israelis for high-level negotiations that the US pull its aid as well?

by canadian gal 2009-03-03 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: green cards...

Israel just did a billion dollars of damage to Palestinian infrastructure, so it's a little bit of a bad comparison to say pulling U.S. aid to Israel and Palestine would be equivalent in the short term.

What would be equivalent is if the United States bombed Israel for a month (or a major part of Israel) and then pulled aid for both sides.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-03 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: green cards...

since only twenty percent of Gazians back Hamas, meaning would vote them in again, I don't get the comparison.  They want to meet, if they refuse to sit down, then why not the same, but they wouldn't.  The Palestinians have long wanted UN peacekeepers at the borders, and an end to the internal check points maned by Israeli military that keep Palestinians from traveling within the occupied territories. But, for your question regarding sauce for the goose, why not, we'd find out who wants to keep things secret and who wants to talk?  maybe both would bring in sunlight and both would keep talking.  

by anna shane 2009-03-03 02:28PM | 0 recs
not sure....

id fully agree with your assessment of the situation - however i do think both that sunlight would be a welcome part of this upcoming process and that your green card idea is fracking brilliant.

by canadian gal 2009-03-03 02:42PM | 0 recs
stop trying to make it sound

like Hillary has turned against Zionism, she hasn't, and still supports the Jews and Israel as a good American diplomat, or good American for that matter does. She's just not as nutty as the Israeli government is right now.

by Lakrosse 2009-03-01 12:49PM | 0 recs
Good Americans

are loyal to America, not foreign states.

by JJE 2009-03-01 01:10PM | 0 recs
it also means HONOUR to allies

such as the Jewish State of Israel.

by Lakrosse 2009-03-01 01:49PM | 0 recs

it means working with countries that advance our interests, and working against those that don't.  Israel currently fits firmly in the latter category.

by JJE 2009-03-01 05:21PM | 0 recs
actually Israel advances our VALUES

and interests, including the idea of a free western democratic way of life. Sorry thats of no value to you. Its also a bargaining chip. Sorry you have no place for the Jews. Show them honour already, no they don't control the media, the banks, or the government, as you think they do.

by Lakrosse 2009-03-02 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: actually Israel advances our VALUES

I had a well thought out response to this argument but I decided it would be wasted on you, because you are a moron.

by JDF 2009-03-03 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: actually Israel advances our VALUES

no they don't, they don't advance Jewish values either.  They advance paranoia and poor leadership.  

by anna shane 2009-03-03 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: actually Israel advances our VALUES

Thank you.

Unflinching support for Israel, no matter what, is what got us this far down this one way road.

NO ONE told them, think carefully about those settlements.

We had what Diamond Jay/Lakrosse wants, blind-eye backing of Israel for 8 years, or even longer, and is there peace? Is it any better?

The Palestianians are going no where but to increased population and to outnumber the Israelis within a generation.

If you want South Africa in the middle east, follow Bibi and Lieberman.

That is what Diamond Jay wants.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-03 02:53PM | 0 recs
Ethnic cleansing

and ethnic discrimination aren't really Western values.  Well, for you they might be, but most Westerners would disagree.

by JJE 2009-03-03 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Nope

Israel currently fits firmly in the latter category.

So, our interests right now are aligned with Iran developing the bomb?  I don't think so.  It is not just about whose side we take in the I/P conflict, but whose side we take on a variety of issues.  Yes, perhaps in some "kumbaya" alternate universe, it would be acceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons.  And one way or another, it will probably happen.  But the US is aligned with Israel because they do advance our interests.

by mikes101 2009-03-03 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Nope

This is basic all-or-nothing, with-me-or-against-me logic.

U.S. policy currently is that Iran getting nuclear weapons would be a bad thing.

How is a nuclear-armed Israel helpful to the United States persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program?

But even if U.S. and Israeli interests are in sync vis-a-vis Iran's nuclear weapons program, this does not change the fact that U.S. and Israeli interests diverge with respect to the Palestinians. Israel wants to annex land; the United States would benefit from a just and lasting peace.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-03 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Nope

This is basic all-or-nothing, with-me-or-against-me logic.

Um, no - calling Israel an enemy by only looking at I/P is "all or none" thinking.

How Israel is helping the US in terms of foreign policy knowledge of places like Iran is not my area of expertise, and I agree with you that a nuclear-armed Israel, or a nuclear armed US, aren't helpful in dissuading Iran (or anyone else) from developing a bomb.  But the fact remains that Israel is nuclear-armed, that the US is nuclear-armed, and that this is an example where both of our current interests are aligned - for Iran to not possess nuclear weapons.

Israel wants to annex land; the United States would benefit from a just and lasting peace.

Perhaps Bibi wants to annex land, I don't know what the average Israeli supports - seems to me the average person on both sides has supported peace for quite awhile.  To say that Israel does not want peace is probably inaccurate as far as I can tell - this is like saying in 2003 that the US was bloodthirsty for war with Iraq - when to my knowledge such a statement only ever reflected perhaps some upper echelons of the Pentagon and the right-wing minority.  We even elected George W. Bush president again after this terrible gaffe, but still most in the US want long term peace and stability in the Middle East, just as Israel does.

by mikes101 2009-03-03 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Nope

There isn't a single mainstream political party in Israel that supports the rights of Palestinians to have a state.  If they were of a different ethnicity they'd be called extremists, but the rule when it comes to colonization, war, ethnic cleansing, flaunting UN resolutions, and developing WMDs seems to be "it's okay if Israel does it."  

But only in the US.  And that's why bankrolling them hurts US interests.

Supporting Israel puts the US in a horrible position to tell Iran what to do - all Iran has to do is point to Israel and they've won the argument.

by Jess81 2009-03-03 05:29PM | 0 recs
gad... seriously??????

courtesy of strummerson...

Both have endorsed the two state solution.  I've posted these in other threads as well.

From the Labor Party Platform:

"Israel's peace policy is based on the reconciliation between both peoples and their readiness to live in respect of mutual rights to self-determination and statehood..." and then the problem "and on the superior deterrent capability and strength of the IDF." Party.htm

And now, here's Kadima

"The Israeli national agenda to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and achieve two states for two nations will be the road map. It will be carried out in stages: dismantling terror organizations, collecting firearms, implementing security reforms in the Palestinian Authority, and preventing incitement. At the end of the process, a demilitarized Palestinian state devoid of terror will be established." rce/Politics/kadimaplatform.html

These are verbatim from official platforms and consistent with the Hebrew versions.  We can argue that both of these parties are deluding themselves as to the parameters of the Palestinian "states" they are willing to accept, or that they are disingenuous and cynical.  I think it is more likely the former.  

I don't think Palestinians are likely to accept a state that is dominated by its neighbor militarily and with regard to natural resources and border control and that will provide a pool of cheap labor for exploitation.  I don't think it's reasonable to expect them to do so.  Nonetheless, those among us committed to the two state concept would do well to hold these parties to their commitments to it in principle, not deny that they have embraced it, even if fallibly so.

by canadian gal 2009-03-03 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: gad... seriously??????

If Labor and Kadima want have a Palestinian state why didn't Labor and Kadima recognize the Palestinian state while they controlled the gov't?

Don't trust what politicians say; watch what they do.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-04 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Nope

Quit pretending there is some "average Israeli" who is quite reasonable.

The Israeli gov't has consistently expanded settlements for a long time under various governments.

You may like to tell yourself that Israelis are nice people, but from the external point of view one has to focus on what Israel does, not the theoretical of some liberal granny somewhere.

When one looks at what Israel does, the goal of Israel becomes clear. Israel exists to steal land to fulfill the vision of Israel existing between the Med and the Jordan River. That's the symbolism of the Israeli flag, right?

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-04 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Nope

Quit pretending there is some "average Israeli" who is quite reasonable.

Give me a break.  And I suppose there are no Americans who are quite reasonable either?

The world is a tough place.  Bad things happen.  But, astonishingly enough, most people are either good or neutral actors.

You are so biased against Israel, it is not even funny.

by mikes101 2009-03-05 07:05AM | 0 recs
What interests does Israel advance?

Pushing for invasions of Iraq and Iran?

We can oppose Iran getting nuclear weapons without subsidizing Israeli human rights abuses.  The two aren't linked.

by JJE 2009-03-03 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: it also means HONOUR to allies

What alliance does the United States have with Israel?

What does this treaty obligate the United States to do for Israel?

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-03 10:40AM | 0 recs
Zionism is now in conflict with itself.

The issue today is not about Zionism, except for two important democratic problems: one is the idea professed by the Lieberman camp to make Israel into a pure Jewish state, somehow getting rid of 20% of its nonJewish population; and second, about the fate of the Palestinian territories, about which the constant military occupation can no longer be endured, and the notion that Israel has a right to take any lands from its Palestinian owners, disregard international laws, and ultimately colonize and annex the only remaining land upon which a Palestinian state can be established. All they want today is 22% of their original country, Palestine, where their ancestors lived for over a thousand years.

The alternative is a total redefinition of Zionism that would assume the notion of a homeland for the Jews, but take into account the prior residency of the Palestinian population, i.e., before the ethnic cleansing of 1948. This concept would be similar to ones proposed in the 1930s that involved creating a binational state: Israel and Palestine commingled. It is actually historically the most fair and reasonable kind of settlement that takes everyone's rights into account.

As for Hillary (Obama's surrogate), the concept of two states is now on the table, the same one repeatedly proposed by many quarters, including Bush recently, and that concept demands mutual sovereignty, freedom, and self governance. It is not a warmed over South African style Apartheid relationship. It is not Likud's concept nor for that matter Kadima's previous concepts that amount to bantustans.

by MainStreet 2009-03-01 03:24PM | 0 recs
why not simply recognize the two states?

If the United States supports a two-state solution, why hasn't it recognized Palestine in the 15+ years since the handshake on the White House lawn?

The two-state solution is a mirage held out by Israel, Zionists and the United States that has always judged Palestinians as insufficiently deferential to Israel while Israel annexes more land.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-03 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: why not simply recognize the two states?

You know the song and the missing lyrics. If it were sung by an Israeli, at best he/she would be considered a "peace activist," at worst, and "antiZionist traitor."

But Americans can sing those lyrics as much as they like: think Clinton, then Bush, who were ignored. Now we have Obama singing the same tune.

Will they listen?

It was just reported by Peace Now that Israel intends to build another 73,000 houses on the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Great timing.

by MainStreet 2009-03-03 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: why not simply recognize the two states?

It's fantastic timing.  If Obama and Clinton are serious in forcing Israel to recognize the human rights of all of their citizens, then Israel had better get busy creating facts on the ground to make that impossible.

You'll know how serious the US is in forcing a two state solution by how much Israel ramps up its settlement building, thereby making it harder to withdraw than it already is (which is a tall order).  It's all a joke of course - if Israel wanted peace there wouldn't be a settler problem at all, unless the entire history of their political leadership consists of complete morons who are oblivious to the obvious consequences of that policy.

by Jess81 2009-03-03 05:35PM | 0 recs
two-state solution

I swear, the first two states that jumped into my mind were Michigan and Florida. Oy

by QTG 2009-03-03 11:31AM | 0 recs
make sense to me ...

.. .that the pugs want continuously war in the middle east, it fits their failure policies.  They have no one in leadership that's remotely plausible, hence ...

Here are the two intractable positions, according to me.

The Israelis are certain that the entire world is against them, and that no middle eastern state would hesitate to nuke them, which is why they can never allow the Arab states to get sophisticated weapons, and must always strike first.  They accept no responsibility for provoking any reactions against them, and they expect that no one will ever understand and so there in this all alone and must do what they must to survive, however hard it may be to kill kids et al.

The Palestinians are certain that Israel only wants land, and they want to get rid of them as a people.  They do not see Israel as wanting peace, let alone being willing to share anything to get peace.  Therefore they count on the international community to see their suffering, and some of their crazies provoke over the top reactions to prove how nutty and land grabby Israel is.

These two positions leave no room for rational discussion.

Truth is that times change, and the fact is Israel is now accepted , and has been for generations.  Truth is Israel has no effective leadership and perhaps never has had, and so lunatic fringe people, like New York settlers, and wing nut politicians grab as much land as possible, and can get away with it cause there is no effective leadership, no one that sees the big picture, or is willing to sell compromise.

The worst offenses were released with Bush and Sharon, Bush gave  Sharon a green light and Sharon used it to promote creepy policies.

Israel needs the US to explain that times have changed, we have bigger problems now, and peace is now necessary.  If Ireland can do it, and South Africa can do it, why not Israel?  

by anna shane 2009-03-03 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: make sense to me ...

As long as Israel is gaining territory, what incentive does Israel have to make a just and lasting peace?

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-03 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: make sense to me ...

just the normal one, to live in peace and to not have to defend what is not defendable.  Back when there were movements toward peace, before Bill tried to push it and before Sharon went into the Temple Mount to provoke frustration, and was then elected, the two people's were starting to get along, and were trading with each other and there was even some sharing. but, Israeli politics being what they are, there is no way for an Israeli leader to stay in office and make compromises that fringe people dislike without the US having their backs.  

by anna shane 2009-03-03 02:24PM | 0 recs


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