The J Street Scam

Is J Street just another pseudo-peace org, a false hope, a distraction from right wing Israeli colonialism, or is it a real alternative to AIPAC?

How many times, and in how many ways, have we been deceived by alleged Israeli peace efforts going back at least to the Oslo Accords of the early 90s? But this latest expose about J Street, the supposed alternative pro-peace pro-Israel lobby group to the despised right wing pro-Likud org AIPAC, takes the cake.

We are stunned by yet another Israeli peace deception. As we have learned over recent years, J Street meant a different kind of political group that could bring peace in the Middle East. But the evidence keeps accumulating that J Street is really just an innocuous name for a high powered Israel First special interest group, which wraps itself in the cloak of being a "moderate" alternative to the hard core American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In this article by Phil Giraldi, we now learn that nothing could be further from the truth.

"J Street" and AIPAC are two tentacles of the same lobby.

Phil Giraldi, Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest (CNI), lays out the story in an article published today appropriately entitled, The J Street Scam (http://www.cnionline.org/the-j-street-scam/).

J Street is seductive.  Americans have been bombarded with propaganda about Israel ever since the foundation of the country over sixty years ago.  More recently, the United States has been designated by the media and the chattering classes as the protector of the Jewish state with little regard for those actions undertaken by Tel Aviv that impact negatively on US interests.  This is because the Israel Lobby is the most powerful foreign lobby in the United States by far.  The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has become the ugly side of the Lobby, has rightly drawn criticism for its bullying tactics and its alignment with extreme right-wing parties in Israel.  Progressives and some conservatives in the United States who support Israel as a homeland for the world’s Jews have been eager to find a more respectable alternative lobby.  That alternative is J Street.

J Street, which recently completed its third annual conference in Washington, is a self-proclaimed kinder and gentler advocate of Israeli interests.  It favors peace on equitable terms with the Palestinians and also with Israel’s Arab neighbors.  It opposes expansion of the Israeli settlements on the West Bank because they are an obstacle to peace.  It calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-American, and pro-peace.”  If one judges by the enemies it has attracted, including nearly all leading neoconservatives, J Street has to be considered a breath of fresh air and the best option for sustainable peace in the Middle East.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But somehow the parts don’t quite add up.

J Street really only differs from AIPAC in tone, not in substance.  It advocates continued and unlimited United States support for Israel, militarily, economically, and politically.  J Street wants Israel to have an overwhelming military advantage over its Arab neighbors and it wants that margin to be provided by Washington.  It wants Republicans and Democrats together to provide political cover for Israel when it attacks Lebanon or bombs the Gazans.  It does not object when Israel exercises a military option against its neighbors. In spite of the fact that the United States is in deep trouble economically while Israel is one of the richest countries in the world and is enjoying an economic boom, J Street was one of the first organizations to complain when Senator Rand Paul called for an end to all foreign aid.

J Street also believes that Israel is and should be a Jewish state with unlimited right of “return” for Jews from anywhere in the world and no such rights for Christians or Muslims who lived in the country before 1948.  A Jewish state, by definition, would have limited rights for the 20% and growing segment of the current Israeli population that is Christian or Muslim.  J Street quixotically supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, even though it knows that the half million Israeli Jews living in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank cannot be moved and will make two states impossible.  It does not accept a one-state solution, the only one likely to work, that would make the followers of all religions equal citizens in a unified state embracing both Arabs and Jews.  J Street’s Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami has called a one-state solution a “nightmare.”

J Street seems a lot better than AIPAC, but much of what it advocates sounds familiar.  Ben-Ami has criticized the highly acclaimed John Mearsheimer-Stephen Walt book on the Israel Lobby for its scholarship and refers to the authors as anti-Semites. J Street opposed Israel’s bloody incursion into Gaza, but only because it was disproportionate, and then rejected the UN’s Goldstone report that detailed the war crimes that were committed.  When Israeli commandoes killed nine Turkish citizens on the Mavi Marmara ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza, J Street mourned the loss of life but blamed the victims for deliberately “using the media coverage to further damage Israel’s standing in world opinion.”  J Street supports military action against Iran as a “last resort” to incapacitate the country’s nuclear program and denies to Tehran the right to enrich uranium for any purpose.

Supporters of J Street claim that its positions will become more nuanced as its influence grows, but one of the panels at the just-concluded convention debated “Is the Settlement Enterprise Destroying Israel’s Democracy?”  One might well ask why there was a question mark at the end since it is well documented that the settlements bring with them every imaginable evil. Fifteen months ago, J Street sponsored a speaking tour by an Israeli general Danny Rothschild who was advocating a two-state solution with the Palestinians.  He made the rounds in Washington arguing that demographics and common sense dictate that Israel must come to some kind of settlement.  But then, he added, there is “Islamofascism” and also Iran, genuine threats that must be dealt with by force.  So what was the real message, peace with the Palestinians (on Israel’s terms, it might be added), or expand the war against extremism while bombing Iran?

But the real problem with J Street is that it exists at all.  Why should there be a new and powerful lobby in Washington composed of American citizens arguing for a special relationship with any country?  Why should the United States be providing unlimited support to a nation that claims to be a democracy but which limits rights based on religion?  If J Street truly wants to fix Israel it should be working in Israel, not in the United States, because the settlers and hard line right-wing parties are Israeli problems. J Street knows perfectly well that Congress, the White House, and the media will not challenge the Israel status quo so, at best, it is a bit of scam designed to support Israel while making progressives feel more comfortable in lining up behind the effort.

The United States already has too many special interest lobbies promoting policies that do absolutely nothing good for the American people.  If Israel has become a rogue state, which it has, the problem must be resolved by the Israelis themselves and the diaspora Jews who believe that they have a stake in the outcome.  If the latter really want to have an impact, they should turn in their US passports and move to Israel.  From the American perspective, which should be the only one that matters to US citizens, not the Israeli one, the best policy for the United States is to disengage from the Arab-Israel conflict, not to become even more deeply involved from another, slightly more palatable perspective offered by J Street.

The new insight: J Street is just AIPAC with a progressive smile, a false hope. 

 

 

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24 Comments

Lest one comes to believe that everything pro-Israel turns into deception....

...there are hundreds of organizations in America, many headed by the American Jewish left, sincerely leading the effort to bring peace in the Middle East and a just and fair solution to Palestinian freedom and self-determination.

by MainStreet 2011-03-11 05:51PM | 0 recs
Council for the National Interest is on Facebook. An interesting site for information on the Middle East.

http://www.facebook.com/councilforthenationalinterest

 

by MainStreet 2011-03-11 06:02PM | 0 recs
This seems like a bit more than tone...

It opposes expansion of the Israeli settlements on the West Bank because they are an obstacle to peace.

I would call that a substantive difference with AIPAC that the writer here dismisses. I don't hold with all of JStreet's positions, but they have been clear with regard to this, which I think is the central impediment to a negotiated solution.  But of course this writer doesn't back a two state solution at all:

J Street quixotically supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, even though it knows that the half million Israeli Jews living in settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank cannot be moved and will make two states impossible.  It does not accept a one-state solution, the only one likely to work, that would make the followers of all religions equal citizens in a unified state embracing both Arabs and Jews.

Have you gone over into the One State camp?  You know my position: As long as a majority of Palestinians support two states, that should be the paradigm, flawed as it is on many levels.  But I do think that the ship of feasibility for it may have sailed.  In some senses, a One State arrangement, of confederated state would be ethically superior and potentially more sustainable.  But it requires a sea change.  The best way to bring about a sea change at this point would be a mass drive of Palestinians applying for Israeli citizenship.  Israelis would then need to choose: separation vs. standing in the way of a civil rights struggle. 

by Strummerson 2011-03-13 10:33AM | 1 recs
That seems to be J Street's view as well: the ship has sailed.

You can't have it both ways: that the settlements should stay under any model of a two state solution, even though the settlements make the two state solution impossible. It is the old canard: we're for two states BUT... withdrawal is impossible, settler politics, security demands keeping the Jordan Valley and a border on the Jordan River, and every other impediment available.

Israel is an ethnocracy and a view of what a one state would look like is already seen in Israel's present Jim Crow society. A one state solution also dissolves the identity of the Palestinian people into second class Israelis. Not a good solution for them after 1400 years of life in Palestine. The Jewish Israelis just don't want to be associated with them, the "Arabs," and no one can see that changing anytime soon.

One State gives Israel the Greater Israel it has been moving toward for the past 40 years, but it gives nothing to the Palestinians except their disappearance as a unique Arabic people.

by MainStreet 2011-03-13 12:01PM | 0 recs
Ah, but

JStreet still supports two states with fully equitable landswaps.  That means that a certain number of settlements will indeed require dismantling.  This critique of JStreet is fully framed as a One State partisan attack.  So it's odd to me that you would use it.  I indeed see some inconsistencies in JStreet positions, but to equate them with AIPAC is a polemic by a one-state supporter and doesn't pass muster with anyone who has basic reading comprehension skills.  Again, they oppose all settlement expansion.

As for this:

The Jewish Israelis just don't want to be associated with them, the "Arabs," and no one can see that changing anytime soon.

Oh dear, this huge generalization verges on, well I won't say it.  Suffice it to type that I know plenty of Jewish Israelis who don't feel this way at all and indeed believe that the current political reality feeds racism.  Change the reality, and poll numbers will shift.  

But this is just another oversimplifying prediction that is more polemic than analysis:

One State gives Israel the Greater Israel it has been moving toward for the past 40 years, but it gives nothing to the Palestinians except their disappearance as a unique Arabic people.

Since you are keen on the South Africa analogy, I'll point out that the demise of Apartheid has not meant the disappearance of it's non-white populations as unique African peoples.  This only works if you assume that Palestinians will convert and assimilate, or be kept in bantustans.  No one-state solution pproposes either as desireable or realistic.  In a single democratic state in which 50% or more of the population is Palestinian, it's nor credible to believe they would either assimilate or fail to exercise their demographic/democratic power for materialand cultural issues.  In fact, this is what scares otherwise liberal Zionists about the "state for all its peoples" concept, as it's discussed in Israel.

by Strummerson 2011-03-13 06:16PM | 0 recs
So we come back to ask again: what is wrong with a real two state solution?

Why would anyone propose that a one state solution is best when it is evident that both peoples in this conflict prefer independence and self determination? Just how can one state be an expression of the identities both peoples hang on to historically? How would a one state solution resolve all of the outstanding issues that arose in 1948, foremost of which is the right of return of the dispossessed Palestinians? Where will they go, especially those still living in UNWRA refugee camps around the Middle East? Will they be allowed to "go home" to their villages, or settle in the open Jordan Valley, or will places in the Greater Israel continue to be off limits to them? Here is an even more naive question: what will be the name of this one state?

One staters cannot answer any of these questions satisfactorily, which is why I think they are really Zionists of the Greater Israel kind.

I'll respond to your comment later.

by MainStreet 2011-03-13 08:41PM | 0 recs
RE: So we come back to ask again: what is wrong with a real two state solution?

So, the article you posted here is by a Zionist of the Greater Israel kind?  Meron Benveniste and Jeff Halper are Zionists of the Greater Israel kind?

A real two state solution, as you call it, is better BECAUSE both peoples involved seek cultural and national self-determination through a designated nation state.  That's why I support it.  But I this formulation, that every national identity requires its own state, belongs to a particular recent period of history, and has proven flawed.  How can South Africa serve as the expression of Boer, English, Xosa, Zulu and other identities?

What you seem to overlook is that given the deep economic inmbrication Israel and Palestine, as well as difficulty in separating water and other resources, an absolute separation is neither possible not desirable for either side.  In a One State solution, refugees could go anywhere they could afford, and my guess is that paragovernmental organizations, like the Jewish Agency, would help fund resettlement.  Some would indeed even be able to reestablish villages.

But again, as long as both sides prefer two states, I will support two states.  It just doesn't promise to be the utopian solution you think it would be.

But mostly, I still cannot for the life of me understand why someone with your positions would post a blanket condemnation of JStreet, which opposes setllements and supports a genuine two state solution, by a One State polemicist, whom I nonetheless believe cannot be classifed as a Zionist of the Greater Land of Israel kind.  You have conflated these perspectives without grounds or basis for years on this site.  It's pretty clear that this piece undermines it, as it seeks to undermine the Two State solution that you hold sacrosanct.

by Strummerson 2011-03-13 09:04PM | 0 recs
RE: So we come back to ask again: what is wrong with a real two state solution?

Oops, I meant paragovernmental organizations COMPARABLE to the Jewish Agency.  Unlikely that the JA would be the one supporting resettlement of refugees and/or rebuilding of Palestinian villages.

by Strummerson 2011-03-14 09:01AM | 0 recs
Over the past 40 years, Israel never needed an excuse to occupy and colonize the Palestinian territories. So one might ask: what's the point of this one?
Israel to Boost Settlement Construction

The Israeli government approved plans Sunday to build hundreds of new homes in the West Bank after a Jewish couple and their three children were found stabbed to death in a Jewish settlement. In response, Israeli leaders approved “measured construction” of 500 new homes. “They murder and we build, and we will build our country,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told relatives of the victims. Sunday’s decision was the first approval of new building plans since a moratorium expired in September.

Read it at The Washington Post
by MainStreet 2011-03-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
RE: Over the past 40 years, Israel never needed an excuse to occupy and colonize the Palestinian territories. So one might ask: what's the point of this one?

From B'Tselem, fatalities over the past 10 years:

Click on the numbers for a list of individual names and details about the circumstances of their death. 

Data , 29.9.2000-31.1.2011 Occupied Territories Israel Gaza Strip West Bank Total Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces 45021828633069 Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians 446502 Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians 39204243496 Israeli security force personnel killed by Palestinians 10514725290 Foreign citizens killed by Palestinians 1071739 Foreign citizens killed by Israeli security forces 66120 Palestinians killed by Palestinians 5291356640 Palestinians executed by the Palestinian Authority 82100 Palestinians executed by the Hamas Government 500

Additional data (included in previous table) Occupied Territories Israel Gaza Strip West Bank Total Palestinian minors killed by Israeli security forces 99032513153 Israeli minors killed by Palestinians 4364084 Palestinians killed during the course of a targeted killing 305 107 412 0 Palestinians who were the object of a targeted killing 157822390 Palestinians killed by Palestinians for suspected collaboration with Israel 251091340 Palestinians who did not take part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces ( not including the objects of targeted killings). 213985229915 Palestinians who were killed by Israeli security forces and it is not known if they were taking part in the hostilities 2794146934 Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces 1675480215560 Palestinian police officers who were killed inside police stations 24802480
by MainStreet 2011-03-14 12:39PM | 0 recs
RE: Over the past 40 years, Israel never needed an excuse to occupy and colonize the Palestinian territories. So one might ask: what's the point of this one?

From B'Tselem, fatalities over the past 10 years:

Click on the numbers for a list of individual names and details about the circumstances of their death. 

Data , 29.9.2000-31.1.2011 Occupied Territories Israel Gaza Strip West Bank Total Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces 45021828633069 Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians 446502 Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians 39204243496 Israeli security force personnel killed by Palestinians 10514725290 Foreign citizens killed by Palestinians 1071739 Foreign citizens killed by Israeli security forces 66120 Palestinians killed by Palestinians 5291356640 Palestinians executed by the Palestinian Authority 82100 Palestinians executed by the Hamas Government 500

Additional data (included in previous table) Occupied Territories Israel Gaza Strip West Bank Total Palestinian minors killed by Israeli security forces 99032513153 Israeli minors killed by Palestinians 4364084 Palestinians killed during the course of a targeted killing 305 107 412 0 Palestinians who were the object of a targeted killing 157822390 Palestinians killed by Palestinians for suspected collaboration with Israel 251091340 Palestinians who did not take part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces ( not including the objects of targeted killings). 213985229915 Palestinians who were killed by Israeli security forces and it is not known if they were taking part in the hostilities 2794146934 Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces 1675480215560 Palestinian police officers who were killed inside police stations 24802480
by MainStreet 2011-03-14 12:39PM | 0 recs
RE: Over the past 40 years, Israel never needed an excuse to occupy and colonize the Palestinian territories. So one might ask: what's the point of this one?

From B'Tselem, fatalities over the past 10 years:

Click on the numbers for a list of individual names and details about the circumstances of their death. 

Data , 29.9.2000-31.1.2011 Occupied Territories Israel Gaza Strip West Bank Total Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces 45021828633069 Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians 446502 Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians 39204243496 Israeli security force personnel killed by Palestinians 10514725290 Foreign citizens killed by Palestinians 1071739 Foreign citizens killed by Israeli security forces 66120 Palestinians killed by Palestinians 5291356640 Palestinians executed by the Palestinian Authority 82100 Palestinians executed by the Hamas Government 500

Additional data (included in previous table) Occupied Territories Israel Gaza Strip West Bank Total Palestinian minors killed by Israeli security forces 99032513153 Israeli minors killed by Palestinians 4364084 Palestinians killed during the course of a targeted killing 305 107 412 0 Palestinians who were the object of a targeted killing 157822390 Palestinians killed by Palestinians for suspected collaboration with Israel 251091340 Palestinians who did not take part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces ( not including the objects of targeted killings). 213985229915 Palestinians who were killed by Israeli security forces and it is not known if they were taking part in the hostilities 2794146934 Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces 1675480215560 Palestinian police officers who were killed inside police stations 24802480
by MainStreet 2011-03-14 12:39PM | 0 recs
Sorry the above post didn't work out. Here is the link to these death stats.

http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/casualties.asp

by MainStreet 2011-03-14 12:41PM | 0 recs
For those who don't know B'Tselem

it was founded by Meron Benveniste.  It's staff is both Jewish and Palestinian.  They track abuses of all kinds, including human rights abuses within the Palestinian authority.  No organization is 100% accurate, but they are a credible (and laudible) organization.  The name comes from Genesis, where God creates humanity b'tselem [in the image of] God.  

One of the worst things going on right now in internal Israeli politics is an initiative by several right wing legislators to impede funding for NGOs, B'Tselem being one of the foremost.  These are the same folks who claim privileges because "Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East" and tout it as an enlightened society.  Enlightened democracies don't squash non-profit human rights organizations.  Of course, these are the same hypocrites who want to impose loyalty oaths on their citizens.  Many Jews on the left, in Israel and around the world, have been sounding an alarum for years now that the occupation is as much a threat to Israel's civil society and democracy as it is to Palestinians.  We're seeing that manifest now.

by Strummerson 2011-03-14 04:37PM | 1 recs
RE: For those who don't know B'Tselem

I agree with and appreciate your informativeness concerning the Jewish left. But it seems to most that its voice is small relative to the power wielded by right wing Zionists, whose ethnocentricism seems to be controlling the day. Can anyone imagine the directions being taken by a government that enacts a law, which will make it crime to boycott Israeli universities, not just in Israel, but in places like Ariel which resides in a Palestinian territory?

My sympathies are with the Israeli left, but it has not had much of an effect in changing Israel's direction under Likud or Kadima, and if the leader of the vestigial Labor party, Barak, could actually resign because the party has become too dovish, one must assume that there is no left left in Israel at all. If Uri Avnery, after decades of advocating for peace, could never get more than a couple of thousand Israelis to join his organization, a Zionist one at that, in the best of times, how can one hope that a leftward voice will arise to lead the way, beyond maybe a few Haaretz writers who are probably not widely read.

We are all now just being taken on the Likud ride, and hoping for the best.

by MainStreet 2011-03-14 05:32PM | 0 recs
RE: For those who don't know B'Tselem

Yes.  Dark days indeed.  This was my point about the occupation's deadly effects on Israeli civil society.  Even ten years ago it would have been difficult to imagine loyalty oaths or efforts to shut down NGOs getting any real support.  Sometimes perspectives change material realities, and sometimes we need to change those material realities to change perspectives.  Racism flourished under Jim Crow.  The eroding of racism did not lead to the end of Jim Crow, the challenge and collapse of Jim Crow eroded racism.

But my pessimism at present is only tempered by the idea that what is happening now will ultimately prove economically and politically unsustainable.

by Strummerson 2011-03-14 06:48PM | 0 recs
RE: For those who don't know B'Tselem

And as we talk, the march toward Greater Israel continues as the possibilities for peace diminish ever further, and Apartheid becomes the denied reality, let's just call them cantons. The lesson taught by the Holocaust is simple: we don't give a damn what you think.

Politically, Israel only needs the US which it can control easily; while economically, there has been no real effect of BDS to date and I don't expect that much progress in the future.

 

by MainStreet 2011-03-14 09:02PM | 0 recs
RE: For those who don't know B'Tselem

 

So why are you disseminating a polemical attack on an organization that supports a two state solution from a "Zionist of the Greater Israel kind" as you label all supporters of a One State solution? And I agree things look bleak.  But the Greater Israel adherents are doomed.  They will never be able to force a population equal to their size (or greater) to accept political and economic disenfranchisement.  Apartheid proved temporary, this will prove so much quicker.  The only question is whether its dissolution here will prove as successful as it has in SA, not that it has been perfect there.  But it could be much more painful.  They can't win long term.  It's just not sustainable.

So why are you disseminating a polemical attack on an organization that supports a two state solution from a "Zionist of the Greater Israel kind" as you label all supporters of a One State solution?

And I agree things look bleak in the near term.  But the Greater Israel adherents are doomed.  They will never be able to force a population equal to their size (or greater) to accept political and economic disenfranchisement.  Apartheid proved temporary, this will prove so much quicker.  The only question is whether its dissolution here will prove as successful as it has in SA, not that it has been perfect there.  But it could be much more painful.  They can't win long term.  It's just not sustainable.

 

by Strummerson 2011-03-15 03:04PM | 0 recs
RE: One State = Greater Israel

Is there any doubt about that equation? The lesson of what promises the future might hold for two populations living equally within a state whatever its name is evident today in the plight of the Israeli Arabs living within Israel, or even take a look at the Israeli Bedouins and what they have suffered under "Israeli democracy"...err ethnocracy I mean.

Here's some more of what's to be expected:

B'Tselem 15 Mar -- On 2 March 2011, the Civil Administration demolished all the structures in the Palestinian village Khirbet Tana, in the Jordan Valley. This is the sixth time that the Civil Administration has demolished structures in the village since 2005, and the fourth in the last four months ... Khirbet Tana is the third Palestinian community in the Jordan Valley from which the Civil Administration has sought in recent years to expel the residents. In 2008, the Civil Administration planned to demolish most of the houses in al-Aqaba, a village in the northern Jordan Valley. Following a campaign by the residents and international organizations, the Civil Administration did not carry out the demolitions. In the summer of 2010, the Civil Administration demolished all the structures in al-Farsiyya, a village east of which the Shademot Mehola settlement had been built. Since then, the village has been rebuilt ... As part of the these efforts, Israel has declared 45 percent of the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea closed military areas intended for military [training], and prevents Palestinian access to them.

If that is not enough, the Israeli military government has pretty much cut off water supplies to Palestinian villages in the Jordan Valley making it impossible to subsist as Palestinian farming is now dead. Memories of Dayan: "make them miserable and they will leave on their own."

by MainStreet 2011-03-16 02:11PM | 0 recs
RE: One State = Greater Israel

Is there any doubt about that equation? The lesson of what promises the future might hold for two populations living equally within a state whatever its name is evident today in the plight of the Israeli Arabs living within Israel, or even take a look at the Israeli Bedouins and what they have suffered under "Israeli democracy"...err ethnocracy I mean.

Here's some more of what's to be expected:

B'Tselem 15 Mar -- On 2 March 2011, the Civil Administration demolished all the structures in the Palestinian village Khirbet Tana, in the Jordan Valley. This is the sixth time that the Civil Administration has demolished structures in the village since 2005, and the fourth in the last four months ... Khirbet Tana is the third Palestinian community in the Jordan Valley from which the Civil Administration has sought in recent years to expel the residents. In 2008, the Civil Administration planned to demolish most of the houses in al-Aqaba, a village in the northern Jordan Valley. Following a campaign by the residents and international organizations, the Civil Administration did not carry out the demolitions. In the summer of 2010, the Civil Administration demolished all the structures in al-Farsiyya, a village east of which the Shademot Mehola settlement had been built. Since then, the village has been rebuilt ... As part of the these efforts, Israel has declared 45 percent of the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea closed military areas intended for military [training], and prevents Palestinian access to them.

If that is not enough, the Israeli military government has pretty much cut off water supplies to Palestinian villages in the Jordan Valley making it impossible to subsist as Palestinian farming is now dead. Memories of Dayan: "make them miserable and they will leave on their own."

by MainStreet 2011-03-16 02:12PM | 0 recs
RE: One State = Greater Israel

 

"One State = Greater Israel Is there any doubt about that equation?" No only is there "doubt," it's a ludicrous formulation that suggests some of the most committed progressive voices, including many important Palestinian voices like Ali Abunimah are supporters of Greater Israel. It also means you are aiding the Greater Israel cause by disseminating a One Statist polemic against an organization that is committed to a Two State solution. Look, if 5-6 million Palestinians were fully enfranchised within the State, it would be impossible to shut off their water and maintain the chauvanistic elements of the state and still operate at all.  You still haven't answered my question.  It's a simple question.  If One State supporters are "Zionists of the Greater Israel Kind," why are you disseminating their propaganda?

"One State = Greater Israel Is there any doubt about that equation?"

Not only is there "doubt," it's a ludicrous formulation that suggests some of the most committed progressive voices, including many important Palestinian voices like Ali Abunimah are supporters of Greater Israel.

It also means you are aiding the Greater Israel cause by disseminating a One Statist polemic against an organization that is committed to a Two State solution.

Look, if 5-6 million Palestinians were fully enfranchised within the State, it would be impossible to shut off their water and maintain the chauvanistic elements of the state and still operate at all.  And clearly Dayan's strategy can't work.  The fact that some delusionals on the right believe it is simply evidence of their delusion. 

You still haven't answered my question.  It's a simple question.  If One State supporters are "Zionists of the Greater Israel Kind," why are you disseminating their propaganda?

 

by Strummerson 2011-03-16 05:38PM | 0 recs
RE: One State = Greater Israel

I didn't think I was disseminating that position. I merely reproduced Giraldi's view of J Street, whose positions appeared to mimic AIPAC's with one exception. That exception does not invalidate his argument.

But as you believe differently, that One State has life in the end game, you will, this time at least, not avoid questions about the fate of the non-returned, the five million Palestinians living in refugee camps guaranteed the right of return to their villages and towns in Israel way back in 1948 (UN Resolution 194). Got an answer as to how in this One State, these five million (and perhaps another two million plus Palestinians living as citizens of other countries who retain that same right) will fit in the mix? That would mean, in this truly democratic state, called Israel or perhaps some compound of Palestine and Israel, there might actually be equal numbers of Jewish and Palestinian people commingled in this One State.

Isn't that the demographic bomb Jewish Israelis always feared?

Old advise: if you want to understand the reality in Israel-Palestine, look at what is happening, and ignore words about what we would like to see happen. It never does. A One State which encompasses Palestinian enclaves and includes them into a Greater Israel is Apartheid. It would be better to begin thinking about that reality and how to deal with it. I put down BDS above, but maybe that was a premature view.

 

by MainStreet 2011-03-16 11:22PM | 0 recs
RE: One State = Greater Israel

1. That one exception is not the only one and it is so major it does indeed undermine the entire argument and reveals it as a partisan political attack, not analysis.

2. Is Giraldi, a One Stater, what you call a "Zionist of the Greater Israel Kind?"

3. You  are welcome to keep your "old advice."  Your condescension doesn't make your flawed and simplistic analyses any more convincing.  You cite the "demographic time bomb" fear.  Everyone in Israel admits on some level that things are getting less and less sustainable.  But they are paralyzed by paranoia, ideology, and some reasonable fears that  those who have suffered will demand satisfaction through violence.

4. In a State of all its citizens, those refugees would have enormous representation and political power to address all of these issues.  This is why Zionists reject it as their nightmare scenario.  It would be the end of the Jewish State, the end of political Zionism.  That's why many of the people you admire support it.  

5. I've explained this to you many times.  I have no doubt that you are capable of comprehending this.  But you can't because the architecture of your ideological universe cannot assimilate it without some rearranging.  So you keep equating two opposite scenarios.  It's really like calling Obama a Marxist Jihadi Corporate NAZI shill, as if those things are the same.  It's as if the demise of Apartheid, the extension of citizenship and enfranchisment and the removal of formal racial barriers has led to...Apartheid.  Absurd.  It's an absurdity that reveals ideological over-determination.

6.  This has been a bit nostaligic.  But I'm no longer interested in debating you.  It's like debating a tape recorder on a loop.  So this is my last offering.  Feel free to attack me as you always end up doing, and continue to do so in my absence (I lurk in this graveyard of a blog from time to time).  Not only will I not bother to refute your inevitable ad hominems.  I won't bother to read them.

by Strummerson 2011-03-17 12:32AM | 0 recs
RE: One State = Greater Israel

Let me complete the loop once more then: One State=Greater Israel=Apartheid.

Have a good day.

 

by MainStreet 2011-03-17 09:23AM | 0 recs

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