US-Israel Ties at a Crossroads

Cracks are forming in the old U.S. political paradigm of support for Israel whatever it does. Israeli leaders may compare mowing down each new generation of Palestinian militants to a chore like trimming the grass, but the moral depravity and diplomatic damage are growing too severe, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

The recently suspended round of organized violence in the Gaza Strip has a depressing familiarity, being similar to other rounds between Israelis and Palestinians. The physical harm inflicted has been as usual enormously disproportionate, with the Palestinian-to-Israeli death ratio being 27-to-one (admittedly, that’s down from about 100-to-one during Operation Cast Lead four years ago).

There is the same callous disregard for civilian lives and livelihoods. The firing of notoriously inaccurate rockets into Israel is almost by definition an intention to harm civilians. The larger and much more accurate Israeli violence being perpetrated in the other direction is adorned with claims of wanting to minimize civilian casualties.

The rubble to which civilian offices and private homes alike in the Gaza Strip have been reduced makes such claims a cruel joke. Much of the targeting of civilian structures came in a final spasm of Israeli operations in the last 24 hours before the cease-fire went into effect.

Also familiar is the U.S. posture toward all of this: acting as almost a cheering section for the Israeli operations, while offering little more than the barest acknowledgment of the suffering that Palestinians were enduring.

Finally, there is the same lack of any prospect that the latest round of violence makes still more rounds any less likely. To the contrary, this latest round makes the hatreds and antagonisms on both sides as intense as ever, setting the stage for still more Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

There will be plenty of potential triggers for more large-scale violence to break out at any time. An incident Friday along the Gaza border, in which Israeli forces evidently shot to death a young Palestinian man, provided an early test of the new cease-fire. Additional tests will likely come from the actions of radical Palestinian groups Hamas is unable to control. No reasonable outside observer would say that this latest round of Arab-Israeli warfare has accomplished anything worthwhile.

It is customary after each such round to categorize the players as winners or losers, and some such scoring is fairly easy to do with this round. Egypt and its president, Mohamed Morsi, are winners for being able to get away from their own internal problems long enough to win compliments for mediating the cease-fire. Morsi, however, may be overplaying his hand by choosing this moment of international acclaim to make a controversial grab of more power for his own office.

At a political level Hamas may be on balance a winner. This is largely for the general reason that when the weak confronts the strong — in this case, Hamas’s David against Israel’s Goliath — anything that is not capitulation or collapse and that can be portrayed as standing one’s ground tends to be seen as a win for the weak.

It does not appear that the latest suffering of Gazans is being translated into a movement among them to blame Hamas. Hamas’s political and diplomatic position has been bolstered by recognition and visits from a parade of foreign leaders before and during the fighting.

In an even narrower and very short-term political sense, one might say that Benjamin Netanyahu is a winner — if one accepts speculation that part of his reason for launching the war at this time was to shape the Israeli public mood in a direction favorable for him and his Likud party when Israeli voters go to the polls in January. But there is currently no strong prime ministerial alternative to Netanyahu anyway, and any election advantage he bought with the war is probably marginal.

The losers are much more numerous. Foremost among them are the residents of the Gaza Strip. They have suffered not only 162 dead and hundreds wounded at the hands of the Israeli military, but also the destruction of much infrastructure that had only recently been rebuilt with difficulty following the devastation of Cast Lead.

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is a loser, mostly for slipping further into perceived irrelevance. He has lost further ground to Hamas as an essential player in dealing with Israel. He was already vulnerable to such a result because of how his treatment by Israel has caused him to lose credibility among many Palestinians.

Israel and ordinary Israelis are losers. This was not so much because of any physical damage (and the impressively performing Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system has to be considered a winner), but rather because of Israel becoming ever more deeply entrenched as a target of international isolation and condemnation. The Gaza operation also has caused Israel to sink more deeply into a mire of moral coarseness.

For related reasons, the United States also is a loser. The automatic, unthinking condoning of Israeli actions and apparent insensitivity to Palestinian suffering has provided another occasion and another reason for a substantial slice of the world’s population to resent, hate and withhold cooperation from the United States.

We are all quite familiar with the political mechanisms in Washington that have long kept the United States from acting in its own best interests on matters involving Israel and its conflict with Arabs, and from using the leverage it could apply to this subject. For American political leaders the safest course is not to stray from what has become a firmly established, politically correct path.

And perhaps we should not be surprised that even a newly re-elected Barack Obama is showing no early signs of straying from that path. Politically in Washington, everything is related to everything else, and one can always come up with excuses for not stirring up a political hornet’s nest on any one issue because one has to focus on solving some other problem such as the budget and the deficit.

But excuses are not enough. And the most recent Gaza war is a salient enough event to be the sort of break point where one could start charting a different path. We need to find ways to make lemonade out of this latest lethal Middle Eastern lemon.

What those concerned about the current course need to do is to point out how — given where U.S. interests as well as justice and logic lie — it should not be nearly as politically hazardous as the conventional wisdom supposes to diverge from that course.

An opportunity to start diverging will come very soon, if Abbas’s Palestinian Authority moves ahead with its idea of seeking some kind of enhanced status in the United Nations system. The absurdity of denouncing as “unilateral” the reference of any matter to the most multilateral forum on earth ought to be self-evident.

It also should be clear that any elevation of the Palestinian Authority’s status in any U.N. bodies does absolutely nothing to preclude or impede the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that are necessary to resolve the conflict at hand.

If the United States has any hope of salvaging the P.A. as the “good” Palestinian organization — in the face of its loss of credibility as Israel continues to erect settlements in Abbas’s face, and now with the latest demonstration of the P.A.’s irrelevance on Gaza — Abbas needs the tidbit of some symbolic status at the U.N. Perhaps the United States has stuck to the Israeli line too long and too openly on this issue to expect the administration to do an about-face in the next week. But at least it could quietly reduce its opposition to Abbas’s move.

So far it has been carrying the Israelis’ water on the issue so vigorously that it has gotten other governments, notably the British, to do so as well. The British are opposing the P.A. initiative because the United States opposes it, and the United States opposes it because the Israeli government opposes it. The Israeli government opposes it because the issue provides another way of arguing that the absence of peace negotiations is the Palestinians’ fault, and because Israel would experience still more multilateral condemnation and pressure if the P.A. had standing to bring issues related to its conflict with Israel before additional multilateral bodies.

The latest episode involving the Gaza Strip is also a good occasion and good reason for the United States to abandon its self-crippling refusal to have any dealings with Hamas. Sending Hillary Clinton to the region was a waste of jet fuel, because by refusing to communicate with one party to the conflict at hand, the United States could not do what Egypt was able to do.

The U.S. position reflects another self-contradictory Israeli position. The Israelis have complained in the past about not having a united and viable negotiating partner on the Palestinian side, but they scream every time Abbas has moved to repair the split between Fatah and Hamas. In any event, Hamas is a Palestinian player that, as the events of the last week demonstrate, matters and is here to stay.

All of that is still more a matter of tactics than of strategy. For the United States to be strategic means, among other things, confronting directly a strain of thinking in Israel that Netanyahu represents but is by no means limited to him, and that one can hear in some of the discourse in Israel in response to the clash in Gaza.

According to this thinking, Israel was not a loser at all because of international condemnation and isolation, because the condemnation and isolation are an unavoidable part of being Israel — a sort of cost of doing business. Israelis, by this view, have to live with the prospect of being in perpetuity a militarized state in conflict with its neighbors, periodically coming to blows with them. Israel, by this view, can sustain such an existence indefinitely because it is so much stronger than the neighbors, especially the hapless Palestinians.

Major aspects of this view reflect the thinking of the old-line, hard-line Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who is often considered the ideological father of Likud and whom Netanyahu’s own father served as a private secretary. Jabotinsky essentially argued that Palestinian Arabs were predisposed to oppose the Zionist project altogether, and that the project could succeed only through implementation of an “iron wall” of force to keep the Arabs in check.

The hard-liners of today actually go a step farther in reliance on force than did Jabotinsky, who said that eventually, once the Palestinian Arabs had been confronted long enough with sufficient force to lose hope, agreements could be reached with them. (He was not clear what shape any such agreements would take, and he had a territorially expansive view of what land the future Israel should embrace.)

Today the prevailing metaphor in Israel is not so much a wall (notwithstanding the literal wall Israel has built in the West Bank) as it is lawns to be mowed. The periodic use of force, such as we just saw in Gaza, is likened to mowing the lawn. Sure, grass grows back, but Israel will just mow it again later. The process can continue forever — no agreements necessary.

This is not a view the United States can reason with. It is a view that represents fundamentally different values and priorities from those of the United States. The United States should present its policy, publicly as well as privately, toward this conflict in terms of a choice that parties to the conflict can make.

To anyone who genuinely seeks to resolve the conflict through compromise and agreement, the United States should promise to be a very active partner. And then act on that promise.

To anyone who instead envisions, and behaves as if he envisions, unending conflict, the U.S. response will be to distance itself from such behavior. That will be the necessary response not only because of what unending conflict means for the parties to the conflict but also because of the harm it can mean to the United States, and specifically the harm that comes from being closely associated with a forceful, no-agreement, indefinite lawn-mowing approach. And then, just as important, act as necessary on that promise.

Washington can and should phrase such a policy in an entirely neutral, even-handed way. Netanyahu and his ilk have counterparts on the Palestinian side, although they are fewer because perpetuation of the status quo is so much more miserable for Palestinians than it is for Israelis. But Israeli citizens are smart enough to understand the message.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as a blog post  at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

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54 comments on “US-Israel Ties at a Crossroads

  1. incontinent reader on said:

    Prof Pillar, you have given us a marvelous analysis that addresses the motivation, core interests, strategy and tactics of the parties. Now, if one could have confidence that the U.S. will change course and move in a more sensible direction, that would be encouraging.

  2. The change will come from Israeli public who just got taste of their government’s terrorism against 1.7 Gazans living inside Israel’s created open concentration camp. Thanks to Iranian Fajr-5 rockets and deadly anti-tank Kornet missile – Islamic Jihad turned the table on the Jewish army. Israeli Ha’aretz reported that Israeli defense minister Gen. Ehud Barak told Netanyahu to stop fighting before the Jewish army is totally demoralized.

    It’s a US-Israel war against Gaza to test Iranian influence in the region before embarking a war on Syria or Hizballah.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/22/israel-mission-accomplished-really/

    • Mad Angel on FB on said:

      to ‘Remat’

      I believe you are correct….not only due to added pressure from the Arab league, but Israeli citizens as well. I have a FB friend who’s in Israel whom I chat with often, and Netanyahu is NOT popular there……could be that’s part of the reason Barak resigned after the truce….

      Not only that but the IDF is already either completely amoral or demoralized bu what they do and see…

      I recommend reading ‘Our Harsh Logic’, testmonials from Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, a compilation by BREAKING THE SILENCE
      It’s available for kindle, now.

  3. I wish our president would learn a bit about the suffering of the Palestinians and stop being afraid of the Israelis and AIPAC. It is embarrassing to hear him saying that Israel has the right to defend itself, not the Palestinians who live under such a criminal occupation by the real terrorists (the israelis).

  4. elmerfudzie on said:

    Initially, the Israeli reaction to terrorist suicides and explosions in the public square was to circle the wagons. In general, this reaction met with international approval. Heads were literally rolling across cafe table tops and ugly broadcasts showing glass shards in children s faces it was so horrible and of course, received only the best news coverage and ideal broadcast times. In the past, that strong visual impression of a victimized and defenseless Jewry still occupied the American consciousness. For twenty years, main stream media has dragged all of us through stories of endless Israeli checkpoints, long lines, failed access during medical emergencies, meandering, high concrete walls to protect new settlements. All too reminiscent of the East-West German border or the Warsaw ghetto. Initially the security precautions staved off some terrorist actions but today these precautions fail to address a powerful undertow of systematic and show a lack of honest, political concession by Israeli government. This policy has spawned many attacks on soft targets in and outside its borders. We have witnessed endless streams of crude, homemade rockets fired into residential areas and suicide bombers killing many at popular tourist destinations. If conditions get worse for the Palestinians, the world may have to brace itself for the rise of yet another set of malcontents similar to the Baader-Meinhof Gang, IRA, Chechen and Basque rebels. UN resolutions fail to address a real long standing weakness in international affairs. For example, creating a new INTERPOL that can investigate and prosecute professional instigators and gun runners. Those specifically hired by Mossad, CIA, MI6, French DGSE and especially corporate soldiers of fortune such as Xe or is it, Academi now. The obvious bears repeating. There are great fortunes and political gains found in the black art of constant agitation and instigation. To paraphrase a line from a James Bond movie, Never Say Never Again the evil No. 1 said; In the middle east, we’ve invested heavily selling weapons to rebels and governments alike. In matters of death SPECTER is strictly impartial, how very apropos! If those gas and oil wells ever ran dry in the middle east, these same masters of war would be agitating and selling to both sides somewhere s else trying to reinstall a Rhodesia or a South Africa. This is alchemy indeed folks but its not lead into gold, its blood into gold. How many times to we have to think it, how many times do we have to say it!

    • Mad Angel on FB on said:

      Israel created terrorism…starting with the bomb attacks on British – their benefactors – starting with the King David building.

  5. The crocodile tears for the poor palestinians make me sick. Why can’t you consortinazis admit that shooting rockets to kill citizens of a sovereign nation is going to elicit a tough and direct response. The double standard of Jews not being able to defend themselves is a crock of shit. When you are surrounded by almost 200 million sworn to your destruction, it’s amazing that Israel has shown much restraint over the decades in spite of the lies perpetrated by this site and its pro arab bias. Never a critique of the oil paradises in the sand and their human rights abuses, medieval executions, theocratic autocracies, and support of terrorists.

    • elmerfudzie on said:

      Borat, are you intentionally being abrasive? Mind you, I enjoy hot headed passionate remarks, bigoted or not. These types of commentary show the raw in us, if you will, expressing the innermost feelings of organized groups or individuals. But consider this, some of us are very sensitive to Palestinian suffering and know full well that crude fertilizer rockets are being aimed at homes that were once in Arab hands. So lay back, try a cigar, put up your feet and have a stiff gin. It’s time to mull over everything, eh?

      • elmerfudzie, your naivete shows. Israel left Gaza 8 years ago. iran and hezbollah have been supplying Gazans w/weaponry that they’ve been shooting into Israel w/the aim of killing its people. Why don’t you see that instead of food, medicine, the medievalists aim is to destroy Israel period? Hamas purposely stores rockets/weapons in civilian areas, so they can “blame” Israel for attacking and of course killing people. palestinian suffering is mostly exacerbated by their “leadership”. BTHW, I do not have a discourse w/antisemites. I choose to reduce their blather to the excremental level. I don’t smoke, however a nice beaujolais is a good thing.

        • platothelapdog on said:

          Borat… Iran gives weapons to gaza? So what. America gives weapons to the Israelis. You said “I do not have a discourse w/antisemites”. So you say anyone who disagrees or feels for the people in Gaza are antisemitic? Racists you would call them correct? What is more racist then taking over and declaring an area of land strictly for one racial and religious group, and here I discuss the state of Israel. A country for Jews only, because it is there “beleif” that the land has been given to them by God. My country welcomes all people (Canada) of all types and creeds and I cannot fathom the need for the people of Israel to not allow free reign for all people Arab and Jew alike to live in freedom and peace together. Alas, the Zionist would never have this. Do you not think that Jewish suffering is mostly exacerbated by their “leadership”, who kowtow to the Zionists, and hold fast the Jewish only state? I accept the need to defend themselves when rockets from another group of people kill their people, so the Israelis firing back is just and good. I expect the same in the “Yes it was good, and they should defend themselves” answer as well then when Americans are killed or bombed or otherwise harmed by Pakistanis for the [numerous drone strikes done to them](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obama_Administration) . Atfer all whats fair is fair. In fact if you look at it from that vantage point, defending yourself from attackers… why you can even defend the 9/11 attacks done on America by terrorists as just a response to pat crimes in the Mid East.

          • Israel was created for the survivors of the Holocaust that claimed 6 million Jews when no one gave two shits. The Arabs have never accepted Israel and your bullshit “Zionist” cliches don’t cut it. The “palestinians” could have been absorbed by any of the Arab countries who tried to eradicate Israel after its founding. Instead they purposely allowed them to literally wither on the vine as a political tool. Jews who lived for thousands of years in Arab countries were forced to leave and were absorbed by the new state. When your so called govt. “Hamas” states that it is their goal to eradicate Israel, there is no negotiation w/a terrorist group. It’s a fucking joke to blame the Israelis for the thousands of rockets fired by palestinians armed by iran and hezbollah. The old antisemitic line of Jews not being able to defend themselves is pure bullshit, and I’m sorry that racist crap just doesn’t cut it. hamas has always put weapons in the middle of dense civilian areas, and tries to use this as a propaganda ploy. Maybe if the medievalists recognized that Israel is here to stay, renounced terrorism, there could possibly be some reason to negotiate. Would the US or Canada tolerate a neigboring state lobbing rockets and encouraging its destruction? I seriously doubt it. How dare you compare 9/11 to the arab bastards from Saudi Arabia who killed 3000 people including Muslim Americans!

      • Mad Angel on FB on said:

        they need a ‘like’ option on CN ;)

  6. Gusseppe on said:

    Borat- blah, blah, blah. Dumb kike.

  7. The intellectual ill discipline of liberals, and their lack of rigor in reporting events, has been gamed by the jingoes ever since the American progressivism/exceptionalism/manifest destiny narrative factory came into being.

    Discipline in the analysis of contemporary foreign affairs is only maintained when the analysis concentrates on interests. American foreign affairs interests arise from a narrative framework that requires hypocrisy and contradiction at the frontier.

    America will drop the zionists, internally and externally, when it suits her. Over time there is nothing surer than that this will occur and that the continuously profileration of cries that “we will have our revenge” bred by zionism and exceptionalism will run there course. The zionists will certainly be given up by the social Darwinist American blue blood elite when blow back reaches a crescendo. The greater problem though, of being unable to hold ground taken by means of hard or soft wars, by occupation or COIN or sustainable client regime, will finally end the American dollar hegemony empire.

    One example of following rational interests and holding them as a candle to the subterfuge efforts of the neo-liberal narrative factory can be found in the subject of Rupert Murdoch’s tweets.

    After acknowledging their genuineness, here is how the liberal press engage Murdoch’s tweets.

    http://gawker.com/5872605/the-five-worst-tweets-from-rupert-murdochs-boring-new-twitter-account

    Nothing about their usefulness, rather it is a general blue team on red team swipe about their inane nature. The fact is however that each tweet is about Rupert’s interests and at the frontier they are usually revealing. The revelations can come by way of his interests in Saad Mohensi whose organisation and Rupert’s personal interests coalesce with manifest destiny the form of Kilcullen-Petreaus styled COIN in Afghanistan. The fact that Rupert is a mug believer in COIN, the utility of client state regimes, and the rational optimistic future of the western neo-liberal hegemony is beside the point. The declaration of interest is naked and valuable.

    When Rupert Murdoch tweets on Egypt are examined one must first take note of his profligacy on all Egyptian matters. His interest in Rotana in 2010 was informed destiny:

    http://www.allvoices.com/news/5416296-suspicion-over-murdochs-panarab-foray-in-egypt

    So when Rupert tweets about the latest Israeli-Gaza conflict “Can’t Obama stop his friends in Egypt shelling Israel?”, the universal cry among neo-liberals was

    And to prove that the degenerate neo-religious conservatives and neoliberalism are a coalition of shepherded US exceptionalism interests we have the same bad analysis that “A. US influence is limited in Egypt, given the hostility of a large swathe of President Morsi’s constituency to the US and its strong military support for Israel; And, B. (And this is the important bit.) Egypt is not firing anything at Israel.” expressed here:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2012/1118/Rupert-Murdoch-s-Jewish-problem.-And-his-Egyptian-one

    And when one reads reports like this one below, and of the Morsi-judiciary conflict, there is no context from which to read it in the neo-liberal press and commentary except from that tweet of Murdoch’s.

    http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/netanyahu-agreed-to-ceasefire-after-obama-promised-us-troops-in-sinai-next-week/

    The above reports of coarse cannot be read in any other way than they are there for purpose and interests. US pulled up and educated Morsi from long term CIA interest allies the MB has his own and US interests in play, as do the Egyptian nationalists.

  8. On November 23, Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, had warned the Palestinians and their foreign supporters about the US-Israeli plan in motion to demilitarize Islamic resistance groups by creating an Egyptian-lead Sunni block (Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Fatah, Jordan and the Gulf sheikhdoms) against Iran-led Shia block (Islamic Revolution, Hizballah, Syria and Iraq on the margins).

    “Hamas will have to choose between Iran and Egypt. If Iran could offer missiles and money, Egypt will offer immunity from Israeli attack, sovereignty over Gaza, and an open door to the world,” wrote Ibrahim al-Amin. Read full article here.

    If Sunni-majority Hamas chose to join Egyptian block, it had to come hard on other resistance groups like pro-Iran Islamic Jihad and pro-Assad Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and even Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigade. This will open the door to a civil war which would be Israel’s biggest dream come true.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/25/hamas-resistance-committed-to-rearming-itself/

  9. If the following were to eventuate, alongside the mid east denuclearisation compact, it would change little other than the color of the doormat. The intolerant western liberal hegemony is intellectually and financially broke.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/24/274332/aipac-decapitators-inside-us-govt/

  10. ” (and the impressively performing Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system has to be considered a winner)”

    If you consider the number of interceptions of incoming rockets, the cost, and the needed re-supply of Iron Dome and Patriot 2 and 3 re-loads, how on earth can you say it was a winner?

    It was an unmitigated disaster. It casts doubt on all your other statements. What are you reading?

  11. Can someone give me a better solution than what Israel did, that would have had better appeal to Israeli voters and also fit your double standard on morals. (ok for Hamas to attack but not Israel)

    Don’t give me a death ratio, having more Israelis die just because it would look better is a poor solution. Don’t tell me about what Israel has done in the past, I want to hear a better solution not a history lesson.

    To me from reading mostly biased reddit comments the feeling I get is Israel is the bigger brother and Gaza is the little brother, Gaza fucks with Israel and Israel is expected to be nice and respond kindly because they are stronger and bigger. I absolutely hate this mentality, because I was the older brother growing up constantly expected to tolerate my brother no matter how much he fucked with me solely because I was older and bigger.

    The entire point of Israel’s attacks were to stop fighting, they wanted the rockets to stop, they wanted a cease fire. What was the rockets from Gaza and the Hamas for? To kill people, that’s it, they just want to kill Israelis. I know they don’t actually think firing these rockets is actually going to get their land back. Think about it, in terms of a week ago, if Israel stopped all aggression they would almost certainly still be attacked. If the Hamas stops all aggression, Israel would most certainly not attack. Please explain how supporting the path that would most likely lead to peace is the wrong path.

    • Amen Eric. Another voice of sanity on this virulent antisemitic site.

    • Long Live Iran & Palestine on said:

      Yes the better option would have been 1) not to have provoked Hamas. 2) Go to 1967 border and live happily ever after.

      • Long Live Iran & Palestine on said:

        No peace for Palestine, no peace for Israel. 1967 border line is where peace is.

    • Roger Thomas on said:

      You do not seem to be able to grasp the simple fact that the terrorist Zionazis have misappropriated most of the land belonging to Palestinians and continue to steal more or, perhaps, you believe that it is acceptable. If the latter, presumably you would accept a similar dispossession of your own property or would you? We had the idiot Borat saying that the Palestinians should have moved out of Palestine – why the hell should they? Time and again, the Zionists have reneged on agreements designed to lead to a peaceful resolution. They even rejected the Aran League peace plan offering recognition, full security and diplomatic relations if the terrorist Zionists accepted the 1967 borders for a Palestinian state.

      They do not want peace – their evil design is to have an apartheid, Jews only Greater Israel.

      The only option for the Arab countries is to build up enormous stocks of effective missiles in preparation for a massive blitzkrieg of Zionist facilities, destroying first the fuel dumps and airfields before striking at the towns and cities. Only then will these evil bastards think about peace and justice for the oppressed Palestinians.

      We will then see the danger of allowing a criminal bunch of landgrabbers to have a nuclear arsenal and the reason for Iran to develop its own deterrent.

  12. “The entire point of Israel’s attacks were to stop fighting, they wanted the rockets to stop, they wanted a cease fire. What was the rockets from Gaza and the Hamas for? To kill people, that’s it, they just want to kill Israelis.”

    You’re viewing the situation from the perspective of consequences instead of root cause. Rocket attacks would have never started if the Israelis hadn’t totally closed up Gaza like a prison in the summer of 2005 after their withdrawal, and if they hadn’t laid total economic and humanitarian siege in January 2006 all because the Palestinians voted against Fatah. The press is not doing its job in reporting all the facts, but only seems to report Israel’s side of the story.

    In the meantime, the notion that Hamas has vowed for the total destruction of Israel as its said in their charter is nothing compared to the fact that holding a cease-fire with the Israelis means a de facto recognition of Israel which is here to stay, and which has to respect its end of the bargain that Palestinians should have a state of their own.

    • I bet Britain’s Chief Rabbi Lord Sack doesn’t agree with you. He spilled out the Zionist beans on BBC during the Israeli airstrikes. He said Netanyahu’s war on Gaza was to suck Iran into the conflict. If it had materialized, the 52 Jewish lobby groups would have forced Obama to order US Air Force to join Israeli attack on Iran.

      Pity, the miracle did not materialized.

      http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/22/israel-mission-accomplished-really/

      • No Rhemat, Netanyahu’s strike on Gaza was strictly for electoral purposes in Israel, and that didn’t even work.

        The idea that Iran was going to be gullible enough to join into the conflict is ludicrous because it does not have open operational ties with Hamas nor does it give direct orders to Hezbollah. Those two elements are limited to their own interests in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories just like Tehran gives limited support because it knows that if it did have open military ties with those organisations, those would be the reason for joint military strikes by Tel Aviv, Washington and London, and the consequences would be disastrous.

        So far they can only accuse Iran of being behind all of this, but no proof to back it up – just like its nuclear program only designed to build bombs.

  13. McGillicutty on said:

    Well, it’s good to learn that I do have a purpose in life, after all.

    Israel’s Top Rabbi: Gentiles exist only to serve Jews

    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=191782

    • frederick on said:

      According to Yosef, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.
      What an arrogant stupid people.

  14. Israeli lobby groups and lawmakers in the United States are affraid that Barack Obama in his second term may decide to hold direct talk with Iranian leaders to end country’s 34-year-old confrontation with the Islamic Republic. Obama has been advised by some of his top military generals, security and economic advisers that Israel has become a “liability” for American interests in the Middle East and South America. These individuals include former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and US-NATO commander in Afghanistan Gen. John R. Allen. In early October 2012, even the Israel-Firster Vice-president Joe Biden had irked Netanyahu by saying in public that both American and Israeli intelligence agencies agree that Iran is far removed from being able to produce nuclear weapons.

    On November 25, Jerusalem-based American journalist and author, Patrick Cockburn, wrote in London daily The Independent that the Zionist regime must face the reality that “despite the sabre-rattling,” an attack on Iran is now unlikely”. He said that Israel lacks military capability to defeat Iran without the active participation of US airforce. “But this is unlikely to happen because the one thing American voters do not want is another war in the Middle East“.

    Let us keep our fingers crossed for Dr. Franklin Lamb’s August 2012 article at Al-Manar TV website, entitled ‘ America planning for a post-Israel Middle East?‘.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/26/israel-sabotages-washington-tehran-direct-talks/

  15. Long Live Iran & Palestine on said:

    IDF are a bunch of cowards. Their specialty is killing women and children.

    • sounds more like hamas who stores military weapons amongst civilians, uses women and children as homicide bombers, executes children, oppresses women, sworn to destroy Israel, hmm, I may have left out more cowardly specialties.

  16. Borat, Gaza is the most densely populated place in the world, where do you put freedom fighters in a place like that. Your long historical piece on another item (I don’t agre with it all, but it and you miss the main point. The term Palestine is used for regional purposes, not a country. Sure there were Jews there, but so were many others, non Jews. Egypt which had great trading interests in the area never mentions a powerful Jewish nation there, but so what. And because palestinians had been under Ottoman control and then British control is no reason to dismiss them as not a viable community of Muslims and some Jews and Christians together. The Few Jews who had remained in Poalestine didn’t want the trouble making Zionists coming and spopiling everything. So what do you think of Sabra and Shatila? What of West Bank settlers using KKK (burning crops, home invasions, and shootings) like tactics to scare off Palestinians? What are you going to do about them. Give them a kiss!

  17. All the while the tribe “chirps” about self defense, right to defend, they hate us, we’ve done nothing wrong, we’re oppressed….blah, blah, blah

    Bolshevik revolution Kuhn/Loeb “seed” money 20,000,000 FED RES dollars
    66,000,000 Russians murdered

    Ukraine….Same time period, “Holodomor” Bolsheviks starved 7,000,000 to death

    Morganthau orders bombing of non-military Dresden….estimates as high as 700,000 fried in less than three days

    Eisenhower, called by his class “the Terrible Swedish Jew” murdered more Germans after the war than were murdered during it.

    USS Liberty – King David Hotel, Beirut marine barracks, Lavon Affair, 9/11, 5 dancing shlomos..

    http://guardian.150m.com/palestine/jewish-terrorism.htm

    Yeah, I can see how those pesky “Goyim” can mistake your intentions…

  18. Rich Beckmann on said:

    Borat, I have called you a bigoted, racist, small-minded little turd before. Now I have to add war-mongering, history distorting, and xenophobic shit-talking to your resume. Shalom, you hateful Zionist fuckhead.

    • frederick on said:

      Can’t help himself, being Jewish to the core. Defending his right to be, stepping on everyone in the process.

  19. beckmannshit’s acne medicine has seemed to cause antisemitic delusional outbursts. He needs some training at a hamas school.

  20. Skeptic on said:

    This is forum for comments on a serious subject involving the lives of individuals and of peoples. As such, more civility and thoughtfulness would be in order.Lets see more respect.

  21. Otto Schiff on said:

    When you live in a glass house, you should not throw stones.
    The US has started numerous wars against weaker neighbors since
    WW2. Our credibility as peacemakers is about the same as that of Netanyahoo.
    Where is the UN in all this?

  22. elmerfudzie on said:

    Skeptic, in an ideal world, you are correct. In any case, Consortium News was not created for the Houghton’s Harvard Review set. Speaking for myself, I graduated from, what once was, a small elite college and now enjoy opening the windows wide to hear the foul rantings and malodours emanating from the street-credible types below. Allow me to quote a man I detested as much as I do Bush Jr..Quote: “America today is drifting toward Plato’s classic definition of a degenerating democracy…a democracy that permits the voice of the mob to dominate the affairs of government”. Spiral T. Agony alias Spiro T. Agnew. And I say YES, more of it! and roll in your grave Spiral and I do hope it causes you endless Agony!

  23. ‘Palestine’ Does Not Qualify as a ‘State’
    by Rick Richman, Commentary Magazine

    Back in 2005, after Israel removed every soldier and settler from Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that “from this day forward, there will be no security turmoil and weapons chaos and abductions, which are not characteristic of our culture.” He proved a poor prognosticator regarding Palestinian culture: given the chance to live “side by side in peace and security” with Israel, the Palestinians demonstrated they could not do so even with themselves.

    Abbas was expelled from Gaza in 2007; there have been no parliamentary or presidential elections since 2006; no functioning Palestinian legislature exists; Abbas is entering the 95th month of his 48-month term; he cannot set foot in half of his purported state (in the words of Israel’s UN ambassador, he cannot even see it with binoculars); he has refused to negotiate with Israel for more than four years; he demands recognition of a Palestinian state while refusing to recognize a Jewish one; and he now seeks admission to the UN as a non-member state even though “Palestine” meets none of the four requirements under international law for a state.

    Under the Montevideo Convention (1933), a state “should possess the following qualifications”: (1) a defined territory; (2) a government; (3) capacity to enter into relations with the other states; and (4) a permanent population.

    “Palestine” lacks a “defined territory.” A “defined territory” cannot include an area whose status and borders can only be defined, under longstanding international agreements, by negotiations. To have a defined territory, “Palestine” has to negotiate it with Israel; until then, its self-definition of territory is not a “defined territory” under the law; it is simply a negotiating position.

    “Palestine” lacks a “government.” It is ruled half by a terrorist group and half by an unelected administrative entity. Its last election occurred nearly seven years ago, and it has no capacity (much less inclination) to hold a new one. The government of each half considers the government of the other half illegitimate, and both are correct: one regime took power by a coup, and the other remains in power four years after its term expired. There is no legal governing body in either half of the purported state, much less one that governs both.

    “Palestine” lacks the “capacity to enter into relations with the other states. Abbas has no capacity to bind the rulers of Gaza, nor even to implement his own commitments in the area in which he can at least set foot. While in office, he failed to implement his prior obligations, including Phase I of the Roadmap (which mandated the dismantling of Hamas and other terrorist groups), and he is currently an unelected official, unrecognized by half his putative state, with no capacity to bind “Palestine” to anything.

    “Palestine” lacks a “permanent population.” Most of the population considers themselves not putative citizens of a new state but perennial “refugees” — an inherited status under the unique definition applicable to Palestinians — who reject any suggestion they should form the permanent population of a new state. They consider themselves instead to be temporary residents (and UNRWA, the UN agency devoted to caring for them, is legally a “temporary” UN body) who seek to “return” to a different state, not to be permanent residents where they currently live.

    When you refuse to negotiate a defined territory (and demand instead that it be conceded before you deign to “negotiate”); when you lack a government that controls your purported territory (and instead have multiple regimes each lacking legitimacy); when you lack the capacity to enter into relations with other states (and ignore the agreements you already signed); and when you have residents who reject permanent residence and assert instead a “right” to “return” to another state, you meet none of the requirements for a state.

    The irony is that between 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians received three formal offers of a state, and rejected them all — the modern equivalent of the Three Nos. Now one group of Palestinians seeks UN recognition as a “non-member state,” when they fail to qualify as a state at all, and they ignore the fact they could already have been a member-state three times over (or more), had they simply said yes. As Stephen J. Rosen noted last year, they have:

    two incompatible presidents, two rival prime ministers, a constitution whose most central provisions are violated by both sides, no functioning legislature, no ability to hold elections, a population mostly not under its control, borders that would annex territory under the control of other powers, and no clear path to resolve any of these conflicts.

    Once again, “Palestine” is all set to be a failed state, no more ready for statehood than it was a year ago. Article 10 of the Montevideo Convention provides that the “primary interests of states is the conservation of peace.” The Palestinian gambit at the UN is not intended to produce peace, but to provide a platform for law-fare. It will do nothing to bring the Palestinians closer to the state they could have had long ago, if a state were really what they wanted, and it will in fact put peace further away.

    • elmerfudzie on said:

      Dog gonnit Borat! get yourself a plane ticket to Aruba. Get drunk for a week. Grab an Island girl, find your big head coming around to real thirst. Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. A desert Isle should straighten you out. It’s exactly how the Palestinians feel…water, water everywhere, Golan Heights, rain clouds but not a drop to drink. I’ve enjoyed canned grapefruit from Israel and wondered why its so delicious. Stolen bread is sweet, as sweet as that canned grapefruit. And please change your internet name, Borat. It reminds me of borate or Boric acid, a harmless white powder great against the cockroach. Am I wild or was that an intentional choice?

  24. Hey, Bore…..wrap your mind around this, then regale us with more of your wisdom ending w/ “shit”. Otto, feel free to chime right in.

    http://www.roitov.com/articles/kingdom.htm

    http://eastmanclann.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/20110812-daniel_krynicki-lord_mayor_jewish_story.pdf

    These “interviews”, (those he culled from the total that were”usable” for his “bazzarro world” documentary), are so outrageously funny, (their idiocy), they do wonders for authenticating Patton’s overall opinion of the Jews Eisenhower demmanded he, (Patton), give the homes of German civilians to after kicking them,(German civilians), into the streets to starve/freeze…..Gee, sounds like what’s been going on with the Palestinians Spielbucks and company have been paining as “evil”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80GgRWuXcO8

  25. yeah pashnshit is the same old arab antisemitism; I wouldn’t be able to wipe my shoes w/o disinfecting them after giving him a swift kick in the rear.

  26. Not sure which “crossroads” the blow-flies in D.C. are concerned with….

    http://revisionistreview.blogspot.com/2012/11/top-secret-usisraeli-base-mezuzah-mad.html

    Possibly to increase tax payer “gifts” to the synagogue, or just say the hell with it and rather than waiting til they’re young adults and in the military, just offer just offer them up at birth for ritual satanic sacrifice, (after ritual circumcision of course….they must have their “kicks” as well.

    In case any of you missed the wry comedy of the incredible shrinking “toll”

    http://www.polskawalczaca.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=19715&sid=404e804c47d6a61911b3031b87f64b29