President Trump’s big idea for Israeli-Palestinian peace was the “outside-in” plan in which Israel’s new Saudi allies would squeeze the Palestinians until they accepted a bogus “state,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
By Paul R. Pillar
Donald Trump never has given evidence that he has new, fresh, and promising ideas to achieve his declared objective of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. His statements on the subject can more plausibly be interpreted as another piece of braggadocio about his self-declared deal-making ability.
The obstacles to an Israeli-Palestinian peace have long been painfully apparent, even if much discussion of the subject does not candidly acknowledge them. The contours of any fair and stable resolution of the conflict also have long been well known and have found expression in, for example, the “parameters” that Bill Clinton outlined.
Rather than offering anything that would be either fair or stable, the Trump White House has seized on the idea of outsiders imposing a formula on the Palestinians, with selected Arab governments to play a major role. This has become known as the “outside-in” approach. The approach fits well with some of the administration’s other inclinations that constitute what passes for a strategy toward the Middle East.
One of those inclinations is to go all in with the right-wing government of Israel. For Trump, this deference to the Netanyahu government has roots in his coming to terms during the presidential campaign with major donors who are allies of Netanyahu.
During the transition period, the deference was demonstrated by Michael Flynn’s appeal to Russia to flout the will of the rest of the international community (and an abstention by the incumbent U.S. administration) by vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israel’s continued construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank. Although Flynn’s pre-inauguration machinations have been viewed mainly as part of the story of the influence in U.S. politics of Russia, the foreign country exerting influence in this case was not Russia (which voted for the resolution) but instead Israel.
Once in office, Trump appointed as ambassador to Israel his bankruptcy lawyer, who has been an advocate less for U.S. interests than for the Israeli right wing and has personally assisted construction of more settlements. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, to whom the President has given the Israeli-Palestinian peace portfolio, also has aided settlement construction, although we are only belatedly learning of the extent of his involvement because Kushner conveniently failed to disclose a major part of that involvement in his government ethics filing.
Only Lip Service
Given the all-too-obvious posture of Netanyahu’s government toward the Palestinians and the issue of making peace with them, the posture of a deferential Trump administration on the same subject also is obvious. Despite periodic lip service by Netanyahu toward a peace process, his government opposes the yielding of occupied territory or the creation of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu says so when speaking to his domestic base, and other senior members of his ruling coalition are even more direct than he is in saying so.
Ergo, for the deferential deal-maker in the White House, a deal for genuine peace is not on the agenda. His newest statements about Jerusalem’s status and a move of the U.S. embassy are just another facet of his deference to the government of Israel and its American backers.
The other inclination of the Trump administration that meshes well with the idea of outside-in is the going — well, if not all in, then mostly in — with the young de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). Kushner is a key figure in this relationship as well. The two unelected thirty-somethings, with power handed to them through paternal favoritism, reportedly have become best buddies.
Here the U.S. deference has included Trump’s support for the Saudi-led effort to isolate Qatar, despite his own Secretary of State’s efforts to reconcile the disputatious Gulf Arabs. It also has included continued U.S. support for the Saudi military assault on Yemen, despite the resulting humanitarian catastrophe there.
The strengthening of the remaining link of this love triangle, with Israeli-Saudi cooperation becoming a more open and frequently discussed topic, also fits the outside-in notion. The Netanyahu government always has sought more salient ties with Arab governments as a demonstration that Israel need not resolve the Palestinian problem to avoid international isolation.
For MbS, developing a relationship with Israel is one form of getting help wherever he can get it amid the challenges of consolidating power internally after his coup and coping with a series of foreign policy setbacks involving Yemen, Qatar, and Lebanon, while staying in good graces with a U.S. administration that is in bed with the ruling Israeli right-wing.
All three points of the triangle are making their maneuvers to the drumbeat of Iran, Iran, Iran as a constant preoccupation and rationalization. For Netanyahu, the drumbeat continues to serve as an all-purpose distraction and blame-shifter. MbS has made opposition to Iran his rallying cry in trying to justify operations such as the calamity in Yemen and the attempts to strong-arm smaller states such as Qatar and Lebanon.
And of course, anti-Iranism has been the one loud and consistent theme in a Trump Middle East policy in which many observers have a hard time discerning a clear strategy.
None of this has anything to do with the issues underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has involved a contest between two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, over the same land. Once again, Palestinians have become collateral damage of the pursuit of unrelated objectives by others.
Earlier in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this included the objective of atoning for the genocidal sins of Europeans. Now the objectives include a young Saudi prince trying to shore up his position and an unpopular U.S. president trying to score points with his political base.
With such dynamics driving the latest chapter in what is still called the “peace process,” it is no surprise to read reports that MbS has presented Palestinian leaders with a proposal that no Palestinian leader could ever accept. The proposal supposedly would create a Palestinian state, but one with only noncontiguous pieces of the West Bank, only limited sovereignty over even that territory, no East Jerusalem, and no right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The Saudi suggestion included naming Abu Dis, an Arab-inhabited suburb of Jerusalem, as the capital of the Palestinian entity — an idea that has been advanced before. Such a proposal being advanced now undermines the contention that Trump’s new declaration regarding Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has no implication for how Jerusalem will be handled in final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
The history of Palestinian activism does not support the central concept of outside-in, which is that powerful Arab regimes will be able to impose their will on the Palestinians. The Arab League, with Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt playing a leading role, did create the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960s. But only a few years later, the PLO came under the control of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, which had originated before the PLO. Subsequent actions and postures repeatedly demonstrated that the PLO, despite its origin, was no tool of Arab regimes but more a reflection of popular Palestinian sentiment. Later history featured the rise of Hamas, which owed its existence to no regime and became such an expression of the frustration of Palestinians over Israeli occupation that Hamas even defeated Fatah in a free election.
There are strong reasons that the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict evokes strong sentiments, and will continue to do so until and unless a genuine resolution of the conflict — not an imposed substitute for such a resolution — is achieved. One thing Kushner got right was his recent public comment that “if we’re going to try and create more stability in the region as a whole, you have to solve this issue.”
Anger Over Injustice
Sheer anger over occupation and all of the injustices in daily life that are part of the occupation is an underlying driver of instability. Another is the strength of nationalism and the desire of any people for self-determination. Such sentiment, among Israeli Jews as well as Palestinian Arabs, is why a two-state solution, despite how much more difficult the half century of Israeli colonization of occupied territory has made it, still is an essential part of any resolution of the conflict.
Arab empathy with Palestinian brethren continues to be strong, despite much talk in recent years about all the other problems in the Middle East that are on Arab minds, and notwithstanding how much the Bibi-MbS-Trump triangle would like to think that the only thing anyone cares about is Iran.
The Jerusalem issue — the focus of Trump’s latest appeal to his base — is especially a hot button. As Shibley Telhami, who regularly uses polling to test Arab sentiment, observes, Jerusalem “remains a mobilizing issue even in a polarized environment: Even if Arabs don’t go out into the streets in consequential numbers, a declaration will play into the hands of those plotting in the basement.”
And Arabs do still go out in the streets. Telhami notes that they did so a few months ago in response to Israel’s installation of new security measures at the al-Aqsa Mosque, generating enough of an uproar to lead governments to intervene.
What the Trump administration is doing, in concert with the rightist Israeli government, can be interpreted as just another episode in stringing along a “peace process” while Israel unilaterally establishes still more facts on the ground that are difficult to reverse. It is that, but there probably also is some self-delusion involved, especially when coupled with the inexperience of Kushner and MbS.
Sometimes when a rhetorical theme is repeated as often and for as many purposes as the drumbeat of Iran, Iran, Iran has been repeated, the drummers start to believe their own rhetoric.
In his public remarks the other day, Kushner asserted, “Israel is a much more natural ally today than they were 20 years ago because of Iran and ISIS extremism.” No, it isn’t. The growing intolerance in a state defined by religious and ethnic discrimination, with the cementing of a system of apartheid with a large subjugated population lacking political and civil rights, has made Israel even less of a natural ally of the United States over the past 20 years.
As for Iran, Netanyahu’s political exploitation of that issue in a way that goes, with respect to the biggest Iran development in recent years — the agreement that restricts Iran’s nuclear program — against even Israel’s own security interests reflects how big the gap has become between Netanyahu’s policies and U.S. interests.
Saudi Arabia always has had interests significantly different from those of the United States, notwithstanding mutually beneficial cooperative arrangements involving oil and security. The differences have become even greater with the rise of a young prince preoccupied with his internal power and his troubled campaign to claim regional dominance.
By hitching his Middle East policy to these two wagons in the vain hope that Palestinians can be browbeaten into permanent subjugation, Donald Trump is doing no favors either to U.S. interests or to the cause of Middle Eastern peace.
Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)
The World will not take the Palestinian cause seriously until Palestinians and Arabs do so; this will mean, that all Palestinians and Arabs must wake up; they must rise as lions, they must physically converge upon Palestine with the intention of reclaiming that which is rightly theirs, they must even just walk and march, if no means of transport is available, in large numbers, they must physically take themselves back to their rightful homes and possessions. This is a big ask, but the prize for success could not be larger; you will face extreme opposition to your return, there will be bullets bombs and explosives used to stop you, many will die, BUT, have we not noticed, many have been dying, over just the last fifty years, and that will continue for the next fifty years, unless Palestinians and Arabs rise-up and honour their Nations history, proven and endured in peace for these many millennia past; Rise-up I say, and caring people of the World will rise up with you. Do not pause because you think President Trump will be your saviour, he will not, he is a false prophet. We have witnessed the recent invasions of refugees into Europe from the Middle East; did you notice? they could not be stopped, they marched single mindedly with one intention, to live somewhere else, and they have succeeded. Palestinians and Arabs must emulate that example, go peaceably, but go, go in the supreme certainty that your cause is just, and go in the knowledge that “Ye are many and they are few”. If your current leaders will not organise and support this, then, they are not worthy, get some new ones who will. You must also realise, this message is the last “call”, the last chance to establish your future survival. Amen.
The world is not a perfect place, and the ME is one messed up place. Israel however, will survive because despite all the problems it has embraced the modern world. And that translates as democracy. As upset as we are with Trump we can still battle to get him out of office on the political scene. In Israel, Netanyanu will only survive as long as he is politically viable. It isn’t one tribe against another which is where most Arab ME nations are still wallowing. No life isn’t always fair, and usually it isn’t, but the history of civilization tells us that if you don’t move with the movers, don’t embrace the future, then you perish.
How many propaganda techniques do these people have anyway?
“embraced the modern world”
“translates as democracy”
“it isn’t one t r i b e against another which is where most Arab”
“life isn’t fair”
Unmitigated horse **** and lies, and nothing more. But it sounds so — reasonable!
The censor software on this site is even worse than I had previously thought.
t r i b e
Israel is no democracy, it is a racist apartheid regime, a rogue terrorist state.
The BBC reports today that
“Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem had been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years” in Paris where he visits.
It is totally illuminating of his discriminatory ideology.
If the same (ridiculous) argument were applied to the US, the entire country should be returned to the native Americans. Wouldn’t that be going a bit far, after all?
Why not send the man to The Hague?
What kind of state would be granted to the Palestinians. Will Israel surrender its control over the borders and international commerce? Will it surrender its control over the airspace above the new “state”? Will it surrender its control over the water supply? Absent the unlikely concessions on any of these, what kind of state would it be?
The argument that Palestinians initially would become second class citizens is accepted. But how long, in a democratic state can that last? Minorities in this country had a rough time but over time have achieved remarkable progress. That will happen in Palestine/Israel but it will take time. It can move quickly, of course, with international support but Jewish international influence will be a barrier. But that barrier will surely erode as it must.
One of the greatest barriers comes from those who claim to be progressive and in sympathy with the Palestinians who cling to the two state solution which has become a tool of radical Zionists to expand Israeli territory. Ask Netanyahu does he support of two state solution and he will say, as always, of course but where are our Palestinian partners in such an effort. The answer of course is under the bus.
Perhaps I’m misreading this post, but what I see is a desire for the Palestinians to ‘temporarily’ become serfs and slaves. But don’t worry – “over time” the Zionists will mellow or some other miracle will happen, and all will be well.
It’s all the fault of the damned “progressives” who coddle the Palestinians with the fantasy of “the two state solution”.
Possibly this is merely sloppy writing, but more likely it is a “D.H. Fabian” type of pure propaganda.
Zachary, there is sloppy writing and there is sloppy thinking. Yes, the two state solution supported by “Progressives” is a road to no where. To suggest that a state which has human rights extended to all does not suggest serfs and slaves but I would acknowledge that the road would be rocky, but it would be a road to somewhere. And finally, Zachary, propaganda for whom?
Propaganda for Holy Israel, of course. Before making my post I checked the archives here and found you’ve posted on the theme of the Palestinians making like floormats for the Israelis at least three times. All in the hope the thieves and murderers would eventually grow a conscience and do the right thing. Surrendering at the very beginning doesn’t seem like a sound strategy to me. Given the nature of the Land Grab they’ve had to live through, the Palestinians have plenty of reasons to doubt that notion too.
Zachary, I don’t think I made myself clear in my first post. I believe there should be one state made up of everyone on the land called Palestine and Israel. In such a state, everyone as citizens would enjoy equal rights. I do not think a two state solution was ever feasible absent an international city of Jerusalem. That is what the UN called for after World War II and Israel and possibly the Arabs ignored the resolution and fought over Jerusalem. I understand that the Palestinians would still be disadvantaged initially. I sense some people think they are somewhat backward and wouldn’t be ready for citizenship. That is nonsense, the Palestinian community is filled with educated members who value education highly. I doubt if they would remain second class citizens for long.
Since I first managed to omit the key statement of one state, I apologize for the sharp reply. The comparison to Fabian stung a bit since one of his statements was that the Jews were indigenous to the Holy Land and therefore deserved this little piece of land. Since 90 percent of the people in the Holy Land were Arabs and ten percent Jewish during the time of the Balfour Declaration, it was a blatant distortion of the real situation.
This issue represents one of the deep splits among those who are not on the right wing. The other side of the issue: Jews are indigenous to that bit of land, Israel. (No one can argue that Americans have difficulties with the concept of “indigenous rights.”) Israel is a tiny country, roughly the size of New Jersey (one of our smallest states), surrounded by numerous oil-rich Arab states, some of which seek a 100% “pure” Moslem Mideast. Israel had ceded two chunks of the country in prior peace agreements, only to have their Arab neighbors promptly violate those agreements and demand more land. The fact is that many of us do not agree that a fair partitioning of the Mideast would be: 100% for the Arabs, 0% for the Jews.
“Palestinians” are Israel Arabs who are recruited to work toward ending Israel. Arabs do live and work in peace in Israel, and if they wish to leave, all live within short traveling distance of an Arab state. When they work as terrorists to destroy Israel, Israel responds accordingly — if not to the extreme degree that the US responded to 9/11.
Zionist propagandist alert.
In addition to the standard lies, there is a “new” feature. One which is appearing in all the places the propagandists for the little cesspool nation operate.
The towelheads just aren’t being reasonable! God’s Favorite Thieves and Murderers have always wanted to be reasonable, but the A-RABs want it all!
Keep in mind that all these childish lies – however silly they look – are working. This propaganda hack is one of tens of thousands of tireless workers, and the casual Internet person never escapes their output. There is another reason the lies of people like this are so readily accepted:
That’s why the D.H. Fabians of the Internet have such an easy job. There is a huge audience which WANTS to believe their lies.
More standard Zionist hasbara troll factory talking points.
Jared Kushner is a security risk embedded in the West Wing…
Profanity Warning – link.
Sorry Paul. Palestine has already been reduced and carved up. Trump’s symbolic king like gesture was bogus; in reality he signed the continuation of the embassy in Tel Aviv paperwork…made Netanyahu happy though…nice we give them enough aid to buy influence in our Congress. Insanity
Yes, Israel is the cut-out for Congress stealing campaign money from the federal budget.
Here’s how you can fill up your bank account with additional cash each week… Read more by visiting this page
follow this link…
Thanks for the link Joe…
Couple of thoughts on the survey…
Statistical analysis can be misleading even in the case of actual circumstances, depending on the desired end result. It all depends on the questions that respondents are required to answer. The same analysis in hypothetical scenario, like in the MIT survey at hand, can even be more misleading.
The MIT survey theorizes that Iran has started the war against the US and in order to save 20K US troops, would you support nuclear or conventional bombing attack. This theoretical defensive scenario has produced pretty similar results to the Elmo Roper poll from 11.30.1945, understandably so. After all, the existence of your country and the troops are in grave danger, defending the country and its troops is a natural reaction by people.
Drawing the conclusion from the MIT survey that the US public would support using nuclear and/or conventional bombing attacks against Iran in an offensive scenario would be wrong in my view. Albeit that probably will not stop the current/future administration to cite the MIT survey for justifying preemptive nuclear/conventional strike against any country, that is deemed as a threat to national security.
The justification for killing civilians given in the MIT survey, quote:
“A large majority (68.5 percent) of the respondents who favored the air-strike options also agreed with the statement that “because the Iranian civilians described in the story did not rise up and overthrow the government of Iran, they must bear some responsibility for the civilian fatalities caused by the U.S. strike described in the news story.”
That’s a straw-man argument at best, since the Iranian civilians probably has as much influence on their government as the American civilians have on their government. But let’s go along with the scenario and turn the table, where the US attacks Iran and the 20K Iranian troops at risk. The chances are the same MIT survey would have the same result, quote from this hypothetical survey:
“A large majority (68.5 percent) of the respondents who favored the air-strike options also agreed with the statement that “because the American civilians described in the story did not rise up and overthrow the government of US, they must bear some responsibility for the civilian fatalities caused by the Iran strike described in the news story.”
You could replace Iran with “any country” with nuclear capabilities, the chances are that the survey results would be the same in “any country”. Just keep in mind that this is a defensive and not offensive scenario…
I see this also as a military plan. Now, with this Trump move the Palestinians and some of the Arabs will protest and have some revolts. Remember those American bases in Syria? Well, maybe they will snake their proxy armies and themselves closer to Golan Hts. in order to ” Save Israel” again. Then the Israeli land scam becomes pretty huge – with their own oil fields in American held Syria. Remember, “Think Tanks” with their unlimited financial and military resources have been planning everything conceivable and evil, when it comes to Israel’s M E and the NWO forward movements. Just my thoughts – we’ll see .
THE PEOPLE WHOM DOES NOT SUPPORT PRESIDENT TRUMP SHOULD LEAVE OUR GREAT AMERICA AND GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. WE DON,T NEED THAT MANY BRAIN DEAD PEOPLE HERE IN THIS COUNTRY. TRUMP IS THE BEST PRESIDENT THE USA HAS EVER HAD AND IS CLEANING THE SWAMP.. HE DOESN,T NEED THE PEOPLE WHOM ARE AGAINST HIM. ALSO AMERICA DOESN,T NEED THEM,.. AMEN AND AMEN..
I did not understand. Could you please say that again. Sorry for my misunderstanding.
Wow, the comments all shown here were intriguing, thoughtful and apparently well educated. Then your knuckle dragging screed popped up…
This is a great parody.
You might have wanted to use more grammar and spelling mistakes besides just the misuse of ‘whom.’
I wonder if anyone has considered the fact that Iran and Pakistan have a land border and they do joint military maneuvers and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. I think that Iran could have a nuclear weapon in a mater of hours if it needed one. If the US thinks/realizes this could be the case, the stakes for attacking Iran just got much higher.
I seriously doubt that Sunni Pakistan would provide nuclear weapons to Shia Iran.
Since Rogue Nation USA unleased its shock & awe war crime against Iraq (and Afghanistan), there is a particularly deranged hound of hell slinking around the rubble, debris and countless dead bodies of the hapless Muslim world.. That barking mad dog is US. The tail wagging the big mad dog is Israel. The bark is Saudi Arabia. Cry! “Havoc!”
Mike: You can tell a lot about a guy by the company he keeps; <==I think,
you tell more about the morality of a nation by its leaders.
Pillar: Saudi Arabia always has had interests significantly different from those of the United States, notwithstanding mutually beneficial cooperative arrangements involving oil and security.
ABE: Israel unlawfully annexed East Jerusalem .. .and has treated the Palestinian residents of the city as unwanted immigrants and worked systematically to drive them out of the area. Secret intl recognition of Israel by Riyadh and creation of a coalition together with it, against Iran in the Middle East, with the approval of Washington.
Anon Israel wants Saudi Arabia to be its next Iraq to fight Iran
Ally cat Zionists—racists by definition—will never voluntarily accept non-Jews within Eretz Israel, promised to them by their tribal god of war, wrath, and racist supremacism. We should deal with Israeli apartheid the same way we dealt with South African apartheid: boycott, divest, and sanction. Zionists are terrified of the BDS movement for a good reason—they know it spells the end of their Zionist dream (our worst nightmare).
Try this on: the bankers decided 1896 they were going to use the nearly universal JEWISH PERSECUTION biblical times to then date, to promote their intentions? A carrier frequency that that would arouse interest and Jewish race allegiance as well as Christian Religious Interest to messages.
I call this the emotion activated network<its a technology. So what were they intentions?
Obviously the intentions are: to steal the fracking, oil and gas (FOG) from the Arabs. Explains Balfour, wWI, wWII, Treaty of Paris, Palin Commission, recognition of Israel, the continuous encroachment since Stalin Routed the Jews back to Germany in 1932 (after 32 million white Russian Ukrainians were murdered under Lenin), the regime changes, wars with no object but to create chaos, total infra-structure destruction, war on civilian populations and so forth. All strategic objects to keep the political powers whatever and where ever they arose from, from becoming strong enough, to control the FOG or the markets for the FOG.
Explains Iran, SA, Omar, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afganistan, Ukraine, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, South Africa, South America and the ongoing hate inciting propaganda directed against the largest and most powerful FOG supplier and market competitor to the bankers interest in FOG, namely, Russia, now its Russia, China and Iran. Its about the market competition and ownership of FOG.
That’s why the two state solution is on again off again, and its why Trump move the capital.. it causes more turmoil, turmoil is the focus point of divide and conquer and divide and conquer requires that the two sides have a strong enough difference to option, for the option of each side to be non negotiable to the other side.
Lets quit talking about the history and the current events that prove the underlying purpose (to steal the Arab oil). And start figuring out how we are going to save humanity, and our own quality of life, from the threat this goal has caused everyone in the world. By the way Alley Cat, I disagree with your definition of Zionism, its not racial at all, but purely commercial; its a network protocol, designed to deliver over the propaganda network, the messages needed to keep the goal on tract and to advance the front lines ever closer to owning all of the FOG.
This all started in 1869 to 1878 time period when the Germans offered to build a highway from Bagdad to Berlin in exchange for the right to produce the oil and transport it to Germany; the western powers would have none of that.
Obama had peace locked in with the last UN Resolution which stated:
The resolution says Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,”
Now Trump is moving our Embassy to a place that the UN says is illegal. If we only had Clinton in there peace would have been guaranteed and she like Obama would be getting a Nobel Prize for bringing about world peace.
Sad to say but the UN is nothing but a sham. It has done nothing useful for decades while Washington and NATO run roughshod over national sovereignty all over the world. It’s even pretty much stopped giving lip service to the rights of Palestinians and other oppressed, occupied peoples. It’s basically just a tool of Washington and a forum for neocon crazies like Nikki Haley to spout lies and hate.
Quite obviously there is no “Palestinian solution” that Washington and Tel Aviv embraces short of genocide and extermination. Who in the UN will say this as it becomes ever more apparent? Israel made this clear decades ago when it unequivocally stated that Palestine is not the West Bank but really Jordan which is, in turn, just a submissive vassal state of Israel. The Israelis have also preached endlessly that there is really no such thing as a Palestinian. It’s just a made-up concept by Arabs to thwart Israel. The Third Reich never told bigger whoppers. And, no other country on the planet, whatever their status in the UN, wants to engage in a World War III against Israel, Washington and NATO to defend the rights of Palestinians. Even Germany and the other EU vassals will not take them in as refugees like they do those fleeing America’s wars in the rest of the Islamic world. Washington and Israel have decided the Palestinians are a cursed people and are not brooking dissent on the matter.
Oh Realist,,,, Oh Humanity.
My understanding is that the actual location of the Israeli capital offices, including the Knesset and the office and home of the PM, are in West Jerusalem and have been since 1949. I’d expect the US embassy would also be in West Jerusalem.
Am I wrong on this? Did Trump proclaim that the capital of Jerusalem is the entire, ‘undivided’ city, so he by doing that is accepting that the annexation of East Jerusalem is legit? Or did he just say Jerusalem, so it could mean only West Jerusalem, which has been part of Israel since 1949?
From a series of articles at the Liberty Blitzkreig I get the impression that the trashing of the Palestinians is merely an incidental part of the Big Picture. This is a site I’ve had bookmarked for a long time, but have seldom read. This set of articles mirrored my own thinking so much that I decided to draw attention to them. Here is the conclusion:
A link within that series led me to a piece on Cotton titled “10 Horrifying Facts About GOP Senator Tom Cotton”
I verified that the Corporate Media is predicting this character to become head of Trump’s CIA, so I fear the Liberty Blitzkrieg blogger is on to something. Is it possible Trump wants to go into the history books as an even worse mush-for-brains President than George “codpiece commander” Bush?
Speaking at the Saban Forum on 3 December 2017, Kushner said, “I think that if we’re going to try and create more stability in the region as a whole, this issue has to be solved.”
Kushner claimed that the team being fielded by the US to aid peace efforts in the Middle East is “not a conventional team, but it’s a perfectly qualified team.”
The Trump “team” is certainly aware of Israeli-Saudi-US Axis deployments of terrorist proxy forces against Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
For example, on 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.
Marked “Top Secret” the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.
The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of “regime change” in Syria.
Israel’s support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East/Israel issues, was the keynote speaker at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution on 3 December 2017.
Haim Saban, a Democratic mega donor who was a key supporter of Hillary Clinton, praised Kushner for attempting to derail a vote at the United Nations Security Council about Israeli settlements during the Obama administration.
Kushner reportedly dispatched former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to make secret contact with the Russian ambassador in December 2016 in an effort to undermine or delay the resolution, which condemned Israel for settlement construction.
Saban told Kushner that “this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort, so thank you very much.”
Kushner and Saban framed Middle East peace as a “real estate issue”
Leading pro-Israel war hawks from the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution authored the June 2009 document “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran”
Martin Indyk, the “director” of the Saban Center, is a former AIPAC staffer. Indyk cofounded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 1985 with the wife of AIPAC Chairman Lawrence Weinberg and former president of the Jewish Federation, Barbi Weinberg. Despite his well known affiliation with the Israel Lobby and his Australian nationality, Bill Clinton appointed Indyk as the first foreign-born US Ambassador to Israel in 1995. The issuance of his US nationality had been expedited for his previous appointment by Clinton in 1993 as Middle East adviser on the National Security Council.
Kenneth M. Pollack, the “director of research” at the Saban Center, is a former CIA analyst and National Security Council staffer under Bill Clinton. A prominent “liberal hawk” cheerleader for the Iraq War, Pollack is credited with persuading liberals to endorse the invasion of Iraq. His 2002 book, The Threatening Storm, was influential in selling the “WMD” case. His 2005 book, The Persian Puzzle, recycled many of the same arguments, this time directed at Iran.
Michael E. O’Hanlon, the “director of foreign policy research” at Brookings, is a war hawk and frequent op-ed writer for major news outlets like the Washington Post. In recent years, O’Hanlon has pushed for U.S. intervention in Syria. In April 2007, O’Hanlon and Fred Kagan urged the United States to invade and occupy Iran.
In March 2003, shortly after the United States invaded Iraq, O’Hanlon contributed his name to an open letter published by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative advocacy outfit closely associated with American Enterprise Institute that played a major role generating public support for the invasion of Iraq and pushing an expansive “war on terror.” Among those contributing their names to the document were hardline neocons like Max Boot, Eliot Cohen, Joshua Muravchik, and William Kristol, as well as liberal interventionists like O’Hanlon and Ivo Daalder, also a scholar based at Brookings.
In a March 2006 update on activities of the Israel Lobby, American political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt noted that media mogul Haim Saban is an “ardent Zionist”.
Mearsheimer and Walt observed that “Saban Center publications never question US support for Israel and rarely, if ever, offer significant criticism of key Israeli policies.”
In their landmark book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (2007), Mearsheimer and note that the Saban Center at Brookings is “part of the pro-Israel chorus” (pg 156).
In 2002, Saban pledged $13 million to start a “research” organization at Brookings.
The annual Saban Forum hosted by Brookings since 2004 includes Israeli government officials.
Both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were highly paid by their leading “Israel Firster” donors to be obsessed about starting war with Iran.
As noted back in 2014 by journalist Alex Kane at Alternet, agents of a foreign government – Israel – openly declared their efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election:
“Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, two billionaires with right-wing, pro-Israel agendas, took the stage at the Israeli American Council’s inaugural conference in Washington, D.C. They fantasized about bombing Iran and about buying the New York Times because they said it’s biased against Israel. Both [went on to] to play an outsized role in the 2016 presidential elections by flooding the campaign with money to support their favored candidates. In a post-Citizens United world, Adelson and Saban are kings, and Israel will be the beneficiary of their largesse […]
Saban and Adelson are on opposite ends of the mainstream (and narrow) political spectrum. Adelson is a casino mogul who bankrolled the 2012 presidential campaigns of GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Saban is in the entertainment business and is a major Democratic Party donor. But when it comes to U.S. foreign policy and Israel, Saban and Adelson take many of the the same positions, displaying an eagerness for war with Iran and a desire to keep the U.S. alliance with Israel rock-solid.
“There’s no right or left when it comes to Israel,” Saban said in what news reports called a joking reference to the moguls’ seating positions at the conference where they spoke.
But the quip was more than just a joke. It was a nod to how the Democratic and Republican parties are united in singing Israel’s praise, backing its military actions and voting to give the country $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid annually. […]
Saban, an Israeli-American famous for producing the TV show Power Rangers, is currently the CEO of the Saban Capital Group, which invests in media companies around the world. A 2010 New Yorker profile of Saban by Connie Bruck paints a portrait of a man who is heavily influential, charming and hawkish. “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” he told the New York Times in 2004.
At the the event with Adelson, Saban had a crude prescription for what Israel should do about Iran. “I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.” The answer came during a discussion of what Saban would do if he were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and thought a nuclear deal with Iran was a threat to Israel.
His chosen candidate is Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. As Bruck reported in the New Yorker, Saban has given millions of dollars to the Clintons in the form of donations to Bill Clinton’s presidential library and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Speaking about Clinton to the Washington Post at the conference, Saban said, “I have told her and everybody who’s asked me, ‘Whatever it takes, we’re going to be there…’ She would be a fantastic president for the United States, an incredible world leader and one under whom I believe — deeply — the relationship with the U.S. and Israel will be significantly reinforced.”
Clinton has given backers like Saban ample reason for thinking of her as the perfect candidate for Israel. During the 2008 presidential election, Clinton was asked by ABC’s “Good Morning America” what she would do if Iran used a nuclear weapon on Israel. “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them,” she said. This year, in an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, she doubled down on her pro-Israel agenda. “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have control over security [in the West Bank],” she said.
GOP donor Adelson’s choice for who to back in the 2016 race is trickier. The leading GOP candidates include people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, two politicians with divergent views on U.S. foreign policy, though Paul has been moving towards a more hawkish position in recent months. What is more clear is that Adelson’s impact, no matter who he backs, will be large. After the GOP losses in 2012, Adelson promised he would “double” his donations to the party. That means Adelson is prepared to spend as much as $300 million on Republican candidates.
Adelson, who made his fortune in the casino business, is one of the richest people in the world. He has used his largesse to shower pro-Israel groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Zionist Organization of America with millions of dollars. In 2012, it was Adelson who prolonged the GOP primary by boosting Newt Gingrich, who famously proclaimed, in line with Adelson’s views, that the Palestinian people were “invented,” that there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation. When Gingrich finally dropped out, Adelson gave $30 million to a pro-Mitt Romney super-PAC.
His influence in the Republican Party was made clear in March of . Chris Christie and other potential presidential candidates flew out to speak to the Adelson-backed Republican Jewish Coalition. But Christie tripped up when he used the term ‘occupied territories’ to refer to the West Bank and Gaza. While the Palestinian territories are indeed under occupation–a term used even by the U.S. State Department–Adelson and his ilk reject that view. The audience at the RJC event in March was no fan of the “occupied” remark, and Christie later apologized to Adelson.
“The casino mogul apparently believes Israel should hold onto the West Bank forever, even at the cost of democracy in the area. ‘I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy,’ Adelson said on November 9. ‘God talked about all the good things in life. He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?’
“Adelson also said that the U.S. should ‘not just talk [with Iran]. I would take action.’ [In 2013], Adelson made waves when he suggested that President Obama should launch a nuclear weapon at Iran […] when it comes to Israel and Iran, the two candidates, backed by people like Saban and Adelson, will have many of the same prescriptions: ramp up pressure on Iran and back Israel no matter what. The only debate will be on how far to take those positions. Think of it as a battle between the Saban position of bombing the ‘sons of bitches’ vs. the Adelson position of nuking Iran.”
As usual, an excellent article by Pillar, but any peace proposal that excludes Palestinians and Palestinian refugees from any of their own land is neither fair nor feasible. Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian-American, makes a strong case for a secular and democratic, shared, Israel-Palestine in his book One Country. The trouble is that Zionists—racists by definition—will never voluntarily accept non-Jews within Eretz Israel, promised to them by their tribal god of war, wrath, and racist supremacism. We should deal with Israeli apartheid the same way we dealt with South African apartheid: boycott, divest, and sanction. Zionists are terrified of the BDS movement for a good reason—they know it spells the end of their Zionist dream (our worst nightmare).
A two-state plan in Palestine enforced by the UN is necessary for at least three generations before any one-state plan could be viable. Otherwise the Israelis would continue to enslave the Palestinians with judicial and economic tyranny. But the UN borders were not within its right to establish and do not make viable states.
The two-state plan should recognize the right to residence of all who were resident by some prior date, or descended from refugees, due to the difficulty of tracing injustice and the fact that most are innocent. Neither state may maintain military forces, and police should be UN supervised to prevent remilitarization.
A census to be taken as of some prior year, to prevent packing residents or distorting the asset picture. The gross assets to be cataloged including all offshore and hidden assets, infrastructure, real estate, equipment, and personal property. Each state must be viable in shoreline, ports, water, farm resources, roads, independent utility infrastructure, and residential, commercial, and industrial improvements. A generous DMZ of desert or farmland between the states is reserved, securing bonds. The cost of development required to make each state viable is taken from the total assets before distribution to the two state groups (Js and Ps).
The combined assets are then apportioned fairly between the two state groups. Distribution must compensate for the Ps deprivation of opportunity to accumulate property, while the Js accumulated property based upon resources taken from the Ps. This will cause loss of resources for the Js due to wrongful takings, but improved security. Stripping or wasting of assets taken is accounted and deducted from the group gross assets, and the owner penalized within the group.
The gross assets apportioned to each group are distributed within the group, with a minimum share based upon age, and the balance distributed in proportion to each person’s prior assets relative to the group total assets. Persons may receive shares in jointly held property (the DMZ etc.), real estate, or funds; those with homes and business property should retain that or obtain something similar in their destination state, and may owe a government mortgage or receive a subsidy for improvements and relocations.
Special compensation to be provided for those who were forced to live in refugee camps, suffered injuries, or are survivors of wrongful deaths. When the DMZ is partitioned after several decades of peace between the factions, the land may be sold and those with shares compensated or given mortgages on the land.
To get there, assuming that Israel refuses to negotiate, it must be completely embargoed and the US must join the UN to demand an immediate two-state implementation, and if they refuse after reduction to poverty, destroy all of their weapons, invade, and set up the solution, with Israel to be governed by the UN for three generations.
Correction; the last paragraph should read “if they refuse after reduction to poverty, make increasing shows of force, and if they insist so far as to prevent a peaceful solution, destroy all of their weapons, invade, and set up the solution”
Sam F. Thanks again for your detailed efforts at finding peaceful and working solutions to what seem to be intransigent positions. I’m going to link an excellent article by Max Blumenthal that I read this morning at Defend Democracy Press that seems to clearly explain the current situation. And then, after that an article by Phyllis Bennis that explains why President Trump’s decision is so dangerous. As always, thanks.
And the article about “Provoking Islam” by Phyllis Bennis.
Bob both links were great. Joe
Both are Interesting articles; thank you.
Bob I’m with you on Sam’s points of actions, and I also got a lot more news from your Blumenthal article…very good stuff there. Joe
Thank you Joe…
Sam F, I can’t agree. Separate states would only reward Zionist aggression by allowing them to exclude Palestinians from Palestinian land. By the same token, separate states would punish innocent Palestinians who have done no wrong other than defend themselves against Israeli ethnic cleansing. Perhaps the biggest drawback to a two-state “solution” is that it would leave Zionism intact and in power, dedicated to wreaking more racist supremacist, expansionist, havoc. Nuclear-armed Zionism presents a threat to all of us as long as it has a foothold anywhere.
We cannot expect that either side will feel completely compensated by any practical solution. The idea is to apportion land and other assets in a way that fairly compensates the Palestinians, both for land taken, the investment profits resulting, all kinds of injuries suffered, and all costs and disadvantages imposed upon them. The exact means of doing that is certainly open to discussion.
Apportioning the two states by population at some prior date has the disadvantage of giving rights to Israeli immigrants after that date, but has the advantage that some kind of right is acquired after long residency, an historical accident. We would feel that way if required to give back lands to native Americans, because we did not ourselves dispossess them.
The two-state solution would substantially discredit the militant zionists, just as the WWI defeat of the Kaiser in Germany led the Social Democrats to power 1922-1933, and the WWII defeat of the Nazis discredited the right wing there. The trick is to avoid another Hitler as a zionist reaction.
By showing resolve to force a just solution, the US could show Israelis that their militant factions have led them astray, and empower their moderates. If they force the US to use force, it will be plain that they are no longer protected by the bully boys, and their demagogic chickenhawks will be discredited.
Correction, second paragraph: “immigrants before that date”.
I have to agree with you, Alley cat.
In fact many analysts already see the two-state solution as a non-starter for the very reasons you provide.
I do not see a good future for Israel. The Israeli-Zionists will either bend to history or eventually find itself completely isolated by the international community.
Inside the States, despite all the continuing bad news, the political winds are shifting agai8nst Israel no matter what her lobbies do. Even the Jewish Community is turning away from Israel meaning that in the future less and less monies will be flowing to her from the Diaspora…
Agreed, lots of words, but words butter no parsnips! Boycotts and harsh sanctions on Israel are required.
EU countries and the UK condemn the US decision and the vulgar and racist policies of Israel, yet there are no sanctions, no boycotts to speak of.
Despicable hypocrisy. Yes, the South African precedent should provoke a gut response, but it is apparently held back.
Public opinion, at least in Sweden, as I at least read it, is firmly disgusted by Israeli policy, and would be relieved to see the government introduce hard sanctions. After all, we have no need for Israel. Not buying soda stream will improve our health, and citrus fruits we can buy elsewhere. I am convinced this is the sentiment across the EU.
We are not anti-Semitic, not against the statehood of Israel, but we loathe their conduct.
We need to act. Boycott all Israeli products is step 1.
Btw – I do not recall the US or many EU countries boycotting apartheid South Africa. Did u?
Martin, I don’t know about EU countries but I remember Reagan calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist, and I think the U.S. government was perhaps the last to pass economic sanctions against South Africa, if it ever did. Imagine how difficult an effective BDS movement against Israeli apartheid is going to be with so many Israel-firsters in the U.S. government and news media. I don’t know what the last official count was, but there are undoubtedly many U.S. Senators who would vote to make criticism of Israel a federal crime. Hell, yeah!
The US probably feared that a democratic S Africa would join the Soviet camp, so they supported apartheid. In Europe, big nations as I recall acted similarly. Sweden was quite alone in supporting a change, under Palme and after, and, probably, enjoyed a position that allowed that – such independence is never demonstrated today.
But to avoid Israeli products is one step, at least (Although grocery stores here try to market eg oranges as “Turkish”, even though they may carry small labels “Jaffa”. They know people avoid Israeli products.)
alley cat, Sam F., Joe and Martin – Swedish citizen, wonderful thread and exactly what is needed, a seriously considered, open debate to see what various people are thinking before broad aggression. I was remembering the disingenuous language of the Versailles Agreement and the outcome of that. Surely a World Forum could resolve most issues in liew of overt aggression.
Yes, a World Forum can be similar to the national College of Policy Debate that I hope to establish, at its core a process of internet textual debate among experts of all viewpoints and disciplines and regions, on the present status and effects of proposed policies. The resulting commented debate summaries are then made accessible to all, and courses are offered to qualify commenters and moderators. The summaries record all views, challenges and responses, and explore all aspects, finding common language, etc. This is far more effective than the emotional in-person debates of the UN or Congress, which are no more than wars of bribery and propaganda.
The resulting online library of debate summaries becomes a record of all knowledge affecting policy decisions in all regions and disciplines. This permits reference to a common body of knowledge in private education and discussion, and permits holding politicians and media to a standard of evidence to quash their false claims.
The debate summaries do not force consensus or determine policies, but an analogous process can do so among lawmakers once the facts and the various viewpoints are well known. Working with common concepts and mutual understandings, fair policies can be decided to avoid conflict.
Thank you Sam F. For extending the thought. Why not? I really appreciate the idea of a Forum that is broad and not tied to specific national self-interest. It gets concerned parties communicating broadly, where innovation becomes more possible if not probable. This type of forum with wide access and open oversight could shed a broad spectrum light on most issues. Way better it seems to me, than a large physical structure that is too expensive to maintain and too far away to travel to.
I like your idea regarding your College of Policy Debate but I have a problem with so-called “experts”.
I have been a military historian for many years and have always found that “experts” are the people who always seem to get this world into trouble while having no idea on how to get us out of it.
I would be very interested in learning more about your proposal…
“Trump’s Scheme to Carve Up Palestine”
I’m going to dispute that title for the simple reason Trump doesn’t have the brains to devise any such ‘scheme’. At the present time I’m going to grant him a very low 3-digit IQ – at best. About the only way he could change my mind about that would be if he somehow managed to drive Kushner completely out of his administration. That young dope is, in my opinion, the one most likely to take Trump down.
The first part of the scheme would be to legalize all the Israeli crimes on the West Bank by getting some “Chief” to sign off on the deal. The result would be like the South African attempt to set up disconnected “Bantustans” which would chop up the remaining sections of the Palestinians and facilitate the “mowing of the grass” as is presently done in Gaza. For Israel it would be nothing more than a formal pause in the thefts and murders. I say “formal” because the petty stuff would continue, but temporarily out of the lens of western cameras. And getting those cameras into the itty bitty open air prisons would not be a trivial matter.
So while marking time with the Palestinians, the Israelis would continue to breed like flies, and work to take down their two last “problem” countries at the same time. Saudi Arabia would be set out as bait for the Iranians, and with any luck (and with all the discreet assistance from the little holy hemorrhoid nation which could be arranged) the two would beat each other to a pulp. Poor Little Israel might well pose as a victim, and scream for more US weapons and taxpayer money in compensation.
Afterwards the problem of these beasts on two legs still squatting on the Stolen Land could be addressed, and the process of making their little patches of open-air prisons uninhabitable would begin. Just as with Gaza. The next death march would only be delayed for a little while.
Interesting point that Israel wants Saudi Arabia to be its next Iraq to fight Iran. So one would hope for conflict internal to Saudi Arabia, resulting in a moderate popular Sunni government, perhaps aided by Iran, Syria, and Lebanon to promote Sunni-Shiite unity. This would unify the region against Israel.
Got to admit this seems like a poor decision. Places lots of heat on Saudi Arabia and our lap dog the UAE. Gives Iran and Nasrallah and Hamas moral authority. Robs the USA of any role in negotiations between Israel and Palestinians and basically kicks Abbas to a curve in a gutter on a side street in his well pressed $3500.00 dollar suit. I wonder what Trump got for this? How is it a win for anybody? Greater Israel is a good thing? Recognizing the annexation of Occupied territory?. It is against International Law. Seems like a real hit on the US Foreign Policy at this time. It will expose our Congress and Senate in the world and force the UN, Britain, France and Germany to take a stand. Seems stupid. Who is Rex Tillerson anyway, what does he think, is he senile? Maybe a comment I made on an earlier article in which I suggested that Hillary would have already done this was incorrect although I doubt it
Excellent analysis and true to the core with one proviso. Hamas Hamas was created and funded by the Israeli/Saudi alliance of the seventies, Shin Bet created it and midwifed this organization to counter the PLO /FAtah movement. By Deception You May wage War. Just like the Takfiri’s that were created Under Brezhinsky /Carter regime to fight the Soviets Hamas became a bet noire for the anglo-zionist . Historical facts always get rewritten to fit any narrative. Tolstoi use to say “HISTORY WOULD BE WONDERFUL THING IF ONLY IT WERE TRUE.”
If anyone can point to further reading on the Israel-Hamas connection this would be helpful.
Njoy. Their are more articles that date back to the eighties . It is very easy to do. Just type Hamas Israeli creation and voila.
Alan Hart, a British reporter was a friend of both Arafat and Golda Meir. He didn’t like her politics but even so she confided in him and they got on. He liked Arafat, who he said on his own was very pleasant, but on the job was self-consciously uptight . Anyway he said in one of his many articles that Israel had given Hamas a licence to collect funds, and was even given money by Israel to build schools and Mosques etc while the PLO got nothing. Arafat complained to him about this and not having the funds to do anything. It was a divide and conquer ploy. All that changed in 2006 when Hamas won the election in Gaza and suddenly Israel realized that in this game, Hamas had become too powerful and must be trimmed. And so Hamas became the target and the troubles began.
Hart no longer writes in his blog and I tried going back through his library but couldn’t find what I was looking for, too many articles. He has a series of 3 books called “Zionism the Real Enemy of the Jews” and I highly recommend them.
Israel even gave Hamas guns. Classic colonial divide and rule.
“The daily Arabic newspaper ‘Al-Akhbar’ (Lebanon) recently informed us that it has a secret document in possession regarding the covert negotiation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, during which both sides talk terms of establishing mutual diplomatic relations. This document presents a letter of Adel al-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohhamad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, where the negotiations with the participation of the USA are mentioned regarding the issue of international recognition of Israel by Riyadh and creation of a coalition together with it, against Iran in the Middle East, with the approval of Washington. As a ‘contribution’ to the covert alliance of Israel-Saudi Arabia, Riyadh expresses willingness to support Jerusalem division and placing it under international regime, per the plan adopted by the General Assembly. It being understood that the Palestinian refugees living on the territory of the Arab League, at the suggestion of Riyadh, should be granted citizenship of these countries, whereby the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself would be ‘turned into a cinder and a memory’, and, according to arrangements between Riyadh and Washington, the USA would openly support Saudi Arabia in creating a military alliance against Iran with the participation of Israel.
“As per another statement by the Wall Street Journal, Riyadh is prepared to withdraw the demands to Jerusalem to freeze the construction in the parts of Judea and Samaria, located beyond the settlement ‘blocs’; however, it also demands from Israel to increase the humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
“The rapprochement of the Arab world and Israel is in many aspects related to the creation of the ‘front’ to stay united against Iran. The Saudis are intending to become masters of the whole Middle East, just as the Israelis.
“The government of Israel admitted having confidential consultations with Saudi Arabia, the major part of which is devoted to the co-operative deterrence of Iran threats. The fact of secret contacts between Tel-Aviv and Riyadh was also confirmed recently by Yuval Steinitz, Energy and Water Resources Minister of Israel.”
How Far Will the ‘Friendship’ of Israel and Saudi Arabia Go?
By Valery Kulikov
You can tell a lot about a guy by the company he keeps. For Trump it is Netanyahoo and MbS. Two thieves and mass murderers. These are Donald’s natural pals and companions in crime.
Surrounded by all his generals. Who’s the man?
“There has long been a minority of American Jews whose concerns focused on the occupation. But until now their support for Israel itself has been unwavering, despite its institutionalised racism towards the one in five of the Israeli population who are Palestinian.
“A Law of Return denies non-Jews the right to migrate to Israel. Admissions committees bar members of Israel’s Palestinian minority from hundreds of communities. A refusal of family reunification has torn apart Palestinian families in cases where one partner lives in Israel and the other in the occupied territories.
Most Jews have justified to themselves these and many other affronts on the grounds that, after the European holocaust, they deserved a strong state. Palestinians had to pay the price.
“Given that half the world’s Jews live outside Israel – the great majority in the US – their support for Israel is critical. They have donated enormous sums, helping to build cities and plant forests. And they have lobbied aggressively at home to ensure diplomatic, financial and military support for their cause. But it is becoming ever harder for them to ignore their hypocrisy.
“The rift has grown into a chasm as Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government widens its assault on civil rights. It now targets not just Palestinians but the remnants of liberal Jewish society in Israel – in open contempt for the values of most American Jews. […]
“Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman is seeking stronger powers against political activists, Jews and Palestinians alike, including draconian restraining orders and detention without charge or trial.
“And for the first time, overseas Jews are being grilled on arrival at Israel’s airport about their political views. Some have signed a ‘good behaviour oath’ – a pledge to avoid anti-occupation activities. Already Jewish supporters of boycotts can be denied entry.
“The Netanyahu government, it seems, prefers as allies Christian evangelicals and the US alt-right, which loves Israel as much as it appears to despise Jews.”
The row over Jerusalem gives American Jews a tough choice
By Jonathan Cook
Speaking in front of the hard-line pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on 21 March 2016, Trump first promised he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump’s 6 December 2017 announcement that “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital” was celebrated by the Sheldon Adelson-funded Republican Jewish Coalition with a full-page ad in The New York Times under the banner headline: “President Trump: You Promised. You Delivered.”
Adelson is a major contributor to Republican Party candidates. He has been the largest donor, of any party, in both the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. He was the largest donor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign with a total of $25 million.
At the November 2017 conference of the Israeli-American Council, Adelson declared that the organization should become primarily a political lobbying group on Israel-related issues. In contrast to AIPAC, which supports a two-state solution and continued aid to the Palestinians, Adelson charted a course for IAC to oppose both of these positions. Israeli journalist Chemi Shalev said that IAC had not intended to become a political pressure group and that Adelson had “hijacked” it.
At first I thought of how Trump is no deal maker, as he gave Jerusalem away for the price of nothing, but now I can see the real bargaining power Trump went with was his making a deal with Sheldon Adelson. To declare Trump’s Jerusalem give away as ‘what a deal’ can only be followed with, ‘what a waste of life’ as the violence will soon follow this arrogant and ignorant Trump Declaration of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital.
Tina here, not much left to say or comment on. Do you believe Kushner will make a peace deal? 2016 everyone here was beating up on HRC. Her name here was KIllary, Shillary, Hillbill., and what have you. Single handedly, HRC was going to cause WW3. Now , where are we? A 32 year old real estate magnate is going to give the world a peace plan? Jared could be the next Messiah. I, for one believe in Jared. And I love diamonds! In fact, I am going to Jared tonight to get my diamonds. Merry Christmas. Trump told me I have to say that and repeat it three times. Take care
Hi tina. I have my doubts about the Jared, Salman, and Netanyahu, alliance. Add to those 3 troublemaking companions Trump goes and recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Jared I read has some strange ideas, like this Jerusalem move will eventually be welcomed by the Palestinian people, and not knowing what Jared knows leaves me all but flabbergasted that Jared could possibly believe himself. Bazaar, but then what do I know.
I am trying to move beyond seeing Hillary in whatever it is Trump is doing, and vice versa. What I mean, is why take sides when each side is as bad as the other. I would bargain to say that even if Hillary were in Trump’s shoes that much of what is happening between the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be that much different. All this Russian stuff killing ISIS got the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia in a tizzy, so now we move on to a new phase. I don’t think it would much matter who the U.S. President would be, but the odds of that president going against Israel and Saudi Arabia are dim, at best.
I hope you do get a diamond or two for Christmas tina. Hey, he went to Jared.
I though Jared’s was just a Long Island thing… :-)
Spot on Joe.
“Trump has often proclaimed himself the ultimate deal-maker. Since Israel’s leaders have desperately craved this recognition of Jerusalem as its capital for decades, one might think that the ‘ultimate deal-maker’ could have obtained quite a bit in return for this move. Trump could have demanded an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip. He could have said there would be no recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital until all the 500,000+ illegal settlers living on Palestinian land vacated it. Trump could have withheld recognition until all the checkpoints in the West Bank were disbanded. He could have demanded that Israel respect the pre-1967, internationally-recognized borders.”
Israel unlawfully annexed East Jerusalem to its territory. Since then, and despite its incursion upon their home, it has treated the Palestinian residents of the city as unwanted immigrants and worked systematically to drive them out of the area.
In June 1967, immediately upon occupying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Israel annexed some 7,000 hectares of West Bank land to the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and applied Israeli law there, in breach of international law. The annexed territory greatly exceeded the size of Jerusalem under Jordanian rule (about 600 hectares), encompassing approximately 6,400 more hectares. The additional land belonged, in large part, to 28 Palestinian villages, and some of it lay within the municipal jurisdiction of Bethlehem and Beit Jala. The annexed area is currently home to at least 370,000 Palestinians and some 280,000 Israeli settlers.
The new municipal boundaries of Jerusalem were drawn largely in accordance with demographic concerns, chief among them to leave out densely-populated Palestinian areas in order to ensure a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. In keeping with this logic, Israel included some lands belonging to villages near Jerusalem within the city’s municipal jurisdiction, yet left the owners outside it. […] In doing so, Israel divided Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, annexing only parts of them.
In June 1967, Israel held a census in the annexed area. Palestinians who happened to be absent at the time, lost their right to return to their home. Those who were present were given the status of “permanent resident” in Israel – a legal status accorded to foreign nationals wishing to reside in Israel. Yet unlike immigrants who freely choose to live in Israel and can return to their country of origin, the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have no other home, no legal status in any other country, and did not choose to live in Israel; it is the State of Israel that occupied and annexed the land on which they live. […]
Israeli policy in East Jerusalem is geared toward pressuring Palestinians to leave, thereby shaping a geographical and demographic reality that would thwart any future attempt to challenge Israeli sovereignty there. Palestinians who do leave East Jerusalem, due to this policy or for other reasons, risk losing their permanent residency and the attendant social benefits. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the permanent residency of some 14,500 Palestinians from East Jerusalem under such circumstances.
Israel’s attempts to shape the demographic reality of East Jerusalem are concentrated in several spheres:
– Land expropriation and building restrictions
– Cutting East Jerusalem off from the rest of the West Bank
– Discrimination in budget allocation and municipal services
While reading what you commented with Abe, I could not help but think to myself of why the U.S. feels so wedded to this Israeli humanitarian war crime of occupation. The U.S. should dump all these worldwide bases it has, and start concentrating on what needs done at home. Joe
Its the money… :-(
The Trump administration prefers to celebrate nuclear non-proliferation by positioning US military personnel inside the Mashabim Air Base, east of the Dimona nuclear facility that supplied Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
More about how Israel hid the Dimona reactor from the US
“It is obvious that TRUMP WANTS WAR—and apparently so do a majority of Christian Zionists in this country. Of course, the warmongering Christian Zionists think they are all going to be “raptured” to heaven before the nuclear Armageddon that they are helping to create incinerates THEM. They are in for a very rude awakening.”
“The majority of the U.S. public has not internalized either a belief in the nuclear taboo or a strong noncombatant immunity norm. When faced with realistic scenarios in which they are forced to contemplate a trade-off between sacrificing a large number of U.S. troops in combat or deliberately killing even larger numbers of foreign noncombatants, the majority of respondents approve of killing civilians in an effort to end the war. […]
“The U.S. public’s willingness to use nuclear weapons and deliberately kill foreign civilians has not changed as much since 1945 as many scholars have assumed. Contrary to the nuclear taboo thesis, a majority of Americans are willing to support the use of a nuclear weapon against an Iranian city killing 100,000 civilians. Contrary to the theory that Americans accept the noncombatant immunity norm, an even larger percentage of the U.S. public was willing to kill 100,000 Iranian civilians with conventional weapons. Women are as hawkish as men and, in some scenarios, are even more willing to support the use of nuclear weapons. Belief in the value of retribution is strongly related to support for using nuclear weapons, and a large majority of those who favor the use of nuclear weapons against Iran stated that the Iranian people bore some of the responsibility for that attack because they had not overthrown their government. […]
“surveys do tell us something unsettling about the instincts of the U.S. public concerning nuclear weapons and noncombatant immunity. When provoked, and in conditions where saving U.S. soldiers is at stake, the majority of Americans do not consider the first use of nuclear weapons a taboo, and their commitment to noncombatant immunity in wartime is shallow. Instead, a majority of Americans prioritize winning the war quickly and saving the lives of U.S. soldiers, even if that means killing large numbers of foreign noncombatants. […]
“We were not surprised by the finding that most Americans place a higher value on the life of an American soldier than the life of a foreign noncombatant. What was surprising, however, was the radical extent of that preference. Our experiments suggest that the majority of Americans find a 1:100 risk ratio to be morally acceptable. They were willing to kill 2 million Iranian civilians to save 20,000 U.S. soldiers. One respondent who approved of the conventional air strike that killed 100,000 Iranian civilians candidly expressed even more extreme preferences regarding proportionality and risk ratios, while displacing U.S. responsibility for the attack onto the Iranian people: ‘I would sacrifice 1 million enemies versus 1 of our military. Their choice, their death.’
:U.S. political leaders have, in some important cases in the past, been aware of public sentiments regarding retribution and revenge and have used the threat of public pressure in favor of nuclear attacks to add credibility to thinly veiled nuclear threats. President George H.W. Bush, for example, wrote to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in January 1991 that ‘the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical or biological weapons…. The American people would demand the strongest possible response.’ Secretary of State James Baker amplified the message in a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz: ‘If the conflict starts, God forbid, and chemical or biological weapons are used against our forces, the American people would demand vengeance. We have the means to exact it.’ Although scholars now know that the Bush administration had already decided not to use nuclear weapons to respond to any Iraqi chemical or biological weapons attack, Saddam Hussein did not know that and took the threat of U.S. nuclear weapons use seriously. Our survey experiments demonstrate that such public pressures to use nuclear weapons are not fanciful and should be taken seriously by both U.S. leaders and any foreign government contemplating war against the United States. Indeed, these experiments suggest that pressures for escalating violence, including a public demand for vengeance and pressure to use nuclear weapons, extend beyond scenarios in which the United States is responding to nuclear, chemical, or biological attacks.
“Past surveys that show a very substantial decline in U.S. public support for the 1945 dropping of the atomic bombs are a misleading guide to how the public would react if placed in similar wartime circumstances in the future. It is fortunate that the United States has not faced wartime conditions in the nuclear era in which U.S. political leaders and the public had to contemplate such grave trade-offs. Today, as in 1945, the U.S. public is unlikely to serve as a serious constraint on any president who might consider using nuclear weapons in the crucible of war.”
Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran: What Americans Really Think about Using Nuclear Weapons and Killing Noncombatants
By Scott D. Sagan & Benjamin A. Valentino
“Unfortunately, for the time being, almost all political players around the world seem absolutely unprepared for what they see unfolding before their eyes, and apparently prefer not to believe it! They hope that God (or the US “deep” or just the normal state) will avert the unprecedented threats in an “automatic”, “objective” way, without them bothering to do anything significant.
“War, the Left and Multi-polarism
“The potential opponents of the Empire, not only do they facilitate in this way the work of its extremist faction, they also lose a historic opportunity. There is no more urgent and more important task now than to save the world from nuclear war. […]
“A first step would be for Russia and China to make the bold move and, instead of trying to appease Mr. Trump, USA and Israel, take the initiative to clearly and loudly denounce his threats and form an international front to deter any prospect of nuclear war.”
Careening Toward Nuclear War: the Political Paralysis of Europe, Russia and China
By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The article by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos is very informative and timely – and very scary – the way the political scene in U.S. and the World has developed since Trump’s election. Thanks Abe for the link.
I believe that all this talk of a potential WWIII is a lot of sensationalism for the tabloids. It sells papers.
If you follow the military trends in both the United States and Russia/China you will find a complete disconnect between the realities as seen by US politicians, their military counterparts, and Russian politicians and military commanders.
Today Russia has such advanced weaponry that even if the US were to launch a pre-emptive strike a lot of the US hardware probably wouldn’t make it out of the silos before being completely destroyed.
On the battlefield US troops and hardware are no match for Russian weapon systems and better trained troops. And the same goes for the Russian Air Force.
Both US and NATO commanders have openly admitted that going to war with Russia would be a fool’s errand.
With the shifting sands in the Mid-East towards Russia and China, the US is increasingly being squeezed out of having any influence in that region to the point that US aircraft are now coming under the danger of being shot down.
True, the Zionists and the US Christian Zionists are all hoping for that big fireball in the sky. And there are many senior commanders in the US military who are perfectly happy to go along with that. However, when it comes right down to it, it is left to the rank and file to carry out such orders and on at least on occasion already, Military Police have already thwarted such an action…