The Art of No Mideast Deal

Donald Trump once advertised an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan as his greatest achievement-in-the-making, but like many of the president’s negotiations, the Kushner-Greenblatt strategy is a one-sided bargain, writes Patrick Lawrence.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

Whatever happened to President Trump’s “Deal of the Century”—his promise to forge an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians bringing a 70-year conflict to a close?

We now have two answers.

One, whatever comes out of this undertaking will not be a deal. Since the Palestinians have refused to negotiate, it will be an imposed plan entirely to Israel’s advantage.

Two, when the White House does announce its Mideast framework, it is unlikely to do much more than consolidate the status quo. “It’ll be a cease-fire, not a peace plan, even if the United States and Israel could get Palestinians to go along,” Richard Falk, an international lawyer and longtime authority on the Mideast question, said in a recent conversation.

Wait Until Next Year

Little was made of it, but Trump took a big step back from his deal of deals during the recent General Assembly general debate at the United Nations. We’ll show the world our plan “over the next two to three to four months,” he announced.

Clearly the administration is unsurprisingly kicking its proposals well into next year. By all indications, it has so far found little buy-in from any Arab nation, let alone the Palestinians.

Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, who have led the administration effort for 20 months, have plenty on the table. While they have disclosed no details, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser on Israel appear to have structured a grand plan that takes Palestinian self-determination out of the equation in return for economic aid and the promise of prosperity. In other words, surrender your principles, and we’ll pay you for it.

Greenblatt, far left, and Kushner, far right, with Bibi and “friends” at the U.S. Embassy dedication ceremony in Jerusalem. (State Department)

I simply do not see this winning the endorsement it would need in either Gaza or the West Bank. And without that, international support will prove minimal at best. “No Palestinian who wants to keep any political influence can accept what we know so far,” said Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, who has written widely on the Mideast crisis.  

The Kushner–Greenblatt strategy seems to draw heavily from Daniel Pipes in Middle East Forum, the conservative think tank Pipes founded in 1990. The MEF’s “Victory Caucus” initiative calls on Palestinians to admit their seven-decade political struggle is lost and accept a kind of Mideast Marshall Plan. “Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair,” Pipes wrote in an MEF paper last year. In a congressional hearing, Pipes later described this as “an alternative to endless negotiations nobody believes in.”

The Kushner-Greenblatt Plan

Here are the main elements of the Kushner–Greenblatt plan, according to experts such as Falk and Bennis, many months of leaks, and press reports from the region.

In Gaza, investment will center on a free-trade zone along the border with the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt, Jordan or both are to take responsibility for Gaza as a protectorate. This will legally separate Gaza and West Bank Palestinians, guarantee Israel’s status as a Jewish state, and create jobs in the Sinai and Gaza, where unemployment and discontent run high.

Two problems here. Neither Cairo nor Amman show any interest in assuming political responsibility for Gaza. Qatar and the other Gulf emirates could invest in the free-trade project, I am told, but that depends on whether they find the rest of the Kushner–Greenblatt plan at least minimally acceptable.

Abbas: Refuses to negotiate on Trump’s ‘deal’. (

On the West Bank, Kushner, Greenblatt and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador in Jerusalem, propose legalizing the status quo while giving it the appearance of balance. Israeli settlement activity is to be accepted as legal, while investment and infrastructure (possibly including an international airport, Bennis tells me) will go into Palestinian-held land. The Palestinian Authority will be officially recognized and would locate its capital at Abu Dis, a small village east of Jerusalem now under Israeli control. Again, there is no indication these proposals have support among Palestinians or elsewhere in the region.

Neither would the Palestinian Authority government remain independent, if talks now underway succeed. On this point, Kushner and Greenblatt are fishing for what might plausibly work, Falk says. They are currently encouraging Jordan to accept the West Bank in a bipartite confederation. While Jordanian officials say this is out of the question, it is the one idea in which Mahmoud Abbas, the PA’s head, has expressed interest.

Another proposal is to include Israel in a tripartite deal. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin recently described this as “a momentous opportunity,” according to a Times of Israel report. But what weight does this carry? Rivlin is a titular head of state, not the prime minister.

Classic Trump Strategy

I find the indifference to international law in the Kushner-Greenblatt plans not short of breathtaking. Kushner wants to redefine refugees, for example, so they are limited to those who left Israel’s borders as of 1948. This would deprive legal status to the vast majority of Palestinians, who number roughly 5 million. Crucially, they also would lose their 70-year claim to a “right of return.” But only the U.N. has the authority to alter the status of refugees or certify Israeli settlements as legal, and it is inconceivable that it would take either step.

The front end of the Kushner strategy has been clear since the administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December. The administration has since cut off $200 million in aid for West Bank and Gaza programs, eliminated the $65 million remaining in already reduced payments to UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), the U.N. agency supporting Palestinians in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and is closing the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington.

This is classic Trump strategy: Achieve maximum advantage before disclosing what is on offer.

‘A Disaster Waiting to Happen’

International reaction to the Trump administration plan, whenever it is unveiled, is difficult to assess. Arab nations have long paid little more than lip service to the Palestinian cause. Many are now preoccupied with countering Iran’s regional role, and none wants to risk damaging relations with the U.S. and Israel. But they also are wary of provoking domestic opinion, especially with the Arab Spring uprisings just a few years behind them.  

Corbyn’s dream. (Danny PiG / Flick)

Europeans appear set to seize a diplomatic opening in the Mideast (once again at the cost of worsening trans-Atlantic ties). The EU just proposed a $46 million increase in its UNRWA funding. While anti-immigrant politics in Germany and the Netherlands may weaken European unity on the Mideast question, the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign is certain to continue gathering momentum (as will Israel’s concerted campaign to counter it). Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labour Party’s leader, said in September that a Labour government “will recognize a Palestinian state as soon as we take office.” It is a symbolic gesture but not without significance.

As to Russia, President Putin has working relations with Benjamin Netanyahu and interests in Syria to think about, but Putin also is committed to opposing the U.S. plan. The logical call here: muted objections from Moscow once the plan is public.

Washington, not least, is deeply divided. Conservative politicians and think tanks line up with the Pipe’s rightwing Middle East Forum. But both Bennis and Falk told Consortium News that they’ve learned a number of officials at the State Department and Pentagon oppose the administration on two grounds: They think the plan has little chance of working and they regret the loss of U.S. legitimacy in the region for the sake of an imposed plan fundamentally one-sided in Israel’s favor.

Is there any wonder Trump is in no rush to reveal what he once advertised as his greatest achievement-in-the-making? “A disaster waiting to happen,” Foreign Policy called it a few months ago. Wait for it.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is Support his work via

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51 comments for “The Art of No Mideast Deal

  1. mark
    October 18, 2018 at 23:44

    What’s not to like? Seems like a perfectly good deal to me.
    Israel gets Jerusalem, the Golan Heights with its water and oil, the gas fields off Gaza, all the settlements and all the land it wants, and the border with Jordan.
    The Palestinians get a few acres the Jews don’t want with a scruffy little village as their “capital”, and an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere providing cheap labour for the Jews.
    Seems quite fair to me. If the Palestinians are really lucky, the Orange Baboon may toss them a few extra crumbs on top.
    He may even let the Palestinians keep their underpants.
    Really even handed deal.

  2. October 16, 2018 at 13:56

    I confess the comments by Mister Falk left me puzzled. What is it the Palestinians have always wanted? It is to retain their roots in their real of home of Palestine/Israel. They should never abandon that dream. Let the world see the Israelis loading Palestinians in box cars to transport them out of Israel. That is hyperbole but no question that the policy is to squeeze the Palestinians out of coveted territory until they gain enough sympathy for their plight so the world offers them a place somewhere else. If they’re miserable enough, the twisted thinking goes, they’ll accept.

    So to the Palestinians, hold fast to your dream and your vision that you will be treated as other human beings in civilized countries, with all the rights and responsibilities of the others living on the same land where you rightfully belong.

    • October 16, 2018 at 20:46

      What is needed is for the great diaspora of Palestinian refugees, from where ever they camp, to rise up and present themselves in direct confrontation, at the borders of their rightful Homelands; this is where they should be, this is where they cannot be ignored, this is where they cannot be suffocated, either by the Jewish occupier forces or the gutless Palestinian Authority acting as policeman for them. This is the confrontation that will attract the World of Public Opinion and demand for resolution, this is the confrontation that would force action from the security council, even individual National Governments. Look again at what happened when the great flow of Middle Eastern migrants and displaced Peoples converged into Europe; they could not be stopped. This principle would work for the Palestinian Diaspora too. As it is they are “out of sight and out of mind” to the World, do they want their homes and entitlements restored or not? if the answer is yes, and it obviously is, yes, then they must follow these recommendations. They must take up the reins of their own destiny, they must clear their eyes and minds of all false and misleading advice designed to stop them from doing exactly what they must. All the pain and travail suffered thus far, all the deceitful support, all peace negotiations, all these have resulted in nothing. I say they must “Rise” now and take ownership of their rightful legal entitlements because as we speak “they” are making plans that will mean “Oblivion” for the Palestinian Peoples and the Nation of their rightful homeland Palestine. Regards, Thomas.

  3. Ma Laoshi
    October 16, 2018 at 04:14

    The ones opposite the Palestinians have a … reputation. Without a degree of self-determination, the latter won’t have a means of keeping anybody to promises of prosperity. It’s not as if the US Govt has any money left to invest even in their own country. Anyway, was Trump elected with jewish money or with Palestinian money; ’nuff said.

  4. didi
    October 15, 2018 at 12:05

    There already exist three whipping boys for President Trump when the plan comes crashing down: the Arabs, the Iranians, and the US Democrats.

  5. Anne Jaclard
    October 15, 2018 at 00:17

    The “Rejectionist Front,” led by the PFLP, has been proven correct time and again- the Arab monarchies only pretended to be friends of Palestine to prevent unrest among their own youthful populations, going back to the 1970s. Now that the secular revolutionary nationalist regimes like Gadaffi’s Libya, Nasser’s Egypt, and Assad’s Syria are either long gone or totally crippled, right-wing terrorist kingdoms like Saudi Arabia can cuddle up with Israel and the neo-cons openly. Western capital has turned young people in the Arab world into slaves and captives. But Palestinians could have the last laugh if this Saudi-Turkey imbroglio blows up the reactionary US alliance- you reap what you sow!

  6. Marc Isacson
    October 14, 2018 at 18:51

    If one cannot see anything wrong with what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, one has lost one’s sense of perspective.
    No excuse in the world can justify the horrific treatment of Palestinians in the hands of Israel.
    None. Some things simply cannot be justified.

  7. Joe Lauria
    October 14, 2018 at 16:23

    One commenter here wrote: “If CN had the page before.” If? I am not lying to our readers. Consortium News joined Facebook on December 1, 2011. That was seven years ago. And we are not “supporting” Facebook. We are using it, like every other publication, to spread what we publish and increase readership. Consortium News is not only for the exclusive club of 30-40 regular commenters on this page. We get on average 120,000 unique visitors a month. That is 4,000 per day. We want to grow that to have greater influence on the major issues of the day. Yes, there is a crisis of Facebook censoring dissident websites. That is precisely why we want to grow our presence on Facebook, not diminish it. As the website The Organic Prepper wrote about the recent deletion of hundreds of websites by Facebook:

    “Consider the fact that the ‘population’ of Facebook is bigger than the populations of the US, China, and Brazil combined.

    “That’s how many people will now only receive one side of the story on things like war, politics, guns, and current events. People will believe what they’re told because there is no alternative information presented.” (

    If Facebook were a place to stay away from, why are people protesting the removal of these sites? Isn’t it the demand that these sites should never have been removed and should instead be restored? Anti-media, Freethoughtproject and the others WANT to stay on FB. Otherwise they wouldn’t be protesting. And yet readers here are saying we should stay off FB, which is doing FB’s censoring job for them. No thanks. We need to offer the other side of the story to FB’s massive audience.

    So please like and follow our FB page and comment on our articles there in order to defeat FB’s censorship.

    • Joe Terreri
      October 14, 2018 at 20:24

      Joe I trust your wisdom. I would also like to express my feelings about the moderation mode of which I was complaining about this last couple of articles. I’m with you on that one as well. So hopefully no hard feelings, and soon I will be making another contribution to continue what great investigative work you all do. That’s what is most important, isn’t it? Keep up the good work Joe, and thank you for keeping Robert Parry’s unending truthful reporting alive. Joe Tedesky

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 14, 2018 at 22:16

        Sorry for the confusing heading I just recently was corresponding with a Terreri from Pescopennatario Italy where there are tons of Terreri’s… Joe Tedesky

    • incontinent reader
      October 14, 2018 at 21:34

      Joe, I very much agree with your decision and assessment for Consortium News. To do otherwise would be contrary to your mission to inform the widest possible audience, but that is distinguishable from individuals dropping their personal Facebook accounts, whether it might be to avoid Facebook’s hacking problem or its surveillance and data accumulation and/or sale of personal information.

      Unless an account is restricted, one doesn’t have to be a Facebook subscriber to access it. So, for example, I have never subscribed, but still often Facebook (and Twitter to get recent information I may have missed or that wasn’t posted elsewhere. The trade-off is that as a non-subscriber one doesn’t have the opportunity to post one’s opinions on Facebook or other sites which only allow comments for Facebook account holders.

      As for individuals boycotting Facebook, advertising is such a large percentage of Facebook’s revenue that, as of its second quarter, when Facebook’s subscriber growth was halted, and its regulatory problems and algorithm costs increased, Facebook’s bottom line was hit and on July 25th its market cap fell by $120 billion. (The stock has since fallen an addition 20 points) . And then there is the open issue of what may have been illegal insider sales of stock in anticipation of that precipitous fall in July. For that one, as well for its hacking breach, I’m hoping some young litigators will “load their guns” and file a massive class action suit against the ‘malefactors of wealth’ for their ‘malicious behavior’.

      And beyond that, maybe the policy makers will finally decide to impose a sales or financial services tax on the equity and bond markets.
      Now that could do a lot to fund social services and bring down the deficit.

      October 15, 2018 at 07:48

      Are we offering our side of the story?

      I those interested in “our line” (which is many different opinions not
      all of which are mine!) they can get it by reading consortium like
      the rest of us.

      When I have written a comment for consortium I had no idea writing as
      well for thousands of folks with their tongues hanging out for my views.
      That is a false argument. I am sure it suits the marketing department
      of FB.

      No to FB. Consortium is for those on FB to seek out.

  8. Mark Thomason
    October 14, 2018 at 12:43

    It is hard to imagine the much-abused Palestinians actually believing a promise that Israel would permit them to gain economic advantages. That never happened before. Israel took everything. It always will.

    It is a maxim of law and politics that strength and position are not constants. They wax and wane. The best deal can be made at the moment of maximum advantage, when the other side’s prospects seem bleakest.

    It is another maxim that closing a deal means leaving a little on the table for the other side, the bait to make the deal.

    Israel is letting that moment pass. It is instead grabbing up everything and demanding more, while putting off closing a deal.

    The future is clear. They will one day weaken. Then they will be forced to a deal they sneer at now.

    How much weaker will they get? If we knew exactly, that would detract from their apparent power today. We do know the odds, of 20-1 in population, worse in territory, and the other side has vast oil wealth. We do know that in times past it sometimes looked a lot worse, and what could happen before could happen again.

    Israel is on a path of self destruction, and the only question is how bad it will get. Meanwhile, in his arrogance, Bibi thinks he’s doing them a big favor.

  9. incontinent reader
    October 14, 2018 at 11:36

    Why have negotiations never worked, as Pipes complained? The Israelis never offered anything of real value- Oslo, for example, was dead on arrival- while at the the same time engaging in periodic wars or ‘haircuts’ to kill, displace and/or bleed the Palestinians. It has never been anything other than 70+ years of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

    As for this reputed “Marshall Plan”, by denying sovereignty to the Palestinians, the Israelis would be able to retain and develop for its own benefit the EEZ off the coast of Gaza with its hugely valuable natural gas resources- an EEZ which would automatically revert to the Palestinians under normal statehood- similar to the Israeli attempted annexation of the Golan Heights, with the tacit, though not yet formal endorsement of the US. It would be another shell game with still more theft of land and resources, and, at the same time, a way to avoid the demographic rebalancing that would occur under a single truly democratic state with equal citizenship for all of its occupants.

    In financial terms consider it a debt, or rather series of debts, deferred with the interest accumulating and compounding, now totaling hundreds of billions- except also with the destruction of generations- that the Israelis and the West have swept under the rug and failed to honor.

  10. None
    October 14, 2018 at 11:35

    Excellent Piece. I see the conflict eventually going to a disturbing conclusion. Once M. Abbas dies(he’s 82), the Israeli/US/Saudi alliance will empower some small “palestinian” faction by negotiating as though they have full authority for Palestine. The PA dies with Abbas. This faction may or may not even reside in Gaza/West Bank. Through these illegitimate negotiations (supported by propaganda/ignorance); Israel will exact any demands they please to proffer a semblance of legality on the global stage. Since the I/USA/SA alliance empowered the Palestinian faction; they will be able to keep it weak, broken and feckless and avoid any mediated ‘resolution’. The status quo of ongoing conflict has been and will continue to be the Israelis goal as they hold all the cards and any “peace” or “deal” would only weaken their position. I truly hope this scenario does not come to pass.

  11. October 14, 2018 at 10:37

    Donald Trump’s United Nations speech writers have experienced unrelenting nightmares since considering, for one millisecond, substituting – instead of [showing our plan] “over the next two to three to four months” – the following:

    Donald Trump: “Mr. Netanyahu … Tear down this WALL!”

  12. October 14, 2018 at 10:09

    Trump is the front man, clueless about the politics, who’s running the crazy show? Kushner has as much knowledge of the Palestinian problem as a Martian but he is a good water carrier for Netanyahoo. Typical mess for US pretense of steering any peace process, record is years of failures with continued mistreatment of Palestinians by the “democracy”, apartheid Israel. Pompeo says the ME should be remade in the standard of the “democratic” Israel. Puppets for Adelson money? The US evangelicals including VP Pence think Israel is sacrosanct and they’re a vocal base.

    I also was startled to see CN supporting Facebook, just when we are understanding more about its malign activities. If CN had the page before, it wasn’t advertised. The only way for that crooked entity to go under is for people not to support it. I would like to see Facebook defaced. Arguing that everybody does it won’t change anything.

  13. GKJames
    October 14, 2018 at 08:46

    (1) “Since the Palestinians have refused to negotiate…”: Is this intentional? Regardless, it furthers the long-standing Israeli narrative that “we have no partner for peace”. What routinely goes unsaid — saying it presumably would confirm that it’s always been about the Greater Israel enterprise, in furtherance of which the government expropriates land, dunam by dunam, until there literally will be no land to talk about — is that (i) Israel expects Palestinians to concede on all issues as a PRE-CONDITION to negotiations; and (ii) the Israeli government’s policy is that there will be no independent Palestinian state west of the Jordan … ever. That Palestinians would ask, What, exactly, is there to negotiate? makes perfect sense. Part of the con, of course, has always been Israel’s (and its US supporters’) reference to “peace”, as if the dispute were between two sovereign nation-states, rather than an occupying power’s subjugating an unwilling population.

    (2) That the current US administration has bought into Israel’s view of the matter hardly surprises. Continuity in US foreign policy, indeed. One need only recall Obama’s speech to the UN in 2013(?) when he rejected Palestinian calls for statehood by obtusely lecturing them to negotiate with Israel, as if it weren’t obvious that one side held all the cards. Where the current crowd differs (in addition to its staggering ignorance) is in the relative absence of mendacity. Washington no longer pretends — as it did in the decades when Dennis Ross carried Israel’s water in Washington, disguised as an even-handed negotiator — to be the neutral arbiter aiming for a just settlement, the basic outlines of which have long been understood. Certainly, we will hear the inane “the greatest deal ever” but, as usual, there’ll be an ocean between rhetoric and reality. By the time the president leaves office in 2024, there’ll be open talk in Jerusalem — with sotto voce approval from Washington — of forced population transfers. At which point world leaders will bleat in helpless outrage; Jerusalem will bark, “Anti-Semitism!” in response, and everyone (Merkel, in particular) will fall back into line. One more sign that international law is dead and buried.

    • Abbybwood
      October 14, 2018 at 17:13

      The Palestinians should DEMAND that the United Nations be the chief mediator and that there is NO PLACE for the United States “at the table”.

      Starting the negotiations with ALL the U.N. Resolutions would be a good start.

      If THIS was the starting framework for negotiating a “peace deal”, then it would be ISRAEL that would be refusing to sit down at the table.

      Where is Hanan Ashwari when we need her???!!!

    • incontinent reader
      October 14, 2018 at 20:42

      Well stated.

  14. mike k
    October 14, 2018 at 08:31

    Mafia deals are always made with a gun to your head. See Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins. Trump is a Mafia Boss who is controlled by bigger Mafia Bosses. Our world is run by competing Mafias, all struggling for world domination.

  15. Abdel-Ghani Ahmed Hasanain
    October 14, 2018 at 02:27

    Mr. Donald Trump has been cheated by Netanyahu and Jared into believing that the key to putting an end to the Palestinian issue is to give Jerusalem to Israel and to take from the Palestinian refugees the UNRWA! He ate the bait calling it “recognizing the obvious”. Now, the Zionists living in Palestine will negotiate with any Palestinian side on the premises that there is no Jerusalem and no Palestinian refugees! He will tell any negotiating Palestinian let us start from these premises and see how you and I may reach a compromise: I give you fifty percent of the West Bank and you give me fifty percent of the West Bank! Obviously, this is a fair compromise. If the Palestinians refuse to negotiate on these premises, it is because they do not want peace! Netanyahu will base his stance on the fact that it will be very difficult for any American president to change what Mr. Trump has given the Zionists living in Palestine! Jerusalem and the UNRWA are probably the dowry Jared demanded of his loving wife!

  16. Antiwar7
    October 14, 2018 at 00:39

    Please, please stay away from Facebook, Consortium News. Or at least, let it only be an addition to the comments here. Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc, like all large corporations, play nice with the government and their security services.

      October 14, 2018 at 06:45


      Consortiumnews and its commenters have always held a special
      place in my heart.

      Now on FACEBOOK this can no longer be the case.

      I have already shifted much of my energy to the posts of Jack
      Rasmus. I now (almost) comprehend why Rasmus was not
      one of the new writers. His views pick apart not only
      the current administration but also traditional Democratic

      Peter Loeb, Boston, M USA

  17. Curious
    October 14, 2018 at 00:38

    Who in the heck came up with this Facebook idea? Is CN now run by clueless interns?
    CN has already reported that FB is using The Atlantic Council for its ‘truthiisms’. That should be reason enough to avoid FB.
    Also, for those who are unaware, posting something on FB is like burning in a tattoo that you can never, ever erase. CN is asking for ‘likes’ ? Does CN know that when a person hits a ‘like’ button FB records that like, along with the persons private data, address book, and other data they hope to sell. And the kicker is, one doesn’t even have to be on FB to be rammed into their database. What a great idea CN! Let your commentators be at the mercy of an organization that has no moral inclinations to protect individuals data.
    Has CN forgot about Cambridge Anaylitica already? FBs entire business model is your data, and everyone’s data for their advertising playground. They would be penny-less without peoples personal data.
    What a bad idea CN to even play in FBs sandlot. Horrible. There are cases too many to name where FB had to apologize for sending false information to a select group to have some physiologists map how people reacted to false stories. Zuckerberg won’t change, and for those who care, please read what one of the creators of Cambridge Analytica had to say about this use of personal data, and Zuckerberg himself.
    I’ll have to rethink my PayPal contributions to an organization so inept. Perhaps Mr Binney could write an article for you on why it’s technically a bad idea for CN to dabble in the FB quagmire amidst the pond scum who drive that FB bus.

  18. nondimenticare
    October 13, 2018 at 21:09

    “The idea is to have the internet scrubbed clean before the midterm election to save are [sic] democracy.” Written with a profound sense of irony? I doubt it.

    Please, please, not the dread Facebook. Why now, of all times? I was just about to contribute for the second time this year but think I’ll hold off for a bit to see if common sense reasserts itself.

  19. Jeff Harrison
    October 13, 2018 at 19:51

    Oh, yeah. What’s this crap with facebook? If you move comments to facebook like Salon did, you’ll lose me in a heartbeat. I won’t have a fucking thing to do with facebook.

    • Dunderhead
      October 13, 2018 at 22:31

      Facebook is poison, why the hell does consortium want to Play in the mainstream noise anyway, good way to kill what has been a decent publication.

      • Tom Kath
        October 14, 2018 at 00:45

        I agree. It is only people (or sheep and chooks) who like being herded into a pen, that get tremendously distressed if they are excluded from it.

      October 14, 2018 at 00:59

      Consortium News has had a Facebook page for several years now, as well as one on Twitter. It is not something new. Social media is a way to share our articles and attract new readers.

      • October 14, 2018 at 04:53
      • Jeff Harrison
        October 14, 2018 at 13:07

        OK, Joe. I think I get it. And I suspect that you get it that most of your readers and commenters don’t want anything to do with facebook.

          October 14, 2018 at 16:38

          Most of our readers? Are you saying that four or five comments here represent most of our 120,000 monthly readers? Please read the comment Joe Lauria posted above explaining why increasing our presence on Facebook is an effort to defeat FB’s censorship and not to give in to it.

          • Jeff Harrison
            October 15, 2018 at 18:37

            Fair enough. Commenters then. I was reacting to seeing a goodly portion of the commenters (at the time I wrote the comment) complaining about facebook. I understand what Joe’s saying but… I am not now a member of facebook and I have never been a member of facebook. I’m retired IT and I know that what they claim is free is really paid for with the coin of your data. Frankly, they wouldn’t pay me enough for my data or having to worry about the data breeches that all these organizations have on a regular basis.

    • rosemerry
      October 15, 2018 at 12:58

      I notice sites doing this eg counterpunch writers. I live in France and saw a cartoon showing “fesse-bouc” ie buttock-male goat! and think of it as that whenever I see the word. I avoid it like the plague- twitter, instagram etc too. I prefer to have a life.

  20. Jeff Harrison
    October 13, 2018 at 19:46

    Why is Trump doing this? Because it is expected that the US will make an effort to bring peace to the hash we’ve made of the Middle East by virtue of our unconditional support for Israel. He’s looking for a feather in his cap, negotiating a deal that has been out of reach of the previous regimes in Washington. I won’t claim to know anything about Trumps negotiating strategy but I have watched the USs negotiating strategy for some time. Our SOP is to demand acquiescence to our maximum position as the price of negotiations and then we’ll discuss what we’re willing to let you have. If we can’t get acquiescence, we’ll simply impose our preferred position by force of arms. Trump is operating in this tradition. He will declare success, organize victory parades (in Washington, DC of course), and call it a day. In essence nothing will have changed.

    What’s funny is that all the Sunni Arab regimes in the area are trying to torpedo Iran a Persian Shi’ite country and almost the only country standing up for the Palestinians who are themselves Sunni Arabs.

    • Dunderhead
      October 13, 2018 at 22:46

      Trump seems to be ideologically a Zionist, no big surprise but as ugly as this Arm twisting of the Palestinians has been, it has stirred up on the one hand such a overconfidence with the Israelis while highlighting the graphic injustice to the Palestinian people which is finally actually educating Americans, a small miracle. I don’t believe this was trumps intention but as in many other things, trumps a bully boy tactics combined with neocon hubris which is pushing most of this agenda certainly toward confrontation with Iran, these tactics are exposing the US Imperial overreach and making the US look foolish in the process.
      Of course all of this could end up in tears but perhaps a few large obvious failures in US foreign policy may culminate in to some kind of a positive change and perhaps Trump is enough of a chameleon to capitalize on that if only to save face,

  21. Spencer
    October 13, 2018 at 19:24

    To quote John Pilger—America should LEAVE THE WORLD ALONE—leave it alone—I agree–leave it alone–

    • strngr-tgthr
      October 13, 2018 at 19:28

      That was what were were doing with Obama and continued with Hillary. (sigh) Obama never bomed Syria and how many missles fired Trump?

      • ronnie mtchell
        October 15, 2018 at 14:27

        Good grief ‘stranger together’ is a pathetic bot or propagandist.Obama expanded GW Bush’s two (officially acknowledged) wars to bombing SEVEN Countrie. Go back under your rock. Is your twisted grammar because you are from some other planet?
        Obama never bombed Syria? Tell that to the survivors of the years of his bombing campaigns and only a bot could’ve made that statement or a very very ignorant person OR a combination of ignorance and being a propagandist.
        Under Obama so many bombs were dropped on Syria in 2016 alone that we (US) literally RAN OUT OF BOMBS.
        Yeah we really left Libya alone, maybe on your planet but on this one behind the persistence of Hillary , that is an undisputed truth.”We came, we saw, he died” she laughed talking about the torture/assassination of Qaddafi whom I guess you don’t know was the leader of Libya.
        Libya went from the highest living standards on the continent, even better than many European Countries, and now it is rubble with different militants controlling three areas of the Country and as even CNN showed ‘slave markets’ operating.
        I think this Hillbot & everyone else should peruse Obama’s record, not the PR.

    • KiwiAntz
      October 13, 2018 at 23:47

      To add to John Pilger’s comments that the US should leave the World alone? How about they just leave the World, literally, by relocating the entire Country to Mars!

  22. Llitchfield
    October 13, 2018 at 19:08

    “Please visit our Facebook page where you can join the conversation by commenting on this article. While you are there please like and follow us, and share this piece! ”

    No way.
    Why are you directing readers to Facebook?
    This can only undermine the vitality of this blog and the quality of commenters and comments.
    Why support Facebook?
    This is a slap in the face to those who are loyal to this blog.
    Don’t instruct them to channel their energy to FB instead.
    Does CN have a death wish?
    Acting as though FB confers validity on CN is . . . what is the word?
    Or, just plain nuts.

    • strngr-tgthr
      October 13, 2018 at 19:36

      No Facebook is getting rid of incorrect content. It is people like you who speek out against facebook that will get CN banned. As soon as they AI algorithm see this post bad speech then we get be on the banned list to. The idea is to have the internet scrubbed clean before the midterm election to save are democracy. Dont contibute to the problem!

      • robjira
        October 14, 2018 at 13:28

        Who needs dignutay when ur payed by the comment?

  23. October 13, 2018 at 17:23

    Trump’s going through the motions.

    And why?

    Keeps fellows like Sheldon Adelson happy.

    Trump expects many tens of millions for his 2020 campaign plus some favorable press.

    And he’ll get it.

    Adelson is, by the way, mass-killer Netanyahu’s biggest supporter.

    Readers may enjoy:

    The most dangerous thing about Trump is his willingness to do anything to get re-elected. Literally anything.He has already sold American policy in the Middle East.

  24. Andrew Dabrowski
    October 13, 2018 at 16:26

    Why would Trump antagonize Israel? That’s where he’s planning to seek asylum.

Comments are closed.