NOTE: If this is your first time here, it is very important to keep in mind that many of the ideas expressed in this blog represent older versions of myself, and not necessarily my current self. After all, we evolve, and sometimes change our minds. In the meantime, enjoy lurking around, and watch the video trailer for my upcoming book here.

CrUSAders Scold Settlement-Loving Zionists

by Drima on March 24, 2010

Let’s face it. Claiming that Jews control the US government is utter nonsense. They don’t. They do however have very significant influence through AIPAC in regard to matters related to the state of Israel, which brings me to the shift that I haven’t been alone in noticing lately. It started with this, but now it’s progressed into this:

President Obama and his aides have cast the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not just the relationship with Israel, as a core U.S. national security interest. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of the military’s Central Command, put it starkly in recent testimony on Capitol Hill: “The conflict foments anti-American sentiment due to a perception of U.S. favoritism toward Israel.”

No shit. But apparently, this observation is supposed to be some kind of new revelation. And the favoritism isn’t merely a matter of “perception.”

It’s fact. It’s real. Why can’t we just admit that?

His comments raised eyebrows in official Washington — and overseas — because they suggested that U.S. military officials were embracing the idea that failure to resolve the conflict had begun to imperil American lives.

Erm, “had begun to imperil American lives.” Really? Begun? Oh no, I think they meant, began… began to imperil them a long time ago, and today the anti-Americanism is continuing and worsening, as a consequence of the ongoing conflict.

And there’s more:

… Obama and his aides have strongly pledged support for Israel’s security — including a reiteration by Clinton when she addressed AIPAC on Monday — but they have continued to criticize its settlement policies in tough terms. Clinton notably did not pull her punches on the issue when she addressed the pro-Israel group, warning that whether Israelis like it or not, “the status quo” is not sustainable.

Clinton is right, and here’s something which strongly indicates that. More and more American Jews, especially younger ones, feel differently towards Israel than their parents.

If you want numbers, various polls document the disenchantment. Shmuel Rosner, an astute Israeli journalist who blogs for the Jerusalem Post and writes for Slate pays a lot of attention to the partisan gap in support for Israel. It has jumped dramatically of late, with 80 percent of Republicans expressing favorable view of Israel, according to Gallup, as compared with only 53 percent of Democrats. One recent study found that only 54 percent of Jews under 35 who aren’t Orthodox are “comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state” (as compared to more than 80 percent of those over 65). Among younger Jews, only 20 percent rated as “highly attached” to Israel in another poll. If you want examples of the shift in sentiment, read just about any Jewish columnist for a major newspaper. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times spent last week arguing that Biden under-reacted to Israel’s announcement about the new housing units in East Jerusalem, comparing Israel’s policies to drunken driving. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is writing a book arguing that the founding of Israel was a well-intentioned mistake.

On top of that, we also have this.

… with Likud-Republican-religious-AIPAC supporters settling into one camp and Kadima-Democratic-secular-J-Street supporters coalescing into another. It’s hard to see this as good news for either Israel or Democrats. American liberals are an external part of Israel’s conscience, and when it disdains them, it becomes a harder and more isolated place. The support that Israel has gained from millenarian American conservatives is no substitute, in part because such allies aren’t persuasive global advocates for Israel.

This going to be fun to watch.

  • Will Netanyahu freeze the settlements and consequently piss off a big portion of his voting base?
  • Will J-Street someday replace screwed up AIPAC as the dominant Israel lobby and usher in a new better paradigm?
  • Will Obama and Biden successfully pressure Israel into doing the right thing: freezing the settlements and stopping the colonization?
  • Will Israel succeed in maintaining the status quo Clinton speaks of?

Stay tuned and find out in the next episode of, Big Daddy in the Sky Gave Me This Piece of Land, So It’s MINE!



Click on the Cover Below & Learn More About My Upcoming Book


{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Abu Sa'ar 03.25.10 at 12:04 am

STRATFOR have a very good analysis of the situation. It’s all about geopolitics

2 Howie 03.25.10 at 4:46 am

Good Lawd…

I disagree with so many points here I am not even going to try…

But I will touch on one

The United States favors Israel…

OK…So what? Why not? Should they not support an ally? Why does Iran favor Lebanon over Israel? Why…that is unbalanced…

MAYBE the USA and Israel have similar interests and values and Israel has not being killing American citizens…I mean…just for starters.

3 Don Cox 03.25.10 at 6:03 am

The trouble partly arises from the principle of self-determination, which arose after WW I. This says that each nation should have its own independent state: the Czechs, the Irish, the Poles, the Kurds, the Jews, the French, etc etc. Israel is only one example of such a homeland. The Baluchs and the Tamils have also had difficulty in establishing their own countries, where they can speak their own language and follow their own culture and religion. And as for the native Americans …

In Europe, the various nation states, having been established, have now voluntarily joined a loose federation. This is probably the way ahead.

The states of the USA and Canada are a bit different, but Utah and Quebec are more like national states.

The special problem of Israel is that the Jews are always top of the hate list for racists.

4 Andrew Brehm 03.25.10 at 9:53 am

“Why does Iran favor Lebanon over Israel?”

Iran doesn’t. Thety favour Hizbullah. Hizbullah’s attitude towards other Lebanese is well-known.

And yes, obviously the US favour Israel. In fact the US favour any country that shares its values and is in mortal danger. They even defended France against Germany. Twice.

What I am wondering is why the US’ support for Israel is so little. I cannot imagine Obama travelling to Saudi-Arabia forbidding them to build homes in Mecca because it was annexed in a war and because some terrorist group (Al-Qaeda in that case) claims it as theirs.

So I make the following proposals:

Once the US decides to treat Israel as well diplomatically as they treat Saudi-Arabia (i.e. with as little criticism), we can talk about how the US are neutral.

And once the US demands concessions from the PLO rather than from Israel, we can talk about why the US favour Israel.

But until then I say that we should discuss why the US favour the Arabs so much.

Remember that a “compromise” is when both sides move, not when something is demanded from one side while the others isn’t even expected to talk until that thing is done.

As for American Jews not supporting Israel, I think that has a lot to do with them being safe. They don’t need a safe haven. European Jews see anti-Semitism and governments that don’t do anything against it (and in many cases like in Germany actually support it) and usually support Israel strongly.

I hope Bibi won’t give in and will continue to allow both Arabs and Jews to build homes in Jerusalem.

If there will ever be peace between Jews and Arabs it will because of Jews and Arabs living together in the same city under a secular and just government (i.e. not the PA). Segregation and Jew-free areas certainly don’t help.

And it might not be such disastrous for the peace efforts if somebody demanded from the Arabs to stop their anti-Semitic propaganda either. At the very least they could officially acknowledge that starting a war in 1948 to remove all the Jews from the Middle-East was wrong and that we are only in this mess because we are trying to end this war which could have happened A LONG TIME AGO if the Arabs had ever accepted peace at any point with any borders.

5 Andrew Brehm 03.25.10 at 9:54 am

(Is anyone worried about the PA building Arab homes in disputed territories?)

6 Andrew Brehm 03.25.10 at 10:00 am

“and today the anti-Americanism is continuing and worsening, as a consequence of the ongoing conflict.”

I have to disagree with that, although I know why you would think that.

Hatred is never caused by things that actually happened. And America was the “great satan” before it really supported Israel (“the small satan”) that much.

The Americans bombed my family’s home in Germany in World War 2. But I don’t hate them for that. In fact few people who were alive back then in Germany really hated the Americans. German anti-Americanism began in the 1960s among youths who have never had any contact with Americans.

And it is the same with hatred for America (and Israel) in the Middle-East. Your compatriots do not hate America because of what it does but because of what it must have done to justify the hatred. And Israel is not hated for its real crimes (whatever they might be) but for whatever can be invented about Jews or Israel.

I have seen what Arab television says about Israel on MEMRI. You can claim selection bias but it’s still real Arab television. And NONE of the “criticisms” of Israel are very real.

People do not hate Israel for building homes for Jews in Jerusalem just like people do not hate Saudi-Arabia for building homes in Medina. People hate Israel because Israel destroys Arab homes to replace them with Jewish settlements and because Jews eat Arab children. Of course these things are lies.

If we want peace, we have to get rid of the lies, not the “settlements”.

It’s up to the Arab side and ONLY the Arab side.

You guys decided in 1948 that there must be war. So now decide that there shouldn’t be war. It’s not up to Israel, it never has been.

7 Howie 03.25.10 at 11:40 am

Isn’t it kind of a “newspeak” to talk about Jews building on Palestinian land?

There has been no treaty that I know of…I do know the Arabs attacked in 1948 and 1967 and 1973.

Israel has treaty with Egypt which is honored and one with Jordan that is honored. I would call them peace treaties…more like semi-halt to hostility treaties…

But where is the agreement that the disputed areas are Palestinian lands. Most Palestinians still lay claim to the whole enchilada…

And again…what country is neutral? Switzerland? Why does the USA have to be even-handed…we should be nice to Hamas? Al-Queada? Hizboallah?

Oh…I know…if we were even-handed then the entire Muslim world would love us…

Ah…right. Why…I bet we would even get an apology letter for 9-11 and we would all meet at the next Super Bowl and drink Bud Lite and sing “Give Peace A Chance”.

Sure.

8 Don Cox 03.25.10 at 12:23 pm

I think it would help if more publicity was given to the building of homes for Arabs in Israel. It wouldn’t change the attitudes of the hostile Palestinians, but it could change some views in the US.

9 Andrew Brehm 03.25.10 at 1:06 pm

Somebody in America (probably while being controlled by the Zionists) decided that the disputed territory is Arab land.

That’s why I thought Avatar was such a weird movie. The way the real world works the UN would simply have declared the planet part of some dictatorship which could then have wiped out the natives while the “international community” complains about Israel.

10 Drima 03.25.10 at 1:27 pm

“What I am wondering is why the US’ support for Israel is so little. I cannot imagine Obama travelling to Saudi-Arabia forbidding them to build homes in Mecca because it was annexed in a war and because some terrorist group (Al-Qaeda in that case) claims it as theirs.”

Mecca is part of Saudi Arabia. The land in question is disputed. The comparison doesn’t hold up. And on top of that, it’s been the stance of US Presidents since Reagan that settlement construction is a no no.

11 Andrew Brehm 03.25.10 at 1:37 pm

Mecca is part of Saudi-Arabia because the Kingdom of Nejd annexed it in 1931. Jerusalem is part of Israel because Israel annexed it in 1981.

Both Mecca and Jerusalem are disputed, in the sense that you will find any number of terrorist groups that claim ownership of those cities. Just because the PLO has US support for their claim over Jerusalem while Al-Qaeda have to go without US support doesn’t make the PLO claim more valid. It’s an old crUSAder saying.

Did Jordan ever give up its claim to Mecca and Medina? A tall flag in Aqaba tells me that this question really has not been settled.

The “international community” says that Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem was “illegal”, but I cannot find the international law that would support that judgement. North-Vietnam’s annexation of South-Vietnam a few years earlier certainly wasn’t “illegal” and nor was America’s annexation of Hawaii in 1898 (territory) and 1959 (state).

Ask Iran whether Mecca ought to be ruled by Sunnis. There’s your dispute.

12 Abu Sa'ar 03.25.10 at 1:58 pm

We are the longest-running and most popular show in European and Muslim history. I don’t get it. The last time we were a major geopolitical force Rome wasn’t yet built, Picts were burning human sacrifices in the forests of Gaul and the predecessors of the Arabs were killing each other with stone axes in their desert. Our only unique attribute as a people and a culture is remarkable survivability.

We are not a major player in current global affairs, our state is small, our numbers few and our economy of middling size. We are not a threat to anyone and are not doing anything that would be considered worthy of note if not done by Jews.

So why all the interest? Ya Drima, why are you, personally, interested in Jews? And do you have an answer for the larger question of widespread fascination (negative or positive) with Jews?

13 Andrew Brehm 03.25.10 at 2:54 pm

“our state is small”

We are micro-imperialists. All hail the vast empire of Isra.

(There is not enough room on most maps for the “el”.)

It still worries me when people look at a map of the Middle-East and North-Africa and immediately discover the two main problems:

1. Israel is too big.

2. There are not enough Arab states.

Seriously, those would be the last two things that would occur to me if I had to guess.

14 Howie 03.25.10 at 5:16 pm

Guys…

We have all read it and discussed it and you hear the craziest things…

Who was it recently…Clinton or Obama or some general that said Israel is the key to Middle East peace…

If there was a settlement tomorrow…then Iran would be stable, Yemen would be stable, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria…The Shias, Sunnis and Christians, Bahai’s and Druse will go hands and sing Cumbaya.

Guys…Israel is the BEST thing that ever happened to the Arab and Muslim world. It is the one reliable source for them to turn to, well the USA and my some of Europe can be thrown in, when they have to explain their basic, overall failure.

They can look at Israel and see a tiny little place run by JEWS; with democracy, a decent economy, freedom, women’s rights, and PROGRESS…and then they look at what they have done in terms of progress, even with zillions of petrodollars AND American supplements (or Russian, or Chinese) and they can turn their self-disgust and frustration towards Israel and their unending love for their Palestinian brothers…

15 Abu Sa'ar 03.25.10 at 6:48 pm

You’re channelling Mark Twain, ya Howie. I can’t put it down to envy, though. Why aren’t they obsessing about the Jains? They’re no less successful than the Jews and they also live in land Muslims claim as their own.

Or why do the Malay obsess about Jews (few of whom ever visited Malaysia, much less lived there) when they have the Han right there, a tiny minority immeasurably more successful than them right in their faces?

16 Marie Claude 03.25.10 at 9:04 pm

Racoon
“Picts were burning human sacrifices in the forests of Gaul”
uh, I thought it was your ancestors, remember, zarathoustra ended them !

The Picts were a celt tribe that has been originated from the Poitiers aera, (population of Poitiers are still called “Pictons”) some emigrated to Ireland and then to scottland. But I didn’t hear that they made human sacrifices, though warriors they were !

17 Abu Sa'ar 03.25.10 at 9:59 pm

MC -

The Romans told horror stories of naked, painted men charging into battle with a hard-on. They also told horror stories of the savagery of Druidic human sacrifice. Recent archaeological finds support these stories. Google it up, is quite interesting :)

18 Howie 03.25.10 at 11:22 pm

Abu..

“The Romans told horror stories of naked, painted men charging into battle with a hard-on.”

Damn…that is what my wife is always saying about me. Well…maybe the last part is becoming frequently more rare.

19 Marie Claude 03.25.10 at 11:59 pm

Howie you’re inflating your prowessees I’d like to hear your wife version !

20 Marie Claude 03.26.10 at 12:16 am

Racoon, uh Picts was the name that the Latins gave them though some say that it was rather “the furious” in their own dialect

http://svowebmaster.free.fr/Histoire_Pictes.htm

as far as Caesar writings, nothing mentions that the Picts were making human sacrifices, as they are the only witnesses of the era about these populations, we can only suppose the human sacrifices

21 Howie 03.26.10 at 12:48 am

Marie Claude…

Prowess? What are you talking about…?

She is referring to how I leave the house in the to get in my car and drive the freeway on work days.

22 Abu Sa'ar 03.26.10 at 12:49 am

MC -

Julius wasn’t the only one writing about the Picts, his notes are simply the most well-known. As interested as I am in pre-Christian European history, however, I do not think that this is the right place or time for an academic discussion of the matter :)

23 Howie 03.26.10 at 3:56 am

Abu…

I think MC is now distracted by thoughts of me entering my car; painted, naked and with a woody.

24 Drima 03.26.10 at 7:56 am

Racoon,

“We are not a major player in current global affairs, our state is small, our numbers few and our economy of middling size. We are not a threat to anyone and are not doing anything that would be considered worthy of note if not done by Jews.”

Sure, Israel is indeed a small state and isn’t a major player in current global affairs, but this conflict is different.

The geopolitical ramifications of the Israeli-Palestinian funfair are much greater in comparison, thanks to Jerusalem. We all know this, so let’s not pretend it’s just another random conflict.

And ultimately, here’s what I’m trying to get at really.

Everything aside, do you really believe that the current state of affairs in the region in regards to Israel can actually be sustained, and if yes, for how long really? I mean, even the new lobbying group J-Street doesn’t believe what Israel is doing today is good for its long-term safety. Even *THEY* see the stupidity of Israeli policies.

Sure, you have crazies like Hamas who believe the Holy Land belongs to Islam yada yada yada.

We can talk about that for hours and all your legitimate grievances, but that’s not the topic discussed today in this post.

Thing is, how can you continue excusing what Israel is doing today when it comes to its own Zionist crazies who voted this government into power and are eager to build ever-growing settlements on the land they believe God gave them?

Best part? Netanyahu speaks in front of AIPAC recently and claims all of Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Right. Lovely.

Here’s the thing guys.

We’ve been interacting and blogging, and exchanging views and learning from each other and all for almost four years now. We’ve talked about the issues of Arabs and highlighted them. We’ve criticized them. But seriously, how more right-wing are you going to get when it comes to Israel’s own actions? Any time a critique gets brought up against Israel, bam, you appear and begin defending passionately without taking into account any of Israel’s own fuck-ups. I mean really? Can Israel do no wrong at all? Everything it does can be justified simply because “oh, those evil Arabs are doing this and that?”

Seriously? No mistakes at all? Is it always going to be the “oh, they started it first when they attacked us” as if nothing happened before which lead to those attacks?

This state of affairs can’t be sustained. Nothing the Arabs are doing can justify the ever-expanding settlements. And no, Jerusalem is not the “eternal and indivisible” capital of Israel, and never will be.

25 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 11:51 am

Drima,

Four points.

First, why is Jerusalem suddenly so important? Before Jews started moving there again Muslims didn’t care about the city. And it was under Muslim rule for centuries at that time. The city was TINY and, I have seen photographs, nobody even removed the weed growing through the stone on the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem is a major issue only because the Muslims have decided to make it one. They could decide to make anything a major issue, so this alone is no reason to do anything.

And the only reason Jerusalem is of any importance in Islam is precisely because it was the holy city of the Jews. That’s what “the furthest place of worship” means. Muhammed was referring to his ancestor’s brother’s place of worship. And he never invaded or claimed Jerusalem as his during his lifetime..

Second, the settlements have nothing to do with what Arabs are doing. Especially in Jerusalem the “settlements” are simply Jews building homes. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING special or remarkable about it other than what people want to interpret into it. And there is no reason for Israel not to build homes in its capital no matter how many people don’t like it.

You are complaining about “settlements” but only such complaints make them an issue. You could just as well complain about chicken farmers in North-Carolina and I would tell you the same: The chickens are not the issue. You are.

Third, the “Zionist crazies” are not in any way different from Arab moderates. The only reason they are singled out is because they are Jews. Arab moderates also build homes in their cities. They also build settlements on land they control. And no, they usually don’t care about other people who live there. There is absolutely no sane reason for why Jews shouldn’t be allowed to live in the West-Bank if they want to.

Fourth, Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. It always has been. The fact that occasionally other countries invade and annex it doesn’t legitimise Jewish claims to the Jewish capital. Just like Mecca wouldn’t become less Islamic if Israel invaded and annexed it, Jerusalem did not become less Jewish because Greeks/Romans/Greeks/Arabs/Kurds/Turks/Brits/Arabs invaded it. (I am not counting here the Iranians and Jews invading it because they always restored Jerusalem to her rightful place.)

This is not about Israel having to accept other people’s insane demands.

This is about the rest of the world finally accepting the fact that there is one small place in the world where they cannot murder Jews whenever they want.

There will only be a just peace when the world arrives at the conclusion that Jews build homes and others have to deal with the fact without starting to kill people.

All-in-all Arabs simply have to learn that just because they claim some land that land does not automatically become theirs or the question important.

Please, just leave us that small strip of land and the four or five cities. We want nothing from you, just the small piece of land your and our holy books agree G-d gave to us. And if you don’t want G-d in the equation just remember that without G-d the land is still small and its capital of absolutely no importance.

But what you cannot do is blame us for using G-d as an explanation of why the land is ours while at the same time claiming that Jerusalem is important to you because G-d said so.

26 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 11:56 am

Maybe Israel should threaten the Arabs with violence whenever something doesn’t go Israel’s way.

Would that be an acceptable state of affairs?

27 Howie 03.26.10 at 2:06 pm

Drima…

Sorry…but I don’t agree with you on this one. I am all for a settlement but even a former Leftist like me…no Jerusalem does not go back…period.

And overall…yes I firmly believe the origins and continuation of the conflict has been primarily ARAB. They wanted to kill us and after they failed numerous times…suddenly they are mad about us building homes around Jerusalem?

It is NOT equal…it is not balanced.

Does Israel do bad things? Sure…it does bad things to Arabs and it does bad things to its own citizens as well.

So your point is…give up Jerusalem, withdraw from disputed territories and THIS time the Arabs will accept it.

You might believe it…but I don’t think very many Jews do. Even when I was an extreme Leftist supporting the Peace Now movement…in my heart…I did not believe it for one second.

They are still taught, as part of their curriculum to hate us…all over the Arab world and Drima you KNOW that is true. I have experienced the hatred directly…all the way over here in the United States and going all the way back to the early 1970′s. Hatred not from “crazies” but from rich little fucking Arab brats going to college here on papa’s oil money, fucking the local gals before the waltz home to Fatima, and bad-mouthing the United States and saying the most horrible things about Jews. I sat next to one of these shits in 1972 when he said “Hitler did not do the job…but we will”. So it is not even about Israel…it is about Jews. Ask Daniel Pearl’s parents.

You know the level-headed within the Muslim community are shouted down, threatened, intimated and even worse. How are you treated for your open and balanced views? Would you feel safe preaching peace, love and understanding on a street corner in Gaza?

Drima…it is NOT balanced…it is not Israel and the Arabs being equally bad to each other. Name me five famous Palestinian peace activists? The will to do something for peace is just not there.

The “settlements” are a pea in the ocean. Have you been to Israel? Except for the areas directly connected to Jerusalem…the settlements are minor. All the excitement about Hebron…Did you know about 500 Jews live there? 500…

Sure we get excited. This is all we have. We ARE connected to Israel and we ARE connected to Jerusalem…Should we lie and say we are not?

I would give back TONS tomorrow if I felt there could be a real peace. But what happened in Gaza, for example, is forever burned in my mind…instant violence. Not one person came forward and said “dudes…this is a chance to change directions”…nope…burn, destroy, riot and then start firing missiles. I am going to trade land and make peace with WHOM Drima? Did you know recently HAMAS was complaining about being terrorized by Islamic Jihad? Those goes are at war with each other and we are supposed to trust them?

So…no…I don’t see it dirty for dirty…I want to see some stability and sincerity in Palestinian sector. I want to see the kids taught in a more balanced manner…

Yes…I still hold firmly to the idea that Israel is primarily an excuse within a large part of the Muslim sector…a scapegoat…a focus away from their own centuries of corruption, cruelty and waste of resources. Come on…look at Iran. Israel has a beef with Iran? Who did we bother there? They should thank us for slowing down Saddam in the early 1980′s. But no….they can fire up the people by threatening to destroy Israel…Israel who has killed a total of ZERO Iranians…just like Israel has never bothered MOST Muslims in the world…

So sure it is a sore spot with us. :)

28 Howie 03.26.10 at 2:20 pm

Drima…

Liberal Arab students in the USA…this is the type of stuff I have experienced since 1970…no…these are not people I can trust. This is the behavior I have seen over and over…not isolated. This level of hatred, and this is controlled…is a great metaphor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGMba6hLmU0

29 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 2:43 pm

That man makes sense.

So why aren’t the international community trying to free Palestinians from Fatah and Hamas first, before freeing them from Israel (which would be automatic anyway)?

Why on earth do the international community insist that Palestinians be ruled by terrorists?

Did anyone ever bother to ask Palestinians if they want to be ruled by the PLO and Hamas? I myself know many Israeli Arabs who’d rather be Israelis than ruled by the PLO. Why do their opinions matter less than the opinions of non-Palestinian Arabs?

30 Howie 03.26.10 at 2:59 pm

Andrew…

We can kick this around forever and it never goes anywhere…

But I would challenge Drima…Drima…we make you King of Israel…King of the Jews…you are responsible for our safety…

How would you settle this long-standing MESS in Israel/Palestine?

You stop the settlements…OK and then?

Personally…I have NO idea of what would work…NONE…

But I am curious about how you would handle it…remember…without security…you get an automatic “F”.

31 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 3:03 pm

Howie, we can make it clear that Jerusalem is not up for grabs any more. Everyone has had their chance.

If Jerusalem was so important for Muslims, why was it such a tiny city when it was under Muslim rule???

32 Howie 03.26.10 at 3:12 pm

Andrew…

This has been bantered about forever and you and I both know the response to that question.

You know the word “davkah” don’t you Andrew?

I need a fucking Guiness…got several in the frig. and going to hang with my Irish buddy tonight.

33 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 3:26 pm

Howie, it has been discussed and discussed but even Drima doesn’t seem to understand that we are tired of people doubting that we are serious.

For 2000 years this has been about survival. Now it is about equality. If the Arabs can have Mecca, we can have Jerusalem.

And for goodness’ sake, building homes in Jerusalem is NOT a crime. Has it really come to this? Can we not find anything evil Israel has done except “they build homes”?

34 Howie 03.26.10 at 3:34 pm

Andrew…

Again…most folks think of “settlements” as little trailers in the middle of nowhere manned by a bunch of bearded, machine-gun carrying, messianic looney tunes.

Anybody that has been to Israel knows that the vast majority of “setttlements” are just neighborhoods that have naturally expanded with the populations of places like Jerusalem rather than “plants” in the middle of “Palestinian land”…

People that live in these places…I bet you a slew of them don’t even KNOW they are in a “settlement”…they are mostly Joe Lunchbucket…going to work…not even religious in many cases…have you been to places like Gilo or East Talpiot? Settlement?

Yeah…my brother-in-law had a trailer in the middle of Shamrom and yeah…I don’t like or support that kind of crap…it is not productive for anything.

Andrew…my plan?

Arabs give up Jerusalem and maintain rights to the mosque and their neighborhoods…they give up on various pieces of land around Jerusalem etc. We give give up equal…even bigger plots of land extending out from Gaza into the Negev…full water rights, electricity agreements that whole thing…They stop terror and brainwashing…we drop all the searches and checkpoints…This is done in stages over 10-15 years…

Nobody is thrilled on either side…well tough shit…maybe after a few generations we can get along…

35 Abu Sa'ar 03.26.10 at 3:49 pm

Drima -

Wallah, you answered, but not my question :)

And as for Israel’s fuck-ups… they simply have nothing to do with this whole kerfuffle. I will now provide a brief analysis of the said fuck-ups and I hope you’ll see what I mean.

Fuckup #1:
Education. Israel’s bureaucrats, over the years, allowed for the creation of three different education systems in Israel – one for Israelis, one for religious Jews and one for Arabs. The first is controlled by the state (and not doing so well) while the other two are only supposedly controlled by the state (and doing significantly worse).

Fuckup #2
Erosion of the authority of the state. From ’48, Israel has allowed various groups autonomy in the Ottoman tradition (also explains some of the reasons for fuckup#1). The consequences are varied and usually negative, and I have to give a breakdown of some of them for a more complete understanding of the issue:

Fuckup #2.1:
Arab lack of respect for the law. Arabs in Israel have, for instance, much higher numbers of dead and wounded from car accidents because they disregard the laws of traffic: ignoring red lights, not putting on seatbelts, driving without a license, stuff like that. Like with all small crimes, it leads to big ones – Arab settlements are choking in Arab crime but do not cooperate with the police. It also leads to all kinds of other things, like illegal construction (usually built on land they do not own, without permits, without planning and ignoring safety measures) that leads to great difficulty in providing infrastructure, increase in road and domestic accidents and occasional house collapses. I am not even talking about them seeing themselves as a 5th column striving to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews, although unfortunately they do.

Fuckup #2.2:
Jewish lack of respect for the law. This is a much smaller problem, a part of which has incredible global media exposure. Specifically, I am talking about Hilltop Youth – people who, like the Arabs, build illegally on land they don’t own. A few thousand of these people are now living in illegal settlements throughout Yehuda and Shomron, where law holds little sway. As you can imagine, they are troublemakers – but fortunately the trouble they cause is usually restricted to their own community and neighbours. Occasionally the Jewish lack of respect for the law produces a nutcase like Yigal Amir (Rabin’s assassin) or Baruch Goldstein (mass-murdering terrorist), both of whom are a product of autonomous groups within Israel that disrespect and disregard our laws.

Fuckup #2.3:
Ultra-Orthodox lack of respect for the law. To the best of my knowledge this problem doesn’t get any international coverage, but it is very much like Fuckup#2.1 – sick communities stewing in their own self-inflicted misery, disdaining the state and using a combination of violence and political pressure to force their theocratic wishes upon it. The most famous one is the Mea Sha’arim neighbourhood in Jerusalem – any non-ultra-Orthodox person entering it is likely to be assaulted. They have managed to get representation without taxation, holding the rest of Israel by the short and curlies. This also ties in into relevant problems of the Israeli electoral system, in which a small and unprincipled group can force the majority to unspeakable idiocies.

Fuckup #3:
Hubris and misplaced mercy in the wake of Six Days War. In that war we took back our Kraj Sudetów, namely Yehuda, Shomron and East Jerusalem. Rather than expelling the hostile population as any other state has done in a similar situation (victory in a war of genocide started by the other side), Israel chose to let them stay. In doing so, we became suddenly responsible for a hostile and primitive population that values our deaths more than their own lives. A monumental fuckup. That was the misplaced mercy. The hubris was that Israel’s leaders at the time really thought that if we gave them electricity, running water, closed sewers, roads, literacy and other trappings of civilization they’d stop trying to genocide us (the reason they started the war in the first place).

There’re plenty of other fuck-ups, but these three are the really important ones.

As for Jerusalem… ya Drima, when the Arabs took half of the city, they destroyed every Synagogue, used Jewish tombstones to build latrines and everything else their comrades in goals did to Jewish places in Germany during the 30s and the 40s. Jerusalem was the heart and soul of the Jewish people for 3000 years, from the time King David conquered it from the Jebusites, fortified it and declared it his capital. It IS the eternal and undivided capital of all Jews and has been since that time, whether it was held by one enemy or another. It’s not even about religion – I am as secular as they come and even I understand Jerusalem. It has been in the thoughts of every Jew for three millennia; every stone on its hills is soaked in Jewish blood, sweat and tears. Giving it away is giving away our heart and soul. Dividing it and giving a part of it to enemies who’ll despoil it is unthinkable. It will not happen.

But it’s not what it’s about. It’s all minor events happening on a tiny strip of land that is only important because there’s so much attention focused on the Jews. Why? You did not answer me, ya Drima :)

36 Abu Sa'ar 03.26.10 at 3:50 pm

Sorry for the overly long comment.

37 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 3:58 pm

Howie,

I know what the “settlements” look like. Most of the time I am in eastern Jerusalem I cannot even tell who is Jewish and who is Arab in a street.

Abu,

EXCELLENT summary! Can I quote the whole comment on my blog?

38 Abu Sa'ar 03.26.10 at 4:08 pm

AB – thank you. Of course :)

39 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 4:39 pm

We should discuss dividing Mecca and putting the Muslim holy sites under, say, Christian control just so the evil Israelis can learn from Muslims how to behave properly in such a situation.

40 Howie 03.26.10 at 4:45 pm

Abu..

Good job…

41 Abu Sa'ar 03.26.10 at 4:46 pm

Wouldn’t work because it wouldn’t be a similar situation. The importance of Jerusalem derives from the unique Jewish trait: Jerusalem is a living monument, a testament to our survival and perseverance in the face of endless adversity. The religious significance is separate from this.

42 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 4:52 pm

Abu,

I’m not sure it was a mistake to let the Arabs stay in the land won in the Six-Day-War. Some of them are nice people.

I think the mistake was to allow the PLO to use them as pawns. The PLO tried to take over Israel, Jordan and Lebanon and always found enough idiots (often in the west) they could rely on for support. It was especially a mistake not only to allow the PLO to rule those people but to force PLO rule on them.

The mistake can only be corrected by throwing out the PLO and talking to Arab community or clan leaders directly, ask them what they want and see what can be done.

So what about an Arab state ruled by clans in Judaea and Samaria? The only reason that is not possible is because the world insists that the Arab state must be terrorist-run.

But I actually prefer a one-state solution, or rather a two-state-instead-of-three-state solution.

1. Israel and Jordan sign an agreement that makes all Arabs born in Israel Jordanian citizens with right to live and work in Israel. The same right can be extended to other Jordanian citizens. Excluded from this will be the Druze and those Bedouin clans who wish to remain Israeli.

2. Israel annexes the West-Bank.

3. All eligible Arabs in Israel and the West-Bank now become Jordanian citizens. Israeli Arabs are now dual-citizens of the Arab and the Jewish state.

4. Israeli citizenship law will be amended to say that children born in Israel to parents with Jordanian citizenship will not become Israeli citizens.

5. All Israelis and Jordanians with legal right to live in Israel or Jordan will be eligible to vote in local elections.

6. All Israelis and Jordanians living in Israel or Jordan will be eligible to vote in their country’s parliamentary elections. Citizens with dual-Israeli-Jordanian citizenship can vote for both parliaments.

7. Circassasians remain Israeli or Jordanian. Armenians resident in Jerusalem can choose between Jordanian and Israeli citizenship.

This is the only useful solution I see. But of course it, like all other proposals, can only work if the Arabs wake up and decide that peace is more valuable that killing the Jews. And yes, that remains a problem.

43 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 4:59 pm

Abu,

Mecca and Jerusalem are surprisingly similar.

Both cities have been captured and annexed by their current ruler in the last century, Jerusalem in 1967/1981 and Mecca in 1926/1932.

Both cities are claimed by terrorist groups as their property. Al-Qaeda claim Mecca (and probably Jerusalem too), the PLO (and others) claim Jerusalem.

And Mecca is the only city Muslims have that comes even close to being as important to them as Jerusalem is to us.

Whenever a Muslim thinks that Jews should give up Jerusalem, he should consider whether he would give up Mecca in similar circumstances (or at all). Only then can he understand what he is proposing to us.

If dividing Jerusalem can leade to peace (and we already know it cannot), would a Muslim accept a division of Mecca and foreign (say Christian) control over the holiest site of Islam for the same price?

If not, there is nothing we need to argue about. Then we already agree. We just don’t treat both sides equal yet. But, Yishmael, it is really time that we do. G-d already favoured both sides by giving each the holier city. Who would under these circumstances kill to rule the less-holy city as well?

44 Howie 03.26.10 at 5:07 pm

Drima…

I know this is a cliche…but an important one if you really want to seek out the truth…

If the “Muslim world” is SO utterly worked up about the Palestinians and would love us dearly if we would only give over Jerusalem and other various chunks of the country…then I have to assume it is only because they care SO much about their dear brothers and it really has nothing to do with JEWS…

During the lastest Gaza thing..Arabs were in the streets of the United States screaming out things like “Jews to the gas chambers”…not “Israeli’s to the gas chambers”…

Yet during, for example, Darfur….NOT ONE SINGLE PEEP…

Now give me an honest answer Drima please…let’s say Israel did a raid into Western Sudan to take out some Hamas guys or something and fried a few dozen locals sitting in their huts…what would have been the response?

And then answer me this…if, let’s say…it were CHINA that did a similar raid…what would be the response…

Abu is right of course…it is about JEWS…

45 Andrew Brehm 03.26.10 at 7:10 pm

If they said “Israelis” instead of “Jews” they would still mean the same thing.

How can wanting to kill all Jews be anti-Semitism while wanting to kill only middle-eastern Jews is fine?

Anyway, Israel was attacked by Jordan and annexed Jerusalem after that war. That settles the issue for me. This is how peace works.

46 Andrew Brehm 03.28.10 at 6:27 pm

All good:

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=171861

Arabs are also building illegal settlements in Israel.

But I assume that while a Jew-free Jerusalem would bring peace, deporting those Arabs would bring war, right?

47 Howie 03.28.10 at 8:06 pm

Andrew…

Yeah…that stuff gets NO press but is a big issue and you have Israeli citizens, albeit Arabs, involved in this…

Look Andrew…few people are going to see through the charade part of this whole dispute…they won’t, can’t and/or do…but play it to meet their game plan…

Not nice?

Nice is in France.

48 Andrew Brehm 03.28.10 at 9:12 pm

Howie, that only means that Israel absolutely must not give in now. There is no way this charade is going to end and if Israel gives in, they’ll just make more demands a week later.

If there is going to be peace it will happen because the Arabs will say that they want peace and simply stop fighting.

As anyone who has ever been mugged can attest there is only one side in a conflict.

49 Abu Sa'ar 04.01.10 at 5:37 pm

Drima, I would greatly appreciate an answer, if you would. Your take on “why Jews?” would surely be enlightening :)

50 Drima 04.13.10 at 6:07 pm

Gosh, where do I even begin and to whom do I respond? Okay, so we’ve clearly established that we’ll have to agree to disagree on many points.

Here are the key things:

- Jerusalem is an important city to all three Abrahamic faiths, so to say it is the undivided capital of the Jewish people is simply one point of view and ignores the reality.

- Given the importance the holy land, inevitably there will be lots of focus on the conflict.

- Given the evolving geopolitics of the region including the rise of Iran, the current state of affairs can’t be maintained forever. Sooner or later, Israel will have to fix its unhelpful policies towards the Palestinians. The security goals are shortsighted in my opinion. You can have security now by imposing these policies, but ultimately, Israel will become less secure in the long term.

Meh. You know what, sometimes there are days when I really do believe that there can’t be any long-lasting peace there. Ever. Just looking at the history of Jerusalem and who controlled it over the ages says a lot.

51 Andrew Brehm 04.13.10 at 7:36 pm

Your three points:

1. Yes, Jerusalem is an important to all three Abrahamic faiths. But the reason it is is precisely because it is the undivided capital of the Jewish people. If the Jewish capital had been any other city we would be talking about that city. So admitting what Jerusalem is is certainly not just “one point of view” or ignoring reality.

2. Yes, the holy land is important to three religions. So do we give it to the Muslims or the Christians? If we give it to either, whom exactly will we give it to? Do we give it to some terrorist group or to (more) legitimate representatives of Islam (for example the King of Jordan)? Or do we give it to one of the churches as if the Crusades had finally been won? Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and the holy land is a compromise for the two much bigger religions which wouldn’t even exist if Jerusalem hadn’t been Jewish in the past. Jesus was a Jew and Muhammed spoke of Jerusalem as the “farthest place of worship”, Isaac’s equivalent to Ishmael’s Mecca. Everything in the three religions points to a Jewish Jerusalem. Ignoring that is ignoring reality.

3. Israel’s position towards the terrorists has nothing to do with Iran. The Iranian regime want control over as much of the world as they can. Israel and the conflict is not a tool for them but a roadblock. If Israel was beaten, either in a war or diplomatically, nothing will stand between the mullahs and total power over the region. The security goals are not shortsighted. They serve the purpose of survival (opening the floodgates would destroy Israel) and they guarantee that Israel remains powerful enough to stop Iran. If the terrorists really want peace and a (third) Palestinian state, they won’t need Jerusalem as its capital. The only reason they demand Jerusalem is because they know it will prolong the conflict if they demand more whenever Israel gives in. That’s why it is important that Israel says NO at some point, ideally at a point before the terrorists have Jerusalem and continue destroying all Jewish holy sites in the city (like Jordan began doing when they controlled it, and the PLO are much much worse than the Hashemites).

Ultimately you are right. There cannot be any long-lasting peace there. As long as people scream for the death of all Jews there obviously cannot be peace. The Jews won’t kill all their enemies and the enemies of the Jews cannot kill all the Jews. Hence there will be conflict forever (or until Israel compromises on the security goals and is overrun).

52 Andrew Brehm 04.14.10 at 12:29 pm

Plus, neither you nor I even addressed the issue of what Jerusalemites actually want.

From what I have heard and read, many Arab Jerusalemites do not want to be part of a “Palestinian” state. And I wonder how many Jerusalem Arabs would want to remain in Israel if it was safe to say so.

53 Andrew Brehm 04.15.10 at 4:56 pm

The entire issue might be moot soon:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/totten/276986

Obama is being perceived as weak by the terrorists and another war is coming, bloodier than the small conflicts we had in the last few years.

The question of whether Israel should give the Jewish capital to the terrorists or not might easily become moot when all Jewish cities are burning.

Maybe it is time to approach this issue from a different angle. Instead of demanding ever more concessions from Israel, why not fecking beat the terrorists first? Maybe there won’t be a conflict if they are taken out.

54 Charl 06.04.10 at 1:31 pm

Ten Tips for Dealing with GIYUS (Give Israel Your Unconditional Support) Group – UNCRITICAL would be a better description!).

Here is a useful set of tools for dealing with them:
http://netherworld.wordpress.com/2006/11/12/ten-tips-for-dealing-with-giyus/

55 Andrew Brehm 06.10.10 at 10:39 am

Charl,

I find that Israel supporters are rarely feared.

Do you have any tips for dealing with the much more intimidating and violent NASPAs (non-antisemitic peace activists)?

56 Andrew Brehm 06.10.10 at 10:41 am

UNCRITICAL are those who think that ten deaths among attacking islamists are not as newsworthy as 300,000 deaths in Darfur, I take it?

I assume those who simply scream the same as most people are the “critical observers”.

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