Thursday, March 19, 2015

Responding to Volleyboy1

Michael L.

pointing at person coverI want to thank Volleyboy1 for dropping by and for giving us his views on the recent Israeli election.

I've known VB for a long time, and in internet years, practically for ever.  So I can say without any equivocation that he has been a true supporter of the Jewish State of Israel, consistently defending her against the unjust charges of bullies and anti-Semitic anti-Zionists.

It is for this reason that I find myself rather surprised to read this:
To that end I cannot continue to advocate for Israel because honestly it is becoming a nation that I cannot agree with.
Volleyboy1 says that he will support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State but for ethical reasons believes he can no longer advocate for it.  Just how one squares that circle may seem a little oblique, but this is something that VB will have to work out in his own way.

Volleyboy1 spent considerable time, yesterday, responding to comments and I appreciate it very much, but I want to limit my remarks to the comment he made linked-to above.

In that comment VB gives four reasons for his unhappiness with Israel. These are:
1 - Lieberman's "head-chopping" remark.

2 - Netanyahu's alleged electoral race-baiting.

3 - The fact that VB thinks that "Netanyahu basically guaranteed a Bi-National State down the road (or the total ethnic cleansing of the Arabs down the road) and for that I cannot forgive him."

4 - He claims that "the Right has and is doing everything to pull the Jewish community apart (as is the Far Left, but they are far less in number and everyone realizes they are just goofy) and make Israel a partisan issue."
I am not going to bother discussing numbers 1 and 4.  Lieberman said what he said and it was both callous and stupid, but I am certain that Volleyboy1 would agree that you do not condemn an entire country because of the dumb statement of one particular politician.

As for number 4, well, the same can just as easily be said for the Left, as VB acknowledges, and because the remark is so subjective and personal there is very little to be said for it.

If people insist upon revisiting this question, we certainly can, but then Obama, himself, will be in for significant criticism for seeking to divide the Jewish community, and not merely in the United States.

This leaves us with numbers 2 and number 3.

The race-baiting charge, I am afraid, has been exceedingly shrill and with precious little backing sources.  All I know, and I will leave it to VB or anyone else to further explore this, is that during the voting Netanyahu apparently said something to the effect that, and I paraphrase, "the Arab List is getting out its people and we need to do so, as well."

It was something quite along those lines, yes?

Talk about "manufactured outrage."

I do not want to dismiss this charge out-of-hand, however, but it will need significant sourcing before it becomes meaningful in any way.

Finally, that leaves us with number three, which is where I believe Volleyboy1 has his strongest case.

There is significant anecdotal evidence - and it is just anecdotal - that Jews, both diaspora and Israeli, are opening themselves to the possibility of the single-state solution.

This is the ideological ground upon which the real fight will take place within the Jewish community in the coming years.

For many years I believed that Israel could be a Jewish state, a democratic state, or a state from the River to the Sea, but that it cannot be all three at once.  There are people, now, mainly from the so-called "right-wing" (whatever that might mean) who are arguing that this need not be the case.  Foremost to my mind are Caroline Glick and her colleague, over at the Jerusalem Post, Martin Sherman.

The case that they make, essentially, is that the demographic "threat" is overblown because Fatah and the PLO inflated the numbers and that a certain percentage of Arabs should be, and will become, naturalized Israeli citizens.

The question is, how many people are we talking about?  Would this mean that Israel would no longer be the national homeland of the Jewish people, because Jews would soon become a minority under a hostile majority population that despises both Zionism and Jews?

I do not think so and this, to my mind, is the discussion that we need to be having.

If Netanyahu is hedging on the creation of a 23rd Arab state to be carved out of the Jewish heartland, who can blame him?  The Palestinian-Arabs are not children and they must live with the foreseeable consequences of their own behavior and decisions.  If their leadership refuses to make peace with the Jews, why in this world would we give them a mighty bite out of our historical homeland for the basis of a terror state against the lone, sole Jewish one?

When "Palestine" superimposes itself upon Judea and Samaria, it will become a magnet for Jihadis.

Much like Gaza, it will exist, from a political standpoint, for the singular purpose of harassing and killing Jews.

The two-state solution will not end the conflict, nor is it intended to.  On the contrary, the purpose of a Palestinian-Arab state is to open up another front of violence within Dar al-Harb, the House of War.

If, on the other hand, Israel incorporates the traditional Jewish heartland into Israel proper, it can take over the educational system and see to it, at least on the level of institutionalized education, that Arab children are no longer raised to despise Jews.

That, in and of itself, would be an amazing accomplishment that would go a very long way toward easing, and eventually ending, the conflict.

But even if a two-state solution made the most sense, how can such a solution possibly be accomplished if the Arabs do not want it?

We cannot force them to accept that which they have, for religious reasons, always found unacceptable.

I therefore favor a resolution grounded in Jewish autonomy.

Any plan that requires Palestinian-Arab cooperation is doomed to failure.

This much has already been proven and we need to understand that it is not up to us.

We cannot accept a two-state solution for them, if they will not have it.

We will have to move forward without a Palestinian-Arab partner and, for the moment, without an American partner, either.

{Thankfully the world is a rather large place and we have more friends than we may realize.}

41 comments:

  1. The left is angry at Netanyahu because he won, not because of what he said. Gideon Levy today called for 'The Israeli People to be replaced. Because they lost. Typically the left, when it loses it declares that the whole system should be destroyed, the people who run it, exterminated. Levy could write press releases for Stalin.

    But it is rather funny to listen to people who's leader, Herzog is the whitest of white Azkenazic Jews Israel is home to - the very group of Israelis the left loves to roll out at examples of how 'racist' and elitist the Jews really are. Herzog is a blue eye Irish Jew. Whereas it was the Beduins, Arabs, Maghreb and Sephardim who actually voted for 'racist' Netanyahu.

    Last but not least the left in Israel is lead by Obama. And if you learn anything from Obama it's that anyone who questions him is immediately slandered with 'racist'. Everyone not bowing to Barry is of course a racist. This is done to condemn, censor and silence all dissent - not to engage in any meaningful discussion.

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  2. Mike ... I have to give you credit, this is a pretty fair column. I appreciate that.

    I do have one quibble and it is that I think the quote you took from me should have the sentences that follow it so that it is in perspective. The full quote follows:

    To that end I cannot continue to advocate for Israel because honestly it is becoming a nation that I cannot agree with. How do I advocate for something that I rail on the other side for doing the same stuff? At the same time, I cannot advocate against Israel because honestly the other side is far worse. Even if Bennett or Lieberman were PM and their parties were majority, the other side would still be worse.

    The only thing I can argue for is the continued existence of Israel and against the growing tide of anti-Semitism that will be exacerbated by the actions of Israel. Yesterday's performance was shameful. We always demand that the Arabs denounce their racism.. Well if you do that, then how do you not denounce this obvious example of racism? If you don't, then you are being hypocritical.


    I still will support Israel it's just I don't really see how I can advocate on line in forums for policies that I very clearly disagree with. Perhaps I should have been clearer.

    In any case, I think you some good points that are worthy of discussion. I cannot do it now but I look forward to discussing it with you when I have time (which will be later in the day).

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    1. Absolutely, VB.

      None of this is personal... or it certainly shouldn't be.

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    2. You are right about that... It really shouldn't be and for me in the past it has been. We are going to believe what we believe and not that much will change that.

      I think I am tired of the hard rhetoric that all of us (myself included have been laying down). It's silly. SO for my part in that I apologize.

      I need to rethink my approach to things.

      But I watch my kids talk with friends on the computer in games and then I hear them talk to me and it is shocking with the amount of aggressiveness and tone they take (which has led to problems - like losing online and game time - for them as I don't take well to that in real life).

      This is making me re-think the way I address people and the way I talk politics online. I am trying to have no difference at all in both personae, just to be more honest that way.

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    3. Perhaps the media, as Matti Friedman has pointed out several times, and the even-handed White House simply distorted what he actually said by putting the worst spin on it. This allows them to distort again what he said today.

      He has been consistent, if you look at his actual words, but he will never get a fair shake.

      Even if he never said either, it does not stretch the imagination that both the media and White House would create something else to tarnish him after the election. As Israel takes the high road following the vote, there is little traffic and down on the low road, the knives are still drawn.

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    4. Y'know, VB,

      the truth is that we do influence one another and, thereby, influence how other people think and express themselves.

      In fact, there is no doubt in my mind that your presence here at Israel Thrives has effected my writing and thinking, on the day, and that has an effect upon what I might write on the front page and what may end up getting posted this Sunday at the Elder's Joint.

      Which, itself, has a small effect on the direction of the larger conversation and the overall mood of that conversation.

      And, needless to say, you are right to be concerned about your kids... although, this is something that every generation goes through.

      Every generation, including our own, was accused of undermining standards of social decency.

      And - ya know what? - we were.

      Maybe a little bit, anyways.

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    5. Haha Mike - you are right here particularly when you say:

      Every generation, including our own, was accused of undermining standards of social decency.

      And - ya know what? - we were.


      And that's ok to a degree. It is good for youth to question social norms. I think that is how we grow as a society sometimes.

      I just think, and this is only my opinion, that we all need to step back and be "better to each other". Hence my commenting here. I realize that while I may disagree with you, I was more responding to a style and something I see infecting both the Left and Right. And in that had I responded in a different way may have been able to save both of us a lot of frustration.

      I only saw it from the Right.. I would read things and be amazed at just how "fact free" things were. But lately I see the same thing on the Left (though I suspect it had always been there). No different, just people screeching about things that were half true and only focusing on what happens now without considering what happens down the line.

      In any case - I appreciate your column here. It has been fair and it is getting a good discussion for the most part.

      I actually have to give some credit to Jay. In talking with him lately it has really been a pleasure and it has helped me re-think some of the ways I deal with people on the internet.

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  3. You know what Mike... Let me make one other comment... I just read this again and while I may disagree with some points here and there I think comment:

    The question is, how many people are we talking about? Would this mean that Israel would no longer be the national homeland of the Jewish people, because Jews would soon become a minority under a hostile majority population that despises both Zionism and Jews?

    I do not think so and this, to my mind, is the discussion that we need to be having.


    Is a fantastic point. I mean that sincerely.

    I agree with you 100% that this IS the discussion that we need to have. I would even go further and say that I think as people who discuss politics in any sense, perhaps it is time to strip away the "poiticking" (not a word) and really discuss our base visions for what we want the world to look like.

    What do I mean? Well, I mean instead of talking about partisan issues, how about talking about what we see for the future involving Nationalism, Democracy, Ethnocracy and all those other issues?

    I think the vilification that goes on with either side (and I admit I have been a part of that) is just a side show to the real issues of how we see the world in real, macro terms.

    For instance, I have been reading the papers about what the U.S. should or is doing wrt Israel now, particularly since the Prime Minister disavowed Bar-Ilan and the Two State Solution.

    On one hand, I read with sadness that the U.S. might be re-thinking it's strategy regarding Israel. After all, there are countries that are far worse and have far worse records on anything under the sun that we support unequivocally. Why all of a sudden is Israel this terrible issue? Why do we have to re-think our policy?

    At the same time, What Israel is proposing flies in the face of stated American Policy and Administrations both Democratic and Republican have re-iterated that policy.. not to mention have addressed it. SO.. if American policy is / has been in favor of a solution that Israel goes against, why should we support that?

    See it's a real dilemma.... I actually don't know how I feel here.

    Anyway, I am having a hard time expressing what I am thinking so there may be flaws in my explanations, but, I think your question is great and I think it leads to a far deeper discussion. IF in some way we can have that discussion avoiding partisan politics I think that would be even better.

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    1. VB

      Netanyahu walks back remarks about rejecting two- state solution.
      In interview on Fox.

      In case you haven't seen this.

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-backs-away-from-rejection-of-two-state-solution /

      Interesting.

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    2. I did.. I just posted that in my reply to Doodad.

      Personally, I think Bibi is having an "OH SHIT" moment when he realizes he may have gone "too far" with his rhetoric (at least too far with this administration).

      I think the key now to see what Bibi is doing will come in his appointments to Finance, Housing and what to do with the West Bank. IF Kulanu people are in charge of all of that, then that might signal a move AWAY from annexation and the Bennett plan because Kahalon while being Center-Right also favors a Two -State solution and he may simply not "feed the beast" of the Occupation. IF however, he puts a Bayit Yehudi official OR a hard core Likudnik there that might be a signal that despite his rhetoric, he was telling the truth when he told CNN that there would be no Palestinian State when he was Prime Minister.

      I think we just have to wait and see what happens with his appointments to the various ministries.

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  4. * word should be "politicking"... not poiticking... sorry about that.

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  5. I have always supported a two- state solution.
    Over time I have begun to question whether that is achievable. It does seem that the Palestinian leadership, and those who support them, are not genuinely committed to this end. Israel always gets the blame for the failures of the different rounds of peace talks. But when one examines the evidence, it seems that the Palestinians have repeatedly thrown out deals which have offered them what they have asked for. And, sometimes, more. It is difficult cutting through the media reports ( specially in UK ) to get to what is really going on. My view would be - after much reflection - that the Palestinian's real aim cannot be to build a state to live in, peacefully, side by side with Israel. It seems that their hatred of Jews, and their much fostered sense of grievance ( deliberately encouraged and nurtured by the other various parties in this saga ) have placed them in a position where the 'disappearing' of Israel is their actual goal. It is impossible to describe how depressing that is. I would wish anything for that not to be the case.

    I understand the aim of a one- state solution from the anti- Israel people. They tend to make it fairly clear what they would prefer to see. And it is clear that they have a preference for Israel to not be a Jewish state. Multiracial. Right of return. Jewish minority in time. Problem solved.

    I am less clear as to what happens in the proposal for a one- state solution in which Israel retains a Jewish identity.
    How would it work?
    What are the demographics?
    How could it be instituted without discriminating against Palestinian people?

    I know much less about this than others on this site, and would appreciate as much information as possible.

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  6. The US dropped IRAN and HEZBOLLAH fer frak's sake from its terrorist threat list. Now consider why Israelis figure Bibi needed another term. It ain't because they are racist or stupid.

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    1. In the interests of being completely accurate, I think there is more to this

      http://www.jta.org/2015/03/18/news-opinion/united-states/did-the-obama-administration-drop-iran-and-hezbollah-from-its-threat-assessment

      AND

      http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/us-intel-report-drops-iran-terror-threat-list

      Israeli think tank Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said the removal of Iran and Hezbollah from the terror threat list was motivated by the Obama administration's ongoing negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program and the war on ISIS.

      “We believe that this results from a combination of diplomatic interests (the United States’ talks with Iran about a nuclear deal) with the idea that Iran could assist in the battle against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and maybe even in the battle against jihadist terrorism in other countries,” MAITIC's analysis states. The US Defense Intelligence Agency, the institute points out, still lists both Iran and Hesbollah as terrorism threats.


      So, I think it is much more nuanced than what you are presenting particularly if the DIA still lists them as threats.

      So after reading both those articles, I think a more nuanced approach is required.

      Doodad, I understand WHY people voted for Netanyahu. I would not have voted that way but I understand why they did what they did. I wonder now shat they are saying about this:

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-backs-away-from-rejection-of-two-state-solution/

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    2. * errr Last paragraph should say I wonder WHAT not (shat) they are saying about this.

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    3. You do it AFTER, as a carrot.

      It's Orwellian. Make a deal, fulling knowing that they will continue supporting terrorism and unrest, yet don't label them as such. They call for our death, but we don't want to hurt their feelings.

      It leaves the impression that Obama will do anything to get this deal. Legacy is important, but at what cost? Will a foolish notion that he can flip Iran from the dark side result in multiple Arab states, always filled with internal and external conflict, pursuing the bomb?

      Like Netayahu said to Congress, why is it wrong to ask Iran to start behaving like it is interested in peace before acceding to their demands?

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    4. Well I don't agree with the assessment of the first three paragraphs because I believe he is doing it to not only get the deal done but as a strategy (which I said I believed was misguided below) to fight ISIS without putting U.S. "boots on the ground". Whatever I may believe about the wrongness of said strategy I don't believe the intent is to support Iranian hegemonic interests.

      As for this:

      Like Netayahu said to Congress, why is it wrong to ask Iran to start behaving like it is interested in peace before acceding to their demands?

      I don't think that Netanyahu is wrong here.

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    5. Iran is going to fight ISIS no matter what the US does in this regard. We do not have to coax them. They already appear to have troops on the ground all over. All this is an opening to extend their military might in the region and strengthen their proxies to continue spreading conflict and terror.

      If we would help an Arab coalition develop to fight on the ground, it might serve our interests better. These states are coming to see that Israel is not really their enemy, particularly compared to other forces in the region, and this might provide a leg up to seek their cooperation if getting to peace with Israel, which is not about to happen with Iran.

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    6. And we are doing that along with conducting Air Strikes along ISIS' supply lines which have proved helpful in that fight.

      American advisors are active on the ground in Jordan training troops. Which other Arab countries are you proposing we train and then have put troops on the ground? We are also training "friendlies: in Iraq. I can't think of any others nations that are committing ground troops and/or who we should support.

      Though I do think we should be advising and supplying the Kurds as well.

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    8. That is not what I am talking about.

      El-Sisi urges ‘Arab ready force’ to confront ISIS, questions if US ‘standing by’ Egypt

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/09/exclusive-el-sisi-urges-arab-ready-force-to-confront-isis-questions-if-us/

      This is the guy we should hitch a wagon to. These Arab states should go to the UN and get a resolution to authorize their use of force, and others states can contribute to the effort.

      They are best able to restore order in the Arab world and thwart Iran's aggression, and come to peace with Israel, who they are starting to see is not to be feared, and may even help them develop.

      They could even gain support among Muslims to start changing the ways of Islam.

      Sisi:

      “There can be no religious discourse which is in conflict with its environment and with the world. And therefore, we Muslims need to modify this religious discourse. And this has nothing to do with conviction and with religious beliefs, because those are immutable. But we need a new discourse that will be adapted to a new world and which will remove some of the misconceptions.”
      ...

      "We are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting for your word ... because the Islamic world is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost … by our own hands.”


      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/22/sisi-muslims-adapt_n_6508808.html

      This would repudiate antisemitism and result in a significant decrease among Muslims.

      It is rather obvious, but ideology gets in the way, not to mention the know-it-all factor, and prevents doing what has a good chance to work.

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    9. oldschool I hate to tell you but, now you sound like President Obama when you say:

      They are best able to restore order in the Arab world and thwart Iran's aggression, and come to peace with Israel, who they are starting to see is not to be feared, and may even help them develop.

      Particularly when he said this:

      As I’ve said before, I’m convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East. That’s not in our national security interest and it’s not necessary for us to defeat ISIL. Local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL -- and that’s what they’re doing.

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/11/remarks-president-request-congress-authorization-force-against-isil

      And

      Pretty much this whole statement here : https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/10/statement-president-isil-1

      As for "hitching the wagon to al-Sissi" maybe for limited means now as we have supported Egypt in the past and tie aid to maintenance of the Camp David Treaty and other policy objectives. That said I would be very careful with that recommendation considering al-Sissi is courting the Russians so that he can get himself some nuclear power.

      http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/russia-build-egypt-nuclear-power-plant-150210185343926.html

      I would urge caution here.

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    10. He is courting the Russians for weapons, as Obama has thrown his lot with the Shiites and somehow has a fetish for the Muslim Brotherhood. In other words, with sworn enemies of Israel who have no interest whatsoever in stabilization as against those who signal they may be ready for peace.

      It is a qualitative difference.

      When Obama talks about local forces he means Iran, the Kurds, the "moderate" Syrian forces. Only one is not Islamist and two are not Arab.

      If Arab are finally be willing to face the music to accept Israel or confront the violent ways of Islamic teaching, they should be cultivated. Besides, the states involved are primarily Arab.

      el-Sisi will not sit still if Iran gets the bomb. That is the point. The race will begin.

      Besides working with Israel already in the Sinai, he went to the clerics of Egypt, however, and told them straight. He spoke out for Copts. He even had his top cleric call for religious teaching reform, in Mecca!

      http://m.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31580130

      We should have jumped all over it. Instead, Obama has put all his chips on Iran, and many all over think we will end up paying dearly.

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    11. Well.. you say:

      If Arab are finally be willing to face the music to accept Israel or confront the violent ways of Islamic teaching, they should be cultivated. Besides, the states involved are primarily Arab.

      Who is doing that? What Arab nation at least in public is accepting Israel? Maybe al-Sissi (but not in his public addresses), but understand, if he goes over to the Russians that might change. And you know who IS helping Iran build nukes? That would be... The Russians. Again, though.. we do have advisers in both Iraq and Jordan. What other Arab countries do we need to be training?

      And for the third (or fourth) time, I think that putting our money on Iran is not a good move. That said, I am would love to hear a practical alternative. I mean it's great that we say we don't want to work with the Iranians in Iraq - and hey.. I can agree with it. But we do have to do something otherwise ISIS entrenches. And we have to do something soon.

      As a practical solution I support our working with the Kurds. They are on the ground fighting ISIS, their society is line for the most part with the Modern World (well as much as possible in the MENA outside of Israel), they are someone to put our chips with.

      I am not going to go to far out of my way to criticize something if I don't have a practical solution for it.

      I won't even address your notion that the President supports the Brotherhood because I don't think it is correct and honestly I don't even want to argue it because nothing I am going to say is going to change your mind. So let's leave that one alone in the interests of having a productive discussion

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    13. One reason Obama does not support el-Sisi is because he has not yet cut the ties to the Brotherhood. Just as he lingered so long with Erdogan, even got Netanyahu to apologize! What did he get from Obama for that gesture? el-Sisi was pushed into enhancing ties with the Russians as a
      result.

      Wait, how did Sisi all of a sudden become the Kremlin’s BFF? The ex-general rose up the ranks of an Egyptian army that was almost exclusively backed by America. Sisi was even a fellow at the US Army War College in the early 1990s.

      Simple: America no longer wants the friendship of a man who, according to his detractors, has reversed Egypt’s progress toward democracy.

      To make that point, President Obama suspended for a while the annual $1.5 billion US aid package to Egypt. He also held up deliveries of military hardware like US-made attack helicopters, which Sisi desperately needs to fight ISIS and other Islamist terrorists in the Sinai.


      http://nypost.com/2015/02/10/losing-egypt-putin-exploits-obamas-slaps-at-us-ally/

      Arab states cannot and do not announce publicly they love Israel. But they acknowledge common interests.

      An Arab official, according to the WSJ, said that the collapse of negotiations with Iran is preferable to a bad nuclear deal - a comment similar to those previously iterated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      US and Arab diplomats say that, although Arab nations have avoided matching statements made by Israel, they share many of the same fears regarding a nuclear deal with Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported.


      http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Report-Saudis-might-help-Israel-attack-Iran-attack-in-exchange-for-progress-in-peace-process-392094

      Although their grievance of the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains, many Arab states have come to realize that Israel is no longer their primary concern. The growing regional aspirations of Iran in conflicts in Iraq and Syria, as well as the rise of Islamic extremism through the Islamic State terror group and the Muslim Brotherhood, have become more pressing matters for Arab leaders. ...

      In the lead-up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech to the U.S. Congress about the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer invited his Arab counterparts to attend the speech. While the Arab diplomats declined the invitation, many media outlets in the Arab world, including in Saudi Arabia, praised Netanyahu’s address, which called on American lawmakers to reject a “bad deal” with Iran that would allow it to retain significant portions of its nuclear program.

      “Who could believe that Netanyahu today has taken a better stand than Obama with regard to the Iranian nuclear file?” columnist Ahmed al-Faraj wrote in the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Jazirah.


      http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/32600/arab-gulf-states-increasingly-align-with-israel-on-iranian-nuclear-threat-middle-east/#TFpRd71jUZSzsA0L.99

      From last yea's Gaza War:

      Sunni Arab states back Israel in war against Hamas

      http://missingpeace.eu/en/2014/08/sunni-arab-states-back-israel-in-war-against-hamas/

      And post-election, unlike Obama, the Arab League dismissed Netanyahu's supposed rejection of a Palestinian state.

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/192857

      I could go on. Relatively speaking, the movement is in infancy. It is for the US to cultivate, as I said. The solution is there for the taking. But maybe it's more about pride at this point. Does Obama have the capacity to ever admit a mistake?

      This does not meaning tossing aside the Kurds, but to assist the Arab states and try to create some real goodwill.

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    14. I will be honest in telling you that I would have questions about backing a number of relatively unstable Kingdoms and medieval fiefdoms. Particularly when it comes to giving them advanced heavy weaponry. I break with the President over this (and frankly every other American Administration particularly the Bush Admin, though I do recognize that if we didn't give them weapons the Russians and Iranians would or would destabilize their nations).

      So that said, I would agree with you that if (and that is a big IF considering no one really is willing to commit ground troops despite a lot of talk) a coalition could be built and counted on to actually go through with acting against ISIS it would be good to encourage.

      But remember when you are dealing with the Saudi's you are also dealing with the guys who actually fund ISIS to a large degree. The Saudi's are interested in limiting Iranian hegemony, so they and the Gulf States are in large part helping fund ISIS and Nusra Front Rebels in Syria to act as a counter balance to the Iranians.

      I don't think the President here should go in with them until they prove in terms of manpower and action that not only are they ready to take on ISIS but that they will stand firm in taking on other Sunni extremist factions.

      I don't think that is particularly realistic at this time.

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    15. Giving Iran a path to the bomb, trusting Iran, is that the preferable answer?

      Arabs and Israelis will never be lovers, but they have common interests and much to share. We should advance their cooperation, which is more probable in terms of reaching a durable peace than by giving Iran control of the region and starting an arms race.

      We are perhaps in a sea change and should try and take advantage.

      If we do not help them, as we have seen, others will line up to do so.

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    16. For whatever reasons, the MB got labelled "moderate Islamists." Hell, the CIA helped the beggers as far back as the Eisenhower admin as a bulwark against communism.

      http://www.newenglishreview.org/Jerry_Gordon/How_the_CIA_Helped_The_Muslim_Brotherhood_Infiltrate_the_West/

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  7. What did Israel do so that the idea of changing our policy even arose in the first place?

    Perhaps it's just the people who now speak for America on the world stage don't like Israel, are forcing change on us, even as the rest of us are quite comfortable with the status quo.

    Not to mention that many of these changes in policy have played out poorly. At some point it's okay to conclude that, even if they look and sound intelligent, they may have no sense of how the real world is operating.

    Perhaps, then, they will force a UN resolution down Israel's throat, only to discover that it solved nothing. It will be even more apparent where the problem lies, and who must change in earnest to get to peace. It will not matter. Using constructs that would make Orwell blush, Israel itself, the Jewish state, will still be the root cause.

    In other words, no matter what Israel does, the bumpy ride will continue. It would be less turbulent if Obama would stop trying to find any avenue to enable anti-Israel Democrats to grow, and antisemitism to increase. Though we have it great, world Jewry is not so fortunate.

    Rather than discuss things like democracy and nationalism, how to associate anti-Israelism with antisemitism seems more apt, so that the constructs used to paint Israel and Jews as evil becomes known for what it is, racism.

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    1. Heh... you know what is funny oldschool.. I actually sort of agree with you when you say this:

      Not to mention that many of these changes in policy have played out poorly. At some point it's okay to conclude that, even if they look and sound intelligent, they may have no sense of how the real world is operating.

      That may very well apply to our policy in fighting ISIS particularly as relates to Iraq. I would say that one think I do agree with Netanyahu about is that empowering Iran just to fight ISIS is misguided.

      AND I while I don't agree with not discussing things like democracy and nationalism - I think what you bring up with regards to anti-Israel advocacy and anti-Semitism is also a good discussion point.

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  8. Keeping in mind of course that if somehow they manage to wave a magic wand and ethnically cleanse 100% of 'the west bank' of every last Jew, carved Jerusalem in half and gave half of it away, it would not change a thing. The UN would simply demand infinite palestinians into what remained of Israel. And when that happened, they would demand the Jews leave anyway.

    You DO understand that, don't you?

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  9. Probably, though I don't know if the U.N. would demand that (though the might), I do know the Palestinian polity would demand that...

    So?.....

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  10. Final vote count from Israel: http://www.timesofisrael.com/final-vote-tally-seals-likud-win-leaves-yachad-out/

    At least Yachad did not cross the threshold and Eli Yishai and Neo-Kahanist Baruch Marzel are OUT - thank goodness for small favors.

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  11. Thanks for that info Volleyball. It does make a difference but of course what the voters thought at the time is what counts. I for one, looking at exactly what Bibi said never expected him to completely reject his previous acceptance of 2 states but I think some voters did. What they'll think now will be interesting. I'm still upset he didn't finish off Hamas. Ultimately, I expect him to generally fold to American pressures while continuing rants against Iran. Not much else he can do really. And, of course, he has a long history of it despite recent events.

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    1. Well Doodad it will be interesting to see if the Hard Right (Betainu and Bayit Yehudi along with most of Likud) develops "Buyers Remorse". I think it will depend on who is controlling the Money for the Territories. If it is a Rightist, the settlements will get their money and other settlements will be enabled. If it is one of Kahalon's crew.. then that might not happen. And more than that it might cause issues with the current mainstream of Likud, along with his coalition partners.

      At some point Netanyahu is going to have to "shit or get off the pot" with this. The can has been kicked down the road. Reports as of yesterday said that the E.U. (Israel's largest trading partner) was going to start taking strict moves against Israel but Britain and Germany were able to hold that off... I am not sure how much longer that will happen.

      ALSO, The U.S. is not happy about this as it flies in the face of American Policy. (Remember George Bush I cut money to Israel over the settlements and Reagan threatened the same thing).

      I think it was more than just "some" voters Doodad... I think it was a fair amount of voters and it is one thing that helped him grab supporters from Bayit Yehudi in particular Ithey lost 4 seats).

      In the end you may very well be right. And then what does that do to his legacy.

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    2. As if. The Jews could offer 500% of what the Arabs demand tomorrow. They'd refuse and start killing people.

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    3. And if I cared what the Arabs demanded.. that would be one thing. But I don't.

      I'm not sure what you think my position is, or what you think my motivation is but I am pretty sure you may have me wrong.

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    4. Here are two questions for you VB.

      1 - If you had the power to merely wish that the Israeli government would take your advice, and have it be so, what would that advice be?

      2 - If it were up to you, what would you do about the Jewish townships over the Green Line?

      In any case, I am happy to see you participating here, although I have not been much of a participant, myself, in the comments of late.

      I also think that it is fine to have an alternative voice around this joint.

      Of course, on the other hand, we are an alternative set of voices.

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  12. Mike -

    In answer to your questions check out this article I wrote at TOI: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/moving-left-to-center-a-personal-journey/

    That should answer both of your questions.

    That is a better place than me taking up a long post here.

    In general I favor something along the lines of the Olmert Plan offered in 2009 but with a few more security conditions.

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