Judy Mandelbaum

Judy Mandelbaum
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June 01
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NOVEMBER 16, 2010 11:04AM

Those ungrateful Palestinians are at it again

Rate: 17 Flag

 chicken bones
Clinton and Netanyahu are inviting the Palestinians to dinner

It’s called “biting the hand that feeds you,” and pretty much everyone agrees that’s the worst, most ungrateful form of behavior in existence. The Israeli government is currently blaming the Palestinians of this offence, on the premise that the natives should gratefully seize and relish every bone tossed their way, even when – as in this case – it amounts to nothing more nor less than a brittle, choking chicken bone.   

Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington, where they had “a friendly and productive exchange of views on both sides.” The outcome was a vague and still unformalized American proposal calling for “a 90-day extension of the moratorium on building West Bank settlements in return for a series of incentives including the sale of 20 new fighter jets to Israel and certain guarantees in United Nations discussions.” Specifically, the plan prevents “the Palestinians from demanding another extension of the West Bank construction freeze at the end of the 90-day period, and would take off the agenda completely any building moratorium in East Jerusalem,” along with “an American promise to veto any anti-Israeli proposals in the United Nations for more than a year,” which “would foil the Palestinian plan to get either the Security Council or the General Assembly to recognize a unilateral declaration of statehood.”    

Well, what’s there not to love about this deal? From the Israeli point of view, nothing at all. So imagine the outrage when the Palestinian side failed to cheer on cue. Today an unnamed but supposedly top-level Israeli government official complained that the Palestinian Authority is insidiously seeking to thwart this sweetheart deal. “The Palestinians claim that the understandings reached between Secretary of State Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu benefit Israel too much and deny the Palestinians leverage and bargaining chips,” the incredulous official sniffed to journalists. “The political benefits that Israel would receive as part of the package of understanding with the U.S. are not acceptable to the Palestinians because they ease some of the pressure on Israel and make it impossible for [the Palestinians] to apply their strategy of evading direct talks and of trying to force Israel into an arrangement through UN resolutions.” Oh, the humanity!   

It's amazing that even this agreement was possible in Washington, what with the new House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Tel Aviv) promising Netanyahu in advance of the meeting that "the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration" when it comes to Israel. But even if the deal goes through with Washington, Netanyahu’s chances of pushing even this proposal through his cabinet are extremely thin, dealing as he is with right-wing coalition partners whose opposition to even the most absurdly brief hiatus in building settlements on Palestinian land is greater than his own, if such a thing is possible.

In fact, there’s only one thing left they can agree on: if the deal falls through, the Palestinians are to blame. I mean, think of all the great things they could do in those ninety days! You know, like take a vacation in some nice spot or start that novel they've had in the back of their minds. I guess there’s just no pleasin’ some people.  

West Bank settlements
Israeli encroachment on the West Bank - click to enlarge 

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In a sane world, Cantor would be tried for treason, selling his country out to a foreign power this way. At the very least, he should do some pretty good explaining to Congress and the public. So far, I've seen no sign of either. What's going on?!

Rated
the plan prevents “the Palestinians from demanding another extension of the West Bank construction freeze at the end of the 90-day period, and would take off the agenda completely any building moratorium in East Jerusalem,” along with “an American promise to veto any anti-Israeli proposals in the United Nations for more than a year,”


Yeah, such a deal, Dr. Hillary! You're going to cut off my legs, but I get to keep my toes. THANKS!

Oh and while you at it you are going to prevent any tangible action against the butchers that slit my throat (read the murder of nine innocent people by Israel in international waters and the MURDER of Rachael Corrie).
good analysis, Judy.
It's pretty astonishing, isn't it. The 90ty days will let the new congress convene, which may be the real reason. I haven't seen yet what "offer" the Israelis propose as a "compensation" for their latest "gift" of a moratorium.

The only hope as I see it is if some viable opposition to the right in Israel comes up with a viable leader such as Obama arose in the ashes of Bush, but the defeatest attitude of "liberals" there make it unlikely. As in this country, they have mostly given up and the new generation is still waiting for the political messiah who ain't comin'. At least, a new generation of Jews in this country know the difference between the literal and symbolic meaning of "Israel."
What's interesting is that I have been reading stuff online that the People's Republic of China has now been in talks with Iran and Venezuela about possibly stepping-up and positioning itself as a possible future arbitrator in Middle East conflicts, and possibly working on a final settlement of sorts for the region, so as to secure peaceful access to oil without threat of interuption to its oil supplies. Nothing is written in stone, but they are playing with the idea. (if they are floating it in public, they must have discussed this in private a great deal, previously)

Although Israel, as a small state, profits from instability and division among the Arabs (nobody can achieve Nasser-like regional hegemony sufficient to topple Israel), and the US profits from the same (we sell guns and arms to both sides, so they can secure themselves from the "anarchy"), the same such instability unnerves the Chinese. They also see US failures to accomplish a workable solution as creating a pretext for them to have a stronger working relationship with various regimes in the region. They are doing this slowly, but just wait and see what happens.

It would also make sense. As an atheist/non-Abrahamic state, the Chinese really have no theological interest in either side of the dispute. They could be more objective than the Arabs, the Israelis or the US. It would be interesting to see what could come of this.
(Iran's interests in the region are obvious; less so, Venezuela. That said, Venezuela is in OPEC and they are working with China to get loans and strings-free development assistance and arms acquisitions, in exchange for them voicing China's positions at OPEC meetings)
RW,
That's a fascinating notion. I imagine it's only a matter of time before China becomes more active diplomatically, as it grows economically, and where is diplomacy more urgent and intractable than in the Greater Middle East?
Judy---and problematic as well, because American Protestant Fundamentalist eschatology (study of "end times) strongly believes that Chinese involvement in the Middle East is a precursor to the final battle of "Armageddon." They think the AntiChrist will utilize large Chinese and Russian armies in the region to conquer Israel.

As China's diplomatic clout in the region increases, radical religious elements within the US will paint this in the worst light possible, and could make conflict with China a self-fulfilling prophesy (America is seen as fighting on the side of Israel and Jesus to stop Chinese/Russian aggression).

Scary stuff
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Shades of what we did to the Native Americans in this country--I think. I'm not an expert.
It is a difficult situation, I think to be fair to the Israelis.
The land was promised to too many people.
I wish personally that the Israelis would see that they would be better off swapping the settlements for Arabs within Israel, internationalizing the Big City, letting an American peacekeeping force patrol the Golan with the Syrians, and become members of NATO and the EU, in return for tunnels connecting the Palestinian Arabs, but I doubt that will ever happen. Liked the piece though.
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It is a temptation to not be involved with ideologues but let me say that Israel has always asked for the Palestinians to recognize the right of Israel to exist as their part of this 'deal' to halt settlements.
And Palestinians have always ignored that and asked for Israel to yet more.

Is it any surprise that, without getting any sign that Palestinians will actually participate in this 'deal', that Israel is unwilling to do anything without getting something out of it.
Thank you, the traveler. I was hoping at least one person would see the one-sidedness of this piece. Israel has been beleaguered since the moment of its existence, and has made many sincere overtures to the Palestinians, all rejected. No country in the middle east would give up as much land as Israel has (the Sinai to Egypt, Gaza to the Palestians, northern land to Syria) in exchange for the mere hope of peace. As has been said before, Israel is a good country in a bad neighborhood.
european jews took palestine from the moslem arabs fair and square: with guns. and they left some alive, which they didn't have to do. it's beginning to look maybe they shouldn't have.

so really, what have those lucky survivors got to complain about? i mean the helots of classical sparta had about the same deal, and they learned to live with dieing. suddenly. and they got along, most of them, for hundreds of years.

the palestinians are a conquered people, when are they going to accept reality, especially since israel has the usa on their side, i mean, not likely the tide will turn any time soon, is it?
I think rw makes an important point about why the U.S. shouldn't be too complacent: China, and the Bears also like to still play in that neck of the woods.
I was not as detailed in my analysis, but more outraged in my latest posting. For the life of me, I can't even see why the Egyptians, Jordanians and PLO even bother to continue with this travesty of a so-called peace talk.

Be reasonable, and do it my way. Also, give me your watch and wallet.
I know a couple of obese guys who spend their Sundays jumping out of their chairs and screaming at football coaches who did not choose the play they had in mind. Never mind that the coaches spend years planning these games, and receive millions of dollars for their expertise in this field. These exuberant rotundis are convinced their play is the only way to go.

Peace in the Middle East is a topic that cannot be effectively covered in a few paragraphs. There is considerable pain and a long history on both sides of the table. I respect your opinion, but I'm thankful you are not a peace negotiator.
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I find Israel's position towards the Palestinians purposely untenable and they know it. I am not an anti-Semite but our support for Israel has its limits and maybe it is time to let them know in a tangible way. Lowering their foreign aid might help.

We should have opened our door to the European Jews following World War II and while Harry Truman did recognize Israel just three months before his first presidential election against the advice of all of his advisers, I believe, in order to carry New York, the State of Israel has been a constant burden on the USA.

Europe has had it with Israel and blames them for a good deal of the terrorism around the world. After all, they did use terrorism against the English who were their protectorate.

If they bomb Iran, there is going to be untold misery.
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There are a hundred examples from the last 12 months alone of Palestinian lies, double-dealing, assaults, political thuggery and corruption against their own people,on and on. The international media tell "noble lies" to demonize Israel, endlessly, and Hamas is not an honest broker, are against Israel's existence at the charter level. On and on.

And these settlements -- these dishonest, theocracy-based, land-grabbing illegal settlements -- moot it all in world opinion. Until the settlements are stopped, reversed, Israel ruins any moral position they have. It breaks my heart, as a Jew and a human being struggling with moral issues. Rightwing theocrats the world over shit where they eat. Every god has his favorite dirt, his sacred doodads, and it spoils the earth for ordinary people trying to survive in peace.
John B.
"Israel must be the only westernized country where the housing market is actually booming."
True, but do you really have plans for retiring there?

The Traveler,
"Is it any surprise that, without getting any sign that Palestinians will actually participate in this 'deal', that Israel is unwilling to do anything without getting something out of it."
That's the whole situation in a nutshell.

Greg,
A truly eloquent summary of the tragedy. Thanks for stopping by!
It is obvious that the two-state option is not going to happen--it's time to stop pretending. And I don't understand why Israel gets more attention and foreign aid than Estonia or Uruguay--it's just another country.
Yes. When will the Palestinians just agree to every single one of Israel's demands and be done with it? We keep offering them the opportunity to acquiesce 100% to Israel but for some reason they just won't take the generous offer.
"Yes. When will the Palestinians just agree to every single one of Israel's demands and be done with it? We keep offering them the opportunity to acquiesce 100% to Israel but for some reason they just won't take the generous offer."

What BS.
The Palestinians have been asked to acquiesce to one thing - recognize that Israel has a right to exist' and they have refused to do this for four decades.
They have repeatedly refused to do anything to show that they are willing to sit at the peace table.
Why should Israel do anything at this point? They get nothing from it, no recognition, no interest in stopping the war, nothing.

I would encourage those who get what they know about the Mid-East from blogs to read this brief history of the mid-East to better understand the situation.

Let those who say it is incorrect, point out the factual errors.

Lew
Here is another link. You don't have to believe it without investigating. Just follow their links to Palestinian sources and make a judgment for yourself. Taking one side because its the 'lost puppy of the week' and the seeming underdog doesn't make it right or just.

If you think Jews should leave Palestine because they didn't belong there, perhaps you should also expect that Japanese leave Okinawa, Nationalist Chinese leave Taiwan, non- aboriginal Australians leave Australia and all the Europeans and Spanish leave the Americas. The world is the way it is now, we need to go on.

Making believe that one side is all bad and the other side all good and doesn't have any responsibility for making progress just leads to more war.

Palestinian Media Watch

This kind of unthinking post just perpetuates stupidity and war.
And let me add that the Bantu would have to leave South Africa because they migrated their and kicked the Koi out.

Or is it just Israel that bothers you, Judy.?

I notice there are no answers to you.
typo correction

their => there
answers to you => answers from you, Judy, or your hangers on.
The Traveler
"If you think Jews should leave Palestine because they didn't belong there"
Who me? Where did I say that? I'm talking about people from Brooklyn building illegal settlements on Palestinian territory in the West Bank, so references to the Bantu are just a bit of a stretch in this context. And since when do I have "hangers-on"? Don't say it too loud - soon everybody will be wanting them!
Judy, just admit that you're part of the Neturei Karta agenda and you realized that your blog could get published if you took an anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian stance, no matter what is right.