Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unilateral Palestinian Independence

Over the weekend, while I was seriously enjoying a long weekend without Internet access, David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, published a long editorial about Salam Fayad's intention to declare unilateral independence in the summer of 2011. Horovitz sees this as a threatening development, and wonders why Israel's government isn't preparing itself adequately. Robin Shepherd, one of the clearest voices out there, agrees with Horovitz.

I also agree that if the Palestinians try it, they'll most likely succeed. I'd take it further: they'll undoubtedly succeed. I also recognize that such a unilateral declaration - and achievement - of independence will cause no small measure of chaos.

Once it's over, however, I don't see why it would necessarily be a bad thing. Israel might well be forced to evacuate its presence beyond the barrier, which most Israelis don't support anyway.The IDF would have to figure out how to live with the new situation. Beyond that, however, it seems to me the advantages to Israel are considerable:

1. The occupation would be over. It would be hard to damn Israel for occupying the Palestinians and preventing their independence when they're recognized as being independent. Since the Israeli occupation of them has proven to be their most potent weapon against us by far, having them lose it would be great.

2. There would be an ongoing Palestinian demand for the slivers of land between the barrier and the Green Line, which the Palestinians would claim as their own. Israel would be called upon to evacuate these territories, but given the large numbers of Israelis in them, and the small numbers of Palestinians, it would be clear that this demand would have to be negotiated, with Israel holding the physical cards, meaning that the Palestinians would be expected to pay something. That's what negotiations are for, and declaring independence won't change that.

3. The two most important issues on which the Palestinians and Israelis cannot agree at the moment are the right of return, and Jerusalem. The right of return demand will lose much of its potency if there are two sovereign nations living side be side: who ever heard of a demand by a country that millions of people from third countries must move into a second country? As for Jerusalem, I've been clear for years that the city can't be divided. The Palestinians will demand it, but they will no longer be able to demand it as part of the terms of their independence - since they'll already be independent, and the occupation will be over.

Will there be a peace treaty? Probably not anytime soon. Will there be effective peace between two neighbor states? Possibly. And if so, why complain?


Bryan said...

But what if the Palestinians achieve independence and then the newly independent West Bank (because the Hamas-Fatah "reconciliation" talks seem farcical at best) degrades into another Gaza and launches attacks into Israel? What if the international community continues to criticize Israel for retaliating to these attacks? (And criticizes them even more harshly, because then they would not just be attacking some nonstate actor, but another member state of the UN?)

I know this would make them hypocrites, but that's neither a new nor a particularly shocking assumption to make about the international community.

Also, the international community might justify these attacks on Israel by saying that Israel continues to occupy "East Jerusalem," and that it is not their business to tell the Palestinians that they cannot attack Israel to regain something they feel is occupied. After all, the IC thinks Israel is occupying "East Jerusalem" now. If the Palestinians get an independent state (excluding Jerusalem), will the international community suddenly decide, "oh, no, now Israel can have all of it"? After all, the international community has never called out enemies of Israel when they make up outrageous lies to justify attacking Israel (see: Hezbollah and Sheba'a Farms).

In short, it sounds like there is basically nothing to gained and a lot to be lost in this situation.

Independent Observer said...

I've just lost all my respect for Yaacov.

Brian is correct that the main consequence of a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state would be massive arms imports from Iran (cf Hizbullah, Hamas, Karine-A) which would then target the Israeli heartland.

Yaacov's omission of ths from his list of consequences means he has joined the mindless left.

Anonymous said...

is so vague in writing this which to me reads a bit out of style

- does the "fence" encircle all the settlements which were always supposed to be part of Israel? I may seem woefully ignorant, but to date that didn't seem like that to me. Is Israel (and the rest of the world to challenge the new state on the Judenrein issue and if not? If there were any sanity in the world that issue would be foremost in the deliberations of the IC (I am delusional I know, but still)

and what about that famous mountain range from which to fire and what about the Jordan valley access.

Sometimes I suspect Yaacov writes these things just so my low blood pressure doesn't bother me for a while or that he wants to milk the smarter amongst us for especially ingenious arguments or his recent stay in Europe had made him inhale too much "peace".


Anonymous said...

all in all I think it is brillant work procurement measure (ABM-Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahme) for punditry, NGOlers and other no-good pontificators and addicts to red carpet events.

only drawback is that none of them will be forced to do it for 1 € per hour as normal unemployed or no longer employable have to.


Anonymous said...

Yaacov, I see your point. But the occupation would not be over. At least not in "East Jerusalem". Abbas and Fayyad are merely trying to bypass an End of Conflict agreement.

They will use heavy international pressure to get not only statehood but in addition East-Jerusalem as their capital.
By now they know pretty well, that they won't get that by negotiating.

If the IC is willing to support the unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, the will also support the demand for East-Jerusalem, too.

Although the "Right of Return" will be forfeited, the lack of a peace agreement will mean almost certainly war. Palestine will be a fully militarised state with the strategic ability to lock down civil life in Israel and especially in Jerusalem.

Why am I telling you? You know this yourself!

Hamas, Iran, Hizbollah and Syria will rejoice and provide arms and troops for the next round of the "all or nothing game".

Terror attacks will follow, if not a full scale war.

On the other hand Palestine will have to show its true colors. Peace, or war.

Open war would freeze US and EU funding of Palestine, but perhaps the arabs would step in. Therefore terror is the most probable outcome. Terror supported by a full fledged state is a terrible weapon.

It will bring more condemnation of Israeli countermeasures, but no decisive outcome.

Anyway, the price for all this will be paid in blood.

Regards, André

Metternich said...

The PA cannot lead a new "Palestinian" state without being a client of Israel or of the US, or both. But that is not politically tolerable in the Arab world. Otherwise the new state would be taken over by Syria, Hezbollah and/or Hamas. Syria will do to the West Bank what it is doing to Lebanon.

They would get foreign aid from the Euros and military aid from Iran. They would be able to build up and to call for volunteers from the Muslim world to come to the West Bank and Gaza to "Defend Palestine". When they are ready, a border incident will be arranged.

Israel will see this going on, and intervene proactively to prevent the war. Possibly, though, Israel will put its head in the sand.

Either way, it leads to a big bloody war, not to peace.

Theoretically, there is a narrow channel whereby the Fayyad types overwhelm the Islamists and eliminationists, and Israel does not intervene. A long cold peace, or cold war, instead of a hot war. But this is vanishingly unlikely.

And Fayyad and Abbas may turn out to be full-bloodied eliminationists after all. If they survive the purges.

Anonymous said...

Some recent quotes from Mr. Fayyad:

“It’s the duty of the Palestinian government to end the suffering of the residents of Jerusalem and provide them with services,” Fayyad declared. “I salute you for your support and promise that I will continue to provide services to the residents of Jerusalem.”

Fayyad claimed that Israel’s policy in the city was designed to “empty it from its original inhabitants by cutting services and through other measures.” He said that his government’s duty was to “protect the Arab character of Jerusalem and its status as the eternal capital of Palestine.”

He added that the PA government was determined to pursue its plan to build state institutions and “reinforce the steadfastness of our people, especially in Jerusalem and other areas threatened by the [security] wall and settlements.”

He made his point very clear.

Regards, André

Anonymous said...

after having read that far, I had enough of the piece: open demand for judenrein is back and it's business as usual.


During a meeting with the Egyptian press in Cairo at the beginning of August, Mahmud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority,....

When considering the possibility that a third force, such as NATO, could be given the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the planned agreement, Mahmud Abbas imposed a condition: that there should not be a single Jewish soldier and any Israeli. “I am ready to accept a third party which supervises the implementation of the agreement, NATO forces for example, but I will not accept the presence of Jews in these forces or a [single] Israeli on the Land of Palestine.”

What does it really mean when he demands that the European states, members of NATO, exclude their Jewish citizens from the ranks of their forces? Can one imagine such a situation and the juridical mechanisms that these states would have to activate in order to separate the Jews from their citizens? As it happens, Mahmud Abbas does not help them by defining the criteria of who is a Jew: religious law, ethnic origins, the father, the mother, the grandfather? It is all the more remarkable that Saudi Arabia, during the Gulf War in 1990-1992, permitted American Jewish soldiers to serve with the American forces on its territory, a land which, according to the Koran, is sacred and should not shelter any non-Moslem.

Anonymous said...

Israel thought disengaging from Gaza would bring peace and international support.

It didn't work back in 2005. Why should it now?

Regards, André

Anonymous said...


because "this time it's going to be different" says the alcolic to his wife a minute or so before he abuses her as usual


Anonymous said...


now that's quite a bit harsh.

I'm pretty confident in Dr. Lozowick's moral compass.


AKUS said...

In fact, this could be a good thing for Israel as it would then be able to retaliate against a state that is attacking it - i.e., has either declared war or is conducting a war against Israel without a declaration of war - and Israel would be justified in taking the harshest measures available to it.

But the idea is fundamentally undoable because of the Palestinians themselves. Would Abbas declare only the WB "Palestine"? And if so, what is Gaza? And if he declares (and the UN agrees, of course) the WB and Gaza "Palestine", will Hamas agree.

The idea is actually a non-starter, IMO.

Anonymous said...

that was not meant to be a comment on Yaacov's compass

that was supposed to be my translation of your

It didn't work back in 2005. Why should it now?


Saul Lieberman said...

Dear Yaacov (if that is really you),

Did you really write these phrases:
“It would be hard to damn Israel”
“it would be clear that this demand would have to be negotiated”
“who ever heard of a demand by a country”
“The Palestinians will no longer be able to demand”.

I think you missed “Inconceivable”.

Your friend,

Inigo Montoya

Stan said...

It is not "occupation" that is the most potent weapon of Israel's enemies. Rather, it is the ability to create propaganda that convinces much of the world that Israel is always in the wrong. Israel's past concessions and retreats have never been rewarded, not by Arabs and not by the West. From the point of view of the "Palestinians", all of Israel is "occupied Palestine." From the point of view of the West (and especially the EU), whatever the Arabs say, is right. A penchant for wishful thinking regarding the intentions of their enemies has already done Israel incalculable damage, let's not repeat past mistakes.

Y. Ben-David said...

I am afraid your flawed analysis has left me in doubt about your true understanding of the situation. A unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state would not be made in order to set up a state for the purpose of giving the Palestinian "self-determination". That is only an excuse. Their goal is the eradication of Israel, but this goal is not meant to be accomplished in one big push. It is to be done by way of "death by a thousand cuts". You yourself ignore their main demand - " A STATE IN ALL THE TERRITORIES OVER THE GREEN LINE" This includes Jerusalem and the Left's beloved "settlement blocs". No matter what Israel gives up there will still be increasingly strident demands and the Europeans will still officially support the Arab demands. AND WHAT ABOUT THE "SUFFERING" OF THE PALESTINIAN REFUGEES? The spotlight will turn on them. Remember all the Arab outrage when the UNRWA official said the Palestinians are NOT going back to Israel? The Arabs will NOT give up that demand, period.
I also strongly disagree with your belief that "most Israeli" would accept a unilateral ousting of 100,000 Israelis from the settlements outside the security wall, and you can't count on them all going quietly...this is the heartland of the TANACH, not Gush Katif.

I think the Americans, even those hostile to Israel like Obama and even the Europeans understand the dangers inherent in this unilateral move by the Palestinians and they will block it. You are comletely wrong about it "possibly leading to peace", and you are wrong about it "meaning an end to the occupation" as the Arabs are endlessly complaining about it. It is simply a recipe for a major war and would settle NOTHING.

Lachlan said...

I think Yaacov is right that there are upsides to the Palestinians making a unilateral declaration. It would be very tough for them to keep the whole apartheid narrative going after that. And I think the "international community" would love any excuse to get the conflict off their agenda. They would welcome such a move and do their best to move the Israel/Palestine dispute into the "settled" basket, and be much less tolerant of Palestinian "resistance" antics (i.e. terrorism).

Of course, if Israel has to give up border control, the Palestinians will start arming themselves in a big way. But Mr Fayyad, whatever his rhetoric, doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who is going to launch some futile, self-destructive attempt to retake Jerusalem by force. But the PA won't necessarily be able to control things on their side, so there's definitely a lot of potential for bad stuff...

Y. Ben-David said...

Previous unilateral Israeli withdrawals (southern Lebanon in 2000 and Gush Katif in 2005) set off massive waves of violence. They Arabs said "see they are weak, they are running away, all we have to do is keep up the pressure and they will eventually run away from Tel Aviv".
The unilateral proclamation of a state would set in motion events that Fayyad would not be able to control. Recall he is not really popular among the Palestinians, there are still the armed groups around so a call to liberate Jerusalem, in the wake of further demonstrations of Israeli weakness would easily escalate to a major confrontation, no matter what Fayyad and his entrepeneurial friends may want. In the Arab world, the extremists call the tune.

Stan said...

And I think the "international community" would love any excuse to get the conflict off their agenda.

Definitely not. I think this confuses expressions of political propaganda (I mean oft-heard statements to the effect of: "we are sick and tired of the Israeli-Arab conflict, give the Arabs what they want already", designed to soften the Israelis up for further concessions) with Western governments' real motives. Far from trying to bring about peace, the West and the "international community" are a self-interested party to the conflict. By helping dismember Israel through diplomatic pressure and delegitimization, they strive to appease Arab hostility. The reasons why the West appeases Arabs, such as economic interests and the fear of terrorism, won't go away following a unilateral declaration of a "Palestinian state". As long as the Arabs continue to seek to annihilate Israel, the "international community" will be there to profit from the conflict in any way they can.

Carrie said...

Lachlan said:
I think Yaacov is right that there are upsides to the Palestinians making a unilateral declaration. It would be very tough for them to keep the whole apartheid narrative going after that

Don't you see they are going to move the "apartheid" argument to Israel within the green line? Already on left-wing blogs you read about how Israeli Arabs are treated as 3rd class citizens in Israel. They will just move this propaganda into Israel itself because that is where there real war is. Israel is what they want. It is just being done in stages....That's why they are trying to get Palestine declared without negotiating a thing. They are deathly afraid of Lieberman and his proposal for the Arab triangle. This is their next card and they don't want to mess it up.

Gavin said...

A unilateral declaration of statehood would have the same effect as the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza Yaacov. Under the present interpretation of international law by the UN the West Bank and Gaza would still be occupied territory should the UN accept Palestinian statehood. As military occupiers Israel would subsequently be denied the right to self-defence against Palestinian aggression.

My thinking is that they want to do this because it will retain the status quo in respect of the occupation, thus placing Israel in an impossible position. On one hand you won't be able to withdraw behind the new borders because no peace agreement will have been signed and arms from Iran will start flooding in, and on the other hand arms will still start flowing in to the West Bank anyway and attacks on Israel will increase exponentially. Any larger-scale military action by Israel to combat Palestinian aggression will continue to be branded as war crimes by the UN.

This is a pretty clever move on their part, Israel is being outmanouvred here. They'll get their state, they'll continue to get refugee status, they'll continue to get western aid as an occupied people, and they'll still be viewed as a resistance fighting the occupation.

There's a stubbornness from Israel on the occupation issue that I find irritating and which is also very dangerous for Israel. Whether the occupation is fact or not is irrelevant. All that matters is the UN says the occupation exists and Israel must start addressing that instead of living in denial.


NormanF said...

The Palestinians won't declare for their consideration is Jordan, Israel and a second Palestinian Arab state will only draw attention to the complex relations with the Palestinians across the river.

Will there be one Palestinian Arab state - or two? Or even three? Hamas will probably not go along with such a declaration.

And Israel can be expected to take unilateral measures to protect its own interests in the theoretical event it does come about.

Anonymous said...

OK, let's assume the current "apartheid" meme gets out of fashion, it will probably take less than a minute for claims that they are treated with less "respect" than other countries by Israel i.e. they'll first replace "apartheid" with "treated as inferior" i.e. discrimination and in the next step will put yet another meaning on "apartheid".

To believe and/or trust and/or assume that they'll give up on their Salami-Tactic "one slice at a time" (death by a thousand cuts) is delusional.


Lee Ratner said...

Regardless of whether the Palestinians want all of Israel or not, and I do not think that they are of one mind on this, unilateral independence would be a good thing for Israel. It would mean that Israel would be dealing with an independent state rather than occupied area. Except among the most strident Jew-haters, people will have less patience for the antics of an independent Palestine with their own foreign policy and diplomatic representation even in the EU.

If people are really as violently anti-Zionist as people on this blog maintain than Israel simply will disappear eventually because there is no way Israel could always win.

Sylvia said...

Indeed a unilateral declaration of statehood will be disastrous for both sides.

In addition to what was correctly argued here, not only they will still call it occupation, not only would they expect Israel to continue to supply them with their needs and when Coriander is missing from a shipment call it a siege, but most importantly as a sovereign state they can create a situation that would require foreign military intervention, which they have wanted all along. By foreign intervention I don't mean Iran or Arab states, but NATO as per the Kosovo model or even American troops. Without a bilateral internationally recognized agreement nothing would prevent them from building an airforce with planes and helicopters that can strike at the heart of Tel Aviv. They can bomb Ashdod port, tuen around and and go cry to the useful idiots that their goods are not coming through and they are "under siege".

As a sovereign state. they could let in and organize thousands of people from abroad have them march or drive to the border and fire from behind their backs.

And will the declaration of statehood designate the borders? Which? 1967? Or will it be vague about the limits of that Palestinian State? They have a good thing going with the radical left and foreign activists demonstrating. Will they leave a corridor where they can continue these activities?

In my opinion, a unilateral declaration is a way to have their cakes and eat them all.

Sylvia said...

tuen around and and go = turn around and go

Gavin said...

Lee. I find beliefs like you've expressed there very frustrating. You're just not reading the plot. Israels foes at the UN and all the various NGOs have concocted a Machiavellian legal argument that defines how Israel occupies Gaza and the West Bank. That their arguments are falacious is irrelevant, what matters is that the UN accepts them and from that acceptance they make judgements and rulings on Israels behaviour based on occupation law.

If the Palestinians declare statehood nothing will change. "Pelestine" will still be occupied territory by the definitions the UN has adopted. There won't be any dealing with an independent state, there will only be 'resistance against the occupation'

Why are you people so wilfully blind to what occupation means? Try reading the Goldstone report for an explanation of how they can state Gaza is still occupied and then extrapolate the same argument to the West Bank should they declare statehood. It is patently, blatantly, obvious that the arguments used for Gaza would also apply to the West Bank. Here's another angle on it.... throw the WB into it as well & start picturing what a diplomatic and security debacle it would turn into for Israel....


Anonymous said...

I find your anti occupation argument very convincing but then I read the other day that a (toxic) garbage dump has broken off in Lebanon and now drifts to Israel's shores

I don't know of course how Mediterranean currents work but I guess that Israelis watch the Gaza sewage situation very carefully and if that should get out of hand the occupation fiction may come in handy.

Yes I know I am incorrugible in that I always assume that bureaucrats do what they do for a reason or at least did it for a reason when they started it.

(I am fixated on sewage because I've been told that that is what NGOs are most scared by when confronted by a refugee situation.


Barry Meislin said...

Gavin (not to mention quite a few others---sorry Lee, not you), your extremely cogent analysis, exceedingly helpful (if worrisome---but then, brinksmanship, threats, intimidation, brutality and violence is (are?) the name of the game in this part of the world---oh, and lying, too---but then, how does one define "lying"?...heh) is essentially correct...

...except for one (rather relevant) detail:

If the Palestinians do declare statehood, not even they (in spite of the perverse machinations of the UN---talented though it is in the ways of deviousness, prevarication, theft...and it appears rape---yes a most talented bunch, through and through) can at the same time claim that they are also under occupation. (Of course, they could do or say anything, really---and they might even be believed (and they might even begin to believe themselves)---but were they to do this and if they were supported in it, it would mean that perversity has triumphed (alas, once again) to the extent that civilization as one has known it is endangered---i.e., more than it already is---Munich redux?).

To the extent that the Palestinian policy makers will have to seriously ask themselves: "Can we actually get away with this? Do we dare?"

Which is why, the Palestinians will bluster, they will threaten, they will bleat, shout, pout and wail about declaring statehood....

But they won't actually do it.

In fact, they won't accept statehood even if it's offered to them by, well, the usual suspects, though this time assisted by the current US administration.

Oh ye of little faith....

I suspect that this is at the core of conflict between Hamas and the PA (though there is no lack of reasons)---why Hamas is---terribly---worried that Abbas/Fayyad (though, of course, the two despise one another) will declare statehood.

Though Hamas should have no fears (at least on this score).

Certainly, the uber (Silke, I could sure use an umlaut), privileged status of victimhood (par excellence), of being able to endlessly cry out "oppression," "subjugation," "colonization" and "exploitation" (along with all the sympathy that such wailing engenders...and billions of dollars in cash that it generates)should not be sacrificed so readily, so quickly, at least not without giving the matter a great deal---a huge amount---of thought.

I should qualify what I said above by the following: The Palestinians WILL declare statehood immediately ONLY if they believe that by doing so they will cause the immediate destruction of Israel; that is, if they believe that doing so will be the final nail in the Zionist coffin, the last little shove given to the teetering, tottering Zionist edifice.

Barring that, they will not act, but use the threat of statehood to cudgel and batter the Zionist Entity and its citizenry, to further arouse the "conscious of the world," even as Iran and its cohorts increasingly arm themselves (yes even more)to "encourage" the State of Israel to pick up stakes and go back to....wherever.

Having said all this, what does seem to me more likely is that instead of declaring statehood, they will declare some kind of quasi-status ("Trusteeship" has been touted), which they believe will enable them to pursue the conflict while continuing to claim the privileged status of "victim," "oppressed," "colonized", and "exploited" to continue to batter Israel diplomatically and morally, fatten their bank accounts financially, and assuage their need to carry out, where necessary, armed warfare.

Keeping in mind that Attrition (along with huge doses of threats and psychological warfare) "is the thing by which to catch the conscience of the King"....

(Question: In such a potentially grievous situation, what might be the deus ex machina?)

Barry Meislin said...

"conscious of the world" should (of course) be "conscience of the world"

Yaacov said...

Well folks, I thank you all for your comments. A blog can sometimes be a useful place for working thru ideas.

While I don't take back what I wrote, this has been useful in demonstrating which parts of the argument need to be clarified better. So perhaps I'll do that.

Barry may be right that Fayyad is dealing with mere brinkmanship, and won't ever dare really declare unilateral independence. Most of you, however, missed Horvitz's main thesis, which is that they probably really do mean it, and that if so, there's precious little Israel can do to stop it. My thesis is that were Israel to respond cannily, it's reasonable to expect it could come out well ahead.

Gavin said...

Sorry Barry but the 'occupied territories' would merely be referred to by the UN as 'occupied Palestine' if they declared statehood and it was accepted by the UN. It wouldn't change the legal status of occupation, that's not determined by statehood although Israel have argued (unsuccesfully) in the past that only sovereign states can be occupied. If you read the legal arguments they created to support the occupation claim it's clear that Israel could retreat right back to the borders of the new state and they would still be occupying Palestine.


Anonymous said...

"could come out well ahead"

to try to outcanny the shameless usually backfires
(says my Miss Marple mind)

nothing teflonizes as well as shamelessness and gives the liberty to the Hessian saying of

"was gebb isch für mei dumm Gebabbel von gestern"

(what do I care for my stupid babbling of yesterday)

with special greetings to Yaacov who has just been to Frankfurt where the saying is widely in use and has probably been made popular by the guy showing up at 1:30
(yes that bosses would get that closely bodily was considered PC at the time)


Anonymous said...


you're right, there's practically no way to stop Abbas and Fayyad from declaring statehood.

Still, I don't think they will give away their most powerful cards.

So far Israel isn't known for clever public relations efforts.

The Palestinians and their supporters were always one step ahead. Netanjahu should better devise a clever strategy.

Regards, André

Anonymous said...




Barry Meislin said...

Well, one should clarify.

"They probably really do mean it" should be translated as follows:
Ahem. We place the world on notice that we proudly declare a Palestine state!!...on condition that the peoples and nations of the world and its prestigious bodies are aware of---and in agreement with---the following stipulations:

* That it is understood that the Palestinian State is the sole representative of the Palestinian People, of the Palestinian Nation, of Palestinian Culture, and of Palestinian aspirations.
* That it is understood that the establishment of a Palestinian State does NOT mean that the Palestinian people have agreed to live together with the State of Israel.
* That it is understood that the establishment of a Palestinian State does NOT mean that the Palestinian people have relinquished any of their demands on the State Israel.
* That it is understood that the establishment of a Palestinian State does NOT mean that the Palestinian people have agreed to a final status on borders or coexistence with the State of Israel.
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State will has NOT relinquished any potential state of belligerency with the State of Israel (or any of its neighbors).
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State will have jurisdiction over ALL of East Jerusalem, as construed by the Palestinian people.
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State will be territorially contiguous.
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State will NOT be demilitarized in any way, shape or form.
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State will make military treaties with whomever it wishes so as to help to defend themselves against its enemies.
* That all Palestinians and their descendants have the right to be readmitted and resettled in their former cities, villages, and homes within Israel, that is, within the May 1967 borders of the State of Israel.
* That it is understood that the people of Palestine will continue to proudly be perceived as an oppressed, colonized people until such time as it decides that it is not.
* That the State of Palestine will continue to be funded by the international community at the level it has been in the past.
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State will experience difficulties in governing, at least at first; and that the Palestinian State will not, as a consequence, be held responsible for any problems of governance or decisions that may be required; and that such difficulties will be understood by the international community and NOT criticized.
* That it is understood that it is up to the Palestinian State to decide who may be a citizen of the Palestinian State.
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State will have jurisdiction over ALL water sources, holy sites and archeological site within its territory.
* That the State of Palestine will NOT be shown any disrespect by any states, institutions, peoples or individuals.
* That it is understood that the Palestinian State has the right to add, delete, emend or otherwise change these conditions and stipulations.
And so, do you, the nations the world (and its prestigious bodies) WISH TO DENY US---the Palestinian Nation, the Palestinian People---a country of their own?"

(Doesn't this sound like an offer you simply, simply can't refuse?...)

Barry Meislin said...

Sorry Barry but the 'occupied territories' would merely be referred to by the UN as 'occupied Palestine' if they declared statehood and it was accepted by the UN.

Well, if that's the case, then let the games begin!!

(Yes, yes, I know. They've already begun...)

Anonymous said...


from a Palestinian and int'l point of view I strongly object to this:

That the State of Palestine will continue to be funded by the international community at the level it has been in the past.

you don't want to imply seriously that the successful establishment of a Palestinian state can be even remotely contemplated at the current level of meager and completely unsufficient subsidies?

But another question:

let's say a state is declared, Israel keeps occupying it (says whoever), will they establish a government in exile like I think the Poles and the French did or kind of did in WW2?

How about Tunis as a headquarter?


btw I listened only yesterday to this book talk by David Bellavia on his book on the second battle of Falluja - the link to the site doesn't work, so above is only the audio-link. Somewhere during the Q&A Bellavia told that there were now police units (forensic guys) alongside fighting units whose task was to establish the identity of the opponents who got killed.

Then he gives a list of nationalities which blew my mind.

He said something to the effect that for the second battle Falluja had become something like terrorists' heaven on earth. For now Afghanistan may satisfy "their" desires, but what if the West-Bank becomes a playground?

and while I'm at it: when Bellavia is asked what should best be put in "Care" parcels for soldiers, he answered socks - can you believe it, almost a century after WW1 it is still socks? Then good socks could prevent or delay trench foot, I wonder what it is today what makes socks so desirable above all else.

the man having an Afghan wife points in the same direction as this:

chareidilite said...

I don't really understand what would happen when the PA declares a state. Would Israel withdraw all forces to the provisional border? In that case, what would happen with the border with Jordan- would the new Palestinian state control that border? Would the Palestinian state be able to purchase whatever weapons on the open market? Have you considered these potential downsides?

If Israel did not withdraw all forces, even if it only meant stationing troops to control the border with Jordan, then Israel would remain, in fact, an occupier. In fact, occupying a foreign state sounds even worse than occupying a stateless territory.

Barry Meislin said...

All excellent points.

Which is why there used to be negotiations. And why there won't be any any more. Not meaningful ones, at least.

You see, Israel (and Israelis, well most of them, anyway) were under the impression that the Palestinians really wanted a state so much that they had come to terms with the past (just like we had, eh Benny Morris?) and were not afraid of the Truth (just like we weren't!) and were (therefore) willing to help out the Israelis with their security concerns (along with what---most---Israelis felt were certain proprietary rights to certain areas).

Going that extra mile for the Palestinian State.

Going that extra mile to ease Israeli concerns.

Going that extra mile for peace.

Silly Israelis. They thought that they had some rights to the land (on either side of the Green Line).

Silly Israelis. They thought that "peace" meant "peace." (Oh, but it does, it does.)

Silly Israelis. They thought their partners in peace were just like them (give or take).

And so they were sure that there partners in peace would go that extra mile for "peace."

...would go that extra mile to help out their partners in peace.

...would go that extra mile to help out those they want to see erased from the map.

Silly Israelis.

(Hey, I was one of 'em.)

(Funniest thing, though, is that there are still some brilliant thinkers out there who continue to make fun of Benny Begin.... Well, chalk it up to a variation of Jewish humor!)

Barry Meislin said...

Of course, one of the absolutely funniest things about this relentless pas de deux, these endless arabesques, these pirouettes around a pitta, is that countries like Jordan and Egypt are even more uptight about the subject than Israel (hard to imagine, I know).

Are even more against a Palestinian State than (O irony!) the Palestinians are.

But shhh!! Softly now!!! Shhhh!!!

Lee Ratner said...

While I agree that most Palestinians do want Israel proper in addition to the West Bank and Gaza has part of Palestine, I do not think that Palestinian identity is a shame. The primary goal might be to destroy Israel but the Palestinians aren't going to be willingly consummed into a large Muslim entity if Israel is destroyed.

If the Palestinians are going to declare their independence, there is little Israel can do about as Yaacov stated. However, Israel acting calmly can use this to their advantage in at least securing Jerusalem and preventing millions of Palestinians from coming into Israel. Withdrawing the IDF from the West Bank will also have a financial advantage. The settlers deep in will either leave with the IDF or stay their on their own. Plus this is close to Lieberman's plan anyway.

Lee Ratner said...

I would also argue that I haven't heard any real plan from the side that maintains that the ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel.

The Palestinians and their allies aren't going to give up and say to Israel, you win and leave the WB and Gaza if Israel holds on long enough. Nor will kicking all the Palestinians out of the WB and Gaza going to do anything. The other Arabs will just put them in the camps and Israel would face rather severe consequences for this action. There is a reason that nobody really serious in Israel politics suggests this as a solution. Finally, a continuing occupation is not a workable solution.

Barry Meislin said...

I strongly object to this:

You can't be serious. "This" is one of the most important conditions of them all.

Where would Israel's partners in peace be without the classic, not to mention unassailably pragmatic, "We sincerely regret to inform that if you don't provide us with enough moola---we mean, financial assistance---to help the poor, the impoverished, the oppressed, the desperate, the colonized, etc., then this government is really not sure that it will be able to---wink, wink, nudge---control any "potential" outbreak of violence on the part of---you know---those same poor, impoverished, oppressed, desparate, colonized people....who only seek justice against a cruel and brutal oppressor...."

As for a government in exile, it'll probably be set up in, oh...Ramallah.


Anonymous said...


if I read you correctly, then Abbas was just babbling incoherently here and shouldn't be heeded. He is not a small child and he deserves at least the respect to be taken seriously that any sane adult is due.

Even leaving us depraved Europeans out of the picture, the US happens to be a NATO-member also. Do you expect them to comply with the demand to sort NATO-troups in Jews and non-Jews? and by what criteria? By criteria as yet to be stipulated by Arafat?


Lee Ratner said...

Silke: No, I think that he was entirely sincere. Like I said, the Palestinians are generally Jew-haters and want the entirety of the land. I recognize this. I'm not really that fond of them, I just want to find a way for Israel to get rid of them in the best possible way.

They aren't going to go away and give up suddenly. Continual occupation isn't really viable, nor is kicking them out. Independence, preferable on Israel's terms or at least in away that gives Israel maximum advantage, is a viable way of changing the situation. Unilateral Palestinian independence would allow Israel to withdraw within the security barrier, giving Israel Jerusalem and a bit more land.

Barry Meislin said...

The primary goal might be to destroy Israel but the Palestinians aren't going to be willingly consummed into a large Muslim entity if Israel is destroyed.

Yes, I would agree that that is one of the more reassuring aspects of the current "situation." (It's nice to see that you've---finally---making attempts to be reasonable).

As for there being no "real plan from the side that maintains that the ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel", I'm a bit surprised at such a claim: haven't you yet read "Up-Start Nation"? (Everyone's been talking about it.) Or the Time Magazine article that reveals that Jews (or should I say, "Israelis"?---or should that be "Jewish Israelis"?)are acutely interested in milking the current "situation" for as much money as they can make (you know, "Land of Milk and Money"---those dudes at Time, I tell you...)? Or the brilliant (not to mention witty, articulate and yes, even urbane) Daniel Drezner's observation that the method most preferred by Israelis (I assume that would be Jewish Israelis) of dealing with the current "situation" is to go to the beach?

Truly, there's no end of Israelis trying to deal, creatively and responsibly, with the "situation". So enough with the negativity (just a suggestion).

Meanwhile a rather assinine Bibi Netanyahu (as Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni both agree---something of a surprise---both having gone through the same experience, and with similar results---can't tell me that they haven't learned from their experiences!) insists, insists(!) that Israelis and Palestinians should sit down and talk about it.

But what is there to talk about, really? The beach (Palestinians used to go in droves)? making money (been to Ramallah lately? or anywhere else in the West Bank, for that matter---or even Gaza? Upstart nations?...

(Though, I suppose one must give credit to Bibi for his doggedness; but frankly, he---and maybe all of us---would be better off at the beach. Or trying to make money.)

Carrie said...

Anonymous said...

one doesn't get rid of people by giving them access to the choicest pieces of land as judged by a general wanting to attack.

I don't want to see Israel's young having to retake those heights or the Jordan valley or whatever else is necessary. Even if none of them should get physically hurt I still don't want them to have to do that.

and unless and until the Palestinians prove over extended periods of time that they can be trustworthy reliable partners I'll stick with that view.

You can't give the tree facing your bed-room window to the thug who has confessed he wants to get rid of you.


Ed said...

I've been wondering for years why the Palestinians have not already declared their own state. It is as if they are waiting for Israel to give them permission. That does not bode well for them. They need autonomous government institutions. My understanding is that Israel has been quietly working with the PA to help them develop these institutions. They would continue to talk about the "occupation" after Israel left--as was the case in Gaza. It's too deeply ingrained in the culture. Depending on the way the PA govt went, Israel might need to control imports, as it does in Gaza. The real problem is not Israel and the Palestinians, but the rest of the world. Israel would be in the position of holding territory claimed a sovereign state, and many countries would think this a sufficient reason to boycott Israel. I'm not sure that this would be worse than the present situation, but it could be if the EU joined in, as it might. Israel should seek guarantees from the US and the EU that they would allow the land dispute between the two countries to be settled by the disputing parties. An imposed solution would be detrimental to all.

Bryan said...

I'm with the German. Props, Silke.

Bryan said...

Wait, wait, reality check: the Palestinians already declared a state.

22 years ago.

Was this renounced as part of the Oslo Accords? If not, then the Palestinians are just pussyfooting around the truth: that they're ignoring their own declaration of independence for political gain.

Lee Ratner said...

Barry Meislin, I do not think that I've ever maintained myself to be a starry-eyed kumbawa type on this blog. Thats why I refer to the end as a state of not fighting rather than peace.I just see the entire situation differently.

My position is that the Palestinians would have less of an opportunity to wage mischief if they had all the problems of sovereignty and independence to deal with. Israel takes care of a lot of the mundane day to day things in the West Bank still. If the Palestinians had to take care of mundane things like feeding a populace, providing healthcare, etc. than they would have less of a chance to actually wreck havoc. Also, I believe that most people that matter will loose patience with them if they had all the rights of self-government including foreign relations. This to would limit them in the actions that they could take against Israel.

The number of hardcore anti-Zionists are not that prominent in politics even in Europe. Most of the Pro-Palestinian people will loose interest once embassies are in Ramallah. Even among many Muslims this is going to be the case, especially those furthest removed from the conflict geographically.

Its going to be very risky and Israeli politicians and civil servants are going to have to make some very hard and not so obvious decisions but done right, Palestinian independence can be a net boom to the Israelis.

Silke, Israel can monitor the West Bank fine from Israel proper. It will be more difficult than from the West Bank but not undoable, especially with modern technology.

Anonymous said...

ahhh, the canard of modern technology

how strange that the men I listen to at the Pritzker Military Library when they give their book talks all still have been in blood and gore hand to hand fighting?

How come that the son of one blogger I read has just been through hearing the cries of refugees getting shot by Egyptians at the Egyptian border. One of his task is to pass on those who make it. I am sure he does that by technology. ;-(

EoZ has subtitled a video with a map demonstrating Israel geography but of course technology will easily extend 1 mile to ten so Iron Dome has enough time to catch the evil ones. Amazing isn't it, even something presumably as advanced as Iron Dome has limits dictated by time and distance i.e. geography.
Judea/Samaria's strategic importance - video in English

BTW in Thursday's NYT Bill Clinton pontificated again on the Beace Brocess meddling in his wife's business and accusing Israel's leaders after Rabin's death to have blown it.


Barry Meislin said...

Well, yes, it does sound really good.

Except that they won't agree to a single thing you say.

Moreover, your proscribing to them what they should do---what's good for them---sounds (to me, at least) to be a rabidly colonialist (not to mention Zionist) attitude.

If only they would listen to you.

They won't.

And they wouldn't dream of doing so.

Barry Meislin said...

In my latest comment, "proscribing" should be "prescribing". Sorry.

Anonymous said...

some more as to what the oh so gorgeous technology, solver of all problems, is capable of and why Israelis should stop being so "paranoid" about geography.
A flyer from the Home Front Command


Gavin said...

I think people shouldn't discard so quickly what Lee said there. The internal conflict between Jews & Arabs is none of my concern but the world view of Israel is. Once one becomes attuned to the subject of occupation it quickly grows apparent it is the root cause of the problems Israel has with the rest of the world. Everything in that respect harks back to the occupation, even the rise in anti-semiticism. No matter which foes you hear on the subject of Israel... they will always bring up 'occupation'. I'm a supporter of annulling the quasi-legal status of the Israeli Occupier for that reason and a negotiated settlement for separate states is really the only way that can be achieved because it requires the UN to declare an end to the occupation. I do not know if it will improve the situation between Jews and Arabs but I am 100% certain it will end *most* of the problems Israel has with the rest of the world. That shouldn't be discounted when considering the various arguments over separate states.

Cheers, Gavin

Anonymous said...

If I brainstorm what I'd come up with next, once the "occupation" would be gone

how about Israel is disgustingly rich compared to its neighbours, their must be reasons for it, it can't be the Palestinians fault, it must be due to some manipulations done by Israel.

And the way bureaucracies work, I would find such things, blow them up, make them an issue, harp on it and voilà the Palestinians shortcomings are Israel's fautl.

This is just my first possible line of reasoning. I'm sure once I am challenged I will find lots more.

The Palestinians are first class whiners and there is a whole industry in urgent need of whiners to keep their business going. Sure there would be enough misery elsewhere to focus on, but all of them have a hard time to come up with equally excellent, experienced and effective whiners.



Gavin said...

Silke the world would just move on. Once the western world no longer has to pay for the upkeep of the Palestinians they'll lose interest. Get rid of the occupation and there just isn't enough to keep the fires burning, sure it will take a long while for the embers to burn down but take away the occupation, refugees etc and there's far more pressing issues for the European & other western nations to worry about.

That's not to say it would improve the situation locally, that I don't know. It would however get rid of one of the bigger problems facing Israel today.


Barry Meislin said...

But that's precisely why the Palestinians will never agree to be "unoccupied".

As you have explained previously.

If you're looking for a semantic solution to "the problem"---that problem which must be kept a problem so as to continue to erode and ultimately destroy the Jewish State---then I think it's justn ot going to happen.

The Arabs are very adept, symantically (though they, of course, are not the only ones).

If the world doesn't understand the issue now, after all that has happened, then one despairs of them ever understanding it.

Anonymous said...

assuming that once the occupation ends, the world will look elsewhere because it saves money doesn't convince me.

If I were a Palestinian big-head and the world would stop paying me I'd launch a couple of attacks by rogue elements which I am incapable of controlling because they are Islamists and nobody can control them as everybody knows ;-(

Once Israel takes care of the controlling we have all the headlines, all the goldstoning, all the BDSsing assemble happily around the "issue" once again, renew old friendships and bathe once again in that warm glow of its shared unsurpassable virtue.

watch the clips in the link below. It is very grass-roots and far far removed from boycotting professors, artists and maligning politicians (is it?) and thus of course totally "irrelevant" - nutters like these are losers, they don't get anywhere, only well educated, well behaved, rational people have the means to wield power.

That's what history tells us, doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

I just found this observation which reads to me like a universal truth - so if the occupation goes away politicians are going to stop to suck up to Muslim communities about Darfur or Kaschmir or any such other place for which besides lots of other complications no centuries and centuries old well established vocabulary of wink-winks exists?
well, sometimes miracles happen ...

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems look at a district and if it is more Jewish they are pro-Israel and if it is more Muslim they are anti-Israel.

Anonymous said...

stop to suck up to Muslim communities about Darfur or Kaschmir

should read stop to suck up to Muslim communities about Israel and switch to Darfur or Kaschmir

Gavin said...

I guess they wouldn't agree to it Barry but ultimately they don't have a say in the matter. They don't make or rule on international law. The sensible and intellectually honest precis of the current situation is that Gaza is no longer occupied by Israel and the parts of the West Bank under full PA authority & control are also not occupied by Israel. The rest of the West Bank is occupied. That's a conclusion made directly from the foundation document; the Hague Convention definiton of occupation.

It's in Israels interests to lobby all of its potential allies to push the same viewpoint; to attack at every oportunity in the UN and other international arenas the carefully crafted fiction of occupation that exists now. If the US, Canada, UK, Aus, NZ, France, Germany and others were to all start denying the occupation at the UN it would create panic & mayhem... because without occupation Israels international enemies really do have nothing and they know it. As things stand Israels allies probably all go along with the existing occupation argument because no-one has given them anything meaningful to make them think any differently.


Barry Meislin said...

Yes, let's hope so....

(BTW, what planet are you living on, again?)

Gavin said...

No point in hoping Barry, need to get out there & do it. You've got implacable enemies, you have to figure out how to beat them. They're certainly beatable, everyone is, it's just the how that everyone is having trouble with. Me, I like to look at a problem from all the angles and dig down deep 'til I get to the roots from which all the other problems grow. We're all prone to fighting symptoms rather than the disease.


Anonymous said...

the root is

"it is the Jooz aka Israel"

maybe down yonder you are not exposed to national ever so slightly shifting the emphasis journalism as I am

here's the latest on Palestinian Christians? Who is misbehaving? Israelis! Who is perfectly Kumbaya? Palestinians!

Are the rising numbrs of Chiristians in Israel mentioned? No.

and why is the number of Palestinian Christians decreasing? Because they are better educated than their Muslim neighbours (but some are in mixed schools) and thus tend to migrate to countries which have better jobs on offer.

Maybe that report qualifies only as symptom, but for me the roots for it are ingrained prejudice, a warped world-view and giving up a world-view installed from early on takes quite a conscious effort to change and why should "we" the others have the oil AND know how to scare "us".

Luthers Erben im heiligen LandDie lutherische Kirche in Israel, Jordanien und den palästinensischen Gebieten

Barry Meislin said...

Well, you're a better man than I am.....

Oh, you're right. Absolutely.

Problem is, the thing has metastasized.

Even a not insignificant number of American Jews, European Jews, and Israeli Jews (oh, Australian Jews too---don't know much about Kiwi Jews but the odds are them too) have used their (in some cases, high rates of) intelligence to pervert their judgement.

(Too often, it seems that excessive intelligence becomes a drawback when it comes to common sense....)

And when the level of perversion reaches such an extraordinary level, I'm afraid there's only one "solution" (if history is any indicator).

I simply don't see how anybody at this point in time can be persuaded by rhetoric, by logic, by reasoning, by rational argument.

(Though I admit I'm a lazy SOB... so all this should be taken with a grain of salt...)

Gavin said...

Silke/Barry. We're looking at it from different angles. I agree entirely that reason and intelligence isn't the answer, but intelligence should lead one to the best means of hitting the bastards where it really hurts. Our natural behaviour is to hit back when someone attacks us; to react rather than pre-empt. With the present scenario that's a bit like the story of the boy putting his finger in the dike. I'm in favour of undermining the platform from which they launch their attacks. Use their weapons against them. I certainly don't promote the use of reason against your enemies, I can be accused of many things but foolish & naive isn't one of them. I'm just suggesting that the most effective means of fighting back is to assault the very foundation they launch their attacks from.

Unfortunately on this one I'm a bit of a lone voice because no-one has yet grasped what I've been trying to impart. Even Yaacov hasn't understood what I've been talking about. I find it curious, I've never considered myself better than an average chess player but the tactics & strategy from the other side seem rather obvious to me.


Yaacov said...

Actually, Gavin, I think I understand what you're suggesting. I'm just not certain about the practicalities, i.e. how to make it happen.

Lee Ratner said...

Barry Meislin, Silke: Can you just tell me how you imagine the conflict ending? If the ultimate goal for the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims/Fellow Travelers is the destruction of Israel, what could be done to cause them such a significant defeat that they stop pursuing their goal. Israel can't maintain the current system forever or even much longer. Something needs to change and it has to come from the Israeli side because for various reasons, the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims lack a sense of action.

What do you think Israel should do to fundamentally change the scenario in its favor?

Barry Meislin said...

Something needs to change and it has to come from the Israeli side...

Priceless, classic, pure "Lee". Love it!!

(Control freaks of the world, unite!!...? In fact, let's call an "Internationale" right away!!---Maybe in Oslo? Or Turtle Bay?)

...lack a sense of action.

Whatever anyone might say, let no one tell you that you don't have a way with words!

Barry Meislin said...

I'm in favour of undermining the platform from which they launch their attacks. Use their weapons against them.

Eureka!! Devilishly clever! Deliciously devious! Ingeniously ingenious:

And....I think we may finally, finally have something that just might fit the bill:

Lee Ratner said...

Barry, well you answer my question rather than take a dodge?

Anonymous said...


last night I read the NY Magazine piece on the revival of Tao in China (it's by the author of the highly intriguing sounding "a mosque in Munich")

They apparently believe that inaction may also be a clever and advisable course to take.

Between black and white there is grey. Things will either get worse or something will happen and bring the right moment to act.

How about the Chinese spreading out from Piraeus and bossing that wannabe alliance of Putin/Erdogan/A'jad around a bit? or how about their getting a handle on Arabs by winning the fight - ooops competition - over dominance of the African food supply against the Saudis. They don't suffer from "colonial guilt" and thus may come up with something effective.


Anonymous said...


sorry I forgot to answer your question:

Can you just tell me how you imagine the conflict ending?

I can't imagine anything as I don't believe in predictions, not even my own. I can tell you what I hope for though i.e. Israel coming out of the simmering turmoil prosperous and unharmed because when things get hot they as likely as not may find themselves in the eye of the storm.


Barry Meislin said...

I would tend to agree with Silke that things will either get better, or get worse, or stay the same.

(But for whom?)

Anonymous said...

(But for whom?)

that is of course the real question

the way it looks from my vantage point right now keeping the juggling balls in the air out-confusing "them" is the best that can be achieved right now. Always only talking about right now!


Lee Ratner said...

Yes, thinks will get better, get worse or stay the same. However, I believe that if Israel maintains the current system than things will get worse for Israel. If Israel cuts the Palestinians loose and does so carefully than things will get better because legally the Ocupation would be over. Now, many Palestinians would start ranting and raving about occupied Haifa and Jaffa but for most people who actually matter, the Ocupation would be over. The world would quickly sour on the Palestinians.

Barry Meislin said...

Indeed, from your keypad to the Goddesses' ears!

(Do Goddesses have ears? Silke?)

BTW, if you persist in exasperating Gavin, he may just leave altogether.

Bryan said...

Would it, Lee?

Or would the international community turn to Israel and demand that they relinquish any land designated to the Arab State in the 1947 Partition Plan? If the Palestinians take the 49 ceasefire lines and then demand the 47 borders--after all, the "international community" agreed on those lines and Israel acquired those lands by force--do you really think the Europeans would tell them off? Do you really think the Arabs would stop inciting their people to anti-Semitic rage?

I have no faith in the "international community" to turn against the Palestinians while the entire world is dancing to the Arabs' tune; until we are less reliant on their oil (and OPEC's price-setting shenanigans), nothing is going to change.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you could explain how step 1, 2, 3 of carefully cutting the Palestinians loose in real life is supposed to be done?

(sorry to insist so much but I am still shaken by David Bellavia saying that almost a 100 years after WW1 socks would still be the most coveted item in care packets - haven't we, living in the age of technology, left such nitpicky things long long behind us? no permanent indestructible socks invented as yet?)

the last thing I am after is exasperating Gavin, honestly!
I know I am exasperating and try to control it as much as possible but it seems I am not being successful t it.

As to Goddesses the only religion I understood and cared for before Christian teachers soured me on the subject, were the Olympians and there Goddesses were just like humans with only a few extra powers (a bit like at Hogwarts).
As to visible on the outside ears, I'd say yes since otherwise Paris might have it found a bit difficult to decide who was the most beautiful.


Anonymous said...

As to International Community they are about to establish a Russell Tribunal - here is a first glimpse of what will be on offer

but to be fair there is also the good news that Canada seems to have an extraordinarily sane Prime Minister - watch the video, it will make you sleep well tonight


Gavin said...

Seems to me one of those issues where the answers find themselves once you really grasp the whole concept Yaacov. A different approach is required, you people are far too forgiving of your enemies IMO.

An example of approach is Goldstone. You took a reasoned approoach to his report and concluded that he was biased. That bias led to him making false conclusions, but the corollary to that line of thinking is you do think that Goldstone genuinely believes what he wrote. I looked at it from many different angles until I found what was nagging me. I came to the conclusion he was a corrupt judge who wilfully perverted the course of justice. He didn't just create a work of fiction, he knew exactly what he was doing. Trevor norwicks (sp?) almost got there, he just didn't want to believe the guy was a crook.

Before anyone can start approaching the occupation angle however they need to genuinely know why occupation law is so important to Israels international enemies, so important they fanatically guard it at all costs. I really don't think anyone here has grasped that yet. You see it as part of the jigsaw when it's more than that.

You'll have to forgive my occasional desire to see some meaningful action. As I said this isn't my fight but I see these people treating Israel as a shooting gallery & I'd like to see them get a taste of their own medicine. They need to be taught that if they want to join a fight that's none of their business they're going to get hurt too.

Cheers, Gavin

Gavin said...

Silke/Barry. Don't sweat it being exasperated at people's inability to understand fully what I'm saying is something I'm used to. I think differently to most people, even my friends don't understand me half the time. People tend to see only what's in front of them, I look at where it came from and why it's there. I was one of those annoying kids who pulled his toys apart to see how they worked (never put them back together again either)

On top of that I'm not involved in the conflict and try very hard to avoid taking sides. My interest is peripheral in that I got concerned at the rise in anti-semiticism in my country and hold the view that we all have a duty to ensure there's no repeat of the Shoah. That leads naturally to wanting an end to the I/P conflict because that's the source of much of the anti-Jewish sentiment today. Unfortunately a large contingent from the international community have actively taken a side in the conflict and are acting with malice against Israel. They need to be disarmed and taken out of the fight, they're putting literally millions at lives at risk.


Barry Meislin said...

Silke, that last remark was not directed at you. I wasn't clear about that. Sorry about that.....

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's something that sounds pretty sensible (for the sensible deprived among us).

A far as "you people are far too forgiving of your enemies", well, um, we're Jews (mostly). What do you expect? We even identify with the Palestinians, some of us. Some of us? Scads of us (even those who are not over the top, i.e., who also believe Israel has the right to, uh, well, gee, um, apologies, yes, but, er, exist).

The key here is that one thing the Palestinians are really good at is picking their enemies.

Barry Meislin said...

That leads naturally to wanting an end to the I/P conflict because that's the source of much of the anti-Jewish sentiment today.

Ah, Gavin, but that's precisely another reason (#1,287?) why the conflict must, absolutely must continue.

For the Palestinians, it is the perfect "win-win" situation. All those advantages. A thing of beauty.

Until Israel crumbles and true peace is achieved ("peace of the brave," that is).

(Which is why Israel should do everything, absolutely everything for peace, and even more than that, right Lee?)

Anonymous said...

no apologies required -
actually I am rather proud of my talent to exasperate. I put it to good use elsewhere, so if you didn't mean me, then I seem to be able to control it around here, which is as it should be.

as to talking about roots

roots make me guess you are of the technicians (in the widest sense) mind-set. Nothing wrong with that, I've met my fair share of admirable ones. But as my colleagues and I have defined it over the years, when the computer forced us to work much closer together with them than before, that mind-set leds people to believe that

a) all problems are fixable
b) once fixed they'll stay fixed
c) the human é mobile factor is manageable

by contrast my mind-set of people tends to believe that

a) whenever you think you have the root of a problem another root will crop up behind it
b) no matter how well a problem was fixed, backlashes will inevitably turn up
c) humans will never cease to surprise

already the different length of the 2 descriptions tell you all there is to know

when however both mind-sets sit down together, both having shed their belief in their own superiority, some good-for-the-life stuff is likely to come out of it.

in that conciliatory mind-set -

once the rights occupation confers have gone, will Israel be able to keep up a 1000 m security zone in Gaza (which we Germans of all people want to encroach on with that sewage plant project)?
what about that ridge?
what about the Jordan Valley?
what about the Golan heights?

will Israel's neighbours behave as Germans did towards US-troops once they had stopped being occupiers?

International guarantees have in the past proved to be inconvenient when needed most at a time when there was no occupation.

The international community has with support for Obama's last in Jakarta turned into a mob which hides its huge problems by picking on the IP issue. It is the kind of trick magicians use and a wonderful smoke screen for not talking about the real issues.


Barry Meislin said...

What do you think Israel should do to fundamentally change the scenario in its favor?

1. There is nothing that Israel can offer the Palestinians that the Palestinians will (be able to?) accept.

(Note also the obverse: That the minimum Palestinian demands on Israel (which are actually---surprise---maximalist!) have been and continue to be that Israel must agree to divest itself from itself---that is, that Israel must agree to disestablish itself, or in other words, that it agree to disappear.

At the moment, there is not a large chance that Israel will agree to this. At the moment.

Alas, this is---and always was---the fundamental weakness (or internal contradiction, or built-in, fatal flaw) of Oslo. And it continues to be the fundamental weakness of all those who persist in speaking of Israel-Palestine "peace", of the "peace process", or "peace talks", or "negotiations", or any other phrase or construction or euphemism one might wish to use.

"Oh, we can bridge this," they said. "Once we get talking, we can iron out all the details". "Once good will and personal chemistry establish themselves, nothing is impossible."

Well, guess what?

Put another way (perhaps this will make things a bit clearer): how can Israel "give" ("offer", "cede", etc.) the Palestinians land or territory (or anything) that, from the Palestinians' point of view, does not belong to Israel---that never belonged to Israel---in the first place?

2. So what to do?, you ask. Well, here goes:
a) State, succinctly without talking too much, without talking too loudly, without too much bluster, that you are in favor of establishing a Palestinian State, but that there are red lines. Repeat as often as necessary. Succinctly.
b) State, succinctly what those red lines are. Repeat as often as necessary. Succinctly.
c) State, succinctly, etc. what you will not accept. Repeat as often as necessary. Succinctly.
d) State, succinctly, etc. what Israel has already offered and what was rejected. Repeat as often as necessary. Succinctly.
e) State, succinctly, etc. what Israel has already done: (returned the Sinai, left Southern Lebanon, left Gaza). Repeat as often as necessary.
f) And then focus like hell on Israel's internal infrastructure: good government; putting teeth into the law and upholiding it; education, education, education (did I say, education?); planning, eradication of corruption as much as possible, social assistance for those in need, encouraging good citizenship and volunteerism....
g) ....All the while making sure that the IDF is strong and maintains its edge.

(Because an IDF that cannot defend Israel will mean the end of Israel. There will be NO mercy.)

That's right, you ignore the Palestinian whines and demands as much as you can, while stating what you are prepared to do. Succinctly. As often as necessary.

You let them take care of themselves and don't intervene unless they do something stupid enough to threaten you.

Do these suggestions have any hope of being implemented? (Succinctly?....)

Will it work (at least in the realm of I-P)? No, it won't.

But one has to place the country's priorities back on track (as much as possible); and provide a constructive focus for many who are distracted, obbsessed, disaffected and disheartened by the stalemate, which will---which must by its very nature---be ongoing.

Is there hope?

That depends on how you define hope.

(Well, you asked.....)

Barry Meislin said...

P.S. It goes without saying that they will do their best not to allow you to ignore them.

Gavin said...

Your female intuition has let you down there Silke. I've worked in the tradeables sector nearly all my life, mostly in sales & management. I am a good technician, but only because I learn how things work. Know how something works and it's easy to figure out how to fix it when it breaks.

My lifelong interest has always been human behaviour. People are't something that can be fixed, the best one can hope & strive for is to make one's own corner of the world a slightly better place.


Anonymous said...


it's not female intutition, it is decades of "suffering" getting dominated by both -
and - surprise, surprise - on the whole, if I couldn't get a lawyer I'd prefer the technicians.


Gavin said...

I'm not interested in trying to dominate anyone Silke. We're just here for different reasons. My approach has not been that of a technician or lawyer, it's been that of a person in business researching and evaluating the competition. I've always been in highly competitive markets, I played competitive sports for thirty years. I don't like losing. Everyone works to a game plan, even if it's just plain old habit. Learn their strategy, get inside their heads and understand their thinking.. and you can work out how to combat them.

With all the local threats facing Israel the last thing they want is this relentless pressure from international parties like the NGOs, UN, European governments & newspapers etc. It chips away, eats at Israelis confidence and empowers the other side. The Palestinians feed off every stumble, they gain confidence & stature and they move toward a more dominant position as Israels dominance wanes. The stronger they become the worse it gets for Israel.

Much of that international pressure is far more co-ordinated than people appear to realise. It has to be, the ground work that goes into these condemnations of Israel is huge and someone is preparing all that and sharing it with all the seemingly disparate groups. You'd understand that from your legal work, a final report is a tiny fraction of the real work that goes in to prepare it.

I really didn't have that much trouble working out what the game plan is. I daresay that's because I see this conflict from a very different perspective than those who are more involved. Certainly took a while, but then I knew little about international law at the beginning. I've passed that on & now it's up to others to follow the leads I've given and if they look in the right places and approach it with the right mindset they'll see it for themselves. I'd be disappointed if nothing comes of it but I've given and if no-one accepts then so be it...