Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hussein Ibish Responds

The other day I posed some questions to a blogpost by Hussein Ibish. He has now responded. If you're interested, I recommend reading his post.

I have three quick comments:

1. I meant "mooted", as written, and not "muted", as he speculates.

2. Mr. Ibish says he's Lebanese-American, not Palestinian. I stand corrected.

3. He seems to be saying that the Palestinians have made proposals relating to the Right of Return; indeed, the thrust of his argument seems to be that Israeli governments need to finally recognize the necessity of dividing Jerusalem, while the Palestinian leadership has already indicated it will live without the Right of Return but has yet to tell its people. To which my response is that Israeli leaders have agreed three times already to divide Jerusalem (2000, 2001, 2008), while no Palestinian leader I'm aware of has ever agreed that there won't be a return of Palestinians to what is now Israel. I think I've read all the books and most of the personal reports from the negotiations, but if I've missed something as crucial as that, I invite Mr. Ibish to correct me; should he do so I'll admit it here for everyone to see.

Beyond that I stand by my original post, but thank Mr. Ibish for his serious response.


Avigdor said...

He's running defense for the Palestinian leadership. It's interesting how focused the Palestinian side is on avoiding the pitfalls of 2000, which ended with the Palestinians holding the ball for failure and alienating the Americans for a decade. I think it's fair to say they've learned from the Israelis that the primary goal of the peace process is to keep the Americans on your side.

Having a dialogue on the peace process with Arabs in any meaningful way is next to impossible right now. Maybe 10 people in the world have a real impact on final status issues. Everyone else is either working for those 10, trying to influence those 10, flailing helplessly, or all three put together.

NormanF said...

I'm against dividing Jerusalem under any circumstances. I prefer no peace deal with Jerusalem to a peace deal without Jerusalem. This has always been my position.

And the Arabs will never agree to share it with the Jews.

Barry Meislin said...

Mr. Ibish writes (among many other things---indeed, he writes and he writes and he writes...but he doesn't know the meaning of the word, "moot"?----alas, we won't---we mustn't----hold that against him, as it would be churlish, not to mention colonialist, racist and elitist to believe, to expect, that a Lebanese-American might actually recognize what is, admittedly one of the more esoteric, sophisticated and problematic words in the English language. So no, we mustn't do that. We shan't go there. No, no, no.)

Anyway...Mr. Ibish writes:
"There has been a great deal of effort on the part of the PA to clean up the education and clerical systems under their control and to promote a discourse that celebrates diplomacy, state and institution building, boycotts of settlements and settlement goods but not Israel, nonviolent resistance against abusive occupation practices such as the wall, and security cooperation where reasonable and appropriate."

And all of it, absolutely all of it sounds so very good, so heartwarming. But is it true? (Well, I suppose it depends on how you define, "true"....---kind of like how one might define "peace" or even "discourse").

(And don't you dare read MEMRI.)

Indeed, all good men (and women) must find it reassuring that "a great deal of effort" has been made by the PA (just ask Khaled Abu Toameh for corroboration). Moreover, that the PA "celebrates diplomacy" is indeed, so extremely heartwarming; and one does enjoy reading about "discourse" (one finds the jargon is so utterly comforting).

Of course, Mr. Ibish also writes about the "abusive occupation such as the wall" (it would be irresponsible of him if he didn't), which one can understand fully and wholeheartedly---since clearly, saving Jewish (and non-Jewish) Israeli lives from being blown to bits is (perfectly understandably) the very definition of "abusive" in the current "discourse" that we enjoy hearing about---and using---so much. And which we find so comforting.

And then Mr. Ibish writes:

"There is no doubt there is a long way to go on containing incitement..."

So even-handed, so balanced, so fair (even if such a qualification might leave one wondering what exactly may have been the point of that first paragraph of word salad).

And yet, not to be undone (so even-handed, so balanced, so fair), Mr. Ibish continues: "but similarly there is an intense amount of Israeli incitement against Palestinians."

"Similarly"? Come again, Mr. Ibish? "Intense"?

But of course.

Mr. Ibish is serious and intelligent. And he writes and write and writes. About how irresponsible Bibi is (well, we can all identify with that, certainly) and how unserious Bibi is (ditto), and how much the Palestinians strive, yearn, pray for peace, which has yet to be reciprocated by, well, the usual (Zionist) suspects.


And alas.

And alack.

And alas, Mr. Ibish is as good as it gets.

Anonymous said...


It really bugged me that Mr. Ibish referred to you as "someone called Yaacov Lozowick." Your intellectual chops and accreditation are at least as deep as his, if not more. And you have written nice things about him on more than one occasion. It seems like he didn't bother to find out anything about you. It is just rude.


Yaacov said...

Nycerbarb -

Thanks for the moral support, but I don't get offended from that sort of thing. Ibish is about as reasonable as they come on the Palestinians side (this is a problem), so I sometimes give him credit for it, but he's also quite full of himself. His Twitter stream is a study in self appreciation. Some people are like that, and seem unaware that we're aware of their conceit.

Raed Kami said...

Mr Ibish does not speak for me. Al Quds is holy to Islam and Christianity. Yo have as much historical claim to Jerusalem as you do to Johannesburg. You will eventually leave Jerusalem when we force you out, backed by Iran, the EU, Russia, and China. Obama will not lift a finger for you

Daniella said...

Isn't Raed Kami a sweet guy? One of Ibish's readers, no doubt.