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Tuesday Round-Up: SOS Hillary Clinton in Egypt (and now Tel Aviv)

September 14, 2010

Secretary Clinton is already wheels down in Tel Aviv, but I am still catching up with some of the events of earlier today. Also see my post below for some info./photos on her morning in Egypt.

Some news clips from her meetings this morning. The second video is a rather critical view of the talks:

Some photos:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R), during the meeting for second round direct talks aimed at peace in the Middle East in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 14 September 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as she boards the plane after a day of Mideast peace talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace and former Sen. George Mitchell, arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010.

I wonder if Secretary Clinton sometimes feels like she’s chaperoning Bibi and Abu Mazen (Abbas) on an awkward second date? Notice how she’s in the middle of them? 😉

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. SpfcMarcus permalink
    September 14, 2010 7:22 pm

    Thanks for the updates. You are right, she DOES look like she’s chaperoning a rather awkward blind date.

    Too bad Bibi and Abbas aren’t gay. That would at least make them interesting.

  2. Thain permalink
    September 14, 2010 7:31 pm

    Thanks for the updates. Great photos.

    Is it me? Why does Bibi always look like he’s up to no good, even when he’s smiling? And Abbas sort of just looks desperate.

    So, raise your hand if you think that if women were in charge of Israel and the PA, we’d have had this whole things resolved a LONG time ago? My hand is up in the air.

    If I were Hillary I’d be like “ok guys, no one is leaving this goddamn room until we have two states, end of story. Stop yanking my chain. No bathroom breaks, no nothing. And no WHINING to the media. And no Bibi, you CAN’T call Chuck Schumer, go sit down.”

    I mean honestly, they know the issues, they both know what they have to do because everyone has been talking about it for DECADES.

  3. SpfcMarcus permalink
    September 14, 2010 7:43 pm

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

    That’s the problem with decades of war between these two. They’ve both spent so much time shooting themselves in the foot and clinging to their own version of victimhood that they are unwilling to let go. These guys have gotten used to perpetual war. They both benefit politically from it in a sick way. Shit, Israel is a defense/national security state- that’s big money in defense and security contracts and its a kingmaker politically. Hamas officials are making money off the blockade by having goods smuggled in.

    I feel really bad for the average Palestinian folks- the farmers and the women and children who are caught between these groups that are using and abusing them. Yesterday the IDF shot a 91 year old and his grandson while they were out walking on their little plot of land- a tank fired directly at them because they “looked suspicious.” WTF? They were just walking in their field and BAM! Gone. Those are the people I feel sorry for. I also feel sorry for Israeli civilians who get killed but that’s more and more rare these days (last week being a exception) and that’s good that violence is way down and suicide bombings are almost nonexistent. These days its pretty much ordinary Palestinians eating lead. Or protesters.

  4. September 14, 2010 8:34 pm

    Bibi looks very uncomfortable in every picture. Sorry to say it, but I still doubt that until a near-term calamity threatens Israel, their government will actually offer to give up anything of value (e.g., land, water) and go through with it… The US could force it theoretically, but politics and other influences prevent that.

  5. AbeBird permalink
    September 15, 2010 3:35 am

    The problem is not Bibi but abu Mazi. Abu Mazi is too weak among his comrades to make any gestures and needed concessions…. and the PLO represents less than half of the Palestinian Arabs, though the question is how can Bibi rely on any understanding or agreement made with abu Mazi. How any agreement if achieved can be exercised by the Palestinian Arabs.
    The strong Hamas doesn’t want any agreement with Israel and just renewing their terror against Israel. The main obstacle of any future agreement is the will of the Palestinian Arabs to annihilate Israel by any mean, whether it by terror mixed with politics (PLO) or by terror alone (Hamas). The Palestinian Jews have nothing left but to rely on their own strategically strength and to pass that ridiculous theatre again and hope that any further Islamic terror, whether it Hamas’ of Fatah’ PLO’s, will be stopped by counter hard power.

    • Steve permalink
      September 15, 2010 9:00 am

      Good lord Abe, lighten up on the Kool Aid. It’s not a matter of Jews Good vs. Arabs Bad.

      You are the perfect illustration of the “hard power” mindset. Never mind if not used only as a last resort, it ends up creating more enemies. But the more enemies the better, right? After all, without enemies there are no victims.

      It’s becoming more clear that after decades of Occupation some people just don’t want to give it up. They’d rather cling to their fear- it’s easier than doing the difficult work involved in diplomacy and peace. Of course it’s easy to want Occupation when one is on the side of the Occupier with all the privileges that engenders. Israel wants more land? No problem, just grab some from the Palestinians. Don’t like people protesting policies? No problem, just arrest them. Don’t want to honor national or international law? No problem, don’t.

      The PA/Fatah are far from perfect but compared to Arafat, Abu Mazen and Fayyed are a G-d send. Lets be honest though, Gandhi could reappear and take over the PA and Abe and his pals will still be talking about being wiped off the map and how everything Israel does is justified and how they don’t have a real partner in peace.

      Just admit it Abe- you like being on the winning team and you don’t want to concede anything. Israel can keep stealing land because it has the nukes, the tanks, the fancy jets and highly trained military. What do the Palestinians have? A few hectres of farmland that half the time they can’t even get to because of check points and being “too close to the security borders.” Hamas has some old hardly-working, poorly aimed rockets that never seem to do anything but land helplessly in a field somewhere- thank G-d. But for Israel to play the perpetual victim all the while crushing the Palestinians like ants, is getting a wee bit tired.

      Israel needs more creative leaders dedicated to achieving the true promise of Israel and the Jews. A promise built on something other than brute force, victimhood and racism.

  6. AbeBird permalink
    September 15, 2010 4:21 am

    1. SpfcMarcus , a) the ”man and his grandchildren” entered the border line area (Thet didn’t just “were just walking in their field and BAM! Gone.”) And the young man directed a kind of weapon towards the Palestinian Israeli soldiers. It was a busy day with Hamas reviving it’s terror actions: Two mortar shells and two rockets (The 10th rocket this week until that event) were fired into southern Israel, two Hamas terror units halter by the IDF near the border in their way to infiltrate into Israel. You should know that it is not an easy place and situation and each Arab mal-habit, especially when it is made deliberately, will face counter action by the IDF soldiers.
    2. The war is not “perpetual”; The Palestinian Arabs behave is. The Israelis don’t initiate any combat action if the Arabs are quiet and peaceful they only react to any attack and fire. You can’t claim the opposite.
    3. Israel spend for security 15% of hers budget not because she wished it, but because she has to, in order to face a combined coalitions that eager to eradicate her from the face of the earth. If Israel to disarm now there wouldn’t be Israel in a second, If the Palestinian Arabs to disarm there will be peace immediately.
    4. “The average Palestinian folks” are who voted for Hamas and share the Mosques each Friday to hear the bleeding, beastie speech of their Kadi priests. They are who send their kids to commit suicide within Jewish women and kids and dancing in the street when succeed (Do you remember how the danced in the streets of Gaza and Ramallah after 911?).
    5. “Suicide bombings are almost nonexistent” just because all the measures that Israel made against the terrorists. So, from the side of the Palestinian Israelis it is not a “perpetual’ war but a war to counter a perpetual Palestinian Arabs’ terror.
    6. “Palestinians eating lead”? At the most they are eating their bombs. There is no Israeli blockade over the WB and Gaza. Gaza had a prosperous economy since late 2009. That shows that the Israeli inspection and control doesn’t hurt the very Gaza’s economy but the efforts of Hamas to reach to terror and military means.

    • SpfcMarcus permalink
      September 15, 2010 5:39 am

      Oh please Abe. “A kind of weapon?” Come on, the IDF doesn’t need you doing their propaganda for them. And what kind of weapon did it turn out to be? Oh, yeah, there was no weapon. I get the distinct feeling that no matter what happens, you’d be the first one out of the gate claiming it was justified. The notion that the “Israelis don’t initiate any combat action if the Arabs are quiet and peaceful they only react to any attack and fire” is preposterous. There was no “attack and fire” with from the situation described above and yet three people were killed (not just the old man and his grandson).

      Here’s the problem- people like you are the problem. People who want to claim that everything is black and white and that only one of the two sides is 100% to blame whether its the Palestinians or the Israelis. The reality is much more complex.

      As for the rest of your points, they are just propaganda. You conflate Hamas with every single Palestinian and the fact that you concede nothing and clearly refuse to even offer the hint of a criticism shows you are just spewing propaganda. Hamas is a big problem and Abbas is very weak and yes there is still violence. But the idea that Israel’s hands are 100% clean is just laughable and anyone who makes the claim just can’t be taken seriously.

      I’m sick of Israel hyping up security threats of being “eradicated off the face of the earth.” Yes, Israel faces significant security threats but Israel has nukes- they are the only ones in the ME that have them. No one will be eradicating anyone. They also have a superior military and the most advanced weapons systems.

      You say there is no Gaza blockade? I guess you believe in unicorns too. Ok, I am finished. This is a waste of my time. I’m sorry I even bothered responding.

  7. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    September 15, 2010 10:52 am

    I just listened to the Palestinian political analyst coolly torpedo the peace talks. He rightly points out that there has been much too much importance placed on “micro” issues like extending the moratorium on new construction in the West Bank, but he doesn’t propose any alternative basis for making the talks more productive. He doesn’t really come clean about his views on the “macro” issues. For example, I wish the interviewer had asked whether, hypothetically speaking, the analyst thinks Palestinianians (forget about Hamas) would ever recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, say, if Israel were to make important concessions towards establishing an independent Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem. I realize that’s a big “if” but exactly what concessions are the Palestinians looking for and what are they willing to give in return on such “macro” issues?

    • September 15, 2010 11:54 am

      Yeah, that guy is WAY too negative.

      I bet he would probably say a concession is to allow continued settlement building (in part) with land swaps- ie. Israel will get to keep a lot of the land it took. I’m sort of playing devil’s advocate here. I think the reality is that the Palestinians are going to have to give up a lot but they are pretty obsessed with settlements right now.

      That said- somebody brought up this issue in a comment not long ago- way back when we used to demand the Palestinians acknowledge/recognize Israel’s right to exist. Period. They have done that but now they are being asked to recognize Israel as a solely Jewish state- why the change? We didn’t use to say they had to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. From reading the perspective of Palestinians they say that if they do that then they foregoe things like the right of return and other legal rights for Arabs living within Israeli borders (past and present)- I don’t totally understand that argument but I haven’t really looked into it too much. Abbas has said he recognizes Israel’s right to exist, be secure etc. and he said he doesn’t care what Israel calls itself but he seems to have a problem with the whole “Jewish State” thing. I don’t think its based on any anti-Semitism but rather some outstanding legal issues that they seem to think would be foreclosed. Maybe they are worried that other religions, groups will be given unequal status under law?

      Also, what about all the Christians currently living within Israel? Already Jewish people have privileged status under law in Israel (citizenship rights, immigration etc.) so perhaps that ties into the whole issue above?

      Israel is a democracy that is not a theocracy- It happens to have a rich historical tradition among many races and faiths so I am a bit confused as to why it has to be labeled a “Jewish State.” Why can’t it just be the State of Israel? I sort of get nervous when countries single out one religion and have it as the basis of laws and even national characteristics at the expense of other groups- it seems to lead to trouble. But, again, I haven’t really looked into all the issues surrounding this.

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        September 15, 2010 12:49 pm

        I’m assuming there is more to this new twist on recognizing Israel as a Jewish state than meets the eye. Are Israelis concerned that Israeli’s Arab population (currently about 20%) would swell with relaxed immigration policies and achieve real political
        clout? Is there any basis in reality for that concern?

  8. September 15, 2010 1:22 pm

    @carolyn- I think that’s a HUGE concern, and perhaps rightly so. I honestly don’t know enough about this aspect of the issue to have an informed opinion. I can see why Jewish Israelis (and members of the Diaspora) might want it to be formally recognized as a “Jewish State” and I sort of see why some might be concerned about potential legal/discrimination concerns.

    My underlying bias is that I tend to get suspicious of nations defined by religion, be they Muslim, Christian or whatever. That said, Israel’s creation is a bit of a different given some of the reasons why it was created (ie. after the Holocaust).

    So I guess I just don’t know.

    But it clearly is going to be a big hurdle. You have to wonder if maybe this is one of those things that perhaps they should try to deal with down the road once they make some formal progress. But I guess the same could be said about a bunch of other issues (like settlements) too.

  9. SpfcMarcus permalink
    September 16, 2010 2:01 pm

    The ugly truth about settlements. Can you imagine this sort of land theft being tolerated on the part of another developed nation? So Israel bulldozes Palestinian homes, throws them out on the streets and says “hey, how dare you not recognize our right to exist as a Jewish state!?!”

    Notice how the US media and the AIPAC crowd never hardly point out the illegality and brutality of the forced evacuations and demolitions of whole towns. After WWII wasn’t this made an international crime and if done by an occupier, a war crime?

    Interesting that so many Israelis have gone from being victims to being the oppressors. All justified because of past wrongs and security concerns. I guess any human rights violations can be justified by security. The Nazis did a great job linking discrimination, deportation and eventually mass murder, to security, nationalism and when convenient, even religion.

  10. June 22, 2013 1:34 pm

    I love that flower dress she has on.

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