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Sunday Afternoon Photo Bomb: The Autumn Edition

September 26, 2010

Happy Autumn. I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

FYI: Apparently Secretary Clinton was due to meet with Abu Mazen yesterday regarding the likely announcement from Israel that it will not extend the so-called moratorium (in name only- as has been reported everywhere except the U.S. media, the moratorium has been violated by Jerusalem officials and settlers since it was put in place.) I have no information on whether the meeting actually took place however, or what the status of negotiations are at this point.

Ok, back to the Bomb. There are some from this week at the U.N. that I never got a chance to post. Scooter is sitting here on my desk as write this, moderating which pictures are “in” and which are “out.” For your viewing pleasure:

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42 Comments leave one →
  1. Tovah permalink
    September 26, 2010 1:53 pm

    Huge photo bomb! Fabulous!

    I love that long embroidered jacket she is wearing in some of those photos. Those pictures from the CGI last week great.

    Oh, and poor David Miliband- he the election to be the head of the Labor party yesterday to his brother Ed.

  2. Tovah permalink
    September 26, 2010 2:16 pm

    Wow, I should have proof read my comment. I mean to say that Miliband lost the election…to his brother Ed.

    • Vcal permalink
      September 26, 2010 2:28 pm

      Great photo bomb, as always! Love them all! I’m sure that Hillary called David M to comfort him on his loss to lead the Labor Party; with Hillary’s words and support he’ll be fine!
      Thank you stacyx.have a great sunday all!

  3. Terry permalink
    September 26, 2010 2:37 pm

    Great photos as always. Always good to see new shots of your girls.
    Have you noticed that Hillary always has a shawl wrapped around her shoulders when she speaks at the U.N. general assembly? I always thought that room was sort of cold but didn’t realize the temperature was too. President Clinton is looking more elegant and trimmer than ever. His new vegan diet seems to agree with him. His enormous energy doesn’t seem to be hampered in the least. I know he must be on all kinds of heart medication because of his surgeries. They can do havoc with your metabolism and have some unwanted side effects like dizziness, water retention, weight gain and dry mouth sometimes.

  4. September 26, 2010 2:38 pm

    I appreciate the good taste of your cats😉 Sure the Berlin pics and the pics at the CGI are my favs🙂

  5. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    September 26, 2010 2:45 pm

    Thanks stacy! Especially love the ones of Hill & Bill.
    As for the Israelis, as you know, I’ve been generally sympathetic but I have lost all patience with the antics of the past week. They are looking more and more like the arrogant bullying occupiers they are accused by some of being.

    • Tovah permalink
      September 26, 2010 5:05 pm

      Unfortunately, I think Bibi is using these talks to stall and appear moderate, all the while settlements still keep popping up. If Abbas walks out then Bibi will get what he wants- he can blame the Palestinians without having to engage in peacemaking. Past PM’s of Israel have been quoted as saying that the settlements help ensure the future borders are drawn in their favor and I guess that’s why it’s such a contentious issue.

      There was a time when I defended everything Israel did but they have done things that go against democratic values and quite frankly, liberal Jewish values. I can’t just whitewash it because I’m a Jew (something my parents are more than happy to do). I am sympathetic to Israel’s security concerns and for the survival of the nation, but if Israel doesn’t want peace then they need to do some soul searching about what they mean when they say they want security.

      Israel IS becoming an arrogant occupier while we stand by and watch. As we speak conservative Israelis are celebrating in the streets, bringing construction materials to settlements and pouring salt in the wounds of the Palestinians and spitting in the eye of the U.S. Is that not arrogant? Is tossing Palestinians out of their homes in violation of international law, destroying all their possessions in front of them and their children, bulldozing the homes and setting fire to their olive trees not bullying? If it’s not, then what is?

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/despite-netanyahu-s-plea-for-restraint-thousands-of-settlers-celebrate-end-of-building-freeze-1.315793

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/a-jewish-state-or-an-israeli-democracy-1.315725

      • Thain permalink
        September 26, 2010 7:35 pm

        @Tovah- I’m impressed by your willingness to be objective. Lots of people just get defensive instead and make excuses. Maybe if more people spoke up like you then the US would have more wiggle room in these negotiations instead of having to worry about some big political backlash in the election if they tell Israel to do something they don’t want to do.

    • September 26, 2010 5:45 pm

      Carolyn- I am actually sympathetic to Israel’s plight in terms of hostile neighbors, security and maintaining a stable democracy but at this point, I am not sure it is possible to be an occupier without also being a bully- they sort of go hand in hand which is why I’d like to see the occupation end as soon as possible. Democracy and occupation are like oil and water, they just don’t mix. The longer the occupation goes on, the farther Israel moves from its original democratic ideals. I know I am very hard on Israel at times- the reason is because I expect more from Israel than this, just as I expect more of the US in many [most] situations. The US and Israel have certain rather high, self-imposed ideals to live up to and at times they need some prodding. So I am going to prod, and not always gently. If I didn’t give a damn about Israel, I wouldn’t be so tough on them.

      • HillaryFan permalink
        September 26, 2010 6:10 pm

        Stacy said:

        “If I didn’t give a damn about Israel, I wouldn’t be so tough on them.”

        Tough love, eh?

        Well, honestly, they could use a bit more of it. Isn’t that sort of what Hillary said but not in those exact words? Sometimes friends have to speak up and say things the other sometimes doesn’t want to hear.

        If we applied our never criticize Israel policy to childrearing I think we wouldn’t be too happy with the results. Sometimes you have to tell your child “no” and teach them that actions often have consequences. The same rules should apply to everyone.

        Here’s my question- why can’t we treat Israel like our other good allies like Britain, Germany, etc? Why does Israel have to be held up above all others and why do we apply different rules where Israel is concerned.

        • September 26, 2010 7:27 pm

          Well, sometimes a little tough love is necessary, no? And like I said, I feel the same way about the US- I love this country but that doesn’t mean I am going to never question anything and allow the government to do any hing it pleases, irrespective of laws, democratic ideals, ethics or justice. In fact, I think such questioning and calls for accountability are necessary in a functioning democracy. I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand why some people in this country think that Israel should never be questioned or criticized- do they feel that way about their own government because I sure don’t see too many people these days keeping their frustration with both dems and republicans quiet😉. If some Israeli Jews are worried that Israel is increasingly tilting away from it’s democratic ideals, then why shouldn’t we also be concerned? Why is it taboo to ask any questions?

          The other thing is, has unquestioning support for Israel made Israel any safer? Has it helped them expand their base of international support? Has it brought them any closer to having a lasting peace? At the end of the day, isn’t that what matters?

          UPDATE: This just came in from the State Dept.:

          “Senator George Mitchell and Assistant Secretary Jeff Feltman conferred with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat this afternoon in New York.”

          I interpret that to mean that the US is trying to get Abbas to not walk away from negotiations despite the illegal settlement construction [on the land that they are supposed to be negotiating over!]

          That’s another thing I don’t understand- why do so many people support ongoing settlement construction when it essentially nixes any chance at a peace deal. Doesn’t this mean Israel is choosing land over peace and if so, at what point should Israel take responsibility for that rather than blaming all it’s security problems on external events outside its control?

          I have a lot of questions but no one to answer them😦

    • Steve permalink
      September 27, 2010 10:45 am

      @Carolyn- you mentioned your son wanted to be the first Jewish POTUS so I am going to go out on a limb and speculate that you are Jewish also. I am too. My question is this- if we weren’t talking about Israe would you be more inclined to see them as occupying bullies at times as some others do? My point being, we in the Jewish community seem to prefer to keep our head in the sand regarding the gross violation of human rights and heavy-handed, disproportionate use of force by Israel simply because we empathize with the occupier, not those being occupied. That’s not to say Israel doesn’t face real threats and of course they have the right to defend themselves, but at what point do we look at what has been going on for decades and admit that liberal Jews would be outraged at such behavior undertaken by others. Does our troubled history and the fact that Israel faces some real threats fully justify Israel’s increasingly discriminatory laws, discriminatory practices and killing of civilians?

      I’m not trying to be argumentative btw. It just seems like at a certain point we are going to collapse under the weight of our own contradictions and lose all moral legitimacy.

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        September 27, 2010 2:25 pm

        @Steve
        Actually, my paternal grandmother was Jewish, my husband is Jewish, and both our boys are Jewish, but I’m Episcopalian. However, I’ve always considered myself to be spiritually one of the “galut” (lost tribes) and have been a pretty stauch supporter of Israel’s from way back, even before I was married. I have been particularly supportive of their need to defend themselves against terrorist factions like Hamas that still don’t recognize Israel’s basic right to existence. And I support Israel’s right not to “give away the store” so to speak in negotiating for peace, i.e. I am understanding better why they insist on being recognized as a Jewish state. Their Arab population (83% of whom are Muslim) now top 20% and is growing. But if they show no good-faith intentions of bringing some viable plan to the peace table, then I have to wash my hands of them.

  6. September 26, 2010 5:20 pm

    Just got this from the state department- just one sentence:

    “Secretary Clinton spoke today with Israeli PM Netanyahu and Quartet Rep Blair. We keep pushing for the talks to continue.”

    Not a great sign.

    • Steve permalink
      September 27, 2010 3:09 pm

      @Carolyn-
      Don’t worry about having to wash your hands of Israel- you can remain a “staunch” supporter – Israel will come up with some fake compromise that will allow us to continue to ignore the illegal land grabs and everything else I mentioned in my post which went largely unaddressed. Israel will hardly have to “give up the store” given Israel has stolen much of the store and has no intention of giving much of it back. As I’ve said about a million times, I support Israel also. I became a citizen of Israel when I got married- my wife was born there and lived there until after college.

      I am continually amazed at how people totally ignore what’s been going on for decades in Israel and seem to think that Israel can do anything it pleases no matter how undemocratic, no matter how violent, no matter how racist, simply because Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel and because Israel faces a terrorist threat (a rather weak one- Israel is much, much more powerful than Hamas or Hezbollah, which neither have armies or nukes). Sometimes it’s HOW a country deals with the threat that matters. Israel has used security as an excuse to colonize the territories- Bibi even admitted that. The fact that Israel has been violating international law every single day probably doesn’t matter. It matters to the Palestinians and it certainly doesn’t make them want to “recognize” Israel after decades of Israel not “recognizing” them (or their basic human rights). Don’t get me wrong, the Palestinians are certainly not totally innocent, but sometimes I am just amazed at how we overlook Israel’s brutish actions when we know damn well we would never expect Israel tolerate such treatment for a second. In fact, Israel doesn’t tolerate anything, which is why they are so heavy handed. Yet we expect the Palestinians to just sit back and shrug their shoulders when they are detained, their homes destroyed, barred from owning property, barred from getting to point A to point B, barred from travel, barred from reuniting with family members in Greater Israel, barred from having the same due process as Jews and on and on.

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree. Sometimes I long for Israel where people actually question things. Everyone in this country just sounds like they are reading from an AIPAC script.

      I’ve been talking about this for ages and it’s a waste of time. I’ll shut up now, I know no one really wants to hear it. For all intents and purposes the Palestinians really don’t even exist to us.

      • Steve permalink
        September 27, 2010 3:17 pm

        Actually, I just re-read my comment and I apologize- it’s rather snippy and assumes to much. You have a right to your opinion and I shouldn’t slam it. So, I am sorry. I should have taken a moment to think prior to hitting “submit.” I just get so frustrated with this issue sometimes.

      • Lulu permalink
        September 27, 2010 6:58 pm

        I agree with Archbishop Tutu- it’s time for people to ask themselves whether they are committed to universal principles of human rights or just interested in the rights of their own particular group. I think it’s the latter, which is what enables people to believe that the Palestinian (Arabs) are somehow less deserving of rights than the rest of us and therefore killing over 200 kids in three weeks is ok because they had it coming- after all, their parents elected Hamas! Or maybe their parents didn’t elect Hamas. Maybe their parents were afraid of Hamas. Oh, but it doesn’t matter, they are all the same, right?

        http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/article675369.ece/Israeli-ties–a-chance-to-do-the-right-thing

  7. Thain permalink
    September 26, 2010 7:42 pm

    I like when Hillary wears blue. She looks cool in blue. Who’s the dude holding her umbrella? I’d do that job.

    Now that I’ve said that AmericanYahoo or whatever the f@ck his name is will come around to troll as he always does on Sundays after the photo bomb goes up and call me sexist or a homo or something to draw attention to himself. I liked his comment on the media sexism post stacy put up yesterday b/c he kind of proved the whole point of the post with his one-sentence drive by trolling.

    • AmericanPatriot permalink
      September 26, 2010 9:55 pm

      What kind of name is Thain anyway?

      Your parents must be so proud to have a son that hangs out on a Hillary Clinton site talking fashion with a bunch of lesbians. Talk about a disappointment. I kinda feel for them.

      • September 27, 2010 1:40 pm

        AB You seem to hang out alot on this web site. You are constantly insulting people and calling them gay. Women talk about other woman in different ways than men do…but I guess you wouldn’t know that …being such a manly man…or are you. It seems to me that men who are obsessed with sexuality have something to hide.

  8. September 26, 2010 8:17 pm

    Another UPDATE from the State Department just came a few minutes ago:

    “Our policy on settlement construction has not changed. We remain in close touch with both parties and will be meeting with them again in the coming days. We remain focused on the goal of advancing negotiations toward a two-state solution and encourage the parties to take constructive actions toward that goal.”

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      September 26, 2010 8:54 pm

      I hope the Israelis halt the building. come to their senses, and keep the negotiations going. I don’t think that will happen, but I hope it does.

      Great photos as always, Stacy.

  9. Pilgrim permalink
    September 26, 2010 8:27 pm

    I really enjoy the pictures, and pieces that you write. Thanks.

  10. September 27, 2010 5:46 am

    I foudn this commentary by Akiva Eldar over at Haaretz and thought it was interesting. It goes back to something Carolyn and I were talking about last week- the significance of formally recognizing Israel as a Jewish State as opposed to simply the State of Israel.

    Here is part of the commentary:

    “The controversy around construction in the settlements draws attention away from the bombshell hiding behind Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians first recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. As the prime minister himself has said, this is not mere semantics. It is an essential matter from the most sensitive part of the narrative of the conflict. As Dan Meridor, one of the ministers closest to Netanyahu, put it in an interview with Haaretz Magazine (October 23, 2009): “I am not too optimistic that the Palestinian government has given up on the right of return. That would mean conceding the rationale for the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was founded in 1964, three years before the Six-Day War. And Abu Mazen [Abbas] was one of its founders.” Meridor, by the way, says that a state that is not the state of all its citizens is not a democratic state…”

    ****
    So Palestinians seem to be concerned that it will eradicate any claims based on the right of return and I’ve seen some argue that it could result in non-Jewish citizens/residents of Israel having unequal status under law. I think the right of return is a non-starter, personally. The Palestinians are going to have to give that up, fair or not. Israel will never agree to that. I find the concerns over the effect it will have on Israeli democracy interesting- I’ve seen quite a few articles written by Israelis expressing this concern.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      September 27, 2010 2:40 pm

      Agreed. I think Palestinians give up right of return, settle for some division of land Israeli’s can live with (personally I think that should be the Gaza strip, Left Bank and strip connecting them), stipulating that Israeli’s already settled there can continue to live there but not a citizens of the Palestinian State, just as Arabs living in Israel can live and work them but not as voting citizens. Jerusalem? Hmm, I can see no other solution than sharing it in some manner given it’s status as a holy land for three of the World’s great religions. Et voila! World peace.

      • AsherLev permalink
        September 27, 2010 6:10 pm

        @Carolyn- so you don’t want us Israelis to give up the store? Nit sure what that means. How should Palestinians respond when the IDF comes to destroy the families homes, destroys their farms and raises the Israel flag over the property? I can’t find an american who speaks our Likud talking points that can answer that for me. You believe Israel has a right to self defense? As Israeli I believe ALL people do. Do regular Palestinians have right to defend themselves when they are harrassed, beaten, imprisoned with no recourse in our legal system. The US rewards us for taking the land but all people want to blame is Hamas. Sorry my English writing isn’t the best.

        Why is it all right for us to violate international law and take Palestinian land? Why do you Americans accept this and think Palestinians will love us for it?

  11. PCFS permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:58 am

    Stacy, Thanks so much for the updates on statements from the state dept. about the settlements. The pics are as great as ever. Your two cat friends are adorable.

  12. September 27, 2010 6:28 pm

    Ummm, I have an idea, how about a couple of folks here stop kinda ganging up on Carolyn since she, uh, has a right to her opinion. Just a thought. She was asked a question and she answered it respectfully. Stop ganging up just because you may not agree.

    Man, Israel has become the third rail of political discussion, it’s almost impossible for the issue to be raised w/o people getting upset which is understandable, but still. Well, you know what they say:
    דת ופוליטיקה לא הולכים ביחד

  13. Pynchon permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:35 pm

    How many times does the US have to be embarrassed by Israel on the world stage? All the Israel apologists are responsible for the lack of peace at this point and moving forward it’s not Hamas right now. If Israel’s so-called supporters wanted the settlement moratorium to continue then Netanyahu would do it in a New York minute. The reason he bullies the US govt is because Congress and the Lobby support him and support Israel’s illegal land left. As far as I’m concerned, all of you who make lame excuses for Israel are as bad as the most right wing of Netanyahu’s government. Has anyone heard the Lobby or the Jewish community call for an end to settlements over these past days? No, the exact opposite. They don’t WANT a two state solution.

    Land for peace? Fine, choose land but then when Israel doesn’t have peace guess who they are going to run to, playing victim and trying to get the US to protect them? That’s right, the very US government that they’ve been making an ass of and mocking.

    Today in Israel they were calling the President “Hussein Obama.” They’ve turned into a bunch of racists and that is hardly the fault of Hamas.

  14. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    September 28, 2010 12:28 am

    Thanks for coming to my defense, stacy, but I wasn’t offended! There are passionate feelings and compelling arguments to be made on both sides. But I am curious to hear what Asher L’ev and Steve would propose (if their word was law). How would you see bringing this conflict to an end?

    • September 28, 2010 8:43 am

      @Carolyn- Oh, I know you can carry your own😉. I also know how these discussions can sometimes attract people who come along and try to drag the debate down or become intolerant of other viewpoints- I’m actually not referring to anyone in particular right now but just tossing out a reminder before it gets to that point.

      On another note, I have to admit I am fed up with Netanyahu and also his apologists in this country. Honestly, I have really, really been trying to keep an open mind but at this point, my mind is about to close. This from Haaretz this morning:

      “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Netanyahu twice on the telephone Monday to discuss the proposal, which would include U.S. guarantees over core issues in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on issues including refugees, security arrangements and Israel’s status as a Jewish state. In return for the American guarantees, Israel would extend the suspension of construction in West Bank settlements for several more months. At this stage Netanyahu is believed to be resistant to the offer.

      According to an Israeli source who is familiar with the details of the conversations between Clinton and the prime minister, Netanyahu was not impressed by the proposal and did not give a positive response to it. ..”

      ***
      Not impressed?

      You know, Israel is acting like they are doing us some big favor at this point. Spare me. Someone needs to remind them that peace with the Palestinians will open the door to normalized relations with other Arab neighbors including Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. In other words, how can Israel always use “security” as an excuse for everything only to spend all their time undermining any real chance at lasting peace?

      And where are the calls in US Jewish community for Israel to extend the moratorium? The fact is that we/they have enabled Israel to the point where Israel knows there will never be any negative consequences for their intransigence. In fact, We’ll REWARD them for it! That’s a pretty sweet deal. One can almost see why Bibi acts the way he does.

      According to the JPost, Bibi is running every single US and Palestinians compromise or offer by, get this- AIPAC! In other words, Bibi is using his support among the AIPAC crowd and Jewish community in the US to allow him to refuse every offer/request/plea from the US administration. This is unacceptable in my opinion. But once again, there is no outcry.

      This is my last outburst. I am honestly getting sick of hearing myself talk at this point. Nothing ever changes anyway.

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        September 28, 2010 2:51 pm

        Israel has no incentive to negotiate at this point. At the Paris peace conference in 1919, Zionist and Arab representatives pleaded their case, and met each other. The Zionists presented a map of the area they wanted for the Jewish national home. Remarkably, Dr. Weizmann and the Emir Feisal reached a signed agreement regarding Arab support for a Jewish national home. Feisal also assured the American Zionist representative, Chief Justice Frankfurter, of his support for the Zionist cause (see Feisal-Frankfurter Correspondence ). However, Feisal conditioned his support on satisfaction of Arab aspirations in Syria. Instead, Syria was given to the French as a League of Nations mandate and Feisal not only withdrew his support from the Zionist project, but claimed he had never signed any such documents.

        The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is riddled with so many “What if’s…”

    • Steve permalink
      September 28, 2010 11:44 am

      @Carolyn- well let me say that if my word was law the settlements would have ended decades ago. Even if my word was law now, the US’ refusal to lean on Israel in any meaningful way to get them to abide by international law with respect to settlements means that the facts on the ground have changed to such an extent that at this stage, a two state solution is almost impossible- and Israel and it’s staunch supporters have no one to blame but themselves at this point. I’m sure you realize that private US citizens give hundreds of millions to settlers and also help arm them? You probably also are aware the Israeli govt pays settlers to occupy the land.

      What should happen is settlements should stop immediately- for good, not just during negotatiations. We will have to reward Israel for their illegal land grabs, which of course is why Israel has been continuing settlements. Land swaps will have to take place. Here’s the problem- Israel doesn’t even want to stop settlements, do you think they are going to remove violent, heavily armed, ultra nationalist, orthodox settlers by force? So, for all you folks that have refused to speak out for so long against this nonsense and for those who use use the security canard, congrats because now we actually have a situation where Israel will be ripped apart at the seams and instead if fighting Hamas and all the other boogeymen, they might actually turn their violence against each other.

      The Palestinians should not have to give up the right of return after their families were massacred and run off their land way back when but the fact is, as unjust as it is, they will have to forego that right because once again, Israel will be rewarded. It was essentially ethnic cleansing. Never Again!

      The requirement that the Palestinians accept Israel formally as a Jewish State is a new requirement thought up several years ago by the Israelis as another barrier to peace. Palestinians should be allowed to recognize the State of Israel and its right to security, as they have already done. To declare Israel a Jewish State would be a blow to Israeli democracy and help them (us) along towards theocracy- the religious leaders already have way too much power within the govt and the military. You may be concerned with the ethnic/religious purity of Greater Israel and diluting Arab blood but to me it smacks of racist fascism. When it was done to us Jews we called it what it was and I see no reason to not do so now. This obsession with blood laws and Judification is shocking to me- it is tantamount to racism and it runs contrary to democratic ideals, not to mention liberal Jewish ideals, as even many conservative Israelis have pointed out. So, no, I would not place such a stupid requirement on the Palestinians, particularly if they forgo the right of return, which is a huge, unjust concession.

      East Jerusalem will be Palestine’s capitol. End of story. Too bad American Jews don’t support that, it’s the only way there can be a solution. Many settlements will have to be removed, particularly the most recent ones (by recent I mean the last 5-10 years). Palestine has to be contiguous with enough room for population growth. For the time being, a peacekeeping force may be necessary. And as with Northern Ireland and the peace process there, there will likely need to be reunification between Fatah and Hamas with Hamas renouncing violence in return for a place at the table.

      Oh, and Carolyn, you are aware that during Oslo the US agreed to use US taxpayer money to compensate settlers who had illegally grabbed and populated the land despite ongoing US opposition to the policy? Why should US taxpayers have to pay for that? We get to help compensate settlers who broke international law while Israel sat back and spat in the US’ face and refused to prohibit settlements, all the while we told them to stop (well, we said “pretty, pretty please!). Arrogant doesn’t begin to describe it. And would you like to take a guess as to why we will be footing the bill? You got it, my fellow American Jews and our “staunch” christian zionist supporters have such a warped, sick sense of loyalty that we all get to get screwed coming and going.

      Peter Beinart reminded me of the Oslo thing in his article the other day- I actually had forgotten about all the sweet deals we offer to Israel to try to get them to do what is in the best interest of their security. His article is excellent. Of course he has already been called a “self hating Jew” for daring to take on the status quo:

      http://convergence.bna.com/ContentDelivery/ContentItem/ExternalContent/232972240000000022

      So, have the Israelis become bullies? Yes. Arrogant? You betcha.

  15. discourseincsharpminor permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:43 pm

    Until we start treating Israel like any of our other allies and hold them accountable when they are wrong instead of praising them for it, it is far likelier that there will be an apartheid-like, one state oppression rather than a viable, two-state solution. Why bother with peace when you’re rewarded and coddled for breaking international laws?

  16. Lulu permalink
    September 28, 2010 4:50 pm

    I’m amazed at what an apologist you are Carolyn- you address nothing anyone says, probably because it’s rather inconvenient to your unquestioning support of Israel. How ironic that because of blind support from people like you, Israel will never negotiate in good faith and as a result they will never have normalized relations with their Arab neighbors and no lasting security.

    But hey, it’s all good because Israel “won’t have to give up the store” and you can continue to bemoan the injustice visited upon poor Israel.

    Thanks for the history lesson though- anything to remind us all that Israel is the perpetual victim and that those sneaky Arabs can’t be trusted!

    I have a feeling about 10 yrs down the road as the Arab population increases and Israel transitions to a full blown Apartheid state you will be joining your pals in AIPAC crying “no, Israel isn’t doing anything wrong b/c gosh, their neighbors don’t acknowledge their right to exist!” never mind it’s you apologist that have helped to ensure there is no rapprochement with their Arab neighbors.

    Ah, the sweet smell of perpetual victimhood!

    • Steve permalink
      September 28, 2010 5:47 pm

      @lulu- Chill out. I think you misread her comment.

  17. Steve permalink
    September 28, 2010 5:44 pm

    Carolyn- I am familiar with much of Israel’s history- not all of it, but a lot of it. I certainly don’t claim that the Arabs haven’t screwed up big time throughout history and done stupid things and let good offers pass them by. In addition, unless Hamas and some others renounce violence like the IRA/Sein Fein did, this is going to be tough. Nobody’s hands are completely clean in this. None of that however justifies what is going on today.

    When you say “Israel has no incentive to negotiate at this point..” are you saying that you believe Israel is right to throw up all these roadblocks? Are you saying that Israel should just dig in its heels, continue violating international law and wait until a two state solution is impossible? Or are you saying that Israel has no incentive because the US has coddled it to the point where they can continue to grab land and create their own facts on the ground without having to give anything up or face any consequences? Maybe I misunderstand your comment because I’m not really sure what you are saying.

    I can’t help but wonder what you think of the fact that Israel continues to violate international law- you seem to just breeze over that despite the fact that it really puts the Palestinians in a position of believing their only recourse is violence. Here in America, if some country came in and threw us out of our houses we’d be grabbing our guns but the Palestinians are just supposed to, what? No one says what the Palestinians are supposed to do other than apparently stfu.

    While some think Israel should not negotiate and not give anything up, I would offer that Israel has a big incentive to negotiate- as pretty much everyone but you have noted repeatedly, the ongoing conflict ensures that Israel’s long term security will be difficult to achieve unless two states are created. If they don’t negotiate it ensures that peace treaties will not be signed with their Arab neighbors thus increasing the chance of repeated wars. If they don’t negotiate a resolution to this conflict groups like Hamas and Hezbollah (not to mention Iran) will be emboldened. I’ve noticed that people like to wave around security as a reason for everything Israel does but at the end of the day, the refusal to negotiate in good faith just ensures Israel is LESS secure in the long term.

    And what about the US? The ongoing conflict and Israel’s continued violations of international law erode the international community’s confidence in the US. We are forced to apply a double standard to Israel which simply infuriates the Arab world and strengthens our/their enemies. We will constantly be called upon to deal with preventable diplomatic and even military crisis because of Israel’s inability to do so on their own and because of their refusal to get rid of one of the big incentives for terrorism in the region and beyond. Naturally, we will be forced (by Israel and certain groups in the US) to continue to shovel hundreds of billions of dollars to Israel, no strings attached.

    I don’t envy Secretary Clinton, Pres. Obama and Senator Mitchell. Not only do they have to deal with weak, divided Palestinian leaders and Israel’s constant need to embarrass the US and sabotage negotiations, but they have to deal with an American public that seems more willing to support Israel’s sabotage than they are willing to support the position of their own country, the US. I find that both fascinating and enraging.

    I’ve noticed you never really address the fact of Israel’s ongoing noncompliance with international law, which serves only to whip up anti-Israel sentiment and make peace impossible- do you support Israel being able to determine which international laws it complies with and which it doesn’t because at this point, I can’t really tell what you think about all of this other.

  18. AsherLev permalink
    September 28, 2010 7:06 pm

    Hahahahaha! The US Congress and AIPAC have spoken! The settlements are lovely this time of year and that dirty Arab Abbas better not ruin these negotiations!

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/09/27/87_senators_urge_obama_to_pressure_abbas

    So transparent. They are working to prevent Bibi from being blamed for ruining the talks. They also are sending a message to Obama not to dare pressure Israel. Our Prime Minister is so slick and you Americans so disloyal to your own government.

    If US Jews wanted illegal settlements to stop they would be done yesterday but you don’t! So they continue. The settlers love liberal US Jews and Christian zionists.

    Also on behalf of extreme conservatives here in Israel thank you for your new hatred of Muslims and Islam- the political right here loves it. We have been watching your anti-Islam rallies here on our TV. No wonder you could care less about Palestinians!

  19. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    September 28, 2010 11:31 pm

    Yikes! At what point was I tagged as the uncritical apologist for Israel and Vice-President for AIPAC on this blog? Incidentally, my “history lesson” post was cut-and-pasted from a longer account of the Arab-Israeli conflict (I wasn’t able to scroll up to put quotation marks around the passage I lifted). My point in posting that was not to suggest that sneaky Arabs undermined
    poor victimized Israel’s efforts at peace, but to remind everybody that this conflict has a long, long history with many “what if’s” and missed opportunities along the way — like what if the League of Nations hadn’t turned Syria over to the French way back in 1917? Would we have two states co-existing peacefully now?

    To be perfectly clear, when I said Israel has no incentive to negotiate, I wasn’t defending that position. I think Israel’s leaders are being
    tragically arrogant in continuing to promote
    illegal — yes, illegal — settlements, and thumbing
    their nose at the world, and the US in particular. Apparently they don’t feel they need our support,
    don’t care about how their actions are perceived
    internationally, and seem to think that Might makes Right (where have we heard that before?). It’s disheartening, disillusioning,
    frightening — to watch. I wish they would halt illegal settlements immediately. I wish they would cede the West Bank and Gaza and a corridor between. I would like to see Jerusalem as an international capital. But does Israel much of an incentive to do all this? Apparently not.

    • September 29, 2010 5:52 am

      @Carolyn- For the record I have not taken your comments to mean that you unquestioningly or uncritically support Israel in all things. I’m not sure why people are inferring that. I think your comment above was misread or misunderstood by several people who have needlessly jumped all over it.

      It would be helpful if people would take a deep breath and give people the benefit of the doubt before they shoot off a reply filled with tons of assumptions.

      To Asher- I saw that letter and it sort of illustrates the problem. Congress is pretending to support the POTUS but what they are really saying is “don’t you dare criticize or lean on Israel, if these talks fall apart Abbas is to be blamed…” There is nothing in that letter about urging Israel to show good faith by continuing the moratorium. It’s classic AIPAC-speak and it really paints Obama, Clinton and Mitchell into a corner and gives Bibi tremendous power. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that letter was a result of a request by Bibi, who apparently is in constant contact with AIPAC to ensure continued [unquestioning] support in the US. It really is frustrating.

      • Tovah permalink
        September 29, 2010 8:41 am

        Agreed, I didn’t get all that from Carolyn’s remarks either. She’s questioned Israel but has pointed out they are unwilling to negotiate at this point.

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