The Obama-Israel Kerfuffle

The last week has been a bit fraught for US-Israeli relations. Last week, the US abstained from, rather than veto, a UN resolution condemning settlements in the West Bank. The US has abstained from or even supported condemnations of Israel before. But this one was unusually harsh. The Administration’s actions were condemned by Israel and Trump. Israel began expansion of the settlements in retaliation. And, today, Kerry gave a speech blasting the settlements as a threat to peace.

The Right Wing has gone with their default explanation (encouraged by Netanyahu) that Obama just hates Israel. If so, this hatred is hard to see. Obama has continued to give Israel $3 billion a year in military aide, was practically the only leader to support them during the War on Hamas and has, until now, blocked any UN actions against them. There is a profound disagreement between Obama and Israel on the Iran Deal. But the GOP seems to think that the proper relationship with Israel is to give them money, support everything they do and maybe go to war with Iran. As often I disagree with Obama’s foreign policy (such as it is), the alternative the GOP seems to prefer is just as silly. And let’s get some perspective here. The Administration has firmed up their opposition to the settlements which every Administration, Republican or Democrat, has opposed and which every Administration, Republican or Democrat, has seen as a problem for creating peace. Not as a big a problem as Palestine’s refusal to let Israel exist, but a problem nonetheless.

If I had to guess, I would say one of two things is going on here.

First, this may be Obama doing an end-of-the-Godfather settling of business. It’s no secret that Netanyahu has been a thorn in his side for the last eight years: opposing the Iran deal, which Obama saw a lasting legacy; expanding the settlements; meeting with the opposition party; interfering with … whatever it is Obama thinks he’s doing in Syria. So this may be one last slap in the ongoing slap fight between the two Administrations.

There’s another possibility and one I think is more likely: that Obama’s trying to tip Netanyahu out of office. Netanyahu’s approval ratings tend to be poor and he is currently mired in a corruption scandal. It’s possible that this could help tip him out of office, potentially putting someone in office who is less of a hardliner. Of course, it’a also possible it would make the Israelis rally behind him or replace him with someone who take an even harder line. But with Trump less than a month away from office, Obama might be trying to make Trump’s Israel policy, which includes moving our embassy to Jerusalem, harder to implement.

Or it may just be amateur hour. The problem with Obama’s supposed six-dimensional chess is that it’s often hard to tell the difference between six-dimensional cheese and just randomly bumbling around.

  1. I largely agree with your analysis here, Hal. I would add that Obama might be trying to derail a potential Israeli attack on Iran via Saudi airspace. Turning up the heat on Israel over settlements will mean that Israel will have a lot less support internationally for such a move.

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  2. “Israel can be Jewish or Democratic, it can’t be both”

    John Kerry isn’t exactly the best spokesman for your case…regardless I do think it’s time for new leadership in Israel that isn’t fixated on the past. Also the Iran deal, such as it is, doesn’t seem to be working out as intended.

    Also RIP Debbie Reynolds.

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  3. Well, Kerry did have a point.  Israel either has to have a two-state solution or Jews or going to be a minority in their own country.

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  4. The idiots/amateurs in the Obama admin wants us to believe that the major threat to peace in the ME is Israel, and not them and their devil worshiping cult. I think about the only person that could have made for an even worse Sec State than that crook Clinton was Kerry, and he is giving her a run for her money on dragging that bar through the muck. These people have left the ME ripe for every kind of instability possible after they destabilized it completely. Now they act like they still are in control of anything but the corruption brigade (the UN). Must be why the adults had an important meeting and didn’t even bother to invite the tantrum throwing, red line drawing, douchy kids.

    People seem unwilling and unable to grasp what damage to global stability and adventurism by the wrong types of governments these idiots have caused worldwide under direction from Black Jesus. I am sure the left will blame Boosh or Trump when the shit Obama has done comes to term.

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  5. Well, Kerry did have a point.  Israel either has to have a two-state solution or Jews or going to be a minority in their own country.

    I will remind you that this was already tried under Clinton, and the death cultists decided to spit in everyone’s face because Arafat was more concerned with stealing money from the idiots that kept financing the death cultists supposed humanitarian mission than actually finding any solution that didn’t involve driving the Jews into the sea by the sword. What baffles me is that nobody realizes how fucking bad the Obama admin has been in that area that now the Saudis are willing to work with Israel to attack Iran. Me, I hope the usual idiots prevent this from happening so the Saudis decide they need their own nukes, and then, when Iran gets theirs and threatens everyone, they use it on them. That will be the true ME legacy of the Obama administration.

    The fact is that two state solution is a no-go, not because of the Israelis that already had one of their own offer up their throat, but because the other side doesn’t want one. And that is blatantly obvious for anyone that doesn’t live in la-la land. Like collectivism leading to misery, every fucking single time it has been implemented, but the true believers refusing to accept that fact, this two state solution is simply not viable. As the sad saying goes: if the mad arabs laid down their arms there would be peace in the ME. If the Jews laid down their arms, there would be another Jewish genocide.

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  6. Arafat’s been dead for twelve years. There are multiple factions in Palestine right now and one of the big problems with finding a not-shitty one is Israel continuing to expand the settlements.

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  7. Arafat’s been dead for twelve years.

    His legacy sure as hell is not, since the death cultists have not walked back their demands all Jews be gone (as in dead), period. But hey, we can ignore that pesky detail so we can keep deluding ourselves that this actually is something that can be done. Death cultists will suddenly become rational human beings because? What’s the definition of insanity again?

    There are multiple factions in Palestine right now and one of the big problems with finding a not-shitty one is Israel continuing to expand the settlements.

    What is your point here? I seriously hope you are not saying we will find one group willing to pretend, for now at least, that they suddenly don’t want the annihilation of Israel to make a deal with, and then hope that deal takes? Why do people think that doing something like this will miraculously cause death cultists with dreams of genocide to suddenly get with the program? I hope the leaders of Israel are not idiotic enough to go along with that insanity.

    This is the whole “this time the collectivist bullshit will work, seriously” crap all over. Wishful thinking isn’t going to change reality. And the reality here is just downright horrible and the only change we have seen is that the death cultists want it (the destruction of Israel) even more (they send their fucking kids and women to die for a stupid cause for Christ’s sake). All the west is doing is encouraging these people to keep doing what they have been doing.

    Want this crap to end? Tell the death cultists that we are done with them and will let Israel loose on them. I bet that once they figure out that the useful idiots are no longer useful and they might actually be the ones pushed into the sea, that some of them will finally decide to let go of the stupid, but more importantly, they will get rid of those that will not let go themselves. But hey, this means the dreamers have to accept that no matter how much wishful thinking they do, reality will remain reality.

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  8. Obama did this for to reasons. The first was to make Trump’s life as hard as possible. If he left this in place it undermined his credibility with Israel. If he just ignored it (which he should while he defends the UN  period), they could accuse him of not respecting that boggaboo the left so loves: international law (read tyrants and communism/fascism). The fact is that they did this, and then lied about not doing it, again.. If they really thought this was good policy, why not do it in the open?

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  9. I seriously hope you are not saying we will find one group willing to pretend, for now at least, that they suddenly don’t want the annihilation of Israel to make a deal with, and then hope that deal takes?

    What other choice do we have? Genocide of the Palestinian people? The mandate gave them a homeland too.  People said the peace with Egypt would never hold but it did.

    If someone other than the Washington Beacon reports that, I’ll believe it. Describing what’s going on as “Israel … building homes in its capital, Jerusalem” is insane. Israel is settling regions that by international law belong to the Palestinians. Te are doing this, egged on by ultra-right-wing factions, for the specific purpose of creating a Greater Israel.  Just because the Palestinians are bad doesn’t make Israel’s actions good. Supporting Israel should not mean never criticizing them when they’re doing something dumb.

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  10. I think is a very good point from Drum:

    • Israeli leaders will never* stop building in the West Bank. It would be electoral suicide.
    • Israeli leaders will never give up the West Bank. It would be electoral suicide.
    • Israeli leaders will never formally annex the West Bank. It would be electoral suicide.

    In other words, nothing is going to happen. Period. Israel is going to keep things as they are, fight off world opinion forever, and hope that maybe over the course of several decades they can slowly get all the Palestinians in the West Bank to emigrate elsewhere. It’s sort of like Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” on steroids.

    And just in case you think this puts me on the side of the Arabs and Palestinians, forget it. To the extent that I stay even marginally on Israel’s side, it’s because the Arabs have acted even more abominably. They tried to invade Israel twice. They never cared a fig for the Palestinians except as a convenient poster child. (Jordan must have been the first country in history to lose territory in a war and be happy about it.) They never accepted Israel as legitimate, but for decades they’ve tacitly tolerated its existence because it gives them an easy way of stirring up demagogic hatreds that help prop up their own vicious regimes. The PLO was a murderous terrorist organization, and Hamas is worse. The intifadas were depraved and ruinous. And despite the fact that the Palestinians were clearly on the losing end of a war and needed to accept the best deal they could get, they remained delusional to the end. I’ve never bought into the revisionist history that Bill Clinton’s Wye River/Camp David/Taba negotiations were unfair to the Palestinians and Yasser Arafat was right to turn down the final proposal. He needed to accept it, and he probably knew it. He was just too cowardly to do it and too convinced that his own leadership was dependent on opposition to Israel.

    So to some extent this is kabuki.

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  11. The fact is that two state solution is a no-go, not because of the Israelis that already had one of their own offer up their throat, but because the other side doesn’t want one. 

    Well that’s completely false. I have actually been there and I can tell you that there are a great many Palestinians in the West Bank who are not interested in killing Israelis and do in fact want their own state. They want it to be a viable and contiguous state, without checkpoints and patrols. They want to live and raise their children in peace,  just like people anywhere else. There are also plenty of Israeli-Palestinian cross border efforts to work together and promote better understanding. This includes Israelis blocking bulldozers from destroying 1000 year old olive fields.

     

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  12. Well that’s completely false.

    You are fucking lying, and you know it.

     I have actually been there and I can tell you that there are a great many Palestinians in the West Bank who are not interested in killing Israelis and do in fact want their own state.

    Actually this explains a lot of your stupidity. I have been there too, albeit not recently thank god, and I recall many people telling you they wanted the two-state solution then laughing at the idiots that actually believed them.

    They want it to be a viable and contiguous state, without checkpoints and patrols

    Makes it easier to stage attacks on those pesky Jews, say it is being done by people that refuse to accept the two state solution, then laugh all thee way home as you make the Israelis the bad guys twice over. Fuck that shit.

    They want to live and raise their children in peace

    Must be why Fafour tells them martydrom rocks and the best thing for them to do is kill themselves killing those Jews, right? This is what your peaceful child rearing looks like. These people constantly tell us how much they value death over life.

    Save your propaganda for someone that wants to be deluded and lied to. I pass. You have a better chance of convincing me that Hillary doesn’t bathe in the blood of babies.

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  13. What other choice do we have? Genocide of the Palestinian people? The mandate gave them a homeland too

    I told you already what the solutions was: stop pandering to them. Tell them all support is gone as long as they keep this shit up and don’t police themselves. When the money dries up and nobody bats an eye at them staging their usual “tragedies” anymore, they will finally feel compelled to stop it. While they have useful idiots willing to buy their nonsense they can keep playing the game they are playing hoping eventually to get a chance to commit their dreams of genocide.

    BTW Hal, an Israeli premier already gave the Palestinians all those things from that Drumwaster post, and they turned it all down. What they want is to kill the Jews. Nothing else will suffice unless it becomes too costly to stick with this vendetta, and while useful idiots support them, they have no reason to abandon that gameplan.

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  14. How so?
    Regardless, as a Trump supporter racism is clearly not something you are actually concerned about. Why pretend otherwise?

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  15. How so?

    Well, this claim made in your link:

    The Geneva Convention says no nation may settle its own population on land it wins in war.

    …is misleading.  Article 49 of the GC refers to one sovereign nation winning land from another sovereign nation.  Since the Palestinians never had a sovereign state ever in the history of the universe, Article 49 simply does not apply.  Ergo, the article’s claim that the settlements are all illegal is simply wrong.

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  16. The Palestinians never had a country. That area was under British control, and the British decided that they would rather make a country for the Jews there than elsewhere, for historical reasons, if you want to be inclined to see it that way. There were provisions for a country right next door for the people squatting on that land and that would have to be displaced. Unfortunately for them, these idiots were told not to play along with the Brits and to oppose the creation of Israel, because the idiots with delusions of grandeur that lived around them thought they would just push those pesky Jews they cheered Hitler for murdering, into the sea in a but a few short weeks. Then they got their asses kicked over and over, and the idiots that now send their kids to blow themselves up to kill Jews ended up with the short end of the stick. But the Jew haters, not just the ones living around them, have for years tried to fuck them over. It must gall these idiots that these pesky Jews turned that desert into a promised land, and despite all their evil antics still remain the best place to live in the middle east if one was forced to move there.

    As I repeatedly remind people: if the death cultists put down their arms first, there will be peace in the ME, but if the Jews do that, their will be another genocide. These people are neither oppressed nor noble. In fact, they are using the usual useful idiots and the plethora of fellow anti-semites who hide their real motives behind the veneer of caring about the oppressed, to push their murderous agenda.

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  17. If AmericaFirst was taken at face value, you’d think Trump would demand a lot more respect/deference from Israel for that $38 billion.

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  18. The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply.

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  19. The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties 

    That is about as accurate a list of illegal entities I wish the US would pull out of and stop funding there CM. I care very little what these tyrant loving, collectivist criminals and crooks think or say. The only authority I hold high is the US Constitution. The rest of these are just crime syndicates. Asylums run by the inmates. When members like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and so on not only regularly piss on their own citizens but spread their murderous ways globally, murder and oppressing everyone and anyone, and they never get in trouble or get called out, while the only democracy in the region constantly gets attacked, it tells me I chose the right side in this fight. Then again, I am not an clear cut anti-semite nor driven by hatred of Jews that I hide behind a veneer of caring for people that deserve the same fate as Cartage, am I?

    When I see the UN and any other entity start condemning murdering muslim douchbaggery with the fervor that deserves, I might consider these entities redeemable. Until then I hope they all die horrible deaths. They deserve nothing less.

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  20. Sorry, I wrote a long reply just before I boarded a plane – and lost it all. I can’t be bothered typing it all again. Here are a few responses to your more recent rantings.

     There were provisions for a country right next door for the people squatting on that land and that would have to be displaced.

    You do realize that they are pretty much the same people as the Jews who left in the exodus 2000 year ago. Genetic studies have shown that the differences between the recent Jewish arrivals and people who were already there are fairly small. The Jewish returnee population, if anything, have fewer ancestral links to the holy land, with an “even mix” of European genes. The Palestinians certainly aren’t Arabs. They have the closest extant genetic relationship to ancient Hebrews currently alive. They never left, and gradually converted to Christianity and Islam, or remained Jewish.

    So defining the Palestinians as “squatters” is patently unfair and wrong. But it does fit well the the Jewish ultra-nationalist mantra of rightful return to the holy land.

    As I repeatedly remind people: if the death cultists put down their arms first, there will be peace in the ME, but if the Jews do that, their will be another genocide. 

    The PLA have largely done this – again, there has been very little violence on the part of the Palestinians in the West Bank for more than ten years. I have argued before that the Palestinians are their own worst enemy, by resorting to violence, they give the Israeli Jewish nationalists the excuse to do whatever they want. Well, the PLA no longer use violence, but work with the Israeli security forces to suppress it. They are more successful at it than the Israelis were when they were in control. And they have nothing to show for it. Except disappearing land and increasing checkpoints. No-one is arguing that the Israelis should lay down their arms. People and most states and international institutions around the world are arguing that there should be a viable Palestinian state, with control of their own borders and foreign policy. That’s quite a different thing.

    You say you visited, Alex. When you were there, did you visit the West Bank? Did you actually talk to any Palestinians? Did you find out how they really feel about the Israelis? Did you see how all of the Palestinian houses and apartment blocks all have large water tanks on the roofs? That’s because the Israelis turn the water on and off. Israeli soldiers regularly shoot holes in the tanks for fun. Palestinians can be left without water for days.

    Did you find out about how the Israeli government assumes control of Palestinian land through absentee property laws (which have been used even when the original inhabitants are living on the land at the time) and restrictions on building permits for non-Jews – including Christians (and hey, Israeli courts have found the same thing, but have little power to enforce the law)? Did you see how the separation wall cuts right through the middle of Palestinian neighborhoods, separating people from their own relatives, lands, and jobs? If the wall were about protection, the Palestinians would all be on the other side. Instead, it is clearly a systematic land grab.

    Did you visit Jaffa and see how the history of the last 2000 years is being erased along with former Palestinian towns and villages across Israel proper, let alone the West Bank? And how the army constantly humiliates Palestinians at checkpoints? I expect you’d be less than happy if you had your phone confiscated or smashed, were abused or beaten up for no reason. Or just being made to wait hours on end in the sun for no reason at all except to humiliate or to extort bribes. IDF soldiers who refuse to treat Palestinians badly are themselves often hazed.

    Did you hear about settler violence against Palestinian communities, attacks on mosques and churches? Deliberate destruction of farms and orchards?

     

    I saw all this – as did the mixed Jewish (including Israelis), Palestinian and international group I was with. Arguing that the Arabs fought against Israel in the past is no justification for what is currently happening with settlements or people in the West Bank. I don’t support Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territories – and neither do many Jewish Israelis. I fully support Israel as a secular democratic state. But at the moment, it barely is that.

     

     

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  21. You do realize that they are pretty much the same people as the Jews who left in the exodus 2000 year ago.

    Are you joking Stogy? I don’t see the Jews trying to fucking kill anyone in the name of an evil ideology masquerading as a peaceful religion. The Taiwanese and the mainland Chinese people also are the same, but one is a free country and the other a communist shithole taking advantage of everyone’s naivete.

    Did you hear about settler violence against Palestinian communities, attacks on mosques and churches? Deliberate destruction of farms and orchards?

    Seriously not going to keep reading after you try to make a comparison between people that send their kids to their death to kill a few Jews, vs. those that just want a chance to live their lives and keep having to deal with these murderers. Every attack against a church I have seen has been by the death cultists and leftists, and I have no idea what mosque you think has been attacked, because I don’t recall that happening. And these death cultists don’t have any farms or orchards. They live in camps – kept their by their own leadership – and the only time I hear of destruction is when the IDF comes in to raze a building used by death cultists to fire rockets. They even fucking call to tell these assholes they are coming, and yet, I keep getting told that the bad guys are the Israelis. Tell you what: the day some Jewish woman sends her kid with a vest bomb to kill some death cultists, you can come back and tell me they are the same or that there is injustice.

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  22. Every attack against a church I have seen has been by the death cultists and leftists

    Er…

     and I have no idea what mosque you think has been attacked, because I don’t recall that happening

    Um…

    The Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, also known as the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre or Hebron massacre,[1] was a shooting massacre carried out by American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein, also a member of the far-right Israeli Kach movement

    and…

    On June 2, 1980, the Livni cell planted bombs in the cars of Nablus Mayor Bassani Shaka’a, who lost both of his legs, and Ramallah Mayor Karim Khalaf, who lost half his foot. They also put a bomb on the garage door of elBireh Mayor Ibrahim Tawil, which blinded an Israeli soldier who tried to defuse the explosive.

    and still….

    Israeli settlers on horseback set fire on Monday to at least 1,500 Palestinian-owned olive trees in the occupied West Bank and others stoned cars, a Palestinian security official said. …

    He said 10 settlers riding horses and carrying torches set fire to between 1,500 and 2,000 olive trees. Olives are an important cash crop for Palestinians, who have complained of frequent attacks on their groves by settlers.

    And these death cultists don’t have any farms or orchards.They live in camps – kept their by their own leadership – and the only time I hear of destruction is when the IDF comes in to raze a building used by death cultists to fire rockets.

    Well, if you think the Palestinians don’t have farms or orchards, you clearly haven’t been there… I would be willing to hazard a guess that you are confusing the West Bank with Gaza, but not even Gaza is as you describe. There are a lot of complexities that you whitewash over in describing everyone as being a member of a death cult. It’s  quite clear from your rantings that you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

    CM is right, talking to you on this is a waste of time.

     

     

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  23. Lol –  well yes anything can be anything if you really want it to be.

    Case in point:  The 4th GC applies to the Israeli situation.   A lot of people really want that to be.   Doesn’t make them right.  But it’s easier to pretend it does, I suppose.

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  24. Alex cares nothing for your facts and details, story. He’s got foaming at the mouth instead.

    Not caring for the preferred narrative or propaganda doesn’t make me wrong or the idiot in this situation, CM. In fact, it is oft the person that the angry left feels the most compelled to assault for not just sucking whatever dick du jour they are pushing on people, accusing said person of being driven by whatever ulterior and bad motives or being stupid for not accepting whatever emotional SJW nonsense argument they feel does the most damage, that tends the be the ones showing spine and end up being in the right.

    Copernicus and Galileo where not only in hot water and very unpopular with the ones that claimed they had the facts and moral high ground, but they were also hounded and persecuted for daring to tell off the ones that wanted all to believe they held some high ground when they did nothing of the sort. In the end however, both were right to challenge the idiot pushing false orthodoxy and ended up vindicated. I expect the same will happen – yet again, I add – in my case on this subject.

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  25. It’s certainly easier to consider that it does apply when the overwhelming number of relevant bodies agree. Sure, they could all be Jew-hating, but I’m happy to leave that lazy weak cop-out side of the argument with you guys. Way out on the fringe for a reason.

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  26. Sure, they could all be Jew-hating, but I’m happy to leave that lazy weak cop-out side of the argument with you guys.

    Dismissing it as “lazy weak cop-out” doesn’t make it wrong, and it isn’t rebuttal.  It ain’t as if there is no historical precedence of oppression against the Jews since they existed…..

    A thousand years ago, the best minds in the world agreed that the Sun went around the Earth, and I’m sure anyone who suggested differently was likewise dismissed as “fringe” lunatics…..

    The language of Article 49 is what it is, as is the language of the 4th GC in general.  Also, context.

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  27. It’s certainly easier to consider that it does apply when the overwhelming number of relevant bodies agree.

    The fact that two of the bodies you listed are UN bodies does indeed make it easier to believe antisemitism is at least playing a significant part.

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  28. Have you lefties not realized that reality and truth will not bend to whatever you will it to, just because you want it to? Yeah, you have been able to fool a ton of people for a long time, but as the saying goes, “you can’t fool all the people all the time”. Especially when you are transparent as hell as it is in this case.

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  29. Have you lefties not realized that reality and truth will not bend to whatever you will it to, just because you want it to?

    So says the master of the evidence-free post… never saw a link that you didn’t need to not click, eh?  If massive hyperbole were an invention, you’d hold a truly wondrous (but slightly terrifying) monopoly of patents. And if those irony burns are chafing or itching, well, I wouldn’t like to recommend an ointment – it’s too late, it looks terminal. :)

    I am genuinely interested in what you did and saw while you were in Israel – you clearly had a very different experience to me. Were you visiting a Kibbutz? Did you do a bible tour of the holy land? Because you don’t seem to have talked to anyone who had an opinion different from your own.

    When I visited, I was lucky to have access to all sides of the conflict. I hung out with young Israelis – including some sons and daughters of war heroes – and Palestinians, both Israeli citizens and non-Israeli. One day, I walked down the coast from Tel Aviv to Jaffa, and spent some time looking at how the history had been altered to carefully omit any mention of the fact that it was once a majority Muslim town, and how the Palestinians had been driven out through a campaign of deliberate violence. I also learned how Jews across the Arab world had been largely dispossessed of their own properties and businesses dating back millennia. Many arrived in Israel with nothing – this was equally appalling and certainly unjust. Any settlement would have to involve compensation for such losses. Some of the young Jewish Israelis were working on a project to document the actual true history of what had happened in the Nakhba, and the destruction of former Palestinian towns and neighborhoods.

    I spent days wandering the streets and alleys of Jerusalem, talking to Muslims, Jews, and Christians. In addition to witnessing the humiliation of Israeli Palestinians in my group (described above) I heard how some secular Jews (including friends) were being stoned when they walked through Orthodox neighborhoods for not wearing a headscarf and covering up. On my second visit to the Western Wall, during passover, a young Jewish believer explained brightly about the upcoming decimation of Iran by the Israeli military (including the use of nukes).

    I took one of the worst tours of my life to the Dead Sea and Rock of Masada, and was subjected to one of the most infuriatingly ignorant representations of classical history from a “daughter” of Israel. She was so busy extolling her propaganda that we never even saw the site of the breach of the wall by the Roman tenth legion (well I did, but only because I snuck away while she was explaining for the tenth time how Israeli military recruits are brought here and taught the slogan, “Masada will never fall again”). Following our very premature departure from the top of the site, we were then told we would have 45 minutes to spend in the gift shop. On the way back, we had to sing Happy Birthday to Israel and play a balloon game in the bus. I felt sick.

    I drove the length of the separation wall, and saw how it dissected Palestinian neighborhoods, and how it circled around water sources – always on the Israeli side. I also crossed the wall several times, including a visit to a refugee camp near Bethlehem, where I saw first hand just how traumatized and dispossessed many of the local youth are, and how they chain smoked and their hands shook when they talked about how Israeli soldiers kicked their doors in and shot out their water tanks. They were really unhappy about Western do-gooders coming year after year, with nothing changing.

    I ate one of the best meals of my life in a cafe in Ramallah (very similar to the cafe shown in Fauda – watch it!). It was just up the hill from Stars and Bucks – you can’t miss it!  I walked around Yasser Arafat’s tomb with some members of a local Palestinian family, whose house had been badly damaged and they had to flee during the assault on Arafat’s compound (they told me how the apartment building opposite had been blown up by Israeli forces, despite being completely empty at the time). They told me how they saw Israel as an occupying colonial power, and how while Arafat was corrupt and far from perfect, at least he was a voice for them, and still better than no voice for them. There was no support for Clinton’s Camp David accord – it resulted in the permanent cantonment of the West Bank, but there was a lot of support for an independent state, and for a peaceful and just relationship with Israel.

    Within both the Israeli and Palestinian “sides” there are in fact dozens or hundreds or thousands of different experiences and opinions. You see Israel as a land of righteous democrats (sadly less than true, as there are plenty of structural impediments to equal rights for minorities that are actively used by powerful interests) struggling against a sinister force of  “death cultists” (also less than true, as for every militant you hear about, there are dozens of people engaging in weekly non-violent protests that you don’t). But actually, this helps neither side to resolve the issues or reduce fundamentalism. Yes, there are fundamentalists on the Palestinian side – particularly amongst radicalized groups in Gaza. But there are just as many fundamentalists on the Israeli side, seeking to drive all of the Palestinians across the River Jordan.

    So when you say stuff like:

    Have you lefties not realized that reality and truth will not bend to whatever you will it to, just because you want it to

    you are really just making yourself seem, well… uninformed, silly and weak. Defining one side as right and the other as wrong is a poor way to understand a conflict. But worse, it’s a poor way to deal with a conflict.

     

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  30. And historical precedence of oppression doesn’t in any way make the legal opinion wrong that it does apply. The key point here is – who has the legitimacy and the actual role of determining whether it applies. If it was the Israeli or American right then it would be deemed to not apply. Pretty much everyone else, including those who have the legitimacy and role, have determined that it does.

    The sun/earth analogy is another terrible one that suggests desperation. It doesn’t work at all here.

    Accusing people of anti-semitic, or any sort of racism, simply because it suits is really quite pathetic and sad. I thought it was meant to be the liberals making unfounded suggestions/assumptions of racism just because people voted Trump? How is what you are doing any different?

    It doesn’t really matter, clearly you’ll believe it’s anti-semitism no matter what. Like many on the American right seem to think, unless you’re 100% blindly loyal to Israel, you’re probably an anti-smite. So banal.

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  31. Accusing people of anti-semitic, or any sort of racism, simply because it suits is really quite pathetic and sad.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s “quite pathetic and sad” if it happens to be the truth.  I can admit that it may not be, but I’m not willing to concede that it absolutely isn’t.

    Like I said, the language of Article 49 seems quite clear to me — it applies to sovereign nations only, not occupied territories populated with made-up nationalities.  “Palestinians” didn’t even exist a few decades ago.  They were pretty much fabricated out of whole cloth, sort of like the decision that GC 4 applies to their situation.

    And, like it or lump it, much of the Arab world is antisemitic.  And they have a fair amount of pull at the UN.

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  32. The sun/earth analogy is another terrible one that suggests desperation.

    No, it simply illustrates how the majority can be objectively wrong. Nothing “desperate” about it.  Hell, calling it “desperate” seems desperate to me.

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  33. As Yoram Dinstein, former rector of Law at Tel Aviv University and world authority on the international laws of war, notes, any confusion about whether the 4th Geneva Convention is applicable in the West Bank is cleared up by Article 4 of the Convention (Dinstein 2009), which states: Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. (Geneva Convention IV).

    By the fact that Israel conquered a territory that was inhabited by civilians who are not Israeli citizens (i.e. Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank), this makes the Fourth Geneva Convention applicable, and de jure, makes Israel’s control of the West Bank a military occupation.

    Israeli jurist Theodor Meron also concludes that “the application of the [4th Geneva] Convention should not be interpreted as the recognition of the status of Jordan in the West Bank. It must be remembered that, as a humanitarian convention par excellence, the Fourth Geneva Convention is concerned primarily with people, rather than territory; with human rights, rather than with legal questions pertaining to territorial status” (Meron 1979: 109).

    Furthermore, in how many cases of war and occupation are the sovereign rights to a particular land not disputed? Is Israel’s situation really that unique? It would appear to be a very narrow and ineffective interpretation of international law if the rights afforded to civilians under the 4th Geneva Convention are disregarded in every case when it cannot be determined which sovereign has legal ownership to the land under occupation.

    http://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-settlements-are-illegal-under-international-law-336507#article=0MDdERDFERjlBNTA4MDBBNDEwQTY4RUIyMjQ2MkU4OTE=

    Meron was legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
    No anti-semitism necessary. Stop being so lazy.
    Can you demonstrate how this supposed “pull” resulted in this almost-universally agreed legal opinion?

    The sun analogy is nonsense because that relates to people making scientific discoveries whereas this is a legal issue.

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  34.  Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

    The first two Articles (bold emphasis added):

    Article 1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.

    Art. 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace-time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

    The area occupied by the Palestinians fails to qualify as a High Contracting Party.  Therefore, the Convention doesn’t apply, and Article 4 becomes irrelevant.

    If Article 4 is taken out of the context of the previous Articles, then yeah, you can apply it I suppose.  But then I suppose you can do anything you want.

    I would be interested in seeing the line of argument used  to justify taking Article 4 out of context.

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  35. The sun analogy is nonsense because that relates to people making scientific discoveries whereas this is a legal issue.

    Irrelevant.  The purpose of this analogy is to illustrate a specific concept, namely, how the majority can be objectively wrong about something.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a different discipline.  That’s the whole point.

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  36. So says the master of the evidence-free post… never saw a link that you didn’t need to not click, eh?

    Funny how despite whatever nonsense you spout I keep ending up in the right, huh? Besides, why would I waste time linking anything for people that have already clearly established that they won’t read it or understand it anyway? I certainly gave up on trying to use facts or logic to convince people clearly driven by emotions and immature feelings like you and CM, but you still have not grasped that it seems.

    I am genuinely interested in what you did and saw while you were in Israel – you clearly had a very different experience to me. 

    Not surprised at all that we did. BTW, I also lived in Saudi Arabia, visited Iran, and Turkey, have been to UAE, some other nations of that particular persuasion, and actually even went to Lebanon before the death cultists turned it into a deathscape. The rampant corruption, disconnect from reality and  their penchant for always blaming their failings on everyone else, colored my take on the insanity of that part of the world. I did come away with why leftists would eventually feel these people are fellow travelers: neither of you really wants to accept reality and both want the world to conform to your ideology despite the fact it doesn’t work.

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  37. I certainly gave up on trying to use facts or logic to convince people clearly driven by emotions and immature feelings like you and CM, but you still have not grasped that it seems.

    Well, you certainly gave up on facts or logic – on that we would agree. The fact that you can’t genuinely respond to a single one of the arguments I made above – mostly sourced, and many of those linked sources including Jewish Israelis – is clear evidence of that. I also wrote about things that I saw and heard myself.

    and actually even went to Lebanon before the death cultists turned it into a deathscape

    Interesting. I haven’t made it to Lebanon yet, although I am keen. From your account, it appears that you have decided simply to blame Muslims for the Lebanese conflict. Nice and easy. But did you know that the direct cause of the Lebanese Civil War was Maronite Christian domination over Lebanese government and institutions, and almost complete exclusion of Muslims from decision-making? The pro-Western stance and overt corruption by the Chamoun government drove the majority Muslim population right into the arms of the Soviets. The actual final trigger was an attempt by the Chamoun government in 1975 to take control of fisheries along most of the Lebanese coast, leading to a strike by many fishermen in Sidon, and the assassination of their leader. 

    The first big massacre of the war was by Maronite Christian militias (Karantina Massacre). After the inevitable response from Palestinian militias, it was all on – a proxy great power war fought at the national and local level.  There were no saints or good guys – all sides behaved like thugs and extortionists, and most militia groups ended up allied with former enemies at one stage of the war or another.  It’s almost like conflicts are in fact complicated and driven by power and money more than ideology – that usually comes later.

    But then, why let the actual historical facts get in the way of a good “blame the muzzies for everything” blinkered narrative. It’s pretty ironic really, as that is exactly what you just accused the Muslims of doing when you said…

    blaming their failings on everyone else

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  38. Well, you certainly gave up on facts or logic – on that we would agree. 

    English not your first language? Shit, you wouldn’t know facts or logic if someone drew you a picture, even if done with crayons, you fucking moron. You wouldn’t be a lefturd if you had even a modicum of a grasp on either.

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  39. Actually CM, the only thing I think is that you and Stogy should get a room and consummate that butthurt love of yours. You can cuddle and cry those salty tears about how evil reality is for refusing to conform to what you want it to be.

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  40. Game, set, match. Now that’s a hiding. The best thing of all is that Alex will think I’m referring to him.

    I’m more than a little disappointed he didn’t deal with any of the substantive issues I raised – that the Palestinians are not “squatters” but the closest descendants of the ancient Hebrews, that there are indeed serious structural impediments to Palestinians controlling their own land and property, that Palestinians are systematically discriminated against by the Israeli security forces, and that the Palestinian Authority has nothing to show for ten or so years of working with the Israeli government to stop violence. I posted personal accounts of what I saw, plus links to supporting evidence.

    All I got in return was insults. And these strange logic-free rants.

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  41. I’m more than a little disappointed he didn’t deal with any of the substantive issues I raise

    Erm, you raised absolutely none. They may be something you would like me to think of as substantive, but it is more of the same anti-semitic drivel masquerading as an argument with a modicum of worth. In general, actually wasting time talking to someone employing that tactic, only serves to lend legitimacy to idiocy that should be ignored.

    I will say it again: If the death worshippers were to put down their arms first and finally, there would be peace in the ME. If Israel did that first these people you try to lend a veneer of legitimacy to, would massacre them and dance around to celebrate that.

    Fuck off and die.

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  42. You seem to still not get the fact that the joke is on you, because for some reason you seem to feel you scored a victory despite the trolling being recognized and ignored. Laugh all you want bro. I know you are fucking pissed and crying inside while I am laughing it up. After all, and to quote Obama, I won,

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  43. As for the sun/earth analogy nonsense, there is even a specific term for using it – it’s called the Galileo Gambit. It’s a form of the association fallacy.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

    Congratulations on slaying yet another straw man.

    According to your article, the “Galileo Gambit” is used to deny the truth of an “established scientific theory or historical proposition”.  Since I am doing neither, your “Galileo Gambit” gambit fails.  I simply note that the Ptolemaic, geocentric model was widely held by the best minds in Europe a thousand years ago (I explicitly mentioned a thousand years ago in my original post, which precludes any discussion of Galileo), noting that, in that time of a thousand years ago, anyone suggesting an alternative to the Ptolemaic model would have been dismissed as “fringe lunatics”, the point being that being in the majority doesn’t make you correct.

    That you will still not get it is a given.

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  44. But your argument is meaningless (and analogy worthless), because it says we just need to find one flat earther to be able to still claim the earth might not be round. Again, that was a lack of scientific principles and knowledge. On settlement building we have near-unanimous agreement on a legal interpretation. It’s not case of one side not having access to information or principles.

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  45.  On settlement building we have near-unanimous agreement on a legal interpretation.

    And a simple reading of the text indicates why it’s wrong.  Article 2 clearly states:

    In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

    Since Article 2 stipulates when the Convention does apply, a reasonable inference is that it does NOT apply when the criteria aren’t met.  Since Palestine doesn’t qualify as a “High Contracting Party”, the document, in toto, doesn’t apply.  That includes Article 4.

    Like I said before, I would be interested in actually seeing a logical argument explaining how Article 2’s criteria are met, or otherwise explaining why Article 4 should apply when Article 2 implicitly states otherwise.

    Having authority doesn’t preclude being wrong.

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  46. But your argument is meaningless (and analogy worthless), because it says we just need to find one flat earther to be able to still claim the earth might not be round. 

    As I said, that you will still not get it is a given.

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  47. I get it fine – it doesn’t work as the sun/earth example is based on a lack if knowledge and understanding. This is completely different.

    By all means see what you find and bring it back here. Way better than just suggesting it’s anti-semitic.

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  48. Process of elimination — barring a logical explanation as to why Article 2 is effectively being ignored in an attempt to apply subsequent Articles (some of which still fail to apply in their own right for the same reason Article 2 does), it’s hardly a stretch to suggest antisemitism plays some role, especially considering that Arab states do indeed have influence at the UN.  As for the rest, it could be simple herd mentality.

    I get it fine…..

    Apparently not.

    …..it doesn’t work as the sun/earth example is based on a lack if knowledge and understanding.

    The basis is irrelevant.  It’s simply an illustration.  You are the one trying to read too much into it.  I’m simply saying, being in the majority is insufficient to demonstrate correctness, as does being in a position of authority, but you seem to be appealing to both to support your case.   I, on the other hand, am appealing to the written text of the Convention.

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  49. Having authority doesn’t preclude being wrong.

    Sure as hell allows the left to grandstand and social virtue signal, which is really what they find important. Actually doing the right hing. Not so much.

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