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The New One-State Solution

On the cusp of this month’s Israeli election, powerful Likud politicians push for annexation of the West Bank

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Three years ago, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech at Bar Ilan University calling for “a demilitarized Palestinian state” alongside the Jewish state, it was hailed as a historic moment for the newly elected leader: For the first time ever, one of the Oslo Accords’ harshest critics publicly affirmed his belief in two states for two nations. Whether or not that conviction is sincere has been called into question ever since. Bibi’s detractors say he has done little to pursue such a vision and question the wisdom of his decision to build in the E1 area east of Jerusalem, a retaliatory move following the Palestinians’ U.N. bid—and one that some say would not allow for the creation of a territorially contiguous Palestinian state.

But never before have Netanyahu and his Likud Party seemed less serious about a two-state solution than they have in the run-up to this month’s election.

Not five years ago, annexation of the West Bank—the expansion of Israeli sovereignty that would ensure a Jewish state on both sides of the 1967 “green line”—was a radical idea even among the Israeli right. The conventional wisdom was that the continued occupation of the West Bank would quickly result in Jews outnumbered by Arabs between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and Israel would be forced to choose between being a democratic state or a Jewish one. No longer. Annexation is quickly gaining steam among powerful precincts of the Israeli right, including high-ranking members of the Knesset who see no contradiction between Israel formally applying its sovereignty over millions of Arabs and remaining a democracy.

Last week, hundreds of Israelis gathered at a conference center in Jerusalem’s religious Bayit Ve’gan neighborhood for the Third Annual Conference for the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, which included appearances by prominent Likud politicians. Annexation is not part of the official Likud-Beiteinu party platform, of course—but neither is any other clear alternative. And the fact that senior members of Israel’s ruling party would go on the record three weeks before the election in support of such a revolutionary plan says much about the traction that these ideas are gaining.

***

Virtually all of the attendees at last week’s conference were Orthodox Jews of the national-religious stream; many of them native English speakers. The evening was organized by Women in Green, a group established in 1993 to protest the Oslo Accords (and whose name is a play on the anti-occupation Women in Black). Women in Green has long advocated for Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, but they are no longer part of the political avant garde. The Levy report, published last summer and named for former Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, who headed its committee, concluded that the Jews, as the indigenous people of the biblical land of Israel, have clear historical rights there. According to the report, but contrary to what most experts believe, the Israeli presence in the West Bank—settlements included—is legal under international law. Thus Israel, its commitments to the peace process notwithstanding, is free to annex the territory. While the government has yet to officially adopt the report’s more radical recommendations—Netanyahu has preferred to implement sections dealing with planning and building procedures—the conference was dedicated to bringing them to life.

The idea sounds simple on paper: The West Bank has been under Israeli military rule for over 45 years, complicating life for both Israeli settlers and Palestinians. For starters, Israeli legal jurisdiction applies only to the Israeli citizens living there, and its application is entirely subject to the discretion of the IDF Central Command. (For example, the IDF had to recognize the Ariel College’s transformation into a university for that change to actually take effect.) Right now, Palestinians are subject to both Israeli military law and to the law of the Palestinian authority; applying full Israeli sovereignty would subject Palestinians to Israeli civilian law. But most important for some on the Israeli right, the West Bank is an integral part of the historic Land of Israel: For it to become a Palestinian state is unthinkable for both religious and defense reasons. Therefore, Israel must apply its sovereignty there, formally annexing the West Bank as it did both East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and affording the Palestinians something between full citizenship and limited residency.

Netanyahu didn’t attend the conference in Bayit Ve’gan, but there was a strong contingent of Likud Party members, with Information and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein, and MKs Yariv Levin and Zeev Elkin, the outgoing coalition whip, all prominently featured. The three are wildly popular politicians in their party and ranked highly in the recent primaries. In their speeches, Elkin and Levin both advocated use of what they called the “salami technique”—a plan to affect Israeli sovereignty on the ground gradually—slice-by-slice, starting with current Israeli settlements and expanding later on to include areas densely populated by Palestinians, the Jordan river valley, and even Gaza. Elkin even offered a tip of the hat to the late Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat, who stated that the Oslo Accords were just another step in his phased plan to bring about Israel’s eventual destruction. “It’s time,” Elkin said, “that Israel takes the same tack. Stop conceding and go on the offensive, step by step.”

These three are not the only Likud politicians with these views. MKs Tzipi Hotovely and Miri Regev, the highest-ranking women in the party, are both ardent supporters of the cause. Regev unsuccessfully attempted to pass an annexation law last year; Hotovely recently insisted that Netanyahu’s support of a two-state solution was pure tactics and that he didn’t mean a word. But the most prominent supporter of annexation is Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. A front-runner for Israel’s presidency when Shimon Peres steps down, the longtime Likud MK has publicly advocated a one-state solution numerous times.

Likud’s right-ward shift, evidenced by the ouster of its more moderate MKs and subsequent merger with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, has also been accelerated by the rising popularity of Naftali Bennett’s HaBayit HaYehudi party, the new reincarnation of the historic National Religious Orthodox party. Bennett—a young, successful high-tech entrepreneur who was a major in the IDF’s special forces—has managed to revive a decaying party by making it an attractive option for nonreligious people who would traditionally vote Likud. Bennett’s party stands a fair chance of becoming second-largest in the next Knesset—and annexation figures prominently on his platform.

Bennett’s “partial annexation” plan calls for Israeli sovereignty over Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the West Bank and includes all of the Jewish settlements and their environs. Whereas Areas A and B are Palestinian-run, C is currently under full Israeli control. Bennett’s annexation plan is attractive to many because it focuses exclusively not on messianic ideology, but on security and paints a rosy picture of a comfortable Palestinian autonomy after the annexation. (Elyakim Haetzni, a former member of Knesset and one of the pioneers of the settlement movement, advocates a similar plan but admitted at the conference that it would place the Palestinians in a choke hold, effectively allowing only for limited self-administration.)

Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, however, No. 4 on Bennett’s ticket and until recently the head of Israel’s rabbinical courts, used very different rhetoric while describing his own vision. Gone was the focus on security; in came the numerous biblical decrees affording the Promised Land to the people of Israel and forbidding concessions. “That there are minorities in this land, Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, is nothing new,” he said. When Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan, he too encountered minorities—and they were allowed to stay, Ben Dahan summarized, if they accepted Jewish rule and quit idolatry. “That should be the policy towards the Palestinians,” he argued.

***

None of the speakers at the conference seemed particularly perturbed by what the global response to such actions might be. In fact, many argued that this would be the least of Israel’s problems. “The real problem,” said Moshe Feiglin, who ran the Zu Artzeinu (“This Is Our Land”) group that violently protested the peace process in the ’90s and is set to win a Likud Knesset seat later this month, “is with those Israelis who just don’t understand that this land belongs to us—and only to us. Once they do, applying sovereignty will be easy.”

Edelstein, the diaspora minister, went so far as to suggest that applying sovereignty would strengthen Israel’s standing abroad by depriving foreign diplomats of the ability to suggest that Israel doesn’t seriously believe it will stay in the West Bank in the long term. He also proposed using different terminology: not the “West Bank” or the “territories” but Judea and Samaria to emphasize the biblical connection. “ ‘Settlements’ sounds colonial. We should say ‘Jewish communities,’ ” he said. “Then no one would say ‘Jewish communities’ should be evacuated—it sounds anti-Semitic.”

All concede that the problem is, at its core, one of demography, and the conference’s closing panel discussion was devoted to the status of the Arabs after sovereignty. When the application of sovereignty started gaining headway on the right several years ago, its original proponents, such as Rivlin and former Minister of Defense Moshe Arens, favored bestowing Israeli citizenship unto the entire Palestine population. They accused the left—with its constant talk of the demographic threat and good fences making good neighbors—of segregationist racism along the lines of Avigdor Lieberman’s plan for land swaps that would leave Israel free of Arabs and Palestine free of Jews. The humane thing to do, these early proponents asserted, would be to annex the entire territory, with Arabs remaining in place and receiving full citizenship rights. As a result, the sovereignty movement was often accused of post-Zionism, favoring the sanctification of the land while sacrificing Israel’s Jewish character. (The movement, frequently relying on the work of contrarian researchers, claimed that there was no real demographic threat to speak of, and that the numbers floated by the left were wildly exaggerated.)

But now it seems that the idealistic belief, held by Rivlin and others, that there could be a Jewish liberal democracy on both sides of the green line has taken a dark turn. Indeed, a strain of casual racism pervaded the discussions at last week’s conference. Haetzni, the pioneer of the settler movement, said he would be willing to allow for a limited Palestinian autonomy, but stressed the need for clear separation, so as “not to let them mix with us, not to let them debase us.” MK Aryeh Eldad of Otzma LeYisrael (“Strong Israel”) spoke optimistically of the Hashemite Kingdom’s coming collapse as part of the Arab Spring. Once that happens, a Palestinian government in Jordan is guaranteed, and the Arab population in the West Bank is welcome to stay in their villages but vote only for the Jordanian parliament. Or, better yet, to move there.

While the Kahanist idea of forcibly “transferring” out the Arab population was never mentioned, both Dr. Martin Sherman of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies and Moshe Feiglin argued that, with generous enough offers, the vast majority of Palestinians would be perfectly content to leave voluntarily. Feiglin pointed out that the money that Israel currently spends on the separation fence, policing the local population in the West Bank, and stocking up on Iron Dome missiles (“the costs of the peace process,” he called such expenses) could be used instead for “evacuation encouragement grants”—half a million dollars each—to be awarded to Palestinian families who would then leave to other countries. There’s no other way around this, Sherman, who grew up in South Africa, said. Two states in such a small geographical territory are simply not feasible.

Is this alliance between messianic ideology and secular nationalism—expressed as annexation—gaining the same traction in the public sphere as it has among political elites? Despite the popularity of HaBayit HaYehudi and Likud-Beiteinu, recent polls show that two thirds of Israelis still support a two-state solution with strong security measures, despite skepticism regarding its prospects, while only 20 percent oppose it. Even among right-wing voters, a majority say they would support such a plan. That disparity between public sentiment and electoral prospects could be explained by the classic Israeli maxim that only the right wing can pull off a peace deal. But on the cusp of such an important election, it seems odd—and therefore telling—that these ideas should be getting such an unprecedented airing in the Israeli mainstream.

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julis123 says:

Why does this surprise you? The Pals have shown that they are more interested in destroying the Jewish state than having a state of their own and land for peace has turned into land for missiles. How do you expect people to react?

A one Jewish state solution after total military victory over all the arabs is the only sensible solution. Negotiations never work.

    Basil Yacoub says:

    Correction: Israel has NOT won any war with its neighbours (including Hamas and Hezbollah) since the year 2000. Time is changing. Sleep well.

Saint_Etienne says:

Yeah? You mean a besieged pariah state constantly on the defense against about one third of its population? Would you be moving there? I presume not…
(I was replying to Alan Winters’s glib proposal)

Your map is missing the Golan, also part of Israel (East Menashe).

    Basil Yacoub says:

    Greed killed the cat. Nazi Germany went down spectacularly when they became too arrogant and greedy.

PhillipNagle says:

While I don’t approve of total annexation of Judea and Samaria I fail to understand why 1948 cease fire lines (violated in 1967) are considred so sacred.

    rightcoaster says:

    I think they are “sacred” because they represent a starting point for boundary adjustments. Nobody is suggesting Israel’s boundary should shift toward the Israel side, the only question is where it should move on the Palestine side. All sort-of-sensible discussions use the phrase “based on”, and that leaves room. The annexationists have staked out the opposite pole.

      PhillipNagle says:

      Except they never were bounderies, only cease fire lines. Once the cease fire lines were violated they became meaningless. This is speciall significant for those who use the term “illegal” toward Israeli annexations and settlements.

        rightcoaster says:

        I never said they were boundaries, only that they were starting points for negotiations .. over boundaries.

          PhillipNagle says:

          Please reread what you wrote. You used “boundary adjustments” and “Nobody is suggesting Israel’s boundary”. Considering there were no boundaries, a fact you almost admit to, your statements makes no sense. What you mean is that you believe the 1948 cease fire lines, which were in effect almost 20 years should be the starting point as opposed to 1967 cease fire lines which have been in effect over 45 years.

          rightcoaster says:

          You are correct, my original language was sloppy. I am aware of the distinction between cease-fire lines of 1967 between the warring parties and an agreed international boundary. I meant that the “boundary adjustments” would be adjustments to cease-fire lines, creating boundaries where none previously existed. We in fact agree entirely, I’m just saying the obvious — that each side, in a serious negotiation where a deal is possible, will stake out its starting position to its advantage, and allow some room to give. I think they would also do that even if negotiations were not serious and no deal were possible. No sense in either side giving up anything in public posturing, if nothing will result.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          Israel is occupied Palestine. With the help of US guns and money, Israel is not serious about negotiating with the Palestinians who are fragmented and unsupported. This scenario will not last for ever. Imagine all the guns now directed against the Syrian government were directed against Israel, the collapse of Israel will be imminent and most of Jewish residents who migrated from Russia and Eastern Europe will have to flee for their lives. Therefore, it is nuisance to talk about peace now, since 88% of Jewish Israeli support the right wing government of Netanyahu who is pursuing a war policy against the Palestinians. Time will change. Isn’t this historical phenomena?

          rightcoaster says:

          So, Basil — You are persuaded that struggle “forever” — if it takes that long and regardless of the cost in lives and treasure is the right thing for Palestinians and for all Arabs: only to throw the Jews out of Israel, which I think is 0.0001% of the land area. Millions may die or be maimed, $trillions worth of GDP may be wasted or destroyed or never created, millions of Palestinians will stay refugees, living in squalor and subject to oppression by their Arabs hosts, and that is worth those few square km to you and others who believe similarly. Right?

          Basil Yacoub says:

          The aim of the struggle is not to throw Jews out of Palestine. We are not criminals like the Stern, Haganah and other terrorist organisations who committed untold crimes against the Palestinians. The struggle is to achieve a just settlement for the Palestinian question. We don’t want to kill anyone or throw anyone out of the country. A democratic Palestine for all: Jews and Arabs.
          Palestinians will not stay refugees. Conditions on the ground are changing. Now is the day to liberate Palestine and to establish a real democratic country on the steps of South Africa, where every one has one vote and one value. This fight is not for a few square kms , its for the purpose of settling the issue of the Palestinian question.
          I think you should support such a democratic and just resolution to the people who were thrown out of their land.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, something occurred to me from things you have said before, I put it here so as not to fail to mention it: You said the Jews were thrown out of European (and Muslim) countries because they failed to assimilate. And you seemed to agree that it was understandable, and even correct, that the Jews were thrown out for that reason. Basil, where is there a better example today of failure to assimilate than in the wearing of burqa and hijab, the muezzin’s broadcast call to prayer and the praying in the streets five times daily, the Arabic signs on shops? I think you will have to agree that the Arabs and Muslims who have refused to assimilate into European countries deserve now to be beaten, murdered, robbed, and expelled by their hosts, just as the Jews were. Certainly every European country has political parties that are anti-Muslim.

          Replying to your most recent post, it is hard to accept that you really believe the nonsense you wrote — the objectives of the Palestinians do not now and never have included either democracy or justice, not as these terms are understood by Westerners. Where do you see democracy today in any Arab country? Even the Shias and Sunnis, Muslims both, cannot exist in the same country without murdering each other daily and in large numbers (even though Ali was assassinated by a Zionist in about 730). The Copts are murdered in Egypt by Muslims. The Assyrians in Iraq by Muslims. The Alawites and Sunnis in Syria murder each other, and now in Lebanon. You expect the Jews to agree to live in a Muslim “democracy”???? Clearly you do not understand what a democracy is — it is far more than “one man, one vote”.

          Both Hamas and Abu Mazen (and perhaps you also) agree on most of the words below, which are from the charter of Hamas and which reject the idea of a democracy in any workable meaning of the term. http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html:

          Article Twelve: Hamas in Palestine, Its Views on Homeland
          and Nationalism

          Hamas regards Nationalism (Wataniyya) as part and parcel of
          the religious faith. Nothing is loftier or deeper … than waging Jihad against the enemy … when he sets foot on the land of the Muslims. And this becomes an individual duty binding on every Muslim man and woman; a woman must … fight the enemy … , and a slave …. This [principle] does not exist under any other regime, and it is a truth not to be questioned. …

          Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives
          and International Conferences

          [Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, … are
          all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: …. But the Islamic Resistance Movement, …
          does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam. … There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. …

          Article Fourteen: The Three Circles

          The problem of the liberation of Palestine relates to three
          circles: the Palestinian, the Arab and the Islamic. Each one of these circles has a role to play in the struggle against Zionism and it has duties to fulfill. …. For Palestine is an Islamic land where the First Qibla and the third holiest site are located. That is also the place whence the Prophet, be Allah’s prayer and peace upon him, ascended to heavens. …

          Article Fifteen: The Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine
          is an Individual Obligation

          When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad. … We must imprint on the minds of generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise. …“Dwelling one day in the Path of Allah is better than the entire world and everything that exists in it. The place of the whip of one among you in Paradise is better than the entire world and everything that exists in it. [God’s] worshiper’s going and coming in the Path of Allah is better than the entire world and everything that exists in it.”… I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill….

          Article Twenty Seven: The Palestine Liberation Organization

          The PLO is among the closest to the Hamas … Can a Muslim
          turn away from his father…? Our homeland is one … and our enemy is common to both of us. …[T]he PLO has adopted the idea of a Secular State … Secular thought is diametrically opposed to religious thought. …Therefore, … we cannot substitute it for the Islamic nature of Palestine by adopting secular thought. For the Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion …. When the PLO adopts Islam …, then we shall become its soldiers …

          Article Twenty-Eight

          … The Arab states surrounding Israel are required to open
          their borders to the Jihad fighters … Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims. …

          Article Thirty-One: The Members of Other Religions

          Hamas is a Humane Movement … which … is committed to the tolerance inherent in Islam as regards attitudes towards other religions. … Under the shadow of Islam it is possible for the members of the three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism to coexist in safety and security. Safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam … The members of other religions must desist from struggling against Islam over sovereignty in this region. …

          Basil Yacoub says:

          You are quoting me wrongly. I don’t condone that. I have not said that Jews were thrown out of Arab or Muslim countries. What I said is this, Jews were protected by Muslims. This was also stated by your preferred ref Wikipedia. If there was a strife between Jews and others in Arab world, then that was fighting among brothers. The Muslims have respected and tolerated all religious dominations who lived on Arab or Muslim lands. The current ill feeling towards Jews and Zionism is caused by displacing the Palestinian Arabs out of their country. This was done with mass killing and untold violence.
          As to Hamas Charter, I have read it thoroughly in Arabic. And I don’t want to disappoint you by saying that I agree to most of the Charter Articles. Article 31 is one article that I admire. Shows tolerance and acceptance. I think Hamas is right in its struggle against Israel. This is not a religious struggle but it is a liberation struggle. Their country was occupied by foreigners who has the full support of the Western governments. And its existence is conditional on that support. Unfortunately, it seems that the treachery of many Arab leaders has contributed to the status quo. But, history shows that the mightiest states fall to pieces overtime. Israel is no exception. Hitler was tremendously powerful but collapsed.
          I can assure you that if you are on the other side you will support Hamas in its endeavour to bring a just peace to the Palestinians and make it possible for refugees to go back home.

        Basil Yacoub says:

        This is not right. The UN Resolutions regarding Partition of Palestine were considered real boundaries not ceasefire lines.

          PhillipNagle says:

          The 1947 resolutions partitioning Palestine were rejected by the arabs (although they were accepted by the Jews) who went to war against the Jewish state to annihilate it. To even refer to these proposed bounderies which never existed is near lunacy.

      Basil Yacoub says:

      One day a new Palestinian leadership will come about. And the slogan two state solution will no longer be raised. The proper slogan is”‘ one state” all over historic Palestine where all people of all dominations will live together. With one man one vote. This is the real democracy and the only way out for the Palestinian question. Israel cannot dictate its wishes on other people. These days have gone for ever. The struggle against the Zionist hegemony will intensify by all peace loving people in Palestine.

        rightcoaster says:

        Basil, You have not yet provided a source for your assertion that a Zionist bombed a movie theater in Cairo in 1956 killing hundreds. Please do so, otherwise maybe nobody should ever believe anything you say.

      Basil Yacoub says:

      One day a new Palestinian leadership will come about. And the slogan two state solution will no longer be raised. The proper slogan is”‘ one state” all over historic Palestine where all people of all dominations will live together. With one man one vote. This is the real democracy and the only way out for the Palestinian question. Israel cannot dictate its wishes on other people. These days have gone for ever. The struggle against the Zionist hegemony will intensify by all peace loving people in Palestine.

    Basil Yacoub says:

    These lines are meant to establish two states alongside each other. Palestinian State and Jewish state. Any violation to this by either state will hinder the establishment of the other state. Nothing sacred about them. When asked about the borders of Israel, Ben Goriun said “the future generations in Israel will determine these boundaries”‘. The present continuation of illegal settlements on the rest of the Palestinian lands, is implementation of Ben Goriun Policy.

      PhillipNagle says:

      The cease fire lines of 1948 between Israel and Jordan were never “meant to establish two states alongside each other.” This is true if for no other reason that Jordan annexed the Judea and Samaria, an act recognized by no nation. The so called Palestinians never recognized the division of the old British mandate and there is even some question whether they recognize it today.

stannadel says:

These people have a death wish for Israel–taking the Apartheid route would make the charges of the Israel haters true and delegitimize Israel among many of its current supporters in the Diaspora. US support would be withdrawn and Israel would face a deteriorating military situation and eventual destruction.

This is insanity. Limited rights? Isolated enclaves for the Palestinians? The foundations of democracy are equal individual rights. There is no way around that. Furthermore, how can they force allegiance on a hostile half? They would end up with civil war! No, Israel must stop at the wall, an effective border, and whatever is left should form a Palestinian state. The security of Israel will be better served without hostiles, and then Israel can work on rectifying the rights imbalance in Israel proper.

What a bunch of misinformation and outright lies. Do your writers even bother to check sources?

So Zo Artzenu “violently protested the peace process in the ’90s”? Wrong. They blocked traffic, engaging in non-violent passive resistence. They didn’t even struggle as they were arrested.

And anyone with a map knows that “some say would not allow for the creation of a territorially contiguous Palestinian state.” is a lie. It would leave a belt that is no narrower than the belt of Israel between Samaria and the Mediterranean. Also, E1 is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim.

And the writer adds “segregationist racism along the lines of Avigdor Lieberman’s plan for land swaps that would leave Israel free of Arabs and Palestine free of Jews.” But she ignores the fact that even the “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas has said no Jews will be allowed in a future “Palestine” (http://www.israelsituation.com/abbas-no-jews-in-palestinian-state/).

Is this supposed to pass for journalism? If it is, the color is yellow.

    andrew r says:

    Anyone who follows the link can see Abbas said, “We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it.” This is pretty far from saying, “no Jews”.

    And by the way, the Palestinians who live in the West Bank can not become Israeli citizens or live in Israel and can not live in the settlements. Why do Israelis have the right to migrate across the Green Line but not Palestinians?

      genelevit says:

      Why do Israelis have the right to migrate across the Green Line but not Palestinians? Because Israel is a sovereign country: she has a set of laws which determine who has the right to live or stay in Israel and who does not. West Bank, however, doesn’t have and never had such laws (the reason: in 1948 Palestinians refused to establish on the West Bank the sovereign state and consequently make their own laws). Since there are no laws permitting or prohibiting settlements on the West Bank Israeli administration uses the laws of the British Mandate (as the only legitimate laws on that territory if you go by UN charter) and according to these laws Israelis have the right to live on the West Bank.

        andrew r says:

        Uh-huh. It would be impressive if anyone could cite the relevant British Mandate law that would permit the West Bank settlements to be racially segregated, and for that matter, what convention would permit two systems of law to apply in the same territory.

        Not to mention that the British Emergency Regulations of 1945 were incorporated into Israel’s own “sovereign” laws:

        “Section 11 of the Law and Administration Ordinance (1948) states: ‘The law which existed in Palestine on the 5 Iyar, 5708 (14 May 1948) shall remain in force, insofar as there is nothing therein repugnant to this Ordinance or to the other laws which may be enacted by or on behalf of the Provisional Council of the State, and subject to such modifications as may result from the establishment of the State and its authorities.'” (p. 316)

        Israel took the emergency regulations that were applied against both Jews and Arabs during the Mandate (Of course the British did not punish entire Zionist settlements the way they did Arab villages) and turned them on Arabs only.

        “In addition to Regulation 125 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations, 1945 the miliary govt. used the Emergency Regulations (Security Zones), 1949 authorizing the Minister of Defense to declare any area within the territory of Israel as “security zone.” Entry to such a “security zone” was only permitted to permanent residents of the area. The purpose of the Emergency Regulations (Security Zones), 1949 was to prevent the Arab residents from moving to areas adjacent to Israel’s border (according to the General Armistice Agreements) and to transfer residents of a number of Arab villages from their residences to other areas.”

        Iqrit, Baram, Qasas, Qatia and Ju’una are examples in the footnote. (p. 323)

        http://books.google.com/books?id=R5fVNNjSWCsC&pg=PA313&lpg=PA313

        p.s. Iqrit was destroyed in 1951, something to keep in mind when Israel’s apologists brag that state treats Christians better than other Mideastern states.

          rightcoaster says:

          I just read this and my eyebrow only arched when I read the post-script: Iqrit was destroyed in 1951, and the conclusion the writer draws from that is that shows Israel does not treat Christians any better than other Mideastern states. Would the Copts in Egypt today or the Alawites in Syria before Assad pere took over agree with that? How about the Assyrians in Iraq? On a scale of 1 to 10, how does Israel treat Christians compared with how Sunnis treat Shias in, say, Iraq or Saudi, or Pakistan, or just about anywhere else in “Mideastern” countries, and vice versa? How does Israel treat Sunnis and Shias, making the same comparison? Does Israel treat animists so much better than Christians that Africans (I don’t know their religions, of course) have been flocking there? Why didn’t the Africans stop in Egypt instead? This is not to say there are no inequities today. But if you can’t distinguish between degrees of inequity and work on that, could you ever hope to eliminate them without war to the death?

          andrew r says:

          The point is that Israel’s oppressive acts against Christians have been ignored by its western backers, and it is just one more aspect that has to be downplayed so the amen corner can portray Zionism as progressive, liberal, etc.

          rightcoaster says:

          I am not an Israeli, so I don’t have any on-the-ground knowledge. But it would be useful if you could list more than one, 60+ yr-old incident that may or may not mean anything. Perhaps you could support your statement with several more in the past (say) decade, to illustrate oppressive acts of the State of Israel (or any agency thereof) against Christians for being Christians. Even the notion of Muslims being officially oppressed by Israel for being Muslims is hard to square with the numerous mosques and calls to prayer I did see and hear during tourism.

          genelevit says:

          Well, I also would appreciate if you could site the Israeli law which prohibits Arabs to live in “Jewish” settlements on the West Bank.

          andrew r says:

          There may not be any law explicitly stating that Palestinians can’t live in Israelis settlements, just as no law explicitly spells out that Palestinian refugees can’t be Israeli citizens (There are several laws that have to be read in conjunction to figure that out, including Absentee Property, Israeli Nationality and Entry to Israel).

          However, it should be clear by now that Israel uses laws that predate the Jewish state to confiscate land for exclusive Jewish use. Somehow I don’t think the occupation authorities are invoking an Ottoman-era law to seize uncultivated village land so they can make an equal opportunity settler outpost.

          http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-expropriates-palestinian-land-in-order-to-legalize-west-bank-settlement-1.372023

      If you read some of the comments here, you’ll see one reason why Israel is heading to self-destruction.

        Basil Yacoub says:

        I can clearly see Israel going that way. Israel did NOT win any war against its neighbours since 2000. It lost to Hamas in 2012 by some of its leaders’ admission. Without the FULL backing of the USA, Israel is no longer exists now.

      rightcoaster says:

      It may be far from saying “no Jews”, but how many Jews remained in the areas under Jordan from 1948-1967, and under what circumstances did they leave? How many Jews remain today in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia for example, and under what circumstances did they leave? Why would anyone accept that “no Israelis” is not synonymous with “no Jews”, just because Abbas said it?

        Basil Yacoub says:

        Jews left the countries they were living in because they have never saw themselves as integral part of that society. Jews cannot assimilate or integrate with people they live with. This because of their religion. Jews were living in peace and harmony and their rights never violated were they living in Arab countries. On the contrary, Jews never loyal to their homeland. In 1956 a Zionist Egyptian Jew blew up a cinema in Cairo that resulted in the death of a few hundreds. Hitler plead to Jews to be Germans and feel like Germans. They refused and conspired against him. The Jewish man interest comes first even on the expense of the country they lived in for hundreds/thousands of years.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, if you have information on a cinema bombing in Cairo in 1956 that killed hundreds, please cite your source. As far as I know the Lavon affair resulted in no deaths, at the cinema or elsewhere. When did Hitler plead with the Jews to be German? Your grasp of this history is very badly flawed; read Mein Kampf. Many, perhaps most, German Jews were highly assimilated and thought themselves fully German. Read about Walter Rathenau, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_Rathenau.

          As for loyalty to homeland, my father served in the army of King Carol of Rumania, and I can recall a fine oil painting of German Jews in the army of Kaiser Wilhelm holding services during World War I. My own son serves in the US Air Force today. As for treatment of Jews in Arab countries, while there were intervals and places where it was less difficult, the history of Arab persecutions of Jews is so vast that a very simple Internet search on “persecution of Jews in Arab countries” yields 2.5 million hits. If you reverse the search to “Persecution of Muslims by Jews”, you get essentially the same results — all the millions of hits are of persecution of Jews by Muslims or Arabs. Your statements are utterly false, all of them, without exception.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          Your father served in Rumania and should have stayed there not come to a populated country with an imperialist and colonial ideas to kick the peaceful inhabitants out of their homes. You should be filled with shame that you are defending without reservation a criminal state built on Palestinian blood. And still is. Your beloved Israel is grapping more Arab lands daily. Since prophet Mohammad, Jews were protected by Muslims, this is why both Jews and Christians lived for centuries with their Muslim brothers. The Jews chose to be affiliated with the Zionist agenda and therefore became enemies to their neighbours. There is a Jewish community in Iran today and it is represented in Parliament. It has not been persecuted or threatened. In Palestine, and until 1903, there was a population of 3 PC of Palestinians were Jews. They have never been persecuted by Muslims. In Europe Jews were persecuted by their Christian neighbours and they only survived if they have changed their names or identity.
          I feel that you are motivated by your Jewishness and that is why you depart from facts and your ideas became clouded with disinformation and myths.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, once again you are wrong, as usual. You said: “…Since prophet Mohammad, Jews were protected by Muslims, …”

          What happened in Medina, Basil, to the Jewish tribes there, directly by Mohammad?

          What happened in 1033 in Fez, and in 1276, and again in 1465? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1033_Fez_massacre

          How about Grenada in 1066? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1066_Granada_massacre

          Aleppo 1853 and 1875? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_Aleppo_pogrom

          And how about the series of pogroms that followed the Damascus blood libel of 1840? “…Following the Damascus affair, Pogroms
          spread through the Middle East and North Africa. Pogroms occurred in: Aleppo (1850, 1875), Damascus (1840, 1848, 1890), Beirut (1862, 1874), Dayr al-Qamar (1847), Jerusalem (1847), Cairo (1844, 1890, 1901–02), Mansura (1877), Alexandria (1870, 1882, 1901–07), Port Said (1903, 1908), Damanhur (1871, 1873, 1877, 1891), Istanbul (1870, 1874), Buyukdere (1864), Kuzguncuk (1866), Eyub (1868), Edirne (1872), Izmir (1872, 1874).[15]

          Some other pogroms: “…There was a massacre of Jews in Baghdad in 1828.[12] There was another massacre in Barfurush in 1867.[12] In 1839, in the eastern Persian city of Meshed, a mob burst into the Jewish Quarter, burned the synagogue, and destroyed the Torah scrolls. This is known as the Allahdad incident. It was only by forcible conversion that a massacre was averted. …”

          The farhud in Iraq in 1941? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farhud

          So, Basil — either give up the nonsense that Jews and Muslims lived in blissful peace as long as Muslims were in charge, and until the Zionists appeared, or refute it with facts. But you cannot, because it is a total lie.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          It is entirely nonsense. If Jews and Christians were subjected to pogroms and annihilation by Muslims then there would be no Jews in the Middle East. The fact is hundreds of thousands if not millions of Jews were scattered around the area and lived in peace. When Crusaders invaded the Holy land the Jews among others were subjected to murder. Richards Lion of the Heart killed all males in Akka including children. If the Jews were subjected to pogroms and mass murder then there will be no more Jews left in the region.

          The pogroms you quoted from Wikipedia is not worth replying to since its biased to the heart.

          The First Israeli PM Ben Goriun told his terrorist groups to massacre everybody who lived in Palestine including children. His reasoning is this the children will grow up to men and women. Since Jews came to Palestine no less than 500,000 Palestinians were either killed or injured. Millions made homeless. The Zionist Jewish government of Israel still detain and beat children. Thousands of imprisoned innocent Palestinians are subjected to torture.

          I am not sure if you can sleep well at night, because the Palestinian blood will haunt you till your death. You claim that you are not an Israeli, but you are worse, you are a Zionist propagandist who spins facts and who attempts to clear the Zionists name and history.

          In Israel and around the globe hundreds of thousands of good hearted Jews who support the rights of determination for Palestinians. They have conscience. I have all the respect for those kind and true to the Jewish spirit of justice and honesty.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, Merely rejecting the Wikipedia reference without specific showing it is biased is very lazy of you. The article you say is biased cites MANY sources, you should look at a sampling of them for bias before dismissing the whole. But to help you, here is an Iranian source, just one non-Wikipedia hit of the 2.5 million hits from the search on “Muslim Persecution of Jews”. This is just to show you that even Muslim sources cannot always deny history:

          http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/conversion-iv

          ” … In the Safavid period (907-1135/1501-1722) Jews were severely persecuted in Persia. In one Jewish historical poem, Ketāb-e anūsī
          (Book of the forced convert, composed by Bābāʾī ben Loṭf (q.v.) of
          Kāšān, there is a reference to three waves of persecution resulting in
          forced conversions of Jews in major Per­sian cities during the reigns of Shah ʿAbbās I (996-1038/1588-1629) and Shah ʿAbbās II
          (1052-77/1642-­66). According to his account, the first persecutions
          probably occurred before 1022/1613. The second wave began in 1029/1620 and apparently lasted for an entire year. Despite the intervention of influential Shiʿite clerics like Shaikh Bahāʾ-al-Dīn ʿĀmelī (q.v.; d. 1030/1621) and Moḥsen Fayż Kāšānī (d. 1091/1680), Jews in many cities were forced to convert to Islam (Moreen, 1987, pp. 130-32). The third wave started during the reign of Shah ʿAbbās II, in around 1066/1656, and lasted until 1072/1662. Many Jews were killed or forced to convert.Finally, after pay­ment of large sums of money, the jadīd al-Eslām (new Muslims) in Persia were allowed to return to their original faith (Bacher; Levī, pp. 222-24, 300-417; Moreen, 1987, pp. 55-117; Netzer,1980). …”

          You say: “…First Israeli PM Ben Goriun told his terrorist groups to massacre everybody who lived in Palestine including children. …”
          Can you cite this to a reference? I can’t find this.

          Basil, I do support the human rights of Palestinians — more than other arabs, and you, and Makhmud Abbas do, and that Yasser Arafat did. Who keeps Palestinians in refugee camps, insisting on a “right of return” while the Palestinians molder in poverty? Who does not let Palestinians take jobs or become citizens of Syria, Lebanon? Palestinians should be able to be absorbed into the lands where they have lived for over 60 years — as they are in Israel.

          rightcoaster says:

          Further to my comments below, Basil — Far from the Jews being unable to assimilate, it is exactly the opposite. First, consider “Bradistan” and other places in England and the banlieus in Paris, to name just two — filled with un-assimilated Muslims who want sharia law, hijab and burqas. Second, consider places like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, northern Nigeria, Somalia: wherever you find Muslim theocracy, you find intolerance and forced assimilation — to Islam only. Third, consider the Sunni-Shia massacres going on every day — 100 in Quetta in just one day, tens of thousands in Syria. This is your idea of assimilation among Muslims as an example for the Jews how it should be done? In fact, except among the most Orthodox of Jews who live in enclaves, it is an excess of integration and assimilation that is the problem as many Jews see it. In what cave do you reside that you can possibly be so ignorant on a subject about which you post here with such assumed authoritativeness?

          Basil Yacoub says:

          For hundreds of years the Jewish communities living in their respective countries never identified with those countries. Your assertion to the contrary does not stand. If Muslims in Europe advocate a Sharia Law, they have the right to, given that their drive is peaceful and within the law. To my knowledge there were no attempt to sabotage any Western Laws by force.
          If Muslim women chose to wear any sort of clothing as long as that does not interfere or disturb peace then there is no conflict. Only Muslim haters will feel threatened.
          The Sunni -Shia strive was only brought in by the American Zionists and the USA war criminals. Both communities lived together in peace and in total harmony until the invasion of Iraq. You and I both know, if it is not for the interest of Israel the Iraq invasion could never happen.
          I want you, for your information to Google, JEWS IN BRITAIN to see why exactly the Jews were thrown out of England for more than 4 centuries, to realise that Jews did NOT integrate with British people as they should. This is why they were thrown out. Same in France. Same in Eastern Europe where people held pogroms for them. Islamic Turkey protected Jews from persecution for a very long time.
          I think you need to re-educate yourself and stop being arrogant . Don’t call people ignorant because you have different opinion or were miss-informed.

          rightcoaster says:

          You are again entirely wrong, either on your facts, or on the inferences that may be drawn from those facts because you take them out of context and apply your own prejudices.

          As to the errors of fact: The Sunni-Shia strife has gone on, with some long interruptions, since almost the beginning of Islam, when the succession to Mohammed caused the split, the assassination of Ali (by a Zionist in about 730?).

          The following is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi%27a%E2%80%93Sunni_relations#Abbasid_era

          “… Ismail I initiated a religious policy to recognize Shiism as the official
          religion of the Safavid Empire, and the fact that modern Iran remains an officially Shia state is a direct result of Ismail’s actions. Unfortunately for Ismail, most of his subjects were Sunni. He thus had to enforce official Shiism violently, putting to death those who opposed him. Under this pressure,Safavid subjects either converted or pretended to convert, but it is safe to say that the majority of the population was probably genuinely Shia by the end of the Safavid period in the 18th century, …”

          I did not know that there were Zionists in Persia in the 18th C.

          As for Jews in Britain, the Jews were brought to Britain by William the Conqueror to help develop his new kingdom. They were good merchants and they could lend money at interest, which Christians could not. They became successful, and therefore targets for theft, and murder. The expulsion order was tied to a tax used to steal what was left from the Jews, and even the Magna Carta said debts owed to Jews need not be repaid. Jews were not expelled from Scotland, and Cromwell reversed the order in 1655 — and Jews have lived in England, in Great Britain, and in British colonies very successfully and happily ever since. I know many British Jews, they are culturally assimilated, and very British, and still very Jewish; there is no contradiction to being both British and Jewish, nor French and Jewish, nor German and Jewish, nor American and Jewish — nor Israeli and Muslim.

          Basil, tell me about the cinema in Egypti n 1956 — what is your source? I asked and you did not reply. Your problem seems to be allegations you cannot support.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          One more thing. Please read on Wikipedia how Jews were invited to lived in the Muslim Ottoman empire after the Spanish monarch expelled them from his country. The Jews have no restriction on their choice of their professional life they want to lead nor they were subjected to any means of harassment or pressure. The Muslim Turks protected Jews but Christians attacked them.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, I think I have repeatedly agreed here that there were times when it was better to be a Jew in a Muslim land than a Jew in “Christendom”, even if I did not use those words. But the history of Jews in both Christendom and Muslim lands is up and down: Jews were invited by William the Conqueror into Britain in 1066 before they were expelled in 1290 by Edward, for example. Jews were invited into Poland by (for example) Casimir the Great while in Western Europe they were being persecuted, charged with responsibility for the Black Plague. Some Popes were protective of Jews in their dominions, others were vicious. Yes, the Ottomans welcomed the Jews from Spain (some also went to Poland and other places), and the Ottomans benefited also: Sinan, a Jewish refugee from Spain via Turkey, in 1534 led a fleet of 100 ships that captured Tunis from the Spanish, on behalf of Suleiman — for just one example. But Jews (and Christians) are under Islam second-class, second-rate, inherently subject to discrimination — do you disagree? Even if the enforcement of dhimma has changed, is not dhimma still sharia law? The Shia cab driver I met several years ago in Washington, DC, went even farther — he said that all Bahai and all Mormons must be killed (because they recognize a prophet who came after Mohammed).

          Also, you still have not given a citation of your source for your story of the 1956 bombing of a Cairo movie.

          And speaking of phony stories, I should ask you: A scientist with your name — Yacoub — is, according to one branch of Islam, responsible for creating the “white race” — which includes Arabs — as a race of devils, in his laboratory 6600 years ago. What do you think of that?

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, what is your source for the assertion that Hitler pleaded with the Jews to be Germans and feel like Germans? I asked you before, and you have not replied. Is it possible you made it up, or that you are ashamed of the source?

          Basil Yacoub says:

          Any unbiased history book will give the fact that Hitler plead with Jews to become Germans. Even in his book my camp he tried initially to persuade Jews to that effect. If Jews chose to become Germans then the Zionist movement will have failed. But the Zionist movement even conspired against innocent Jews who wanted to migrate to America not Palestine. It was documented that one ship was blown up in the Atlantic since its crew and passengers refused to turn the ship to the East.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, “Any unbiased history book” is not a citation. I have history books. Please tell me which history book has this plea from Hitler to the Jews. I always thought Hitler favored Aryans on the basis of “race”, the “true” Germans were Aryans, and therefore Jews (being “untermenschen” and not Aryans) could not become Germans — utterly impossible in the Hitlerian view of races. So I will be very glad to learn what history book shows this view, held by so many including all Nazis, to be wrong.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          I stated that in my previous reply that Hitler in his book My Camp said this. You are distorting facts. Hitler needed a strong Germany in order to annex more land to Germany from countries around him. If the Jews accepted to become Germans then there is no problem for the Jews. They refused and then they were subjected to ill-treatment by Hitler. The Zionist Jews had their own agenda then, not because to become Germans or not, but to help create a dangerous situation and provoke Hitler to take unreasonable action against them. The real villain in Hitler’ eyes was communism. He wanted to attack Russia and destroy communism. Therefore he needed the support of every German or German citizen. With their refusal to cooperate the German Jews found themselves as enemies of the state.
          I am far from justifying Hitler’s ideology or policies, I at the same time condemn his drive to annex foreign land to his own country. Israel Is doing the same. Its occupation policy of Palestinian lands is continuing. This makes it equal partner to Nazi Germany. If you condemn Hitler’s drive to annex other people’s land, then equally you should condemn Israel for doing the same thing. You should never ever apply different standards to the same principles.

          rightcoaster says:

          The book is “Mein Kampf”, which means “My Battle”. I am not able to find what you say is there, in either English or German, so you need to tell me the chapter and page of any edition (tell me which edition) where this is written, even once. You have made it up, and just keep on repeating it. Show me, in the book Mein Kampf, in which chapter and which page Hitler says the words you put in his mouth.

          Here are quotes from Mein Kampf (in English for our mutual convenience — if you are fluent in German we can try that)

          “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord …
          The Jew’s domination in the state seems so assured that now not only can he call himself a Jew again, but he ruthlessly admits his ultimate national and political designs. A section of his race openly owns itself to be a foreign people, yet even here they lie. For while the Zionists try to make the rest of the world believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim.
          It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in
          Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central
          organization for their international world swindle, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks. …
          With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people. With every means he tries to destroy the racial foundations of the people he has set out to subjugate. Just as he himself systematically ruins women and girls, he does not shrink back from pulling down the blood barriers for others, even on a large scale. It was and it is Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of
          ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height,
          and himself rising to be its master. …
          For a racially pure people which is conscious of its blood can never be enslaved by the Jew. In this world he will forever be master over bastards and bastards alone. …”

          So, Basil, as you can see it is pretty hard to find anything here (and elsewhere) that suggests that somewhere in Mein Kampf there is a plea for Jews to become Germans, and then they will be loved and welcomed by Uncle Adolf. So it is up to you to help me find that place and point it out to me, otherwise you are just a foolish dupe of the Arab propaganda machine. Of course, since Hitler only considers “racially pure people” to be worth his spit, he would have subjugated the Arabs and all Muslims as well, they are all “untermenschen”.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          I should have stated that the subject matter or reference was quoted in Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” which is published in Arabic. Translation was made by Hisham Khadir. First Edition 2008. Publisher Dar Taibeh – Aljeesah – Egypt. The author has sited the reference in his INTRODUTION to the book. Hitler himself referred to the same in pages 21-24.
          It should be noted that, Hitler had no respect or love for Jews nor communists. In fact his hatred towards Jews because in his ill views that Jews are the true creators of communism in order to rule the world. His drive to invade Russia was motivated by his strong desire to enslave the Slovaks and annex some of their lands to his own.
          This discussion should be limited to the Palestinian question. And by the way, I can assure you from reading Mein Kampf one can draw similar and close line and behaviour between the Nazis and Zionists. Both have intensions to annex other people’s land and strong inclination to use lies violence.
          I was stunned by Hitler’s prophecy stated on page 141 Arabic version, he says ” I assure you that, in the even that the Jews were able to establish their own state then, this state will have no boundaries” True to his words Israel is the only UN member that has NO declared or recognised boundaries. And still is recognised by all the democratic Western governments.

          rightcoaster says:

          I can’t read Arabic, and any Arabic translation will be suspect (Arabs still think Protocol of the Elders of Zion is as true as the Holy Quran) so I will have to look for the German when I can get to it.

          As to the boundaries of Israel, yours seems a silly statement: The boundary with Egypt is recognized by the parties to that peace treaty, anbd internationally, and I think also the boundary with Jordan for the same reason. It is the unwillingness of Lebanon and (until 1967) Syria to discuss boundaries that those were not settled; they are still in a state of war with Israel, of their choosing.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          I urge you to keep discussion on the current issue. Your diversion away is indicative of your failure to provide solid evidence to what you to defend.
          The Israeli bounders are NOT defined. The undeclared boundaries as the map in the parliament suggest, extends from Nile to Euphrates rivers. The Israeli flag is another indicative. Israel was not able to annex more land in Lebanon thanks to the continuing struggle of the Lebanese people spearheaded by Hezbollah. The Zionists greed is trying to spin lies to the effect that the Golan Heights is part and parcel of the mythical Biblical land, and therefore it should be belong to Israel.
          I am in agreement with your last statement. The masses of the Arab people will not rest until a complete liberation of the land occupied by Zionists. Despite treachery by many Arab leaders and traitors who are benefitting from handouts given by the Jewish Fund and the USA, the masses are fed up with fury and anger towards these traitors. One day things will change and then what will happen to this occupying force which is still largely in existence thanks to the limitless support and full backing of the USA and Europe. Israeli Zionists should come to their senses and either accept a one state solution with the return of all refugees or, dismantling itself and leave. No other option except the destruction of Zionism in Israel and building a new democratic state in Palestine where Jews and Arabs live together in peace and acceptance.

          rightcoaster says:

          You are correct inasmuch as the boundaries with Syria and Lebanon are not defined by treaty, but by cease-fire or armistice. You are totally wrong about the boundary with Egypt and Jordan, and I wonder whether you are imagining all of what you write and believe it is true, or you are just being oppositional and argumantative, but don’t really believe the nonsense you write. I ask that you provide sources, in English which is the only language in which I know we share some competence, and which you have never yet done, instead of merely whining without any basis that I fail to provide sources, which I have in every case, and which you dismiss without any support or logical refutation. For yet another set of examples:

          You can read for yourself the full text of the 1979 treaty between Egypt and Israel, which defines the internationally recognized borders between the two nations: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/isregypt.asp

          And here from the Jordanian government website is the corresponding treaty between the nations of Jordan and Israel. http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/peacetreaty.html Article 3 covers borders, with reference to in Annex I, which says: ” The boundary Line shall follow the middle of the main course of the flow of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers.”

          Here are two paragraphs copied from a Wikipedia article.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borders_of_Israel

          “… The border with Egypt is the international border demarcated in 1906 between Britain and the Ottoman Empire. The borders with Lebanon, Syria and Jordan are based on those drawn up by the United Kingdom and France in anticipation of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War and the carve up of the Ottoman Empire between them. They are referred to as the 1923 borders, being those of Mandate Palestine, which were settled in 1923.

          Israel’s borders with Egypt and Jordan have now been formally
          recognised and confirmed as part of the peace treaties with those
          countries, and with Lebanon as part of the 1949 Armistice Agreement. The borders with Syria and the Palestinian territories are still in dispute. Israel’s borders with the West Bank and Gaza Strip are currently the Green Line, except in East Jerusalem, and the ceasefire line with Syria runs along the UN-monitored boundary between the Golan Heights and Syrian controlled territory. …”

          rightcoaster says:

          I have now read the German text, and nowhere near pages 21-24, nor anything after, is there anything like what you said: if only the Jews would assimilate and become Germans or like the Germans, all would be well. You are totally wrong, or your translation is phony (which is more likely). The first chapter of Mein Kampf is devoted to Hitler’s early years, and the word “Jew” does not appear. The second chapter involves his time in Vienna and in it he “reveals” his “realizations” about the Jews — essentially he ascribes to the Jews all the worst attributes anyone ever ascribes to Arabs –dirty, stinking, thieving, treacherous — you know the list. Hello, cousin. In addition, and I think at its root, he equates Jews with Marxists. There is not a shred, not a tiny bit of a hint, of the idea you put forward. Since you have been so misled by a phony Arabic translation, perhaps you should read an English translation instead.

          well done Rightcoaster

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil might be a fool or a liar. If he is not a fool, he makes himself a fool by reading only Arabic propaganda. If he is merely a liar, that simplifies things.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          I am not a fool or a liar and you know it. I try to read widely but selectively. I try hard to avoid Zionist propaganda which is thriving these days. The Arabic literature is NOT propaganda and most of it is a factual unlike the Zionist which always try to twist and spin. To call a person liar at random shows that you are a fake or not intelligent enough to address issues which is by description you are incapable of.

          rightcoaster says:

          Wonderful! So nice to hear from you again, Basil. I was deliberately provocative to try to get you to respond, since you had stopped after I demolished your position on Hitler.

          Basil, you can read English — since you say the Arabic material is not propaganda, please look up an English translation of Mein Kampf and prove to us both that Hitler invited the Jews to assimilate and they’d be accepted as Germans — which is the only plausible interpretation of your assertion. Show me an English translation that has in it what your Arabic one does.

          There are several other bits of stuff you had written, relying on sources unknown, which I asked you to prove, but to which you have not yet responded. This is your opportunity to show me I’m wrong on those also — with proper, non-Arab, citations. I’m not always averse to Arab citations, but when it comes to Jews and Israel and Zionism, they tend to be not independent, not reliable, highly biased — so we’ll have to work together to find sources we can agree on. I assume you are on one side or another of the Sunni-Shiite divide, so you may find it hard to agree (if you are Sunni) that Syrian sources are unbiased; and if you are Shia that Bahrain or Saudi or Egyptian media are unbiased.

          Basil Yacoub says:

          It seems that you are mumbling more than making a point. We both know getting Hitler’s book “mien Camp” legally in English is very difficult or even impossible since the book is considered as highly provocative and ant-Semite. Therefore don’t dwell on the same point. Its common fact to anyone who wants to see that “Jews” have never assimilated in their perspective countries throughout history because of the Talmudic Teaching which urges Jews not to trust the gentiles.
          Your pity assertion that I am on one side or the other of Sunni or Shia is deplorable. This is exactly what the Zionists do best. Help create division and ongoing internal conflicts. Shias and Sunnis lived side by side since Mohammad’s era till now. The existing strive is made possible after the Zionist led USA congress decided on creating the so called “the constructive anarchy” in the Middle East. The facts remain facts irrespective of what domination you belong to. The external interference in the region by the Zionists and the imperialists has caused untold stories of crimes and barbaric actions. The recent killing of a Palestinian on the hands of his interrogators in an Israeli Jail is a glamorous indicative to the fact that, Zionist Jews will stop at nothing in their quest to occupy the Palestinian land. They spread this phenomena in the region by help arming and financing mercenaries in Iraq and Syria to destabilise the area in order to lengthen the life of the Zionist regime in occupied Palestine.
          I did not reply to your silly remarks because discussion with you will not be productive, since you are a Zionist propagandist who will not accept facts but try hard to spin and twist facts for the benefit of a criminal organisation made of killers, mass murderers, liars, cheats and anything immoral.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, you are a sorry victim of Arab propaganda. 1. Mein Kampf is trivially easy to get in English and probably many other languages. Simply do a Google search {https://encrypted.google.com/search?lr=lang_en&tbo=p&tbm=bks& q=Mein+kampf+intitle:Mein+intitle:Kampf+inauthor:Hitler&tbs=,bkt:b&num=10#q=Mein+kampf+intitle:Mein+intitle:Kampf+inauthor:Hitler&hl=en&lr=lang_en&tbs=bkt:b,lr:lang_1en&tbm=bks&ei=AGYrUcPkJ8uz0QGKs4DYBA&start=10&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.dmQ&fp=3c8871cb84e706dd&biw=569&bih=272} on “Mein Kampf” and you will find many,m any editions.

          2. As to the Sunni-Shia divide, I think you should substantiate the amazing notion that it is the fault of the Zionists that Shias and Sunnis routinely murder one another with barbaric violence. Your assertion flies in the face of both historical fact and your own eyes and ears: First, I sent you citations from publicly available internet sites that trace this murderous antipathy between the sects over the centuries. Second, consider what is happening today in Iraq and in Pakistan where, in both countries, Shias are routinely murdered by the other side by the scores — where is the Zionist influence in Quetta or Sadr City? If you can’t do more than blather nonsensical Arab propaganda, you are indeed a fool.

          3. Jews assimilated in many countries. Many of the Jews of Germany and Austria, for example, were highly assimilated (others were not — EXACTLY like the Muslim enclaves in Bradistan, the Paris banlieus, and the gastarbeiter enclaves). So it was quite a costly, often deadly surprise to them when the Nazis decided they were not Germans. Your ignorance is terrible, read some non-Arab-tainted history. Do you think Sigmund Freud was not assimilated, for example? My wife’s ancestors include assimilated Austrian Jews.

          I am a fully assimilated American, as was my mother (my father was an immigrant from Eastern Europe), and as are all of my relatives and Jewish friends. In England, to cite only one example, Samuel Montagu, a Jew and a “Lord” {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Montagu,_1st_Baron_Swaythling} was an anti-Zionist, Orthodox, assimilated British Jew. In the USA, early Zionists included Supreme Court Justices Brandeis and Frankfurter — if you think they were not assimilated Americans, your definition of “assimilated” is perhaps distorted by the Muslim principle that if you are not Muslim you are not worthy, are dhimmi.

          Basil, your mindless parroting of Arab propaganda drivel reinforces the “fool” side of my description. Get real, stop being foolish, do some independent reading, wake up your slumbering brain — I know you must be better intellectually than you seem.

          rightcoaster says:

          Basil, I see that about 3 dozen Shia were murdered and another 140 or so wounded in a bomb in Pakistan. Can you trace for me the path to how you get to blaming Jews or Zionists for these murders, rather than the Sunni Muslims who actually set this and so many other bombs?

          You’re such a disgusting creature could say more but I have to vomit

          Basil Yacoub says:

          Your response to my post is of a typical Zionist propagandist who deny well established facts and pretends that these facts don’t exist. There are millions of people who share my opinion. I ask you to look in the mirror and vomit, in this way you make yourself a service.

    Maaleh Adumim is a settlement.

      Maaleh Adumim is a city.

        vildechaye says:

        City and settlement aren’t mutually exclusive.

          elixelx says:

          So, do you want the denizens of Maaleh Adumim to withdraw from their “settlement” in case of peace?
          Or perhaps stay in their “city” in case of peace?
          Nomenclature matters. As a settlement MA is a point of dispute; as a city it cannot be!
          This is why there will be full-scale annexation by the next Israeli Government…and then apologists like you, and Lisa, will have no more excuses for making an ambiguity into a cause celebre!

    Thank you thank you thanks a bit of reality in the insane asylum

Dovidmelech says:

How about phasing in tha Arab right to vote over a 50 year period. Now no one would vote who was under 70. Each year that would go down by 1 year. The changes in the education system and the economy should eliminate the demographic problem. Feiglins buyout plan would always be available.

Robert Starkand says:

As long as the Palestinians believe they can achieve a one state Arab solution, there will be no peace.

Louis says:

Years ago I heard a proposal to have a Jewish state and an Arab state side in what was pre-1948 Palestine, united under a central federalist government. It could be called the United States of Israel.

genelevit says:

The best solution for now is status quo. Egypt needed 20 years and Sadat to make peace with Israel, Jordan needed 40 years and king Hussein, Palestinians may need 100 years and definitely not Mahmud Abbas to do the same. (Wait, at least, until he die and Pals may have another miracle: a chance to elect somebody else). Sovlanut, as Israelis used to say to new poor immigrants from Yemen and Morocco.

wishnitz says:

The author ignores historical precedents to such a solution. Since WWII, there have been numerous instances of territorial annexation by a country. The configuration of Europe changed totally after WWII, China annexed Tibet, Morocco annexed Spanish Morocco, Germany was reunited, India regained Goa and other examples. The flip side is true too: Russia gave up the Baltic countries, The Czech Republic and Slovakia split, Sudan split, etc. There is nothing sacred about borders. Clearly, Judea and Samaria are part of the Jewish homeland and the borders can only be drawn, based on the actions of the protagonists. As long as The Palestinians insist that they will destroy Israel, it is sensible and logical to do the opposite,namely prevent the birth of a Palestinian entity. The demographic question is a red herring and only the international reaction should be considered. However, considering how little support Israel has from everyone, except the US, it might be useful to launch the annexation vehicle and do it salami-style. Interesting days ahead.

    vildechaye says:

    RE: The demographic question is a red herring.

    If that’s true, you have to say why, or at least what you think should be done about the 1-1.5 million Palestinians currently living in the West Bank. Otherwise, it’s no red herring at all.

      wishnitz says:

      please understand first what the demographic question is suppsed to do; it was invented to scare the israeli public and affirmed that the arabs would overwhelme us in israel if we made one state, hence, the two state answer and the separation from the arabs in judea and samaria. Well, that scare tactic has been found to be a hoax. The jewish birthrate is ewual to the arabs and, for the next few hundred years, jews will be and remain the overwhelming majority in the land between the sea and the jordan (especially as gaza has been jetisoned).
      the latest figures from israel show the population to be just over eight million, with six million jews , appx. i,5 arabs and the rest foreigners. there are, at most one million arabs in judea and samaria. make the maths.

Binyamin says:

As someone old enough to remember when the racist regime in South Africa tried to pawn off the bantustans as a “democratic solution” to their race war, I say:
“Hooray for the annexationists !”

    Basil Yacoub says:

    One apartheid regime went to rubbish tip of history and the other is about to. Soon I think.

andrew r says:

“Feiglin pointed out that the money that Israel
currently spends on (…) could be used instead for
“evacuation encouragement grants”—half a million dollars each—to be
awarded to Palestinian families who would then leave to other countries.”

And America can pay blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Chinese… to return to their homelands (Hint: Most of these people don’t have a homeland other than the US). Then the US can be a white/Christian state (Might have to do something about those Catholics, though). Segregation is such a wonderful thing.

    LOL. Thank you for some sanity.

    rightcoaster says:

    Why Keyboard thinks this is “sanity” is not obvious — unless you both are part of the same lunatic fringe, although you don’t sound loony on the face of it. First, there is no evident parallel between Andrew’s second paragraph and a plan (often floated as part of a resolution to the issue) to pay Palestinians in lieu of returning to what was Palestine. Second, UNWRA was supposed to arrange for repatriation or relocation, and I believe all Jewish refugees were resettled — certainly there are no Jewish refugee camps. Instead, however, many Palestinians and their descendants’ descendants are in permanent “refugee camps” — and in some “host” countries are not allowed to relocate or to take certain jobs, as I understand it. Seems like a fat check of seed money, together with an opportunity to take it somewhere and spend it, would be a good idea compared, say, with the Yarmuk camp in Syria recently the scene of fighting, and surely many unpleasant others can be cited. The Jews of Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th C did lots of migrating, albeit without the half-meg cushion, and did rather well in new countries in many parts of the world. Han Chinese, Indians, many others do likewise. The US has many Arabs as well as those pesky Chinese and others in Andrew’s list who have done likewise. Why would the Palestinians want to stay in refugee camps?

The time may come (for some it has already come) when we must abandon the Israeli government, but more than that, the idea of Israel itself, as the founding ideals are replaced by the real choices it makes. This will be hard. The lives of our friends and family are still defended by it. But perhaps the time has already come when no Jew who calls him/herself a “democrat” and believes in justice and equality can support what Israel is becoming (or perhaps has already become.) The process of abandonment is a slow one. As Israel inches toward its choice, we inch toward ours. Perhaps there will be no single moment, no single law, that changes everything. But one by one we fall away, grow silent, decline to object when others attack Israel, not because we agree with their anti-semitism or their animosity, but because we have nothing left to defend, no idea that we can justify to ourselves, no rational basis for speech or argument. Our sense of tribal loyalty is strong, but our dismay at the tribe’s collective choice is as strong or stronger. We have grown no closer to the Palestinians, the justice of whose cause we recognize as a mirror of our own, but whose unremitting hostility provides a wall that we cannot aproach and do not wish to approach. But their wall is now met by a wall between ourselves and the government of the Jewish state which is no less of a barrier to our support, involvement and defense. We grow silent. We go about our lives. We wish, genericly, for peace, but there is no side that is our side. We know of J Street and scattered Israeli peacenicks and their groups, but they are all inconsequential to what Israel is, and what it is choosing to become. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict becomes someone else’s problem. We are in exile.

    Batiya5723 says:

    While I ache at the prospect that people living in Israel might have to consider the eventual reality of leaving it — in the event that Israel is no longer possible in the middle of an otherwise Arab Middle East — I also think this response is one of the most spot-on I’ve seen in this often ugly argument that passes for discourse.
    The fact is that, if this is the way things are going, I have no earthly reason to ever visit Israel, or indeed, to consider Israel as being vital to my Jewish identity. When I consider the ways I might strive to make Israel more vital in my thinking, all I’m left with is the very real possibility that things like Birthright (and other “let’s get the kiddos to Israel now so they’ll become good little machers when they grow up” programs) are simply the visible signs of a bloated, fossilized structure that serves relatively few people.

    The more I think about this, the more it makes sense for me to hurl my energies into helping create a stronger, more vibrant Jewish communal life where I live — and to see Diaspora as something other than “exile”. I don’t live in “exile”! My life is pretty wonderful and challenging and engaging, right here at home in the country of my birth. Israel for aggro right-wing Jews? Fine. Let them have it. An awful lot of the rest of us can’t afford it anymore; I don’t really need it, and I’d bet I’m far from alone.

      Thanks. I have come to embrace the idea of galut. In my younger days I tried to live in Israel. Now I live happily in the US, and am mostly interested in the reality that Judaism is, essentially, an exilic religion and a civillization in exile, a response to the challenge of life as a minority amongst the nations. So I would argue that we should embrace exilic galutnick Jewish life. Own the exile and live it well. We see in Israel what the effort to end galut before the meshiach has arrived, has led us to. (Sounds like the oldest school haredi antiZionism, but I mean none of that… I am a modern.)

      So let us resume our waiting posture, and do what we can to enable Jewish civillization to endure and thrive in the diaspora. Israel is no longer the “begining of the flowering or our redemption”… no more than Shabtai Zvi or some other false messiah. Increasingly it looks like another dead end in Jewish history. It seemed so close, so possible, once. But I can’t squint hard enough to see it as redemptive or transforming anymore. I’ve got something equally real, or more real, right here on the American continent — I have children to raise, trees to plant, and a long Jewish future to help create in galute.

        julis123 says:

        So you have no problem living in a country which has killed tens of thousands innocent civilians in 2 wars over the past 10 years, is conducting undeclared wars in Yemen and Afghanistan? In a country where thousands of homeless teenagers roam the streets Of NYC, in a country built on genocide and stealing of land? In a country where the fat cats made billions leading up to the crash in 2008 and no one paid the price? In a country where people are thrown out on the street when they can’t pay their mortgage? In a country where racism is still rampant? In a country where mass killing by crazed maniacs has become the routine? I could go on for pages but am running out of space. Save us your preaching.

          Really? Did what I say seem preachy? I thought I was just describing the world, my world, as I see it. I don’t own America. I borrow it. I live in it, in the far West, and try to make it better, more just and more equal, and frankly, sometimes we are even making progress. Hard to say the same about Israel. In fact, in Israel, the direction of history seems to be going in the opposite direction, as illustrated by the article above.

          America is a mess, but it gave me a chance to live my life. Israel, in my case (others have different experiences) did not make my life possible, and politically is moving away from me. Progressive democratic socialism, a just democratic society, still has a chance in America, and barring that, I still have a chance to raise Jews for the long term. I can’t say that about Israel. Can you?

          julis123 says:

          OK. I get it. You tried living in Israel and it didn’t work out for you. It happens. No one blames you. From my view it is just the opposite-Israel has actually improved in all measures in the things that you cite while I see the US going down the tubes. Keep in mind also that Israel has been at war for 60 years. How did the US react when WW II broke out? By sending tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese origin to internment camps. Has Israel done anything close to this? No. How did the US respond to Japan bombing a navy base in Pearl Harbor? By killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians capped off by 2 atom bombs. What is the US doing as we speak. Killing large numbers of civilians with drone attacks. Doesn’t sound like much progress to me.
          You don’t have to condemn Israel to justify your decision to return the US.

          I didn’t condemn Israel, and I don’t feel the slightest need to justify my choice to live in the US. I’m simply pointing out that Israel is busy making choices that undermine its centrality and the argument that some new phase of Jewish history is represented by Zionism. The article above reminds us that far from being a second best alternative, life in galute is the historic Jewish reality since horban habayit, and it remains the central Jewish reality. I’m just describing the growing distance between Zionism and Jewish civillization in the diaspora, and saying that’s in some ways a sad thing, but in some ways a necessary thing, and even a good thing.

          Richard Provencher says:

          Where do you live? Who fed you all that wild talk? If you live in Canada, you would see our citizens live very well.

      genelevit says:

      The founding fathers of Zionism didn’t envision Israel as the place where all world’s Jewry will eventually live. It was seen rather as the safe heaven for those of Jews who were discriminated and persecuted in other countries as well as the place to live for those of them who wanted to enjoy Jewish way of living at its full extent. (you cannot do that in galut unless you belong to such closed community like Satmar. However even then it won’t be the same). Judging by your note i can see that you are not only a selfish person (“I’m happy in galut and I don’t care if Ethiopian or Russian or Israeli Jews have no place to go”) but also as a hypocrite because your assertion that you are craving for a “more vibrant Jewish life” but, at the same time, having no desire to visit the kotel and Jerusalem sounds contradictory to me.

        Oh been there, done that. (Jerusalem) And glad for those many years of living in Eretz Yisrael too. But the early Zionists most certainly did see the exile fading away and Israel as the place where the world’s Jews should live. Of course the practical men relied on diaspora support, but the philosphs?

        I do not share your idea of what constitutes a “full” Jewish life. My full Jewish life does not require an all Jewish neighborhood or exclusively Jewish friends or schools. It is full enough for me.

        Now, do you really think that I don’t care how Russian Jews or Ethiopian Jews survive? Of course I care. However it’s not an “at any price” kind of caring. I care desperately for the fate of all Israeli Jews and weep for them as captives in a land led by leaders making suicidal decisions about their future. My circle of caring also extends to the Palestinians who are prisoners of their own stupidity, and of the stupidity of Israeli leaders. But you seem to have missed the point that there may sometimes be situations that are unredeemable. Israel, by it’s choices, is heading over a cliff. It doesn’t give a damn about my opinion on the subject (and why should it? you might say), and I have other things I can do for the Jewish future, like building Jewish community and raising Jewish children here.

          genelevit says:

          By saying to have “full Jewish life” I didn’t mean just neighbors and schools. The notion includes many things: from the variety of kosher products in the supermarkets to the walking distance to any shul you want to the worry-free feeling that you won’t lose business on Saturdays. I know one successful lawyer; when he comes to the court to defend his clients he always takes off his kippah. He says: it may negatively affect the decision. In Israel he wouldn’t have to do that. (Did you see kippah on Joe Lieberman’s head during debates, BTW?). There are many things which negatively affect Jewish life in diaspora. They are absent in Israel. In Israel Jews don’t need to hide that they are Jews (or practicing Jews, like that lawyer in the court). Sure, if you are a secular Jew the diaspora may look to you more attractive. But then don’t claim that you want a “vibrant Jewish life”.

          Batiya5723 says:

          “In Israel he wouldn’t have to [take off his kipah]“.
          How lovely.
          Would I, as a woman and a lesbian, be allowed to wear one there? Moreover, would I be taken seriously and respectfully as a religiously observant Jew in Israel? Your statement above makes it sound like maybe not so much.
          Please don’t assume that I am secular, and please don’t insist that only one approach to religious practice can render me religiously observant.

          I claim only that Israel looks, as it writes its suicide pack with itself, like a deviation from the existential reality of a galut civillization, which the Rabbis founded in the aftermath of the horban, through the Mishnah and other teachings, and which they believed would persist until the actual moschiah showed up. Ben Gurion was (if you had any illusions) not that man, and kal v’homer neither was Bibi Netanyahu. Let us accept God’s judgement on bayit ha’sheni, and accept our dispersal for now. Live within the idea of the law (whether in Orthodox or liberal understandings of the Rabbinic idea as you please), within the context of our culture if that suffices for you, as a people dispersed among the nations. If you need Crown Heights to do that, by all means, have Crown Heights. If, like me, you can get by with a small Jewish community in an obscure Western American city, well then, come join us. But let’s recognize that Israel is making choices that demonstrate the obvious – the begining of the flowering of our redemption is not underway in Jerusalem. The years and centuries of exile, of Jewish diasporic life, stretch out before us. Let’s live them well, raise our Jewish children, and bring some light to the nations in the process. That was the Jewish task in the world for about 1800 years after we were bannished – it’s what the entire edifice of halacha and culture was designed to enable. That’s plenty vibrant enough for me. Isn’t it for you?

          herbcaen says:

          The world appreciated us so much in 1800 years. They rewarded us with Birkenau

          We don’t do tzdadakah to benefit ourselves, we do it to benefit others and because we are commanded. And Germany was not “the world.” Since horban we are sentenced to live on the seas of the world, amongst the nations. Sometimes there are storms, sometimes there is calm.

          genelevit says:

          No

        Batiya5723 says:

        No place is perfect, and no place on earth ever will be. But living in the United States, I am given far more room — and relative safety — to wrestle with the hard questions and struggle to make at least my corner of the world a little more fair, than I would ever be given in the current state of Israel.

        Visit one day? Maybe. It would cost more money than I’ve ever had to spend on such a luxury. Who knows what could be possible in the future?

        But move there? Why? What for? Why go there and hurl myself at windmills when my presence would not be welcomed by so many “in charge” of all things religious? Israel is not “mine” and for me to pretend that it is seems, well, ludicrous.

        Better for me to celebrate the creative, dynamic tension of a Diasporic life that has deeper roots in our collective psyche than the modern state of Israel. I am very comfortable praying about and for a mythical, spiritual Israel that is more of an idea than an actual place. By making it an idea, it becomes as portable as God; and that adaptability is a much bigger and deeper part of our peoples’ history than a strip of land the size of Delaware.

      herbcaen says:

      why not Germany? Berlin could be your Jerusalem. Perhaps your kids will be on flotillas to gaza so they can assault Israeli soldiers. fun

      Basil Yacoub says:

      You are really not alone. I wish many people feel the same like you do. There will be peace for sure.

    Basil Yacoub says:

    Until the citizens of Israel recognise the rights of the Palestinians for self determination the state of Israel will always be at risk. The fact that more than 6 million Palestinian Arabs live in historic Palestine, this constitute a real threat to Israel existence. Doesn’t matter what the Israeli leaders say, Israel will not be able to sustain itself. One day the armed struggle will be re- directed from Syria to Israel. And what Israeli Jews will do? This is a real scenario. Who will not believe it is naïve. Any intelligent Jew understands that the only saviour for Israel is peace now and also giving the Palestinian Arabs self determination and stop treating them as nothing.

      I agree that the solution is Palestinian self determination and mutual respect. I see no evidence that the Palestinian’s are able to say “yes” to a reasonable offer. But, now, increasingly, it is clear that Israel will not be willing to make a reasonable offer either. This, unfortunately, partly relieves the Palestinians of their moral obligation to bargain in good faith. We become more and more responsible for the disaster that our policies are creating, and the Palestinians can simply wait for our fully justified historic return to our homeland to implode as we fail to create a just and sustainable society in Eretz Yisrael.

Rafael V. Rabinovich says:

Let me suggest some new concept to the author of this article: the Haaretz poll that “shows” that “2/3 of the Israeli electorate, even those voting for the right, are in favor of the ‘two state solution'” is, in fact grossly inacurate — it is a journalistic lie that aims to disinform and create the ilussion that the leftwing is right. The Israeli electorate isn’t that stupid. They vote for the right because they want the right to be in power and effectively prevent a “palestinian state” that would place a new Hamastan in the mountains of Judea and Samaria — a name which, by the way, is not the recent creation of last week’s Sovereignty Conference.

herbcaen says:

The UN said that “the state of Palestine” doesnt have to negotiate with Israel. So why should Israel engage in fruitless negotiations? Israel is literally building its future

Habbgun says:

Annexation is inevitable. Israelis having been saying for years that since they live in the region they understood it and could make peace. Not only could they not make peace they didn’t even understand Islam does not see itself as a regional religion. The Palestinians are not the problem in the Middle East. There are many problems, many nations and the area is vast.
What Israel does or does not do will not change anything for the Arabs. Conditions must improve overall and spreading the Palestinians into functional Arab countries is not inhumane. The problem is there are no functional Arab countries but that is not Israel’s fault. It is Israel’s problem.
I foresee in the long run a greater Israel and a greater Arabia that extends into dying Europe. We have the power to begin at least one of these efforts.

What a wonderful discussion among, mostly, independent free-thinking western mentalities. Recently, Sfard Rabbi Ovadia Yusef called for his chareidim to leave the evil land of non-Torah Israel, since his students and disciples are being called upon to serve in the IDF. So, let’s adopt the zero-state solution. No Israel, with chareidim studying in Crown Heights and free Palestinians in all former Ottoman lands. How’s them apples? Now let’s return to REALITY.

Israel is not only our biblical land, it is a place where the majority of people were Jewish even in the late 17th century. It has been continuously occupied by Jews for centuries. Moreover, we (Jews) are commanded to respect the rights of the ger, the stranger, in our midst. Modern Israel violates that commandment. The gerim wish to have their own state, not only because of 45 years of occupation (a period in which many of them have prospered) but also because they too have aboriginal rights to the land.

The solution is TWO STATES, like India and Pakistan, like England and Scotland, like the US and Canada. Two states won’t be perfect, but they give the greatest chance for peaceful co-existence of any other solution. Annexation? Ask 1.5 billion Muslims if they will accept it. A one state solution is a pipe dream for Palestinians and for Israelis.

    Basil Yacoub says:

    Palestine NEVER Ever had a Jewish majority population along all of its history. There were a couple of tribes lived in Palestine among other tribes but never majority. Israel is occupied Palestine and this occupation end should end sooner or later. Until 1903 census less than 3 per cent were Palestinian Jews living in Palestine. Stop your spin.

ChicagoTeamster says:

So many pipe dreams in the world. Most of them less destructive than this right-wing fantasy eating away at Zionsim.

FrankNormal says:

Ben is a hawk and his postures previously rattling sabers caused much blood shed.

FrankNormal says:

Why are hundreds of People camping out in no populated areas some not even Israeli residents but European and American during census counts to falsely inflate settlement populations?

Maybe it’s time to think outside the box. The idea of the 2 State Solution is not working. Annex all of Judea and Samaria and give the Palestinian Arabs Israeli citizenship.

http://youtu.be/SxfWZqfVEys

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The New One-State Solution

On the cusp of this month’s Israeli election, powerful Likud politicians push for annexation of the West Bank