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I Find Your Demands Of Faith Disturbing

Well, the Obama administration has found its pound of flesh to demand of Israel for its making Joe Biden look like an idiot. (Like the old Soviet-era joke, the punishment is for more along the lines of "divulging a state secret.") They want Israel to make some "good faith gestures" to the Palestinians to make up for their recent "provocations" that have hindered the peace process.

So, what horrible, warlike things have the Israelis done of late?

Well, the big one was announcing the construction of 1,600 new units of housing in Jerusalem, the Israeli capitol city. But just as provocative (but not coinciding with Biden's visit) was the announcement that it considered the Tomb of the Patriarchs a highly significant part of their history and cultural heritage, and the rebuilding of a synagogue destroyed by Jordan in the 1948 war. All three of these provocations have been greeted with dire threats from the Palestinians.

Hmm... I'm a bit puzzled. What's so provocative about a government providing for its citizens and showing respect for its history? Those are some of the legitimate functions of a government.

Unless, of course, you're committed to exterminating an entire culture. Stifling their growth and destroying their landmarks -- that's the key to eliminating their future and erasing their past. But I'm certain that's just a coincidence.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have been demonstrating their commitment to the peace process by keeping to hold hostage Gilal Shalit, a kidnapped Israeli soldier, and firing rockets into Israel -- the last round killing a Thai worker. And, of course, that's in addition to the routine threats of genocide against Israel.

Oh, and let's not forget naming a traffic circle after Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist who slaughtered a busful of innocent people -- including 13 children. Well, that's not fair -- they did "cancel" the naming on the day Biden was in town, holding the dedication the day after. Isn't that nice.

I'd be intrigued to see the Obama administration demand a "good faith gesture" or two from the Palestinians. If they obliged, that'd be a first - I don't recall the Palestinians EVER making any kind of "good faith gesture" or actually keeping a promised concession to Israel. No, the "rules" of the situation require Israel to make all the gestures and concessions, and the Palestinians to keep finding excuses to not do anything remotely peaceful and continue attacks until Israel hits back -- which promptly "wrecks" the entire peace process, which can only be restarted by Israel making more concessions and good faith gestures.

Nah, that's too cynical. At some point in the past 40-odd years, the Palestinians must have done SOMETHING that demonstrates their interest in peace. Somebody toss me a bone here.

The Obama administration is leaning on Israel here for the simplest and most cynical reasons: because it can. Because it knows that it has a far better chance of wringing concessions and gestures out of Israel than the Palestinians, and therefore can at least look like it's doing something.

It's a common theme in their foreign policy -- one I intend to explore at a later date. Suffice it to say that it's as short-sighted as it is disastrous.

If the Obama administration was the least bit interested in making real progress in the Middle East, they'd lean on the Palestinians to show that they are sincerely interested in peace. But that's not gonna happen, because they simply aren't. They've made tremendous strides from belligerence, and why should they give up on a winning strategy?

It's time to change the rules, but that requires a courage and integrity the Obama administration simply lacks.

Author's note: added paragraph about Dalal Mughrabi after publication)


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Comments (24)

...making Joe B... (Below threshold)
...making Joe Biden look like an idiot.
And what penalty will they demand of Mother Nature?

...of God?

...of the veep's mother and father?

...of powdery mildew?

...of Joe himself?

"Well, the Obama adminis... (Below threshold)
914:

"Well, the Obama administration has found its pound of flesh to demand of Israel for its making Joe Biden look like an idiot"

Why is Israel to blame? Joe looks like a world class idiot whatever he does.

Maybe we should stop sending billion$ in aid to the mini ala akbars inhabiting the west bank. And when that fails cause the dems will always fund the enemy, we can send Mr. Peanut over to finish the job he never started and broker a new peace deal with Arafat's rotting corpse.

In my opinion, His Wonderfu... (Below threshold)
MikeNC:

In my opinion, His Wonderfulness, Barack Hussein Obama, and most of his administration are anti-semitic. I think that he is only waiting for an excuse to abandon Israel to the arabs and soon to be nuclear armed persians.

"I'd be intrigued to see th... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I'd be intrigued to see the Obama administration demand a "good faith gesture" or two from the Palestinians."

INTRIGUED? I'd be freaking SHOCKED!

This is Obama's idea of a g... (Below threshold)
davidt:

This is Obama's idea of a good faith gesture...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPM5FqBb7qY

At some point in the pas... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

At some point in the past 40-odd years, the Palestinians must have done SOMETHING that demonstrates their interest in peace. Somebody toss me a bone here.

Well, somebody gave Arafat AIDS ... Does that count?

Compare this "slap in the f... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Compare this "slap in the face" - building new apartments in a part of Jerusalem which will NEVER be given up by Israel unless it is conquered or destroyed is announced while Biden is in the country - to the one Russia delivered to Hilarity! while she was there pretending to do something: that they will help build another nuclear reactor in Iran.

Obama can't get so lathered up about the Russians or Iran, but he hates him some Joos . . .

To reinforce my opinion abo... (Below threshold)
MikeNC:

To reinforce my opinion above, it is being reported today that His Wonderfulness has for the second time refused to be photographed with Netanyahu. Another insult to Israel. Yet he has no problem being photographed with Hugo Chavez.

Define "peace," Mr Tea. </p... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Define "peace," Mr Tea.

What should the Palestinians do to demonstrate that they are interested in a "peace" that condemns them to endless humiliations, roadblocks, unemployment, roustings, random and arbitrary arrests, impoundment of customs duties, bulldozing of homes, etc., from now until forever?

What concessions should the Palestinians make? Should they withdraw their tanks and armies from Israeli neighborhoods? Should they cease building "settlements" on land occupied by Jews for the last 1300 years? Should they refrain from bulldozing the homes of Israelis (and the homes of their families) whose political activities they find objectionable? Perhaps they could stop walling off Jewish neighborhoods and start allowing Israelis to travel easily between home and work, maybe dismantle the multiple checkpoints people must pass through now?

Perhaps the Palestinians could release some of their Israeli prisoners. Oh, wait, there's only one, Shalit. And he is being held by Hamas, not "the Palestinians."

If, tomorrow, the rockets stopped falling, Shalit was released, and Hamas issued a statement that recognized Israel's right to exist, would the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza end? No, Israel would find an excuse to continue it, in the name of "security," until The West Bank and Gaza become in fact Eretz Israel.

You're right about one thing, Mr Tea. The US is indeed leaning on Israel "because it can." Israel holds the whip hand. Only Israel can act magnanimously. The fragmented, corrupt, and ineffectual Palestinian leadership has nothing to concede, and can do little to restrain its most radical, angry, and frustrated citizens. These are the ones who continue to use violence. They always will, until America makes its client state, Israel, come sincerely to the negotiating table.

You're right on a few point... (Below threshold)

You're right on a few points, Bruce. Shalit is being held by Hamas. That's Hamas, as in "the duly elected and legal government of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip." Thanks for reinforcing my point.

Also, thanks for the reminder that a key element of the Hamas charter is the absolute genocidal destruction of Israel. I forgot to mention that.

Bruce, I could make a huge list of Israeli concessions and good faith gestures going back decades. Each time, they've ended up for the worse. Could you cite one -- just one -- time the Palestinians did something, anything, indicating they were interested in peace, and did NOT double down on stupid and go for the more aggressive options?

I thought not.

Keep making excuses for them, Bruce. Keep enabling their barbarity. After all, I'm sure in your eyes that they simply aren't capable of being anything other than brutal, murdering savages, shouldn't be held to the barest minimums of civilized behavior, and should be excused for any and all atrocities, because those poor animals can't be expected to act like decent human beings, like us white folks.

Yeah, Bruce, I'm playing the race card on you. Lick it up, bitch. Lick. It. Up.

J.

Not clear as to why you fee... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Not clear as to why you feel the need to call me names, Mr Tea, but, whatever.

Again, what should the Palestinians concede? More land? No need to do that; the Israeli "settlers" will continue to grab more and more of it, as they have done since 1967, without any further "concessions" from the Palestinians who used to live there as their ancestors have since the 7th Century AD.

See, once these "settlements" are built, they become a fait accompli, or as certain hack writers might put it, "facts on the ground," and something to be conceded by the Arabs.

Maybe the Palestinians should just go ahead and bulldoze their own homes and save Israel the trouble. Maybe they should pledge not to wall off any Jewish neighborhoods and make it possible for Israelis to get to work and support their families.

All parties claim to be committed to a Two State Solution, but if the boundaries of your proposed state are shrinking before your eyes before your state is even founded, what do you have to concede?

Of course the Palestinians aren't interested in a Carthaginian peace. Why should they be? As I said, and as you failed to address in your reply, if all hostile acts by Palestinians ceased tomorrow, the "settlements" and occupation would remain in place. Israel is not only NOT going to trade land for peace, it is going to continue to expand NO MATTER WHAT the Palestinians do or don't do.

That is, unless its Protector State, the US, forces it to sincerely negotiate.

P.S. Thanks for the reminder about Hamas winning the election in 2005. It serves as a reminder that the Bush Administration and the Israeli government, despite giving lip service to "democracy" and the "rule of law," refused to recognize a legally elected government when the "bad guys" won.

It takes two to tango, Bruc... (Below threshold)

It takes two to tango, Bruce. I repeat, show just one instance where the Palestinians demonstrated an actual interest in peace, and not in genocide.

Israel's behavior hasn't been ideal, but it's a damned lot better than their "partners in peace" has been -- and a damned lot better than one has any reasonable right to expect, considering the conduct of their opposition.

The Palestinians have glorified mass murderers. They have made national heroes out of Samir Kuntar, Dalal Mughrabi, and Wafa Idris -- all of whom slaughtered innocents, including children, as part of their "freedom fighting."

Just one little gesture, Bruce. Just one time when the Palestinians acted in the interests of peace, and not genocide. Just one instance where they did not choose the more savage, violent, and barbaric alternative. Just once when they actually acted like they are interested in a peaceful settlement.

Can't do it, can you? No, you're happy to just blame Israel for everything and refuse to hold the Palestinians accountable for their own actions.

Racist.

J.

Bruce's comments are the mo... (Below threshold)
olsoljer:

Bruce's comments are the most stupid this blog has ever printed.

Guess I will go out and catch a couple of rattlesnakes and put them in my bed for the night, will decide what to do with them tomorrow morning.

No, Mr Tea, I'm happy to do... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

No, Mr Tea, I'm happy to do it.

Palestinians choose every day NOT to throw bombs, launch missiles, or otherwise engage in terrorism. At least, most Palestinians do. Other Palestinians, enraged by their 43-year ordeal, choose to engage in horrific acts of terror.

The difference is that no act of Palestinian terrorism is sanctioned by any government. The PA certainly hasn't the power to restrain every actor, and Hamas hasn't the inclination. Israeli acts of terror, on the other hand, come at the business end of a tank, a fighter jet, a drone, or an Apache gunship, all bought and paid for by you and me.

Every day millions of Palestinians attempt to simply live their lives under the conditions I've listed in my comments above. I don't know about you, but if I was forced to live under such conditions, I might consider armed resistance myself. Every day that went by that I didn't throw a bomb might be considered, by some, as a sign that I'm "interested in peace."

And Israelis not only glorified terrorists, they elected two Prime Minister, Begin and Shamir. And a mass murderer, Sharon. Or have you forgotten Sabra and Shatila?

You keep bringing up race, Mr Tea. What is it with you? And the namecalling...tsk, tsk.

Bruce, you contradict yours... (Below threshold)

Bruce, you contradict yourself. You say that the Palestinian government doesn't directly carry out terrorist attacks, but you also agreed that Hamas is the legitimate government of Israel. That would be the same Hamas that kidnapped and continues to hold Gilad Shalit hostage and incommunicado, that ratcheted up six weeks of attacks at the end of 2008 that eventually lead to Operation Cast Lead.

But if you want to give the Palestinians credit for "doing nothing," then Israel deserves the same.

However, I was speaking of something more active by the Palestinians. Maybe, for starters, Hamas could remove the call for the genocidal destruction of Israel from its charter.

Here, let me refresh your memory:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

"After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."

THAT, Bruce, is the side you're championing. A group that obenly declares that negotiations and compromises are utterly worthless.

I'll stick with the other side, Bruce. Enjoy your buddies.

J.

<a href="http://www.amazon.... (Below threshold)
Anslau:

http://www.amazon.com/View-Eye-Storm-Terror-Reason/dp/0060839120/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269484648&sr=1-1

I have been following this blog for many years. Up until now, I have never posted. Bruce, I need your email address. I have a Nigerian friend who has come in to a great deal of money and needs you to help him get it out of the country.
Until OUR generation, there was no such thing as an Arab Palestinian.
If the Arabs, pardon me, Palestinians, want peace, all they need to do is lay down their guns and bombs. If we want Israel to cease to exist, we Israeli's should lay down our arms.
Have you ever asked yourself why there are many Arab Muslim, Arab Christian, Druze, Bedoin etc. Israeli citizens with equal rights? There are over 100,000 Israelis who were rescued from Ethiopia, as black as night, with equal rights and a new world of opportunity?
Exactly how many Arab countries sent rescue teams to Haiti and every other natural disaster of recent memory?
These people kill their own. Use children as shields. Handcuff men and push them off buildings. NAME TOWN SQUARES AFTER WOMEN WHO MURDER 38 PEOPLE (including children) IN COLD BLOOD.
Bruce, after you have iived in a neighborhood where you have 15 seconds to choose which one of your children to push into a bomb shelter, you have no idea of what you speak.
Click through and read the first few pages of Harari's book. There has never been an Arab majority in Jerusalem. And G-d willing, there never will be.
In the U.S. they are not called settlements, they are called suburbia. And I'd be happy to introduce you to Israeli Arab's who love their country and their children. Let's see how many days you last with the Animals you so love.

If Hamas had been allowed t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

If Hamas had been allowed to assume power in the PA after the election, who is to say that their behavior wouldn't have moderated by now? Perhaps their charter may even have been amended. Probably not, but maybe.

In any case, we'll never know, because the US and Israel had no intention of letting Hamas actually rule, even if they had won 95% of the vote. The only reason they remain in power in Gaza is that Israel can't easily dislodge them, and they can't really do Israel all that much harm, big-picture-wise.

And, as I said, if Hamas changed its charter tomorrow, and no more rockets were fired from Gaza, and every Palestinian joined hands with every other Palestinian to sing Kumbaya, Israel would not give up ONE INCH of the land it has annexed since 1967. The occupation would not end, and settlements would continue to expand. Am I wrong on this point?

So what is the point of "peace" from an Arab viewpoint? "Peace", to Israel, means that the Arabs unconditionally surrender and accept an onerous occupation for eternity.

And please, Mr Tea, refrain from accusations of racism while you engage in the kind of language you've used here, casting "white folks" (your words) as the good guys and the Palestinians as bloodthirsty savages. Pretty hilarious that you do this while ignoring Begin, Shamir, and Sharon, and the US role in arming the Israeli war machine.

Mr Anslau:Who is H... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Mr Anslau:

Who is Harari? What is the title of his book? I'll be happy to read it if I can find it.

See, I read books about the Middle East, unlike Mr Tea, who apparently only knows what Mr Podhoretz tells him about the subject.

Um, I'm pretty sure there WAS an Arab majority in Jerusalem from, say, about 650AD to 1099AD, and again from 1187AD to about 1948. Does this Harari person say differently? Then I'd definitely be interested in reading his book, if only for the comedy effect.

Bruce,If you click t... (Below threshold)
Anslau:

Bruce,
If you click the link at the top of my post it will take you to the Amazon Book descripition of a relatively new book by Haim Harari, View from the eye of the storm. On the left book picture, amazon allows you to click through to read the first 10 pages or so. A lot of the facts from the Ottoman Empire and other periods are there. If you would actually be willing to read the book, and you're open minded to being wrong, I would be more than pleased to purchase it for you. From your writing, I believe you to be intelligent, just a victim of mass propaganda, If I held this against you, I would have to disown the 78% of Jews who voted for Obama as well.
One last thing , in reference to your last post, Israel pulled, vilolently I might add, over 7,000 settlers from GAZA in exchange for peace. That is a lot more than one inch of land. The only thing this accomplished was bringing the murderers rockets closer to our homes.Also, the PA controlled West Bank had 8%+ GDP growth in 2009. Great things can come from cooperation.

My apologies, Mr Anslau. I ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

My apologies, Mr Anslau. I didn't notice the link at the top of your comment. I guess because I noticed my name in the text. Vanity, I admit it.

Anyway, I read the first few pages, as you suggested. Harari does NOT state that there has never been an Arab majority in Jerusalem. He says that the Muslims were not in the majority at the time of the Ottoman census of 1908 or thereabouts. But since most of the Christians in Palestine were Arab, Harari's book establishes that the Arabs were indeed in the majority at this time. Not to mention that NO claim is made as to there "never" being an Arab majority in Jerusalem.

However, it looks like an interesting book. I'll read it when I can get it at my local library.

Here's a suggestion for you, sir, that I made to Mr Mallow a couple of weeks ago: "How Israel Lost." I forget the author's name, but he is an American Jew, a reporter, and it's a very even-handed book. Check it out.

Good point about the Gaza w... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Good point about the Gaza withdrawal, Mr Anslau. I also didn't know about the GDP growth in the West Bank in 2009. Where did those numbers come from?

I'm not really a champion of Hamas, far from it. I really just objected to the reflexively pro-Israel, anti-Arab content of this piece and wanted to bring to Mr Tea's attention the fact that there is another way to look at this issue.

As I keep asking Mr Tea, what can the Palestinians possibly concede? There is no way that the PA can stop every terrorist who is willing to blow himself up, and Hamas wouldn't stop them if it could.

And, despite what was done in Gaza in regard to settlements, you're not seriously telling me that, if the Arabs "lay down their arms", Israel will withdraw from the West Bank and allow the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state, are you? One with control of its own airspace, borders, and foreign policy? One that's contiguous and coherent? I doubt it.

Bruce, I hope you don't mea... (Below threshold)

Bruce, I hope you don't mean "contiguous" meaning contiguous between Gaza and the West Bank, because that would necessitate bisecting Israel.

Anslau brings up a superb point with Gaza. When Israel withdrew, making Gaza Judenrein (feel free to Google up that term), they also left behind considerable infrastructure to help the Palestinians prosper, including some almost brand-new high-tech greenhouses.

The Palestinians promptly looted and destroyed them, presumably because they had "Jew cooties."

Bruce, are you saying that Gaza is not "truly" ruled by Hamas? They are the recognized and legal government of Gaza. The United States has withheld full relations because, prior to the elections, Hamas was recognized as a terrorist organization. All the election did was to add "duly elected" to that status, not erase it, and Hamas has made it abundantly clear that they aren't interested in changing that aspect of their nature.

Are you one of those who thinks that since Hamas won an election, that exonerates them from their terrorist past and excuses their terrorist present?

I don't.

The Israelis you cited all put their violent past behind them well before they stood for elected office. Hamas... not so much. Indeed, they have proclaimed that their electoral victories validate their terrorist ways.

Hamas has made it abundantly clear, over and over and over again, that they are not interested in a peaceful, negotiated settlement. IT'S IN THEIR CHARTER, and they've affirmed that at every single opportunity.

Yet you insist that Israel needs to negotiate and make even more concessions in the hopes of "peace?"

Here's an exercise for you, Bryan. Compare how Palestinians are treated within Israel, and how Jews are treated within the Palestinian territories.

Trick question. Except in defended enclaves, Jews are not allowed to live in the PA. And it's not overly safe for Palestinians, either. Hamas sets up weapons in private neighborhoods and homes and schools, and anyone accused of "collaborating" with Israel is usually summarily executed. "Collaborating," it should be noted, is a very, very loose term.

Meanwhile, in Israel, Hamas "collaborators" are even allowed to hold elective office in the Israeli government.

J.

<a href="http://www.youtube... (Below threshold)
Anslau:

http://www.youtube.com/user/AIPACPC

Bruce, while AIPAC is a pro Israel prganization, Tony Blair is as fair as they come on this issue. There is a 3 part speach from this past Tuesday at the AIPAC Conference. Since he is the quartet representative, he quotes many facts and figures. Including the West Bank growth numbers, from the IMF.
I am not saying that AIPAC itself is non biased in any way.

I couldn't get your link to... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I couldn't get your link to take me to a Blair speech, Mr Anslau, but I appreciate your willingness to engage with me on a civil basis.

Also you, Mr Tea. Congratulations. You finally got through a whole comment without putting words in my mouth, attributing sinister motives to me, or calling me names. I thought for a time there that Mr Mallow had assumed your identity.




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