Fools rush in

I was foolish enough to mention Israel in my non-Yank post and Boa intimated she might comment at a later date. Probably a wise idea, judging by the current mayhem.

There is the Sec of State erecting a road-block before 20th January; the Pres Elect promising to sort it all out in no time; and Ms May (should I say ‘dismay’?) somehow managing to vote with the UN but oppose Kerry. Netanyahu meanwhile is white-hot with rage at it all.

Far be it from me to suggest anything by way of a road forward. Russia could annex The Crimea. Is the West Bank, occupied for almost 50 years, so dissimilar? Should the former occupants not be allowed to reclaim it? Or is such a comparison somehow inapposite? What are the rules?

Since the whole world (except Israel itself and its American cheerleaders) accepts a 2-state solution, what next?

 

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  1. December 30, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    The West Bank was annexed from Jordan in 1967 at the same time that Israel annexed Gaza and Sinai from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria.All three were preparing for a united invasion and Israel pre-empted their attack. That intellectual pygmy, Jimmy Carter, pressured the Israelis to give Sinai back to Egypt on terms incredibly favourable to the lower portion of the former United Arab Republic thus removing much diplomatic leverage on the Israeli side. Anyway…

    The issue isn’t the proposed “two-state solution”. The Arabs don’t want it, they simply want Israel to cease existing. The Israelis squabble over what the borders should be. Their blind hatred of Netanyahu prevents the chattering classes from grasping that no Israeli government will agree to return to Israel’s pre-1967 borders. The Israeli Labour Party even refers to it as the “Auschwitz Borders”. Israeli security is not possible with those lines.

    In case you’ve forgotten, Ehuds Barak and Olmert offered the Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas borders which gave them most of what they wanted. As for the squabbles over East Jerusalem… No Israeli government can give an inch of Jerusalem. Especially not after Jordan’s ethnic cleansing of Jews following the 1948 Israel War of Independence. Arabs will lie and whitewash their atrocities while demanding the “right of return” while denying the same to the Jews they expelled from the Middle East, North Africa and those portions of Mandatory Palestine they received.

  2. christinaosborne
    December 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I think your cited examples are quite different. The Crimea has been Russian influenced and Russian spoken for several hundred years and was totally neglected by the Ukraine, quite natural that the people wanted to join Russia the whole thing was caused by a try on by the EU. The West Bank has been Palestinian for a much longer time and farmed. Had the allies not returned jews to Israel it still would be Palestinian. The west Bank has only been in jewish control since the ill chosen 1967 war. The Palestinians have been dispossessed totally.

    One can argue that the jews are entitled to keep the spoils of war, however, one would have thought that with their history they might have finally realised that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar! After 2000 years of being persecuted in nearly every country they had settled in they might have realised that their behaviour to non jewish humanity was unacceptable and made some kind of effort to change their ways. But no, overweening greed once more has guaranteed that this will be an enduring problem for a long time to come..

    A two state solution was probably the best to be had in the situation, but the jews have chosen to continue to colonise the West Bank at an astounding rate dispossessing others at every turn, mainly on American money. Without American govt and private Jewish contributions they would have never had the ability to do this. Forget the toothless UN resolutions, cut the purse strings! Much more likely to get them to see sense. Probably the only way ever to get any peace and quiet in the region.

    One wonders quite why Obama should have done this on the way out the door, like the Russian diplomat expulsion, all looks like sour grapes and to cause maximum trouble to Trump who will no doubt balls it up hideously! A few more seeds of WWIII sown I suspect.

    The artificial boundaries drawn dividing people of similar religion and culture in the Middle East by the West has been the endless source of rebel wars all over the region. Best that could be done was non intervention and leave them to sort it out by themselves and fight it to conclusion. But no, the West had to stick their nose in to what did not concern them. Surely one of the most glaring examples of the tribal nature of humanity and their inherent racism? Had Israel not been artificially created and had a ‘Kurdistan’ come into creation last century how much less aggravation would we have had? What does it matter to us whether they have faux democracy or not? Since we have killed off their dictators they haven’t done too well at the ballot box have they?
    The whole thing makes me personally as sick as a parrot, any bloody fool could have seen it all coming. Now we reap the results of what we have sown with the gimmigrant refugee problem. Having fucked up the middle east they now arrive to do similar to our patch and we are letting it happen! Humanity really does not learn from the mistakes of the past.
    .

  3. December 30, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    CO: The key concern for Israel is security. What isn’t often mentioned is that the Israelis aren’t opposed to adjusting even post-1948 borders. That is, key portions of the West Bank — taken from Jordan in 1967 after they tried to wipe Israel off the face of the earth — will be swapped for key Arab-majority portions of Israel, like Yaffa. Arabs have acted in bad faith this entire time but only Israelis are attacked…

  4. christinaosborne
    December 30, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I quite appreciate that they are all as bad as each other. One of the best reasons to leave them alone to sort it out in my book. Intervention only appears to make it worse.

  5. December 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    CO, I was citing their similarity. Crimea’s Russian affiliations, the West Bank Palestinian, as I think you are.

    CT, I don’t buy your anti-Arab position. Yes, those dispossessed people are disorganised, inconsistent and aggressive, Hardly surprising after decades of abuse and an ever more sophisticated world around them. I’ve heard all the fancy ripostes but the bottom line (!) is that millions were robbed of their farms and homes and continue to be victimised. The Israelis do not own Jerusalem either, only Machtpolitik says so.

    The horrible irony is that the victims of Nazi genocide are now treating Arabs in the same way.

  6. christinaosborne
    December 30, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    J yes I agree with all of this.

    One of the worse day’s work the West ever did was restoring Israel over a ‘guilt trip’. It would all have been far better left as a diaspora. (Or have given them Utah!)

    It is quite awful that horrors are doomed to repetition generally from the same causes. I suspect refugee camps will turn into concentration camps after a few more ‘Christmas market’ incidents.

  7. December 30, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Janus: The majority of Israelis are either Sephardim or their Gulf compatriots, Mizrahim. Baghdad used to be a Jewish city, Yemen and Lebanon had notable Jewish populations in the past — as did Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. They were either expelled by force or their lives were made so unpleasant that they had little choice BUT to flee. Ashkenazim — European Jews, the victims of the Nazis, comprise a minority of the Jewish population in Israel. The decline of the Israeli Labour Party, the mainstay of politics in the first decades of the Jewish State, has to a large extent come about because the electoral influence of Ashkenazim has declined. Sephardim and Mizrahim, having lost all at the hands of your beloved, angelic and saintly Arabs, are in no mood to lose any more to them. Arabs fabricate land deeds in order to claim that they were dispossessed. When Israeli courts, knowing that most are fakes, don’t lend them much credence Arabs whinge to the Grauniad and BBC. They naturally don’t bother explaining that forged documents are an industry. Sometimes, legitimate claims are wrongly disregarded — but this is a minority of the time. Ironically, most Israeli Arabs would rather live in Jewish Israel than in an Arab state because their lives are better. But keep your blind prejudices.

  8. December 30, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    CO: Most Jews didn’t want to leave Europe until the Holocaust made anything else impossible. Do you really think that Jews could return to Germany or Poland and continue on like before? The majority of the Israeli Jewish population were forced to leave from North Africa and the Middle East. The asinine Western media don’t even boffer to note this most of the time. Do you actually think that countries that ban anyone who has an Israeli passport stamp will take in the children and grandchildren of the Jews they expelled? It wasn’t a guilt trip, it was a tragic necessity that created Israel. We have a taste of what life is for Israelis because of Janus’ blessed Arabs and we don’t like it in the least. Israel’s far from perfect, but that it is able to survive at all in a way that is largely modern and free is a great testament.

  9. December 30, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    My apologies for dominating this thread, but the following point is important. The topic of Israel is very sensitive for personal reasons in this small group. I recognise that Janus has personal reasons for disliking Israel and I understand his points. It’s harder to be sympathetic when one’s own were adversely impacted. I’m personally connected to Israel by blood. I was born into a German Catholic family but have Jewish lineages from both mother and father. An old friend lost most of her family because of Arab terrorism in Israel. CO doesn’t like either side so I credit her greatly for being consistent.

  10. December 31, 2016 at 5:48 am

    CT, I take exception to your sarcasm, denoting Palestinions as my ‘beloved, saintly Arabs’. My position is that I don’t buy Israel’s holiness, not that I find Arabs blameless. I’m afraid the blind prejudice is on your side. The Palestinians have a right to the West Bank and they don’t need documents to assert a moral right to land stolen by Israel.

  11. December 31, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Janus: I take exception to your comparison of Israelis with Nazi Germany. It’s intellectually dishonest at best. After all, how many Jewish parties did Hitler allow in the Reichstag? How many Jewish MPs were allowed in parliament? The Knesset comprises 20pc Arab MPs. When Jewish terrorists kill Arabs, they are brought to justice by the Israeli legal system. The same cannot be said for Palestinians — either under Hamas or Fatah.

    Israel isn’t holy — I did not claim that it was. Nor did I claim that Israel is without its faults. “Stolen” by Israel? The Ottomans imported Muslims from as far away as Bosnia and Albania for the sake of demographic dumping. The West Bank was taken from Jordan in 1967 which had illegally seized it in 1948 and annexed it in 1950 against the wishes of both the “International Community”, whatever that means, and the Arab League. The birth of Israel was a chaotic and messy affair on both sides and absolutely no one came out of it looking good. Much that is unpalatable has been done by all sides. Arabs stole land from Jews and Jews stole land from Arabs.

    When given the option of having a viable state, Palestinian officials refused it. When Israel withdrew from Gaza Hamas simply took it over and has launched thousands of missiles into Israel. Rather than spend aid money on making life better for their suffering charges, they build concrete tunnels in order to try to attack Israel and, of course, on supporting luxurious lifestyles for themselves and their favourites. Israel, by the way, does not seize legitimate aid sent to Gaza be it cash, food, medicine or other supplies. It seizes only missiles and other weapons. These are routinely found — even in “aid shipments”. In the West Bank Fatah is absolutely useless. They don’t care about their suffering charges, either. Abbas lives in the lap of luxury siphoning off billions in aid money for his benefit and that of his favourites. So long as they impede the creation of a Palestinian state they can continue to play victim and receive aid without actually having to show any form of responsibility. Much suffering comes from that and that is the fault of the Palestinian government, not the Israeli.

  12. December 31, 2016 at 7:28 am

    You conveniently omit to mention the Palestinians whose homeland was occupied and settled by Israel. But that’s your privilege. I simply don’t buy your arguments.

  13. December 31, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Janus: There’s no point to this, is there? You utterly despise Israel and refuse to acknowledge that it has any legitimacy. You refuse to acknowledge that Arabs have failed Palestinians in ways that Israelis have not failed Jews. That is, displaced Jews — be it from Iraq, Ethiopia, Egypt or Germany were given homes no matter how difficult it might have been. Arabs have refused to do the same for Palestinians. I likewise cannot accept your arguments. I do not in any way deny that I have a strong bias in favour of Israel, but at least I acknowledge that Palestinians actually have legitimate grievances and arguments — something that the Israeli press freely debates. These are things that are freely discussed in the Knesset, things that Israeli courts consider and rule upon — and with some frequency in favour of Arabs. This is entirely unlike their neighbours which made life impossible for Jews.

  14. December 31, 2016 at 9:58 am

    The Jewish homeland could not have been sited in a worse place it was bound to cause trouble. It is where it is for historical and religious reasons not practical ones. Surely the Jews could have found a less contentious piece of ground for a homeland.
    It’s pointless debating the (undoubted) merits of Israel and the failings of Hamas. The fact is that the Palestinian Arabs will never accept the state of Israel which is a recipe for endless trouble, it is a problem without a solution.
    Unfortunately because of the worldwide spread of the Jewish diaspora and the great influence that they have particularlyin finance, law, media and politics other countries (particularly the US) get drawn into this, which potentially makes the whole thing very dangerous.

  15. December 31, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    CT, no I do not utterly despise Israel. I think it has taken its defence strategies too far, at the expense of Palestinian rights and freedoms. Your emotional responses include unjustified assessments of my views.

  16. December 31, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Janus: When Gaza is ruled by a terror group and Fatah vow to drive the Jews into the sea it gives the Israelis concern. I know and understand how Israelis think. When someone was violently expelled from Baghdad and lost virtually everything in the process only to lose a child to a suicide bomber little flexibility can be expected. Israel is the homeland of people who have faced thousands of years of expulsion, persecution, pogroms and genocide. These memories are still very, very fresh and the risks they face are very, very real. They will not back down and they will not be lectured by sanctimonious know-it-alls like the failed John Kerry or whatever creature is wasting air at the Swedish foreign ministry.

    You’ll find that Israeli Arabs have far more rights than Egyptians, Jordanians and Saudis. Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are treated far worse by their governments than they are by Israel. Ultimately, the Israelis are their own worst enemies and the fecundity of Jewish fundamentalists is a growing problem. I also support the creation of a Palestinian state with border adjustments. Parts of Israeli proper for parts of the West Bank will have to be swapped as well as payments made — preferably directly to Arabs, not their kleptocrats.

  17. December 31, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Christophertrier “….Israel is the homeland of people who have faced thousands of years of expulsion, persecution, pogroms and genocide…..”

    They might ask themselves why that is.

    However we are where we are and however persecuted the Jews may feel (with or without justification) It does not alter the fact that they established a homeland in a place where it was, to put it mildly, not welcome. Present day Israelis (and Palestinians) are now living with the consequences which will be long lasting and I wouldn’t like to predict the outcome. Peter Hitchens with whom I do not always agree said that the problem could only be resolved when both sides accepted that they were not going to get what they want.

    When looking at problems such as this you have to dismiss all emotion and any idea of what is right and wrong, look solely at the facts and for a practical resolution that might actually work. I accept that the Israel/Palestine issue is so highly charged that there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening.

  18. December 31, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Jazz: In the 1930s there was hope that the situation in Mandatory Palestine would settle down. Life wasn’t all that pleasant for Jews and more were leaving than arriving. British authorities had capped the number of Jewish arrivals at 15,000 per annum contingent on Arab acceptance. What changed everything was Hitler. Suddenly, almost the entirety of Europe’s sizeable Jewish minority was under mortal attack and millions were killed. After 1945 Jews were just one of many displaced peoples seeking to go anywhere they could. You could not realistically expect Polish, Belarussian, German or Austrian Jews to simply return to Poland, the USSR, Germany or Austria. They went where they could go and that was Mandatory Palestine and the situation quickly spiralled out of control. The British were only all too happy to rid themselves of that problem and the UN haphazardly partitioned Mandatory Palestine in what was the least horrible of many horrible possibilities. After that, the Jews of North Africa and the Middle East were expelled and went where they could go — Israel. This was at a time when ethnic Germans who had left German centuries before were expelled and had to find a country — ruined Germany. Ethnic Japanese who had lived in China, Korea or Taiwan — often for generations — were expelled to ruined Japan. South Asian Muslims fled to Pakistan, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains to India. Non-communists fled China, Poland, Hungary, Romania, the Baltic States and Czechoslovakia.

    Jews did not fare poorly in China or in India. The problem in Europe arose when an aloof, often educated minority did far better on occasion and peasants were driven into a frenzy by powers that be in order to seize whatever assets they wanted from them, have loans forgotten or to simply find a scapegoat for their own miserable failures. Minority groups were historically attacked and persecuted as a matter of course. Catholics in post-Reformation Britain, nonconformists, Puritans post-Cromwell, Huguenots in France, Christians in Tokugawa Japan, etc.

  19. December 31, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Nice history lesson. And? Howcan the current impasse be resolved? By allowing Israel free rein to expand its territory ad libitum?

  20. December 31, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Christopher: I notice that you don’t mention the Balfour Declaration:-

    Foreign Office
    November 2nd, 1917

    Dear Lord Rothschild,

    I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet

    His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

    I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

    Yours,

    Arthur James Balfour

    In any case your post does not address the problem.

  21. January 1, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Jazz: The British Government later tried to give the Zionists another country, but it wasn’t wanted. Under Jewish Law there is no Jerusalem but Jerusalem and no Zion but Zion.

    I am well aware of the Balfour Declaration and it’s been discussed so often that it didn’t seem worth dredging up again. Much like Indian Independence, it was something that was losing support and momentum until after the Second World War. Until Hitler, life wasn’t impossible for Jews in much of Europe.It wasn’t always pleasant, but it wasn’t insufferable, either. The War turned the world on its head and smashed the old order beyond salvation. That said, the French carved Lebanon out of Syria in order to create a Christian-majority state and the British created Iraq in order for the King of Hijaz to have a Kingdom after Ibn Saud crafted Saudi Arabia from the wreckage of that portion of the fallen Ottoman Empire. They promised him a kingdom, after all, sod the ethnic and religious differences in those three former Ottoman provinces. The British and French have much to answer for in how they handled the end of the Ottoman Empire — as do the Italians for the wreckage they created out of Somalia and Libya.

    Backside: As I’m peeved at Janus, please forward this comment to him: Obama’s stabbing the Israelis in the back was an act of spite against Trump. Obama is doing everything he can to create a bigger mess for the president-elect to clean up. The Israelis will not make any concessions if they do not feel absolutely secure and supported. They can’t afford to. The three wars they faced, the War of Independence in 1948, the Six Day War in 1968 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973 taught them never to trust their neighbours or take anything for granted. As an utterly failed president, Obama can only deny Trump the chance to accomplish anything — or at least try. After all, if the Israelis look isolated and vulnerable their enemies will do their best to take advantage of the situation. The military situation in the Middle East will have to calm down, especially in regards to ISIS, before the Israelis are politically able to start any negotiation. Netanyahu is at least honest about this, the Israeli left were not. The Israelis have evicted Jewish settlers from settlements in the past — in both the West Bank and Gaza. It will have to be done in such a manner as to make the Israelis look like they’re in charge. Any sign of weakness or bowing to pressure will be exploited by their enemies. The Israelis will retain parts of East Jerusalem that the Palestinians want, but they will get more indemnities and more land concessions elsewhere in turn. Arabs are not Europeans. Their mindset is very different and any sign of weakness will be exploited ruthlessly.

  22. January 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Backside says he’s no port in anybody’s storm! But hey! it’s a new year!

  23. January 1, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Christopher: I mentioned the Balfour Declaration because gives perspective.
    I do agree with much of what you say. For instance I would rather live in Israel than in any country run by the Arabs….who wouldn’t? But that’s not the issue.
    Anyway it now looks as though Russia, Turkey and Iran have seized the initiative in Syria so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

  24. January 1, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Backside: Harrumph!

    Jazz: The Balfour Declaration was a very squalid affair and supported by many unpleasant types. Many of its supporters were, strangely enough, rabid anti-Semites who supported any move to create a state for Jews to be deported to. Some went so far as to support the creation of a Jewish State in order to turn it into that proverbial fish barrel. It’s all profoundly sordid, a veritable masque of blood-stained fools and chicaning clowns. Israel is a reality today and its position must be understood. After all, it’s easy to forget just how minuscule its landmass is and how vulnerable it is to attack from the West Bank and Golan Heights, particularly with modern weapons. Israel’s population is concentrated in low coastal regions easily attacked from the high hills of the West Bank. It’s hard not to be sympathetic when one realises that Israel’s one international airport can easily be shut down by a handful of men firing missiles from shoulder-held devices or that at the widest point, Jordan is 44 miles from the sea — and this includes the West Bank and Israel. The Trans-Israel Highway which connects the countries north and south and makes national defence possible is in places only a handful of miles from an international border.

    I do not trust the Iranians or Erdogan. Russia has secular motivations and it seems likely that Assad will cast in his lot with them. In any case, at least that group have worked to stabilise Syria and have formulated a workable post-war solution.

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