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Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talk Charade

Martin Indyk

Indyk hobnobs with Kerry and Erdogan at Brookings  (Ralph Alswang)

I’ve held off writing about John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy attempting to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, because I thought there was “no there, there” and figured it might collapse of its own weight.  But developments in the past 24 hours indicate that while this is still likely, all parties have already been guilty of bad judgments which should be pointed out.

The negotiations thus far seem to be a Rorschach test in which any onlooker sees what he wants to see.  For example, there are reports that the U.S. will send a letter to the Palestinians confirming that the basis of the talks is the 1967 borders.  But Israel, of course, disagrees.  Given that fundamental divergence, on what basis do we have any hope that this process will succeed?  Despite Israel’s demurral, the Palestinians appear to be willing to join the process.

They’ll supposedly be getting 100 freed Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for decades.  The Israel Broadcasting Authority says the prisoner release would happen in four stages and the first one would only happen during the second month of negotiations.  A lot can happen in that time.  And I’d say a guarantee of this happening is pretty thin.  Furhter, the Palestinians seem willing to overlook that Israel, after past prisoner exchanges, promptly rearrested whoever it still wants behind bars.

Another issue the Palestinians would apparently give up is their efforts to win international recognition in bodies like the United Nations.  That’s giving up a whole lot in return for very little.  The Guardian quotes a former PA official on the illusions that underpin the talks about starting talks:

Ghassan Khatib, former director of communications for the Palestinian Authority. “The thing that bothers me is that it seems that the resumption of negotiations is seen as an objective in itself. But the problem was never the lack of negotiations, direct or indirect. It is the huge gap between Israel’s stated position and its practices, and the lack of willingness by the US to put pressure on them.”

Returning to the U.S. letter of understanding, the Israeli will purportedly get a similar letter affirming the basis of the negotiations will be that Israel is a Jewish state.  Which may be news to over 20% of Israeli Palestinians who are citizens of this state, definitely not Jewish, and also not equal in rights to Jewish citizens.  Such a guarantee, if forthcoming, will be a U.S. affirmation of a de facto version of Israeli apartheid.  Not only is Israel occupying millions of Palestinians across the Green Line, affirming Israel as a Jewish state will enforce the second or third-class citizenship of all non-Jewish citizens within the Green Line.

Israel has supposedly engaged in a tacit settlement freeze by which they have built no new settlements for some time (though of course they’ve continued building in existing settlements).  This is about as close to a settlement freeze the Palestinian are likely to get if they agree to enter talks now.

A further question is: who is Mahmoud Abbas and by what right does he negotiate the fate of Palestine?  Elected by no one and serving in a self-appointed position, he carries no authority to sign any deal on behalf of the Palestinians.  If Israel and the U.S. truly want such a partner (and they don’t because he would be too independent), they should encourage Fatah-Hamas reconciliation so that a national Palestinian consensus can emerge that will ratify such an agreement.

Regarding Israel, it seems clear that Netanyahu will be unable to carry his far-right coalition into any peace agreement that is remotely based on 1967 borders.  In fact, Naftali Bennett has already threatened to bolt under such conditions.  Avigdor Lieberman said today the idea of a peace agreement is currently impossible and will not happen “for years.”  Which is, of course, what Bibi believes as well–but which he cannot say publicly.

If this negotiation ever gets serious (which is doubtful), his only options will be to stall or abandon it (or better yet to hope his Palestinian interlocutors do so first), or to ditch his far-right bedmates and form a new centrist coalition.  Netanyahu has never remotely been a centrist nor cohabited willingly with any.  The idea of a centrist Israeli coalition under him is a pipe dream for liberal Zionists who harbor such illusions.

But today’s worst outrage, which sent me into a paroxysm of righteous indignation, was the report by Laura Rozen that John Kerry may plan to appoint Martin Indyk his “peace envoy.”  You’ll recall that the estimable George Mitchell had that role towards the beginning of Obama’s first term.  But Mitchell failed because Obama wasn’t willing to use the power of his office to pressure the Israelis to deal.  Despite such a failure, at least one might say that Mitchell was truly an honest broker.  He had no strong affiliation with either side nor any hostility against either side.

Indyk is an entirely different story: there seems to be a notion among U.S. presidents that to secure Israeli-Palestinian peace they need a former Aipac analyst on their team.  That’s how they got Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and a number of other similar figures.  They both are or were affiliated with WINEP, Aipac’s foreign policy think tank.  Neither Ross nor Indyk has any special affinity or interest in the Palestinians, except as a means to an end (a peace deal that responds to and guarantees Israeli interests).  The latter was also U.S. ambassador to Israel under Pres. Clinton.  The NY Times calls the Brookings think-tanker “a seasoned hand,” which as usual for the Times is beside the point and misses the key reasons for his appointment and his political affiliations.

The Times also adds this questionable judgment about Abbas’ rapport with Indyk:

Mr. Indyk has maintained a good rapport with Mr. Abbas…

If this is indeed true (which may or may not be the case), it only indicates that Abbas doesn’t represent Palestinian interests.  Why would any truly independent Palestinian leader ratify as mediator an envoy who subordinated his (Palestinian) interests to the opposing party?  The Times, as usual, completely misunderstands Palestinian interests as Palestinians see them.

There is no chance in hell that the Palestinians will trust Indyk to represent them.  He will be carrying water for the Israelis.  He of course will claim to be Palestine’s best friend.  And people like him always talk a good game.  But when push comes to shove, he’s there to put pressure on the Palestinians to cave to Israel’s interests.

You can expect no substantive recognition of Right of Return in any form from an Indyk brokered negotiation.  You can expect much more settlers and settlements to be included inside Israel’s boundaries in any map offered to the Palestinians.  Any offer of East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital will surely be attenuated in significant ways.

This iteration of the peace process is dead on arrival.  The sooner John Kerry realizes this the less political face he will lose.  What is being proposed shows that Obama has no real interest in settling the conflict.  He wants to be seen to be doing something.  And what he’s seen to be doing he hopes will last for the next three years so he can kick the can down the road for the next guy.  Or, as Mitt Romney so inimitably put it: “to kick the football down the field.”

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{ 78 comments… add one }
  • Kevin Herbert July 21, 2013, 11:56 PM

    I and many others came to the conclusion around a decade ago when the net began to unravel US State Department/Israeli propoganda, and proved conclusively that there has never been a peace process…just a continued buffering of Israeli’s planned settlement expansions.

    This lame attempt by Kerry to buy some credibility, is yet another step down that road.

    That the MSM globally print this bilge as a development, is yet another example of their increasing lack of credibility.

  • Nimrod July 22, 2013, 12:32 AM

    Look at the bright side – Israel is going to free 82 murderers.
    Peaceniks rejoice!

    • Richard Silverstein July 22, 2013, 12:40 AM

      There are far, far more than 82 murderers among Israel’s settlers, the IDF & security apparatus. So you’ve got those Palestinians beat by a mile!

      • Nimrod July 22, 2013, 1:24 AM

        @Richard:
        If any of these hypothetical murderers among Israel’s settlers, the IDF & security apparatus were in Palestinian prisons, serving their sentences – would you agree to their release just in order to satisfy the current Israeli PM or the U.S. mediator?
        Would you agree with the release of Israelis who murdered innocent Palestinians like Ami Popper, as you support the release of Palestinian murderers?

        In general, I agree with your analysis – this iteration of the peace process is dead on arrival.
        But since Israeli is currently the only country in the region that did not get totally screwed up by the U.S supported “Arab spring”, than where else can Mr Kerry go?
        So let’s give another go with the Israeli-PLO peace process. Ignore the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, ignore the daily skirmishes between the Egyptian Army and the armed Palestinian groups in Sinai desert (something that you forget to mention, or you Israeli sources did not tell you about), ignore the fact that the lands-for-peace formula has failed over and over again, and that most neighboring countries are in a middle of a civil war.

        • Richard Silverstein July 22, 2013, 6:17 PM

          @Nimrod: I do so love your “hypotheticals” which are completely divorced from reality as we know it. The reality is there are thousands of Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli prisons, put there under dubious trials, using thin or non existent evidence, and facing long, sometimes indeterminate sentences. The reality is there neither are, nor can there be any Israelis held in Palestinian jails for similar crimes to those of which the Palestinian prisoners are accused. Yet you posit a cloud cuckoo land in which there are “hypothetical” Israeli murderers in Palestinian prisons. How ’bout this? When there is a single Israeli in a Palestinian prison for such crimes, come back with your hypothetical & I’ll address it. Till then, go back to Cloud Cuckoo Land.

          BTW, those Israeli murderers of Palestinians aren’t “hypothetical.” They’re quite real.

          Israel didn’t need to get “screwed up” by the Arab Spring since its leadership has already done a fantasitic job of screwing it up. As for the “U.S. supported Arab Spring,” I’m afraid to shake that alternate universe in which you live, but the U.S. did nothing to support the Arab Spring. The U.S., as does Israel, loves its Arab dictators (except for Saddam). As long as they do U.S. bidding. The U.S. government, like Israel’s, pretty much hated the Arab Spring. Of course, ordinary Americans by and large were enthusiastic about the Arab SPring.

          “GIve another go” to the peace process, which you’ve acknowledged is “dead on arrival.” YOu aren’t just living in an alternate unviverse, you’re halfway to the loony bin.

          “Armed Palestinian groups in the Sinai.” And little blue men entering your bedroom at night. Those are Sinai Bedouin. That is, native Egyptians. Strange that for you all those Ay-rabs look alike. Who can tell a Bedouin from a Gazan? And does it even matter? When you can offer any proof of such Palestinians (or little blue men) in the Sinai dessert that doesn’t derive from your security services, do let us know.

          • Gonen July 22, 2013, 7:05 PM

            That’s from July 11
            “An Egyptian military source told the London-based Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper on Thursday morning that Egyptian army forces have killed 32 members of Hamas and arrested several others over the past few days in the Sinai Peninsula.”

            http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/international/5159-egypt-army-kills-32-hamas-militants,-arrest-others-in-sinai

          • Richard Silverstein July 22, 2013, 11:18 PM

            Al Hayyat? This is a credible news source? Please.

          • Gonen July 26, 2013, 12:57 PM

            “Al Hayyat? This is a credible news source? Please.”

            How about the Egyptian head prosecutor who’s prosecuting ex president Morsi of plotting with Hamas and killing Egyptian soldiers during his escape from the prison at the beginning of the previous revolution ?

            Would you consider that credible ?
            http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/07/201372681521367742.html

          • Richard Silverstein July 26, 2013, 9:29 PM

            You’re asking whether a Mubarak appointed prosecutor is a credible figure?? The question contains the answer within it.

          • Gonen July 26, 2013, 10:00 PM

            It seems that the only credible source is You and your sources. kind of prevents any real debate.

        • Davey July 22, 2013, 11:28 PM

          Land for peace, meaning West Bank and Gaza, was never on the Israeli agenda. Never. It was a ruse for the start. The land for peace with Egypt was acceptable because it was desert and because it split the Arab camp by not involving Palestinians. But, any real gesture of land for peace from Israel. No way. The big worry for Israeli leadership was being forced to negotiate land for peace, and so they found deadly ways of avoiding, like attacking innocent Lebanese killing thousands.

          • Nimrod July 22, 2013, 11:56 PM

            @Davey: the land in the Sinai which was given to Egypt was not all useless desert, but also contained oil fields and beautiful areas which attract tourists. If you were a scuba diver, you would have known that.

            I lost you on the killing thousands of innocent Lebanese part. You do know that Israel is not occupying Lebanese territory for 13 years now, right?

          • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2013, 12:26 AM

            @Nimrod: Actually, Israel IS occupying Lebanese territory, Shebaa Farms, which is one of the sore points in relations with Hezbollah. Interesting that you’ve forgotten that knotty little issue. The Lebanese haven’t though.

          • Nimrod July 23, 2013, 1:49 AM

            @Richard: Mount Dov which you call “Shebaa Farms”, was conquered from Syria in 1967 – not from Lebanon.

            Anyway, I’m guessing that once the that Lebanese territory is returned, than there will be some other occupied territory that is should be returned, right? maybe some villages in the Galil? or maybe Haifa? I wonder when the whole Negev will be considered as Palestinian land, or Eilat is illegally taken from Egypt.

            The occupation is just an excuse, just as it was before the 1967 war.

          • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2013, 2:43 PM

            Shebaa Farms is Lebanese. Even Syria concedes this & is willing to cede it to Lebanon. At any rate, Israel retains this area illegally & it must be returned.

            I’m guessing that once Israel is forced against its will to make a peace agreement that it will find some excuse to perpetuate a dispute and raise Biblical claims to all the land from Sea to River. Two can play at this little game you’ve invented. This is all very tiresome & commenters before you have registered the same bogus mistrust of the Arab states using the same alleged arguments, which are entirely unconvincing.

            The Occupation is the root cause of all of Israel’s ills. And Arab’s would say that your arguments about Arab untrustworthiness are just an excuse to justify Israel rapacious greed for more & more Arab land. Pretty convincing argument if you ask me.

          • Lark July 23, 2013, 8:44 PM

            How can you say the occupation is the root cause when wars preceded it, and led to it in the first place? And that whenever Israel takes any steps in the direction of ending it, like creating the PA to govern 98% of the Palestinian population, or withdrawing from Gaza, it only made things worse and increased terrorism against its population, with people (like you) saying “Israel didn’t do it right”? What country in its right mind would continue on that path?

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:42 AM

            @Lark: Oh, there are plenty of other causes of evil in Israel including the Nakba. But the Occupation is the most proximate cause of Israel’s rotten, corrupt politics.

            Israel…creating the PA

            Wow, I had no idea Israel created the PA. Now here I had this notion that the Palestinians did that. But I guess Palestinians can’t do anything for themselves and everything that happens on their behalf is the result of Israeli agency. Thanks for correcting my silly notion that Palestinians could actually fend for themselves & create their own political structures. BTW, those who detest Fatah and the PA will enjoy your little phraseology.

            After 2006, the PA didn’t govern 98% of the Palestinian population. So again, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

            As for withdrawing from Gaza, right wing commenters like you have made this inane point about 40 times already. I do NOT enjoy you becoming the 41st. Israel did not withdraw from Gaza in order to give the Palestinians anything or create an atmosphere for peace. They did so unilaterally, without negotiation, without any demands of the Palestinians. So to claim now that Israel gave back Gaza and deserves some consideration for doing so is ludicrous. Not to mention that Israel didn’t really withdraw from Gaza because it occupies Gaza by virtue of the siege it has maintained.

            What country in its right mind…

            Israel is certainly not “in its right mind” which is why it will never have peace as long as it is left to its own devices.

          • Davey July 24, 2013, 12:10 PM

            The overwhelming truth of the IP reality is that it is now, and has been previously, just exactly as Israel wants it. Israel holds all the power and this is the key: If the state wanted a different arrangement Palestine, it would change the situation. Negotiations are absurd as the only move left for Palestinians is unconditional surrender or face-saving conditional surrender. It has been in Israel’s power, political and military power, to do what it wants in Palestine for a long long time.

          • Daniel July 24, 2013, 2:55 AM

            @Lark: The Nakba, the vast ethnic cleansing on which the State of Israel was founded, is the original and root cause of the conflict. If you really need a history lesson in why the Arab states went to war with Israel — in their not unreasonable view, an invasive, European, mass-murderous, land-hungry, ethnocratic, colonial settler state established by the fiat of Western empires — multiple times leading up to 1967, then I will gladly give you one.

            TODAY, however, it is the post-1967 Occupation — along with the monstrous new innovation, the Siege of Gaza — which is the primary cause of the conflict, and the primary obstacle to a just resolution.

          • Daniel July 24, 2013, 3:06 AM

            @ Lark & Nimrod: To dispense further with your ridiculous hasbara, it’s well-known what the true objective was of the withdrawal from Gaza. Dov Weissglass, Sharon’s chief of staff, explained it to Haaretz just before it was carried out:

            “The significance of the disengagement [from Gaza] plan is the freezing of the peace process. … And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with [an American] presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress. … The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians. … Sharon can argue that this is a serious move because of which, out of 240,000 settlers, 190,000 will not be moved from their place.”

            http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/top-pm-aide-gaza-plan-aims-to-freeze-the-peace-process-1.136686

            Furthermore, even after its “disengagement” Israel maintained its illegal control over Gaza’s sea- and airspace; immediately attempted a coup against its democratically elected government; and immediately established a ruthless blockade which is an international crime of historic proportions according to all serious international bodies.

            Stop trying to pretend as though Israel has ever made any effort to even approach justice and dignity for the Palestinians. Be ashamed.

          • Nimrod July 23, 2013, 11:40 PM

            @ Richard Silverstein:
            The UN thinks otherwise, richard.
            SECURITY COUNCIL ENDORSES SECRETARY-GENERAL’S CONCLUSION ON ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM LEBANON AS OF 16 JUNE
            http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2000/20000618.sc6878.doc.html

            And if the occupation is the root cause of all of Israel’s ills, than how do you explain the fact that the PLO was created in 1964?

            Excuse me for not wanting to sign a “Treaty of Hudaybiyyah” with the Palestinians.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:33 AM

            @Nimrod: This declaration, as far as I can tell, doesn’t deal with Shebaa Farms at all. This is getting annoying. If you want to speak in riddles do it somewhere else. It’s not my job to try to ferret out your meanings. But if you’re claiming that the UN gave Israel a clean bill of health after the 2000 withdrawal from Lebanese territory, it didn’t. It simply didn’t address the issue at all (as far I can see).

            The same holds true for your comment about the founding of the PLO. I have no idea how the Occupation & founding of the PLO are connected. Again, I’m not going to waste my time trying to read your mind. It’s your job to be comprehensible.

          • Davey July 23, 2013, 9:37 AM

            @Nimrod Yikes! Hard to imagine Israeli scuba divers giving up Sinai for peace! What promises did Begin make to the Israeli Scuba Association? Probably just not part of Greater Israel scheme. Israel preferred assaulting Lebanon to making a peace that would require giving up OT.

          • Deïr Yassin July 23, 2013, 1:35 PM

            @ Nimrod
            Davey didn’t speak about occupying Libanon, he spoke about “attacking innocent Lebanese killing thousands.”
            Are you tellng us that because Israel ‘didn’t occupy any Lebanese territory for 13 years’, the thousands of dead Lebanese killed by the Israelis arose from their graves. Even the ones killed in 2006 ?

          • Nimrod July 23, 2013, 11:33 PM

            @Deïr Yassin: the the thousand+ of dead in Lebanon 2006, might have something to do with your beloved Heabullah’s actions on Israeli soil.
            But I don’t want to confuse you with facts and get off topic so I’d like to stop here.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:35 AM

            @Nimrod: So you’re claiming that as a result of a border raid by Hezbollah that resulted in several dead IDF soldiers, Israel was justified in razing half of Lebanon and killing 1,000 Lebanese, most of whom were civilians? I guess proportionality is too hard a concept for you Israelis to grasp. Also, the fact that you defend and justify such butchery is par for the course.

          • Nimrod July 24, 2013, 4:32 AM

            @Richard:
            No, I’m claiming ed in several dead IDF soldiers, Israel started an operation which was supposed to get the kidnapped soldiers back and to create a new status quo with the Hezbollah.
            I don’t know how many of Lebanese were civilians and how many were combatants. Hezbollah doesn’t say, and you don’t take the IDF’s word so you don’t know either.

            As for the concept of proportionality – I don’t think that you, as an American, have the moral high ground here.
            What is the ratio of civilians-combatants casualties in Afghanistan? What was it in Iraq? Vietnam?
            The pot calling the kettle black

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:41 PM

            @Nimrod: Israel knew the soldiers were dead. It didn’t start a “recovery” operation. It started all-out full-scale war determined to send Lebanon back to the Stone Age. Remarks like this were attributed to Halutz & the red-meat political leadership. Don’t kid yourself. This was a war of annihilation of Lebanese people & infrastructure replete with numerous civilian massacres for which the IDF never apologized.

            As for a “new status quo,” yes it was just like Condi said, “the birh pangs of a new Middle East.” Except is was an exceedingly blood birth and the baby was stillborn. BTW, that new status quo never materialized did it? Because Hezbollah is an even more formidable adversary than it was before.

            We certainly DO know how many Lebanese civilians were killed. You only need to spend 30 seconds Googling for the number. If I recall it was something like 800-900 civilians.

            Once again with the stupid irrelevant comparisons to U.S. atrocities. I routinely denounce them myself. Which returns to me the “high ground” you so cavalierly took away from me.

          • Nimrod July 24, 2013, 2:10 PM

            @Richard:
            Karnit Goldwaser, one of the men’s wife said she didn’t know he was dead until she saw his coffin in the sickening way it was presented, after the war, so no, the Israel. if it did, it wouldn’t tread 2 dead bodies for so many live terrorists.

            And I agree with you that Israel did not reach the goal it was hoping for, but a new status quo was if fact reached. Hezbollah might be stronger now (if you ignore the whole Syria situation), but it didn’t dare to fire a single shot since 2006.

            I don’t know how many Lebanese civilians were killed. I understand that around 1400 were killed, but not how many of them were civilians. And neither do you. 800-900 is a guess, and yours is just as good as mine, because unlike the IDF, Hezbollah does not reveal the true numbers of KIAs, just like in Syria today.

            I think that the comparisons to U.S. civilian-combatant kill ratio is very relevant. Not because I think that Israel is more humane towards it’s enemy’s population, but the explain that it is impossible to avoid civilian population deaths where the enemy is using that population as human shields.
            In short – if Hezbollah didn’t stockpile it weapons in civilians houses, than less civilians would have been killed.

          • Richard Silverstein July 25, 2013, 12:02 AM

            @Nimrod: I said that “Israel” knew the 2 soldiers were dead. I didn’t say one of the soldiers’ widows knew. Of course, the IDF wouldn’t tell her he was dead. In fact, I remember reading very early on in the war that the soldiers were either severely wounded or dead.

            A “new status quo” was reached by which Hezbollah is an even fiercer & more dangerous foe than it was in 2006. Hezbollah, unlike Gaza militants, is more disciplined & doesn’t fire till it has reason to. That would be during the next war. If you think this new status quo will last very long you are deeply mistaken. There will of course be another war. And the next war will cost Israel far more than the 140 dead of the last one. After it happens, you can come back & tell me how happy you were with the strategy Israel adopted to “deter” Hezbollah & how well it worked.

            So you now accept 1,400 were killed in the Lebanon war. The only thing left is for you to admit that ridiculous disproportionality of the Israeli dead to the Lebanese. The only thing left for the rest of us is to demand that Israel be held accountable for war crimes. The fact is that the killing of Israeli soldiers doesn’t require a massive war in order to respond. And the disproportionality of Israel’s response is what makes that war into a crime against Lebanon.

            As for using civilians as human shields & like bullshit, we don’t accept those sorts of false & stupid arguments around here. It’s a theme hasbarists like you have offered scores of times here. It’s been rebutted scores of times. So you won’t go there unless you want to be banned.

          • Gonen July 25, 2013, 9:55 AM

            @ Richard, The families knew as well that one of the soldiers was dead and the other critically wounded, and probably died without immediate medical attention.
            The information was presented to the families shortly after the soldiers were kidnapped.

            http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3561650,00.html

          • Davey July 24, 2013, 7:36 PM

            @Nimrod How does leveling charges at the US terror in Afghanistan relieve the Zionist State of culpability for its terror? So what? They are both evil alike. So what? This blog is about Zionist Israel, so back again to Israel and the charges of disproportionate retaliation… A murderer can’t defend against the charge by pointing, say, to Manson or perhaps Zimmerman.

          • Lark July 24, 2013, 8:44 PM

            @Davey: No, you CAN make a point by pointing to others, because it demonstrates, very vividly I might add, that the entire paradigm concerning the IP conflict that you subscribe to is wrong. Modern Turkey, India/Pakistan, and Bangladesh, were all founded on massive ethnic cleansing, even genocide, and the destruction of thousands of villages. Yet when Israel launches an operation against terrorists in Gaza to stop rocket attacks on its towns, the people in these countries flood the streets in protest? There have been more Arabs killed in Syria in the past two years than in the entire history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. So I disagree completely with this common trope among Israel critics, who say that Israelis just like to point at others to direct attention away from themselves. It’s a powerful argument, which demonstrates that your understanding of the IP conflict makes no sense at all.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 10:37 PM

            @Lark: your comment not only proves that you’ve been brainwashed in your pro-Israel mindset, but that you believe that we must solve every other conflict & injustice in the world before we address the injustice Israel has foisted on the Middle East. That’s an argument I reject utterly & fundamentally. Israel, I’m afraid, will be held to account no matter what other injustices there are in the world (and there are many). The fact that other injustices exist doesn’t excuse Israel’s.

            As for ethnic cleansing, certainly those conflicts did involve genocide and ethnic cleansing. But the fact that Israel also is guilty of those crimes doesn’t render it free of blame. The world is different now than it was in 1915 or 1948 or 1971. Now people hold nations accountable for such crimes. This was true in South Africa, in Serbia, Rwanda, etc. Eventually, it will true in Israel as well. Get ready for accountability!!

          • Davey July 25, 2013, 10:12 AM

            Nope. It doesn’t matter who “floods” the streets or when. Wrong is not relative and cannot be diluted in a sea of wrongness. Israel is still culpable even if Nazis “flooded” the streets in protest. There is nowhere to hide. I can choose to focus on Israel and its policies in order to concentrate my own activism. Excluding other egregious wrongs is not tantamount to a free pass.

            @Nimrod The only “human shield” evidence I’ve seen is IDF grabbing Pal kids up onto their armored vehicle in the West Bank. The story of “human shields,” like terrorism in the ME generally, originates with Zionists not the people living there for centuries.

          • Gonen July 24, 2013, 9:21 AM

            Let’s talk proportions !
            2,966 died in 9/11, in return the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq caused the death of more then 1,000,000 people (directly or indirectly) most of them civilians(how many kids?), imprisoned hundreds(if not thousands) of people in Guantanamo and other secret CIA compound’s (how many kidnapped?) and your critique is directed at Israel ? with comparison to the US we are a group of boy-scouts. I guess proportionality is too hard a concept for you Americans to grasp

          • Damien Flinter July 24, 2013, 10:11 AM

            Madeline Albright had already ok’d the deaths of half a million kids by sanctions before the invasion…but scratch the US and you find AIPAC boy-scouts lobbying to order…and nuclear Goliath masquerading as put-upon David…its not exactly classified.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:35 PM

            @Gonen: I don’t know how many times I have to remind you hasbarists that this blog isn’t about 9//11 or Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s about Israel and its relation with the Arab world. If you want to write a blog about 9/11 you’re more than welcome to do so. But I don’t need any lectures from you or anyone about which subjects I should blog about. If I need your advice I’ll ask. If I don’t ask you don’t offer, capiche??

            ‘Fraid not concerning the Boy Scout comparison. In truth, Israel has taught the U.S. many bad lessons in targeted killing, drone strikes, counter-terror atrocities, extraordinary rendition, and violation of civil rights. We learn from you in all the wrong ways. You should be proud & no doubt are. Mazel tov!

          • Daniel July 24, 2013, 2:15 AM

            @ Nimrod: 13 years? Israel is still occupying Lebanese soil in the Shebaa Farms. It’s high time they left.

            The “beloved Hezbollah” did not pop out of thin air but was shaped as a direct reaction to Israel’s invasion and occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s. So blame “your beloved” IDF.

            Given IDF’s continuous violation of Lebanese sovereignty since 1982, Hezbollah’s ambush on IDF units in 2006 in order to gain captives which to trade for the Lebanese prisoners rotting indefinitely in Israeli jails was entirely justified. What was unjustified was Israeli’s massive military terrorism against the people of southern Lebanon, especially as it failed to do anything except leave thousands of dead bodies.

          • Lark July 24, 2013, 8:27 PM

            @Daniel: And why did Israel invade Lebanon in the first place? Because the PLO occupied the south of that country as a state within a state, as Hezbollah does now. From their base in South Lebanon, the PLO murdered Israelis all over the globe, even assassinating Israeli ambassadors in European capitals. Furthermore, the PLO rained down katyusha rockets on northern Israeli towns and villages. That’s why the operation was called Operation Peace for Galilee, since one of the main objectives was to stop the PLO rocket attacks on northern Israel. So these are some of the small details you conveniently left out of your post concerning Israel’s original invasion of Lebanon.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 10:45 PM

            @Lark: What are you peddling? Are you claiming that if a party Israel doesn’t like occupies a neighboring country that Israel has the right to invade it to expel that party? So Israel could’ve invaded Jordan in 1970 if King Hussein wasn’t prepared to liquidate the PLO menace? It can invade Gaza to expel Hamas? It can invade Egypt to expel the Muslim Brotherhood? How about invading Syria if it wishes to overthrow Assad? All kosher?

            Not to mention that it wasn’t the PLO murdering Israeli ambassadors (you must be forgiven your faulty grasp of history) but Abu Nidal, who himself murdered PLO officials. The Argov assassination attempt was not by the PLO. But it still offered Ariel Sharon a terrific excuse to occupy southern Lebanon & march all the way to Beirut, where Sharon’s pals and allies murdered hundreds of women & children at Sabra & Chatilla. My what a skewered view of history you offer. Pardon me for correcting your flawed memory.

            BTW, Operation Peace for Galilee led to years of death for hundreds of IDF soldiers in the quagmire known as south Lebanon. It also led to the founding of Hezbollah, one of Israel’s most formidable enemies. Sharon’s strategy worked like a charm didn’t it?

        • Davey July 23, 2013, 4:03 PM

          To think of a reverse situation requires some very abstract thinking as this “reverse” has no correlation with reality whatsoever. Even so, I would be quick to do whatever satisfied the US mediator as US support, formal and informal,l is necessary to the status quo that Israel so enjoys.

    • Damien Flinter July 22, 2013, 3:08 AM

      Is that comment you identifying yourself as a card-carrying ‘warnik’, Nimrod ?

      Bit adolescent, do you not think, even primitive?
      Rather than ‘the bright side’, I find your comment a bit on the dim side.

    • peacenik July 22, 2013, 5:07 PM

      One man’s murderer is another man’s freedom fighter. Why did you pick a crusader fortress as your nickname? Is that your idea of peace in the middle east, invading the country and forcibly convert everybody to christianity?

      • Lark July 22, 2013, 6:40 PM

        Nimrod is a Muslim anti-Crusader fortress.

      • Nimrod July 23, 2013, 12:00 AM

        Nimrod is my real name.
        The fortress is pronounced “Namrud‎”.

        My idea for peace in the middle east is a solution similar to the one between Turkey and Greece.

        • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2013, 12:25 AM

          @Nimrod:

          My idea for peace in the middle east is a solution similar to the one between Turkey and Greece.

          So you’re proposing Israel and the Arab states enjoy five centuries of hate and mistrust as Turkey and Greece have?

          • Fred July 23, 2013, 1:21 AM

            I would go for 10 centuries of hate and mistrust (what would probably happen in any scenario) and not join your dream of one big Palestine from the river to the sea.

      • Fred July 23, 2013, 1:47 AM

        Actually ‘Nimrod’ is the name of a biblical figure mentioned in the book of Genesis. It’s very common for an Israeli (and almost for every non Israeli Jew) to have the name of a biblical figure

  • Bob Mann July 22, 2013, 2:11 AM

    You wrote that Abbas was “elected by no one” but did he not, in fact, win the 2005 Palestinian presidential election?

    From the BBC: 2005: Abbas triumphs in Palestinian elections

    Early indications in the Palestinian presidential elections show former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is set to win by a comfortable margin.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/9/newsid_4514000/4514342.stm

    From PBS: Abbas Wins Palestine Authority Presidential Election

    Turnout was heavy — nearly 70 percent, for just the second presidential election in the 10-year history of the Palestinian National Authority. The election was closely watched in Israel and in the United States.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/jan-june05/election_1-10.html

    The Carter Center has a report on the election as well, as President Carter was among the observers.

    • Nimrod July 22, 2013, 2:35 AM

      Why not look at the actual election results?
      Hamas – 74 seats, Fatah – 45 , out of the 132 available seats.

      Later on, the Hamas in Gaza started throwing Fatah men from the roofs of high buildings, and in return, Fatah’s police started arrested all of Hamas’ representatives.
      Richard is right – Abbas was not elected because he canceled the elections after losing them.

      • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:50 AM

        How convenient of you to forget to mention that Elliot Abrams was fomenting a Fatah coup at that time on behalf of the Bush administration and the Israelis. The Hamas response (which was bloody & extreme) was to mount a pre-emptive action to take control of Gaza. Followers of both Hamas & Fatah were killed in Gaza and the West Bank. But of course you only mention the blood Hamas shed because you wish to focus the spotlight of “evil” on the Islamists.

        • Nimrod July 24, 2013, 4:20 AM

          @Richard:
          Did you actually blame the Hamas coup Elliot Abrams, as if that was something they could have done without planning ahead? It’s like believing that Sharon’s visit to the temple mount was the cause for the Second Intifada.

          Unless I’m mistaken, about 250 Fatah men were killed in Gaza, and hundreds were injured in a way that they will not be able to fight anymore (an AK47 shot behind the knee) – compared to a few Hamas men,
          But I don’t know of anything similar numbers of Hamas casualties in the West Bank.

          As for your conclusion about what I want – you are wrong. I personally prefer the Hamas over the PLO because they do not hide their intent for the Israelis.
          And history thought us that Islamists are not more blood thirsty than the secular Palestinians.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:47 PM

            @Nimod: Hamas certainly didn’t need to plan ahead to take over Gaza. They were already dominant there. Also, Mohammed Dahlan made murmurs about trying to muscle his way into control of Gaza. So Hamas had its hands full dealing with that too. But no, it didn’t need to have a plan in place.

            As for the 2nd Intifada. The IDF provoked that as well. The IDF Central commander even said so explicitly.

            Where are the statistics you claim for the deaths in Gaza and West Bank. I don’t believe you have any. But I’m expecting them within 24 hours. If you don’t offer them I’ll move you from moderated to banned. As I’ve already told you I expect sources & evidence for your claims. If none is offered, then you pay the price.

            History has taught us that the settlerists are not more blood thirsty than secular Israelis in the IDF. Two can play the game you know.

          • Nimrod July 24, 2013, 1:58 PM

            @Richad:
            Hamas were already dominant there?
            Are you kidding me? they had 21,000 men back then, where the PLO had a force of almost 40,000.
            Hamas lost 83 men, where Fatah lost 165. 98 civilians were killed, 1000+ wounded.

            This is where I got my information from:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatah%E2%80%93Hamas_conflict

            Does this satisfy you quest for sources & evidence or would you like me to find some Israeli front pages from that time?
            Best regards.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 11:54 PM

            @Nimrod: Hamas was already dominant in Gaza. Fatah may’ve had a force of 40,000 in the West Bank, but not in Gaza.

            You claimed 250 Fatah men were murdered by Hamas. You never mentioned any Hamas deaths at all. Now, when forced to resort to a real source you offer a corrected tally showing only 165 Fatah were killed while 83 Hamas were killed. That certainly changes things doesn’t it?

            Not to mention that Fatah was completely outmanuevered, which explains why more Fatah were killed than Hamas. But the bloodbath was certainly not one-sided as you made out falsely.

          • Davey July 24, 2013, 5:28 PM

            &Nimrod “…and history thought (taught) us that Islamists…”

            I think the bs about pushing into the sea, a fate richly earned, and all that paranoia about a “second” holocaust is based in political fear-mongering by Zionists. External enemies makes for patriotism. However, when expressed by everyday Israelis they APPEAR as simple bad conscience, also richly earned. Why ever should Israelis be afraid of being slaughtered and pushed into the sea? Why ever? What exactly have they done to deserve such treatment?

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 8:21 PM

            I think the bs about pushing into the sea, a fate richly earned,

            If you’re claiming that Zionists deserve to be pushed in the sea, that would be a big No-No for this blog. Avoid this.

          • Davey July 25, 2013, 10:04 AM

            I am not saying this, I am saying that such condemnation is “richly deserved.”

    • abierno July 23, 2013, 12:59 PM

      Abbas term as president expired in 2009. Also, in 2006 there was an election for the Palestinian Legislative Council wherein Hamas won a large majority of the seats. To the best of my knowledge this council never met. Shortly thereafter Bush/Rice/Abrams used Mohammed Dahlen and his forces to attempt an coup in Gaza to eliminate
      Hamas. This was pre empted. 50 of the elected legislators currently languish in Israeli and Palestinian jails. Abbas, supported by his US trained militia, is regarded in Palestine much the way Murabak was regarded in Egypt. He has done little to protest or use any of the means at his disposal to reduce killings, kidnapping, land theft and the
      general settler/IDF/IOF mayhem in the West Bank. He has also done little to ease the movement of persons,
      products in and out of the territories. He openly condemns Hamas, taking the Israeli position and is rumored to
      have been greatly pleased with operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Fire. He has done nothing to pressure Israel to remove the blockade. I believe the word quisling best describes him.

      • Bob Mann July 23, 2013, 3:35 PM

        But the article says he was “elected by no one” – that is the part I am disputing.

        • Richard Silverstein July 23, 2013, 5:36 PM

          @Bob Mann: So you’re saying that because Abbas won an election whose term ended four years ago; which was followed by a violent Fatah putsch orchestrated by the Bush Administration’s Eliot Abrams and which failed; that this means he WAS elected by someone? If we follow that argument is George Bush still America’s current, legitimate president? If George Bush told the world he was still our president would that claim be legitimate or would we say that it was illegitimate since someone else was elected & currently held the position?

          In other words, since 2009 Abbas has been elected by no one to his current rump position.

          • Bob Mann July 23, 2013, 7:00 PM

            I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood your original post. When you wrote that Abbas was “elected by no one” I thought you were saying that he had never actually won an election. I did not realize that you meant that he was elected but his term is over. I appreciate the clarification.

          • Richard Silverstein July 24, 2013, 12:45 AM

            @Bob Mann: Actually, I hadn’t remembered Abbas’ election as PA president in 2005. But in truth it wasn’t really a fair election because you’ll recall that Hamas boycotted it (they did join in the 2006 PA legislative elections). Abbas’ only opponents in 2005 were Palestinian independent candidates who posed no serious threat because they didn’t have much of a political following. So to say that this election offered Abbas any legitimacy then or now is wrong.

  • Oui July 22, 2013, 5:13 AM

    Mr. Silverstein I have been looking forward to your opinion on John Kerry’s travels. Some aspects makes me optimistic, I know it’s one of my weaknesses on ME politics.

    You have made some excellent arguments to be cautious and I agree the appointment of Martin Indyk as “mediator” is a slap in the face of the Palestinians, Fatah and mr. Abbas. In my diary I wrote: “.”

    Will U.S. Be Facilitator, Mediator or Biased?
    Has just been announced, is this for real … is Hillary Clinton still pulling strings? An AIPAC advisor mediating what and for whom? “Martin Indyk appointed US mediator for peace talks.” I do hope Obama and Kerry will be fair and balanced and appoint a Palestinian as 2nd US envoy and mediator.

    An interesting read on the earlier stint by Martin Indyk during the Bill Clinton years – Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East.

    One positive aspect is the total secrecy about the preliminary deals as the officials in the State Department complain they have no knowledge of John Kerry’s ME diplomacy.

    My take is there will be serious discussions in a rapid tempo with lots of political pressure from the White House and the House of Saud. The axis Egypt-Hamas (Gaza)-Turkey-Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood has suffered a defeat and the sectarian conflict in Syria will be watched closely and discussed as the peace talks start. It’s 5 minutes past 12 o’clock and as the E1 block is filled with housing, there will be no 2-state solution possible. Today the EU has placed the military section (?) of Hezbollah on its terror list to block funding.

  • Fred Plester July 22, 2013, 6:32 AM

    This is being billed in some papers as the “Last chance for the two state solution”.

    In other words, once it’s over and there’s no deal, the two state solution is officially dead.

    Which means that Israel only has to turn up and agree to nothing, to get what it has always wanted.

  • blutopie July 22, 2013, 1:39 PM

    Why, on gods green earth, would Abbas EVER agree to a rigged up farce like this again?

    Why help Israel kick the can down the road another year instead of starting ICC proceedings at the UN this Sept?

    Is there anything more PATHETIC than if Abbas agrees to Kerry agreeing to the 1967 – but the Israelis Netanyahu, and Bennett specifically REFUSING to those agreements? Is there really anything more ridiculous than this?

    These farces are taking the historical cake for the most TORTURED and transparent Israeli chicanary ever witnessed on planet earth – nothing less

    • Andy July 23, 2013, 11:17 AM

      But at least Abbas will get some nice lunches out of it, right?

    • Davey July 24, 2013, 12:00 PM

      I can’t disagree: This does take the cake! And tops everything in a vast field of historical hypocrisy, chicanery, deceit, distortion, cheating and, but not least, lies! We can suppose he was given no choice whatsoever, either this or cut off all support and give Israel a free hand in the territories. Cut maybe the lunches.

  • paul July 22, 2013, 2:50 PM

    i think its less Israel will simply re arrest whom ever they want and more of a Israel will arrest any released prisoner that wishes to continue to engage in terrorist acts against Israel. And from what i heard most of those who will be released unlike last time (majority had less then a year left on their terms) will be persons who have been in jail since pre-oslo. So chances of them returning to terrorist actions could be slim.

  • paul July 22, 2013, 3:02 PM

    When I look at Israel being a Jewish state I have to look no further then my home nation Canada. Its a bi-national state with direct government support for Christian holidays and laws that are based on Judeo-christian values. Not to mention that tax dollars directly go to Catholic school system. So personally i have no problem with Israel being based on Jewish laws/values and support of national holidays. There can always be provisions added to the basic law that will recognize the Palestinian special nature in Israel and preserve their culture and way of life as was pushed by I think Meretz earlier this year though not passed. To me Israelis only respect persons who did national service or army. That is why there is a growing tide against the Herdi/arabs in Israel and a call for them to do national service. I hope that once there is a negotiated settlement that the Arabs in Israel will feel free to join the army and in as much gain the total equality that they currently lack. This will not be an overnight shift just look at other countries on earth like the states with the black community showing that it will take time but the effort is worth it.

    • Damien Flinter July 23, 2013, 2:37 AM

      Perhaps, Paul, you should consider the Israeli ‘..special nature..’ in Palestine.

      Your ommission of Canada’s original indigenous populations is typical of the monocularism of European colonists, which Israel is representative of at its most toxic. Your perspective is naive, at best; but hardly surprising given the constant bombardment through our anglophile media of the hasbara TINA scope.
      USroil is Fort Zion in the Wild East to protect the black-gold rush settlements planned for the entire region, either by client-elites, or direct military containment, or rotating shifts of both. Disrupt, contain, extract as old as the ‘eternal city’.
      And the colony planters will abandon the Jewish colony, as the settlers realise, should it be expedient…as surely as they diverted them into the box-canyon to suit their ingrained anti-semitism after the Nazi culmination of centuries of bigotry, a racism that includes the semitic Arabs.
      Peace will not come from the barrel of your IDF gun being pointed by Gaza refugees to enforce the Zionist fantasy of ‘chosen people’ master-racism, but when enough Jewish people awaken to the amorality of failing to recognise their common humanity with their Arab cousins, and stand in front of IDF tanks beside them.

  • Davey July 22, 2013, 8:22 PM

    We all knew that SOMETHING would be cooked up to make it appear that Kerry was successful and that Israel is being reasonable. These absurd rumored letters allow the speculation that preconditions were, or will be,accepted by both sides, that Pals have perhaps won something and Israel, as well, in its own terms. However, nobody is assured of any of this. The point here is that both sides have something (maybe) to show constituencies even if that something doesn’t exist. (It is puzzling that any of these players can actually face themselves in the mirror every morning. I would think it impossible, but then again I am not engaged and have no responsibility.)

    Reality is more “peace process,” more settlements, less Palestinian life, more Israeli Diktat. This is why we need BDS, filing criminal charges against individual Israelis, pursuing statehood, resistance everywhere by any means forever.

  • Davey July 23, 2013, 5:40 PM

    One can measure the greed by the sheer mass of odium Israel has earned (and borne) worldwide as a result of the belligerent occupation of the West Bank. A good measure of the cravenness of this pursuit might be the number of weightless arguments advanced for continuing the occupation. (It might be fun to collect these arguments, you know, stuff like “defensible borders,” or “untrustworthy Arabs” (compared to trustworthy Israelis?), or the “Judea” and “Samaria” name game, or “disputed territories”, etc.)

  • Bob Mann July 24, 2013, 3:27 AM

    I’m not sure how Hamas boycotting the election makes it unfair. They were not excluded from participation – they chose not to of their own accord. And afterwards they released a statement accepting the legitimacy of the election results and vowing to work with Abbas. I would also note that the Carter Center monitored those 2005 elections and did deem them to be free and fair. Again I do agree with your point that his term was supposed to have been long over by now and has been indefinitely extended without election. I’m just pointing out that he did win a presidential election (in which any Palestinian political party was free to participate) in a landslide with no objection from the international community, the election monitors (including those from The Carter Center), and even the Hamas leadership who chose not run a candidate. Of course, things quickly fell apart between Hamas and Fatah shortly thereafter as you also noted.

  • A serious misconception July 25, 2013, 12:45 AM

    There is a serious misconception that Abbas negotiates with Netanyahu because Abbas is President of the Palestinian Authority.

    And even more serious misconception is that Israel/Palestinian final-status negotiations are held between the Government of Israel (GoI) and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

    Neither claim is true.

    The GoI is the sole representative of the State of Israel.
    The IDF is the occupying power in the occupied territories (thus the supreme “authority” there)
    Conversely…..
    The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that is the representative of the Palestinian people.
    The PA is nothing more than the local government subcontractor for that occupying power.

    It is the PLO that has already unilaterally declared the State of Palestine
    It is the PLO that has already declared its executive (the Palestine National Council – PNC) as the “provisional government of the state of Palestine”.

    So the analogues are these:
    Israel and Palestine.
    The GoI and the PLO.

    Negotiations therefore take place between Netanyahu and Abbas because Bibi is the Prime Minister of the GoI and Abbas is the Chairman of the PLO, and it is utterly and completely irrelevant that Abbas is *also* the President of the PA, precisely because the PA is not (and does not pretend to be) the provisional government of the state of Palestine.

    Q: So what *is* the PA?
    A: It is nothing more than a local council that Israel allows to operate in (only some 40%) of the territory controlled by the IDF.

    But this is an important point: The PA derives absolutely zero authority (much less any sovereignty) from the Palestinian people themselves.

    What authority it is allowed to exercise (and that isn’t much) is delegated to it **BY** the IDF, and the PA operates upon the continued sufferance of the IDF commander in the West Bank (which can be – and has been – snuffed out by a word from the Israeli Prime Minister to the IDF commander to send the Merkava’s barrelling into Ramallah).

    But always remember this: even the Palestinians understand that the PA is nothing more than a low-level subcontractor for the IDF, tasked by that occupier with the menial tasks of collecting the garbage, or rounding up stray cats or Hamas militants.

    Unless this is Area C, where the PA isn’t even allowed to do that…..

    So it is utterly, utterly pointless to point out that Abbas’ term as President of the PA ran out several years ago.
    That is irrelevant. Abbas negotiates because he is the Chairman of the PLO, which also makes him the Chairman of the provisional government of the state of Palestine.

    And that isn’t an publically-elected-position, any more than it was when Ben-Gurien anointed himself as the leader of the Provisional Government of the state of Israel in May 1948.

    • Davey July 25, 2013, 7:59 PM

      @A serious misconception Is this a misconception entertained by the principals themselves? What makes the misconception “serious?”

  • Monir July 25, 2013, 5:56 PM

    Richard,
    You have a patience of a saint, and the material to back up your Saint hood. Keep it up, there is no substitution to honor and integrity. I enjoyed reading your articles and all your responses.

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