18 thoughts on “Bush, Olmert and ‘West Bank First’: Like Dutch Boy With His Finger in Dyke – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Bush’s policies in the Middle East have been one disaster after another. Everything he has done has gone sour. Why is this? The Bush family probably has a closer personal relationship with Arab leaders in the Middle East than any other President. The Saudis contributed something like $20 million to Bush the First’s Presidential Library. Bush the Second personally promised to the Saudi King that he would set up a Palestinian state during his Presidency and he got “tough, right-wing General” Sharon to go along with it. In fact, practically all the political parties in Israel now support creating a Palestinian state.
    Bush was willing to have American soldiers die in order to create an Iraqi democratic state. He forced elections on both Abu Mazen and Israel allowing HAMAS to win, which one would think would earn Bush the appreciation of the Islamic movements throughout the Arab world. They would love for nothing more than having free elections throught the Arab world.
    Yet, it has all turned to ashes. The EU keeps paying aid to the Palestinians knowing that the money is stolen or wasted (in actuality the “aid” is really the jizya dhimmi tax that is paid as tribute from the dhimmis to the Muslims) and no one knows what to do.Why has everything gone so wrong?
    Is it because that the world has indulged the Arabs sense of rage and self-pity for so long and this has given the Arab extremists the idea that the rest of the dhimmi world is on the verge of collapse and all they have to do is keep up the pressure? What could a US President from the Democratic party do differently?

  2. Yes, Bush and Olmert: one disaster after another.

    The quoted text from Benn is mostly on target, but I do wish reporters would stop writing crap like “decisive victory” for Hamas. In terms of legislative power, yes. But Palestinian voters favored Hamas over Fatah in the party-list vote by only 44% to 41%. It was bad–appallingly bad–electoral-system design that put Hamas in the drivers’ seat.

    Fatah has realized its mistake, calling just yesterday for full proportional representation in the new elections Abbas intends to call. Too late? Evidently so.

  3. Bush the Second personally promised to the Saudi King that he would set up a Palestinian state during his Presidency

    You are angry that he made this alleged promise while I am angry that he never fulfilled it if he did make it.

    practically all the political parties in Israel now support creating a Palestinian state.

    This is entirely misleading. Assuming a political party intends to do what is in its platform or even what it publicly states it intends to do is dangerous esp. in Israel. If every party supports such a state why has none been created? Precisely because none really intends to deliver on the promise. Take Olmert as an example. He claims he wants such a state but only a fool would believe he actually does or will do anything to bring it about. At least not in my lifetime.

    He [Bush] forced elections on both Abu Mazen and Israel…which one would think would earn Bush the appreciation of the Islamic movements throughout the Arab world.

    He would have earned the accolades of virtually the entire world (except for you) including the Arab world if he’d had the courage of his convictions & treated the victors as democratic victors are usually treated in the rest of the world. Instead, he basically asked for a ‘do-over’ & acted as if the election never happened. For that, he deserves nothing but scorn & derision which he is earning fr. both the Arab–and much of the rest of the world.

    dhimmi

    This word is so rampant among Islamophobes & carries such a loaded anti-Muslim connotation that I don’t use it & don’t want to see it here. Pls. don’t use it in future here.

  4. MSS: Yes, I agree. The election was almost a draw but slightly in favor of Hamas. There is essentially popular parity bet. the 2 movements. However, Fatah definitely has no momentum since it is entirely discredited in so many ways. If Israel would allow Barghouti out of prison & he could really reform the movement, then it might amount to something. If not, then Hamas or something else will overwhelm the remnants of Fatah that remain.

  5. i think if we could remove both hamas and fatah and zionism politics the people of the land both israelies and palestinians would find more similiarities among themselves and would live amicably in one state. the problem there is the poitics of the opposing sides. right now israel is the state entity…the arab palestinians are fighting for inclusion because they are being discriminated against and are fighting for their place in the middle east sun…israel holds the cards because they are the military power and they are the recognized democracy in the area…the palestinias are called refugees and insurgents and terrorists much as the ergun or the early israeli settler were refugees and insurgents and terrorists…

    why cant both peoples (palestinians and israelis ) live in one state?
    could you imagine the outcry if americans wanted this nation to be for christians only.
    i wonder what the jewish american community who is for the most part liberally minded say about such an america? yet the idea of israel allowing those other people of another race and or religion seems to be considered anathema in that dream called israel, at least this seems to be the driving theme of zionism in israel as it has been practiced since it’s inception. in the democratic idyllic reality pervasive among the world elite can a state choose to be so exclusive of other nationalities?

    Under the Law of Return, as defined by the Supreme Court of the State of Israel, neither “Jews” for Jesus nor Messianic “Jews” qualify as Jews.
    so they exlude jews also who choose to practice another form of judaism…so it isnt just arab palestinians who are discrimiated against.
    the marriage laws of the state of israel are also wothy or inspection.

    can a state be allowed to practice such hate laws and still be considered progressive or better yet democratic?
    the jewish state of israel speaks much against the barbaric backwards undemocratic arabs and the muslim laws against women but doesnt orthodox judaism also have it’s own laws which require women to wear wigs in public and also limiting their education? what about the buses in israel where women are required to sit in the back of the bus in deferrence to the males.

    at the heart of the failure of zionism is its racist policy and exclusive politics while yet calling themselves a democratic and enlightened people living among the backward barbaric muslims? this dupilicity and superiority inflames the passions of the arab muslims who are it’s neighbors.

  6. at the heart of the matter, the legitimacy of hamas …fatah and resiistance……..and the legitimacy of zionism itself.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/bendor06232007.html
    There Has Never Been a True Left in Israel

    Israeli Apartheid is the Core of the Crisis

    By OREN BEN-DOR

    It is unethical to blame Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem for events in Gaza. At the heart of the factional violence in Gaza and the political crisis in the Palestinian leadership lies the constant marginalization of a voice which poses an ethical challenge to an uncritically accepted presumption. Sadly, but hardly surprisingly, initial reactions to the situation have used it to further marginalize this voice.

  7. Sam, I suggest you look around the Middle East and see that it is not possible for the Jews to hand over their sovereignity to a larger Arab entity and expect their rights to be respected. The people in Iraq who are slaughtering each other are all Arab Muslims (the Kurds are out of the picture now), although belonging to different sects. The Lebanese who have been slaughtering each other for decades (although at a slower rate lately) are all Arabs, although belonging to different religions. The Algerians who have been slaughtering each other are mostly all Arabs and all the same Muslim religion. The Somalis who have been slaughtering each other are all Arab Muslims of the same sect. Jews and Arabs are very different and Islam has serious theological problem with the Jews (read Sayid Qutb’s writings, for example), just as the European Christians did. After generations of seeing how a minority in countries (both Christian and Muslims) where the majority isn’t comfortable with its Jewish minority, we Jews have finally realized that our safety depends on us defending ourselves.

  8. it is not possible for the Jews to hand over their sovereignity to a larger Arab entity and expect their rights to be respected.

    ImJudy, I am getting very tired of yr endless drone of Arab-bashing. First, Jews are not “handing over their sovereignty to a larger Arab entity.” What does that even mean? Jews need to decide to live in peace w. their neighbors. But that doesn’t mean handing over sovereignty. It means giving up a claim to territory that doesn’t belong to it to begin with. It means retaining a territory that does belong to it according to international law & making its homeland in that space.

    Ea. of the instances of intra-Arab violence you mention have very specific causes that are largely unrelated to ea. other in their specifics & local nature, & have nothing to do w. how Israel might fare if it truly decided to compormise & live in peace with its Arab neighbors.

    Islam has nowhere near the theological problems w. Judaism that Christianity does & Islam has historically treated Jews far better than Christians have, though of course no non-Muslim would feel truly tolerated or equal in a Muslim country. But at least there is no historical Muslim Inquisition or Crusades or Shoah.

    Despite the murderousness of Christianity toward Jews, we have figured out a way to get along with that religion just as Israeli Jews will figure out a way to co-exist w. their Arab neighbors.

  9. Richard-if you read what Sam wrote, you will see that he advocated dissolution of the Zionist state and having a single, unitary state. That is what I was referring to.

  10. Richard said:
    ——————
    Ea. of the instances of intra-Arab violence you mention have very specific causes that are largely unrelated to ea. other in their specifics & local nature, & have nothing to do w. how Israel might fare if it truly decided to compormise & live in peace with its Arab neighbors.
    ——————

    You are being naive if you don’t think the tremendous amount of intra-Arab violence doesn’t affect Israeli public opinion. How can you make the statement that these don’t indicate how Israel might fare if it let’s its guard down? If FATAH and HAMAS people are slaughtering each other WHOM THEY WILL SAY ARE THEIR BROTHERS AND WHOM THEY LOVE, how do you expect them to treat the Jews who the openly say are “THE ENEMY”? Are you denying there is
    a Middle-East wide movement of Islamic extremism?

    As I said, these things affect Israeli public opinion and if you want there to be a peace agreement, you have to get Israeli public opinion to go along with it. That is why Sharon tried the unilateral withdrawal trick…he knew people wouldn’t buy the “peace agreement” arugment, so he said that Israeli will just let them stew in their own juices. Of course, this also blew up in his face, just as Oslo did for the Left.

    Regarding as how Islam views Jews and Judaism, while it is true that there is not the history of pogroms and holocausts as in Christian Europe, Islam as a whole has a negative view of Jews and Judaism. Radical Islam also views the Jews as something like a satanic force just like the Medieval Church did. Sayid Qutb, the most influential theologan of modern radical Islam states in his commentary on the Quran in the Sura “al-Baqqara” (The Cow) that “the Jews have been conspiring against Islam since the time of Muhammed”. Genocidal antisemitism is now prevalent in the Arab/Muslim world, just as it was in Europe before World War II and just as the Europeans were waiting for someone to do the dirty work for them (i.e. the Germans), the Muslims are waiting for the same thing….again, I repeat, that this view is largely accepted in Israel, even by the Left. (That this genocidal antisemitism predates Zionism can be seen by the Farhud massacre of Jews in Iraq in 1941 and I urge you to read George Orwell’s article called “Marrakesh” written before WW2 about Morocco and the virulent antisemitism that was prevalent there – see

    http://www.george-orwell.org/Marrakech/0.html

  11. I’m not sure the current situation would be regarded as a failure by people like Elliot Abrams, Dick Cheney, and rightwing Israelis. They’re not interested in a just and fair solution to the conflict and might prefer a situation where the Palestinian political factions are at each others throats, so long as the violence doesn’t hurt Israelis too much. They may think they can handle any violent threat that may develop and in the meantime, they don’t have to give up on the settlements. They may also think ordinary Palestinians will be so desperate they will settle for whatever bones the israelis and the Americans are willing to toss in Abbas’s direction.

    The current situation is a disaster if you are hoping for a just peace, but it is probably a mistake to think that rightwingers in either Israel or America favor that.

  12. if you read what Sam wrote, you will see that he advocated dissolution of the Zionist state and having a single, unitary state. That is what I was referring to.

    Yes, I agree w. you ImJudy in the sense that Jews need a state that can be their homeland. However, I wouldn’t agree w. you in the sense that this homeland must be an exclusivist enclave that treats non-Jews as subordinate citizens.

  13. I’m not sure the current situation would be regarded as a failure by people like Elliot Abrams, Dick Cheney, and rightwing Israelis.

    You’re certainly right. In another post I make clear that Ehud Olmert’s staff & right wing Israelis are in fact delighted w. this development. It proves all their prejudices against Palestinians to be well-founded. The only problem is that the neocons wanted civil war w. Fatah coming out on top. Since that didn’t happen they’re in a nice little pickle right now.

    They may believe that they can “handle” any violent threat that might develop, but they thought that about Iraq after they topped Saddam now too, didn’t they? Be careful what you wish for–you just might get it. If these folks want chaos in Palestine in order to guarantee endless Israeli domination of the Palestinians & maintenance of the status quo, they will get it. But it won’t necessarily be a tidy chaos they can confine to Palestine. It might be a chaos that is a maelstrom that sucks everything surrounding it into its vortex. Beware.

  14. You are being naive if you don’t think the tremendous amount of intra-Arab violence doesn’t affect Israeli public opinion.

    I certainly didn’t say that nor do I believe it. Certainly, Arab on Arab violence frightens Israeli public opinion & understandably so.

    How can you make the statement that these don’t indicate how Israel might fare if it let’s its guard down?

    First, because historically there have been & currently are non-Muslim nations which exist alongside Muslim nations w/o endless violence & hatred (Egypt & Jordan are current examples next door to Israel). Second, because religion in general (not specifically Islam) is a huge source of friction among nations. This tendency to fight over religion is a human trait, not a Muslim one.

    If FATAH and HAMAS people are slaughtering each other WHOM THEY WILL SAY ARE THEIR BROTHERS AND WHOM THEY LOVE, how do you expect them to treat the Jews who the openly say are “THE ENEMY”?

    Frankly, Israelis shouldn’t care whether Palestinians annihilate ea. other as long as they don’t cross the border & do the same to Israelis. Of course, I’m being facetious. But what I mean is that Palestinian instability doesn’t necessarily have to mean it will spill over to Israel as long as Palestinians are invested in maintaining the peace w. Israel. If Israel agreed to return to ’67 borders it could demand international guarantees for safety & protection fr. cross border violence by Palestinians including armed international peacekeepers on the Palestinian side. Then keeping the peace wouldn’t merely be a matter of Palestinian goodwill which admittedly is in short supply these days.

    Islam as a whole has a negative view of Jews and Judaism.

    That is not true. Islam, as a whole, has an ambivalent view of Jews & Judaism. There is much that is positive to be found in the tradition & much that is negative. You’ve chosen to ignore the positive.

    Genocidal antisemitism is now prevalent in the Arab/Muslim world, just as it was in Europe before World War II and just as the Europeans were waiting for someone to do the dirty work for them (i.e. the Germans), the Muslims are waiting for the same thing….again, I repeat, that this view is largely accepted in Israel, even by the Left.

    First, I just finished lambasting precisely this hysterical worldview in my review of Dore Gold’s The Fight for Jerusalem. You should read it. He’s your brother in Islamophobic hysteria. Is there anti-Semitism in the Arab world? You bet. Are Arabs preparing the next Holocaust as Hitler was in 1943? What, are you nuts? As I wrote in my review of Gold’s book, international anti-Semites believe in the literal truth of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Does this mean Jews really own the world banking system? Of course not. It just means there some batshit crazy Jew haters out there who’ll believe practically anything of Jews. Just as there are the same attitudes among Arabs, this does not mean we Jews are justified in acting like a Mideast Auschwitz is just around the corner.

    And btw, you know as much about the beliefs of the Israeli Left as I know about Tibetan Buddhism, which isn’t very much. Israeli progressives do not believe Arabs are preparing a new Holocaust as you claim.

  15. Richard, I did not claim that they are necessarily planning a practical form of new Holocaust. Just as the Dutch (as an example in Europe) in the 1920’s and 30’s largely despised the Jews but weren’t doing anything practical to get rid of them. HOWEVER, when the Germans came along and offered to do it with them, the Dutch were quite happy to go along and let them do it. That’s why 90% of the Jews in supposedly “liberal” Holland were murdered. The Dutch people quietly helped the Germans to round them up (e.g. the informer who turned in Anne Frank’s family). Years of world-wide antisemitic propaganda helped ready the ground, just like the propganda that OFFICIAL state organs in the Muslim world, including , or even ESPECIALLY “moderate” states like Jordan and Egypt put out (e.g. Eygpt state televisions 40+ part series “proving” the Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is true.)

  16. imjudy wrote….imjudy said,

    June 24, 2007 @ 1:44 am

    Richard-if you read what Sam wrote, you will see that he advocated dissolution of the Zionist state and having a single, unitary state. That is what I was referring to.

    for the record: i do not advocate the dissolution of any state including the jewish zionist state…what i speak to is that amazing perspective that condones that this nation can go into a land after 2000 years of exile….and then advocate the denial of return to a people that they themselves deported and terrorized ONLY 60 YRS AGO. personally i feel it is up to the people of israel to determine their own form of govt, unfortunaly it will be the pressure from the rest of the world that will try to dictate to israel what it ought to have done on its own, namely to stop being so racist and abusive of an entire population of human beings living in their own land and SUBJUGATED TO FIGHT FOR THEIR EXISTENCE.

    I used to be amazed and peed of at the way that the united nations always seemed to rule against israel, now i am thankful for that european perspective on israel which isn’t tainted by a complicit press like ours here in the states.

    The jewish people of all peoples in the world ought to be more sensitive to this type of racism and discrimination than almost any other peoples, they have been kicked out of more nations than one can reasonably assume possible and yet it is a historical fact that jews all around the world have been and are hated just because they are jews….nothing to do with the religion they practice because in many cases these jews are not practicing jews. yet we see today in israel a form of govt that thumbs its nose at world opinion (think the nuclear proliferation treaty which they refuse to join), and continues to dream of a greater israel by refusing to return land that they took in a war of aggression, ALL THE WHILE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST A HAPLESS PALESTINIAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED LONG ENOUGH ACCORDING TO MORE AND MORE OF THE REST OF THE WORLD.

    the press here in the states has done a great injustice to american jews who only believe what it is told to them by the american press, they have been desensitized to the plight of the palestinians much as the german people were desensitzed to their german jewish brothers and sisters who lived among them. dehumanize a people and then abuse them…the irgun practiced that among it’s soldiers and this enabled them to terrorize the hapless palestinians.

  17. ehud olmert and israel are feeling benevolent as of late. and so are the americans…its a love fest for fatah and mammoud abbas….all hands on deck…..all fingers to the dyke….check out all these stories surfacing lately….along with a few that has

    SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday he will release 250 Fatah members from Israeli prisons in a goodwill gesture aimed at strengthening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas’ victory in Gaza

    Ehud Olmert said he was ready to take steps toward final-status negotiations with the Palestinians.

    “We have to have the groundwork that will enable us to start, soon I hope, negotiations for a Palestinian state,” the Israeli prime minister said Tuesday at a White House session with President Bush.

    The United States is re-establishing full ties with the Palestinian Authority and resuming assistance at levels that existed before Hamas assumed governance.

    Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, said she spoke Monday with the new P.A. prime minister, Salam Fayyad, and congratulated him on assuming his post — a result of the disillusion of the Hamas-led government by P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas. Fayyad will still serve as finance minister.

    “I told him the United States would resume full assistance to the Palestinian government and normal government-to-government contact,” Rice said at a State Department briefing.

    Rice said the United States would continue to funnel emergency funds to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is now in full control, through the U.S. Relief and Works Agency. She said $40 million in emergency relief was on its way.
    Israel plans to condition its release of frozen Palestinian Authority tax funds on the money not reaching the Gaza Strip.

    Reuters quoted Israeli officials as saying Tuesday that there plans to transfer as much as $400 million in tax revenues directly to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ new
    emergency government, but on condition none of it reaches the Hamas administration in Gaza.

    An Israeli official called for a jailed Palestinian militia leader to be released in a bid to boost Mahmoud Abbas.

    Environment Minister Gideon Ezra said Tuesday that were Marwan Barghouti to go free, it would strengthen his Fatah faction and the Palestinian Authority president in the face of Hamas.

    “Abu Mazen lacks reinforcement,” Ezra, a former deputy chief of the Shin Bet security service, told Israel Radio, using Abbas’ popular name. “If the right people happen to be in prison, they should be released.”

    all this benevolence was gotten and the all the pa had to do was to denounce iran….

    PA blasts Iran over Gaza
    The Palestinian Authority accused Iran of fomenting the Hamas seizure of the Gaza Strip.

    “We hold Iran responsible for encouraging Hamas to carry out its coup in Gaza,” Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Monday.

    Iran and Hamas denied the charge. But Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucheher Mottaki also condemned Abbas for firing Hamas from the Palestinian Authority government and forming an emergency Cabinet that excludes the Islamist group.

    Hamas turned to Iran for financial support after its election last year, which prompted a Western aid embargo on the Palestinian Authority. Israeli officials said Hamas’s armed wing has also received training and arms from Iran, which sees Gaza, like Lebanon, as a front line in the battle against the Jewish state.

  18. The Dutch people quietly helped the Germans to round them up

    YOu have touched on a subject very close to my heart & that of a friend who’s actually written a book on this subject. While I don’t know all the details of Dutch conduct toward the Jews I DO know that many Dutch non-Jews were heroic in their efforts to save Jews. Before you utter another negative word about Holland pls. read Mark Klempner’s Heart Has Reasons, which is an oral history of five Dutch Righteous Gentiles.

    I will ask Mark to weigh in if he wishes here. But I’m guessing he’s going to say that you are analyzing a very complex issue (Dutch attitudes toward its Jewish population) in incredibly simplistic terms.

    Again, you are trying to argue that because there is anti-Semitism within Arab countries that they will necessarily follow Europe’s example and attempt to exterminate Israel. I neither accept that they can, will nor (in the case of the vast majority of Muslims) want to do this.

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