Some [Israeli] officials expressed disappointment after Tuesday’s round of meetings in London with George Mitchell, Obama’s envoy to the Middle East. “We’re disappointed,” said one senior official. “All of the understandings reached during the [George W.] Bush administration are worth nothing.”
Another official said the U.S. administration is refusing every Israeli attempt to reach new agreements on settlement construction.
…Defense Ministry chief of staff Mike Herzog…spoke to Mitchell and his staff about understandings reached by former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon with the Bush administration on allowing continued building in the large West Bank settlement blocs. He asked that a similar agreement be reached with the Obama government.
Meridor spoke of the complexities characterizing the coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said Washington’s demands of a complete construction freeze would lead to the dissolution of the Netanyahu government.
The Israeli delegates were stunned by the uncompromising U.S. stance, and by statements from Mitchell and his staff that agreements reached with the Bush administration were unacceptable. An Israeli official privy to the talks said that “the Americans took something that had been agreed on for many years and just stopped everything.”
Sorry to introduce something not relevant to this thread, this belongs with the thread about Yehoshua Zettler, but because that one has drifted so far down I am mentionting this point here:
Regarding your statement, Richard, that the first political figure to be killed was Chaim Arlosoroff in 1933, that is incorrect. The first one killed in the modern (post-1917) era was Jacob Israel De Haan, who was spokesman for the Haredi community. He was murdered in 1924 by Hagana figure Avraham Tehomi on behalf of the Zionist Executive. At that time the Haredi “Old Yishuv” was something like half the Jewish community in Eretz Israel and they didn’t see why the secular Zionists who arrived on the heels of the British conquest suddenly had the right to speak for them. De Haan started dealing directly with the British, other European powers and Arabs of the region. The Zionist Executive decided to get rid of him so they could monopolize power. Since the victim was Haredi, no one is to worked up over this one.
Richard Silverstein says
A Dutch reader pointed this story out to me and it’s quite amazing actually. I plan to write about a series of political murders perpetrated by the Zionist movement, this being one of them.
I hope you see that if in 1924 elements in the Zionist leadership viewed murder as a legitimate form of struggle against political opponents, it should not come as a surprise to you that in 1933 they should also view perjury and false evidence as being legitimate weapons against the Revisionists accused of murdering Arlosoroff.
I also want to point out that while it is true that the Brit HaBiryonim (which in reality was a radical splinter group within the Revisionist movement that quickly disappeared) used verbal violence against Arolosoroff and the Labor movement, the other side did the same. That was the style of political discourse (unfortunately) at the time. You are probably aware that Ben-Gurion referred to Jabotinsky as “Vladimir Hitler” and that BG also said on the floor of the Knesset plenum that “Begin is no different than Hitler”. Of course, a few laters Golda Meir and other former MAPAI colleagues of BG were calling HIM a “fascist”. That’s they way it was.
FROM THE “HAARETZ” ARTICLE: “The Israeli officials attributed the unyielding U.S. stance to the speech
Obama will make in Cairo this Thursday, in which he is expected to deliver a message of reconciliation to the Arab and Muslim worlds.”
MY COMMENT: This is so typical of right-wing Israeli governments. They attribute the U.S. stance to Obama’s need to “speechify” rather than accepting it as actual policy. They have lost touch with reality.
Joachim Martillo says
According to my model of Zionist politics, two years should be more than enough time for Netanyahu’s friends in the USA to undermine Obama to the point where the two year deadline would become meaningless and where the pre-Obama status quo could be restablished.
Yet there are things that ordinary people like us can do to forestall such an outcome.
In Israel Steals Palestinian Heritage, History, Karin identifies a winnable legal battle against seriously misguided Zionist mythology and exclusivist claims.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were written by the Judaic ancestors of modern Palestinian Muslims and Christians. They are important to the understanding of the conditions out of which Greek Orthodox and Syrian Christianity developed as well as from which proto-Islamic Jamesian Christian, Mishnaic, and other currents of Judaism evolved.
The Scrolls would be much better off in the hands of a legitimate custodian representing the non-exclusivist right, title, and interest of the Palestinian people than in serving the most vile sort of Zionist propaganda in the hands of the Israeli government that has wrongfully misappropriated them.
Anyone interested in helping to restore the Scrolls to Palestinian custody should send me an email at ThorsProvoni@aol.com.
RE: “MITCHELL PUTS THE SCREWS TO BIBI OVER SETTLEMENTS”
FROM J STREET: Following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of a full settlement freeze, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that President Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.”
This is exactly the sort of leadership we need from the President and Secretary of State if we are going to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – the only way to truly secure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic homeland.
You can bet the Obama Administration is already hearing from hawkish voices on Israel – urging him to make exceptions, allow for more settlement growth, and to go slow.
No way – a freeze means a freeze. We’ve got to make sure the President knows pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans support his strong line on settlements, for both Israel’s and America’s sake and security.
Please send the President a message telling him you support his “Freeze means Freeze” approach to Israeli settlements.
* TO SEND MESSAGE – http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2747/t/3251/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=593
Since Netanyahu and others not on the Right-wing of Israeli politics such as Ehud Barak, Dan Meridor, and even Ehud Olmert and Tzippi Livni oppose a complete freeze, the question is what unilateral sanctions against Israel will groupos like J-Street and the Israel Policy Forum support against Israel.
Richard Silverstein says
Since when are Bibi, Dan Meridor and Ehud Olmert not on the right wing of Israeli politics & what are you smokin’?
Oh, it won’t come to sanctions though the very idea that a dovish Jewish group might support them prob. makes you jump for glee so that you can smear them in some way or another. But as I said, it won’t come anywhere near that. Bibi, if he doesn’t fold over the settlement freeze & other major issues, will eventually fall. Israelis are pragmatic enough to realize that no matter what they might WANT, they NEED the U.S. more than what they want. Without the U.S., Israel is toast. Israelis know this. Bibi knows this. Obama knows this. So he will fold at the right moment either by agreeing to a reasonable U.S. suggested plan; or he will fall.
If this is true, then it is very welcome news. Mitchell seems to exist at some remove from the Israel lobby, at least compared to the real die-hards like Dennis Ross, Indyk, Harmon, Pelosi and so on (Mitchell is the one Obama appointee I actually like). It’s the first bit of news I’ve heard which suggests, however tentatively, that we might actually be an independent nation as regards Israel. Wow, what a thought! The audacity, the unmitigated gall! Who do these uppity Americans think they are daring to defy Bibi and the boys? Peretz and the other wacked-out zealots over at the “liberal” New Republic must be privately having conniptions, or one can hope.
Who cares about the agreements under W.Bush? His term is done, he went down as a war criminal and economy crasher. Any agreement made under him is costing the world dearly.
Freeze the settlements, its enough talk its time to act. Settlements harm the peace process, day in , day out.