28 thoughts on “Going Rate for Settlement Freeze: $33.33-Million a Day – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. So, three billion dollars these days only pays for a 90 day moratorium on settlement building. That’s inflation for you.

    Or do I understand it to be that the US will only pony up with the cash (or cash equivalent) if the restarted peace talks lead on to a permanent(?) settlement. If that is the case, then, maybe, it’s not such a bad deal after all.

    Well, either that is the way of it or someone here is simply buying a bit more time. The US or Israel? Or could it be both?

    Well, they do say: time is money. It just appears that, recently, the price of it was last seen heading through the roof.

    I can certainly think of one cheaper alternative. Can anyone else?

  2. Richard, 90 times $3.33 million is almost $3 million ($299.7 M), not $3 billion. If the US is giving Israel $3 B, then the correct per day number is $33.33 million.
    Geez, the PA DID get rooked.

  3. Carnac the Magnificent predictions
    Netanyahu will agree to the moratorium but his game will be
    to put as many axes in the process until it explodes again so he can keep the gifts while DOING NOTHING AND BLAMING ABBAS FOR IT
    Israel’s tactics aren’t new, they’re called the thief in the night.
    I feel sorry for Obama to have been taken to cleaners. It will be his and Hillary’s undoing
    Guys and gals there will be war only this time it won’t be pretty

    1. @ Nessim Dayan,

      ‘Guys and gals there will be war only this time it won’t be pretty.’

      Is it ever?

      You may well be right. But what is the alternative? Can everyones interests here be served in a timely and cohesive manner? If so, then how?

      Most countries initiate conflicts on the basis of a fairly standard number of scenarios:
      Reaction (or over-reaction) to a perceived external threat, the need to acquire something deemed critical in the national interest or as a means of diverting the general populace from whatever internal failings are present, be they those the nation itself or, as is more usual, ones associated with that of the regime in power.

      But, if a conflict has entered its sixth decade, what then sustains it and supplies the reason for it still being in existence; even its ability to contemplate a seventh such interval?

      In this instance and after the passage of so much time, the primary motivation for continuance becomes psychological rather than anything else. The external threat will have passed to some extent; a timescale of over 60 years will attest to that; the national interest will have morphed into something not quite so pressing and any intended diversion will have long since ceased to be relevant.

      Thus, the one remaining barrier, that of the mind, may be all that separates war from peace, hostilities from measures directed toward some final resolution.

      If one side ceases to maintain a war footing, will the other side do likewise? Maybe; maybe not.
      If one side abandons its weapons and invites dialogue with the other, will that same other reciprocate? Maybe; maybe not.
      If one side elects to accept binding international arbitration, will the other follow suit? Maybe; maybe not.

      Too many maybes here, to many unknowns; not enough certainty to see any of these positions as an attractive option. That inability to look deeply into the other side’s collective soul makes progress toward real peace a slow and hazardous business. Hence, the dilemma – and a time span of well over sixty years.

      If the consciousness and ambitions of both sides in this matter were somehow to be fused together or made identical, a commonality of purpose would then exist in which there will be only one mind to consider, only one to placate, not a multitude of them. 3 billion dollars? You wouldn’t need 3 cents to achieve a good outcome in such a situation.

      Success demands singleness of purpose. Singleness of mind also.

      But how to weld so many disparate mindsets into one single whole?


      Like everything in life; it’s easy when you know how.

  4. I can not understand how a peace could or should work, that no one of the opponents wants without beeing payed for signing it?

    It really seems that the Obama administration is trying to buy some time for domestic issues of the USA?

    On the palestinian side dealing with a puppet like Abbas who’s decisions will not be accepted by a large part of the palestinians, simply doesn’t make sense for me?

    I wonder why Netanyahu wants this F35-Fighters? This is a real overkill for a small (in dimensions!) country like Israel!

  5. I think you’re off by a digit here. 3 billion dollars for 90 days comes down to 33.3 million a day.

    In any case: The basic idea of using the 90-day “freeze” to hammer out final borders is good in theory. I am also a little less pessimistic than you about the prospect of a land swap.

    But then again, the problem is that Israel has absolutely no incentive not to simply stall these negotiations until the freeze is over. This they can easily accomplish by tailoring their “proposals” to be unacceptable. (For example, 99-year leases and other colonialist nonsense which appear in the press recently.)

    For negotiations to be successful, the US would need to:
    a) Set goalposts. 1:1 swap based on 1967 lines for starters.
    b) Offer incentives to Israel for completing, not for beginning negotiations.

    If this does not happen – and it doesn’t look like it – negotiations are guaranteed to fail.

  6. Not surprisingly, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, but also smaller parties, have already rejected the Obama nonsense of letting racist Israel steal Jerusalem while negotiations continue (according to the Chinese press). The solution is to acknowledge (the US is unlikely to do so any time soon) that the entirety of the Palestinian homeland was stolen in a brutal war of colonial conquest and turned into an apartheid supremacist state. Forcing Israel to accept international law and permit the return of the ethnically cleansed refugees and their descendents will shift the demographics enough to make a genuine egalitarian democracy the only viable option. But only a seismic shift in US policy can accomplish this & it is not in the offing.

    1. You’re correct, Steve.

      What appalls me is that the US knows all of this, too – hell, if we know it, then it stands to reason. But, as always, they put Israel’s interests first in a fake “honest broker” posture that doesn’t fool anybody.

      No “honest broker” would offer to stonewall the UN for Israel’s benefit, so brazenly and so arrogantly. As for the fighter jets, I’m told that deal went through at the beginning of the month and that the planes are actually useless junk. I will see what more I can find out about this.

    2. Do you go around the web making these pithy pontifications which persuade no one & accomplish nothing? Do you think that your slogans & grandstanding actually enlighten anything or serve any useful purpose other than the display yr wit & political judgment to the world?

      1. Unless I’m very much mistaken, Richard, this refers to my comment(s) here.

        Let me put it like this. I’m an engineer. I fix machines. That’s what I’ve done all my working life.
        They go wrong sometimes. It’s in their nature; it’s allowed for in the design, a fact that has provided me with a monthly income for almost 40 years, together with a tolerable lifestyle.

        A broken toaster, a recalcitrant computer, a TV set on the blink; time was when all such items could and often did malfunction. They may be better engineered these days, more reliable and so on but they still break down and when they do, they need repairs. Of course, a lot of them are now just thrown away and replaced with new ones; that is if you’re lucky to live in one of our so-called ‘ disposable societies.’

        But some machines are too big, too expensive to replace. They require proper maintenance and fairly constant attention, thus ensuring a reasonable working life and some return for the initial outlay provided.

        The world has sometimes been described as a machine and, when parts of it go wrong, there is no warehouse to call upon, no replacements to be found on any convenient shelf. The defective component has to be fixed on site and in situ and, let’s face it, many a botched job in the past has left much to be desired.

        When I’ve been called in to repair a machine, there are some things I do not do. I never criticise the designer, the people who built it, the test department that checked it for faults prior to delivery, the installation process, the handover by the salesman, the person operating it. They may all be at fault but it’s not my job to point that out and, clearly, it cannot help the repair process in any way.

        In other words, you just get on with it and make the best assessment about what to do next.

        So, what does happen next with the Israel/Palestine Mk 1 unit; model number 0001, serial number 0001?

        If it really can’t be fixed, that’s a big problem. There simply is no replacement to be had; no alternate, no back-up, no stand-by.

        So, what now?

        There can still exist the possibility to rework, to adapt the design of those parts of the machine that aren’t performing to specification. When this is done – and it sometimes is – the whole thing can be up and running the next day.

        In essence, what I’m saying is this. A relatively small update in the design configuration can often mean the difference between a machine that’s dead in the water and one that’s firing on all cylinders.

        So, overhaul it, repackage it, do whatever it takes, But fix it.

        The very last thing you want to do is sit around with your thumb up your ass, complaining that there’s nothing to be done and it’s always somebody else’s fault. Because it’s not. It’s your fault; it’s my fault; it’s everybody’s fault. And the sooner we realise that and do something positive about it, the better it will be for all of us.

  7. Curious as to the deliverables in said proposal package for a temporary moratoirium that enjoins only maybe 80% of the building, while allowing for other practices that go towards the end of the “Judaiziation” of the region. Namely, are these items being offered to the Israeli novel or in addition to regular aid? It would seem not.

    For instance, having already penned a $2.75 billion dollar deal for 20 F-35s in October, 2010, it is curious that the same plane and quantity appear on this incentives package. Further, the incentives include the regular laundry list of enabling Israel’s mongloid-like international criminal behavior by the United States, including vetoes in the UN, and using US political clout to not force Israel into doing anything a unanimoty if the world wants, like sign into the NPT.

    From a negiotiations perspective, this was a wise move. Bibi will be forced by his coalition to refuse to the sign the agreement in line with my own arguments above. On the world stage, people will only see Bibi’s reluctancy to sign for a short freeze to what amounts to an obscene amount of aid — all to uphold and enforce the actions of settlers the ENTIRE international community considers illegal. Without signing it, there are no jets, no vetoes in the UNSC, no help to quash Goldstone or any other coverups. Israel’s special relationship is now contingent on a freeze.

    Do you think my interpretation is correct or are these incentives to be considered in addition the regular packages?

  8. Good point. I hadn’t thought of it like that.

    So, has Mr.N outflanked Mr.O by stalling until the midterm elections, therby reinforcing his position and expanding upon whatever new options are open to him?
    Or is Mr.O playing for a much longer game and that, ultimately, time is on his side with world opinion, at some point, being able to force the issue, an issue that will then be substantially in Mr.O’s favour?

    Well, I guess all we can do is wait and see.

    But I have the feeling that it’s only been a sparring match so far. We may have to reserve final judgement until much later in the contest. The way things are going, that may be some three months from now.

    Of course, a lot of other things can happen before then.

    And, usually, they do.

  9. I live in Israel and work with “sophisticated” minds as well as many well heeled individuals.
    According to them the status quo is as good as it should happen. Keeping them starved and subservient is fine with all of them.
    Second they all talk about war as anyone would talk about going to a football game, no worries for their philosophy ISRAEL WILL ANNIHILATE ANY OR ALL OF THEM TOGETHER NO MATTER THE COST NO MATTER THE ALLY (if any).
    The relations with the US, bah humbug just a milking cow that we have no choice but to hear mooing now and then (it will pass and silence will return)
    Summary: Anyone outside Israel, should just hand over their checkbooks, agree/consent with Israel’s every word/deed and should you oppose then you all are in the deligimitization business and you have no right to exist.
    SUCKERS is how they see you and describe you.
    and that’s why my blood boils when I hear such haughty and holier than thou religion/attitude/mind set


      But, in the end, is the matter really within their power to prevent?
      Or is it within the gift of the rest of us to create?

      Every border has two sides; the internal and the external.

      Who exactly gets to decide their actual location is something I’ve never been quite sure about. Is it those on the outside or those on the inside?
      If it all boils down to a question of numbers, then, clearly, those on the outside would seem to have a distinct advantage.

      Maybe there will come a day when we will all decide to play that advantage.

      1. But, in the end, is the matter really within their power to prevent?

        Yes it is – by voting the right parties they eliminate the left chances to create any coalition and therefore yes those elected have a platform of stonewalling – which is what we have had for 47 years

        further the local political parties are rated as the most corrupt entities in the state right before the Knesset or the government public departments (the order may not be correct)

        So yes the status quo is what he have and what will continue to be short of a tough love stance by a US politico – which we saw fizzled out earlier this year –

        so yes war is the local modus operandi to belie the status quo – history doesn’t lie

        1. OK. Let’s say we’ve all given up on the Americans; also the Quartet, the EU, the Arab leaders and whatever else is currently flavour of the month.

          What it all comes down to is this. Either you control the situation or you let it control you.

          If an obstacle is too difficult to overcome by a direct, frontal approach, then other methods should be considered. You may be able to go around it; burrow underneath it; fly over the top. It really doesn’t matter in what manner it’s done; the point is, you get past it and move on.

          Extremists on both sides have always presented something of a problem; they exert a degree of influence far exceeding their numbers and have sustained this level over far too many years.

          So, confront the situation; turn it around and then make it work for you, not against you. That way, not only do you achieve the result you want, you also establish a precedent for use by the next generation. And the next.

          And, hopefully, by that time, everyone will be left wondering what all the fuss was about in the first place.

          1. John Yorke, I don’t think I’ve ever addressed a comment to you before, but I just have to say that I can’t make heads nor tails of what you’re talking about. I find it completely impossible to determine what its you mean, among other things, by saying, “So, confront the situation;turn it around and then make it work for you, not against you…” And I’m almost afraid to ask for clarification. Can you at least make your comments a wee bit less rambling and verbose? thanks.

          2. You missed the point

            Read my first post, Israel WANTS THE STATUS QUO.
            Israel wants the luxury of the territories without having to govern it. and THAT IS THE STATUS QUO.
            Even if tomorrow ALL THE POINTS are ironed out and all the i’es have been dotted and all the t’es were crossed, no one in Israel would submit, there would be an internal upheaval that would break the country apart.
            Any agreement would need a referendum of sort. That idea is DOA.
            Again we reach the tough love or the imposed solution, to our dismay that person hasn’t been born yet

  10. God, you guys are so SLOOOOW on the uptake.

    Now I’m beginning to realise why this business has been with us for over SIXTY years.

    This is the way I see it.

    Example one: My line of work involves machines that have their function principally within a hospital environment.

    Now, occasionally, one of those units will break down for whatever reason. And, very occasionally, that unit will be the only one of its type in the hospital. And, in one or two rare instances, someone’s life or limb will depend on that unit being working before the day is out.

    When that situation arises, getting that unit going again becomes your absolute priority. In other words, you try anything to restore its function. And I do mean anything. You modify; you gerrymander; you rewire; you bypass circuitry; you cannibalise from other machines. And, finally, if none of that works, you end up kicking the damn thing. Because, sometimes, that’s all you can do.
    And I’ve only ever done that once in 40 years. Fortunately for me, it did the trick. The machine came back to life and stayed working for however long it took to perform the procedure.

    Same with the subject here. You kick the damn thing. You show it who’s boss. You’re not frightened of it. You bypass stuff that’s been holding up the process for years; you do whatever it takes to get it back on line.

    Example two: I’m sure you’ve all witnessed these almost standardised scenarios on television or at the cinema.

    The planet has been invaded by aliens; the earth’s core has destabilised; there’s a comet heading straight for us on a collision course; a plague of zombies has taken over the city.
    And what happens then is also fairly standard. A group of scientists get together and work out some sort of response. Even the dialogue is predictable.

    “OK, we know it’s a long shot. It might not work. But, Hell, it’s all we’ve got; there’s no other way to do this. We tried everything else and, so far, we’ve come up with zilch. We’ll only ever get this one chance and if we miss, well,…… it’s been great working with you guys.”

    Equate the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with that comet, those aliens and the zombies; they’re getting closer and closer every day. I strongly suspect having them all come round for a nice little chat won’t be the first thing on their to-do list.
    Not, that is, without a whole lot of arm-twisting beforehand.

    Maybe some serious arm-twisting is all we’ve got left. Otherwise,….. ‘Hey, it’s been great working with you guys.’

    1. Pls don’t spam the threads with the link to your blog. You insert it once into the blog URL login data when you publish yr comment. Then you don’t need to insert it into the comment itself. Don’t abuse my hospitality please.

      1. Sorry about the link, Richard. From now on, I intend to inflict it only on outlets other than your own.

        It’s just that there have been times when I see it as an essential part of the narrative.

        Maybe I’m in too much of a hurry to have the matter over and done with.
        I sometimes wish I had your patience with the subject. All these never-ending machinations of so many individuals, communities and administrations; they have long since ceased to fascinate me. I’d rather not wait another six decades to have done with the thing. Nor six years. Not even six months! (reference the following)

        I would much prefer to have closure now than wait for the whole saga to roll dead out at some indeterminate date well into the future.

        Or is that too much to hope for?

  11. ‘Read my first post, Israel WANTS THE STATUS QUO.’

    Then it’s up to us to destroy the status quo forever. Shouldn’t be too difficult.. The human race has being doing that from time immemorial.

    In this case, all it takes is a basic knowledge of math, a map of the region, a ruler and some pens and pencils.

    What could be easier?


    1. “Same with the subject here. You kick the damn thing. You show it who’s boss. You’re not frightened of it. You bypass stuff that’s been holding up the process for years; you do whatever it takes to get it back on line.”

      We’re not dealing with a piece of machinery. We’re dealing with people, some of whom have a lot of power and others who have next to none at all. Neither group is not going to be swayed ‘by a basic knowledge of math, a map of the region, a ruler, and some pens and pencils’. Netanyahu believes in the concept of Greater Israel. He is not going to curtail settlement building, end the siege of Gaza, withdraw the military from the West Bank, or do anything else that might make a Palestinian state viable, no matter whether you ‘kick the damn thing’, ‘show it whose boss’, or lay before it the contents of your geometry set. You make it sound as though this is as easy as cutting up a plumcake. We’re not talking about something inanimate here. We’re talking about people’s lives.

      1. ‘We’re not talking about something inanimate here. We’re talking about people’s lives./

        OK, then think of it like this.

        Say, in six months time, a small child, possibly no older than one of your own if you have any, is playing out in the street. It could be anywhere in this much contested region; a Jewish settlement, a Palestinian township, some major conurbation or just an ordinary village.
        Suddenly, the sound of an explosion is heard; a bomb has detonated, a shell has landed, a grenade has been thrown, some kind of weapon has been fired. An isolated incident, perhaps, but not unlike so many others in the Middle East where there has long been a marked tendency for such things to occur.

        The result is the death of that child. Shrapnel, blast, a ricocheting bullet, the collapse of masonry; there are any number ways in which it could happen. Rather too many.

        What if, right NOW, it was easily within YOUR power to prevent that death, to guarantee the survival of that little human being, to make sure he or she never came to any harm? Would you exercise that power? Or would you consider you had more important matters to attend to and dismiss the opportunity in a heartbeat?

        I think it’s fair to say even the most callous of those among us would be moved to action if we found ourselves in such a situation.

        Well, it is more than likely that some small child will die in the next few months and under conditions not vastly different from those I’ve described.

        So, can we acquire this power, a power to change that one single timeline and, in consequence, that of so many others?

        Sure we can. It’s as easy as pie. Like falling off a log, a piece of cake, no problemo.

        Let’s imagine that it will be our little boy, our own little girl out there in danger half a year from now. Wouldn’t we move heaven and earth to ensure his or her safety?

        Well, moving heaven might prove to be quite a task but it is possible that we all, sure as hell, are more than capable of moving earth.
        Or, certainly, as much of it as may need to be moved.


        Well, what WOULD you do? I know what I’d do.

      2. Word, Vicky.

        Also, that mindset forgets the obvious – this is not a property or territory dispute, it is an occupation. I have said it again and again. It is an occupation, and it is illegal under international law, which ought to be enforced. Israel should be forced back behind the armistice line and made to stay there.

  12. Well, of course, that’s completely correct.

    In an ideal world, populated by ideal people, this would be the right and proper thing to do. No question about it. But we do not live in an ideal world. Far from it. And if we did, the situation would never have arisen in the first place.
    But it has and therein lies the dilemma; how best to address the situation as it is, not as how we would wish it to be.

    Safety tip:
    If your toaster catches fire or when your electric kettle starts to glow red-hot because the thermostat isn’t working, when smoke and flames are coming from the back of the TV set, what are you supposed to do? The best advice is to get out of the house while you still can and call for the fire department to deal with whatever happens next. However, if you have the time and it’s safe to do so, throwing the ‘off’ switch at the main fuse-box on the way out of the building might not be such a bad idea.

    So, where is the location of the ‘off’ switch to this tinder-box of a conflict? We need to find it because, as we’ve all known for some time, a lot of people are still trapped in there with no real means of escape. Occupation, legality and international law we can worry about when the danger’s past.

    Do you want three guesses?

    Or might it surprise you to know the answer is already referred to in your comment above?


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