Denial is a River Running Right Past Bibi’s Door
You’ve heard the old joke that denial is a river in Egypt. Well, in Bibi Netanyahu’s case it’s a river runnin’ right past his door. The NY Times reports in a follow up to Obama’s speech that Bibi was furious that Obama planned to underscore U.S. support for a return to 1967 borders (with land swaps):
[There was] a furious phone call with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday morning, just hours before Mr. Obama’s speech, during which the prime minister reacted angrily to the president’s plan to endorse Israel’s pre-1967 borders for a future Palestinian state.
The guy doesn’t seem to realize that 1967 borders has been U.S. policy practically since, well 1967. This sound byte from Michael Oren further mystified me:
…There were…aspects [of the speech] like the return to the 1967 borders which depart from longstanding American policy…going back to 1967…
I found this passing strange till I realized that what they were both probably apoplectic about was the supposed American backtrack from the Bush letter to Sharon in which he accepted that Israel would retain major settlement blocs in perpetuity. But even with such a letter, it doesn’t stray from the 67 borders concept because the land swaps would include those few settlements blocs which would incorporate most of the settlers in the West Bank.
So really, the entire thing seems like a charade or Kabuki drama in which the antics and motivations of the Israelis are too obscure to parse.
There does seem to be at least a modicum of realism on the part of some in Bibi’s entourage about the September General Assembly vote:
…The last-minute furor highlights the discord as they head into what one Israeli official described as a “train wreck” coming their way: a United Nations General Assembly vote on Palestinian statehood in September.
Frankly, I’d rather see it as the train of Palestinian destiny, but if Bibi and Barack insist on standing in its path it might indeed be a train wreck for them. Someone who knows UN protocol better than I should explain the process of the statehood vote. I know the General Assembly recognized Israel in 1947. I’d never heard that the Security Council would take a vote too on Palestinian independence if the General Assembly did. This article says that Obama plans to veto any resolution brought to the former. Why would there be?
In truth, it hardly matters because clearly the U.S. and Israel will be extremely isolated whether the Security Council vetoes the resolution or not. The point will have been made. Israeli and U.S. policy will appear more and more divorced from reality as the rest of the world sees it. Both nations will verge closer to becoming irrelevancies on the world stage. A sad and sorry sight to see for someone who is a citizen of the one and an admirer (at times) of the other.
29 thoughts on “Denial is a River Running Right Past Bibi’s Door – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Alan Hart says:
Zionism’s assertion that Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN General Assembly partition resolution of 29 November 1947 is pure propaganda nonsense, as demonstrated by an honest examination of the record of what actually happened.
In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own.
Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a non-binding proposal – meaning that it could have no effect, would not become binding, until and unless it was approved by the Security Council.
The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the US knew that, if approved, and because of Arab and other Muslim opposition, it could only be implemented by force; and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine.
So the partition plan was vitiated (became invalid) and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine – after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away – was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence – actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration.
The truth of the time was that Israel, which came into being mainly as a consequence of Zionist terrorism and pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless ….. Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved.
This recitation does not come close to describing what actually happened at the UN. For example, the resolution DID go to the Security Council, which considered at length but never took a vote (and you can guess why…). There was plenty of fighting, terrorism, and provocation on all sides. I would argue that under international law at the time (dividing a legacy League of Nations mandate) what the UN did was immoral but not illegal.
Was it also stupid? “Partition” was considered a panacea, one that was applied (badly) elsewhere as well (most notably in India), by an exhausted, war-weary world. The diplomats papered over the Palestine partition by envisioning it to be political but not economic. The Jews got far more land than their population warranted, but the Palestinians got most of the best farmland.
It was sloppy, and it was imposed on the local population — but the alternative (at least by the thinking at the time) would have been to send troops to enforce a peace, or risk further bloodshed. No one had the stomach for it, certainly not the British. And the Jewish Agency had a better grasp of the political realities. What was done, was done. Both sides rewrite history as an excuse to not negotiate, but it’s time to move on.
So does recognition of a state by the UN involve a resolution approved both by the GA AND SC? Has there ever been a case in which a state received approval fr. one body & was rejected by the SC? That would interesting to know.
“In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved.”
The irony is that Israelis have turned that desperate craving into their favorite meme: they want to wipe us off the map; drive us into the sea, etc. But what it really translates into, is: They want to deny us legitimate ownership of this land and without that legitimacy, we will never feel secure.
And the reason they conjure up such existential threats is because they can’t escape the fact that what was done to the Palestinians was immoral and unjust; but in their minds these are irrelevant compared to their need for “legitimate” ownership of that land; so they have to make it appear continuously like they are the injured party to erase the injustice that happened to the Palestinians from people’s minds and allow their contrived “existential threat” to be front and centre in the eyes of the world always. They know that that meme is all they have to justify their presence on that land.
The fact is that as much as they bullied Palestinians over the years, as much as they conned the world into believing they’re the eternal victims in this conflict; and as much as they pressured, coerced and even threatened everyone into their camp; they STILL don’t have what they crave the most; and although Palestinians were forced to accept the existance of Israel in principle in order to survive; they will never accept the tragic circumstances and injustice that drove them from their homes and land and that’s why Israel has outlawed the Nakba, because the Nakba is a nagging reminder of how it all happened; how ugly it was and the Nakba robs Israelis of the limelight and will always rob Israel of its legitimacy.
Israel will NEVER have legitimacy until it recognizes the suffering caused to the Palestinians and agrees to sacrifice what rightfully belongs to the Palestinians to make reparation. That’s the ONLY way there will be a true, lasting and just Peace.
Unfortunately, Canada will be voting with the US on this in the General Assembly.
I am afraid the Netherlands will too. The minority government is condoned by Geert Wilders and his organization, and they cannot afford to lose his support.
I dont really see why pro-palestinians are so happy about the vote in september, because even if its vote pro-palestinian it wont matter a iota since the resolutions its non-binding. Also, a majority of states have already recognize the palestinian state…and where are we? We havent got anywhere because of that. Change will only come when US let go of israel and that will never happen.
Well even a moral victory is a victory. And in this 100 year long battle it will be a remarkable victory.
USA (and Europe) will let Israel go that day when the financial interests with the Arab and Muslim are really at stake. Before West Europe and USA were in reality the only real customers for oil, sellers of advanced technology and place to invest the dictators assets with relative security. That time has been over for over one decade, but the new financial and industrial giants have not yet really challenged the West. But they will do it. When oil becomes more expensive it means that oil producers will be the major investment target for industrial countries.
If and when the Arab and Muslim countries manage to unite their financial and raw-material “weapon” in this fight for Palestine Israel has lost. The west can’t survive on the present level without the Arab/Muslim markets and their oil and other raw materials. The usage of the oil weapon in the last halve of the 70’s was the real reason why Israel was forced to leave Sinai. And it did leave Sinai because the West commanded it to happen. The Sadat’s trip to Israel was made only for Israeli and US domestic political usage to hide the real winner (= Arab oil and money) of that “war”.
In your dream, Israel to be eliminated, am I correct?
This sounds to me like a side conversation which belongs elsewhere. Keep comments on topic, meaning relevant to the post in whose thread you are commenting. If you want to debate about this topic it’s off topic as far as I’m concerned.
First, the statement itself is misleading. Second, even those states which have “recognized” Palestine have done so at a low diplomatic level. A GA vote will allow other states which haven’t recognized to do so & states which have recognized to upgrade relations.
I had no idea it was so many…
If UNGA vote for statehood and membership in UN cannot be effective (of UN membership), then the “September Song” does seem out of tune. If membership can be granted by UNGA, then I’d say to the PLO, “go for it.”
President Obama’s speech (May 19) essentially says: no peace until Israel agrees to it, and the USA will not apply any energy, any force, to bring that about. If Israel’s external circumstances are to change, states other than the USA will have to change them.
As to all the rest, it occurs to me that whatever the INFLUENCES will be (or which you care to imagine today) that will persuade Israel ultimately to make peace and remove most settlers and demolish the wall (and presumably all the settlement buildings of non-retained settlement blocks), THESE INFLUENCES could also force Israel to remove all settlers, wall, and settlements BEFORE PEACE. Right now (in principle).
I only say this because Israel has shown itself so very intractable and because of the widely acknowledged political stopping-power of the settler movement. In other words, I don’t see a “peace” with a return to (substantially) the 1967 borders UNLESS a MAJOR CATACLYSM forces Israel to make such a peace, and I do not see my country (USA) being a part of that cataclysm.
Absent such a CATACLYSM, no peace. Endless apartheid, as since 1967.
But if the power to create such a cataclysm can be generated — by Turkey, by Arab Spring, by EU, by the South Americans — why should it wait or limit itself to the relatively limited purpose (and very complex purpose) of creating and cramming a peace treaty down Israel’s (and Palestine’s) unwilling throats?
Why not use all this international energy (imaginary, as it now is) for a far clearer purpose, a simple purpose, already spelled out by UNSC and international law? Why not use this energy to require Israel to remove all settlers, all the wall, and all settlement buildings NOW, independent of any claimed progress toward a peace treaty? What has peace got to do with Israel’s duty as an occupier?
And wouldn’t international energy sufficient to bring Israel to this GRAND REMOVAL be essentially the same as the energy required to bring Israel to make a peace treaty that the PLO could agree to?
So why wait? There may never be a peace treaty (absent exercise of all this marvelous international energy); and international law’s clear requirement of the GRAND REMOVAL (see UNSC 465 (1980)) is simple and straightforward. enforcement of international law requires the GRAND REMOVAL. GET WITH IT.
President Obama’s speech (May 19) essentially says as much: no peace until Israel agrees to it, and the USA will not apply any energy to bring that about.
It thus falls to the other states of the UNGA to influence Israel. The way to use that influences — if it can be energized at all — is for enforcement of international law. And, “make no mistake”, if sufficient force is applied to Israel to make the GRAND REMOVAL, Israel will sue for an acceptable peace well before the REMOVAL is complete, and probably before you can say “Judge Goldstone.”
Events on the ground tend to overtake the UNGA and UNSC anyway, looking at Yugoslavia and quite a few other places.
The 1967 borders can’t be made to work, militarily, socially or economically, so the ultimate solution won’t look like that. (That’s why a war was fought to change them, in essence.) If there was political trust and confidence, the borders would not matter, but there is no trust and mutual confidence, so the awkwardness of the borders becomes all important.
In trying to achieve a stable situation, by force, Israel will either end up with much more than the 1967 borders, or much less, perhaps nothing. If Bibi had the imagination to grasp the latter possibility, catastrophe would be avoidable, but as long as only a tiny minority in Israel can even imagine defeat, they will end up trying to use force to its ultimate conclusion.
The conflict in Northern Ireland ended, not because Sinn Fein was defeated, but because they could see it happening at some point in the future and they decided to stop while it was still possible to try another tack. And the Unionists have been wise enough to make sure that Sinn Fein is seen to get something in return for that.
That’s what you need for a peaceful solution, and there’s no even a trace of it in Israel.
I am not saying that using force will fail; there have been plenty of occasions when force has succeeded, but I am saying that a positive outcome is always a gamble.
The reason that the Israelis are dismayed at the speech is because the pre-67 borders thing means that Obama, by that, threw Jerusalem onto the table when the Israelis have long felt that the US would not.
However, that palestinian train of destiny just isn’t gonna get far trying to pull all of Hamas’ terrorist violence baggage.
That’s got to get thrown off-board.
I know, it was such a tragedy to have Obama say that the issue of Jerusalem was a knotty one that would need to be resolved someday by the parties. That just wasn’t pro-Israel enough. Just when Bibi thought he had Obama in his pocket, like a rabbit, he jumps free. The nerve of that guy!
” Israeli and U.S. policy will appear more and more divorced from reality as the rest of the world sees it. Both nations will verge closer to becoming irrelevancies on the world stage.”
The US and Israel — the two most aggressive, hyper-militarized states on earth would appear to be facilitating each other’s slide into irrelevance. What these two have taught the rest of us is that war can no longer be made useful. Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Turkey; Lebanon 2 and Cast Lead — all are fresh in the minds of the non-American, non-Israeli world. Rest of the world = UNGA.
I trust the UNGA precisely because it’s the body where the US and Israel have the least influence. I eagerly await September. Perhaps then Hillary will stop speaking for what she calls “the international community” (i.e., Washington and its vassal states).
You’re right about Kabuki Theater. What’s happening here is the oldest trick in the book. It’s drama and fake outrage meant to move the goal post and make everyone let go of the globally-agreed on terms and capitulate to hysterics. It’s meant to further frustrate Palestinians, it’s meant to move the Wall further into Palestinian territory and meant to make the theft of land acceptable to the public at large. Until now the 67 borders were understood to be the line that couldn’t be crossed or messed with. All of a sudden there’s a collective scream across the land in Israel because Obama dares to utter or make what was common knowledge already, policy.
Israelis excel in the dramatics and hysterics; it’s how they get their way, you know, by pulling the victim card and then crying wolf so everyone feels pressured to appease their contrived anxiety. And the problem is everyone falls for it and forgets that these people are holding hostage another nation for SIXTY-THREE YEARS and this is how they manage to get away with murder. Israel is the only nation in the world not sanctioned for oppression and violations of human rights. How does everything think they get away with it?? This is how; the Oscar performance by Netanyahu, undermining the President of the United States, schooling him on selective history and then crying foul all in an effort to bamboozle the world and force Palestinians into accepting yet even less (as if they haven’t put up with enough) than what is rightfully theirs. This is a shameless scam!
“everything” should be everyone: How does “everyone” think they get away with it”?.
—-Israelis excel in the dramatics and hysterics; it’s how they get their way, you know, by pulling the victim card —–
I think that the Palestinians play that card at least as well, Kalea.
If you read Abbas’ opinion piece in the NYT, it starts out playing the card and ends up reminded the world that promises of statehood were given to Palestinians decades ago.
(Of course, he fails to mention that the Palestinians refused to accept that promised state, but what the heck, let’s not be picky.)
This is a formal announcement from the management mourning the passing of poor Fuster, who seems to have self-destructed sometime this morning when he wrote this private e mail to me (after I reminded him that I’d given him a 5 comment a day limit & he’d violated it with 7 comments yesterday). In doing so, he went up in smoke as far as this blog is concerned. Fuster, we hardly knew ye. Here is the comment:
He is right. You are a tin pot dictator and very sexist too. You let your harem ( Deir Yassin- Shirin-) spout all kinds of shit 20 million times a day, but you are quick to ban any pro-Israel poor sod who dares express his opinion. Anyways, who needs to read your crappy blog and the rants of crazy Kalithea or Kalea or whatever she calls herself. You have no fucking clue about Jews beyond your little lefty Ashkenazi West Coast, nebbish,repairing the world BS, milieu. Meh and feh. There is more but you are not worth the keyboard effort. I join Fuster in saying GO FUCK YOURSELF! Ah, that felt good!
So, Ruth, finally you can speak your mind, unrestrained. Well, as far as I can see, your mind is full of hate, insults, accusations and dirty language. I am glad you’re leaving.
I gather you have a clue about Jews, you are truly a light unto the nations, a perfect example of Jewishness.
Who needs to read this blog? Well I do, and many others too, who want to see a different perspective, a different voice in the nationalistic frenzy that has overwhelmed our people. You know I was growing up in the former Soviet Union, believing that we, Jews, are on the right side of history, that having been persecuted and bashed for so long, we have developed a strong sense of compassion, universalism, solidarity with all the oppressed and downtrodden people of the world. It’s been painful to wake up to a different reality. We are no better than the rest. One day we’ll be deeply sorry for the wrongs we’ve committed against other human beings, and I’m afraid the memory of this will haunt us for generations.
Wow, you wanted to be banned & I’m happy to oblige.
Thanks for revealing just how mean-spirited & foul-mouthed you really are. Now we’ve seen you with your hasbarist teeth bared. Doubtless they’ve moved you to a new assignment in the hasbara media brigade and it was time for you to move on. Perhaps they even gave you a promotion and you’re going to haunt Andrew Sullivan’s or Glenn Greenwald’s blog after mine. Who knows?
Not another one from North Ilford, surely!
If an alien from a distant planet came to Earth, (s)he might have been puzzled by the fact that a small nation of a few million people would try to dicate to a nation of a few hundred million people what they should or shouldn’t say or do.
Bibi “was furious … reacted angrily”. This is ridiculous. What does he think he is? Definitely a case of megalomania …
Also, alleged promises made by the Bush administration do not mean that a different administration cannot review its policies.
[comment deleted for violating comment rules–I warned you not to pimp your messianic views here–next stop is banning if you persist]
At the time the UN General Assembly was dominated by the Western states and in order to try and bypass the stalemated Security Council the United States initiated General Assembly Resolution 377 commonly referred to as the Uniting for Peace Resolution…The resolution declared that where the Security Council could not reach a decision because of a veto a special session of the General Assembly could be convened with a view to making appropriate recommendations for collective measures including the use of armed force when necessary. Such resolutions require adoption by a two thirds majority at a specially convened emergency session of the Assembly. Resolutions adopted at such sessions however are still only recommendations and are not binding on states.There are reports that this September the Palestinian delegation to the UN which has observer status at the organization will attempt to introduce a new Uniting for Peace resolution. In order to be accepted as a member of the UN the Palestinians would have to officially declare that they are a state an act they have refrained so far from doing.