Hillary Clinton Back-Pedals on Two-States
In reading the transcript of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s remarks during the recent Democratic debate, I was struck by a major waffle in her position on a Palestinian state. To paraphrase John Kerry: she supported one before she didn’t. And all in the same debate.
Here is her first pass at the subject, where she robotically repeats the standard line:
You have a right to defend yourself.
That does not mean that you don’t take appropriate precautions. And, I understand that there’s always second-guessing anytime there is a war. It also does not mean that we should not continue to do everything we can to try to reach a two-state solution, which would give the Palestinians the rights and the autonomy that they deserve.
Note, that even in her standard two-state shpiel, she doesn’t so much embrace it as wink at it as the ideal, but hard to achieve, outcome. In other words, she’s saying: sure, we’d like a two state solution. But we can’t do more than we’re already doing to get there. And if we don’t get there, then who can blame us? This is essentially the continuation of the same failure of the Obama administration over the past eight years.
Also note, that Hillary steers far clear of talking of a Palestinian nation. Instead she uses the far vaguer terms “rights.” Then she levels the death knell by invoking the tepid term, “autonomy.” This is yet another Likudist locution which lets Israel off the hook quite nicely in its battle against Palestinian nationhood.
In his follow-up, Sanders correctly notes that her Aipac speech didn’t contain a single word about the Palestinians. With her back is against the wall, all she can manage is this:
I was absolutely focused on what we needed to do to make sure that the Palestinian people had the right to self-government. And I believe that as president I will be able to continue to make progress and get an agreement that will be fair both to the Israelis and the Palestinians without ever, ever undermining Israel’s security.
These are two qualitatively different statements. The Israeli far right, which has governed the country for most of the past forty years, also favors Palestinian “self-government.” In fact, it claims that the current Palestinian Authority constitutes self-government. It refuses to offer anything further that comes remotely close to a Palestinian state.
So in back-pedaling from a two-state solution, Clinton is deliberately throwing red meat to her pro-Israel supporters in New York. She can now point to two locutions on the subject, one that mollifies liberal Zionists and the other which mollifies the far-right Israel Lobby organizations. She believes she’s satisfied everyone, but really satisfied no one. This type of triangulation will continue the same festering rot which has led to thousands of Palestinian dead, and hundreds of Israeli dead over the past eight years.
It now appears that barring any major scandals or melt-downs on her part, that Hillary Clinton is likely to become the next president. Working on such an assumption, her policy toward Israel-Palestine will, if it’s possible, be even worse than Obama’s. The waffling in the debate will be precisely the sort of tap-dancing she’ll try to get away with as president. She will put a gloss on peace without making a dent in the issue.
My teen-age son reminded me of a timely saying by John F. Kennedy, which I’ll recast in this context: “Those who resist a two-state solution, make a one-state solution inevitable.” Hillary is doing, and will do nothing to bring about a two-state solution. It will be eight totally wasted years. As a result, a one-state solution is inevitable.
Her chief donor/policy consigliere will be Haim Saban. Of course, he’s smart enough to stay out of the kitchen. He’ll exert his control in a careful, calibrated fashion. He will ensure his appointees are selected to run Israel-Palestine policy. But he won’t decide he knows how to prepare a French tart better than the chefs. But he’ll make sure to hire the chefs and tell them which ingredients they should use.
His control of the levers of power will mean the return of the Zio-Mandarins, Dennis Ross and Aaron David Miller. Or if they’re deemed too much the eminences grise, their younger disciples will take a similar role. There will be no George Mitchell’s in a Hillary White House. You should expect no new ideas. Instead you should expect more, far more death and destruction including new wars by Israel against Lebanon and Gaza.
It’s also worth noting that during the Bush administration, then Rep. Jane Harman desperately wanted to be named head of the House Intelligence Committee. So did Aipac and apparently the Israeli government. Justice Department officials even murmured about an Israeli “asset” intervening on Harman’s behalf with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That individual was Saban. So in the next administration where will Saban’s allegiance lie? With Hillary or Bibi? It will be a fine line he tries to walk. Ultimately his allegiance is to Israel and not to Hillary or the U.S. But he, like most Israel Lobby disciples, doesn’t view there being any difference between the two. But that’s another problem for another day.
Now that Hillary has swept the field, leaving Bernie no path to win the nomination, she’s resorting to magical thinking in claiming Bernie’s supporters will flock to her. How do we go from a Revolution to a coronation? Does she think her virtue alone will persuade Bernie voters that she’s worthy? After reading what I wrote above, can anyone who cares about the Middle East believe she has anything to offer? Why would any such person vote for her?
Bibi Just Spilled the Beans About Syria
Like Hillary, Israel’s prime minister just let slip some disturbing news revealing a major change in policy–this one toward Syria. For years, Israel has sworn to a policy of neutrality regarding the Syrian conflict. The world and Israeli media have dutifully followed this false line. Even as they reported major Israeli air strikes on Syrian territory, they repeated the mantra of neutrality. Very few of them reported that Israel was offering full intelligence and logistical support to the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusra Front as it fought for control of the Syrian side of the Golan. This was Israel’s attempt to carve out its own sphere of influence on its northern border, just as it did decades before in southern Lebanon. In other words, Israel opposed Assad along with his major allies Iran and Hezbollah.
Now, as its allies grow weaker and Assad and his Russian allies are in the ascendancy, Netanyahu has taken the gloves off. While observing a military drill on the northern border, Netanyahu finally fessed up, admitting that Israel had struck Syria “tens of times.” Here is Shmuel Meir’s reporting of this story in 972 Magazine. All this means that the prime minister is laying down a marker for the Russians, telling them that Israel will restrain itself as long as neither Russia nor Assad moves against it in the Golan.
It’s a typically bluff, brazen Israeli move. If you’re a little dog, but bark like you’re a big one, then maybe the big guys will back off and let you have your way, even though it’s not in their interest to do so.
37 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton Back-Pedals on Two-States – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I do not agree that a one-state solution is inevitable. In fact, under present circumstances, it is impossible. The two states already exist as legal entities, each recognized by a majority of other states, and with their flags flying at the United Nations. Neither would be willing to dissolve itself and be merged into the other.
The two-state solution on the other hand is only one Security Council resolution away: a resolution that implements UNSCR 242 by demanding an immediate end to the occupation. Resolution 242 sets two conditions for a solution: withdrawal of Israel forces from territories captured in 1967; and the establishment of secure and recognized borders. It did NOT say that the withdrawal could not take place until the borders were agreed.
Withdrawal of Israel forces from the West Bank should lead to an interim period of UN Trusteeship for Palestine to enable effective autonomy be developed and allow the two states to discuss, under UN auspices, their future relationships, the borders, the settlements, and the refugees. (The Jerusalem solution is obvious: joint sovereignty.)
Continued existence as two independent sovereign states is impractical. There needs to some form of federation [ http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2016/04/15/confederation-israel-palestine/ ] or union of the two nations into a single state along the lines of the Scotland-England model [ http://www.religion-science-peace.org/2015/04/03/israel-palestine-the-one-state-two-nations-solution/ ].
And you know how Palestinians feel on this subject because you are a mind-reader? Because you are Palestinian? Because you know Palestinians? Because you’re just blowin’ it out yer a*^? On the contrary, Palestinians would be delighted with a one state solution because they know that in the not too distant future they will be the majority in that one state.
Two states isn’t “one Security Council resolution away.” First of all, that SC resolution would be vetoed by the U.S. The reason it would be is because Israel refuses. So you have 2 insurmountable obstacles to 2 states. Which is why one state is inevitable.
“Withdrawal of Israel [sic] forces from the West Bank???” When? Before the Messiah comes? Or after?
One state was originally (very long ago) a Palestinian demand. They consistently refused to agree to the creation or continuation of a Jewish State on their own territory. They got worn down and felt they had to agree to two states. Israel, noting the progress made (in wearing down the Palestinians) then insisted on a one-state apartheid-style (the present status quo). and it is “good” from now til eternity unless some greater force intervenes. The UNSC has the power to intervene in favor of 1SS or 2SS or anything else but the USA has the veto (and, for what it’s worth, UK and France have vetoes too).
Personally I think that global warming will make the M/E uninhabitable before Israel agrees to anything decent. As we used to joke, as to I/P peacve, God saud, “Not in my lifetime.”
[Comment deleted & settler PR flack banned due to Anti-Jewish hate.]
I have no doubt that David Wilder’s descendants will be ashamed of him one day, You can only pity such a man.
Future generations in Israel will no doubt question their grandparents: “Where were you when all of this happened?” Only a very small and brave group of people will be able to hold their head up high.
You just one big anti-semetic blob of bovine scatology.
and i almost forgot: a bona fide ‘shiksa’.
Just lovely. And it is anti-“Semitic,” not anti-Semetic, by the way.
@ boris: No, she’s not an crawling thing. But YOU are. Despicable piece of racist trash. Now you’re banned. This may be a new world’s record, 6 comments from his first to banning.
@ boris: MAJOR comment rule violation. You are now moderated. Any further violations could lead to your being banned. As for scatology: you’re a piece of Zio-dreck.
I’m constantly astounded at the audacity some of these people have when it comes to babbling insults at someone, or simply screeching “anti-Semite, Jew hater” as if it proves anything other then the accuser’s inability to create even the most rudimentary argument in service to Israel.
There’s a whole pack of them on twitter too, as you’re well aware. I’m taking a break from that medium for a few days; I don’t have the time to piss away “arguing” with these people. I’m sure they must be subsidized in some way by some organization because that’s literally all they do– post “Palestinians aren’t real” and otherwise hurl insults and disgusting comments at anyone who takes issue with their lies.
“Pity” in the sense that it’s kind of a bemused contemptuous “pity”? That’s really the only way I could “pity” such an excuse for a man.
Otherwise I’d just tell him to go to the devil, and to take the “settlers” with him.
Elisabeth you won’t have to put up with this character for long. He will soon be banned to the nether region where he belongs.
About Clinton: she can no doubt say in her sleep “Israel has a right to defend itself” but has she ever said that the Palestinians have the right to resist Israel’s occupation and blockade? She cannot plead ignorance (“Ich habe es nicht gewusst”). Among no doubt many other things she was sent some of Max Blumenthal’s writings that were forwarded to her by his father, Sidney Blumenthal.
But compared to Saban’s millions these seem to have had little effect.
Carolina Landsmann commented in Haaretz of today on ” the racism and ignorance demonstrated by the members of Zionist Union when they shamelessly condemned their own MK Zouheir Bahloul just because he dared to mention the accepted distinction (denied in Israel) between terror and guerilla acts.”
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.715823
Wouldn’t the same racism and ignorance be on display in the American Senate when somebody dared to point out this distinction there? Clinton is just one of the many. She has to follow them because she is a leader.
A lying politician. I’m shocked….shocked, I tell you.
People who exaggerate the bad qualities of politicians are often anti-democratic. You see this so often. They usually do not even vote. They wait for a Leader (Fuhrer).
Yawn. Hillary is still an awful, ridiculous person, especially when it comes to Palestine (and Iran) and her pathetic sucking up (off) of creatures like Haim Saban and the lizards of AIPAC. No disrespect meant to the reptiles known as lizards though.
@ Bernie/Barbar: You should know. Israel specializes in them!
So much is being written, fought, killed to what result I say – let’s look at the ACTUAL STATE OF ISRAEL
It is dead last in education, in health care, in income distribution, in children hunger, I did not invent these numbers they are the result of OECD – the same organization Israel fought hard and long to enter.
THE ONLY THING ISRAEL COMES UP FRONT is in % spent in military , second only to china.
The religious hegemony is taking lead in army and secret service apparatus.
Please someone dissect the difference between Iran and Israel. Not far is the future where women will be erased from view. The facade of secular/democratic Israel is no more than that, a coat of paint –
What difference with Hamas
Let some secular jews run around so as to proclaim the “democracy” whilst religion takes charge.
I don’t blame any US president not willing to waste political chips in trying to redress this.
SHORT OF TOUGH LOVE — THERE IS ZERO NOTHING BUT ZERO chance of change and one entity is a defacto existence which will be imposed by the UN (obviously vetoed by US) to grant citizenship to the millions of hungry palestinians
It will not be long until the PA dissolves leaving the command to an “unwanting” Israel which will then have to decide whether to give “second class” citizenship to the palestinians or create a new palestinestan such as was in South Africa days before it blew up.
do not judge israel by its deeds from afar but from anear (ground level) to see how this future is the ONLY one left. not in 10 or 15 years but in 25 ABSOLUTELY , you can bank on it
Gentlemen, don’t think in binary. It is NOT too late for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. It may not be exactly with the borders the Palestinians want, but there will be an independent state. Israel will not allow itself to devolve into a non functional bi-national state. Since the Palestinian state’s borders will never be to the satisfaction of the their more nationalistic/Islamic elements (this would be true even if the state IS formed on the ’67 borders) , this state will de facto not be at peace with Israel. Israel will have to manage that situation.
The reason I say this:
With time the pressure on Israel will increase to either absorb the Palestinians or release Palestine from Israeli control. This pressure is both internal (violence and domestic protest) and external (diplomatic/economic). At some fateful point, and we’re not there yet, even the “mainstream” right wing will see the light and Israel will do whatever is necessary to extricate itself, rather than self-destruct. [It is too bad that Israel will have waited this long but that’s another discussion]. When that happens, Israel will go through a very painful political and geographic transition, no matter who is in power. Israel has been dragged kicking and screaming before into doing what is necessary and will do it again, and big.
This is not a matter of faith, but of knowledge of Israeli and Jewish history. We have a strong central government and are simply too pragmatic to knowingly commit national suicide.
It is possible that when all of this happens, there will be Jewish internecine violence. But the radicals will be subdued.
This is not a happy scenario, but certainly not a doomsday that many here are predicting.
Jewish history unfortunately shows the exact opposite, namely that fanatical groups are indeed capable of knowingly committing national suicide. (Bar Kokhba is a good example, but also the Maccabees apparently didn’t know when to stop.)
@Elizabeth– in your comparison, you are implicitly but incorrectly merging modern conditions and values (the nation state, human rights, global economics etc) with ancient ones (slavery, empires, kingdoms, etc). So I would not look forward to mass suicide.
@Richard– legally, morally and pragmatically, there is a difference between the existence of discrimination and being a bi-national state. You seem to think discrimination is getting worse over time but I don’t know how you know that. Are Israeli-Arab inequities greater now than 20 or 30 years ago? Do you have some metric for that?
Please don’t use the “racist” card on me when I make a claim about a fact. A fact may be correct or incorrect, but by doing the racist thing you try to shut me up the way that “hasbarists” use the anti-semite card to silence opponents. You know as well as I do that a large portion of the Palestinian population supports Hamas, which has stated clearly that although it would accept a cease fire with Israel at the 67 borders, it would never make peace with it or recognize it. Why is saying that racist?
As to the Israeli government, we’ve spoken about this before. A government can be dysfunctional in some ways but effective in others. Much as the US system, which can’t get its act together for decent gun control and health care of its citizens. But essentially, if a government has a functioning court system, can run a budget and a modern economy , has police and army that follows its orders, and runs essential public services, I would call that a functioning strong government. But yes, there is dysfunction in the decision making process in certain domains.
You yourself mentioned ‘Israeli and Jewish history’ as proof that Israeli’s are so pragmatical, and will not commit national suicide. What part of Israeli history and modern conditions and values were you referring to then, I wonder?
You, by the way, also brought up ‘national suicide’ and that is the term I used. Yet now you accuse me of “looking forward (!) to mass suicide”. I find that shameful.
You claim to be interested in a civilized discussion, but your repeated suggestions that other commenters here are ‘haters’ speak another language altogether.
Let’s try the ‘reset’ button.
Regarding Jewish history, my intention here is not to boast or look down at others. My main point is the Jews and Judaism have always adapted to their environments (with a few exceptions of small cults) rather than disappear. This includes the invention of rabbinic Judaism (which was a total reinvention of the religion to make it portable), to various adaptations throughout the ages, when Jews where a small, powerless and vulnerable minority. The Conservative and Reform movements were more of the same. Then, with Ben Gurion and other early Israeli leaders, Israel navigated through difficult diplomatic and geopolitical realities with pragmatism and realism. Even Menachem Begin compromised when he needed to.
I think (and hope) that the same will happen in the future. I am convinced that even an a-hole, such as Naftali Bennett, when confronted with the actual reality and responsibility of a fateful decision, would either do the right thing, or resign and let somebody else do what is necessary.
There is a difference between “Jewish” and “Israeli.” Jews have generally adapted to their environment, except for some very significant exceptions: the Bar Kochba rebellion among them. THe ruling extremists of Israel are much more in the tradition of Bar Kochba. And there is a very strong streak of suicide/martyrdom in both ancient Israel and modern Israel (i.e. Masada complex).
Rabbinic Judaism freed itself of a concrete connection to Israel itself. Diaspora Jews lived over 1000 years with no material bond with Israel.
Your confidence in Bennett proves that as the Israeli Titanic is going down, you will be one of the passengers playing a lilting tune as part of the ship orchestra.
I’ve pushed that reset button. See you in later comments.
@ Yehuda: Of course racism in Israel is getting worse. I’ve lived in Israel in the past. There was not the outright virulent, homicidal racism there is now. Anyone can see this. Not to mention polls of Israeli public opinion which reveal it.
That is a false claim. Hamas’ senior leaders have never said that. They have said they will never recognize a Jewish state. But that is not the same as what you claim.
Israel is FAR MORE dysfunctional that the U.S. The aspects of U.S. society which are dysfunctional are miniscule compared to those in Israel. Mussolini made the trains run on time. From that vantage point, his was a functional government. It was also a genocidal, racist government, but who’s counting?
Yes, it is too late. As for borders Palestinians want…they will not agree to a bantustan which is all Israel has offered the few times it’s offered anything. Claiming that the “recalcitrant” Palestinians are nationalist or Islamist is racist & stupid. Palestinians are no more or less nationalist than Israelis. In fact, Palestinians are far more moderate & pragmatic than Israelis.
Israel already is a bi-national state. But it’s refused to recognize this & so has Jewish citizens, a “fifth column” of Palestinians citizens and millions of non-citizens held in peonage. The Israeli right whether mainstream or not will never “see the light.” The “light” they see is a messianic Davidic settler kingdom.
“Strong central government?” You have a weak, dysfunctional government. “Pragmatic” is the complete opposite of what your government is.
Possibly a dozen years ago or so I might’ve believed there was some truth in what you say here. But far too much water has flowed under that bridge.
Sadly it is late.
1) The US knows only to cajole Israel, supply it with arms, and VERBALLY DENOUNCE
2) The same policy institutions between US and Israel have been in place since Clinton “B”
3) Israel has radicalized to the point that IT considers ONLY “the greater” Israel and nothing else
4) American jewry has pampered to the point of death EVERY SINGLE ISRAEL WHIM
5) US + Israel have made it an ANTISEMITIC SIN to whisper a word against Israel imperialistic policies.
6) US has seen and remained immobile when the radicalized Israel tore down EVERY DEMOCRATIC SYMBOL CARRIED BY THE “LEFT” (or what’s left of the left)
and now lastly but not leastly
DO YOU SEE ANYONE THAT WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO HALT THE INEVITABLE .
this is the same scenario as North Korea, this one AND ISRAEL will ONLY ALLOW DEALINGS WITH THE US. For both the rest of the world is of no political value
HAS THE US GOTTEN FAR WITH ANY NUCLEAR AGREEMENT WITH KIM
WHY DO ALL OF YOU THINK IT WILL BE ANY DIFFERENT WITH ISRAEL
please someone show me the character (either person or psychology) that will come with a TRUE WAY OUT
till then for israel it is an unnamed Palestinestan with hopefully the greater Israel ethnic cleansing with the mute consent of the world.
Please leave semantics out of the reality and point out to ACTUAL REALITY IN THE NEAR NEAR FUTURE that will cause a factual inauguration of 2 states in this area.
.”Then, with Ben Gurion and other early Israeli leaders, Israel navigated through difficult diplomatic and geopolitical realities with pragmatism and realism”
Ben Gurion advised against the occupation of the West Bank. Levi Eshkol had announced at the beginning of the war that Israel would not retain any territories it might occupy. Yet the advice of mainly Dayan and Allon prevailed. Was that “pragmatic” and “realistic” .
difference YUGE between then and now are
1) religion was neither IN power NOR empowered
2) as you said Israel “navigated” (this implies give and take) whereas the CURRENT Israel is ONLY (as we all know) TAKE and zero give.
facts on the ground already deny the 2 states
1) and only 1) — Does ANYONE visualize the removal of jews from Hebron. anyone on how will this come to be
“Does ANYONE visualize the removal of jews from Hebron. anyone on how will this come to be”
The people living there would not last one day without the army’s presence. Should Israel decide to withdraw from there, they announce a date that the army is packing up and leaving, and taking the weapons with them. The vast majority of civilians there would leave in order to save themselves. Those who stay, their lives are in their own hands.
@Yehuda: there is absolutely no evidence that any Israeli government including a so called leftist Labor government would withdraw military presence from Hebron. So what are you talking about? Dreams, illusions?
Looking at Israeli history “pragmatism” and “realism” are not exactly the qualities that come to mind.
Look at this issue of Tikun Olam and the comments there:
The same hubris that was displayed then is now shown in the non-response to the Arab peace initiative. This was Israel’s
last chance for a two state solution.
Let’s put it this way. Israel is still around (and thriving) almost 70 years after its founding, and over 100 years after the beginning of the Zionist project.
That is more than can be said for most of our neighbors.
These are simple facts– so we must be doing something right.
I’ll stop there, so the anti-hasbara police won’t get me 🙂
“Thriving” in what sense? It is governed by a group of racist mediocrities who are doing their level best to demolish what remains of democratic institutions (look at the antics of your so-called Minister of Justice).. Its elites, to the extent that they exist, seem to have lost any influence. I recommend that recent article of Carolina Landsmann to you that I referred to earlier in this thread.
“Thriving”? Al Capone’s outfit was thriving until justice caught up with him.
This site is too biased against Israel to leave an impact