36 thoughts on “Trump Strives to Undo 70 Years of Bipartisan U.S. Mideast Consensus – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Unfortunately, the two decades of consensus has produced nothing in the way of a lasting peace agreement, and otherwise caused unspeakable damage to the people of the Middle East.

  2. Bennett isn’t talking about annexing millions of Palestinians but 50k of them. Only those in live in Area C. m.ynet.co.il/Articles/4193652

    1. @ Jim: He doesn’t have to annex many if he expels the rest, does he? But I’m in favor of uniting Palestine-Israel into one state. That way he can annex everything as long as he offer full rights to the Palestinians he annexes.

      1. Richard. Jews and Arabs did live together under one State, during the 28 years the Mandate of Palestine was in effect. That scheme, if you remember, didn’t work at well.

        1. @ Finster/sinister: Since when is a colonial mandate “a state?” Neither Israeli Jews nor Palestinians had any national rights under the Mandate. They would in either a one or two-state solution. Can’t you at least get basic terms straight???

  3. I’m starting to think that annexation is not such a bad idea, particularly if the Palestinians will have autonomy, similar to what the Basques have in Spain.
    This is in reality a one state solution as long as the Palestinians living in the west bank receive Israeli citizenship just like the ones living within the 1967 borders. This will for sure better their lives and will put an end to the apartheid system that exists there. This will also mean that the Palestinians under the state of Israel will have considerable political power, enough maybe even to change the nature of the state so it will loose its identity as ‘the Jewish state”.
    This is of course exactly why it is not likely that annexation will take place.

    1. @ Amico: Palestinians don’t want ‘autonomy’ within Israel. They want to be full, equal citizens within a unitary state. Unless of course, Israel recognizes a fully independent Palestinian state in 1967 borders.

      The Basque example doesn’t apply to what Palestinians want. They don’t want autonomy. They want equality.

      1. Idon’t know to which “Palestinian’s” you refer to as they don’t have a single opinion on the matter (as Israelis don’t have). Hamas, which is supported by many of the Palestinians, wants an Islamic state on the whole country. Other Palestinians want an independent Palestinian state next to Israel. others want a secular bi-national state in which all citizens are equal. Some, such as Ahmed Tibi and many of the Palestinian’s in Israel want a Palestinian Autonomy within such a bi-national state. And by the way, many of the Basques do want an independent state but Spain doesn’t agree to that and most of them accept that they need to compromise with reality.

        The solution I talk about is along the lines Tibi is talking about-one state with equal rights and autonomy for the minority to run their lives according to their cultural and social preferences. The only way I differ from Tibi is that I want to keep Israel as a Jewish state in terms of the state’s symbolism and the right of every Jew to immigrate to it. To me that is the essence of Zionism

        1. @ Amico:

          Hamas, which is supported by many of the Palestinians, wants an Islamic state on the whole country.

          I love it when Israeli Zionists tell us what Palestinians “want.” It’s reminiscent of Freud’s plaint: “What do women want?” At least Freud never claimed to know. Ignorant Zio-apologists like you appear to know, or would have us believe you know. But you don’t.

          Hamas, in fact, is the only Palestinian political movement which fully embraced a democratic election in which it did not win a majority (though it did win the election with a plurality). The point of such an election which Hamas embraced was that it would have accepted the results of an election it lost, had it done so. It was the U.S., Israel, & Fatah which rejected democracy in Palestine by staging a coup against Hamas & then imposing a siege on Gaza.

          So no, your claim is absolutely false.

          Other Palestinians want an independent Palestinian state next to Israel

          Not quite. Palestinians would accept a state as a last resort. But the vast majority of Palestinians in the Territories would prefer a single state.

          1. Hmmmm….
            In fact you were the one to first state what the Palastinians want (” Palestinians don’t want ‘autonomy’ within Israel.”) … I only responded by stating the obvious: that different Palastinians have different views, and I know some of those views cause I actually listen to what their leaders and regular people have to say.
            And I do know what Hamas wants cause Hamas states it very clearly in its documents…. Need I to remind you that many anti-democratic enities along history have used the democratic system when it suited them and abandoned it completely when it suited them?
            I guess now comes the stage that you delete my comment stating that I broke some rule….

          2. @ Amico: YOU have no idea what Hamas wants. What it has pursued is a democratic election which was foiled by both Fatah, Israel AND the U.S. Bibi & his pals want a greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates. That doesn’t mean they’re going to get it–and they know it. So saying Hamas wants an Islamic state is like saying I want to be a billionaire. Both are equally unlikely and meaningless because neither will happen. And both Hamas & I know it.

            So you’re claiming that Hamas somehow will become as powerful as the Nazis through some mysterious fluke and gain the power to create an Islamist state? Despite the fact that Israel and the U.S. would both likely stop it in its tracks by violent military means if necessary? You are deluded.

  4. Is Steve Bannon an anti-Semite?

    “…I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian west, is in a crisis. And it’s really the organizing principle of how we built Breitbart News to really be a platform to bring news and information to people throughout the world. Principally in the west, but we’re expanding internationally to let people understand the depths of this crisis, and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian west in our beliefs.”


    This doesn’t sound anti-Semitic to me. Does it sound anti-Semitic to you?

    1. Interesting quote. I don’t think that Bannon is an anti-semite either. His views may be bigoted, but not against the Jews. Richard uses the term to vilify, the very thing that he berates us commentors for.

      Richard, this whole post is very much like sour grapes. With the election of Trump, political correctness in the US has died, and along with it, the suppression of free speech by the progressive left. In the battle of ideas you have lost. This blog is one of the few remaining bastions. I know that this must pain you, so you’re trying to spin it into something “good”, but its more like wishful thinking. How will you compare the people “that will die” under Trump with the half a million Arabs who have died in the Middle East under Obama? Why would you want an American administration to “implode”? I have to say, that’s not very patriotic of you.

        1. “Haters beware”?!!
          Did you think about what you just wrote? If you do not like Bannon, you are a ‘hater’? You dumb little twit. Your presumption and stupidity surpass even Barbar’s. (Unless you are him.)

          1. @ Elisabeth
            I’m pretty sure he is, like Barbarian, he’s been first on most articles, and mostly to say nothing.

          2. @ Sinister Finister: You make a classic error: Europe’s neo-Nazis and far right aren’t courting “Jews.” They’re courting “Zionists.” They love Israel because it is the bulwark in the holy war against Islam. Jews–not so much. We’re not down for such nonsense. Jews throughout the Diaspora want nothing to do with this narischkeit. Only Israeli ultra-nationalists, Palestine-haters & Islamophobes (like you) are down with this shit. That’s why neo-Nazis luv ya, baby!

        1. Dear Horst Wessel,
          We’re all aware of that, thank you. (You think you discovered something new?!) And you are so happy with your new friends: I guess you will not be hiding any Muslims when the trains start running. Time to iron your brown shirt.

          1. @Elisabeth

            Dear Andreas Riphagen,

            No. Most of us weren’t aware that the far-right had embraced Jews. The Washington Post thought to inform us.
            One billion Muslims have nothing to fear, but themselves.

      1. @ Yehuda: What nonsense. I advise you to do your homework & find the scores of examples online of Bannon & Breitbart’s anti-Semitism including his ex-wife’s divorce deposition, which is public record.

        As for the left “suppressing free speech,” you’re a moron. Trump supporters have called for lynching journalists. Trump & his cabinet members have called for executing Edward Snowden for his exercise of his own free speech rights. Your claim is obscene.

        We haven’t lost. In fact, Hillary won 2.5-million more votes than Trump. In four years, we will be rid of the petty tyrant & idiots like you will vanish into the dustbin of history where you belong.

        Obama didn’t kill 500,000 Arabs. In fact, Obama vastly decreased the numbers of Muslims killed compared to those who died under Bush’s 8 yrs in power.

        Why would you want an American administration to “implode”? I have to say, that’s not very patriotic of you.

        Patriotic? You must’ve forgotten that here in the U.S. we don’t define patriotism the way those who live in authoritarian regimes like yours do. Calling for the ouster or political demise of a president is perfectly acceptable. In fact, given the whipping Trump will give this country in the next few yrs, I’d say rallying against his excesses is the height of patriotism. You see, it’s all in the way you define it.

        1. @Richard: I’ll overlook the name calling.
          It seems that you think that progressive liberals own the definition of antisemitism. In case you haven’t noticed, it is only leftist or anti-Israeli media that have determined that Bannon is an anti-semite. You use that label for anybody who is a nationalist who attacks liberals, including liberal Jews. But you and your colleagues have misappropriated the term. For example:
          In fact, by any standard definition involving generalizations about Jews, the conversations on this blog would be considered far more antisemitic than Breitbart. While you are obviously not antisemitic, this blog makes sweeping hostile generalizations about large groups of Jews (Jewish Israelis, Zionists, right wingers), accusing them of being bloodthirsty murderers, thieves and liars (or supporters of those things). Many would consider that antisemitism.

          1. @ Yehuda: So you define virtually every major media outlet in the U.S. & the remainder of the world which have described Bannon as anti-Semitic as “leftist” or “anti-Israel media?” The NY Times? Washington Post? Los Angeles Time? The Guardian? BBC? All anti-Israel media? And why would saying Bannon is anti-Semitic have anything to do with being anti-Israel??

            by any standard definition involving generalizations about Jews, the conversations on this blog would be considered far more antisemitic…

            YOu have committed a major comment rule violation. I now warn you that your next violation will result in moderation or banning. You may not call this blog anti-Semitic in any way, shape or form. That includes saying that someone else might legitimately consider it anti-Semitic. So don’t try the old trick used here before: “I wasn’t calling you anti-Semitic. I was only noting that someone else might.” That’s horseshit. So go there again or anywhere near it & you’re history.

    2. @ Finster: You cherry-pick a single quotation from the millions of words Steve Bannon has uttered and determine that these few words represent all his views?? Really? Do a Google search on the keywords “Steve Bannon & anti-Semite” and you will find amply evidence supporting this charge against him. Also, ask his wife who said he hates Jews. She said so under oath in a deposition. I believe her.

  5. Mr. Silverstein, it seems that Mr Trump’s actual goal is Tikkun Olam. It seems that his Jewish son-in-law and daughter taught him the term and its significance. He is implementing their teaching.

  6. Not being a denizen of “the land of the free and home of the brave” my main interest in this election had to do with foreign policy. In this regard Trump’s views (to the extent that they can de discerned) seemed to me slightly less toxic than those of Clinton. who obviously was becoming too attractive for the likes of Wolfowitz, Kahan and even Bush the Lesser.

    I was pleased like many others by those lines:
    “Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with Russia and China and all these countries?” Trump said. “Wouldn’t it be nice?”

    Yes that would be nice. But perhaps those lines shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than, for instance, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had almond cake for dessert.”

    It is not impossible however that Trump is really interested in “ The Art of the Deal” to quote the title of the book ghost-written for him by Tony Schwartz. And in that frame of mind he might not altogether approve of a man like Netanyahu whose idea of a deal is to run the other party into the ground.

    I think that the Israel-firsters on this blog might be a bit premature in being so obviously pleased with his election.

    It could well be that Chemi Shalev was accurate in his assumption that Trump “might actually break the pro-Israel coalition that has been the mainstay of Netanyahu’s support in Washington …
    Not only is Trump not an interventionist or neo-conservative Republican of the kind that adores Netanyahu, it is this group that opposes his rise most vehemently and most vocally. Some of the neocons most closely identified with Netanyahu and right wing Israel, such as Bill Kristol, Elliott Abrams, John Bolton and former CIA director James Woolsey, have been gravitating towards Ted Cruz; Kristol has even floated the idea of forming a third party if Trump wins. If Trump gets into the White House, you can rest assured that this wing of the Republican Party will be one of the last to get invited.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.700565

  7. @ Richard
    “But the vast majority of the Palestinians in the Territories would prefer a single state”
    It depends wjat you mean by “a single state”: the one state solution (which could be a binational or a one democratic state) is supported by 31% in the latest poll (sep 2016) by Khalil Shikaki, and it’s not very different from the earlier polls (every three month), the support for a one-state solution is varying between 30 and 35%. In the same poll, 49% support and 50% oppose the two-state solution (the difference between the 31% supporting the one state solution and the 50% opposing the two state solution probably indicates the support of a Palestinian State in all of historical Palestine).

    1. I think that polls show that Israelis are similarly divided regarding a two state solution. Trump has expressed support for making “a deal”– presumable he means 2 states, as a one state solution would not come about by negotiations. However it is important to remember that every question is answered in a certain context. I think that both Israelis and Palestinians would show a majority supporting a 2 state solution if a real proposal was on the table and being seriously negotiated. Of course there would be extremists on both sides who oppose it. At present, these conditions don’t exist so people revert to their cynical and binary views. This raises the chicken/egg question– do the conditions not exist because of people’s opinions or are their opinions as they are because of the existing conditions– probable a combination of both, like a vicious cycle.
      @Richard: Regarding Bannon’s so-called antisemitism– the mainstream media outlets you mention such as NYT merely REPORT on accusations of antisemitism, they don’t call him an anti-semite. There is a big difference.

      1. @ Yehuda: I do so love seeing the pro-Israel crowd here getting into bed with white nationalists and calling them Friends of Israel instead of the foul anti-Semites they are!

        Now you change your tune and concede Bannon is widely named as an anti-Semite in the MSM. You’ve dropped the false charge that only anti-Israel publications have called him that. But now you raise a new claims that these outlets “report on accusations of anti-Semitism” while not calling him an anti-Semite directly. The words ‘anti Semite’ and ‘Steve Bannon’ are clearly, directly linked in all these reports. They directly say he is an anti Semite, which he is, even by his ex-wife’s admission. Your feeble apologies for him are pathetic, but telling.

  8. @Richard: I did NOT change my tune. You intentionally misrepresented my original statement, which was: “it is only leftist or anti-Israeli media that have determined that Bannon is an anti-semite. ”
    Not “reported”.
    HUGE difference. I know you’re not an idiot but do you think I am?

    Obviously, everybody was reporting about it, including right wing media. Just like right wing media reported that Trump is accused of racism and misogyny.
    It is the liberal columnists who give the labels.

    I reject Bannon’s white nationalism and realize that this ideology attracts the anti-Semites and other racists. But there is a gulf between your and my political compass and I will not be told by you who to fear as an “anti-Semite”, just as I reject your definition of Islamophobia.

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