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A New Palestinian War (nee, “intifadah”) is Starting and We Can Thank Obama

Whenever peace talks are close at hand, the Palestinians ratchet up the pressure by launching a wave of violence. The goal is to improve negotiating position and to ensure that after Israel gives up something new, that the talks will be torpedoed anyway. This helps the Palestinians immensely because they always demand that the new round of talks begin where the last one left off.

There has been minimal violent protest by the Palestinians in West Bank/Judea and Samaria over the past couple of years, even though talks were ongoing in 2008. This was because the PA had to behave since the Israelis were protecting the PA from Hamas and the US was training a large Palestinian army with the stated goal of giving the PA the tools needed to manage its own society.

Also, the Palestinians had been finding their pseudo-non-violent protests at Bi’lin and similar villages to be so effective, especially with their shills abroad and their BDS movement, that both the PA and Fatah called for this movement to grow.

And yet, over the past few days, there have been numerous incidents of violence and rioting by the Palestinians. As always, in these early days of the war, it’s mostly youth they are sending out. It makes for effective news and propaganda to have Israeli soldiers “fight” boys who are merely “throwing rocks.” Eventually, however, it is very likely that as the clashes escalate, that adult Palestinians will enter the fighting, just as they did in 2000 and 2001 with their guns and bombs. This time, Israel may have to contend with a 30,000-strong American-trained Palestinian army or soldiers from that army.

Did I mention they have American and Israeli weapons?

For the escalation and especially for its timing, we can thank President Obama who took a diplomatic snafu by Israel, one for which the Israelis apologized profusely and immediately, and turned it into a major diplomatic crisis between Israel and the US. By displaying such anger over what had not caused violent Palestinian protests previously, he forced the hands of the PA, which has been forced to compete with his petulance by expressing similar anger when speaking to their people.

It’s true that some of the violence was instigated by the PA over the construction and re-opening of the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City. This building, with a history going back many centuries, was destroyed by the Jordanians after they took over the Old City in 1948 and after they ensured that every last Jew was evicted from land under their control. It took until now to rebuild it and the photos I’ve seen show it to be beautiful. Perhaps having a building of such importance rebuilt in the heart of the Old City’s Jewish Quarter – previously emptied of Jews by the Arabs – and particularly because it has a religious function, made the Palestinians seek to express their rancor. This time, as they often do, they began with a stone-throwing exhibition from the Haram Esh Sherif compound down at people (you know, Jews) below them praying at the Western Wall. This led to clashes with Israeli police. It is very possible to claim that these activities were the result of the Hurva re-opening.

However, the clashes have really not ended since then and are spread around the West Bank/Judea and Samaria. One has to ask why, and the only logical explanation is that Obama’s got Abbas’s back. By taking such strident and public steps to punish Israel for announcing the construction of new homes in Ramat Shlomo, Obama made it clear that Israel had crossed a line in the sand that he felt they had no right to cross. This left Abbas with little recourse but to ensure that his people knew that he also has a line in the sand and if crossing it is so egregious that the US administration can attack and humiliate Israel, then what else can Abbas and his people do but use their tried and true method of gaining attention and sympathy? And, of course, Obama can’t say anything because he’s the one who expressed such rage at the announcement of the addition to this Jewish neighborhood.

This serves nobody. It is not in America’s interest to have another Palestinian war, it is not in Israel’s interest AND it is not in the Palestinians’ interest. Until now, they have been watching their economy boom as Israeli goodwill measures freed up Palestinians’ movement to some degree. Business is thriving. However, this intifadah/war will undermine this progress.

Did I mention that many Palestinians and Israelis could die in such a war?

Maybe Obama should vilify and attack the PA now? I mean, they are rioting violently and just this week they commemorated a terrorist who murdered about 37 Israeli civilians. That commemoration was planned before the so-called “proximity talks” were to begin. Of course, being a pseudo-dictatorship, it was easier for them to control the negative event than for Israel with its coalition government. But these are very good reasons to criticize the PA. It’s not as if Obama wasn’t given the pretext to attack the PA and using the same logic he used in attacking Israel. In fact, considering the circumstances and the stated goals of the US administration regarding this conflict, it would seem that going after the PA would be a no-brainer.

It’ll happen when cows fly.

17 Comments

  1. Shy Guy

    3/21/2010 at 5:29 am

    We can actually thank the Jews, especially Israeli political leaders – Netanyahu being the latest, who have done nothing but capitulate and act like spineless jellyfish for almost 3 decades already.

    Stupid Jews.

  2. Barry

    3/21/2010 at 9:40 am

    Economic growth doesn’t mean anything to the PA, it never has. If there’s a shortfall, they know they can cry poor to the Americans or the EU. A normal leadership would understand that it’s not in their interest to start a major civilian uprising and disrupt the conditions that led to 7% economic growth. But the PA leadership doesn’t think like that, all Abbas cares about is having his “army” there when the time comes to defeat/contain Hamas. For that reason, he won’t waste his guys in fights against the Israelis. Besides, against the Israelis he might lose. But if he sends kids out into the streets to fight the Israelis (or condones such acts of “resistance” or keeps up the incitement) then he’s in a win/win situation.

    The PA is gently “reminding” Israel that oooops, things might get out of control at any moment and are hoping that Israel will panic as a result of that vague threat. It didn’t work the other 859283 times they tried it, but it’s certainly not hurting their bottom line because they keep ratcheting up their demands for peace and the international community is slowly buying into it.

    Obama’s non-view of PA incitement was made fairly clear in his Cairo speech, no? He made it all sound so simple — denying the Holocaust is a no-no, and as long as the Arabs don’t cross that line, then the Israelis should respect them in kind by halting all settlement activity. Riots and ceremonies to honour terrorists might be bad, but they’re not as bad as the Holocaust and therefore not an excuse for not halting settlement activity.

  3. Bruce

    3/21/2010 at 8:21 pm

    No, you can thank yourselves. Obama gave you the chance to stop settlement construction and reach peace with the Palestinians. But Israel’s right wing government refused to end the apartheid, no you are getting you’re just desserts.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/3/11/845021/-Thank-You-Eli-Yishai!-The-Peace-Process-Hoax-Exposed.

    A lot of progressives were woken up by Eli Yishai’s move… it made it clear that the Zionists have no real intent of seeking peace or making the sacrifices needed for it. You reep what you sow.

  4. themiddle

    3/21/2010 at 8:54 pm

    No, you can thank yourselves.

    You mean the Israelis can thank themselves, right? I live in the US.

    Obama gave you the chance to stop settlement construction and reach peace with the Palestinians.

    Settlement construction has nothing to do with peace with the Palestinians. In 2008, Israel offered the Palestinians a state over 95% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza with 1:1 exchange of land inside Israel for the 5% in the West Bank. The Palestinians rejected the offer and stopped negotiations.

    But Israel’s right wing government refused to end the apartheid, no you are getting you’re just desserts.

    Idiot. There is no apartheid and the last government, which was the one which offered the peace deal was led by a life-long Likudnik who had been Ariel Sharon’s (father of the settlements) right hand man.

    dailykos.com/s…!-The-Peace-Process-Hoax-Exposed.

    A lot of progressives were woken up by Eli Yishai’s move… it made it clear that the Zionists have no real intent of seeking peace or making the sacrifices needed for it. You reep what you sow.

    The same progressives were making the exact same argument before anything happened here. The people who have offered peace 3 times in the past decade are the Israelis. The ones who rejected every time and never made a counter-offer are the Palestinians.

    And it’s “reap.”

  5. Bruce

    3/22/2010 at 3:03 pm

    No, your an idiot.

    And whatever you say, I refuse to believe that Obama and so many others could be wrong about Israeli settlements. Settlements are the key to peace! I’m going to trust Obama, Carter and many other people over some Zionist personalities, like yourself.

    Actually, I didn’t used to even really have an opinion on this issue – I didn’t really know anything about these settlements a year ago. But after Obama got elected, and he tried to stop these settlements, it became a lot clearer which party is the problem and obstacle to middle east peace! Also, there is an Apartheid, I just got Carter’s book and I’m informing myself on this topic…

    • themiddle

      3/22/2010 at 3:29 pm

      Bruce, you still don’t know anything. And if you’re (that’s how it’s spelled by the way) going to try to troll, please challenge us with a better effort.

  6. Bruce

    3/22/2010 at 5:23 pm

    Bruce, you still don’t know anything. And if you’re (that’s how it’s spelled by the way) going to try to troll, please challenge us with a better
    effort.

    Ironic, coming from you. On second thought… you do actually “know” a lot, but your head has been stuffed full with false pro-Israel Zionist propaganda, the likes of which you’d read on RedState or National Review.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/3/20/847696/-Israels-Clamp-Down-on-Democracy.-This-is-what-Apartheid-looks-like.

    http://bdsmovement.net/

    • themiddle

      3/22/2010 at 7:03 pm

      Bruce, I do know a lot and I’m extremely aware of what is propaganda and what isn’t. Between the two of us, I’d say the one who needs to worry about their head being stuffed with false information is you. You’ve already come into this ignorant and your sources are woefully lacking.

      Anyway, it’s been a slice and now it’s boring. Take care.

  7. rozi

    3/22/2010 at 7:25 pm

    i don’t think bruce is a real person. rarely have i ever seen someone debate like he just did “you’re wrong, i’m right because obama is the president, so he’s right! and jimmy carter was a president- so he’s right, too!”

    seriously, bro? way to embarrass yourself.

  8. Bruce

    3/22/2010 at 8:06 pm

    Well rozi, you don’t even make a debate, you just come and use an ad-homonym against me. And actually, I hear people use exactly my same sort of point all the time. Conservatives always mention Reagan, and progressives use FDR. Obama is a moral president and I think its fair to say his policies serve as a good guide post of what is right and wrong.

    By the way you need to READ, I didn’t say I was right because Obama agrees with me, just that I trust Obama’s logic over some zionist mouth breathers like you guys, so, way to embarass yourself! 😉

    • themiddle

      3/23/2010 at 12:34 am

      Rozi, it’s the I’m-a-stupid-guy troll. Don’t worry, expect him to “become” educated about Jews or Zionists soon and then we’ll hear what he’s been wanting us to hear since he got here.

  9. Shy Guy

    3/23/2010 at 10:50 am

    I think Obama is now trolling as “Bruce” on the Internet.

  10. Lauren

    3/23/2010 at 4:34 pm

    Arafat’s dead, so his position isn’t exactly relevant to what is necessary for peace today in 2010, or in the future. Any Palestinian state will require dismantling a lot of settlements, and swapping out Israeli territory for the settlements that remain part of Israel. Just because Arafat weaseled for his own political interests, doesn’t mean that future Palestinian leaders will do the same, or that the settlements aren’t a barrier to peace. You can deny this, but you’re only telling yourself a very big lie.

    “Attack and humiliate Israel”? That’s hyperbolic. Obama critized the confluence of what he considers (and many consider) a stupid and immoral move, and the insulting timing of its announcement. One fact overwhelms all of the weasel words: the settlements are morally repugnant. Obama’s right to oppose them, and Bibi’s wrong to pursue them. And frankly, if the fragile peace is so reliant on Obama’s silent tongue, then this is a good reason for Bibi to avoid pissing him off, and perhaps consider weaning his country.

    • themiddle

      3/23/2010 at 7:17 pm

      Well Lauren, it’s possible that other Palestinian leaders won’t behave as Arafat did, but it’s not looking like the present crop will be the ones to break away from his tradition.

      The settlements are not a barrier to peace. If you have any doubt, check out Israel’s departure from Sinai and from Gaza. The problem with peace appears to be that the Palestinians don’t want to sign off on a deal that doesn’t include Israel itself, as has been shown in all of their responses to Israel’s 3 peace offers of the past decade.

      Obama was welcome to criticize Israel for that stupid move – it wasn’t immoral at all. However, the Israelis stated it was an accident and apologized openly and profusely. Despite this, the administration went into full attack mode at every level. It was unwarranted and it undermined the possible negotiations THAT ISRAEL HAD BEEN ASKING FOR. The Palestinians were doing everything in their power to avoid negotiations, and finally when it’s about to happen, an event that resembled many others in previous months was escalated by Obama into a full frontal assault against Israel. By doing this, he all but guaranteed that either negotiations won’t take place as the Palestinians wait to see what the US forces Israel to do in penance, or if they do take place, it forces Israel into a position that’s much weaker than it would have been otherwise.

      Obama has not been silent and neither has the State Department. They have been critical of Israel in the past year to a degree that is unusual. However, this event went far beyond basic criticism. It was intended to create a chasm between the US and Israel. A public one.

      And just to show you how unreasonable it was, a few days later the Palestinians commemorated a woman whose only achievement in life was the murder of 37 Israeli civilians. She wasn’t a scientist or a political leader. She wasn’t an artist or even a great cook or mother. She was merely a terrorist who snuffed out the lives of Israelis who happened to be on the wrong bus at the wrong time. For this, she was commemorated by the Palestinians. You would think, wouldn’t you Lauren, that this “stupid and immoral” move, not to mention the “insulting timing of its ‘morally repugnant’ announcement” would elicit some sort of reaction from Obama or his administration.

      Nada.

  11. Bruce

    3/28/2010 at 3:31 pm

    The Palestinians were doing everything in their power to avoid negotiations, and finally when it’s about to happen, an event that resembled many others in previous months was escalated by Obama into a full frontal assault against Israel. By doing this, he all but guaranteed that either negotiations won’t take place as the Palestinians wait to see what the US forces Israel to do in penance, or if they do take place, it forces Israel into a position that’s much weaker than it would have been otherwise.

    That’s because the problem is with Israel here. It’s about more then just the settlements. It’s about putting Israel in its place and making it clear to them that they will need to show good faith before negotiations can proceed. The Palestinians are willing to sit down at the table once the Israelis stop being unreasonable, Obama is trying to calm things down and make the Israelis act rationally. If the Israelis do not become reasonable, then the Palestinians will be fully justified in unilaterally declaring a state – and Obama will be justified in recognizing that Palestinian state.

  12. Bruce

    3/29/2010 at 2:13 pm

    http://intifada-palestine.com/2010/03/digging-out-east-jerusalem-how-israeli-families-are-taking-over/

    Also, despite whatever claims you might have about East Jerusalem being Jewish, the land this settlement being built on is historically Palestinian and was actually owned by the Mufti of Jerusalem before it was unjustly annexed by Israel.

    • themiddle

      3/29/2010 at 3:45 pm

      Would that be the same Mufti who made an alliance with the Nazis, Bruce? Did the Jordanians nationalize the property when they annexed Jerusalem? And do tell, since there was nothing there before (Ramat Shlomo sits on the vacant land that was sitting between two Arab villages), how was this “Palestinian” land? Oh, and thanks for another link to yet another article filled with half-truths and misrepresentations. At least we know why you remain ignorant.

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