}

This time, Israel did it to itself

Let’s review:

US Vice President treats Israeli PM like dirt after Israeli government announces 1600 new residential units in east Jerusalem during his visit to begin long-postponed peace talks.

UN’s Ban releases statement that any Israeli construction in east Jerusalem is illegal according to international law in response to Israel’s untimely announcement.

The EU parliament which appeared to be leaning toward voting against a resolution accepting the Goldstone Report, voted to endorse the Report. The vote was relatively close, suggesting that yesterday’s announcement may have swayed some in the wrong direction and caused some pro-Israel votes to abstain.

The EU parliament vote was also probably influenced by public and government anger at the recent use of European passports by the hit team that killed the Hamas terrorist in Dubai.

The Goldstone Report is not going away because the Israelis have not appointed an independent commission to investigate, so that they have a hard time making the case that they have met the Report’s recommendations.

None of these things should have happened. Being incompetent is one thing, but inviting problems when things are already challenging enough, is downright foolish.

40 Comments

  1. Felix

    3/10/2010 at 6:22 pm

    “None of these things should have happened. Being incompetent is one thing, but inviting problems when things are already challenging enough, is downright foolish.”

    What “problems”? I don’t even see those problems. Who gives a fuck about Joe Biden or some UN jerk, or whether the EU parliament endorses the Goldstone report or not? It’s not like anything of that has an impact on reality. Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem and expand settlements, to kill terrorists using forged foreign passports, and to go to war when necessary. Why behave like freightened dogs just to keep some Jimmy Carter types from talking smack about Israel or to get a more favorable vote by an almost powerless parliament on a side issue? And how do you suggest should Mossad killers travel to Arab countries to kill someone, should they use their own Israeli passports or what?

  2. themiddle

    3/10/2010 at 6:33 pm

    Nobody gives a hoot about Biden or the Europeans or the Americans or war crimes or anything at all. Rah rah rah! Go Israel!

  3. Kalil

    3/10/2010 at 6:51 pm

  4. Barry

    3/10/2010 at 7:12 pm

    The things you mentioned really have nothing to do with the housing announcement. The Goldstone report already wasn’t going anywhere. Any EU Parliamentarian who might have switched their vote because of the announcement probably didn’t have the necessary brain cells to vote on the issue to begin with, because I fail to see how building houses in Jerusalem in 2010 is in any way connected to what Israel did or didn’t do in Gaza in 2008-9. The US shifted its stance on J’lem once Obama entered office and declared that J’lem was just another settlement, no different from the ones in the West Bank. Anything Ban says or doesn’t say is simply an extension of the direction that Obama wants the peace process to go, even if it flies in the face of existing UN resolutions. So that’s nothing new either.

    This isn’t to say that screwing over Biden was a good idea. It wasn’t. But you’re being alarmist by lumping together a bunch of unrelated issues.

    And Israel isn’t appointing an “independent commission” because they know that Hamas and the PA will never do the same (and they, unlike Israel, will never be criticized for it). The whole point of having an “independent commission” is to give it access to all the information on all sides (which is exactly what the Goldstone report demands), if it only has the “independence” to investigate the Israeli side then it’s a sham, just like the Goldstone report is a sham.

  5. Felix

    3/10/2010 at 7:31 pm

    “No more talks: ynetnews.com/a…
    Nice work Israel!”

    Indeed. Those negotiations lead nowhere, anyway, apart from weakening Israel. Preserving the status quo is the best Israel can do. If Palestinians agree with them, the better!

  6. Rabbi Yonah

    3/10/2010 at 7:56 pm

    Biden could have shown his displeasure in other ways – he made it a maelstrom.

    Its easy to blame the victim TM – I mean for gosh sakes East Jerusalem is JERUSALEM.

    And as for Ban — just north of his country people live in absolute abject terror from the state, starving. Yet, he aids and abets the status quo with N Korea.

    The UN that he overseas sheltered Hamasniks during the Gaza War. and on and on…

  7. themiddle

    3/10/2010 at 7:58 pm

    Here is a good overview of how stupid the Israelis were yesterday.

    http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155630.html

    Read it and weep.

  8. Kalil

    3/10/2010 at 8:16 pm

    @Felix the status quo causes things like 9/11.

  9. themiddle

    3/10/2010 at 8:38 pm

    Oh, fuck off Kalil. Insane mass murderers with a religious agenda cause 9/11.

  10. Barry

    3/10/2010 at 8:50 pm

    Again, there’s nothing new in that Haaretz editorial either. It’s full of red herrings and apples/oranges comparisons. “The US will no longer turn a blind eye to Israeli settlements?” No, they’ve been criticizing the settlements (which now includes J’lem) for over a year, that policy is now front and centre in Obama’s “plan” to bring the parties back to the negotiating table. Nothing that happened yesterday has changed any of that. And what about this bit of craziness:

    “If the prime minister proves once again that he can’t be trusted not to embarrass the U.S. president when it comes to construction in Jerusalem and the settlements, how can they trust each other on Iran, where the issue of coordination is more critical?”

    The US and Israel *agree* on Iran. They don’t agree on what constitutes settlement activity in and around J’lem. On issues where there is complete agreement, there is trust. Where there is less agreement, there is less trust. This is basic stuff (although apparently not for certain Haaretz columnists).

  11. themiddle

    3/10/2010 at 9:37 pm

    Israel Harel is not Gideon Levy.

  12. Ben-David

    3/11/2010 at 12:15 am

    Middle:
    Let’s review
    – – – – – – –
    … but you begin your timeline much to late.

    It goes like this:

    30 years of craven unilateral concessions condition the diplomatic world to think they can pressure Israel, meddle in its affairs, and deny its sovereignty in its own capital.

    After the bait-and-switch governments of Rabin, Barak, and Olmert, Israelis finally elect a government that actually fulfills the nationalist/security promises of its campaign.

    And starts pushing back against the assumption that Israel is sensitive to pressure.

    Especially on Jerusalem.

    Self-hating, outward-facing Jews react with GLEEFUL PANIC:

    – gleeful because it lets them beat up on Bibi.
    – panic because they themselves are craven and fearful of what they goyim with think.

    Yes, you’re right Middle – I believe that Israel “did it to itself” – in a calculated step to reassert sovereignty.

    That includes diplomatic slapdowns that clearly show what is and is not open to discussion.

    • themiddle

      3/11/2010 at 1:22 am

      Ben David,

      They made a mistake. They acknowledge they made a mistake. They are on their hands and knees apologizing for their mistake.

      All they did was waste months and months of clear evidence that the Palestinians were the ones refusing to come to the table. Everybody finally understood and everybody was finally pushing the Palestinians to compromise and come to the table. And everybody came to the conclusion that Netanyahu meant what he said about negotiations. And with one idiotic announcement, they have enabled the Palestinians to walk away again and to justifiably point the finger at Netanyahu and to retroactively point the finger at his government.

      Nothing good came out of this.

      The rest of your pop-psychology is so stupid that all you have to do is consider that in lumping together Rabin, Barak, Olmert as bait-and-switch leaders, you’ve also pointed the finger at Sharon who left Gaza AND at Netanyahu, who signed and implemented the Wye Accords. In fact, Rabin signed Oslo but never implemented any part of it, neither did Peres. Barak offered peace but never acted on Oslo and the same goes for Olmert. So you have to live with the sad reality that Sharon and Netanyahu are the only recent PMs to PROVE that Israel is sensitive to pressure. Sharon gave in to the fear of demographics and built the security barrier and got the hell out of Gaza. Netanyahu not only signed the Wye Accords, he also gave up on trying to get Pollard freed as a quid pro quo for Wye.

      Want to try again with your lame “diplomatic slapdown” theory?

  13. Seth

    3/11/2010 at 1:45 am

    A country that gets bitched at every time a non-combatant is killed by accident kills a serial killer without harming anyone else- CHECK!

    A sovereign nation approves a new housing development in its capital, an action where race or religion should have no part- CHECK!

    Whats the problem here?
    Is Ban in charge of the Israeli government? What about Biden? No on both parts. They can fuck themselves.

    Oh and fuck you for passing judgement when I am sure you would crouch in a little ball and cry for mommy Obama if the tables were turned.

  14. themiddle

    3/11/2010 at 2:13 am

    “Whats the problem here?”

    Well, the reason the word “diplomacy” exists is that countries conduct their affairs with other countries in a respectful manner. Poking the VP of your best ally in the eye unnecessarily counts as piss-poor diplomacy. Doing it on the eve of a victory – yes, a victory – over the Palestinians by finally getting them to come to the negotiating table, after the rest of the world tells them to stop with their excuses, is sheer idiocy.

    But what the heck, everybody can “go fuck themselves.” Who needs other countries?

    Oh and fuck you, Seth, for passing judgment on me…uh, never mind, don’t beat me up, please! Mommy, mommy, the big bad bully called Seth is telling me to fuck off. Waaaaaah.

    Feel better now?

  15. Kalil

    3/11/2010 at 2:17 am

    @themiddle when did Muslims ever hate the west and the US before the US started supporting Israel?

    And the Palestinians were refusing, yes, but that’s because Israel was and still is building in areas that it doesn’t own. You may think you have some “holy” connection to a peace of land but the rest of the world doesn’t and shouldn’t see that. Israel doesn’t own E. Jerusalem or the West Bank. It doesn’t own it because the rest of the world doesn’t recognize it.

    Israel is only sovereign to an extent, always remember that. How can Israel claim sovereignty but at the same time cry to the US for sanctions on Iran and press for a possible future invasion? How about all the UN resolutions the US vetos? The military support in 1973 etc?

  16. themiddle

    3/11/2010 at 2:40 am

    @themiddle when did Muslims ever hate the west and the US before the US started supporting Israel?

    Kalil, the loonies of 9/11 attacked the US because it was sitting on Saudi soil. Don’t believe me? Read up on what Osama said publicly.

    And the Palestinians were refusing, yes, but that’s because Israel was and still is building in areas that it doesn’t own. You may think you have some “holy” connection to a peace of land but the rest of the world doesn’t and shouldn’t see that. Israel doesn’t own E. Jerusalem or the West Bank. It doesn’t own it because the rest of the world doesn’t recognize it.

    Israel is building in areas the Palestinians don’t own either. And actually, much of the rest of the world believes in the historical connection of the Jews to the Land of Israel, because you would have to be either entirely ignorant or a liar to deny it. Whether some believe the connection is “holy” or not is a different issue, although I would wager that tens and perhaps hundreds of millions of people do believe that.

    Israel doesn’t “own” east Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria and the world does not recognize its “ownership” over either. However, thus far, the world has not recognized anybody else’s ownership of those places.

    I have no idea what you mean by your last paragraph. If you mean that a sovereign country can’t ask other countries to impose sanctions, then apparently you’ve been asleep the past couple of decades when the US did exactly that, first with Iraq and then with Iran. In fact, the only reason Israel is asking the US for this assistance is that the US has asked Israel not to attack Iran. To remind you, Israel attacked Iraq’s reactor and Syria’s almost-reactor without any problem.

    Israel has never used American soldiers to defend it and has never asked for that type of help, save for two Patriot missile batteries back in the first Iraq war that were the trade-off for the US preventing Israel from defending itself against those Iraqi missiles.

    As for helping with arms in 1973, what is wrong with that? Part of that war was an unspoken war of armament supremacy between the Soviets and the US, with Israeli and Arab soldiers as fodder. At first Israel was losing because the Soviet weapons and the Arab surprise gave its enemies an advantage. It was certainly in the interest of the US to help, for reasons of protecting a fellow democracy and an ally, but also to ensure that the Soviets would not gain an advantage in war or afterward if the Israelis were to lose.

    US vetoes in the UN Security Council tend to fall on the side of justice and integrity. Maybe you’d have an argument if the Chinese and Russians didn’t keep stalling or downgrading any serious consequences for the Iranians and their genocidal regime.

  17. Felix

    3/11/2010 at 7:20 am

    Hmmm, let’s see. A (quite shitty) English-language newspaper intended for American readers in the first line agrees that Israel must NEVER, NEVER cause a frown on an American politician or else: Woe betide you… no, really? BTW, the article is written so poorly, it sounds like some schoolboy’s essay, particularly the brown-nosing and the cheesy “remorseful and at the same time uplifting” ending.

  18. Tom Morrissey

    3/11/2010 at 7:34 am

    Middle is absolutely right. I yield to no one in my embarrassment over our comic-book vice president and the Obama Administration’s feckless, tyrant-coddling foreign policy. But there are smart and stupid ways to pursue your goals, and showing Biden up so flagrantly was stupid.

    Ben-David and the rest of the ‘fuck the rest of the world’ crew should confront this irony. If Israel continues to behave as if the rest of the world (e.g. Ireland) can piss off, Israel will become ever more the ward of the United States snd rely all the more on the likes of Obama and Biden to insure its security. It’s shaping up to be a long, long eight years.

  19. Felix

    3/11/2010 at 7:59 am

    Ireland? Some island inhabited by ultra-Catholic alcoholics that’s nearly bankrupt? What does it have to do with housing in Jerusalem, again? Or Israel’s security?

    • ck

      3/11/2010 at 10:59 am

      Nearly bankrupt?? I’ll have you know Ireland is the richest country on Earth!

      That’s because its capital is always Dublin.

      Thank you. I’ll be here all week!

  20. Barry

    3/11/2010 at 8:08 am

    I’ve assume the role of the “middle” on this thread … how did this degenerate into “fuck the world” vs “how can the US possible trust Israel any more”? Both viewpoints are wrong. Screwing over Biden was dumb and the Israelis have egg on their faces right now. But none of it will matter in the long run.

    The Palestinians have already used 10000 flimsy excuses to not engage with Bibi’s govt. “Indirect” talks, to the Palestinians, would mean that they show their faces at some meetings and drag their feet over fringe issues completely unrelated to final status agreements. It’s not like this fabled Israeli “victory” that Middle speaks of would have meant picking up the peace talks where they left off in 2001, or even in 2008. The Palestinians are playing a different game now. Their “strategy” is sit back and wait for Obama to pressure Bibi into giving them what they want. If he succeeds, great, they’ll have a starting point for negotiations that includes all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem without having to negotiate for them. If he doesn’t succeed then they talk about how peace talks have failed and oh maybe we’ll push for a one-state solution instead. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. The “endgame” is the same, and Middle, you should know better because you’ve written probably 20 posts about this.

  21. Tom Morrissey

    3/11/2010 at 10:25 am

    Because, Felix, it’s the Irelands of the world (one of the countries involved in the Dubai passport imbroglio) that Israel should be able to count on to balance the Muslim/Third World countries that seek Israel’s destruction. Because you have to have some sort of international constituency of states friendly to you.

    Unless, of course, you’re content exclusively with the support of the US, or, to be more specific, with Mitch McConnell’s continued willingness to give you a blow job.

  22. themiddle

    3/11/2010 at 10:47 am

    I think Felix is a troll.

  23. Barry

    3/11/2010 at 11:51 am

    Nice to see that lunatics like CTC are semi-respectfully engaged on these threads while my level-headed arguments get me branded a troll by the guy who has repeatedly made nearly exactly the same arguments in his past posts. I generally agree with the stuff you write, Middle, but just because I won’t share in your “sky is falling” sentiments then you think I’m trolling?

    • themiddle

      3/11/2010 at 12:01 pm

      Barry, it was a joke AND I had actually erased it while you were responding. Sorry.

  24. Tom Morrissey

    3/11/2010 at 12:10 pm

    For the record, I greatly resent Felix’s attack on alcoholism.

  25. themiddle

    3/11/2010 at 12:28 pm

    They should have liquored Biden up before letting that announcement hit the airwaves.

  26. Tom Morrissey

    3/11/2010 at 12:31 pm

    I doubt that would take much trouble.

  27. Barry

    3/11/2010 at 12:39 pm

    Ha, OK, sorry Middle …

  28. Ben-David

    3/12/2010 at 4:11 am

    Middle:
    All they did was waste months and months of clear evidence that the Palestinians were the ones refusing to come to the table. Everybody finally understood and everybody was finally pushing the Palestinians to compromise and come to the table.
    – – – – – – – –
    True, they lost that momentum.

    For you this is tragic because you still believe that 2 states west of the Jordan is the solution.

    But Bibi, most of his coalition partners, and a growing plurality of Israelis have looked at the Oslo era and concluded that the 2-state solution is either impossible given Pali intransigence, or impracticable for at least a generation given the current Pali leadership and mindset.

    So the overall strategic thrust of Bibi 2.0 has been to start weaning the political/diplomatic world from the memes of Oslo (which I’ve described in your earlier whining posts about Bibi and Liberman).

    From the perspective of those who don’t expect anything to come from such negotiations, the difference between torpedoing and stalling is not so great.

    Now the Israeli weekend papers report that the current round of talks were booby-trapped with a unilateral declaration of Pali statehood that the Obama administration and the EU would accept.

    So torpedoing that, rather than being led on, looks pretty good.

    Obama is too weak politically to do anything – and world leaders are gradually getting the message that trying to meddle in Jerusalem is not worth it. Again – I think all this was calculated beforehand.

    That fact that a 2-stater like you can write:
    “And everybody came to the conclusion that Netanyahu meant what he said about negotiations”
    indicates that the strategy worked: Bibi remains the good cop.

    I don’t think he ever intends or intended to restart Oslo.

  29. Ben-David

    3/12/2010 at 4:19 am

    Morrisey:
    Ben-David and the rest of the ‘fuck the rest of the world’ crew should confront this irony. If Israel continues to behave as if the rest of the world (e.g. Ireland) can piss off, Israel will become ever more the ward of the United States
    – – – – – – – – – –
    1) There’s a looooong distance between assertion of sovereignty and “fuck the rest of the world”.

    2) In fact, Israel has become steadily LESS dependent on American largesse or the “special relationship” – economically, politically, militarily.

    Which is good considering what Obama has been doing to Israel, the UK, Western Europe, and other nations that used to have “special relationships” with the US.

  30. themiddle

    3/12/2010 at 4:36 am

    Ben David, you live in space. Most Israelis want a two state solution. Netanyahu never intended for this embarrassment to happen and even Yishai is groveling for forgiveness. And you entirely misunderstood the point I was making regarding the Palestinians being forced to come to the table. The point is that after months of trying to tell the US and the world that Israel wants a two state solution and wants negotiations, even Obama, not to mention the rest of the world, believed that the Palestinians were obstructing talks. That’s because this was the truth. Now, however, the Palestinians can say that they had always said Israel didn’t mean it and now they have the evidence. It’s not that they can or can’t walk away. If you’ve read my “Endgame” posts, you know that I have concluded the Palestinians do not seek negotiations or two states. This lets them continue their strategies without their feet being held to the fire. It’s a serious failure by Israel on the eve of a significant victory.

    Oh and you’re dreaming about Israel and the US. Israel is more dependent on the US than ever. Just wait to see what happens six months from now at the UN with Goldstone.

  31. Tom Morrissey

    3/12/2010 at 11:14 am

    Ben-David describes Obama as politically weak, but that may be a problem for Israel. If his domestic agenda collapses (if you like HCR, you’ll love immigration reform), he’ll seek accomplishments in fields in which he enjoys unfettered authority. He’ll be delighted to usher in a Palestinian state.

  32. Felix

    3/12/2010 at 11:25 am

    Calling people who disagree with you “troll” is of course a popular ad hominem in internet discussions, but it reveals more about the person using it than about the person it’s directed at.

    • themiddle

      3/12/2010 at 3:12 pm

      Well, in this case it revealed about me that I consider you a troll.

  33. Joshua

    3/12/2010 at 5:31 pm

    Middle, how many times am I going to have to repeat this: JERUSALEM IS NOT FOR SALE!!!!!

    • themiddle

      3/12/2010 at 6:03 pm

      Middle, how many times am I going to have to repeat this: JERUSALEM IS NOT FOR SALE!!!!!

      I suspect quite a few times since your comment has nothing to do with this post.

  34. josh

    3/13/2010 at 7:09 pm

    Nothing good came out of this.

    Man, you are one short sighted person.

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