President Obama attending the White House seder one day after an administration official accused Dennis Ross of dual loyalty with a slight preference for the other country to which he is supposedly loyal, Israel

President Obama attending the White House seder one day after an administration official accused Dennis Ross of dual loyalty with a slight preference for the other country to which he is supposedly loyal, Israel

Normally, I would not be posting on the night of the first Seder. We had a nice one with our entire family, and it was special in many ways. Then I got home and read the news and felt I had to post something.

Here is the story in a nutshell. Laura Rozen published a post yesterday on her blog where she wrote:

Sources say within the interagency process, White House Middle East strategist Dennis Ross is staking out a position that Washington needs to be sensitive to Netanyahu’s domestic political constraints including over the issue of building in East Jerusalem in order to not raise new Arab demands, while other officials including some aligned with Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell are arguing Washington needs to hold firm in pressing Netanyahu for written commitments to avoid provocations that imperil Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and to preserve the Obama administration’s credibility.

POLITICO spoke with several officials who confirmed the debate and its intensity. Ross did not respond to a query, nor did a spokesman for George Mitchell.

“He [Ross] seems to be far more sensitive to Netanyahu’s coalition politics than to U.S. interests,” one U.S. official told POLITICO Saturday. “And he doesn’t seem to understand that this has become bigger than Jerusalem but is rather about the credibility of this administration.”

In other words, Ross is being accused by an anonymous leaker from the administration of being an advocate who prefers Israeli needs to America’s needs.

A Jewish public servant who has spent many years of his life advising American presidents regarding the Middle East and America’s interests there is being openly accused of taking Israel’s side over America’s side.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not shocked to be reading this. I’ve read this before. ON ANTISEMITIC WEBSITES. Oh, okay, also on some partisan pro-Palestinian websites. But in this case, the dual loyalty charge being leveled at a Jew is coming from the White House.

The White House!

Now, it’s true that after this became publicized, the Chief of staff of the National Security Council, Denis McDonough, wrote to Politico:

“The assertion is as false as it is offensive…Whoever said it has no idea what they are talking about. Dennis Ross’s many decades of service speak volumes about his commitment to this country and to our vital interests, and he is a critical part of the president’s team.”

That’s encouraging, but you’ll notice that this is coming from somebody other than George Mitchell, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel (who with this stabbing in the back has seen how he will be dismissed one day from his sojourn in the White House), David Axelrod or Barack Obama. In other words, Ross is allowed to dangle on the noose they’ve placed around his neck. Publicly, he is finished now. This has spread over the internet almost as quickly as the assertion that Patraeus counts Israel’s actions in the Mid-East as endangering the lives of American soldiers. Now at least Petraeus came out and publicly and unequivocally stated that he said no such thing and did not intend to have his words parsed in this way, but it didn’t help that Secretary of Defense, Gates, essentially agreed broadly with Patraeus’s alleged statement.

In that case, a country that has never demanded that American soldiers be put at risk on its behalf (unlike Britain, France, Holland, Sweden, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, etc.), was suddenly placed in a defensive position having to justify the enmity brought upon it by the Arab world as a consequence of the Arab world’s actions, not its own. It had to explain that it was not responsible for, say, what happens to American soldiers in Iraq. It had to defend itself against a blood libel. Actually, it still has to, because this is a recent development and can still be found floating around all over the internet in discussion forum after discussion forum.

Speaking of discussion forums, every single one that I have read since the Ramat Shlomo-Biden incident, mostly for major American newspapers’ online editions, has a large proportion – well over three quarters of the comments, I would say – expressing distinct hostility against not just Israel and its supposedly anti-peace behavior, but also numerous comments attacking Jewish influence on the US, AIPAC’s influence, the “Jewish Lobby” influence, etc. The accusations made are harsh and often accuse these Jewish groups of supporting Israel over America as if the two are enemies or their interests are diametrically opposed.

This, of course, follows the Obama administration’s public and unending upbraiding of Israel’s leaders and of Israel itself. It has evolved in the past several days where on the one hand, they continue to slap Israel in the face over and over again, for example, in letting out a trial balloon notifying news agencies that the US would abstain in a UN Security Council vote about Jerusalem (no such resolution is tabled, but this was a clear warning to Israel), while with the other hand they stroke the American Democratic Jews by paying lip service to the idea that Israel “remains a close friend.”

Friends don’t let friends become targets of accusations of dual loyalty or of blood libels. Friends don’t let friends enter dangerous waters where the sharks who have waited for decades to bite are waiting hungrily as the ship’s captain removes the scuba gear and the harpoon from the lonely diver’s grasp. Friends don’t let friends become the focus of a broad scapegoating campaign that brands these members of a minority as the explanation for the hardships faced by their country.

But nobody needs to worry too much, because tonight Barack Obama attended a Passover Seder. He also released the following statement (taken from Ynet):

“This evening, Jewish individuals, families, and their friends in America, Israel, and around the world will gather around the Seder table to celebrate the sacred festival of Passover.

With rich symbols, rituals, and traditions, they will tell the story of the Exodus – the journey of the children of Israel from slavery to freedom, from grief to joy, from darkness to light, and from suffering to redemption.

The enduring story of the Exodus teaches us that, wherever we live, there is oppression to be fought and freedom to be won. In retelling this story from generation to generation, we are reminded of our ongoing responsibility to fight against all forms of suffering and discrimination, and we reaffirm the ties that bind us all.

My family and I send our warmest wishes for a joyous and meaningful Passover.

My Passover is meaningful, but like that of Dennis Ross, it is now far from joyful. I worry about what Obama is doing not just to Israel and the prospects of peace, which he is definitely undermining, but to those American Jews who support Israel. He is undermining the ties that bind us all.

He is bringing upon us a plague. Let’s call it, the Plague of the False Narrative. This is the Rashid Khalidi and Reverend Wright version of Middle East and American history. In this version, the “New Historians” are the only historians that matter; the Palestinians are “moderate” victims of Israel’s intransingence; the illegal buildings of Shuafat and Silwan are kosher but the legal buildings of Ramat Shlomo are unkosher; the source of Middle East tensions is Israel and not, say, Arab dictatorships or groups that deny Jewish historic links to this land; Israelis are European colonialists and the Palestinians are their native oppressed victims; Israel’s real and actual peace offers are insuffficient or made in bad faith while Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate or compromise is acceptable and understandable; Jewish Americans are useful for fundraising and winning close elections but are trouble when it comes to their support of Israel; Walt, Mearsheimer and Carter are right, their opponents are wrong; and the US only opposes Goldstone because of the implications to American troops, not because Israel is innocent.

But not to worry. Tomorrow, some White House person will come out and declare that Israel and America’s bonds are unshakable. Somewhere else, a White House representative – don’t worry, it won’t be Obama because he won’t be caught doing the dirty work – will let a newspaper, a blogger or a congressional committee know that Israel is the undoing of America in the Mid-East and the support of those Americans who advocate for Israel is partly responsible for this.

Mea culpa. I apologize deeply for my support of last election’s Democratic nominee for President. We have brought this horrible situation upon ourselves.

(photo from AP, through Ha’aretz)

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  • I am very sorry to hear that
    for the Jewish people and for Israel

  • what no praise for this guy being the first president to attend seders int he whitehouse? Also, Israel is making American support from the Jewish Community here hard by messing with the law of return and trying to say conversion is not real outside of the country and outside of the ultra-orthodox

  • Middle, I hope you have a lovely Passover. Welcome aboard– better late than never.

    The impending demise of Dennis Ross, the personification of mainstream US policy-making, is an apt symbol of the times. I expect that as cap and trade, immigration reform, and other Obama initiatives founder in the months ahead, he will turn to the Middle East to create his ‘legacy.’ He is, I believe, bound and determined to sire a Palestinian state. He wants to be for Palestine what Truman was for Israel, and then some. And to that end, he’s prepared to force the issue in crudest of ways. Bibi gets slapped around, and The One has nary a word for the Palestinians, or even for the likes of Assad, who called on Abbas to resume armed resistance at the Arab League summit. (So much for our detente with Damascus.)

    Obama will go for it, and the question here will be: can he retain US Jewish support? There is no question in my mind that, if an election were held tomorrow between Obama and ______________ (fill in the Republican), Obama would meet or exceed his numbers in the Jewish vote from last time.

    I know it’s anecdotal, but in a dust-up between Bibi and Barack, my Jewish pals will take the latter in a heartbeat. Middle may’ve changed his mind, but the number of Middles in the electorate are very, very few.

  • Another sign of the times– David Remnick’s editorial in the current New Yorker, in which he opines that, because Obama knew a bunch of Jews in Chicago, he can’t be anti-Israel, and, besides, everyone knows Netanyahu is the true obstacle to peace in the Middle East…. This is closer than AIPAC to mainstream Jewish thinking.

  • The Remnick piece is exactly what is wrong with what happened here. It’s not just Remnick. That fool, Roger Cohen at the NYT, with his ridiculous notions about Iran, is also riding this Obama theatrical revue as if it were anything but play-acting. They’ve taken reality and flipped it on its head. Netanyahu is supposedly the bad guy (it didn’t have to be Netanyahu, it could have been Olmert or Livni or anybody else) and Abbas is the good guy. Anybody following this closely knows that the Palestinians said at the beginning of Obama’s term that this was how they planned to play this, with the intention of doing nothing until a blow-up between Obama and Netanyahu brought down Netanyahu. Now that it’s playing out as they predicted, it is amazing that Obama has turned the blame on to Israel. Israel has been asking to return to negotiations almost since after his Cairo speech.

    However, that pales and I mean PALES, in comparison to the attack on American Jews that we’re seeing out there. His administration has made it into “us and them” and the outsiders are Jews who support Israel because supposedly we side with Israel AGAINST the US. It is breathtaking in its audacity and its abject dishonesty.

    Where is Hillary to protect Ross? He served her husband loyally for years.

  • I’m also reminded, by the way, of when Bush’s White House forced Israel to accept Hamas in the Gaza elections, against Israel’s wishes. The price for that has been steep and Israel continues to pay it. One can only wonder what will happen this time as Israel is forced to capitulate to a president who has bought the other side’s narrative, and who is obviously of the mind that Israel’s offers at Taba and two years ago with Olmert were insufficient.

  • Reading Cohen, you sense an almost patricidal delight that the old guard and traditional strategic thinking are being swept away, and that the likes of Andrew Sullivan and Juan Cole are being vindicated.

    The next step in ratcheting up the pressure: Obama threatens to support a Fayyad-led declaration of Palestinian statehood.

    • Tom, the question of creating a Palestinian state unilaterally or with the blessings of the US is not the real problem, just part of it, especially if Hamas takes it over and begins to attack Israel. We can assume, however, that the American-trained Palestinian forces will be ready by then to control the new state and avoid another Hamas putsch. The problem, and it is a critical one for Israel, will be where Obama accepts the borders. I don’t believe he will unilaterally overcome 242, which does indirectly call for some territorial exchange. However, he can do whatever he likes and if he states that the new Palestinian state’s borders are what Abbas and Fayyad will surely declare – the 1949 armistice lines (the so-called pre-1967 lines) – then he will be providing international cover for Palestinian control over east Jerusalem and the Old City. I suspect that if the US goes that far, it will table a resolution at the UNSC that re-orients 242 to permit such an outcome and that will prevent Israel from ever having the consent of the international community to any part of east Jerusalem. This will surely lead to war, but on the basis of his behavior since coming into office with respect to Israel and the Arab nations, I wouldn’t put this past him. Needless to say, he will wait until Israel does something that gets bad press before announcing this decision, so that just like the Ramat Shlomo-Biden dramatics, the blame will be placed upon the Israelis.

      Rereading that, it sounds like I’m paranoid, but if this administration can abrogate previous agreements between the US government and Israel, depict Israel as the peace-shirking aggressor despite the plainly available facts to the contrary and actually allow one of its key members to hang from a tree on the basis of an accusation of Jewish dual loyalty, the scenario I describe does not sound all that far-fetched.

  • George Mitchell is right. The palestinians are at risk of losing patience if the Israelis keep building settlements. Obama is trying to keep them at the negotiating table, but if the Zionists are not reasonable you could end up with the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state or even a second Infatada. Then Israel will have no one to blame but themselves.

    • Bruce, would you kindly direct your childlike idiotic comments to another target? There’s a site called Jewschool that would love to hear what you have to contribute. Seriously, you’re even doing a lousy job trolling and all it’s doing is messing up conversations. We’ve been hospitable despite the initial anti-Semitic comments and the ongoing ignorant comments since then, but I really don’t appreciate you entering the posts I work hard writing so that you can write some inane bullshit you know nothing about. This is a nice request. After this, whenever you post a comment, I will keep or eliminate it at my own leisure.

  • Also, I question Dennis Ross’s loyalty, if not to the United States, then at least to the Obama administration. If he were really loyal to Obama he would try to help along Obama’s policy initiatives instead of undermining them.

  • I was prepared to make a comment, but after that old anti-Semitic bomb blast at those who you disagree with, I’ll refrain.

    Interesting read though.

  • Um, Geoff, with all due respect, Mr. Bruce has been with us for a couple of weeks now and his second ntroductory comment was undeniably anti-Semitic. I told him so and asked him to refrain from those comments in the future. He was not kicked out and we have engaged him in conversation despite the silliness of his comments.

    When people come to Jewlicious and comment with anti-Semitic comments, they are called on it. We’re not afraid of those who would claim that “the anti-Semitic card is overplayed” because, sadly, there is still anti-Semitism out there.

    On the other hand, when people comment without anti-Semitic sentiments, which is the vast majority of the time on Jewlicious, they get a discussion. If your contribution would have been anti-Semitic, then you are wise to refrain from commenting. If your comment was not anti-Semitic, you will find that you can express the strongest views you like on any subject here and will receive an earnest debate in response.

    And no, we don’t equate “anti-Israel” with “anti-Semitic” unless the comment or idea is directly anti-Semitic or singles out Israel in a manner that differentiates it from all other countries. And even then we will generally argue the point.

  • American officials criticise Israel – What next, the knock on Anne Frank’s door?

  • American officials criticize Israel all the time and have done so over the course of a number of administrations. Anything else, Cabel?

  • In a sick, sardonic kind of way, I’m enjoying all of my predictions coming true if only because it wakes the rest of you 75%ers up to what we were screaming at you guys, that couldn’t penetrate the Reform Jewish psyche or whatever you want to call denial these days. It’s too bad any of this had to happen, but hey, I didn’t vote for a guy who sat in a church run by an anti-Semite for 20 years and with Islamist supporting friends. Bit look at it this way guys, you can always tell people years later that you were “open-minded”. Too bad Israel had to be sacrificed to allow you all to sleep well at night.

    And Malia, I was reading your blog until I started to come to quotes from some NJDC rep as if he was someone I would take seriously. Yeah, no thanks. Other than the content, nice design though. I’m no Plain fan or anti-fan like you, but I’d take Trig over Obama these days. And as someone who’s intermarried as well, the last people or sheep I’m worried about and they’re “fake” support for Israel is my entire wife’s very Christian family. As I’ve said a million times, who cares what they’re end goals are! Sure they think I’ll burn in hell for not worshiping Christ and sure they believe the end times will come and all Jews will return to Israel, yada yada yada, but come on… all rational thinkers know that will never happen, so let them believe that until the end of time and support Israel. They do so far more passionately than most brainwashed American Jew punks these days. I’ll take a million of them over Cohen and that other idiot mentioned above.

  • “We can assume, however, that the American-trained Palestinian forces will be ready by then to control the new state and avoid another Hamas putsch.”

    Not a chance, Middle. Hamas will smoke Fatah like a cheap cigar, just like they did in Gaza.

    In a fight between hardened, dedicated ideologues and soft, opportunistic kleptocrats who have been living on the international dole for 50 years, always choose the ideologues.

    G-d, am I glad I didn’t vote for Obama. What a total, unadulterated POS he’s turned out to be.

    And the utter shamelessness, the mind-bending chutzpah of him to dare to hold a “Seder”. I can’t think of anything more insulting. It’s absolutely infuriating.

    Hands off my religion, you fuck. Go look for Easter eggs like a good Christian should, and stop mocking us. It’s OUR Seder, NOT yours. I’ll thank you to keep your anti-Semitic paws off of it.

  • Not we. You, and Jews like you. But all of us Jews will suffer from this stupidity.

    Were you sleeping when the Jeremiah Wright clip talking about the I-P conflict being the reason for 9/11 was on TV 24/7? Obama really believes this crap. You just had to use common sense and ask yourself “would I ever go to a Church/religious establishment where a pastor held such extreme views?” OF COURSE YOU WOULDN’T.

    These days the NY Times editorials about Israel, mostly written by Jews, sound more and more like like they were written by Pat Buchanan. The left is clearly finished with Israel and since 2000 has been conducting an organized delegitimization campaign. Obama is going to take this campaign to another level entirely. He is actually going to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians and give them most of what they want, Israelis’ security and history be damned.

    I also think this Obama Seder is extremely offensive and is mocking us. It is nothing but a cynical plot to divide American Jews.

  • Obama’s Israel-bashing probably has an Iran dimension as well. He may think it makes an Israeli strike less likely, even while setting Israel up as the scapegoat for Iran’s designs on nuclear weapons. Someone will have to be blamed when Iran gets the bomb.

  • Israel is the scape goat already.

    Iran wouldn’t feel the need to acquire said weapons if it didn’t need to worry about a belligerent Israel sitting on a stockpile of 150 illegal nuclear warheads. I can understand why Iran is worried. Perhaps if Israel is really serious about keeping the number of people with nuclear weapons down, Israel could start by disarming their own? How about that?

  • Obama’s an idiot if he thinks browbeating Israel is going to get them to do what he wants. His “smart power” is making an Israeli strike on Iran more likely, not less. Israel is always more cooperative when it knows that the US has got its back. Now that it’s obvious that Obama is an anti-Semite and a Muslim tuchislecker, Israel is much more likely to do what it needs to do to protect itself.

    Maybe this is all a big Kabuki designed to give Obama “plausible deniability” for when Israel attacks and that they’ve got the deal all worked out. That would be nice, but I doubt it. I’m pretty sure that Tom is right, and when the fewmets impact the rotary wind device and Iran gets the bomb, Obama is going to use some version of “the uppity Jews made them do it” canard.

    He really is just a hot, steaming pile of doodeleflap, an absolute disaster n every sense of the word. I hope to G-d that the Yidden wake up in time for the midterm elections.

  • A friend was at the seder and told me that the picture was taken during the reading of the ten plagues, during which the participants reduced their wine cups by dipping their fingers into the goblets one time for each plague. She heard someone say Dam, Tzfardaya, Keenim, dual loyalty,… Slaying of the first born….

  • Why is everyone so afraid of obama. he will do nothing, he will support isreal in the end all the way. When has isreal not recieved what it wished from an american administration? this is all theatrics to create an illusion of tension. But i do agree, Obama will be bad for the united states. Does isreal really have nuclear weapons? I assumed they did not. If iran gets a bomb, why would they want to destroy isreal when isreal can destroy iran? remember US vs Russia Iran would be ash in minutes.

    Obama is just bush light! both taste bad

  • Wait… so, what exactly are you going on about?

  • Where is Hillary to protect Ross? He served her husband loyally for years.

    Ha ha. Middle thinks loyalty is any more important a virtue to Hillary than to Obama. Hahahahahhahahhahahhahahahhaa.

    You’d have someone just as fickle, just as disloyal, even hungrier for power, who has the added virtue of never knowing where she stands on anything. There’s the only place where she diverges from Obama. But that would have been good, right? Someone in charge of Mid-East policy in the White House, who never knows where she stands, who has no vision, and tells Israel it’s ok to violate international law and is more concerned with Netanyahu’s political condition than with that vision. Great.

    Just playing Devil’s advocate here but it’s not like you make it difficult or anything.

    I’m actually starting to believe everyone who says that debate over Mid-East policy is freer and more open in Israel than it is among American Jews and the right-wing pimps who want nothing more than to pander to their fears.

    And BTW, how successful do you think Ross was under Clinton? Just a question. Not like it allows us to re-frame this entire debate over the supposed tragedy of his –gasp– demise!

  • So, to reiterate your argument, in response to my claim that Obama’s administration has had somebody leak an old antisemitic canard and this is egregious, you 1) first try to claim that you don’t understand the post and then 2) that Ross was “not successful” under Clinton and therefore claiming that he puts Israel ahead of the US is understandable. Oh and 3) some crap about “American Jews and their right-wing pimps.”

    Your first point is idiotic. Your second point is idiotic and irrelevant to the post. Your third point is laughable since Obama got 78% of the Jewish vote and it has taken some fairly repulive and hostile behavior towards Israel and its leadership to get the Jewish center (like me) to come to the conclusion that he is, in fact, hostile to Israel and bad for its interests. Not to mention that his administration is undermining Jews who support Israel by having this Dennis Ross assertion come about, having Gates speak out on behalf of Patraeus’s supposed statements which even Patraeus disavowed and in creating an environment of us vs. them in how the relationship with a CLOSE ALLY is depicted.

    Here’s my suggestion, you little Obama apparatchik, why don’t you reread the post carefully and ask yourself whether it’s acceptable that a Jewish member of the administration is 1) singled out in this way and 2) then isn’t defended vigorously by a key senior figure in the administration. Ask yourself whether it’s acceptable that Israel is depicted as the problem in resolving the conflict when all the FACTS fly in the face of that assertion. Do you know how ridiculous it sounds when somebody hears defenders of Abbas’s refusal to accept or continue negotiating Olmert’s peace offer? Or when one reads the Washington Post article where an Abbas aide described after Obama’s election exactly what is playing out now, which is that the Palestinians planned to do nothing because they assumed Obama would take steps against Israel that would eventually bring down the Netanyahu government as the rift with the US becomes evident? Then you need to explain how a relationship where Israel has never asked for American troops to risk their lives fighting for Israel suddenly is described by the administration as one that endangers American military lives? You mean that drone attacks on Qaeda leaders or blowing up half of Iraq and causing massive upheaval there is not the problem, but Israel is?

    Oh, and when you’re done, can you please tie this all in to the fact that a year has passed and Obama is no closer to resolving Iran while they are one year closer to nukes?

    Thanks. We’re always pleased when you come here and tell us the party line.

  • I agree Obama is not closer to solving the Iran conflict. But iran is far from having a nuke. Dont worry so much. I have learned isreal has 200+ nukes.

    Its hard to believe the palestinians assume anything from the usa, regardless of party lines. democrates and republicans have always supported isreals side. Isreal has all the military and political strength it need to feel secure. but all I read is fear, you think iranians want their cities turned to glass. you speak of all these isreali offers, were there no arab or palestinian offers to isreal in the past? Both sides have done these things, both sides have to agree. I can offer to sell you a box of air to 1000 dollars, its your right to refuse or accept. Just because you refuse doesnt mean it wasnt the right thing to do.

    Dont worry so much about the usa, whether democrate or republican. Look at the voting records, its looks pretty good for isreal. usa give money, weapons etc.. Maybe isreal shouldnt build ilegal settlements on occupied lands. A little fore thought could have prevented this tiff amongst best buddies. DOnt forget, friendship is a two way street.

  • Re: montana urban legend

    I have to disagree with you on one point, Hillary is from the Democratic leadership council. I highly doubt she would take the same pro-active, pro human rights approach that Obama has taken. Thankfully, she has shown herself to be willing to follow Obama’s lead, I was a bit fearful she would try to undermine Obama’s foreign policy, but she’s stood firm against the Zionistic wing of the Democratic party. I completely agree with the rest of your post though.

  • how about the arab peace initiative? isreal didnt take it. It didnt have to, if it didnt like it. Big deal, whats new. Both sides must agree. Maybe isreal thought it was a package full of air.

    Its just that some things get a little silly. Like what is the big deal that the american isreali lobby influences congress or washington for that matter? Is it not a lobby? thats what they do, they try to convince people to their side. Just like the big oil, pharmacuticle, military industrial lobbies do. Its not something everyone should be so afraid of. thats how buisness is done around here. Look, the usa politicians arent very good or respected here in the usa. If the isreali lobby is able to influence them to their position, good for them, thats what they do. Thats what they are paid for. From what I have read, I wish I had them on my team.

    And this talk of stabbing in the back? Come on, look at the record. Doesnt isreal still get billions, weapons, vetos, etc from republican and democratic presidents. Even in a time of recession. Dont worry, there will be no stabbing in the back. Only full support, as usual. Obama can huff and puff, but he is a puppet that cannot blow the house down. makes me feel like puffing something right now…

    pphhhhssss……ya im from cali. if you think the lobby is powerfull, you should take a look at the cfr.

    I would pass this to the left, but Im not with the left, and nor to the right. Ill pass this one to themiddle.

  • The Arab Peace Initiative simply lists Palestinian maximalist demands. For example, it requires that Israel sign on to UNGA Resolution 194, which Israel rejects.

  • Less than 3 score and ten after the most shamefull period in history we seem to be having replay: In Iran, a wannabe Hitler and Hitler-look-alike is getting away with promising genocide to the Jewish people – and now, as then, they say “he is only a joke” – he is even offered a platform by the despicable UN.

    The demonisation of the Jewish people was done by the nazis’ use of the media – and again, it is the 4th Estate that is doing the most harm by vilifying Israel.

    The Nazis brought devastation to the Jews and the world in only 12 Years !!! 12 Years!! How long do we have, with someone as powerfull as Obama helping the baddies by playing – at best – Pontius Pilate, at worst being ideologically aligned with those who want a repeat of the holocaust?

    PS: I am German.

  • It’s great that Germans have come around to recognizing how egregious they were over 70 years ago. Unfortunately, the Arabs haven’t. That is the reality.

    So people can go around playing this game of supporting the efforts on the part of a few million to continue arguing and harassing their way to “peace” with the hundreds of millions of Arabs who surround them. But unless those Arabs feel they are treated fairly (and whether you agree that they’re being treated fairly or not is secondary to their own perceptions), then we can look to history to see what happened when many less numerous Germans reacted to the unfair treatment they received at the hands of the victorious and righteous allies after WWI.

    It would be a hell of a way for the Arabs to learn their lesson, but why not? I guess we’re in teaching mode now.

  • ^^

    So true. And I think in any poll, you would see that Iranians feel they do have a right to a civilian nuclear power industry.

    Unless we want a repeat of WW2, we need to stop making the arab world (rightly or wrongly) feel as if they are being wronged by the west. Getting Israel to end actions which Arabs precieve to be belligerent is a first step and Obama seems to understand this.

  • Wait.

    You mean the actual truth is secondary to people’s perception of it?

    Good to know.

    Next time I’ll be sure to give my grandson anything he wants whenever he throws a tantrum because he feels he, you know, really deserves whatever he’s kvetching about.

    I mean, who cares if he really deserves it? His perception is that he does, and that’s all that matters, right?

    And since to satisfy the Arab perception of being treated fairly Israel must disappear, then I guess all those damn Jews who are trying to argue and harass their way to peace just need to STFU and start packing.

    And are you really saying that it was perfectly reasonable for the Germans to turn into Nazis because of Versailles? And that if the Jews don’t stop acting so damn superior and uppity the Arabs are going to do what the Germans did?

    As usual, you’ve reversed cause and effect. The Arab desire to destroy Israel predates any “occupied territories”. The Arabs have always objected to the simple existence of Israel. It has nothing do do with unfair treatment, real or perceived. Everything happening flows from that. You need to go back and take a history course.

  • You need to take a psychology and logic course if you think that arguing morality and guilt with people generally changes their perceptions about things – especially when you’ve got economic deprivation and the force of nationalism against you. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, and it goes against the historical record. Twice. First because the German reaction to WWI was predictable. I’m so glad to hear that you didn’t approve of the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. What a brave and unpopular opinion to voice. But that opprobrium is not much consolation to the victims of the Holocaust though, is it? I’m sure lots of dead people are happy that you have their back – morally speaking. The practical fact that they were murdered must surely be secondary to your moral stance. Some comfort.

    Also, a lot of Jews were offended by Roman occupation when they were expelled. I wonder if you think that moral considerations outweighed the practical consequences of launching rebellion in that case.

    Let’s have at it, Ephraim. Diaspora. Exile. Was it all worth it? Did the stand achieve something greater than it cost?

    I’m being serious here.

    Once you have kids, or if you do already, then you can get their Jewish mother to use guilt and morality as a debate tactic. But I have a feeling that Hamas and Fatah find your Jewish mothering of them much less impressive.

    Maybe it would have a stronger effect on Ahmedinejad, though. You never know.

  • Yup.

    I’m encouraged that Obama is opening relations with Syria, hopefully this will be a prequel to returning the Golan Heights.

    Honestly Ephraim, you need to grasp reality. For better or worse, the Arabs are not willing to make peace under the terms that Israel is offering, so you need to change the terms your offering. As Montana Urban legend says, the Arabs are not some kids who you can moralize into realizing they are wrong and change their position. How about give it a try? Stop all the settlement construction, try pulling out of the Golan heights and making peace with Syria. These are the things Obama is pushing for, and Obama got the vast majority of the Jewish vote… so I think you guys know in your heart that he is right on these issues.

  • Logic, shmogic.

    You tell me how the Arab perception of their mistreatment can be solved by anything other than the disappearance of Israel.

    Then we’ll talk.

    I’m being serious here too.

  • Bruce:

    The Torah says that one should not follow a multitude to do evil, i.e, not pretend that something is right just because everyone else is doing it. The same thing applies to suicidal foolishness. Just because everyone is urging israel to commit national suicide does not mean that thy should do it.

    You clearly don’t understand the strategy of a fight. The Arabs know that they can reject any terms, no matter how reasonable, if Israel (or the US) is more desperate for peace than they are (this is certainly true of the US). Israel’s desperation for peace got them the abortion known as Oslo, with all of its terrorism and death. It is to be hoped that they are the wiser for it.

    Let’s do this, how about: the Arabs recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, agree to pay reparations fr all of the wars they forced Israel to fight, establish diplomatic relations, agree to peaceful coexistence, and agree to pay reparations to all of the Jews they kicked out of their countries equal in value to the Jewish assets that they stole. In such a context, leaving the Golan might make sense. Otherwise, no.

    The fact that Obama got the vast majority of the Jewish vote just shows that the Jews are not as smart as they are reputed to be.

  • Urban legend wrote: “… Germans reacted to the unfair treatment they received at the hands of the victorious and righteous allies after WWI…”


    So what should the 6 million jewish victims have done to appease “the Germans”? Same thing as what you seem to suggest they do now, beat their breasts, shout “mea culpa”, then lay down and take it anyway?

    PS: who produced that Versailles contract after WWI? “The Jews”?