Further thoughts on Yom Yerushalayim in dialogue:

My Yom Yerushalayim post engendered an exchange with the author of the article I fisked. I asked permission to post one of my long answers and he agreed with this request:

Ok. BUT. I would want you to add 2 points in my name:
1. I am convinced that no one is immune or protected from messianic excess. We are all human.
2. The delegitmation of the “bleeding heart liberals” troubles me. Our opponents refuse to concede that we care and love Israel even if we reach different conclusions. We may be wrong but we care deeply.

****

You exaggerate our faults (that’s your right as a Jew – it’s what the prophets did all the time), and you minimize theirs (why bother confronting them?). As a result, you feed their worst instincts.
The occupation is running amok. Murderers are being eulogized as heroes. Settlers terrorize Palestinians. These “exceptions” are becoming the rule, with the active encouragement of the government (note the recent event run for school age children on how to make sure that a terrorist is dead).
Every statement here needs to be tempered and contextualized, especially when in comparison with real, run-away, violent messianism (which few nations have resisted). You see this all as signs of imminent outbreak/collapse of the moral fiber of the nation. Given we are a garrison state, i’d say it’s amazing it’s this contained.
If the people who buy into the Zionazi theory were right about us (that we treat the Palestinians as the Nazis did us) we’d have massacred every last Arab we could find in 1948. And outsiders would probably have forgiven us our madness. After all, we had just escaped an inconceivably huge attempt at our systematic destruction, and so our paranoia – exterminate or be exterminated – with enemies who had openly allied with the Nazis, would have been fully justified by any law of nations to that point. Look at what the allies did to the Germans and the Japanese – wholescale slaughter to put an end to the madness.

 Instead it was unthinkable to Jews as a people, even in the most desperate conditions ever recorded in millennia of history, to go for slaughter – even though we could have resorted to our scripture to justify it  – they’re Amalek (or worse). On the contrary, the comparatively miniscule number of slaughters (look at the rest of the region, from the Balkans to India/Pakistan), suggest enormous self-control. And some bleeding heart liberal wrote a thesis explaining that IDF don’t rape Arab women because they’re racists, and her astoundingly (perversely) stupid professors give her a prize.
The things you find so painful to bear when carried out by your own people, are the natural response of a living body to an attack. Zionism is the reentry of the Jewish people into history, into a world of nations, where wars happen. It was supposed to be an entry into a new age, where nations abided by the new laws of war, and where those nations had supposedly ceased, to paraphrase Napoleon, “to shamefully deny us our sovereignty.” Apparently Europe is sinking to pre-revolutionary standards.
In my experience (personal and historical), Jews have become past masters of the art of resisting full blown messianic movements (even while constantly flirting with it) – far more than any other group/culture, monotheists and post-monotheists. As you say, no one is immune, but some succumb right away, others, later, and some, almost never – especially considering how much those some embrace messianic discourse. We’ve built a damn good apocalyptic fire-wall over the millennia.
It’s part of why it was unthinkable even in the most dire straights to resort to wholesale, apocalyptic massacre, even as our enemies, in their imagined strength, reveled in anticipating wholesale massacre. And what do the progressive supersessionists and bleeding liberals gnaw over, Deir Yassin, Muhammad al Durah, lethal narratives from the people who wish they could do what they accuse us of doing.
And that morally discombobulated discourse makes us pariahs? Not in any fairness-based civil society that wants to survive.
Meantime, over the last 17 years (since the al Durah story), we are in a serious wave of anti-judaic madness like so many times in the past, although this time the most passionate “progressives” among us helped lead the way, including Enderlin who launched the first global (first post-modern) blood libel, thereby giving it one more distinction – the first blood libel launched by a openly identified Jew in the nearly millennium-old tragic history of the delusion.
Whether you like it or not, you move in the wake of this post-fact corruption. The very language you use reflects it. “Settlers terrorize Palestinians,” as if this violence were one way. Your bleeding heart has you imagine innocent folk “over there” whom we gratuitously oppress, and that in turn increases your anger at your own people’s (now gratuitous) violence. Since it can’t be a defense (to what?), it has to be an offense (a Goliath). And in your sympathy for “them,” you believe their stories, as do so many journalists for Ha-Aretz, and researchers for so many “Human Rights” NGOs.
Our “sins” of “occupation” are tiny compared with the viciousness of our enemy, and also the cowardice of our should-be allies among the gentile and diaspora – “bleeding heart liberals” with whom you (and if not you, so many like-minded) openly share your concerns about our sins. (Beinart, J-Streeters, and worse.) Now some “bleeding heart liberals” at Ben Gurion University has gone to new heights of aggression in order to “help” the state they allegedly love. If you think your opponents unfairly refuse to recognize your love for Zion, it might help to realize that, from where they stand, you constant hectoring, hand-wringing, and public denunciations look pretty mean-spirited.
Maybe if there were just a bit of modesty from you about where your bleeding heart takes you. May father used to say, “Sincerity is the cheapest of virtues.” Just because you sincerely love Israel doesn’t mean that your behavior doesn’t hurt her. You want to be graded on sincerity? It’s a booby prize.
You can’t say, “I’m not thinking of what outsiders think of us,” because your entire nightmare is built around us becoming pariahs. Do you really think that our “occupation” of the Palestinians (I think I prefer our captivity of the Palestinians, or maybe our “headlock” on the Palestinians), is so bad it should make us pariahs among the nations? And if not, don’t you owe it to all concerned to stand up to that tendency among those who think like you?
The people who look at you askance for your bleeding heart liberalism think we’re in a war (and they’re right, we are) and see you as someone weeping over the killing and intimidating of enemies – if not a traitor, a damaging fool. You believe we’re in a civil society (and we are, an amazing one), and find the bloody mindedness of your co-citizens deeply disturbing – if not crazy messianic, then fascist/fundamentalist.
This is not healthy.
You say:
This point goes to the heart of the current mess: it is crucial that the people who disagree with “bleeding heart liberals” argue that those fools are wrong and missing crucial facts (maybe even believe in “alternate facts”) but not impugn their legitimacy or deny that they care for Israel and love it. We are not traitors, nor are we anti-Zionists as we are so often portrayed. This point strikes me as badly missing in the current political environment. Without it all we can do is shout at each other, which is a waste of everyone’s time and poisons Jewish life.
If it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between progressive, self-critical Zionists, post-Zionists, and anti-Zionists, it’s partly because they share a continuum, they all participate in differing degrees of intensity, in the (messianic) cult of the occupation. You all obsess over the wrongs Israel’s occupation does to the Palestinians and to the Israelis, and implicitly or explicitly deny the threat, deny the evidence that contradicts you. There is an immense literature documenting how you “fools are wrong and missing crucial facts (maybe even believe in “alternate facts”). I don’t think you or your friends read it. It’s painful. So when critics see you as willfully blind to how your own deeds harm Israel, I think you should expect harsh criticism. Get over it. You’re no less harsh in your criticism of them.
Given that you’re presumably the more rational, empathic, and self-critical of the players here, don’t you think a bit more empathy for your own people might be in order, which means checking out their “alternative” facts. Instead of playing the tough cop against them, maybe play the nice cop to their tough cop, and explain to “progressives” out there that, compared with the insane messianic hatreds we face from the Caliphater generation of Jihadis, they’re small-fry; and if the “progressives” want to contribute to peace, maybe they could be a teeny bit more critical of their “resistance heros” and a little less hysterically critical of your favorite target, Jewish messianists. Hard, I know it. But love of Israel calls for at least the effort.
How about calling it not the “occupation,” but the “headlock.”

31 Responses to Further thoughts on Yom Yerushalayim in dialogue:

  1. Albert Baumgarten says:

    Please do not tell me to “get over it.” That is dismissive, derogatory and demeaning. That is not the way to conduct a useful discussion.

    If there is a continuum on one side of the fence there is also on the other side. I expect a minimum degree of respectability and intellectual honesty in distinguishing between “self-critical Zionists, post-Zionists and Anti-Zionists.” We “bleeding heart liberals” are not all the same, as all those on the opposite side are not all the same.

    • Richard Landes says:

      I apologize. As some analysts put it, the problem is the difference between “you’re wrong” and “you’re bad.” The fault lies with both sides, and starts, with lumping everyone who says stuff that sounds similar together. How would you describe the difference btw good bleeding heart liberals (ie who love Israel and criticize her from that love) and anti-zionists (who often claim the same thing).

      saying “get over it,” is not meant to be derogatory or dismissive, it’s meant to say, if you feel wrongly accused, maybe you should be a little less harsh in your judgments of other Zionists who feel they’re wrongly accused, in some cases by you. As i mentioned in my subsequent post, your description of the problems with our nation are rhetorically inflated, and show distinct signs of formulations characteristic of people and journals (like Gideon Levy and Ha-aretz) who systematically accept Palestinian lethal narratives as true, and dismiss the responses of those they accuse. These people may not be correct in viewing this behavior as a betrayal, and a sign of lack of commitment, but surely you can understand why they might think so.

      So don’t take these rhetorically inflated accusations so personally. (I don’t make them, I only explain them.) The Zionist “liberal bleeding heart” left, is prone to outrageous credulity about the misbehavior of its own, and equally outrageous dismissal of information about the behavior of our enemies. How else could they believe, with a complete faith, that the end of the occupation will lead to peace rather than war?

  2. Albert Baumgarten says:

    The sad thing is that I see cognitive dissonance on both sides. Will the end of the occupation lead to peace? Too much hatred for that to be easy. Will the continuation of the occupation produce an Israeli society that will still be Jewish and democratic, not apartheid? That possibility is ignored by those on the other side. Neither side has a realistic and effective solution to the mess. Maybe that is why all we sometimes do is shout at each other.
    Richard asks how often do “bleeding heart liberals” read the literature that shows how wrong they are. A good question. That is one aspect of the cognitive dissonance to which I referred above. But I could ask how often those on the other side read the reports of B’Tselem or “Breaking the Silence,” rather than trying to delegitimize them? Full disclosure: my daughter used to work for B’Tselem and wrote some of their reports. I take them seriously.
    None of Richard’s response addresses the poisoning of the dialogue. He disagrees with me. Fine. But others who agree with me have written congratulating me for my “bravery” and “guts” in articulating a point with which they agree but have not had the nerve to state. Why should I be congratulated for speaking my mind and making a point disagreeing with the current government and its supporters? I think that is a normal part of the political process! It is a sign of how bad things have become that I deserved congratulations. We need to be careful to honor those with whom we disagree and not further poison the atmosphere.

    • Cynic says:

      Firstly with regard to ” B’Tselem or “Breaking the Silence,” rather than trying to delegitimize them? ”

      Why didn’t they go to court with their “facts”. In Israel they’d get a fair hearing from the judges.
      Breaking the Silence has long been discredited. These “soldiers of conscience” could have gone to the JAG of the army and then on to the supreme court to get their claims out against the perpetrators.

      Yes, there was the B’Tselem disclosure of settlers destroying Palestinian’s olive trees, showing how they had to be pruned. Different to other trees it has to be radically reduced permitting increased growth the next season and increased yield. It wasn’t the settlers but Palestinian farmers. Anyway,a good photo-op.
      Crying wolf too many times makes it difficult to take the odd one out seriously. Taqiyya is now part of the FGO’s culture.

      Actually, from what we’ve discovered now, is that the term NGO is incorrect and should be F(oreign)GO.
      The Europeans have been pumping millions into these anti-Israel groups and squandering funds on lawfare.
      Why now it’s out that the Rockefeller fund is helping BDS groups.
      Now wonder the Israeli population is instinctively reacting to this siege and not accommodating the Israel loving bleeding heart liberals.

  3. Albert Baumgarten says:

    P.S.
    on full disclosure: My daughter is an former Army intelligence officer. She worked hard for years defending Israel against our real enemies on the outside.
    Then she worked for B’Tselem and continues to work on that side of the divide, defending Israel against the damage it is doing to itself.
    I am very proud of her for both aspects of her work.

    Thus far, this exchange is between Richard and myself. If I see that others do not join, I will stop writing. Richard and I can talk to each other.

  4. I would wish to be pithy.

    On all levels, the situation, for Jews and Arabs in the city (and I would also maintain throughout Judea & Samaria, too, but the original post was on Jerusalem, so…) is better than pre-1967: economically, security-wise, etc. Even cemetery desecrations are way down although graffiti at Mt. of Olives could be dealt with better.

    But the real point in this is: if oppositionists to occupation would cease and desist, the question is: would Israel be better positioned to make its case and reach a finalization of the conflict or less? Are they really helping Arabs and Israelis or prolonging the Arab belief they will yet obtain their goals? And will an Arab state, the second one in Palestine is it is established, truly be peaceful, democratic, moral, humanist, et al. that would benefit its residents, its neighbor?

    • Cynic says:

      Why doesn’t the history of Egyptian terrorists bombing water supplies and killing Israelis pre-1956 get mentioned?
      And then go on to discuss the Egyptian behaviour from Gaza pre-1967.
      Jordan’s behaviour from East Jerusalem pre 1967.
      Oh, those Israeli settlers.

      • Cynic says:

        I should have added that some of us have learned that the Arabs are long term opportunists and we are at risk in believing them in a kumbayah moment.

    • Richard Landes says:

      i agree fully with Medad’s framing here.

      if the anti-occupation types ratcheted down their rhetoric, and paid appropriate attention to the misbehavior of the palestinians, the core of jihadi beliefs they vehiculate in both islamic and “secular” “national” terms, then i think few westerners wd be stupid enuf to say, as the media did around the time of UN Resolution 2334, that this helps empower the palestinians to fight israeli occupation, which is a good thing.

      right now the anti-occupation voices contribute far more to prolonging the conflict than resolving it.

  5. Albert Baumgarten says:

    Is the status quo sustainable for the long-term future? If you concede that it is not, as I would argue, what alternative to you have to offer that will leave Israel as a state I would want to live (or die) in?
    I see none other than the two-state solution, as problematic as it is.

    • E.G. says:

      You’re very welcome to solve all your problems immediately, but not on our (Israelis) backs. It’s been 69 years we’re an independent, sovereign state.

  6. Cynic says:

    ” it is crucial that the people who disagree with “bleeding heart liberals” argue that those fools are wrong and missing crucial facts (maybe even believe in “alternate facts”) but not impugn their legitimacy or deny that they care for Israel and love it. ”

    So where are the actual facts beyond the pro-Palestinian narrative for:
    ” The occupation is running amok. Murderers are being eulogized as heroes. Settlers terrorize Palestinians. ”
    As for the murderers we have seen the naming of town squares and streets under the authority of the PA, during Trump’s visit, for “martyrs”.

    Firstly let me add that the “bleeding heart liberals” swallow the narrative without any knowledge of the culture they’re up against.

    The ‘extremist-religion, tribal,clan’ culture has been brought to bear on Israelis the hard way.
    Mere months after Arafat participated in the Whitehouse signing party with Clinton and Rabin, a car bomb was used in Afula against school kids boarding the bus home. Talk about terror.
    And in South Africa in May 1994, Arafat gave a speech in a mosque in Johannesburg, in which he told the truth behind the signing of the “Oslo Accords”. He mentioned that what he signed in Washington was analogous to the treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

    Get the facts about the bleeding heart politicians from Israel who released that scam, and mislead the world, on the people.
    America still swallows the lies after decades of trying to deal with the world, thanks to its disgraceful media, academia and elitists in academia who live in a world of their own.
    And now the Western World is living with the reality of what was birthed at the end of the last century.

    A long time ago I said that the media must be held complicit in the bloodshed released on the world, and as we’ve recently seen, academia in some quarters, is equally to blame for the violence erupting on the streets.

    * Please supply a link to determine the context for:
    ” (note the recent event run for school age children on how to make sure that a terrorist is dead). “

  7. Cynic says:

    I’d be willing to accommodate bleeding heart liberals on one condition, and that is, that they pay in kind for any damage or loss to the other party, because of the implementation of their advice.

  8. Albert Baumgarten says:

    Cynic:
    You go on and on, but you don’t answer my question and offer a solution. Please let me know your long-term solution and explain to me why/how it is feasible.
    Also, it would help the discussion if you showed some degree of irony. I call my own position that of the “bleeding heart liberals,” using the nasty name pinned on us by our opponents. I do this as a way of mitigating the venom with some irony. You then repeat that nasty name with all the venom and miss the irony. Try out a little irony. It might help. Please start calling yourself a “fascist pig.”

    • Cynic says:

      With regard to the status quo I’ll leave you with another “fascist pig’s” version.
      https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/overdramatization-israel-dilemma/

      ” …
      This is not to argue that the status quo does not have dangers. Israel is not safe. We are strong but also vulnerable, and quite capable of making decisive mistakes. But eagerness to settle our conflict with the Palestinians will not make us safe. Neither will anything else. Keeping our home here requires that we accept dangers and human costs of all kinds.

      C’est la vie

  9. E.G. says:

    Well, I was there in May, June, July (and the rest of the year) 1967. In shelters, and in the liberated cities and areas. And sang Yerushalayim shel Zahav, Nasser waits for Rabin etc. And I very well remember the relief and the joy.
    I happily celebrate every year both Jerusalem day and the 6-days war. And this year in particular.

    I don’t know why the Jerusalem Post devoted space for this gloomy rant, were they afraid the Forward might beat them up or what?

    What reason is there to deplore Jews coming back to where they’ve been ethnically “cleansed” 19 years beforehand? (Without mentioning the neighbouring areas, such as Shiloah/Silwan from where they’ve been deported earlier, nor other towns and villages). How could anyone in her right mind ever think of calling descendants of those massacred, driven out, destroyed families, call them occupiers? Was King David an occupier too?

    As for those FGO’s (Thxs Cynic!), they’re merely a tool for Jew-hating Govt’s. A bunch of useful infidels who proclaim empty slogans and produce fantasies.

    • Cynic says:

      Hi EG,
      Your question about Jpost’s gloomy rant reminds me of comments I get from school friends, all around the globe now after some 60 years, as to why they’ve noticed a change in Jpost and The Times of Israel in their obviously negative reporting.
      Can it be that they are focussing on Jews in the States.
      As it is the Times of Israel’s “Israel Weather Forecast” has temps in Fahrenheit with Centigrade in tiny digits within brackets. Obviously not for the English speaking countries where metric system is now used.
      From reading some of the articles I get a feeling of agenda driven politics as so blatant in the US.
      Of course the Israelis Must copy the Americans.

      • E.G. says:

        Hello Cynic,
        Good to read from you.
        Yes, ToI is visibly agenda-driven, indeed in some noticeable aspects catering to US Reform/Progressive Jewry. Furthermore, they’re competing with Hi-HaAretz by pretending to be objective (“Israel says”, “According to Israeli army” etc.). JPost is becoming less ans less relevant. Someone should fund an English Makor Rishon.
        Hag Same’ach!

    • Albert Baumgarten says:

      Please get the facts straight. This column originally appeared in the JERUSALEM REPORT in 2013.
      One Makor Rishon is enough. Netanyahu does not need two newspapers. If an when a third ever appears, in Russian, I hope they will call it Pravda.

      • E.G. says:

        Which facts?
        Makor Rishon is not Netanyahu’s paper (nor is Israel Hayom), and nobody forces you to read anything. Note, nobody forces you to rejoice on Jerusalem day, and your mourning belongs to you, yourself and your delusions.
        As a person who’s been educated in the vibrating Israeli democracy, I have and see no problem criticising an editorial choice. Nor in journalistic plurality.

  10. Richard Landes says:

    Al, your main challenge is, “what’s (y)our solution?” I hear that a lot. I think it reflects a categorical error in thinking backwards. You have a solution (2SS). It won’t work, but at least it gives you the comfort of having a solution. When we say it won’t work, you say, so what’s yours. I personally think the key here is acknowledging that right now, given the culture of war and irredentism that prevails among Palestinians, even those you (and B’tselem and NIF and BtS et al.) designate as “moderates,” there’s no way conventional way out.

    as long as the truism holds: “if the israelis lay down their arms today, tomorrow there will be no Israel; if the Palestinians lay down their arms today, tomorrow there will be peace…” then there’s no exit here. So we have to hold. Calling holding open, sworn enemies in some kind of reduced state (better than most other Arab subjects in non-oil rich Arab states), apartheid (and then telling yourself you can’t live in such a state) is, in my mind, neither historical nor sober. It’s a form of moral perfectionism that only non-sovereign people can indulge in.

    We have enemies. We don’t treat them as well as we would like, but we treat them better than anyone else in the region treats even their own people, much less enemies as vicious as ours. Indeed, as some have suggested here, our unwillingness to be ruthless (which I approve of), may have made them even more vicious (which I acknowledge).

    So my counsel is what the mystics and alchemists call the “work in the dark.” We don’t know what the way out is, but we can’t find it backwards by inventing a way out that doesn’t work (2SS). We start by acknowledging what we face, which is a pathological honor-shame culture that, having failed to win a hard zero-sum game they declared (war of extermination on us), have turned to negative sum (we lose/ you lose), rather than the positive-sum game we’d like to offer them.

  11. Albert Baumgarten says:

    Your reply makes it clear why you are asked so often “what is your solution?” That is because you have none, other than continuing the current situation.
    But then the follow-up question will come: is the current situation sustainable over the longer term?
    For example, what will you do when thousands of Palestinians march to several checkpoints at the same time? Shoot them all? Build huge jails and arrest them all? What good will tanks or jet planes do then?
    Yes, we have a mess, with no obvious way out. If there were such a way we might have taken it long ago!
    At the same time, given the circumstances, which you describe in such grim terms, has what we have done in the past 50 years made it better or worse? We can’t control our enemies, but we can control what we do. Is a solution of any sort easier or harder today as a result of what we have done for the past 50 years?
    The point of my column was that we have made it worse and continue to make it even worse. That is the poison pill we have swallowed.

    • E.G. says:

      How much do you dislike Arabs? Are you afraid of them? Why do you call them poison?

      • Cynic says:

        There’s something that some people cannot comprehend, which was obvious to a few from way back. A long read but towards the end we get the “quote”.
        http://www.romirowsky.com/7948/a-tale-of-two-galloways


        The Quote

        On 25 May 1953 in testimony before the Subcommittee on Near East and Africa of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the Reverend Karl Baehr, Executive Secretary of the American Christian Palestine Committee stated:

        The political picture within the Arab refugee camps is important to an understanding of the problem, and I must say it is of special significance to this committee.

        In April of 1952, Sir Alexander Galloway, then head of the UNRWA for Jordan, said to our study group, and this is really a direct quote from what he said:

        It is perfectly clear than the Arab nations do not want to solve the Arab refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront against the United Nations, and as a weapon against Israel.

        Then, by way of emphasis he said:

        Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.

        This simple fact has been more and more clearly demonstrated as I have on repeated occasions visited the refugee centers.


        [56] Committee on Foreign Relations, Palestine Refugee Program, Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Near East and Africa of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Eighty-Third Congress, First Session on the Palestine Refugee Program, May 20, 21, and 25, 1953 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1953), p. 103.

        The poison was set way back. Had Israel not partaken and succumbed, many would be more relaxed to take on the coming storm.

        • Richard Landes says:

          Cynics quote is to the point. if one directed 1/10 of the moral indignation directed at Israel for its behavior in the 21st cn, to the way the Arabs treated their own refugees, and the way Western progressives, beginning with AFS, became Stockholm syndrome captives of this political malevolence, thereby contracting the debilitating addiction to moral Schadenfreude about davka Israel, that drives so much progressive and journalistic discourse today, one would quickly run out of invective. The behavior of the Arab leaders towards their people so far exceeds in violence and contempt that of Israelis towards their Arab enemies, that, from this more equitable treatment of the antagonists, the kinds of indignation heaped today on Israel would rapidly become what they are: playground taunts, verbal defecation.

          Today progressives have become, when not full participants in this ugly (and suicidal) playground bullying, enablers, and where not enablers, unequipped and unprepared to object to the disastrous problem.

    • Richard Landes says:

      i think there’s no question that if we withdraw from the WB and agree to the creation of a Palestinian state, that will make our current situation much worse. even if it stayed “PA” governed, rather than Hamas… some new mutation of ISIS…

      your head is too much in the Western world, and you think of the “other” with a cognitive egocentrism that even as it admits the problems – i don’t expect them to be a democracy – disregards how bad it can get. Now is bad. Any other solution that you come up with, that doesn’t have the full and sincere support of the civilized world (alas so feckless even in its own defense), will only benefit the worst elements of Arab political culture and Muslim religious culture.

      We can control what we do, but we have to be aware of how they’ll react. In 0-sum honor/shame dynamics (a fortiori hard 0-sum ones like our neighbors’ attitude towards us) concession is viewed as weakness. you may have risen above such crude projective readings of a “rule or be ruled” mentality, but you can’t pretend your neighbors have, and certainly not anyone who is anyone in current arab political culture.

      It sucks, but this headlock is the least bad price we and the Palestinians pay for a terrible situation which outsiders, who systematically overvalue our concessions and underdemand theirs (thinking progressives here), are only making worse.

  12. Cynic says:

    As a matter of interest, here’s a Ynet article:
    “Six-Day War: The biggest excuse in history”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4971083,00.html


    Op-ed: Whoever claims today that the war changed us is talking out of wishful thinking, out of a childish dream in which we could have existed within the borders of a small Israel and made peace with everyone around us. According to this dream, if only we had won and pulled out—everything would have been fine.

    For 50 years, this war has been serving as an excuse. It’s easier to blame a specific historical event which ended within six days than recognize human nature. Where is the nature? Somewhere in Afghanistan, with about 100 dead people last week. Muslims who exploded on other Muslims in the name of a primitive dogma which claims that you are allowed to kill even people like you. All in the name of Allah.

    • Cynic says:

      Just to close with this link
      ” 50 Years of Palestinian Rejection ”
      http://evelyncgordon.com/50-years-of-palestinian-rejection/

      which I found interesting.

      ” The 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which fell this week, has sparked much hand-wringing about why Israel still controls the West Bank half a century later. By sheer coincidence, Haaretz reporter Amir Tibon produced a scoop this week answering that question. It detailed the precise offer the Obama administration made to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the final stages of the peace talks it brokered, and how Abbas, once again, walked away without even deigning to respond.

      In early 2014, as the end of the nine months of talks agreed to the previous July were drawing to a close, the administration began drafting a “framework agreement” that would serve as the basis for further talks. Tibon obtained two versions of the administration’s proposal.

      The first, dating from February 2014, contained a relatively balanced mix of concessions to Israeli and Palestinian demands. For instance, it stipulated a border based on the 1967 lines, as Abbas demanded, but said Palestinian refugees and their descendants would have no “right of return” to Israel, as Israel demanded. It rejected a permanent Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, thereby pleasing Abbas. It also pleased Israel by saying the talks must result in a Palestinian state alongside “Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people.” It also left a few issues open: On Jerusalem, for instance, it merely restated both sides’ aspirations.

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave verbal consent to the document. Then, on February 19, Secretary of State John Kerry presented it to Abbas, who went ballistic. His primary objection, U.S. officials told Tibon, was that the issue of Jerusalem was left open. Abbas wanted the U.S. to commit to giving him half the city.

      So the Americans revised the document to accommodate more of Abbas’ demands. …

      The problem isn’t just Palestinian rejectionism. It’s that the rest of the world actually encourages this rejectionism by ensuring that the diplomatic price is always paid by Israel, and never the Palestinians themselves. The Palestinians have quite reasonably concluded that they can play this game ad infinitum, until the world eventually pressures Israel to accept even those Palestinian demands that would entail committing national suicide, like the “right of return.”

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