Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s Vice Premier, Explains How Netanyahu “Maneuvers” to Avoid Agreement

The following is the translation of Yedioth Ahronoth’s interview with Moshe Ya’alon, aka “Bogi,” Israel’s Vice Premier (nominally, the second in command in Israel’s government) and former former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.  [Thanks to O.N.]

Moshe Ya’alon says that the Israeli government doesn’t really mean what it says about a two-state solution. Whatever it says and does to allegedly advance peace with the Palestinians is all maneuvers. “Nobody in the forum of seven (the inner cabinet – O.N.) thinks that we can reach an agreement with the Palestinians,” Bogi tells Yedioth, “And I say so out of knowledge.” So why maneuver? Bogi replies: “Because in the political establishment there are pressures. Peace Now from within and other elements from without. So you have to maneuver. But what I’m saying now has to be given over to the Americans, and I hope that they will understand.”

So there you have it: Peace Now and the American administration are applying pressure and the Netanyahu government is “maneuvering.”

If Ben-Gurion Were Alive Today, He Would Vote Likud
Yedioth Ahronoth, 26 March, 2010
by Yuval Karni

Gestures, statements, negotiations—nothing will come of it in the end. That is the bottom line as far as Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe (Bogi) Yaalon is concerned. The former Mapainik, who has become a right-wing marker in the government, looks at the lame efforts to resume the negotiations with the Palestinians and at the gestures made by Prime Minister Netanyahu—from the announcement of the two-state solution to the decision to freeze construction in the settlements—and suggests that we not become confused. It is all maneuvers. “And I say so out of knowledge,” Bogi says. “Nobody in the forum of seven thinks that we can reach an agreement with the Palestinians.”

Q. So why all these games of make-believe negotiations? It’s possible to announce that we will not reach an agreement, and that is all.
“Because in the political establishment there are pressures. Peace Now from within and other elements from without. So you have to maneuver. But what I’m saying now has to be given over to the Americans, and I hope that they will understand.

“Some of what we have to do is maneuver with the American administration and the European establishment, which are also nourished by Israeli elements, which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached. If the leader of the opposition gets up on stage and says that she is in favor of peace, unlike the prime minister who is against peace, then honestly. Come off it.”

Q. If everything is stuck with the Palestinians, why not turn to the Syrian channel? Maybe it would be easier there?
“Why do you say that everything is stuck? The country is being built up, the economy is thriving, there are investments in infrastructure and in education, settlement, water projects, alternative energy. What is stuck here? The country is blossoming. I know this defeatist attitude, because we have heard it from the politicians from the previous government, who say that time is working against us. I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew how to make use of time, and we in the government know how to make use of time.”

Q. Make use of time or drag things out?
“Who wants to drag anything out? I come with clean hands. From my perspective, I would even be willing to divide the country, but today I would not be willing to have such a compromise in light of what I have seen. So we have to make use of time in order to keep on building.”

Q. Are you willing to withdraw from the Golan Heights in exchange for peace with Syria?
“One of our moderate reflexes in recent years has been that the moment we talk about negotiations, we start looking right away for a place to withdraw from. How many years was the Golan Heights under Syrian sovereignty? Nineteen. It has been with us for longer. Why is it taken for granted that in order to obtain peace, we must withdraw? As far as I am concerned, there is no discussion of this at all. No discussion. Every withdrawal has only tempted the Arabs to become more encouraged and lift up their heads.”

The Americans Do Not See It?
Over the past two weeks, Israel has been dealing with a crisis with the American administration. Netanyahu hoped that his visit to New York and Washington, and the meeting he succeeded in getting for himself with the president in the end, would help him soften Obama. He knew that he would reach the White House after receiving thunderous applause at the AIPAC conference, and hoped that this would influence Obama to meet him halfway. In the end, the prime minister received loud acclaim from Jewish community leaders, but the president did not get the hint, did not let up on the pressure, and demanded clear answers and commitments in writing, since he no longer trusts Netanyahu’s verbal declarations. The feeling of distrust deepened, and it appears that the gap has gotten worse.

Yaalon also admits that there is a problem. Mainly of the Americans. Anti-Israel positions have managed to trickle into the core of the administration, and in his opinion, there are some things that they just do not understand.

“True, there is a crisis right now,” Yaalon says, “but the relationship between us is deep, strategic, based on common values, goals and challenges, including with jihadist Islam. This crisis is minor.

“There are people in America who see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the main cause of instability in the Middle East, and this perspective has support in the administration, but what can we do? The instability is not our fault. We have nothing to with what is happening in Yemen, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq. The Middle East has been in conflict for hundreds of years, between Sunnis and Shiites, between Persians and Arabs, between pragmatists and fundamentalists. The main conflict today is between jihadist Islam and the West, and in this, both we and the United States are partners.”

Q. The feeling is that a crisis of trust has been created.
“Since the government began, there has been open and fruitful dialogue with the administration. We put everything on the table. The prime minister has said several times that we do not want to rule the Palestinians, and today there are two Palestinian governments: Hamastan in Gaza and Fatahland in Judea and Samaria.

“We need to see what has happened here in the past seventeen years: the idea of land for peace has failed. We got land for terror in Judea and Samaria and land for rockets in Gaza. What, the Americans do not see it?

“There are disagreements among friends as well, and as friends, we must clarify them in dialogue, even if it looks like a crisis. We will get through it, and we will continue our deep strategic relationship.”

Q. Does Obama want to overthrow Netanyahu?
“Ask him. I don’t know. I know that they are coming to us with demands that have no precedent, and that is one of the administration’s mistakes.”….

The minister in charge of dealing with strategic threats is convinced that in the end, Israel will annex some of the territories. “The prime minister reiterates all the time, and also brought a decision to the security cabinet that says clearly, that immediately after the freeze, we will continue to build in Judea and Samaria as we did before.”

Q. Construction will resume on September 26?
“That is the security cabinet’s decision. One of my concerns is that this temporary freeze will become permanent, and the additional problem is that the subject is on the table at all. It is a distorted perspective that the settlements are an obstacle to peace.”

Q. So why did you give in and have the freeze?
“You can call it giving in, but if all the members of the forum of seven supported it, then things are a go. We had to do a diplomatic maneuver, and we went with the lesser of the evils.”

Q. A situation could be created in which we cannot build in the territories because of the peace process. What then?
“We will cross that bridge when we get to it. With a heavy heart, I agreed to the freeze because it leaves the subject of the settlements on the table, and the people of Israel is the least united on the subject of the settlements.”

Q. Will we evacuate settlements in the end?
“I do not accept that. What has happened to us in recent years obligates us to stop with everything connected to withdrawal.”

Q. Would you rather that the settlers be under Palestinian rule?
“Creative solutions can be found. If we are talking about peace, why can Jews not live in Judea and Samaria? I believe that they can, and that in the end, they will live under Israeli sovereignty.”

Q. Why not annex territory and put facts on the ground right now?
“We will get to that. At least in the settlement blocs.”…..

Q. Construction will resume on September 26?
“That is the security cabinet’s decision. One of my concerns is that this temporary freeze will become permanent, and the additional problem is that the subject is on the table at all. It is a distorted perspective that the settlements are an obstacle to peace.”
Q. So why did you give in and have the freeze?
“You can call it giving in, but if all the members of the forum of seven supported it, then things are a go. We had to do a diplomatic maneuver, and we went with the lesser of the evils.”
Q. A situation could be created in which we cannot build in the territories because of the peace process. What then?
“We will cross that bridge when we get to it. With a heavy heart, I agreed to the freeze because it leaves the subject of the settlements on the table, and the people of Israel is the least united on the subject of the settlements.”
Q. Will we evacuate settlements in the end?
“I do not accept that. What has happened to us in recent years obligates us to stop with everything connected to withdrawal.”
Q. Would you rather that the settlers be under Palestinian rule?
“Creative solutions can be found. If we are talking about peace, why can Jews not live in Judea and Samaria? I believe that they can, and that in the end, they will live under Israeli sovereignty.”
Q. Why not annex territory and put facts on the ground right now?
“We will get to that. At least in the settlement blocs.”………

US ambassador votes against Palestinian “right to self-determination” at the UN. [The US vetoes this in order to prevent the UN from eventually voting to recognize a Palestinian state, which Palestinians are pushing for.]
Thursday 25 March 2010

The UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday….. voted nearly unanimously in favour of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, with 45 countries voting in favour and only the United States voting against. No countries chose to abstain. … Despite Washington’s much-hyped tiff with Tel Aviv, the US stood behind Israel at Wednesday’s council meeting.

US ambassador Eileen Donahoe said: “We are deeply troubled to be presented once again with a slate of resolutions so replete with controversial elements and one-sided references that they shed no light and offer no redress for the real challenges in the region.” Ms Donahoe insisted that her country supported a two-state solution even though it had opposed the resolution in support of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

PLO ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi pointed out that the two-state solution is predicated upon exactly that right. [see Just world News on this item]

Israel to continue building in east Jerusalem
By AMY TEIBEL (AP) – 49 minutes ago

JERUSALEM — Israel insisted Friday it would continue building in contested east Jerusalem, taking an uncompromising stance against U.S. pressure following a tense visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington.

The refusal to change long-standing Israeli policy signaled that a high-profile rift between the U.S. and Israel remained wide, with stalled Mideast peace talks caught in the middle.

“The prime minister’s position is that there is no change in Israeli policy on Jerusalem,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement…..

Listen to the Arabs
By PARAG KHANNA
I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor, March 25, 2010

We also fail to understand the Arab strategic reality. If Arabs are supposed to be lining up with the United States and Israel to contain the hegemonic ambitions of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then why did Syria host a “war council” of Iran and Hezbollah in Damascus last month? And why is Qatar exploring gas fields jointly with Iran?

The fact is that most Arabs prefer a modus vivendi with Iran — just as many tacitly collaborate with Israel on matters of mutual interest.

Rather than seeing themselves as trapped between Israel and Iran, the most common Arab objective seems to be to limit excessive American influence in their region.

Americans widely believe that the Arab world was elated by the election of President Obama over a year ago. That is so, but not because the Arabs want strong American leadership in their region; they’d prefer to run their own affairs with minimal American interference. From engaging Hamas to negotiating with Iran, Arab states are taking matters into their own hands. And that’s good…..

Parag Khanna is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and author of “The Second World: How Emerging Powers are Redefining Global Competition at the 21st Century.”

Comments (44)


1. Ghat Albird said:

Given the hypothesis expounded below the irrational attitudes of zionists is just
one tiny step away from Nazism.

Jewish Fanaticism

: The following short text from a book titled Le fanatism juif.

Originally published in French.

The Jewish people have a plan for humanity; a grandiose plan that they
have pursued on all fronts for centuries: universal peace on earth. The
concept of “peace” is, indeed, at the heart of Judaism, and it is not just
chance that this word (shalom, in Hebrew), is frequently used by Jews
the world over.

In this perfect world that they would build, all conflicts will have
disappeared from the face of the earth, especially conflicts between
nations. This is why the Jews militate incessantly for the removal of
borders and the dissolution of national identities. Nations being the
causes of wars and disorder, it is thus necessary to weaken them and,
in the long term, to abolish them in favor of a world government that
can only make happiness and prosperity reign on earth.

Whether they are leftists or rightists, Marxists or liberals, believers or
atheists, Zionists or “perfectly assimilated,” the Jews are always the
most fervent supporters of the multicultural society, planetary
miscegenation, and global Empire. When all other identities disappear,
only the Jewish people will remain, recognized by all as the “chosen
people” of God.

Jewish Fanaticism, first off, is the thirty million deaths, Russians and
Ukrainians liquidated in the Communist adventure of 1917 to 1947.
One can never say enough about the appalling role of Jewish
ideologues, Jewish bureaucrats, and Jewish torturers in this story.

Jewish Fanaticism, it is this systematic eagerness to make Europeans
feel guilty, to make them hang their heads and fall to their knees for
crimes they did not commit, or for crimes for which Jews themselves
might feel a little guilty but prefer “to transfer” to others. One thinks
here of the leaders of the black slave trade, for example, or the
shameless exploitation of the wealth and raw materials of the Third
World.

Jewish Fanaticism, it is this unrestrained propaganda, conveyed through
all the media, in favor of immigration and the multicultural society.
Jewish intellectuals, Jewish politicians, and Jewish financiers bear most
of the responsibility for the immigration invasion that has disfigured
France in only 30 years. It is necessary to say it again and again:
immigration is not a natural phenomenon but the result of a tireless
campaign of cosmopolitan propaganda which is part of the politico-
religious plan of the Jewish people.

Jewish Fanaticism, it is also warmongering politics that ultimately
amounts to whipping up the hatred of the Western masses against any
nation that still refuses democratic domination and the hegemony of
Israel. Today they are preparing us for a war against Iran, as they once
stirred up wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, and Germany.

Jewish Fanaticism, it is also this “great intolerance of frustration,” to
give it a medical diagnosis. Anyone who has the audacity to say one
word against the “Jewish lobby,” Israeli policy, or Jewish “over-
representation” in the media immediately finds himself dragged
through the mud by the whole media system, covered in spit,
calumniated, vilified, delivered to the feet and fists of a hysterical mob
hypnotized by the buzzwords of Big Brother.

In this new book of 400 pages, I base my case once again primarily on
the writings of Jewish intellectuals, ancient and modern. Thus my
conclusions are incontestable. If I speak about “Israeli hegemony,” it is
because explicit documents allow us to say that the Jews seek to
establish world domination. And if I write “the Jews” and not “certain
Jews,” it is because my sources are now sufficiently many and varied to
support such generality.

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March 28th, 2010, 1:03 pm

 

2. almasri said:

Ghat,
What the author of Le Fanaticism Juif is saying, the Arabs have known for millenia. The Arabs also know why they are gathering in Palestine. This is their last chance to correct their evil sins (which I do not believe they will succeed at) before they face their just punishment. When all this is over the word Jew will become synonymous with anti-human and will be replaced with Evil incarnate. I do not believe a group of misguided fanatics can succeed in subverting humanity.
Thanks for the revealing information as always.

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March 28th, 2010, 4:13 pm

 

3. Alex said:

Dear Almasri,

Please make sure you restrict your opinions to criticizing Zionism or criticizing Right wing led Israel and its supporters, and even the large percentage of Israeli people who are supporting their country’s extreme policies and its frequently violent behavior.

But a large majority of American Jews opposed the Iraq war, voted for Obama, and supported moderate and balanced American policies in the Middle East. And we have here on Syria Comment many Jews who are far from the evil Jewish stereotype you presented.

I share with you many of your negative feelings towards Israel’s leadership and towards all the corrupt, racist or brainwashed American supporters of the current dangerous leadership of Israel, and I will continue to write about it. But Please understand that on this blog no one is allowed to demonize Jews, Muslims, Christians, or any other group in general.

I will have to start removing any comment that does not respect Syria Comment’s rules and regulations. Please read them again.

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March 28th, 2010, 7:04 pm

 

4. Alex said:

Shai,

Where does a Syrian who wants peace in the Middle East go from here?

Syria realized that Bibi is a crook … Other Israeli leaders are a bit more honest but they still will not return the Golan in full and they want a peace agreement to be full of restrictions imposed on Syria.

Syria realized some time ago that resistance to hopelessly arrogant Israeli extremism is the shortest path to peace.

Look how peace loving Haaretz presented Syria’s position today:

Syria to Palestinians: Resume violence

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March 28th, 2010, 7:16 pm

 

5. Shai said:

Ghat,

Even if what you “meant to say” was purely about Zionism, as stated in your first sentence, what came out is a most disturbing demonstration of anti-Semitism propaganda. Unfortunately, it has the kind of effect you saw in AlMasri’s response. He even thanked you for it.

Please understand that there are plenty of fanatics out there, not only on “my side”, who use very similar rhetoric to describe Islam and the Muslim World of today. They are nothing but pure Racists, who have no place amongst us, normal people.

Please do not lend a hand to such hateful rhetoric which, even if it were to describe certain fanatic individuals, certainly cannot be acceptable generalization of an entire people or religion.

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March 28th, 2010, 7:30 pm

 

6. Shai said:

Alex,

I don’t know what “crook” means anymore – does it mean a leader that pretends to want Peace? Well, have you seen Bibi even pretending? I haven’t.

I disagree with you about other Israeli leaders. Actually, I’ll say “other Israeli politicians”, and speak specifically about the Right. Take Dan Meridor, or even Michael Eitan. Both Likudnicks, and both quite smart. Both are also for peace with Syria, and against the law requiring a referendum prior to withdrawal.

Look, I honestly believe there isn’t a single Israeli politician who doesn’t know the price Israel will have to pay. There are some, perhaps many, who believe Israel shouldn’t pay it. But, in order to come out “looking” like they’re interested in Peace, they invent phrases like “Peace for Peace” (instead of Land-for-Peace) or, like Bogi Ya’alon, suggest that Israel has a right to the Golan, period. But few really think Syria will make Peace with us if we don’t give back the Heights. I don’t think the terms of a withdrawal are relevant right now, given that no one’s negotiating with Syria.

What should a Syrian who wants Peace in our region do, therefore? I still maintain, he should talk to us, the Israeli people. If our leaders have proven, year after year, decade after decade, that they are incapable or uninterested, then you must go around them! And, thankfully, you can do that.

I want to see the Israeli politician that tries to forbid two of Israel’s top journalists from officially traveling to Syria, to interview average Syrians and their leadership. If you can’t get to our leaders’ brains, find a way to our people’s hearts.

When you try hard to reach your goal, and are time and again finding walls in front of you, at a certain point, realize that maybe instead of climbing, you can just walk around to the other side.

I never understood why certain people are ready to risk everything for war, but not everything for peace…

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March 28th, 2010, 7:50 pm

 

7. Alex said:

Shai,

Of course Netanyahu is a crook … there is a reason why President Clinton’s administration considered him a liar and a cheat and now Ya’Alon confirms that Omaba “demanded clear answers and commitments in writing, since he no longer trusts Netanyahu’s verbal declarations”

What difference does it make if almost everyone in Israel knows the price of peace with Syria if Israel’s leaders are confident that some Sarah Palin fool will be in the White House in 2 years and she will help them finally do regime change (or behavior change=submission) in Syria successfully?

I still support inviting a couple of the many decent Israeli journalists to Damascus. But sadly, there is too much to change in Israel and Syria will not be able alone to do it … it takes the combined efforts of the United States and Europe for a few years to fix the damage that 8 years of Reagan, and 8 years of GWB/Cheney did in Israel.

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March 28th, 2010, 8:06 pm

 

8. Shai said:

Alex,

What I meant about “crook” was specifically about peace, and the fact that in my mind, Bibi hasn’t shown readiness or willingness to make peace and, hence, he isn’t “a crook”. He is worse – He is honest.

I disagree with you about undoing damage. You are speaking rationally, but much of what changed Israeli minds from 70% for-peace to 70% against-it in less than 15 years is emotion-based. You must again explore the emotional realm of Israelis, as Syria did in those rare moments in 1999.

Alex, Syria “alone” has managed to change quite a bit this past decade. What makes you so sure it can’t succeed here? But regardless of the result, it certainly won’t help anyone to come up with excuses for not-trying something new. If I was Syria, I’d certainly invite an Israeli journalist in. Nothing can replace dialogue.

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March 28th, 2010, 8:18 pm

 

9. Ghat Albird said:

Palestenians are toughneing their demands/position, says Mr. Netanyahu.: We are ready to work with the USA ” …..is this being honest?

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=171970

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March 28th, 2010, 8:21 pm

 

10. almasri said:

Thanks Alex for your note.
I will exercise the discretion as you mentioned.

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March 28th, 2010, 9:30 pm

 

11. Ghat Albird said:

Highlights from the insider “homest/crook” called Bibi.

One of his most senior cabinet ministers was reported today as saying the US demands were unacceptable and there would be no compromise.

The Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper, sparked the premier’s anger when it quoted unnamed Netanyahu confidants delivering extraordinary criticisms of the US administration. One said Obama and Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, had “adopted a patently Palestinian line”.

“We’re talking about something that is diseased and insane,” the confidant told the paper. “The situation is catastrophic. We have a problem with a very, very hostile administration. There’s never been anything like this before. This president wants to establish the Palestinian state and he wants to give them Jerusalem … You could say Obama is the greatest disaster for Israel, a strategic disaster.”

Curtesy of the Guardian.

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March 28th, 2010, 10:22 pm

 

12. almasri said:

Ghat,
I just read that neten dissociated himself from those remarks. You should get an update.
I think they could be trying to dramatize the whole affair that began couple weeks ago, without any real substance. By they I mean the US admin and their puppets in Israel. It’s like a PR campaign to make Obama look good in the Arab world and absorb public steam from Arab street against the Arab puppet regimes.
Today Israel played full scale war games to test its so-called missile defense system. Possible scenario for Israel to attack Iran, refuel somewhere in Saudi, albeit ostensibly unknown to Saudi government (does that remind of US over flights in 2003, those too were unknown to the poor Saudis), then get the US indirectly involved in the Iran strike.
The refueling stop may be an attempt to create Arab/Iranian conflict by having Saudi absorbing part of the Iranian counterattack – typical evil Zionist schemes at stirring conflicts and then sit down like a cat waiting for big Sam to sort things out.

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March 28th, 2010, 10:55 pm

 

13. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I agree with Ya’alon in 110%. Don’t forget that the man was the chief of the army intelligence, and so he knows one or two things that we don’t know, about the real intentions of the Arabs (in HolyLand and beyond).

Each and every territory that Israel left, was immediately captured by Islamists
(Sunni and Shi’i) and used as a hub to launch Jihad against the Jews. This isn’t going to change any time soon.
I really hope that Bibi won’t chicken.

***

The mother of all cynicism: Asad, with one of the largest armies in the ME is advising the palestinians to return to armed resistance.
Asad is ready to fight Israel to the last (palestinian) drop of blood.

Alex, what can the Syrians do? (1) Go to war (2) Realize that for the time being, the Golan stays Israeli, and focus on developing Syria, leaving the Golan issue for later time.
.

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March 29th, 2010, 2:15 am

 

14. Yossi said:

>>> the man was the chief of the army intelligence, and so he knows one or two things that we don’t know, about the real intentions of the Arabs (in HolyLand and beyond).

That’s a common myth, which helps keep the people in line, like you are. Read this (especially the comments):

http://haemori.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/8200/

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March 29th, 2010, 3:54 am

 

15. Shai said:

Amir,

I was just about to make the same comment, but Yossi beat me to it.

There were plenty of Intelligence-Heads that were disastrous to Israel. Remember one Eli Zeira? By the way, most strategic surprises happen under the shift of… “Intelligence Heads”. When Sadat landed in Israel, our then-COGS still believed a bunch of Egyptian commando were going to storm out of the plane, targeting all of Israel’s major politicians on the ground. Sadat famously remarked soon afterwards “You see General, this is no trick!…”

And in this particular case, your buffoon-of-an-ex-COGS Ya’alon, is nothing short of a racist settler-nut oracle-wannabe. He’s one confused and frustrated boy who, probably after 1973, couldn’t bare the fact that the Arabs have their own pride, and are no less than Israelis (“kept their heads up…”, contrary to his own description of what they should do), and took a sharp and extreme Right-turn.

His understanding of “The real intentions of the Arabs” is about as comprehensive as my understanding of “The real intentions of Little Green Martians.” I’m rather surprised you trust him (or anyone else) so blindly. That’s the kind of “sheep”-like behavior I was describing earlier.

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March 29th, 2010, 4:56 am

 

16. Yossi said:

You see Alex, why you need to talk to Israelis directly? Because if not, they’d swallow anything that ex-intelligence chiefs will tell them about your “true intentions”.

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March 29th, 2010, 6:34 am

 

17. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Dearest compatriots, Shai and Yossi,

I’m not a blind follower of no-one’s, Shai. This is typical arrogant comment, so common with Israeli leftists (I was one of you once, remember? ).

Though not agreeing with Ya’alon’s views, I recommend you read his book ‘Long Short Way’ (that I read), in which he explains how a long way is usually the shortest, and why a shortcut ( ‘Oslo’ ‘Disengagement Plan’) can make your way longer. In his book he presents his unusual personal way. He wasn’t born a Likudnik. He’s from a working class family, and was Mapai’nik. He lives in a Kibutz. What I’m trying to say, is that he made a way from the left to the right. A reasonable and a calculated way.

The Arabs, dear Shai and Yossi, don’t want Israel here. They will not be sutisfied with two mini-statelets. They see it as a humiliation. The lands that you’re so eager to “return”, will quickly turn into new bases to continue and drive us out of our land, which they consider (and always will consider) as not-ours. Fortunately, most of Israelis aren’t suicidal day-dreamers as you are.

Maybe if I was born an Arab I would have felt the same as them. Quite probably. But I’m Jewish, and under no circumstances will live under the banner of Islam. And because this is what they really plan for us, it’s going to be long way, just as Ya’alon predicts. No shortcuts here. Sorry for spoiling your day Shai and Yossi.

Happy Passover !
.

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March 29th, 2010, 8:14 am

 

18. nethy said:

Boogie’s position is an interesting hybrid of main differences between the camps at the moment:

- The former centre-leftist position: ‘We have tried peace by negotiation and failed. Today’s reality is worse then the reality of the 90s and so there is no reason to think we can succeed now. It is dangerous and foulish to keep acting as if a negotiated solution is going to happen.’
Naturally, most of those that hold this position were deeply influenced by the Barak account of Camp David & the election of Hamas in 2006, meaning they blame Palestinians for this.

- The secularist position: ‘This is not really all that much to do with us. It’s an intra-arab, intra-muslim conflict between religious and secularists. We are just a prop.’
This is perhaps growing in popularity due to the perception that Israel is on the verge of a similar conflict.

- The new right position: ‘International rule of law is a lie that everyone pretends is true. Countries are malleable. Countries of the ME are arbitrary. The 60 year moratorium on annexation and border changes is not the end position. It is a temporary situation. A historical anomaly. It will pass. No border remains unchanged forever.’

- The old right position: ‘Arabs will never accept Israel is a way acceptable to Israel.’
This thinking goes back almost 100 years to the founder of Israel’s modern right wing. He considered the Arab & Jewish ambitions in the region to be mutually exclusive and therefore the state of war to be permanent.

- The Likud Schizophrenia: ‘lower taxes, more services.’
Unsurprisingly, these always hold some political weight.

Notably missing is a Jewish religious (or even very Zionist) position. The last two have always been there. The first two & maybe the third are new.

BTW, On censorship and comments such as the first one.
Alex, I think this is a lost battle. These blog rules and policies will only get you euphamisation. As one of it’s subjects, and presumably victims I would rather propaganda pieces be published verbatim where they can at least be most easily traced to their original sources. At least that way everything is on the table.

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March 29th, 2010, 10:16 am

 

19. Ghat Albird said:

The autho’s name in my number 1 commentary above is HERVE RYSSSEN (writes in French)

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March 29th, 2010, 12:51 pm

 

20. Husam said:

Amir in Tel Aviv:

You are blind, you just haven’t figured it out yet. Do you ever ask yourself why “the Arabs don’t want Israel here”? Which Arabs are you talking about? The Arabs of 60-70′s? The corrupt Arab leaders who make fools of themselves at the Arab League? The average Arab living inside the M.E., Arab Christians, Druze, Orthodox, Shia, Sunni, Jews, expats, which of them? Or all of THEM?

Yossi and Shai can fend for themselves, but let me tell you they are not accepting, like you are, the status quo. They have dignity. If you had to pull a rock off your foot knowing it will kill your neighbour by moving it, you would do it. They wouldn`t. They would find a way around it.

I am so fed up with the hard headed tunnel visioned people who think they know it all. Ya`alon may know a thing or two because of his position, but he is no God. He tells half truths to make belief his idealogy much like AP. Did he mention in his book that Israel immediately after withdrawing from South Lebanon began violating Lebanese airspace to intimidate them day and night? Did he tell you about the any-hour 24/7 sonic booms that have totaled over a thousand so far? How about “letting us in” on assissinations of key figures in Lebanon that may have been a Mossad hit. The same for Gaza, helicopter missiles shoots into a crowd for a spesific target killing civilians, is that not terrorism? Israel withdrew from Gaza, but it still remains under siege. Amir, don’t you know by now there are two sides to the story? Or you only care to know your side.

You said, “I am born Jewish” and “THEY” plan for us to live under Islam. Are you kidding me? You are reading the wrong books. What of Muslims in India? What of Christians in Lebanon? What of great examples of Jewish life who lived in Syria for 2000 years prior to to 1948?

And what about the “Greater Israel” is that a written fact or fiction?

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March 29th, 2010, 2:45 pm

 

21. why-discuss said:

What Syria is doing ?
It is doing something that no Arab country has succeeded to do: Trying to isolating Israel by making solid alliance with its ennemies and its former regional supporters.
When it happens, the threat of a Iran-Iraq-Turkey-Syria alliance will do the job of having Bibi and company crawling to the US for a peace treaty or committing suicide by ordering the bombing or Iran’s nuclear site probably without the US support.
What is happening in Iraq is of extreme importance and I am sure the Mossad is actively working there to prevent any resurgence of the anti-Israel feeling that could become political.
Yet anti-Israel Turkish TV serials dubbed in arabic are showed everywhere and the iraqi public opinion cannot remain insensitive to the injustice and cruelty done to the palestinians as showed in this serials.
These turkish serials are dubbed in Syria.
What Syria is achieving? It is subtly undermining the Israeli propaganda by encouraging non-arabs countries to speak out about Israel’s perpetuated injustice and arrogance.

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March 29th, 2010, 3:43 pm

 

22. Akbar Palace said:

Original Thinking NewZ

Why-Discuss states:

What Syria is doing? It is doing something that no Arab country has succeeded to do: Trying to isolating Israel by making solid alliance with its ennemies and its former regional supporters.

Why-Discuss,

Hasn’t this been the game-plan since 1948? What makes you think it will work this time?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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March 29th, 2010, 4:02 pm

 

23. Akbar Palace said:

The Ghost of GWB

Putin says “Terrorism will be destroyed”.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/29/AR2010032900099_pf.html

Hate crimes force Jews out of Malmo (“Western” country)…

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/29/hate-crimes-force-jews-out-of-malmo/

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March 29th, 2010, 4:12 pm

 

24. Ghat Albird said:

WHY-DISCUSS said:

What Syria is doing ?

It is doing something that no Arab country has succeeded to do: Trying to isolating Israel by making solid alliance with its ennemies and its former regional supporters.

WHY DISCUSS.

The following observation might be of interest as to how best Syria et, al treat Israelis in particular. The observation is part of a treatise on the Jewish psyche.

Yitzhak Attia, director of French-language seminars at the Yad Vashem Holocaust institute in Tel Aviv wrote in an issue of Israel magazine:

“Even if reason tells us, even shouts with all its force the very absurdity of this confrontation between the small and insignificant people of Israel [i.e, all Jewry worldwide, not just “the State of Israel”] and the rest of humanity… as absurd, as incoherent and as monstrous as it may seem, we are engaged in close combat between Israel and the Nations – and it can only be genocidal and total because it is about our and their identities.”

You read it right : Between the Jewish people and the rest of humanity the struggle can only be “genocidal and total.” The “peace” which Israel intends to confer is no more and no less than “genocide,” the warrant for the execution of all humanity – except for those allowed to live as cultureless slaves.

According to several European historians the facts are that the Jews feed on and grow off the hatred they have engendered among all the peoples of this world.

This hatred,according to these historians, is vital for their survival and for their spiritual genetics. It has allowed them for many centuries now to close ranks within their community against an external enemy, while other civilizations have disappeared.

While continually promoting that all Muslims/Arabs/iranians are terrorists, their rabbis spare no efforts to keep their gene pool Jewish. And so even a renegade Jew remains a Jew, and therefore it is perfectly useless to attempt to leave the Jewish prison community. Judaism is indeed a prison. Claiming that a Jew cannot ever stop being Jewish works in favor of Jewry’s survival.

One must admit that their successes have been for the most part in the West, Europe and Russia.

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March 29th, 2010, 4:21 pm

 

25. Husam said:

WHY-DISCUSS:

I agree with you that a balance of power in the region is needed to achieve some kind of just peace with Israel. However, what makes you think that the Israeli intelligence, its worldwide apparatus, and ultra-zionist (who control 1/3 of the world’s cash flow) will not circumvent any shift of power? They certainly have the means, the reach, and the experience to do so.

We are getting too excited too soon.

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March 29th, 2010, 4:44 pm

 

26. Akbar Palace said:

“World Cash Flow”/”You Read it Right” NewZ

We are getting too excited too soon.

Husam,

What percentage of the “world’s cash flow” do the Japanese, Europeans, Saudis, and Chinese control?

Yitzhak Attia, director of French-language seminars at the Yad Vashem Holocaust institute in Tel Aviv wrote in an issue of Israel magazine

Ghat,

Yad Vashem is located in occupied Jerusalem. Can you post a link showing that this person “Yitzhak Attia” made these comments or that he was even the “director of French-language seminars at Yad Vashem”?

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March 29th, 2010, 5:59 pm

 

27. almasri said:

WHY-DISCUSS,
Do not forget to include Egypt which has had enough of this shameful dealings with this zionist entity since Sadat committed treason.
Egypt will abrogate the treaty of shame and resume its role. That will happen sooner than many expect. We do not want zionists in the neighborhood just like every body else.

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March 29th, 2010, 5:59 pm

 

28. Ghat Albird said:

AKBAR PALACE said:

Ghat,

Yad Vashem is located in occupied Jerusalem. Can you post a link showing that this person “Yitzhak Attia” made these comments or that he was even the “director of French-language seminars at Yad Vashem”?

GHAT said.

AP. Can you prove that he was not the director of the French language seminars?

If you can I’ll provide you with a link.

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March 29th, 2010, 6:16 pm

 

29. Akbar Palace said:

Yitzhak Attia and his French Language seminar

Can you prove that he was not the director of the French language seminars?

Ghat,

How can I prove Yitzhak Attia was never the “director of the French language seminars” at Yad Vashem?

Gee, that would be difficult. I would have to call Yad Vashem and ask them for a complete list, present and past, showing that this person was never an employee.

However, I can prove that Yad Vashem is located in Jerusalem and not “Tel Aviv”. Also, I’ve never heard of the “Yad Vashem Holocaust Institute”.

I think the simple thing would be to tell us what edition of “Israel magazine” Mr. Attia wrote his article.

Your quote:

Yitzhak Attia, director of French-language seminars at the Yad Vashem Holocaust institute in Tel Aviv wrote in an issue of Israel magazine.

http://www.yadvashem.org/

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March 29th, 2010, 7:20 pm

 

30. Shai said:

Amir,

Many in Israel held your view, also back in 1977. And yet I don’t recall the Sinai ever turning into “new bases to continue and drive us out of our land,” as you called it.

Let me tell you about someone else who was a lifelong Mapainick, and who switched camp in an instant – my grandmother! Living on Ben-Yehuda Street in Tel-Aviv since the early 1930′s, she hosted underground movement meetings at her house, and later supported Mapai in every way possible. You couldn’t find someone more Left (socialist, even communist) than her. She was so proud, she had pictures of all the Mapai leaders up on her wall. Until… 1973.

The moment “those Arabs” showed us they weren’t such subhumans after all, weren’t going to take Israeli occupation of their lands forever, and actually did something about it, was the moment my grandmother’s pride collapsed. She couldn’t bare it. Her innate racism got hold of every Leftist view she ever had. She turned Right in an instant. She proudly tore down the old pictures, and put up those of Sharon, Begin, and Shamir. She was now a supporter of anyone who’d teach “those Arabs” a lesson. Anyone whose pride was also shattered on those October days in 1973.

Many in Israel underwent this transformation at the time. I would guess Ya’alon did as well. I suspect, that so did you, at some point in the past decade or two. Arafat, or Yassin, or Nasrallah, got to you. And the fact that Rabin, Peres, or Barak couldn’t stop them, while the Right was yelling “traitors!”, made you lose hope in the Left.

In a way, it made me lose hope in the Left as well, but for very different reasons. I accepted the absurdity in Israel – that the Right delivers the agenda of the Left, and vice-versa. I could never vote Barak, for instance, not in a million years. He has done more damage to Israel, and has contributed to the Occupation of Palestine, more than any other PM. Funny though, how the Right loves him. Because he delivers their agenda, better than anyone!

I don’t know what record of omniscience Israel has, or you do, with regards to giving back territory in return for peace. Seems to me, more leaders from Likud changed their minds than from Labor. While you went Rightwards, Begin, Sharon, Netanyahu, Olmert, and Livni, all went the other way. They all either pulled screaming and kicking settlers out of their homes, or spoke of doing so. Funny how you look at the Right in Israel as some example to follow, and yet their leaders (not that buffoon Ya’alon) end up doing exactly what Meretz and Labor wanted to do themselves.

Instead of subscribing to Ya’alon’s “Arab True Intention of the Week” magazine, you’d be far wiser listening to fellow commentators on Syria Comment, and learning both the reasons for their hatred of Israel, and yet their readiness to end the conflict, when certain conditions are met. From all the time I’ve spent here, I have yet to hear someone serious call out for Israel’s annihilation. What I hear are very different things.

Stop living in the previous century. The Arabs have already given you more than your country ever asked for – their readiness to recognize Israel, to make peace with Israel, and to accept us in this region. All we have to do is go back to the 1967 borders, and find an acceptable solution to the refugee problem.

What more do you want?

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March 29th, 2010, 8:32 pm

 

31. qunfuz said:

review of Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun, about a man from Jebleh who has adventures in New Orleans – http://qunfuz.com/2010/03/29/zeitoun/

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March 29th, 2010, 10:28 pm

 

32. Yossi said:

Amir,

Well if the Palestinian states are going to be mini-states, surrounded by Israeli surveillance and control, limited in their ability to use radio frequencies and water aquivers, deprived of the water of the Jordan river, blocked from utilizing their portion of the Dead Sea etc. etc. then it is almost guaranteed that they will be likely to see the business with Israel as unfinished. I, unlike Shai, don’t believe that there is much room for comparison between the Palestinian state and Egypt, because what Israel is willing to give the Palestinians today, is scraps. The two-state solution has to be very generous and provide Palestine with total freedom and that means a sovereign connection between Gaza and the West Bank, an airport, no Israeli presence anywhere, no tentacles “sticking in the eyes” of Palestine in Ariel and Ma’ale Edumim. Even if Israel was able to provide that, the Palestinians are still divided, so it will be impossible for Israel to negotiate a final agreement with both parties at the current situation. So that’s a failure, and as Yossi Beilin said, absent of a negotiated solution, the only other recourse would be to withdraw unilaterally to the 1967 borders, or to grant them citizenship and annex the territory. Another option is to try and continue the occupation, which is what you’re advocating for. Continuing the occupation cannot further the agenda of a Jewish-majority state, unless you believe that at some point you’d be able to cleanse Israel of the Arabs. Is that your implicit assumption? If not, then what kind of development are you waiting for, before annexing the land of withdrawing unilaterally?

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March 29th, 2010, 11:49 pm

 

33. norman said:

Shai,
Thank you , nobody could have said it better,

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March 30th, 2010, 2:03 am

 

34. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Yossi,

Between an “occupation” and a sovereign state, there’s a room to maneuver.
I advise the Arabs in the west bank and Gaza to do exactly what the Jews did before 1948: build their institutions, develop the economy, build schools hospitals, create civil society, establish a reliable judiciary system, fight corruption, and so on.

Start from the bottom up. Abandon premature dreams, prove to us, Israelis, your future and permanent neighbors, that your intentions are peaceful.
I’m sure they will have Bibi’s support if they choose this path.

Meanwhile, the WB and Gaza Arabs have way more political freedoms than their brothers in the rest of Arabia. They vote, they have political movements, they have freedom of speech, free press, no-one blocks their Internet or jams TV and radio transmissions, or terrorizes blogers.

Giving them a state now? Are you out of your mind? You realize that within 48 this state is a Hamas state, and that the Dayton militia will disintegrate in moments.
You want that Israel experiments with the only home we have? I don’t.
You’re worried about the future? I’m not. Israel is strong and unified as we have never been during the gay nineties.

We have a problem with Amrica and Europe, but eventually they will realize that they cannot force a solution on a democratic state.

I have no problem with future palestinian state, but only if this state proves to us that it’s going to be a friend, and not a foe.
Sometime in the distant future. Not any time soon.
.

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March 30th, 2010, 2:25 am

 

35. norman said:

Amir,

Didn’t Abbas prove enough how impotent he is , i do not think that there was any attack on Israel in the last 2 to 3 years from the west , so how come Israel is out of Gaza and still in the west bank ,

it is simple , Israel has no intention of leaving the West Bank and anybody who thinks otherwise is simply DREAMIN ,

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March 30th, 2010, 3:26 am

 

36. norman said:

Yossi,

I have another option for you , Mass conversion of Palestinian Christians and Muslims to Judaism , Many Palestinians will not mind if they are given equal rights,

Israel should try that ,

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March 30th, 2010, 3:33 am

 

37. Shai said:

Amir,

How far can your arrogance go?!? You don’t even see it.

Just a few examples:

“Start from the bottom up. Abandon premature dreams, prove to us, Israelis, your future and permanent neighbors, that your intentions are peaceful.”

Who the Hell are we, that anyone has to prove something to us? You know what, even if the Palestinians SWORE to never recognize Israel, to never accept Jews in this region, to never forgive the Jews for what they did to them in 1947-48, to fight us for eternity, they STILL would have the right to their own state! This right is so basic, that it requires no proving whatsoever, certainly not to us, the Occupier of THEIR lands!

Giving them a state now? Are you out of your mind? You realize that within 48 this state is a Hamas state… You want that Israel experiments with the only home we have? I don’t.”

News Flash, Amir: Their state isn’t YOURS to give. It is THEIRS! They were here before us, remember? It is we that came here 60 and 70 years ago, kicked them out, and established by force a state for our people. No one is asking Israel “to give” the Palestinians their freedom. It is expected of Israel to get the Hell out of territories that aren’t ours. No Nation on the face of this Planet recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Territories. Not single nation!

“We have a problem with Amrica and Europe, but eventually they will realize that they cannot force a solution on a democratic state.”

What an arrogant statement if I’ve ever heard one. Learn a little from Robert McNamara’s “Fog of War”.

“I have no problem with future palestinian state, but only if this state proves to us that it’s going to be a friend, and not a foe. Sometime in the distant future. Not any time soon.”

Again, who the Hell are YOU to decide when a certain people deserve their State and when not? Even Great Britain, an ex-Empire, didn’t decide when Israel became a State. So you feel you have a right to hold the Palestinians’ fate in your hands?

Amir, I strongly suggest you sometimes look at yourself in the mirror, for longer than a second or two. Try to hear your own words, as if said to you by someone else. Try to hear the arrogance, and see how you, and our nation, has for too long taught itself to believe in that ridiculous mantra – The Chosen People. Get back down to Earth, adopt some humility, and remember just how “Big” and righteous we really are.

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March 30th, 2010, 7:09 am

 

38. Akbar Palace said:

Moshe Ya’alon says that the Israeli government doesn’t really mean what it says about a two-state solution. Whatever it says and does to allegedly advance peace with the Palestinians is all maneuvers.

Professor Josh,

In your professional opinion, do you think the PA does any “maneuvering” or just the GOI?

Thanks,

AP

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March 30th, 2010, 1:09 pm

 

39. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I prefer to be arrogant and safe rather than not-arrogant and dead, Shai.

BTW I liked the story about your grandma.
My grandma was a Revisionist all her life, admired Zabotinski, followed Begin and always voted מחל even in times when it could put one’s career in a danger. And so she always was kind of a “strange bird” in our (mostly) Maarach’nikit family.
.

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March 30th, 2010, 5:57 pm

 

40. Ghat Albird said:

AMIR IN TEL AVIV said:

I prefer to be arrogant and safe rather than not-arrogant and dead, Shai.

And the below is what the Global Ministries claim

Global Ministries

Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum Action Alert

Holy Land Christians are protesting the denial of the freedom of worship by the Israeli occupation police during Easter celebrations. In a press release, they have complained that Israeli Police will impose restrictions and limit the movement of all Christian worshipers during the celebrations. These restrictions will particularly affect the Holy Fire Saturday in Jerusalem, which has been celebrated from as far back as 1106 AD. The celebrations have been governed for the past decades by the status quo of 1852 covering the processions within the boundaries of the Holy Sepulcher Church in addition to traditions by the local community and pilgrims in its vicinity.

Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Fire Saturday, and Easter Sunday are the Holiest days celebrated in Jerusalem for Christians. Christians are denied their fundamental right of freely exercise their religion because of road blocks in the old city, police presence with machine guns, as well as rude and hostile attitudes from police and Army officers. The curfews and forced closures make these movements almost impossible. In sharp contrast, Israel allows Jews to freely access their temples.

Today when a debate has been initiated regarding the freedom of worship in Jerusalem due to the constant settler aggressions against Al Aqsa Mosque (Al Haram Al Sharif) and despite the fact that Israeli officials have made public assurances that “only Israel” can keep freedom of religion in Jerusalem, the Holy Land Christians denounce Israel’s discriminatory and restrictive policies. Palestinian Christian organizations in occupied East Jerusalem have initiated a legal process “to preserve the right to freely access our churches and shrines”.

Palestinian Christians now “call upon the international community, and particularly to the Christian World, including its churches and civil society to put pressure on Israel to end the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem as well as in this particular case to stop limiting Holy Land Christians from exercising their basic religious rights.”

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March 30th, 2010, 6:10 pm

 

41. Shai said:

Amir,

“I prefer to be arrogant and safe rather than not-arrogant and dead.”

Sounds like a line taken from some Neocon Western-like Educational Video to potential recruits.

Has Israeli arrogance really brought us security? If so, then why do we need to continue to be arrogant?

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March 30th, 2010, 6:13 pm

 

42. Yossi said:

Amir,

You’ll end up both arrogant and dead, or “occupied”. Then if you’ll survive you’ll use your Polish passport and build a new home in Europe.

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March 31st, 2010, 5:24 am

 

43. Akbar Palace said:

I prefer to be arrogant and safe rather than not-arrogant and dead, Shai.

Amir,

You may be confusing “arrogant” with “wise”;)

Michael Ramirez:

http://townhall.com/cartoons/cartoonist/MichaelRamirez/2010/03/2

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March 31st, 2010, 11:47 am

 

44. Akbar Palace said:

NIE NewZ

CIA: Iran Moving Closer to Nuclear Weapon

http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/03/30/cia-report-iran-capable-of-making-nuke/

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March 31st, 2010, 12:59 pm

 

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