“Why Lieberman?,” by Shai

“Why Lieberman?,”

Written by Shai for Syria Comment

The question has been bothering me, as well as many other Israelis (perhaps even most), for quite some time now.  We didn’t need to wait this long, to hear the controversial speech at the UN, to ask why the Israeli Prime Minister hasn’t fired Lieberman.  We asked this question when Lieberman allowed for the most embarrassing treatment of the Turkish Ambassador earlier this year.  We asked this when the Police disclosed its intention to recommend Lieberman be tried under multiple charges of corruption.  We asked this when Lieberman patronized European foreign ministers, telling them to “first fix your problems” in Europe, before lecturing Israel.  We’ve been asking “Why Lieberman?” again and again, ever since Netanyahu chose him for his post.  Sometimes one finds comfort in unexpected places, even in knowing that others, outside of Israel, are asking the same question.

Speculations about the Netanyahu-Lieberman political-marriage are varied but, surprisingly enough, Israeli media has focused less on “why”, and more on “why-not”.  But the “why” is no less important, and might possibly be a key factor in our common goals towards Peace.  In pondering this question, I’ve come up with a number of reasons, at least some of which I am convinced are true.  By the end of Netanyahu’s term in office, I hope we’ll know whether the rest are true as well.  Here are five reasons why I believe Netanyahu chose Lieberman as Israel’s Foreign Minister, and for now, prefers to keep him there:

1.  Political Pressure-Reducer:

Lieberman, a West Bank settler and a politician with extremist views, is often considered the “loudest dog” in the pack.  Few politicians on the Extreme-Right are more vocal and anti-Peace than Lieberman.  By placing Lieberman as so-called “chief diplomat” for Israel, the man responsible for Israel’s foreign-policy (including that of Peace), Netanyahu assures himself a lot of political quiet-time from the Right and Extreme-Right, his only potential adversaries.  While many suspect, few can openly criticize Netanyahu for endangering Israel, when Lieberman is allowed to speak as he does, at home and abroad.  Notice, “endanger Israel”, from the Right or Extreme-Right point of view, is giving back land.

2.  Foreign Minister doesn’t mean Foreign Policy:

While Lieberman certainly has harmed Israel’s diplomatic relations, most noticeably with our critical and strategic ally Turkey, Netanyahu has made sure that our Foreign MInister does not “come near” our peace negotiations with the Palestinians.  Netanyahu keeps Lieberman busy worldwide, while his own team sits with Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad.  (Interesting note about Turkey:  As relations continued to deteriorate, Netanyahu apparently sent Labor’s Infrastructure Minister Fouad Ben-Eliezer to Turkey, without informing Lieberman.  Learning of this only upon Fouad’s return, Lieberman was furious.)

3.  Good for Negotiations:

While Lieberman isn’t brought into peace negotiations with the Palestinians, Netanyahu knows that Abu Mazen cannot ignore Lieberman’s views.  If Tzipi Livni were to replace Lieberman, her Center-leaning political profile, and her public statements regarding a two-state solution, would not serve Israel well during negotiations, as Netanyahu might see it.  To close a deal, the other side might need to be reminded that there are those close by, who don’t want to close a deal at all.  If one can maintain even the slightest speculation that such deal-opposers may be candidates one day for PM, this might be viewed by the other side as more a reason to compromise today, for fear of a worse tomorrow.

4.  Good for Outside Pressure:

This might actually be one of the key factors in Netanyahu’s calculations.  If Netanyahu is interested in achieving Comprehensive Peace, and a final end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, then surely he sees his own people as the biggest hurdle to overcome.  He already knows that the Palestinians are ready to compromise over Right-of-Return, over security, and even over territory.  He knows that Syria has promised to meet Israel’s security-demands, and that Israel’s number one ally, the United States, has promised to vouch for Israel’s security.  Netanyahu knows that Security is as close to guaranteed as any PM could ever get.  But he doesn’t know that his people will back him.  He doesn’t know, if his people will be ready to give back the Golan.  Or to vacate hundreds of thousands of Jews, out of their homes in the West Bank.  Or to divide Jerusalem.  He doesn’t know if Israelis will either allow him to do all of these, or ever forgive him for having done so.

But Netanyahu does know, that if he can bring about a situation whereby Israel is “forced to comply”, by her closest allies, or by the threat of sanctions, or even by war, that he can then more easily come before his people and say “Israel’s security depends no less on her relations with her closest allies, than it does on a stretch of land in the West Bank, or on the Golan…”  And if outside pressure is indeed something Netanyahu sees as necessary, then placing Lieberman as Foreign Minister, and allowing him to voice our “Foreign Policy” worldwide, are both logical agitators that can help speed up this pressure.

It is interesting to note, that while the PM’s Office did make a public statement disconnecting itself from Lieberman’s recent speech at the UN (calling it “his personal views, which are not representative of the Israeli government…”), Netanyahu has yet to tell the Israeli media why he keeps Lieberman in this position.  All Israeli media forms have been calling for his resignation, and yet Netanyahu does nothing.

5.  The Countdown Begins after Lieberman is Replaced:

Netanyahu knows that the minute he replaces Lieberman as Foreign Minister, his adversaries will have the political fuel they need, to begin the Offensive that will lead to new Elections.  Lieberman will make Netanyahu look like the next Oslo-selling Rabin, and no political leader from the Right, Center, or Left, could help defend the Prime Minister (and none will want to.)  Netanyahu’s political countdown will begin.  However, it is not unlikely that if serious progress is made on any of the Peace tracks (Palestinian, Syrian or Lebanese), that Netanyahu will be forced to replace Lieberman by Tzipi Livni, to attain a large-enough coalition to carry out the necessary steps towards reaching a final Peace Agreement.  The questions are if and when this countdown will begin.

Final Note:

I have tried to answer the question “Why Lieberman?” without assuming that Netanyahu is interested in Peace.  But clearly my answers aren’t truly-neutral.  Yet the more I considered the second option, the one that many out there believe – that Netanyahu isn’t ready to withdraw to the 1967 lines, the more I found contradictions with keeping Lieberman around.  After all, if the idea was to make time go by, to let the whole world think Israel is doing “everything we can” to bring Peace to the region, to end the Israeli Occupation, to bring about a just end to the Palestinian problem, then what could be easier than letting Ehud Barak or Tzipi Livni be Israel’s Foreign Minister?  Why not form a Center-Right coalition, and let all our best Two-State supporters numb their listeners worldwide, as we have done so well over the years?  Lieberman, in such a case, would be counterproductive.

But to those who still fear Avigdor Lieberman, who still view him as more mainstream than do the Israeli media, the Israeli Police, or the Israeli people, I remind them of the old saying:  “Smaller dogs bark loudest.”

Posted by Alex

Comments (106)

Alex said:

Dear Shai,

Thank you for taking the time to explain.

Your “final note” is relatively convincing against those who argue that Israeli prime ministers follow the same plan that proved successful since the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin … waste time, pretend you are genuinely interested in peace, and continue to build settlements and to wait until younger generations among the Arabs forget about their parent’s attachment to the land.

But if we follow your long term conviction that there are no such plans, that Israeli politicians are the same like any other politicians … mostly interested in staying in power, then Prime minister Netanyahu’s decision to pick Lieberman was simply due to hte fact that he could not reach an agreement with Livni and Kadima, but was able to agree with Lieberman.

The above are my initial thoughts, but in general, I believe that the truth is a combination of the two theories … Israeli politicians do play the standard games (coalition building) when needed to stay in power, but there is also the long term strategy of time wasting … they all believe that time is on Israel’s side as long as the US will not allow the security council to issue any resolution against settlement building.

I think Lieberman’s selection is Netanyahu’s “I am a moderate in comparison to my people” … Netanyahu wants to settle the conflicts after the Arabs accept his terms … no right of return, no Jerusalem, Israeli control of the west bank’s eastern borders with Jordan, and the Golan to Syria only if Syria turns into another obedient Jordan … Lieberman makes those terms seem reasonable. Already western envoys to Syria are using this argument to try to gain concessions from Syria.

As for Israel’s image and the negativity that Lieberman keeps generating, I think Israel (the country) clearly sided with Lieberman against Turkey in general, regardless of opinions after the Turkish Ambassador’s treatment incident.

Netanyahu believes that hte rest of the world will tolerate anything from Israel …. but the Israeli public (with a majority on the right) is much more difficult to please and satisfy.

October 31st, 2010, 4:03 pm


Norman said:

Dear Shai, Alex ,

I am glad that you agree with me that for Netanyahu to seek peace he has to show his people that he is forced to and until then he is keeping Lieberman to protect his right and to look like the moderate in the world eyes , but if he is forced , through legal, military or economic means then he can justify his peace move . at that time Lieberman will jump up and down , Netanyahu will activate the indictment pending against him (Lieberman) and replace him with Kadima ,

October 31st, 2010, 5:48 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

Found Shair commentary entertaining but to be quite candid somewhat irrelevent to the most pressing and prominent state of the Israeli decade old transgressions and wars against the Palestenians and other Arab states.

Why Lieberman could just as well be why not Lieberman or “Why ADAM PERLMAN AliaS ADAM GADHAN. An American zionist claiming to be an Al queda member.

The two sentences one used by SHAI and the other by Gordon Duff bespeak a view that is rather interesting

SHAIR’s sentence in referencing Lieberman: “Smaller dogs bark loudest.”

DUFF’s sentence : “If you were to capture a vicious rabid dog in the wilderness and turned it loose in a children’s playground, would you be a terrorist?”

Lieberman, Adam Perlmann/Gadhan and un named others both in and out of Israel have one and only one objective that is pursued. Still the two mentioned qualify as interesting characters in the over all scheme of things.

Gordon Duff – (US) Veterans Today October 25, 2010

“Israeli terrorist “clones” are responsible for most hard line rhetoric, threats and, if we investigated closely, have actually recruited terrorists and directly inspired, if not planned and executed, attacks on Americans…Gadahn is part of it, so is Wikileaks”

A call to arms, demanding Muslims in America and elsewhere begin a terror campaign, was spread around the world. The message, we are told, was found on a “secret website” by an Israeli company who put it in a press release.

There is no evidence any American Muslim has ever been on the website referred to, no American intelligence agency could find it, not the CIA or the FBI or Homeland Security. There was only one way the 300,000 Muslims of Detroit could hear call to terrorism, from an Israeli company that passes on such messages for profit.

Does it create them too? You be the judge.

Let’s look at a possible analogy. If you were to capture a vicious rabid dog in the wilderness and turned it loose in a children’s playground, would you be a terrorist?

This is essentially what is being admitted to.

What is in question, another analogy, is whether you purposefully infected the dog with rabies in the first place. Either way, you are a terrorist.

Adam Gadahn, the “American Taliban,” the lisping, overweight bungler continually calling for the murder of Americans is really named Adam Perlman from a family highly influential in the Anti-Defamation League. The group distributing his threats, SITE Intelligence, contracted to the American government, is run by a former IDF member whose father was executed in Iraq as a Mossad terrorist. SITE Intelligence is the source of the Osama bin Laden tapes long proven to be, not only the wrong voice, but to resemble bin Laden so little as to have become a joke.

Gadahn came on the scene when tapes of Osama bin Laden claiming credit for 9/11 failed forensic examination. They were counterfeits. The CIA’s own version had bin Laden denying any involvement. (See APPENDIX below for official CIA transcript)

This was late 2001 and Americans hadn’t been told that the story about Tora Bora, the many stories about Tora Bora, warlords covering for bin Laden, American troops being pulled back at the last minute by presidential order or the Delta Force being betrayed, were all lies. Osama bin Laden, already dying from kidney failure, was murdered by one of his own men on December 14, 2001.

Pakistan’s ISI had informants there, it was leaked to the newspapers and was widely reported. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto even announced it in an interview with BBC’s David Frost.

With a 9/11 denial “on the books” and bin Laden dead, there would be no invasion of Iraq, no new leader was “in place” to bring out for the American people, no new “boogeyman.”

The very real conspiracy, covering up the sickening truth about 9/11, the treasonous intelligence doctoring leading to the disaster in Iraq and the upcoming years of building a drug empire in Afghanistan, stealing billions in oil from Iraq, the thinly disguised martial law decrees in America and the planned attack on Iran, was threatened unless, somehow, Osama bin Laden could be brought back to life.

Nearly a decade later, Pakistan’s intelligence chief, General Pasha does everything but scream it from rooftops, when he carefully hints to a dull witted ABC interviewer that bin Laden is dead. Journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI and Washington Times fame, makes it as clear as possible when he says “Bin Laden is as dead as Elvis.” Even CIA director Leon Panetta confirms there is no evidence of bin Laden since “late 2001.”

With bin Laden dead, it all falls apart, Al Qaeda, 9/11, and the continual accusations made against Pakistan. Still, we hear it. Bin Laden touring Afghanistan or as with last weeks report, “living in luxury” in Iran.

Not only is bin Laden dead but when he was alive, the BBC confirmed that he had absolutely no terrorist organization of any kind, masterminded no plots, controlled no organizations and had no more involvement on the world stage other than, at one time, helping the CIA raise money to fund refugee organizations during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Contrary to what has been reported, bin Laden never raised money for weapons. That task was left to Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, the CIA paymaster who received $800,000,000 in US funds. Today we are told Hikmatyar may be in Iran. However, we have verified that he is actually in Pakistan, working directly with the CIA as “go between” with the Taliban, taking an active role in the current talks with the Karzai government. Few in Afghanistan trust Hikmatyar, long a favorite with CIA and Pakistan “hard liners.”

If anything, the myth of Osama bin Laden is actually Hikmatyar. What is said bin Laden did in Afghanistan was always Hikmatyar, CIA “moneyman” and terrorist. Problem is, he is still a CIA moneyman and terrorist, flying on American planes, going on and off American bases but listed with the Department of Homeland Security as one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. The truth, Hikmatyar is seen by the US as their “dealmaker” in Afghanistan, something many in Afghanistan find both frightening and delusional.

Perhaps one of the most frightening issues of the ‘war on terror’ or, more appropriately, ‘the phony war on terror’ has been the use of ‘terrorist clones’ like Adam Perlman, the Israeli actor playing a Taliban leader on videos distributed by Israeli intelligence. The real insanity is that the videos aren’t produced to just fool Americans into rebuilding the coalition of Islamophobics and paranoids typified by the subscribers of http://www.familysecuritymatters.org . Please, visit this website. See if everything on it doesn’t just scream

“Look out, the boogeyman is coming, quick, hide under your bed!”

Things aren’t that innocent. Much of the message is going to the Islamic community worldwide and is reaching people who are angry and looking for someone to blame. Those funding Adam Gadhan, those magically finding his mysterious broadcasts and those distributing them to the world are giving material support to terrorism. They are, in fact, terrorists.

The message they, our friends, you know exactly who I mean, are spreading is clear:

“Attack and kill Americans, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but anywhere you can find them in the world. They are the real enemy, not Israel.”

Does anyone wonder why Gadahn never calls for attacks on Israel? In fact, Al Qaeda doesn’t seem to know Israel exists. They never threaten Israel. They never attack Israel. They never even mention Israel, never. All those Osama bin Laden and Adam Perlman, sorry, “Adam Gadahn” tapes have one thing in common.

Israel doesn’t exist. Get the picture? Here is what Perlman, lets be straight about it, his name is Perlman, his family is Jewish, Zionist, and very active in the ADL. This is what he or is it ‘they” are advocating in this statement released yesterday:

“emigrant communities like those which live on the margins of society in the miserable suburbs of Paris, London and Detroit, or are from those arriving in America or Europe to study in its universities or seek their daily bread in the streets of its cities….you have an opportunity to strike the leaders of unbelief and retaliate against them on their own soil, as long as there is no covenant between you and them”

Clear and simple, we are hearing what Israel is telling the world, the Muslim world, is the voice of Al Qaeda. What is Israel, or rather “Al Qaeda” telling us?

Please attack Britain, France and the United States but leave Israel alone.

Detroit has Muslim population of 300,000 yet, the one terrorist attack there was done by a mentally incompetent Nigerian national. Do you remember the “crotch bomber?” Do you wonder why the story disappeared from the news so quickly? When two Detroit attorneys caught airport officials putting the terrorist on a plane, airport officials working for an Israeli company, things fell apart. When Veterans Today discovered from intelligence sources in both Nigeria and Ghana that the boy’s family was not only tied directly to the CIA but the father was a business partner in an Israeli defense firm, it came apart further. When this came out, a news “blackout” fell and the story died.

When the government of Yemen found laptop computers belonging to “Al Qaeda” that showed a clear record of daily contacts with “handlers” in Israel, the story died totally.

The Detroit bombing told us two things:

The vast majority of American Muslims are Americans and have no loyalty to religious extremists or any other country. That is “those other guys.” American Muslims are mostly, not only Republicans but politically active in the party and very conservative.

Terrorists can’t move around the world without help, either visas, real or phony, passports, security”walk arounds” and more. If a grandmother with a knitting needle and an American passport could never, under any imaginable circumstances, get on a plane in Schipol Airport, how did a single male, Nigeria, Muslim, no passport at all…he wasn’t carrying any identification of any kind and, this is the best part, a bomb strapped to his genitals get seated on a plane ahead of the rest of the passengers. Remember, you first have to get into a country with no passport, around immigration, then you have to go through airport security and prove you have proper immigration documents then you are checked again before boarding. Abdul Mohammed, without Mossad help, stood a better chance of winning the Irish Sweepstakes than getting on that plane.

Is that a bomb in your pants or are you just glad to see me?


For years, Perlman, masquerading as a spokesman for Al Qaeda, has put out childish videos, all time to help certain political races, influence arms sales to Israel, or as with yesterday’s treat, to reinforce the Wikileaks fiasco, another attempt to con America. Last time Wikileaks tried to get the US to cut all aid to Pakistan, an act which would have made the war in Afghanistan even worse than it is now, if that’s possible. This one is time to a Wikileak “custom crafted” to blame the world’s ills on Iran, target number one for Israel. As a “three fer,” the New York Times and MSNBC went after Iran for “secretly” buying off President Karzai of Afghanistan.

We knew Karzai was aligned with India and Israel against Pakistan. Now he is “owned” by Iran? How many sides can one person be on?

When I was in Pakistan earlier in the year, Gadahn was said to be hiding in an apartment building in Karachi. The building was stormed, “Gadahn” was captured, a “Gadahn,” not “the Gadahn.” It seems that a “look alike” had been used to leave a false trail, the real Adam Perlman was safe and sound elsewhere, some place with video studios. The individual recruiting real terrorists to kill real Americans with real bombs is a real Israeli, no question about that, and not the first time.

It is also believed that the new “Al Qaeda” operations chief, Adnan Shukrijumah of Brooklyn, New York and Miami Beach is another Israeli creation, a phony terrorist, an actor, much like the phony “bin Ladens” of every shape and size used to scare small children after the death of the real bin Laden in December 2001.

During comprehensive briefings with Pakistans ISPR, the group that briefs people like, well, Secretary Clinton, it was made clear to me that we were all on the same page, Osama bin Laden is dead. There was much discussion, some of it humorous, as how to let people know. After short discussions on this with ISPR DG General Athar Abbas I was summoned to a “mysterious” meeting.

This was General Ahmed Shurja Pasha, Director General of Pakistan’s intelligence service known as the ISI. During a private lunch with his top aide, Commodore Zafar Iqbal and author Jeff Gates, who was accompanying me on a lecture tour, one of the areas of discussion was dishonesty in journalism. An interview with a very prominent American journalist that General Pasha had held had been falsified. Statements regarding Pakistan and Mumbai were simply invented. This wasn’t the first time I had run into this. A widely published interview between the editor of a Washington newspaper and former ISI Chief General Hamid Gul was similarly fabricated.

When I made reference to the Gul interview in an article, he phoned me. Gul, an editor at Veterans Today, a co-worker and good friend, pointed out that the interview never happened and was entirely made up. Another “famous journalist” with an agenda simply invented a story, had it published around the world, and the real truth would be lost forever. Between video editing, phony interviews and released audio and video tapes of dead or non-existent “terrorists,” the media has ended up being as strong a force promoting extremism and conflict as the real issues, which, frankly, none of us are that sure about anymore.

People like Pakistan’s Imran Khan, who talk about extremism in realistic terms are seldom listened to. How can I prove this? Do you know who Imran Khan is? There is your answer.


This week, something surprising happened in Australia. In a world where you can’t tun on a television without hearing how crazy people are who question the 9/11 cover story, even though Fox News seems to have changed sides on this issue, what you don’t see are public opinion polls on 9/11. If Bill Maher or Jon Stewart, the “liberal progressives” of American television, with their continual attacks on “the right” show us one thing it is that, no matter how much you may find government a pack of useless liars, the magic “boxcutter and pancaking building” story on 9/11 must be adhered to. Even though those the 9/11 Truth movement blame, the Americans anyway, are you most vile political enemies, when it comes to 9/11, you attack anyone who questions the Bush/Cheney doctrine like a rabid field mouse.

There is a reason for this. The ability to repeat 9/11, contain an investigation, keep press assets focused on a cover story few take seriously anymore, is vital. Without the ability to blow up an American city and blame Iran or an imaginary terrorist group, the “Masters of the Universe” will lose their ability to control the fate of the human race.

Thus, everything we have seen since 9/11 has been done to prepare us for the next 9/11. The last one finished Saddam, looted the American economy and imposed martial law on the United States. Iran and Pakistan still stand. With all the terror warnings, phony stories about imaginary nuclear programs, the threats, the sanctions and even Wikileaks, it all isn’t going to be enough.

America is sick of war and not very likely to believe the media, not anymore. Big problem here, when you attack anyone’s credibility, the Bush administration, Obama, Tony Blair, eventually people begin to question you too.

Watch Wikileaks dribble away into nothing. Watch the news try to pump air into this story and spin it against Iran.

When that fails, maybe it will be time to hide under your bed after all.

Source: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/10/24/gordon-duff-gadahn-call-to-attack-americans-comes-from-israel/

October 31st, 2010, 7:29 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Few politicians on the Extreme-Right are more vocal and anti-Peace than Lieberman.


What makes you think Lieberman is “anti-peace”? And what makes you think Abbas isn’t anti-peace?


October 31st, 2010, 11:19 pm


Alex said:


What makes you think milk is white and what makes you think Hummus is beige?

October 31st, 2010, 11:24 pm


Shai said:

Alex, Norman,

I don’t know if Netanyahu is planning to become THE prime minister to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, or whether he plans to just waste time. I have a feeling that he didn’t work his butt off for the past near-decade, since he lost the elections so miserably in 2000, and brought up the Likud from 12 seats to 27, to just “waste more time”. He knows what you and I know, that if there’s someone in Israel that can deliver and receive the backing of most Israelis (some from the Right, and all of the Left and Center), it’s him. I don’t need to be optimistic or exercise wishful thinking to know this. But he actually WILL do, is something none of us know.

Unlike his predecessors, Bibi is far more pragmatic. Even Rabin didn’t dare send emissaries directly to Assad to offer the Golan, as Bibi did in 1996. Bibi, who swore to never shake the hand of “that terrorist” Arafat, not only kissed him on the cheek, but also handed over control of the largest cities to the PA. But unlike Barak, Bibi won’t risk his neck (and didn’t bring about early-elections, after barely a year in power), and won’t make major moves until he is sure he has the backing of his people. As you said, he probably needs to make them feel “forced to do so.”

In a perfect world, politicians would be telling us the truth, exactly what’s on their mind. If you think about it, the reason why Lieberman is such a terrible politician and especially diplomat, is because he tells us exactly what he feels, and it happens to be extremely dangerous. Bibi won’t share with us his plans, if they include returning territory back to the 1967 lines. It makes no sense that he’ll do that, until he’s sure he can. Even Sharon did this in steps. Olmert wanted to continue. But no one will be like Barak, with sudden, overnight withdrawals.

Tzipi Livni is hopeless. Don’t count on her. She was given 3 opportunities to become Prime Minister, and didn’t take them up. Two of those, she was handed on a silver plate, and refused. Kadima under her leadership has voiced no alternative whatsoever whilst in Opposition. So what will she suddenly do now? If Bibi needs her, he’ll make her FM instead of Lieberman.

November 1st, 2010, 2:28 am


Shai said:


Your question is valid, if we’re not clear on the definition of Peace. Does Peace mean “accepting everything the other side demands”? Does it mean compromising on everything? Does it mean reaching out, and trying to do what others in the past have failed to achieve?

Lieberman, as Israel’s chief-diplomat, spoke before the UN and said “Peace will not occur for decades more…” I don’t know what he meant, but it sure didn’t sound like a Foreign Minister that would push for Peace in the region. It sounded like someone that was still intent on forcing Israeli interests on others.

November 1st, 2010, 2:32 am


dourgoat said:

If Bibi is hoping to be forced into a peace deal, presumably by the US, should he not be doing something to reign in AIPAC, pro-Israeli congressmen and the like, given that they seem to be doing a decent job of pressuring Obama not to put real pressure on Israel? Is there any evidence of this happening? I don’t see how real pressure from the US is a realistic possibility given the political realities of the US at the moment.

November 1st, 2010, 3:23 am


Akbar Palace said:

The Blind leading the Bigoted


As I’ve stated many times before, your presence here on Syria Comment fills an important void. The anti-Zionists here need you to “confirm” their hatred, suspicions and misconceptions about Israel. A liberal and Jewish Israel critic such as you fits in nicely here.

I don’t know what he meant, but it sure didn’t sound like a Foreign Minister that would push for Peace in the region.


If you don’t know what he meant, than why do you say, “ Few politicians on the Extreme-Right are more vocal and anti-Peace than Lieberman”?

But of course, you didn’t answer my rather simple questions.

You also didn’t quote the Israeli foreign minister’s statement:

“We are ready for a fair solution and we are ready to cooperate with the international community.”

Once you answer my questions, then we can disect Iran, Syria, Hamas, the PLO, Hezbollah and their charters to see if you think these organizations are doing a better job than Avigdor Lieberman.

November 1st, 2010, 7:04 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

The Bigoted leading the Blind.

A hundred year old church was burned Friday by right-wing Israeli settlers, who broke a number of windows of the church and hurled Molotov cocktails inside.

The damage to the church was substantial, with burn damage throughout the first floor of the building.

The church was built in Jerusalem in 1897, and housed the Palestinian Bible College until 1947, when parishioners were pushed out by Jewish armed gangs during the violence accompanying the creation of the state of Israel.

Christians make up 2% of the population of both Israel and the Palestinian Territories – the number used to be around 15%, but many Christians from the Holy Land have emigrated due to the harsh conditions of the Israeli occupation, and discrimination against them by the Israeli state.

This is not the first time that Israeli right-wingers have destroyed churches and church property – a number of Chrisitan churches were destroyed during the second initfada (uprising) that began in 2000, and many more were destroyed by Israeli forces during the 1948 and 67 wars.

In 2006, an Israeli couple tried to firebomb an ancient church in Nazareth, the city where Chrisitans believe that Jesus Christ lived 2000 years ago. An Israeli court which tried the case failed to convict the couple of any charges.

A leader in the church attacked on Friday, Zachariah al-Mashriqi, told reporters that the attack on the church was a clear attempt to provoke Palestinians to respond in anger. He urged Palestinian Christians to respond to the attack with virtue and patience.

Al-Mashriqi urged the Israeli government to act responsibly and condemn the attack, and work on investigating the attack to find out who was involved and actually file charges in the case. He asked the Israeli government to protect holy sites in the city of Jerusalem, as these sites come under increasing attack by Israeli settlers.

Source > Imemc News

November 1st, 2010, 7:35 am


5 dancing shlomos said:

re read comments 3 and 10

November 1st, 2010, 11:42 am


Ghat Al Bird said:


It should be quite apparent to ALL Arabs/Muslims that Israel is but one symbol of their dedicated opponents. Wherever there are Jewish zionists and their sympathisers in the world there also exists a dedicated one.

Below is an examplery display of the zionists sole objectives.

WashPost: War with Iran would rescue economy.

By Daniel Tencer
Sunday, October 31st, 2010 — 1:33 pm

Washington Post political correspondent David Broder has kind words for President Barack Obama in in his opinion column Sunday, arguing that it isn’t the president’s fault the economy is stuck in reverse.

But the four-decade-plus veteran of Washington politics offers a startling solution to the president’s political and economic woes: March off to war with Iran.

He writes that there are “essentially” two ways that an economy can be grown: Through the natural economic cycle, and through war.

“Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.”

“Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs.”

“This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.”

“I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected,” Broder qualifies. “But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.”

November 1st, 2010, 12:22 pm


Shai said:


The fact that you used that quote, to demonstrate Lieberman’s hopes for Peace, is kind of funny. And I’ll prove it to you, by using the same quote, with a different speaker:

“We are ready for a fair solution and we are ready to cooperate with the international community.” – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Lieberman’s version of a “fair solution” entails the transfer not only of territory, but now also people! He is ready to transfer hundreds of thousands of Arab-Israelis (not Jewish-Israelis as far as I know) to another country. I don’t know why, call me crazy, but to me that hints more of innate racism, than of a Peace-seeking politician. What do you think?

As for Abbas, he has become such an Israeli and U.S. puppet, that his “intentions” are no longer relevant. Even if he wanted to negotiate on behalf of his people, to pretend to be our rival (enemy), he couldn’t. We, and America, haven’t learned our lesson yet. Peace you make with your enemy, not with your puppet, the one you supply money, guns, and security to.

November 1st, 2010, 12:47 pm


Yossi said:

Rub my eyes, Shai is writing again for SC and chatting with Alex and Norman. It’s the good old times again 🙂

I believe the main reason Leiberman is foreign minister is that Bibi didn’t have much choice, combined with the rest of the arguments that Shai presents. Basically, to get Livni into the government she’d have Bibi commit to a much more explicit line with respect to the two-state solution that Bibi is not yet (or at all) ready for.

I also agree with Ghat that “why Lieberman” is not a very interesting question. A more pressing question is when’s the next war going to start, how, who’ll get involved and what would be the death toll on each side.

With respect to Akbar quibbling about who is and who isn’t “pro-peace”, I think this just illustrates how the “peace” word is being used as a cover for various agendas. Peace is not a priority for either Jews or Palestinians, nor is it attainable. Security and freedom are. The sides cannot reach and end-of-conflict settlement but they could possibly be forced to reach an agreement (maybe an implicit one) on end-of-hostilities conditioned on Israeli withdrawal from the west bank.

Regardless of whether Lieberman is pro or against “peace”, he is a menace for Israel, by far the most dangerous politician to Israel’s future, as he is actively acting to undermine the entire legal underpinning for the state’s legitimacy by redefining its borders and citizenry, and by bluntly acting against the policy of the government he’s ostensibly part of.

For the lovers of conspiracy theories it is pretty clear that there is a possibility that Lieberman is a KGB-trained “Manchurian candidate”. The damage he is causing to Israel is almost too obvious.

November 1st, 2010, 2:41 pm


Shai said:


Good to see you here as well! I agree with you that “when’s war coming?” is a more interesting question than “why Lieberman”. Can you help shed some light on this question? 🙂

There is no doubt whatsoever that Lieberman is causing untold damage to the State of Israel. If there was ever an “anti-Zionist”, Lieberman fits the description.

November 1st, 2010, 2:52 pm


Yossi said:

Hi Shai,

Following the famous saying that people should put their mouth where their money is (or the other way around :-)) I checked the status of the bets on InTrade to see what $ value people assign to the possibility of Israel and/or the US attacking Iran. Currently the market says there is a 35% to 53% chance of an attack this year, and 73% to 80% of this happening by March. The minimum contract is $25 so maybe it doesn’t say anything as people are just fooling around with their wishful thinking without putting a lot of money on the line. But come to think of it, how else is Obama going to save his popularity and the economy…

November 1st, 2010, 4:12 pm


Yossi said:

Sorry Shai, I misread the numbers, divide them by 10… so it’s only ~8% that a strike would happen by March.

November 1st, 2010, 4:35 pm


Norman said:

Shai, Yossi,

It is good to see you here both , you should come more often ,

Knowing that probably 80% of Israeli want peace but understanding that about 80% of Israeli also do not want to give land to the Palestinians or the Syrians ,

How do you see Netanyahu convincing his people of the Price they have to pay for peace and will he be able to convince them ,
i doubt it without outside pressure ,

November 1st, 2010, 9:08 pm


LeoLeoni said:

I received this in my mailbox yesterday. This is not a joke, it’s an actual political ad.


It’s a shame that some American politicians are so bankrupt that they are resorting to this kind of racism and fear mongering to seek voters. But this isn’t the most thing that bothered me in this video. The actual reason I posted this here is because the one acting as a bomb maker in the video is Syrian. He appears in the following interview to justify racial profiling.


I just can’t believe a Syrian would be involved in such a naive and racist political ad targeting his own ethnicity and identity. He seems unaware of what racial profiling means or what it could possibly lead to.

November 1st, 2010, 11:38 pm


Yossi said:


Thank you for your welcoming words, it’s always a pleasure staying in your company.

Perhaps you’re being too charitable towards PM Netanyahu? The man is supposed to have 180 IQ and is very opaque about what he really wants so who am I to read to tea leaves? But the most straight forward assumption would be to believe what he said and is saying—which is to deal with Iran, is his true charter.

With the Palestinians he says he can reach an “envelope agreement”. To me this sounds like a resuscitation of the Oslo accords with the goal of buying more time. At any rate, if he isn’t going to be pushed against a wall, he’s not going to jump the gun and offer them anything. If he is pushed against the wall, then he’ll cut a deal—not with the Palestinians, but with the Americans. The content of the deal will be some form of limited autonomy for the Palestinians with the lip service of possible statehood in the future. This will be enough to get the world opinion off his back, and he won’t feel he has betrayed the Likud and Begin’s legacy. Then if the need arises and the PA doesn’t collaborate enough, Israel could find a pretext to pounce and reverse the autonomy, as has happened in the second intifada.

If you believe that attacking Iran is a given, then do you think that first he’ll negotiate with the Palestinians, and then attack Iran, or first attack Iran and then negotiate? Since he likely views the negotiations with the Palestinians as a concession to the Americans, and being the hard-ball player that he is, he’s probably going to manage to squeeze the Americans to first act on the Iran issue, and then enter negotiations. Not the other way around. He’ll tell the Americans that there is no reason to do things in the reverse order because an attack during the negotiations will lead to their breakdown.

But, if and when the day comes and he has to finally deliver and withdraw from territory, then yes, I agree with you, it will be much easier for him (and for Abbas for that matter) to appear as if they have no choice but to bow to international pressure.

November 2nd, 2010, 3:27 am


Shai said:


Also very good to be in your company. Regarding your question and Yossi’s response, I think much more simplistically about it, and maybe I’m wrong.

I think the Palestinian track is hopeless, until all the other tracks are concluded, precisely because it is the hardest of them all. To uproot hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, to redraw maps with borders that probably span many hundreds of kilometers, to divide the capital of Israel, to reach a “just solution” to the refugee problem, all of these seem insurmountable when compared to the Golan, or a few villages on the Lebanese border.

The way forward, I believe, is via Syria. It is the only track that is almost 90% done. Not only Assad says so, also our Intelligence chiefs, and all those that have ever negotiated with Syria. It is the easiest track, and one that can have a tremendous effect on all the others. Lebanon will soon follow suit, as will the rest of the Arab World. The Palestinian issue will be last, but it will receive much better conditions, because EVERYONE will be in a different mood, including all Israelis. Pressure on Israel and on the Palestinians will be a POSITIVE pressure, from the entire Arab World, and from the rest of the World. It will be the toughest hurdle, but it’ll be the last one.

As Yossi suggested, Bibi’s main problem isn’t Palestine right now, or Syria, it’s Iran. Therefore I’m convinced that if he could somehow “solve the Iranian problem”, he’ll be ready to solve other problems as well. So the question for him is how to solve the Iranian issue. And I think so far the answer has been “I can’t…” If an attack would have solved the problem, they would have already attacked. Are they waiting for a nuclear explosion in the deserts of Iran? Maybe, but I doubt it. There has been enough talk around the world of the Iranian threat (whether real or perceived), that Israel could have attacked a year and two ago, and given the same “explanation” as it would if it attacked tomorrow morning. Delaying an attack only risked a point of no-return, so I can’t see a plan for an attack in the future. Again, maybe I’m wrong.

But if Netanyahu could somehow deliver a “solution” to the Iranian threat via, for example, Syria, then I think he would consider it. He know he can’t make Syria dump Iran. But if Netanyahu could say to his people “Iran’s link to our region has been severed!”, he might go for it. If Syria was ready to change its strategic alliance (specifically military) with Iran, and ensure that no Iranian weaponry would pass through her territory to Lebanon, HA, Hamas, etc., that might be enough. Netanyahu cannot ask his people to give up on the Golan, just because Peace is better than War. He has to deliver something with it, namely Iran (and indirectly Hezbollah).

As long as America, Israel, and the Palestinians are continuing to play their little game, there’s probably little chance for progress on other tracks. I wouldn’t be surprised if Netanyahu is maneuvering the talks in such a way that would lead to a dead-end, and would “force Israel” to turn to the other tracks. To be forced, could come either through Ally-pressure, threat of sanctions, war, or a peace agreement on the other tracks. I’m sure one of those four will take place, and I hope he prefers the latter.

November 2nd, 2010, 5:17 am


Norman said:

Shai, Yossi,

Do you think that a nuclear Iran is what Netanyahu needs to seek peace telling his people that Israel needs friends around it to block access to Israel from Iran ,

November 2nd, 2010, 7:57 am


Ghat Al Bird said:



Makes sense that with increasing demands from the EAST for OIL the WEST (US/EUROPE) have to seriously re- consider their policies in the Middle East.

November 2nd, 2010, 9:54 am


why-discuss said:


“If Syria was ready to change its strategic alliance (specifically military) with Iran, and ensure that no Iranian weaponry would pass through her territory to Lebanon”

That Syria does not allow weaponry for Hezboallah, it may be. But renouncing to a strong and durable alliance with Iran that has started since 1978, for a whimsical alliance with the US who are trying desperately to hang on the oil countries in the Middle east against the strong Chinese push in the region, that would be ill thinking!
Syria is a weak country militarily, it cant rely on the US whose foreign policy is never for the good of the people but for its own good. Syria is not Israel, it does not have the money and the lobbies and the guilt to defend it.
Iran is a regional power with strong cultural ties with the arab countries. It is here to stay and it is absurd to think that it can be ostracized.Iran will find its way and will become stronger with time, every country would want to be an ally to Iran then.
Iranians have good memory, they know who are their friend and the ones who act as friends just to exploit them. And Syria is a friend, the US is not.

November 2nd, 2010, 10:02 am


5 dancing shlomos said:

could not connect to links at 18.

curious. what makes,how is the u.s. oil insecure? stupidity and israel and jewry?

a zionist is a zionist is a criminal thief – no matter how sweet.

talk is cheap. talk is a tactic.

i take your home.

for the sake of peace and because i am a good person, i will let you live in the out house out back. far away. though it is non functioning(no outlet, overflows) and is surrounded by a high wall without free egress and you will still be on a diet supplemented by no medicines, no medical care(your alive. such things are frivolous) and we do not want to see you or hear you. if you make life unbearable by your nearness, we will have to terminate both the agreement and you.


a zionist. any zionist. blindfolded, select one from a bag.

November 2nd, 2010, 1:18 pm


Yossi said:


No, I don’t think so. I think that in the Israeli security architecture the only path that is allowed is that Israel remain the only nuclear power in the Mideast, and that means they’ll have to act against Iran. “Dealing” with Iran by further concessions to Syria is not going to stop the entire Mideast from acquiring nuclear weapons and will not be seen as a method to block the Iranians, who can threaten Israel from afar and don’t really need Syria for that. Israel will act against Iran the same way it has acted against Iraq when they were developing nuclear capabilities. Israel is just waiting for the right moment and in the meanwhile doing whatever it can to sabotage the Iranian nuclear effort (e.g. Stuxnet).

November 2nd, 2010, 1:40 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

29.10.10, haaretz

Shas spiritual leader may back ban on renting to Arabs

Former chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef cites centuries-old interpretation of halakhic ruling barring the sale of land to non-Jews.
By Chaim Levinson and Jack Khoury

A former chief rabbi of Israel on Thursday backed a centuries-old interpretation of Jewish religious law barring the sale of land to non-Jews.

Days after a group of rabbis urged Safed residents not to rent apartments to Arabs, former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reiterated a 500-year-old halakhic ruling barring the sale of land in the Land of Israel to non-Jews – a move that appeared to be a show of support for the other rabbis.

wonder how these holy-of-holies feel about returning palestinian land to palestinians.

November 2nd, 2010, 2:27 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

edit function not working.

“sale of land in the Land of Israel to non-Jews”

change to: “sale of land in the Land of palestine to non-Jews”

November 2nd, 2010, 2:31 pm


norman said:

Yossi, Shai,
Then we should not be hopeful of any peaceful end ,

November 2nd, 2010, 2:56 pm


Yossi said:


I am sorry my friend, but I would bet on another big war, then there’ll be peace. It turns out like you’ve always said it would be.

November 2nd, 2010, 3:53 pm


Shai said:

Norman, Yossi,

I don’t believe Israel can stop Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities, just as The West could not stop Russia, China, N. Korea, India, Pakistan, or Libya. If Iran is intent on going nuclear, it will. Israel knows this, and if still decides to attack, will be doing so calculating that a short-delay (a few years) is worth an all-out regional war. Personally, I doubt Israel is ready to gamble this much, like it did with Osirak in 1982.

Why Discuss,

What do you think Assad is thinking when he sees Ahmadinejad visiting the South of Lebanon? Is he thinking strong cultural ties, or Iranian-controlled Lebanon? It can’t be, that Syria is not concerned with the close relationship Iran has been developing with HA and Hamas. I can’t believe that the modern President of Syria prefers a strong relationship (based on a few decades) with an Iran that seems interested in parts of the Arab World, over a new relationship with the United States.

Having said this, I still maintain that the best thing that can happen to Israel, is to make peace with Syria, and have it REMAIN a strong ally of Iran! I completely agree with you – isolating Iran is not the way, just as isolating N. Korea wasn’t and isn’t.

November 2nd, 2010, 4:08 pm


Jad/2 said:

Jeffrey Feltman http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/01/AR2010110106306.html:

“Syria has said that it wishes to have its territorial expectations met through a peace agreement with Israel and that Syria recognizes the essential role that we can play in achieving that,”

“[before that] Syria needs to pressure Iran and Hezbollah to rein in their activities in Lebanon”

[Autrement dit] http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2010/11/jeffrey-feltman-logic-to-syria-commit.html#links

“Commit suicide & maybe (maybe) we’ll talk about those ‘Heights’…” [lol]

November 2nd, 2010, 6:18 pm


Shai said:

You don’t have to be an Intelligence Chief to understand this. Let us hope it isn’t inevitable, and that cooler minds will prevail.


November 3rd, 2010, 3:54 am


Alex said:

Yossi, great to see you here!

Shai, I rarely pay attention to public statements on military or intelligence issues. If there is anything valuable there, it would be discussed in closed sessions.

Today Lieberman’s foreign ministry did another of its signature “welcome to Israel” moves.

Just like American VP Joe Biden was welcomed through an announcement of new settlement projects in Occupied Arab lands, William Hague, UK foreign secretary was welcomed to Israel through an announcement that Israel is halting “strategic dialogue” with the UK


“The Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman denied that the latest development was a deliberate “ambush” to humiliate Mr Hague.”

November 3rd, 2010, 1:10 pm


Shai said:

Alex, I don’t know who said it first, but indeed it seems Lieberman is the best Israeli Foreign Minister the Palestinians could have hoped for…

He is bringing Israel far closer to near-irreparable damage in diplomatic relations with our allies, to sanctions against Israel, and quite possibly to war, than any other FM could have.

As for such public statements (Gen. Yadlin’s), they do mean something. While Bibi might not jump each time an Intelligence Chief publicly recommends talking to Syria (as has occurred a few times over the past number of years), he does have to take into account public warnings given by these professionals.

Yadlin isn’t “another politician”. He’s the Head of IDF Intelligence, the National Intelligence Estimator, whose job it is to determine if we’re headed for war or not. If Bibi dismisses Yadlin, and is later blamed for starting war, no one in Israel will be able to defend him and say “Bibi didn’t know.” When Bibi has to consider how he might live the rest of his life, after PM’ship, I doubt he wants to be remembered as another Golda.

November 3rd, 2010, 4:16 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

As someone who is quite past the age of 39 and can claim some familiarity with the Arab Muslim world. As well as an appreciation of story telling Sherezad style.

Who one is told saved herself from being beheaded by reciting tales every evening for many a year. A cursory reading of SC about the actions, intentions, proposals as well as statements of Bibi, Avigdor, Yadlin, Feltman, Mitchell, Ross and friends I for one can attest that they too have for years and years been (ab)using the Sherezade method.

One finds it hard to accept that as many claim only the Arabs/Muslims are living in the 14th Century.

November 3rd, 2010, 4:49 pm


Shai said:


If saving the citizens of the Middle East from being “beheaded” can be done by reciting tales every evening, I’m ready to do so for far longer than many-a-year…

And yet the longest comment here has been yours… 😉

November 3rd, 2010, 6:13 pm


SimoHurtta said:

Seems that Israel is widening its “scientific” methods in ruling the Palestinians. The mathematical formulas used to calculate the minimum needs of the people of Gaza were not enough.

Israel to publish Palestinian ‘incitement index’
Cabinet debates draft mechanism to measure anti-Israel sentiment in the Palestinian Authority.

The meter comprises four central components: clear incitement to violence; an atmosphere that encourages violence and terror; incitement to hatred, demonization and failure to create an environment for positive progress.

The ratings are based on analysis of institutionalized Palestinian media and Palestinians schoolbooks and remarks of senior Palestinian Authority officials.

The incitement meter will be published in the Israeli media and Israel plans to open a diplomatic campaign calling one the international community to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to curb incitement or encouragement of violence.

Simply a hilarious propagandist project. Why not create an equal index to measure Israel’s failure to create an environment for positive progress. That hypothetical index’s value would be close to zero if we assume that 100 is “normal”, 0 “nothing” and 150 “more than normal”.

I must say that Israel’s recent regimes have had asthonishing “skills” in destroying the strong propagandist “we are the defenceless victim” foundation Israel managed to create during the past decades. Does anybody in Israeli cabinet really believe that such a “PA index” would be taken seriously. Surely the US right wing loves those “democracy” rankings and freedom indexes, but I suppose this Israeli new index would be to much to swallow even to them.

Maybe Netanyahu has an IQ of 180, like Yossi “estimates” :),
but his staff and coalition members have in average have an IQ of 85. Ayalon picking fight with UNESCO and collages developing PA indexes. Everyday several equal news. Nowadays it is difficult to differentiate of leading Israeli politicians characters who could/should be taken seriously. The only difference between Lieberman and the Israeli mainstream politicians is that Lieberman dares to suggest solutions to goals that are common to all main Knesset Jewish parties. It is clear that the Jewish nation “demand” can be delivered only through massive ethnic cleansing operations to which others also are prepared, but dare not mention the inevitable “future”. Nobody can claim that the decades long land and resource theft has happened without detailed plans and a silent approval of all main political parties. The settlements are not a operation of a some irrelevant small movements.

November 3rd, 2010, 6:32 pm


Norman said:

I wonder sometimes if Bibi can sit and think , where are we going , what kind of Israel i and my people want , do we want peace , i am sure he will say yes , are we willing to pay the price for peace , giving the land back and the integrity to the Palestinians , no, can we have peace and keep the land , i hope to but these Arabs will not agree , why don’t they agree they have all the Arab land and world , why are they so stubborn ,

As long as Bibi and Israel do not recognize that to be part of the Mideast they have to be equal not better than everybody else and do to others what they want others to do to them , until then many might die for no reason , as i see no other way,

November 3rd, 2010, 9:57 pm


Shai said:


Maybe it is time the Arabs start voicing this option more loudly?

November 4th, 2010, 1:15 am


Akbar Palace said:

Double Standard NewZ

While Syria Comment condemns Avigdor Lieberman:

Shai claims:

Few politicians on the Extreme-Right are more vocal and anti-Peace than Lieberman.

Pro-Syrian, Lebanese MP threatens violence:



November 4th, 2010, 6:58 am


Shai said:


Lieberman is a danger to Israel, not only to its Arab citizens. It has been a long time since a Foreign Minister bluntly suggested population transfers.

But for the record, and to help clarify, do you support Lieberman?

November 4th, 2010, 7:54 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

NORMAN said:

I wonder sometimes if Bibi can sit and think , where are we going , what kind of Israel i and my people want ………

NORMAN you are kidding right? While you and others may be wondering if Bibi “can sit and think” . The question is why should he? His friends are looking out for him and taking care of business as arttested to by excerpts from Haaretz Service.

U.S. midterms: AIPAC lauds re-election of pro-Israel stalwarts

Pro-Israel group hails success for supporters on both sides of the political divide, as well as election of three new Jewish members of Congress; polls shows 66 percent of U.S. Jews voted Democrat.

America’s largest pro-Israel lobby group on Wednesday hailed the results of midterm elections in the U.S. which saw staunch supporters re-elected to Congress on both sides of the party political divide.

“Many of the strongest friends and supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship were reelected on Tuesday,” the group said in a statement.

Other pro-Israel successes cited by AIPAC included outgoing House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), as well as Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

“It is abundantly clear that the 112th Congress will continue America’s long tradition of staunch support for a strong, safe and secure Israel and an abiding friendship between the United States and our most reliable ally in the Middle East,” AIPAC said.

Israel’s Washington embassy also expressed satisfaction with the results.
“Support for Israel at the Congress is strong and bipartisan,” an embassy spokesman told Haaretz.

AIPAC also welcomed the election of three new Jewish members of Congress: Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Congressman-elect David Cicilline (D-RI), and Congresswoman-elect Nan Hayworth (R-NY).

Cicilline becomes the fourth openly gay member of Congress – and third Jewish gay member of Congress.

Alfred E. Newman’s famous line in MAD Magazine still rules, “What? Me worry!”

November 4th, 2010, 10:22 am


Shai said:

The best part was: “Cicilline becomes the fourth openly gay member of Congress – and third Jewish gay member of Congress.”

Doing the math, it seems Jews are three times more likely to be gay congress members than non-Jews… 🙂 But if Cicilline is the 4th openly gay member of Congress, does that suggest there are more, not-openly gay members? Hmmm… Something to think about. Definitely more interesting than Lieberman.

November 4th, 2010, 10:37 am


5 dancing shlomos said:

weekends near. three sabbaths approach. days of rest. days of hate.
fri for muslims. sunday for christians. the in-between sabbath for the worlds 6000 jews(who counts atheists as anything but atheists). jewish sabbath propped up and protected for centuries by muslims and christians. left to their own devices jews(what does one call an atheist “jew”?) spend their time dancing around their pole of hate. without their kind neighbors jews would have disappeared centuries ago.

into the sabbaths days, let us remember with prayers, the long suffering palestinians locked into the worlds largest concentratio n-extermination prison and the worlds largest prison. both gifts from jewry.

let us remember the destroyed iraq. once a wonderful country now occupied by knuckle dragging goons in service to knuckle dragging jewry.

let us remember afganistan. in past 30 years, afgans have suffered more than the alleged suffering by jews over the past 9000 years.

let us also give thanks for arabs who love to hear themselves talk; who love to engage in love ins because they are understanding and tolerant.

November 4th, 2010, 11:56 am


5 dancing shlomos said:

tough israeli decisions: achieve peace through theft or by murder. which to use. hey! why not both. jewry can multitask.

IDF says it attacked Mohammed Nimnim, killed when his car exploded in Gaza City earlier Wednesday.

By Anshel Pfeffer, Avi Issacharoff and News Agencies

Witnesses report signs of missile strike

Israel has admitted it was behind the assassination a Palestinian man killed when his car exploded in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

November 4th, 2010, 1:36 pm


SimoHurtta said:

Lieberman is a danger to Israel, not only to its Arab citizens. It has been a long time since a Foreign Minister bluntly suggested population transfers.

But for the record, and to help clarify, do you support Lieberman?

Shai how can the other politicians like Netanyahu, Livni or Barak provide the Jewish State they promise to their supporters without population transfers and limiting/bocking the Arab proportion’s growth. Lieberman expresses the only possible solution leading to that result, the other express the end result without telling the price and means which have to be used. Question who is worse?

Lieberman is a danger to the Jewish Israel’s propaganda basis and international imago. Not so much to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Lieberman only tells to them what is waiting them no matter who is the prime minister. Lieberman is open and “honest” fascist, the others are fascists still in closet.

November 4th, 2010, 2:02 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Lieberman is a danger to Israel, not only to its Arab citizens.


How so? Does Lieberman support mortal enemies of Israel like Hamas and Iran as Israeli MK Zuabi does?


It has been a long time since a Foreign Minister bluntly suggested population transfers.


What “population transfer” are you referring to? Are you referring to removing Israelis from their homes in the West Bank or redrawing Israel’s borders? Or was there something else you were thinking of?


November 4th, 2010, 2:10 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

In Colorado,Our community has worked hard to elect Senetaor Bennet ,who is democrat,defeating Mr. Buck,a republican, for the senate, and to defeat Tancredo a republican, ,who is the most racist and extreme bigot,hatefull person,defeat him from becoming the next governor of Colorado.Our community has been growing ,and becomming more influential,the republican party,who has become more unfair to us, has to change radically.

November 4th, 2010, 2:12 pm


Shai said:


I do fear that Lieberman is a Fascist. I don’t believe that Netanyahu, Livni, or Barak are closet-fascists. None of those three would ever consider population transfers OUT of Israel. Those three, as most Israelis, understand that for Israel to be called the Jewish State (which for now is still very important to most Jewish Israelis), there is a need for a Jewish majority. But this majority isn’t threatened for quite a long time. The Arab-Israeli population has remained at an almost constant 20% of the total population. Their birth-rates aren’t much different than the Jewish population’s.

But those three are pragmatic enough to know that we can’t be in the West Bank forever, and still hope to have a Jewish-majority. Like it or not, we are responsible for not only 7 million Israelis (5.5 million Jews + 1.5 million non-Jews), but also for 4 million Palestinians. The Israeli Central Bureau for Statistics issued a report about a year ago, stating that for the first time since its creation, Israel controlled a population that was more than 50% non-Jewish.

Lieberman hates the Arabs, and that is why he wants as many of them out as possible. Netanyahu, Livni, and Barak, do not.

November 4th, 2010, 2:59 pm


Shai said:


You’re kidding right? Lieberman isn’t referring to population transfer of Jewish Settlers INTO Israel (he considers the settlements part of Israel). He’s talking about transferring Arab villages and their populations OUT of Israel (by redrawing the maps). He wants to keep as many Jewish Settlements in the West Bank as possible, and is ready to “exchange” not only Arab-Israeli territory, but also their population. Can you recall the last time you heard a Foreign MInister suggest a part of his nation’s citizens be transferred into another nation?

Or are you suggesting that Lieberman is ready to accept those hundreds of thousands of Arabs into Tel-Aviv, Netanya, or Haifa?

November 4th, 2010, 3:06 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

The real reason behind, “Why Lieberman?’.

(warning graphic language)


November 4th, 2010, 4:07 pm


SimoHurtta said:

Well Shai I can’t believe in the pragmatism of Netanyahu, Livni and Barak. Israel has gone to far to give up West Bank. The settlements are to big and the settlers political influence to strong. The result of withdrawal would be a Jewish civil war. Netanyahu could only in a total moment of national panic get a solution through the Jewish population, that would be enough satisfying for Palestinians (67 borders + minor corrections). And that panic can be achieved only through a economical blockade by the west (USA and EU). That is not possible before it is totally to late.

This development will mean that the one state solution is reality and a situation where the West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians must be excluded. Otherwise there is no Jewish state after some years. Everybody in Israel knows that. The Jews and the Palestinians. Everybody also know that this excluding can be done in
A) present style (= shrinking areas and violent exploitation in ghettos)
B) using massive population transfers to neighbour countries
C) using massive killings
D) using combination of A,B and C.
Basically A is impossible because it doesn’t eliminate the natural population growth. Which leaves option B as most likely. You have also a fast growing crowd (hundreds of thousands) ready to use option C.

Lieberman is the only presently ready to admit and speak about the pitch-black reality. The rest are avoiding the reality and offering for the western and partly for the Arab public this negotiation circus.

Lieberman hates the Arabs, and that is why he wants as many of them out as possible. Netanyahu, Livni, and Barak, do not.

Well Netanyahu, Livni, and Barak certainly do not love Arabs and want to treat them as equals. If they would “love” and want equality they would not be Zionists.

November 4th, 2010, 4:48 pm


Akbar Palace said:

New Definitions for “Transfer”

You’re kidding right?

No, I am not aware of Lieberman advocating moving ANYONE from his/her current home (aka “transfer”). Either Jew, Israeli, Arab or Palestinian.

Conversely, the Palestinian government has always advocated the “transfer” of Jews who are currently living in “Palestine” back to Israel.

So I really don’t know who is “kidding” who.

My point is that moving a border is not considered a transfer. Moving one’s home is (Yamit, Gaza, etc are examples).

November 4th, 2010, 4:48 pm


Shai said:


You’ve made up your mind already that Israel is a fascist state, no matter who governs her, and so you’re left with no choice but adjusting the future to fit your thesis. Naturally, forcing massive transfers or massive killings fit that future.

But your interpretation is wrong. You do not know Israel or Israelis well enough, and your information, which very often you yourself call “propaganda”, is picked by you only when it fits, and not when it doesn’t.

Two Elections, held during Sharon and Olmert’s campaigns, were won based on a two-state solution, and on withdrawal from the West Bank. This was less than 10 years ago. A majority of Israelis do not want a single-state solution (because that will destroy Israel’s “Jewish State” status), and accept the fact that Israel will have to withdraw from the West Bank. This is reality, whether it fits your thesis or not.


You’re playing games again… Lieberman wants to force hundreds of thousands of Arabs OUT of Israel, by redrawing the borders such that their towns and villages are no longer inside Israel. So, in theory, even if they don’t accept their “new country”, their homes will be part of Palestine. No need for Simohurtta’s trucks or trains – the transfer, if Lieberman could have it his way, will occur nonetheless.

Except, that you still haven’t answered my question – What if the Arabs aren’t willing to become Palestine’s citizens, and instead want to remain in Israel? Do you think Lieberman will allow for that? If you look at the maps he’s suggesting, we’re not talking 5,000 Arabs. We’re talking hundreds of thousands. Please don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

November 4th, 2010, 5:00 pm


SimoHurtta said:

Two Elections, held during Sharon and Olmert’s campaigns, were won based on a two-state solution, and on withdrawal from the West Bank. This was less than 10 years ago. A majority of Israelis do not want a single-state solution (because that will destroy Israel’s “Jewish State” status), and accept the fact that Israel will have to withdraw from the West Bank. This is reality, whether it fits your thesis or not.

Shai the majority of Israeli Jews do not want a one state solution and the majority do not want to give up East Jerusalem, Golan and West Bank. Funny isn’t it. During the Sharon and Olmert’s term the rapid taking over of West Bank and East Jerusalem continued with increased speed. Sure they did promise the two solution, knowing perfectly well that the Palestinians will not accept the solution they offered.

The problem Shai is that Israeli Jewish population can’t solve the problem alone. You are now in a de facto situation that you can’t provide to Palestinians a real state. No East Jerusalem, no Jordan valley, no water resources, etc all those NOs. There is no Palestinian leader who can force them to accept such a deal. We all know that 1967 borders with small adjustments is the solution Palestinians can accept. We all know that the hundreds of thousands Jews living on stolen land in apartments financed by the state do not leave voluntarily this time and there is no army in Israel which could empty those big settlements.

Let’s Shai be realistic. Netanyahu (or anybody else) can’t deliver the two state solution, but they can continue that political self-deception game, that there is a two state solution as a option. Some Israelis can even believe in those two state speeches. The reality is that the Israeli two state solution is Israel and Jordan. Shai imagine if the settlements grow like they have in the past and East Jerusalem’s judaization speeds up during the lets say next two years. What is the second state Israel will then offer?

The Finnish TV showed on Wednesday a documentary by Terje Carlsson named here as The Conscience of Israel (Israel Vs Israel http://www.israelvsisrael.com/film.html ). It told about those Israeli Jews trying to create the two states and working against the occupation. That documentary shows that there is no or very little hope.

Here is a link to the trailer of Terje Carlsson’s documentary Wellcome to Hebron
Watch it and tell where is “hope” on Israeli Jewish side. You have invested hundreds of millions in those Hebron settlers. Certainly not for fun.

Shai this is how the outside world sees Israel. You can say that it is not the right “picture”. The difficulty is that it is almost impossible to believe in the nice peace seeking civilized Israel you claim exists behind those one fingernail rabbis, Liebermans and wild settlers.

November 4th, 2010, 6:17 pm


Akbar Palace said:

You’re playing games again… Lieberman wants to force hundreds of thousands of Arabs OUT of Israel, by redrawing the borders such that their towns and villages are no longer inside Israel.


I am not “playing games” Shai. IMHO, the Left is playng games, especially when they say Lieberman wants to “transfer” Arab out of Israel. Redrawing borders is not considered a “transfer”. No one is kicked out of their homes.

So far, the only “transfer” that has occurred thus far has been Jews out of Sinai and Gaza.

What if the Arabs aren’t willing to become Palestine’s citizens, and instead want to remain in Israel?


You mean like the Jews who wanted to stay in Yamit and Gaza? Well, I guess their citizenship will change. The only difference will be they won’t have to sell their homes and move out.

I mean, ask yourself Shai, did you ever have a problem changing the citizenship of Druze who live in the Golan from Israeli to Syrian?

So what IS your beef? And who IS really kidding who here?

Shai, your questions aren’t that hard to answer if you allow yourself to think of Jews equal and on the same level as Arabs.

November 4th, 2010, 6:51 pm


Alex said:

Akbar said

“Shai, your questions aren’t that hard to answer if you allow yourself to think of Jews equal and on the same level as Arabs.”

Are you not forgetting that settlers (“Jews”) are living in illegally occupied Arab lands … The Arabs are living in their parents’ homes on land they did not steal from anyone. There are tens of UN resolutions against “Jews” who illegally occupy Palestinian lands (occupied in 67) there are no UN resolutions against those Arabs who live in their family home …. the two groups are not equal.

November 4th, 2010, 7:56 pm


Alex said:

Ahmed Salkini stops short of saying that war is inevitable …

A Woe Not Cured by Wishes and Words

By Ahmed Salkini


President Obama is more eager to achieve peace than the Israelis. This might not be a bad thing, but it might not be enough.

Upon my return from a recent trip to Syria, I stopped at a newsstand in Washington to catch up on the news I missed during my travels. As I skimmed the newspapers and magazines on display, the cover of Time magazine caught my eye. Below a large Star of David made of daisies, the title read: ‘Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace’. It quickly dawned on me: The article would break the unspoken, ubiquitous and clearly fallacious rule in mainstream American discourse that “only Arabs don’t care about peace”. It would finally explore one of the essential impediments to peace, and to President Obama’s vision.

The article argues that “Israelis feel prosperous, secure”, with a population that is “95 percent happy” and of which a third is “very happy” in a country where the “quality of life is high and getting better”. Most importantly though, it describes a nation that is “disengaged from the peace process” and feels “no sense of urgency” to achieve peace.

The Israeli government takes great pains to portray Israelis as peace-loving people who are committed to living in peace with the Palestinians. Yet Time refers to a March 2010 poll which showed that a scant 8 percent of the Israeli public consider the conflict with the Palestinians as the country’s “most urgent problem”.

The Israeli government goes to further lengths to show that Israelis suffer constant rocket attacks from Gaza and live in a state of permanent fear. Time, on the other hand, describes the Israeli city of Ashdod near the Gaza border not as the terror-haunted city often alluded to in mainstream media, but as a tranquil coastal town where “you never felt better”. One local real-estate agent confirmed: “What the people see in [the US] is not true here.”

Not surprisingly, the following issue of Time carried a series of indignant letters from prominent Jewish figures, including the Israeli ambassador to the United States.

There is no doubt about President Obama’s desire to achieve a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, nor his firm belief that it is, as he always stresses, a high priority for US national security. Yet as the Time article – and also Israeli polls, policies and political rhetoric – reveals, the mediator’s desire for a resolution is, in this case, greater than that of one of the parties in conflict. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, in the realm of negotiations and diplomacy, it often takes a greater desire on behalf of the mediator to exert the required pressure in order to accomplish peace. But in the face of such an apathetic Israeli public and an obdurate government, the mediator’s mere desire and belief do not suffice.

In all their meetings with the Syrian government, US officials emphasise their unequivocal commitment to a comprehensive peace, and this is something we appreciate. But as Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Mu’allem recently said, in the past we used to hear words; now we hear “kind words”.

This US administration has yet to prove that it is ready to offer something truly different to resolve the conflict. Instead it continues to persistently apply double standards (best embodied in its rejection of Israel joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty), provide Israel with state-of-the-art weaponry, allow tax-free US dollars to fund illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank (while at the same time calling for a halt to settlement construction) and offer Israel full cover on the international scene for its illegal actions.

The Time article quotes Israeli experts saying: “The Palestinian is no longer seen as a strategic threat anymore. A nuisance, yes”, and “the wall put the Palestinians on the moon”. Many believe that a peaceful Israel is an anti-peace Israel. Realities revealed in this Time article only serve to further affirm this hypothesis, which, in turn, send hopes for peace further adrift. The US needs to do more to prove its determination to achieve a comprehensive peace. However, Israel’s current socio-political topography might prove unconquerable, even for President Obama.

Ahmed Salkini is the spokesperson of the Syrian Embassy in Washington

November 4th, 2010, 7:58 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Any idea what Ahmed Salkini has to say about freedoms in Syria?

Or, perhaps, this isn’t his expertise?


November 4th, 2010, 8:45 pm


Alex said:

Akbar, read the new law, … it is a good law in many ways. I don’t think there is more or less freedom as a result of this law. What changed is that internet news sites will be now more accountable for what they publish online.

But tell me what you think of the Israeli people’s lack of interest in peace. Nice no?

November 4th, 2010, 8:58 pm


Norman said:

Alex , It is simple and i said that many times , to have peace , Israel has to be defeated or significantly threatened , that is the only way , The question is , are the Syrians and The Palestinians ready to fight for their rights ,nobody is going to give them their rights they have to win them ,

But Will see ,

November 4th, 2010, 9:25 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Syria CONment

But tell me what you think of the Israeli people’s lack of interest in peace. Nice no?


And the Arabs are more interested in peace? Again, like Shai, you employ 2 different standards of measurement.


November 4th, 2010, 11:12 pm


why-discuss said:

Norman, Shai

As long as the US congress has enough Israel supporters who are blinded by the “love” for a State that practices everything except international legality and human rights, nothing good can happen, except another war where more people will die. Does the US congress members have sleepless nights over the hundred of thousands iraqi civilians who died because of lies and blindness? No. Then why would they worry about the civilians who will die in a new middle east war? except if the dead are the israelis!
Unless a very hypothetical political breakthrough appears in the next few months, a war is inevitable next spring and Israel will loose the upperhand.

November 4th, 2010, 11:28 pm



The answer to your question in #64 above is, yes, the Syrians and the Palestinians are ready to fight for their rights. They have been fighting for decades and they have been always ready to fight for their rights. Palestinians are dying and paying the price because they are fighting for their rights. The Syrians are doing what they think they can get away with to defend their rights. So yes they are ready and this conflict is going to take years and the Syrians and Palestinians will get their rights.

November 5th, 2010, 12:13 am


Badr said:

Some commentators said:

to have peace , Israel has to be defeated or significantly threatened

a war is inevitable next spring and Israel will loose the upperhand

the Syrians and the Palestinians are ready to fight for their rights

Well guess who has very recently said in a press conference that
I agreed with the Cypriot President on the need for achieving peace in the region and that negotiation are the only way to achieve it and restore things back to normal among all.

November 5th, 2010, 2:25 am



He said the same thing many times but the other side is not listening. He even had a team in Turkey negotiating through the Turkish mediators up until the war on Ghazza in 2008.

November 5th, 2010, 5:04 am


Norman said:


Syria is right when it says that there are no partners for peace in Israel , WD , i want to add that the people in Washington do not care if Israeli or Arab die in the conflict as in reality they want the Armageddon that will get rid of the semitic people,

Badr ,

I see no reason for any Israeli PM to seek peace under the present status, as he can not convince hi people with benefits that he might see,

November 5th, 2010, 5:30 am


SimoHurtta said:

I see no reason for any Israeli PM to seek peace under the present status, as he can not convince hi people with benefits that he might see,

Forbes lists Netanyahu as 24th most powerful person in the world

What makes the prime minister of 5.5 million Jews in a tiny country the world’s 24th most powerful person? Not the size of the population nor the country’s economical importance. Not the location of the country or technological skills. Simply Israel’s leaders ability and will to create chaos and dominate with its nuclear and military armament a very important region. Netanyahu is in the same league than the leaders of countries which are tens and hundreds of times bigger in every respect (well besides this occupation aspect where Israel is on the top)than Israel is. Israel (Netanyahu) has earned its position on this powerful list with same “talents” than North Korea (Kim Jong-Il) has.

This ranking shows on its behalf that Israel’s power is in the existence of the conflict. Solving the conflict would erase fast Israel’s influence and drop Israel political elite to the same category where leaders of small unimportant countries are. One this is sure, they (the Zionist political elite) will not give up their unbelievable influence without a fight.

November 5th, 2010, 7:30 am


Shai said:


You don’t understand Israel enough. Nobody forced Sharon (aka “Butcher of Lebanon”) to withdraw from Gaza. Even Yossi Beilin was against it. But Sharon did it, because he understood that only a Two-State solution will guarantee Israel a Jewish majority for quite a few decades to come. He said in a speech to his voters “We cannot rule over another people forever…” He was going to complete his task, also in the West Bank (actually began withdrawing from a few settlements there as well), but fell ill, and was replaced by someone who was too weak, too busy fighting in Lebanon and Gaza, and too troubled by criminal allegations against him (Olmert).

The question is whether Netanyahu thinks like Sharon and Olmert did, and I think he does. That Israeli governments have allowed continued building of settlements is not as clear a contradiction as you may think or hope to their belief in a two-state solution. To many a leaders in Israel, continued settlement activity has also been about pressure. They’re not idiots, they know the more the build, the tougher it’ll be to create a feasible second-state. Hence, the closer we get to a one-state de facto and de jure. But even Lieberman isn’t talking about keeping everything in the WB, and giving nothing in return. He’s talking about keeping the three largest settlements blocks, and exchanging equal territory (and people) in return.

I know it is easier for you to see Israelis and Israeli leaders as secretly intending to keep everything. But if you knew Israel better, you would understand that 99.9% of Israelis fear a non-Jewish majority far more than they fear losing West Bank settlements. Those settlers, still do not represent most Israelis. Most of us, more than 90% of us, live to the West of the 1967 borders, and have no intention of moving East. And, as you know, most of the 90% of us, aren’t Leftists or Peaceniks.

November 5th, 2010, 8:16 am


Shai said:


I gather from your comments that you support Lieberman. Let’s drop the Transfer Game. The bottom line is the same, without the trucks and the trains – Lieberman wants to force the Arabs to take on a citizenship they may not be interested in, and to exist in a country they may not want to live in. So let’s ask the following question: After the borders are redrawn, will hundreds of thousands of Israeli-Arabs be allowed to “move back in”, thereby maintaining their Israeli citizenship?

You cannot compare 100,000 Jewish Settlers to 100,000 Arab-Israelis in this case. The latter live inside Israel, whereas the Settlers do not. Plus, Lieberman is talking about turning the Settlements into Israeli territory, and turning Arab-Israeli territory into a Palestinian one. Isn’t that just little bit funny to you? Heck, even Rabin gave back desert land to Jordan, as part of the Peace Agreement. Couldn’t Lieberman at least TRY to offer empty-land in return?

But you do know full-well why Lieberman offers land+population. He’s a Racist, he hates Arabs, and he wants as many out as possible. Do you deny this?

If Lieberman offered even A SINGLE JEW to be “exchanged” (his language, not mine) into Palestine, I would be willing to think twice about him being a Racist. But since he’s offering only the opposite, to me it’s quite clear. Don’t forget the Loyalty Oath… He wants Arabs to pledge allegiance to The Jewish State.

November 5th, 2010, 8:34 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

Lieberman is israel period!.

A Turning Point Quietly Reached

Michael Salt

This turning point has arrived quietly, no fanfare or advance warning signifying its importance. After 62 years there is nothing left to talk about with Israel. Finally, all possibilities have been eliminated. Past plans are scattered across the landscape like the whitened bones of dinosaurs, their only purpose to remind us and future generations of what might have been but never was.

The last flimsy veil has been pulled away from a ‘peace process’ that was never a peace process in the first place but a different kind of war process. Netanyahu slaps Obama’s face time after time (and Obama does not react). Michael Oren tells the world Israel will decide its borders and no one else. Lieberman tells European Foreign Ministers to mind their own business.

When you have solved your own problems come and talk to us, he says, and by the way, Israel is not going to be the Czechoslovakia of 2010, demonstrating that his knowledge of history is as twisted as his understanding of manners, ethics, law and morality. Only this week, Netanyahu paid a special visit to the ‘commandos’ who killed nine civilians on board the Mavi Marmara.

They have already been decorated for their bravery but Netanyahu wanted to congratulate them in person. Livni made belligerent statements of her own. Why would Israel not want to settle this problem with a country which over the centuries was a haven for Jews and which was well placed to arbitrate between Israel and the Arab states? Why would it actually go out of its way to antagonise Turkey, and even to rub salt into the wound?

The answer would seem to lie at the intersection between folly, stupidity and lunacy. Meir Kahane, whose followers celebrated his genocidal ideas in the streets of Umm al Fahm only the other day, would be dancing with delight at the way things are turning out.

Israel has rejected every opportunity that ever came its way to make peace with the Palestinians, and through them with the broader Arab world. The process did not begin in 1988 or even in 1973 but goes back to Nasser’s approaches in the 1960s. In the past two decades the Arab states have laid out a simple formula for peace – you keep 80 per cent of the land but you return the 20 per cent you took in 1967 and you take the refugee question serious.

The offer was almost insanely and irresponsibly generous, but it was still not enough for Israel. By ignoring or rejecting these open offers, by taking what it wants from the ‘peace process’ and dumping the rest, Israel has repeatedly turned its back on peace. For peace to be durable, viable, all those words used by American presidents and British Prime Ministers, something has to be on offer for both sides, but now nothing is on offer for the Palestinians. Israel is going to do what it wants, take what it wants, and to hell with international law and what anyone else thinks. These are the clear signals coming from the Netanyahu government, backed up on the ground by a feverish acceleration of settlement-building.

There is nowhere left for Mahmud Abbas, Husni Mubarak and the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan to hide behind, not a rock, a fig leaf or even a blade of grass. If we are not hearing much from any of them these days that is because there is nothing left to say. Obama has gone completely silent on the question of Middle East peace and, except for the occasional pro forma statement about getting the peace process back on track (i.e. giving a corpse mouth-to-mouth resuscitation), so has Hillary Clinton.

Obviously, they are focused on the coming congressional elections but they have nothing useful to say either. Israel has driven everyone into a corner. The ‘peace process’ was based on the assumption that sooner or later Israel would come to the party, that when the point was reached where the ‘core issues’ could be discussed Israel would make the necessary ‘concessions’ (i.e. handing back stolen property). But it is not coming to the party. There is no party, except for the settlers and the fascists marching on Umm al Fahm calling ‘death to the terrorists’. They are having a wild old time. The champagne corks are popping everywhere.

Israel claims legitimacy and the ‘right’ to exist. Yet its first act was to drive out the indigenous people of Palestine so that they would have no rights at all, not just the right to vote but the most basic right of all, the right to live in the land where they were born. In other words, Israel is claiming rights which it completely denies to another people.

Not only does it do this but it demands that its victims accept that the wrongs committed against them were in fact a ‘right’. This is totally absurd but if the full blown fascists in the Knesset have their way, even the commemoration of the nakba would be criminalised. That the government would actually allow the followers of the genocidal Meir Kahane to flaunt their repulsive doctrines in Umm al Fahm, right amongst the people they want killed or removed, is a measure of the depth of the racism in its ranks.

The life of a state is also based on the harmony of its relationships with those living alongside it and on its willingness to live within the remit of international law. On both of these counts Israel is a miserable failure. In the name of security and defending borders which it refuses to declare, it has spent the last six decades antagonising the Arabs.

This has to be regarded as extremely strange behavior for a state which endlessly proclaims its desire to live at peace with its neighbors. In fact, Israel has no ‘neighbors’ in the cosy sense of that word. It has treaty arrangements with Egypt and Jordan, whose rulers do not represent the sentiments of their own people, let alone the feelings of the broader Arab world.

Israel does not want anything that could conceivably be called a genuine peace. For the sake of holding on to its ill-gotten gains, it is prepared to remain a garrison state forever. It is prepared to fight wars and to launch them to destroy anyone who stands in the way of the fulfillment of the Zionist dream/nightmare. Nothing is left for the Palestinians in this situation but to declare that, as the Oslo process succeeded or failed as a package, as it has now not so much failed as been killed off by Israel, all the agreements that were made along the way are null and void.

Effectively, they, the Palestinians, and we, the rest of the world, because there is no way that the world can avoid becoming embroiled in the very large crisis that will inevitably arise as the apotheosis of all these smaller crises (small by comparison), we are back to 1948. Blocked from swinging in one direction, the pendulum between war and peace must now swing in the other.

November 5th, 2010, 10:03 am


Akbar Palace said:


I have no special affinity for FM Lieberman. I am only taking issue with your depiction of him as being “anti-peace” and “dangerous”.

But, of course, I understand your role here with the anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists. They need you here to help in their demonization of Israel.

November 5th, 2010, 10:21 am


SimoHurtta said:

You don’t understand Israel enough. Nobody forced Sharon (aka “Butcher of Lebanon”) to withdraw from Gaza. Even Yossi Beilin was against it. But Sharon did it, because he understood that only a Two-State solution will guarantee Israel a Jewish majority for quite a few decades to come. He said in a speech to his voters “We cannot rule over another people forever…” He was going to complete his task, also in the West Bank (actually began withdrawing from a few settlements there as well), but fell ill, and was replaced by someone who was too weak, too busy fighting in Lebanon and Gaza, and too troubled by criminal allegations against him (Olmert).

Well Shai Sharon did “withdraw” from Gaza for simply financial, foreign political and military reasons. Sharon gave up 363 problematic square kilometres, with 1.2 million Palestinians. Israel had 21 settlements in Gaza, 8.500 settlers and a considerable amount of military was bound to “protect” those settlers and guard the slaves. It was easier (= cheaper) to make Gaza to one ghetto, instead of several small ones, build walls and begin to make the people of Gaza thinner as Israeli Jewish politicians openly bragged. Shai they even used mathematics in that making thinner project. Tell me the previous time in history when such “mathematics” was used.

Presenting leaving Gaza as a symptom of Israeli political flexibility and will towards peace is a bit hilarious. Almost as hilarious if somebody would claim that Hitler had arranged giving freedom and independence to Jews through Warsaw ghetto. Gaza remained economically and militarily under Israeli direct control. The instant blockade destroyed efficiently the livelihood what with Arab and EU money were built in Gaza. Gaza had never a chance, Israelis know that but “desperately” want to present that world history’s largest prison they created as a political hand shake. Also the Gaza “example” worked perfectly as a political excuse and proof, that “we” can’t make the same mistake in Golan and West Bank.

Emptying Gaza was difficult in internal politics even it was easy to sell to Jewish population. “We get rid of 1.2 million bad smelling Palestinians and have to leave a small area” was a slogan everybody understood. In West Bank and East Jerusalem the settlements are already to big so that emptying them is economically and politically simply impossible. There are no Jewish troops which will empty those areas if they are ordered. Speaking of two states doesn’t cost anything to Israeli politicians. The problem is how it is “delivered”. Lieberman is one of the few Israeli politicians who even dares to mention part of the real “price” Jews have to pay in order to remain as the superior ruling “religion”.

Only a complete trade blockade by USA and EU would force Jews to 67 borders. Or sudden shift in the military balance. I suppose that the only option that still might produce a peaceful solution would be if Turkey would take Lebanon and Syria under its direct military protection and on the same time Arabs would use oil as a political weapon to force USA and EU to force Israel to agree with the Arab peace initiative. Otherwise there is simply no hope. You do not in Israel have a Jewish political force which could deliver (without extreme outside pressure) a lasting peaceful solution which would be enough to Palestinians.

November 5th, 2010, 10:57 am


Shai said:


The anti-Zionists you’re referring to are not getting much help from me because, as you should be aware by now, I do still believe Netanyahu can deliver. I fear Lieberman is a Fascist, and is dangerous to all Israeli citizens. I’ve lost all respect for Barak and, unfortunately, also for Livni. The one person I’m still counting on, is Bibi.

If you ask some of these so-called “anti-Zionists” here if they think I’m contributing to the demonization of Israel, I’m not sure they’d agree. Maybe I’m wrong.

November 5th, 2010, 2:48 pm


Alex said:

A poll conducted and published in August by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute indicated that 56 percent of Israelis believe that “the whole world is against us”

Above The Fray: The real problem behind Israel’s dismal PR

11/05/2010 16:29

Contrary to the public’s indifference to global opinion, Israel’s terrible image abroad is dangerous to the prospect of peace and security.
Talkbacks (1)

Israel’s public image today is dismal. As Elie Wiesel once joked, “Jews excel in just about every profession except public relations, but this should not surprise us: When God wanted to free the Jews from Egypt, he sent Moses, who stuttered.”

However, today the problem is not that its leaders are stuttering, rather that they are stalling to show leadership toward ending the Arab-Israeli conflict. In doing so, they are sending a message to the international community that the country does not care what the world thinks and that it does not want peace.

The public relations problem is not due to a lack of attention. The entire world is watching Israel closely, but it does not like what it sees.

In recent weeks, the world community has witnessed near-daily vandalism by settlers against Palestinian property in the West Bank, the passage in the cabinet of a “loyalty oath” aimed at marginalizing minorities, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s obnoxious speech at the UN and the government’s continued refusal to halt settlement construction to improve the environment for peace negotiations, despite unprecedented offers from the US to encourage it do so.

This is not to mention a range of public blunders by the government in the past year, from Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s insulting behavior toward the Turkish ambassador to the harsh blockade of the Gaza Strip, since eased, viewed by the international community as collective punishment.

All of this has served to undercut public relations campaigns regarding the very real threats to the country’s security, its genuine contributions in computer and health care technologies or its leadership in humanitarian relief efforts in times of crisis in places like Haiti. As a result it is becoming more and more isolated each day, and is increasingly appearing to be the obstinate party keeping the peace process from moving forward.

FACED WITH increasing criticism and delegitimization campaigns, Israelis are becoming resigned to the belief that nothing they do will improve their public image. A poll conducted and published in August by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute indicated that 56 percent of Israelis believe that “the whole world is against us,” while 77% believe that no matter what Israel may do to try to resolve the conflict, the world will continue to be critical.

These are disconcerting statistics with significant implications for the country’s public relations, and more importantly, for its policies. The perception that its policies and public relations simply do not matter to the world leads it to ignore policies which should be advanced and to neglect communicating its message when and where it matters most.

But Israel cannot simply complain about the discriminatory treatment it receives and make hardly any effort to explain itself. The decline of relations with Turkey offers a prime example. Between 2005 and 2009, Israel’s efforts to explain to the Turkish public the onslaught of Hamas rocket attacks appeared to be few and far between. As the Turkish public became increasingly critical, Israel dismissed the trend as a sign of the influence of the new Islamic-rooted AKP party in its rise to power, not the result of poor PR (or policies).

As a result, rather than seeking to mend relations, adapting policies and improving communications, it ignored its longstanding ally, and even worse, insulted it. Instead of using quiet diplomacy to address Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s verbal attacks while focusing on a well-orchestrated PR campaign to change the Turkish public perception, Ayalon summoned the Turkish ambassador to have him seated on a lower chair in front of the press. Following the flotilla affair, the failure to explain itself and to continue to drag its feet in providing information to the commission appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon further damaged its image.

Many of the PR blunders today are derived from the disunity of the governing coalition. Let’s face it: Avigdor Lieberman, charged with serving as Israel’s messenger to the world, is a man who 60% of Israelis according to a recent Yediot Aharonot poll believe is the politician “most responsible for the increased extreme nationalist and near fascist tendencies” in the country. His speech at the UN, which was subsequently rebuked by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, exemplified the mixed messages Israel has been sending to the international community, and the division within its coalition.

In fact, disunity in the coalition is significantly damaging PR in two important arenas: in New York, where outreach and communications with the American Jewish community is critical, and at the UN, where Israel faces an onslaught of criticism and delegitimization on a daily basis. Netanyahu and Lieberman have been unable even to agree who should serve as consul general in New York or ambassador to the UN. As a result, interim diplomats are currently filling each post. If the prime minister and foreign minister cannot even agree on the messenger, how can they ever agree on a cohesive, positive message, not to speak of a constructive policy? And without that message, the country’s image is suffering greatly.

THE COMBINATION of the public’s disillusionment that peace efforts will ever improve its global image and the disunity within the government further exacerbates historic public relations woes across the globe. But Israel is also inept at PR at home.

A recent poll showed that Israelis continue to oppose the Arab peace initiative. While 56% reject the plan, 57% of Palestinians polled supported it. That the majority of Israelis do not recognize the opportunity posed by the initiative as a historic repudiation of the Arab League’s “three no’s” at the 1967 Khartoum Conference is an indictment of the government.

Instead of marketing the plan as a genuine vehicle for negotiating an end to the conflict, it has largely ignored the effort, and the public has followed suit. As a result, the global community gets a clear message: the Palestinians – and Arab states – are pursuing peace, while Israel is not. This failure is more than just one of public relations, but of the government’s responsibility to pursue and advance all possible efforts to end conflict and provide the country with the security it requires.

Some may argue that public relations have in fact, never been better.

Netanyahu is viewed by many as a master of PR as is Ambassador to the US Michael Oren. But Netanyahu’s and Oren’s mastery of the English language cannot overcome the black eye to Israel’s image that Lieberman provides. And without a government that has a positive message, one that embraces efforts to secure peace and aggressively communicates with its allies in times of agreement and differences, that image will continue to suffer.

Contrary to the public’s indifference to global opinion, Israel’s dismal public relations are dangerous for the prospect of peace and for security.

In fact, to effectively counter the impact of these campaigns, Israel should send the global community the kind of concerted, positive message which it is sorely lacking.

Many around the globe believe that Netanyahu can change the dynamics of the peace process at any moment if he wished. The world knows that should he genuinely wish to achieve a peace agreement, he has Kadima waiting in the wings, ready to enter the coalition to support him. The fact that he has not done so in itself sends the world a negative message: He does not really want peace. The world concludes that Netanyahu would rather stick with Lieberman and stall the peace process than bring Tzipi Livni into the coalition and seek to conclude it with a lasting peace agreement.

Should Netanyahu finally decide to bring Livni in, and make a genuine effort to end the conflict, he could dramatically improve Israel’s image and live up to his reputation as a master of public relations rather than a demagogue.

The writer is professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.

November 5th, 2010, 5:29 pm


Norman said:

Syria and Turkey,

Turkey, Syria to collaborate on five joint projects
Turkish Public Works and Settlement Minister Mustafa Demir has said agreements have been reached with Syrian authorities on the initiation of five separate projects.

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During a visit to Syria on Thursday Demir noted the partner projects to be carried out with Syria would be in the field of cadastre, water treatment plants, construction inspection, partner construction and urban transformation. “We are almost finished with the Deed and Cadastre Information System [TAKBİS] that will be implemented in Syria.

Moreover, the Housing Development Administration of Turkey [TOKİ] and İstanbul Public Housing [KİPTAŞ] will establish a partnership with the Syrian work and settlement authority, while a Turkish construction inspection mechanism will be implemented in Syria. Another project is to construct and renew water treatment plants and to construct public buildings in Syria,” said Demir.

Demir said the five projects that have been agreed will be signed during the Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in December of this year. Minister Demir also gave in-depth information about the planned projects between the two countries. According to the TAKBİS project, the cadastre studies in Syria will be registered online and software programs will be designed to work more efficiently with the cadastre data.

The second project Demir mentioned is the inspection of construction in Syria. He said that in Turkey the inspection mechanism is currently implemented in 19 provinces and as of next year it will be used in all provinces. He stated the same construction inspection mechanism will also be implemented in Syria to increase the quality of buildings.

Demir said Syria needs projects in urban transformation and therefore TOKİ and KİPTAŞ will establish a partnership, separately, with the cadastre and settlement authorities in Syria to prevent shanty constructions. Moreover, KİPTAŞ will construct housing in Damascus with the Syrian authorities.

Another project that Turkey and Syria will jointly carry out involves water treatment plants — the potential and effectiveness of one water treatment plant will be improved and new water treatment plants will be constructed in Aleppo and Damascus.

Demir also mentioned they aim to construct public buildings in Syria, including the national radio and television buildings. “If Syrian officials approve, we would like to direct them to Turkish architects who can design these projects,” said Demir.

November 5th, 2010, 10:07 pm


Shai said:


With each day that passes, they’re getting more right… Self-fulfilling prophecies are a beautiful thing…

November 6th, 2010, 2:46 am


jad/2 said:

“I don’t believe that Netanyahu, Livni, or Barak (..) would ever consider population transfers OUT of Israel.”

“Khenin warned that the idea of a population transfer of Israel’s Arab citizens to a Palestinian state started as a nightmare, but has since transformed into a practical plan.

“The statement ‘The Arab citizens of Israel are the true demographic threat’ was not uttered by Rabbi Meir Kahane or Avigdor Lieberman, but by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Jerusalem conference.”

Livni, 2008: http://www.haaretz.com/news/livni-national-aspirations-of-israel-s-arabs-can-be-met-by-palestinian-homeland-1.259321

“National aspirations of Israel’s Arabs can be met by Palestinian homeland”

November 6th, 2010, 7:56 am


Shai said:


Khenin can call the population transfer idea of the extreme-right a “practical plan” all he wants, but I have yet to hear a single Israeli PM present this idea. I don’t know what Netanyahu said in the Jerusalem Conference about Arab-Israelis, but the demographic threat (as viewed by 99.9% of Jews in Israel) isn’t the 20% Arab-Israelis, but it is Israel’s Occupation, which makes it de facto a ruler over more than 50% non-Jews. That, is the demographic threat. And this is why Sharon and Olmert recognized a Palestinian state would have to be created.

As for Livni’s statement, indeed it was a poor one (she made it at a Tel-Aviv high school during her election campaign), but what she meant wasn’t population transfer (as Lieberman intends), but rather the end of the Israeli-Palestinian national aspirations. In other words, once a Palestine is created, the Arab-Israelis can no longer “aspire” to a one-state solution. Of course this is silly of Livni to suggest, because she has no right to say this. She went further, and said that once a Palestinian state is formed, the “Naqba” should be removed from the Palestinian Lexicon. A psychologist friend of mine wrote to her in Ha’aretz, saying “Once the Naqba is ADDED to the Israeli Lexicon, will the State of Israel finally be formed!” I think he’s right.

No one said Tzipi Livni is a smart politician. But she’s no Lieberman.

November 6th, 2010, 8:13 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

Images on the left show Nazis treatment of Jews.
Images on the right show Israeli treatment of Palestinians.


November 6th, 2010, 9:42 am


Norman said:

Shai ,

I said this before but what Abba Eb-an said before on CNN that the question is not if Israel is going to survive but what kind of Israel that will be , I feel it will not be the kind of Israel that you and the Jewish population in the diaspora will be proud of , What Lieberman says is what other Israeli think and hope for ,

You will see ,

November 6th, 2010, 9:46 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

An American [zionist?] by the name of Mark J. Penn proposes a copy of the Oklahoma City bombing before 2012 to save Obama’s Presidency.

Mr. Penn a graduate of Harvard and CEO of a major consulting firm whose clients included Mayor Koch of New York, Menachem Begin of Israel and Bill Clinton is on record that sound pretty much like OBL.

Mr. Penn stopped short of suggesting a location for his recommendation.


November 6th, 2010, 11:50 am


Shai said:


You know I don’t save on criticism of Israel. But Lieberman is NOT representative of most Israelis. He is representing the extreme-right, the settlers, those who are fine with an Apartheid Israel, and those who do not want a two-state solution. If he represented most Israelis, he would have more than 15 seats out of 120 in Knesset.

November 6th, 2010, 1:38 pm


Norman said:


I hope that you are right for the sake of everybody .

November 6th, 2010, 2:42 pm


why-discuss said:

Is the Tea Party anti-Israel? Would they join the democrats in the Congress on pressuring Israel?

“Rev. Ted Pike warns: Don’t let Israel-firsters take over, destroy Tea Party movement!”


November 6th, 2010, 5:49 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

It is a shame,what happened to our dear fellow christians in Iraq,it is a crime that has to be condemned by strongest words,Iraq is ruled by the worst people,they did not protect the christians,this is the new middle east that the evil George bush promised,now chrisians are leaving Iraq,and Lebanon,and hope they will not leave Syria.

November 7th, 2010, 6:06 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

Another typical example of shameful actions MAJEDKHALDOON.The only beneficiaries of such acts are those who wish the Arab speaking world ill wil

Clashes as Israeli police raze mosque in Bedouin town

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, November 7th, 2010 — 12:03 pm

JERUSALEM — Clashes broke out in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat early on Sunday as Israeli police demolished an illegally-built mosque in a pre-dawn raid, police and witnesses said.

Local residents said thousands of police and border police drove into the southern desert city overnight and set up roadblocks to prevent people from reaching the condemned mosque.

Clashes broke out as those living near the mosque poured out of their houses to prevent the demolition, and police fired tear-gas and rubber bullets, a spokesman for the local branch of the Islamic Movement told AFP.

“They went into the mosque and arrested those who were praying inside, including me, and drove us outside the city until the operation was over,” said Yusuf Abu Jamer.

Police confirmed the demolition, saying a local court had ordered the structure be raised as it was built without a permit.

“A large number of police demolished an illegally-built structure this morning which was being used as a mosque in Rahat,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, saying demonstrators had thrown stones to try to stop the operation, leading to two arrests.

After the raid, Rahat city council declared a general strike, with a protest planned for later on Sunday, residents said.

Abu Jamer said the mosque, one of the biggest in Rahat that had been built to try to combat drug dealing in the area, was one of 17 local mosques built without a permit.

“Obviously, this shows Israel would rather we engage in drug dealing and crime than prayer,” he said.

Rahat is the Negev’s only Bedouin city and has more than 45,000 residents.

Around 160,000 Bedouin live in Israel, more than half of them in unrecognized Negev villages without municipal services like water and electricity. Many live in extreme poverty.

November 7th, 2010, 12:33 pm


Jad said:

Dear Majed,
I deeply appreciate your dignity by condemning the Christian-Arab slaughtering in the name of religion in our crazy region.
As long as we have wise Syrians who use their conscience the way you do and loudly condemn such crimes, hopefully Syria will keep it’s Christians aside from all religious radicalism.
What is sad is that many Arabs don’t comprehend that Christian Arabs are their brothers and sisters and that Islam exist in every Christian-Arab heart, I hope that we don’t kill that with our radicalism, it will be the biggest lost for Islam.
Very sad situation indeed.

November 7th, 2010, 2:32 pm


Eye on Palestine: 7/11/2010 | Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine said:

[…] the incisive piece on Avigdor Lieberman on Joshua Landis’ brilliant ‘Syria Comment’ blog, “Here are five reasons why I believe […]

November 7th, 2010, 6:43 pm


Norman said:

W D ,
That could be the reason why Israel does not want peace as peace might fracture the Israeli society without an outside threat,

November 10th, 2010, 8:26 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Too Much of a Good Thing NewZ

“At NPR, when is liberal, not liberal enough?”


In Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, or Iraq, when is Muslim not Muslim enough?


November 10th, 2010, 9:28 pm


Shai said:

Why Discuss,

There is an ongoing battle inside Israel over “what is Jewish”, and how much influence the Religious Parties have. In the past, stores weren’t open on Saturday (Sabbath), buses weren’t running, and these things were forbidden by law. Today, you can find almost any store you want, and any restaurant you want, open. While the largest bus services don’t run, there are private buses that do (for tours, etc.) So the battle goes on.

I haven’t been to Istanbul in a few years, and heard recently that the main business streets are beginning to look reminiscent of Cairo and Tehran. This is not what you see in Israel’s main cities, except for Jerusalem. So I can’t tell whether the country is becoming more-religious or not. In general, I think it is true about most countries in the world, religion gains strength when economic hardships hit more people, and The State cannot provide enough.

From my point of view, though, the problem isn’t just that deciding who is a Jew and who isn’t has been at the hands of the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel, but that the mere issue of being-Jewish matters anything in Israel. I think Israel MUST, if it wants to exist as a nation amongst nations, shed itself of the LEGAL-meanings of being Jewish, and begin to look at Jews and non-Jews as absolute equals in our State.

From my point of view, Israel CAN be “The Jewish State”, even if there is a non-Jewish majority. India is, without a doubt, “The Sikh State”, and I’m sure Punjab sees itself as the Homeland of the Sikhs. If any of the Sikhs in England, or the U.S., or Canada, are persecuted, they have a homeland to go back to. But in Israel, we’re nowhere near that kind of minority, so we really have nothing to fear in the next 100 years at least.

November 11th, 2010, 12:55 am


Norman said:


Israel can deal with it’s non Jewish population the way western countries deal with their Jewish population , treat the non Jews in Israel the way you like the Jews to be treated in the West and that is an excuse that the Israeli government can use to have equal rights for all it’s citizens,

November 11th, 2010, 7:39 am


why-discuss said:


Thanks for the comments
You say:
“In general, I think it is true about most countries in the world, religion gains strength when economic hardships hit more people, and The State cannot provide enough.”

I don’t get it, does Israel suffers of economic harships or it is a sense of being under siege that makes Israeli hang on their ethnicity and their religion as a safeguard?

I think that being Jewish was a dangerous identity during the dark years of Europe but this has faded away at the creation of Israel and the years of the kibboutz. From that time, Israel government has always tried to associate anti-semitism with anti-Israel, insuring that no one can attack it on the abuses that lead to its creation and its expansion. Now this is backlashing.
Inside Israel, many do not want their country to become a theocracy and worldwide people, including jews who live outside are vocal about this ambiguity that is becoming a way of censuring any critic of Israel as a state, not as a religion.
Maybe it is because of that danger that Israel is insisting of being named a Jewish state to make any critic on it becoming a critic of their faith. Maybe it is also why there is a growth of the religious power. Religion is used as a shield.
I think there are other reasons too.
While many of Israelis are ‘westernized’ I guess there is a large population who see the ‘western’ influence as dangerous, the same way many moslems in arab countries do. So they prefer the country to shift to being more in line with the Jewish religious teachings that guaranties their identity and the ‘morality’. Jews are a religious minority worldwide while adherents of Islam and the Christians are numerous enough worldwide not to feel threatened the same way.

The growth of religion in the world can then be seen as a multipurpose shield: To oppose the loose morality that is perceived as invading all the stata of the society, to warrant a stable cultural identity polluted by the ‘western’ media, and for Israel to justify any abusive action taken on the ‘promised’ land of Palestine.

November 11th, 2010, 10:03 am


Shai said:

Why Discuss,

As part of our national ethos, the creation of the state of Israel is the solution to the 2000 years Jews have spent being persecuted as minorities in the Diaspora. Laws were passed in many a nations that legalized this persecution. So it is not completely surprising that Jews in Israel would enact laws that relate to their religion, and even give preference to their religion.

To you, it may seem crazy that Jews in Israel are still paranoid about being persecuted again. But if you think about it, we have barely 60 years of history as a free people, in a land where the majority are (still) Jewish. There is no other place on earth where Jews can know for certain that they will not be persecuted. Indeed as you say, since we are such a tiny minority in this world, we do tend to worry about our existence, much more than Muslims or Christians do. There are barely 13 million of us worldwide, while there are 2.2 billion Christians, and 1.6 billion Muslims. We are less than a drop in the bucket…

All of this of course does not grant us “special rights”, especially not ones to rule over another people, to withhold freedom and independence that they deserve them no less than Jews do. But it is in this context, that Israel was created, that the Jewish State symbolism was created, and that the connections between state and religion were and are being upheld.

Having said that, while most Israelis certainly see themselves as Jews, they do not practice religion as you might think they do. Most do not go to synagogue, for instance. Or belong to the Ultra-Orthodox movement. My own attachment to Judaism, for instance, is based much more on the historical link to my ancestors, than on any actual religious significance or practice. My grandparents and my mother were not born in Israel, and all of my ancestors before them, so the only connection I have to them, is that we were all Jews.

I wrote in the past on SC that something like 95% of my family was murdered in the Holocaust. All of my grandparents’ brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc. In 1945, instead of being a family of 100, we were a family of 4 (my grandparents from both sides). So you can understand why some people in Israel see Jewish-persecution as something that is very real, very recent, and not only belonging to the distant past. We still live with those who tell us the horrific stories. That’s part of why we can’t begin to let go of this past. In another 10 or 20 years, that will begin to change.

November 11th, 2010, 2:46 pm


SimoHurtta said:

To you, it may seem crazy that Jews in Israel are still paranoid about being persecuted again. But if you think about it, we have barely 60 years of history as a free people, in a land where the majority are (still) Jewish.

Come-on Shai some limits. 60 years as free people? The best educated and richest religious minority of all times. They were/are that in Europe untill WW2 and also after that. Without Holocaust there would never have been a mass moving to Israel. Hitler created (almost directly) Israel and Stalin was the biggest supporter in that birth.

Equally Shai the Mormons and Scientology followers could categorize themselves as not free.

In what Jews have been extremely talented are the stories of constant persecution. Like a miracle they still managed to surface as professors, doctors, secret police bosses, bankers, big business men etc. For example in Poland in the 30’s 56 percent of doctors were Jews, 43% of teachers, 22% of journalists and 33% of layers. Quite an achievement of a minority of about 16 percent of the population. Especially for a seriously prosecuted minority.

If a Jew was/is not accepted to a university it is often said to be because of anti-Semitism and if a non Jew was/is not accepted it is the question of not meeting to requirements (not enough points in the entrance examination). Evet Lvovich Liberman was not accepted to study international law in the Kiev University and the reason is told by Avigor was he being a Jew. Well maybe it was so, more likely considering Avigor’s interpretation with international law it was not.

Surely the history of Jews = followers of Judaism has many dark periods, no doubt about that, but still they managed excellently as a tiny minority most of the time. Compare your ancestors situation to many ethnic minorities situation. For example the Romani people. They have no Rothschilds, no Nobel price winners, a handful of doctors etc. Not to mention the faith of big Native American tribes.

Shai Nazis blamed everything for the Treaty of Versailles and said “niemals wieder”. You give yourself the freedom of doing what ever you want by blaming Holocaust and you say “niemals wieder”. It could be said that the Jewish Holocaust is used to create a new Holocaust for Palestinians. Have the millions displaced Palestinians who have lost their family members and relatives in Jewish concentration camps, ethnic cleansing operations and in massacres equal right to the same “understandable generations long frustration”?

November 11th, 2010, 4:34 pm


why-discuss said:


That Jews managed to have high position in many areas of the society before WW2 can only bring admiration to their determination and hard work. Despite and maybe because of the ramping persecution they chose to become highly educated on sciences, finance and arts. I would never blame them for that, in the contrary.
Yet, this success and the penetration of Jews in all parts of the country economies brought suspicions about their real motives and was one the parameters of the systematic persecution. Some extremists saw and still see them as trying to control the world etc..

The return of Jews to Europe after WW2 could have triggered a renewal of anti-semitism but the creation of Israel by guilt-stricken Europe and the ‘move’ of all jews in a remote location has created a new situation: Jews have no more a sufficient presence in European countries to be perceived as a threat. Europe is still anti-semite and anti-moslem. Any thing can trigger that again, I am sure. This is why they have laws…

The creation of Israel has provided a haven for jews fearing renewed persecution. Yet, the abuses of Israel in its land grabbing policies have created a wave of justified anti-israel in the neighboring countries who were never involved in the centuries long persecutions of jews. For arabs, it is not antisemitism but anti-Israel. A totally different issue.

Today, the success of the american jews may bring the same urban myths Europe had before WW2. Who can blame the average people when they see that so much power is in the hand of a minority? It is all natural to look for a secret motivation and of course this can be exploited to trigger a new wave of anti-semitism. This is why there are laws punishing anti-semitism, otherwise laws would have been unnecessary.

Jews will never be safer than with Arabs. Arabs are mostly moslem and they don’t carry the blame Christianity has against jews for centuries. Arabs are NOT anti-semite. They have a common and a long history of co-existence with Jews. This was spoiled by the creation by rape of a western dominated country on their land, but it is still possible to correct that. It is just up to Israel to see its long term interests of survival in the area. Unfortunately the feeling of superiority, the arrogance we see with Akhtenaze Jews towards Arabs and the fact that they detain the largest power in the country won’t help. Israel need to change. How?

November 11th, 2010, 5:37 pm


SimoHurtta said:

That Jews managed to have high position in many areas of the society before WW2 can only bring admiration to their determination and hard work. Despite and maybe because of the ramping persecution they chose to become highly educated on sciences, finance and arts. I would never blame them for that, in the contrary.

Well I never blamed them for that success. Of course that success is an admirable achievement and needs to be noticed and celebrated. But it must also be neutrally analysed in what kind of environment that success happened. I do not in anyway want to deny the tragedy of WW2 and Shai’s family’s tragedy. I only want to question are the stories of constant persecution and discrimination a bit overblown, because there are long periods also in European history when Jews were extremely successful. Germany had Jewish ministers, France and Britain even a Jewish Prime Minister. The Soviet history is full of influential Jews in top positions. Not to mention Jewish success stories in European financial and academical life. Hardly possible to pariah people.

If 60 percent of Israel’s doctors and 30 % of teachers would be Arabs (people of the 20 percent Israeli minority), could/would we speak of Israeli Arabs as a severely discriminated part of population? Hardly. The proportions in different professions are about same what that small minority in Poland had. And Poland was not the least anti-Semitic country in Europe. If Jews were so successful in Poland, how successful were they in other European countries in pre WW2 Europe? The 19th century and first decades of the 20th century were not bad for European Jews. If the analysis, that 30 percent of the costs of Wehrmacht were covered with properties taken from Jews, is true it was not a “question” of a poor neglected, discriminated minority (= not free people).

November 12th, 2010, 1:34 pm


Shai said:


The fact that Jews were “so successful” in Europe apparently did not stop a madman from acquiring the vocal and silent support of the majority of his nation, his nation-of-birth, and a few others he conquered along the way. You do not get to exterminate 6 million Jews “just like that”. Something has to exist, for a long time beforehand, to allow for enough hatred that precedes the Holocaust.

I too think it is time Israelis drop The Holocaust Excuse (those that still use it). I don’t think any person alive today is responsible for what happened 70 or 170 or 2070 years ago. Certainly not the Arabs or the Palestinian people. I also think Israelis should be a bit more cognizant of their true strength, and a lot less paranoid. Our paranoia is today unjustified.

But my reference to the Holocaust was not intended as “an excuse”, but rather as an attempt to explain some of the reasons behind the need for the Jewish State symbolism. It is silly of Netanyahu to “demand” the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish State, because he knows that recognition, in the eyes of the Palestinians, is meaningless. They’re not going to give up any right of return based on such recognition, nor accept any pro-Jewish laws that discriminate against their brethren Israeli-Arabs. But he wants this, because he knows it’ll “sell well” amongst his constituents, who do think sometimes more out of emotion, than rationale.

November 13th, 2010, 2:25 am


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