Friday, March 20, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu has second thoughts...


     Well, we’ve sailed off into new territory here, haven’t we?
     Given that “cynicism” was the adjective of choice the media used to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute vow that there would never be an independent Palestinian state under his watch, just as his nation went to the polls Tuesday, what term should be used to describe his immediately reversing that promise once he was safely re-elected?
     “Super-cynicism?” “Double-dishonesty?”
     “I don’t want a one-state solution,” Netanyahu told MSNBC Thursday. “I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution.”
     We should introduce the man who said that to the man who, 48 hours earlier, when asked by an Israeli news blog if his being re-elected would mean that no Palestinian state would be established, answered “correct,” then elaborated: “I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the State of Israel. Anyone who ignores this is sticking his head in the sand.”
     That actually makes sense. I was nodding in a kind of grim attempt at understanding Netanyahu’s sudden promise to block the Palestinian state. Those who like to paint Israel as mere evil forget the nation didn’t tack hard right without a reason. All the squishy, lefty, let’s-make-peace overtures got them nothing but missiles. Maybe a hard-line stance would lure the Palestinians into demanding their new state, insisting they live in peace as neighbors.

     To continue reading, click here.

31 comments:

  1. The Palestinians must not negotiate with the zionists. The phony peace talks have accomplished nothing. Only war can bring freedom and liberation. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. War without terms.

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    1. Well, how those last three wars work out for you?

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  2. Palestine and the PLO and Hamas when Israel ceded them land or lifted restrictions and all they got was missiles taught in Israel. The Arabs don't want 2 states they want Israel destroyed. True the land was Palestine first, but Jews have always been in that area. I think Netanyahu uses the U.S. for $ and we get in more trouble with terrorists for supporting Israel but I'll take the Jews over Muslim terrorists anytime. It is certainly not a black and white situation but there's lots of grey. At least Israel is a democracy,of sorts.

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  3. I meant the Palest. had their chance

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    1. make that tossed at Israel, not taught

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  4. Now today's article is a good one.

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  5. Comparing Netanyahu to our comical alderman is absurd. The stakes are infinitely higher here. He should never have made that statement about there never being a Palestinian state. Although he believes it to be true, he should not have said it. How do you negotiate with an enemy who does not recognize your existence? How do you live in peace with neighbors who will never accept living side by side without conflict?

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  6. good column on an impossible subject. The Palestinians do continue to be their own worst enemies, but I sometimes wonder what is intended by the term "Jewish state." Does that mean non-Jews must be second class citizens. I would be more comfortable with Israel were it not tending toward theocracy.

    Tom Evans

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    1. True, Tom. Those ultra Orthodox or Hassidic Jews are extremists.

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    2. It doesn't mean non-Jews must be second class citizens, it means it is a Jewish homeland and thus can offer citizenship to Jews from around the world. And if only a soupcon of the concern for the plight of the minority Arabs in Israel could be applied to the tens of millions more non-Muslims who live in Muslim-majority nations, particularly those not "people of the book." Most Israel critics can't walk and chew gum.

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  7. Neil, This article hits the nail on the head.

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    1. Some of these radical lefties now have a new pet project or fad. Hating Israel and making excuses for Muslims or stateside for thugs in the hood over cops.

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  8. Two big problems in an otherwise good and sane column:

    1) "Those who like to paint Israel as mere evil forget the nation didn’t tack hard right without a reason.

    Not reason, reasons, and many independent of Hamas rockets and suicide attacks. The nation's demographics have changed, favoring the right because of things like religious claims to the occupied territories and desire for cheaper and better housing conditions. Some Orthodox vote right because the left doesn't like how their exemption from military service. There are neighborhoods in Jerusalem where being dressed immodestly can get you in trouble. Also, "it's the economy stupid" plays in Israel as well as here. While I think it's a symptom of many Israeli's myopia as to changes here in the U.S., reportedly it was economic issues that dominated this last election. (Paul Krugman had an interesting piece about how income inequality has made a rapid, sharp increase in Israel in recent years and now by standard measures of income inequality it ranks among the worst in the west - i.e., right up there with the U.S.)

    2) Israel isn't going away.

    I hope not, but history provides no basis for this kind of confidence. An uncomfortable truth for many progressive Jews: but-for the staunch support of Israel by evangelical Christians (for dubious reasons of their own), Israel would be nearly friendless in the world. They're dying off. Want to know how the fastest rising population in the U.S. feels about Israel? http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/poll-nearly-50-of-hispanic-americans-believe-u-s-too-supportive-of-israel-1.352409 How long is it going to be until Hamas rockets can strike anywhere? Until those rockets can be armed with WMD's like micronized anthrax? There's really not a mindset in the Middle East willing to test "mutually assured destruction?" (Those who think not should google the comments of Iran's former President Rasfanjani - and remember, he's in the "moderate" camp there who supports the current president). This is why I think it's in everybody's best interest to impose a solution on the Middle East, which of course would be unpleasant in the short term for Israel (and especially the settlers), because then either the Palestinians will make peace and police their own because they have something to lose or the bright line will then be drawn for Israel to take draconian action if it comes to that. Judging from Arafats comments about Oslo and everything that has happened since, I'm not optimistic, but it's time to give peace a MF chance.

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  9. Good point a not a, about the exemtption of the orthodox. That is unfair and ridiculous and they don't seem to care about the country. But how can some youth in the Muslim world be getting so brainwashed and women too, that they really belive they can have all the virgins or special standings in the after life. Theocracy and lack of segregation or subjugation of some in society will do that. THat's a different story of course.

    By why do you think in your arrogance that you are the judge on Mr. S's columns?

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    1. typo/ exemption

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. What Coey said - we're all judges - I never understood why so many people use judging as an insult or an example of arrogance (even the Biblical instruction is "judge not, lest yourself be judged"). The question to me is whether you are both judgmental AND closed-minded and not receptive to new information/counter arguments. Or get offended when people turn the camera around. I like to think that I am - I know I've written "point taken" enough times here - but I'll let others be the judge of that :-)

      As for the Muslim world - I don't know how many really believe that - I find far more disheartening is the alternative histories that get peddled in so many Muslim schools. Heck, even President Obama seemed to buy into the "Israel is all about the Holocaust" narrative in his first year speech to students in Egypt.

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    4. Good point about the alternative and/ or revisionist histories and I'd add-taught anywhere.

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    5. Since I usually agree with your points, A/A, it isn't a matter of my not being open to new arguments-it's how you say things. Neil must have a thick hide.

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    6. type/ believes

      will try to proofread and not rush

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    7. and no, I'm not Mr. S. keeper, not the point

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    8. error, meant lack of education, not segregation

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  10. I don't see where Anon-not-Anon claims to be "the" judge of the column. But isn't pretty much any commenter giving their judgment of what they've read?

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    1. But we aren't correcting the writer specifically.

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  11. "The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." –Abba Eban

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  12. Your last paragraph starts: "Israel can’t keep building territories..."

    Did you mean "settlements"?

    Aside from that nitpick, excellent column on one of the trickiest subjects there is.

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  13. Why does Neil subject himself to this nitpicking from insecure arrogant types is beyond me.

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    1. don't be so anal, B. S.

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    2. I guess when I'm as secure as you, I will also call myself "Anonymous."

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  14. at least I'm not "bitter"

    but I wanted your handle but it was taken

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