Does The Israeli Leadership Move America At Will?

The pro-Israel dogmatists here in the U.S. like to invoke the idea that if the Palestinians would just lay down their arms, they would have the peace they ostensibly want- but this notion is an inaccurate one- it way overestimates the good intent of the Israeli leadership and possibly the majority in the Israeli society. If we just look at the time period after the Oslo Accords- that lengthy time between Intifadas- the number of Israeli settlers doubled in the Occupied Territories. The facts on the ground convinced the Palestinians that the Israeli leadership was just using the time to entrench, and make it less likely that the 1967 borders (that were internationally indicated as offering the best chance for a boundary between Israel and a new Palestinian State) would still be a possibility as the years wore on. This was the primary root cause of the Second Intifada which was incredibly more violent all around than the first. The Palestinians are usually seen by the majority of Americans as the bad guys, the ones who just refuse to seek peace with the Israelis- the ones who refuse even to recognize the right of Israel to exist- but it is the Palestinian situation that is so much more desperate, and their right to exist as a viable, contiguous State has hardly been one respected by Israeli and American leaders over the years- not in real terms, even if the rhetoric and official statements sometimes indicates such an acknowledgment.

Is the ultimate plan of the Israeli braintrust to find a rationale for one big war in order to ethnically cleanse most of the rest of the Palestinians into Jordan/Egypt/Lebanon et al? Or maybe just have  perpetual small war(s) which  leaves the current stalemate and status quo where Israel has most of the power by ridiculous degrees, and the Palestinians get red hot lip service from Arab leaders and media across the Middle East, but nothing really changes where it matters- the facts on the ground- No viable, contiguous State for Palestinians, and a regional superpower State for Israelis?

Do we take Netanyahu serious here and acknowledge the truth of what he is saying- and admit that America is so securely behind Israel that Israeli leaders and pro-Israel lobbies can essentially tell the American political class when to jump and how high (see the amazing number of U.S. Congressmen who eagerly sign any and all unqualified support letters for the State of Israel)? Or is this an example of an Israeli leader lying to a family in grief about what he has really been up to? To those who claim that being so interested in this Israeli-Palestine conflict is some indication of some kind of anti-Semitic inclination- all I can say is that we are talking about The Holy Land- this is a Land that Christians also have a profound interest in, and the witness of our Holy Land is an important one. When every Atheist classically points to the Holy Land and laughs at how violent and messed up things are there- they score points with those who are natural sceptics of Religion and those who are impressionable.  Besides our Church has indicated many, many times that Catholics have a stake in what is going on in the Holy Land in a very special sense- and the Vatican has long indicated a position very similar to the International consensus on such things as the 1967 borders question and the like.

9 Responses to Does The Israeli Leadership Move America At Will?

  1. Mike Walsh says:

    Cherry-picking, strawmen, and intellectual cowardice –no wonder there is no biline for this piece.

  2. tim shipe says:

    Mike- I posted this- and not anonymously- I saw the article on Netanyahu via Mark Shea’s blog and the Washington Post- I’ve also been told that Netanyahu’s tape has been playing to much commentary in Israel- so I don’t know what the complaint is- criticism of Israel’s leadership and motives in dealing with the Palestinian Question are not new- if this video is offering an inaccurate rendering in English of Netanyahu’s words then I will be the first to apologize for passing on a bad translation- but the essence of his comments were ones that I saw in the Washington Post story- and the Post is not known for passing on fake stories about Israeli leaders- so correct me if I’m wrong about the source video- but the central thesis that Israel has had the power to make peace with the Palestinians, but has been more interested in deepening her presence in West Bank/East Jerusalem, and as a result has led to more uprisings and violence from the Palestinian side- which would qualify as a primary root cause of the overall Conflict- that view is hardly one that is without merit and I believe it to be an accurate assessment of the big picture in the Middle East.

  3. tim shipe says:

    Here is the link to the original Washington Post story I found linked from Mark Shea’s blog-

  4. Randy Reinbold says:

    What Netanyahu said in this 2001 video is entirely consistent with the facts on the ground: 1) Palestinian land, consumed by Israel since 1967, continues shrinking to less than 22% of what the 1967 armistice, recognized by international community, defined as the rightful border between Palestine and Israel; 2) Israeli settlements continue to be built on Palestinian Territory; 3) What of the 600+ road blocks in the Fatah governed West Bank (just over 1/3 the size of New Jersey), which effectively eradicate the economic life of the people.

    Is that the work of a government who is serious about peace?

    Who are the victims here? The government of Israel is no more a victim than was the U.S. government was during it’s conquest of Native American lands.

    To be fair, the PEOPLE of Israel are undoubtedly victims of violence. But the KIND of victim-hood they share in is more like that of the white settlers who claimed land soaked in the blood of Native Americans; while the KIND of victim-hood the Palestinians share in is more like that of those who survived the massacre of their people in overcrowded and systematically starved reservations as they watch their children languish.

    When Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud and numerous others fought to preserve their land and freedom, they were described in the language of terror. At the time European-Americans were entirely blind to the obvious irony entailed in calling Native Americans “savages.”

  5. n4nadmin says:

    Suppose Israel withdrew 100% behind the 1967 borders – and then offered massive aid to the Palestinians to help them get on their feet.

    Do you think that would quiet Hamas down?

    Would you, then, be willing to go live under Palestinian rule?

    You know darn well the answer to both questions is “no”.

    Israel’s sins are the sins of normal people. They screw up. They make mistakes. They some times fall in to cruelty and perfidy. The sins of the Palestinians, however, are those of a people gripped by a wicked ideology. Its the difference between the Brits turning the Vlasovites over to Stalin to be massacred, and Stalin who massacred them, and tens of millions of others. The Brits did something they shouldn’t have done but which was explicable in rational terms – what Stalin did was just insane killing.

    The truth of the matter is that if the Palestinians would lay down their arms, declare their support for the existence of the State of Israel and then called upon the world to back their claim to a just settlement, the pressure on Israel would be overwhelming – and it would include pressure from people like me, who have been the staunch supporters of Israel. I don’t back Israel because I’m paid by the Israel lobby or because I’m part of some nefarious, neocon plot – I back Israel because that is the right thing to do when a fellow democracy is beset by cruel enemies bent on utter destruction. Drat it all, man, they Palestinian leadership straps bombs on children and sends them off to murder/suicide! If you can’t see the difference in kind between Israeli errors and Palestinian depravity, then there’s just something malfunctioning inside you.

    Mark Noonan

  6. n4nadmin says:


    You’re reading of how the West was won is, well, absurd. “Soaked in the blood of native Americans”…for crying out loud. A little less melodrama an a bit more of finding out what happened might be worthwhile.

    Mark Noonan

  7. Ivan says:

    No one stopped the Palestinians from lobbying the Americans as the Israelis have done, on the contrary their various factions competed with each other to poke Uncle Sam in the eye. They were the darlings of at various times the Arabs, the wider Muslim world, the so called non-aligned movement and the Soviet Union. It can be argued that they were badly led by Arafat, but one has to ask was Arafat leading them or merely following in the Palestinian wind. For a particular clear case of the Palestinian habit of making perversely wrong choices, one has to only look back to the period before the first Gulf War. What was the need for Arafat to embrace Saddam when he was already in the sights of George Bush Snr? Was James Baker in thrall to the Lobby too? That the Palestinians were celebrating everytime a Scud fell on Tel Aviv would have been noted with bitterness by every thinking Israeli. And a small number of them collaborated with the Iraqis when they occupied Kuwait. For the action of these few, the Kuwaitis avenged themselves by expelling the entire Palestinian community, numbering around 400,000. Incidentally I don’t any see movement in the church or elsewhere to obtain compensation for these Palestinians who in some cases had lived in Kuwait for generations. I suppose expulsions and murders count only when we can it pin it on the Jews.
    This pattern recurs throughout their recent history, whenever there are two roads to follow, they inevitably choose the wrong one. Again one has to ask is it because they are merely stupid which would be forgivable, or that it was their jealous hatred of the Jews that drove them into murderous irrationality.

  8. Federal States of Israel and Palestine as One Nation:

    We have had 60 years of experimenting about the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. The region would need help before we will be dragged into a World War III.

    We have been forced into one box by the Israeli Lobby; we need to look outside of this box. We can’t fight wars after wars to support a non-working model of a two state solution. We can’t afford war after war to support a failed two state model.

    Options for Israeli-Palestinian struggle?

    The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were resettled in 722 B.C. in Iran. Assyria, the nation that is now Iraq, took the 10 tribes captive and relocated them in Iran (historic Persia). Iranian Jews are descendent of these exiled tribes. Their exile is a historical fact. Often, the people defeated were scattered and exiled. Judah and Benjamin, two tribes later known as the Jews, claim Israel as their as their ancient homeland.

    Jews and the Palestinians, whatever they were called then, were both in Middle East at the same time. Both Arabs and Jews have historical claims to the land.

    No one can reject the fact that creation of Israel on the Palestinian land has created tremendous political and economical problems for the United States and the world. World (the United Nation) may have to look outside of the box to diffuse the problems.

    One solution would be for Israel joining us as a member of the Unites States’ Common Wealth. The United States are already supporting Israel economically, politically and by sharing intelligence and military hardware. In addition, some Israeli Americans with both Israeli and American citizenships serve in the Israeli Armed Forces. Our great American Armed Forces will protect the common wealth as they would the homeland.

    Would it be politically more advantages for the United States to manage the Jewish state as a member of our Common Wealth?

    The Israeli Common Wealth will be free to exercise the religious freedom that our great nation would offer without being isolated among the hostile Arabs.

    The Common Wealth would have to include the Arabs who were forced to leave the land when Zionist invaded the land. It should also include all of the land called by Palestinian as their homeland and by Israeli as their state. I don’t suggest this proposal would work or be acceptable by Israel. In my opinion, this may be more destructive for the USA and would not help the Middle Eastern conflict in the future.

    Then, what next?

    Would really two nation model for Palestinian and Israeli work in the future? Many experts on the Middle Eastern politics and people would suggest that a two state solution in not viable model. We have struggled with it for nearly 60 years.

    Should we be looking at the region as a Federal States with one government elected by all of the people? This model may have a much better chance of survival as a solution for both Israeli and Arabs.

    Both Jewish and Palestinians have paid a high price for a failed system to consider the human side of the Israeli-Jewish struggle for a lasting peace.

    I suggest that only as one nation, Federal State of Israel-Palestine, the peace may endure. We, Americans, have failed to see the both side of the struggle for a lasting peace. The two cousins may have to kiss and forgive for all the hurt they have caused and endured. As Semitic people, they have common historical and religious heritage.

  9. Bella Center says:

    “Is the ultimate plan of the Israeli braintrust to find a rationale for one big war in order to ethnically cleanse most of the rest of the Palestinians into Jordan/Egypt/Lebanon et al?”

    The utter chutzpah of a Catholic writer invoking this type of libel is chilling. Get your own house in order before even suggesting such claims!

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