- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Israel’s and Bibi’s Troubled Hour of Power

For Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister save only founding father David Ben-Gurion, it has been a week of triumph.

Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal as Bibi had demanded. Thursday, after Iran launched 20 missiles at the Golan Heights, Bibi answered with a 70-missile attack on Iranian forces in Syria.

“If it rains on us, it will storm on them. I hope we have finished the episode,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, boasting that Israel’s raids hit “nearly all Iranian infrastructure in Syria.”

The day before, Bibi was in Moscow, persuading Vladimir Putin to cancel the sale of Russia’s S-300 air defense system to Damascus.

Yesterday, in an event televised worldwide, the U.S. embassy was transferred to Jerusalem, with Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner doing the honors on what Bibi called a “glorious day.” Few can recall a time when Israel seemed in so favorable a position.

The White House and the Republican Party that controls Congress are solidly behind Israel. Egypt is cooperating to battle terrorists in Sinai.

Israel has a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf royals. And the Palestinians have never been more divided, isolated, and alone.

Yet there is another side to this story, also visible this last week.

change_me

As the transfer ceremony of the Jerusalem embassy was taking place, TV split screens showed pictures of protesting Palestinians, 52 of whom were shot dead Monday, with thousands wounded by snipers. Some 40,000 had rallied against the U.S. embassy move.

Even before Monday’s body count, the Gaza Health Ministry said that, over the previous six Fridays of “March of Return” protests, 49 Palestinians had been killed and 2,240 hit by live fire from Israeli troops.

Those dead and wounded Palestinians are not likely to be forgotten in Gaza. And while Israel has never had so many Arab regimes willing to work with her in pushing back against Iran, Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit called the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem a “clear violation of international law.”

Gheit added: “The fall of Palestinian martyrs by the bullets of the Israeli occupation must ring an alarm…bell to any state that does not find anything wrong with the immoral and illegal stance that we are watching.”

Last week, Hezbollah, which arose in resistance to the 1982 Israeli occupation of Lebanon and expelled the Israeli army 18 years later, won the Lebanese elections. A Hezbollah-backed coalition will likely form the new government in Beirut.

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S. and Bibi’s ally, said that any attack by Hezbollah, which fought Israel to a standstill in 2006, should bring an Israeli declaration of war—on Lebanon.

While Israel launched some 100 strikes on Syria in recent years, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has survived and, with the aid of Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia, won his civil war.

Assad and his army and allies are far stronger now, while President Trump, Israel’s indispensable ally, speaks of bringing U.S. troops home from Syria. In polls, a majority of Americans lines up behind Israel in its clashes, but a majority also wants no more U.S. wars in the Middle East.

Also on Sunday, the U.S. sustained another major political defeat.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi lost his re-election bid. Based on early results, the winning coalition was that of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, against whose forces U.S. troops fought a decade ago.

Running second was a ticket led by a Shiite militia general close to Iran. When a new government is formed in Baghdad, the orientation of Iraq seems certain to shift away from the United States.

While the Israelis are the most powerful nation in the region, how long can they keep 2 million Palestinian Arabs confined in the penal colony that is the Gaza Strip? How long can they keep the 2 million Palestinians of the West Bank living in conditions even Israeli leaders have begun to compare to apartheid?

Across the West, especially at the universities, a BDS movement to have students, companies, and consumers boycott, divest, and sanction Israeli-produced products has been gaining ground.

The Palestinians may have been abandoned by Arab rulers and the wider world. Yet history teaches that people forced to survive in such conditions eventually rise in rebellion and revolution, take revenge, and exact retribution for what was done to them and their own.

Republican leaders often say that we cannot permit “any daylight” between the U.S. position and that of Israel.

But can the country that decried for decades the panicked reaction of an Ohio National Guard that shot and killed four students at Kent State University sit silently as scores of unarmed protesters are shot to death and thousands are wounded by Israeli troops in Gaza?

Bibi and Israel appear to be on a winning streak. It is difficult to see how, over the long run, it can be sustained.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

40 Comments (Open | Close)

40 Comments To "Israel’s and Bibi’s Troubled Hour of Power"

#1 Comment By Kansan On May 14, 2018 @ 10:49 pm

I’m not sure there’s any columnist whose pieces run such a gamut from “right on” to “can you believe this guy…” as Pat Buchanan. This one here is an example of the former.

#2 Comment By Balconesfault On May 15, 2018 @ 12:07 am

Israeli settlers will continue to flood into the occupied territories. Israel will continue to make life more and more difficult for the Palestinians in order to protect the illegal settlers. The Palestinian State solution is becoming less and less reasonable by the day.

Eventually a recognized apartheid state, or Palestinians being given the vote and destroying the nature of the Jewish State.

Error Bibi, assist Trump.

#3 Comment By BillWAF On May 15, 2018 @ 12:57 am

This is the type of article (back when TAC was opposing the Iraq War) that got me reading TAC in the first place.

#4 Comment By Whine Merchant On May 15, 2018 @ 1:31 am

“Bibi and Israel appear to be on a winning streak. It is difficult to see how, over the long run, it can be sustained.”

Perhaps with US taxpayer dollars, and many lives of the US underclass who join the military and serve in the middle east. Bibi and his Likud Party would be thrown out of power if the Israeli electorate thought that their own children were in the firing line.

#5 Comment By John Doez On May 15, 2018 @ 3:36 am

The mood has certainty turned in Europe. The UK will not support American intervention in the middle east as they did in Iraq. But I think America will still go along with more intervention, contravening the UN, and against the wishes of a large majority of its population.
Russia will not back down.
Essentially the two world superpowers are being drawn into a local ongoing conflict, and the consequences could be very bad indeed.

#6 Comment By grin without a cat On May 15, 2018 @ 3:43 am

Republican leaders often say that we cannot permit “any daylight” between the U.S. position and that of Israel.

And so do the Democrats, sometimes.

#7 Comment By Chris in Appalachia On May 15, 2018 @ 7:55 am

“But can the country that decried for decades the panicked reaction of an Ohio National Guard that shot and killed four students at Kent State University sit silently as scores of unarmed protesters are shot to death and thousands are wounded by Israeli troops in Gaza?”

America picks and chooses what to be outraged about, depending on the agenda and narrative of a particular point in history. At times America gets hysterical over what in retrospect are minor flaps while ignoring actual atrocities.

#8 Comment By Youknowho On May 15, 2018 @ 8:10 am

Reneging on the Iran deal…

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem…

Pat… I wonder how many of those bright ideas will you have to witness before you say “I shoudda vote for Hillary. She is evil, but kows what she is doing”

#9 Comment By Sean On May 15, 2018 @ 9:07 am

Israel will be the next Rhodesia, if they’re lucky. They deserve no better.

#10 Comment By PAX On May 15, 2018 @ 10:03 am

Could any U.S. president in good conscience send American soldiers to support and defend the type policies that Israel is perpetrating on the citizens of Gaza (Muslins, Christians, and others)? Apparently, President Donald Trump has given Israel a blank check on our wealth, lives, and souls. He is doing this in the name of the American people. That is not what we stand for. Newton’s idea that to each and every action there is a like reaction probably will apply in geopolitics. As Americans, we will probably have to internalize this one-sided policy of ethnic subjugation. I hope the clergy stand up this Sunday and decry this overt man’s inhumanity to man. This is very sad.

#11 Comment By john On May 15, 2018 @ 10:08 am

I am afraid you will be shocked.

#12 Comment By swb On May 15, 2018 @ 10:24 am

I rarely agree with Pat, but this was thoughtful and well done. However, one small point, Netanyahu is enabled (even encouraged) by Trump whom Pat seems to support completely. Those deaths were perfectly predictable as were the actions of Netanyahu. Their deaths are on the hands of Trump supporters. While their style of religious conservationism seems to have no problem with dead Muslims, more enlightened folks will not forget Israeli values in action.

#13 Comment By James Keye On May 15, 2018 @ 11:40 am

Israel is on its way to fully being a pariah state, ratcheting click by click — outrage by outrage — toward international rejection of its policies, both its nuclear capacity and treatment of Arab neighbors. The US will be dragged down by this “absolute and permanent friendship.”

#14 Comment By J On May 15, 2018 @ 11:47 am

The Palestinians may have been abandoned by Arab rulers and the wider world. Yet history teaches that people forced to survive in such conditions eventually rise in rebellion and revolution, take revenge, and exact retribution for what was done to them and their own.

I, too, rarely agree with Pat, but he’s spot on here. The Palestinians, and the world, will not soon forget or, hopefully, forgive, those who institutionalised brutality and dehumanisation upon them, their parents, and their people.

And that should most definitely include whatever then survives of the United States.

#15 Comment By Gerald Arcuri On May 15, 2018 @ 11:55 am

Hmm. Pat, ol’ buddy, your prejudices are showing. You got the facts straight, but you seem to be drawing odd conclusions, that is until a reader examines your underlying premises.

The Middle East is screwed up. As far as most people can see, it always has been. Israel, as a political agent, has made significant blunders, one of which was to be deluded into thinking that the Arabs would ever accept the existence of an Israeli state in their region. Religion beliefs are, of course, overlaid and entwined with the political situation.

But no Palestinian has recently died innocently. Every “protester” who was persuaded to volunteer for the border events went into this provocation with eyes wide open, or should have. Monday morning quarterbacking from afar doesn’t change the reality of the dynamic on the ground in Gaza. Israel’s existence is at stake, 24/7/365.

Until the Palestian’s and their enablers get this message: “Israel will exist”, stop ising their own people as cannon fodder, and determine to negotiate a just peace, pundits like you will conrinue to accuse Israel of “slaughter”. If it was a needless slaughter, I’d say, please examine the motives of Palestinian leadership. And check your prejudices at the border.

#16 Comment By pohzzer On May 15, 2018 @ 1:05 pm

Iran didn’t launch the missiles into Golan, Syria did, Typical neocon talking point inclusion in even the best conservative sites/articles.

#17 Comment By VikingLS On May 15, 2018 @ 1:09 pm

“Pat… I wonder how many of those bright ideas will you have to witness before you say “I shoudda vote for Hillary. She is evil, but kows what she is doing””

Look I know you don’t care about the destruction reigned down on people who had the misfortune to be on the wrong side of the USA if it’s a Democrat in charge, but Hillary Clinton helped totally destroy any stability in Libya which did much to destabilize North Africa and Mali, backed a coup that set off a civil war in Ukraine, and backed nun-raping “moderates in Syria.

Of course all that death and destruction is just collateral damage to you. Democrats don’t do bad things, do they?

#18 Comment By VikingLS On May 15, 2018 @ 1:15 pm

“I rarely agree with Pat, but this was thoughtful and well done. However, one small point, Netanyahu is enabled (even encouraged) by Trump whom Pat seems to support completely”

Read Pat’s last couple of columns. He’s been very critical of Trumps pivot towards Israel and the Saudis.

#19 Comment By KD On May 15, 2018 @ 1:19 pm

Its pretty clear long-term Israel needs to expand, and as it does, it will relocate Palestinian populations to the periphery, and encourage “voluntary” emigration.

79% of Israelis polled believe that Palestinians should have less rights than Jews, and it is only a matter of time before this becomes de facto true. 48% support forced ethnic relocations of Arabs. This will likely help encourage relocations–on top of the Settlers.

[1]

How can they do it?

Well, they are the most favored ally of the United States, the 500 lb. gorilla who also sits on the UN Security Council.

Second, they are a nuclear power with a decent conventional ally, and have proved themselves numerous times against significant odds.

Third, what actual geopolitical interest does anyone have in helping the Palestinians?

Is it good for Europe? No.

Is it good for China? No.

Is it good for Russia? No.

Is it good for America? No.

Israel just has to continue to push the envelope of acceptability without going so far they provoke an international reaction.

#20 Comment By KD On May 15, 2018 @ 1:27 pm

Yet history teaches that people forced to survive in such conditions eventually rise in rebellion and revolution, take revenge, and exact retribution for what was done to them and their own.

I think history teaches us that a strong authoritarian government can hold onto power for a long time so long as it keeps the military and the secret police happy. “The People” don’t do so well unless they have the backing of a faction of the Army or the Checka. [Look at the “Resistance” in America–without the Deep State and the MSM–they’d be getting an escort out of Zucotti Park like Occupy Wall Street.]

#21 Comment By mrscracker On May 15, 2018 @ 2:26 pm

Gerald Arcuri :

“…please examine the motives of Palestinian leadership.”
***********
My thoughts, too.

I support Israel, but don’t endorse their every action.

Everyone speaks from their own culture & I guess this reflects mine, but to me, a false friend- like Hamas-is of a lower order than a known enemy.

#22 Comment By John Dirlik On May 15, 2018 @ 2:39 pm

Mr Gerald Arcuri, history is not irrelevant.

While Jews under Christendom suffered two millennia of systemic persecution as “Christ-killers” culminating in the Holocaust, they (and Christians) as “people of the book” largely co-existed and even prospered in the vast Muslim world for centuries before the forceful carving of Israel out of predominantly Arab Palestine poisoned relations.

True, non-Muslims were second-class dhimmies, but this was at a time Americans owned slaves. Persecution of minorities (including Jews) existed everywhere and the Muslim world was no exception. But no one disputes (not even the pro-Israel scholar Bernard Lewis) that historically, Jews fared far better under Islam than Christendom until Zionism appeared.

The seeds of conflict were only sown in the 1880’s when European anti-Semitism gave birth to a Zionist movement that sought to recreate a Jewish homeland in an already populated Palestine. Arab hostility to waves of European colonizers with ambitious territorial designs was hardly irrational. Neither was Palestinian anger at the breathless hypocrisy of Western countries – Canada included – that shut their borders to Jewish refugees fleeing the Third Reich but magnanimously voted at the UN to dismember Palestine for a Jewish state.

For decades, Palestinians adamantly refused to “recognize Israel”. They were asked not only to renounce their homeland but also to grant legitimacy to its usurpers. Today, the entire Arab world is offering an end to the conflict through a two-state solution. Intoxicated with power and with a sugar daddy called Washington, Israel chooses illegal settlements and occupation over peace.

#23 Comment By John Dirlik On May 15, 2018 @ 2:45 pm

PS

During the First Palestinian uprising (1987) before suicide bombings existed in Israel (or rockets from Gaza) and when young demonstrators armed with no more than stones and home-made slingshots called for an end to Israel’s occupation (over a thousand were killed by the IDF) an American-Palestinian named Mubarek Awad set up the “Centre for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience” in Jerusalem. He was promptly deported.

A few years earlier (1982) Israel used the pretext of an attempted assassination in Europe of an Israeli ambassador by a breakaway PLO group to invade Lebanon and “crush PLO terror.” (17,000 casualties, mostly civilian).

In reality, the PLO had been observing a US-brokered ceasefire for the 11 past months and publicly debating for the first time ever a two-state solution (urged by the late Edward Said) thus rapidly gaining international acceptance, with even the Vatican granting the then-demonized Arafat an audience.

It was this that Israeli PM Menachem Begin (a wanted terrorist during the British Mandate) found intolerable.

Israel always feared Palestinian diplomacy far more than its violence.

#24 Comment By BobS On May 15, 2018 @ 3:15 pm

“But can the country that decried for decades the panicked reaction of an Ohio National Guard that shot and killed four students at Kent State University sit silently as scores of unarmed protesters are shot to death and thousands are wounded by Israeli troops in Gaza?”

Mr.Buchanan seems to forget how divided the country was in 1970, and the somewhat indifferent response of the Nixon administration (including the president himself, who referred to antiwar protesters as “bums”). The National Guardsmen who murdered the students had plenty of defenders on the political right.
Flash forward to today and the US is no less divided. The words and actions of Trump- and his supporters- would suggest that the massacre of unarmed people at a border fence (actually, on their own side of a fence) is not especially troubling to them. Particularly the sizable portion of Trump supporters (and those on the political right generally) who are dependable apologists for authoritarianism (in whatever form it takes- police brutality, voter suppression, ICE raids, running over protesters who block city streets, etc.)- the Gaza massacre is the stuff of their fantasies.

#25 Comment By Jeeves On May 15, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

@Gerald Arcuri
Nice try, Gerald, but Pat can’t be reasoned with when it comes to Israel. Just look at the language he uses. And the misrepresentations: he’s never heard Schumer and other Dems support Israel? They’re part of Israel’s “ahmen corner” too. And using dead Kent State students as props is really beyond the pale, even for Pat.

#26 Comment By Tiktaalik On May 15, 2018 @ 3:20 pm

Their finest hour…

#27 Comment By EarlyBird On May 15, 2018 @ 3:47 pm

Moqtada al Sadr! You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Surely the neo-con dead enders are saying, “We’ve got them right where we want them!”

#28 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On May 15, 2018 @ 4:05 pm

“But can the country that decried for decades the panicked reaction of an Ohio National Guard that shot and killed four students at Kent State University sit silently as scores of unarmed protesters are shot to death and thousands are wounded by Israeli troops in Gaza?”

Oh absolutely. The students who were shot at Kent State were white and American. The Palestinians being killed in Gaza are neither white nor American.

#29 Comment By Upper Darby On May 15, 2018 @ 4:11 pm

“Until the Palestian’s and their enablers get this message: “Israel will exist”, […] If it was a needless slaughter, I’d say, please examine the motives of Palestinian leadership. And check your prejudices at the border.”

I detect a bad smell whenever I hear someone presenting as an American talk about the Middle East this way. Typical Americans don’t give a toss whether Israel exists or not. This Trump voter, for example. I have no idea why he’s spending so much of his time and energy on Israel instead of doing the job he promised to do for the American people. And I’m sick of it. If he doesn’t cut the damned Israelis loose and start helping AMERICA for a change he’s going to be gone by 2020.

#30 Comment By EarlyBird On May 15, 2018 @ 4:17 pm

The problem Israelis face today is the fact that they have won. The real threat to Israel, one which Bibi and other right wing hawks (are there any doves left in Israel?) are the least equipped to deal with, is the question of “what now?”

How do they incorporate the Palestinians into Israel? Or do they declare a de facto Palestine and create a corridor between Gaza and the West Bank?

#31 Comment By balconesfault On May 15, 2018 @ 4:32 pm

@grin without a cat

There’s a difference, of course, between an assessment that the high level goals of the US and Israel have “no daylight between them” (ie – goal being dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program) … and an position that the US can have no daylight between it and Israel on the Palestinian issue.

But I’m sure you knew that.

#32 Comment By Saint Kyrillos On May 15, 2018 @ 5:31 pm

Gerald, you talk about Israel’s right to exist, and how the Palestinians threaten it (or Arabs-you seem to use the terms interchangably, as if a Palestinian Christian and some Bedouin goatherder in Saudi are identical). Strange, since when I look at a map of the world, I see a state called Israel which is currently illegally occupying territory acquired in ’67, a war Israel started by bombing Egypt’s airfields. Another strange geopolitical fact is that Israeli’s are being granted the whole of Jerusalem in spite of the fact that international law is clear that the status of East Jerusalem is that of an occupied territory, while the borders of what could be Palestine continue to shrink from the independence war onward. Seems odd to claim it’s Palestine threatening Israel, when the actions of the past month (or decades) make it quite clear that it’s Israel that threatens the existence of the Palestinian nation.

Yes, the Palestinians who were there knew what they were doing-protesting the continued suffering of their people since the Nakba, whether they voluntarily fled a warzone or were ethnically cleansed. They also likely knew that Israel, savage as they are, would respond with lethal force. That’s the point of these protests, and what Pat accurately alludes to in his piece-seeing Palestinians massacred in a complete overreaction on the part of Israel will shock the conscience and completely roll back many gains Israel has made in the past few years. The Arab leaders might sell them down the river and recognize they’re better served with Palestinians as refugees, but they’ve also cynically exploited the issue to distract their populations and will do so again when it’s expedient-and the Israeli’s are deluding themselves if they think giving the Arabs ammunition to turn on them is going to help them continue their coalition opposed to Iran.

Your notion about focusing on the Palestinian leadership is particularly laughable and shameful. Last I checked, we in the United States, and the Israelis you defend, have much more democratic governments, and therefore have far more control over what leaders represents us than the Palestinians. That hasn’t stopped us in America or those in Israel from electing corrupt hacks who pursued counterproductive foreign policies in that region for decades. Yet if someone were to argue that American’s continuing to elect worthless leaders means we deserved the atrocities on 9/11, I’d laugh at them for making such an absurd claim. Frankly, if your claims about the Palestinian leaderships shiftless nature justifies their suffering has any validity, it’s a much greater justification for inflicting suffering on America and Israel-and I sincerely hope you remember to blame your leaders corrupt nature, rather than the actions of demonic terrorists, the next time Jihadist filth carry out an atrocity in your home country. After all, that’s what Pat and the rest of us need to remember when we feel sympathy for massacred Palestinians-if you don’t elect good leaders, your civilians deserve to be slaughtered indiscriminately, or something.

#33 Comment By Going My Way On May 15, 2018 @ 5:50 pm

What a thinly veiled statement by Gerald Archer: ” … your prejudices are showing.” and “check your prejudices at the border.” We all know what you are inferring. Shame on you. Patrick Buchanan is presenting the facts as he sees them and not through the glasses of a bigot. Thank goodness there are people like Patrick Buchanan in this world willing to risk the ignoble threat of name calling by the likes of you. Name calling that has shackled free speech in America for decades. BTW – your arguments are absurd, reverse-bigotry, and validate why we need a loyal opposition.

#34 Comment By Stephen J. On May 15, 2018 @ 6:01 pm

Article at ink below.
——————————-
Canadian doctor shot by Israeli sniper near Gaza border
ROBERT FIFE
OTTAWA, OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF
PUBLISHED MAY 15, 2018UPDATED 1 HOUR AGO

Dr. Loubani, who has served as an emergency field doctor in Tanzania and conflict zones such as Iraq and southern Lebanon, said he was wearing a green surgeon’s outfit and standing with several orange-vested paramedics about 25 metres from the protests at the border when he was hit….
[read more at link below]
[2]

#35 Comment By Winston On May 15, 2018 @ 6:08 pm

Gerard Arcuri, yours was the only comment on this piece that was realistic and sensible. Well said! Why so much blindness here?

#36 Comment By LouisM On May 15, 2018 @ 6:48 pm

The genocide of Palestinians will never cease until the Palestinians flee to EU or an adjacent country and are so few in number than Israel can annex their lands fully and consider them part of their arab/muslim minority.

Don’t look for the world news media which is either biased toward Israel or owned/edited by Israel friendly views to offer any defense of Palestinians.

Frankly, when a society has gone thru 70 years of gradual impoverishment by having their lands taken (either by war or purchase), having their right of self rule taken, their right of defense taken, etc…it is my opinion that Palestinian society is so deeply wounded…so deeply entrenched in despotic rulers, corruption and a cycle of high birthrate and deadly protest that Palestinians may never again know what normal life is like or be able to live it. The jewish ghetto’s in Nazi Poland only last a few years…imagine what they would be like if it lasted 70 years.

No, I don’t think anyone or any nation will ever be able to successfully confront Israel on the Palestinians.

Even if Israel were successfully confronted, how does one undo 70 years of pain, suffering and loss which has so contorted the Palestinian heart, mind, soul and society.

The improbabilities point to an impossibility which is why the only thing I can offer is hope and prayer.

#37 Comment By Miguel On May 15, 2018 @ 9:06 pm

Gerald Arcuri

“Until the Palestian’s and their enablers get this message: “Israel will exist”, stop ising their own people as cannon fodder, and determine to negotiate a just peace…”

Gerald, what is a just peace? The Modern State of Israel is a “fact acompli”, and won’t be undone, that much is sure. But so is the palestinian nation, and it also deserves to exist with a viable territory.

To my knowledge, Netanyahu said some years ago (I paraphrase): “The Modern State of Israel cannot share its territory because it has very little land.” And that is true, but if the meaning of that sentence is that palestinians are meant to be thrown to the sea (where they are not allowed to be either) then the MSOI is going to be an out right criminal state.

Each person and group ends where the rights of others begin. The jews have rights, the israely citizens have rights -not all those citizens are jews- and also the palestinians, even if never before a palestinian state has existed.

If the palestinian protesters weren’t using deadly means to counter the israeli’s forces, then those forces had no right at all to use lethal force.

#38 Comment By Ron Flanagan On May 16, 2018 @ 11:32 am

Israel’s actions: illegal occupation and settlement of Palestinian lands; killing of unarmed civilian men, women & children; racial apartheid; imprisoning entire populations with fences, walls, embargos; denial of the Palestinian people of their right to a State, would not be tolerated by any other state in the world, except Israel.

#39 Comment By Youknowho On May 16, 2018 @ 10:17 pm

@VikingSL

With me it is not so much callousness as weariness and a growing cynicism. And memory. It did not start with Lybia. Or Iraq…

I remember growing up and hearig about the overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala, the overthrow and murder of Lumumba in the Congo, the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran, the overthrow of Qasim in Irak… that’s as far as I remember.

Question, did Pat Buchanan protest those overthrows, or did he swallow the anti-communist line that was used to justify those atrocities, and the handing over of those countries to bloody dictators?

Did Pat Buchanna protest the overthorw of Allende by his old boss Richard Nixon?

So, when Lybia’s turn came, with me it was “same old, same old”

I could have wished to have a decent political candidate in the last election. “The Gods should have bothered”…. really. But there was not. So, if you cannot have the best, you must try to avoid the worst.

Hillary is evil, but there is somethings that she will not do, if only out of basic self-preservation. She thinks things through and does not act on impulse. When someone tells her that some idea is too crazy and risky, she LISTENS.

Maybe it is not much, but this is the best we are going to get.

Maybe there should be a way to cure Americans from the belief in American exceptionalism and the “manifest destiny” cant. Until then, they will not listen to reason, and choose candidates that beat the drums of war.

#40 Comment By Raymond On May 17, 2018 @ 1:26 pm

Gerald Arcuri,

There is a fair bit to unpack in your comments so I will confine myself to two points.

Most Arab states do recognize Israel’s right to exist either dejure (Egypt and Jordan – the two most important ones for Israel) or defacto. Saudi Arabia, a defacto Israeli ally, and a majority of the Arab League offered to formally recognize and make peace with Israel if it permitted a viable Palestinian state on the basis of something like the 1967 borders. So Israel’s existence is not threatened – and certainly not by a bunch of protestors who are largely unarmed, or at best armed with rocks and bottles.

And that is my second comment. As a soldier I have been well trained to understand that international law, including the law of war, requires that the use of force be both discriminate (used only on those who are in fact armed and never against those who are not) and proportional (rock throwers are met with shields and batons, tear gas etc. but not bullets). In summary, lethal force may only be used in extreme cases, and never against an unarmed person.

The intentions of the unarmed person, or who incited them, are irrelevant – in law as well as from a practical perspective. To shoot a person who is on the other side of a fence, doing nothing but shouting, or even, as in many cases this month, not even doing that – just standing quietly – is a crime. If I did that I would be arrested and charged with murder.

This second point has nothing to do with the first. Israel has a right to police its borders, but it is perfectly capable of doing so without shooting children, doctors or journalists. It needs to be severely condemned for the use of excessive and indiscriminate force. And (the key point) such condemnation is entirely consistent with support for its right to exist.

Indeed, Israel’s greatest founders included many highly ethical people who would be ashamed of it today.