September 15, 2020

"President Trump will preside over a White House signing ceremony Tuesday in which Israel will establish formal ties with two Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in what Trump calls the flowering of his Middle East peace plan."

"The agreement, called the Abraham Accord in honor of the three Abrahamic religions rooted in what is now Israel and surrounding lands, lays the ground for diplomatic, economic and other ties between Israel and two Persian Gulf neighbors," WaPo reports.

Since it's the Washington Post, it's interesting to check the highest rated comment, which is sure to trash Trump. The only question is how. Here:
Typical Trumpian PR stunt. How can you negotiate a "peace deal" between countries not at war and that have been cooperating with each other for years? This isn't a peace deal but an arms deal disguised as a peace deal in which the UAE and Bahrain get access to the latest American weapons while Israel continues to brutalize the Palestinians. Nor does this stop Israel's annexation of the West Bank because Israel has already annexed the West Bank in all but name with its extensive network of illegal settlements. True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians, the chance to live their lives out from under the boot-heel of Israeli occupation.

159 comments:

Drago said...

According to "LLR's" everywhere, this event is not even taking place...because it cannot be taking place....because this is an impossible outcome of Trump foreign policy...which doesn't exist...according to the "LLR's" and the "experts".

RK said...

Typical Trumpian PR stunt.

Once upon a time, Trump was Hitlerian. Now he's simply Trumpian. Progress.

donald said...

What was the name of the commenter?

Ice Nine said...

It's fun to watch CNN's coverage of this historic peace deal that Trump engineered. They have very little room to dance around the fact that this is monumental in so far as it is clear that, because of Trump, peace is coming to the Middle East.

But, while grudgingly conceding the unavoidable fact, they are still trying to spin it negatively. They couldn't do it without mentioning Coronavirus, of course. And to CNN it is all about the Palestinians being ignored for Israel's benefit. Plus, the major Lefty talking point of the day: This is no big deal - UAE and Bahrain have been dealing peacefully with Israel for years. This will be the pitch on this by all the Trump-deranged slime. But I think that Joe Six Pack is going to get the true significance of this anyway.

And somewhere in Sweden, Greta Thunberg is dusting off a shelf for her Nobel Peace Prize...

OldManRick said...

One shouldn't wallow in the craziness that is the comments sections of the Washington Post and the New York Times. There is madness and there is Trump Derangement Syndrome. Sometimes they are indistinguishable.

eric said...

I now know why so many Never Trump are Never Trump.

They've based their entire careers off of war in the middle east and Trump is not only pursuing peace, he's getting it.

These people are losing their entire careers. The entire purpose of their being is becoming null and void. It's driven them insane and it's leaving them penniless.

So now they're new grift is using leftists for their money by criticizing Trump.

madAsHell said...

Palestinians are like racism.

Nobody has ever seen one, but everybody seems to know about it.

dubbyhesspdx said...

Earlier Presidents focused their respective Middle East policies around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and focused on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, an impossibility because the Palestinian's are not interested in a peace deal with Israel.

President Trump, however, is brokering economic deals with Arab and Muslim nations, and in doing so, isolating the Palestinians (and Iran and Syria and Hezbollah) from their respective Arab and Muslim supporters. Didn't the Arab league tell the Palestinians to pound sand when the Palestinians objected to these deals.

The Left (a term I do not care to use anymore than I like to say the Right), however, has put the Palestinians first. The Palestinian struggle is a central tenant to the Left. No justice for Palestinians, no peace in the Middle East. Anything else, including economic prosperity for the region, is a failure. Hence the Orange Man Bad comments in the NYT.

Big Mike said...

True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians

True peace can be had by the Palestinians any time they decide they want to stop trying to kill Israelis. They are wrapping their own chains around their necks.

Nonapod said...

True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians

I disagree.

tim maguire said...

Not a Peace Accord? Liberals are positively genius at thinking about something precisely as long as they need to to arrive at the answer they want, and not one moment more.

Jupiter said...

"True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians."

Also the Uighurs.

hombre said...

If they weren’t ignoramuses, they wouldn’t read WaPo.

By this reasoning there is no need to have treaties with countries with whom we are not at war and there is no difference between “formal” and not formal. Forget the geopolitical and factual ignorance and bias about Israel and Palestine this commenter is irredeemably illogical and ill-informed.

Sebastian said...

"True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians"

True peace requires Palestinians coming to their senses.

So, no true peace anytime soon.

wendybar said...

Peace in our times and he's bringing troops home, not starting any wars...you would think Liberals would LOVE him, but he's Orange Man Bad. No matter what he does.

Kevin said...

Somebody get a microphone in front of the Squad for their reaction!

Or does Nancy have them at an undisclosed location until Nov. 4th?

n.n said...

While the Palestinian leaders continue to brutalize the people for personal profit. They started with Jews, and failed. They progressed to Jordan, and failed. So, they have protested ever since and evolved a structure that deprives the people they represent on a forward-looking basis. Not quiet wicked in the modern liberal sense, but it suppresses, if not their life, their liberty, and opportunity. As for defense, more of the nations in the Middle East are standing against Iranian-sponsored terrorism after Trump ended Obama's Iraq War 2.0 or the Greater Middle East War that was not limited to forcing catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform ("refugees"). Ending the JCPOA was the end of Obama's license to the Iranian leaders to reconstitute their progress after Bush ended Iraq War 1.0 (from Bush to Clinton to Bush).

anti-de Sitter space said...

So now that DJT has crushed Iran and brought peace to the Middle East it’s no longer possible for Hey Zeus to return, according to the Bible.

Original Mike said...

"True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians"

Leftists believe all manner of fantastical things.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Excellent thread on this:
https://twitter.com/NoahPollak/status/1305921313567961088

exhelodrvr1 said...

You think Obama would trade his Peace Prize for a distraction like this, Nancy?

Michael K said...

The Arabs finally got tired of the Palestinians who run a racket based on getting paid by Europeans to pretend they are oppressed.

Dave Begley said...

My entire life in the Catholic Church and we've prayed for peace in the Middle East.

It is now here. What an accomplishment! If Trump doesn't get the Nobel Peace Prize, it is rigged.

Tom T. said...

The article in the print edition of today's Post takes the same tack as that comment. The peace deal is supposedly destabilizing because it will lead to a Middle East arms race. That sounds absurd to me, but they're scrambling for a way to oppose peace.

Francisco D said...

True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians, the chance to live their lives out from under the boot-heel of Israeli occupation.

Typical psuedo anti-colonist bullshit.

Which Clinton advisor said that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity?

I am guessing it was Dennis Ross.

JB71-AZ said...

Palestinians have dug their own grave. Arafat handed them the shovel, and they've not dropped it since.

Rosalyn C. said...

Palestinian leaders decided they had to destroy Israel and have refused every peace offer. There was a stalemate.
Obama didn’t think anything could be done unless Israel surrendered their security. That and remove Bibi.

Trump has more imagination and creativity.

YoungHegelian said...

Typical Trumpian PR stunt. How can you negotiate a "peace deal" between countries not at war and that have been cooperating with each other for years?

What short-sighted imbecility!

This summit is the public announcement of an encircling alliance of Sunni Arab States, Israel & the United States against Iran and its allies, such as Syria & Hezbollah. The reason the treaty is signed in Washington is so that Iran realizes that the USA stands strategically behind the alliance.

This has nothing to do with the Palestinians, except insofar as Hamas is a client of Iran. This is a warning to Iran that its neighbors, including the nuclear armed Israel with the support of the US, have no intention of letting it go nuclear.

Mark said...

“War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

J. Farmer said...

Framing these deals as "peace agreements" is pure propaganda. The countries were not at war and have been cooperating for a number of years. That the Gulf Arab states use the Palestinian issue cynically has been an open secret for years.

To claim this is about "peace" is totally disingenuous. This was a pure balance of power move. The UAE will get access to military equipment, will have a partner in countering Iran and Turkey, and sees Israel as a conduit to influence the US. Netanyahu has made pursuing normalization with Sunni Arab leaders a major priority over the last several years. He's primarily interested in countering Iran and making sure the two-state solution stays dead.

The curious case will be Saudi Arabia. They have long cooperated with the Israelis but keep it secret out of fears that it would damage their legitimacy.

todd galle said...

This is a big "F'ing" deal. No joke. The Saudis would have to have been involved in the background. Trump is basically isolating Iran and Turkey. Some of the best statesmanship since Nixon, really, far superior to Obama. I hope and pray that Israel and the Saudi's will make an agreement within the year. That would be a Grand Slam for whoever is in the Oval Office, and I care not what party or person who follows through. I think once the Saudi's come on board, the Pali's are hosed - not that they aren't already. Their list of allies grows thin....

stevew said...

True peace requires freedom from the Palestinians. Over my entire adult life the various US governments have attempted to accommodate the Palestinians so as to bring about peace. The Palestinians have refused or rebuffed every offer. The only sensible thing at this point is to ignore them and their demands.

The signing of this arrangement makes public and commits to a physical agreement peace and cooperation between the signatories. They may have been quietly cooperating economically but in public they were enemies. As Slow Joe might say, "that's a big fucking deal".

Precipitating actions:
- Withdrawing from the Obama Iran nuclear deal
- Killing Soleimani
- other recent actions in the Middle East (see: Serbia, Turkey, Iraq, etc.)

Those were deliberate actions of foreign policy taken by President Trump and his administration. If you didn't hate him so much you would know this already.

Paul said...

These so-called 'Palestinians' are nothing but Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians, etc.. that were caught up on the land the Israelis took during the wars from the attacking countries. Those countries ABANDONED THEIR PEOPLE. There was no Palestine as one country before the Israelis got there (and the Israelites have been in the region for over 5000 years.)

If the 'Palestinians' want peace, stop making war. And start building. Building things is a lot harder than destroying them.

pacwest said...

True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians

If that is true then true peace requires the death of Israel. The Palestinians will accept nothing less. And they aren't going to change their view on that. There is no point in working with them. Ever.

Narayanan said...

Ice Nine said...
It's fun to watch CNN's coverage of this historic peace deal that Trump engineered. They have very little room to dance around the fact that this is monumental in so far as it is clear that, because of Trump, peace is coming to the Middle East.
------------=============
It will be interesting to see how differently CNN covers in USA and UAE and Bahrain.

tim in vermont said...

"They've based their entire careers off of war in the middle east and Trump is not only pursuing peace, he's getting it.”

Five years ago I would have said that this comment had veered into tin foil hat territory, but it seems like you are right.

robother said...

Ah, "no true scotsman." This commenter has drawn a line that will hold true, even if every Arab country signs on. The Arafat Line: no true peace until the last Jewish Israeli is driven into the sea.

Gk1 said...

Ben Rhodes hardest hit.

Birkel said...

Until everybody gives the Iranian front groups what they want...

Blah, blah, fucking blah!
Iran wants Death for America.
I want the people who want Iran to get what it wants to go there for a better life.

Kevin said...

Trump calls the flowering of his Middle East peace plan.

All the Democrats can think about is how to deflower it.

Roy Lofquist said...

When are you Trumpeters going to acknowledge that it's luck, just plain luck.

Lars Porsena said...

There will be peace in the Middle East when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate Jews. Golds Meir.

MadisonMan said...

It seems to me that many Palestinians are living under the boot heel of Palestinian leaders.

danoso said...

So what phase are we when Obama gets credit for this? Bargaining?

daskol said...

It's unsurprising that this peace deal would be unpopular with progressives and Democrats. Firstly, they had nothing to do with it. Perhaps more importantly, it further legitimizes Israel as a Jewish state, which is directly counter the Mid-East that Dems are trying to build. This is a setback for them both in terms of domestic electoral politics, and for their geopolitical vision. Two warring factions would seldom applaud the same peace pact.

Charlie Currie said...

"True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians."

The Palestinians have had multiple opportunities for peace and have violently rejected them.

What are Palestinian "supporters" ( actually, they're just anti Israel) going to do when all of the Palestinian benefactors are at peace with Israel? And, Palestinians are cut off.

Oh, yeah, I forgot about anti Israel Europe. They will continue to be at war with Israel, using the Palestinians as their grievance front.

Lem said...

It's better for Trump to get maligned for everything. That way when he makes a mistake people are tuned out, because they have become used to negative press no matter what he does.

Gunner said...

Sounds like the WaPo fools aren't as confident that Basement Biden will win as they project. Otherwise, why would they care about Trump possibly benefiting from this?

Qwinn said...

The Left simply doesn't want peace in the ME if that includes the continued existence of Israel. This is obvious by their insistence that peace can only be brought about by "justice for Palestinians". When, even for a single moment in the last 60 years, have Palestinians NOT included the complete destruction of Israel in their definition of "justice"?

tommyesq said...

People always mistake "peace" with "what they want." Peace does not equal self-rule, particular territory, etc. - it can come, for example, through capitulation or through mutual sacrifice. Palestine has thus far resisted either of those paths. They must determine whether they do so to their detriment.

tommyesq said...

Plus, while this did not result in a net benefit to Palestinians, they are no worse off than last week. Peace is not a zero-sum game.

Rusty said...

True peace despite the Palestinians. maybe down the road they'll want to get on board.

Readering said...

Potemkin Peace Agreement.

Wince said...

How can you negotiate a "peace deal" between countries not at war and that have been cooperating with each other for years?

War is a prerequisite for an armistice or surrender, not a "peace deal."

Gahrie said...

According to "LLR's" everywhere, this event is not even taking place

I've been told that they're merely trade agreements, or that the countries were working together behind the scenes already anyway.

Readering said...

hurrah, the threat of war between Israel and Bahrain or UAE has been averted.

Gahrie said...

True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians

I used to be very pro-Palestinian. I've visited the PLO consulate in London, and represented the PLO in a Model United Nations. Up until the Intifada. That's when it became clear that the Palestinian leadership had no interest in a peaceful solution. If instead of killing Israelis the Palestinians had sat down in the streets and started singing We Shall Overcome, Palestine would exist today.

The Drill SGT said...

Abba Eban, 1973:

"Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

This is going to make rejoining the JCPOA awkward.

gerry said...

Interestingly, Yasir Arafat's widow is still in the Middle East mix. I thought she was living in Paris.

Heatshield said...

Palestinians will have peace when they decide they love their own children more than they hate Jews.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

eric said...
I now know why so many Never Trump are Never Trump.

They've based their entire careers off of war in the middle east and Trump is not only pursuing peace, he's getting it."

That certainly explains Bill Kristol and Max Boot. "Civility" and "but conservative principles!" my ass.

And someone tell Tom Nichols that it looks like his "expertise" doesn't amount to a hill of falafel.

Josephbleau said...

The Palestinians are such assholes the Arabs don’t even want them around.

Splanky said...

Dennis Ross could not be reached for comment.

Readering said...

WaPo calls them neighbors, but driving Jerusalem to Dubai is equivalent to driving Paris to Istanbul or Los Angeles to New Orleans.

mikee said...

All the Palestinians need do to achieve lasting peace with the Israelis is to stop trying to kill Israelis, followed by going about life without genocide of Israelis as a life goal.

RichardJohnson said...

madAsHell
Palestinians are like racism.Nobody has ever seen one, but everybody seems to know about it.

Back in the day, I knew a Palestinian Christian and his brother's family, when Jordan still ran the West Bank. The patriarch of the family advised his children to get out of the West Bank. Most of his children followed his advice. The patriarch, based on his experience working as a civil servant under the Jordanian administration of the West Bank, told his children that Muslims would always be promoted over Christians. Some years later I also met the patriarch when he visited the US.

cubanbob said...

The wealthier Arab countries are telling the Palestinians that they are tired of them and are tired of them being tools of the Iranians. The official recognition is exactly that. Considering these countries were officially at war with Israel for decades a peace treaty is just that, a peace treaty. Israel doesn't have to make peace with every Arab country or Muslim country. They only need to do so with the ones that have money and markets. As for the Palestinians it's them who need to come to the table. They don't have the ability to defeat Israel. The loser doesn't make the rules and the terms. As for the WaPo commenter, what would anyone expect from those loons?

Gordon Scott said...

Remember when Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem, and everyone said this would end any chance of peace, and likely would lead to war?

Yeah, they don't want you to remember, do they?

Ben said...

True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians

No, freedom for the Palestinians will come after there is peace. And to get peace the Palestinians need to have their enablers undercut. Enter Trump. What an amazing president!

Njall said...

They’ve awarded Nobel Peace Prizes for less....

chuck said...

has put the Palestinians first

Whatever happened to Free Tibet? That was quite the thing 25 years ago.

Drago said...

Gordon Scott: "Yeah, they don't want you to remember, do they?"

No, the Althouse lefties really don't want anyone to remember what they said then.

Here's a sample of what some of these idiots wrote at the time of the move:

readering: "Embassy hasn't really been moved. More like an existing building upgraded in name as an annex to the Embassy in Tel Aviv."
5/14/18, 9:50 AM

The Gipper Lives said...

This all began early on when the President met with Arab leaders and told them point blank that terrorists had to be crushed. Then he moved the Embassy to Jerusalem–and the entire Swamp screamed that he was starting World War Three.

Not only were they wrong, they were exactly 180 degrees wrong. Moving the Embassy was THE VERY THING WHICH MADE THIS PEACE ACCORD POSSIBLE. Such is the Power of a True Thing.

Contrast this magnificent achievement with the purposeful failure Obama/Biden record:

Candidate Obama goes to the Western Wall, dons a yarmulke and places prayer slips in the Wall. After winning office, he writes mash notes to the Mullahs, selling out the Iranian people. Once safely re-elected, he tries to use ISIL to build a Muslim Brotherhood Caliphate. He gives the Ayatollah billions in Jizya, uranium and Russian anti-aircraft systems. And on the way out the door, allowed the UN to declare the Western Wall property of the Palestinians. The very Wall where candidate Obama once placed his prayers.

I only mention it on this joyous day because these are the two visions on the ballot this election. To paraphrase Churchill, we can see the life of the world move forward into broad, sunlit uplands or sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister by the lights of perverted Bidens.

A Time For Choosing, indeed.

Shalom, Salaam, Peace...Amen and Amen!

Christy said...

Do you all figure our missing trolls have been redeployed to the NYT and the WaPo to drive up the ratings of Swampy comments?

anti-de Sitter space said...

Is this the thread where Althouse jabbers about propaganda, or is this the one where she engages in it by not allowing my earlier comment?

She’s funny.

IMHO.

J. Farmer said...

Wow. Browsing through the comments, I'm immediately reminded of the old Twain quote: "What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so." I see people repeating all the usual cliches. Rattling off declarative statements on a complicated history they are minimally informed of. For a certain subset of the Republican base, it is pointless trying to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict because for them it is not a matter of understanding an historical event but adhering to a manufactured narrative that's been pumped out for decades. So while I'll happily ignore that subject, I will correct one whopper:

@Wince:

War is a prerequisite for an armistice or surrender, not a "peace deal."

A peace agreement by its definition is an agreement to formally end a state of war. An armistice is merely a cessation of hostilities. Calling this a "peace agreement" is merely a branding exercise and PR move.

JaimeRoberto said...

Maybe calling it a peace deal is overstating things. There's still a long way to go before there is peace. But getting Arab countries to legally recognize Israel is a big step and should not be downplayed. Isolating the Palestinians from potential supporters is a good way to bring them to the bargaining table.

Drago said...

Readering: "hurrah, the threat of war between Israel and Bahrain or UAE has been averted."

The very small 2 dimensional minds, like readering, are desperately grasping at the lefty fake narratives all the while, before our very eyes, Trump has crafted a pan-Arab bludgeon with which to crush the iranian mad mullahs (and by extension, the democraticals/ChiComs/russkies/assad) Persian empire dreams.

readering cannot admit this of course, because to do so would lead to other uncomfortable questions about all the moronic "elitist"/"expert" hoax "received wisdom" that he/she/xe has been laboring under for decades.

So the choice is to do 2 things, either pretend its not happening (that won't work anymore) and failing that minimize it to nothingness.

The Davos set even now is trying to figure out how to scuttle this growing alliance and reestablish the Iranian mullahs on a glidepath to total Persian Gulf domination with the EU/Clintonite/Soros/russkis/ChiComs all feeding at the payoff trough.

At this point it might be too late for that.

But I do expect these globalist connected sellouts to keep trying. There is simply too much money at stake for them to give up.

No different than the Merkel sellout to the russkis on Nord Stream with former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder leading the way as the Chairman of the Shareholders Committee that is handing German energy control directly to Putin.

Drago said...

Remember, readering is also the idiot that told us our embassy really hadn't been moved to Jerusalem either.

readering is also the idiot who told us that Stalin ONLY invaded Poland from the east because Hitler invaded Poland from the west in 1939. And he/she/xe was not joking when he/she/xe wrote that.

readering is, like, "smart" that way.....

Drago said...

cubanbob: "The wealthier Arab countries are telling the Palestinians that they are tired of them and are tired of them being tools of the Iranians."

This is really the basis of why readering and the rest of the democraticals are so upset about this deal.

The democraticals and the EU "elites" want the iranian mad mullahs to get nukes, threaten Israel and dominate the entire Persian Gulf and now Trump has blown their anti-American plans in the middle east all to hell.

stevew said...

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Drago said...

Meanwhile, on this important day, Joe Biden, of the Harris-Biden ticket, had this to offer:


"Cause if you could take care, if you were a quartermaster, you can sure in hell take care runnin' a, you know, a department store uh, thing, you know, where, in the second floor of the ladies department or whatever, you know what I mean?"
--Joe Biden, (Dem-State of Dementia)

Narr said...

But is it good for the Neocons?

And who will speak for the sorry The Kurds?

Narr
Raise your hand if you remember the sorry The Kurds

bagoh20 said...

"To claim this is about "peace" is totally disingenuous. This was a pure balance of power move. The UAE will get access to military equipment, will have a partner in countering Iran and Turkey, and sees Israel as a conduit to influence the US. Netanyahu has made pursuing normalization with Sunni Arab leaders a major priority over the last several years. He's primarily interested in countering Iran and making sure the two-state solution stays dead."

So it is all about peace - peace through strength - strength in the right hands - the only way peace is ever achieved.

bagoh20 said...

The Palestinians will get peace when the world stops paying them to avoid it.

Michael K said...

Calling this a "peace agreement" is merely a branding exercise and PR move.

Farmer strikes again. If Austria-Hungary had accepted the Serbian peace offer, it would have been a "branding exercise."

Michael K said...

Back in the day, I knew a Palestinian Christian and his brother's family, when Jordan still ran the West Bank

I knew a Palestinian doctor 25 years ago and helped his son get into medical school. We were invited to a party the kids held to celebrate and it was interesting. All the girls were taking belly dancing lessons and gave a demonstration. That's how you knew they were not Muslim.

Michael K said...

Which Clinton advisor said that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity?

Dennis Ross when he wrote an op-ed explaining what the Palestinians rejected in 2000. He said there were investors lined up with billions to invest.

Unknown said...

Not a single entry in your go to place for information, memeorandeum.com.

Just absolutely amazing how our news media is now 100% democrat propaganda.

J. Farmer said...

@JaimeRoberto:

Maybe calling it a peace deal is overstating things. There's still a long way to go before there is peace. But getting Arab countries to legally recognize Israel is a big step and should not be downplayed. Isolating the Palestinians from potential supporters is a good way to bring them to the bargaining table.

Agree that normalization is preferable to diplomatic isolation, but your claim about the negotiating table makes no sense. What is there negotiate now that all of the most contentious issues have been removed from consideration. There will be no consideration of the status of East Jerusalem, no right of return, no consideration of the settlements, and with nearly a third of the West Bank ultimately annexed by Israel. The proposed Palestinian state is a Swiss cheese-like scattering of territory with tiny strands of territory connecting them. It's an absurdity that could never function as a viable state. And even that state would have its sovereignty severely limited and be under the domination of Israel.

As I said earlier, the two-state solution is widely considered dead. A potential threat that Israel faces is if the Palestinians decide to abandon it and pursue instead annexation of their territory by and citizenship in Israel. It will be a hard demand to deal with given that so much of Palestinian territory is full of Jewish towns and roads. Some Palestinian neighborhoods are completely surrounded by Jewish towns and would require bridges and tunnels to connect to other Palestinian neighborhoods. A one-state solution would demographically destroy Israel as a Jewish state.

Unknown said...

> True peace requires freedom for the Palestinians, the chance to live their lives out from under the boot-heel of Israeli occupation.

No True Scotsman... in reverse

> To claim this is about "peace" is totally disingenuous. This was a pure balance of power move.

Also known as Keeping the Peace

n.n said...

peace through strength

"speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far"
- Teddy

Reconciliation through self-defense. #BabyLivesMatter

Drago said...

I haven't seen the democraticals this upset since Soleimani was killed.

The demcraticals really get their panties in a wad when anyone pushes back on their beloved Iranian Heroes.

n.n said...

Whatever happened to Free Tibet?

The Mother of Green New Deal: shared, shifted, obfuscated.

readering said...

Drago, from the Wikipedia entry on the US Embassy in Israel:

"The United States Embassy is currently located in the Arnona consular section of the current U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. The space houses the Ambassador and a small 50-member staff. The Ambassador will split his time between the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Embassy Branch Office, where many diplomatic functions would still be conducted."

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

The democraticals and the EU "elites" want the iranian mad mullahs to get nukes, threaten Israel and dominate the entire Persian Gulf and now Trump has blown their anti-American plans in the middle east all to hell.

Oh brother. Even if your fever dream were true, such an arrangement would not redound to the EU's benefit. But even if it did, such a desire is pure fantasy. A nuclear-armed Iran would not "dominate the entire Persian Gulf" anymore than a nuclear-armed North Korea dominates the Peninsula and Japan.

Joe Smith said...

If the media doesn't cover it, did it really happen?

madAsHell said...

The patriarch, based on his experience working as a civil servant under the Jordanian administration of the West Bank, told his children that Muslims would always be promoted over Christians.

Are you agreeing or refuting? Sorry, I'm just not sure.

In 1979, I was finishing engineering school with several Arab Christians. They made sure you saw the gold cross around their necks, or the coptic cross tattooed on their forearm. The Muslims were keeping a low profile in 1979.

I never met any Palestinians.

gbarto said...

J Farmer: Balancing power is how you achieve and maintain peace. A peace agreement that is about anything other than balancing power is wasted paper. These agreements are not, it is true, bringing peace. But they are creating a framework where the relative peace that now exists is more likely to hold.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Calling this a "peace agreement" is merely a branding exercise and PR move.

Sure. But demonstrating to the very ill-served Palestinian people that they have much more to gain should their leaders ever sincerely pursue co-existence with Israel, that has tremendous value.

Lucien said...

This is just like “Wag the Dog”, except instead of using a fake war to distract from a scandal Trump is using real peace to distract from . . .

Drago said...

Meanwhile:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a government video conference on Monday that oil revenues have declined from $120 billion in 2011 to “just over $20 billion” last year, in large part due to pressure from renewed U.S. sanctions.

Democrats and LLR's hardest hit.

Michael K said...

Even Bret Stephens says this is a big deal. That must have hurt.

Now this alliance may finally be coming into being. Unlike Israel’s peace with Egypt and Jordan — both based on strategic necessity and geographic proximity — the peace with the Emirates and Bahrain has no obvious rationale, even if a shared fear of Iran played a role.

The larger factor is shared aspiration. Israel is the most advanced country in the region because for seven decades it invested in human, not mineral, potential, and because it didn’t let its wounds (whether with respect to Germany in the 1950s or Egypt in the 1970s) get the better of its judgment.

The choice for the Arab world is stark. It can follow a similar path as Israel; be swallowed by Iran, China, Russia, Turkey or some other outsider; or otherwise continue as before until, Libya-like, it implodes.


The choice seems clear.

Drago said...

readering, "The United States Embassy is currently located in the Arnona consular section of the current U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem."

Well, at least you are no longer lying about the location of the US embassy. Still, I don't recall you ever taking back your previous lies about that.

I suppose that is a bridge too far for you.

Thanks for playing.

Good luck on your next narrative hoax.

Phil 314 said...

It would have been MUCH better to negotiate an agreement with a nuclear power that vows to destroy Israel and routinely supports terrorism in the region.

And all that for one small pallet of cash money!!

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Farmer strikes again. If Austria-Hungary had accepted the Serbian peace offer, it would have been a "branding exercise."

That's a very convoluted analogy. For one, it up to the Serbians to accept Austria-Hungary's "ultimatum," which has a tad different ring to it than "peace offer." Also, the two were involved in a major international crisis. No such crisis exists between Israel and the Gulf Arab states.

Can anyone think of another peace agreement in history that didn't have a preceding war?

@gbarto:

But they are creating a framework where the relative peace that now exists is more likely to hold.

Yes, I agree that normalization is much better than diplomatic isolation. The recognition is certainly a positive development, but I think its significance, especially to Americans, is massively over-hyped. It essentially makes official what had been a preexisting state of affairs.

@Pookie Number 2:

But demonstrating to the very ill-served Palestinian people that they have much more to gain should their leaders ever sincerely pursue co-existence with Israel, that has tremendous value.

I reject the claim that a lack of desire to "sincerely pursue co-existence with Israel" has been the primary impediment to the resolution of the issue. It is quite clear that Israel's goal for a while has been to carve up the pieces of the West Bank it wanted for itself and tell the Palestinians they can have whatever's left and call it a state. Not to mention the long-standing problems with East Jerusalem and right of return.

Did you read the Trump Peace Plan? No people would accept a "state" under such conditions.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael:

the peace with the Emirates and Bahrain has no obvious rationale, even if a shared fear of Iran played a role.

Stephens apparently does not even consider the role of the Turkey/Qatar split in this decision. There is also the potential for both countries to gain more advanced military weaponry, and Israel offers a means by which the UAE and Bahrain can exert influence on the US.

The choice for the Arab world is stark. It can follow a similar path as Israel; be swallowed by Iran, China, Russia, Turkey or some other outsider; or otherwise continue as before until, Libya-like, it implodes.

(1) Stephen neglects to mention the high mean IQ's of Ashkenazi Jews, and the fact that they are a European people in Israel. Arabs cannot "follow a similar path as Israel" even if they wanted to.
(2) What does "swallowed by" even mean, what it would actually look like in the real world, and how would it be accomplished?
(3) Libya didn't implode. Its government leadership was bombed out of existence. I'm surprised Stephens left that out given his support for bombing Gadhafi.

Yancey Ward said...

The only way you solve the Palestinian problem is to isolate them enough that they, the Palestinians, feel forced to come to the table and actually try to negotiate a settlement, too. These bilateral agreements are how you go about doing this. I think the Sunni Arabs have basically washed their hands of the Palestinians, and this is an important message to them.

Michael K said...

readering and Farmer are still slogging away. Minimizing things that are important is a thankless task.

RichardJohnson said...

RichardJohnson:The patriarch, based on his experience working as a civil servant under the Jordanian administration of the West Bank, told his children that Muslims would always be promoted over Christians.

madAsHell in reply: Are you agreeing or refuting? Sorry, I'm just not sure.

The patriarch knew the West Bank much better than I ever will, so I have no reason to refute him. BTW, one of the patriarch's grandsons, who left a STEM grad-level position in the US to return to the West Bank, has a cousin on the other side of the family who has written of Muslims hassling Christians in the West Bank. Which gives me further reason to agree with the patriarch.

Big Mike said...

Here's a thought experiment. Suppose instead of brokering a peace agreement between Israel and the Arab Emirates Trump had instead discovered a cure for breast cancer. I find it easy to picture CNN telling its viewers that there are lots of cancers Trump has note found a cure for, and he only did it because he likes to grope buxom women, and besides, consider all the oncologists who are now out of business.

Plus J. Farmer would caution us all that Trump's discovery does nothing for people who haven't come down with breast cancer so we are dooooomed. Or some other non sequitur.

Drago said...

Farmer: "I reject the claim that a lack of desire to "sincerely pursue co-existence with Israel" has been the primary impediment to the resolution of the issue."

Without the requisite number of "harrumphs" your rejection of this claim is rendered utterly moot.

Of course, even with the requisite number of "harrumphs" your rejection of this claim is also rendered utterly moot.

Upon reflection, mootness appears to be the predominate theme.

readering said...

Big Mike, the analogy would be Trump coming up with a cure for bone spurs, which he apparently did, since his magically went away.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

readering and Farmer are still slogging away. Minimizing things that are important is a thankless task.

If it were that important, it wouldn't need all the ridiculous hype. The absurd notion of calling it a "peace agreement" is precisely to overstate its importance.

@Big Mike:


Plus J. Farmer would caution us all that Trump's discovery does nothing for people who haven't come down with breast cancer so we are dooooomed. Or some other non sequitur.


Wow, Mike, you really missed the point by a mile there. Saying that a "peace agreement" is not in fact a "peace agreement" is not a non sequitur. This isn't even primarily about the Palestinian issue. In fact, one of the reasons UAE and Bahrain are able to do this is because the Palestinian issue has lost such a great deal of relevance in the Arab world.

Michael K said...

Stephen neglects to mention the high mean IQ's of Ashkenazi Jews, and the fact that they are a European people in Israel. Arabs cannot "follow a similar path as Israel" even if they wanted to.

What percentage of Israelis are Ashkenazi ? Not my dental hygienist who grew up there after being rescued by Israelis from Ethiopia. She has 12 siblings, about half still in Israel and she is married to a white man in California. They visit Israel every year. The Sephardic Jews in migration has changed the demographics tremendously since 1967.

J. Farmer said...

One more idea to consider...

Why, exactly, are we so wedded to the Gulf Arabs' posture in the region?

Their two most significant actions in the past decade were to support Sunni jihadists in Syria, which became ISIS, and to launch the war on Yemen to return Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to power. He's been sitting in Riyadh on house arrest. The UAE ultimately abandoned the intervention earlier this year. But now the Gulf Arabs are going to lead the region to peace and stability? Oooookay.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Calling this a "peace agreement" is merely a branding exercise and PR move."
******************

Tell us why the UAE and Bahrein agreed to come to the White House with Netanyahu and help Trump with his "branding exercise and PR move."

Your TDS is running awfully hot.

Narayanan said...

Dave Begley said...
My entire life in the Catholic Church and we've prayed for peace in the Middle East.

It is now here. What an accomplishment! If Trump doesn't get the Nobel Peace Prize, it is rigged.
----------------==================
I was expecting the punch : If Trump doesn't get the Pope Hat Prize, it is rigged.

Narayanan said...

J. Farmer said...

(1) Stephen neglects to mention the high mean IQ's of Ashkenazi Jews, and the fact that they are a European people in Israel. Arabs cannot "follow a similar path as Israel" even if they wanted to.
-----------===============
I am confused by this talk of IQ : what about IQ of Sephardim?
Don't Jews share genes with Arabs as Semitic people? Ashkenazi are not Semitic?

Pookie Number 2 said...

I reject the claim that a lack of desire to "sincerely pursue co-existence with Israel" has been the primary impediment to the resolution of the issue. It is quite clear that Israel's goal for a while has been to carve up the pieces of the West Bank it wanted for itself and tell the Palestinians they can have whatever's left and call it a state. Not to mention the long-standing problems with East Jerusalem and right of return.

Did you read the Trump Peace Plan? No people would accept a "state" under such conditions.


I respectfully reject your rejection. It is actually quite clear that Israel’s goal has been peace; there was enormous political support for the Oslo accords, and it was only after Arafat and Abbas repeatedly demonstrated that they were not serious (about peace, that is) that Israel collectively shrugged its shoulders. If and when there’s a credible desire for peace on the part of the Palestinian leadership (I don’t think the population is as self-destructive), all of the major issues - including contiguity - can be resolved. But without any reason to doubt the ultimate goal of a Palestine “from the river to the sea”, there’s no longer any reason for Israel to pretend to itself that concessions make any difference.

Rusty said...

"As I said earlier, the two-state solution is widely considered dead. "
Palestinians have a state. It's called the Gaza Strip. It's a shithole.
Do you know what the Ten Commandments were?
It was a 'How To' manual for a bunch of argumentative fractious yids so they could get along in polite society. The Palestinians would do well to follow them.
Makes you wonder though. The old testament may be wrong. The Jews didn't escape Egypt. They were escorted out.

RMc said...

Well, I can now add "J Farmer" to my list of commenters to skip over while reading this blog. "If Orange Man does something good, it doesn't really count, or it was secretly bad all along!" What a douche.

Birkel said...

Smug typed words.
All other opinions are wrong.

Readering hates.
You can be hated less by agreeing.

If it were no big deal, everybody would be doing it.
Who else has done it?

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

What percentage of Israelis are Ashkenazi?

Exact numbers aren't clear but it's probably somewhere in the 40% range. The Ashkenazi population also plays a huge role in Israeli culture.

@Narayanan:

I am confused by this talk of IQ : what about IQ of Sephardim?
Don't Jews share genes with Arabs as Semitic people? Ashkenazi are not Semitic?


Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Jewish settlers in the Rhine Valley during the middle ages. It may have been just a few hundred people originally. They are the speakers of Yiddish. The thesis is that because of their peculiar history in Europe, practicing endogamy, lack of male converts due to circumcision requirement, etc. selective pressures led to higher median IQ scores. Ashkenazi Jews also frequently suffer from genetic disorders.

Russell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Readering said...

Why did UAE come to WH? F-35.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

I respectfully reject your rejection. It is actually quite clear that Israel’s goal has been peace; there was enormous political support for the Oslo accords, and it was only after Arafat and Abbas repeatedly demonstrated that they were not serious (about peace, that is) that Israel collectively shrugged its shoulders.

It's curious to start the clock at Oslo, 25+ years into the occupation. Israel already had it's "red lines" by then, and they were carefully attended to. I'll give you Arafat's corruption and cynicism, but perhaps Shlomo Ben=Ami could have made some progress at Tabba, but by that point the the Sharon government was coming in.

However, you can't ignore the basic dynamics of occupation and the role they've played in the conflict. By being an occupying power, Israel exercised a great deal of authority over Palestinians, who had no real means of participating in the Israeli political process. It's not unsurprising that a people would resist such a condition. But of course there has been a half-century effort to deny that the territories are occupied in the first place.

doctrev said...

J. Farmer said...

Saying that a "peace agreement" is not in fact a "peace agreement" is not a non sequitur. This isn't even primarily about the Palestinian issue.

9/15/20, 9:31 PM

A potential threat that Israel faces is if the Palestinians decide to abandon it and pursue instead annexation of their territory by and citizenship in Israel. It will be a hard demand to deal with given that so much of Palestinian territory is full of Jewish towns and roads. Some Palestinian neighborhoods are completely surrounded by Jewish towns and would require bridges and tunnels to connect to other Palestinian neighborhoods. A one-state solution would demographically destroy Israel as a Jewish state.

9/15/20, 6:48 PM

You may have some success in exploiting American gullibility about ceasefires versus peace agreements, but I'm just incredibly amused watching your contortions. I'm surprised no one else has brought up the difference between a hudna, such as the ten-year "ceasefire" Hamas proposed in 2004, and a long-term peace agreement. But then, we both know that American commentators have a short memory about concepts they don't encounter constantly.

As for the idea that the Palestinians are going to demand a complete right of return and a one-state solution, you must be smoking some serious rock. As Arab states sign peace agreements with Israel, regional backing for maximalist Palestinian goals will plummet, not soar. The United Nations might get involved- but even if the American veto could be magically neutralized, what of it? Israel and KSA aren't going to roll over just because Europe and China are trying to promote Iranian interests.

Bahrain and the UAE can't by themselves carry a diplomatic coalition or alliance. But we both know that's not going to be the end. Donald Trump plays it up as a major deal to motivate other states to sign on to the Abrahamic Accords. Once Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Oman, and KSA all formalize their agreements with Israel, we both know that's going to be a major bloc against Iranian expansion. The mullahs are being badly outplayed- and by Jared Kushner, of all people.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

Palestinians have a state. It's called the Gaza Strip. It's a shithole.

Gaza is no longer occupied, but it is not a state. Israel continues to exercise a great deal of power over it. I've never denied that an Arab state would be less advanced than Israel.

It was a 'How To' manual for a bunch of argumentative fractious yids so they could get along in polite society.

The Hebrews predated a list of commandments by a long time. Not sure I'd call 6th century BC Judah a "polite society."

MadisonMan said...

Big Mike, the analogy would be Trump coming up with a cure for bone spurs, which he apparently did, since his magically went away
No doubt Biden's asthma is making it hard for him to applaud Trump's role in this historic agreement.

J. Farmer said...

@wholelottasplainin':

Tell us why the UAE and Bahrein agreed to come to the White House with Netanyahu and help Trump with his "branding exercise and PR move."

The Israelis and Gulf Arabs support the "branding exercise and PR move." This has little to nothing to do with the Palestinian issue and is more about balancing the power of other regional interests. Israel and the Gulf Arabs have an incentive to help Trump domestically. They oppose diplomacy with Iran and prefer Trump's more hawkish efforts at sanctions and containment.

Your TDS is running awfully hot.

That's odd. My criticism isn't even that severe. Merely pointing out the significance of this arrangement is being overhyped, primarily for domestic political reasons. That's not that unusual and is to be expected during an election season. As I said, normalization is a good thing. But declarations of "peace in the middle east" are closer to "deranged" than anything I've said.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

You may have some success in exploiting American gullibility about ceasefires versus peace agreements, but I'm just incredibly amused watching your contortions.

You might not want to accuse someone of "contortions" in the same sentence you demonstrate your misunderstanding of the argument. I said nothing about "ceasefires versus peace agreements." The countries are normalizing diplomatic relations. There was no state of war between Israel and the UAE or Bahrain. Thus, "peace agreement" is merely a propagandistic term. If you doubt that, try to think of a single "peace agreement" that was not preceded by a war.

As for the idea that the Palestinians are going to demand a complete right of return and a one-state solution, you must be smoking some serious rock. As Arab states sign peace agreements with Israel, regional backing for maximalist Palestinian goals will plummet, not soar.

Again, that isn't the idea. It wouldn't be a "maximalist" goal but an abandonment of statehood all together and pursuit for the remaining West Bank territory to be annexed by Israel as well.

Once Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Oman, and KSA all formalize their agreements with Israel, we both know that's going to be a major bloc against Iranian expansion. The mullahs are being badly outplayed- and by Jared Kushner, of all people.

Jordan and Egypt already have normal diplomatic relations wit Israel. Those countries already cooperate on regional security concerns, most notably through the GCC. The major power centers in the region are Turkey, Egypt, and the Gulf Arab monarchies. It is these competing interests that keep the balance of power in the region. Formal recognition of Israel by Saudi Arabia will be a tricky affair. It would deliver a blow to the Saud's legitimacy as the custodians of the two mosques.

Pookie Number 2 said...

It's curious to start the clock at Oslo, 25+ years into the occupation. Israel already had it's "red lines" by then, and they were carefully attended to. I'll give you Arafat's corruption and cynicism, but perhaps Shlomo Ben=Ami could have made some progress at Tabba, but by that point the the Sharon government was coming in.

However, you can't ignore the basic dynamics of occupation and the role they've played in the conflict. By being an occupying power, Israel exercised a great deal of authority over Palestinians, who had no real means of participating in the Israeli political process. It's not unsurprising that a people would resist such a condition. But of course there has been a half-century effort to deny that the territories are occupied in the first place.


I’m not “starting” with Oslo, I’m pointing out that at that time, there was a very popular and good-faith effort on the part of Israel to offer the Palestinians a path to autonomy and dignity. The Palestinian leadership unambiguously and stupidly rejected that opportunity. The fact that they wanted to sulk over past Israeli actions (themselves in large part a consequence of violent Palestinian intransigence) rather than pursue peace is precisely why there’s still a problem.

J. Farmer said...

@RMc:

Well, I can now add "J Farmer" to my list of commenters to skip over while reading this blog. "If Orange Man does something good, it doesn't really count, or it was secretly bad all along!" What a douche.

Sweet of you to say, thanks. Some free advice: if you want to insult people over making an argument, you might want to try actually understanding the argument. My criticism has nothing to do with "Orange Man bad." My criticism doesn't have much of anything to do with Trump.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

Smug typed words.
All other opinions are wrong.


Birkel is really bothered that I say things I actually believe and can defend. And he can't stand that I can explain why I disagree with what others say. I should be more productive and write words that just call people names. Maybe something along the lines of: Birkel whines because someone disagrees with him.

Martin said...

Althouse, you buried the lede.

No surprise that the highest rated comment at WaPo is anti-Trump, which is to be expected. But it is also virulently anti-Israel and hard not to take as anti-Semitic. Hard to believe there weren't other anti-Trump comments that avoided the anti-Semitism, that could have been voted up... but this is the favorite.

THAT should be the lede.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

I’m not “starting” with Oslo, I’m pointing out that at that time, there was a very popular and good-faith effort on the part of Israel to offer the Palestinians a path to autonomy and dignity. The Palestinian leadership unambiguously and stupidly rejected that opportunit

With all due respect, I think that's a vast oversimplification of the issue. There were a number of issues that were not clearly any one side's "fault" but a consequence of a lot of the ambiguity of the language, leaving both sides with differing expectations. Settlement expansion being a major one, but also the result of the complicated West Bank zones. Israel continued to push the line of "undivided Jerusalem" even while saying it would be left to final status negotiations. The PLO was incompetent and economically ruinous and even unwilling and in some cases unable to disarm militants. What was intended to be a roadmap to a series of incremental, confidence-building arrangements turned into an endless series of claims and counter-claims on both sides about how they interpreted the framework.

Finally, even conceding the "very popular and good-faith effort on the part of Israel to offer the Palestinians a path to autonomy and dignity," it is still within the context of Israel as an occupying power. It's like if I were to squat on your property for 10 years and then say I was ready to make a good faith-effort to offer a path to autonomy and dignity for that property. It's a bit of a strange construction.

doctrev said...

J. Farmer said...

Again, that isn't the idea. It wouldn't be a "maximalist" goal but an abandonment of statehood all together and pursuit for the remaining West Bank territory to be annexed by Israel as well.

9/16/20, 9:43 AM

A state where unlimited right of return is guaranteed is the penultimate Palestinian maximalist demand, as you know. The idea that it could ever be recognized after giving up on Palestinian self-government is bizarre, but then gullible Western diplomats believe many stupid things.

The only thing less in danger of actually happening is KSA relaxing its grip on Mecca and Medina: UBL's quest to overthrow the Saudi monarchy was quixotic even two decades ago, and KSA certainly hasn't relaxed its internal security since. With Sunni states flocking to enter a coalition with Israel, the notion that any of them will recognize the only possible competitor- Iran- is quite silly.

Pookie Number 2 said...

With all due respect, I think that's a vast oversimplification of the issue. There were a number of issues that were not clearly any one side's "fault" but a consequence of a lot of the ambiguity of the language, leaving both sides with differing expectations. Settlement expansion being a major one, but also the result of the complicated West Bank zones. Israel continued to push the line of "undivided Jerusalem" even while saying it would be left to final status negotiations. The PLO was incompetent and economically ruinous and even unwilling and in some cases unable to disarm militants. What was intended to be a roadmap to a series of incremental, confidence-building arrangements turned into an endless series of claims and counter-claims on both sides about how they interpreted the framework.

This may be where we differ. I agree that there were a lot of items to be discussed, but the primary reason Oslo failed was because there was no sincere good will on the Palestinian side. There’s no shortage of videos of Arafat saying (in Arabic) that Oslo was a first step to eliminating Israel. That mattered infinitely more to Israelis than the items you listed, which could and would have been resolved if Israel had a willing partner.

Finally, even conceding the "very popular and good-faith effort on the part of Israel to offer the Palestinians a path to autonomy and dignity," it is still within the context of Israel as an occupying power. It's like if I were to squat on your property for 10 years and then say I was ready to make a good faith-effort to offer a path to autonomy and dignity for that property. It's a bit of a strange construction.

I’m not ignoring the context - I’m pointing out the obvious observation that it takes a willingness to look forward to establish peace. The lack of mature (perhaps “civilized” is more accurate) Palestinian leadership has always been the key obstacle to peace. Israel’s far from blameless (although they have many of the same situational excuses as do the Palestinians), but the “fault” in not being able to progress is overwhelmingly the Palestinians’. And it’s equally true today that if there was a decent Palestinian leadership, a strong majority of Israelis would sadly but realistically concede East Jerusalem, territorial contiguity, and compensation for refugees. Israel is ready to make sacrifices for peace, but not for self-destruction.

Birkel said...

We have an understanding.
I wouldn't waste my time because the power of Smug cannot be overcome.
Smug makes you invincible.

It also makes you an ass hole.

Why would I bother with you?
You do not make yourself worthy of my time.

wholelottasplainin' said...

J. Farmer said...
@wholelottasplainin':

Tell us why the UAE and Bahrein agreed to come to the White House with Netanyahu and help Trump with his "branding exercise and PR move."

The Israelis and Gulf Arabs support the "branding exercise and PR move." This has little to nothing to do with the Palestinian issue and is more about balancing the power of other regional interests. Israel and the Gulf Arabs have an incentive to help Trump domestically. They oppose diplomacy with Iran and prefer Trump's more hawkish efforts at sanctions and containment.
********************

IOW it's geopolitical ploy with huge ramifications, which you sneered at as mere "branding".

Got it.

Wanna tell us why Israel agreed to this "branding" knowing that part of it involves the UAE getting F-35's?

Is that a PR move too?

Snort

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

That mattered infinitely more to Israelis than the items you listed, which could and would have been resolved if Israel had a willing partner.

I agree with this. When I said, "unwilling and in some cases unable to disarm militants," I was being much too understated. Attacks originating from the West Bank strongly affected the perception of Oslo. As I said, I think Arafat was a cynic who most probably didn't really have much real convictions and could easily tell whatever group he was speaking to what they wanted to hear.

Of course, there was also suspicion, mistrust, and a fear of being set up on the other side as well. Ending up with half as much of the West Bank territory as expected, the expansion of settlements, not implementing the "safe passage" route from West Bank to Gaza, and using military roadblocks between Palestinian cities in the West Bank were all seen as signs that Israel was trying to prevent a viable Palestinian state (not saying I agree with that interpretation).

I’m not ignoring the context - I’m pointing out the obvious observation that it takes a willingness to look forward to establish peace. The lack of mature (perhaps “civilized” is more accurate) Palestinian leadership has always been the key obstacle to peace.

How about the Green Line with minor and mutual territorial swaps in the south where the border is irregular? I think notions that Israel would be willing to give up East Jerusalem and the Golan is fanciful. Both territories have been annexed. The purpose of moving civilian populations into the occupied territories was to create the basis for a future annexation. They've spent the last 50 years denying the obvious legal reality that the territories are occupied, and it is made defending its occupation a primary goal. This is one of the primary benefits the US provides to Israel on the international stage.

Mind you, I have no dog in this fight. I don't think we should make any effort to broker a peace deal or otherwise insert ourselves into the conflict. Take an officially neutral stance and encourage both sides to pursue dialogue and peace or some other such boilerplate.

In a perverse way, West Bank annexation could potentially open the door to Israel's demographic destruction.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

A state where unlimited right of return is guaranteed is the penultimate Palestinian maximalist demand, as you know. The idea that it could ever be recognized after giving up on Palestinian self-government is bizarre, but then gullible Western diplomats believe many stupid things.

This has nothing to do with the "right of return." I'm talking only about the current Palestinian population of the West Bank. The position would be to advocate the remaining strands of the West Bank be annexed by Israel, thus making the population there Israeli citizens.

With Sunni states flocking to enter a coalition with Israel, the notion that any of them will recognize the only possible competitor- Iran- is quite silly.

Bahrain is a Sunni-majority state, though, with a Shia royal family. Qatar and Turkey are both Sunni majoring but certainly not flocking towards a coalition.

Also, when you consider issues like Al Qaeda, the Sunni insurgency in western Iraq, the SUnni insurgency in Syria, the rise of ISIS, and MBS' numerous blunders, why do we suddenly have great confidence that the Sunni Arabs are the key to peace and stability in the region?

Wikitorix said...

If you doubt that, try to think of a single "peace agreement" that was not preceded by a war

SALT? START? Washington Naval Treaty? London Naval Treaty? Antarctic Treaty? Treaty of Tordesillas? Webster-Ashburton Treaty? That's just a few off the top of my head. There are thousands of examples.



J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

Why would I bother with you?
You do not make yourself worthy of my time.


Yeah, I know, that's about the 100th time you've told me that.

It also makes you an ass hole.

Still better than being a brat.

@@wholelottasplainin':

Wanna tell us why Israel agreed to this "branding" knowing that part of it involves the UAE getting F-35's?

Is that a PR move too?

Snort


Before you snort, you might want to try actually understanding the argument you're criticizing. The normalization is not the PR move. The PR is calling it a "peace agreement" and trying to connect it to "peace in the middle east" and present it as some kind of peace breakthrough.

doctrev said...

J. Farmer said...

This has nothing to do with the "right of return." I'm talking only about the current Palestinian population of the West Bank. The position would be to advocate the remaining strands of the West Bank be annexed by Israel, thus making the population there Israeli citizens.


9/16/20, 12:45 PM

Oh, a thousand pardons. I thought you were describing a policy that the Palestinians might actually advocate. If they ask for the territory to be absorbed by Israel, but don't resolve the right of return, then it's a non-starter even by Palestinian standards. True, Arafat didn't make much progress on this issue either, but that's the problem. Israel will never trust the descendants of the exiles enough to let any significant number on their soil. That alone will be sufficient to block the idea of a one-state solution.

Besides, Israel doesn't have to indulge any Palestinian demands- they have MORE backing now to leave "Palestine" as a permanently failed state with constantly shrinking territories and severe economic depression, all the while consigning millions of exiles to generational refugee status in Arab countries. As Palestinians burn the portraits of Arab leaders, they might even find themselves driven out of those countries. Wouldn't be the first time. Both Israel and the Arab states would be quite satisfied if the Palestinians would just leave for Europe- which will probably happen, given the EU's bizarre notion of taking in Muslim refugees and the Islamic world's increasing intolerance for the Palestinians and "international law" generally.

The Sunnis are only the key to stability as far as they can be trusted to uphold their agreements with Israel. As more nations join, the remainder become increasingly isolated. And that doesn't HAVE to include every Sunni state against Iran- I don't pretend to know where Turkey will land, whatever pretensions Erdogan has, but I do know Iran has never been targeted by a coalition of this size. Maybe the coalition will only last as long as the Iranian threat does. But in the words of a great man, "what the hell do you have to lose?"

Rusty said...

"Gaza is no longer occupied, but it is not a state."
hardly the fault of Israel then.

Pookie Number 2 said...

I think notions that Israel would be willing to give up East Jerusalem and the Golan is fanciful. Both territories have been annexed.

Well, it depends on what the meaning of “East Jerusalem” is. Some parts of the old city are (from the Israeli side) non-negotiable, but there is a part of the city (including my sister’s house, for whatever value that pointless observation has) that would go.

I don’t see the Golan as pertinent to the Palestinians. If we start discussing peace with Syria (I admit to skepticism there), then it matters.

Birkel said...

Peace in the region?
I think the answer is when all Jews are driven into the sea.
Perhaps that is just branding by J Farmer-approved Iran.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

If they ask for the territory to be absorbed by Israel, but don't resolve the right of return, then it's a non-starter even by Palestinian standards.

Respectfully, you are misunderstanding the point. I am talking about a potential consequence of the death of the two-state solution. The right of return as an issue would be abandoned by the population of the West Bank. The West Bank territory annexed by Israel would be interspersed with and in some cases completely encloses Palestinian neighborhoods.

but I do know Iran has never been targeted by a coalition of this size

Referring to this as a "coalition" doesn't seem to make much sense. UAE-Iran relations are much more complicated and nuanced than between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The middle east is full of regional powers with their own security interests who are willing to use a variety of overt and covert means to jockey for position. The cooperation between Israel and the Gulf Arab states has been going on for years now. The event that has most significantly increased Iran's power and influence in the region is the overthrow of Saddam.

J. Farmer said...

@Wikitorix:

SALT? START? Washington Naval Treaty? London Naval Treaty? Antarctic Treaty? Treaty of Tordesillas? Webster-Ashburton Treaty? That's just a few off the top of my head. There are thousands of examples.

None of those examples are peace treaties.

DINKY DAU 45 said...

So let's see, get groups of people who arent atvwar with each other to sign a pact saying they are not at war with each other? Definitely NOBLE prize material...(on SNL) :(

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

Well, it depends on what the meaning of “East Jerusalem” is. Some parts of the old city are (from the Israeli side) non-negotiable, but there is a part of the city (including my sister’s house, for whatever value that pointless observation has) that would go.

That's an example of what I was talking about earlier when I said: "There were a number of issues that were not clearly any one side's "fault" but a consequence of a lot of the ambiguity of the language, leaving both sides with differing expectations."

I only mentioned the Golan because it, too, was formally annexed as Est Jerusalem was.

In any event, good discussion. Thank you.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

Well, it depends on what the meaning of “East Jerusalem” is. Some parts of the old city are (from the Israeli side) non-negotiable, but there is a part of the city (including my sister’s house, for whatever value that pointless observation has) that would go.

That's an example of what I was talking about earlier when I said: "There were a number of issues that were not clearly any one side's "fault" but a consequence of a lot of the ambiguity of the language, leaving both sides with differing expectations."

I only mentioned the Golan because it, too, was formally annexed as Est Jerusalem was.

In any event, good discussion. Thank you.

DINKY DAU 45 said...

So let's see, get groups of people who arent atvwar with each other to sign a pact saying they are not at war with each other? Definitely NOBLE prize material...(on SNL) :(

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

hardly the fault of Israel then.

Israel has direct control over Gaza's airspace, maritime border, and all but one land border, exerts significant indirect control within Gaza, enforces a buffer in Gaza, reserves the right to enter Gaza at its discretion, and does not recognize Gaza as a state.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

Perhaps that is just branding by J Farmer-approved Iran.

It's amazing how countries like Russia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea have managed to have relations and do business with all the major players in the Middle East, including Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

doctrev said...

J. Farmer said...

Respectfully, you are misunderstanding the point. I am talking about a potential consequence of the death of the two-state solution. The right of return as an issue would be abandoned by the population of the West Bank. The West Bank territory annexed by Israel would be interspersed with and in some cases completely encloses Palestinian neighborhoods.

9/16/20, 8:28 PM

Oh, I absolutely understand what you mean. The problem is that the right of return is core identity for the Palestinian cause. I don't think you could hold Hamas or Fatah together for as long as a week if they publicly implied the right to return was not going to be fully recognized. Even if it was a lie primarily for foreign consumption, and particularly if they insisted on becoming part of a state encompassing all the lands of Greater Israel/ Palestine. Your idea would put immense pressure on Israel, but then so would a negotiated two-state solution that the rest of the world insisted upon. It would require major diplomatic capital among the Arab states, and the very existence of the current Trump initiative should be sufficient proof that the Palestinians have far less of it when compared to 25 years ago. They can't even get Arab League resolutions against deals with Israel, which would have been a slam dunk in 2000.

I suspect that you're going to see that enclosure happen, and Palestinian deprivation in those areas will result in "encouragement" to relocate to the bantustans. The European Union will be outraged, of course, but the Arab countries might actually begin expelling their Palestinian populations back to the West Bank if the EU won't take them. Millions of people crammed into an increasingly smaller area, all while being strangled by economic sanctions. I don't envy them.