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Member since: Thu May 13, 2004, 12:50 PM
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Mr. Kerry, the 2-state solution isnt at risk, its already dead

So where were you till now, Mr. Secretary? Why the sudden decision to come out now with a fire and brimstone speech against Israel’s government, the settlements, Palestinian incitement, etc., when these words come too little, too late? Is that what’s going to stop the Regulation Law? Yes, Mr. Secretary, your words served as a painful reminder for those of us living here in Israel of where this country is heading. But might not your timing and that of the US administration be based on personal motives, like taking revenge on Netanyahu, rather than on concerns for the future relations between the Israelis and the Palestinians? Because if not, why did you hold off until the your words weren’t worth the paper they were written on?

The Israeli public hasn’t exactly been moving to the left in recent years, and its support for a two-state solution has declined. Most Israelis are on the right, and support Netanyahu’s policies — that is, not to withdraw from Judea and Samaria and enable the establishment of a Palestinian state. As for the Palestinian public, 65% hold that the two-state solution is irrelevant in view of construction in the settlements (according to a survey by Khalil Shikaki). The number of settlers in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem) is estimated at around 400,000. You’re absolutely right, Mr. Kerry. Some Israeli government ministers, such as Naftali Bennett, say openly that the two-state solution is over — with all the implications that carries for the vision of a democratic Jewish state. Netanyahu prefers to sell us stories about how he still supports this solution.

But in 2004, Mr. Kerry, a two-state solution was still alive — battered, wounded, dying perhaps, but somehow it had survived the intifada, despite the brutal terrorism and violence. Twelve years later, the two-state solution is dead. It is no longer realistic. It’s over. Because of Israel, because of the Palestinians, and, yes, because of a US administration that preferred to deal with Iran and not to push the parties to engage in serious peace negotiations. Settlements became a huge obstacle to such a solution. So, too, the Hamas regime in Gaza and the Palestinian public’s growing hatred of Israel.

If you tried to convene a group of Israeli and Palestinian journalists today, in Jerusalem or anywhere else, it’s doubtful you’d succeed because so many of our Palestinian colleagues are now boycotting Israeli journalists. Maybe it’s time to try and think of a different creative solution to the conflict. Two-states is no longer a realistic option, and one state evidently will not work here.


"What were you hoping to accomplish" seems to be a very pertinent question.

We dont need this America, deputy minister says after UN vote, Kerry speech


“Kerry’s speech was very disturbing for so many reasons,” Oren told The Times of Israel. “It is disturbing that this is the point to which US foreign policy has fallen. It’s sad, tragic and dangerous. We don’t need this relationship. We don’t need this America.”

He elaborated: “The US-Israel relationship is vital for us, for the region and I believe for the world, but we need an America whose strength and commitment to its allies is unquestioned.”

They don't value our friendship, they value our unquestioning servitude.

Trump will be the most popular US President ever in Israel. Meanwhile, they view Barack Obama as an enemy.

With US abstention, Israel again forced to face reality of worlds rejection of settlements


For 24 years, the United States under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama insulated Israel from an international community that since 1967 has sought to exact consequences for its continued presence in disputed lands. After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, those three administrations considered the isolation of the Jewish state at the United Nations to be counterproductive to encouraging Israel to take bold steps for peace.


But with a couple of notable exceptions – Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s pullout from Gaza and a patch of the West Bank in 2005, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2010 settlement freeze – Israeli settlement expansion continued unabated in that period, despite widening cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. By 2004, George W. Bush had effectively recognized the large settlement blocs bordering 1967 Israel as “realities on the ground” and suggested that the Palestinians would be compensated for the territory with land swaps.

Obama’s apparent message to the world on Friday is that incentives did not work in slowing settlement expansion. The carrot having wilted, the president reintroduced the stick.

Obama administration officials have said plainly that the expansion of settlements absent a peace process led to the decision to abstain. Samantha Power, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, in her explanation of the abstention, listed the considerations that made the administration hesitate to allow the resolution – chief among them the historic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and Palestinian intransigence. But she also noted that since the Oslo Accords, the settler population has increased by 355,000.


As much as the language in the resolution has stirred cries of “unprecedented” in Israel and in some pro-Israel precincts in the United States, it is broadly consistent with resolutions that the United States allowed from 1967 at least through the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency in January 1981.

Last week’s resolution reaffirmed “that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity,” and constituted a “flagrant violation” of international law. Resolution 465, passed in March 1980 under Carter with a U.S. vote in favor, determined that “all measures” that would change the physical or demographic character of the occupied lands, including Jerusalem, “have no legal validity” and are a “flagrant violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It further called on countries to “distinguish” between Israel and the West Bank.

Under the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the council did not explicitly reject settlements as illegal, but referred to earlier resolutions that did so while continuing to assail the occupation as untenable. Resolution 605, passed under Reagan with a U.S. abstention in 1987, “recalled” Resolution 465 passed under Carter and said the council was “gravely concerned and alarmed by the deterioration” in the territories. Under George H.W. Bush, Security Council resolutions consistently decried the “deteriorating” situation and admonished Israel for its “violation” of Geneva conventions.

All they have left is Trump.

Netanyahu goes to war with the world


Israel has a solitary vote in the United Nations General Assembly, and no vote at all at the United Nations Security Council. Israel was annihilated in the Security Council vote on Friday that demanded an end to all settlement activity and that designated all the land that Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war, which includes the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as “occupied Palestinian territory.” The prime minister’s hope is that he can stave off further, and still more devastating, potential diplomatic defeat at the hands of the outgoing Obama administration via a mixture of pleas, threats and boycotts. On the horizon, he sees the incoming administration of Donald J. Trump. For Netanyahu, it cannot arrive soon enough.


There can be little doubt, however, that a number of very recent moves by Netanyahu made that abstention — that decision by Obama, for the first time in his presidency, to allow an anti-Israel resolution to pass at the Security Council — more likely.

Obama’s UN envoy, Samantha Power, cited in her post-vote address the prime minister’s recent delighted public claim that his government is “more committed to settlements than any in Israel’s history.” More specifically, she referenced the current legislative moves in Israel to retroactively legalize dozens of West Bank settlement outposts — legislation that Israel’s own attorney general warns is in breach of international law, and that Netanyahu had himself previously opposed.


Outrage aside, however, the failed pre-vote diplomatic maneuvering by Netanyahu gives credence to those of his critics who argue that he has entered panic mode. For all the serenity and confidence he exudes in his public appearances, and for all that he is appeasing parts of his right-wing constituency — a critical imperative for retaining power — his tactics on Thursday were a mess, and he now seems to be deepening the damage.


But the inconvenient truth is that while 14 nations supported Resolution 2334, and the US chose not to oppose it, those 14 are not all enemies of Israel, far from it, and the United States certainly isn’t. The Czech Republic and Panama might, just might, have voted no, or abstained, but basically the entire world rejects the legality of the settlement enterprise. And much of that world, as Netanyahu has in the recent past enthusiastically highlighted, either broadly supports Israel or is moving in that direction.

Bibi thought accelerating the one-state solution would be consequence-free just because his new best friend will be US President, and that he could bully the rest of the world with the same success as Trump has enjoyed.


UK disappointed Netanyahu scotched planned meet with May

Reminder that the problem is not Obama, it's the Israelis.


The UK’s deputy ambassador to Israel expressed “disappointment” Monday over reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a planned meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May in protest of London’s support for a UN Security Council resolution that condemned West Bank settlement building.

Netanyahu’s office had denied reports Sunday night that he had nixed a meeting with May next month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying that no meeting had been set. But the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, Tony Kay, told The Times of Israel there had been plans for a sit-down, though Jerusalem had not told London it planned to cancel the meeting.


“The UK remains and always will be a dear and close friend of Israel” and rejects boycott or “any efforts to delegitimize or undermine” it, he said. Echoing the remarks of the UK’s ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, made Friday at the Security Council, Kay reiterated his government’s “stalwart commitment to Israel’s security and its existence as the Jewish homeland.”

At the same time, Britain considers Israeli settlements outside the 1967 lines — including in Jerusalem’s Old City — illegal and an obstacle to peace. Furthermore, he added, Resolution 2334 did not only condemn the settlements, but also called for a stop of violence and incitement.

“We worked hard for a balanced text and we felt that the text was sufficiently balanced to warrant the UK voting in favor,” Kay said.

Fearing more trouble with Obama, Netanyahu tamps down annexation talk

In other words, wait until Trump's inauguration to implement the one-state solution.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told his party’s lawmakers not to speak openly about annexing parts of the West Bank or building more settlements, warning of the possibility that outgoing US President Barack Obama could take fresh action against Israel.


In a closed-door meeting with Likud ministers, Netanyahu asked them to lie low until President-elect Donald Trump, who is seen as more friendly to Israeli settlement building, takes office next month.

“Don’t come out now with statements about annexing territory and building in the settlements, because there may be another international move (against Israel) before the change in the US administration on January 20,” Netanyahu said, according to the Ynet news website.

The incoming Trump administration is Kahanist and reckless in its approach to Israel/Palestine. Supporting Israel in the Trump/Netanyahu era is going to take on a much different meaning than ever before.

White House: Netanyahus choices led to anti-settlement UN resolution


“Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today,” Rhodes said on a media conference call Friday, after citing US governmental figures on settlement growth in the West Bank and mentioning the Israeli premier’s past statements on his government’s allegiance to the settlement movement.

Rhodes said that settlement activity “accelerated considerably” since the US vetoed a similar UN resolution in 2011, leading the US to believe that taking the same course of action — absent ongoing peace talks — would not yield different results.

“In the absence of any meaningful peace process, as well as in the accelerated settlement activity,” he said, “we took the decision that we did today to abstain on the resolution.”

Rhodes repeatedly referred to settlement growth as creating “trend lines” the US believed was “putting the very viability of a two-state solution at risk.” But settlements, he said, were not the only issue obstructing the prospects of peace. The resolution also incorporated language critical of Palestinian incitement and violence, and because the wording on settlements was focused on opposition to the enterprise, Obama was prepared to support it, he indicated.

Support for Israel is increasingly coterminous with supporting settlements and annexation.

Lots and lots of people-- Democrats, Republicans, Israelis, Americans--claiming to support the two-state solution but vehemently demanding that the US actively and aggressively enable settlement expansion.

Netanyahu planning unprecedented new construction during Trump reign


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his strongest statement in years on Monday in favor of construction in Judea and Samaria, giving hope to settler leaders that massive construction will begin when Donald Trump replaces Barack Obama as president of the United States.


But sources close to the prime minister said that neither Netanyahu nor the incoming president see West Bank construction as a hindrance to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Speaking at a Likud faction meeting on Monday, Netanyahu boasted of the success of the deal reached with residents of Amona that will allow more than half of them to remain on the hilltop in a different location. He told the faction that Amona was just the beginning.

“We will continue to strengthen and develop settlements, and I want to make clear: There is not, nor will there be, a government that gives more support to settling and cares more about settling than this government we in the Likud lead,” he said. “This will continue.”

Netanyahu is expected to be questioned about his plans for the Trump era and his support for increased West Bank construction on Tuesday when he meets with the foreign media at a pre-Hanukka event organized by the Government Press Office.

Sources in Bayit Yehudi said the party was preparing a list of what it will demand from Netanyahu after Trump is sworn in on January 20. The sources said the party views the election of a president unopposed to settlement construction and the appointment of settlement-supporting David Friedman as ambassador as a game changer.


Bennett said the list included applying Israeli sovereignty to Area C in Judea and Samaria gradually, starting with Ma’aleh Adumim, as well as steps to “naturalize life in Judea and Samaria.”

Sources in Likud and Bayit Yehudi said the settlement regulation bill that would sanction some 4,000 homes built on privately owned Palestinian land would not be brought to its final readings until after Trump takes office.

There's zero pressure on Netanyahu to restraint settlement expansion, and virtually zero on him to avoid the one-state solution.

PLO will revoke Israel recognition if US moves embassy, top official warns

The sole benefit to Trump winning, in this region, is full clarity as to where the Israelis, and where the US government, really stand when the chips are down.


If the incoming Trump administration moves the US embassy to Jerusalem, the PLO will revoke its recognition of Israel, the prospect of a two-state solution will be over, and any hope of Israeli-Palestinian peace in the future will vanish, the top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned on Monday.


Erekat said he would immediately resign as the chief Palestinian negotiator, and that “the PLO will revoke its recognition of Israel” as well as all previously signed agreements with Israel.

Furthermore, said Erekat, all American embassies in the Arab world would be forced to close — not necessarily because Arab leaderships would want to close them, but because the infuriated public in the Arab world would not “allow” for the embassies to continue to operate.

Explaining why he would immediately quit as Palestinian negotiator, Erekat said he would not want to “fool my people” that there were any prospects of peace, and that moving the embassy would mean that all those, like himself, who had believed in the possibility of a two-state solution had been wrong.


Also in the call — which was moderated by the Wilson Center’s vice president Aaron David Miller and with a second speaker, The Times of Israel’s editor David Horovitz — Erekat noted that he held meetings last week in Washington with State Department officials, but failed to secure meetings he had sought with incoming Trump administration officials. “I don’t know any of them,” he said of Trump’s personnel.

Ripping off the bandage time. From there, the discussion turns to whether the path forward is (a) a binational state, (b) apartheid then a binational state, or (c) genocide.

Presidents since WWII who won first election because they were more qualified than their opponent:

Presidents since WWII who won first election because of any other reason:

All of them.

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