Bob Simon's Heroic Act of Journalism

If you have not seen Sixty Minutes correspondent Bob Simon's piece "Time Running out for a Two-State Solution" stop everything you are doing and watch it now.

It is that good. And it is that heroic. In the piece, Simon boldly lays out the truth about what Israel's encroachment on Palestinian land -- and what the lack of a peace deal -- means for the future of the country:

"Without a separate Palestinian state the Israelis would have three options, none of them good. They could try ethnic cleansing, drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank, or they could give the Palestinians the vote. That would be the democratic option but it would mean the end of the Jewish state. Or they could try apartheid - have the minority Israelis rule the majority Palestinians, but apartheid regimes don't have a very long life."

Simon also provides an empathetic portrayal of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation:

"One house for example is the highest house on the highest hill overlooking the town of Nablus. 60 Minutes learned that Israeli soldiers often corral the four families who live there and take over the house to monitor movement down below.
Simon and the 60 Minutes team went to an apartment owned by a Mr. Nassif. That morning, Israeli soldiers had apparently entered the apartment, without notice, and remained there when Simon knocked on the door. 'We cannot speak with you, there are soldiers,' Nassif told Simon. 'We are in prison here.'" I fully agree with Philip Weiss and his readers about the Simon piece:
"Viewers have never seen ANYTHING like this on mainstream television before. They are grateful. We are too. We must honor Bob Simon/CBS for a heroic piece of journalism."

You can bet that Sixty Minutes is getting tons of angry e-mails and phone calls today. But if you feel very differently about the piece as I do, let your voice be heard.

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    Also (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:11:48 PM EST
    like the GOP, the Israeli Right realized it couldnt carry elections without appealing to the unhinged, messianic types whose fantasy is total hegemony over "Judea and Sumeria".

    Hence Sharon's provacative posing with the famous red heiffer. Hence AIPAC sponsoring that loon John Hagee.

    A shocking report (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:56:35 PM EST
    Thanks for linking to this report by Bob Simon.

    I would have known nothing about what is really going on had I not seen this - so paltry is the coverage of this part of the world.

    To an eerie extent, at certain moments I was reminded of the actual conditions under which our nation took shape. Settlers chased out the indigenous population. In the case of the U.S.A., it was the native Americans. They didn't even figure in Obama's inaugural address. From talking about "our" founding fathers to naming all kinds of ethic and religious groups, you would never know that native Americans even existed - and what we did to them - and continue to do to them.

    I am so weary of seeing people on our planet being killed and mistreated by others who are more powerful.

    Obama appears to reversing course on some of Bush's issues - stem-cell research, ecology, regulation - but on foreign policy he has been relatively mute.

    I hope he reverses course on Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have already killed scores of civilians under his watch. This can not go unnoticed for long. Obama is well liked worldwide. So was America under Bush after 9/11. Bush squandered that affection. I hope that Obama will not do the same.

    Crazy people on both sides.... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:03:00 PM EST
    ....seem to wield the most "control".  The mayor of the settlement, talking about God giving them this mandate, is as stone cold crazy as any Muslim extremist trying to phuck those virgins in heaven.  

    So, how do you get a nation forged from the greatest act of mass murder in the history of mankind to stop acting like that is it's ancestry?

    And how do you get people, barely post-colonial at the time of Israel's founding, to not act as if they have never had the chance to forge their own history free of occupation or meddling by the West or Israel or both?

    I wish I knew.

    The question that interests me (none / 0) (#12)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:05:43 PM EST
    is what is the US national interest in the conflict?
    It's not up to Americans to solve the Palestinian/Israeli problem.

    It's not up to us, you're right (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:21:47 PM EST
    But it behooves us to help more than hurt, that seems quite inarguably clear.  

    What i'm saying is that since (none / 0) (#22)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:25:26 PM EST
    I don't have any idea what would be a good policy for creating peace there, I would at least like to know that our government is pursuing some vital interests with it's policies. I don't see even that much.

    US Strategic and Economic (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:34:35 PM EST
    Interests should be obvious. Unfortunately the US has depended on Military solutions to expand control in the area which will not work, imo.

    Hopefully vigorous diplomacy, combined with winning hearts and minds will soon replace bombing and killing.  


    And I wish I posted this (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:14:49 PM EST
    Hatred and Anti-anything will solve nothing (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:21:25 PM EST
    I'm very saddened that some posters have to be deleted and others run around handing out silly downratings to those that they don't agree with.  I don't agree with those that I feel are overly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause either, I think Palestinians have played a hand that has led to this just as much as Israelis have.  But downrating other posters with opinions is not a solution.  A solution is something that will end the blood flow with both ethnicities being able to survive.......that's a real solution.  I still can't believe the hostile fights that break out among those of us though who have no recognizable Jewish or Palestinian ethnicity.  We have no skin in this game but boy do we have a lot of high minded low information self righteous no where near the war zone opinions.

    i just noticed the ratings (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:45:21 PM EST
    were being improperly used by a reader. All of his/her ratings are now gone. You may not give a 1 rating based on point of view or because you don't like the commenter.

    Opinions can be right or wrong (none / 0) (#34)
    by cymro on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 08:17:38 PM EST
    I have no "recognizable Jewish or Palestinian ethnicity", and no personal stake in this conflict other than my own desire for peace, not war. But I do have an opinion about the conflict, based on what is reported by the media.

    The quality of the information that filters through the US media may be poor, but even so it is impossible not to see that Israel acts like an overly aggressive bully in its relationships with the Palestinians. And that the US enables this bullying through its political and military support of Israel.

    Considering that the US media is (according to most analysis I have seen) already biased towards Israel, it is hard to imagine that more complete and unbiased reporting could change my opinion about those facts.

    And when people refuse to recognize facts, there is nothing wrong with speaking out strongly against them -- just as we have been doing for the last few years on the subject of global warming, for example.

    Not all "opinions" are equally valid. Some are actually wrong.


    no skin in the game? (none / 0) (#54)
    by pleasestop on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:10:11 AM EST
    what is $3billion dollars a year and supplying a foreign country with an entire army?
    that's a huge amount of skin in the game, and a lot of blood on our hands.
    wake up please.

    My two cents (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:50:26 AM EST
    So many commenters here, and elsewhere, whose entire body of knowledge regarding the Israeli/Palestinian issue consists of a video tape showing a Palestinian child being carried to an ambulance, are suddenly experts on this subject, and absolutely, positively, and vehemently KNOW that Israel is 100% wrong and the Palestinians are 100% right. The very same type of people who called Hillary Clinton a cackling, fat-ankled, pant-suit wearing, power seeking, devious Bi*tch....also claimed to be "feminists," who were only expressing their views regarding Sen. Clintons policies and positions, and never, never, never had a sexist or misogynistic bone in their bodies. Those were the people who hid behind the famous, "what, just because I disagree with that Foster killing, cocaine smuggling, billing record lying, C*nt, suddenly I'm a sexist? Sheeesh!"

    The very same defensive mind set is taking place on this extremely complicated issue. Armed with a picture of a bloody baby, the pent up Jew-hating pus comes pouring out, but it's o.k. because "just because I disagree with the Israeli policies, suddenly I'm an anti-Semite? Sheeesh!"

    Does anybody really believe that a people, now only several million strong, who have been every country's object of scorn, hatred, and scapegoating, and who have suffered, and endured pain, humiliation, rejection, genocide, and homelessness for thousands of years are now, suddenly, the perpetrators of all of the above, and for no good reason other than they enjoy killing babies?

    Turn off your t.v. sets. Read, study, comprehend, understand.......then comment. The Jewish people I know are wonderful, family loving, education seeking, peace loving folks who mostly want to be left alone to live the lives they believe God, through the Torah, commanded them to do.

    After WW2, and after the unspeakable Hell the Jews suffered, The United Nations thought they had come up with a solution to prevent such future genocides. Perfect? No, but a beginning. A tiny speck of a Nation, having nothing but sand to work with, began to flourish. The kings, potentates, and dictators who ruled the hundreds of millions of poor, uneducated, indentured  Muslim peasants couldn't possibly allow a flourishing, and free Democracy in their midst. The Palestinians who never had a state of their own, and who were unwanted, and unwelcome by their brethren throughout history, suddenly became the cause célèbre for these oil Kings.

    So who had a motive to seek peace, prosperity, and a future? And who began, immediately, a policy of utter, and total annihilation of the newcomers? Two countries, Egypt and Jordan, found that enjoining with Israel, with a peace treaty and cooperation, was the enlightened path to the future. But the others, let's be realistic, don't want a future for the Palestinians, they want to finish what Hitler started.

    So, let's start there, and try to be a little constructive. And if you don't have anything intelligent, or knowledgeable to add to the discussion, we'll understand, and gratefully appreciate your absence.

    stop the pity party please (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by pleasestop on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:44:10 AM EST
    "they want to finish what Hitler started" - ?

    Please stop this old alcoholic-sounding drama queen, narcissistic, poor-me, victim crap.

    Everyone here in America came from a place where they themselves, or their ancestors, were treated badly, and suffered untold agony and repression, and sometimes genocide.

    to think you're somehow special doesn't wash anymore. Half of us weren't even born yet during WW2, so you'll need to come up with a new story. Seems to me Israel's doing just fine now, thanks to our help.

    Meanwhile there are new stories being told daily around the world that need our immediate attention, compassion and action.


    Pity party? (none / 0) (#63)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:41:37 PM EST
     Someone should have told you that ignorance is not always bliss.

    If serious, informed discussion regarding one of the most important, and intractable problems in the world today, interferes with your video game sensitivities, I suggest you have someone read you my last paragraph:

    " So, let's start there, and try to be a little constructive. And if you don't have anything intelligent, or knowledgeable to add to the discussion, we'll understand, and gratefully appreciate your absence."


    Whats intractable about it? (1.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:50:29 PM EST
    You've got it all figured out already.

    Anyone who publicly criticizes the Greater Israel project is a nazi in disguise.

    I used to think all Croats were Ustache, so I know how it is.


    you don't seem to appreciate (1.00 / 1) (#69)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 05:13:32 PM EST
    this discussion. Are you one of those who think it's better to keep the American people in the dark, to show them only one side of the conflict?

    What I don't understand is why a jewish person (none / 0) (#45)
    by suzieg on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 05:34:10 AM EST
    born in the US is allowed/entitled to settle on stolen Palistanian land, can someone explain this to me?

    Speaking for myself only, (none / 0) (#47)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:14:10 AM EST
    your comment is counterproductive. It's simply not true that the Jews in Israel have sought only peace. There has always been an aggressive, land-grabbing faction---in fact, that's what Zionism was, 100 years ago.
    I don't have any interest in trying to undo accidents and mistakes of history, but from an outsider's perspective, there is little question that the creation of Israel was a stupendous gaffe. All sides in the region need to have a commitment to peace in order to move forward and reduce violence. Right now, I don't see the peaceniks ascendant anywhere.

    Addendum (none / 0) (#48)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:15:21 AM EST
    there's no question that Israel has been a wonderful success for the Jews who built that nation... but at what cost?

    I can't imagine... (1.00 / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:13:38 PM EST
    living under that kind of tyranny...papers to go to the place I was born, checkpoints to go to work, giving quarter to my downpressors at gunpoint.  I feel like an a**hole for b*tching about the tyranny-lite in the relative paradise I live in.

    "The world belongs to the stubborn" the woman said...it is a god damn shame she is right. It's why the world so often resembles a pile of sh*t.

    Meanwhile that (1.00 / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:18:24 PM EST
    "existential threat" Iran is supposed to be the first nation in the last 50 years NOT to try to obtain nukes with a hostile, armed nation massed along one border and another swimming with nuclear, chemical and bioligical weapons not that far off.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:26:17 PM EST
    Talk about an unreasonable obsession with security, jeez...lighten up Iran, peace and love baby.

    Laugh or cry man, laugh or cry...just don't try to make any sense out of it all.  


    Kdog, don't you dare (none / 0) (#6)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:26:18 PM EST
    stop being the a**hole about our "tyranny-lite" here.:-)

    That there are relative levels of freedom from tyranny may be what helps to give others hope.  So they need the kdogs to keep fighting against this country's conservative turn, too.

    Fundamentalism is a form of tyranny everywhere.


    The Simon piece barely scratched the surface (none / 0) (#37)
    by DeborahNC on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 08:53:36 PM EST
    of the kind of tyranny the Palestinians experience everyday. The settlers are ruthless in their actions toward the Palestinians. They have attacked and killed innocent Palestinians, even children as they walk to school.

    The Israeli military is supposed to monitor the settlements to prevent such actions, but often they allow the settlers to perpetrate all kinds of despicable actions against the Palestinians.

    Moreover, the IDF destroys Palestinian homes with Caterpillar bulldozers. In fact, in March of 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American who volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement, was run over and killed by an Israeli bulldozer as she was attempting to prevent the demolition of a house.

    I hope that more Americans will educate themselves about the devastation to Palestinian lives since the occupation began. Since, the US supplies Israel with more than 3 billion dollars of aid each year, more of us need to learn how our money and weapons are being used. The rest of the world knows.


    Not in My Name (none / 0) (#7)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:27:25 PM EST
    As a person with Jewish ancestry on my mother's side, I have to say that I would rather see Israel destroyed than continue to use US tax dollars to fund their incendiary attacks on Palestinians.  A two state solution should offer Jews in the West Bank to either move out, or become part of the Palestinian state.  

    I personally don't think g-d told Jews that they have a right to kill other humans to create and hold a Jewish state, and if He did, I want nothing more to do with Him or the ambitions of His chosen people.  Hopefully there are plenty of American Jews who want to put a stop to the bloodshed and are willing to demand our government stop funding Israel's attacks.

    A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb.-- Ghandi on the Jewish/Palestine conflict back in 1938

    You know what is extremely interesting to me (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:30:29 PM EST
    is that my husband is currently teaching a Palestinian student who is serving in the Army.  The student asked to speak to husband after one of his classes because my husband was very open about the existing hostilities on both sides of this conflict.  This Palestinian student is fed up with his people and what they have pursued and allowed to be done in their name as well.  He said the icing on the cake for his family here in the United States was how happy their family in Palestine was when America was attacked on 9/11.  It has divided them now and he does not feel sorry for those of his family fighting in this either.

    exactly (none / 0) (#60)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:40:08 AM EST
    until both sides accept and renounce the stench of their sh*t, nothing will change.  far too many palestinians think they poop flowers and tea, far too many israelis think they poop sugar and cake.  delusion rules the day.  sad, sad, sad.

    Anti-Semitic Comment by Intrepid One (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:43:17 PM EST
    deleted. He is warned not to repeat it or he will be banned from the site.

    My Left Mind, I'm leaving your comment but you too are warned. You will not use this site to attack those of the Jewish religion.

    The settlers are not (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:23:29 PM EST
    represented by Israel though so how is it Israels land grab.

    I thought that on the 60 min (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:37:02 PM EST
    segment some of the settlers structures were torn down by soldiers and they themselves were rebuilding them.  How is that Israel's fault?

    I would hold Israel responsible (none / 0) (#39)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:23:48 PM EST
    They are Israeli's and the territory is policed by the Israeli's. I would think the Israeli government should be responsible for them.

    How can I be an American (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:25:22 AM EST
    against all this policing of my own people and myself and then go around saying that Israel must police Israelis?  Do Israelis deserve less freedom to make their own decisions and destiny than I have?  If America attempted to prevent Americans from settling in places that Americans made up their minds to settle in there would be hell to pay.

    break down (none / 0) (#51)
    by pleasestop on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:58:18 AM EST
    and here's where the argument breaks down.
    this argument is based on the underlying and perhaps erroneous assumption of each sides rights and responsibilities.

    yes it was your language (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:42:09 PM EST
    "Was it the comment I made about financially powerful?"

    Yes, please don't repeat it.


    censorship? (1.00 / 1) (#52)
    by pleasestop on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:00:08 AM EST
    this looks like censorship.
    this is what anyone who disagrees with our financial and military support of israel is up against.
    I say put it to a popular vote.

    Thanks Ethan (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:49:17 PM EST
    I would not have seen this had you not posted it here. Hopefully Obama's Special Envoy George Mitchell, who is on his way to the Mid East, will be able to help resolve this intractable issue. Simon hits the nail on the head: demographics is the ticking time bomb.

    Personally, I can't see any solution other than a one state solution.

    Two state (none / 0) (#13)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:09:38 PM EST
    Bush refused to deal with the issue. I think he didn't want to continue anything that had a Clinton stamp on it. Now we've lost 8 yrs and have fueled the bitterness. Obama has to realize that there will never be peace in the Middle East until the situation is resolved.

    I don't see Israel accepting a one state solution. They won't give up the Jewish state. So the only alternative is the two state solution. It might do them and the US good to look at the Saudi proposal again.

    Saudi Proposal (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:25:11 PM EST
    Is no longer viable unless the US changes its tune regarding the recent bloodbath in Gaza. From a recent op ed in the FT Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal speaks, and  I am sure it is not for himself:

    Unless the new US administration takes forceful steps to prevent any further suffering and slaughter of Palestinians, the peace process, the US-Saudi relationship and the stability of the region are at risk.
    If the US wants to continue playing a leadership role in the Middle East and keep its strategic alliances intact - especially its "special relationship" with Saudi Arabia - it will have to drastically revise its policies vis a vis Israel and Palestine.

    Moon of Alabama


    Israel Is Regarded As NYC's Distant 6th (none / 0) (#17)
    by tokin librul on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:18:17 PM EST

    When will somebody do a story on why so many of the Israeli "settlers" have American accents?

    What's the percentage? (none / 0) (#28)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:42:54 PM EST
    I do recall that Benny "Baruch" Goldstein was an American from Brooklyn.

    One sided reporting (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 07:19:02 PM EST
    Nothing abot Hamas, the PLO or any of the atrocities committed by the Palestinians.

    At the very least they are both equally at fault.  Taking the time to only focus ont he Ying and not the Yang is a waste of time.

    Right, the US media never (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 07:22:51 PM EST
    reports on Hamas... uh huh.

    There Is Always FOX (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 07:23:38 PM EST
    Perspective (none / 0) (#33)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 08:15:19 PM EST
    We can't continue to allow the circle of violence because this side is as bad or worse than that side. This was an argument my mother wouldn't accept from me as a kid. There's more than enough blame to go around.

    I see nothing wrong in reporting the situation from one perspective. Every news piece doesn't have to deal with all sides of the argument. There are plenty of news pieces that show the Israeli side of the debate.

    Thank You Ethan (none / 0) (#35)
    by Alegre on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 08:17:58 PM EST
    I just saw the 60 Minutes segment and you're right - this is a true act of courage on Simon's part.  He and 60 Minutes are to be cheered and supported in their efforts to tell the other half of the story.  The Palestinians have suffered a great deal over the years - it's about time we Americans listened to what they have to say when someone occupies not only their land, but their very homes while they're asleep in their beds.

    We need more reports like this here in the States, and I hope Simon stays with this story and continues his reporting from the West Bank.

    This is not new (none / 0) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:32:55 AM EST
    Simon has been doing this kind of reporting about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians for many years now.  He himself is a Jew and was held captive by the Iraqis for a horrifying couple of weeks in the first Gulf War.  He's always been a very brave guy who reports what he sees.

    World opinion agrees with 60 min (none / 0) (#36)
    by Saul on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 08:18:46 PM EST
    from what I saw recently during the Gaza invasion.
    Deep down inside Israel does not want the Palestinians there.  They want the whole land.  They figure they will make the Palestinians life so miserable that they will just get up a go and give up.  I would like to see the Israelis leave the west bank so the Palestinians can have a chance to start their state.  I hope though that if the do leave the west bank they do not bulldoze the existing buildings like they did when Sharon removed them from Gaza.   Piece will not happen if they stay there.  So the ball is in Israel's court.

    Only Now? (none / 0) (#38)
    by artsy on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:04:50 PM EST

    What too the U.S. media so long?

    one state solution (none / 0) (#40)
    by diogenes on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:49:34 PM EST
    Jordan is a majority Palestinian country run by some Hashemites.  The West Bank could be part of Jordan, as it was before 1967.  Gaza could be part of Egypt as it was before 1967.  When the West Bank was part of Jordan you didn't see Arab Countries rushing to create an independent Palestinian state there.

    One state solution? the logical (none / 0) (#46)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:09:33 AM EST
    one state solution is to give Palestinians the vote in Israel.

    Business as usual (none / 0) (#41)
    by koshembos on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:49:46 PM EST
    Bob Simon provides the current narrative of the foreign media about Israel/Palestine. There is nothing very heroic about that. As any media consensus, it's not baseless but has no shades of gray and is insensitive to the local dynamic. What Barghooti says matters very little and is crude propaganda.

    It's correct that the shrinking of Palestinian land does endanger peace and the shrinking must stop and, at least, mostly rescinded. But in 2000 Clinton and Barak offered just that to Arafat and he didn't take it for unrelated reasons.

    The big settlement around Jerusalem will stay, the rest must be removed to achieve peace. At the same time, the Palestinians should realize that their significance decreases as Pakistan and Afghanistan heat up as well as Iran trying to find it place in theworld. They should be more accommodating and more forthcoming.

    Like Friedman before him, Simon spent many years in the region but also fails to grasp its real essence.

    "unrealted reasons" ? (none / 0) (#58)
    by pleasestop on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:33:30 AM EST
    might those pesky "unrelated reasons" happen to be the failure of Israel to keep its end of the bargain by way of the strangling of commerce (and therefore the literal starvation of the Palestinian people), the building of a wall, and an incomplete withdrawal?

    Great piece (none / 0) (#44)
    by otherlisa on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:08:25 AM EST
    And about time.

    I don't believe in states based on a religion. Ultimately they are anti-democratic. You can't argue rationally with people who believe they have a mandate from God to do what they do.

    That said, at the very least, Israeli settlements need to be removed from the West Bank.

    I don't really think that this will happen, and I don't think that it will work.

    There are plenty of autocratic states in the Middle East that have a religious base. None of them are democracies. Democracy and theocracy are not compatible. Israel needs to decide what kind of state it wishes to be. If it is to be a democracy, then in the end, a one-state solution is the only answer.

    Speaking for me only, to channel BTD.

    Thank you for the post (none / 0) (#49)
    by liberalone on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:07:40 AM EST
    Rarely do we hear the Palestinian side of the I/P conflict.  I thought the 60 Minutes episode was very fair and adds to America's understanding of the conflict.  

    I am glad that TL is able to discuss I/P without all the flame throwing.  

    If you want to see REAL. . . (none / 0) (#53)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:04:36 AM EST
    heroism in reporting, check out this Q & A with Taghreed El-Khodary, who was reporting from inside Gaza throughout the war.

    The non-rancorous nature of Talk Left has always been an oasis for me, and I hope that steps will be taken to maintain it now that this extremely emotional topic has been introduced.

    Choices (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ethan Brown on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:17:30 AM EST
    Debates about Israel/Palestine almost always boil down to arguments about the behavior of each side which is a distraction. As Simon very correctly points out in the Sixty Minutes piece, the undeniable reality is that the Israelis have massively expanded settlements and as a result they are faced with a series of awful choices.

    Jimmy Carter is now making this very point and, predictably, he is being accused of anti-semitism.


    And before there were (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    settlements, there was....... peace?

    If every settlement, and every settler in The West Bank disappeared tomorrow, would there be peace?

    When Israel unilaterally abandoned Gaza, admittedly imperfect and needing a lot of work to make the withdrawal acceptable, was it received as a "first step" towards a better and durable solution? Or was it used as a strategic victory for Hamas, by being able to now, surepticiously, place rocket launchers into more favorable locations?

    How can there be negotiations and bargaining without two sides participating?

    Before there can be rational, empirical discussion regarding a potential agreement between the two sides, shouldn't the fundamental question of Israel's right to exist be settled?


    Settlements are not illegal - IMHO (none / 0) (#56)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:22:29 AM EST
    So if you accept this argument what's the solution?

    The problem is that the Palestinian people want something that's impossible.   They can't move back to land that never really belonged to them and Israel can't dissapear.

    For all the moaning and groaning and complaining about Israel the simple fact is Israel does everything with one motivation.  Protecting it's right to exist.  On the flip Palestine has a simple motivation, getting land back and for too many Palestinians (probably not most) the bigger motivation is destroying Israel.

    The solution is to give them some land back but it will never be as much as they want (right of return etc...).  Clinton realized this and a good deal was almost agreed on.  

    Until Palestinians realize Israel isn't going anywhere and that they can't have everything they want this won't end.  

    Blaming Israel because they are the easy target (a democracy that receives American aid) compared to a theocracy that receives aid from the UN, Iran and terrorists seems crazy to me but as is always the case it's easier to blame the person who is reasonable and is actually affected by criticism then the person who isn't.

    Please take some time (none / 0) (#61)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:21:53 PM EST
    nd explain to me how you can have both Jim Crow laws and orthadox rabbis in Parliment and still be in any meaningful sense a non-theocratic democracy, Slado.

    "Does everything only to protect (none / 0) (#62)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:34:07 PM EST
    it's right to exist" is another heavy-handed, monolithic distortion.

    Which Israel is being refered to here, the one willing to live in peace ("exist") within pre-67 borders; the one that's carving up the West Bank inch by inch; or the one that wont rest till the "Greater Israel" is achieved?


    There are extremists on both sides (none / 0) (#65)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:57:26 PM EST
    and you using examples of the Israeli version is just as hopeless as me saying all Palestinians are Hamas members.

    The extremists on BOTH sides dominate the debate and confuse the bigger issue.  That both contries for the most part just wants what is fair but what is fair to both sides isn't possible.  A compromise must be reached and to me it's pretty easy to favor the Israeli's.  

    What is your solution since both Israel and Palestine aren't going anywhere.

    If it is to divde the country along pre-1967 boarders with a Palestine accepting a few concessions for settlements and Israel accepting a few concessions to make up for these settlements then we are in agreement.   Problem is that solution isn't acceptable to the Palestinian people, or at least the people they've chosen or allow to make their decisions.  IE ARAFAT, the PLO an Hamas/Hezzbollah.  

    There's the rub.  

    If they aren't willing to go into a negotiaon with the most reasonable solution as their fall back positoin what's the point in us even caring about this situation?


    My point.... (none / 0) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:47:07 PM EST

    The issue isn't land, borders, settlers, etc. It's the absolute fact that The poor Palestinian people are, and always have been, pawns, controlled by people and powers who have a vested interest in keeping this conflict on the front burner.......forever.

    They will never permit an Israeli State in that region.......ever.

    Why is that so hard to understand?


    If it's true that they'll never permit (none / 0) (#68)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:25:11 PM EST
    an Israeli state, then the question becomes why.

    Would they have permitted another state as long as it wasnt an Israeli state?

    To continually evoke irrational deep-rooted race hatred while completely ignoring Israel's complicity in the sordid intrigues of the West in the M.E is shoddy history which leads to a shoddy approach to problem solving.


    What happened (none / 0) (#70)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:53:30 PM EST
    in 1967?

    ooops? sorry?
    Jeeesh, we won't do it again....really....mean it.

    How you people try to rationalize the irrational!
    I prefer Hamas's direct, in-your-face hatred, than uneducated, phony, Liberal mutants sniffing around trying to find something, anything, to sooth the guilt.


    Irrational is basing (none / 0) (#71)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 04:06:42 PM EST
    a state on 3,000 year old mythology. And then summoning up the same mythology to bolster it.

    So one needs to tell some other folks that nuclear weapons, impending eco-disaster and beyond idiotic longterm planning and utilization of resources put ALL OF US in the same boat a long time ago.


    Some one needs.. (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 04:07:46 PM EST
    Journalism being called Heroic? (none / 0) (#57)
    by pleasestop on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:24:54 AM EST
    it is a scary day when telling BOTH sides of a story is called "heroic" - didn't that used to just be called "journalism"?

    the implications of our loss of perspective, erroded by a constant bombardment of blatantly one sided pro-israel news coverage, is deeply disturbing.

    Unfortunately the average joe doesn't realize you have to look outside of the US for the full coverage.

    Typical US "News" Script regarding Israel:

    1. well spoken, american-accented, Israeli telling his side of the story.
    2. picture of woman crying to back him up (globally sympathetic visual)
    3. (to play "fair") Palestinian with bad accent telling his side of the story (by now the average 2 second attention span has passed, plus he has a weird beard so is 'foreign' and therefore not sympathetic)
    4. pictures of angry palestinian youth, usually throwing rocks from frustration at the injustices done to them, or running with a bomb going off in the background...but their running and therefore threatening looking.
    5. back to the well spoken Israeli reiterating his case.

    I challenge everyone to watch for this. I've seen it on CNN since 1982 when it was pointed out to me by my "foreign" friends from both Lebanon and Yugoslavia...

    Changing the script is not heroic. It's just TRUE journalism.