Palestinians Seek UN Recognition As Independent State

Apparently, it has occurred formally now. A NYTimes Editorial today said:

Last year, President Obama’s speech to the United Nations was full of promise and determination to advance Palestinian statehood through negotiations with Israel. This year, his address was about lowering expectations and a dispiriting realpolitik as the president spoke of how “peace is hard” and vowed to veto the Palestinians’ bid for statehood if it came to a Security Council vote. Mr. Obama had no choice but to stand by Israel, this country’s historic ally. [. . .] But there should be no illusions about the high cost both Israel and this country will pay if this stalemate is allowed to drag on any longer.

There is plenty of blame to go around. The main responsibility right now belongs to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel who refuses to make any serious compromises for peace.

In a meeting with bloggers yesterday, Bill Clinton explained that part of this is due to the changing demographics of Israel, with many newcomers having little respect for the Palestinian position and driving for more land on the West Bank. Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy provides more detail on Clinton's remarks on the Israel- Palestine situation.

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    Reading the account of what Clinton said (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:55:38 AM EST
    I find nothing in particular to disagree with.

    The shift in the Israeli policy from aggressive to plain crazy does not sit well with me. Apparently the crop of former Soviet Jews who now hold the balance of electoral power have a . . . different outlook.

    I have not been to Israel. Has the (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:58:09 AM EST
    population outstripped available land w/i the 1967 borders of Israel?  

    I haven't been either (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:02:50 PM EST
    Unlike some of my friends, I wasn't interested in taking Sheldon  Adelson's money for an indoctrination trip, and it was never on the family itinerary.

    However, I am pretty sure that the answer to your question is no.


    OT (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by CST on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:37:36 PM EST
    When I first started college, a (new) friend of mine asked me if I wanted to join Hillel.  This being my first week at school I said I would go check it out, having no clue what it was.  When we got there, they started talking about free trips to Israel, among other things, and I got really excited thinking, man that sounds cool!  I like to travel.

    It wasn't until dinner started and various religious things were said that I realized it was a Jewish club.  I am not Jewish.  I have two grandfathers who were raised Jewish and then split from the clan, I look the part, and I have random family traditions that are quasi-jewish (like Chinese food on Christmas), but my parents are athiest/agnostic and I am NOT religious, nor did we have any kind of religious upbringing.  I just thought it was really funny that a) the person who invited me just assumed I was Jewish without ever asking, and b) I really thought they were just being friendly and organizing some fun free trip to the middleeast.

    I was not invited back.  I have also never been to Israel.


    The stories I could tell about arriving at (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 02:25:55 PM EST
    U of M.  Totally clueless.  

    South Korea has proven that you can start (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:52:36 PM EST
    dumping soil shaved off of building sites and old broken cement into the ocean and make more "land".

    Boston (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CST on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:56:26 PM EST
    did that a long time ago.  Who needs hills anyway?

    Isn't Japan building some massive ball in the ocean with public transportation and housing "pods"?  Or at least they had that on the discovery channel as something they were considering.

    Here's another thought, build up.  The world is not entitled to a single family house with a white picket fence.


    I (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 02:34:32 PM EST
    have never bought the "Israel our historic ally" mantra.

    I believe that Israel is "our ally" as long as it serves our purposes - namely to have a base from which to launch attacks if necessary.

    I remember during the Gulf War 1, the "good war", whenever Israel just took it when the Skud missiles landed there, the US described them as really great. Those guys can take it. Restraint. Those people are almost White.

    When the Israelis were annoyed at being targets, the US would emote something to the effect that they were a bunch of excitable Jews...

    In short - if Israel serves our interests, they are our "historic allies". If they cease to do so, fuhgeddaboudit.

    Politics as Economics (4.00 / 0) (#11)
    by koshembos on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:15:06 PM EST
    Paul Krugman never stops talking about the myriad of economists that forgot basic economics and are as guilty as politicians for the big recession.

    The experts on Israeli/Palestinian conflict are not much better than their economists counterparts. Netanyahu is clearly a problem, but Abbas did agree with Israel's previous PM, Olmert, who offered Abbas almost the whole West Bank. Sadly, both sides have now leaders that obstruct the peace process.

    I would vote for a Palestinian state, but Abbas' request will bring him absolutely nothing positive. He does it to protect himself against internal uprising. This gets no one nowhere, except of course the Iranian and now the new hoodlum on the block the Turks.

    Very interesting. Thank you. Terrific to read (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:30:53 AM EST
    Clinton's seemingly straight ahead assessment.

    Post script:

    Clinton, in a roundtable with bloggers today on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, . . .
     [Italics added.]

    Was the blogger roundtable "on the sidelines"?    

    The level of crazy on the topic of Israel (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:40:32 AM EST
    these days makes it even more impossible to have a discussion about it.

    These days?!? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 02:59:54 PM EST
    I simply don't discuss these issues.  Haven't for most of my adult life.  The discussions are never about the reality of the situation.  They're always a proxy for something else.

    Try to think of security guarantees... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:44:42 AM EST
    ...that a right wing Israeli government would consider legitimate enough to make serious concessions over.  Psychologically, I don't think they believe those even exist.  I understand the perspective, I just can't fathom how anyone sees it as a road to anything but ruin.

    At some point, risks have to be taken for peace, not just for war.


    From my point of view, demographic realities (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:52:28 AM EST
    make it much more difficult for the Israelis to "just say no" anymore. If they had been able to stop the nutso settlers a few years ago an attempt to establish something like a status quo border, they'd be in a better spot. Unilateral disengagement was not a terrible idea, but they actually had to try and, you know, disengage.

    That's why I say (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 11:57:41 AM EST
    The security guarantee argument seems very empty to me right now.  Collective regression appears to be about all that's "progressing" at this point.  

    Presenting your throat to be cut (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:40:37 PM EST
    is not a risk for peace, it is suicide.

    The '67 borders do just that.


    BTW, Obama will get political milage (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:05:13 PM EST
    out of vetoing statehood. And frankly, I'm not going to object to that. I don't think solving the Israel/Palestine situation is in the cards any time soon, so there no value to endangering the Administration over this.

    As a sheer political calculation (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 12:30:00 PM EST
    that's fair.

    I'll leave it at that.


    I don't hear talk about 'the Roadmap' (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:53:49 PM EST
    anymore, but a UN Declaration of a Palestinian state absent a peace accord was sure not on it. As a matter of being consistent with U.S policy, I don't think a veto is wrong.

    From the Palestinian point of view I think it was a good idea, if for no other reason then to jump start discussions and make people restate positions.


    It is too late (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 05:42:50 PM EST
    for him. The Israel genie is out of the bottle.

    You mean that like every President in (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 06:32:04 PM EST
    living memory, he does not unequivocally support the Likud position on Israel's borders?

    I mean that it is understood (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 07:03:29 PM EST
    that he does not support Israel. He said it himself. He can come back and do this/that but it is too late.

    "It is understood" - heh (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:47:50 PM EST
    I mean that it is understood that he does not support Israel. He said it himself.

    BTW - Link to the quote where Obama said he 'does not support Israel"?  Unless, as usual ...

    ... you just made it up.


    When you announce to the world that (1.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 08:41:57 AM EST
    Israel should return to the 1967 borders you are announcing that you do not support Israel.

    Catch a clue, get real about Obama and his foreign policy in the ME and understand where it is taking us.

    Straight to a disaster.


    "Catch a clue", indeed (none / 0) (#30)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 10:00:54 AM EST
    Your conclusion is not only silly, but your premise is a complete lie.

    Not that anyone will be surprised by that.


    Did Obama really break with U.S. policy and call on Israel to return to its 1967 borders?


    Here's exactly what Obama said in a May 19 speech at the State Department:

    "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."


    "By definition, it means that the parties themselves -- Israelis and Palestinians -- will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. That's what mutually agreed-upon swaps means.  It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.It allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides."

    You remind me of a man I knew (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 01:10:45 PM EST
    You could walk up to him on a pleasant day and say, "Nice day."

    He would immediately say:

    "Don't you see those clouds over there? Did you see the forecast of 25% chance of rain? Don't you feel the chill in the wind? Are you aware that it's 70 degrees? The average is 75 on this date!"

    In other words, he knew what had been said, and understood. But he wanted to put down the other person and demonstrate how informed he was about things that were not germane to the conversation.

    Now, you call me a liar quite a bit. That demonstrates who and what you are. In southern terms we would call you a cad. Someone with no class and a desire to do harm.

    "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."

    There is NO swaps that Hamas and Israel will agree to. Obama must know that. And if Hamas would, what swap would make up for the loss of security that Israel would lose? There is none.

    When Obama said, "should be based on 1967...." he effectively let the genie out of the bottle and told Hamas that he supported them. Please don't try and act like you believe otherwise.

    Obama's foreign was designed to play to his base while his domestic policy is designed to enrich the bankers, unions and favored corporations. It is what China practice, "Crony capitalism." Strangely, perhaps not, it has been perfected by the Chinese communists.

    You are been had by Obama and yet you, oh so smart that you must be my shadow, don't recognize that.

    Jim's shadow. Now that is a title that makes people take notice.



    I call a spade a spade, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 01:59:25 PM EST
    None of this beating-around-the-bush, backhanded cowardly accusations followed by an "LOL!" or a ;-).  That's just not my style.  What you claimed Obama said was clearly not what Obama said, your attempts at reading his mind notwithstanding.

    BTW - Anyone with the slightest knowledge and credibility knew what Obama was calling for, and it was precisely what he (and I) said.  This includes Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who referenced Obama's speech in his own speech to a joint session of Congress just 2 days later:

    The precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated," he said. "We will be very generous in the size of a future Palestinian state. But, as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.

    You should let Obama, Netanyahu and everyone with an IQ over 50 know about your fairy tale.  I'm sure they could use a laugh.

    What did he say? "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps." What does that mean? Well, in practice it means the Israelis and the Palestinians would negotiate bits of a future Palestinian state that would not follow the 1967 borders, with some Israeli settlement blocs presumably being swapped for other bits of Israeli land. 1967 is just a starting point.

    That's been the general working idea for the last four US presidencies, including two Republican administrations.



    You are what you are and you can't help it. (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 02:48:04 PM EST
    Now go play with the other children. I am tired of you and fear that if you continue your attacks I will more accurately describe you and embarrass myself.

    You are incapable of being embarrassed.


    Why worry about it now, Jim? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 03:34:20 PM EST
    You embarrass yourself every time you post one of your silly lies, then attempt to divert and distract when you're exposed.

    I have to admit, Jim, ...

    ... it's pretty amusing.


    Will we issue some sort of statement or (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 01:58:05 PM EST
    explanation of what gets an aye vote out of us?  Otherwise we are just part of the problem then.

    not an easy decision (none / 0) (#27)
    by diogenes on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 09:48:13 PM EST
    From Wikipedia Israel article
    "Israel stretches 424 kilometers (263 mi) from north to south, and its width ranges from 114 kilometers (71 mi) to, at its narrowest point, 15 kilometers (9.3 mi).[3]

    Maybe the Palestinians should have a state, notwithstanding the fact that Hamas wants to drive the nine mile wide Israel of the 1967 borders into the sea, but it's awfully easy for Americans whose borders are protected by large oceans to pontificate about this.

    It isn't 1967 anymore (none / 0) (#29)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 09:24:52 AM EST
    The Middle East has undergone some very dramatic changes this year. Israel and U.S. policy needs to keep up with the changes.

    They're going to have to resolve the Palestinian problem. They're no longer dealing with a handful of dictators that can be bought off. The people are becoming involved.

    If Israeli security is the critical issue, they need to come to an accord on the two state solution.

    Every nation in the Arab League has agreed to sign a non-aggresssion treaty with Israel when a resolution has been reached. This is at least a starting point.

    A group of religous zealots can't be allowed to dictate policy in any country, whether they're Jewish, Moslem or our own Evangelicans.