Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Soul of America is on the Line

If there were any people that thought the massive loss of Congress would give the Obama a pause in whether the people of the US approved His actions and philosophies, they can remove all those mistaken assumptions right now.

Let’s forget for a minute that the Obama is asking for an additional freeze.

Let’s instead consider His open threats.

Obama is telling Israel, that if Israel doesn't continue the freeze for another 90 days and fully comply to His wishes, the Obama administration will give orders to do the following:

1. The US will not veto any unilateral acts by the “Palestinians” in the UN.

2. The US will not veto any UN resolution that denies Israel the right to self-defense.

3. The US will not veto any UN resolutions that denies Israel the right to exist.

4. The US will not oppose any of these above efforts or actions in the UN Security Council and other UN forums either.

Well congratulations America. The Obama has just lined up the United States with all the third world, repressive, dictatorial countries such as Syria, Libya, Iran, and others that routinely attack Israel and America as well.

Can you imagine that?

Where once the United States was a beacon of democracy, and known for standing up for what was right, in just two years the Obama will have dragged the country down to what is probably the lowest moral point in its history.

The Obama has given notice that he will allow all these third world countries unbridled permission and US support to attack the only true, functioning democracy in the Middle East.

The Obama has said that the defense of a fellow democracy is negotiable and on the chopping block.


Bibi, call Him out. Openly take this to Congress and the Senate.

This is Obama's personal war against the Jewish state of Israel.

The Jewish people have friends in Congress and the Senate, and when the Obama pulls a stunt like this, they won’t take it lying down - if they see we won't take it lying down either.

People of America - WAKE UP.

Write your Senators and Congressman. Call their offices. Take just a minute of your time and take an action.

The bottom line is that Israel shares America's democratic principles and values, and if you let the Obama get away with this without doing so much as making a phone call or writing an email, then you will be as guilty of destroying the moral standing of the United States and the security of Israel, as the Obama is.

This is your battle too, and all you need to do is make a phone call or send an email.

The soul of America is on the line.

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84 comments:

Gil said...

I have a friend who isn't calling her congressman to protest Obama's policies. You just declared her as guilty as Obama. Should I provide her contact details here so we can all give her what she deserves? She's much more physically accessible than Obama, right here in Jerusalem, and no body guards, she's easy prey, if she's as guilty as Obama than she's the one we should attack.
Look, I'm sorry, but when you get into the hyperbole of "you will be as guilty ..." you're forcing many people to flip the bozo bit on the blog post, and you lose all credibility.

NormanF said...

Jameel, Bibi is more likely to impose a revanant freeze extension than he's likely to stand up to Obama.

Don't be surprised if it gets approved today.

Anonymous said...

Strange Gil the only one here calling for violence is you! What a bozo. Jameel said to write and call for the sake of the soul of America. Can't you even read?

Anonymous #2 said...

I wonder whether Netanyahu has the concern that if he lets Obama go down this path he threatens, it will send the message that America doesn't care about protecting its own Jews, as has already happened in Europe.

But how long can one hold Obama from doing what he seems to want to do anyway? We better get building - we might see a lot more Americans here soon.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Gil: Sorry, but I didn't write this, JoeSettler did.

I would have written it differently.

The bottom line is, President Obama is offering US support in the UN, to allow Israel to defend itself, in order to force Israel to limit its sovereignty over Jerusalem and Jewish communities in the West Bank.

Its poor form for the US to treat its friends that way.

JoeSettler said...

Sorry Jameel, but that's not what the Obama is saying.

The Obama is retracting the automatic support that Israel justly receives from the US as a fellow democracy in the UN against attacks from 3rd world countries, enemy Islamic states and petty dictatorships (and funny how many of them are all wrapped up in the same package).

The Obama is offering to conditionally restore the US's protection of it's fellow democracy for a limited time only (2011 only), and only if Israel complies with His demands.


By His actions, the Obama is allowing the UN to potentially apply sanctions against Israel, and He delegitimizes Israel's inherent right to exist and to self-defense.

The Obama is conditioning those basic truths and rights to our compliance with his extortionist demands.

JoeSettler said...

By His actions, the Obama is allowing the UN to potentially apply sanctions against Israel, and He delegitimizes Israel's inherent right to exist and to self-defense.

Let me correct that statement above.

By His actions, the Obama is guaranteeing the UN will apply sanctions against Israel, and He both conditionalizes and denounces Israel's inherent right to exist and to self-defense.

J. said...

What a bunch of babies. So you won't build an extension for 90 days - it takes me years to get planning permission in the UK. Stop giving your best friend the middle finger, stop deliberately winding up all your allies, and behave like normal human beings.
What the heck difference does 90 days make, even if it is a charade? Let the world say it was Abbass' fault instead of the stubborn Israelis. Your attitude gives our enemies ammunition, and makes us look as obstructionist as the Arabs

David said...

I don't quite understand what happens after 90 days. Does the US implement all the threats?

I also don't quite understand what the Palestinians are offering.

Maybe Bibi should add a rider - 90 days or until the next Palestinian glorification or execution of terror whichever is the earlier?

JoeSettler said...

J. I made clear it very clear that this isn't about the freeze.

It's about the Obama explicitly retracting America's umbrella defense of Israel (a fellow democracy) in the UN, leaving our country open to sanctions and attacks from all our enemies - unless we comply with whatever He demands of us.

Anonymous said...

Politics used to be so much classier. "The Obama"? Who do you think you are, Joe? You've twisted the truth so badly it's bleeding, then you have the gall to call it a war against the Jewish state of Israel.

As American Jews (which you guys used to be, btw), we're tired of all your posturing. We're tired of the whining. Do you want us to support you? Support us. Show us that our relationship isn't so one-sided.

Support our President. Calling him names isn't winning you points with American Jews. Actually, it's making you look like a bunch of out-of-touch nutjobs, like those guys who still wear polyester leisure suits because they can't cope with a world where disco isn't king anymore.

When American Jews look back at the Bush years, we don't see them through rose-colored glasses like you do. Frankly, we're glad they're over and we're more than a little concerned that the inmates have re-taken the asylum here. Trust us, they're not your friends. Despite what you may think, check the numbers- most Jews are still voting democratic.

And speaking of friends, we'd feel a lot better if you'd advocate for us once in a while. Our gerut system is in shambles here because of your esteemed Chief Rabbinate. If you want more American Jewish support, tell them to recognize more American Jews.

Like J said, it's 90 freaking days, and doesn't even include east Jerusalem. With no requirement for a renewal. And you get $3 billion in security incentives and fighter jets. As one of the little people paying for your sweet little planes during a time when lots of my friends haven't had jobs in months or years, I say enjoy the gifts and stop complaining. We're doing the best we can, hold up your own end. This destructive dance has got to stop and you've got to pull up your big macher panties at some point.

Anonymous said...

J-Street Walker

Flyboy said...

Your friend should get a job in the US military industry. A lot of money is being sent there. $60 Billion in aircraft and weapons to the Saudis last time I heard.

Flyboy said...

Overpriced F-35s? Ripoff.

Israel needs the superior F-22s to deal with regional threats.

Anonymous said...

btw- I'm not a J-Streeter. But if it makes you feel better, you can call me names. It doesn't change my opinion of the situation- or of you.

Vox Populi said...

>The Obama is retracting the automatic support that Israel justly receives from the US as a fellow democracy in the UN against attacks from 3rd world countries, enemy Islamic states and petty dictatorships (and funny how many of them are all wrapped up in the same package).

Oh, so no need to worry. The UK and France are democracies. They'll automatically support you too.

Anonymous said...

"Israel needs the superior F-22s to deal with regional threats."

Sorry, out of stock, indefinite backorder. But you already knew that, "flyboy," right? Besides, the Saudis got a bunch of measly F-15s, no match for F-35s. That should cheer you up.

Vox Populi said...

>The Obama is retracting the automatic support that Israel justly receives from the US as a fellow democracy in the UN against attacks from 3rd world countries, enemy Islamic states and petty dictatorships (and funny how many of them are all wrapped up in the same package).

Conceptually, I'm not sure how Israel can claim that Judea and Samaria are part of Israel while also denying millions living there the right to vote, and still be called a "fellow democracy."

JoeSettler said...

Conceptually, I'm not sure how you can count the millions of Palestinians voting in PA elections as being denied the right to vote.

Oh right, the PA canceled their elections.

...

Conceptually, I'm not sure how you can count the PA canceling their elections as somehow being Israel's fault.

Vox Populi said...

>Conceptually, I'm not sure how you can count the PA canceling their elections as somehow being Israel's fault

Why should they vote in PA elections? I'm talking about Israeli elections. If they live in Israel, and Israel is a democracy, then surely there should be no reason for millions of its inhabitants to be denied the vote.

JoeSettler said...

This is a tired argument that Jameel has spent far too much effort in trying to explain to you in the past.

The Arabs are citizens of their own autonomous government called the Palestinian Authority.

That their government gives or denies them the right to vote is their problem.

Vox Populi said...

>The Arabs are citizens of their own autonomous government called the Palestinian Authority. That their government gives or denies them the right to vote is their problem.

Okay, let's follow this road. Let's say the PA did let them vote in free and fair elections. Now what? Do the Palestinian people have control over their borders? Over their foreign policy? Can they prevent Israeli citizens from living in their country? Can they deport people?

My point is that you can't deny millions of people who inhabit your country the right to participate meaningfully in the governing of your/their country. The United States can't say the people of Delaware no longer have the right to participate in federal politics, just state politics. And, by the way, the US reserves the right to control Delaware's foreign policy and settle American citizens in Delaware.

If you want to say that Judea and Samaria are not part of Israel, and therefore their inhabitants don't get the right to vote, fine. But you can't claim it is part of your country, that you are sovereign over it, but that millions of its inhabitants are not.

JoeSettler said...

Your argument goes nowhere, because no matter how they form a state or autonomous entity, whether through unilateral declaration, through the UN, or through negotiations, they will always have most of those limitations, so you will always say they don't have a state and Israel must give them the right to vote in our state instead. It's a pointless argument with you.

Vox Populi said...

>because no matter how they form a state or autonomous entity, whether through unilateral declaration, through the UN, or through negotiations, they will always have most of those limitations, so you will always say they don't have a state and Israel must give them the right to vote in our state instead.

I think you're ignoring another possibility. There is a way they could have a state and not have any right to vote in your elections. It's called a fully independent sovereign state. If you can't conceive of a Palestinian state where Israelis don't have the unlimited right to move into Palestine, or to control Palestinian foreign policy, then you're not thinking hard enough.

If you want to argue that such a solution is impossible, okay, but then you're not a democracy. At least, not like us.

JoeSettler said...

Wow! What an argument. The Arabs should be allowed to freely import weapons from Iran (borders and foreign policy) to use against Israel (which is what is regularly attempted by Hamastan, though Israel and Egypt regularly foil such attempts) because only then will they truly have an "independent" state.

And if Israel prevents them from obtaining various weapons of mass destruction or from creating an Iranian vassal state in the heartland of Israel then Israel is not a democracy.

Great argument. You've convinced me.

Vox Populi said...

>And if Israel prevents them from obtaining various weapons of mass destruction or from creating an Iranian vassal state in the heartland of Israel then Israel is not a democracy.

So, maybe, following this logic, Israel should occupy all sovereign states? That way, none of them will ever become vassal states of Iran! After all, what would stop the Canadian government from importing rocket and nuclear technology from Iran? Heck, what stops Jordan? Or Egypt?

Listen, you can make arguments about the relative likelihood of certain states to attack or undermine Israel. That's a political debate. You may consider denying the Palestinians the right to democratic freedom to be the moral choice over allowing them to become a vassal state of Iran. But then I would expect you to consider Palestine an occupied state, occupied out of strategic necessity, and not an integral part of the sovereign state of Israel.

Alternatively, you can declare the Territories part of the sovereign state of Israel, and then give the inhabitants the right to participate in the elections of the sovereign state of Israel.

Or, you can choose to do neither. But then you're not a democracy, at least not like the United States. At some point, we have to define terms.

JoeSettler said...

There's no "relative likelihood" here. Hamastan is currently actively involved in trying to acquire weaponry to destroy Israel, and Fatahland's independent Foreign Policy program is currently actively involved in delegitimizing Israel's right to exist. .

Vox Populi said...

>There's no "relative likelihood" here. Hamastan is currently actively involved in trying to acquire weaponry to destroy Israel, and Fatahland's independent Foreign Policy program is currently actively involved in delegitimizing Israel's right to exist. .

I would disagree with the that, but fine. You're still not a democracy.

JoeSettler said...

Whatever you want to imagine.

Vox Populi said...

>Whatever you want to imagine.

You're not addressing the argument. If you have a differing conception of democracy, I'd like to hear it.

JoeSettler said...

They've got the right to vote, to run their own lives, and if they reach a negotiated agreement, an official state of their own. Their destiny is in their own hands, not Israel's.

Every state has various restrictions on its actions through treaty and fact, and there are numerous states with disputed borders and territories - including the United States, and that doesn't make it less of a state or a democracy.

Vox Populi said...

>and if they reach a negotiated agreement, an official state of their own.

A fully sovereign state?

>Every state has various restrictions on its actions through treaty and fact

Do you mean restrictions on their sovereignty?

>and there are numerous states with disputed borders and territories

So, are you classifying the dispute with the Palestinians as a dispute over territory between two sovereign states? A dispute over territory between a sovereign state and a state wishing to be sovereign?

>- including the United States, and that doesn't make it less of a state or a democracy.

I would say that a United States which claimed sovereignty over, say, Greenland, but refused to let the native inhabitants of Greenland participate in the American government would be less of a democracy.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Israel has an interdiction running against Palestine. That doesn't make Israel non-democratic, just in a state of war.

Vox Populi said...

>Sounds like Israel has an interdiction running against Palestine. That doesn't make Israel non-democratic, just in a state of war.

Could you elaborate further? I don't know what you mean by interdiction.

JoeSettler said...

Your argument can be consolidated into a simple statement:

Unless/until a Palestine state is created with unrestricted political powers which can (and will) be used to to destroy Israel, then Israel cannot be a democracy.

Like I said a few comments ago, whatever you want to imagine. Nothing's changed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe, since the US is an occupying power in Iraq, Afghanistan and for a while in plenty of other countries, and we don't let citisens of those countries vote in US elections, you can't argue that we are a true democracy.

Vox Populi said...

>Unless/until a Palestine state is created with unrestricted political powers which can (and will) be used to to destroy Israel, then Israel cannot be a democracy.

No. Israel can give the Palestinians the right to vote in Israeli elections.

What I said was that Israel cannot be a democracy, at least not in the way we traditionally understand, if it effectively governs millions of people without them having a say in their government.

Giving them a puppet state where Israel still exerts significant control over it, such that international law will probably not recognize it as a sovereign state, does not count as being democratic.

Considering the land which they inhabit to be part of Israel, but the inhabitants thereon not to be citizens of Israel, also does not count as being democratic.

You can argue that there is legitimate reason not to do this, which is another discussion. But that's an argument about why democracy does not work in this situation, not an argument that what you're doing is democratic.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point of view. I didn't think of it that way. I do now. Thanks!

JoeSettler said...

Funny how every argument you make ultimately involves the destruction of Israel.

Vox Populi said...

>Funny how every argument you make ultimately involves the destruction of Israel.

I'm assuming you believe that Israel is democratic in the same way that most other democracies are democratic. I'm still waiting to hear how that works.

JoeSettler said...

And I can keep answering until I'm blue in the face, and you will not hear me, while in turn you repeatedly answer that Israel has to give Palestinians the right to vote in Israel, and their right to vote in Palestine doesn't count for anything. So there is no point in repeating myself once again since your statement is the only answer you comprehend.

Vox Populi said...

>while in turn you repeatedly answer that Israel has to give Palestinians the right to vote in Israel, and their right to vote in Palestine doesn't count for anything.

Oh, it can count for something, but not a lot.

Not all voting systems are equal. Imagine a society where Jews could not participate in government, but could form their own book clubs and vote on which book to read next. I would not call that a democratic government.

Similarly, a society where Palestinians can vote for a "government" that has some limited control over their affairs, but not for the government of the actual sovereign power that ultimately controls their lives is not democratic. It's better than nothing, but in terms of democracy, it's severely deficient.

If you don't wish to grant them independence, or let them vote in your elections, okay, but that's not democratic.

Anonymous said...

I think Vox is saying that the halfway situation that Palestinians have now isn't really governing themselves, and since we don't want to relinquish the entire Judea and Samaria to them we should annex it, and give the Palestinians full Israeli citizenship.

Vox the problem with such a reversal is that we're in a process (that many of us are pessimistic about but whatever) of letting the Palestinians create a sovereign state of some shape and successful self-rule. Whether Israel gets blamed that the process needs another 10 years to be done securely, depends upon your point of view.

By the way I never considered the US positions taken in the UN as a favor to Israel as much as the US' own position. So for Obama to use that as a carrot makes no sense - either, like Turkey, you suddenly change your political views for your own reasons, or you want to maintain them the way you do already. Why would we believe that fundamental US Middle East policy suddenly hinges on a measly construction freeze?

Vox Populi said...

>Vox the problem with such a reversal is that we're in a process (that many of us are pessimistic about but whatever) of letting the Palestinians create a sovereign state of some shape and successful self-rule

My preference is the creation of a fully independent sovereign Palestine.

Orange and Black said...

The unincorporated territory of Puerto Rico is very problematic for Vox's argument.

Despite Puerto Ricans holding US citizenship, they are disenfranchised and are not allowed to vote in US national elections.

Furthermore they only govern their own internal affairs, despite maintaining consulates in a number of countries.

But Vox is holding up the US as being the model democracy, yet with such a situation existing with clear and obvious parallels to the Israel-Palestine models, it would indicate that either the US is actually a very deficient democracy or Israel is not.

Either way Vox's argument fails.

Vox Populi said...

>Either way Vox's argument fails.

No it doesn't. If anything, it reinforces it. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, meaning that it is not part of the United States, but the United States exercises sovereignty over it.

In Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans are accorded all the rights of US citizens whose residence is in a US territory, and not a state. If a native of Puerto Rico makes his residence in New York, which he is legally entitled to do, he can vote in any federal election any other resident of New York can. If a resident of New York moves to Puerto Rico and establishes his domicile there, he can no longer vote in federal elections. Puerto Rico is not in the United States.

More importantly, this arrangement is by the wishes of the Puerto Rican people. They have held numerous referenda where they consider whether to (a) move towards statehood, (b) move towards independence, and (c) maintain the status quo. So far, they have opted to maintain the status quo. That is democracy.

Anonymous said...

"In Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans are accorded all the rights of US citizens whose residence is in a US territory, and not a state"

Its official, Vox is a troll.

I really don't get how people can still believe that Obama isn't another Carter.

Vox Populi said...

>Its official, Vox is a troll.

Because we hold different opinions?

Anonymous said...

For people who read this and arn't Vox.

It's important to note that according to Vox's definition of a democracy, there has never yet existed any country which is a democracy.

There always exists some class of people in every country who are not allowed to vote.

Vox Populi said...

>There always exists some class of people in every country who are not allowed to vote.

If you know of a situation comparable to Israel's I'd like to hear it.

Anonymous said...

">Its official, Vox is a troll.

Because we hold different opinions?"

No, because your arguments make no sense and go around in circles of each other. You keep changing the definition of terms, and pedant your way into a statement that is technically true, but doesn't actually prove your argument.

If you need more help on the topic you may read the following:

http://www.flayme.com/troll/

Vox Populi said...

>No, because your arguments make no sense and go around in circles of each other. You keep changing the definition of terms, and pedant your way into a statement that is technically true, but doesn't actually prove your argument.

Obviously, this is not the way I read the conversation. I have been insisting on a static definition of terms throughout, and have not, to my knowledge, employed a circular argument.

In general, I think calling someone a troll is counter-productive for discourse. It's a conversation ender.

If you've spotted a legitimate flaw in my argument, please tell me.

Anonymous said...

"If you know of a situation comparable to Israel's I'd like to hear it."

Kashmir in India
Tibul Tigers in Sri Lanka
Kurds in Turkey
Georgians in Russia
Peurto rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Island in America
Tokelau of New Zealand
The Basque in Spain
Falkan Islands between England and Argentinia
Gaudelope, Martinuqe, and French Guiana, of France
Western Sahara

But you are a troll and allready knew all this, and for those interested, they can look up other smaller territories here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_list_of_Non-Self-Governing_Territories#Current_entries

Anonymous said...

"If you've spotted a legitimate flaw in my argument, please tell me."

There are many, and they have already been pointed out, but you are a troll and I will stop your nutritional diet from this post forward.

Vox Populi said...

>Kashmir in India

Kashmir is an Indian state. Natives of Indian Kashmir vote in Kashmir and Indian elections. Even so, the UNHRC considers it only "partly free".

>Tibul Tigers in Sri Lanka

I'm assuming you mean the Tamil Tigers, who are a terrorist group. I don't know if they vote, being terrorists, but the Tamil people in Sri Lanka are accorded the franchise. Sri Lanka is classified as "partly free" by Freedom House.

>Georgians in Russia

Not sure what you mean here. Do you mean Georgia, an independent state? Do you mean Georgian citizens of Russia? Do you mean ethnic Georgians who are not citizens of Russia? In any case, Russia isn't exactly a democracy, and is characterized as "not free" by Freedom House.

>Peurto rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Island in America

We've covered these.

>Tokelau

Sounds similar to PR. Tokelau administers itself and has so far been unwilling to vote for independence.

>The Basque in Spain

Basques vote in Spain.

>Falkan Islands between England and Argentinia

Falkland Islanders are British citizens. They are also autonomous. They also like this arrangement.

>Gaudelope, Martinuqe, and French Guiana, of France

These are all overseas departments of France. They vote in national French elections.

>Western Sahara

Okay, but Morocco's not a democracy.

Reading this list. I don't think you understand my argument. I am not saying that it the existence of non-self-governing territories is illegitimate. I'm saying that to be a democracy, a country cannot govern a people without either (a) their consent or (b) giving them the right to participate in national politics.

Israel has done neither.

PP said...

Vox is not a troll. IMHO he's the only one making any sense here, and yet you still fail to counter his basic (correct) assertion, insulting him instead: I'm moved to ask (once again) if you only want a choir reading this blog who you can preach to, or if you're genuinely interested in debating issues with those who think differently to you? Or should we just abandon ship and leave you to your Little Green Muqata?

On this matter- I would heed the words of the earlier commenter from the US (whom an anon oh-so-classily castigated as a J-Street Walker) - Americans dafka seem to be in favor of their "soul" being on the line on this particular issue, believing (as many Israelis do) that simultaneous construction in the settlements alongside claims to be a democracy seeking peace are not tolerable. Seems clear to me that nary a soul outside of American-populated yishuvim will be convinced to pick up the phone to their representative to explain your argument.

JoeSettler said...

Good morning PP:

Vox's argument is that Israel is not a democracy and as such does not deserve "fellow democracy" consideration by the US in the UN.

Whereas Orange raises a valid point, that in fact he does not take far enough.

The US in fact has at least 7 classes of citizenship/residence, each offering their bearers different levels of rights and restrictions, either permanent or temporary.

1. Native citizens residing in one of the 50 states.
2. Native citizens residing in D.C.
3. Immigrant Citizens
4. Residents of US Territories
5. Residents of US Territories residing in the US
6. Illegal Alien Residents
7. Foreign citizens under US military occupation


Each class in the US's "democracy" except the first, faces limitations (some arbitrary, some technical) in their rights granted to citizens of the first class. Some of those limitations are permanent, some can be removed.

Furthermore as was pointed out, the US is also an occupying power in at least 1 country, where it has set up a puppet government and maintains control of that country through military means.

He "pedantically" (to use the above term) chooses to argue that since the situation in the US is different in various arbitrary details, there can be absolutely no comparison. A ridiculous argument.

But following his argument to its logical conclusion, the UK, Australia, and Canada would also not be entitled to the title of "democracy" either due to their allegience/reliance to the Monarchy, which is of course a restricted class-based system.
He would of course find some sort of exception to that, even though the Monarchs are permanenty not allowed the right to vote.


As for your point, you completely miss the argument.

As I explicitely stated at the beginning of the post this isn't about the settlement freeze or settlements.

This is about Obama stating that the US no longer automatically accepts Israel's right to exist or Israel's right to defend herself.

If you feel that Israel has no automatic right to exist or to self-defense, and if you feel the US doesn't have a moral obligation to also defend those basic rights when a fellow democracy is attacked by third world dictatorships, then there really isn't much to talk about, is there?

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe, Check out that double-standard. Let's hold Israel up to idealized definitions of democracy that no other country can meet.

Vox Populi said...

>He "pedantically" (to use the above term) chooses to argue that since the situation in the US is different in various arbitrary details, there can be absolutely no comparison. A ridiculous argument.

If the distinctions I drew were in fact arbitrary, my argument could definitely be pedantic. But the distinctions are not arbitrary. I thought this was obvious, but apparently not.

You wish to argue that the way the federal government of the United States treats P.R. is fundamentally similar enough to the way Israel treats Palestinians in the territories so as to justify not granting them the right to vote, citizenship or independence. Therefore, if the US does it and is a democracy, then Israel will also be a democracy, and the converse as well.

My argument is that Puerto Rico is fundamentally and meaningfully different in all the ways that matter.

(1) You believe that Judea and Samaria are integral parts of Israel, but the US does not believe that PR is an integral part of the US. It's an unincorporated territory. This is a relevant distinction because I have always maintained, that problem with your position is that you believe that X territory belongs to your country while X inhabitants do not, a position I find incoherent.

(2) Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States, while Palestinians in J & S are not citizens of Israel. This is a relevant distinction because even though the US does not consider PR an integral part of the US, it still has taken the step to make its inhabitants US citizens, a step Israel has not taken, despite your assertion that J & S are an integral part of Israel.

(3) Puerto Ricans and mainland Americans do in fact have equal citizenship rights in every respect. Someone whose residence in Puerto Rico cannot vote in federal elections because only residents of US states vote in federal elections. If a resident of PR moves to Florida, he can vote in federal elections. If a resident of Florida moves to PR (and establishes residence there) he cannot. Puerto Ricans can even run for the Presidency, provided they meet the residency requirements of Article II (in the mainland). This is because PR is not really part of the United States. This is a relevant distinction because Palestinians cannot acquire all the benefits of Israeli citizenship by moving to Haifa. Moreover, an Israeli who moves to the West Bank retains all of his citizenship rights, including the right to vote, as a resident of his settlement.

(4) Coupled with this fact is that Puerto Ricans have an unrestricted right to settle anywhere they desire in the mainland US. This is a relevant distinction because Palestinians in J & S have no such right to settle in Israel.

(5) I also mentioned that Puerto Rico's status with the United States is a result of Puerto Rico's own decision, decided by democratic means, through referenda. Every now and then, the United States will ask PR if PR wants to become a state, become independent, or maintain the status quo. Every time, PR chooses status quo. This is a relevant distinction because Israel has not offered the Palestinians any such choice.

In summation, every single distinction I drew is fundamentally relevant to my argument, and each one reinforces it. Again, my argument is, and always has been, that if a state wishes to be called a democracy, and wishes to govern a territory, it must either only govern with the territory's consent, or grant inhabitants of that territory the right to participate in the sovereign governing power's elections.

Vox Populi said...

>Furthermore as was pointed out, the US is also an occupying power in at least 1 country, where it has set up a puppet government and maintains control of that country through military means.

This is also meaningfully different. The US does not claim title to, or sovereignty over, either Iraq or Afghanistan. It is an occupying power. It does not permanently settle civilians in either country, nor does it plan to be there permanently, and has in fact set timetables for its eventual withdrawal.

Again, my argument only concerns states that wish to permanently govern territories. If you want to claim that Israel is also an occupying power, just like the US, I would be perfectly satisfied with that description. But (a) I don't think that's what you believe, and I think you would in fact bristle at the notion that Israel is conducting an occupation and (b) occupying powers are bound by the Geneva Conventions, which means no settlements.

>But following his argument to its logical conclusion, the UK, Australia, and Canada would also not be entitled to the title of "democracy" either due to their allegience/reliance to the Monarchy, which is of course a restricted class-based system.

Again, my argument is that any state that wishes to govern another territory, and still wish to be a democracy, must either govern only with the territory's consent, or grant the inhabitants of said territory the right to participate in the sovereign governing power's elections.

The Queens is not a state, nor does she govern, in any meaningful sense. All citizens of the UK, Canada, and Australia may vote in their respective countries elections for Parliament, which is the governing power of their respective sovereign states.

JoeSettler said...

And you are fully entitled to define democracy however you want, build your argument around whatever selective definition you wish to create for it, and explain away any concrete examples that contradict those positions.

Doesn't mean your right.

Vox Populi said...

>Doesn't mean your right.

Then if I'm wrong, some other definition must be right. What is that definition? What definition of democracy can you come up with that is (a) actually believed by people who are not settlers and (b) validates the notion that Israel is a democracy like the US is a democracy?

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure it's "fair" to allow the Arabs to have eliminated Jewish settlement from the territories during 1948-1967 and suddenly say that the residents of those regions - who have been groomed to be quite hostile - must immediately be treated as equals.

If we're looking to make comparisons to the US let's talk American Indians. I don't think significantly wiping out Palestinians and then generations later giving them some small patches of land in which to paint up and dance is really an answer.

Anonymous said...

"This is about Obama stating that the US no longer automatically accepts Israel's right to exist or Israel's right to defend herself."

Obama has not stated that, directly or implicitly. You hate that his administration has *also* given legitimacy to the Palestinians, and in your black and white world view, that equals negation of Israel's right to exist.

But how do you arrive at that conclusion? The only clear line of reasoning would seem to be that you don't really want peace. Peace, for you, is that carrot at the end of a stick- always a "possibility," but never to be realized. So the world dumps resources and effort into trying to cajole everyone into a workable solution, but no one really wants a solution. Same time, same place, next administration...

As I wrote before, I am not a J-Street shill, but I have been around the block a few times. The Bush administration that you guys measure Obama against did nothing valuable, and indeed hurt any prospects for a solution. By engaging the Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party wingnuts- as if they have anything vaguely important to add to the conversation. Now we've got not just a Jewish-Muslim issue- the Rapture is wiggling its way into policy, and we know that's *never* a good thing.

So I challenge you to think of what would be a good, workable solution- that would actually work. Rather then slinging names and insults, provide something productive. To us American Jews, y'all are looking like a bunch of desperate vigilantes who don't understand diplomacy, politics or arms horse-trading (which these weapons programs are, btw- no surprise the Saudis are getting old tech- that's how we clear the late-model inventory off the shelves around here, plus we add in our mark-up. Meanwhile the Israelis get the good stuff and Americans get jobs. Don't look so surprised).

So like I said, put on those big-macher panties and show us all that you've got more to offer than insults and excuses.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

You hate that his administration has *also* given legitimacy to the Palestinians

And why not? They terrorize Israel, incite against Israel on a daily basis through official PA TV, media and schooling, taught to hate Israel, threaten the "terrorism" card at every opportunity, and deny Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State.

Anonymous said...

But that is not the same thing as Joe Settler's claim, the premise of his "soul of America" bs.

JoeSettler said...

The Israel Initiative

J. Goldstone said...

Useless F-35s for peace is a wonderful idea. I plan to prosecute Israel if they ever try to use one, and the US will never allow Israel to use them against Iran anyway.

Anonymous said...

Nice idea, Joe- unless you consider that the Jordanians don't want them and, even if you believe that Israel Initiative propaganda, half of Palestinians don't want to move. If you can overcome those obstacles, you might be onto something. In the same fantasy vein, has anyone considered shlepping them all out to the Sinai where they can open casinos and get rich?

Anonymous said...

Who knows, Goldstone. The Israelis aren't exactly turning them down. That should tell you something.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe, Why do you bother even posting a link to the question of your solution? If it isn't their solution, their response is ALWAYS the same no matter what answer you give.

Anonymous said...

It's not that it isn't "my" solution, it's not "a" solution. If it needs to be said *again*, I am not J-Street, I have an appreciation of what's really going on (and I agree that what Jameel stated is indeed a major issue), I'm standard modern O, I support Israel & I've spent time there. But that doesn't change the fact that there's a major impasse and I can't get the idea out of my head that you guys are so wrapped up in your scrappy frontier existence, with your proud tradition of being armed to the teeth, can't ever seeing yourselves letting that go and really aren't wired to live in a peaceful country, no matter how it's achieved.

I challenged Joe to describe a real-world pathway to peace in the Middle East, and he gave me a link to a fairy tale based on bastardized history. If it had been a real possibility, it would probably be on the table, or at least mentioned once in a while outside of its own website. It's not, and it's not, so get over it. Next idea?

JoeSettler said...

I've got a standing bet with Jameel.

Every time a Lefty asks that question, I post some serious answer that has been proposed by the Right.

If they immediately dismiss, denigrate or attack it (and otherwise show they didn't really read it), then I get to post for another 2 months.

If they consider the concepts and ask an intelligent question about how to implement it, then Jameel gets a BBQ at my house.

I haven't lost yet.

Jameel actually thought his Leftist readers would at least be able to consider ideas outside of their ideological box, and not just offer Pavlovian responses.


A great example of this is when Uri Elitzur (former Chief of Staff for Bibi Netanyahi) presented variations on a 1-state solution called "Shared Sovereignty" at a conference a short while back.

Yossi Sarid walked off the stage right in the middle, and Yossi Beilin outright rejected the idea on Israel radio, refusing to even consider it because of the source.

Meanwhile, the Arabs wanted to hear what Uri had to say.

Anonymous said...

Well, you're still waiting for a "Lefty" to ask a question, then.

Look, you're presenting answers that can be summed up as "having your cake and eating it, too". Contrary to your assertion, yes, I read the I.I. website. Among the flaws with the argument are the valid retort that if you're going to resort to the original Jewish State- Arab State model, shouldn't you be prepared to go back to the lines drawn under the Mandate? You can't just choose the rules you like and expect everyone else to play along. And I write that with love, honest to G-d.

And what about Jordan? In order for this plan to work, they'd need to cooperate fully. Ha! The Hashemites don't appear to be at all willing to adopt an Arab refugee population- they've been stripping citizenship from the Palestinians that are already there! There are several other problems here, but the plan, on the whole, is pretty bogus.

Similarly, the one-state solution is interesting, because on the surface it seems like such a nice thing. But if you look at the details- Gaza isn't even part of the plan, Israel definitively and instantaneously gets the West Bank with no restrictions on building (SWEET!), Israel remains a Jewish state and Palestinians have to wait a generation- or indefinitely- to earn full citizenship. Don't know who those Arabs were that stayed to hear more at that conference, maybe they were actually asleep?

As far as your bet, maybe Jameel is messing with you- perhaps your burgers are as under-cooked as your arguments and he doesn't have the heart to tell you. Or he likes taking a break from writing. In either case, maybe you guys need to talk it out.

I think we've pretty much beaten this issue to death. I hear what you're saying, and I hope you've been paying attention to the perspectives I've offered, because they're not unusual among serious, committed Jews on this side of the pond. Peace out.

Anonymous said...

"Not unusual among serious, committed Jews"? Please. Your pavlovian response to the Tea Party along with your paranoid references to the Rapture unmask you as nothing more than another in the long line of leftist American Jews who are convinced they know more about what is best for Israel than the folks who actually live there.

You do not represent the majority of committed religious Jews in America and thank G-d for that.

PP said...

"Jameel actually thought his Leftist readers would at least be able to consider ideas outside of their ideological box, and not just offer Pavlovian responses"

Er- "Screw you, Joe Settler?" How's that for a non-Pavlovian answer? So DELIGHTED to have been such a source of nutrition for you over the years. It seems especially ironic, being as you're the only one of the Muqata Triumvirate who invariably resorts to petty insults and borrowed rhetoric when you are presented with a coherent argument which negates your POV.

Enjoy your BBQs y'all. Betayavon LeKulam.

PP said...

If you feel that Israel has no automatic right to exist or to self-defense, and if you feel the US doesn't have a moral obligation to also defend those basic rights when a fellow democracy is attacked by third world dictatorships, then there really isn't much to talk about, is there?

And, I never said that, Mr. Settler. It would appear that as opposed to denying Israel the right to exist, Obama is pointing out to our leadership (sic) that we can no longer rely on the US Carte Blanche, especially when carry out acts that appear to contravene international law. That times have changed and US blind support of Israel is no longer what it was. (What do you expect, knowing Obama's background?) As some of your US commenters point out, this appears to be the popular view in the US, outside of Mr. Beck and the other Foxes.

JoeSettler said...

"
If you feel that Israel has no automatic right to exist or to self-defense, and if you feel the US doesn't have a moral obligation to also defend those basic rights when a fellow democracy is attacked by third world dictatorships, then there really isn't much to talk about, is there?

And, I never said that, Mr. Settler. It would appear that as opposed to denying Israel the right to exist, Obama is pointing out to our leadership (sic) that we can no longer rely on the US Carte Blanche, especially when carry out acts that appear to contravene international law. That times have changed and US blind support of Israel is no longer what it was. (What do you expect, knowing Obama's background?) As some of your US commenters point out, this appears to be the popular view in the US, outside of Mr. Beck and the other Foxes.
"


Dear Mrs. Parrot,

I never said you said that, because I don’t believe you could possibly believe Israel doesn’t have the right to exist or defend itself (note the “If” at the beginning of the sentence).

I am absolutely positive, for instance, that you personally recognize that we fought the wars in Gaza and Lebanon and even the Flotilla terrorists with levels of absurdly high morality, even to the detrimental safety of our own soldiers (such as making over 250,000 phone calls to Arabs in Gaza to warn them to get to safety before the fighting in their neighborhood begins, or landing on a ship armed with paintball guns).

On the other hand, Obama (as you yourself pointed out) apparently does question Israel’s right to exist and defend itself.


Obama is threatening to no longer veto the resolutions and other attacks (such as threats of sanctions) that regularly assail Israel in the UN.

Attacks on Israel from our enemies that have no connection to our actions, but rather our very existence.

Is this veto something the US gives Israel as blind carte blanche support for some quid pro quo reason? Or is this veto something the US has morally undertaken, recognizing the immoral and dishonest source and basis for these UN attacks, and the the morality of defending Israel, a fellow democracy, against them?

Until now, it was latter. America took the morally right stance.

But now Obama has removed the moral component from the equation, and now openly threatens that America will only do what is morally right if Israel gives into his demands.

Can you imagine that? America will only take the morally right action if a fellow democracy gives in to his own personal extortion?

That is why America’s soul is on the line.


(By the way, the Obama administration is now denying it promised Israel 20 additional F-35 fighter planes.)

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of obama's obvious bias against Israel, but I question the author's contention that if Israel refuses the 90 day freeze extension that the obama administration will "refuse to veto" any anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Security Council as payback. The way I read the agreement was that if Israel extended the freeze that the US promised to veto anything anti-Israel for one year. Where does it state the threat NOT to veto as punishment? Maybe the author's understanding is of an IMPLIED threat. Still, they are not the same.

Anonymous said...

Wow.
That was wonderful to read.
Vox offered a consistent, logically persuasive argument over and over, and J. Settler scoffed, insulted, threatened and obfuscated.
And this is on J Settler's site.
I haven't read here in a long time, as the Muqata seems very one sided nowadays, but I must say, this was very enjoyable.
Thank you, VP, for arguing so cogently and sticking to your guns when the insults were flying and the nonesense was being proposed as fact.
That was very enjoyable and more than a bit refreshing.
Larry
(Oh, and please don't personally insult me now. I actually used my own name, and personal denigration at this juncture would merely prove my point.)

JoeSettler said...

Wow! Narrowly define a term with parameters that most wouldn't agree with. Consistently argue based only on your selective, narrow definition. Dismiss any definition that doesn't fit within your personal definition.

As I said, you're entitled to your point of view.

Anonymous said...

"Wow! Narrowly define a term with parameters that most wouldn't agree with. Consistently argue based only on your selective, narrow definition. Dismiss any definition that doesn't fit within your personal definition."

Ah, the irony.

P said...

Larry- indeed. And he doesn't even get it.

JoeSettler said...

Wow, you're all so bright. The NIF for instance, and VP have their own narratives, interpretations and initial premises for their arguments (in which Israel somehow almost always starts and ends up guilty and in the wrong), and everyone else arguing their point here have their own understandings too (which don't start off with Israel being guilty for everything) and that's why we won't ever agree. But gee, I just don't get what your hinting at. It's right over my head. Duh. What an idiot.



You're so boring, it's pathetic.

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