"Our policy regarding Jerusalem is the same as it was over the past 42 years. We have made it clear to the Americans that for us, building there is just like building in Tel Aviv," Netanyahu said. Israel captured the land in question in the spring of 1967, nearly 43 years ago." CNN
Israel unilaterally annexed Jerusalem after the 1967 war in defiance of various UN resolutions.The IDF captured East Jerusalem from the Jordanian Army in that war. That annexation is not recognized by most countries. If memory serves, the US is numbered among those that do not. Israeli allies in the US Congress keep trying to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. They do that every few years and the executive branch resists because to do so would be a de facto recognition of Israel's claim to own Jerusalem in something other than a display of force majeure.
So, for Bibi, it is a major thing when the US insists that territory within the boundaries of Jerusalem is subject to negotiation as to status in a "final settlement."
The closed door meeting at the WH today should be an interesting event. If Obama persists in this Jerusalem business a line will be drawn in the sand. pl
Under international law, the Israeli-Zionist settlements on occupied territory are illegal. As East Jerusalem is occupied territory, (not to mention the West Bank; Gaza is under seige) it follows that any settlements there are illegal under international law.
Of course, Israel since 1948, has not respected international law under ANY of its governments. So nothing new here. For those who don’t care much for appeals to international law, then the argument would be towards using force to modify Israeli behavior.
The US consistently facilitates Israeli violation of international law by using its veto in the UN to protect and coddle Israel. On the other hand, the US has put up the pretence of rhetorical objection to Israeli “illegal” settlements.
One aspect of Bibi’s in your face strategy is he knows very well the Christian Zionist bloc in the US considers Jerusalem to be “indivisible” and supports Israeli-Zionist occupation. Hagee will have his troops in DC in July to lobby Congress. Bibi and Hagee have recently met for discussions…
An excellent book for background on Jerusalem is Henry Cattan, Jerusalem (New York: St. Martin’s, 1981).
Maybe President Obama should have General Petreus sit in on the meeting.
The USA does not have the right, nor the ability to change the Geneva or Hague conventions [they being part of USA Constitution, and also applicable as international law].The political perception of Bibi as far as Jerusalem is concerned is meaningless in ME land vs, peace process – there is no hope in H**L that any Palestinian Leadership could concede Jerusalem, or parts thereof, to Israel [a la creating another West Berlin, completely surrounded by a sovereign entity].
This whole “fight and posturing” is just shoving the problem down the line, which did not seem to work at all as far as peace is concerned since President Truman has given someone else’s land to Zionist as compensation for the Holocost and the concurrent denial of large scale Jewish emmigration into USA before and during WWII.
Soon Bibi will be gone,.
Soon some of the die hard AIPEC members will be gone [old age], and so will the present administration [term limit of loss], the Palestinians will be still there, and the world will depend even more on ME oil/gas.
So there will be a power shift, then perhaps there will be another movement toward acceptable terms of peace!
Ah, the image of a Sheikh Jarrah signpost. And where does this sign ultimately point? Well, a video has popped up out of Sheikh Jarrah, where settlers sing an ode to Dr. Baruch Goldstein — the man who massacred several Palestinians. Yes, Baruch Goldstein. Yes, we have come to this point, just as some predicted decades ago.
It is a stunning video that has made the blogs of A. Sulllivan, Richard Silverstein and the great one — Phil Weiss. Here is a link and ask yourself if it is in US national security interest to be in anyway associated with such:
And what is going to happen when people associate all Jews with Zionist crimes, as some rabbis predicted decades ago? I, of course, am referring to that deadly embrace of Zionism and anti-Semitism that they saw and no else did.
And meanwhile, Britain has just expelled an Israeli diplomat, fulfilling yet another analytical assumption given to us decades ago, particularly the analysis, if you will, of Rabbi Dzikover.
You can imagine the response. But here is an 08 post from the website Jews without Frontiers and it gives the key to analyzing hasbara comments. This analysis, so to speak, has been picked up at Mondoweiss, and elsewhere. This approach is based upon four propositions and they all you need to know to determine ultimate “intent”, to borrow from the world of strategic intel analysis. These four propositions cut through all pretensions, so this one minute read is recommended for those attempting to define underlying “intent”. Such propositions are handy and good to know when serving the USA, including at the Pentagon, Georgetown cocktail parties, anywhere, because they serve to identify the one to whom you speak. Doesn’t matter if you are holding onto the 2 state solution or have moved on. I say memorize ‘em but to each his or her own.
Israel threatens to block peace talks for year as links with US hit new low
Israel’s relations with the US reached a crisis point yesterday as Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, threatened a year-long delay in the resumption of Middle East peace talks hours before a tense meeting with President Obama at the White House.
Mr Netanyahu, who laid claim to parts of east Jerusalem in a defiant speech in Washington on Monday night, warned that if Palestinian leaders maintained their demand for a full freeze on new Israeli settlements “it could put the peace negotiations on hold for another year”.
The rebellious state of Israel …is anyone surprised ?
For 43 years the U.S. and Britain have given Israel a carte blanche in denying the Palestinians their right to a homeland . And what do they get in return ?
This is a sample of Israeli M.P.’s response to expelling an Israeli dimplomat in London .
[However, members of the Israeli parliament likened the British government to “anti-Semitic dogs” and demanded the expulsion of Britain’s military attaché in Tel Aviv in response.
“I think the British are being hypocritical, and I do not wish to insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty, [but] who gave the British the right to judge us on the war on terror?” said Arieh Eldad, a right-wing member of the Knesset.
Another MP, Michael Ben-Ari, said: “Dogs are usually loyal, the British may be dogs, but they are not loyal to us. They seem to be loyal to the anti-Semitic establishment.
“We have learned that a dog must be called by its name. This is anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism.”]
The video is disturbing if the soundtrack and translation are authentic and correct.
About a quarter century ago, as the rumblings of the First Intifada were stirring, I visited Israel.
I recall a trip out to see a settler housing site. I must say I was rather taken aback not by all the automatic weapons in evidence but by the very very thick “Brooklyn accents” of these Americans turned settlers (squatters). I had not realized the extent to which the settler movement was propelled and populated by Americans.
My meeting with Bibi in his office went for an hour or so and I felt it was interesting and informative. He was his usual direct, blunt self and pulled no punches. I left with a clear impression of his views and was pleased with the meeting and appreciated his frankness.
My meeting with Ezer Weizman was also most interesting and he provided delightful conversation. A thoughtful and likeable soul he. I greatly enjoyed that meeting.
I looked up Rabbi Dzikover and found a noteworthy letter of his at
For those who may not be familiar with what concerned Christians are doing note Churches for Middle East Peace, for example: http://www.cmep.org/AboutCMEP.html
Also note in particular the Council of Middle East Churches:
Traditional Christian churches, Western and Eastern, denounce the 19th century cult ideology of Christian Zionism, which is considerably beyond heresy.
“The expulsion of an Israeli ‘diplomat’ from Britain over the terrorist murder of a Palestinian leader in Dubai has provoked outrage in the Israeli Knesset, comparing the British to “dogs”.
“I think [the] British are behaving hypocritically and I don’t want to offend dogs on this issue, since some dogs are utterly loyal,” said Aryeh Eldad, National Religious Party lawmaker in the Israeli Knesset (parliament), quoted by the Sky News.
“Who are they to judge us on the war on terror,” he added.
Eldad said Israel should expel a British diplomat in a “natural reaction” to the expulsion of the Israeli diplomat who is widely reported to be a Mossad operative in the regime’s embassy in London.”
I suppose we here in the USA are the “loyal” ones.
An interesting comment on tomdispatch.com, regarding how the US credibility has been seriously compromised (due to a number of factors – over stretch, debt, but also lack of domestic leadership) such that Brazil, Russia, China, recently actively embarrassed the US during visits; although are not economically dependent on US aid. Then Bibi decided to toss a big firecracker on the smoldering fire.
Assuming Petraeus’s comments were vetted, and the lack of admin back tracking suggests they were, I too see this suggesting a line has been drawn (and crossed), and that US strategy, in this regards, is multi-level focusing on weak-points, such as Petraeus and neo-cons, or the spying trials.
For anyone interested in Bibi’s comment that Israel has been building in Jerusalem for 3000 years, check out Juan Cole’s blog at http://www.juancole.com/
“Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelis.”
He lists all the peoples who were in Jerusalem before the Jews.
And if you really want to understand what’s going on over there, check the maps of Israel on his March archives.
Pat, I don’t know if you can show them, but they’re very informative. Most maps of Israel show the West Bank as it was in 1967…today it’s simply dots of land. Very distressing.
I must say, you are one learned man. I look forward very much to reading your book.
As I am sure you know, the Satmar community believes that Zionism is the worst catastrophe for the Jewish people in the history of Judaism. They appear to be the first to realize the enormous danger that will arise if people begin to associate Judaism and the Jewish people with what they see as Zionist crimes.
Additionally, at least from what I can tell and to be blunt, the Satmar rabbis appear to view Zionism as a type of collective insanity, of varying degrees.
Now I was miffed — actually hurt — when I came across some of their conclusions, considering that I was deeply imbued with the Leon Uris cosmology early in life and cling onto the idea of a two state solution along the 1967 lines (which may make their case, because odds are overwhelming it is not happening).
But, putting my personal beliefs aside, what fascinates me about those of the Satmar community, besides their extraordinary humility, is, number one, they have a deep loyalty to the United States. You will see they even have a prayer for President Obama, and these people believe in prayer. Number two, they appear to believe they are engaged in a cosmological battle, for lack of a better phrase, with Zionists, with very serious repercussions for those involved. In other words, the stakes are enormous to those of Satmar and Zionists. Mention Rabbi Teitelbaum to an adherent of religious Zionism (even if such a person is wearing the mask of a progressive Zionist) and you will get a response.
So not surprisingly — and this is the crux of my comment — the analytical assumptions that spring from the Satmar outlook are at complete odds with the analytical assumptions that underlie the decision- making of US Foreign policy, if not conclusions from strategic intel analysis. And if the USG has been relying on the wrong set of analytical assumptions, then a catastrophe does indeed loom large.
So it is these “analytical assumptions” that most mesmerize me, as they have left me with the following questions. Which set of assumptions are correct, those of the Satmar rabbis or those that came of the Office of Special Plans? Which set of assumptions can more accurately predict Israeli actions? Which set of assumptions, when plugged into a larger context, can more accurately render a picture of what is taking place in the Middle East? And last but not least, which set of assumptions will better protect military personnel?
So I keep looking for answers. It really does matter which set of assumptions triumph.
General Petraeus, to his great credit, imo, has pitched this inquiry to an even higher level because he appears to imply that our prevailing set of analytical assumptions are endangering US Soldiers. So the search is on for clues to see whether or not he is right.
The Sheikh Jarrah tape appears relevant and, now that I think about it, so does the 2008 account of Hebron settlers attacking a three star US General, William Fraser, when he visited the area as part of a US envoy. The account never made it to the msm, although it was report in Ha’aretz. But reports are still out there on the ‘net, so I assume, at least right now, it is authentic. If true, then this event is primae facie evidence of Israel endangering US soldiers, thus adding credence to the Satmar set of assumptions. But who is crazier, those who commit the act or those Americans, including those in Congress and at the Pentagon, who allow such to happen with a yawn?
Thanks for the kind words. Perhaps one might compare the critical perspective of many concerned Christian clergy (such as Father Stephen Sizer and Rev.Don Wagner) on Christian Zionism in some ways with the critical perspective of the Satmar community on Zionism.
I found a book analyzing the divisions in the US Jewish community over the question of Zionism helpful when doing my research:
Stuart E. Knee, The Concept of Zionist Dissent in the American Mind 1917-1941 (New York, 1979).
Knowing that my book Dark Crusade would be controversial for some, my editors and I worked hard to make it as analytical and even in tone as possible. That is also why I took extra effort to present extensive footnotes and bibliography. As it was, the original book ms. was condensed by press time by about 20 percent owing to printing and budget issues. I permitted myself to stray from an even academic tone in the last paragraph, however, as you will find.
With respect to “analytical assumptions”…this is one area which indeed needs a reset. A comprehensive (and “honest”) NIE on Israel (to include aspects of the Dispersion/Diaspora) would be a good starting point.
Meanwhile, thanks to Gen. Petraeus for his much needed candor.
The international ramifications of Israeli expansion in occupied East Jerusalem seem to be presently glossed over in the US.
The situation is being played in the US pro-Israel media as a US-Israel spat. This is not in fact the central question. The central question here is the highly charged issue of JERUSALEM itself.
Does anyone expect the Arab and Muslim world to sit still on this while Israel and the US kiss and makeup?
“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose country like Libya is emerging from international isolation, called on Wednesday for the Arab world to close ranks and “rescue Jerusalem from Israeli schemes….
“The 22-member Arab League’s secretary general, Amr Mussa, has even suggested that all peace talks with the Jewish state, direct or indirectly through US mediation, be suspended.
“Negotiations with Israel at this time are pointless,” he said ahead of the Sirte summit.
His deputy, Ahmed Ben Helli, said on Tuesday that Arab foreign ministers meeting before the heads of state would draft a summit resolution outlining measures “to rescue Jerusalem from being Judaised.”
While performing a bit of research on this history of Jerusalem, I discovered the following historically interesting, topical and somewhat surprising article from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://tinyurl.com/dexlog
The last sentence in the last paragraph from the article is most ironic: “The 3,000th anniversary celebration of David’s capture of Jerusalem is perceived by some people, both in Israel and abroad, as an indication of an exclusive Jewish claim to the city. Although, as we have argued here, it is probable that David did take the city some three millennia ago, and make it his personal, national and religious capital, the biblical evidence points to the fact that the great Israelite monarch found a way to share his capital with his former adversaries. The Jebusites continued to live there; their property rights were respected and they were given a role in the administration of the city.”
You are correct, the United States does not recognize the annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel. I don’t think that any country has done so and neither has the United Nations. The settlements are illegal.
“Fladeboe?” Something from one of Gulliver’s voyages? pl
We have a problem with Irving it seems, he is funding the 20 appartments:
“The U.S. views Israeli building in east Jerusalem, the part of the city claimed by Palestinians as their future capital, as disruptive to Mideast peacemaking efforts. Israel insists that Jerusalem cannot be divided and reserves the right to build anywhere.
The new project is funded by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz. It calls for tearing down part of an old hotel, the Shepherd, and building 20 apartments and a three-level underground parking lot instead.” (AP Story)
For Moskowitz see:
And on the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism see their website: