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Irresponsible Israel

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Mar 14, 2010

This has nothing to do with being Jewish or Muslim. It has to do with sovereign states acting responsibly.

The State of Israel is a bully. It treats the Palestinians like dogs, and pretend to be on the defense when there is retaliation.

Provocative acts such as adding more housing in territory that is acknowledged as part of a Palestinian State is something that would be rejected in this country by a Planning Commission or local court, no need to take it to a national or international level.

Of course the United States should stand by the country of Israel. That is not the same as standing by the country of Israel's policies and practices that are not leading to progress with the people of Palestine. VP Biden and Secretary of State Clinton did the right thing this past week by publicly making it known to the Israeli leadership that there is a distinction between our country's support of Israel and the policies it pursues.

Comments (108)

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Posted by not anti-semetic
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Calling Israel a bully is not racist or anti-semitic. If they really wanted peace, they wouldn't keep pulling stunts like this. The only reason to build new settlements in Palestinian areas is to provoke war.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Clearly you have no understanding, Paul, of the situation in the Middle East--peace could have been achieved ages ago between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians continue to call for Israel's destruction. They see any concessions by Israel as signs of weakness. When Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, abandoning all the settlements and leaving the greenhouses as a source of work and income for the Palestinians, what did they get in return--a few years of almost daily rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and destruction of the greenhouses. we do not need to even discuss the offer made by Israel during the CLinton days that arafat rejected. I am sure you know the reason why there is a wall between Israel and the West Bank--and it has worked --suicide bombings in Israel have decreased substantially. Yes, it is unfortunate that a wall has to exist, but if the Palestinians think that sending in suicide bombers to blow up restaurants, school buses etc is the way to achieve peace then they are wrong.

Look who the Palestinians honored back in January:

Web Link

a cold-blooded killer who murdered 37 people including many children--she is a hero to them.

You also have no knowledge of what you are talking about--you say:
"adding more housing in territory that is acknowledged as part of a Palestinian State"--Jeruslaem is the Israeli capitol and has always been considered a part of Israel. Israel has plenty of experience from 1948-1967 when the city was divided and Jews were forbidden to worship at their most holy site and their graves and synagogues were destroyed and desecrated.

I do not consider you to be anti-Semitic--I just consider you to be extremely ignorant of the real facts of the situation. Stick to Palo Alto issues


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Posted by Supporter of Israel
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Boaz--a number of points you forgot to make:

1) Hamas, still refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. I consider that a major sticking point in any desire for peace

2) The fact that the Palestinains have been used as pawns by their brother arabs--i.e. most of the arab nations want the Palestinians hungry and destitute--otherwise the world would focus on outrages going on in their countries.
(In fact their is a story in the Sunday NY Times of Palestinian Jordanians who have been stripped of their citizenship because of fear of these Palestinians having too much say in the Country)

3) Follow the money---Arafat and his cronies ripped off the Palestinian people for 100's of millions of dollars--basically leaving them in a state of squalor--how better then to keep them angry at Isreal, who makes a convenient scapegoat (remember that after Arafat dies their was a scramble for who would get his bank accounts--all the palestinian big wigs knew what was going on

4) regarding the gaza strip that everyone is wailing and gnashing their teeth about--there are two borders--supplies could easily enter Gaza from the Egyptian side. Egypt has also blockaded the border and wants nothing to do with the Palestinians. Why is this not talked about? Simple, itis easier to blame Israel and use her as a scapegoat.

5) The settlement issue is a red herring--there were no settlements from 1948-1967--yet Israel was targeted for destruction all those years. the settlements and Israel make a handy scapegoat to use as an excuse for not seriously working towards peace, which would involve recognizing Israel's righ to exist.

I would like to end by asking Mr Losch what would be his response if people on a daily basis stood across the street from his home and threw stones at it. I can only imagine, this being Palo Alto.
Mr Losch may be well meaning, but he is incredible naive about the Middle East


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Posted by David
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Israel came into being by fighting to create its state. It both has and provokes its enemies. The issue, from the USA point of view, is how does Israel benefit us?

The AIPAC lobbying effort by American Jews has overwhelming influence on American foreign policy. To state this simple truth is to condemn me to charges of anti-semitism by various Jewish groups and spokemen. Dare I say that I am not a Zionist?!!!

Alright, hang with me here. I acutally accept the fact of Isarael, and I support its existence, despite my misgivings about its means and methods. The Jews deserve a place to live in safety. However, the USA told Menachim Begin to NOT build settlements in the occupied territories. We (USA) have been ignored all along the way. James Baker, under Reagan, brought some real pressure on Israel and refused to buy its nonsense. We need another SecState like him.

Israel will continue ti exert its influence, until we decide to reject it...in our favor.


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Posted by Supporter of Israel
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm

"However, the USA told Menachim Begin to NOT build settlements in the occupied territories. We (USA) have been ignored all along the way."

Settlements were being built in the West Bank and Gaza long before Begib came along (he was fisrt elected in 1977).
Why doesn't the USA tell the Palestinains to recognize Israel's right to exist and make a peace deal--they probably havem but the USA has been ignored all along the way.
There are also questions on how much power should the USA exert on a sovereign nation--of course this also has to be considered with the facts of the support that Israel gets from the USA--but also the fact about Israel abd the US realtions in the region. but that is a topic for another discussion.
BTW, the settlements are a red herring. When Egypt was ready to ink a peace deal with Israel, Israel acted forcefully to remove all settlements from the area--they also thought the same was possible in Gaza (the unilateral withdrawal) but they were proven wrong by Hamas actions afterwards.


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Posted by David
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Begin was the first prime minister to make it an announced policy of Israel to build in the occupied territories. He was a Zionist radical, a terrorist (Irgun), and an in-your-face type. James Baker was not intimidated by such stuff.

Israel will continue to lose support in the USA, until it tucks itself back within its original UN-approved mandate. This means the pre-1967 borders. With modern military technology, Israel can no longer hide behind the security excuse. Jerusalem should become a 'World City' under UN control.


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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Again, never anywhere else in our history or any history I have ever read of any country in our world has a country been condemned for taking land from the attackers and building on that land.

How can anyone deny that land taken from attackers does not belong to the victor?

Imagine Mexico and Canada repeatedly attacking us, and each time we push them back and enter the land they attacked us from..and then we give some of it back in exchange for peace...and then they use that land to attack us again..so we push them back and take the land back..

repeatedly...

Ok..years go by, we settle the land to build a buffer between us and our attackers. Then we say, ok, we will stop adding houses if Mexico and Canada stop attacking us and acknowledge our right to exist..but they keep attacking us and calling for our annhilation.

all deals are off then, by most civilized standards,..except when it comes to Israel.

and the Pauls of the world continue to attack Israel, instead of the attackers of Israel...

unbelievable


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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm

By the way, all you who think that there is a pre-1967 UN mandate that Israel is defying, please find it and post the link to it. Then check out the attacks on Israel since 1967.

And if anyone thinks support for Israel is on the wane here in the USA, I would really love to see your poll data for this. I think just the opposite is happening as the US awakes to Iran...


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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm

David, Israel did not fight its way to existence, it had the right to exist from a UN-type ( League of Nations) "mandate", but had to fight for its survival after being attacked on its birthday from every surrounding Arab nation, who opposed the UN-created Israel.

Check out the history of Israel, all of you, before you write.

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."
Mark Twain


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Posted by David
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

""Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." "

unbelievable,
Please check the history of Irgun, and its role in the bombing of the King David hotel, killing many British. Menachim Begin was a terrorist who came to power, following the 1967 and 1973 wars. He was the one who determined the expansion of the original borders of Israel.

If Israel continues with its reckless policies, it will bet kicked in the teeth. It needs to go back to the original mandate of its pre-67 borders.

"How can anyone deny that land taken from attackers does not belong to the victor?"

Ummh...does the USA own Japan? Do we own Germany? Do we own Italy? The problem with occupation is...occupation. The locals don't like the idea. Unless they have a right of return, it does not get better.

The USA has done some good and moral things, including supporting a homeland for the Jews. However, this does not mean that we need to allow the tail to wag the dog. Israel needs to be disciplined by a truly tough SecState. Hillary Clinton is not James Baker, so it will probably be more of the same.




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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm


It incredible that the Israeli government would insult Biden, Obama and the US in such a blatant manner last week-- very very bad move .
Axelrod condemned the blatant disrespect shown to the USA and the clear insult to Obama this morning on the Sunday Talk shows, he also acknowledged that this action by the Israeli government puts American lives at risk. His statements are on the web--

We pay Pakistan and expect them to behave, support our policies and obey orders, if they do not we will stop the payments and find another ally to pay---such as India.

We dole out $3Billion per year to Israel and this is what their government does in response?-- time for regime change or we stop the money asap---General Petraeus also said that the Israeli governments action is completely unacceptable --- and he is a Republican

So the US has a united front across party lines in its response to this insult and self destructive act by Israel


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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm

David, [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

The USA has done much that is good in this world, and one of the things it has continued to do was defend Israel against their surrounding neighbors who preach hatred and annhilation of Israel and Jews. The propoganda is always "Israel bad, surrounding countries good"..with no examination of WHY the Palestinians are STILL THERE after all these years..why? Why did they go there? Because their brethren told them not to trust their Jewish neighbors in Israel when Israel promised them that they would be safe, as long as they didn't fight the Jews. Their brethren told them "leave, and when we win this war and annhilate the Jews, what they have built up will be yours". The Jews told them "if you leave, you can't come back, because we can't trust you then".

They chose to leave. Their children and grandchildren and greatgrandchildren suffer the consequences..why? Where are all the brethren in all the surrounding countries who won't take them in? Who turned their backs on them, after promising them support?

All the surrounding lands exiled the Jews, kicked them out of their countries, with only the clothes on their backs. 250,000 Jews showed up on Israel's doorsteps, and somehow tiny little Israel managed to take them all in...250,000 "Palestinians" fled Israel, and somehow almost none of them managed to be harbored in surrounding countries..

and still their children pay..

When will it end? Who do you think should open their doors?







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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm


The issue for Americans now is

We pay Israel $3Billion a year of our tax money.

What do we get in return? insults, lack of respect and undermining of USA foreign policy interests.

The Israeli government publicly insulted the President and the VP and the USA.

The Israeli government is not composed of unintelligent people, they obviously have some strategy of self interest in insulting the USA, we do not know what that is-- it would be interesting to hear peoples thoughts about that.

If an employees insults and embarrasses his/her boss they are fired.

We need to stop enabling an Israeli regime that is actively undermining USA interests and declared foreign policy.

The current regime in Israel has to step down or we stop all aid financial, diplomatic and security-- ASAP--

We also need to reduce the $3billion per year dole-- we have not gotten a return on that investment over the years and we need to be fiscally prudent-- we have a 10% unemployment rate and a fiscal crisis in the USA.

Enough is enough


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Uh, what do Palestinians treat Jewish people living in their territories like? Think about that question before you talk about bullies. This whole "article" is really slanted for something to say.

I used to think fair is fair and if he Jews have a state the two-state solution is the answer. of course that just fails to take into account there are not Jews to speak of living in the Palestinians terroritories, and many Palestinians living perfectly fine and peacefully in Israel.

If you are going to talk about fairness, look at the whole picture. It is not Israel saying they will murder all Palestinians and drive them into the see, it has been the Palestinians, and Hamas, and Hezbollah, and Syria, and Iran, and formerly Iraq, and whatever other Islamic country in the world.

Not too long ago there was a man in Bangladesh facing a death sentence for publishing an editorial saying the Islamic would should let Israel live in peace.

This subject seem to be impossible to read and present objectively for people.

it is really clear that the BULLY in this case is the Islamic world, the only monolithic group of countries in the world that vote as a block in the UN on all Israeli questions, and who persecute non-Muslim people in 1/3 or so of the world.

As Israel goes, so will go the western world, slowly but surely, and the right thing to do is to never give in to politcal Islam that has been fighting the rest of the world for hundreds of years.


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Posted by Yankee
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Well put, Anon. Many Palestinians live in Israel along with Arabs and other Muslims. Why should the US support some kind of ethnically "clean" Palestinian territory? Seriously - some Jewish people want to build houses somewhere and its considered an "insult" and "bullying." Get real. I for one am tired of Israel always being made out to be the evil state. Why not let them build settlements.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm


Iran, Venezuela, North Korea etc can insult us all they want to,

The point is that we pay Israel $3Billion dollars a year and their current regime has just insulted Biden and Obama and undermined one of our major foreign policy initiative.

We do not pay Iran, Venezuela, North Korea $3Billion per year.

We pay Pakistan and they have come to heel in supporting our foreign policy--
Israel has undermined our foreign policy-- this is a big deal and we have to take corrective, serious action to bring them to heel-- or else--
Axelrod, General Petraeus, the VP and Clinton gave the same message-- ---get on the bus or you are under the bus--

$3Billion per year is a lot of our tax payers money--

Americas best interests are the issue, get in line or get off the payroll is the rule.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 3:00 am

> Americas best interests are the issue, get in line or get off the payroll is the rule.

Simple-minded and unworkable world view.

And anyway it is not in our best interests to have Israel stop standing up to the Palestinians. They are well within their right to make that decison, and it is the right decision. As I said earlier, why should they not be able to exist anywhere since Palestinians want to be able to exist in Israel.

It is the Palestinians, and larger Islamic Political governments that do not seem to understand the ideas of tolerance, reciprocity, equal rights, let alone the idea of a secular state.

If Political Islam perceives itself to have "won" the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it will be emboldened in efforts world-wide to spread Islam and demand rights such as the Sharia law in Britain. This whole idea is an absolute outrage. Nothing the Israelis have ever done has been anywhere near the magnitude of this kind of religious imperialism.

It is to our benefit to help Israel, and any other country, and the nature of our help should not go against the nature of self-determination, we are not Russia or China, we do not have colonies or vassal states. Look at what it is we are trying to accomplish, and Israel has a much better idea that we do about how to do that, we have no right to demand anything so unreasonable from Israel, especially since it is probably done through oil interests from the Arabs, not the best interests of our own country.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 3:57 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Beautiful Sharon, we differ on this issue. The Palestinian State was Jordan, but Palestinians were kicked out because they were not even nice to their Arab brethren. That 3 billion dollars was a sop to Israel to compensate them for the oil they had been producing from land they acquired after the 67 war. That is matched by a gift to Egypt an commemoration of Jimmy Carter's folly. War is playing for keep and yet starting with Idiot Ike we have been Handing back the chips to Arabs every time they lose a hand to Israel. Incidentally we also supply the Norks with oil because they promised not to make nukes. That sure worked out.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:24 am

Sharon once again continues to compare Israel to a dog that needs to be brought to heel. Israel is a soverign nation that does not have to do the bidding of the USA. Israel and the USA can disagree on certain issues, but the support that Israel gets from the USA is in the best interests of both countries.
SOme of her comments (Israel has undermined our foreign policy,get on the bus or you are under the bus, get in line or get off the payroll is the rule, If an employees insults and embarrasses his/her boss they are fired, The current regime in Israel has to step down or we stop all aid financial, diplomatic and security-- ASAP--, We pay Pakistan and expect them to behave, support our policies and obey orders) are so ridiculous that they do not need any comment--they stand on their own.
I am looking on the web for the following, which Sharon stated as fact:
"he also acknowledged that this action by the Israeli government puts American lives at risk. His statements are on the web--"
Please provide links to said statements.

What is interesting about Sharon's comments is that she is an unabashed Republican supporter--lambasting Kerry, Obama and every other democrat at all times, while being a cheerleader for McCain, Palin et al. Does she not know what the Republican party line vis a vis Israel is?


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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:30 am

David, your concept of history is distorted, to say the least. My post was redacted because I made the comparative leap from your view of Israeli history to those who believe very odd things about our history..and listed some, including some who even think we are still occupying Germany because we still have troops there.

I thoroughly reject your view of history. It feeds your hatred, which is evident even in the statement that you yourself wrote "I acutally accept the fact of Isarael, and I support its existence, despite my misgivings about its means and methods."

I am glad you accept the fact of Israel, more than 60 years after its legal birth. Its existence was mandated by the "World" League of Nations/AKA UN.. Its means was and is to defend itself every time it is attacked. Not once has Israel "thrown the first punch". Its methods are to inhabit land it takes back every time it defends itself against attack. Israel has had to fight every day for its right to life. And every day it is attacked by bombs and propoganda. Your comment that all would be well with "right of return"....well, gosh.....how about a right of return for all the descendents of Jews who lost everything when they were kicked out of the surrounding countries? They weren't given the choice "stay but don't fight, leave and you can't return"...they were kicked out. And their possessions taken over.

So, tell you what, if you support the "right of return" for all the Jews and their descendents to all lands and property they lost against their will in the surrounding countries, I will support the "right of return" for all the "palestinians" who chose to leave Israel.

I have never, ever, even once, heard an exiled Jew talk about their "right of return", though an equal number of Jews were kicked out of their lands as Muslims chose to leave their lands in Israel. The difference? Think about it...

For help in thinking, I recommend a great book written from both perspectives. I recommend reading it, then following up with "sourcing" for yourself the data presented by both..by the time you are done, you will have an excellent idea of the facts surrounding the history of the area...

a history of this subject from 2 scholars, "Cohn-Sherbok is Rabbi Professor of Judaism, and El-Alami is a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter".

By Cohn-Sherbock and El-Alami

"The Palestine-Israeli Conflict"




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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

Another good one, despite its title, that I read after reading the above one, is "The Complete Idiots Guide to the Middle East Conflict" by Bard. I read the first edition..it is up to edition 4, probably better now.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:54 am

David:

"Please check the history of Irgun, and its role in the bombing of the King David hotel, killing many British. Menachim Begin was a terrorist who came to power, following the 1967 and 1973 wars. He was the one who determined the expansion of the original borders of Israel. "

So if you are going to harp on Begin and his past--what are your feelings about Arafat--do you consider him to be a terrorist? You also clearly lack knowledge of Begin's political career and the history of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

"If Israel continues with its reckless policies, it will bet kicked in the teeth. It needs to go back to the original mandate of its pre-67 borders."
Reckless policies?? you mean defending itself from terrorist attacks or do you mean not dealing with an organization that calls for it's destruction.
Which mandate of its pre-67 borders are you referring to? Remember that Israel was targeted for destruction before 1967--so what reckless behavior is ISrael engaging in now that has changed arab minds with regard to it's existance?


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 7:39 am


The situation in the Holy Land is the same a existed in N Ireland.

A long standing religious, tribal, territorial dispute.

The situation had gone on for 100s of years in N Ireland.

The situation in the Holy Land has gone on for 60yrs.

We sent Mitchell to sort out the situation in N. Ireland and we told all the parties what we expected of them and what the consequences of non cooperation would be.--

George Mitchell solved the problem.

That is why Obama sent him to the Holy LandWeb Link

Israel just insulted Mitchell, Biden, Obama and the USA----- bad move.

In our foreign policy we do not have friends--- we have interests.

In WW 2 we told England that price our aid was that they give up their Empire after the war-- starting with India.

England followed our orders and got our message loud and clear in the Suez Crisis Web Link

"The United States also put financial pressure on Great Britain to end the invasion.
Eisenhower in fact ordered his Secretary of the Treasury, George M. Humphrey to prepare to sell part of the US Government's Sterling Bond holdings.-----
Britain's then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Harold Macmillan, advised his Prime Minister Anthony Eden that the United States was fully prepared to carry out this threat.
He also warned his Prime Minister that Britain's foreign exchange reserves simply could not sustain a devaluation of the pound that would come after the United States' actions; and that within weeks of such a move, the country would be unable to import the food and energy supplies needed simply to sustain the population on the islands."------

In our foreign policy the USA does not have friends-- we have interests-- if a country supports our interests it is our friend--
read the Suez Crisis for one example of the consequences of non compliance with our interestsWeb Link

All this bickering about different versions of history in the Holy Land by different tribes and religions is irrelevant.

The USA has declared its foreign policy interests in the region.

Israel is not in compliance, we pay them $3 Billion per year.

It is time for severe consequences for the current regime in Israel, like the consequences Eisenhower made clear to the British regime over the Suez Crisis.

We have spent a lot of US blood and treasure pursuing our foreign policy in the larger Mid East

It is time for Israel to get on the bus----- or they will be under the bus---

after last weeks insults it is too late for Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud--- they are history


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:16 am

"The situation in the Holy Land has gone on for 60yrs."
You clearly have no idea of the history of the Middle East,do you?

"we told all the parties what we expected of them and what the consequences of non cooperation would be.--"
And what were those consequences? You really think that the USA controls Israel and the Arab nations and expects them to do the US bidding, period???


"Israel just insulted Mitchell, Biden, Obama and the USA----- bad move."
Boy if the USA reacted the way you want them to after every "insult" by an idependent foreign nation.....

"In our foreign policy we do not have friends--- we have interests."
Maybe that is the problem--your view of the issue.

"In WW 2 we told England that price our aid was that they give up their Empire after the war-- starting with India."
When did this happen?

"England followed our orders and got our message loud and clear in the Suez Crisis Web Link"
So now the USA is ordering england around also. And if england had not "obeyed" the USA,would we have invaded?

"In our foreign policy the USA does not have friends-- we have interests-- if a country supports our interests it is our friend--"
your contradicting yourself--you said that the USA does not have friends with regard to foreign policy.

"read the Suez Crisis for one example of the consequences of non compliance with our interestsWeb Link"
You are cutting and pasting chunks from a wikipedia article. Iran and North Korea have not complied with our interests. What are we waiting for?


"It is time for Israel to get on the bus----- or they will be under the bus---"
interesting how you hone in on Israel while ignoring the actions of the Arab nations in the area. Cute saying though--it will never come to pass though. Do you think the democrats or your beloved Republicans would put Israel under the bus.

"after last weeks insults it is too late for Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud--- they are history"
Maybe but that will be up to the voters in Israel--since Israel is one of the few democracies in the region. If the Israeli voters are unhappy they with their government--they will make a change. That is the way democracy works. unless you are saying the US should engineer a coup d'etat.
BTW a short list of others you have said were "history":: AVigador Lieberman, Gwen Ifels, Barack Obama--what are all of them up to these days?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:51 am


The sea change came in January, when General David Petraeus sent a briefing team to the Pentagon with a stark warning:

America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers. Web Link

Quote

"There are important and powerful lobbies in America: the NRA, the American Medical Association, the lawyers -- and the Israeli lobby.

But no lobby is as important, or as powerful, as the U.S. military.

While commentators and pundits might reflect that Joe Biden's trip to Israel has forever shifted America's relationship with its erstwhile ally in the region, the real break came in January, when David Petraeus sent a briefing team to the Pentagon with a stark warning: America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers.

Maybe Israel gets the message now.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

the article written about this supposed briefing was written by a blogger who was not at this briefing. Where did he get his information
from? Has General Petraeus ever directly spoken about this briefing.
I find it hard to believe that a US general would consider a country acting against terrorism would endanger US lives.
I find little in the way of real facts in this article just conjecture and speculation from someone who was not there.
Of course, Sharon, there is an easy solution to the problem--the US government should order the Palestinians and the Arab nations (since they can order everyone around according to you) to recognize Israel and make peace with them. Remember that years ago the Palestinians were offered 95%+ of the west Bank--this offer was turned down. ha dthe offer been accepted this housing would not be an issue now.
ANd remember, Sharon, as others have posted the settlements are a red herring.
i have a feeling, Sharon, that the article you posted is a work of fiction and fantasy--the kind that you love to parrot.
Still not sure about what is behind your stand on Israel considering your strong Republican credentials and why you think Israel should be treated differently than the Arab nations, since you seem to place the onus for the whole problem on their shoulders.
Explanation, please???


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

Interesting op-ed:

Web Link

Surprised that Paul has not posted further on this topic that he started or has he taken the exposure of his lack of knowledge about the issue to heart?


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

General David Petraeus briefing to the Pentagon regarding Israel was reported in FP Foreign PolicyWeb Link

This is a very credible source and journal, founded by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel in 1970 and now owned by The Washington Post.


Here is Tom Friedman s opinion from NYT Editorial
Web Link

I am a big Joe Biden fan. The vice president is an indefatigable defender of U.S. interests abroad. So it pains me to say that on his recent trip to Israel, when Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's government rubbed his nose in some new housing plans for contested East Jerusalem, the vice president missed a chance to send a powerful public signal:
He should have snapped his notebook shut, gotten right back on Air Force Two, flown home and left the following scribbled note behind:

"Message from America to the Israeli government: Friends don't let friends drive drunk. And right now, you're driving drunk. You think you can embarrass your only true ally in the world, to satisfy some domestic political need, with no consequences? You have lost total contact with reality. Call us when you're serious. We need to focus on building our country."

End quote





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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

Boaz,

While I do on occasion weigh in on a blog after my initial posting, my ususal practice is to tee up a topic and let others take part in the conversation.

My knowledge level is not in question here.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

Sharon:

"General David Petraeus briefing to the Pentagon regarding Israel was reported in FP Foreign PolicyWeb Link
This is a very credible source and journal, founded by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel in 1970 and now owned by The Washington Post."
Yes and this is the source I am calling into question. Is it credible because it reported this matter to your liking?
Where did the information come from? Was the briefing classified? if so then some people may be guilty of treason for leaking confidential information. the FBI should launch an investigation immediately.

I did get a kick out of you quoting Tom Friedman--especially the quote about Biden. Considering that during the campaign in 2008 you were getting on Biden's case for having hair plugs (according to you) and otherwise putting him down.

Another quote from that same article:
"Netanyahu said he was blindsided. It's probably true in the narrow sense. The move seems to have been part of a competition between two of Netanyahu's right-wing Sephardi ministers from the religious Shas Party over who can be the greater champion of building homes for Sephardi orthodox Jews in East Jerusalem. It is a measure of how much Israel takes our support for granted and how out of touch the Israeli religious right is with America's strategic needs."


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

Paul

of course your knowledge level can be questioned. You made statements one certain points--based on your statements, your level of knowledge on that subject can be questioned.
Some may share your opinion and think you are right on--other like myself feel that you are extremely ignorant of the facts or extremely naive, as another poster pointed out


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Britain and France were not in Suez by conquest, but by legal contract in compensation for their investment and labor constructing the
Suez Canal. Ike's interference with that contract was the message to Arabs that wishing did, indeed make it so, as long as the US kept electing Ikes and Carters and other intellectual deficient s.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm


The US demand that the UK divest in colonies started with Wilson and was continued by Roosevelt, Truman and Ike.

The US has foreign policy interests, these interest come first, the UK complied because it did not have a choice
--- well it did have choice of defeat, isolation and bankruptcy--- if it did not comply to US interests in the matter.

Israel has the same choice

General David Petraeus briefing to the Pentagon regarding Israel is a game changer

He said --" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers"--

Americans from Texas to Alaska and from Hawaii to NY, respect him, trust him, hear him, understand him and agree with Petraeus message

The current regime in Israel were given the same message

They responded with an insult

All Americans from Texas to Alaska etc heard and understood that insult from the current Israeli regime.

The consequences will come thick and fast, they will be profound, pervasive and enduring.

For a start--

$3Billion per year is a lot of money-- we can spend it rebuilding our economy and infrastructure.





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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Sharon

"The US demand that the UK divest in colonies started with Wilson and was continued by Roosevelt, Truman and Ike.'
Where does this fiction come from/ why would the US make those demands of a soverign nation that has been it's ally for years? SOunds like a made up factoid to me.

"The US has foreign policy interests, these interest come first, the UK complied because it did not have a choice"
Made up factoid. Are you seriously saying that the US should control the world based on it's own interests without regard to any other nations desires? Are you serious, Sharon? I doubt it.

"--- well it did have choice of defeat, isolation and bankruptcy--- if it did not comply to US interests in the matter."
Another factoid made up to suit the issue at hand


"General David Petraeus briefing to the Pentagon regarding Israel is a game changer"
According to whom, Sharon? you?

"He said --" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers"--"
When did he say that? During the briefing? Which reporters did he say it to? Where has that quote been published? Petraeus is a soldier and will obey his commanders. This so-called briefing was classified I assume. How did it leak out--if it occurred at all. I hope the FBI launches an investigation since possible treason is involved here. You may be implicated, Sharon.

"Americans from Texas to Alaska and from Hawaii to NY, respect him, trust him, hear him, understand him and agree with Petraeus message"
Really, everyone agrees with him? Do you have the poll numbers for that. Interesting how you area Petraus fan now that you have twisted his words to suit your purposes

"The current regime in Israel were given the same message
They responded with an insult"
I think you need to read up on what happened and make an attempt to get your facts straight. right now all you are repeating is the same made up stories, factoids and third hand reports.
Perhaps you should read this story:
Web Link
(Clinton said the United States' relationship with Israel is not at risk: "Our relationship is durable. It's strong. It's rooted in common values.")

"All Americans from Texas to Alaska etc heard and understood that insult from the current Israeli regime."
Poll number for this, please.

"The consequences will come thick and fast, they will be profound, pervasive and enduring."
really? When will that happen. Care to place a wager on what occurs.
Still interesting how you bash ISrael and blame them for the peace process issue



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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Time for the U.S. to get out and let THEM solve their own arguments. No more money.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm



POSTSCRIPT:

The Pentagon today issued a statement on the Perry piece in FP Foreign Policy.Web Link
The Pentagon noted that one item in the report was wrong, a minor point about Petraeus wanting to change the geographic groupings of the various commands so that CENTCOM included Israel.
By correcting only this minor point, the Pentagon essentially confirms the rest.
The significance of the military speaking out like this cannot be exaggerated.


General Petraeus appears before congress on Tuesday--- we will hear more about the Pentagon briefing and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullens firm statements to his Israeli counterpart chief of the Israeli General Staff, Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi.

"While the American press speculated that Mullen's trip focused on Iran, the JCS Chairman actually carried a blunt, and tough, message on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: that Israel had to see its conflict with the Palestinians "in a larger, regional, context" -- as having a direct impact on America's status in the region.
Certainly, it was thought, Israel would get the message.

Israel didn't."


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Sharon continues attempt to deceive us with mis-information. She claims that the Pentagon issued a statement with regard to the Perry piece in Foreign Policy and provides a link--the link is to the Perry piece that she has been harping about all day--there is no link to any Pentagon statement and I doubts such a statement exists.

Of interest is this information concerning the writer of the piece, Mark Perry who was an advisor to Yasser Arafat and Hezbollah (which I do not need to remind Sharon is considered to be a terrorist organization)

Web Link

from the above article:
"There's conflicting reports as to the veracity of Perry's dispatch. U.S. military personnel are denying basic elements of the account (on Petraeus), so there's certainly bound to be some additional fireworks. "

Looks like Perry made up some things that Petraeus did not say and Sharon swallowed it hook, line and sinker

Also from the above article:
"I have also been informed that Petraeus' people deny the story completely, although my source for that is a high profile blogger who heard it from a reporter."

Petraeus will be testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week,so this issue may be raised. If it is false than Mr Perry will appear to be doing work for a terrorist organization and Sharon will be considered his accomplice. The authorities take a dim view these days of aiding and abetting groups like Hezbollah

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Paul, though I admire your willingness to put yourself "out there" in print, I have to ask you to rewrite your initial posting, and reverse the names of the "bullies". Include the number of bombs lobbed into and in the midst of innocent Israelis..include the number of dead and injured Israeli Muslims from these bombs..include the "educational"materials taught from birth about beliefs about Jews ..

It would be a good intellectual exercise.




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Posted by Supporter of Israel
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Thanks, Real Sharon, for doing your homework and showing that this article that Sharon has talked about all day on written by an advisor to Hezbollah. I can see now where him and Sharon are going with that article. It looks like this piece has no basis in fact whatsoever.
Not only is it shameful that this Perry character, with his message being parroted by Sharon, vilifying Israel m buthe is also damaging the reputation of a respected US general. Shameful indeed, but not suprising considering the anti_israel propoganda machine out there.

Unbelievable--good call on Paul. And Boaz, I agree that Paul's knowledge level should be questioned considering his extremely naive views that he expressed in his initial post.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm


Good try but --- you fail

Mark Perry is a loyal American Citizen, he was praised on PBS News Hour this evening, he writes for Foreign Policy
and you can see him tonight on the PBS web site in debate and talking about his latest book.
He also gets a lot of support in the rational Israeli press.
look him up
Mark Perry (born 1950) is an American author specializing in military, intelligence and foreign affairs analysis.
He has authored eight books: Four Stars[1], Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA[2], A Fire In Zion: Inside the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process[3], Conceived in Liberty[4], Lift Up Thy Voice[5], Grant and Twain[6], Partners In Command[7], and Talking To Terrorists[8]. Perry's articles have been featured in a number of leading publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Newsday, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Christian Science Monitor and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
He is a graduate of Northwestern Military and Naval Academy and of Boston University.

You need to understand that Americans are sick and tired of being called anti Semitic or terrorist sympathizers every time they try to talk sense to Israeli Kach and Kahane Chai fanatics Web Link.

The question for rational patriotic Americans is not whether we support Israel or not.

The question is WHAT SORT of Israel do we support -- we do not support an apartheid state which will be a pariah and finished within 15yrs.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmerht said that is the future of the current fundamentalist right wing momentum path, even Ariel Sharon knew that.


What is it that you do not get?

We support a democratic Israel that lives in peaceful reciprocity with its neighbors.
Get it done or the money ends.

Israel does not face any existential threat, it has many, many nukes and the strongest military force in the region.

Iran is not going to nuke Israel because they know the consequences-- they may be crazy but they are not stupid.

The current regime in Israel insulted the USA big time.

The regime is not stupid, they have a strategy in this act of treachery, just like they had with Jonathan Pollard treachery and treason see Web Link

But the price now is loss of trust by the American people, Israel will have to work for many, many years to regain any small trust moving forward.

As General David Petraeus said
--" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers"--

Time has almost run out---patience certainly has for all rational Americans.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm

For those who are not Kahane Chai fanatics here is the debate from PBS Night Line by two patriotic Americans

For rational Americans PBS has credibility-- as for the rest-- who cares


Web Link


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm

In a few more years we will not have the resources to worry about any of this, the US is fast approaching its collapse. Will the post collapse carry on the pre-collapse trajectory to cutting Americans out of the country until we have just a small elite and virtual peasanthood for what used to be citizens, or will we start to fix our problems relative to our people and rebuilt the country from the ground up being forced to forego the management of empire? We cannot seem to resolve that politically or by plebescite, so, maybe we'll give violence a chance, because the collapse that is approaching does not look like it is going to be very orderly or neat.

The resources that have been directed towards this Imperial America vision, as well as the trades with some of the nastiest parts of the world, Middle East & China have infected our country and others in the name of increasing profits for the few and exploitation for the many.

The bottom line is that the world cannot afford not to stand up to Political Islam. However long it takes the US to reform the battle must be fought, and no one knows how to do it. So attacking, complaining and criticizing Israel for doing what it needs to do is a cheap poltical ploy to gain support from the clueless group who are anti-Israel Liberals for the Obama administration. The same clueless group that has fought this war and wasted lives, years and trillions and been extremely ineffective in any positive change - except to redistribute money upward in our own country.

The problem in the Middle East and elsewhere is not Israel. Most actions and reactions in war are not nice or pleasant, and this is war. Complaining about the small country that is in the middle of it worse than anywhere else on the planet, and thinking we can treat them like a dog on a leash, when we have blown our whole country over foolish wars bought with deficit dollars is the height of incompetence and negligence. Our wars seems to be designed to channel money where it can be the least socially applied and lowers expectations of common citizens the most.

Very few of the posts here address this issue without sidetracking off on to some personal prejudice or hatred on the part of some of the posters. This has to do with oppressive governments and societies driven by a misguided idea of religion who toy with their citizens like animals and use them as weapons. if it is not stopped it just keeps growing the problem just gets worse. Maybe sooner than we think we'll get the chance to see how we will react when presented with hostility and terrorism on the level that Israel faces daily.

Again .... why is is fair and just for Palestinians to settle, live and work, and have poltical representation in Israel, and totally wrong for a few Jews to even settle or live on land belonging to a country that does not exist, and hopefully will not exist - until it is an actual country, and not just a proxy army of crazed religious fanatics.

It is fine for thousands of rockets to be sent into Israel, but not fine during a war for Israel to respond. It is fine for the very charter of the Palestinian organizations to continually espouse the destruction of Israel and the people who live there, because they call it Zionism, but not fine for Israel, during this war time, to try attempt to get movement from the other side using various tactics .. because nothing they do seems to have any impact at all?

Second guessing the ones who are our friends, and have political and social values the most like us, and siding and making gestures with the groups that have never been trustworthy, who lie about even being willing to talk. Who are absolutely clear on their end terms ... well, it just seems like anyone who thinks that is helpful is not firing on all cylinders to me.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:23 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Mark Perry was on PBS, but he was not praised--he was a guest and was given a chance to express his opinion

"You need to understand that Americans are sick and tired of being called anti Semitic or terrorist sympathizers every time they try to talk sense to Israeli Kach and Kahane Chai fanatics Web Link."
When does this happen? what do two marginal groups in Israel have to do with this issue. I would ask Sharon to provide factual numbers foe this claim. Or is SHaron suggesting that all Israelis are "Kach and Kahane Chai fanatics"?

"The question for rational patriotic Americans is not whether we support Israel or not.
The question is WHAT SORT of Israel do we support -- we do not support an apartheid state which will be a pariah and finished within 15yrs."
The term apartheid state has been bandied about for years. The fact is that people believe that if you use a term long enough it becomes true. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

"The regime is not stupid, they have a strategy in this act of treachery, just like they had with Jonathan Pollard treachery and treason see Web Link"
Let's dredge up this issue which is not relevant to the current topic as well.

"As General David Petraeus said
--" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers"--"
As we all know, this is a lie. Petraeus never said it. It was started by an adviser to known terrorist organizations.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

"For those who are not Kahane Chai fanatics here is the debate from PBS Night Line by two patriotic Americans"
Lee Smith may be a patriotic american--however Mr Perry has acted as an advisor to two terrorist organizations that support the destruction of Israel.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:00 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:43 am

I don't think that the Israeli announcement was a coincidence-- somebody in the government wanted to stir things up. However, blaming Israel for everything is completely misinformed. Nearby Arab governments have been blaming Israel for everything for my entire lifetime and more, and, at the same time, deliberately support militants who, for example, shell nearby Israel towns. Israel is such a convenient target for Arab governments who want their citizens to ignore their own records of economic and political failure.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

>> The question is WHAT SORT of Israel do we support -- we do not support an apartheid state which will be a pariah and finished within 15yrs." <<

Sorry, "The Real Sharon, Resident of Midtown", but no, this is not the question. What Israel does in terms of magnitude does not even register on the Arabs/Islamists.

If Israel did not have the will and the firepower to survive they would not exist at all.

The bullying from the Palestinian side.

The genocide is from the Palestinian side.

The apartheid is from the Palestinian side. How many Jews live or work in the Palestinian territories? If the Palestinians believe their own propaganda then they should be willing to accept Jewish people to live in Palestine as equals, but we all know that no one lives as equals in an Islamic country.

Any reasonable objective observer would likely have to conclude that giving Palestinians their own land for a Palestinian state would be reward for the most violent and aggressive behavior, not to mention dishonest and disingenuous actions politically and militarily. Until the Palestinians can renounce violence and stop systematically programming every aspect of Palestinian like as being a war against Jews, and possible severing ties with radical terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah ... well, we all know that is not going to happen. This is what the Israelis face, and I am not so quick to condemn whatever new strategy they try, and whatever face they put on what is plain and simple - a war. Maybe not a hot war, maybe not a cold warm, but certainly a warm war, and certainly a war.

Looked at in the light of being a war, or being a diverse inclusive peace, building settlements where Jews can live on the Palestinian side of the line hardly seems like an atrocity to me.

What I notice about all of this is that Islamic countries cannot stand equality, Islam always demands top billing, and intolerant abusive top billing. How does anything else survive under those conditions - certainly not the way we call survival in the West. Just as many or more Jews were expelled from Arab/Muslim lands as Palestinians that left Israel, why does the media never speak of this? In whatever discussion all the information should be brought up, not just selective elements that support one side.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

Anon--
The post you ascribe to me (>> The question is WHAT SORT of Israel do we support -- we do not support an apartheid state which will be a pariah and finished within 15yrs." <<) was not written by me, but by Sharon. I only copied and pasted it into my reply to her.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:06 am

Ok ... kind of hard to tell, thanks.


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Posted by another supporter of Israel
a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:06 am

Interesting thread and interesting reading some of the comments. Seems that some people have to resort to blatant distortions to get a false point across. It also seems that whoever is controlling this board is "shooting the messenger" by editing and/or deleting attempts to point this out .


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

UPDATE

General Petraeus has spoken---

In prepared testimonyWeb Link before Congress today,General Petraeus essentially confirmed the Foreign Policy report.
Addressing what he called the "major drivers of instability, inter-state tensions, and conflict … (that) can serve as root causes of instability or as obstacles to security," the very first one he listed was:

"Insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace. The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas."

General Petraeus also pointed out that progress in Middle East peace talks could seriously weaken the power of Iran:

"A credible U.S. effort on Arab-Israeli issues that provides regional governments and populations a way to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the disputes would undercut Iran's policy of militant "resistance," which the Iranian regime and insurgent groups have been free to exploit. Additionally, progress on the Israel-Syria peace track could disrupt Iran's lines of support to Hamas and Hizballah…. As such, progress toward resolving the political disputes in the Levant, particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict, is a major concern for CENTCOM."

General Petraeus is a very smart and thoughtful guy, the leak over the weekend about his briefing to the PentagonWeb Link
must have been carefully thought out from a strategic and political perspective at the highest levels.

It must have been approved by the highest levels of the executive branch.

We live in interesting times-- something major is happening on these matters.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:47 am

Yes, Sharon, General Petraeus has spoken. A couple of points from the link you posted. Nowhere do I see the demonization of Israel that you attributed to him via your posting of the Perry article. On the contrary, this article is radically different from the Perry article you posted. In fact, nowhere do I see the quote that you have attributed to Gen Petraeus ("-" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers"") many times in this thread.
What I read is a balanced critique without finger pointing--probably in keeping in line with Petraeus being a career military officer who know that publicly questioning government policy is not done.
I still have my doubts about the Perry article, given his background and history. You will note that the statement you quoted does refer to Hezbollah and Hamas in a less than flattering manner.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

Sorry, Sharon, I do not see what you are seeing in this document. Israel is maybe mentioned 7 times in this 40+ page document. There is no mention whatsoever of this phantom meeting and the quotation from Petraeus that you and Perry have been reporting on.
Actually, as I read your quotes from the document, Petraeus is being completely non-judgemental vis a vis Israel or the Palestinians. He is just saying what many of us think--that there needs to be a lasting peace for everyone's good. I do not dispute that. If only the Palestinians would recognize Israel's right to exist and stop honoring the murders of children (i.e. Ms Mughrabi) as national heroes, maybe we can get something done.
I still think that the Perry article is a fantasy made up by an adviser to Hamas and Hezbollah (which by the way is referred to as militant groups by Petraeus)


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:19 pm

i find it interesting the editors delete any questioning or criticism of the repeated use of the terms "rational" and "patriotic" (i.e. "the rational Israeli press", "rational patriotic Americans", "patience certainly has for all rational Americans") to refer to those who agree with a point of view championed by another poster. When it is obviously the goal of the poster to marginalize those that disagree with her as not being "rational or patriotic".
Perhaps the editors would care to explain their editing criteria?

BTW, Sharon, you will note, from your posting of the Petraeus hearing, that he does consider Iran to be a threat.



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Posted by Bill Johnson
publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Bill Johnson is a registered user.

The Real Sharon,

All you have to do to avoid our edits or removal of your posts is to not attack other posters or their motivations. Stick to the substance of the topic. There is surely plenty of substance to debate here without needing to characterize others.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Sorry, Bill, I view the continued use of the terms "rational" and "patriotic" to describe people as an attack on those that hold opposite view. I am not sure how you can have real discussion by not questioning people's motivations, when they are pretty clear from their postings.
What if postings by others on the topic is made up of distortions, lies, half-truths and innuendo?
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Editor, there is a difference between "mentioning" others and what they say, and criticizing their methods and "attacking" them. I see the editing as interpretting the idea of "attacking" in a very asymmetric one-sided point of view.

That in itself could be acceptable, or just part of how any editing is subject to interpretation, but so much is removed that is actually factual that does not "insult" but could be considered as arguing.

Do you think you should be removing arguing, or heated arguing, because I think you do the community a grave disservice when you do. There were many good facts that were removed a while back in a discussion about the airport because one or two mentions of other posters were included as well. I think the readers lost in that case even though perhaps you thought you were protecting them in some way.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

For example, looking at this post that was not deleted or edited:
>>>> For those who are not Kahane Chai fanatics here is the debate from PBS Night Line by two patriotic Americans For rational Americans PBS has credibility-- as for the rest-- who cares <<<<<

What about this post deserves to remain, when posts that were made commenting on it were deleted. That is what I do not understand.

Maybe I do not understand what a Kahane Chai fanatic is, but is certainly seems by nature a dig at someone in an unproductive way? No? Then the followup of who cares about anything but PBS. I love PBS, but that tone of that post is definitely confrontational, yet it remains?

Can you explain that please?


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Anyone gonna tell me where to find an Islamic community where Jews are given the freedom that Palestinians enjoy in Israel?


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Posted by Bill Johnson
publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Bill Johnson is a registered user.

It's not hard to avoid deletion or editing. If you think someone has made inaccurate or distorted postings, then correct the information or present contrary data. If you negatively characterize the individual who made that post, however, your comment will be removed every time. When individuals representing opposing viewpoints appear on The News Hour or other programs or forums, you don't see them labeling each other personally. They address the issue at hand and their different perspectives. That's the environment we want for Town Square.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

>>> If you think someone has made inaccurate or distorted postings, then correct the information or present contrary data. I <<<

Bill, meaning no disrespect, of course, if you understood math, computers, and specifically "denial of service" you would realize that one bad-faith poster can run circles around good faith posters by posting all manner of lies, untrue assertions, and statements with hidden lies that take many resources to correct, and in fact cannot really be corrected due to the effort necessart on the part of the reader, and forcing the truth-teller into chasing their tail.

This is what Mark Twain meant when he said something like a lie can make it around the world before the truth can get it's pants on.

If you really do not understand that you should think twice about how you have been doing your job - in all seriousness, editing these silly local town message boards are a responsibility that demands this truth, possibly before all others must be perceived.

In the example I chose, I chose it, because in just two sentences it was able to confound and frustrate those who would want to have a clear, reasonable fact-based discussion, and you allowed it to stand.

I think in addition to editing and deleting posts that respond to those kind of provocations, you might want to consider the initial statement when someone posts a new idea of thread, or comes off the wall with a statement like I used as an example.

Maybe you will not agree with me on this, and it is your job, but do you get what I am saying, and can you respond in a way that allows me to consider your requirements in a way I may have not considered?


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Bill, I seriously do not think you know what you are talking.
I am not sure how questioning the use of terms like "rational" or "patriotic" to try to describe those the "correct" position (as Sharon has done in numerous posts) is "negatively characterizing" the individual.
Anon. also raised some good issues above and all we get from you is your usual cookie cutter answer. Also I would refrain from comparing yourself with the News Hour and you are clearly also not aware what goes on some of these programs with regard to personal labeling.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

>>> When individuals representing opposing viewpoints appear on The News Hour or other programs or forums, you don't see them labeling each other personally. <<<

Yes, and when a responsible spokesman in the "responsible" media makes and outrageous statement, they are also corrected or called by the media channel or moderator themselves, and not allowed to stand ... attention is drawn to it in some way so opposing spokespeople are not put on the spot to spend their time trying to undo what is done.

To be sure there are comparisons with mainstream media here, but there are also contrasts, ie. differences, and that is one of them. Mainstream media has resposiblility for vetting in a way the people appearing and speaking that Palo Alto Online does not have and cannot have. Therefore you job is different, and if you see it as merely trying to imitate the News Hour in my humble opinion you are missing something and end up treating people unfairly - depriving them of the right to speak because of the subjectivity of your interpretation of what they write.


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Posted by Bill Johnson
publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Mar 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Bill Johnson is a registered user.

Anon,

I understand your point and agree that a clever poster can inflame through innuendo and/or false data and force responders to "chase" them in circles. We have a number of posters on the site that do this. This is trickier for our editors, but we have deleted entire posts on occasion for this reason, including posts made by some of the participants in this thread. I also agree that Town Square is different than a program like The News Hour in that it by design is allowing people of all kinds and views to interact, often anonymously, and ideally without editorial intervention. Our active editing has, however, kept Town Square from becoming a wasteland of hatred and venom, as so many other sites have become. It's an imperfect process, but we're doing the best we know how. Some think we go too far with our editing and others think we don't go far enough. From out experience, it is possible for a poster to adapt his or her posting behavior to the standards we are trying to set and be "free" of our editing, without it impacting the ability to make a strong substantive argument.


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Posted by whence from when/where
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

When did Israel take the West Bank From the Palestinians?
I can't find the date.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm



As we know General Petraeus is a very smart strategic thinker and powerful leader.

In his Pentagon briefing of January 16 on Israel, and his much more mild and diplomatic version during his Senate testimony today, he presents and interesting quandary for the neoconservatives

"Petraeus' willingness to publicly

— and in uniform with all those decorations on his chest —

make the connection between Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and the spread of "anti-American sentiment" and the deterioration of the U.S. position in the region

— a connection which, of course, is completely evident to any casual observer of Middle East-

marks what can only be considered a major breakthrough in the debate over the relationship between the United States and Israel.

And now that the neo-conservatives, staunch supporters of Bibi Netanyahu, have built up Petraeus as the greatest U.S. military commander since World War II, and,
thanks to Bill Kristol, a presidential candidate to die for,

how will they react?

Remember, Petraeus is due to receive the 2010 Irving Kristol Award at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in May! Web Link



We live in interesting times of great change.


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Posted by Jerusalem
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Is the situation that Israel thinks Jerusalem was taken in its defensive 1967 war and the rest of the world thinks it was not, perhaps also thinking that it was not a defensive war?


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm


There was an interesting debate on the Petraeus Senate testimony on PBS News Hour this evening -- opposing sides-- no accusations of antisemitism or anti Israeli prejudice-- good move, keep that up!

Clear conclusion

Either the current Israel regime takes what General Petraeus says seriously and takes action, not words, to change its policy ASAP or Israeli and USA interests will go in very different directions real fast.

Israel needs the USA much, much more than we need them-- so the narrative and outcome are clear.

We have relations with 192 UN states with huge economies and populations to manage, we are fighting 2 wars

In the big picture of American interest and security, Israel is tiny and they would be wise to understand that.

This weekend the Israeli lobby meeting in DC will let Americans know if Israel has got the message, understood it, acted on it or not.

If not-- we have to divorce ourselves from the current Israeli regime.

The outcome of PBS debate supported the Petraeus doctrine

" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers"



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Posted by Supporter of Israel
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I only have a chance to catch up with this thread after work each day. looks like I missed quite a bit of action today.
Anyway, I have to take issue with Sharon's postings. First of all there is no evidence that this January 16th briefing she refers to ever occured. i believe another poster posted links questioning that it ever occured. Secondly, I have read the document that Sharon posted regarding Petraeus' testimony today and nowhere within does Petraeus, as Sharon puts it "make the connection between Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and the spread of "anti-American sentiment" and the deterioration of the U.S. position in the region".
I am also not sure what Sharon is referring to when she states "Either the current Israel regime takes what General Petraeus says seriously and takes action, not words, to change its policy ASAP or Israeli and USA interests will go in very different directions real fast.". Petraeus testimony from the document that Sharon posted is very diplomatic and non-accusitory. While he does state that peace must be achieved in that region, nowhere in his testimony does he point finger at Israel. So where is this interpretation coming from?
Finally, Sharon posts a statement that she constantly attributes to Petraeus ("" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers") even though my research and the research of other posters on this thread have shown that Petraeus has never made this statement. He certainly did not make it during his testimony today, there is no direct evidence that he made it at the supposed briefing that occured in January either. I would ask Sharon to clear the air and post a link to a source that shows that Petraeus actually said it--I have doubts that such a source exists.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm


The issue for US is American lives and best interests.

General Petraeus made this clear in his statements today and in his brief to the Pentagon on January 16, which was much more less direct and unvarnished.
The fact is the current Israeli regime is harming our war on terror --- they are harming USA interests.
They have a very limited time to conform--otherwise they are off the bus.

American interests are first, not client states interests, Israel is a client.

Others, who earlier said what Petraeus now says, have either been dismissed as poorly informed or worse, branded as anti-Israeli or by insinuation, anti-Semitic.

No such charge will stick to Petraeus.
Indeed, if the Israel lobby was so foolhardy as to try and go after an American general who sometimes gets treated like a latter day Eisenhower, the lobby will be at dire risk of being visited by its own greatest fear: being branded as anti-American




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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm

correction

The briefing to the Pentagon was much more direct that Petraeus gave to the Senate. He is smart.

Read between the lines Web Link


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2010 at 3:20 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

How many cheeks must Israel turn?


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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 17, 2010 at 5:15 am

I would worry about being on the same side, ideologically, as someone who continuously posts as "proof" for his or her thinking links to threads that contain no such proof.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 17, 2010 at 6:32 am

Unbelievable--good call. I have been reading Sharon's posts and the links she gives. There is nothing in those reports that is agreement with what she states.
Petraeus never:
1)make the connection between Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and the spread of "anti-American sentiment" and the deterioration of the U.S. position in the region

2)" America's relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America's soldiers"

She claims the first comment is from his Senate testimony. Yet she herself has posted portions of that testimony and it say no such thing
( "Insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace. The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas."

General Petraeus also pointed out that progress in Middle East peace talks could seriously weaken the power of Iran:

"A credible U.S. effort on Arab-Israeli issues that provides regional governments and populations a way to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the disputes would undercut Iran's policy of militant "resistance," which the Iranian regime and insurgent groups have been free to exploit. Additionally, progress on the Israel-Syria peace track could disrupt Iran's lines of support to Hamas and Hizballah…. As such, progress toward resolving the political disputes in the Levant, particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict, is a major concern for CENTCOM.")

As for the second claim, which she says came during a presentation to the Pentagon in January. We have this article (Web Link) and from it:
"There's conflicting reports as to the veracity of Perry's dispatch. U.S. military personnel are denying basic elements of the account (on Petraeus), so there's certainly bound to be some additional fireworks. "

and

"I have also been informed that Petraeus' people deny the story completely, although my source for that is a high profile blogger who heard it from a reporter."


Finally she states:
"Indeed, if the Israel lobby was so foolhardy as to try and go after an American general who sometimes gets treated like a latter day Eisenhower, the lobby will be at dire risk of being visited by its own greatest fear: being branded as anti-American"

Where does this come from? Why would the Israeli lobby go after Petraeus when it is clear that he has not said anything that Sharon claims he has said.

SO what is going on here?


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

Paul, Sharon and others may find this article interesting:

Web Link


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm


Foreign Policy Journal is an established, highly credible non partisan source.Web Link
They published the article on Petraeus.
If there had been any problem of credibility of sources and substance they would not have published it.
If there was any denial by the Pentagon or the White House of the validity of the article then FP would publish the denial--- there has been no denial.

Mark Perry is a highly credible source with connections to high level US military and political leaders.
He teaches at US War Colleges and US Military Academies.
He is deeply connected with US Intelligence,US Military and the Pentagon at the highest the highest levels Pentagon.

Clearly both the Pentagon and the White House approved the leaking of the Petraeus briefing to the Pentagon which took place on January 16th.
Clearly they both approved of framing the Petraeus Doctrine as

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Also quoting the words from an amateur blog with no pedigree. to wit-

"I have also been informed that Petraeus' people deny the story completely, although my source for that is a high profile blogger who heard it from a reporter." who heard it from a cab driver, who heard it from-----?-- the family dog?

The tipping point has come in the relationship between the current Israeli regime and the US.

We have different foreign policy and security visons.

And then there is the money-- a handout of $3Billion per year to a state that insults us is no longer acceptable to the American tax payers.






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Posted by whence from when/where
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Is the question too tough????.......

"Posted by whence from when/where, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

When did Israel take the West Bank From the Palestinians?


I can't find the date."




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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Sorry, Sharon but once again, as others have pointed out, you are posting links to sites that contain no proof whatsoever for what you are claiming.

"Foreign Policy Journal is an established, highly credible non partisan source.Web Link"

I am not sure how you can call the article non-partisan when the writer is an adviser to two terrorist organizations. Credible to whom?

"If there had been any problem of credibility of sources and substance they would not have published it."
They can publish what they want-credible or not. The whole meeting that you cite in the article has been called into question (Web Link
There's conflicting reports as to the veracity of Perry's dispatch. U.S. military personnel are denying basic elements of the account (on Petraeus), so there's certainly bound to be some additional fireworks.)
What part of "denying basic elements of the account" do you question?

"If there was any denial by the Pentagon or the White House of the validity of the article then FP would publish the denial--- there has been no denial."
See above the military is denying basic elements of that article--why should the White House get involved arguing with a sensationalist rag?

"Mark Perry is a highly credible source with connections to high level US military and political leaders."
He is an adviser to Hamas and Hezbollah--two terrorist organizations. Not sure how people feel about his credibility based on those facts


""I have also been informed that Petraeus' people deny the story completely, although my source for that is a high profile blogger who heard it from a reporter." who heard it from a cab driver, who heard it from-----?-- the family dog?""
Okay, then why do you discard the fact that military sources are denying basic elements of the story. I think the Petraeus breifing is a fantasy made up by an adviser to known terrorist organizations. And that fantasy has been bough hook, line and sinker by certain elements.

"The tipping point has come in the relationship between the current Israeli regime and the US."
See CNN story for regard that point:
Web Link

"We have different foreign policy and security visons."
Totally false.

"And then there is the money-- a handout of $3Billion per year to a state that insults us is no longer acceptable to the American tax payers. "
Youy draw this conclusion based on what.

Bottom line, the FP article writen by Mr Perry, a known terrorist adviser is a fantasy that has been denied by military source. Gen. Petraeus probably does not want to dirty his hands by personally dealing with a muckraking rag like FP.
Indeed, Gen Petraeus testimony yesterday before the senate contains no finger pointing or demonization of Israel and no finger pointing. Sharon has even posted the entire PDF of the testimony.It is clear that Gen Petraeus has not made any comments derogatory of Israel and certainly has not made the statement regarding American soldiers and Israel that has been repeated ad nauseum on this thread (probably due to the belief that if you repeat something long enough it becomes true)


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

One can love a child, a spouse or a friend, and find a behavior objectionable.

Our Vice President was insulted when he went to Israel. And our Secretary of State conveyed her concerns about how a legitimate peace process can proceed effectively when an action by a State makes such a process more difficult.

Read the March 17 Op Ed pieces in the NY Times by Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Consider the source Web Link

quoting the words from an amateur blog with no pedigre.
to wit-

"I have also been informed that Petraeus' people deny the story completely, although my source for that is a high profile blogger who heard it from a reporter." who heard it from a cab driver, who heard it from-----?-- the family dog?

The source is not credible Web Link


Mark Perry was working with US intelligence, as we understand, when he was advising Arafat

His command to Arafat was this

1/Do not kill any Americans, military or civilian-- if you do you are dead and your dreams are dead.

His advice to Arafat

2/Negotiate with Israel in good faith, do not kill civilians.
If you kill civilians you loose our financial and diplomatic support.


Mark Perry, in his latest book and on the PBS interview advocates
" Talking with the Enemy" so does Petraeus, we do this, in both Afghan, Pak and Iraq.

In the past we talked to the ANC-- a terrorist organization in SA at that time.

It works, however, we do not talk with dead enders like AQ.

As Churchill said, -- "Jaw jaw jaw is better than war war war".

The Israeli regime needs to get aligned with American interests or they are off the bus.
They have got the message at the right address, now.

The new elections in Israel resulting from this crisis will bring a new coalition to power which will align itself with our interests.

Like many other disputes it comes down to the money.

For the USA historical arguments are trivial, we focus upon the future.
What happened in 1967 or 1000BC or 100AD is in the rear view mirror, we drive by destination and the road ahead--- not the rear view mirror.

That is a basic difference in values and philosophy.

It is what it is


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm

No one has given a credible rebuttal to the Foreign Affairs analysis of the USA's new strategy regarding the Mid East .

No credible rebuttals to the evidence on Mark Perry as a loyal American patriot.

Building upon Paul Loschs analogy ---- this is divorce

It is now about money, custody etc

The Israeli military cannot go on without our technical support--

Obama will make that comfortably clear by Monday















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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm

>>> Our Vice President was insulted when he went to Israel. And our Secretary of State conveyed her concerns about how a legitimate peace process can proceed effectively when an action by a State makes such a process more difficult. <<<

1. Can you please explain for the what exactly the insult was, or was the insult that Israel is supposed to imagine it must do whatever the US tells it to do and has not. In which case that is not really an insult, and in fact it is being played up and whipped up and I would like to know exactly by who? Is this the Obama administration trying to curry far left wing wacko support from anti-semites on the far left. Is it some kind of disinformation maneuver to cover a joint planning operation to attack Iran together with Israel? The story line to this farce is really absurd.

2. As I have said before, this is war, and building housing is not yet classified as an atrocity. I think it is a clever way for Israel to make the point to Palestinians that there is a time value to their playing games and engaging in terrorist tactics. If this terrorism goes on another 60 years, it would seem reasonable for Israel to build on all the land in its possession and cement their ownership of it. What else do the Palestinians understand? What else can show them something they can take seriously and respond to?

The claim by Clinton, who is not the brightest bulb in our government by a long shot that somehow continuing to do what has been done for 60 years, tried already, or just plain ineffective is what she calls a peace process advancing productively. Is this woman clueless, as I Liberal and at least on this issue I thought Condie Rice had a better handle on things.

It is very clear that our media has been interfered with in some way to make a differentiation between the Israelis building settlements on where Jews can live in what would eventually be Palestine, and the fact that Palestinians already live and work in Israel. This is a really interesting logical disconnect in my opinion. It has been focused on for so long that the mean Israelis were bulldozing Palestinian houses, especially after a family member engaged in terrorism, while again completely ignoring the reality of that this is war, and what the other side has done and comparing objectively and informing Americans of the real history and meaning of what is happening.

How can this be? is our media, our news and educational sources that we thought were second to none and free as sick as our health care system, our financial system, and most everything else. As we have gotten more concentrated power in our own country at the top, we have gotten more systems that do not work, that are arbitrarily driven and unregulated, and incompetent and unsustainable. Somehow all these things fit together, along with our lightweight leaders who are politicians acting and mugging for the camera and not leaders and statesmen/people.

Seriously, is not what happened that Biden met with Israel's government, ie. Netanyahu, and Israel's announced simultaneously in their news that they were building settlements. Is that an insult. Would it have been less of an insult if the waited? Why is this issue not investigated and illuminated instead of putting out news BS articles like "Israel Spits In America's Face". What kind of non-news agency writes articles like that?

Why would Israel even do that? Israel has no desire to alienate the US, but the US just as much alienates Israel, we in American though seem to think it is fine to order countries around or insult of make fun of them. Remember Old Europe, from the Bush administration, Freedom Fries. We are the country where there was a slogan, "The Ugly American" for how we treated foreigners, even in their own countries. We just think we can turn people off and on with some silly emotional news stories.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 12:05 am

Anon


It is clear---American lives and American Interests are first.

There are many countries begging for money---ok-- what is our decision criteria, what are the value and trade offs

The past is the past, in the long term we all die-- sad but true


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Posted by no thanks Friedman and Dowd
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 18, 2010 at 5:34 am

I avoid Friedman and Dowd like the plague...all I get is frustrated that their thinking is so circular..and yet so fragmented within itself.

I read them so much in the "old days" before my blinders were off, that I can predict what they are going to say about any situation or person before they even say it.

The only surprise I got was when Friedman supported us going into Iraq ( before he didn't after we were there a few months...).

And Dowd? ....never has grown or changed in any of her thinking.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 6:23 am

"Consider the source Web Link
quoting the words from an amateur blog with no pedigre.
to wit-"

so sharon, the web link you provide above is to an Obama-bashing site--you consider that a credible link?
I have posted a number of times a link that stated:
"There's conflicting reports as to the veracity of Perry's dispatch. U.S. military personnel are denying basic elements of the account (on Petraeus), so there's certainly bound to be some additional fireworks"
Do you deny the veracity of that report? Are you picking and choosing which military personal to believe?


"I have also been informed that Petraeus' people deny the story completely, although my source for that is a high profile blogger who heard it from a reporter." who heard it from a cab driver, who heard it from-----?-- the family dog?"
Yes, you have repeated this statement a number of times. A few more times and you figure it will become true. The poster is honest--he states the chain of events--there is no cab driver and no family dog.

"The source is not credible Web Link"
I find it amusing that for the purpose of this thread you say that a link that bashes Obama is not credible!!!!

"Mark Perry was working with US intelligence, as we understand, when he was advising Arafat"
Who is we? Source, please. Perry is a known adviser to at least two terrorist organizations.

"His command to Arafat was this
1/Do not kill any Americans, military or civilian-- if you do you are dead and your dreams are dead.
His advice to Arafat
2/Negotiate with Israel in good faith, do not kill civilians.
If you kill civilians you loose our financial and diplomatic support."
Where does this information come from? and if this is true than Arafat obviously ignored Perry

"The Israeli regime needs to get aligned with American interests or they are off the bus."
You are clearly not reading the real news and have formed your own interpretation of the events.

"The new elections in Israel resulting from this crisis will bring a new coalition to power which will align itself with our interests."
This is a crisis in your mind only. There are no new elections planned in Israel. But when they are held it will be the Israeli voters that decide on which government will lead THEIR country. You will have no say in the matter.


"What happened in 1967 or 1000BC or 100AD is in the rear view mirror, we drive by destination and the road ahead--- not the rear view mirror."
So why did we invade Iraq and AFhganistan--9/11 was in the rear view mirror when those invasions took place.
I suggest then you tell that to the Palestinians that they must immediately make peace with Isarel. 1948, 1967 all the old settlements --they are in the rear view mirror.

"No one has given a credible rebuttal to the Foreign Affairs analysis of the USA's new strategy regarding the Mid East ."
Why should anyone give a rebuttal to something that did not occur and was the fantasy of a former adviser to Hamas and HEzbollah. Do you think that people do not see what Perry's agenda is based on his past? ANyway, I have posted a number of times that military sources are claiming that the report is not credible. Is the military "no one" in your mind? then why the worship of Petraeus all of a sudden.

"No credible rebuttals to the evidence on Mark Perry as a loyal American patriot."
Well, I think all you have to do is mention that he is an adviser to two terrorist organizations and people will draw their own conclusions.


"Obama will make that comfortably clear by Monday "
Wanna bet that he does not?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another supporter of Israel
a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2010 at 8:19 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 8:39 am

The frame has changed dramatically-- a tipping point in the Mid East--a new beginning-- the London Times has spoken

UK London Times--
"For the first time there are voices questioning Israel's strategic value"Web Link

" When America's direct interests have been threatened by Israeli actions ' for instance in the Suez Crisis ' Washington has intervened robustly and Israel has backed away.

That is why Israeli leaders need to be particularly careful about how they handle relations with Washington in the current row".-----

"---Mr Biden, a strong supporter of Israel, went home humiliated and empty-handed.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

Sharon--to frame your latest link correctly-- a commentary has appeared in the London Times. Second, there have always been voices questioning Israel's strategic value--I assume the Beeston did not just wake up to this fact today!!!! Why, all of a sudden, is the London Times to voice of change???

Anyway, since when, Sharon, do we listen to what England has to say. England is not our friend (Sharon previously said: "In our foreign policy we do not have friends--- we have interests.")

Also, remember we boss England around (Sharon previosuly said: "In WW 2 we told England that price our aid was that they give up their Empire after the war-- starting with India." and
"England followed our orders and got our message loud and clear in the Suez Crisis")

Why would listen to anything they have to say now? According to you, they are just there to take orders from us.

Our secretary of state has made clear that there is no crisis with Israel:
Web Link

There is no new doctrine with regard to Israel. Petareus made it clear in his testimony to the senate. Reports of a briefing to the countrary have been denied by military sources. The writer of the report has been shown to be an adviser to two known terrorist organizations.

There is no "tipping point"


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:37 am


As we adjust to the new reality in the Mid East it is comforting to reflect on the works of the medieval polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, physician, and poet.
He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, and music.
Omar KhayyámWeb Link

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."

Shalom----Web Link


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

Is this your way of telling us, Sharon, that once you have written something it is part of some kind of permanent record that can never be changed?

There is no "new reality" in the Middle East as other posters have..... Oh never mind.


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 11:36 am

Here is some quotations for you, Sharon:


Web Link
"

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

"After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."



and
Web Link

"We will not rest until we destroy the Zionist entity," senior Hamas figure Fathi Hammad


and

Web Link

"Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he 'longs to be a martyr' and that Israel 'must come to an end'."
"He criticised calls for a two-state solution"


Still think the problem is Israel?
The settlements are a red herring.

There is no new reality in the Middle East.

End of story


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm

More interesting reading:

Web Link

and

Web Link
"In a rather imaginative post at Foreign Policy's web site, he (perry) claims that on Jan. 16,....
That didn't ring true to me, so I asked a military officer who is familiar with the briefing in question and with Petraeus's thinking on the issue to clarify matters. He told me that Perry's item was "incorrect." In the first place, Petraeus never recommended shifting the Palestinian territories to Centcom's purview from European Command, as claimed by Perry. Nor did Petraeus belittle George Mitchell, whom he holds in high regard. ...
Petraeus holds a much more realistic and nuanced view than the one attributed to him by terrorist groupie Mark Perry."


and here is an article that Sharon cannot dispute or deny, since it is in Foreign Policy (yes, the Perry journal):

Web Link

"On Tuesday, a senior military official close to Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen emailed Foreign Policy to say that "while the Chairman certainly did receive a briefing by Gen. Petraeus' team, he was not 'stunned' by it. Indeed, he found it somewhat out of date." "


Any questions, Sharon??


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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Supporter of Israel
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Thanks, Boaz and Real Sharon, for posting those links. I think they go a long way to addressing the issue of what General Petraeus did or did not say. What the feeling of the government is with regards to Israel.
It is quite ironic that one of the posts that Boaz referenced comes from the same Foreign Policy magazine that originally posted the Perry article.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:13 am

Here is another good op-ed about why there is no peace in the Middle East:

Web Link

I would highly recommend that Paul Losch read this article as well


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Paul, I fear that you are a bit shortsighted when it comes to the situation in the Middle East. Israel has been attacked constantly since reemerging as an independent nation in 1948. Israelis are not marching through the streets crying out for the death of Arab and Christian states. Israelis aren't clinging to a militant theocracy that publicly and privately embraces acts of terrorism.

The US cannot risk its friendship with Israel over a silly dispute regarding buildings being constructed on its own property. Israel is the ONLY viable democracy in the region. If we don't support this nation, we are turning our back on the embrace of Democracy in the Middle East.


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Mar 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

The PA On Online folks have encouraged me to be more involved in this thread.

I write for myself, have no association with others who have provided their opinions around this matter. I can handle the personal insults directed toward me, that comes with the territory, I am sorry to say.

What I find disappointing about this discourse is that there seems to be a major policy change by the Obama Administration about how settlements in the West Bank are viewed, and that has gotten limited mention. I teed this blog up because I think the way VP Biden got treated poorly with the announcement this new addition of new West Bank housing while he was there ostensibly to provide unfettered support for the relationship the US and Israel have.

But there does appear to be a different policy view by the current White House compared with its predecessor. Agree or disagree, the folks in DC right now do not feel inclined to willy nilly support the policies and practices of the current Israeli government.

I tire of arguments around specific articles from specific journalists around this matter. PBS, NPR, the Times all have reported on this, and I am sure others that I do not follow have done so as well.

It is clear that the policy for the Obama Administration is different than has been in prior US regimes. The incident that was an insult to VP Biden earlier this month was exactly that--an insult.


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Posted by Norm
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Norm is a registered user.

I find it of interest that out of the "inflamatory", "tipping-point" issues over the year has been over what is an is not territory/dirt taken, won, stolen, or whatever by Israel, the UN, the British and by who it was taken, stolen, concored, purchased or otherwised acquired. It seems that we need to go back to square one and determine who the dirt belong to.............

As noted by this poster, it seems no one here knows...........

Posted by whence from when/where, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Is the question too tough????.......

"Posted by whence from when/where, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

When did Israel take the West Bank From the Palestinians?

I can't find the date."


Have a good weekend.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:10 pm



We appreciate Paul revisiting the blog he initiated, he is on track, similar web based conversations are taking place all across the nation in small towns and big cities.
The question is what is in the USAs best interest in these matters and what is the cost to the USA of the status quo

Clearly the strategy has changed, the new implications will be clearer as we move forward.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

>>> I think the way VP Biden got treated poorly with the announcement <<<

Doesn't to treat someone poorly have to add up in some way. Some way besides a commenter's point of view? Which I do not know about, I do not know the point of view, opinions of prejudices of the commenter, and perhaps it is fair for any commenter to state the frame of reference he comments from.

I believe for things to add up to "poor treatment" there has to be some kind of motive or intent. I cannot say for certain whether there was or was not on the part of Israel in making the announcements about the new construction, but before any and all the background of this story got out the public started seeing articles on the Internet and elsewhere about Israel spitting in America's face.

It seems to me before people just start laying on more and more groundless opinion fertilized with their wild imaginations and preconceived ideas to sew a chaos from which emotion and fears can proliferate, a sensible, productive, concerned objective journalist might want to author a clear article with the basic facts.

In my opinion, just a guess, the public has been set up to view these settlements by Israel in a Cowboy-v-Indian kind of way, Israel is the gun toting violent Cowboys, and the Palestinians are the poor Indians. And this is what news and journalism in America seems to have morphed into. Find the basic archetype in the American mind that you can appeal to ... with whatever bias one wants to push forward, and then resonate with it in other articles, other channels, words and deeds, even colors in some cases, or symbols.

Again Americans are just a rabble to be taken advantage of, to be herded and used by those who have the wherewithall to predict, stampede and exploit that rabble. In this last paragraph by the way I am nor referring to this article in particular in case it is not obvious. Have Americans accepted this couch-sitting, videogame, version of their place in the world, and if we have, who should care or respect that? Israel? Palestinians?

As I said or at least implied earlier, the alternative to the US supporting Israel is that the US buy into a vision of the Palestinians as victims that is simply not true, or at least not befitting the narrative around it in the way it is presented. Of course, in my opinion. Why on Earth should America unwittingly support a state of Palestine that is ethnically cleansed of Jews, particularly when it is so against American values.

In the book "The Kingdom" there is some interesting information about Saudi Arabia where they have infiuences the US to "classify" as a state secret the amount of money that is invested in the US from Saudi Arabia. Also, as a condition of the "special" relationship with Saudi Arabia, they were allowed to dictate to American companies doing business with Saudi Arabia that they not have any Jews in their companies. Saudi influence is strong and undercover in the US, and as we have morphed from a country of one-man-one-vote to a "whatever" of one-dollar-one-vote we might think about where that has been leading us, and whether we as Americans want to end up with rights that are described in the Constitution, or rights similar to Saudi citizens.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 20, 2010 at 1:17 pm

"What I find disappointing about this discourse is that there seems to be a major policy change by the Obama Administration about how settlements in the West Bank are viewed, and that has gotten limited mention."

There is no "major policy change" despite the factoids posted by Sharon et al. You showed you lack of knowledge about the Middle East by staring your post with calling Israel "a bully". [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
You continue to demonstrate your lack of knowledge by repeating the claim that Israel "insulted" Biden (btw, at the same time that Biden was in Israel the Palestinians dedicated a new park in Ramallah to the memory of the terrorist Mughrabi who murdered 38 innocent people in Israel years ago--I guess that is not considered an insult since those were only Jews).


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

There has been plenty of coverage on this topic on other media that questions Bibbi's behavior.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Paul-- I am not asking you two defend your point of view-- but that does. Not mean that your point of view should not be critiqued. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Mar 21, 2010 at 8:01 am

Paul Losch is a registered user.

Tough Love

Behavior and practices that hurt a larger agenda need to be called for what they are.


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Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

svatoid is a registered user.

"Tough Love
Behavior and practices that hurt a larger agenda need to be called for what they are."

If that is the case,Paul, why have you made no mention of the "behaviors and practices"of the Palestinians (indiscriminate shelling of Israel from territory returned to it by Israel,calls for Israel's destruction, honoring terrorists as "heroes" and the list goes on and on)
While Israel is not perfect,there are two sides to every dispute and if you are going to claim Tough Love, then you should apply it to both sides--not a one-sided attack on Israel,
I have to join the others on this thread that have questioned your knowledge of events in the Middle East and what the stumbling blocks to peace are. This is more complex than a simple PA park and recdispute.


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Posted by casey
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2010 at 12:53 am

casey is a registered user.

How is land development a provocative act? Seriously. If construction was truly that heinous, then I would encourage the Palestinians to retaliate by engaging in land development on their own. If you cannot distinguish between raising a generation of suicide bombers with real estate development, then you are lost.


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