CFR’s Anti-Israel Letter: Emoting, Not Thinking

January 19th, 2011 at 1:55 pm David Frum | 34 Comments |

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Yesterday, a group of foreign policy heavyweights released a letter urging that the United States break from past precedent and cast a vote at the Security Council condemning Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem as illegal. Among the signatories, former US Trade Representative Carla Hills, former Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, and former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci.

I asked a friend deeply familiar with the Mideast peace process for comment. His take:

1) This letter is an example of the politics of sincere emotion. It is a gesture. It’s like saying in 2008 that you think Steve Hadley should be in a dock at the Hague or that Obama is the most radical socialist in the history of socialism. These are not serious policy positions, they are instead ways of identifying with a group.

2) This is totally counterproductive to a peace process and for Abu Mazen. It puts no pressure on the Palestinians to start negotiating a final status state and fails to take into account that Bibi already agreed to a settlement construction ban and got nothing for it. What’s more, if there is going to be any movement from Israel, given it’s own precarious politics, how will this letter move Israel to take any risks for anything? There is pretty much no more Labor party. Finally, a vote by the US at the UN Security Council against Israel would spoil an already shaky US-Israel relationship.

3) Israeli governments since Ariel Sharon’s have done more to curb the expansion of settlements, arrest settler vigilantes and negotiate the final borders of a two state solution than the peace process governments of Rabin, Peres, Bibi and Barak. Under Bush, Sharon and then Olmert even worked out a far reaching solution to the problem–building up but not out–ending any kind of further expansion of settlements. Obama disregarded this deal and would not reaffirm the Bush letter acknowledging that Israel would keep some of the communities after he dismantled the settlements of Gaza and a few in the West Bank.


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34 Comments so far ↓

  • nuser

    Why the settlements in the first place?Explain please!

  • Carney

    Why NOT “settlements”, nuser? Why in the world shouldn’t Jews live in their historic homeland, that they have been in for thousands of years before the Arabs left the Arabian peninsula? Why must certain sections of historic Israel be scoured completely free of Jews, walled off to Jews, and be declared judenfrei or judenrein? Where’s the wailing and chest-beating over “settlements” and “construction” and “occupation” of homes and land once occupied by a million Jews throughout the Arab and Muslim world?

    Crickets.

  • Fozz

    Rational, modern conservatives should not be for giving Israel such blind, unconditional support, so I hope the US votes for this resolution.

  • Rabiner

    Carney:

    Jews haven’t been in Israel in large numbers forever, they left during the Diaspora for some time. Also Arabs and Jews are both historically Semitic.

    Also Israel has occupied these areas since 1967 and building settlements for their citizens is considered illegal by the UN. This isn’t complicated.

  • Libdem

    Carney, by your logic all people of European ancestry should go back to Europe and let Native Americans reclaim their land, after all they were pushed out within the last 500 years, whereas the Jews left Israel (mostly) nearly 2000 years ago.

  • Leen

    Good move by these “foreign policy heavy weights”. But may just be another futile too little too late effort. The door to a two state solution is closing.

    I do think it was a bad idea for Keith Olbermann to have you on last night to talk about inflammatory and hateful rhetoric. David “axis of evil ” Frum come on. You would think that Olbermann could select a more appropriate individual to discuss this critical issue. Not someone who is highly skilled at developing and spinning hateful rhetoric and someone who pushed for an immoral and illegal (full of hate) war in Iraq

  • Carney

    Libdem, a better analogy than yours would be, would anyone be screaming about “settlements” and “expansion” if Cherokee Oklahomans buy and develop land in South Appalachia?

    And Leen, the liberation of Iraq was neither immoral nor illegal, despite the claims of enemy propaganda that you parrot.

  • Leen

    Carney the invasion of Iraq was immoral, illegal and unnecessary. But clearly folks like yourself and David “axis of evil” Frum could give a hoot about the hundreds of thousands dead (Pentagon report and the Lancet report) injured and millions displaced.

    There was no liberation of Iraq. There was a genocide. But Americans like you do not count their dead and the MSM is happy to abide

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    Letter: The settlements are illegal, and the US should say so.

    Frum’s pal: You’re hysterical! And saying that is very politically incorrect and will make people feel very bad. Also, there is some move within the Israeli government to restrain building settlements.

    This post fails to rebut the argument to which it is responding. Presumably, your friend believes that the settlements are in fact illegal.

  • Leen

    “Why NOT “settlements”, nuser? Why in the world shouldn’t Jews live in their historic homeland, that they have been in for thousands of years before the Arabs left the Arabian peninsula? Why must certain sections of historic Israel be scoured completely free of Jews, walled off to Jews, and be declared judenfrei or judenrein? Where’s the wailing and chest-beating over “settlements” and “construction” and “occupation” of homes and land once occupied by a million Jews throughout the Arab and Muslim world?”

    Duh that would be due to UN resolutions, and international laws that have determined the 67 border as the internationally recognized border of Israel. The settlements in the West Bank are all ILLEGAL, parts of the wall are ILLEGAL, Israeli building in E. Jerusalem is ILLEGAL.

    Period

  • Leen

    When Olbermann had David “Axis of evil” Frum on last night to discuss inflammatory and hateful rhetoric I thought I would choke on the absurdity.

    Did I miss it? Has Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, Dylan Ratigan, Ed ever even whispered about the Goldstone Report or the UN report about the massacre on the Mavi Marmara. The answer is no. Silence. Fair and balanced they are.

  • nuser

    It is so irksome . Every time israel comes up, out comes President Obama bashing.Why? You ,David
    Frum , Charles Krauthammer , George Jonas have done wonders with your rhetoric. Let it go.
    Israel will be here long after we are gone, but president Obama won’t.

  • nuser

    Carney.
    I honestly did not know the Israelis were buying the land.

  • Carney

    Leen, your use of “genocide” to describe the liberation of Iraq is even more ludicrous than the rest of your rantings. A genocide is a deliberate and systematic effort to exterminate, in entirety, an entire people, to make them as extinct as the dodo bird. If the US wished to do this to anyone, it could in minutes. It has not.

    The Lancet report is widely and properly dismissed by non-nuts because it credulously accepts Saddam-era rosy propaganda about the Ba’ath regime’s supposedly low death rates for a starting baseline. Not too surprising, then, that you and other useful idiots for the enemy eagerly accept it, as you also eagerly swallow other enemy propaganda as well.

    Also, like most who loudly scream about Iraqi deaths you carefully ignore who, BY FAR, is doing the actual killing of civilians: our enemies, not us. Because our enemies SEEK to MAXIMIZE civilian deaths. Just as you carefully ignored the horrific death toll during the Saddam regime.

    Ever posted a single post condemning our enemies for fighting on, telling them to lay down their weapons, stop fighting, etc. ? Didn’t think so. The fighting would stop instantly if they valued peace more than their extremist ideology.

    Like all supposedly “anti-war” people, you are NOT anti war. You are PRO war as far as the ENEMY’s war effort goes – and the only thing you are ANTI is anti-American and anti-freedom.

  • nuser

    Carney
    Why the name -calling?

  • midcon

    Is Carney the official Frum Forum Israel apologist? Come on David, don’t slip an AIPAC ringer in on us. We’re suppose to be able intelligently discuss things like this, especially when your ringer starts using Nazi terms like “juenrein” to create an impression that the threats to Israel is an extension of the Holocaust. Sheesh, where did you get this one David?

  • Carney

    As for the 1967 “borders”, see here for a few basics.

    http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_06.html

  • midcon

    Joffe is that you? No wonder you piped in with Nazi references, like judenfrei and judenrein. No one from America would have ever used those. I guess German must still be spoken at home. I thought your “arguments” sounded suspiciously like FLAME.

  • kevin47

    I think Frum is the official Frum Forum Israel apologist, and I commend him for it.

    To the end of “intelligently discuss(ing) things”, I think #2 is the most salient point. At minimum, there needs to be international pressure on both sides to come to an agreement.

    Insofar as the United Nations allows violent dictators to help craft policy, one can forgive Israel for its unwillingness to make concessions at its behest. What if the UN decided that tank tops were verboten. Would we care that our sexy ladies were “illegal”, by way of UN fiat?

    Also, midcon, if you want to discuss things intelligently, by all means feel free to begin doing so.

  • kevin47

    The fact is that Israel won its land fair and square. Literally, countries declared war against it, and lost territory as a result. From that point, Israel has actually ceded territory.

  • politicalfan

    Leen,

    “Chris Matthews, Dylan Ratigan”

    Do you think they are Liberal Dems?

  • tommybones

    “Leen, your use of “genocide” to describe the liberation of Iraq is even more ludicrous than the rest of your rantings. A genocide is a deliberate and systematic effort to exterminate…. ”

    Speaking of genocide…

    THE PRICE WAS WORTH IT

    “A reaction might take place as a result of the US government’s hitting Muslim civilians and executing more than 600,000 Muslim children in Iraq by preventing food and medicine from reaching them. So, the US is responsible for any reaction, because it extended its war against troops to civilians.” Osama Bin Laden on CNN, 1997

    On May 11, 1996 Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State in the Clinton administration was asked by 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl about the reported 500,000+ Iraqi children who died in Iraq as a direct result of U.S. imposed sanctions. Her reply stunned many, “I think this is a very hard choice, but we think the price was worth it.”

    The history of the sanctions (rarely, if ever discussed in mainstream media) begins with the strategic bombings of critical infrastructure within Iraq during the 1st Gulf War. The U.S. dropped over 90,000 tons of bombs, intentionally destroying civilian infrastructure, including 18 of 20 electricity-generating plants and the water-pumping and sanitation systems. The bombings themselves were a direct violation of the Geneva Convention against the specific targeting of infrastructure “indispensable to the survival of the civilian population,” thus making them a war crime.

    Recently released de-classified documents from the Defense Intelligence Agency revealed that the U.S. knew full well that Iraqi water needed purification with chlorine in order to avoid “epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis and typhoid.” Later documents revealed that the U.S.-imposed sanctions SPECIFICALLY embargoed the import of chlorine needed to purify the water systems. Additionally, the U.S. sanctions forbade the import of the parts needed to repair the damaged purification and sanitation systems.

    The results of these actions are well documented. Colonel John A. Warner III wrote in Airpower Journal, “…as a result (of the destruction of these facilities), epidemics of gastroenteritis, cholera, and typhoid broke out, leading to perhaps 100,000 civilian deaths and doubling the infant mortality rate.” Anupama Rao Singh, the United Nations Children’s Fund Representative in Baghdad observed that food shortages were virtually unknown in Iraq prior to what the State department admitted were the “toughest, most comprehensive sanctions in history.” Richard Garfield’s universally accepted mortality studies put the number of Iraq children killed because of the sanctions at 350,000. The Lancet study, for the British Medical Society, estimated it at 550,000. Denis Halliday, the U.N. coordinator in Iraq called the sanctions, “a deliberate policy to destroy the people of Iraq,” calling their implementation “genocide.” His resignation in 1998 in protest received little if any coverage by the U.S. corporate media.

    350,000 CHILDREN killed. Think about that. Only an inhuman monster would defend such actions.

  • valkayec

    Mr. Frum,

    I’ve studied European history from the Medieval through the Early Modern eras, so I’m well aware of what Jews suffered throughout history. Even though I’m not Jewish, I have great sympathy for Jews which is why I support the efforts of Jewish Funds for Social Justice and J St. That being said, I do not support the Jewish settlements in the West Bank or the economic barricading of Gaza into a ghetto.

    Ultimately, these actions will harm Israel, either by making a purely Jewish state impossible as the Palestinian population is growing much faster than the Jewish population. Without a two state solution, Jews within a few decades will be outnumbered. If Israel chooses to marginalize Palestinians, they will lose the PR war worldwide and find it harder to win the approval of any policy decisions. It will risk becoming an international pariah.

    This is not to say Hamas – or other extremist Palestinians – are viewed favorably. However, the actions taken by leaders in the West Bank are rapidly gaining worldwide support for Palestinians and their desire for a secure, economically productive homeland. Thus, Israeli incursions further into the West Bank are drawing not just disapproval but an anti-Jewish sentiment which Israel cannot afford, given its geopolitical location.

    I realize the hardline, Russian Jews believe all of Palestine is their historic homeland, but many throughout the world believe that it is also the historic homeland of the Palestinians who’ve occupied that land since time immemorial. So, Israel needs to tread lightly and make not just her needs and wishes known but also show she’s willing to give space to Palestinians as a matter of Jewish justice.

    I can’t help but remember the many warnings against pride, arrogance, and egotism offered by the Prophets, as written in the Old Testament – otherwise known as the Torah. What happened then, as a result of God’s disappointment (anger?) could happen again, and that occurrence would be a sad occasion that I, for one, would sincerely mourn.

  • tommybones

    For a better idea of how the U.S. has served Israel at the expense of peace…

    U.S. Votes and Security Council Vetoes Israeli Edition:

    1972 – The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli air raids by Phantoms and Skyhawks on Lebanon and Syria. In al-Hama, a suburb of Damascus, houses are bombed indiscriminately and people are machine gunned as they run for cover. Up to 500 Lebanese and Syrian civilians are killed in the air attacks.
    1973 – The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution affirming the rights of Palestinians and calling on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories.
    1976 – The USA vetoes four separate United Nations resolutions. The first condemns Israeli attacks against Lebanese civilians. The second condemns Israel for building settlements in the occupied territories. The third calls for self-determination for the Palestinians. The fourth affirms Palestinian rights.
    1978 – The USA votes against two United Nations resolutions. The first criticizing the living conditions of the Palestinians (110 to 2 with Israel). The second condemning the Israeli human rights record in occupied territories (97 to 3 Israel & UK).
    1979 – The USA votes against five United Nations resolutions concerning Israel. The first calls for the return of all inhabitants expelled by Israel (121 to 3: the three are USA, Israel and Australia). The second demands that Israel desist from human rights violations (111 to 2 w/Israel). The third is a request for a report on the living conditions of Palestinians in occupied Arab countries (120 to 2 w/Israel). The fourth offers assistance to the Palestinian people (112 to 3: the three are USA, Israel and Canada). The fifth discusses sovereignty over national resources in occupied Arab territories (118 to 2 w/Israel).
    1980 – The USA votes against six United Nations resolutions concerning Israel and the Palestinians: The first requests Israel to return displaced persons (the vote is 96 to 3 with Canada being the third country). The second condemns Israeli policy regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian people (118 to 2). Three resolutions condemn Israeli human rights practices in occupied territories (votes: 118 to 2; 119 to 2; 117 to 2). The sixth endorses self-determination for the Palestinians (120 to 3 with Israel and Australia).
    1981 – the USA votes against an astonishing 18 United Nations resolutions concerning Israel, including a demand that Israel cease excavations in areas of East Jerusalem considered by the United Nations to be part of the occupied territories. The vote is 114 to 2. Condemns Israel for bombing Iraqi nuclear installations (108 to 2). Two resolutions condemning Israeli policy regarding living conditions of the Palestinian people (109 to 2 and 111 to 2). To establish a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East (107 to 2). Demanding that Israel renounce possession of nuclear weapons (101 to 2). Two resolutions attempting to establish rights for the Palestinian people. The votes are 121 to 2, 119 to 3 (with Canada). To clarify the status of Jerusalem (139 to 2). Discusses Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip (141 to 2). Rights of displaced Palestinians to return to their homes (121 to 3 with Canada). Concerning revenues from Palestinian refugees’ properties (117 to 2). Establishment of the University of Jerusalem for Palestinian refugees (119 to 2). Concerning Israeli human rights violations in occupied territories (111 to 2). Condemning Israel closing of universities in occupied territories (114 to 2) Opposes Israel’s decision to build a canal linking the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Concerning sovereignty over national resources in occupied Palestine and other Arab territories (115 to 2). Affirming the non-applicability of Israeli law over the occupied Golan Heights (121 to 2).
    1982/1983 – Israel illegally invades the nation of Lebanon, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, as well as the total destruction of the civilian infrastructure. The United Nations General Assembly condemns the massacre and declares it to be an act of genocide. The vote is 147 to 2 (Israel and the USA). An Israeli soldier shoots 11 Muslims worshipping on the Haram-Al-Sharif in East Jerusalem. The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the shooting. Another resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights (occupied in 1967) is also vetoed by the USA. Between 1982 and 1983, six separate United Nations resolutions condemning the Israeli invasion of Lebanon are vetoed by the USA. In addition, the USA refuses to invoke its own laws prohibiting Israeli use of American weapons except in self-defense.
    1984 – The USA votes against numerous United Nations resolutions: Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (voted by 134 to 2 with Israel); Condemns Israeli attack against Iraqi nuclear installation (106 to 2); On the elimination of racial discrimination (145 to 1); Affirming the rights of the Palestinian people (127 to 2); Convening a Middle East peace conference (121 to 3 including Canada); Prohibition of new types of weapons of mass destruction (125 to 1); Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons (84 to 1); Law of the sea (138 to 2); Israeli human rights violations in occupied territories (120 to 2); Condemns assassination attempts against Palestinian mayors (143 to 2).
    1985 – The USA vetoes two separate United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli actions in Lebanon and the use of excessive force in the occupied territories.
    1987 – The USA vetoes two United Nations resolutions. One condemning Israeli actions against civilians in Lebanon and the other calling on Israel to respect Muslim holy places.
    1988 – the USA vetoes three United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli actions in Lebanon and urging a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon. Between 1983 and 1987, Israeli forces have killed over 50,000 people in Lebanon.
    1988 – The USA vetoes two separate United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli practices against Palestinians in the occupied territories.
    1989 – three more similar resolutions are vetoed by the USA. The PLO wishes to appeal to the General Assembly of the United Nations but the leader, Yasser Arafat is refused a visa by the USA despite being recognized by over 60 countries. The Assembly meeting is moved to Geneva (Switzerland).
    1990 – In Israel, troops open fire on Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem killing 21 and injuring 150. An Israeli soldier shoots and kills 7 laborers at Oyon Qara; 13 Palestinians are killed while demonstrating against the killings. The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution to send three Security Council observers into the area.
    1995 – The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution confirming that the expropriation of land by Israel in East Jerusalem is invalid and in violation of United Nations resolutions and the Geneva Convention.
    1997 – The USA votes against two United Nations resolutions that call on Israel to cease construction of settlements in East Jerusalem and the other occupied territories. One of the votes was by 130 to 2 (USA and Israel).
    2001 – On 28th March the USA vetoes a United Nations resolution calling for the deployment of unarmed monitors to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. This is the 73rd use of the veto in the United Nations by the USA since 1945. The vast majority of USA vetos were cast in support of Israel and South Africa during the apartheid era, and defending USA actions in Central America. Most of the vetos violate the spirit of United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and other documents describing basic human rights and humanitarian standards. In December the USA vetoes a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israel for acts of terror against civilians in the occupied territories.
    2002 – Iain Hook, a 54-year-old United Nations relief worker is shot by an Israeli soldier in a clearly marked United Nations compound in Jenin. Israeli soldiers stop the ambulance sent to attend to the injured worker. The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution condemning the killing and the destruction of a warehouse belonging to the World Food Programme.
    2003 – the USA vetos a United Nations resolution condemning the continued building of a fence by Israel on Palestinian land. Condemns a decision by the Israeli parliament to “remove” the elected Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.
    2004 – Condemns the assassination of Hamas leader, Sheik Ahmad Yassin. Condemns the Israeli incursion and killings in Gaza.
    2006 – Calls for an end to Israeli military incursions and attacks on Gaza.

  • midcon

    Another odd choice of words (kevin 47 “verboten”). Me thinks AIPAC folks are ever vigilant for any perceived slight regarding Israel.

    As far as intelligent discussion goes, I have many. One of which is that America has broader interests in the Middle East other than Israel. Israel has a right to exist, but that right does not extend to anything it decides it wants to do, including the ever expanding settlements. Israel claims that it wants peace, I submit that they are no different than the other parties in the Middle East who make the same claim out of one side of their mouth and give orders to fire rockets into Israeli cities out of the otherside.

    I could give a damn what happens in the Middle East and hold up the near constant violence and death as demonstration that the residents of the Middle East could give damn either. My point remains, that our relationship with Israel is one-sided. America gets nothing from it except a bill for $3 billion a year. We could create a few homes for our own people for that kind of money.

  • abk1985

    The problem with your position here, David Frum, is that while you obviously do not personally endorse the axis-of-schmendricks comprised of Lieberman, Netanyahu, and their supporters, you resolutely refuse to do anything about it. Your position here simply amounts to further dithering.

    Last week I posted a reference to an eye-popping book of IDF testimonies that discuss the actual wages — moral and political — of maintaining the occupation. No clear eyed person can support the occupation, even if it is unlikely for a complete retraction of settlements. But clearly something has to be done, and all I see from the Israeli political process and from Israel supporters in the United States is either blind support or paralysis. Something has to be done, and, no, bombing Iran is not the answer.

    Also, people who blindly support Israeli settlements here just have their heads in the sand. There are millions of non-Jewish Arabs under direct or indirect Israeli control, they aren’t going anywhere, they have human rights, so let’s get on with it.

  • politicalfan

    midcon- Where are more of David’s writings on Israel outside of FF?

  • Shingo

    I have to agree with abk1985,

    The emotive responses are yours entirely David.

    1. Dismissing a proposal as “not serious” is an argument employed by those who don’t have a serious rebuttal.

    2. Bibbi’s temporary moratorium was a sham. It did not include East Jerusalem (which is where most of the building is taking place) and was nothing but a temporary respite, with a guarantee that expansion would continue anyway. Only a cynic, or an ideologue would accept the continued land grab on land being contested to be any basis for negotiation.

    On top of that, Bibbi admitted that a cessation of building would rip the government apart, so with or without a political settlement, he’s admitted he’s powerless to stop it. What room does that possibly leave for negotiation?

    Lastly, what good is the US/Israeli relationship if Israel is going to insist on being a liability? Surely this is an emotive argument if there ever was one. The problem with Israel is that Israel has never had to consider negative consequences for it’s misguided policies, so why would they change?

    3) If governments since Sharon were at all serious about curbing the expansion of settlements, they would have been banned long ago. The settlements have already deemed a 2 state solution all but impossible, so building up but not out does nothing to alleviate that. Needless to say, Bush had no legal authority to make any “deal” with Olmert, especially given that Lieberman came to office dismissing any prior agreements as irrelevant.

    Obama was right to not reaffirm the Bush letter, because the Bush letter was contrary to US policy.

    Seriously David, these arguments are so weak, I cannot believe you even had your heart in it.

  • valkayec

    Anyone, given that the Israeli economy is doing fairly well, what would be the consequences of withdrawing foreign aid from Israel? I mean does Israel really need it and what good is it doing the U.S.?

  • Raskolnik

    @valkayec:

    If you look at the numbers, “foreign aid” to Israel started shooting up in the late 1980s and has been skyrocketing ever since. Most of it goes in the form of “unsecured loans,” i.e. loans that Israel is not expected to pay back. But most of it also comes with the condition that it be spent on American-made arms and armaments.

    So, basically, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Reagan had facilitated by dramatically ramping up arms production, there was a huge surplus of productive capacity for weapons of war and a huge surplus of labor in the arms industry. Our “unsecured loans” are technically “foreign aid” to Israel, as Israel gets the weapons for free; but it’s also a massive handout to the American arms industry, and a way for politicians (guess which ones) whose constituents build those weapons to stay popular and therefore remain in Congress, poisoning the whole U.S./Israel relationship.

  • Shingo

    @ Raskolnik

    Good post. The loan guarantees are on top of the 3 billion in annual aid. Some have suggested the real annual figure is as high as 15 billion with loans included.

  • Alex 0_0

    As a matter of domestic politics, I would be shocked if the US votes with the Arabs. Why would Obama hand the Republicans an issue on a silver platter, especially since the UN is completely irrelevant and useless? I can only imagine the shite Hillary would get from her benefactor Haim Saban if she allowed Israel to be isolated in the UN.

  • advocatusdiaboli

    Israel needs to make peace and the sooner the better. Their position will only deteriorate with time if they don’t. More Islamic nations will become nuclear power and their populations are outgrowing Israel’s and the West’s. It’s common sense to negotiate when you are strongest and you can glean the best deal and appease the greatest number of allies. But this brinksmanship will end badly for Israel as US power wanes because there is no AIPAC in China and never will be.

  • midcon

    political fan; “midcon- Where are more of David’s writings on Israel outside of FF?”

    Google the following (without the quotes, include the spaces of course) “David Frum Israel”

    I did not include the loans when I originally posted in order to be even handed. The foreign military sales of weapon systems has some benefit to the Boeings, Lockheeds, Northrups, and because they are ostensibly for Israeli defense, which they need, I feel like a case can be made to support that. However, the direct $3B in aid (which is fungible) is being used to build settlements, which contribute to the violence and turmoil in the Middle East.

    And just as criticism of the United States is not anti-Americanism, neither is criticism of Israel anti-semticism.

    A short digression: Although the term anti-semitic was coined in the late 1800s by a German journalist, prior to that, the term “Semitic” peoples included both the Hebrews and the Arabs, among other cultures. Just thought you might like to know.