Opinion | A Grotesque Spectacle in Jerusalem – by Michelle Goldberg – NYT

On Monday, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and other leading lights of the Trumpist right gathered in Israel to celebrate the relocation of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, a gesture widely seen as a slap in the face to Palestinians who envision East Jerusalem as their future capital.

The event was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don’t convert will burn forever.

via Opinion | A Grotesque Spectacle in Jerusalem – The New York Times

David Lindsay Jr.
David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
An excellent and thoughtful op-ed by Michelle Goldberg. I must try to correct Ms. Goldberg on one minor point where you wrote: “The juxtaposition of images of dead and wounded Palestinians and Ivanka Trump smiling in Jerusalem like a Zionist Marie Antoinette tell us a lot about America’s relationship to Israel right now. It has never been closer, but within that closeness there are seeds of potential estrangement.” Marie Antoinette was not a monster, as the fake news revolutionaries of the time portrayed her. According to the historian Antonia Frasier, in her lengthy biography, Marie Antoinette, the Journey, Marie Antoinette was in reality closer to a saint than a monster. For example, she was deeply criticized, for regularly giving away much of her official stipend to hospitals and orphanages. As the Austrian princess in the French court, who became Queen, she was the easy target of hate-mongers and revolutionary propagandists. She makes a cameo appearance in my novel on Vietnam. David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNewsWorldwide.wordpress.com

Editorial | Trump’s Failure in Jerusalem – The New York Times

The day the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem is a day the world has longed for, because of what it was supposed to represent: the end of a seemingly endless conflict, a blood-soaked tragedy with justice and cruelty on both sides. Israelis and Palestinians have envisioned a capital in Jerusalem, and for generations the Americans, the honest brokers in seeking peace, withheld recognition of either side’s claims, pending a treaty that through hard compromise would resolve all competing demands.

The day the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem is a day the world has longed for, because of what it was supposed to represent: the end of a seemingly endless conflict, a blood-soaked tragedy with justice and cruelty on both sides. Israelis and Palestinians have envisioned a capital in Jerusalem, and for generations the Americans, the honest brokers in seeking peace, withheld recognition of either side’s claims, pending a treaty that through hard compromise would resolve all competing demands.

But on Monday President Trump delivered the embassy as a gift without concession or condition to the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, and as a blow to the Palestinians. The world did not witness a new dawn of peace and security for two peoples who have dreamed of both for so long. Instead, it watched as Israeli soldiers shot and killed scores of Palestinian protesters, and wounded thousands more, along Israel’s boundary with the Gaza Strip.

Image
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner at the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.CreditMenahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Unilateral action, rather than negotiation and compromise, has served the purposes of successive right-wing Israeli governments. They have steadily expanded Jewish settlements in the West Bank, on land Palestinians expected to be part of any Palestinian state.

And even when the Israelis uprooted settlements in Gaza in 2005, they did so without negotiating an agreement that would have empowered a more moderate Palestinian government. They acted to increase Israeli security in the short term while increasing Palestinian despair and the power of militant groups like Hamas. For years, Israeli governments have insisted they have no peace partner on the other side, while behaving in a way that perpetuates that reality. The possibility of peace has continued to recede, and Israel’s democratic character has continued to erode under the pressure of a long-term occupation of millions of Palestinians who lack sovereignty of their own.

via Opinion | Trump’s Failure in Jerusalem – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  Heartbreaking editorial.  This will unleash ten to twenty years of horrible bloodshed. I don’t agree with Bruce Rozenblit, that this is the end of a two state solution, but I do expect it to set back that solution by decades. My sense is that after Trump falls from office, a future administration will undo this damage, and remove the American Embassy back to Tel Aviv, and restore the position of the United States to honest broker. The Israelis and Palestinian will kill and maim each other until both sides get tired of it, and like the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, they just decide the ugly peace through compromise is better than the ugly, never ending war and bloodshed.

In the short term, the United States now has more blood on its hands, and has reduced again its position of leadership in the Middle East. If you listen carefully, you can hear Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs laughing as they toast another easy victory dividend, from their inexpensive effort to put the compromised narcissist and successful con artist Donald Trump in charge of the world’s most powerful country.

Read Hillary Clinton’s Speech to AIPAC | TIME

InconvenientNews.Net

“And here is a third choice. Will we keep working toward a negotiated peace or lose forever the goal of two states for two peoples? Despite many setbacks, I remain convinced that peace with security is possible and that it is the only way to guarantee Israel’s long-term survival as a strong Jewish and democratic state.(APPLAUSE)CLINTON: It may be difficult to imagine progress in this current climate when many Israelis doubt that a willing and capable partner for peace even exists. But inaction cannot be an option. Israelis deserve a secure homeland for the Jewish people. Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state, in peace and dignity. And only a negotiated two-state agreement can survive those outcomes.(APPLAUSE)If we look at the broader regional context, converging interests between Israel and key Arab states could make it possible to promote progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Israelis and Palestinians…

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Hillary Clinton and Other Candidates on Counterterrorism – The New York Times

InconvenientNews.Net

After the Brussels attacks, the G.O.P. front-runners offered bravado, while Clinton articulated a sensible approach to counterterrorism.

Source: Hillary Clinton and Other Candidates on Counterterrorism – The New York Times

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Bravo New York Times for pointing out that Hillary Clinton is the clearest, smartests, and most experienced voice on foreign policy and how to combat the threat of terrorism. Thank you for an informed and articulate editorial. I would have given Obama some of the credit.
The Bernie Bros have a point that Saint Sanders deserved at least an honorable mention. I took seriously the complaint of one commentator, that Hillary Clinton caved in to the Jewish lobby with ignorant pandering at Aipac. I am outspoken in my condemnation of Israel for their illegal land grabs using settlers. So I looked up Hillary’s speech, and her words are not ignorant, or uninformed, or giving…

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Mr. Netanyahu’s Lost Opportunities – The New York Times

“The dispute over a White House meeting is the latest evidence of the fraught relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. It prompted finger-pointing on both sides, but the basic facts are these: Mr. Netanyahu asked to meet with Mr. Obama during a visit to Washington for a conference later this week, the White House agreed and then Mr. Netanyahu canceled.From Our AdvertisersThat Mr. Netanyahu’s government announced this decision in the media rather than to the White House is not a surprise, considering the disrespect the prime minister has shown Mr. Obama in the past. It’s hard to understand how that serves Israel’s interests.It’s unfortunate that this strange squabble is overshadowing two pressing issues. One involves the new 10-year defense agreement the two governments are negotiating, an anchor of their alliance. The existing agreement, which expires in 2018, provides $3.1 billion a year to Israel, making it the top recipient of American aid. The even larger issue involves the slow but inexorable death of the two-state solution for peace with the Palestinians.”

Source: Mr. Netanyahu’s Lost Opportunities – The New York Times

David Lindsay  Commented at the NYT after the above editorial.

Hamden, CT 20 hours ago 

It is way past time to show tough love to Israel, and cut the allowance to zero. We have our own failed states, like Michigan, that could use some federal support and adult supervision. The oppressed have become the oppressors in Israel. It is wrong for the United States to be associated with the Netanyahu government’s seizing of Palestinian lands, filling them with right-wing and racist settlers. It is past time for the US to cut its 3 Billion dollar a year subsidy for the bully that Israel has become.

 

Obama and Netanyahu: A Story of Slights and Crossed Signals – The New York Times

I did not care for this NYT article, and couldn’t finish it. But the comments after it were excellent.

I added my own comment to pool:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a lot of nerve to ask the United States now to increase his $3 billion a year subsidy from the U.S. Looking at his miserable history and behavior, reviewing the excellent comments here, this writer thinks we should start to withdraw our financial support. We should reduce our commitment by some significant number, 33-50%, per year, until the illegal settlement building stops and are evacuated, and Israel pivots from it’s commitment to war mongering, and dedicates itself to seeking peace with the Palestinians.
It is time for the US to wake up. We no longer need all that Arab oil, and at any political price. In fact, the real threat of climate change means we don’t really want all that oil at most any price.The cold, Machiavellian truth is, we no longer need Israel either, and it is time for them to stop spitting in our faces.

from the article itself:

“The tortured relationship between Barack and Bibi, as they call each other, has been a story of crossed signals, misunderstandings, slights perceived and real. Burdened by mistrust, divided by ideology, the leaders of the United States and Israel talked past each other for years until the rupture over Mr. Obama’s push for a nuclear agreement with Iran led to the spectacle of Mr. Netanyahu denouncing the president’s efforts before a joint meeting of Congress.”

Source: Obama and Netanyahu: A Story of Slights and Crossed Signals – The New York Times