Israel and the USA-Why Does This Farce Continue?

Look at the latest event (visit of VP Biden). The Israelis authorized a new, 1600 unit housing project in East Jerusalem-which pissed off the Palestinians.
Biden knew all about it, but was compelled to show his “displeasure”-by keeping Netanyahu waiting 90 minutes, at a state dinner.
The whole thing is so ridiculous-the USA keeps funding Israel, and Israel keeps building. Both parties feign surprise-but everybody knows what is going on-are we supposed to belive that Biden really didn’t know about this massive housing project?
Meanwhile, we are supposed to be encouraging “peace talks” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Have I missed anything? The whole thing is just so bizarre!
How about a little truth for a change?

Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.

Jerusalem is part of Israel so what I’m I missing besides the bad idea of divided city. You wage war and lose ground, too frikin bad.

Ah, hyperbole. Of course Biden knew about it, news about construction in East Jerusalem has been in the news for more than a year now. And of course he showed his displeasure politically, he’s a politician. What un-truth are you seeing, exactly?

It should also be noted that Israel annexed the territory and its chain of sovereign custody hardly flows from the Ottomans to the PA. And, as well, thatthe proposal which was floated last month was scaled back due to some of the proposed housing being built on privately owned Palestinian land (remember, the land under discussion and its boundaries are to be determined via negotiation an private ownership of land was somewhat less than the average situation). And of course there can be peace deals even if land deals aren’t those that were ideally wanted, or populations have to shift or be absorbed, or whatever. The thing that prevents peace deals, by definition, is violence and not property ownership disputes.

So what we have is Israel building housing within its own borders on land that the Palestinians do not own but want to incorporate into their future sovereign state. Of course it’s beneficial if Israel ceased all building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and negotiated from that position, but it’s equally obvious that its current administration (largely due to the object lesson that giving-Gaza-back was) is going to take as hard a negotiating position as they can and then retreat from it in order to obtain maximum value for their negotiating stance.

Dial back the bombast and clearly articulate what you think the issues are here.

There’s no dichotomy there. Property ownership disputes often prevent peace deals, or escalate to violence, even to full-blown war.

Translation: There’s no dichotomy, they’re just totally different things that don’t have a necessary causal or correlative relationship at all.
Sir, put down the sophistry and step away from the empty rhetoric.
Violence, by definition, invalidates peace.
Property disputes, by definition, do not. *

You can argue that they ‘might, may, can’, whatever, evolve into something else, but obviously they do not have to. Only an idiot would suggest that the border dispute between NY and NJ threatens to break out into war or is a hindrance to peace between the two states, for example. And any number of particulars may prevent sides from agreeing to a peace deal, but only actual violence actually makes peace impossible, by tautological necessity.
If you come at the situation objectively, you are forced to admit that land claims do not invalidate peace, or the prospect of peace deals, although one side or another can decide to initiate hostilities if they want more land. Likewise, if you come at it objectively you have to admit that the issue cuts both ways and Palestinians still claim the sites of some Jewish villages which were ethnically cleansed in '48, and/or actually hold them, like Kfar Darom. These include Israeli “settlements” past the Green Line including Hebron and Gush Etzion, villages ethnically cleansed during/prior to the '48 war and now considered “illegal Israeli settlements” when Jews returned to them. Not to mention that the Dome of the Rock is still resident on the site of the Temple.

Land is an interesting question, but pretending that property disputes are a hindrance to peace in any manner even vaguely similar to rocket and mortar fire is an absurdity. Especially if you have to base your claims on deliberate non-mention of the fact that the great majority of land that the Palestinians want as their future sovereign territory was never their property in the first place. Then things get a bit more complicated and nuanced. Naturally.

And I’d still like to hear from the OP as to what exactly not true.

It is against US security interests for Israel to continue to build settlements. Israel frequently acts against US security interests (IMO, they frequently act against their own security interests, but that’s their business). I see no benefit to the US to continue this relationship as long as Israel continues to build settlements.

Our security interests lie in maintaining stability in the ME. Every time Israel builds settlements, it threatens that stability. They can certainly maintain their security without constantly building settlements. However, I will say that I find settlements built more or less contiguous to the 67 borders far less problematic than settlements build deep inside the West Bank.

FinnAgain I think you’re being a bit disingenuous, peace is more than merely the absence of war. There are plenty of places in the world where property disputes have prevented peace, would you consider the two half’s of Cyprus to be at peace?

And thats disregarding the fact that they promised they’d stop.

As as for the “you wage war you lose ground argument” why do they get to do it with American money?

All you’ve shown is that a property dispute does not, as a matter of logical necessity, cause violence. But so what? One thing can necessarily cause another thing without that causation being a logical necessity. It is not a logical necessity that dropping a ball will mean the ball will fall to the ground. But there is still a causal relationship. Similarly, announcing a new expansion of settlements does damage the peace process, even though there is nothing logically necessary about that.

So if I steal your land and you punch me, the fault is entirely yours. Got it.

I predict that this was a good call on Czarcasm’s part.

You’re allowed to be wrong.
You’ve also totally ignored my argument, and the facts. The two sides could, tomorrow, reach a negotiated compromise along any number of possible land shifts. That is not prevented by disagreements or potential compromises. Violence, however, does prevent peace.

The “Roadmap” was not a set of conditions in a vacuum but a set of interlocking conditions which never meshed.

Point of fact: it wasn’t until after 1967 that the US began to truly invest money into supporting Israel.

Your analogy is nonsense. Yes, dropping a ball does mean that the ball will fall to the ground, due to gravity. Disputes over property (which, again, the PA never had sovereign control over and was not, in most cases, privately owned by Palestinian citizens in the first place) does not in any way, shape or form lead as a necessity to stopped negotiations let alone violence. That’s why we call them negotiations and not unilateral concessions. Because you negotiate for what you want.

There are any number of rhetorical dirty tricks involved with claims that something that does not in fact stop, hinder or render the peace process impossible “damages” it, especially when they take, as a given, that the Palestinians are entitled to all the land they want and that Israeli construction on it is ‘incitement’, or what have you. Are the Palestinians “damaging” the potential for peace talks when they claim land that they never owned and which some Israelis would like to live on? Or do we expect the sides to come to the table with their demands and then to negotiate a compromise?

The OP said he wants truth, okay then, let’s stick with truth.

It seems like you understood the analogy just fine, and you simply disagree that settlements necessarily hinder peace. Which is perfectly fine. My only point was that your attempt to prove that point by application of logic was just silly. It is a question of synthetic, not analytic fact.

The title of this thread is very apt. I don’t know what Israel wants but it’s certainly not peace or commitment to establishing a Palestinian State. The U.S position is that they stop building settlements yet they continue do so. If Israel cannot honor a minor request such as this, why should the U.S continue to send welfare payments? It’s a slap in the face, especially for it to be announced when the U.S makes a visit to the area. I feel like if there isn’t any meaningful progress in 40-50 years, we should just invade and turn it into the 51st State or at least a pimp territory.

  • Honesty

Richard: No, your analogy is still spurious.

Gravity is a causal force, “not getting everything you ask for in a negotiation and being forced to actually negotiate” is not a cause for negotiation being impossible. It’s a bad analogy because it commits the fallacy of false analogy and attempts to equate a causal relationship with a non-causal relationship. And of course there’s the fact (often deliberately ignored) that I find myself having to repeat, namely that the vast majority of land that the Palestinians claim was never theirs in the first place. It is a very odd position that claims that land is theirs and is being “stolen” and that, what’s more, even in areas where Jews used to live but were ethnically cleansed, if they or their children return they are “settlers” involved in “stealing Palestinian land”, or what have you.
But okay, we can also use recent history to prove the point.
Israel and Egypt had been in a state of belligerence for decades. In point of fact, Israel still held considerable territory that used to be Egyptian. But the two nations came to a peace deal and one that included the exchange of territory. Moreover, the agreement was made specifically without any prejudice to the resolution of the status of Gaza. And in that case, the territories actually had been Egyptian, in stark contrast to the majority of territory that the Palestinians are asking for.

All I’m asking for is a little bit of accuracy and veracity here. Disputes over land do not inexorably lead to conflict any more than they do to cessations in negotiation, especially when these negotiations are over land that one side wants to own in the future but has never had an actual claim over, at any point, in all of recorded history.

So hopefully we can all agree on the facts here: Israel is building housing on land that it annexed, ostensibly on land that the Palestinians have no claim on but want to own in the future as part of their sovereign state. The PA can still negotiate for that land and the Israeli residents can either be moved (as in Gaza) or become citizens of the new state of Palestine when it forms. Or, the Palestinians may not get all that they’re asking for, and territory which was never theirs to begin with may not be part of a future sovereign Palestinian state and the eventual compromise will contain something less than Clinton’s Bridging Proposal. None of these outcomes make a negotiated peace settlement impossible unless your definition of “negotiated” means that one side makes demands and the other agrees to them 100%.

These are all, objectively, facts. And we can see where we go from here once we can at least stick to the facts.

The USA is the most indebted nation in the history of mankind. You shouldn’t be sending money you borrow from China to anyone at all, including Israel. & Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, The Palestinians, etc. Cut them all loose.

What, and then get accused of letting people starve? The US might be the most indebted nation, but it’s also by far the largest giver of foreign aid of all types. Call it all off? How heartless of you!

At what point does the USA decide that Israel can fend for itself? Never?

We do share intelligence back and forth, I assume, some of which is probably very valuable to our foreign policy in the greater ME…but Israel has spied on us before, and acted counter to our interests…

Israel has, to a man, probably the best military on the planet. Do they really need our funding for that to continue to be the case? Don’t they have a pretty vibrant technology sector and other economic sources of income?

Why do we continue to financially support them? Do they really need it?

Perhaps the Israelis won’t starve now. Probably about time to let them have a go for themselves.

It’s like the USA giving 3 billion dollars every year for the last 50 years to El Salvidor, a country of similar size and population. By now it too would be bristling with technology and industry.

The aid could possibly be distributed more effectively.

Of course. the corollary of this is: You like to think you have won a war, but your enemy does not roll over and play dead, but keeps on setting off bombs in your cities? Too frikin bad!

Each attitude engenders the other, leading to unending conflict and bloodshed.

The only way to end a vicious cycle like this (short of genocide) is for the victor, the stronger party, to show some magnanimity, toward the defeated, and leave them with some dignity intact. Israel, by contrast, has continued to humiliate the Palestinians, and rub their noses in their defeat, at almost every opportunity.