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Different Visions For Israel

Israeli politics loom large in American policy. Next week is a big vote there. We’ll look at sharply different visions from Israel’s future.

In this Nov. 2, 2011 file photo, a construction worker works on a new housing unit in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. (AP)

In this Nov. 2, 2011 file photo, a construction worker works on a new housing unit in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. (AP)

For all the years and events and headlines that have come and gone, many Americans have not fully kept up with the political evolution of Israel. It’s become a lot more conservative . And Israeli politics have a way of echoing in American policy.

Next week is a big election in Israel. A good time to check in. On Israeli liberals wondering what happened to their country. On Israeli conservatives finished with the peace process and the “two state solution,” and ready to roll Israeli settlements across the West Bank.

This hour, On Point: getting real about Israeli politics, 2013.

-Tom Ashbrook


Ari Shavit, senior columnist for Haaretz. His new book, “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel” will be out in May.

Dani Dayan, just stepped down last week as chairman of the Yesha Council, the main political body of the settler movement.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic “Dani Dayan has decided to come ‘out of the closet,’ he tells me as we sit in a coffee shop looking out onto the Judean hills earlier this summer. The head of the Yesha Council, which represents the approximately 300,000 Israelis who live in the West Bank, was not referring to his strident opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state; he’s been an out-and-proud critic of the two-state solution for years, prominently showcased in an inflammatory op-ed last week. When we met in Jerusalem, he was actually in the process of coming out as a moderate. He has finally decided to take sides in the warring factions that comprise the settler movement.”

Chicago Tribune “Israelis vote in a parliamentary election on January 22 that opinion polls forecast will be won by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, running jointly with the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party. The 120 seats in the single-chamber Knesset are allocated by proportional representation to party lists, which secure seats after passing a minimum threshold of winning at least 2 percent of the national vote. Following are the main parties contending in the ballot.”

Reuters “Entrenched in what they view as their Biblical heartland, the hard-line Jewish settlers of Hebron look forward with delight to next week’s Israeli election.”


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  • brettearle

    Israel has a right to be in the Middle East.

    Israel has the right to live at peace with its neighbors.

    Israel is FULLY unwise to negotiate for peace, by increasing settlements.

    Israel has no right not to be part of the Non-nuclear proliferation agreement. 

    But that doesn’t mean the world should allow another country, Iran, to develop nuclear weapons.

    Israel does not publicly threaten to destroy Iran.
    But Iran threatens, publicly. to destroy Israel.

    Jerusalem belongs to all major religions. 
    Israel has no right to make claims to Jerusalem.  The claims must be shared.

    Israel cannot negotiate with Islamic factions and sworn enemies–who publicly, and privately, refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.


    It’s a major, intractable mess.

    • JobExperience

      Many Peaceniks now suggest a one state solution, with the “God’s Chosen People” thing played way down. Israel deters nothing with nuclear weapons (essentially suicide bomber threats) and should disarm. Isn’t it enough being the biggest of 1,000 overseas US bases? And if you think about it any ethnic variety could live in those (now illegal) developments and apartment blocks US tax money underwrites (Aid is fungible). When you share a supermarket and community recreation center you can learn to get along. It’s not the average person’s fault anyway, but the power mad real estate agents in politics.
      Fact: Israel’s got no oil anyway.

      • brettearle

        Your conspiratorial view is short-sighted and destructive.

        Your perception of what’s really going on is a glaring distortion.

        The rights of the Israelis and the rights of the Palestinians are not totally ignored.

        The Powers That Be are NOT fully making the Palestinians, nor the Israelis, pawns in some sort of international power game.

        That’s a hackneyed, convenient excuse and thin analysis.

        • JobExperience

          Zionism is so dead…
          How dead is it?
          Well, with the coming famines and thirsts a minority better not be caught stealing water and importing most everything else.

          It’s more Sodom and Gomorrah than David and Goliath. I prefer lasting peace to raining brimstone. I don’t want American Empire to go down shooting but to lie still and await Hospice. Zionists are the party with a short horizon, and, in looking back at the good old days, they may soon be pillars of salt. (Iran has nothing to do with what I’m sayin’.) Even if right wing Christians chipped in for a Temple rebuild it would be a Dollywood.

        • JobExperience

          Wow- You can recite your assigned talking point by heart. Keep it in mind in case you attend a Noam Chomsky talk. He’ll then rip you a new Dead Sea.

        • JobExperience


    • Jasoturner

      I think “intractable” is an extremely apt word to use in this case.

      It is really unclear to me what Israel perceives to be the end game here.  Do they keep building settlements and think the Palestinians are just going to acquiesce and fade away?  Are they waiting for a provocation that will provide cover for a military retaliation that finally breaks the back and the will of Hamas and other resistance (or terrorist if you prefer) groups?  Do they eventually just wall off Israel’s borders completely and abandon the Palestinian question altogether?

      Now, I realize that Israel is attacked without provocation by Hamas and others, but the military capabilities are completely asymmetrical.  It is for this reason that I have to look at Israel as the (aggrieved) adult in the room who has to make the right decisions.

      It may take a year, or it may take a decade, but they’re building more than settlements over there. They’re building a powder keg that may eventually blow up the entire region.  It is a shame.

      • brettearle

        At least your comments are somewhat measured and nuanced.

        That’s more than I can say for all the anti-Israel harangues on this thread.

        But I think that you are falling into the trap of seeing this as David and Goliath.

        It is NOT.

        The Progressive Left–of which I am a member, `cept for a few issues such as Israel and school vouchers, for example–can only see things in terms of who’s bigger and who is the oppressed.

        Sometimes, the smaller faction is not only more mischievous and destructively pesky.  But it can get away with a lot more:

        such as rocket attack, after rocket attack, across a border–until Big Bertha is finally pushed to the limit….  

        • Jasoturner

          I don’t see it as David and Goliath.  I view Hamas and it’s ilk as dangerous, unreasonable and provocative.  They may well be self-destructive.  However,  the status quo is not sustainable, and realistically, Israel is the only party that can map out an actionable path forward.  I simply have a hard time seeing where the current path ultimately leads.

          • brettearle

            Now you’re making even more sense.

            Except you are not taking into account that Hamas and Fatah are still pretty much diametrically opposed to each other.

            I do not agree that, “Israel is the only party that can map out an actionable path forward.”

            I wish Bibi weren’t running things–BUT ALL PARTIES HAVE TO COMPROMISE.

            And I don’t see that happening.


        • PithHelmut

          Yes and you fail to recognize the intense hardship Israel forces upon Palestinians. 

          • brettearle

            Yes and you fail to recognize the intense hardship that Hamas poses to the Israelis….

      • Ellen Dibble

        I notice that the UNDP (development program) has projects in the West Bank.   I could explore this further, but it seems to me that if the US tips the balance way in favor of Israel economically and for its defense, maybe the rest of the world stands by to give equal assistance to the Palestinians, at least those who are not sworn to the destruction of Israel, or to hate Israelis, or by definition terrorists.   Does that leave a lot of Palestinians?  Well, we maybe need a show on Palestinian politics next.

    • PithHelmut

      It’s kind of funny that we peons argue amongst each other when what is really going on is the dominant classes attending to the upkeep of our blinker-hood. They have to in order to maintain their dominance. Sadly it seems to be working just fine. For fairness there is only one solution – this land belongs to the Israeli’s and the Palestinians and they have to learn to share it. Even a child can see this. Strange that grown men cannot or rather will not. 

      • JobExperience

         I don’t see no Frackers and Speculators here sharing land with organic farmers. Maybe we need to show them how.

    • JobExperience

      In the last six months I’ve heard both called imaginary and illegitimate people by opposing extremists. Who’s at fault again? I think those who’ve seized power have some astounding obligations. To have your way without concessions you must first provide the highway. (Is it your way and your highway? Who’s moderating here?)

      What kind of vouchers did you want to be given?

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    It’s interesting to note the similarities in the far right wings of government
    in Israel and the US. We face a government shutdown due to a handful of zealots,
    Israel has a handful of similar people building illegal settlements. It
    appears the majority of citizens of both countries are incapable of standing up
    to these people, hence you have a government run by a minority. Perhaps
    “democracy” is more a concept than reality.

    • brettearle

      You’d make sense if you didn’t take into account how political/cultural organizations, such as Hamas, refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist–REGARDLESS of the settlement issue.

      If I were a betting man–and I am–I’d say your comment is fraught with political bias.

      • JobExperience

         Correct- Our corporate overlords are saddling up our sadistic gun thugs, and it’s not so different in the Levant.

  • Shag_Wevera

    My vision for Israel…

    We’ve given you nukes, we’ve given you military technology, and we’ve given you countless billions of dollars.  Good luck to you, you’re on your own.  Try to get along better with your neighbors. 

    • Steve_in_Vermont

      I don’t know why we don’t do this. I mean, it’s not like Israel has an
      large influential lobby in Washington.

    • brettearle

      Oh, of course…

      Of course….

      I forgot….

      Israel’s neighbors are simply in love with Israel!

      One wonders how Israel could spurn such adoring abutters who are enthralled with the Jewish state.

      It simply MUST be Israel’s fault and Israel’s fault, ONLY!

      How silly of me…thank you so much for reminding me that Israel is the only culprit in this Ugly Web.

      I shall be indebted to you, for years, to have opened my eyes like this!

      Thank you so much, again….!

      • sickofthechit

         Maybe if Israel treated it’s neighbors with less FORCE and more reason they might find their is a way to peace.  Killing at ratios of 100 to 1 or 1,000 to 1 in the case of the captured Israeli soldier tends to breed widespread anger.  Certainly not an eye for an eye is it?

        • brettearle

          Sir or Madame….

          Without eyewitness accounts, by us, that are objective, you AND I are a full slave to media reports on all sides.

          Nevertheless, I have no doubt that Israel AND its enemies are at fault.

          Of course, you probably wish to deny that Islamic forces DO NOT put their heavy artillery in neighborhoods with dense populations of civilians, women and children….

          You wish to say that such a malicious claim is a pro-Israeli media report….and nothing more….

          Don’t you, sir or madame?….

      • Shag_Wevera

        The nukes and technology and money make the bargaining with hostile neighbors quite a bit easier.

      • JobExperience

         Now I get it. You’re blinded by Love.
        “If she’s bad he can’t see it;
        She can do no wrong.
        Turn his back on his BFF
        If he put her down.”
        (When a Man Loves His Country)


    Could not Israelis who desire to live in Palestine and, therefore, continue to settle there, be considered ex-pats, and in that case, subject to the laws of that state? Would this be similar to conservative Mennonites and other groups that moved to Mexico and/or Canada to avoid persecution but retained American citizenship?

    • brettearle

      Your idea is an intriguing one–except for the fact that you are not taking into account the historical record of who lived where, when, thousands of years ago.

      World History does not necessarily conform its record to modern armchair analysts, such as you or I.

      • http://twitter.com/en_b ian berry

        Indeed. I think they should also give the american indians back their country too.

        • brettearle

          I AGREE to some extent.

          The fact is that if you study the record, the USA WAS PARTIALLY ESTABLISHED BY GENOCIDE.

          Whether we want to admit it or not….

      • JobExperience

        Archeology is a speculative science with changing theories. The Bible is even wrong about Hebrew exile in Egypt. These legends support a cosmology with shifting political aims. (Can Jesus come back when he ain’t never arrived? It depends upon what you mean by “All things are possible.”) Americans are letting themselves be led around by sadistic superstitions.  Anthropologists call this “crisis cults.” (Find Chris Hedges Truthdig- 01/14/13)
        Consider why Roma weren’t provided a Homeland.

    • Ellen Dibble

      It seems to me that de facto if Palestine is a state, those who live there are citizens, and a lot of them will be orthodox Jews.  What intrigues me is the idea that Israel will be responsible for defending Palestine.  So far, Israel has not had a whole lot of positive effect on their occupied territories, from what I gather.  (I am not sure but so it seems.)  So why would they favor this land with the maximum in protection?  Would they extract huge taxes from this other state for this gift?  What if there was a dispute?

  • Ray in VT

    What impacts on Israeli domestic and foreign policy do the guests think that the rapidly growing ultra orthodox population is or will have?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “Israel has turned hard to The Right”

    Those hard right turns can be a nasty business. So many in the US are deathly afraid of a Left, communist, socialist, humanitarian, etc. turn. Talk about misplaced fears.
    What usually follows a Nation taking a Hard Turn To The Right?

  • Shag_Wevera

    Israel  and America are coupled in an unhealthy relationship.  Israel’s neighbors resent us and Americans are dubious of Israel’s influence on our government.  I just think we might be better off going it alone. 

  • Wahoo_wa

    Could you ask your guests the reason Israel is so important to the United States and American interests?  I’d like to hear why we send so much money and support to Israel at the expense of our relationships with other middle east countries with no real obvious return on our investment.

    • brettearle

      Do you feel that the US should withdraw its support of Great Britain and Japan?

      And, by the way, have you been hiding on Jupiter?

      The US has been doling out support to, for example, Egypt, for years….

  • Wahoo_wa

    A regime that claims a right to land based on a divine mandate is a regime based on poor propaganda as well one might say.

    • brettearle

      A commenter that claims a right to land is seen as a divine mandate, rather than an historical claim, is making a comment based on poor propaganda as well one might say.

  • Ellen Dibble

    How exactly did Barack Obama try to intervene in Israel’s election?  If he opposes Likud, whom does he prefer?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I read that just as the Palestinian birth rate exceeds the Jewish birthrate in Israel proper, the orthodox settler birthrate in the occupied West Bank far far exceeds the birth rate among the non-Jewish Palestinians.  So this seems to point to a Jewish Palestine and a Palestinian Israel.  What do the people make of this?

    • JobExperience

       Logically, one secular state.

  • Ellen Dibble

    From what I hear, peace on the ground is most deterred by (a) demonizing of Jews among the next Palestinian generation and (b) re-defining Zionism, since 1967, as not the territory of Israel as it was pre-1967 into a kind of empire with client territories.  The settlers proclaim to be the true Zionists, but is this a majority  position there?  Where do they stop?

  • Ellen Dibble

    The Israeli constitution, which surely gives rights to all citizens, how does their Supreme Court create a kind of two-tier territory and polity?  Can’t they recraft it so that the “Jewish homeland” allows for the Jewish sabbath, and kosher food at public places, and that sort of thing, but allows for other religions their rights as well?  

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Religious Tolerance? 2500 years say no.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I remember what it was like to be a Democrat under George Bush II.  There are Jewish people here and in Israel who are “not that stupid and not that extreme” to quote Ari Shavit.  Reality tends to become more urgent, with a looming nuclear force potentially in the hands of jihadi terrorists.  I say they (Israel) have to get their act together.  Have To.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          So do we.

    • brettearle

      Can you pinpoint, for us, please, how Israel suppresses the religious rights of others, in their country.

      Or perhaps I misunderstood you….

      • Ellen Dibble

        I am talking about the idea that Israel is “a Jewish state.”  

  • Potter

    Dani Dayan thinks that Palestinian self determination can just be wishfully wiped away under HIS label of realism. Israel is headed towards all that Ari Shavit fears.

  • Potter

    Peace IS still possbile if there is a will. the risk of keeping on this trajectory for Israel is MORE risky than the risk for peace. This road that Israel is on passes on suffering and wars to the future, relies on military might which is not stable.

    Shavit is correct. And he is CENTER… not left in my opinion.

  • Ellen Dibble

    There is a red line besides the election, that being the line Netanyahu drew on the whiteboard at the UN on November 28th or 29th.  The worst enemy of Israel is probably not the occupied territories, and a habit of learning accommodation and compromise is certainly not something they can learn from our legislature.  Still, it matters.

  • nj_v2

    “Almost radical president from Chicago”??? Did i hear that correctly?

    Who? When? Where?

    Man, i’ve got to stop eating and drinking when i’m listening to the show near the computer. Spending too much time cleaning the screen.

  • Shag_Wevera

    The creation of a Jewish state in the midst of hostile neighbors was a terrible idea.  Part of the dying gasp of European colonial attitudes.  Why not a Jewish state in north central Canada, or the southern coast of Greenland, or somewhere in the Australian outback?  Don’t tell me it HAD to be right there.

    • brettearle

      That comment above is almost an example of cultural bigotry.


      As well as any other ethnic group, Semitic or otherwise, who has lived in the same area.

      Would you like to cart all Sumerians, Babylonians, Jordanians, and Egyptians to Costa Rica–SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DON’T CONFORM TO YOUR CULTURAL AND POLITICAL BIAS OF THE REGION?

      Your view is truly pathetic…..

      • Shag_Wevera

        The historic homeland argument was used with some success by the Nazis in regard to the Sudetenland.  That is truly pathetic.  What is more important- a Jewish home state or some silly geographical fixation?

        • brettearle

          That analogy–of using a people who were responsible for the slaughter of 6 million Jews–is, by direct implication, an outrageous ANTI-SEMITIC remark, based on some sort of sick link between moral relativism and geography.

          It is beneath vile.

          Welcome to Hades….


          • JobExperience

            Never Again?

          • Shag_Wevera

            An accurate historical analogy makes me a sub-vile anti semite?  You are a petulant drama queen, incapable of reasoned discourse.

      • JobExperience

         Fertile Crescent?- Holy Burning Bushes Batman!
        You should have read Dr. Seuss instead.

    • Ellen Dibble

      There is a book about this, Jonathan Schneer’s “The Balfour Declaration:  The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” and I have read a little bit, and right now forget exactly a detail I want — but yes, it is excellent.  The Turkish Ottoman Empire, which came into World War I sort of in the midst of Zionism congealing into something that in a war context had very different meaning in a very different Near East then than now.  That was 1917.  What happened between 1917 and 1947 was that Rothschilds of London made sure that those Jews who did come to what is now Israel had plenty of backing so their nascent farms could weather seasons of famine, and so that the newest methods could be implemented, disrupting centuries of economic and ethnic habits of balance.  

          So the seeds of resentment and thinking that our success excludes your success, our land ownership excludes your land ownership — it was already sown.  I got through the few pages that taught me that and began to have deep discussions with myself about “picking winners” (as the investors in Jewish settlements had) and about capitalism’s capacity to favor the few and shunt the rest aside.  I mean, banking and privilege, the capacity to advantage the underdog — didn’t I hear Sonia Sotomayor talking on CBS about that very issue the other day?  

      Should you take care of “your own,” your family, your church, your tribe?  Or should you be for totally even-handed fairness?

      Those two bedrock principles are in total conflict.

    • Potter

      The answer is why israel is very busy digging up antiquities that show without a doubt why not elsewhere. Go to the Israel Museum. These are not fake. The problem is that after a few thousand years dating back a couple of thousand one cannot make a claim that excludes the latter.

  • Potter

    Mr Dayan forgets completely about JUSTICE as he talks about sincerity.

  • Davesix6

    How about that, the left wing Israeli called Obama a “radical” left wing liberal.
    But somehow Obama is always portrayed by our media as a “moderate”.

    • brettearle



      • noslack2327

        You obviously care more about Israel than the United States. Move to Israel, and join Irgun, Haganah, the Stern Gang or some other terrorist organization.

        • brettearle

          It is my understanding that Israeli civilians, in Nahariya were showered with 122-mm rockets, launched, by Hezbollah, with NOSLACK2327′s help. 

          • noslack2327

            Wrong again, brettearle

             Evidently the truth of my earliest post hurts. So you can cease your insults. 

            Regarding your comment of about 11.30 EST, I do know something about artillery, however, as I have served in combat in the United States Army. I expect you have never served this country, have you? (Maybe the IDF?) Again, why don’t you move to Israel, and by the way, take all the neocons with you.

  • 65noname

    What a typical government radio show.  The range of opinion is as narrow as any of the talk shows that NPR mocks when it does its own self-promoting fund raising.  Despite this show’s unnwillingness to present other points of view there actually are people in Israel who believe in a secular democratic country where everyone living in the area including “israel” and the west bank is an equal citizen.  To make matters worse, the announcer allows one of these guys to go on and on while spouting right wing propaganda disguised as facts accepted by “everyone”.  Meanwhile the less rightwing guy lives in a fantasy where there is such a thing as democratic zionism that doesn’t discriminate against non-Jewish israelis.

    Perhaps the best moment was when the guy claims that he HATES aparthid while advocating that palistinians don’t even have a right to their own country, let alone the right to equal citizenship in Israel.

    • JobExperience

       As formulaic as Schwetti Balls.

    • Potter

      What a typical government radio show.

      This is a great opener– all that is necessary to understand your comment. So why do you listen?

      • 65noname

        to give people like you the opportunity to make snide responses.  Besides, its my tax money. I have a right to listen and critize it.  And demand that it be open to all opinions.

  • 65noname

    there was no left wing guy on this show; only right of  center and right of right of center.

  • noslack2327

    Mr. Ashbrook please share the following comment with your guests… The interests of the United States and Israel are NOT parallel. 

    Israel has ONE ally in the world – the United States, and we are rapidly getting tired of Israel. In fact, those of us who fight the wars are already tired of Israel. 

    Israel continues the illegal and immoral policies espoused by the conservatives there, we will abandon the so-called “special relationship” with it.  I believe we should stop all financial and
    military aide to Israel now.  

    lost the moral high ground at Deir Yassin. Backing Israel diminishes U.
    standing, puts the American people at risk, and is morally bankrupt.The current Hobbesian policy which the Israel right espouses is unsustainable. It would lead to Israel’s demise.

    just some of the actions by our “ally” Israel.

    the perfidy of Jonathan
 Pollard, a spy for Israel

    Israel’s air attack on 
the U. S. S. Liberty in which U.S. sailors were killed
    and wounded

    the massacres fomented 
and abetted by Ariel Sharon at Sabra and Shatila

    the land grab of 
Palestinian territory

    the on-going 
colonization of the West Bank with so-called settlements

    war crimes in Gaza – yes,
war crimes

    Palestinian civilians 
killed in the Qana bombardment.

    the foregoing points are unimportant, explain so to the Corries, whose daughter
    Rachel, a witness for peace and justice was crushed by an IDF bulldozer.










    • brettearle


      We understand that Israel has never been harmed and that Israel only harms.

      We totally understand that….

      You are nothing more than a corrupt prosecutor who withholds exculpatory evidence from the defense.

      Go write your third-class screenplay and sell it to an obscure cable station in Hollywood.

      • noslack2327

        You obviously care more about Israel than the United States. Move to Israel, and join Irgun, Haganah, the Stern Gang or some other terrorist organization.

        • brettearle

          I will only do that, NOSLACK2327, if you continue to assist Hezbollah, in launching Katyusha rockets, into, or about, the Hula Valley….

          • noslack2327

            Here’s an idea… Israel get out of the Occupied Territories (Why do you think they are called “Occupied?). Then there won’t be any Katyusha Rockets launched. 
            Try telling all this to the Corries.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I question the total incompatibility of the sincerity of the two peoples.  They should visit the USA to see how ethnic sincerities co-exist and mutually enhance each other, rather than reduce each other.  Sure, there are bumps in the road, but it can be done.  

  • originalname37


  • Potter

    Ari Shavit- why is peace now unrealistic? Is it any more unrealistic than the current vision of the government in Israel? 

    • JobExperience

       It’s like insisting it is too late to bring Wall Street’s financial criminals to account, or too late to find out who shot JFK. The suggestion is that perpetrators have impunity due to power or wealth or some situation.

  • originalname37

    I’ve heard of a so-called “3-sate solution” where the West Bank goes back to Jordan and the Gaza Strip goes to Egypt.  It sounds great to me.  Does it make any sense to you?

    • Ellen Dibble

      Actually, it does make sense to me.  I haven’t heard it argued anywhere, but I assume that’s because Jordan today and Jordan five years from now could be very different, and what the Jordanians want becomes a huge part of the equation.  I believe they would be happy to have their current Palestinian population return to their homes across the river, but I don’t know.  As to Egypt and Gaza, I’m not sure Egyptians would want that either. Why? Well, it seems to me that Egypt would then be in the position of defending Gaza when what seem to be inevitable rocket firings into Israel take place. (And Israel would be attacking Egypt, not Gaza, to defend itself.) For one thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.rochemahdi Sarah Roche-Mahdi

    Articles  I have read indicate that the majority of Israelis under 30 plan are increasingly attracted to right-wing parties. Any comment from your guests?

    To deny Israel’s brutal and illegal occupation would be laughable if it weren’t such a vile lie. 

    • Potter

      I think there is an exodus of the young from the left too

  • Ellen Dibble

    I recommend Gershom Gorenberg’s “The Unmaking of Israel,” a Harper paperback.  He lives in Jerusalem.  I’m not done with it, but if there is even one Israeli who can set things forth like this, and who will, I think Israel is beginning to catch the thread to follow (spider web type image)

  • Potter

    The mistakes of the left? NO! they tried and progress has been made. It’s entirely about the willingness of the sides to give in-those in Israel especially feeling they can have the whole enchilada  at the same time, relying on military might, saying also ( ie Netanyahu) they want two states (insincerely) but it’s the other side’s intransigence– while the Palestinian fanatics also say they want it all. The extremists have been useful.

    The progress Olmert made does not have to be lost- it can be worked upon. It was Netanyahu that wiped the progress away. Shavit is right about the current government being extremist and as if we had the Tea Party running things here.

    Dayan is spinning about Olmerts offer and Abbas refusing. Olmert was leaving office and they were close to agreement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000753377770 Joachim Kriegel

    Israel has become the problem to any peace in the Middle East. It is a brutal force, that uses its power the Men, Women and Children of the Palestinians down. The fact that the world does not implement sanctions against this brutal state, that has violated more UN resolutions than any other gives Israel its reason to press ahead. Perhaps they should next time they call the world to feel with them for the poor jews in the camps, remember that they are pretty much doing the same as the Nazis.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Zionism began long before the Holocaust.  I think Zionism has its roots in the Babylonian exile; it’s Biblical.  It’s in the literature as a basic yearning, from the time before people emigrated half a world away for better opportunities.  The idea of cultural cohesion survived thousands of years, both to Jewish advantage and disadvantage.  It’ll survive no matter what happens to the territory in question — it seems to me.

      • brettearle


        You can’t convince me that Zionism isn’t being used as a derogatory term–as opposed to the literal meaning of it, as you are trying to explain.


        No one really points to Islamic jingoism–except as it relates to Africa.

        • JobExperience

           It’s a descriptively accurate term, although there are derogatory connotations. (It’s like calling a stranger a Communist.) Ellen is a sincere observer and should be given the benefit of the doubt. What alternate noun(s) would you suggest?

      • Dave_in_RI

        Your half-grasp of facts is sometimes merely ridiculous, but at times can be downright dangerous! The Jewish people did not “emigrate half a world away for better opportunities”–their were a string of invasions of the Land of Israel which resulted in forced exiles and centuries of slavery and oppression. That is how the Jewish Diaspora was created. Jews did not abandon their homeland, which is why they would not be content to reestablish it in Costa Rica, or anywhere else someone that is totally ignorant of history might suggest. There is simply no argument by anyone who is educated in these matters about the fact that the Jewish nation was born and established in Israel, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Most significantly, the Arab and Muslim people know that this is the homeland of the Jewish people, since they openly admit to have lived side by side with Jews for millenia! There is so much evidence of these historical facts that it is simply astonishing that we should still have to suffer through such drivel on the comment board of a program whose target audience is supposed to be highly educated and sophisticated.

        • JobExperience

          This account is far from accurate. To say that we Jews always emigrated because of violence and not economic reasons is not entirely honest.

    • brettearle

      Tell you what, Mr. Kriegel….

      Come next Spring, I’ll see if I can get some of my Jewish friends to invite you to a Seder.

      Or would that be too much Blood Libel for you?

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu will ultimately end the relationship between the US and Israel.

    The US citizenry is not accepting of Unreasonable People.

    The peace process would be on track today if Ben had not green lighted settlement after settlement after settlement.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu will ultimately end the relationship between the US and Israel.”

      I don’t think that it will though it should.

      “The US citizenry is not accepting of Unreasonable People.”

      Don’t know about this either, Congress continues to exist.

      “The peace process would be on track today if Ben had not green lighted settlement after settlement after settlement.”

      This statement I couldn’t agree with more.

      • Call_Me_Missouri

        I don’t have to remind you that our President doesn’t like Ben, do I?  Re-electing him will do nothing to improve relations with the US.  Not to mention that I think there is a growing contingent of reasonably well informed US Citizens like myself that look at the situation over there and think those Israelis need to learn some Gratitude and QUICK!  It’s time they learn to be grateful for what they have and stop trying to take more and more from others.  They don’t deserve more and they are quickly losing our respect.

        And I am sticking with the belief that we don’t like unreasonable people.  Our Congress can be explained quite simply….  It’s a rare few US Citizens that dislike their own representatives in Congress.  They may dislike what everyone else’s, but they like theirs and they think their representative is perfectly reasonable.

  • PithHelmut

    What has Israel done to show it really means it wants peace?  Has it perhaps opened a university to allow Palestinians equal education?  Has it opened the marketplace to allow equal trade?  What?  Claiming it made an offer that was rejected by the Palestinians is really not enough to conclude that a two-state existence is not possible.  Nothing is possible when it is wiped off the table. One must keep trying. It is the domain of men to stick to their one-upmanship at the cost of lives and peace to everyone else. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    My understanding is that the Tea Party in the USA is as loud as it is due to far Right money, Koch brothers, for instance.  And by the way, that was POST Bush II, so I think we’re hearing the neo-cons dominating foreign policy in the 2000s as Tea Party, and maybe a lagging effect in Israel, having to take on board a less extreme American vision.  However, that extreme American vision has dug in its heels, and it’s not so easy to deal with.  Here, as maybe in Israel, there is not a struggle of ideas as much as a struggle of chicanery.  How to win, not how to promulgate the most productive policies.  I’m talking about Newt Gingrich saying (as I heard from Colin Powell on TV Sunday) that maybe Republicans should take a more positive stance toward the immigrants (or was it same-sex marriage?) — anyway, take positions the better to take votes.  There’s a difference between talking points polled to organize gerrymandered power plays, a difference between that and a party or politician thinking in terms of what is Best for the people being represented.  Best for.  Not win at all costs, with an empty head and a bunch of promises to campaign financers.  Whatever the equivalent to that is in Israel.

    • JobExperience

       Excellent deconstruction, Ellen.
      Anyone who calls it anti-Semitic self-identifies as a bully.

  • OldDoug

    I was a friend of Israel until I heard Netanyahu in a news interview 15 or 20 years ago.  He opened my eyes. Now, I wonder why we consider Israel a friend or an ally.  While Israel insists that Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist as a nation, I have never heard an Israeli official recognize the same right for Palestine.  Israelis continue to steal Palestinian lands and treat the Palestinian people like dirt.  There will never be peace as long as the U.S. supports any nation that advocates such policies.

    • brettearle

      You have selective attention, sir–and it is based on your political bias.

      Time, and time, again, leaders of Israel are willing and able to recognize a Two-State solution.

      You reveal your glaring ignorance….

      • OldDoug

        … trouble is the Israeli proposals always contain poison pills that they know the Palestinians will reject.

        • Joel Bitton

          My greatest hope is that someday, the Palestinians decide to take any land given to them and transform it into a great nation to show the Israelis they are not as stupid as most Israelis claim they are.

          • asuka langley sohryu

            IT will be hard, because they won’t have the endless goodwill and donations of a world-wide fan-club that Israel has enjoyed.

  • JobExperience

    I laugh and laugh at that JN1 newschannel where they blow Joshua’s horn between stories. Brett could get a job tooting that horn.

  • Steve Hodges

    Why does the US intelligence community view Israel as a significant and “genuine counterintelligence threat”?

  • Steve Hodges

    Is it consistent and healthful that orthodox Jews do not serve
    in the Israeli military, yet have significant influence on Israeli policies,
    for example, the continuing creation of illegal settlements?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R6OYTK2RGGVJC4FPW7IHWMYLWM Bradley G

    Am I confused or did I actually hear Dani Dayan imply that Israel should take over Jordan in order to have a place to export Palestinians?  Dani mentioned that Jordan is outdated for still having a monarchy in this day and age, but aren’t all theocratic systems of government outdated?  I believe that peace is out of reach for any nation that denies its citizens an equal voice within a democratic government.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R6OYTK2RGGVJC4FPW7IHWMYLWM Bradley G

    Am I confused or did I actually hear Dani Dayan imply that Israel should take over Jordan in order to have a place to export Palestinians?  Dani mentioned that Jordan is outdated for still having a monarchy in this day and age, but aren’t all theocratic systems of government outdated?  I believe that peace is out of reach for any nation that denies its citizens an equal voice within a democratic government.

  • Steve Hodges

    A basic part of successful, good-faith negotiation is
    acknowledging your opponent’s position. 
    In 1956, Ben-Gurion (1st Israeli Prime Minister) acknowledged
    that Israel took (stole) its land from the former occupants.  Does modern Israel acknowledge this fact when
    it attempts to end the violence and struggle in and around its territories?

    don’t understand your optimism,” Ben-Gurion declared. “Why should the
    Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with
    Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to
    us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from
    Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There
    has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault?
    They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should
    they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but
    for the moment there is no chance. So, it’s simple: we have to stay strong and
    maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will
    wipe us out.”

    Ben-Gurion, 1956 –  quote in Wikipedia entry for B-G, and
    at http://globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/zionism/nahum_paradox.htm

    • Potter

      Ben Gurion was right but his conclusions only half right. Be strong yes, but also address the injustice. At the moment and for quite awhile the attitude has been “tough luck, we won, you guys lost”. Well that does not buy you security or the peace that normal people on both sides want.

      • Steve Hodges

        Agreed.  And same strong-man state policies don’t help Israelis to accept the responsibilities of the Torah and to be a “light unto the nations.”

  • Gabor Nagy

    Hi Tom, How can I get in touch with you regarding a topic suggestion for a future show?
    Gabor rofgabor@hotmail.com

  • Peter Kelley

    Having been to Israel recently on a trip that was focused on meeting the people who lived in the land I have one question for Dani Dayan. When you speak of moving so many Jewish settlements into the west bank that all or most the Palestinians self deport to Jordan, are we not then speaking of Ethnic Cleansing, by eviction and persecution as opsed to violence? But  It still is ethnic cleansing. The way I understand the Yesah Council’s position is that every Palestinians that leaves and can’t come back to the west bank is a victory.

    I also must say that I very much agree with Ari Shavit, there is very little hope that a two state solution could be implement as the situation stands right now, but if settlement continues then the possibility of a 2 state solution will die entirely. If that happens, I continue to agree with Ari Shavit, then the state of Israel will have to decide whether it will be a Jewish or Democratic state. This is because demographically a majority of people living in Israel proper and the Occupied Territory (West Bank) are Palestinian  as it stands only a fraction of the Palestinians who are living in Israel Proper are legal citizens with Israeli Passports and the Right to vote, and even that portion makes up almost 20% of the voting population of Israel.

  • marygrav

    Why is it you make it virtually impossible to listen to the program and give too many ways to listen, none of which work on the public computers that I use.  It is no need to be fancy, just use the click on listen and settle the whole thing.  Technology is nice, but when you make it useless, what good is it?  Simplify simplify is what its all about.

  • RogerFaulkner

    Your instructions about suggesting a future idea for a show are to post it here, so this is off-topic.

    I think there is a sort of schism among folks who are very concerned about environmental degradation between the “small is beautiful” crowd, and those of us (like me) who favor technology-based solutions that are BIG. I think that it is too late for small is beautiful solutions, unless we are willing to accept mass starvation. 

    This difference is especially important and specific in re energy policy. I believe a supergrid as the most effective way of moving away from fossil fuel (coupled with carbon taxes), but we are spending all the effort on solutions that allow the islanding of energy to persist. Rooftop solar is fine, but not cost effective. I think there is a germ of a conversation there that could be very interesting.


  • Mike_Card

    A complete waste of time.  Why is NPR even airing this bunch of warmed-over arguments?

  • Steve__T

    This is not an American problem, and is NOT on point, when we have our own a$$es to think about. Obama with exec privilege has given Congress a $900.00 raise for 2013. That and Congress is holding hostage relief for victims of hurricane Sandy. Why is this not the discussion?

  • truegangsteroflove

    I like the Haaretz guy. He said what I was about to start typing, which is that the “right wing” element in “Israel” has no respect for the country’s funder, the “U.S.” Taking it a bit farther, the day will come when the “U.S.” will no longer fund “Israel.” It will follow the day where “we” no longer exercise the option of invading people around the planet.

    There was a time before “we” funded “Israel,” and there will be a time after. There was a time before “we” went around the planet invading people. There will be a time after. Eternality has not been shown on this planet yet, and is not likely to be shown in the future.

    Given the temporary nature of human activities and institutions, man-made systems can only hope to do the honorable thing, since behaving honorably is the best way to extend our temporary institutions for as long as humanly possible.

    Though it may seem that the “Israel” – “Palestinian” quagmire can be stretched out indefinitely, it only seems that way because of the “Western” tendency of reductionism – to look at problems in isolation, ruling out ALL other factors. Such as climate change and the unsustainability of the “U.S.” economic system. We have an infinite growth productive system on a finite planet. It has to grow in output in order to keep functioning, but endless growth is not only impossible, but already past its limit. The system is living on fumes.

    Some of those fumes are in the form of hydrocarbon emissions. In order to squeeze out more growth, our “leaders” have chosen to do effectively nothing about CO2 emissions. When the weather starts getting really serious, bye bye to the luxury of funding “Israel.” Hello staying alive.

  • http://twitter.com/allen2saint allen 2saint

    This Dani guy’s cadence when he talks. He IMPOSES himself as he goes ON and ON and ON without stopping. No one needs to ask him his opinion, cause he keeps giving it. He even rolled over Tom a bit.

  • http://twitter.com/allen2saint allen 2saint

    Ari calls it at 18:35. His “sweet words.”

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