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Ron Radosh

In a wrenching critique of Judis, Jonathan S. Tobin writes in Commentary online that Abbas turned down Kerry’s proposal although it was based on the 1967 borders that Israel opposes, and Netanyahu agreed while Abbas said no. As Tobin puts it, “And yet even though Abbas’s decision makes a fourth historic no to peace terms from the Palestinians in the last 15 years, Judis still thinks the collapse of the talks is Israel’s fault.”

Judis also argues that increased Israeli housing in the occupied West Bank doubled in 2013, and hence it is the continuing Israeli settlements that are the impediments to peace. As Tobin explains, Judis does not note that “almost all the houses slated for construction are to be built in the settlement blocs and neighborhoods in Jerusalem that will be part of Israel in any agreement.”

And yet, despite Israel’s release of prisoners guilty of the most heinous acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians imaginable, to the protest of many in Israel, Judis bemoans that if the Netanyahu government does not go through with the promised release of even more terrorists, “PLO support for negotiations would disintegrate.” Yet Abbas made it clear to President Obama that while he plans to not negotiate if Israel demands recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and that he will not give up “the right of return” for all of the 1948 refugees and their descendants, he demands that Israel release more terrorists — whom he then greets as heroes in Ramallah in major public ceremonies. As Tobin points out, Abbas also is now demanding the release of Marwan Barghouti, a Fatah leader serving five life sentences for murders ordered by him during the second intifada.

Judis argues at the end of his article that unless Israel makes the concessions demanded of them by Abbas, then “a real tragedy” might occur. This is the same false logic of the realists who I criticized in my last column, who always use the argument that if we don’t negotiate with a current regime — such as Iran — the would-be hardliners waiting in the wings will take over, and then all will get worse.

The bottom line is that Judis’ arguments are to be expected from an author who seems to desperately want to join the crusade against Israel, while using his deeply flawed book as the excuse to present himself as an expert on the problems of the Middle East. As I argued in my review and in a Jerusalem Post op-ed, he is simply regurgitating every anti-Israel argument from the Arab narrative of decades past, questioning the very existence of Israel as a nation-state.

What else can one expect from a journalist who believes Israel should never have been created, and that Israel’s essence is that of all the Western imperialists and colonialists who seek to oppress the downtrodden for their own nation’s gain? Judis himself is an opponent of a two-state solution who begrudgingly realizes Israel has to be dealt with as an existing entity, but which in his dreams he hopes will still dissolve and become a bi-national state, or an Arab state with a Jewish minority.

The tragedy is that a major journal of opinion believes that he has the credentials to write about the area, although virtually every major review of his book, including those by writers who agree with his politics, made it clear that he knows little and his history and analysis is completely wrong. Only when the major sources of public opinion in the liberal community that was once supportive of Israel have turned into the Jewish state’s critics would someone like John Judis be allowed to analyze and write about events in the Middle East.

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25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
One can quite reasonably argue that the founding of Israel as a Jewish state was a mistake. More reasonably one can argue that the issue was forced by the Holocaust and the post-WWII dismantling of the British Empire. However most reasonably of all one can say "Hey, s*** happened!" and try to accurately and honestly look at the FACTS of history in the area.

The Zionists moved in under Ottoman and British empire rules and legally and lawfully bought land and settled, and then what with one thing and another war broke out in 1948, in 1967, in 1974, and as many other times as you care to name counting each terrorist attrocity anew. All previous claims are erased by blood in such events.

To summarize for those who haven't the time to read actual histories, the Arabs have been vile and violent throughout the process, from the 19th century right through today. They have been dealt with in the only way they have allowed themselves to be dealt with.

Israel may make peace with Saudi Arabia before the Palestinians ever grow up. The Palestinians can have a state and peace overnight if they act honestly and in good faith, but this is exactly what they refuse to do. None of the ongoing friction has been necessary since 1948, the two-state solution could have been had BEFORE the fighting in 1948, or AFTER the fighting in 1948, or at any time since. By 1966 things were actually much more peaceful than today, and then surrounding Arab nations decided to try to kill Israel, and the Palestinian situation got much worse and has stayed worse. A regional solution would send the bill to Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and yes Saudi Arabia for any continuing grievances that any Palestinian might have, not to mention compensation for all the Arab countries purging their ancient Jewish populations after 1948.

Kerry, much less Judis, are unbelievably ignorant and stupid in their positions. Facts, gentlemen, or you are just disgusting fools.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Obama peace process is a success. It is doing exactly what it was intended to do.

1. Israel has been forced to release horrific murderers, thus enshrining the important principle that there is no penalty for Arabs who murder Jews.
2. Kerry is legitimized as a possible candidate.
3. Abbas, the terrorist Arab dictator of an area ceded to him by Israel, can continue holding office without elections and denying the Arabs any civil rights.

Was something else supposed to happen? On what planet?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am all for the Israelis giving up the demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.

That is...the moment that every other land in the region give up the notion of a Muslim state. Otherwise, they can Copt a plea...but I throw the Book at them.

Only an imbecile or a leftist...but I repeat myself...would suggest that Israel be something other than a Jewish state and that it be allowed to be recognized as such.

Frankly, to even up the score...it not only should be recognized as such, but to make it "egalitarian"...non-Biblical adherents should be taxed at a higher rate, should be either forced to convert...or be subject to a death sentence.

Because if you want equality...you have to install equality.

Judis is a stranger to Judaism...and the truth.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christians are probably saying Islam is a settler-colonialist movement and Judaism precedes each so it's weird to stake out claims like that. Probably best to deal with the here and now and ask if the new Palestinian state will agree to not be an Arab-Islamic state and ask Egypt if they'd do the same just for kicks.

A few Jewish settlers immigrating into the Ottoman empire in the 1890s must've been the most conceited men who ever lived if they planned on oppressing Arabs. After WW I Jewish folks had the here-today-gone-tomorrow institutional backing of Great Britain for a Jewish state but one which wouldn't discomfit Arabs - an impossible task. At the outbreak of war no Jew illegally owned anything.

In any event the Arab leadership wasn't forced into war but tossed the dice heavily weighted in their favor. Sadly, they lost. Now they've spent 6 decades trying to pretend that didn't happen. Again, probably best to negotiate the here and now.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whether recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a new or old issue, it's ridiculous to make it a precondition for further negotiations. There are other issues -- land, security arrangements, right of return, etc. -- that are more important at this time than recognition of an established fact on the ground. And, pace Dennis Ross, Palestinian commitment to a two-state solution will be proven more in negotiations than in declarations.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
First of all, I wasn't aware that it was a precondition to negotiations. Second of all, if they do not so recognize, what is their agreement worth? All we have done is established an enemy state in a position to destroy us.

Abbas never intended to negotiate. All he wanted was his murderers released, and to pay absolutely no price for it. He got what he wanted.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Only when the major sources of public opinion in the liberal community that was on[c]e supportive of Israel have turned into the Jewish state’s critics."

Professor Radosh, when you gutted Judis' meretricious book, you acted as a critic: You value books, writing and history, and because of that love, defended them by demonstrating that Judis betrayed all three.

If Judis had his way, he would set conditions on Israel that would at best make its survival... conditional. If someone claimed to love books except for the the fact that he despises the idea of writing things down for posterity, plus the waste of paper, and the pollution caused by ebooks and so on and so on, you would describe him as a book-hater.

So too with Judis and Israel. Like much of the liberal community, he is its enemy.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Only when the major sources of public opinion in the liberal community that was on[c]e supportive of Israel have turned into the Jewish state’s critics"

They have not turned into Israel's "critics;" like Judis, they are Israel's enemies.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why engage in endless debates with weasels like Beinert, Judis and Ben-Ami about a two state solution, a "solution" which would involve trusting in a peace treaty with a terrorist state and returning Israel to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949.

Instead, extend Israeli law to Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), just as it already covers the Golan Heights and Jerusalem. Israel would have effective security, Arabs would enjoy the protection of Israeli civil rights, the Middle East would be more stable and Israel, the entity with the only lawful “right” to those territories would rightly exercise sovereignty.

This proposal is the subject of Caroline Glick’s new book, The Israeli Solution: http://carolineglick.com/mishpacha-magazine-cover-story-on-the-israeli-solution/
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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