Israel

It's Time to Rethink America's Relationship With Israel

Maybe Israeli politicians will act more responsibly if they don't have the American people to fall back on.

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The Benjamin Netanyahu on display in the days before and after Tuesday's Israeli election is the same one who has been in power all these years. Right along, he was there for all to see, so no one should have been surprised by his performance. I seriously doubt that anyone really is surprised. Americans who slavishly toe the Israeli and Israel Lobby line may act surprised, but that's really just their embarrassment at having to answer for the prime minister of the "State of the Jewish People."

Democrats especially are in a bind. They can't afford to distance themselves from Netanyahu and alienate Jewish sources of campaign donations, yet they are visibly uncomfortable with his so openly racist fear-mongering about Israeli Arab voters—"The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them in buses." The Democrats' defense of that ugly appeal as merely a way to get the vote out is disgraceful. (Imagine something equivalent happening in the United States.)

Democrats are also nervous about Netanyahu's declaration that no Palestinian state will be established as long as he heads the Israeli government. (His post-election attempt to walk it back somewhat was not well-received.) Life was so much simpler for people like Hillary Clinton when Netanyahu didn't say things like that in public. Meanwhile, hawkish Republicans—that's redundant— are unfazed.

For anyone paying close attention, Netanyahu's racism and ruthless opportunism are not news at all. A few years ago a candid video from 2001 surfaced in which he cynically described Americans as "easily moved," i.e., manipulated. The Israelis, he said, can do what they want with the Palestinians because the Americans "won't get in their way." These are the same Americans who are forced to send Israel $3 billion a year in military assistance so that it can regularly bomb and embargo Palestinians in the Gaza Strip prison camp and oppress Palestinians in a slightly more subtle manner in the shrinking West Bank and East Jerusalem.

With Netanyahu, you really do know what you get, which arguably makes him a better choice to run Israel than the left-of-center Zionist Union because the Laborites share most of Likud's beliefs about the Palestinians; they're just more circumspect and therefore more comforting to so-called Americans "liberals." Saying you support negotiations toward a Palestinian state is not the same as actually being for a viable Palestinian state. Palestinians have little left of the walled-off West Bank and East Jerusalem because of Jewish-only towns built over the years by the two dominant parties, Likud and Labor. And Gaza is a bombed-out disaster area. (Even for many two-state advocates, justice is not the concern. Rather, demographic circumstances make one state untenable for these pragmatists because out-and-out apartheid, which the world would frown on, would be seen as the only alternative to a genuinely democratic state with a Jewish minority. The one-staters have their own solution to the Palestinian problem, the one used in 1948: transfer.)

The prime minister is a sophist extraordinaire; he says whatever he needs to say to gain his objective of the moment. When he ruled out a Palestinian state before the election, in a bid to shore up his right-wing base, he was interpreted as reversing a commitment he made in 2009, after he had returned to power, the same year that Barack Obama took office. The campaign reversal put Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in a most uncomfortable position, since they had made the fraudulent "peace process" a top priority, until talks broke down last spring, a failure they pinned at least in part on Netanyahu. Once the election was over and some reconciliation with the U.S. government was required, Netanyahu "clarified" his remarks, saying his 2009 position had not really changed; only the environment has.

I don't want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change. I was talking about what is achievable and what is not achievable. To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace.

I never changed my speech in Bar Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. What has changed is the reality.

What has changed? Netanyahu probably has a few things in mind. The Palestinians reject a new demand that they formally recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people (everywhere). Decades ago the Palestinian leadership accepted Israel's existence within the pre-1967-war borders—that is, it relinquished claim to 78 percent of pre-1948 Palestine. (Even Hamas has said it was willing to defer to the secular Fatah and the Palestinian Authority). But in a goalpost-moving action, Netanyahu recently added the new demand, something he knows the Palestinian leadership cannot accept if it is to maintain legitimacy (or whatever legitimacy it still has). Such a concession would be prejudicial to Israel's non-Jewish Arab citizens and would favor Jews who have never set foot in the country over native-born Palestinian Arabs who were driven out of their ancestral home and who are forbidden to return.

In other words, Netanyahu knowingly placed an impossible precondition on the negotiations. But it is he who has insisted there be no preconditions whatever. When the Palestinians demanded that Israel stop seizing Palestinian-owned land on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem to make room for Jewish-only neighborhoods, Netanyahu refused on the grounds that this was a precondition. (The Palestinians relented and gave talks a chance, no doubt under American pressure.) But it was not so much a precondition as a recognition that the land being seized was precisely the subject of the negotiation. In what universe is it reasonable for two parties to negotiate over territory while one is busy annexing it and building permanent settlements?

It is this sort of thing that exposes Netanyahu's bad faith regarding the Palestinians. He sabotages the "peace process," then blames the Palestinians for failing to be an earnest partner for peace. (Now he's trying to sabotage multilateral talks with Iran. See a pattern?)

Netanyahu may also be saying the timing is wrong for a Palestinian state—which would be a rump state completely at the Israeli government's mercy—because ISIS is creating turmoil in nearby Iraq and Syria, and Iran is expanding its influence in the region. The sophistry here is that much trouble in the Middle East can be traced to Israel's injustice against the Palestinians and belligerence toward its neighbors, especially the repeated devastating invasions of southern Lebanon. Ethnic-cleansing, massacres perpetrated by Zionist militias at the time of independence, unrelenting occupation of the West Bank since 1967, the repression and impoverishment of the Gazans, and the routine humiliation of Israel's Arab second-class citizens have created deep grievances that are only made worse by Netanyahu and those who support him. 

This of course has spilled over onto the United States, since Democratic and Republican regimes stand by Israel no matter what and no matter how many times its government humiliates American rulers. When former Gen. David Petraeus told a Senate Armed Services Committee in 2010 that the U.S.-Israeli relationship "foments anti-American sentiment," he was merely repeating what many other officials had acknowledged before. "Meanwhile," Petraeus added, "al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas…" The attacks of 9/11 were in part motivated by anger over America's relationship with Israel. Osama bin Laden's 1996 declaration of war makes clear that this relationship was at the heart of his hostility toward the United States. Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, joined the cause after Israel's 1996 assault on Lebanon, James Bamford writes in The Shadow Factory. (Open discussion of these facts is discouraged by spurious charges of antisemitism against anyone who raises it.)

So, again, Netanyahu cites reasons for not making peace that he himself helped create or is now perpetuating. That he is taken seriously in American politics is a testament to the power of the Israel Lobby.

Netanyahu's apparent reelection and the egregious circumstances under which it was accomplished should prompt a reconsideration of the special relationship. Although it should have happened long ago, now would be a good time for the U.S. government to end the relationship and start seeing Israel as a rogue and aggressor nuclear power. (Of course the United States is hardly one to talk.) No more excuses. The Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust. Let's have one moral standard for all.

Not that I think it has a chance of happening, but the U.S. government should cease all taxpayer aid to the Israeli government, stop vetoing UN Security Council resolutions that condemn Israel for its daily violations of human rights, and stop impeding Palestinian efforts to set up an independent country (with membership in the International Criminal Court, etc.). The United States should withdraw from the Middle East and enter into a detente with Iran (which is not developing a nuclear weapon). This would have an immediate dividend: we would not be driven to war with Iran by Netanyahu, the Lobby, and its neoconservative Republican and Democratic stooges in Congress.

Maybe Israeli politicians will act more responsibly if they don't have the American people to fall back on. Probably not. But we know the Palestinians will get no justice under the status quo. Meanwhile, U.S. policy puts Americans at risk. This must stop.

This piece was originally published at Sheldon Richman's "Free Association" blog. 

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  1. A nation founded on theft from its original inhabitants hardly has cause to criticize Israel.

    1. Just curious… which of the world’s current nations did not have theft from original inhabitants at some point in its history?

      1. No shite. Every modern nation state (nearly) had its origins in one group or another seizing land and power from another. But we should view history though the childish moralism of modern insulated academics, right? Because that we we get to be sanctimonious and feel good about ourselves at the expense of a real understand of human nature and history. So, yeah.

        1. ” Every modern nation state (nearly) had its origins in one group or another seizing land and power from another. But we should view history though the childish moralism of modern insulated academics, right? ”

          Even if this true, at some point we should still be able to point out that this is not ideal and urge people to stop doing it, right? I mean, by this logic we should have told all the people who condemended Soviet conquests to shut up and stop engaging in the childish moralism of those insulated academics in condemning them.

          1. Fuck off, Bo.

            1. Classy and intelligent!

          2. Even if this true, at some point we should still be able to point out that this is not ideal and urge people to stop doing it, right?

            Bo wants a border wall, and he wants it NOW!

            1. I always like the equation of peaceful movement and association with armed conquest common among conservatives.

              1. Hey, you’re the one saying we should stop people moving from place to place. That it’s “not ideal”.

                1. Because military occupations equal people moving.

                  1. Whatever you think, Bo.

          3. There has to be some equivalent of a statute of limitations. At this point, most of the residents of Israel were not involved in the stealing of the Arabs’ land in 1947.

            That said, the west essentially taking the Arabs’ land in 1947 to pay back the Jews for the Holocaust which the Arabs had nothing to do with was an absolute disgrace. If they wanted to give the Jews a homeland they should have given them Bavaria.

            1. There was some element of the West ‘taking’ land there but a lot of what went on was European Jews peacefully buying property and later asking to be recognized as a state. There’s nothing wrong with that IMO

              1. It’s not nearly that simple. Yes, a lot of the land was legitimately purchased by Jews, but the logistics of drawing boundaries required pulling in a lot of Arab-owned land into a Jewish-dominated state that they did not want to be a part of.

                Imagine Republicans in Rhode Island demanding to be given their own state consisting of the property they own in that state…. it wouldn’t be workable without pulling a lot of Democrats into it too.

                1. …No one wants Rhode Island….

                2. Isn’t Northern Cali trying to secede from it’s Southern Progressive hive masters ?

                3. Imagine Republicans in Rhode Island demanding to be given their own state consisting of the property they own in that state…. it wouldn’t be workable without pulling a lot of Democrats into it too.

                  Would you not want the districts gerrymandered in such a way as to be the most libertarian possible? I certainly would. Fuck the “rules”, I didn’t make ’em. I believe in cheating for what’s right.

                4. That would be a whole lot more fun if the democrats there were forced out in a new ‘trail of tears’. And democrat tears are delicious.

            2. The Arabs may not have much to do directly with the Holocaust, but many were enthusiastic supporters of the Nazis. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (at the time) declared a jihad against the Allies. There is at least some evidence (disputed) he knew about the “Final Solution”.

              1. And FDR knew about the Soviet atrocities and war crimes during WW2 but still ordered propaganda supporting them. So?

                It seems likely that the Palestinians were more interested in getting rid of the Brits at that point.

                1. Yeah, but Nazis.

                  1. Yeah but Nazis.

                    See there was this one Arab that supported the Nazis.
                    This should be brought up anytimes the lack of rights of any Arabs is brought up.

                    The 6 year old girl shot by settlers, and prevented from being taken to a hospital by occupying troops. She deserves is because this one guy marginally the same race as her supported Nazis.

                2. That would involve logic, and not cosmic levels of bigotry nursed by a thousand years of hatred. So don’t be too sure.

              2. “The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem ”

                The Grand Mufti was appointed by the British who ruled Palistine at the time. They would have been aware of his views.

              3. The Ba’ath party in Iraq were very friendly with Hitler. In fact they were exploring the Nazi’s methods of exterminating Jews for their own territory.

            3. the west essentially taking the Arabs’ land in 1947 to pay back the Jews for the Holocaust which the Arabs had nothing to do with was an absolute disgrace.

              Except the history of Israel is far more complex than that and goes back to the Balfour Declaration, not the Holocaust. If you’re going to argue a point at least argue it accurately.

          4. Yeah, except academics didn’t condemn them. It was Conservative Hawks that did. And, it was Conservative Hawks that stood up against Russia when it was at its worst. I was opposed to their stance then, hugely, but look back now and think they did the right thing.

            Israel exists, yet surrounded by a 100 million people who hate it and want it destroyed, people complain when Netanyahu makes a mildly provocative statement. Of course, the average Israeli hates Palestine, Likewise the average Israeli does not hate the average Palestinian. But, they hate the semi State that is ruled by kleptocratic thugs. They know if it gains power in the region there will be war, war, and more war.

            Bo, from your writing I can tell you aren’t completely without brains, but grow up. People’s survival is at stake here and they are acting with remarkable restraint. When you say let’s ‘urge people to stop doing it’, what does that mean? How about urging the Islamic world to accept Israel exists and has a right to exist, and they won’t keep attacking it.

            Let me put it to you another way – if the Islamic world said ‘We’re tired of fighting Israel, we’ve decided to back off and accept its right to exist. No more fighting. Now let us help an independent Palestine become a productive nation in the region…’ would Israel keep fighting them? Of course not. The problem is one sided. Even if Israel, in a state of constant war for nearly 70 years has acted occasionally not correctly.

            1. I don’t really disagree that much. Israel shows comparative restraint and they are facing really bad actors. My only point is that at some point there must be a principle of ‘might doesn’t make right’ and so no country can be allowed to occupy people via military conquest, even defensive conquests.

              1. My only point is that at some point there must be a principle of ‘might doesn’t make right’ and so no country can be allowed to occupy people via military conquest, even defensive conquests.

                Meanwhile, back in the real world, sometimes people just won’t stop trying to kill and invade their neighbors.

                The possible responses are along the continuum of:

                (1) Do nothing, and peacefully await your conquest and subsequent suffering.
                (2) Mount punitive expeditions to try to deter further aggression, but do not conquer/annex/occupy.
                (3) Conquer/annex/occupy.

                Presumably, no sane person advocates (1). The Israelis have been implementing (2), more or less (squabbling about minuscule and symbolic settlements or the like aside).

                In the long run, I suspect that option (3) is the only one that will result in peace.

                1. Well the choice are:

                  a) create a separate state, so that there will be two States based on racist principles.

                  b) allow everyone in the current state of Israel equal rights.

                  c) the continued apartheid state. .

                  I like (b), but whatever your biases, your mileage may vary.

                  1. Or Israel could just brutaly slaughter all their enemies. Sometimes the only way to end your enemy’s aggression is to hit him so hard he begs for peace.

                2. That is the old cynic’s option; want Peace in the Holy Lands? Nuke Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem until it is impossible to live there, and then ope the borders. The problems will solve themselves?.

              2. A defensive conquest of land, such as Israel has done is not unreasonable. The US owns a little nub of land connected to Canada, and not connected to the the US. It is called Point Roberts and is a suburb of Vancouver, for the most part.

                If the US used PR as a staging area for attacking south Vancouver and refused to stop and Canada marched in and took it that would be a legitimate defensive conquest.

                The West Bank was that.

                1. Puerto Rico seems a suboptimal base from which to launch an attack on Canada.

                2. Exactly Pulseguy.

                  Arabs attack, lose and don’t accept the consequences of their actions including losing territory.

                  Tough luck. You want to fight? Expect the price if you lose.

              3. Being “Fair” would require a degree of Olympian detachment and Solomonic wisdom I don’t see much in evidence in human history. On that basis, I suggest that we associate with and support the people we find most congenial. In the Middle East those would be the Israelis, the Kurds, and the various scattered Christian groups. If, in the future, there emerges an Islamic population that we can realistically expect to keep their word rather more often than not, we might consider including them.

                1. Suicidy here advocating for genocide.
                  Because when an entire race is your “enemy” how do you defeat it?

                  I never see people who defend Palestinian rights advocate for genocide. It is always the other side. So there is that.

                  1. What race do you speak of? Palestinians? They aren’t a race. If the Muslims want to live, maybe they should just leave Israel alone.

                    1. If Suicidy determines that you aren’t a race, then genocide is ok in his book.
                      Noted.

                    2. They aren’t a race. That’s not Suicidy determining anything. That’s simple fact.

                      Palestinians are semitic caucasians just like Israelis and most of the indigenous population.

                      They’re an ethnicity.

                      Thus, this isn’t genocide, it’s ethnic cleansing

              4. You don’t let a guy up who is dedicated to killing you. Holding him down isn’t what you want, but it’s better than getting killed.

        2. Why should we care about where a nation-state comes from? We should care only about the persons within it. They should live in the freest state they can get. If Crimeans are freer under Ukrainian rule, Crimea should be Ukrainian; if they’re freer under Russian rule, Crimea should be Russian.

          I think it’s clear enough that everyone in the vicinity of Israel would be freer as an Israeli than as any of the other nearby options. Therefore any disputed territory in the area is best as part of Israel. Doesn’t matter who should be sovereign over it according to the rules of kings & queens.

          1. Your first paragraph is very true.

            Your second not so much. I mean they would be free-er if they had Israeli citizenship. But not free er under military occupation.

      2. I mean, if we’re going to make foreign policy decisions based on exacting justice for infractions committed 100+ years ago, most countries are going to have to go to war with themselves. Hell, I’ve got English, Scottish, and French ancestors, so I’m going to have to stab myself repeatedly just to make it up to my various parts.

        1. Remember to put it on Youtube.

        2. I demand reparations from the Italian government for the Romans kicking my Celtic ancestors off their land in Britain.

          1. I’m still upset about Hastings.

        3. I’ve got various European ancestors too, so I demand reparations from myself- tequila!

        4. You think you have it bad. I’ve got European and Amerindian blood. I’ve got to give myself smallpox, THEN scalp myself.

          1. I’m Scotch German Irish. I’m not sure what to do, but it involves a SHITLOAD of booze.

      3. Iceland. Some Polynesian nations.

        1. Iceland was inhabited by Irish monks before the Nords took over.

    2. No criticism need be involved. Reducing or ending Israeli foreign aid is entirely in the self interest of the US.

      1. Israel is doing fine. Why do they need our aid? Also, what does the US get in exchange for the aid? Nothing but headaches.

      2. Not if you’re buying votes with it. Same with Palestinian aid. Buy,,,, votes,,,,, tax,,,,revenue,,,,,debt,,,,,bribery,,,, If you’all gonna call yourself Libertarians then work on the root causes. Bunch’a dipshits. You gotta starve foreign aid out. How do you do that? Defund foreign entanglements? Will they just print more money? Start with personal liberty and freedom and everything else will take care of itself.

      3. Odd, isn’t it, that so many proposals to end aid to Israel don’t also propose ending aid to Israel’s enemies.

        Its almost like they aren’t really arguing from a position of principle, but that they have chosen sides and want their side to win.

        1. No, I am pretty sure that nearly all proposals to end aid to Israel also include ending aid to Israel’s supposed enemies.

          Aid to Israel’s “enemies” is aid to Israel. (for the most part)

        2. can’t speak to other proposals but my proposal is to end _ALL_ foreign aid.

          1. I second that proposal.

    3. A nation founded on theft from its original inhabitants hardly has cause to criticize Israel.

      I love how supposed libertarians are all about collectivism when it comes to criticizing American foreign policy and history. Immoral and/or illegal actions of the American government are not an indictment of American society. For some reason libertarians are very careful to explain the difference between government society, right up until the point they start talking about foreign policy or the history of westward expansion.

      Oh, and what happened to free immigration? How could you possibly object to homesteading settlers moving into undeveloped land and claiming it through a Lockean process of improving wild land on libertarian grounds? Especially considering the Indian “ownership” of land was in most cases some kind of collective tribal nonsense that libertarianism usually rejects in other contexts.

      Seems inconsistent to me.

      1. Ooooo! Good one. Now kick ’em while they’re down!

      2. You can’t really talk about “libertarians”, you can only talk about some libertarians. Sheldon Richman (and Benny Hinn or whoever upthread) sure as hell doesn’t speak for me IRT foreign policy, regarding which both seem to be the rankest of amateurs.

      3. I agree with your first paragraph wholeheartedly.

        That said, the notion that westward expansion was done in a manner consistent with libertarianism or was equivalent to free immigration is laughable. Also, if you’re going to say taking the land was valid because Indians didn’t have libertarian conceptions of property ownership (though the notion that they only had “collective tribal nonsense” systems is a gross generalization and not accurate), then would it be ok to take land from people in countries that also don’t have libertarian systems of property ownership? Would it have been ok to just force Soviet citizens off collectively-owned land to improve? Would it be ok if people did that to North Koreans today?

        1. That said, the notion that westward expansion was done in a manner consistent with libertarianism or was equivalent to free immigration is laughable.

          See, you’re just flat out wrong here. The first white settlers to cross the Blue Ridge into the Shenandoah did it as individual families or in small groups. Same with them that crossed into Kentucky. The voyageurs traveled the rivers and peacefully traded with natives, communicated with them, married the native women. The mountain men shared their fires with Nez Perce and Shoshone. Individuals, by and large, have no interest in war and conquest. Governments do that.

          Besides, I’m a libertarian. It doesn’t matter that some people abuse the rights of others. I am still entitled to my rights. I have the right to travel freely, and I have the right to settle on unused land, improving it with my labor and convert it to titled property through same.

          The idea that the Lakota “own” the shortgrass prairie is as silly to me as the idea that the federal government “owns” the national parks because Theodore Rex said so.

        2. Heck, if they did it to N. Koreans today, the N. Koreans would be better off! Seriously, they’d be better off as tenants in a foreign land development, and able to leave, than they would under their current regime.

      4. It has seemed inconsistent to me for years that libertarians like Sheldon suddenly go all collectivist when discussing “Jewish vs. Arab land”. Why should we care about the religion of the owner of a piece of real estate? Why should the gov’t of Israel care either? What’s wrong with Jews developing real estate anywhere? Who cares if Arabs claim sovereignty over it; sovereignty ain’t ownership! (Of course immigration restrictionists need to be reminded of that last bit too.)

    4. I personally am very upset the Neanderthals were all killed in favour of us Homo Erectus. Now look what that has led to, inevitably – gay marriage.

      ‘Give the US back to the Neanderthals’.

      1. Per 23andme, I have about as much Neanderthal dna as Fauxcahontas has native american DNA.

        I’m oppressed! The genocide of my people! Aaaagh!

    5. You go back far enough and you’ll likely find that everyone has someone in their direct line of descent that was fucked up (either evicted or stolen) and abused by some group (either locally or invading) – and probably from another person in their direct line of descent. People concern themselves about most recent, but Europe, Asia, African, and Americas have long and sordid histories. People care only about when they think they can find some benefit or compensation. In hindsight, Israel should have never been. But you live your life and move on because life is not fair and historical payback would likely be everyone’s bitch.

    6. I’m sorry, I’m not sure which nation you refer to. It can’t be the US because that’s not what happened with Native Americans; those were exterminated by the oh-so-civilized European powers. Furthermore, even if your history were correct, that’s no more than a simple “tu quoque” fallacy.

      In addition, “nations” don’t criticize each other, people do. And since my family arrived long after the founding of this nation and started off with nothing, as a person I can tell you to go f*ck yourself (of course, if you’re Israeli, you’re already doing that).

      Finally, the US doesn’t owe Israelis anything; we have committed no crimes against Israelis and we have sent tons of money to that nation and stuck our neck out again and again. It’s time we stop wasting US taxpayer money on any and all of the players in the Middle East.

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      http://www.work-cash.com

  2. I am dissapoint. I thought that Sheldon had perhaps rethought his view of the Israeli/US relationship.

    they are visibly uncomfortable with his so openly racist fear-mongering about Israeli Arab voters

    Sheldon agrees with the Palestinians that making an area Judenrein will “fix” it.

    We should absolutely cut off foreign aid to all nations. We spend $3B on Israel and how many billions on NATO and Japan and Korea? I am sure that Sheldon is always writing about that too.

    1. “I thought that Sheldon had perhaps rethought his view of the Israeli/US relationship.”

      Rethinking it would require having thought about it at least once before. He doesn’t think, he regurgitates propaganda.

      1. Propaganda would at least be crafted to appeal to its target audience. Mr. Richardson appears to be working under a formula that is one part shock-the-squares, one part 60s era anti-imperialist blather, and one part internet tough guy posturing. I’m not sure there’s even enough intellectual heft to call it anti-American.

        1. He believes in anarchy. What sort of intellect goes with that position?

          1. There is a principled anarchist position. I think it is largely wrong, but it exists.

            This is not it.

    2. You know how I know that extraterrestrial aliens don’t exist? Because, if they did, we’d be sending them billions in aid every year, too.

      1. *Gigglesnort*

      2. How do you know we’re not, clandestinely?

    3. But are they openly uncomfortable with Obama and Holder’s race baiting during U.S. elections?

      I think not.

      1. Of all the derp in the above piece I think this ranks near or at the top.

        “The Democrats’ defense of that ugly appeal as merely a way to get the vote out is disgraceful. (Imagine something equivalent happening in the United States.)”

        Has the person who wrote that drivel never observed the Democrats at election time ?

        Joe Biden said to Dems about Reps, “they want to put you back in chains” while pandering to blacks.

        Others say ignorant shit like, Republicans WANT dirty air and water..pandering to jihadist enviros.

        1. The Democrats’ defense of that ugly appeal as merely a way to get the vote out is disgraceful.

          Yet the racially targeted bussing of certain ethnic groups, to influence a foreign country’s elections, isn’t disgraceful/

          And how is a statement, on election day, that your opponents are bussing shitloads of people to the polls, and your supporters better show up to offset that, not a “GOTV” message?

          1. Racially targeted busing to get out the Proggy vote is good, noting that busing to get out a conservative vote is bad.

            Proggy votes good, conservative votes bad. Why can’t you understand that? Why do you hate the children so much?

  3. Slightly off center, but related: I think any society based on the inculcation of a specific race or a specific religion is doomed to instability and failure.

    As a Jew who lost most of my extended family to the Holocaust, and whose remaining relations were forced to emigrate from the nations they had lived in for generations, Im deeply conflicted about Israel.

    While Sheldon is in one sense right to say the Palestinians have nothing to do with the Holocaust, the Holocaust has everything to do with tbe Jewish people. Yes, it was a long time ago. But not so long ago that it wasnt our mothers and grandmothers that were burnt to death in ovens and gassed in showers in places like Lubiansk where the soldiers shaved womens heads and sold their hair. Giant wearhouses of human hair, row upon row.

    Every Jew understands that this could happen again, at any time. Some horrible series of circumstances could fit together once more and a friendly government would again murder our children by the millions.

    This trauma is at the heart of Israel. A place is needed where Jews dont need to fear the ovens and gas. (cotd)

    1. Its not widely known, but the survivors of the nazi camps did not initially seek out palestine. For the survivors, palestine was their third choice. They asked to come to America first, then Britain. Both countries denied them asylum.

      There are many ways that the trauma of the holocaust could have been dealt with. To my mind the ideal sanctuary would not have been a theocracy but a nation with a firm commitment to human rights and a heterogenous society.

      Richman is of course right in pointing out Israels many, many flaws that have made themselves apparent. The terror campaign to expel the british, the rousting & expulsion of palestinians, the emergence of a militaristic theocracy where Jew stands above Arab.

      My point, for what its worth, is that the Israel of today was not the result of best laid plans. I dont pretend to have a solution. I do believe that replacing the theocracy with a libertarian society based on firm property rights and individual sovereignty would be better for everyone. How can the relevant institutions grow organically out of the generations of fear, prophecy, hatred and eschatology that rule the place now

      1. I have a solution, but the usual suspects will HATE it. Publicly announce that from now on Israel will be treated as fairly as any other nation that is under constant unprincipled attack. Let the Israelis overrun the Palestinians with fire and the sword, and continue into the territories of whatever Islamic cess pits object. Give them the aid we would send to South Korea if North Korea was pulling that crap.

        And let them take over the Middle East. They can’t possibly rule it worse than the concatenation of petty princedoms and dictatorships that holds sway now.

        1. This is what caused the problem in the first place.
          So, not really a solution.

          1. No, Islamic aggression caused the problem. They clearly don’t fear Israel nearly enough.

            1. You can only push a people so far before they have to push back

        2. Another advocate of genocide, I see.

      2. For many it was Israel was the 4th choice. Many Jews returned to their homes after the war, only to find their former neighbors living in them.

      3. Its not widely known

        And your source is?

        Much of our current Middle East problems trace to the British (with a little French help) post WWI “diplomacy”. Which included a promise of a Jewish homeland.

      4. The terror campaign to expel the british

        You mean when NY was burned?

    2. It was NOT “a long time ago” goddammit! It happened within living memory. Furthermore, there are influential people in the Islamic world calling for a repeat, which kind of makes it an immediate issue.

      Any fool who says the Holocaust was “a long time ago” deserves a swift kick in the fork, hard enough to make him go deaf.

      And I, BTW, am a WASP.

    3. There were massacres of Jews AFTER WWII when they tried to return to their homes in Poland. The message the world continually sends to Jews is, Don’t be here. Don’t be there. Don’t be.

      1. The message the world continually sends to Jews is, Don’t be here. Don’t be there. Don’t be.

        But what do you even mean by “Jews” in the first place? Religiously observant Jews? People with a certain look? People with certain last names?

    4. Yes, it was a long time ago. But not so long ago that it wasnt our mothers and grandmothers that were burnt to death in ovens and gassed in showers in places like Lubiansk where the soldiers shaved womens heads and sold their hair.

      Half of the people burnt in the ovens and gassed were not Jewish (Poles, Roma, Russians, and yes Germans), but their ethnic relations have gotten the hell over it after 70 years. You people need to get over it too. Not forget, of course, but stop using it as a claim of oppression.

      1. Half of the people burnt in the ovens and gassed were not Jewish (Poles, Roma, Russians, and yes Germans), but their ethnic relations have gotten the hell over it after 70 years.

        Oh, I dunno. I seem to recall a recent civil war in eastern Europe that featured ethnic cleansing along lines that included a definite flavor of Nazis v Soviets, with a little Muslim action thrown in for flavor.

    5. To play devil’s advocate here, wouldn’t the Jewish community prefer to avoid having themselves already gathered into a central location? I mean, it does kind of make it easier for the enemy to know where to build the ovens.

      1. The idea was to have guns, tanks, nukes, and a state of their own. Anti-Semites could warm up the ovens all they wanted, the Jews would be warming up their ICBMs.

    6. A place is needed where Jews dont need to fear the ovens and gas.

      I fail to see how any of this is America’s problem. Europe repeatedly screwed the Jews, why doesn’t Europe deal with this? Why do so many Israelis take American support for granted, as if we were obligated to provide it?

      Every Jew understands that this could happen again, at any time.

      What is “every Jew” even supposed to mean? I think the people who say what you say are deliberately choosing a Jewish identity for themselves. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it means that the world isn’t neatly divided into “Jews” and “non-Jews”, it’s divided into people who choose a Jewish identity with all the baggage that comes along with that, and those who don’t.

      1. “A place is needed where Jews dont need to fear the ovens and gas.””

        That place should be America.
        That place is certainly not a place that frequently does military actions known as “mowing the grass” against the natives.

        1. Probably anywhere in the Anglosphere would have been fine.

          Canada, Australia, and the US have lots of dirt and are far from Europe and the Middle East.

          There was the Kimberley Plan in Australia for a Jewish homeland. I thought there was a similar plan in Canada, but couldn’t find any reference to it just now.

          At this point, they should come to the US. They’re not safe in Europe or the Middle East. Antisemitism is rising, and it’s only a matter of time before the crazies attack them with WMD.

  4. When it comes to areas that Israel seems to have done questionable things Richman extensively lists them, but there’s almost no listing of the fact of the rather glaringly problematic acts of those they were dealing with. I can understand that he might think he has to ‘jar’ Americans out of long and widely held pro-Israel biases, but this sort of thing makes him come off as hopelessly biased against Israel (I of course won’t use the tired and silly charge that as a biased critic of Israel’s government Richman is ‘anti-Semitic,’ Richman’s Jewish himself and likely feels, like many American Jews, particularly interested in Israeli matters).

    1. Self hatred for Jews has a very long history.

      1. I don’t think it’s a Jewish trait so much as it’s a modern Intellectual trait, and Jews in this country and Western Europe tend to be Intellectuals.

        1. “Self hatred for Jews has a very long history.””

          – calling for civil rights for black people reminds that Aryans also have a long history of “self hatred”” then?

      2. It’s an absurd notion, like the idea that blacks that disagree with a majority of blacks hate themselves.

        1. Ask any liberal about Thomas Sowell.

          1. Right, that’s not something we should copy

          2. Ask any liberal about any black who isn’t a Proggy.

        2. There is,a strong streak of “damn the facts, Israel must be wrong” in a certainstripe if American Intellectual of nominally Jewish decscent. They don’t tend to identify as Jewish unless it is to their advantage, but OTOH they DO tend to be Socialist. Given the history of Socialist/Communist revolutions and the fate of the intellectual class under them THAT certainly rates as self-haterd…

          1. More like the naive hope that this time the revolution will be different because our Top. Men. are MOR INTELLIGENT AND MOR COMPASSIONATE!

            1. You say naive, I say pure boneheaded idiocy. There’s naive, and then there’s too stupid to be let outside off of a leash.

              1. Very true.

      3. If a non-Israeli’s criticism of Netanyahu is “self-hatred”, doesn’t that make an American’s criticsim of Obama even more “self-hatred”?

        1. Or does it make any European criticising Bush during the Iraq war a self hating Aryan?

      4. I mean, that’s like saying an American of English descent criticizing David Cameron is “self hate”.

        1. But Richman doesn’t just criticize Netanyahu, or Israel for that matter. He clearly believes the country shouldn’t exist. Fair enough, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem or at least nearly as much of one with pretty much any other country on the face of the earth.

          Now tell me, what makes Israel different from every other country……….

          1. He’s Jewish. Jewish people tend to take a particular interest in what Israel does.

            1. Oh so Richman is writing for a Jewish magazine right? Am I on Tablet right now? Commentary? Jpost? Haaretz?

              Every third post by Richman is on Israel. That is not interested, that is obsessed.

              1. I thought you were curious as to why Richman himself might be particularly interested. I answered that. So are you asking why Reason published his articles on Israel so much?

                1. No I’m asking why he’s obsessed. Your excuse that “he’s jewish so of course he hates israel” is an utter non-sequitur.

                  1. He’s Jewish so he particularly cares about Israel. What, Jews are only supposed to focus on Israel when they agree with Israeli government policy?

                    1. He almost exclusively focuses on Israel. Richman simply being of Jewish heritage does not adequately explain that.

                    2. Actually, it does.

          2. Every state in the US (other than possibly WV) consists of land wrongfully taken from its original inhabitants.

            Does my recognizing that fact make me against the existence of the US?

            1. If you brought it up constantly in the context of an armed and angry Pequot tribe that was planning to launch rockets at Hartford, blow up school busses in New Haven, and had a manifesto calling for every non-Native American to be driven into the sea, I’d at least question your commitment to the continued existence of Connecticut, yes.

              1. Of course, to make the metaphor valid we’d have flattened Mohegan and Foxwoods Casinos, and engaged in decades of war against said tribes.

                Oh yeah, the fact that the so-called Pequots tend to have light hair and blue eyes… kinda reminds me of pale-skinned Netanyahu and The Rebbe who died back in the 90s.

                Seriously, go drive down to Mohegan and look at the picture of their board of directors. Literally. WASPs.

    2. Richman is an idiot, period. Read his other screeds. I have no idea why Reason ran this article.

      1. I will agree with that last part about Reason going off the deep-end lately, what with all the borderline Hippy-dippy SJW content, pro-gay, anti-Israel content. Not that I necessarily care more for the white-collar, heteronormative, or Zionist side of things, but still I get the sense Reason is losing some of it’s cool headedness lately.

        1. Ok someone enlighten me. What the fuck is SJW.

          1. Yeah, I have to admit I don’t know what that is either.

            1. Social Justice Warrior.

              1. Thank you.

          2. Southern Jewish Woman

            It is the intersection of Single White Female, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Shoah Foundation. 🙂

        2. “Reason going off the deep-end lately, what with all the borderline Hippy-dippy SJW content,”

          For the last year they’ve been going Proggy.

          More recently, I’m starting to see some conservative articles. Not as conservative as Sheldon is Proggy, but noticeably at the fringes of the conservative/libertarian divide.

          Maybe they’re not just being consumed by the Proggy Borg, but are just trying to broaden their political space.

  5. Wow. Richman sure has a problem with the only functional democracy in the fricken Middle-East filled with dysfunctional kleptocracies with a penchant for irrational conspiracy theories.

    “The sophistry here is that much trouble in the Middle East can be traced to Israel’s injustice against the Palestinians and belligerence toward its neighbors, especially the repeated devastating invasions of southern Lebanon. Ethnic-cleansing, massacres perpetrated by Zionist militias at the time of independence, unrelenting occupation of the West Bank since 1967, the repression and impoverishment of the Gazans, and the routine humiliation of Israel’s Arab second-class citizens have created deep grievances that are only made worse by Netanyahu and those who support him.”

    “Although it should have happened long ago, now would be a good time for the U.S. government to end the relationship and start seeing Israel as a rogue and aggressor nuclear power?”

    stop vetoing UN Security Council resolutions that condemn Israel for its daily violations of human rights, and stop impeding Palestinian efforts to set up an independent country

    WOW.

    Just. WOW.

    1. “WOW.

      Just. WOW.”

      now, if we could only find ways to insert GIFs into threaded comments we’ll be halfway to catching up with Gawker (shakes fist) We’ll Get You!!

    2. Functional democracy is a stretch when 4.5 people under their control can’t vote because of their heritage.

      1. Rufus probably thinks South Africa in the Apartheid era was a functional democracy too.

  6. “…Maybe Israeli politicians will act more responsibly if they don’t have the American people to fall back on…”

    Because being a liberal democracy in a sea of madness does not require responsibility. No way.

    “…21% of Israel’s 8 million inhabitants are of Palestinian heritage, but turnout among them has been low in recent elections, standing at just 54% in 2013…”

    Wait. 21%? I thought Israel was irresponsible. I mean, despite being told they will be ‘thrown into the sea’ they still accept Palestinians AND have Arab representation in the Knesset!

    Richman has a strange definition of responsibility.

    1. (cont.)

      “They can’t afford to distance themselves from Netanyahu and alienate Jewish sources of campaign donations…”

      So. They (Democrats and Jews contributors) have no principles? I always thought, generally, American-Jews took a similar stance to Richman regarding Israel.

      “in a bid to shore up his right-wing base, he was interpreted as reversing a commitment he made in 2009, after he had returned to power, the same year that Barack Obama took office. The campaign reversal put Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in a most uncomfortable position…”

      Isn’t this called ‘evolving’? Like Obama did with gay marriage. In any event, given how dysfunctional American foreign policy it’s not out of the realm of possibility Obama didn’t read about it in the news. Off to Jimmy Kimmel!

      “…The Palestinians reject a new demand that they formally recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people (everywhere)….”

      Rather problematic wouldn’t you say? If this was on the table, and Israel still acted with aggression then I’d be more moved to say Israel should back off. Until then, like any normal person or nation, stand pat.

      “But in a goalpost-moving action…”

      Riiight. Because the Palestinians/Arabs don’t move goal posts.

      This was a ridiculous piece by Richman.

      1. It seems that the Palestinian goalposts tend to fly through the air and explode when they land.

      2. “This was a ridiculous piece by Richman.”

        Does he write any other kind?

    2. Is it really so mad?

      Besides, they picked that joint to settle down in after 2,000 years of “exile” and mixing w/ outsiders.

      The average Jew, like the average Palestinian, is only partly descended from the ancient inhabitants of the land. So they’ll have to fight to make up that 20-70% difference. 😉

  7. Shorter Richman:

    Teh Joooooos are evil and I hate myself.

    1. I can’t tell if you’re actually making fun of such a charge because it sounds so ridiculous (‘I hate myself!’)

    2. Is there any more shameful kind of neo Nazi in the world than a Jewish neo Nazi?

      1. It’s such an absurd concept you’d think it’d make you drop it.

  8. i love how the Palestinians have evolved init the perfect victim for progressives. The claim that Palestinians are all saying “two state solution” like they actually don’t want the total destruction of Israel is the “hands up don’t shoot” of this debate. It fits the prog narrative, who gives a shit if it’s completely false.

    Oh and bitching about how Israelis “voted” against Arabs shows how bad they are. Please note the Israelis notices Arabs were being transported to vote on buses. They didn’t blow up the buses with suicide bombers like happens when the make up of the people on the buses is flipped around.

    Sheldon is a fool. The group that electret terrorists to lead them are the poor victims, and the group that lets people who align with forces that want their destruction actually vote are all racists.

    This story is fucking ridiculous.

    1. Palestinian/Arabs = Michael Brown/Trayvon Martin?

      1. As victims the left rallied behind regardless of how their actions contributed what happens to them, Yes.

    2. Man, do I hate my phone’s spell checker.

      1. “Man, do I hate my phone’s spell checker.”

        A self-hating spell checker?

        1. It should hate itself, it really sucks at its job.

    3. Palestinian two state solution: one for Hamas and one for the PLO.

      1. One state with equal rights for all.

        Seriously, how racist to you have to be to oppose that?

  9. OT:

    Kennedy sees ghosts:

    http://twitchy.com/2015/03/21/…..een-photo/

    1. I don’t believe in ghosts and suspect it’s a prank, but it is pretty creepy

      1. The Romney photo at the bottom was creepier.

  10. Fuck Bibi. He wants the USA to invade and occupy Iran so he can feel all comfy and safe. How one of you Peanuts who claim to be “libertarian” can support this asshole I have no idea.

    Oh, you’re really just Dick Cheney chickenhawk conservatives. I forgot for a moment.

    1. And why, pray tell, should he NOT want that? We don’t have to give it to him, but there’s no rational reason he shouldn’t want it.

    2. Hey shitbag, as a war vet, let me tell you to fuck off right now. You cowardly piece of shit. Imagine Israel actually in wanting to get nuked by Iran. What assholes, right?

      You are nothing but an anti Semitic cunt bag. Kill yourself. No one could possibly ever love you. God knows your family will pop the champagne.

  11. I’m not sure I particularly care what the answer is (*since i expect it will attract the Usual Suspects of retards already present), but is there some reason a “principled non-interventionist” takes such interest in the internal workings of some other sovereign nation?

    I completely agree US aid should be cut off – to Israelis, Egyptians… and everyone else. Not from a non-interventionist POV so much as a “WTF are we getting for our money”-perspective.

    Aside from that – how is their business in any way our business?

    I do think the US and Israel *should* probably have strategic security alliances, and that we should be interested in their well-being for a variety of reasons that are beyond venally-political…but then, I’m a ‘realist’ and don’t posture about the moral superiority of hypothetical isolationism.

    But I find it odd that someone who outright rejects the traditional tools of diplomacy/trade/foreign relations is suddenly interested in engineering a non-state (palestine) into existence via force of UN/multilateral pressure

    1. Non intervention doesn’t mean giving up judgements about what goes on in other nations, it just means not intervening in their situations. All Richman calls for us to do is to stop intervening via aid financial and diplomatic

      1. Which I would take a great deal more seriously if I thought for one fat instant that he wouldn’t raise bloody hell if Israel decided to go scortched earth in the Palestinian settlemens (which they would have ample justification for doing) and we didn’t immediately intervene.

        1. I think he’s ok to consistently be for non intervention and still have strong opinions about what Israel (or any country) should or shouldn’t do as long as he doesn’t advocate intervening.

          1. Let’s talk about the Sheldon Richman who actually exists and not how we wish he’d be.

            1. Can you site him being inconsistent in the way I described?

    2. “I do think the US and Israel *should* probably have strategic security alliances,””
      – I am not so sure. At this point the cost is much more than the benefit.

      1. yes, opposing evil and being a good friend is a lot harder than just letting innocent people twist in the wind.

        1. *opposing evil*
          They don’t oppose you, so it is not universal is it?

          Not to mention apartheid and some other stuff that might be seen by objective observers as also not opposing evil.

          But then again, you advocate for genocide, so I wouldn’t take your word on what opposing evil is.

  12. God forbid any of our allies apply Richman’s foreign policy calculus to their relationships with us. Netanyahu may be more hawkish than is helpful, but that doesn’t mean we should subsequently torpedo our relationship with what is, quite frankly, one of the only nations in the Middle East that actually respects human rights. It ain’t perfect by a long shot, but it’s not a ruthless dictatorship nor is it a Muslim theocracy. As much as Palestinians have a legitimate right to complain, they have legal protections within Israel that Israeli Jews sure as fuck would not have anywhere else in the region.

    Yeah, Bibi isn’t exactly leading the kumbayas around the drum circle, but he was elected by the Israelis. Remember when the Palestinians got the vote and responded by electing a fundie terrorist organization? But we were supposed to respect their decision and pretend that they were even slightly interested in peaceful negotiations? Let’s apply that same logic to Israel, otherwise we tiptoe dangerously close to hypocrisy.

    Or we can go the Richman route and expel Israel’s diplomats because they elected a leader we don’t like. And then our allies who’ve been snubbed or left dangling in the breeze by Obama can do the same to us.

  13. yet they are visibly uncomfortable with his so openly racist fear-mongering about Israeli Arab voters?”The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them in buses.”

    I’m no fan of the Israeli govt, but how is that racist? Is it racist to recognize that Israeli Arabs don’t like Likud? Is it racist to recognize GOTV efforts of the other side?

    Or is this some sort of lefty extension to Godwin’s Law, whereby if you mention an ethnicity in connection with politics you’re automatically racist?

    1. So if Obama said on BET ‘brothers and sisters, you must turn out because the whites are voting in droves!’ we’d hear no outrage here? Lol

      1. I think a more relevant analogy would be claims that Pres. Obama is importing Messicans so they can vote for Democrats.

        1. As far as I can tell, Netanyahu was talking about Israeli Arabs who are legitimate voters. He’s talking about GOTV, not voter fraud.

          1. In that case my analogy doesn’t apply too well.

            1. So, do Arab politicians warn voters about Jewish GOTV efforts in their national elections?

      2. You’d hear a lot more laughter than outrage here, I think.

        Both sides say roughly the same thing, without being quite that blunt, in every presidential election. It’s not racist at all to recognize voter blocs.

      3. “So if Obama said on BET ‘brothers and sisters, you must turn out because the whites are voting in droves!’ we’d hear no outrage here? Lol”

        Hasn’t that been Jesse Jackson’s primary go-to speech since the 1970s?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H6vazOz018

        If you’re in a hurry, start in at about 4:50.

        He’s been making that speech for at least 45 years!

        I grew up in DC, where Captain 20 used to broadcast excerpts from Jesse’s sermon the Sunday before–in between cartoons.

        The question to ask is what would happen if Jesse went on BET and started criticizing Obama.

        1. The question to ask is what would happen if Jesse went on BET and started criticizing Obama.

          “Damn good television!”

        2. The question to ask is what would happen if Jesse went on BET and started criticizing Obama.

          Damn good television!

      4. You’d hear very little actually, as evidenced by this.

        https://youtu.be/f7Q1I6PIIuY?t=67s

        1. You’re missing the point about Biden. He was being metaphorically poetic.

          /sticks tongue on frozen post.

      5. The left appeals to different identity groups all the time to get out and vote. It’s the only way they win elections. They mocked the electorate in the last cycle as just being a bunch of white people whose power is waning. They talk about old white men all the time in a derogatory sense.

        There is no one in this thread who would want to live in a country with a strong Muslim minority with real political influence besides a few batshit individuals like Michael whatever the fuck his name is. Despite your ridiculous attempt to draw a false equivalency above, there’s objective facts that support the position that Arabs are batshit crazy. And Israel is the only country in the region in the region (a Jewish one that is supposedly an apartheid state) that respects their human rights to begin with.

        An Arab in Palestinian territory has fewer rights than in Israel.

        1. An Arab in Palestinian territory has fewer rights than in Israel.

          Ouch the truth burns….It burns us, wicked fat Hobbit.

        2. Are you thinking of Michael Moore?

    2. “Is it racist to recognize that Israeli Arabs don’t like Likud?”

      I suspect a lot of American interpret this stuff through their own experience with immigration from Latin America–as if it’s somehow the same.

      I’m an open borders guy myself. So long as immigrants aren’t convicted criminals, don’t have a communicable disease–and aren’t terrorists–I think they should just be able to swipe their ID and come across the border.

      But that isn’t transferable to what’s going on in Israel. I’ve suggested here before that if the Democrats really want to support equal treatment for Palestinians, they should put their money where their mouth is. Offer the people from Gaza citizenship there in the United States! Bring them to Massachusetts and San Francisco by the thousands. All those people living under and supporting Hezbollah and Hamas, too–if they can’t get the right of return, then give them American citizenship!

      Why not? What are you, some kind of racist?!

      Same thing with Israeli Arabs. If you’re really not worried about them being any kind of security threat, then why doesn’t the Democratic Party offer them asylum–by the thousands–here in the U.S.?

    3. How is it anything other than racist? Bibi was telling his supporters that they should be scared of fellow Israeli citizens were voting, just because of those voters’ race.

    4. Any action inconvenient for The Left is racist sexist and homophobic. Speciest too.

  14. I’m one of the few who doesn’t care about Israel or Palestine. I am just pissed off that a foreign leader is over here whipping up support for a multi-trillion dollar war he believes we should wage on his behalf.

    1. Oh fuck off buttplug. You only care because Obama ordered your lazy brain to dislike Netanyahu.

      1. It really is just about Obama with them.

        “Was it good for Obama?” is their first, last, and only question–about any and every issue.

        1. Well, they already hated Palestine as a collective and the progs have taken over teh Democratic party entirely. But the recent outrage over this election and against an Israeli politician most of them know next to nothing about? Yea, that’s all about him daring to snub Obama.

          1. Bibi the Rat wants us to invade and occupy Iran at the cost of $-trillions. I don’t give a damn about their internal politics.

            Iraq is a total disaster. Iran will be too.

            1. “Bibi the Rat wants us to invade and occupy Iran at the cost of $-trillions.”

              Yes, and that’s exactly what he said, too.

              We know it’s a fact because Palin’s Buttplug said so.

              Doesn’t Palin’s Buttplug ever get tired of making a laughing stock of everything he says and everything he thinks?

              Does he even take himself seriously anymore?

              Did he ever?

              1. If someone made a monkey comment with regards to Obama or any person who was black, people of Buttplug’s ilk would be crying racist. But calling the leader of Israel a rat? A-OK. It’s amazing how minorities that don’t depend on the Democratic machine for their livelihood are treated differently.

            2. PB
              Do not disparage rats.
              -Ratbertarian

            3. Iraq was under control until your master, Obama, got his hands on it. His ‘deal’ is going to end up causing WW3. And your hands will be steeped in blood because of your unwavering support for one of the most evil pieces of shit in current history.

              Good job you fucking shitbag.

        2. I’m waiting for them to introduce L?se-majest? laws.

    2. As we all know, Chocolate Nixon never goes to other countries and makes speeches to their parliaments in support of his agenda!

      1. He did qualify his statement with “foreign”. It’s fine when Obama does it.

      2. Not wars others should engage in on behalf of the USA.

        NAP my ass. The interventionist Cons are out in full force here.

        1. Or, most of us realize that America isn’t invading Iran just because he gave a speech to Congress.

          1. That would require you not to be a profoundly broken sycophant like Mr. Buttplug.

          2. Nor did he ask us to. Just not make a fucked up deal that Iran will never live up to. But PB has his own ‘facts’. All prigs do. just like children playing with blocks. Except the children are much smarter, and more informed.

    3. “I am just pissed off that a foreign leader is over here whipping up support for a multi-trillion dollar war he believes we should wage on his behalf.”

      Um, Obama kowtows to “foreign leaders” all the time. Sometimes literally. The Democrats clapped like trained seals whenever Mexican presidents come here speak in congress. (Vicente Fox infamously said “Mexicans do work even blacks won’t do”). And it’s not like Obama sent paper airplanes and toy drones into the middle east

      Face it dude, Obama and progressives don’t like Israel. He wouldn’t treat some African dictator who spews homophobia as he treat Netanyahu. The guy breaks protocols for breakfast, but insisted that Netanyahu’s speech is against protocol. His yes men have known to curse Bibi. Then his cronies poured in money in the Israeli election and lost.

      Most Arabs detest Israel and / or support violent actions against them. That’s fact. There’s nothing even remotely racist about what Bibi said. If North Koreans could vote in the ROK, their president would express similar sentiments.

  15. Maybe you should pull your head out of your ass Sheldon cause Israel is the ONLY functioning liberal democracy in the fucking fucked up Middle East!!! What other Middle Eastern country allows gay pride parades and treats homosexuals as human beings? The closest other Middle Eastern countries come to gay rights is how you prefer death. What other Middle Eastern country has real rights for women to vote, participate and serve in political office? Outside of Israel, women are treated as property and get acid thrown on them if they refuse to be married off to some stranger. What other Middle Eastern country treats Jews as human beings?! Cause in other places in the region, they’re looked at the same way they were in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s. As filth! Israel has reached out for peace with the Palestinians by giving them back the Gaza Strip in the early 2000s. And how do they repay Israel after given back territory? They fucking launch rockets at them to obliterate Israel off of the face of the fucking planet!!! While I don’t agree with Netanyahu 100% of the time, he’s in the right on the essentials. He’s only doing what’s necessary for Israel’s very survival in a region where its neighbors want to fucking annihilate them!!! You make me feel embarrassed and ashamed as a libertarian!!! Might as well go join the Obama camp!!! Though one thing we can agree on is eliminating aid to Israel as I don’t think that necessary.

    1. Israel doesn’t need us to invade Iran to fight off the Islamist plague.

      1. Israel didn’t ask us to you stupid fuck. Why do you keep saying that? Did you have a ‘re-imagining of his speech to Congress?

        Obtuse piece of shit.

    2. I love this Orwellian stuff. Israel is the only civilized society in the region, therefore we must mindlessly support its relentless campaign of bombing its neighbors into the stone age!

      1. A wild Tony appears, peak derp is close.

      2. Yes, Tony. As we speak there is a relentless bombing campaign of Israeli jets pounding its ‘neighbors’ positions with ordinance.

        How about this….there will be no military incursion into Gaza ever again if Gaza never again starts lobbing rockets into Israel. Pretty simple.

        And, by the way, they are already in the stone age, no need to send them back.

        1. “And, by the way, they are already in the stone age, no need to send them back.”

          Yep.

        2. “And, by the way, they are already in the stone age, no need to send them back.”

          Yep.

      3. Which of its neighbors is Israel “bombing into the stone age” currently, Tony? I’m genuinely curious, because I do try to pay attention to world events and so forth, and yet I haven’t heard a peep about this massive bombing campaign that has left the countries bordering Israel nothing more than smoking ruins.

        There must be a really, really impressive conspiracy to keep this out of the public eye. You must be very proud at having sniffed it out. What a service you do the world by airing this out for those of us without your unique gifts of investigation!

      4. No one is ‘mindlessly supporting’ Israel. Rather, we recognize the predicament they’re in and can sympathize with it.

        Liberal progressives tend to under play the role of Palestinians and Arabs in all this choosing to ‘mindlessly’ (more like lazy) characterize them as ‘victims.’

      5. Ever notice that Tony appears after about 5 or 6 of shreeks idiocies? Could Tony be the queer side of shreek?

      6. Of what bombing does your dumb ass speak?

    3. How can an Apartheid state be a “liberal democracy”?

  16. Americans are so STUPID they deserve to be our, the Jewish peoples’, lapdog. 90% of Americans don’t even realize that we, the Jewish people, introduced modern day terrorism to the world by bombing the King David Hotel.

    Hell, Americans are so STUPID 90% of them don’t even realize the state of Israel bombed one of their navy ships in 1967, the USS Liberty, killing their fellow stupid Americans.

    So Americans, shut up and give us, the Jewish people, our billions of dollars in support every year and remain as STUPID as you are now! Understand?

    1. only morons use the CAPS button to make a point

      1. Jimm — Obviously you are an anti semite.

        Only morons spell Jim with 2 m’s to make a point.

    2. Another of Richman’s intellectual fellow travelers got lost on the way to stormfront i guess.

      1. Rightnut — Besides being an anti semite, are you also a racist?

        1. Are you just being so sarcastic i can’t tell?

    3. I understand things far beyond your limited comprehension. You would do well to shut up and listen to your betters. Which is just aobut everyone.

  17. every nation state, empire, etc for all of human history can claim that heritage

  18. One case to be made is that Israel acts MORE responsibly if it needs to keep being big/little brother to the US foreign policy establishment. The theory being that an unmoored Israel could go the full Avigdor Lieberman and be a staight up apartheid/ethnic cleansing state.

    Kissinger made the point in his memoirs that the Arab states never really bought into Soviet attempts to rope them in to their sphere of interest because the USSR could not get Israel to agree to or give up anything. Whereas the US could, and it gave Washington influence over both sides.

    Kissinger was a fucking piece of shit IMO, mind, but to be fair his memoirs were interesting as far as insights into geopolitical dynamics.

    For me, I’d just let that whole hellhole part of the world fight it out amongst themselves and then do business with whomever wins in the end. But I’m not angling after Florida’s electoral votes so there is that.

    1. So you would be perfectly happy with a Jewish genocide?

  19. This thread is begging to be nuked from space.

    1. Why? It brings the warmongers out of the closet.

      1. the retard ratio is nearing total-saturation. I understand if you don’t notice so much.

      2. Most of the comments in this response thread have advocated or agreed with cutting off financial aid to Israel. The only war mongering here is coming from the strawmen you’ve built up inside your pea-sized brain.

  20. Ah! Yes! The truth is racist.
    But a government charter that calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people – not so much.

    A call for genocide by a government isn’t worthy of comment when it is in fact the very root of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    “……. so that it can regularly bomb and embargo Palestinians in the Gaza Strip prison camp.”

    The fact that the embargo and the bombing are retaliatory and preventative clearly doesn’t fit your narrative. That they are caused by the very clearly racist governmental declaration of Hamas is either too difficult for you to comprehend or perfectly acceptable to you.

    Clearly you shouldn’t be writing any articles at a site with the title “Reason”.

    1. People like Richmond are the reason I find myself constantly defending a country I don’t view as a worthwhile ally and would gladly stop supporting beyond making sure they aren’t whiped off the map. His arguments are absurd and hypocritical for a list of reasons, but yours are up near the top. In order to push a narrative, the anti-Israel crowd has to create a bunch of false equivalencies while ignoring a host of evil done by one party.

      And the complete dismissal of the Holocaust and the role the west/Europe played in founding Israel tends to be glossed over unless its to take a quick shot at imperialism before moving on. The same crowd that talks about institutional racism and white privilege tend to be the first to condemn Israel…ignoring that the Jew was Europe’s nigger for about a millenia and killed by the millions within the last century. When the Jews established Israel, there was no where else for them to go because most countries once again shut their doors and the alternative was going back to the places where their neighbors had participated in or sat back while they were led off to be slaughtered. And we still have virulent anti-Semitism in Europe today. It’s not some relic of the past.

      The Palestinians got a raw deal, but they’ve played a large role into turning the situation into what it is today along with the rest of their Muslim/Arab brethren who feign concern for their plight.

      1. “And the complete dismissal of the Holocaust and the role the west/Europe played in founding Israel tends to be glossed over unless its to take a quick shot at imperialism before moving on.”

        Speaking of glossing over, how about the dismissal of the role of Socialism, Kibbutzes, Bolsheviks, Statism etc in the founding of Israel. It was the Soviet Union under Comrade Stalin who first recognized the state of Israel. And Noam Chomsky had to return to the US after his early visit there complaining of heavy Stalinist infestation. Normally anything associated so deeply with Communism is dismissed tout court by commenters here.

        1. Do you have a point?

          1. He doesn’t have a point besides making some flimsy connection between Israel and communism to point out the supposed hypocrisy of libertarians. Only, as is usually the case, his history is wrong. Both America and the Soviets recognized Israel at about the same time, and the ‘Stalinist’ elements Chomsky complained about were the left wingers in Israel rather than society as a whole. So, Chomsky went to Israel and didn’t feel welcomed by his fellow Marxists who he naturally commingled with.

          2. “Do you have a point?”

            I’m so pleased you asked. I tried to point out that Israel had its roots in Socialism as much as the Holocaust.

            1. And that is pertinent how?

              1. How does any nation’s history inform its culture? I know the Holocaust is pertinent because it is constantly being raised in discussions, you can see it here in multiple mentions, especially by those who would defend Israel and Zionism.

                Israel’s Stalinist legacy, not so many mentions. I’m sure nobody has mentioned this but me. Consider the darkest days of Stalinism. Who bore the brunt of it? I’m guessing you would say the Ukrainians. The plight of the Kazakhs who lost about half their population during that period goes forgotten and unmentioned as unworthy victims. Soviets justified the atrocities in much the same terms as used by Israel’s apologists of today. Seeing any pertinence yet?

                  1. As the good book says, we might be done with the past, but the past ain’t done with us.

        2. If only some Stalinist had cut Noam’s throat.

      2. Sheldon Richman belongs on a watch list for people with Marxist sympathies.

    2. The notion that Israel’s oppression of Gaza is “retaliatory and preventative” is factually wrong.

  21. Is gender meaningless, or does it mean sex? How is a person’s sex determined? By chromosomes? In that case there are alternatives beyond simply male or female.

    I suspect you are another idealist here who believes that there are transcendental categories like male and female, and individuals who do not fit the mold are faulty and inadequate to the extent they differ from these ideals. I would have thought that this position was profoundly at odds with Libertarianism which stresses the freedom of the individual to create their own lives.

  22. Not that I think it has a chance of happening, but the U.S. government should cease all taxpayer aid to the Israeli government, stop vetoing UN Security Council resolutions that condemn Israel for its daily violations of human rights, and stop impeding Palestinian efforts to set up an independent country (with membership in the International Criminal Court, etc.). The United States should withdraw from the Middle East and enter into a detente with Iran (which is not developing a nuclear weapon). This would have an immediate dividend: we would not be driven to war with Iran by Netanyahu, the Lobby, and its neoconservative Republican and Democratic stooges in Congress.

    I’ve been suggesting this for years. The kindest response I’ve gotten has been dirty looks. More frequently I am labelled and anti-Semite, would-be Hitler, etc. If Israel wants to join the US, they can apply to become the 51st (or 58th) state. Aside from that, it’s time to take them off the dole.

  23. Man, the weekend really brings out the Weigel/Botard clones in force.

  24. “Maybe Israeli politicians will act more responsibly if they don’t have the American people to fall back on.”

    And maybe the Palestinians would be more reasonable if they didn’t have the World Confederation of Nitwit Leftists? to fall back on?.

    All the handwringing over the Palestinians is an attempt to ignore one of the iron laws of history; if you lose a war, bad things happen to you. And if you were on the side of the initial attackers, I have scant sympathy for you. The Palestinians are the descendants of the Palestinian Arabs who sided with the attacking Arab nations in 1948. The Arab nations had a moral obligation to take them in (having gotten them into that mess in the first place) and ducked it because A) the Arab nations are a bunch of opportunistic bastards and B) the Palestinians were more useful to the Arab nations where they were.

    Fuck the Arabs. Fuck the Palestinians. Fuck all terrorists with a barbed dildo. And especially fuck all the Fashionable Lefty Twits who have been parading their bogus Moral Superiority by supporting the Palestinians for the last sixty years. Is the Jewish State of Israel perfect, or totally fair? No. Which in no way justifies the more than six decades of murderous utter bullshit we have tolerated from the other side.

    1. “All the handwringing over the Palestinians is an attempt to ignore one of the iron laws of history; if you lose a war”

      Maybe if someone were to tell the Palestinians that they lost. They don’t seem to realize it yet. They never surrendered and they continue to resist. Did you know only a few months ago they fired hundreds of missiles into Israel? Is that the action of someone who lost a war?

      “Fuck the Arabs. Fuck the Palestinians. Fuck all terrorists with a barbed dildo. ”

      Thanks for sharing that, but instead of fucking the Palestinians, Israel should defeat them or make peace with them. I can’t see how Israel will benefit in the long run from endless war.

      1. The problem with your position is that every time the Israelis make serious moves toward defeating the Palestinians, the Leftwing Intellectuals proceed to have a cow, and international pressure (i.e. United States pressure) makes them stop.

        1. “The problem with your position”

          It’s not my position that has the problem. It’s Israel’s. They can choose to either extinguish Palestinian resistance or attempt to, or make Leftist intellectuals happy. So far they’ve accomplished neither. Were you aware that recently Israel exchanged over 1000 terrorists held in captivity for 1 Israeli captive? Not because of US pressure. This tells me the Israelis are not up to this fight. The Palestinians have not lost, and the Israelis are not willing to fight.

      2. You can’t make peace with someone who is only interested in exterminating you. How do you not understand something as simple as that.

    2. Well said.

  25. For a supposed Non-Interventionist Richman is quite fond of the UN and the ICC. Who pray tell is supposed to enforce these decisions? And doesn’t the US give the Palestinians money too? Richman didn’t mention that at all.

  26. So does Richman support UN Security Council decisions condemning regimes the US does not like?

  27. a detente with Iran

    More hypocrisy. The US-USSR d?tente was far from non-interventionist.

  28. Even Hamas has said it was willing to defer to the secular Fatah and the Palestinian Authority

    So trustworthy.

    1. Even Hamas has said it was willing to defer to the secular Fatah and the Palestinian Authority

      Was that before or after Hamas massacred Fatah and its supporters in Gaza?

  29. The sophistry here is that much trouble in the Middle East can be traced to Israel’s injustice against the Palestinians and belligerence toward its neighbors, especially the repeated devastating invasions of southern Lebanon.

    Oh, can it, Sheldon? Alright, then go on and trace it. Walk me along the lines of causation from the Six-Day War to ISIS attacking the Kurds. Or just any specific Israeli atrocity that directly led to the formation and propagation of the modern jihadist movement.

    Christ on a crutch, you’re as bad as these idiots who claim that ISIS is a Zionist conspiracy. You’d have a much easier time pinning these lunatics on the British via Churchill, but then you’d have to abandon your knee-jerk response to Israel.

    It’s interesting that Richman doesn’t feel so strongly in favor of the Bolsheviks, another group of plucky independence fighters who struggled against oppression… /sarc

    1. Are you seriously trying to claim that ISIS is the only problem in the Middle East?

      1. The main problem in the Middle East is the widespread support for theocratic totalitarianism, of which ISIS is the distilled essence.

  30. Are these Jewish-only towns that you write of Jewish-only by law or force of arms? Or did they just happen to be built by Jews & inhabited by Jews, such that Gentiles simply aren’t interested in living there?

    You’ve got it the wrong way around, as many observers do. The call for Jews to stay out of certain territories is the wrong, the imposition on freedom. Ironically, Israel has tried to make those territories Jew-free. How are people determined to be “occupying”? Solely by their religion! The real estate is there, so why should it be religiously segregated by law?

  31. If we cut foreign aid to Israel, it will seriously damage our relationship with the one free spot in the middle east. They can probably defend themselves, but it could seek (broader) partnership with other allies – maybe Russia. Or any superpower that wants a foothold in the middle east.

    I imagine there will be some wealthy Jews who decide to disinvest in the United States. If Obama acted on Richman’s advice, the breakup is going to be bitter and lingering. And it might further empower the likes of ISIS.

    1. I never understood the notion that Israel was some kind of foothold into the Middle East. They are incapable of assisting America in any of its military actions in the region due to it being politically impractical (even if they were actually willing). They can’t be used as a legitimate staging point for any realistic war America would fight there nor would it be necessary to use Israel as any sort of launching off point. What kind of foothold do they provide, then? America’s support for Israel stems from WW2 and emotional appeals to Israel being ‘right.’ In every practical or geopolitical way they are a burden. None of that even touches on the fact that they’ve done shady shit directly counter to America’s interests and wishes. They aren’t even a lapdog like the British and yet they hold far more sway over American internal politics than probably any other foreign nation.

      So, any argument on the practical advantages of having Israel as an ally are lost on me entirely. What you’re left with are the appeals to emotion.

      1. Could you point out an ally worth having then? I’m not being facetious I’m just curious about what your bar is.

        1. He would just sit back and let them all die.

      2. Think of it like S. Korea.

      3. If I saw three guys beating you to death in an alley, I could make a similar argument about you. I bet you would beg like a wino for me to come save your ass though, wouldn’t you?

      4. “I never understood the notion that Israel was some kind of foothold into the Middle East. ”

        They’re an oasis of civilization in a sea of barbarity.

        But I agree, having them there doesn’t do us any good. Better for everyone if they abandoned the Middle East to the savages.

    2. Just how “free” is Israel? Did you also consider Apartheid-era South Africa to be a “free” nation?

  32. Make you a deal; we cut off all foreign aid to Israel AND all other nations, and we arrest and put on trial each and every leftwing twit who has given money to Hamas, or any other imternational organization with ties to terrorism …. Including the U.N.

  33. Huh? Whenever I read the “pro” Palestinian, anti-Israeli position, I’m always left wondering whether you’ve ever bothered to study history, or if you simply assume that history began whenever you started paying attention.

    The fact is that the Palestinians collaborated with the Nazis, so the idea that they had “nothing” to do with the Holocaust is just historically inaccurate.

    The fact is that Britain, the UN & the Israelis have offered the Palestinians a state on multiple occasions & they’ve always said no, preferring instead to launch genocidal wars against the Jews (or – as mentioned above – to collaborate with the Nazis).

    The fact is that there’s never been 1 – not even 1 – Arab leader who has called for a Jewish state in Palestine IN ARABIC! That is, they all claim that the 2 state solution will be 2 Arab states, not 1 Jewish, 1 Arab whenever they’re speaking to their own people. How can the Israelis cut deals with leaders who won’t even discuss peace with their own people? & why would the Israelis think the deal would be worth anything since it would not – by definition – reflect the popular will? That is, whoever signs that deal will be another Sadat aka DEAD!

    The reality is that the Israel and Israel alone is expected to “make deals” with terrorists for the “sake” of humanity; Israel and Israel alone is expected to forsake the territorial gains it made in defensive wars for the sake of the genocidal maniacs who lost (or their heirs) those wars.

  34. All in all it warms me to know that Israel has the nukes Iran seeks. They also have a history they have determined to never suffer again. At some point, the 50, or 80, or is it 200 nukes Israel has will fly, and they do not possess any long range delivery systems.

    The mid east “problem” will be solved.

  35. Sheldon’s right. It is grossly irresponsible of Israel to tolerate the existence of Hamas in Gaza or the PA in the West Bank. It his high time Israel destroyed both, and the relationship with America is clearly responsible at least in part. Time to cut loose and kill bad guys.

    1. Nice to see that you’re on the record as supporting genocide.

  36. It’s Time to Rethink America’s Relationship With Israel

    yawn

    no its not shelly

  37. The history of the ME and the current geopolitical complexities are fascinating….but mostly irrelevant. In my opinion, our only current strategic interest is ensuring that Israel’s nukes don’t end up in the wrong hands. Short of that, we have no defensive benefit derived from supporting Israel with military aid. As a matter of fact, that support may actually place the US at risk be engendering the hatred of Israel’s neighbors. I would prefer the US to use its economic power and trade relationships to support nations in the region who espouse non-aggression and individual freedoms (and punish those that do not). And leave it at that.

  38. “Democrats especially are in a bind. They can’t afford to distance themselves from Netanyahu and alienate Jewish sources of campaign donations”

    That’s the thing. The majority of American Jews, particularly the ones who vote for and donate to Democrats, can’t stand Netanyahu.

  39. I swear to God Sheldon Richman is an Islamist. If he isn’t an Islamist, then he sure as hell sounds like one.

    After reading this article, I’m pretty certain Sheldon would be in favor of Israel becoming an Islamic state, guided by the fairness and equality of the Sharia doctrine.

    I’m sure Sheldon cannot wait to see how well that turns out for the only Jewish state in the world.

    Forgive the strong emotion driven language, but Sheldon and people like him are mentally retarded.

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  41. I have read a lot of drivel on this subject but this takes the prize. Detente with Iran, a nation who leaders on Sunday were chanting “Death to America”? The stupidity of the author and others with this position begins with their fundamental lack of understanding of what Islam is and its goals. Any deal with Iran is worthless because since the West are infidels, they are not required to keep the agreement under Sharia law. The only reason Iran is helping fight ISIS is they are Shiite and ISIS are Sunni, period. The war being wages by ISIS is only 18 miles from the Israeli border. Before people point fingers at Israel, they need to remember that in 1967 and again in 1973, Arabs nations attacked Israel with the goal of destroying it. FYI, the term “Zionist” is a racist term so using it and then calling Israelis racists is stupidity. There are alot of problems in the Middle East and the leaders of Israel have made mistakes in the past, but when it comes to who I think the US should trust, I will take the country who follows a faith that was the root of Christianity rather than those following one bent on destroying the faith and all of its followers.

  42. In fact we already know the answer the question posited by the author in his final two paragraphs. Since Obama threatened Netanyahu with a “reassessment” we have seen two announcements by the Israelis. They are going to release the Palestinian taxes seized when the Palestinians went to the UN, and they have put the settlements planned for the gap between Jerusalem and Bethlehem on hold.
    So now we know empirically that Putting pressure on Israel works a treat. But any good lawyer will tell you that parties only negotiate genuinely when they are put under pressure.
    The pressure needs to be ramped up.

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