Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The (Fifth) Great Anti-Zionist Strawman

We haven't done one of these in a while mostly because I haven't seen one completely illogical talking point repeated over and over again like a mantra in recent days. However, I have finally found one. This time I am quoting Bradley Burston, even though he is not an anti-Zionist, because in one of his recent columns he sums up the following talking point pretty well:
"There is no denying, however, that settlement construction, Palestinian disunity, and other factors are fast rendering the two-state concept impracticable. I say this with profound regret, as someone who still believes that two independent states would provide Israelis and Palestinians with their best chance for a future of freedom, justice, security and well-being."
I hear this all the time both on the Huffington Post and elsewhere. That time is running out for the two state solution and when settlements pass "X" where "X" is some number, then the two state solution will become impossible!!!!!!!

But when you look at that line of thinking, it just doesn't make any sense, and it never has. Who cares how far the settlements expand? The solution to them will always remain the same: The ones too far into the West Bank will be removed and the ones on the edge will be swapped out (or not) but they certainly won't be removed. That was the plan going back all the way to the 1990s and I see no reason at all to conclude that the circumstances have made it impossible.

"Aha," you may say, "but what if the settlements within the West Bank are too large to be removed? What happens then!" In that case the situation remains obvious: The Palestinians stop being racist and let Jews live in their country. Nobody needs to move anywhere. The only thing that would need to change would be Palestinian attitudes toward Jews. If the settlers don't want to become Palestinian citizens, they can leave. If they don't want to leave or become Palestinian citizens, a solution would have to be implemented that would be more reasonable than causing millions of people to relocate on both sides of the line.

When you look at it the presence of settlements cannot and will not ever cause "the death of the two state solution." Not as long as bulldozers exist and there is the tiniest hope that Palestinians can become more open minded than their leaders. But in that case why do so many people go around pushing this strawman, from both sides of the political spectrum?

I think that it is simply because they want it to be true, as Wizard's First Rule would agree. Bradley Burston wants his readers to believe that if they don't act now and vote Netanyahu out of power now and pressure their government to make concessions now that this fragile opportunity for peace will be lost. He wants to scare Israelis into signing up for his politics using this "death of the two state solution" as a stick for if they don't. It's hardly a new technique for politicians or activists, on the left or the right. As for our usual anti-Zionists friends, they also want it to be true. They think that if they can just not make peace for a while longer, than they will get that "one state solution" and death of Jewish freedom that they've always been hoping for, regardless of the facts.

If someone would like to correct me, I'm always open to suggestion. But I really think this viewpoint is missing key logical steps, so if anyone wants to see where I've been led astray please do so. But I don't think I have been.


  1. Simply cut to the core of all of this. Burston and all of his ilk openly cheer for a day when 'Palestine' will be ethnically cleansed of up to a fifth of its population which is Jewish. They advocate for 'two states': one of which is Jew free and the other which (in their minds) hopefully will be Jew free. If that doesn't make Burston an antizionist then the word has no meaning at all.

  2. Sure.

    In the world I live in, identifiable lawbreakers are prevented from breaking the law, and held to account if they do.

    On planet Israel/Zach they are allowed to continue their illegal activity, and get more people to join them in breaking the law knowing that they will get away scot-free.

  3. Anonymous,

    The question is not whether settlement activity is legal, the question is whether it will render the two state solution impossible.

    Do you have any opinions on that subject?

    1. The entirety of your "argument" is based on the unsanctioned illegal actions of Israelis.

      Your "the question is whether it will render the two state solution impossible" without any attempt to address the illegality of those acts, is its own strawman.

      My opinion is that Israel demonstrates, with every day that passes on which it fails to even begin sorting out the illegal settlements (and that means every single one of them - not just Migraine), that it has no sincerity in negotiating a peaceful resolution.

    2. Like I said. I don't particularly care or worry that you're a genocidal advocate of ethnic cleansing such that "Palestine" be rendered 100% Jew free (and, one would think, anything not Muslim free as well since obviously they're all in the sway of the magical demonic Uber-Ur-Jew as well...)

      All I require is that you have the courage of your own convictions to admit that you are. At least your heroes like Glenn Greenwald say openly that their one great regret in life is that they weren't able to march with the Nazis in Skokie Il back in that famous case in the late 1970's (an actual quote of Oberfuhrer Greenwald in his own column at

      So why not? Just stand up and wave the flag of ethnic cleansing - stand tall and remove all doubt.

      No? Then you're a coward. Or you're paid to look like one.

    3. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?


      You know nothing about me, but are able to project your hatred to the extent that you identify me as "a genocidal advocate of ethnic cleansing such that "Palestine" be rendered 100% Jew free."

      All of that without me advocating any ethnic cleansing, genocide, or even that the West Bank should be "Jew free."

      You, ma'am, are a sorry piece of work, and, assuming that you are Jewish, really should stop making Jewish people look bad by your example.

  4. Anonymous, a question cannot be a strawman. And the subject of this discussion is not the legality (or lack thereof) of the settlements or whether Israel is interested in negotiating a peaceful resolution.

    I say for now the third time: How would an expansion of settlements render a two state solution impossible?

    Unless you have something relevant to say, no further comments will be accepted. I have been patient with you so far but if you insist on cluttering up the thread with off topic meanderings I will not assist you in sharing them.

  5. "You, ma'am, are a sorry piece of work, and, assuming that you are Jewish, really should stop making Jewish people look bad by your example."

    Let us examine this particular sentence. This "person" makes an ad hominem attack on another poster, and proves his ill-will and prejudice by proclaiming that one Jewish person's beliefs or behavior can be made to stand for the entirety of world Jewry. Thirteen million people are thus held to be responsible for one Jew's actions. We all know how that ends.

    Would a creature such as this poster agree that he is making all Christians look bad by his ugliness and bigotry? Or all Moslems, if he is such? Would he agree that because of the anti-Semitic slaughter of the innocents by Mohammed Merah that ALL billion or so adherents of Islam are responsible for these vicious crimes and should thus be punished for them?

    Israeli building in Judea and Samaria are certainly legal, and do not in any way compromise the 2-state solution. This objection is simply a way for the Arabs to try to keep from having to come to the bargaining table in good faith.

    1. I cannot comment on the earlier part of your post, beyond that it looks like "Anonymous" responded to an ad hominem in kind.

      The Israeli constructions, appropriations of land etc., unless they are a military necessity (and they are not) are illegal. They contravene both the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Conventions, which the Supreme Court of Israel says are applicable.

      "The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. The long arm of the state in the area is the military commander. He is not the sovereign in the territory held in belligerent occupation (see The Beit Sourik Case, at p. 832). His power is granted him by public international law regarding belligerent occupation. The legal meaning of this view is twofold: first, Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been "annexed" to Israel. Second, the legal regime which applies in these areas is determined by public international law regarding belligerent occupation (see HCJ 1661/05 The Gaza Coast Regional Council v. The Knesset et al. (yet unpublished, paragraph 3 of the opinion of the Court; hereinafter – The Gaza Coast Regional Council Case). In the center of this public international law stand the Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907 (hereinafter – The Hague Regulations). These regulations are a reflection of customary international law. The law of belligerent occupation is also laid out in IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 (hereinafter – the Fourth Geneva Convention)"

      They have been highlighted, for many years, as obstructions to the peace process, by most states outside Israel, particularly America, and by the Palestinians themselves.

  6. Israel Supreme Court has never had a Mandate to Specifically decide the legality of the disputed territories. And they never have referred to it as Occupied "Palestinian" territories which is a propaganda expression adopted in '70's by the U.N. for political expediency. No laws' or regulations in International Law (Hague or Geneva Conventions)say people of a certain ethnicity are not allowed to live in the "occupied" territories. As long as it isn't forced transfer by the occupiers they should be allowed to live where they want.

    Anonymous and Anonymous 2 still avoid the question which Zach is asking because they don't want to admit he is right in the fact that it doesn't render the "2 or 3" State solution null & void.


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