November 5, 2007

Our “Contributions” To MidEast “Peace”. But First…

…This past week began with another one of those ambushes beginning in “…could you please…we really, really need…” and continuing along with a deadline-oriented project that consisted of writing a short but time-and-thought-consuming manual. To put things simply, whenever I freed up a little time to post, I was, to all intents and purposes, brain-dead.

So Friday, after Fed-Exing the finished product to the client, I determined to simply relax for a day (Saturday), get my head together, so to speak, watch a few DVDs and cook myself a humongous rib-eye from the best butcher shop in Chicago, accompanied by pasta with a jar-originated sauce — anyone who occasionally (or always) takes the shortcut of using pre-made pasta sauces might try Mezzetta’s Napa Valley Bistro brands, they make every other brand I’ve ever sampled pale to insignificance — that wasn’t a paid advertisement, it was a free endorsement from a devoted fan. A spinach salad with lots of grape tomatoes and Marie’s Creamy Italian Garlic dressing and about half a bottle of chiante classico rounded things out rather well…

I watched Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon (I am a major Humphrey Bogart fan, and especially enjoy the films he made with Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet) a few Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts and Dean Martin Variety Show episodes and, conversely, a totally insane Rob Zombie gorefest called House Of 1,000 Corpses.

Having said all that, one of the most disconcerting, though not at all surprising in the Track Records Department bits of news I’ve read in the last few days was about Condoleeza Rice consulting with Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in order to “benefit” from their Middle East Peace Talks experience.


What is she thinking?

Both of those administrations were failures in the Israeli/”Palestinian” arena, accomplishing nothing save for increased violence with a backdrop of Israel making mounds of concessions while the “Palestinians” honored none of their side of any agreements made.

Adding to that, Carter’s proven himself quite the anti-Israel lobbyist over the last few years.

George W. Bush’s “Roadmap” secured the release of beaucoup terrorists from Israeli prisons and subsequently resulted in Israel ceding territory to the “Palestinians”, territory the Arabs began utilizing, right off the bat, as launching platforms for terrorist attacks against Israel.

Every single “peace” accord in which we engage over there has identical results: Israel compromises more of her security and cedes more territory and the “Palestinians” gain additional one-way concessions.

Now Jerusalem has been thrown into the mix of diplomatic consideration.

Our (U.S.) involvement in the Israel-”Palestinian” relationship is a paradox: On one hand, we finance much of Israel’s self-defense capability via hundreds of millions of dollars, on the other hand we cripple Israel on the political/diplomatic stage.

Our diplomatic offerings over there are the epitome of profound idiocy.

Either we support Israel or we don’t.

I was a 100% supportive of Condi when she was first appointed. Her approach to the Israel/”Palestinian” millieu has changed my mind entirely.

We’re looking at a typical political appointee in a typical politics-first scenario: Support Israel with the right hand while allowing it to be gradually eroded and eventually destroyed by the left hand.

A column by Wesley Pruden (an icon of mine) gives a good example of those among my fellow Jews who have, unfortunately in large quantities, listed too far to port.

If at first you don’t succeed in making friends with a neighbor who’s forever dreaming of killing you, try again. If that doesn’t work, cry “mea culpa.” Then call your lawyer and make sure your will is up to date.

The notion that trusting your enemies against all evidence to the contrary is the most stubborn liberal pipe dream. If you wish upon a star hard enough, hold hands tight enough and sing kumbaya loud enough, dreams come true.

Right, as we once said, On!

Yosef Kanefsky, a prominent Orthodox Jewish rabbi in Los Angeles, detonated a fierce debate among Jews and their Christian allies here last week with his argument that maybe the insoluble, intractable standoff in the Middle East is the result of lies, or at least stretchers, told by Jews and evangelical Christians. And a few little white fibs told by misguided Muslims. A good place for repentance to start is to divide Jerusalem.

“The question of whether we could bear a redivision of Jerusalem is a searing and painful one,” he wrote in a provocative essay in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. “The Orthodox Union, National Council of Young Israel and a variety of other organizations, Christian Evangelical ones, are calling upon their constituencies to join them in urging the Israeli government to refrain from any negotiation concerning the status of Jerusalem at all, when and if the Annapolis [peace] conference occurs. …

“It’s not that I would want to see Jerusalem divided. It’s rather that the time has come for honesty. … [T]hese organizations are not being honest about the situation that we are in, and how it came about. And I cannot support them in this.”

Oh, yeah, as in almost every other venue in this cockamamie era, idiots are taking over. The rabbis who most figured into my much younger years were Boxer (deceased) and Spar, who Bar-Mitzva’d me. Both were conservatives, both religiously and politically.

Along came the liberals, introducing “reform” Judaism. Moral convenience over the laws set down in the Torah. Don’t stray too far while looking for comparable examples, just examine the Democrats here in the U.S. of A. Here, they simply do away with references to G-d altogeter and, in the same vein, treat the Constitution the way Reform Jews regard the Old Testament.

The fact that Kanefsky is an Orthodox Jew truly makes me wonder why he’s in the dhimmi camp rather than the Kahane camp.

Well, the rabbi, like the rest of us, at least in the West, is entitled. But it’s difficult to see how giving your enemies a “mea culpa” is a smart bargaining position when those enemies devoutly believe that with only a little more pressure you’ll cave. Rabbi Kanefsky goes further:

“No peace conference between Israel and the Palestinians will ever produce anything positive until both sides have decided to read the story of the last 40 years honestly. On our side, this means being honest about the story of how Israel came to settle civilians in the territories it conquered in 1967, and about the outcomes that this story has generated.”

This is the well-meant goodwill gesture that Israel’s enemies will take for an admission that the Palestinian radicals were right all along, that the Jews are as perfidious as the Islamic radicals have been saying they are, and their Crusader allies are just as bad. Conceding half of Jerusalem for nothing in return would further embolden the Palestinians to scorn the half-loaf when they can soon get the bakery

Nevertheless, the rabbi’s remarks are taken very seriously indeed. Several of his rabbinical colleagues praised his “bravery” and “courage,” though it’s not clear what bravery and courage have to do with anything, since rabbis, like Christian pastors, generally do not fear the beheadings, firebombings and similar tools of doctrinal suppression often employed in certain other places.

Mid-East (Israel, “Palestinian”) peace is a major political focus of every U.S. Government administration, be it Democrat or Republican.

Realistically, we should simply step aside and allow the Israelis and the Arabs to settle their differences. Every time we get involved, we kill more Israelis.

It’s not that our politicians and diplomats are ill intentioned, it’s just that they’re either naive, stupid or a combination of the two. Sort of like Rabbi Kanefsky.

I would really like to see Condi stand toe-to-toe with Abbas and say in level tones, “You folks never honor the obligations you assume in the course of these peace accords, yet you screech the second you don’t think Israel has honored theirs to the fullest extent to which you can milk them. You are not an honorable people. Until you have proven otherwise and civilized yourselves in the process, you will not receive a dime of U.S. largesse.”

Instead, she (and by extension, the administration) prefers to show us how lost she is on that front by consulting the architects of previous failure.

We are supposedly Israel’s friend — with a friend like us, who needs enemies?

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22 Responses to “Our “Contributions” To MidEast “Peace”. But First…”

  1. Ken Taylor Says:

    Consulting with Carter and Clinton is like asking the Fox to guard the henhouse. Why there is this obsurd fixation that both of these two liberal morons were so successful with the Israeli/Palsetinian thing is beyond me.

    If they did such a good job, why is it still a trouble spot in EXACTELY the same ways that it was while these two idiots were President. Isreal is our ally and as such deserves our FULL support regardless of what it takes for that support. Additionally they have been a better ally to us the we to them. How many times have they backed off of rightfully defending themselves when attacked to help US interests in the region.

    We have asked them to stand down in situations that would mirror Israel asking us not to attack Afghanistan after 9/11 because it may cause politcal trouble for them. They have been patient and have more than bent over backwards for the Palestinian state and still we expect more from them. Personally Condi should just let them loose and nuke the whole mess then clean up afterwards. Israel would be extremely justified in doing so!

    All Clinton and especially Carter are going to advise is to take more from Israel and give to the Palestinians. Remember both were good buddies with Arrafat and had him over for terrorist tea at the White House. I know that Bush has Condi working for the Palestinian State which would look good for the Bush legacy but constantly screwing Isreal in the process has got to stop.

  2. BB-Idaho Says:

    Not to worry: after talking with Clinton & Carter, she talked with Kissinger. Forgive me for thinking she will broker Mideast peace by invading Cambodia…

  3. Always On Watch Says:

    It’s not that our politicians and diplomats are ill intentioned, it’s just that they’re either naive, stupid or a combination of the two.

    But the end result is the same. Disaster.

    I have been absolutely incredulous that Condi Rice would consult, of all people, Jimmy Carter! Has she lost her mind?

  4. Seth Says:

    Ken –

    It does tend to make one a little frustrated (or berserk, in my case) when one watches, administration after administration, the same mistakes made over and over by people who, given their political leadership status, one might expect to have the ability to learn from predecessors’ mistakes, not emulate them.

    When the Israelis are packed into the last five acres our “peacemakers” haven’t negotiated away from them, they’ll need a large dome to protect them from terrorist attacks, not merely a wall.

    BB –

    I don’t see Cambodia as a practical invasion target, not when Venezuela is so much closer…

    AOW –

    If either Clinton or Carter had any kind of official standing, I’d think it was a case of high-level political butt munching. Since they don’t, and do in fact represent the ghosts of failures past, this move of Condi’s sure is a serious head-scratcher.

    Would she get into a cab that had two smashed headlights, a crumpled fender and a deeply dented front bumper?

    It also sends a message that the Bush Administration acknowledges the results of the two Democrats’ ill-fated attempts as successes. Not good.

  5. Angel Says:

    Condoleeza Rice consulting with Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in order to “benefit” from their Middle East Peace Talks experience. what a freak show Seth!
    You outdid yourself on this piece..sheer brilliance!:)

  6. Seth Says:

    Angel –


    If I lived in Israel and I learned that the U.S. was about to “negotiate” some more o’ them thar whatchamacallem, “peace talks”, my first thought would be, “BOHICA!” (bend over, here it comes again!)

  7. Goat Says:

    Dr.Rice has lost some of my respect but I will give her this, I would talk to Carter, Clinton and all their folks to find out where they failed and made ground. I can’t bash Condi on this point. That is her job, I would want to learn from the experiences of my predecesors as well, that is what diplomacy is about.

  8. Seth Says:

    Goat –

    Thus far, from administration to administration, no lessons have been learned. It’s always the same deal, and with Carter and Clinton, who both think they did the right things — neither has admitted failure — there won’t be much in the way of admitted mistakes.
    Everybody thinks they’re doing the right things when they negotiate over there, and they are so positive that diplomacy is always the answer that they fail to take into account or even accept that the “Palestinians” have a policy of agreeing to anything and everything as long as it gets them more free concessions from Israel, then breaking their treaties once they’ve gotten all they’re going to get.

    This has happened every single time one of our administrations has tried to make peace over there, and every time the Arabs make out like bandits while Israel gets the shaft and more Israelis die.

    The only useful input Condi could possibly glean from those two, input she’ll never hear from either of them, is that negotiating for peace between the Israelis and the “Palestinians” is a complete waste of time and taxpayers’ money, that the Arabs do not want peace, they want the Jews out of Israel, and their only interest in “negotiations” is that they always work out with the burden on the Israelis and “don’t have to be” honored by the Arabs.

    Mahmoud Abbas is in a great position here: He can negotiate, get concessions from Israel as the “moderate” fellow and money from us as the “moderate” fellow, then claim “I’m shocked, positively shocked!” when Hamas, Islamic Jihad or one of the other terrorist organizations goes on the warpath, “beyond his control”, while he is as much a terrorist as was Yassir Arafat and just as determined to take all of Israel away from the Jews by any means necessary.

    These people are made fools of every time they negotiate with these Arabs — they attempt to apply modern western sensibilities in a culture which, to all intents and purposes, is still living in a three digit century with all the superstition, savagery and lack of humanity of same.

    A society in which a 6 year old can have a hand or arm amputated for stealing a piece of fruit, where there are religious ceremonies during which men bang on their heads with stuff until they are bleeding profusely, where girls’ genitalia are mutilated at birth out of some religious rite, where women are routinely stoned to death for the “crime” of being raped? Where children are taught by their clergy that if they die murdering infidels, they will go to paradise and own 73 virgins?

    Carter certainly isn’t going to tell that to Condi, and neither is Clinton, so what’s left? Just the message that SecState is consulting with failures.

  9. Chicago Ray Says:

    Great post there Seth to begin with. Sorry for my rambling response, this matter has me upset as you and the others here appear to be as well, and rightfully so.

    The more any administration does to get involved in the Mideast crises’ the more they f*** it up. Not to mention that each and every president, left or right, wanted to be the president to “solve” the insolvable. Insolvable as the one side of the issue is the Palestinians who are not seekers of peace and want everything or nothing, and have always used nothing but violence to try and achieve their goals.They are bankrupt negotiating partners.

    But going into the meeting while stipulating that all the Palestinian demands be ceded by Israel prior to the actual meeting is the lowest any of the presidents have gone in this mess called the Middle East, simply unconscionable what they have done here and it’s surrender that they are actually siding with the Palestinian terrorists demands here.

    I am more in agreement with Michael Savage’s each day with his radical assessment of Condoleeza and her skills/abilities set, that’s utter failure for the most part. And for her to publicly cede that one needed to get input from the liberal traveling circus is to admit failure, similar to asking Carter what we should’ve done with the helicopters in Mogadishu that fateful day of Blackhawk down. And who worse to ask for Middle East input than the Jew hating Carter.

  10. Gayle Says:

    When you decide to make up for lost time, you sure outdo yourself. This is quite a post!

    I don’t understand our elected officials either, Seth. It’s weird that anyone in the present administration would even think of consulting with Carter, of all people! I also agree that with friends like the US, who need enemies? I wouldn’t want a “friend” who would be so wishy-washy and would only back me in the good times. What good is that? You stand by your friends through thick and thin, otherwise you aren’t a friend at all!

  11. Seth Says:

    Ray –

    It’s always the same thing when dealing with Muslims in a diplomatic scenario. For them, it is scripturally permissable to lie to infidels to further their own ends, up to and including signing treaties with “unbelievers” and making other agreements with same that they have no intention of honoring.

    They are a people who prefer violence as a way of getting what they want — when you completely conquer a people, a city, whatever, you don’t have to negotiate, you can simply take what (or who) you please and do as you wish with them; to them negotiations are nothing more than a way to buy time to regroup for further violence or, in the case of the “Palestinians”, a sure thing for conning more money out of the west and territory out of Israel. They take advantage of our earnest belief that diplomacy always has a chance and they use it against us and against Israel whenever we offer it.

    Diplomacy assumes that both sides are willing to sit down and formulate mutually beneficial solutions to their differences. The “Palestinians” sit down knowing that in the end, they will benefit and Israel will suffer. This is not diplomacy, as you say it is surrender.

    That the Bush White House is allowing this tradition to continue is appalling. I could expect it from Clinton or Carter, who lived right up (perhaps “down” would be a better word) to those expectations as their turns came and went, or any other liberal Democrat, but not from George Bush, for whom Condi is an instrument of policy.

    When proferring an olive branch to Islam, it is best not to extend it too far or they might take your arm along with the branch.

    Gayle –

    Thanks, I really wanted to post on some stuff that had happened the past week, and fortunately most of it was well and thoroughly covered by fellow bloggers, but this issue has long been among the closest to my heart.

    Look at the Israeli-Hezbollah war in Lebanon as a prime example of our dealings with Israel: Going in, Israel had Bush’s “full support” to complete the job of destroying Hezbollah root and branch. Then along came some pressure from (pre-Sarkozy) France and the rest of the usual suspects at the U.N., and suddenly our Administration was part of a plan that had Israel pulling out of Lebanon, a sign for Hezbollah and the rest of the Arab Muslim world that they had beaten Israel, sent them scurrying in fear, sort of like what they would think of us if we abruptly pulled out of Iraq, and, to all intents and purposes, permitted Hezbollah to re-arm, re-staff and re-deploy as though nothing had happened.

    No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to find any kind of “friendship” element, on behalf of the United States, in any of those proceedings.

  12. nanc Says:

    this is one of the very best independently written pieces i’ve read in awhile.

    fyi - condi comes from a pcusa church - her father was a pastor there. think of how the presbyterian usa churches have treated israel in the not to distant past. i believe it was they who called for a boycott on caterpillar. they are bordering on replacement theology and i heard somewhere awhile back that the average age of a presbyterian is 62. they are a dying church. dying churches are not well-spoken of in the bible.

    she may have sealed her fate and the fate of this nation with her dealings in the middle east. this i say from a bible-believing christian pov.

    the land is to NEVER be divided and whosoever has a hand in its separation will suffer dearly. where there are blessings in the bible, conversely there are curses. we are cursed.

  13. wordsmith Says:

    Geez….everyone seems to have missed the “meat” of the post: I watched Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon


  14. Seth Says:

    Nanc –


    You flatter me, but…but…I can handle it. :-)

    I remember the Caterpillar thing with the Presbyterian Church. They also threatened to divest themselves of their stock in a few other companies that were dealing with Israel. Doing a quick Google, these were Motorola, United Technologies, ITT Industries and Citigroup.

    When I was in the single digit age bracket, I had a few friends whose families were Presbyterian, but as an adult I don’t think I know anybody of that faith. They definitely don’t appear to me to be multiplying.

    I agree with your Biblical assessment. These folks are cursed for carving up the relatively small piece of real estate G-d promised to the Jews, and one can only pray that His wrath will be confined to those responsible and not those among us who oppose them.

    Wordsmith –

    I thought the “meat” of the post was that awesome ribeye, LOL. Too bad one can’t put such a steak on a pedestal and eat it, too.

    One of the scenes in The Maltese Falcon, where Joel Cairo (Lorre) pulls a weapon on Sam Spade (Bogart) in the latter’s office, is one I could probably watch over and over all day without getting bored for a second. Those guys could be really funny.

    I love those old films. The acting certainly makes the majority of today’s renderings look pretty flimsy. Two of my other favorites, in the comedy department, are WC Fields and Mae West — their collaboration in My Little Chickadee was both masterful and hilarious.

  15. Shoprat Says:

    Jimmy Carter and the Muzzies should be trusted, as far as you can spit a mouthful of fishhooks. It seems politicians never learn.

  16. Seth Says:

    Shoprat –

    as far as you can spit a mouthful of fishhooks.

    LOL, great analogy.

    Politicians, particularly ours re the Mid East, are like Charlie Brown at his annual “event” with Lucy and the football.

    “Every year you get me to come running up and kick the football, and every year you pull it away at the last minute and I fall on my head.”

    “Oh, not this year, Charlie Brown. I promise…”

  17. Goat Says:

    I know what you are saying Seth, but Dr Rice was right to talk to them even if she learned nothing new. I agree we should step back and let Israel and the palestinian pukes figure it out. I support Israel smashing them into the dust personally. I also think Dr Rice has been a complete flop at State and has fallen for Foggy Bottom’s foggy issues, notice the draft Condi calls have become nil. I will say Abbas appears to be trying a little harder to herd the wildcats he represents than Arafat but is having little success. Read Bar’s latest post at my site, I stand with Israel. I apologize if I was unclear in my earlier comment.

  18. MariesTwoCents Says:

    Hopefully Condi just did this for apprearences, make it look like she was checking what the elder Presidents had to say.

    Not that she would take thier advice (Especially Carter) seriously.

    But it looks good, sorta.

    Condi is the master at Diplomacy and whatever ill advice she got from the Two President’s that F***** up any kind of Diplomacy in the past, Condi will do her own thing.

    I mean who better to ask and determine what NOT to do than the Clinton/Carter administartions? :-)

  19. Seth Says:

    Goat –

    I’m just so frustrated by the repeated idiocy of our diplomats re Israel that I tend to rant about the situation as a matter of course.

    At times I wonder if one or another U.S. administration is intentionally whittling away at the Jewish State so as to make it, and the political inconvenience of same, disappear…

    Marie –

    Condi consulting Clinton and Carter looks bad. No representative of a right thinking administration should be seen to value any kind of input from failed lefty Admins, especially the Carter Administration.

    Unfortunately, Condi will have to enforce the policies of the Bush Administration, and the “Roadmap” demonstrated that whatever happens, the Israelis will get the brown end of the stick.

  20. Goat Says:

    I hear you Seth, that frustration reigns in me as well. Dr. Rice is a good and decent person beating herself to a pulp between the rock and the wall.

  21. Seth Says:

    Goat –

    Watch, at the Annapolis “peace” conference (whenever they finally set a date), as she stands by and allows Abbas to claim East Jerusalem (sovereign Israeli territory) as the capital of whatever “Palestinian” entity arises.

    For Abbas’ part, his dialogue is no different from Arafat’s, and Rice offers no criticisms.

  22. salad » Our “Contributions” To MidEast “Peace”. But First… Says:

    [...] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerpt …This past week began with another one of those ambushes beginning in “…could you please…we really, really need…” and continuing along with a deadline-oriented project that consisted of writing a short but time-and-thought-consuming manual. To put things simply, whenever I freed up a little time to post, I was, to all intents and purposes, brain-dead. So Friday, after Fed-Exing the finished product to the client, I determined to simply relax for a day (Saturday), get my head together, so to s [...]