Monday, October 28, 2019

  • Monday, October 28, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Sunday, the J-Street conference hosted a panel session entitled "Scorched Earth: The Trump Legacy on Israel/Palestine."

The participants were:
Debra Shushan, Director of Policy and Government Relations, Americans for Peace Now (Moderator)
Khaled Elgindy, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Ilan Goldenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program, Center
for a New American Security
Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, Political Analyst, Public Opinion Expert
Daniel Seidemann, Founder and Director, Terrestrial Jerusalem

Shushan gave a monologue at the beginning. She reviewed most of Donald Trump's moves, all of which she considered to be awful, and she wanted her panelists to describe how all of them can be rolled back in a future Democratic administration.

She called the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem "the hostile takeover of the consulate in Jerusalem by [David] Friedman's embassy."

She also encouraged the audience to boo Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel. It is axiomatic at J-Street that certain government officials must be treated with utmost disrespect, something Democrats complained bitterly about  - rightly - when Obama was president.

In addition, Shushan sarcastically said that Israeli claims that annexation of the Golan Heights and the West Bank would be legal based on the principle that one can annex land won in a defensive war was a brand new, legally untenable position. While most modern legal scholars agree with Shushan that land cannot be legally annexed in any circumstances, it is not unanimous nor has it been uniformly applied since the UN Charter, as Eugene Kontorovich has demonstrated.

Daniel Seidemann described how he gave a tour of Jerusalem to Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. He told them that Arabs in Jerusalem east of the Green Line "are not entitled to receive citizenship" in Israel.

He is lying and he knows he is lying. (He is an expert on Jerusalem so it is disappointing when he knowingly pushes lies.) The process has been difficult but thousands have become citizens and many more are on their way; Israel is trying to streamline the process.

Khaled Elgindy said during his main talk that Clinton and Obama tried to make peace - but for some reason never mentions that Palestinian rejectionism was what stopped the initiatives. Later on someone asked him bout whether Arafat missed the boat in rejecting the Clinton peace plan and Elgindy denied that Arafat did that, saying that both Barak and Arafat accepted the plan. He later tweeted me his proof:

I responded that Clinton had no desire to sabotage any chance for peace while he was in office by insulting Arafat but not long after he left office he made it clear that Arafat was the rejectionist and Barak was ready to give major concessions:

And this as well:

While I agree that technically both Arafat and Barak accepted the plan with reservations, Clinton showed afterwards that Barak was the only one serious about it and Arafat was playing games (which Barak elaborates on in great detail.)

The bigger point is that Jews have been accepting and proposing peace offers since before 1948 and each of them has been consistently rejected by the Palestinian Arabs. That is a key point in any discussion on peace, which J-Street claims it cares about, yet only Israel is blamed for the lack of peace. This is a major blind spot in the liberal world which then leaks into a blind spot for everyone who does not spend serious time researching the topic.

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