Fair Policy, Fair Discussion

October 30, 2009

Good time for a trip to the M.E.!

Filed under: Washington's diplomacy — Helena Cobban @ 1:26 pm

Our CNIF delegation to the Middle East will gather here in Washington today and depart this evening for Beirut. From there we’ll visit Syria, Jordan, Israel and the OPTs, and Egypt.

I am much looking forward to meeting the group. Co-leading will be Amb. Jack Matlock, a deservedly well-regarded retired senior diplomat.

As our delegation of citizen-diplomats is setting off the region, I see that Sec. Hillary Clinton and sepcial envoy George Mitchell are already there.

Clinton is going there from Pakistan, where she committed what the BBC and others have reported as something of a diplomatic gaffe. She told journalists there,

“Al-Qaeda has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002… I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to.

“Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know.”

I wonder if she’ll commit any similar kind of “indiscretion” while she’s in Israel and Palestine?

Maybe she’ll say something like:

“Individuals who’ve been illegally seizing and settling in occupied territories have had a safe haven in Israel since 1967… I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to.”

I’m holding my breath for that!



  1. “I’m holding my breath for that!”

    I envy your lung capacity if you think you can hold out that long.

    Comment by Donald Johnson — October 30, 2009 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  2. Helena –
    I wish you all the best in your new venture and on this new blog, but —- those of us who regularly followed you on JWN feel left out and lost. I know that as one person there is a limit to what you can do and that your new gig takes priority, but perhaps you could at least double post, here and on JWN and let those of us who wish to comment and engage in discussion – not ranting – do so. You might even want to take a peek now and again and perhaps respond occasionally. Hope you will at least consider the idea.
    your faithful friend and reader Jack

    Comment by Jack — October 30, 2009 @ 10:49 pm | Reply

  3. Helena,

    What about Iraq?

    Your administrations the old and the new made open chose and nothing we got of their promises freedom and democracy.
    Instead we got religious and ethnic racist group with their militia impended as Iraqi forces and police and it ended with open grave for Iraqis for the last seven years.

    If you administration celebrated discovering tyrant’s mass graves in Iraq now an open mass grave all around Iraq from the day that your country destroyed our loved land and nation.

    You should extend your trip with your group to see the reality what happen to Iraq and Iraqis, see what war crimes done in name of freedom and democracy.

    Iraq now is part of a big process of peace otherwise there is no peace in the region.

    Listen to your wise follow Charles Duelfer what he said about Iraq” Was the Iraq War Inevitable 06-02-09” as he was a member of team inspectors (listen carefully to Q&A in the end).

    Comment by Salah — October 31, 2009 @ 12:53 am | Reply

  4. Give my love to Syria!

    Comment by Shirin — October 31, 2009 @ 3:13 am | Reply

  5. “Individuals who’ve been illegally seizing and settling in occupied territories have had a safe haven in Israel since 1967…

    Helena, I think you did fail in category here?

    When Israelis and US & other western talking about Palestinians they call them terrorists not as you kindly call Israelis as “Individuals”!

    Stile the history repeat itself with Arab nation each time the westerns proven they are not trusted for their promises and goals as we see in Iraq after 7 years of occupation on in Palestine and the “Individuals” Israelis!

    Let read some thing to remind all of you about Arab:

    In 1918, the British who took over from the defeated Ottomans in Iraq promised a national government and self-determination, before imposing by force of arms a British mandate on the hostile Arabs and Kurds. The French behaved with even greater colonial arrogance and brutality in Morocco, Algeria and Syria.

    One of the depressing if instructive messages of this book is that terrorism can work. In the early 1940s, while Britain was at war with Nazi Germany, Menachem Begin, the leader of Irgun, and Yitzhak Shamir, the leader of Lehi, waged terrorist campaigns against the British in Palestine. In 1945, they were joined by the larger Haganah. Ninety-one people were killed when Irgun operatives blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Such atrocities played a leading role in persuading the British they could not continue to exercise a mandate in Palestine. They withdrew in 1948, leaving the Palestinian Arabs to face the much better-armed and organised Jews.

    The Arabs: A History by Eugene Rogan

    Robert Irwin on an eloquent history of Arab hopes and disappointments
    May I suggest Helena to take this book to read while you in ME with your colleges?

    Comment by Salah — October 31, 2009 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

    • Hi Salah,

      Instead of focusing on the poisoning of the US political process by subversive American Zionists, CNI supports the two-state solution.

      Personally, I don’t understand the strategy at all because I have been carefully analyzing blog data for several years.

      A blog entry discussing the interconnection of the Israel Lobby with the status quo in health care or with the CDO meltdown, receives at least 2 orders the magnitude more readers than a blog entry discussing some sort of settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

      The vast majority of Americans simply don’t care about 1 state vs 2 states as a solution to the Palestine conflict, but they do care about the threat of the Israel Lobby to their medical care or to their jobs.

      From a marketing standpoint, CNI seems to work hard to make itself irrelevant.

      As for the terrorist and criminal nature of Zionism or the State of Israel, we need only look at the charges associated with the Nuremberg tribunal (Time for Anti-Zionist Tea Party):

      Nuremberg Law clearly criminalizes the territorial Judaization that Zionists have planned since the 19th century and that they have undertaken since the first war of Zionist aggression in 1947-8 . The Nuremberg indictment of the Nationalist Socialist Government charges (International Military Tribunal, vol. 1, p. 63):

      In certain occupied territories purportedly annexed to Germany the defendants methodically and pursuant to plan endeavored to assimilate these territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. They endeavored to obliterate the former national character of these territories. In pursuance of their plans, the defendants forcibly deported inhabitants who were predominantly non-German and replaced them by thousands of German colonists.

      If “State of Israel” replaces “Germany,” “Zionist State” replaces “German Reich,” and “Jewish” replaces “German,” this count applies to Zionist goals from the start of the Zionist movement until the present day.

      Not only do people like military judge Major Adrian Agassi have a seriously misinformed and distorted understanding of scripture, but they are Nuremberg-class war criminals, who should be arrested, tried and imprisoned or executed according to Nuremberg Tribunal Law: . Pro-America, Pro-Palestinian, and Pro-International Law activists must be more explicit about this point.

      Comment by Joachim Martillo — November 2, 2009 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

    • The garbled hyperlinks in the previous comment are:

      1. Time for an Anti-Zionist Tea Party and

      2. West Bank land belongs to Jews, says Israeli army judge.

      Comment by Joachim Martillo — November 2, 2009 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

  6. Joachim Martillo

    My point view as an Arab and ME borne lived citizen, its the most concerned matter is the history by both colonial power and what the done in our land and nation.

    I don’t care who is behind UK before and now US internal power or influences, this is an American citizens matter not us.

    If people from US feel there country moved across the red lines of treating humans and respecting out humans its their duty to change that not ours, we hope can help but the power in hands of US citizens more than us.
    In the other words we as Palestine, Iraq and Syria a case of injustice and suffering due to your miss politics and its their duty to help us to get out of your injustice.

    Comment by Salah — November 2, 2009 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

    • Unfortunately, whenever someone sympathetic to Palestinians or Arabs in general talks about justice for Palestinians or Arabs, some Jew responds with arant about Jewish suffering.

      As an expert in Jewish studies, I know it all false or decontextualized to the point of falsehood, but the vast majority of Americans (including Jews) don’t know that claims of Jewish victimhood are either false or misleading at best and certainly could not spend the time with the primary literature to understand what the truth really is.

      Thus I focus on the threat and harm that the Israel Lobby represents to ordinary Americans. Once the Lobby is neutralized, it would become possible to talk about rationally justice in the ME and maybe even about Jewish history or the Holocaust.

      Further reading:

      Jewish History: Facts versus Delusions. The comment discussion is relevant.

      Comment by Joachim Martillo — November 2, 2009 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

    • Oops! I meant “a rant about Jewish suffering” and not “arant about Jewish suffering.”

      Comment by Joachim Martillo — November 2, 2009 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

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