Tuesday, March 3, 2015

People of Israel: You Should Know...

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook
01 March 15
f Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is entitled to speak to Congress and the American people on his disagreement with American foreign policy, a lowly former U.S. Secretary of Labor (who also happens to be Jewish) has every right to address the Israeli people on an issue over which he disagrees with official Israeli policy. (He doesn't have a formal way of communicating, so if you know any Israeli’s please forward to them the following message.)

People of Israel: You should know that the new-found alliance between your Prime Minister and our Republican Party, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and some wealthy right-wing Jews here (such as billionaire Sheldon Adelson), is poisoning the relationship between Israel and the United States. Netanyahu’s decision to address Congress on Tuesday to argue against a nuclear deal with Iran that’s one of the President’s highest priorities, and also to speak to Aipac – just two weeks before your own national elections – foists your own domestic politics onto ours. As such, it is having a polarizing effect here in the United States, pushing many Americans to side against Israel, and thereby posing a long-term threat to Israel’s security. Meanwhile, many American Jews who have refrained from speaking out against the right-wing radicalism that has taken hold in Israel – a radicalism that rejects a “two-state solution” and continues to build new settlements on the West Bank, and which we believe imperils the future of Israel - are now feeling emboldened to do so. Aipac does not speak for us. House Republicans do not speak for us. Billionaires do not speak for us. We have been silent for too long.


+143 # maheanuu 2015-03-01 20:14
Bravo Zulu Mr. Reich! I am not anti Jew, Anti Israeli, or anti Semite in any way, shape or form. I am a 77 year old retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer and have served with many people of the Jewish Faith who were and still are wonderful people, and shipmates.

I am not of the right wing, but a liberal/progres sive and I also am a dual national having both US and French Nationalities.

I also have a stronger feeling for my French Nationality than I do for my US one, and that is to to the Humanitarian aspects of France over that of the United States.

I also would like to see the Israeli's and the Palestinians both having their own countries and allowing all peoples who live in their countries to have equal rights.

Keep up the good work, I will back you completely in your endeavors.

+91 # Walter J Smith 2015-03-01 21:23
Oh, no, never let a crisis go to waste. Israel is still more supportive of Netty nut cake than anyone else. Israel is ripening, though not yet ripe, for the sobriety check it needs for its own survival. When Israel lets Netty nit picker disrupt US foreign policy, the disaster will have a very long tail, starting with a promised reduced trust between the US and Israel. With any luck, this will also mean less US welfare dollars for Israeli genocidal policies and practices against the Palestinians.

Please, let the nutty nit picking crank bring on the needed reality/sobriet y check for the state of Israel.

+78 # Anonymot 2015-03-01 22:54
I agree completely. There are Israeli newspapers (online & print) that would surely post your comments. Please send it to them.
+26 # nuttmeg 2015-03-01 23:31
Funny-much as I like Robert R he mentions nothing about the illegal occupation of Palestine and the brutal treatment of Palestinians by the Israelis, much as he glosses over the real problem with our economy: capitalism.
Two elephants in the same living room.

+57 # auroraconsultants 2015-03-02 00:23
If you have read other pieces by would have seen that he targets capitalism frequently. He also alludes to the 2 state solution in the Middle East, not evading the issue. He states that AIPAC does not speak for all Jews. I don't think there's an elephant left in the room. Check it again.
+16 # mmcmanus 2015-03-02 09:55
Unfortunately there is an elephant in the room--the republican party. Its brain, to the extent it has one, is miniscule, it wanders around aimlessly running things over with no plan or ability to fix them up, and takes up a lot of space.

+68 # Ojai Bill 2015-03-01 23:50
Right on! A lot of Americans who strongly supported Israel's creation in their youth are now, in their senior years, greatly concerned to see Israel continuing to take steps which ensure that their conflict with their neighbors will not be reduced, but will instead build to a breaking point which will threaten their very existence. A viable two-state solution with Palestine is essential, as is an accommodation with Iran which guarantees Israel's safety without denying Iran a right to reasonable nuclear development. Israel cannot exist forever living in a hostile environment, their current steps are adding to and ensuring its continuance.

+19 # kath 2015-03-02 08:52
In my opinion a two state solution is no longer possible unless Israel abandons most of its illegal settlements, or Palestinians settle for scattered plots of land walled in amid Jewish-only settlements and roads. Don't see either of those things happening, do you?
+1 # tgemberl 2015-03-02 10:40
I think a two-state solution is impossible unless there is an effort to reduce population pressures. Right now Israel and the Palestinian territories have three million more people than New Jersey, a state which is about the same area and our most densely populated. We should offer immigration to both peoples.

I doubt many Palestinians or Israelis would want to immigrate, so I think a two-state solution has become impossible.
+5 # lfeuille 2015-03-02 16:18
Quoting kath:
In my opinion a two state solution is no longer possible unless Israel abandons most of its illegal settlements, or Palestinians settle for scattered plots of land walled in amid Jewish-only settlements and roads. Don't see either of those things happening, do you?
Israel has to give up the settlements. Voluntarily or under threat of losing all it's US and international aid.

+40 # Rockster 2015-03-02 01:29
Thank you, and may your courage encourage others to speak their truths also. Having taught at Brandeis , I know that there are scores of faculty , staff and administrators there who agree with Proff Reich on these points! They have been intimidated over the years into private only conversations but Now it is time to tell the truth. Until the American Jewish community looks deeply and honestly into their hearts as he has done and goes public with a moderate peaceful vision, there is little hope . Fear has never won out in the end. The young David's first big win was over the fear that Goliath visited on all Israelis.
+49 # since1492 2015-03-02 02:32
The American Congress is occupied Israeli territory.

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