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Le Guernigou begins: "French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 'a liar' in a private conversation with President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week's G20 summit in Cannes."

US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy shake hands as they hold a joint press conference ahead of the start of the G20 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Cannes, France, 11/03/11. (photo: Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy shake hands as they hold a joint press conference ahead of the start of the G20 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Cannes, France, 11/03/11. (photo: Getty Images)

Sarkozy Tells Obama Netanyahu Is a "Liar"

By Yann Le Guernigou, Reuters

08 November 11


rench President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a liar" in a private conversation with US President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week's G20 summit in Cannes.

"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.

"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

The technical gaffe is likely to cause great embarrassment to all three leaders as they look to work together to intensify international pressure on Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

The conversation was not initially reported by the small group of journalists who overheard it because it was considered private and off-the-record. But the comments have since emerged on French websites and can be confirmed by Reuters.

White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the conversation when asked by reporters traveling with Obama to an event in Philadelphia.

Obama's apparent failure to defend Netanyahu is likely to be leapt on by his Republican foes, who are looking to unseat him in next year's presidential election and have portrayed him as hostile to Israel, Washington's closest ally in the region.

Pushing Netanyahu risks alienating Israel's strong base of support among the US public and in Congress.

Netanyahu's office declined to comment, but one of his deputies, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, played down the episode.

"Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, certainly in such competitive professions," Shalom, a former foreign minister and rival of Netanyahu in the rightist Likud party, told Israel's Army Radio.

"So you have to consider the main things. Is Obama a friend of Israel? Is Sarkozy a friend of Israel? Is their policy a consistent policy of support for Israel? The answer to all of these questions is affirmative and, as far as I'm concerned, that is what's important."

Palestinian Worries

Obama and Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship as US efforts to broker a Middle East peace deal have foundered, with the US president openly criticizing Jewish settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories.

It was unclear why exactly Sarkozy had criticized Netanyahu. However, European diplomats have largely blamed Israel for the breakdown in peace talks and have expressed anger over Netanyahu's approval of large-scale settlement building.

During their bilateral meeting on November 3, on the sidelines of the Cannes summit, Obama criticized Sarkozy's surprise decision to vote in favor of a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.

"I didn't appreciate your way of presenting things over the Palestinian membership of UNESCO. It weakened us. You should have consulted us, but that is now behind us," Obama was quoted as saying.

The October 31 UNESCO vote marked a success for the Palestinians in their broader thrust for recognition as a sovereign state in the UN system - a unilateral initiative fiercely opposed by Israel and the United States.

As a result of the vote, Washington was compelled to halt its funding for UNESCO under a 1990s law that prohibits Washington from giving money to any UN body that grants membership to groups that do not have full, legal statehood.

Obama told Sarkozy that he was worried about the impact if Washington had to pull funding from other UN bodies such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the IAEA nuclear watchdog if the Palestinians gained membership there.

"You have to pass the message along to the Palestinians that they must stop this immediately," Obama said.

The day the conversation took place, the Palestinians announced that they would not seek membership of any other UN agency.

Sarkozy confirmed that France would not take any unilateral decisions when the UN Security Council discusses a Palestinian membership request, a debate expected later this month.

"I am with you on that," Obama replied.

(Writing by Crispian Balmer; Additional reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Andrew Roche.) your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

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+49 # Inland Jim 2011-11-08 17:14
The bad news is that apparently Obama hasn't been able to figure this out form himself.
+60 # rom120 2011-11-08 17:20
Is anyone surprised that NatanYahoo like all other politicians is a liar? NetanYahoo more than the others if that is possible. He is not only a liar bur a criminal but nobody is sending him to the world criminal court. Why? Because the US is completely supporting him, the lawmakers are bought and paid for by the Zionists.
+14 # truthbug 2011-11-08 18:01
Who are the Zionists? Jews, and a few right wing Christians, as far as I can tell. It seems to me, though, that the largest force here is the US Jewish community, who are largely committed to Israel. It's hard for me to see how the Israeli Lobby could be at all effective in running our government if it wasn't for the broad support of the US Jewish community, who are a very powerful force, because of their financial clout.
+23 # Texas Aggie 2011-11-08 20:54
The surveys that are taken among Jews in the US show that the majority of them oppose Netanyahoo's policies. The only support that they get is from a few rich individuals, but the average Jew does not support them. Now End Timers are a totally different story.
+19 # truthbug 2011-11-08 21:55
It seems a fair number of people here think "Zionists" are imaginary, spooky creatures that go bump in the night. In fact, they are identifiable. If many believe that "Zionists" are the ones destroying our ME policy by their control of our government, is it not sensible to talk about who these people are? There's nothing wrong in pointing out the error of the Jewish community in pushing for a Jewish State - the crux of the issue which defines the carnage behind the I/P calamity. This is the force why Obama is in a political straight jacket on this issue. It's too bad we'll probably have to wait for his memoirs before the truth becomes public. I say again, if the US Jewish community, instead of giving its bulk of support for Israel - whatever atrocity it commits - would for once stand up for Truth and Justice, the US government would be freed from a devil on its back and able to treat both Israelis and the Palestinians with fairness.
+11 # Dion Giles 2011-11-08 22:13
Zionists are those who hold that one ethnic group, Jews, is special enough to set up a state in Palestine (or anywhere else) belonging exclusively to itself, and to expect the support of the world community in protecting this state from the millions it has displaced and exiled. Equating "Zionists" and "Jews" is a racist ploy by Zionists to claim the loyalty of Jews and a racist weapon wielded by antisemites against Jews.
+5 # RLF 2011-11-09 06:09
Actually the British set up Israel.
0 # giraffee2012 2011-11-09 16:38
VOTE DEM VOTE OBAMA -- get all you can registered early (who need help) and ALL Dems get mail-in ballots (We've been warned) The only way the GOP/TP (Koch) can win is through voter suppression -- LOOK HOW WELL OHIO did last night -- hurray and may others work this hard in Nov 2012 (the most important election to date)
+11 # jwb110 2011-11-08 18:46
So far, it is a toss up which is the biggest liar or the biggest jerk or the biggest waist of human skin.
Can you imagine how much better the world would be if all the "world leader", no matter what political stripe, disappeared!?
And why is it always the TRUTH that is a problem?
0 # Ryguy913 2011-11-09 17:47
Biggest waist of human skin? As far as world leaders go, Taft has this one locked up. No contest!

Just ask the bathtub! : P
+64 # Paul Larudee 2011-11-08 18:52
Even politicians sometimes tell the truth in private.
+25 # C.H.Winslow 2011-11-08 18:52
Obama is quite aware of Netanyahu's past and current politics, as well as the story of Zionist acquisition of Palestine. Indeed, he even has a working knowledge of the bibliography on the issue, c.f., that which appears in the Walt-Mearsheime r essay on AIPAC. Can anyone suppose that he does not sympathize with the wrongs done to the Palestinian people as well as their current political aspirations. But he cannot make a move on the issue that will not make things worse for everyone. Israelis has many more votes in the Congress than Americans have. That is the reality. His best strategy is to support the movement for democracy and modernization in the Middle East, move carefully, and let development gradually provide the handwriting on the wall for the traditionals and zealots in Israel. Eventually, modern Jews in Israel and beyond will join the Palestinians in their quest for equity and self determination. This is a reciprocal matter, not for one side only. the situation, going forward, will require some prodding at key political and strategic moments, so stay informed and keep up the pressure.
+7 # jon 2011-11-08 19:58
If Israel had never been mandated by the UN after WWII, there would still be warfare in that zone.

Internecine tribal warfare has been going on for thousands of years. If it were not for our own oil gluttony, they would never have had the wherewithal to involve us in their favorite pastime
+1 # RLF 2011-11-09 06:12
You're right. North and south Italy can't even get about the middle east where the tiny little tribes have been killing each other from thousands of years and frankly...lying is a respected part of the culture.
+39 # Vivelevin 2011-11-08 18:53
Change is in the air. Even in Israel there are Israelis who are against the occupation of Palestine and the continued influx of Israeli settlers into Palestinian territory. We will see Palestine become a sovereign country with defined borders. Countries ruling with military might and a strong hand are getting out of fashion. This includes Israel, Iran, Syria, China, North Korea and yes, the United States. I keep looking for cooperation to replace competition, for understanding and appreciation of differences to replace fear and alienation. Much has already been achieved through non-violance and I hope we stay that course...slow and steady, moving towards the goal of more peace, a more equitable distribution of wealth, and respect for all peoples and the planet. This "snuff out all dissenters" is so primitive it's hard to believe we still think it possible. It NEVER works! Let's start working with heart/ me combination of wisdom and compassion. Obama, Sarkozy, Netanyahu...guy s on heart. You can't live without a heart.
+5 # Artemis 2011-11-09 00:43
Only, while we are staying the course...."slow and steady"....terr ible damage is being done to the Palestinian population, much of it irreversible in the short term.
Netanyahu is a liar, of the worst sort, because his ethnic cleansing intentions are perfectly clear. And even if he loses power, it is unlikely that any of the Israelis you mention above will succeed him.
+1 # ralphnovy 2011-11-09 23:57
Well put.

Yeah ... "guys on steroids."

However, I'd include a lot of "gals."

Unfortunately, violence-monger ing seems to cross gender lines.


-1 # ralphnovy 2011-11-10 00:22
BTW ...

I'm sympatico with your "cooperation to replace competition" with respect to many things.

I'm a turn-of-the-(20 th)century Milwaukee-style socialist, if you get my meaning.

At any rate, thanks for the well-written piece.

+18 # epcraig 2011-11-08 18:55
Nobody likes a loose cannon.
Benjamin Netanyahu has no gift for diplomacy, nor does he seem at all interested in any concession to the sensibilities of Diaspora Jews.
0 # ralphnovy 2011-11-10 00:29
Oh, yes, he DOES have a gift for "diplomacy" -- in the form of the political leverage he uses/abuses with the erstwhile assistance of "Zionist" financial/lobby ing groups in the US and UK particularly.

Frankly, I would not have made such an audacious statement before about a year ago, when I witnessed Netanyahu getting such ovations from the US Congress.


Maybe I'd be an anti-semite if I knew what a semite was.
+32 # punk 2011-11-08 18:58
"You have to pass the message along to the Palestinians that they must stop this immediately," Obama said.

why should the palestinians stop seeking statehood and admission to the UN? how is that to their advantage? israel will never negotiate a palestinian state unless pressure is put on them.
+16 # 2011-11-08 19:01
The US is pro Israel. Obama is and has always been on the fence.Noone really knows what he is committed to or what really matters to him politically other than getting re-elected. The idea the he and other politicians are raising and spending huge sums of money in their campaigns when so many are impoverished and out of work is obscene.
+28 # Jim 2011-11-08 19:06
And why is it that the world is upset with the statement? He could have said much worse - how about 'murderer'?
-60 # leweyg 2011-11-08 19:11
Rom 120's comment that us politicians are bought and paid for by the Zionist speaks more to his anti-semitism than an
intelligent assessment. If it wasn't for the oil, no country would give a damn about the middle east. Israel is our only true and dependable friend there and that is the basis of our closeness.
+27 # Ken Hall 2011-11-08 21:53
"Israel is our only true and dependable friend there and that is the basis of our closeness."
If you think of Israel as an ally of the US, please research the Israeli attack on a clearly identified US naval ship, the USNS Liberty in 1967, an attack that killed, as I remember, 35 US seamen.
+5 # Capn Canard 2011-11-09 12:18
Ken Hall, my thoughts exactly. The USS Liberty had no real defenses and it is presumed that the Israelis were looking for the rationale to attack Egypt. And the sinking of a US Ship by Egyptians would give them the rationale to start an all out war on Egypt, because the sinking of the Liberty would've been blamed on the Egypt. Then the Israelis could've attacked Egypt with American military help! Fortunately the Israelis proved less than capable of downing a communications ship that was off their own coast. So much for Israeli military power... if they were truly strong then it would've been like shooting ducks on the pond but thankfully the Israelis proved incompetent and they've been working very hard to promote their own propaganda ever since. It is extremely shameful and despicable.
+4 # antineocon 2011-11-08 23:19
Quoting leweyg:
Rom 120's comment that us politicians are bought and paid for by the Zionist speaks more to his anti-semitism than an
intelligent assessment. If it wasn't for the oil, no country would give a damn about the middle east. Israel is our only true and dependable friend there and that is the basis of our closeness.

+2 # Ryguy913 2011-11-09 17:54
No need to use all caps. It's generally a trait that only serves to make one's comment more obnoxious, not more credible.

And let's not begin to suffer under the illusion that the number of thumbs up or down one comment receives is any legitimate evidence, in and of itself, that said comment not valuable. All it really shows is how many readers here, like you say, agree or disagree with one's views. That could mean it's not valuable, but it also could mean nothing of the sort.

In other words, all kinds of views ought to be debated here, implicit in which is the related claim that people of all kinds of views ought to be welcomed here.
+25 # mcpogo 2011-11-08 19:22
If the Western democracies (especially the vocal Israel supporters - no matter what they do!) keep sitting with their thumbs up their backsides long enough there will be no land left for the Palestinians to call a home! Israel will have stolen all of it and liquidated any Palestinians that are left. And we call ourselves the good guys. Pathetic.
-22 # 2011-11-08 22:46
mcpogo: If you call yourself a good guy writing a crude and hostile comment like this, you're pathetic.
+36 # Carolyn 2011-11-08 19:39
The existence of the Palestinians must be acknowledged.
+12 # jon 2011-11-08 19:48
Ultimately, it is all about OIL !
-21 # 2011-11-08 19:55
Leweyg: I'm with you. Your comment speaks volumes. Too many comments demonstrate a deficit in history and heart. You rock, LeweyG!Any relation to John?
+2 # Capn Canard 2011-11-09 12:23, this may help to ease your pain:
-1 # acohen8919 2011-11-08 19:58
More alarming to me are the comments of Bugger. Unless I'm mis-reading his comments, it would appear that he suggesting that "Jewish lobby", because of their "financial clout" is making American policy. This is scary rhetoric indeed. For one, Jewish Americans are certainly divided on the Israel/Palestin ian question. For another, the money that feeds Washington is hardly Jewish money. There is a very neo-nazi feel to his comments.
-25 # 2011-11-08 22:25
ACOHEN8919: You said it! I was thinking anti-semetic regarding BUGGER's posts but neo-nazi is a more appropriate word. If the progressive liberals on this post who profess to themselves and others to have more heart, compassion and decent feelings toward human beings than conservatives are really bigots and God forbid "Neo-Nazi's" they are the worst kind of hypocrites and very confused and schizoid thinkers.
-15 # Rick Levy 2011-11-08 23:44
This string is loaded with anti-Semitism.
+6 # Capn Canard 2011-11-09 12:34
I am not anti-semite. I support the Palestinians right to have their own nation in the land of Palestine. The Israelis already have their homeland in Palestine but it appears that they don't wanna share it with the original inhabitants of Palestine. WOW! That is an ugly story indeed... Despite what you may think, I believe that Israel should be able to keep a portion of Palestine as Israel, their homeland. That would only be fair but who plays fair in the middle east?
+2 # Ryguy913 2011-11-09 19:17
What are you talking about? Criticising the state of Israel is in no way shape or form necessarily an instance of anti-semitism.
0 # William Bjornson 2011-11-09 00:21
There is a very "neo-nazi" slant to the Khazari zionist behavior: Massacre, concentration camps, casual murder of Palestinian civilians (how many bullets did that zionist officer put in that little girl?), fascist, racist rhetoric... These are the same guys who ran the African slave trade (most major slave markets were closed on jewish holidays). It's history, read about it. Sorry, it weren't the Arabs there, Moshe... it were you. Jewish Americans should try to live up to their manufactured image of intellect and realize the danger that these fascist extremists in Jewish Palestine, who by the Torah are not Hebrew and not Jews, pose for you. Whatever civilization informs Hebrew Judaism, the Steppes of Eurasia inform these people, and they are just that psychopathic. If anomie ever reigns here, the unspoken resentment that is building in America toward israel will be discharged elsewhere, more locally, if you know what I mean. It isn't lost on anyone either that ALL of the main players in our current financial disaster, the main thieves, all share a certain commonality. That will be difficult to mitigate, as well, maybe more so. Those politicos now bought by AIPAC and others will turn in an instant and become rabid torch and pitchforkers. Things could go very badly here. We are not well known for our kindness toward perceived enemies. Just sayin'...
0 # stonecutter 2011-11-12 03:16
To paraphrase the famous quote from "Jaws", "That's a bad hood you're wearing, Billy". How's that for manufactured intellect?
+8 # truthbug 2011-11-09 08:15
Simply search out 2011 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion (from If there are two numbers separated by a comma, then data for both 2010 and 2011 are given: the US/Israeli relationship is positive (63, 56%), approval of Obama’s handling of US/Israel relationship (55,40%), approval Bibi’s handling of US/Israeli relationship (57,54%), contend all of Jerusalem should be under Jewish control (61% for 2010), oppose establishment of a Palestinian state (55%, for 2011), Disapprove of the Palestinian efforts to unilateral seek recognition of statehood (88%, for 2011), Israel should not compromise on the status of Jerusalem (59%, for 2011), Israel should not dismantle any settlements (39%, for 2011), believe the Arabs want the destruction of Israel (75, 76%), US should withdraw aid from the Palestinians if the PA and Hamas form a unity government (73%, for 2011), the Palestinians should be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (94,96%), believe that Israel cannot reach a peace agreement with Hamas (80%, for 2010), support US military action against Iran to keep it non nuclear (53,56%), support Israel military action against Iran to keep it non nuclear (62,68%), support the US surge in Afghanistan (62%, for 2010). Also, only 8% want to see all of the Jewish West Bank settlements ended (both 2010 and 2011).

Interesting facts, no?
+14 # reiverpacific 2011-11-08 19:59
Quoting leweyg:
Rom 120's comment that us politicians are bought and paid for by the Zionist speaks more to his anti-semitism than an
intelligent assessment. If it wasn't for the oil, no country would give a damn about the middle east. Israel is our only true and dependable friend there and that is the basis of our closeness.

I agree with you about the "nobody giving a damn about the Middle East but for the oil".
It was the British who made Israel a country in 1948 in carving up the middle East post-WW11. At that time they long had the sympathy and compassion of the world, which they have since squandered by increasingly doing unto Palestine what the Nazis did to them, becoming a heavily-armed and nuclear power thanks to the US under the obtuse leadership and intensified warlike paranoia of Netanahu's right-wing Likud, who stomp on all dissent within and obviously without (including the US and the powerful Pro-Israel lobby), continue illegal land-grabs and environmental destruction of ancient vineyards, demolition of homes and all the other "collateral" degradation, just like it's big-brother in arms the US, only more localized.
Hell, Sarkozy is hardly a lefty but at least he knows a quasi-Fascist US-spliced P.M. when he sees one and has to deal with him regularly.
And oh aye -ever heard of Rachel Corrie?
+9 # Ken Hall 2011-11-08 21:37
Reiver: While I agree with your sentiment about the illegal military land grab, the history goes back to the late 19th century and subsequently the Balfour declaration in 1917 after WWl. The British governed the Palestinian mandate after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, appointing a Jewish overseer and favoring Jewish immigration to the area. Their stewardship lasted through WWII, after which the UN sanctioned the partition of Palestine. Jewish partisans, impatient with British governance, blew up their headquarters in the King David hotel, killing 48 (as I remember) and effectively kicking them out of Palestine. The rest is late 20th century history and more well-known.
+5 # reiverpacific 2011-11-08 22:24
Quoting Ken Hall:
Reiver: While I agree with your sentiment about the illegal military land grab, the history goes back to the late 19th century and subsequently the Balfour declaration in 1917 after WWl. The British governed the Palestinian mandate after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, appointing a Jewish overseer and favoring Jewish immigration to the area. Their stewardship lasted through WWII, after which the UN sanctioned the partition of Palestine. Jewish partisans, impatient with British governance, blew up their headquarters in the King David hotel, killing 48 (as I remember) and effectively kicking them out of Palestine. The rest is late 20th century history and more well-known.

Thanks for the fill-in information and reminder. I run this stuff off the top of my head on RSN and am glad of any pertinent stuff I may have neglected. -I was kinda sticking to relatively recent history which is more pertinent to the current status-quo.
+4 # Artemis 2011-11-09 01:15
Correction: 91 were killed and 46 injured. Menachem Begin was involved in the planning and later became Prime Minister of Israel. Many other Prime Ministers and leading figures in Israel were at one time involved in or directly responsible for terrorist acts. Netanyahu fits the bill.
People always talk about the 'Balfour Declaration' as if it makes the handing over of Palestine legal, but remember, Balfour was himself a colonialist of the worst sort and was heavily opposed in Parliament, where other members predicted what would come to pass, what has come to pass. Even then lobbying by Zionists played a great role in such decision-making.
Additionally, we should know that there was great dissent amongst Jews at the time, many of whom did not feel it was right to take the land from the Arabs.
+21 # Ken Hall 2011-11-08 21:42
Here's what Ghandi had to say about the Palestinian colonization:
Gandhi on the Palestine conflict - 1938
"Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French...What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct...If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs... As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds." Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in "A Land of Two Peoples" ed. Mendes-Flohr.
+4 # Capn Canard 2011-11-09 12:45
Ken Hall, thanks for the Gandhi quote. Of course Gandhi saw and opposed Apartheid in 1920-30s and suffered the humiliation of racism himself it makes sense that he would have a reasonable opinion on Palestine/UK and a possible nation of Israel in 1930s. Nice post...
-20 # peace first 2011-11-08 20:25
It is so depressing to be Jewish and to see the blind hatred that still is prevalent in the world against us.

I will try to make you understand why Israel builds settlements, since that seems to be the latest reason for the hatred. If you were waiting 63 years for a peace agreement, and every agreement that is made is broken by the opposing party, you get to thinking that the Palestinians don’t really want peace. If they did, they could have had it from the beginning. Their only goal, stated over and over again since 1948, has been to drive the Jews into the sea. That goal has never changed. Why shouldn’t the Israelis build in their land? They have always had a policy for trading land for peace, and have already done so. Why do the Palestinians say that no Jew can live in their land if peace is ever declared and a two state solution is agreed upon? Israel allows Arabs to live in Israel. Why can’t Jews and Arabs live together as well in any country under Palestinian control?
0 # Texas Aggie 2011-11-08 20:57
If you substitute "Israelis" for "Palestinians" in your screed, it would reflect reality a lot more.
+21 # acohen8919 2011-11-08 21:07
While it is disturbing to read anti-semitic comments, as an American jewish woman, I must strongly disagree with you about any rationale whatsoever for the ongoing building of settlements. As Roger Cohen wrote of so beautifully in his op-ed piece in the Times, there is no justice to be had on either side of this conflict, as each has their own understandable point of view. For the Palestinians, it was their land that was taken to compensate the Jews for the horror that was the consequence of European beliefs and behaviors. It was not the Arab world that was responsible for the Holocaust and it was understandable that the Palestinians felt unjustly driven from what they considered to be their own land. At the same time, Israel has consider this its holy land as well, and, finally having established a safe haven, it fights for its right to exist. Jerusalem is the problem, as it has always been, and a shared Jerusalem is the only way out of the impasse. The settlers have tortured and stolen from the Palestinians - the West Bank and Gaza are not theirs.
-20 # 2011-11-08 22:33
The anti-semetism and hostility toward Jewish people on this post is highly disturbing.
+20 # William Bjornson 2011-11-09 00:56
dorian, get a grip. Anti-semitism is what israel does. They are not semitic, they are central asian. You might like a book name of "The Thirteenth Tribe" by an unimpeachable author, Arthur Koestler (see Wikipedia). Wonderful read.

Also, there has been no hostility toward "Jewish people" on this page that I have seen. Most criticism here seems directed at the ethnic cleansing policies of the zionists. You know, yourself, that these religious fanatics are dangerously deranged. And you also know that if a major war breaks out in the Mideast, it will be 'proactive' israel who starts it just like when they Pearl-Harboured the Egyptians or massacred the women and children of the Palestinians on a number of occasions. They withhold food and medicine, destroy what little the Palestinians have left, and try to seed as much pain into these poor people as they can. Most importantly for American Judaism though, is that israel's star is on the wane. The American vox populi is changing, repelled by what it sees. Yes, even us who can genocide with the best of them. If you like, the good Rabbis of Brooklyn, via jewsagainstzion, will be happy to educate you on the realities of zionism. They are terrified. If you'd rather wallow around in the old b.s. "anti-semitism" shtick, do so. You'll never even see it coming.
0 # Capn Canard 2011-11-09 13:24
Do you have any links for this Central Asian Judaism origin story besides Arthur Koestlers?
+7 # Ken Hall 2011-11-09 11:17
Are you including Ghandi in your anti-semitic rant? Let us not go there. To criticize Israeli policy and apartheid is neither anti-semitic nor anti-Israel. We should all work for a just resolution to this long-term conflict. Playing the anti-semitism card in the face of justified criticism is not helpful.
+1 # Capn Canard 2011-11-10 15:17, any hostility is directed toward those who appear to believe that only Jews can be Semites and consequently only Jews ever suffered. JEWS ARE NOT TOO BLAME any more than Palestinians. Without resistance then it KEEPS HAPPENING. The Palestinians homeland is occupied by the minority(Palest inians outnumber Jews in Palestine). Doesn't it occur to you that this could be a powder keg of conflict? Any solutions? How do you resolve this dorinab? I say you need a viable Palestinian state. What say you?
+10 # truthbug 2011-11-09 08:22
More importantly, look at the ajc poll archives and learn that the US Jewish community has been an overwhelmingly strong supporter of Israel, during the years when current abdominal US policy was formed. Tell me you didn’t know this.

Further poll results are that not a majority of US Jews feel very warm towards Israel, and in 2011, 55% haven't been to Israel. What does this mean, that Israel to them is just an abstract concept they bought into, not really part of their lives, but that it should exist anyway, because they've been brainwashed into thinking simply that Jews must support Israel? I think it's pretty clear that the US Jewish community was hoodwinked by the original Zionists to give their potent support for the Jewish state, and they’ve been highly successful, spreading their creed to a majority of the US Jewish population, who, in practice, are now Zionists.

I see nothing wrong with my pointing it out to you and other Jews and asking you to please re-consider the brainwashing you have succumbed to. It’s wrong to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Palestine. I know it's brainwashing because I also was once brainwashed, as are many other non-Jews in this stupid country, but I've since cured myself, and you can too.
+9 # Dion Giles 2011-11-08 21:59
Could it be that the settlers remain Israelis, with loyalties and identity being with the Zionist state of Israel and not with the neighbours in whose land they are settling? Didn't Jews live in Palestine for centuries before the settler state was planted in the territory at gunpoint in 1947? NO ethnic group - NONE - is special enough to be entitled to a state all for itself on someone else's land and ANYONE who tries to establish, hold and expand one merits the hostility of every human being who loathes racism and the claim for ethnic “specialness”.
+11 # gussie 2011-11-08 23:00
It's a tragic truth that any people abused, tortured, killed and
exiled will likely carry a burden of justified revenge on a group
of people poorer and less educated. Torture, hatred and punishment
are carried thru generations if not policed by neutral forces.
I have come to despise Israel -- I do not despise Jews. I do not
support anyone who defends Israel. It is a rogue state.
-2 # antineocon 2011-11-08 23:24
+9 # Artemis 2011-11-09 01:29
What on earth are you talking about?
What is depressing is to see how Jews are taught that the world hates them.
Do some research, inform yourself independently.
If you want to witness some of the blindest and most cruel hatred I have ever seen, go to youtube and put in "settlers attack palestinians" and watch that for a few hours.
0 # giraffee2012 2011-11-09 17:01
0 # ralphnovy 2011-11-10 00:49

See, that's the problem, peace first.

So long as some self-described "Jewish" people see themselves as a distinct "people" or "nation" or "folk" or fucking whatever, they'll be alienated.

Shit....they've "alienated themselves!

Hey.....I've been an atheist for about 50 years. I think all Jews, Christians, Muslims, Daoists, Hindus, et al. are delusional, cowardly nincompoops, at best.

You put off ultimate responsibility for moral decisions to some far-of (usually male) god, who tells you what to do. So everything you do after subscribing to this so-called "religion" is just a matter of "following orders."

Well........FUCK YOU!!!!

You cowardly neo-nazi pig-dog cowards you!

Google "Fritz Kuhn."

Think about it.


I wouldn't be saying such stuff if such pig-dogs as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck weren't still "on the air," by the way.

They're doing exactly what Fritz Kuhn was doing back in the 30s -- shilling for corporate fascism.


Why don't more people see this? Are they THAT "mesmerized" by marketeers?

0 # Capn Canard 2011-11-10 15:30
peace first, nice ironic name. The issue is easily solved with a two state solution. But I guess I can understand the Palestinian reluctance based on dealing with Zionists since 1947. I don't believe the Zionists are telling the full story and I am sure that Palestine is not being completely honest either, but who holds power and has more to lose? That is the sticking point... Palestine can tell the truth and it helps them, but Israel holds more power has a far greater reason to spread disinformation.
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2011-11-08 22:30
See the bullshit fly. Oh, love those open mikes! PS, only thing that ‘compelled’ the US to defund UNESCO viciously was its own stupid, bigoted legislation.
+11 # reiverpacific 2011-11-08 22:31
Quoting Ken Hall:
Here's what Ghandi had to say about the Palestinian colonization:
Gandhi on the Palestine conflict - 1938
"Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French...What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct...If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs... As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds."

I probably hardly need to state this but Ghandi also stated, on being asked what he thought of Western civilization "I think it would be a very good idea!" -which sums up so many, many aspects of Imperialism! Which side of the fence d'you think present-day Israel stands (having experience them both)?
+3 # William Bjornson 2011-11-09 00:24
Bravo! Encore?
+1 # Capn Canard 2011-11-09 12:50
reiverpacific, BRILLIANT! Thanks for bringing clear eyed view... nice.
+1 # Dion Giles 2011-11-09 00:03
0 # Activista 2011-11-09 14:42
shrinking map of Palestine
+6 # Activista 2011-11-09 02:29
Please read/find/learn:
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
book by John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, published in late August 2007. The book describes the lobby as a "loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction".[3] The book "focuses primarily on the lobby's influence on U.S. foreign policy and its negative effect on American interests".[4] The authors also argue that "the lobby's impact has been unintentionally harmful to Israel as well"
-8 # peace first 2011-11-09 05:59
You are all missing my point about Israel always being willing to give Land for Peace. It has done that in the past and will do it again. First, though, they have to have someone to negotiate this with.
Also, why do you all ignore the stated pledge that the Palestinians want a Jeuden-free land whereas Israel remains a democracy and allows all to live in Israel?

Another thing the opponents of Israel ignore is that when the 9 month settlement freeze that the Israelis agreed to last year was over, the Palestinians then wanted to talk. They didn't agree to any talks before that!
Does that show good faith?
+7 # Artemis 2011-11-09 10:02
Again, what on earth are you talking about? Where do you get this information? It seems you and your friends are fed on the Zionist misinformation that constantly circles the net and you have never bothered to question it. Please find a reliable source on the history of negotiations.
Probably, like the Israeli woman who recently told me that people in Gaza can come and go as they wish, you have never entered the occupied territories and witnessed what is going on. Or were you one of those soldiers I recently saw dragging Palestinians along the ground by the hair? Probably you have never spoken to a Palestinian, particularly those in many West Bank towns who are married to Jews. This tired old stuff does not represent Palestinians or the Arab world's intentions towards Israel. And thank goodness, there are many brave Israelis who are not afraid to acknowledge this, despite unbelievable pressure exerted by family members and/or their society.
+4 # Activista 2011-11-09 15:05
"Israel remains a democracy and allows all to live in Israel? " ??
"Israeli authorities are planning mass expulsions of around 60,000 Palestinians, specifically in order to free up more territory for Jewish settlements. The Nakba (“catastrophe”, as Palestinians refer to the ethnic cleansing that accompanied Israel's founding in 1948) never finished."
"Aug 2, 2010 – Israel moved Sunday to deport the offspring of hundreds of migrant workers, mostly small children who were born in Israel, speak Hebrew and ...'
Israel is apartheid state - aka former South Africa ... Palestine does NOT want Israel JEWISH state - as fanatic Netanyahu wants ..
+7 # walt 2011-11-09 08:39
Both correct. Netanyahu a liar; he is also a tyrant not even popular with many Israelis who see him as such.
There are some messages here. Obama indicates how much Israel manipulates the USA: "...I have to deal with him even more often than you...”
We saw the USA invade Iraq at the prompting of known neocons of the Lobby. Now we see Israel again pushing for U.S. action against Iran. It is this manipulation of the USA by the Lobby that costs us with people of the Middle East who see it so clearly and, sadly, often respond with acts of violence against us.
Note too the comment, "Pushing Netanyahu risks alienating Israel's strong base of support among the US public and in Congress." One has to ask, just how much support do candidates get from this "base?" A look back to 2008 and pictures of candidates Obama and McCain having to visit Jerusalem while donning yarmulkes says plenty. When Netanyahu spoke before Congress, members were tripping over themselves to cater to him like an idol of worship. Many of the same treat our own president with contempt to include the infamous incident of Republican Rep. Joe Wilson calling the President a liar during the State of the Union address.
It is no wonder we are seeing legions of Americans taking to the streets demanding change in government they want to represent them and not the interests of so many others.
-6 # bobby t. 2011-11-09 11:21
The amount of irrational comments today is more than par for the course. The point was surely made that religion poisons the world.
Israel has never seen peace. The British voted for partition and then joined the Arabs to wipe out the Jews. They never figured they would survive. They did. Again... So sixty five years of warfare began. How many rockets were sent into Israel, killing not only Jews, but Muslims and Christians who live there as citizens of the State? How many shells were sent from the Golan Heights into the chldren playing in their playgrounds. Sure, side with the people who want the Heights back...Irrational...
Woody Allen says that Jews have a right to be paranoid, the whole world is out to get them. From the comments today, I would submit the evidence that Woody is, or course, right. I would also submit that man has never been a rational creature. We are hunters and killers. We are deceptive in order to survive. All animals are by nature. Our own National motto should be changed to lie, steal, and cheat, until you get caught. That includes all our past presidents..Hav e you read anything else in the papers recently? Watergate anyone? Iran-Contra anyone? Cain/Clinton anyone? I rest my case.
+2 # Activista 2011-11-09 15:17
"How many shells were sent from the Golan Heights?? NONE - this is Syrian land occupied by Israel into the chldren playing in their playgrounds" this is stupid but less than 10 people were killed ..
How many US made bombers/bombs were sent from the Israel into the children in Gaza playing in their playgrounds.
2 years ago - look - children killed in gaza conflict -
Sep 9, 2009 – (CBS/ AP) Well over half of nearly 1400 Palestinians killed in Israel's Gaza war were civilians, including 252 children younger than 16, ..
+3 # David Starr 2011-11-09 13:16
Over the years during the Israeli-Palesti nian conflict, the U.S. has played the role of neutral mediator for them...yet at the same time has heavily supported Israel economically & militarily. That's some neutrality. A UN body or committee is needed to take on the role of direct mediator(if that hasn't been attempted already).
+1 # angelfish 2011-11-09 14:49
Reiverpacific, once again you bring clarity to the mix! Bravo! In my opinion, Netanyahu may very well BE "a Liar", I have no knowledge of it and, apparently, neither did the President as evidenced by his silence. I'm sure they probably ALL lie to each other and even themselves, half of the time. For the Press to have leaked this nasty little tidbit is bad form. All it does is muddy the water and make people even MORE uncomfortable than they normally would be in their dealings with one another. As for Gandhi's take on the Jewish Settlement in Palestine? I believe he was right.
+3 # Don Thomann 2011-11-09 15:42
Let's not ignore the fact that Palestinians ARE semitic! How can one be "anti-semitic" if one favors a Palestinian state?
-2 # bobby t. 2011-11-10 07:08
get your facts right.
In April 1967, after Syria heavily shelled Israeli villages from the Golan Heights, Israel shot down six Syrian MiG fighter planes and warned Syria against future attacks.[62][64]

In the period between Israel’s War of Independence (1948) and the Six Day War (1967), the Syrians constantly harassed Israeli border communities by firing artillery shells from their dominant positions on the Golan Heights.[65][66 ] In October 1966 Israel brought the matter up before the United Nations. Five nations sponsored a resolution criticizing Syria for its actions but it failed to pass due to a Soviet veto.[67][68][69]

Former Israeli General Mattityahu Peled said that more than half of the border clashes before the 1967 war "were a result of our security policy of maximum settlement in the demilitarised area."[70] Israeli incursions into the zone were responded to with Syrians shooting. Israel in turn would retaliate with military force.[59] Sir Alec Douglas-Home, former Prime Minister of the UK, stated that when he was visiting the Galilee a few months before the 1967 war "at regular intervals the Russian-built forts on the Golan Heights used to lob shells into the villages, often claiming civilian casualties." He said after the 1973 war that any agreement between the two sides "must clearly put a stop the that kind of
0 # Activista 2011-11-10 12:10
“Moshe Dayan, the celebrated commander who, as Defense Minister in 1967, gave the order to conquer the Golan...[said] many of the firefights with the Syrians were deliberately PROVOKED by Israel, and the kibbutz residents who pressed the Government to take the Golan Heights did so less for security than for the farmland...[Day an stated] ‘They didn’t even try to hide their greed for the land...We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot.
And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.’” The New York Times, May 11, 1997
wars (except 1973) were started by Israel
0 # Ken Hall 2011-11-11 10:57
Six or seven different UN generals who monitored the demilitarized zone at the Golan border documented Israeli provocations, to which the Syrian shelling was a response. Settlements and farming in the demilitarized zones were illegal. The quote from General Peled is very revealing, he admits to illegal activity that provoked the Syrian attacks.
-2 # bobby t. 2011-11-10 07:18
how can you say that the un is neutral. note the history of the golan heights. veto by the russians? there is nothing neutral when it comes to oil.everyone has an axe to grind.
the truth is, everyone in the middle east is genetically out of northern Africa. They came into the middle east over ninety thousand years ago. the entire world is black african by genetic markers and codes. when they talk about the three liars, and they all lie, remember that they are all black. if you think that is crazy, check out the origin of man in google. or do anthropologists have an axe to grind too? I was married to one of those people for eighteen years. the liars are really funny talking about lying among themselves. they are all liars! always this holier than thou nonsense. never ends.....
+3 # David Starr 2011-11-10 13:21
The UN would probably be more neutral than the U.S., being it's an international body representing all nations, rather than one, although politics have been present through its existence. Golan Heights: It was recognized as Syrian territory in 1944. Then, years of military clashes occurred between Syria & Israel. Initially it was over its DMZ. Syria said no one had soveriegnty over it, Israel said it had. Further disagreements sparked further clashes. In your post there's an admittance of Israel imposing "maximum settlement" in the Golan, quoting a General Peled. Moshe Dyan candidly said that "Israel provoked more than 80% of the clashes..." although there are skeptics. Jan Muhren former UN observer in the Golan said that "Israel provoked most border incidents as part of its strategy to annex more land." Two UN resolutions condemned Israel's occupation of Golan, although Israel uses the wording of one to justify its occupation citing "safe & recognized boundries free from threats or force." You appear to sound neutral, saying that "everyone has an axe to grind," yet you sound like Israel is totally the victim here, even in the face of its military occupation of Golan. I support archeological evidence that humans came from Africa, but you go on a strange rant about "liars" & "that they are all black," & you were "married to one of those people." Mildly put, racial bias?
+2 # C.H.Winslow 2011-11-10 10:34
One of the comments suggested wanting to know what a Semite was (is). The term has two meanings. The technical meaning is that a Semite is one whose native tongue is a Semitic language, one with a tri- consonantal root in the third person past tense of the verb, k t b (kataba) he wrote in contemporary Arabic. Examples of peoples who spoke a Semitic language are: Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Neo-Babylonians , Amoritic Caananities (and Phoenecians), and the extant (bedouin penetrations), the Aramaeans, Hebrews, and Arabians--speak ers of North and South Arabic. The Semites, along with the Turks and Persians, are the main linguistic inhabitants of the Middle East. The ancient Philistines were not Semites but a Indo-European language group, as was, apparently, Moses's father-in-law, Jethro. (Hebrew J V E, Minoan, Jove).

The modern meaning of Semite, from European Christian origins, means Jew and does not refer to a linguistic category. The linguistic Semites share both a "magical" language structure, providing great musical and emotional power and a bedouin ethos. One is either in or out of the "garden" as the anthropologist, Gulick, put it. As for the second meaning, both pro and anti semitic sentiments appear in this string. I oppose both views.
+1 # peace first 2011-11-10 13:59
If you are interested, check out Jonathan Tobin's essay at
Here is a small part of it: |
"Barack Obama's dislike of Benjamin Netanyahu was not a state secret prior to the publication of his candid exchange about the Israeli prime minister with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. So the fact the two have a low opinion of Netanyahu and consider dealing with him to be a burden isn't exactly news. But while much of the commentary about this kerfuffle has centered on the question of who should be most embarrassed by the revelation — Netanyahu or his two highly placed critics — there is a more important point here.

"Netanyahu has a well-earned reputation as a prickly and somewhat unpleasant fellow to deal with-in Israeli political circles as well as the world of international diplomacy. But when Sarkozy and Obama grouse about him, the resentment they are giving voice to hasn't all that much to do with whether or not Netanyahu is a charm school dropout. What really annoys them is his inherent skepticism about the peace process."
+1 # Activista 2011-11-10 14:29
Calling criticizing Netanyahu anti-Semitic is like calling critique of Bush anti-american /anti-patriotic.
I experienced both - and both propaganda "schemes" lead to CENSORSHIP of information - especially when it comes to the Israeli-Middle East conflict.
Ask where is ALL PROPAGANDA to bomb the Iran comes from? Look at Iraq now and follow the facts/money.
0 # thirby 2011-11-10 18:28
I am glad the French are telling it like it is this time. Now if they would just stop lying about Libya. That was simply an oil thing for Europe after all.
0 # C.H.Winslow 2011-11-10 20:11
Why do some comments have red and green icons allowing assent and dissent while others do not? I would like to agree with one of those that provide no icons for indicating agreement.
0 # bobby t. 2011-11-10 21:35
if a person goes to big business and says this is what i will do for you, and then goes to big labor and says i will help you in your struggles for higher wages, and benefits, he is lying to one of them. so by logical definition they are liars. all of is the nature of the beast and we all want them as pure as driven snow. what fools we mortals be.
0 # peace first 2011-11-11 08:39
If what Ghandi, and REIVERPACIFIC, said is true, then the U.S. needs to give back Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to Mexico. Why does the world not demand other countries give back the land they had taken in war? Why does Israel have to be the only country that is expected to give back land it acquired, even after being attacked by its neighbors? As a matter of fact, Israel has stated over and over that it will gladly give back land for a peace settlement, and it has, viz a vis Gaza.

And, as a matter of fact, ARTEMIS, I was in Israel last year when the 9 month moratorium on settlement building ended. As soon as it ended, the Palestinians demanded a renewal of the moratorium, giving assurances that they were ready to enter into peace talks, though they had given the same assurances at the beginning of the previous moratorium, but never once agreed to the talks. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to have to deal with this kind of chicanery.
0 # stonecutter 2011-11-12 04:40
The thinly veiled hatred in this string is breathtaking. Surfing this string, I feel like I'm at a Klan some comments, the searing heat of burning crosses leaps off the screen. Some of the transparent hate mongering, and open threats of Jewish genocide right here in River City, are appalling but not surprising, given the acid reflux of the "Tea Party" and the army of knuckle-dragger s, white supremacists and survivalists (wait, they're the same) that use extreme right politics as a beard for their not-so-hidden agenda of scapegoating and racial cleansing in Der Homelandt! One viewing of "American History X" was all I needed to understand this nest of evil Orcs, who seem amply represented in this comment string.

But I've also read numerous sane, coherent arguments for a reasoned approach to what's obviously one of the most intractable foreign policy issues in recent human history. After 100 years of sustained conflict, and given recognition of the vital U.S. strategic interest this region signifies, it's long since time to achieve a two-state solution that cements and respects mutual sovereignty, legal, political, economic and cultural autonomy, and an end to perpetual war. The real question is whether vision and leadership exists on both sides to make this happen, as it did in Northern Ireland. Does it exist?

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