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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is Bush Endorsing the Palestinian Arab Right of Return?

At Bush's press conference with Olmert, Bush stated the following;

"If you're asking me, am I nudging them forward -- well, my trip was a pretty significant nudge, because yesterday they had a meeting -- and by the way, the atmosphere in America was, nothing is going to happen, see, that these issues are too big on the ground; therefore, you two can't get together and come up with any agreements. You just heard the man talk about their desire to deal with core issues, which I guess for the uneducated on the issue, that means dealing with the issues like territory and right of return and Jerusalem. Those are tough issues -- the issue of Israeli security. And they're going to sit down at the table and discuss those issues in seriousness."

Now this statement might be innocuous but Bush said it again at his press conference with Abbas

See, the past has just been empty words, you know. We -- actually it hasn't been that much -- I'm the only President that's really articulated a two-state solution so far -- but saying two states really doesn't have much bearing until borders are defined, right of return issues resolved, Jerusalem is understood, security measures -- the common security measures will be in place. That's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a clear, defined state around which people can rally.


Bush repeated this statement again in a Channel 2 interview

Meanwhile in Israel National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley agreed to it too

Q Just to follow up, is the President basically, then, in terms of his expectations, is he expecting that some of the core issues that you -- you know, Jerusalem, borders, right of return -- they would not be deferred, that they would be settled -- in his mind, they would be settled as part of this definition that he was talking about?

MR. HADLEY: Yes, and the parties, yesterday, said that, as much, that they have said all issues will be on the table, that the negotiations will be addressing all of the core issues. They listed those issues. So this is the objective that the parties have set for themselves, the target, if you will, the objective of negotiating those issues before the end of 2008.


So is the Right of Return, aka the destruction of Israel now American policy? As Daniel Pipes has written;

The Palestinian “right of return” entered the lexicon of American policymakers in December 2006, when the Iraq Study Group Report urged the U.S. government to support Israel-Palestinian negotiations that addresses what it termed a “key final status issue.” That recommendation came as a mild shock, given that the “right of return” to Israel is transparently a code phrase to overwhelm Israel demographically, thereby undoing Zionism and the Jewish state, and so a notion never before a goal of official Washington.

A year later, White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino adopted the term, though without much notice. Out of seemingly nowhere, she informed journalists at a press briefing on November 28, 2007 that “The right of return issue is a part of the road map and it's going to be one of the issues that the Israelis and the Palestinians have to talk about during … negotiations.”

Pipes goes on to document the three times Bush mentioned it on his trip to Israel and elsewhere as well. As Linda at Something and Half of Something has pointed out, the Jerusalem Post ran a story on the Right of Return and then removed it from the actual site and replaced it with a story that claims the Right of Return is not an issue. The Jpost is of course an organ of the Olmert government and it's not too hard to imagine a sharply worded email or phone call telling the editorial staff to knock it off because the issue isn't ready for release.

Olmert himself is floating a 50,000 man return trial balloon. It's safe to say that the real proposal multiplies that by at least a factor of ten for at least half a million. Rachel Neurwith meanwhile has been chronicling a media blitz promoting a Right of Return just in time for the conferences.

This makes sense because the usual way of doing things on the Arab side is that when Israel makes one concession, the Arab side moves on to the next phase of its demands. Olmert has conceded withdrawal and Jerusalem, the next stage is the Right of Return.

The Voice of America along with other outlets is reporting that the "refugees" are on the agenda at the talks.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Queria met at a Jerusalem hotel to discuss the core issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - borders, the status of Jerusalem, the issue of Palestinian refugees and Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Note of course that nothing is being discussed that the Palestinian Arabs have to actually do, such as stop the killing.

26 comments:

Louis DePalma said...

Of course he is the only President to nudge over two states, he is the dumbest dip____ the US ever had as a president.

LemonLimeMoon said...

Slowly but surely what is being done in Western Europe and America will be done to Israel which is a complete replacement of the population. This is the goal.
Christian efforts to bring in massive amounts of people who they believe belong in Israel, the Hindus who are thought to be Menashe.
I wonder who the last Jew in Israel will be?

Anonymous said...

"Right of Return." What other name would you give the issue?

I see that you fear it can be construed as agreeing that some such right exists. But not necessarilly. Nevertheless, if those three words bother you, what name would you substitute as a label for this issue?

I think you are picking nits.

Who cares what the President's opinion on the matter is? His opinion doesn't matter. Settlement of the issue is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians. All Bush is saying is that they should settle this use (among others) NOW.

We all have an opinion on what the best, fairest solution would be. But the President keeps his to himself, as he should. (It is highly unlikely that he agrees with the Palestinians, and unless you are out to lunch, you must know that.) I am really sick of people accusing him of POSSIBLE THOUGHT CRIMES.

That's a responsibility dodge. Quit whining about what the president MIGHT think. The blame for the failure to settle this conflict rests with the Israelis and the Palestinans, nobody else.

You completely missed the boat about what what the President is saying. Review the press conference with Abbas. Especially the part before Abbas interupts to say, "Well put."

To wit: The hard issues shouldn't be put off. To the contrary, they must be the first ones settled. This will result in a map for the future Palestinain State. It will enable the Palestinian people to visualize what's at stake. Concreteness - no more fuzzy abstractions like "democracy" and "freedom." Instead, a real picture of intact homes and streets without checkpoints and armed thugs on them.

Then Hamas won't be able to lie to them anymore about what the end result will be, duh!

Hamas won't be able to make them think that their country will look like swiss cheese and that the checkpoints and wall will remain and that Jerusalem will be off-limits to them, and so forth. In other words, they will be able to see that the Israelis are negotiating in good faith.

That will make a liar out of Hamas, duh.

Then Abbas can ask the Palestinian people to choose between this concrete "vision" of a better future and the dismal one presented by the status quo with Hamas. Which will they choose?

Israel and the PA should have been taking this approach long time ago! It will work.

Is compromise a foreign concept in that part of the world, or what? You seem more worried about winning the argument without giving an inch than you do about peace.

I am no fan of Olmert: when you wage a war it is immoral to not be serious about winning it - all those people died for nothing in Lebanon because he wasn't, because he was just posturing. But, that doesn't mean that he can never be right.

Sultan Knish said...

anonymous, you seem to be under the false impression that there is some kind of peace settlement that can be achieved here with a terrorist organization

as the last 15 years of this merry go round have demonstrated there can't

Abbas runs a terrorist organization , the only difference between Fatah and Hamas is the details of their ideology

even as negotiations continue, so do the attacks

the President is choosing to pile on more and more concessions for Israel to make

the right of return pushes not just the transfer of territory but the importation of a large enemy population into israel proper

it's code for the elimination of israel, that's your compromise right there

imagine if Bush met with Al Queda to propose a negotiated compromise that gave Al Queda most of the American Southwest, even as Al Queda kept on attacking Americans

then to top it all off the third party overseeing the whole thing demanded that the US accept 30 million Taliban into the midwest and the south and northeast

that's what Bush has done with the Right of Return and it is beyond shameless to try and defend it

Sultan Knish said...

"Then Abbas can ask the Palestinian people to choose between this concrete "vision" of a better future and the dismal one presented by the status quo with Hamas. Which will they choose?"

Hamas' vision, an Islamic Palestinian state that destroys Israel and implements Islamic law

Abbas' vision, a Palestinian state that destroy Israel and implements some Islamic law and some socialism

Hamas' reality, an Islamic splinter in Gaza that continues killing Israelis while offering phony truces

Abbas' reality, a Fatah ruled West Bank territory that continues killing Israelis while offering phony peace negotiations

it's quite a difference

Keli Ata said...

This is more than a "thought crime" with Bush. He's the current president of the world's superpower nation. Not the brightest but nevertheless he wields a lot of control.

In essence Bush has become a turncoat to the Jewish people. Another Jimmy Carter.

Just another impression on trying to turn Israel into a terrorist state, possible scenario and rationale--that's what this Palestine Right of Return amounts to. Creating a terrorist state, possibly to be used as mercenaries against other Arab terrorists.

But there's a flaw with this. If the US thinks these potential mercenaries will be loyal to the US it's doubtful. Once the Palestinians get what they want they'll turn.

Possible solution to the Palestinian Right of Return? Mass aliyah by every Jew in the West so there won't be any room for Arabs.

Keli Ata said...

Lemon's right, too. Messianic Jew want the right of return because they say they're Jewish and love Israel. Christians want to return because they think they've been grafted in to the Jewish people and have a right to the land. The Black Hebrews in Damona forced their way in I don't know how and they think they're part of the lost tribes of Israel.

Non-Jewish Russians are granted citizenship based on a grandparent that might have been Jewish somewhere.

Will the Real Jew please stand up?

Descendants of conversos with DNA and other documents to prove Jewish ancestry can't return under the law of return unless they undergo a lengthy conversion.

EB said...

"The last Jew in Israel." There won't be a last Jew left in Israel if the world has it's way. There will be no Jew, no Messianic Jew, no Christian Jew, no Black Jew.

The only result on this current path will be the complete and utter destruction of Israel.

Bush, who has been coined at some point along the way as "Israel's best friend," has actually turned out to be the most destructive.

Israel's own leadership is setting the scene for destruction too. It's now or never. Israel better do something or once again the land will be trampled by Muslims.

LemonLimeMoon said...

Well, my remark was sarcastic since there is no human being who CAN destroy the peopleof Israel. Bnai Israel-the children of Israel- live forever. The promise of G-d is sure on that.
In the vision of the valley of bones it says. "who are these?"referring to those resurrected to live forever, "These are the whole house of Israel"

Martin Equs said...

Arab boy in the photo looks like a cartoon character.

Keli Ata said...

Yep, it does that the Jewish people will live forever.

Anonymous said...

"anonymous, you seem to be under the false impression that there is some kind of peace settlement that can be achieved here with a terrorist organization"

Then I guess President Bush is wasting his time. President Clinton did too. All American presidents have been conducting nothing but an exercize in futility.

And the $30 billion President Bush just sent Israel was wasted too.

The US has never wavered in its promise to come to Israel's rescue should the Arab nations gang up on it again and start "driving it into the sea." In fact, the only time the nuclear arsenals of both the US and SU came to full alert was in our keeping of that promise. And this is the thanks we get for putting a stop to those gang-up wars.

I don't think you will get America to serve as Israel's right arm and force the Palestinians to give up all their demands. Israel will have to do that itself.

I am very sorry to say this. During the First Gulf War, I wept with joy to see bombs falling on Baghdad, for Israel's sake, not Kuwait. No one hated Arafat more than I. I rooted for Israel in Lebanon and wanted the IDF to clean it out. But now I want the US to quit this exercize in futility. All we get out of it is blamed. Blamed for the failures of both Israel and the PA.

Note that President Bush warned both Olmert and Abbas that many Americans feel this way. Both sides seem to want us to bully the other for them. Nothing doing. Trying to bring about peace is an impossible mission and therefore a waste of our time.

Sultan Knish said...

Can you look back at the history of the peace process and claim that it wasn't time wasted from America's perspective? (from Israel's perspective, the country is approaching the brink of destruction) What exactly has been accomplished throughout all this?

"The US has never wavered in its promise to come to Israel's rescue should the Arab nations gang up on it again and start "driving it into the sea."

Israel has been ganged up on twice. The US coming to the rescue was never an issue, no matter what politicians might say. The closest thing to a rescue involved bouts of diplomacy and arms shipments. Unlike other countries Israel does not expect the US to do its fighting for it, but the US is preventing Israel from defending itself.

"And this is the thanks we get for putting a stop to those gang-up wars."

Putting a stop to what? In 1967 the US began putting a stop to it after Israel began winning. Ditto for the Yom Kippur War. Never mind that the Yom Kippur War happened because Kissinger prevented Israel from making a preemptive strike.

"I don't think you will get America to serve as Israel's right arm and force the Palestinians to give up all their demands. Israel will have to do that itself."

America doesn't need to serve as Israel's right arm. It needs to stop twisting Israel's arm to give into the Palestinian Arab demands... which is what's at issue here.

"I am very sorry to say this. During the First Gulf War, I wept with joy to see bombs falling on Baghdad, for Israel's sake, not Kuwait."

Except it was for Kuwait's sake, not Israel. Do you seriously believe the US would have attacked Saddam because of Israel.

"But now I want the US to quit this exercize in futility. All we get out of it is blamed. Blamed for the failures of both Israel and the PA. Note that President Bush warned both Olmert and Abbas that many Americans feel this way. Both sides seem to want us to bully the other for them. Nothing doing. Trying to bring about peace is an impossible mission and therefore a waste of our time."

Fine, then quit. America continually badgered and threatened Israel into making deals with terrorists. Unsurprisingly the only product of those deals was death and destruction.

Bringing peace with terrorists is not only an impossible mission but an obscene one. And of course Israel is to blame for America's own idea that everything would somehow be hunky dory. It doesn't work that way.

Like I said, go negotiate with Al Queda and see what kind of peace comes out of that. What you are expecting from Israel is no different. Bush said, you're either with us or with the terrorists. He's choosing to be with the terrorists.

steve klein said...

Sultan, now that it would appear Israel Beiteinu is doing the right thing, shouldn't we encourage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to follow suite?

Sultan Knish said...

pressure can only help but shas will leave when either the well has been milked dry or the government is done

olmert is now trying to recruit the haredim, if he succeeds Shas will not leave and may they be damned forever

steve klein said...

Maybe you can explain something to me. I do not understand these rabbis. Maybe I have a question of judgment.

I read this one Talkback on an Arutz opinion piece earlier, apparently written by an observant Jew?

"Rabbi O. Yosef is a huge rabbi in halachic terms. He is one of the biggest poskim alive today. He is also a mukubal, a Jewish mystic, whose curses come true. Of course this makes his stance on giving away land very worrying. We must be very careful when attacking a Torah scholar of such stature. Any rebuke must be backed up with many references to Jewish law. There are rabbis of great stature who publish statements contrary to R. Yosef. Their words are the words that we must use."

rabbi watcher, (16/01/08)

I guess he is warning me and others. We've got to be careful when attacking a Torah scholar of such stature, even if he is violating the fundamental principles of Torah including our eternal covenant; that is, all of the land of Israel was given to the Jews, not to mention all the admonitions not to take bribes in order to distort justice.

So Rabbi Yosef is a great Poskim, a judge in Israel. Doesn't he understand that one day he will be held accountable? Does he believe he will be judged innocent?


I like listening to books on audio. I was listening to the book of Ezekiel -- I am uncertain of the Hebrew translation.

The prophet is told the warn all the false prophets that speak lies to the people of Israel, they will not be written down in the Registry of Israel nor will they be permitted to enter the land or they will be excluded from the land of Israel.

Don't these rabbis fear they might not be able to live in the Holy Land in the World to come?

Maybe they will be consigned to Egypt or to some waste land?

Sultan Knish said...

people, rabbis included, can only be judged by their actions, which is how I judge him

there are people who develop mystical focuses on men, which is borderline idolatry. I'm not one of them. A Rabbi can only be honored as long as he follows G-d's word.

steve klein said...

People, rabbis included, can only be judged by their actions. I agree. My guess is, Rabbi Yosef's Shas party was a partner in this government when Mr. Olmert ordered the violent expulsion of Amona?

If we believe HaShem gave all the land of Israel to the children of our forefathers, to the Jews, how can an Orthodox rabbi rationalize what Olmert is doing? Or be a party to it.

This one man who claims to live in Jerusalem, is not happy with my position. Maybe he is a follower of Yosef. Maybe you alluded to the danger of criticizing him earlier in the way you responded?


He wrote.

'My "problem" is this case is your deliberate distorion of Torah and your disrespect not only for it but for everything related to it. Yes, a poseq is a rav who can rules on the implications of torah law. Note that there is a subtle difference between poseq and dayan, the latter being a judge properly speaking. You rant about what you do not understand. Since what you do not understand in this case is Torah, yes, I have a problem with that. Torah is both the essence of H` and the essence of a Jew'.

He is obviously angry at me.

Sultan Knish said...

since he uses posek with a q and dayan, yes i would imagine he's a follower of his or at least recognizes him as a posek

and this is why I said, frontal attacks with such people are useless, and calling yosef names only triggers this kind of sanctimonious lecture

i've been done this road myself

steve klein said...

I did not call Rabbi Yosef a name in this particular instance -- though your advise is sound. Maybe I will learn something about tact from your approach.


I understand that no matter how wrong, one must keep in mind a man of this distinction deserves a degree of respect for his great learning and position.

You said you've been down this road. I do not know if I will ever learn your lesson. I will try. I tend to be very outspoken. I have seen some very angry Talkbacks today; angry at Shas for not being first out of the coalition. Most are smart enough to not mention the man that calls the shots.

Not me.

In this case, though this person did specify, I believe what angered him was an earlier statement that Avigdor Lieberman is proving himself a better Jew in this instance than Rabbi Yosef. I am no fan of Lieberman. He seems to be an opportunistic politician. What he did I believe was correct regardless of motive.

Sultan Knish said...

think of it as the types of tactics used to deal with people in a cult, frontal attacks just reinforce the resistance

lieberman left to maintain what little credibility he has and presumably because it fits with his political plans

if shas and the haredi parties do however join the government, the situation may be sufficiently critical that some sort of confrontation may be called for

Anonymous said...

"Can you look back at the history of the peace process and claim that it wasn't time wasted from America's perspective? (from Israel's perspective, the country is approaching the brink of destruction) What exactly has been accomplished throughout all this?"

Who are you arguing with? Can you read? This off-the-wall reply is to the very opposite of what I said.

"The closest thing to a rescue involved bouts of diplomacy and arms shipments."

The Arabs were getting Soviet backing. That is what the US protected Israel from, to the point of that nuclear standoff. Give credit where due!

Nothing can get it through your head that the issues are to be settled by Israel and the PA, not us. No matter what America says or does, you and your ilk disregard 99.9% of it and pick at a word here or there out of context as a pretext for screaming that we "arm twisting." So, we are wasting of our time to make a convenient scapegoat for you.

As the President said, most Americans think neither side is serious about coming to a peace agreement, and you obviously aren't. That is why I now agree with most of my fellow Americans - that we should quit wasting our time and money on that mess. You convinced me. Thanks.

Sultan Knish said...

The Arabs were getting Soviet backing all along regardless of what the US did. There was no nuclear standoff, just the usual Soviet threats they made every few months.

"Nothing can get it through your head that the issues are to be settled by Israel and the PA, not us."

No, nothing can get it through your head that this is not being settled by Israel and the PA. That's what the Road Map is about. That's what the Quartet is about. That's what Bush coming to Israel and demanding a freeze on West Bank construction while the State Department warns Israel not to build housing in its own capitol is about.

"As the President said, most Americans think neither side is serious about coming to a peace agreement, and you obviously aren't."

15 years, thousands dead and a terrorist state in Gaza and the West Bank. I'm not sure exactly what Israel would have to do for you to consider it "serious", barring outright self-destruction

LemonLimeMoon said...

Anonymous, Bush has armed the Palestinians repeatedly . How can the man be serious about peace when he arms them to help them rain missles into Israel and kill?
You side with one or the other you don't play both sides against the middle which is what the administration has been doing.
Now the man wishes to bisect a nation that is not his own to make peace. Oh give me a break.
Most Americans are for backing off?
Nonsense. Most are for America backing off of interfering and twisting Israels arm behind the scenes and forcing her to give up land for peace.

No one convinced you. You were convinced all along. There are so many who post on here and say.. now I feel this way because of YOU or because of this one incident.
Thats horse hockey. People like that already have their opinion and just look for a chance to spew it.

steve klein said...

Sultan, You wrote: "since he uses posek with a q and dayan, yes i would imagine he's a follower of his or at least recognizes him as a posek."

It would appear you know your Hebrew. He admits to being sephardi. He wrote: "At times, R' Ovadiyah Yosef speaks out against what that party does in his name but he has not been in control of it for many years."

This untrue, isn't it? Rabbi Yosef is in total control of his party.

This what he wrote in full:


R' Ovadiya Yosef l'tzarenu is not what he used to be. He is still according the honor as a great rav but this is more for what he was than is. His behavior has become erratic in recent years and I do not think he has been permitted to sit as a halakhic authority in some time. This is a great loss to our people; R' Ovadiyah Yosef is not dead but the wisdom and the depth of understanding he used to have appear to be llost to us. The loss is incalculable.

Moreover the party he founded to try and use democracy to support Torah views as understood by many sfardim [although I like some sfardim have never counted R' Ovadiyah Yosef as my rav] has become the party reputed to be THE most corrupt. At times, R' Ovadiyah Yosef speaks out against what that party does in his name but he has not been in control of it for many years.

He has the status of a judge no one will disbar due to the respect he commands-- for various good reasons-- but whom no one would dare let sit on the bench anymore.

Sultan Knish said...

he's engaging in completely dishonest apologetics

yes his behavior has become erratic, but he is control both as a posek and as a party leader, it was he who bullied the rest into voting for Peres

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