Egyptians on Israel Peace Treaty

Several Egyptians shown on various networks have said they reject the treaty with Israel. It’s also been cited in articles I have been reading for days. I just want to make the point that the peace treaty fosters Egyptian collaboration with Israel in its oppression of Palestinians. It means the Egyptian Army cannot even station troops in Sinai, its own territory.

Obviously, this is ridiculous and unacceptable to Egyptians and anyone who believes in national sovereignty and especially universal human rights. To call for the revocation of this unjust treaty is not to call for war. Countries don’t just have peace treaties or war; the default is peace, that’s why, for example, most countries don’t have treaties with most other countries with which they are at peace.

Why Argentina’s Palestine Recognition Matters

We interrupt this endless WikiLeaks news cycle to report on something else. (It isn’t likely to end anyhow, and will probably be the dominant news paradigm here at for many months, at least.)

You may have heard that Argentina and its small, similar neighbor Uruguay have followed Brazil’s lead in recognizing Palestine as a state. This is significant and desirable for several reasons.

First, it is desirable that Palestine be recognized as a state because for now, this is the only way any geographical area or people can be even somewhat independent. To clarify — the recognition of a Palestinian state does not conjure one out of thin air and it doesn’t cast off Israel’s occupation as if it only took a certain number of countries to just stop believing in the monster anymore. It is just a rhetorical and diplomatic wedge. Yes, even once independent they will still have to deal with a crappy government run by crooked religionists. This is indisputably better than dealing with Jews-only roads, wholesale theft of ancestral land, psychotic settlers, and the possibility or likelihood of being murdered for protesting all of this.

Previously, only other Muslim countries and some former Soviet states recognized Palestine. This is not a bad thing, but as they say, you are judged by the company you keep, and these countries aren’t generally known as, well, good. We’re talking about blatant kleptocracies and theocracies that make Gaza look like Vegas. They also happen to have few or no Jews, with the exception of Iran. All of this is why the latest round of recognitions is so significant.

Brazil is on its way up as an economic powerhouse, and is quite liberal, democratic, and Western all around, despite its problems. Uruguay and Argentina are (more or less) long-time first-world countries, which, combined with Brazil, represent another several hundred million of the world’s people. These countries have close ties with Europe and the United States. They also have large, assimilated Jewish populations — especially and famously, Argentina. In fact, the official who announced the Argentine decision is himself Jewish. This bolsters the Palestinians’ point that their struggle is not anti-Jewish; they simply want to stay on their own land.

Israel is angry, of course, not least of all because it relies on anti-Jewish sentiment to scare up money and support from American Jews.

I expect a wave of recognitions across Latin America in the coming weeks. Contrary to Israeli-US talking points on the issue, this does not undermine peace, which despite decades of expensive blather was never really on the table. It rather ramps up the discussion, forces it onto a new plane. Israel can either try and probably fail to continue to buy the world’s support for its occupation, or it can serve itself and the world better by cutting its losses and making the situation right. It would certainly not put Israel in a good position to block these countries’ efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Palestinians.

It’s not clear what actual changes we may see after these developments, but it will at least be something new to watch. The endless cycle of fake peace talks and ignored “agreements” between parties of such obvious bad faith is so tiresome.

A Snapshot of Linguistic Cynicism on ‘Terrorism’

A quick but illustrative juxtaposition of news tonight, before I start building tomorrow’s page:

Shin Bet chief: Hamas will use terror to thwart talks


Likud MKs threaten to withdraw support for budget if settlement freeze extended

Same newspaper, same night. In the first piece, it is clear that any action taken by Hamas is automatically terror, even if directed at Israel soldiers. As pointed out often here, this is not terrorism but a military attack on state actors by non-state actors (though in Hamas’ case, the “non-state” is debatable). But let’s just assume they mean the typical Tel Aviv café attacks of the Intifada. This warning about Hamas’ intentions has within it the assumption that Israel is doing all it can to help along the peace talks. The second piece shows that it in fact does the very opposite.

Hardline Israeli MPs are calling for an end to the (false) settlement freeze in order to pass the budget, just as another round of certainly pointless “peace talks” are to resume. If this happens, it will certainly kill any agreement, and the Likudniks know it. Israel, of course, doesn’t have to do terrorism to be able to build its settlements, because it has achieved terror in totality throughout Palestine. That is, Israel’s terror is a finished product of many decades. None have the power or inclination to challenge the state’s land grabs and colonial project on any level.

Except, you see, for Palestinian “terrorists.” Neat, huh?

Peres, in Argentina, Leaves Sense of Irony at Home

Israeli President and political office-juggler Shimon Peres is in Argentina schmoozing the poor man’s Eva Peron, batty President Cristina Kirchner, in the week before Palestinian Authority strongman Mahmoud Abbas visits. Though he seems to be trying to stay one step ahead of his enemies, he’s traveling so quickly he seems to have left behind sense of irony, the evidence of which is this Jerusalem Post article:

Citing two acts of terrorism perpetrated by Iran on Argentinean soil: the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in 1994, Peres wondered who could agree to have a regime that murders innocent people be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

“Who would believe them? Who could rely on them?” he asked.