Israelis United Behind War Effort

This is only "one alternative, and this is being murdered."

The New York Times has launched a new podcast series called The Interview, the first two installments of which debuted over the weekend. The first, featuring the actress Anne Hathaway, interested not a whit. The second, in which cohost Lulu Garcia-Navarro interviewed Israel’s Opposition Leader, was a different story.

Its title, “Yair Lapid Says the World Misunderstands Israel,” tells the story. By way of context, Lapid, who briefly served as Israel’s 14th Prime Minister (July-December 2022) heads the Yesh Atid party, one of the very few in the Knesset that did not join the Unity Government in the wake of the October 7 massacre. And yet, while it’s clear Lapid thinks Netanyahu is a disaster, the amount of light between his view of the war in Gaza and that of his nemesis would not expose a roll of film.

As an Israeli, I’m as worried as I’ve ever been. I feel the fragility of our society. I meet with the hostage families and discuss with them the endless pain and fear and agony they have. And of course, there’s no way for me not to imagine being in their place if my children were there or my mother was there, held by a terror organization. And I’m haunted by memories of Oct. 7, by the implications on our security.

As a political leader, I’m worried, but a different kind of worried, because I don’t think we have the right leadership to handle the moment.


We are fighting an existential war. I don’t think people understand the level of fear and angst — I mean the international community, the international media. It is horrifying to me to see this footage of young people marching on American campuses, shouting, “From the river to the sea.” And then you ask them, Do you know what river it is or what sea it is? And they have no clue. They’re putting us on the side of the bad guys without even knowing what happened, what we have been going through.


First and foremost, I blame it on a cynical radical Islamic movement that is using the lack of knowledge from American youngsters, who are buying this as part of an ongoing struggle between the oppressors and those who are oppressed, or between white privileged people and people who are not. We keep telling them: Anne Frank was not a white privileged kid. And the story is not what you are told, and how come you’re marching in favor of people who want to kill Jews because they’re Jews? Because this is the way Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad are. And they’re supporting them against the democratic country. This is, to me, unbelievable in so many ways.

But I also blame an Israeli government who doesn’t understand or doesn’t seem to care about its primary duty to make this easier for those who support us in the United States to be supportive. Not, for example, making sure settlers’ violence is restrained, not making sure we’re doing what needs to be done in terms of explaining what is really happening in the war in Gaza. And not doing the simple things like saying: Yes, our heart is broken when children are dying in Gaza. Because children are not supposed to die in grown-ups’ wars, and because we have no war with children. And we try to do our utmost to avoid hurting the innocent. This is a very dense, populated area. This is a very cruel war against an enemy that uses his own people, his own children as human shields, and casualties are sometimes inevitable. But we are sorry. And the ridiculous thing is we are doing our best. The Israeli Defense Army is doing its best to avoid this. And yet the government is not saying so out loud, because they’re afraid of some ignorant, populist voices that might say they are soft on handling the war. This is just outrageous to me.


What is the alternative? Right now, to engage in this war has only one alternative, and this is being murdered. We never asked for this war. We never wanted this war, and we only went for this war because our children were burned alive. Because our elderly were killed. Because we have, even right now, still hostages in the terror tunnels. And they raped women, and they conquered villages. And more than that, they have openly said — they meaning Hamas — that if they have a chance, they’ll do it again. And therefore we are in Gaza to make sure it will never happen again.

Garcia-Navarro asks the obvious question:

You very deliberately did not join the war cabinet. Can you tell me why? You lead the opposition, and just hearing you speak about your defense of the conduct of the war, I’m wondering what you are in opposition to?

Part of it is because somebody has to say out loud, We have to maintain our democratic spine. We have to make sure we are handling this at least the best we can, and we have to understand that the future lies also with discussing this with other Palestinians, like the Palestinian Authority. This country needs someone who will speak about the future in different terms. We need in this country somebody who will be able to talk to the American administration or to the American political realm in a different language. And besides, I feel that Prime Minister Netanyahu is part of what led us to or has a huge responsibility for what led us to the current situation. And sitting behind him and becoming a front or legitimizing his premiership doesn’t seem like a good idea.

But I’m an Israeli patriot. I think the Israeli Army is conducting itself in terrible, sometimes impossible circumstances in an honorable way and doing its best to avoid hurting the innocent. And therefore I feel obligated to defend the way the Israeli Defense Forces are dealing with themselves. On the other hand, when something terrible happens, like when Israel accidentally killed the employees of the World Kitchen organization, I will be the first one to say: Listen, we are sorry. This shouldn’t have happened. And to demand there will be an investigation, to demand that there will be results to these investigations. So I think this voice is necessary. But I think I did the right thing, staying out of government.


Because what I think is that — and this is my duty as the leader of the Israeli opposition, to tell the Israeli government — you need to handle this war better than you do now. We understand the need, of course, to defend the country, to defend the people, to react to what happened on Oct. 7 and to eliminate all of Hamas’s military capabilities. And on the other hand, to stay what we are, which is a democracy that is doing its best in terms of defending the idea of humanity. And, as we have discussed, defend this in circumstances that are no less than horrible. And the dialogue we have with the outside world is either with people who are chanting slogans they don’t really understand or who are determined to make this into a one-sided story.

No, Israel is not committing genocide. No, Israel is not doing anything but defend itself in a war we didn’t want. And these are not pro-government statements. This is just the reality of people who are hurting. The fact that I oppose the government so much doesn’t mean I need to oppose the idea of self-defense.

Essentially, then, the only disagreement Lapid has with Netanyahu and the rest of the Unity Government is that they could be more emphatic about how hard they’re trying to prevent innocent casualties.

To be sure, he has a much more moderate view of the Palestinian crisis. He’s a longtime proponent of a two-state solution, albeit mostly because he thinks that’s the only way Israelis will ever be safe. But that’s not exactly his priority at the present moment.

The bottom line, then, is even if there were new elections—as Lapid has repeatedly called for—and Netanyahu were ousted, there would be essentially zero change in Israeli war policy.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, World Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Assad K says:

    In the US, too, wasn’t there once a principle of politics stopping at the shore? Of course he’s going to push back against claims that the Israeli army is conducting a genocide, regardless of the technical (rather than lay) definition of the word. What’s problematic is that people conflate ‘Israel should try to avoid mass casualties’ with ‘Israel should do nothing’. The US would of course have struck back after 9/11, but a different administration would (probably) have done it differently. Likewise, any Israeli government would have retaliated, the only question is how and at what scale.

  2. drj says:

    @Assad K:

    What’s problematic is that people conflate ‘Israel should try to avoid mass casualties’ with ‘Israel should do nothing’.

    But how many such people are there?

    Compare this statement from Lapid:

    It is horrifying to me to see this footage of young people marching on American campuses, shouting, “From the river to the sea.” And then you ask them, Do you know what river it is or what sea it is? And they have no clue.

    But why does he paint these people as his opponents, as those “who don’t understand Israel?”

    Why not, instead, the people who say: “You have a right to defend yourself, but WTF are your colonists still doing on the West Bank?”

    Answering that last question is, of course, a lot harder. It’s much easier to not even attempt this and distract instead.

    It cynicism, pure and simple.

  3. Kathy says:

    At its inception, Israel was a small country surrounded by enemies bent on its obliteration. This ended in 1973, after the Yom Kipur War. Despite achieving surprise, the coalition led by Egypt and Syria lost. This was the last time Israel’s neighbors attempted a direct attack.

    So, Israel does not face an existential threat from its neighbors any more. It has diplomatic relations with Jordan and Egypt, as well as other Muslim countries nearby. Syria is pretty much a basket case. This leaves Iran and its proxies in Lebanon and Gaza.

    Iran could conceivably be an existential threat if it ever gets around acquiring nukes. Right now it’s busy consolidating a hold on Iraq and repressing its own population to keep them in line. October 7th was about the limit of what Hamas can do, and wouldn’t have been able to manage even that much had Bibi not been intent on securing the “rights” of zealots in the West Bank. Hezbollah probably can’t do half as much.

    Retaliation for Oct. 7th was acceptable. A months-long sweep of Gaza inflicting massive casualties indiscriminately, impeding aid, etc. is an overreaction that makes Israel seem weak and terrified. If they were hunting down hostage locations and trying to get them out, they’d still be justified. But that’s not what’s going on.

    Bibi should be given the choice to step down or be taken down, and new leadership can then blame everything on him and change course towards a less bloody strategy.

  4. Joe says:

    On an astronomically less important note, “Israeli’s” in the title should not have an apostrophe – it’s a plural not a possessive.

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    Ah, the magical two state solution, repeatedly rejected by the PA down through the years, explicitly rejected by Hamas. It’s not an answer, it’s a mantra, a slogan. Better at least than, ‘from the river to the sea,’ which is an actual call for genocide of Jews, not that the little campus ninnies realize that.

    A Palestinian State will be a charity case living off Saudi and Emirati generosity, while those who hold jobs will have to find those jobs in Israel – as long as Israel tolerates them. This will be a state that will discriminate against Jews and Christians, a state that will outlaw homosexuality, legalize the suppression of women and outlaw freedom of the press. They will no doubt hold an election – singular. That is if they can hold off the civil war that is likely to erupt between Hamas and the PA. Oh, sorry, I mean the improved, somehow, PA. PA 2.0? 3.o?

    What happens when missiles start flying from the new Palestinian State? What happens when whatever government survives announces a jihad to retake all of Israel because that’s what they’ll have to do to keep support? What happens when the Palestinians start to move on Jordan? How about when KSA and UAE get tired of footing the bills for a corrupt Palestinian government? Which terrorist organizations will find safe haven in this new paradise?

    Two state solution is not a solution, it’s just a can-kicking enterprise. I support it on the grounds that there’s no better idea, but at least people should stop fantasizing that it will be anything but yet another squalid, oppressive, corrupt, misogynistic disaster. There is zero reason for optimism about a Palestinian State. PA + Hamas + KSA + UAE = Vermont? Or does it equal another Lebanon? Place your bets. The only sure thing is that Israel will be blamed.

  6. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: Based on the comments from today’s “Hamas is an existential threat” spokesperson, from whence will the new leadership with a less bloody strategy come?

  7. Michael Reynolds says:


    So, Israel does not face an existential threat from its neighbors any more.

    The reason it doesn’t face an existential threat is that Israel punches back, hard. And now the world wants Israel to stop punching back. Hezbollah missiles, Hamas missiles, how long would you like Israel to live with that? How long would you live with it if every night you saw strained defenses blowing up incoming missiles and drones in the sky over your house? How many times per week would you like to grab the kids and run for the bomb shelter as the sirens wail?

  8. Kathy says:

    @just nutha:

    Sorry, I got distracted at work. I should have added there are minimal chances of any of that happening.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Israel’s dealt before with Hamas missiles without engaging in mass slaughter and destruction.

    I’m a bit hopeful the end may be near. Bibi’s been threatenign aove on Rafah for a while now, and just yesterday terms for a cease fire deal/hostage exchange were leaked. IMO, Rafah is a bargaining chip.

    But I’ve been wrong before (I know, it’s astonishing).

  9. Gustopher says:

    The fact that basically everyone in the Israeli Knesset is a bloodthirsty freak hell bent on mass slaughter and maintaining the subjugation of Palestinians by force is all the more reason why we should be walking away from Israel, rather than providing them weapons and money.

    Israel has not seriously pursued a two-state solution in the past 25 years, nor a multiethnic state, preferring to have a third of the population be non-citizens living in open-air prisons or reservations or ghettos (pick your term). That might have been a good ally for the US during the Jim Crow era, but our values have changed for the better.

    Ideally we would be doing something to dismantle the apartheid state, but at the very least we shouldn’t be supporting it.

    There are some decent people in Israel — there are protests against the war in the major cities — but these people are not a majority, and are not represented in the Knesset.

    Herr Kill’em’all says:

    A Palestinian State will be a charity case living off Saudi and Emirati generosity, while those who hold jobs will have to find those jobs in Israel

    The economy of Gaza has been destroyed by the Israeli blockade, with the West Bank facing similar restrictions. Without the blockade, the Palestinian areas may well be able to have a functioning local economy. Any peace effort that has a hope of working is going to require a Marshall Plan for the Palestinian areas (whether they are a part of Israel, their own thing, part of Egypt or Jordan, etc).

    It turns out that if you destroy an area’s economy, people get more desperate and more violent, and they will sporadically lash out when your guard is down.

    Israel brought 10/7 upon itself with the past 25 years of right wing policies cementing the ghettos in place. What the hell did they think would happen? Were they somehow of the belief that they would never screw up and let an attack through? Are they really that stupid that they believed the inevitable would never happen?

  10. steve says:

    Guy sounds like someone trying to retain political viability for future elections. What they should have asked him is how do you justify cutting off food and aid to Gaza while claiming you are trying to minimize civilian deaths. I am sure he would pivot to noting that they eventually did let some aid in but would love to hear the rationalization for doing it initially.


  11. senyordave says:

    @Gustopher: Were they somehow of the belief that they would never screw up and let an attack through? Are they really that stupid that they believed the inevitable would never happen?
    After decades of dehumanizing all Palestinians, perhaps they just assumed they were too stupid to pull off a major terrorist incident. But maybe Hamas studied the history of the Irgun, who were masters of terrorism. Oh wait, the Irgun weren’t terrorists, they were freedom fighters. The type of freedom fighters who set off bombs in open air markets. That’s why Menachem Begin, one of the leaders of the Irgun, is one of the heroes of Israel.

  12. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    How many times per week would you like to grab the kids and run for the bomb shelter as the sirens wail?

    Is this a question you ask of the Palestinians?

  13. Michael Reynolds says:


    The economy of Gaza has been destroyed by the Israeli blockade, with the West Bank facing similar restrictions. Without the blockade, the Palestinian areas may well be able to have a functioning local economy.

    Right. Like the functional economies of, which Middle-Eastern Arab state? Lebanon? Jordan? Egypt? Iraq? Syria? The West Bank has no oil. No gas.

    On this topic you are just utterly clueless. Everyone who is actually paying attention as opposed to emoting, already realizes the KSA and UAE will have to bankroll a Palestinian state. It’s part of every negotiation.

    The Arab oil states and various international institutions are busy keeping Egypt afloat. Egypt, which is an actual country, with a nice canal and arable land. They are very busy spending north of 59 billion to build a government city inaccessible to the people of Cairo, a city deliberately designed to glorify their military and make uprisings impossible.

    You know nothing and understand nothing. You’re a child.

  14. dazedandconfused says:

    The Israelis stopped the wholesale bombardment of neighborhoods a couple months ago, so it is fair to say there would be no change if the government was switched from Bibi to him now, but it is a bit squishy for him to act as if that never happened.

    That notwithstanding, it is definitely the case the Israelis deserve a hide on the wall over 10/7. HAMAs? It is an idea, not possible to end every yay-hoo who claims to be “HAMAs”, but the one hide they have to get is Sinwar, the undisputed organizer of 10/7. Probably looking for martyrdom and surrounded by the surviving hostages. Bibi has a tough, tough call to make.

  15. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The only sure thing is that Israel will be blamed.

    And why shouldn’t it be, since not only is Israel sponsoring terrorism in the West Bank — a deliberate and ungrateful middle finger to the United States — Israel also deliberately elevated Hamas to sideline Israeli liberals and Palestinian moderates? Thugs of a feather flock together.

    The US was rightly excoriated at home and abroad for its role in arming and boosting bin Laden and other Islamofascist militants, then rampaging through the MidEast when our stupidity blew up in our faces on 9/11. It’s amusing to see some the loudest critics of George Bush’s warmongering suddenly get cold feet round come time to critique Netanyahu’s . Doubly so, when they love giving lectures bemoaning the “identity politics” of those whose principles are contingent.

    Israel cannot at once trumpet its “only Western-style homo-loving democracy in the Middle East (just don’t ask about marriage equality)” status, then also try to use super special permanent victim status to blunt criticism, when held to the high standards required of Western democracies.

    Israel should pick a lane. Does it want to be compared to Syria and Iran, or to the United States and Germany? If the latter, then Israel will take its lumps for foreign policy misdeeds, just like the Americans and the Deutsch did and do.

  16. senyordave says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s always obvious. Obviously Israel will make some concessions… or the Saudis will bankroll… The problem is that it never actually happens. What does happen is the Abraham Accords, which acts like the Palestinians don’t exist. And never-ending expansion of settlements. And inching closer to actual apartheid instead of the current de facto apartheid.

  17. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You assume that all economic activity is directly related to resource extraction?

    I don’t expect that the Palestinians will build an economy based entirely on writing young adult books, but a deeply impoverished area has cheap labor for textiles and manufacturing, or screening facebook posts for CSAM, or any of countless other tasks.

    Anyway, this does not in any way justify the mass slaughter of Palestinians by Israel, nor the terrorism in the West Bank, nor the mowing of the lawn, etc., you twit.

  18. James Joyner says:

    @Joe: Hmm. Not sure what happened there. I don’t know if I was going for “Israel’s Opposition Leader …” and then changed my mind or what.

  19. Kevin says:

    As long as we’re discussing podcasts, I thought this one, from Angry Planet, an interview with a former AP Bureau Chief, was very good. Possibly just because he mostly agrees with me, or vice versa. His general thoughts was that Israel had a window after 10/7 where they could have pushed back, and made changes, but they’ve completely destroyed that chance. And that neither side has had the type of leadership necessary for any sort of solution.

  20. Modulo Myself says:

    There are legitimate criticisms of the left regarding colonialism and oppression, but it’s feeble and defensive to sub in Islam for Jews as the invisible hand of the global conspiracy and go on as if a categorical error exists in any other interpretation of events. This guy has extended that error into killing children.

    The left errors in portraying all Israelis as if they are like the people leading the country now. The left errors in making it seem like the average settler from Poland who came to Palestine in 1938 should have stuck around in Poland rather than take land and fuck with the natives. I can safely say about myself that I would have no regrets about grabbing land that wasn’t mine rather than hanging around in one country filled with anti-semites while another was about to invade and then ship me off to a camp. But the left isn’t wrong in the fact that Zionist settlers came to Palestine and committed the original injustice here from the perspective of those who were victimized. And that is why the smart Jewish kids in America who grew up surrounded with Birthright propaganda are now chanting slogans against Zionism, and this guy is talking about Anne Frank.

  21. just nutha says:

    @senyordave: In much the same way that in a tenament, one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor, so in poli sci, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

  22. Franklin says:

    To the commenters who want to ask of Lapid questions such as, “why are colonists still in the West Bank?,” and “why are you blocking food aid?”: it’s not clear to me that he supports all that (note that I didn’t RTFA – if I missed it let me stfu now). He kinda sounds reasonable.

    I haven’t commented much on this whole topic, for the good reason that I don’t intimately know the history. But from my current readings, I guess the question I would have could be phrased as such: the plight of the Palestinians has been terrible for a long time, and now is unconscionable. And maybe most of them are innocent bystanders, women and children especially, even if some of the adults voted for Hamas in the past. But if you are the leader of Israel, what do you do with millions of kids who (even if they weren’t before) are now programmed to hate Israelis? Leave them right next door with the proliferation of drone warfare? How do you even begin to break the cycle?

  23. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    On this topic you are just utterly clueless.

    Uh-huh. You act as if there are not others–experts in the area–who disagree with you. Of course, they are not kid-lit authors, so maybe they are just having delusions of grandeur.

    Can you remind me how Ramona solved the Israel-Palestine conflict? Or was it the Hardy Boys? Nancy Drew? The Boxcar Children? Berenstain Bears?

    Oh, that’s right, it was Harry Potter and Jacob from Twilight. Or was it Edward? I always get them confused.

  24. Kathy says:


    There’s an alleged incident early in Roman history, the Battle of the Caudine Forks. The enemy captured alive a large number of Roman soldiers. The commander did not know what to do with them, so he dispatched a messenger back home to ask his father, the king, for advice.

    The advice given was “let them all go free.”

    The prince found this odd in the extreme. So he dispatched another messenger detailing the situation further. The reply was “kill them all.”

    This was even worse. How can the advice swing so wildly? Instead, he humiliated the Romans by releasing them, but making them pass under the yoke as they went out.

    More conflict followed.

    The king later had a chance to explain that showing the Romans mercy might engender goodwill and, perhaps, lead to an end to the conflict. But if the son wasn’t content with that, then he should have slaughtered all the prisoners so as to weaken the Republic’s legions. Humiliating and releasing them just made them mad and led to further and more bitter conflict.

    I think the analogy is clear:

    Israel can give the Palestinians something meaningful and valuable. They can keep repressing them. And they can do an actual genocide and wipe out the population of Gaza and the West Bank, or push them out to other countries.

    I don’t think Israel would survive if they took the third option. The second guarantees more conflict indefinitely. So why not try the first.

  25. Modulo Myself says:


    His government didn’t block any settlements being built and the two-state solution he supports keeps in place the West Bank settlements.

    Granted, this might be like the War on Drugs or Afghanistan or anything else involving state violence.

    From an objective perspective, it’s fascinating how little powerful countries have bothered to confront the trap spectacle-based violence places their leaders in. In hindsight, everything that happened after 9/11 could have been replaced airline security and a concerted international effort to go after Al Qaeda as criminals rather than the War on Terror. And yet if the same thing happened again, Americans would plunge right back into needing the multi-war catharsis of feeling safe or whatever the hell that nonsense was.

  26. Ken_L says:

    Right now, to engage in this war has only one alternative, and this is being murdered.

    A risibly ridiculous argument, reminiscent of Putin’s claim that Russia is finished unless it gets those damn Nazis out of Ukraine. It’s faintly nauseating to read people pretending Netanyahu’s choice to invade Gaza despite plenty of domestic and international warnings of the consequences was unavoidable, and then brag that the IDF is really behaving remarkably well in this “dense urban warfare” it’s chosen to engage in.

    In an alternative history, one in which Israeli intelligence got wind of the pending October 7 attack and took the measures necessary to ensure it caused nothing but the deaths of hundreds of Hamas fighters, does anyone think Netanyahu would have gone ahead with a massive assault on Gaza? Of course not. He would have praised the competence of his government in protecting Israelis and launched targeted strikes against Hamas and Iranian commanders and assets. Military aid from the USA and international condemnation of Hamas and Iran would have been forthcoming. There would have been no invasion, no famine, no dead aid workers, no months-long crisis in which Israel has steadily seen its international support eroded. Yet the only thing different would have been that in the alternative history, the IDF and its intelligence agencies performed to a higher level of competence than they achieved in reality.

  27. Dawn says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Your consistent and dreary prognostications about Palestinian aspirations and future goals – if left unimpeded – are too often facile, ignorant and bigoted. You appear to sincerely believe that Palestinian people are largely lacking in knowledge, culture, and talent; and that they are otherwise uncouth and uncivilized.

    As for Palestinian politics, keep in mind that Israel invested heavily in supporting the rise of Hamas to counteract Fatah, and that it was only after Hamas became more influential when Israel – and the United States – became the diligent sponsors of Fatah. Fatah, in turn, has become a quisling party so dependent on Israeli and US funding it has become fat with corruption and incompetence, with the single exception of doing what Israel and the US is paying it to do – turn on their own people, using patronage-supported ‘security’ forces to work with the Israelis by informing, raiding, and ‘detaining’ suspected ‘terrorists.’

    FYI, there are several Palestinian political parties, but which had not succeeded in the one election held largely for two reasons: (1) as with most colonized people, the party/parties associated with resistance have the most recognition, and (2) both Israel and the US deeply invested in a Fatah victory. If only those two interlopers had chosen someone like Mustafa Barghouti.

    Also FYI, the Hamas ‘triumph’ in Gaza was hardly the landslide as I’ve seen it described. Whatever popularity it holds appears to be solely due to its resistance to the Israeli occupation, and not for its other political positions. Moreover, the vast majority of Gazans were either unable to vote in the 2006 election or weren’t alive at the time.

    The lack of elections since then is due to Abbas’s fear of being rejected; it is he and he alone who has repeatedly ‘postponed’ an election. To be fair, neither Israel nor the US want Palestinian elections either.

    Palestinian political leaders have repeatedly rejected Israel peace proposals because such proposals were inevitably insulting and detrimental to Palestinian autonomy. The Oslo Accords, which effectively achieved the “archipelago of Bantustans surrounded by Israeli settlements, bases, and checkpoints” as described by Middle East scholar Elliott Colla, was a two-part plan which Part II was successively reneged by Israel. Hence, the Second Intifada.

    That quote from Elliott Colla was copied by the Wikipedia entry on the From the River to the Sea slogan. Short version: Its first appearance was by Revisionist Zionists, later borrowed by the PLO and other groups in the late 1960s and ’70s (arguably). A form of the phrase appeared in Likud’s 1977 manifesto, while it only appeared in the Hamas charter in 2017. It is not only pro-Palestinian protestors saying the words; Israeli leadership, political and religious, have repeatedly used it as well – and it is they alone who have the power to enforce it.

    Let’s face it. Israel, even long before it became a state, has recognized it has a ‘Palestinian Problem,’ and its solution has been the same as used by US in its own quest of Manifest Destiny. Israel’s position is stated by a character in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (just change American to Israeli),

    “I prefer the American spirit, the one that called us from the Old World to the New, to conquer and build and civilize. And destroy that what needs to be destroyed. To lift up the lesser races. If not lift up, subjugate. And if not subjugate, exterminate. Our destiny by divine prescription—the American imperative.”>/blockquote>

  28. TheRyGuy says:

    I think its best to keep things simple.

    1. Israel is strong and Palestine is weak.

    2. Israel is never going to allow Palestine to become strong as along as it fears Palestinian strength will ultimately be used to murder Jews.

    Any commentary, discussion, or proposal that doesn’t start with those two realities is just masturbatory.

  29. Kevin says:

    @TheRyGuy: There’s a #3, which is that Israel is going to continue doing things to Palestinians that will make some portion of them want to murder Israelis in pursuit of #2.

    Ultimately, something has to stop the cycle of violence. Typically, that ends up being some outside force, if it happens.

  30. TheRyGuy says:


    NO. JUST NO.

    Stop encouraging the suicidally destructive belief among Palestinians that if they hold out long enough, the rest of the world will force Israel to give the Palestinians what they want. That belief has caused more misery and suffering to the Palestinians than the IDF ever could in a million years.

    Your #3 is exactly the sort of masturbatory tripe I mentioned because the automatic response from every supporter of Israel is “The Palestinians need to give up murdering Jews try and get what they want.” Do you actually want to help Palestine or just use dead Palestinian children as a fliter to make you look better on social media?

  31. Kevin says:

    @TheRyGuy: That’s not what I’m saying at all. And why I said “if it happens.” And I don’t think I at all suggested that the weaker side typically emerges better off. I was thinking of Reconstruction, for example, which wasn’t much of a victory for the weaker party in the South.

    Honestly, the best solution, outside of the Israelis suddenly having a change of heart would be for the Palestinian population to move elsewhere. But there’s nowhere for them to go.


Speak Your Mind