Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on December 11, 2016.

The United Nations passed a resolution Friday denouncing Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, describing them as a major obstacle to peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors. In a break from long-standing policy, the U.S. decided not to veto the measure, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accuse President Obama of orchestrating the vote.  With John Kerry set to speak on the issue at the State Department on Wednesday, we’ll bring you the latest and discuss what a Trump presidency means for the resolution.

Guests:
George Bisharat, professor of law, UC Hasting College of Law; former legal consultant to the Palestinian Legislative Council
Abraham Sofaer, senior fellow, Hoover Institution; former legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State

  • Curious

    Not content with destroying the US, Obama moves on to Israel. Working with the Palestinians against Israel? He is an unprecedented disaster.

    • Sean Dennehy

      What’s wrong with working against Israel? It’s a terrible country that oppresses the Palestinians.

      • Curious

        No, it is not. Obama is a traitor.

        • Sean Dennehy

          History will remember how people like you committed injustices against the Palestinians. Expect your names to be spat upon.

          • Brux

            It’s interesting how supporters of the Palestinians so often express themselves this way. Look at this person’s comments who calls himself Sean Dennehy. Perhaps they do this because there is really nothing truthful to be said that justifies such hate and evil.

        • marte48

          You’re an idiot. Can you imagine Obama going to the Israeli Knesit to deliver an anti-Netanyahoo speech?

          • Curious

            If there was a golf course and luxury resort involved, then yes.

      • Elliott Curzon

        The Israeli Ambassador at the U.N. began, “Ladies and gentlemen before I commence with my speech, I want to relay an old Passover story.

        “When Moses was leading the Jews out of Egypt toward the Promised Land, he had to go through the nearly endless Sinai desert.

        “When they reached the Promised Land, the people had become very thirsty and needed water. So Moses struck the side of a mountain with his staff and a pond appeared with crystal clean, cool water. The people rejoiced and drank to their hearts’ content.

        “Moses put down his staff and went to a solitary corner of the pond to drink, and meditate in prayer. But once Moses returned, he found that his staff had been stolen.

        “I have reason to believe ladies and gentlemen that the Palestinians stole the staff of our great Prophet Moses.'”

        The Palestinian delegate to the UN, hearing this accusation, jumps from his seat and screams out, “This is a travesty. It is widely known that there were no such thing as ‘Palestinians’ at that time!”

        “And with that in mind,” said the Israeli Ambassador, “let me now begin my speech.”

        • jakeleone

          This is irrelevant. We need to help the people there today to get along.

          The Israeli government is a modern government, and the people living there today are not the heirs of Moses or Mohammed. They are the heirs of the 20th century at best.

    • marte48

      Obama restored the US after the Bush-Cheney administration broke it.

      • CSNIronclad

        Restored what? There is no respect for the U.S. Obama caused the human waves into Europe by his Libyan and Syrian actions.

        It’s more broken now than ever

      • Curious

        No, he has made it far, far worse.

        • pastramiboy

          please in detail tell me how? I know there are some problems, but that’s normal.

          • Curious

            Do some research. We are far worse off than we were 8 years ago. Simple fact.

  • jakeleone

    Look, the holocaust did happen, and the U.S. did not do enough. And part of the reason, we didn’t do enough, was bigotry. We should have created a place for refugees from Europe, they would have strengthened us. Now so much was lost.

    I really like the Israelis, I love them. I want Israel to continue.

    Hemming Palestinians in, has caused poverty, and poverty is a huge source of bigotry, xenophobia. Making the Palestinians rich, along with the Israelis would help a lot to quell the hate that can develop among young unemployed kids listening to elders who preach hate or bigotry, maybe as part of a religious lesson on Jihad or martyrdom. Better to keep your head clear and free of junk-thinking, with a good well-paying job and an open heart and mind.

    And I want Palestinians to love the Israelis too, that’s gonna take a lot of work for both sides.

    But most of the terrorism is caused by religious intolerance and bigotry. This genocidal tendency is a scourge on absolutely everyone.

    Temporary settlements, as buffers, I can understand. But permanent settlements, if the other side is teaching it’s people to be religiously tolerant of the Israelis. Is teaching its children to love people of other faiths, permanent settlements would be wrong.

    Unfortunately we are not seeing this kind of idealistic (but not Utopian) ideals of love and caring that the U.S. has been blessed with being taught. Unfortunately we are seeing the opposite at times.

    The holocaust did happen, and we shouldn’t deny it. And people who do, should still error on the side of protecting the innocent, that includes excepting and caring for refugees.

    Otherwise without that kind of love and desire to protect life, you are complicit with the Nazis. If you bomb people to scare a population, what makes you any different from the Nazis that perpetrated the holocaust, and as such why shouldn’t we use all reasonable means to prevent you from doing so, including if necessary settlements as buffer-zones?

  • EIDALM

    The fact is the ruling class in Israel and their cohorts in the U S have no interest in peace what so ever, they rather just have more and more land in occupied Palestine and elsewhere in the middle east and that is very obvious with the ever increasing illegal settlements blessed by the Israeli government as well as that of their protectionist in the U S who are constantly violating international laws of Palestinians land grappling and theft while totally inflicting great harm on the Palestinian people..

    • Brux

      — the ruling class in Israel and their cohorts in the U S have no interest in peace what so ever,

      Oh come now, a sane person could never say or believe such a thing. The most harm to Palestinians and Muslims in general comes from the corrupt institutions of Islam. You don’t think Saudi Arabia, where a Jew cannot even set foot inside, has nothing to do with how the Palestinians behave? Today the Saudis would not even rate as a government, they got to where they were by war against the other families and cities in Arabia. There is no legitimacy in any of it.

      • EIDALM

        Facts speaks for itself, in it’s 70 years short life Israel have attacked all of it’s neighbors hundreds of times, 8 major bloody wars,tens of genocidal invasions of Lebanon, Gaza, West Bank, Egypt, Syria, Jordon,and elsewhere, all resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands including Israelis, committed tens of false flag operation including the sinking of the American ship the USS Liberty. that resulted in the death and maiming of 279 American sailors and navy men, Operation Sussanah where their bloody y agents terrorists put bombs in Egyptian movie theaters, the U S and British embassies, as well conspiring with the British and French to attack Egypt in 1956.,the total destruction of Lebanon, Gaza, and West Bank towns including Jenin several times…..Israel more than tripled it land it occupies by constantly attacking and use bloody force to steal land which it occupy till today including the Golan Hight in Syria, the West Bank which are totally occupied by their criminals and savage settlers in their illegal; settlements…

        • Brux

          I wish facts did speak for themselves.

          — including the sinking of the American ship the USS Liberty

          Go to the NSA website and read the documents concerning the U.S.S. Liberty.

  • EIDALM

    The sad fact is that the time is not on the side of Israel as it had lost the support of near all nations in the World with the exception of the U S and it’s veto power but that is now in the way of waning down as more and more American know more about facts of the conflict and stop the lies and propaganda propagated by the American media and with the U S support Israel will cease to exist in it’s current apartheid extreme garrison form, that why WE MUST HAVE PEACE NOW,

  • EIDALM

    I always laugh when the American media call Israel the only democracy in the middle east, the fact is that Israel is a theocracy where religion is the only factor to atcheive full citizeship.

    • Elliott Curzon

      Wrong. Residents of Israel may apply for citizenship and many or most non-Jews who remained in Israel following the War for Independence became Israeli citizens.

      • EIDALM

        Not really the case, and you know it.

        • Elliott Curzon

          What you don’t like is the sovereign right of any nation to determine who is eligible to become a citizen. Israel was established as a refuge for Jews from the centuries of pogroms and attempted genocides that almost succeeded in wiping them out.

          • EIDALM

            Good people should be allowed to live any where specially on their own land that was stolen from them by Israel and the west. irregardless of race religion or sex.

          • Elliott Curzon

            So the Jews should have the right to reclaim the land of Palestine that was stolen from them by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Romans and Muslims to name just a few. The so-called Palestinians of today are Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese and Egyptian. The true Palestinians are the Jews.

          • pastramiboy

            i think that’s only partially true. Arabs were there historically at the same time.

          • EIDALM

            Then they were not called Arabs or Jews, they were just people.

          • Brux

            > Back then they were not called Arabs or Jews, they were just people.

            That’s absurd and impeaches the credibility of everything you have said here. But even so, with the advent of Islam and its militant way of looking at everything that ends up to modern days.

            You have consistently posted anti-Israel comments based on the same values and arguments that if you turned them around to look at the Palestinians/Muslims would make them look much worse.

            You do not appear to be an objective seeker of truth here.

          • EIDALM

            Your ignorance and lack of historical facts about people who lived in Palestine thousands of years ago explains your response, people then had certain believes as most went through conversions constantly and that explains why there so few Jewish people compare to current followers of other faith…..By the way the word Semites only refers to group of languages including Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew, it should not describe people race, religion, or even their ethnicity or national background.,

          • Sar Wash

            Factually wrong. The first Arabs did not migrate into Israel until the 7th century AD, thousands of years after it became Jewish.

          • Hillary Clintub

            Jews were given that particular land by the U.N. They could have as easily been given land in, say, Turkey or Syria. Why were the Arabs given Jordan?

          • Elliott Curzon

            Jordan was part of Arabia since Ishmael. Palestine was the land of the Jews since Isaac and Abraham. Palestine and Transjordan were remnants of the Ottoman Empire that fell under British control after WWI per the League of Nations. The Palestinian Mandate was to allocate the lands among those who laid claim to it. British did just that. The Jews accepted the allocation and the Arabs rejected it (Arabs having sided with the Nazis in attempting to wipe out the Jews the world over, including Palestine). The Arabs declared was on Israel after Israel declared its independence in 1948. The Green Line borders of Israel (so-called pre-1967 borders) were the result of the cease fire at the end of the 1948 war. Palestinians and most Arab countries have never accepted Israel’s right to exist and have called for the destruction of Israel and death to the Jews.

          • Hillary Clintub

            Exactly. Certain parties refuse to admit who’s the aggressor in all this. You’d think the Ottomans were still fighting WW1.

          • Brux

            Doesn’t really matter, any Muslim lands would have provoked the same hatefulness. Islam all over the world refused to allow lands to be lost. It is contradictory to the values of modern civilization. Why do you think there is such a problem with the Kurds getting their own homeland. If two groups outside the Shia and Sunni Islamic world declare their independence it is the beginning of that crack in the wall that will tear down this Islamic inhuman ownership over roughly 25% of the world’s countries. ( 50 out of 200 countries are Islamic ) and that skews the UN to uselessness on this issue, as well as sets the precedent to support nations who do not respect human rights. Talk about out of control political correctness.

          • Brux

            Many Jews were expelled from Arab lands around the time of the creation of Israel and before. Their property and wealth stolen. The problem with you EIDALM is that you play this game of only looking at the supposed wrongs of Israel while you pay not attention and do not weight anything of what the Palestinians have done to bring the situation to its present level.

          • EIDALM

            Not true they all were coerced to leave their homeland by Israel massive lies and ethic cleansing.

          • kafkaxd

            Oh! So you’re crazy. Why didn’t you just tell us that to start off with? Feel like I just wasted my time here.

    • De Blo

      20% of full Israeli citizens are Muslim.

      • EIDALM

        Third class undesirables…….What about banned marriage between Jews and none Jews…..Stop this false propaganda none sense.

        • Elliott Curzon

          Marriages are under the control of religious authorities, as they should be. Any marriage entered into abroad is recognized by Israel. Stop the false anti-Israel propaganda.

          • pastramiboy

            why should marriages be under religious control? what about civil marriage? I see that as making it a theocracy…

          • Elliott Curzon

            Marriage has always been a religious institution. Civil marriage is a modern invention.

          • Another Mike

            Really? If a same-sex couple gets married under California law, that marriage will be recognized by Israel?
            Awesome.

        • jakeleone

          This is true. I think this should affect how we rank Israel. Interfaith marriage is a good thing, it helps people learn to tolerate the religions of others and encourages them to take the time to understand.

          Also, it is true that Israel requires a majority Jewish population. That alone makes Israel unsuitable to govern Palestinian terroritory, permanently. But to the sake of security, a temporary governance is allowable.

          Again, giving up the prejudice would really go a long way for both sides of this conflict.

          I don’t like to get religious, but isn’t there a lesson from Solomon on this?

        • Brux

          What about the Islamic practice of forbidding marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims. You ignore that completely … why? People are killed in Palestine for even speculating that the Palestinians should make peace with Israel … it’s called collaboration. Palestinians are killed and dragged through the streets for doing that without any legal basis or proceedings at all, and you want to worry about Israel banning marriages. When was the last time an Israeli was put to death for marrying the wrong person?

          • Another Mike

            Muslims can marry non-Muslims. But if a non-Muslim guy wants to marry a Muslim woman, he has to convert.

          • Brux

            You don’t seem to understand the implication of that comment Mike?
            If you convert you are not a non-Muslim. I see a list of replies to my comments
            and all are short, fuzzy, inaccurate jabs on an important issue. You should at least
            think about what you are saying and what the meaning is – at least when you reply
            to me please.

      • Roni Krouzman

        And they don’t have the same rights.

        • Sar Wash

          Muslim Israelis have 100% of the same civil rights as Jewish Israelis and large numbers of Israeli’s congressmen are Muslim. What percentage of the Palestinian Authority leadership is Jewish? (Hint: 0%).

          • Another Mike

            The Jews in the West Bank are full Israeli citizens.

    • Brux

      42% of Israelis are secular Jews, and what makes me laugh is the certitude that some types of people have when they post their made up opinions on this issue. Even if your opinion had any validity, Israel would still be lightyears more democratic than anything possible in the Islamic world.

  • Noelle

    Why does Trump want his bankruptcy lawyer to be ambassador to Israel?

    • Curious

      Why does Obama want Israel to be destroyed?

      • Noelle

        Why is Trump better for Israel?

        • Curious

          He doesn’t want Israel destroyed. Why does Obama?

      • Brux

        This action by Obama is mystifying. He stands up for the Palestinians when in 8 years he has never stood up for Americans. Maybe like Carter in his retirement he sees the most money coming from these interests, so he is defining his brand so to speak. Aside from not really being a Democrat, not doing anything for the American workers or the average American, Obama’s middle east policy has been dismal an incompetent. Why did he even want to become President … just to let down the vast majority of people who voted for him? I think this is a big mistake for his legacy.

    • Elliott Curzon

      Only a bankruptcy lawyer could undo the bankrupt foreign policy of Barack Obama.

      • johnqeniac

        not bad.

  • jakeleone

    The U.S. should rate the countries based upon how much religious and intellectual freedom they allow.

    Not sure if Saudi Arabia would be close to North Korea, but we should still rate countries that way.

    Israel exists as homeland for Jewish people, who were genocidally attacked because of religious intolerance, but we can’t always support it if it does not guarantee the rights of all people who live there. You can’t even have democracy without religious and intellectual tolerance.

    The Palestinians and the Israelis both need to teach religious and intellectual tolerance to their children.

    It would really help if Israel had a Constitution that guarantees rights.

  • Sean Dennehy

    This is the second conspiracy theory that Netanyahu has laid at the feet of the US. During the last election Netanyahu blamed the US for “busing in Arab Israeli voters.” It looks like he’s just another Middle Eastern leader blaming the US for his problems.

    • Curious

      No, it is an Israeli leader calling out Obama’s lies and treachery.

      • johnqeniac

        Oh, gimme a break. Treachery my heinie. Obama has spent two terms swallowing the insults and treachery of that little twit Bibi. Bibi actively campaigned against Obama and for the Mormon guy (whatever his name was). The U.S. has given Israel tens of billions of dollars and our best weapons technology every year since the time of Moses, and all Israel does is kvetch, kvetch, kvetch. Bibi keeps threatening to attack Iran, but he never does. I don’t think the guy has any guts. All he does is insult Obama and attack the Gaza Strip with F-35s and F-16’s while the inmates there throw rocks. Tough guy, that Bibi. His bro was tough, but not Bibi. He modeled himself after another fake tough guy – Ronnie Reagan.

        • Brux

          Whatever Obama’s personal feelings about Netanyahu, he has no business driving American foreign policy and Western civilization with them. If not treachery, it is hard to figure out what Obama was trying to accomplish by this move. Maybe he has lost his mind.

          By the way … after this ignorant blurt —-

          — Bibi keeps threatening to attack Iran, but he never does.
          — I don’t think the guy has any guts. All he does is insult Obama
          — and attack the Gaza Strip with F-35s and F-16’s while the inmates there throw rocks.

          I am sorry I even read your comment, let alone replied to it. That seems way ignorant for an NPR and Forum listener.

  • Another Mike

    Stop apartheid in Israel — incorporate the West Bank and let the Palestinians vote.

  • Another Mike

    Does Netanyahu really want a two-state solution? Faced with the prospect of a Fatah-Hamas unity government in 2014, Netanyahu invaded Gaza, killing 2000 Palestinians including 500 children. Israel’s good friend Barack Obama resupplied Israel with ammunition halfway through the invasion so the IDF didn’t run out.

    • De Blo

      Israel was acting defensively against the conservative Palestinian terrorists who were bombing and killing innocent Israeli civilians in their homes and schools. Israel has repeatedly sought peace and repeatedly been attacked by Palestinian terrorists.

      • marte48

        Just like the Native Americans attacked European settlers who had no legal right to occupy and seize lands inhabited by the Indians for thousands of years.

        • De Blo

          The Jews have been in Israel far longer than the Muslims.

          • Another Mike

            The Askenazim have been running the place since 1948. Those are the folks who had been living in Europe for some 1700 years before Zionism became a thing.

  • pm05

    What is worse – we know this is not Trump’s thinking – someone is telling he what to do and at this moment, that is what his “view” is; and, if it can oppose Obama, all the better. Trump is not a stable, credible person and has no idea what he is endorsing or doing… just a mouthpiece for someone – who?

    • marte48

      The only thing that Trump wants is more hotels and golf courses with his name on them.

    • Curious

      Obama has lied again.

  • De Blo

    Arab Muslims have roughly 22 countries in which to live. Why do they want the land of the one tiny and vulnerable Jewish nation? The best solution is to have an orderly migration of ‘Palestinians’ into Jordan, Egypt, and other Arab countries. There are almost no Palestinian survivors left from 1948 and refugee status should never be transmitted across generations. The West Bank should become part of a globally recognized Israel and the Gaza strip should be given to Egypt. Any Arab currently residing in the West Bank should be given an opportunity to have full Israeli citizenship or should migrate to Jordan or another Arab country.

    • Another Mike

      Why should anyone I don’t like live in California when there are 49 other states they could live in?

    • marte48

      …or, maybe we could just have one Israel where everyone gets to vote, and no one has their lands confiscated or their rights taken away.

      • Brux

        The problem is that the Palestinians, i.e. Muslims would overthrow that state, or eventually outbreed everyone else. In such a terrible situation they are on they have the highest reproduction rate of any country. The Palestinians have gone from 300,000 people at the time of the creation of the Israeli state to I think it is over 6 million now … under this supposed Israel genocide.

    • jakeleone

      No, we must ask that both sides teach a generation to be tolerant of each other. We need to end prejudice.

      When the prejudice ends, it won’t matter whether the place is called Israel or Palestine.

      It may take two generations (40 years) to quell the prejudice enought to allow for final peace, but it has to start now.

      If we had concentrated on the prejudice in the social equation, maybe 80,000,000 more people would have lived through the 1940’s. Along with six million innocent people of the Jewish faith.

      The Palestinians living their now, should be allowed to continue to live there while their children are brought into the 21st century, and continue to build on good and positive legacy.

      • Brux

        — No, we must ask that both sides teach a generation to be tolerant of each other.

        Look into that. The Israelis do that, and have Palestinians living among them, The Palestinians have a popular culture that teaches their children to hate Jews, that the Jews are hated by God, that the Jews are the cause of all their problems, and be ready to kill them. This is the inhumanity of Islam, and it is to some degree present in most of the islamic world, at least the closer you get to the core of the Middle East.

        • Another Mike

          Maybe if the IDF did not kill hundreds of Palestinian children every few years (most recently: 500 in Gaza in 2014), the lessons to hate Israelis wouldn’t stick.

    • Brux

      The Palestinian problem now is that this population has always
      been a problem. In Jordan, in Tunisia, in Lebanon … the Palestinians
      have caused havoc.

      They are still waging internal civil war. Watch the documentary
      Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement.
      You can stream it on Amazon.

      This is a toxic society that has been virtually enslaved by both
      sides of Islam to act as their sword against the hated Jews and
      aimed at Israel and the West.

      Put them in any other place and they will cause as much or more
      problems, although that would be the start of something and seems
      like a valid approach … I am not expert on this but I don’t think it
      would work.

      Letting the status quo play out seems like the only solution, and for
      change to work on that situation the settlements are actually the
      only thing that seems to put some motivation onto the Palestinians.
      Their financial and military supporters would be fine with just waiting
      for however long it took for Israel to die, give up or make that fatal
      mistake – but with the settlements they realize there is a time value
      to their land and country.

      Besides any Palestinian state should have Jews living in it, if not
      just for the reasoning that should it become a state the Jews would
      also have a voice in the UN and could claim human rights violations
      and actions. Otherwise the UN would just be another weapon of
      Palestinian terror aimed at the Jews/Israel.

    • MattCA12

      As unfortunate as it is, the land comprising modern day Israel was stolen from the Palestinians living there in 1948 – another casualty created in the vacuum of British colonial devolution. But Israel is here to stay, and is our staunchest ally in the ME. Arguing over boundaries between Israel and a chopped, diced and spliced “State of Palestine” is a waste of everyone’s time and will merely ensure that the status quo of distrust and violence continues. I agree with your implication that we (the US, the West) would have more success in pressuring Israel to ensure equal rights to all Israeli citizens who are of Palestinian descent. There will never be a viable nation called Palestine again.

  • rachel

    Your guest mentioned that Ehud Barak offered 90% of the west bank .He didn’t mention why the PA didn’t accept the offer?

    • Another Mike

      Israel would have gotten to keep its settlements, while Palestine would get a smallish swath of desert.

  • Another Mike

    What is this right to exist? Does the United States have a right to exist? If so, where did it come from?

    • Robert Thomas

      From Our Lord, I believe. Certainly, not from their lord.

    • Brux

      — Does the United States have a right to exist? If so, where did it come from?

      Its people caring enough to keep it going, and the barrel of a gun. That is
      if you want peace, prepare for war.

  • marte48

    To answer an excellent question of a caller, the United States must always support the “legality” of Israel because otherwise they would have to admit the illegality of the occupation of the land of the Native Americans.

    • De Blo

      Quite different in many ways. Jews have been in for Israel for thousands of years before the first Arab or Muslim set foot in the region.

      • johnqeniac

        what? native americans had been in north america for tens of thousands of years before the invasion of whites from europe – and that’s from actual archeological evidence and dating, not some comic book.

        • Sar Wash

          Jews were in Israel for thousands of years before the first Muslim invaded it.

          • Another Mike

            Palestinians are closely enough genetically related to Mizrahi Jews that they likely are Jews converted to Islam.

  • thinkmore

    To say that Obama unilaterally destroyed, or even derailed, the peace process reveals a bias too strong to take anything else your guest says seriously, which is unfortunate because he probably knows a lot. Israel’s unilateral, continued development of settlements outside the major settlements around Jerulasem play a significant role in the failure to achieve piece.

    President Bush in 2005: “I’ve been very clear about Israel has an obligation under the road map. That’s no expansion of settlements. I look forward to continuing to work and dialogue with Israel on this subject.”

    Furthermore, Netanyahu’s public slap in the face to the President and the people of the US by speaking at the Republican controlled Congress during an election cycle, Netanyahu’s overall meddling in US politics during an election cycle, and Netanyahu’s pandering to the most extreme religious fundamentalist elements of his country have contributed much to this current outcome. Anyone who solely lays blame on Obama for the current situation cannot be taken seriously in what is, regrettably, a very serious situation.

    • Brux

      — Israel’s unilateral, continued development of settlements
      — outside the major settlements around Jerulasem play a
      — significant role in the failure to achieve piece.

      Peace?

      The real problem here is not Israel and never has been. Israel just has
      the guts, will and power to declare itself free of the oppression of Islam
      which is a backwards force all through this area and across the world.
      Just to be clear, I mean militant political Islam.

      There is not an Islamic nation that treats all of its citizens equally and
      that is 25% of all countries. ( 50 out of 200 nations in the world are
      some kind of Islamic government ). This makes the UN a complete
      farce in terms of objectively dealing with this issue.

      The real problem, and that includes for Muslims as well, has been the
      inhuman governments all over the Islamic world that people have been
      suppressed and murdered for trying to peacefully change, or even talk
      about.

      How do the Palestinians deserve a country when all they are are factional
      violent groups that can only agree on one thing – that Israel must be
      destroyed. They have no intention of making peace, and they are ( the
      leaders and governments ) are hardly innocent in this mess.

      I pity the Palestinian citizen who does want peace, but how do they get
      any say in anything. If they even bring up making peace or considering
      Israel’s side or offers they are branded collaborators and risk their very
      lives.

      What Obama has done here makes little sense in any kind of framework
      for peace or positive move in any way except to try to force Israel to halt
      the settlements. The settlements are the only thing that puts a time value
      on the Palestinians to make peace, otherwise they do not care and have
      not acted.

      As well as if there is a Palestinian state, why should some Jews not be
      part of it since there are Palestinians living in Israel? The answer is
      because the Palestinians do not just want a state, they want a place
      where they are free to make war and terror and carry that out against
      Israel where if Israel retaliates or defends itself they can go to the UN
      and demand protection.

      This is a very bad move, especially as about the only really decisive
      action Obama has taken on anything in 8 years. It really makes him
      look bad, at least to me, a Democrat who has always hoped for the
      best from Obama, and not seen it.

      • thinkmore

        My comment was that if someone says that Obama unilaterally destroyed the peace process, it shows a bias too strong to take anything else they say seriously. I never said the Palestinians were not also blockers to peace, and I didn’t say Israel is solely to blame. The problem on both sides is that no one today takes real responsibility for their side’s own role in the process, and lies blame on solely on the shoulders of the other side. Anyone who fails to acknowledge their own responsibility in a problem is never going to be the one to solve it.

        My comment also applies to you and other extremists who only blame the Palestinian side, which clearly shows that you and others like you don’t want peace. You can say that Obama’s decision could have negatively affected the short term prospects of the peace process, but you can’t say that he unilaterally destroyed the peace process and expect rational people to take you seriously.

        There are many problems on the Palestinian side that are holding back the peace process, and anyone who doesn’t really understand what it’s like to live in Israel can’t understand where the decision making process comes from. At the same time, the same can be said about people who haven’t lived the Palestinian experience. Until people start to see the other as a human beings who want the same things for their children and communities as they do for themselves (security, education, health, food, shelter and dignity), nothing will change.

        If it is taboo to say anything critical of Israel, how can the peace process move forward? The problem with fundamentalist Israel supporters is that they take zero responsibility and use blame as a tool. By unilaterally saying that Obama unilaterally destroyed the peace process, the show’s guest revealed a bias too strong to coexist with a true desire for peace. It seems that you also fall under this category.

        Remember, true peace includes both Palestinians and Israelis, and Israelis will never really live in peace until the Palestinians do. Think more.

        • Brux

          — The problem on both sides is that no one today takes
          — real responsibility for their side’s own role in the process,
          — and lies blame on solely on the shoulders of the other side.

          That is absolutely not the problem.

          Not only that but it really doesn’t mean anything. What would
          it be like is one side decided to take responsibility as you say,
          and what would they do, what would that look like?

          I tend to look upon Israel more positively when I consider the
          actions on both sides. Israel has changed its actions,
          strategies, tactics and goals throughout this time, while what
          has happened on the Paletstinians side has only been a
          change in terrorism tactics, and also a chance in how they
          use the “innocence” of their own people” and who they
          involve in their war.

          One of the main reasons I think the Israeli side is so reactive
          to Obama is that the general understanding has been there
          is not going to be a “external legalistic” solution to the problem.
          The UN is not an honest broker; on the one hand it is overly
          influenced by the large number of Islamic states; and on the
          other it is influenced by power of the super-powers and the
          American veto. The UN should get out of this issue and allow
          the two parties to work towards peace.

          The main stumbling block that is a bit hard to get past, and
          that is oddly rarely mentioned is that the Palestinians refuse
          to recognize Israel and its right to exist. Not to mention the
          Palestinians are a kind of collection of gangs of different
          beliefs that use violence on each other inside of the territories,
          not a real government elected and backed by a real people.

          The settlements are an improvement in the previous status
          quo because as Israel builds them it puts leverage on the
          Palestinians which does not allow them to continue mindlessly
          waiting and fighting and thinking that God and time is on
          their side. The more time they waste and take to accept
          reality, the more land they putatively lose to these settlements.

          The other status quo “reality” that is challenged by the
          settlements is that whatever Palestinian nation there is, is
          going to be a “pure” “ethnically-cleansed” Palestinian
          population. That is a problem since it tends to concentrate
          Islamic fundamentalism and provoke violent and terror.
          If there are Jews in a Palestinian state like there are
          Palestinians in a Jewish state there is more likely to be
          something over time that will not just morph into a more
          safe and secure terrorist homeland for the Palestinians.

          Just to mention your post is arrogant in the pre-supposed
          conclusions of the problem that make no sense, and you
          do not seem cognizant of, but then at the end you tell me to
          “think more”, like you actuall have any clue about any of this.
          There is no need for that kind of pointless comment if you
          were honest in your desire to communicate and discuss –
          so demonstrably, it is you that should think more, and watch
          what you say.

  • menloman

    The caller is wrong–probably gets all his news from NPR. Richard Spencer’s mother in Whitefish, Montana does not agree with her son’s political views. The complaint by Richard Spencer’s supporters is that a real estate agent (Jewish) was trying to blame the mother for her son’s views. And on that basis was threatening the mother to force a sale of her property.

  • BDN

    Jew-haters and hence Israel-haters are two sides of the same coin and represent a default human condition that only Israel and a few of its natural allies and partners can fully appreciate. The feeble notions of law, justice, rights, and property that auger for all things Palestinian can only be ruefully appreciated by watching episodes of Judge Judy whereby the typical plaintiffs and defendants know not and prolly care not why they prevail or not as right or wrong. Both plaintiffs and defendants in court TV are guaranteed some measure of compensation for pain and suffering regardless of justification and regardless of right or wrong *BECAUSE* those are the terms of the show — all issues of pain, property, religion, and legal history are immaterial and only prevail in the mind of a viewer as vox populi and as embarrassment value. If the arguments of Israel versus Palestine were waged strictly in court, Israel would prevail hands down and the Palestinians would suffer even more embarrassment and humiliation then they already do (Btw Moshe Dayan even considered himself technically to be Palestinian before the name was appropriated by Arabs).

    • BDN

      Israel should never give up the land that comprise its settlements because the term “settlements” are just Israeli property rights that its adversaries would challenge no less than any other substance of Israel. This contest will last no less than the centuries-long contest over land and entitlements in Europe, and will demand and require the maturation and civilization of Islam.

      • johnqeniac

        Israel can do what ever it wants and reap the consequences. They have 200+ nukes and, thanks to endless money and technology from the U.S., overwhelming military superiority in the Mideast. But what they cannot demand is that the US obsequiously does their bidding. If our presidents must reflexively back whatever Israel chooses to do, it effectively makes our foreign policy a slave to Israel. This is a violation of our democratic rights as Americans. In that case, we (Americans) should be able to choose the Israeli prime minister and be given majority control of the Knesset. We’re a sovereign state. No special relationships. We do what’s in our interest, not Israel’s. Can it possibly be you fail to understand that?

        • Brux

          — If our presidents must reflexively back whatever Israel chooses to do,
          — it effectively makes our foreign policy a slave to Israel.

          Hardly this is merely a silly move to play on the pride of Americans who do
          not know any better. A similar thing happened to Britain during WWII, it
          did not make the US a slave to Britain to support it against the Nazis.

          Take argument after argument against Israel and they all pretty much resolve
          to these dishonest shameful attempts at emotional manipulation to serve the
          interests of radical Islam, the KKK, Nazis, or whatever. These folks are not on
          the march again thinking the Trump is their hero.

          I sure hope they are wrong about that.

    • marte48

      HAHAHA! You watch Judge Judy?

    • Brux

      Most Palestinians are helpless prisoners of this externally manipulated situation that makes them pawns in a proxy war waged by the corrupt centers of both branches of Islam … Saudi Arabia on the Sunni side, and Iran on the Shia side. They are isolated, manipulated, lied to and exploited. That is a reason for pity, assistance and even external interference by the West, but it is not a reason to allow them statehood at this time since they are waging civil war as to what externally controlled terrorist gang will control the state.

      • Another Mike

        Israel has already been led by terrorists: Yitzhak Shamir of Lehi, an organization which assassinated the Governor-General, the kindly Walter Guinness (Lord Moyne), and the UN negotiator Count Bernadotte (a diplomat who had personally saved 300 Jews from the Holocaust). And Menachem Begin of Irgun, an organization best known for the bombing of the King David hotel

        So there is ample precedent for terrorist gangs controlling the state of Israel.

  • De Blo

    Israel is one of America’s best and strongest allies and a shining beacon as the only liberal pluralistic democracy in the Middle East. America needs to do more to help strengthen Israel and to protect innocent Israelis from the conservative Palestinian terrorists. There should not be a false equivalence between Israel, where many Muslims seek asylum to escape persecution in Palestine, and Gaza or the West Bank, where no Jew would be welcomed.

    • chriswinter

      Foreign aid amounting to $38 billion over ten years doesn’t do it for you? Most of that will go for military aid, AAUI. Also, Israel is the only country other than the U.S. to get the F-35 fighter.

      • Another Mike

        The chief beneficiary of US military aid to Israel is our defense contractors. We might as well give them money that could only be used to buy Fords and Chevrolets.

  • EIDALM

    I would love to buy one way ticket to Abraham Sofaer to live in the occupied land and dress him in Palestinian cloths near one of the settlements of goons, see if he talks different.

    • Brux

      Yeah, here is the real you, eh? Hate is your major influence isn’t it.

      • EIDALM

        I Love humanity in spite of hatemongers like Sofaer and you.

        • Brux

          Is that the fiction you tell yourself?

          • EIDALM

            My love and care about others is the same irregardless of their faith, creed, or national origin.

  • EIDALM

    The big question is whether Israel wants land or peace, if it will continue it’s current more and more Palestinian land it will end up with neither land or peace.

    • Brux

      Whatever Israel has done the Palestinian reaction has been the same. That is the problem. That is the only problem, and the motivation behind it is that the Palestinians have as their goal ( written into their charter ) that the destruction of Israel is their mission. How can such a group be allowed to have a country by any organization of authority that believes in human rights?

      • Another Mike

        The Israelis are the cowboys while the Palestinians are the Indians. Why were the cowboys entitled to take over Indian lands?

  • EIDALM

    John Kerry speech this morning about Jewish settlements and the peace process represents a total game changer about the future of U S policies regarding the Palestinian Israeli conflict even with the advent of the pending adversary Trump presidency.

  • Roni Krouzman

    Michael – I love your show but was disappointed today. Toward the end of your show this morning, your guest Abraham Sofaer rudely laughed off a caller who asked why the US acts against its interests when it comes to Israel. The guest then scoffed at the ‘Arabs as Victims’ narrative, claiming Israel has never attacked an Arab state, and that Abbas sings the praises of terrorists. That is patently false, and I didn’t hear you stand up for your caller or correct your guest. I’m sure you know Israel supported Britain and France in their invasion of Egypt in 1956. My father certainly wasn’t just standing around with his tank battalion in the Negev in June of 1967 when Israel crushed its Arab neighbors in a 6-day offensive. Not to mention wars in Lebanon, and strikes against Syria, Iraq and Iran. I’m sure you also know Abbas is as moderate at they come. As an Israeli-American with dual citizenship and most all of my family members in Israel, I understand there are different views about the conflict. There are also facts. I would have liked you to correct the record, and stand up for your guest.

    • Peter

      Yes, here are the exact words of Abraham Sofaer, just after the 40-minute mark:

      “Israel has been attacked repeatedly. Israel has not attacked anyone. There’s been war after war. There was a resolution dividing the territory into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Arabs rejected that. I mean, we don’t need to go through the history, you’d think, but of course, this caller’s complete ignorance is [laughter] you know, requires one to recall that this has not been a situation where Israel has been attacking the Arabs. The Arabs have been attacking Israel.”

      The person speaking here is “senior fellow, Hoover Institution”, and more disturbingly, “former legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State”.

      • Brux

        No one is being honest about this issue, but what Abraham Sofaer is the least outrageous and true from their point of view. What do you think the Palestinians/Hezbollah have been doing in Lebanon. Of the Palestinians did in Jordan, and Tunisia. Israel cannot afford to sit by passively as its neighbors plan to destroy it. It’s actions have not been to destroy Egypt, or Syria, or anyone, while it is quite clear the extremist elements of these Muslim countries would take Israel out in a second … that casts Israel’s actions as defensive.

        • Another Mike

          After the THIRD time Israel invaded Lebanon without resistance from the Lebanese government, Hezbollah — a local resistance movement — ramped up to fill the gap.
          Another example of Israel making deadly enemies where none existed before.

      • Another Mike

        There was indeed a resolution dividing Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state (UN GA Resolution 181). Why did the Israelis not commit to those boundaries?

  • Peter

    Michael Krasny at 44:40:
    “The American Jewish vote is significant. They’re small in number, but they’re significant, because so many of them vote.”

    “Because so many of them vote”?? Let me suggest a more likely explanation, from historian Gil Troy.

    ” Troy also looked at what he describes as “the disproportionate frenzy surrounding the Jewish vote,” when bearing in mind that Jews comprise just 2 percent of the US electorate.

    ” The reason for such intense scrutiny is the outsize contributions of Jewish donors to US political campaigns, with Jewish donors contributing a whopping 50% of funds received by the Democratic Party and 25% to the Republican Party, Troy says. ”

    http://www.jpost.com/US-Elections/US-Jews-contribute-half-of-all-donations-to-the-Democratic-party-468774

  • Brux

    It’s very sad that after being such a timid. pathetic, milquetoast President for 8 years Obama chooses this issue to make some kind of personal statement about, and still virtually nothing done for the American people who he has never stood up for. This is a very bad move that will only tarnish whatever legacy that he has. What does this do except confuse the issue and embolden the radicals and terrorists?

    • Another Mike

      The more misbehavior you tolerate, the more you get.

  • Matt

    Why is it that so many people who find the ethnic cleansing in Europe in the 1930’s and 40’s appalling are so supportive of ethnic cleansing in Israel/Palestine now?

    • Another Mike

      Can you put your question a little more plainly? And include the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine in the 1940s?

  • Curious

    Even Britain is condemning Obama.

  • James R

    UN Security Council resolution 2334 vote was 14 yes, zero no. America, what does that tell you? It tells you the official voice for the world decries the settlements. USA abstained from voting and that shows President Obama is an honest broker to the Palestine / Israel peace process. If USA used their veto power it would mean we the people are Netanyahu’s poodle.

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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