From Israel: An Unmitigated Mess!!

July 1, 2020, was the day on which Israel was to begin application of sovereignty.


But I have been tracking more than one unmitigated mess, and I want to first circle back briefly to that other enormous mess: in the US.

I provide for you here a link to an interview of Leo Terrell, a civil rights attorney of sterling reputation, forthrightly telling it like it is. He is grievously disappointed with the Democratic Party, and frustrated about the refusal of Democrats to call out the violence of rioters and Black Lives Matter. He addresses the rule of law and the patronizing attitude of the Democrats. He says “systemic discrimination does not exist.”


Credit: Fox News

What he says is SO important. Because it comes from him – an attorney with 30 years of experience in the field and until recently a supporter of the Democrats – it carries weight. Please watch it and then share the link very broadly. Maybe some eyes will be opened.


Now with regard to that application of sovereignty, which is still floating in the air. Presumably something will ultimately happen, although there is no certainty.

July 1 was the date written into the unity agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz as the earliest date on which Netanyahu could bring the application of sovereignty to the Cabinet, and then to the Knesset. There is a window of three months going forward for this to happen

While he can do this without Gantz’s approval according to the agreement, the Trump administration has indicated a desire to have Gantz on board. But our Minister of Defense/Alternate Prime Minister Gantz has hedged and equivocated – most recently declaring that this issue should be delayed because of national preoccupation with coronavirus and boosting the economy. Netanyahu responded sharply to this, and in private declared that Gantz has no say in the matter; he insists that we will be moving ahead, and this led to some public friction between the two.

Alex Kolomisky

Credit: Alex Kolomoisky



But this tension represents just one of the stumbling blocks, as the process moves forward – and in the end it is one of the smaller problems.


The prime minister says that “We are in talks with an American team here in Israel.” And this, I think is at the heart of the matter. The map apparently is not yet finalized, although I have read that there have been some changes that address concerns from our side: enlarging of area around settlements to allow for growth, etc. Whether it sufficiently addresses all concerns I cannot say.

But the bottom line is that Netanyahu is doing this in concert with the Americans. Secretary of State Pompeo said recently it is Israel’s decision whether to apply sovereignty or not. OK. But it is not Israel’s decision as to where to apply it. Not if we want US approval, that is. And Netanyahu has made it clear he’s working according to the map.


When the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem, and recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, this was a boost for Israel.

The current situation is different. The goal of the “Deal of the Century” is not to do something for Israel, but to “solve” the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. We need to remember this.

Trump fell into the same trap as his predecessors: he imagined he could do the impossible. He prides himself on being the ultimate dealmaker.



Credit: PBS


But just as his predecessors learned, so must Trump and his team learn, it IS impossible, simply because the PLO leaders do not wish to make peace: they wish to destroy us.

The team has not acknowledged anything of the sort, however. They are still working on “peace.” And they are counting on a complex plan to bring it about. Jared Kushner, devoid of genuine understanding of radical Muslim ideology, imagined that a huge financial package would bring the Palestinian Arabs around.

Part of the plan involves a division of Judea and Samaria, with a conceptual map of how this would work presented in January. It allocated roughly 30% of Judea and Samaria to Israel, with the remainder held for the Palestinian Arabs. Israel’s sovereignty in that 30% would be recognized by the US immediately, and Palestinian Arab sovereignty (some sort of state) would be recognized only after a host of criteria were met.


There was enormous excitement here in Israel because this plan was the first recognition by a US administration – by any administration – that Israel had rights in Judea and Samaria. This was big, but it was qualified in certain very significant ways:

First, even though there is acknowledgement in the plan that this land is Israeli, it is expected that Israel will only apply sovereignty on 30%. (That is all the US will recognize.) And then, it is expected that Israel will agree to negotiate with the PLO in accordance with the plan. Trump said immediately after the plan was released that Netanyahu had agreed to this and he later said so himself.

I am vastly uncomfortable with this, as are many others in Israel. The argument is made that the PLO is never going to agree, so it doesn’t matter. But it does, because it opens that Pandora’s box all over again, putting Israel on record as being amenable to a Palestinian state within Judea and Samaria.


The Sovereignty Movement (co-founder Nadia Matar below), certain settler groups, and others to the right urged, “Yes to Sovereignty, No to Palestine.” See the argument here:

YouTube 3



But that is not what Prime Minister Netanyahu has signed on for!!

Avi Dichter, Likud MK and former head of the Shin Bet, has now urged Netanyahu not to wait for a deal with the US, but to apply sovereignty immediately because it’s the right thing for Israel.

avi Moalem

Credit: Avi Moalem


But that is not Netanyahu’s approach!!


Many, of course, argue that the principle of establishing some sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is so huge that it’s worth the risks. They believe over time it will work out.

There are, however, a couple of things that have me particularly unsettled at this point:

First, is the question of what happens in four years according to the plan. (I recognize this is only relevant if Trump is still in the White House, let us hope.) The plan – at least as outlined by Ambassador David Friedman in a talk at the JCPA – gave the PLO four years to get their act together. They would not be penalized for taking this much time, said Friedman. But after four years, when the PLO has not come through, is it solidly understood by the US that Israel would then extend sovereignty further – at least to all of Area C? I do not know.

Then there seems to be a push by the US to make it all come together sooner. This might be because a diplomatic success here might play well in the US election, or because there is a desire to achieve the final goal, or as close to final as possible, before the election in case it is lost.

In line with this, we see the following (emphasis added):

The US administration is pressing Israel to make a significant gesture towards the Palestinian Authority in exchange for Israel applying sovereignty over Judea and SamariaChannel 12 News reported on Tuesday.

“According to the report, US officials have proposed that Israel give land in exchange for land, in a manner that would allow Palestinian Arabs to build without restrictions or change the status of Area C (where Israel maintains security and civilian control) to that of Area B.

“A government official said on Tuesday that ‘if the right knew what the Americans wanted in exchange for annexation, they would be less enthusiastic.’”

If this is true, it is very bad news and rings all sorts of bells. This is the same sort of expectation other US administrations voiced – we are supposed to give while the Palestinian Arabs are intransigent.


The news as I write this is that we may see some resolution by next week. And apparently President Trump will be making a statement.

While we wait, I urge you to see law professor Eugene Kontorovich in a brilliant discourse on Israel’s rights, international law, the meaning of “occupation,” and more.


Credit: L’Chaim Center




See my website:

© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

July 2, 2020 | 27 Comments » | 451 views

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27 Comments / 27 Comments

  1. I am a strong supporter of a declaration Israeli sovereignty over all of Western Palestine, and will be gratified by any extension of Israel law over any part of this territory (I believe Israel is already the lawful sovereign over this territory in any case). However, I believe the impending collapse of the Israeli economy, and the terrible hardships imposed on Israeli Jews by the lockdown, is a far more urgent matter than the sovereignty debate. Over one million Israelis are unemployed. Numerous businesses have failed and may not reopen. Even El Al is bankrupt and cannot continue flying.The Israeli government is itself broke.
    The Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Knesset must addresss this urgent issue now. Important though it is, the sovereignty issue does not require so much focus and debate as it is receiving now. Netanyahu should simply issue a declaration of sovereignty and then address the economic crisis in a serious way. The extension of Israeli law to the disputed territories would be highly desireable. But it is not so urgent a need as fixing the economy.

  2. @ Adam Dalgliesh:
    You are absolutely right, and I would add that any involvement in the Deal of the Century and sovereignty discussions must stop immediately and Israel’s attention must be turned 100% to fixing the economy and vastly increasing housing construction (settlement and other) and promoting aliyah.
    There is no need for anyone’s permission, after all, Israel is not Mandatory Palestine anymore, or is it?

  3. Former Health Min. Director: Don’t let them brainwash you about coronavirus
    Prof. Yoram Lass: “There was no first wave of coronavirus in Israel. There is no second wave.”
    Arutz Sheva Staff , 02/07/20 09:22

    Prof. Yoram Lass, the former director general of the Ministry of Health, continues to press for calming panic over coronavirus.

    “There was no first wave – a lie. In March, April and May, 115 less people died in the State of Israel compared to the same period last year. There was no first wave, it is in the hysterical mind of you know who. In Europe and America there was a very respectable first wave, and no second wave,” Lass said in an interview on 103fm.
    “No government in the world can stop the virus.”

    This means someone ruined the economy on purpose (and keeps ruining it by calling for more restrictions).

  4. Unless the IDF remains in charge of the rest, at least until the PA renounces terror, establishes democracy with respect for civil rights, and recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, as promised, the 30 percent (or less, as it is being whittled down in a bait and switch manner) is clearly a Trojan Horse. Expanding Palestinian autonomy would be disastrous. They have too much now. Israel should never have made past concessions. Anybody who says Israel needs to make more as a show of good faith when the Pals have made none and violated every agreement, is a fool if not a conscious betrayer.

  5. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Back to the R. Kahane’s article:

    ‘And so the fool ate the fish, got whipped for the fish and, in the end, had to pay for it, anyhow. Those in Israel and without, who refuse to understand that nothing will deter America from demanding that Israel make the maximum concessions, play the same fool. Those who do not understand that there is nothing that Israel can possible do, that there are no compromises it can make, that there is nothing short of full retreat to the 1967 borders that will satisfy the United States-are the same fools as the servant who ate, got whipped and in the end had to pay anyhow. …The time to loudly proclaim “no” is now.’

  6. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Yes, you are right, ……..except, wholly your imaginary scenario of the chazarse Arabs “renounces terror and recognises Israel as the Jewish State”…..etc.

    Perchance to dream…ah.. never mind the sleep…that Hamlet was some ham…

  7. @ Edgar G.:

    If sheep could fly, they’d have wings.”

    But, that was the initial promise. And now we’re hearing proposals to enlarge Area B? Bridge for sale. Literally, eh?

  8. @ Reader:
    Yes. This is the passage that impresses me the most — it’s truly prophetic, this was written in 1976:

    Their refusal to make the difficult choice of telling the Americans “no”, now, at this moment, will see them making the retreats they hope will avert American anger; it will see this effort fail even as the frontier moves from its present lines within the Arab heartland to new ones close to the Jewish cities; and most important, the Americans will make the same demands they always have envisioned since the days of the Roger Plan-total Israeli withdrawal. And since this is a thing that not even the most dovish of Israelis will agree to, the result will be an ultimate Israeli firm “no”, an ultimate American anger of the kind all men of “new initiative” propose to avert today by compromise, and exactly the same conditions of confrontation that would come anyhow if the Israelis said their “no” today. There would be one great difference, however, a “no” today will bring the crisis while Israel stands poised near the Arab capitols. A “no” tomorrow, after all the hapless and confused compromises and “initiatives,” will bring the same crisis near Tel Aviv, Beersheva and Netanya.

    Though, I looked it up and it’s “capital” not “capitols” which refers to buildings

  9. @ Reader:
    Just had an idea for the prospective title of an architectural history of the Bundestag: “Das Kapitol.”

  10. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    According to those at the centre of the matter-the doers- there is no truth to these reports. And we know that “jou rnalists” compete to outdo one another in their “news” breaking headlines.

    So..maybe we’ll have to wait until sheep DO have wings. It’s not impossible …After all Mahomet had a horse that was able to fly at jet speed, without the rider, exposed to the open air, being blown away and forever lost to us…..At least that’s what the headlines said…….I think…??

  11. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Sebastien..(and others)..Here is something that should be extremely interesting for you. Let me assume that many of us have NOT read Joan Peters’ monumental book..”From Time Immemorial”….which was criticised by the creepers, Chomsky and Finkelstein. This alone, should all the more make it well worth reading.
    I have never read, but have come across short paragraphs here and there. I just looked her up on Wikipaedia, keying in “Joan Peters”. At the end of the details of her life etc, scrolling down further, past the “Awards” and “References”, one comes to “EXTERNAL LINKS. The 4th entry is “Assorted excerpts from From Time Immemorial”: There are 25 somewhat lengthy excerpts, which if read consecutively giver a pretty good picture of what the book is like.. Indeed, they tell the fascinating, factual story of what actually happened, where the Israeli and YESHA Arabs came from…. and WHEN………..!! READ and enjoy….

  12. @ Edgar G.:
    I read it when it came out and it’s a very good book but “Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine” by Samuel (Shmuel) Katz, which came out earlier, covers the same ground in more detail and with a more thorough primary source bibliography.

  13. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Yes I have that book , also a couple more, one of which covered the 6 Day War. Wonderful stuff. I don’t think he was more detailed, his book was about a third as long as Peters’ but more concise the focused on the exact issues with no journalistic verbiage added. He had the advantage of being a scholar and a historian. He was brilliant, Begin’s buddy and , I think, biographer. You must spend most of your spare time reading too. You pick your books, whereas I read anything that has print on it.

    ****The big thrill, on my very first day in Israel, on my way, to my yet to be unfolded, ordeals , was to see, in a tiny, very grubby shop window, amongst the piles of rubbish, TOILET ROLLS…with the brand printed in Hebrew. That’s when being in Israel began to hit me… !!*****

  14. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    He wrote some great stuff. A year or two back I suggested that you read Twain’s “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offences”…in which he said, that of 19 rules of literary fiction, Cooper violates 18 of them. It’s a short 9-10 page essay, and hilarious all the way, written straight-faced, like Jack Webb saying, “only the facts, Ma’am”…

    There are also, of course criticisms of the criticisms, also comical in their own way.

    I like the Goldwynisms.(a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on..)

  15. Edgar G. Said:

    “a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

    Today, I think it would be accurate to amend that to say, with regard to international relations between Israel and other states, especially Muslim states such as Jordan, who behaved themselves better during the 27 years in between the time they got their ass kicked for the second time and the signing of the treaty, than in the 26 years since; “a written contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, either.” I mean, while they’re at it, why don’t these idiot politicians just say to them, “Hey, wanna sign a Hudna with us?”

  16. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    How true. As soon as I saw your leading words at he beginning of “Recent Comments” above. I knew what the content would be…. So right………..!

  17. @ Reader:
    It is and I’m sure Edgar knows it, too. Scribd also has all of the books we mentioned, in some cases as uploaded documents, and in the case of the Fenimore Cooper, either as part of collected works or as an audiobook. Scribd, in case anyone doesn’t know, is a kind of literary Netflix for $10 a month. They have more things I’ve been looking for than Kindle Unlimited and not just public domain. You can also upload or read uploaded documents and i wonder how the copyright works with that. They have books, magazines, sheet music, and audio books. You can also add Pandora for free, I just belatedly found out, but I already had a Pandora account so I cancelled it to see if I can start over. Apropos of Nothing, Metropcs gives a free Amazon Prime account with a $60 cell phone plan.

  18. @ Reader:
    How could you post a link to if you had no way of knowing about it and how do you know he knows about it (though as it happens I have posted links to it in the past, but I don’t know if you would know that since it was a couple of years ago, i think) ? He’s only mentioned Project Gutenberg.

  19. @ Reader:

    I’ve never used “,” and know nothing about it. What makes you say I do…?I’m curious to know??

  20. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    You misunderstood what I wrote. I wrote that I know about Scribd and I had no way of knowing that Edgar knew about (as you assumed).
    I was being sarcastic.
    It turns out that Edgar DIDN’T know anything about, so I can’t understand why you rushed to tell me he did.
    Is it possible now, that Edgar found the link that I posted useful or at least not harmful?

  21. @ Edgar G.:
    It was Sebastian who said you already knew about
    I replied to you with a link to William Ziff’s book on and Sebastian immediately rushed to tell me he is sure you knew about the book, and to tell me about Scribd.
    You are free to ignore the link if you don’t like it or don’t need it.

  22. @ Reader:

    I get you. Yes, I’ve always known about the book, although never having read it. I come across mentions of it from time to time, going back many years. I neglected to read on, to where it said “”. My error.

    I rarely-if ever- go seeking for items that I have not either read from a library, borrowed or bought myself. I don’t have the patience, nowadays to search for what is, after all, only small part of the premiss of the conversation. If we think about it, there are probably 1000 or more books written equally with the same info..

    After all, next to the Bible, the most written and written about “item” was Napoleon Bonaparte. Hundreds of thousands of books about him.

  23. @ Edgar G.:
    Well, if you do decide to use the link that I posted, after all, you will find that this book happens to be unique. William Ziff did a huge amount of research, and his book is a real indictment of the British Mandate.
    I wish someone wrote a sequel to it covering the years from 1938 to 1948.

  24. @ Edgar G.:
    I thought you read anything with print on it. The link Reader posted at is a photocopy of a book, a very old book and an important one you said you have seen references to. You click on the pages to turn them. Here’s the description in Scribd: “The Rape of Palestine is a scathing indictment of the British administration in Palestine. It is well documented and makes full use of quotations from the writings of non-Jewish persons who served under that administration and themselves complained of the anti-Semitism shown by government officials. Among them was Douglas V. Duff, who complained that “it did not pay for one’s seniors to think that one had any undue sympathy for the returning Jews.” Even if only one-half of the evidence amassed by the author were true, he would have proved that nearly all the persons sent out to administer Palestine were anti-Semitic and determined to evade the Mandate and destroy the Jewish national home.—Print ed.” It came out in 1938,

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