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PostNew Israeli Settlements in West Bank (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 02/11/17 5:17 am)
Humans have made up many golden rules, just like we have made up many gods over the centuries. Based on historical evidence, the only rule that seems to be universally ethical and just, thus the only real Golden Rule, is don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you. We should all protest when that rule is broken, and mankind will be better served in the long run.
Much to my wife's frustration, I have abstained from openly criticizing Trump too early in his administration until we know what his policies really are (if he has policies). I have heard some stories crazy enough to cringe. Today I was told that President Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is behind a new building in a West Bank settlement.
The building is financed by American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which Friedman chairs and has raised almost $667,000 for its Israeli counterpart, the Organization for the Sukkat Ovadia Yeshiva of Beit El. The Israeli organization funded construction projects on private Palestinian land. "The projects are illegal under Israeli law. The planned apartment building is to be built partly on private Palestinian land. A recent bill passed by the Knesset which has drawn wide international condemnation seeks to retroactively legalize such theft; Israel's Attorney General has declared the bill to be unconstitutional, and many expect Israel's high court to overturn it."
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R), on February 7, declared his opposition to the expected nomination of neocon war criminal Elliott Abrams as No. 2 in the State Department. Fortunately on Feb. 10 the idea of nominating Elliott Abrams was apparently killed. Nevertheless, I worry that the good people of Israel will be dragged into some maelstrom of destruction like the rest of the Middle East and Northern Africa. At the very least, shouldn't all true conservatives should oppose any government theft of private property?
JE comments: The private property argument is especially damning. No matter what position one takes on the Israel-Palestine conflict, there is no way that expanding the settlements will improve the chances of peace.
David M. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer, should not be confused with Milton's son David D. Friedman, an author and libertarian economist. What do we know about Trump's pick (David M.) for ambassador to Israel? He will appeal to Israel's hardliners with two of his positions: increased construction on the West Bank, and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Israeli West Bank Settlements; Bring Me Fegelein!
(Istvan Simon, USA
02/12/17 4:51 AM)
The Trump administration has a schizophrenic and inconsistent approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the one hand, the appointment of David Friedman as ambassador is an encouragement of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his policy of expanding settlements. On the other hand, the US administration just declared that settlements are not helpful in establishing a Palestinian state and achieving peace.
I am very strongly opposed to Israeli settlements far from Israel's borders. I am for them near Israel's borders.
The 1967 "borders" were not borders at all, but merely ceasefire lines. I am against the maintenance of the 1967 "borders." They are dangerous for Israel's defense, because the country can be cut in two at its narrowest point. Adjustments to those borders need to be made, so that Israel's permanent borders can be defended militarily. There were three separate attempts since 1948 by Arab militaries, which tried to throw Israeli Jews into the Mediterranean by force (1948, 1967, and 1973).
There is something else that needs to be said in connection with these issues. There is absolutely no justification for the Palestinian policies that forbid Jews from buying land in the West Bank. This is an abomination. Israel has more than a million Arab citizens. Why on earth can't Jews live anywhere on the West Bank? Should there be a Peace Treaty and a two-state solution emerge, those Jews that live deep in the West Bank would then become residents of the Palestinian State.
Speaking of Prime Minister Netanyahu, it may very well be that he is in trouble:
Finally I want to send these videos for WAIsers that want a laugh. There is a whole series of these Hitler parodies, and they are absolutely funny...
JE comments: Hitler's "bring me Fegelein" in the 2004 film Der Untergang (Downfall) is one of cinema's all-time greatest rants. If you can't get enough from the above, try this ten-hour version:
On another topic, a hearty welcome to the newest WAISer, Henry Richard Simon, Istvan's first grandchild, born yesterday (11 February), at 1:00 AM.