Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

It’s clear: Israel wants West Bank, not peace

batson column sig

By
From page A8 | July 28, 2014 |

Ouch! My last column about Israel got some dander up. The gray eminences from my church with whom I have an occasional breakfast sat in solemn disapproval. Several emails denounced me as did this letter to the editor: “Batson misrepresents recent history and demonizes the Jewish state.”

I reserve my real demonization for Benjamin Netanyahu who demonstrably doesn’t want peace. My conclusion is that he wants the West Bank and is biding his time until he can see a way clear to expel the Palestinians there.

Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Netanyahu for the collapse of our efforts to get the two sides together. His aide, Martin Indyk, blamed the Israeli settlement policy that continues unabated.

To all pro-Israeli advocates I ask: Why always, always, always change the topic to Hamas? Netanyahu does that weekly. Yet there sits Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank – ignored. He’s renounced violence. He says he wants to live in peace with Israel. He’s talked sympathetically about Jewish suffering. Yes, he rejected a proposal in 2010, but it was so one-sided that no Palestinian could have accepted it.

Why does Netanyahu keep building settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem? He knows that those are anathema to the Palestinians. They are located in land the whole world thinks should go to the Palestinians. But he keeps building, and filling those settlements with the most fanatic religious inhabitants of Israel.

If Netanyahu wants peace, he would not make humiliating preconditions for peace talks. Netanyahu says he will not negotiate unless Abbas publicly states that Israel is exclusively a Jewish state. That would discredit him in the eyes of his countrymen even before negotiations began. You don’t do that if you want to get to a “yes.” You don’t make your enemy grovel as a precondition. It would open the floodgates for Abbas’ enemies who hate Israel.

Remember, you don’t make peace with a friend; you make peace with an enemy. Ignore rhetoric and get to “yes.” Both sides officially say they want peace, but the evidence is now overwhelming: Netanyahu wants the West Bank, and his charges against Hamas are an intentional distraction.

America’s position needs to change. We follow Israel’s precondition that peace can only come from negotiations between the two parties. This gives Israel a veto over the search for peace. Why not recognize Palestine by allowing it a seat in the U.N.? It might jolt Israel into negotiations.

Finally, let’s talk about Hamas. The key to understanding the logic of firing pin-prick, fly-speck rockets into Israel and receiving overwhelming punishment in return, year after year, lies in social psychology. It’s called “cultural despair.” If you’ve never won; if you’ve always been beaten, why, another beating is OK if you can just get a few licks in. You call it a victory and rejoice. To Americans it seems crazy, but it’s not.

There are signs that Hamas is slowly coming around. A good example is the story of Ahmed al-Jaabari, the head of the Hamas military in 2012. When an independent peace-seeker had worked out a peace deal in October 2012 calling for a long cease-fire, al-Jaabari apparently approved it, having come to the conclusion that armed struggle wasn’t working. Wonder of wonders. But on the first day of the eight-day Israeli incursion into Gaza in November 2012, the Israelis assassinated him.

Bottom line: Israel is in thrall to religious fanatics who want the West Bank, and Netanyahu represents them. The whole world pretty much understands that. But in the U.S. we only hear one side of the issue. I wonder why.

Jack Batson is a former member of the Fairfield City Council. Reach him at jsbatson@prodigy.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 49 comments

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  • BobJuly 28, 2014 - 6:32 am

    Pull your head out of the sand and pay attention Hamas fired first, fires from schools and hospitals, won't let the Palestinians leave the areas when the Israelis tell them to leave before they attack, yet you have nothing but praise for terrorists, same guys that brought down the towers How do you sleep at night? Must be a lawyer that's how Could be a coward too, having more flight then fight and probably loves knowing our country is becoming a country run by lawyers taught to lie in school and lie to the people they are support to represent You'll be the first to throw a rug down and knell to the new queen

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 28, 2014 - 6:55 am

    "...same guys who brought down the twin towers?" Wasn't that Saddam Hussein? Your ignorance of history is showing, and it leads to false accusations and conclusions.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • https://www.facebook.com/idfonline/photos/a.250335824989295.62131.125249070831305/819075381448667/?type=1July 29, 2014 - 7:02 am

    Mr. Batson needs to pull his head out, but it is not in the sand, it's where the sun DON'T SHINE. The site (IN Name) is a fact,except that fact was DAYS AGO. Many more have rained down since. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, who would more than any sand pit country would like to be able to live in TOTAL PEACE with its' neighbors. Just remember Mr Batson who started this as they ALWAYS have and ALWAYS WILL. This one began with the kidnapping and murder of those Israeli teens (Yes the revenge murder of that Palestinian Teen was also wrong). Then came the rockets trying to hit innocent Israeli civilians, and they haven't ceased. Sorry Mr. Batson, but if I were the leader of Israel, I would have been a LOT LESS patient and I would have already made ALL OF THE Palestinians EXTINCT, taken them ALL back to the STONE AGE!!!!!! I will give you this, for total peace, IMO, the building and expansions of the settlements needs to stop, but stop thinking that the Palestinians were displaced in 1948. Moses's people settled there thousands of years ago, and this is an historical FACT!!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FDCJuly 28, 2014 - 7:35 am

    Mr. Batson's understanding of history and current events is painfully shallow. Gaza and the West Bank are two different regions, Jack. Didn't you know that? And according to you it's OK for Hamas to fire "pin-prick, fly-speck rockets" into Israel. I guess in Batson's world size does matter: little bitty man-killing rockets are just fine with him and Israelis should turn the other cheek. Madness. What motivates you Jack? Can one infer that anti-Semitism might be involved?

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 11:32 am

    FDC: I you can't understand the connection between Gaza and the West Bank, then you've missed the whole point of the column. There's no anti-Semitism here. There is anti-Netanyahu. There's a big difference. There is also no anti-Muslim here. Try it; you might like it.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 11:33 am

    *If

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  • FDCJuly 28, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    Then it's also just fine by Rick Wood that Hamas fires little bitty man-killing rockets by the hundreds at nonmilitary Israeli targets. Mr. Wood you are twisting yourself in knots trying to support Mr. Batson's juvenile essay. You and Jack Batson are trivializing events with puerile reasoning which would earn you an F, maybe D minus, in any history or current events class. Why do you support a group of murderous thugs with a proven record of atrocities who rain a torrent of missiles upon Israel?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 2:39 pm

    It's you who twist--everybody else's words. Can't you respond to the actual words?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Larry WJuly 28, 2014 - 7:42 am

    Jack. I don't know what you are smoking. Hamas leaders are corrupt,violent and have no desire for peace. Any aid to the Palestinians doesn't go to the people. Their leaders who care for them keep it for themselves. Yasser Arafat died a rich man yet did nothing. Can you tell me what products are exported out of Palestine other than poverty and violence. Netanyahu said "we use missiles to protect our people. Hamas uses people to protect their missiles". The only way for Israel to achieve peace in that region is to cease to exist. I for one will stand by our friends.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 11:36 am

    Gaza has been blockaded for years by the Israelis and Egyptians. That's why there's no exports out of there.

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  • DanielJuly 28, 2014 - 8:09 am

    Hamas is using American worker tax dollars directed for schools and hospitals to dig tunnels into Israel, they keep shooting N. Korean and Iranian rockets for schools and hospitals, why can't the regressives understand those simple facts?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Voter IDJuly 28, 2014 - 8:30 am

    I think Jack continues to write these type letters just so he can keep his name out their in the public eye. Looks like he is thinking about running for some type of political office here in Fairfield. Remember to demand that we have to show proper ID when we vote so we can prove we are who we say we are when we vote.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 11:40 am

    ID: That's an interesting theory, but it "looks like" you're wrong, from where I sit.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Voter IDJuly 28, 2014 - 1:14 pm

    Wrong about him wanting to run for political office, I guess we will just have to see about that. Or about requiring every one to show a valid ID before they vote?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    No, I'm fine with everybody showing an ID as long as every voter can get one without any cost or inconvenience, just like the right to vote itself.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    Driving is a privilege, not a right.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    Anything the government does to pose a cost or inconvenience on a citizen for exercising a right is an infringement on the right itself. Maybe you're OK with that, but I'm not. So issue voter IDs by all means, but without infringing on the right to vote.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    *impose

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  • Voter IDJuly 28, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    Rick: Their is also a cost so every US Citizen can vote it is the cost of freedom that is paid by the men and women that put their lives on the line every day in the US Military, so we can speak out against a tyrannical government like we have this very day. But with this President and his administration we are losing our freedoms little by little all in the name of big Government Just like under communist rule. But i guess you are ok with that as long as the government provides every thing you need .

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  • rlw895July 28, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    My point, made abundantly clear by many of these comments, is that American views of the Arab-Israeli conflict over Palestine is confused by our natural tendency to see it as a conflict between Judeo-Christianity and Islam. But it's much more than that. In fact, it's primarily NOT that. It's a conflict over land. It's also a conflict between democracy and autocracy. In that regard, the Palestinians right now are on the side of democracy much more than the present Israeli government.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    ID: Cut the BS. Yes, "freedom is not free," but that has nothing to do with costing people to vote. We've fought to make voting FREE. And I'll continue to fight you and your kind who want to change that. Voting is not a government handout.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 29, 2014 - 10:44 am

    So, ID, are you going to respond here or go to another comment page and start all over again?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    Then what do you do about vote by mail? Ban it?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodAugust 17, 2014 - 2:56 pm

    ID has left the room too.

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  • And so it goes....July 28, 2014 - 8:56 am

    And to think he actually was in charge of Fairfield at one point...

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 11:42 am

    Ah yes, I think of it as Fairfield's "Golden Age." Do you enjoy Suisun Valley?

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  • FDCJuly 28, 2014 - 12:48 pm

    Well, Rick, let's review your "Golden Age." First Jack proclaimed himself to be a Republican and garnered support from that group. Then when elected, Jack struck his false flag and called himself a Democrat. Then he promptly got his butt voted out of office by an awakened electorate. Golden?

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 2:56 pm

    Sounds like you voted for Republican Jack and felt betrayed when he switched. Did anything else he did matter to you after that?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 29, 2014 - 10:50 am

    The reason I mention Suisun Valley is because the Council Jack was on essentially saved agriculture there from City encroachment while at the same time jump-starting a new era of agritourism. That snowballed to the whole county. Whether they will ultimately have made a difference remains to be seen, but they tried and did the best they could, IMHO. If you don't think that was an evolutionary if not revolutionary time, you weren't paying attention.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 29, 2014 - 10:58 am

    FDC: No on should be blamed for switching from Republican to Democrat during the Bush/Cheney years.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 29, 2014 - 11:02 am

    *one

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  • rlw895July 29, 2014 - 11:05 am

    FDC: Jack wasn't "promptly unelected." He served two terms; 8 years. And during those years, do you recall the City increased patrol officers nearly 25%? Yet presumably he was unelected by a tough on crime cabal, curiously funded by development interests.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 29, 2014 - 11:07 am

    FDC: Enough "review?" Have you left the room?

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  • Rick WoodAugust 17, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    I guess so.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 28, 2014 - 11:26 am

    There's no "wonder why," as several of these comments imply. Try to imagine if the Palestinians were Christian Arabs, would Americans be so quick to side with Israel? It's the Judeo-Christians against the Muslims as far as this most religious and least intellectual nation on Earth can see it. The disproportionality of the Israeli response to the most recent rocket attacks out of Gaza (which were themselves arguably a response to Israeli outrages on the West Bank) had more to do with Iron Shield being ready for action than anything else. Whatever Israel wants to do with Gaza it can now do with relative impunity, at lease for a while, until new offensive technology smuggled into Gaza makes Iron Shield ineffective. Israel will strike while it can.

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  • Voter IDJuly 28, 2014 - 1:10 pm

    rlw895 Wake up and smell the coffee if they were palestinian Christians they would not be launching rockets into Israel and calling for the death of Israel. Guess what Israel would not fire back. Its Hamas that does not want peace with Israel they want to see the total destruction of Israel and the death of every Jew not just in Israel but world wide. I guess you cannot see that.

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  • rlw895July 28, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    Oh yes, Christians would never do something like that to Jews.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    My point, made abundantly clear by many of these comments, is that American views of the Arab-Israeli conflict over Palestine is confused by our natural tendency to see it as a conflict between Judeo-Christianity and Islam. But it's much more than that. In fact, it's primarily NOT that. It's a conflict over land. It's also a conflict between democracy and autocracy. In that regard, the Palestinians right now are on the side of democracy much more than the present Israeli government.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 29, 2014 - 10:52 am

    RW: I agree;-).

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SteveJuly 28, 2014 - 2:17 pm

    I would suggest anyone with an interest in Israeli Palestinian issues read "The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine" by Miko Peled, the son of an Israeli general. If you don't have the attention span for a book, search Miko Peled on Youtube and spend about 45 minutes watching him speak. Your head will spin. Mr. Batson is closer to the truth than many of us would like to admit.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 28, 2014 - 3:57 pm

    Thanks for that reference.

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  • SylviaJuly 28, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    Mr Batson, any honest human being who has spent a few years as a resident in Palestine's West Bank will recognize that, while some of your critics have a fine line in The Sneer, they don't know what they are talking about. Thank you for this excellent opinion piece.

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  • https://www.facebook.com/idfonline/photos/a.250335824989295.62131.125249070831305/819075381448667/?type=1July 29, 2014 - 7:04 am

    Mr. Batson needs to pull his head out, but it is not in the sand, it's where the sun DON'T SHINE. The site (IN Name) is a fact,except that fact was DAYS AGO. Many more have rained down since. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, who would more than any sand pit country would like to be able to live in TOTAL PEACE with its' neighbors. Just remember Mr Batson who started this as they ALWAYS have and ALWAYS WILL. This one began with the kidnapping and murder of those Israeli teens (Yes the revenge murder of that Palestinian Teen was also wrong). Then came the rockets trying to hit innocent Israeli civilians, and they haven't ceased. Sorry Mr. Batson, but if I were the leader of Israel, I would have been a LOT LESS patient and I would have already made ALL OF THE Palestinians EXTINCT, taken them ALL back to the STONE AGE!!!!!! I will give you this, for total peace, IMO, the building and expansions of the settlements needs to stop, but stop thinking that the Palestinians were displaced in 1948. Moses's people settled there thousands of years ago, and this is an historical FACT!!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • https://www.facebook.com/idfonline/photos/a.250335824989295.62131.125249070831305/819075381448667/?type=1July 29, 2014 - 7:41 am

    I stand by what I said, they'd be made EXTINCT!!!!!! Israel NEVER EVER begins this aggression, but if their leader, I SURE AS HECK WOUULD END IT, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, and if you disagree with that or agree with Mr. Batson, you must be one of our local taxi drivers.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 29, 2014 - 8:36 am

    TFT: Seems StR is back. Ignore her like everybody else does.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • https://www.facebook.com/idfonline/photos/a.250335824989295.62131.125249070831305/819075381448667/?type=1July 29, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Nope I am me and she is her, although she was quite a sweetie :-). Now go back to driving your taxi Muḥammad. I still say EXTINCT the best way to deal with all the enemies of Israel!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 29, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Yes, you of the unpronounceable name, you seem to be more loony. Please use one name so we can more effectively ignore you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • mike kirchubelJuly 29, 2014 - 10:16 am

    Thanks, Jack for giving us another side to this complex situation. Those who have actually done a little homework on this realize that the problem is more than a slogan long. It's funny to watch the overzelous when they try to take in more than their little brains can hold.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 29, 2014 - 10:56 am

    We have to keep commenting on this column so the junk about murderers, rapists, and cats doesn't keep driving it from the Comments page.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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