The Cherry-Picking Fantasy Land of Elliot Abrams

John Glaser, August 16, 2011

At the blog for the Council on Foreign Relations, Elliot Abrams concludes that people who think illegal settlement construction hinders the Israeli-Palestinian peace process are not living “in the real world.”

Abrams has argued before, amazingly, that settlements in the West Bank are “not a critical issue” (to which I responded). In this latest fantasy land post, Abrams pushes back against the condemnations for the newest set of approvals for 277 new homes in the West Bank city of Ariel. He argues that because these are new units within an already existing settlement, it’s all good.

The new units are to be constructed in the center of  the town, it was also announced. This is a significant fact, for construction of new units at the edges of the town would mean that the security perimeter would need to be extended to protect the new housing and the people in it. But this will not happen, and Ariel will expand in population but not in land area.  It is not, in the usual Palestinian Authority parlance, “taking more Palestinian land.”

Right, they’re just increasing the population of previously stolen Palestinian land. Not only is this virtually a distinction without a difference, but it pretends dishonestly that “expanding in population but not in land area” is typical for West Bank settlement construction. Abrams leaves out the 4,300 new units Israel approved last week for construction in Palestinian East Jerusalem (which Abrams calls “Israel’s capital”). These thousands were in addition to the 930 new homes approved for construction around the same area just days earlier. Abrams is intentionally white-washing the fact that Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes has skyrocketed this year with 356 structures demolished and 700 people displaced in the first six months 2011. These were not instances where new units were built in the center of existing settlements, but rather where innocent Palestinian people were expelled from their homes so that they could be demolished and given to Israeli settlers. Like, for example, the incident at the end of July where the Israeli government sued a group of poor Bedouin Palestinians in the Negev desert for over $500,000, the claimed costs of demolishing their village each time they rebuilt it. Israeli authorities destroyed, and the Bedouin rebuilt, the homes in al-Araqib more than 20 times.

Abrams leaves out those nasty little details so he can keep his imaginary framework for the entire conflict nice and neatly undisturbed. And then of course he chimes in with this little number:

It is not reasonable to view it as a violation of international law and a threat to a peace agreement every time bricks and studs and drywall show up at the center of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Except that it is. They are a violation of international law according to the consensus view of the international community. The Geneva Conventions clearly states that forcible transfers and deportations people in occupied lands is prohibited, as is the transfer of “parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Not to mention that numerous international agreements, as well as the International Court of Justice, have declared the settlements illegal. Heck, even Israel sometimes admits certain settlements to be illegal.

Not Elliot Abrams though. He’s a bit too far down the rabbit hole…




11 Responses to “The Cherry-Picking Fantasy Land of Elliot Abrams”

  1. [...] that explains …Israeli settlement plans earn ire of US, Palestinian AuthorityCNN InternationalThe Cherry-Picking Fantasy Land of Elliot AbramsAntiwar.com (blog)Israel announces new building in West BankWashington PostVoice of [...]

  2. Elliot "El Mozote" Abrams

    decades of raking in public & private cash as amurigas leading cheerleader for fascism

    may this particular political sharmuta rot in whatever's the agnostics equivalent of hell.

  3. He wouldn't be a fascist if the ideology couldn't be aligned with dual loyalty.

  4. Elliot Abrams is (1) a chickenhawk, (2) an ex-con, and (3) a lying Israel-Firster.

    And those are his better qualities.

  5. ecades of raking in local community & exclusive money as amurigas major cheerleader for fascism
    may this particular political sharmuta rot in whatever's the agnostics equivalent of hell.
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  6. RE: "The Cherry-Picking Fantasy Land of Elliot Abrams"

    FROM ELLIOTT ABRAMS, 04/08/09: (excerpt)…Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the 6 percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state
    SOURCE – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

    P.S. Ergo, the ‘Abrams Principle’ stands for the proposition that more Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank will result in a larger area for the Palestinian state. That’s why I say, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” with the settlement actvity; so as to result in the largest Palestinian state possible (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River)! “Let Right Be Done.”

  7. There are Jews, there are Israelies and then there are Zionists. You don't have to be "People of the Book" to be a Zionist. Most Muslims have respect for the other groups who believe in the one "God", regardles of his name or Prophets. The book they read is not a big concern. However, taking their land is a different story.

    As for Infidels or more specifically Kafir this term does not, for Muslims, generally apply to Christians or Jews because they believe in the one God. However, the treatment that many Muslims have recieved by the Zionists and the West has led to some Muslims using this term towards anyone non-Muslim. This is generally not excepted.

    Jews use the term Kufir as a term representing an Apostate or anyone who rejects their faith.

  8. What is interesting is that the logical interpretation of his statement. He says that this is not an issue *because* it is not taking any additional land from the Palestinians. This certainly implies that any expansion of actual land as opposed to the population is, in fact, a detriment to the peace process.

    Of course he doesnt say this, and white washes over this issue but still…

  9. And to think that this Isreali tool actually got paid by the US to represent America and to speack for her. What must the other nations thought of us where this type of liar was addressing them.

  10. [...] a spectrum of belief and agendas in the Knesset, but this is unusually explicit. Still, this is largely consistent with actions. And Netanyahu said essentially the same in his recent speech to Congress. [...]

  11. [...] Relations, for example, consistently emphasizes the plight of Israelis living under threat and then in the same breath makes ridiculous statements about how current settlement construction is not a critical issue, and [...]