A Proposal on Embassy Locations

 

128 countries have decided that they have every right to tell another nation what can and cannot be its capital city. Each of these countries marked in green has said that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital city and that agreeing with Israel that it is should be punished.

Let us extend the principle. If one nation can tell another nation what its capital is, then it follows that the United States can declare for those nations where their capitals are. Instead of having to put our embassies close to their governments and where they think their capitals are, we can put our embassies in places convenient for us.

  • Oh, look, the United Kingdom has endorsed this principle. So, we can move our embassy to their new capital, according to us, of Brighton. Less traffic, fewer people, lower real estate prices, and it’s a nice seaside town.
  • Who else do we have? Japan? New capital on the island of Iwo Jima, perhaps?
  • Zimbabwe? Nobody wants to actually be in Zimbabwe. Let’s move their capital to somewhere more convenient, like Newark, New Jersey. Nobody wants to be there, either, but it’s much more convenient than Harare.
  • The Principality of Andorra? Wait, we don’t have an embassy or other mission in Andorra. Well, that’s okay. We’ll move the capitals of both Spain and France there, and then we will have an embassy there.

If they complain, we just say, “But in the UN, you said…”

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  1. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Australia has one of the most effective anti-immigrant policies in the world.

    We actually have  pretty high rate of immigration per capita.  The country has a fairly pro immigration policy.

    Of course this is made politically possible by very strong border protection (helps that we’re an island) – and none of this is relevant to how Australia deals with its indigenous population. (Mixed, but they’re citizens and nobody tries to deprive them of those rights.)

    Why aren’t you burning down Parliament?

    I think it’s made of fire retardant material, and it’s under a lawn and behind a fence.  (Also – they aren’t doing too awful a job. Give them a chance?)

    Why aren’t you burning down whatever building that houses the Government organ that bugs you the most?

    • #91
  2. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Zafar (View Comment):
    But the Palestinians have made it clear that there will be no room for “Israelis” (Jews) in any Palestinian State.

    Would you be Jewish and live in a Palestinian state?

    • #92
  3. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Dude, are you moving the goal posts?

    Never mind.

    The issue is having equal rights.

    If yes, then possibly.  If no, then I would prefer not.

    And in any case – the claim that Palestinians say that there can be no Jewish Palestinian citizens in a free Palestine is demonstrably false.  Right?  So why make it? How does that reflect well on your argument?

    • #93
  4. Roberto the Weary Inactive
    Roberto the Weary
    @Roberto

    Zafar (View Comment):
    “Any person, be he Jewish, Christian or Buddhist, will have the right to apply for Palestinian citizenship,” Ashrawi told The Times of Israel. “Our basic law prohibits discrimination based on race or ethnicity.”

    An open invitation to be butchered by savages, how can anyone resist?

    • #94
  5. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Ambit claim.

    Where’s the proof?

    You might be able to prove that many Arabs sold property to Jews in the 1940’s.  I doubt you could prove that they expected to reclaim it after the Jews were dead.  It’s not the kind of thing that can be proved.

    • #95
  6. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    Zafar (View Comment):

    TG (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    . I mean they’re still arguing about angels on pinheads wrt someone running away due to fear of violence isn’t a refugee the way someone who was forced away by the barrel of a gun is a refugee. What next? Only people who’ve lost limbs qualify?

    Are you completely certain that the Israeli authorities are making any arguments like this? What some of us may be chatting about, from a considerable distance, and no actual skin in the game, based on hearsay from other people similarly situated – may not track closely with the real details.

    I admit this is a surprising thing to hear from a a citizen of a country that sends Israel almost $4 billion a year. I would have imagined you’d never more interested in the details.

    Anyway, here is a reasonably constructive paper which I think is quite interesting:

    https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/field/field_document/20140305IsraeliPerspectivesPalestinianRefugee.pdf

    Yes, that is an interesting paper.

    As I interpret that paper, it does not support your assertion that the official Israeli position is that “someone running away due to fear of violence isn’t a refugee.”  In fact, I don’t see any claims, in that paper, that the paper has captured and explains the official Israeli position:

    “The participants were Israeli and international experts on the Middle East Peace Process and the Palestinian refugee issue, acting in a personal capacity.”

    I generally favor the idea of compensating people (or, rather, by this time, mostly heirs of people) who lost property.  The practical challenge, of course, would often be in establishing proof of pre-1948 ownership.

     

    • #96
  7. cirby Inactive
    cirby
    @cirby

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Do you understand what ‘proof’ means?

    Do you understand that, according to the definition of “proof,” there basically isn’t any that you can get from online sources?

    The best you can find is someone with an opinion, quoting biased people, at about the same remove as my comment above.

    Most of the Palestinian-leaning media follows a much, much less strict standard of “proof” about Israel than what you’re complaining about. Hell, they quote Hezbollah sources.

    • #97
  8. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    cirby (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Do you understand what ‘proof’ means?

    Do you understand that, according to the definition of “proof,” there basically isn’t any that you can get from online sources?

    The best you can find is someone with an opinion, quoting biased people, at about the same remove as my comment above.

    Most of the Palestinian-leaning media follows a much, much less strict standard of “proof” about Israel than what you’re complaining about. Hell, they quote Hezbollah sources.

    It’s much more fun to just yell at each other than to try to “prove” stuff.

    • #98
  9. cirby Inactive
    cirby
    @cirby

    Zafar (View Comment):
    And in any case – the claim that Palestinians say that there can be no Jewish Palestinian citizens in a free Palestine is demonstrably false. Right?

    Wrong.

    Hezbollah – you know, the people who are basically running the whole area – keep killing Jewish people because, you know, they’re Jewish. That’s at least a pretty strong hint, even for you.

     

    • #99
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Ambit claim.

    Where’s the proof?

    You might be able to prove that many Arabs sold property to Jews in the 1940’s. I doubt you could prove that they expected to reclaim it after the Jews were dead. It’s not the kind of thing that can be proved.

    So it’s an ambit claim – iow, ‘not provable’.

    When people disagree, these kind of claims and counter-claims don’t seem to contribute constructively to their conversation.

    Jmho, but it may be better to stick to claims that are provable?

    • #100
  11. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    cirby (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    And in any case – the claim that Palestinians say that there can be no Jewish Palestinian citizens in a free Palestine is demonstrably false. Right?

    Wrong.

    Hezbollah – you know, the people who are basically running the whole area – keep killing Jewish people because, you know, they’re Jewish. That’s at least a pretty strong hint, even for you.

    I’ve never heard of Hezbollah aspiring to rule Palestine, or indeed of the PLO or PA wanting Hezbollah to rule Palestine.

    Is this another impossible to prove claim?

    But wrt Hezbollah and Jews – I’m afraid you’re at least partly right. (Though not wholly.)

    • #101
  12. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Zafar (View Comment):

    So it’s an ambit claim – iow, ‘not provable’.

    Like this?

    Zafar (View Comment):
    So would you accept proof that individual Palestinians wish to live in peace… ?

     

    • #102
  13. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Zafar (View Comment):
    So it’s an ambit claim – iow, ‘not provable’.

    When people disagree, these kind of claims and counter-claims don’t seem to contribute constructively to their conversation.

    Jmho, but it may be better to stick to claims that are provable?

    I’m not Jewish, but I can understand their wish for a “safe space,” though it’s not turned out to be one.  The 40’s were pretty hard on them.

    • #103
  14. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    So it’s an ambit claim – iow, ‘not provable’.

    Like this?

    Zafar (View Comment):
    So would you accept proof that individual Palestinians wish to live in peace… ?

    No, that is provable – for individual Palestinians.

    Edit: and frankly the claim that (individual) Palestinians sold their property to (individual members of) the Yishuv with the express intention of returning after an Arab invasion to take it back for free is provable, it’s just completely nonsensical.

    What is the timeline?  When did they sell? When did they first ‘know’ about this Arab invasion?  When did they even know about the new States’ proposed borders, votes by the UN, etc? How did they know about these rather crucial details decades before they happened? Witchcraft? A crystal ball? A phenominal talent with tarot cards? The whole claim only has a gauzy appearance of maybe being true if one has no familiarity with the dates or events involved.  If one does it is completely unbelievable.

    But to prove the claim:

    Who are these people?

    Can they be interviewed?

    If they exist, they can be.

    Can their stories be corroborated by others?

    Can their claims to have sold land be confirmed?

    These are basic first steps to prove or disprove a claim.

     

    • #104
  15. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    So it’s an ambit claim – iow, ‘not provable’.

    When people disagree, these kind of claims and counter-claims don’t seem to contribute constructively to their conversation.

    Jmho, but it may be better to stick to claims that are provable?

    I’m not Jewish, but I can understand their wish for a “safe space,” though it’s not turned out to be one.

    I sympathise with the wish for a safe space as well, but taking a country that was already full of other people (who were not responsible, note it, for the Holocaust) and deciding that it was going to be Israel seems like a recipe for ongoing conflict.

    Or just plain craziness.

    Take your pick.

    • #105
  16. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    So it’s an ambit claim – iow, ‘not provable’.

    When people disagree, these kind of claims and counter-claims don’t seem to contribute constructively to their conversation.

    Jmho, but it may be better to stick to claims that are provable?

    I’m not Jewish, but I can understand their wish for a “safe space,” though it’s not turned out to be one.

    I sympathise with the wish for a safe space as well, but taking a country that was already full of other people (who were not responsible, note it, for the Holocaust) and deciding that it was going to be Israel seems like a recipe for ongoing conflict.

    Or just plain craziness.

    Take your pick.

    You understand that the Jewish claim on Jerusalem predates the Holocaust by a couple thousand years, right?  (And also the founding of Islam?)

    It wasn’t just plopped down there at random.

    • #106
  17. cirby Inactive
    cirby
    @cirby

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    So it’s an ambit claim – iow, ‘not provable’.

    Like this?

    Zafar (View Comment):
    So would you accept proof that individual Palestinians wish to live in peace… ?

    No, that is provable – for individual Palestinians.

    Edit: and frankly the claim that (individual) Palestinians sold their property to (individual members of) the Yishuv with the express intention of returning after an Arab invasion to take it back for free is provable, it’s just completely nonsensical.

    What is the timeline? When did they sell? When did they first ‘know’ about this Arab invasion? When did they even know about the new States’ proposed borders, votes by the UN, etc? How did they know about these rather crucial details decades before they happened? Witchcraft? A crystal ball? A phenominal talent with tarot cards? The whole claim only has a gauzy appearance of maybe being true if one has no familiarity with the dates or events involved. If one does it is completely unbelievable.

    But to prove the claim:

    Who are these people?

    Can they be interviewed?

    If they exist, they can be.

    Can their stories be corroborated by others?

    Can their claims to have sold land be confirmed?

    These are basic first steps to prove or disprove a claim.

    That is an amazingly detailed list of “first steps.” Pretty much all of it would require me to travel to Israel, do voluminous research, and get a bunch of Palestinians to admit that they sold their land to Jewish people in the first place. Which would get them killed. Right.

    You also seem to think that the various wars in that region were all surprises. The only thing that was surprising about any of them was the timing. The most-startling one was the 1967 war, and the only shock about that one was that the Israelis didn’t wait for their neighbors to start things for a change.

    I can’t think of any news story about the Mideast that has gone into anything like that sort of detail. Ever.

    On the other hand, my friend (again, since you seem to have forgotten) the Palestinian said so, about his own people. Which is pretty much all I need.

     

    • #107
  18. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    cirby (View Comment):

     

    That is an amazingly detailed list of “first steps.” Pretty much all of it would require me to travel to Israel, do voluminous research, and get a bunch of Palestinians to admit that they sold their land to Jewish people in the first place. Which would get them killed. Right.

    Here’s how it’s done.

    On the other hand, my friend (again, since you seem to have forgotten) the Palestinian said so, about his own people. Which is pretty much all I need.

    Other people may need more.  No offence intended.

    • #108
  19. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    Zafar (View Comment):
    From the Times of Israel:

    Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, said that a clear distinction must be made between settlers and Jewish individuals who choose to live in a Palestinian state.

    “Any person, be he Jewish, Christian or Buddhist, will have the right to apply for Palestinian citizenship,” Ashrawi told The Times of Israel. “Our basic law prohibits discrimination based on race or ethnicity.”

    She added, however, that Palestinians would not accept “ex-territorial Jewish enclaves,” where residents will maintain their Israeli citizenship status. Abbas, she said, had no problem with Jews within the Palestinian state, including in the international security force deployed in the Jordan Valley.

    Zafar, I followed the link to the Times of Israel and I think it raises more questions than answers. Even taking the quote from Ashwari at face value (and assuming it represents the aggregate view of the Palestinian leadership(s)) it suggests to me that just about any Jew holding property -however acquired-within the new Palestinian State can be designated a “settler” and therefore excluded/ejected from the State. And I don’t see why Israeli citizens should be excluded from residency as long as they abide by Palestinian laws? As a variation on my original proposition I ask: Is there anyplace else on Earth where the “international community” would support the permanent exclusion -as a matter of founding principle-of the citizens of a specific country from residency in another State?

    And as a follow-on, how is the exclusion of “settlers” to be implemented?

    • #109
  20. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    Is there anyplace else on Earth where the “international community” would support the permanent exclusion -as a matter of founding principle-of the citizens of a specific country from residency in another State?

    No, I don’t believe there is, but nonetheless:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/controversial-citizenship-law-that-bans-palestinians-married-to-israelis-from-living-in-israel-10327385.html

    • #110
  21. cirby Inactive
    cirby
    @cirby

    Zafar (View Comment):

    cirby (View Comment):

    That is an amazingly detailed list of “first steps.” Pretty much all of it would require me to travel to Israel, do voluminous research, and get a bunch of Palestinians to admit that they sold their land to Jewish people in the first place. Which would get them killed. Right.

    Here’s how it’s done.

    In other words, you’re willing to take the word of old people you’ve never met as “proof,” as long as it’s against Israel.

    Right.

    • #111
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Well they’re willing to state publicly what happened, and their stories are corroborated.

    Point is: it can be done.

    • #112
  23. cirby Inactive
    cirby
    @cirby

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Well they’re willing to state publicly what happened, and their stories are corroborated.

    Point is: it can be done.

    Yeah, they’re willing to go along with what all of their neighbors say.

    Going along with Hezbollah propaganda in that region isn’t exactly brave, while admitting that Israel is right in any respect is often a death sentence.

    • #113
  24. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    cirby (View Comment):

     

    Yeah, they’re willing to go along with what all of their neighbors say.

    Going along with Hezbollah propaganda in that region isn’t exactly brave,

    Again with Hezbollah.

    Please note: Hezbollah is a Lebanese movement, it isn’t really associated with Palestine.

    Is it possible that you’re confusing it with Hamas?

    while admitting that Israel is right in any respect is often a death sentence.

    But there are so many reasons to say that Israel is wrong, I don’t think people who have been impacted by the Nakba or Naksa need to be threatened by a death sentence to say that.

    If you look at the Zochrot archives you’ll notice they interview people involved in both sides of the conflict. Iow, they also interview Jews who were part of the Irgun and Stern Gang.

     

     

     

     

    • #114
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