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January 07, 2009

Palling Around With Terrorists

According to Jim Lobe, high-level scuttlebutt is Obama will appoint Richard Haass to be Special Envoy for Israel-Arab affairs. Haass is currently president of the Council on Foreign Relations; before that he was Director of Policy Planning for the State Department.

Here's Arnon Soffer, Israeli demographer and prominent advisor to politicians there, describing a conversation with Haass:

Richard Haass, who was director of policy planning for the US State Department at the time, told me personally: "We'll allow Israel to establish a 'Philadelphi Corridor' in the Jordan Valley, to guarantee the neutralization and demilitarization of Judea and Samaria."

Here are some of Soffer's other views:

[W]hen 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it's going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It's going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.

I don't really have anything to say about this (although the Jordan Valley corridor issue is extremely important). Still, it's enjoyable to imagine what would happen if Obama appointed someone to this post who's had heart-to-heart conversations on policy with a member of Hamas who speaks enthusiastically of the need to "kill and kill and kill" Israelis.

HIS OTHER FINE WORK: Back in 1995, Haass spoke of how America's actual policy toward Iraq had nothing to do with disarmament, but in fact was aimed at removing Saddam Hussein from power. Pretty honest!

P.S. Surely some enterprising young person would like to add this information to Richard Haass's Wikipedia page.

(Jim Lobe via Helena Cobban.)

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 7, 2009 10:29 AM

Jon, it's the Israeli talking about "kill and kill and kill," not a Palestinian rep. Please reread the interview.

Posted by: catherine at January 7, 2009 12:53 PM

the Israeli talking about "kill and kill and kill," not a Palestinian rep.

Right. My point is that it's unimaginable the other way around.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 7, 2009 01:02 PM

Turnabout is not only fair play, it's how God wants us to behave. Symmetry, balance: fun!
Since AIPAC appointed Obama to the Presidency it's only right that he should appoint their drones to positions of responsibility in his Administration.
You gotta dance with them that brung ya.
As the sorely-missed-by-me Molly Ivins would say, if she were still with us.

Posted by: roy belmont at January 7, 2009 02:41 PM

Jon, right, sorry, I'm a little slow today. I should have realized that your perspective could not bend that way.

Oh, Roy, it's almost two years now since we lost Molly Ivins. With no one to replace her. I hope Helen Thomas lives forever.

Posted by: catherine at January 7, 2009 03:04 PM