Senate to Obama: Respect Israel

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Israel is, however, receiving support from one important source—the U.S. Senate—in a way that suggests Netanyahu’s apparent initial strategy may not have been so misplaced after all.

Eighty-seven senators have already signed a letter to Obama that takes a quite different view of the situation from that expressed by Crowley, Ban, Hague, and Ashton.

Starting by “express[ing] our appreciation for your successful effort to restart direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” the letter’s key passage states:

Unfortunately, it is clear that enemies of peace will do everything in their power to derail the direct talks, as evidenced by recent outrageous acts of violence by Hamas…. Following the brutal murder of four innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas at the start of the negotiations,…Netanyahu did not abandon the talks. Instead—after forcefully condemning the attack—he reached out to…Abbas saying, “You are my partner for peace. Peace begins with leaders.” We agree with the Prime Minister, and we also agree with you that it is critical that all sides stay at the table. Neither side should make threats to leave just as the talks are getting started.

No less significant than what an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of the Senate says here is what it left out—namely, the settlement-freeze issue, of which there is no mention in the letter. Instead the reference to “mak[ing] threats to leave just as the talks are getting started” is a none-too-veiled criticism of Abbas, pointedly contrasted to Netanyahu’s remaining in the talks despite terrorist provocations.

I’ve argued that the talks in any case are misconceived and harmful, ignoring the Palestinians’ ongoing fundamental hostility to Israel and drawing a false connection between Israel’s retreat to indefensible borders and peace. Others have criticized Netanyahu’s whole approach of acquiescing to U.S. pressure and projecting himself as an enthusiast of the talks and of Abbas as a partner.

But given that this is the course Netanyahu has taken, it’s important that a modicum of justice attend the unfolding events. With that commodity lacking in EU and UN quarters and in the administration itself, its continued existence in the Senate, as representative of the U.S. public as a whole, is a plus for Israel.

Last spring when Obama led his administration in a particularly nasty assault on Israel over plans to build apartments in Jerusalem, the Senate also came to Israel’s defense—but with a letter addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rather than Obama, thereby mitigating its impact. The fact that the current letter is addressed to the president—and also refers to the earlier letter to Clinton, subtly underlining the contrast—reinforces the warning to Obama that reflexively taking the Palestinian side is not a wise political tack for him.

Obama is on notice that giving a free pass to the side that stonewalls, threatens, and extorts will do nothing to shore up his already tottering fortunes.

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  • Mike Packer

    There were a number of references in this article to the illegality of Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria according to International Law. I beg to differ, the settlements are legal and it is maybe the time for FP to ask jurists like Eugene Rostow or quote Julius Stone as to the legality of these settlements.

    • welldoneson

      That's what caught my eye about this article, Mike.
      Just how would building housing and other infrastructure be against "International Law"(TM)? Just where is this "International Law"(TM) written? Who wrote this "International Law"(TM)? When was it approved internationally? What is the position of those who quote "International Law"(TM) on the ongoing rocket attacks, kidnappings, murders, and vows to destroy Israel, all coming from "Palestinians"?

  • La libellule

    These talks with Mahmoud Abbas were doomed to failure anyway, for the main reason that Abbas doesn't represent the entire Palestinian community, but only a tiny fraction from it. There is an evident politic conspiracy run by the Palestinian leader and indirectly supported by Obama, t0: first freeze Israel, then snatch land through vain negotiations before breaking the news that the Arab world would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state… which means under cover, that their real goal is to turn Israel into another Arab state with a Jewish minority, by claiming the rights for return of Palestinian refugees (Openly proclaimed by Abbas himself to the Arab media). In fact Obama newly approach to Syria isn't innocent as well. These hurried negotiations and those recently launched by Obama with the Syrian leader are only targeting land restoration to Palestinian and Syria and bringing Israel to the defenseless state prior to the six days' war. With an Israel squeezed to its minimal size, it would no doubt make it an easy prey to the Arab countries on the lookout.
    La libellule (The dragonfly)

    • Jeff

      There will never be real peace until Jesus returns. But there will be a phoney peace for three and a half years.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    Israel, Britain, and Colombia…our three closest allies in the world…have all received the cold shoulder from Obama. It's this kind of evidence that raises the specter that our President is not just misguided by his Leftist beliefs, but that he is genuinely interested in undermining America's geo-political position in the world.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    Mr Barack Hussein Obama loves Muslims more than he loves Americans and
    Jews.Hopefully he will be a one term President.
    The most reasonable change that there will be peace between Israel and his
    Arabic neighbours will be when America – the U.N. and the Western world will
    stop all aid and financial support to the Palestinians and stand for 100% behind
    Israel until there is a real peace treaty.

    • jbtrevor

      As long as there are so-called "Palestinian 'refugees'" and surrounding Arab/Muslim states keeping the war fires burning…there will be no peace. Nearly a million Jews were kicked out of Muslim countries because of the sore-loser Islamists while only a few hundred thousand "Palestinians" were actually refugees after Israel won the right to her borders. Those Jewish refugees were successfully integrated into many countries including Israel & now work, have families & love their neighbors while those Palestinian 'refugees' whose numbers have about quadrupled are still living in squalor and hate their neighbors. All this at the hands of the surrounding Muslim states who refuse to let them integrate into their countries but rather incite hate of their neighbor Israel by blaming Israel for all that is wrong.

  • DisappearHere

    I vaguely remember one of my teachers in primary school explaining to us what the deal was with Israel and the Palestinians. There were peace talks underway then. I'm now 37 and this nonsense is still going on.
    The Palestinians don't want an outcome that involves Israel in one piece. Until the world understands that these guys aren't very nice people and just tells them to shut up and behave themselves it will still be going on when I'm 87.

    • Lustmorde

      I remember the same. I think the world does understand, though. They just hate jews for whatever reason more than they love peace, and their arguments, over such things as who settled where first, are just excuses to maintain an irrational hatred.

      • den

        Qur'an (5:51) – "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."

        They hate the Jews always. Then us. All Infidels must convert to Islam or die.
        The Koran explicitly directs them to kill.

        If there are no infidels they turn on each other. It is a religion of piece. A piece here, a piece there. They treat women like last weeks wet garbage. Why should they treat you better?

        Unbelievers are described by Muhammad (in the Qur'an) as "the vilest of animals" and "losers." Christians and Jews are hated by Allah to the extent that they are destined for eternal doom as a result of their beliefs. It would make no sense for Muhammad to then recommend them to be taken in as friends by Muslims. In fact, the Qur'an plainly commands believers not to take unbelievers as friends.

  • jacob

    The "Christian" in the White House is bent on pushing Israel into a corner…
    In the 10 months the "freeze" lasted , ARABS couldn't make up their minds about the
    "PISS" OBAMA wants to impose to ISRAEL and now got Obama to force ISRAEL to
    extend the freeze…
    I have a feeling that this "Christian" is bitting more than he can chew and is in for a big surprise and once more, why is it so hard to understand that the only possible PISS
    in the M.E with ARABS is the PAX ARABICA ??
    That same as to ancient ROME, the Mediterranean was their MARE NOSTRUM, where
    there was no room for anything but ROMAN ships, to ARABS there is no room in the M.E for anything but MUSLIMS, unless as DHIMMIS and this is a very tall order, even for the Muslim turned "Christian" of the White House

  • Robert Laity

    Obama is a radical Islamic supremacist. Telling Obama to respect Israel is tantamount to having told Hitler to do likewise. Hitler and Islam were in bed together in WWII against the Jews and others. Obama is continuing anti-israeli agenda with other like thinking anti-semites.

    • den

      Nice pictures of muslims and Hitler. As if there was a difference. I mean other than the
      crappy mustache. Amin Al Husseini was Head of SS Muslim Hanzar Division.

      Tell me what has changed?

  • imnokuffar

    There will never be peace between Israel and the Arab world. The reason is simple – the Arabs don't want it. What they want is all Jews dead – everywhere. Then the Christians, Liberals, Lefties and anyone else who does not adopt thier vile creed.


    Now what are we gonna do about it ?

    • ObamaYoMoma

      You mean there will never be peace between Israel and Dar al Islam, as not all Arabs are anti-Israel. For instance, many Christian Arabs and Arab Jews are not against Israel. However, all Muhammadans, not just Arabs, are rabidly anti-Israel. Israel's enemies in reality aren't Arabs. It's enemies are Dar al Islam. In fact, approximately half of Israel's Jews are Jews of Arab descent.

      • imnokuffar

        Why state the obvious ? Obviously Christians and Jews have something in common, the Muslims are coming for all of them.

    • marysduby

      lock and load

  • aspacia

    Israelis build apartments, Muslims build and shoot rockets, and Israel is condemned?

    The world has either gone insane, or is afraid. We must stop the threat, and Israel is the canary in the coal mine.

    • Choi

      The world is INSANE WITH JEW-HATRED!

  • Andres de Alamaya

    It is great medicine for the day to read these comments, presumably all by Americans who have a clear perspective. Reading comments in papers such as the New York Times one must wonder what percentage of the population has lost their marbles. Bless you, readers of Front Page Magazine.

  • EdwinS

    Obama's motives relative to the peace process would be clarified if he would explain why, after being known for many years as "Barry Obama", he decided to change his name to "Barak Hussein Obama"?

  • Beverley

    According to all these 'pinheads' what ever Israel does is wrong. They are all so 'disappointed' . Well Israel should just do what they have or want to do because they will never please them!!!

  • Shlomo

    Its so weird how Israel doesn't understand the word Illegal.
    I guess they don't teach that in the Torah!

    • Rifleman

      What law are they breaking?

    • WildJew

      Where in the Torah does it say it is illegal for Israelites (Jews) to live in Biblical Judea and Samaria?

    • aspacia

      It was illegal for the Arab to defy international law and attack Israel. It is ILLEGAL for militants to try to break a legal maritime blockade, evidently you haven't read the law. It is Illegal for Muslim to disguise themselves and shoot rockets from civilian homes, hospitals and schools.

      Now, care to to a tally of who violates the international laws?

    • MixMChess

      It's even weirder that Palestinians justify their violence by citing the Koran and hadiths. I guess Sharia teaches murder is acceptable! Oh wait…

  • Wesley69

    It is a good thing for the Senate to realize its role in foreign policy making. Israel has been an ally since 1948, when Harry Truman, a Democrat, was the first to extend diplomatic recognition to Israel. It is sad for the Democrats, that Obama seems to want to achieve a final agreement whatever the cost including the seeds of Israel's ultimate destruction. Netanyahu needs to stand firm. The US Senate, that has more experience and wisdom in its collective brain, than Obama, will see to it that Israel is not shafted.

    Another point. How American Jews could continue to vote for Democrats, like Obama, is totally beyond me. Don't they see him and his party for what they are?

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • Marty

    It is obvious the hatred that the democratic party has for Israel. This is why the Christian community should not be standing with democrats on any issue. Israel has gone beyond more than met with Palestinians in compromise. But there is no compromise for them, they have made it clear that they want Israel destroyed….if you want to know how this the book ;) the bible says it all.

  • waterwillows

    A major problem for the people is that the looney left have genuine, all too real problems in matters of discernment, moral clarity and sound judgement. They are quite frankly unfit for Any role involving leadership. They are a ship without navigation.
    They seem like drunks who stagger, stumble and sway while trying to make headway.

    No good can come to a people whose leaders are themselves lost.

  • Choi

    The Democratic Party of Harry Truman and Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson NO LONGER EXISTS.
    Most NON-FAR-LEFT Jewish-Americans THINK they're Voting for the OLD Democratic Party of their parents,grandparents,and great-grandparents.
    They're voting for the NAME "Democratic Party".

    • aspacia

      Yes Choi. I was a life-long Democrat until a few years ago when Durbin and Murtha trashed our troops.

      JFK was the ultimate Cold Warrior, and fiscal conservative.

      No more.

      The Democratic Party has turned Marxist.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Actually, the entire exercise has thankfully been nothing but posturing. Netanyahu pretending like he wants to sign a peace agreement with the so-called Palestinians when he really doesn’t and Mahmoud Abbas pretending that he wants to sign an agreement with Israel, when he is scared to death that whatever he signs may end up being his death warrant.

    The reality is no amount of fake peace processes will ever result in peace, as there real purpose is to get useful idiots to weaken Israel on the behalf of the Muhammadans. The reality is the jihad being waged against Israel, like also all the other jihads being waged around the world, both hot and cold, is permanent. Hence, even if Israel agreed to cut it’s own throat and decided to return to the Auschwitz indefensible borders prior to the 1967 war, it would only result in far greater violence. Meanwhile, the peace process doesn’t have a solution for the jihads being waged against Israel by Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. In fact, this entire process is totally ludicrous. Meanwhile, Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons with total and complete impunity.

    • aspacia


  • crypticguise

    The Palestinians are NEVER going to sign a legitimate peace agreement with Israel. Islamic jihad can only be satisfied when all jews and other kafirs are dead or converted to Islam. Even a large plurality of Israeli seem to believe that there is a possibility of peace with their Muslim neighbors. This will never occur.

    The only solution to the Israel-Palestinian issue is the total DESTRUCTION of these Islamic jihadists in Gaza, the West Bank, Hezzbolah in Lebanon and the Iranian Theocracy. It is going to take a MAJOR CONFLAGRATION to slow down these 7th Century barbarian and their Cult of Islam.

  • Sprinklerman

    State Department spokesperson, P. J. Crowley "said he was “disappointed” and “concerned at provocative actions taking place on the ground,” and claimed settlement activity was “illegal under international law.”

    Is the State Department disappointed or concerned about the provocative actions taken by Hezbollah? Firing rockets at civilians, schools and hospitals by Hezbollah isn't a provocative or illegal action? You've got to be @#$%ing kidding me!

    If the Brits and the EU want to play wet nurse to the cry babies of this world so be it, but our own STATE DEPARTMENT? Are you @#$%ing kidding me!

  • Rifleman

    Didn't abbas lose the last election? It doesn't matter, he's just stringing us and the Israelis along.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    Amen, amigo. And keep in mind this was no partisan ousting; Zelaya's own party had the majority in Congress, and they STILL voted against him.

    Obama's political reaction to the Honduran crises was virtually identical to that of Chavez and Castro. He imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions. Hell, even the EU resisted the Spanish socialist government's attempt to sponsor an EU resolution to impose sanctions against Honduras. When the EU is to the right of America on ANYTHING, you know things are upside down.

    And just think, if Obama had had his way, today Honduras would be in the grips of a dictatorial regime debasing the country's currency and future, ala Chavez. Instead, sanity prevailed.

  • WildJew

    David, you wrote: "But given that this is the course Netanyahu has taken, it’s important that a modicum of justice attend the unfolding events….."

    Why a "modicum" of justice? How about an outpouring of justice? Why this dishonor and moral cowardice on the part of the US Senate? Is there any US Senator with integrity and honor? What do they mean by "enemies of peace?" What peace? The US Senate believes we can achieve peace with jihadists and savages? Let's be honest. US policy is one of (as Churchill termed it) "squalid" appeasement and treachery. Neville Chamberlain would be proud of the US Senate and US Mideast policy. From George W. Bush to Barack Hussein Obama and his Democrat-controlled Senate, all we've seen from this once great country is wretched abasement (before our Muslim enemies) and appeasement.

    • QSuzy

      You are 100% correct.

      • WildJew


  • sflbib

    How much land are we talking about? How much is enough? Jerusalem has an area of 48.3 sq mi, so the area in question has to be a small fraction thereof. Islam controls a wide swath of land that extends from the Atlantic, across North Africa, through the Middle East, through South Asia to the South Pacific. But for some reason, they can't do without an itsy bitsy dot of land that would probably be only a few acres at most, that belongs to Israel anyway.

    Like the man who said that $1 million was not enough for him because, in his words, "I'm a pig." And all along, I thought pigs were verboten to Muslims.

  • QSuzy

    It's truly sad that Israel didn't stick with it's only condition for peace talks: that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish State which will never happen.

  • Chava

    When the United Nations proposed the establishment of two states in the region—one Jewish, one Arab—the Jews accepted the proposal and declared their independence in 1948. The Jewish state constituted only 1/6 of one percent of what was known as "the Arab world." The Arab states, however, rejected the UN plan and since then have waged war against Israel repeatedly, both all-out wars and wars of terrorism and attrition. In 1948, five Arab armies invaded Israel in an effort to eradicate it. Jamal Husseini of the Arab Higher Committee spoke for many in vowing to soak "the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood."

    • crazyhorse

      I think will occour a 7 yr.peace treaty,and mid point (3.5) yrs.this treaty will somehow be violated,and Israel's (Guarantor) will turn against her-This could be happening right now,or will in 3.5 yrs.into any treaty…By then Israel could have brought in it's huge oil fields,and this gains the attention of the world ,-especially Russia- who is then Hooked in the jaw,and comes down for a spoil with all her allies….And then we will know..As a hell breaks loose,-Drop everything and be off to the mountains,..If a peace treaty is somehow forced onto Israel now-then count dowwn 3.5 years,meantime get ready ,and stay close the bomb shelter that you should be building right now,as the conflict will spread,and involve everyone.Move to South America would be cheaper..I am all a-GOG

  • Chava

    Part II The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964—three years before Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO’s declared purpose was to eliminate the State of Israel by means of armed struggle. To this day, the Web site of Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority (PA) claims that the entirety of Israel is "occupied" territory. * It is impossible to square this with the PLO and PA assertions to Western audiences that the root of the conflict is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

  • Chava

    Part III: The West Bank and Gaza (controlled by Jordan and Egypt from 1948 to 1967) came under Israeli control during the Six Day War of 1967 that started when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and Arab armies amassed on Israel’s borders to invade and liquidate the state. It is important to note that during their 19-year rule, neither Jordan nor Egypt had made any effort to establish a Palestinian state on those lands. Just before the Arab nations launched their war of aggression against the State of Israel in 1967, Syrian Defense Minister (later President) Hafez Assad stated, "Our forces are now entirely ready . . . to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland . . . the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." On the brink of the 1967 war, Egyptian President Gamal Nassar declared, "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel."

  • kafir4life

    Obama gets his marching orders from the self-loathing Jew and Nazi collaberator George Soros. A call to George's fellow capo Chuckles Schumer's office confirmed that Chuck has no problem taking money from a Nazi. One of his staffers (it may have been the one in blue dress) indicated that Chuck wouldn't mind the job that George had during WWII.

  • bubba4

    If I want your opinion I will check Discover the Network.

    • ziontruth

      If I wanted your opinion, bubba4… nope, can't happen, because there could be no reason for me to want your opinion. You continuing to harp on the moral equivalence of the two sides of this conflict, despite the discussion we had, is proof that talking to you is like talking to the wall.

      As I said, I usually argue the case for Israel by pointing out the fact that the Jews are the indigenous people of Palestine while the Arabs are settler-colonist invaders. However, just for you, I'm going to say the following (which I believe in too, even if I don't make much use of it):

      The entire Land of Israel belongs to the nation of Israel (the Jews) by virtue of the Biblical mandate. (Good timing with Rashi on this week's Parashah, B'resheet.)

      • ziontruth

        (By the way, I had to spell B'resheet this way, with "ee" not "i," to avoid the auto-censor.)

  • bubba4

    How about we stop funding them all? I think it's time Israel stood on her own two feet and stop taking communist-like hand outs from the United States.

    Then they should come out and admit that they will not be satisfied until they have all the land God promised them. Then the "Palestinians" can come out and say they don't want Israel to exist…

    Both sides are lying and being disingenuous. To FPM Israel can do no wrong and has never done anything wrong….and we need to give them more money and "support" them more than we already have for 60 years.

    But everyday…we aren't doing enough for Israel…


    • ObamaYoMoma

      Actually, Israel is the canary in the coal mine as it is on the front lines of the global jihad. Hence, Israel’s enemy in essence is also the enemy of Western civilization and in that regard Israel’s war is our war, as the jihad being waged against Israel by Dar al Islam is just one of many jihads, both hot and cold, being waged against the West around the world that altogether comprises the greater global jihad at large. Too bad you aren’t astute and informed enough to figure that out.

    • MixMChess

      "I think it's time Israel stood on her own two feet and stop taking communist-like hand outs from the United States."

      Actually, the U.S. doesn't just give Israel "handouts," the aid comes with strings attached requiring Israel either to repay certain loans or to spend the funds in the U.S. For instance, when Israel receives Foreign Military Financing from the U.S., over 74% of that financing must be spent in the U.S. to generate profits and jobs. Aid to Israel can almost be looked at as an Investment that pays high economic, military, medical and technological dividends for Americans.

      "Then they should come out and admit that they will not be satisfied until they have all the land God promised them."

      Actually, Israel is quite fine without having the W. Bank and Gaza. Don't forget in 2000 Ehud Barak offered over 95% of those territories to the Palestinians and they walked away without even a counter-offer. Similar offers were made in 2005 and 2006 by Sharon and Olmert and the Israelis were answered with more Palestinian violence.

      • BS61

        I didn't know that about the repaying part – I would have given it to them with no strings!

        • bubba4

          Whether you give a country an F-16 or whether you give it billions of dollars and make it buy its F-16s from you, it's still "aid"…it's a gift. Billions of dollars a year the US GIVES Israel.

          The communist thing was a joke…why not? It's fun to see how things are communist only when you want them to. If FPM was against Israel, you can bet the tremendous amount of aid would be classified differently.

          • MixMChess

            You could look at the "aid" to Israel as just a form of stimulus for domestic U.S. companies that provide military supplies etc.. Even still, much of the aid is made in the form of loans that Israel is expected to repay back: "U.S. economic grants to Israel ended in 1959. U.S. aid to Israel from then until 1985 consisted largely of loans, which Israel repaid [in the 80's], and surplus commodities, which Israel bought."

            "If FPM was against Israel, you can bet the tremendous amount of aid would be classified differently."

            And FPM supports Israel because Israel and America share the same values and Israel is a very important strategic asset to the U.S. given not just its geography but its medical, military and technological exports.

          • bubba4

            Look dude…I support Israel as much as the next American goy mutt….but you have to be honest about what our "relationship" with Israel is about. Like, where is that quote from…

            Because a simple Google search will reveal all you need to know. Just a quicky.. .–_United_States_military_relations

            "Israel has received more U.S. military assistance than any other country, both in terms of grant aid and military sales on a concessional basis. However, unlike other countries who receive military aid and are required to spend the money in United States, Israel may spend 25% on its domestic military projects."

            Most of America supports Israel…but the jewish lobby is exceptionally strong…we do as much for Israel as any nation can possibly expect.

            Like FPM, you overeach to sell it…lets get you straight on what we actually give Israel….then we can decide if it's "enough" for ya.

  • bubba4

    How many more billions of millitary aid would satisfy? Israel has the latest and greatest including nuclear weapons….

    • MixMChess

      See my other comments… but, "U.S. economic grants to Israel ended in 1959. U.S. aid to Israel from then until 1985 consisted largely of loans, which Israel repaid, and surplus commodities, which Israel bought." Additionally, over 74% of Foreign Military Financing must be spent in the U.S. to create generate U.S. profits and jobs.

  • Gil Solnin

    This is not the first time Congress has found a need to counter the bias against Israel shown by this administration. The President had to face a congressional jewish caucus to air out differences in the treatment of Israel. It is evident that Mahmoud Abbas has neither the political support or will to effect any kind of peace accord and will use any excuse to back away and blame Israel. The administration should focus more of their effort on Iran and the groups they control (Hamas and Hezbollah). Until they are controlled there can be no peace in the Middle East.

  • Marti S

    Those that curse Israel will be cursed.
    This administration has sent our tax dollars to support the terrorists.
    The Palistinians are savages that have been a nomadic and tribal faction forever, they have demanded what is not theirs since the beginning of time.
    They are too lazy to carve an oases from the desert like the Jews have done, they are content to live in the middle ages.