Mike Lee: Peace in the Middle East requires acknowledging an independent Israel

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  • jpss Concord, CA
    May 25, 2018 2:35 a.m.

    Dear Senator Lee,

    As a practicing Latter-day Saint, I find it very troubling that an LDS politician would claim that prophecy has been fulfilled without official church leadership stating this. Citing Orson Hyde's prayer and the movement of the US embassy to Jerusalem as a fulfillment of that prayer oversteps your bounds both as a Latter-day Saint member and as a politician, Senator Lee. Do you have direct knowledge that this shift is God's will? Has a current Latter-day Saint prophet shared this with you? Are you now a mouthpiece for the prophets?

    Please, please -- stay in your lane. Do not mix LDS theology with your own political beliefs. History is ripe with the bigotry of individuals that have used fragments of religious beliefs mixed with other philosophies to justify their own agenda. You would be wise to stay completely clear of this -- and you should recognize this and apologize publicly.

  • cfe Springville, UT
    May 20, 2018 9:47 a.m.

    This is a very troublesome article. In my opinion it should not have been printed. Senator Lee talks about Jerusalem without ever even mentioning that it is also home to Palestinians or that it is also sacred to Christians and Muslims. He refers to Orson Hyde's prayer but fails to mention that Hyde also notes that the Land of Israel is a covenant land for Abraham's descendants--which includes Arabs. From Hyde's prayer: "Let that nation or that people who shall take an active part in behalf of Abraham's children, and in the raising up of Jerusalem, find favor in Thy sight." Jerusalem should not be the sole claim of the political state of Israel. It should be jointly shared by Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims. For Lee and Trump to promote otherwise stands as an impediment to any peace in the land.

  • Fubijag West Jordan, UT
    May 19, 2018 12:33 p.m.

    Patriotic,
    Your first paragraph talks about the bullying tactics to push through the tax bill. How is this any different then the bullying tactics used by Obama to push through the ACA so he could claim a win (Hypocrisy).
    Second what TREATY did we not honor. I'm sure you aren't talking about the Iran deal because THST WAS NOT A TREATY!!! A treaty must be ratified by Congress to be legal. It never was so therefore we have not broken any treaties.

  • patrioticAMERICAN South Jordan, UT
    May 18, 2018 11:35 a.m.

    The ignorance of Lee should astound me, but it doesn't. He, after all, was a full supporter of Hatch's tax scam bill passed last Dec by bullying it's way thru Congress in a reckless & thoughtless manner, w/o even allowing members a chance to thoroughly read & understand it & it's potential implications & consequences. (leading to major probs w/ it that they now need Dem support to fix)--only so they could claim one important victory before midterm elections.

    Spouting Trump's ignorant claim that peace can move forward now that Jerusalem as Israel's capital has been formally recognized, is not only naive & ignorant, it is laughable. What this has done has totally shot any chance of US brokering a peace deal ever! It will never happen--certainly not w/ our help. You'd have to be crazy to ever trust a country that ignores your own legitimacy, supports your oppressors inhumane practices, & just proved it doesn't honor treaties from one president to the next (rather like the many N. American treaties broken over the centuries).

    Is he totally clueless that Palestinians were forcefully evicted & marginalized by Europe & US & that one of their most holy sites is at the city's center?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 18, 2018 6:43 a.m.

    Now, Mike, it's time to work towards an Independent State for the Palestinians; and perhaps we could get Israel to stop stealing Palestinian land.

    @NoNames;

    First off; Israel's bulldozing of homes and taking those lands is terrorism; their constant massive killing anytime there is an attack on them is also terrorism. You'd be fighting back just as hard if your lands were the lands being stolen. Israel has spent decades terrorizing their neighbors.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2018 12:31 a.m.

    Peace in the Middle East also requires acknowledging an independent Palestine. If one isn't able to subscribe to both parts of this then there's kind of going to be problems.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2018 12:28 a.m.

    An independent Israel is kind of a fundamental piece of the two-state solution most people want for the area.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    May 17, 2018 9:05 p.m.

    I am disappointed that Mr Lee would so cavalierly mix religious fantasy with geo-political events of potentially great magnitude. Such superstitious convolution is at the heart of the wars, bloodshed, violence, and destruction that plagues that area of the globe. And all Mr Trump and Mr Lee can seem to do is find more ways to aggravate the problem by being completely tone deaf.

    Sad.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 17, 2018 8:52 p.m.

    @Daedalus, Stephen: "Such a fundamental concession on the part of the Palestinians requires a huge political lift. "

    And that is the problem. Why do we continue to indulge this position as if it had any legitimacy? Israel is an independent nation. It has been for some 70 years. Why do the same people here who demand fact-based decisions in all aspects of life, continue to indulge such sophomoric flights of fancy from one particular group?

    If Palestinians won't accept the simple reality that Israel is a sovereign state and will continue to exist as a sovereign, Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital, there is no way to deal with them rationally.

    "If politicians simply want to settle this dispute through combat, and for Israel to win and Palestinians to lose..."

    Unrestrained, it would take Israel about 3 days to eliminate the entire Palestinian population. The world would express outrage for 15 minutes, and then move on business as usual. Nobody would attack Israel. However, unlike the Palestinians, the Israelis believe genocide is abhorrent.

    Recognize Israel's right to exist, stop calling for the genocide of the Jews, stop the terrorism. Only then negotiations can happen.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 17, 2018 7:52 p.m.

    @Thomas Jefferson: "First there is nothing strategic about this land."

    "Strategic" refers to high ground from which Israeli residential areas are easily attacked.

    "Its simply where three different myth believe their deities/unicorns come from."

    Seems to me two of those groups coexist pretty well. Maybe you should encourage the 3rd to do likewise.

    "If you are using gorilla tactics and I agree with you, then you are a freedom fighter. If I dont like you then you are a terrorist."

    The objective difference is not whether I agree with you or dislike you. It is whether your gorilla tactics are used against legit military targets, or against civilian areas. Legit military targets = gorilla tactics. Civilian targets = terrorist.

    "You have even claimed that the 2nd amendment is all about your right to fight the gubment using these same tactics."

    Notice that the target is government/military, not civilians. And you've expressed your horror at such an idea here. Why do you support it there?

    Of the 3 irrational belief systems, do you find one more or less objectionable than the others?

    Peace requires the end of terrorism.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 17, 2018 4:24 p.m.

    Mike Lee voiced half of the equation; he forgot or is ignoring the rest: Peace in the Middle East will not be possible until all parties involved acknowledge the Palestinians' right to exist as a separate, independent state. The Palestinians also need to be treated equitably. That, so far, is not really happening.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    May 17, 2018 4:09 p.m.

    Lee: "Peace in the Middle East will not be possible until all parties involved acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a separate, independent state."

    Cynically empty words.

    Getting "all parties [to] acknowledge Israel’s right to exist" is less likely now than it was a week ago.

    Such a fundamental concession on the part of the Palestinians requires a huge political lift. Palestinian leaders need a significant reciprocal concession from Israel to persuade their constituents to stop armed resistance to Israel's existence.

    With its superior weapons and unshakebable alliance with USA, Israel can defend itself indefinitely in a war of attrition against Palestinian rebels. So what would prompt Israel to concede anything significant to the Palestinians?

    Until last week, America had something Israel wanted that it could not get anywhere else: relocation of our embassy, and the associated symbolic and practical benefits.

    America gave that up, having gained nothing to advance the cause of Middle East peace.

    If politicians simply want to settle this dispute through combat, and for Israel to win and Palestinians to lose, just own it and say it out loud.

    Just do not speak of peace.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 17, 2018 3:53 p.m.

    NoNamesAccepted said:

    "When Palestinians end terrorism and the starting of wars against Israel, Israel can be rightly condemned for any future land grabs. But so long as rocket attacks, bomb attacks, knife attacks, tunnels across rhe border, kidnapping of Israel troops, and other attacks remain the norm, no sensible person can condemn Israel for defending itself including by taking control of crucial strategic land."

    First there is nothing strategic about this land. Its simply where three different myth believe their deities/unicorns come from.

    Now the rest.
    Perhaps if we gave the Palestinian people billions in arms every year, paid with our tax monies, they wouldnt have to resort to terrorism?
    Pretending that Israel is just holding onto its illegal land grabs as some sort of buffer makes no sense as they continue to build 'settlements' on that illegally taken land.

    Its the classic case. If you are using gorilla tactics and I agree with you, then you are a freedom fighter. If I dont like you then you are a terrorist. You have even claimed that the 2nd amendment is all about your right to fight the gubment using these same tactics.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 17, 2018 3:32 p.m.

    Mike, you advance a religious argument, not one appropriate for a secular political leader. Israel is independent (except for relying on US money and arms). When you address human rights for Palestinians, who are victims in the establishment of Israel, then you can be recognized as a moral authority. Israel is here to stay. I am not calling for it's elimination. But somehow you and our elected leaders need to find a way to address the injustices done to the Palestinian people. You would react the same way had someone come in and taken your homeland away from you. And Israel didn't stop with that. They keep taking away lands from the Palestinians by force. How are they supposed to react? If they are wrong, then there is no reason not to disregard the NRA crowd who hold their weapons to defend against an evil power, so let's take away their guns. Do you get it, Mike? You and many of my fellow Mormons are using your self-perceived claim to Israel, which the Jews themselves reject. Who are you to impose your religious beliefs on Israel and the Palestinians? Further empowering Israeli authoritarianism does not make you closer to God. Sorry. You are wrong.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 17, 2018 3:28 p.m.

    When Palestinians end terrorism and the starting of wars against Israel, Israel can be rightly condemned for any future land grabs. But so long as rocket attacks, bomb attacks, knife attacks, tunnels across rhe border, kidnapping of Israel troops, and other attacks remain the norm, no sensible person can condemn Israel for defending itself including by taking control of crucial strategic land.

    Stop the attacks, stop losing land.

    Good on Trump for dealing with reality.

    Not one critic has been able to tell me why Israel should not be able to choose ita own capital just as every other nation does. Having chosen Jerusalem (for better or worse), Israel is entitled to have civilized nations recognize and respect that decision.

    That is reality.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 17, 2018 2:38 p.m.

    Trump's action was nothing but a great Thumbing of the Nose to the world community. This move bought us nothing and cost us any prospect for peace. It's the equivalent of poking a stick at a wasp nest.

    I wish Mike Lee would read up a little bit on the issues at stake in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. His inability or unwillingness to understand those issues is inexcusable. It's not going away, and the Trump Administration has just made it infinitely worse.

  • ODannyBoy Sandy, UT
    May 17, 2018 2:11 p.m.

    Historic inhabitants - Palestine has other "historic inhabitants" as well that have been ignored at best. Jews have not been the majority of inhabitants since about 500 AD. Yes, recognizing Israel is proper and correct. But we / they must also recognize and make whole, the Arabs and Palestinians as well.
    The Great Deal Maker missed an amazing opportunity to forward the peace process in Israel and the Middle East by nor securing the rights of the non-Jews in Israel. The Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their historic capital. That could have been a trade and part of the deal.
    Rose colored glasses, Senator - try looking at the bigger picture.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2018 2:10 p.m.

    Peace depends on a nation staying within its internationally recognized borders.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 17, 2018 1:24 p.m.

    Israel is as independent as the International Space Station.

    Without American tax payer support, they would struggle to exist, given how they terrorized the people who were living on that land - doubters should read about what happened at the King David Hotel - though without American support they would be more incentivized to get along with others.

    Israel thumbs its nose at the rest of the world and international law... because we enable it.

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2018 1:07 p.m.

    Hear, hear. Thank you, Senator Lee, for your service and support of what is right.

    God bless President Donald J. Trump.