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Analysis: Phone call for Mr. Arafat. There's a Fat Lady who wants to Sing To You

By UncleMikey in Op-Ed
Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:05:18 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

This week (while K5 was still down :-), Israeli premier Ariel Sharon has finally gotten to do what he's been wanting to do since the day he took office: declare Yassir Arafat irrelevant, and sever all ties with him. Israel's collective patience may be running out, and none of their likely courses of action bode well for a peaceful future.


Sharon has never wanted to talk to Arafat. Sharon has never considered Arafat a 'partner' for peace. Sharon considers Arafat a terrorist -- not only in the past tense, mind you, but an unreformed, unrepentant terrorist still responsible for modern acts of terror.

Sharon also has never really considered Palestinian land claims to be remotely legitimate. He holds the older, harder line that Israel legitimately holds every hectare of territory it held before 1967, and holds by right of conquest and needs of security every hectare captured in the 1967 and Yom Kippur (1973) wars. Jerusalem, in Sharon's eyes, isn't even up for debate. There's no question: it's Israel's. All of it.

Sharon has been forced by pressure from the US and from his Labour Party coalition partners to pretend that he was willing to be convinced otherwise. He wouldn't meet with Arafat, but he'd let Shimon Peres do so, and if, by some great miracle, Peres had managed to actually pull a real, meaningful agreement out of his hat, Sharon could always have taken credit as the Prime Minister who made peace.

But there's also been a building undercurrent of resentment, particularly amongst Israeli hawks. America's government, they say, has no right to tell Israel how and when to defend itself, how and when to make peace and with whom. Israel is, after all, a sovereign nation for the Jewish people, not the 51st State. America's Jews, they say, have no right to tell Israel how to handle these things, either. If they want a say in how the Jewish State conducts its business, let them make Aliyah -- let them emigrate to Israel. There, as citizens, they'll have the same vote as anyone else.

To date, Israel has pragmatically suppressed this outrage at being told how to conduct their affairs; but that pragmatism appears to be wearing out entirely. Sharon wants Arafat's head on a platter, and is now very likely to get it. Arafat, for his part, has failed utterly. Either he really is behind the terror in the last several years, in which case he's been a fraud all along, just as Sharon claims; or else Arafat is simply unable to control his people, in which case his claim to be the legitimate head of Palestinian government is null and void.

There are several possibilities. The most extreme is also the least likely, but not entirely out of the question: a new genocide -- this time a genocide committed not upon the Jews but by them, against the Palestinians.

Less extreme but almost as unlikely, Sharon might go so far as re-annexing the West Bank and Gaza. This would, in effect, spell the final end for recognition by Israel of the Palestinian Authority in particular, and for the notion of a Palestinian state or even Palestinian autonomy within Israel.

Another possibility, far more likely, is not annexation, but unilateral disengagement -- the walling off of 'Palestine' from 'Israel' in the same way that East and West Berlin were walled off. This would, on paper, be the opposite result to the above -- it would be a recognition that Palestine exists, but also that Israel and Palestine cannot be friendly neighbors, and therefore must build walls instead of bridges. Many people advocate this solution, and have for a long time, not least because, on the surface, it gives the Palestinians what they want. Trouble is, you know Jerusalem will be on the Israeli side of any line Israel draws. Palestine cannot accept that.

The end result of any of these choices is much the same. At that point, Arafat will have no choice -- assuming even his own people still consider him relevant after today. Even if he honestly was trying to bring about peace before, he will have no opportunity to do so again.

Should Israel undertake any of these decisive 'solutions' (and I use the term loosely), the Palestinians will almost certainly, as an entire people, take up arms...and Israel will use this as a pretext to attempt to erase them from the map.

Unless something deflects either Israel or the Palestinians soon, we are about to see the ignition of a conflict that will make the Afghan Liberation of the last three months look like a street brawl. And unless the United States is very, very careful, it's going to get dragged along for the ride.

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Analysis: Phone call for Mr. Arafat. There's a Fat Lady who wants to Sing To You | 234 comments (234 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
A bunch of comments (4.20 / 15) (#1)
by Otter on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 04:47:16 PM EST

First, unfortunately I think you're underestimating Arafat. He's like Bill Clinton, but more so -- his only concern in life is maitaining his position for one more day, but he is very, very good at that.

Sharon also has never really considered Palestinian land claims to be remotely legitimate. He holds the older, harder line that Israel legitimately holds every hectare of territory it held before 1967...

Sorry, I just don't see that. In the last couple of years, Israeli public opinion has condensed into the middle. The leftists have given up the idea that if they're just nicer to the Palestinians, everything will be fine, and the right has almost entirely realized that there's no hanging on to Ramalleh and Nablus. There's no public support for going back to occupation and Sharon has made it clear that there will be a Palestinian state. The only question is when, who and exactly where.

The most extreme is also the least likely, but not entirely out of the question: a new genocide -- this time a genocide committed not upon the Jews but by them, against the Palestinians.

That is out of the question.

Less extreme but almost as unlikely, Sharon might go so far as re-annexing the West Bank and Gaza.

Also very unlikely (and those areas were never annexed in the first place). The Israeli public won't go back to that mess.

Another possibility, far more likely, is not annexation, but unilateral disengagement -- the walling off of 'Palestine' from 'Israel' in the same way that East and West Berlin were walled off.

I agree that that's the most likely outcome. The problem there isn't so much Jerusalem (as if there wouldn't be a state of war if all of Jerusalem were on the Palestine side) but that Israel would still hang on to settlements, roads connecting them to Israel and enough roads to fend off Iraqi tanks coming through Jordan. Plus Gaza is still cut off from everything else.

Anyway, I think you're missing the big story by saying that Sharon has lost patience with Arafat. More importantly, the US has completely given up on him and the EU, which adored him, is now getting sick of him. Problem is there's no one better to take Arafat's place. He was given his fief on the premise that he would restrain the extremists. In fact, he's turned them loose, while killing or jailing the moderates. Before Oslo, there were alternatives to Arafat. Today, it's him or Hamas, and Hamas is starting to seem like an alternative.

Public Support, and Talking the Talk (3.83 / 6) (#4)
by UncleMikey on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 04:59:35 PM EST

There's no public support for going back to occupation and Sharon has made it clear that there will be a Palestinian state. The only question is when, who and exactly where.

I wouldn't be entirey certain of where public support in Israel lies right now. American and even European media are not particularly good at delivering an unfiltered view on this subject.

As to what Sharon has stated, he's a politician. When the US, girding itself for war, says, "Say nice things about a Palestinian state", he reads from their script. And then sends the tanks where he wants them.

Don't make the mistake that General Zinni continued to make up until he was recalled last week, that we're dealing with reasonable people who can be dealt with reasonably. Sharon is an extremist, and his preferred solutions ar extreme solutions.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Sharon (3.20 / 5) (#9)
by mami on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 05:45:18 PM EST

There was one report profiling Sharon and it has been said that he has been a bully his whole life. He has difficulties to constrain himself and not use his military power to the last stretch, which means more or less, he abuses that power when he is given the occasion legally. I can't remember if the report was on MSNBC or CNN, but it pretty much confirmed what you were saying.

I have thought about the "Berlin Wall" solution very often during the last month. I think it would be something that works, sadly enough. I know from experience one can live "peacefully" with such a wall.

[ Parent ]
Never forget ... (4.25 / 4) (#38)
by Ranieri on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:07:54 AM EST

As much as i respect the elected leader of any democratic country, let's not forget who was invloved in the massacres of Sabra and Chatila and El Arish.

[ Parent ]
I think, I don't (3.00 / 1) (#63)
by mami on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:40:02 AM EST

but then I don't forget also that apparently there are very few Palestine mothers, who dare to revolt their husbands and sons to engage in suicide missions in the name of a liberation fight.

Either this Palestinian fight is a freedom fight of the whole Palestinian population against its oppression from Israel without themselves trying to oppress the idea of a sovereign Israel state, or it's not.

Arafat is not clear on this. It's not clear if he could control the groups, that engage in suicide attacks or not. My guess is he can't and deep inside he might not want to as well. I have no clue if the whole Palestinian population supports the suicide attacks. All I see is that young boys are exitedly engaged in any stone throwing exercise they can find. So, I ask you, what do the parents teach their children?

I always wished I could ask Hanna Ashrawi about the role of mothers of suicide bombers. Is there a real chance that those mothers could influence their sons against their husbands ?
How come that the father of Atta immediately said the Osama tape is forgery ? Why ? Did the father of Atta support his son's decision to engage in the 9/11 attack? Did his mother do? Could his mother have prevented his son turning into an extremist ?

[ Parent ]
should be (none / 0) (#64)
by mami on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:52:20 AM EST

Hanan Ashrawi, not Hanna Ashrawi. Mea culpa. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
I think I have some idea (4.75 / 4) (#16)
by Otter on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:31:53 PM EST

I wouldn't be entirey certain of where public support in Israel lies right now. American and even European media are not particularly good at delivering an unfiltered view on this subject.

I have many friends and relatives there, including several in rightist West Bank communities. Several friends have been shot at, one friend was killed in a Jerusalem bombing a few years ago and a friend of a friend was wounded last week. I'll defer to the impressions of anyone who is living there now, but I think I have some idea what I'm talking about when I say that no one except the wackiest settlers supports going back to the pre-intifada situation. A Palestinian state is a given.

It's not clear by the way, how your "analysis" is any more than guessing. As I said, I agree with your likeliest outcome but some of the assumptions along the way (Sharon as a religious "Greater Israel" nationalist rather than a secular hard-liner, "genocide" as an outcome) are ludicrous. You seem convinced that whatever Israeli political figures said or thought in 1982 is what they must believe today. People's views change; societies' views change. That's why there's peace on Israel's borders with Egypt and Jordan and why it's conceivable to negotiate settlements today instead of fighting the 1948 war over and over. By the way, mami's comment about a "report" that "it has been said [Sharon] has been a bully his whole life" is too childish to merit a response.

Don't make the mistake that General Zinni continued to make up until he was recalled last week, that we're dealing with reasonable people who can be dealt with reasonably. Sharon is an extremist, and his preferred solutions ar extreme solutions.

I think you're engaging in wishful thinking here -- my impression of US policy including the response to Arafat's speech tonight is that the State Department has given up hope of getting anything done with him. As I said, even more noteworthy is the EU's posture which is probably the most sympathetic to Israel and hostile to Arafat and Fatah since the union began.

As long as I'm holding forth, here's the _real_, real problem. The growing concern in Israel is that an imminent US attack on Iraq is going to cause Saddam to hit Israel with whatever it is he's been hiding for the last decade. If that happens, there is going to be carnage in the region that will make a few bus bombings and rocket attacks look like nothing.

[ Parent ]

People do change... (4.25 / 4) (#21)
by UncleMikey on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:51:08 PM EST

You seem convinced that whatever Israeli political figures said or thought in 1982 is what they must believe today. People's views change; societies' views change.

I've seen no evidence from here that Sharon has changed significantly. He's hamstrung Peres at every turn, and used every smallest excuse to exercise military solutions. What peace process there has been over the last year or so has been almost behind his back.

Guessing? Yes, I suppose I am. We all guess when we try to see what's coming. You say that the genocide option is impossible. I'd like to agree with you. I can't. Do I think it's going to happen? No. We've already agreed on that point. It's highly unlikely that even Sharon is that crazy.

But three months and six days ago, I would have said that it's highly unlikely that four large jet planes could be snatched from American airports and two of them slammed into the Twin Towers. Actually, when you come right down to it, it's still highly unlikely, which is why I flew without fear two weeks later -- the odds were no better and no worse. But, it did happen.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Don't see your point... (3.85 / 14) (#2)
by wji on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 04:49:13 PM EST

I really don't understand your analysis. You seem to be overlooking the fact that Arafat is the last, best hope for peace in a LONG time. Or was. With the increasing millitary actions by IDF, Hamas et al. just get more support while Arafat flounders. Personally, I don't think Sharon wants any kind of peace. He wants the Palestinians in Jordan and the West Bank & Gaza under total Isreali control, if not formally annexed. Remember, this guy was defence minister through the invasion of Lebanon. He also did his best to provoke the Intifadah by bringing himself and a huge 'security detail' to the Dome of the Rock, so he could win an election. Personally, I'm sick of hearing how the Palestinians don't want Isreal to exist while IDF tanks roll through Palestine, and hearing about Isreal's right to defend itself while Palestinian schoolchildren get blown up and shot in the back with rubber-coated steel bullets. And yes, of course I condemn the Hamas & other bombings.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
Actually, you mostly got it. (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by UncleMikey on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 05:07:53 PM EST

You seem to be overlooking the fact that Arafat is the last, best hope for peace in a LONG time. Or was.

Overlooking? No, not really. I was asuming that it was a given. Not that I think Arafat ever really wanted the kind of peace that the US and EU advocate, but certainly, of all the Palestinian leaders, he was the closest to what we call 'reasonable'.

Personally, I don't think Sharon wants any kind of peace. He wants the Palestinians in Jordan and the West Bank & Gaza under total Isreali control, if not formally annexed.

I think the first sentence is also a given, and part of the point I was making. Sharon is an extremist. He want an extreme solution. I also agree that he wants the West Bank and Gaza, but I do think he'd be willing to settle for simply not having to deal with the Palestinians any more if he could build a wall around them.

Let's be clear here: I personally think that both Israel and Palestine have a right to exist, and to co-exist. But I don't think that's what's going to happen.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Oh. Okay then. (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by wji on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 05:23:45 PM EST

Sorry, it just wasn't so clear to me what you were saying through the article. If that's what you were saying, though, I do agree with it. It just didn't show up so well in the article.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
Israel wants peace? Nope. (2.00 / 3) (#81)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:25:22 PM EST

Not that I think Arafat ever really wanted the kind of peace that the US and EU advocate, but certainly, of all the Palestinian leaders, he was the closest to what we call 'reasonable'.

The problem is calling something 'reasonable' doesn't make it so.

What makes you think that Israel seriously wants peace? After all, during the Oslo period, they have doubled the number of settlers in the territories, diverted water from the Palestinians to the settlements (the settlers, a small minority in the West Bank, now use 80% of its water), bulldozed Palestinian homes to build houses and roads for Israelis (which Palestinians are forbidden to occupy or transit), and killed about 3 times as many Palestinians as Israelies have been killed. Does that sound like the actions of a regime that wants peace?

--em
[ Parent ]

Definitions of reason vary, of course... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by UncleMikey on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:31:14 PM EST

I've commented elsewhere about the danger of lumping all the Palestinians together as if they all thought with one mind; now, I must do the same it seems for Israel, as well.

Shimon Peres wants peace. I believe this. I believe that, if Shimon Peres and those who follow his point of view had their way, they would find a way to relocate the Israeli Settlers -- at gunpoint if necessary (not that I think that's a great idea), and give the Palestinians what was agreed to at Camp David.

But Shimon Peres isn't the Head of Israel's Government; Ariel Sharon is. And Ariel Sharon does not want that kind of peace at all. Ariel Sharon's peace would not remove a single settlement, even if it otherwise restored the Palestinians pre-al-Aqsa autonomy.

There is one sense in which your lumping all Israeli's together has some validity, however: the Israeli electorate consistently refuses to give Shimon Peres or his party a sufficient majority to govern without right-wing coalition partners; they've also refused to give Sharon that kind of majority. There is therefore always an element of the Israeli government, no matter who the Prime Minister is, that ignores the peace process and continues to find a way to allow more settlement activity. The Israeli electorate is not blind to this, and yet continues to allow it.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
You may be interested in this... (4.00 / 2) (#23)
by On Lawn on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:26:47 AM EST

Every wonder what happened to the days in the not to distant past when Israel signed a peace treaty?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1688000/1688116.stm

[ Parent ]
peace (4.50 / 2) (#41)
by gregholmes on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:34:43 AM EST

You seem to be overlooking the fact that Arafat is the last, best hope for peace in a LONG time.

They (and we) have been talking, talking, talking to Arafat for years. This has not produced peace.

Peace is achieved by defeating your enemies, not talking.



[ Parent ]
Re: Peace (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by wji on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:10:44 PM EST

>>You seem to be overlooking the fact
>>that Arafat is the last, best hope
>>for peace in a LONG time.

>They (and we) have been talking,
>talking, talking to Arafat for years.
>This has not produced peace.


Ahem... Oslo? If you bother to go beyond the media and do a little of your own research, you'll find out that the accords were a tremendous sacrifice by Arafat [at least for the people he's supposed to be leading, anyway]. I find it interesting that every failure is laid a priori at the foot of Arafat and the PLO, even when it patently isn't. Everything Isreal does is self-defence - bombing PLO police stations in the name of a crackdown on terrorism, using lethal 'non-lethal ammunition' on stone-throwing kids that pose no threat to the IDF, uprooting crops, destroying homes, collective punishment on all Palestine by a harsh millitary occupation... And everything the Palestinians do is a failure. A failure, yes. A failure to cave to Isreali and US demands and give up any hope of a state beyond disjointed, occupied Bantustans.


>Peace is achieved by defeating your
>enemies, not talking.


This is a historical argument* that talks around the actual situation. Since the start of heavy Isreali millitary campaigns, terror attacks from millitant Palestinians have shot up in frequency and lethality. What exactly are you suggesting Isreal do? Hamas has been using home-made bombs and primitive detonators that I, and surely many other K5ers, could make in their basements. Shall IDF occupy every Palestinian basement? What if Hamas tricks them by working upstairs? Shall IDF then destroy every Palestinian home? I think the phrase that describes your 'solution' is 'cycle of violence'.


[*: Besides, you're wrong on the history. Most surrenders are negotiated. It's beyond serious doubt that the Japanese would have surrendered earlier had they been offered terms. There's an excellent case that a conditional surrender could have been negotiated with Germany had the famous coup taken place - which it might well have if FDR hadn't decided on 'unconditional surrender' and undermined the Menzies-Canaris negotiations taking place at the time. On hearing FDR's 'Unconditional Surrender' proclamation, Goebells said 'I should never have been able to think up so rousing a slogan. If our Western enemies tell us 'we won't deal with you, our only aim is to destroy you', how can any German, whether he likes it or not, do anything but fight on with all his strength?' Try History Today, vol 51(12) December 2001, page 2-3 if you're interested.]

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]

history (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by gregholmes on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:13:30 PM EST

...Besides, you're wrong on the history

No, don't think so.

My solution - defeat the enemy. WWII, Revolutionary War, Civil War, etc. Sure, you can negotiate a peace, once the enemy has been soundly defeated. Sure, in these cases the enemy could have engaged in unending terrorism. But they didn't - they were utterly defeated and knew they had no hope of succeeding.

Your solution - talk. Oslo. All the "peacekeeping" missions. "Deecommissioning" arms in Northern Ireland. Not effective. Just keep up the terror, and keep winning concessions at the bargaining table. Why not? It works, or at least holds out the tantalizing possibility of working.



[ Parent ]
Re: history (1.00 / 1) (#150)
by wji on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:31:01 PM EST

Okay, we could argue about the history but I don't want to.

Frankly from your comment about how there is no peace in Northern Ireland, et cetera, et cetera I'm tempted to think you simply don't know what you're talking about. Arafat has made huge concessions, not the Isrealis. Look at a map of the Oslo accords. Look at the damn map before you rant and rave on about how Arafat is forcing Isreal to blah blah blah.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]

>Austrian Accent Follows< (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by Rocky on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:18:31 PM EST

> Peace is achieved by defeating your enemies, not talking.

Peace will not be acheived until you can crush your enemies, and hear the lamentations of their women!

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
Austrian accent :) (none / 0) (#203)
by gregholmes on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 06:32:25 AM EST

You make my point! We didn't negotiate a peace with that famous guy with the Austrian accent, we defeated him. Had peace with Germany ever since!



[ Parent ]
??? What I got out of this (3.94 / 19) (#3)
by MicroBerto on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 04:56:45 PM EST

So what you're saying is that Sharon had been waiting for k5 to go down before attacking Palestine? :)

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
Yeah, I think so too (3.83 / 6) (#5)
by decaf_dude on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 05:07:49 PM EST

I think he was worried about the critical k5 postings that would most certainly ensue :D

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
The world needs k5 (4.28 / 7) (#13)
by rbeier on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:10:20 PM EST

k5 is clearly critical to the promotion of world peace. To prevent further international incidents caused by downtime, Rusty should apply for UN funding as soon as possible.

[ Parent ]
Ariel Sharon is a dick (2.52 / 21) (#8)
by autopr0n on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 05:32:24 PM EST

I suppose it's a good thing all of this is happening as the war in afghanistan is winding down. We can afford to piss off our 'coalition' members by mindlessly supporting Sharon's bloody adventures again.

Israel is, after all, a sovereign nation for the Jewish people, not the 51st State

Witch is complete crap. Isreal should be a nation for all the people living there, in witch all people have the same protections under the law. Since it is not, they deserve whatever they get.


[autopr0n] got pr0n?
autopr0n.com is a categorically searchable database of porn links, updated every day (or so). no popups!
All Mideastern heads of state are dicks. (3.50 / 4) (#20)
by Apuleius on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:45:10 PM EST

Nice guys don't finish last here. They fscking die. As for Israel being a state for all its citizens, in 50 years it will be.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
yeah (3.00 / 2) (#67)
by odaiwai on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 11:39:09 AM EST

> As for Israel being a state for all its citizens, in 50 years it will be.

yeah, as soon as they manage to kill off everyone who isn't Jewish.

For a nation which survived the Shoah, they seem hell bent on being as close to those they despise as anyone.

The israeli state is as hell bent on genocide as the Nazis were.
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
Um, No. (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by Robby on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:57:28 PM EST

yeah, as soon as they manage to kill off everyone who isn't Jewish.

For a nation which survived the Shoah, they seem hell bent on being as close to those they despise as anyone.

I can't believe you're comparing the current situation with a genocidal situation. You may criticise Israel for bombing Palestinian military targets (the so called police stations), shooting down hamas military activists, and more.

What happened in world war two, with death camps and mass graves is Genocide

What happened in Rwanda a few years ago, with several Hundred thousand people dead is Genocide.

What happened in Cambodia, Serbia, Congo, 19th Century Tasmania, were Genocides.

Claiming that the Israelis have an agenda to destroy the palestinian nation is preposterous, and you should be ashamed of suggesting it.

[ Parent ]

yes, an apology (none / 0) (#215)
by odaiwai on Thu Dec 20, 2001 at 11:21:22 AM EST

My original statement that the Israeli government intends genocide was hyperbole and I am, as robby said, somewhat ashamed I said it. However, the government of Israel are not, in any sense of the words, a progressive regime or even an acceptable one. Their activities are thoroughly reprehensible and they are very little different from the regimes they are trying to destroy/conquer.

The fact that they were nearly wiped out as a people in WW2 does not give them the right to perform ethnic cleansing and willy-nilly expansion of their borders at the expense of their neighbours.

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
Still Misunderstood. (none / 0) (#220)
by Robby on Fri Dec 21, 2001 at 09:02:28 PM EST

My original statement that the Israeli government intends genocide was hyperbole and I am, as robby said, somewhat ashamed I said it.

Thanks, Was hoping you would reply. However your statement was more than an exaggeration, it was an outright lie.

However, the government of Israel are not, in any sense of the words, a progressive regime or even an acceptable one. Their activities are thoroughly reprehensible and they are very little different from the regimes they are trying to destroy/conquer.

Ok, i'll bite. What are you talking about? No less progressive? thoroughly reprehensible? I'm short on time, so i'll point form you some answers.

  • Israel is the Only democracy in the Mid east, with Voting rights for all citizens
  • There is no Apartheid type system going on: Arabs in Israel are citizens, get the vote, schooling, and there is no compulsion to live apart from Jewish Israelis. Compare that to a few of the neighbours.
  • Who exactly do you think Israel attempting to destroy?
  • Who exactly do you think Israel is attempting to conquer?

The fact that they were nearly wiped out as a people in WW2 does not give them the right to perform ethnic cleansing and willy-nilly expansion of their borders at the expense of their neighbours.

Ok, isn't this what you're apoligising for saying? And you're saying it again?

Ok, I'll repeat it, the suggestion that what is going on in Israel is genocide, ethnic cleansing, is revolting, and you're still not ashamed to suggest it. What is going on? Is there something you know (or have been told) that i'm not privy to? Tell me what makes you think of the word 'ethnic cleansing'?

And what of the carefree expansion you mention? I haven't seen any land change hands since 1967. which all occured due to a clear military intent from Israels neighbours. And the entirety of the Sinai desert was handed back to Egypt in a peace treat in 1973. Doesn't sound like 'grabbing for land' to me. In the words of the now defunct Pauline Hanson, Please explain?

[ Parent ]

abuse of moderation (none / 0) (#214)
by odaiwai on Thu Dec 20, 2001 at 11:13:39 AM EST

To Mr Perpetual Newbie.

You appear to have a problem with anyone who doesn't aggree with you completely about the state of Israel.

The moderation system here is for moderating down those who troll, post noise, or in general abuse the system. It is *not* for silencing those with points of view which differ from your own.

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
You've almost narrowed it down properly (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by Robert Hutchinson on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:19:17 PM EST

Just drop "Mideastern", and you've got it.

Robert Hutchinson


No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]
Um... (4.00 / 3) (#74)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:19:14 PM EST

Actually, a great many Arabs(including some "Palestinians") are in fact Israeli at this point. The only thing Israel is picky about is not letting non-Jews immigrate; if you lived there all along, you're fine.

That might sound bad, until you realize that the Jews are outnumbered by a couple of orders of magnitude, and the Palestinians want nothing more than to dominate the whole region and put the Jews under a legal regime that somewhat resembles the former South Africa's apartheid system. After reflecting on that, the Israeli policy seems quite reasonable to me.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Israeli Arabs (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:12:16 PM EST

Actually, a great many Arabs(including some "Palestinians") are in fact Israeli at this point. The only thing Israel is picky about is not letting non-Jews immigrate; if you lived there all along, you're fine.

Israeli Arabs still face many sorts of institutionalized discrimination. Only very recently did the Israeli supreme court strike down housing discrimination against arabs both by private individuals and the state. Hell, it's not even as much as I say-- that decision was just for that case, and is opposed by significant segements of the Israeli population.

And this is just part of a wider pattern of discrimination on many levels, by the state and the Jewish population.

And the Palestinians have been living in Palestine longer than the overwhelming majority of the citizens of Israel.

That might sound bad, until you realize that the Jews are outnumbered by a couple of orders of magnitude, and the Palestinians want nothing more than to dominate the whole region and put the Jews under a legal regime that somewhat resembles the former South Africa's apartheid system. After reflecting on that, the Israeli policy seems quite reasonable to me.

"Given the hypothetical possibility of an Arabic apartheid state, I think it makes sense for Israel to dispossess an occupied population and build its own apartheid state."

--em
[ Parent ]

Are you temporally impaired? (4.66 / 3) (#100)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:57:41 PM EST

"Given the hypothetical possibility of an Arabic apartheid state, I think it makes sense for Israel to dispossess an occupied population and build its own apartheid state."
What Israel has done is already done. Whether it makes sense is irrelevant; it is done. It can be undone, but the wisdom of that is not entirely dependent on the wisdom of what Israel did in the first place, and pretending otherwise is outright dishonesty. The Israeli nation is going through a process which will eventually provide the same liberties and protections to Arabs and everyone else that it provides to its Jewish population today; progress may not be instantaneous, but I must ask: where has social progress ever been instantaneous? It is always slower than we would like.

And the truth is, a Muslim apartheid state is not a hypothesis; it is the working requirement of Sharia law, whether any Muslim is willing to admit it or not, and that law is what they insist upon implementing in their "holy land." If they were to be given their way, everyone not a Muslim(in truth, not an Arab, but they'd make a good show of claiming otherwise,) who lives in that region would suffer for it - and unlike the present trends in Israel, Sharia advocates intend to tighten the noose over time, not relax it. Maybe that intent would change with time, as it did in Israel - but that IS purely hypothesis.

At one time, the left supported and protected the Jews. Now, the Jews are no longer underdogs, so the left supports the Palestinians. The truth is, neither is "right." Neither is "good" or "bad." There's no defending what either of them does to the other. Some day, the left needs to wake up and smell the oversimplification.

Here's a small hint from me to you: the middle east is not going to end up peaceful and happy in the next few years. There is quite literally no way that can happen. Look to what might be possible in the mid to long term, because nothing else is possible at all. And look to solutions that leave everyone at least partly happy, because any other solution will just degenerate back into warfare and terrorism.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Rhetoric (1.75 / 4) (#106)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 03:35:52 PM EST

Here's a small hint from me to you: the middle east is not going to end up peaceful and happy in the next few years. There is quite literally no way that can happen. Look to what might be possible in the mid to long term, because nothing else is possible at all. And look to solutions that leave everyone at least partly happy, because any other solution will just degenerate back into warfare and terrorism.

Here's a little hint from me to you: contrary to the way you wish to portray me in this discussion by giving me such "hints", I know that quite well. Please spare us your petty rhetorical tricks.

--em
[ Parent ]

Hmmm... <peeks outside> It's still here... (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by MyrdemInggala on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:25:53 PM EST

...under a legal regime that somewhat resembles the former South Africa's apartheid system...

Um. I think you mean "South Africa's former apartheid system". South Africa is still called South Africa.



-- 22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head. -- Evil Overlord List
[ Parent ]
What if both sides are ready for war? (4.37 / 16) (#10)
by demi on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 06:20:47 PM EST

It's obvious (IMO) that among the everyday, average Israelis and Palestinians, a willingness to accede to the other side's demands has eroded to the point where just having an influential leader cannot persuade them to feel otherwise. From what I can tell, Arafat is too moderate, and the Islamists' ideas are too resonant, for anyone on the Palestinian side to be able to stop the suicide attacks.

The enmity is now so deep-seeded in both populations that it will soon be Israeli hardliners (Sharon and Likkud) against Arab hardliners (Hamas, Hezbollah, who knows?). The result will probably be increased violence, maybe a full-scale war. That's why Arafat is a non-factor right now. There is no ear for moderate voices in the West Bank.

Sharon also has never really considered Palestinian land claims to be remotely legitimate. He holds the older, harder line that Israel legitimately holds every hectare of territory it held before 1967, and holds by right of conquest and needs of security every hectare captured in the 1967 and Yom Kippur (1973) wars. Jerusalem, in Sharon's eyes, isn't even up for debate.

Sharon is a major liability to world security right now. That is how I see it. Even if he had not entered the Temple Mount in September 2000, his presence at the head of the Israeli government is virtually guaranteed to preclude cooperation on the part of the Arabs (in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere). Whether you think he should be prosecuted for war crimes or not, this is not someone that is going to be able to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. Israel has a right to exist, and to defend itself from murderers, but Sharon has reinforced the Islamist hardliners' support to the point where it can no longer be thwarted.



Not really (2.27 / 11) (#28)
by weirdling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:34:00 AM EST

Come on, guys. This idiotic war has been going on long enough. The idiots in Palestine *cannot* leave well enough alone; they want the whole enchilada, and that means a lot of dead Israelis. As far as I'm concerned, after September Eleventh, let the Palestinians twist in the wind.

I realise that that wasn't really about Palestine; it was about the US keeping Saudi Arabia from being part of the great Iraqi empire (Bin Laden, unbelievably, is against our protection of his native country), but, for the love of Pete, every single bloody time some external power has brokered a peace treaty to which the Palestinians through some authority that claims to speak for them has been signatory, they have broken said treaty.

As to whatever 'war crimes' Sharon may have committed, please remember that this is not a rational war; this is about genocide. The Arabs wish the Israelis dead. The Israelis merely wish security and will do *anything* to get it.

Once again, context. Walk a mile in their shoes and you have to explain, as do I as an American, such marvels of humanity as Dresden and Tokyo.

Killing thousands of people is sometimes the *only* way to get their attention.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
hmm?? (4.00 / 7) (#39)
by drippy on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:14:09 AM EST

Killing thousands of people is sometimes the *only* way to get their attention.

Doesn't this describe exactly what the suicide bombers are trying to do? Kill as many enemy civilians as possible to get their point across.

I am actually surprised that Israel never seems to catch any flack from the international community. Their policy seems to have some major flaws to me. One thing is their responses/retaliation. How often do we see a story on the news that goes like this:

Three Palestinians were shot today by Israeli soldiers after throwing rocks.
How is returning fire an acceptable response to rock throwing? Imagine if anything similiar happened in any other "modern western society". If a group of police/soldiers shot live rounds at a bunch of protestors in the US, they would never handle a firearm again, and would probably spend a significant amount of time in jail. No one would regard them as heros or condone their actions.

Another thing that I don't understand is the destruction of police stations as retaliation after a bombing incident. Wouldn't Palestinian police be one of the best chances for a stabilizing force in the region and a starting point to finding and stopping terrorists? Israel's responses only seem to reenforce their position as the enemy of the Palestinians.

[ Parent ]
You what? (3.80 / 5) (#56)
by FredBloggs on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 09:48:14 AM EST

"How is returning fire an acceptable response to rock throwing? Imagine if anything similiar happened in any other "modern western society". "

Ok, i`m imagining. The place i`m imagining is called Genoa. What do you want me to imagine next? I`m pretty good at imagining the Americans arming Saddam Hussein and a bunch of Afghans.


[ Parent ]
rocks (4.00 / 5) (#65)
by Ken Arromdee on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:57:18 AM EST

Sticks and stones can break your bones. Rocks can kill people. Don't think that the rock throwers are throwing half inch wide pebbles like children in a playground. Returning fire is an acceptable response to rock throwing for the same reason that returning fire is an acceptable response to shooting.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps (2.33 / 3) (#113)
by weirdling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:53:15 PM EST

The problem is that no solution has ever worked. The Israelis have been willing to achieve peace, but the Palestinians want the whole region.

As to armed men opening fire when rocks are thrown at them, perhaps you've missed my previous posts. Such behavior constitutes, at the very least, felony disregard of life and limb, so ipso facto constitutes defense of the use of deadly force. Peaceful demonstration is fine, but when the stones start flying, so do the bullets. This shouldn't really surprise anyone. These people somehow believe they can throw public temper tantrums that include killing people wholesale with no threat of retribution.

As to the destruction of police stations, yes that does seem silly, but please remember that wholesale killing of civillians is not something that modern democratic societies do, so they've got to strike something, and the only governmental entity to strike is the police station.

Once again, once attacked, the defender is morally authorised to use any force he sees fit to ensure a similar attack does not happen. So, since Arab states started this mess, they are reaping the rewards.


I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
no (2.25 / 4) (#68)
by odaiwai on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 11:41:58 AM EST

> The Israelis merely wish security and will do *anything* to get it.

No, the Israelis wish to inflict their own culture on an area which had done without them for a few thousand years. They shoved their own heads up their arses in 1948 and they have remained in that position ever since.

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
Ummm (4.00 / 4) (#70)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 11:58:59 AM EST

If they don't belong there, then where do you suggest they go? Remembering that the majority of the jewish isreali population was born there.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
Or, possibly (4.00 / 2) (#112)
by weirdling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:43:24 PM EST

Please remember that the Palestinians of today are *not* the original ihabitants of the region, either. As a matter of fact, very few places on this earth have previously idigenous species still extant.

That being said, it seems to me that Israel is only interested in living in Israel and isn't trying to force Palestinians to do much but quit killing Israelis. Damn that silly Israeli culture! Damn them!

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Palestinians are already "twisting in the win (4.00 / 1) (#178)
by peace on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 10:51:58 AM EST

This has been a very long conflict, spanning generations. It started as a war but has become a struggle for the survival of the Palestinian people. Israel has effectivly eliminated the hopes and dreams of the previous occupants of the region.

If the US and Israel wanted peace, they would not have vetoed this UN measure.

15 member body, 12 votes for, 2 abstentions and one veto.

Kind Regards

[ Parent ]

UN resolutions... (none / 0) (#189)
by UncleMikey on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 06:56:59 PM EST

...don't bring peace.

Only the actions of the combatants can do that.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

Neither does vetoing them (none / 0) (#194)
by peace on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 09:27:17 PM EST

The reason UN resolutions do not bring peace is because it is not capable of enforcing it's resolutions without the participation of the member states. The US has displayed it's contempt for the UN time and again. It's preference is to work unilateraly, through NATO, or some myopic 'international coalition', all 3 being about the same. It's the richest country in the world and is 1 billion in dept to the UN. I don't think the US is going to help the UN anytime soon.

The vote was 12 for, 2 abstentions and 1 veto. The veto of the US of course overrides democratic principles. Maybe it would have worked and maybe it would not have, we will never know. One thing it did not call for was an escalation of violence and dangerous rhetoric. Thats what we get by default, with no end in sight.

If the US is going to veto a measure that calls for an end to violence and an independent body to oversee that both sides adhere to the resolution it does not put us one whit closer to peace, which I'm left to believe is the plan.

What would bring us closer to peace is the implementation of a measure like the one the US vetoed coupled with a geographic plan for a Palestinian state that did not section the country into zones who's access points are controled by Israel.

Kind Regards

[ Parent ]

Ok. (none / 0) (#224)
by UncleMikey on Mon Dec 24, 2001 at 01:04:03 PM EST

Suppose the resolution had passed.

Then what. Who enforces it? Answer: nobody, because Israel has made it clear that it will never accept any UN 'observer' force within its borders. There can never be any 'monitoring' mechanism, and therefore, never any enforcement of this sort of resolution. Unless, of course, you're suggesting that the UN invade Israel and impose a peacekeeping/monitoring force upon it.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

TIPH (none / 0) (#225)
by kzin on Tue Dec 25, 2001 at 07:58:25 AM EST

Actually, there already is a Temporary Intenational Presence in Hebren, but very little good does it do there.

[ Parent ]
Exactly (none / 0) (#228)
by peace on Wed Dec 26, 2001 at 06:33:03 PM EST

The UN would not be allowed to "invade" a country that is in favour with the West, no matter what it's policies. Invasion is saved for countries that the West declares as "rougue nations".

This double standard is very much the root of the problem. International law needs to be applied uniformly if anybody is to be expected to follow it.

Kind Regards

[ Parent ]

Did you make it into the third paragraph? (none / 0) (#199)
by weirdling on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 03:05:38 AM EST

The reason the US vetoed it was that it essentially told Israel to not do a damn thing while the Palestinians, who do not recognize the UN as a restrictive authority, would be free to continue to terrorize. This is no solution. It's idiocy.

Do you honestly expect that such a UN resolution would stop Israel, anyway? They are a sovereign nation.

What would have brought peace is if the Palestinians had *ever* stood by a *single* agreement they've been signatory to.

Finally, you assert that this is their ancestral lands without any backing. The Palestinians were fiefs to the actual owners of the land when Israel moved in. However, there were not a lot of occupants in the area where Israel initially settled; they actually fought the British for the land, not the Palestinians. At the time, the area was sparsely populated. True, this was not true of Jerusalem, but a perfunctory inspection of history will show that Israel took that from the Phillistines, who moved in there and drove out the Moabites, IIRC. The Romans took it from the Jews, effecting a diaspora when they destroyed the entire Jewish nation, essentially. The Palestinian settlements eventually met the Israeli settlements, and they began the age-old war that we see today. Next, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and so on attacked the new country. Without official aid from any country, they defeated the Arabs after bloody, desparate fighting, and were marching on Cairo when the US intervened.

Yes, without Western intervention, most of the middle east would be under Israeli control.

So, anyway, how was it that this was their land? The only actually recognized ways to claim land are right of conquest and right of discovery. If we start handing land back to the previous owners, Native Americans should get Russia back. The French need to restrict themselves to the area where the Francs roamed. The English need to restrict themselves to the Anglo area of England, returning Welch lands to the Welch. Israel needs to give up Palestine, but not to the Palestinians, to the Philistines, the Moabites, and so on, if you can find any of them anymore.

No, truth is that your post shows what those who support the Palestinians really want: nothing short of complete emasculation of the Israeli state and the eventual eradication of all Israelis from the area, as that is the only thing that will actually appease the Palestinians.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
I made it all the way to the end (none / 0) (#207)
by peace on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 10:44:04 AM EST

The reason the US vetoed it was that it essentially told Israel to not do a damn thing while the Palestinians, who do not recognize the UN as a restrictive authority, would be free to continue to terrorize. This is no solution. It's idiocy.

Do you honestly expect that such a UN resolution would stop Israel, anyway? They are a sovereign nation.

You start out saying that the Palestinians are the ones who would quash the deal and end by admitting that Israel would not respect it either. You could refraise your statement without so much baise by simply stating that neither side respects the UN. I mention why this is the case in the post your responding to.

On to other topics...
Saying the Palastinians are the ones who broke aggreements seems like a fabrication. Israel has destroyed every peace prospect by missing deadlines for the turn over of land and implementing the idiotic settlement program that is the source of so much hostility and fuel for groups like Hamas. If Israel is going to buldoze houses so Jews can move in, you can rest assured there will be reprocutions, and there are.

As for population densities, at the time of the Balfour Declaration the Jews accounted for less than 10% of the population and England was already concidering handing the land over to to the Zionists. The Zionist Commission made no secret of their efforts to import more Jews. England saw the Jew as an instrument for control in the region. Ultimatly, racism was the reason the Jews were given the land, racism against the Arabs and, oddly, racism against the Jew.

I said nothing about Palestine being 'ancestrial' lands, and frankly, arguments like that bore me. What I did say was that they were there before Israel was formed. These people faught in WWI on the side of the allies angainst the Turks and in return the British colonialists had offered them statehood. It starts to look like a chapter from US history with Native Americans from that point on.

As for your views on claiming land, you would have fit right in with all the colonialists that got us into this mess in the first place. Those are not the only ways to claim and. Those are ways to conquor land.

Not even the Palestinians want the complete elimination of Israel. What they do want is a state of their own, and I think it's high time they got it.

Kind Regards

[ Parent ]

Several things (none / 0) (#218)
by weirdling on Fri Dec 21, 2001 at 08:03:38 PM EST

First of all, I do not respect the UN, and, as an American, happily agree with our policy of ignoring it whenever convenient, a policy that any thinking person would espouse.

Second, you completely ignore that before Israel broke *any* treaty, Palestinians did another act of terrorism. I think you fail to understand the Israeli mindset. Security is their utmost concern, and until Palestine finally stops terrorism, Israel sees no reason to work with them. I agree.

So, to achieve statehood, Palestine needs to grow up and work with the UN, the US, and Western powers to achieve its objectives, rather than randomly bombing Israeli civillians.

Note that you said that England saw Israel as a way to control the region: Palestinians were an unruly people then, too.

As to populations, please remember that what matters is where Israel settled, not the entire area.

As to expanding Israeli settlements, of course, that was a bad idea. However, it was triggered by an *invasion* of Israel. Oh, well.

Finally, if you ignore ancestral lands as a matter of land possession, you are left with only power of conquest. There is no other way. Even if the UN set up a country, it would do so through power of conquest...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
But there is a contradiction (none / 0) (#222)
by peace on Sat Dec 22, 2001 at 05:28:48 PM EST

This statement:

I do not respect the UN, and, as an American, happily agree with our policy of ignoring it whenever convenient

And this one:

So, to achieve statehood, Palestine needs to grow up and work with the UN, the US, and Western powers to achieve its objectives, rather than randomly bombing Israeli civillians.

Set up a double standard. You can't expect other people to follow rules you yourself are not willing to follow.

I understand that there is aggresion to Israel, I don't mean to discount that. But I also will not engage in a tit-for-tat conversation about "both sides being responsible".

England gave the land to the Jews out of racism ( aganst jews and arabs both ) and a sense of christian rightousness amoung more practical reasons, like control. Also, the post WWII refugee problem was a factor. Notice that none of these take into account the wishes of the people who were already there.

Americans a pretty unruly by the way. Does that mean the Palestinians should invade and make us toe the line? Your reasoning is that of someone who has the benefit of power, it is not based on more central, universal and enduring themes.

Kind Regards

[ Parent ]

Central, universal, and enduring themes? (none / 0) (#234)
by weirdling on Fri Jan 04, 2002 at 06:31:21 PM EST

Meaning what? What could be more central, universal, and enduring than might?

Oh, well. At least you admit that Palestinians have acted poorly.

As to the US ignoring the UN rather often, please remember that it is other countries of the world who make idiotic requirements of the US, requirements that we, as a nation, would do well to ignore. However, much good comes of the UN, as well, and, should Palestine show a totally unexpected propensity to peace, the US would happily join in a resolution expecting statehood for Palestine. This is entirely hypothetical, of course.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Good thinking! (5.00 / 2) (#177)
by FredBloggs on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 10:14:15 AM EST

"As far as I'm concerned, after September Eleventh, let the Palestinians twist in the wind."

That sounds like a recipe for peace. We just ignore them, and the problem goes away! I`ll get on the phone to Sharon and Bush right away!

"As to whatever 'war crimes' Sharon may have committed, please remember that this is not a rational war"

Or, to rewrite it in such a way as to reveal to folly of your `argument`:

"As to whatever 'war crimes' Bin Laden may have committed, please remember that this is not a rational war"

A war crime is a war crime - it doesnt matter if you personally agree with the goals.

"Killing thousands of people is sometimes the *only* way to get their attention."

Ok, so you`d agree with the following then:

"Take us for example. If we had never done anything violent and had submitted the present writings to a publisher, they probably would not have been accepted. If they had been been accepted and published, they probably would not have attracted many readers, because it's more fun to watch the entertainment put out by the media than to read a sober essay. Even if these writings had had many readers, most of these readers would soon have forgotten what they had read as their minds were flooded by the mass of material to which the media expose them. In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we've had to kill people." - from The Unabomber Manifesto, Paragraph 96.

[ Parent ]
Major flawed assumption (2.00 / 10) (#80)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:15:40 PM EST

Israel has a right to exist,

How come?

--em
[ Parent ]

Why does any country have a right to exist? (4.33 / 3) (#104)
by SIGFPE on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 03:17:37 PM EST

Until there is an organisation in existence that can enforce rights at an international level there are no such things as the rights of countries. The countries that exist are merely those that have managed to survive assimilation by their neighbours...that's all.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
True, inasmuch as it is a matter of my opinion... (4.50 / 2) (#124)
by demi on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:24:19 PM EST

...and it goes by whatever metric you might use to affirm the right of any government to assert its territory. That particular region of the Middle East has been passed from occupier to occupier more than a dozen times in the last 2000 years, but its most significant settlers were Jews, and IMHO the importance of Jerusalem (for example) is due to its place in Judeo-Christian history FIRST.

If there is any legitimate Muslim claim to that region, it was as erstwhile conquerors who were subsequently conquered. Among the arabic people that now live in the Palestine region are some descendants of the Hashemites, who were granted territory in the Transjordan region after they fought against the Ottoman Turks in World War I. Their own presence in what what is now Palestine and Jordan only dates back to circa 1916 when Al-Hussein bin Ali liberated the land from the Turks. If there was a true ancestral homeland for the Hashemites, it would be Mecca and the Arabian peninsula, which is now held by the Saudis. I could go on forver here, but it all comes down to the justification for Israel's existence, and I have not seen persuasive arguments that challenge it.

Borders are most often created by agreements or treaties. They are usually not natural boundaries of human migration, and especially in this age of global rapid transport, they have to be vigorously guarded to remain meaningful. In the case of Israel, its reason for existence was recognized by the Western Powers in the Balfour Declaration and its actual establishment 31 years later as a national home for the Jewish people. Quoting directly from the Balfour Declaration:

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

In my opinion, Israel has a right to exist, but should respect the high principles that made its own creation possible.



[ Parent ]

Israel's right to exist. (1.00 / 2) (#137)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:09:27 PM EST

That particular region of the Middle East has been passed from occupier to occupier more than a dozen times in the last 2000 years, but its most significant settlers were Jews

Most significant by which criteria?

Anyway, plenty of today's Jews don't have any ancestry that lived in Palestine 2000 years ago. I challenge you to prove that the majority of the contemporary Jews do have such ancestry. (Not that it matters, but the myth of contemporary Jews descending from biblical Jews has to be challenged.)

If there was a true ancestral homeland for the Hashemites, it would be Mecca and the Arabian peninsula, which is now held by the Saudis.

The problem is that most people in the world don't quite have this degree of obsession with "ancestral homelands". Simply put, whatever claim the Palestinians have to Palestine is much stronger than that of Israel. If the Palestinian claim (which I take to be based on the right to self determination of the inhabitants in a territory, not some insane ranting about "ancestral homelands") is less than bulletproof, that doesn't justify the existence of the Israeli state. "Why does Israel have the right to exist?" "Because Palestine doesn't!" Nah, doesn't work.

I could go on forver here, but it all comes down to the justification for Israel's existence, and I have not seen persuasive arguments that challenge it.

The fact that nobody, be it the western powers or world Jewry, had the right to deny self determination to the inhabitants of Palestine in order to create a Jewish state?

Quoting directly from the Balfour Declaration:

His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Great. Israel has a right to exist because the King of England says so.

And there's a further problem: the actual creation of the modern Israeli state itself involved precisely the violation of the civil rights of the existing non-Jewish communities. Not to mention that in its independence war, Israel seized territories that the UN partition plan had assigned to the Arabs. The current, internationally recognized borders of Israel thus do not accord with what was initially accorded.

--em
[ Parent ]

don't oversimplify. (none / 0) (#151)
by demi on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:32:29 PM EST

Simply put, whatever claim the Palestinians have to Palestine is much stronger than that of Israel. If the Palestinian claim (which I take to be based on the right to self determination of the inhabitants in a territory, not some insane ranting about "ancestral homelands") is less than bulletproof, that doesn't justify the existence of the Israeli state. "Why does Israel have the right to exist?" "Because Palestine doesn't!" Nah, doesn't work.

I'm not saying that I agree with Zionism, or even that I agree with what the British did to establish Israel. But why is it that you are comfortable with the presence of the 'Palestinians' in Transjordan, who are transplants themselves (who displaced the Turks and Bedouins that lived there before them), but not with the Jews? The people occupying the lands west of Israel do so now because of international agreements that allowed the Hashemites (who now live in Jordan), the Kurds and the Druze (who now live in Syria), and the Wahabites (who live in Saudi Arabia) to have territories that had been taken away from them 400 years eariler by the Ottoman Empire.

Not to mention that in its independence war, Israel seized territories that the UN partition plan had assigned to the Arabs. The current, internationally recognized borders of Israel thus do not accord with what was initially accorded.

Certainly, designs for international stability in the 1948 agreements did not include having Israel annexing new territory. In fact, their conduct in the spring of 1948 (Plan Dalet), taken in the name of self-defense, definitely violated some of the provisions of the international agreements that founded Israel. That was wrong and it goes a long way to explain why the resentment against Zionism has festered for so long. Nevertheless, it does nothing to suggest that Israel has any less of a right to exist than, say, Jordan or Syria. They, including the new state of Palestine, are all countries conjured from thin air, in an attempt to create a 'homeland' for intransigent people without one.

Israel needs to clean up its act, but you haven't made any arguments that weaken their claim to that land.



[ Parent ]

Context, context, context (3.40 / 15) (#11)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 09:21:16 PM EST

This essay could only have been written by somebody halfway across the world from the events in question from the comfort, peace and safety of somewhere a long way away from the middle east. Take this sentiment for example:
Arafat, for his part, has failed utterly. Either he really is behind the terror in the last several years, in which case he's been a fraud all along, just as Sharon claims; or else Arafat is simply unable to control his people, in which case his claim to be the legitimate head of Palestinian government is null and void.
Or maybe, given the increasingly commonplace actions of the Israeli armies such as shooting sixteen year old boys busily engaged in playing with their four year old cousins in front of a Church after an evening prayer service, it is incredibly amazing that there has been so small of a response to the Israeli occupation.

I personally am pretty amazed that there hasn't been much more widespread violence than there has been on the part of the Palestinians.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

There's more than enough blame to go around (4.40 / 5) (#25)
by physicsgod on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:41:38 AM EST

Palestinian extremists are to blame for blowing people up (though it could be worse, most of the suicide bombers seem to manage to only kill themselves, and one guy couldn't even to that right).

The IDF is to blame for blowing shit up and killing people when they're pissed, someone fires a mortor at an army post and you destroy a police station? Don't you think the other guys have figured out that the police stations aren't the best place to hide weapons?

The Palestinian parents are to blame for not teaching their kids that pointing guns or throwing stones at armed men are good ways of getting killed. Just this morning my local paper had a picture of a child who couldn't be more than 10 pointing a plastic AK-47 (it looked just like the real thing, except a bit shinier) at Israli tanks.

The moderates on both sides are to blame for letting the extremists hijack the dialogue. Maybe if some Isralis held a memorial service every time a Palestinian was killed and vice versa the other side might not think they were out to eradicate them.

And the rest of the world is to blame for letting Hamas become a major aid organization.

Anyone else think that the simplest solution would be to nuke it all and start over?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

And then some. . . (4.57 / 7) (#29)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:44:09 AM EST

The IDF is to blame for blowing shit up and killing people when they're pissed, someone fires a mortor at an army post and you destroy a police station?
That's one that I've yet to figure out. Sharon wants Arafat to control the Palestinian militants better and so blows up police stations whenever there's an incident with a Palestinian terrorist.

That type of motivation did not work between the families in Sicily, I doubt it will work in Palestine.

The Palestinian parents are to blame for not teaching their kids that pointing guns or throwing stones at armed men are good ways of getting killed.
That's another one I've yet to figure out. I gotta wonder about the intelligence of people armed with rocks picking fights with soldiers armed with guns.
Maybe if some Isralis held a memorial service every time a Palestinian was killed and vice versa the other side might not think they were out to eradicate them.
I think a bit of common sense on both sides of the fence would go a long way. If Palestinian suicide bombers would target the military instead of civilians, they would get a lot more sympathy. If the IDF would target people with smoking guns instead of the people milling about outside of a Church after a prayer service, there would be fewer suicide bombers.
And the rest of the world is to blame for letting Hamas become a major aid organization.
That's another one that I don't really understand. What should I think of a group that builds orphanages and trains suicide bombers? Honestly, Hamas has always and still does perform some fantastic charity work. They also arm and train militants, including suicide bombers.
Anyone else think that the simplest solution would be to nuke it all and start over?
Don't say things like that. The FBI reads k5. I found this out when they forwarded this comment to the Secret Service and those brave men (and women) in black came to my work, and interviewed me, and gave me a ride home.

Among other things, I found out that when you accidentally refer to a SS special agent as an FBI agent, he or she gets offended.

Back on topic, I think the thing the US can do is is to take a hardline stance against funding terrorists across the board. When the US cracks down on contributing funds to groups like the IRA and the Jewish Defense League then the world will know that we are serious about the war on terrorism.

Other than that and trying to keep all the parties talking to each other, the parties involved are the ones that need to work out a solution. It just makes me bleary eyed and weepy when sizable minority groups (such as Palestinian Christians -- disregarding for the moment the Christian militias in Lebanon) get stuck in the middle in fights between Palestinian militants and the IDF.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

Blowing up police (4.00 / 3) (#36)
by sigwinch on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 03:36:29 AM EST

Sharon wants Arafat to control the Palestinian militants better and so blows up police stations whenever there's an incident with a Palestinian terrorist.
Indeed. When I read that I knew that Sharon was on the warpath. I can only hope that mainstream Palestinians understand what happens to cities in modern warfare.
Among other things, I found out that when you accidentally refer to a SS special agent as an FBI agent, he or she gets offended.
LOL!

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

You need to write up the story (none / 0) (#50)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:20:12 AM EST

It would be interesting.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland
[ Parent ]
A little naive (4.33 / 3) (#71)
by Otter on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:03:32 PM EST

That's one that I've yet to figure out. Sharon wants Arafat to control the Palestinian militants better and so blows up police stations whenever there's an incident with a Palestinian terrorist.

The police stations targetted are being hit because they're involved with the attacks. Sniper and mortar attacks are coming from people associated with the security forces, or the forces themselves. (The term "police station" doesn't there mean what it does in the US or Europe.) Anyway, it's not as if Arafat has any shortage of people in prison so it's not that the failure to arrest 40 or 50 Hamas and PIJ leaders is because the PNA is short of police cars.

That's another one I've yet to figure out. I gotta wonder about the intelligence of people armed with rocks picking fights with soldiers armed with guns.

I'm not sure which is more startling - the naivete there or the condescension towards the Palestinians. Creating situations where children will get killed has been an overt strategy since the first intifada. It's been spectacularly successful both in terms of swaying world opinion and in inciting formerly moderate Palestinians to join the fighting. Did you really think parental carelessness was the cause?

I think a bit of common sense on both sides of the fence would go a long way. If Palestinian suicide bombers would target the military instead of civilians, they would get a lot more sympathy. If the IDF would target people with smoking guns instead of the people milling about outside of a Church after a prayer service, there would be fewer suicide bombers.

I agree with with the basic idea of what you're saying, although if you're talking about that kid in Bethlehem a few months ago, it's worth pointing out that he was hit in a cross fire between Israeli troops and PNA security forces. I don't think it's even known who shot him, but he certainly wasn't "targeted" by anyone. That's the biggest source of tragedy in the region -- it's not Afghanistan but a tiny, densely populated area with no separation between war zone and civilian areas. There's no hiding from it.

[ Parent ]

You know... (4.50 / 2) (#75)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:28:26 PM EST

A lot of people seem to think the modern PLO is like the political wing of the IRA, and do not understand why any reasonable person would declare them "irrelevant."

The difference between the PLO and the IRA is that the IRA developed a political wing that eventually became a legitimate organization in its own right(however popular or unpopular it may be with various people,) whereas the PLO developed a political facade to act as a cover story for the violence perpetrated by HAMAS and similar groups(whose members, interestingly enough, often end up also being members of Arafat's "security forces.") The Palestinians have mastered the art of mixing good deeds(charity, and so on,) for their own people with terror, thus ensuring popular support of violence. Someone needs to tell them that the game is up, and that even one act of violence by a "charity" is enough to warrant totally disbanding it, no matter how much good it may have done in the past.

Basically, yes, this is a step backwards, but it is a step away from a dead end, and must be taken. The Palestinians need to find leadership that is serious about dealing with the world in acceptable ways, rather than by blowing up busloads of civilians, and that punishes violence, rather than protecting its perpetrators. Until they do, even if they "deserve" better, nobody can rightly blame Israel for not giving it to them.

As for Sharon, he has faults, and he's not particularly into the art of compromise, but his days will end, and perhaps he's what is needed right now - someone who will say to the bait and switch artists, "enough!"

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Mild disagreement (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:43:04 PM EST

the PLO developed a political facade to act as a cover story for the violence perpetrated by HAMAS and similar groups

The PLO predates Hamas by several years. The PLO began in the 60's, Hamas in the 80's. IIRC, the PLO is primarily backed by the Saudi Arabia, Hamas by Syria, Islamic Jihad by Iran, and the PFLP by Libya. There is crossover between the groups in terms of membership and finances.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]

Well, (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:28:11 PM EST

My knowledge of their history is limited before the mid-eighties. However, this is irrelevant; the PLO has never been anything but a politically connected protective cover for some terrorists or other, and that is the point I was trying to get across.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yeah (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:53:41 PM EST

That's why my disagreement was mild. It was mainly related to the timeline.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
Didn't Israel initiate force to take property? (1.00 / 1) (#85)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:54:50 PM EST

The Palestinians need to find leadership that is serious about dealing with the world in acceptable ways, rather than by blowing up busloads of civilians, and that punishes violence, rather than protecting its perpetrators. Until they do, even if they "deserve" better, nobody can rightly blame Israel for not giving it to them.

I must remind you that Israel was established by force, and this crucially involved taking the property of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to give it to Israeli hands, a process which is ongoing. And if I recall correctly, the political views you espouse unconditionally condemn the initiation of force, and hold private property to be sacrosanct.

Shouldn't you by this token, then, support the immediate restoration of all Palestinian property from 1948?

--em
[ Parent ]

Sort of (4.00 / 2) (#95)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:40:01 PM EST

The problem I face is this: fifty years ago, that was the correct solution. However, it is not today. There is now a very large group of people born in what is today Israel who have as much or more claim to that land than what are now mostly descendents of those forced off of it(rather than actually being those forced off.) Furthermore, the simple fact, regardless of any moralizing on the topic, is that Israel is not going to disappear for anything short of a nuclear exchange, and I'd rather not see that happen.

An actual practicable solution, regardless of history, can take one of only two forms. First, it is possible that some agreeable partition could be made. Over the long view of history, this is probably reasonably fair, because both groups have lived there at different times for long periods, and both have living members who have lived there since birth. This is the solution that is likely to actually eventually happen. Second, some sort of secular government could be established which was agreeable to both sides. This is the ideal solution, but it is probably not attainable in the near term future. The reason, put quite simply, is that while Israel moves more and more towards secularism despite its fundamentalists, it will never be acceptable to Palestinians, and neither will any other secular government, no matter how formed: they believe in and insist on a Muslim nation

That last point pits me against the Palestinians' current goals quite strongly. You see, I don't think any government should be inherently religious, and I think any which is religious is also inherently illegitimate; proper governance and adherence to some religious mandate are quite literally incompatible. Therefore, regardless of any rights to any land, I have no consideration whatsoever for any government the Palestinians will conceivably agree to. This would be a moot point were it only Palestinians living there, but obviously that isn't likely.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
So, where does this leave you? (1.00 / 2) (#105)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 03:19:22 PM EST

The problem I face is this: fifty years ago, that was the correct solution. However, it is not today. There is now a very large group of people born in what is today Israel who have as much or more claim to that land than what are now mostly descendents of those forced off of it(rather than actually being those forced off.)

Don't tell me you are letting rational objections based on the real complexity of the situation get in the way of your political ideas, which you've previously defended as absolute. There's plenty of Palestinians still alive who in 1947 owned land in what is now Israel. Are you saying that just because Israel has the biggest guns, it has to be allowed to benefit in perpetuity of this fact? What does this tell us about the practicability of your political views?

An actual practicable solution, regardless of history, can take one of only two forms. First, it is possible that some agreeable partition could be made. Over the long view of history, this is probably reasonably fair, because both groups have lived there at different times for long periods, and both have living members who have lived there since birth.

To think that the contemporary Jews have, as a group, any serious claim to ancestry in the Middle East is propagandistic. A large proportion of the Jewish population consists of the descendants of people who converted to Judaism after the expulsion. E.g. an early medieval kingdom in present day Russia whose name I forget, whose king made Judaism the state religion. Your assumption that the Jews lived in Palestine during a long period of time is very problematic. The converse assumption for the Palestinians should not be controversial (yet Zionists still attack it).

Second, some sort of secular government could be established which was agreeable to both sides. This is the ideal solution, but it is probably not attainable in the near term future. The reason, put quite simply, is that while Israel moves more and more towards secularism despite its fundamentalists

I'm doubtful about there being any significant move towards "secularism". And, secular or religious, Israel remains a deeply racist society. It is founded on a racist premise. This "secular government" which indeed would be the optimal solution can't be the state of Israel, period; it would have to be a new entity.

That last point pits me against the Palestinians' current goals quite strongly. You see, I don't think any government should be inherently religious, and I think any which is religious is also inherently illegitimate; proper governance and adherence to some religious mandate are quite literally incompatible. Therefore, regardless of any rights to any land, I have no consideration whatsoever for any government the Palestinians will conceivably agree to. This would be a moot point were it only Palestinians living there, but obviously that isn't likely.

Essentially, you disagree with the Palestinians, thus you support Israel in dispossessing them. So much for your declared belief in an absolute right to property.

And the fact that you bow down to "the simple fact, regardless of any moralizing on the topic, is that Israel is not going to disappear for anything short of a nuclear exchange" simply means that you will side with whoever is in power, no matter whether they obtained that power by methods which you claim elsewhere to condemn. Why don't you similarly bow down to the simple fact that, short of you and your ilk imposing your will and interests over the whole unwilling population, the US will never become a "libertarian" (a.k.a. Propertarian) society?

--em
[ Parent ]

How to twist words (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:25:02 PM EST

Don't tell me you are letting rational objections based on the real complexity of the situation get in the way of your political ideas, which you've previously defended as absolute.
If you don't know the difference between stating principles and applying principles, perhaps the problem is not me.
Are you saying that just because Israel has the biggest guns, it has to be allowed to benefit in perpetuity of this fact?
As you doubtless know unless you are functionally illiterate, this is precisely not what I said.
To think that the contemporary Jews have, as a group, any serious claim to ancestry in the Middle East is propagandistic. A large proportion of the Jewish population consists of the descendants of people who converted to Judaism after the expulsion.
em stumping for racial purity. A fine day indeed.
I'm doubtful about there being any significant move towards "secularism".
I'm doubtful that you actually pay any attention whatsoever to Israel other than what gets shown on CNN and whatever your favorite pro-Palestinian news source might be. Most of the younger generation of Israelis see religious government as the problem, rather than the solution. Even today, with many older people still in power, religious hardliners are a fringe movement.
It is founded on a racist premise.
Unlike, say, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and so on, and of course unlike the proposed Palestine - of course. Um... er... wait...
This "secular government" which indeed would be the optimal solution can't be the state of Israel, period; it would have to be a new entity.
Good to hear that you can read and then paraphrase my positions. I apologize for my previous comments about illiteracy.
Essentially, you disagree with the Palestinians, thus you support Israel in dispossessing them.
I cannot support or oppose what was done 50 years ago in Israel any more than I can support or oppose US westward expansion. When are you going to get a sense of this thing called "time," in which there is a past, a present, and a future? What I actually said was that the Palestinians' stated goals are not acceptable - period. Yes, they deserve some sort of compromise, but will they accept one?
And the fact that you bow down to "the simple fact, regardless of any moralizing on the topic, is that Israel is not going to disappear for anything short of a nuclear exchange" simply means that you will side with whoever is in power, no matter whether they obtained that power by methods which you claim elsewhere to condemn.
Or perhaps it means that I know the difference between what is possible and what is not, and I choose to set goals and adopt positions which fall on the "possible" side. A righteous cause which has no hope of ever succeeding is no use to anyone.
Why don't you similarly bow down to the simple fact that, short of you and your ilk imposing your will and interests over the whole unwilling population, the US will never become a "libertarian" (a.k.a. Propertarian) society?
Most people I've talked to regard libertarian ideas as desirable but impractical. I doubt they'd be unwilling once things got rolling. You and yours are a tiny minority in the real world, even if not here on k5. Most of those real world folks have seen enough of socialism and other forms of statism to know they don't work, whereas you college kiddies who live off of taxes and/or Daddy are always looking for some way to justify welfare, because you live on it:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
em's trolling again (3.33 / 3) (#114)
by grout on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:55:03 PM EST

I hadn't encountered him before I posted my first article. Once we started interactiving, it didn't take long for em to show his total lack of interest in genuine communication.
--
Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

[ Parent ]
Propertarianism and Realpolitik don't mix. (2.00 / 1) (#129)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:36:07 PM EST

If you don't know the difference between stating principles and applying principles, perhaps the problem is not me.

If your principles are going to be applied selectively, then what's the point to them? "Everybody has an inalienable right to property, from which all other rights follow. Except we don't apply this principle to everybody in all cases. Certainly not when the property in question was stolen by Israel."

I cannot support or oppose what was done 50 years ago in Israel any more than I can support or oppose US westward expansion.

You will note that I carefully framed the issue to mention the fact that there are Palestinians alive who owned land in 1947 which was taken to build homes for Israelis. I'm not merely talking about past events; I'm talking about actual property claims that are highly likely to be valid.

So, suppose I'm a 77-year old Palestinian man alive today. In 1947, the IDF came to my village and brutalized the inhabitants, so I fled. The state of Israel didn't let me back into the country, confiscated my house and my land, and built a neighborhood for their citizens. But it's my land; don't I have a right to dispose of it as I see fit? Don't you respect my right to my property, which was demonstrably taken away by force?

Or perhaps it means that I know the difference between what is possible and what is not, and I choose to set goals and adopt positions which fall on the "possible" side. A righteous cause which has no hope of ever succeeding is no use to anyone.

My point is simple: your propertarianism and realpolitik are mutually inconsistent. Give up one or the other. If you are not committed to actually enforcing the system of rights you demand, you should stop demanding it. "Everybody has an inalienable right to property, except when I deem this to be impossible (or "inapplicable", heh) in their particular circumstances"? Nope, won't fly.

--em
[ Parent ]

an ass... out of you... and me... (3.00 / 1) (#149)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:19:56 PM EST

If your principles are going to be applied selectively, then what's the point to them?
There's nothing selective here. It was wrong to seize the land in the late 40s. That in and of itself is not enough information to determine what should be done now.
I'm talking about actual property claims that are highly likely to be valid.
For some relatively small minority, this is possibly true. (Keep in mind that these people would by and large be well past 80 years old. Most of them are dead.) However, one of the tenets of my belief system is that governments exist to protect rights. In this case, one government came to power and another ended. It is not at all clear whether the one government is obligated to the commitments of the previous, and under what circumstances it should be. I would probably say that anyone still living who has a legitimate claim should probably receive some form of compensation, be it land, a lot of money, or whatever, but that is all. Debt should not be inheritable, either by the debtor or the creditor.
My point is simple: your propertarianism and realpolitik are mutually inconsistent.
I do not believe that genuine practitioners of "realpolitik" would be happy to hear themselves lumped in with me, nor am I happy to hear myself put in with them. I also do not believe that you are still trolling around with the term "propertarianism." Grow up.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Still problematic. (1.00 / 1) (#156)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:11:51 PM EST

There's nothing selective here. It was wrong to seize the land in the late 40s.

Evading the issue, again. The point is not whether it was wrong to seize the land in the past, but whether today there is a valid claim to the property in question.

Keep in mind that these people would by and large be well past 80 years old. Most of them are dead.

They have descendants that can make claims. And a good number of people who were alive in 1947 and lived in the lands under the custody of the owners, and thus were directly affected by the events, are still alive.

However, one of the tenets of my belief system is that governments exist to protect rights. In this case, one government came to power and another ended. It is not at all clear whether the one government is obligated to the commitments of the previous, and under what circumstances it should be.

I fail to see how this is relevant. It was the current Israeli state that dispossessed these people, not a previous administration over Palestine.

I would probably say that anyone still living who has a legitimate claim should probably receive some form of compensation, be it land, a lot of money, or whatever, but that is all. Debt should not be inheritable, either by the debtor or the creditor.

And is Israel not in a position to provide such compensation? Hell, is Israel even willing to consider such claims?

The fact is simple: Israel , as a matter of policy, continues to stomp on the property rights of Palestinians by depriving them of the compensation they are entitled to (not to mention the fact that Israel *continues* to dispossess Palestinians to this day in many ways; house demolitions, road blocks, many things that deprive them of the possibility of having any reasonable economy). By dismissing this as a matter of the past, you are supporting a continuing violation of property rights.

Sure, under your principles, since you will surely deny a right to descendants of the Palestinian landwoners to continue the claims (even when a large number of them were children when their parents had their property taken, and thus this has had an enormous effect on their lives), the moment the last landowner dies, the state of Israel is magically released from having to compensate anybody for its crimes. By that criteria, however, if I steal from a moribund man I get to keep the property, right? I mean, how can the children collect a debt that I owe to their parent?

There is another problem. Suppose that I, blessed with wonderful longevity, make a claim, and the government of Israel decides to compensate me for the land they confiscated from me. They offer me an amount of money X. But I want my land back, not the money. I, presumably, have an inalienable property right over that piece of land. How can you dismiss my own desire as the owner of that plot to dispose of it as I see fit? What gives this government (which I never consented to) the right to curtail my right to my property that is required by the act of "compensating" me for a legitimate claim that I do not renounce?

I should mention that the Israeli establishment is well known for collecting multimillion Holocaust claims from governments and companies (which I do know you have openly criticised in the past). Given that the state of Israel supports the claims of the descendants of Jews to Holocaust compensation, it would be inconsistent for them to deny the same of the Palestinians...

--em
[ Parent ]

Um... (4.00 / 1) (#160)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:36:06 PM EST

The point is not whether it was wrong to seize the land in the past, but whether today there is a valid claim to the property in question.
In that case, you have already eliminated all but perhaps one in a thousand or so existing Palestinians from consideration. The Palestinians themselves do not see it this way.
They have descendants that can make claims.
You probably think all the land in the US should be given to "Native Americans" too. Descendents of those owed something are not owed something. Why liberals can't get that straight, I do not understand. Debt is not inheritable.
And a good number of people who were alive in 1947 and lived in the lands under the custody of the owners, and thus were directly affected by the events, are still alive.
Completely irrelevant because they were not owners.
It was the current Israeli state that dispossessed these people, not a previous administration over Palestine.
This is not true. There was no Israeli state then. People established one. Granted, the people who did so also did the dispossessing. Nevertheless, the rule of law clearly became established when the state was established - and not beforehand - and it clearly ended with the effective rout of previous governance. This is not to say winning wars makes you right, but your rights do depend for practical enforcement upon government, and they always have. That's why government of the proper form is worth fighting for.
And is Israel not in a position to provide such compensation? Hell, is Israel even willing to consider such claims?
I am willing to bet that if Israel were presented with a list of actual legitimate claims(ie living owners, not claims of being descended and so on,) and if it honestly believed that satisfying them would put an end to Palestinian troubles or at least significantly pave the way, it would probably do so; a lot more was offered at Camp David, after all. The truth is, the Palestinians will never ask, because that isn't what they want. They want the whole region back, and they don't care who suffers and dies in the process.
By that criteria, however, if I steal from a moribund man I get to keep the property, right?
Is he, or is he not alive? If he is alive, who has the power of attorney? These are relatively straightforward legal affairs. In any case, outright theft is today considered a crime against the nation as a whole, so you'd end up going to prison regardless; whether or not he could pursue civil actions to recover property and so on related to that matter is entirely a different question.
What gives this government (which I never consented to) the right to curtail my right to my property that is required by the act of "compensating" me for a legitimate claim that I do not renounce?
I never consented to any government either, and yet government exists. I do not disagree that there are hard choices here, and that sometimes those choices, due to past mistakes, are not going to be pretty, or even "right." However, consider, purely as an absurdity, the notion that Israel decided to honor all such claims, including those of descendants, provided they could be shown to some reasonable standard to be legitimate. Within weeks, there would be no Israel left. In the face of that fact, what do you propose to say to Israel to convince it to do this? As I said, unless you want to advocate nuclear war, there is no option that does this.

You keep thinking that I'm in favor of the Israelis. This is odd. They've done a lot of horrible things. However, the "solutions" you're talking about simply cannot be put into practice - it is as though you have been asked to cross a river, and insist that no solution is acceptable unless it consists in your mechanically unaided body floating across six inches above the waterline, untouched by anything but air. Right wrong or otherwise, you will not cross the river.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
US lands and Native Americans (4.00 / 1) (#182)
by BlaisePascal on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 03:14:24 PM EST

You probably think all the land in the US should be given to "Native Americans" too. Descendents of those owed something are not owed something. Why liberals can't get that straight, I do not understand. Debt is not inheritable.

A lot of the land was taken from the various native american tribes by treaty. Some of it was taken by conquests of war, initiated by both sides. Portions of it were bought off of other European nations who had already subdued the native population, other portions were bought from European nations, then renegotiated with the native populations. The US has not always kept their end of the treaties, and some treaty abrogations are still in litigation.

I think that the Cherokee have a very good case for compensation for their troubles -- they were forced, at gunpoint, off of their lands in Tennessee by the US Army -after- the treaty turning the land over to the US was ruled invalid by the US Supreme Court (the court held that it was not ratified by proper Cherokee legislative procedures, therefor the Cherokee ratification didn't have any legal standing). They were marched overland in winter for over 1000 miles, on foot, with great loss of life.

Just recently, New York State lost a decades-long legal battle over 64,000 acres of land that the state bought (via treaty) from the Cayuga tribe in 1795. The treaty was illegal, because Federal Law at the time required that any treaty between a state and an indian tribe had to be approved of in Congress -- who never voted on this treaty. The courts held that the state illegally took the Cayuga's lands, and ordered them to pay $36,000,000 (the current market value of the land), plus 200 years interest (another $200mil, or so).

Debt can too be inherited. A debt owed to you is (in accounting terms) an asset, readily passed on to your children. Or do you consider 100-year bonds to be a foolish investment, because your children can't inheret the debt the bonds represent.

That's moot anyway, because in this case we are talking about land, not arbitrary debt. The land is certainly inheritable, and so are the land claims. An 80-year-old Palestinian who has a valid land claim (that Isreal won't recognise or compensate him for) can still pass that land claim on to his children, as an asset. The land is his, and when he dies, the land will be his son's. And he (father or son) wants retribution for his land.

[ Parent ]

Order of Operations Error (4.50 / 2) (#97)
by UncleMikey on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:44:01 PM EST

Your history is slightly confused, or rather, lacks a bit of context

The United Nations established two states in 1947: Israel and Palestine. The Arabs rejected this partition, and attacked.

Israel retaliated by not merely pushing the Arabs back to the UN borders, but declaring that, if the Arabs reject the partition, then they get nothing. Everything the Palestinians have since then have been give-backs.

But let's be very clear here: in 1947, Arab Palestine had a chance at a partitioned peaceful coexistence, backed by UN resolution. They rejected it. The modern conflict dates from that moment.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
PLO no facade for HAMAS (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by ooch on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:27:04 PM EST

The PLO was founded in the early sixties by the Arab Liga to liberate Palestine. It is a secular organisation, with both muslims, christians and Druze's. In the 1980's Israel helped organisations like HAMAS and islamic jihad, in order to weaken the position of the PLO and divide the palestinians. Something they are perhaps sorry for now. HAMAS and islamic jihad hate the PA almost as much as they hate israel.

In short, to state that the PLO is a cover-up for HAMAS is stupid. Organisations like Fatah, the PFLP, and the PPP are however part of the PLO, although they are not all centrally controlled by Arafat.

[ Parent ]

Ah (3.00 / 1) (#111)
by trhurler on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:38:59 PM EST

So when I read about Arafat's "security forces" arresting HAMAS members and then letting them go half an hour later even though they were seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses machinegunning or blowing up something or whatever, this is caused by massive mutual hatred. Gotcha. (I'm not saying they don't dislike each other, but please do explain why they seem to cooperate half the time. My guess: they hate Israel more than they hate each other.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
It's depressing, really... (4.25 / 20) (#12)
by seebs on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 09:41:35 PM EST

On the one hand, I'm not very sympathetic; you spend twenty or thirty years telling people to engage in suicide bombing, and it becomes very hard to stop them. On the other hand, I feel bad for the Palestinians. On the third hand, well, damn, it's pretty obvious that shooting and blowing up the better-armed neighbors isn't a winning strategy.

If the Palestinians wanted peace, they could have it. They don't want it, and they won't have it. Sure, most of the individuals want peace - but not enough to do something about the local terrorist groups. Until they're ready to say "no more" to suicide bombings and throwing rocks, well, they're picking a fight, and I have very little sympathy for them.

That said, I would be *VERY* happy if, inexplicably, all the terrorist groups Arafat inspired over the last twenty years suddenly said "hey, if he says it's time to stop, it's time to stop". And believe me, the moment the Palestinians, as a people, can go two days without shooting at, blowing up, or throwing rocks at the Israelis, I'm going to agree wholeheartedly that Israel needs to start talking.

Until then, why? We don't talk to terrorists; why should they?


Three hands... (3.28 / 7) (#18)
by UncleMikey on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:39:13 PM EST

Seebs, I think you express almost exactly my own confusion. I believe that there should be a Palestine. I believe that there should be an Israel. I believe that the two of them should get along.

Unfortunately, I also believe that they haven't gone and put me in charge of these things. Silly people.

Palestinians had a chance for peace not all that long ago. They blew it by waffling. I don't think that should be their last chance, but it's not like they haven't had any


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Exactly... (3.20 / 5) (#32)
by seebs on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:56:11 AM EST

The problem is that "Palestinians" are nearly as unified in their goals, and their plans for achieving them, as "Americans" - perhaps even less so. We get by because we already *HAVE* a government, a clear idea of our borders, and so on. They don't, and the problem is, the people who want to make peace with Israel and settle on borders - any borders, really, if it will end the killing - can't do very much about the people who would rather blow themselves up if it might take even one Jew with them. Those last people are wrecking the party for *EVERYONE*, and I don't see any reason to treat them as anything but terrorists. It drives me crazy trying to understand why the rest of the Palestinians aren't *DOING* something - perhaps they simply can't, after all, these are the guys who are willing to blow themselves up. It seems to me, though, that the *only* people who can stop them are the other Palestinians. Believe me, the moment the attacks by militant groups stop, the armies of Israel will leave... But those attacks *don't* stop.


[ Parent ]
Begging the question (4.11 / 9) (#34)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:51:27 AM EST

Believe me, the moment the attacks by militant groups stop, the armies of Israel will leave.
Is that so? Which came first, the Israeli armies or the attacks of militant Palestinians on Israelis?

I'll bet you dollars to donuts that the attacks of miltant groups could stop tomorrow and next year the Palestinians would still be living as second class citizens in a police state. This is because the extremists in Palestine are merely the symptom of a larger problem, a large population of Palestinians displaced by the creation of the state of Israel. Until either (1) all of the Palestinians convert to Judaism and thereby qualify for Israeli citizenship; or (2) the Israeli government (especially the IDF) wakes up and starts treating the Palestinians like human beings the problems will persist.

This is not to say that you are entirely wrong on your points about the Palestinians needing to learn to deal with their own militants. Such would go a long way in terms of bringing a bit of stability to the region which might help calm things down long enough for some decent negotiations to occurr. On the other hand, it is also easy for me to understand the predicament of the Palestinian police forces charged with keeping an oppressed people in line with what the oppressors would like.

That is not an easy line to tread.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

What could happen tomorrow (4.33 / 3) (#46)
by kzin on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:37:22 AM EST

Lee, how did you reach this conclusion? Before the recent violence got that bad, Arafat had a semi-state already, with a flag and an army, and was negotiating with Israeli Prime Minister Barak to receive more territory. I can't see why there could not have been progress in the peace process from that point without the Palestinian militants, and I can't see why there can't be now.



[ Parent ]
Which came first? (4.66 / 3) (#66)
by seebs on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 11:04:26 AM EST

Which came first was the armies of other countries in the region trying to "drive the Jews into the ocean".

If the attacks stopped tomorrow, and a year from now the Palestinians were really still "second class citizens living in a police state", they'd be second class citizens who qualified for U.S. financial aid, and would get a lot of support from other countries. As is, it's very hard to support them.

The correct solution is, of course, to have two independant states, but I don't expect the Israelis to stop occupying Palestinian territory when, the moment they're out of the room, people start shelling them and plamming suicide bombings.

Go re-read your history. The original setup would have been okay, the problem came when people started trying to destroy Israel, and they set up new borders to compensate.

Frankly, if it were just about "displaced people", then Jordan could allocate them a couple of miles of the land on their border, give them citizenship, and end the whole thing. It's not just about the displacement - it's about a fair number of people who, since 1947 or so, have been trying to annihilate Israel.


[ Parent ]
And giving the answer. (4.50 / 4) (#94)
by Apuleius on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:34:20 PM EST

Is that so? Which came first, the Israeli armies or the attacks of militant Palestinians on Israelis?
The attacks of the militant Palestinians came first. In 1953, to be exact.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Not really (3.83 / 12) (#35)
by Betcour on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 03:25:54 AM EST

On the third hand, well, damn, it's pretty obvious that shooting and blowing up the better-armed neighbors isn't a winning strategy.

Despite the fact that it is not pollitically correct to say so, it IS a winning strategy. There's not much one population can do against a vastly stronger armed occupying army. There's just shooting and bombing. Guerilla and terrorism is the strategy of the weak against the strong. Sure, it won't win the war, but it will make Israel life miserable enough that they are motivated to do peace and give up on the land they illegaly occupy and abuse (the UN resolution that created Israel didn't allow it to take over neighbouring countries and colonize them). Another effect of this strategy is getting international attention and troops to separate sides (but with the US having a habbit of suporting the oppressors, it won't happen anytime).

Don't forget that Palestinians have nothing to loose, they have no economy, no comfort, no freedom. Israel has everything to loose. You can't win in this situation. And no amount of F16 and cluster bombs can change that.

If the Palestinians wanted peace, they could have it. They don't want it, and they won't have it.

This is bullshit, they are suffuring even more than Israelians. Think about it : if your contry was occupied by Saudi Arabia, and tanks and buldozers were razing your house to install Arabians settlers, would you say "ok it's cool, let's do peace, I'm happy to live in a cave now" ? I bet you wouldn't. There can't be peace as long as the occupying country doesn't respect international law and keeps on colonizing. Peace comes with a price, and Israel want a sub-Palestine that would be the suburb of Israel and under it's military and political control, and were Israel colons would be uber-citizen. Nobody could accept this kind of peace.

Until then, why? We don't talk to terrorists; why should they ?

Because if you don't listen, it won't EVER stop. Because they are right, and Israel is wrong. You can (rightfully) say the messenger is wrong, but the message is right. Israel built colonies around east-Jerusalem so that it would contain and absorm the Arab side of the city. They raze farms to build other colonies. They cut Palestine into tiny bits were people aren't free to go (and so not free to work, meet their relatives etc...). They fight against kids with stones with real bullets, they destroy Palestinian police (and then go around saying "look : Palestinian police isn't doing its job"). Israel murder political opponents ("targeted assasination"), ignoring all basic rules of justice (what happened to the idea of "a fair trial" ?). The difference between Israel and the Nazis is getting smaller every day.

[ Parent ]
Ahem. (3.50 / 6) (#40)
by Anonymous 6522 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:34:30 AM EST

but it will make Israel life miserable enough that they are motivated to do peace and give up

Why are you so sure that guerilla warfare and terrorism will just cause the Israelis to give up and give the Palestinians what they want? As they say, violence begats violence, and all that shit. Israel isn't going to do the "Fuck we give up, here's what you want" maneuver with Hamas anymore than the US will do that maneuver with Al Queda.

Interesting observation: I've never once seen someone say that Hamas/Al Queda/whoever is obligated to offer an olive branch to the Israel/US/whoever, but, in nearly every disscussion mentioning a terrorist group, there's always someone who expects the opposite.

I say the US and the International Community should just stop holding the two groups back. Let them work out their own problems in their own way, even if it means they'll go to war and kill a whole bunch of people. Then, of course, if a war is what they want, that could interfere with US interests in the area. Any such war should probably be delayed until Saudi Arabia is sucked dry or we're just not so dependant on their oil.

land they illegaly occupy and abuse (the UN resolution that created Israel didn't allow it to take over neighbouring countries and colonize them)

What exactly does the UN have sovereign control over, again? I forget.

[ Parent ]

Errr (3.00 / 6) (#49)
by Betcour on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:18:20 AM EST

Why are you so sure that guerilla warfare and terrorism will just cause the Israelis to give up and give the Palestinians what they want?

The same thing that happened everywhere else. In every occupied country where the population rebelled and ressorted to violence to get freedom, the occupying army ended up going home. Russia vs Afghanistan ? US vs Vietnam ? France vs Algeria ? US vs England ? After a while the occupying army realize the cost of the war and the death isn't worth it and goes home. Remember, Israel is not defending itself (despite Sharon claims), it is just occupying a foreign country for strategic and economic advantages. Tibet tried the non-violent way, look like they're well on their road to assimilation...

anymore than the US will do that maneuver with Al Queda

You are comparing two things that are different. Al Queda is a bunch of terrorist religious nuts. Hamas is a bunch terrorist that have full support of the Palestinian population. This is were things differ. If Al Queada was hotly supported by Afghanistan, then the US would have a shit of a time in there. Remember how the Russians got their ass quicked there despite their vastly superior equipment. Population support is what makes or breaks these organisations.

I say the US and the International Community should just stop holding the two groups back. Let them work out their own problems in their own way, even if it means they'll go to war and kill a whole bunch of people

Hummm isn't that exactly what's happening ? Foreign countries doing nothing, both sides killing each other ? What we need is some foreign troops there to stop Israel from bombing everything and to catch the Palestinian terrorists too. But for that to happen, US would have to stop supporting Israel, and that isn't bound to happen (especially since Sharon and Bush Jr share a common interest into mass bombing)

[ Parent ]
Occupation (4.00 / 5) (#57)
by kzin on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 09:49:50 AM EST

That's a bit misinformed. Palestinians and Israelis claim the very same piece of land. Just compare Israeli and Palestinian maps. Sometimes they even have the same names, just spelled in the different alphabet. So neither Israelis nor Palestinians really have a place to go.

[ Parent ]
Not true anymore (3.00 / 4) (#59)
by Betcour on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:21:48 AM EST

No they do not, Palestinians have dropped long ago the idea of getting back the "original" parts of Israel that the UN took away (Arafat said so too). What they want is to get back the territories that Israel conquered by force and is colonizing.

[ Parent ]
Um...not quite (5.00 / 4) (#86)
by UncleMikey on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:59:25 PM EST

This is where we get into trouble. We cannot really talk about 'The Palestinians' as if they all thought with one mind and spoke with one voice, any more than we can talk about the Israelis, or anyone else, that way.

Yassir Arafat has agreed at the negotiating table to relinquish claims to all Palestine, and to stop calling for Israel's destruction. But Yassir Arafat, while he may be the official voice of Palestine, is not the whole picture.

The people who are actually the proximate cause of the problem -- the bombers and inciters to violence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs...none of these people, or the Palestinians that have started to look to them rather than to Arafat and the PA, have given up their dream of shoving Israel into the sea and retaking every inch of land that modern maps call 'Israel'.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Israel and Palestine (5.00 / 4) (#136)
by kzin on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:05:04 PM EST

"Great Israel" and "Great Palestine" have the same geographical borders. Consider:
  • Arafat started the PLO in 1965, two whole years before the six-day war, when Gaza was still Egyptian and the West Bank still Jordanian.
  • About 120,000 -- 10% -- of the West Bank population right now is Jewish.
  • More than 20% of the Israeli full-rights citizens are actually Arab.
  • The event that defined the escalation of the Arab-Jewish conflict onto massive scale was the Hebron massacre in 1939, in which nearly all of the Hebron Jewish population was killed. Hebron is a city in the West Bank.
Both sides consider all of the land as theirs and both sides are probably right. Attempts to describe the sitation as one country annexing another are not only misleading and simplistic, they are simply factually wrong. No doubt both sides will need to give up much of what they consider theirs in order to reach an agreement, and the '67 war line serves as a useful base for negotiation, but it was never more than that either historically or emotionally. You are attempting to artificially dictate what will the final outcome of the negotiations be (pre-'67 Israel to Israelies Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinians) and say that this is a historical necessity. I don't see why it has to be and I can think of plenty of reasons why it cannot be.

[ Parent ]
Colonisation is possible. (4.75 / 4) (#62)
by Boldra on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:37:46 AM EST

Russia vs Afghanistan ? US vs Vietnam ? France vs Algeria ? US vs England ?
What about British vs American Indians? British vs Maoris? British vs Australian Aboriginals?

Yes, these are all independant countries now, but they were once succesful invastions. Historically, you stand a much better chance of colonising an invaded territory if you outnumber and outgun the current inhabitants. To outnumber the locals, it also helps to have superior farming techniques.



- Boldra
[ Parent ]
Militant nonviolence (4.00 / 6) (#45)
by Skwirl on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:27:51 AM EST

>There's not much one population can do against a vastly stronger armed
>occupying army. There's just shooting and bombing. Guerilla and terrorism
>is the strategy of the weak against the strong

I have this alternative history in mind, where, instead of turning to terrorism, the Palestinians adopted the doctrine of militant nonviolence. I have a feeling that they would have made a heck of a lot more progress towards their goals than in this timeline.

"Martyrs" of the terrorist variety only serve to feed the cycle of violence, and destroy any chance of civilized public opinion turning in your favor. On the other hand, nonviolent martyrs win the respect of enemies and friends alike, and serve as examples of the brutality of your oppressors.

You probably couldn't, easily, fight a Stalin or a Hitler with militant nonviolence, but democracies are fair game. I imagine the only strategy a democracy could use to fight nonviolent adversaries would be to plant violent moles within their ranks.



"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Not going to happen. (3.00 / 3) (#96)
by Apuleius on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:41:27 PM EST

Only people who are looking for equality would turn to such a tactic. The Palestinians are not fighting merely because the Israelis are oppressing them. They are fighting to restore the divinely ordained order of things, in which Muslims are on top and Jews are on bottom, and destroy the un-natural order of things, in which the reverse occurs.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Been there, done that (3.00 / 1) (#174)
by Betcour on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 04:51:48 AM EST

I have this alternative history in mind, where, instead of turning to terrorism, the Palestinians adopted the doctrine of militant nonviolence.

Humm maybe you should ask Tibet how well non-violence opposition to occupation, colonisation and forced cultural assimilation work... Obviously as much as I like non-violence, it cannot work in all situations, and in Palestine, non-violence is pretty much useless. Israel is a pretty ruthless country (torture IS legal in there, military service mendatory for boys and girls, etc...) and they don't give a shit about peaceful protest (or international presure for that matters, Sharon even told the US to mind its own business about a week ago).

[ Parent ]
The Laden Ax (3.50 / 2) (#102)
by On Lawn on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 03:09:45 PM EST

There's not much one population can do against a vastly stronger armed occupying army.

How about sign a peace agreement? http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1688000/1688116.stm

Palestinians claim that they are fighting an "occupation", but whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, there is no law - international or otherwise - which justifies those involved to resort to terrorism.

Yasser Arafat signed up to the Oslo Accords process in 1993, and has since added his signature on three further occasions - committing the Palestinian people to resolve their grievances with Israel through negotiation.

Yet after the failure of July 2000's Camp David negotiations, when he was offered 95% of the land he was seeking from Israel, he has resorted to violence in the form of an intifada which has seen over 1,000 dead and many more injured.

...if your contry was occupied by Saudi Arabia, and tanks and buldozers were razing your house to install Arabians settlers, would you say "ok it's cool, let's do peace, I'm happy to live in a cave now" ? I bet you wouldn't.

So now we resort to emotional, exagerated and hypothetical arguements? Among the list of complaints, I have never seen where Israeli bulldozers are displacing palistinian homes. There was reports of homes being bulldozed for security purposes, but no israeli home was built on top.

Because they are right, and Israel is wrong.

But we see the ax that your grinding. I guess someone has to now that bin Laden is off the wheel.

[ Parent ]

Spin doctors at work (3.00 / 2) (#175)
by Betcour on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 06:13:44 AM EST

The article you mention fail to talk about how Israel also failed to match its obligations. I don't think razing and bombing all Palestinians official buildings were part of the signed treaties ? As for getting back 95% of the land, it is NOT acceptable by any means, it can only be 100%. Giving back 95% means that Palestine is a patchwork of territories cut by Israelian roads, Colonies and of course, forget about east-Jerusalem. How about you get back 95% of the USA, but the British gets to keep NY, Washington and a few cities here and there ? Acceptable ? Doubt it.

So now we resort to emotional, exagerated and hypothetical arguements?

How to talk about cultural, political, economical and military assimilation of one country by another without being emotional ? Do you think it is supposed to be not emotional because "it is far away and I don't give a shit" ? By definition belonging to a culture and a nation is something emotional, not rational. As for exagerated, there's no difference between the US being occupied by Saudi Arabia (or Mexico, but they have the same religion) and Palestine occupied by Israel. If you see one beside the simple transposition, please elaborate.

Among the list of complaints, I have never seen where Israeli bulldozers are displacing palistinian homes.

(anecdote : Sharon is called The bulldozer by Israelis themselves)
Well you probably believe that all Israelian colonies were built in desertic no-man lands ? What do you think happened to the people who were living there before ? As for the so called "security reasons", since Israel consider every Palestinian above age 3 a terrorist, it is not easy for them to raze everything for "security reasons".

So let me restate this : no matter how badly the Palestinian behaves, there is no excuse to colonize, destroy and occupy their country. Not one, whatsoever (the security of Israel or the so called God given right to this land is not an excuse).

[ Parent ]
Spin means something disproving your agenda? (4.00 / 1) (#180)
by On Lawn on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 11:41:27 AM EST

The article you mention fail to talk about how Israel also failed to match its obligations.

And neither did you. Plenty of playschool imagionation and emotional arguement, light on actual facts.

I've seen arguements where political newspapers are considered left wing that are void of the lies mandatory in the right wing thinking. I see your arguement in much the same vein.

I don't think razing and bombing all Palestinians official buildings were part of the signed treaties?

And thats the problem, too much personal conjecture. The buildings being bombed are obviously not a part of the signed accords, but neither are the suicide bombings and other infitada attacks called for by Palestinian radio *after* the treaties were signed and the offer extended.

To me that indicates that Palestine, through their official radio station, was not going to abide by the treaties this article points out that they signed. It indicates that when the peace process and comprimise shook out an actual deal that they behaved like spoiled brats, threw a deadly temper tantrum, and yelled at the leaders trying to achieve peace. Becuase they didn't get 100% of what they wanted.

You fail to mention that Israel gained the ground by military counter-attack. That means they were attacked first. I've heard the arguement weilded against pacifists that if I walk up and hit you are you going to take it? Are you not going to fight back?

But here is the arguement I make about the middle east issue, since we seem to be in pre-school analogies. The child crying in the corner isn't always the victim, but the one who got caught. Palestine is crying in the corner becuase they got caught.

If their revolts and bombings were not wrong why did Arafat have to shoot his own people?

How to talk about cultural, political, economical and military assimilation of one country by another without being emotional ?

Both sides are very emotional about this. They *both* have many emotional arguements in their favor. I side with the people that also have rational argument, logical reasoning and have shown a willingness to bear disproportionaly the burden of comprimise in order to gain peace.

My problem with his tactic was that he resorted to emotional *and* hypothetical arguement to substantiate his point. In light of having reasonable arguements I often find people making them up. And they usually attempt to appeal to emotions since they have no possible logical meat. His was such an arguement.

There may be no difference in the location, but the events of the story provided are entirely contrived.

Well you probably believe that all Israelian colonies were built in desertic no-man lands ? What do you think happened to the people who were living there before ?

And without having arguement again you simply resort to imagionation for substantiation.

So in light of your being light on facts, heavy on "right and wrong" ambiguous morality definately curbed to not include things like sharing or comprimise, I say this.

Get facts, get them straight, and please come again.

[ Parent ]

Logic (2.00 / 1) (#188)
by Betcour on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 06:09:42 PM EST

You ask for facts but you fail to give any yourself... also one cannot refuse to take side (as you seem to do). If you don't take side, then you give implicit support to the strongest side (in case you didn't notice : Israel)

Ok if you want logic here is one :
  1. UN creates Israel (in the wrong place and under much lobbying left and right, but that's another story).
  2. Since UN created Israel, and since Israel accepted them as their bordrs, we can say that the borders drawn by UN are the borders of the country called Israel.
  3. After war, counter attack etc amongst several local countries against Israel, Israel decides to occupy territories outside of the borders that defined Israel (in 1967). In any other word, they are an occupation army since they are installed in a foreign country.
  4. Israel is not only satisfied of controlling the remains of Palestine, they also decide to assimilate it and annex it completely (just like China does with Tibet). They start colonizing. These colonies are still condemened by all other countries (in the EU for example, products from these colonies cannot get the "made in Israel" stamp and have extra custom duties attached)
  5. In any occupied country, civilians have the moral right to fight the occupant. It is not only a moral right, but it is a duty. Just like Israel has a right to defend its borders, so does Palestine.
Palestinians kill civilians ? Sure they do, just like Israel does (I'm not going to look around for proof, just do a search on CNN.com if you don't believe me). Palestinians have about no weapons (hence why it's called Intifada, the war with stones) while Israel has tanks, AH-64 Apache helicopters, F16 and guided missiles. It's hard to believe Israel is the victim when they are the richest, strongest and most powerful of the two sides. It's hard to believe they are victims when they are the ones occupying Palestinians territory. When Palestinians build colonies in Israel and raze the Israelian TV and radio building, I'll reconsider my positions. You cannot support Israel anymore than you can support China occupying Tibet, Japan occupying China, or Germany occupying Europe.

[ Parent ]
Victimization of Palestine (3.00 / 1) (#195)
by On Lawn on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 09:31:24 PM EST

It's hard to believe Israel is the victim when they are the richest, strongest and most powerful of the two sides. It's hard to believe they are victims when they are the ones occupying Palestinians territory.

I believe this is the cruxt of your belief isn't it. Before I go on I just want to make sure.

As an aside...

You ask for facts but you fail to give any yourself...

You must have forgotten that I was the one that provided the article you are up in arms about in the first place. Well, either you forgot or this shows a tendancy toward revisionist history.

[ Parent ]

re: (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by Betcour on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 04:05:06 AM EST

I believe this is the cruxt of your belief isn't it. Before I go on I just want to make sure.

Yes it is - just as I've a hard time believe China is the victim of Tibet either. When a tiger and rabbit are in the same room, and the tiger eat the rabbit and broke one teeth doing so, you can't really call the tiger a "victim" of the rabbit. Israel vs Palestine is not a fair fight. According to the CIA Factbook (definitely not a pro-Palestinian source) :
  • Israel :
    • Military budget : $8.7 billion.
    • Population : 5,938,093 (July 2001 est.), including over 200,000 colons installed in Palestine
  • Palestine : (two entries since the country is cut in half by Israel)
    • Military budget : NA. Probably at most a few million dollars worth of Kalachnikov and a few hand-made mortars. Has no know medium or heavy military equipment.
    • Population : 3,268,832 (July 2001 est.). Includees 1,178,119 for Gaza's strip and 2,090,713 for the west bank.
Pretty clear who's the strongest, and since it is clear also who is occupying who, then finding the victim and the aggressor is evident.

You must have forgotten that I was the one that provided the article you are up in arms about in the first place. Well, either you forgot or this shows a tendancy toward revisionist history.

Actually the article post is by UncleMikey and the one that started this thread by seebs. Or are you refering to something else ?

[ Parent ]
Unmight makes right (4.00 / 1) (#202)
by kzin on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 05:10:11 AM EST

Pretty clear who's the strongest, and since it is clear also who is occupying who, then finding the victim and the aggressor is evident.
It's pretty clear who's the strongest, but it's just as clear between the U.S. and the Taliban too. This is a totally bogus argument. If you want to criticize Israel you have to do much more than say "they have the strongest army".

And who is clearly occupying who, really, when both sides have claim over the same piece of land? And when large areas of it are under Arafat's control, with more being negotiated?

[ Parent ]

Filling the hole (3.50 / 2) (#205)
by Betcour on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 09:30:04 AM EST

There's no comparison possible between Israel vs Palestine and USA vs Bin Laden :
  • Israel is fighting against the Palestinians (the population as a whole, not just the Hamas or a specific group of terrorrist). USA is fighting Bin Laden/Al Quaeda, not the whole people of Afghanistan. Most Afghans don't side with Bin Laden. Most Palestinians side with Arafat.
  • USA attacked Al Quaeda because of the terrorism. But for Palestine, it is the other way around : Palestinian terrorism is a reaction to Israelian occupation. The matter of who started the fight is important (even if not for you, it is for the sides involved).
Beside, I'm no hot supporter of "Operation : bombing rumble". I don't believe you can stop a terrorist organisation with B52 carpet bombing.

And who is clearly occupying who, really, when both sides have claim over the same piece of land?

They don't, Arafat (and other muslin countries) agreed over the Israel borders as defined by the UN. Israelians control both Israel and Palestine. Palestinians control... nothing. You can't deny people the right to a nation.

[ Parent ]
Historcal dispute (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by kzin on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 11:21:25 AM EST

There's no comparison possible between Israel vs Palestine and USA vs Bin Laden :
I wasn't trying to compare them, except in the sense that in both cases one side is stronger than the other. You mentioned the Israeli side being stronger as an argument for why Israel is wrong. And I replied that it is totaly irrelevant.
  • Israel is fighting against the Palestinians (the population as a whole, not just the Hamas or a specific group of terrorrist). USA is fighting Bin Laden/Al Quaeda, not the whole people of Afghanistan. Most Afghans don't side with Bin Laden. Most Palestinians side with Arafat.
I don't think Israel is fighting against "the Palestinian population" or even against "the Palestinian military arms and militias". It is not fighting against the West Bank Security Service arm commanded by Jibril Rajoub, for instance. If you meant to say that Arafat has popular support, then he is no different from the current Israeli government, or possibly from the Taliban (I did not mean Bin Laden). I will not pursue this further because I am not certain what point you are trying to prove.
  • USA attacked Al Quaeda because of the terrorism. But for Palestine, it is the other way around : Palestinian terrorism is a reaction to Israelian occupation. The matter of who started the fight is important (even if not for you, it is for the sides involved).
If you asked Bin Laden he'd tell you that the terrorism is a reaction to American aggression in its foreign policy. If you asked many Israelis they'd tell you that Israeli military actions are a reaction to both pre- and post-'67 Palestinian terrorism. Trying to argue for a side being historically at fault for starting a complex and long-lasting conflict is an excercise in rhetorical masturbation.

Additionally, the Oslo peace agreements resulted in the vast majority of the Palestinians living under their own rule, with more territory being negotiated. If the First Intifada of the 1980s was a reaction to Israeli occupation, to what sitation exactly is the current Second Intifada reacting to?

Beside, I'm no hot supporter of "Operation : bombing rumble". I don't believe you can stop a terrorist organisation with B52 carpet bombing.
I didn't think you were. This is indeed besides the point, but I believe that the effective way to fight terrorism is to combine military, political, economic and social pressures. So far we've seen all four at work.
And who is clearly occupying who, really, when both sides have claim over the same piece of land?
They don't, Arafat (and other muslin countries) agreed over the Israel borders as defined by the UN. Israelians control both Israel and Palestine. Palestinians control... nothing. You can't deny people the right to a nation.
Most Palestinians see all of Palestine as theirs (e.g., the PLO was established in 1965). Most Israelis see all of Israel as theirs (no examples necessary in this thread, I'm sure you can find them yourself). Many of both sides realize that they will have to give up much of their historical dream to achieve peace, but I don't delude myself in believing that either side will be content with it. The final agreement may or may not be based on the position of military forces in June 1967, but considering that line the ultimate and objectice measure of historical justice is a Western misconception and nothing more.

[ Parent ]
Revisionist and Playschool Mentality (4.00 / 1) (#209)
by On Lawn on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 12:36:07 PM EST

Actually the article post is by UncleMikey and the one that started this thread by seebs. Or are you refering to something else ?

Perhaps this will refresh your memory. Was there a misunderstanding about the word article confusing a link to a article post? Looking at your response I do not think so. You replied immediately that "The article you mention fail to talk about how Israel also failed to match its obligations."

You obviously knew what I was talking about at one point. I find your selective memory to be more indacative of a revisionist mind. I can't see how I'm supposed to hold you as a credible source of counter-examples when you've just attempted to twist such recent history, and then tried to re-inforce with more inanity.

Never the less, although it escapes me how, it may just have been an oversight on your part. Lets continue and discuss this metric you've raised rationaly. You have agreed to that the cruxt of your argument is...

It's hard to believe Israel is the victim when they are the richest, strongest and most powerful of the two sides. It's hard to believe they are victims when they are the ones occupying Palestinians territory.

First of all you bring the arguement to a belief system by saying "Its hard to believe Israel is the victim" and then again this is reinforced in the next statement "It's hard to believe they...".

This isn't about faith, or believing what you want to believe. This is about treaties that both have signed, and about war that is currently waged between the two. Its about resolving things through peaceful negotiation, especially since both sides agreed to that.

To reiterate your statement "There's not much one population can do against a vastly stronger armed occupying army." But they can sign a mutually agreed arbitrated peace agreement, especially when it is offered. If they don't like it they can negotiate some more. What they did do was continue hate speach over their national radio, and call for suicide bombers to attack Israel. Then out of their population these volunteers arised and targetted and killed civilian Israelis.

Next your simple metric of victimization does not hold *at all.* It may be well understood on the pre-school playschool playground but it does not hold in real life. The following are counter examples of your vicmimization metric.

When I see a child pick a fight, then their parent gives them time out and they cry in the corner, I do not call them a victim becuase their parents are more powerful than the children, and imposed a punishment.

When Nazi Germany was occupied by a more powerful force that threw up baracades and initiated check points, I did not consider them victims, and I bet you do not either.

When Japan was occupied by a more powerful force I at the end of WWII I did not consider them victims, and I bet you do not either.

When I see protesters throw rocks at police, and the police disperse the crowd with tear gas and water cannons I do not consider the protesters as victims. However I bet you might becuase your metric is really more "If I don't like them and they are too powerful they are *wrong*." And then any time they excersise power is evidence they are wrong.

And so on and so forth. In everyone of those cases your metric simply does not hold up, yet by belief you hold it as an absolute (yet alterior) standard. Never the less you attempted to support it with some examples. Allow me to point out where your examples do not fit the situation. They are simplistic and even revisionistic to the context at hand.

...[I have] a hard time believ[ing] China is the victim of Tibet either.

Tibet never sent suicide bombers into China, or any other military force so I have to agree. Tibet is one home to one of the long standing most peaceful doctrines on the planet. Palestine is no Tibet. This example is definately not fit the present situation in Israel.

When a tiger and rabbit are in the same room, and the tiger eat the rabbit and broke one teeth doing so, you can't really call the tiger a "victim" of the rabbit.

Wild Rabbits are onery creatures. Try to grab one, they'll knaw your finger off. However, they simply run away when a Tiger or person chases them. Fighting is a last resort. Palestine on the other hand disagreed with UN resolutions creating Israel in the first place. They attacked first, second, third and fourth before they were wholesale occupied. If a rabbit picks a fight with a Tiger, I do not consider it a victim. Palestine was no rabbit, it picked the fight when it had many peaceful alternatives.

So I conclude that your metric is simplistic and flawed in application to this story. I also notice that you suggested that Israel is at war with the Palestinian people rather than terrorist within the civilian population. But that is clearly not true.

Israel is attacking (and clearly targeting) the Hamas and PLO elite guard. To me Palestines attacks on disco-joints, busses, malls and ambulances suggests that they are targeting civilians.

The closest we have to Israel vs. Palestine is the checkpoints where a baby died becuase it couldn't get to the hospital two weeks ago. Then again checkpoints are set up in Afghanistan these days, as they were for Germany (and even by Germany), Japan and other nations that were occupied. Even in the extreme case of Nazi Germany, it shows an attempt at selective war against a group within a population, rather than a population as a whole.

Israel mentions its enemy as Hamas who has killed thousands of innocent civilians. In Germany it was the Jews who it really had no claim for being violent or malicious.

You know, now that I mention it I am reminded that Germany considered itself a victim of the Jews also, for much of the same reason as your victimization metric. To the Nazis the Jews were sooo economicaly powerful that they must be victimizing the superior Germans.

[ Parent ]

Arg (none / 0) (#216)
by Betcour on Thu Dec 20, 2001 at 07:01:51 PM EST

First I'll just ignore your mud throwing (calling your opponent "childish" etc...).

This is about treaties that both have signed, and about war that is currently waged between the two. Its about resolving things through peaceful negotiation, especially since both sides agreed to that.

Considering that both sides didn't fill up their respective side of the treaties, and considering both claim it is because of the others, the treaties are worth the price of used paper. You seem to clung to peace treaties like they are the cure to everything, but they are not. Remember the peace treaties with Hitler ? Watch the movie "From Nuremberg to Nuremberg", you'll learn how extreme pacifism can make millions of death.

When Nazi Germany was occupied by a more powerful force that threw up baracades and initiated check points, I did not consider them victims, and I bet you do not either. (..)

I fail to see the common point between WWII Germany and Japan and Palestine. You'll have to show me. Humm when was the last time Palestie invaded and occupied Israel ? When was the last time they killed millions in forced labor and in death camps ? That analogy doesn't hold up at all.

Tibet never sent suicide bombers into China

LOL. 20 seconds on Google turned up this. Obviously China is stretching the definition of terrorism a bit, but so does Israel or even the USA (it's so convenient...).

Palestine on the other hand disagreed with UN resolutions creating Israel in the first place.

And they were pretty right. Some foreign organisation decided one day to take away half of their countries and put other people in there, and deport the local inhabitants somewhere else (these people are still waiting in refugees camps BTW). How could have they agreed ? You must be joking. when a foreign nation/organisation takes over part of your countries by force, this is considered a declaration of war. Now the situation is different because it is not reasonable to move Israel away, but it is not reasonable either to destroy what's left of Palestine.

Palestine was no rabbit, it picked the fight when it had many peaceful alternatives.

None of witch would have changed the situation by an inch. The Dalaď Lama is still roaming the planet and you can bet in 100 years all his peaceful protest will have amounted to absolutely nothing at all. Unless a violent revolution in China happens in one or two decades, Tibet is going to be totally assimilated thru military, economic control and colonisation. Different place, same strategy.

Israel is attacking (and clearly targeting) the Hamas and PLO elite guard.

That's what their spin doctors says. What I see is Arafat offices and (non armed) helicopters being bombed, TV and radio studios razed, police buldings destroyed. Israel claims to kill "dangerous terrorist just about to do an attack", but they show no proof of anything. We are just supposed to believe them blindly...

To me Palestines attacks on disco-joints, busses, malls and ambulances suggests that they are targeting civilians.

They are targetting what they can. They also target Tsahal, but it never has much success. There's no excuse for killing civilians, but Israel got what they asked for. When you take away from your opponent all options but terrorism, expect him to use terrorism.

The closest we have to Israel vs. Palestine is the checkpoints where a baby died becuase it couldn't get to the hospital two weeks ago.

Ugh. You must be forgetting the slew of 12 yo and under Palestinians kids who died from Tsahal attacks. Israel always claimed it was mistake - yet no soldier was ever jailled for that. Can you explain me how the kid that got killed in front of the camera was a dangerous member of the Hamas ? How different is the Israeli soldier who shot him from a terrorist from the Hamas ? I see no difference.

One last thing : this article gives the death count from sept 28 2000 to april 23 2001 :
  • 399 palestinians
  • 73 israelis
  • 13 arab-israelis
  • 1 german
The vast majority of the victims are Palestinians... how many terrorists died really amongst these ? 100 ? 10 ? 0 ? We will never know because Israel kills them clean before there's any chance that a fair trial is given (not that it would be fair for a Palestinian to be judged by a jury made of Israelis only, but anyway...)

[ Parent ]
Can't you hold any context? (none / 0) (#217)
by On Lawn on Thu Dec 20, 2001 at 09:01:09 PM EST

I fail to see the common point between WWII Germany and Japan and Palestine.

Let me try the statement again and see if you can see it.

When Nazi Germany was occupied by a more powerful force that threw up baracades and initiated check points, I did not consider them victims, and I bet you do not either.

You had just said:

Pretty clear who's the strongest, and since it is clear also who is occupying who, then finding the victim and the aggressor is evident.

also you said...

Pretty clear who's the strongest, and since it is clear also who is occupying who, then finding the victim and the aggressor is evident.

Are you sure that you do not see the simularity? I want to make sure this time before I go on.

[ Parent ]

Arg indeed (5.00 / 2) (#221)
by kzin on Sat Dec 22, 2001 at 09:54:11 AM EST

Considering that both sides didn't fill up their respective side of the treaties, and considering both claim it is because of the others, the treaties are worth the price of used paper. You seem to clung to peace treaties like they are the cure to everything, but they are not. Remember the peace treaties with Hitler ? Watch the movie "From Nuremberg to Nuremberg", you'll learn how extreme pacifism can make millions of death.
The conflict will only be solved by a peace treaty. I expect the treaties already signed to function as a foundation for the final one. If you are saying that they should be cancelled or disregarded, what do you suggest as an alternative?
They are targetting what they can. They also target Tsahal, but it never has much success. There's no excuse for killing civilians, but Israel got what they asked for. When you take away from your opponent all options but terrorism, expect him to use terrorism.
I find this comment incredibly ironic. The current conflict started two months after Arafat walked out of the Camp David summit and rejected Barak's offer. Arafat clearly had other alternatives then. He did not take the territory he currently controls by military conquest, he received it by negotiation after he declared (with Rabin) that will no longer support terrorism. You cannot eat your pie and have it too.
Ugh. You must be forgetting the slew of 12 yo and under Palestinians kids who died from Tsahal attacks. Israel always claimed it was mistake - yet no soldier was ever jailled for that. Can you explain me how the kid that got killed in front of the camera was a dangerous member of the Hamas ? How different is the Israeli soldier who shot him from a terrorist from the Hamas ? I see no difference.
Are you talking about Muhammad Dura? That boy died (in front of the cameras, indeed) because he was trapped in the middle of a fire exchange between soldiers in an IDF post (whose existence was agreed to in the Cairo agreement, by the way, although this is irrelevent) and Palestinian Tanzim gunmen who attacked it. To this day it is not even clear if it was an Israeli or a Palestinian bullet that killed him, not that this matters. This is the most clear-cut, textbook example of collateral damage if I ever saw one.
One last thing : this article gives the death count from sept 28 2000 to april 23 2001 :
  • 399 palestinians
  • 73 israelis
  • 13 arab-israelis
  • 1 german
The vast majority of the victims are Palestinians... how many terrorists died really amongst these ? 100 ? 10 ? 0 ? We will never know because Israel kills them clean before there's any chance that a fair trial is given (not that it would be fair for a Palestinian to be judged by a jury made of Israelis only, but anyway...)
You don't hold trials to people you shoot in the battlefield. Arresting them would require annexing all Palestinian territories. I hope you do not advoate that.

Anyway, I consider this kind of lives-accounting the most disgusting part of the PR war. If at all, it shows that Israelis were better-protected. I care about every civilian killed, I don't care what their nationality is. The dead cannot be brought back to life, lives can either be taken or protected. What if Israelis were not so well protected? More people would be killed, but you consider the situation fairer? What if tomorrow the Hamas manages to kill 400 Israelis, would that make the account settled in your opinion and justice restored? Would peace not be possible without such account settling?

[ Parent ]

Well... (2.00 / 1) (#223)
by Betcour on Mon Dec 24, 2001 at 12:42:09 PM EST

The conflict will only be solved by a peace treaty. I expect the treaties already signed to function as a foundation for the final one. If you are saying that they should be cancelled or disregarded, what do you suggest as an alternative?

I didn't say no peace treaties should be signed, I said they aren't a solution by themselves. My solution is : send foreign troops and observers and separate both sides. Israel has strongly opposed this, they probably don't want anyone to look at the dirty things they are doing. Once both sides are separated and kept into their borders, and once things cool down (which will happen once everyone goes back home) then a peace treaty can be written. As long as there's no neutral third party stepping in, there won't be a solution.

I find this comment incredibly ironic. The current conflict started two months after Arafat walked out of the Camp David summit and rejected Barak's offer.

First you are rewriting history : the violence started when Sharon went touring around Muslim temples, knowing fully this would spark a riot. He succeeded very well indeed.
Secondly, Barak's offer didn't include east-Jerusalem. Israel has to give back what they stole. All of it. This point is not negociable.

You don't hold trials to people you shoot in the battlefield.

The spin doctors at work ! Most of the so called "terrorist" shot by Israel were killed in their homes, cars or in cabs. They were not killed on a battlefield with a gun in their heand, they are assasinated. First some obscure Mossad guys decides that "X" is a terrorist. "X" is then killed. "X" could in fact be totally innocent, but no one will ever know. This is first degree murder, plain and simple. And here these are murders organised by a governement.

Arresting them would require annexing all Palestinian territories.

The Mossad can kidnap and make disappear anyone anywhere, this is not a problem for them. They have spies disguising as Palestinians, as well as moles. Don't tell me they have no choice but to kill them. They have the choice and decide it is easier to just erase people.

lives can either be taken or protected

Accept you seem to forget that to protect Israelian lives, Israel kills Palestinians. They kill women and kids ("collateral dammages" as you call them). They kill quite a lot of them actually - since this makes over 5 times more deads on the Palestinian sides. Following your logic, then wouldn't it be even better to nuke every muslim nation ? Wouldn't that protect Israelian lives even better ? You think it is right that to protect 1 person you have to kill 5 others ?

[ Parent ]
Morality and prejudice (5.00 / 1) (#226)
by kzin on Tue Dec 25, 2001 at 10:33:39 AM EST

I didn't say no peace treaties should be signed, I said they aren't a solution by themselves. My solution is : send foreign troops and observers and separate both sides. Israel has strongly opposed this, they probably don't want anyone to look at the dirty things they are doing. Once both sides are separated and kept into their borders, and once things cool down (which will happen once everyone goes back home) then a peace treaty can be written. As long as there's no neutral third party stepping in, there won't be a solution.
Treaties are a solution enough by themselves, if they are followed. I personally do not think a peacekeeping force will be able to do much good -- "everyone will go home" is wishful thinking, really... How will an international peacekeeping force be able to do its duty without the agreement of both sides? But even if we ignore this point, what will it do? Will it be able either stop or see Palestinian snipers at night? Roadside bombs for vehicles? If you see it as a more dignified form of military aid for the Palestinians, that's something else, but I don't think such a force can do its job both neutrally and effectively at the same time. There is also anecdotal evidence: the temporary international presence in Hebron, which does very little good there.
I find this comment incredibly ironic. The current conflict started two months after Arafat walked out of the Camp David summit and rejected Barak's offer.
First you are rewriting history : the violence started when Sharon went touring around Muslim temples, knowing fully this would spark a riot. He succeeded very well indeed.
Did Sharon's visit deny Arafat the possibility of negotiation? It was Arafat who chose to use it as an excuse. Barak kept trying to negotiate many times afterwards. It was not the Israeli side that walked out of the Camp David summit, and not the Israeli side that fired the first shot. Yet you are saying that the Arafat was pushed to a corner where he had no choices.

Besides, it is you who are rewriting history. The Temple Mount is the single holiest place on Earth to Jews. It is not "Muslim temples" only, it is holy to both sides. If you deny the rights of Israelis to visit there, then what should the negotiations be all about to start with? If you consider all the Palestinian claims justified and all the Israeli ones unjustified, then of course you will see the Israeli side pushing it in every place. But each sides have their own claims and none of them is the only "right" one.

Secondly, Barak's offer didn't include east-Jerusalem. Israel has to give back what they stole. All of it. This point is not negociable.
Barak offered to split East Jerusalem, if I reckon correctly. You might not consider that a fair deal, but if both sides agreed about what a fair deal there wouldn't be a war on. We are talking about whether Arafat had choices other than terrorism. I said that he could have and should have continued the ongoing negotiation. You can't say that your negotation path was blocked by the other side and at the same time say "not negotiable", can you?

You don't hold trials to people you shoot in the battlefield.
The spin doctors at work ! Most of the so called "terrorist" shot by Israel were killed in their homes, cars or in cabs. They were not killed on a battlefield with a gun in their heand, they are assasinated. First some obscure Mossad guys decides that "X" is a terrorist. "X" is then killed. "X" could in fact be totally innocent, but no one will ever know. This is first degree murder, plain and simple. And here these are murders organised by a governement.
Again: the terrorists do not live nor operate in Israeli areas. The live and operate within PA-ruled areas, i.e. a foreign territory, where the Israeli army normally does not operate. What arrests are you expecting?

Do you consider the Al-Qaida people killed in Afghanistan first-degree murders? If the US army fires a missile at Osama bin Laden tomorrow, would that be a first degree murder? Is a full arrest of bin Laden a moral and legal necessity? And an arrest under whose laws, anyhow? I cannot see how the situation is any different.

The Mossad can kidnap and make disappear anyone anywhere, this is not a problem for them. They have spies disguising as Palestinians, as well as moles. Don't tell me they have no choice but to kill them. They have the choice and decide it is easier to just erase people.
I think you are vastly overrating Israeli abilities. Any country's abilities, actually.
Accept you seem to forget that to protect Israelian lives, Israel kills Palestinians. They kill women and kids ("collateral dammages" as you call them). They kill quite a lot of them actually - since this makes over 5 times more deads on the Palestinian sides. Following your logic, then wouldn't it be even better to nuke every muslim nation ? Wouldn't that protect Israelian lives even better ? You think it is right that to protect 1 person you have to kill 5 others ?
Easy dilemma to present, difficult to answer. Would you kill to save your own life? Kill an innocent life to save your own? Kill an innocent life to save your own and another innocent life? Where do the numbers balance? It just doesn't work that way. An army fights first and foremost to protect its own citizens, not the enemy's. If the enemy hides among its own citizens, there's only so much it can do. A war will always lead to people dying, and the losing side usually loses more. There's nothing that can be done about it except end the war.

[ Parent ]
War and Peace (none / 0) (#227)
by On Lawn on Wed Dec 26, 2001 at 01:42:39 PM EST

  • Following your logic, then wouldn't it be even better to nuke every muslim nation ?
  • The Mossad can kidnap and make disappear anyone anywhere, this is not a problem for them. They have spies disguising as Palestinians, as well as moles. Don't tell me they have no choice but to kill them.
  • My solution is : send foreign troops and observers and separate both sides.

This is a sample of the mostly hypotheitcal and exagerated talk that does not become a person of peace. There are many more examples, but after all of this I am reminded of a saying... "If you want peace do not mention war. If you want war, do not mention peace." Peace is exactly, my friend, what you do not mention as an option. Peaceful negotiation has been the constant "not an option" option in your discourses on the matter.

That happens to be my problem with Palestine is that they seem to think that negotiation means killing innocent people until they get 100% everything they always wanted.

You've attempted to rewrite history, accuse those who disagree with you of "spin doctoring", and supported your arguements with verbal tantrums and false victimization. At least the false victimization I hope you've abandoned.

[ Parent ]

Call me cynical but... (none / 0) (#229)
by Betcour on Thu Dec 27, 2001 at 04:08:49 AM EST

If you want peace do not mention war. If you want war, do not mention peace.

Sounds like angelism... what peace really is ? People make peace when it is more profitable to them that war. That's what both Israel and Palestine are considering when weighting peace & war. Israel doesn't want to give up the occupied territories for peace, and think there's more profit to be made by keeping them under war. Palestine has not much to gain from a peace under Israelian domination either.

That happens to be my problem with Palestine is that they seem to think that negotiation means killing innocent people until they get 100% everything they always wanted.

Palestinian terrorists kill less innocent peoples than Tsahal (read back the death count). Sharon think that negociation means razing and bombing everything that stands above the ground until people start agreeing to peace - you think it is better but I fail to so how exactly... and BTW, there are also Jewish terrorists as well, and they killed some innocent Palestinians too.

At least the false victimization I hope you've abandoned.

I maintain that Palestine is a victim of Israel - just as Tibet is a victim of China. To me there's no absolutely no difference whatsoever (and yes, there are Tibetan terrorists).

[ Parent ]
If Tibet is the same, learn from them (none / 0) (#230)
by On Lawn on Thu Dec 27, 2001 at 11:44:45 AM EST

Palestine has not much to gain from a peace under Israelian domination either.

And that, my friend, is where your blood lust really comes to bear. After Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandella you would maintain that there is nothing offered by peace. There can only be war.

I think someone else mentioned early in this thread that Palistinian blood lust has only gotten them occupied again. Peaceful negotiation had gotten them 95% of their territory back. You tell me which is more effective.

Not only that, but with every shopping mall and ambulance they bomb and shoot, the more the World lets Israel occupy thier territory. Why? It isn't becuase they control the world economy, or becuase they have a strangle hold on the world governments through conspiracy as Arab publications would say. The answer is much more simple, but maybe too simple --Palestine is needing to be spanked for its global misbehaviour and much of the world recognises it.

Now why would Tibet share such sympathy all over the world while Palestine does not? A few reasons.

1) Although there are Tibetan terrorists, they are less than a distant minority. Children are taught peace and not suicide bombings.

2) Blood lust is not their negotiation tactic, nor the prescribed strategy of their leaders.

3) China hasn't conceded like Israel has to withdraw.

4) China has never sat down at the negotiating table.

Sharon think that negociation means razing and bombing everything that stands above the ground until people start agreeing to peace.

See how bad your blood lust is? You seem to be unable to understand actions on any other level. Your a war monger, and you only understand the same. Sharon is in power becuase the people of Israel want him there. They don't feel safe when their next door neibors are lobbing mortars at them, or sniping them, or suicide bombing them. Imagion that, Palestinian blood lust recieves blowback.

Most understand the need to retaliate and enforce security when a neighbor threatens them so. Especially when they turn away from negotiations. If negotiations have failed it is becuase blood lust is still preached in Palistinian radio and streets. If you do not want war mention peace. Palestinian *nationaly controlled* radio does not mention peace.

Most even understand the plight of the Palestinains. They sympathize with them, and honestly I do to. We just don't see that as justification for their murders and slaughters, when the hand of peace has extended so much to them.

I see you have still not responded (as of this writing) to my questioning your playschool metric of, as someone else called it, "unmight makes right" where the underdog is always the victim. I suppose you have abandoned it, and that is for the best. I suppose we need to work on "who ever kills the most people is the bad guy" metric now. It is probably more true than your last one, but is still a oversimplified approach to right and wrong.

Palestine had many other more diplomatic people to deal with, who were elected and desired by Israel. Many peace accords were signed. Palestine kept up on their terrorist tactics anyway. Palestine kept calling for terrorist activity on their national radio. And that is a second difference between Palestine and Tibet. That is a big difference between Israel and Palestine.

In any case, I feel that I am completely convinced of what I said before. You have the blood lust. War is in your heart and mind. You do not comprehend peace, nor the peaceful way to do things. You would use implements of death and desctruction to enforce nothing more important than getting 100% your way when negotiations had already gotten you 95% of what you want.

Your appealing to a morality that is twisted by War and hatred. You are appealing to an morality of absolutes, of right and wrong, and advocating the enforcing of it with the sword.

I feel sad at such mentality. It is that same hatred that breeds racism in children for many generations. It is that mentality that breeds violent attacks and counter attacks that cost many lives.

If you consider yourself like Tibet, then take a lesson from them. Choose peace. Otherwise I predict that you will see that long after many Palestinians have died, and the war goes on, that Tibet will have reached their goals. Tibet may seem totaly over powered now, but they will win. And sooner than Palestine.

[ Parent ]

Ahem (none / 0) (#231)
by Betcour on Fri Dec 28, 2001 at 04:37:05 AM EST

After Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandella you would maintain that there is nothing offered by peace.

Ghandi : assassinated. Luther King : assassinated. Only Mandella is still alive. Ghandi had a much easier job because India is very far away from UK and much more populated, hence it wasn't realistic for UK to occupy India militarily against Indians will. Mandella had the same advantage, a population ratio of 9 to 1 in his favor.
Luther King is not a good example, while his fight was peaceful you are forgetting all about the riots and violence that blacks had to throw around to get heard... you are doing some nice revisionism here.
And talking about bias, you are "forgetting" to mention the Dalaď Lama... why ? Is that because his peaceful fight is having 0 (nil, null, nada, void) effect at all ? That's a beautiful counter example you failled to mention...

Not only that, but with every shopping mall and ambulance they bomb and shoot, the more the World lets Israel occupy thier territory.

That's very shorsighted. For one, every bombing is an answer to Tsahal attack, which in turns answer back etc... everybody lost count who started first. Since Tsahal kills even more civilians than the Palestinians, without even having the excuse of being religious or nationalist lunatics, the support is not going to Israel as you think. Don't believe the US medias : Europe and most of the world is supportive of Palestine. Because the US has became obsessed with squashing Muslim terrorism doesn't mean the rest of the world is.

Most understand the need to retaliate and enforce security

What you say suppose that :
  1. Israel is retaliating against the terrorists. So far most of what Tsahal destroyed isn't the Hamas HQ but police offices, airports, civilian houses etc...
  2. That retaliation using F16 and tanks is effective against terrorism.
Both points are highly debatable. My own country has a long history of fighting Islamic terrorism, and believe me it is more effective using police investigation than carpet bombing with B52.

Palestine kept calling for terrorist activity on their national radio

Spin doctoring... Palestine radio called for armed resistance. That's a big difference with terrorism. I hope at least you can understand the difference.

That is a big difference between Israel and Palestine.

Yeah, not like the Israelian medias who talk 10 min about one Israeli colon killed (with interview of crying familly etc...) then mention during 3 seconds that 4 or 5 Palestinian where killed. If you think Israelis medias are not biased and calling for war then you are way past naďve.

If you consider yourself like Tibet, then take a lesson from them. Choose peace.

Well seeing how Tibet is so close to independance and freedom (*cough cough*) it has to be really effective.

Tibet may seem totaly over powered now, but they will win

Ugh - if you sincerely believe this, then I'm wasting my time. You obviously know very little about geopolitics in general and China in particular. According to the Tibetan gov. in exile web site itself, thanks to Chinese work of colonisation, the local population is now only 6 Million Tibetan vs 7.5 Million Chinese. Add to this the overhelming strength of China, its ruthless governement, and the total lack of desire from other countries to support Tibet (they are more interested by the Chinese consummer market). I just hope Palestine will not be another Tibet.

[ Parent ]
Revisionist? (none / 0) (#232)
by On Lawn on Fri Dec 28, 2001 at 11:22:47 AM EST

Your revising your own history again...

And talking about bias, you are "forgetting" to mention the Dalaď Lama... why ? Is that because his peaceful fight is having 0 (nil, null, nada, void) effect at all ? That's a beautiful counter example you failled to mention...

Did I? I repeat from the last post (and you even quoted it)...

Tibet may seem totaly over powered now, but they will win.
What do I point to for evidence? Ghandi, MLK, Mandella, and... Christ even though their lives personally were taken. Losing ones one life must not be a terrible price to pay from someone endorsing/defending suicide bombing. Especially when the gain is a victory of their movement. I'll note that Malcom X and other militant resistance did do some work, but being able to motivate a much larger unified force through peaceful means was what makes MLK's contribution the deciding factor in the history books.

On the other hand to observe the effectiveness of terrorists can point to Osama bin Laden, Mohomar Quadaffi, Saddam Houssain, Geronimo, Hitler, and many more. Looking at how innefective it is, one would deduce that it seems more like a punitive stratagy than a winnning one.

How can you accuse me of revision when you revise such recent history? Heres another example of you jumping the fence between two different histories of your own making.

For one, every bombing is an answer to Tsahal attack, which in turns answer back etc... everybody lost count who started first.

Yet earlier you said...

the violence started when Sharon went touring around Muslim temples,

Here is one that is in the same post!

  1. Israel is retaliating against the terrorists. So far most of what Tsahal destroyed isn't the Hamas HQ but police offices, airports, civilian houses etc...
  2. That retaliation using F16 and tanks is effective against terrorism.

Both points are highly debatable. My own country has a long history of fighting Islamic terrorism, and believe me it is more effective using police investigation than carpet bombing with B52.

When did F16's turn into B52 carpet bombing? And although the point is debatable on the effectiveness, security from an invading terrorising force is understandable. Another intersting note is that this is the only time you mention how ineffective war is.

Spin doctoring... Palestine radio called for armed resistance. That's a big difference with terrorism. I hope at least you can understand the difference.

I doubt that there is much difference in the Palestinian people's minds. Its lost on the Palestinians who instead of shooting at soldiers and tanks are strapping bombs on themselves and running into civilians. No, their message seems to be recieved loud and clear. It is you who is trying to spin doctor it.

If you think Israelis medias are not biased and calling for war then you are way past naďve.

By what... "talk[ing] 10 min about one Israeli colon killed (with interview of crying familly etc...) then mention[ing] during 3 seconds that 4 or 5 Palestinian where killed"? Even in hyperbole this is not a call for violence. Not to mention that Israeli radio is not a "state" radio like Palestine has.

I just hope Palestine will not be another Tibet.

Will you hope that when they get their independance, and you are still crying over people being killed in a war that Palestine could have/should have averted?

Ugh - if you sincerely believe this, then I'm wasting my time.

Just as much as Palestinians are wasting their time throwing bombs and mortars into Israel to kill civilians. Just as much a waste of time as turning down the peace process for a unwinnable war.

P.S. You've flip flopped three times now on whether or not Tibet is an example of peaceful resistance or not. Since this is crucial to your arguement I would hope that you can come up with a decision. Or maybe its becuase you are grasping at straws that you need take Tibet and paint it so many different ways.

PPS: The arguement is still "Why did Palestine choose war when they could have signed a peace treaty?" However much you deny the effectiveness of peace, you must acknowledge that signing a peace treaty would have been much more effective than goading an army into occupying them some more with nationaly called for terrorism and violence.

[ Parent ]

Precision (none / 0) (#233)
by Betcour on Fri Dec 28, 2001 at 12:39:51 PM EST

Losing ones one life must not be a terrible price to pay from someone endorsing/defending suicide bombing.

Actually Arafat risked his life quite a lot, he escaped several assassination attempt by Israel (some ordered by Sharon himself, the one he is supposed to talk peace with...) as well as survived a plane crash in the desert.

I'll note that Malcom X and other militant resistance did do some work, but being able to motivate a much larger unified force through peaceful means was what makes MLK's contribution the deciding factor in the history books.

Political correctness. The truth is, the time for equal right was more than due, and USA was one of the last modern legally racist country of the world. Apartheid can't exists for very long in a modern democracy. But this is another debate.

On the other hand to observe the effectiveness of terrorists can point to Osama bin Laden, Mohomar Quadaffi, Saddam Houssain, Geronimo, Hitler, and many more. Looking at how innefective it is, one would deduce that it seems more like a punitive stratagy than a winnning one.

There again, you are confused. I'll repeat :
armed fight is not the same as terrorism
If you can't agree to that then you can't even complain about Palestinian terrorism. Saddam doesn't do terrorism, Saddam does full blown military operations with a regular army. Geronimo was doing war the regular way as well. As for your other "counter examples" :
  • Hitler used terrorism at some point before WWII inside Germany (the most famous operation being the burning of the Reichtag in 1933). This was highly effective since he gained an incredible amount of power. And he was not defeated by peaceful protest but by a full blown war. I think Hitler is a good example that terrorism, as a political and propaganda tool, is VERY effective.
  • Osama bin Laden was quite successful in terrorism. He wanted to kick US butt and he did. If you think his goal was to destroy USA you are an idiot, he was just trying to make a powerful statement. You can't deny it was a total success in this regard.

When did F16's turn into B52 carpet bombing?

When USA started the "war on terrorism". Both USA and Israel share the same stupid view that mass destuction weapons are effective against small group of people.

Another intersting note is that this is the only time you mention how ineffective war is.

I never said war is ineffective, I said can be ineffective, especially when done the wrong way. War is effective against an army. Not against a few dozen or even hundred terrorists hidden in a supportive population. You can bomb tanks, airfields etc... you can't bomb one terrorists. It's just like using a cruse missile to kill one ant : the tool is just not right. It's good for PR ("look people, we are fighting terrorism with serious tools") but totally ineffective.

Its lost on the Palestinians who instead of shooting at soldiers and tanks are strapping bombs on themselves and running into civilians.

Actually you are probably not reading the news properly (or at all ?) : they are shooting the Israelian army everyday, way more often than attacking civilians.

Even in hyperbole this is not a call for violence.

It is not an hyperbole, this is as reported by the French newspaper Liberation. And it is a call for violence, unless you consider that "revenge" is not part of the feelings experienced by humans people when presented with these images.

Just as much as Palestinians are wasting their time throwing bombs and mortars into Israel to kill civilians.

Nope. Because while the 6 million protesting Tibetans have no weight (politicaly or militarily) against a billion Chinese, Palestine is only 2/3 the population of Israel, hence their chance of winning their independance is pretty good.

You've flip flopped three times now on whether or not Tibet is an example of peaceful resistance or not. Since this is crucial to your arguement I would hope that you can come up with a decision.

Duh ? I've not flip-flopped, Tibet is a perfect example of peaceful resistance, and I've never painted it as an example of a terrorist country or a country fighting occupation with arms.
There have been in these late years a few acts of terrorism against the Chinese done by Tibetan groups, yet they are still isolated cases - for now.

However much you deny the effectiveness of peace

Duh ? How can someone deny/support the effectiveness of peace when peace is not a tool but a situation ? Can you deny/support the effectiveness of good health ?

you must acknowledge that signing a peace treaty would have been much more effective than goading an army into occupying them some more with nationaly called for terrorism and violence

I acknowledge that. What I disagree with is that the Palestinian ever got a real peace treaty :
They got an offer to get some bits of what was stolen by Israel, with no garantee about when the remaining would be given back (if ever), when all the colonies would be dismantled etc... Israel gave back 95% of the territories stolen, but the 5% they kept are of course the most valuable (it inclues east Jerusalem amongst other things).
And in every long negociations, when the one having 100% of what he owes you agree to give you 95% of what you demand and tells you that you'll get the other 5% for "sometimes later, but not sure when and how", you can be totally sure that you'll never see those 5%, ever. Everybody knows that, Arafat knew that and that's why he refused those 95%.

[ Parent ]
Nothing short of Righteous, God given Victory! (3.00 / 3) (#128)
by Robby on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:29:58 PM EST

Despite the fact that it is not pollitically correct to say so, it IS a winning strategy.

Yes, you're right. it's an excellent strategy. Of course, in the End this year more palestinians have died as a result from it, which is fine, since no one is complaining about shooting Hamas Military Wing members. Israelis won't put up with such attacks, and it's the reason why the IDF have been replying with very good accuracy to violence. Israel has been restrained in arms use.

In Israel, 250 people or so have died due to the violence since September 25, 2000. about 500 have died in civillian car crashes. you're More likely to die while driving than by some silly child who blows himself up. The Palestinian Winning strategy isn't so winning when you paint it like that, is it?

But thats ok, it's a winning strategy. Keep on winning!

Because if you don't listen, it won't EVER stop. Because they are right, and Israel is wrong.

Perhaps you should listen? None of the things that piss you off will stop either. Israel is right in its reply. Israel has a right to defend it's citizens, and so target assasinations are OK. Fair trial? Well victims of shootings and Bombings don't get a trial, so neither should these men. Palestinians need to realise that Israel will not give in to terrorists, and so we return to your quote: The violence should stop, and now. Why? Because if you don't listen, it won't ever stop

[ Parent ]

Palestinians screw themselves (4.00 / 8) (#47)
by crayz on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:45:30 AM EST

I can't much like either side of this cluster fuck, but the Palestinians really piss me off with the way they wage war. I understand that Israel is doing some terrible things and if I was Palestinian I might want to fight back also. But you have to fight the right people. Assassinate Sharon, attack military bases, destroy jet aircraft. DO NOT KILL CIVILIANS.

If the Palestinians want sympathy, they could get some by waging war in a semi-honorable manner. Blowing up a bus full of innocent civilians or a big teen hangout is just saying to the world "I am a worthless amoral piece of shit"

I don't have a problem with them fighting back, but they need to start killing the right people.

[ Parent ]
Everyone in Israel is a soldier. (1.62 / 8) (#58)
by venalcolony on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:04:21 AM EST

You may think it's morally acceptable for suicide bombers to walk into IDF tanks or into set battles against an infinitely better equipped enemy, but suicide bombers arent actually so stupid. Fact is, precious little in a militarist, totalitarian society which has literally institutionalized internecine hatred isnt a legitimate target. Israel is such a society. Israel will live or die as such a society without regard to a series of empty words pretending to make a ponderous distinction between civilians and soldiers.

There are no civilians in Israel.

[ Parent ]

Unfortunately... (3.66 / 3) (#87)
by Rocky on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:00:58 PM EST

...the same logic could also be applied to the Palestinians.

The children throw rocks, the teenagers and young men kill themselves in suicide attacks, the women produce more soldiers, and the old men direct it all.

There are no civilians in Palestine.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
That's absolutely correct. (none / 0) (#90)
by venalcolony on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:22:35 PM EST

The two least imaginative societies in the world are right now preparing for war because each is convinced they deserve nothing less than the other's destruction. Pick your tribe, it hardly matters which one.

[ Parent ]
Bullshit. (4.33 / 3) (#92)
by Apuleius on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:30:44 PM EST

First of all, you're brainwashed to think of Israel as totalitarian. We have active dissenters and we do nothing to them. Secondly, not everyone is a soldier. I got rejected for a bad physical rating, for example. Thirdly, what is causing the attacks on Israeli civilians is not the belief you have of Israel being a Spartan garrison state. Palestinians concentrated their violence on unarmed civilians long before there was an Israeli state. In the Arab World, Jews are expected to be submissive and subservient. The Palestinians are fighting to put the Jews back in their place, and so see any Jew as fair game.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
I'm not brainwashed at all (2.00 / 2) (#101)
by venalcolony on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:59:02 PM EST

I am not referring to Israel's treatment of Israeli dissenters, I am referring to Israel's various subtle and not so subtle policies institutionalizing discrimination, a fact of life there that makes non-Jews second class citizens. Are you Israeli? Denounce your citizenship and live among Palestinians in their little state sanctioned camps before you tell me anything is bullshit. Israel absolutely is a tribal, totalitarian society.

[ Parent ]
But you need a dictionary. (2.50 / 2) (#107)
by Apuleius on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:13:11 PM EST

athena% webster totalitarian
to.tal.i.tar.i.an \(.)to--.tal-*-'ter-e--*n\ \-e--*-.niz-*m\ \-.ni-z\ aj [total + -itarian (as in authoritarian)] 1a: of or relating to centralized control by an autocratic leader or hierarchy : AUTHORITARIAN, DICTATORIAL; esp : DESPOTIC 1b: of or relating to a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation esp. by coercive measures (as censorship and terrorism) 2a: advocating or characteristic of totalitarianism 2b: completely regulated by the state esp. as an aid to national mobilization in an emergency 2c: exercising autocratic powers : tending toward monopoly - totalitarian n - to.tal.i.tar.i.an.ism n - to.tal.i.tar.i.an.ize vt

Israel indeed discriminates. But keep this in mind: being an Arab in Israel is nothing compared to being a Jew in an Arab country.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
learn to read (3.00 / 2) (#133)
by venalcolony on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:55:46 PM EST

I said totalitarian society, not government.

Israel indeed discriminates. But keep this in mind: being an Arab in Israel is nothing compared to being a Jew in an Arab country.

I dont care. The fate of Jews elsewhere in the world doesnt mitigate Israel's profound racism one iota. Your observation, by the way, is what all Israelis say and think, which is your first insight into what a totalitarian society might mean. Look, spin Israeli doctrines and political sophistry all you like, but I spent a fair amount of time in Tel Aviv and nothing you can say will impress my unbiased opinion of Israel. No offense, and I wish all Israelis peace, but the unfortunate reality is that Israel is a hateful little country with a fucking war criminal as its elected head.

[ Parent ]

Not Brainwashed, just silly. (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by Robby on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:07:55 PM EST

I am not referring to Israel's treatment of Israeli dissenters, I am referring to Israel's various subtle and not so subtle policies institutionalizing discrimination, a fact of life there that makes non-Jews second class citizens. Do you have any actual examples, references of this? I bet you don't.

Non Jews in Israel are not second class citizens, and you've done nothing to make any claim of any substance whatsoever, simply mouthed a few emotional, angry words.

My head keeps thinking 'Troll'

[ Parent ]

Excuse me? (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by uriyan on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 03:18:18 PM EST

Israel absolutely is a tribal, totalitarian society.

I wish that you had at least read a book (or a web-page or two) rather than confining yourself to the world of TV reports and your own imagination.

Surely you were not aware of it, but Israel is the only country in the region, which guarantees each of its citizens the right to elect or be elected. There is no discrimination on that basis. We have more than 15 Arab parlamentarians who represent the Arab interests rather vehemently. Noone opresses them for their political opinions, so long as they do not call for murder of Israeli soldiers.

As to the "little state-sanctioned camps", they were sanctioned by states such as Egypt and Jordan. Israel has done much (perhaps you remember that peace process thing) to give them some decent land to hold. This land could be continuous, and Palestinians could do whatever they want with it. But guess what now? They prefer to blow up Israeli schoolchildren rather than admit that they recognize the right of the Israeli state to exist. Too bad for them.


gantse jahr fraylech... gantse jahr fraylech...


[ Parent ]
Applied buddhism and hedonism .. (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by Highlander on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 04:44:09 AM EST

I've heard it being said that what a buddhist is supposed to do if he is attacked is, To walk away.

Starting there, how about declaring large areas of Israel and Palestina as "safe areas" where the peaceful can wait it out under U.N. observation, while we bring TV cameras, beer and pork pies to Jerusalem and watch the show as the extremists on both sides slug it out.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

My solution (4.04 / 22) (#14)
by nebby on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:12:07 PM EST

I think some guy should give fair warning to evacuate a few days in advance and then detonate a gigantic bomb in the middle of Jerusalem (and no, I wouldn't condone actually pulling the trigger if lives would be lost.) Hitting a few other Holy spots would probably be a good idea .. the more the better.

They've been fighting over the same shitty land for thousands of years because of some stupid fairy tales.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong and it is some magical place where all this supernatural mumbo jumbo happened thousands of years ago. I still probably wouldn't miss it though, if it shut everyone up for a while and stopped the killing. Blowing it up is a little less neanderthal than raising a stupid wall because the people can't play nice together because of it.

You can call me insensitive to their beliefs, but look at the solutions they're proposing. Isn't it worth the sacrifice if it saved one life?

Perhaps we can finally see if the theory that people who've fought over religion are just using it as an excuse and would kill each other anyway actually holds water.

*dons flamesuit*

Half-Empty: A global community of thoughts ideas and knowledge.
Nothin' like a glass crater to change the view... (4.00 / 4) (#15)
by UncleMikey on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:28:00 PM EST

I think some guy should give fair warning to evacuate a few days in advance and then detonate a gigantic bomb in the middle of Jerusalem (and no, I wouldn't condone actually pulling the trigger if lives would be lost.) Hitting a few other Holy spots would probably be a good idea .. the more the better.

My wife agrees with you, and has for years. She took a class about 10 years ago where the professor asked them to come up with hypothetical peace plans. That was hers, more or less exactly, and for more or less exactly the reasons you suggest.

I'm not entirely sure I disagree with you. There's a certain Solomon charm to the idea of saying, 'If you can't share it, none of you can have it, and neither can anyone else.'


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Even if we accept your solution (2.00 / 1) (#22)
by ZanThrax on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:17:20 AM EST

does anyone believe that many people would still consider the land Holy?

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

I screwed up that comment (none / 0) (#42)
by ZanThrax on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:49:44 AM EST

There should have been a negation in there somewhere. What I was trying to say is that even if Jerusalem (or any other Holy land) was reduced to glass, many people who consider it Holy as it is now would still consider it Holy since it once held holy buildings / was still the location of holy events.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Re: My solution (4.33 / 3) (#24)
by cthugha on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:33:11 AM EST

There are some days when I agree wholeheartedly, except I'd use a nuke, for two reasons:

  1. To make sure everybody got the point.
  2. The fallout would ensure that nobody tried to rebuild until they'd had 50 years or so to calm the fuck down!

In reality, any long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is going to involve making Jerusalem an independent city-state with some really strong anti-discrimination safeguards in its constitution to prevent one side of the city dominating the other. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to happen unless the outside world steps in and employs force to make it happen, and I don't think that's very likely.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong and it is some magical place where all this supernatural mumbo jumbo happened thousands of years ago.

Even if that stuff did happen, do you think the God that's at the centre of that mythology would condone what's happening right now? If the Abrahamic God (a) exists and (b) took an interventionist approach to managing the universe, the first thing he'd probably do is send a barrage of lightning bolts Jerusalem's way. Hey, aren't there a few passages in Revelations about that...



[ Parent ]
God's stance (4.00 / 2) (#26)
by asreal on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:51:06 AM EST

Even if that stuff did happen, do you think the God that's at the centre of that mythology would condone what's happening right now?

I think the Onion said it best in their September 26th edition.

i trust i can rely on your vote
-asreal
[ Parent ]

jesus h christ, I couldn't agree more. (4.33 / 3) (#27)
by cicero on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:13:11 AM EST

Up until about a month ago, I'd harbored ideas about what should be done in the region to "make things right". These were ideas that I'd gotten after my parents had told me, very briefly, what was going on in the region, and what had gone on in there in the past.

well, I suddenly found myself with some time off work (opensourcexmljavaapplicationserver), a few months ago, so I decided to go and get some books and see what the hell really was going on, and what had happened in the past.
Maybe then, I thought, I'd be able to think of something more intelligent. At least I'd be able to drop some knowledge at dinners parties or something. (in case anyone is wondering,this book is excelent, spanning 1915-1948, so much fucking history. And this book I have yet to read. Spans 1948-present)

But I digress.
The conclusion that I came to, 1/2 through the first book, was that the situation is soooo much more complex than I had ever imagined. (the first 1/2 of one palistine complete only covers up to 1925 or so, still very british). When I managed to set the book down, I realized that the only way to solve all the problems there would be for some force (natural, hopefully) to just flatten that whole damn area. If this were to happen, there wouldn't be any blame to "place" so to speak (though you can bet it would be. "You didn't build those up to code!", "You had too many people occupying it at one time!") but the whole planet would be rid of this huge boil, this soar spot on the inside of your cheek that you know is there, but you keep accidentally biting it anyway.

Anway, I've really digressed now. But I just wanted you to know that if you have to don your flame retardent suit, I'll be right there next to you with a "family size" fire extiguisher.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
Some things you are missing (4.50 / 8) (#33)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:25:36 AM EST

  1. If you think that this mess is only about religion, you need to have your head examined. To start with not all Palestinians are Muslims. Palestine has always had a sizeable Arabic Christian population. The conflict has a very large tribal elesement between the Israelis (Jews, many of which are secular) and the Palestinians (Arabs, many of which are secular, Christian, or Samaritan).

  2. Religious groups can and do peacefully co-exist in the middle east. A good example would be the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem that has maintained a constant (and peaceful) presence in holy land since the fourth century council of Nicea (with interuptions caused by the crusades of the "Holy" and "Roman" empire. Another example would be the multiheaded organization that coordinates the Church of the Resurection (better known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre)

  3. The conflict isn't just in Jerusalem. The conflict is over the entire set of "occupied territories", most of which have no value as Holy Land.

  4. The problem, at its essence, boils down to what to do with the Palestinian people that were displaced as a result of the creation of the state of Israel. The boardering Arab countries don't want them anymore than the Israelis. This problem has a lot more to do with politics than with religion. It just so happens that religion is often an effective means of playing the political game. For example, many Israeli Jewish organizations play the Islamic threat card to raise funds from US Christians, most of whom don't realize that the IDF regularly and brutally persecutes Palestinian Christians.
I do think we have something of an agreement though.
Perhaps we can finally see if the theory that people who've fought over religion are just using it as an excuse and would kill each other anyway actually holds water.
It does. Pretty much any reading of history illustrates said theory fairly well. Good examples range from the west painting the Milosevic regime's genocide in the former Yugoslavia as a Holy War of the Orthodox Church when the Orthodox Patriarch of Serbia was one of the most outspoken critics of Milosevic to the Ustasi regime's inclusion of Orthodox Christians in its version of the final solution in WWII era Croatia.

People who desire to be in power use any available tool. It just so happens that religion is a very powerful tool in the hands of someone that desires to be in power. Certainly some demogogues truly believe in whatever religion they happen to be opportunistically exploiting. However, most are akin to Adolf Hitler who publically espoused something akin to Christianity while at the same time planning to start on the Christian problem once he had finished with the Jewish problem.

More good examples lie in the history of the US revolution. Free thinkers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson regularly made use of "Christian" rhetoric. The short lived invasion of Canada by the US Patriot troops was billed as a Holy War against the Papist anti-Christs. Maybe the leaders really believed this. I doubt it.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

Modified idea... (none / 0) (#84)
by maroberts on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:48:14 PM EST

..Empty one of the US states, move all the Israelis there, create a Palestinian state in Africa somewhere, declare the current state of Israel and Palestine to be a Holy Land where you are only allowed 5 year non-renewable work permits, or vists iof up to 28 days in any one year. Whole land to be overseen by a representatives from Islamic, Jewish and Christian bodies, 75% majority required for any decision.
~~~
The greatest trick the Devil pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist -- Verbil Kint, The Usual Suspects
[ Parent ]
You should join the Taliban (1.00 / 2) (#119)
by sonovel on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:11:43 PM EST

The Taliban agrees with your tactic, if not your target.

I see very little difference between your solution to 'bad' cultural artifacts and that of the Taliban.

Did you think Taliban's destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues was a good thing?

If not, why not?

[ Parent ]
If it were 1940, you'd say I should join the Nazis (2.50 / 2) (#146)
by nebby on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:06:42 PM EST

There's a difference between destroying a religious icon in the name of desecration and disrespect and destroying a religious icon in the name of stopping people from killing each other over it. The former is analagous to joyously flying a plane into buildings to kill civilians, the latter is analagous to regretting civilian casualties while fighting a just cause.

The distinction between these types of intentions seems to be the mental hurdle for all these anti-war protesters. Sometimes harm needs to be done to do good.

The "why don't you join the Taliban?" line is going to have the same debate value as a Nazi analogy in the coming months. Sometimes I enjoy growing out a beard, does that mean I should go "join the Taliban" as well?


Half-Empty: A global community of thoughts ideas and knowledge.
[ Parent ]
Your beliefs are a lot closer to fascism than mine (1.00 / 1) (#176)
by sonovel on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 09:47:30 AM EST

You don't like certain religious artifacts so you think they should be destroyed.

So does the Taliban.

I bet the Taliban used the same logic as you. The statues existing lead people into bad behavior, ie. not worshiping our way, therefore destroy them!

You logic works the same way.

You are the fascist, not me. The Taliban is a great example of modern day fascism.

I'm the one who says to respect other cultures.

You are the one who says that other culture's cultural artifacts are bad.

So who is the Nazi? The guy who says respect other people and their cultures, or the guy who has made a judgment that other cultures are bad and so their cultural artifacts should be destroyed?

Look in the mirror before you call people names.

If anyone is a Nazi, it is you. You're the cultural supremacist. You're the one who think he is so right that he can decide that irreplacable artifacts should be destroyed. You're the one who thinks bombing is great as long as it is for your cause. What's next, re-education camps?




[ Parent ]
Myth! (5.00 / 1) (#134)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:56:40 PM EST

They've been fighting over the same shitty land for thousands of years because of some stupid fairy tales.

They have? Odd. From what I understand it, after the Ottomans (headquartered in Istanbul, in modern-day Turkey) kicked out the Mameluks (who had kicked out the Crusader kingdoms before them), the area went through hundreds of years of relative peace and stability, until the Ottoman Empire's collapse attracted the attention of western colonial powers in the late 19th century. Religious warfare in the middle east has basically been confined to several hundred years of the crusader kingdoms, and the last century.

[ Parent ]

Arafat: Flawed Symbol of Palestine (3.50 / 10) (#17)
by On Lawn on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:36:59 PM EST

From the BBC.

Mr Arafat has carried on his shoulders the burden of that struggle. But his pathological refusal to share power or delegate responsibility has taken a toll on his health and is weakening popular support.

Arafat is, without question, the Palestinians' greatest asset. But when the peace process failed to live up to expectations, more and more Palestinians lost patience with his mercurial and dictatorial style of leadership.

link help (none / 0) (#110)
by On Lawn on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:34:27 PM EST


It will work from anywhere but linking form k5. Here is the raw link.

http://news6.thdo.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/in_depth/middle_east/2001/israel_and_the_palestinians/profile
s/newsid_87000/87713.stm

[ Parent ]
Yup, Arafat's toast. Here's why. (4.28 / 25) (#19)
by Apuleius on Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 11:41:32 PM EST

1. Arab hardliners. Let's clear up one thing: the hardliners are nothing short of Muslim supremacists. They have explicitly stated that their aim is to place the region, including its Jews, under Muslim Sharia. In case you don't know, Sharia's provisions regarding Jews, called the Code of Omar, make Jim Crow look enlightened in comparison. These people cannot be reasoned with any more than the Ku Klux Klan can be reasoned with. They can either be let loose or crushed.

2. Arab moderates. The moderate Palestinians have three possibilities for their future: an Arafatian republic, a hard line Sharia republic, or renewed Israeli occupation. All three options suck donkey dick through a straw, which is why you don't see them do much of anything. Since they're not doing anything, they're not doing anything to save Arafat's sorry ass.

3. The Israelis. The Israelis have come to the conclusion that Arafat is a decrepit old man who may die soon anyway, so they no longer have any incentive to try to save him. They're preparing for a future without him since it may happen whether they want it or not. With the moderate Palestinians keeping quiet and hidden, and the hardliners setting the tone, the Israelis are preparing to fight them. This is analogous to a rumble between the Black Panters (Israel) and the Ku Klux Klan (Hamas). Needless to say, the Black Panters here have no intention of playing nice.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
About bloody time (2.22 / 31) (#30)
by weirdling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:46:48 AM EST

I like the idea of a Palestinian state. I do. I'd like to see them live in peace and harmony. I would. But they will never do it. Here's why:

They're children. Their idiotic hard-line religion only recognizes force. They believe that killing Israelis, Americans, and anyone else who gets in their way is a way to get to heaven, where a bunch of friggin virgins (Christians, presumably) will wait on them hand and foot. These people are the worst kind of throwback. You wouldn't let a fungus grow on you; neither should you let Palestine have any real power.

If there were a *real* solution to the problem, it would have been found by now. *Every* treaty that Palestine has been signatory to, they've broken. Even when told not to by Arafat, they still continue terrorism against Israeli people.

So, anyway, whatever Israel chooses to do is fine by me. I hope they are wise, but I do not care if they are kind. They must hunt down and kill every single terrorist in Palestine, and, from what I gather, that's most of them. Best of luck to them.

Maybe if Israel takes off the kid gloves and kills Palestinians by the thousands they will finally learn. As someone else has already pointed out, these have to be the dumbest people on the planet with any actual political clout. Consistently thumbing your nose at internationally brokered treaties, no matter how evil they seem, is certain to lose you friends internationally. And, right now, the US, anyway, is sick of terrorism.

If Palestine, possibly in the person of Arafat, could have seized the moment and stopped the violence, the US and the rest of the civilized world would have exerted enormous pressure on Sharon. However, they did not, and the result is what is happening now. No one cares about Palestinians anymore. We're sick of them; we're sick of their childish temper tantrums; we're sick of their whining; and we're certainly sick of their killing of innocent people.

Arafat is a broken man. His last hope was for the Arab people to unite in non-violence. That is gone. He has no more hope of peace and merely bides his time until someone replaces him, and you can be certain that someone will not be so able a politician. I really pity the man; he was so close to success.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
you racist idiot (3.07 / 13) (#37)
by streetlawyer on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:32:19 AM EST

Ahhh, good to have kuro5hin back, the comfortable feeling of typing the words "you racist idiot" ....

Forget "Godwin's Law". Your description of the Palestinians as "fungus", "children" with a religion that "only recognises force" could have come straight from the pen of Julius Streicher, and it is not a victory for you that I have pointed this out.

Your analysis of the Middle East is also bullshit (might want to check who broke those treaties, for example), but it is your outright racist venom directed against other members of the human race on which you need to be called. You have referred to fellow human beings as "fungus" and called for them to be killed "in their thousands". You are, by that token, a racist.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

quibble (3.75 / 4) (#51)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:23:47 AM EST

He wasn't being racist. His views have nothing to do with race. Religion, perhaps, but not race.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland
[ Parent ]
yeah yeah (2.60 / 5) (#52)
by streetlawyer on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:52:58 AM EST

Don't be daft. The Palestinians are a racialized minority. One could make a similar argument to the effect that Julius Streicher wasn't a racist, which implies that there is something badly wrong with your "quibble".

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
well (3.50 / 2) (#53)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 09:31:48 AM EST

I keep hearing people applying "racist" to white on white, semite on semite, etc on etc types of discrimination.

btw, did you know that Afghans are caucasians? So people talking about "Afghan" terrorists are really using a code word for "caucasian" terrorists! Personally, I'm worried. I know several caucasians, and they can be a bit violent. And these terrorists like to blend into the background by pretending to be businessmen! I'll be on an airplane this Friday, should I be concerned if I see a bunch of caucasian "businessmen" in first class?

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland
[ Parent ]

ignorance isn't bliss (2.50 / 2) (#55)
by streetlawyer on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 09:39:25 AM EST

I keep hearing people applying "racist" to white on white, semite on semite, etc on etc types of discrimination.

Then, if this concerns you, you perhaps ought to learn a bit more about the history and sociology of the concept of race (as in, more than you can glean from a quick look at dictionary.com) before you start spouting off about the subject. When you start "quibbling" like this with people who know exactly what they are talking about, you just make yourself look stupid and pedantic.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

street lawyer. (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by lazerus on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 11:42:45 AM EST

Street Lawyer, I can't believe the verbosity with which you spew forth your self-righteous venom. If you were actually the correct party in this conversation I could forgive the shrillness of your comments, but you are not! Wiredog is correct. How do you like that?

You don't seem to understand that we, as geeks, must set an example to the rest of the world in terms of tolerance and civilization. Hopefully, in a few generations, most of the ideals of true civilization will have been reached. Equal rights for all species, for one. True liberation of the mind, for another. With attitudes like yours, I don't know how much longer we will have to wait for these things, but I hope that you will reconsider your pushy opinions and try to view things from a more civilized standpoint.



[ Parent ]
Racism and the (non)existence races (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:37:22 PM EST

I keep hearing people applying "racist" to white on white, semite on semite, etc on etc types of discrimination.

Racism is, *very roughly*, an ideology that classifies human subjects into ancestral groupings called "races", and attributes different capacities to members of different races on base of their breeding. Races don't have to exist for racism to exist. You can deny that races exist and still be a racist; you just have to attribute different capacities to people from groupings your society has defined in a racial way.

--em
[ Parent ]

Right (2.00 / 1) (#116)
by weirdling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:01:03 PM EST

Now, while we accept this flight of fancy and accord all races the exact same attributes, whether they're there or not, I shall go on with the absolute knowledge that my poodle is just as bright as I am.

Genetics *do* make a difference, as does prejudice, culture, and religious outlook. The Palestinians are demonstrably stupid; only watch the news to figure that out. Whether it's genetic or not is of no concern to me; the culture and religion they espouse is what holds them back and makes them an enemy not a friend.

This is not racist; I am judging them based on the history of their actions.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
We should transact. Commercially. (3.00 / 1) (#139)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:13:43 PM EST

The Palestinians are demonstrably stupid; only watch the news to figure that out.

Gee, if you're that easy to convince, I got plenty of wonderful stuff I could sell you.

--em
[ Parent ]

So, disagree, man... (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by weirdling on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 02:48:07 AM EST

Now, for starters, I've been alive for a while. Palestine isn't new to the loser club. They've been acting dumb for a very long time.

However, I can go farther than that. I was born in Zaiire, Africa (now the Congo again), lived for four years in Pakistan, during which time I became quite familiar with the Islamic mindset, and subsequently moved to India for five years, where I gained understanding into the Hindu mindset.

I have been to Persia (now Iran), Afghanistan, and a bunch of other middle east countries I can't remember at the time.

I'm quite familiar with the mindset. It is single-minded and obdurate. It only understands force. It is an evolutionary throwback. While many Islamic states take a moderate position, which, as with moderate Christianity, believes that its religion never believed the things that they really did believe. However, as with Christian fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists like to force others to believe as they do and kill those who don't.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
this isn't true (1.00 / 2) (#213)
by streetlawyer on Thu Dec 20, 2001 at 07:42:35 AM EST

However, I can go farther than that. I was born in Zaiire, Africa (now the Congo again), lived for four years in Pakistan, during which time I became quite familiar with the Islamic mindset, and subsequently moved to India for five years, where I gained understanding into the Hindu mindset.

Like hell. Bigoted ignorant crackers like you could live in the Sahara Desert for a century without learning a thing about sand.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

OHMYGOD! YOU'RE SO RIGHT! (none / 0) (#219)
by weirdling on Fri Dec 21, 2001 at 08:23:52 PM EST

HOW COULD I HAVE NOT SEEN IT? DAMN, MAN, I'M GOING TO GIVE UP MY HACKERLY WAYS AND BECOME A FUCKING BRAIN-DEAD LIBERAL AND LOSE ALL TOUCH WITH REALITY.

Ass. First of all, I'm no hacker. Second, I've been to the Sahara. Have you? Third, only a liberal could conceive of a person so out of touch with reality that they could live in the Sahara for a century and not learn about sand. What I don't understand is why you wouldn't then make this person your private deity.

Well, thanks again for showing the remarkable rhetorical skills of your average liberal. Once shown to be as ignorant and illiterate as they are, they immediately resort to ad hominem attacks, perhaps so they can be sufficiently martyred by those with actual aptitude.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Ad hominem attacks (3.50 / 2) (#122)
by weirdling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:16:06 PM EST

Right. I'm racist. I said that a *religion* combined with a political *culture* in Palestine makes for the *dumbest* collection of homo sapiens on the planet. They're children, pure and simple.

Anyway, you never disagreed with what I had to say. Youre entire argument is that I am racist, which is, of course, not so. You don't cite an instance of Israel breaking a treaty first, being mindful that any act of aggression by any Palestinian force is ipso facto a breach of a peace treaty, and I'm pretty certain every time Israel has broken a treaty, it's been after one of these terrorist acts. The reason is quite simple: Palestinians can't go a week without committing an atrocity on the Israeli people.

I will reiterate what I said before: the Palestinians have been presented with many options for peace. They have been given aid by the international community. They have been awarded land and autonomy by international mediators. Every single time, they have reverted to their status quo and attacked Israel again. Since this whole thing really is about religion and is totally irrational anyway, I choose to support the side that doesn't hate the US. Call me silly.

Besides, these idiots are all the most firm, bigoted racists in the history of mankind. They hate the US, and yet you do not call them onto the red carpet. Hypocritical again, I see.

Besides, aren't you one of the people who said we should abolish the militia movement in the US when I suggested that maybe there's a reason McVeigh did what he did? Howcome Palestinian malcontents who have had every opportunity for legal redress are to be pitied and supported while those in America with valid complaints about the Janet Reno-run FBI and, by implication, Clinton hisself in the Waco and Ruby Ridge affairs, not to mention the stated goal of disarmament for American citizens and thus the destruction of a way of life for many Americans, howcome they are to be ignored, marginalised, and outlawed?

But, of course, that's not racist, to attack white supremacists and separatists, despite that by your definition later in this diatribe, it is, as they are a marginalised minority. Being tolerant of the intolerant is part of tolerance, but you lefties are totally not tolerant of anyone who might disagree with whatever doctrine holds sway for the day.

I really don't care anymore what happens to the Palestinians. They hate my country. They have thrown away every effort of peace. They've shown themselves by recent behavior to be dumb as rocks. Good luck to Israel...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Oderint dum metuant (none / 0) (#211)
by ccpirate on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 07:45:14 PM EST

It's better to be a racist than an idiot. You apparently are the latter. Hopefully you aren't really a lawyer, but knowing law schools....

As others have pointed out, no where above does this person say racist things. He DOES say things that are against religion, but they are not racist. Since people CAN control their religion, and belonging to a DUMBA$$ one that says (as Islam and Christianity do) that it is unconditionally forbidden to kill members of your religion, but it is only conditionally forbidden to kill infidels IS stupid and barbaric. It is not racist to point this out, nor is it racist to point out that any rational person will hate anyone who acts on or supports such anti-social behavior, as apparently many Palestinians do.

"Oderint dum metuant - Let them hate, as long as they fear." - Accius

[ Parent ]

Wow, I'm glad you said it (none / 0) (#212)
by peace on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 08:55:45 PM EST

Because I was going to have to reply to this fine example of simplistic and hatefull reasoning.

What amazes me is that people are more concerned with the shades of grey in your use of the word 'racism' than in one fellow human beings call for the slaughter of other fellow human beings by the thousands. Incredible. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Replace the word Palestinian with Jew or Israelie or USian and I wounder what the reactions would have been?

And then they go on to say 'Ad hominem attacks' like there crying foul or something. Fact is you provide some very interesting if brief rebutals to the reasoning behind the initial post. But then the signal to noise in the original post was pretty low to begin with.

Kind Regards

[ Parent ]

Wow...Let's get the nukes! (1.94 / 19) (#31)
by NicholasRP on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:50:18 AM EST

I will join the flame suit wareing crowd here and put in my two zinc flavored coins(you know they aren't Cu anymore...). GET THE NUKES. Let's the turn the entire place into a glass parking lot (sand right? sand makes glass when melted?) What still amazes me is that people still kill other people in the NAME OF GOD. And You know what i have come to this conclusion why. Men argue and fight over penis size(yes i am male and i don't defend my gender) ...this is merely displaced penis-size-fighting into the religious arena. For all those people that still believe in a personified deity and it tells you to kill people...GO FUCK YOURSELF and a healthy dose YOU NEED TO GROW UP should be applied too to those people. okay... i need to go grab the hose before the fire gets here


Getting memory addresses instead of your objects at 4am is no bueno. ~Nick
Yahoos and Hounihans (4.27 / 18) (#43)
by ragnarok on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:52:55 AM EST

Sharon has never considered Arafat a 'partner' for peace. Sharon considers Arafat a terrorist -- not only in the past tense, mind you, but an unreformed, unrepentant terrorist still responsible for modern acts of terror.

This is interesting, particularly in the light of this article By Abbas Fadl Murtada which I grabbed from palestinechronicle.com:


At about 9:30 pm on October 14, 1953, an Israeli army force estimated at some 700 soldiers belonging to the newly-established Commando Unit 101 led by Sharon, then a 25- year-old junior officer, moved toward the West Bank village of Qibya and indulged in an all-night orgy of killing. The attack began with an intense and indiscriminate artillery barrage, carefully aimed from Israel before dark and targeting the homes of the village.

Well, it sets his character, doesn't it.

As Israeli troops went on a house-to-house rampage, firing and tossing grenades into houses, units of the army corps of engineers took to placing explosives around some of the houses and blowing them up with their residents still inside.

Sharon wants Arafat's head on a platter, and is now very likely to get it. It's entirely in character - indeed, so did one Herodias, and she got it.

Sharon later indicated in his diary that he had orders to inflict heavy damage on the inhabitants of Qibya, which faces Tirat Yehuda across the green line. He wrote candidly: "The orders were utterly clear: Qibya was to be an example to everyone."

Fine, when Jews were killed without mercy in Lodz just to hurry them along into the Ghetto, guess who tracks their killers down. So they should. Now when is justice going to be done for the Palestinians?

General Vagn Bennike [one of the UN investigative team] said that this "indicated that the inhabitants had been forced to remain inside until their homes were blown up over them."

Then we dip into black comedy.


America's government, they say, has no right to tell Israel how and when to defend itself, how and when to make peace and with whom. Israel is, after all, a sovereign nation for the Jewish people, not the 51st State.

Fine, there was a spat between a little state in the South Pacific not so long ago, New Zealand by name, and one of its dependencies, the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands had been receiving NZ tax-payer subsidies, and had simultaneously been receiving money from various big NZ businesses in order to run a shady tax-evasion scheme. This came to light and amidst the howls and whines of the various individuals fingerpainted by the evidence, there was a cry of outrage from the Cook Islands Premier and others, about New Zealand's demands that they come clean with the evidence. One cartoonist made a very appropriate comment in a cartoon, with the Cook Islands politician holding one hand out for the taxpayers' money, on the other giving the said taxpayer the finger.

How much money a year does the state of Israel receive from the American taxpayer? Without any accountability? Without any representation?

It's in the order of $3 billion a year, isn't it? Rather stiff. And it's not even as if Ariel Sharon's a good steward of his own house - Ha'aretz criticizes him for dragging the Israeli economy down into recession, or is it depression? Make up your own mind.

So we have one sociopathic liar and career mass murderer declaring someone else a terrorist, and a people grown fat on someone else's tax moneys criticising them for demanding accountability. Cut the cord, I say!

"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings". "The fox condemns the trap, not himself". From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, by William Blake, c. 1790-93.


"And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
Israeli policies (4.42 / 7) (#48)
by kzin on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:02:34 AM EST

Moving quotations, but I don't see how they are relevant. Sharon is not the first Israeli Prime Minister since the Palestinian Authority was established, and his hard-line policy was not the only policy attempted by Israel to deal with Arafat. Sharon's government came into power after no less than three Israeli governements (Rabin/Peres; Benjemin Netanyahu; Ehud Barak) were forced to resign as a result of not being able to deal with Arafat and bring the peace process to a conclusion.

Even the current outbreak of violence started not in Sharon's time, but in his predecessor Barak's time -- who offered much in negotiation with the Palestinians before the outbreak, and acted very carefully once it erupted. Barak, too, was forced to resign due to the ineffectiveness of his policy, but I personally doubt that outcome would have been different given any other.

To sum it up, the current crisis started at a time when Sharon was not in office -- if he resigns tomorrow, that would not in itself suffice to solve it. Whether or not you like Sharon, he is the cause of neither the stalled peace process nor the Palestinian terrorism. You had better look for others.



[ Parent ]
Where do they get people like that? (4.50 / 4) (#60)
by earthling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:24:45 AM EST

Sharon's government came into power after no less than three Israeli governements [...] were forced to resign as a result of not being able to deal with Arafat and bring the peace process to a conclusion.
You see to conveniently forget several important points here:
1) The Israeli government always had to deal with a sizeable part of their population that did not want peace. People who wanted to be able to continue the colonisation, to be able to keep treating Palestinians as second-class citizens, etc. The Palestinians people are also far from being united, and Arafat always had a hard time controlling the groups who wanted nothing less than the destruction of the state of Israel.
2) Do you realise that real progress was being made under those past three governments? Slow progress, yes, but still progress. Do you not remember than less that two years ago, peace was within the grasp of our hands? Then something happened...
3)Yitzhak Rabin didn't resign. He was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli militant who found him too sympathetic to the Palestinians.
Even the current outbreak of violence started not in Sharon's time, but in his predecessor Barak's time
When did the violence flared up again? September 2000, correct? And what significant event happened that month? Hint: it has something to do with Sharon. You have to admit though, it was a great move. Prove that Palestinians didn't want peace by sabotaging the peace process. Blame the current government for the following violence. Propose to solve the problem you created. Get elected as Prime Minister of Israel.
Whether or not you like Sharon, he is the cause of neither the stalled peace process nor the Palestinian terrorism.
That's simply not true. There's more than enough blame to go around to both sides and still have plenty left, but Sharon is the current single greatest obstacle to peace between Israel and Palestinians. This is a man that should be tried for war crimes, not be the Prime Minister of Israel.

-Earthling
"I'm sorry, I had to; the irony was just too thick."
[ Parent ]

Sabotage? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by Robby on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 04:56:31 PM EST

When did the violence flared up again? September 2000, correct? And what significant event happened that month? Hint: it has something to do with Sharon. You have to admit though, it was a great move. Prove that Palestinians didn't want peace by sabotaging the peace process. You're kidding, Right?

Sharons visit was simply a visit. The saber rattling from the Waqf to not allow Sharon was an attempt to show control over Jerusalem, something unacceptable to the Israelis.

The piles of stones set on the Temple Mount, the immediate riots in the West Bank and Gaza, were no accident. They were all waiting to be unleashed after the breakdown on talks at Camp David (hint: Remember who walked out of those) broke down. Sharons visit was just an excuse to light the fuse.

[ Parent ]

I'm dead serious. (4.00 / 3) (#148)
by earthling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:19:22 PM EST

Let's see... we have the visit of an alleged war criminal on the very grounds of the infamous 1990 massacre where 20 people where killed and more than 150 wounded. Right after the failure of the Camp David peace talks. Nice way to make sure that cooler heads prevail.
Sharons visit was just an excuse to light the fuse.
I think an attempt to light the fuse would be a more accurate description.

-Earthling
"I'm sorry, I had to; the irony was just too thick."
[ Parent ]

Blame is a two way street... (3.00 / 1) (#163)
by CyberQuog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 09:03:40 PM EST

The palestinians could have simply ignored Sharon. Instead, they decided to start throwing rocks, shooting guns and blowing themselves up. Imagine the message of peace sent by "Sharon visits sacred Palestinian spot, but restrain is used by Palestinians and nothing happens". It would make any of Israel's killings look unfounded and evil. Instead it looks like retaliation (to some at least).

-...-
[ Parent ]
Missing the point... (3.00 / 3) (#166)
by earthling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 11:33:51 PM EST

Of course the Palestinians also share their part of the blame, I never even suggested otherwise.

What I was trying to say, however, was that the situation was incredibly tense after the failure of the talks in Camp David. If you wanted to make sure the situation would explode and therefore prevent any meaningful peace for the time being, there was no better way of doing it. And that's exactly what Sharon did.

-Earthling
"I'm sorry, I had to; the irony was just too thick."
[ Parent ]

1: goto 2. 2: goto 1. (none / 0) (#168)
by Robby on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 01:01:19 AM EST

This is becoming a 'who started it' conversation, and those are boring.

Ariel Sharons visit was violently opposed, but clearly the response of 15 months of violence, teengars blown up at night clubs, pizzerias with Druze Owners,Palestinian and Jewish workers blown up (and being made museum pieces!), mortar bombings of several cities, shootings, car bombs, and then a few more suicide bombers, is perhapse a little twisted reply to a visit?

There is no question that the entire situation has been planned for and desired by many, and was waiting for a reason to give it the catchy phrase: the al - aksa intifada. Forgetting of course, that the Mount is also a holy spot for Jews.

[ Parent ]

Forgetting? (none / 0) (#169)
by UncleMikey on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 01:59:17 AM EST

At the risk of emphasizing what may have been intended less literally: I don't really think that anyone, least of all Hamas et alia, has ever forgotten that the Jews consider the Temple Mount a holy place. Au contraire, it has always been my impression that they remember this very well, and without need of prompting from the Israeli side.

It has always been a tenet of Islam that the Recitation of Muhammed superceded all prior revelation, and that Islam therefore superceded Judaism and Christianity both. The physical symbolism of having a mosque over the remains of the Temple has never been an accident.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Forgetfulness? (none / 0) (#186)
by Robby on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 05:41:38 PM EST

Appreciate that Mikey. good to hear that there is understanding around.

Unfortunately, Many people have disagreed with your opinion. I remember hearing consistent accusations that Jerusalem menas nothing to Jews (and vice versa).

The lack of understanding took a head though, when the IDF withdrew from Nablus and instantly Josephs Tomb was in Ruins (after a bit of googling, this comes up)

The problem is of course the prevalance of mob mentality, and there has to be something to be done against it.

What can be done though? How can this situation be improved?

This is of course, a whole other discussion.

[ Parent ]

Sharon and the Temple Mount (5.00 / 1) (#170)
by kzin on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 02:45:04 AM EST

You are making very controvertial and unsupported statements that I don't think you can back.

First of all, wouldn't you consider Sharon's visit legitimate? It was meant to show that Israel has claims in the temple mount too. Do you mean that just bringing up those claims suffices to arise riots? If so, what would happen when it's actually time to sit down and negotiate?

Secondly, in light of this, how do you see the situation after the permenant settlement? Will Jews be forbidden to visit the temple mount? Or will each such visit potentially be followed by a year-long bloodbath?

And lastly, doesn't the connection seem somewhat artificial to you? Consider:

  • Piles of stones were all ready for throwing.
  • There were actually no riots on the day of Sharon's visit, they only started on Friday, the Muslim prayer day, when religeous incitement is easy.
  • The riots and shootings that accompanied were directed at Israel as a whole, while Barak was actually Prime Minister -- the same Barak who offered a generous compromise in that same temple mount not too long before.
  • The riots and the shootings were all over Gaza and the West Bank, started and spreaded to all areas very quickly, intense, lasted for a very long time, and were supported by the Palestinian political leadership and police quite strongly. That indicates that they were planned and directed from above.
Were these really spontatnous riots of the population due to its hurt religeous feelings, I would expect them to be localized both in area and time, to actually start during the controvertial event, and to be limited, rather than assisted, by Palestinian security forces. Here it was just an excuse. If it weren't Sharon visit, it would have been something else (say, the opening of a tourist tunnel in Old Jerusalem) and it might have sounded just as outrageous. Every conflict starts with some spark. If you want to understand what causes conflicts, try to look at the big picture of political and economical developments prior to its outbreak.

[ Parent ]
blame? (3.00 / 1) (#121)
by el_guapo on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:15:30 PM EST

i THINK the event of september 2000 you're talking about is Sharon going up to that mosque (sorry for the spelling) that muslims think is sacred. is that the event? if so: does that justify a palestinian to strap a bomb to his waste and go kill a bunch of civilians in an open air market? you seem to hint that you think it does....
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
HEADLINES: k5's user earthling support terrorism! (5.00 / 1) (#152)
by earthling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:36:51 PM EST

does that justify a palestinian to strap a bomb to his waste and go kill a bunch of civilians in an open air market? you seem to hint that you think it does....
Oh come on! Did we not went over this again and again and again and... sorry... after the September 11th attacks? There's an immense difference between understanding (which you can) and justifying (which you cannot).

Please check my reply to Robby for information on why this particular visit was anything but typical.

-Earthling
"I'm sorry, I had to; the irony was just too thick."
[ Parent ]

Blame and responsibility (5.00 / 2) (#127)
by kzin on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:27:04 PM EST

1) The Israeli government always had to deal with a sizeable part of their population that did not want peace. People who wanted to be able to continue the colonisation, to be able to keep treating Palestinians as second-class citizens, etc. The Palestinians people are also far from being united, and Arafat always had a hard time controlling the groups who wanted nothing less than the destruction of the state of Israel.

Actually that's not quite true. The "we don't want peace" minority in Israel has been consistently shrinking since the beginning of the peace process and is now so unimportant that it's not usually worth mentioning. Everybody wants peace. That's a cliche. The big disagreement between Israeli political parties is how much land can be given up, how much is it peace worth risking for, how risky is a Palestinian state, to what extent can Arafat be trusted, and so forth.

2) Do you realise that real progress was being made under those past three governments? Slow progress, yes, but still progress. Do you not remember than less that two years ago, peace was within the grasp of our hands? Then something happened...

Almost as short as a year ago, when Barak was Prime Minister. I still wonder if Arafat thought he could get a bit more after some riots, or whether he just wanted his name to be remembered as the big Palestinian liberator.

3)Yitzhak Rabin didn't resign. He was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli militant who found him too sympathetic to the Palestinians.

The Israeli goverment did not resign after his assasination, it continued as it was with his deputy Shimon Peres as PM, and no change in policy. That's why I called it the Rabin/Peres government. It was only a year later that soft-line Peres was forced to call for an early elections (which he lost to harder-line Netanyahu). And not because of the assasination, but because of the deadly '96 bus bombing streak, for which his soft-line policy was blamed. So I think my point still stands: various policies were attempted by various Israeli governments, including very forgiving ones, and they did not have more success than Sharon's (with the possible exception of Barak's, should you choose to blame his policy for the current trouble).

When did the violence flared up again? September 2000, correct? And what significant event happened that month? Hint: it has something to do with Sharon. You have to admit though, it was a great move. Prove that Palestinians didn't want peace by sabotaging the peace process. Blame the current government for the following violence. Propose to solve the problem you created. Get elected as Prime Minister of Israel.

Actually the "significant event" that happend that month, as I see it, was the Camp David summit where Barak offered to Arafat his proposal for the final settlement and a Palestinian state, and Arafat declined. But that's probably not what you meant.

The temple mount is a holiest place for both Jews and Muslims, and must also be a central issue for any permenant agreement. As such, I find an expectation that a then-member of the Israeli parliament (whose duty includes such visits) refrains from visiting there akin to an expectation that he recognizes Palestinian sovereignity in the holiest place to him in advance. Sharon is certainly not the first Jew to visit there, not the first polititian, and he was as respectful to both religeons as all were. I considered it an excuse then, and I still do now. Excuses are cheap.

That's simply not true. There's more than enough blame to go around to both sides and still have plenty left, but Sharon is the current single greatest obstacle to peace between Israel and Palestinians. This is a man that should be tried for war crimes, not be the Prime Minister of Israel.

If Arafat stops the Palestinian terrorism yet the Israeli army keeps its own military actions, I might consider Sharon an obstacle. But right now, to reiterate what I said previously, I don't see how any different policy can have an effect. Consider that the situation was no different under Barak, who would sometimes go months at a time without even basic defensive military reactions to shootings. That's a vastly different policy, and the results are precisely the same. Really, the ball is in Arafat's court, and has been for quite some time. You can't call Sharon an obstacle to peace until Araft at least nudges it.



[ Parent ]
Extremists are now running the show... (5.00 / 2) (#157)
by earthling on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:16:51 PM EST

Actually that's not quite true. The "we don't want peace" minority in Israel has been consistently shrinking since the beginning of the peace process and is now so unimportant that it's not usually worth mentioning. Everybody wants peace. That's a cliche.
Actually, I'm pretty sure you knew what I meant, but I'll repeat myself to make it clear. Peace between Israel and Palestinians cannot be achieved unless they can reach a fair agreement in which both sides are satisfied. Many in Israel would be more than willing to give Palestinians nothing more than token concessions and tell them: "You got what you wanted, now shut up." Peace will never be achieved that way.
I still wonder if Arafat thought he could get a bit more after some riots, or whether he just wanted his name to be remembered as the big Palestinian liberator.
Let's not kid ourselves, there are huge problems inside Palestinian society, much greater than anything in Israel. Having said that, Arafat is Israel best chance for peace. I can see only one outcome coming from the current Israeli policies: the crumbling down of the Palestinian Authority to the benefit of the Hamas and their ilk. And I'm not quite sure that Sharon would be displeased by that prospect.
So I think my point still stands: various policies were attempted by various Israeli governments, including very forgiving ones, and they did not have more success than Sharon's (with the possible exception of Barak's, should you choose to blame his policy for the current trouble).
Except for one thing: cooler heads were able to talk to each others. Progress was being made. Sides were coming closer to each other. Differences were solved. Slowly, yes, but certainly better than the "full speed reverse" setting in action presently.
I considered it an excuse then, and I still do now. Excuses are cheap.
Please read my reply to Robby, where I addressed this point.
If Arafat stops the Palestinian terrorism yet the Israeli army keeps its own military actions, I might consider Sharon an obstacle.
I fail to see how ordering your soldiers to shoot live ammunition at people throwing rocks, or attacking civilians targets, could in any way help the situation. (And before I get flamed, of course Palestinians extremists are no better, but the actions of the Israeli military really aren't helping.)

-Earthling
"I'm sorry, I had to; the irony was just too thick."
[ Parent ]

The (dead?) peace process (5.00 / 1) (#171)
by kzin on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 04:25:13 AM EST

Actually, I'm pretty sure you knew what I meant, but I'll repeat myself to make it clear. Peace between Israel and Palestinians cannot be achieved unless they can reach a fair agreement in which both sides are satisfied. Many in Israel would be more than willing to give Palestinians nothing more than token concessions and tell them: "You got what you wanted, now shut up." Peace will never be achieved that way.
Actualy I didn't, please say what you mean :) Peace will not be achieved by insisting on the PLO's original demands either (not that I'm saying that this is your position). Of course a compromise is needed, I don't think we're in disagreement. The agreements reached so far and Barak's proposal indicates what lengths the Israeli majority is willing to go. Whether that will suffice or not will be seen in future negotiations with either Arafat or his successor. There isn't and there can't be an objective scale of which agreement is fair, other than what is acceptable by the sides.
Let's not kid ourselves, there are huge problems inside Palestinian society, much greater than anything in Israel. Having said that, Arafat is Israel best chance for peace. I can see only one outcome coming from the current Israeli policies: the crumbling down of the Palestinian Authority to the benefit of the Hamas and their ilk. And I'm not quite sure that Sharon would be displeased by that prospect.
I don't see Arafat as Israel's greatest chance, no way. There are many factions in the Palestinian populations, and many of them are quite cool-headed. A good Palesitnian president does not need to be a soft-liner or an Israeli puppet to reach a final agreement. It suffices for him to be a strong and pragmatic leader who puts his people's peace and lives first and respects his commitments. There are many Palestinian leaders that qualify, Arafat is far from being the only one (if he even makes it into the list, which I doubt). Possible examples might be Abu-Ala, head of the Palestinian Parliament, or my personal favourite Jibril Rajoub, commander of the Palestinian Security Service in the West Bank.
Except for one thing: cooler heads were able to talk to each others. Progress was being made. Sides were coming closer to each other. Differences were solved. Slowly, yes, but certainly better than the "full speed reverse" setting in action presently.
Actually there's been very little progress since the Cairo agreement in 1994. There have been talks, sure, and the situation did not escalate seriously until last September, but there wasn't actually much progress. Remember what was the guiding principle of the Oslo agreement: the gradual transfer of territory and responsibility to the Palestinian Authority will give both sides a chance to create trust, and will allow the PA to show the Israeli, the Palestinian and the World communities that it is capable of ruling its areas and fighting terrorism. That model completely broke down long before last September, because the PA's fight against terrorism was sporadic at best. From that viewpoint, there's been negative progress. According to the Oslo agreement, the negotiation was supposed to be over in five years; instead, it dragged on and on, eroding trust slowly but surely, and only now we are seeing where it led.
I fail to see how ordering your soldiers to shoot live ammunition at people throwing rocks, or attacking civilians targets, could in any way help the situation. (And before I get flamed, of course Palestinians extremists are no better, but the actions of the Israeli military really aren't helping.)
Oh, we're long past that. We're not talking about stone throwing, we're talking about mortar shells, suicide bombings, snipers at the road sides, and sophisticated ambushes for Israeli buses and other vehicles. The IDF is not attacking civilian targets in any way. From Israeli standpoint, those actions are helping, because they are the only response to terrorism, in the absence of the Palestinian response mandated by the agreements. Better than being sitting ducks, at least. And just to re-iterate what I previously said, there have been extended periods of time (especially under Barak's rule) when the IDF would not respond, except when directly under fire, and those did not change the situation one bit. So your claims that the IDF's responses are the main cause for the violence have no leg to stand on.

[ Parent ]
More info would be great! (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by UncleMikey on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 11:02:16 AM EST

I don't see Arafat as Israel's greatest chance, no way. There are many factions in the Palestinian populations, and many of them are quite cool-headed.

Do you think you could take some time and do a K5 story on some of those alternatives? To hear most of the media tell it, the choices are Yassir Arafat, or the leaders of the various terrorist factions!


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Palestinian leaders (5.00 / 2) (#187)
by kzin on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 05:43:34 PM EST

I don't have that much more info really :) To actually write a story about Palestinian politics would be to cross the line where I'm talking our of my ass by about 30 miles. Reports about internal Palestinian politics are somewhat rare, even in Israel, so I don't really know what is going on, politically, with the people involved. I know what they do and roughly where they stand with relation to Israel, but not whether they have a chance to climb higher or if they're even interested. Of what I see, Arafat is pretty much the undisputed leader, and no one (especially not from inside the PLO) is trying to be seen as intending to usurp him.

But since you ask, the bits I do know:

  • Abu-Ala is the speaker (sorry, not head, that was a thinko) of the Palestinian legislative body. He played a very important role in preparing the way for some of the earlier peace agreements. I reckon he is much of a diplomat and has connections with some of the international community. Interestingly, a quick Googling now tells me that according to the Palestinian law he takes Arafat's place if Arafat cannot continue to do his duty.
  • Jibril Rajoub is the head of the Security Service arm in the West Bank. Rajoub has (or used to have) good ties with many Israeli security arms commanders. I reckon that his arm was not once involved in conflict with Israel since the trouble began, and that's saying something.
  • I remember seeing a Palestinian suggestion that Faisal Husseini should become president after Arafat. That is no longer relevant because Husseini died of heart attack about a year ago or so, but it was an interesting proposal. Husseini used to travel a lot, did a lot of diplomatic and PR work for Arafat together with Hanan Ashrawi. He was very moderate, very level-headed. What was interesting about that proposal was that he actually held also an Israeli citizenship, and lived in Eastern Jerusalem. The idea was that once an Eastern Jerusalemite is the President of the PA, the Palestinian stand in negotiation will be strengthened considerably. I don't know if that would have worked, or what would happen to his Israeli citizenship, but that's an academic question.
Anyway, of course there are more options than just Arafat and the Hamas. Arafat could not have kept his then-moderate policy weren't there a lot people supporting it, in government, military and in the population. So those policies might still be supported by other leaders even in Arafat's absence.

But it's not like we (and who's "we" anyway) are going through a list of Palestinian public figures and picking the next President. Like I said before, Arafat's leadership at the moment is not disputed (except for perhaps, indeed, by the Hamas and Jihad), and no one else tries to claim it for himself. But he is old and weakens both politically and and physically. Like you said elsewhere, he is not the ideal president, but he's a given. The reason I mentioned alternative leaderships is because Arafat is not anyone's best chance anymore than any of other other Palestinian leaders is. There are many others, with varying political opinions and character, like there are everywhere. Arafat may be unreplaced, but he is not irreplaceable.

[ Parent ]

Thank you! (none / 0) (#191)
by UncleMikey on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 07:08:43 PM EST

Kzin, thank you very kindly for that reply. I understand your reluctance to turn it into a full blown story, but even so, the information you provided was educational. I suspect I would have to do a fair amount of digging through American media archives to even find those names mentioned (altho', as it turned out with my India article, this may be a case of my own pre-occupation, not the media's).
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Oh please (3.66 / 3) (#73)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:18:35 PM EST

The Federal Budget last year was over $1.8 trillion. ( http://w3.access.gpo.gov/usbudget/fy2001/guide02.html#Spending ) The $3 billion that we give to Israel is a drop in the bucket. You may call the money spent on aid to Israel and Egypt a waste; you are wrong. By making it difficult or impossible for Egypt to join a conflict with other Arab nations against Israel, we prevent a large conflict from forming and keep the Suez open. It's a damn shame that there is conflict and strife over there. But think about the alternative without US aid.

[ Parent ]
'Almost' Completely agree (1.50 / 2) (#78)
by elzubeir on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:07:39 PM EST

I understand why for those not directly or even indirectly involved with this conflict may not understand it. I can see why Americans side with the Israeli's -- out of sheer ignorance.
Sharon is a 'terrorist' by definition. Plain and simple, and not a debatable subject. He kills, deliberately and derives joy from killing civilians. He's done that in past, and he still continues to do so.
Hamas and other Palestinian resitance groups have a shady status. They kill civilians but claim they are not (because of their military training). They have NO other choice in defending themselves, so they take that route. I personally don't agree with it, but I see why they are doing it. Are they 'terrorists'? Maybe. But, not more than those who have a choice in their retaliation and still chose to kill civilians.
Is Arafat a terrorist? No. Of course not. He is just the WORST Palestinian (leader?) ever. He has no leadership skills and does not represent his people. But, PLEASE, quit calling the man a terrorist. If anything, both Palestinians (and Arabs) and Israelis agree on one thing, Arafat needs to go. He should have gone a long long time ago. We ALL want him out of the picture.
What to do with current Israeli occupation? Nothing. No one can do anything so long as the US supports the Israeli war machine and initiatives. The only other alternative would be to follow Bin Laden... see where all that leads to?
When you limit the choices of retaliation, you leave little room for 'ethical' and 'moral' warfare. Although the US has maintained a decent level of moral and ethical values in their modern wars, Israel has not. Anything against the Israeli's is fair game to me.. and to many many many many Arabs.

[ Parent ]
and there ya go (3.00 / 1) (#138)
by el_guapo on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:10:17 PM EST

"Anything against the Israeli's is fair game to me" this is why this problem won't go away in even my children's lifetime. When you combine Arab hatred of Israel (mutual feeling, i'm sure) with the fact that the surrounding hostile Arab states couldn't mount an offensive that would wipe them off the map (how many times did they try? and how many times did they get their butts kicked and actually INCREASE the size of israel?) - you get this quagmire we've had for so long. SOMETHING has to give, and nothing WILL give - the ole unstoppable force has met the immovable object.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
That's actually part of my point... (4.00 / 3) (#89)
by UncleMikey on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:15:47 PM EST

Part of my point here is, however crazy you may think Mr. Arafat is, however crazy you may think the leaders of Hamas or Islamic Jihad are, Ariel Sharon has not historically been much better. He's an extremist, a militant, and you could (and others have) probably make the argument that he's a former terrorist himself.

He's also the duly elected Prime Minister of Israel, despite all of this. That's part of what's so worrisome.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Between Justice and Genocide... (4.35 / 17) (#44)
by Paul Johnson on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:21:11 AM EST

...there is, in the long run, no middle way.

I read that in a science fiction book by Lois McMaster Bujold. I've always wondered if it was original or if someone else said it first. Either way, it is one of the wisest things I have ever heard.

Israel needs to decide which way it is going to go. Either it deals with the Palestinians in a just way, or it commits genocide against them. Any attempt to steer a middle course just puts off the day when it does one or the other.

I have little sympathy with terrorists who detonate themselves in the middle of a crowd of teenagers. But I can see the social dynamic which leads to such acts. Palestinians in Israel have effectively no rights. Their land can be confiscated at will by Jews who wish to build there. The disposessed are herded into enclaves and must pass through millitary checkpoints to go in or out. The guards can and do prevent passage of individuals merely upon suspicion. Palestinians in this situation find it very difficult to hold down a job, even given a sympathetic employer, simply because they cannot get to work reliably. If you need medical treatment, well tough. The historical precedents are clear and depressing.

Such treatment will destroy any hope of improvement in their situation in any people. If they have no hope then they see violent resistance as offering possible gain and no loss. Terrorist action will follow as night follows day.

The Israeli reaction to Palestinian terrorism is to crack down on the Palestinian people as a whole. By punishing the innocent along with the guilty they hope to dissuade future terrorists by convincing them that they have something to lose. But this policy has been followed for so long that the Palestinians now have nothing left to lose.

So, Israel, what are you going to do? Because your current policy has exactly one end-game, and it is not one that you want to play.

Paul.
You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.

Palestinians lives (4.71 / 7) (#54)
by kzin on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 09:31:59 AM EST

I have little sympathy with terrorists who detonate themselves in the middle of a crowd of teenagers. But I can see the social dynamic which leads to such acts. Palestinians in Israel have effectively no rights. Their land can be confiscated at will by Jews who wish to build there. The disposessed are herded into enclaves and must pass through millitary checkpoints to go in or out. The guards can and do prevent passage of individuals merely upon suspicion. Palestinians in this situation find it very difficult to hold down a job, even given a sympathetic employer, simply because they cannot get to work reliably. If you need medical treatment, well tough. The historical precedents are clear and depressing.

This is bogus. At the time the violence started, Palestinians did not, mostly (95%), live under Israeli rule, but under the rule of their elected President Araft and the Palestinian armed forces. If you want to call the area under Palestinian control "enclaves" then it is just empty rhetorics; Israel is not obligated to let foreigners, including Palestinians, pass its borders into Israel "proper" or to give them employment. Palestinians working inside Israel was usually convenient for both sides, but if Israel wants to have a security check as a precondition, I'm sure you'd agree that this is legitimiate. This is really all we're talking about. The Palestinian area is too small and not in one piece, but more territory was already under negotiation when the violence started. I can see why Arafat (as any Palestinian) is eager to get as much as he can as soon as he can, but if he is not able or not interested in maintaining peace during the negotiation or the transition, then Israel sure as hell isn't going to trust him to do so once it is complete.

And no, I don't buy that years of living under Israeli rule have caused hatred of Israelis to be so deep-rooted in the Palestinian psychology that hardly any change is possible. This was claimed all too often here, and strangely always by pro-Palestinians. A large part of the Palestinian attitude is influenced by the Palestinian leadership. Take a look at Palesitnian television or school textbooks. Or better yet, see how President Arafat talks about the suicide bombers -- does he denounce their actions, or does he praise them and call them martyrs? That is the problem.



[ Parent ]
Deep roots, but older reasons (4.50 / 4) (#83)
by UncleMikey on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 01:48:12 PM EST

And no, I don't buy that years of living under Israeli rule have caused hatred of Israelis to be so deep-rooted in the Palestinian psychology that hardly any change is possible.

The hatred is real enough, of course -- as you well know, since I see by your address you're Israeli. But it also predates Israeli anything. The Arabs who resided in Palestine in 1947 hated their Jewish neighbors at least as much as the Palestinians residing in the PA territories do today.

So, if it really is that deeply rooted taht it can't be changed, the reasons are also much older than most people like to think.

As to whether it's unchangable? I'd like to doubt that, but here's where I have to admit that my safe, comfortable distance from the situation makes judgement difficult.


--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Zionism is around 120 years old. (3.00 / 4) (#98)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 02:50:14 PM EST

The hatred is real enough, of course -- as you well know, since I see by your address you're Israeli. But it also predates Israeli anything. The Arabs who resided in Palestine in 1947 hated their Jewish neighbors at least as much as the Palestinians residing in the PA territories do today.

But you're not looking back far enough. The current situation dates back to the late 19th century, with the start of the Zionist project. Interethnic conflict in the Middle East wasn't nearly as terrible until a fanatic political faction decided that they had to establish a Jewish state by displacing the Palestinian population.

--em
[ Parent ]

YOU aren't looking back far enough (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by Lenny on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 12:00:50 PM EST

Interethnic conflict in the Middle East wasn't nearly as terrible until a fanatic political faction decided that they had to establish a Jewish state by displacing the Palestinian population. The Torah contains passages about refounding a jewish state in the Jerusalem area. Actually, some have interpretted parts of the Torah as a "deed from god" regarding that area as belonging to the jewish people. The jews are not "occupying land of a sovereign people". They just came home. And your statement about conflict in the middle east not being terrible before...ever heard of the crusades?
"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
Religious Zealots (3.33 / 6) (#61)
by sneakcjj on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 10:30:19 AM EST

We are dealing with people who are VERY religious. The real battle is over Jerusalem. Neither side will concede to only half the city. It is all or nothing and there will be no peace.

Most Americans can not understand what is going on over there because they aren't religious. I'm sure it would piss of catholics if someone bombed the vatican and the muslims if Mecca was leveled. It is the same of Jerusalem. That city is EVERYTHING to the israelites and palistinians.

Re: Quickie Dry Cleaner (2.00 / 8) (#76)
by wildmage on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 12:35:03 PM EST

Haim Baharav
Thursday, December 13, 2001

Ramallah, West Bank - In an unprecedented move today, Israeli Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit severed all diplomatic ties with the Quickie Dry Cleaner that he held responsible for repeated stains on his suits.

The Israeli cabinet launched a fresh round of prank calls Thursday in retaliation for a yellowish stain found on the sleeve of the minister?s new suit.

"The stain was not there when I dropped it off," said Sheetrit. "We are going to have a prolonged, sustained psychological warfare operation to do what the managerial staff has failed to do."

It was not immediately clear what severing ties to the Quickie Dry Cleaner meant or what effect it might have on the Middle East peace process.

When the manager of the Quickie Dry Cleaner, Abdullah Abdullah, was asked for his response to Sheetrit's move, the Palestinian employees exploded into a fit of rage shouting insults such as, "That guy is nutty" and "Who?"

This latest incident came amid nearly 14 months of poor service and rudeness following the collapse of the peace negotiations in Camp David in which at least 13 suits and 5 dresses had been permanently stained.

-------------
Jacob Everist
Memoirs of a Mad Scientist
Near-Earth Asteroid Mining

The "magic Star Trek reset button" (4.30 / 10) (#103)
by SvnLyrBrto on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 03:12:57 PM EST

Sharon also has never really considered Palestinian land claims to be remotely legitimate. He holds the older, harder line that Israel legitimately holds every hectare of territory it held before 1967, and holds by right of conquest and needs of security every hectare captured in the 1967 and Yom Kippur (1973) wars. Jerusalem, in Sharon's eyes, isn't even up for debate. There's no question: it's Israel's. All of it.

This is a question I've wondered about for quite a while. Why is that land even in debate? Why is it that Israel's tormentors, and ONLY Israel's enemies, are expected by the world to be able to push the "magic Star Trek reset button"?

I asked this in a diary a while back, but got no answer. This article seems as good a place as any to ask again. So here's my original post:

Every time Israel has expanded its borders, it has been the result of a WAR started when ISRAEL WAS ATTACKED.

Israel won those wars against its neighbors, and, as a result, Israel grew larger. Israel was NOT the aggressor in those wars.

In damn near every war throughout history, the loser, wether or not that loser was the initial aggressor, has had to give up territory to the winner. This has been the case right up through WWII, when, in the case of Germany, the loser was carved up into occupation zones by the winners, and only recently able to reunite (and they're STILL short some pre-WWII land). Germany's overseas territories were all pretty much stripped, and Japan lost its claims on many an Island it used to own.

Even today, the borders of European and African countries change as wars are fought.

The idea that you can attack a sovereign country, fight a war, LOSE, and immediately return to the pre-war status quo is a VERY recent invention... and it seems to apply ONLY to Israel.

Hell, given the circumstances under which Israel expanded its borders, it's DAMN generous that they gave up so much land as they did. I think they would be perfectly justified to still be in the Sainai pennensula right up to the Suez.

So why is it that ONLY in the case of Israel, the LOSERS (and, lets not forget, the aggressors) of the wars are expected to be able to press the "magic Star Trek reset button" after starting the wars, and go back to pre-war borders likr nothing ever happened?

The "magic Star Trek reset button" to which I refer, is the term coined by some Star Trek nerds to refer to the attrocious writeing and non-consistency on Star Trek Voyager. The ship would get shot to hell, shuttles would blow up, crewmen would die, characters would develop. And the next episode everything was undone. Ship in prestine condition, full shuttlebay, no department understaffed, and the characters still cardboard cutouts.

cya,
john


Imagine all the people...

Three words: (4.66 / 3) (#118)
by CokeBear on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:08:35 PM EST

Three words:
Land for Peace.

Israel gave away all the territory it conquered in those wars, in the hope of appeasing the Palestinians. They hoped that if they traded away the land, they would avoid future conflict. Obviously this is not the case, and even if they gave away all of the West Bank and Gaza, shrinking their land area to a tiny fraction of what it once was, they would still be the victims of terror attacks. Since they will be attacked anyway, it makes some sense for Israel to not only take back all of the land they once held, but also whatever land they need in order to ensure their safety.
(Remember, the pre-1948 borders of Palestine included all of what is now called "Jordan". Why is Arafat not trying to get that land back?)

[ Parent ]
The bind. (5.00 / 3) (#130)
by jolly st nick on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:36:32 PM EST

Here is one possible answer to your question.

If Israel wishes to be counted as a democracy, all people under the lands it covers must be fully equal under the law, with full rights of citizenship. In fact, this more or less describes the status of Palestinians in the Pre 1967 borders.

If Israel wishes to annex all the gains of the 1967, they need to be on a path to give all the previous occupants of the territories (including displaced persons) legal equality. However, to do that would threaten the other pillar of Israel's identity: that of a predominantly Jewish state. They cannot absorb the Palestinians and maintain their ethnic identity. Nor can they rule them and maintain their political identity. Therefore they have to somehow excrete this populace into some kind of outside administrative entity.

This situation is not forced upon Israel from the outside, but comes from Israels own dual political and ethnic identity.

Ironies, of course abound in this situation. The arab states are not democratic; any Palestinian state is likely not to be democratic either.



[ Parent ]

Democratic nations... (4.00 / 1) (#143)
by K5er 16877 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:52:54 PM EST

If Israel wishes to be counted as a democracy, all people under the lands it covers must be fully equal under the law, with full rights of citizenship.

The United States is considered a democracy by the vast majority of the world's governments. People living in parts of the United States that are not states have lesser citizen rights than those living in states. For example, I, as a resident of California, can vote for the President. A resident of Guam or Puerto Rico, on the contrary, cannot. I don't really have an opinion on the whole Isreal/Palenstine issue, but your comment deserved a reply.

[ Parent ]

RE: Democratic nations... (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by FreeBarking on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:37:16 PM EST

This is a good point, but not a very good comparison. Guam and PR do not make up but a small fraction of the total US population, they are not (these days ;-)) rebelling against the US, the US is not going into PR and Guam to assassinate terrorists and subdue rebellion.

What's more, the fact that a resident of Puerto Rico, for example, can't vote for the President is because *not* because they have lesser rights as a *US* citizen, but because they are not residents of a *State*.

If you, a resident of California, move to New York, you can vote for President as a resident of New York. If a Puerto Rican moves to New York, he or she can *also* vote for President. The people of PR are US citizens, and have just as much right to move to one of the 50 states and vote there as you do.

(Note: I'm sure there are non-citizens living in PR, just as there are in California, but the residents of Puerto Rico were given citizenship in the US in 1917 or so...)

[ Parent ]
Another thing you left out. (none / 0) (#161)
by theboz on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:37:36 PM EST

I don't know about Guam, but Puerto Rico has not opted to become a state, therefore that is their choice. I would think that in a democracy you could make the decision not to have specific rights if you don't want them. I think that might strengthen your argument a bit. In Palestine I don't think they have the option of having the full rights of the Israelis.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

America and democracy (none / 0) (#162)
by CyberQuog on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:49:14 PM EST

America is still not a democracy by the definition "all people under the lands it covers must be fully equal under the law". According to the Bureau of Justice 1 in every 142 people living in the US are incarcerated. They have no rights, they cannot leave, they cannot vote, etc.

Also, the president/congress/politicians have more rights than you or me. I can't go into the whitehouse and veto a bill I don't like, the president can (with caveats of course). The US is a republic with democratic traditions.


-...-
[ Parent ]
Annexation (4.83 / 6) (#144)
by FreeBarking on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:02:43 PM EST

jolly st nick gave more or less the answer I'm going to give: that the land under discussion is in debate in part because Israel *chooses* it to be.

Israel *has* annexed some of the land that it has captured in war: the Golan Heights and parts of Jerusalem. In annexing this territory, it made it a part of Israel and **gave the people living there Israeli citizenship**. The Arab block in the Knesset is a minority, but it does vote, and often against the wishes of the majority.

Now, if Israel were to just say: OK, the West Bank and Gaza are ours, permanently, for good, they would have two choices. One, they could give the people living there citizenship, just like everyone else in Israel. But then, all of a sudden, Israel is no longer a (majority) Jewish state, but a majority Arab state. So they would never do this.

The other choice is that they could create a second class of Israeli resident -- maybe with some rights of the citizens of a democracy, but not all. This would, of course, be widely considered to be the equivalent of South African apartheid. Israel could no longer be considered a true democracy.

So instead, Israel maintains the territories as an occupied, subjugated land -- *not* part of Israel, but not part of any other self-determining independent country either.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict endures, in part, because of this enormous structural problem with Israel's identity: it sees itself both as a Jewish state, and as a democracy. As long as Jews are in the overwhelming majority, Israel can be both. But as long as Israel continues to control land that includes as many Arabs as Jews, they must choose one or the other.

In direct response to your comment about the LOSERS wanting to go back to the pre-1967 state, well, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Israel have *peace treaties* with two of those losers (Jordan and Egypt) in which those losers relinquish their claims to Gaza and the West Bank? And don't those losers have no interest in adding a large population of impoverished Palestinians? So doesn't this make your comparisons to WWII a bit absurd?


[ Parent ]
Israel probably instigated the '67 war (3.50 / 2) (#164)
by ehintz on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 09:39:01 PM EST

Every time Israel has expanded its borders, it has been the result of a WAR started when ISRAEL WAS ATTACKED.
It's unclear, but my suspicion is that in '67 Israel was not an innocent victim, but rather a skilled spin meister. I say this because of the USS Liberty. While Israel claimed that it was a mistake, numerous US intelligence sources thought otherwise, but LBJ glossed over the issue. The natural question is, why would Israel want to attack the liberty? The explanation put forth by Bamford in his book on the history of the NSA-namely that Israel wanted to eradicate evidence showing that Israel in fact started the war, which would logically be collected by an NSA sigint trawler 13 miles offshore-fits the evidence nicely. Meanwhile, the protestations of mis-identification of the Liberty seem tenuous at best.

This is the only explanation I've heard thus far that passes the test of Occam's Razor. If true, it would also explain a lot of Arab animosity. The heavy handed ends-justify-the-means attitude of the Israeli government makes it seem more likely to me. And when the only counter arguments I hear are cries of anti-semitism, I become even more suspicious. Why resort to anti-semitic arguments-essentially name calling-if you can prove the theory is false? I must assume that the anti-semitic card is played because no legitimate explanation is to be had. Occam's Razor strikes again, and it seems to me that somebody's skillful spin doctoring is failing the test of time.


Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
It is Occam's razor that tells otherwise (3.66 / 3) (#184)
by uriyan on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 03:33:38 PM EST

I have difficulty figuring out how you connect the attack upon USS Liberty and the reasons for the Six-Day War.

First to USS Liberty: it was not sunk, indeed when it was recognized as a US vessel, it was offered help. If it had collected any sensitive information, the information remained afloat together with the ship, due in a couple of days right into the CIA's offices. That's a hell of a cover job, isn't it?

However, it is the Occam Razor that tells me otherwise in this case. It tells me that innocent victims do happen during war. Yes, from time to time a ship or a bus or a building are incorrectly recognized and attacked. And guess what - nobody feels good about it. But that's war.

As to the Six-Day War, it was caused by Egypt's unlawful closure of the Tyran straits in the south of the Sinai peninsula, which meant a blockade of any import from the Far East and East Africa into Israel. Furthermore, Egypt has forcefully deported the remaining UN peacekeeping personnel. These are historical facts, well documented. Now, is this clearly a sign of Egypt preparing to go to war against Israel or what?


gantse jahr fraylech... gantse jahr fraylech...


[ Parent ]
Au Contraire, mon frere (5.00 / 1) (#193)
by ehintz on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 09:00:54 PM EST

First to USS Liberty: it was not sunk, indeed when it was recognized as a US vessel, it was offered help. If it had collected any sensitive information, the information remained afloat together with the ship, due in a couple of days right into the CIA's offices. That's a hell of a cover job, isn't it?
I didn't say it was sunk; although the end result was basically the same. As for intel data, anytime an intelligence asset, or intelligence data, looks as if it will be compromised, it is destroyed rather than delivered into enemy hands. Some data did indeed survive the attack, but only because the waters around the Liberty were too shallow for the lead-filled drop bags. However, most data was burned or otherwise destroyed in anticipation of boarding or otherwise falling into foreign hands.

Yes, from time to time a ship or a bus or a building are incorrectly recognized and attacked.
Either the IDF forces were incredibly incompetent (which I doubt, as they seem to be an extremely competent organization from what I read), or they deliberately attempted to sink the Liberty, and strafe lifeboats, in violation of the Geneva convention. Mistaking the Liberty for a beat up old Egyptian horse carrier, well, seems highly unlikely, given the extreme differences in these photos. Furthermore, the El Quesir was in port for the entire war, and I can't buy the claim that Israeli intelligence didn't know about it. Everything about the attack shows a well calculated premeditated campaign, which failed, and a politically motivated coverup. And that's not even including ear-witness accounts of the NSA intel spyplane above, who state that they clearly heard IDF forces discussing the US Flag and being ordered to continue the attack.

the remaining UN peacekeeping personnel. These are historical facts, well documented. Now, is this clearly a sign of Egypt preparing to go to war against Israel or what?
I can't condone a pre-emptive strike-especially when Israeli diplomatic messages to the US President claimed that Israel was responding to an attack. That's flat out lying and inexcusable, and once we've established one lie, the credibility is shot. How much of the rest of the story is a lie?


Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
Cher Monsieur, c'est le meme Rasoir d'Occam (none / 0) (#197)
by uriyan on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 12:13:42 AM EST

I didn't say it was sunk; although the end result was basically the same. As for intel data, anytime an intelligence asset, or intelligence data, looks as if it will be compromised, it is destroyed rather than delivered into enemy hands.

Still, not finishing the job does create a chance of any information getting through. What a cover-up! What scheme on behalf of the Mossad!

I can't buy the claim that Israeli intelligence didn't know about it

You show total misunderstanding of how intelligence works. Firt of all, not all ports (particularly in wartime!) may be watched, the risk of compromising the agent is too high. Secondly, noone looked up intelligence in this case! The aircraft looked up the ship in a list that was made months beforehand, and identified it using it.

You must also remember that the engagement of USS Liberty happened because units on the shore were shelled. Before the attack, USS Liberty did not comply with the order to stay back at least 140 nautical miles, that the Israeli side knew all US ships were given. In a war, you don't really look up the 140 nations whose ship might be out there. It's not some cheap turn-based strategy.

That's flat out lying and inexcusable

Wait, what part was flat out lying? The deportation of the UN personnel? Or the closing of Tyran straits? Or perhaps the concentration of Soviet aircraft on Egyptian airfields?


gantse jahr fraylech... gantse jahr fraylech...


[ Parent ]
So, let's cut to the chase... (none / 0) (#200)
by ehintz on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 03:07:16 AM EST

Wait, what part was flat out lying?
Uhh, lets see. I wrote:
I can't condone a pre-emptive strike-especially when Israeli diplomatic messages to the US President claimed that Israel was responding to an attack. That's flat out lying and inexcusable
So, have we established the lie yet? No? Ok. Let's try again. Israeli diplomatic messages to LBJ claimed that Israel was attacked. Israel was in fact launching a surprise attack-which to be fair may well have been provoked by arab aggression. Regardless, to claim you've been attacked, when you're actually launching a surprise attack, well, got the lie now? I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that my four year old kid could figure out that's lying. Right. Anyway. It's clear you buy the Israeli line on this one. That's fine. Really, I'd like to buy it too. I just have one itty bitty problem, nobody can give me compelling evidence. So, since you seem to have come across evidence to irrefutably exonerate Israel, I ask you to share it with me. It's quite simple really. Give me a credible point by point refutation of the claims by the survivors, and I will gladly cross over to the Israeli camp. But I want facts. Not claims of anti-semitism, nor referrals to the official political coverups. Give me line by line explanations for the survivors claims, and you will have accomplished what no other source has yet done-an clear, reasonable, believeable explanation for why the attack looked cold-blooded and premeditated. Or you can take the easy way out and call me a anti-semite. Whatever. Baruch ata Adonai, eloheinu melech ha-olam, she-kacha lo b'olamo.

Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
Let's see (none / 0) (#206)
by uriyan on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 09:43:21 AM EST

Give me a credible point by point refutation of the claims by the survivors

And what does guarantee that the survivor's bitterness is not what gave the foundation for their claims? You know, one could position facts in different orders and receive different pictures of the events.

But I do bring you one evidence: that there are survivors. Tell me: if Israel really wanted this to be a cover job, why not sink the ship altogether? No chance of fuck-up that way. No need to pay compensations to the US (Israel could say it was done by Egypt and go figure). No Congressional hearings (and remember that at that time the US was not allied with Israel to the extent it is today)

Baruch ata Adonai, eloheinu melech ha-olam, she-kacha lo b'olamo

Ze ha mishpat ha-yahid she ata yodea be-i'vrit? Im ken, az yesh li baa'ya lehavin otkha, ve-ani israeli. Az me-kan hamaskana she-ehad mmimenu lo yodea i'vrit, ve-ani hoshev she-ani yodea mi


gantse jahr fraylech... gantse jahr fraylech...


[ Parent ]
Case of a "Magic Reset Button" (4.50 / 2) (#165)
by tiamat on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 11:28:13 PM EST

During the war of 1812 British forces conquered most of what is now the state of Maine. After the war it was agreed by both sides to reset the borders of Canada and the United States of America exactly as they had beeen before the war.
There is a latin term for this that I cannot currently remember. It's essentially "the before peace" or pax somethingorother.

[ Parent ]
A quibble of sorts (4.10 / 10) (#120)
by theantix on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:12:12 PM EST

Okay, in your wonderful article you've managed to repeat the one piece of Israeli propaganda that drives me insane.
Arafat, for his part, has failed utterly. Either he really is behind the terror in the last several years, in which case he's been a fraud all along, just as Sharon claims; or else Arafat is simply unable to control his people, in which case his claim to be the legitimate head of Palestinian government is null and void.
You write this as if Arafat can have the complete control of all of the people in Palestine. Holding Arafat responsible for the actions of rogue terrorist groups is like blaming the Clinton for the actions of Tim McVeigh. You can't hold the leader of a country accountable for the actions of private citizens. And despite what Israeli sympathyzers repeat ad nauseum, it is quite different than the situation in Afganistan because UBL was there under protection and in full knowledge of the Taliban.

Whether Arafat is doing all he can to curb terrorism nobody really knows. But Israel's version of terrorism is implemented by their own military, which can directly hold the Israeli government responsible for their actions. Sharon calls for a cease-fire, knowing full well that there is no way for Arafat to implement this. Arafat can try to arrest terrorists (which he does) but certainly cannot prevent angst-ridden testosterone-pumped boys from getting guns and shooting innocents.

Hell, I give Arafat a lot of credit for not being a complete asshole. If I were him, I would have been strongly tempted to promote the use of force against incoming aggressors. Kudos to him for acting like the bigger man.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!

puhlease (2.00 / 3) (#126)
by el_guapo on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:26:34 PM EST

no message body needed
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
thhhhank you (2.00 / 2) (#131)
by theantix on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:42:26 PM EST

no message body needed

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
He has a valid point, though. (5.00 / 2) (#132)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 05:44:47 PM EST

How do you stop angry teenagers whose families have been in refugee camps (in Gaza, for example) for three generations from taking out their anger? There are only two ways I can think of:
  • Launch a massive public relations campaign to convince them that their complaints are more likely to be addressed if they bide their time;
  • Institite a massive, heavy-handed police force to suppress any at tempts at demonstrating anger.
The problem with the first is that, after three generations, nobody is going to believe that biding time is going to pan out. The problem with the second is that, while instituting a heavy-handed police force will quell the violence in the short term, it will simply redirect anger against the government.

I don't know what the solution is; i'm not sure there is one. The life of the average Palestinian sucks. The life of the average Israeli sucks. But I don't see how Arafat is to blame for either of those facts.

[ Parent ]

solution? (none / 0) (#141)
by el_guapo on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:24:38 PM EST

i honestly don't think there is one. go here (and my response to that) for why i feel this way. as long as arabs have such a deep seated hatred of israel (and vice cersa, i guess - i am certainly no expert), and israel sits smack in the middle of said arab states - then you have this problem. a quote "Anything against the Israeli's is fair game to me.. and to many many many many Arabs."
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Have to disagree on one point (4.00 / 1) (#145)
by broken77 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:05:35 PM EST

The life of the average Palestinian sucks. The life of the average Israeli sucks.
I would have to agree on the first point, disagree on the second. I lived in Israel for 3 months. Most Israelis have pretty comfortable lives, as do most Americans. The culture is very similar in many ways. There is a lot of wealth in that country. The difficulty in lifestyle between them and the Palestinians is huge. And as far as dealing with terrorism goes... Again, most Israelis are completely unaffected by this. I would say that most have never seen or been a victim of terror (as most people in America haven't).

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#154)
by theantix on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:00:06 PM EST

And as far as dealing with terrorism goes... Again, most Israelis are completely unaffected by this.
A while back I read that two divorced parents had sued the government because it had only provided one gas mask for their child, and if the child was visiting the home with no gas mask they would be at risk. I remember that anecdote because it clarified to me just how adapted the Israeli people are to living in a constant state of terror. "The nerve of the government, only providing one gas mask per child" is an argument I would be very surprised to hear in the US because the fear of a terrorist attack (on an individual basis) is really quite remote, and not ingrained into the US culture.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
Ok, sure, but not what I'm referring to I guess (none / 0) (#159)
by broken77 on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:35:20 PM EST

I suppose what I'm trying to do is just respond to the parent comment, that both Israelis' and Palestinians' lives suck. My point was that in general only the Palestinians' lives suck, and that in general Israelis have a good quality of life. The fact that most households have gasmasks does not affect their "quality of life". They live under the constant threat of terrorism, including possible biological warfare. But to date, no biological warfare has occurred in the nation of Israel. They fear terrorism, but as you said, they've pretty much adapted and cope with it well. Now, if they were regularly being attacked by biological weapons, and people were dying like it was going out of style, then I might agree with the parent poster, that "the life of the average Israeli sucks". But as of right now, the statement is untrue. That's my only point. When I say that "most Israelis are completely unaffected by this [terrorism]", I mean that most of them have never been the direct vicims of, or have not seen first-hand, terrorist attacks, that's all. Not that they don't live with the thought of terrorism on their minds frequently (which I've acknowledged that they most certainly do).

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Some background (1.00 / 1) (#185)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 04:01:11 PM EST

One of the most stunning things to me of the situation in the immediate days after september 11 was that i -- and just about everyone i knew -- was suddenly much more *alert*; everywhere i went, there was a nervous sense of, look around, check everything out, make sure that it's safe, that nothing is going to happen here and, if it does, you can get out. As a californian, i'm a little bit used to this --- after earthquakes, for example, there is a bit of that that goes on, but then it's just directed at building stability and doorways and such; this was directed at everything. Is anyone doing anything suspicious? Do the people at the other tables in the restaurant look ok, etc?

It sucked. It was stressful and exhausting. It was nerve-wracking. It was generically unpleasant.

One of those days, I turned to one of my friends, and asked: "is this what living in Israel is like?"

[ Parent ]

Can't think of a subject (2.00 / 2) (#190)
by broken77 on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 06:59:44 PM EST

One of those days, I turned to one of my friends, and asked: "is this what living in Israel is like?"
Ok, sure... But as I said, I lived there for 3 months. I worked with Israelis every day. I constantly talked with them about stuff just like this. I walked everywhere with them, went to restaurants, bars, parties, and gatherings with them, I was on high alert myself just because I was scared... But only for the first month. After a month of nothing, I actually settled in, and walking around Tel Aviv was no different to me than walking around any big American city. From my chats with the other Israelis, this is how it was for them as well. Occassionally, they will feel like they're on full alert, but most of the time it's just business as usual and it isn't even given a passing thought. Really! I heard from many people (I'm paraphrasing) "well, if you get bombed you get bombed, if you get gassed you get gassed... what can you do? So you just live life as you normally would..." This is the general sentiment, I gather. Think about what you said above... "the immediate days after september 11". Have you been on full alert ever since then? Has anyone in America been, besides the military? Nope. For the most part, we've all gone back to our daily lives, and the threat of terrorism only pops into our heads maybe a couple of times a day now. I'm personally not the least stressed out about it anymore. And as far as 911 goes... Remember that nothing even close to that event happens in Israel these days. When we talk of acts of terrorism in Israel, we're talking of a bus bombing, maybe killing 5 people. A bomb threat in a downtown mall. A random shooting in the West Bank. These events get mentioned on the news, but unless you are personally there when it happens, it really doesn't freak you out! Another thing to mention... I think that you do become calloused to such things. When the threat of terrorism constantly looms over you, you sort of build up a thick skin.

Just my thoughts... Later.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Getting used. (none / 0) (#204)
by Znork on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 07:10:25 AM EST

There's a zillion things more likely to kill you than terrorism. At least 40000 people die in the US in automotive accidents every year. Heck, about 200000 people die every day around the world for various reasons.

Anyone scared of getting killed by terrorists should be totally paralyzed with fear at even the thought of getting out of bed. Or staying in it, for that matter.

All the irrational fear that gets spread about by media pales compared to the actual risks you run every day.

Of course, nothing will ever change until someone has the bright idea to put all the people killed every year in bodybags and stack them in piles around the whitehouse lawn and then ask which piles to spend money and legislation on.

No terrorism in israel may come close to 9/11, but 9/11 doesnt even register as a blipp on the daily suffering-and-death-o-meter of the world.

You dont really need a thick skin to deal with terrorism. You need a decent dose of reality.

[ Parent ]
Arafat's failure (4.66 / 3) (#140)
by UncleMikey on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:16:55 PM EST

You are correct, of course, that without implementing a complete police state, Arafat cannot hope to control all the sources of violence within his territories.

The anger of Israel, I think stems from the fact that Arafat does not even do what he could do. He makes pretty speeches like yesterday's; he makes a few arrests, which always translate into releases. His 'state'-run television station continues to broadcast kill-the-Jews messages as part of its children's programming.

In short, even from way over here in Minnesnowta, there's no evidence that Arafat has done anything more than create a superficial appearance of suppressing violence. There are ways he could do more. He has chosen not to do so.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

True enough (4.50 / 2) (#142)
by theantix on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 06:39:47 PM EST

In short, even from way over here in Minnesnowta, there's no evidence that Arafat has done anything more than create a superficial appearance of suppressing violence. There are ways he could do more. He has chosen not to do so.
Yes, this is probably true. I really don't know how much control he has over what goes on there. However, I strongly suspect that his control is limited by the massive hatred that his own people have for the Israelis. Arafat probably doesn't want to become another Sadat (or Rabin), and regardless he would lose his own popular support the more Palestinian arrests he makes as Israel rains down with missiles.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
more apt analogy (4.00 / 2) (#147)
by slade hawke on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 07:12:42 PM EST

You write this as if Arafat can have the complete control of all of the people in Palestine. Holding Arafat responsible for the actions of rogue terrorist groups is like blaming the Clinton for the actions of Tim McVeigh. You can't hold the leader of a country accountable for the actions of private citizens.
You write this as if Quadafi can have complete control of all of the people in Libya. Holding Quadafi responsible for the actions of rogue terrorist groups is like blaming Clinton for the actions of Tim McVeigh. You can't hold the leader of a country accountable for the actions of private citizens.

[ Parent ]
okay (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by theantix on Mon Dec 17, 2001 at 08:08:40 PM EST

You write this as if Quadafi can have complete control of all of the people in Libya. Holding Quadafi responsible for the actions of rogue terrorist groups is like blaming Clinton for the actions of Tim McVeigh. You can't hold the leader of a country accountable for the actions of private citizens.
Okay, maybe that is an more apt analogy. I really don't know how much control Arafat or Quadafi have over the terror organizations in their countries. The question is: does the leader have control of the actions of the private citizens. It is known that there are people or organizations that are planning to commit acts of violence, and still take no actions? If yes, the leader is responsible. If no, you can't blame them whether it's GWB, Quadafi, Mullah Omar, Arafat, or Sharon. If Bush was informed about the JDL plot and did nothing he would be complicit. If Quadafi provided assistance or support to known murderers he would be complicit. It's a simple formula really.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
Silly Palestinians? (3.14 / 7) (#167)
by wytcld on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 12:58:54 AM EST

All human societies are a bit cruel to other human societies - but most human societies have aspirations towards not seeing themselves as cruel in specific ways. The test of those aspirations is to do what Ghandi or King did, and challenge the society that's fucking your society to steer a bit closer to its ideals. This is what the Palestinians have never done. The question then, is whether they've make a gross mistake. Do the Israelis have aspirations they could be shamed into better approximating, which include peace in a co-existent mode? Or are they just fascists bent on obliterating other populations to 'purify' their land - that other grand aspiration?

Even if the second - and much history supports it - the Palestinians have made a mistake because the US - as MLK showed - is a superior enough culture to be shamed into coming closer to its aspirations by the right sort of peaceful protest. Perhaps the Palestinians don't understand this because they see Christians as having no more morality than the Jews they've seen steal their land, destroy their homes, drain their rivers even ... because the Palestinians have no more morality than that themselves, they can't conceive of another people which does. Perhaps their background lacks the qualities of Ghandi's - who had both the high civilization of India behind him and training in the traditions of British law - or MLK's, thoroughly versed in Christian and American ideals. The Koran specifies absolute intolerance for other religions, so Palestinians have trouble conceiving of ideals higher than their false God's.

Personally, I'd say they've dug their own graves, while their Israeli jailers held them at gunpoint. A former president if Iran just pointed out that Israel could be decimated by a single nuke. Russia is helping Iran build nukes. Don't look back. Silly Israelis must think Yhwh is their missle shield - curious way to test your faith - or else they'd disarm world support for the Palestinian cause by giving back a bit more of their land and water, and not being total pricks.

Oh, and lest any reader get the wrong idea, I am not a Christian and mostly don't care for them. Nor should anyone equate all Jews with Israelis - I was for awhile at Yeshiva University in New York, and the faculty there can't stand Israelis. So it goes.

The other side (3.00 / 1) (#172)
by Highlander on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 04:27:32 AM EST

It would be useful to have a summary of Israeli activities in the last year, just to see both sides.

My impression is that although Israels activities where almost OK, they have a slight inclination to the "evil", because it is often not obvious what Israel actually does achieve with military activity in terms of peace.

Seeing the current situation, and considering the geographic shape of Israel - which is bad without the West Banks - the "Camp David Accord" seems to be pretty sensible; although leaving the holy Arab areas in Jerusalem under Israel jurisdiction doesn't seem sensible - maybe they should have the same status as an Embassy or the Vatican.

If the military activity of Israel could be seen as the implementation of the "Camp David Accord" without the cooperation of palestina, then two things are missing:

- Israels complete control of the border of Palestina.

- The view that in some respect, palestinians will have to become israeli citizens when and if Israel assumes control of Palestina (with whatever kind of autonomy).

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.

Church and State (1.00 / 1) (#192)
by asv108 on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 07:47:17 PM EST

The main problem I have with the Israeli government is the fact that it is a religious state. The fact is you would never see a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim in the high levels of Israeli government. That being said it is quite ironic that persecution of the Jews over the ages is the classic example of discrimination but the government of Israel practices religious discrimination. Don't think I am pro-Palestinian either, because all Arab regimes have a strong connection between religion and government.

One other criticism I have of Israel is ineffective the Israeli response is. A suicide bomber kills X amount of people. Israel responds by launching rocket attacks on police stations. How does this help alleviate the conflict? The only thing rocket attacks do is add more fuel to the fire especially against police forces who are not involved with the attacks. Israeli officials blame the Palestinian police but as it was shown on 9/11 its very hard to defend against people who are willing to die for a cause. Israeli overreaction is nothing new it has been going on since the existence of the state its self. The classic example is, Palestinian kids throw rocks, and Israeli police shoot the kids. The cycle continues..

Sounds familiar (none / 0) (#196)
by daani on Tue Dec 18, 2001 at 11:42:53 PM EST


Yes I think you are right about the effectiveness of the (likely) israeli action.

But something positive may come of it yet. Maybe the Israeli-Palestinian problem will disuade the US government from pursuing it's own might-is-right policies.

Yeah right.....



[ Parent ]
Actually ... not (none / 0) (#210)
by uriyan on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 01:14:35 PM EST

the government of Israel practices religious discrimination

That is simply not true. While in many areas, religious customs are given an official value, it is never exclusively Jewish customs. So a Muslim is free to observe Muslim holiday; a Druze may go to a Druze religious court (if he wishes so); a Christian can grow pigs.

against police forces who are not involved with the attacks

Actually, numerous (if not all) Palestinian policemen are policemen at daytime, and Fatah/Tanzim members when night falls. So don't consider them overly innocent. Many times, it is they who do drive-by-shootings near Israeli settlements, using the same AK-47s that Israel gave Palestinians for "internal security".


gantse jahr fraylech... gantse jahr fraylech...


[ Parent ]
Analysis: Phone call for Mr. Arafat. There's a Fat Lady who wants to Sing To You | 234 comments (234 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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