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[P]
A New Framework for Peace in the Middle East

By Stickerboy in Op-Ed
Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:02:04 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

It seems with all of the bluster and hyperbole being thrown around today in regards to Israel and Palestine, a crucial element has been missing: a viable plan.

What follows is a proposal for what should be, and how it could be implemented.


DISCLAIMER #1: This is an op-ed piece, and I'm not going to pretend this is anything more than my own personal opinion on how to restore a modicum of sanity to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Not that anyone particularly important would listen to a 23 year-old premedical student, but hey.

I'm also not linking to any authority or evidence, because more than enough has been presented in the last two weeks on K5 to back up any side that I feel like taking. If you disagree with me, I have a feeling you wouldn't believe any evidence I present on this particular issue anyways.

DISCLAIMER #2: When I generalize while talking about the "Israeli" side or the "Palestinian" side, I am attempting to discuss the most widely-held, common positions that a great majority of the two sides are taking. Yes, I realize that there are exceptions to everything, including Israelis and Palestinians that hew to the polar opposite of what most of their nation's positions are. I do not mean to generalize to the extent of saying "everybody" or "all", just the most common view, with particular consideration given to those in political power. "Most common" also does not mean "most moderate".

The Current Problem

The current problem that prevents a viable plan of action for Israel/Palestine from being discussed, as I see it, is twofold. The first aspect of the problem is that both the status quo and the former status quo of two weeks ago are untenable, and that most or all of the calls for action on both sides and in the international community do not address this. The second aspect of the problem is that potential mediators and negotiators in this conflict are failing to address the root desires and needs of both sides in their advice and prodding except superficially. Let's start with the first aspect.

The status quo is untenable. By this, I mean that the current Israeli military action in the West Bank, including isolating Arafat, arresting militants and confiscating weapons, will all come to naught unless coupled with the reengagement of the peace process and a timely military withdrawal. Ultimately, isolating Arafat as an end and not a means is going to hurt Israel, because for effective negotiations, only the Palestinian people can choose who negotiates for them. Reoccupation of the West Bank for a lengthy period of time is counterproductive, as it not only does not guarantee Israel's security, but it directly blocks a political settlement from being made.

The former status quo is untenable. I'm referring to the Palestinian belief that they can obtain through military force (gunmen and suicide bombings) what political negotiations have come close to but so far haven't delivered: a nation-state of their own and an alleviation of their living conditions. Just as military action against Palestinians radicalize and inflame them against compromise, military action against Israelis have the same effect, only worse: the Israelis, if pushed hard enough, actually have the military muscle to do something really stupid by imposing an effective military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yes, they could, and no, it wouldn't be pretty or humane.

Why are we rehashing the past and present? The advice currently given freely by the EU, the UN, the US, and every other two-letter acronym out there, boils down to either telling the Israelis to withdraw because what they're doing is wrong or telling the Palestinians to change their ways because they've brought this upon themselves. The former is really a call to return to the previous status quo and the latter is an endorsement of the current one, and no one at all is advocating what is necessary to get out of this mess: a new framework for the peace process, a new blueprint for the future of Israel and Palestine, and a new plan to get there.

Now on to the other aspect of the problem, which is that neither side's root concerns are being addressed seriously. I can say this with certainty because the only two options out there, the Saudi peace plan (which is less of a plan than wishful thinking) and the Mitchell/Tenet plans both fall short of what's needed, one more so than the other. I'll start with an analysis of the Mitchell/Tenet plans.

Mitchell/Tenet commits the sin of getting it half right. The plans' essence is that a ceasefire is of paramount importance to get the two sides back to the negotiating table, and in order to do so, they propose some realistic steps like establishment of security contacts, standardized crises management, buffer zones, and the like.

The problem with Mitchell/Tenet is that it offers no credible alternative to what military action offers the two sides. The Palestinians believe they can win a viable state by wearing down the Israeli public with casualties. The Israelis believe that they can crush the Palestinian terrorists if they unchain their armed forces. Neither side wants to return to a peace process whose goals both sides feel won't give them what they really want - for Palestinians, a sense of justice and national pride, and for Israelis, a sense of real security. Both sides have convinced themselves that they can win what they want through soldiers if they can't win it through diplomats. Mitchell/Tenet gets it half right: it's a plan to take realistic and sensible steps to achieve practically nothing other than a ceasefire, when what's needed is a plan to take realistic and sensible steps to achieve wide-reaching change in the situation. When both sides can look at a peace plan and see an end result worth compromising for, with the added benefit of stopping the bloodshed, then you'll see the two sides sit down at the negotiating table. Until then, neither side sees stopping the killing as worth the risk of putting down their weapons and the other side not doing the same or worth giving up what they think they can achieve through brute force alone.

The Saudi peace plan is a nonstarter for the Israelis. Nowhere does it mention explicitly stopping Palestinian attacks on Israel (which they're more worried about right now than having "normal relations" with the Saudis), and the 1967 borders are considered indefensible by the Israelis anyways. It was a nice diplomatic gesture by Saudi Arabia, considering Saudi Arabia's diplomatic history, but it still doesn't come close to offering what the Israelis want.

A Possible Solution

So now that I've outlined my perspective on the current problem with peace negotiations in the Middle East, what could be done to address it?

What cannot be done is increasingly clear: the two sides cannot simply "go back" to the Oslo Accords. The Oslo Accords have failed, period. A majority on both sides now feel that the peace process spawned by the Oslo Accords has directly or indirectly led to the current state of violence through failure to come to an agreeable compromise, and they have rejected going back as a path to more failure and consequently more bloodshed. What they want is a way forward - a new source of hope, and a new plan for peace.

Any workable proposal that leads to a lasting peace must fulfill four criteria:
  • It must be an implementable plan, outlined in small, realistic steps with a clear timeframe and reciprocation on both sides, and not an abstract call for action like the Saudi proposal.

    Without this, any plan can be deemed as wishful thinking by either side, and the peace plan will quickly become bogged down in mindless debate over minor details about what is required and what is not. Inaction will sink in as both sides will want "more" from the other side before they take steps of their own, as we are now seeing happen.

  • It must have a state of affairs at the end of the peace process for Palestine and Israel, clearly stated, that is desirable for both sides of the conflict. In other words, a final political settlement, unlike the Mitchell/Tenet plan.

    Without this, the cycle of events will look something like this: the two sides implement a cease-fire to get back to the negotiating table, negotiations stall over differing desires on an issue, someone on one of the sides becomes unhappy with the negotiations and breaks the cease-fire, retaliation occurs, and the cycle of violence starts all over again.

  • It must address all of the major concerns of both sides, and it has to do so in a fair and equitable way. Both sides can be unhappy with the plan to an extent, as long as they feel the other side is giving up just as much. Leaving out a contentious issue to speed settlement in the present will only prepare grounds for resentment in the future.

  • It must separate out the basic concerns and goals of both sides from the specific demands by which the two sides wish to see their goals accomplished. It has become increasingly clear that the two sides have become more entrenched and unmovable in their positions on specific demands, such as the Palestinians' insistence on the right of return for refugees and the Israeli demand for keeping at least some of the settlements at the strategic weak points of the 1967 border. It has also become clear that the demands on each side are shifting towards becoming mutually exclusive as well as unmovable, which has led to the uselessness of current political negotiations in the absence of a fresh start. No political compromise on a sensitive issue such as Jerusalem will make either side happy in its implementation; the key to making the compromise viable is to ensure that both sides are ultimately accomplishing their goals.
The Ultimate Israeli Goal: guaranteed peace and security for their nation-state in the Middle East, within its borders and outside of them.

The Ultimate Palestinian Goal: a viable nation-state of their own, the implementation of which satisfies both their national pride and their sense of justice for the Palestinian people.

Are these goals deliberately vague? Yes. I state them in this form to separate the needs of the two sides from the vehicles that satisfy those needs. This provides room for compromise by allowing multiple solutions to the same problem and makes it possible to attack a problem from different angles to get around negotiation sticking points.

Possible Steps

I am outlining below steps that I feel that both sides and major external mediators must take in order for a lasting peace to take hold. These are presented in no particular order; later on I will elaborate on an implementation framework that allows for reciprocal actions to be taken in order to build confidence for all sides in the peace process.

Steps for the Israelis:
  • The ceding of sovereignty over what is to become the new nation-state of Palestine.
  • Withdrawal of all military personnel and settlers from all or most of the territories gained in the 1967 Six-Day War. This includes all of the Golan Heights, all of the Gaza Strip, and all or most of the West Bank, the only possible exceptions being at settlements contiguous with pre-1967 Israel proper at strategic weak points.
  • The lifting of all restrictions on internal movement and commerce within the new Palestinian state, and the establishment of Palestinian institutions for full governance, civil services, and national defense.
  • Generous financial reparations must be given for displaced Palestinian refugees.
  • Allowing Palestinian authority of some sort in Jerusalem, whether by declaring Jerusalem a special status jointly-held city with equal representation in its governance, or dividing it in half along the old East/West Jerusalem border, or by giving the Old City to Israel and the rest of East Jerusalem, plus any outlying suburbs, to Palestine. The first option in my view is the best and wisest course of action, as it keeps a unified Jerusalem and allows for a joint Jerusalem security force that can quash violence at the hot spots within the city without unnecessarily inflaming public emotion.
  • Sovereignty must be ceded over Muslim holy sites to the new Palestinian state, including but not limited to al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • There must be prompt and complete investigation and prosecution of Israeli soldiers and militants that have deliberately targeted civilians knowingly without cause. If the Israelis are serious about demanding that the Palestinians prosecute Palestinian militants, Israel has to take care of its own.
  • Security cooperation with their Palestinian counterparts must take place, with appropriate agreements on extradition, criminal prosecution, and border security, to name just a few relevant issues.
Steps for the Palestinians:
  • Drastic modification of Palestinian state-sponsored education and media to remove extreme anti-Israeli bias and propaganda. Part of the cause of the sorry state of affairs that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is currently in stems from the intolerance that is indoctrinated into the Palestinian people, especially the children, by state-sponsored mass media and schools. A lot of the reasoning behind Arafat walking away from Israeli concessions at Camp David II without giving a counterproposal is the fact that he's been hammering home to the Palestinian people for decades the "inviolable" goals of an Arabic Jerusalem and the physical right of return of millions of displaced Palestinians to Israel proper. He painted himself into a corner, which left no room for compromise.
    Glorifying suicide bombing as a path of heroism has to go ("the blood of the martyr flows like a waterfall", and other such drivel), as well as indoctrinating kids to believe that all of Israel/Palestine is rightfully theirs. And that's just for starters.
  • Palestinian officials, from Arafat on down, must denounce terrorism, as defined as violence specifically targeted against civilians for shock effect, as a means to the end of Palestinian statehood. Hopefully, by the time a new framework for the peace process is implemented, both sides can renounce violence as a means to an end, but this is a bare minimum, and it must be stressed.
  • The Palestinian side must give up on the physical repatriation of its displaced refugees within Israel proper. There is nowhere to house them or supply them with the basic necessities, and asking Israel to suddenly grant citizenship to a million Palestinians refugees is akin to asking Europe to suddenly grant citizenship to 200 million North Africans who want in. There isn't any practical, humane way to do it.
  • Sovereignty over Jewish holy sites, such as the underground Temple Mount and the Western Wall, must be given to Israel.
  • Palestinian officials must Investigate and prosecute everyone directly linked with planning, supplying, and carrying out terrorist attacks. They must also do everything within the new Palestinian state's power to stop militants from attacking Israel. If the Palestinians want a new state, they have to start acting responsibly to police their own citizens' actions, as do the Israelis.
  • Security cooperation between Palestinian law enforcement and their Israeli counterparts must take place. Palestinians and Israelis must work together, have faith that the other side will do their jobs, and produce results for the other side when legitimately called to do so.
  • Palestinian officials must explicitly recognize the right of Israel to exist within the borders set out by the new peace plan.
Steps for the Americans:
  • The US has to pressure both sides of the conflict to a cease-fire and negotiations and lay out a comprehensive peace proposal like the one I'm submitting. I cannot stress enough the importance of giving the warring parties a credible alternative to fighting. And no, simply putting down their weapons is not a credible alternative right now in the two parties' eyes.

    Only the US has any real influence on Israel's actions. And the US still has enough influence with the Palestians that, together with the moderate Arab states, they could persuade the Palestinians to come back to a viable plan for peace.
  • A mutual-defense treaty for Israel. The US has defense cooperation agreements with and supplies a lot of military aid to Israel, but in order to make Israelis feel secure about withdrawing to the pre-1967 borders, something a lot stronger is needed, a rock-solid guarantee of American military might to back up Israel in a worst-case defensive war. This will mean a full-time carrier battle group presence in the Mediterranean Sea near Israel (the current force rotation has a carrier in the Med for half of the year) and the placement of some sort of small US tripwire force along the Israeli border in the West Bank (the strategically weakest section of Israel) a la South Korea for at least a few decades while the notion of peace sinks in for the region. This will drastically increase the stakes, the cost, and the commitment for the US in the Middle East, but I believe that the costs are worth the benefit.
  • Constant pressure on the Israeli and Palestinian sides to adhere to security cooperation agreements in the peace plan, and to let the other side's law enforcement do their job. This is very important to prevent reprisals to isolated incidents and a subsequent downward spiral of new violence.
  • US peacekeepers must take part in the international monitoring force once a comprehensive peace plan has been agreed upon, mostly to assure the Israelis that the force will be evenhanded.
Steps for the moderate Arab states:
  • They, along with the US, have to put pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table when a viable peace plan is proposed. Moderate Arab governments giving unified approval to such a peace plan will give the Palestinian leadership the political cover they need to return to the negotiating table and eventually crack down on the violence.
  • They must denounce violence used by all sides, including pressure on the Palestinian side, once the new peace plan is put into effect.
  • They must contribute peacekeepers to an international force of monitors once an agreement on a new, comprehensive peace plan is reached.
  • They must agree in the new, comprehensive peace plan to recognize the state of Israel and its right to exist within the borders set out by the plan, as well as open full diplomatic relations with Israel. Israel in return recognizes its neighboring countries' borders and pledges mutual nonagression pacts with the Arab states.
A Possible Implementation

The specific steps, once the peace plan is proposed to and agreed on by both sides, should be carried out in a series of linked, reciprocal actions to avoid the "they should do more first" syndrome that is currently plaguing Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

I can't pretend to know even where to begin elaborating on all of the small details about implementation that should be worked out before hand. A rough timeline, though, of the major events to occur would be as follows:
  • The new framework for the peace process is agreed upon. The US and moderate Arab states give their approval for the peace plan, and pressure the two sides to carry out its conditions in a timely manner.
  • Israelis withdraw military forces from Palestinian-controlled areas (Area A) and adopt a purely defensive posture (ie no attacks into Palestinian-controlled areas). Palestinian officials and moderate Arab states official declare their opposition to terrorist attacks (attacks targeting civilians), and begin working to stop all militant attacks from happening.
  • Israeli and Palestinian investigations into violence against civilians begin. Both sides will present lists of incidents to be investigated, and the final lists will be moderated by the US and other international mediators. This will be a long, ongoing process.
  • Security cooperation agreements must be drawn up and take effect. Both sides must publicly renounce violence and call on their fighters for peace and quiet. Both sides must actively and stringently enforce the peace in its own area.
  • Israel lifts all internal travel and commerce restrictions on the Palestinians. The Palestinians cease broadcasting inflammatory propaganda over government-sponsored media.
  • International peacekeeping force arrives to oversee the rest of the peace process.
  • Negotiations for the make-up of the joint government institutions of Jerusalem and financial reparations to displaced Palestinians begin. US begins drawing up mutual-defense treaty with Israel and it is ratified. Palestinian state institutions for governance created and implemented.
  • Israel begins withdrawal from territories gained in 1967. Palestinians revise state-sponsored education and mass media and recognize Israel's right to exist. Arab states recognize Israel and open diplomatic relations once the withdrawal has been completed. US tripwire force is put into place.
  • Phased reparation payments by Israel begin. Jerusalem joint government created.
  • Israel transfers sovereignty to the new state of Palestine. Sovereignty of holy sites are given over to the respective parties.
Final Words

I realize that the devil is in the details, and that approximately one thousand things could go wrong with mine. I do believe, however, that my basic premises in the four conditions of a viable plan for peace are correct. There are tons of little details, like water arrangements and overflight agreements that I haven't even touched on here, but hopefully I've included all of the priority issues. I'm really interested in getting feedback from K5's readers in Israel about the US defense treaty and a tripwire force idea. I was looking for a solution to the fact that most Israelis would feel really uncomfortable in withdrawing to the 1967 borders, and wondering if such a security guarantee would help.

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A New Framework for Peace in the Middle East | 218 comments (201 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
A comment on the Golan Heights (4.40 / 5) (#2)
by Delirium on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 04:23:56 AM EST

I don't have time at the moment to fully analyze this, but I think the Golan Heights can be (and probably should be) dealt with separately from the Palestinian issue. There are very few Arabs actually living there, and those who are there are mostly Syrians rather than Palestinians. Also since it's occupied Syrian territory, it requires negotiations with Syria to settle, not with the Palestinians. And the chances of getting Israel, Palestine, an Syria to all agree on something are worse than trying to do things bilaterally.

In general I'm just less worried about the Golan Heights. Since there aren't many people living there, Israeli occupation isn't causing a lot of humanitarian problems. And since Syria is still quite belligerent, Israel might have some legitimate military reasons for holding it. So better to not bring it (and Syria) into the current problems.

Lebannon (2.00 / 1) (#41)
by Merk00 on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:48:56 PM EST

Actually, the Golan Heights are claimed by Lebannon and not Syria. But also remember that Syria maintains many soldiers in Lebannon. So much so that Lebannon is sometimes considered a puppet state of Syria.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

No, it's claimed by Syria (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by Delirium on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:45:32 PM EST

The Shabaa Farms region in the Golan Heights, which accounts for a very small portion of it (< 10%) is claimed by Lebanon but is considered part of Syria by the U.N. (which is why Lebanon considers Israel's withdrawal from Southern Lebanon incomplete, while Israel and the U.N. consider it complete). The majority of the Golan Heights is agreed by all sides to be Syrian territory occupied by Israel though, and Syria has insisted on its complete return as a precondition for a peace treaty with Israel.

[ Parent ]
True, but... (none / 0) (#77)
by Vic Vega on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:21:07 PM EST

The Golan heights are currently considered "annexed" by Israel, and more importantly - heavily populated by Israeli citizens. Israelis consider it a part of Israel to a much higher degree than the West Bank.

This will make it one of the most difficult pullouts in the peace process. Close to impossible even.

Not to mention that our only ski resort is there :)

[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#81)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:04:27 PM EST

Which is why it's even more important that it be considered entirely separately from the Palestinian issue -- if the two must be considered at once, no progress will happen at all.

I see the two areas as fundamentally different as well. As you mentioned the Golan Heights is heavily populated by Israeli citizens. Perhaps more importantly, it's very sparsely populated by "locals" -- and wasn't very heavily populated by Arabs even before its capture. Most of the estimates I've seen place its pre-capture population at ~100,000, of whom a small percentage remain -- a far cry from the millions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. I'm much more inclined to take Israel's side over the Golan Heights, and simply conclude that it's a done deal and now essentially part of Israel. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are an entirely separate matter mostly because of the un-ignorable fact that 3.5 million Palestinians currently live there.

[ Parent ]

No.. (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by elzubeir on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:15:18 AM EST

I have had friends who were from the Golan Heights. I have never heard of 'a lot of Israeli citizens' living there. If indeed there are Israeli's who dwell in the Occupied Golan Heights, then they are either military units or extremists. So in both cases would be considered legitimate targets for any attack.

The Golan Heights is ideally not to be dealt with separately for the Arab's sake. We would rather settle the whole Israeli/Arab conflict and not simply the Palestinian/Israeli one. I for one want peace, and an end to all hostitlities. Unfortunately our leaders have failed us miserably at being unable to unite and take any action (other than a lot of rhetoric). So, bilateral negotiations are the only 'viable' way, but certainly not the best way.. not for both sides. Because it can never give a final closure.

[ Parent ]
Settlers in the Golan Heights (none / 0) (#193)
by Peaker on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:31:56 PM EST

.. are definitely not extremists.

I'm not sure how many there are, but they aren't a few extermists running around seeking hostility.

There is a large city/town there, and the people are ordinary people, many of which are 2nd and 3rd generations.

The Israeli conflict is not really just an Israeli/Arab conflict, but there are separate conflicts with Palestinians and Syrians, and by no means settling the Syrian conflict with the Golan heights has anything directly to do with the Palestinian issue.

[ Parent ]

HaGolan/Jawal Druze not annexed (none / 0) (#164)
by isdnip on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 10:06:46 AM EST

I don't believe that Golan was annexed by Israel, but such unilateral actions are legally meaningless anyway, outside of enforcement of Israeli law during their occupation. Only Jerusalem was annexed, and that's a special problem for other reasons.

Israel occupies Golan for obvious security reasons -- when Syria controlled it, they used it to rain artillery down on Israel. Under a peace settlement, it could easily revert to Syria, provided there is some external guarantee of demilitarization.

To Syria, Golan is part of the province of Jawal Druze; the Druze population straddles the Syria-Israel border. A true peace settlement would allow the Druze to cross freely. I expect that it will revert as part of a regional settlement. The skiing and the vineyards are sticking points but there's plenty of good kosher wine coming from Europe and the Americas nowadays.


[ Parent ]
Solving wrong problem (4.20 / 5) (#4)
by jasonab on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 04:39:35 AM EST

I don't think the problem is finding a "reasonable" solution, but convincing the two sides to accept your definition of "reasonable."

If it weren't for Jerusalem and the Right of Return, we'd have solved this problem five years ago. As it is, I agree with what you propose, but I think similar things have been proposed in the past, and rejected as "unreasonable" by one side or the other.

You're right (none / 0) (#126)
by Stickerboy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:18:58 PM EST

Possible solutions to both of these problems were proposed at Camp David II and were rejected by Arafat as inadequate.

I would hope that this time around, there would be more uniform pressure on both sides to compromise, and the climate would be more urgent about making a peace deal. There was no political cover or pressure from any Arab government on Arafat at Camp David II, which is something that needs to change.

Also, other terms of the deal outside of Jerusalem and the refugees that would be more favorable to the Palestinians (like a full withdrawal to the 1967 border) might help sweeten the deal. I also don't know if a shared Jerusalem government has been proposed seriously.

[ Parent ]
my take on Israel/Palestine (4.83 / 6) (#9)
by gibichung on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 05:25:06 AM EST

Withdrawal of all military personnel and settlers from all or most of the territories gained in the 1967 Six-Day War. This includes all of the Golan Heights, all of the Gaza Strip, and all or most of the West Bank, the only possible exceptions being at settlements contiguous with pre-1967 Israel proper at strategic weak points.
Make no mistake, this is the core problem with forming a viable Palestinian state. If these settlements remain under Israeli control, the necessary corridors linking them to Israel-proper make workable borders impossible. I'm yet to see a real solution to this problem, and your proposal only lightly touches on it. Israel made a real mistake in establishing these settlements, if peace with the Palestinians is what they really wanted all along.

I'm not blaming Israel for all of the current problems; on the contrary, I deeply sympathize with their current predicament -- I understand the historical circumstances that lead to the occupation. However, it seems disingenuous that they claim to be offering the Palestinians a fair deal as long as these settlements must remain under Israeli control.

I honestly can't think of a workable compromise, either. Israel must protect its citizens, and the Palestinian Authority has proven that it is incapable -- or unwilling -- to protect the Israeli settlers if given control.

The roots of this problem go as far back as the partition of Palestine and the creation of Israel. Even at the time, the Jewish and Arab populations were heavily mixed geographically, and they remain so, even if they are segregated, today. Historically, making workable borders under such conditions where people on both sides are completely unwilling to live together is nearly impossible: precedent suggests that the only lasting solutions are dramatic ones. Both sides are deeply entrenched, but someone is going to have to give. Ultimately, the settlements will have to go -- or the Palestinians.

I have no desire to see the conflict in Palestine continue to escalate. The ball is in Israel's court; I implore them to accept a real compromise. However, if such a compromise is unworkable, they should accept what the alternatives are and stop pretending that their peace proposals are realistic.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt

Settlers vs. refugees (none / 0) (#74)
by Ralph Slate on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:08:11 PM EST

Make no mistake, this is the core problem with forming a viable Palestinian state. If these settlements remain under Israeli control, the necessary corridors linking them to Israel-proper make workable borders impossible. I'm yet to see a real solution to this problem, and your proposal only lightly touches on it. Israel made a real mistake in establishing these settlements, if peace with the Palestinians is what they really wanted all along.

Actually, the settlements seem to have been a necessary bargaining chip for Israel. There are numerous Palestinians living in Israel. There are no Jews living in other Arab states (they have all been expelled). If/when a Palestinian state is formed, Israel still has an issue with Palestinians in Israel.

If the new Palestinian state expels the settlers, then Israel can expel the Palestinians without looking bad. If the new Palestinian state treats the settlers badly, then Israel trade their Palestinians to the new state for the settlers.

The question still remains - why are settlements in a new Palestinian state not allowed, but Palestinians in Israel allowable?

[ Parent ]

Settlements vs. settlers (5.00 / 1) (#91)
by erikl on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 03:30:03 PM EST

The question still remains - why are settlements in a new Palestinian state not allowed, but Palestinians in Israel allowable?

As far as I know, one key difference is that Israel maintains some level of sovereignity/state control over the settlements, which is quite different from just claiming a right to live in a country.

Of course it won't happen, but if Israel were to accept the return of palestinian refugees and make them citizens, then the Israeli settlers should be allowed to become citizens in a future palestinian state. But... as usual I predict both parties will prefer ethnic cleansing instead.


[ Parent ]
Israeli Arabs? (5.00 / 2) (#165)
by isdnip on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 10:32:13 AM EST

It's disingenuous to compare the settlers with "Palestinians living in Israel". The Israeli Arabs are Israeli citizens, and are the pre-1947 residents of the area and their descendants, a vestige of the population that was mostly driven out during Israel's war of independence. Israel's Founding Myth states that the aboriginal Arabs were scared out by lies from other Arab states, but real history shows that they were mostly driven out by Israelis. Mostly they went to the West Bank and Gaza, where a modern Palestine is forming. Today, the Israeli Arabs see themselves as Palestinians.

The settlers are a huge obstacle to peace -- many of them have a messianic belief in pure Jewish control of a "Biblican Land of Israel" (although my Tanach has no maps in it and in any case the modern world doesn't respect 2500-year-old borders). Others are Brooklyn Jews who left when African-Americans moved into their neighborhoods and got too much political power for their taste (look up "Ocean Hill-Brownsville schools" for some 1960s history).

The 2000 Camp David proposals were non-starters in large part because they preserved most of the settlements. They gave Israel ribbons of land jonining them, cutting the West Bank into, essentially, three noncontiguous regions.

One possibility in a real peace settlement would be for some of the bigger non-military Settlements near Jerusalem (say, Efrat) to remain there as "leased" property, in exchange for which there could be Palestinian "settlements" within the green line area. This would create a "right of return" for some selected Palestinians, who would live under Palestinian law on "leased" land. This would defuse the "population bomb" aka "demographic" issue, because such Palestinians within Israel proper would be expats, just as the vestigial Israeli settlers in Palestine would be.

But Sharon's power base is with the Settlers. He wanted to scuttle Oslo in order to extend settlements. His goal is ethnic cleansing. He's the Jewish Milosevic, and belongs on trial with Slobo. He's an awful embarassment for Jews worldwide. Now I know how the Serbs felt.

[ Parent ]
Hmm... (4.00 / 1) (#131)
by Stickerboy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:59:07 PM EST

It would seem to me the ideal compromise would be this:

In exchange for Israel withdrawing from 100% of the settlements, the Palestinians agree to resettle 100% of the Palestinian refugees in the newly vacated settlements, or if they find the settlements distasteful, they can bulldoze them over and build new towns. This would be an excellent example of reciprocal action: the Israelis get the Palestinian right of return waived, and the Palestinians get the Israelis out of their settlements.

[ Parent ]
And that's going to happen, too.. (4.50 / 2) (#132)
by erikl on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:09:17 AM EST

I couldn't agree more.
The really sad part is that leaders on both sides must long ago have realized that this is the only reasonable solution (horrid as it is with ethnic division), but none of them seem to be willing to suggest it since they are afraid to be accused of treason... Instead they prefer to offer their own citizens' lives in hope of striking a deal that's a couple of percent better...

[ Parent ]
US carrier group in mediterranean? No. (4.25 / 4) (#13)
by martingale on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 06:29:45 AM EST

This will mean a full-time carrier battle group presence in the Mediterranean Sea near Israel
This proposal caught my eye. I think this is a baaad idea. GW Bush's rhetoric since september scares me a lot, and as long as the US doesn't have a different president, I wouldn't want to invite them permanently into the Mediterranean. Just look at the countries surrounding it: Morocco, Algeria, Lybia, Egypt, Israel on the south. Greece and Turkey. Bring him in with his cowboy attitude, and in six months we'll have a mess way bigger than Israel/Palestine.

Just look at last week. Not only doesn't he think things through before opening his mouth (what was it, three policy changes on Israel), but now he wants to openly topple Saddam and replace him with a puppet government. What's his plan? Invade every third world country preemptively in case they harbour terrorists-in-the-making?



Yes, and no (none / 0) (#18)
by wiredog on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 08:51:37 AM EST

The mutual defense treaty idea is more worrisome. The US is well on the way to being an empire, rather than a republic. Not that there's much choice. The US is the world's policeman because no one else is willing, or capable.

The US is already permanently in the Med, just not with a carrier full-time. Morocco is not any sort of military threat, and Turkey actually has a good, though quiet, relationship with Israel. Turkey is near Syria, and Iraq, and doesn't like either of them. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" and all that.

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

a couple of points (none / 0) (#22)
by martingale on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:06:39 AM EST

The US is already permanently in the Med, just not with a carrier full-time. Morocco is not any sort of military threat, and Turkey actually has a good, though quiet, relationship with Israel. Turkey is near Syria, and Iraq, and doesn't like either of them. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" and all that.
I don't follow the US military deployments closely, can you explain more fully what you mean by permanently in the Mediterranean? I remember that the US has permanent airbases in Europe, Rammstein in Germany comes to mind (although I think it's been reduced in size in the last few years?) and I believe there's Turkey, besides being invited into Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. Other than that, don't they have a carrier hanging around the Arabian Gulf, and I suppose the others are roaming the Atlantic and Pacific?

Sorry about Morocco, it was just a convenient starting point. To expand a bit about my worries, Algeria's been having a bloody civil war for years now, which it would be easy to get all self-righteous about, Lybia's got a history with Lockerbie (sp?), Egypt's had attacks targeting American tourists relatively recently, though I think it's been quiet for a while. I mentioned Turkey not so much because of Israel, but rather Greece, which is EU, though it's an order of magnitude less urgent than Israel. They [Greeks/Turks] don't really trust each other, at least that's what I gather from some of my Greek friends ;-)

In all these cases, it would be easy to "solve" the problem/potential problem by imposing a change of leadership, which usually solves nothing.

Oh, and you're right about the mutual defense treaty. I didn't read the proposal very closely, but that would really be unstable. Not very realistic though, I don't believe that Congress would go for it. As it is, the US can pick and choose its battles anywhere in the world. Why tie itself to Israel's fortunes?



[ Parent ]
permanently in the Mediterranean (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by wiredog on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:23:08 AM EST

There are US/NATO air and naval bases in Italy, US ships and submarines have been patrolling there for decades. The US History in the Med goes back to the early 1800's, see the Marine Hymn. (Which also shows how far back US troubles with Libya and with Muslim terrorism/piracy goes.)

The Greek/Turk conflict has interesting implications for the Israeli/Palestinian one. They used to fight frequently, before and after Greek independence. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire the Greeks all went to Greece, and the Turks to Turkey. The only place they lived together was Cyprus, and that was the place where their more recent wars started. Since the Greeks and Turks separated on Cyprus they've stopped fighting there.

The implication is that, if complete separation of Greeks and Turks, with a fence between them, stopped the fighting then it could do the same for the Israelis/Palestinians.

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

We also have a peacekeeping mission (none / 0) (#27)
by yankeehack on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:53:43 AM EST

in the Sinai (Egypt/Israeli border) that is under the auspices of the UN. Usually a battalion rotates from the 82nd Airborne or 101st Air Assault to man the mission. Also in Italy, there's another 82nd Battalion that is permanently assigned to Vincenza.

Fuck this; I'm goin' drinkin'. Which, in the US, is a "right-wing" activity, unless what you're drinking is more than $20 a bottle--then it's "left
[ Parent ]

cyprus (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by martingale on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:08:05 AM EST

I'm an idiot. Would you believe I lived in Italy for a year? It's past bedtime already, I must be tired.

The implication is that, if complete separation of Greeks and Turks, with a fence between them, stopped the fighting then it could do the same for the Israelis/Palestinians.
That would seem to be the case. But neither side of Cyprus is self-sufficient, and needs the resources of the respective bigger countries. On the other hand Palestine's economy is quite dependent on Israel's I think, so erecting an impassable fence could be problematic.



[ Parent ]
US in the Mediterranean (none / 0) (#39)
by Merk00 on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:47:08 PM EST

The US maintains a presense in the Mediterannean for a number of reasons. First of all, there are major US/NATO airbases in Italy. There also is a peacekeeping mission to the former Yugoslavia as well as Kosovo.

As far as the Greece and Turkey conflict goes, it's been mostly restricted to diplomacy. One of the main reasons for it, is that both countries are members of NATO. This would also provide further US military commitment to the eastern Mediterranean.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

CVBG's in the Med... (none / 0) (#59)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 02:39:39 AM EST

I was actually suprised by the fact that there is only a carrier battle group there *half-time* as it is.

This must be a relatively new thing, as a result of the post-cold war defence cutbacks (Down to 12 carriers from 15, for example). Cold war doctrine was to maintain a carrier group in the med full-time. In fact, not infrequently, there were two groups in there (The new carrier had to get there to relieve the old one, and they occasionally patrolled together).

See, the soviet union used to have some rathar extensive naval facilities, on the Black Sea, that were to be crushed into fine powder (or melted into radioactive slag, depending) if WWIII were to break out.


cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Europe doesn't count at all (4.00 / 2) (#14)
by satch on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 06:57:50 AM EST

Your plan doesn't include any steps for Europe. I suppose that EU must put some pressure to Israel, to force the to retire from Palestinian territories.

As EU has no real interests in the zone, or at lest not as clear as US, they must use economics pressure to make it clear that they are against this war

Sharon acted in a prepotent way sending back the Piqué-Solana duo, after denying them a chance to meet Arafat. He didn't show any respect to European representatives, maybe because He thought that they could not make some real penalties to his interests.

A problem with (or for?) Europe (none / 0) (#17)
by wiredog on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 08:47:06 AM EST

From The New Republic
In the diplomatic strutting of European states that once deployed real force around the world but now no longer can, there is probably also some nostalgia for empire. Who really cares, after all, what Belgium thinks about Israel's conflict with the Arabs? The European states and, for that matter, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan are structurally incapable of truly influencing events on the ground in Israel, the disputed territories, or the rest of the Arab world. They cannot produce a real concession from Israel because they cannot produce--and haven't--even a symbolic concession from the Palestinians.


Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
European issues (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by martingale on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:55:08 AM EST

Well, the article's a bit biased (*), but what you quote is an interesting question in itself. I don't think that Belgium, for example, has a colonial nostalgia, or any of the other European states for that matter. Rather, the problems with their former colonies are still fresh in the minds of those who lived through the fifties and sixties (not me). It is true that the EU as a whole has a lot of potential for power on the world stage, but remember that the motivation of the founders has always been to prevent yet another war on European soil. The idea in a nutshell was/is that by merging the countries, there will be no way/reason to fight a war between the member states.

The question of getting a concession from the Palestinians so as to present it to Israel is neither here nor there. Europe's first worry is an escalation which would drag them into World War Three. Remember that there is a sizeable Arab/North African/Turkish population in the EU, who helped rebuild after World War Two. There is no onus on the Europeans to induce Palestinian concessions to Israel, that's Israel's job, through peace negotiations. Europe, like America, just wants both of them to sit down at a table and discuss quietly until they agree.

The problem of the credibility of EU/UN negotiators is different. Here the US has a clear advantage, simply because it's by far the most powerful nation around, and Israel knows that it's in their own best interest to "prefer" US negotiators to EU/UN representatives, I can't blame them for that.

(*) What annoyed me first and hence most was Peretz's throwaway line "Whatever hardships Arab citizens of Israel endure, they are mostly attributable to the unremitting enmity to Israel of their cousins in the neighborhood; and they are, still, the freest Arabs in the region". I can picture him as a white plantation owner a few centuries ago, explaining that he doesn't actually hit his slaves, and that they are the freest in the region.



[ Parent ]
Bad analogy (2.33 / 3) (#30)
by Ken Arromdee on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:11:44 AM EST

I can picture him as a white plantation owner a few centuries ago, explaining that he doesn't actually hit his slaves, and that they are the freest in the region.

It would have to be a white plantation owner surrounded by black plantation owners, pointing out that the white plantation owner treats his slaves better than the black plantation owners treat theirs (and being correct about it), yet people "opposed to slavery" go after him but not his neighbors.

[ Parent ]

different point (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by martingale on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:28:20 AM EST

No, that's not the point. In my analogy, which I'm starting to regret I put there, what is wrong is that the owner doesn't even recognize that slavery's wrong. (Disclaimer: I'm not claiming Israeli treatment of Palestinians is slavery). Instead, the owner is thinking he's enlightened because he marginally treats his slaves better than the other owners, who are worse. I interpreted Peretz' statement as: "I don't see what all the fuss is about, our Arabs are much better treated than those in neighbouring countries. Isn't that enough for them?"



[ Parent ]
EU (2.50 / 2) (#32)
by Bad Harmony on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 12:13:38 PM EST

Maybe the EU representatives would get more respect from Sharon if they stopped behaving like the Yasser Arafat Fan Club. That may not be fair, but that is my perception of EU diplomacy.

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Cuts both ways... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by sab39 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:12:33 PM EST

Maybe the US would get more respect from the Palestinians if they stopped acting like the Ariel Sharon Fan Club.

Not that that's fair either.

The whole problem here is getting *everyone* (not just the Israelis and the Palestinians, but the US and Europe, and both their populations and their governments) to stop seeing this in a black and white "X are terrorists, Y are legitimately defending their interests" viewpoint.

Unfortunately, the more time goes by, the *less* people I see who appear to be willing to consider any notion that there's some right and much wrong on both sides.

Thus, this is an even worse situation than in Northern Ireland, where most people outside NI itself (excluding a few pro-IRA Americans, which continues to boggle my mind) simply think that terrorism on both sides is wrong and that BOTH sides should just get the hell over it already. (That's my viewpoint as a Brit living in America, and encompasses the views I've seen in both those countries).

Stuart.

PS Incidentally, my own suggestion as to the solution to Northern Ireland is that Britain should officially relinquish all control over it and let the inhabitants squabble among themselves about whether they want to be separately independent or become part of Ireland. The Irish have a legitimate greivance with Britain but withdrawing all claim to NI would address that greivance. The Northern Irish have a legitimate desire to want to choose their own government, but they don't have the right to choose that it be Britain, any more than Israel has the right to become a US protectorate if they want to without the US's consent (stealing my example countries from another thread...).
--
"Forty-two" -- Deep Thought
"Quinze" -- Amélie

[ Parent ]
Diplomacy is mostly about leverage (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by KilljoyAZ on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:45:13 PM EST

and the Europeans haven't had any with Israel for years. Do you think Sharon cares about continued access to European markets if it means he has to accept daily terrorist attacks from Palestinian militants? I doubt it. Hell, Sharon only listens to the US because we write a check for $3 billion in military aid a year.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Not entierly true (none / 0) (#66)
by wiesmann on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:44:35 AM EST

Actually I think the EU is a large market for Israel, a lot of fruit and vegetables consumed here come from Israel. The EU and even Switzerland are thinking about sanctions against Israel (article in French). One plan seems to impose that good produced in the "colonies" will not be allowed to labeled as produced in Israel (if they are labelled as coming from the colonies, they will probably be boycoted by the consumers).
Also switzerland is thinking of cancelling an order of military supplies from Israel.



[ Parent ]
The real question. (none / 0) (#68)
by physicsgod on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:29:57 AM EST

The CIA World Factbook says that Israel is dependant on imported grains. Who do they import from? Because those are the people who have Israel by the balls.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Probably the US (none / 0) (#130)
by Stickerboy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:45:49 PM EST

They shipped 9 million tons of food last year in foreign aid alone; my intro to poli sci class a few years ago stated that the US ships out 2/3rds of the grain it produces.


[ Parent ]
A few points (4.20 / 10) (#26)
by thellan on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:38:20 AM EST

First, I want to say that I agree with a lot of what you said in the article. Also, it is nice to see an article on the Isreal/Palestine issue that does not simply claim one side or the other are demons which should be wiped from the face of the Earth.

That said, there are a few things I feel are still needed in your plan. My issues with it are primarily dealing with the terrorist attacks of the Palestinians against both Isreali civialian and military targets. I feel this is one of the most important points in any plan because as you stated, Isreal's main concern is their security, not Palestine's. I believe one of the major failing points with the past attempts at peace is that there have been no forms of punishment against the Palestinians when they send suicide bombers into Isreal to stir things up. Isreal has 2 options, they can take the attacks and do nothing (which incourages more attacks) or they can send troops, tanks, and helicopters after the people they suspect are the leaders of the attacks (which also incourages more attacks). There is no way for Isreal to punish the person who did the attack, because s/he is dead, and Arafat is not going to go arrest the leaders of the Al Aqsa Brigade and Hamas and turn them over to Isreal. Unfortunately, I have not been able to come up with a humane solution to this problem. Any ideas would be welcome.

Also, please notice in your plan you call for the Palestinians to stop all attacks on the civilian population of Isreal. I feel it is also necessary for all attacks on the Isreali Army to stop. Continued attacks by the various Palestinian groups against military targets would do one of two things. First, it creates situation similar to Afghanistan in which the Palestinians are harboring terrorists who are attacking another nation. In this case, either the Palestinians arrest and turn over the entire organizations to Isreal or there would eventually be an invasion of Palestine similar to what happened in Afghanistan and what is happening now in the Middle East. The second option, is that Palestine does not stop the attacks and does not condemn them and they will therefor be taken as state-sanctioned attacks against a foreign power. The only possible action from that is a war. So, all attacks against any Isreali targets, not just civilian, must be condemned, stopped, and prosecuted for the plan to work.

I hope all of that made sense. I am sure more issues abound but that is the one that sticks out in my mind.

Rich

Terrorist Attacks (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by dmaxwell on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:54:15 PM EST

By any moral standard, a suicide bomber going off in a marketplace is utterly reprehensible. I have to wonder though, what other weapons do the Palestinians have to work with? Israel is generously supplied with US weaponry. Fighters, tanks, rifles, you name it. If all else fails they have THE BOMB although the Palestinians are just a liiiitttle tooooooooo close to their backyard. Israel is well supplied with a variety of modern weaponry and a fairly large well trained military service.

The Palestinians on the other hand might have some heavily modified armored vans squirreled away somewhere but that is probably it for mechanized infantry. Aircraft? Nothing that is going to touch an F16. They do seem to have lots of small arms and explosives. They certainly aren't going to be making any frontal assaults on Israel unless someone like Saddam finds a way to secretly arm and train a proxy Palestinian army. In short, there is no military way the Palestinians can take on Israel.

Unfortunately, we live in a realpolitick world. Israel isn't about to GIVE the Palestinians much of anything no matter how well they behave. You don't negotiate with someone unless he is a power to be reckoned with. The Palestinians are not enough of a military or economic power to worry about. From a strictly military point of view, it is Israel that is in a position to dictate terms....up to and including the occupation of Palestine. Basically, the Palestinians can accept an order of things that is dictated by Israel or they can fight somehow. They have real greivances but the world's smallest violin plays for everybody.

No doubt about it, the suicide bombers are awful but how many REALISTIC ways do the Palestinians have to make Israel see them as force to be reckoned with? I don't know. I will admit to ignorance of things like:

1. How to conduct guerilla warfare..especially the urban variety.

2. Effective sabotage military and economic.

3. Sponsorship of a Palestinian militia by foreign power that doesn't like Israel much.

As far as replies go, I'm geniunely curious what else Palestine should do in the absence of equitable negotiations. I know there is probably a million quibbles with my so-called analysis. It is not intended as a defense of suicide bombing but rather my take on why Palestinians see it as a good weapon.

[ Parent ]
What weapons indeed? (5.00 / 3) (#61)
by gnovos on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:16:43 AM EST

By any moral standard, a suicide bomber going off in a marketplace is utterly reprehensible. I have to wonder though, what other weapons do the Palestinians have to work with? Israel is generously supplied with US weaponry.

They do have ONE weapon that, so far, they have failed to use. It takes a great deal of courage to wield, but has worked every single time it has ever been used in the history of man. Ghandi used it and beat back one of the most sophisitacted military machines of the time. Martin Luther King Jr. used it and fractured a hundred years of cultural bias. Can you guess what it is?

"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." -- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Any ape can walk into a crowded room and press a button. It requires neither courage nor honor. It takes true, unwavering, unstoppable strength, however, to walk into that same room without a bomb, knowing you will be spit on, arrested, attacked or even beaten to death, yet never raise your fist.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Nonviolent resistance? (none / 0) (#118)
by Mzilikazi on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:11:41 PM EST

It takes a great deal of courage to wield, but has worked every single time it has ever been used in the history of man.

It's an admirable philosophy, but the Tibetans today or the Jews in 1930s Germany or any number of extinct peace-loving indigenous peoples might argue with you about its perfect track record. Nelson Mandela abandoned the practice after its failure in South Africa, and though it took a few more decades of struggle, the ANC won. Taiwan, for instance, isn't actively at war with China, but has taken steps to arm and protect themselves as well as allying themselves with more powerful nations (USA) just in case. If they adopted a passive stance, the Chinese would just roll over them without a second thought.

For the record, I'm actually pro-Israel on the whole matter, for the simple reason that they've got a functioning modern democracy in a part of the world that seems determined to remain in the 16th century. Israel has Arab and Muslim members of its government, and Arab and Muslim Israelis have the right to vote. Is there any confidence that the Palestinians would actually be able to effectively lead a country the size of Israel? That was one of the big problems with the Taliban--they had passion on their side, but were terrible civic leaders, and so had to resort to primitive tribal-like rule.

That's something that bugs me about all of the pro-Palestinian support from Europe and elsewhere. Do those protesters love and cherish the kind of autocratic regimes in every country surrounding Israel? Why should women in Israel (of all races and creeds) be subject to subjugation and lose the right to vote? Even if you hate the Israelis, you've got to admit that they've managed to do great things with their country, and they don't even have any oil worth speaking of.

It's sort of like the India/Pakistan conflict on some levels. India has a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society, and Muslims have served in many important positions in the Indian democratic government. There are more Muslims in India than there are in Pakistan. Pakistan, with its nearly solid Muslim population, on the other hand, seems to fluctuate between attempts at democracy, fundamentalist Muslim rule, and military coup with no real hope of long-term stability. India's not perfect, but I had to choose there would be no question about what government I'd rather live under.

Cheers,
Mzilikazi

[ Parent ]

Not if you were a muslim (none / 0) (#120)
by linca on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:20:28 PM EST

Something like last week, 60 muslims were burned alive in a train wagon, by fanatic hindus. More or less with the support of the government. This is not a rare happening, especially with the BJP in power. It looks like India could take a path as ugly as that found in the Middl-West. (And I won't mention the way Indian society is still stuck in the middle-ages too, with a whole cast of untouchables, or the way India is the country with the highest male-female ratio....)

[ Parent ]
It's the other way around (none / 0) (#162)
by mattwb2 on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:58:08 AM EST

Something like last week, 60 muslims were burned alive in a train wagon, by fanatic hindus....
It looks like India could take a path as ugly as that found in the Middl-West.

As far as I know, there has not been similar atrocities in the West Bank or Israel on that scale with the exception of the disco bombing in Israel a year or two ago (I think 80 or so young civilian Israelis were killed in that one). There have been sporadic killings of civilian Palestinians, but I don't think there have been mass incineration or even intentional mass killings of large or even small groups of Palestinian civilians (and I would appreciate any evidence to the contrary). I'm more worried that the West Bank might get as ugly as the situation in India.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but no. (5.00 / 2) (#158)
by gnovos on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 07:05:06 AM EST

It's an admirable philosophy, but the Tibetans today or the Jews in 1930s Germany or any number of extinct peace-loving indigenous peoples might argue with you about its perfect track record.

Gandhi's non-violence is not the same as simply bowing to the wishes of others. It requires being very loud, very strong, very active, and holding fast to your convictions, even if it means death. When the Nazi's came to round up the Jews, a good majority of them simply went along, assuming that they would eventually bear through it all and in the end everything would get back to normal. This is *not* non-violent protest. Non-violent protest would be saying, "You can kill my family, kill my children, and kill me, but you are going to do it right here, out in the open, on my terms." A true practitioner of non-violence would never have been forced into the ghettos or lead away to work himself to death in a bullet factories, he would have proudly died in the beautifully streets of urban Berlin, right in front of the children of his friends and neighbors. His death would have chilled the hearts of the "good" people in Germany, and sowed the seed of doubt in thier minds, making them begin to question if the third reich, and fear it. And more importantly, it would give those people a weapon that THEY can use. It was too easy for the every-day German citizens to disbelieve the atrocities that occoured because they were far away and unseen. Actually seeing the blood of your neighbor washing down the street right outside your front door is a vastly more powerful motivating force than hearing rumors of far away things. Something like six million Jews died to the reich, but how many of those people died in the pretty tree-lined streets of Berlin? How many blood-an-gore-at-the-doorsetep-dead friends and neighbors would it have taken before the German people themselves said "STOP!"? Not six million, not even one million.

Go and read some of Gandhi's works sometime, and I think you will be suprised at how straightforward and sensible, and flexible (no pun intended. I mean his views were flexible. He even spoke of how sometimes a certian amount of violence is the only way, e.g. to kill a tiger or a snake that has come into your village or house) the man was, and how really brilliant his philosophy is, even today. He did not advocate weakness, in fact he abhored it! In his mind, non-violence really *is* strength.

True non-violence requires action, and lots of it. Too often today we equate non-violence with pacifism, but no two things could be further divided. Pacifism usually takes a very weak, passive stance to everything, hoping that something will magically change and everything will get better. Non-violence, however, is all about action, and striking swiftly, but not with a sword or a gun, instead with conviction, honor, and truth.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

What will happen? (none / 0) (#69)
by mattwb2 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:30:09 AM EST

By any moral standard, a suicide bomber going off in a marketplace is utterly reprehensible. I have to wonder though, what other weapons do the Palestinians have to work with?

I think what he was getting as is what sort of punitive response would the world allow Israel to take following a terrorist attack from a post-occupation Palestinian state. There are various factions in the Palestinian territories and while some might halt their attacks after attaining statehood, there are others more ambitious groups that will not stop. What if some of these groups are sheltered by the by the Palestinian state (as they were throughout the 1990's by the Palestinian authority)? What options will the world (EU, US ;) allow Israel to take? Will they take action for Israel? Will their actions satisfy Israel?

[ Parent ]
I don't know, wait until Powell meets Sharon (none / 0) (#115)
by martingale on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:18:10 PM EST

I think what he was getting as is what sort of punitive response would the world allow Israel to take following a terrorist attack
The answer is none. We've just seen what a limited incursion to apprehend terrorists involves, and it's not pretty. That doesn't mean Israel won't take matters into their own hands. It is their life after all.

What options will the world (EU, US ;) allow Israel to take? Will they take action for Israel? Will their actions satisfy Israel?
No one wants to take action *for* Israel. Would you send in troops into a hotspot to protect the Israeli people? Then you are either a greater man than I, or a lunatic. All you would accomplish is that your troops will be attacked like the IDF, and with much less experience of the dangers at that. Certainly electoral suicide, and your country would become a terrorist honeypot as well.

Sending in multinational troops with a clear instruction to keep the two sides apart and *not* interfere (that means not helping either side) otherwise is probably the only "safe" thing to do. It won't "satisfy" anybody, nor protect either side 100%, but is preferable to a full escalation involving the whole region. Now, who wants to go do that?



[ Parent ]
There you go. (none / 0) (#176)
by thellan on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:01:09 PM EST

I feel that you just proved my point with your response. In my post and in mattwb2's post both of us are basically asking what can Israel do after they have withdrawn and a Palestinian state has been formed, if terrorist attacks continue? You said it:
The answer is none.
and
No one wants to take action *for* Israel.
There are alot of things Israel could do in response for each suicide bombing if a Palestinian state existed, however none of the eye-for-an-eye type reprisals would be acceptable, military invasion would start a full scale war in the Middle East, and doing nothing (which would be like not responding to 9/11) is unacceptable. That is why Israel is unlikely to go with a Palestinian state, because it does not improve their security. Until the Palestinians can give the Israelis something trust worthy in regards to this, they have no incentive to change tactics.

[ Parent ]
quite right (none / 0) (#195)
by martingale on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 09:41:13 PM EST

Yeah, it's bleak. While there are plenty of problems with it, see my other post, which was already voiced by wiredog.



[ Parent ]
A possibility (5.00 / 1) (#209)
by Amesha Spentas on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 08:00:13 PM EST

The answer is none.

I see one possibility. Israel supposedly has a very good intelligence service. They could use that service to gather intelligence about purported terrorists. However, instead of taking direct action they could deliver their evidence to UN peacekeepers and the Palestinian government. (Key names and sources could be withheld from the Palestinian contingent, however the full body of evidence would need to be accessible to the UN contingent. However, I would recommend that the US involvement in peacekeeping efforts should be minimized or prevented.) Upon acceptance of the evidence by either the UN or the Palestinian groups; the Palestinian police would then be required to take immediate action to arrest and try the accused in either a mixed jury trial (50% Palestinian 50% Israeli) or a better idea would be a trial by the UN peacekeepers. Israeli citizens accused of attacking Palestinians would also be arrested along the same lines. This would let the populace of both sides to believe that a real chance for justice could be achieved and vigilante justice or reprisals could be prevented or at least lessened.
Just a thought....

Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
[ Parent ]

nice try (4.00 / 1) (#211)
by martingale on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 09:47:37 PM EST

There are standard objections by Israelis (I've asked them also) to letting UN peacekeepers uphold the law. Besides pointing to examples in northern Israel where said peacekeepers would refuse to act in Israel's defense, it would interfere with the IDF's ability to act unilaterally in protection of the Israeli people. Also, if peacekeepers were to patrol the borders instead of the IDF, the claim is that terrorists could slip into the main population centres much more easily. I personally don't like this uncompromising stance, but it's not for me to decide.

There is also a second standard objection to your proposal, which is that the PA would refuse to act on the Israeli intelligence - people will give you specific examples to back up this claim, saying that Arafat actively protects and harbors terrorists, but I like to think of it this way: Israeli intelligence, whether it's factually correct or incorrect, is tainted for the PA. It's simply not reasonable to act solely on the advice of your political/military opponents, unless you have no choice. It's the same sort of idea which requires that, for example, certain types of police tactics to gather evidence are not admissible in court.

Your ideas work somewhat in the West (eg InterPol) because there is a certain amount of trust between the western democracies, which isn't the case here.



[ Parent ]
The Palestinians have another option (none / 0) (#80)
by physicsgod on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:48:27 PM EST

Look at Vietnam, the NVA didn't have any aircraft or tanks that could hold a candle to the US arsenal, but they were able to drive the US out by inflicting more casualties than the US public was willing to expend.

The key is to make a situation such that when an Israeli asks "Why did $SOLDIER have to die?" the pro-occupation side doesn't have a good answer ("for the glory of Israel" doesn't really fly). In this case suicide bombings against civillians in Isreal are counter-productive, since the IDF can say the soldiers gave their lives to prevent bombers.

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

Vietnam similar, but not a good example (none / 0) (#103)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:22:28 PM EST

The NVA was able to drive the US out of Vietnam, but we weren't living there. We were 10,000 miles away and could turn our backs on the country if we wanted to.

There's no driving either side out of the Middle East in this war. They're there for keeps and if they can't learn to get along, they'll keep fighting til the bitter end.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
It's The Occupation (1.00 / 1) (#96)
by hotsauce on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:39:23 PM EST

I would first like to say how proud I am that K5 has not degenerated into "Death to all Jews" or "The only good Arab is a dead Arab" nonsense that I see elsewhere. That said, I would like to disagree with and answer some of your comments.

I believe one of the major failing points with the past attempts at peace is that there have been no forms of punishment against the Palestinians when they send suicide bombers into Isreal to stir things up.

Actually, I think the major failing has been no punishment against Israelis when then occupy and oppress another people. This breeds anger, hatred and a desire for revenge. The suicide bombings are an effect of the cause: the occupation.

Isreal has 2 options, they can take the attacks and do nothing (which incourages more attacks) or they can send troops, tanks, and helicopters after the people they suspect are the leaders of the attacks (which also incourages more attacks).

There is a third option: they can withdraw from the occupied territories and end the occupation. This will end the reason for the attacks against Israel. And return justice to that part of the world.

I feel it is also necessary for all attacks on the Isreali Army to stop.

Of course not. It is a recognized international right of an occupied people to fight back against their oppressors. Think if your homeland was overrun: why should you not drive your oppressors out?



Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
Or not... (none / 0) (#97)
by ZaMoose on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:49:11 PM EST

Israel was in the process of pulling out of the majority of the disputed areas when Arafat first called for the current Intifada. There is no evidence for (and quite a bit of evidence against) the cessation of terrorist Palestinian actions in the event of a total Israeli pullback.

Groups like Hamas, Hizbollah, and the al Aqsa Brigade have gotten it into their heads that the only way to accomplish their goals (namely, in those three groups' views, the elimination of any and all Israeli state in the Middle East) is through terrorism. If Israel were to pull out before eliminating those responsible for the terrorism, they would simply end up on the business end of more terrorism.

Did you note the utter lack of suicide bombings while Israel was pressing its current action full-force? Did you happen to notice what happened today, a day after the Israeli withdrawal began from some West Bank towns? Or did that point not strike you?

[ Parent ]
that was to be expected (none / 0) (#111)
by martingale on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:51:18 PM EST

The return of terrorism with a vengeance after the pullout was to be expected even before the Israeli incursion. A lot of people in Israel knew this I think, and they still supported the move - which is a testament to their desperation at the time perhaps. Nothing has changed politically for Israelis and Palestinians, but a lot happened around them. Israel has steadiliy lost the media war, Arab populations are outraged and in the streets, and everyone is scared of a chain reaction.

The only way forward now is probably to physically seal off the two sides and pump in large amounts of money to help ease the pain. Israel should lie low in the media for a while, and hopefully we can see lots of happy rebuilding stories from Palestine, to drown out the large numbers of stories of misery and injustice which are bound to come out in the next few weeks.

Well that's my take at this stage.



[ Parent ]
Hardly (none / 0) (#173)
by hotsauce on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:18:46 PM EST

You can hardly think that a few hours after Israel pulled their tanks out of the centres of two towns, only to ring them with armour and artillery, that bombers were able to regroup, make bombs, and strike deep within Israel. Such attacks take days, if not weeks, to implement. The only thing you can be sure of is that as long as the occupation continues, people will be willing to fight back, regardless of, and even spurred on by, how many city-centres Israeli tanks are shelling.

Regardless of how compelling it may seem to you, invading and occupying other countries is not a legitimate means of making yourself feel secure, is counterproductive in the end, and would lead to constant world war if everyone tried it.


Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
militants will spoil any peace (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by mattwb2 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:52:06 PM EST

There is a third option: they can withdraw from the occupied territories and end the occupation. This will end the reason for the attacks against Israel. And return justice to that part of the world.

Will that end the attacks? I doubt it. Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and many of the other organizations have a larger agenda, and I don't believe they will stop even after Israel releases control of the occupied territories. I think this is Israel's major concern.

Try to consider what sort of punitive actions Israel will be allowed to take if (when) one of the more militant organizations take action. Will the settle-for-the-West-Bank Palestinians crack down on the take-it-all-Palestinians? I think that, even if they relinquish the West Bank, we will be back in the same situation 10 years from now because of the militants on both sides.

[ Parent ]
But it won't be *just* the occupation (none / 0) (#133)
by Stickerboy on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:15:02 AM EST

If Israel pulls out of the territories unilaterally without a peace deal agreed on, there is no incentive whatsoever, and even more gain, for Palestinians to continue to attack Israeli civilians. Why would they stop? There's always the chance that further attacks would force even greater concessions, or even get back the "rest" of Palestine (in the view of the more radical militants).

Basically, like I've said in my article, there must be reciprocal actions on both sides, and clear, beneficial alternatives to military action for this to happen.

[ Parent ]
Break Free From Extremists (none / 0) (#179)
by hotsauce on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:34:37 PM EST

there is no incentive whatsoever, and even more gain, for Palestinians to continue to attack Israeli civilians. Why would they stop?

They would stop because the freedom they have been fighting for has been obtained. They would stop because once they have a country and homes and a budding economy, they would have something to lose from an Israeli counterattack.

I know Palestinian extremists do not recognise Israel's right to exist, and Israeli extremists think Palestinians should be "removed" from the West Bank and Gaza. Some extremists in America still think blacks are inferior and should be subjugated. But extremists do not mean blacks can not live equally in America, and similarly one can not allow the extremists in the Middle East to dictate terms or scare us from doing what is right.



Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
sigh (3.50 / 4) (#34)
by jij on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 09:39:51 PM EST

The only solution I see to the Israeli-Palestinian problem is this:

1 - Remove all traces of organized terrorism and terrorists and weapons from the Palestinians.

2 - Remove all traces of the PA, Arafat, and his buds; they are not helping the Palestinians to achieve anything.

3 - Establish a reasonably large and contiguous area of land and call it Palestine, or better yet, New Palestine. Israel will have to compromise here about settlements. Impose this on both the Israelis and Palestinians, in a fair manner to both as far as possible.

4 - Establish an interim government, imposed from without, preferably composed of people from many nations, the EU, US, Canada, etc. No non-democratic dictatorships, however.

5 - Establish a sane environment free of anti-Israeli, anti-West propaganda in the schools, and a continuing and pervasive education program for Palestinian adults as well, making certain to provide as high quality an education as possible.

6 - Repair and expand the infrastructure, establish industries and jobs for all Palestinians. Give them a situation in which they can live in peace and at least a small amount of prosperity.

7 - Continue this for at least one generation, maybe two.

Will any of this happen? Very doubtful; too many governments and groups have their own reasons for using and manipulating the conflict to their own ends. Worse yet, it will cost enormous sums of money, and frankly, from what I've seen over many years of watching this, nobody much gives a rat's asshole about the Palestinians. They just pretend to.

"people who thinks quotes are witty are fucking morons" - turmeric

Yes and no (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by wiesmann on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:28:26 AM EST

There are already problems I can see:
  1. Point 4 interim governement. Most countries from the EU will refuse. Either because their presence in the imposed governement will be badly percieved (think Germany), or because stepping in this mess will cause internal trouble: there is already a lot of tension between muslims and jews in Europe already.
    This means your interim governement will be mostly US, which is percieved as being very biased in favor of Israel.
  2. Point 5 - What you are proposing is a cultural destruction - i.e the imposition of a foreign mind set (US/Israel) onto the territories. This will probably not be accepted and fail, what's worse, it will generate more hostility.
    Notice that you propose to establish a sane environement in the Palestinian side, but mention nothing about the other side - is no change of attitude needed?


[ Parent ]
You Can't Remove The Will Of A People (none / 0) (#99)
by hotsauce on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:52:37 PM EST

2 - Remove all traces of the PA, Arafat, and his buds; they are not helping the Palestinians to achieve anything.

First of all, you have no say in appointing or removing others' leaders. It is this sort of imposition that causes people to fight back. The Palestinians have chosen Arafat; get used to it.

Secondly, Arafat and the PA have achieved a lot. The PA has legitimized Palestinian freedom. Decades ago when the Palestinians asked for freedom peacefully no one paid any attention, now everyone is paying attention and Israel is begining to wonder why they are in this mess and if it is worth it.

It would be wonderful to live in a world where we could peacefully ask for our rights to be respected, but that is not the case. When Israel didn't have to pay a price for the occupation, they could calmly brush aside UN resolutions. Now that they are being made to pay a price, they are reconsidering.

It is sad that the world works this way, but it does. That's why we have armies.



Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
The PA/Fatah is hardly an "army" (none / 0) (#101)
by ZaMoose on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:06:13 PM EST

They're no more than a bunch of armed thugs and criminals at this point. They offer the Palestinian people no greater hope than blowing themselves up in pursuit of the destruction of Israel.

Where is the hope for a better tomorrow in all of the PA's rhetoric? Where is the talk of jobs? Where is the talk of prosperity? The Israeli boogeyman makes a great distraction, but what would happen if Hamas were to get its way? Whom would Arafat blame for the poverty, both material and intellectual, of "his" people?

I think another poster had it right when they suggested that more might be gained by implementing the teachings of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. than the ravings of Arafat. If you believe in eternal justice (as many from both Israel and Palestine claim to), then Israel will suffer for her sins in time. In the meantime, peace and nonviolence in the face of oppression will do more to highlight the injustice of your situation than any amount of suicide bombings.

[ Parent ]
Very Well Written (3.25 / 4) (#35)
by coward anonymous on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:20:50 PM EST

Overall, I think this is a very well written article. It seems to have all the right ideas though I'm not so optimistic that either side would accept the ideas it sets forth. At the same time, I feel I must raise two questions. I quoth:

"Generous financial reparations must be given for displaced Palestinian refugees."

Why? How is Israel to blame for this? They left of their own will. Those that didn't leave live better lives in cities like Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem, Nazareth, etc. not to mention the many Arab villages in Israel. The fact that those who left are still rotting in refugee camps is because of their so called Arab brothers. Yes, someone will give me an example of 34 that were forcefully expelled from their village by an advancing Jewish army way back in '48. That still doesn't show for the other millions. A screaming minority were expelled, if any. The rest just left of their own accord. Regardless of my opinion, I can assure you this point will never fly.

"The Ultimate Palestinian Goal: a viable nation-state of their own, the implementation of which satisfies both their national pride and their sense of justice for the Palestinian people."

Don't you find this frightening? They are not interested in a state, they are interested in a state that was created in "honor and justice". And what is this "honor and justice" exactly? Can you define it because I get the feeling it means "blood and fire".



International Law (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by erikl on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:59:07 PM EST

Why? How is Israel to blame for this? They left of their own will.

Well, why/how they left isn't the point. Technically, a lot of people left Germany of their own will (i.e. fled) during WWII, but I hope you don't mean the germans were justified in taking their property once they had left?

The point is that the refugees' right of return is very well supported in international law. I do understand that Israel would prefer a different solution, but that might mean Israel will have to give up something _they_ are entitled to. Frankly, if the refugess were to accept money (I don't care if it's from EU/US/Israel/Arab states) we should all be happy, but in practice I'm pretty sure the'll want land, and then we're back where we started...

[ Parent ]
Refugees (none / 0) (#54)
by Bad Harmony on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:27:15 AM EST

What if they were given the land and property formerly held by the 800,000 Arab Jews that were forced out of the Arab countries in the region?

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Deir Yassin; Irgun fanatics (none / 0) (#161)
by ragnarok on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:41:19 AM EST

I see, if you know from your friends that their relations in such-and-such a village have been comprehensively ethnically cleansed, and you hear that the same mobsters are heading your way, and you're less than comprehensively armed while said mobsters are extremely well-armed and supplied, what are you going to do? Sit back and let it all happen? Allow your wife and kids to get comprehensively ethnically cleansed?

What a mensch!

I don't wonder that the Palestinians leave as quickly as possible.

They are not interested in a state, they are interested in a state that was created in "honor and justice". And what is this "honor and justice" exactly? Can you define it because I get the feeling it means "blood and fire".

Please explain to me how this is any different to the manner in which the Palmach, the Haganah, Irgun, and other paramilitary militia created Medinat Yisrael?


"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
[ Parent ]

Difference of Values (none / 0) (#180)
by coward anonymous on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:56:25 PM EST

Was there any "ethnic cleansing"? The answer to that is an emphatic no. To claim now that you left because of a rumor which was patently false is a bit childish.
The difference, my friend, is that the Palmach, Hagana and Etsel saw the use of violence as a means to the formation of a state. Notice the absence of qualifiers. There was no search for a "just and honorable" state. Just a state, any state.
The Palestinians see violence as a means to achieve "justice and honor", the formation of a state is a bonus.
Eventually, Israel was formed by vote in the U.N. Hardly a "just and honorable" way of doing things, if you listen to Palestinian rhetoric. I doubt the Palestinians would accept a U.N. declared state.
Finally, if the Palestinian media is to be taken seriously how can a state of Palestine be "just and honorable" in their eyes when it spans only half of mandatory Palestine?

[ Parent ]
Patently false? (none / 0) (#197)
by ragnarok on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 06:34:55 AM EST

The difference, my friend, is that the Palmach, Hagana and Etsel saw the use of violence as a means to the formation of a state. Notice the absence of qualifiers. There was no search for a "just and honorable" state. Just a state, any state.

An interesting turn of phrase. Just a state, any state A transplanted schtetl?

Was there any "ethnic cleansing"? The answer to that is an emphatic no.

"It's difficult to count". What part about massacre do you not understand? And then you read this: New history, old ideas. Then, if you are really interested in finding out what actually happened, you might read Would I ever see my home again?. But sadly you don't seem interested.

Eventually, Israel was formed by vote in the U.N. Hardly a "just and honorable" way of doing things, if you listen to Palestinian rhetoric. I doubt the Palestinians would accept a U.N. declared state.

I would say you are right. But if Israel was formed by vote in the U.N., what constitutional issues does that raise in relation to Israel's right to exist? If it's existence is not the result of its inhabitants declaring themselves freely capable of managing themselves - read the U.S. Declaration of Independence when you can find the time, it's useful - then Israel's right to exist depends far more intimately on documents such as the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, the Geneva Conventions, the Genocide Convention, the Apartheid Convention, etc, than is usual for states which have formed in the usual manner, or in other words, the documents quoted are an integral part of Israel's Basic Law, its Constitution, since it doesn't have a written constitution.

No wonder Palestinians won't have that sort of state.


"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
[ Parent ]

Quoting Al Ahram (none / 0) (#202)
by coward anonymous on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 12:50:47 PM EST

Is a joke. It's an Egyptian government controlled hate spewing propaganda rag. Examples of its worthiness: here, here and here

I suppose if you believe the articles above, there is no point to this discussion

The "proto-Israelis" were going to declare a state regardless of the U.N. The quest for U.N. approval was precisely for moments like now - it wanted a legal standing so that when other nations complain about legality they have no foot to stand on - they created the state they so love to condemn.

Yes, you are right. The Palestinians would never want a state like Israel. To judge from existing Arab states and the functioning of the Palestinian Authority over the last 10 years, they would receive an autocratic dictatorship. From the Palestinians (living in Palestine) I talked to, none of whom had any love lost for Israel, it wasn't difficult to hear how corrupt and dangerous the PA was to its own subjects.



[ Parent ]
Oh lordy, (none / 0) (#216)
by ragnarok on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 09:58:33 AM EST

kill the messenger. Good old tactics. Same ol', same ol'. I suppose you believe every word of jpost.com? (Ad hominem) that Israeli privately-owned government-controlled hate spewing rag?

I mean, I published a diary entry a while back arguing that the whole issue of the population levels of the land of Cana'an could be solved by working out the population of Jerusalem, and of course the other cities, working out the average daily dietary needs of people, working out the different social usage levels of foodstuff, etc, and deciding what size of population outside the walls would be needed to fill those needs.

Then you ask questions about the current level of population, etc, and try to figure out how it came to be the way it was.

You're obviously ignorant of the uses of mathematics and science, so I won't hold it against you - just yet.

The "proto-Israelis" were going to declare a state regardless of the U.N. The quest for U.N. approval was precisely for moments like now - it wanted a legal standing so that when other nations complain about legality they have no foot to stand on - they created the state they so love to condemn.
Oh deary me, I really have riled you this time, haven't I. Now the state of Israel was allowed into the U.N. on the condition that it allow the Palestinian refugees back home. That was over fifty years ago. So much for Israel's wish for legal standing. Pacta sunt servanda, didn't you know - agreements must be kept, and by the Torah, Israel has committed perjury to the extent that Moses himself would gladly cast the first stone.

And it's nice to know that the Palestinians would never want a state like Israel. I think the people you talked to are absolutely right - they hate the P.A. for failing to live up to their democratic expectations. And I think the P.A. will have to take them into account the next time around, such has been the impact of this last set of IDF incursions.

Shalom uvrakha, and have a nice day.


"Jacobation, and that were Mosiah; and they might not be saved. For he feared them all....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
[ Parent ]

Tsk. Tsk. (none / 0) (#217)
by coward anonymous on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 07:29:45 PM EST

Did I mention the Jerusalem Post? No I didn't. Why did you?
I merely pointed to the journalistic standards of Al Ahram and its obvious existence as a propaganda tool not necessarily interested in providing the truth. If you find my description of it ad hominem, well so be it. If you find the examples I presented false, point the falsehoods. Why are you ranting about other newspapers?

Was your post an attempt to get people to read your diary? Again, did I mention anything about populations? Sustainability? Anything of the sort? No I didn't. Why did you?

What do you know about me that leads you to conclude I know nothing about math, or the sciences? How does this relate to the subject at hand?
On a side note. You claim to be quite erudite, why not follow up on your diary entry and do the math to your problem?

Riled up? Hardly, amused is the word. Your assertion about Palestinian refugees and U.N. resolution 181 puzzles me. First, what refugees might you be talking about? To my knowledge, there were none when resolution 181 was drawn up. Second, assuming my knowledge of history is inferior to yours, where exactly in the resolution are they mentioned? I couldn't find it. Must be my weakening eyes.



[ Parent ]
I don't think there can really be peace... (3.00 / 3) (#36)
by Matt Oneiros on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:30:32 PM EST

This whole conflict is sorta deep rooted (like thousands of years) and I don't think that it'll ever really end unless one of the sides entirely dissappears from the face of the earth. It doesn't seem likely for the fighting between the groups to stop anytime soon.

And here's a point that should be made (probably again for both of these points, ohh well.) without reguard to events in the deep back history... Bush is telling the Israeli's they must withdraw from Palestine, Palestinians were bombing Israel. Israel attacks essentially to make them stop, it works.

So why is it bad for Israel to attack the country of origin for the terrorist attackers actively attacking their country, and it is dandy for big daddy U.S. to go and do the same thing FIRST?

I don't know, war isn't really that great, but at least be consistant on your condemnations.


Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real
Correction (5.00 / 2) (#84)
by inti on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:39:40 PM EST

This whole conflict is sorta deep rooted (like thousands of years) and I don't think that it'll ever really end unless one of the sides entirely dissappears from the face of the earth.

This is one of the great historical misconceptions that Americans in particular have about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is absolutely not true to say that - as is often said - "these people have been fighting each other for thousands of years." The current conflict has its roots in the events surrounding the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, WWII, the collapse of the British Empire, and the establishment of the state of Israel. That is all. To begin with, Islam as a religion is not thousands of years old itself, having only been established in the 7th century AD. As late as the 1800's, Jewish and Muslim populations in the area that is now Israel lived together in a state approximating civility.


Claim your namespace.
Support the OpenNIC

[ Parent ]

intriguing... (none / 0) (#114)
by Matt Oneiros on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:05:38 PM EST

This is something I absolutely must read more about...

Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real
[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#124)
by hawaii on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:33:21 PM EST

For people that are into biblical history, many trace the Arab/Israeli conflict way back to Abraham's two sons - Isaac and Ishmael. As I heard someone say, sometimes the worst hatred is of one's own blood. So, this conflict might (depending on your take of biblical history) be rooted that far back.

However, during the roughly 1000+ years after Islam began, I think the Jews and Muslims got along more-or-less all right.

[ Parent ]

Scary thought from the LA Times (3.00 / 5) (#38)
by wiredog on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:45:16 PM EST

Here.
Israel has been building nuclear weapons for 30 years. The Jews understand what passive and powerless acceptance of doom has meant for them in the past, and they have ensured against it. Masada was not an example to follow--it hurt the Romans not a whit, but Sampson in Gaza? With an H-bomb? What would serve the Jew-hating world better in repayment for thousands of years of massacres but a Nuclear Winter. Or invite all those tut-tutting European statesmen and peace activists to join us in the ovens?

For the first time in history, a people facing extermination while the world either cackles or looks away--unlike the Armenians, Tibetans, World War II European Jews or Rwandans--have the power to destroy the world.



Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
Why does it surprise you? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by BlackTriangle on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:56:50 PM EST

There have many posts on Kuro5hin that have esposed similar sentiment in the last week.

Moo.


[ Parent ]
There's an even worse bit.. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by BlackTriangle on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:09:02 PM EST

If in 1948, 1956, 1967 or 1973 Israel had acted just a bit like the Third Reich, then today Israelis would shop, eat pizza, marry and celebrate the holy days unmolested. And of course Jews, not sheiks, would have that Gulf oil.

YOWSA.



Moo.


[ Parent ]
I noticed this too... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by martingale on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:27:56 PM EST

But he's fairly inconsistent. *If* Israel had acted just a bit like the Third Reich, *then* they would have been carpet bombed like Germany was during WWII. The capital would have been split into a collection of zones, possibly the east half of Israel would have been occupied by Iraq and separated from the west by a wall, etc. etc. etc.

Israel hasn't acted like the Third Reich, nor did the Third Reich benefit from its deeds. This bit in the LA Times article is just gratuitous flamage.



[ Parent ]
3rd Reich, Bosnia, Rwanda, ... (5.00 / 3) (#71)
by mattwb2 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:25:51 AM EST

Israel hasn't acted like the Third Reich, nor did the Third Reich benefit from its deeds. This bit in the LA Times article is just gratuitous flamage.

Still, you must admit that many people have jumped at the chance to compare Israel to Nazi Germany which is far from accurate, and the LA Times article tried illustrate this comparison (poorly in my opinion).

I've been quite alarmed at the world's reaction to this whole situation. People have been comparing this situation to the Bosnian and the Rwandan situation, and, as far as I can see, there is no comparison. The people of Europe sat around and watched as hundreds of thousands of innocent people were intentionally slaughtered in Bosnia. The French actively aided the Rwandan Hutus while they killed up to a million. Now, Europe decides to get self-righteous with cries of 'slaughter' and 'ethnic cleansing' when there is no evidence of anything like that occurring (yet).

The Palestinians have been treated like shit for quite some time, and, eventually, Israel will have to surrender control of the Palestinian state, but there is no real comparison to the horrors of Nazi Germany, Bosnia, or Rwanda. As someone else mentioned in another article, it's much more like the situation in Northern Ireland, and, hopefully, it will end just as peacefully.

[ Parent ]
UN Conference on Racism (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by hawaii on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:02:56 PM EST

The French actively aided the Rwandan Hutus while they killed up to a million. Now, Europe decides to get self-righteous with cries of 'slaughter' and 'ethnic cleansing' when there is no evidence of anything like that occurring (yet).

This also seemed to happen with South Africa at the UN conference on racism held in Durban. Israel was singled out as being racist due to it's identity as a Jewish state, and it's policies related to this.

Countries such as South Africa were notably critical and were viciously comparing it to their apartheid regime of the past, even though the analogy isn't really accurate. I think South Africa was eager to demonstrate to the world it has over a new leaf, and could easily manifest this by launching accusations at Israel.

IMHO, it's pretty interesting that regarding the history of events, Israel is held to a higher moral standard than nearly all other countries on the planet.

[ Parent ]

Higher moral standard? (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:31:03 PM EST

IMHO, it's pretty interesting that regarding the history of events, Israel is held to a higher moral standard than nearly all other countries on the planet.

That's one of the disadvantages of having a state founded on a religious identity. Or being the only "democracy" in the area. People expect more from you than if you were some tinhorn dictatorship.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Europe needs to look in its own backyard. (none / 0) (#113)
by mattwb2 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:04:47 PM EST

That's one of the disadvantages of having a state founded on a religious identity. Or being the only "democracy" in the area. People expect more from you than if you were some tinhorn dictatorship.

England has a state religion and we have 'ethnic cleansing' and 'massacres' and 'humiliations' occurring in North Ireland, and, yet, the English have been highly critical of Israel.

France, which is mostly Christian, stood by while Rwandan Hutu's literally massacred around a million Rwandan Tsutsi's.

Most, if not all, of the Middle East is centered around a single religion, and they, for the most part, are far more oppressive toward even their own citizens than Israel is toward the refugees in the West Bank.

Most of Europe is based around Christianity, and, yet, they largely stood by while Serbs literally massacred Croats and Bosnians.

Spain, a mostly Catholic country suppresses a Basque minority yearning for 'liberation'.

I would hate to be a gypsy doomed to live in poverty and facing a life of oppression from largely Catholic Italians.

Israel is primarily Jewish, but it, like most of Europe, allows people from other ethnic groups and religions to become citizens in spite of the previous poster's implication (or maybe (s)he did not know this). It's just a bit pathetic to watch the rest of the world express their moral outrage at Israel's behavior and largely ignoring the outrageous situations in their own backyards.

[ Parent ]
Re: Europe needs to look in its own backyard (none / 0) (#122)
by erikl on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:04:55 PM EST

As far as I know there is no country in the European Union that has recently invaded a neighbouring state and killed 200 civilians, but correct me if I'm wrong.

In no way am I trying to defend the actions of England or France - but by your argument no citizen of a country breaking international laws have any reason to critize another country for doing the same.

Since Israel has repeatedly been found to violate human rights and are now refusing to implement UN resolutions I take it you think Israel has no right to critize Palestinian suicide bombers too?

Personally, I don't think that two bads make one good.

Israel is primarily Jewish, but it, like most of Europe, allows people from other ethnic groups and religions to become citizens

I'd be glad to be wrong, but doesn't Israel allow any Jew to immigrate while other groups of immigrations are subject to rather hard criterias? While I do understand that there are special circumstances for Israel as a Jewish refuge, there is definitely a difference: Please name one European country where your religion the race of your parents matter when you want to immigrate.



[ Parent ]
reply (none / 0) (#125)
by hawaii on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:56:00 PM EST

As far as I know there is no country in the European Union that has recently invaded a neighbouring state and killed 200 civilians, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Can you name any country in the European Union that has been victimized by terror attacks that focus on inflicting maximum civilian casualties for 70+ years? Has this country appealed to the authorities of the other country for restraint, without any effect?

While I do understand that there are special circumstances for Israel as a Jewish refuge, there is definitely a difference: Please name one European country where your religion the race of your parents matter when you want to immigrate.

Please name one European race or religion that has been persecuted throughout the last few centuries as much as the Jews have.

That, there, is the reason for the selective immigration policy of Israel. The point is that if you're of another race or religion, there are other many other countries you can go to where you are in the majority and won't be persecuted. That is not true for Judaism, and why Israel's policies are as they are.

[ Parent ]

persecution (none / 0) (#128)
by felixrayman on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:21:41 PM EST

Please name one European race or religion that has been persecuted throughout the last few centuries as much as the Jews have

The Gypsies.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
good answer! (none / 0) (#139)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:35:49 AM EST

That's a very good point. Ufortunately, I know very little information about the Gypsies, do you have any informational references?

thanks.

[ Parent ]

references (none / 0) (#140)
by felixrayman on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:53:22 AM EST

There's some information here and here. Like most things on the web I have no idea how accurate the info is, although they both appear to have extensive bibliographies.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
thanks (none / 0) (#151)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:49:28 AM EST

thanks for the links, I learned alot from just a few minutes perusal, I'll have to check out more info when I'm not pressed with homeworks.

[ Parent ]
Please read both posts again (none / 0) (#129)
by erikl on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:29:17 PM EST

Please, before instinctively responding and assuming that I'm anti-Israel, read both my and the one I was answering again.

Can you name any country in the European Union that has been victimized by terror attacks that focus on inflicting maximum civilian casualties for 70+ years? Has this country appealed to the authorities of the other country for restraint, without any effect?
No, of course not, but that's besides the point. The original post implied that Israel was justified in breaking laws because other countries broke international laws too. Whether the situation in Israel is worse (or not) doesn't enter the equation - they do not stand above international law.

Please name one European race or religion that has been persecuted throughout the last few centuries as much as the Jews have. Once again, the question was whether Israel immigration law was exactly the same as any European country. I've already said I understand there are reasons why it is different, but since you are not questioning that part I take it you agree it isn't true to claim Israel immigration law is identical to those of any european country.

f you're of another race or religion, there are other many other countries you can go to That's an interesting argument. If you follow it to the point, you can say it would be quite ok for e.g. Germany, France or US to say that Jews are not welcome, since they can go Israel instead.

Do understand that I'm acting as the Devil's advocate here - there is nothing I would loathe more than this type of laws, but almost any argument used to justify one side on this conflict (Jews or Arabs) could equally well be used to discriminate against them.

[ Parent ]
some answers and clarifications (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:33:23 AM EST

Please, before instinctively responding and assuming that I'm anti-Israel, read both my and the one I was answering again.

Okay. Actually, I reread my post too, and I apologize for it's sharpness because I think it came off as a harsher rebuttal than I intended it to.

No, of course not, but that's besides the point. The original post implied that Israel was justified in breaking laws because other countries broke international laws too.

Okay, point taken. I think Israel isn't justified in breaking international laws, but if both sides are breaking the law, criticism shouldn't be applied only to one side. Note - I'm not saying that's what you're implying, but it is what many others, on this forum and others, are doing.

Regarding international laws and the situation, I think it's far more involved, intertwined, and a complex set of affairs to apply to any other country. For all the criticism applied by many countries against Israel, I wanted to point out that none of these countries have really been in any similar situation.

I've already said I understand there are reasons why it is different, but since you are not questioning that part I take it you agree it isn't true to claim Israel immigration law is identical to those of any european country.

I agree with you here, Israeli immigration law is certainly not the same as any other country. But this law is closely related to the primary purpose of Israel, which anyone involved or vocal in this conflict must understand (and many don't). As I said before, Israel's primary existence is as a safe haven for those who practice Judaism.

While many claim this is racist because it singles out a select religion, it is itself a consequence and solution of the past persecution. A history of continued and widespread persecution against a people solely because of this practice of Judaism.

Many people say this isn't right, because why shouldn't safe haven be guaranteed to people of all religions? The answer is that if Jews become the minority in Israel, then, as taken from historical data point after historical data point, the persecution of the Jews might continue again. That's why Israel offers citizenship to any Jew, because of the previous persecution. Other religions can equally apply for immigration the usual way.

That's an interesting argument. If you follow it to the point, you can say it would be quite ok for e.g. Germany, France or US to say that Jews are not welcome, since they can go Israel instead.

There's a big difference to your case here. Israel doesn't selectively block immigration against any ethnicity/race/religion. It only allows it for one specific religion. All other ethnicities/races/religions are considered equally regarding immigration.

Note that Saudi Arabia is similar, or even worse, in that open practice of any religion not Islam is specifically banned. Why was Saudi Arabia so critical of Israel at the Durban conference, for instance? Just one example of many which shows the unfairness often attributed to Israel.

One final point. Israel's selectivity is very similar to a scholarship for minorities. Take a college scholarship for Native Americans, for instance. Would you consider this scholarship racist? Now, as in your Germany case, suppose there was a scholarship for all races except Native Americans. You'd probably agree that this would be a racist scholarship.

So you see, there is a difference between what Israel is doing, and your hypothetical example of Germany.

[ Parent ]

We care more when friends do stupid tings (none / 0) (#156)
by erikl on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:19:08 AM EST

Okay. Actually, I reread my post too, and I apologize for it's sharpness because I think it came off as a harsher rebuttal than I intended it to.

I should definitely say the same to you - thanks for a thoughtful and interesting reply. This is really the best thing about k5..

Of course both sides deserve to be critisized, and I agree that we tend hold Israel to higher moral standards than many other countries in the region. Actually I work in a lab where probably half of the staff are jews (not that it matters :-) and I would really love to be able to visit them in Israel in a couple of years if things stabilize...

However, I think it's important for Israel to realize that we demand more of them because they are the single most democratic country in the region, with a splendid education system and a relatively open debate climate. Quite frankly, it isn't much of a surprise to most of us that arab religious fanatics don't understand the Geneva Convention, etc, but we do expect educated people to follow it.

Is it fair to Israel? Probably not. It's just that we get more upset when people we care about act in stupid ways. Unfortunately, I believe the current events will hurt Israel itself much more than the palestinians in the long run.

[ Parent ]
understanding (none / 0) (#168)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:44:16 PM EST

I should definitely say the same to you - thanks for a thoughtful and interesting reply. This is really the best thing about k5..

Cheers! I'm glad I found K5, it does seem to be one of the few online forums where the people are mostly intelligent and mature. Let the trolls stay at slashdot and others ;-)

Of course both sides deserve to be critisized, and I agree that we tend hold Israel to higher moral standards than many other countries in the region.

Okay, I'm glad you're aware of this, because many others aren't. Awareness of what's going on is of utmost necessity to solve the crisis, and many people like to blindly accuse only one side without understanding. I think the most important part of reaching a solution is for both sides to at least understand why the other side is doing what they're doing.

Is it fair to Israel? Probably not. It's just that we get more upset when people we care about act in stupid ways. Unfortunately, I believe the current events will hurt Israel itself much more than the palestinians in the long run.

I agree with both of these statements. I asked in one of the previous middle-east stories something about the legality of the Geneva convention, and whether if a country at war with you is not adhering to it, if you're still required to follow it.

Someone replied saying "YES". I then asked if the other side starts to win the war because they have more unlawful options at their disposal, are you to be expected to die a moral death adhering to the Geneva convention? Or are you allowed to fightback unresitricted when defeat is approaching. Nobody knew the legal answer, or attempted to answer the question. I think that situation can be looked at in regards to both Israelis and Palestinians, as the situation spirals more and more out of control.

Unfortunately, i agree with you that the current events will hurt Israel significantly in the long run. The primary difference between the two sides is that the Palestinians have a high regard for PR and are able to represent their case very well to the press and diplomats, etc. Israelis, on the other hand, primarily seem to have never learned anything of the subtle art of diplomacy. You've got Sharon saying stupid things while the cameras are on him (such as wishing he kjlled Arafat before, etc). While I'm sure Arafat probably thinks those same thoughts, he plays the PR card orders of magnitude better.

The result is you've got a bunch of Israelis coming off making their country look like a bunch of total war hawks, especially in light of recent military operations. Unfortunately this stereotype has spread like wildfire throughout the world lately, and many people around the globe now aren't awawre of the pro-peace movements and groups in Israel , etc.

[ Parent ]

public opinion (5.00 / 1) (#117)
by martingale on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:11:28 PM EST

I'll admit the LA Times comparison was very poor indeed.

The people of Europe sat around and watched as hundreds of thousands of innocent people were intentionally slaughtered in Bosnia.
Well, it made for riveting television in the rest of the world also ;-) I think that Europe was scared then, as it is now, about an escalation. These two conflicts (Bosnia, Israel) are entirely too close to home, and neither is an easy military proposition. Bosnia was urban warfare, and the same is true with Israel. You'll note that everybody and his grandmother jumped on the bandwagon to attack Iraq - desert warfare we understand, since Rommel showed the way, and of course most of it was airstrikes.

You're right that northern Ireland is closer to the mark than WWII, and I wonder what lessons we can learn from that conflict and use in Israel.



[ Parent ]
Out of context (or not?) (4.00 / 2) (#55)
by hawaii on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:48:35 AM EST

I 'm not sure I understand your stance, whether you think the author was implying Israel shoudl have done this or not.

But that quote doesn't make contextual sense without his previous quote. At least mention how that supposition (which I don't think he said he preferred) came about. He's talking about people comparing Israeli tactics to Nazi tactics, and mentioning how ridiculous that assertion is by pointing out how different the war would be if Israel was really acting like Nazis.

The paragraph opens with
Today, I see Arafat, sitting in his bunker, talking to "international activists" and proclaiming that the Israelis are just like Nazis. I wonder: Did Adolf Hitler allow his enemies press conferences? I daydream--if only!

[ Parent ]

I hate it when it makes me enter a subject. Bah. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by felixrayman on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 02:49:58 AM EST

Actually my favorite bit of this rant was the quote

" Israeli reporters are banned from working in Palestinian areas; foreign journalists are subtly or violently pressured to either keep out or report with a pro-Palestinian bias."

Yes those foreign journalists have been violently pressured to keep out lately haven't they?

On the whole I am pretty surprised this ran in the LA Times which is admittedly not the pinnacle of principled journalism but it isn't the New York Post either. Whatever gets click-throughs I guess.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
one nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day (none / 0) (#48)
by martingale on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:40:43 PM EST

There's more to having nuclear weapons than just having them. I'm sure if a maniac was in control of Israel he could do an awful lot of nuclear damage in the region, but blowing up the whole world? Leave that to the Russians and Americans.

You need a lot of different things to blow up the world, including: *lots* of nuclear weapons, *lots* of ICBMs, a *big* infrastructure to launch the missiles. The US have it, the Russians have it. No one else is even close.

Sure, any given madman with the means can probably choose a couple of strategic cities, anihilate millions of people in highly concentrated areas. But if you want to blow up the world, you'll have to kill a few *billion* people all over, and you have to contaminate somehow a good fraction of the arable land in the world. Even the Middle East is mostly desert.



[ Parent ]
Let's hope this is just one lunatic's opinion (none / 0) (#62)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:53:19 AM EST

... but why the L.A. Times would print something this rabid and hateful, I simply can't understand.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
You grossly overestimate nuclear weaponry (none / 0) (#167)
by dentin on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:18:08 PM EST

Just to be sure you get the message, I'll say it again: You grossly overestimate the power of nuclear weaponry. Israel doesn't have the power to create a nuclear winter - and guess what, neither does the US. Nor Russia.

Nukes aren't nearly as powerful as most people seem to think. Yes, they are dangerous, and yes, they can kill a lot of people very quickly. But they are not going to exterminate life on the planet or cause some nuclear winter where the human race dies out.

Add to that the fact that virtually all nukes are small tactical devices (very few devices greater than 1 MT even exist today), and even in worst case you'll just end up with local military targets blown up and a few crippled cities.

-dentin

[ Parent ]
This is Camp David (3.80 / 5) (#40)
by cameldrv on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 10:48:45 PM EST

Your proposal for the final status is essentally the Israeli proposal at Camp David. Why would that be accepted by the Palestinians now?

It's not the same proposal (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by Delirium on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:57:42 PM EST

Though Camp David was most of this, it left off a few crucial aspects (the most important being Palestinian control over its international borders and the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank, and Israeli refusal to dismantle the largest settlements in the western portion of the territory). See an earlier comment of mine for a fuller explanation.

See here for a map of Israel's Camp David proposal -- note the large "white area" (permanent Israeli sovereignty) fingers extending deep into the West Bank, accounting for a strategically-located 10% of its total territory, and the "temporary" Israeli control over the entire Jordan River valley.

A much better map was presented at Taba as an attempt to follow up on Camp David, which Arafat did not accept outright, but did accept as a basis for future negotiations. However by this point Barak was already certain to lose the election, so it was not really a good-faith offer by Israel (Sharon had already said that he would not honor the agreement if it were signed).

[ Parent ]

Right of Return (none / 0) (#94)
by cameldrv on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:30:10 PM EST

Well, it is my understanding that Arafat will not accept a deal that doesn't include the Right of Return. Similarly, Israel will not accept one that does. I don't see a way out of this.

[ Parent ]
Good work... (4.00 / 5) (#44)
by platypus0 on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:06:15 PM EST

Hey Sticker: I'm not sure I agree with all you've said, but I respect the way you said it. You only have to look at this list of comments to see how emotional and vicious people get over this issue, and you laid out your opinion with a minimum of hysterics or hyperbole. For that, kudos.

Thanks =) *nt* (none / 0) (#137)
by Stickerboy on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:33:54 AM EST



[ Parent ]
A Common Error (3.66 / 12) (#47)
by SPrintF on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:31:35 PM EST

The Ultimate Palestinian Goal: a viable nation-state of their own

No. The Ultimate Palestinian Goal is the destruction of Israel. The viable nation-state is just a launching platform for further strikes. The spokesmen for the Palestinians have said it often enough; why don't you believe them?

I think this is a common error in attempting to settle this conflict: people refuse to acknowlege that the goals of the two sides (security for one, the eradication of the other) are mutually exclusive.

Given that, I don't see how any agreement is possible.

You're making the same mistake (4.50 / 6) (#49)
by Delirium on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:42:24 PM EST

Sure, it's an over-simplification to say that all Palestinians want a viable nation-state. Some want the destruction of Israel, while others would be content with a state in the 1967-captured territories (including East Jerusalem).

But the same goes for Israelis. Some only want security, as you claim. But others want to expand Israel to include entire Biblical Eretz Yisrael, which includes much of Lebanon, Jordan, and of course the West Bank ("Judea and Samaria") and the Gaza Strip. A larger minority realizes that this is impossible but still wants to annex the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many in either of these groups want to forcibly expel the Palestinians from the West Bank to make room for Jewish settlement.

So there are people on each side who want to destroy the other side entirely. The proportion between the peace and destruction groups is variable depending on the particular situation, though I will agree that the "wants destruction" group is larger proportionally amongst Palestinians than Israelis.

[ Parent ]

You're making the same mistake (none / 0) (#95)
by LodeRunner on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:24:17 PM EST

But others want to expand Israel to include entire
Biblical Eretz Yisrael, which includes much of Lebanon,
Jordan, and of course the West Bank ("Judea and
Samaria") and the Gaza Strip.

Actually, the idea of the Biblical Israel comes from the Genesis Book (15:18): "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates."

It is said that the two blue stripes in the flag of Israel represent those rivers.


---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

sheepherder politics (none / 0) (#102)
by lb008d on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:18:18 PM EST

Wow what genius - basing an entire movement (Zionism) on a few lines from an ancient book.

When will people relize that politics and myths don't mix?

[ Parent ]

But that's exactly the issue. (none / 0) (#112)
by LodeRunner on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:04:01 PM EST

Obviously, I was just commenting on the bit I quoted, which refers to the biblical notion of Israel.

Yes, I agree politics and myths shouldn't mix, as much as politics and race shouldn't mix, but they do so. If religion and race were not involved, this would be a non-issue, and Jews and Arabs would co-exist in the same country just as Democrats and Republicans do in America.

If you think about the notion of what a government should do, you'd come to the conclusion that the race of the governors shouldn't matter. In this ideal world, it would not be uncommon to see Arabs voting for a Jewish candidate for presidency, and vice-versa.

Arabs could get Israeli citizenship, and many did. But Israel was created as a "Jewish state". Its declaration of estabilishment promises equal citizenship, but contradicts itself by differentiating rights based on race: any Jew is welcome to immigrate the country, but apparently other races are not (as these discussions about the Right of Return indicate).


---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

Design of a tallit (none / 0) (#166)
by isdnip on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 11:21:48 AM EST

Gimme a break -- the Israeli flag is well known to have been designed based upon a particular design of a tallit (prayer shawl), white with blue stripes on each side, with the Magen David added. Nobody, not even Slobo Sharon, makes claims from the Nile to the Euphrates. Although in the ancient days, precise cartography of bounded nation states didn't exist as today, and tribes could have wandered among and between each other.


[ Parent ]
RE: A Common Error (3.00 / 2) (#86)
by lessthan0 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:55:31 PM EST

I completely agree with you.

I have watched this mess for the last 20 years. The latest proposal that fell apart, when Israel agreed to give the Palestinians 90% of what they say they wanted convinced me that the Palestinians DON'T WANT PEACE. I've read that Arafat did not even make a counter offer to the Israeli proposal which means he was never serious about negotiating. It's all been an act. And he continues to call on Arabs to destroy Israel and the U.S. He is bluntly, just another terrorist.

Maybe there will be some chance for peace when Arafat dies, of natural causes or otherwise, and the Palestinians get a new leader that truly wants peace. Until then, it is pointless to even make an effort.

One other thing that has always bothered me, unless I have misread my history, is that England created this mess after WW2, why does everyone look to the U.S. to clean it up?

[ Parent ]
called to destroy the US? (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:02:03 PM EST

And he continues to call on Arabs to destroy Israel and the U.S. He is bluntly, just another terrorist.
I've never heard him do that. He's called for Arabs to drive the Israelis out of the West Bank, but not to destroy Israel (at least not in the last decade -- he may have called for the destruction of Israel prior to 1993). And he most certainly doesn't call for the destruction of the U.S.; in fact he repeatedly requests that the U.S. get more involved in the region, and he's even requested U.S. peacekeeping troops be sent to the region.

He's far from peace-loving, but his official positions are at least not the same as Hamas's.

[ Parent ]

true that brother (none / 0) (#152)
by hansGruber on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:54:30 AM EST

<in best Hogan impression>true that brother</in best Hogan impression> lets hear it for common sense with regards to the middle east...and the economic recovery of post-'98 Russia!!

[ Parent ]
US (or EU) possible action... (4.00 / 2) (#51)
by arthurpsmith on Tue Apr 09, 2002 at 11:51:36 PM EST

Stickerboy - this is a good analysis and summary. As others point out here it's pretty much what Clinton and Barak came up with (apparently thinking Arafat agreed, but he didn't) at Camp David... but overall it seems far too complicated a solution. How about a simpler approach:

First the US zeroes out all congressional funding for Israel's current government; instead proposes to accept Israel and the occupied territories as US protectorates (like Puerto Rico, Guam - Hawaii once was, as was the Phillipines also...) Israel refuses at first, but acquiesces within a year. Palestine, as occupied territory, has little choice in the matter.

As protectorates, the US establishes new governing institutions consisting of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, with the executive (Governor) and legislative branches elected. Three contiguous protectorates are created, roughly corresponding to present-day Israel, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. Each protectorate is responsible for internal affairs. The US federal government controls all the areas generally goverened by the federal government in the United States, including immigration, military forces, currency, trade rules, constitutionality of laws, highways, postal systems, public health, environment, etc. In particular, US federal police (FBI, ATF, etc.) would be responsible for tracking down and arresting those responsible for terrorist actions on either side, and any federal hate-crimes laws etc. would be applicable. A few decades of growth together as US protectorates should give the two sides enough stability to think about forming independent states; if they still want to at that point.

An alternate approach would be consideration of the two sides for EU membership, under strict conditions and EU protection; but I don't believe the EU central government would provide the same security benefits there would be as under a US protectorate.

Of course any action in this direction will immediately be met with charges of colonialism; but what are we doing there now, if not ineffective colonialism by another name?

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


Ok, let's run with this. (2.00 / 1) (#57)
by supruzr on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:08:17 AM EST

As the United States, we have the prerogative to take whatever we want, right? Saudi Arabia is the single biggest producer of oil... and as Americans, we have the right to $0.90 per gallon, don't we? Well fuck the Saudi government, because we're annexing you. And if we're going to have control of THAT much of the Arabian peninsula, why shouldn't we just take all of it? Bye bye, Yemen, Oman, Aman, the UAE, Qatar, AND Kuwait. That leaves Iran and Iraq. We should make Afghanistan a protectorate, too! Afghanistan shares a border with Iran, so that's only a matter of time, there.

Making Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank protectorates will give the US an excuse to pursue -- with extreme prejudice -- any perceived threat to that land. Not to mention that it will make terrorist action FAR, FAR more common. I believe the only people that DON'T want the US out of the middle east are Israelis, and that's only because they need our backing. And the great thing about that is: we don't need evidence to blame Iraq! So we can have the Second Gulf War that I'm sure Bush is DYING to start. It'll be just like old times. And if we're going to control all of the Arabian peninsula, Israel, and eventually Iraq, why should we let Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon divide our territory? Buh-bye!

And since we have Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, why not "solve" the Pakistan/India thing, too? I think the same model as suggested in the above post will work there. And now we share a border with China!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you start Word War 3. Who won't be pissed with us after all that? And who won't claim that's the US Plan after we make Israel a protectorate? Only the short-sighted.

[ Parent ]
WW3 (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by arthurpsmith on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:43:16 PM EST

Doing nothing also has rather a good chance of bringing about World War III. Bush stepped in last week because Egypt and Jordan were about to break ties with Israel and the Arab states seemed close to coming to Palestine's rescue militarily. I wonder where that would have gone, with Iraq and Iran (2 of our axis of evil friends!) on the same side for once...

Israel is already considered by all the Arab states to be a "puppet" of the United States. And the US would certainly come to Israel's rescue under any combined assault from the Arab states. Why not make the relationship clear, with a clear pathway toward future independence (each territory granted a referendum on independence after 10 years, say) so the extension of conflict you suggest is kept out of the question?

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


[ Parent ]
Don't understand the fear of WW III... (none / 0) (#142)
by ctbritt on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:09:31 AM EST

Because I just don't see it happening. What Arab country would REALLY invite a devastating US response (except for Iraq; it's the only one that might provoke us.) They're mostly too reliant on US aid to prop up their authoritarian governments. Or on oil revenue from which the US is a major customer.

To get WW III, i think you need to somehow bring in Russia and/or China, and that's not going to happen, as neither country wants to risk bad relations over the Arab states.

True, the "Street" will grow more radicalized and there will likely be more terrorist attacks, but that doesn't necessarily lead to WW III. It just leads to a long, drawn-out and exhausting state of constant insecurity for everyone. Insecurity in the US that there will be attacks, possibly with WOMD and insecurity in Arab countries that radicals in their population will finally provoke the US enough to launch a devastating attack against their country (ala Afghanistan.) This situation cannot hold. The US would eventually pull out of the Middle East or the Arab countries would bring their radicals under control (likely with out help by means of increased aid to police governments.)

I just don't see a WW III scenario playing out.


-- I once had something interesting to say
[ Parent ]

Protectorates (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by Merk00 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:19:00 AM EST

My first issue comes with the fact that the US would actually want to have Israel as a protectorate (officially they're called territories). There is very little advantage for the US and quite a bit of problems (like the Israelis and Palestinians trying to kill each other). Not only would it be political suicide, it would also taxing on the American budget as well as time and energy.

Second of all, why would the Israelis ever accept an American protectorate? They have a strong independent nation. They have a large sense of national pride. They also happen to have a national religion which is incompatible with the US Constitution. All these things would lead the Israelis to not want to be a US protectorate.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

It's the money (none / 0) (#78)
by arthurpsmith on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:32:50 PM EST

On the first issue - maybe the US wouldn't want to take on the responsibility. But why are we sending all these peace missions over there if we don't feel some sense of responsibility for the troubles there? As far as the budget goes, we're spending $300 billion/year on defense, more than almost the rest of the entire world put together, and the most dangerous current threat seems to be at root caused by the troubles in the Middle East. Solving that problem through an imposed, colonial-style settlement, could save us a LOT of money in the long run.

On the second issue - Israel receives $3 billion in support from the US every year. If they can live without it, fine; but most people seem to think it's pretty considerable leverage... Yes, it certainly would eliminate the close ties of their religion to their government - that seems to be the source of most of the problem here.

The nation of Israel and proto-nation of Palestine have proved they aren't ready to govern themselves in peace with their neighbors. Time for somebody to step in and help them figure out how to govern themselves properly.

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


[ Parent ]
Annexation (none / 0) (#121)
by Merk00 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:56:41 PM EST

There is a large difference between wanting to work through diplomacy (as the US has to date) and wanting to actually put troops on the ground. It takes a much larger issue to actually put US troops on the ground and that implies that there will be limited casualties. Unfortunately, in this case, casualties are almost guaranteed as there will be a large enough group of Palestinians who are not satisified with the current situation that would want attack Israel and, given the fact that in that case the US would rule Israel, the US. This makes it extremely unlikely that the US would want to do this.

As far as Israel being pressured into accepting US sovereignty by withdrawal of economic support, the exact opposite would occur. Instead of cowling Israel, the withdrawal of funds would inflame the Israelis and cause them to be more nationalistic than normal. Israel can survive without US economic support. It may be harder for them, but they will be able to survive. Withdrawing funds would cause Israelis to dislike the US more than they would be prepared to join them.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

I love it! (4.33 / 3) (#82)
by Vic Vega on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:15:46 PM EST

As an Israeli citizen, I can say two things (which are not very popular here): Nationalism sucks, and religion mixed with government sucks worse.

A U.S protectorate? Sign me up.

[ Parent ]
The idea terrifies me. (3.00 / 1) (#107)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:33:17 PM EST

It terrifies me because I think if the US *did* send troops there, it would end up drawing the ire of both the palestinian extremists who aren't happy with the situation and the israeli extremists who aren't happy with the situation; instead of blowing each other up, they'd both concentrate on blowing *us* up.

[ Parent ]
Ah, but... (2.00 / 1) (#138)
by arthurpsmith on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:33:57 AM EST

Yup, and we'd jail the lot of them pretty darn quick.

The reason the extremists on both sides can get away with their current activities is because the states they reside in tacitly or explicitly support their points of view. Replace those with a society governed at bottom by US federal law, and they won't have a chance.

Of course they may leave the country for Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, etc. and attack us from there - but we know how to handle that too...

Energy - our most critical problem; the solution may be in space.


[ Parent ]
Spokenlike ... (4.00 / 1) (#177)
by aphrael on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:20:25 PM EST

Spoken like a true imperialist with no sense of history; the words you are saying are basically *exactly* what the British said about unrest in India and South Africa --- and you can see how well it worked for them

It might work if the imposition of force from outside had significant political support among a broad spectrum of the population. But as it currently stands it wouldn't; it would be resented by people on both sides who viewed it as a derogation of their sovereignty and a frustration of their aims.

The history of imperial powers on this subject is quite clear: in order to maintain our presence there, and to maintain the 'peace' which we sought to preserve, we would have to become just as brutal as the Israelis are today; and the reaction to that would carry over into attacks directly against us in our homeland. What could make that risk worth it?

[ Parent ]

There is still another solution... (2.40 / 15) (#56)
by aechols on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:58:47 AM EST

Israelis think Palestinians are terrorists.
Palestinians think Israelis are terrorists.

So lets suppose that they're both right. They're all a bunch of terrorists. Therefore the only solution is to nuke them all. Drop a few megatons on that place, and not only will we rid the world of a bunch of terrorists, but the place will be a barren wasteland full of radioactive isotopes of cesium, barium, strontium, and krypton. Nobody will want it any more!

Huzzah! No more problem.

No, I'm not totally serious. Somewhat though. It would definitely make them all shut up.


---
Are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Saudi Peace Plan (4.66 / 6) (#63)
by Uri on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:59:23 AM EST

The real problem with the Saudi peace plan is not about demanding a return to pre-67 borders. That will eventually have to happen - though with some scope for compromise, such as Israel ceding (sic?) land in exchange for keeping a few of the larger settlements. Nor is it about the status of Jerusalem - Jerusalem was supposed from the beginning to be an international city, and some sort of negotiated power sharing is inevitable.

No, the real problem is in including references to the Right of Return - the UN-sanctioned right of the descendants of the 0.5-1m Palestinians who left/were forced out during Israel's war of independence to return there. Their number now stands at ~3-4m and their return would destroy Israel socially, turning it into a 50-50% Jewish/Arab state. No Israeli government would ever agree to this, even under threat of economic and military sanctions. (Consider, as an analogy, the return to Pakistan of 100 million Indians forced out in '47).

While it is not in Arafat's (or anyone's) power to renounce the Right of Return, he must know he cannot make it part of any peace talks. Instead he should seek a de facto compromise based on limited return rights for humanitarian reasons, and compensation by Israel to the rest of the refugees.

In fact these compromises pretty much sum up the core of the Camp David peace proposals. Unfortunately, rather then accepting them as a basis for negotiation, Arafat rejected them outright, clinging instead to the impossible dream of Return.

Why he did this is not obvious, especially now. Maybe it was for political reasons (Barak was losing support in Israel at the time, though helping Sharon get elected was hardly good for the Palestinian people). Maybe it was for personal reasons (Arafat is old, and when he dies he much rather be remembered as The Fighter, than The Compromiser). What is certainly true is that, despite letting down his people enormously (the PA is one of the most corrupt regimes in the world, and has an atroucious human rights record - even worse than Israel's), Arafat is now more popular than ever before.

Uri

PS Using w3m, so hope this works...


(o/t) w3m works great for me (none / 0) (#65)
by martingale on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:39:02 AM EST

Been using it as my main browser for six months. If you haven't checked out surfraw yet, it's worth taking a look also.



[ Parent ]
Great experience here too (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by kzin on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:10:24 AM EST

It's sure nice to see that there are More Of Us! :)

I just wish Rusty would replace those annoying "[Hotlist]" and "[Print]" IMG ALT tags on the story columns with simple "+" and "P" so they wouldn't take half the column's width...

[ Parent ]

(sssh, there is no w3m cabal) (none / 0) (#110)
by martingale on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:20:33 PM EST

That doesn't bother me that much, but I've disabled all the "fluff" I could. What's a little annoying is when I blockquote in emacs, I usually get bits of the hotlist mixed up in the selection and have to remove those bits line by line.



[ Parent ]
Together with Lynx users, we're a force (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by kzin on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:44:45 AM EST

I like the fluff. That's the whole point of w3m for me: my use of a textual browser does not stop me from being able to appreciate and use a good page layout. I just wish w3m had Javascript too.
What's a little annoying is when I blockquote in emacs, I usually get bits of the hotlist mixed up in the selection and have to remove those bits line by line.
Just use "v" and copy the HTML source directly. This way you also don't need to re-add the guy's HTML markup if they used any. But yeah, this is a general problem to which the solution is to add a block markup feature to gpm and the xterms.

[ Parent ]
and links users of course (none / 0) (#154)
by martingale on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:04:00 AM EST

fluff: I didn't mean the layout capabilities of w3m - tables is why I don't use lynx - and of course there's w3mman - no I just meant all the extra k5 boxes I never use. If you turn 'em off, the text takes 4/5ths of the space in my xterm, which is enough for me. Then I just tile my screen with 6 xterms and off I go :)

The v command is useful, but I don't like to wade through the source to find the comment I'm replying to, so I've set up a hot key to dump the current w3m page to a temp file when I want to reply to a comment, and emacs loads the dumped file into a second buffer when it's invoked by w3m in reply to a comment. That way, I've got the rendered web page in the upper half of my xterm, and my comment being written underneath.

My complaint about marking blocks is actually just laziness on my part. In emacs, I could simply mark a rectangular region with the mouse and copy that directly, but I don't remember the key combination (its called rectangle editing or something) and the mouse is too far away...



[ Parent ]
Saudi Plan (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:41:10 PM EST

The Saudi Plan is actually slightly more lenient on refugees than the Palestinian official "right of return" position. It doesn't actually call specifically for the return of the refugees, only a "solution" to the refugee problem on the basis of U.N. General Assembly resolution 194 of 1948. That resolution "resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." This leaves some wiggle-room, as it places conditions on the return of refugees ("live at peace with their neighbours") and offers an alternate solution (compensation) for those not returning. From some sources I've read it appears Saudi Arabia is being deliberately vague on this point to allow some wiggle room; one possible solution is to allow the return of non-militant Palestinians with immediate family within Israel, and to resettle the rest in a newly-formed State of Palestine with financial assistance from either Israel or the US and EU (the symbolic gesture of Israel paying reparations to Palestinian refugees might be difficult to get the Israelis to accept, so having the US or EU pay the money might avoid this while still helping them resettle). Whether this will be acceptable to either side remains to be seen.

As for the Camp David proposals, I've written a bit about them in another comment, including some links to maps.

[ Parent ]

The Saudi "Plan" (none / 0) (#208)
by czolgosz on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 04:28:20 PM EST

The so-called Saudi "peace plan" is really based on some off-the-cuff remarks by Crown Prince Abdullah that the US seized upon and elaborated.

Historically, Saudi Arabia's position on the Palestinian question is similar to the British diplomatic signal that was sent during the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Nazis: "Render every possible form of assistance short of actually helping."

The Saudi royal family's only real interest is to keep the US supporting their corrupt medieval theocracy in exchange for cheap oil. They'd also very much like to deflect attention from the nationality of the majority of 9-11 hijackers, and from the source of much of Al-Qaida's funding. So don't read deep motives into the ambiguities in the proposal. Their real goal is to get Palestinians out of the Gulf, since Palestinians tend to be more secular and Westernized than Saudis. Those ideas are dangerous to the monarchy. If pleasing the US is possible without too much public backlash, they'll do that too.

The "K5 plan" is, on the whole, better thought-out.
Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
Rights of return (4.00 / 2) (#106)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:32:11 PM EST

You could also use as analogies the Greeks who were expelled from Turkey in the 1920s demanding their lands back, or the Germans who were expelled from Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1945.

Oddly, though, both countries (Greece and Germany) have relinquished their claims in the name of peace; would it be too much to expect the Palestinians to? (On the other hand, both Croatia and Bosnia recognize in theory the right of return in their countries, and some Croatians have even returned to Vukovar. :))

[ Parent ]

Actually... (4.00 / 1) (#119)
by linca on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:15:47 PM EST

There is a movement of Germans chased from the Chezch republic (the sudetes part, precisely), asking for their properties to be returned. It is not backed by the German government, though.

[ Parent ]
True ... (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by aphrael on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:21:46 PM EST

and there's a small movement for the return of Ostpreussen, as well. But neither has much popular support (although if a politician decided to use the issue and fan up popular support for it, it could be dangerous) and so for the moment it is more or less irrelevant as an issue in German-Polish, or German-Czech, relations.

[ Parent ]
If I remember correctly (none / 0) (#196)
by linca on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 06:22:16 AM EST

the BundesRepublik only acknowledged the post-45 Polish border in 1990, am I right?

[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#198)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 12:03:43 PM EST

in the early 1970s. It was part of Willy Brandt's policies towards the east, which were hotly contested at the time but now are relatively uncontroversial. It was reiterated in 1990.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#199)
by linca on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 12:18:26 PM EST

Being young I only remembered about the reiteration...

[ Parent ]
The Greeks are not happy about it though (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 05:25:54 AM EST

It's a tense peace at best. And Cyprus is barely a peace at all.

Most Greeks still consider Constantinople (Istanbul) a Greek city and plan to eventually get it back.

[ Parent ]

Finally, someone thinking about the future. (3.00 / 2) (#70)
by Robby on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:30:47 AM EST

My compliments to the Author who decided to place some energy into trying to stop the death of many many people. If only all of us did the same.

Of course, I have to make constructive criticism

The steps outlined for the tasks of the palestinians/israelis seems to smell very similar to what Ehud Barak offered in 2000. Clearly there was something untenable at the time: What was it (I don't think we'll find out from the "big guys").

Theres other faulty holes, such as:

  • Generous financial reparations must be given for displaced Palestinian refugees. Since this is a "mid east" plan this neglects the memory of the 1 million or so Jewish refugees forced out from the Arab states, mostly Egypt/Iraq/Iran.
  • The suggestion to place arab peacekeepers on the Palestine border would be a mistake in terms of having impartial observers.
  • I'm tired.
  • One major point that i'd like to see is to have a forced 3/4 year term democratic Palestine - not a stagnant leadership as the PA have had for the last 7 years.

More from me in the morning.

some comments (4.50 / 4) (#83)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 01:27:33 PM EST

The steps outlined for the tasks of the palestinians/israelis seems to smell very similar to what Ehud Barak offered in 2000. Clearly there was something untenable at the time: What was it (I don't think we'll find out from the "big guys").
My personal opinion is that the failure of these talks was a combination of a few issues. First, Barak throughout most of the negotiations did not really offer enough for a viable Palestinian state. See here for his 2000 offer -- Palestine is proposed to be broken into several noncontiguous regions comprising only 61% of the land, with 25% of the land permanently annexed by Israel and another 14% under "temporary" Israeli control. Clearly this is a good start (especially compared to Netanyahu's nearly insulting offer).

Barak did go on to offer far improved terms, but only after his defeat was already nearly assured and Sharon (the likely election victor) had said that he would not honor any peace agreements Barak signed. That makes it difficult to really call them good faith offers. Arafat did accept the final one -- presented at Taba in January 2001 -- as nearly good enough, and indicated that it was a good basis for at the very least a long-term interim solution.

Arafat is partly to blame here though -- the Taba terms are essentially good enough, so he should have accepted them in no uncertain language. That would have put the onus on Israel to back up its offer, and if Sharon had unilaterally retracted an offer that looked promising for peace, Israel would've borne nearly the entire blame for the failure. But Arafat saw that he was unlikely to actually get the land (since Barak was on his way out) so judged it not worth the political risk (giving up the right of return of refugees and 5% of West Bank land carries not inconsiderable political risk).

Barak I have no fault with. The Israeli people however were not nearly as determined to achieve peace as Barak was, and Arafat was not nearly as courageous a leader as Barak either.

Generous financial reparations must be given for displaced Palestinian refugees. Since this is a "mid east" plan this neglects the memory of the 1 million or so Jewish refugees forced out from the Arab states, mostly Egypt/Iraq/Iran.
While I agree that morally the refugees on all sides are essentially equivalent, aid to the Palestinian refugees is desirable mostly because of its prospects for cementing a peace deal. The Jewish refugees have for the most part been successfully resettled and are now living as normal citizens of Israel. For any peace deal to be lasting, the same needs to be done to the Palestinian refugees -- they need to become citizens of a new state of Palestine, and resettle so that they become indistinguishable from other citizens of Palestine rather than refugees. To this end financial assistance is indispensable. I don't really see the money as a problem though -- the US and EU have indicated a willingness to come up with the actual money if the Israelis and Palestinians can agree to a deal, so it won't be a financial burden on Israel or even require a symbolic payment of reparations from Israel to the Palestinians.
The suggestion to place arab peacekeepers on the Palestine border would be a mistake in terms of having impartial observers.
Definitely. I'm not sure what to do on this point really. Peace-keepers are a poor model for this area, because the goal of the pragmatists on both sides is to have a fairly open but peaceful border. Peace-keepers work better in areas where the goal is to keep the two sides completely apart. But Palestine cannot really viably exist apart -- its economy depends on close economic ties to Israel. And a good economy generally means happier people, so it's in everyone's best interests that the economy of a future Palestinian state be at least decent. So the best arrangement here would be if Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces could jointly patrol borders. Of course this requires a true peace -- Israeli and Palestinian security forces must be 100% at peace with each other, not shooting at each other. The only shooting should be from clearly delineated militant groups (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.) against whom the security forces of both sides can work in unison. Far easier said than done of course. But not impossible, I don't think -- this is essentially what has been achieved between Israel and former arch-enemy Jordan.
One major point that i'd like to see is to have a forced 3/4 year term democratic Palestine - not a stagnant leadership as the PA have had for the last 7 years.
This was the original plan, at least officially -- under the Oslo accords Arafat was elected an interim President of the non-state Palestinian Authority whose term was scheduled to last no more than 5 years, at which point there would be a State of Palestine which would hold democratic elections (the Oslo accords envisioned a final status agreement and declaration of statehood of Palestine by 1999 at the latest). Thus Arafat is still the interim president, only the interim has become indefinite due to the breakdown of the Oslo timetable.

[ Parent ]
Your stated goals are not quire correct (3.00 / 7) (#72)
by shinshin on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:53:39 AM EST

The Ultimate Israeli Goal: guaranteed peace and security for their nation-state in the Middle East, within its borders and outside of them.

The Ultimate Palestinian Goal: a viable nation-state of their own, the implementation of which satisfies both their national pride and their sense of justice for the Palestinian people.


There is a problem with your premises: these are just the stated goals of both sides. The real goals are:

The Ultimate Israeli Goal: Get rid of all the dirty, rapid breeding Palistinians and plant Istaeli settlements all throughout what is now called "Palistine", but is really Israel as written by God when he gave the land to Moses.

The Ultimate Palestinian Goal: Get rid of all the dirty, self-rightous Jews who somehow feel it is their God-given right to come in and take away all their land and water. Killing as many of them as possible in the process is an added bonus.

These goals will be a little more difficult to find a comprimise over.

Denouce the map (3.33 / 6) (#76)
by Ralph Slate on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 12:12:35 PM EST

The best argument I've seen against Arafat is one that showed a map of the region, which is published in all Palestinian textbooks, which shows the state of Israel (including disputed territories) labelled as "Palestine". There is no mention of Israel.

If Arafat is only interested in carving a Palestinian state out of the current state of Israel to give Palestinians a homeland, then why is Israel not represented anywhere on this map?

Why won't Arafat denounce a map which would require the eradication of Israel in order to become accurate?



[ Parent ]
Two Issues (none / 0) (#87)
by ZaMoose on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 02:11:17 PM EST

Your propositions for peace neglect the non-"moderate" Arab states; namely, Syria, Iran and Iraq, both of which have a proven record of actively funding and encouraging Palestinian terrorism. They continue to do so not out of some altruistic love of their Palestinian brothers, but in the interest of their own political ends. Their own populaces are far easier to control when the bugaboo of Israel is held over their heads. Better to have anger directed at Israelis than have the rampant unemployment, lack of education and general dissatisfaction with their regimes pinned where they belong: on the tyrants themselves.

Until Hussein and Khatami's respective gov'ts decide that it is no longer in their interest to fund Palestinian terrorism, terrorism will continue to be a problem and a threat.

Also, prior to the '67 war, there existed no "Palestinian state" in the disputed areas. The West Bank belonged to Jordan; the Gaza Strip was in Egypt's posession. Should not Israel then be negotiating with Egypt and Jordan?

Errrm... (none / 0) (#88)
by ZaMoose on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 02:13:07 PM EST

...should have been "all of which", not "both of which".

[ Parent ]
Jordan gave up their claims to the West Bank (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by arun on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 02:43:45 PM EST

In 1988, King Hussein of Jordan gave up all of his claims over the West Bank in favor of the PLO. link here

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the link (none / 0) (#90)
by ZaMoose on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 02:55:32 PM EST

...and for pointing out (as I failed to do) that even Jordan (one of the most "moderate" West-friendly Arab regimes) has an extremely checkered past when it comes to the PLO/PA/Palestinian people. Kuwait, Lebanon and Syria also have treated Palestinians with a great degree of ruthlessness. Also, to refer to Iran as an "Arab" state (as I circuitously did) is a misnomer. Iranians are not a Semitic people; they are in fact Aryan. Most Iranians would be highly offended to be referred to as "Arabs".

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, by doing so .... (none / 0) (#108)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:47:29 PM EST

... they wrote off part of their responsibility for the problem - after all, it was their land and their citizens. I think there's something to the idea of having Jordan and Egypt reclaim the West Bank and Gaza with full citizenship for the Palestinians. It would place the burden of peace on parties that have demonstrated some responsibility in the area and it would place the Palestinian people under leadership that would stand a better chance of preventing them from doing stupid things like blowing themselves up. Israel could also have more defensible borders than they do now.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
[OT] Iran is not an Arab state [NT] (none / 0) (#171)
by nusuth on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:54:26 PM EST

.

[ Parent ]
A plan worth backing (2.83 / 6) (#93)
by Medievalist on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:28:36 PM EST

PROBLEMS: The Israeli theocracy is racist and cannot control its warmongering elements (c.f. the "settlers"). The Palestinians want an Islamic state.

SOLUTION: Declare war on THEOCRACY. There is no place for racism and religious hatred in a multicultural nation.

Pay compensation for lands seized by Israel. Use the US aid money to do it, instead of buying more ammo. Disband Israel and create the sovereign secular democracy of Judeastan, where everyone BORN INSIDE THE EXISTING BORDERS gets a vote and no religion may run roughshod over any other.

Until the Palestinians and Israelis can integrate, they will be at each other's throats. The first step toward this is elimination of "the right of return" and the establishment of a true democracy.

--Charlie

Excuses For Occupation (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by hotsauce on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:00:49 PM EST

and the 1967 borders are considered indefensible by the Israelis anyways.

I am always amused by the excuses that people come up with to defend an occupation. You will note, of course, that Israel did manage to defend it's 1967 borders (in, coincidence of coincidences, 1967!) and capture other people's land, too.

I like the article, though. And I am very proud that K5 has not degenerated into an ethnic hate match. Keep working for freedom and peace!



Resistance is not terrorism.
Not only that but ... (3.00 / 2) (#109)
by pyramid termite on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:50:01 PM EST

... it ought to obvious to anyone that Israel's current borders aren't defensible, as clearly, the country is being attacked within them.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
The "undefendable" border Part II (none / 0) (#135)
by Vic Vega on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:24:47 AM EST

Your concept of defensible is quite skewed. The fact that Israel is being attacked can't possibly prove whether a border is defendable or not. I mean, if it is attacked and it can defend itself, then the borders are defendable, no?

[ Parent ]
Not an excuse (none / 0) (#123)
by Stickerboy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:22:59 PM EST

I am always amused by the excuses that people come up with to defend an occupation. You will note, of course, that Israel did manage to defend it's 1967 borders (in, coincidence of coincidences, 1967!) and capture other people's land, too.

Well, I was voicing the point that many people, Israeli and otherwise, give about withdrawing to the 1967 borders. It's the main argument used against a full withdrawal, and more importantly, it is widely believed to be true by the Israelis -it's one of the reasons Israel has been so balky in withdrawing from territory during the Oslo Accords timetable.

In 1967, Israel took the offensive on land after Egypt blockaded them, IIRC... mostly because they couldn't afford to sit back and wait for the Arab land forces to drive into Israel, due to the border situation.

If they had sat back and waited, it would have been easy to split Israel and its armies in two and then encircle and destroy them.

[ Parent ]
The "undefendable" border (none / 0) (#134)
by Vic Vega on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:22:53 AM EST

Between 1956 and 1967, durin 11 years of life within "undefendable borders", Israel has suffered less than 35 casualties due to military or militant attacks.

In March 2002, while living in "big Israel", accompanied by a mighty military force, Israel has suffered over 120 such casualties.

Undefendable? I don't think so.

[ Parent ]
Body counts are different... (none / 0) (#141)
by Stickerboy on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:06:18 AM EST

...I could be wrong, but I think the Israeli public acutely fears that if they withdraw to the 1967 border, Israel itself would be in danger of being overrun in the future. The current border might produce more casualties, but they don't fear quite as much for Israel's very existence as much as if they withdrew unilaterally.

Now way of life, yes.

[ Parent ]
Regardless, They Were Defended (none / 0) (#169)
by hotsauce on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:50:36 PM EST

Regardless of how they did it, they defended those borders. Not only that, but they occupied new lands as well. It is just another excuse in a long list that right-wing Israelis make to justify inhumane actions over the last 35 years.


Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
Hypocritical (none / 0) (#191)
by Peaker on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:22:37 PM EST

to not "buy excuses" for occupation, and yet justify the murder of innocent men, women, children, babies, tourists and others, in the name of this occupation.

You should beware that your signature is a call for the murder of innocent men, women and children, some of which oppose and act against the occupation, such as myself.

Partially because you justify murder while carelessly denying the right to pursue security (as in Afghanistan or the territories), and partially since you call to murder myself, I must denounce your oppinion as hateful and completely one-sided.

[ Parent ]

Indefensible means zero margin for error (none / 0) (#205)
by CitAnon on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 01:20:51 PM EST

Could you imagine what would have happened to the Israelies if they messed up militarily even a little in 1967?

Actually, you don't need to. You can just look to places like Bosnia and Rawanda for your answer.

[ Parent ]
Not while they're theocracies (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by bill_mcgonigle on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:28:06 PM EST

Both governments believe God has given them a right to claim the land. God says, "yes", the UN says, "no," who do you listen to?

That's no way to run a government.

Based on outcomes, the US Constitution is the best way we've come up with to run a country. It's one of the only founding documents with the express purpose of limiting the power of the government. Why can't the rest of the world learn a few things from it? Oh, because God promised them something else they find appealing.


Both? (none / 0) (#116)
by LodeRunner on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:34:48 PM EST

I was born in Brazil and my father emmigrated from Palestine. From all these years I've been listening to him talk about the situtation over there, I never saw him claming Palestine as a God-given right.

His usual point is that they were there first, and then they were forced out. (I know that the definition of "first" is vague, but if you go back 3000 years to define "first" you'll get into Biblical History and start confusing religion and politics again.) The point he tries to make is that he lived there, the place was called Palestine, and then one day they declared "Palestine is over. This is now Israel". War obviously started, as it would if someone went over to Finland and declared "Finland is over." Simple as that, no religion involved, if you come to think about it.

BTW, he told me they never had problems with Jewish people before 1948, they co-existed in peace, each respecting each other's religion.

I hope I don't sound biased. My only priority is peace, since I have many relatives living over there, and the news they send are no good at all.


---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

British Mandate of Palestine (none / 0) (#144)
by Bad Harmony on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:14:48 AM EST

BTW, he told me they never had problems with Jewish people before 1948, they co-existed in peace, each respecting each other's religion.

Maybe they didn't have problems where your father lived, but there were significant riots in the British mandate of Palestine in 1920-1921, 1929, 1936-1939, including the ethnic cleansing of Hebron by Arab nationalists.

A good history of the region can be found here.

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Riots of Hebron in 1929 (none / 0) (#182)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:19:19 PM EST

To put things into perspective, over 100 Jews were killed in a couple of days during the 1929 riots, and the rest were able to flee to safety.

This number of dead is remarkably similar to number of Palestinians killed during the recent IDF incursions. If the Palestinians plan on calling this a genocide, then they must use similar wording on these riots in 1929, for instance.

[ Parent ]

just for the record (none / 0) (#145)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:43:36 AM EST

LodeRunner, you may want to consider changing your handle to avoid confusion in discussions about the Middle East. You see, I am a Zionist.

Also, if you're going to keep the LodeRunner account you should be aware that a number of people feel strongly -- one way or another -- about my opinions.

If you've deliberately chosen your handle in an effort to undermine my arguments, well, then I appreciate the homage, but you've been found out and it's time to move on.



[ Parent ]

what would be the odds... (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by LodeRunner on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:58:13 PM EST

Whoa... What would be the odds of that happening.

I've been using this handle since I first got into the web years ago, so be sure that this is a coincidence: I was not aware of your existence. That is the handle I use on my (currently offline) webpage, ICQ, e-mail...

Of course I don't want people to confuse us, just as I wouldn't want to be confused with anybody else. Therefore I'm adding a note to my sig to ensure this.

I hope this settlement can estabilish peace between us. :-)


---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

okay (none / 0) (#184)
by Lode Runner on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 06:15:53 PM EST

Thanks... but your sig won't make much sense in discussions that do not cover the Middle East. You may want to consider changing it to something more general like, "Please don't confuse me with the other/original Lode Runner" or something.

As for priority, I've been using the handle Lode Runner since the Broderbund era.

And one other thing you should know... there's a fellow here with very strong beliefs about racial purity and U.S. immigration who thinks that Lode Runner is also streetlawyer and medham.



[ Parent ]

clarifications (none / 0) (#183)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:44:21 PM EST

Some clarifications. I'm not sure if you're aware of these facts or not, but the history of the situation isn't as simple as you suggest in your post.

His usual point is that they were there first, and then they were forced out.

Please ealize that firstly, there was always some Jewish presence in what is now Israel and Palestine.

Secondly, please remember the events regarding Israel's war of independence. After the UN partition plan, many Israeli politicians did offer citizenship to the non-Jewish residents of Israel. Also, during the war, remember that most Palestinians, at the advice of the invading Arab armies, got out of the way to make room for them to "drive the Jews into the sea". In some cases they joined with them to fight. There are also, of course, cases of Palestinians that were forced from their homes. But certainly not all were "forced out".

On this subject, does anybody have any good and unbiased figures regarding the number of Palestinians that were forced out vs. the number that got out to make way for the invading Armies?

Also keep in mind that the number of Palestinian refugees created as a result of this war is approximately equal to the number of Jewish refugees kicked out of the surrounding Arab countries as a consequence of this war.

War obviously started, as it would if someone went over to Finland and declared "Finland is over." Simple as that, no religion involved, if you come to think about it.

Remember that the UN partition plan that created Israel also created Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and others. Only in the case of Israel was this partition claimed unfair. Why was it fair to suddenly declare the other partitions as countries, per your example?

Also, keep in mind that the original UN partition plan DID have a plan for Israel which was significantly smaller than Israel's current size, and the rest of the land was to be allocated for a Palestinian state. This Palestinian state was rejected, and the Arab countries chose to gamble on eradicating the Jewish state instead. They, of course, lost the gamble.

hope I don't sound biased. My only priority is peace, since I have many relatives living over there, and the news they send are no good at all.

Bias in itself is okay, becasue everybody has some bias or other. It's okay as long as it's not dominated by hatred or lies. I'm certainly not saying you have lied or show hatred. But many others involved in this conflict, from both sides, certainly do. In fact, I think it's important for people to acknowledge their bias in one way or another. You've done this by mentioning your father is a Palestinian. I'll now mention that I'm both Jewish and Buddhist. Jewish from ancestry, and Buddhist from my own personal philosophies.

I responded here because I wanted to point out to you some of the events regarding the creation of Israel that you may not have been aware of, and that it's not as simple as what you might have implied in your original post.

Here's hoping that peace will prevail!

[ Parent ]

true... (none / 0) (#192)
by LodeRunner on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:31:29 PM EST

Some clarifications. I'm not sure if you're aware of these facts or not, but the history of the situation isn't as simple as you suggest in your post.

I guess that is how I ended up sounding like, but that was not the intention. My main point was that the motivation was not primarily religious.

Please realize that firstly, there was always some Jewish presence in what is now Israel and Palestine.

Yes, I am aware, and I even mentioned my father had normal relations with them in my previous post. I found this map to be informative on this subject.

On this subject, does anybody have any good and unbiased figures regarding the number of Palestinians that were forced out vs. the number that got out to make way for the invading Armies?

Haven't found any statistics on this, and I don't even think they exist. But that is, in fact, an interesting thought.

Remember that the UN partition plan that created Israel also created Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and others. Only in the case of Israel was this partition claimed unfair. Why was it fair to suddenly declare the other partitions as countries, per your example?

I recognize my knowledge is limited on the subject, but I guess that is because all other Mandates were simply "upgraded" to nations, while Palestine was split.

Also, keep in mind that the original UN partition plan DID have a plan for Israel which was significantly smaller than Israel's current size, and the rest of the land was to be allocated for a Palestinian state. This Palestinian state was rejected, and the Arab countries chose to gamble on eradicating the Jewish state instead. They, of course, lost the gamble.

The reason I see for this (not that I agree with that, since the 1947 plan seems very reasonable, at least for today's standards) is that Jewish presence could be seen as a threat to Palestine, since ever since the beginning of the Twentieth Century there has been talks among the Jewish community to estabilish a Jewish state in Palestine or Argentina (which also has a huge Jewish community). I assume that if they decided for Argentina a similar war would have started.


---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

The suicide bombers are claiming jihad (none / 0) (#185)
by bill_mcgonigle on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 06:24:10 PM EST

They're calling it a holy war, that's why I asserted they believe they have a God-given right. I don't claim to understand their rationale, but they think it's religious.

They also want to kill the Isrealis because they're Jewish. That's religious motivation. The Isrealis are no better, they keep the Arabs/Muslims under house arrest while the Jews/Caucasians are free to move around.

[ Parent ]
Who the heck mentioned god? (none / 0) (#189)
by Peaker on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:12:45 PM EST

This conflict has nothing to do with god or religion.

Israeli laws do limit the government, but Israel, ever since 1948, has been in an "emergency status" (except a single month this whole time), in which the government has some more powers (like censoring the media).

The UN said "yes" to an Israeli Jewish state in the region, in the two-state division plan of 1947. The Jews accepted, while the arabs (not yet called the "Palestinians" at the time) refused.

[ Parent ]

What are you doing in Medicine... (none / 0) (#127)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:19:16 PM EST

When you should be a diplomat? I'm pro-Palestine all the way, but your Op-Ed piece was very even handed. Kudos :)

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]

Thank you :) (none / 0) (#143)
by Stickerboy on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:11:53 AM EST

The art of diplomacy is actually a big part of practicing medicine. ;)

[ Parent ]
How could a liberal/dem be pro-palestinian state? (1.00 / 1) (#150)
by hansGruber on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:48:39 AM EST

It is completely beyond me how people can push for a palestinian state? Let's compare the average Arab living in Isreal to the average Arab. Despite what the media will tell us about the happy go lucky Saudi regime, all is not well. Most "Palestinians" (I use the term loosly) are not some poor unfortunate folk who have been displaced by the Isreali state. There has been an influx of Arab immigrants into the area since the jews started flocking there. With good reason. Arabs have more rights in Isreal than in any other Islamic country. The only restriction is that Arabs are prohibited from joining the general military for obvious reasons (I don't think anyone's complaining that they're not forced to go off and die for their government). Jews, with their stereotypical wealth and liberal-democractic ideas generated wealth (moreso than the average Arab would find elsewhere in the middle east). It was for these reasons that Arabs flocked to the region. Jews outnumbered Arabs in Jerusalem 10 to 1 during the turn of the century. Despite the exaggeration that there was this huge exodus of jews into Isreal to a land filled with muslims, there were far more jews than there were muslims. Although Yassar Arafat's depicts the 'palestinians' as decendants of the philistines or something, this is simply not true. Arafat himself is an Egyptian! IF the world allowed for the Palestinian state to exist, it would become nothing but a tyrannical dictatorship...you don't need to look very far to see what I mean. In my opinion the PLO as it exists today is harmful enough to a stablization in the region. These people in the west bank are filled with propaghanda by 'the authority' and are never reinforced with the idea the rights they enjoy compared to other Arabs. Instead, they allow for the hatred of the Isrealis to swell so that they might be able to garner enough support (and fanatical stunts) to achieve considerable power. Do you think there's any opinions being mass broadcasted that contradict the offial 'party line' of the PLO? If PLO wasn't controlling information pathways there might be a little more diversity in opinion. As well, the PLO impedes the ability of the Isreali government to pursue terrorists...when they do, its seen as an 'attack on Palestine'!! Sure a quick fix like the establishment of a dictatorship under Arafat would bring stability...but at what cost? The freedom of the 'palestinians' and the security of of the only state in the area that meets the liberal guidelines accepted by the rest of the non-Islamic world, that's the cost. Not to mention the signal being sent to the terrorists: 'good job, your senseless killing is really proving fruitful'. Don't get me wrong in this commentary, I have no problems with the practice of Islam by consenting parties, but the way things are now is that its principles are being shoved down citizens' throats. Peace at any cost is NOT the answer. Its merely a kluge. Why give up on democracy in the middle east? In a related vein, it's important also to note that democratic states DO NOT attack each other...thus it is important to the stability of the world that its conversion to such an idealogy procceeds swiftly. In conclusion, let the Isrealis finish their bludgeoning of the PLO and terrosist cells and see the emergence of a jointly-federal state. Why do the palestinians need their own state for any other reason than to enforce Islamic ideals and jew-hatred? Did I mention that Arafat is linked to the deaths of two American Ambassadors in Saudi (and yet he's still the hero of the Oslo agreements....and a Nobel Peace Prize [its like the oscars, those that deserve to win never do]). http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=15066 the best article I've read on the issue....by an Arab American) --regards from an Anti-Arafat (who obviously isn't willing to make any concessions for peace) libertarian may his rotting flesh be licked cleanfrom his bones by the wolves.....IRON MAIDEN RULES!!

[ Parent ]
Couldn't make nor head nor tail (none / 0) (#160)
by ragnarok on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:28:08 AM EST

from your rant. What about Kuro5hin poster gets things right -. If you can come up with a reason why cities like Jerusalem, Jaffa, Nazareth, Hebron, etc, could exist solely on manna from heaven, I would be delighted to hear them.

Alternatively, you could put me on to your drug supplier. What one do you do? Or do you do a cocktail?


"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
[ Parent ]

Israeli Arabs and Palestinians (none / 0) (#188)
by Peaker on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:09:08 PM EST

You are confusing Israeli Arabs with Palestinians.

Israeli arabs enjoy more rights than other arabs in other regimes, true.

Palestinians lived under Israeli occupation in a military regime since 1967, without many rights and without citizenship.

Some Palestinians lived under PA for a while after the Oslo accords, but it seems the PA is half-collapsed now.

[ Parent ]

Screw 'em all. (none / 0) (#147)
by opendna on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:58:13 AM EST

I've generally ignored this conflict and openly admit that I have no business passing judgment. My authority in these matters, despite all the IR education, is precisely nil. After reading the history of Zionism and the positions of Hamas, et al, this is my response to both sides:

I dislike fanatics, particularily those of a religious and/or nationalist bent. Jewish, Islamic and Christian fundamentalism are incompatible with peace. Nationalism is incompatible with peace. Zionism is incompatible with peace. I want peace.

If you want to fight a holy war go to the holy land. Now.

Come on people! Off you go! You say Armageddon is on its way now the Jews have returned to Israel/when Muslims kill Jews hiding behind trees? Great! Get over there and take part in the Final Battle.

With a little luck you'll all kill each other and leave the rest of us - the liberal/moderates who believe God's message is PEACE & LOVE - to live in the utopia that follows.

Go on! That's why the Jews (were) returned to Israel, isn't it? Trying to fullfill prophecy and force God's hand in bringing about Armageddon?

This athiest, infidel goy will be sick for the peace makers caught between you. But your departure won't elicit a tear. For once in my life I'd even support carpet bombing the whole zone when you're done, just to make sure your hatred doesn't survive.

There can be no peace as long as any of you have your freedom. Civilized societies put you all in jail. Which is, I suppose, almost as good as sending you to the desert.

history? (none / 0) (#153)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:56:19 AM EST

care to specify which history of zionism you've read?

[ Parent ]
URLs (none / 0) (#194)
by opendna on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 09:13:57 PM EST

Somewhere I found a very nice history of Jewish history (~6000 words) from the first temple through to 1948. It included the different eras of diaspora/exile, the prophecies of Ezekiel and others, the origins of common Judaic rituals (e.g. breaking a glass at weddings, etc). I should have bookmarked it, but I'm having trouble finding it now. [sigh]

ESSENTIAL TEXTS OF ZIONISM.
Christian Zionism: A British Perspective edited by Naim Ateek & Michael Prior.
Zionism Table of Contents, Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.
Zionism and the Third Reich by Mark Weber, editor of the (revisionist) Journal of Historical Review.
Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by (Trotskyist) Lenni Brenner.

Yeah, yeah. I know two of these have to do with Zionist collaboration with Nazis and that any link between the two makes an argument "anti-semetic" according to Zionists. I don't care. Zionists gained power by consenting to the oppression of German Jews, the elimination of moderate/liberal Judaism (those who didn't/wouldn't leave Germany for Palestine) and the breach of the covenant with GD (that Gentiles would not oppress Jews too much). Nazism gave legitimacy to Zionist claims on a nation-state and aided the settlement/colonization of Palestine, laying the foundation for modern Israel. That extreme-right Israeli nationalists repeatedly reference Nazi tactics only reinforces the argument that they learned from the example.

Super-nationalists are all evil.

[ Parent ]

Long but Refreshing.. (3.80 / 5) (#149)
by elzubeir on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:33:49 AM EST

Your analysis and conclusions are one of the better ones I have read. There is one thing that I never understood (and maybe some Israelis reading this may explain to me). I am under the impression that if I am a Jew, wherever I lived, can move to Israel and granted citizenship.

Now, if that is true (and I suspect it is), then this cannot go on while the refugees "Right of Return" (which is International Law) cannot be dismissed. I realize that opening Israel's door to 'millions' of refugees and settling them are not practical. That is precisely why Israel has prolonged the conflict. Israel is not stupid. If they were, they would have been gone a long long time ago.

Before Arabs can denounce terrorism (which they have actually), Israel must denounce Zionism. We view zionism as a form of racism and detest it so. It is a racist ideology and not until recently did the UN change its mind about it (mid 90's?).

Israel says that they cannot defend themselves if they move back to pre-1967 borders. We say, if you move back to pre-1967 you will no longer be under any threat to need to defend yourself to begin with. Besides, like someone has mentioned, Israel has already demonstrated that they are very well able to defend themselves (in 1967!).

The US unfortunately is not in a position to pressure Israel anymore than it has. Bush has cornered himself into the 'Israel and the US are best friends' and so have ruled out any options of futher pressuring Israel into a withdrawal.

Oh well, let's hope for the best. Great Op-Ed.

analogy with 'racist' zionism (3.50 / 2) (#155)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:09:35 AM EST

Before Arabs can denounce terrorism (which they have actually), Israel must denounce Zionism. We view zionism as a form of racism and detest it so. It is a racist ideology and not until recently did the UN change its mind about it (mid 90's?).

Here's an analogy I gave on a previous post, tell me what you think of it. Israel's selective policy of granting citizenship is in direct response to persecution of Jews solely for the fact that they were Jews. That's why Israel was formed, to create a country of safety where Jews can no longer be persecuted.

Most other religions and races have countries where they are the majority, and can live in peace. Looking at Jewish history, this hasn't been the case for the past several centuries.

Judaism is almost unique in this regard. I asked someone in a different thread to name another race that has suffered as much persecution, and (s)he said the Gypsies. So this is another race of similar historical suffering.

Anyway, let's go to the analogy. Do you consider minority scholarships racist? That is, scholarships that are given only to Native Americans, for example. Would you consider this racist? Probably not.

Now what you probably would consider racist would be a scholarship that was allowed to any race except Native Americans. This is an entirely different matter. Note that Israel does NOT prevent any specific religion or religion from emigrating, they just have to go through the hard way. It only allows one specific religion citizenship, and this is in response to the history of persecution.

IIRC, Jordan has a similar policy of allowing any displaced Palestinian to become a Jordanian citizen. Would you say this is racist because Israeli Jews are exluded from the welcome? I don't.

Israel's purpose is to allow Jews a safe nation where they can be sure they won't be discriminated against. If you say this is racist, it is only because it is in contrast to centuries of globally-pervasive anti-semitism. And note that this anti-semitism was largely against religion, not because of any actions comitted by Jews against the populace.

Note that I'm not condoning any of the atrocities comitted against Palestinians whatsoever. But if you want to talk about the conflict, you must understand the motivations behind both sides of the conflict. Just painting one side as racists and thereby denouncing their actions unilaterally isn't constructive for a solution to the crisis.

[ Parent ]

analogy (none / 0) (#163)
by elzubeir on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 09:28:22 AM EST

Not really. When I say Zionism is a racist ideology, it is not only because of Israel's immigration policies (which, yes I consider to be one of the major issues that never get discussed in political debates).

When you speak of scholarships, those scholarships don't say, 'you know.. since you're not Native American.. and your cousin has robbed a store.. I'm going to go demolish your home, and then settle this Native American here'.. So, really, I don't see where the analogy would come in.

I really can't say if Jews were persecuted _solely_ because of their religion. There were many many other reasons, economical being the number one reason. I don't know if I would feel bad for a people who have been persecuted throughout the history of the world, or wonder if there is something that they have been doing which have caused them to be expelled wherever they have gone. But, no, I will not make that judgement. I will simply say that, if you want a safe haven for the Jews to live in peace, doing so at the expense of others will never bring that safety.

[ Parent ]
analogy and comments (none / 0) (#172)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:11:58 PM EST

When you speak of scholarships, those scholarships don't say, 'you know.. since you're not Native American.. and your cousin has robbed a store.. I'm going to go demolish your home, and then settle this Native American here'.. So, really, I don't see where the analogy would come in.

If this is what you think the conflict is about, then you're seriously deluded. I said before in one of the posts that if you are looking for a peaceful solution to the conflict, then you had better make sure you understand the motivations behind each side.

Saying the Israeli operation is merely a racist oppresive action designed to destroy the will of the Palestinians is in no way constructive. It is just as dangerous and one-sided as saying the Palestinian suicide bombers reflect the barbarous and anti-semitic nature of the Palestinians who only want to kill Jews.

Both of these statements are pure BS, yet many involved in debates about the conflict adhere to one or another of these views. If you don't understand why one side is doing what it's doing, then you've got your head in the sand.

Now regarding the scholarship analogy, if you believe what you wrote, then it shows you clearly don't understand the Israeli actions. You're mixing apples and oranges.

How many cases can you name where the demolitions were accompanied by further settlements? There are demolitions (of both Palestinians and Israelis (both Arab and Jew)) that have built illegal structures. Especially in light of the wedding-hall collapse that happened last year.

Israel also bulldozes houses if assaults are launched from there, or if weapons factories are found in the houses. It doesn't, as you seem to believe, bulldoze houses because someone is both Native American and related to a store robber. However, if that person has launched missiles at Israel from his house, then he better be prepared for the IDF to come in and knock his missile-launching home down.

But when was the last time you saw Israel build a new settlement on top of a bulldozed house?

I really can't say if Jews were persecuted _solely_ because of their religion. There were many many other reasons, economical being the number one reason. I don't know if I would feel bad for a people who have been persecuted throughout the history of the world, or wonder if there is something that they have been doing which have caused them to be expelled wherever they have gone. But, no, I will not make that judgement.

I'm wondering if you are implicitly anti-semitic, but no, I won't make that judgement.

I'm both Jewish and Buddhist (they actually are not too mutually-exclusive, if you're curious). Jewish from my ancestors, and Buddhist from my own personal searchng. So I do have some knowledge of history of Jewish persecution.

I can tell you that my family fled Russia circa 100 years ago because of the Pograms. Some of my family members that didn't flee from the village (which was on the Russia/Poland border) were wiped out in the Holocaust.

Regarding this persecution, Jews were persecuted mainly because they were different, and as we all learn in 2nd grade, some people make fun of someone's who's different to be mean or to make their miserable lives seem better, etc.

I can tell you that, as many people like to related to the current situation, the Jews were NOT attacking Russian civilians (as related to pograms), or attacking German civilians (as during the Holocaust), etc. They certainly were NOT strapping dynamite to themselves and blowing themselves up in crowded civilian places.

In Germany, hitler used the Jews, along with Gypsies, Homosexuals, and others, as a scapegoat from which to give the Germans some picture for a brighter Aryan future. Jews were demonized because many bankers and other well-off positions were notably held by Jews, and this was looked at as some secret regime.

That is, hitler was able to point to these facts and make ridiculous claims like saying the Jews had too much economic power, and were causing Germany's problems, etc.

So, you might be one of these guys that renounces all history as not being able to be proved, and you might be one of these guys that wants to say pograms and the Holocaust happened because the Jews did very bad things to the populace. If you believe that, then I feel sorry for you.

Finally regarding your accusations of Israel being racist. From your webpage, you seem to be quite interested in Sudan (maybe you're of Sudan origin, etc). Why are you free to accuse Israel of being racist if Sudan is doing some very similar things? Why is Israel held to this higher standard?

[ Parent ]

I think you misunderstood me (none / 0) (#174)
by elzubeir on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:55:50 PM EST

No, I don't look at the current Israeli attacks as the determining factor of whether Israel in general is a racist state. Now don't get me wrong, I have Jewish neighbours and I have never had any problems with anybody because of where they are from or what their beliefs are (so long as they don't try to push their own ideologies onto me).

What instance did Israel bulldoze homes and build settlements? Are you crazy? _EVERY_ single settlement is built on-top of bulldozed homes.. what are talking about? Everything else in your long reply has been worth reading and contemplating, except for this. Israel has been doing this _systematically_. Why? Because once it populates an area it has occupied it can simply claim that it is impossible to retreat back and it simply becomes a part of the greater Israel.

No, I am not anti-Semite. But I do detest the fact that the term has been exclusively used to describe anti-Jews while I myself am a Semite. It is very hard to be anti-myself. I have had Jewish co-workers and we have had great relationships, so please don't accuse me (even if subtly or sarcastically) of being something I am not.

Certainly the current operations were not originally designed to wipe out Palestinians.. at least, I give Israel the benefit of the doubt on this one.. but the results are the same, regardless of intentions. And as my father has always told me (whenever I did something wrong and exclaim that I didn't intend it), "punishment and reward based on intentions is for god, not for me, I care about what you have done". And quite frankly, whatever the intentions of Israel's renewed occupation, they are certainly not persuading me to think they are any better than the hopeless suicidal bomber.

No, I do not condone suicidal bombers. I actually feel a mixture of shame and sorrow for my fellow Arabs who feel that it is a just and legitimate means of resistence. It is the cowardly way, and it will scar our history forever. I would much rather support a group of militias who would attack Israeli soldiers and military posts.. so yes, I would back a resistence, I would back self-defense, but I would never _ever_ back a suicidal bomber. No matter how angry, frustrated, poor, and desparate they may be.

Why do I take special interest in Sudan? Yes, I am from Sudan, and very proud to be. I agree Sudan has its problems and our government has had its fair share of aggression against the innocent and defenseless. What can I say? Sudan's problem is very complicated and like every other Sudanese I think I have the one solution ;) But they are very similar to that of Israel's. The government must apologize for all the atrocities it has caused the Southerns, separate church and state, and start _educating_. The whole concept of a 'Jewish' state is unwittingly backward to me.. just as well as a concept of a 'Muslim' state.


Why is Israel held to a higher standard you ask? That is a good question. Maybe it's because when the UN Security Council passes a resolution on Iraq or Sudan it is implemented in full, but when it is passed on Israel nothing happens. Maybe it's because it has the ABILITY to do without. Sudan for instance, would like to end a civil war militarily.. (just impossible, given its capabilities and that of the rebels). Neither does Sudan have the money to fund rebuilding the country.. Israel on the other hand has all those options, and certainly has the financial backing of the biggest super power. Hell, it has the full weight of the US behind it..

And by the way, just so you know, I am born a Muslim.. I am an atheist and my girlfriend is Budhist ;)

[ Parent ]
Misunderstandings and hopeful understandings (none / 0) (#181)
by hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:02:09 PM EST

I have had Jewish co-workers and we have had great relationships, so please don't accuse me (even if subtly or sarcastically) of being something I am not.

Okay, thanks. I actually said I was wondering if you were, but said I won't make that judgement. From the wording of your comments talking about past persecution of Jews and wondering if they deserved it, that seemed to hint at some kind of anti-semitism. Since I hadn't really had much communication with you, I mentioned it, but said I'd reserve judgement. So, FYI, I'm not now accusing you of anything, and holding off until I know you better. And we seem to be becoming more acquainted as we trade more of these posts. :-)

What instance did Israel bulldoze homes and build settlements? Are you crazy? _EVERY_ single settlement is built on-top of bulldozed homes.. what are talking about?

Okay, let me re-phrase the question. I was talking about recent events, for instance in the last 2 years, of the bulldozings. From what I understand, Israel bulldozes houses used by terrorists, houses used to launch rockets, patches of olive groves near the borders where terrorist snipers have hidden in cover, etc.

These places were bulldozed for the safety of Israeli civilians. AFAIK, in most of these places Israelis didn't then swoop into the rubble and begin building houses for more settlers.

Also, from what I understand (and please correct me if i'm wrong), many of the settlements have been established in what used to be barrent desert. Ie, although the land was occupied, in many cases nothing used to be there before, so there was nothing to bulldoze (except maybe brush and trees). Of course, there are established cities (Hebron, for instance) where settlers did move into a surrounding populace. Now in these cases, did they bulldoze homes and steal the land? Or did they buy land to build houses?

Certainly the current operations were not originally designed to wipe out Palestinians.. at least, I give Israel the benefit of the doubt on this one.. but the results are the same, regardless of intentions.

Okay, I agree with you here. And realize it seems the same way looking at the other side. That the suicide bombings and other terror attacks seem to be towards a result of wiping out Israelis.

I'm not saying one side is right or wrong, but that if blame is to be applied, both sides should be looked at.

The whole concept of a 'Jewish' state is unwittingly backward to me.. just as well as a concept of a 'Muslim' state.

I don't live in Israel, and don't really have any desire to live in a Jewish state. But like I said before, the existence of a Jewish state is a result of persecution, offering a place of solace against persecution. For instance, if someone is a Muslim and being persecuted, there are many states they can move to where they can practice their religion without being persecuted. Same for Christians. Same, also, for races instead of religions. Whether White, black, Latino, Asian, etc. There's somewhere where they're the majority. (And while we're at it, my girlfriend is also atheist, and is half-Latino and half-Asian). ;-)

That is the point of Israel, to allow this possibility for Jews. Many people are troubled by this fact, because they think it's racist. Why should Jews be singled out? Should there be a separate state for every minority group in existence? The answer is that it has to do with Jews being consistently persecuted throughout history. Other than perhaps the Gypsies, there hasn't, to my knowledge, (and please feel free to give another example if you know of any) been any group/race/religion that was continuously persecuted as much as Judaism.

Maybe it's because when the UN Security Council passes a resolution on Iraq or Sudan it is implemented in full, but when it is passed on Israel nothing happens.

Thanks for your comments on Sudan, I am glad you're open-minded and fair regarding the situation. I admit I don't really know too much about Sudanese history or culture.

Regarding Iraq, though, your statement isn't that true. Saddam has been very reluctant to let the UN-mandated weapons inspectors do the inspections, etc. So I do know that Iraq doesn't follow these UN resolutions in full.

Israel on the other hand has all those options, and certainly has the financial backing of the biggest super power. Hell, it has the full weight of the US behind it.

True, but also keep in mind that the Palestinians appear to have most of the support and some financial backing of the Arab League. Even with the European Union to some degree(which looks like it might start boycotting Israeli products). For example, I know the EU was pretty pissed when the IDF destroyed some of the projects they helped fund.

Anyway, with the Powell visit coming, it looks like there might be some sparks of hope. Let's hope that the stubborn on each side come to their senses for the good of their respective peoples and the good of the rest of the world.

[ Parent ]

Blah blah blah (1.00 / 1) (#186)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 07:07:59 PM EST

blah blah blah

I don't see any Zoroastrians or Parsis butchering Muslims for taking over Iran.

Zionism doesn't get a free ride. Sorry.



...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Dead right, unfortunately (4.00 / 1) (#159)
by ragnarok on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:07:22 AM EST

The Israeli Law of Return says precisely that. Now the usual law concerning citizenship is that if your parents or grandparents had some connection to a particular land or nation, you could acquire citizenship through descent through them. If however, it was your great-grandparents, you no longer have that option. That is why I for example don't have automatic right of entry into the U.K. - I'm a fourth-generation New Zealander through all my family's branches, and a sixth-generation New Zealander through my father's mother's mother's line. Rara avis sum!

And as regards reparation, etc, you need to have a clear connection to the situation under discussion, which is why the current situation is so unjust - Edward Said, to give an example, knows damn right where his family lived before An Nakba.

And then you have the Zionists coming over from Europe, claiming the land as owed to them from 2000 years back, and they don't have title deeds to any of it, except a claim based on the Torah, the central Jewish holy book. I mean, if they haven't maintained a claim by their presence, they can only claim by right of conquest, and that "right of conquest" went out at the end of World War One. And was written into the U.N. Charter.

So while I don't hate people I don't have any personal enmity towards, ergo I don't hate Jews, I agree with you that Zionism is a racist ideology, an ideology of religious fanaticism, and the major cause of much of the strife in the Middle East.

Sala'am aleykum.


"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
[ Parent ]

(o/t) thanks, I learned some latin today (none / 0) (#190)
by martingale on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:21:15 PM EST

I was getting all ready for an off-topical reply pointing out that avis is masculine, but I checked again and lo and behold, you're right. Thanks, I learned something new today.



[ Parent ]
Here's an interesting follow-up: (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by Stickerboy on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:52:20 PM EST

It's this article, from the Economist. It draws several conclusions on what needs to be done:

1. peace terms must be agreed on from the start, and not negotiated step by step
2. an international force like IFOR/SFOR in Bosnia needs to keep security
3. interim cease-fires aren't going to work; a final political agreement is needed.

About time (4.00 / 1) (#187)
by nonsense9 on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 07:08:11 PM EST

About time someone posted an analysis I could agree to. Until now I've mostly been so frustrated that my solutions were closer to the nuke-em-all variety, so it's great to hear that at least someone is keeping a clear head.

Before more kids are killed by fanatic adults on both sides, I hope someone would try to push a solution like this. Otherwise I'll be stuck here with my incoherent plans to evacuate all kids, kill the crazy adults, and let them grow up without all the unhealthy baggage of their parents :-)

P.S. Someone posted that this is all due to a long history of hatred between jews and muslims. If that was the only problem the jews and muslims should rightly hate us crazy europeans. We've been locking them both up, taking their valuables, and regarding them as less than human for 2000 years. I quess we're just so boring, we don't really make a good enemy.

Another pie in the sky proposal (none / 0) (#203)
by CitAnon on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 01:01:24 PM EST

There are so many insurmountable obstacles standing in the way of this proposal. Here are three.

1. Self interest - How are you going to get organizations like Hamas, whose very power come from the continuation of anti-Israeli terror, to stop spreading anti-israel sentiment? That's like asking Escobar to voluntarily stop dealing drugs. It just won't happen.

2. Israel's pre-1967 borders are indefensible. If Israel withdraws to those borders, the narrowest point in the country will be 8 miles wide. This means zero margin for error in any future conflict. If the Israeli military screws up even a little, then a 15 minute march will allow its Arab adversaries to cut the country in two.

3. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a good way for athoritarian regimes in the mid-east to distract their people away from their own misery. Furthermore, the conflict smoothes over regional Arab-Arab rivalries as all Arab nations are compelled to stand together agains Isral. For this reason, Arab nations like the continuation of the conflict, al beit at more modest levels than what's currently happening.



[ Parent ]
Another head in the sand denial (none / 0) (#213)
by felixrayman on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 01:49:14 AM EST

1. Hamas has popular support and it will as long as the Palestinians are a people living under a military occupation. People don't like to live under military occupation. I wouldn't like to live under military occupation, you wouldn't like to live under military occupation. Live free or die.

2. As has been repeatedly pointed out in these threads, Israel's pre-1967 borders were quite successfully defended in, coincidence of coincidences, 1967.

3. Most of the Arab dictators fear nothing worse than a wider Mideast conflict, they have nothing to gain. Iraq is an exception, its leader has nothing to lose.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Quite the opposite (none / 0) (#214)
by CitAnon on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 03:38:07 AM EST

1. Hamas gets popular support by preaching and carrying out anti Israeli violence. Whether or not there is an Israeli occupation, this will not change. It is the desire for power and the destruction of Israel that keeps these extremists going. In their view, Palestinian state is merely a prepatory step. Three times in the last century, Arab nations have tried to annihilate the state of Israel. The current military occupation is more a consequence of those wars than a catalyst. As long as this thirst for destruction pervades the Arab world, it will always be in Hamas' self-interest to incite and carry out anti-Israeli violence.

2. Israel succeeded once in defending their 1967 borders by striking preemptively. Next time they may not be so lucky. No responsible leader would allow his country to placed in a position that would allow enemy armies to bisect his nation by marching 8 miles. 8 miles man, that's like my Saturday jogging route.

3. Most Arab dictators fear a wider Mideast conflict, I agree, but they are perfectly content with one localized in the Palestinian territories. They understand that once anti-Israeli hatred stops clouding the eyes of their peoples, there will be nothing to cover up their pathetic record of corruption and mismanagement of their nations.

[ Parent ]
And as for the peacekeepers (none / 0) (#204)
by CitAnon on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 01:14:58 PM EST

For a peace keeping force to be effective at stopping terror, they need to strike preemptively at terrorist infrastructure. If they don't, all they're going to do is tie Israel's hands militarily while terrorists run free. You're telling me that the Europeans have the guts to do it?

Yeah right. They couldn't stand up to machete wielding tribesmen in Rawanda. Once the action heats up and the casualties mount, the Europeans, and really, any reasonably sane nation with a volunteer army, will lose their stomachs like they did in Bosnia and Rawanda and Israel will be left to fend for itself, al beit in a much less tenable tactical position.

If you ask the US Army to do peacekeeping, they're gonna end up going from house to house searching for terrorist leaders. Somalia anyone?

The whole situation is a mess. One day, perhaps other Arab nations in the mid-east will be prosperous and strong enough to take a stand against Palestinian terror, at which point Israel might actually listen to the US and show restraint.

That day is a long ways off.

[ Parent ]
Unfortunatly... (1.00 / 2) (#200)
by Rahyl on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 12:24:48 PM EST

...there will be no lasting peace until the Israelis move in and kill those that are organizing the terrorist attacks.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/columnists/glazov/2002/glazov04-11-02.htm

Check out that article for some in-depth analysis on why all the pro-Palestinian arguments are rooted in misconceptions. The whole "Right of Return" angle: garbage. Palestinans living under oppression? Complete nonsense.

Sorry gang but what the Israelis are doing to defend themselves is completely justified. They should have launched those attacks a long time ago but unfortunatly, they held back while groups like Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades increased their influence and strength.

Get ready for an old-fashion all out beat-down in the Middle-East, ladies and gentlemen. Maybe the Palestinians will realize that Jordan, Egypt, and other Arab countries are their real enemy, not the state of Israel.



Could you please... (2.00 / 1) (#201)
by nonsense9 on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 12:45:08 PM EST

...move to Israel if you don't already live there. I'd like you there for my private fantasy of nuking all warmongering people. This would include a lot of Israelis, quite a few palestinians, a bunch Guns & Ammo readers, and a guy I met the other day (he probably wont move there though, I doubt he even know Israel is a country, much less how to get there.)

[ Parent ]
Nah, I don't think so... (2.00 / 1) (#206)
by Rahyl on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 01:26:47 PM EST

Why would I want to move to Israel? Did you even take the time to read that article?

Would you have called the English that wanted to go to war with Germany during WWII to be warmongers? Would you consider Americans to be warmongers if they were supportive of the role we played in WWII?

Just in case you were born yesterday, Palestinian militants have been playing the same game for decades. Send in suicide bombers, complain of being oppressed, claim you want peace, etc etc. Then, when they finally are granted some kind of concession, it's viewed as progress in the holy-war and spurs more attacks. The circle just keeps going until someone steps up to break it. Unfortunately, it's going to take a complete military victory by the Israelis to accomplish that.

The only warmongers are the Palestinian Authority. They're the ones that launch the offensives, lie to their own people, and tolerate abuse by other Arab nations while blaming their problems on Israel, and generally making life miserable for themselves without needing any assistance.

I'll leave you with another article, one that reminds me of everyone in here that believes the Palestinian Authority is "committed to peace" and other such nonsense.

http://www.the-idler.com/IDLER-02/4-11.html

Yassir Arafat wants war, not peace. Yassir Arafat's goal is to kill every last Jew in the middle east, not establish a Palestinian state (which he's been offered before and declined). Wake up gang...



[ Parent ]
I disagree (none / 0) (#215)
by Caton on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 06:24:23 AM EST

Yassir Arafat wants war, not peace. Yassir Arafat's goal is to kill every last Jew in the middle east, not establish a Palestinian state (which he's been offered before and declined).

Arafat's goal is to keep as much personal power as possible. Palestinians and Israeli deaths are a mean, not an end.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]

well (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by coward anonymous on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 03:50:31 PM EST

The post is inflammatory, the article even more so and I don't agree with the antisemitism jibe for the most part. However, I would appreciate if someone could rebuke the tips (and the related facts) brought forth in the article. They seem to be spot on to me.


[ Parent ]
Ok (5.00 / 2) (#210)
by pyramid termite on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 08:44:28 PM EST

Tip #1 - Imagine that the Palestinians are fighting for a homeland that was taken away from them by the evil Jews.

He goes on to explain that 10% of the Palestine Mandate was given to the Jews and 90% to the Arabs - nowhere did he indicate whether Arabs were actually living in the 10% at the time, or explain how it became "ours" to give away to anyone, besides the people who were actually living there. He also hasn't explained how the West Bank and Gaza, which were never part of this 10%, suddenly stopped being part of a homeland for the Palestinians.

Tip #2 - Never question the cause of Palestinian terror.

A justification for the 1967 and 1973 wars follows - he characterizes the acts of war that were committed by Arabs as terror acts. That's inaccurate. Unless one wants to characterize all acts of military aggression as terror. He goes on to claim that when Egypt and Jordan owned Gaza and the West Bank, the Palestinians didn't protest then - but why would they? Were they being humiliated daily? Collectively punished? Some facts here would be nice. No, it's got to be because they all want to finish the job Hitler started. Well, if one demonizes the Palestinian people as a whole, I suppose one never would have to consider their feelings on any issue. Somehow, I'm reminded of Southerners who were afraid that free black men would go around raping all the white women ... it's crass racism.

Tip #3 - Ignore the words of Palestinians.

Or better yet, just post the words of Yasser Arafat and then claim that all Palestinians believe in what he says - our author does fairly well at ignoring the words of Palestinians himself.

Tip #4 - Imagine that Palestinians were, and are better off without Israel and the Israeli "occupation."

"They" were a lot happier when they lived on our plantations ... I admit, he's got an excellent point, that Arab countries don't treat the Palestinians well too, but, you know, um, if "they" had stayed in Africa, they would all been still living in huts, etc. etc. Again, I'm reminded of some of the old defenses of slavery ...

Tip #5 - Imagine that Israel controls the "occupied" territories for some bizarre, vague and sinister reason.

Nothing bizarre and vague about it - they wanted a group of peons who wouldn't be able to vote to do their shitwork for them. Now, I've got to quote this -

What should be your concern is to say things that make Israel look as if it controls areas like the West Bank because Israelis need to fill the void of no longer being allowed to sacrifice and eat gentile babies in their religious rituals.

In other words, if you question the occupation, you are on the same level as someone who repeats the most vicious anti-Jewish propaganda - the blood libel. Anyone who thinks this guy is even remotely interested in a fair consideration of the issues ought to wonder why he feels it necessary to paint his opponents as blood-libeling extremists.

Tip #6 - Say that Arafat isn't a terrorist.

Arafat's a stupid asshole who tolerates terrorists. I'll admit, there's not much difference there - but then, what has anyone done to encourage an alternative Palestinian voice? But, basically, I'll concede this one.

Tip #7 - Imagine that Arafat has the interests of his own people in mind.

Nah, I don't think he does ... otherwise, he would have told his people to knock off the terrorism or resign in protest. Getting to the proposal that Arafat turned down - was there access to the border with Jordan for this Palestinian state? My understanding was there wasn't - my understanding is also that a great deal of the land the Palestinians were being offered would have been connected by very narrow strips of land - why would any people accept this? Clearly, a better offer needed to be made - and good faith shown by not building more settlements while negotiations went on. There's been a lot of dishonest dealing on both sides here.

Tip #8 - Say that Arab terrorism has nothing to do with jealousy.

And then he goes on to say that Arabs spend much of their time every day hating a country that only takes up 1% of the Middle East. Gosh, I don't know, is every Arab out in the street protesting half the day - I bet anything most Arabs are busy with their day to day lives like most of us and have better things to do.

Tip #9 - Say it's in Israel's interest to pursue "peace".

They live on 1% of the Middle East, they're outnumbered badly, and their opponents will eventually, no matter what anyone tries to do about it, acquire nuclear weapons. Israel has two choices in the long run - peace, or mutual holocaust.

Tip #10 - Shed yourself of any integrity you might have ever had.

That's right - no person with integrity could possibly ever say that the Palestinians don't have some right on their side. Well, he's certainly told us. Now he can just shake his head and damn the other side as that whole section of the Middle East makes its way to mutual annihilation. As the final bombs fall, it'll be an incredible comfort for both sides to know they were Absolutely Right, Damn It!! And full of integrity, too.

God help them, the stupid bastards.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Funny and to the point ;) (none / 0) (#212)
by elzubeir on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 11:21:42 PM EST

I couldn't have written it better.

[ Parent ]
hexapodia as the key insight (none / 0) (#218)
by ragnarok on Tue Apr 16, 2002 at 07:18:09 AM EST

Is it true that humans have six legs? I wasn't sure from the evocation. If these humans have three pairs of legs, then I think there is an easy explanation for ...n


"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
[ Parent ]

A New Framework for Peace in the Middle East | 218 comments (201 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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