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Messages - HK

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71

But the Israeli army attacks palestinian civilians everyday.  That army has been out and in force since 48 and specifically since 67.  When this army "fights" Palestinians, it's fighting civilians.  Innocents die in this conflict everyday- for every 1 israeli killed, 4 palestinians are killed- and that includes civilians.  The violence is on both sides.

And again, the Arab states can go @#!* themselves- they don't care about the rampant poverty that is killing Palestinians everyday.  As I have said before, this issue must be analyzed in a Palestinian/Israeli perspective, not a general Arab one.

And we will never know what would have been there without Israel.  The negotiations the British had with the Husseini family/Chaim Weismann during this time were secretive, and they were playing both sides during the intensification of the debate.  The war of 48 wasn't exactly part of the british strategy- they would have preferred to hold this place as a mandate of their empire anyway

And from Gaza the militants lobs rockets into Israel. If the Israeli army simply wanted to kill palestinians there would be more effective and less risky ways. I think there is definitely a cycle of violence. One that needs to be broken, and it is the responsibility of both sides to stop it.

"for every 1 israeli killed, 4 palestinians are killed- and that includes civilians."

 And maybe 2 out of every 4 palestinians killed is a militant or suicide bomber. It's not a game of arithmatic.

"And again, the Arab states can go @#!* themselves- they don't care about the rampant poverty that is killing Palestinians everyday.  As I have said before, this issue must be analyzed in a Palestinian/Israeli perspective, not a general Arab one."

From a historical perspective, it is a regional issue. It involves the Arab countries surrounding Israel, the Palestinians, the UN, maybe the British. However, it is certainly a regional issue that has been blown out of proportion in terms of importance. As the Arabs were very much involved in the creation of the situation, and the lands in question were not under Palestinian sovereignty but under arab sovereignty before israel took over, the issue is an israeli-arab issue.

72

I am referring to Christians as an international body, not a specific "state".  The Vatican, for example, would not stand by and watch Jews get booted out of Jerusalem by Muslims for 2 reasons:
1.  It's wrong
2.  Those could be Christians next time

Countries with Christian majorities, from the US to Catholic nations like Italy and FRance would not look kindly at this central holy city becoming a place of apartheid.  This is a general prediction, not one built on solid facts (because, obviously, Israel is in control of the city, not an int'l body).


I see what you are saying. Historically this "christian world" has not been a friend to the Jews. I somehow just don't see france coming to the rescue of Jewish people who are being persecuted. Quite frankly, it's more possible france would try and sell mirage fighters to both sides.

There is really not much more to say about that. The Christian world has been, and in many countries still is anti-semitic. I am not trying to label anyone, but to believe that a thousand years of anti-semitism is suddenly gone would be naive.

73
The problem here is in what accepting Israel means vis a vis the Palestinian situation.  If you recognize the state, you legitimate its history and origins.  The issue Muslim countries have with Israel lies specifically in its denial of self determination to the Palestinians.  In effect, recognizing Israel de-recognizes the Palestinians.  Once recognized, what incentive does Israel have to share anything?  That's the problem.

Furthermore, I want Jerusalem OUT of this situation specifically because of issues like what happened when Jordan ruled over the city and as, in today's world, Jewish continue desecration of Muslim sites (such as the Muslim graveyard that is being uprooted for a Simon Weisenthal center).  By making Jerusalem international, it prevents any one side from injuring the other better than only one side gaining control.

It is possible to recognize Israel as a country and open diplomatic relations, and at the same time still fight for the rights of Palestinians. Currently I am studying China/Taiwan relations. I can tell you that when it comes to western countries trying to get China to do what they want it to, engagement works much better than sanctions, especially in the area of human rights. If Arab countries recognize Israel's right to exist, become allies, give israel a sense that their security is an important issue to them, they could have a greater influence in the Israeli government, their ambassadors could lobby for the Palestinians, and negotiations would undoubtledly be smoother. The goal should be to do what is best to improve the living situation of the Palestinians, not win some war of ideas.

"By making Jerusalem international, it prevents any one side from injuring the other better than only one side gaining control."

LIke I said, that is an assumption.  I think it would be better to create an internation commission that could protect and administrate holy sites around the world. That way we can prevent things like what the Taliban did to the Buddha in afghanistan. Just because something is important to you, it does not mean you have sovereignty over it or its surrounding areas. This happens all over the world. Buddhist holy sites are under Muslim rule. Shiite Holy sites are under Sunni rule, etc.., etc... The idea the other guy mentioned was important too. Perhaps Mecca and Medina should be internationalized. Not under the UN, but under the OIC, so that way since it is important to all muslim countries, it should not belong to the Al Saud family.

74
Ok we will lay the religious arguments to rest. I am not categorically against internationalizing Jerusalem. I just wanted you to realize that this would be a big concession. I am certainly against a one state solution, most definitely in the near future.

fair enough, we'll set religion aside- it's always the hardest thing to debate anyway.  As for 1 state vs. 2 state, well, that's a different matter.  You know where I stand- I say 1-state. 

I am curious why you think putting two previously warring peoples that seriously dislike each other and have religious differences into one country will suddenly bring about peace?

75
nesnut, I like discussing this issue with you. You seem to be quite the idealist, and I do believe that we are discussing rather than arguing. Your idea of Judaism embracing the other two faiths is a good one. But you can't forget the history of jews being persecuted and treated as second class citizens at the hands of both christians and muslims.

The issue i brought up before did not exactly have to do with whether or not their should be a jewish state. The issue is that Muslim countries for the most part have refused recognition/diplomatic relationtions. This creates an environment of animosity and distrust. Perhaps if they were to recognize israel first, and accept israel, israel could then be more open to ideas of shared sovereignty...Idealism is good, reality is not.

The issue you bring up about how jerusalem should be internationalized is interesting. Like i said, I think it's an ideal...However, if you analyze the issue, it's based on the claim that Jerusalem is very important to people of 3 faiths, and thus they should all have some stake/control over it. I think that's a fair point. However, the UN is made up of people of many other faiths, and shouldn't be a religious organization in my view. I don't think it's the proper organization to run Jerusalem. Additionally, your claim, if valid could open on a pandora's box. Just because an area is considered holy or important to you does not necessarily mean you have a claim of sovereignty. The issue is not even close to being that simple. I would be perfectly fine with some type of international committee taking control of certain holy sites to make sure they are safe and open for all.

Additionally, like I said before on this board, when Jordan had control of Jerusalem, they desecrated Jewish holy sites. There was no Muslim outrage when the Taliban blew up huge Buddhas in afghanistan. There are groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jemaa Islamiya in Indonesia who want stricter Muslim laws to be enforced, Muslim separatist groups in places like the Philipinnes and Thailand. It is just amusing that  the one place where they seem to promote a non-religious and democratic state is the jewish one.

You said..."If you think the Christian world would sit back and allow Muslim nations to strong-arm a resolution forcing Jews out of an international Jersusalem, you're wrong"

What is this monolithic christian world you are refering to, i would be curious to find that world :), that suddenly cares so much about jews being strong-armed?


"If somebody moved to new orleans three days before katrina and was hit by that hurricane, are they any less justified in seeking compensation than someone who was living there for 60 years?"

Not necessarily. Let me use myself as an example. I am currently a Hong Kong resident. I have lived in Hong kong in total more than two years. If china came and kicked me out tomorrow, or if i was forced to flee, i certainly would not think my grandchildren should have any claims here.

I am curious Nesnut, what about the hundreds of thousands of jews that were expelled from Muslim countries, should they be given a mass compensation right now too?

I also agree. The Palestinians have been shafted.

But there are two points to consider. They have been shafted by their own arab "friends". The disputed areas were not israeli before 1967, they were arab. They could have given the Palestinians their own state then, but they didn't. I don't believe that there would have been a Palestinian state if Israel didn't exist. It would have been another arab state. The other point is that by conducting a campaign based on civilian targeted suicide bombings, they lose the innocent victim status they would have had otherwise. It is unfortunate, but I believe they do a lot to themselves. The corruption there is horrible. It's a sad situation....

76
Well said Nesnut, I agree, I think the heart of the problem though still lies over who controls Jerusalem along with the logistics of  it with regards to the holy sites there.

just internationalize the f-ing place and be done with- use it as the single best source of tourist income, provide security, and let the UN administer it.  "control" of Jerusalem is less about the religions and more about overall control of teh land- if everyone's invested in 1 state, controlling jerusalem is less important overall.


I think that someone needs to destroy the myth that "UN" and "international" means honest. Quite frankly, it doesn't. The UN is a place where bargaining takes place. "I give you this concession, if you won't use your veto here".

The one issue the Muslim world seems pretty united in, is that they dislike Israel. Even Muslim countries all the way in southeast asia won't allow travelers with Israeli passports in. There are over 50 countries that participate in the OIC and 22 in the arab league. The UN basically gives much less attention to issues that should be of greater importance. A million people could die in africa and get fewer resolutions than 100 people in israel/palestine. Additionally, the UN has rewritten rules just for the Palestinian cause. The definition of refugee has been rewritten and has created a large amount of "refugees" that in any other situation would not be refugees.

I have heard Muslim scholars suggest that Israel needs to become a non-religious, democratic state. I think it's funny that the only state they seem to suggest this in, is the jewish state.

The UN does in fact have the power to act as peacekeepers and arbiters so long as it is imbued with that power.  The term "refugee" is simply a word- it's meaning changed when the int'l community realized that long-term refugee problems were creating a whole new class of refugees, ones that had grown up only in refugee camps.  The best living example of that were the Palestinians, who made the case that the then current definition was too narrowly construed to identify their status.  So the term changed.  It's a simple definition- it could change tomorrow.  And I hate to say this, but Africa is getting screwed because the West couldn't give a sh*t otherwise- we won't forgive debts, we won't aid them in reconstruction, we wouldn't even help Sudan during its conflicts.  This isn't "arabs and oil controlling the UN"- it's the West that controls it, and it isn't doing anything for Africa.  If the US stood up tomorrow and started promoting plans put forth by economists like Jeffrey Sachs, we would see change happen immediately. 

Not sure about the one-state option. One group will remain dominant over and oppressive of the other, in a single state. Look at the U.S.: we went with the one-state option back in the 1860s, and 150 years later we still struggle with the issues surrounding the dominance and oppression of one group over the other.

JSIA.

completely valid point- but it would be a smarter strategy than 2 states, in that both sides gain some and compromise some and lose some- it's more equitable that way, and it allows for an easier path towards mending the issues between them. to be fair, the US isn't as sectarian now as it was back in the 1840s, 50s, and 60s

I don't believe that sectarianism has much to do with the problem in Israel-Palestine. This isn't an Islam-Judaism conflict, really. It's an ethnic conflict -- much more similar to the racial conflict between whites and blacks in the U.S.

White-Black conflict still exists in the U.S. Not as severe. But not gone. And it's been 150 yrs since the Civil War.

Sectarianism or no, I have trouble seeing how the creation of one state will assuage the ethnic conflict that runs deep (again, back to that guy named Abraham) in the region surrounding Jerusalem.

Why not go back to the original conception of a "nation-state" and allow each "nation" to form its own "state"?

In order for that to be peaceful, they would have to accept the idea of there being a Jewish state. How any Muslim countries have done that?

This is a central bone of contention, and that's what we are discussing on this thread: is there really a "need" for a JEwish state?  Steve.jd and I had this debate in the Iran thread, and I made the case that a 1-state solution would allow for Jews to live in peace and security- which is the goal of any state.  He said that it wouldn't work, and made the case for Israel standing as protector of the world's JEwish population, something it could no longer do if it were no longer Jewish.  I made the argument that this state is a forced majority, however, because it evicted the proper majority of the people in that land (the Palestinians) and that it was using the stance of protecting self determination for Jews worldwide by denying that very idea of self-determination to another people.  The ocnversation sort of died out- what are your thoughts, HK?

The point made is that the UN is simply not an "honest broker" by any means. Like I said, in the UN, power is more important than merit. The UN has many Muslim states. These states(except for Jordan and Egypt) do not recognize or have diplomatic relations with Israel. The security coucil resolutions that the UN attempted to pass which the US(who is constantly accused of NOT being an honest broker) vetoed in the pass couple of years were proposed by Syria and Algeria. Frankly, the UN does not equal honest, and is not an organization of equality.

Your other point about refugees is conjecture. The UN defines a palestinian refugee as being different from other refugees. Other refugees have not had the definition rewritten for them. Some aspects of it are blatantly ridiculous. For example, as long as someone was living in Israel during the two years preceding the create of the state, they can qualify as refugees. It doesn't matter if they just moved there from some other place. The fact that the UN rewrites rules for this one specific situation and not others is very troubling.

As for your second point, that is a theoretical issue. We can go on debating political theories. Why is a Jewish State necessary? Why is a Muslim state necessary? Why are states even necessary? Can't we all be under the UN? Basically, there is now a Jewish state. It is a political reality.

As for your "eviction" point. Some palestinians were evicted. Some fled on their own free will, many were advised to leave by Arab leaders(of course pro-palestinian people like to emphasize the first point, pro-israel people like to emphasize the next two points). The fact is, when wars happen, unexpected things happen. Those who left probably thought they would be returning as soon as the relatively large arab armies were victorious...this did not happen. The proper thing to be done, is to simply monetarily compensate people who were wrongly forced to leave their homes.


77
Not sure about the one-state option. One group will remain dominant over and oppressive of the other, in a single state. Look at the U.S.: we went with the one-state option back in the 1860s, and 150 years later we still struggle with the issues surrounding the dominance and oppression of one group over the other.

JSIA.

completely valid point- but it would be a smarter strategy than 2 states, in that both sides gain some and compromise some and lose some- it's more equitable that way, and it allows for an easier path towards mending the issues between them. to be fair, the US isn't as sectarian now as it was back in the 1840s, 50s, and 60s

I don't believe that sectarianism has much to do with the problem in Israel-Palestine. This isn't an Islam-Judaism conflict, really. It's an ethnic conflict -- much more similar to the racial conflict between whites and blacks in the U.S.

White-Black conflict still exists in the U.S. Not as severe. But not gone. And it's been 150 yrs since the Civil War.

Sectarianism or no, I have trouble seeing how the creation of one state will assuage the ethnic conflict that runs deep (again, back to that guy named Abraham) in the region surrounding Jerusalem.

Why not go back to the original conception of a "nation-state" and allow each "nation" to form its own "state"?

In order for that to be peaceful, they would have to accept the idea of there being a Jewish state. How any Muslim countries have done that?

78
Well said Nesnut, I agree, I think the heart of the problem though still lies over who controls Jerusalem along with the logistics of  it with regards to the holy sites there.

just internationalize the f-ing place and be done with- use it as the single best source of tourist income, provide security, and let the UN administer it.  "control" of Jerusalem is less about the religions and more about overall control of teh land- if everyone's invested in 1 state, controlling jerusalem is less important overall.


I think that someone needs to destroy the myth that "UN" and "international" means honest. Quite frankly, it doesn't. The UN is a place where bargaining takes place. "I give you this concession, if you won't use your veto here".

The one issue the Muslim world seems pretty united in, is that they dislike Israel. Even Muslim countries all the way in southeast asia won't allow travelers with Israeli passports in. There are over 50 countries that participate in the OIC and 22 in the arab league. The UN basically gives much less attention to issues that should be of greater importance. A million people could die in africa and get fewer resolutions than 100 people in israel/palestine. Additionally, the UN has rewritten rules just for the Palestinian cause. The definition of refugee has been rewritten and has created a large amount of "refugees" that in any other situation would not be refugees.

I have heard Muslim scholars suggest that Israel needs to become a non-religious, democratic state. I think it's funny that the only state they seem to suggest this in, is the jewish state.

79
is it just me or does it seem as if everytime someone in support of Israel's policies posts, they alway start with some shallow retort like "oooh, nesnut's teaching his version of history" or "just to set the record straight for you terror apologists out there..."

First off, the first Hamas suicide bomb was in response to the massacre of muslim worshippers by a right-wing Jewish settler from Brooklyn- he killed over 40 people praying at a mosque with a high powered rifle in 1994.  Hamas responded to that, and we are where we are today.



When you make a statement like that, people will definitely agree that you are skewing history. I was in israel when that incident at the mosque took place, it was 12-13 years ago. The second intefada(in which most violence began) occured after the breakdown of the camp david accords, approx. 6 years ago. The "Excuse" given by the Palestinians was Ariel Sharon's visit to a Jewish holy site.

Furthermore, EVEN if you are right, and the second intefada did begin after the baruch goldstein incident, it would be no justification at all. It would like americans sending suicide bombers into mexico began an american was killed by a latino in a drive by shooting.

The sad thing about the suicide bombers, is that when they go blow us a city bus they are praised by their people, not scorned for the response they will provoke.

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: Buy Vs. Lease
« on: April 13, 2006, 11:11:28 AM »
I say lease. I have both leased and bought. Leasing was a better experience.

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