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No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread

nesnut

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #100 on: April 17, 2006, 02:25:46 PM »
i've been reading everything so far, but my ability to post long posts is cut off at the moment (being at work makes short posts possible, but long ones are more difficult).  HK, I'll respond to your two responses to my post from last night as soon as I get home, as well as address the issues surrounding today's bombing that blueb and steve have been discussing.

nmb238

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #101 on: April 17, 2006, 04:09:11 PM »
there are no ez answers.

this is true, but some are easier than others.
no society in the world should ever be expected to simply sit idly by as its citzens get killed. its just insane the way the entire world expects israel to consistently negotiate and act with restraint following these events. its inhuman to not respond, its unwise to not respond and NO country- not the US, not the UK, not the French, the Dutch, the Japanese- would ignore the reality of roadblocks and checkpoints and security walls. everyone has the right to defend themselves.

that goes for palestinians too- but instead of launching attacks at israel, they could stop firing missiles into her every day, and maybe JUST MAYBE Israel will stop responding in kind. i LOVE the whole "oh, such a cycle of violence..."- not everything is equal, so the harsh military responses of the IDF are NOT the same as blowing up a falafel stand. that *is* an "ez answer"- its not the same, its not a cycle of just people killing each other for kicks. one side is a hardened, tough, at times callous, military superpower. the other are fanatical terrorists. equation of the two is moral blindness.

also- re: the Palestinians are questioning the suicide bombers.. yes, its nice that Abbas condemned it, and obviously I would prefer that to the fundamentalist lunacy of Islamic Jihad (funded by iran, for those keeping track...) but he didnt condemn the bombing because its wrong. he condemned it because its bad for the palestinian cause. they ALWAYS do that. and it ALWAYS makes me shudder that the people we WANT to be dealing with, are the ones who only like suicide bombings if it helps the Palestinian cause.

sigh

~n

nesnut

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #102 on: April 17, 2006, 11:09:43 PM »
Okay, back to this thread (I don't know about you, HK, but we really should think about compiling this entire thread into a book and selling it- lord knows we would kick half the hacks who pretend to know something about anything off the shelves).  
I still suck at the neat cut & paste you use, so I'll just italicize your comments and leave mine in regular font.

I am not sure who the "third party" you are referring to is. Singapore has no resources. They import everything. Water comes from Malaysia. Additionally, relations between the two countries have at times been adversial. Yet Singapore has been much more successful than many states rich in natural resources. The point is that it doesn't take a wealth of resources to produce success, and even having lots of resources doesn't guarantee sucess. Israel is short on water itself, and as a result uses water very carefully and much more efficiently than Americans do.

The third party I am referring to here is Israel.  The problem that currently exists is the overlapping ownership of everything resource related in the WB and Gaza Strip.  Israel owns and controls everything- power cables, electical grids, gas lines, water supply etc. on top of controlling the borders, seaports/coastline and airspace.  It has never indicated- indeed it has argued against- opening any of this to PAlestinian control, ESPECIALLY the borders, seaports and airspace.  Israel claims the right of its own security as reasons for why it should need to maintain control of these resources.  During the Oslo, Oslo II, Wye River, etc. talks, there was never discussion of these issues, for they kept getting placed to the backburner as a "final status issue" because anything that even remotely looked like it could pose a threat to Israel was listed as a threat to "national security" and, therefore, must be placed in final status talks.  Camp David failed because issues such as this one were never discussed- it would end up never being part of any final status talks.  

This is what I mean when I say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the Palestinians to ever negotiate on equal terms- they are NOT equal, and Israel continues to press from its own position of power a stance that would leave them in control of a very weak Palestinian state.  Forget issues like whether Palestine could have an army, or who it could trade with, or what kinds of embassies are allowed in an independent Palestine- simple things like gas and electricity would not be under their control.  If you can't even power your air conditioner, what kind of parliament, government, or state could you possibly have?  

Thus, even when the Palestinians have turned to diplomacy and not violence, it has not been on equal playing fields.  That is why terrorism becomes such an alluring weapon- if you are forsaken by your "friends" (the Arab states) and by "neutral parties" (Europe/America) and your "enemy" has little incentive to play nice with you diplomatically, violence becomes that much more appealing.

The fact that even traditionally Palestinian sympathetic groups like the EU have cut off aid to hamas is very telling. Israel would be willing to negotiate with Hamas if Hamas would be willing to recognize Israel as others have. The world seems to agree that this lack of recognition is not helping. The problem with the Palestinians in general was that there never was a capable negotiating partner. Why negotiate for peace when the people you are negotiating with are not in a position to bring peace? Even so, Israel HAS negotiated, and in doing so has rewarded terrorism. You are correct about the settlements, and it's a good sign that Israel is willing to dismantle many of them. However, the second intefada has not stopped. This intefada has had devastating effects on israel's populace and economy. Israel talked about dismantling settlements and yet built more, and the Palestinians talked about peace and sent in suicide bombers. Both parties are quite guilty there.

You seem to be under the impression that Israel never negotiated with Sharon and Abbas, but this impression is false. There are a number of occasions when negotiations have taken place. Here is a link to one such instance.

http://www.jordanembassyus.org/02092005003.htm


I cannot agree with you more that both parties are guilty of screwing up what little progress has been made.  I would caution, however, against what would happen should Hamas recognize Israel- Arafat recognized Israel, and he was rewarded with being sidelined and living in a bombed out *&^% complex for 2 years, all the while being asked to somehow control his people and terrorist groups that despise him more than Israel because they see him as a sell-out.  That certainly doesn't give Hamas incentive to recognize Israel.  Furthermore, "recognition" is less meaningful when more has been done diplomatically in the past without "recognition"- Oslo was the product of secret negotiations at a time when neither the PLO nor Israel recognized one another.  What is important is the opening of dialogue- actual talks are needed before Israel will recognize Hamas as head of the PA (which it currently refuses to do officially, preferring to work with Abbas) and before Hamas will recognize Israel (which it obviously continues to do).  

The international community's stance on Hamas is, in my opinion, a very difficult one to maintain.  On the one hand, they are a terrorist group, but on the other hand, they are the legitimately elected government, one that every int'l organization, polls watcher, and political analyst agreed won on what was a referendum on Fatah more than their bombings in Israel.  What the int'l community should be doing is taking this chance to lean on this new government to establish strong practices within the territories first, for it is the deprevation and rampant poverty that continues to crush the Palestinians in all respects.  They need cash to do that- if you can bring up the standard of living, even by a little, it makes negotiating with Israel easier.  But if neither side is going to embrace the other, we will get nowhere.  Forget about "being nice" with each other and start talking.

The intifada completely crippled whatever semblance of an economy Palestinians have, for the military incursions, roadblocks and violence makes any sort of economic growth next to impossible.  This is part of the intifada strategy- it makes the costs of occupation greater monetarily.  Again, I cannot stress enough that Israel has absolutely no reason to negotiate if they do not see a need to- history has proven that it is only after violent campaigns have ended that the Israelis make any moves to negotiate at all.  Everyone on this board continues to argue that Israel doesn't have to negotiate because "it won the war"- the intifada is an extension and reopening of that war.  Again, violence begets violence- Palestinians will never allow Israel to forget 1948.  They won't.  

And I was never under the impression that sharon and Abbas did not talk- I said that there was little communication between the two.  The communication was never much to begin with anyway, for it was all null and void once Bush agreed that "facts on the ground" had changed enough in Israel's favor regarding settlements (which is rpecisely why settlements are illegal under the 1949 Geneva Conventions), and that whatever unilateral decisions Israel made could be made without negotiations.  If you have that kind of green light, what's there for Abbas to talk to Sharon about?  The Israelis are already doing whatever they want regardless of Abbas.

First of all, I am glad you agree that Jews and their descendants should be compensated. Hopefully you would support this claim as vehemently as you would support the Palestinian right of return.

The thing you need to understand about what separates palestinian from other refugees and their definitions, is that one definition is practical while the other is not. If one would start to claim that every group that was ever displaced from an area they inhabited was entitled to their ancestral lands, the claims would never end! At some point, practicality takes over.

By the way, military occupation could end when terrorism ends and a real peace treaty can be signed.


But don't Israelis argue that Israel is theirs by Biblical birthright?  Isn't that how, when debates open up regarding "who's land is it?" Jews argue that it is in fact theirs?  Because without this sort of argument, it makes their creation of Israel even more of an egregious war of hostility than it already was.  That's what's so funny- you claim that Palestinians are crazy to say they want their homeland back when this is a fundamental precept of Israel itself.  

Furthermore, how is this impractical?  The Palestinians were booted out of their land and now they want it back.  The land was taken through war.  Now they too are using war as a means of regaining the land.  This isn't rocket science- we don't fault the American Indian for attacking colonists, why are we doing this with Palestinians?  If you say "well, Palestinians attack civilians," I need only turn to the daily images of Israeli tanks and soliders killing, maiming and bulldozing the homes of innocent civilians as well.  When a Palestinian suicide bomber kills civilians, Israel responds in kind- by bulldozing the homes of his family, friends and neighbors, people who had nothing to do with the attack to begin with.  

This is the kind of violence that exists in these areas- we cannot argue "well, one side kills while the other responds"- this argument leads nowhere.  Tit-for-tat isn't helping here.

nesnut

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #103 on: April 17, 2006, 11:33:05 PM »
It matters a lot. A unified state would bring Palestinians into the majority. If the state is democratic, that would mean the unified state would be an arab-muslim controlled state. The other states that fit this category in the middle east have done nothing to show that they uphold the values you seem to think would suddenly be espoused by this new state.

This is quite the LSAT logic fallacy- you're taking the group and saying that this will be the result with this specific outlier.  That's like arguing that the very places you were discussing earlier- Singapore, Malaysia- as well as the rest of Asia can't be democratic because China is Communist and because most of the other democracies that may exist in the area are corrupt, inefficient or really run by military juntas.  That's not proof- that's implying that a certain type of people are incapable of democratic government.  The Palestinians have already held fair and free elections, and they voted Hamas in specifically because they viewed Arafat's Fatah as corrupt and inefficient.  If that's not democracy in action, I don't know what it is- lord knows it's a hell of a lot better than what we Americans are doing about our own bull politicians.  Furthermore, the ability for people living under military occupation to have a really great and perfectly functioning government is incredibly difficult to do.

The Palestinians have never held sovereignty over these lands. They went from Ottoman, to British, to Jordanian, to Israeli hands. They are deemed "occupied" because israel had taken these lands through warfare. In order to "give them back", Israel would have to return sovereignty to their former owner, that owner being Jordan. In other words, the legal situation is not that simple, and the current situation and its settlement involves more than 2 parties.

Actually it is that simple, as Jordan and the rest of the Arab world have already agreed at numerous summits that this land is the land of the Palestinians.  They have already given up their claims to it.  Furthermore, "legal" definitions are incredibly difficult to pin down here- every single settlement is "illegal" and yet Israel does nothing to follow those laws.  Suddenly int'l law means something to them?  Palestinians claim a right of self-determination as the indigionous people of that land, something that no int'l body would throw out on the grounds that the land techincally was "owned" by a colonial power.  I highly doubt Britain would take it back.  The Turks aren't stupid enough to try and dominate these people given all their problems with Kurds, let alone their own inner issues.  Believe me, none of these other entities are at issue.  This is a specific problem between Israelis and Palestinains.

Are you really trying to tell me that Israelis and Palestinians DON'T have as you said "intense ethnic/religious/cultural differences"?

1) The Middle East is not...and for many many years will never be the United States. Ideas like democracy, and rule of law are very new there, if they even exist to most people. I would like to see how these two concepts combine with Arab culture for a century before I support the idea of eliminating the only Jewish state and imposing Palestinian Arab rule on it.
2) The Palestinians who have been given Israeli citizenship are a minority group within a larger state. Combining all Israelis and palestinians together creates a very different demographic situation. Combining Israel with the Palestinianian territories into one country under control of both parties is a recipe for conflict and disaster. Comparing the situation there to iraq would undoubtedly be a much better comparison than comparing it to the US.


Yes, they have these differences- but you make it seem as if there are absolutely no similarities between these two people at all.  This is also false.
Palestinians have their own police force and have voted in elections with free and fair results.  Furthermore, as I have stated already, these most recent elections were based on the frustrations that people felt with corruption and inefficiancy among Fatah members- this isn't coming from me, this is news analysis from the BBC and NPR.  That's a strong sign for a people new to the democratic forms of government.  Furthermore, it is unfair to argue that they should not be allowed to govern simply becuase they have had no practice in it- there was no "Jewish democracy" before Israel- in fact, the Soviets expected that Israel would become a socialist state.  But it didn't- a people presupposed to form one type of government instead formed another- how come it's possible with the Jews but not with the Palestinians?

Furthermore, you indirectly support a very contentious issue in Israel: the question of forced majority.  By arguing that Palestinians truly do outnumber Jews in Israel and the OT, it supports an argument which is often made by those who do not support Israel- namely, that Israel is a forced majority, one that utilizes the capabilities of the state to maintain a forced Jewish majority.  This is antithetical to the concepts of democracy itself.  

On top of all of this, it still doesn't address population demographics- if Palestinians in Israel continue to grow at this rate, they WILL outnumber the Jewish population.  What happens then?  Do you kick them out?  When they vote to change policies, to you stop the democratic process?

I am not arguing that this will all be sunshine and happiness- far from it.  But two states will only foster the hatred and indifference both sides have for one another.  And the Palestinians will NEVER forget 1948.  They won't, whether they have their excuse for a nation-state or not.  2 states won't end terrorism in Israel or Israeli control of the lives of all Palestinians.  It won't.

nesnut

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #104 on: April 17, 2006, 11:35:39 PM »
Ok, two things

1) You seem to equate a future Palestinian state with the status quo. You talk about Oslo, you talk about Camp David. Camp David was rejected. At this point, we can surmise, that the future Palestinian state will NOT be based on Camp David. Therefore, dismissing a two state solution based on camp david is useless.

Nobody is arguing that a two state solution will settle ALL problems. However, based on history and practicality it is the only viable way out of the conflict.

Yes, hate will still exist. Egyptians still hate Israelis. However, the two sides do not fire shots at each other. The hate between the two sides will take generations to get over. What we can hope for now is simply that they stop killing one another. Simple as that.

2) You are suggesting that two warring peoples, of different religions and ethnicities, who dislike one another should be put into one country, and that this country will become viable and peaceful, democratic and respect the rule of law. History is not on your side. You have given no evidence beyond your own hopes and conjecture that a one-state solution will work.

Until you can provide something solid that says a one-state solution CAN happen, and CAN be implemented as you believe it can, there is nothing more to argue against. Letting the Palestinians have sovereignty over themselves and the same for Israelis seems like a much better solution to me.


The Peace Accords, and ESPECIALLY Camp David, are crucial here- they set the tone for what the parameters for peace have been.  As I have already argued, it established a weak shadow of a nation-state for the PAlestinians.  These accords stand as the basic definitions of what a 2-state solution would look like.  So no, I am not "guessing" that 2-states will fail: I am looking at the past 15 years of history to very publicly state that the track records goes AGAINST 2 states working.

History is just as much against you as it is me- and your hopes and conjectures are just as strong or weak as mine.  What I have argued is for the future long term stability of the region, for this area to not decay into depravation, there must be equal concessions, equal bargaining and equal stakes placed in the process. I do not believe two states will solve this, because ISrael iwll not forsake its control of the area for "national security" purposes and Palestinians won't, for the most part, accept the injustice of loosing their homeland.  IT's just pushing the current conflict into the future rather than forcing both sides to end it now.

1 state, i believe, solves the above problems better than does 2 states.  Here's your historical argument, HK:

During the times when Jews were settling in Palestine, there were relatively no conflicts between the two peoples.  Jewish "new historians" track much of this time as one of relative peace- yes, there were disputes about land ownership and Palestinian resentment at the money and education Jewish settlers brought with them, but nothin at all violent, controversial or dangerous.  Conflict started to escalate in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, and even then, most of the anger of "the people" was directed at the British, not at one another.  It wasn't until it became obvious that Jewish settlers intended to set up a sovereign state, and that Palestinian Arabs would be forced to loose what had historically been their land, that problems mounted. 

In other words: BEFORE the dichotomy of Jewish Israel/Arab Palestine was established, both peoples lived in relative harmony- to the point that letters found during this time reveal that both peoples addressed one another as "cousins" more often than not.  Furthermore, even today, cities like Haifa and Tel Aviv are examples of the peace that can exist between both peoples.  Having both live as one doesn't seem to be a problem so long as the commitment to peaceful integration and not seperation remains the top priority.

The reality is that 2-state solutions are suggested because we can't break our own reliance on nation-state paradigms- we seem to think that all anybody wants is "their state"- but as both Jews and Palestinians have proven, where that place is is important.  This particular place is important to both- dividing it divides both peoples' aspirations and increases the tensions between the two.  Historically, they did in fact live together in peace- that isn't impossible today.  It only needs leadership with the imagination and courage to stand up and realize that both peoples will never win everything they want, and could potentially loose everything if they continue down the path of seperation and exile.

nesnut

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #105 on: April 17, 2006, 11:41:31 PM »
By the way, if Israel can't defeat Hamas, Hezboulah, or any other militant organization, what makes anybody think that the PA, which isn't allowed to fully arm because Israel won't allow it to, would be able to disarm these groups? You defeat them by destroying their ideological/social bases- in other words, you supplant the social roles these groups fill (healthcare, schools, civic societies, etc) and eliminate the roots of their ideology- which, in Hamas' case, is a nationalistic one- the Islamic state part is secondary to that

Israel could disarm them. The problem is, how do you disarm them without 1) Another military incursion into the west bank, where ANY israeli mistake could have them vilified in the media. 2) Do it without causing too much collateral damage 3) Do it without starting a regional war....the list goes on.

The reason it is much better for the PA to do it is that when Palestinians disarm them, the cycle can end there.

I agree with you on the second part. One would like to see those roles filled. I think the first step to that end would be to end the corruption that has plagued the PA for many years.

Don't downplay the religious motivation behind Hamas' actions.

You mentioned the above bolded statement but didn't explain how teh PA should do that when the terrorist organizations themselves outman and outgun them- mainly because the PA isn't allowed to arm or grow too large for fear of a Palestinian "army" by Israel.

Furthermore, I am not downplaying religion- but Palestinians are probably the most secular of the peoples in the middle east.  The rise in ISlamic fundamentalism- but aprticularly the support of the Hamas- has always been grounded first and foremost in the social programs they established.  From hospitals and prenatal care to soccer leagues and drama productions, Hamas fills the social/civic void left open under military occupation and third world poverty.  If they didn't have these servies, their support would drop immensely- that's why they campaigned on THESE issues and not Israel and bombings.  They know fully well that their actions continue to the cycle of oppression- but if you can show the people that you can provide during that oppression while still fighting for the hopes and dreams of that people, you gain leverage. 

With all of this in mind, the dreams of an Islamic state are secondary at best.  That is what I meant- yes, the religious part is important, but it pales in comparison to the social services.

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #106 on: April 17, 2006, 11:47:24 PM »
this should be called the israeli-palestinian anti-conflict thread...after all these two groups are semitic brothers and sisters...related in so many ways...time to anti-conflict...

Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #107 on: April 18, 2006, 12:13:55 AM »
The Palestinians and the Israelis are most certainly not brothers.

The two have such different ways of life and degrees of tolerance, that I think we can shoot that statement down without too debate.

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #108 on: April 18, 2006, 12:49:19 AM »
The Palestinians and the Israelis are most certainly not brothers.

The two have such different ways of life and degrees of tolerance, that I think we can shoot that statement down without too debate.

they are semitic brothers and sisters...truly..look it up...it is a fact...

time to anti-conflict...aye think that is what aye wrote...no need to debate that...

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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #109 on: April 18, 2006, 12:52:59 AM »
by the way...where have you been, runner-up? ;)

interesting writing primers you have. ;D