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


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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #110 on: April 18, 2006, 12:22:32 AM »
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.  I..... it would end up never being part of any final status talks.  

In order for there to be a third party there must be a second party and a first party. This is semantics. Your point is that Israel controls resources so a Palestinian state would not be viable.

The reason I referred to the Singapore example, is that singapore is completely dependent on Malaysia for water. However, due to their ingenuinity, it is not only viable but extremely successful. Viability as a state has a lot more to do with how it's run than what the state is sitting on. The Palestinian state could have sources of income that don't necessarily come from any specific natural resource, just like israel has.

Like I told you before. CAMP DAVID WAS REJECTED. Since it was rejected, we have to assume that a final settlement will not be like Camp David. If Camp David was very close to what we would see in the end, it is likely it would have been accepted and modified. Clearly many israelis were dissatisfied with it, as were most palestinians. This means that the future agreement will not be of the same nature.

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.  

Thus, even when the Palestinians have turned to DIPLOMACY AND NOT VIOLENCE, it has not been on equal playing fields.  

BOTH parties have power. You may equate power with a large advanced military but that's not what power is. Both sides have something the other wants. The Palestinians want territory and Israel wants peace. Both sides have something to negotiate with and for. Both sides do not have the power to take what they want without the consent of the other. That's why there can be negotiations. That's why Israelis accept that there must be Palestinian's not what they want, but it's what the power of the Palestinians has made into a reality.

Additionally, the Palestinians have continued with violence constantly. If it's not Hamas, it's islamic jihad, or it's al aqsa...Since the beginning of the second intefada there has not been an extended people where the Palestinians have voluntarily gone to the negotiating table and decided violence wasn't the answer. You said  that violence has worked better for the Palestinians than diplomacy in terms of getting israel to listen, however, for israel violence has worked better than diplomacy in reducing the number of terrorist attacks.

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 sh*t 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.  

You are drawing a causal relationship between Arafat's recognition of Israel and his situation, and assuming that because that has happened, Hamas has no incentive to recognize israel. That causal relationship does not exist.

Arafat was an extremely corrupt man. He was a terrorist. He was ineffective at getting anything done that could promote peace. After a while it is natural that everyone would get fed up.

Hamas is not arafat. Hamas IS a democratically elected government and I highly doubt they share arafat's corruption. If Hamas would be willing to take some simple steps which it seems like everyone else thinks they should take, the funding would be resumed, and I think they would be in a better position to negotiate than even arafat ever was.

 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.  

Yes, but where do you start? When the goal of the party you are negotiating with is the establishment of an Islamic state over the entire area there is no basic principle to begin negotiating from. This is just like with China/Taiwan. China has shown it is fully willing to negotiate peace with Taiwan, as long as Taiwan accepts a "one-China" principle. Within this, there is room for negotiation. However, if Taiwan refuses this, the Chinese government has no place to negotiate from, and feels any negotiations would be a waste of time. Since Israel will not accept Islamic rule, what basis is there for negotiations? That is the same problem here. That is why the international community has taken this stance against Hamas. They are not against Hamas, they just want Hamas to respect the actions taken by previous governments. That's a part of democracy. Democracy doesn't mean that every new government renegs on treaties and principles of previous governments otherwise democracy would mean chaos. Hamas needs to find a way to respect the Israeli position while staying in line with their own.

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.

You made it seem as if Israel was unwilling to negotiate with Abbas. I was showing that wasn't true.

Another question you should ask is, what kind of peace could Abbas even give israel?

Like I said in my last post, the lack of a negotiating partner is a big problem. Someone has to stop the extremists. If Israel can't and the PA can't who can?

You can simplify the solution all you want. However, radical islamic terrorism has shown that it is not restricted to any specific country or region. Indonesia, England, Spain, South Africa, the US, Israel...have all felt the pain of this terrorism. There are still other countries where violent Muslim separatists have caused trouble.

However, I would agree that establishing a muslim state in Israel would likely stop Hamas(who knows what would happen to the Jews living there). It's sort of the same way that if the US became a muslim state I doubt we would have too many more problems with Osama Bin Laden :)

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.  

1) Some Israelis make that argument. I don't. For me, i only concentrate on recent history and the best way out of this conflict.

2) You are confusing what "should" happen in theory to what is practical. Did the Americans steal shitloads of land from native americans? Did we destroy their livelihood? we did. However, does that mean we should pick up and evacuate the US simply because some natives decide "they want it back". Hell, they still live in squalor on many reservations. That is what i mean about being practical. What is practical is that the Jews in Israel have created a prosperous state and economy. Much more prosperous than any arab country has been able to do despite oil money. Simply making everyone move out is not practical.

Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #111 on: April 18, 2006, 12:32:17 AM »
by the way...where have you been, runner-up? ;)

interesting writing primers you have. ;D

I deferred law school for a year to work at a hedge fund. Will be moveing to St. Paul in the late summer.

No conflict on this message board? How I wish it could be.


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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #112 on: April 18, 2006, 12:56:33 AM »
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.

Refer to my previous post. Camp david was rejected. We don't know what a final resolution would be. Presumeably when it comes the PA will only allow there to be a solution that they think will allow them to establish a viable state. Plain and Simple.

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.

When you study politics, you can see that there are certain parallels between political situations. Just because there have been times with israelis and arabs have not been killing each other in israel, it doesn't mean dramatically altering the demographics, establishing a muslim majority government, bringing groups like Hamas into power over the jewish population will work. You are talking about small pockets of people. I am sure that in iraq there are some shiite and sunnis who certainly have no intention of going to civil war, who have lived side by side in peace for many years and who don't dislike one another. However, the danger of civil war still exists.

This is why I say history is not on your side. Bringing in the Palestinians from the west bank and gaza, making the jews leave their land, giving them majority power in the government would basically be fundamentally altering...just about everything. What is likely is that there would be conlict over who the Palestinians force out and how many. There would be conflict over who controls what. The state would probably be islamic in nature due to the Muslim majority and this would further increase conflict. Eventually this would probably all break down into racial/religious tensions and riots and war. Yugoslavia had to be broken up. The soviet union had to be broken up. The tibetans and Uyghurs don't want to be under the Chinese...Malaysia didn't want singapore because it would ruin their malay majority demographic. People like to have their own state. The problem with merging the two states is that it would still have a palestinian state, there would just be no jewish state.

We have seen historically what happens when states are artificially created and include people who simply don't want to be with each other in the same country. This is the lesson from the postcolonial period.

It is likely after the failed union there would be two states anyway. Like I said, don't tell me that some Jews and Arabs can get along. I know that. Show me that a Palestinian government over Israel would do all the things you say it will...

2) "The reality is that 2-state solutions are suggested because we can't break our own reliance on nation-state paradigms-"

This is very correct. In the real world, we can't. This is why there are conflicts over issues like sovereignty and we can't just be under one international government.

"Historically, they did in fact live together in peace- that isn't impossible today"

I envision that a Jewish state and Palestinian state can live in peace side by side, just as Israel and Jordan do. That's not farfetched.


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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #113 on: April 18, 2006, 01:43:20 AM »
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.

How long have they had democracy? You cannot compare having a democracy for a couple years with an ability to run a free state properly, respect the rights of others, respect the rule of law...etc...

The reason I look at the other Arab countries is that their culture is indeed similar to the Palestinians. The reason the Palestinians have formed this democracy is because it was encouraged by the west. However, their culture is still an arab one. So, in order to examine the possibility of them upholding all these western principles in long run, one must look at similar cultures to see how they respect these principles. There are other issues that would concern me too about Israelis freedom. Right now Israel allows freedom of speech, women have equal rights, hell, the high court even allowed a gay pride parade in jerusalem! I highly doubt a Palestinian state would allow these things to take place.

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.

Based on that logic Jordan would still be involved. Since people claim that Israel is "occupying territory" that implies that the territory is not theirs rightfully, but someone elses. Israel won this territory from Jordan. The previous sovereign power over the area was the Jordanian government. Therefore Israel would be occupying Jordanian land. Basically, they never took any Palestinian land. Now, as you have stated, by dropping their claim to this land, the Jordanians no longer have the rights of sovereignty. But since they were not in possesion of this land, it was not theirs to give to anyone else. If Jordan really wanted to transfer this land to the Palestinians, they should negotiate with Israel, receive the land and then establish a Palestinian state themselves. The point is that this issue and conflict has its roots in history. This history involves multiple parties, and therefore they should all be involved in the settlement. Furthermore as far as your comment about israel neglecting laws, you will notice with the ridiculous percentage of UN resolutions that have been made to condemn israel, international law has basically been tailored in order to help the palestinians.

"Palestinians claim a right of self-determination as the indigionous people of that land,"

The right of self-determination is a very complex one. Political theorists have speculated for years about what this right really means, or who the "self" is. Some have interpreted it as meaning that any group anywhere has the unilateral right to secede and form their own state. Others have argued that the idea of "self" can also mean anyone who would affected by such a secession. Additionally, do not confuse the right of self-determination with a right of sovereignty. They are not the same. In some situations this right many just mean that people are entitled to a great level of autonomy.

Additionally, there are many who are among the "refugees" that are not "indigenous".

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.

 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?

1) I never said there are no similarities. It is sad, because in many ways jews/muslims have been closer historically than jews/christians. However, the current differences that exist are definitely large enough to cause serious conflicts. These types of differences have caused ethnic and religious conflicts in other areas and there is no reason to assume they won't do the same here.

2) I think if you look at Israel as a state, you can see that what it's accomplished it quite extraordinary. They don't have the resources of other middle eastern countries, yet they have managed to build a modern/successful country. I don't believe that "any other group" in that place could have and would have done the same thing. I think it's great that the Palestinians are turning toward democracy. Hopefully that change will produce fruitfull results. However, that doesn't make them qualified to take over the Jewish state.

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.  

The people in the OT are not israeli citizens. When a final peace agreement is reached, they will become Palestinian citizens. Arab Israelis that are israeli citizens can vote and have elected members of parliament. They actually did quite well in the recent election.

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?

That is a separate issue entirely and it is another challenge facing israel. However, there are possible solutions in dealing with it. If you want to discuss this issue, you could consider starting a new thread. The demographic problem israel will face in 50 years is not exactly relevant to the current crisis.

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.

The goal here is not just to end terrorism. The goal is to end terrorism and set up a system where both parties are satisfied. Like I said before, if the US didn't want to be attacked by terrorists we could all convert to Islam and bring our troops home. We oppose the terrorists because we want to maintain our way of life, our freedoms, our religions. Your one state solution is only effective because it does that. Sure, make Hamas the government and there will be no need for them to use suicide bombers. :)

A two state solution does not need to breed friendship. I don't think practical people believe the israelis and palestinians will be friends anytime soon. What is important is that both sides stop fighting, and that both sides move on.

Now, we have gone over "1948" many times. Some Palestinians were told to leave. Many fled because they feared war. Many fled because arab leaders told them to. They don't need to forget this, they just need to stop blowing themselves up in israel.


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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #114 on: April 18, 2006, 05:48:03 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.

mazin qumsiyeh, a palestinian geneticist at yale, has told me that gene studies show jews and palestinians to be closely related genetically. IIRC, he told me european jews share more genetic material in common with palestinian arabs than with european non-jews.

this doesn't address the issue, i know. runner-up is making a point about culture, not genetics. but i thought it might be interesting to point out.

i don't agree with runner-up about cultural differences, either. edward said, in his book "the question of palestine", does a really good job of showing how israeli jews and palestinians are both dominated by the ideology of zionism, how it affects their cultures, and how it binds them in a common historical experience.

as far as ways of life and degrees of tolerance, i agree that there are differences, but i think that they are not serious arguments against reconciliation or siblinghood. there are, of course, religious and cultural differences, such as those leading to different daily routines, beliefs about the world, etc. these aren't really significant - i have different beliefs, religious values, and daily routines from my biological brother - that doesn't make us not-brothers. besides which, islam, christianity, and judaism as practiced by the majority of israeli jews and palestinians, are pretty similar when you consider the space of possible or even actual belief systems. other cultural gaps are likely to close if the economic and material gaps between jews and palestinians closed.

as far as degrees of tolerance, i agree that the average palestinian is way more tolerant of other races and belief systems than the average israeli. but it seems very likely that this is pretty contingent on the particular power arrangements that currently exist. usually, if you take away racial supremacy as a material fact, racial supremacy as an ideology will wither, and the "tolerance gap" will close.

and don't forget that for 1000 years, ending only 50 years ago, jews were the palestinians of europe. these things have left their mark on jewish culture, making the common experience of jews and palestinians that much more common.


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Re: No more Thread Hijacks: The Official Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Thread
« Reply #115 on: April 25, 2006, 06:05:49 AM »
here comes ww3.

iran is planning on giving away their nuclear technology...


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Palestinian Battles Raise Fears of Coup And Civil War

about to implode into civil war?

Julie Fern

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hey, how 'bout them mariners?