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Can you look at this map and say Israel does not systemically appropriate land?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 04:51 pm
I think a two state solution might be possible, or more like, a one state solution with two parallel governments sharing the revenue, which is what the 1947 G.A. Resolution 181 mandated. For those who would scoff, i need only remind you what you might have thought if, in 1970, somebody would have told you that Sinn Fein would sit in Stormont, sharing the Government of Ulster with the Protestants. The Irish hatred and bloodshed was 800 years old--so i think it is a reasonable analogy. The principle difference is that in the northern Ireland situation, you didn't have active, hostile outside enemies. You just had passive ones, such as the idiot child Irish-Americans who contributed to NorAid; and the English usually did nothing to help the situation and a good deal to exacerbate it, until late in the 20th century. But i do think it is possible--and i also think we needn't expect it any time soon.
Robert Gentel
 
  0  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 05:54 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
I agree that it has less chance of being realized...but I disagree completely that is has less chance of working.


It's not like we've ever had a two-state solution in place and it just didn't work. It hasn't ever gotten there. When Israel has done "land for peace" deals with their Arab neighbors it's worked fairly well so far.

Quote:

So long as there is a state of Israel in the Middle East (and in a two state solution, there WILL BE a state of Israel in the Middle East)...and there are Arabs or Muslims living there...

....there is absolutely no reason to suspect that there will be anything even remotedly resembling peace in that area.


A lot of people have come to believe that these peoples can't peacefully coexist. I don't buy that.

Millions of Arabs hate the idea of Israel but have come to accept it and make peace with Israel. I think that if a viable Palestinian state emerges the conflict will fade away. Animosity will remain for generations, but with real Palestinian sovereignty the dying should subside.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 06:31 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I know where you are coming from, Robert…and I appreciate it. I don’t want even to pretend that my answer is the only answer. This is probably one of the most complicated problems ever to face a people and anyone who does not see pluses and minuses to any potential solution is simply being close-minded.

Normally, I am an optimist…but I freely acknowledge that I am the consummate pessimist on this issue.

You wrote:
Quote:
A lot of people have come to believe that these peoples can't peacefully coexist. I don't buy that.

Millions of Arabs hate the idea of Israel but have come to accept it and make peace with Israel. I think that if a viable Palestinian state emerges the conflict will fade away. Animosity will remain for generations, but with real Palestinian sovereignty the dying should subside.


Okay…and perhaps you are correct.

But the two state solution has the potential for making things worse.

One of the big factors motivating the anger of Arabs in this mess…is the sense of embarrassment at being out-done by the Jews at every turn.

Fact is, Jews are acheivers…big time. They get things done.

They’ve effectively taken an area that has been under-used and ill-used for centuries (mostly by Arabs)…and made it a thriving, prosperous community.

The Arabs are, I’m afraid, hopelessly outclassed by the Jews…and they resent it in spades.

But at least now, in the fragmentation and without a state of their own, they have ready made excuses to ease the pain. Give them a state…and the excuses vanish. And I am almost positive they will still trail the Jews by light years.

The two state solution has the potential for being fuel onto fire.

As for the “Millions of Arabs hate the idea of Israel but have come to accept it and make peace with Israel”"okay, think that if you will.

But as far as I am concerned, that’s like a fighter thinking that his opponent has given up when the opponent rests for a round readying himself for the knockout round. Any “acceptance” you see is temporary and ephemeral.

My money is on: Peace ain’t gonna happen!

In order for peace to occur, the state of Israel has to go! It cannot exist in that area. The Arabs will never acquiesce to that! Never! Most people have no trouble accepting it when a Jew says, “We will never be driven from that land!” Far as I am concerned, we all better get use to the idea that when Arabs say, “We will never allow Israel to exist here!”…the are just as determined.

My vote is that the world has got to take the land away from both of them.

This area is tinder to a world-wide conflagration!
Robert Gentel
 
  0  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 07:09 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
But the two state solution has the potential for making things worse.


I really don't get how. How is that worse than the status quo where the Palestinians are stateless and lack sovereignty?

Quote:
One of the big factors motivating the anger of Arabs in this mess…is the sense of embarrassment at being out-done by the Jews at every turn.


But how would Palestinian statehood be more embarrassing than what they have now?

Quote:
Fact is, Jews are acheivers…big time. They get things done.

They’ve effectively taken an area that has been under-used and ill-used for centuries (mostly by Arabs)…and made it a thriving, prosperous community.

The Arabs are, I’m afraid, hopelessly outclassed by the Jews…and they resent it in spades.


I have a lot of respect for Jews as an industrious people and for Israel but the mantra that they turned desert into a first world country largely neglects that they did so with huge infusions of cash and resources from Europe and the US.

It's often used as a knock on Arabs, to show clear racial superiority basing the development difference on dispositional differences between them, but this argument ignores the vast situational differences.

Quote:
But at least now, in the fragmentation and without a state of their own, they have ready made excuses to ease the pain. Give them a state…and the excuses vanish. And I am almost positive they will still trail the Jews by light years.


But the primary motivation for their anger and violence also vanishes. Most of them don't hate Israel for being successful, they hate Israel for interfering in their lives, restricting their movement, and killing their relatives.

There will always be resentment but I think you overstate the importance of it in this conflict. They just aren't fighting because of envy even if that might be an exacerbating factor.

Quote:
The two state solution has the potential for being fuel onto fire.


There's only one real danger I see that can be described this way. Moderate Arabs have been calling for a solution that is very very close to acceptable for both sides for years now.

The moderate Palestinian party, and all the moderate Arab states have already accepted the principle of an Israeli state and have even gone so far as to accept 1967 borders and compromise on other key issues.

The entire Arab world proposed normalized relations with Israel for 1967 borders, some kind of fair settlement for the "right of return" (they didn't use this specific language, indicating for the first time that they might accept other forms of compensation instead of relocation back to Israel) and a shared Jerusalem as the capital of both cities.

The danger I see is a split between these moderates and some key Arab extremists (namely Hamas and Hezbollah) where they will accuse the moderates of ceding too much or making peace with the enemy.

But that would basically just put them where they are, enemies of Israel.

Quote:
As for the “Millions of Arabs hate the idea of Israel but have come to accept it and make peace with Israel”"okay, think that if you will.


Well their leaders have accepted it, I think you may have a valid point that their street hasn't but the majority of the Arab world is only cheering for Palestinians, and aren't attacking Israel themselves.

They have better lives and more to lose, they have statehood and sovereignty. I just don't think they'd become violent to see Palestine achieve statehood, but yes maybe the majority doesn't agree with the existence of Israel either.

I just don't think that Palestinian sovereignty would make it worse. Legitimate sovereignty combined with a rebuilding program that some of the process' participants (namely the US and Europe) have indicated willingness for can really change the facts on the ground and give Palestinians enough to live for to severely reduce those willing to give up all to attack Israel symbolically.

Quote:
My money is on: Peace ain’t gonna happen!


As long as enough Israeli's don't want peace I don't see it happening. But I do think it is currently within their power to achieve peace if they are willing to make their "painful concessions" and show some restraint while it develops.

Quote:
In order for peace to occur, the state of Israel has to go! It cannot exist in that area. The Arabs will never acquiesce to that! Never!


They did. All together. Even the guys like Syria. In 2002.

Quote:
Most people have no trouble accepting it when a Jew says, “We will never be driven from that land!” Far as I am concerned, we all better get use to the idea that when Arabs say, “We will never allow Israel to exist here!”…the are just as determined.


Some certainly are, but even the most extreme Palestinian factions have recognized, at times, their strategic weakness and negotiated.

For example, Hamas launched their rockets trying to extract a lifting of the embargo from Israel. They foolishly tried to get this concession by fire.

All indications point that they would have renewed the ceasefire for a lifting of the crippling economic blockade. This is because they value being in power more than the war against Israel and they've demonstrated this willingness to be bought and negotiated with.

And that ignores the other side of the coin, that Fatah has not been attacking Israel for years and has a moderate leader who wants a two-state solution.

Things have been changing. This conflict is just not the same as it was 10 years ago. Within the last 10 years we've seen:

1) The first time an Israeli Prime Minister called for a two-state solution.
2) The first time an American president called for a two-state solution.
3) The leaders of every Arab country call for a two-state solution.

And all we are stuck on is Jerusalem, "right of return", final borders and timing.

Quote:
My vote is that the world has got to take the land away from both of them.

This area is tinder to a world-wide conflagration!


As Setanta noted, there was a time where peace in northern Ireland seemed far fetched and the hatred too deep. It's preached often enough that these people hate each other that it's hard to believe it could be any other way but I believe it's possible. And most of all, I believe that Palestinian statehood is a step forward, not a step backwards.
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 08:01 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:


One of the big factors motivating the anger of Arabs in this mess…is the sense of embarrassment at being out-done by the Jews at every turn.

Fact is, Jews are acheivers…big time. They get things done.

They’ve effectively taken an area that has been under-used and ill-used for centuries (mostly by Arabs)…and made it a thriving, prosperous community.

The Arabs are, I’m afraid, hopelessly outclassed by the Jews…and they resent it in spades.




Are you only talking about the Arabs above?
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 08:03 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I think a two state solution might be possible, or more like, a one state solution with two parallel governments sharing the revenue, which is what the 1947 G.A. Resolution 181 mandated. For those who would scoff, i need only remind you what you might have thought if, in 1970, somebody would have told you that Sinn Fein would sit in Stormont, sharing the Government of Ulster with the Protestants. The Irish hatred and bloodshed was 800 years old--so i think it is a reasonable analogy. The principle difference is that in the northern Ireland situation, you didn't have active, hostile outside enemies. You just had passive ones, such as the idiot child Irish-Americans who contributed to NorAid; and the English usually did nothing to help the situation and a good deal to exacerbate it, until late in the 20th century. But i do think it is possible--and i also think we needn't expect it any time soon.


Ta my way of tinkin, if I'm tinkin at all (said with a brough), the two groups in Northern Ireland at least have a lot of rain to put a damper on emotions. Not so in Israel.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 08:58 pm
@Foofie,
No!
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 09:03 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert, you disagree with me.

I disagree with you.

I say there will never be peace in the Middle East so long as there is a state of Israel there...and any Arabs live there.

I don't think the two state solution will work ever...and I think both sides of the question will prevent the two state solution from ever coming to fruition.

But, I could be wrong.

I'd say...we'll see...

...but I seriously doubt anyone alive on this planet right now will ever see confirmation of either of our positions.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 11:09 pm
The is a major factor here that i think perople are missing. That is the response of the western world to the establishment of Israel in 1947, as well as the holocaust guilt, and Israel's subsequent military career. Many nations, the United States included, turned away Jewish refugees in the 1930s. When the full extent of the "final solution" horrors became known, it made western democracies very, very uncomfortable. When the state of Israel was established, the western nations were reluctant, at first, to recognize a nation which was acting in defiance of the United Nations mandate embodied in G.A. Resolution #181. But in 1948, Harry Truman, facing what looked like a losing presidential campaign against Dewey, among many other shifts to gain voter approval, recognized the state of Israel. I can't say that his motive was purely re-election politics, but the timing of the event is suspicious. Other western nations seemed to take a "bow to the inevitable" approach.

In 1956, England and France reacted to the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt which a military operation, in which it seemed convenient to include Israel for the military support they could give. They also, i suspect, counted on Eisenhower's support, because Eisenhower had gone along with the coup in Iran in 1953 which overturned the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh when he nationalized the petroleum industry there. But Eisenhower had felt that he had been blind-sided by that coup, and resented MI6 and the French intelligence services, much as Kennedy would feel about the CIA and the Bay of Pigs fiasco. So, he not only refused to support the Anglo-French airborne assault on the canal, he warned the Israelis to withdraw from the Sinai or face the loss of all American aid, and he sent a fleet with a Marine assault brigade to Beirut, a not too subtle reminder of who the big boy on the block really was. In fact, Israeli truculence lead Eisenhower's administration to withhold American military sales to Israel, which established both a market for English (amored vehicles) and French (aircraft) military sales, and the birth of a domestic arms manufactory in Israel. At that time, there was no unified western response to or view of the crisis, and for most citizens of western nations, the part Israel played was little known. England and France were treating Israel as a client-state, Germany, Austria and Italy were still recovering from the war, and heavily dependent on American aid, and Spain was still firmly in the grip of Franco and the fascists.

But by 1967, the western democracies were become relatively prosperous, and public opinion meant more and was better (although not well) informed. When Israel went to war, most of their citizens had no idea that Israel and Syria (and to a lesser extent, Jordan) had been skirmishing in an undeclared border war for months. It seemed to the west, and the press tended to foster this impression, that heroic little Israel had taken on and humiliated the big, bad Arab nations leagued against her. I was living in Virginia then, and we went to Washington as the nearby big city--within, literally, a few days, there were joke books on the shelves in shops mocking the Arabs ("How can you tell an Egyptian tank" . . . "The back-up lights."). The west made heroes of the Israelis, and never enquired about the origins of the conflicts, and made no objection to the occupation of the territory of other nations by Israel.

By 1973, however, and in light of the expulsion of the Palestinians from Jordan in 1971, the western democracies were not longer so comfortable about Israel. Western public opinion still largely favored Israel in the Yom Kippur War, seeing Israel once more as the heroic victim--and again the press fostered this point of view--but their governments weren't so sure. Once again, the public opinion of western democracies was not fully informed, and the press generally did not comment on the occupation of Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian territory by the Israelis, or their diversion of water resources to their own use in those areas, without the least attempt at accommodation with their neighbors. The Egyptians did well enough in crossing the Suez Canal, and maintaining their bridgehead there in the face of heavy Israeli counterattacks, earning Anwar Sadat the honorific "Hero of the Crossing." This had the effect of confusing the issue for the press, who really didn't know how to portray the Egyptians, who were breaking the stereotype of Arab military incompetence, and did so by simply taking back a little bit of their territory which they had lost to the Israelis--it was hard to make them out to be the bad guys, or to make heroes of the Israelis.

It was only the second occasion upon which an American President put real pressure on Israel (Eisenhower in 1956 being the first) which enabled Carter to get Begin and Sadat to sit down and hammer out a deal. It worked to the advantage of Israelis, anyway--they hadn't yet settled that many people in the Sinai, and this removed their most formidable Arab military foe. Sadat traded on his prestige as "Hero of the Crossing" with his own people, although it wasn't great enough to protect him from assassination just three years later. But it demonstrated two things--that Israel could be successfully negotiated with, and that Israel would respond to American pressure. Both lessons were lost on everyone, however, except King Hussein of Jordan.

Hussein was always his own man, both with regard to the Arab League, and with regard to the western democracies. He was also very intelligent, and a crafty diplomat. He began negotiating secretly with the Israelis in the 1970s, even before the Camp David accords (after all, he had solved his "Palestinian problem" by expelling them, after which they went to the Lebanon), but absent publicity, and American pressure, no deal was signed until 1994.

By the time the Israelis launched "Operation Litani" in 1978, invading southern Lebanon--even before the Camp David Accords--western public opinion was cooling considerably to the actions of the state of Israel. Many observers in the west felt that Israel was responsible in large measure for the ensuing Lebanese civil war which was to devastate that nation for 15 years. Images of Israeli F16s bombing Beirut began to turn European public opinion against the Israelis, while the fiasco of the American intervention in Beirut (especially as European peace keepers--most notably the Italians--got along fairly well with the Lebanese) cumulating in the destruction of the Marine barracks, had the effect of confusing American public opinion, although support for Israel remained relatively strong--as it does today in the United States.

Since that time, much of public opinion in Europe and the United States comes from generations with no memory of World War Two, for whom the holocaust is simply an horrific and regrettable historical event with no real connection to their lives, and who tend to view Israel without the context which formed public opinion in the west in 1947, 1956 and 1967. They have far less reason to automatically applaud Israel's military adventures, and have no reason to see them as underdogs, but rather as victimizers of their hapless neighbors.

To a large extent, western public opinion in the 1940s, -50s and -60s is responsible for perpetuating the conflict in the former Palestine, as it gave the more militant Zionists the impression that they could count on unswerving and unquestioning support from the western democracies. They have carefully cultivated their image with the publics of western democracies, and have stressed an image of themselves as civilized cousins to the people of the western democracies, and the Palestinians and the people of their neighbor nations as barbaric, murderous minions of oriental despotisms. That propaganda wears thin, however, when it so often seems that Israel is the militarist state, the aggressor nation, and the Palestinians or the Lebanese as the hapless victims. This gives scurrilous organizations like Hezbollan and Hamas a huge propaganda advantage, which they do not fail to exploit.

If the conflict in the former Palestine has long seemed irresolvable, that is thanks in large measure to public opinion in the west, which for too long had the effect of encouraging the hawks and militant Zionists of Israel. The Arab-Israeli impasse cannot axiomatically be considered insoluble--a good deal of the solution needs to come from realistic attitudes in the western democracies, and a willingness on the part of the governments of western democracies to intervene diplomatically rather than just wishing the problem will go away, and mouthing platitudes while the matter is in the headlines, and gladly forgetting it when it is not.

I simply do not believe that there is no and never can be any solution to this problem. Egypt and Jordan have been removed from the list of Israel's implacable enemies--that doesn't mean a solution would be easy, or that a solution can be found any time in the near future. But it does suggest that something can be accomplished.
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 11:09 pm
@Foofie,
This is arguably the stupidest thing you've ever posted here, which is in itself an amazing accomplishment.
gungasnake
 
  3  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 08:15 am
Quote:
Can you look at this map and say Israel does not systemically appropriate land?


Several things you're conveniently leaving out of the picture...

There was practically nobody living in the territory in question 120 years ago. The influx of rabs either looking for jobs or seeking to prevent non-slammites living in it came AFTER the Zionists began making something out of it. You can do your own google searches on 'mark twain' and 'holy land' for that one, I don't do other people's research or homework for them.

A larger view of the map shows Israel to be a tiny sliver of land which you need to know precisely where to look for to even find, as opposed to the slammite world which is the gigantic swath of territory stretching from the wall of China to the west coast of Africa and thirty or forty degrees of lattitude up and down. In that context, thie idea of slammites asking Israel for land for peace is basically ludicrous.

Israelis have left at least as much land and space in the slammite world as they have taken in Israel. You never hear that mentioned.

"Palestinians" are basically a pack of self-pitying, murdering savages who have wrecked at least three rab countries (Jordanians killed around 30K of them in heaving them out of Jordan in 72); if they were rational or decent people they'd have been absorbed by other rab countries decades ago.

There has never been any sort of a nation or state called 'palestine' or any such, nor is there really any such thing as a 'palestinian'. You're basically just talking about other rabs who've ended up in the middle of somebody else's game on land which they have no rational claim to.

The UN is also a bad actor in this picture, conferring "refugee(TM)" status on these sorry fuckers to the fourth and fifth generation. That doesn't go on anywhere else in the world, nobody would tolerate it.

I mean, there's more to this sordid picture, but the idea of accusing Israel of any sort of a land grab is basically heinous and idiotic.





0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 08:58 am
@Setanta,
Set…that analysis was incredible. Thanks for putting all that information in such a readable form. I am using that info and perspective as an aid in judging my own responses on the issue.



I’ve looked over my comments…and they seemed measured, although I don’t think it hurts to emphasize that, like many people who are questioning Israel’s tactics and methods right now, I also understand and can empathize with much of the “tactics and methods” I am criticizing. I tried to do that when earlier I mentioned that if I were a Jew…my guess is I would be among the more militant of the Jews"and if I were an Arab, I would be among the most militant of the Arabs.

There is no hypocrisy involved"this kind of thing is a function of being willing to look at both sides of an issue. I see the same thing coming from people discussing, for instance, abortion, capital punishment.

In fact, the one-sidedness of the Israeli defenders here turns me off to the Israeli cause as much as any other factor. The one-sidedness of the Jewish (for want of a better word) propaganda turns me off to the Israeli cause as much as any other factor.

The Palestinians are not, as Gunga just mentioned, “self pitying murderous savages.” (Using “self-pitying” in this context is especially incongruous just as, many would argue, is “murderous!”)

But Set, I do not agree with most of the thrust of your last paragraph.

I especially disagree that Egypt is no longer an implacable enemy of Israel…and conditions could change in that country that could easily bring it back solidly in the “Israel will never remain here” list of Arab nations. At some point, the people of Egypt will determine that...not the government of Egypt. Even the people of Jordan may be turned by events happening, and soon to happen, to their west.

It is my firm opinion that so long as Israel (not saying Jews here, just the state!) remains in the Middle East…no sustainable peace will ever prevail.
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 10:24 am
Well, i don't agree with your last statement--obviously.

I recognize that if a Muslim fundamentalist government were to take charge in Egypt, that nation could again become an enemy of Israel. But i don't have any good reason to assume that the Egyptian people as a whole are implacable enemies of Israel. Egypt has enjoyed a relative prosperity since the end of hostilities with Israel (relative to what was formerly the case). There is good cause, however, to worry about Egypt.

The Egyptian revolution in 1952 was lead by General Muhammad Naguib. Although he was always treated with great respect, he was quietly removed soon after, because he was, in fact, Sudanese, and the "Free Officers" movement wanted an Egyptian leader, specifically, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The revolution, in fact, was only possible because of Nasser, who was the leader of the Free Officers. There were several such "young officers," or "free officers" movements in the Arab world which arose in the 1940s, in response to the failure of monarchies imposed by the Allies after the Great War and the collapse of Turkish empire. Such movements were linked to the pan-Arabism movements of the 1920s and -30s, and in Syria and Iraq, they lead to the formation of the Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party.

In Egypt, the leaders of the Free Officers were Nasser, Anwar Sadat (army) and Hosni Mubarek (air force)--the latter two, of course, became the successors to Nasser. Mubarek is now 80 years old. These three have managed to keep a lid on Muslim fundamentalists, although the real reason is probably venal--Egypt profits greatly from western tourism, and that is crucial since they don't ahve oil revenues, while having the largest population of any "Arab" nation. However, i suspect that Mubarek will be succeeded by one of his coterie (i don't claim to know who that will be). The question will be whether or not the people of Egypt will prefer a Muslim government, or a government which can assure the continuance of the prosperity which comes from western tourism. There is never, sadly, any good reason to assume that the people of any nation will be motivated by their own best interests.

So let me say then, that for the time being at least, Egypt is removed from the list of Israel's military enemies.

Personally, i am really dismayed by the current situation. When Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, it was in response to having learned that Israel and Syria were secretly negotiating the possible return of the Golan Heights. Hezbollah was moved to take action because part of that land is claimed by the Lebanon, and was disputed before Israel took the territory in 1967. One of Hezbollah's demands of Israel has been the return of that territory--known as the Shebaa Farms--along with a demand for the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons. If Israel were to hand that land back to Syria, it would seriously undercut one of Hezbollah's strongest propaganda issues with Israel.

But the Israelis seriously overreacted, attacking Lebanese infrastructure from the air, destroying highway bridges over the rivers of southern and eastern Lebanon, and in the process killing Lebanese non-combatants. They then littered southern Lebanon with cluster bombs, causing even more civilian casualties, while doing no appreciable damage to Hezbollah. They really screwed up the military campaign, and added to the list of their gross blunders the killing of UN observers. They really screwed the pooch on that one, and there is no reason at all to have any sympathy for them over that. The "Israel is never wrong" crowd here continue to claim that the attack was in response to the launching of rockets against Israel by Hezbollah, but in order to put that red herring across, they are obliged to ignore the news reports from every major news service which reported Israeli air attacks against Lebanese infrastructure less than 24 hours after Hezbollah announced the kidnapping of the two IDF members and made their demands.

But this case is completely different. Hamas is a scum-bag organization. They won the Palestinian elections on a faute de mieux basis--Fatah was so corrupt, and Hamas had for so long carried on a campaign of delivering food, housing and health care to the Palestinians, that it really was a no-brainer. And that's just what the Palestinians did--they used no brains in voting for Hamas. Hamas has continued to deliver what services they can to the Palestinian people, but their motives have always been cynical. Their only interest is to build up political capital with the Palestinian people, and their real agenda has always been the destruction of Israel. Largely, they are the losers in the power struggle within the PLO in the 70s which ended with Yassir Arafat and Fatah taking power. Arafat didn't have the sense and the integrity to rise above his tribalism and "cronyism," and Fatah quickly became the kind of corrupt organization which plagues so many nations of the mid-east and Africa.

But Hamas is worse, to the extent that they don't really care what price the Palestinian people will have to pay for the implementation of the Hamas agenda. I think they stumbled very badly, thinking they'd get the same kind of sympathy that the Lebanon got from the grossly disproportionate response of the Israelis to the kidnappings. But it is all to obvious that Hamas started this nasty affair, and although the Israelis are showing a too typical disregard for the Palestinians, and won't even make the effort to assure the safety of UN and NGO humanitarian relief teams, the villain of this piece is still definitely Hamas. This will set back any efforts to find peace in the former Palestine probably by at least a decade.

It's a mess, but i don't think it is insoluble.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 11:07 am

Salaam aleikum, shalom, bookmark.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 12:56 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

This is arguably the stupidest thing you've ever posted here, which is in itself an amazing accomplishment.


You are a serious fellow.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 01:07 pm
@Setanta,
<Foofier steps up to the microphone> Two facts I take issue with. First, I thought that the Soviet Union was the first nation to give Israel recognition. So the U.S. giving recognition may have just been based on an effort not to let the Soviet Union appear more caring for the Holocaust survivors in Israel.

Second, Syria was always the most formidable enemy of Israel, not Egypt. I got that first-hand from someone who fought in Israel's wars. Syrians in the opinion of the speaker tended not to give up in battle; Egyptians did not have the same fighting spirit as the Syrians.

I think the problem is rooted in the belief that the Palestineans are a "people." They are Arabs and Muslims. They also have a right to live where they are.

But, do they have a right to a nation-state? If I had my druthers, I would have them become Egyptian citizens, with an expansion of their Gaza Strip into the Sinai Peninsula. In other words, I can see Egypt functioning like an Arab Pax Romana. I personally would rather identify with the history of Egypt than whatever history the Palestineans claim?

Another long term solution is that with time all Israelis can become dual citizens (U.S. and Israel). At that point they can have a referendum to join the U.S. and move to NY, NJ, Conn. and a few other urban/suburban centers. That would be cute.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 01:20 pm
First, i did not say that Truman and the United States were the first to recognize Israel, and i don't give a rat's ass who was the first. I was addressing the public opinion of the western democracies. It should come as no surprise to most people that i don't include the former Soviet Union in a list of western democracies.

Second, i noted that Egypt is the most populous "Arab" nation, which is not a statement to the effect that Egypt is the most dangerous threat to Israel--leaving aside that "I knew somebody who fought in those wars and he said . . ." is a pretty damned lame basis for a judgment of the relative military capacities of nations. Were i to assess the greatest danger to the Israeli nation, i'd list the Israeli government as the greatest danger, with fanatical, irrational Zionists coming in a close second.

You know, i just let the dog back in the house after she did her business outside, and told her she was a good girl. She stopped by the dog treat bucket and licked her lips. I told her, and this is a direct quote: "The fact that you are a good girl does not entitle you to a gustatory reward." Now you may say that she could not possibly understand what i had said. However, i have every confidence that she is as able, and probably more able, to understand what i say than you are.
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 04:43 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

First, i did not say that Truman and the United States were the first to recognize Israel, and i don't give a rat's ass who was the first. I was addressing the public opinion of the western democracies. It should come as no surprise to most people that i don't include the former Soviet Union in a list of western democracies.

Second, i noted that Egypt is the most populous "Arab" nation, which is not a statement to the effect that Egypt is the most dangerous threat to Israel--leaving aside that "I knew somebody who fought in those wars and he said . . ." is a pretty damned lame basis for a judgment of the relative military capacities of nations. Were i to assess the greatest danger to the Israeli nation, i'd list the Israeli government as the greatest danger, with fanatical, irrational Zionists coming in a close second.

You know, i just let the dog back in the house after she did her business outside, and told her she was a good girl. She stopped by the dog treat bucket and licked her lips. I told her, and this is a direct quote: "The fact that you are a good girl does not entitle you to a gustatory reward." Now you may say that she could not possibly understand what i had said. However, i have every confidence that she is as able, and probably more able, to understand what i say than you are.


Why limit countries that recognized the fledgling Israel to only the western democracies? Russia was, and still is, a power broker in the world.

I guess I misconstrued your emphasis of Egypt's involvement with Israel. Egypt was the ring-leader, so to speak, back in the days of the U.A.R. under Gabdal Nasser. Losing the war to Israel ended the U.A.R.? I do not know.

I do believe dogs understand human speech, beyond the actual words. Dogs can read facial queues, I believe. Few humans that do not have a dog can read dog facial expressions, I believe, unless they are of a certain mindset. I personally would have rewarded my dog with a "gustatory reward," since we do not have relationships with people, or animals, forever. One less thing to regret when others are gone, I believe.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 09:03 pm
Look, Foofie, i have no particular desire to insult or humiliate you. However, you continually misconstrue what i have been saying. I don't care what the attitude of Russia has been toward Israel. I commented on the attitude of western democracies toward Israel because that attitude, even if not intended to do so, had the effect of encouraging Israeli hawks, and that makes the public opinion of western democracies, as perceived by the Israeli government, important. Once again, i don't give a rat's ass about Russia in any of this, regardless of what kind of power it can be said to have had.

The United Arab Republic only existed for about three years, from 1958 until 1961, when Syria pulled out. Technically, Egypt continued to be known as the U.A.R. for another ten years, but for all purposes it was dead when Syria withdrew, as the point was to jump start the pan-Arabist dream, and it failed. Neither Syria nor Egypt were at war with Israel at any time in the period 1958 to 1961, so Israel had nothing to do with the collapse of the scheme.

Nothing i wrote stated nor even suggested either that the public opinion of western democracies was the only significant factor in mid-east politics, nor that defeat by Israel caused the collapse of the U.A.R. I rather resent your attempting to constantly put words in my mouth--or i would, did i not so strongly suspect that you just don't understand what i write.
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 11:46 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Look, Foofie, i have no particular desire to insult or humiliate you. However, you continually misconstrue what i have been saying. I don't care what the attitude of Russia has been toward Israel. I commented on the attitude of western democracies toward Israel because that attitude, even if not intended to do so, had the effect of encouraging Israeli hawks, and that makes the public opinion of western democracies, as perceived by the Israeli government, important. Once again, i don't give a rat's ass about Russia in any of this, regardless of what kind of power it can be said to have had.

The United Arab Republic only existed for about three years, from 1958 until 1961, when Syria pulled out. Technically, Egypt continued to be known as the U.A.R. for another ten years, but for all purposes it was dead when Syria withdrew, as the point was to jump start the pan-Arabist dream, and it failed. Neither Syria nor Egypt were at war with Israel at any time in the period 1958 to 1961, so Israel had nothing to do with the collapse of the scheme.

Nothing i wrote stated nor even suggested either that the public opinion of western democracies was the only significant factor in mid-east politics, nor that defeat by Israel caused the collapse of the U.A.R. I rather resent your attempting to constantly put words in my mouth--or i would, did i not so strongly suspect that you just don't understand what i write.


You are writing for whom? The same person that reads short articles in the NY Post? You write fairly long posts, and it is not easy to untangle all the connecting thoughts, or rather the flow of deductive reasoning. Sorry, if you think I put words in your mouth. I am not trying to do that.

So, blame me for reading a fairly difficult posting, in my opinion. But, regarding the Soviet Union and Israel. Why do you not include the Soviet Union in the "significant factors" in mid-east politics? I think that the Soviet Union, having been the mentor of some Arab states, would be quite significant, if Israel thought the Soviet Union would invade to protect an Arab ally?
 

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