8
   

Israel Shells U.N. Building in Gaza and Media Center -- Charged With Using White Phosphorus

 
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 01:02 am
@Endymion,
This is not my field of expertise.
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 01:27 am
@Steve 41oo,
Steve 41oo wrote:

The Israelis are complete shits. And war criminals. Israel is both a failed and a rogue state. The 60 year Zionist experiment in Palestine has failed.


Have to agree now. Especially after seeing the story of a 2-year-old girl with a severed spinal cord after being shot in the back by an Israeli soldier. Exactly what threat was she posing?
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 01:40 am
@Wilso,
Oh, gungasnake said it was because "They're all being indoctrinated to BECOME terrorists." <blood pressure rises>

Good to see ya Wilso. Give sweet baby a hug for me, eh Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 12:24 pm
@Wilso,
Wilso wrote:

Steve 41oo wrote:

The Israelis are complete shits. And war criminals. Israel is both a failed and a rogue state. The 60 year Zionist experiment in Palestine has failed.


Have to agree now. Especially after seeing the story of a 2-year-old girl with a severed spinal cord after being shot in the back by an Israeli soldier. Exactly what threat was she posing?
They only care about one thing, and that's Eretz Israel. That aim is incompatible with a viable Palestinian state. So they do anything in furtherance of that goal. Attacking Gaza may be ostensibly to eliminate rockets, but the hidden agenda, as with the attack on Lebanon 2007, is to provoke war with Iran and get the United States to eliminate its nuclear capability. Anything in Israeli eyes justifies that, including the murder of children.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 09:28 pm
IDF probes improper use of phosphorus shells in Gaza Strip

Quote:
The Israel Defense Forces is investigating whether a reserve paratroops brigade made improper use of phosphorus shells during the fighting in Gaza.

The brigade fired about 20 such shells in a built-up area of northern Gaza.

Aside from this one case, the shells were used very sparingly and, in the army's view, in compliance with international law.


Quote:
According to senior army officers, the IDF used two phosphorus-based weapons in Gaza. One, the sources said, actually contains almost no phosphorus. These are simple smoke bombs - 155mm artillery shells - with a trace of phosphorus to ignite them.

Alkalai's probe is thus focusing on the second type: phosphorus shells, either 81mm or 120mm, that are fired from mortar guns. About 200 such shells were fired during the recent fighting, and of these, according to the probe's initial findings, almost 180 were fired at orchards in which gunmen and rocket-launching crews were taking cover.

The one problematic incident was the reserve paratroops brigade that fired about 20 such shells in a built-up area of Beit Lahiya. Many international organizations say phosphorus shells should not be used in heavily populated areas. The brigade's officers, however, say the shells were fired only at places that had been positively identified as sources of enemy fire.

The 120mm shells, a recent acquisition, have a computerized targeting system attached to a GPS. Brigade commanders say they were very effective, but they were also responsible for two very serious mishaps: a strike on a UNRWA school that killed 42 Palestinians and a friendly fire incident that seriously wounded two officers.


Here is an image of its use in Beit Lahiya:

http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/3766/boemdichtbijxe3.jpg
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 09:38 pm
Apisa and I appear to agree on this one. Sort of rare.... Between Israel and the "palestinians and particularly those in gaza, somebody has to move or be moved and history offers no example of a sophisticated nation simply packing its bags and all of its infrastructure and moving to some other part of the world for the benefit of rabble or, in the case of the "palestinians", of savages.

My advice to the PM of Israel should he want it would be as follows: Do what I'd do; walk into the general assembly of the UN and announce something more or less like

Quote:

Dear hearts, the state and people of Israel have come to the conclusion that we can no longer allow you to keep and maintain any of your little groups of kept savages on our door step.

We are going to be generous: You have thirty days to find a place within the slammite world, that is, the gigantic swath of territory between the wall of China and the west coast of Africa which shows as green on maps indicating nations under the sway of the peculiar form of devil worship known as I-slam, in which to put the "palestinian" savages, and that place needs to be at least 1000 kilometers from Israel.

Any which we find any closer than that on day 31, we're going to simply ******* kill. **** you and have a nice day.


The UN is the most major villain and bad actor in this picture as well as in many pictures throughout much of the world. The idea of IDF forces using a UN building for tank gun practice simply does not offend me that much or even strike me as a terribly unreasonable thing to do.








0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 11:34 pm
@Steve 41oo,
Steve 41oo wrote:
The Israelis are complete shits.


They defend themselves when necessary.

Generally it's a bad idea to make it necessary for Israel to defend themselves, but their neighbors never seem to learn.



Steve 41oo wrote:
And war criminals.


Not very likely. To be a war criminal, they will have to have violated some of the rules of warfare.



Steve 41oo wrote:
Israel is both a failed and a rogue state.


Not really. As a state they are just doing quite fine.

And their willingness to defend themselves does not make them a rogue state.



Steve 41oo wrote:
The 60 year Zionist experiment in Palestine has failed.


Sure looks to me like it is coming along OK.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 11:35 pm
@Endymion,
Endymion wrote:
Cancers are also another issue with regards using unconventional weapons


None of the weapons being discussed are unconventional weapons.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 11:40 pm
@Wilso,
Wilso wrote:
Steve 41oo wrote:
The Israelis are complete shits. And war criminals. Israel is both a failed and a rogue state. The 60 year Zionist experiment in Palestine has failed.


Have to agree now. Especially after seeing the story of a 2-year-old girl with a severed spinal cord after being shot in the back by an Israeli soldier. Exactly what threat was she posing?


Sounds like collateral damage. (If the story is true.)
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 11:41 pm
@Steve 41oo,
Steve 41oo wrote:
They only care about one thing, and that's Eretz Israel. That aim is incompatible with a viable Palestinian state. So they do anything in furtherance of that goal.


Was Israel's attempt to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state an attempt to avoid the creation of a Palestinian state?

Was Israel's attempt to pull out of Palestinian areas unilaterally an attempt to avoid the creation of a Palestinian state?



Steve 41oo wrote:
Attacking Gaza may be ostensibly to eliminate rockets, but the hidden agenda, as with the attack on Lebanon 2007, is to provoke war with Iran and get the United States to eliminate its nuclear capability.


That's a bit of a stretch. True that it's getting time to bomb Iran's illegal nuclear program though.



Steve 41oo wrote:
Anything in Israeli eyes justifies that, including the murder of children.


I note the fact that Israel isn't murdering children.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:13 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
Was Israel's attempt to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state an attempt to avoid the creation of a Palestinian state?

Was Israel's attempt to pull out of Palestinian areas unilaterally an attempt to avoid the creation of a Palestinian state?


Israel is not monolithic. They have political parties that did, in fact, object to all of those things. They've had leaders assassinated over it.

Yes, there is a significant portion of Israelis in the government who have explicitly and consistently opposed the creation of the Palestinian state and any withdrawals.

On the other hand there are others who prefer a two-state solution.

What we just witnessed in Gaza was the result of the political climate swinging from one side to the other. Israeli politics is taking a turn towards the hawks right now, and with its most hawkish leaders you don't need to read between the lines to see the avoidance of the Palestinian state.

Likud is one of the major political parties in Israel, and their leader is giving the incumbent party a significant challenge. They have made very clear that they reject any Palestinian state in Gaza or the West Bank as they passed a resolution to oppose any creation of a Palestinian state within Greater Israel.

Israel's politics is swinging back to their hawks who do, in fact, oppose and wish to avoid a Palestinian state, and the Gaza invasion is largely an attempt by the incumbent party to fend off this political challenge from the more hawkish party.

So yes, to say that "Israel" avoids the creation of the Palestinian state is not completely true, but it's just as untrue to neglect to see that they frequently do have leaders who do.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 01:10 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Was Israel's attempt to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state an attempt to avoid the creation of a Palestinian state?

Was Israel's attempt to pull out of Palestinian areas unilaterally an attempt to avoid the creation of a Palestinian state?


Israel is not monolithic. They have political parties that did, in fact, object to all of those things. They've had leaders assassinated over it.

Yes, there is a significant portion of Israelis in the government who have explicitly and consistently opposed the creation of the Palestinian state and any withdrawals.


Yes, but those people have not been in power for some time. The Israeli people as a whole have been trying to achieve a two-state solution for some time -- first with Barak trying to negotiate in 2000, and then when all that achieved was a series of suicide bombings, with Sharon trying to pull out unilaterally.



Robert Gentel wrote:
On the other hand there are others who prefer a two-state solution.

What we just witnessed in Gaza was the result of the political climate swinging from one side to the other. Israeli politics is taking a turn towards the hawks right now, and with its most hawkish leaders you don't need to read between the lines to see the avoidance of the Palestinian state.

Likud is one of the major political parties in Israel, and their leader is giving the incumbent party a significant challenge. They have made very clear that they reject any Palestinian state in Gaza or the West Bank as they passed a resolution to oppose any creation of a Palestinian state within Greater Israel.

Israel's politics is swinging back to their hawks who do, in fact, oppose and wish to avoid a Palestinian state, and the Gaza invasion is largely an attempt by the incumbent party to fend off this political challenge from the more hawkish party.

So yes, to say that "Israel" avoids the creation of the Palestinian state is not completely true, but it's just as untrue to neglect to see that they frequently do have leaders who do.


This swing to the right is being caused by the fact that no matter what Israel does to try to make peace with the Palestinians, the result is more Palestinian attacks on them, and more people around the world accusing Israel of not trying to make peace.

If I were an Israeli voter I'd be about ready to embrace the hawks too. But I think this action in Gaza has probably given Kadima another chance.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 01:38 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
Yes, but those people have not been in power for some time. The Israeli people as a whole have been trying to achieve a two-state solution for some time -- first with Barak trying to negotiate in 2000, and then when all that achieved was a series of suicide bombings, with Sharon trying to pull out unilaterally.


Nonsense. Sharon was the prime minister of Israel with the Likud party when they passed their resolution against a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river.

In his later years he broke with his party, formed Kadima and did, in fact, push toward a two-state solution but Kadima has since taken a turn towards being Hawkish under pressure from the Israeli right that says Israel's military capabilities had not been demonstrated recently enough.

The elements in Israel that object to a two-state solution are in positions of power today, and you can't pretend that this kind of Zionism has died out. It's alive and well and is still influencing Israeli foreign policy to the greatest extent that it is able.


Quote:
This swing to the right is being caused by the fact that no matter what Israel does to try to make peace with the Palestinians, the result is more Palestinian attacks on them, and more people around the world accusing Israel of not trying to make peace.


This is a false statement. Israeli disengagement resulted in a marked decrease in attacks on them. Furthermore, their attacks on Palestinians often result directly in retaliatory attacks on them.

It's simply not true that whatever course they take more attacks come any more so than it is true that no matter what course Palestinians take more attacks on them come.

Quote:
If I were an Israeli voter I'd be about ready to embrace the hawks too.


Naturally, you are a hawk and would do so anywhere.

Quote:
But I think this action in Gaza has probably given Kadima another chance.


You may be right, and by Kadima playing hawks in Gaza they may be able to resist the challenge that even greater hawks pose. It's a pretty sad commentary on the state of affairs that each side of this conflict faces such great political pressure from within to make idiotic and counter-productive decisions.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 02:21 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Yes, but those people have not been in power for some time. The Israeli people as a whole have been trying to achieve a two-state solution for some time -- first with Barak trying to negotiate in 2000, and then when all that achieved was a series of suicide bombings, with Sharon trying to pull out unilaterally.


Nonsense. Sharon was the prime minister of Israel with the Likud party when they passed their resolution against a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river.


This was when they were reeling under the Palestinian response to Barak's attempt to negotiate a Palestinian state.



Robert Gentel wrote:
In his later years he broke with his party, formed Kadima and did, in fact, push toward a two-state solution


Not all that much later. The push for unilateral separation was the main theme of Sharon's prime ministership.



Robert Gentel wrote:
but Kadima has since taken a turn towards being Hawkish under pressure from the Israeli right that says Israel's military capabilities had not been demonstrated recently enough.


They are turning hawkish because the Israeli voters are sick of the Palestinians attacking them, and are going to vote for someone who will take action against the Palestinians.

If Olmert and Livni hadn't taken action, the voters would have thrown them out and replaced them with someone who would have taken action.



Robert Gentel wrote:
The elements in Israel that object to a two-state solution are in positions of power today,


Actually the people in power still favor unilateral separation. They just need to get the Palestinians to stop firing artillery at Israeli civilians.



Robert Gentel wrote:
and you can't pretend that this kind of Zionism has died out. It's alive and well and is still influencing Israeli foreign policy to the greatest extent that it is able.


Right, but while it exists, it has not really been able to have much influence for some time.

It was not Israeli hawks who derailed Barak's negotiations. It was Palestinian suicide bombers who derailed it.

It was not Israeli hawks who halted the unilateral pullout from Palestinian lands. It was artillery fire from Gaza that stopped it.

The voters are only turning to the hawks now because they want someone to stop the Palestinians from firing artillery at people.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
This swing to the right is being caused by the fact that no matter what Israel does to try to make peace with the Palestinians, the result is more Palestinian attacks on them, and more people around the world accusing Israel of not trying to make peace.


This is a false statement. Israeli disengagement resulted in a marked decrease in attacks on them. Furthermore, their attacks on Palestinians often result directly in retaliatory attacks on them.


When Barak tried to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state, the result was a massive wave of suicide bombings, mostly targeting Israeli teenagers at nightclubs, which resulted in the eventual collapse of both the negotiations and the Barak government.

When Sharon and Olmert tried to pull out of Palestinian lands unilaterally, the result was an endless barrage of artillery fired on civilian towns near the Gaza strip.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
But I think this action in Gaza has probably given Kadima another chance.


You may be right, and by Kadima playing hawks in Gaza they may be able to resist the challenge that even greater hawks pose. It's a pretty sad commentary on the state of affairs that each side of this conflict faces such great political pressure from within to make idiotic and counter-productive decisions.


The only things I've seen that has ended up being counterproductive so far are the attempts to create a Palestinian state.

That said, I suspect that if Kadima wins the next election, we'll see yet another attempt at unilateral separation.

Maybe if the rocketfire is kept under wraps, we'll see a Palestinian state.

If not, we'll see the government collapse and Likud voted into power.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 03:17 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
This was when they were reeling under the Palestinian response to Barak's attempt to negotiate a Palestinian state.


That was not their response to the attempt to negotiate a Palestinian state, it was their response to Israel's refusal to make the crucial concessions that Palestinians demanded.

The Palestinians are to blame for walking out on negotiations but they did not launch the attacks because of efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood, but rather because the Israelis refused to offer them a viable state while they were foolish enough to think that the attacks were their political pressure to motivate them to do so.

What Israel was offering was not a viable state, and Palestinian leaders could not have accepted it and remained their leaders.

The talks broke down, and Palestinians are to blame for trying to negotiate with the threat of violence, but Israel shares significant blame for failing to make the needed concessions to reach an agreement.

Israel has since come much closer to terms with having to make the concessions it was unable to bring herself to make then.

Quote:
Not all that much later. The push for unilateral separation was the main theme of Sharon's prime ministership.


He was elected in 2001. He withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and had a stroke in December. His successor became acting PM on Jan 4th, 2006.

He did leave his most lasting mark toward disengagement. But this did, in fact, come late in his tenure.

Quote:
They are turning hawkish because the Israeli voters are sick of the Palestinians attacking them, and are going to vote for someone who will take action against the Palestinians.


That's partly true, but the same can be said of Palestinians electing Hamas. They are sick of Israel attacking them and their leanings become more hawkish as a result.

It's a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. Each side's violence will push the other towards their own violence.

Quote:
If Olmert and Livni hadn't taken action, the voters would have thrown them out and replaced them with someone who would have taken action.


I agree. But this is why I don't think it's accurate for you to portray Israeli politics as being so accommodating to a two-state solution.

Quote:
Robert Gentel wrote:
The elements in Israel that object to a two-state solution are in positions of power today,


Actually the people in power still favor unilateral separation. They just need to get the Palestinians to stop firing artillery at Israeli civilians.


I was referencing the fact that Likud holds a significant number of seats and that even when the parties in power want a two-state solution there is significant pressure against it. Sharon's disengagement caused fundamentalists groups to put a curse (Pulsa diNura) on him calling for his death, and his leadership was challenged by Binyamin Netanyahu and he held onto his position very narrowly (52%-48%).

Binyamin Netanyahu is challenging again, and a lesser leader is showing much more willingness to play the hawks and jeapordize the peace process because of the political pressure.

This political pressure in Israel against a peaceful solution with Palestinians can't be ignored. It's not a negligible political threat to Israeli leaders.

Quote:
Right, but while it exists, it has not really been able to have much influence for some time.


The Israelis who reject a Palestinian state continue to have enormous influence today. Combined with Israelis who merely support strong military actions the pressure against military restraint (a key for both sides to forward the peace process) is still significant.

But yes, relatively it's a better climate for peace recently than at almost any other point in history.

Quote:
It was not Israeli hawks who derailed Barak's negotiations. It was Palestinian suicide bombers who derailed it.


Neither side was willing to reach an agreement. Israeli hawks did, in fact, have a lot to do with what Israel was willing to concede.

Walking out on the negotiations was a foolish move by Palestinians, but let's not pretend that they were leading to a viable two-state solution. Israel steadfastly refused to make concessions that were crucial to any self-sustaining Palestinian state and they were not getting any closer to an agreement.

Quote:
It was not Israeli hawks who halted the unilateral pullout from Palestinian lands. It was artillery fire from Gaza that stopped it.


That is the stated reason, yes. But the military action didn't stop it, and can't stop it yet the political pressure from hawks demanded it. It is the increasing political pressure from Israeli hawks that opposed the disengagement that is forcing the current administrations hand toward projection of military power.

And regardless of who you like to blame for it all, I think you can agree with me that any such violence postpones peace, as neither side can control their extremists when the blood is running hot.

Quote:
The voters are only turning to the hawks now because they want someone to stop the Palestinians from firing artillery at people.


I don't think that's the only reason, but it certainly is one. And like I said, the drift to hawks on the Palestinian and Israeli sides doesn't really help either.

Quote:
When Barak tried to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state, the result was a massive wave of suicide bombings, mostly targeting Israeli teenagers at nightclubs, which resulted in the eventual collapse of both the negotiations and the Barak government.


This is just not true. The result of Barak's attempt to negotiate was not the attacks, but rather the result of the failure to negotiate. He showed up at the table with concessions that the Palestinians would have been foolish to accept, it was not going to bring them a viable state. He was not willing to commit to a full return to even 1967 borders and the Palestinians were not willing to give up the "right of return".

Both were wrong to fail to reach these critical concessions. Israel did not offer an acceptable territorial solution (their offer would initially give Palestinians only 73% of the West Bank, while they are compelled by a UN resolution to return it all) with contiguous land (the West Bank would had been parted in half by an Israeli-controlled roadway etc) and was not a viable Palestinian state. The Israeli offer also failed to put the most important religious sites for Palestinians under Palestinian sovereignty, instead offering "custody" while Israel annexed more of the land around Jerusalem. The Palestinians refused financial compensation insisting instead on a "right of return" that would demographically destroy Israel.

Neither side was ready to offer the needed concessions for a deal then. The negotiations failed due to these impasses.

Furthermore, while the negotiation failure promoted a wave of attacks that Arafat failed to contain, it wasn't till Sharon provocatively toured the Temple Mount complex stating that it would forever remain in Israeli control did the real conflagration erupt. A Palestinian stone-throwing protest was repressed violently, killing 4 Palestinians and it's worth noting that Sharon was running against the incumbents as hawkish opposition.

Quote:
When Sharon and Olmert tried to pull out of Palestinian lands unilaterally, the result was an endless barrage of artillery fired on civilian towns near the Gaza strip.


The artillery was not a result of the decision to withdraw, and its increase merely represented the fact that Palestinians could no longer threaten Israelis through more effective means.

The Israeli withdrawal saved countless Israeli lives, as the artillery and rockets present orders of magnitude less threat to Israel.

The attacks continued not because Israel withdrew, but because none of the Palestinian motives were taken away. They still lacked statehood, were under a siege and blockade that constitutes an act of war and were still having their land settled by extremist Israelis and having their leaders targeted for attacks.

Israel's withdrawal is not the motivation for the violence, the motivations have long been in place and have not yet been removed.

Quote:
The only things I've seen that has ended up being counterproductive so far are the attempts to create a Palestinian state.


As opposed to the very productive occupations? It's foolish to attribute the failure to reach peace on the very attempts to do so. The underlying motivations for the conflict have nothing to do with attempts to reach peace and everything to do with failure to make the concessions needed to do so.

Quote:
That said, I suspect that if Kadima wins the next election, we'll see yet another attempt at unilateral separation.

Maybe if the rocketfire is kept under wraps, we'll see a Palestinian state.


If the rocket fire is kept under wraps, there's a good chance that a provocative assassination or attack by Israel will be pushed through in an attempt to break the calm and reduce pressure to make territorial concessions.

Quote:
If not, we'll see the government collapse and Likud voted into power.


Yeah, it's a cycle that will keep going back and forth unless the key issues are resolved. That's why it's all the more objectionable to me when each side fails to show restraint.

What's needed to forward the peace process is restraint on each side, not revenge. With such precarious balances of power those who intentionally disturb the calm (on both sides) make the prospects of peace slim.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:25 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
This was when they were reeling under the Palestinian response to Barak's attempt to negotiate a Palestinian state.


That was not their response to the attempt to negotiate a Palestinian state, it was their response to Israel's refusal to make the crucial concessions that Palestinians demanded.


The suicide bombings happened all through the negotiation process, up to the point when both the negotiations and the Barak government collapsed. There was no "refusal" to grant concessions, although the negotiations collapsed before some subjects were agreed.

It is hard to know what concessions would have been made had the Palestinians not destroyed the negotiations with their suicide bombings, but Israel was making plenty of concessions before the process was derailed.



Robert Gentel wrote:
The Palestinians are to blame for walking out on negotiations but they did not launch the attacks because of efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood, but rather because the Israelis refused to offer them a viable state while they were foolish enough to think that the attacks were their political pressure to motivate them to do so.

What Israel was offering was not a viable state,


What is not viable about this offer?

http://www.fmep.org/maps/redeployment-final-status-options/final-status-map-presented-by-israel-taba-mar-2001/final_status_map_taba.pdf



Robert Gentel wrote:
The talks broke down, and Palestinians are to blame for trying to negotiate with the threat of violence, but Israel shares significant blame for failing to make the needed concessions to reach an agreement.


What concession(s) was Israel not making?



Robert Gentel wrote:
Israel has since come much closer to terms with having to make the concessions it was unable to bring herself to make then.


Actually, all the current positions I've seen so far offer less than Barak offered.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Not all that much later. The push for unilateral separation was the main theme of Sharon's prime ministership.


He was elected in 2001. He withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and had a stroke in December. His successor became acting PM on Jan 4th, 2006.


Yes, but the push to pull out of Gaza did not come out of the blue in 2005. They had been discussing it for a little while, and planning how to pull it off.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
If Olmert and Livni hadn't taken action, the voters would have thrown them out and replaced them with someone who would have taken action.


I agree. But this is why I don't think it's accurate for you to portray Israeli politics as being so accommodating to a two-state solution.


Because that is what Barak was trying to negotiate in 2000, and it is what Sharon/Olmert/Livni hope to force with their unilateral separation.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
It was not Israeli hawks who derailed Barak's negotiations. It was Palestinian suicide bombers who derailed it.


Neither side was willing to reach an agreement. Israeli hawks did, in fact, have a lot to do with what Israel was willing to concede.


What concession(s) did the hawks prevent Israel from offering?



Robert Gentel wrote:
Walking out on the negotiations was a foolish move by Palestinians, but let's not pretend that they were leading to a viable two-state solution.


There is no need to pretend. That is exactly what the negotiations were leading to.

I don't think the Palestinians walked out. As I remember it, the negotiations collapsed because Barak's government collapsed. (If anything the Israelis walked out when their government collapsed and they lost authority to speak for the Israeli people.)



Robert Gentel wrote:
Israel steadfastly refused to make concessions that were crucial to any self-sustaining Palestinian state and they were not getting any closer to an agreement.


What concession(s) did Israel steadfastly refuse to give?

It certainly looked to me like they were getting closer. The maps kept changing as new offers were made.



Robert Gentel wrote:
And regardless of who you like to blame for it all, I think you can agree with me that any such violence postpones peace, as neither side can control their extremists when the blood is running hot.


Depends. I think Israel's recent war could encourage peace, if it leads to a cessation of rocketfire, and lets Israel pull out more.



Robert Gentel wrote:
Both were wrong to fail to reach these critical concessions. Israel did not offer an acceptable territorial solution (their offer would initially give Palestinians only 73% of the West Bank, while they are compelled by a UN resolution to return it all) with contiguous land (the West Bank would had been parted in half by an Israeli-controlled roadway etc) and was not a viable Palestinian state.


Who cares what the initial offer would have given? The offer was modified extensively as negotiations progressed.

The Taba offer would have given the Palestinians 95% of the West Bank (in one contiguous block), East Jerusalem as their capital, and it would have transferred some Israeli land to Gaza to compensate for what land they would have kept in the West Bank.

I'd like to see anyone show how this offer was either unacceptable or unviable.



Robert Gentel wrote:
The Israeli offer also failed to put the most important religious sites for Palestinians under Palestinian sovereignty, instead offering "custody"


That is wrong in two ways. First, Israel did offer to put "Palestinian religious sites" under Palestinian sovereignty.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article/article?f=/c/a/2000/12/23/MN14590.DTL


And second, there are "no Palestinian religious sites" in Jerusalem. There are instead Jewish religious sites that Muslims illegally occupy.

I thought it was a travesty that Barak offered to give up the Temple Mount.

(To tell you the truth, I stopped supporting the negotiations at that point. One reason I now support unilateral separation is because it means that Israel does not have to give up the Temple Mount.)



Robert Gentel wrote:
Furthermore, while the negotiation failure promoted a wave of attacks that Arafat failed to contain, it wasn't till Sharon provocatively toured the Temple Mount complex stating that it would forever remain in Israeli control did the real conflagration erupt.


What negotiation failure? Negotiations continued up to when Barak was voted out of office.

There is nothing provocative about Sharon touring the Jews' most important religious site. He has every right to do so. And Israel has every right to keep it forever.

If anything was provocative, it was the way the Palestinians on the site were digging up and destroying archaeological remains from the site.



Robert Gentel wrote:
A Palestinian stone-throwing protest was repressed violently, killing 4 Palestinians and it's worth noting that Sharon was running against the incumbents as hawkish opposition.


Stones are deadly weapons.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
When Sharon and Olmert tried to pull out of Palestinian lands unilaterally, the result was an endless barrage of artillery fired on civilian towns near the Gaza strip.


The artillery was not a result of the decision to withdraw, and its increase merely represented the fact that Palestinians could no longer threaten Israelis through more effective means.


That's an interesting notion.

So you think the Palestinians could have been able to launch rockets while under occupation, but didn't bother because they had more effective means to attack at the time?



Robert Gentel wrote:
The Israeli withdrawal saved countless Israeli lives, as the artillery and rockets present orders of magnitude less threat to Israel.


Maybe so, but the rockets are still intolerable to the Israeli voters, and have to be stopped.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
That said, I suspect that if Kadima wins the next election, we'll see yet another attempt at unilateral separation.

Maybe if the rocketfire is kept under wraps, we'll see a Palestinian state.


If the rocket fire is kept under wraps, there's a good chance that a provocative assassination or attack by Israel will be pushed through in an attempt to break the calm and reduce pressure to make territorial concessions.


I'm pretty sure that Kadima's unilateral separation plan intends to make "the wall" Israel's new border with the Palestinian state. As such, I think they are willing to give up everything "behind the wall".

If Likud comes to power though, I'm sure they have other ideas.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:05 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
The suicide bombings happened all through the negotiation process, up to the point when both the negotiations and the Barak government collapsed. There was no "refusal" to grant concessions, although the negotiations collapsed before some subjects were agreed.


This is just not true, Israel was not budging on "right of return" (which I find understandable) and was also not budging on only giving Palestinians a portion of their own land.

Quote:
It is hard to know what concessions would have been made had the Palestinians not destroyed the negotiations with their suicide bombings, but Israel was making plenty of concessions before the process was derailed.


They were making many concessions on the part of the Palestinians, appropriating more of their land in the proposal.



The key Palestinian requirements are:

Full return to 1967 borders with fair 1-for-1 land swaps where that is inconvenient, East Jerusalem as their capital, and right of return.

Right of return is something they aren't ever going to get, but that is their legal right. They needed to compromise on this in exchange for financial settlements but the Israeli offer did not offer them a single one of their requirements.

Acceptance of 1967 borders is a tough enough pill for Palestinians to swallow, representing a significant loss of territory over even the UN partition plan that they initially objected to.

But Israel's offer did not even offer them full 1967-border lands, and carved up their own territory, often taking important water or roadways. And the roadway Israel proposed, that would connect Gaza and the West Bank was to be under Israel's control, with their ability to shut them off from each other at will.

Furthermore the sensitive issues of Jerusalem were not addressed appropriately, and the proposal would have also served to formally annex more land around Jerusalem.

It simply did not offer a enough contiguous territory or sovereignty to Palestinians, and in many many locations the Israeli proposal was to officialize more appropriation of Palestinian land and more territory annexation for Israel.

Quote:
What concession(s) was Israel not making?


Israel made many refusals, some reasonable and others not. For example, Palestinians wanted full withdrawal initially, while Israel proposed their gradual withdrawal. The issues of timing were reasonable, but Israel wasn't budging from rejecting sovereignty to Palestinians over their holy sites in Jerusalem, and wasn't budging from their attempt to propose a Palestinian state with between 10% and 27% less land than existing UN resolutions say Israel should return.

Those 10% to 27% portions of diminishing Palestinian land was frequently strategically settled land by settlers, representing key strategic interests and if the Palestinians accepted it they would have effectively accepted the Israeli settlement of their land as official.

Israel did not show any willingness to make a legitimate proposal for a viable contiguous Palestinian state. People may differ on what they should have offered and what they were willing to, but my position is that they should have offered at the very least contiguous land removing more of the strategic settlements than they proposed, and a fair division of Jerusalem. I think Palestinians should have accepted financial compensation in lieu of "right of return" but neither side was willing to compromise on these key issues.

I'll grant you that the Palestinians were quick to be the ones breaking off negotiations, and that certain Palestinian factions were refusing to negotiate with Israel at the time (Hamas was an opposition party at the time) but the notion that Israel made a viable offer is not a fair assessment.

Neither side was coming to the table with a mandate to make the required concessions from their peoples.

Quote:
Actually, all the current positions I've seen so far offer less than Barak offered.


That's just not true. The US and international positions call for 1967 borders. Israel's offer was an initial concession of around 75% of this land and an eventual concession of around 90%. The lands they were not willing to give up were very strategic necessities, and a Palestinian state without control over the water resources they need, and with strategic portions carved out was just not viable.

Furthermore, the annexation that it would have made official is largely illegally-settled land that the world (including the United States) calls for Israel to quit (and Israel has since done so in some cases).

Quote:
Yes, but the push to pull out of Gaza did not come out of the blue in 2005. They had been discussing it for a little while, and planning how to pull it off.


Yes, but Sharon had also entered running as the opposition candidate to the peace negotiations, and started his tenure with strong military action and occupation.

My point is that the first half of Sharon's tenure can't be ignored. He had a very spectacular metamorphosis late in his tenure and was initially not working toward a Palestinian state.

Quote:
Because that is what Barak was trying to negotiate in 2000, and it is what Sharon/Olmert/Livni hope to force with their unilateral separation.


They were also trying to officialize too much settlement of Palestinian land, and still opposed a litany of requirements for sovereignty. Even with unilateral separation the blockade is an act of war, and Palestinian movement is still controlled. Sharon, when he became interested in resolving the dispute, began preaching that Israel would need to make "painful concessions", what he is speaking of are territorial concessions that Israel had previously not been willing to accept.

I welcome their efforts, but they weren't anywhere near what is needed to resolve this issue. Palestinians need to make painful concessions as well, but the Israeli offers up to date have not made the Israeli concessions.

Quote:
What concession(s) did the hawks prevent Israel from offering?


Real division of Jerusalem, and a more comprehensive return of 1967 Palestinian land.

Quote:
There is no need to pretend. That is exactly what the negotiations were leading to.


We'll have to disagree on this. Israel's offer would have represented an official acceptance of the majority of their settlement activity, and wouldn't have given the Palestinians the sovereignty for them to uphold their end of the bargain.

Arafat would have had to suppress Hamas without reasonable sovereignty (no official military capacity) and without concessions from Israel that would make that politically viable. Remember, it only offered "religious sovereignty" over Jerusalem holy sites, and still proposed demilitarization (how are they supposed to fight Hamas this way?), Israeli control over Palestinian airspace and the Israeli right to deploy troops in Palestinian territory. It was simply not any definition of real sovereignty, and even then there was uncertainty that the Israeli public would have accepted the proposal.

Palestinian acceptance of the deal would have officialized more of the settlement of their land, and would have collapsed due to the Palestinian street's refusal to accept such a poor offer.

Quote:
I don't think the Palestinians walked out. As I remember it, the negotiations collapsed because Barak's government collapsed. (If anything the Israelis walked out when their government collapsed and they lost authority to speak for the Israeli people.)


Well, they didn't want to publicly take blame for the failure of the negotiations, but Arafat effectively failed to negotiate at all toward the end of the negotiations and just flatly refused the offer. He was right to refuse, but should have come to the table with more in way of proposals and less in way of the word "no".

I don't think the negotiations were going to result in a viable solution, as I don't think either people were ready, but Arafat's position didn't allow any progress and I place significant blame on him for that.

Quote:
What concession(s) did Israel steadfastly refuse to give?


Right of return (which I do not fault them for), real sovereignty over Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, and full withdrawal to 1967 borders.

Israel flatly refused to withdraw except at some date in the future. They said that they would not withdraw as a "pre-condition to negotiations" but essentially weren't willing to withdraw at all as a result of negotiations and only promised an ambiguous future withdrawal while continuing to control Palestinian lands.

Quote:
It certainly looked to me like they were getting closer. The maps kept changing as new offers were made.


Yes, but each offer they made essentially annexed more Palestinian land as defined by 1967 borders, which already represent significant annexation.

When Palestinians are fighting for their homeland, offers that propose to take more of it off their hands are not viable. Many Palestinians had not come to terms with even 1967 borders, but Israel's proposals would have eroded their territory even further from the green line.

Quote:
Depends. I think Israel's recent war could encourage peace, if it leads to a cessation of rocketfire, and lets Israel pull out more.


I think that Israel can get that by giving Hamas what it most wants: an easing of the economic blockade. Killing over 1000 Palestinians is going to make it even harder to negotiate with them.

Quote:
Who cares what the initial offer would have given? The offer was modified extensively as negotiations progressed.


No, you are misunderstanding. I'm not saying the initial negotiation offer, I'm saying that all of the Israeli positions would not have given Palestinians the land initially. The proposals were for a partial withdrawal in stages, and would have required the Palestinian crack down on their own people without the Israeli concessions and with a demilitarized PLA.

Quote:
The Taba offer would have given the Palestinians 95% of the West Bank (in one contiguous block), East Jerusalem as their capital, and it would have transferred some Israeli land to Gaza to compensate for what land they would have kept in the West Bank.


This is simply false. The offer was for an initial 73% of the West Bank with only an eventual 91%.

The Israeli's final offer was to annex an additional 10% of Palestinian land.

Quote:
I'd like to see anyone show how this offer was either unacceptable or unviable.


The world calls Israel to return to 1967 borders. Even its staunchest allies.

Israel's offer was to take an additional 10-27% of the remaining Palestinian territories.

Whether that is fair or viable is a matter of interpretation, but I don't think it was either.

Quote:
That is wrong in two ways. First, Israel did offer to put "Palestinian religious sites" under Palestinian sovereignty.


False. They offered "religious sovereignty" but not the legal definition of the term. They were offering custodianship but not the legal concept of sovereignty.

Quote:
And second, there are "no Palestinian religious sites" in Jerusalem. There are instead Jewish religious sites that Muslims illegally occupy.


Ok, name the law then. I can name the laws saying Israel's occupation of Jerusalem is illegal, so why not show your legal substantiation for this claim.

Quote:
I thought it was a travesty that Barak offered to give up the Temple Mount.


Well I disagree, that was one thing I give him credit for, and that Sharon tried to ruin with his visit to the Temple Mount complex.

Quote:
(To tell you the truth, I stopped supporting the negotiations at that point. One reason I now support unilateral separation is because it means that Israel does not have to give up the Temple Mount.)


Why on earth do you object to Israel giving up the Temple Mount? Israel's annexation of their side of Jerusalem would be Israel's gain from the negotiations. Right now they have the facts on the ground but not even the US recognizes it, they would basically officialize their Jerusalem annexation in exchange for sharing of the city with Palestinians.

Quote:
What negotiation failure? Negotiations continued up to when Barak was voted out of office.


I'm talking about the summit end and the impasse.

Quote:
There is nothing provocative about Sharon touring the Jews' most important religious site. He has every right to do so.


He may have every right to do so but that doesn't make it non-provocative. He was undermining negotiations with his proclamation that it should remain forever in Israeli control.

Quote:
And Israel has every right to keep it forever.


As long as you get to make up rights that is.

Quote:
If anything was provocative, it was the way the Palestinians on the site were digging up and destroying archaeological remains from the site.


Sure, killing four of them for throwing stones is not provocative.

Quote:
Stones are deadly weapons.


They can be, but they weren't. Israel did kill Palestinians in return.

Quote:
That's an interesting notion.

So you think the Palestinians could have been able to launch rockets while under occupation, but didn't bother because they had more effective means to attack at the time?


I don't think Palestinians had many rockets back then, as they could use more lethal attacks more readily. But yes, I do think they had the ability to launch rockets under occupation.

They are remarkably simple to launch (about as simple as a bottle rocket), and there's no military way to stop them short of killing every man woman and child.

Quote:
Maybe so, but the rockets are still intolerable to the Israeli voters, and have to be stopped.


I agree, but I just don't think they are doing the right things to stop them, and I think that Israel has an objection to their concessions that is separate from this.

I think that if Israel were to embrace comprehensive parallelism they'd achieve this more easily.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure that Kadima's unilateral separation plan intends to make "the wall" Israel's new border with the Palestinian state. As such, I think they are willing to give up everything "behind the wall".


The wall is not a full border, and also represents more annexation that they need to negotiate swaps for, but yes Kadima does seem to largely support an eventual two-state solution. But they aren't the only power brokers in Israel.

Quote:
If Likud comes to power though, I'm sure they have other ideas.


Likud doesn't need to come into power to have other ideas, and they already have significant power in Israel that they use to oppose Kadima. Even if they fail to take control of the government they may succeed in disrupting the process.
Zippo
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:11 pm
"Israel 'admits' using white phosphorus munitions"

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5556027.ece

The sooner Israel is destroyed the sooner we'll have peace!
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 02:26 pm
I see Wilso is being somewhat circumspect. But you know, white phosphorus, well it really hurts. And its not as if the children were being particularly naughty.







I think this latest illegal disgusting and wholly disproportionate action by the Israelis has finally extinguished any sympathy I might have for their Zionist project in the Middle East.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 02:02 pm
@Robert Gentel,
(I cut out segments of my reply that were arguing the same point in only slightly different words.)


Robert Gentel wrote:
And the roadway Israel proposed, that would connect Gaza and the West Bank was to be under Israel's control, with their ability to shut them off from each other at will.


That is an inevitable consequence of the road going through Israeli territory.



Robert Gentel wrote:
Neither side was coming to the table with a mandate to make the required concessions from their peoples.


Barak had such a mandate, at least until the Israeli people got sick of suicide bombing being the only result of the negotiations.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Actually, all the current positions I've seen so far offer less than Barak offered.


That's just not true. The US and international positions call for 1967 borders.


Yes, but you were referring to the terms that *Israel* was willing to offer. Israel is never going to offer that.

Israel's current positions offer a lot less than what they offered at Taba.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Because that is what Barak was trying to negotiate in 2000, and it is what Sharon/Olmert/Livni hope to force with their unilateral separation.


They were also trying to officialize too much settlement of Palestinian land, and still opposed a litany of requirements for sovereignty.


That is one consequence of unilateral separation. One side gets to decide what they will keep and what they will give up, and the other side doesn't get a say.




Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
There is no need to pretend. That is exactly what the negotiations were leading to.


We'll have to disagree on this.


It is a rather definite fact that the Israeli offers were getting close and closer to what was acceptable to the Palestinians, and there is no basis for assuming this trend would not have continued had negotiations continued.




Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
It certainly looked to me like they were getting closer. The maps kept changing as new offers were made.


Yes, but each offer they made essentially annexed more Palestinian land as defined by 1967 borders, which already represent significant annexation.


The maps I saw showed more and more territory being offered to the Palestinians as newer offers were made.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
The Taba offer would have given the Palestinians 95% of the West Bank (in one contiguous block), East Jerusalem as their capital, and it would have transferred some Israeli land to Gaza to compensate for what land they would have kept in the West Bank.


This is simply false. The offer was for an initial 73% of the West Bank with only an eventual 91%.

The Israeli's final offer was to annex an additional 10% of Palestinian land.


Here again is the Taba offer:

http://www.fmep.org/maps/redeployment-final-status-options/final-status-map-presented-by-israel-taba-mar-2001/final_status_map_taba.pdf

95% of the West Bank, in one contiguous block, with a land swap to compensate for the 5% Israel would have kept.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
That is wrong in two ways. First, Israel did offer to put "Palestinian religious sites" under Palestinian sovereignty.


False. They offered "religious sovereignty" but not the legal definition of the term. They were offering custodianship but not the legal concept of sovereignty.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article/article?f=/c/a/2000/12/23/MN14590.DTL



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
And second, there are "no Palestinian religious sites" in Jerusalem. There are instead Jewish religious sites that Muslims illegally occupy.


Ok, name the law then.


Trespassing.

The Muslims are on a Jewish holy site and they have no business being there.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
I thought it was a travesty that Barak offered to give up the Temple Mount.


Well I disagree, that was one thing I give him credit for, and that Sharon tried to ruin with his visit to the Temple Mount complex.


Why should Muslims be allowed to steal other people's holy sites?



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
(To tell you the truth, I stopped supporting the negotiations at that point. One reason I now support unilateral separation is because it means that Israel does not have to give up the Temple Mount.)


Why on earth do you object to Israel giving up the Temple Mount?


It's their holiest site. It belongs to them.



Robert Gentel wrote:
Israel's annexation of their side of Jerusalem would be Israel's gain from the negotiations. Right now they have the facts on the ground but not even the US recognizes it, they would basically officialize their Jerusalem annexation in exchange for sharing of the city with Palestinians.


Their control over West Jerusalem predates the 1967 war. How is that unrecognized?



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
There is nothing provocative about Sharon touring the Jews' most important religious site. He has every right to do so.


He may have every right to do so but that doesn't make it non-provocative. He was undermining negotiations with his proclamation that it should remain forever in Israeli control.


Negotiations that make Israel give up the Temple Mount need to be undermined.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
If anything was provocative, it was the way the Palestinians on the site were digging up and destroying archaeological remains from the site.


Sure, killing four of them for throwing stones is not provocative.


If my neighbor's kids were throwing stones at me like that, I'd open fire on them without a second's hesitation.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Stones are deadly weapons.


They can be, but they weren't. Israel did kill Palestinians in return.


When they are being thrown at people like that, they are always deadly weapons.



Robert Gentel wrote:
oralloy wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Kadima's unilateral separation plan intends to make "the wall" Israel's new border with the Palestinian state. As such, I think they are willing to give up everything "behind the wall".


The wall is not a full border,


Yet.

I'm pretty sure it will be though.



Robert Gentel wrote:
and also represents more annexation that they need to negotiate swaps for,


Kadima is planning for unilateral separation. That does not require negotiating any land swaps. They just plan to put up the wall and call it a border without asking anyone what they think of the new border.
 

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