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What legitimate forms of protest for Palestinians?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 12:52 pm
The Palestinians consider Israel to have occupied their country.

Whether you agree with their perception or not, what means of protest would you consider legitimate for them to use?

Few here (I would guess, but you never know) would answer, "bomb attacks on civilian targets" - but at which point 'below' that would you set the line?

Question originates from this thread, from something that came up around post # 200-220 or so.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,397 • Replies: 12
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 12:57 pm
Hiya again. Israel thinks the Palestanians are on their territory, and so it goes on and on. It would be nice to see both sides try once more to put down the guns and sit at the negotiating table again, but that doesn't seem likely any time soon. Maybe Dubya will finally just get pissed off and bomb the crap out of both sides, just because he's in the area, and wouldn't want to miss a spot cleaning up.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 02:08 pm
Common sense would be to wait. Why simply because based upon the disparity in birth rates between Jews and Arabs. Israeli Arabs will outnumber the Jews in the not to distant future and that without the right of return. Since all people vote they may eventually have as much governmental say as the Jews. Further, based upon the difference in the standard of living between the Israeli Arabs and the rest of the Arab world, other than based upon religion why would they want to? Imagine the solution can be achieved by Children Laughing Laughing
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yeahman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:27 pm
if the palestinians were to play by western rules, all of the israeli military would be legitament targets. i'm undecided about settlers. the children certainly had no say in it. but perhaps all male settlers of combatant age could be considered legitament targets as well. at the very least the palestinians have the right to arrest them.

i think the most effect form of protest would be to stop all suicide bombing and just marching into settlements unarmed. no rock throwing. no violence. pitch tents in front of israeli homes and have bonfires. bring along some journalists. make a party out of it.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:31 pm
David and Goliath.
Winner takes all.
Since its so fraught with religion, both should accept the victor as God's choice.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:34 pm
What was the UN's last word regarding this whole thing?

That the Israelis should return what they took in the Seven Day's War?

Why doesn't the UN enforce it? Would that do it?
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Tartarin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:41 pm
One might consider what legitimate steps Israel has taken to exert its sovereignty -- and what illegitimate ones too. Two generations from now, descendants on both sides may well be suffering the wounds from what their parents and grandparents did to defend their "rightful" claim to the land.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:47 pm
Au, I was actually thinking of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. They dont have the right to vote, not for the Knesset, anyway, so thats not a way for them to exert influence over the country that occupies much of their land.

ye110man, thats a nice vision ... unfortunately, they would never get there, I think. The settlers are heavily armed, and there's usually a big, fence in between the Palestinian villages and the settlement, protected by heavy-duty army units. They wouldnt get through, and if they'd try, it would be bloody (note the remark about "placing themselves in harm's way" in the report linked in the other thread).

Of course, that'd be martyrdom with an immediate rationale, at least, Gandhi-style - instead of the cowardly self-explosions in revenge that we see now, that hit random other people, in cities where most even disagree with the new settlements ...
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:47 pm
Sofia

You asked if the Israeli's returned to the pre-67 lines would that do it. Aside from the fact that the Israeli's would not give up some of their settlements it would not satisfy the Palestinian's quest to see the elimination of the state of Israel. In any event that is my opinion. Neither side will be satisfied.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:55 pm
nimh
I was thinking of Israel proper. As for protest being in any way effective I doubt it. One thing I am sure of that terrorist bombings and retaliation only make the situation worse and harden positions on both sides.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:56 pm
Not all Palestinians want to see the elimination of the state of Israel, just like not all Israelis want to keep occupying the West Bank.

All the Palestinian Authority is asking for is a return to the pre-67 borders, right? But Arafat also wanted the right of return for the Palestinians who were chased out of Israel (many of whom have been living in refugee settlements since), and that's what broke up the Barak-Arafat negotiations, I think.

Thing is - even if the PA and most Palestinians are willing to accept an Israeli state, if it retreats from the occupied territories and figures out some compromise on Jerusalem - the radicals, Hamas and so on - are not. And they wont disappear after a final peace agreement, especially as the PA has become way too weakened - partly b/c Israel has destroyed most of its capacities - to control them, even if it (should) want(s) to.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 04:57 pm
au1929 wrote:
One thing I am sure of that terrorist bombings and retaliation only make the situation worse and harden positions on both sides.


Thats for sure!!
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 07:38 pm
The first intifada was a remarkably pacific affair, who's violence mostly amounted to rock throwing and the occasional molotov cocktail. It was during that time that the Palestinian cause had achieved its greatest worldwide sympathy and support, and had reached a point of greatest potential.

http://www.essays-now.com/sample.php
Quote:
It was at the end of 1987 where resistance to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip began to sharply escalate in the form of demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, and violence. It came to involve virtually the whole Palestinian population in those areas, and continued even two years later in spite of the hundreds of Palestinian deaths and thousands of detentions that came at the hands of Israeli police forces.

The uprising was the product of a generation that had been brought up under Israeli control. By the late 1980's two out of every three Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip had either been born or were less than five years old when the Israeli occupation began. For two decades the people had no control over their own lives and their future was becoming increasingly unsure. This was primarily due to the creeping annexation of land by the Israeli occupation authorities and the establishment of Israeli settlements on the confiscated lands. By 1993, more than 60 percent of the West Bank land and about 50 the land of the overcrowded Gaza Strip had been appropriated by Israel (Peretz, 1990). Some of it was destined for Jewish settlements, inhabited in many cases by militant right-wing settlers seeking Israeli annexation of these areas. The settlements were meant to "establish facts," and hence make Israeli control irrevocable. The presence of these settlers seriously worsened the tensions between Palestinian and Jewish settlers.

For two decades Israel had done much to prevent independent economic or social development and to subject the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the needs of the Israeli economy: these areas became the second largest market for Israeli exports, provided a pool of cheap labor for Israel, and offered a field for lucrative Israeli investment. West Bank and Gaza Strip workers had to pay part of their low salaries into the Israeli social security fund, but could not receive benefits. All residents were heavily taxed, but the Palestinian workers received much less benefits than the Israelis enjoyed. It came to the point that the occupation not only paid for itself but became profitable to the Israeli state.

Over the years the Israeli occupation authorities expelled more than 1,700 Palestinians for political offenses. They punished the families of many suspects (often later found innocent) by demolishing their homes. They arrested and detained many thousands of Palestinians, often by means of administrative detentions without trial that bypassed even the military justice system. Eventually so many people had been harmed by the occupation in one way or another that a large proportion of Palestinians apparently felt that they had nothing left to lose.

What resulted starting on Dec. 9, 1987, was clearly a popular uprising. It included children, teenagers, adults, and elderly people, men and women, every class of the population from laborers to wealthy merchants, and every region from the cities and towns to the refugee camps to isolated villages. Medical relief committees, food distribution cooperatives, local agricultural production initiatives, educational committees, and other ad hoc local groups sprang up to sustain the uprising. The uprising was led in each locality by a committee representing all the area's political forces--generally the three or four main groups composing the PLO (Nasser and Heacock, 1990). A similar leadership formed at higher regional levels, and it was topped by an underground coordinating group that signed its periodic communiques "PLO--Unified National Leadership of the Uprising in the Occupied Territories" (Peretz, 1990). As members of the leadership were detained by the Israelis--who after 18 months had detained more than 20,000 people--their places were taken by others.

The uprising shattered the barrier of fear of the occupier, strengthened the sense of self-reliance, and in general empowered a population that had been systematically deprived of control over its destiny during two decades of Israeli occupation, and before that for 19 years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule. The resiliency of the uprising in spite of varied forms of Israeli repression over many months showed that the Palestinians had learned well how to rely on themselves and on institutions that they created. And while many demonstrators often threw rocks and gasoline bombs, they generally avoided more lethal weapons and tactics. The uprising helped crystallize a new and much younger leadership, and marked the beginning of a new phase of the Palestinian national movement (Nasser and Heacock, 1990).

The uprising provoked intense sympathy in the Arab world and galvanized Palestinians everywhere, bringing their cause to the attention of the world (Gerner, 1992). Palestinians inside Israel carried out sympathy demonstrations and strikes. A growing number of Jews voiced doubts about Israeli policy. As a direct result of domestic and other pressures sparked by the uprising, Jordan's King Hussein, on July 31, 1988, severed his country's links with the West Bank and renounced Jordan's sovereignty over it, thereby reversing nearly 40 years of Jordanian policy.

PLO leader Arafat rode a strong wave of international support during and after the intifada (Peretz, 1990). He was able to speak before the United Nations General Assembly. During that U.N. meeting, and afterwards, Arafat sought to satisfy the United States' two long-standing conditions for negotiation: a recognition for the rights of Israel to exist and a renouncement of terrorism. The critical sentence at that speech that many thought should satisfy the U.S. recognition requirements was the following (Gerner, 1992):

"The PLO will seek a comprehensive settlement among the parties concerned in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the State of Palestine, Israel, and other neighbors, within the framework of the international conference for peace in the Middle East on the basis of Resolutions 242 and 338 and so as to guarantee equality and the balance of interests, especially our people's rights, in freedom, national independence, and respect the right to exist in peace and security for all."

Yet, the United States and Secretary of State George Shulz were not completely satisfied. Thus, Arafat gave it one more try at a news conference the following day, in which he said:

"In my speech also yesterday, it was clear that we mean our people's rights to freedom and national independence, according to Resolution 181, and the right of all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to exist in peace and security, and, as I have mentioned, including the State of Palestine, Israel, and other neighbors, according to the Resolutions 242 and 338. As for terrorism, I renounced it yesterday in no uncertain terms, and yet, I repeat for the record. I repeat for the record that we totally and absolutely renounce all forms of terrorism, including individual, group, and state terrorism."
Afterwards, the United States announced that the PLO had met the conditions for negotiation, and low-level talks between the PLO and the United States ensued. But it was in 1993 when the most significant talks took place, unbeknownst to most of the world. Secret, direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO took place in Norway. They culminated in a draft peace agreement, and were followed by formal mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO on September 10. Three days later the agreement was signed on the White House lawn and sealed by a handshake between Arafat and Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin.


Rabin was assasinated two years later, the minister of Foreign Affairs, Shimon Perez was then appointed Prime Minister by Rabin's Labor Party and served for seven months until the general elections of 1996 when Benjamin Netanyahu won the first direct election of an Israeli Prime Minister.

The talks came to nothing.
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