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Eye On Israel/Palestine

 
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2004 03:48 pm
So then just what IS realistic? I see no more merit in a Jewish theocracy than I do in a Moslem one.

The problem in the Mid East is that the "loonies" on both sides have effectively held their governments hostage, and prevented any steps offering the promise of joint economic and political development in the land called Palestine.

The Clinton/Barac peace plan made about as much sense as the South African Nationallst Party's Apartheit plans with isolated enclaves ("Bantustands") for the Black population - Like the Clinton/Barac Plan each cantonment would be completely surrounded by the territory of the master state which would retain control over air and water rights, as well as defense.

My opinion (and it is just an opinion) is that there is no two state solution possible without continued murder and warfare. A single state solution might have been possible in 1967, but it also seems unlikely today. Which of the presently available alternatives is worse? A tough call.

The history of Northern Ireland over the last three hundred years offers us a fairly good model for the future of this one. (On this one British policy , at least for the last 20 years, has been temperate and wise.) The key point here is that the hatreds, the injustice (all around) and the killings can go on for centuries. They will end only when both sides are exhausted and more desirous of an end to the conflict then they were to the sectarian dreams that fed it. That could take a long time.

Steve,

You are correct about "a war on" when the Balfour Declaration was issued. However, essentially the same situation also prevailed with respect to the Cold War and many (not all) of our basic decisions with respect to Israel. It is an interesting and little publicized point that Britain and France were the primcipal providers of weapons and aircraft to the fledgling Israeli state. U.S. equipment did not begin to dominate there until after 1967. My main point, however, is that Europeans are at best dead wrong and at worst profoundly hypocritical when they blame the U.S. for this mess.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2004 06:39 pm
George

I'm not quite as generous as you are regarding British policy in N Ireland. 20 years ago we had Margaret Thatcher allowing IRA prisoners to starve to death (one of them an elected member of parliament) by refusing them 'political status'...something which had been granted but then withdrawn. Loyalist hit squads were directed by Army and SAS personnel, killing ?? innocent and not so innocent Republicans. They killed 3 in Gibraltar when they could have been arrested. What changed was a recognition that neither side could win, and moreover the fight became meaningless, as European integration developed. Oh and a very large bomb in the financial district of London. Suddenly with the prospect of city traders uprooting to Frankfurt or Paris, John Major decided it was time to sit down and talk seriously. That was only 10 years ago. Then the new Labour govt came in and fairly quickly sealed it with the Belfast agreement 1998. The political structures are still very shaky, but the war is over. How this was done can provide valuable lessons for other conflicts, not least the middle east.

Rick, I think you misunderstand. I wasn't proposing a gradual swallowing up of Israel by Palestine. I propose to set a date NOW for the end of the Israeli state, handover of power to the UN and then the launch of a new bi-national Jewish/Arab state, with equal rights for all and guaranteed by the world community. As you probably know the small indigenous Jewish communities in the Arab world lived relatively peaceably with their neighbours for many years. It was the Zionist programme for a specifically Jewish state on Arab land that caused all the trouble. And for that I blame Britain for making duplicitous promises, and America for its myopic support of Israel.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2004 06:59 pm
Interesting points Steve. I do believe there is an important internal difference in the case of Northern Ireland. That is that both sides there have become disenchanted with their own radical elements. Ian Paisley is more a joke now than a real leader. The worst of the Loyalist and "Real IRA" murderers are increasingly seen for what they are by their own communities. I dson't think that comparable attitudes exist among enough of the population in the Mid East - on eather side of the dispute..
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2004 07:15 pm
The real solution to the Israel/Palestine Conflict is not
offering the Palestinians even less land than had been proposed
by U.N. Resolution 181. It is the abandonment of a
religiously/ethnically bigoted, exclusivist state, and replacing
it with one completly integrating the Semitic brethren, both Arab
and Jew in Palestine.

A division of Israel into two states within a pan-Semitic
Palestine, one the state of Israel, the other the state of
Palestine with a central governing body open to and serving all
inhabitants thereof. Full citizenship would be given to the
subjugated people in the Occupied Territories, with certain legal
guarantees for all inhabitants, and a full unbiased
enfranchisment of the people therein.

Jews would have full Palestinian citizenship and rights, and
Palestinians would have full Israeli citizenship and rights.
Israel and Palestine would be states in a federation, and
Israelis and Palestinians would both be able to run for the prime
ministry of that federation. That federation should be based on
secular laws not religious--a path Israel has largely taken
already. There would be religious freedom, but no state
sponsored religions. The citizens would be allowed to worship
when and where they pleased as long as it doesn't infringe on
others' rights thereof.

In regard to the settlements and the right of return, integration
is the only workable solution.

Frankly,
I don't see an end to the terrorism and violence even if the
"road map" were to succeed. There will always be extremists on
both sides eager to shed blood. The best that can be done is to
reduce the violence through an integrated effort.
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2004 07:18 pm
Sorry,
I hadn't read Steve's posts on the issue of a one state solution, making mine redundant.

I agree with your position, Steve.
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2004 10:57 pm
The problem with the Zionist claim is that it ignores the rights, and is contemptuous of a population that existed in Palestine before the Zionists--Ashkenazim Jews, Europeans--invaded and arrogated it in the name of their state founded on their bigoted, chauvinist and exclusionist ideology. The Zionist claim is problematic also because it is a reaction to the European anti-Jewish bigotry and intolerance of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries based, paradoxically, on bigotry and intolerance. It is a response to bigotry with bigotry. Zionism is a contradiction and worse, a hypocrisy.

About the Arabs, next to the Zionists, they are their own worst enemies. Like what a lot of people say here, it seems they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The thing about the Palestinian terrorism, though, is that the militants play into the Israeli hard-liners' hands. The militants do not want compromise as much as the Israeli hard-line doesn't. That is one reason why Israel supported Hamas early on. As former US State Department counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson has said, "the Israelis are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. The Israelis are like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer."
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IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 12:58 am
au1929 wrote:
IZ
Quote:

I do not question their right to retaliate. It is their counter-productive and morally bankrupt methods I oppose. For example, the assassination of Palestinian leaders, the building of the wall, the absurd Gestapo-like measure of control they exert over the Palestinian public, etc.


I should remind you that it is US policy to go after the leaders of Al Qaeda in the same manner. it is also US policy to strike at the people that support and defend the terrorists.


Heh. That certainly doesn't justify what the Israelis are doing.

Also, you cannot seriously compare the Gestapo-like measures Isreal employs in Palestine to the American approach to Al-Qaida.

Quote:
I would also ask what would you do if you were in danger of being blown up every time you set foot out of doors.


I wouldn't take actions that excacerbate the problem, for sure.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 08:52 am
InfraBlue

Your posts were interesting thanks, certainly not redundant.....as you agree with me :wink:

I'm reluctant to discuss Israel, because of the violent reaction of some who confuse (often deliberately imo) opposition to Zionism and the policies of the govt of Israel with anti semitism. Do you feel the same hesitation to speak your mind?

I know of at least one person who is totally inhibited in this respect, being German.
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frolic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 12:12 pm
Quote:
It takes two to tango at the present moment it is my opinion that the Palestinians do not want to come to the dance.


And what about the sickening strategy of Sharon?

Arafat has been grounded and isn't allowed to leave the West Bank. The IDF also demolished the infrastructure of the police and securityforces.
This gives Hamas and other (criminal) organisations a free hand to do whatever they wanted (especially in Gaza). Hamas also has a social network, very important in Palestine, where occupation, incompetence and corruption have created an economic disaster.

And now Sharon kills the leader of Hamas, making him a martyr.
This killing will also have a radicalising effect on the Palestinian
people.

Result of all those actions: the political peace process is dead because Sharon has nobody to talk peace to. Arafat and the PA is weakened and Hamas is only interested in the destruction of Israel. And THAT is what Sharon wants!!! He is not interested in peace. Sharon hates to dance, so he killed the DJ. No music, no dancing, that's his strategy!
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 12:28 pm
They are dancing.

Sharon and Hamas are the best of dance partners. Their share the same rhetoric, the same love of violence is the same, and the same willingness to use nationalism to justify brutality.

Every step Sharon takes fills Hamas with legitamacy (and support and money). Every step Hamas takes fills Sharon with power (and support).

It is a lovely romance, comsumated with each bombing and missle.

Yes they are dancing to the music of hatred and violence.

What a lovely couple.
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 08:27 pm
It's come to the point where I don't care if I'm called anti-Semitic. What does the word mean anymore, anyhow? It used to be a euphemism for "Jew-hatred," but now it's applied to anything from Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust to criticism of Israel and the Judaic religion. I point out what's obvious, that Zionism has been from its very inception a bigoted and chauvinistic ideology born of the jingoistic nationalist movements of the nineteenth century (of which Nazism was also a product) that cared not a snot for the rights and interests of the Arabs in Palestine who pre-existed their incursion from Europe.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2004 09:39 pm
ILZ, the word is "pillar" . . .
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IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 12:19 am
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:

a) The zionist experiment has failed.
b) The current situation is too dangerous to allow it to continue.


If we start with the premise above - which I am sure we all agree is correct - I don't see how you and Infra can arrive at the conclusion below:


Quote:
There is no solution long term other than Arab and Jew living together in that area of land formerly called Palestine. For one thing demographic changes mean that Arabs will soon outnumber Jews even in that part which is now called Israel.

What's needed imo is a one state solution. A bi-national state comprising Arabs and Jews, called neither Palestine nor Israel. In the meantime, the UN should administer that part of the world for the benefit and welfare of all the people who live there. With Jerusalem an open city and world heritage site, sacred to Jew Muslim and Christian, the new state could have a great future.


It seems farfetched for me to imagine that either the Jews or the Palestinians - after so many decades of vociferous and pugnacious opposition - would be content with a one state solution. Much of the Palestinian beef seems to rest on thier desire for statehood. Likewise, much of the Israeli side is based on the desire for a Jewish homeland.

It seems to me that the only pragmatic solution is a two-state system. This would achieve the core demands of the israelis and the Palestinians. The specifics could be worked out in time, but I advocate a return to 1967 borders, for starters.

You and infra have presented an interesting option. Its just that, it seems inconceivable to me that a functioning, democratic, peacefull state could be formed out of two groups with such deep-seated hatred to each other, such a history of violence, such diametrically opposed ideologies, and such mutually exclusive goals.

For example, Palestinians will soon outnumber Israelis by far, which would give them a virtual monopoly in any one state democratic system. I think we can all see the implications of this.

Setanta wrote:
ILZ, the word is "pillar" . . .


What?
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IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 12:43 am
Hamas has appointed a new leader to replace Yassin.

Quote:
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 05:44 am
Read your "electronic signature" ILZ. If you attempt to indulge in satire, it helps to spell everything correctly.
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IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 10:30 am
Setanta wrote:
Read your "electronic signature" ILZ. If you attempt to indulge in satire, it helps to spell everything correctly.


I don't want my perfection to intimidate others, so occasionally, I make a spelling or grammatical error. Thats the kind of God IronLionZion is - altruistic and considerate. I'm always putting the feelings of others above my own.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 11:12 am
Pardon me, i mistated the case: when you indulge in patently specious attempts at an overbearing, arrogant hauteur, you only make yourself look ridiculous when you can't even spell the words correctly.
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IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 11:27 am
Setanta wrote:
Pardon me, i mistated the case: when you indulge in patently specious attempts at an overbearing, arrogant hauteur, you only make yourself look ridiculous when you can't even spell the words correctly.


Likewise, your overbearing, bland attempts at flaming only make you look flaming in a very different, more disturbing way...

In any case, playfull condescension is the garnish to the points I make. You can just as easily get around it to the substance of my posts, as I attempt to do with the grandiloquent confections you offer forth.

Toodles.
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Rick d Israeli
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 02:13 pm
I do not think I misunderstood you Steve. I still think that it would be the perfect solution on paper, but its just not realistic. Comparing it with the Jewish communities in the Arab countries does not mean that it will work for Israel. Jews in Arab countries 1) talk Arabic, 2) know the Arab customs and culture, 3) have a long history in these countries, which meant the base for the good relationship a lot of Jews in Arab countries still have with the non-Jewish Arabs. Most Jews in Israel are not familiar with Arab customs, the Arab moral values etc., for most are (descendants of) European Jews. And to live in a combined state will mean that both people will have to understand each other, the other culture, thinking, ideas. If we talk about the Palestinians, it is the same thing: they will share one country with people who are mostly influenced by the Western way of thinking. I do not say it is impossible to understand each other, but it will be very, very hard, and at this moment, with the Second Intifada still going on, I do think it is impossible for most (not all of course). I talked to a lot of both Israeli's and Palestinians on arabia.com and what I heard is that there just is so much HATE, from both sides. First I wanted to change - and I still want that -, but I realised that the problems can NOT be solved by putting the two people in ONE state. I once proposed the plan, and it was funny because only Americans and Europeans found that a good idea, while the Israeli's and Palestinians both said: ABSOLUTELY NOT (they finally agreed on something :wink: ). After 50 years of struggle, it will become very hard.
Also, someone pointed at the peaceful abolishing of apartheid of South Africa. Has anyone looked at the situation nowadays? I don't want to be pessimistic, but there is still a huge gap between the white and the black population. Many white South-Africans leave the country, while the black population struggles with high unemployement rates (to give an example) because of the fact the number of black people with a diploma is low because of the apartheid policy. There is of course improvement, but it has shown to be very hard.
And in the case of Israel and Palestine, the situation seems to be even harder because of the fact that we are talking here (in the case of the Israelis) of one Jewish state, a state which will be demolished because of the growing and growing Arab population, which will mean in not so many years Arabs would become the largest part of the population in a combined state. The only way that Israelis could preserve their Jewish state would mean a sort of apartheid-regime, which would be no solution. On the other side, a lot of Palestinians do not recognize the Jewish Israeli's of even having the RIGHT to claim land (which can be very logical). Many Palestinian refugees want their land back in Israel, and most do not want to settle with a financial compensation.
For me, this makes it all just unrealistic to really create a combined state that will WORK.
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IronLionZion
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2004 02:28 pm
Why don't you separate your paragraphs? It obfuscates your points.
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