What is the appropriate paradigm for the Arab-Israeli conflict?

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    Dec 01, 2011 11:31 PM GMT
    MeOhMy> the flamers will hijack this thread, as they are already dead-set in their ideologies and beliefs.

    M1. I'm sure you're right that the flamers will waste no time spewing their nonsense, but l'm more interested in finding out if you are "dead-set" in your "ideologies and beliefs".

    MOM> what [Americans] are NOT exposed to: truth about the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

    M2. Really? I think we’ve already seen the answer to the question in M1.
    What doesn’t conform to your “ideology and belief” isn’t the “truth”?
    Or perhaps you have a monopoly on the “truth” which evades most all Americans?

    MOM> We don't hear about how Palestinian children throw rocks at Israeli tanks occupying their lands, in a david and goliath stand-off, with the Israelis subsequently shooting and killing Palestinian children. This simply isn't discussed.

    Because it simply doesn’t happen.
    (When those "rocks" are explosive - grenades and petrol bombs - that's different.
    Your outrage should be directed at those who systematically ab/use minors as child soldiers.)

    MOM> INNOCENT Israeli citizens (including women and children, even infants) have been and are killed in suicide attacks. This is obviously deplorable and shameful. But it is also a symptom... it's a symptom of a people with no hope, no recourse, totally desperate, and totally oppressed.

    M3. Innocent Israeli citizens are being murdered (not simply "killed").

    M4. Terrorism is not a “symptom”, and certainly not of people with “no hope, no recourse” or who are “desperate” let alone “oppressed”. To the contrary, study after study shows that it manifests in democratic societies. It is much easier controlled by totalitarian police states (google “Hama Rules” if you aren’t familiar with this. Hama is the Syrian city where Assad killed 20,000-60,000 people to quell terrorists based there).

    M5. Contemplate that if Israel firebombed Gaza and wantonly killed thousands of people following a suicide bombing… there would be no more suicide bombings. Despite “hope”, “recourse”, “desperation” and “oppression” then being much worse.

    M6. But were these indicators bad before? Hamas suicide bombings began in early 1994. At a time of relative prosperity (did you forget to mention “poverty” above or were you already disabused of that falsehood?) and of great “hope” (and “recourse”) following the signing of the Oslo Accords in late 1993.

    M7. Terrorism is a strategy used by those who believe that the ends justify the means.
    MeOhMy is the intellectual equivalent, an apologist for terrorists – seeking to rationalize if not justify their murderous actions.
    All for his perceived (anti-American) greater "good".

    MOM> When people have no other options, they resort to the tactics of terrorism, because... what else can they do? And not all Palestinians resort to violence….

    You answered your own question; there are other – non-violent – options.
    Likewise not "resorting" to violence against innocent civilians is an option.
    Yet you still seek to rationalize and justify terrorism?!

    MOM> This is about an OCCUPATION. Israel, in violation of the Geneva Conventions for over 40 years, has illegally occupied Palestinian land.

    M8. How do you explain the Arab hostility and terrorism prior to 1967, when there was no "occupation"?
    (Indeed, hostilities then were NOT directed at the Egyptian/Jordanian "occupiers"!)

    M9. The Geneva Conventions do NOT make an “occupation” illegal.
    To the contrary, they specify how one is to be conducted.
    Don't overlook Article 2 of the FGC which restricts occupation to territories of a High Contracting Party - i.e. existing states.
    Or that UNSCR 242 authorizes Israel to hold said land until a comprehensive peace agreement is reached.

    M10. When and how did Judea, Samaria and “eastern” Jerusalem become “Palestinian Land”?

    MOM> They build settlements (which are home to rabidly extremist settlers who are as much terrorists as are the Palestinians who resort to terror).

    M11. Really? Someone building a home, because you allege they are “rabid” and “extremist”, is no different than a person who blows up an ice cream shoppe full of children?

    M12. Fact of the matter is that (according to a Peace Now survey years ago), only about 2% of the Jews living in the disputed territories can be considered “extremists”.

    M13. Check yourself: Who is the “they” you speak of?

    MOM> These settlements are ILLEGALLY built on Palestinian land

    M14. Again, when and how did this become “Palestinian land”?

    M15. What does this soundbite even mean? Are you alleging that this land is under the sovereignty of a state that has never existed or that it is privately owned by Palestinian Arabs?

    M16. How do you conclude that the ancient Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, or Kfar Darom or Gush Etzion is “Palestinian Land”?

    MOM> they [Jews] occupy the most fertile land

    M17. This is funny because it is a false charge that has been repeated for some 100 years. First it would be amazing that “the most fertile land” has been left undeveloped and unfarmed for centuries. Let’s look at the findings of the Peel Commission (1937):
    The Arab population shows a remarkable increase since 1920, and it has had some share in the increased prosperity of Palestine. Many Arab landowners have benefited from the sale of land and the profitable investment of the purchase money. The fellaheen are better off on the whole than they were in 1920.

    ... The shortage of land is due less to purchase by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population. The Arab claims that the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamps and uncultivated when it was bought.

    MOM> In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while European states were imposing anti-semitic policies, Jewish emigrants relocated to Palestine, and actually lived well among the Palestinians. There are still elderly people today in Palestine who remember a time where Jews and Arabs would be neighbours and even look after each other's children.

    M18. There was no “Palestine” (or people identifying as “Palestinians”) during this time period.

    M19. One could just as well recount anecdotal instances of friendly relations between black and white neighbors in some parts of America during the same time period - as if that precludes correct charges of racism, both institutional and popular.

    M20. Reality is that “Palestine” (the Latin/European name for Eretz Yisrael) was then under the foreign rule (occupation?!) of the Ottoman Turkish Empire – the Muslim Caliphate. Like in earlier centuries, repression of Jews (and Christians) was fierce. They couldn’t appear in courts as witnesses (not even to defend themselves from kangaroo court accusations). Indeed, non-Muslim communities in the 19th century turned to European powers for help and protection. (Surely you’ve learned about the Capitulations, no?)

    MOM> The imposition of a state (Israel), and thus dismantling of another state (Palestine), was an overt imperialist venture

    M21. Prior to the League of Nations Mandate of Palestine – entrusted following WW I to re-establish the Jewish state in the ancient Jewish homeland – there had never been an independent “state” of “Palestine”. (Nothing was “dismantled” in 1947.)

    MOM> When a foreign imperial nation creates a new state in your home and declares you to be a 'people without a home', that's imperialism.

    M22. So you admit that the creation of an Arab state in the Jewish homeland, where Jews have been living – continuously – for over 3,300 years would be “imperialism”? Or do you support eastern empire & colonialism? Recall, it was Arab empires that invaded in the 7th century and colonized the land.
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    Dec 01, 2011 11:32 PM GMT
    MOM> This was the nature of the conflicts for liberation, autonomy, and self-determination in India against the British, in America against the British, in Algeria against the French, and all across Asia, Latin America and Africa.

    M23. What do such trans-continental issues have to do with a border dispute of a few miles between neighboring states?!
    (Israel and the disputed territories can fit within Lake Michigan.)

    MOM> More than 40 UN resolutions have been taken against Israel, making it the largest violator of human rights in the world

    M24. What a warped benchmark of the “largest violator of human rights in the world”.
    Giving a free pass to those who are actually guilty.
    Shame on you.

    If you truly care about human rights, read about the damage YOU are causing:

    MOM> every single time it comes to vote at the UN, (votes which are most often in condemnation of Israeli AGGRESSION and support of immediate cease-fires), the United States (as a member of the Un Security Council) vetoes every single resolution

    M25. The reason the US vetoes these Resolutions isn’t because they call for an “immediate cease-fire” (they don’t) but because they are excruciatingly one-sided. For example, when there was a string of suicide bombings in which dozens of innocent Israeli civilians were intentionally targeted and murdered, Israel responded with a targeted killing of a Hamas bomb-maker. During that attack, one or two by-standers were inadvertently killed. The biased UN Resolution failed to mention the suicide bombings in Israel and only condemned the Israeli “aggression”.

    MOM> This is essentially an apartheid state, such as existed in South Africa, except it's actually worse

    M26. The soundbite has been used so often that people are now inured to it. Thus the propagandists have to claim that “it’s actually worse”. Once again the world is turned upside down, downplaying all other ills in order to single out and falsely demonize Israel.

    Israel and the Apartheid Slander
    Published: October 31, 2011

    Note that the author was instrumental in bringing to an end South African Apartheid.

    MOM> Israel effectively destroyed the peace process before it could start

    M27. Really? When did this happen?

    MOM> The U.S. media refer to periods where there are no Israeli deaths, but only Palestinian deaths, as "relative peace."

    M28. Ridiculously illogical. Just because Palestinian Arab terrorists tried but didn’t succeed in murdering Jews, that means Israel couldn’t go after the terrorists and their bases?

    MOM> Therefore, when the Palestinians retaliate….

    M29. So now you seek to rationalize/justify the murder of innocent civilians – by the busload – as “retaliation”?

    When Israeli security forces killed a suicide bomber before he managed to detonate himself and murder others.
    Hamas vowed to avenge - "retaliate" for - his death….

    MOM> Israel has a right - as a state - to defend itself, but not to do so militarily.

    M30. ROTFL. Only the terrorists have the right to “military” action?!

    MOM> Israel can defend itself from suicide attacks and terror by withdrawing from the occupied territories and ending the policies that create the terror. It's really just as simple as that.

    Are you really that simple?

    M31. You willfully ignore the Arab terrorism and violence which predated the 1967 war (which put Israel in legal administration of the disputed territories).

    M32. Why should a sane person believe that a return to the status quo ante would result in peace when previously, for 20+ years, the Arabs refused and rejected peace?

    M33. Indeed, even at that time the Arab parties rejected UNSCR 242, which established the “land for peace” formula.
    Yet you are pushing a “peace for land” formula with no prior agreement?

    MOM> If there is a peaceful option for resolution, there is no legitimacy in military responses.

    M34. You put the shoe on the wrong foot. It is the Arab parties who have, decade after decade, rejected peaceful options in favor of violence, terrorism and war. (At times even bragging about doing so!)

    M35. Indeed, it is the results of those (failed) Arab attacks which you are crying about.

    M36. Even today Israel and the Quartet (UN, US, EU & Russia) are begging the PA to return to the negotiating table – to peacefully resolve issues – and they refuse (instead seeking unilateral solutions).

    Here's to hoping that the above facts - which I'm sure you won't even attempt to contest - will help you shift paradigms to something more appropriate to this conflict.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 05, 2011 3:43 PM GMT
    With all due respect, MeOhMy has some good ideas but appears to be short on data.
    It's almost like he has his paradigm and, damn the facts, insists on viewing the Arab-Israeli conflict through that lens.
    Seems that at times he himself is cognizant of the absurdities and thus seeks to involve the US to evoke some evil global empire.

    He asserts that the US was the global empire following WW II (with no mention of the USSR or its Arab clients).

    Is he aware that prior to the latter half of the 1960s the US provided Israel with almost no military aid?
    (None before 1959, < $1 million by 1962, then $39 million over the next 4 years.
    Thus prior to 1966 the sum total was ~$40 million - all in the form of loans.)

    So I challenge MOM: Start with the data and then see how well, if at all, the model holds.
    (If anyone shares his view, feel free to address my criticisms above.)
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    Dec 07, 2011 10:46 PM GMT
    I emailed MeOhMy a link to this topic to make sure he didn't overlook it.
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    Dec 13, 2011 1:36 AM GMT
    Assuming MeOhMy may be busy with finals or shopping, let me simplify things:

    The Arab-Israeli conflict is a border dispute (in 2008, had the PA not pulled the plug on negotiations, the difference between the negotiators was a mere 35 square miles, the size of a US township).

    The Arab-Israeli conflict is NOT the epicenter of a world uprising against some sinister empire.