RJ / STAB at the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2009 6:11 PM GMT
    Lets assume that the backers of both sides first came together and agreed to withdraw some support, Palestinian backers agreed to withdraw support of providing the Palestinians with munitions/other weaponry if Hamas doesn't agree to stop hostilities against Israel in the form of Suicide attacks, and lobbing missiles into Israeli territory, that the Palestinians agree to israels right to exist and that they will have to make concessions rather than insisting it all be their own wayLets.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Further lets assume that the US in particular agrees to withdraw political support/aide in other forms (its too late to withdraw munitions/weaponry support because israel already has the weapons) in trade for Israel agreeing to relinquish settlements built after negotiation agreements, lets say during Clinton peace talks. and that Israel makes concessions rather than on insisting it all be their way., >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Now lets assume that the discussion in the other forum about the attacks of Israel in the Gaza Strip with all the back and forth, the Israeli's did this, and the Palestinians did that, and this was their fault, no that was your fault, and blah blah blah. was our venting portion of the peace talks, and that now casting blame is put behind for these RJ Peace Purposes. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Can we now agree to a two state Solution? Israel backers, can you agree to this? Palestinians can you agree to this? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Lets discuss this two state solution for now through say Friday, then we'll take the results, and consider that portion of the peace talks finished, and then move onto a much harder topic- BORDERS. Surely we can be friendly enough amongst RJ'rs to leave off with name calling/casting blame for the sake of our own peace talks. Lets give it a try, it should be interesting.
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Jan 15, 2009 7:18 PM GMT
    Great Idea! It's unfortunate the real world can't do that.

    Let's hear from RJers I know we have very strong supporters of each side here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2009 1:25 AM GMT
    How sad. Another topic discussing peace, and all Samerphx can do is regurgitate his laundry list of false accusations.

    realifedad is no better. He starts from a false equivalence:

    rld> Palestinian backers agreed to withdraw support of providing the Palestinians with munitions/other weaponry if Hamas doesn't agree to stop hostilities

    The "Palestinian backers" are many, yet the Hamas backers are few (Iran and Syria).

    rld> the US in particular agrees to withdraw political support/aide... in trade for Israel agreeing

    Note the juxtapositioning of aid to Hamas with aid to Israel. It's nonsense.
    Aid to the PA should continue (along with assurances it is spent as intended) and aid to Israel should continue.

    Once again it seems life realifedad is more interested in ending aid to Israel than in peace.


    rld> we now agree to a two state Solution? Israel backers, can you agree to this? Palestinians can you agree to this?

    The Jewish Agency and Israel have supported this since it was first suggested. In 1922-23, the 78% of eastern, Trans-Jordanian, Palestine was split off to be an exclusive (no Jews allowed) state with the 22% of western Palestine reserved for the Jewish state. In 1936, the Peel Commission suggested the partition of western Palestine. The Jews accepted the principle, the Arab parties rejected. In 1947 the UN proposed its partition compromise. Accepted by the Jewish Agency (which declared Israel) but rejected by the Arab parties (which attacked the Jewish community and Israel). In 2000-01 Israel accepted the Clinton compromise, the PA's counter-offer was the intifada.

    Israel and the vast majority of Israelis accept the two-state solution.
    Hamas obviously does not.
    The PA at times appears to. The population? I'll let them say.


    By the way, we already have a topic on the peace process:

    In search of a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict: UNSCR 242, Oslo and Camp David/Taba
    (Or: I support the Clinton COMPROMISE parameters. Do you?!)

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/354843

    Check it out!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2009 3:32 AM GMT
    How sad, again. Following up on his false accusations, samerphx now makes personal attacks against me, because I'm the "enemy".


    samerphx> What are my false accusations? I guess you can’t list them.

    Since the topic here is peace, I chose not to respond in kind to you. But if you insist, here is one example: "A Palestinian Christian who lived in Israel cannot buy a land, because he is not a Jew. Don't you think that is so called democracy?". The fact of the matter is that Christians (and Muslims) can and do own property in Israel. What Samer is, dishonestly, referencing is that 92% of the land is owned by the state and cannot be pruchased by individuals - even if they are Jewish. These lands are available for long-term lease. This has nothing to do with democracy. Amazing, isn't it, how many misleading lies Samer managed to pack into his soundbite?


    Samer's opposition to the two-state solution is apparent, and now he is trying to use the peace topic to argue not for peace but to undermine Israel.


    Samerphx> The UNSCR 242, Oslo and Camp David/Taba things. I have already mentioned this in other thread. Why you are ignoring me in this subject?

    In that topic, you misrepresented the Clinton parameters as the Barak plan, you attempted to refute primary sources (including top Arab negotiators) with 3rd rate sources that happened to say what you want to believe, and when asked on what you are willing to compromise... you fell silent.

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jan 16, 2009 3:35 AM GMT
    I wish the British were more inclinded to militarily equip Israel and not the US since it was the British who came up with the Israeli state idea to begin with.

    Whatever political soultions are posed, action on any solution will not satisfy all parties involved and inevitably will result in more hostilities, justified or not. My only personal solution to whatever happens over there is more eye rolling. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Screw peace in the Middle East! Let's crack the Dome of the Rock already! Let's reveal the false prophecies of Armageddon too!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2009 3:45 AM GMT
    coolarmydude> I wish the British were more inclinded to militarily equip Israel and not the US since it was the British who came up with the Israeli state idea to begin with.

    The existence and idea of a Jewish state predates Britain. More recently (circa 1800) Napoleon suggested the idea. By the same token, Britain should arm Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But it's more complex than that. Much of it has to do with Woodrow Wilson's idea of self-determination. Enter the League of Nations Mandatory system. So by your logic, all the nations should arm Israel! (:


    coolarmydude> Whatever political soultions are posed, action on any solution will not satisfy all parties involved and inevitably will result in more hostilities, justified or not.

    This is part of the Gordian knot. It takes all parties to make peace, but just one party to prevent it and make war.

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    Jan 16, 2009 4:22 AM GMT
    Samer:
    I will never support Palestine as a country So long as Hamas is in charge. That said, I feel for the people of Palestine who have been living under this terrorist party.

    Terrorist are cowards. Palestine is run by cowardsl.


    Israel is defending herself from rocket fire from Hamas. Hamas has lost all credibility in my book.

    If Hamas were to leave the government, I'd support a free democratic Palestine... living peacefully next to Israel.


    All these wars, deaths, etc. they are decided by a few people and the rest of the population suffers.

    "Someone icon_wink.gif " once told me a quote they had been told... something like "Peace in the Middle East will only come when the Arabslove their children more than they hate Israel."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2009 4:41 AM GMT
    More false accusations and recriminations by Samer, who just can't bring himself to discuss peace:

    samerphx> Then you are a Zionist. You believe there should be no Palestinian country.

    Zionists do not believe there should be no Palestinian Arab country.
    I'm a Zionist and I support the two-state solution.
    As most Zionists have for 60+ years.


    samerphx> Israel was run by terrorist organization too such as Lehi/Stern, Haggath and other Zionist terrorist groups. They are now IDF soldiers.

    I'm not aware of any 80 year olds who are IDF soldiers. We're also not discussing the world 60 years ago but now (even were your allegations true, and they are not - all of which has been discussed in other topics and needn't be rehashed here).

    "Palestine" is the Latin/European name for Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish homeland - and Arab denials of the existence of "Palestine".
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/349491
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    Jan 16, 2009 4:47 AM GMT
    samerphx> You are disrespecting me… I guess I have no right to disrespect you?

    I did not "disrespect" you. I spoke about what you said, not you.

    You, as you admit, have disrespected me with ad hominems.
    You've also discredited this topic:

    realifedad> assume that the discussion in the other forum about the attacks of Israel in the Gaza Strip with all the back and forth, the Israeli's did this, and the Palestinians did that, and this was their fault, no that was your fault, and blah blah blah. was our venting portion of the peace talks, and that now casting blame is put behind for these RJ Peace Purposes.

    samerphx> [makes accusations, casts blame]


    Caesarea4> What Samer is, dishonestly, referencing is that 92% of the land is owned by the state and cannot be pruchased by individuals - even if they are Jewish.

    samerphx> If you look up that video link I posted above talk about a Palestinian Christian man cannot buy a land because he is an Arab. Read before you post.

    So this is an anecdote that you are trying to present as data?
    More of the same from Samer.


    samerphx> According to your peace is Israeli peace, not both side peace or Palestinian peace.

    http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2008/p30e.html#head2
    || 41% accept and 57% reject a permanent settlement along the lines of the Clinton parameters and the Geneva Initiative. Support varies for the various elements with the highest level (55%) going to end of conflict and the lowest (27%) going to the demilitarization of the Palestinian state so that it would not have an army. 45% think a majority of Palestinians would accept such a settlement and 40% think a majority of Israelis would accept it.

    Interesting that 41% of Palestinian Arabs agree with me - yet samerphx pretends I'm some sort of extremist with outrageous ideas.

    || 66% support and 30% oppose the Saudi Initiative

    There's the problem (and it echoes in Samer): Roughly 1/3rd of the Palestinian Arabs don't want peace with Israel, period. Just like Hamas, they want "peace" withOUT Israel.

    This isn't a neglible "fringe" of extremists (unlike David Duke in the US or a similar sliver of Jewish extremists in Israel), in Gaza they are in power.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2009 5:10 AM GMT
    Hmmm.
    Instead of commenting on other people's posts, because I disagree with many points in most of them, I will just instead put forward my two cents.

    As far as I am concerned, Israel exists as a country, and Jewish people have a right to a state of their own. Having said that, so do Palestinians.

    However, the reality is that Gaza is not a homeland or country, in fact, it reflects, in a sad irony, the Warsaw Ghetto more than a distinct society. It literally has a massive wall built around it, courtesy of the World Bank financing the project.

    I have often heard from people that Israel NEEDS to show aggressive force and military decisiveness in order to survive as a nation, so that Arab countries in the region, while not respecting the nation, will be hesitant in confronting it militarily, thus, ensuring the state's survival.

    This is a false argument in my opinion. It is based upon a short-term strategy. Though this may work for a while, preventing other regional countries from engaging in direct conflict with Israel, the people of the region experience a growing frustration with Israel in its treatment of Palestinians and literal exclusion from international treaties on unconventional weapons and crimes against humanity, courtesy of the US veto in the United Nations.

    As hostilities grow, and political structures in the region and internationally fail to present a viable opposition (not necessarily militarily) to Israel, we see the rise of "terrorist" groups, resistance groups, freedom fighters, militant organizations, etc. whatever you want to call them. This becomes the seemingly ONLY outlet to challenge the status quo.

    Terrorism is NOT an ideology, it is NOT a religion, it is NOT represented by a people or person: terrorism is a tactic, plain and simple. In the American Revolution, what do you think the British considered the Americans?

    Terrorism arises where injustice and oppression are dominant. Oppression is the condition in which terrorism seemingly becomes the only option. This is why there are suicide attacks in Israel, and rockets fired from Palestinian territories, because the people are driven to such a stage of desperation, that they see no other way. And as the world ignores their plight, and gives nothing but full support to the Israeli state (not to be confused with the Israeli people), this desperation grows. Try to place yourself in their position.

    After a suicide bombing, Israel commonly bulldozes the home (sometimes with the families still inside) of the family of the bomber. Does this prevent terror or exacerbate the conditions that give rise to terror? This only serves to increase recruitment into radical groups.

    When Israel builds (with World Bank financing) a concrete wall around Gaza, and cuts off the water and food supply, does this make them less of a target for terror? The answer should not be difficult. None of us can say what we would do if our community was enclosed behind a wall, our water turned off, our food supply cut, our electricity turned off, treated as sub-human and barbaric. I would think, I would HOPE we would resist. Otherwise, we would die.

    Displaying militaristic force and might is a short-term strategy to the survival of Israel as a nation. It means nothing but failure in the long term. As Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world go blind". In the long term, this strategy will backfire, and the current war is the beginning of this new phase i believe.

    Israel has been able to do what it has done, in a horrific irony, treating the Palestinians much to the same degree as Jews were treated under Nazi Germany in the early years of the Third Reich, only because of the unyielding support of the United States. The US supports Israel because it is a strategic and important ally in the region in which the US has vital interests. This was emblematic in the Cold War, where arms and financial support to Western-allied Middle Eastern countries were passed through Israel. In the War on [of] Terror, Israel became useful strategically once again. However, so long as Israel is an asset to the United States, it will receive support. Once it becomes a liability, which is inevitable in the current path its political and military leaders are now walking, the United States will end its support.

    An example of this was during the Roman Empire. The state of Judea, where Israel currently is, was not under direct control and administration of Rome, but was given free reign to act as it wanted in the region, so long as it served Roman interests and did not get in the way of them. Once Judea became a liability to the Romans, in terms of strategic liability and financially, Rome turned its back, and very quickly, Judea was gone.

    Once the US, either through international pressure, or financial constraints, or lack of strategic usefulness, finds Israel to be a liability, the vetos will end, the arms will not be shipped, and the money wont flow: the US will turn its back, and Israel won't have a friend in the world.

    Violence incites violence. Disrespect garners disrespect. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

    The current war is not a matter of self defense. Israel had been planning Operation Cast Lead in June of 2008, according to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, at the same time that Israel was publicly negotiating a ceasefire with Hamas. The rocket fire provided the pretext to act on plans already underway.

    If Israel seeks to preserve itself and survive as a nation, it must change its entire political-military strategy. The road to survival is one of respect and trust, fear only works for so long. Israel must treat Palestinians as humans, must stop committing crimes against humanity in using internationally banned chemical weapons in Gaza, such as with the current conflict using white phosphorous, and must stop preventing the Palestinians having access to water, food and electricity. It is time to tear down the wall.

    Only by recognizing Palestinians as people, could Israel ever even hope to be recognized by the region as its own nation. It is, of course, not as simple as that. And it wont happen over night. But ultimately, Israel must become a humane state, and this goes for the way it treats its own citizens as well, who, under the militarized police state Israel has over its own territory, cannot be said to live in a free, democratic society as we in the Western world understand it. Only by tearing down walls (literally and metaphorically) could Israel ever hope of engendering respect for the political state, and could peace ever be achieved. If there is no oppression, there is no reason for terror, and thus no reason for "retaliation" and war.

    If the Palestinians employed the same tactic as Gandhi did in India, that of non-violent resistance to the British Empire's tyrannical control over their country; we would see a very different perspective internationally of the situation. Israel would not be able to justify its brutality, and international support would crumble.

    Non-violence is the only means to peace. On both sides. But, it is the necessity for Israel to act first, as it has the socio-political structure of a state, and can create a uniformed strategy, as opposed to a dispossessed, disenfranchised and desperate people. It is up to Israel to make the first move to peace, and it is up to the Palestinians to take the right action in response.

    Sorry for the long post.
    Cheers,

    Peace!
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    Jan 16, 2009 6:26 AM GMT
    Ceasare4 --- I don't mean to come across as just wanting to cut off israels Support, don't think that OK, and I meant that it is assumed that Palestinians have already agreed to recognize Israel, and to stop shooting off missiles and the suicide bombers. So lets start again, You said you agree to a two state solution and like the Ideas going back to Clintons suggestions for the peace process, So for this discussions sake we have a yes from you as representing Israel on agreeing to a two state solution, >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Lets be friends, this is just an effort to come up with some broad agreements for a peace solution amongst us at RJ, surely we can do that much. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Be thinking of the borders now, What lines will you go back to, what settlements will you abandon? (please don't get stuck on nitty gritty details, this is a broad discussion so come up with something that broadly makes sense) and how will you solve the separation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip? Can you make concessions somehow to make them easily accessable to one another? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Samerphx, man lets put some of the argueing behind, remember we're starting fresh, we have to cut through the wrongs from both sides, and start from here. Israel will be agreeing to relinquish some settlements, so some of your people can go back home, but unfortunately we cannot make it happen in every instance. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>So for this discussions sake, I understand that you (lets say your representing Palinians) agree to a two state solution, your vote is yes then, OK !!!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> now can you agree to their right to exist since they (israel) are giving back some of the settelments which was home to some of your people? i hope you will agree to that, neither side is going to come out with everything they want, so lets try to agree to their right to exist. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Let us know what you think, but please remember, this is a broad discussion, we cannot get stuck on the past, or every piece of ground being returned, or the process fails. Both sides will lose in some aspects, or no-one will win peace. Lets try to be friends.
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    Jan 16, 2009 6:31 AM GMT
    While there may be peace eventually the only current common denominator at this point in time is violence, and there is enough blood to go around, and no one can claim to the moral upper hand in the current conflict.

    As for Hamas be careful what you wish for; they are the democratically elected government of Gaza. And they did not get to that position by nefarious means, nor by promoting their anti- Israeli stance -- which was a given -- but by presenting themselves as the faction of clean and compotent government, which they often have been in comparison to Fatah. It should also be noted the Israelis are not innocent in the rise of Hamas, but initially promoted them as an alternative to Arafat's Fatah which they didn't want to deal with -- in this the Israeli's have not been disimilar to the French in Algeria who kept looking for a middle ground to deal with while at the same time carrying out policies that alienated the middle they were looking for. This is not to say that Hamas isn't a terrorist organization, it is, but that both sides are responsible for the lows they have arrived at, and it is the actions of both sides that have brought things to this point -- again no one has the moral high ground.

    As for peace both sides will have to make a greater effort then they currently are but:

    1) Peace will take both sides fully accepting a two state solution, where they live in peace with each other. And both sides again are guilty -- the likes of Hamas directly in their call for the destruction of Israel, and the Isrealis, despite their lip service, with the continued building of the settlements have shown a practical disregard for two equal states.

    2) The borders must approximately equate the pre 1967 line, and if any land is kept by the Isrealis it must be compensated for from other land in Israel contiguous with the West Bank -- and the majority of the settlements should be dismantled. But the Palestianian state must be a viable state with a viable contiguous territory.

    3) A settlement for the Palestianian refugees. No they can't return, but they should be compensated for what they lost -- not by the Israeli's per se, but most likely with a fund through the UN, it was the UN who partitioned the land. Also admission, or apology that they land was not generally willingly vacated by the Palestinians, or that even those Arabs internally displaced within what would become Israel could return or claim their ancestral lands.

    4) Jerusalem, which must be divided in some way so that it can be the capital of both states -- the East for the Arabs and the West for the Israelis with some sort of joint control of demilitarised zone for the old city or at least the Holy Places.

    This is not something that is easy, but both sides will have to compromise and give up things they haven't so far been willing to give up. whatever happens neither side is going away and both are going to have to live with each other. And while for the Isrealis the only viable option, even if they don't always take it seriously, is a two state solution there are many Arabs who hold Samer's view of a one state nation for the whole area -- an idea that is born out of failure to see the Arab lands as constituting a viable state, and the longer the two coexist, peacefully or not, and the the stronger the web of Isreali settlements, the more currency this view will gain. At best this would look something like South Africa and at worst like what happened to the French in Algeria, but either way it is not in the best interest of the Israelis and better two state solution sooner than permanently enmeshing the two sides so that you have no other option than combining the two.
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    Jan 16, 2009 6:31 AM GMT
    MeOhMy> Gaza is not a homeland or country, in fact, it reflects, in a sad irony, the Warsaw Ghetto more than a distinct society.

    I wasn't aware that the Warsaw Ghetto was the largest recipient (per capita) of international aid, that the nazis had accepted peace and co-existence, or that there were mortars fired from the Ghetto into Warsaw let alone buses and markets blown up.


    MeOhMy> I have often heard from people that Israel NEEDS to show aggressive force and military decisiveness in order to survive as a nation....
    This is a false argument in my opinion. It is based upon a short-term strategy.

    You are right. It is a false argument. This is not Israel's strategy.
    Israel has been open to just about every peace solution that has been proposed over nearly a century.


    MeOhMy> As hostilities grow, and political structures in the region and internationally fail to present a viable opposition (not necessarily militarily) to Israel, we see the rise of "terrorist" groups, resistance groups, freedom fighters, militant organizations, etc. whatever you want to call them. This becomes the seemingly ONLY outlet to challenge the status quo.

    Horribly convoluted. Look at Hamas. They rose to infamy with their first suicide bombing in 1994. Not "resisting" the Israeli "occupation", but the Oslo peace process which began the year before. There is another "outlet", alternative. The problem is that the terrorists (supported by at least 1/3rd of the population) reject the peace process (because it can't get what they want, which is not compromise).


    MeOhMy> Terrorism arises where injustice and oppression are dominant. Oppression is the condition in which terrorism seemingly becomes the only option.

    FAIL. Terrorism has never successfully manifested where "injustice" and "oppression" are greatest. It shows up primarily in democracies: London, Madrid, NY, Bali, Tel Aviv, Rome, Vienna, etc.


    MeOhMy> This is why there are suicide attacks in Israel, and rockets fired from Palestinian territories, because the people are driven to such a stage of desperation, that they see no other way.

    FAIL. As Samer has previously boasted, amongst the suicide bombers' ranks are doctors and lawyers. Two were the sons of millionaires. According to PCPSR polls, the poor and uneducated are less likely to support terrorism than the wealthy and educated Palestinian Arabs.


    MeOhMy> the world ignores their plight, and gives nothing but full support to the Israeli state (not to be confused with the Israeli people), this desperation grows

    Israel is a democracy, there is no distinction between the state and its people.

    No conflict has received as much of the world's attention as this one. As noted above, the PA territories were the largest (per capita) recipients of international assistance. In 2000, the territories were in a 3 year economic recovery. All ruined by the violence and terrorism known as the intifada. Terrorism causes poverty and misery, not vice versa.


    MeOhMy> After a suicide bombing, Israel commonly bulldozes the home (sometimes with the families still inside) of the family of the bomber. Does this prevent terror or exacerbate the conditions that give rise to terror? This only serves to increase recruitment into radical groups.

    The parenthetial comment is total bunk. Where do you get your info?

    You fail to make a comparison. You simply assume that if one variable were changed the results would move in the direction you hypothesize. There are plenty of historical examples, but we need look no further back than 2005. If only Israel withdrew from Gaza, some opined, terrorism would end. Yet the unilateral Israeli withdrawl was perceived as a terrorist "victory" and strengthened them. Remember, at the time the PA/Fata was in power and there was lots of international assistance. Then Hamas won parliamentary elections and later they siezed complete power in a violent coup. Terrorism vastly INcreased. The siege followed. In the world of science, the model is adjusted to fit the data. You either aren't aware of the data or worse you are inventing "data" based on the model.


    MeOhMy> cuts off the water and food supply

    Israel has not done so. Again, how can you be so misinformed?


    MeOhMy> Israel has been able to do what it has done, in a horrific irony, treating the Palestinians much to the same degree as Jews were treated under Nazi Germany in the early years of the Third Reich

    Completely obscene (see also: Godwin's Law). First, thankfully, there weren't anything other than "the early years of the Third Reich". What the nazis are known for is their attempted genocide of the Jews. During the Final Solution, as many as 10,000 people were exterminated every day.


    MeOhMy> Once Judea became a liability to the Romans, in terms of strategic liability and financially, Rome turned its back, and very quickly, Judea was gone.

    I hate to say it, but you are as weak on history as you are current events.


    MeOhMy> If the Palestinians employed the same tactic as Gandhi did in India, that of non-violent resistance

    Perhaps rather than "resist" they should just make peace.
    Instead of seeking to destroy Israel, they should try to build Arab Palestine.


    MeOhMy> Israel had been planning Operation Cast Lead in June of 2008, according to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, at the same time that Israel was publicly negotiating a ceasefire with Hamas. The rocket fire provided the pretext to act on plans already underway.

    It's called a contingency. It may shock you, but the US has plans on how to invade Canada. If Al Qaida began shelling the US from Canada and the Canadian government did nothing to stop them (or if Al Qaida become the Canadian government), you'll find out exactly what that contingency plan is. Would you likewise say that Al Qaida's shelling of the US was a "pretext" to launch an existing operation?


    MeOhMy> stop committing crimes against humanity in using internationally banned chemical weapons in Gaza, such as with the current conflict using white phosphorous

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7823078.stm
    || [HRW] acknowledged the weapons appeared to have been used legally to make smoke screens to hide troop movements

    http://www.metronews.ca/calgary/world/article/166342
    || Red Cross says Israel's use of white phosphorus not illegal


    MeOhMy> Israel must become a humane state, and this goes for the way it treats its own citizens as well, who, under the militarized police state Israel has over its own territory, cannot be said to live in a free, democratic society as we in the Western world understand it.

    Militarized police state? Man, if you ever go to Israel, you're in for the shock of your life.

    Arabs in Israel are full citizens with equal protection under the law. They, including women, vote. They not only serve in the Knesset (parliament) but as ministers. They serve in the foreign office, including as ambassadors. They serve in the Judiciary, including on the Supreme Court (a court in which any Arab citizen can sue his government, live to tell about it, and win or lose only based on the legal merits of the case). Israeli Arabs even serve in the IDF, attaining ranks as high as Generals.

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    Jan 16, 2009 6:42 AM GMT
    Sorry, I hate to reprint long articles, but this editorial from last week's Economist summed up the situation fairly, I think. One of the best written short pieces I've read recently on the subject.

    "WITH luck, the destructive two-week battle between Israel and Hamas may soon draw to an end. But how long before the century-long war between Arabs and Jews in Palestine follows suit? It is hard to believe that this will happen any time soon. Consider: Israel’s current operation, “Cast Lead”, marks the fourth time Israel has fought its way into Gaza. It almost captured Gaza (behind a pocket containing a young Egyptian army officer called Gamal Abdul Nasser) in 1948, in the war Israelis know as their war of independence. It captured Gaza again in 1956, as part of a secret plan hatched with Britain and France to topple Nasser as Egypt’s president and restore British control of the Suez Canal. It invaded a third time during the six-day war of 1967—and stayed there for 38 years, until withdrawing unilaterally three and a half years ago.

    Why they fight
    And Gaza, remember, is only one item in a mighty catalogue of misery, whose entries are inscribed in tears. The Jews and Arabs of Palestine have been fighting off and on for 100 years. In 1909 the mostly Russian socialist idealists of the Zionist movement set up an armed group, Hashomer, to protect their new farms and villages in Palestine from Arab marauders. Since then has come the dismal march of wars—1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006 and now 2009—each seared by blood and fire into the conflicting myths and memories of the two sides. The intervals between the wars have not been filled by peace but by bombs, raids, uprisings and atrocities. Israeli settlers in Hebron today still cite, as if it were yesterday, the massacre of Hebron’s Jews in 1929. The Arabs of Palestine still remember their desperate revolt in the 1930s against the British mandate and Jewish immigration from Europe, and the massacres of 1948.

    The slaughter this week in Gaza, in which on one day alone some 40 civilians, many children, were killed in a single salvo of Israeli shells, will pour fresh poison into the brimming well of hate (see article). But a conflict that has lasted 100 years is not susceptible to easy solutions or glib judgments. Those who choose to reduce it to the “terrorism” of one side or the “colonialism” of the other are just stroking their own prejudices. At heart, this is a struggle of two peoples for the same patch of land. It is not the sort of dispute in which enemies push back and forth over a line until they grow tired. It is much less tractable than that, because it is also about the periodic claim of each side that the other is not a people at all—at least not a people deserving sovereign statehood in the Middle East.

    That is one reason why this conflict grinds on remorselessly from decade to decade. During eruptions of violence, the mantra of diplomats and editorialists is the need for a two-state solution. It sounds so simple: if two peoples cannot share the land, they must divide it. This seemed obvious to some outsiders even before the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews prompted the United Nations in 1947 to call for the creation of separate Jewish and Arab states in Palestine. In 1937 a British royal commission concluded that “an irrepressible conflict has arisen between two national communities within the narrow bounds of one small country.” The answer had to be partition.

    The fact that the Arabs rejected the UN’s partition plan of 60 years ago has long given ideological comfort to Israel and its supporters. Abba Eban, an Israeli foreign minister, quipped that the Palestinians “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity”. Israel’s story is that the Arabs have muffed at least four chances to have a Palestinian state. They could have said yes to partition in 1947. They could have made peace after the war of 1947-48. They had another chance after Israel routed its neighbours in 1967 (“We are just waiting for a telephone call,” said Moshe Dayan, Israel’s hero of that war). They had yet another in 2000 when Ehud Barak, now Israel’s defence minister and then its prime minister, offered the Palestinians a state at Bill Clinton’s fateful summit at Camp David.

    This story of Israeli acceptance and Arab rejection is not just a yarn convenient to Israel’s supporters. It is worth remembering that it was not until 1988, a full 40 years after Israel’s birth, that Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) renounced its goal of liberating the whole of Palestine from the river to the sea. All the same, the truth is much more shaded than the Israeli account allows. There have been missed opportunities, and long periods of rejection, on Israel’s part, too.

    Look again at those missed opportunities. At the time of the UN partition resolution, the Jews of Palestine numbered only 600,000 and the Arabs more than twice that number. Most of the Jews were incomers. Although partition might have been the wiser choice for the Palestinians, it did not strike them as remotely fair. In the subsequent war, more than 600,000 of Palestine’s Arabs fled or were put to flight. Afterwards, disinclined either to take them back or return the extra land it had gained in battle, Israel was relieved that the Arab states, traumatised by the rout, made no serious offer of peace. Many of the refugees have been stuck ever since in a sad finger of dunes, the Gaza Strip, pointing at the bright lights of Tel Aviv.

    When Israel fell in love
    After the ignominious defeat of 1967, the Arab states again rejected the idea of peace with Israel. That was, indeed, a wasted opportunity. But even though the Israel of 1967 discussed how much of the West Bank it was ready to trade for peace, the Likud governments of the late 1970s and 1980s wanted it all. For Israel fell in love with the territories it had occupied.

    This was the period of Israeli rejection. Israeli prime ministers such as Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir asserted a God-given right to a “greater Israel” that included the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in which Israeli governments of all stripes continued to plant (illegal) settlements. In some Israeli minds the Palestinians became a non-people, to be fobbed off with self-government under Israeli or perhaps Jordanian supervision. It took an explosion of Palestinian resistance, in the intifada (uprising) of the late 1980s and the far more lethal one of 2001-03, to convince Israel that this was an illusion.

    What bearing does all this history have on the foul events unfolding right now in Gaza? The point is that there have been precious few moments over the past century during which both sides have embraced the idea of two states at the same time. The most promising moment of all came at the beginning of this decade, with Mr Clinton’s near-miss at Camp David. But now, with the rise of Hamas and the war in Gaza, the brief period of relative hope is in danger of flickering out.

    If rejection of the other side’s national claims is one of the things that make this conflict so hard to end, the other is religion. The two are tied together. Hamas is a religious movement, and its formal creed is to reject the possibility of Jewish statehood not only because of Israel’s alleged sins but also because there is no place for a Jewish state in a Muslim land.

    In Israel’s early life Zionism was a mainly secular movement and the dominant force on the other side was a secular Arab nationalism. Since 1967, however, religion, nationalism and hunger for Palestinians’ land have fused to create a powerful constituency in Israel dedicated to retaining control of the whole of Jerusalem and Judaism’s holy places on the West Bank. Israel’s system of proportional voting has given the settlers and zealots a chokehold over politics. Among Arabs secular nation
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    Jan 16, 2009 6:44 AM GMT
    continued...

    Among Arabs secular nationalism is meanwhile waning in the face of a powerful Islamic revival through the region. And a central dogma of the Islamists is that Israel is an implant that must be violently resisted and eventually destroyed.

    One far-seeing Zionist, Vladimir Jabotinsky, predicted in the 1930s not only that the Arabs would oppose the swamping of Palestine with Jewish immigrants but also that “if we were Arabs, we would not accept it either”. In order to survive, the Jews would have to build an “iron wall” of military power until the Arabs accepted their state’s permanence. And this came to pass. Only after several costly wars did Egypt and later the PLO conclude that, since Israel could not be vanquished, they had better cut a deal. In Beirut in 2002 all the Arab states followed suit, offering Israel normal relations in return for its withdrawal from all the occupied territories, an opening which Israel was foolish to neglect.

    The depressing thing about the rise of Hamas and the decline of the Fatah wing of the PLO is that it reverses this decades-long trend. Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections of 2006 had many causes, including a reputation for honesty. Its victory did not prove that Palestinians had been bewitched by Islamist militancy or come to believe again in liberating all of Palestine by force. But if you take seriously what Hamas says in its charter, Hamas itself does believe this. So does Hizbullah, Lebanon’s “Party of God”; and so does a rising and soon perhaps nuclear-armed Iran. Some analysts take heart from Hamas’s offer of a 30-year truce if Israel returns to its 1967 borders. But it has never offered permanent recognition.

    There is worse. On top of the return to rejection and the growing role of religion, a third new obstacle to peace is the apparent crumbling of Jabotinsky’s iron wall.

    In Lebanon three years ago, and today in Gaza, Hizbullah and Hamas seem to have invented a new military doctrine. Israel has deterred its enemies mainly by relying on a mighty conventional army to react with much greater force to any provocation. But non-state actors are harder to deter. Hizbullah and Hamas, armed by Iran with some modern weapons, can burrow inside the towns and villages of their own people while lobbing rockets at Israel’s. A state that yearns for a semblance of normality between its wars cannot let such attacks become routine. That is why today, as in the 1950s, Israel responds to pinpricks with punitive raids, each of which had the potential to flare into war. Israel’s operation in Gaza is designed not only to stop Hamas’s rockets but to shore up a doctrine on which Israel thinks its safety must still be based.

    At Camp David in 2000 Israel and the Palestinians discovered that even with goodwill it is hard to agree terms. How to share Jerusalem? What to offer the refugees who will never go home? How can Israel trust that the land it vacates is not used, as Gaza has been, as a bridgehead for further struggle? But—and this is the fourth thing that keeps the battle alive—the two sides are seldom left alone to tackle these core issues.

    For too long the conflict in Palestine was a hostage to the cold war. America was once neutral: it was Eisenhower who forced Israel out of Gaza (and Britain out of Egypt) after Suez. But America later recruited Israel as an ally, and this suited the Israelis just fine. It gave them the support of a superpower whilst relieving them of a duty to resolve the quarrel with the Palestinians, even though their own long-term well-being must surely depend on solving that conflict.

    It may be no coincidence that some of the most promising peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians took place soon after the cold war ended. But now a new sort of geopolitical confrontation stalks the region, one that sets America against Iran, and the Islamist movements Iran supports against the Arab regimes in America’s camp. With Hamas inside Iran’s tent and Fatah in America’s, the Palestinians are now facing a paralysing schism.

    And so to Gaza
    Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, has been saying all week that, although Israel’s immediate aim is to stop the rocket fire and not to topple Hamas, there can be no peace, and no free Palestine, while Hamas remains in control. She is right that with Hamas in power in Gaza the Islamists can continue to wreck any agreement Israel negotiates with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. Mr Abbas, along with Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, may quietly relish Hamas being taken down a peg. Egypt is furious at Hamas’s recent refusal to renew talks with Fatah about restoring a Palestinian unity government.

    There is a limit, however. Taking Hamas down a peg is one thing. But even in the event of Israel “winning” in Gaza, a hundred years of war suggest that the Palestinians cannot be silenced by brute force. Hamas will survive, and with it that strain in Arab thinking which says that a Jewish state does not belong in the Middle East. To counter that view, Israel must show not only that it is too strong to be swept away but also that it is willing to give up the land—the West Bank, not just Gaza—where the promised Palestinian state must stand. Unless it starts doing that convincingly, at a minimum by freezing new settlement, it is Palestine’s zealots who will flourish and its peacemakers who will fall back into silence. All of Israel’s friends, including Barack Obama, should be telling it this.


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    Jan 16, 2009 6:48 AM GMT
    MeOhMy !!!! I've not read anywhere any better a discription of the situation and what needs to or has to take place !!! DAMN YOUR GOOD !!!!! Your statements are why I'm trying this broad RJ effort to come up with a stopping point just amongst us, to see if a cutting off point can be drawn, put the past behind, and go from a reasonable point amongst just us few forward with our own idea of peace between these RJ factors. Think we can? its worth a try, cause these guys from both sides are very inteligent, and good decent people. be sure to check in and post more, you can be a peace negotiator.
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    Jan 16, 2009 7:13 AM GMT
    samerphx> you shouldn’t agree with Golda Meir, “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist.” She is a Zionist herself.

    1. You are a Christian. Does that mean that you agree with the Pope's view on homosexuality?

    2. Golda's statement, in historic context, is correct. Again, this is discussed elsewhere.

    3. Why is Samer still posting flame-bait rather than discussing THIS topic?


    samerphx> I was talking about the Lehi/Stern, Haggath and other Zionist terrorist groups. The IDF soldiers’ great great great grandparents.

    So now the sons are guilty for the ALLEGED sins of their "great great great grandparents" and this is comparable to what Arab/Muslim terrorists are doing today?

    See also #3.


    Caesarea4> 41% of Palestinian Arabs agree with me - yet samerphx pretends I'm some sort of extremist with outrageous ideas.

    samerphx> The survey doesn’t proof anything. You have no arguments or any fact statistics.

    On what basis are you discrediting the data/statistics/facts provided by the Palestine Center for Policy and Survey Research, run by Palestinian Arab academics based in Ramallah?

    The irony. In a topic about peace, not only does Samer have nothing constructive to say, he's stuck arguing that fewer Palestinian Arabs favor peace along the Clinton compromise parameters than existing data show.


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    Jan 16, 2009 7:16 AM GMT
    Wrerick> As for Hamas be careful what you wish for; they are the democratically elected government of Gaza. And they did not get to that position by nefarious means

    Hamas is NOT the democratically elected government. It's true that they won parliamentary elections, but the elected president was Fatah's Abbas. Hamas violated the Mecca Agreement (gaining the ire of the Saudis who brokered it) and siezed power in a violent coup.

    http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2007/p25e1.html
    || 22% support and 73% oppose Hamas’s military takeover of the Gaza Strip.


    wrerick> Israelis are not innocent in the rise of Hamas, but initially promoted them as an alternative to Arafat's Fatah which they didn't want to deal with

    True, but at that time Fatah was dedicated to terrorism and Hamas was non-violent. It is to Israel's credit that it sought to develop an alternative leadership, though in hindsight it didn't turn out as expected.


    wrerick> the continued building of the settlements have shown a practical disregard for two equal states.

    There are Arab villages in Israel. Why can't there be Jewish villages in Arab Palestine? Jews lived in these places prior the Arab invasion of 1948 and the complete ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea, Samaria & Gaza. The majority of the "settlements" could be incorporated into Israel with minor variations to the 1949 Armistice lines (which were not political border).

    We've seen that Jewish villages in Sinai and Gaza have not precluded Israeli withdrawals.


    wrerick> the Palestianian state must be a viable state with a viable contiguous territory.

    Contiguity (in the so-called "West Bank") was provided in the Clinton proposals.


    wrerick> A settlement for the Palestianian refugees. No they can't return, but they should be compensated for what they lost -- not by the Israeli's per se

    The Clinton parameters included a $30 Billion fund.

    Let's not forget that at the same time 700,000 Arabs lost their homes (most opting to flee, not forced out), there were also 1 million Jewish refugees.

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    Jan 16, 2009 11:05 AM GMT
    samerphx saidCjcsuba1984, Then you are a Zionist. You believe there should be no Palestinian country. I guess you don’t know that Israel was run by terrorist organization too such as Lehi/Stern, Haggath and other Zionist terrorist groups. They are now IDF soldiers.

    Former Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Barak did say this, "If i were Palestinian i'd also join terror group."


    No No No... I never sai Palestine does not have the right to exsist. You did. I said I don't support Hamas. I support the suffering people of Palestine... not their terrorist leaders. I wish for both country to live peacefully next to each other--or better, form one country and live together Arab and Jew. How can other people do it... yet your people and the Jews can't?

    I want to make it clear. I do not support Hamas or Palestine... NOW. Just like I wouldn't have supported Nazi Germany. I would have empathized with the suffering or brainwashed German people though.

    The US will not recognize Palestine so long as Hamas is in control. It all has to do with Hamas... not the country itself.
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    Jan 16, 2009 11:17 AM GMT
    MeOhMy,

    Thoughtful post. But I saw one thing that stuck out. Did the British view us as terrorists? I'm not sure...but I do know Americans didn't strape bombs onto men and women and blow themselves up along with everyone around.

    Terrorists now what to blow themselves up and take out as many innocent peaceful people as possible. How is that a respectable war-time tactic... if there is such a thing. Hamas has the potential to make peace.

    Instead, they train people how to make bombs and how to blow themselves up.

    America's objective wasn't to kill as many British civilians as possible in order to gain independence. BEfroe Israel bombs highly populated areas... they drop leaflets to warn the good innocent Palestianians. I'm not saying Israel is guilt free. I saying, the respect for human life is different between Hamas (not Palestine) and Israel.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jan 16, 2009 12:38 PM GMT
    realifedad saidSurely we can be friendly enough amongst RJ'rs to leave off with name calling/casting blame for the sake of our own peace talks. Lets give it a try, it should be interesting.


    Congratulations, reallife. With this thread, you have really demonstrated exactly what the problem is. Two sides of extremists are so caught up in being enraged over their past and trying desperately to win a PR war that they refuse to recognize a real future together.
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    Jan 16, 2009 3:29 PM GMT
    Styrgan> Two sides of extremists are so caught up in being enraged over their past and trying desperately to win a PR war that they refuse to recognize a real future together.

    False equivalency. One needn't read more than the 3rd and 4th posts. The 3rd by samerphx, a Palestinian Arab, who fails to address the topic and enters accusations and spews his slogans and soundbites. The one following it by me, an Israeli, objecting to the undercurrent of terminating support for Israel (with no mention of terminating support for the PA/Fatah, and with no expectation that Iran and Syria will end their support of Hamas), and then addressing the topic.

    I accept the two state solution and all the compromises that have been on the table (also accepted by Israel but rejected by Arafat and his successors).

    samerphx gives us some pretenses as reasons why the two state solution can't work (i.e. why he is against it). He's never seen a compromise that he likes, because he's against compromise (in the other peace topic, I asked him - more than a month ago - on what he is willing to compromise. Still no answer from samerphx, who prefers to reject the Clinton compromise parameters by misrepresenting it as being Barak's plan).

    In search of a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict: UNSCR 242, Oslo and Camp David/Taba
    (Or: I support the Clinton COMPROMISE parameters. Do you?!)

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/354843


    Most recently, in this topic, we saw samerphx delusionally arguing that the Palestinian Arabs, en masse, reject the Clinton compromise - allegedly evidence of how bad it was. Yet Palestinian Arab sources show us that 41% of the Palestinian Arabs accept them.

    Here's the problem, reflected in our RJ microcosm: the majority of the Palestinian Arabs, including samerphx, are against compromise, peace and coexistence. They will continue to fight, generation after generation, until they get everything they want (which isn't 100% rather than 98% of the disputed territories but the destruction of Israel - something they can't get through peace negotiations). When they lose they will cry us a river of how they are the poor victims of Israel aggression. The world has started to catch on to this. Still the thought behind this is that, even if it takes hundreds of years, eventually they will "win", just as eventually the Crusaders were expelled.

    Until that mindset is changed, there is no hope for peace. Because peace requires the participation of all the parties while war can be started and perpetuated by just one party. As the Economist wrote, that rejectionism is today represented by Hamas, and it is still backed outright by a core of 1/3rd of the Palestinian Arabs, with about another 1/3rd in the middle occassionally lending them support.
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    Jan 16, 2009 6:01 PM GMT
    Economist> It may be no coincidence that some of the most promising peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians took place soon after the cold war ended.

    Of course it's no coincidence. Note that little changed between the US and Israel. What pushed forward the peace process was the end of Soviet support for radical Arab states (e.g. Syria & Libya). No longer could Arab armies hope to equip themselves with the latest Soviet tanks and planes and dream of invading Israel and throwing the Jews into the sea. (Let's not forget that back in Lebanon, the PLO had tanks, too.)

    But on the rise was a new mini-power, an extremist Iran, and it picked up some of the vacuum left by the USSR. Make no mistake about it: had the Shah not been toppled (and there were mistakes made in the 1950s and good reasons to topple him), the middle east would be far more peaceful today. Not just the Arab-Israeli conflict, but also internal pressures in the Arab world and the rising tensions between Iran (seeking nukes) and their Arab neighbors.

    Regardless, the final straw was Arafat's diplomatic error during the Iraq-Kuwait war. He backed his old friend Saddam - and thus alienated many of his affluent supporters in the oil states. Having painted himself into a corner (no Soviet arms, no Gulf money), his only out was to turn to the West, which required him to abandon terrorism and seek peace. (Almost worked for 7 years, but in the end Arafat was unable to transition from "General Washington" - as he called himself - to "President Washington" and he could not bring himself to end the conflict without achieving the goal of destroying Israel.)
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    Jan 16, 2009 6:12 PM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidEconomist> It may be no coincidence that some of the most promising peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians took place soon after the cold war ended.

    Of course it's no coincidence. Note that little changed between the US and Israel. What pushed forward the peace process was the end of Soviet support for radical Arab states (e.g. Syria & Libya). No longer could Arab armies hope to equip themselves with the latest Soviet tanks and planes and dream of invading Israel and throwing the Jews into the sea. (Let's not forget that back in Lebanon, the PLO had tanks, too.)

    But on the rise was a new mini-power, an extremist Iran, and it picked up some of the vacuum left by the USSR. Make no mistake about it: had the Shah not been toppled (and there were mistakes made in the 1950s and good reasons to topple him), the middle east would be far more peaceful today. Not just the Arab-Israeli conflict, but also internal pressures in the Arab world and the rising tensions between Iran (seeking nukes) and their Arab neighbors.

    Regardless, the final straw was Arafat's diplomatic error during the Iraq-Kuwait war. He backed his old friend Saddam - and thus alienated many of his affluent supporters in the oil states. Having painted himself into a corner (no Soviet arms, no Gulf money), his only out was to turn to the West, which required him to abandon terrorism and seek peace. (Almost worked for 7 years, but in the end Arafat was unable to transition from "General Washington" - as he called himself - to "President Washington" and he could not bring himself to end the conflict without achieving the goal of destroying Israel.)



    You have a very narrow lens that you look at the world through. My post was an attempt to bring in a rational discussion of culpability on both sides of the equation. Peace talks will go no where until both sides realize their mistakes. You are an arrogant propagandist.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Jan 16, 2009 6:49 PM GMT
    Personally, I think both sides need to be bitch-slapped. How DARE they let this ridiculous counter-productive crap go on and on and on and on endlessly at the expense of their innocent people on both sides. What are they, a bunch of idiots? Sorry, but that's what they look like to me if they choose to live in this sort of crazy back and forth bickering for decades on end. ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Compromises need to be made on both sides to find a middle ground and they need to just live with that -- period -- end of story.

    Samer, I respect and appreciate your passion for your argument but, sorry, the Palestinians are not going to get it all. Whatever the past was is the past. That was then, this is now, and a peaceful future can only be found with both sides making concessions. To keep wallowing in the past only makes things stay the same or, worse, escalate. The Palestinians have EVERYTHING to gain in terms of bettering their lives by finding their way to a compromise, and everything to lose by just insisting on holding on to the past.

    As for Israel, they need to just back off and figure out a boundary that is fair (to both sides) and stick with that. Granted, if rockets keep coming their way, they have a right to retaliate -- and they should. Just because the Israelis are willing (and able) to retaliate in far greater force than the Palestinans can doesn't necessarily make them "The Bad Guys". STOP THE INSANITY already and join the 21st Century in peace and friendship. It is what is best for everyone yet, for some ridiculous religious-based reason I guess, neither side seems to be able to grasp that concept --- and so the madness continues....