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  1. #181  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You are right, there is no justification.

    OTOH, when you put a group of people into a hopeless situation, treat all of them as second class human beings (even though only a small part of them have done wrong), slowly but steadily take away their land (even though it is theirs according to all legal standards apart from the ones who take away the land), then you should not be surprised when some people start doing cruel, stupid, unjustifiable and desperate things.

    What would YOU do if you were a Palestinian living in a refugee camp in Gaza or the West Bank? Would you just give up and say yes to everything? After all, you could not not even go away, because you would not have any money, and who would take you?
    Let's go back to the drawing board. Israel, in 1948, hours after the UN has given it its independence, was attacked by the armies of Egypt, TransJordan, Syria and Iraq. Israel accepted the UN’s “partition” proposal (dividing the country in half, literally, by giving the Palestinians a portion of the country that runs through Israel). The Arab league rejected the idea. In that 1948 war (Israel’s War of Independence) Israel captured an area that is know as “pre-1967 war, post-1948 war.” Most Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war settled in the Gaza and West Bank.
    In 1967 (Six-Day War), Israel was again attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria. In that war Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza strip, from Jordan and Egypt. When people today say that Israel occupies the West Bank and Gaza strip (i.e took them from the Palestinians) it is utterly wrong. Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza strip from Jordan and Egypt, and Israel should return the occupied territories to Jordan and Egypt. Keep in mind that Jordan and Egypt occupied the West Bank and the Gaza strip between 1948-1967 and never thought about giving them to the Palestinians. There are many accounts of Jordanian and Egyptian atrocities towards the Palestinians between 1948 and 1967. But the Arab world, quite conveniently, has kept its mouth shut during that time.
    Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Barak, along with President Clinton, have offered Yasser Arafat some 95% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza strip (and 5% of the Negev as compensation) for peace. Arafat balked at the deal (due to an instrumental pressure from Syria and Hamas). The dilemma Barak has faced is the ultimate problem every Israeli leader has faced before: Who is calling the shots in the Palestinian leadership? Arafat, Hamas, the Fatach, or maybe Syria?
    There's no justification for Palestinians suicide bombing, and teaching young children, through an entrenched-curriculum, that Jews and Israelis are filthy beings.
    Finally, having said all that, I am strongly condemning some of Israel’s behavior against the Palestinians. Israel, at times, has gone too far in dealing with the Palestinians in regards to brutality and humiliations.
    Last edited by m00se; 05/14/2004 at 04:08 PM.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
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    #182  
    moose - wish I had something intelligent to add, but you seem to have hit the nail on the head.
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    #183  
    great article pertaining to the "democracy in Iraq" portion of this thread

    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...orld-headlines

    my 2 favorite lines....

    Burkholder recounted how a transitional Iraqi government minister initially told his team Iraqis would not talk to pollsters. But as soon as the minister left the room, another Iraqi laughed and told the Gallup pollster: "Don't pay any attention to him, he's been in Minneapolis for the last 19 years."

    "When we see the images of war and terror on the TV screen," Sahm said, "it's hard to believe that behind all of this, many Iraqis are leading normal lives and going about their business."
  4.    #184  
    Quote Originally Posted by m00se
    There's no justification for Palestinians suicide bombing, and teaching young children, through an entrenched-curriculum, that Jews and Israelis are filthy beings.
    Finally, having said all that, I am strongly condemning some of Israel’s behavior against the Palestinians. Israel, at times, has gone too far in dealing with the Palestinians in regards to brutality and humiliations.
    Thank you for the history lesson, but I am fully aware of it and could add one or two details. I have been picking apples in an Israeli Kibbutz for a few weeks, I had a very good time there, and I am by no means Anti-Israel in general. There are very nice and decent Jewish people in Israel, brave and intelligent and wise and generous and all, and there are very stupid, ultra-fundamentalist, racist, cruel, selfish, etc., ones, also on the Palestinian side by the way.

    Explanation and justification are not the same thing. If you treat people like Israel under Sharon treats the Palestinians, it is almost inevitable that mad people of the cruelest sort gain influence. Arab nations and the Palestinians have done lots of things wrong, namely back in in the times from 1948 to 1967, when Israel was struggling for survival and did an excellent job at that, admirable even in most part. But things are different now.

    Look at Sharon, Israel's leader. When he was young, he and his army unit have killed dozens of Palestinian civilians (including women and children) while taking revenge for Palestinian attacks in the early days of Israel. He is responsible for the massacre of more than 800 Palestinians (men, women, children) in Lebanon in 1982 while he was Israel's minister of defence, because he allowed christian militia forces allied to Israel to run amok in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps - for sure he knew what would happen and did nothing against it. Blood is dripping from his hands, and yet he is Bush's best friend in the Middle East... yuk! And, thanks to the US and their unwavering support, he is getting ever closer to his goal: taking full control over the West Bank, no matter how illeagal and unfair this may be.
  5. #185  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    ...I have been picking apples in an Israeli Kibbutz for a few weeks, I had a very good time there, and I am by no means Anti-Israel in general.
    Nice to hear that. I am a "Sabra," and a kibbutznik by birth.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Explanation and justification are not the same thing. If you treat people like Israel under Sharon treats the Palestinians, it is almost inevitable that mad people of the cruelest sort gain influence. Arab nations and the Palestinians have done lots of things wrong, namely back in in the times from 1948 to 1967, when Israel was struggling for survival and did an excellent job at that, admirable even in most part. But things are different now.
    Growing up in the sixties in Israel I can tell you first-hand about the potent and extremely unfair propaganda the Arab world, including the Palestinian leadership, had used. They have portrayed Israelis as savages and blood-sucking people. The Palestinians youth (we, as children, had a chance to see their textbooks) were reading school materials painting the Israelis in the most hideous colors. And that was some 40 years ago, when the West Bank and the Gaza strip were in the hands of Jordan and Egypt! So to tell me that today's Sharon's brutal ways in which he treats the Palestinians, explains the Palestinians behavior now, is just not enough. The Palestinian leadership and the Arab world have treated Israel in a ghastly way SINCE the creation of Israel. My point here is that even if tomorrow a Palestinian state is created, the hatred toward Israel would not stop. Indeed many Palestinians, and Hamas in particular, seek all of Israel, not just the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Read very carefully Hamas' 'literature,' and the original Palestinian Charter, and you will find this goal printed.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Look at Sharon, Israel's leader. When he was young, he and his army unit have killed dozens of Palestinian civilians (including women and children) while taking revenge for Palestinian attacks in the early days of Israel. He is responsible for the massacre of more than 800 Palestinians (men, women, children) in Lebanon in 1982 while he was Israel's minister of defence, because he allowed christian militia forces allied to Israel to run amok in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps - for sure he knew what would happen and did nothing against it. Blood is dripping from his hands...
    Sharon has a bloody past, I agree. So does Yasser Arafat. He ordered, in the seventies, terrorists from Lebanon to kill Israeli women, children and the elderly. Some of the kibbutzim in northern Israel suffered many casualties during that era. Also, Lebanese Christians in southern Lebanon suffered brutal treatments and torture by Arafat's thugs. Indeed Sharon, many say, is ultimately responsible for Sabra and Shatila's massacre by the Christian Lebanese. It was a horrible thing! But how can you fail to mention Arafat's involvement in Lebanon?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    ...he (Sharon) is getting ever closer to his goal: taking full control over the West Bank, no matter how illeagal and unfair this may be.
    I read Israeli newspaper almost daily online. Ha'haretz is a liberal and (often) anti Sharon paper. The paper lists criticism of Sharon by many Israelis. Polls show that most Israelis support a land-for-peace treaty, similar to the one Barak/Clinton have offered to Arafat. Most Israelis will even support the eradication of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank in exchange for peace. (Sharon himself wants to return the Gaza strip to the Palestinians entirely.) But again and again Arafat balks. What else do you want Israelis to do? Give up Tel-Aviv as well (as Hamas wants)? The reason Sharon is in power today is BECAUSE Arafat balked at Barak.
    culup, I hope Sharon will lose the elections, I really do. But Arafat had his chance with one of the most liberal Prime Ministers Israel has ever had (Barak). And I do hold Arafat accountable for that. So when you say: "What would YOU do if you were a Palestinian living in a refugee camp in Gaza or the West Bank?" I would say: Perhaps it is time for Arafat to go too, and give peace a chance!
    Last edited by m00se; 05/14/2004 at 10:19 PM.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain
  6. #186  
    [QUOTE=Schmoozer]Indeed everyone thought WMDs were in Iraq because prez Bush and staff took pain in convincing us they were. And we all fell for it. (Blix is not my president, BTW.)QUOTE]


    Actually, besides Blix and Bush, Clinton was also quoted as saying that he thought that Iraq had WMD as well. He said that he had access to all the intelligence that Bush had and that he thought they were there as well. Why didn't he do anything about it then you ask? The interview didn't ask but it seems to be consistent with his foreign policy.

    Where did the WMD go? I saw interview with Blix in which his recent flip flopping on the issue came under fire. The interviewer threw his "Iraq could have up to 40,000 liters of Anthrax" quote back at him and asked him where did it go. His explanation was that Iraq did have that material at one time but must've destroyed it during one of 12 large periods of time that Hussein violated the '91 Gulf War treaty by closing off the country to inspectors. Blix went onto say that his inspectors did look at the sites where they supposedly destroyed the material. He said that they could verify material had been destroyed there but there was no way to estimate any quantity. The impression I got was that as far as they could tell it could've been anywhere from 40 liters to 40,000. There was just no way they could tell whether it was a trick or legit.

    I can understand thinking Bush lied, but why would Clinton - or Blix? I think the administration genuinely thought there were WMD in Iraq. For better or worse - they were WRONG. I think the curveball was that Iraq destroyed the material while its borders were closed to inspectors. No one could've seen that one coming. Why would a ruthless dictator like Hussein do something like that? I guess he wanted to secretly comply with the treaty to get sanctions lifted but wanted to keep his enemies in fear of the weapons. Pretty ironic how well the later part worked. He had no weapons left to turn over and no proof that he had destroyed them.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  7. #187  
    Quote Originally Posted by m00se
    I read Israeli newspaper almost daily online. Ha'haretz is a liberal and (often) anti Sharon paper. The paper lists criticism of Sharon by many Israelis. Polls show that most Israelis support a land-for-peace treaty, similar to the one Barak/Clinton have offered to Arafat. Most Israelis will even support the eradication of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank in exchange for peace. (Sharon himself wants to return the Gaza strip to the Palestinians entirely.) But again and again Arafat balks. What else do you want Israelis to do? Give up Tel-Aviv as well (as Hamas wants)? The reason Sharon is in power today is BECAUSE Arafat balked at Barak.
    culup, I hope Sharon will lose the elections, I really do. But Arafat had his chance with one of the most liberal Prime Ministers Israel has ever had (Barak). And I do hold Arafat accountable for that. So when you say: "What would YOU do if you were a Palestinian living in a refugee camp in Gaza or the West Bank?" I would say: Perhaps it is time for Arafat to go too, and give peace a chance!
    I'm neither Jewish nor Arab but used to follow this conflict very intently to figure out what was going on and which side was more to blame. I quickly found that there was plenty of blood and blame to go around on both sides.

    All the blood from the last four years though is squarely on Arafat's hands. As mOOse mentions, at the end of Clinton's administation he had worked with Arafat and Barak to get the Palestinians, what I would call the Deal of a Lifetime, when Barak offered to give back the Gaza strip and West Bank minus Jerusalem to create a Palestinian nation. It would've actually required moving Israeli citizens from the area. Barak literally stuck his neck on the chopping block to make this offer to the Palestinians. He was getting death threats from his own people who couldn't fathom the idea of giving up that much. But to Barak, the thought of finally having peace was worth such a high price. To me, Barak was a brave hero. So what did Arafat do? He said that there would be no deal unless the Israelis gave up all of Jerusalem as well!!?! Why did he do such a crazy thing you ask? Because he had made a promise to all his hardcores years ago that there would be no peace without a Palestinian Jerusalem. One stinking city versus having a whole nation of their own. A place their children could grow up in peace. In my opinion, Arafat was getting A LOT more on table than what he was bargaining with already. They were going from having no land - to having a whole nation!!! And all they were giving up for it was killing people.

    The definition of compromise is that neither side is happy with a deal. And the bottomline is that while Barak was brave enough to risk his own life by angering his own people for peace, Arafat wasn't. Either he was too afraid of his own people, or wasn't a strong enough leader to control them, or he just wanted to go on killing Israelis. The Israeli people must've decided it was the later beacause the Israelis responded by voting Barak out of office in place of Sharon knowing his brutal history with the Palestinians.

    I have bashed Clinton for some other things in this thread - but Arafat should've jumped on that deal and Clinton should have won the Nobel Peace Prize for it. It should've been the one truely remarkable accomplishment Bill had that could not be tarnished by ANYTHING. And I still give him a lot of credit for what should've been less the smallmindnesses of Arafat.

    I am convinced that there will never be any peace while Arafat is in charge. The Clinton administration found that out and that's why the Bush administration wants him out.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  8. #188  
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoozer
    Now, please-please, with all candid, answer this: Kim Jong Il's, North Korean’s leader, is also a terrible-horrible-horrifying man. His atrocities towards his own people are well documented. He does have a nuclear bomb at his bedside. Why in world president Bush does not go after him? If the main reason for invading Iraq was WMD, indeed North Korea should have been invaded as well.
    For cying out loud!! Are you saying you want us to invade N Korea now too?!?!? Would you at least let us get out of Iraq first? You stinking war hawk!
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  9. #189  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So we still have the same question: either Bush and his team lied, or they are totally incompetent when in comes to judging reality and the basis for their decision to go to war. Maybe you are right, maybe Bush did believe in the WMD crap himself. Only that this would not make it any better, because then we know he bases his decisions on crap - not just some decision, but a decision that cost the lives of about 5'000 to 10'000 innocent Iraqi civilians (plus about twice as many Iraqi soldiers, plus about 880 coalition deaths, etc.), numbers rising.
    I HATE all this crap about people talking about how concerned they are about innocent Iraqi civilian lives!!!! Don't get me wrong - I don't want to see people die but if you're going to talk numbers then don't forget that over Hussein's 30 years in power more than 300,000 innocent Iraqi civilians were murdered (that we know of) . That averages about 10,000 people a year. Why aren't you concerned about THOSE PEOPLE that died?!? Why are their premeditated murders insignificant to you compared to the accidental deaths that occurred during their liberation? Were you railing Hussein as vehemently all those years it was going on? If you weren't, then you're using civilian deaths during the war as more of an argument than a genuine humane concern. If you're going to talk numbers of civilians, it is just as easy to say how could Bush not go to war and condemn another 10,000 Iraqi civilians to murder this year - and 10,000 more next year and so on.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
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    #190  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-C
    The interview didn't ask but it seems to be consistent with his foreign policy.
    you had a lot of catching up to do.....

    wrt foreign policy, remember, it was "the economy, stupid." Clinton had little of no foreign policy, other than a lot of show stops. had he put the hammer down on Arafat, or had a rep for using the hammer, maybe Arafat would have accepted the deal - something like option 1 - you take the deal, option 2 - we take you out....
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    #191  
    can you imagine what Albright was like in closed door meetings when you hear what she has to say now in the open - she's a little scary.....
  12. #192  
    Some points as I understand them:

    The Clinton deal as reported in several sources involved Israel keeping control of most of the West Bank settlements & East Jerusalem (apart from a small block) + the borders, military posts etc, leaving Palestinian control of around half of the West Bank. As the West Bank is just 22% of the land west of the Jordan river, this would mean the land would be shared around 89% Israel 11% Palestinian, when 60 years ago around 95% of it was Palestinian. In addition there was nothing for the refugees forced out in 1948. This clearly was unfair, unjust and countary to UN Resolution 242. While I hold Arafat in contempt he was right to reject it - it was an unjust offer.

    - UN Resolutions ignored by Israel. If you search on the net for "Israel UN Resolutions" you'll see various lists between 28 - 62 depending on how counted. The most important is UN Resolution 242, which has been accepted in principal by Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon etc but not by Israel. This rejection is the root cause of the ongoing violence - if Israel wanted peace above all it would accept the terms of this resolution and return fully to its 1967 border, which as noted, would give it a huge 78% of the disputed land - an amazing offer that I'm continually surprised that Israel rejects. The fact is the government (ie Likud and those to the right) want land more than peace.

    - Terrorism. Living in the UK I have experienced the effects of terrorist and totally reject it. However the most important thing is to continue to do the right thing regardless of terrorism. If it is right to do land for peace then terrorism should not be used as an excuse to reject such an agreement and continue an injustice. Another argument is that if the UK government had replied to the IRA by bombing innocent Irish villages and invading the Irish Republic and declaring Dublin and eternal UK city, would that have increased or decreased the chances for peace? It is as wrong to blame all Palestinians for the outrages of a minority as it would to blame all Irish for the IRA or all Americans for the Oklahoma bombing.

    - After the 2nd world war the Palestinians were driven by force and terrror from their lands by what became the Israelis. They were the victims of this injustice because of their race, their land was taken by those who were selecting on racial grounds. It was this original injustice that started the Israel - Palestinian conflict and which Israel refuses to acknowledge despite extensive historical evidence (Stern gang etc)

    I believe that all people should have equal rights regardless of nationality, colour, religion etc and until the Palestinians have been given those rights can't see a hope for peace in the Middle East.
  13.    #193  
    Quote Originally Posted by m00se
    ...
    culup, I hope Sharon will lose the elections, I really do. But Arafat had his chance with one of the most liberal Prime Ministers Israel has ever had (Barak). And I do hold Arafat accountable for that. So when you say: "What would YOU do if you were a Palestinian living in a refugee camp in Gaza or the West Bank?" I would say: Perhaps it is time for Arafat to go too, and give peace a chance!
    I agree with everything you wrote. I have to say I see the situation quite pessimistic. Assuming the majority of the Israeli population would agree to give up the settlements in the West Bank, how would the militant orthodox jews in Israel react? After all, it was a jew who killed Rabin. Orthodox jews have more children than secular jews in Israel. How will that affect the Israeli population and how the majority of votes? What are the prospects of Palestinians in the West Bank under these circumstances?

    Also the situation on the Palestinian side is not promising. Probably you are right and Arafat should go away. But who will come afterwards? You expect Palestinians to change their leader and find a more reasonable, peace seeking one. Can we really hope for that given the circumstances the Palestinians e.g. in Gaza grew up with?
  14. #194  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    ...Assuming the majority of the Israeli population would agree to give up the settlements in the West Bank, how would the militant orthodox jews in Israel react?
    Good question. It was Manachem Begin, another Likud PM (as Sharon is), who signed a peace treaty with Egyptian Anwar al-Sadat, and removed all settlements in the Sinai! The orthodox Jews cried foul, protested and cursed. But Begin ordered the police and the military to put the settlers on buses and drive them back into Israel proper. Barak, I believe, would have done the same, in the West Bank, given an Israeli support. Orthodox Jews are still a minority in Israel, thank goodness.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    What are the prospects of Palestinians in the West Bank under these circumstances?
    Palestinians need to decide for themselves wether they want a democracy or an anarchy in the West Bank and Gaza strip. If a peace treaty is signed with Israel, Palestinians can prosper with Israel's economic-might in the region. Prior to the Intifada, more Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza strip worked in Israel than in Egypt and Jordan combined!
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You expect Palestinians to change their leader and find a more reasonable, peace seeking one. Can we really hope for that given the circumstances the Palestinians e.g. in Gaza grew up with?
    It is possible. A prosperous future is better than the current hatred and ruins. It is not, however, only a matter of a new leader. Palestinians are very divided. There are many factions vying for leadership (Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Fatach and more). Hamas, at this points, refuses any negotiations with Israel. This organization (for a lack of a better word; some call it a terrorist group: But I am being open-minded about it), wants all of Israel. So who knows?
    Last edited by m00se; 05/15/2004 at 10:36 PM.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
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  15. #195  
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    Some points as I understand them...
    I beg the difference, but this is not about how you understand, or I understand, the points. This is about understanding history. And may I suggest a wonderful reading by Mark Tessler called: "A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Mr. Tessler is not an Israeli nor is he a Palestinian. He is not Jewish nor Moslem. He's an American professor specializes in Comparative Politics and Middle East Studies. He has attended university and/or conducted field research in Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, and Palestine (West Bank and Gaza). He is one of the very few American scholars to have studied and lived for extended periods in both the Arab world and Israel. He has also spent several years teaching and consulting in Sub-Saharan Africa. He presents many documents and interviews in his book and maintains neutral and fair reflections.
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    The Clinton deal as reported in several sources involved Israel keeping control of most of the West Bank settlements & East Jerusalem (apart from a small block) + the borders, military posts etc, leaving Palestinian control of around half of the West Bank. As the West Bank is just 22% of the land west of the Jordan river, this would mean the land would be shared around 89% Israel 11% Palestinian...
    I am confused about your numbers, and I stand by mine. Barak has offered 95% of the West Bank. It did include parts of East Jerusalem. What do you mean that "the West Bank is just 22% of the land west of the Jordan river"? The West Bank is an area israel occupied from Jordan, and it is a measurable area. How in the world did you figure that 89% of it will be shared by Israel? This is utterly wrong! Your numbers just don't add up.
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    when 60 years ago around 95% of it was Palestinian. In addition there was nothing for the refugees forced out in 1948. This clearly was unfair, unjust and countary to UN Resolution 242. While I hold Arafat in contempt he was right to reject it - it was an unjust offer.
    60 years ago the West Bank belonged to Jordan, therefore it was under Jordanian occupation. When you say that 95% of it (West Bank) was Palestinian, please be clear about this: 60% of today's Jordan's population is Palestinian! It was the British that created Jordan and gave it to King Abdalah, a heir to the Saudi Arabian kingdom.
    Professor Tessler, and others, provide many documents dealing with the 1948's refugees. The refugees were NOT forced out. The Palestinian refugees were afraid of the 1948 Israeli-Arab war and chose to flee. Israel did not kick them out. Israel did not threatened them.
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    UN Resolutions ignored by Israel. If you search on the net for "Israel UN Resolutions" you'll see various lists between 28 - 62 depending on how counted.
    The membership roster of the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission says it all. Some of those stalwart, exemplary nations include Libya ,Syria ,Sudan , and other rogue states that support terror and daily commit major violations of human rights.* It looks more like a lineup before a vice squad, or a ''Who's Who of Mass Murderers!'' It's the fox guarding the U.N. hen house! Have you ever counted how many Moslem countries are members of the UN. All of them but Turkey, vote against Israel routinely!
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    The most important is UN Resolution 242, which has been accepted in principal by Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon etc but not by Israel. This rejection is the root cause of the ongoing violence - if Israel wanted peace above all it would accept the terms of this resolution and return fully to its 1967 border, which as noted, would give it a huge 78% of the disputed land - an amazing offer that I'm continually surprised that Israel rejects. The fact is the government (ie Likud and those to the right) want land more than peace.
    UN Resolution 242 was the second most important resolution concerning Israel and the Arab World (Palestinians are not mentioned in the UN Resolution 242 by name!). The most important one was UN Partition Plan of 1947. That plan gave the Jews one part of "Palestine" and the Palestinians the other part. Israel would have ended up with half the size of its pre-1967 war! And it accepted the Partition Plan, nevertheless. The Arab League REJECTED that Plan and waged a war against Israel.
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    It is as wrong to blame all Palestinians for the outrages of a minority as it would to blame all Irish for the IRA or all Americans for the Oklahoma bombing.
    Of course: I couldn't agree with you more! I blame Arafat and Hamas and a few other factions, not the entire Palestinian population. (A note to Arafat: school curriculum that depicts Israelis as blood-sucking savages won't advance peace efforts in the future either.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    After the 2nd world war the Palestinians were driven by force and terrror from their lands by what became the Israelis. They were the victims of this injustice because of their race, their land was taken by those who were selecting on racial grounds. It was this original injustice that started the Israel - Palestinian conflict and which Israel refuses to acknowledge despite extensive historical evidence (Stern gang etc)
    This is the most outrageous, inappropriate and found-less comment I have ever read. And I have read quite a few. Again, read Tessler. Read historians that provide fair and honest accounts of that time period. The so-called Stern Gang was a radical group that most Jews rejected then and now. They fought the British which occupied (yes the British occupied the land as well!) Palestine. You, yourself, said that it won't be fair to call all Palestinians terrorists and yet you paint all Israelis as such. Shame on you!
    Again: UN Partition Plan of 1947 (accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arab League) called for two nations to live in peace: Israel and Palestine.
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    I believe that all people should have equal rights regardless of nationality, colour, religion etc and until the Palestinians have been given those rights can't see a hope for peace in the Middle East.
    You have ignored the rights of Israelis to live in peace in the Middle East as well. Until president Clinton stood behind him, Yasser Arafat did not change the words in the Palestinian Charter accepting Israel's right to exist. In fact, the Hamas, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Afghanistan (to name a few) still do not recognize Israel's right to exist.
    I DO recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza strip.
    Last edited by m00se; 05/15/2004 at 10:46 PM.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain
  16. #196  
    I totally support the rights of the Israeli's to live in peace in the Middle East secure within the 1967 internationally agreed border. I do not support the view that the Israeli's have the right to take Palestinian land & oppress the Palestinians and still live in peace - its a bit like a mugger saying all he wants to do is live in peace with his gains!

    The Clinton peace deal was structured in such a way as to allow two interpretations, hence my use of the word "control" not sovereignty. It was structured such that the Palestinians would have sovereignty over a large part of the West Bank (as you say, much more than 50%) but over large parts Israel would keep "control" (ie so that the settlements and military posts could remain). Its a bit like saying transfer your money to my bank account - it will still be in some sense "your" money but I'll have control including the right to use it how I like. The position on East Jerusalem was even more subtle: the Palestinians would have sovereignty over the buildings of the temple complex (though not the majority of E.Jerusalem) but Israel the underlying land! The net result is that had it been signed Israel would have control of the majority of the west bank / east jerusalem (to sell to the home market) while giving the impression to the international market they were meeting the requirements of UN Res. 242 (which it wasn't). From my trips to the US my observations have been that as the Clinton administration did not want to upset Israel, it let the Palestinians be the fall guy and did not explain to the US people these details. I've heard what you quoted in US media but typically from either Clinton officials (buck passing) or Israeli lobbyists. The Palestinian view I've only heard outside the US.

    I haven't read the book you mentioned but will look out for it. I've read other books, both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. My opinion is that there is sufficient evidence for some Israeli gangs (as you say not all immigrants) committing extreme human rights abuse such as massacres on Palestinians to be able to say it did happen and at least some Palestinians were forced out by either violence or fear of violence.

    However to move the debate on, however they left was it right that they are unable to return? For example, if the population of a US city was told a terrorist attack was inevitable and they were scared by horrific reports in newspapers and tv and decided to take a few weeks away, and then it appeard all was ok, would it be all right for al-Qaeda members to prevent non-muslims in returning and to take the homes of non-muslims on the grounds that they had been abandoned? If the majority of Israeli's rejected the position of the Stern gang then shouldn't these refugees have been welcomed back?

    (And I am well aware of the British occupation, the exact wording of the Balfour declaration, and how the decision to withdrawl was effected by terrorism by pro-Israeli gangs)

    If a complaint of Israel is that the Palestinians and Arabs did not accept the partition plan in 1947, then why is it that Israel is (as I said) the only state that does not accept UN Resolution 242? There is a difference between the following positions:
    Syria: we do not recognise Israel but if they were to acccept UN Resolution 242 (and withdraw from the Golan Heights) we would accept it also (and recognise Israel)
    and:
    Israel: we do not accept UN Resolution 242 as the basis for peace

    The first is a conditional acceptance, the second a blanket rejection. The problem with Syria etc recognising Israel without pre-conditions is it underminds their negotiating position - as Arafat found out when he was forced or tricked into playing that game. The result was that Israel took everything he gave (recognising Israel within 1967 borders) and said in that case the negotiation is about how much of west bank etc to hand over rather than recognising that for the Palestinians to loose the land within 1967 borders was a huge loss and compromise.
  17. #197  
    Let me play the devil's advocate for a minute (please know that I don't subscribe to this view, but it has merit on its own turf). There are many Jews AND Christians that believe that the Jews have the right to return to the Promised Land, a land extending from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea. This land was a). Promised to the Jews (according to the bible) by God, and b). The Jews indeed lived in the Promised Land some 5,000 years ago. There are many documents (Masada fortress is a fascinating one), showing that the Romans expelled the Jews from the Promised Land, and only until after the Second World War that they were "officially" allowed back (Jews continued to live in the Promise Land for thousands years though, in some capacity). I am Playing the devil's advocate to explain how impossible it is to go back in time and readjust the situation. The Jews simply can't get back that land; their expulsion happened many years ago. The Native Americans (Indians) can't get the entire land they once lived in back. The Palestinians can't get back all the land they once lived in. Historical events are often cruel and unfair, but that's the way history goes. The Palestinians should be able to go back to the West Bank and the Gaza strip. All of it. Period. But not Tel Aviv, or Haifa or Natania. Nuff said about this issue.
    Regarding the UN resolution 242. You hit it right on the head: The main reason Israel has refused the resolution is because it called for Israel to go back to the Pre-'67 border and, in exchange, the Arab world would accept Israel's right to exist. Israel was suspicious, and rightly so. Before the '67 war the Arab world didn't accept Israel's right to exist and now, after they lost the war, they do? Many Israelis thought that it was a trick.
    Regardless. As an Israeli-American I believe (and I do think I am still in the majority) that there's a Palestinian country: It belongs in the West Bank and Gaza strip. All settlements must go. Jerusalem needs to be divided up, somehow, between Israel and the Palestinians.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain
  18.    #198  
    Quote Originally Posted by m00se
    Regardless. As an Israeli-American I believe (and I do think I am still in the majority) that there's a Palestinian country: It belongs in the West Bank and Gaza strip. All settlements must go. Jerusalem needs to be divided up, somehow, between Israel and the Palestinians.
    Again, I perfectly agree with you. "All settlements must go" sounds good, but it would already be quite a step for present day Israel if the settlements would stop growing in size and number and at a growing speed... If you are in the majority, why are the settlements growing?

    Forgive me if I do not look it up, but isn't it resolution 242 that also mentions the right for the Palestinian refugees to go back to where they came from? This is a crucial point that was not mentioned yet. If the Palestinian refugees go back, Israel ceases to exist because jews would become a minority in Israel. Denying Palestinians the right to go back is unjust because of the reasons jpahl described. Palestinians will never accept any ageement that does not take care of this issue - even though many Palestinians may have accepted by now that fairness is more than they can hope for.

    Please note: I am also aware of the fact that Palestinians more often than not have been unfair to the Jewish population in Palestine/Israel. However the historical balance of unfairness may be, it is clear that currently Israel is in a far stronger position than the Palestinians, and has by far the better means of being unfair than the other side.

    What certainly does not make the international situation easier is the fact that many fundamentalist christians and other ultra-conservative Americans have started supporting Sharon's view of the conflict. Since Bush shares many of their views and wants their votes, he has destroyed the former US position of a negotiator and now acts as Sharon's pal. This is another aspect of his stupidity that causes a lot of trouble on a worldwide basis.
  19. #199  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Forgive me if I do not look it up, but isn't it resolution 242 that also mentions the right for the Palestinian refugees to go back to where they came from? This is a crucial point that was not mentioned yet. If the Palestinian refugees go back, Israel ceases to exist because jews would become a minority in Israel. Denying Palestinians the right to go back is unjust because of the reasons jpahl described. Palestinians will never accept any ageement that does not take care of this issue - even though many Palestinians may have accepted by now that fairness is more than they can hope for.
    Interestingly enough, resolution 242 does not mention the Palestinians by name and there's a reason for that: Jordan and Egypt, at the time the resolution was written, wanted the occupied territories back to themselves. Pay close attention to the fact that Jordan and Egypt were never big advocates for the Palestinian cause. But that's a different issue.
    In your statement above, culup, you precisely described the dilemma in regards to the Palestinians "rights of return" issue. Should all Palestinians go back to the pre-’67 Israel, Israel would cease to exist. Yet the Palestinians have the right to ask to go back. That’s why I played the devil’s advocate in my comments to jpahl: How FAR back to you go with the “rights of return” issue? Why should the Jews be refused to go back to the Promised Land? The Jews lived in that area for thousands of years. There are plenty of Jewish shrines in the West Bank to support that view, along with documents dating to the Roman Empire era.
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain
  20. #200  
    UN Res. 242 says "a just settlement to the refugee problem" - which could include options other than return, it could be compensation or offer of return or compensation (ie have right but actually many wouldn't take it as a) money would be better and b) many Palestinians wouldn't want to live in Israel anyhow). The key point is that the refugees do have rights, and a) to ignore them is to do an injustice and b) for Palestinians to waive that right is a compromise that should impact negotiations.

    But as to the question of when do rights go away, thats a very interesting problem.

    Take two extremes:
    Hundreds of years: we brits came from France, Germany, Scandinavia, the German tribes came from Russia, Turks came from Mongolia, we all came from Africa. Clearly it would be inmpossible/chaotic to permit land grabs on this time frame and hence there is no legal or moral justification for Jewish "return" to claim Israel (and the religous arguement even more explosive and unacceptable)
    10 weeks: after ethnically cleansing albanians from kosovo, could the serbs keep the land after they've gone for 10 weeks? I think not.

    So where is the boundary? My personal view is the 100 years seems about right as that is the maximum lifetime of someone who might be effected. Certainly it would be a huge injustice if the Palestinians did not get their rights.

    But would their return be so bad? There has been some discussion about how Palestinians should respond to Bush/Sharon tearing up the road map, international law, and UN Resolutions. One approach is to say fine, ok if we're negotiating from scratch then it should be on the principal that everyone is equal regardless of race, religion etc, leaving two options:
    a) split the displuted land (ie that west of the jordan) according to population. This would give Palestine 40% Israel 60% (cf res. 242 at 22% to 78%), or:
    b) a single state what all people live in regardless of race/religion etc

    We live in a world where all states are increasingly multi-cultural: while there certainly would be difficulties with a single-state solution it is ethically the simplist. The problem is if Israel continues to reject Res. 242 then Palestinians have to consider the alternatives they have. Israel (as shown today) will continue to try to force their will on Palestinians. But in 20 years there will be more Palestinians than Israelis - so they can afford to wait.

    I hope we can agree that the best solution would be for Israel to return to its 1967 border and a Palestine State to be allowed to exist in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, with some form of compensation for all refugees (Jewish and Palestinian) who have lost property over the last 55 years.
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