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What the world needs now
March 12, 2002 10:15 PM   Subscribe

What the world needs now is more plain talk from leaders like Kofi Annan, thinkers like Amos Oz, and soldiers like Yesh Gvul.
posted by subpixel (34 comments total)

 
Now when will we get something more than raised eyebrows from the Bush administration?
posted by subpixel at 10:17 PM on March 12, 2002


I'm not real sympathetic to either side, but when the Israelis are marking numbers on people you have to wonder...
posted by owillis at 10:19 PM on March 12, 2002


Yesh Gvul is a soldier's movement. The soldier who wrote this piece was Ishai Menuchin.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:49 PM on March 12, 2002


Kofi Annan, a "leader"? Heh.
posted by dagny at 1:11 AM on March 13, 2002


Not to be overly cycnical but (1) Kofi also said that the Palestinaisn must cease their babaric attacks upon schoolbuses and other civilians, (2) the UN declared that the Palestinians ught to have a state: they did that in '47 and the arabs turned it down...and the new "state" says nothing whatsoever about who gets and does what...merely declares that a state would be nice...Even Israeli has said that. And Syria , a terror state, sits on security Council and Israel is not allowed to The Peace thing in Israel has not really gone beyond some 250 soldiers, who will serve in places other than the occupied territories.
Let' see what the Arab League does about the Saudi initiative.
posted by Postroad at 3:53 AM on March 13, 2002


From the first article: "In a poll by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, published today, 46 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens said they supported the "transfer" of Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza, presumably to an Arab nation."

What does that sound like?


> Palestinaisn must cease their babaric attacks ...
Make them leave the beloved King of the Elephants alone!

posted by pracowity at 4:18 AM on March 13, 2002


Thankfully, Israeli are finally getting serious about defending themselves. As for the UN, what Postroad said. Also, Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is not "illegal," although the wars waged against Israel were. Hope the tanks and raids go on for a while: a few months at least.

Also, shame on the media for equating what Israel is doing with what Palestinan terrorists are.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:22 AM on March 13, 2002


Paris,

I think that both sides need to back off and take a breather (not that I see it happening anytime soon). That being said, I think that Isreal's recent incursions into the Ramallah and the West Bank show a chilling and sinister side of Isreal's policy: segregating the male population from the rest of the refugee population. (see the sixth paragraph)
posted by smcniven at 6:05 AM on March 13, 2002


something that much of the people usually forgets is that all the jews that lived in israel, when that nation was created, were emmigrants; usually refugees and survivors from WWII, from europe and russia. the jews haven't lived in palestine since biblical times. when the world knew about what german nazis did to jews, everyone agreed that they should live in the holy land. nevertheless, palestinians have lived there since the dawn of humankind, since babylonia and mesopotamia. jews haven't been living there. that land has always belong to palestinians. israelis are the people who must leave. they dominate the place because the us has always give them military weapons. but if you watch, that zone is completely arab… the true invasors have always been israelis.
posted by trismegisto at 6:20 AM on March 13, 2002


Hope the tanks and raids go on for a while: a few months at least.

I guess we come from different planets Paris. Nothing can justify this to me. If, as you appear to me to think, tank incursions into Palestinian controlled areas are the very embodiment of righteousness and justice, they automatically lose that status by firing the main gun of a Main Battle Tank at unverified targets in residential areas. OK? That's just wrong. It's not a mistake, it's not an accident, it's just plain indiscriminate shelling of residential areas. Do I need to explain why that is wrong?

If you want the moral high ground, take steps to ensure it is yours. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, shell civilians.

Let's shift context for a minute and see if you feel the same way:

How would you view the matter if British tanks had rolled through Belfast and Derry shooting indiscriminately at vehicles *thought* to contain the likes of Adams or McGuiness in the mid to late seventies? Good, bad, indifferent?

Many in your city might feel that doing this in Palestine is good. Equal (?) numbers would feel that doing it in NI is bad. It is these acts that come to define how the sides in the conflict are viewed, and history *will* record that Isreal did these murderous things.

This is not to say that the Palestinians have my unqualified support. They don't. Like I said, you just don't do these things.
posted by vbfg at 6:21 AM on March 13, 2002


Hope the tanks and raids go on for a while: a few months at least.

Here's a toast to terror, oppression and death!!!

Seriously Paris, what's wrong with you? Do you not even consider the Palestinians human?
posted by thewittyname at 7:19 AM on March 13, 2002


Trismegisto. It's not true to say Jews haven't lived in Palestine since biblical times. There hasn't been control over this area by Jewish people since biblical times. The two statements are synonymous only to those who wish them to be.
posted by vbfg at 7:59 AM on March 13, 2002


Paris: despite what you might read, not everyone here disagrees with you.

The Isreali's have a right to self-defense. When your people are being sniped at and blown up, that includes the right to take the fight to the homes of those responsible.

The Palestinians want peace? They had a chance before Sharon. They turned it down because they didn't get everything they wanted - apparently not understanding what "negotiation" means.

They never wanted peace. They want Isreal to go away. Instead of truthful negotiations they asked the unreasonable and used it as an excuse for their further terrorist actions when they were turned down.

If Arafat - a terrorist himself - wanted peace he would take out Hamas and the other killers in his midst. I leave the reasons for his not doing so as an exercise for the reader.

The PLO is a terrorist organization. They need to be treated as such in the harshest way possible.

And yes, I used "terrorist" a lot here. It actually applies, believe it or not.
posted by hadashi at 8:03 AM on March 13, 2002


It's a powerful word, and it applies whether controlled under the direction of a state, a loose collection of 'terrorists' or a united front of disperate bodies of men.
posted by vbfg at 8:10 AM on March 13, 2002


palestinians have lived there since the dawn of humankind, since babylonia and mesopotamia. jews haven't been living there. - trismegisto

Well, that certainly is odd, considering that the Jews were living in the 'holy land' under the babylonians. Hence the term babylonian exile. The Jews have a strong claim to Jerusalem and 'Israel' as we know it. So do the Muslims. Their claim starts later, since their religion starts later, but Arabs and Jews have been living side by side in that part of the world for a very long time.

To get back to the post, I think that's what Amos Oz is saying. They've got to get past the past. They're fighting a fight that can't be won.
posted by zpousman at 8:14 AM on March 13, 2002


Clearly, the Palestinians have larger strategic plans, that has never changed all these years.
posted by semmi at 8:15 AM on March 13, 2002


The PLO is a terrorist organization. They need to be treated as such in the harshest way possible.

And yes, I used "terrorist" a lot here. It actually applies, believe it or not.


That's how Dick Cheney justified his vote against a 1986 resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and recognition of the African National Congress (ANC).
posted by astirling at 9:04 AM on March 13, 2002


here is the site for the israeli soldiers who are refusing to serve in the territories, and the campaign of american supporters of the group.
posted by judith at 9:35 AM on March 13, 2002


From this article:

When, almost ten years ago, Yitzhak Shamir lost his bid for reelection as Israel’s prime minister, he gave a remarkably frank interview to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv. Mr. Shamir stated that, if reelected, he would have dragged out Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for ten years while settling a further half a million Jews in the occupied Palestinian territories. (Actually, he referred to “souls” rather than to “Jews” and to “Judea, Samaria and Gaza” rather than to the occupied Palestinian territories, but everyone knew what he meant.) He thereby made clear that it was never his intention that the “peace process” launched at the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference should, in fact, lead to peace.
------------------------------------------------------

Which is exactly what happened. Successive Israeli leaders stocked the territories (and yes, they are illegally held under pretty much everyone's definition, including the United Sates') with rabid settlers, built up massive military structures to defend them, and put the entire Palestinian population under lockdown to maintain their grip on the land they conquered through war.

It was inevitable that a resistance movement would form if the 'peace process' went the way extemists like Shamir wanted it to. What people in the world would submit to being ruled by a harsh, racist military? Especially when that rule involves daily killing, beating, and humiliation of men, women, and children.

Their tactics may be those of terrorists, but what are they fighting for? Freedom. What are the Israelis fighting for??? To maintain their grip on the water and land resources they conquered in a war that they launched (yes it was a pre-emptive strike, but Israel had clear designs on Jerusalem and the West Bank). And even though Israel has a massive army, a partially-democratic society, and all the benefits of being one of the world's wealthiest per-capita states, they are still engaging in just as terroristic acts against a civilian population.

I will take freedom for a stateless people over more conquering by a borderline explicitly racist state any day. I believe in Israel's right to exist, but not at the expense of other people.
posted by cell divide at 9:56 AM on March 13, 2002


The Isreali's have a right to self-defense. When your people are being sniped at and blown up, that includes the right to take the fight to the homes of those responsible.

How about :
The palestinian's have a right to self-defense. When your people are being ousted from homes using military tanks and blown up by F16's and kids being shot at, that includes the right to take the fight to the homes of those responsible.

The settlements in the occupied territory are a joke. The people living there are immigrants from europe who dont have to work. All they do is make babies. The Israeli government pays them to have more babies. They can carry weapons including AK 47's and also protected by Israeli tanks and army.

The last peace process didnt fail because the Palestinians didnt know how to negotiate. It failed because the Israelis didnt agree to the right of the Refugees to come back to their lands. Because the Israelis fear that this will change the population equation. All those refugees driven and terrorized out of the occupied lands, have the God given right to come back.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:04 AM on March 13, 2002


Cell Divide: you are 93% wrong, but thankfully it doesn't matter. Because, Israel will NEVER cede East Jerusalem, or critical portions of the West Bank. As for the remainder of the disputed lands, whatever Shamir wanted he's not alive; and said lands they're available for a new Palestinian state as soon as there's some suggestion that such a state will not be that of terrorists. Of course, should the Palestinans create such a state, they will be faced with the reality it is still, at least as poor (in every sense of the word) as every other Arab/Muslim country, and needs Israel to alter that reality.

Of course II: Most of the Arab and Muslim world needs Jews to be devil to "explain" said world's poverty, ignorance and lack of democracy. So all Israel can do is continue what it has been doing: defending itself, and hoping those that surround it evolve. And quickly. Don't hold your breathe.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:16 AM on March 13, 2002


93% wrong? Please enlighten me what the 7% I got right in your mind is. I want to make sure to excise that part of my brain. And the point was not Shamir's words, but how they came true exactly as he wanted them.

Do you understand by saying "critical portions of the West Bank" you're effectively saying there can never been a viable and independent Palestinian state?

Anyway it's better to have a free, natural, poor state then have one that has been made poor by Israel and its military rule. I bet you have no clue about Israeli 'business licenses' or the illegal Israeli factories on west bank land, or 'internal work permits,' just a few of the tactics that have been employed by the Israelis over the past 30 years to ensure that Palestine is poor.

Even if it's the poorest country in the world, it's better than living under oppressive military rule where your life is worthless.
posted by cell divide at 10:39 AM on March 13, 2002


The last peace process failed because the Palestinians had an idiot/s negotiating. Even if the Palestinans wanted "right of return" (however myth-laden that is), or East Jerusalem, they would have been in a much better position to take what was offered, and go from there, or make a counter-offer.

The Palestinans have a long way to go before the settlements are a sticking point. The bottom line, for the foreseeable future, is that the Palestinans have to demonstrate they aren't about to create a Second Lebanon/Syria/Egypt. Until they get their own act together, claims of "settlements must go" or whatever, are a sham.

And, by the way, the settlements will go.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:48 AM on March 13, 2002


Oppressive military rule? Sounds like Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, to me. Also, it's not like the Israeli tanks in the refugee camps or being met by bb guns or revolvers.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:51 AM on March 13, 2002


Why build settlements if they would eventually have to go ? Why import more jewish people from europe into those settlements if these people eventually wont have a place to live in ? Why encourage these people to have more babies and increase there population when the houses they live in will eventaually have to go ?

Is the state of Israel using these settlements and immigrant jews as a buffer zone between itself and the Palestinians ? I wouldnt like to think so. But your argument that the settlements will go does make it sound like that.

And to say that The last peace process failed because the Palestinians had an idiot/s negotiating. Even if the Palestinans wanted "right of return" (however myth-laden that is), or East Jerusalem, they would have been in a much better position to take what was offered, and go from there, or make a counter-offer, is naive Paris. The environment was one of take it or leave it. And if the Palestinians had agreed, as you said, and tried to make that a position of further negotiation, I would speculate that according to the historical lesson, they would have to fight another 50 years against the propoganda that they had accepted a peace plan and now they want more.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:57 AM on March 13, 2002


I'm curious: why is it up to Israel to make a Palestinian state? Why not Jordan, or Syria, or Egypt, or Kuwait? Oh, yeah, I forgot, they just expelled all of their Palestinians.

I hate to put it this way, but the refugee camps in the West Bank still exist. The refugee camps elsewhere don't anymore. It kind of seems wierd like that.
posted by Ptrin at 1:44 PM on March 13, 2002


Because Kuwait does not have military control of occupied Palestiniand land. And the refugee camps elsewhere do not exist because Israeli tanks and bulldozers have a go at them every day and night.

And any argument still doesnt take away the fact that Israeli army is occupying land.
posted by adnanbwp at 2:55 PM on March 13, 2002


..."Faisal Husseini, a decided moderate among Yasir Arafat's leadership ranks, gave an interview not long before he died in which he compared Oslo to a Trojan horse, an intermediate, tactical step leading to the elimination of Israel. He said, "If you are asking me as a Pan-Arab nationalist what are the Palestinian borders according to the higher strategy, I will immediately reply: 'From the river to the sea' "—that is, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean."...

..."It is impossible to expect the Israelis, left wing or right, to embrace without hesitation ephemeral-sounding hopes while they are engaged in combatting the suicide-and-murder intifada that is killing everybody, Jew and Palestinian, in body and spirit."...

--David Remnick in the New Yorker
posted by semmi at 5:05 PM on March 13, 2002


Israeli human rights group Bt'selem has this to say"

"Since Israel began its invasions into Palestinian refugee camps on February 27, dozens of unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed, including children and medical personnel. In every city and refugee camp that they have entered, IDF soldiers have repeated the same pattern: indiscriminate firing and the killing of innocent civilians, intentional harm to water, electricity and telephone infrastructure, taking over civilian houses, extensive damage to civilian property, shooting at ambulances and prevention of medical care to the injured.

The grave results have not caused the IDF to change its course of action. Israeli policymakers knew the grave price to the civilian population after the incursion into the first refugee camp. Yet they continue to engage in actions that constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law.

We cannot wait for the next incursion before the IDF learns the lesson. A black flag of illegality flies over military actions that cause such widespread civilian casualties."
posted by chaz at 5:08 PM on March 13, 2002


First, let's clear the air about the refugee situation. There are plenty of Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon & Jordan, indeed more than there are in the Occupied Territories. Jordan's population is, in fact, approximately 1/3 Palestinian. UNRWA has compiled detailed publications concerning Palestinian refugees; you can find the statistics under the 'UNRWA in figures' popup menu. This is why the right to return of Palestinian refugees is such a contentious issue; there are literally millions of foreign refugees in various states of refugeedom in the surrounding states.

And the refugee camps elsewhere do not exist because Israeli tanks and bulldozers have a go at them every day and night.

What are you talking about here, adnanbwp? Are you really claiming that Israel has destroyed all those foreign refugee camps? Please clarify.
posted by boaz at 5:11 PM on March 13, 2002


Actually, what the world needs now is a Arab and/or Muslim nation whose internal politics and society are not so antithetical to an open, democratic society as to impeach (KETTLE: YOU ARE BLACK!) claims of Israeli war crimes and human rights violations.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:12 PM on March 13, 2002


Health and long life to Zinni, who carries our true warrior tradition this week.
posted by sheauga at 8:58 PM on March 13, 2002


I blame the whole thing on Hitler.
posted by chaz at 9:21 PM on March 13, 2002


Searching for root causes? The Internet says:
"Seek Root Cause Solutions
Find underlying problems - not someone to blame
--avoids polarizing relationships
When a mistake is made, constructively determine how to avoid it in the future
--address problems immediately ..."
posted by sheauga at 10:48 PM on March 13, 2002


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