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January 22, 2009 11:04 PM   Subscribe

Israel + Palestine = Isratine? Or so it should be, Libyan leader Qaddafi argues, promoting the one-state solution. While he is not the first to raise the one-state solution, it is a bold proposal, particularly so soon after the widely-condemned Israeli atrocities in Gaza.
posted by Azaadistani (135 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
yeah, they really need an utter lunatic on their side.

Are his female bodyguards still decked out with Uzis?
posted by Artw at 11:13 PM on January 22, 2009


I knew that the situation in the print media was bad, but this nyt article (giving space to Qaddafi? who then advocates a one-state solution?) is so ludicrous it's funny.

I also like the editorializing in this FPP. Who knew that Isreali troops were bayoneting Belgian babies while blogging?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:32 PM on January 22, 2009


It could be a win-win. Do it sort of like in Delany's Triton, where every citizen lives under the laws of the party he voted for. The orthodox Jews can have Greater Israel, and the Palestinian extremists can claim victory in wiping Israel off the map. Just that it is the same place and they are all still there. Use color dodge or transparency effects to combine the flags - or hey, what the hell, just fly whatever flag turn you on. Chill.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:33 PM on January 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Not to be immature, but Isratine sounds like a tasty Middle Eastern beverage.
posted by mmmleaf at 11:39 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by dawson at 11:42 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cool. Which ones will wear blue and which will wear gray?
posted by codswallop at 11:42 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm personally in favor of a one-state solution; recognizing, though, that it would mean the end of Israel. The idea of an ethnically and religiously pure homeland for anybody is an idea whose time has passed, anyway.

Just make it a model secular democracy in the mid-east, and put Jerusalem under a UN protectorate or something.
posted by empath at 11:44 PM on January 22, 2009 [20 favorites]


yeah, they really need an utter lunatic on their side.

I know what you mean in undermining the cause, but remember, he has repented over Lockerbie and made peace with the West. His psychiatric evaluation is complete and he is now sane again. Eastern leaders are only labelled 'mad', 'crazy', and 'insane' when they oppose Washington, London and Paris. When they fall into line, or provide access to natural resources readily, their lunacy is either viewed as charming or regal, or just ignored.

Pro-Western Eastern leaders who have escaped the 'lunatic' label, but need not have, include the entire House of Saud, Reza Shah Pahlavi, Islam Karimov, Hassan II, and General Musharraf, to name a few.
posted by Azaadistani at 11:49 PM on January 22, 2009 [23 favorites]


I'm personally in favor of a one-state solution; recognizing, though, that it would mean the end of Israel.

You know someone else once thought this too. He even referred to it as a problem that needed a "solution" - just like you.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:53 PM on January 22, 2009


Not to be immature, but Isratine sounds like a tasty Middle Eastern beverage.

"Remember...to...drink...your...Isratine. Isratine? It's a crummy commercial! Son of a * ****!"
posted by codswallop at 11:53 PM on January 22, 2009


You know someone else once thought this too. He even referred to it as a problem that needed a "solution" - just like you.

Why be coy? Call him what you really want to call him.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:56 PM on January 22, 2009 [16 favorites]


Just make it a model secular democracy in the mid-east

A democratic one state solution with right of return would be two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner. It's a total non starter.
posted by Justinian at 12:02 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's funny that in the middle east it takes a madman to say "Learn to live together"
posted by srboisvert at 12:07 AM on January 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


Are his female bodyguards still decked out with Uzis?

Yes, they are. Also, when travelling to conferences in the Middle East, he stays in a large Sahara-style tent on the grounds of the hotel where everyone else is staying, his female guards standing outside. I am not making this up. He's like the Diana Ross of Middle Eastern leaders.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:14 AM on January 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


Read this yesterday, which mentions closer U.S.-Libya ties:
The leaders of the European Union have been the most active in their plans to intensify the exploitation of Africa. From North Africa, France promises to further weaken and divide Africa with a planned Mediterranean Union. Libya opposes this plan by France and, in order to compete with France, the USA is strengthening its ties with Libya. Progressives in the Pan-African world must oppose the French plan, but they must also oppose the opportunism and cynicism of the US foreign policy ‘forward planners.’ Cooperation and competition between the USA and Europe is intended to weaken the African Union.
Wonder (literally; I have no clue) if Qaddafi is acting as a proxy here?
posted by Abiezer at 12:21 AM on January 23, 2009


I also like the editorializing in this FPP. Who knew that Isreali troops were bayoneting Belgian babies while blogging?

Editorializing? Israel has committed atrocities, and they were widely condemned for doing so. Now, if someone were to say that the only people who didn't condemn them were the criminal Israeli regime itself, its sympathizers, toadies, and Western politicians who view it as useful, people who have been cowed into believing that saying anything negative at all about the Israelis is tantamount to Nazism, and certain wackjobs in the United States who believe their holy book tells them that that region of the world must be ruled by a Jewish theocracy in order for their God to descend to Earth and cast all the queers, fornicators and Jews into the lake of fire once and for all, then I guess that would be editorializing.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:34 AM on January 23, 2009 [38 favorites]


I saw this this morning, and I actually thought of posting it, but with a different tack. Back in college, I used to get the Times as a subscription, and I was always amused how, at least once a week, one of the four editorials would be given over to either an obvious loony, or ads from Exxon about how they were way ahead of the curve on saving the planet. Qaddafi's editorial, espousing a situation where (due to the large number of new citizens using the right of return), instead of Israel being driven into the sea by arm conflict, the Jews would simply be voted into the sea.

I wonder if the Times do this to say, "See, we'll honor any and all opinions!"
posted by Ghidorah at 12:38 AM on January 23, 2009


Hey, doesn't everybody out there want a one-state solution anyway?

It's just that the matter of which state is a rather sticky wicket...
posted by Sova at 12:46 AM on January 23, 2009


Personally, I think it's a measure of how far rhetoric in the US and Israel has swung to the extremists that Qaddafi sounds not only measured, but quite sensible.

Of course a one state solution will lead to eventual Palestinian majority in a one state solution. In the near term, without some kind of positive discrimination, I'd expect to see it become a little like Fiji or South Africa, where one ethnic group enjoys vastly more economic clout than another. It might not be Israel, Jim, but like white South Africans have had to acknowledge, that's realistically the only sustainable solution.

Using my advanced powers of diplomatic perception, the key thing will eventually be how the transition is made, not when or if.

Proponents of either de facto apartheid or a two state solution which has Palestinians wedged into two thin strips of land, and still dispossessed of legal title have never made it clear (to me) how they expect Israel to survive in the long term without dealing with the unpleasant and continuing blowback from how the state of Israel came into being.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:03 AM on January 23, 2009 [8 favorites]


yeah, they really need an utter lunatic on their side.

Are his female bodyguards still decked out with Uzis?


I thought he came across pretty well in that article, actually - I would never have guessed the author if I hadn't known. He makes some interesting arguments about the problems that a two-state solution would pose, for both sides. [Not sure what his bodyguards have to do with anything]

Ghidorah, Justinian: you raise points about the problems of a one-state solution; what's the answer, then?
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:09 AM on January 23, 2009


Personally, I think it's a measure of how far rhetoric in the US and Israel has swung to the extremists that Qaddafi sounds not only measured, but quite sensible.

He's been quite sensible for the past 15 years or so. Among Africans and African leaders he's considered something of a Solomon in his intermediary abilities. And yes, he did atone for Lockerbie, renounce terrorism, and was one of the first Muslim leaders to condemn the 9/11 attacks. I know I kidded the guy about his bodyguards and tent dwelling, but I think in his autumn years he's changing his mind about his legacy, and would prefer to work on being an elder statesman.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:15 AM on January 23, 2009


Among Africans and African leaders he's considered something of a Solomon...

Except for that United States of Africa thing. That didn't go over too well and he dropped it pretty quick.
posted by PenDevil at 1:19 AM on January 23, 2009


Hey, nobody bats a thousand.

OOPS SORRY AMERICAN SPORTS METAPHOR
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:21 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Are his female bodyguards still decked out with Uzis?

Yeah, wow, what a lunatic that guy is, huh? Thinking women can shoot? Obviously, women carrying weapons are just for decoration, since they're constitutionally incapable of pulling triggers. Sensible dictators, the ones we should listen to, should arm their females only with nail files and lipstick.

</sarcasm>
posted by Malor at 1:45 AM on January 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Moot.
Israeli's of Arab extraction will be the majority in the next 50 years.
posted by vapidave at 1:50 AM on January 23, 2009


You know someone else once thought this too. He even referred to it as a problem that needed a "solution" - just like you.

In any argument, I wait for the moment when someone goes off the deep end and compares the other side to Hitler and Nazis. Good job mefites, it only took 9 comments for us to get here. Such a sad day...and we're still on Hope Day 3.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:50 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Isratine sounds like kosher Ovaltine.

How about Palesrael?
posted by bwg at 1:56 AM on January 23, 2009


How about Palesrael?
Minor character in Paradise Lost?
posted by Abiezer at 1:59 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about "Sandachusetts"?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:20 AM on January 23, 2009 [8 favorites]


Palerael > Isratine
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:31 AM on January 23, 2009


Didn't "allkindsoftime" just invoke Godwin, in a very assoholic manner, thereby ending this thread?

Does this need further discussion, or is everyone that drunk?
posted by converge at 2:47 AM on January 23, 2009




So does this mean "Abrahamafornia" is out?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:58 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


If this happens it will be bitter-sweet, because, while it will once again leave Jews without a state refuge in a hostile world, it will also demonstrate to the skeptical international community that Jews don't pull all the strings. So there is a real kind of victory there.

Kind of like Rhodesia. Rhodesians wanted their own "ethnic" (*wink* *wink*) state, but the rest of the world decided for them, through dramatic international pressures it has never applied to Israel, that there needed to be one state. And the world apparently had more collective influence than Rhodesians, so that one state came into being. We now call it Zimbabwe.

But think about all the ways white Zimbabweans won because of that. The world no longer sees them as powerful, wicked colonizers. I mean the last we heard of them was about 10 years ago when they were being forced out of their homes at gun point. I can't think of a better way to, ahem, extirpate those hurtful stereotypes that they were powerful oppressors. Wherever all those Zimbabwe whites are now (and I'm sure it's a "better place". *wink* *wink*), at least they have been, ahem, cleansed of their stigma of villainy.

A job, safety, family, political voice, ... food: I don't know about you guys, but I personally don't know which of these I wouldn't eagerly trade in, just to be thought of as a cooperative, forward-thinking egalitarian.

Perhaps one day we will all agree that the Zionists are just another powerless, cooperative good guy too. We will forgive them, wherever they are now, in their progressive rainbow state of Palrael (Yeah, fuck your portmanteau, Gaddafi -- because Palrael Is For Real Pals!). Sure, we haven't heard from the Palrael Jews in a long time -- The Palreal state doesn't really approve of independent news organs letting the world know about "their business" -- but I'll bet they're in there somewhere. In there somewhere thinking about how noble and powerless and without real interests they are. Because world opinion says so, and what could be more important?
posted by dgaicun at 3:04 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, dgaicun, the interests of militarized states, of course.

Really, people, this isn't a game of right or wrong. It's a game of convincing people which party is right. And indiscriminate murder.

Yay for Nationalism!
posted by converge at 3:15 AM on January 23, 2009


I'm personally in favor of a one-state solution; recognizing, though, that it would mean the end of Israel.

You know someone else once thought this too. He even referred to it as a problem that needed a "solution" - just like you.


Some criticism of Israel and some assessments of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are driven by anti-Semitism (see, for example, the use of the "eternal Jew" imagery and the use of anti-Semitic slurs). This is not. Unfortunately, behavior like yours makes it impossible to identify genuine anti-Semitism, and makes credible claims of anti-Semitism fall on deaf ears.

Along for destroying any possibility of reasonable discussion, etc.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 3:42 AM on January 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


PS: You know who else was a vegetarian?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 3:43 AM on January 23, 2009


A one-state solution is a non-starter. As long as there are terrorist groups like Hamas who are bent on the destruction of Israel and/or rule by Islamic law, the one-state solution is effectively a long-term "fuck you" to Jews. Maybe some day a one-state solution will be possible, but it will be a day far in the future, when places like Dubai have shown people that hard-line Islamic extremism doesn't provide for people like Islam moderated by pragmatism and peace.
posted by explosion at 3:43 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


A one-state solution doesn't mean that it has to be a simple-majority rule system. Consociationalism can guarantee representation for ethnic minorities through a rigid constitution (requiring the minority's support to change) and representation for the minority in the legislature. There are workarounds to the problem of the "tyranny of the majority".

That doesn't mean that Israel and Palestine are ready for that just yet, but we shouldn't write it off because the Palestinians will "vote the jews into the sea".
posted by knapah at 4:05 AM on January 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


You know someone else once thought this too

Edward Said?
posted by tallus at 4:16 AM on January 23, 2009


I have an Israeli-Palestinian folder with well over a thousand emails between me and my father over the span of a couple years. They are mostly long and almost all heated. He was a Zionist who bordered on neoconservatism and I'm the guy who spent years in Muslim countries to challenge a dogma which was rammed down my throat as a child. A few years back, I wanted to create a website from these emails. I was going to call it incircles.com.
posted by gman at 4:19 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Infinitejest? Has it really come to the point where we need to ask random people on the internet how to fix the problem? A problem that, were it to be fixed, Nobel prizes would be handed out like hotcakes? I mean, hell, they already gave out the Peace prize for a "solution" to the problem that everyone involved knew there was no chance in hell of it working. And, then, of course, a couple years later, it's just as bad as it was before.

So, no, I don't have a solution. Maybe there is no easy solution. On the other hand, that doesn't mean I can't recognize that certain ideas are just not going to work. And by work, I mean be a viable resolution by which both parties are happy and safe with the outcome.

Saying the right of return and one state is a good solution to the issue is like a doctor/barber thinking that bleeding a patient with leeches is a good way to cure hemophilia. It's just not a good idea.

And besides, the one state would be Palesael. Obviously. I mean, the name just rolls off the tongue.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:36 AM on January 23, 2009


incircles, I tell you. in-fucking-circles.
posted by gman at 4:40 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


How about Momartana?
posted by ericbop at 4:45 AM on January 23, 2009


These posts (and there are a lot of them, whomever keeps suggesting that there is some sort of pro-Israel speech code certainly hasn't seen MeFi) make me very uncomfortable.

Civilian deaths in Israel's invasion of Gaza are horrible - how can you not agree? Israeli human rights groups do. By why, why is the next link in the chain always "and thus Israel should be dismantled." Forget issues of Hamas and rocket fire, or other elements of the endless tit-for-tat narratives for a moment. To call for the dissolution of a nation because you don't like its government policies, or because you find its founding to be unjust, is something that we don't generally consider for any other nation of the world. To call everyone who cares about Israel (even if they don't support its government) "sympathizers, toadies, and Western politicians who view it as useful, people who have been cowed into believing that saying anything negative at all about the Israelis is tantamount to Nazism, and certain wackjobs in the United States" is the worst kind of broad brush - if I vote for Meretz, am I also a toadie? What would, exactly, I need to do to not be evil if I were an Israeli, in your view? According to Harvard, 77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than any other country, despite unofficial discrimination and official biases. What about their views? Can't one hope to perfect Israel, or is the only option in your view to destroy it?
posted by blahblahblah at 5:13 AM on January 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


...how the state of Israel came into being...

I was thinking about the historical context of this the other day.

The original 19th century Zionists believed that they could escape the persecution the were experiencing in Europe by moving back to the Land of Israel. The Land of Israel being that region bounded by the Nile to the Euphrates, according to the Abraham Land Grant in the Hebrew Bible.

That policy appears to have been not quite successful.

Now, is it the implementation? Or is it the fundamental premise?

How do you reconcile the perceived need of the Zionists for a State to encompass the Jewish Refugees, with the needs of the other stakeholders? Do the Zionists really think they're going to get the Land of Israel this way?

Are they perhaps trying to bring about prophecy TOO EARLY and in a ham-fisted manner?

You know, parenthetically, I can't help thinking that if the Palestinians had casinos in Gaza and the West Bank, this wouldn't be such a hassle.
posted by mikelieman at 5:16 AM on January 23, 2009


Can't one hope to perfect Israel, or is the only option in your view to destroy it?

Who is the "you" in your assessment?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:21 AM on January 23, 2009


Are his female bodyguards still decked out with Uzis?

I think you're trying for 'batshitinsane' but what I hear is envy.
posted by rokusan at 5:25 AM on January 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


See also: Americathon.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:28 AM on January 23, 2009


here is Nir Rosen, noted non-crazy person speaking to the one-state solution.

The thing about Israel is that even if there is no resolution of the IP conflict, there is still a population of 'Arab' Israelis that, if demographic trends persist, will eventually be a majority in the 'Jewish' state.

The idea inherent in the two-state solution is that those 'Arabs' will leave.
posted by geos at 5:35 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Interesting editorial coming from Qaddafi. Along these lines, I just read an interesting article about a small group of Arabs and Jews who are reviving an old theory that the Palestinians of today are the descendant of Jews who remained in the region after the bulk of the population was exiled by Roman legions. So you see, it's all the same people. One people, one state!
posted by extrabox at 5:38 AM on January 23, 2009


Who is the "you" in your assessment?

The original poster, at a minimum, but the sentiment that caused me to react seems to be pretty widespread among commentators on I/P threads. You can feel free to be part of the "you" or not as you see fit, of course.
posted by blahblahblah at 5:42 AM on January 23, 2009


I have given this a lot of thought over the last few minutes, and I think the best solution might be: rather than two hardcoded states, a freeform tagging system. A pleasant side effect would be that both palestinians and israelis would be so busy back-tagging every branch and rock with small handheld label makers that they surely wouldn't have time for violence. This is the age of Twitter, people.
posted by ~ at 5:46 AM on January 23, 2009


How about Palesrael?
Minor character in Paradise Lost?


Or major new character in Lost.
posted by bwg at 5:57 AM on January 23, 2009


It's important to be very careful not to criticize Israel too harshly because that would be anti-Semitic, but luckily it's not racist at all to assume that the bloodthirsty Arabs are sharpening their knives in anticipation of the One State where their majority will immediately vote all the Jews dead.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:02 AM on January 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


hahahaha that qaddafi sure is crazy it's a good thing we murdered his 15 month-old daughter

ugh someone is trying to find a solution to a problem the use of the word solution means you are a neo-nazi

women can't shoot they are only for looking at
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:08 AM on January 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is all a good thought, but if there's one state left at the end of all this, I think we all know it's going to be called "Israel."

And it won't be pretty.
posted by rokusan at 6:18 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the idea that a one-state solution won't work because Arabs are just waiting to take the Jews down is all kinds of obnoxious. It reminds of the things you read when dudes in the South were (still are) afraid of giving black people too much power because then the tables would be turned. What the bloodclot people?
posted by chunking express at 6:25 AM on January 23, 2009


blahblahblah, since you inquired:

You asked whether Israel can be perfected or whether OP's like me think the only solution is to destroy it. To be sure, Israel can be vastly improved as a country for all its citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike. I think Israel is destroying itself. What was a utopian ideal of a homeland for Jews fleeing persecution from Europe, is now able to only exert itself as a Jewish homeland at the brutal expense of people who are Christian and Muslim who have an equal claim to the homeland than those who are perpetrating the brutality. It is a heavily militarized state and is hostage to a militaristic worldview and ethic, and will be in a perpetual state of war or almost-war until a tenable and equitable peace paradigm is sorted out.

As for the party you support, I have respect for parties like Meretz who reflect what seems to be a waning hope for a more tolerant and inclusive Israel, and therefore applaud you for your commitment to a party that is more principled than others who do better at the polls.

For me, whether I support a two-state or one-state solution comes down to the following issue: I am comfortable with a two-state solution so long as it does not provide for any ethnic cleansing of Israeli Arabs and the transfer of their population or land to the second Palestinian state, and so long as it allows a viable Palestinian state. Otherwise, I think a one-state solution is desirable. In either event, Jews cannot remain the numerical majority in Israel forever. However, in a united state (which would not be different from Israel today which has a significant Arab population), secular Arabs and Jews may find that they have a lot more in common, while the same could apply to orthodox Jews and their Christian and Muslim counterparts.

For those who reject a one-state solution as unworkable, my question to you is, if Jews and Arabs can today live largely peacefully within the current borders of Israel, why can't the two live peacefully in a united Isratine? After all, even today, many Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza have relatives who are Israeli Arabs and many Israelis have relatives who are settlers in the West Bank. In both those lands, they are not always adversarial. The two already live side by side in both Israel and Palestine, and are capable of keeping the peace.
posted by Azaadistani at 6:26 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


"To call for the dissolution of a nation because you don't like its government policies, or because you find its founding to be unjust, is something that we don't generally consider for any other nation of the world."

Except South Africa, of course where for white nationalists the nation was, essentially dissolved under international pressure. One could argue that the American War of Independence was the dissolution of one nation because of dislike of government policies.

In the case of colonisation or modern nation building, the key thing isn't whether it's unjust per se - an overt moral judgement - but more pragmatically if it ever has ever really worked to coerce, persuade energetically etc a bunch of people to move from their land somewhere much worse to another group of people can keep it for themselves.

That problem is further complicated if demographics work firmly against the ruling group - as they clearly did in South Africa and will, eventually, in Israel too.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:26 AM on January 23, 2009


"Editorializing? Israel has committed atrocities, and they were widely condemned for doing so."

I'm sorry, but I just have to respond here. I'm a liberal in virtually every sense, and hold no particular favor for Israel, but this is a gross distortion. The picture you paint does not match the reality of the scene.

There has been an information war going on at the same time as the physical war. The claims of atrocities are coming from Arab media outlets, and are being picked up by the rest of the world. The videos are being smuggled out by HAMAS and are using all the same dirty tricks to try to frame things that Al Qaeda has used in Iraq since '03. The same images change context considerably depending on the narrative that accompanies them.

Now, that being said, there is one area in which Israel unquestionably f**ked up - denying that there was ever a humanitarian issue at all, as people were dying from it.

Still, Israel hasn't been packing buildings with so much explosives that it's too risky to send in a team to clear them. Israel hasn't been literally hiding behind civilians - especially women - to avoid being fired upon. Israel hasn't been firing rounds from Mosques and Schools in the hopes that retaliation will be withheld. Israel hasn't been smuggling in contraband weapons, or deploying them with the explicit intent of targeting civilians. Israel didn't fire an average of two rockets every day into the civilian neighborhoods, during a six-month supposed cease-fire. Hamas did that shit, and they continue to do that type of shit even now.

I'm guessing you just didn't want to mention any of that.
posted by mystyk at 6:28 AM on January 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


but luckily it's not racist at all to assume that the bloodthirsty Arabs are sharpening their knives in anticipation of the One State where their majority will immediately vote all the Jews dead.

They elected as government officials who are members of a terrorist organization that has the elimination of the state of Israel as a key component of their charter. They have vowed that peace will come to the Middle East only under rule of Islam.

It's not racism, but rather, fact.
posted by explosion at 6:30 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


They should have elected who exactly? The same people that have managed to do fuck all for them thus far? I see the election of Hamas a sign of desperation more than anything else.

Can I call my opinion a fact too?
posted by chunking express at 6:37 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


How about taking back the mandate.
have the UN send in troops from NATO, EU, US (If US can spare it) take over both Israel and palestine saying basically.

"You've fought each other for fifty years, and you can't settle it. Now we will settle it for you."

Benevolent dictatorship by the UN for twenty years. After that a bi-national one-state solution, Palestinian refugees either get compensated, or are allowed to settle in the country they live in as citizens, or are allowed to come back. UN decides how lands and properties will be returned, if possible. UN sets up a truth and reconciliation committee. After twenty years, Israelistine is a de-militarized state with limited independence until they show that they can live with each other.

The salient fact is NEITHER Israelis or Palestinians will have much choice. The world will settle this issue for them, each side will be disappointed, but they will share the load because the world will force them to.

Doesn't have to be the UN, but since the UN had the mandate originally, I suppose they can titularly get it back. Must be a clause in the lease somewhere.

Is there a Nobel in my future or what?

Or the Israelis, after they are minorities in their own countries can ship the really hottie Sabra chicks with guns to the US. That is HOT.
posted by xetere at 6:40 AM on January 23, 2009


No time to engage in this and that about the middle east but please: do not claim that Isarel is a state for Jews only etc...there are Christians, Muslims, Druze etc all living there and all with voting rights. If the time has come, as was said, to rid the world of religious states, then turn to Saudi Arabia et al and let them be updated on what you believe should be.

A one-state solution is generally the suggestion from anti-violence pro Arab folks, such as Edward Said...Make Demographics, not War
posted by Postroad at 6:41 AM on January 23, 2009


They elected as government officials who are members of a terrorist organization that has the elimination of the state of Israel as a key component of their charter. They have vowed that peace will come to the Middle East only under rule of Islam.

Do you think if residents of Gaza had a better standard of living, or if they weren't subjected to checkpoints, or if they weren't under an embargo, that they would have voted for Hamas leadership? Do you think it was the terrorism and the Islamism and the Israel hatred they were voting for, or do you think the circumstances made them feel that Hamas was their only hope...the only power that was on their side?
posted by rocket88 at 6:57 AM on January 23, 2009


rocket88

The kleptocracy of the Palestinian Authority certainly had much to do with it. To paraphrase what was supposedly said by Italians at the dawn of his regime. "At least Hamas made the trains run on time."
posted by xetere at 7:11 AM on January 23, 2009


Libya and Lockerbie, an alternative opinion.

The suggestion is that Libya took the blame to have sanctions lifted and receive US investment amongst other 'real politik'.

/aside
posted by asok at 7:18 AM on January 23, 2009




Israel didn't fire an average of two rockets every day into the civilian neighborhoods, during a six-month supposed cease-fire. Hamas did that shit, and they continue to do that type of shit even now.

What's your source for that, please? I read that exactly three rockets were fired in the six months of the truce. A large barrage was fired after Israel violated the truce with a military operation in Gaza, but in the months before, there were only three.

Now, it's possible that they included the barrage figures so that it 'averaged two a day'. If that's true, that alone should tell you that your source is not trustworthy.
posted by Malor at 7:23 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always been shocked that noone ever talks about a three-state solution. Is there any reason at all that their oil-rich neighbors couldn't fund the rebuilding and recivilizing of the two chunks of land remaining under Palestinian control under the Jordanian and Egyptian governments?

Not to be too terribly cynical about it, but the internal political struggles that would result from attempting to merge the Palestinian political movements into those two governments might also distract them long enough that serious progress could be made towards a lasting peace accord with Israel.
posted by MrZaius at 7:23 AM on January 23, 2009


Man, I wish I didn't have to work today, so that I could fully participate in this thread. I've been wanting to have this discussion for a long time.

I've been in favor of a one-state solution for quite a while. To me, it is simply the only fair solution. The two-state solution bandied about by politicians is less than worthless - it doesn't even represent a marked improvement over the current situation. Under a two-state solution, one state would be the obvious 'haves,' with all the advantages of a modern western state, and the other state would be the obvious 'have-nots,' more-or-less at the mercy of the 'haves.' Furthermore, the economies of Israel and the occupied territories are so inextricably linked that the idea of separating the two is pretty much an illusion. Political leaders like the two-state solution because it doesn't involve taking any political risks. It allows them to say, "I'm okay, you're okay. Everyone is good deep down and everyone deserves a country." But unfortunately, the specifics of this plan are always left for some later date. I would argue that these specifics will never be forthcoming, because they are based on a premise that's becoming increasingly difficult to argue - that the industrialized nations of the world should use gun-barrel force (because that's where all power flows from) to insure a Jewish majority in Israel.

As an American and a Jew - whose ancestors emigrated here just like everyone else not of Native decent - I just cannot abide the idea of enforcing an ethnic majority somewhere. It seems contrary to the very principals America was founded on. Yes, I know that lots of other countries (even 'civilized' European powers) feel okay about turning away anybody whose families aren't originally from that country. But this is America. We're different, goddamn it! I mean really, open a history book. Or better yet, look in a mirror. The idea of an enforced ethnic majority is so counter to American values, that frankly I'm surprised so many here in America support the current policy.

Anyway, I arrive at this point of view mostly from a process of elimination. The one-state solution is simply the only solution that I think would lead to lasting peace. If Jews and Palestinians were constituents of the same country, they would have to work together - if for no other reason than to get regular, boring, everyday things done - like schools, roads, agriculture, etc. Most Israelis and Palestinians just want to feed their families, and would be glad to see an end to the violence. And I could only imagine that suicide bombings would decrease, seeing as that any potential terrorists would be bombing their own country.

I don't expect this to happen any time soon. Right now, the bitterness and the fighting is just too much. Furthermore, it seems that world leaders are still committed to the two-state fiction. However, I think that the one-state solution will emerge over time as being the only sensible solution, and I hope that people will soon come to their senses and stop the bloodshed.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:25 AM on January 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


mystyk - There has been an information war going on at the same time as the physical war
Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the UN until a few months ago, was brought in by the Foreign Ministry to help lead the diplomatic and PR campaign. He said that the diplomatic and political groundwork has been under way for months.

"This was something that was planned long ahead," he said. "I was recruited by the foreign minister to coordinate Israel's efforts and I have never seen all parts of a very complex machinery - whether it is the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry, the prime minister's office, the police or the army - work in such co-ordination, being effective in sending out the message."
Link
T'is sad to see so many in this thread repeating the Isreali propoganda.
posted by asok at 7:27 AM on January 23, 2009


The idea of a one-state solution where there are really strong protections for the minority to avoid the right-of-return issues seems a little tempting. Y'know, 50% of seats in the legislature for Jews, 50% for Arabs, regardless of population, or something like that. Definitely prevents the "two wolves and sheep voting for dinner" problem. Then some asshole Israeli girl starts making eyes at that Arab boy with that amazing grin and they have a kid and now which constitutionally-mandated group does he fall into? Stupid humans, messing up our carefully formulated plans.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:36 AM on January 23, 2009


There are two sides involved with this issue, the Israeli and the Palestinian.

Lots of very reasonable-sounding proposed solutions to the conflict assume two things, which are both in drastic error:

1) That Israel, with or without American aid, can be forced to do anything at this point. They are a first-world nuclear power. Any economic or military solution puts millions of civillians at risk, and will be interpreted by the Israeli government as a war of genocide aimed at the destruction of Israel as a sovereign state. You don't want that kind of bad mojo with fighters and tanks a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the Suez Canal and the Saudi oil fields. The first world can try to bully Israel, economically or militarily, but it would be inviting global suffering and conflict as opposed to the mostly regional mess we have now.

So, it will require a political effort to convince the Israelis to do things differently. This is the only moral and prudent way to proceed.

2) That the Palestinians want for themselves what their supporters in the West want for them, or even think about the conflict in a way that makes sense to those who don't live in Gaza or the West Bank. They don't want peace, or dignity or human rights or any other Western luxury, any more than the people of Baghdad welcomed US troops with flowers. They want to win the war against the Jews, and will keep fighting down to the last man. The political actors in Palestinian society are happy with this arrangement, as it keeps them in power.

So, it will require a political effort to convince the Palestinians to do things differently. This is the only moral and prudent way to proceed.

At this point, I think peace activists need to work on the Palestinian side for a while - peace means no rockets, no thrown stones. It means peace. Demanding your rights with dignity is the only way you're going to be given them, as there are too many horrible people looking for an excuse to retaliate beyond good measure at violent provocation of any sort.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:52 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


No time to engage in this and that about the middle east but please: do not claim that Isarel is a state for Jews only etc...there are Christians, Muslims, Druze etc all living there and all with voting rights.

Voting rights? Yes. Equal human rights? Not so much. And then we can even delve into the rights of dark skinned Jews in Israel...
posted by gman at 7:54 AM on January 23, 2009


"You've fought each other for fifty years, and you can't settle it. Now we will settle it for you."

Israel has nukes. I wouldn't want to be the one to try to do the forcing.


I'd say that attempts to keep Israel a Jewish-majority state are defensible. No group's been more discriminated against (and robbed, and murdered) than the Jews, so let there be one place on earth where being the majority guarantees them protection against governmental oppression. Zionism implies racist discrimination, but in the context of an attempt to prevent another holocaust. If there had been massive compensation for the Palestinians, I could see it as a kludged but decent solution to antisemitism.

(Of course, having a Jewish state creates the potential for a different kind of holocaust. The most recent previous attempt to create a Jewish state ended with about a million Jews massacred and about a million Jews enslaved.)

The trouble is that the ever expanding settlements endanger the future of a Jewish state by making a two state solution impossible.

1993 116,000 settlers.
2000 198,000
2003 236,000
2007 253,000

The Israeli ultra-right thinks they have a God-given right to the West Bank, and they have enough political pull that none of the major political parties want to tangle with them. Attempts to remove the settlements would likely face armed resistance. It's hard to see how you can have a country that's chopped into little tiny pieces without freedom of internal movement, thus the expanding settlements make it increasingly less plausible to think that a genuinely independent Palestinian state could come to be, even if all other problems were solved.

Here's the problem:
I'd argue that this is not good for the State of Israel, for reasons others have exhausted. Israel hasn't the political will for genocide all-out war forcible transfer...But they can't simply occupy the West Bank forever. After a certain point, they will be forced to recognize that they are the government of the West Bank. And either give the Palestinians the vote, or decide not to be a Western democracy. Either would destroy the conception that most hold of the State of Israel.

If plan A (the two state solution) fails, Israel's options are
B) lose the idea of a Jewish state in the one-state solution (unacceptable to most Israelis), or
C) a one-state solution where where Palestinians are disenfranchised second class citizens, or
D) a Palestinian Bantustan, or
E) genocide/ethnic cleansing.

Come on, state of Israel, think long term. Create a two state solution while you can.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:55 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Postroad: No time to engage in this and that about the middle east but please: do not claim that Isarel is a state for Jews only etc...there are Christians, Muslims, Druze etc all living there and all with voting rights.

Oh cmon, haven't all the Arab parties just been banned from parliamentary elections again?
posted by blasdelf at 7:56 AM on January 23, 2009


How is it that Gaddafi is still just a Colonel? I mean, don't dictators usually give themselves more impressive titles? Why hasn't he made general yet? Also, his female body guards are pretty radical for the muslim world. Those girls don't wear burkas.

There has been an information war going on at the same time as the physical war. The claims of atrocities are coming from Arab media outlets, and are being picked up by the rest of the world. The videos are being smuggled out by HAMAS and are using all the same dirty tricks to try to frame things that Al Qaeda has used in Iraq since '03. The same images change context considerably depending on the narrative that accompanies them.

This kind of thinking is just Craaaazy. The wild and improbable conspiracy theories people come up with to explain away the death and destruction is pretty incredible. As if all the dead would somehow be less offensive if photographed differently or if we had a different "context" for the images of their dismembered corpses. Right wingers love to do this about this war as well as the one in Lebanon, look at pictures and claim they are "staged" based on... well the fact that what they show isn't what they'd like to see. Not much different then people who look at Obama's birth certificate and claim it's fake, or whatever.

Israel didn't fire an average of two rockets every day into the civilian neighborhoods, during a six-month supposed cease-fire. Hamas did that shit, and they continue to do that type of shit even now.

Actually, it was Islamic Jihad that had been firing a few rockets from Gaza, and it was Israel that broke the ceasefire on November 4th. And either way, those rockets weren't even killing anyone. But whatever. The claim that you "hold no special favor for Israel" and then parrot the crazy right-wing talking points on it is a little absurd.

No time to engage in this and that about the middle east but please: do not claim that Isarel is a state for Jews only etc...there are Christians, Muslims, Druze etc all living there and all with voting rights.

What good are voting rights when your political parties get banned? (The Israeli supreme court just overturned the ban, but they also required that Journalists be allowed into Gaza, which didn't happen.)

I've always been shocked that noone ever talks about a three-state solution.

You mean other then noted lunatc John Bolton? The guy even George W. Bush called "not credible" a few months ago? Maybe there's a reason for that.
posted by delmoi at 7:57 AM on January 23, 2009


Dear friends,

We hold the [sic] military supremacy, yet fail the battle over the international media. We need to buy time for the IDF to succeed, and the least we can do is spare some (additional) minutes on the net. The ministry of foreign affairs is putting great efforts in balancing the media, but we all know it's a battle of numbers. The more we post, blog, talkback, vote – the more likely we gain positive sentiment.

I was asked by the ministry of foreign affairs to arrange a network of volunteers, who are willing to contribute to this effort. If you're up to it you will receive a daily messages & media package as well as targets.

If you wish to participate, please respond to this email.
posted by orme at 8:07 AM on January 23, 2009


In response to the upthread idea about the three state idea, that Jordan take over the West Bank and Egypt take over Gaza kind of misses an important point. The Palestinians have been refugees for generations now because the Arab countries don't want them. In large parts of the Arab world, they are essentially pariahs. However, as long as they're suffering in camps, they happen to be useful, pawn-shaped pariahs. From what I understand (and if I'm wrong, I'll stand corrected), the Arab countries look down on the Palestinians, and, were they not politically expedient, would have nothing to do with them. Again, from what I understand, Palestinians (those who fled in 1948) in Jordan are looked down on.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:13 AM on January 23, 2009


The claim that you "hold no special favor for Israel" and then parrot the crazy right-wing talking points on it is a little absurd.

I usually assume people who claim they hold no special favor for Israel do in fact hold all sorts of crazy ass favour for Israel.

Peoples, if you need to put over 1000 dead and a shit load more wounded into context you're already fucking up. You need to try harder. Because really, there isn't some magic context for those numbers (and the real people they represent) that isn't horrific.
posted by chunking express at 8:20 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then some asshole Israeli girl starts making eyes at that Arab boy with that amazing grin and they have a kid and now which constitutionally-mandated group does he fall into? Stupid humans, messing up our carefully formulated plans.

That's not part of the problem, that's part of the solution. Implement a one-state solution and the Jews and Arabs will be going to prom with each other in a generation or two. Their parents will be pissed off, but so what? Their parents are the ones who have been fucking things up.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:25 AM on January 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


A democratic one state solution with right of return would be two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner. It's a total non starter.

posted by Justinian at 2:02 AM on January 23


It is amazing and appalling that blatantly racist shit like this is acceptable when Arabs are the target. But complain about Israel raining white phosphorus on Arab children and you are Adolf Hitler.
posted by goethean at 8:31 AM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ghidorah writes "So, no, I don't have a solution. Maybe there is no easy solution. On the other hand, that doesn't mean I can't recognize that certain ideas are just not going to work. And by work, I mean be a viable resolution by which both parties are happy and safe with the outcome."

I think you have to redefine "work" without the idea that anyone will be happy with the outcome. To me, working means that we end the endless war between Israel and Palestine. One state would probably do that. Neither side would like it very much, but that's not the most important factor.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:45 AM on January 23, 2009


To Malor, delmoi:

I'm a deployed servicemember who works with the intel pieces every day. I skimmed the points I said from unclassified parts of the reports. For what it's worth, Hamas elements are credited directly with firing about a buck and a quarter of rockets during the cease-fire, averaging slightly over two a day.

To asok:

The propaganda war is a real phenomenon, and has been going on since at least the Roman Republic. I have first-hand knowledge of conflicts between official reports and media accounts. Every nation does it: the US military even calls it "shaping operations." Hamas has just been more blatant about it.

To chunking express:

I really don't have anything for Israel. It doesn't give me a warm/fuzzy in the least. I think the forced creation of a nation by the international community was a mistake and the violence pretty much shows that to be true. My beef is with deliberate distortions to push an agenda, and in this case the truth is *slightly* more favorable to Israel.

Of course, any war can be considered a series of atrocities. With that many people dying, you really have to be cold not to think so. The question becomes who is doing what, and the OP was attempting to frame the issue as an extreme one-sided phenomenon that simply isn't true. Yes, a lot of people died at the end of Israel's barrel, but Hamas was actively putting a whole bunch of them there in order to stoke the fires of outrage. The sheer fact that roughly half the Palestinians in the west bank thought that Hamas "brought it on themselves" ought to tell you something.
posted by mystyk at 8:53 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the one state plan can't work in Lebanon, how do you suppose it could possibly work in Israel? How about this for a peace proposal. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet and agree on a mutually recognized international border, security guarantees, refugee status, access to holy places, and resolution of a host of other "issues" that underpin the conflict. Major international powers supervise the negotiations then provide aid, mediation and assurances to make the peace lasting.
posted by humanfont at 8:59 AM on January 23, 2009


Palisrael.
posted by Zambrano at 9:09 AM on January 23, 2009


"If the one state plan can't work in Lebanon, how do you suppose it could possibly work in Israel?"

It's a bit early to say it can't work. It certainly was peaceful until Syria decided to try to retain its control on Lebanese politics, Syrian and Iranian backed Hezbollah decided to pull the lion's tail and Israel decided to raze the country's civilian infrastructure in a fit of pique.

I.e. you can directly attribute instability in Lebanon to other countries meddling in its shit.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:26 AM on January 23, 2009


mystyk: Israel hasn't been literally hiding behind civilians - especially women - to avoid being fired upon.

Israel's human shields draw fire (ignore pun plz)
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:27 AM on January 23, 2009


I know there are almost always problems with strong men, but I keep hoping for a modern-day Julius Caesar to show up in present-day Israel with a policy of "Pay your taxes and keep the markets open so people can work, farm and support themselves. I am not interested in what you do in your temples or your tribal conflicts... If you don't pay your taxes or maintain order on your own, troublemakers will face my armies and be judged harshly."

Now Col. Qaddafi is more than mildly eccentric and had his (fully admitted) brushes with terrorism, but part of the antipathy the "west" feels for him stems from the fact that he openly advocated philosophies such as Arab socialism. "Arab socialism" didn't turn Libya into Sweden, but Qaddafi didn't steal everything his country could produce - he spent at least some oil wealth on public infrastructure, welfare and education which provides a nice contrast to more pliant, but kleptocratic middle-eastern regimes like the Saudi monarchy. Clearly people like the Bushes don't want everyday Saudis thinking bad thoughts and demanding resources that currently go to their buddies in the Saudi royal family, while talk of socialism made guys like Ronald Reagan shit themselves. The "west" only talks about human rights and democracy when business relationships aren't on the line.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:31 AM on January 23, 2009


Being great mates with George Bush and Tony Blair absolutely does not disqualify you from being a total nutcase.
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on January 23, 2009


They should just create New Israel in West Texas and then go ahead with the one-state plan for Palesrael.

I came up with that idea when I was 9 years old. I don't know why it hasn't gained any traction ...
posted by mrgrimm at 9:34 AM on January 23, 2009


As others have pointed out, a two state solution won't work and a one state solution will not result in a Jewish homeland, which is unacceptable to a majority of Israeli Jews and others, so, neither a one or two or three state solution will work there, so why not a one state solution elsewhere? You take an eighth of Utah (that is about how much land Israel comprises I think) and rename it "New Israel" and offer it to the Israeli Jews. I think the U.S. should make sure there are no American Indian reservations in that area because those guys have been through enough, but other than that, we just imminent domain the people who are there (and I don't think that many people live in an eighth of Utah) and pay them off and move them out and "New Israel" is born. Now the Israeli Jews who leave "Old Israel" will definitely be losing some things (they'll have to build a new society and whatnot and that will be a long flight), but they will gain not being surrounded by people who want to kill them and they will have a great trading partner right near by which will help their economy, so it evens out I think. And I am not talking about a reservation here either, I mean a fully sovereign state all their own. We don't even drive through it without their permission. Boom! Palestinians get land and the Arab nations don't have anything to be pissed off about anymore and the Israeli Jews have a nation all their own without a bunch of pissed off people being all like "Hey this is my land! WTF?" all the time. And who does it hurt? A bunch of ranchers in Utah. They will get over it. And the aforementioned difficulties of moving your entire country halfway across the world. That will be challenging, but doable I think. The only difficulty I think remains is the belief that the particular land in question is somehow important (because of God and all that) and that any old 11,000 square miles won't suffice. If we can get past that, then I really think we can make this thing happen. Nobel prize?
posted by ND¢ at 9:34 AM on January 23, 2009


Beaten to my nobel prize by less than a minute. Damn you mrgrimm!
posted by ND¢ at 9:35 AM on January 23, 2009


mystyk writes "My beef is with deliberate distortions to push an agenda, and in this case the truth is *slightly* more favorable to Israel."

That misses the point. Both sides are pushing an agenda. The solution to the problem doesn't exist in trying to determine who is more "right."
posted by krinklyfig at 9:41 AM on January 23, 2009


Israel has nukes. I wouldn't want to be the one to try to do the forcing.

and just what are they going to use them on? - if it's troops invading their country to impose a solution, israel is too small to avoid massive amounts of fallout from that

if it's more distant set of targets, odds are they would kill significant amounts of civilians and it would be a war crime - and if any of the target countries has nukes - or allies with nukes - well, there's a good chance that would result in utter destruction

nukes don't make you safer

if the world was motivated enough to impose a solution there and the israelis used nukes to prevent it, i think the outcome would be dire

that reminds me - if somehow a one state solution was agreed to, i think the world should insist that the one state get rid of its nuclear weapons
posted by pyramid termite at 9:55 AM on January 23, 2009


"Arab socialism" didn't turn Libya into Sweden, but Qaddafi didn't steal everything his country could produce - he spent at least some oil wealth on public infrastructure, welfare and education which provides a nice contrast to more pliant, but kleptocratic middle-eastern regimes like the Saudi monarchy. - Deep Dish

And a nice contrast to his predecessor, King Idris, who jumped into bed with global (US and colonial) oil companies to rob the people into even more horrific poverty. (I was living in Libya in 1958 and can attest to the horrific poverty -- and the obscene wealth of the overlords.)

Over the years I heard my parents whispering about how Americans were blindly buying into the 'cold-war-commie' propaganda about Qaddafi without even seeing what he did for his people.

Same old. Same old.
posted by Surfurrus at 10:23 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Extremist zionist resistance to a one-state solution -- which, incidentally, is what many original zionists wanted -- is based upon a whole series of wild, ugly, nonsensical, hypocritical, and oftentimes racist assumptions.

1> That Palestinians -- unlike Israelis -- negotiate in bad faith.

2> That Israelis who are of Arab ancestry are, in essence, a "fifth column" within Israel, and are willing to help kill or expel all Jewish Israelis, given the chance, as well as throw away living in a modern, liberal, Westernized culture in order to have a pure Islamic theocratic state.

3> That Jewish people around the world with dual Israeli citizenship are always to be trusted as being loyal to their country and not having divided loyalties, but Israeli Arabs with no other citizenship and no desire for other citizenship are not to be trusted at all.

4> Given that the Palestinians couldn't really achieve demographic equality for about 50 years, if that, we are supposed to believe that people who have lived fifty years as full citizens in a liberal, equal, modern democracy are going to throw that away after fifty years, in order to choose what would clearly become a civil war to the death... one which they would presumably be outgunned in.

5> That, in the event of an attempt by Palestinians to ethnically cleanse the Jewish people from Israel, the rest of the world would betray the Jews and ignore their requests for help, becoming silent partners in a second holocaust.

6> That Jews in a single state solution having political dominance for the first fifty years would be peaceful, fair, and equitable, but that after fifty years of peace, fairness, and equality, Palestinians with the political majority would mean genocide and ethnic cleansing.

7> Given that history shows us that Jewish Israelis would not leave Israel unless forced out by armed troops, as opposed to just "legislated out", clearly, the Palestinians would need to be very heavily armed from a foreign country in order to do such a thing. Given that Israel has nuclear weapons, at least some of which would be under control of Jewish Israelis, it seems reasonable to assume that any country arming Palestine would be willing to risk nuclear annihilation in order to do so.

There are many more basic assumptions such believers have, but basically, they usually claim to be moderates, but unfortunately have allowed themselves to base several largely unquestioned beliefs on policies that are arguably even further to the right than the Likud Party.
posted by markkraft at 10:27 AM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Unification is really the only way to go. I don't expect it would be an easy or painless transition; there will undoubtedly be plenty of bitterness (old and new) on both sides, but I can't imagine that bitterness boiling over into the usual level of violence.

The simple fact is that Israel-Palestine conflicts are good old-fashioned border disputes. Remove the borders, and the disputes go too. There's still history to contend with, but let's assume bygones/bygones, water/bridge, etc. They want peace, right? Here it is.

Both sides are terribly nationalistic, but--mutual hatred aside--they're terribly nationalistic about the same plot of land. Combine their respective passions and the unified Palestine would be a force to be reckoned with. Instead of playing tug-of-war, they could tie their rope to anything else and pull together.

Further, unification would likely dissipate much of the antagonism of Israel from its neighbors. If the Palestinians themselves are reasonably satisfied, their militant sympathizers would be pacified. Israel would no longer be the neighbourhood hate magnet.

A simple first step to peaceful unification would be a reversion to pre-Zionist nomenclature: Palestine (the historical name of the land itself) rather than Israel (which refers to a single people, the Jews, effectively alienating all others). This little change alone could solve a hell of a lot, and would certainly get the ball rolling.

The difficult bit, of course, would be unifying the government, since that's where the real enemies are.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:31 AM on January 23, 2009


Nthing knappas decision. Repeating for emphasis.

A one-state solution doesn't mean that it has to be a simple-majority rule system. Consociationalism can guarantee representation for ethnic minorities through a rigid constitution (requiring the minority's support to change) and representation for the minority in the legislature. There are workarounds to the problem of the "tyranny of the majority".

posted by lalochezia at 11:50 AM on January 23, 2009


Decision suggestion.
posted by lalochezia at 11:50 AM on January 23, 2009


The original poster, at a minimum, but the sentiment that caused me to react seems to be pretty widespread among commentators on I/P threads. You can feel free to be part of the "you" or not as you see fit, of course.

If you're going to call everyone here anti-Semitic who doesn't share your viewpoint, just do it already.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:51 AM on January 23, 2009


If you need help getting over Israel you can add my former yeshiva classmates to your friends on Facebook. Among them, the ones who've made aliyah aren't exactly beacons of morality, intelligence, kindness, or critical thinking.
posted by birdie birdington at 12:07 PM on January 23, 2009


If you're going to call everyone here anti-Semitic who doesn't share your viewpoint, just do it already.

Oh, for God's sake, didn't you read what I wrote? I Do you really think I am calling people anti-Semitic or implying that? Its like a reverse of what extreme pro-Israel folks do, just assume that anyone who disagrees with you is using some sort of slur. Enough. This poisons threads just as surely as the guy who yells "Hitler"!

Seriously, I have been on the site for what, four-plus years now, do you see anything in my posting history that suggests that I am a shrill idiot? Stop it.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:08 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


every year, almost two israelis are killed by rocket attacks
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:11 PM on January 23, 2009


pyramid termite: "if the world was motivated enough to impose a solution there and the israelis used nukes to prevent it, i think the outcome would be dire"

If you're trying to force a state to accept something that its leadership believes is akin to total annihilation, telling them not to use their nuclear weapons to stop it, because of "dire consequences," is pretty silly.

It's kind of like threatening someone by saying "you'd better drop that gun and let us kill you — or we'll kill you!" If anything, it creates a strong incentive for them to shoot preemptively.

In the same way that it's generally a good idea not to make a person with a gun feel like their life is being threatened, it's never a good idea to make a nuclear power feel like they're facing an existential threat, or a 'point of no return' where they have to use their nuclear deterrent or lose the ability to fight back.

And beyond that, I just don't think any country with the ability to invade Israel really cares that much about their ongoing conflict with the Palestinians to accept any risk of getting nuked in order to stop it. I can't really think of any country for whom that would be in their best interests, and altruism is not a major factor in international geopolitics.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:40 PM on January 23, 2009


If the one state plan can't work in Lebanon, how do you suppose it could possibly work in Israel?

That is a valid point and it certainly won't be easy, but it is one that I've thought about, perhaps at the risk of making a fool out of myself (wouldn't be the first time)

Here is the Xetere plan to build a single bi-national state.


1) Hebrew and Arabic official languages. No "official religion of any kind but total religious freedom. One person one vote, end of story.

2) state organized into autonomous municipality, ranging in size from Tel Aviv to really small agricultural settlements. These towns will have as much autonomy if not mre than US states.

3) Towns will have considerable local autonomy and can decide primary working language (as long as all laws and services are available to anyone in either language at any time) and towns can decide on things such as whether or not to be "dry." - for instance a conservative Arab part of Gaza. Towns cannot, however, enact distinctly discriminatory legislation, ergo, Tel Aviv cannot ban Hejab or refuse to hire an Arab for a civil service position. conservative Arab part of Gaza cannot require a Muslim education in civil schools or require Hejab or ban Mezizahs or refuse to hire a Jew for civil service positions.

4) people can choose civil marriages or religious marriages ruled by religious courts. I'd even go as far as allowing polygamy if all wives agree to it in private before a judge. People can as well choose civil or religious education for their children. Religious courts will rule on domestic issues but will be subject to state penal laws and constitution. That is, a religious judge cannot sanction wife-beating under religious grounds. However, if two parties agree to a religious marriage, then religious divorce laws prevail. Again the choice of religious marriage must be made freely, hence, a judges interview.

5) Tri-cameral legislature.
5.1) a "senate" elected at large.
5.2) house of representatives elected proportionally by municipality.
5.3) "shura" to operate as a consultative body to decide major state issues (e.g. when to go to war, constitutional amendments) Shura are selected by Prime Minister and serve for life until retirement, subject to approval by senate or house of reps. In other words they are not directly elected by the people. The idea is that they will serve as a break for any rabble rousing of either ethnicity. the other two houses decide on budget, public works, most laws, but the shura has to sign off on laws, whether to go to war, etc. 3/4 of Shura reject a law, the it isn't law.

6) right of return for Jews who aren't Israelis or children of Israelis gone. (I mean, I am Jewish from New York descended of immigrants from the pale of settlement in Russia and Lithuania. What possible connection do I really have to Israel to allow me to "return." I can't speak the language I don't know the culture, I am not religious at all.)

7) right of return for Palestinians or descendants allowed with the following exceptions. Palestinians and descendants who have taken citizenship elsewhere will have to apply as I would. Thus some dude in Dearborn whose parents might have come to the US should get behind someone who has been living in a refugee camp in Lebanon.

8) Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, perhaps Gulf States and Egypt should bite the bullet and offer a road map to citizenship for those Palestinians who might stay who have put down roots - admittedly hard when they were forced to stay in camps but perhaps some will stay in the Gulf. Europe and the US should offer to resettle refugees who might want to go to the west, and I mean a lot, let's just bite the bullet here. Might ease any demographic issues or issuews with another 5 or 6 VERY POOR people moving back to that small place.

9) Israelistine and neighbors sign and implement under intl watch a treaty of demilitarization and non-agression.

10) Israelistine and neighbors sign common market and common currency or at least currency pegged to each other. Thus if instability causes the Israelistine Shekdnar tanks it is going to take all the other currencies wit the.

11) Massive money by Europe and the US and the wealthy Gulf states to compensate Palestinian refugees who might stay or move to the US or Europe.

12) system to negotiate settlements for land siezures etc.

13) televised truth and reconciliation commissions.

Yeah not bloody likely but one can dream. Otherwise we'll be talking about Israel going into Gaza or suicide bombers blowing themselves up in cafes in Tel Aviv twenty freakin' years from now.
posted by xetere at 12:40 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


When contemplating matters I/P, one thing always comes to mind:

During the late 90s, post-Oslo and pre-Temple Mount, when significant numbers of Israelis and Palestinians both seemed to think a decisive and durable solution was just around the corner-- when there was an active, vigorous Peace Process (tm) in play-- there actually *was* peace, and business links between the two groups were sprouting up very quickly.

(Then, of course, the extremists acted extremely, all that went up in smoke... but I suspect that, in the absence of bombs and bulldozers, civil society can return more quickly than one might think.)

And, re: the Great Utah Counter-Diaspora mentioned above... yeah. It's a good point. Too bad about the whole Holy Land, sacred sand, God-wants-me-to-have-this-particular-acre-of-dirt concept.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:42 PM on January 23, 2009


Gaza Update: Hiding from Justice
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on January 23, 2009


Question: It's an honest one. When God have Zion to the Hebrews...who else was living there at the time, and what happened to them?
posted by Jimbob at 1:10 PM on January 23, 2009


who else was living there at the time, and what happened to them?

May I interest you in The Book of Mormon, sir?
posted by tkchrist at 2:23 PM on January 23, 2009


Also, check out the Book of Joshua.
posted by overglow at 2:35 PM on January 23, 2009


The propaganda war is a real phenomenon, and has been going on since at least the Roman Republic. I have first-hand knowledge of conflicts between official reports and media accounts. Every nation does it: the US military even calls it "shaping operations." Hamas has just been more blatant about it.

What the hell does this even mean? That Hamas would engage in propaganda, therefore anyone duped into feeling sympathy for 1000+ Palestinians killed is a dupe? That feeling bad about dead Palestinians is an alien emotion that must be evoked by subtle and complex propaganda?

Or is there some specific lie that you think most people who have been bothered by the massacre believe? If so, what is that lie? Or is there some specific thing that you think most people who are bothered by what happened don't know? If so, what is it?

Here's how I see it. An immense amount of human suffering just went down in Gaza. A thousand people were killed, tons of children, women, and innocent men as well. This was in response to rockets that failed to kill a single Israeli since the ceasefire started. No one likes rockets, but responding to a non-lethal attacks by killing hundreds or thousands of people is deeply immoral. There is no additional evidence that could possibly alter that immorality, and any attempt to add context is merely an attempt to confuse and obscure the reality. Those details are like snowflakes falling on a statue, each one serving to obscure it's monstrous form.
posted by delmoi at 2:45 PM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


What the hell does this even mean?

It means:

"both sides do X. Therefore the side I like is justified it whatever it does in response to X."
posted by tkchrist at 3:10 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think folks would all do well to watch the statement of George Mitchell after his appointment as Mid East envoy.
posted by humanfont at 3:34 PM on January 23, 2009


Thanks, humanfont, that is a useful video ... puts the days ahead in perspective.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:42 PM on January 23, 2009


Just so we're all on the same page.

Hamas apparently wanted to extend the cease-fire, as did Israel, but Israel wouldn't consent to relaxing the blockade. As a result, we now have massive numbers of dead and wounded in Gaza, a huge internal displacement (35 thousand in UN shelters, perhaps 90 thousand total displaced), and a brewing humanitarian disaster. 80% of water available in Gaza is not fit for human consumption according to the WHO, and most people only have access to water for a few hours every few days. There is a massive shortage of medical supplies, and the restriction of food aid could be the start of a famine.

In the early 20th century, four out of five military deaths in a conflict were due to disease, not bullets. The humanitarian crisis created by the invasion has a much greater capacity to kill Palestinians than the bombs dropped along the way.

This is massively irresponsible behavior on the part of the Israeli government.

For our friend with the 'insider intelligence', the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs is the source of the 20 rockets + 18 mortars figure, which covers the time from June 19th to Nov 4th, when Israel blew up that Hamas tunnel which was allegedly being dug for kidnapping another Israeli soldier.

So whose fault? Everybody's. Well, both governments' fault, anyways. But I take away from this that Hamas can honor a ceasefire, for the most part; I can't help but wonder at whether Hamas would have tried digging their tunnel had the negotiations with Israel proven more fruitful. (Which might have happened had Israel not treated the entire government and all who voted for it as a terrorist organization.)

In any case, I'm an American. My government has no special ties to the Palestinians, but pays for a good sized pile of Israeli bombs every year. It disgusts me to see the ways in which this military aid is being used. I want to see Israel engage honestly in a peace process, instead of inflicting untold suffering on the civilian population of Palestine.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:05 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Palestinians ....don't want peace, or dignity or human rights or any other Western luxury, any more than the people of Baghdad welcomed US troops with flowers. They want to win the war against the Jews, and will keep fighting down to the last man. The political actors in Palestinian society are happy with this arrangement, as it keeps them in power.

I'm not sure what your source for this is. I have friends who've been to the West Bank and spent time with Palestinian refugees, and plenty of them are quite happy with the idea of having a one state solution, 'call it Israel if you want, that doesn't matter', just as long as they get the right to leave the refugee camp and go back to their home villages.

(That said, I'm sure that some Palestinians fall into your category; but to imply that all of them do is an error).
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:06 PM on January 23, 2009


To all of the people who are seriously thinking the one state solution is a good idea, that given time, Palestinians and Israelis will be just fine together, did you miss the disolution and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia? I mean, if you're looking for a good example of an externally forced grouping of of ethnicities holding grudges going back hundreds or thousands of years, well, there you go. Inter-ethnic love didn't really cross the barriers there.

Also, to remove the concept of being happy, i.e. accepting that the changes are good, to such a monumental shift in the entire concept of your nation, from the equation is lunacy. When people are unhappy with something, they act upon their unhappiness. When people are told to change their entire lifestyle, their entire culture, to a way of life that they perceive (rightly or not) as being drastically less safe, the likelihood of violent opposition to those changes rises.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:28 PM on January 23, 2009


The same images change context considerably depending on the narrative that accompanies them.

Maybe if there wasn't a ban on journalists' entering the Strip we could have had multiple perspectives.
posted by ersatz at 4:58 PM on January 23, 2009


Ghidorah: Did you miss the fact that Yugoslavia only turned into a pit of fermenting ethnic hatred in the 1990s? Before that, "going back hundreds or thousands of years", Muslims, Christians, etc. lived side by side and even inter-married on occasion. It was small groups of radicalised thugs that caused that particular region's unfortunate descent into hell.

John Mueller's article "The Banality of Ethnic War" should be required reading when people talk about ethnic conflict.
posted by knapah at 5:26 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the same way that it's generally a good idea not to make a person with a gun feel like their life is being threatened, it's never a good idea to make a nuclear power feel like they're facing an existential threat, or a 'point of no return' where they have to use their nuclear deterrent or lose the ability to fight back.

surely you're not arguing that the deaths of millions of people is preferable to the world imposing a fair and just solution on israel and palestine - surely you're not going to tell me that a second holocaust of arabs and jews would be preferable to living in peace

i have no hesitation in saying that if israel really is willing to use its nukes to fend off an imposed solution that they are not only immoral, but insane

you may consider this hypothetical, and for now it seems to be - but, in a world that is very dependent on middle eastern oil, i can see where the world could decide that it was a critical interest to solve this problem and worth the risk

frankly, what you've written here sounds too much like blackmail
posted by pyramid termite at 7:02 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: No group's been more discriminated against (and robbed, and murdered)

Mm, nah. I'm calling bullshit on that one. I'm only picking this phrase out of the whole rambunctious thread 'cause it's such an operative concept on one side of this debate. I'd argue that the early African-American story is a more fully debasing and cruel one, and that's just off the top of my head; the Roma have had a hard way, I've heard; I'm guessing that Jains and Muslims on the Indian subcontinent have some pretty rough stories as well. It's all apples and oranges and kumquats, of course. That the Jews have suffered terribly there is certainly no doubt. But the idea that the Jews have suffered more than anyone else in history is not only false; it's the kind of national myth that enables all kinds of terrible ideas to gain popular support.
posted by $0up at 7:15 PM on January 23, 2009


knapah, what else happened in the 90's? Anything big? Like, say, the fall of the Eastern Bloc and the USSR? Loss of a strong central government that enforced "peace" between groups that hated each other? If the Balkans aren't a good enough example for you, how about post-Hussein Iraq? Once that the strongman central goverment is gone (and yes, under said government, other groups were repressed), and, of course, a vacuum appeared in its place, every slight, grudge, or feud popped back into place.

You could quite well argue that the current conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is the result of "small groups of radicalised thugs." Even small groups can radically alter any given situation.

Simply put, I don't see any solution. I don't think there will be one, until something bad, so bad, happens that the situation as it is no longer exists. At that point, maybe there will be a chance to start from the ground up.

As long as radicals on both sides are willing to undercut their own leaders/peacemakers, there will not be any progress. For those of you who might mistake my posts as blindly pro-Israel, yes I was raised a Jew, but when Rabin was killed by a Jew, I realized that the problem is going to go on, and there's not a damn thing I'm ever going to be able to do to stop it, and likely not anyone, not anywhere. I'd check out gman's book, but the thing is, I'm pretty sure I've already read it.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:16 PM on January 23, 2009


Gotta love the offspring of Christian fanatics / assorted settlers, who massacred nearly every single Indian in sight preaching to the Jews.

Please go on.
Oh, and don't forget to include "Medina as a city of all religions" in your requests. I heard Jews weren't even allowed to step in, let alone have equal rights.

Allow me, taking the commenter who suggested not to be coy up on his offer, assert this: many of you find the idea of Jews being strong somehow disturbing. When Muslims are strong, well, they are terribly-uncultured-and-yet-oh-so-exotic. When Christians are strong, it's the way it should be - as long as they use words like "multicultural" and not "Christian". Let's forget Africans and Asians - conflicts like Sudan and North Korea are nothing compared to the genocide that Jews are perpetrating. Genocide!

To rephrase: hypocrites.

To the supporters of the idea of "ending" Israel as a Jewish state: read my lips: over our dead bodies. And it will be very very painful for your like. Your co-religionists managed quite well to kill all the relatives of my grandparents and countless others. Now you want us to not have a state again? Go ahead, try us.

Apologies for not being pleasant. I'm far from being a radical of any sort. Secular. Have for years done educational projects with Arab kids. Unlike all of you posers. What have YOU done to help them, apart from complaining about the bad joos?

Keep dishing out dirt. We've dealt with you long enough.
posted by bokononito at 10:56 PM on January 23, 2009


Allow me, taking the commenter who suggested not to be coy up on his offer, assert this: many of you find the idea of Jews being strong somehow disturbing. When Muslims are strong, well, they are terribly-uncultured-and-yet-oh-so-exotic. When Christians are strong, it's the way it should be - as long as they use words like "multicultural" and not "Christian". Let's forget Africans and Asians - conflicts like Sudan and North Korea are nothing compared to the genocide that Jews are perpetrating. Genocide!

More hyperbole and blanket generalizations, please!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:01 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


$0up,

But the idea that the Jews have suffered more than anyone else in history is not only false...

Well, yeah, lots of groups have had it rough. I wasn't trying to organize the pity Olympics.

It's such an operative concept on one side of this debate. It's the kind of national myth that enables all kinds of terrible ideas to gain popular support.

You're quite right about the dangerous power of myth, but you're buying into a false dichotomy. You don't have to deny that Jewish people have suffered an extraordinary history of persecution (both historically and in living memory) in order to deny that a history of suffering justifies persecuting others.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:10 AM on January 25, 2009


Face Of The Day
posted by homunculus at 9:13 AM on January 25, 2009


Keep dishing out dirt. We've dealt with you long enough.

Huh. Aren't you in, like, Boston?
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on January 25, 2009




Gotta love the offspring of Christian fanatics / assorted settlers,
You don't know our parentage. Some of us aren't even American, you know.
posted by empath at 7:06 PM on January 25, 2009


TBH I always thought the whole frontier spirit thing was one of the reasons that America is so crazy in love with Israel.
posted by Artw at 7:07 PM on January 25, 2009




Israel’s Lies Henry Siegman in the LRB.
posted by Abiezer at 9:18 PM on January 25, 2009


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