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A rare (in the US) view of the conflict in Israel
August 27, 2001 9:24 AM   Subscribe

A rare (in the US) view of the conflict in Israel from the point of view of a Palestinian. His conclusion: young men are making suicide attacks because "death is a better option than the life they are leading." Meanwhile, Sharon's long term plan is to make things even worse for the Palestinians.
posted by Steven Den Beste (94 comments total)

 
It would appear from the second article that "making things worse" is the whole point of the exercise.

This is the same reason they punish everyone in boot camp for one guys screw-up. It makes the group self-policing. Perhaps Sharon is hoping someone on the palestinian side can control the violence. Arafat obviously can not, or will not.
posted by revbrian at 10:06 AM on August 27, 2001


There isn't anyone on the Palestinian side which can control things any longer. It is no longer a team (if it ever was); it's a mob. There was a third article which described Arafat's position and how weak it is. Arafat isn't capable of cracking down even if he wanted to. Sharon's entire strategy now is aimed at trying to bring intolerable pressure to bear on Arafat. The theory is that this will finally induce Arafat to crack down. The actual result will be to destroy Arafat politically, leaving no-one at all in charge. Then the situation can only get worse, because there will no longer be anyone with whom Israel can negotiate should it ever reach the point of being willing to do so.

In the mean time, oppression is no answer. It, too, will have an unintended side effect of making young Palestinian men fatalistic. There is no enemy more dangerous than one who is unafraid to die.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:13 AM on August 27, 2001


I am part of an Israeli youth movement well grounded in the peace camp. This does mean that I confide in Arafat as an equal partner in the peace process. The reason I support peace is because I know that Israel does not need the support of the Palestinian leadership to reach a peace with the people and I know it can happen. Also, I believe in humanitarianism. However, the blurb for this topic is just pure propaganda set to draw reactions from readers and it perpetuates the American ignorance of the Palestinian perspective. One of the things I know for sure is that violence is the most primitive solution to conflict and I set this standard for both sides of the conflict. But propaganda like this just causes more tension and polarity and perpetuates the conflict.
posted by OG at 10:15 AM on August 27, 2001


That first article is very moving and disturbing, Steven. I wonder if Americans will pay any more attention to this guy because he works for a Christian organization (and is presumably himself a Christian as I doubt there are many Muslims working for World Vision)?

I've been a tentative supporter of the right of Jews to have their own state in Israel, but it will be very tragic and ironic if the only way for them to have a "safe" place for themselves is to become the sort of people who would allow this kind of thing to go on. The same kinds of evils so many Jews have been subjected to themselves.

Is it just me, or does that photo of Ariel Sharon in that second article make him look like a bad movie villain about to launch the Doomsday Weapon? It always amazes me how much journalists editorialize by the pictures they select.
posted by straight at 10:25 AM on August 27, 2001


However, the blurb for this topic is just pure propaganda set to draw reactions from readers and it perpetuates the American ignorance of the Palestinian perspective.

I'm genuinely curious what you mean here, OG. It seems like a straightforward argument - that the security crackdowns on the general population of Palestinians help create a climate that leads to violence. That seems like something that's proven true historically in lots of places - that policies like Sharon's only lead to more violence.

Are you claiming that the article linked to is a fabrication of propoganda that doesn't really reflect the true situation the Palestinians are living in?
posted by straight at 10:34 AM on August 27, 2001


It seems like a straightforward argument - that the security crackdowns on the general population of Palestinians help create a climate that leads to violence. That seems like something that's proven true historically in lots of places - that policies like Sharon's only lead to more violence.

It was certainly the case in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, where high unemployment (around 25%) and a siege mentality on many housing estates made young men prime candidates for the paramilitaries.

And it's good that the WP is printing stories like this, simply to balance out op-eds such as last week's.
posted by holgate at 10:41 AM on August 27, 2001


I think OG is stating that this:

A rare (in the US) view of the conflict in Israel from the point of view of a Palestinian. His conclusion: young men are making suicide attacks because "death is a better option than the life they are leading." Meanwhile, Sharon's long term plan is to make things even worse for the Palestinians.

is stirring the pot, and that it's a trollish post, rather than an objective starting-point for discussion And I agree. While Sharon is being foolish and antagonistic (for the reasons mentioned), Steven's summary was a little abrasive for my tastes.

I'm with Holgate, however; it's good that the Post is giving voice to both sides.
posted by Marquis at 10:45 AM on August 27, 2001


They commit suicide because they are told/encouraged to do so by Hamas. They also do it because they believe that they will find a place in heaven if they die as freedom fighters. Although suicide is wrong under Islam, they don't consider this suicide.
posted by Atom Heart Mother at 11:53 AM on August 27, 2001


The moment you murder a small child, your cause ceases to be worth a shit. To hell with both sides.
posted by UncleFes at 11:54 AM on August 27, 2001


Responding to Holgate

The statistic you included in your commment is interesting But in my opinion the Israeli-Palestinian situation is very different. The Israelis are not an occupation force.
This is their country, in both the secular and religious sense.


Does anyone here see a parallel between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the North-South conflict of the civil war?
posted by Grok09 at 11:56 AM on August 27, 2001


I find it interesting how much attention is paid to the "fanatics" on the Palestinian side (the "suicide bombers"), while ignoring the "fanatics" on the Israeli side (namely, the settlers) who believe they are fulfilling God's word by occupying the West Bank and Gaza...and who carry around weapons and demand the protection of the Israeli military to achieve their goals.
posted by mapalm at 12:26 PM on August 27, 2001


The Israelis are not an occupation force. This is their country, in both the secular and religious sense.

This would only be true if you accept that "their country" is one they seized through military force and that is being built on a foundation of ethnic cleansing that's starting to make Milosevic look as harmless as Captain Kangaroo.
posted by m.polo at 12:27 PM on August 27, 2001


One of the things I know for sure is that violence is the most primitive solution to conflict...

Also, it would seem, the most popular...
posted by rushmc at 12:27 PM on August 27, 2001


To hell with both sides.

Ah, would that it could be true, for the delicious irony...
posted by rushmc at 12:28 PM on August 27, 2001


To reflexively declare that anyone stating an opinion you don't like is "a troll" is a form of ad-hominem ("if you can't argue the issue, discredit your opponent"). A troll is someone who makes a post simply to get a rise out of people. That is not my intent.

I believe that Israel is in the wrong. I present these articles as evidence that the policies being followed by the Israeli government are brutal, immoral, unwise, and ultimately doomed to failure.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:34 PM on August 27, 2001


This would only be true if you accept that "their country" is one they seized through military force...

Er, or, perhaps, one that was given to them via a United Nations decision? Aww, but you're right, the other is much more sexy sounding.
posted by Marquis at 12:34 PM on August 27, 2001


Yeah, it is a universal truth that it sucks to be a Palestinian living in Gaza/the west bank.

But I am amazed at the unilateral license the author of the first article grants himself to describe the hardship of daily life...

Did this ugly situation evolve in a vacuum? Are individual Palestinians altogether divorced from their leadership that they can simply focus on the day's ugliness aimed at them with out any thought as to how it got to be this way?

I myself can't imagine anyone who might not elect to endure his eloquently described harassment rather than get maimed/killed in a pizzeria, mid-slice, by a religiously anesthetized fanatic who's life purpose is to be a human hand grenade. (actually is really political, but sheathed in religion...what a combo)

So again, let me state that it is clearly no fun being a Palestinian in Gaza and the West Bank. But frankly, its just obscene that he can bemoan harassment so eloquently and apart from the savagery of his side's tactics in this mess that only humans can make. If the Israelis subscribed to the Islamic interpretations used to justify Arabic notions of pride & warfare, they'd have rolled over their problem decades ago.

28 years ago, Fatah was seizing elementary schools and holding children as hostages, (and killing them too). Cut to a Palestinian man, old enough to remember, who asks "why do they treat me this way?". Really now. . .

If you were in the Israeli gov't's position, how would you end the dispute and protect your own interests going forward and do it in a way that everyone is absolutely satisfied with the result? Is there really a better option for the Israelis to treat the people who rejected a peace agreement 11 months ago?

This scene sucks all the way around. But its always been driven by the regime that won't settle, won't play fair, and cares less about its own people than its adversaries (the Israelis) do.
posted by BentPenguin at 12:36 PM on August 27, 2001


Again: Yassar Arafat was born in Egypt, not "Palestine," and not Israel.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:53 PM on August 27, 2001


You're right, Steven; to declare someone a "troll" is completely ad hominem. But then, my assertion was not an attempt to show a logical flaw in your (or the Post's) argument - as, after all, the argument is a sound one.

The ad hominem comment was an attack on a post that I felt was worded with the goal of "getting a rise" out of people. This text,

"Meanwhile, Sharon's long term plan is to make things even worse for the Palestinians,"

did not, in my view, lend further support to the article you linked to - rather, it lessened it, couching the piece in partisan rhetoric.

You have a right to your opinion, and in fact, I urge you to share it. I would just ask that in a discussion as contentious as this, you not fuel the fire by yelling "Nyah nyah!" into the ears of those who disagree with you.

(Not that the last post on this issue was any better. The only reason I spoke up here was that Straight asked for a clarification of what OG meant in his post. I took it upon myself to speak on his behalf, as I'm a presumptuous busy-body.)
posted by Marquis at 12:57 PM on August 27, 2001


P.S.: a rare view? The typical American media view, with CNN the worst sinner, it to portray the Palestinian Arabs as virtually blame-less for the plight. Wake up.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:11 PM on August 27, 2001


A while ago I read this article by Jonah Goldberg (editor of National Review Online). I think it pretty well sums up why I have very little respect for the palestinian leadership (or lack thereof).
posted by revbrian at 2:21 PM on August 27, 2001


Revbrian, somehow the view of the article is interpreted by most people here on Mefi, as well as most of the rest of the world as "right-wing, looney extremist." In fact, it's a totally reasonable, middle-of-the-road view. I Hope the Israeli's have the resolve to maintain their strategy, which includes assasinating known terrorists.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:39 PM on August 27, 2001


It's probably a lot of fun to make analogies between the middle east conflict and mexicans blowing up pizza places in NM (see "right-wing, looney article"), but in doing so, you're totally divorcing it from the context. You're very fond of providing context for the israeli gunship attacks that kill palestinian children, but not so fond of offering any sort of context for palestinian violence. I realize that it's much easier that way, but it also makes it very obvious that you have no desire to actually arrive at the truth.
posted by jnthnjng at 2:59 PM on August 27, 2001


BentPenguin: yup, there's little reflection on the historical whys and wherefores in that piece. Nonetheless, it can still stand as a description of how things are now and how it feels to be a participant.

Your observation on the older man who asked "why do they treat me this way?" is a bit simple. For all we know, he didn't agree with terrorism back then and doesn't like it now. It is easy to punish a collective, but it is far from just.

A mutual "why do they hate us so much?" lack of insight is a big part of the problem, and an assumption that the other side is a united collective is another.

Having said that, the sooner Arafat and Fatah are replaced by something less venal, corrupt and evil the better.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:17 PM on August 27, 2001


"Israel is an occupying power and the Palestinians are a people under occupation."

That quote says it all. What is Israel's standing reason for its position as an invading force? It seems to be that, well, because they invaded 50 years ago, the territory is now theirs. As if the passage of time has resolved the issue. Problem is, the Palestinians have not forgotten. This is akin to the Vietnam war. They won't win a war with Palestine unless they kill everyone because after 50 years you have people so devoted that they are doing suicide bombing.
posted by fleener at 6:32 PM on August 27, 2001


Fleener: the quantity of ignorance in your post is astonishing. The territory in question was taken by Israel in 1967 (35 years ago) when war was waged against Israel.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:40 PM on August 27, 2001


Hate to say it, but Pat Buchanan was 100% correct, when he labeled Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory."
posted by Witold at 6:47 PM on August 27, 2001


Fleener: Israel took Gaza in 1967. The West Bank was taken from Jordan. Gaza was taken from Egypt. You will note that these two pieces of land were more desolate, more economically disasterous places prior to 1967 than they were once Israel assumed control over them. Israel has bettered the "Palestinian Arabs" more than either Jordan or Egypt, and certainly more than the PA.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2001


ParisParamus--Does being the victim of an attack make holding the territory right? Should the US have annexed Japan? Should France have been handed ownership of Germany and Austria?

And really, PP, where were you when we were covering the joys of colonialism?
posted by NortonDC at 6:59 PM on August 27, 2001


Since when in colonialism being attacked by 100-to-1 force armies; winning anyway; and retaining conquered land for security?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:05 PM on August 27, 2001


Israelis are not an occupation force.
This is their country, in both the secular and religious sense.


In the religious sense, it's debatable at best (not supposed to return until the messiah comes, as many ultra-orthodox Jews subscribe to, one of the reasons they do not serve in the Israeli army). In the secular, legal sense, it's absolutely not the case. General International law and specific United Nations resolutions are very clear that the territories are being occupied, and are not officially recognized as Israeli land by any country in the world. The very fact that you don't know that is an idictment of the U.S. media, and exactly why articles like the Post one seem to come out of nowhere. Some people even consider it baiting to link to such an article, such is its rarity.


Er, or, perhaps, one that was given to them via a United Nations decision? Aww, but you're right, the other is much more sexy sounding.

The United Nations resolution and the discussion surrounding it specifically did not call for Palestinians to be turned out of their homes. It didn't say anything about demolishing over 400 Palestinian villages. Furthermore even before the war that ensued following the decision, the Zionist forces captured land not part of the U.N. partition plan.

And if you're going to bring the U.N. into it, maybe you should mention that Israel is currently in direct violation of over 50 U.N resolutions.
posted by chaz at 7:07 PM on August 27, 2001


Might makes right. Go Isreal!

That's one mighty piece of reasoning there. Yup. I'm proud my tax dollars go toward supporting bullies and tyrants.
posted by fleener at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2001


ParisParamus--Does being the victim of an attack make holding the territory right? Should the US have annexed Japan? Should France have been handed ownership of Germany and Austria?

In the first place, Israel has offered to cede virtually all of Gaza, and most of the West Bank. If this isn't enough to create a new Arab country, complain to Jordan and Egypt.

In the second place, the United States never needed to occupy Japan for its own security. Israel, arguably, still needs the West Bank (which is why they should NEVER give back the Golan).

In the third place, France basically volunteered to be taken over by Germany : )
posted by ParisParamus at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2001


The United Nations is so anti-democratic and anti-Israel that its stupid resolutions are best ignored and laughed.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:13 PM on August 27, 2001


(at)
posted by ParisParamus at 7:13 PM on August 27, 2001


Yes, let's all ignore and laugh at the global organization of nations. PP, what do ya think is the reason the world is anti-Isreal on this issue?
posted by fleener at 7:19 PM on August 27, 2001


Maybe I missed it, PP, but what was the answer to this question: Does being the victim of an attack make holding the territory right?
posted by NortonDC at 7:22 PM on August 27, 2001


Yes, let's all ignore and laugh at the global organization of nations. PP, what do ya think is the reason the world is anti-Isreal on this issue?

Because virtually all of Africa, and most of Asia, and all of the Mideast is without democratic government. Hating Israel goes hand in hand with hating the United States. This is obvious to anyone with an open mind.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:35 PM on August 27, 2001


Maybe I missed it, PP, but what was the answer to this question: Does being the victim of an attack make holding the territory right?

It does as long as there's a reasonable threat of future attack from the country which participated in the war in which the territory was taken.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:38 PM on August 27, 2001


(and why hate the United States? because its a distraction from the fact that the population lives in poverty, and the people are ruled by a despotic regime and/or the military.)
posted by ParisParamus at 7:41 PM on August 27, 2001


PP--So you're granting the US the moral authority to indefinitely occupy Libya and Afghanistan?
posted by NortonDC at 7:51 PM on August 27, 2001


PP--So you're granting the US the moral authority to indefinitely occupy Libya and Afghanistan?

No, because neither country seriously threatens the existence or security of the US.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:54 PM on August 27, 2001


I'd like to clerify some points that seem to elude some. Jews leaving Hitler's Europe had no where to turn in the world. Even though thousands of Jews supported the British through draft and finance, they still put extreme quotas on immigrants into Palestine that could not possibly account for all the Jews needing settlement. Several South American countries opened their doors for those that could afford it, and America had already showed its anti-Semitism by sending home a boat of wealthy, educated Jewish refugees from West Europe because there was no room for them in the quota (they died in the gas chambers).

Jews at the time fought a bloody, ugly terrorist battle mainly against the British and against Arabs that threatened the integrity of their land. While suicide was not a strategy, many of the other Jewish terrorist strategies were later adopted against Israel by the Palestinians. Jews sneaked into Palestine in the night and built make-shift houses in huge numbers which could not be knocked down because of old Ottoman law. So far, the Jews were extremely out of line, not adhering to any civility, but clearly without option.

When a compromise became a reality mediated by the UN, the Jews jumped on it and agreed to partition Palestine. Jordan and Israel would be formed, one for the "Palestinian" people and one for the Jews, which was extremely small relative to modern day Israel. The Arab world rejected the partition plan from day one and the Jordanian army sent word to all Muslims to evacuate Palestine as they were coming in for a quick blitzkrieg to "push the Jews to the sea". Those who stayed and believed in the integrity of a Jewish homeland compose 20% of Israel's current population of Israeli Arab citizens. Even though they attacked with 9 million against the Jews 600,000, people like my grandmother (only in her late teens) fought hard and persevered winning the war. This pattern of Arab armed assault against Israel continued over the 50 years. The only time Israel ever struck first was in 1967, which was only a first strike by technical measure, as tanks were obviously moving into striking formation from Syria, Egypt, and Jordan. Israel always wreaked havok during armed assault winning 40-1 odds and worse. Finally, the Arab world realized that military conquest was futile against the ingenious measures of Israel and the "freedom fighters", who were often people who ran from their homes to allow Jordan to dessimate the Jews in '47, adopted a plan of urban warfare, one of attrition that Israel simply could not defeat.

When people talk of the atrocities of the Israeli military / people / gov't, they usually refer to the occupation and it's results. But the "Palestinians" are hated by all the Arabs. In Lebanon they suffered 70% unemployment rates in disgusting refugee camps, and were the only fully armed population in the world, courtesy of Syria, Iran, Hamas, that whole story. And the only reason they got there is because Jordan, which in the UN partition became the official home of the Palestinian "nation" and whose population is by vast majority "Palestinian", in 1970 said they were disgusted by the terrorist methods of the PLO and kicked them right the hell out by advancing on them with tanks and killing thousands. Those displaced Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are the brethren of the Jordanians and of many Egyptians but they are outcast by the whole Arab world. And why not? Arafat stood behind Hussein. As for the Gaza strip, that's another interesting tale. When Israel made peace with Egypt (by the way, they've also made peace with Jordon and during the last administration with Lebanon) they offered Egypt 100% of its precious land back, which was extremely gracious to say the least. But not only did Egypt get to have 100% of its previous territories after 3 military assaults with Israel, but they got to include a little clause that they wouldn't have to take back the Gaza Strip. Then they herded borderline families into the territory and closed the deal. Thanks to these measures, the Gaza Strip is the most densely populated territory in the world.

Do we hear of these atrocities? Do we forget that Israel has been at the losing end of negotiations and still willing to move forward but stopped time and again by an Arafat who has no counterproposals? Now Arafat is not an idiot. His actions and inactions are intentional. He knows that his only power is through force. The UN is not a fair mediator. Anti-Semitism runs through its veins, often lead by Muslim nations in Indonesia and perpetuated by Europeans. Arafat has to play his cards and he does so by spreading propaganda in schools, emptying schools of children during days of heated violence to create more martyrs, releasing known terrorists from prison, and not even publicly denouncing their actions.

I don't agree with the warring mentality as a means to an end. But I can't watch Palestinian martyrs blow up bombs so close to my family and pretend I don't care, or drive buses right through checkpoints at people, or shooting at settlers from their homes and going inside with their children so they won't be shot back at. That's why the military moved to demolishing houses, because cowards would hide behind their own children and they often feel they can "spare" a few for Allah. I believe the tanks need to roll out and go home. Give the Palestinians all the credit they deserve without the confirmation from Arafat. Just roll out, lift the checkpoints, and stand at the border behind a wall. If terrorism continues, you kill anyone at the border but allow the Palestinians to police their own terrorists. If they do not, we will then see who is an active partner in peace. What the Rightist camp feels is that they'll prove to us what we already know. Would you trust them?
posted by OG at 8:49 PM on August 27, 2001


So if another country can bully you around that's the green light to bully them. OK, by that logic the U.S. should invade Israel, et al. Their activity thus far of guns and explosives is all well and good, but it just takes one stashed nuclear warhead to ignite the Middle East. And a year or two later I'll be dying of Leukemia after the fallout travels the globe (and that's the best-case scenario of a limited exchange). So obviously the U.S. would be justified in invading the whole region because those rinky dink countries "seriously threaten the existence or security of the U.S."
posted by fleener at 8:53 PM on August 27, 2001


they are outcast by the whole Arab world. And why not? Arafat stood behind Hussein

By that logic you would judge me based on what George W. Bush says and does. Huh, painting an entire people because of one man or administration. Palestinians want the same things Isrealis want, the same thing Americans want, the same thing Australians want, etc. In the end what I see Isreal doing just doesn't seem right and only encourages extremism instead of recognizing that the "other side" has valid complaints.
posted by fleener at 9:00 PM on August 27, 2001


By that logic you would judge me based on what George W. Bush says and does.

No. because, however imperfect, we vote here, and he got the White House, whereas Arafat, a thug, has never been elected to anything and maintains power by violence, threat of violence, and propaganda. He, and the PA are thugs. A MAFIA.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:13 PM on August 27, 2001


If you steal a country through terrorist acts, why be surprised when terror continues.

If your police kill Arab Israelis in cold bloody, your own citizens, why be surprised when terror continues.

I will state my position very clearly. Fuck Israel. They have taken a country and should be thankful that they are allowed to have any of the land. For them to bring peace all they have to do is return to the term of the 1967 peace agreement.
posted by Atom Heart Mother at 9:30 PM on August 27, 2001


OG your tirade is so full of myths, half-truths, and convenient distortions that I don't know where to begin. It is a sympton precisely of the Israeli vageuly-left peace camp that you subscribe to-- misunderstanding the basic nature of the conflict through willful self-deception. At least the right-wing has the guts to come out and admit they want the land by force. Your method instead involves blaming everyone but the Israelis for the problems in the Middle East.

By my count you blame the U.N., the European Nations, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Lebanese, the United States, Muslim Countries in Indonesia (sic), the British, The Arab World, Iran, Islam, and Arafat. Everyone is to blame except for the people pulling the triggers, dropping the bombs, strangling the economy, cutting down the trees, developing the nuclear weapons, violating international laws and convention by the dozens, and being condemned by virtually every Human Rights organization in the World.

You slander the Palestinian people for their reaction to atrocity, and yet you use a European atrocity as the prelude to your comments. You put "Palestinain People" in quotes to denote that they are not real people, just an invented people who use their children as protective shields, because of the inherent inferiority of their religion.

Inbetween all of that, you use statistics and propaganda that has long since been disproven in order to suggest an entirely unworkable solution that involves virtually no effort by your country to comply with International Law. But I guess why should they bother since the entire mess is clearly caused by Islam, the Palestinians, the US, Europe, etc.
posted by chaz at 10:31 PM on August 27, 2001


Here's an interesting letter to NPR about its biased pro-Isreali coverage.
posted by fleener at 12:53 AM on August 28, 2001


Oops, better link... Here's a bunch of letters.
posted by fleener at 12:54 AM on August 28, 2001


Incidentally, Jerusalem is the City of the Month at the Arab League website. While this too is propaganda, it gives their perspective of the city's importance to them.
posted by tamim at 2:05 AM on August 28, 2001


Hey, let's play Spot PP's Double Standards (big money, big prizes, I love it!):

Maybe I missed it, PP, but what was the answer to this question: Does being the victim of an attack make holding the territory right?

It does as long as there's a reasonable threat of future attack from the country which participated in the war in which the territory was taken.

PP--So you're granting the US the moral authority to indefinitely occupy Libya and Afghanistan?

No, because neither country seriously threatens the existence or security of the US.

Yeah, that's a quick turnaround from just "attack." I'm wondering if it's some kind of record.

Well, PP, how about Germany? Would you have granted the US the moral authority to have indefinitely occupied Germany on up to the present day after their terrorist/sabotage campaign killed American civilians (including children) on American soil? Or maybe since they have a history of repeated violence against Americans on American soil and off, and they are now a significant military power, you would counsel the US to go occupy them, right?
posted by NortonDC at 4:03 AM on August 28, 2001


Well, PP, how about Germany? Would you have granted the US the moral authority to have indefinitely occupied Germany on up to the present day after their terrorist/sabotage campaign killed American civilians (including children) on American soil?

Same answer as above. We did occupy Germany for a while; then we occupied Berlin for a lot longer. Israel doesn't want Gaza. It needs parts of the territories.

By the way, just for good measure, until about 1960's there were no Palestinians other than Jews. In the course of a decade, the Arabs living in the West Bank, which was part of Jordan until 1967, decided it was politically expedient to start calling themselves "Palestinians."

Palestinian Arabs already have one country, Jordan. Perhaps the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza deserve a second country. But it's BS to ascribe to the Palestinian Arabs politcal rights greater than those of the citizens of Israel. Until most of the Arab world stops calling for the erasure of Israel, there will not be a second Palestinian Arab nation. Sorry.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:22 AM on August 28, 2001


Sorry, but I just can't let Paris get the last word. For all your seeming intelligence in other posts, you appear so embarrassingly exposed here in your unabashed (and hardly even-handed) praise of Israel.

But, as my 6+ years experience making documentary films about Israel has shown me, this comes as no surprise - Israelis, and especially American Jews, are a paranoid bunch.
posted by mapalm at 7:21 AM on August 28, 2001


I'm not praising Israel; I'm condemning Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and to a lesser extent Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. Israel is by no means perfect, but given what it's up against, it's hard not to stick up for it.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:28 AM on August 28, 2001


OK, Paris - by your own admission, you are condemning these Arab countries. But at the same time, you condemn the Palestinians who, as I'm sure you are well aware, have been pawns in the larger Pan-Arab movement ever since the days of Abdullah and the Mufti. But putting all the history aside - which, at some point, one MUST do, otherwise each side can always reach back further for some example of a harm done - I find it hard for anyone to argue that Israel is not guilty of a protracted form of violence (road closures, occupation, school closings, targeted assasinations, not to mention overt racism) whose only inevitable conclusion is the rising up of an oppressed people, asking for a homeland of their own, no, demanding a homeland, and willing to die for it.

Israel will be at war as long as it chooses this path. Give back the Occupied Territories; give back East Jerusalem; and by god, HELP Palestine become a viable country - only then will the fighting stop, because THAT is what Palestinians are fighting for.
posted by mapalm at 8:44 AM on August 28, 2001


Paris your posts are drenched in racism and hatred, and informed by lies and myths. It's obvious you don't have a clue what you're talking about, and yet you still persist in arguing the same old hoary propaganda that I have seen people discredit on this very board. At what point do you decide to take a new tack and actually educate yourself on the issue? There is a passionate, truthful side to be argued in defense of the Jewish State, but it does not involve dehumanizing the Palestinians and Arabs (and by extension in your most recent posts, the rest of the world).
posted by cell divide at 9:55 AM on August 28, 2001


There is a passionate, truthful side to be argued in defense of the Jewish State, but it does not involve dehumanizing the Palestinians and Arabs (and by extension in your most recent posts, the rest of the world).

Amen.

Holding the simultaneous beliefs that there should be a Jewish state and that the current Israeli government is behaving in abhorrent and unethical ways towards the Palestinian people is not contradictory. Rather, it's a painful reality for many American and Israeli Jews. One of the best resources for learning about how Jews are working towards peace and justice in the Middle East is the New Israel Fund. There are countless others as well.
posted by judith at 10:37 AM on August 28, 2001


also: not in my name
posted by judith at 10:44 AM on August 28, 2001


"Maybe I missed it, PP, but what was the answer to this question: Does being the victim of an attack make holding the territory right?"

Now my view of this situation is skewed, and I don't pretend it isn't. I was under the impression that the "day" after the British pulled out & split up "Israel" between the Israelis and the Arabs that several Arab nations declared War on Israel and attacked and the Arab nations were defeated.

Declaration of War is not a simple "attack". By declaring war you are giving up any moral high ground. You've stopped trying to accomplish your goal morally and are gambling your right to that goal on the outcome of battle. Apparently you are willing to live with the consequences or you wouldn't have declared war in the first place.

Some things that I believe are true:

1. The ending of this conflict as soon as possible is the most important goal.

2a. The only way the "Palestinian Arabs" can hope to end being treated as second hand citizens is to increase their representation in the Israeli Government and work with the system in place at the cost of what in the long view can only be looked at as short term loses of land.

2b. Maintaining this drive to establish a separate nation only keeps the "Palestinian Arabs" in their current position. Imagine if African Americans decided to establish a separate country within the United States instead of integrating with the rest of the nation during the 60's. There were a lot White People would have been glad to let them go ahead and do so. (I'm not saying race relations are perfect in the US, but I am saying that African Americans as a group are not currently engaged in a war against another racial group. Hip Hop music has become a major societal influence on our children. Tiger Woods, Magic Johnson, Mike Jordon are heroes to our children, etc.)

3. The "Palestinian Arabs" are currently in a fight with an economically, militarily, technically superior enemy.

4. The Israelis would be happy to let the "Palestinian Arabs" form their own country someplace other than Israel, Gaza, West Bank, etc. The current conflict only increases that feeling.

5. "Refugee Camps" stopped being thus a long time ago. After 34 years of permanent settlement, I would think they are towns/villages/cities.

6. If one group was suicide bombing my community, killing women and children, I would scorch the earth around my community and dare any member of said group to cross the line.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 10:47 AM on August 28, 2001


Also: Bt'selem.

They provide a human-rights based framework for peace, and level charges grounded in fact at both Israelis and Palestinians for their human rights abuses. They are based in Israel.
posted by cell divide at 10:50 AM on August 28, 2001


5. "Refugee Camps" stopped being thus a long time ago. After 34 years of permanent settlement, I would think they are towns/villages/cities.

It's important to understand that the refugee camps were there long before Israel was forced to take over the West Bank from Jordan (honestly, I don't know if there are camps in Gaza; if there are , the same is true). The refugee camps are the product of Arabs who lived in the British Mandate and fled, supposedly in preparation for the extant Arab countries to erase Israel.

So, while this doesn't relieve Israel of an obligation to do something with the West Bank (and Gaza), it does provide context to why the problem exists.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:16 PM on August 28, 2001


Hey, Paris:

First off, yes, there are Refugee Camps in Gaza; actually, I prefer the term "Concentration Camps," because that is what they most closely resemble - squalor and hopelessness, akin to the Indian Reservations in the US, except that in Palestine, the roads are closed.

As for this statement:
The refugee camps are the product of Arabs who lived in the British Mandate and fled, supposedly in preparation for the extant Arab countries to erase Israel.

For someone who claims to be so well-informed, I am surprised that you would get this one wrong. There is ample evidence unearthed in the last 10 years (most notably by Israeli academics Benny Morris and Ilan Pappe) that the Israelis used terror tactics to compel Arabs to leave; or, at times, resorted to force to expel Arabs, after which the Israelis would raze the village, and give it a cute new Hebrew name, thus erasing all trace of any Arab presence. (This happened in areas designated for both Israel and Palestine in the 1947 UN Partition Plan.) Did you know, for instance, that Ramat Aviv, a posh Northern Tel Aviv suburb, used to be an Arab village?
posted by mapalm at 1:30 PM on August 28, 2001


Virtually every Israeli town used to be an Arab village. Over 400 were destroyed. Check out Palestine Remembered for exact details and photos.

The leading Israeli historians, Benny Morris and Tom Segev have reported that around half of the 750,000 refugees from Palestine were forcibly expelled by the Zionist armies. Furthermore, Segev writes (in the highly regarded book "One Palestine, Complete") that Arab leaders attempted to stop Palestinians from fleeing their homes, but were not able to do so.

Furthermore it is enshrined in International Law that when fleeing conflict, refugees have the right to return to their homes. Israel has never allowed this to happen.
posted by cell divide at 1:38 PM on August 28, 2001


Mapalm, I'm not up to that extent on the subject.

Did you know, for instance, that Ramat Aviv, a posh Northern Tel Aviv suburb, used to be an Arab village?

And did you know there are Arabs living in Israel right now, as we speak, who get to vote and live normal lives, and live better than anywhere else in the Arab world?

The issue isn't whether or not Palestinian Arabs live in squalor(sp?) but, rather, whose at fault for causing it and perpetuating it. Israel didn't cause it and has done everthing in its power to improve the situation. What have the surrounding countries done?
posted by ParisParamus at 1:40 PM on August 28, 2001


And did you know there are Arabs living in Israel right now, as we speak, who get to vote and live normal lives, and live better than anywhere else in the Arab world?

And, you forgot to add, get shot dead by their own army (13 of them, in fact).

It's not in Israel's power to improve the situation in the Concentration Camps that they police? Well, I am afraid I have nothing more to say - you truly are wearing blinders.
posted by mapalm at 1:49 PM on August 28, 2001


you truly are wearing blinders

Yes, the phrase "willful ignorance" does spring to mind. That passage, combined with

Israel was forced to take over the West Bank from Jordan

makes PP's sincerity more and more suspect. I now regard him merely as a troll.
posted by NortonDC at 3:34 PM on August 28, 2001


Israel was forced to take over the West Bank from Jordan. And Gaza from Egypt!

Further, the Palestinian Arabs should be grateful to Israel--would Jordan and Egypt have otherwise ceded these pieces of land?

Remember: the East Bank is still Jordan. Does the PA want that too?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:30 AM on August 29, 2001


Trolling is not cool.
posted by NortonDC at 8:35 AM on August 29, 2001


ParisParamus:
Who forced them to take over the land? And if they were indeed "forced," why don't they just leave the land now? I wouldn't want to live where I was forced into.

And when will you enlighten us with the real truth that you mentioned in your post on August 21?
posted by tamim at 8:46 AM on August 29, 2001


Who forced them to take over the land? And if they were indeed "forced," why don't they just leave the land now? I wouldn't want to live where I was forced into.

Who forced them not to be driven into the sea?

Several nations, many times their size and population, waged war against Israel to destroy it; erase it. In order not to have hostile troops within meters on all sides, Israel took the West Bank and Gaza and the Sinai. In 1973, they took the Golan.

They have sinced returned the Sinai and would LOVE to get rid of Gaza. Since Jordan has since given away the West Bank (they didn't want all those Palestinians either...), Israel can't even negotiate with Jordan for the West Bank to be de-militarized. So, as a spoil of war, Israel has hung onto the West Bank. Sounds perfectly fair to me. If Arafat goes, and the Palestinan Arabs come to their senses, some, possibly most of the West Bank may be given to them. But the Palestinian Arabs will NEVER get the area immediate surrounding Jerusalem.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:57 AM on August 29, 2001


And when will you enlighten us with the real truth that you mentioned in your post on August 21?

Because Mr. Sharon and any other Israeli or Jew has the right to visit a sight objectively more sacred to Jews than that site is to Moslems. To suggest that the incident you mention is the cause of the present situation in Israel just underlines how willing you are to accept the maniacal, Palestinian "leadership".
posted by ParisParamus at 9:05 AM on August 29, 2001


(site)
posted by ParisParamus at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2001


Paris: "To suggest that the incident you mention is the cause of the present situation in Israel just underlines how willing you are to accept the maniacal, Palestinian "leadership"."

Paris, I did not mention anything. Stop atributing things at random.

So the "real truth" is Sharon has a right to visit the Dome of the Rock? That's it?
posted by tamim at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2001


This is such a B.S. thread by now. You supposedly enlightened people are just finding ways to bash each other while you pretend to think intellectually. The facts remain that Israel is an open partner for peace, not because of the administration which clearly wants to continue settlements, inhumane treatment, etc., but because of the people who are by great majority in the peace camp. However, Arafat doesn't want peace unless it means Jerusalem and resettlement and some other little quirks. He knows that if he "concedes" to something less than that, his case will be less convincing. It is that simple and it's more simple to see that Israel cannot absorb 5 million more people. I still think that the Palestinian people will one day come to the realization that they can compromise, but with all their brain-washing it will be hard to let go of some axioms. It's just like the situation in Iraq as America tried to make the people revolt themselves. Anyway, stop the negativity. Anyone bashing people is obviously not a true peace-minded person, they only do it some of the time when it seems convenient. My previous post was clearly reactionary, as it pointed out the insanity and frustration that you might have as an Israeli citizen believing at least at the core that you have been doing the right things so far and things just don't work out. It'll change, but not with yelling and fighting (kind of like this message thread).

-OG
posted by OG at 10:51 AM on August 29, 2001


Sharon, or you or I has the right to visit where the First and Second temples were. Of course, it's common Arab propaganda to insist there were no Temples (which would, incidentally, mean there was no Christ).
posted by ParisParamus at 10:54 AM on August 29, 2001


The more I read this thread, the more I cannot but help to think that PP is just a plain racist; couched in his political arguments is a seething hatred for Arabs/Muslims...a phenomenon that afflicts most Westerners, especially Americans...and most especially American Jews.

War is what you want? You gut it, bub...Don't come crying to us when the next bus is blown up - just as Botha and DeKlerk had to make concessions, so, too, will the Isreali leadership have to make concessions, and let go of their entrenched mythology of victimization if they ever want to achieve peace.

"The oppressed shall become the oppressors."
posted by mapalm at 1:22 PM on August 29, 2001


Yes, most Americans are simply racists. It's obvious. That's why, despite it being the most diversely composed nation in history, in 2001, the USA has relatively little racism (it exists, but, compared to what and where?); why does the US have the most comprehensive and actively-used anti-discrimination set of laws in the world; and why Palestinian Arabs would, and do anything possible to come here--Brooklyn!--not Syria or Egypt. Actually, I suspect a lot of Palestinian Arabs would prefer living in Israel, especially if they didn't fear reprisals for making efforts to move there.

You confuse racism with support for Western principles of democracy and freedom of expression. That's why you refuse to see the PA, and most of the Arab world as a disgrace, and Israel as a small, victimized country surrounded by hostility and savagery.

Concessions? Israel gave back the Sinai and have offered most of the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian Arabs work in Israel.

Where are the PA's concessions? Why are Palestinian Arab children taught to hate Jews in school? Why are innocent Palestinans routinely murdered for "collaborating with Israel (or whatever the term is)"? What kind of "society" legitimates suicide bombers murdering innocent civilians and babies and why does the PA tolerate or sanction such behavior (at least the Japanese Kamikazes went for military targets). Why were so many Palestinian Arabs so joyous when Iraq's scud's rained-down on Israel? Why were 300,000 Palestinian Arabs kicked out of Kuwait during the Gulf War? Like the "leaders" of the Palestinan Arabs, your conclusions ignore objective reality.

The oppressed shall become the oppressors? Guess that means the PA will soon be toppled in a coup by ordinary Palestinian Arabs, and ditto in Jordan and Syria.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2001


mapalm: a phenomenon that afflicts most Westerners, especially Americans...and most especially American Jews.


now that is racism. that's the most close-minded notion i've ever heard in my life, especially that you have the bizarre belief that most american jews have a "seething hatred for Arabs/Muslims". perhaps non-politically active ones will believe whatever the slighted newspapers offer, but the rest of jewry, besides the orthodox, are disproportionately liberal and in the issue of the mideast, pro peace.

secondly, i've found two articles worth including that help corroborate my points. i don't want everyone to jump on their judgmental tirades over these, please. my points that the palestinians are not ready for peace is an observation, not a judgment, because i can see from a more objective point of view that there are too many brain-washing internal pressures in their society today. but like all people, they are capable of great things and will eventually come out of their shells and (hopefully) revolt, or something to that nature.... anyway, without further ado, here are the articles:

- Survey of Palestinians finds no support for compromise on right of return
- Who cares about the Palestinians?
(Btw, Farah is an Arabic name.)

read those and tell me that war isn't brewing among the arabs. it's an observation, not judgment. especially concerning the first article. it's just plainly obvious that israel cannot absorb millions of more settlers, nor that they would have an actual place to go once it was decreed that they can come. but arafat loves this because without a conflict, he has no political clout. he's an awful leader in every other aspect, depriving his people of basic necessities, such as moneys given in the billions from israel and the US that are supposed to go to resettle displaced persons within the PA territories, but yet there are still masses of people in refugee camps (which btw, spawn the terrorists).

i agree that we need to return to 1967 borders immediately. however, as the first article demonstrates, that's not good enough for 96.1% of palestinians. and more importantly, i don't agree with giving up jerusalem, which was the main point of breakdown of the last peace negotiations. israel needs to take some drastic measures, but the palestinians have to begin convincing the world that they'll meet a negotiation half way.

PLUS!!!!! you don't have to have a perfect resolution from day one! keep that in mind...

- OG
posted by OG at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2001


Don't know why I bother. American Jews are some of the most frightening, reactionary people around. All those fanatic, pistol-waving Jewish settlers claiming they are fulfilling the Bible by occupying Palestinian land? They come from Brooklyn, and they want nothing less than the expulsion of Arabs from what they call Judea and Sumaria.

Yes, there are a few enlightened, balanced, educated American Jews when it comes to Israel, but they are few and far between.

And all the BULLSHIT about Israel conceeding so much, it's a fallacy. As the NYT belatedly reported a few weeks ago (no link, you find it), what Barak offered the Palestinians was an insult.

Get your facts straight before you characterize Palestinian demands, hopes and fears.

Here's a thought - maybe try TALKING to a few. I have, both in Chicago and in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Ramallah...not through the filter of the gooddamn Washington Post.

I'm thru.
posted by mapalm at 3:56 PM on August 29, 2001


mapalm, i'm just going to assume that you're an american jew because you are among "the most frightening, reactionary people around."

Get your facts straight before you characterize Palestinian demands, hopes and fears.

i'm just going to assume that you didn't bother to read the links i posted because you're among "the most frightening reactionary people around." if by "facts" you mean your ranting generalities and anger, then no, i don't have mine straight. but if you're referring to the statistics compiled from hundreds of palestinians throughout the territories by the IPCRI, the only joint Palestinian-Israeli public policy think-tank in the world, then i'm sorry, you're wrong. the link i included showed that a vast majority of usually over 90% are obstinate about resettlement although it's infeasible, and over 60% agree to violent methods as a means to their end. also by vast majority, the palestinians do not want any other offer in place of resettlement. so i'm sorry for your buddies around the world (and you're not the only person who's spoken to palestinians in jerusalem, tel aviv, as well as kibbutz shar ha'golan and others), but they don't represent the whole and if they do, they need to start speaking up. notice that open conversations like this in assorted media are just not an option in the special interest media of the PA.

now to make my point clear, you and people like yourself are the reason why the left wing camp lose elections, public support, and unity. your need for theoretical humanity right this second overshadows your ability to compose peace plans that have substance, a specific route of obtaining and of maintaining. instead, you just want to yell about incivilities in an uncivil way.
posted by OG at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2001


OG - chill, dude...you need to relax. I do not dispute that Palestinians feel the need to resort to violent tactics. But by merely sticking to that issue, you miss the point. In order to understand the current war, one must understand the roots of the feeling of hopelessness among Palestinians, a hopelessness that has grown out of years of Israeli oppression and occupation, lies and deceit, and an apathetic or openly hostile world community that sits back and watches it all.

And don't speak to me of compromise. Israel compromises nothing. You are damn right I am pissed at Israel, and increasingly have no sympathy (and don't take the lame tact of using that statement to accuse me of not supporting Israel's right to exist...that is so boring). No, here is the simple truth: Israel must give up the territories it occupied in 1967; it must cede East Jerusalem (where no Jews go anyway); and agree to the internationalization of the Old City. These are issues that are not debatable, as far as the Palestinians are concerned (nor should they be). And these are issues that have NOT been offered by Israel, despite what you may have read. It is only within Israel's power to make peace - Palestinians have nothing to live for at the moment. Israel better wake up.

And what left wing camp are you talking about in Israel? The tiny minority remaining in Peace Now? Israeli peaceniks for the most part have shown their true colors in the last 11 months - "kill the fucking Arabs, let's be done with this problem." I'll tell you what: it ain't gonna happen.
posted by mapalm at 8:38 AM on August 30, 2001


Mapalm--I thought you gave up. I would love to know who's brainwashing you.

Very good article in the Weekly Standard on this subject.

Basically, some time soon, Israel will have had enough. The PA will be evicted with Arafat--a week or less, and the PA and Arafat will be gone--hope that day is soon.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:49 AM on August 30, 2001


Where ya been PP?...lol...You make me nuts! I just can't let it go. But at least I can laugh at myself.

I agree that basically, soon, Israel will have had enough - and I believe that that will translate into Israel giving back the West Bank and Gaza, along with East Jerusalem. Only then will peace be possible.

Oh, and at least some of the main stream press gets it right.
posted by mapalm at 10:56 AM on August 30, 2001


That article says nothing I disagree with; but it doesn't offer any suggestion why the situation exists; why it's overwelmingly Arafat's fault, as well as that of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan for the state of matters. Malpalm: you are one deceived dude.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:13 AM on August 30, 2001


Paris, when the PA is gone, what is the next step? What would you propose to make peace once Arafat is gone?
posted by cell divide at 11:13 AM on August 30, 2001


When there's a credible leadership and credible body to be handed some portion (most) of the West Bank and Gaza, yes.

Basically, I think the article is a sane view on the subject. For what it's worth, I would adopt it as a reasonable course for Israel.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:27 AM on August 30, 2001


One deceived dude? Nah, Paris, just got my facts right, and refuse to be ruled by primal group affinities.

Arafat's fault? That is just plain laughable. And when, dear God, when will people stop confusing Palestinina Arabs with Syrian Arabs, Jordanian Arabs, Egyptian Arabs, etc? Why should the Palestinians be blamed for the failings of other Arab nations?

Oh, and that article? I linked to it because it showed the inhumanity of Israeli policy - destroying homes, orchards, businesses, etc.
posted by mapalm at 11:29 AM on August 30, 2001


Another fine article in the same vein, Mapalm, is here: click here


As for the article Paris linked, it seems to me to be just another military solution to a problem that will never have a military solution. It also dismisses out of hand the fact that Palestinians might have a legitimate reason to struggle for independence, and it ignores International Law. On one level it's right, no nation should put up with terror. But on the other hand it ignores the reality of why that terror exists, and instead villifies one group while portraying the other as 'under seige'
posted by cell divide at 11:38 AM on August 30, 2001


Hey, Paris: let's end this thread on cell divide's post, eh? Can we at least agree on that? Call a truce? lol...
posted by mapalm at 11:44 AM on August 30, 2001


Arafat's fault? That is just plain laughable.

No single thing you have written discredits you more than this. Arafat is the head of a thug government; a Soviet type regime on a smaller, poorer scale. Actually, I should have written "Syrian government on a smaller, poorer scale."

when will people stop confusing Palestinina Arabs with Syrian Arabs, Jordanian Arabs, Egyptian Arabs, etc?...
Why should the Palestinians be blamed for the failings of other Arab nations?


Well, in the first place, cooperation in war and terrorism and propaganda.


Oh, and that article? I linked to it because it showed the inhumanity of Israeli policy - destroying homes, orchards, businesses, etc. Israel is doing what it sees necessary to protect its people.

These are all legitimate targets when suicidal looneys are using them to prep for bombing babies in pizzarias. It's called WAR, and it was started by Arafat.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:49 AM on August 30, 2001


OK. I'm tired of this thread, too.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:52 AM on August 30, 2001


Blah, blah, blah....ad infinitum. "Legitimate targets," "protect its people," "Soviet type regime": Geez, PP, you hit all the right propaganda-speak. Are you duped? Probably not. But perhaps too emotionally attached as a Jewish person to see the realities of oppression. I know it can be painful to admit, but your little baby Israel has gwown up...and turned into an oppressive, militaristic monster.
posted by mapalm at 12:11 PM on August 30, 2001


But perhaps too emotionally attached as a Jewish person to see the realities of oppression.

Mapalm, who are you to call other people emotional? You're the one who cites articles that are purely people's reactions to israeli actions. that is emotion, 100% emotion. it involves no policy, ideas for solutions, or legitimate deductive logic; just how sad people are. that's the only thing you see in this conflict.

i agree with you that the palestinians suffer more than the jews. it's inconceivable to think otherwise. but the jews weren't just handed good fortune. they worked through so many hardships, came from europe with nothing, were chased out of the middle east losing billions of dollars, fought wars they didn't start against religiously fueled nations of far greater size, might, and wealth, built a strong economy and education system from the ground up, and sustained a democracy throughout.

arafat uses resources in the billions apportioned by israel and the US to build up his army. it's as plain a fact as anyone can see. if his priorities were his people, then the refugee camps would be getting smaller instead of bigger as new villages would be built and the palestinians wouldn't be armed. every gun they have had to be paid for and they started with nothing. so clearly we know money is going into that interest and not into helping his people. his schools still teach propaganda. this needs no further elaboration. in israel, the new textbooks purchased a few years ago officially removed the territories as belonging to israel proper and it caused a stir, but that's how israel thinks of things. yes, they plan for peace.

now you tell me and others to calm down and you follow with, "You are damn right I am pissed" and then:

And what left wing camp are you talking about in Israel? The tiny minority remaining in Peace Now? Israeli peaceniks for the most part have shown their true colors in the last 11 months - "kill the fucking Arabs, let's be done with this problem."

who are you quoting? your own stupidity and misconceptions? in the article you quoted, the woman says, "Thank God the Jews did not bury us under the ruins.'' the jews? not "that damn military" or even "those oppressors". the jews, they are to blame. that's plain racism.

in 1947 the palestinians rejected a resolution to create an israel, palestine, and jordon, so instead, only israel and jordon were formed. the goal was to "push the jews to the sea". not all supported it, today they compose 20% of israel's arab-israeli population. in 1967, israel offered the palestinians israeli citizenship. most refused in exchange for jordanian citizenship. the goal was to "push the jews to the sea". not all supported it, today they compose 20% of israel's arab-israeli population. you have to care for your interests before someone else can do it for you. if the palestinian people are caught in the middle, then they have to fight back against their leadership that makes these decisions.

And what left wing camp are you talking about in Israel? The tiny minority remaining in Peace Now?

there have only been three right-wing coalitions in israel's history. the rest have all been left-wing. the avodah party, the "workers" party, for example ruled for the first 20 years. i can say without great difficulty that most of israel's population supports peace.

now if you have any facts, articles composed of more than emotional outcries, or proposals founded on either of those that you'd like to share, please do. otherwise, i would understand if you stopped posting. but i wouldn't understand if you continued in your hypocritical, emotional, mindless bickering. sorry for all the superlatives.
posted by OG at 4:23 PM on September 1, 2001


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