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Israel's tourism minister assasinated by palestinian militants.
October 17, 2001 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Israel's tourism minister assasinated by palestinian militants. Could this even further slow down peace talks between leaders? Or must we brace ourselves for the second year of this conflict?
posted by Robin (36 comments total)

 
Second year? By whose count?
posted by stchang at 11:26 AM on October 17, 2001


August/September 2000, when the violence escalated into North America's media intake.
posted by Robin at 11:33 AM on October 17, 2001


One has to wonder if Arafat has any control at all over the Palestinians, or if the PA is just a front for organized graft and corruption. Every time Arafat promises to keep a lid on the West Bank and Gaza, either Hamas or the PFLP throws a monkeywrench into the works, and Arafat is left there holding his dick and blinking stupidly while Israel sends in the tanks.

If the Palestinians ever hope to have a state of their own, they are going to have to look to a leader of vision, ability, and power -- none of which Arafat has.
posted by mrmanley at 11:37 AM on October 17, 2001


errrr.... so? North America's media intake doesn't have a whole heck of a lot to do with anything real. I'd say fifty third year might be more accurate. Also, shouldn't "peace talks" always be in quotes when we talk about this "conflict?"
posted by badstone at 11:39 AM on October 17, 2001


Right on mrmanley. It is difficult to believe that any meaningful peace can be accomplished with Arafat in charge. Does he even really want peace? If he does, why hasn't the PLO gone after these terrorist groups? Until they are brought to justice, I think it will be very difficult to have peace talks. The PLO's inaction against these groups seems to say, either they support their behavior or are powerless to stop them. Either way it does not bode will for peace in the middle east. Yes, they might condemn Hamas and PFLP but what good is that? You must actually try and stop them and bring them to justice.
posted by aj100 at 11:48 AM on October 17, 2001


I think we should try to blame Osama for this also. I'm sure that he's only about two or three degrees of separation away from the killers.

This just makes it even more likely that this war is going to go on long after Bin Laden and the Taliban are stains in the sand.
posted by Jart at 11:51 AM on October 17, 2001


The second Intifada began on September 28, 2000 nitpickers.
posted by jpoulos at 11:53 AM on October 17, 2001


The timing's rotten, since Sharon had shown some courage towards jump-starting the peace negotiations, and the tourism minister's pending resignation looked set to place more power in the hands of the Labour moderates within the coalition government. Like mrmanley, I suspect that the PFLP knew this, and wanted to ensure that they weren't sidelined by any move towards normalisation.

Arafat basically has to reimplement the situation that was in place around the time of the Oslo negotiations, by rounding up the usual suspects and putting as many militants as possible behind bars. Whether he has the capacity to do so, only time will tell. If not, there'll be a huge power vacuum as far as international recognition is concerned, which will regionalise the Palestinian movement and empower the militants. It's absolutely awful.
posted by holgate at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2001



Why do we continue to beat the crap out of this dead horse? Why does anyone still think that plopping down a Jewish state in the middle of the most anti-semitic region of the world is a resolvable conflict?

There is no diplomatic solution to a problem that boils down to a conflict between two different fundamentalists groups who view human lives as having secondary importance to gods and spirits. By definition, there can be no compromise for either group, and therefore no diplomacy. Both sides continually thumb their noses at all the rest of the world has done to help them solve their problem.

The US's money would be better spent just buying the Israelis a new chunk of land and giving a little thought to the political implications of said land's geography. I'd feel a lot better about paying my taxes if I knew they were being invested in a tenable nation, and not this pointless bloodbath.
posted by badstone at 12:23 PM on October 17, 2001


Now that's a good comment, badstone (although moving Israel is even less likely to happen than lasting peace). I withdraw my "nitpickers" charge.
posted by jpoulos at 12:27 PM on October 17, 2001


Arafat has been intentionally moving away from the more radical elements of his constituency over the last couple of decades. This is partially a function of his increasing legitimacy (over the long term) in the international community and the need to identify with a moderate and more cosmopolitan constituency. As he alienates the extreme factions, however, he loses significant control over their actions and erodes his ability to 'round up the militants' when necessary. Arafat isn't completely toothless because the moderates make up a significant portion of the Palestinian population, but he no longer has control over some of the more extreme elements. He has lost his leverage with many of the organizations that he once used to push the Palestinian Question onto the public agenda through well-publicized violence. I think Holgate's power vacuum prediction is unfortunately a likely possibility.

Despite his increased use of diplomacy, Arafat will never be fully legitimate in the eyes of the international community because history won't completely ignore his violent past. The PLO and the supposedly soon-to-be-created Palestinian state needs a successor without his baggage. I'd like to see Hanan Ashrawi in that position, but I don't see it happening. (I'd also like to see more moderacy on the Israeli side - more Peres and less Sharon - but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon either.)
posted by lizs at 12:27 PM on October 17, 2001


Arafat can't have it both ways: EITHER the PA is complicit/the sponsor in/of terrorism which takes place in Israel, in which case the PA is the thug entity Israel thinks it is, in which case, the PA NEVER gets a state; OR the PA can't control/police the territories, in which case it has no legitimacy as a government.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:30 PM on October 17, 2001


see Hanan Ashrawi? Ick.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:31 PM on October 17, 2001


The Israeli military assasinates dozens of Palestinian political leaders while justifying it with liberal use of "terrorism" rhetoric, (because firing a missile into apartment buildings is not terrorism?) and then has the audacity to leave the peace table when a group not under the control of the PA assasinates one of their leaders? Sorry NOT sympathetic. Maybe I would be if Zeevi wasn't such a racist vile bastard of a human being. And this struggle isn't about "gods and spirits, " Badstone. It's about misery and suffering. And there's plenty of it on the Palestinian side. If someone assasinated my brother and called my people "lice" I would have no problem sticking a few bullets in his thick skull.
posted by aLienated at 12:38 PM on October 17, 2001


I'm sure that he's only about two or three degrees of separation away from the killers.

::: Rushing to patent soon-to-be-wildly-popular "Six Degrees of Osama bin Laden" :::
posted by ethmar at 12:46 PM on October 17, 2001


The US's money would be better spent just buying the Israelis a new chunk of land and giving a little thought to the political implications of said land's geography

I've been thinking about this. So far only Patagonia springs to mind. Australia is also quite empty, but they have this thing with refugees. Any other ideas?
posted by ginz at 1:01 PM on October 17, 2001


my brother was abducted by aliens from the lice planet, so please show some sensitivity aLienated.

well......it's as truthful and substantiated as The Israeli military assasinates dozens of Palestinian political leaders
posted by danOstuporStar at 1:06 PM on October 17, 2001


If someone assasinated my brother and called my people "lice" I would have no problem sticking a few bullets in his thick skull.

I see, so the solution is to kill everyone. That'll put an end to all that misery and suffering.
posted by badstone at 1:08 PM on October 17, 2001


yes, badstone, exactly! a peaceful life through violent death!
posted by tolkhan at 1:13 PM on October 17, 2001


I've been thinking about this. So far only Patagonia springs to mind. Australia is also quite empty, but they have this thing with refugees. Any other ideas?

Well, Canada will be warming up quite a bit in the next century or so. That'll create plenty of new farmland in a fairly safe region. How about it Canadians?
posted by badstone at 1:19 PM on October 17, 2001


the middle of the most anti-semitic region

Fundamentally incorrect. Jews lived in mostly peace in the Middle East until the creation of the state of Israel. Jews have been persecuted in nearly every part of the world, including the Middle East.... but the most anti-semetic region of the world is clearly Europe.

And just to clarify, the Israeli Army is on record as having assassinated dozens of Palestinian political leaders. It's not something they deny, so dan0 I'm not sure where your doubt is coming from.
posted by cell divide at 1:19 PM on October 17, 2001


The Israeli policy was and is to assasinate known terrorists. They guy they killed was a well-know leader who had replaced George Habash. The dead guy was in charge of the bombing that killed 23 young people in a pizza parlor.
Now, the group that claims they killed the right-wing minister: they knowingly killed a political figure. This political figure resigned his post because he was not supported by those not so extreme as he was--that is a big difference.
The group that claims credit also has said (see Drudge today) they will continue to do this sort of thing.
Sharon et al have said: all things are now changed.
Guess what that means.
Arafat said he was ready to talk peace; Sharon said this, Bush said this, Peres said this, Blair said this....but now it is all off. And no: Arafat has no control over the Syrian group (Syria, on our terror list of countries,now has seat on Security Council!) and this group, with Hamas and Hizbollah have all siad they will not stop, no matter what.
posted by Postroad at 1:24 PM on October 17, 2001


hmmm...interesting, cell divide. **learns something new**
posted by danOstuporStar at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2001


This is the event which triggered in part the start of the second intefada. Just a source I found.

The truth is, that a free and safe Palestinian state is not possible without a free and safe Israeli state on its borders and vice versa.

Arafat can not put to jail a majority of his people into jail ? What can these people do. Their political voice is shunned. Their demonstrations are reported as violent riots. When they throw stones, they are termed terrorists. Their political, intellectual, religious leaders are murdered in the name of "targeted killings". Their opponents prime minister allowed to wreck havoc on then many years ago. There is no other way out. It has become a situation of do or die.

Arafat is blamed for not having power. But when they do look up to Arafat, what can he give in return to his people. Surety that Israelis will stop throwing them out of their homes and stop building new colonies in their land ? That surety is not there at all. When the Knisset is Planning to pass bills that pay its citizens more and more child allowence for having more kids. Thus encouraging large families of up to 12 children. Where will these humans live ? Surely they will not be expected to live some where else. Why not at a place that has been created through a zionist agenda for them. But in order to do so, there will be need for more land, meaning more palestinians thrown out of their homes down the road. More Israeli settlements. Possibly land snatched from neighboring countries too.

Therefore Arafat can't be blamed totally. He shifts himself towards the moderates and loses control over his hawks. But this switching over to moderates does not pay any dividends either. The people in the street feel frustration and pick up a stone, only to be shot dead.

It is a do or die situation now as far as I can see. Unless both sides control their hawks, and quit playing games with the international world.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:43 PM on October 17, 2001


In 1975 an underappreciated American diplomat broached the idea of Georgia and Israel simply trading places.

26 years later Albert Brooks is making mediocre movies with LeLe Sobieski, while the Middle East conflict shows signs of engulfing the world.

Albert, we're sorry. Come back.
posted by luser at 1:56 PM on October 17, 2001


Israeli ultra-nationalists like Zeevi have a hardon for dead arab children. Let's call it like it is. Sharon has no interest in making peace with the Palestinians. I, unlike Zeevi, don't believe in the extermination of the Palestinian people. And dan, the Israeli militiary routinely kills Palestinian political leaders and claims they are "terrorists" because it easily fits into the western cultural logic regarding the middle east.

Well the Palestinians don't have an army. These factions are for all intents and purposes, their military. Israel has historically locked up or murdered hundreds of university professors, activists, and violent and non -violent "terrorists." It's a typical characteristic of colonialist occupations. And revolutionary terrorism is a product of a dehumanizing occupation. The terrorism grows exceedingly worse and the fundamentalists are able to use Islam as a subversive and violent agent more effectively as the occupation continues.

Sharon won't stop the terrorism until his nation stops violating the human rights of the Palestinians and stops building greedy illegal settlements and occupying the west bank.
posted by aLienated at 2:06 PM on October 17, 2001


Main Entry: Sem·ite
Pronunciation: 'se-"mIt, esp British 'sE-"mIt
Function: noun
Etymology: French sémite, from Semitic Shem, from Late Latin, from Greek SEm, from Hebrew ShEm
Date: 1848
1 a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs b : a descendant of these peoples
posted by Outlawyr at 2:11 PM on October 17, 2001


One Year Al-Aqsa Intefada
Facts and Figures



A detailed track of fatalities on both sides. Also includes a take on international law and deciphering of differnet terms coined.

presented by:

The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.

(May Be Biased A Little)
posted by adnanbwp at 2:24 PM on October 17, 2001


If you are turned off by a Palestinian Group's statistics, why not try an Israeli group? You won't find huge differences: statistics from B'tselem This is a human rights group and they take both the Palestinians and Israelis to task for their violations of human rights. The statistics are very interesting, as is the rest of the site. The front door is here
posted by cell divide at 2:27 PM on October 17, 2001


Outlawyr: Anti-Semite is like homophobe: It has an apparently clear etymology which is only marginally related to the meaning of the word in common usage. This disconnect irritates most people who have any degree of common sense, but pointing it out doesn't advance the argument in any meaningful way.
posted by jaek at 3:12 PM on October 17, 2001


I wasn't trying (directly) to advance the argument, I was trying to advance language. Without a common language the argument becomes ever more muddled.
posted by Outlawyr at 3:17 PM on October 17, 2001


Amnesty International and Ariel Sharon.


The Legacy of Ariel Sharon. referring to Sabra and Chatila refugee camp massacres.

Sharon and Arafat both should be removed. Worthless bastards !
posted by adnanbwp at 4:41 PM on October 17, 2001


There is no diplomatic solution to a problem that boils down to a conflict between two different fundamentalists groups who view human lives as having secondary importance to gods and spirits. By definition, there can be no compromise for either group, and therefore no diplomacy. Both sides continually thumb their noses at all the rest of the world has done to help them solve their problem.

Exactly.
posted by rushmc at 6:07 PM on October 17, 2001


The concept of moving Israel is a nonstarter, as those aforementioned "gods and spirits" say that Israel belongs where it is now and noplace else.
posted by aaron at 10:56 PM on October 17, 2001


The extremists on both sides are sabotaging this process, it's one that one is worse than the other.

The reality is the common people, the vast majority, just want to live a normal life with no fighting. To say that they thumb their nose at all the great help they've been given ignores that fact that a small group of people are making life hell for everyone else, and that Governments around the world back one or the other instead of really straining for the common good. Help? More like Hurt.
posted by chaz at 11:40 PM on October 17, 2001


Something I learned from the BBC last night: the PFLP is quite different in character from Hamas or Hizbollah. Its ideology is political, rather than religious, belonging more to the pan-Arab nationalism of the 60s than the Islamic insurgency of more recent decades. It's the "Real IRA" of the region. Ugh.
posted by holgate at 4:32 AM on October 18, 2001


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