November 19, 2000
7:00 PM   Subscribe

"I am concerned about the world's silence and co-operation with this massacre. Maybe if people at grassroots act, governments will follow." Neta Golan, 29, Israeli ctizen and voluntary human shield.
posted by lagado (6 comments total)
link once again from thewebtoday
posted by lagado at 7:01 PM on November 19, 2000

(On going to war over religion:) "You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend." Rich Jeni.

posted by Zool at 9:59 PM on November 19, 2000

Sure, except that, usually, battles over religion are often really just battles over land. What's happening in this case is ethnic clensing by stealth.
posted by lagado at 10:26 PM on November 19, 2000

Fred Lapides sent me this comment via email which I'm placing here with his permission:

I appreciate your link to the piece on the Israeli lefty who sleeps with the Palestinians in order to intervene with chaos in that part of the world.

I have noticed that in fact many very left wing Israelis offer many voices that contradict their official government stand but when I read (daily) arab sites (in English) I see nothing but a uniform hatred and desire to take back all of Israel and esp Jerusalem with no talk of peace by any one.

Most of all, what bothers me is the idea that Israel or any other country will give back land it occupies to those who fought against the occupier without first having a peace agreement in hand. When a country occupies land belonging to another and taken during war, it either keeps it (Vietnam), gives a token payment for it (southern tier of our country, taken from Mexico), or returns it (the Axis) after peace arrangements have been made (we still occupy Japan and Germany of course).

I can well appreciate the Intifada and the terrible lives led by the Palestinians; however, nothing much will change till both parties sit down to arrange a settlement.

Incidenally: it was Jordan who "owned" the West Bank and Egypt, the Gaza Strip. Netiher country wanted this land back when in fact they made peace with Israel, the only two countries in the region to work out a settlement
and to recognize the state of Israel. Other countries do not even show Israel on school maps!
posted by lagado at 2:30 PM on November 20, 2000

Lapides makes some good points, but he misses the essential fact: it is Israel who has time and time again broken the central aspects of any peace agreement. The UN and most independent observers agree that expanded settlements are probably the biggest impediment to peace.

There cannot be peace without justice-- enforcing a "peace" treaty which just causes more resentment and anger is not going to be bring peace. It is in Israel's best interest to create a lasting peace that gaurantees human rights for all.

Rabbi Lerner has some great articles on this subject, I believe they have been posted on metafilter before.
posted by s10pen at 6:30 PM on November 20, 2000

Regardless of history, the fact is that this is ethnic cleansing at work. It really doesn't matter if the victims are Arabs or Jews. It's inhumane and unjust. It should be stopped.

I'm not convinced by the "might is right" argument i.e. always needing to make peace with an occupier on the occupier's terms. I think there are many examples in which illegal occupation has been ended through the application of international pressure, sanctions and sometimes intervention. Indonesia's recent quitting of East Timor and South Africa's withdrawal from Namibia come to mind.

The key point here is which side the United States in on. Will they support or veto an action by the international community to bring the Israeli government into line? Well, of course not, the US has vetoed and vetoed in support of its ally even though it acknowledges Israel's actions as being illegal. In order to keep international and domestic pressure at bay, and continue to bankroll the Israelis with annual injections of taxpayers money, the US concocted the so called peace process.

In other words, the real motive, behind the Oslo process was not about peace at all but rather to act as window dressing for the benefit of American public opinion and to galvernize any waivering support. Seemingly, on the eve of an apparently comprehensive peace deal, the Palestinians look like they have unilaterally thrown everything away. The Palestinians have received all the blame for the collapse of the peace as if the only stumbling block was over Jerusalem. But the real stumbling blocks have been over the intolerable conditions under which Palestinians live. The Israelis have never missed an opportunity to expand settlements in the occupied territories despite undermining the spirit and letter of the Oslo accord.

Arafat is a sick and desperate man, too desperate to leave his mark on history and has been too hasty to sign up to a peace settlement which has sold out the Palestinian cause. This is a deal which only returns a fraction of the occupied land and confines the Palestinians to a discontiguous patchwork of towns and villages. Meanwhile, Israel controls the roads, electricity and water supplies and has the ability to seal off and prevent at anytime the movement of Palestinians from one region to another. This is not the basis of a viable state nor even an autonomous region. This is just containment and ghettoization.

Arafat has also agreed not to press the demand for the return of the 4 million Palestinian refugees expelled since 1948. The PLO have also demonstrated themselves to be corrupt and inept governors on Israel's behalf. It's little surprise that Arafat has lost control of the situation.

Finally, while it's easy to chuckle at the idealism of someone like Neta Golan, I think that what she's doing shows tremendous courage and decency. She's trying to protect a village of real people and demonstrate to her own people and to the world what is really happening. That's good because, unfortunately, her voice as an Israeli still carries far more weight than that of a Palestinian. Perhaps her naivete lies in her belief that her government could ever be made to listen and to change its ways.

posted by lagado at 4:22 AM on November 21, 2000

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