So this brings me back to my original point, that any change in this matter needs to start with the Palestinians, and the first step is to have a new leader. Of course I don't have the perfect end all solution to the problems in the middle east, but if its done step by step (starting with Palestinian leadership), then maybe peace can one day be achieved.
Palestine had scheduled national elections for new leadership and cabinet representation at the end of January but were prevented from doing so by direct act of Israel, i.e., the closing and cordoning off of borders and checkpoints which put an end to free movement. The Palestinian leadership was also banned by Israel from attending a consultative conference on Palestinian governmental reforms by express invitation of the British prime minister (a very close ally of Israel, by the way) in London. The prime minister was reportedly "miffed".
Many have said that this is overwhelming proof that the government of Israel is NOT interested in a democratic Palestine, which would invariably lead to peaceful relations and a sovereign Palestinian state with internationally recognized borders which would have to be respected, thereby putting an immediate end to Israel's expansion, bulldozing and seizure of Palestinian lands. Furthermore, many have questioned the right of any country to prevent the leadership of a self-governing territory from conducting diplomatic affairs. When questioned on CNN as to why Palestinian officials were denied travel to London, an Israeli government spokesman replied that London had no business engaging terrorists.
These latest moves by Israel remind many of colonial tactics employed during the last few decades to subjugate and deny independence.
TBar, the Palestinians had scheduled their elections long before the Israeli did theirs. This election was announced several months ago and was to have seen the choosing of a new Palestinian leader. I'm not sure what kind of news you guys are getting in the U.S. at this time, but this was all over the news here in Europe.
In June, 2002, the Palestinians announced new elections scheduled for January 20, 2003:
JERICHO, West Bank (CNN) -- The Palestinian Authority announced Wednesday that presidential and legislative elections will be held in January, and a Palestinian official said authority President Yasser Arafat will run for re-election.
Then on December 21, 2002, the Israeli government voted to have early elections. In an apparant rebuff of Palestinian efforts, Israeli elections were scheduled for the EXACT same week as the Palestinian's:
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel's parliament voted overwhelmingly Monday to hold early elections, following a rejection of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Middle East peace policies.
The Israeli government then closed off all borders and imposed curfews on the Palestinian territory, DESPITE their efforts to hold their national elections which were announced months BEFORE the Israeli's. This in effect stifled all Palestinian efforts since there could be no free movement of Palestinian citizens. The Palestinian election had to be consequently called off:
RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- The Palestinian general election scheduled for January 20 has been postponed until Israel withdraws from all Palestinian cities and territories, Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erakat said Sunday.
Holding the election would be impossible while Israel is imposing curfews and closures in Palestinian areas, Erakat said.
So you see TBar, I HAVE answered your questions. My answer was just not what you wanted to hear.
Oh, and by the way, do you have some sort of link showing the Palestinians were going to have elections? That would certainly be world news, I sure didn't hear about it.
I'm always appalled whenever I go back to the U.S. over what passes as international news. Suffice it to say, unless you have satellite service, U.S. households are being shamefully kept in the dark with regards to international affairs.
When I questioned friends of mine about world affairs, CURRENT and IMPORTANT world affairs, no one had any idea what I was talking about. I might as well had been talking about Martian affairs. These are intelligent, college grads in good jobs by the way, yet all they could manage to do was chant "Israel good, Arab bad". The U.S. media simply has to do a better job of keeping the American citizenry informed about what's happening beyond their own borders.
My apologies for posting that old news article. I didn't have much time and thought I'd do a quick search on CNN. I should have checked the date.
My original point though still stands. The Palistinians were ready to have a free and fair election, but were prevented from doing so by INTERNAL curfews and border blockades by Israeli forces. I fail to see how the free movement of Palestinian citizens in their own territory poses a security risk to Israel. It seems more likely to me and others that a democratic Palestinian would spoil the plans of the Israeli government.
Way to stay on topics guys. I wish when I started this topic I could ban ADG and Toda....oh well.
I'm afraid I have to agree with ADG regarding this comment. TBar, this is a discussion forum where each member has the right to voice their opinions on discussion topics (unless otherwise determined by the admins). By making such a statement, you're really showing how closed minded and emotional your thoughts and intentions really are. You did not start this thread to gather views and comments from other members, rather you started it with the hopes of perpetuating YOUR opinions. You've been completely unwilling to entertain, or even acknowledge differing opinions and now comes the truth, that you would have banned those members who did not conform to YOUR plans if given the chance.
I and other members have answered the questions you put forward in the opening thread, but you've conveniently ignored them because they are not the comments you would have wanted to hear. This is not what a discussion is all about, and going through life with such a one-sided view and the desire to control the thoughts of others will not get you very far. An intelligent, open minded individual is the person capable of listening to, considering and evaluation the opinions of another while not necessarily accepting them. You've shown none of the aforementioned inclinations, which leads me to believe this thread was started only to boost your ego.
And I also still stand by my opinion that there needs to be new Palestinian leadership, but not by groups like Hamas or Jihad.
And for the millionth time, the PA had prepared for national elections to choose a new president and cabinet members, but were prevented from doing so by Israeli blockades and curfew. You can't continually complain about the Palestinian leadership (or lack thereof) and the Palestinian desperation which leads to suicide bombers while preventing the very one instrument capable of leading to significant change. I do not accept in good faith Israel's justification that they were only trying to prevent possible terrorism, since the PA leadership was also prevented from travelling to London at the express invitation of the British prime minister in order to lay out blueprints for their next government. Now how does preventing PA officials from attending a conference hosted by one of Israel's strongest ally have ANYTHING to do with preventing terrorism?
It's crystal clear: