zrs70
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Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:06 am

There is so much emotion on both sides of this conflict. And there are many posts among multiple threads that try to put forward facts, but they fall short. So I would like to pose questions for those who are truly familiar with history to share wisdom:

1) Who controlled the land in what is now Israel 70 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago?

2) What did the land look like 100 years ago?

3) How much of the land was purchased, how much was granted, how much was a result of war?

4) Why did the surrounding nations wage war against Israel was declared a nation? What about the subsequent wars?

5) What happened to the Jews in Yemen, Iraq, and other Arab nations? Weren't there historically large numbers?
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:20 am

Considering all of us will answer with some bias, I will skip answering and advise getting a few good history books from both sides of the conflict and make your own picture.

The UN is also a good source (at least for historic reference, land area ownership data etc.). Other than that you'll run into a problem - depending on what agenda a source pushes you'll get at least two very different views. It is your call whom to believe, but don't forget that neither side will be entirely truthful, and the truth usually lies somewhere in between both viewpoints.

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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:17 am

These questions don't lead anywhere.

You might as well ask the same questions relating to the USA or Canada or Australia.

Or Europe, where bloody wars have been fought over who owned what.

Reality is that we live in the 21st century, with global communication readily available to anyone, with news travelling within seconds and every point in the world reachable from any point in the world more or less within 48 hours.

The real problem in this communicatove world is, that education has yet not reached all people, religious bias is still keeping some masses dumb and that includes quran schools as well as the creation theory taught in some US areas.

The Middle east seems to be a long way from real democracy, which is not only the ability to vote but also to control those who have been voted into office. The most recent developments in Egypt say more about that than words could say.

Europe and the western world serves as a role model for a peaceful existance, at least the past 60 odd years do. May be that is why some religions fight that role model so fiercely.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:04 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 2):

Indeed. A house is the people in it. Yes, the Jews have as much ancestral claim as anyone else, but that's not relevant. At all. If we were to return every bit of land to the "rightful owners", this place would be a mess, and post haste. Especially the United States. The best course of action is to support the party most likely to safeguard the rights and quality of life for the most people involved. This is tricky here because though the answer is obviously Israel, anything beyond their own borders becomes a "gray" area (to say the least) awful damned fast.

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
4) Why did the surrounding nations wage war against Israel was declared a nation? What about the subsequent wars?

All war can be boiled down to Armed Robbery. We certainly know a thing or three about that in the US, but it isn't limited to us. In this case, there's a good deal more partisanship than people realize. The best possible outcome, where the rest of the world is concerned, is to designate a winner, and back that party. There's no virtue otherwise anyway.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:14 am

Gosh, to give a detailed and comprehensive response to your questions would require a book rather than a few lines in an internet forum. Anything else will inevitably "fall short".

But some facts remain facts whatever spin people will choose to put on them. Incontrovertible facts are that:
Palestine was inhabited before European Jewish immigration commenced in the nineteenth century;
it was not all barren land, covered with mosquitoes and swamps as I have read in some forums.;
there may not have been an independent State called Palestine but the people who lived there regarded the land as their home; and
when Britain created Transjordan, Palestinians asked whether it was not their homeland replied, "it belongs to the Bedouin on the other side of the river."

Over the years the political dominance of the area may have changed but people lived there, they built towns and villages, tilled the soil, produced items for trade, married, had children, went to the mosque, the synagogue or church. At various times it has been ruled by Egyptian Mamluks, Ottoman Pashas and became British under the Sykes-Picot agreement and a mandate granted by the League of Imperialist Bandits (as Lenin liked to call the League of Nations). The people who actually lived there had no say in the matter.

Land ownership varied too. In some areas it was owned by absentee landowners though a typical ownership was communal village ownership with regular redistribution (masha'a) with co-cultivation partnerships. This system was problematic both for immigrants who wished to purchase land and later for the British. Both the Ottomans and British sought to change land ownership into individual parcels in order to facilitate the resolution of disputes, ease transactions in land and, importantly for any administration, make simpler the raising of taxes.

One effect of these changes was to produce a class of landless labourers. Initially this wasn't too much of a problem. People could still work the land for others but Jewish colonists wished to work the land themselves. This lead to resentment as the former tillers of the soil now had no means of supporting themselves, although many moved to the cities where new industries provided some jobs.

It is an enduring myth that everything was barren until migrants from Europe made the desert bloom. Far from all of Palestine being a desert and wasteland, Palestine produced crops both for local consumption and for export. In the eighteenth century, oranges were finding their way to Europe from Jaffa. Olives, dates and cereal crops were also grown. But there were areas unsuitable for cultivation and in those areas grazing stock were herded.

What were the patterns of ownership in 1947? Again it varied. In some areas Jewish and non-Jewish ownership were about even. In others there was a majority of Jewish ownership or a majority of non-Jewish ownership. Depending on the nature of the soil and access to water, some areas were under irrigation or non-arable and examples can be found under the various ownership patterns.

A detailed breakdown of ownership patterns is beyond the scope of a reply in a forum, but it is not true to say that the majority of the land in Palestine was purchased by immigrants before 1947, although it true to say that land owned by immigrant Jews had been purchased. It is true to say that since 1948 large areas of land were ethnically cleansed and that the people living on that land were not compensated.

[Edited 2012-11-24 18:31:58]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:06 am

This is going to lead to a large-scale flamefest.

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
1) Who controlled the land in what is now Israel 70 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago?

I believe 70 and 100 years ago it was the british Mandate of Palestine. No "religion" controlled the area; as it was under British Rule.

Between the 200 years ago and the 100 years, it was under Ottoman control.

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
2) What did the land look like 100 years ago?

Large ottoman empire control.

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
3) How much of the land was purchased, how much was granted, how much was a result of war?

I'm pretty sure after both the first and second wars, the UN divided the land that was controlled by the Germans, Italians, and the old Ottoman empire (now Turkey) and the mandate set up Israel as a safe-haven for the Jews, apparently.

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
5) What happened to the Jews in Yemen, Iraq, and other Arab nations? Weren't there historically large numbers?

Expelled after the Arab-Israeli conflict. In Iran after the Ayatollah and in Saudi Arabia they were already being expelled (expelled further under the Ayatollah, I should add). Iraq, well I'm not sure.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:52 pm

One thing that people often forget is that more or less ALL the national boundaries in the Middle East are contrived by outsiders, largely European colonial mapmakers - endorsed and given validity later by the UN and the two superpowers in the post WW2 world.

I point this out because often Israel is held up as the oddity imposed on the region from outside, but actually statehood for the KSA, the Gulf States, Jordan, Iraq etc... was an invention of the UK. So I question how some voices can attack Israel's historical legitimacy when their own is equally recent and equally resulting from the whims of European politics.

With that said, clearly Europe's transfer of "the Jewish problem" onto predominately Muslim lands was a collosal mistake, or at best was handled in a collosally bad way.


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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:02 pm

Quoting Pu (Reply 6):

You have a valid point, but there is something to remember - Israel is the only one created with the explicit influx of external persons in mind.
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:21 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 7):
You have a valid point, but there is something to remember - Israel is the only one created with the explicit influx of external persons in mind.

Sure, but in that sense its not that different from Britain's colonial ambitions in North America & Australia-New Zealand, or Spain's colonisation of South America.

The native people were joined by Europeans who were better armed, wealthier etc.... and proceeded to draw map lines, make new countries and so forth.

No one question's Brazilian, Canadian or Australian legitimacy even though probably more natives were wiped out than when Israel took over from the Palestinians.


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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:02 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
Who controlled the land in what is now Israel 70 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago?

I presume by 'controlled' you mean 'ruled' or 'governed', right?

The main transitions over that time frame happened after WWI and WWII.

Turkey had been the ruling power before that period, but in WWI the Turks joined the German/Austo-Hungarian side, then the British attacked and occupied Palestine.

After WWI, the British were given the 'Mandate' to rule Palestine.

Then the real critical transition after WWII happened.

A description of this critical time from Wiki's Israel page:

Quote:

On 15 May 1947, the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations resolved that a committee, United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), be created "to prepare for consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine".[69] In the Report of the Committee dated 3 September 1947 to the UN General Assembly,[70] the majority of the Committee in Chapter VI proposed a plan to replace the British Mandate with "an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem..., the last to be under an International Trusteeship System".[71] On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union as Resolution 181 (II).[72] The Plan attached to the resolution was essentially that proposed by the majority of the Committee in the Report of 3 September 1947.

The Jewish Agency, which was the recognized representative of the Jewish community, accepted the plan, but the Arab League and Arab Higher Committee of Palestine rejected it.[73] On 1 December 1947, the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a three-day strike, and Arab bands began attacking Jewish targets.[74] The Jews were initially on the defensive as civil war broke out, but gradually moved onto the offensive.[75] The Palestinian Arab economy collapsed and 250,000 Palestinian-Arabs fled or were expelled.[76]

On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel".[77][78] The only reference in the text of the Declaration to the borders of the new state is the use of the term, Eretz-Israel.[79][citation needed]

The following day, the armies of four Arab countries—Egypt, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq—entered what had been British Mandate Palestine, launching the 1948 Arab–Israeli War;[80][81] Saudi Arabia sent a military contingent to operate under Egyptian command; Yemen declared war but did not take military action.[82] In a cablegram of the same day from the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to the UN Secretary-General, the Arab states gave a justification for this "intervention". After a year of fighting, a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders, known as the Green Line, were established.[83] Jordan annexed what became known as the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip. The United Nations estimated that more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled during the conflict from what would become Israel.[84]

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel

I'm sure others will point out where this narrative is flawed.

One thing to get from this narrative is that the Arabs could have had a much more favorable partition of the Palestine Mandate if they had accepted the UNSCOP treaty, but chose to invade instead, presumably thinking that they would end up with control of all of Palestine. In fact after the invasion they ended up with just Gaza (Egypt) and the West Bank (Jordan), and even those would be lost in the '67 war. The invasion allowed Isreal to cast the refugee problem as one the Arabs caused and thus one the Arabs had to solve.

Some more reading of interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lausanne_Conference,_1949

Quoting Pu (Reply 6):
One thing that people often forget is that more or less ALL the national boundaries in the Middle East are contrived by outsiders, largely European colonial mapmakers - endorsed and given validity later by the UN and the two superpowers in the post WW2 world.

I point this out because often Israel is held up as the oddity imposed on the region from outside, but actually statehood for the KSA, the Gulf States, Jordan, Iraq etc... was an invention of the UK. So I question how some voices can attack Israel's historical legitimacy when their own is equally recent and equally resulting from the whims of European politics.

Indeed, we've seen this vividly displayed during and after the regretable US invasion of Iraq.

Iraq was an artificial conglomeration of Kurd, Shia and Suni.

During the lawless period, the groups largely re-aligned the area along these sectarian lines.

Something to be learned from this, but I'm not sure exactly what it is.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Hi Zrs, this is not a personal attack on you, but a commentary on your arguing style here that I believe is rather problematic. I understand you are a Rabbi and have your own interest in this situation, but rather than engage in any of the threads, you have a tendency to make short posts that simply ask "why is everyone so biased against Israel?" And then you never try to answer or defend any of your own positions.

Consider the questions you ask in this thread. You don't actually try to make any arguments about them, instead presuming that if people "just learn the truth" by thinking about the questions, they will see the Israeli side. Yet each little aspect is extremely complicated even by itself, and usually there are many wrongs and many understandably human yet unproductive reactions compounded over many years by both sides.

Just take this one:

Quoting zrs70 (Thread starter):
3) How much of the land was purchased, how much was granted, how much was a result of war?

In fact, let's just tale one part of this one question: the land purchasing. So: the great majority of Jewish land prior to the 1948 partition plan was legally purchased by Jewish settlers, yes. And yes, much (though certainly not all) was some of the worse and less arable land available. However, just because it wasn't primarily taken by force doesn't mean the situation was fair. They didn't just purchase the land, they purchased it mainly from bulk and largely absentee Ottoman landlords, and they purchased it with stated intent to outnumber the local population and then start their own country on that basis.

So let's use a loose analogy. Let's say that most of the land in California was owned by Japanese multinational corporations and rented to American tenants, or in many cases abandoned warehouses or swampland. Let's say that large numbers of Mexicans bought up that land for a good price, better than Americans could afford, and started developing it. The Japanese-owned countries wouldn't care. The white Americans would object because in some cases they were immediately being displaced, but would probably mind for xenophobic reasons even when it was abandoned warehouse land that would be developed by the purchasing Mexicans. That might be their problem to suck up. But let's add that last layer and say that all the Mexicans buying the land also claimed they were going to establish critical mass and then turn California into a new country improved and governed by and for them, because their ancestors had been on the land before the whites now living there. Don't you think that would lead to armed conflict?

These aren't simple issues. I'm Jewish, have family in Israel, yet I still find it easier to see the Palestinian side of the issues when one goes back to the critical moments in the first half of the century. At the same time, I see the reasons why Zionism formed, both before and after the Holocaust. But it doesn't mean that it was fair to the Arabs in the area. (Edward Said's famous essay "Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims" is an eye-opener whether or not you agree with every aspect of it.) Israel clearly has established the right to exist now that it has been there for generations. But as I see it, Israel has to behave and negotiate with an understanding that its presence was not a God-given right from the start at the expense of the Arabs.

I hope you will come back to your thread and actually present some of the arguments you want to make.

[Edited 2012-11-25 12:27:44]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:15 pm

Quoting n229nw (Reply 10):
These aren't simple issues. I'm Jewish, have family in Israel, yet I still find it easier to see the Palestinian side of the issues when one goes back to the critical moments in the first half of the century.

Interesting. As above, I've posted what seems to be Israel's main line of reasoning, that the Arabs could have had peace in 1948 but they chose to invade, they are the ones who created the refugee problem, and they should be the ones to settle it. What do you think is the flaw in this line of reasoning?
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:38 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
Palestine was inhabited before European Jewish immigration commenced in the nineteenth century;

The OP will need to look up history books on both sides to get a better picture, I posted the above quote because one might read it and assume that there were no Jews living alongside Palentinains in the land prior to the end of WWII and the European Jewish migration.

If history is to play any role in resolving this crisis it will be in the period before WWII when there was relative peace between the inhabitants of the land, note I said relative.
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:55 am

Quoting n229nw (Reply 10):
These aren't simple issues. I'm Jewish, have family in Israel, yet I still find it easier to see the Palestinian side of the issues when one goes back to the critical moments in the first half of the century. At the same time, I see the reasons why Zionism formed, both before and after the Holocaust. But it doesn't mean that it was fair to the Arabs in the area. (Edward Said's famous essay "Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims" is an eye-opener whether or not you agree with every aspect of it.) Israel clearly has established the right to exist now that it has been there for generations. But as I see it, Israel has to behave and negotiate with an understanding that its presence was not a God-given right from the start at the expense of the Arabs.

its good to actually here from someone there. Thing is, do you think the current Israeli government will end up making peace? Or is this cycle going to just continue forever??
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:23 am

Quoting caliatenza (Reply 13):
its good to actually here from someone there.

Just to clarify. I am not there. I have family members there.

Quoting caliatenza (Reply 13):
do you think the current Israeli government will end up making peace?

  

Perhaps if they are dragged into it kicking and screaming. Netanyahu is horrible. But the sad thing right now is that the whole government is so beholden to the pressure of the settler movement, and even the opposition center-left has become so cynical that it will take some kind of a a major shake-up to open up possibilities. I think outside pressure is very important here.

[Edited 2012-11-25 18:49:12]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:25 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
One thing to get from this narrative is that the Arabs could have had a much more favorable partition of the Palestine Mandate if they had accepted the UNSCOP treaty, but chose to invade instead, presumably thinking that they would end up with control of all of Palestine.

Well, there's one thing many think was the fault of the Arabs: the rejection of the partition. However, you have to see the reasons why they chose to reject it.

Let's use a pizza as an example. Suppose that you want pepperoni and a friend wants sausage. The logical thing is to divide it in half: one half pepperoni, one half sausage. But let's say that you eat more than your friend (or that you're paying for it). Common courtesy would dictate that the person paying gets to decide how much he wants from the pizza. But let's say the two of you start bickering because you think you should get a 75/25 split while the other thinks a 50/50 split is reasonable. Let's say that the clerk suggests you split it 60/40 and one of you agrees with the clerk but the other is not happy with it. Does it mean that you should not eat pizza at all?

Let's use another example. Suppose I write legislation and you agree most of it. We debate it over and over and when it comes up to a vote on the floor it's exactly the same as it was when I wrote it, and again you agree with everything except those parts. Assuming you can't abstain from voting, do you vote for it or against it?
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:54 am

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 15):
Let's say that the clerk suggests you split it 60/40 and one of you agrees with the clerk but the other is not happy with it. Does it mean that you should not eat pizza at all?

No, but to further the analogy, it seems one person tried to run off with the entire pizza, the other person caught them and after a long fight that they won they took back 80% of the pizza instead of 60%.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:47 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 12):
I posted the above quote because one might read it and assume that there were no Jews living alongside Palestinians

It would be a pity if they did take that view. People who happened to be Jewish have lived there from "time immemorial", but it was my intention to highlight the fact that the Jewish population only began to grow significantly following immigration from Europe. Prior to that, as I wrote, the inhabitants "went to the mosque, the synagogue or church."

Quoting n229nw (Reply 10):
and they purchased it with stated intent to outnumber the local population and then start their own country on that basis.

And in a way, this is one of the ironies. While there were those who supported the idea of a, for want of a better word, planter population settled on farms, either run individually or through kibbutzim, the majority of the migrants were urbanised Jews. Through the writings of some authors and films like "Fiddler on the Roof", some people have a romantic notion of life in the shtetl as being small communities. Yet by 1897 more than half of Jews living in the Tsarist Empire was living in major cities and this was a growing trend. Have a look at census figures for Poland in 1921 and 1931 (figures do not round to 100% as not all trades are listed and there was some unemployment.)
Changes in Areas of Economic Activity 1921-1931
Economic Activity19211931
Farmers/ Peasants4.9%4.6%
Commerce41.3%36.6%
Manufacturing36.7%42.2%
Transport4.5%3.4%
Professions4.2%6.3%

This shows a trend of increasing urbanisation. The situation in Austria, Hungary and Germany shows a similar high urbanisation.

So while the pioneers may have had a vision of a landed population, many of the migrants were unsuited for such a role and unwilling to adapt. Some (a minority)looked down on the original Jewish population, became disillusioned and returned to Europe or went to the Americas. Those that stayed became established in cities. Today, the term settler is used to describe those who would evict Palestinians from their homes. But in many instances the aim is not to establish a farm but to develop the land for housing. Today Israel is about 92% urban.

[Edited 2012-11-25 20:49:38]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:41 am

Quoting Pu (Reply 6):

One thing that people often forget is that more or less ALL the national boundaries in the Middle East are contrived by outsiders,

This is very true. It is also very true for most of Africa. This is partly why so many of these countries are such disasters.

Consider Nigeria. They took the Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba and shoved them together into one country. The result? Infighting.

Consider Iraq. Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. The result? Well...Iraq.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:04 am

Quoting n229nw (Reply 10):
Hi Zrs, this is not a personal attack on you, but a commentary on your arguing style here that I believe is rather problematic. I understand you are a Rabbi and have your own interest in this situation, but rather than engage in any of the threads, you have a tendency to make short posts that simply ask "why is everyone so biased against Israel?" And then you never try to answer or defend any of your own positions.

Point well taken about my posting! Guilty as charged... Not really a fare or straight forward way for me to post.

That said - I do believe there are many people whose posts appear authoritative on Middle East issues though they know little about the facts. (Mind you - I am not an expert on the Middle East either. Thus I seek knowledge from as many people as possible).

I will say this: While it is factual that the land was never under political control of the Palestinians, there is no question that the people had emotional and historical ties.

I'll add the following: Israel certainly has inherited a very difficult situation with no simply solution. Israel won a war and with it land with indigenous people. Has Israel made wrong moves along the way? Absolutely. But the surrounding nations have done little to noting to help the Palestinians. (Why hasn't Jordan or Egypt truly stepped in to help?)

I want peace more than anything in the region. I think Israel needs to ask the tough questions. It's next to impossible to negotiate with many of the nations. But over the course of the last 60 years, just about every time Israel has given back land, they've been attacked.

Anyway, I'll be more engaged in my posts moving forward!
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:45 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 19):
Has Israel made wrong moves along the way? Absolutely. But

        

THIS is what I think is a major problem in this situation. It is simple human nature: when my side does something wrong, we say "yes, we've made mistakes, we're not perfect. But ___________." And you are right...

BUT

to a Palestinian, "sorry, we screwed up, we aren't perfect, no one is" doesn't cut it!

Instead of Israel saying "yes, maybe we created too many settlements, we're sorry, we'll stop," they need to actually make an effort to correct their wrongs.

And I know this isn't one sided. What the Palestinians often do is unwise and often barbaric. But they do have legitimate gripes even if they go about them the wrong way.

I don't know you too well, but I'm going to go off on a hunch--I had this same problem. I used to think (and I legitimately tried) to see a problem from an opposing viewpoint, but I never really did it justice. I had my underlying bias that always won out. No, in order to see the other side's view, you need to adopt their bias and weigh their needs more heavily than your side's. You need to really become a pissed off Palestinian and look at it through any bias they might have.

After you see it that way, you may disagree, but at least you can see what the other side is really thinking. At the very least, you can know how to debate with them and have a better idea of what a compromise at me, instead of rattling off old arguments that obviously don't work (like oh, you tried to invade us instead of wanting peace decades ago)
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:28 pm

Quoting Pu (Reply 6):
I point this out because often Israel is held up as the oddity imposed on the region from outside, but actually statehood for the KSA, the Gulf States, Jordan, Iraq etc... was an invention of the UK.

Hey, let's not forget the French. The treaty was called Sykes-Picot, not just Sykes!
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:59 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
that the Arabs could have had peace in 1948 but they chose to invade

Why say invade, I'd say fight back to reclaim what was theirs, the simple fact is the State of Israel should nave have been created. It's one of the biggest blunders the world has ever made.

Since most of the jews who immigrated there were European realistically a jewish state should have been carved out of Germany (and perhaps Poland) post WWII, that would have been a far superior solution and I doubt we would have today's issues.
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:37 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):
Since most of the jews who immigrated there were European realistically a jewish state should have been carved out of Germany (and perhaps Poland) post WWII, that would have been a far superior solution and I doubt we would have today's issues.

But...Jerusalem is a holy site so that's why they picked the place. Of course, they should've rewritten the books so that Munich were the holy city.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:29 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 22):

Why say invade, I'd say fight back to reclaim what was theirs, the simple fact is the State of Israel should nave have been created. It's one of the biggest blunders the world has ever made.

Is it time to ask an Aborigine what s/he thinks of New Zealand?

Please don't tell me "we're much more civilized now", we both know that's false or we wouldn't be having this thread.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:48 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
Is it time to ask an Aborigine what s/he thinks of New Zealand?

Just for your Info....


You mean Maori, they are the original inhabitants of New Zealand.

Aborigines are from Australia.

Both countries now have extensive agreements with the respective Governments, dealing with everything from compensation for land taken, to water rights, to fishing in exclusive zones.

I haven't heard of any such arrangements between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but I stand corrected if the are.

http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/treaty/

http://australia.gov.au/about-austra...ia/australian-story/reconciliation

[Edited 2012-11-26 19:54:40]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:29 am

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 25):

He does have a point though. Blunder or not, Israel was created about 65 years ago. Most of the original settlers aren't alive now. Nor are most of the displaced Palestinians. It's a mess, but I find it unreasonable to have either side simply move away.

Now, reading your post, it isn't clear that you advocated that, I was just mentioning the worst case scenario. I don't pretend to know all your thoughts. An agreement has to be made by both parties, and no one side can just simply disappear. Some of the Palestinians would love to see all the Israelis leave, and I won't deny some Israelis feel the same about the Palestinians, but not only is any removal unfair, it just isn't going to happen, so we shouldn't even waste our breath debating it IMO
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:02 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 26):
Israel was created about 65 years ago.

And Australia 1788 / New Zealand 1769, so around 200+ years ago, give or take.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 26):
Most of the original settlers aren't alive now. Nor are most of the displaced Palestinians. It's a mess, but I find it unreasonable to have either side simply move away.

Yes, the same can be said about the Aboriginals and the Maoris.

NZ is actually a shinning light, when it comes to early treaty's etc, with "original" owners of lands/countries.It is by no means 100% satisfactory to all NZ Maoris, or Pakeha (whiteman), but it has certainly give them much more leverage, than the Aboriginals enjoy, when "negotiating" with the Government of issues

[Edited 2012-11-26 21:12:26]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:33 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):

Is it time to ask an Aborigine what s/he thinks of New Zealand?

Funny you should say Abo, my great great grandmother was an Abo, so that makes me about 1/16th, as an Abo from NZ I'm pretty happy with my lot.
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:11 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 25):
You mean Maori, they are the original inhabitants of New Zealand.

Thanks for the correction.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 25):
Both countries now have extensive agreements with the respective Governments, dealing with everything from compensation for land taken, to water rights, to fishing in exclusive zones.

I haven't heard of any such arrangements between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but I stand corrected if the are.

Does the UNSCOP treaty mentioned above qualify?

I guess we'll never know what the region would look like if it had been honored.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 27):

NZ is actually a shinning light, when it comes to early treaty's etc, with "original" owners of lands/countries.It is by no means 100% satisfactory to all NZ Maoris, or Pakeha (whiteman), but it has certainly give them much more leverage, than the Aboriginals enjoy, when "negotiating" with the Government of issues

Indeed it seems to be a much better arrangement than native people have elsewhere, including here in the US.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:40 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 29):
including here in the US.

I'm pretty sure if you asked some of the natives in NZ they would love to have some of the privilages that US natives have, i.e. being able to open casinos and the like.
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:43 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
I'm pretty sure if you asked some of the natives in NZ they would love to have some of the privilages that US natives have, i.e. being able to open casinos and the like.

I suppose, but as you said, in the US those casinos are a privilege as opposed to a right, and they only benefit members of the particular tribe that has managed to negotiate such privilege, which is only granted when the state deems their slice of the take to be acceptable. My understanding from the ones in Connecticut is that a person has to prove 1/16th or more blood line to be considered a member of the tribe. For those who can't meet that standard or aren't in a tribe that has been able to negotiate the privilege, the casino is providing no value. All it is doing is enriching a select group of Native Americans and the State in which their casino is built.

Needless to say the number of Native Americans who benefit is a small fraction of the total, and on average the Native American population suffers a disproportionately high rate of alcoholism, unemployment and poverty. I hope the NZ natives are doing better.

Native is an interesting word. Native Americans really aren't native, they came here from Siberia, as far as science can tell. Some take to calling themselves Original Settlers, but that means they too are settlers, just like settlers that came from other places, they just happened to get there first, which may or may not be significant depending on your point of view. As far as science can tell, we all came from a small region of East Africa, so we probably should all be arguing over that, as opposed to, let's say, Jerusalem.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:10 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):

Interesting. As above, I've posted what seems to be Israel's main line of reasoning, that the Arabs could have had peace in 1948 but they chose to invade, they are the ones who created the refugee problem, and they should be the ones to settle it. What do you think is the flaw in this line of reasoning?

I think that if I put myself in the shoes of the Arabs who were there at the time, and who were being told, "hey, there were a few of us here before on the land where you have been a majority, but now we have streamed in in numbers and we are starting our own new country on this land--but, oh, you can have some of it," I can understand why they reacted as they did.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 19):

Anyway, I'll be more engaged in my posts moving forward!

Thanks for coming back!

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 19):

That said - I do believe there are many people whose posts appear authoritative on Middle East issues though they know little about the facts.

Sure but I think that is very true of both sides.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 19):

I'll add the following: Israel certainly has inherited a very difficult situation with no simply solution. Israel won a war and with it land with indigenous people. Has Israel made wrong moves along the way?

There are several things to keep in mind I think:

In a normal acquisition of territory in a war, the population of the new territory becomes citizens of the victor state, and if that state presents itself as a democracy, they have full rights, including voting etc. There is an inherent problem in the idea of Israel in that in order to be a "Jewish State," it can actually operate as a "democracy" only if the population balance is maintained with a (healthy) Jewish majority. If Israel wanted to continue operating in this paradigm, then land acquisitions, even if won in a defensive war (and 1967 isn't actually as simple as being a defensive war from the Israeli side, but let's not even add that to the argument), from the start would have posed a very difficult issue, for they could only result in either occupation without granting citizenship rights ot the population, or in annexation by displacement (i.e. ethnic cleansing).

Now, I believe that many people in Israel in 1967 understood the taking of the expanded territory only as a very temporary bargaining chip. However, there were already various plans by proponents of the greater Israel movement to take some or all of the acquired land by population displacement, and that is where things have gotten really rough, because those proponents soon gained the upper hand and created a situation where Israel has more and more vested in the settled areas. (There are now over half a million settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.) So, you effectively have a situation in which Israel occupied rather than annexing a territory, then de facto annexed part of it by deliberate displacement of the ethnic population of that land, who were never granted citizenship rights, and who face collective punishment and humiliation constantly rather than a fair justice system.

This situation will not and has not marginalized and defang the extremist Arab groups, it has swelled and continues to swell their ranks. It is basic psychology. Which is sad, because the Arab position, realistically, has changed. In a sense, the bargaining chip worked: while most Arabs (again, understandably, I think) rejected outright the creation of Israel at the time it was made, nowadays a majority wants to accept Israel--but not the continuing land grabs.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 19):
But the surrounding nations have done little to noting to help the Palestinians. (Why hasn't Jordan or Egypt truly stepped in to help?)

That's absolutely true. From a human rights standpoint, the treatment of the Palestinians by Jordan (and Egypt) has been shameful. Those countries have preferred to prioritize the politics of the region over the lives of the refugees. That said, if Israel wants to take the high moral ground and claim to be seeking peace and serving as a beacon of democracy in the region, they will need to bite the bullet and stop thinking in the same box in which they are they only victims, while the settler movement continues to irreversibly alter the situation on the ground. One way to start would be to respond to the standing Arab peace initiative, in which, many years ago, the entire Arab league agreed to recognize Israel and normalize relations with the country if the occupied territories are relinquished and some (most likely nominal) compensation is offered to satisfy the "right to return" issue.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:10 am

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 19):
I want peace more than anything in the region. I think Israel needs to ask the tough questions. It's next to impossible to negotiate with many of the nations.

zrs70, the very first 'tough question' is surely 'when is Israel going to put a stop to massive, un-controlled inward migration'? The underlying cause of all the conflict is that the place is hopelessly over-crowded, and becoming more so every year.

Lest anyone gets the impression that I'm taking any sort of 'racist' angle on the issue, I'd better say that I spent most of my career in the field of regional and town development, a lot of it in depressed parts of the UK, and the rest of it in Europe and Australia. And that's the angle I take on the Israel/Palestine problem; that, due to a crazy immigration policy and discrimination against the native population, it's turned out to be basically a 'depressed area,' with all sorts of mounting economic and social problems.

The setting up of the State of Israel was bungled from the start. Basically, Palestine was never big enough, or well enough resourced in terms of water and arable land, to be able to absorb even the numbers of displaced European Jews envisaged in the 1940s; leave alone the numbers that poured in once the United States began 'bankrolling' the whole project, effectively giving anyone of the Jewish faith a literal 'free ride' in terms both of transportation and of setting up a first home.

In 1947 the population of Palestine was a bit under two milion - mostly Muslims of course, with some Jews and some Christians. The population of what is now termed 'Israel' is nowadays about seven million, of whom about 75% are Jews. In addition to that there are over four million Palestinians crammed into the Gaza Strip and what remains of the West Bank; and about three million Palestinian refugees in Jordan (making up about half Jordan's population).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Palestine

So my solutions to the problem (trying to keep this short) would include the following:-

1. An end to subsidised inward migration (by Jews or anyone else) and the introduction of annual quotas, aimed at holding the population as close as possible to its present level.

2. Equal human rights for all - regardless of religion.

3. Secure borders for the Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza - plus economic aid and help with town development. In addition, of course, free movement between the two zones, full access to the outside world, and a 'right of return' (subject to annual quotas) for the refugees in Jordan.

[Edited 2012-11-27 21:41:44]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:08 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 33):
In 1947 the population of Palestine was a bit under two milion - mostly Muslims of course, with some Jews and some Christians. The population of what is now termed 'Israel' is nowadays about seven million, of whom about 75% are Jews. In addition to that there are over four million Palestinians crammed into the Gaza Strip and what remains of the West Bank; and about three million Palestinian refugees in Jordan (making up about half Jordan's population).

These are interesting figues, and rather a problem for the "right of return." If you added the two together then suddenly you have an Arab majority in Israel.

Quoting n229nw (Reply 32):
Quoting zrs70 (Reply 19):But the surrounding nations have done little to noting to help the Palestinians. (Why hasn't Jordan or Egypt truly stepped in to help?)That's absolutely true. From a human rights standpoint, the treatment of the Palestinians by Jordan (and Egypt) has been shameful. Those countries have preferred to prioritize the politics of the region over the lives of the refugees.

Not just those two, but most Arab nations., often tending to view them as potential troublemakers Who welcomed them as Arab brothers? Gaddafi kicked 1500 out of Libya in 1995 to protest the PLO/Israel peace agreement. What about the Palestinian leadership? Arafat didn't exactly die a pauper!
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:26 pm

Quoting offloaded (Reply 34):
If you added the two together then suddenly you have an Arab majority in Israel.

Under current birth rates don't the Arab Israeli citizens become the majority in Israel by 2040 or thereabouts.

This article makes interesting reading.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/op...ll-israeli-citizens-are-equal.html
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:10 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 35):

Interesting article.

I have seen that birthrate forecast before somewhere, and I think you are correct. So then what happens?
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:09 pm

Quoting offloaded (Reply 36):
So then what happens?

I'm sure the jewish politicians will disenfranchise the arab israelis long before the situation ever gets to the point where jews are the minority; I wouldn't put them past ethnic cleansing either if the Arab population grew too big.

Then there is the Lieberman Plan where Arab settlements will swapped for the jewish settlements in the West Bank. The sneaky part of this plan is that it strips Israeli Arabs of their citizenship and leaves them in the same crap conditions as Palestinians living outside Israel.
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:27 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 33):
conflict is that the place is hopelessly over-crowded, and

I feel the problem is more along these lines than commonly thought.

Everyone is banging on about religion and historical justifications for this or that,

..... but, (much like Belfast in its bad days) to me the real problem is there are a lot of pissed off young men, who are unemployed, forced to live with their parents (cramped), with no prospects for the future, who feel like they're under seige in a small cage.....

...my old professor said anytime a generation of young men can't get work, can't afford to leave home, have no prospects for improvement, etc... then expect wars, riots and violence until something gives. It doesn't take much to get teenaged boys worked up to violence in a happy, wealthy country....shove them all into tiny Gaza and its a powderkeg; I'm sure European/American/Australian young men would start lobbing rockets across the fence if we put them there.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 33):

plus economic aid and help with town developmen

Hopeless, I'm sorry to say, IMO. It would be cheaper just to put them all on the dole, 10000 dollars a year or something. What are they going to do, assemble microchips? Build BMWs? For that size population, there is no viable industry, service or occupation I can think of, can you?

Pu
 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:17 am

Quoting offloaded (Reply 34):
These are interesting figues, and rather a problem for the "right of return." If you added the two together then suddenly you have an Arab majority in Israel.

Yes - which is precisely why Israel is so desperate to stop any UN recognition of Palestine. It looks, though, as if the pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian lot (which, to the shame of many of us, appears to include both the USA and the UK) is going to lose that forthcoming UN vote.

Quoting offloaded (Reply 36):
I have seen that birthrate forecast before somewhere, and I think you are correct. So then what happens?
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 37):
I'm sure the jewish politicians will disenfranchise the arab israelis long before the situation ever gets to the point where jews are the minority; I wouldn't put them past ethnic cleansing either if the Arab population grew too big.

Yes - it's an eerie situation. The Israeli Jewish 'majority' (in government terms, anyway) seems to be moving, at ever-increasing speed, towards a situation where they seem likely to embrace the sort of 'final solution' scenario that Hitler's Nazis inflicted on the German Jews in the 1930s. For a start, the Gaza Strip ('fenced in' and allowed next to no contact with the outside world) looks more and more like a concentration camp, and the West Bank is little better off.

Quoting Pu (Reply 38):
but, (much like Belfast in its bad days) to me the real problem is there are a lot of pissed off young men, who are unemployed, forced to live with their parents (cramped), with no prospects for the future,

That's the supreme irony, seems to me, Pu. Industry, worldwide, is perennially short of 'motivated' labour. All it would take is the local authorities setting up industrial estates, putting in access roads, services etc., and advertising the opportunities effectively; and firms from all over the world would pour in. I can honestly say "Been there, done that" - in an ex-coalmining area. This was the site that I was (I hope justifiably) proudest of........

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=Ta...&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&cad=b

[Edited 2012-11-28 21:20:53]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:47 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
which is precisely why Israel is so desperate to stop any UN recognition of Palestine.

Hi NAV20

Interesting article from the BBC you might find of interest.

I believe Israel is somewhat "concerned" about the International Criminal Court (ICC)

There is perhaps a good chance of Palestine being granted a hearing, and bring charges against Israel for violating the Geneva Conventions' prohibition on forced displacement of populations.

Seems as though there is a good enough chance of a favorable outcome, and that is enough concern for Netanyahu to be a little scared


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13701636
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:47 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
Yes - it's an eerie situation. The Israeli Jewish 'majority' (in government terms, anyway) seems to be moving, at ever-increasing speed, towards a situation where they seem likely to embrace the sort of 'final solution' scenario that Hitler's Nazis inflicted on the German Jews in the 1930s. For a start, the Gaza Strip ('fenced in' and allowed next to no contact with the outside worl

Let me understand... Are you saying that Israel want the same solution to Palestine as the Nazis wanted for the Jews?
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:11 am

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 41):
Are you saying that Israel want the same solution to Palestine as the Nazis wanted for the Jews?

Yes. zrs70. The persecution of the people the Nazis considered 'malcontents' - a lot of them, though not all of them, Jews - began with locking them up in 'concentration camps,' from 1933, without trial and with no prospect of release. That's what's happening in Gaza, to my mind - the Gazans aren't allowed out, so they're not free to travel to see their relatives in the West Bank and elsewhere. And the land frontier is guarded by soldiers with guns, who apparently don't hesitate to shoot.

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005263

The 'death camps' came much later, during WW2. So far, thankfully, the Israelis show no sign of moving on to that phase; although killing/wounding some hundreds of innocent Gazan civilians by aerial bombing in the last couple of months is hardly a good sign?

[Edited 2012-11-29 01:14:02]
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:51 am

Today the Palestinian bid is up to voting broadcasted live around the Globe

With Palestinians near certain to win UN recognition, Israel increasingly isolated
At least 150 countries expected to vote in favor of recognizing Palestine as nonmember observer state at General Assembly; U.S., Canada to vote with Israel against resolution, Germany to abstain.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...olated.premium-1.481242?block=true

The Palestinians are seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, the lands Israel captured in 1967

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20537863

 
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:29 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 43):
U.S., Canada to vote with Israel against resolution

Interesting that the article says Abbas agreed to pursue this AFTER the US election. Certainly he did not want to risk putting Obama on the spot over this, which would have played into Netanyahu's hopes for a Romney win.

But, could there have been private assurances to Abbas from the Obama administration? Something along the lines of: keep this issue quiet until after the election and the US will not so aggressively try to block it?




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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:46 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 42):
Yes. zrs70. The persecution of the people the Nazis considered 'malcontents' - a lot of them, though not all of them, Jews - began with locking them up in 'concentration camps,' from 1933, without trial and with no prospect of release. That's what's happening in Gaza, to my mind - the Gazans aren't allowed out, so they're not free to travel to see their relatives in the West Bank and elsewhere. And the land frontier is guarded by soldiers with guns, who apparently don't hesitate to shoot.
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 42):
The 'death camps' came much later, during WW2. So far, thankfully, the Israelis show no sign of moving on to that phase; although killing/wounding some hundreds of innocent Gazan civilians by aerial bombing in the last couple of months is hardly a good sign?

Nav,

I don't believe you truly believe what you are writing. Have you read Mein Kampf? Have you studied the Final Solution? Do you know about the Nuremberg Laws? If you do to any of these, you can't with intellectual integrity compare that to this.

Further, I am really upset that people on this board stand by this commentary, and I hope that others lift their voices.
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting Pu (Reply 44):
Something along the lines of: keep this issue quiet until after the election and the US will not so aggressively try to block it?

It is possible but I am not sure how likely. The US is still publicly opposing it after having threatened to use their veto in the Security Council last year when the request for was member status. At the moment it is for non-member state status. They already have permanent observer status.

If there is a change in the position of the US it is perhaps due to the realisation that Hamas gains from the isolation of Abbas following the recent events in Gaza. While world leaders were meeting with representatives of Hamas, MR Abbas was left at home playing solitaire.

The date was chosen because it marks the date of the 1947 Partition Plan of the United Nations General Assembly. It was picked for the symbolism of that date rather that considerations for the US Elections as the position of the US was already known. If Obama, still believed to be a Muslim by some in the US, supported statehood why did he oppose it in 2011 when it would have been possible to achieve a more favourable outcome and when he himself had set September 2011 as a target date for resolution to the conflict? What has changed in 2012 to suggest that he may have been more amenable?
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:09 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 45):
Further, I am really upset that people on this board stand by this commentary, and I hope that others lift their voices.

I don't think he's making an exact comparison. Just because a government does something the Nazis did doesn't make them as bad as the Nazis.

What do you disagree with, may I ask? Do the Israelis not wall up the Palestinians? Aren't they limited in freedom of movement? Haven't there been cases of IDF soldiers wrongly shooing Palestinians? Have the Israelis made any signs of making concentration camps (NAV20 even says he doesn't think so.) Are hundreds of dead Palestinian civilians good?

That is what NAV20 said and those seem more like facts than opinions, so they should easily been proven wrong if they are incorrect. You bringing up Mein Kampf and the Final Solution does bring out emotion, but why? He didn't say Israel has a "final solution" or anything.

Slow your roll, NAV20 sounds personally reasonable even if he disagrees with you. I consider myself pro-Israel but even I think Israel has and continues to make blunders. I also think they're determined to achieve peace and that the Palestinians created a lot of their own mess. If these views make me "anti-Semite," so be it
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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:13 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 46):
What has changed in 2012 to suggest that he may have been more amenable

The resolution was not tabled "until after the US election ... after consultation with other countries" according to the BBC.

What has changed is that Obama has no more elections to face; traditionally US presidents concentrate on foreign policy in their final term, and besides an ideological affinity (my guess) for the Palestinians, a crowning legacy for any president would be managing a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict....basically all the recent Democratic presidents have tried for this and made some progress.

We don't know what the calculations are, this may be a bargaining chip to get Israel to resume talks or move on a partcular issue, or who knows? in any event The Obama Administration can make more politically risky moves now that they have 4 years to ride it out and face no election anyway. (although Obama staffers would certainly expect a job if a Democrat wins in 2016)



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RE: Questions In The Israel/ Palestine Conflict

Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:43 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 45):
and I hope that others lift their voices.

There are indeed comparisons to be made but that does mean that the positions are identical.

In Mein Kampf Hitler spelt out his view of a future German Society free of what he saw as factors weakening Germany. The Jewish Virtual Library does publish some extracts from Mein Kampf that show how vitriolic Hitler was in his hatred. Yet they don't publish any that show that he wanted to physically exterminate an entire race. The term he used, which is quoted by the JVL, was "entfernen" which means to separate. He wanted to drive them out. Such views are commonplace in Israel in relation to Palestinians today.

Some have drawn the conclusion that the Nazis has a plan to exterminate Jews from the start. Yet we know that they didn't enact any such plan. Yes, there were incidents of violence and these incidents were orchestrated, but they did not as yet constitute a plan that was later developed. "Die Endlösung" was not adopted until eight years after the seizure and well into the war. Do not get me wrong, I am in no way trying to minimise what happened or excusing it either.

The initial intent was to drive out Jews and we see this in the framing of the Nuremberg Laws. I repeat laws because some people like to stress how much laws are important to excuse actions. We have seen claims that certain countries are based on laws and bound by laws as if that excuses what they do. Laws are not always fair and equitable and can be downright inhumane, so we ought not concentrate on whether something is legal so much as whether it is right.

When the Nazis seized power their first victims were NOT Jews as Jews. Their first victims were those who could oppose them: trade unionists, socialists, communists and others, although many were Jews. The first enactments against Jews were designed to isolate and drive out. While every effort was made to ensure Jews could not remove assets from Germany (by forcing their sale and paying deliberately low prices for assets) the regime did not oppose emigration.

In that sense NAV20 is right to limit his comparison to the 1930s. He has not suggested that Israel plans the industrialisation of genocide. And that is perhaps what marks the holocaust apart from previous genocides. Historically Jews have been victims of discrimination that restricted freedom to practice religion, limited the trades they could carry out, barred them from owning land, imposed special fines and taxes upon them and subjected them to pogroms.

The distinguishing feature of the holocaust is not so much killing of Jews but the industrialisation of the process. We are horrified by its scale yet it was only the application of science and method that allowed for murder on such a scale. Never before in history had an approach been adopted where the cost-benefit analysis was made whereby the rate of killing, the cost of transportation, the most efficient means, how to maximise output of slave labour and minimise the cost of rations, at what point it costs more to keep someone alive and becomes cheaper to kill them Everything was calculated in a cold, scientific fashion, down to the last Reichmark. The camps were expected to pay for themselves like any other business, hence the conversion of hair into fabric to make coats, etc. It was not blind, irrational killing. It was systematic in a way that contrasted with previous pogroms that were amateurish by comparison.

Is Israel planning this? Of course not and I doubt you will find Nav20 suggesting that. But it is clear that the very foundation of Israel rests upon depriving people who were living there at the time of its foundation of their homes. It was not possible otherwise. That practice is continuing. A look at a map of the West Bank showing areas under direct military control, Palestinian-Israeli joint control and the areas in which "security perimeters" are being constructed makes Palestine look like Emmental cheese. Just as Germany had its ghetto walls, so Israel has its "security perimeters" that restrict the freedom of movement of the Palestinians.

Since WW2 Germany has been willing to pay compensation and make restitution to the victims and families of the deceased. Jews who wish to return to Germany are made welcome and offered every assistance. The have made holocaust denial a criminal offence. In contrast, Israel denies the Nakba, continues to dispossess the indigenous population, confines people to ghettos, has laws that prevent Israeli Arabs living with non-Israeli Arabs in Israel, apply absentee laws to confiscate land held by those driven out and unable to return.

And you ask are there any similarities. Of course there are. But as Nav20 stated, Israel has not proposed the final solution that was adopted at the Wannsee Conference.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza

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