NAV20
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Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:28 am

I hope this thread stays 'on topic'!

We'd just established (to the satisfaction of most of us) that Israel doesn't need more space to accommodate its own population - which isn't growing significantly - but instead appears to want to establish more and more settlements in the West Bank with a view to cutting the Palestinians off from Jerusalem, and very probably driving them out altogether in the end......

[Edited 2012-12-04 18:44:15]
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TheCommodore
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:39 am

The latest from Europe regarding Israels announcement.

Despite some initial sabre rattling at an EU meeting of foreign Mimisters, Israel wont walk away with a bloody nose, this time ?

"But the EU's leverage with the Israelis is limited and its aid to the Palestinians far outweighed by Washington's economic and military support for Israel."

http://news.yahoo.com/eu-considers-r...ment-building-plans-222517703.html
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Mir
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:41 am

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Israeli Settlements In The West Bank 

...are not helping Israel in the long run. That should be obvious to anyone with a brain, but sadly the current Israeli government appears to be devoid of such people.

They are also the biggest indication that Israel is not interested in peace with the Palestinians, which the rest of the world should view accordingly.

-Mir
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NAV20
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:06 am

"At a meeting in Brussels, ambassadors responsible for security issues discussed the possibility of all 27 EU states writing to Tel Aviv to express their displeasure or calling in Israeli ambassadors for consultations, as five EU countries have already done.

"No formal decisions were taken during the meeting and the issue will be discussed further on Friday, EU diplomats told Reuters. But it remains possible that language censoring Israel could be included in a statement to be issued by EU foreign ministers after a meeting on December 10 in Brussels, they said.

"We have agreed on a recommendation so it is not obligatory," one EU diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity."


It's quite incredible to me that the Europe guys appear to need at least another week to agree on a 'statement' that, on past experience, is only going to say nothing in particular anyway........

What do others think causes this oddly-submissive approach to anything to do with Israel? My own view is that it's a sort of habitual 'Holocaust cringe'.........

If so, that's a very odd attitude. Sadly, most of the people sent to concentration camps died in them before the war's end - and anyone who survived would be well over seventy now, even if they'd been very small children during the war. Literally 99%-plus of the people now living in Israel aren't likely ever to have had the slightest connection with the Holocaust.......
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RussianJet
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:13 am

It's just all too sad. I have grown so weary of both sides just doing stupid things in the same vicious cycle of humility, that I just don't believe any positive outcome is achievable here. I used to hope against hope that one day someone would see the light and truly break the cycle of doom, but I just can't even imagine what that would be now.

All the 'statements' in the world and all the diplomats being summoned you can think of won't change a thing so long as people aren't prepared to view their neighbours as fully equal human beings in that neck of the woods. I guess all one can do is pray....
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yyz717
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:37 am

I get the impression Israel is trying to encircle Jerusalem with Jewish settlements make Arab/Muslim access more difficult.

At any rate, if Israel had not been unilaterally attacked in 1967, then perhaps Israel would not have fought back and won that war, and along with it, some land to occupy.

The new settlements are a reminder to the Arab world that trying to invade Israel may result in lost land that Israel will "own" and settle. A lesson that has been in place in many conflicts for hundreds of years.
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NAV20
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:40 am

A case of 'a picture speaking louder than words'..........

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12...-forces-demolish-west-bank-mosque/

"Israeli forces have demolished a mosque in the occupied West Bank village of al-Mufaqara, south of al-Khalil (Hebron), for the second time in two years.

"Witnesses say Israeli forces backed by bulldozers and heavy machinery attacked the village at dawn and forcibly evicted all who were inside the mosque preparing to perform morning prayers.

"Israeli forces did not even allow the locals to remove books and other objects from inside the mosque before demolishing it.

"Israel Radio said the mosque was built without a license. But al-Mafqara residents say such demolitions are part of a larger Israeli plan to expand Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territories.

"Al-Khalil's governor Kamel Hmaid condemned the demolition of the mosque as a "collective punishment."
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:43 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
The new settlements are a reminder to the Arab world that trying to invade Israel may result in lost land that Israel will "own" and settle. A lesson that has been in place in many conflicts for hundreds of years.

True that with victory lies the spoils, but do you realize how much Israel could improve relations and get closer to long-sought after peace if they took a different stance?

The way both sides act at times leads many, including me, to conclude the only way there will be peace is with the extermination of one side. But with concessions from both sides and a deeper understanding, I can see peace. Easy for me to say, being half the world away, but no one said this peace would be easy...
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yyz717
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:53 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 7):
True that with victory lies the spoils, but do you realize how much Israel could improve relations and get closer to long-sought after peace if they took a different stance?

Do you realize how much Gaza and Hesbollah could improve relations and get closer to long-sought peace if they would stop unilaterally attacking Israel every few years? Unless.....they don't want peace (which we all know to be true).

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 7):
But with concessions from both sides and a deeper understanding, I can see peace.

Israel has conceded. time and time again. They voluntarily closed their settlements in the Gaza, thinking this would lead to peace. But no.....the Gazans became more violent.
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Mir
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:00 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 7):
The way both sides act at times leads many, including me, to conclude the only way there will be peace is with the extermination of one side. But with concessions from both sides and a deeper understanding, I can see peace.

What more does the West Bank need to do in order to convince you of their good intentions?

-Mir
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Powerslide
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:00 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 7):
True that with victory lies the spoils,

Unless the winner is Jewish and the loser is Arab.

Quote:
but do you realize how much Israel could improve relations and get closer to long-sought after peace if they took a different stance?

Possibly, but there is no guarantee. Israel gave back Gaza and looked what happened, they were rewarded with rocket attacks and terrorism. Why should they give back more land? Arabs deserve nothing from Israel, history has proved this. I believe its at a point now where Israel will not stop the expansion until all the land is theirs in the West Bank. Then there will be nothing to give back because of Arab greed in previous wars. I don't agree with the expansion but I understand the reasons behind why its happening and why it must happen. Israel must not give into Arab pressure, they'll give them an inch and the Arabs will want a mile.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:27 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 5):
The new settlements are a reminder to the Arab world that trying to invade Israel may result in lost land that Israel will "own" and settle. A lesson that has been in place in many conflicts for hundreds of years.

Not always. They did give back the Sinai.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:23 am

IMO, for the Israeli (Labour) governments during the 1967 and 1973 wars the occupied land was something to be used as leverage and bargaining chips during peace talks with the Arabs. The fullscale settlemen t policy came later under Begin´s Likud government.

In fact what the Israelis are doing with their settlements is the oldest form of colonialisation:
The Romans gave land in conquered territories to army veterans, who left the legions after 20 years of service and called this "Colonia". E.g. the name of the German city of Cologne (Köln) derives from the original Latin name "Colonia Aggrippina".
The Czarist Russians settled warrior-farmers in conquered territories, the Cossacks.
The aim in both cases was to change the demoscopy through settlements of loyal subjects and to have an armed class of loyal subjects there to quell any trouble. I´m quite sure that the Israeli settlers see themselves as warrior-farmers as well.
The big difference between the Israeli settlers and the Roman veterans and the Russian Cossacks mixed with the local population, engaging in mixed marrieages, ultimately deriving in a mixed society (e.g. the Roman-British society of appr. 500 A.D.).

Jan
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Mir
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:20 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 8):
They voluntarily closed their settlements in the Gaza, thinking this would lead to peace. But no.....the Gazans became more violent.
Quoting powerslide (Reply 9):
Israel gave back Gaza and looked what happened, they were rewarded with rocket attacks and terrorism.

This thread is about the West Bank, not Gaza.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 9):
I believe its at a point now where Israel will not stop the expansion until all the land is theirs in the West Bank.

If that really is their strategy, then the US should cease supplying them with military equipment. I have no problem helping Israel defend itself, but if they're going to be a country that aggressively annexes territory then they can do that on their own.

-Mir
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flyingturtle
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:39 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 3):

The most hideous answer is always coming from Germany. Mrs. Merkel supports Israel no matter what. And I thought we were over the Holocaust tragedy and we could move on...

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 12):
IMO, for the Israeli (Labour) governments during the 1967 and 1973 wars the occupied land was something to be used as leverage and bargaining chips during peace talks with the Arabs. The fullscale settlemen t policy came later under Begin´s Likud government.

  

Sadly, Israel took the wrong road then. The settlement activity we are discussing now began in the 1970ies.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 8):
Israel has conceded. time and time again. They voluntarily closed their settlements in the Gaza, thinking this would lead to peace. But no.....the Gazans became more violent.

No, the main reason for removing Gaza settlements was that they were too difficult to defend, and now they are counting on a wall surrounding Gaza and the "Iron Dome" projectile defense project. Gaza is one of the most densely populated regions of the world.


David
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NAV20
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:24 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 14):
Mrs. Merkel supports Israel no matter what. And I thought we were over the Holocaust tragedy and we could move on...

Many thanks, flyingturtle - you've 'squared the circle.' Of course - my background is English/Australian; we were the 'good guys' in WW2. Britain 'saved' Europe in 1940, and, together with the Commonwealth, played a big part in beating the Nazis. And I'm old enough to have met German prisoners as a small kid (we had a prison camp in the village) and I KNOW that they were ordinary guys, 'good Joes,' not fanatical mass-murderers......... So I tend to think of the Holocaust as something that was organised by the German 'lunatic fringe,' the SS and the Gestapo and other 'super-committed' Nazi organisations - not by the ordinary people or even the ordinary soldiers.....

By contrast, Merkel wasn't born until 1954. So her knowledge of 1939/45 can only have been purely theoretical. My guess is that she'll have learned about it mainly from history teachers (in what was then East Germany, that's where she was brought up), and they'll have given her (and other Germans of her age) a very burdensome 'guilt complex' about the Holocaust; and implied that ALL Germans, and their descendants, bore, and still bear, the responsibility for it.

I suppose all this 'cuts both ways,' too. I remember a couple of Jewish fellow students who, like me, would only have been about six years old when WW2 ended, talking about the world (particularly the UN) 'compensating' the Jews for the Holocaust. And there was no doubt at all - I asked, I've never been noted for 'calling a spade an agricultural implement'   - that they felt that they themselves should be compensated - even though they'd never left England up to that time (1958).........

Anyway - that looks to be the problem. The most powerful politician in mainland Europe, and many Jews (particularly those living in Israel), think that Europe, particularly Germany, still owes the Jews in general a debt that can never be repaid. But the Jews - particularly the Israeli ones - aren't averse to Europe at least trying to pay up....... and poor Frau Merkel apparently feels genuinely guilty too.......

Can't think of a solution to the problem, offhand.   I'll give it some more thought and get back to you.....  

[Edited 2012-12-05 05:22:27]
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flyingturtle
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 15):

In Germany, pupils get shoved tons and tons of WW2 history down their throats. It's nauseating, while we Swiss take a much different stance (in high school, we learn about the recession after WW1, the economic crisis, Hitler's rise to power, about the concentration camps, and the role of Switzerland in that war... there's not much told about the cruelties). We tend to underestimate the sufferings during WW2, while the German students get it explained to the least and smallest detail.

And yes, GDR school education also plays a role.

When the UN general assembly voted for a improved status of Palestine, what did Mrs. Merkel say? That Israel has the right to defend itself. No reflection whatsoever about what actually goes wrong in Israel. Israel already gets lots and lots of support from the U.S., so it really doesn't hurt if some other economic powerhouse (like Germany) choses a different role.

Supporting somebody also means stopping somebody when he's doing something... wrong.

As a side note, I really recommend the documentary film "Defamation" (Wikipedia article). It should be available on youtube.


David
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connies4ever
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:03 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
They are also the biggest indication that Israel is not interested in peace with the Palestinians, which the rest of the world should view accordingly.

Agreed, given the current government. Palestinians are relativelt well educated and have limited economic options. Ergo, a labour pool for Israeli business concerns.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 3):
What do others think causes this oddly-submissive approach to anything to do with Israel? My own view is that it's a sort of habitual 'Holocaust cringe'.........

Also tend to agree. FWIW, I believe Baroque, now gone a year, would have agreed as well.
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Quokkas
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:31 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 15):
a very burdensome 'guilt complex' about the Holocaust; and implied that ALL Germans, and their descendants, bore, and still bear, the responsibility for it.

The "education" given to Germans in the former GDR was not a general "we are all guilty and have a terrible burden" to make amends for. The official position was that the antisemitism that led to the holocaust was the product of fascism, itself a product of capitalism. In contrast, in the East, the workers and peasants state had vanquished fascism, blah, blah. So there wasn't the same "coming to terms" with the past.

Mrs Merkel is a pragmatist and will not be supporting Israel out of any sense of guilt, however perverse. While she repeated the usual line about supporting Israel's right to defend itself, Germany abstained at the UN, a move that would have been inconceivable before. And while Mrs Merkel has not voiced any condemnation of the latest settlement announcement, others in her party have been more outspoken. Ruprecht Polenz, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats and head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag lower house said, "E1 is not just another settlement. E1 is of enormous strategic importance. E1 ... would cut off East Jerusalem once and for all from the West Bank, thereby making a two-state solution practically impossible."

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, issued a strong warning on Monday over the settlement plan, saying, "The Israeli government is sending out a negative message with this move. It is eroding trust in its willingness to negotiate, and the land for a future Palestinian state is disappearing further."

In the meantime, Israel is a major customer for German weaponry with Germany agreeing to supply a a sixth military submarine with German taxpayers willing to shoulder millions of euros of the cost. And Germany's Federal Security Committee agreed to the export of shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons and bunker-busting weapons to Israel . Merkel will not want to stand in the way of German industry making money, whatever her personal feelings of guilt, or a lack thereof, may be.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:04 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 6):
A case of 'a picture speaking louder than words'..........

What's sad is that if the Palestinians ever demolished a synagogue it would be called terrorism.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 8):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 7):
But with concessions from both sides and a deeper understanding, I can see peace.

Israel has conceded. time and time again. They voluntarily closed their settlements in the Gaza, thinking this would lead to peace. But no.....the Gazans became more violent.

You are conveniently forgetting a little civil war that happened which ended up with Hamas driving out Fatah (the moderate wing of Palestinians...the one willing to sit down). You are generalizing.

As an example, if Rick Perry were driven out by Tea Party-ers and Texas ended up in the hands of a Tea Party governor, does it mean that all Texans are Tea Party-ers? And if the Union decided to pressure the Tea Party governor by closing all economic links of Texans and withholding aid, wouldn't Texans resent that from the Union? I sure would.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 15):
and they'll have given her (and other Germans of her age) a very burdensome 'guilt complex' about the Holocaust; and implied that ALL Germans, and their descendants, bore, and still bear, the responsibility for it.

Eventually a German leader will stand up and say 'Suck it up'. What's done is done and what happened generations ago cannot be blamed on the current one. That's like Spaniards feeling guilty for the extermination of many Native Americans. They have the mark, but we can't hold modern Spaniards accountable for the mistakes others made centuries ago.
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flyingturtle
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:43 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 18):
Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, issued a strong warning on Monday over the settlement plan, saying, "The Israeli government is sending out a negative message with this move. It is eroding trust in its willingness to negotiate, and the land for a future Palestinian state is disappearing further."

As always - words but not deeds. And when it comes to Israel and Palestine, words are used on an inflationary scale.

As a small step, Switzerland has taken measures against Soda Club / Soda Stream because it manufactures some of its carbon dioxide cartridges in occupied territories, outside of the 1967 frontiers. Because Switzerland has a customs agreement with Israel, Soda Club has to pay $$$ more in custom fees... 

David
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:07 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 8):
Do you realize how much Gaza and Hesbollah could improve relations and get closer to long-sought peace if they would stop unilaterally attacking Israel every few years? Unless.....they don't want peace (which we all know to be true).

And they'd be stuck with the status quo which is what Palestine doesn't want. Yes, I know the more extreme opinions (removing all Jews/Israelis) is obviously unacceptable, but the opposition of statehood (under Israel's conditions,) the occupation, the settlement building, the absence of many rights is exactly why they are rebelling. It's not as simple as "they're fighting because Israel is fighting because Palestine is fighting." I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. I thought that Palestine killing civilians is inexcusable and that Israel is "more right" in the conflict so I supported them, basically, blindly. But I realize now I can support the just actions of a side while condemning their mistakes.

That all being said, the intentional killing of civilians is unacceptable

Quoting powerslide (Reply 9):
Unless the winner is Jewish and the loser is Arab.

What are you talking about? Why is it so wrong to condemn some of Israel's actions? I support their right to exist, and if they ever get invaded, I would hope the world community would help. But you are constantly equating ANY criticism of Israel to, basically, antisemitism and anti-Israel bias.

For the 10th time, do you think Israel's actions are perfect? If not, what is wrong with calling them out? That doesn't make one anti-Jewish or anti-Israel

Quoting Mir (Reply 10):
What more does the West Bank need to do in order to convince you of their good intentions?

Not trying to kill civilians. If we are going to call out Israel's actions, we need to do the same for Palestine. I know the rocket attacks were in reaction to Israeli actions (which we rightfully will analyze and criticize if necessary) but let's not pretend Palestine has been a saint in this struggle, they have not
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:13 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 21):
Not trying to kill civilians. If we are going to call out Israel's actions, we need to do the same for Palestine. I know the rocket attacks were in reaction to Israeli actions (which we rightfully will analyze and criticize if necessary) but let's not pretend Palestine has been a saint in this struggle, they have not

AFAIK, the rocket attacks originate from radical Islamist elements of HAMAS in Gaza and not from the rather moderate FATAH government in the West Bank. Why does Israel punish the West bank government then?

Jan
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Mir
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 21):
Not trying to kill civilians. If we are going to call out Israel's actions, we need to do the same for Palestine. I know the rocket attacks were in reaction to Israeli actions (which we rightfully will analyze and criticize if necessary) but let's not pretend Palestine has been a saint in this struggle, they have not

   Again, this is about the West Bank, not Gaza. They are not the same place, they are not governed by the same people, and they are not the same in their position toward Israel. You cannot look at them through the same lens.

You can debate who is the aggressor in Gaza. You cannot debate who is the aggressor in the West Bank - it's Israel, end of story. Fatah has been quite reasonable in its position toward Israel for several years now, and its only reward is more of its land being annexed for settlements.

-Mir
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victrola
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:31 pm

It is obvious by now that Israel has no intention of ever pulling out of the West Bank. Settlements are now so extensive that there is really no way to partition what is left. The 2 state solution is dead.

Now what does Israel intend to do with the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank? Should they expell them? Should they give them Israeli citizenship? Should they herd them into little Bantustans like in old South Africa? I see nobody asking these questions. If you have the land what the hell do you do with the inhabitants???
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:34 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 22):
AFAIK, the rocket attacks originate from radical Islamist elements of HAMAS in Gaza and not from the rather moderate FATAH government in the West Bank. Why does Israel punish the West bank government then?

I'll admit to being a bit ignorant on which Palestinians cause which attacks, but I'm very certain the ones in the West Bank bombed a lot of buses and night clubs until the wall went up
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lewis
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:41 pm

Quoting victrola (Reply 24):
It is obvious by now that Israel has no intention of ever pulling out of the West Bank. Settlements are now so extensive that there is really no way to partition what is left. The 2 state solution is dead.

Not necessarily. The people who chose to settle in occupied land (and they were fully aware of that) can either choose to continue living there as citizens of a Palestinian state or pack and leave.

Quoting victrola (Reply 24):
If you have the land what the hell do you do with the inhabitants???

It seems they are aiming for the so-called "self-deportation" option, slowly take over their land, tear down their buildings and hope that they get tired of being treated like crap and leave.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:45 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 23):
  Again, this is about the West Bank, not Gaza. They are not the same place, they are not governed by the same people, and they are not the same in their position toward Israel.

Geez sorry, can't catch a break from this stupid site. This is what I get from trying to stay neutral and see it from both sides. I'm no ME expert
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connies4ever
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:47 pm

Quoting victrola (Reply 24):
It is obvious by now that Israel has no intention of ever pulling out of the West Bank. Settlements are now so extensive that there is really no way to partition what is left. The 2 state solution is dead.

Now what does Israel intend to do with the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank? Should they expell them? Should they give them Israeli citizenship? Should they herd them into little Bantustans like in old South Africa? I see nobody asking these questions. If you have the land what the hell do you do with the inhabitants???

Given the significant difference in birth rate between the two main ethnic groups, in a one-state situation Israel is hurtling towards an apartheid situation. In fact in many respects they may already be there. Looking back at the "old" South Africa, the West was pretty much firm in their opposition to the various white governments - Britain under Thatcher being an exception. Will the West summon the cojones to do the same again contra-Israel ?

Strong sanctions would effectively cripple Israel rather quickly, I think. Then we'd see if they were willing to eat dust, as the Palestinians, more and more, are being forced to.
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Mir
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:25 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 25):
I'll admit to being a bit ignorant on which Palestinians cause which attacks, but I'm very certain the ones in the West Bank bombed a lot of buses and night clubs until the wall went up

They certainly did, and if you had asked me then I would have said that they didn't have much right to complain about settlement expansion. But that's not the case anymore, and it's generally considered a good idea when you want to change someone's behavior to treat them differently after they change their behavior - otherwise what was the point of the change?

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 27):
Geez sorry, can't catch a break from this stupid site. This is what I get from trying to stay neutral and see it from both sides.

I'm sorry if I came off a bit strong there, but it is frustrating when people lump Gaza and Hamas in with the West Bank and Fatah (and you're not the first to do it, see Reply 13). Trying to stay neutral is commendable, but it would be grossly incorrect to use the actions of Hamas in Gaza to justify Israeli action against Fatah in the West Bank.

-Mir
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pu
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:05 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 3):

What do others think causes this oddly-submissive approach to anything to do with Israel? My own view is that it's a sort of habitual 'Holocaust cringe'.......

Germany has committed itself to a perpetual broad support of Israel. Which is admirable.

Eastern Europe still very much respects America and especially wants American protections against Russia, thus their unified abstention on the observer state vote and a reluctance to challenge America's Israeli ally.

Meanwhile France and the Nordic states are arguably at this point hostile to Israel and unashamedly pro-Palestinian.

So with Germany and the east either neutral or pro-Israeli and the rest more Palestinian in leanings, Europe is divided and as is too often the case, generally impotent to act with any unified power on the matter.

Pu
 
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:51 am

Quoting Pu (Reply 30):
Meanwhile France and the Nordic states are arguably at this point hostile to Israel and unashamedly pro-Palestinian.

Why is support for Palestinians equal to hostility with Israel? So would I be a terrible father if I do not approve of everything my children do?

How about calling it as it is: Western Europe finally telling Israel when they're wrong?
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Mir
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:00 am

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 31):
How about calling it as it is: Western Europe finally telling Israel when they're wrong?

   Israel needs an intervention on the settlements. Those who come to interventions generally are there to be stern with the person receiving the intervention, but their intentions aren't hostile but rather supportive.

-Mir
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n229nw
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:03 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 23):
Again, this is about the West Bank, not Gaza. They are not the same place, they are not governed by the same people, and they are not the same in their position toward Israel. You cannot look at them through the same lens.

You can debate who is the aggressor in Gaza. You cannot debate who is the aggressor in the West Bank - it's Israel, end of story. Fatah has been quite reasonable in its position toward Israel for several years now, and its only reward is more of its land being annexed for settlements.


Hmmm, the two areas are not really separate, in that a "two-state" solution lumps them inherently together. As long as there is "Zionist" versus "Palestinian" nationalism, then the people on the West Bank and in Gaza will see themselves as brethren, and Israel will collectively punish them all, however wrong that policy is.

The problem, as I see it, is that the makers of and cheerleaders for Israeli policy have no problem conceptualized Gaza and the WB together when making excuses for resisting the UN vote, etc., but then the same people utterly fail to conceive of the fact that the Palestinianshave a corresponding right to group themselves together. Consider the common but ridiculous argument made here:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 9):
Israel gave back Gaza and looked what happened, they were rewarded with rocket attacks and terrorism.

So, Israel "withdrew" form Gaza, but expected the Palestinians threre to thank them even though they were simultaneously and conspicuously expanding into the West Bank, which to many Gazans is simply moving over to a different part of their land, not actual withdrawal. That's one reason why many Gazans didn't see the withdrawal as a gift for which they should thank Israel. The second reason is that Israel continued to control the borders of and all resources (or lack thereof) in Gaza, which is inherently and ritually humiliating.

I'm not making excuses for Hamas. I think the Gazans were as idiotic to vote for Hamas as the Israelis to vote for Netanyahu. Neither recognizes the right of the other to have a state--both do not see the other ethnic group as legitimate people with rights. And neither will help their own people in the long run.
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Pellegrine
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:50 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
but instead appears to want to establish more and more settlements in the West Bank with a view to cutting the Palestinians off from Jerusalem, and very probably driving them out altogether in the end......

Israel has always gone the colonizers route since the inception of the State.
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damirc
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:12 pm

I had high hopes for Netanyahu's visit to chancellor Merkel, but it seems (at least officially) Germany is not too miffed about it. Disappointed.

D.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:29 pm

Quoting damirc (Reply 35):
I had high hopes for Netanyahu's visit to chancellor Merkel, but it seems (at least officially) Germany is not too miffed about it. Disappointed.

D.

The current Israeli government is very fast in using the Nazi card should any German official dare to critizise their politics and expansionalism. Unfortunately this rings a bell with many Americans, that Germany hasn´t really changed from 1933-1945 to today.
I know that there are many Jews (including Israelis and Americans) highly critical of the fascistoid political carried by the the current Israeli government, but the current Israeli government equates any critizism of their politics with anti-Judaism and this means for Germany to be declared to be the same as the Nazi regime.
BTW, Israel is not the only country doing this. During the civil war in former Yugoslavia, Milosevitch´s government equated any German interference as an attemnpt to subjugate the country like under the Nazis.
In Greece currently the German government is often equated with Hitler.
In many countries which suffered under the Nazis any German critizism is rejected with the words "Remember what your grandparents did to us. You better shut up!".

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
connies4ever
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:52 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 36):
In many countries which suffered under the Nazis any German critizism is rejected with the words "Remember what your grandparents did to us. You better shut up!".

Not too many years ago the American comedian Bill Cosby toured a significant number of black(-oriented, anyway) prep schools, junior colleges, and high schools, to give a speech and offer counsel to (principally) black young men on accepting responsibility for their actions, studying hard, giving back to the community.

One of the themes that arose from that tour was Mr Cosby asking the young men "How long can you blame the white man for your situation ? When are you going to the right thing ?". Many in the black community were shocked, to be sure, but the point remains.

Political thugs like Bibi and Liberman should take a lesson from this - how long can Israelis criticize Germany when Israel itself is criticzed ? At some point the German people and/or government are basically going to say "P*ss off!" And that point may not be too far off.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:18 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 37):
Political thugs like Bibi and Liberman should take a lesson from this - how long can Israelis criticize Germany when Israel itself is criticzed ? At some point the German people and/or government are basically going to say "P*ss off!" And that point may not be too far off.

The problem is that our own "Ewiggestrige",the minority of those who are stuck forever in yesterday, on the right will use any justified critizism concerning Israel to go "See! We told you! You can´t trust those Jews! Hitler was right!".

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
damirc
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:53 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 36):
The current Israeli government is very fast in using the Nazi card should any German official dare to critizise their politics and expansionalism.

I understand the precariousness of the situation and the problem in expressing any dissenting view if it is expressed by Germany. I still remember how Norbert Blüm was treated for being critical. I have some hope that Mrs. Merkel made any comment in regards to the settlements though (even if unofficially).

What do you think, will there be peace in Israel and Palestine in our lifetimes? :/

D.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:33 pm

Quoting damirc (Reply 39):
What do you think, will there be peace in Israel and Palestine in our lifetimes? :/

Only if the ideologes get kicked out and sanity prevails on both sides. I wish there were more Israeli-Arab marriages. Family ties could solve a lot of the issues, but it seems that the ideologists on both sides go for "racial purity".

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Quokkas
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:48 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 40):
but it seems that the ideologists on both sides go for "racial purity".

And this is the sad thing about it. This approach affects citizens of Israel who are critical of the policy of settlements in the West Bank.

While Netanyahu was in Germany there was supposed to be a symposium of German and Israeli scientists taking place. One guest who had been invited to attend was Professor Rivka Feldhay, who was banned at the last minute. Rivka Feldhay is Professor of History of Science and Ideas at Tel-Aviv University. For many years she has been a member of the board of advisors of The Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin. According to an official travelling with Netanyahu, Feldhay was prevented from attending because

Quote:
the prime minister did not want to allow the participation of an Israeli "who tarnishes the name of Israeli soldiers and pilots".

Her crime? She had signed a petition in 2008 that supported Israeli soldiers who refused to serve in Palestinian territories, the official explained.

So the exercise of free speech that can be seen as critical of the government can result in being prevented from attending a scientific symposium that has nothing to do with the issue of Palestine. It's a fine democracy where you can be accused of being "an enemy of the State" simply for voicing a dissenting opinion and signing a petition.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
connies4ever
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:16 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 41):
Quote:
the prime minister did not want to allow the participation of an Israeli "who tarnishes the name of Israeli soldiers and pilots".

Her crime? She had signed a petition in 2008 that supported Israeli soldiers who refused to serve in Palestinian territories, the official explained.

Shows you how small-minded that schmuck is.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 41):
So the exercise of free speech that can be seen as critical of the government can result in being prevented from attending a scientific symposium that has nothing to do with the issue of Palestine. It's a fine democracy where you can be accused of being "an enemy of the State" simply for voicing a dissenting opinion and signing a petition.

It's not just Israel. It's wherever neo-con ideology and cults of personality have taken hold. Here in Canada under Harpers gang, those in the scientific community who criticise the government suffer one of three fates:

- funding cut if in academe;
- shuffled off into a dark corner if a government employee; or
- fired.

This has effectively stifled criticism of government policy by the fisheries and oceans people, the environmental community, and so forth. Several Natonal Research Council establishments have been closed, esp. those dealing with cutting edge work. History has shown that business simply will not fund these efforts to the extent the government has - until Harper.

End of rant.
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NAV20
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:49 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 40):
it seems that the ideologists on both sides go for "racial purity".

All the evidence points to the Israelis being the only people pursuing racist policies, MD11Engineer? In the 'old days' (i.e. before 1948) Palestine was a model of religious tolerance, with Muslims, Jews, and Christians (less than two million of them, at that time) all living together in relative peace and harmony (apart from Jewish terrorist organisations like the Stern Gang, who were already killing Arabs - and British soldiers).

Come to that, I see no evidence of the Palestinians pursuing racist policies even now? They have (reluctantly) agreed to a solution based on the 1967 borders. It is Israel that refuses to accept that solution; and the Jews are still driving out Palestinians, demolishing their homes, and building 'Jews only' settlements in their place. Not to mention periodically bombing defenceless civilians in Gaza.

The ONLY solution is for Israel to drop its state-run regime of racial and religious intolerance, and adopt the second and third of Roosevelt's Four Freedoms:-

"The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

"The third is freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world."


There is only one way that can be achieved - by the United States 'stopping the money' and leaning very hard on the Jews to end their merciless persecution of the Palestinians. But it looks as if pigs will fly before that happens........
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Quokkas
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:09 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 43):
and leaning very hard on the Jews

Depending on whose figures you accept and depending on the definitions used, there are about 13.5 million Jews of whom about 6 million live in Israel and the West Bank. About 5.5 million live in the US. Not all Jews, inside or outside Israel support either the State of Israel or the settlement policy. Some may oppose Zionism on religious grounds while supporting immigration to the "Land Of Israel".

Within Israel itself, as links to Haaretz provided in various threads show, there is opposition to and criticism of the Government's policy based on human rights and a recognition that Israel can not continue to exist in a permanent state of war.

We know that Israel is not interested in a Two State Solution. If the West is - and that is a big if - then it needs to prove it by doing more than mouthing platitudes. But any leaning hard needs to be upon the Government of Israel and not simply on "the Jews". However, as you say "it looks as if pigs will fly before that happens."

So you may wish to review and amend that last sentence lest you allow the apologists for the dispossession of Palestinians an opening to shrilly denounce you as "a you know what."
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
NAV20
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:29 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 44):
So you may wish to review and amend that last sentence

Thought a while before phrasing it that way, Quokkas. But it's a fact. Anyone of the Jewish faith can emigrate to Israel any time they like - 'expenses paid.' No-one professing any other religion enjoys that privilege. Non-Jews in Israel do not enjoy equal rights. And we all know that even the Palestinians in the West Bank are not safe - day by day, they are being unmercifully oppressed, and systematically driven out of their homes and turned into refugees.........by Jews.......

So there is no room for doubt that Israel is practising religious discrimination.......and the rest of the world, including the United States and the United Nations, is just 'letting it happen.' Israel's malignant and constant activities are nothing more than (or less than) religious discrimination and persecution on the grand scale. They are the Nazis of the 21st. Century - remember Hitler's Germany driving Poles and other Europeans out of their ancestral homes and giving the land to German farmers?

So I thought that, just for once, I'd 'tell it like it is.' Israel is an 'evil regime' in my book.....

[Edited 2012-12-06 21:59:50]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Quokkas
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:49 am

But there is a world of difference between the actions and policies of a State and what individual people may or not choose to do. Not all Jews are Israelis and not all Israeli Jews - let alone all Jews - support the Government's position, even if the majority in Israel do. So to use labels like "the Jews" is inaccurate. Yes, the individuals who are seizing land are Jews but they do not enjoy the support of all Jews. They do usually have the support of the Government and the IDF but there have been instances where the Supreme Court (which is presumably comprised of Jews as well) has ruled against them.

It is also wrong to simply say that Israel is practicing religious discrimination. Discrimination there is but the identity of someone as being Jewish is not limited to professing a religion. Many of the founders of Zionism rejected religion as outdated, adopting semi-socialist positions. Zionism posited the Jews as a nation, not as followers of a religion. So non-religious Jews live in Israel as well. Being Jewish is being part of an ethnicity of which part is religion but is not limited to it.

On November 14, 1935, the Nazis issued the following definition of a Jew: Anyone with three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish community on September 15, 1935, or joined thereafter; was married to a Jew or Jewess on September 15, 1935, or married one thereafter; was the offspring of a marriage or extramarital liaison with a Jew on or after September 15, 1935. Clearly in their proclamation and in other writings, the Nazis viewed Jews not simply as followers of a religion but as members of a race - they were non-Aryan, they were not German. No similar distinction was made for Catholics, Lutherans or even Communists, although the term Jewish-Bolshevik often appeared in propaganda for the same reason - it identified it as foreign, non-German. A Jew converting to Catholicism was still regarded as a Jew. So to the Nazis, just as it was to the Zionists, race or ethnicity was the defining feature.

Sorry to go off on a tangent but I think it important to make a distinction between people who belong to a particular race/ religion/ social group and the Government of the State in which they reside.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
NAV20
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:11 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 46):
Yes, the individuals who are seizing land are Jews but they do not enjoy the support of all Jews. They do usually have the support of the Government and the IDF but there have been instances where the Supreme Court (which is presumably comprised of Jews as well) has ruled against them.

Of course you're right, as far is it goes, Quokkas - I served in Germany not all that long after WW2, and it was equally clear that not all Germans had supported the Nazis, either. But Hitler and his Nazi pals ran the government - if they'd 'stood up' and resisted in any way, they'd only have had two options; the Russian Front, or death.

I notice that the one word that doesn't appear in your post is 'Palestinians.' The 'Muslims' - plus a fair few Christians. I must admit, they're the people I think of first, in all these discussions. Because they're being mercilessly driven out.

How do you think the free world should set about giving THEM any sort of fair chance - starting from here?
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Quokkas
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:01 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 47):
starting from here?

First, accept the enhanced status at the UN without recriminations. I would go further and say that there is no real basis for objecting to full membership.The claim that Statehood can only come through a bilateral agreement is patently false, given the precedent of Israel.

Second, do not oppose the right of the Palestinian Authority to accede to the ICC and ICJ. In acceding to the jurisdiction of the Courts Palestine would be just as bound by its rulings as any other member state. And if Israel is genuinely a country based on law it will respect that. After all, if it is abiding by International Laws and Agreements surely the Courts will consider that favourably. Or is it a case of we abide by decisions when they suit and ignore them when they don't?

Third, demand a complete halt to the "settlement policy". This has been the sticking in all the efforts made by Fatah and the PA in the past. No amount of 'willingness to negotiate" has stopped the shrinkage of land sufficient to support a viable state. Maps showing areas of proposed settlements and security perimeters clearly indicate the intention to fragment, isolate and contain the Palestinian population. If the West is serious about a Two State Solution the proposals must be prevented from being carried out.

Finally, make future support for Israel conditional on its willingness to enter into serious negotiation with the Palestinians on a common border based on the 1967 line. To date the blind, unequivocal and open-cheque book support for Israel has allowed Israel to dictate the terms. If Israel wants to grand stand or just play games, pull the plug just as has been done in the past to the Palestinians.

But I have serious doubts about the West's intentions towards the people of Palestine. They have always been seen as expendable, a problem to be pushed aside in pursuit of other agendas. While the vote at the UN was welcome, it did not enjoy support from the West. Abstention can best be seen as an each-way bet, if we are being charitable. Australia's Foreign Minister summed it up best when he stated that a "no" vote would have harmed Australia's other interests in the region. It had little to do with a commitment to human rights or a sympathy for the plight of Palestinians.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
flyingturtle
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RE: Israeli Settlements In The West Bank

Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:35 pm

Quokkas, your posting is a blueprint for peace in the Middle East.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 48):
The claim that Statehood can only come through a bilateral agreement is patently false, given the precedent of Israel.

It is even more false, because:

...to be a state, you need:
- a defined territory
- a permanent population
- and a recognition as a state by other states.

142 states have diplomatic relations to Palestine, and 106 states have fully recognized Palestine as a state... so it goes. Any "statehood by bilateral agreement only" is utter BS.

In the same vein, Israel shouldn't care if it is recognized by Hamas or the Fatah. Like Palestine, it can say... well, we are recognized by other governments. We don't need recognition by Israel or any Israeli party.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 48):
Second, do not oppose the right of the Palestinian Authority to accede to the ICC and ICJ.

If Israel wants Palestine to do things peacefully, then the UN, ICC and the ICJ is the way to go. I remember a newspaper article about Israel protesting the ICJ ruling about the West Bank wall, using a bombed bus as a backdrop. The thinly veiled message is clear.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...e-Hague-with-suicide-bomb-bus.html


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.

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