Achieving Peace in the Middle East

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Sep 23, 2002.

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  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    F_I_D, wasn't the Crusades about capturing the Holy Lands and returning them, forcibly if necessary, into Chrisendom? Officially it was about "rescuing" them, but if you read alot of the documents to surface since then, it was a propaganda campaign against the popularity of Islam.

    DM, you don't get irony do you? The whole point of my paragraph was to illustrate the fundamental flaw in your argument; RELIGIONS are not bad - people are. Christianity has had an appalling track record, but it's not the doctrine. Heck, even Marxism in practise didn't mirror Marxism on paper. You can't expect ideologies that preach compassion and tolerance and equality to be approved by humans; and lets forget this whole "pat humanity on the back aren't we great" crap - we're a virus with shoes.

    E_S
  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    I think we're getting off-topic - the fundamental issue here is that the people making the calls about the Middle East - ie Washington - are the ones who don't understand muslims or the Middle East. It's only now that IR academics (and not people in Dept. of State) are beginning to recognise a factor called "blowback" in US relations. Blowback is a term appropriated from the CIA and is generally agreed to describe unintentional negative responses from US foreign policy. It's like IR theory's version of Newton's Second Law of Physics - for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is to say, that every instance that Anti-American sentiment exists, there is a almost always gonna be a reason for it. Iran - the Shah. Iraq - the Gulf War. etc etc. Now, if the US is not accepting this fact - which I think many on this thread have demonstrably proven - and they're trying to "make" peace (add ingredients, water, stir for an hour), who the hell is gonna listen, much less care?
    Peace in the ME Isn't going to happen on our terms, as I've said before and will say again. Call it a prediction, if you want.

    E_S
  3. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    In some muslim nations, Christians are being persecuted severely, killed and tortured

    Don't forget the jews. They're not exactly loved in the arab world either.

    On another point, I don't think Islam itself is fundamentally violent, there are just simply people who practice violence in the name of Islam. This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with power. Control in the name of God is an easy way to keep large masses of undereducated, poor people in line, and that's what the arab governments have been doing. The thing that bothers me (to get back on topic) is that while the arabs are quite willing to go to war with Israel over the palestinians, I am doubtful in the extreme that should Israel cease to exist following such a war, the palestinians would be any better off. They would simply be occupied by another country, and this time the rest of the world really would stay out of it. The fact that a "jewish" state is oppressing the palestinians tends to get a lot of play the world over, but no-one lifted a finger to help them when the late King Hussein of Jordan massacred 60,000 palestinians.

    No-one really cares about them. It's a shame, and it takes away hope. I hope that this changes.

    Peace,

    V-03

  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    True, Vaderize, true. Let's not also forget Allah = God. Different scriptures, same dude.

    E_S
  5. AL Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    but no-one lifted a finger to help them when the late King Hussein of Jordan massacred 60,000 palestinians.

    Eh? When did this happen then?
  6. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Cool down guys. By all means discuss these things but try not to get personal.

    This place is for mature discussion.
  7. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Who here thinks if Sharon isn't voted out that this whole conflict will continue?

    I think if each generation spent at least two weeks a year living as the opposite. Jewish folks would live like Palestinians, and Palestinians would live like jewish folk, this mess would be resolved. In a perfect world, that might work, and might actually happen.

    I also think if you know who you're going to kill, like personally, that both sides would be less willing to kill each other. See to them they're just unknowns, but if you knew their name and their past you'd think twice about it. Just my thoughts on the matter. As to whether I think Islam is any more violent than say Christianity, I'd say so. For the most part. Certain aspects of it tend to not make me like it. And this is coming from someone that dislikes all religions as they are. So there's no bias here.
  8. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    The current situation is a result of the Palestinians losing it after Sharon payed a visit to the Temple Mount, a site holy to Jews and to Muslims. That's really just the spark that set the thing off though. Palestinians also saw this as an unacceptable encroachment. Many muslims deny even that the temple stood on that very mount, and they will not allow Jews up on it. I couldn't go up there when I was in Jerusalem, and I'm a Christian. I only got to see the Wailing Wall.

    Arafat himself has said that the Palestinians will never accept a solution that will not include Jerusalem as its capital. This is why Oslo and Camp David didn't work. The Israelis will never allow that to happen; therefore, the conflict will never be resolved until one side or the other wins.





  9. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Cool down guys. By all means discuss these things but try not to get personal

    Who's getting personal? I don't have a personal issue with anyone posting in here.

    V-03

  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    F_I_D I think Sharon is certainly an obstruction to peace, so I think his removal could help the peace process. However, let's not forget Yitsak Rabin made historic steps towards peace and was killed by an Israeli.

    E_S
  11. Lordban Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 5
    "You know, you accuse the US of being one sided, but I find some of your comments jaded in the extreme. What terrorist acts are you referring to?"
    => The ones taken by groups led by David Ben Gourion and a few other famous Israëli characters in the 1930's. Dig a little for data and you'll find things about them, though not much publicity is made about that terrorism. They have also been acknowledged by various israëli politicians, one of them being Israël's ambassador in France, Elie Barnavi, who wrote about it in a book telling the history of the birth and struggles of modern Israël (I'll try and find the book again, it's been more than one year since I got my hands on it).

    "The position that Israel has no right to exist is as hard-line and one-sided as you claim US foreign policy to be."
    => I am not claiming that Israël should not be, I'm claiming that there exists as much moral ground to defend that assumption as there exists moral ground to defend Zionism. Personnally, I think the defense of either is - and sorry if I'm bashing anyone here - utterly stupid.

    "There will be no peace with any policy that calls Israel illegal, which is partly why the Sharon government consistently ignores the EU condemnation of its admittedly over-the-line treatment of the palestinians."
    => EU NEVER said that Israël is an illegal state. We've said that some Israëli actions were a violation of the UN Human Rights chart the Israëli signed, and are therefore illegal on an international basis.

    "I'm not saying that the EU nations do not recognize Israel's right ot exist"
    => You've just said so, obviously :p

    "butw hile the holocaust was caused by the actions of a violent fringe that had gained power, there is the perception amongst many Israelis and americans that europe is both anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish. This is as much a problem for the west as the anger directed against it by the muslim world."
    => European antisemitism is very deep-rooted, it's nearly 2,000 years old. Remember that the Christian religion has started supporting the Jews only extremely recently in historical terms, after millenia of encouraged hatred against the Jews. It is no surprise that there exist grounds to be defended in the unconscious of most of Europeans. What is a surprise is that European antisemitism is currently dormant, it's minorities among the Muslim minorities that give in to antisemitism, and those waves of antisemitism we talked a lot about one year ago have mostly calmed.

    Yep, I'd be for a Sharon ouster too. I think that while we're thinking about regime change in Iraq through forceful methods, there's no reason why we shouldn't force a regime change in Israël and Palestine the same way for the greater good and the stability of the Middle-East.
  12. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Maybe Sharon's afraid that if he is pro-peace, he'll be killed by one of his own?

    E_S
  13. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    The ones taken by groups led by David Ben Gourion and a few other famous Israëli characters in the 1930's. Dig a little for data and you'll find things about them, though not much publicity is made about that terrorism. They have also been acknowledged by various israëli politicians, one of them being Israël's ambassador in France, Elie Barnavi, who wrote about it in a book telling the history of the birth and struggles of modern Israël (I'll try and find the book again, it's been more than one year since I got my hands on it).

    Ok, but let's be balanced. I'm not going to list the numerous acts of arab terrorism that has occured in the world, specifically against Israeli citizens, but let's not leave them out. They happened too.

    I am not claiming that Israël should not be, I'm claiming that there exists as much moral ground to defend that assumption as there exists moral ground to defend Zionism. Personnally, I think the defense of either is - and sorry if I'm bashing anyone here - utterly stupid.

    So what is your proposed solution? If you look back several pages on this thread, you will notice that several times I proposed ways to potentially work towards peace. Arguing about the morality of zionism, anti-semitism, who the land really belongs to, who was there first, or pointing out the atrocities of only one side in a two-sided issue doesn't get anybody anywhere. Let's find some solutions here, not just finger-pointing.

    EU NEVER said that Israël is an illegal state. We've said that some Israëli actions were a violation of the UN Human Rights chart the Israëli signed, and are therefore illegal on an international basis.

    *sigh*. You're missing the point. Things that "Israel" has done tend to be almost exclusively focused on while things the palestinians have done get left out of it. Palestinian claims about massacres, human rights abuses and the like get almost immediate worldwide attention, UN scrutiny, and media coverage, while attacks on Israeli civilians get about 30 seconds compared to the palestinians 15 minutes. It's really, really hard not to smell something fishy under those circumstances from the Israeli point of view. Human rights abuses? Let's take a look at the nations surrounding Israel. Sharon may be hated, but he'll face the voters eventually. Can you say the same for Saddam, Quadaffi, Assad....or dare I say it, Arafat?

    You've just said so, obviously

    I said the opposite.

    European antisemitism is very deep-rooted, it's nearly 2,000 years old. Remember that the Christian religion has started supporting the Jews only extremely recently in historical terms, after millenia of encouraged hatred against the Jews. It is no surprise that there exist grounds to be defended in the unconscious of most of Europeans. What is a surprise is that European antisemitism is currently dormant, it's minorities among the Muslim minorities that give in to antisemitism, and those waves of antisemitism we talked a lot about one year ago have mostly calmed.

    I'll take your word for it. I don't live in Europe, so I can't really comment here.

    Yep, I'd be for a Sharon ouster too. I think that while we're thinking about regime change in Iraq through forceful methods, there's no reason why we shouldn't force a regime change in Israël and Palestine the same way for the greater good and the stability of the Middle-East.

    Don't forget the aforementioned leaders of the arab states while you're at it ;). If so many oil interests didn't exist in the middle east, then perhaps the west as a whole would stand together and demand change of the group of barbaric islamic theocracies that dominate the region, instead of condemning a tiny state fighting for survival to placate those who control world oil prices. Yeah, Israel's messed up. But I worry about the screw-ups of the arab world a lot more. I for one would like to see the UN be a bit more even-handed when dealing with the israeli/palestinian conflict.

    Peace,

    V-03
  14. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    One other thing to keep in mind on this issue:

    Part of the problem has been the methods the Palestinians are using. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I am not inclined to take a favorable view towards a population that celebrates murder-suicide bombings in shopping malls and pizza parlors.

    In a sense, the democracy in Israel has been backed into a corner. The best way to fix the problem in Palestine is to figure out how to get the people in those territories in a situation more akin to Hong Kong or Singapore - places with few natural resources, but which are powerhouses in finance or tech industries. The way to do that is through education and trade.

    The problem is, when dealing with the fact that there are other nations that do not want it on the map at all, no nation can afford to appear to be giving in to tactics centered on murder and terror.

    Regardless of whether or not you like Israel, the fact is, in the United States, the so-called "Israel lobby" kept within our lobbying and election laws to support candidates and lawmakers who supported Israel.

    9/11 may have backed the U.S. into a similar corner. If anyone needs to back down, it is the Palestinians and the Arabs, before Israel decides that the only way to prevent a Holocaust, is to take out those who would carry it out first.
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Well, JediFlyer, it seems that for every 5 killed in a suicide blast, a futher 22 are killed when Israelis send rockets into a region. Asking Palestinians to step down isn't going to do it. BOTH sides need a forced cease-fire. And BOTH sides need to recognise the legitimacy of the other, in practise as well as words. Arafat's done that once before, he needs to stick to it. And Israel has to do it, full stop.

    E_S
  16. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Just remember one thing, Ender:

    Israel has never sworn the destruction of the palestinians as a matter of policy or a matter of religion. I do believe the original goal of the PLO was the "destruction of the jews".

    I'm not saying either side can claim the moral high ground in this conflict and I agree with your post, but the suicide bombings need to stop. Every time Israel pulls back, there can't be a month of "unanswered" terrorism as revenge before talks can be started. While Israel (and especially Sharon) have certainly used excessive force, there isn't a western nation on this planet that wouldn't go after terrorists if they knew where they were hiding. We're about to see this in Chechnya, we've seen it in afghanistan, and we'll continue to see it in Bush's so-called "war on terrorism".

    I'm not saying I agree with it, because running in circles gets one nowhere, but unfortunately, that's the way things seem to be right now.

    Peace,

    V-03
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Right, V03, but it takes TWO to tango. Palestinians won't simply stop because they'll fear it'll leave them wide open for reprisals. Similarly Israel won't stop, as they'll think it's a carte blanche for the Palestinians. That's the nature of situations like this; they've both got to give in order to recieve. When Arafat and Rabin made headway, they did so mutually - then of course, a zealous Zionist (go the alliteration! :D ) shot him. :( But the point remains the same; if both sides want peace, both sides have to be prepared to give something in return to receive something. That way, there's no one winner either.

    E_S
  18. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    Ender_Sai:

    You are getting close to the mark here.

    Israel, for all its faults, has been a representative democracy. In such a democracy, the people will vote for candidates who most reflect their worldview, and who will support the policies that are enacted.

    This creates somewhat of a double-edged sword. The people want a solution, but at the same time, the government cannot afford to be seen as either rewarding acts of murder and terrorism, and Hamas and Fatah have placed Israel in that position.

    That is why I feel the ball is in the court of the Palestinians. Otherwise, a government elected by the people will be sending the message to the people that "we will back down from the positions you might have if we are threatened", and there is a limit as to how much of that a people can take. That perception of a weakening of resolve could be fatal to Israel.
  19. Lordban Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 5
    Some food for thought - Sharon's just voted "austerity budget" cut credits from almost all services. One of the few credits unchanged was the aid given settlers to expand existing colonies and create new ones. How are the Palestinians supposed to react to this move, and how are the terrorist groups going to react to it in particular ?
  20. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    This from the Washington Times:

    Hamas threatens U.S.
    U.S. intelligence agencies are on the lookout for terrorists from the Palestinian group Hamas to carry out attacks in the United States. The group has been blamed for numerous deadly bombings in Israel.
    An intelligence report sent to Bush administration officials recently said the group, also known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, is expanding outside Israel and targeting the United States, according to intelligence officials.
    "Hamas is planning operations in the U.S.," one official told us.
    Hamas was formed in 1987 as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic group. It is based primarily in the Gaza Strip and some areas of the West Bank.
    The group has not carried out attacks outside Israel but does fund raising abroad, including in Europe and the United States. It is backed financially by Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.
    A U.S. official said the intelligence report is "uncorroborated," but noted that the threat "is something to be taken seriously."

  21. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    These groups seem to think that threatening us will make us stop supporting Israel.

    Yeah, just ask the Barbary Pirates how we responded to their demands for tribute. Or the British when they were kidnapping crew from American vessels. Or even Qaddafi after his line of death bluster.

    The response was at least two wars, and we beat Libya around the block a few times when they TRIED to stop our Freedom of Navigation exercises. The Libyans, in several incidents over the 1980s, lost something on the order of four fighters and three missile boats, plus numerous terrorist training camps. U.S. losses were one F-111.
  22. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    That is why I feel the ball is in the court of the Palestinians. Otherwise, a government elected by the people will be sending the message to the people that "we will back down from the positions you might have if we are threatened", and there is a limit as to how much of that a people can take. That perception of a weakening of resolve could be fatal to Israel.

    The problem with this is that it assumes there is some kind of unified palestinian government. Yassir Arafat has very little control of large parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip but I doubt that anyone in his place could. He has been holed up in Ramallah for nearly a year now and rarely leaves the Muqata (his compound), virtually all his infrastructure has been destroyed, especially the security infrastructure that would be needed to crack down on the militants and the towns and cities of the West Bank are under curfew more often than not. It is hardly surprising that in a recent poll amongst palestinians that Hamas enjoyed more support than Arafat's party
  23. Darth-Schwartz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    peace will never happen.
  24. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    That doesn't mean they shouldn't try. (Which no one really is seemingly doing!)

    That said, I agree with you. There will never be "peace" in the region. These people have been fighting over the same things for generations. There is no real way to resolve this conflict where all sides are "happy". All we can hope for is relative "quiet" and limited skirmishes in the region IMO. Pessimistic, but realistic I think.
  25. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I would love for Hamas to start that nonsense here.

    Keep this up, guys, just keep it up [face_plain].

    Right now, the Palestinians are up in arms because Israel intrudes into their territories and hunts for terrorists, blowing up things in the process. If palestinian militants begin suicide bombing american targets, we'll be hunting too. It's that simple.

    Arafat needs to do more than sit idly by and hope the terrorists succeed. He won't though, because deep down, I think that's what he believes.

    V-03
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