Senate Israel/Palestine

Discussion in 'Community' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    It's because this would happen without the consent of Israel. Which will lead to Israel not recognizing the Palestinian state.

    Why would Israel not consent? I think it's because they're still undecided about borders (should they be based on 1967 borders, the fate of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the fate of Jerusalem).

    Really, it's Netanyahu's fault, for not trying to come to any agreement on the settlements, and then humiliating our President and setting back the peace process when he said the 1967 borders (along with mutually-agreed-upon land swaps) was an "indefensible" position. The loss of Weiner's seat in liberal New York City is said to be backlash against Obama's more balanced approach to Israel/Palestine among the most conservative Orthodox Jews.

    And we know how the majority of Americans feels about Israel and Palestine.

    It's a mess. And I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see how peace can be reached until Netanyahu is replaced by a more liberal and level-headed Prime Minister.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. will veto full UN membership for Palestine (but they'll still proabbly achieve observer status, like the Vatican), and that will harm our relations with the Muslim world.
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Everyone knows that Israel will never consent to a Palestinian state. Their successful strategy for a generation has been about pretending to be interested in a Palestinian state while working day after day to ensure that it never comes about, chipping away constantly at the facts on the ground. The U.S. has run interference for this strategy and will continue to do so. The Republicans love Israel, the Democrats are afraid of Israel's political power in the U.S. so we will continue to do its bidding in perpetuity. It's not even the slightest bit controversial. Privatizing Social Security and scrapping Medicare is more likely than changing our Israeli policy to push for Palestinian statehood.
  3. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I think they could. But I'm not confident that Netanyahu ever will.

    I hoped a couple years ago that Netanyahu would have a "only Nixon could go to China" moment, where it turns out that recognition of an independent Palestine could only occur and last in Israel by having one of the most rightwing Israeli politicians as Prime Minister at the time to rally the entire country to accept it.

    That sure turned out to be wrong. Instead he called the '67 borders, with mutually-agreed-upon land swaps, as "indefensible." Despite the fact that was the policy of Clinton and Bush. Despite the fact that the other major party in Israel would likely accept it. Despite the fact that this seemed the most reasonable solution by several experts.

    And Netanyahu also broke his promise about stopping the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

    He need to go.

    The vote at the UN seems inevitable, the veto by the US seems inevitable, the Muslim backlash against Israel and the US seems inevitable, worse relations and worse conditions for negotiated peace between Israel and Palestine seem inevitable.
  4. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    My apologies if this has been discussed before the past couple of pages...

    But what does anyone think about the idea that, by accepting the Palestinian request for statehood, it would actually go a long way towards certain thus-far resistant countries accepting Israel as a legitimate state? Basically the idea being that, if Palestine is established in the West Bank (with or without Gaza), you have to call the rest of that land SOMETHING.
  5. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    The Arab League said what it would take for them to recognize Israel, years ago.

    They said they would only recognize Israel if it returned to 1967 borders, and fairly settled the Palestinian refugee crisis.

    Obama has supports a return to the 1967 borders (with mutually-agreed-upon land swaps). As well as Bush and Clinton. And many Middle East experts.

    But Netanyahu rejected that this year.

    The UN recognizing Palestine will NOT lead to anyone new recognizing Israel.
  6. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    As stupid a move as this is on the part of the Palestinians, I really hope that someone in Washington is on the phone with Netanyahu saying, "You know, we might just have to cut our losses here with you. It's not in our interest to back you here. Either you deal with this problem or we call up others in your government and see how long it takes them to replace you." I'll bet '67 seems far less "indefensible" at that point.
  7. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    A pretty interesting Foreign Policy magazine article about Bill Clinton's take on the whole fiasco.

    He makes a point that's been brought up here I think, that it's specifically the Likud party that is obstructing things on the Israeli side.


    I think you're right, D-G- but they need someone like Ehud Barak in power again. He's been going against the radical views of people like Avigdor Lieberman for months now.
  8. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Glad to see that Bill Clinton and I are on the same page when it comes to Netanyahu. Somebody who people actually respect and listen to has to speak the truth about how Netanyahu and his party are leading Israel away from peace. It seems only Clinton (and previously Carter) are brave enough to do so.
  9. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    The key part of that article is the last part of the second paragraph -- the demographic shift in Israel. The portion of Israeli society that elected people like Rabin are losing power fast to the more strictly religious settlers. In an ideal world, Israelis would come to reject the radical right like Lieberman, but the reality is that in another decade, he may well be the prime, not foreign, minister. Clinton made a good point on that:

    "The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazi of long-standing, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel's founding," Clinton said. "The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious, who believe they're supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they're not encumbered by the historical record."

    That final group are radical, probably as radical as the Palestinian terrorists, the difference being that they don't have to resort to violence because they already have what the want (though they have resorted to violence nevertheless, in assassinating Rabin).

    EDIT: Clinton, like everyone else in the US, however, spoke out clearly against Abbas application to the UN for statehood. The Economist has a pretty interesting leader on that today .

  10. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    And that article is why the Economist is so much better than most American journalism. I guess freedom from the influence of AIPAC goes a long way.
    Mr Obama, keen to reassert his pro-Israel credentials before next year?s election, seems likely to oppose even the Vatican option. Some congressmen are now preparing bills that would punish the Palestinians for their temerity.

    This is barmy. The argument that the Palestinians must resume negotiations before getting statehood is specious. Why on earth should a change in status at the UN stop people talking?

    Barmy indeed.

    They actually mention a point I brought up the other day:

    If a UN resolution reaffirmed support for two states broadly along the 1967 border, those who reject Israel?s existence, calling for a single state on all the land encompassing Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, would be wrong-footed.

    This better phrases what I was trying to say- not that there will be any automatic acceptance of a state of Israel by the countries who continue to deny its existence- but that it pushes them further into a corner if there's a clearly defined (or in this case a not-so-clearly defined) Palestine.

    In truth, Israel will be safer when a proper Palestinian state has been consolidated. That is a point that too few Israelis and their American supporters appreciate. This newspaper has argued steadfastly for the right of Israel to exist. We abhor the creeping delegitimisation and demonisation of Israel. But we also believe that the Palestinians deserve a state of their own. These two beliefs are entirely compatible. By his intransigence Mr Netanyahu has played into the hands of those who would destroy Israel. In blocking any Palestinian aspirations at the UN, America is helping extremists on both sides.

    Completely agreed. But can anyone here imagine such a thing being said or written in the New York Times, on CNN, any other major American media outlets? (if it has been, please point me in the right direction...) It has nothing to do with good policy, with practicality... it's religious, and it's dangerous.

    I expected more from Obama on this matter. Who knows, maybe if he gets reelected, he'll risk actually sticking to principles, to sticking what he said in his campaign about a Palestinian state. Because one thing is for sure- if he is defeated in next year's election, the Palestinians aren't making ANY progress for at least another four years...
  11. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Obama can't risk being principled on Israel with his popularity where it now stands. But it's true that the end result is the U.S. becomes marginalized in the peace process. The Israelis don't know what to do. Their world has been turned upside down by the Arab Spring, and as is sometimes the case when things turn more uncertain, governments simply double down on their mistakes. The Israelis need a Palestinian state more than ever, but the are politically unable to recognize it.
  12. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    As a matter of interest on CNN.com, you can watch Abbas addressing the UN GA right now...

    (not quite as entertaining as watching Ahmadinejad yesterday though... :p)
  13. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I don't agree. There is still a significant percentage of Israelis (and Israeli politicians) who know what needs to be done. Then you have people like Lieberman, who believe God gave them all that land and the Palestinians should all just rot. And then, somewhere in between, you have Bibi, who I don't think is particularly religious, but is still trapped in the mindset of 20-30 years ago, when Israel was surrounded by countries that were actively trying to wipe it off the planet. I find it incredulous that Sharon could actually clue in and realize that he had to make peace and accept a Palestinian state, but Netanyahu can't. Really stunning. He comes off as an incredibly modern, intelligent man, something you certainly wouldn't accuse Sharon of.
  14. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    In case we weren't already clear about how Israel felt about Abbas addressing the UN GA last week...

    The last paragraph:
    'In all, about 200,000 Jews live in east Jerusalem areas that Israel calls neighborhoods and the Palestinians call settlements. Squeezed between them are Arab neighborhoods that are home to some 250,000 Palestinians.'

    So what happens when Jews outnumber Palestinians? Will the Palestinians be forced to concede that East Jerusalem will never be split from the rest of the city (I think we all know how likely THAT would be)? Ongoing construction in E. Jerusalem was the major sticking point during the last construction freeze, wasn't it?

    This actually reminds me for some reason of something this woman said to a class of mine in college. I can't remember the name of the program she was with, sadly, but it was through the Israeli government, and they would send representatives to the US (possibly to other places as well, but I think it was a US-Israel thing) to 'educate the public' about Israel, and the situation with the Palestinians and settlements, and whatnot...

    Anyway, it was a conflict analysis class in which we had talked at length already about Israel & Palestine- so naturally, as a class, we brought up the issue of settlements in the West Bank, and she said something to the effect that settlements were necessary to not just prevent a future Palestine from having a border with Jordan (this is a good map showing just how partitioned the WB has become- it's 2 years old though) but also to provide an Israeli buffer between the Palestinian West Bank and Tel Aviv, because T-A is within rocket-striking distance of the closest points of the WB.

    And we just sort of stared at her for a moment until someone asked if, therefore, Israeli policy is to use human shields to protect its capital (hell, they don't even consider Tel Aviv the capital in Israel anymore, do they?).
    Yeah, she didn't really have an answer for that.



  15. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Can you believe this? Israel won't negotiate with Abbas, won't agree to freeze settlement expansion, and demands to annex East Jerusalem. But then they're perfectly willing to swap 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including actual terrorists, for one Israeli soldier. After all the complaining about Palestinians being violent and prone to terrorism, Israel finds it easier to release actual killers than to find a peace resolution that's fair to both sides.
  16. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I believe it, although to be fair, I would suggest that the overwhelming majority of those Palestinian 'prisoners' being released were held without charge in the first place and were incarcerated on the basis of hearsay or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I like this headline:

    "Prisoner swap boosts Hamas but groups popularity on the wane"

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/prisoner-swap-boosts-hamas-but-groups-popularity-is-on-the-wane-20111018-1lytl.html

    I predict a Fatah victory at the next election. The people of Gaza are starting to see that there is just no future with Hamas.
  17. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Whatever happened to a vote at the UN over recognizing Palestine as a state?
  18. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I've been out of the loop recenty but I assume it will be vetoed by the US as is every proposition to the UN which seeks to recognise the rights of the Palestinian people in international law.

    edit: still, good move by Abbas and another nail in the Hamas coffin one hopes.
  19. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    But the U.S. can't veto recognizing them as an observer state, like the Vatican.

    I just thought the vote would come a little sooner.
  20. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Guys, it's a little bit more complicated than that.

    The US is not opposed to a Palestinian state, they just have to balance the political reality of a strong pro-Israel Jewish and Evangelical Christian political block in the country, and this is an issue that, under the correct circumstances, can turn an election.

    American opposition to the statehood bid is severalfold:

    1) It undermines Israel, basically forcing them into a position where they feel even more discriminated against on the world stage. This is especially true at the UN, and this action will likely just breed even more resistance to compromise. It also strengthens the hand of conservatives in Israel who reject not only a two-state solution, but want to expand settlements.

    2) It undermines the West in general, hurting efforts to stop the rise of a nuclear Iran and help fight the global war on terror, by putting the US in a position where it has to oppose getting to peace this way and risk alienating the "arab street" even more, but at the same time still needing to be involved heavily in the region, especially now. The amount of aid still being given to many countries in the Middle East by the US also makes this a touchy subject across the country, which leads me to....

    3) American laws regarding support for terrorist groups. Many, many smaller umbrella organizations and subcommittees within the UN rely heavily on US monetary support for their budgets; if Palestine were to become even an observer state, this would entitle them to membership in some of these committees/organizations, which would force the US, under current law, to not only stop funding them, but withdraw from participation.

    The above point is not mentioned very often by the MSM were talking about "American opposition" to the Palestinian's move, but one can understand why the United States is not enthused about them taking this direction towards a settlement. It is unlikely to succeed, it's clearly a political stunt, and it's going to create a lot of problems going forward.

    I'm all for a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital, but this will only make the situation worse. It will also play very poorly in the US during an election year.

    Sad, but true.

    Peace,

    V-03
  21. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I agree, I've said that above and in the YJCC thread, but I'm just wondering why the vote hasn't happened yet.
  22. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Vaderize,

    Depending on who replace them, I would contend that the peace process could happen quicker and more fairly if the U.S. was not involved. Same goes for Europe and Russia, really. They haven't brought anything of note to the table in the decades since this 'process' started, and they've repeatedly supported plans that would not result in a feasible Palestinian state. As long as the U.S. doesn't firmly speak out against the annexation of land by Israel, they're too biased to be of any use to any real peace.

    So I'd suggest the U.S. "needing to be involved" is a bit of an overstatement. Getting out would be a wiser course of action, if a just peace is truly their wish. A country that opposes the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, more than half a century after its partner Israel declared a state unilaterally, is not fit to lead peace talks.

    And I don't know why the U.S. think they're the only ones who can keep Iran in check, or what it really has to do with anything. You don't settle a dispute between two countries unfairly just because another country is scary.

    If this bid hurts Western involvement in the region, then good. Because up to now the Western involvement we've seen has been Western puppetry.

    And "War on terror"? Are you seriously using that term to refer to something current? Then no more proof is needed that U.S. involvement in the Middle-East is seriously flawed.
  23. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Very interesting thoughts, SuperWatto.

    I don't have time for a point-by-point right now, but I will address one of your comments:

    No, I'm not referring to the broader "War on Terror"; rather, I'm referring to the American laws that would lump Hamas and Fatah together under a recognized "Palestine" at the UN and require de-funding and withdrawal of participation by America from any groups or committees that the newly recognized state would join.

    This purely has to do with the US's classification of Hamas as a terrorist organization, that's all.

    I also agree that Europe/Russia have not been helpful here, either. As far as Iran goes, it is in everyone's interest to keep them contained, not just America's. We may disagree on this, but I think it would be a grave mistake to assume that Iran's motives, either short or long term, are peaceful.

    Peace,

    V-03
  24. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    This only undermines Israel because Israel's bone-headed prime minister refuses to return to the 1967 borders and wants to keep East Jerusalem. If he hadn't made such outlandish claims in the first place, he wouldn't be in a position to be humiliated.

    I don't really see your point here. You're saying that to avoid opposing peace in this way, we have to oppose peace in this way? If you don't want to risk alienating Arabs, then you simply do the right thing: support Palestinian statehood.

    Once Palestine is a state, it'll be expected to act like a state. And one of the things that states are expected to do is co-exist peacefully with one another, therefore the Palestinians will be obligated to renounce violence in exchange for statehood and a fair border deal based on the 1967 borders. Isn't that the entire premise of the two-state solution?
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    No, I'm not referring to the broader "War on Terror"; rather, I'm referring to the American laws that would lump Hamas and Fatah together under a recognized "Palestine" at the UN and require de-funding and withdrawal of participation by America from any groups or committees that the newly recognized state would join. This purely has to do with the US's classification of Hamas as a terrorist organization, that's all.

    V, while this applies to your larger point, it's not just the US. It's also important to note that The EU also collectively classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization, with individual states within the group having an even more serious responses. (The UK and Germany being examples). In fact, during a broader legal hearing, the German government ruled "that Hamas was a unified organisation whose humanitarian aid work could not be separated from its terrorist and political activities". So the German government lumps all of Hamas together, and even ended up de-legitimizing aid groups that have a connection to the group.

    EXAMPLE HERE

    Japan also restricts the assets of Hamas, and has confiscated Hamas's assets in Japan (which is more symbolic than anything)

    But setting aside the issue of right and wrong, the fact remains that without major changes, Hamas would not be able to trade with the US, the EU, Canada, Japan... (Australia is one country that splits Hamas into its "military wing" and its "charitable wing," and bans aid to one purpose but not the other. But Australia wouldn't go against the US and the EU) and that's a major roadblock regardless of anything else.