Senate Israel/Palestine

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

  1. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    The fact of the matter is that we're still dealing with the appalling resolution to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, trying to enforce borders upon the region when a large chunk of the countries and tribes in the area don't want the borders the way they are; Israel, Palestine, the Kurds being key examples. We simply made things more unpleasant by throwing Israel into the melting pot.

    But we're not going to push for more countries in the reason when Iran will take over Basra, and the Turks would flatten whatever Kurdistan came out of the morass.

    In other news, Palestinians in Lebanon started firing rockets at Israel, see here.

    And Iran is taking advantage of the situation to wave patriotically, see here.
  2. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    You can blame the Europeans and the US when you start decrying Iran for supporting the other side. They don't care about the Palestinian people, they are more than happy to supply weapons and see Israel use their bombs against them because it keeps them distracted from the nukes they are building.

    If the question is if Europe and the US should exert more pressure on Israel to stop expanding settlements, fine. But SuperWatto you seem intent on placing blame and showing how just the Palestinians cause is. Well they lost that right when they shed innocent blood. I don't care if it is "understandable." Where are the outcries in the Muslim world of the mass murders by terrorist in Iraq? Why didn't the Muslim world react against the humanitarian disaster in Mumbai but cry bloody murder about some cartoons? Don't you recognize there is a problem here?

    Hamas in an enemy to the west, and hopefully military action will weaken Hamas, and allow Fatah to gain more control. Could there be a change in tactics? That is something to be looked at. But this is as much a civil war within Islam, and the trick is to weaken the side we don't like.
  3. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I don't care how the muslim world feels.
    I don't care what Iraq says.
    I don't care what kinda cartoons they're drawing.
    I don't care what Hamas thinks they're entitled to.

    All I want is for us to have our ship in order.
    And it's not. We're backing a country that's occupying another.
  4. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    That's really the issue, isn't it? More or less -- one can always quibble about the terms, but essentially America has itself drawn into a situation where it's own reputation is at the mercy of two parties, one of whom could care less about America overall (Palestine) and the other who could care less about America's reputation and are concerned merely that America remain powerful and backing them (Israel).

    Yes if America tries to alter the current scenario, all that will happen is worse: withdraw support and Israel will become even more reactive, and the extremists will push them even harder. Because ISrael will go nuclear before it will ever countenance it's dissolution, and even if thier nukes failed the Palestinian and other Arab extremists (and even those not-so-extreme) will take a good long time of 5-10 years before they're done beating and/or killing Jew after Jew that they can find and settle down as the new powers-that-be in the region; and even then as the new government of a united Palestine it'll only be to duplicate exactly what the Israelis have been doing on any of the Jews that are left.

    So what can America do? What could Britain, France, or anyone else have done for that matter?

    We sit. And wait on them. And talk about how we're sick of sitting and waiting, but then inevitably sit and wait some more. All the while secretly harboring the desire that they'll somehow -- if not stop and live peacefully with one another -- at kill each other in some ecologically expedient matter so we, the Chinese, the Indians, the Hispanics and all the rest of us just don't have to listen to thier petty high-school drama antics anymore.

    Because as much as I would like to see in the Middle East, I gotta say I'd rather they just wiped one another out rather than have anyone else pulled into this infinate mess and watch bombs go off in Beijing, New York or Buones Aries because these idiots can't get it together.

    The rest of us have a human civilization we're trying to maintain here in the nuclear age, and these fools are playing with matches right next to a powder keg. I don't have the time nor the inclination to play mommy and daddy to them, and neither should anyone else.
  5. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Once again, very well said.

  6. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Funny how you can be so wrong on some things and so right on this Gonk. ;)

    That feeling of letting them just be done with it one way or another is what I was trying to get at with the genocide comment.
  7. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    ... maybe you're the version of me were I 5-6 years younger and born into the LDS Church?
  8. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    That's all good and well for the political leadership of both camps but there is a humanitarian issue at stake here that transcends politics, nationalism and foreign policy. I would happily hang the political leadership of Israel and the Palestinians from the nearest tree, but there are approximately 4 million or so innocent Palestinian men, women and children who are inextricably tied up in this conflict and who deserve to have some of the basic rights and freedoms that we all take for granted.

    My support for a Palestinian state is for them and not for the political or religious leadership, most of whom I consider to be vile and despicable people.

    What is often ignored in the media are the overwhelming majority of Palestinian people who are not firing rockets, strapping bombs to their chests,or otherwise involving themsleves in the resistance movement. Similarly, you rarely get to see the tens of thousands of peaceful Israeli citizens who turn out in mass demonstrations and rallies against the cycle of violence.

    In my view it is unacceptable for countries which had a fundamental role to play in the creation of the state of Israel and have had a hand in influencing events in that region ever since to simply declare the resulting problems 'too hard'. Whatever ancient causes might be attributed to the current conflict, there are more recent and direct events which were guided by nations which still exist and still exert influence in the area. Walking away and letting both sides 'kill each other' is simply not an option if we are to viewed by history as having had any sense of morality whatsoever.
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Gonk's post made me smile, but I have to more agree with LoH. The governments can go to hell - well, the Israeli government doesn't believe in hell, but whatever - and so can the terrorists, but the lives of innocent civilians are the reasons that some outside nuetral force needs to intervene.
  10. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    That's all good and well for the political leadership of both camps but there is a humanitarian issue at stake here that transcends politics, nationalism and foreign policy. I would happily hang the political leadership of Israel and the Palestinians from the nearest tree, but there are approximately 4 million or so innocent Palestinian men, women and children who are inextricably tied up in this conflict and who deserve to have some of the basic rights and freedoms that we all take for granted.

    The politics of the region are what the people living there made it to be. It was not Olmert who on the power of himself alone created Israel and snubbed the Arabs. It was not Arafat who began the era of modern terror in the 70s and started taking non-Jewish hostages, and later others (almost all of them not Palestinians, but acting in thier name with little rebuke from the Palestinians themselves) who would go on to even bloodier and less excusable acts of violence.

    If you can guarentee me they'll fight thier little wars and it will never leave the borders of Israel and Palestine itself, then you can go ahead and take all the time you need trying to negotiate that peace settlement. Because the rest of us can just stop paying attention until they've finally sorted it.

    But don't ask me to put my life, my family's life, my country, or my friend's country on the line for it. That goes not just for "the white man", but the Chinese man, the Hindu man, the Black man, the Hispanic man, everyone on down.

    If the Palestinians are suffering humanitarian crises because they can't stop themselves from lauching rockets into Israel... ROCKETS, mind you, not these RPGs that any yahoo can pick up at the local convenience store... and can't stop themselves clapping for the men walking up and down thier streets in black masks shouting "Death to Israel"... well then SCREW THEM. They're not children. They're not these people "who ain't know no better". Becuase apparently the Japanese knew better even when the Americans bombed them to hell. And India knew better even though the British put thier country to the heel for over well over a century.

    Likewise, if Israel sees all that it has done in the past, and all it can muster up is dictating peace by saying rediculous things like "you can be independant as long as you recognize us", which is itself saying that they'd never be independant at all... and voting into power men a man like Sharon who was possibly even greater murderer than Arafat was... and can't even be honest with everyone on how thier own state was founded and choose to try to smother debate on the issue even as they stand by and watch the houses get bulldozed and bombed to make way for what might be the next ever livin' settler condo complex... well then SCREW THEM TOO.

    Because my time is better spent negotiating things between China and Taiwan, who so far have better sense than to let thier dispute descend into this vortex of inanity and keep the peace.



    My support for a Palestinian state is for them and not for the political or religious leadership, most of whom I consider to be vile and despicable people.

    Yeah, but these people got into power somehow. It's not just the votes, you know: Hamas was not imposed upon the people. The innocents you speak of either are supportive or say nothing. And if the latter is the case, I would recommend moving to the West Bank, which is where the settlement issue is, anyhow.

    Nobody wants innocents to die. But I'll be damned if I'm going to see innocents die in Italy or Brazil die for the sake of innocents in Palestine.



    What is often ignored in the media are the overwhelming majority of Palestinian people who are not firing rockets, strapping bombs to their chests,or otherwise involving themsleves in the resistance movement. Similarly, you rarely get to see the tens of thousands of peaceful Israeli citizens who turn out in mass demonstrations and rallies against the cycle of violence.

    I know they're there, but they're not the majorities in
  11. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    How wuold another country trying to bring peace in that area end with bombs going off in Brazil and Italy?
  12. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Gonk, as I said there are 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and around 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank. Not all of them are firing rockets into Israel, so your comment that "the Palestinians can't stop themselves launching rockets into Israel" is kind of a bit hysterical don't you think?

    Again, it is convenient to blame the masses for voting Hamas but in a desperate situation people tend to vote for the organization that promises strong leadership and provides practical emergency welfare and relief services.

    Can you ever truly blame a population for being drawn into the political campaigns conducted by parties wanting to assume or maintain political power? It is easy to see with Bush how he waged a campaign of fear in a democratic and free country like the United States. How easy is it to successfully conduct such a campaign in a territory like Gaza?

    I'm truly sorry you have no empathy for these people who are the victims of circumstances beyond their control, luckily there are those that do get involved and even risk their lives such as the thousands of volunteers and monitors for organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. If only these orgs ran the UN the situation would most likely be somewhat different than it is today.
  13. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Gonk - imagine what it's like to live under an occupation.
    The things you think are normal and natural ain't there.
    You say 'if you don't like it in Gaza, move to the West Bank'. They can't. It's not just hard, it's impossible. Even if your spouse lives there, you're not allowed to go. Even if you're dying and a doctor in Jerusalem can cure you: you stay where you are. And this is true for 1,5 million people. Only when you have bigshot contacts in the West, maybe you can get somewhere.

    Now, imagine living under oppression for thirty-five years. Then, suddenly, you get a chance to vote: either for those guys responsible for making your situation worse and worse, or for no-mercy people who have really had it with the oppressor and promise to stick up for you.

    My country has been under a relatively short occupation, sixty years ago, and there still is a trauma about how little people really offered resistance. Under oppression, backing a militant liberation party is patriotic and brave.

    Note that I'm not saying Hamas is any good. I only want to show that those who voted for them are just regular people caught in dire circumstances, and not some weird breed of looneys. Hey, I could even make the case that Israel is most responsible for putting Hamas into power, by occupying Palestine and toying with the leadership, making it incapable of functioning. Before the occupation, there was no Hamas, but the enduring situation nurtured fundamentalism. I suspect that if we, as Gonk suggests, leave it the way it is, it will only get worse. And the rising fundamentalism doesn't necessarily have to spring up from Palestine, it may come from any Muslim country in the region - because the longer the situation stays the same, the more Arabs will identify with the Arab underdog in the conflict. Especially because most of the Muslim countries have corrupt governments backed by the West. There's Fatahs everywhere around North Africa and the Middle East.

    So what irks me in some posts here is the idea that all Palestinians somehow got it wrong. That none of them can be appeased. I think that idea borders on racism, and that no one people can be all bad. Israelis ain't all bad; look what I got in my inbox today.


  14. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Just more proof that the Palestinians and the Israelis, and those around the world who back them as a people or peoples, mostly just want the violence to stop and abhor the actions of those in control.

    By the way, the situation described above is similar to why Kadima and Likud gained such support. Sharon and his ilk promised to meet violence with violence, and people figured that maybe enough violence would wear the terrorists down or wipe them out since the people were tired of being attacked.
  15. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    How wuold another country trying to bring peace in that area end with bombs going off in Brazil and Italy?

    When Jews and Palestinians are targeting each other in those places (a la the film "Munich") or staging terrorist attacks to "draw attention" to the plight in Israel.
  16. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Gonk, as I said there are 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and around 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank. Not all of them are firing rockets into Israel, so your comment that "the Palestinians can't stop themselves launching rockets into Israel" is kind of a bit hysterical don't you think?

    At the moment we're talking primarily about the 1.5 million in Gaza.

    And no, I don't think it's hysterical. Rockets are NOT RPGs. In order to fire these things, there has to be a fair amount of public knowledge.

    But where are the numerous protests against the government of Hamas? Where are the mass protests for peace? The few that are there get drowned out by others who simply could not operate on this scale without support and sanctuary -- not that the latter is needed in Gaza.


    Again, it is convenient to blame the masses for voting Hamas but in a desperate situation people tend to vote for the organization that promises strong leadership and provides practical emergency welfare and relief services.

    It is also convenient to give them a status whereby little to no blame gets afforded (and goes just on "Hamas" itself) despite the fact other masses of people have gone through similar or worse things and sorted it in a much better manner. Where was the grand violence in Japan and Germany in the wake of WWII?


    Can you ever truly blame a population for being drawn into the political campaigns conducted by parties wanting to assume or maintain political power? It is easy to see with Bush how he waged a campaign of fear in a democratic and free country like the United States. How easy is it to successfully conduct such a campaign in a territory like Gaza?

    I'm truly sorry you have no empathy for these people who are the victims of circumstances beyond their control, luckily there are those that do get involved and even risk their lives such as the thousands of volunteers and monitors for organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. If only these orgs ran the UN the situation would most likely be somewhat different than it is today.


    That's just it: collectively, this is NOT beyond their control. Out of the control of one person or one small group of people, perhaps.

    But it's not out of the control of the COMMUNITY.

    Look, if Hamas was some sort of facist police entity maybe I'd buy some of your argument. But it's not. Hamas is not the government of Saddam Hussein. Hamas is actually quite altruistic to its own community and has survived blows a dictator's government never could. Toppling that was easy: with the leadership gone, nobody comes to take thier place because "the people" hated that government.

    But with Hamas there is no shortage of people willing to replace the old ones, and make NO modifications to thier behavior towards Israel. If it's out of the control of these people, where are they getting all these replacements? Because they're not getting them from the local prisons, that's for sure. They're signing right up off the street without ever asking "you know, maybe next time a ceasefire ends maybe we could just not lauch missiles anyway -- even if something happens".

    So I'm sorry: don't tell me it's not the community. Don't tell me these people are being held at gunpoint by the very government they voted in, because they're not. Don't tell me they're not enabling Hamas, because most of them are. Just as most Israelis enable thier own Government, and the settlers.
  17. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    My country has been under a relatively short occupation, sixty years ago, and there still is a trauma about how little people really offered resistance. Under oppression, backing a militant liberation party is patriotic and brave.

    It's only brave if you restrict yourself to military targets.

    As for the occupation 60 years ago: is the trauma because they were occupied, or that those that occupied them went on to commit genocide against the Jews -- which was a totally unrelated occrance to the reason they were occupying your country.

    I mean Iran was occupied in WWII as well: by the allies. I'm not so sure there's so much trauma there about the event by the mere fact they were occupied. That, they seem to have gotten over (the ISraeli situation, not so much).
  18. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    No, it just takes one or two people to fire off a rocket. There's actual footage of it on TV. Trust me, to fire a rocket one does not need the consensus and support of 1.5 million people. You just aim and fire. You talk about the Palestinians as though they have a hive mind. Why is it so hard to accept that a majority of the civilians in Gaza do not want to be subjected to Israeli reprisals because of rockets being fired into Israel? You should read 'The View From the Valley of Hell" by Mark Willacy an ABC reporter stationed in Gaza. The Hamas militants are a law unto themselves. They do not act with the popular support of the people.

    This comment indicates to me that you have no appreciation whatsoever of what has happened historically to 'protestors' in Gaza. Believe me, if you lived in Gaza you wouldn't protest much either as the risk to life, limb and 'freedom' is too high. Since the IDF withdrew in 2005, the people of Gaza have been more concerned with feeding their families, obtaining drinking water and keeping the electricity on. Since Hamas took control of internal security, people are even less inclined to gather together in the streets. Hamas security forces are just as brutal if not more so than the IDF troops stationed there during the occupation.

    This is not 'my argument'. It is a simple fact that Hamas are indeed nothing more than a fascist police state and support for it was on the decline before the latest attack by Israe. They were the saviours when Fatah were in charge of security and Hamas were in charge of nothing more than 'spiritual' fortitude and providing welfare and relief. The militants were seen as heroic freedom fighters. However, since taking over control of security in Gaza and the in-fighting between Fatah and Hamas militants, their true colours as a bunch of extremist, ill disciplined violent thugs has come to light. They are now so heavy handed and brutal with their own people (who they suspect of being Fatah spies) that it is little wonder there is any no public show against them.

    See for example:

    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/6430245.html

    From that article:

    Washington Post article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/12/29/ST2008122902751.html

    Article in the Australian:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22161030-15084,00.html

    I think you underestimate the damage that has been done by Hamas by its little war against Fatah. I'd like to be able to link to articles written by the people of Gaza who oppose Hamas but there is just isn't much out there because there is fear of reprisals if people openly admit to Hamas heavy handedness or if they criticise Hamas in any way. I'm getting most of my information from special reports aired by the ABC and SBS networks from reporters on the ground in Gaza.

    Israel is actually enabling Hamas at the moment. It's a sad irony. I can only reiterate that for most of the people in Gaza the cycle of violence is beyond their control. They are victims in all of this and walkiing away from them on the basis that they got what they dese
  19. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    A big issue in the Israel-Palestine discussion is the status of Jerusalem.

    Should it belong to Palestinians?
    Should it belong to Israelis?
    Should it be divided between the two? If so, who gets what?


    I don't think any of those solution would "solve" anything. Maybe the solution is this: make Jerusalem an undivided, neutral, international city to be governed and protected directly by the United Nations and its peacekeeping forces. That way Jerusalem does not belong to Israel or Palestine, but to every country in the entire world, just like the U.N. headquarters in New York City is technically an international building that belongs to all member-states of the United Nations.

    I would not expect Israel to like it, but it must expect to make some major concessions and compromises if they ever hope to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world. I think the Palestinians would be satisfied with such a result.


    As for the Israel-Palestine issue in general, I don't particularly like the Two-State solution but it looks to be heading that way. I think it would be better if Israel stopped calling itself a Jewish state and started to integrate the Palestinians into Israel, but that looks unlikely to happen.

    I have heard that a peace treaty between Israel and Syria is possible this year in return for giving up the Golan Heights (and similar to the past treaties with Egypt and Jordan), and I think that would be a huge breakthrough.
  20. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I really liked how the Economist put the situation today. Link

    Hamas isn't interested in peace, and the Gazan people voted Hamas into power. That isn't a fact you can dismiss. Israel can deal with Fatah, but the fighting will never end as long as Israel exists and Hamas has its way. Hamas has the popular support of the civilian population that is being killed.

    You have put both sides into a situation where they kill or be killed. Just because one has a knife and the other a gun, don't mean one is better or worse than the other.
  21. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Shas isn't interested in peace, and the Israeli people voted Shas into power. That isn't a fact you can dismiss.

  22. yankee8255 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Shas being in the governing coalition is a direct result of the demographic shif in Israel I was talking about on the last page. JediBen, I think you have your answer on whether you could be hopeful.
  23. yankee8255 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    A rather good article from the Economist showing how there's plenty of blame to go around.
  24. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Under 10% of the seats in the legislature hardly seems to be 'voted into power'
  25. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    In Israel there is no government possible without the inclusion of at least one radical party, so the net result is the same.

    Just noting that there's radical parties on both sides, but I only hear cries about Hamas here. The reasons why people voted for Hamas should be taken into account.

    One reason mentioned before is that many people voted for Hamas because they are not corrupt like Fatah. But people vote for different reasons. One is economics. Apart from rocket attacks, Hamas is responsible for creating schools and hospitals as well as donating money to poor families.