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3 Killed in 3 Days in the West Bank

Three seconds. You see a group of people coming towards you. In their hands they are holding Molotov cocktails and other firebombs. You warn them, “Stop, or I’ll shoot!” They keep coming towards to you. You know that in three seconds they will throw their firebombs at you and your friends, maybe killing some of them, definitely causing serious bodily harm and destruction of property. What do you do? You shoot.

Over the last 3 days, 3 Palestinians have been killed by IDF soldiers in the West Bank, near Ramallah, with a fourth being seriously wounded. The most recent incident occurred Thursday, where members of the Kfir Brigade shot the oncoming assialants in the legs to prevent the fire bomb attack, resulting in the death of Aziz Al-Haj. Muhammed al-Ramahi was killed on Wednesday in a similar incident, as was Abdel Rahman Badwi on Tuesday. “Palestinian youths frequently throw stones and sometimes fire-bombs at settler cars or military vehicles in the West Bank.” Because of the increase in Molotov cocktail attacks in the Ramallah-Jerusalem region, the IDF has begun to carryout night ambushes to prevent such attacks. The Palestinian Authority has stated that these incidents are not a part of a renewed intifada, and blames Israel for “creating provocations.”

Is the IDF being provocative? Really! What chutzpah the Israeli army has to try to defend itself. Let us examine the facts. Many Palestinian youths have, as of late, attempted to carry out attacks against Israeli civilian and military targets in the West Bank. Recently, this has been done through the use of Molotov cocktails. For those who are not familiar with a Molotov cocktail, imagine a bottle, say a handle of vodka, filled with alcohol, gasoline, or oil, with a cloth hanging out of the top. Now light this the cloth and throw the bottle. This makes quite an explosion, with the highly flammable contents of the jar quickly catching on fire, causing the jar to explode, sending shards of glass everywhere, and spreading fire throughout the small area. One cannot use such a device without the malice aforethought of knowing fully well and having the intent to cause serious bodily harm and destruction of property. Israeli soldiers have attempted to prevent such attacks, themselves often being targeted. The Israelis, however, have warned their assailants to stop what they were doing (in Arabic, by the way; it is a phrase every combat soldier knows – “Waqf ow ana batusak”), and then, when the assailants refuse, shoot them, but in the leg. Shooting in the legs is a clear statement that they are not trying to cause death and destruction. It would have been far easier to shoot the assailants in the chest. But to shoot in the legs proves an attempt to spare life. Can we say so much about these Palestinian youths?

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88 Comments

  1. xisnotx

    10/18/2008 at 5:55 am

    Pardon, but what do you expect them to do — throw roses at settlers? Is it shocking that as they see more and more of their lands gobbled up by settlements, some Palestinians resist violently?

    The chutzpah here, it seems to me, is to expect to be able to continually take land from Palestinians & expect them to just lay back and accept it. Jabotinsky addressed that kind of thinking in his work “the Iron Wall,” written in 1923.

    http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm

    “Another point which had no effect at all was whether or not there existed a suspicion that the settler wished to remove the inhabitant from his land. The vast areas of the U.S. never contained more than one or two million Indians. The inhabitants fought the white settlers not out of fear that they might be expropriated, but simply because there has never been an indigenous inhabitant anywhere or at any time who has ever accepted the settlement of others in his country. Any native people – its all the same whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs. Compromisers in our midst attempt to convince us that the Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked by a softened formulation of our goals, or a tribe of money grubbers who will abandon their birth right to Palestine for cultural and economic gains. I flatly reject this assessment of the Palestinian Arabs. Culturally they are 500 years behind us, spiritually they do not have our endurance or our strength of will, but this exhausts all of the internal differences. We can talk as much as we want about our good intentions; but they understand as well as we what is not good for them. They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie. To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile. This childish fantasy of our “Arabo-philes” comes from some kind of contempt for the Arab people, of some kind of unfounded view of this race as a rabble ready to be bribed in order to sell out their homeland for a railroad network.

    “This view is absolutely groundless. Individual Arabs may perhaps be bought off but this hardly means that all the Arabs in Eretz Israel are willing to sell a patriotism that not even Papuans will trade. Every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement.

    “That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of ‘Palestine’ into the ‘Land of Israel’”.

  2. themiddle

    10/18/2008 at 7:16 am

    So now you’re a follower of Jabotinsky, Xisnotx? You consider his views to be on the mark and agree with them, or are you just being selective because it suits you?

    Let’s leave that question where it belongs. Instead, let’s talk about your justification of violence, particularly violence by teenagers.

    The Palestinians could have a state today. Period.

    The Palestinians have chosen to go for the whole hog. They could have had the West Bank and Gaza almost entirely to themselves had they so chosen. Even today, while the “settlers” “continually take land from Palestinians” they could come to terms. But no, they believe they can get the entire cake. If they just, you know, wait. If they just, you know, keep the violence on low embers. This is what you’re justifying. The refusal to settle the conflict and share the land. They actually believe they will somehow overtake the 6 million Jews there.

    Instead, they could come to terms. You, however, would like to justify, or at least understand, their violence. It’s natural, says Jabotinsky and nodding along is Xisnotx and all of those wonderful Leftist Palestinian supporters. You guys nod your head and understand suicide bombings and rockets launched at civilian towns as well. You’re very understanding.

    Well, you’re not very understanding of the Israelis. You expect more and different from them as we’ve seen in our many conversations here. Just like Jabotinsky says, “This childish fantasy of our “Arabo-philes” comes from some kind of contempt for the Arab people, of some kind of unfounded view of this race as a rabble.” You think they are permitted to lose all shades of humanity by attacking others with firebombs because they are an “indigenous people” resisting the “alien.”

    After all, you say, they are watching “their” land disappear. Even if they could have had that land already, they’ve made a decision not to take it and so while they keep losing what could be theirs, it’s okay to avoid peace and two state solutions in favor of more war.

    I guess today you’d like to justify the teens throwing firebombs because of the “settlers” “continually taking their land” but how do you explain the years of rockets launched at Israel from Gaza after there wasn’t a single Jewish inhabitant left there?

    Oh, for that you give us the wisdom of your favorite Zionist, Jabotinsky. “Indigenous people” attacking “aliens” as long as even a spark of hope remains.

    The problem is that when Jabotinsky wrote that, the status of the Jewish population of Palestine was very different than today. That quote is what, 90 years old? But 90 years have passed and 60 years since the state was founded. Even with all of the immigration into Israel over the past decades, over 65% of Israelis are native to Israel. They were born there. And the state is a reality for the past 60 years.

    Is it possible that the relationship between “indigenous” and “alien settlers” changes over time? I mean, most Israelis were born in Israel and most Palestinians were born outside of it. In fact, half of the Palestinians weren’t even born in the Territories.

    Intentional violence against civilians is never justified. Sending kids out to do this fighting is also never justified even if it makes for good press when they get killed. Your support encourages this behavior. Why don’t you and all the other spiritual supporters of this violence try to encourage peaceful settlement of the conflict instead? Here’s a hint: they’re not going to get the destruction of Israel in negotiations, or the Old City. Compromise and sharing will win the day.

  3. xisnotx

    10/18/2008 at 7:50 am

    I agree, TM. compromise & sharing will win the day.

    “You’re very understanding.”

    so? — you have an explanation for their violence as well, dont you. (that it’s all their fault.)

    Not everything Jabotinsky says quite fits, it’s true, but I’d hoped there would be food for thought there.

    As long as there is occupation & continuing confiscation of land, resistance to both should surprise no one. That much I’d hope could be gleaned from Jabotinsky. All I wished was to place the violence within a context. One hopefully which could be elucidating. but I think you’ve got your own “iron wall” that forces you to reflexively gainsay & undermine any argument I make, or keep any responsibility from lying at the hands of those doing the occupying & the colonizing.

  4. Sarah

    10/18/2008 at 9:23 am

    I agree with xisnotx. The Palestinians are not the ones occupying and continually confiscating their own land. The onus is on Israel for being there and using disproportionate force as an occupying power. It is time that we stop blaming the other for wanting our destruction, when we are creating the terror in our backyard, with our own hands. We are no longer cultivating the Land of Eretz Israel, we are destroying it by militarily occupying it and taking our spoils through treachery and violence. And what is this about “teenage violence”? Are Israeli soldiers not teenagers themselves? Are the young Jews who started the riot in Acre on Yom Kippur not teenagers, too? Why is this same level barbarity overlooked? Being Jewish and/or born in Israel does not excuse us from our actions and hatreds. Finally, the question is not asked as to why more than half of Palestinians are not born in Israel or the Occupied Territories today. Why they remain in Diaspora has everything to do with the construction of the Israeli state 60 years ago. It is not a justifiable defense to say, “Oh, but it is mine now”, when you are talking to a people who remain uprooted, homeless and disenfranchised because of our zeal. The Palestinians are now carrying the mantle of the Jews–they are discriminated against and displaced, the outcasts of the world, and not seen as capable of humanity. This is unjust and wrong. Rather than pointing fingers and placing blame on a kid who has never known anything but occupation and violence, we should take a serious look in the mirror and take responsibility for a situation that we have caused and continue to perpetuate. Ultimately, the question remains: If the Palestinians can have a state tomorrow, what the hell are our people and soldiers doing in the West Bank in the first place?

  5. xisnotx

    10/18/2008 at 9:45 am

    “You think they are permitted to lose all shades of humanity by attacking others with firebombs because they are an “indigenous people” resisting the ‘alien.'”

    They’re obliged to obey international law when they resist. It’s not a matter of them being “permitted”, or say, “liscenced.” It’s a matter of not being surprised when Israel policies of occupation & expanding colonization engenders this type of resistance. I believe from what I read of Jabotinsky, that he would not be surprised either.

  6. Sarah

    10/18/2008 at 12:31 pm

    Agreed. However, lest we not forget that the occupation itself is a violation of international law. If the Palestinians are so obliged to operate under such a system, I hasten to add that so are the Israelis…

    Thus, let us first begin to accept that the occupation is illegal and unjust, as are the settlements. This was never a land without people, and we need to accept responsibility for this. I do think Jabotinsky would agree.

  7. dave

    10/18/2008 at 12:42 pm

    Still, it’s terrible and yet another unnecessary tragedy. We definitely need some effective non-lethal weapons over here to replace the standard issue m16a for riot control units. Also, shotguns with salt pellets that riot police and magav is using are effective up to 40 meters without mortally wounding a target. While I don’t want to deny anyone’s right for self-defence, I say that these deaths are avoidable.

  8. themiddle

    10/18/2008 at 12:49 pm

    The presence of Israeli troops in the West Bank is entirely legal, Sarah. According to international law. There is no other reading of UNSCR 242.

    The presence of Israeli troops in the West Bank is also necessary and IS MADE necessary by Palestenian violence that is directed against…Israeli civilians. No Palestinian violence…no security fence. No Palestinian violence…no checkpoints. No Palestinian violence…lots of Palestinians working inside Israel. No Palestinian violence…no closure of Gaza border points. No Palestinian violence…lots of functioning businesses such as the casino that was closed. No Palestinian violence…no 1948. No Palestinian violence…no Palestinian refugees.

    As for you, Xisnotx, you simply acknowledged that what I said is true: you justify the violence. You call it “resistance” and claim it’s mandated upon the Palestinians, but that is simply the Left’s and Palestinians’ self justifying rhetoric for inexcusable violence targeting civilians.

    To remind you, they simply have to give up the dream of getting the whole enchilada and they could hammer out a peace process in a month. The parameters are already clear and Israel’s red lines were reached in Taba. Olmert, in his interview the other week, basically ended up at very similar parameters as Taba. Reading the Palestinian responses, though, you would think he murdered peace. On the contrary, they are murdering peace and you support them wholeheartedly. It is shameful.

    Oh, I forgot. No Palestinian violence…no settlement movement. Think, for example, about how the experience with Gaza has instructed all of Israel that when you leave the Palestinians alone and remove every single Jew from there, they attack Israeli towns. The settlement movement – whose motives and actions I oppose – has gained all the strength and support it has needed thanks to the Palestinan violence in the past couple of decades. Look at the numbers and you’ll see the movement’s greatest growth took place since 1987 and take a look at the growth since 2001.

  9. themiddle

    10/18/2008 at 1:00 pm

    Oh, by the way, I also think Jabotinsky was right. But I would translate “resistance” as “fighting armed forces” not “targeting civilians.” I guess that’s the key difference between us.

  10. themiddle

    10/18/2008 at 1:15 pm

    “I agree with xisnotx. The Palestinians are not the ones occupying and continually confiscating their own land. The onus is on Israel for being there and using disproportionate force as an occupying power.”

    It’s not using disproportionate force. It will be disproportionate on the day EVERY terror attack is prevented. They’re close but not there yet.

    “It is time that we stop blaming the other for wanting our destruction, when we are creating the terror in our backyard, with our own hands. We are no longer cultivating the Land of Eretz Israel, we are destroying it by militarily occupying it and taking our spoils through treachery and violence.”

    I have no idea what you think Israel should do to protect itself. The IDF sits in the West Bank for Israel’s security. In 2002, there were thousands of attacks against Israelis and dozens of bombings. Today, there are many attempts and few successes. As for treachery, please don’t be so naive, the Palestinians are planting groves to lay claim to land that isn’t in their possession, they are building dwellings without permits by the thousands and they are establishing “facts on the ground” just like the Israelis.

    Did you think it was accidental that Israel needs to build from Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Edumim in order to prevent two villages from coming together? It just so happened that the two villages were growing in a way that suits Palestinian strategy perfectly?

    “And what is this about “teenage violence”? Are Israeli soldiers not teenagers themselves?”

    Not according to the laws of most societies. But if you would send out your 14 year old to fight by firebombing civilians, you may need to check your own moral code instead of lecturing others.

    “Are the young Jews who started the riot in Acre on Yom Kippur not teenagers, too? Why is this same level barbarity overlooked?”

    They shot at Arabs or threw bombs at them?

    “Being Jewish and/or born in Israel does not excuse us from our actions and hatreds.”

    Of course it doesn’t. Who said it did?

    “Finally, the question is not asked as to why more than half of Palestinians are not born in Israel or the Occupied Territories today. Why they remain in Diaspora has everything to do with the construction of the Israeli state 60 years ago.”

    Really? What about all the other hundreds of millions of refugees the world has seen who have resettled? Like, you know, the 800,000 Jews who had to leave Arab and Muslim lands in the 1940s and 1950s.

    “It is not a justifiable defense to say, “Oh, but it is mine now”, when you are talking to a people who remain uprooted, homeless and disenfranchised because of our zeal.”

    No, they remain those things because of their zeal and their leaders’ zeal. People resettle unless they aren’t given the tools to resettle. The Palestinians who were born in Lebanon, for example, have no civic rights. That’s not Israel’s zeal, that’s Arab zeal.

    “The Palestinians are now carrying the mantle of the Jews–they are discriminated against and displaced, the outcasts of the world, and not seen as capable of humanity. “

    Shame on you. Where did you pick that up, Hamas Rhetoric 101?

    “This is unjust and wrong. Rather than pointing fingers and placing blame on a kid who has never known anything but occupation and violence, we should take a serious look in the mirror and take responsibility for a situation that we have caused and continue to perpetuate.”

    No, they continue to perpetuate it. They should try peace and non-violence for a few years and see how that goes. They could have peace now if they want. They don’t want.

    “Ultimately, the question remains: If the Palestinians can have a state tomorrow, what the hell are our people and soldiers doing in the West Bank in the first place?”

    Well, they are preventing Palestinian violence. 108 dead Israelis, murdered by Palestinian terrorists in March 2002. Then Israel went back into Areas A and today we get a handful of terror attacks that succeed in a given year, much less one month.

    As for the people, meaning the Israelis who live in the West Bank. Why can’t they live there? Are there no Arabs living inside Israel? Or should Judea and Samaria, called the West Bank because Jordan country was militarily occupying it for 19 years, be rid of all Jews just like Gaza? What’s wrong with having Jews in their midst?

  11. Sarah

    10/18/2008 at 1:48 pm

    Unfortunately, the global community widely (and consistently) disagrees with your interpretation of 242, Middle. “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” seems pretty clear to me. (Direct wording from 242.) Remaining in these territories is a violation. Blaming the victim needs to stop here. Your argument is tantamount to saying that apartheid in S. Africa remains “necessary”…or that a man should beat his wife out of “necessity” to keep her “in line”. Part of the problem is not fully claiming responsibility for the part we play in persisting it, even though we know that it is absolutely unjust and wrong.

    In this issue of causality, it seems to me that you have not fully considered who is responding to whom. Who lived on this land before we did? How many Palestinian villages actually signed non-aggression agreements with the Haganah only to be forced out within weeks of Israeli Independence? Ask yourself, is every Palestinian really an armed combatant, or would you agree that the land confiscated for settlements is done so at the expense of unarmed civilians–largely farmers– in the first place? (Note my emphasis on civilians.)

    Ultimately, the questions seem relevant: How would you react if someone came into your home and told you that this was no longer your home or your land? How would you behave if you were not permitted to travel, work or attend school? Does desperation not breed desperation? The metaphor is rife: Who would you be if you were kept in a cage?

    Finally, you and I both know that the growth of settlements has far less to do with “reacting to Palestinian reactionism” (to paraphrase you) and far more to do with the politics of Armed and Aggressive Zionism 101.

    My questions is: Where is “The Middle” of your argument, Middle?

  12. xisnotx

    10/18/2008 at 2:19 pm

    “As for you, Xisnotx, you simply acknowledged that what I said is true: you justify the violence. You call it “resistance” and claim it’s mandated upon the Palestinians, ”

    Does the UN Charter state an occupied people has the right to resist? No matter how nasty the Molotov cocktails are it’s a form of resistance to the occupation. It may not be legal, wise, moral, advisable, defensible. But it’s intent is resisting the occupation & colonization. TM reads that, and picks out “resisting.” He insists that word ennobles the act. Look resist up in the dictionary, dont just compare it to the anti-Nazi resistance. But as I said before; any resistance, like any IDF incursion, cannot ignore international law. Killing civilians with Molotov cocktails is clearly not allowable under international law.

    Sarah, as I understand it, there are two schools of thought amongst international law experts & scholars. One is that military occupation by definition must be temporary & the occupier must in good faith try to end it. In this sense, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal in that by settling 500,000 of your own citizens in occupied territory & building colonies there, you’re not acting in good faith to end the occupation; naturally it has the opposite effect & here we find ourselves 41 years later.

    “No Palestinian violence…no settlement movement.” Settlements are the result of Palestinian violence? I would have thought it was the result of greed for land. You mean, if Palestinians were just like Ghandi, there would be no settlements? No ulterior motives for building settlements, like building Alfe Menashe on top of an acquifir, so that Israel can retain control of water?

    Tell me, why was the settlement of Zufim built in Qalqilya district? Ariel — was that built under attack?

  13. Sarah

    10/18/2008 at 2:24 pm

    Xisnotx makes great points. Again, I concur.

  14. themiddle

    10/18/2008 at 2:45 pm

    “Unfortunately, the global community widely (and consistently) disagrees with your interpretation of 242, Middle. “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” seems pretty clear to me. (Direct wording from 242.)”

    You should read all of 242 and get back to me.

    Here, I’ll help out:

    Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

    Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
    Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

    Affirms further the necessity

    For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
    For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
    For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

    “Remaining in these territories is a violation. Blaming the victim needs to stop here.”

    As shown above, you’re wrong. When this clause is met you’ll have a better case:
    “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”

    “Your argument is tantamount to saying that apartheid in S. Africa remains “necessary”…or that a man should beat his wife out of “necessity” to keep her “in line”.”

    WTF?!

    Families were getting blown up in restaurants, Sarah. Stopping this violence is the reason you have so many roadblocks and the Palestinians can no longer come easily into Israel to work. What are you talking about?

    “Part of the problem is not fully claiming responsibility for the part we play in persisting it, even though we know that it is absolutely unjust and wrong.”

    Actually, there is much that we’re doing that’s wrong and that causes hardship to the Palestinians. If it is being done for anything other than security concerns, then you are right and it is unjust and wrong. I think many supporters of Israel acknowledge this. Certainly I do.

    The problem is that having Israeli forces in there corrupts Israelis and Israel. It is very hard to give people power over others without it corrupting them.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s necessary.

    “In this issue of causality, it seems to me that you have not fully considered who is responding to whom.”

    Oh really. Do tell me, Sarah.

    “Who lived on this land before we did? How many Palestinian villages actually signed non-aggression agreements with the Haganah only to be forced out within weeks of Israeli Independence?”

    How many Jews were forced out of the West Bank so that not a single Jew remained in the West Bank or east Jerusalem? Not one remained. Israel kept many of the Arabs who didn’t leave or flee. Yes, in some villages, the Hagana took steps to have the population leave but if you look at the war they had just been through, it made a great deal of sense.

    At the same time, however, hundreds of thousands of Jews were being evicted from Arab lands or leaving because life became dangerous and impossible. Many of them came to Israel to live and be secure and they re-established their lives there.

    “Ask yourself, is every Palestinian really an armed combatant,”

    Of course not. That’s why I want and believe in peace with the Palestinians.

    “…or would you agree that the land confiscated for settlements is done so at the expense of unarmed civilians–largely farmers– in the first place? (Note my emphasis on civilians.)”

    Any land that has been confiscated without remunaration is illegally confiscated and needs to be returned. It’s that simple. Despite Peace Now’s claims, however, I would venture that over 80% of the land used by “settlers” in the territory was not under Arab ownership. And I will repeat to you again that the Palestinians play the exact same game. By law, any land upon which they have fields or groves, is theirs. Well, many fields and groves grew overnight, sometimes coming up to the borders of settlements, precisely so that these “facts on the ground” can be established.

    “Ultimately, the questions seem relevant: How would you react if someone came into your home and told you that this was no longer your home or your land?”

    I’d restart my life.

    Oh wait! My family did. On both sides of my family. Two families from two different parts of the world had to leave their homes and restart elsewhere. They lost everything in the process, and at least one of those families was directly affected by the Arab-Israeli conflict when they lost everything. They restarted their lives elsewhere and today do not give a second thought to their losees, other than the economic cost which has never been repaid.

    “How would you behave if you were not permitted to travel, work or attend school?”

    I wouldn’t throw bombs at civilians.

    I would encourage the terrorists to stop their activities that are causing this hardship to me.

    By the way, since you’ve obviously been spoon-fed this stuff, you should ask the spoon-feeder how many universities and hospitals existed in the Territories prior to 1967.

    “Does desperation not breed desperation? The metaphor is rife: Who would you be if you were kept in a cage?”

    Well, they used to be able to move around quite a bit. Every time a passage was opened, there would be an attempted or successful suicide bombing. I guess the desperate folks should talk to the terrorists about stopping their attacks on civilians.

    “Finally, you and I both know that the growth of settlements has far less to do with “reacting to Palestinian reactionism” (to paraphrase you) and far more to do with the politics of Armed and Aggressive Zionism 101.”

    You really don’t have a clue, do you? Most of the “settlers” and “settlements” are living a few minutes from the Green Line in neighborhoods of Jerusalem or suburbs of other Israeli towns. That’s where you have the majority of the growth of these settlements. Only a small portion are the types of settlements to which you’re referring, led by Gush Emunim types and building some sort of hilltop outpost. A 20 caravan “settlement” is nothing compared to a Pisgat Ze’ev.

    However, Pisgat Ze’ev is not “Armed and Aggressive Zionism 101” In fact, there is no such thing as Armed and Aggressive Zionism 101. The Jews were forced to take up arms defensively because long ago, back when the Arabs were a majority in Palestine and Jews were a small minority, if they didn’t arm themselves, they would be killed or harmed when they lived in their new kibbutzes or Moshavs. The same is true today. The fences aren’t built around the Palestinian villages, they are built around the Jewish villages, er “settlements.” That tells you who is afraid of whom.

    “My questions is: Where is “The Middle” of your argument, Middle?”

    Are you kidding? You justify an attack on civilians by a 14 year old and you’re asking me where I stand?

    I support a two state solution along Israel’s offer at Taba. I support removing all the settlers from the West Bank to about the 3-5% line. I support compensating the Palestinians with land from inside Israel for the land taken up by the kept settlements. I support sharing Jerusalem or making it an international trust. I support shared “spiritual sovereignty” over the Temple Mount. I support giving compensation to Palestinian families who actually lost something in 1948. I support compensation to Jewish families who lost something in 1948 as a result of a war started by Arabs. And so on and so forth.

    You see? I’m all for compromise and division of everything. You’re in the camp that supports destruction of Israel.

    Yes, you are. You justify their terror. You justify their intentional attacks on civilians. You justify their claims as if what happened in 1948, 1967, 2000, 2002 and today happened in some sort of mysterious vacuum where the poor Palestinians are always victims and the rapacious Jews are “armed and aggressive.” What a lie.

  15. Ben-David

    10/18/2008 at 2:46 pm

    Reality Check:

    1) This violence is taking place within the (fading) context of an internationally brokered and sponsored peace agreement – one in which the Palestinians explicitly renounced this kind of terror against Israelis.

    2) There has been no official Israeli confiscation of land, and no new settlement activity, for ALMOST 2 DECADES. If settlers try to transport a trailer or pre-fab home on major highways – they are stopped at checkpoints.

    There is no Israeli policy of widespread land confiscation that would justify these actions – and the days when the government turned a blind eye to expansionist moves by settlers is long gone (although as middle describes, the settlers gain moral support among Israelis in direct relation to continued Pali terror).

    In fact, when Israelis finally tired of terror attacks and decided to build a defensive barrier – Arabs successfully filed claims in ISRAELI courts – causing the fence to be re-routed for even minor inconveniences such as divided fields.

    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I don’t expect these facts to change the claims of the xisnotix-n-Sarah contingent. They are functioning with a static, ideological determination of the Official Victim Class and Official Colonial Oppressor. Facts mean nothing to them.

    Sarah in particular seems adept at playing the game of historical Twister that leads every discussion back to the “original sin” of Israel’s founding ( -oh, and Sarah: I’d LOVE to see some unbiased statistics on just how many Arab villages were “betrayed” by the Haganah… please no links to Indymedia, though – we’d like some REAL facts…)

  16. themiddle

    10/18/2008 at 2:58 pm

    Xisnotx,

    “Does the UN Charter state an occupied people has the right to resist?”

    242 allows Israel to control the Territories.

    “Sarah, as I understand it, there are two schools of thought amongst international law experts & scholars. One is that military occupation by definition must be temporary & the occupier must in good faith try to end it. In this sense, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal in that by settling 500,000 of your own citizens in occupied territory & building colonies there, you’re not acting in good faith to end the occupation; naturally it has the opposite effect & here we find ourselves 41 years later.”

    This is correct.

    Except for one small problem. There was never a sovereign Palestinian entity in control of this land. It’s a thorny problem that is easily glossed over by the fervent Palestinian supporters, but it undermines the claims against Israeli settlements.

    Also, the number of “settlers” is 250,000. Jews living in east Jerusalem aren’t “settlers” since Israel annexed the city.

    “No Palestinian violence…no settlement movement.” Settlements are the result of Palestinian violence? I would have thought it was the result of greed for land. You mean, if Palestinians were just like Ghandi, there would be no settlements? No ulterior motives for building settlements, like building Alfe Menashe on top of an acquifir, so that Israel can retain control of water?”

    Correct. No Palestinian violence, no settlements. Peace and harmony and two states living with indefensible borders and a shared Jerusalem. That’s what we would have.

    And even today, the settlement movement would not have as much power and strength as they do if it weren’t for the terror attacks. The Palestinian leadership has encouraged and enabled the very terror that makes life harder for the Palestinians and easier for the settlers. For example, take the bypass roads which wouldn’t exist of several thousand shots hadn’t been shot at Israelis over the course of years. What was meant to foster safety and counteract danger for Jewish civlians, ended up supporting the infrastructure and comfort of the settlers.

    My claim that ““No Palestinian violence…no settlement movement” remains solid and provable over a long period.

  17. ck

    10/18/2008 at 3:00 pm

    Geez Louise.

    I think you need to rephrase that question there Sarah.

    How would you react if after trying to do away with your neighbor they came in and forced you out of your home to some place where you’d be less of a threat? How would you behave if after using what freedom you had to travel and work, you used that freedom to murder civilians and then that freedom was taken from you?

    Hmmm. I’d probably do my best to let my neighbor know that I was no longer interested in doing him in. I’d also probably at the very least not celebrate those that murder civilians in the hopes of regaining my freedom. If someone put me in a cage, I’d try hard to figure out what I had done to merit being put in a cage and then make sure I don’t do that again.

    What people are put in cages? People who endanger society. Once they are out of the cage, as long as they don’t persist in the behavior that put them there in the first place, they are no longer put in cages.

    It’s really kind of simple really. Unless you’re delusional. Israel will always do what it has to in order to defend itself. Palestinians who refuse the option of coexistence seem to think that we’re all just going to hop on a plane or boat and just leave.

    News Flash: We’re not. Sorry.

  18. Sarah

    10/18/2008 at 4:23 pm

    Wow…What a fantastic debate. I’ve really enjoyed reading your responses. Thank you for taking the time to write and respond to my questions.

    Obviously (and unfortunately) we won’t bring the conflict to an end in this forum, but it is so useful to discuss this deeply.

    More obviously, in engaging this debate, I refuse to take personally Middle’s personal attacks as a way of silencing me as an Israeli. Nice try, but it won’t work here.

    That said, thank you very much for taking the time to post 242 for all to see. (You unwittingly prove my point ever more precisely.)

    And yet!–To your credit, I must say that I find your conclusions, Middle–ie: your aggregate list of issues you “support” to be thoughtful, sound and comprehensive. The simple point is that I firmly disagree with the logic you employ to reach these conclusions.

    More broadly, does this not become a question of who is “spoon-feeding” whom rather than, again, trying to silence a serious debate with the accusation that thinking *differently* about this scenario is automatically a gesture of support to the destruction of Israel? I disagree. Is the latter not a hyperbolic and knee-jerk attempt to sustain the status quo employed to justify Israeli violence under the notion of “security”? At this rate, will we ever be secure, or is “security” as fictive and illusive as the “good will” of our politicians?

    Moreover, does this issue of everything in the name of “security” not become a very slippery slope of abusive power (as you allude to), thus limiting our imaginations to the idea of a just peace in the first place?

    Based on your conclusions, Middle, it seems to me that you would agree with me before you would disagree. I would hasten to add that we (as Jews/Israelis) have far more in common with our neighbors than we realize in terms of wanting a just peace. Nevertheless I fail to understand how we can hold an entire population of people accountable for the actions–as maintained in one example– of a frustrated and desperate 14 year old kid, when our soldiers, settlers and common civilians are armed to the teeth and are regularly seen to attack unarmed Palestinian civilians with impunity?

    Tell me, seriously, who is frightened of whom, again?

    Certainly there is blood on the hands of both sides, but how long are we going to continue pointing fingers across the fence and not take responsibility in the role we play in contributing to its construction?

  19. dahlia

    10/18/2008 at 6:06 pm

    I hadn’t intended to get into this arguement, but I thought I’d add an extra fact or two. Without stating my position on the concept of a Palestinian State, I think it should be noted that the land that we refer to as the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, was never “Palestinian land.” This is by the simple fact that there was never a period of Palestinian soverignty. From 1948 to 1967, it was under Jordanian jurisdiction, from 1919 to 1948 it was under British control, and for hundreds of years prior to 1919, it was controlled by the Ottomans. In addition, while I absolutely agree that there were many people living and working the land who can trace their families and ties back many generations, legally speaking, very few have legal rights to their land. During much of Ottoman history, there was no such thing as private land; all land was miri land, and as such, property of the Sultan, unless bequethed as either a loan, such as in the form of a timarate, or as a waqf, referring to a charitable endowment. In the late 1800s with the tanzimat reforms, falahin, or peasants, were given the right to register their lands. However, wishing to avoid taxation and obligatory military service, few chose to register their lands, resulting in many “illegals” and quite a few absentee land-lords, sheikhs who registered the land as theirs, often residing, themselves, in Damascus, Beirut, and Istanbul. If you are interested in the actual land ownership, you will find that the Israeli government, had translated the land-ownership documents from the Ottoman, to English, and to Hebrew. (One of the translaters was Shlomo Housman, who also translated many books and poetry from English, Yiddish, and Polish to Hebrew). Legally speaking, very few of the Palestinians in question have a legal right to their land.

    ***This does not mean that I am advocating a position which argues that they do not have other types of rights or should not be there or have no right to a state. I leave that to you to decide, and I am simply adding more relevant facts which are often overlooked.***

  20. Ephraim

    10/18/2008 at 10:30 pm

    ck and Middle have dealt with the various questions well, but a couple points need to be made, I think:

    First, there has never been a country known as “Palestine” or a people known as “Palestinians”. This is propaganda designed to dupe stupid Westerners into believing that the “alien Jews” “uprooted” an “indigienous people” who had lived in “Palestine” from “time immemorial”. This is simply not true. Palestine is a geographic, not a national, designation. A nation-state called “Palestine” has never existed, and the population has always been mixed. The people there never had any sense of themselves as an independent people different in any way from other Arabs, either by race/ethnicity, language, customs, history, or religion. Even the group led by Haj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, which was supposed to represent the interests of the Arabs in Palestine, was called the “Arab Higher Committee”, not the “Palestine Higher Committee”. Palestine was never seen as anything more than part of the Arab homeland (even today the Syrians view it as southern Syria). The PLO was the first group to create the fiction of an independent, pre-existing “Palestinian people”, in conscious imitation of Zionism. This propaganda has worked brilliantly on Western opinion, and is one the great successes of the Arab war against the Jews. The main reason the “Palestinians” don’t have a state is because they are not, and never have been, a cohesive, self-conscious nation. The different factions are just fronts representing the different rival gangs, who often hate each other as much as they hate the Jews. Look at Hamas and its relations with the PA. In one respect, Hamas is what the PLO originally was: they are dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and they make no bones about it. The PLO/PA has learned to lie and dissemble to lull stupid Westerners and Jews into thinking that they have agreed to make peace, but it isn’t really true. Anyone who thinks that a “Palestinian State” will rise in the place of Israel if Israel should, G-d forbid, ever be destroyed, is deluding themselves. Jordan, Egypt and Syria would fight each other for it, each claiming to represent the “Palestinian people”.

    Second, the land in question is not “occupied” it is disputed. This is not the same thing. Under the terms of the 1947 UN partition plan, most of it was to have been part of the envisaged Arab state in Western Mandatory Palestine. The Arabs rejected this plan and invaded Israel in order to destroy it, thus forefeiting any right to insist that Israel honor it. In the conflict, Yehuda and Shomron (the “West Bank”) were illegally occupied by the Emirate of Transjordan, which promptly annexed them and renamed itself the Kingdom of Jordan. This annexation and occupation was recognized by exactly two countries: Britain (Jordan’s ally and arms supplier) and Pakistan. Even all of the Arab states rejected it as illegal. It never had any legal standing.

    Thus, to whom the land in question belongs is, at least from a legal perspective, unsettled. Israel has as much right to it as anyone, considering that they won it in a defensive war forced upon them by the Arabs.

    Anyway, the Sarahs of the world always put the cart before the horse. Arab intransigence and violence is not the result of the “occupation”, it is the cause of it, and it always has been.

    And as for Jabotinsky, why not take your interpretation of his argument to its logical conclusion, Xisnotx? It would seem to indicate that the only possible two solutions are to 1) defeat the Arabs so thoroughly that they lose their stomach for the fight, give up, and sue for peace, or 2) for Israel to disappear.

    Which would you pick? Since you seem to believe that Arab violence against Israel is entirely justified and perfectly understandable, I assume you would pick 2).

  21. ck

    10/19/2008 at 2:23 am

    Sarah: I take my hat off to you. Your last comment was excellent.

    Justifying everything in the name of security is indeed a slippery slope. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I know for a fact that Israel and the IDF try hard not to be abusive towards the Palestinians but abuses occur nonetheless.

    Thank you Ephraim and dahlia for sharing your talking points with us. Yes. There was never a sovereign entity known as Palestine. We’re all well aware of the historical origins of the Palestinian people. So what? What is important is that there exists today a more or less cohesive and identifiable group of people who identify themselves as Palestinian – and their existence needs to be addressed. We can’t just wish them away.

    Back to Sarah. I think we are badly in need of “different thinking.” While the status quo is not satisfactory (to say the least) your orientation and the solutions implied are similarly unsatisfactory. TMs enumerated concessions are kind of painful for me to contemplate but I’d be willing to consider them if it meant a permanent and lasting peace.

    BUT… Israel’s legitimate security concerns as well as it’s basic right to exist need to be addressed by the other side as well – and they’ve been doing a piss poor job of it thus far. To say the least. There needs to be a quid pro quo and Israeli society has shown a willingness to make painful sacrifices for peace. I just don’t see it on the other side. I don’t know how to make the Palestinians like us. I’m willing to think differently. I’m willing to explore options and alternatives. I’m just at a loss as to what those options are.

    In the meantime I’d like very much not to be squashed by a bulldozer, blown up by a missile or stabbed in the back. And even then – even if God forbid I was murdered while buying tomatoes or riding my bike, it would be nice if an entire society didn’t celebrate my murderer as a hero.

  22. Ephraim

    10/19/2008 at 3:23 am

    This is the key, ck:

    TMs enumerated concessions are kind of painful for me to contemplate but I’d be willing to consider them if it meant a permanent and lasting peace.

    I would too. But since it is obvious that at the present time that this is not so, concessions are out of the question. More Israeli concessions have only led to more demands, more violence from the Arabs, and more dead Jews. The reason for that is simple: the “Palestinians” have not given up on their “dream” of destroying Israel. Until they do, Israel must stand as strong as it can.

    Also, one other thing: the fact that Sarah says that most of the rest of the world doesn’t understand 242 the way Middle explained it does not make them correct. Just google what Arthur Goldberg, one of the authors of 242, has to say. It is clear that Middle is right.

    Anyway, who cares? If Israel did what the rest of the world thought was right, it would, G-d forbid, be gone already.

  23. themiddle

    10/19/2008 at 4:47 am

    Of course I’m right on 242.

    Sarah, you are welcome to debate the meaning of 242 with me. I have no idea where you get the impression Israel’s actions are illegal according to 242 but you are welcome to try to show me your reading of it.

    As for your complaints about being “silenced,” I don’t see anybody shutting you down. You and Xisnotx have been given free reign to write what you like. I happen to believe that the support you and Xisnotx give to “resistance” in the form of 14 year old boys throwing firebombs is misplaced and simply encourages the Palestinian leadership and their terrorists because they know there will be dupes such as yourselves in the West who will voice support and justifications for these actions. They’re laughing all the way to the UNWRA bank.

  24. ck

    10/19/2008 at 5:24 am

    Wo there TM. I don’t think Xisnotx and Sarah feel that they support the “resistance.” I doubt very much that they would encourage a Palestinian boy to burn a car full of Israelis to death with a Molotov cocktail. The thing is that I do understand what motivates that boy to do what he does. The Palestinian people have suffered as a result of decades and decades of horrific leadership. We all know that there were ample opportunities to decisively end this conflict. The fault lies in the Palestinian and Arab leaders who enriched themselves at the expense of their people by perpetuating a conflict that keeps that foreign aid money rolling into their personal bank accounts or keeps them in power by blaming domestic problems on the evil Zionists.

    But who is that stupid kid going to believe? He grows up in a society that glorifies the Shahid. Everywhere you go in the Territories – and I mean everywhere – there are posters glorifying the heroics of this guy who killed some babies in their strollers or that guy who murdered a family or a beaming Arafat, probably smiling as he counts out the Euros in his numbered accounts.

    So do I blame the kid? But for the grace of God… know what I mean? But for the grace of God…

  25. froylein

    10/19/2008 at 5:38 am

    ck, I think Middle’s point of criticism is not that Palestinian youths buy into that propaganda / demagoguery, but that Westerners who could have a better insight into such matters do; they do not only fathom how such indoctrination can manifest itself in terrorist acts by youths carried out against Israeli civilians as well as military, but they argue matters from this purposedly limited point of view (and knowledge) most Palestinians have due to their very own system. Nobody forced Arafat to deposit tens of millions of Euros of development aid into his private Swiss bank accounts instead of building schools where matters other than basic reading, writing and mathematics are taught, but he did. A “stupid” people is easier to reign. The Ancient Romans called this “panem et circenses”; give a people food and entertainment, and you can form the plebs according to your wishes.

  26. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 9:45 am

    Family beckons so I can’t reply in depth till later. CK, I appreciate your reply, you’re getting a good deal of it.

  27. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 12:27 pm

    “Xisnotx give to “resistance” in the form of 14 year old boys throwing firebombs”

    I should have pointed out, the use of child combatants violates the Geneva Conventions. I don’t know if that means the child is violating the convention, but an adult can’t use children for combat.

    I still don’t understand how I’m giving them support by pointing out they’re occupied & resisting it. It’s just a statement of fact. But after you wrote some TM, it became clear to me you believe incitement is the main cause of Palestinian violence; is that a fair assessment of your belief?

    I highly recommend you read this Rubinstein piece. It’s about Palestinian media just reporting in a matter of fact way what Israel is doing every day in occupied territory, building settlements, shooting people, bulldozing trees, etc. But here’s the money quote:

    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=855
    A Palestinian reading and hearing this flood of reports does not need any incitement against Israel. Even if the stories do not touch on them personally, the readers understand what the Israeli authorities are doing to their people.

  28. Sarah

    10/19/2008 at 1:21 pm

    Dahlia–Thanks for entering the debate! As it appears, the point that you are making that Palestinians never had a state prior to ’48 is a very important one. But neither did the Israelis. To this end, pursuing the “legal” issue of who has “legal claims” to land inhabited and lived upon (by whomever) since before the advent of a pre-sovereign period is to say that the modern conception of sovereignty must therefore apply anachronistically to the previous inhabitant and all who inhabit the land to date. Unfortunately, this directly undermines the argument for the legitimacy of Israel due to having also never existed as defined in these universalizing terms. At best, the argument for “legality” becomes tautological by inherently placing far more emphasis on questioning the very legality of Israel’s right to exist by law. Clearly, this argument becomes very troubling, indeed. (Dahlia–I realize that this is not your point, and, for the record denying Israel’s right to exist is neither mine. Far from it. My point is that the anachronistic argument for legality is moot.)

    Most troubling is that to add to your argument for precedent, it would then be necessary to suggest that if the precedent for a Palestinian state is lacking, then a future one is inconceivable. If this is so then the territories in question fall under one territorial sovereign state with contiguous borders, which, by a convenient reading of the law as your argument seeks to posit, is Israel. If this is so, then do we look at Israel and the Territories as one state, where, beyond sovereignty and territorial integrity, human rights and due process for every single individual (regardless of religion) within the state must also be respected under international law? Clearly there are grave implications this from the standpoint that Israeli is a Jewish state and roughly 4 million Palestinians seeking full representation would disturb our already-precarious political process. Yet, it is certainly not too far-fetched to consider the argument, if what we’re talking about is ignoring the fact that Israel never existed prior to 1948, but its existence today is built upon this concept of legality. Interestingly, the same monetary system, water system and road system connects Israel to the Territories. Beyond this, Israel maintains a decisive military hold on the external borders of the Territories as well. Is it then not all one state with roughly 50% Palestinians living inside the Territories? Feel free to agree or disagree. I am curious to hear what others think of this…One state or two states?

    Taking the argument of legality just a step further, perhaps is is useful to cast the net of the argument a bit wider to the precedent of independence movements made by all colonized people, who, for example, never lived in “Algeria” or “Morocco” or “Tunisia”. To my knowledge, “Congo” and “Sudan” did not exist on the map as we know it today prior to the post-colonial movement. ‘Kosovo” is yet another recent example of a state coming into being with no former precedent for existence. Are Palestinians the exception?

    Middle, thank you again for committing yourself so passionately to this debate. I respect your views of 242. However, it appears that we must simply agree to disagree. Perhaps we can go for a coffee and hammer it all out in person some day soon.

    CK, duly noted.

    froylein, thank you for your comment. I agree on all counts. Palestinian leadership must be held accountable for much of the indoctrination of hate. Similarly, the collapse of Palestinian civil society has much to blame on Arafat’s corruption and poor leadership. But let us all question our own indoctrination as well.

    Thanks, everyone!

  29. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 2:26 pm

    CK:

    “I don’t know how to make the Palestinians like us.”

    well, you could try stopping stealing land & building settlements…

  30. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 2:49 pm

    TM:

    “No, they continue to perpetuate it. They should try peace and non-violence for a few years and see how that goes”

    The only time I recall Jewlicious mentioning Palestinian non-violence before was when CK ridiculed the anti-wall movement in Bi’lin. He argued their actions had nothing to do with getting the wall moved — the credit goes to the Israeli court, he says. (BTW– they never moved the wall) So why does TM want the Palestinians to adopt non-violence? according to CK, it doesn’t even work. And what would you like them to protest? they are not occupied, & the settlements are legal, so you say. So what should they protest?

  31. ck

    10/19/2008 at 3:08 pm

    Sarah: The land of Israel is a historical reality to all but the most extreme revisionists. Am I missing something here?? But whatever the case may be – we’re here now. We’re not about to leave. This is the basic, fundamental reality that many Palestinians fail to recognize. Legal/Historical precedents are confusing and perhaps not so very instructive because of the very unique situation here, but one thing that can’t be ignored and yet is, is our presence – I mean if you want to get down to the very basics of the situation. The Palestinians have yet to give up to their pipe dreams of returning to fabled ancestral judenrein lands. It’s just not going to happen and they refuse to come to grips with that. The situation is not helped by entities amongst their leadership with a vested interest in perpetuating the conflict ab infinitum. This perspective may seem a bit bleak but it’s the reality as I see it. My only hope lies with the possibility that the Palestinian people wake up one day and decide that they love their children more than they hate us.

    xisnotx: I seriously checked the IP address on your last comment to see if it was really you. I was disappointed when I saw that it was. Sarah has said a lot of things that I disagree with but one thing I definitely agree with is that we have to try and go beyond our standard rhetoric. Our experience in Gaza clearly demonstrates the fallacy of your assertion. Jews are no longer building settlements in Gaza and yet… the situation continues unabated. I could go on and on about Hebron and the Gush but you know what I mean. From my perspective it seems they hate us no matter what we do.

  32. Ray

    10/19/2008 at 3:11 pm

    Why is it that the basics of Islamic philosophy and the basics of Jewish philosoph toward living with and among people with other religions is not being discussed. What happened to the Jewish presence in Muslim controlled areas? What is happening to the dwindling Christian populations in Bethlehem? Do Muslims escape from Israeli controlled areas? Is Juden-rein areas the answer to some issues or just a pretext to follow advice implemented on the Quraish and other tribes a few years ago? Some populations seem to listen to trees and rocks to help justify perpetrating mahem on others they consider closely related to dogs and pigs; is it reasonable that they will now be willing to alter their religious teachings? Obfuscation and deciept are still religiously condoned as long as its good for the superiority of the religion; who and what can one trust?

  33. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 3:12 pm

    TM:

    My claim that ““No Palestinian violence…no settlement movement” remains solid and provable over a long period.

    I really dont think that Gush Emumim was started in order to combat Palestinian violence. Its intention is religio-ideological — to settle the land with Jews.

    also, how much violence was there in the territories between 1967-87? What built the settlements in that time, TM?

  34. ck

    10/19/2008 at 3:14 pm

    …and xisnotx – even dispassionate reporting can be used to manipulate the masses. The link you sent me to had an article that also discussed the uneventful olive harvest in Nablus. The author stated that it went smoothly thanks to the efforts of the IDF and the Police as well as a group of Jewish volunteers. Now how much would you like to bet that that fact went uh… a little under reported in Ramallah, Hebron and Gaza?

    When all you print are stories of Palestinians being victimized by brutal occupation forces, even if they are 100% accurate, and you ignore everything else, the end result is not too hard to figure out.

  35. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 3:35 pm

    CK: first, I’m not going to bet on whether the harvest was reported. Let’s say it was; seeing all the bad stuff going on around them is not going to rile up Palestinians enough to resist the occupation? If they only heard the harvest was going good, they wouldnt care about all the bad stuff?

    Here’s what the Israeli High Court has had to say, re: “occupation.”

    http://www.nad-plo.org/inner.php?view=facts_others_f23p

    As early as 1979, the Israeli Supreme Court stated: “This is a situation of belligerency and the status of [Israel] with respect to the occupied territory is that of an Occupying Power.”[9] In 2002, the Israeli Supreme Court held yet again that the West Bank and Gaza Strip “are subject to a belligerent occupation by the State of Israel.”[10] In June, 2004, the Israeli Supreme Court reaffirmed that “since 1967, Israel has been holding [the West Bank] in belligerent occupation.”[11]

    The Israeli High Court affirmed thrice that the West Bank is occupied. But we should take TM’s word over theirs.

  36. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 4:36 pm

    CK, just to note, that was the 2008 olive harvest you linked to. The Rubinstein article I cited was written in 2005.

    re: your point about Gaza. Firstly, I’m not going to claim that if Israel withdrew to the ’67 border, there will never be anymore Palestinian attacks. I do believe it would go a long way to reducing the enmity. As a Palestinian kid once told me, “end the occupation & Hamas will melt like Ice Cream.”

    Also, I’m not claiming settlements are the only thing that pisses off Palestinians.

    “Jews are no longer building settlements in Gaza and yet… the situation continues unabated.”‘

    Check out Akiva Elder on that:

    http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=25683
    We don’t understand why, after we left Gaza, they continue to fire rockets at Sderot from there. Is that how they want to build trust with the Israeli public? Is it any wonder that even the most ardent Meretz supporters are afraid that if we leave the West Bank, their homes in Kfar Sava will enter the range of the Qassams?

    We wanted so badly to disengage from the Strip that we convinced ourselves that Gaza and the West Bank are two separate entities. Jerusalem, with its approximately 250,000 Arab residents and the sites holy to Islam and Christianity, is a third entity as far as we are concerned, an inseparable part of the State of Israel.

    Nobody asks himself what would happen if a foreign conqueror were to withdraw, say, from the North of the country, leaving the other parts of Palestine-Eretz Yisrael, including Jerusalem and the Western Wall, under occupation. Would the Jewish community in Tel Aviv give the occupier a moment’s peace, or would it turn Haifa into a base for continuing the struggle for the liberation of the rest of the country?

    It’s true that there is no territorial contiguity between Gaza and the West Bank, but the entire world, including the Israeli government, has recognized them as a single, national-political unit. This situation did not change even after Hamas removed Fatah from the Strip in disgrace.

  37. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 4:41 pm

    I wanted to add this paragraph from Eldar’s piece I posted from (it’s stuck in the moderation queue, btw)

  38. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 4:51 pm

    I said all that, & then forgot to add that paragraph from Eldar’s piece: “The hearts of most of East Jerusalemites, like the hearts of the Gazans and the residents of the West Bank, are in the same place: the 1967 borders, including, and primarily, Haram al-Sharif, which we call the Temple Mount. Partial substitutes such as the Gaza Strip and Jebel Mukaber bring their hearts closer to the 1948 borders.”

  39. ck

    10/19/2008 at 5:28 pm

    Oh xisnotx-aleh. When that Palestinian kid once told you “end the occupation & Hamas will melt like Ice Cream” do you know what he meant by occupation? He meant all of Israel. All.Of.It. I’ve had Fatah moderates in moments of candor tell me the same thing. They don’t want shared control over The Temple Mount. They don’t want all 4 quarters of the old city. They want Jaffa and Tel Aviv and Haifa and Eilat and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and Moshav Tirosh and Kfar Saba and Netanya. Give those up and uh… yeah. Hamas will melt like ice cream. Maybe. And it’s not just the Fatah moderates. It’s people on the street, drivers, shopkeepers etc. That’s been my experience anyway when they thought I was just another international visiting their towns.

    Oh well. Akiva Eldar is seriously dreaming. And the best part is that they don’t even hide it. It’s not just in their conversations and their actions – it’s in their iconography. I have yet to see a poster of “Palestine” that is just the West Bank and Gaza as per the pre-1967 borders. Never seen one. Now you know why.

  40. xisnotx

    10/19/2008 at 8:17 pm

    I dunno what to tell you, CK. I just looked at a poll that says 60% of Palestinians still say they want a two-state solution, but those numbers will continue to drop as they see the settlements just getting bigger & bigger.

  41. Sarah

    10/19/2008 at 9:38 pm

    CK: Funny, I have yet to see a poster (or schoolbook map) of Israel that is not West Bank and Gaza as well. Oh, what an irony!

  42. Ephraim

    10/19/2008 at 10:29 pm

    Jesus, Xisnotx, you base your position on what a Palestinian kid told you? ck is right; when the Arabs say “occupied territory”, they mean all of Israel. Until they give up that “dream”, any concession by Israel will only make them think that if they just keep chipping away they will get what they want. If I were them, I would think the same.

    Anyway, all of this parsing of things according to pre-’48, ’67’, ’73 etc. dates is artificial. If one looks at what has happened ever since large-scale Jewish immigration started in earnest, there has been constant violence against the Jewish presence from the beginning. The various flareups of serious state-sponsored violence against Israel in ’48, ’67’, ’73, etc. are mistakenly refered to as wars, but what they are in actuality are individual battles in the one long Arab war against Jewish independence in Israel that has been going on for about a century now. Differentiating between a state of war and a state of peace means that first there must be a state of peace that can be interrupted by a war. Up until Camp David there was no state of peace or official peace treaty between Israel and the Arabs, only armistices. The Arabs have been against the Jewish presence from the beginning; all one has to do is decide whose position is more just.

    Are the Jews justified in reconstituting their state on their ancient patrimony or not? At the very least, one can say with absolute certainty that the Jews had independent states on that very territory at various times in history and that throughout our existence in the galut the nations have seen and treated us as a distinct nation of people with our own history, language, religion, and customs, and we have seen ourselves as such. Absolutely none of this can be said of the melange of peoples that have inhabited the area artificially called “Palestine”. From that perspective, the Jews have a much better claim to the land. We had states there in the past; the Arabs never have.

    Of course, if you believe, as the Muslims do, that any land that has once been conquered by Muslims must always be Muslim, then by all means, keep justifying Arab violence against Israel. All you will be saying is that the Arab/Muslim claim to the land is more legitimate than that of the Jews. You should just make up your mind.

    But for G-d’s sake, don’t insult our intelligence by saying “This Arab kid told me everything would be cool if the Jews just stopped being so mean, so obviously all we have to do is do what he says and there will be peace.”

  43. ck

    10/20/2008 at 2:15 am

    Sarah: The maps of Israel in Israel at least specify that they are indeed territories.

  44. xisnotx

    10/20/2008 at 4:25 am

    Ephraim, I just chose to quote the kid cause he said something that resonated. It’s a way of pointing out extremism thrives under the oppressive occupation regime. End the occupation, & you take away the extremists’ best recruiting tool.

    I base my opinion on spending several months in the territories. But go ahead, keep convincing yourselves the “settlements” & “occupation” are not the problem, keep building because TM says 242 gives you a right to, and watch the #’s of Palestinians supporting a two-state solution steadily erode.

  45. Barry

    10/20/2008 at 6:46 am

    End the occupation, & you take away the extremists’ best recruiting tool.

    Yes, because that strategy worked so well in south Lebanon. And Gaza.

    The “settlements” and “occupation” are *a* problem, definitely, but they are not *the* problem, except in the sense that the PA have convinced most Palestinians that it is so. It’s better to keep the believe the people united against a common, external enemy so that they’re more likely to ignore the much larger problems of corruption and mismanagement at home.

  46. Sarah

    10/20/2008 at 8:39 am

    ck: I specifically recall learning in my school books that what exists in the West Bank and Gaza was indeed Israel via maps that did not indicate the Green Line. I learned that this is all Judea and Samaria–and therefore Israel–without question. I learned that this was a “land without people” before my own people came “home” to Israel in 1910. Maybe we have come across different maps in our respective travels through family, public school and Hebrew school, perhaps?

    I find it interesting that xisnotx directly quotes one Palestinian boy he personally knows while CK speaks on behalf for all of the Palestinians. CK, I believe this points to part of the problem of diplomacy in this situation. What you fail to consider is that many Palestinians do not deny Israel’s existence and realistically understand the disconnect between a rogue desire for its destruction and the reality that peace with Israel means an end to violence, indeed. Not every Palestinian is a terrorist. Moreover, I have seen it stated here that if the “Palestinians weren’t so inherently blood-thirsty for Jews…if they didn’t celebrate when one of them kills one of us…then maybe we wouldn’t have to occupy them”. I wonder, though, aren’t both sides wrapped up in different interpretations in the same cult of death? Do we not raise our children to be willing soldiers ready to kill as the Palestinians similarly raise their children to resist the ones prepared to kill them? Ultimately, CK, the question becomes, how can we presume to speak for Palestinians when very few of us ever speak to one in the first place? How can this happen, when we allow our settler children to think of Arabs as dogs, who are only worth something as corpses? Is this not the same cult of death? Again, I respectfully ask for your thoughts out of my own search for meaning in these debate…

    Also, Ephraim, please note again that Israel never existed prior to 1948 as a sovereign state. The land that Israel resides on today has been consistently referred to as Palestine since the time of the Romans. Even Hertzl and the early Zionists referred to the land as Palestine as well. Yes–I will agree with you that there are ancestral claims to the land, but, as I stated in a previous remark, it is useless to attempt to revise history retroactively by attempting to embrace the modern state system and apply it anachronistically. Please allow me to point out that the modern state system did not come into existence until 1648. (See Treaty of Westphalia.) Thus, ancestral claims dating back to the tribe of Jews that lived on this land are one thing (and I see nothing wrong with an ancestral claims to a reasonable degree), but the idea of a “state” is a modern conception that is inapplicable here. Simply: ancient tribes or peoples are not “states” vis-a-vis the modern state system. As passionate as you may be about this for religious reasons, yours is not a winning argument.

    And, finally, lest we not forget that Israel was key in aiding Hamas’ establishment in the early years of the first intifada. If “the enemy of the enemy is my friend”, Israel and Hamas certainly made for strange bed fellows vis-a-vis Arafat and Fatah in the late 1980s. The initial intent was to build Hamas to bring down Fatah. Clearly, 20 years later we have succeeded with this goal in Gaza. Bravo! But to what avail? For further justification/evidence that Palestinians belong behind a fence? As a result, it is now very interesting how we now support Fatah leadership as the sole voice of the Palestinian people. I do concur with xistnotx that Hamas would “melt like ice cream” if it wasn’t so staunchly opposed on principle alone. Clearly, divide and conquer policies with regard to the Palestinian Authority are not working so much, if only to make potential negotiations that much worse…

  47. Ephraim

    10/20/2008 at 10:58 am

    Sarah, if you tnink I care what the Romans called Israel, you need to reconsider. The second we adopt gentile definitions of ourselves, we are lost. The second we start to believe that the Arabs might be right and that Israel doesn’t belong where it is is the day we start to believe that their violence against Jews and Israel is justified. You seem to have been infected with this, and for that I am sorry. The only justification for Israel being where it is is precisely Jewish history and the very fact that the land once beloned to us and we believe it still does. If not for that, can you give me a good reason why Israel should exist? Because the goyim killed a bunch of us 60 years ago?

    The Romans stole Judea from the Jews and renamed it. Good for them. The Jews have it back now and it is called by its proper name after 2,000 years. What goyim call it means less than nothing to me.

    By modern definitions, I can see that your point about what might or might not constitue a state. However, regardless of whether you call what existed in ancient Israel under Jewish administration a state, a kingdom, an empire, a tribal confederation, a duchy, a principlaity or whatever-the-hell else doesn’t really matter to me. It is medinat Israel.

    In any case, if the Jews never had a state there, neither did the Arabs, and the fictitious “Palestinians” certainly didn’t either. What is your point? Are you trying to say that since the “Palestinians” never had a “state” there, the Jews have no right to one either? Or since the Jews claim to have a right to their state, the “Palestinains” also have the right to one? I really don’t understand what your point is.

    I think both you and Xisnotx are terrribly misguided to believe that Israeli opposition is the only reason that Hamas exists (I’m not going to deny that Israel’s supporting one terrorist faction over another has not worked out that well). Hamas represents the true face of Arab/Muslim opposition to Israel: Israel esse delendam (to paraphrase Cato the Elder’s feelings about Carthage). There may be some Palestinians who believe in a “two state solution”, although the polls I have seen indicate that those who supposedly believe in this also believe that Israeli withdrawal to the ’48 lines must also be accompanied by the “right of return”. You both seem to believe that there are substantial majorities of Palestinians who believe in a two-state solutuion as understood by Israelis, but I don’t believe it for a minute and I think you are both dangerously naive to accept anything the Arabs say at face value. In any case, these people do not wield political power among the Palestinians. You seem to think that unilateral concessions and withdrawals by Israel will strengthen the hand of such people and ameiorate the Arab desire to destroy israel; indeed, the entire “piece process” is based on just this idea. So far, events indicate that it is utterly incorrect.

  48. WEVS1

    10/20/2008 at 12:30 pm

    Jabotinsky would describe the “occupation” as a myth. Judea, Samaria and other lands were reclaimed in a defensive war fought against Israel’s enemies. According to international law, they are “disputed territories” not “occupied territories.” As Dahlia notes, ‘Judea and Samaria, was never “Palestinian land.’”

    When the Palestinians have their own state, and their own borders, then when we can talk about occupation. Until then, Israel has a right and obligation to keep doing what it has been doing.

    Like Dave, non-lethal weapons would be preferable in this situation. One example, those devices that look like paint-ball guns but the balls contain a pepper-spray like solution. That would reduce (wannabe terrorist) fatalities.

    Yes, Jabotinsky was on point. The Palestinians should have been transferred decades ago. If they had, we would not be dealing with these problems today.

  49. themiddle

    10/20/2008 at 6:19 pm

    Sarah writes:

    “ck: I specifically recall learning in my school books that what exists in the West Bank and Gaza was indeed Israel via maps that did not indicate the Green Line. I learned that this is all Judea and Samaria–and therefore Israel–without question. I learned that this was a “land without people” before my own people came “home” to Israel in 1910. Maybe we have come across different maps in our respective travels through family, public school and Hebrew school, perhaps?”

    Yes, you probably have come across different books. There is no shortage of books and maps published in Israel that show the Green Line and show Gaza and the West Bank as territories. The whole line of accusation based on the phrase “a land without a people” is actually not a Jewish or Israeli phrase. It was given and kept by Christians in the 1800s. It just serves Palestinian propaganda well to claim the Jews thought there was nobody living on the land. This is patently false.

    “I wonder, though, aren’t both sides wrapped up in different interpretations in the same cult of death? Do we not raise our children to be willing soldiers ready to kill as the Palestinians similarly raise their children to resist the ones prepared to kill them?”

    What utter bullshit. And I’m being kind.

    “Ultimately, CK, the question becomes, how can we presume to speak for Palestinians when very few of us ever speak to one in the first place?”

    It’s not hard to read see what they think of Israelis, Sarah. It isn’t a mystery when you see their rallies or their post-attack celebrations. We also have ample press coverae of the Territories where we hear both laypeople, terrorists and the leadership express their views.

    “How can this happen, when we allow our settler children to think of Arabs as dogs, who are only worth something as corpses?”

    Which settler children are taught this? How many are taught this? This is not the education given to the “settler” children I know. Are you talking about some fringe wackos?

    “Is this not the same cult of death? Again, I respectfully ask for your thoughts out of my own search for meaning in these debate…”

    Nobody in Israel is raised on a cult of death. Why don’t you go to Youtube and view the Regev and Goldwasser funerals and listen to those eulogies. Get back to us if you still have something to say about a cult of death.

    “Also, Ephraim, please note again that Israel never existed prior to 1948 as a sovereign state. The land that Israel resides on today has been consistently referred to as Palestine since the time of the Romans.”

    So? Prior to the Romans it was called Israel and Judea.

    “Even Hertzl and the early Zionists referred to the land as Palestine as well. Yes–I will agree with you that there are ancestral claims to the land, but, as I stated in a previous remark, it is useless to attempt to revise history retroactively by attempting to embrace the modern state system and apply it anachronistically.”

    But international law revolves around this system. You’re the one who brought up supposed violations of international law. Besides, the reason there was no sovereign state given to the Palestinians by the British is that they weren’t considered a nation or a cohesive group in the manner that, say, the Iraqis were.

    “Please allow me to point out that the modern state system did not come into existence until 1648. (See Treaty of Westphalia.) Thus, ancestral claims dating back to the tribe of Jews that lived on this land are one thing (and I see nothing wrong with an ancestral claims to a reasonable degree), but the idea of a “state” is a modern conception that is inapplicable here. Simply: ancient tribes or peoples are not “states” vis-a-vis the modern state system. As passionate as you may be about this for religious reasons, yours is not a winning argument.”

    They aren’t states but they are nations.

    “And, finally, lest we not forget that Israel was key in aiding Hamas’ establishment in the early years of the first intifada.”

    Hamas was established as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Israel had little to do with this.

    “If “the enemy of the enemy is my friend”, Israel and Hamas certainly made for strange bed fellows vis-a-vis Arafat and Fatah in the late 1980s. The initial intent was to build Hamas to bring down Fatah. Clearly, 20 years later we have succeeded with this goal in Gaza. Bravo! But to what avail?”

    You write as if Hamas is some offshoot of Israel’s IDF. That Arafat claimed this does not make it so. Hamas is the daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood and gets its support from Iran and at times from other Arab countries.

    “For further justification/evidence that Palestinians belong behind a fence? As a result, it is now very interesting how we now support Fatah leadership as the sole voice of the Palestinian people.”

    Not so interesting. It has to do with Oslo and an internationally sanctioned peace program that is now pushed by American administrations. Israel has no choice, really.

  50. Sarah

    10/20/2008 at 6:25 pm

    Wow!–“Transfer the Palestinians decades ago?” Really? Wow, I wish I could have thought of that one first! Seriously, can someone please provide a scholarly argument for this? Or tell me, is this scheme of “transfer” just another nice word for “ethnic cleansing”?

    For the record, I remain deeply impressed by this debate of so many interesting and engaging voices.

  51. Sarah

    10/20/2008 at 6:31 pm

    Perhaps you have something more to add, Middle?

  52. themiddle

    10/20/2008 at 7:21 pm

    Xisnotx 27, 30, 33, 35, 36, 38, 44:

    “I should have pointed out, the use of child combatants violates the Geneva Conventions. I don’t know if that means the child is violating the convention, but an adult can’t use children for combat.”

    Correct, but so what? The point is you shouldn’t use children. Especially if you’re then going to turn around and use their death or injury as a cudgel against Israel. That’s cynical and hypocritical to a degree that makes one question the very humanity of those who incited or actually sent out the children to fight.

    “I still don’t understand how I’m giving them support by pointing out they’re occupied & resisting it. It’s just a statement of fact.”

    You’re legitimizing the illegitimate. You could encourage them to stop instead. The Palestinians know well that they have supporters like you in the West, who will justify their actions.

    “But after you wrote some TM, it became clear to me you believe incitement is the main cause of Palestinian violence; is that a fair assessment of your belief?”

    I think Palestinian violence is part of a strategy to keep Israelis off-balance and aware of the Palestinians’ desire to keep the conflict alive until Israel is destroyed. Some Palestinians engage in violence individually because they are influenced by current events or certain situations, but most Palestinian violence is part of a larger set of organized intentions.

    “I highly recommend you read this Rubinstein piece. It’s about Palestinian media just reporting in a matter of fact way what Israel is doing every day in occupied territory, building settlements, shooting people, bulldozing trees, etc. But here’s the money quote:

    kibush.co.il/s…”

    Danny Rubinstein is somebody I don’t respect. I also think it’s a joke to say that all Palestinian reporting about Israel is accurate. We know well that corpses walk away from stretchers in Palestinian areas, we’ve seen the video.

    “A Palestinian reading and hearing this flood of reports does not need any incitement against Israel. Even if the stories do not touch on them personally, the readers understand what the Israeli authorities are doing to their people.”

    Let’s say you’re right. That still doesn’t justify the attacks on civilians. You attack soldiers in a war, not civilians. The difference is one of warfare versus terrorism.

    “The only time I recall Jewlicious mentioning Palestinian non-violence before was when CK ridiculed the anti-wall movement in Bi’lin. He argued their actions had nothing to do with getting the wall moved — the credit goes to the Israeli court, he says. (BTW– they never moved the wall) So why does TM want the Palestinians to adopt non-violence? according to CK, it doesn’t even work. And what would you like them to protest? they are not occupied, & the settlements are legal, so you say. So what should they protest?”

    Cute, but I’m not ck. And with all due respect, Bilin does not represent a non-violent approach. Instead of bringing up what ck may or may not believe, why don’t you address the core issue here? In a century of violence, the Palestinians have encountered setback after setback. They have also acted immorally. Why aren’t you out there busting your chops getting them to adopt the opposite strategy? Oh wait, I know, because you think “resistance” is legitimate, even when it involves attacking civilians or using children as your front-line fighters.

    “I really dont think that Gush Emumim was started in order to combat Palestinian violence. Its intention is religio-ideological — to settle the land with Jews.

    also, how much violence was there in the territories between 1967-87? What built the settlements in that time, TM?”

    Gush Emunim wasn’t founded to combat Palestinian violence but perhaps partially to combat the results of Palestinian violence. Certain parts of the early settler movement were created to support the idea that certain areas which had been cleansed of Jews before 1949 deserved repopulation, namely Hebron and Gush Etzion – both areas were among the first to be populated by “settlers” (or should we call them “returnees”?) in 1967.

    Also, Gush Emunim and other settlers may have religious issues in mind but that doesn’t speak to my point. My point is that over the decades, the largest growth in the settlements has been in the latter decades not the early ones. The greatest facilitator of this drive and support from Israeli governments has been Palestinian violence. Every time they do something, the settler movement gains and they lose. The “settlers” would be far weaker if the Palestinians didn’t keep giving them this gift.

    “The Israeli High Court affirmed thrice that the West Bank is occupied. But we should take TM’s word over theirs.”

    I went over my comments. Where did I say there wasn’t an occupation?

    And still, this doesn’t justify the violence. To remind you, the Palestinian violence is directed against civilians, not soldiers. I would think the UN didn’t mean by “resistance” that you attack civilians in restaurants or on buses on the way to school.

    “I’m not going to claim that if Israel withdrew to the ‘67 border, there will never be anymore Palestinian attacks. I do believe it would go a long way to reducing the enmity.”

    Israel should leave Gaza and that will reduce the enmity as well. Oh, wait…

    Going back to 1967 borders means giving the Old City to the Palestinians. It’s not going to happen. Why on earth should the Jewish people give the heart of their civilization to people who claim the Jews had nothing to do with Jerusalem?

    Xisnotx then quotes yet another wacky extreme Leftist, “I said all that, & then forgot to add that paragraph from Eldar’s piece: “The hearts of most of East Jerusalemites, like the hearts of the Gazans and the residents of the West Bank, are in the same place: the 1967 borders, including, and primarily, Haram al-Sharif, which we call the Temple Mount. Partial substitutes such as the Gaza Strip and Jebel Mukaber bring their hearts closer to the 1948 borders.”

    So what? The hearts of all Jews are pointed towards “Next year in Jerusalem.” Are the Palestinians willing to give it up to the Jews as a result?

    “I just looked at a poll that says 60% of Palestinians still say they want a two-state solution, but those numbers will continue to drop as they see the settlements just getting bigger & bigger.”

    And 76% of Palestinians supported suicide bombings that hit civilian targets in 2002. These were Palestinian polls, by the way. The settlements can be stopped and even reversed by a peace process. But the Palestinians are going to have to give up the idea of overtaking Israel or even of overtaking east Jerusalem. The “settlers” draw strength from Palestinian actions and statements on these issues.

    “a way of pointing out extremism thrives under the oppressive occupation regime. End the occupation, & you take away the extremists’ best recruiting tool.”

    Sure. End the occupation and watch terror attacks and bombings grow exponentially.

    “I base my opinion on spending several months in the territories. But go ahead, keep convincing yourselves the “settlements” & “occupation” are not the problem, keep building because TM says 242 gives you a right to, and watch the #’s of Palestinians supporting a two-state solution steadily erode.”

    Israel’s existence is the problem, Xisnotx, why haven’t you addressed this? You keep speaking as though all Israel has to do is give up Jerusalem and go back to 1967 and all will be better – though you admit it won’t be over. This simply isn’t true. The Palestinians have not given up their dream of gaining the state which was built by the Jewish people. They could have had their state already had they been willing to compromise.

  53. themiddle

    10/20/2008 at 7:23 pm

    Is there something you wrote that you would like me to address, Sarah?

  54. Sarah

    10/20/2008 at 9:12 pm

    Middle says: “You’re legitimizing the illegitimate.”

    My initial point to this post exactly…

    But now we go back to 242…and…*yawn*…oh, look at that!–another stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

    Regardless, what a fruitful debate. Middle, if you’re up for it, I would love to go for a coffee sometime. 🙂

    L’shalom.

  55. themiddle

    10/20/2008 at 11:21 pm

    Sarah, you still haven’t shown me where Israel is in violation of 242. You’ve said that by publishing the main part, I had proved your points about it but I don’t see where. Israel remains within its legal right to be in the Territories according to 242, and is not required to leave until the countries (I would bet it can probably be read to mean that the PA is one of these governments) around it meet certain benchmarks. When it does leave, assuming those benchmarks are met, it does not have to go back to 1967 lines but is permitted to negotiate an alternative. That’s what 242 says.

    Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
    Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

    Affirms further the necessity

    For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
    For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
    For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

    And sure, why not have coffee? We can even discuss other topics…

  56. xisnotx

    10/21/2008 at 1:09 am

    TM:

    “Cute, but I’m not ck. And with all due respect, Bilin does not represent a non-violent approach.

    Explain?

    Instead of bringing up what ck may or may not believe, why don’t you address the core issue here? In a century of violence, the Palestinians have encountered setback after setback. They have also acted immorally.”

    whereas, stealing land & colonizing it is the height of morality

    ” Why aren’t you out there busting your chops them to adopt the opposite strategy?

    Which is what? I asked you what you want them to non-violently protest. It’s clearly not the settlements, since 242 allows them, and the wall is kashrut according to you, so what would you like them to protest?

    Oh wait, I know, because you think “resistance” is legitimate, even when it involves attacking civilians or using children as your front-line fighters.”

    I’ve no clue why you’re determined to tag me with that. I’ve repeated several times civilians are off limits as targets, and the use of child combatants is prohibited. And unlike you, I actually take international humanitarian law & convention seriously, which is why I also oppose settlements & the location of the barrier.

    “The settlements can be stopped and even reversed by a peace process. ”

    we’re in a peace process now, Annapolis. No freeze, no reversal. In fact, the population of the settlements increased.

    I know I havent addressed all your points yet. it will have to wait till after my morning bowl of Wheaties. Sleep tite, TM

  57. xisnotx

    10/21/2008 at 1:31 am

    hmm.. is moderation being increased for me? the last think i tried to post isnt so long & has no links in it.

  58. xisnotx

    10/21/2008 at 1:35 am

    TM, how do you interpret the second line in 242, one which you left out: “Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”

  59. xisnotx

    10/21/2008 at 1:59 am

    a gift you, TK – tell us why Gorenberg is unrelible, why Meron is wrong & irrelevant

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1025217.html

    As for that legal opinion: It was written by Foreign Ministry legal counsel Theodor Meron, a Holocaust survivor with a doctorate in international law from Harvard. Meron was the government’s top expert in the field. A decade later, he accepted an academic appointment in the United States and became a world-renowned authority on international law. Today he is a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

    His status gives particular weight to the words he wrote 41 years ago: “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

    Put simply, Meron warned in advance that settlement in the territories was illegal. The claim that the West Bank was not “normal” occupied territory would not stand up internationally, he wrote. On the other hand, he said that “settlement by military bodies” having “a temporary, not permanent, character” was permissible.

  60. froylein

    10/21/2008 at 8:00 am

    x, even we don’t know what words / word combinations exactly tease the filters. We often even need to get our own comments out of the moderation queue even when we’re logged in. Since the religious ones among us are currently observing a holiday, there might not be a blogger logged in quite as often to fish comments out of moderation. Most of us work full-time, and a few have got families to care for, so we’re not online 24/7 on non-holidays either. But feel free to donate generous sums to us so we can hire someone to check the moderation queue every thirty seconds. 🙂

  61. themiddle

    10/21/2008 at 11:42 am

    Xisnotx, we don’t moderate you. Some word you wrote triggered an automatic filter.

    I’m aware of the history of that legal opinion by Meron. Aside from the fact that he’s one person and may have been wrong – there are US Supreme Court judges, for example, who hold opposing viewpoints on certain legal questions – I can’t turn back the clock on the settlement movement. I have no particular love for the settlements in Judea and Samaria. I understand the suburbs that were built around Jerusalem and believe those should be there and remain there, but as I noted above, if every other settlement east of the security barrier were to be dismantled tomorrow, it would be a worthwhile price for true peace. I think Israel has squandered tremendous resources and its own internal peace because of the settlement movement and this has been an error of historical proportions.

    Did you get that? I’m opposed to the settlements. I resent the fact that I actually have to debate on behalf of settlers whose views are quite different from mine. Having said that, the idea that Jews cannot live in an area just because they are Jews is anathema to me particularly because Judea and Samaria are the heartland of the Jewish connection to this land. The idea that only Muslim and Christian Palestinians may live in an area while Jews may not, is, frankly, disgusting. The settlements are settlements in part because all of the Jews were evicted in 1948 or left earlier (Hebron 1929).

    —-

    The authors of 242 spent weeks deliberating and discussing the wording of this resolution. I believe that we are seeing the result now. First, the acquisition of territories by force is inadmissible, which means that Jordan’s acquisition of the West Bank was inadmissible. So was Britain’s from the Ottomans. And this land in 1967, when the resolution was composed, was not considered “Palestinian” land.

    Second, assuming that my first point was not what the authors were addressing, I think the current negotiations going back to Camp David II represent the thinking behind the resolution. It became evident in 1967 that Israel’s pre-1967 borders were insecure and led to the war to some degree. The authors are suggesting that while Israel would have to return territories (as opposed to “the territories) acquired in war (to whom?!), there would be room to negotiate a deal where Israel adjusts its borders and pays a price for the adjustment. In today’s negotiations we see this with the offer of land inside Israel in exchange for land inside the West Bank.

    —-

    Biilin is not a non-violent series of demonstrations. They are provocative and intended to force the response of the Israeli military. It’s simply another leg of the overall Palestinian strategy and is intended to diffuse the argument that the Palestinians haven’t tried non-violence, but not a genuine effort at non-violence. Peaceful demonstrations represent a non-violent approach and we have yet to see that coming from the Palestinians. To be honest with you, I think the Palestinians would be way ahead of where they are if they had adopted that strategy decades ago.

    —–

    You take international humanitarian law & convention seriously, but you interpret it to your convenience. When challenged about the actual status of the Territories, you prefer to ignore the viewpoint that no high contracting power was actually in control of these areas and the last internationally sanctioned ruler of the West Bank, for example, were the British. Their mandate, of course, was to give the land to the Jewish people, but you’d rather avoid that fact as well.

    Humanitarian law and convention also say something about attacking civilians, and yet somehow most international bodies and organizations give the Palestinians a pass on this issue. They use your “legitimate resistance” argument. So please forgive me if I confuse your views with theirs. I know you intend to express an understanding for Palestinian motives but not an acceptance of their attacks. And yet, Xisnotx, you do take their side whenever the question of these attacks comes up.

    —-

    Let’s now talk about “colonization” and “stealing land.” Israel’s laws prohibit the stealing of land. I’m not suggesting this hasn’t happened, but when it has, it was in violation of Israel’s laws. Where this has happened, Israel needs to either remove the settlement or compensate handsomely and beyond the value of the property.

    The notion of colonization is simply Palestinian shorthand intended to equate Jews with, say, the British. Except the British homeland is Britain and when they went out and conquered India, they were colonizers. The Jewish homeland is and has been Israel. When they find a seal from the High Priest near the Kotel, as they did a couple of weeks ago, that speaks to the historical link of the Jewish people to this place. That’s not to negate the fact that some Palestinian families lived in Palestine for centuries, some did, but it is to say that when Jews are called colonizers when it comes to Israel, it is nothing more than propaganda and language intended to evoke injustice where there actually isn’t an injustice.

    And just to remind you, Xisnotx, the Yishuv and now Israel have consistently been accepting of a two-state solution. And the war in 1948 which has led us to now, was led and driven by the Arabs. Also to remind you, in 1967 Israel told Jordan to stay out of the fighting and was rebuffed.

  62. Ben-David

    10/21/2008 at 11:49 am

    xisnotix:

    Theodor Meron’s “status” is basically that of a well-connected left-wing functionary. His participation in “international tribunals” for Yugoslavia and Rwanda indicate his affiliation with the international Left, which dominates these NGOs.

    No wonder Gorenberg is quoting him -and Ha’aretz is printing it. A regular Society of Friends.

    More to the point:
    1) Meron’s opinion was – and remains – the minority opinion.
    2) Kfar Etzion is a curious example, since it was Jewish owned and settled before 1948 – and the Jews were expelled/slaughtered from land they purchased outright…. a history Gorenberg brushes aside with a one-sentence feint.

    3) Another delicious one-sided whopper from the article:

    In other words, the right of return for 1948 refugees was taken as self-evident – if the refugees were Jews.
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Well, yeah – especially in a decision taken on the heels of a successful *defensive* war that re-liberated these areas.

    That’s the way the game is played – at least by patriots. Those are the schoolyard rules of geopolitics.

  63. Tom Morrissey

    10/21/2008 at 12:47 pm

    Middle, I believe UK jurisdiction over formerly Ottoman lands, such as Iraq and Israel/Palestine, was sanctioned under League of Nations mandate and was accordingly not in violation of international law, as you suggest.

  64. themiddle

    10/21/2008 at 1:14 pm

    I did not suggest it was a violation of international law. In fact, I commented that it was a mandate. Of course the mandate was given by the League of Nations – that’s been the Zionist argument for several decades and now ignored by international law lovers like Xisnotx.

    My point was that it was not under a sovereign. Judea and Samaria were not a distinct territory until they became the “West Bank” in 1949. As part of the British Mandate, they were part of the Palestine that was supposed to be given to the Jewish people. Britain, however, was never sovereign over this land. The last sovereign rulers over Judea and Samaria were the Ottomans. This is an important point when it comes to the question of “acquisition of territory by force” since there has to be a higher contracting authority over that territory.

    The world has developed a consensus that this land should be given to the Palestinians. Oslo and the talks at Camp David and Taba as well as now with Annapolis are essentially codifying that this is Palestinian land. However, within the context of the debate about legality of settlements, the question of the status of the Territories, etc., the question of whose land this is from a legal standpoint is critical. I don’t believe this issue has ever been resolved or even seriously addressed. That has been a victory of sorts for the Palestinians, although it seems to be a fair outcome for these decades of war that they will end up with that parcel of land.

  65. ck

    10/21/2008 at 3:09 pm

    xisnotx: We’re not moderating your comments. We use a plugin called Akismet that does that and it’s only about 98% accurate. For instance, one of our commenter’s Alex often finds his comments in either moderation or spam. I am assuming that this is because “Alex” is a name often used by spammers selling sex enhancement products. With all false positives, I mark the comments as not spam and Akismet is supposed to learn from that. But like I said, it’s not perfect.

    As for resolution 242, there are a number of conflicting interpretations of it, I have mine and you have yours. Declaring the occupation “illegal” is uninstructive and not at all helpful. I mean “using” child combatants is illegal. Waging warfare out of uniform is illegal. Targeting civilians is illegal. So what? Just because it’s illegal does it mean it’s going to stop? Clearly not.

    So why don’t you try to tell me something I don’t already know. I’ve been hearing these arguments about 242 for decades now and they are clearly useless. How about we try to advance the discussion a little, try to explore new ideas, try to step out of our comfort zones?

    I tell you, I consider places like Jericho and Shchem and Hebron etc. to be part of the Jewish homeland. I feel that way about most of the West Bank. I feel more indigenous to this land than the Palestinians who I consider to be usurpers. BUT, they’re where they’re at and I don’t expect them to suddenly leave any time soon. Thus I am willing to make painful, heart rending compromises for the sake of peace and coexistence. I have yet to see any corresponding willingness to do the same coming from the other side.

    But yeah, if you know of something I don’t know about, then by all means tell me. I’m all ears. But try to avoid stuff that doesn’t move the discussion forward. Just for kicks!

  66. Sarah

    10/21/2008 at 9:51 pm

    CK: My hat is off to you, yet again.

    I agree that the discussion has been useful at times and faltered in others. Still, it interesting to read, think and generate more thought among such a range of articulate people. Thank you for creating this forum and space.

    That said, if you will, please allow me to disagree with you that one can feel “more indigenous” than another. I, for one, completely understand your feeling of being rooted to the land. It is undeniably special, and there is an almost mystical feeling one gets of being home. My only issue is that I just don’t see how one can claim to feel “more” of something to another. Certainly, your attachment (and mine) is genuine. However, my reason for calling you on this is because I don’t think that those Palestinians who have also been displaced by this conflict feel any “less” indigenous than folks like us. Sure, we can pull out the ancestral claim on any given day, but isn’t this also as uninstructive, as you say? It is almost as if to suggest that Palestinian folks whose families also go back for generations here are less capable of feeling pain or loss as we do. And this is completely leaving out the indigenous Christian community in these parts. It seems silly to mention it, but I am sure you agree.

    Question is: Where do we go from here?

  67. ck

    10/22/2008 at 1:19 am

    It is instructive Sarah. It’s how I feel and it’s how many of us here in Israel feel. It’s instructive in that it demonstrates the extent of the sacrifice we are willing to make. All I’m looking for are people on the other side willing make similar concessions for the sake of peace and not for the sake of getting even closer to me with rockets or something. Know anyone like that?

  68. xisnotx

    10/22/2008 at 3:31 pm

    CK, TM et al: sorry for getting paranoid about moderation. We’ve had combative, at times acrid exchanges, but you’ve never censored me — wish I could say the same for Mobius.

  69. ck

    10/22/2008 at 3:44 pm

    Ahlan wa’sahlan, You’re always welcome here x.

  70. xisnotx

    10/22/2008 at 4:26 pm

    CK:

    “I tell you, I consider places like Jericho and Shchem and Hebron etc. to be part of the Jewish homeland. I feel that way about most of the West Bank.”

    I get very emotional when I’m in Judea and Samaria, CK. I feel a deep attachment to the land. But that doesn’t mean I feel a need to take it from the people living there.

    “I feel more indigenous to this land than the Palestinians who I consider to be usurpers.”

    This is a problem, CK. There are villages in the West Bank that are centuries old. They have deep roots in the land. Ironically, some may even have Jewish lineage (particularly in the Hebron area). How can you expect Palestinians to recognize you if you see them as illegitimate?

  71. TM

    10/22/2008 at 4:54 pm

    Xisnotx, I respect you and your approach to this debate. As ck says, you’re always welcome.

    I get very emotional when I’m in Judea and Samaria, CK. I feel a deep attachment to the land. But that doesn’t mean I feel a need to take it from the people living there.

    Not all the land is settled, Xisnotx. And most “settlements” are not taking Palestinian land. Most settlements are built on hilltops because that’s the least desirable place in terms of planting and agriculture and that’s where the “settlers” found land to “settle.”

    And I repeat again: the Palestinians could already be living in their own state. They could be negotiating with true intentions of achieving a state, but really they’re doing what they can to buy time because they think time will get them their ultimate goal. If they come to terms with the Israelis, the settlement issue will become a problem for the Israeli government, just like Gaza’s settlers.

  72. xisnotx

    10/22/2008 at 5:04 pm

    “How about we try to advance the discussion a little, try to explore new ideas, try to step out of our comfort zones?”

    I agree, CK. I doubt anything I post is gonna make you or TM have an epiphany.

    So here’s an idea: you’ve shown a willingness to be adventurous & go to Ramallah & talk to folks, & you’ve posted on the plight of the Bedouin in the Negev. How about going to Bil’in & seeing it for yourself? talk to the people there, & listen for yourself to how they see things? I recommend you get a copy of “Bil’in, my love,” a movie the anarchists made about the village & its campaign: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WynTOY04Ac8

  73. xisnotx

    10/22/2008 at 5:37 pm

    “Xisnotx, I respect you and your approach to this debate”

    TM, has anything I’ve said ever made any impression on you, changed the way you think about something?

  74. TM

    10/22/2008 at 6:03 pm

    What do you mean? I’m already in the Middle. I advocate a Taba solution. I’ve always been aware of the Palestinian pain and sense of injustice and feel sympathetic to their situation. I deeply regret that Israeli forces need to be among the Palestinian population and I deeply resent the extreme parts of the settler movement. I’m not sure what kind of impact you intend to have on me.

    As you know, I don’t buy the entire victim scenario. I’m a son of refugees and I know what it’s like to start over after having lost everything – and nobody paid for 60 years of UN support or promised any sort of compensation for what my families lost. The Palestinians are being used cynically by their leadership and by Arab countries such as Lebanon – which won’t give them civil rights – or Kuwait – which evicted all 300,000 Palestinians who were living there for decades because they didn’t like to see Palestinians dancing in joy when Hussein bulldozed his way into their country.

    If the question is one of Israeli methods or Israeli approaches to the conflict, I think Israel has shown some flaws and cracks but has behaved relatively ethically considering the circumstances and certainly in comparison to other countries. There is lots of room for improvement, but considering the belligerent status of the conflict and the Arabs towards Israel, I think Israel is doing well. They need to apply the law when it comes to the settlements and they need to be sure to come down hard on IDF soldiers who go beyond what’s acceptable. I think Israel is weak on both those counts. But if it would apply the law, then it would also address that weakness.

    If somebody wants war, they get war. Israel has the upper hand and therefore looks like the evil party. However, were they to lose that upper hand, their fate would be far worse that would be reasonable and so they are doing what they need to do as justly as they can. Some would say too justly as we saw in Jenin in 2002 when all those soldiers dies unnecessarily.

    I wish the Left and the true Palestinian supporters would stop this ugly game of supporting Palestinian “resistance” and this dual-faced approach to gaming the peace talks with the real intention being the destruction and removal of Israel. It is time to stop depicting Israel as the Evil Empire and to accept it. It is time to give up the dream of a greater Palestine and to realize that only compromise will end in peace. It is time to recognize Jewish history and connection to this land and stop playing the colonizer card. It is time to give up pretense that the Temple Mount is not connected to millenia of Jewish history. You should be advocating for these things, Xisnotx, instead of sitting there supporting the type of “resistance” that leads to death and injury on both sides. Were you to invest the same energy as you do criticizing Israel and supporting the Palestinians on pushing the Palestinians toward peace and true compromise, you’d be contributing much more to peace. Instead, the Palestinians have nobody out there among their supporters trying to straighten them out. That’s a shame and that’s the real shame of your position, Xisnotx.

  75. xisnotx

    10/22/2008 at 6:25 pm

    well, that certainly answers my question, TM.

  76. ck

    10/22/2008 at 6:34 pm

    You’re missing the point x. Legitimacy is irrelevant. Both sides see each other as illegitimate. This creates a vicious cycle and is unproductive. I’m willing to put that aside though for the sake of progress, but in order for it to be effective I need them to do the same. I have yet to see that sort of willingness emanating from the Palestinian camp. Again, if I’m wrong, please let me know.

    I’ve recently been to Ramallah, Hebron, a village near Hebron, Nablus and East Jerusalem. I’ve had many conversations with folks and have yet to find anyone willing to just let go for the sake of peace. That having been said, everyone I hung out with was very hospitable and friendly with the exception of some ISM folks. But they don’t count count cuz they’re not indigenous. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel compelled to hang with the anarchists at Bil’in – in my experience they have all of the self righteousness and none of the civility that one finds with the Palestinians. But what the hey – when shabbat starts a little later maybe I’ll make the trek. I’ll tell ’em x sent me.

  77. ck

    10/22/2008 at 6:41 pm

    x: Like TM, I too am a son of refugees. My family traces its lineage in Morocco back centuries. So what? Where are my reparations? What TM said is worthy of consideration X. It boils down to the question of what kind of future the Palestinians want for their children and for their children’s children. Sixty years have been wasted on a game that they cannot win. The Jews will not be pushed into the sea. All the Palestinians have achieved for themselves is … nothing. It’s seriously time to change tacks and accept peaceful co-existence as the only solution. Please do let me know when they’re ready. I know we are.

  78. xisnotx

    10/22/2008 at 6:53 pm

    bully for you, CK. i’d be most interested to hear your impressions. re: the ISM & anarchists — as I said, talk to the villagers. Still, I vastly encourage you to see the Bi’lin movie. you’re open-minded enough to judge it on its own merits. Maybe write a review for Jewlicious — I don’t think anyone in your camp, as it were, has reviewed it. The film is mainly about the village & the protests, the anarchists are less of a focus.

    Try hooking up with Seth Freedman — he could show you around without your having to deal with patchouli wearing internationals or the even less fragrant anarcho-hippies.

  79. xisnotx

    10/22/2008 at 7:27 pm

    CK: talk to the Bil’iners. that’s the best I can do for you. It’s the most honest thing, too. I can’t speak for Palestinians, or negotiate for them.

    If you’re looking for someone who is willing to sign off on the barrier as the new border, I can’t introduce you to that person; I don’t think he exists.

    I mentioned Seth Freedman before; here’s an article he wrote recently which speaks to some of your questions, I think:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/sep/04/israelandthepalestinians.humanrights
    “When Israel was first created, I had a lot of admiration and respect for the Jews; now I want to throw them all into the sea.” The choice of phraseology was no accident on the part of the speaker, who wanted to make crystal clear the effects that more than 40 years of Israeli occupation have had on him and his family.

    We were sitting in his tent in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir, situated just outside the perimeter fence of the West Bank settlement of Karmel. Thanks to Karmel’s proximity, the Bedouins suffer almost daily harassment at the hands of the settlers and their security team, resulting in the vitriolic volte-face performed by the head of the family in terms of his feelings towards Israelis.

    The residents of Umm al-Kheir, and several other villages in the area, are prevented from building on their own land, or from grazing their flocks in the pastures nearby, due to the severe restrictions imposed on them by the army and police. In order to protect the ever-expanding settlements, more and more land is annexed under the guise of erecting “security zones”, effectively strangling the natural growth of the Palestinian communities, and destroying their livelihoods in one fell swoop. […]

    If the Israeli authorities’ aim is truly to protect their citizens, then their tactics are backfiring on a massive scale. As I have said before, all that is happening is simply a case of Israel creating what it fears, and driving ordinary Palestinians into the welcoming arms of the extremists. […]

  80. Sarah

    10/22/2008 at 7:28 pm

    CK: Again, this was not to discount your personal view. I just don’t think one can feel “more indigenous” than another. How can you possibly gauge how someone else feels? This is uninstructive because it is also very presumptuous and discounts anyone’s feelings beyond your own. I disagree that it demonstrates what you are willing to “give up”. Rather, I think it creates further impasse, where one has to then find a way to more instructively prove or assert how far one is willing to go, or to sacrifice…

    …Leading again to this spiral of insecurity….

    …which, as we’ve all established, is nonsense and tiring…

    But to answer your question: Yes, I do personally know these people that you seek. For 6 months out of the year, I live and work among them. I live and work with non-violent Palestinian activists who are peacemakers and leaders in their communities. They are human people who love their kids just as much as we do. They cry as we cry, and just bleed as we bleed. I also happen to know from my experiences among them that they suffer just as much as we suffer. Ergo, I can only assume that they call this place “home” just as much as you, but I clearly can’t claim to be the authority on this. 🙂 But, no, in all seriousness, I would be more than happy to introduce you, if this is something that interests you.

  81. TM

    10/22/2008 at 9:41 pm

    How do they define peace, Sarah? You know, are they intending to live inside Israel and what are their plans regarding the Old City and the Temple Mount?

    Xisnotx, everybody says that the Israelis have turned them against Israel, but if we’re going to be honest then we have to address the hatred of and violence against the Jews going back to the 1920s which was long before they wielded guns as an army.

  82. Xisnotx

    10/23/2008 at 1:34 am

    If you want to do that, TM, that’s legitimate. But I think you look for reasons to minimize the importance of the occupation & settlements as an issue. As Eldar says, if you cant give them ’67, more of them start thinking about ’48.

  83. ck

    10/23/2008 at 2:31 am

    Look Sarah… the one guy I met who said he’s happy to negotiate a comprehensive peace treaty with Israel also added that he couldn’t say what would happen in 30 or 40 years – reflecting the old policy of stages – get what you can now and work on that till all of Palestine is liberated. He was a Hamas member of Parliament. Nice. I don’t doubt that these people exist but I sure as heck don’t hear their voices – they’re not in positions of authority and to whatever extent they talk about giving up on Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv etc. they historically put their lives at risk. You know that as well as I do. People in the territories are very guarded about what they say and for good reason.

    I also didn’t need that whole Merchant of Venice thing. I have no issue with the the basic humanity of the Palestinian people. But, armed struggle against Israel is useless. It’s gotten them less than nothing. Whatever it is I believe, whatever rights I feel I have to this land, I am willing to put those aside in the interests of peace for the sake of ALL parties involved. Painful sacrifices will have to be made on both sides and I see that willingness here amongst the people on the street and amongst our leadership. I just don’t see it as a recurring theme in Palestinian society. With all due respect to your friends, they sound like exceptional people. And that’s the problem.

  84. themiddle

    10/23/2008 at 4:09 am

    Xisnotx, I’m cynical that way. I believe the majority of Palestinians want a mythical Palestine where they were alone and the Jews were a tiny minority while the Ottoman rulers rarely came by. The suggestion that somehow it’s the settlements that are causing the Palestinians to consider 1948 borders is a mistaken one. First of all, by asking for 1967 borders, they are asking for 1949 borders. Second, they have been offered 100% of Gaza and anywhere from 93 to 97% of the West Bank with replacement land inside Israel for the missing percentage and their reaction has been to avoid making peace while emphasizing sole control over the Temple Mount and east Jerusalem and the so-called return of refugees. In other words, 1948.

    Perhaps you should expend your energy suggesting that they adopt 2001 as their solution? Taba was one fine deal.

  85. Xisnotx

    10/23/2008 at 6:58 am

    CK: “am willing to put those aside in the interests of peace for the sake of ALL parties involved. Painful sacrifices will have to be made on both sides and I see that willingness here amongst the people on the street and amongst our leadership. ”

    lovely rhetoric. what does it mean in reality? settlements only increased in size during Annapolis. Can you understand why Palestinians look at what you do on the ground & take what they can see with their own eyes more seriously than the words of your leadership?

  86. ck

    10/23/2008 at 8:52 am

    And those settlements will keep growing. I’m not worried about settlements. If the Palestinians really had eyes they’d see that we have shown, time and time again, a complete willingness to dismantle those settlements in exchange for even the coldest peace. They should in fact open their eyes wider. Look at the future their actions are building for their children and their childrens’ children. Settlements are nothing. We’ve dismantled them before and we can dismantle them again. What’s really telling is a society that tells it’s youngsters that things are so hopeless that it makes sense to approach a heavily armed group of soldiers with nothing more than a stupid glass bottle filled with gasoline and a flaming rag. That a guy who stabs to death a totally innocent 86 year old man is a hero. That it makes sense to blow yourself up so that you can kill a few folks out for an afternoon felafel, pizza or bus ride. That it makes sense to think that a disorganized, fragmented rag tag group of ill-trained thugs armed with nothing more than some pop guns and some homemade rocket kits are going to convince over 6 million Jews, backed up by one of the best equipped armies in the world, to just simply leave.

    Fucking wake up man. My life here in Israel is great. The Palestinians can have better lives too. Do you really think what you’re saying is going to get them there any time soon? The dunams upon dunams of Olive and Orange groves. The keys to the magnificent family homes. All that shit is gone. Forever. It’s never coming back. Time to move forward children of Palestine. Make a life for yourselves.

    Me and mine are never going to frolic in Casbah again. For me Casablanca is the name of some old movie, certainly not any ancestral homeland I long for with my every waking breath, even though pretty much all my ancestors are buried there. My family and I have moved on. We’re better people for it. Learn from us children of Palestine. Learn to make a life for yourselves.

  87. Eric

    10/24/2008 at 11:05 am

    >>”But, armed struggle against Israel is useless. It’s gotten them less than nothing.”

    That’s not really true. Armed struggle has achieved the deaths of Jews, a clear strategic goal for the PA and most of Palestinian society, and increased support from Western opinion makers. It hasn’t gotten them a “state” in the short-term but long-term Palestinian violence has proven a solid method for wearing down Jewish willpower and international opinion.

  88. TM

    10/24/2008 at 12:19 pm

    “Palestinian violence has proven a solid method for wearing down Jewish willpower and international opinion”

    I think that is only a valid assessment if you ignore the constant diplomatic and grass roots efforts by Palestinian and pro-Palestinian diplomats and activists around the Western world. They are the ones making the inroads, not their bombers. Hanan Ashrawi did more for the Palestinians than 20 suicide bombings in terms of Western public support. In fact, I would say the violence is precisely what has caused most middle-of-the-road people to side against the Palestinians. They are viewed as vicious and barbaric because of their terrorists.

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