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View Diary: 'We Want the Whole World To Know About Us' (213 comments)

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    •  Actually, "begging" would be more accurate /nt (6+ / 0-)
    •  Then why do they keep saying no? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jhritz

      President of the Elders of Zion Chapter 112

      by Pumpkinlove on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:13:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who, the Israeli government? (6+ / 0-)

        Not exactly sure - I think they are just not yet willing to give up the settlements. But you'd have to ask them.

        •  That's dishonest.. Israel has tried many times. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfounded, Keith Moon, jhritz

          The Palestinians have refused to negotiate a peace.

          President of the Elders of Zion Chapter 112

          by Pumpkinlove on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:22:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Settlements. Has Israel given them up? (10+ / 0-)

            Will Israel stop expanding them? I already know you say you don't like the settlements. But Israel isn't showing good faith by expanding them. So I'd say, it's not dishonest to suggest that Israel isn't trying.

            It's easy. Stop building them.

            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

            by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:25:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My understanding is that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              unfounded

              the only settlements being expanded are those Israel wants to swap land for in the final negotiation.. I don't believe they are actually increasing the land size, but developing the land within.   There have been many settlements that have been destroyed and removed.  There are also a group of asshats goign around parking trailers on hills calling them settlements.. it  does take time to remove them but they are.

              President of the Elders of Zion Chapter 112

              by Pumpkinlove on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:27:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  In case you havn't noticed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pumpkinlove, Keith Moon, jhritz

              Israel is quite willing to give up settlements.
              Remember the settlements in the Sinai? Those were given up for a peace deal with Egypt.

              Pretending Israel has never and will never give up settlements is dishonest to the extreme.

              Perhaps if the Palestinians make it clear it would be in Israel's best interest to give up settlements, like oh, I don't know, maybe stop saying they're going to try and destroy it one way or another, those settlements will go.

              •  First, (9+ / 0-)

                I'm not talking about Sinai.

                Second, you placed this "pretense" on me as if you actually read what I said. You obviously didn't.

                Third, when Israel stop expanding settlements in the WB, then I'll believe Israel is willing. Give me somehting better than "willing to". Give me action or don't bother.

                The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:36:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I guess you forgot Gaza (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Keith Moon, jhritz

                  President of the Elders of Zion Chapter 112

                  by Pumpkinlove on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:37:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I gave you an action - (4+ / 0-)

                  The complete removal of all settlements from the Sinai in return for peace.

                  I understand you want to ignore this because it doesn't fit the point you're trying to make, but this certainly shows there is precedent for Israel removing settlements in return for peace.

                  •  You gave me an example for Egypt. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    litho, mattes, npbeachfun, hypersphere01

                    Relevance to Palestinian? Israel continues to expand the settlements. No sign of stopping or slowing. How does Sinai apply? Again, "willing to" means nothing to me. Action does. Action now.

                    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                    by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:48:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I gave you an example for Israel. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Pumpkinlove, Keith Moon, jhritz

                      There was no sign of stopping or slowing settlements in the Sinai before the peace deal either.

                      There is precedent for Israel removing settlements in return for peace. That's the relevance, in case it wasn't obvious.

                      •  And it still not obvious. (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mattes, npbeachfun, hypersphere01, Sabbah

                        Your precedent is worthless and irrelevant for this one important reason.

                        The precedent is between two states. There is no Palestine.

                        There are other reasons, but this is a glaring one.

                        I want examples between Israel and Palestinians. By the way, Gaza is still occupied...

                        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                        by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:56:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Egypt (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Pumpkinlove, Keith Moon, jhritz

                          Gaza was ruled by Egypt between 1948 and 1967.

                        •  What difference does it make (7+ / 0-)

                          If it's between two states or one state and one proto-state with an elected government?

                          You say Israel is unwilling to remove settlements. I show you Israel is not only willing, it has done so in the past. Now you're just making up irrelevant excuses.

                          •  Same rules don't apply. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hypersphere01, Sabbah

                            It's a weird situation and I honestly can't think of any precedents for it. As for the rest of your comment, see above.

                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                            by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:07:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If there is no precendent, (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            unfounded, Keith Moon, jhritz

                            then there is no justification for your absolute claim that Israel will NOT give up the settlements... especially in light of the fact that Israel HAS given up settlements in the Sinai and in Gaza even though it requried using force on her own citizens.

                            President of the Elders of Zion Chapter 112

                            by Pumpkinlove on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:13:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The Saudi Initiative says 1967 borders, (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            litho, hypersphere01, heathlander, Sabbah

                            has been rejected repeatedly by Israel.

                            Either you are for the status quo, or you're not. -7.00, -2.92

                            by mattes on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:34:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Saudi Initiative = Right of Return. (0+ / 0-)

                            Twas not the settlements but the right of return which was the non-starter for the Saudi Intiative.

                            President of the Elders of Zion Chapter 112

                            by Pumpkinlove on Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:18:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I said Israel has not given up the settlements. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hypersphere01, Sabbah

                            I don't believe Israel will but that's not a fact - it's my opinion. But it is a fact that Israel continues to expand the settlements. And it is a fact that there are no signs of Israel slowing them. And this does not show good faith on Israel's part.

                            And the precedent I'm refering is in regards to the relationship and negotiations between a people with a state and stateless people. Are there other precedents we can use? I'm not a historian, so maybe you know something I'm missing.

                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                            by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:43:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why don't the same rules apply? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Pumpkinlove, Keith Moon, jhritz

                            Just because you say so isn't enough.

                            Israel removed settlements for peace. This is a fact.
                            Unless you can give some kind of compelling reason why you think there's some kind of inherent difference between removing settlements in the West Bank and removing settlements in the Sinai, it becomes obvious you're just repeating something you want to be true.

                            Your ideology is showing.

                          •  How can they be applied? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hypersphere01

                            Your example involves two sovereign nations. Now, we have one sovereign nation and a bunch of people who don't even have autonomy?

                            It is true that there is no Palestine. It is true that Israel is 'negotiating' with a people with no state. This is a completely different situation, man.

                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                            by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:38:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jhritz

                            So what?

                            How is this relevant? Just repeating it over and over doesn't prove your point you know.

                          •  Okay. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hypersphere01, Sabbah

                            Explain to me how the situation are the same, 'cause I'm not getting how negotiations between state/state and state/stateless could possibly be the same.

                            Also, did this Sinai example set a precedent of peace between Egypt and Israel or Israel and Palestinians? Show me where Israel acts in good faith wrt the settlements that promotes peace between Israel and Palestinians. The only example you could use is Gaza, but this good faith is comprised by expanding of settlements on the other end, the West Bank. Also, Gaza isn't sovereign anyway.

                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                            by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:36:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Easy. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            brittain33, another American

                            In both cases two political entities were trying to negotiate a peace deal, one of them being Israel.
                            In both cases one of the demands put on Israel was to remove settlements.

                            If Israel was willing to remove settlements for peace with Egypt, why wouldn't Israel be willing to remove settlements for peace with the Palestinians?

                            I deliberately didn't use the example of Gaza since that was unilateral rather than part of a negotiated agreement.

                          •  Israel occupied Egypt's territory. (0+ / 0-)

                            Egypt is a state. Israel can't claim another's state territory from war. International law is clear on this. There is no evading it. Self-defense couldn't last indefinately as a reason. There were other pressures as well which had nothing to do with "willing to". States are selfish. Israel and Egypt are no exceptions.

                            With Palestinians, stateless, they have no sovereignty over anything. There is no state. International law is clear on whether land can be taken in acts of war. Iow, it can't. But how does that apply to the OPTs? There are resolutions (which are more like recommendations, in my cynical opinion) which Israel can evade by insisting that the occupation is self-defensive, the lands are disputed, so forth and so on. Stall. Arbitrarily interpreting the law broad or strict to benefit Israel as this is an unusual situation anyway. Hopefully, if this is ever resolved, international law will catch up...

                            This political entity of the Palestinians has no voice in the international community. It doesn't represent a state. What demands can they make that Israel will heed. So all you have really is Israel's "willing to" and you have to believe that Israel actually is "willing to" wrt Palestinians.

                            This is a situation between power and powerless, state and stateless. And the "willing to" is seen false with the addition of more settlements in the WB.

                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                            by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 04:08:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your point would be valid (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            another American, Drgrishka1

                            if Israel had left the Sinai because it had decided to comply with international law, or had been forced to do so.

                            The fact is that Israel removed the settlements in the Sinai because it signed a peace deal.

                            This certainly sets precedent.

                            I understand you don't believe Israel will do the same with the Palestinians. That does not change the fact that Israel has proved it's willingness to remove settlements for peace.

                          •  Israel (0+ / 0-)

                            left Sinai because Israel couldn't hold Sinai. Israel removed the settlements because Israel couldn't maintain the settlements. Israel left Sinai because Israel could find no real support for it. Israel is no different than any other state. It keeps what it can and abandons what it can't. Like Gaza. But I do want to know, did Israel make the offer first? Did the settlements go first? Or did the settlements go because Israel had to go?

                            The precedent you give me is flawed.

                            1. It involves two states, two sovereign nations and Egypt was not willing to relinquish Sinai to Israel.
                            1. Your precedent in no way shows a "willing to".
                            1. I want a precedent where Israel showed good faith or "willing to" to Palestinians. You haven't done this so far. That's what I asked for, that's what I want. Go back to top of the thread.

                            And you're right. I don't believe Israel is willing to remove the setttlements from the WB. Israel keeps expanding them. What else am I suppose to think?

                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                            by callmecassandra on Sun May 13, 2007 at 06:32:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  All the existing agreements (4+ / 0-)

                        between Israel and the PLO/PA call on Israel to stop the expansion of settlements on the West Bank.

                        Israel has not honored those agreements.

                        That leads to a well-founded conclusion that Israel is not actually interested in peace with the Palestinians.

                        •  Unfortunately, you're mistaken. (0+ / 0-)

                          I say unfortunately, because I've long opposed the settlements. But the facts are the facts.

                          The Israel-Palestine Liberation Organization Agreement of 1993, for example, does not, as you maintain, "call on Israel to stop the expansion of settlements in the West Bank."

                          First, the agreement invokes Security Council Resolution 242 and 338, which the US and Israel always have understood as not requiring a complete withdrawal.

                          Second, Article V expressly reserved "settlements" for the permanent status negotiations.

                          Third, Israel's quid pro quo was Prime Minister Rabin's letter to Chairman Arafat "recogniz[ing] the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and [agreeing to] commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process."

                          IMHO, it would have been better for all concerned had the original agreement included at least a symbolic Israeli settlement evacuation, e.g., from Hebron, and an undertaking to freeze settlements pending a permanent status agreement.

                          Al Gore should be president.

                          by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:56:09 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I may be mistaken (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mattes, hypersphere01, james risser

                            but if so, it is a mistake shared by many political observers of the Middle East:

                            Responding to critics who claimed that the administration's laissez-faire strategy had contributed to the destabilizing cycle of violence between Sharon's government and Arafat's PLA, Secretary of State Colin Powell's November 2001 address at the University of Louisville named a special Middle East envoy, Anthony Zinni, and emphasized American mediation to achieve a negotiated cease-fire.  Zinni's mission sought to stabilize the situation on the ground and create conditions allowing for the implementation of confidence-building measures. Contained in a report by George Mitchell and a plan written by George Tennet, these measures envisioned the speedy implementation of the Oslo Accord with the former emphasizing a freeze on Israeli settlements and the latter entailing a Central Intelligence Agency-directed reform of Arafat's highly fragmented security apparatus to enhance the PLA's capability to fight terrorists (Anthony N. Celso, "The Death of the Oslo Accords: Israeli Security Options in the Post-Arafat Era," Mediterranean Quarterly 14:1 (Winter 2003):74).

                            The Road Map, which Israel has formally agreed to accept, does call explicitly for a freeze on settlements.

                          •  The point under discussion (0+ / 0-)

                            is not whether settlements should be frozen (or even removed). As I've written, they should be.

                            Rather, I replied to your claim about "all the existing agreements." I provided links to the Declaration of Principles and the letters exchanged between Arafat and Rabin. Instead of reading them and telling us whether you found some settlement freeze there, you cited to a secondary source. Surely, you can do better.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:35:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please read my comment carefully (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hypersphere01

                            If you do, you will find it begins with the words "I may be mistaken."

                            I did read the Oslo Accords, and did confirm it does not address the freezing of settlements.  I then did some research and found a peer-reviewed article that made the same mistake I did.  So I posted that as confirmation that my misunderstanding of the Oslo Accords is widespread in the academic community.

                            After all, that sentence I put in bold text made it through peer-review.

                            Now, I'll go look at the Mitchell Report to see what he has to say about Oslo and freezing settlements.

                          •  "I may" does not equal "I did." nt (0+ / 0-)

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:45:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Also, your original claim was "all the existing (0+ / 0-)

                            agreements." Your secondary source, in mentioning a settlement freeze, refers only to the Mitchell Report.

                            Wouldn't the scholar's response be to acknowledge the error and move on?

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:48:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm sorry, (0+ / 0-)

                            I didn't under stand "I may be mistaken" to be more than conditional.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 02:16:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok, here's what the Mitchell Report (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hypersphere01

                            has to say.  First it reiterates the Palestinian position on Oslo:

                            The Interim Agreement provides that "the two parties view the West Bank and Gaza as a single territorial unit, the integrity and status of which will be preserved during the interim period." Coupled with this, the Interim Agreement's prohibition on taking steps which may prejudice permanent status negotiations denies Israel the right to continue its illegal expansionist settlement policy. In addition to the Interim Agreement, customary international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibits Israel (as an occupying power) from establishing settlements in occupied territory pending an end to the conflict.

                            That statement is sourced back to the PLO's third submission to the Sharm el-Sheik fact-finding commission, i.e. the Mitchell Commission.

                            The report goes on to state the Israeli response:

                            From the GOI perspective, the expansion of settlement activity and the taking of measures to facilitate the convenience and safety of settlers do not prejudice the outcome of permanent status negotiations.

                            Israel understands that the Palestinian side objects to the settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Without prejudice to the formal status of the settlements, Israel accepts that the settlements are an outstanding issue on which there will have to be agreement as part of any permanent status resolution between the sides. This point was acknowledged and agreed upon in the Declaration of Principles of 13 September 1993 as well as in other agreements between the two sides.

                            This is sourced back to the second Israeli submission to the Commission.

                            The Commission's recommendation, furthermore, was that:

                            The GOI should freeze all settlement activity, including the "natural growth" of existing settlements.

                            I think it's safe to say that the Mitchell Commission found the Palestinian position on interpreting the Oslo Accord to be more persuasive...

                          •  No. Mitchell rightly thought a settlement (0+ / 0-)

                            freeze to be a useful idea. The plain language of the prior agreements, however, did not call for a freeze. That's why the Palestinians had to argue that a freeze somehow was implicit in the non-prejudice language. Generally, when parties are in agreement about a contract term they are able to put it in writing. A settlement freeze being a fairly important issue, the absence of express language is telling.

                            Moreover, what -- being charitable to Arafat and Rabin -- may not have been prejudicial when Rabin was alive was not necessarily non-prejudicial with Netanyahu as Israel's prime minister.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:57:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I believe the question here revolves (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hypersphere01

                            around:

                            Interim Agreement's prohibition on taking steps which may prejudice permanent status negotiations

                            The Palestinian position was that settlement expansion did prejudice future status negotiations, while the Israeli position is that it did not.

                            Mitchell, a neutral arbiter, agreed with the Palestinians.

                            So, I have to take back my earlier retraction.  While you are correct that the plain language of the agreement did not prohibit settlement expansion, upon neutral interpretation it is found that the agreement did in fact prohibit it.  Hence Celso's comment makes it through peer-review.  Sufficient academics, undoubtedly based on Mitchell's interpretation, agree that as a result of Oslo Israel should have frozen settlement expansion.

                          •  The Performance-Based Roadmap (0+ / 0-)

                            available here, also does not support your claim. One needs to look at at least two parts of the Road Map. At the bottom of Phase I one reads:

                            Settlements

                            GOI immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.

                            Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).

                            At the top of Phase I one reads:

                            In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below . . .

                            At the outset of Phase I:

                            Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.

                            Granted, Israel, as I've noted and condemned in this very diary, has failed to withdraw the domestically illegal settlements (outposts). But the settlement freeze is not an immediate obligation and Israel takes the position that the Palestinian side's failure to honor its temporally antecedent obligations excuses compliance.

                            As I've said, I'm for a unilateral settlement freeze. But to say that the Roadmap mandates a unilateral settlement freeze is a bit of a stretch.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:44:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Clarification re. the Road Map (0+ / 0-)

                            During Phase 1 the parties obligations were to take place in parallel. While the Palestinians were ending violence and disarming, Israel at the same time had other obligations, the most important of which was a complete freeze on settlement growth and a dismantlement of the "unauthorized outposts".

                            From the prologue of the Road Map:

                            The Quartet will meet regularly at senior levels to evaluate the parties' performance on implementation of the plan.  In each phase, the parties are expected to perform their obligations in parallel, unless otherwise indicated.

                            Since the election of Hamas and it's non-explicit recognition of Israel though, yeah, the parties haven't even entered into Phase 1.

                          •  I think aA's correct (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mattes

                            as Shlomo Ben-Ami says, when Israel continued building settlements after Oslo, it was violating the "spirit" but not the letter of the agreement.

                            What that shows, of course, is that Oslo had nothing to do with peace. It had to do with legitimising the occupation, and was fairly successful in that regard. Unfortunately for the Israeli leadership, Arafat blew it at the last minute by refusing to accept a bantustan leadership.

                          •  Oh, I'm just talking about Oslo, btw (0+ / 0-)

                            I didn't realise you meant all previous agreements.

                          •  Thank you for the first paragraph. (0+ / 0-)

                            As to the second paragraph:

                            • To say that "Oslo had nothing to do with peace" is flat-out wrong. The parties undoubtedly misjudged the situation and did not sufficiently guard against the possibility that assassinating Rabin would end up with Netanyahu as prime minister. But it would require much more evidence then I think is available to show that the parties were not aiming at peace.

                            • I'm not sure what you mean by "the last minute." As I explain in The Myth of the "Myth of the Generous Offer", the last minute was when Arafat rejected the Clinton Peace Parameters. No Bantustans there:

                            Cllinton Peace Plan Map - Ben-Ami

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 02:23:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oslo was not about peace (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            umkahlil

                            It was about giving Arafat the semblances of power in exchange for him becoming Israel's "enforcer" in the territories. That's why Oslo made no mention of Palestinian self-determination, nothing about removing settlements, etc. etc. Israel's attitude towards Oslo was demonstrated in the seven years which followed, when the settler population almost doubled. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo-Ben Ami was accurate when he described Oslo as "founded on a neo-colonialist basis, on a life of dependence of one on the other forever." As Meron Benvenisti, the extremely well respected Israeli political analyst and former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, said (.pdf),

                            "The occupation continued [after Oslo], albeit by remote control, and with the consent of the Palestinian people, represented by their "sole representative", the PLO."

                            Turning again to Shlomo Ben-Ami, he described quite candidly in a debate on Democracy Now! how Israel saw Oslo:

                            "Well, the Oslo peace process was an agreement — it started as an agreement between two unequal partners. Arafat conceived Oslo as a way, not necessarily to reach a settlement, but more importantly to him at that particular moment, in order to come back to the territories and control the politics of the Palestinian family. Don’t forget that the Intifada, to which Oslo brought an end, started independently of the P.L.O. leadership, and he saw how he was losing control of the destiny of the Palestinians. His only way to get back to the territories was through an agreement with Israel. So in Oslo, he made enormous concessions.

                            In fact, when he was negotiating in Oslo with us, an official Palestinian delegation [led by Haydar ‘Abd al-Shafi] was negotiating with an official Israeli delegation in Washington, and the official Palestinian delegation was asking the right things from the viewpoint of the Palestinians — self-determination, right of return, end of occupation, all the necessary arguments — whereas Arafat in Oslo reached an agreement that didn’t even mention the right of self-determination for the Palestinians, doesn’t even mention the need of the Israelis to put an end to settlements. If the Israelis, after Oslo, continued expansion of settlements, they were violating the spirit of Oslo, not the letter of Oslo. There is nothing in the Oslo agreement that says that Israelis cannot build settlements. So this was the cheap agreement that Arafat sold, precisely because he wanted to come back to the territories and control the politics of Palestine."

                            So that's how Israel saw Olso. It was an attempt to cultivate a Palestinian leadership that would legitimise the occupation. Ultimately, Arafat failed at the last moment by rejecting the bantustan solution presented at Camp David.

                            As to the Clinton Parameters - as I say, both sides entered reservations. Taba was the only real significant breakthrough in Israeli rejectionism, but it was called off by Barak.

                          •  If one reads Ben-Ami's book, and I (0+ / 0-)

                            have just reviewed my notes of the pages concerning Oslo, I think a fair summary of his opinion would be that Arafat's primary concern was not achieving peace but rather avoiding oblivion and Rabin, while interested in peace, was adopting a new approach only after having concluded that all the other plausible ones had failed.

                            Ben-Ami, perhaps rightly, believes that Oslo's failures were written in its "genetic code." I'm inclined to think that a live Rabin could have made Oslo a success, if it turned out that Arafat truly wanted peace. But, haval, we'll never know.

                            But the bottom line remains: to say that Oslo had nothing to do with, or was not at all about, peace, is an over-statement.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 02:59:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I disagree (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            sofia, umkahlil

                            I think Oslo, from the Israeli side, was simply an attempt - and a fairly successful one - to legitimise the occupation, recruit Arafat as an "enforcer" in the Territories and give it the room to continue expanding settlements.

                            In any event, it is possible to disagree about what Oslo meant. But we can't disagree about what happened - namely, Israel, in the years following Oslo, expanded settlements, built entirely new settlements and almost doubled the number of settlers. I think that's a pretty clear indication of how committed Israel was to peace.

                  •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    litho, mattes, sofia, hypersphere01, Sabbah

                    and look what it took for that to happen. Egypt had to go to war before Israel was willing to withdraw.

                    As to Gaza - yeh, it made no sense to waste so many resources protecting a few thousands settlers taking up a third of Gaza, which isn't valuable land at all. Those resources would be much better put to use expanding and fortifying the occupation in the West Bank, and they have been.

                    And of course Israel has been expanding settlements. Close to 1,000 new tenders for housing projects in the settlements were issued last year alone. Moreover, as Peace Now discovered, some 40% of these settlements are built on privately owned Palestinian land.

                    Then there's the continued attempt to "Judaize" East Jerusalem, which is, of course, illegal under international law.

                    The reality is that not a single Israeli leader since 1967, without exception, has been willing to offer the Palestinians the international consensus two-state settlement. In contrast, the Palestinians have accepted this since thr 1970s.

                •  Would you say the same thing regarding (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pumpkinlove

                  Hamas recognition of Israel and the Palestinian Authority honoring its prior agreements with Israel, particularly in the area of eschewing violence?

                  Personally, there are many things that I think Israel should do unilaterally, such as removing settlements that are unlawful even under domestic Israeli law and not expanding others, just as there are things that I think Palestinians should do unilaterally.

                  But I would not entirely devalue the importance of words.

                  Al Gore should be president.

                  by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:15:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Eternal Hope, mattes, hypersphere01

                    I do not support Hamas. I do not support Hamas' charter. I don't support suicide bombings. I don't support attacks on civilians as acts of 'resistance' - it's murder. It will happen when a people are occupied. This is common sense. But it's still murder.

                    As for recognition, Hamas and the PA should recognize Israel as soon as Israel define her borders. The reason I say this is because I don't know what Israel's borders are. It's not that I think Hamas is right. I just don't know what Israel intends. The settlements muddy the question.

                    As for moral right to exist, I don't believe the U.S. has a moral right to exist. But I damn well will fight to make sure she continues to exist as I'd imagine Israelis will do for Israel.

                    Hamas and the PA should honor prior agreements.

                    And Hamas and the PA should do more to quell the violence. Now, I'm not going to say that the Palestinians don't have a right to resist. This is in part looking out for my interest. Were we to ever be occupied (not seeing that ever happening) I don't want any demands that I suck it up. I'm not going to... But, civilian attacks are to be condemned. It's inevitable, but it's still murder.

                    I know you support a two-state solution. I believe you to sincerely want peace between the two states and the two peoples. Those Clinton parameter links make me go ARRGGGH everytime I see them, but you offer something. You recognize that there is an occupation and this is accord. And I know you disapprove of the settlements and again, this is accord.

                    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                    by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:31:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't support attacks on civilians as acts of 'resistance' - it's murder. It will happen when a people are occupied. This is common sense.

                      so then it's also common sense for Israel to build a wall to prevent suicide bombings , and for Israel to have built some of those WB settlements for security reasons.

                      and btw, Hamas sees all of Palestine as theirs, not just Gaza and the WB, ask evil Mickey

                      oh and you still fling that border canard as a reason why Hamas can't recognize Israel.

                      .........................................

                      what does this mean?

                      Were we to ever be occupied (not seeing that ever happening) I don't want any demands that I suck it up. I'm not going to...

                      the territories were occupied as a defensive measure.

                      btw - tell Ghandi and MLK that civilian attacks are inevitable.

                      FREE TIBET! Bang the Drum! FREE TIBET! Boom! Boom!

                      by Keith Moon on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:10:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Eternal Hope, hypersphere01

                        It's common sense for Israel to build a wall on her borders.

                        and btw, Hamas sees all of Palestine as theirs, not just Gaza and the WB, ask evil Mickey

                        Keith, did you read where I said I don't support Hamas? As for the borders, I don't know what they are. As I said, it's not that Hamas is right. I don't know what they are and neither do Palestinians. As for the settlements, it would appear then that Israel doesn't care for her people if she's willing to place her people in the line of fire...for security reasons. I don't believe that. Israel wouldn't do this, therefore, I believe that the settlements are nothing more than land grabs.

                        Hamas SHOULD recognize Israel as a sovereign nation. The majority of Palestinains recognize this, so should Hamas. And Israel needs to get a move on about defining her borders.

                        As for a possible occupation of the U.S., I will fight against it. I don't care what the reasons are for the occupation. You are free to do nothing and I won't fault you for it. But don't expect that I would or should.

                        btw - tell Ghandi and MLK that civilian attacks are inevitable.

                        Appealing to authority doesn't change the realities of an occupation or the reactions/responses to an occupation. People will resist. And people are going to die. It is inevitable. The acts of resistance may become questions of morality. Resistance is not.

                        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                        by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:27:20 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  The wall is not a bad idea... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hypersphere01, callmecassandra

                        the bad idea was to build it on Palestinian land...hurting even more Palestinians.

                        Either you are for the status quo, or you're not. -7.00, -2.92

                        by mattes on Sat May 12, 2007 at 12:07:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Why not (0+ / 0-)

                      recognize Israel within to-be agreed borders?

                      Should Japan and Russia not recognize each other? Hint: Japan contends that Russia should return Japanese islands occupied at the end of World War II.

                      Al Gore should be president.

                      by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:31:48 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Because of trust issues. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Eternal Hope, hypersphere01

                        The Israeli gov't has no reason to trust Hamas. Hamas has no reason to trust the Israeli gov't.

                        Same goes for Israelis and Palestinians.

                        The only thing I could suggest is the basic recognition of the '67 borders with an out to negotiate over everything else. Would accepting Israel/Palestine along these borders be sufficient as a start?

                        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                        by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:42:15 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You wrote . . . (0+ / 0-)

                          "Hamas and the PA should recognize Israel as soon as Israel define her borders."

                          I asked: "Why not recognize Israel within to-be agreed borders?"

                          Your current answer -- lack of trust -- doesn't work because, all else being equal, Hamas and the PA would have no reason to trust an Israeli definition of borders unaccompanied by a peace treaty (or at least withdrawal to those borders).

                          Al Gore should be president.

                          by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:53:17 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It's all about lack of leadership. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            npbeachfun, hypersphere01

                            The fact of the matter is that these recent events in the I/P wars are a microcosm of what has to happen for there to be peace. The US has to have the willingness to do whatever it takes, including cutting off aid to either side, in order to win the peace. Hunter was willing to ban a whole bunch of people and ban the whole topic if we did not get along.

                            Now, fast forward to last night and today. Last night, when Ben Heine tried to disrupt the threads, it did not succeed in tearing us apart, but it brought us closer together. There were people who were normally at one another's throats, who were being civil and friendly to each other instead of argumentative and nasty. And even though there are still a lot of disagreements, people are a lot more willing to listen to each other today.

                            The fact of the matter is that Israel has to want to have peace, as does Hamas and Fatah. That means that we have to put the ball in their court and force them to make the kinds of concessions that are necessary for this process to go forward.

                          •  come on anAm (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            litho, callmecassandra

                            Would you agree to you neighbors building plan without seeing it?

                            think about it... would you sign a legal document that your neighbor asked you to-

                            Now keep in mind your Neighbor

                            1. Built their Home on your grandfathers Farm
                            1. calls you a squatter
                            1. controls weather you feed you children or not

                            The other fact your Neighbor home is a Fortress, you can see it from every square foot of your small plot of land~ and he comes to you and says sign this, Say that you recognize my Fortress?

                            Now wouldn't you think: Is this a trap, he knows I  see his fortress... what dose he want?

                            IMHO Israel needs to take a step showing good faith-

                            • Define their Border
                            • Recognize a PA state

                            both sides need to give-

                            "people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same" George Orwell~1984

                            by npbeachfun on Sat May 12, 2007 at 01:28:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Rigor Mortis has the sense of (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            npbeachfun

                            what I was trying to say. In no way am I suggesting that anyone need agree to Israel's final borders prior to the negotiation of an end-of-conflict peace settlement. That said, announcing a claim to Haifa, Akko, and Jaffa surely would be either a gross misjudgment or an act of bad faith.

                            Arafat and the PLO under his leadership did recognize Israel. The sky did not fall. Indeed, that recognition was a prerequisite to the creation of the Palestinian Authority.

                            The scenario I have in mind is, IMHO, far from signing off on a neighbor's building plan. It's rather something like the Hamas-led PA stating:

                            • As the successor administration to  the previous Fatah-led Palestinian Administration government and cabinet, we affirm the binding nature of all prior agreements, including the recognition of Israel.

                            • We likewise insist that Israel abide by the letter and spirit of its obligations under those agreements, including: [let Hamas spell out what it particularly wants to emphasize].
                            • We emphasize that our recognition of Israel does not mean that we recognize any Israeli right to territory beyond the Green Line. Final borders must be the result of mutual agreement with the starting point the borders immediately preceding the June 1967 war.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 02:41:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree with what you outline- (0+ / 0-)

                            I also think that Israel Should Recognize a Palestinian State. Something they have never done.

                            As to the right of return- I think that is an issue that is left out of the debate/agreement. IMHO it would be better left to the Palestinian court- Once There is a Palestinian.

                            As someone that owns a home in Akka/Akko this debate is like a circle. That why I think it should be a class action case. I will also say, the woman I bought my home from had no family in Israel they were in the OT.

                            I have become friendly with with her family and the man she was to marry before the war '47 he lives in France. If they ever have a right to become Israeli I would sell my home to them at the same price I paid for it- because I think it is the right thing to do. Also because she wanted them to have it.

                            "people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same" George Orwell~1984

                            by npbeachfun on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:55:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It won't be an end-of-conflict settlement, (0+ / 0-)

                            nor IMHO will most Israelis agree to a deal including the kind of territorial compromise and withdrawal needed, unless the deal settles all Palestinian claims against Israel, leaving no pretext for renewing the conflict.

                            That said, I can imagine an agreement that

                            • limited realization of any Palestinian return to the new state of Palestine;

                            • created an internationally-funded, including by Israel, agency to compensate refugees; and

                            • included an administrative-legal process for individual claimants vis-a-vis that agency.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Sun May 13, 2007 at 04:12:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Israel ask to much (0+ / 0-)

                            I think we only have a few more days so Im going to lay it out. My background is important only to help you understand me:This are some of the places I have covered as a war correspondent: Bosnia, Croatia, Algeria, Somalia, South Africa, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Liberia

                            Here are my fears for the country we both love-

                            The Wall brought about rockets just as I feared, tunnels will bring in bombers: Do to the iniquities in schools, separation of families (central to Islam) watching or hearing about family members suffering will lead to Israeli-Arabs to act.

                            Israel will react with swift collective punishment- driving a wedge further between their two separate citizens. Until Israeli Jews want to push Israeli-Arabs out, Countless Palestinian will die, until there cry’s are heard... I have no Idea how long the world will watch and do nothing, but when they do act (and they will)

                            Israeli wall will fall- and with it the Jewish State. It will resemble South Africa. Trials will be held for war crimes...

                            Now, here is the part that keeps me up at night. Because Israel and Jewish have almost become one word the Blow Back to Jews world wide will be a horror... the sight of which I don’t think it can even be imagined.  

                            ...........

                            "people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same" George Orwell~1984

                            by npbeachfun on Sun May 13, 2007 at 06:38:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            npbeachfun

                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

                            by callmecassandra on Sat May 12, 2007 at 04:13:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I'd say (0+ / 0-)

                          the first step is both sides recognizing the other has a right to exist in any borders.

          •  You could make the same point without (0+ / 0-)

            saying "that's dishonest."

            Al Gore should be president.

            by another American on Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:43:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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