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View Diary: Shocking? Heathlander and another American agree on I-P Peace Plan. Poll (104 comments)

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  •  Although (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    callmecassandra, Terra Mystica

    it puts the Palestinians in an awkward spot.  If they say all the settlers must go, they are essentially falling into the "ethnic cleansing" trap that Oldskooldem raised.  They are saying they want Palestine for Palestinians, no Jews allowed.  While understandable in the context of their history over the past 60 years, it's not an admirable position to be advocating.  

    It also undermines the "right of return" claim as well. If the Palestinians get a state free of any Jews, why should Israel have to take any Palestinians?

    So then maybe it gets tied to "right of return" more explicitly.  For every settler that gets to stay in the West Bank, Israel has to repatriate a Palestinian refugee.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:30:12 AM PDT

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    •  I see nothing wrong with it (4+ / 0-)

      They aren't saying that the settlers should be removed because they are Jews. They're saying the settlers should be removed because they came to occupy the land they're currently inhabiting through an illegal process, i.e. land theft. It has nothing to do with Palestine being "free of Jews".

      There is an obvious difference between the refugees and the settlers. The refugees have a legal right to return to their homes - the settlers, by contrast, have no right whatsoever to live in the West Bank. The two therefore cannot be compared.

      •  That's irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
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        oldskooldem

        The fact of the matter is, the settlers are there. They are, in some cases, more "indigenous" than many Palestinians.  Legal or otherwise, many of those settlers, having been there for 20 or 30 or 40 years, have a stronger connection to where they are than many Palestinians in Syria or Lebanon.  For many of the settlers, it's all they know.  They were born and raised there.  Are you going to punish a 10-year old girl for land theft, when she has no choice in the matter?

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:50:58 AM PDT

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        •  They're there illegally (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paul in Berkeley, Rusty Pipes

          that's what matters. It's not about "punishment", it's about what each side's legal rights are. The Israeli settlers have no right to be on Palestinian land, and if Palestinians demand that the be removed that demand must be respected.

          •  "Palestinian land" (1+ / 0-)
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            oldskooldem

            what makes it "Palestinian land?"  That's a bizarre concept -- this land belongs to this ethnicity, and that land belongs to that ethnicity.  Where does Palestinian land end and Jordanian land begin? Where does Jordanian land end and Syrian land begin?  Is there something about the land that makes it identifiable as Palestinian, or Israeli, or Chinese?

            And again, let's look at the case of a 25-year old man living in a refugee camp in Lebanon.  Born there, lived his whole life there.  His parents were born there too.  His grandparents, on the other hand, fled from a town in the Galilee.  They are Palestinian.  Do they have greater rights to land in the West Bank than a settler family that has lived there for 25 years? On what basis?  Certainly no legal ownership -- that Palestinian family comes from the Galilee.  They might never even have set foot on the actual dirt on which the Israeli settler family is living.  So why does the Palestinian 25-year old have greater rights than the settlers to that land?

            In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

            by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:02:47 PM PDT

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            •  I don't know why you're having such (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Paul in Berkeley, Terra Mystica

              trouble with the concept of borders. It is very clear where Palestinian land ends and Jordanian land begins. You can draw a line on the map to show it.

              There's no need to debate this here - it has already been decided. The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza consitute "occupied Palestinian territories". If you're interested in the legal reasoning behind that, which is fairly straightforward, then the advisory opinion is available free on the 'net.

              If I illegally kick you out of your house and move into it, then you have the right to demand that I leave your house, even if I have stayed there for 30 years and have had a kid in the meantime. Why? Because I had no business stealing and occupying your house in the first place. The same principle applies here. Under international law it is illegal for an occupying power to alter the demographic status of the territory under occupation. In practical terms, this means that the occupying state is not permitted to allow its citizens to settle in the territory being occupied. Thus, the settlers are there illegally and, should the Palestinians demand it, will have to be withdrawn.

              •  What you're missing (0+ / 0-)

                is that the International Court of Justice doesn't mean jack shit.  Its like saying the Supreme High Counsel of the Court of My Backyard says that New York belongs to me.  My friend Joe agrees that the Supreme High Counsel fo the Court of My Backyard is binding, and therefore New York belongs to me.  It actually ignores the fact that I live in the midwest.  But who really cares--because a body that lots of countries belong to says its so.

                "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

                by oldskooldem on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:22:14 PM PDT

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              •  Borders are an artificial concept (0+ / 0-)

                Borders are drawn and redrawn by agreement.  That's the point I'm getting at.  The parties agree that the border will run along here, and not along there. And it's not because Jordanian land has a blue tint to it, and Palestinian land has a green tint to it, so we'll just make the border run where the blue turns to green.  It's a chicken-and-egg problem. And in the case of Palestinian land, and Jordan in particular, the borders are particularly meaningless.  There has never been a Palestinian state with borders in modern times.  Following WWI, outside powers (the British, the French, the UN) drew up borders to suit their international interests. Those borders often had little to do with actual ethnic divisions.  And from 1949 to 1967, the West Bank was occupied by Jordan, so does that make it Palestinian, or Jordanian?

                You talk about it being "Palestinian land," but that's just meaningless.  If you have a Palestinian village at a specific location, and there's 3 square miles of uninhabited land about 1/4 mile southwest of that village, is that uninhabited land "Palestinian?"  Nobody lives on it.  It could just as easily be Jewish, or Chinese.

                These decisions are going to be made for political and economic reasons, not out of any sense of "rights." Because this concept of "rights" that you keep bringing up is too nebulous and theoretical to be enforceable.

                In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

                by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:31:20 PM PDT

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                •  Of course borders are artificial (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Paul in Berkeley

                  That doesn't change the fact that it is illegitimate for a country to acquire territory by war and that an occupying power is forbidden under international law from changing the demographic status of the territory it is occupying. This means that, should the Palestinians demand it, Israel has to withdraw completely from the West Bank and Gaza, taking its settlers with it.

                  The land is "Palestinian" not in the sense that it belongs to people of Palestinian ethnicity, but in the sense that it belongs to the future state of Palestine. This is not "meaningless" at all - it's pretty fundamental to the way the world is currently organised. It's the reason we can describe all of Tel Aviv as "Israeli territory", even though some of the people living there are not Israeli.

                  It's very easy for people who are either not involved or who are on the stronger side of a conflict to dismiss talk of "rights". The reality is that there is nothing "nebulous" about Palestinian rights at all - again, just check the International Court of Justice ruling. It's very clear. The West Bank and Gaza are "occupied Palestinian territories" and the settlements are illegal. Period.

                  •  Now we're getting somewhere (1+ / 0-)
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                    oldskooldem

                    Regardless of legal status, you have a quarter of a million settlers there.  So something will have to be done about them.  I don't see all of them being relocated.  There are going to be border adjustments along the Green line, and in particular around Jerusalem.  And these adjustments will be based on practicalities, rather than rights.

                    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

                    by Paul in Berkeley on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:42:46 PM PDT

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