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View Diary: Without Arafat, Whither Palestine? (264 comments)

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  •  Hasn't started yet (none)
    Well, they haven't started to execute the plan yet, if you've been reading the news. However, the Israeli Knesset just voted on the plan, and approved it this week.  It will be implemented next year.  Sharon has really pissed off the settler movement with this -- settler rabbis are calling on troops not to follow orders, and there are fears of a possible assassination attempt on Sharon, just as happened to Rabin.
    •  One Question... (1.80)
      Let's say Israel laid down its arms tomorrow, stopped building the fence, removed all settlers from the lands Sharon wants evacuated and OK'd a Palestinian state. Now, how many "minutes" would Israel survive?

      Also what has happened to all the money given to the Palestinians all these years by other middle eastern countries as well as the UN, etc.? The Palestinians could be living a better life (even in "exile"), if their own leaders didn't want to keep them down.

      Clinton tried to broker a deal and was stabbed in the back by Arafat. The majority of Palestinians have always wanted nothing less then the total destruction of Israel. It's in their laws and their teachings.

      They should have their own land, but they first must accept the continued existence of Israel.

      From the entries of two Israelis earlier and demonstrations held in Israel supporting the need for a settlement to this problem, we know that their are Israelis willing to peacefully negotiate, but when was the last time you saw or heard any group of Palestinians demonstrate for the same cause? Any who do usually wind up dead.

      George W. Bush - Often wrong, but never in doubt!

      by auapplemac on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 10:08:03 PM PDT

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      •  Re: One Question... (3.00)
        "Let's say Israel laid down its arms tomorrow, stopped building the fence, removed all settlers from the lands Sharon wants evacuated and OK'd a Palestinian state. Now, how many "minutes" would Israel survive?"

        How 'bout Israel removed all settlers from all occupied territories, instead of "the lands Sharon wants evacuated?"

        "we know that their are Israelis willing to peacefully negotiate"

        We also know that the Israelis are not willing to give up the land they are illegally occupying.

        •  throughout your postings on this thread (none)
          and especially in this one, you persist in identifying Israelis with the very small minority who are settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. Admittedly, Israeli governments have bent over backwards to appease these settlers. But this has been mostly out of political necessity in forming coalition governments. The patience of most Israelis with the intractable ideological stance of the settlers wore thin long ago, and now there is a lot of pressure on the government -- the Likud government -- to stop pandering too.

          You would not want all Americans (including yourself, of course) to be identified with the current administration policies. Please extend Israelis the same courtesy of not presupposing that a small minority is representative of the whole country.

          •  Re: throughout your postings on this thread (3.00)
            "throughout your postings on this thread and especially in this one, you persist in identifying Israelis with the very small minority who are settlers in the West Bank and Gaza."

            The settlers are there as a result of deliberate long-term policy of the Israeli government to legitimize the annexation of part or all of the West Bank.

            "Admittedly, Israeli governments have bent over backwards to appease these settlers. But this has been mostly out of political necessity in forming coalition governments."

            Again, the settlers are there because of Israeli governmental policy.  The settlements policy was designed partly to create a domestic constituency for preventing withdrawl.

            "The patience of most Israelis with the intractable ideological stance of the settlers wore thin long ago, and now there is a lot of pressure on the government -- the Likud government -- to stop pandering too."

            I think you badly misread the Israeli political situation.  There is little domestic pressure to remove the West Bank settlements.

            ---

            "Please extend Israelis the same courtesy of not presupposing that a small minority is representative of the whole country."

            A small minority?

            Israel has illegally occupied the territories for over 35 years now.  Israel has been building illegal settlements in the territories for over 25 years now.

            As a democracy, more than a small minority of Israelis have been complicit in the occupation by this point.

            You seem to think the issue is the settlers.  The real issue is the occupation.

            •  every (none)
              israeli I know,and I know quite a few, oppose settlements, and have been actively working against changing Israeli policy for at least 15 years. There are regularly large anti-settlement protests in Israel by Israelis. There are many Israelis who, working with Palestinian groups, have arranged very visible protests against the building of the Wall. A large part of the problem is that Israel is a multi-party, rather than a two or three party, parliamentary system. In most recent Israeli governments -- Labor and Likud alike -- the governing party in order to be governing has had to broker deals with one or more of the many ultra-orthodox parties that leverage the deal around settlements.
              My point is simply that you extend the many Israelis, and yes, there are many, the same courtesy that you would want extended to yourself by Europeans and Middle Eastern Arabs who are vehemently anti-US. There is a vocal opposition there, just as there is here.
              •  Re: every (2.00)
                "My point is simply that you extend the many Israelis, and yes, there are many, the same courtesy that you would want extended to yourself by Europeans and Middle Eastern Arabs who are vehemently anti-US. There is a vocal opposition there, just as there is here"

                Nowhere have I said there isn't a section of Israeli society that opposes the settlements.  Of course there is.  But so what?  There was a section of Serbian society that opposed Milosevic's policies.  Does that mean people shouldn't have spoken out against Serbia?

      •  I rated you troll because this is offensive (4.00)
        As the husband of a Palestinian woman, I find your stereotyping extremely offensive. "The majority of Palestinians have always wanted nothing less then the total destruction of Israel," is ridiculous.  If you were just speaking of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, then I would have no argument with the statement. However, "the majority" and "It's in their laws and their teachings," is just plain racist. I'm not even going to challenge you on specifics because that would dignify your silliness with debate.  As an African American male, I encounter silly "they" statements all the time.  Take a look at yourself, evaluate your racism, and get it together.  As long as you are willing to look at another people group as "they" and make sweeping statements about what "they" believe, you engaging in the same type of behavior as George Bush and his buddies.  Stop the madness.  As I am seriously offended, I encourge others to rate your comment as a troll comment too.

        A BLI (Black Liberal Intellectual)

        by shinsetsuguy on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 08:51:01 AM PDT

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        •  Racist? (none)
          No...just observing a group and commenting on their group actions of the majority is not racist. It might be if it were incorrect or misleading.

          Yes, individuals on both sides are working towards a peaceful resolution including a true Palestinian state and it can't come soon enough for me.

          I also belong to a minority so I do know something about prejudice.

          But it's interesting that no one has answered my first question...how long would Israel survive if she unilaterally laid down her arms and conceded to most of the demands put to her.

          George W. Bush - Often wrong, but never in doubt!

          by auapplemac on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 11:53:41 AM PDT

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          •  No one is asking... (none)
            Israel to lay down its arms. All it has to do is withdraw to its 1967 borders. In exchange, here is what it would receive:

            1. An unambiguous right to exist as a state.

            2. An iron-clad security guarantee from the international community against any threat from Palestine or other Arab countries.

            So in answer to your question, Israel would not only survive but enhance its security if it withdrew to its 1967 borders.
            •  Were is it written? (none)
              By the time the International Community would act, Israel would be no more. They would argue it to death.  Who should do what to whom and how.  Would they actually send in armed troops to counter any offensive?

              Sorry, the IC does not have a very good record of acting quickly. Just look at Dufur - how many more people have to suffer and die before someone steps in?

              Would be nice if we could depend on a united front, but there is not.

              George W. Bush - Often wrong, but never in doubt!

              by auapplemac on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 08:56:03 PM PDT

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              •  First of all... (none)
                Israel does not need the international community to defend itself. Not now and not in the forseeable future. It has the most well-trained army in the region with by far the most sophisticated weapons including an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

                And you are seriously delusional if you think the international community's (especially America's) response to an attack on Israel would be the same as their (its) response to the crisis in Darfur. The pro-Israeli lobby in the US is so powerful and efficient, one can barely criticise Israel without being labelled anti-Semitic. Imagine the hue and cry they would justifiably raise if Israel actually faced an existential threat.

                In case you are still unconvinced about the power of the pro-Israeli lobby, consider this. Is there any country other than Israel that could have its semi-official lobby in the U.S. under investigation for espionage, and yet have that lobby courted, praised, and visited by the official representatives of both major parties, including a sitting National Security Advisor? No, my friend. Only Israel wields that kind of clout in the US.

                So breathe easy, my friend. Israel is not going to be wiped off the face of the earth if it pulls back to its 1967 borders.  

        •  Verification v. Villification (none)
          "The majority of Palestinians have always wanted nothing less then the total destruction of Israel," is ridiculous.  If you were just speaking of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, then I would have no argument with the statement. However, "the majority" and "It's in their laws and their teachings," is just plain racist.

          Since the original author made empirical claims, I think the claims need to be tested before we get to the question whether the claims are "racist."

          "Always" is usually a dangerous claim to make.  Until sometime in the 1990s, it was clear that the official Palestinian position, embodied in original and the amended Palestine National Covenant, called for the total destruction of Israel.  To the extent one accepted the PLO's claim to be the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," I suppose one would have to say that the majority of the Palestinian people wanted to destroy Israel.

          At some point prior to the Oslo Accords, there began to be a willingness on the part of some signficant Palestinian figures to accept a two-state solution to the conflict.  In the mid-1990s, the PLO voted to amend its National Covenant to delete provisions purporting to nullify the State of Israel.  But it is not clear that the Palestinian Authority and its leaders made significant efforts to persuade most Palestinians of the virtues of a peaceful, two-state solution.

          As for public opinion, according to the most recent (June, 2004) poll I could find from the (Palestinian) Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre:

          45.5% [of Palestinians] believe the end result of the Intifada is to liberate all of historic Palestine compared with 43% last October, and 47% in December 2002.  Of those interviewed, 42.3% said the end result of the Intifada is to end the Israeli occupation based on UN Resolution 242 and the establishment of the Palestinian state compared with 44.6% last October.

          Poll no. 51 - June, 2004

          •  Still racist (none)
            The comment was "the majority"... In any of these numbers, there is no number above 50%, which would constitute a majority.  Therefore, the majority of Palestines don't support the destruction of Israel by that measure (assuming these polls are right, i.e. how did they do them, what's the margin of error).  My point, and it doesn't matter auapplemac if you are a minority or not, is that making categorical statements about a group of people that fit a stereotype, particularly a negative one, is racist!!! It's just like saying "the majority of black people are on drugs."  Nobody on this board would tolerate such a comment. While there may indeed be a sizable drug problem in the black community, its crazy to say something like that. I love my Jewish brothers and sisters, but it really really makes me angry that the zionist hardliner types have managed to shape the conversation such that people feel free to say racist stuff (and don't even acknowledge it). All Arabs are not a monolithic group.  All Arabs are not violent sucide bombers in waiting who want to destroy Israel.  Stop the madness!!!!!!  Stop the denial.  What you said was wrong, and the first step to no being a racist is to admit it.

            A BLI (Black Liberal Intellectual)

            by shinsetsuguy on Sat Oct 30, 2004 at 06:48:57 AM PDT

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