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View Diary: What's the matter with Israel? (209 comments)

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    •  Neither did the 1948 war. (15+ / 0-)

      The whole conflict started in the late 1920s, really. The purposes of the ongoing war changed with time, so that Arabs became less annihilationist in their strategic goals, and the Israelis went from desperately clinging to territory to standing confidently on it and reaching for more.

      Maybe it's just me, but it seems that if a war has gone on for eighty years with no real conclusion, then

      (a) Nobody's really trying that hard, and
      (b) everyone involved needs a good swift kick in the arse.

      It becomes really clear, though, that the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing when it comes to Israeli politics - it's probably the same here, somewhat, where the military and other security forces are off doing their thing (with their slow-to-change policies, preference for security through overwhelming force and oftentimes resentment for civilians giving contradictory orders) while the politicians are worried about elections, coalitions, and all too often, corruption.

      Not that the PA's house is in order either, I just confess that I don't really care anywhere near as much.

      Policywise it's like this, right? The USA and Israel are friends... right? So, they should start acting like responsible friends to one another. One of the things responsible friends do is say things like, "Gee, Ehud, Tzipi, what you're doing doesn't seem so wise. Maybe you should try something else..." or maybe, "Watch out, Barack, you know what they say about it being impossible to take and hold Afghanistan."

      My nametag says, "Yes, I can help you." Don't believe everything you read.

      by Shaviv on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:36:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The main problem is (10+ / 0-)

        That Israel hasn't decided what its end game is: Green line? Wall? Greater Israel? Bantustan? The schizophrenic answer to that question prevents Israel from even having negotiations, much less good faith negotiations.

        And this is all complicated by a voting system that gives the smallest parties a seat at the table. Imagine how dysfunctional the Congress would be if we had to deal with coalitions involving the Greens, Libertarians, Naderites, Constitution, Natural Law, and LaRouchies.

        The Knesset is in severe need of representative districts to whittle down the fringe.

        •  I like this (6+ / 0-)

          That Israel hasn't decided what its end game is: Green line? Wall? Greater Israel? Bantustan? The schizophrenic answer to that question prevents Israel from even having negotiations, much less good faith negotiations.

          "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

          by Euroliberal on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:12:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually I think it decided decades ago (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rusty Pipes, greeseyparrot

            and in recent years has moved towards implementing its 'vision' on the ground, unilaterally and by force. As the UN OCHA reports, Israel has constructed in the West Bank

            "an entrenched multi-layered system of obstacles and restrictions, fragmenting the West Bank territory and affecting the freedom of movement of the entire Palestinian population and its economy. This system is transforming the geographical reality of the West Bank and Jerusalem towards a more permanent territorial fragmentation"."

            This "permanent territorial fragmentation" has been sharply accelerated following the Annapolis conference, and there are few signs of any change in direction. Government-issued tenders for construction in occupied East Jerusalem increased by a factor of 38 in the months following the Annapolis summit, for example, while the number of tenders issued for settlement construction in the West Bank increased by 550%. Rhetoric aside, the Israeli state has long been clear about its plans for occupied Palestine, and if anyone's in any doubt about what they are, just take a look at a map of today's West Bank.

            •  Just don't see evidence of that (0+ / 0-)

              Loose plans and decisions, maybe but an overall plan cannot be deduced from past and current actions.

              I don't think the Gaza situation as it stands now is the preferred situation they envisioned thru some long-term plan.

              "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

              by Euroliberal on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 10:10:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The current situation in Gaza (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Euroliberal, weasel, greeseyparrot

                was openly planned for - the documents are now in the public domain (see David Rose's article in Vanity Fair, for example). Perhaps the only downside from the U.S. and Israel's perspective is that Hamas hasn't been defeated yet (far from it). The rest has gone pretty much according to script.

                As for an overall plan for the West Bank - Israel has been pushing pretty much the same proposal for over four decades now. Most recently it was turned down by Arafat in 2000, whereupon Israel simply began implementing it on the ground by force. Compare map of what was offered at Camp David to what the West Bank looks like now. They're basically identical. And it has all been planned, initiated and driven by successive Israeli governments in full knowledge of what they were doing. You don't think building the wall was part of a larger plan, even though everyone from Tzipi Livni to Shimon Peres admits it is intended to serve as a political border? You don't think the progressive confinement of Palestinians to within a few built-up, non-contiguous cantons surrounding by Israeli settlement and military infrastructure was planned? The World Bank recently released two reports documenting in detail exactly how this was accomplished, through a system of physical and administrative restriction designed and implemented for precisely this purpose. You think it's an accident that the settlements happen to be located in strategic points throughout the West Bank, including around East Jerusalem, on the most fertile land and most valuable water resources? The Israeli state has been crystal clear about its intentions for decades, and we have seen those stated intentions being implemented on the ground exactly according to script. Of course there's an over-arching plan: namely, to subjugate the West Bank, permanently.

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