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This is the third and concluding diary in my agonistic politics series, exploring the political theory of how irreconcilable adversaries can coexist in a democratic state.  The series originated in a long and dense diary on agonistic political theory and its possible application towards resolving the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.  Because of the abstract nature of that diary, I decided to break it down conceptually into three distinct parts, and the result is this series.  The first diary in the series discussed how adversarial relations create political identity, while the second discussed how and why the theory understands enemies as distinct from adversaries.

This diary will apply those theoretical insights to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and show that a one state solution -- which would involve Israel annexing the West Bank and Gaza, making the current residents of the territories full citizens of Israel, and allowing Palestinian refugees from third countries the right to return to Israel -- is the only outcome promising long-term peace and stability.

Agonistic politics requires that adversaries accept each other as legitimate opponents with whom they have irreconcilable differences.  It is hard to see that either Israelis or Palestinians accept the other in this way today.

Let's look at the extremes of political discourse on each side.  On the Israeli side, the most extreme position would have to be represented by the proponents of transfer, such as Olmert's Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman.    Lieberman, of course, has proposed exchanging majority Arab territories inside Israel for Jewish settlements inside the West Bank and has been quoted saying that some 900,000 Israeli Arabs "have no place here.  They can take their bundles and get lost."

Lieberman, that is, supports the physical separation of Palestinians and Jews -- creating a physical space in which the other is absent and where Jews can live without adversaries or enemies.  His is an extreme position espoused by a small minority of the Israeli population, but it represents a logical extension of the general Israeli approach to Palestinians since at least 1948.

On the Palestinian side, suicide bombing also attempts to physically negate the other.  The most common reading of Palestinian suicide bombs is as an irrational extremist effort to completely expel Jews from Palestine.  From the point of view of agonistic politics, however, the suicide bomb is somewhat more complex than that.

Israelis focus rightly on the mayhem produced by the bomb, on the innocent lives lost, on the victims permanently maimed as a result of the hideous cynicism of the bomb's makers.  The suicide bomb is an act of premeditated mass murder, made even more ugly by the fact the killer has picked his victims at random.

But the suicide bomb is also an act of suicide, of consciously taking one's own life.  Normally we associate suicide with desperation, with a personal existential crisis, with a sense of helplessness facing forces beyond one's control.  In a suicide bomber that desperation mixes with murderous intent -- it is a dual act, at one and the same time taking one's own life and killing as many of your adversaries as you possibly can.

In this sense, the suicide bomb is the culmination of an existential crisis for the Palestinian extremist.  He can't live with the Jews, but he can't live without them either, so he resolves his inner conflict explosively, destroying both himself and as many Jews as he can.

Like transfer, the suicide bomb negates the democratic possibilities of agonistic politics, and like transfer it is a step taken by a very small minority of extremists.  Yet public opinion polling (poll data from January 2006) among Palestinians shows that a majority support such actions.

Extremism -- defined here in agonistic terms as the desire to eliminate one's enemies -- exists therefore on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Unless there is a radical change in the way Israelis and Palestinians view each other, extremist politics will continue to appeal to a significant proportion of the population on both sides.

The international consensus position, officially endorsed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, is that a two-state solution can resolve the political crisis.  But can two states actually wean Israelis and Palestinians away from the desire to eliminate their enemies?

Jeff Halper, writing in Counterpunch two years ago, argued that the Palestinian areas of Mandatory Palestine might just barely constitute a viable state:

Just the size of the American state of Delaware (but with three times the population before refugees return), it would at least have a coherent territory, borders with Israel, Jordan, Syria and Egypt, a capital in Jerusalem, a port on the Mediterranean, an airport in Gaza, a viable economy (based on Holy Land tourism, agriculture and hi-tech) and access to the water of the Jordan River. An accepted member of the international community enjoying trade with its neighbors--and enjoying as well the support of a far-flung, highly educated and affluent diaspora--a small Palestinian state would have a shot at viability.

Israel, however, has been working to reduce that viability.  The Israeli vision of the future would be to:

establish a tiny Palestinian state of, say, five or six cantons (Sharon's term) on 40-70% of the Occupied Territories, completely surrounded and controlled by Israel. Such a Palestinian state would cover only 10-15% of the entire country and would have no meaningful sovereignty and viability: no coherent territory, no freedom of movement, no control of borders, no capital in Jerusalem, no economic viability, no control of water, no control of airspace or communications, no military--not even the right as a sovereign state to enter into alliances without Israeli permission.

According to the World Fact Book, The Palestinian Territories showed a decent GDP growth rate in 2005 -- 4.9% -- but GDP per capita worked out to about $1500 per person.  The corresponding figures for Israel (2006) were 4.5% and $26,200.

The Palestinian poverty rate, meanwhile, was nearly 46% in 2005, and the unemployment rate was a staggering 20.3%.  Israel's poverty (21.6%) and unemployment (8.3%) rates were not great in real terms, but they were much, much better than the Palestinian ones.

The Territories are also densely populated, with an average of some 1600 people per square mile (the corresponding figure for Israel is almost half that at 890 per square mile), and considering the overwhelming youth of the population (64% of Palestinians were age 16 or younger in 2004) the stress on the carrying capacity of the land is only going to get worse in the foreseeable future.

Now, the only realistic outcome of any solution to the Isreali-Palestinian conflict is to reduce the number and political influence of extremists on both sides.  A two state solution, creating an artificial state on the overcrowded, impoverished terrain that already exists in the Palestinian territories, would be extremely unlikely to produce that result.  In fact, it is more than highly likely that Palestinians will continue to feel a high degree of resentment towards Israel and Israelis, and Palestinian irredentist claims on Israeli territory would continue to find a receptive audience among the Palestinian public.

On the Israeli side, the creation of a dependent and impoverished state is unlikely to decrease the tendency of right-wing politicians to dream of a Greater Israel, from which all Palestinians would be removed.  In recent history, the most reactionary elements in Israeli society get strengthened when the perceived threat from the Palestinians is high.  In June 2004, as the al Aqsa intifada reached a peak, a University of Haifa poll (Ha'aretz article republished here) found that 64% of Israelis supported encouraging Israeli Arabs to leave the country.  If Israel feels the need to defend itself from an independent Palestinian state, you can be certain that some Israelis will propose -- and many more will consider seriously -- the idea of removing all the Palestinians from the geographic unit known as Mandatory Palestine.

A central idea of agonistic politics is that for enemies to become adversaries, they must agree on something.  Dividing Palestinians and Israelis into separate states guarantees they will agree on nothing.

Bringing them together into a single state, however, opens the possibility they could agree on the defense of that state.  They might agree on nothing else, but you could win both sides over to a common and joint sense of loyalty to that nation-state.

This series began with, was in fact inspired by, an article published in Al Ahram -- the English-language Egyptian weekly -- by Mohammed ben Jelloun, a Swedish-Moroccan agonistic theorist.  ben Jelloun wrote on the prospects for agonistic politics in Lebanon, a multiethnic country characterized in the recent past by a bitter civil war.  Here's how he defines the essential conditions for an agonistic state to emerge:

Such a republican multinational state needs no common nationality to assert itself on democratic grounds. All it needs is a unanimously acknowledged political arena. It need not suppose nationhood or communal belonging as the basis for the solidarity and trust needed to sustain its (agonistic) democratic rule, but only the "community" of agonists; of citizens who identify with a multilevel political arena -- internal, communal, then inter-communal or domestic national, then inter-national.

ben Jelloun finds compelling evidence that Hezbollah has already committed itself to a Lebanese national state, that it has subordinated "the Islamic nation to the Lebanese state" (emphasis in the original).

If Lebanese Shi'a, Sunni, Christians and Druze, who only a few short years before had been engaged in one of the bloodiest civil wars on the planet, can reach common grounds of agreement and disagreement, why can Palestinians and Israelis not do the same?

Now, I know some will say a one-state solution lies outside the realm of possibility, that the two sides will only agree on two states.  To me, that argument begs the question.  The point is to end the conflict.  If two states will not end the conflict -- and I am certain they will not -- then we must do whatever we can to reach the solution that will end it.

That solution involves one state, open to and guaranteeing the rights of Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

Originally posted to litho on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:15 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Thanks litho. This should be fun to watch (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, Eric S

      wearing rose colored glasses of course

      "Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." ~ Diderot

      by Bouwerie Boy on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:15:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tipped, because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, james risser

      I think this is a thoughtful contribution to the I/P debate. Unfortunately, I think it's far more idealistic than realistic, and I don't think it will ever play among the Israeli electorate. But interesting nonetheless.

    •  A few comments and corrections. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, Eric S, Corwin Weber

      Thank you for a thought-provoking, albeit insufficiently explained and ultimately unpersuasive, diary.

      1. You write: "Agonistic politics requires that adversaries accept each other as legitimate opponents with whom they have irreconcilable differences." I think you meant to write either "do not have" or "have reconcilable differences."

      1. You do not explain, at least not in a way that I can see and understand, how coming together in a single state will transform Israelis and Palestinians into citizens with reconcilable differences. Indeed, I do not understand you to have explained ways and means of getting to your preferred one-state scenario. Nor do you really explore the possibility that, as with the Republic of Ireland and the U.K. or France and Germany, to name just two examples, peaceful inter-state relations facilitate the transformation from apparently eternal enemies to cooperators and even friends. Indeed, the experience of these two sets of former enemies belies your contention that "[d]ividing Palestinians and Israelis into separate states guarantees they will agree on nothing."

      1. Regarding the political extremes in the two societies, you don't seem to attach any importance that the transferists, although represented in the cabinet, are a distinct minority, whereas the negators of Israel currently dominate the government of the Palestinian Authority.

      1. Your analysis of Palestinian suicide murderers overlooks the fact that they arise in a society that glorifies "martyrdom" and that most of the suiciders apparently sincerely believe that the manner of their dying will take them directly to paradise.

      1. I have seen per capita GDP figures that show an even greater disparity between the Israeli and Palestinian populations, more on the order of a 25-1 difference, at least between Israeli Jews and Palestinians in the territories. I think you at least need to consider how this nationality-related economic gulf would affect relations within a single  state. Even if there were no other exacerbating circumstances, and of course there are many, I think this alone would be a huge problem.

      1. Your comparison of population densities suffers, I believe, from the inclusion of the Negev desert in Israel. In other words, the really inhabited part of Israel is very much smaller than the entire country. Accordingly, the density of the inhabited parts of Israel is, I believe, very much greater than your figures suggest. If I'm wrong, please provide sources.

      1. Your presentation of what you call "[t]he Israeli vision of the future," as though there is only one future vision, ignores both the multiplicity of Israeli visions of the future and the fact that polling data have consistently shown support among a majority of Israelis for an end-of-conflict peace settlement on much more realistic terms than the ones you portray. Indeed, while Israelis may disagree vehemently about the achievability of peace -- primarily because they disagree about the seriousness and credibility of the Palestinians' interest in such a settlement -- there is good reason to believe that a majority of Israelis would support an end-of-conflict settlement that involved Palestine having almost all of the West Bank (with a mutually agreed, equal swap of territory from within sovereign Israel). Barak's December 2000 acceptance of the Clinton Peace Parameters is a significant indicator, but not the only one, of Israeli willingness, in the right context, for the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem also to become part of Palestine.

      The deal-breaker is any right in Palestinian refugees to relocate to sovereign Israel. If this point is unacceptable to a dove like Yossi Beilin, and it is, you need very strong evidence and reasoning to explain how you expect to be able to sell it as part of a one-state arrangement. Moreover, when Palestinians seriously consider an end-of-conflict peace settlement with Israel, they, too, accept this Israeli red line. See, e.g., the Sari Nusseibeh-Ami Ayalon People's Voice and the Geneva Initiative.

      There's more that I could add, but I probably have gone on too long already.

      Al Gore should be president.

      by another American on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:38:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pegasus

        unless I'm mistaken, the whole point of agonism is to enable a situation whereby even those people/groups who have irreconcilable differences can live together.

        •  Surely, the differences must be reconcilable (0+ / 0-)

          to the extent that the people or groups are enabled to coexist together within a single society and governmental structure.

          Al Gore should be president.

          by another American on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:26:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps you should read (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sofia, heathlander

            the earlier diaries in the series.

            The theory holds that people with irreconcilable differences can still live together in a democratic society.

            My contribution in this diary is to suggest that only such an outcome for Israel holds the promise of lasting peace.

            •  For different contending groups to regard (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eric S

              each other as legitimate opponents within a single society, they must regard at least some of their differences as reconcilable. For the rest, they must be willing to tolerate a situation in which their views may not prevail on issues of great importance to them.

              To offer a very mundane example. The members of the American League have an irreconcilable difference: each wants to win the league championship. Nevertheless, they regard each other as legitimate opponents. Indeed,  it is only their cooperation is mutual opponents in a common league that makes their endeavor to win the league championship possible.

              This example suggests that your definition might be reformulated to read: "Agonistic politics requires that adversaries accept each other as legitimate opponents with whom they nevertheless have some irreconcilable differences." This revised formulation makes it easier to see that the very act of regarding one or more others as legitimate opponents means that some important differences indeed have been reconciled.

              In all events, I await with interest what you have to say about my remaining six comments. Also, I did read the earlier articles in this series. Indeed, I commented on at least one of them.

              Al Gore should be president.

              by another American on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 05:13:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did you read the second diary (0+ / 0-)

                on enemies versus adversaries?

                The whole point of writing a series was to establish a common language to talk about this stuff, to make "agonism" a shorthand to refer to a very complex set of related concepts.

                I'm not interested in arcane definitional debates, and the theory is quite clear that agonistic politics refers to irreconcilable differences within a common loyalty to a single nation-state.

                That you're raising these issues here suggests that even if you did read the diaries you didn't understand them.

                Read them again.

                •  I'm sorry you're uninterested in (0+ / 0-)

                  a civil conversation.

                  Al Gore should be president.

                  by another American on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:19:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The diary says (0+ / 0-)

                    this:

                    A central idea of agonistic politics is that for enemies to become adversaries, they must agree on something.  Dividing Palestinians and Israelis into separate states guarantees they will agree on nothing.

                    Bringing them together into a single state, however, opens the possibility they could agree on the defense of that state.  They might agree on nothing else, but you could win both sides over to a common and joint sense of loyalty to that nation-state.

                    And then it quotes ben Jelloun to say this:

                    Such a republican multinational state needs no common nationality to assert itself on democratic grounds. All it needs is a unanimously acknowledged political arena. It need not suppose nationhood or communal belonging as the basis for the solidarity and trust needed to sustain its (agonistic) democratic rule, but only the "community" of agonists; of citizens who identify with a multilevel political arena -- internal, communal, then inter-communal or domestic national, then inter-national.

                    I'd say the terms were sufficiently well-defined in the diary.  That you bring them up here says to me you are either a) misreading the diary or b) being intentionally obtuse.

                    Either way, I don't see the point of continuing the conversation with someone who either has no interest in or is incapable of a real dialogue.

  •  If it were up to me, there'd be one bi-national (3+ / 0-)

    state.

    But, it ain't up to me or anyone else besides the Palestinians and Israelis.

    Could it work over time?  Sure, if you give it a generation or two.  But, the far more immediate concern is to stop the wretchedly stupid and self-destructive behavior on both sides.

    •  You're right about who will make the decision (6+ / 0-)

      I guess the question is what kind of advice and advocacy we can give them from the outside.

      American Zionists, such as another American here on dkos, are pushing hard for a two-state solution.  This diary attempts to show why their efforts lead in exactly the wrong direction.

      •  We have to forge a solution with the Israelis (6+ / 0-)

        and Palestinians we have, not the Israelis and Palestinians we wish we had.

        Getting Israelis to agree to dissolve their own state isn't a credible starting place.  Heck, they haven't even stopped building those goddamn settlements.

      •  Cheers, litho (5+ / 0-)

        I think a two-state solution is the best hope for at least an intermediary solution. If that goes well, then perhaps there may be further positive developments in the future - a federal system, and perhaps even eventually a single, democratic state.

        (Btw - I should point out that, at least as far as I can see, Lieberman doesn't represent an extreme fringe. Many of his views are simply what others tihnk but dare not say. Olmert outlined his philosophy pretty bluntly a couple of years ago: "maximum Jews, minimum Arabs." People may differ on how to achieve that goal, but that is the goal. See, for example, all the article that appeared in Israeli papers on Independence day. Did you notice how obsessed they were with demographics? See here, for example. My feeling is that this ideology is too deeply embedded for an agonistic solution, at least until after a period of relative calm and peace, which would hopefully be achieved via a two-state solution.)

        •  I think you are clearly... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brittain33, mickT, another American

          ...overstating the popularity of Leiberman's views.

          Lieberman's party has never garnered more than 10% of the vote.  Labour Party leaders, representing the second largest bloc of the electorate, threatened to bring down the government when he was brought in by Olmert, choosing not to only when the current polls reflecting leads by Likud and Netanyahu persuaded them the timing was wrong to do so.  Meretz, Ra'Am-Ta'al, Balad, and Hadash, who collectively represent more votes than Leiberman's party, strenuously objected to his inclusion and his confirmation as a cabinet minister.

          That Israel and Zionism are defined by the mission for Jewish political self-determination is hardly an endorsement by Israelis for Leiberman or his ideas or methods.  When the far left in Israel continues to gain more votes than he does, it is indeed misleading to the point of dishonesty to say so.

          The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

          by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:38:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In the public, you're right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            james risser

            I'm talking about in the political sphere. Lieberman says what much of Kadima and Likud think. The guy's not a lunatic-radical, unfortunately. He's come right out of the mainstream.

            •  Again... (3+ / 0-)

              ...my point is that your basis for that is wrong.

              First of all, it seems hard to argue that any person unable to garner more votes than Meretz, Balad, and Hadash is not a radical.  But again, you are failing to distinguish the idea that Israel should have a Jewish majority from the notion that Israel is entitled to Greater Israel and that they should use whatever methods they must to achieve that.  Indeed, considering that Kadima was founded specifically by those who chose to repudiate Greater Israel, the suggestion seems wholly without merit.

              Either you do not understand fully what it is Leiberman stands for, or you have a very poorly formed notion of what Likud and Kadima do stand for.

              The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

              by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:50:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What I'm saying is that (4+ / 0-)

                many of his views and much of his ideology comes from exactly the same stock as much of Likud and Kadima. In other words, it's hardly some fringe radicalism (unless Likud and Kadima count as fringe radicalism). It's from the mainstream.

                Let's take a look. In 2001, Lieberman proposed splitting the WEst Bank into four non-contiguous cantons. Unfortauntely, as we know, this was a mainstream opinion (it was effectively what Barak offered at Camp David - he offered three as opposed to four). The offer was rejected and so now, with the help of the 40% increase in roadblocks last year, the WB is split into dozens of small de facto cantons with limited freedom of movement between them.

                Before joining the current Coalition, Yisrael Beitenu demanded that illegal outposts in the West Bank not be evacuated. And indeed, they haven't been - on the contrary, settlement activity has increased.

                Lieberman calls for things like loyalty tests for the Arab minority. And indeed, only recent the Shin Bet declared the Arab minority to be a threat to national security. Lieberman's whole attitude towards the Israeli Arabs is shared by many in Kadima and Likud and in much of Israeli society. See Olmert describing the Arab community in Israel as "a manageable problem", for example, or see today's Ha'aretz article by Ariel Sharon's son.

                Lieberman has opposed diplomacy with any Arab party, and up until very, very recently so has Kadima. Even the recent openness towards talks with the Arab League are not genuine - they come with extreme reluctance at the behest of the U.S.

                And Yisrael Beitenu is certainly bubbling just under the surface, waiting to come out. A poll conducted for Yedioth last November showed that Yisrael Beitenu would win 20 KNesset seats (only Likud got more) if elections were held immediately.

                As Gideon Levy writes,

                "Lieberman to power? He has already been there a long time."

                •  You cannot cherry-pick... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  another American

                  ...from the statements of Leiberman which are the least objectionable to attempt to give a rounded view of what he stands for.

                  He is a politician.  Naturally, it behooves him to support the policies most in line with his philosophy.  So, of course, you will see him in agreement with the mainstream Israeli right on those issues.  But it is not out of shared beliefs - he is more like the recent alliance between Pat Buchanan and the anti-war left.  He sees the value politically in endorsing and supporting right-wing policies that aid his cause.  That hardly means that the core of his beliefs have considerable constituency with even the Israeli right, much less the Israeli mainstream.

                  The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                  by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:13:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, they are actually pretty extreme statements (4+ / 0-)

                    which is why the other parties generally don't openly say those kind of things. They just do them. I agree that Lieberman's fantasies of a Greater Israel are not as widely shared any more as they used to be (although I suspect many in Likud still feel warm thinking about it). But many of his "extreme" views, reactionary and offensive views, are actually quite mainstream, which was the point I was making.

                    •  To a degree, fair enough... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...in any case, pointing out how the far left of Israeli politics outpolls Leiberman was the main value of my debating this with you.

                      After all, Palestinian nationalist parties are over half the vote of Yisrael Beiteinu.  That says a lot to me.

                      The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                      by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:19:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Where, incidentally, are you getting (0+ / 0-)

                        the polling numbers from? Because, you know, polls can be pretty misleading (as we've discussed before). So for example last November, as I say, polls showed that Yisrael Beitenu would get 20 seats - only Likud scored higher.

                        •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          another American

                          ...I'm not using polling numbers.  I'm using the 2006 election results.

                          Yisrael Beitenu - 281,880 8.985% 11 seats

                          Me'retz - 118,302 3.77% 5 seats
                          Ra'am-Ta'al - 94,786 3.02% 4 seats
                          Hadash - 86,092 2.74% 3 seats
                          Balad - 72,066 2.30% 3 seats

                          I tend to place little faith in polls, particularly within Israel.

                          The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                          by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, right (0+ / 0-)

                            well, I suspect that come next election there will be some change in favour of Yisrael Beitenu (thanks in part to significant parts of the Israeli publics taking what I feel are the wrong lessons away from Lebanon and the Gaza withdrawal, as we've tlaked about briefly before).

                            Hopefully, though, this shift won't be too great. More likely is that Likud will be the greatest benefactor from this change in attitudes, and indeed latest polls show that Likud would win if elections were held tomorrow (that's also down to Netanyahu's cornering of the 'Iran' market, as you noted). In any event, choosing between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu is like choosing between a smelly turd and a slightly smellier one. Sure, I'd go for the least smelly, but the difference is pretty marginal.

                          •  To some extent... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            another American, heathlander

                            ...if elections are held without any real political changes, you may be right.  But Israeli Arabs are chronically underpolled, and the failure of Labour will likely lead to big gains for Meretz and Hadash as well.

                            That being said, I think election as dogcatcher is above Netanyahu, so I hope we're wrong.

                            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                            by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:40:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I def hope we're wrong (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            litho, Jay Elias

                            The thought of more Likud makes me feel queasy. If +only+ all those who voted for the Pensioners' Party as a sort of protest vote last time would've just voted for Meretz instead. Sigh.

                          •  Maybe next time they will... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            heathlander

                            ...or perhaps they will ally with Meretz and their bloc in the Knesset in the future.

                            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                            by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:48:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's been said that Israelis are the only (0+ / 0-)

                            people who tell the truth to pollsters and lie at the voting box. Whatever the truth of that comment, if polls were reliable, then Shimon Peres would have been elected Prime Minister.

                            Al Gore should be president.

                            by another American on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 06:49:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  simple question: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                litho

                ...why does such a raving demented lunatic have a position in the present government???

            •  lieberman is closer to a.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              litho

              ..."genocidal-maniac-in-waiting" if you ask me.  

              i'm guessing you are going to be hard-pressed to get anyone here to agree that he actually represents the thoughts and desires of israel's current and, especially future---should binjamim win--leaders. wouldn't be the best p/r for the home team!

              but, hey, what do i know?

  •  "The Israeli version of the future" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay Elias, Eric S

    What you quoted:

    [The Israeli vision of the future would be to] establish a tiny Palestinian state of, say, five or six cantons (Sharon's term) on 40-70% of the Occupied Territories, completely surrounded and controlled by Israel. Such a Palestinian state would cover only 10-15% of the entire country and would have no meaningful sovereignty and viability: no coherent territory, no freedom of movement, no control of borders, no capital in Jerusalem, no economic viability, no control of water, no control of airspace or communications, no military--not even the right as a sovereign state to enter into alliances without Israeli permission.

    Haven't people gone back and forth on this quite often on Daily Kos, and demonstrated that a much more viable offer than this has been made? Even the more controversial readings of the offers made under Clinton did not include "five or six cantons" or less than "70%" of the territory in the West Bank. Certainly nothing like 40%.

  •  Long on the theory (0+ / 0-)

    Very interesting ideas here, but I don't think your taking into account the religious elements. Your policies here seem to depend a lot on some logical arguments, but by the very nature of some Palestinian groups resistance is religiously based and thus can't be argued with logic.

    Obviously there are more pragmatic groups who realize that Israel is not going anywhere, and that striking a deal would be in their best interest.

    Still any deal remains impossible as long as one large wing is disregarding any signed peace agreements to continue to fight the Jihad, you can't expect Israel to act peacefully when half the groups are playing nice, and the other half are openly waging a war.

    Then Israel responds, and then all groups must be forced to respond or loose their legitimacy. I'm afraid that much like a cancer, some elements need to be removed.

    A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. -H.L. Mencken

    by CynicalPartisan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:26:04 PM PDT

    •  Hmm (8+ / 0-)

      religion is a symptom far more than it is a cause. It grows when convenient (in times where fighting against all odds is needed, for example), and wanes when it ain't.

      It's interesting that you frame everything in terms of Palestinian attacks and Israeli responses (and that you don't mentioned Jewish religious fanatics, only Palestinian ones).

      "Partisan", indeed.

      •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brittain33

        When a radical hard line Israeli group gains control of the Israeli government, I promise to focus more on them.

        Hamas though can't be called anything but hard line.

        As for the "Partisan" comment, perhaps you would feel better if I were "partisan" if they were your views..

        A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. -H.L. Mencken

        by CynicalPartisan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:37:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps I would (5+ / 0-)

          not really relevant, though. What makes me feel better is hardly important.

          I would definitely say, by any reasonable criteria, that the current leadership of Israel is more hardline than Hamas. In terms of violence, it has employed both violence and terror on a far larger scale than anything Hamas has done. In terms of the 'peace process', Hamas has at least been ambiguous on the matter. Olmert's government has always been explicit in its rejection of the international consensus two-state settlement.

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

            would definitely say, by any reasonable criteria, that the current leadership of Israel is more hardline than Hamas. In terms of violence, it has employed both violence and terror on a far larger scale than anything Hamas has done. In terms of the 'peace process', Hamas has at least been ambiguous on the matter. Olmert's government has always been explicit in its rejection of the international consensus two-state settlement.

            Your flat out wrong, Hamas has been the one to refuse all attempts at peace. They refuse to acknowledge Israel exist, and refuse to renounce violence.

            Both of these are legitimate expectations if Israel is to agree to anything, second Hamas broke the peace deal, the one they failed to stand by, because they failed to stop rocket groups from sending rockets flying into Israel.

            Now they've broken truce, yeah there really the moderate of the two.

            A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. -H.L. Mencken

            by CynicalPartisan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:48:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (7+ / 0-)

              I won't go into all that again, because it's off topic from litho's excellent diary, and also because when you say things like "your flat out wrong" without actually providing any evidence, it's a strong signal that discussion isn't really worthwhile.

              Suffice to say, of course Hamas has not been "the one" to refuse all attempts at peace. What attempts at peace? From the minute Hamas came into power, when it was in the middle of a year long unilateral ceasefire, Israel and the international community immediately announced they wouldn't recognise it and moreover that they'd starve the PA, and hence the Palestinian people, into submission (until they got rid of Hamas). When that didn't work, Israel launched a massive offensive in Gaza lasting months and killing hundreds of civilians. The Quartet "principles" are totally ridiclous - both instrinsically and because none of them are being demanded of Israel. As to the truce - it was doomed from the start when Israel refused to extend it to the West Bank. It's equivalent of Hamas calling for a truce with most of Israel whilst continuing to fire on Tel Aviv.

              •  Agree to disagree (0+ / 0-)

                Indeed, and you so keenly avoid mentioning Hamas's failure to stop the rockets from pouring into Israel. You seem to be unwilling to condemn the Palestinians, much like it might appear I'm unwilling to condemn the Israeli's.

                We could go round, and round with this argument. I don't think were going to agree, we might just have to agree to disagree.

                A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. -H.L. Mencken

                by CynicalPartisan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:02:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I'll second much of what heathlander (7+ / 0-)

      has already written, but add in that the religious dichotomy you point to is not at all incompatible with agonistic theory.  In fact, religion may very well be the archetypal kind of irreducible difference the agonists write about.

      Comparison to Lebanon is useful here.  As we all have learned from the experience of the Iraq war, Sunnis and Shi'a consider each other apostates.  That is, they each believe the other has not only falsely interpreted the one true religion, but they actually believe the other has sold out to the devil.

      If people who think the other represents Satan can agree to compete peacefully within the state, as Lebanese Shi'a and Sunni are reaching towards, why can't Jews and Muslims -- not to mention Palestinian Christians -- reach a similar accommodation?

      •  Because.. (0+ / 0-)

        There are some elements, groups, zealots that can't be argued with. There belief in their own rightness would blind them to anything, I believe that an agreement with someone like Fatah is possible, it's merely elements like Hamas that need to disappear to make it happen.

        A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. -H.L. Mencken

        by CynicalPartisan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:39:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The fact that there are some (5+ / 0-)

          groups who can't be argued with is part of the key insights of agonistic theory.

          The belief that Hamas must be eliminated in order to achieve peace is not dissimilar from the theoretical position of Carl Schmitt, who also believed in essential conflicts between enemies that at times could only be resolved through a fight to the death.

          Schmitt, of course, joined the Nazi party...

          •  So? (0+ / 0-)

            The fact that one man joined the Nazi party doesn't change the basic truth, some people can't be dealt with through diplomacy.

            A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. -H.L. Mencken

            by CynicalPartisan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:49:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  SOME people can't... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              litho

              ...I have a very hard time believing that the political wing of Hamas is among them, and if they are, Israel is indeed in a great deal of trouble.

              The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

              by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:02:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nice Quote (0+ / 0-)

                I believe considering the peace true just ended, things are about to get very interesting.

                A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. -H.L. Mencken

                by CynicalPartisan on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:06:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Eh (4+ / 0-)

                  I seriously doubt that the end of the truce will be particularly lasting.

                  The Hamas government was not on board with the actions of the al-Quds brigades, and considering the lack of effectiveness of their actions, I'm quite sure that the prospect of a possible prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit will be more than enough to induce them to reestablish the hudna.

                  The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                  by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:09:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  isn't that what michael ledeen... (4+ / 0-)

            ...and other neoconservatives believe as well?

            ...and they joined the republican party.

            •  We can make this a game, if you like (0+ / 0-)

              The Muslim and Arab groups who supported the Palestinian cause all endorsed George W. Bush in 2000. I/P transcends party labels in this country.

                •  Here you go (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  another American, Eric S

                  AMPCC endorses Bush for presidency

                  Oct 23 [2000]: four Muslim organizations joined forces to found the American Muslim Political Coordination Council (AMPCC), to rally an Islamic vote behind one of the presidential candidates. AMPCC endorsed George W. Bush, who had met with American Muslim representatives early in the campaign and had also spoken out against so-called "secret evidence" provisions of recent immigration laws that allow for the detention of non-citizens without full disclosure of the evidence against them. AMPCC consists of  American Muslim Alliance, American Muslim Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations,  and Muslim Public Affairs Council.

                  Bush support among Arab-Americans tumbles

                  Detroit's influential Arab American Political Action Committee shocked Michigan political analysts by endorsing Democrat Dennis Kucinich for the nomination [in 2004]. Osama Siblani, the organization's leader, told The Associated Press that the group endorsed President Bush in 2000 but felt "stung" by the administration. Now it has decided to support candidates for their "principles" rather than their "electability."

                  There is a lot of useful text under What Caused the Shift at this link. Npbeachfun, Feanor, it should provide you with the background you're looking for on the 2000 election.
                  U.S. Muslim coalition endorses Bush - George W. Bush - Brief Article

                  Swayed in part by George W. Bush's stance against racial profiling of Arab-Americans in the United States, the political arm of a Washington-based American Muslim group endorsed the Texas governor's White Housecampaign.

                  At a news conference October 23 in Washington, the Political Action Committee of the American Muslim Political Coordination Council cited remarks Bush made during the second presidential debate as central to its support for his presidential bid.

                  ...

                  Those words showed that Bush "has elevated the level of his concern about civil rights of Arab-Americans in the United States," said Yahya Basha, president of the American Muslim Council, one of four member organizations of the Political Coordination Council. The other organizations that make up the council are the American Muslim Alliance, the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

                  American Muslim Task Force’s role in 2004 election

                  In 2000, African American Muslims, who are generally Democrat, were particularly upset that American Muslim organizations, instituted by the immigrant majority, had endorsed the Republican candidate without regard to their opinion and interests.... Muslim organizations had developed links with the Republicans during the 2000 campaign. The community must renew and strengthen those links. It should avoid ridiculing or condemning those Muslims who may choose to work with the Bush campaign or the Republican Party."

    •  Cuts both ways. Israel is religion-based. (0+ / 0-)

      Consider this statement:

      any deal remains impossible as long as one large wing is disregarding any signed peace agreements to continue to fight

      There are blocs in Israel as intent on disregarding peace agreements as there are in Palestine.

      The thrust of the diary is to recognize that, and deal with it. It's not necessarily logic, but necessity and an understanding of human nature, which I think the agonistic theory supports.

      This is a reality-based community. Those who wish to live outside it should find a new home. This isn't it. -- Kos--

      by ormondotvos on Sun Apr 29, 2007 at 07:10:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heh (6+ / 0-)

    What ben Jelloun conveniently leaves out is that, of course, Lebanon has most certainly not reached common grounds of agreement and disagreement.  Indeed, that is both a highly optimistic at least, biased at worst, reading of the actions and statements of Hezbollah, much less their interactions with the Shia Amal party with whom they have partnered electorally.  It also entirely overlooks the interaction between Hezbollah and the Phlange, hardly an unimportant relationship if one is going to examine the future and current climate in Lebanon.

    But moving on from the more laughably obtuse observations about Lebanon, I continue to oppose this, as does even the most extreme left of Israel.  If Avnery and Gush Shalom oppose this utterly, the likelihood of its taking place in even the remote near future is nil.  And that is assuming, since no data that I can locate exists, that there is any support for this among Palestinians or other Arab nations.

    As an intellectual exercise, this was interesting.  As an actual matter of policy, it is even more bone-headed, in my opinion, than the libertarian extremists out to eliminate the income tax.  And less likely to take place.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:27:05 PM PDT

    •  Here's the income tax b/s in Georgia (0+ / 0-)

      Fervent faith in Fair Tax defies reason

      I wouldn't want to accuse Georgia's Fair Tax movement of being a cult, but it does have a disturbing number of cult-like attributes. Among other things, its adherents display an almost religious fervor for their cause, to the point that they become blind to the obvious irrationality of claims that are made on its behalf.

      Please tell me this isn't a nationwide cult.

  •  My previous experience with agonistic theory (8+ / 0-)

    is fairly slim, and I haven't read your background diaries, so forgive me if I'm a tad off base here.

    My impression is that the "unanimously acknowledged political arena" ben Jelloun stipulates (I'll just borrower Habermas and call it the Public Sphere) as a necessary condition for agonistic politics should logically precede the emergence of adversarial parties.

    For example, we have a roughly agonistic situation in the US right now, which works because of the historic (although now declining) health of our Public Sphere.  It was not always so -- ideological tensions existed amongst the founders, sure, but with them all working within the framework of Enlightenment liberalism, the founders' differences were all quite reconcilable.  The Constitution set up a durable framework which allowed the nation to endure later ideological ruptures, and we see a fairly successful agonistic political society in the US today.

    In Israel/Palestine, on the other hand, we're looking at enemies (not even adversaries) with no Public Sphere to speak of.  It does not follow, then, at least to my way of thinking, that throwing them together in a single state will create an Israeli/Palestinian Public Sphere sui generis.  Forcible pacification of both sides, probably for generations, would have to come first.    And I don't see where that will reasonable come from.

    If we're going to walk into walls, I want us running into them at full speed.

    by Pegasus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 02:32:35 PM PDT

  •  Suicide bombing taken out of reference (3+ / 0-)

    In some religions that believe in the afterlife, suicide bombing is seen as a POSITIVE action.  You gain admittance to paradise, and your earthly relatives praise you.

    In the real world, we think this is barbaric and insane.

    You can't consider it a negative decision based on your cultural norms- you have to consider how they view it, and how they come to that decision.

    •  Moreover... (5+ / 0-)

      ...the University of Chicago study, led by Robert Pape,  clearly distinguishes between most types of suicide and what they describe as altrustic suicide.

      Suicide bombers psychologically are most like soldiers jumping upon live grenades to spare their comrades.  Their actions are undertaken out of a sense of duty, not desperation.

      The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

      by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:04:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and, the main thesis... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weasel, heathlander

        ....of pape is this

        SUICIDE BOMBERS ARE A RESULT OF AN OCCUPATION

        without an occupation, the existence of suicide bombers would approach ZERO, sooner rather than later.

        did you overlook that part?  just curious....

        •  Not at all, James... (6+ / 0-)

          ...I don't know what it is about me that continues to have people saying, even when they know better, that I support anything other than the unconditional end to the occupation yesterday.

          The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

          by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:23:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  with your gravitas... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            litho, Jay Elias, scoff0165

            ....on the issues here, perhaps a diary written by you reviewing pape would be an interesting exercise....

            in the post-heine world, i don't want to write it because i just don't want to get involved in the banning bullshit and the haters, but, coming from you, people would actually believe it!

            just a thought... no one reads my stuff, and i don't want to see 57 recipes again---it just isn't worth it.

            •  It is a good idea... (4+ / 0-)

              ...I very much wanted to get to Pape and to suicide bombing as the culmination of a study by myself on the failures of strategic bombing in general, but that study rapidly became so huge as to be unmanageable for dKos.  You may have noticed that I have a strong interest in military history and tactics, and that I have an interest in writing in counter to how much of our defense spending and strategy is composed.  But if I'm going to write a book, I won't write it for free.

              That being said, the work of Pape and the University of Chicago needs better exposure here, and perhaps I am well-suited to do it.

              The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

              by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:33:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  great! (4+ / 0-)

                ...i trust we here will all get free copies :)

                and, i can think of no one that would be better-suited to write about pape w/o keyboards melting!

                thanks for considering it...

                •  You may be right... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  npbeachfun, james risser, heathlander

                  ...to my thinking, the evidence accumulated in support of Pape is so overwhelming as to be utterly undeniable.  Yet, in a horribly disturbing way, myths about suicide bombing continue to predominate, from the specious notion that it is related in any way to Islamic fundamentalism to the premise that it is not goal-oriented behavior.

                  So, it is a suggestion that holds a lot of sway with me.

                  The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                  by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:43:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've yet to read Pape, actually (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    litho, Jay Elias

                    His book's been on my list for some time, but I've never actually got round to buying it. Certainly will do now, though - sounds essential.

                  •  Jay (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Corwin Weber

                    myths about suicide bombing continue to predominate, from the specious notion that it is related in any way to Islamic fundamentalism to the premise that it is not goal-oriented behavior.

                    so how long will it be till the Palestuinians realize that suicide bombing is a self defeating tactic - look what it's wrought....

                    Israel builds a wall that has encroached over the green line, perhaps as a political response to the blood it has shed via Palestinian suicide bombings. So Israel is taking land as a response, and suicide bombings have been greatly reduced - that's a lose/lose for Palestinians....yet still Hamas glorifies the act on Hamas TV. That's bad political judgement.

                    the world looks at suicide bombings as depraved

                    J Carter said they were the near destruction of the Palestinian cause

                    promotes further stereotyping of Palestinians as terrorists

                    destroys/perverts the culture as a whole

                    but also doesn't Islamic fundamentalism encourage suicide bombings with it's enterties that Allah will look favorably on the bomber?

                    also Jay:

                    How do u believe a unilateral withdrawl from the West Bank, without a political settlement, will work this time when it didn't work in Gaza or Lebanon?

                    Good catch .. ./ weasel

                    by Keith Moon on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 05:12:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  And I suppose the suicide hijackers on 9/11 (0+ / 0-)

          fit totally in context with your view?

          •  They do entirely... (5+ / 0-)

            ...as well as being included in the U of Chicago study.  Indeed, the choice to target the United States, as opposed to Israel, is a strong piece of evidence for this argument.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:46:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It does not fit with history (0+ / 0-)

              They didn't attack the US because of Israel, they attacked the US because of our presence in SA.

              People kill themselves as you'd earlier suggested, out of a sense of duty- which in the context of being in a situation without any immediate threat is a selfish act.  They are doing it for "points", karma, religious props.

              It isn't driven by politics, it is driven by a hideous form of self promotion, which is supported by individuals that stay alive.

          •  yes.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            litho

            ...an mr bin laden told us as much in october 2001, if anyone was listening.

            three reasons:

            occupation of palestine
            ocuupation of saudi arabia
            sanctions against iraq

            •  I give less credence... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              james risser

              ...to bin Laden's statements than I do to the actual strategic thinking he has been exposed to and the actual anticipated and unanticipated results of the action.

              The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

              by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:54:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's a bullshit talking point (0+ / 0-)

              But that's not why the hijackers did it.  They did it to make their leader happy, not to protest conditions.  They were spurred into action by religious, and cultural beliefs which both permit and encourage this irrational action.

              •  choose to believe whatever... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                litho

                ...floats your boat.

                i have read his words, and i give them just a teeny bit more weight than yours!

                have a nice day!

                •  Sure, you can believe a mass-murderer (0+ / 0-)

                  I prefer actual logic to bullshit.

                  •  Firstly, (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    litho, scoff0165, james risser

                    that he's a mass murderer doesn't mean he isn't able to tell us why he perpetrated the killings.

                    Secondly, what matters is not so much what Bin Laden himself thinks, but why movements and ideologies like his enjoy the extent of support or even sympathy that they do. That, I think, is what's really important, and IMO it has nothing to do with religion. The causes are complex and they vary, but certainly the fact that many people around the world share legitimate grievances against the West certainly creates sympathy for groups like al-Qaeda.

                    •  Nothing to do with religion? (0+ / 0-)

                      It has everything to do with it.

                      How many Christians are in Al Qaeda?

                      Anyone who sympathizes with AQ should have their heads examined.  Sympathize with groups seeking non-violent constructive solutions, not butchers.

                    •  You both have a point... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      litho, james risser

                      ...bin Laden is no more honest in his statements than Cheney; both are attempts to gain support for their point of view.  But, while not honest, bin Laden's statements do give us a valuable window into his own strategic thinking and plans for the future.

                      The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                      by Jay Elias on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:25:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Can you, please, explain (0+ / 0-)

          how AN OCCUPATION motivates Sunni Arab Iraqis to blow themselves up while killing Shia Arab Iraqis? How, precisely, is this a form of resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq? Isn't a better explanation the view that certain Sunni extremists believe that the Shia are not really Muslim and that God desires their deaths? And to the extent this is so as between different branches of Islam, why shouldn't we believe this factor to be at work among Sunni Palestinians, as well?

          Al Gore should be president.

          by another American on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 07:03:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So the diarist... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dvo, Dcoronata, Corwin Weber, dfb1968

    ...opposes the existence of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state, demanding a forced confederation with the territories.

    That makes the diarist "anti-peace" and it doesn't matter if s/he tries to dress it up with political theory.

    If Palestine is not viable, have them take it up with their buddies in Jordan and Egypt.  Because they would just LOVE to coexist with their Palestinian brethren, right?  Right?

  •  I thought Democrats were the ones against (0+ / 0-)

    false equivalency arguments.  Sorry, Lieberman is not the equivalent of suicide bombers.  To say otherwise is to show that you are more interested in your hatred of Israel than in advocating for a peaceful solution for all parties.

    -4.75/-4.26 (although some of the questions are ridiculous)

    by dfb1968 on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:26:51 AM PDT

  •  This diary is splendid. . . (0+ / 0-)

    especially your definition of extremism.  I too favor a one-state solution, but for me it was because of the mere symbolism of the wall.  Two states was no solution for Berlin; one big, many little states was no solution for South Africa.  I believe you have earned my first request for a subscription on dailykos.  Congratulations!

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