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So, I went to check out the Americans for Peace Now Website. A site that supports the Israeli Peace Movement Shalom Achshav. And on that page their was a stirring note from the founder of Shalom Achshav and a highlighted link to one of the tragedies of the conflict. The battle of the Shaya family to retain their home in Jaffa.

As Americans it is important that we call or write our congresscritters and tell them that we want to see a fair solution for both the Palestinian and Israeli people in this conflict. Not just one group but both groups need a chance to live in peace.

A recent poll on ynet just came out showing the majority of Israeli Jews want a two state solution and word is that PM Binyamin Netanyahu is going to institute a 10 month freeze to get negotiations going.

Anyway follow me to learn about the things we can/should be doing to help.

First off, the Shaya family:

You can read the entire saga of the Shaya family in this Haaretz article, but the gist is fairly simple. In the 1920’s, Salim Khoury Shaya, head of Jaffa’s once prosperous Greek Orthodox Palestinian community, built a house for his family. He had seven children. In 1948, a census was taken of the remnants of Jaffa’s Palestinian community. Empty houses were taken over by the State of Israel, according to the Absentee Property Law (more about that at the bottom of this post). The Shaya house was a unique case. Three of the siblings were absent (in Lebanon), but four were present. So the State proclaimed itself "partner" and legally took over 40% of the house.

Decades passed and, except for a number of failed attempts in the 50’s and 60’s, to sue for full property rights, the Shaya family didn’t hear much from the government. Their area of Jaffa (near Ajami) was a slum no one was really interested in. That all changed about four years ago. The Jaffa coast went through accelerated gentrification and property prices skyrocketed. Amidar, the government owned housing company that administrates most Absentee Properties, saw an opportunity for a windfall. Contrary to popular perception, most of the Palestinians living in the area are not descendants of the pre-1948 residents, but descendants of refugees displaced during the war from other parts of the country, and are now tenants of Amidar. Therefore, their eviction, on a variety of pretexts, was relatively simple. In 2007-2008 alone, Amidar issued at least 400 eviction notices in the Ajami neighborhood.

http://coteret.com/...

Truly this is a tragedy and one of the things that many of us on the left HATE about those on the right. They keep doing things to make the transition to peaceful co-existence impossible. They are as bad as any ememy of the two-state solution as they are attempting to harm the people that they are negotiating with for peace. Hardly an encouraging sign.

This case goes to the Israeli courts in January but you can write to the shaya family at: shaya.house@gmail.com (I got this from the blog I am not putting out this as something that was private info.).

For those of us who support the Israeli Left this is a cause we SHOULD be involved with. These people are solid citizens of Israel. It is important that we end discrimination within the state.

We should also be reading the following messsage from A.B. Yehoshua of Shalom Achshav. He makes a great case for the two state solution and why a Bi-national state simply won't work. Further, like I and others have expressed here - the annexation of the West Bank would be a horrible mistake and would lead to dire consequences.

Netanyahu, one of the staunchest opponents of dividing the biblical land of Israel into two states, said recently that he is ready to accept a demilitarized Palestinian state next to Israel. By doing so, Netanyahu joined other Israeli prime ministers who came from the right, such as Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, who opposed the creation of a Palestinian state, only to change their position later.

But let's not fool ourselves. Despite such statements, the path leading to the actual creation of a Palestinian state is still long. In fact, the path leading to the de facto creation of a bi-national state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea - a single state inhabited by two peoples - is much shorter.

Some 1.5 million Israeli-Palestinians live in Israel proper. Another 200,000 non-citizen Palestinians live in East Jerusalem and surrounding areas that were annexed by Israel after the 1967 war. If you add to them the 3.5 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza, the de facto bi-national state today would be composed of 55 percent Jews and 45 percent Palestinians. Given the differing birthrate levels, in several short years that ratio will flip in favor of a Palestinian majority. The Jewish State will, heaven forbid, vanish.

By doing nothing, we are following a short path to an ugly future: Israel as an apartheid state with a Palestinian majority. And following the miserable, violent model of multinational states in the 20th century, such as Yugoslavia, the bi-national state in the land of Israel would likely also be the source of ceaseless violence between two peoples who are so different from each other.

A bi-national state is a proven recipe for the creation of a political monster. It will create an Israel that many Israelis and Jews will not recognize, let alone support or want to live in. It will give Jews the option of living in a country that practices formalized and official Jewish discrimination against Palestinians, or leaving to do what they have done so well throughout history: maintain their identity among other peoples, away from the land of their forefathers.

This is no fantasy. Already some Palestinians have given up on the desire for a state of their own and are instead demanding equal rights in a bi-national state.

One immediate step that must be taken to prevent this dangerous process is to stop the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and to remove the outposts built in recent years. It can be done - it was done in the Gaza Strip in 2005 and in the Sinai Peninsula after Israel signed its peace treaty with Egypt.

http://peacenow.org/...

I think this appeal summons up something better than I ever could and applies to the argument on this site more than ever.

Stopping the settlement of the West Bank is neither a gesture to the American administration nor a gesture to the Palestinians. Stopping the settlements is vital for the sake of our future, for the sake of our Israeli identity, which is gradually being eroded as we proceed toward the abyss of bi-nationalism. We must do it even if we are skeptical as to the ability of the two peoples to reach an agreement of peace and security.

Originally posted to volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 02:28 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  thanks Timaeus (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, mattman, JesseCW, Plubius, fl1972

      Yehoshua's letter explains the Israeli Left's position better than I could ever and the tragedy of the Shaya family NEEDS to be addressed. I emailed them already and I hope they can be helped out of this crappy situation.

      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 02:47:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As an aside (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1

        A.B. is a good intellect, a fair writer.  A great rhetoritician.  And a terrible politician.

        "Jews have been brought back into history.  Zionism is a success.  It created a society with Jewish pimps and Jewish whores."

  •  I am related to the Shaya family (24+ / 0-)

    Their experience is part of the ongoing experience with racism that the Palestinian Israelis  have to suffer in Israel.

    In 1948 members of that family who had fled to Lebanon from the massacres in Palestine were refused reentry into their homeland. They became refugees.

    A proportion of the land and real estate holdings (private property) was confiscated by the state of Israel, which refused the reentry of this non-Jewish family because they were not Jews (simple).

    The idea was since two fifth of the property was owned by absentee land lords (non-Jewish Arabs who had fled)
    the state now owns that part. So pay up rent buddy.

    Much of the Jewish National Fund Land was  acquired in this way, as part of a campaign to redeem the land for the exclusive use of Jews.

    But the absentee land laws and the Jewish National Fund will not be able to withstand the legal campaign being waged in the high court (on a shoe string budget, of course; we don't have the same ability to attract foreign funds as even the settler groups).

     

    Previously I posted under the user name palestinian professor, which is now deprecated. I now post under my late grandfather's name simone daud.

    by simone daud on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 02:51:03 PM PST

  •  ahhh yes (14+ / 0-)

    Yehoshua warning of Palestinian birthrates. With liberals like these...

    •  Yeah whatever... he is right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul in Berkeley, livosh1, Plubius

      If Israel annexes the territories there is a demographic issue. Hence why we want two states. Honestly man, I don't care if you don't like this. This is what it is for me. I want an equitable solution that is not bi-national. Good like trying to get me, most American Jews or most people in Israel to support your fantasy One State Solution.

      BTW, way to downrate someone who has worked hard for a fair solution to the problem between Israelis and Palestinians. Very nice.

      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 02:59:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  uh huh (17+ / 0-)

        yeah, I dunno, I mean, waging an argument based around the cultural incompatibility of Palestinians with Israelis ("two peoples who are so different from each other") and the fear of the rabbit-like reproduction habits of them darn A-rabs really doesn't sound so nice to my ears, but not surprised you approve.

        Yehoshua crystallizes the problems with liberal Zionism. One of his short stories, 'Facing the Forests' has a deaf Arab character who is meant to represent the primitive Arab, rooted to the land, but immune to the progress and civilization brought by secular Zionism.

        As I said, with liberals like these...

        •  LOL nice fallcies (5+ / 0-)

          this:

          yeah, I dunno, I mean, waging an argument based around the cultural incompatibility of Palestinians with Israelis ("two peoples who are so different from each other") and the fear of the rabbit-like reproduction habits of them darn A-rabs really doesn't sound so nice to my ears, but not surprised you approve.

          Our cultures while similar are NOT the same - we are different from each other. One is no better than the other - just different. Don't even tell me we are not. AGAIN NOT BETTER OR WORSE JUST DIFFERENT.

          As for the "rabbit-like" comment - smear much? I don't see that. And birth rates for religious Jews are also increasingly high. But you smear anyway with an interpretation that is all in your head.

          I haven't read "Facing the Forests" but I will. I can't wait to see how you misinterpreted that.

          I think Liberal Zionism scares you because we are not the cartoon characters you like portray Zionists as. You have not once commented on the tragedy of the Shaya family - you are only smearing the diarist and Shalom Achshav. For someone who got all over me in Tom's diary - what are you doing? Why the very thing you accuse me of. Hmmmmm. So if I do it (which I didn't to the degree you are doing) it is wrong but if you do the same - well there is good reason for that.

          Makes sense.

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:17:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Mizrahi, Sephardim and Arabs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zannie, corvo

          seems like some have a history of co-existence and cooperation,

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:19:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah they did very well (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Paul in Berkeley, Gatordiet

            particularly when tossed out of Arab nations in 1948 in response to the formation of Israel. I believe one story is here:

            In May 1949, when the Imam of Yemen agreed to let 45,000 of the 46,000 Jews in his country leave, Israeli transport planes flew them "home" in Operation Magic Carpet. The Yemenite Jews, mostly children, were brought to Israel on some 380 flights. This was one of the most wonderful and complex immigration operations the state has ever known. British and American planes airlifted the Jews from Aden, the capital of Yemen, when they reached the city from all over Yemen after extremely dangerous and risky journeys. The operation was secret and was released to the media only several months after its completion.

            The year 1949 saw massive waves of immigration to Israel. Some 250,000 Jews who arrived that year alone were placed in military barracks and tent camps, and were later moved to ma'abarot [transit camps]. The state nearly collapsed under the burden. Calculations made that year showed that the state needed some $3,000 for the absorption of each immigrant, which meant that the state required about $700,000 for the whole campaign; the entire state budget was less than that. Yet, despite everything, the young state was more than willing to do all that was necessary to absorb the immigrants, believing that this was the reason for its establishment in the first place.

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...

            There was a better situation for Jews in Arab lands than in Christian Lands but they were still second class citizens for the most part.

            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:24:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Yemeni Jews were "tossed out"? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zannie

              really?  Got evidence?

              Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

              by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:30:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do you consider it "tossed out" (3+ / 0-)

                when your community members are specifically targeted for murder and actually murdered?  I kinda do.  That's the case of the Yemenite Jews.

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

                by oldskooldem on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:38:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bullshit (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  protectspice, Gracian

                  Got some evidence for that claim?  

                  Jewish Yemeni's occupied a high rung in Yemenite society, respected for their learning and artisanship, for centuries.  

                  Now they clean toilets in Israel.  
                  That's progress.

                  Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                  by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:44:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Glad you asked (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Plubius

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

                    by oldskooldem on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:47:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  that was then (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Terra Mystica, protectspice

                      this is now.  

                      Immigrants: We were foolish to come here
                      Jews who immigrated to Israel from Yemen three years ago present their dire situation before Knesset's Absorption Committee
                      Miri Chason
                      Published: 11.28.06, 15:06 / Israel News
                      Jews who immigrated to Israel in the recent years told Knesset members Tuesday that they were "deeply disappointed" with the government ministries' treatment of them and that they regret their decision to make aliyah.

                      Representatives of the community attended a meeting of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Affairs and presented to the Knesset members the problems they have been facing since arriving in Israel.

                      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                      by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:48:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  you asked for proof about (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        oldskooldem, Plubius

                        Operation Magic Carpet - at least be gracious enough to admit when Oldskool got ya there. Don't even begin to lie about what happened to Jews in Arab countries after 1948... really...

                        Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                        by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:54:38 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Eiron apparently (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Plubius

                          opposes the actual facts when they don't comport nicely with his narrative.  That's a shame.  The ability to process facts and alter your narrative is a key part of being in the reality-based world.

                          I mean I gave him a link from Al Arabiya--that's not exactly Arutz Sheva or something...

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

                          by oldskooldem on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:59:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  it was the '50's (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Terra Mystica

                          after the Israeli invasion of Egypt and the fear of a 'third column" in Arab countries when it got really bad.  see Iraq.

                          Morocco might be an exception, perhaps Egypt, too.

                          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                          by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:00:45 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No I don't think so in the case of Iraq (0+ / 0-)

                            in fact:

                            Yet, following the end of the British mandate, the 2,700-year-old Iraqi Jewish community suffered horrible persecution, particularly as the Zionist drive for a state intensified. In June 1941, the Mufti-inspired, pro-Nazi coup of Rashid Ali sparked rioting and a pogrom in Baghdad during the Jewish Feast of Shavuot. Armed Iraqi mobs, with the complicity of the police and the army, murdered 180 Jews and wounded almost 1,000 in what became known as the Farhud pogrom. Immediately following, the British Army re-entered Baghdad, and success of the Jewish community resumed. Jews built a broad network of medical facilities, schools and cultural activity. Nearly all of the members of the Baghdad Symphony Orchestra were Jewish. Yet this flourisng environment abruptly ended in 1947, with the partition of Palestine and the fight for Israel’s independence. Outbreaks of anti-Jewish rioting regularly occurred between 1947 and 1949. After the establishment of Israel in 1948, Zionism became a capital crime.

                            In 1950, Iraqi Jews were permitted to leave the country within a year provided they forfeited their citizenship. A year later, however, the property of Jews who emigrated was frozen and economic restrictions were placed on Jews who chose to remain in the country. From 1949 to 1951, 104,000 Jews were evacuated from Iraq in Operations Ezra & Nechemia (named after the Jewish leaders who took their people back to Jerusalem from exile in Babylonia beginning in 597 B.C.E.); another 20,000 were smuggled out through Iran.2

                            In 1952, Iraq’s government barred Jews from emigrating and publicly hanged two Jews after falsely charging them with hurling a bomb at the Baghdad office of the U.S. Information Agency.

                            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...

                            This is long before the 1956 Sinai campaign.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:15:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you make my point (0+ / 0-)

                            Yet this flourisng environment abruptly ended in 1947, with the partition of Palestine and the fight for Israel’s independence.

                            Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                            by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:22:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yep as soon as Jews want a homeland of their (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            livosh1, Plubius

                            own... POW and you with your comment make mine and most others points for us. Don't blame the victim for the problem . Just like you tell us not to blame the Palestinians for their current predicament don't blame Israel for the racism in Iraq.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:25:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you should (5+ / 0-)

                            see the film "Forget Baghdad". It's very very interesting.

                            There was also this very interesting documentary about one of the last Jews in Baghdad and his leaving Iraq for Israel after the US invasion.

                            http://www.youtube.com/...

                          •  Thanks for that.. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            heathlander, sortalikenathan

                            Amazing story, incredibly sad.

                          •  love that film! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            heathlander

                            and route 181, met a guy who helped film both of them.

                          •  I stand corrected (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Plubius, volleyboy1

                            the bulk of Iraqi emigration seems to predate the Sinai incursion.  

                            Yes, the Jews got a homeland, but it had anticipated consequences for the Jews who really didn't have an interest in emigrating.

                            Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                            by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:30:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I appreciate your acknowledgement (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Plubius

                            rec'd for honesty.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:34:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  He's also unaware (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          volleyboy1

                          of the efforts in recent years to rescue the few remaining remnants of the Yemenite Jewish community.

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

                          by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 11:50:35 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Read Weisel's autobiography (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          protectspice

          I think there is one passing mention of Palestinians and that is about terrorism.. After reading about J street's recent conference I am convinced they exist to circumscribe any real opposition to Israeli policies, like the fake unions set up by the AFL-CIO throughout Latin America to undercut real worker's unions.

          As I said, with liberals like these...

          •  LOL you have a real (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            livosh1, zemblan, Plubius, Gatordiet

            lack of understanding of Israel and Jews if that is what you think.

            Honestly man, that is just not true. We are not going to fall in line with what you want but that doesn't make us a cover for fascism.

            Anyhow... believe what you will - I cannot force you to like us.

            Read this though and tell me what you don't like:

            www.peacenow.org
            www.meretzusa.org

            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:27:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually (6+ / 0-)

              I have no problem with peace Now or other like minded groups. I think they, like you, are part of the solution, not the problem. The leadership of J street seem to be much more conservative than the rank and file, and I think they are there to circumscribe real dissent. That said, I remember the Portuguese army officers in Anglola who were tasked with counter-propaganda and who as a result studied Marx, Fanon, and people like Neto. These junior officers eventually brought down the Portuguese dictatorship in a bloodless revolution. Sometimes it's hard to discern were such movements like J street end up. Hope springs eternal. By the way, I like all people a priori. It is all an atheist like me has.

        •  I have to agree with you, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sortalikenathan

          although I was hesitant, as it is a good way to get lambasted. I know, since when has that ever stopped me from saying what's on my mind.

          But this idea that there are "two peoples who are so different from each other" ignores that these differences are contrived. Perhaps engrained over thousands of years, but nonetheless contrived. It is no secret that Jews and "Palestinians" share the same descendants. (I use the quotes, because to me they are all Palestinians.)

          No one is special because of who they were born to.

          As if we could make things better without making them worse.

          by A Voice on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:27:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is not a matter of being (0+ / 0-)

            "special" we are different. Perhaps one day 3-4,000 year ago we were the same but not now. Our traditions and cultures shape us differently.

            It is two peoples now not one no matter how much you want to deny that.

            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:30:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then you are basically saying (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eiron, protectspice, sortalikenathan

              the two different cultures cannot live peaceably in the same country? Really? Have you tried not humiliating and stealing from that other culture? Maybe it would work out better if they stopped being treated like secondary citizens?

              I'm sorry. But this looks like a purity thing. That is scary. Especially coming from the Jews. If anyone has learned what kind of havoc and destruction racial purity can cause, it ought to be the Jews.

              I am just talking about how it looks from here. I hope I am proven wrong and your two state solution works out as you want it to and peace will reign in Palestine.

              As if we could make things better without making them worse.

              by A Voice on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:44:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not sure how you get (0+ / 0-)

                this;

                I'm sorry. But this looks like a purity thing. That is scary. Especially coming from the Jews. If anyone has learned what kind of havoc and destruction racial purity can cause, it ought to be the Jews.

                Who said anything about purity - anywhere. Please find me a quote that says that. This seems like an unwarranted attack because I don't know of anyone on my side that I agree with advocating "racial or religious purity"

                You also say:

                Then you are basically saying the two different cultures cannot live peaceably in the same country? Really? Have you tried not humiliating and stealing from that other culture?

                You do know about Hebron and Jaffa and the Etzion bloc and Haifa massacres - right? A fine example of side by side cooperation.

                Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:54:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Consider this, though (3+ / 0-)

                  Who said anything about purity - anywhere. Please find me a quote that says that. This seems like an unwarranted attack because I don't know of anyone on my side that I agree with advocating "racial or religious purity"

                  No, no one's said exactly that, at least not here.  But can you understand why someone might be uncomfortable with this:

                  A bi-national state is a proven recipe for the creation of a political monster. It will create an Israel that many Israelis and Jews will not recognize, let alone support or want to live in. It will give Jews the option of living in a country that practices formalized and official Jewish discrimination against Palestinians, or leaving to do what they have done so well throughout history: maintain their identity among other peoples, away from the land of their forefathers.

                  What Yehoshua is effectively saying is that the way to avoid having an apartheid state (in the case of a one-state Israel) is to make sure that there aren't enough Palestinians in such a state for it to be a problem.  In other words, policies that would result in apartheid against a Palestinian majority are not a problem if there is a Palestinian minority.

                  Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                  by Linnaeus on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:40:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No see that is (0+ / 0-)

                    not right when you say:

                    What Yehoshua is effectively saying is that the way to avoid having an apartheid state (in the case of a one-state Israel) is to make sure that there aren't enough Palestinians in such a state for it to be a problem.  In other words, policies that would result in apartheid against a Palestinian majority are not a problem if there is a Palestinian minority.

                    I don't know anyone who does not advocate for fair treatment of a Palestinian minority. I think the "in other words" is your interpretation as opposed to what we know it means. I am not being snarky here - I think this is the difference in perspective. unspeakable made some good points relative to that translation as well. But it is as the movie title goes: "Lost in Translation" and it is the messanger that is causing that perhaps.

                    Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                    by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:59:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fair treatment of a minority, sure (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      heathlander

                      I don't know anyone who does not advocate for fair treatment of a Palestinian minority.

                      I think we all do.  But why would a bi-national state necessarily result in apartheid due to formalized discrimination against Palestinians if there came to be a Palestinian majority in a single state? Is Yehoshua admitting that such discrimination already exists or that somehow such discrimination would have to happen in a one-state solution?  

                      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                      by Linnaeus on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:21:21 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No... he is talking about (0+ / 0-)

                        democracy. If you had a bi-national state then you would have no Israel - Homeland of the Jewish people. BECAUSE he and I and most others believe that democracy is the key. He says very clearly if there is a single state and it maintains a Jewish character it would become aparthied and he does not want that.

                        He is saying the only way for a Single State to remain Jewish is to become a discrimminatory state and that is wrong.

                        Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                        by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:30:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Precisely (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          heathlander

                          He is saying the only way for a Single State to remain Jewish is to become a discrimminatory state and that is wrong.

                          Right.  And that's the crux of the issue for me with respect to this particular argument.  Democracy is undermined in a multinational/multiethnic state when one group is privileged over another (the United States is itself proof of that).  But if the main priority with respect to Israel is to preserve Jewish political power, than equality for non-Jews is only acceptable if their numbers are sufficiently low.

                          I'm not saying that Yehoshua wants an apartheid state; but instead of questioning the notion that Jewish political power must predominate in Israel, he concludes that it's better to keep Palestinian numbers in Israel down by giving them somewhere else to go.

                          That, in the end, may be the only real solution that we can achieve.  I'm not saying a two-state solution won't work or that the people in the region don't want a solution.  I just find Yehoshua's argument discomfitting.

                          Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                          by Linnaeus on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:46:38 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have to go home from work but i will be back (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Linnaeus, blueness

                            to answer this. Great discussion man...

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:48:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, it is (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            blueness, heathlander, volleyboy1

                            This diary is a good one and has fostered some good conversation, which is hard to find on this topic sometimes.  I may not be around later, but will read when I can.

                            Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                            by Linnaeus on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:54:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok back ... to answer (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Linnaeus

                            But if the main priority with respect to Israel is to preserve Jewish political power, than equality for non-Jews is only acceptable if their numbers are sufficiently low.

                            'Tis true that non-Jews would have to be a minority and hence why the two-state solution is important. Because in within the area that we are talking about Jews outnumber non-Jews about 80% - 20%, so yeah that is important. If it changes from there in that state then that is what happens and I can live with that.

                            I'm not saying that Yehoshua wants an apartheid state; but instead of questioning the notion that Jewish political power must predominate in Israel, he concludes that it's better to keep Palestinian numbers in Israel down by giving them somewhere else to go.

                            Precisely - he does not want an apartheid state and he does not question that Israel is/should be a Jewish State. That is the nature of Zionism. We want a Jewish Homeland so we don't question that. But for Liberal Zionists despite what you hear down thread we want there to be a Palestinian State as well.

                            The one misnomer is that people would have to "go" not in pre-1967 Israel they would not... And the people in the W.B. would get their fields and homes back as part of a Palestinian state.

                            That, in the end, may be the only real solution that we can achieve.  I'm not saying a two-state solution won't work or that the people in the region don't want a solution.  I just find Yehoshua's argument discomfitting.

                            Yehoshua is arguing precisely for places of equal rights where majorities in democratic settings rule and where each nationality has a homeland.

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 06:37:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            heathlander, volleyboy1, canadian gal

                            Can't really stay to continue, but I wanted you to know that I read the comment.

                            Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

                            by Linnaeus on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:35:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks appreciate you saying so. (0+ / 0-)

                            Have a good evening!

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:38:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  This is a silly comment (0+ / 0-)
        •  Gosh, I read that story (2+ / 0-)

          in an Israeli literature course in college.  What a racist piece of garbage!  I wrote my term paper for that class on Emile Habibi's "Pessoptimist" and the Zionist professor had to be convinced it was Israeli literature.

          If Israelis and Palestinians...can struggle together, then this movement will embody the world they wish to create... -Sami Hermez on BDS

          by soysauce on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:21:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not just you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, canadian gal

        The half of Israel that wants to cut a deal.  The other half wants to expand.

        Those are the choices.  

        No nation ever willingly cedes its sovereignty.  Since Israel will neither, any talk of "binational" is either moot, or a declaration of war.

  •  I need some insight (0+ / 0-)

    How tightly linked, in terms of constructive solutions, are the issues of Arab Palestinian Rights within the borders of Israel, and the matter of Palestinian Statehood in the occupied territories?

    Can they be addressed separately?  

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:07:35 PM PST

  •  Won't a two state solution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plubius

    create a whole bunch of situations like the Shaya Family. Are you going to kick the Palestinians out of Israel when they get their own state?

    As if we could make things better without making them worse.

    by A Voice on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:32:44 PM PST

  •  asdf (12+ / 0-)

    If I wanted an argument for the two-state solution, the last person I would go to would be someone like Yehoshua, a man whose opinions about Palestinians and their situation can be summed up as, "If only they were a less violent people, so that we could treat them like human beings."

    Now that the people like Yehoshua see that the violent, culturally incompatible Palestinians are starting to slowly give up (of course in their thinking, this is a magical and unexplainable phenomenon) on the desire for their own state, whereas in the past 20 years they sat on their hands watching as things crumbled around them, now they rush to get their government to do something about it.

    The ignorance of Palestinians under which Yehoshua operates is quite evident in his writing, where he only calls for those settlements and outposts (as if the two are all that different) must be frozen in the West Bank only. In Jerusalem, which is West Jerusalem and occupied East Jerusalem plus 70 sq. km. of land it stole when it annexed the occupied parts, land theft may continue apace.

    I appreciate your efforts, vb. But Yehoshua isn't presenting anything we haven't heard before. If he's only now coming to the realizations that he's come to, it only demonstrates the depth of the poverty of his thinking.

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

    by unspeakable on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:36:39 PM PST

  •  "Architecture of Apartheid" (11+ / 1-)

    Hey guys, this is sortof a post and run as it is so late here, but I wanted to drop an interesting article from Znet, the title of which is above. Its not a happy article, but very interesting- this was the town a friend of mine lived for a semester and did her architectural thesis. Some of her colleagues worked with Architects Sans Frontiers in the same town and made an exhibition at the Modern/Architecture museum here in Stockholm last year. The stories reflect the same picture.  

    The word "Revenge" is scrawled in Hebrew on a Palestinian school in Hebron. The windows are covered with screens and the play yard obstructed with more screens tipped with barbed wire, to obstruct the stones regularly pelted down by Jewish settlers. The space between the school and the neighboring building is blocked off with large, wooden slabs, to ensure that Palestinian school children do not encroach into settler territory. Nearby checkpoints and cameras placed on rooftops serve as constant reminder that these kids' every movement is monitored and contained.

    This schoolyard scene, on an empty weekend day, illustrates the separation and containment that has become written into the architecture of Hebron. In this city where 1,500 Israeli soldiers are stationed on any given day, the 170,000 Palestinians living here are kept under constant watch, their movements restricted while their safety is under constant threat. The Jewish settlers who have been moving in since the late '70s, now numbering 800, are known for repeatedly attacking Palestinians while Israeli soldiers sit idly by.

    Walking into Hebron literally feels like a nightmare. Shahuda Street, one of the main roads, is traveled only by settlers on foot or in speeding cars, soldiers and police, and packs of fighting dogs. Palestinians living on this street have to climb into their houses from the rear, either cutting across neighbors' rooftops, carving holes in their walls, or, like one little girl we watched, scaling a rope to the second story. Their front doors have been welded shut or barricaded with rusty metal, like the countless shops in Hebron, closed by military order. Streets are sealed off with concrete and bales of ribbon wire.

    Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

    by borkitekt on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:38:48 PM PST

  •  Speaking as a Jew (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Opakapaka, OIL GUY

    I have lost all sympathy for Israel. The Israel of David Ben-Gurion and Golda Mier has long since given way to the Israel of Sharon and the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox.
    The super religious get extra rights (not serving in the military, compensation for having large families and state support for stealing land from the rightful owners) and are allowed to steal the land of others on the lame excuse that "God gave it to us". The seeds of Israel's destruction were planted when one of the super privileged assasinated Rabin. Instead of rising as an outraged nation, Israel meekly submitted to the demands of the minority and granted them more privileges.
    It seems as though the best way to describe the situation is to imagine that the radical-right-christian-republican-teabaggers were given extra tax breaks, encouraged to have bigger families with government subsidies and then turned loose to steal whatever land they wanted.
    I have no sympathy for Hamas, Hesbollah or other terrorists groups, but I really see little difference between the crazies on either side.

  •  Always admired the Isreali Human Rights Groups... (0+ / 0-)

    though I now believe their cause is a hopeless one.

    I noticed volleyboy1 that you make no mention of Jerusalem or exactly where the border of this mythic two-state solution will be. Care to enlighten us?

    •  I have said 1 trillion times (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plubius

      (channeling Dr. Evil here - pinky in the air) that this mythical state (negotiated to at Taba by mythical Palestinians and Israelis) - I think for the 1 trillion and first time - this state would be drawn along the lines of 1967 with small changes agreed to. As far as Jerusalem - Israel retains the Jewish and American quarters of the old City, the Palestinians have some claims on West Jerusalem and the corridor to Mt. Scopus remains open. This was agreed to btw by the Palestinians at Taba.

      Any other questions?

      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:46:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes... what are you going to do to all the... (0+ / 0-)

        concrete highways and fully loaded communities the Settlers have all over the West Bank? We're talking about billion dollar apartment complexes complete with swimming pools, schools, etc.

    •  What about you? (0+ / 0-)

      Anything constructive to add?

  •  Thanks for story, t+r'ed; 2 comments - (7+ / 0-)
    VB, thanks for enlisting Kossacks to help the Shaya family. It is a just cause as ever was one.

    Two comments about your framing though:

    1. Being dispossessed of their home is certainly a tragic process for the Shaya family. But as a 3rd party, it is wrong to call it a "tragedy". Sounds like it could be some natural disaster. Rather, it is a travesty. It is the Banality of Evil employed by the Israeli government, pure and simple.

    2. You write:

    Truly this is a tragedy and one of the things that many of us on the left HATE about those on the right.

    But this is not about "left" and "right". The kicking out of Palestinians in Jaffa - smack in the heart of Israel - from their homes on bureaucratic pretexts, is done by a state-owned company which is neither "left" nor "right". And if you ask common Israelis, they might feel uncomfortable hearing about this story - but when push comes to shove they will shrug it away. There is a subliminal message that all this is for our own good, that if not for these kinds of travesties, Jews wouldn't have the upper hand in the country. In short: a zero-sum or even negative-sum mentality. This is what drives government entities to pursue these policies wholeheartedly, regardless of the personal "left" or "right" views of officials and even of the parties in power.

  •  The emails for Amidar and its CEO: (7+ / 0-)

    company@amidar.co.il and

    yaacov.brosh@amidar.co.il (Ya'acov Brosh)

    "I'm mean in the East, mean in the West. Mean to the people that I like best. ... I push folks down, and I cause train wrecks." Woody Guthrie

    by Terra Mystica on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:55:18 PM PST

  •  heh, its like groundhog day 'round these parts... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul in Berkeley, Plubius, volleyboy1

    in today's version - liberal zionists a bigger threat to peace than extremists. boo-yah!

    "I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

    by canadian gal on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:16:20 PM PST

    •  not a bigger threat, no. (4+ / 0-)

      About the same.

    •  LOL not everyday but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul in Berkeley

      we are an enemy that does not fit the cartoon character persona as well as Likud or Beitanu. Thus we are more dangerous. I wish we were seen for what we really believe not what people want to believe from interpretation.

      Funny thing is that this diary is a good example of the problems at DKos I/P - Most of the great defenders of "human rights" folks won't touch it because of it is my diary... With few exceptions the travesty (hat's off to you Assaf) is not discussed AND this is a chance for Zionists to get involved and help - and no one is speaking up for the Shaya family. It is shameful.

      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:21:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No... (7+ / 0-)

        you're similar to the White moderate...

        I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom;who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

        This is the Liberal Zionist. This is you.

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

        by callmecassandra on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:35:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do not see myself that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terra Mystica

          way but you do thus your perception of me will be that. My wants for this conflict are clear. I diaried them and they fit along with the philosophies of the Israeli Left.

          You don't have to like us nor support us. It is ok either way. I plan to not change a thing in my support for who and what plans. I feel like my conscience is clean here.

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:41:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  vb, I do believe you mean well. (6+ / 0-)

            But you're like those White moderates that MLK spoke of...obstacles to justice, obstacles to equality...for whatever reason.

            Occupied Palestinians and Palestinian refugees deserve justice. Israeli Palestinians deserve equality. Liberal Zionists do not support either of these. You cry for for Palestinian suffering but aren't willing to do a thing about it. In fact, you actually rationalize injustice and inequality.

            Extremists get their power from you, from your inaction, from your lack of conviction, from your unwillingness (not inability) to hold to the values you claim.

            I plan to not change a thing in my support for who and what plans.

            Yes. You're an obstacle, a hindrance.

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

            by callmecassandra on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 06:10:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  sorry cassandra.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          but your inference to the KKK is what earned it.

          "I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

          by canadian gal on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:45:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please explain... (9+ / 0-)

            cause what you posted is not enough.

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

            by callmecassandra on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:47:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes (7+ / 0-)

              are out of bounds. Or something.

              You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

              by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:50:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  i misread... (5+ / 0-)

              removed - not that the analogy is appropriate either, but apologies.

              "I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

              by canadian gal on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:54:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No prob, (5+ / 0-)

                volleyboy1 recommends your misreading.

                By the way, callmecassandra's analogy is incredibly apt. Liberal zionists, by damping criticism of unadulterated evil in the name of "promoting a negotiated long-term solution" at some vague point in the future, in effect further the evil aims. Without their enabling, the evil volleyboy1 criticizes in this very diary could not be maintained.

                You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

                by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 06:13:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is, at any rate, true (5+ / 0-)

                  of most liberal Zionists. Not all of them, though - see, e.g., Uri Avnery.

                  •  Ok I am not being snarky here (0+ / 0-)

                    But are you listening to yourselves. You are out an out reducing Zionism to cartoonish proportions. You are making us out be a bunch of Snidely Whiplash's. Look at your language. No one is cartoonishly that evil. And guess what you have much more in common with the Israeli Right than I do. You have reduced entire political philosphies down to discussions of pure evil v. pure good. According to the Israeli Right and it's proponents you are the ones who are cartoonishly evil. Just look at my argument on Frydaze with Karma. I mean come on.......

                    Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                    by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 06:41:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't see anyone making the argument (6+ / 0-)

                      that liberal Zionists are evil. I think they're saying that most liberal Zionists are actually hurting rather than helping the goal that they support.

                      When they use in the same language that the more conservative/reactionary Zionism uses, especially regarding the "demographic threat," which like it or not is racist, they are granting the underlying premise of the more conservative forms of Zionism. They are ceding the argument to those who do not care for equality or some sort of fair solution.

                      For example, you and others regularly say that Jews will never give up on Zionism, except through a bloody war. When you agree that in order for Israel to remain a Jewish homeland, Palestinians must remain a minority, have you thought through the implications of that? If Jews are so committed to Zionism, what measures will they take to maintain a Jewish majority? Do you not see the dangerous road your argumentation takes us down?

                      Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

                      by unspeakable on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 07:12:41 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No no I am not saying (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hikerbiker

                        that Liberal Zionists are being seen as cartoon like figures I am saying that ALL Zionists are being seen in cartoon terms.

                        They are ceding the argument to those who do not care for equality or some sort of fair solution.

                        See I see just the opposite. We are saying we can't have a Jewish State without Democracy. Pre-1967 borders assures us a majority for a long time but, should it not then that is fine with me. We tried, it changed ok....

                        It is precisely to avoid an aparteid situation that we want TWO states. We (liberal Zionists) don't want a minority state. I think the two states that we are fighting for is a fair solution.

                        When you agree that in order for Israel to remain a Jewish homeland, Palestinians must remain a minority, have you thought through the implications of that?

                        Yes I have - precisely why I want two states. But let's say at some point in the future inside the established borders of Israel - Non-Jews out number Jews. Well, that is what will happen. If we can't keep a majority in our land then the state becomes a bi-national state. BUT by that time the people will have lived together and it will be by full consent of the Jews - who couldn't hold it together to maintain a majority.

                        If Jews are so committed to Zionism, what measures will they take to maintain a Jewish majority? Do you not see the dangerous road your argumentation takes us down

                        I can see how you would say this and honestly you are not going to like my answer but it's honest.... As a Zionist I am willing to take the chance that we can do this the right way without oppresive or unfair measures. But I see your argument. I don't agree with it but I see it.

                        Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                        by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:52:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  With due respect volley, (5+ / 0-)

                          I don't think you see my point.

                          I'm not arguing against two state here. I'm arguing that the way you guys (liberal Zionists) argue for two-states is actually counterproductive because you agree with the premises that the reactionary Zionists lay out.

                          It's very frustrating arguing with you about the demographic argument because you keep saying the same thing without responding to what I'm saying. I'm telling you that the demographic argument is racist. The idea that people who call themselves liberal would say something like, "Palestinians must remain a minority in order for there to be democracy," is mind-boggling. Where is the liberalism in that sentiment?

                          You keep repeating this:

                          Well, that is what will happen. If we can't keep a majority in our land then the state becomes a bi-national state.

                          But you say that Jews are so committed to Zionism that the only way they'll give it up is through their defeat in a bloody war. If such is the strength of their belief in this ideology, do you really believe they'll just sit idly by as Palestinians become a larger and larger portion of the society? You think that if both liberal and conservative Zionists agree that Palestinians must remain a minority, that they'll just throw up their hands and say, "Oh well, we tried" and agree to a state based on equality?

                          As we speak, the Israeli Palestinians are a minority in their country, and despite that people like the Shayas still face this bullshit that no Israeli Jew has to face. You think this will lessen if Palestinians, who are removed from the centers of power, grow in number? The very presence of a minority is threatening to those who use the demographic argument because there will always be a potential for that minority to become the majority. There can be no equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel either in the context of one state, two states, or 69 states, as long as they are viewed as a potential threat to the very nature of the country.

                          Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

                          by unspeakable on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:16:39 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You are mistaken. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm telling you that the demographic argument is racist.

                            This is false.

                            The demographic argument is about the security of the Jewish people.  It has nothing to do with the compatibility of cultures and everything to do with the history of the Jewish people... and the violence that have kept our numbers small.

                            I do not care who the Jews must live under as a minority.  The Palestinians or the Easter Islandish.  

                            It doesn't matter.

                            We will no longer allow ourselves to be subject to the whims of any larger population.

                            As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

                            by Karmafish on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:25:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The fact that the argument (3+ / 0-)

                            is about the security of Jewish people doesn't change the fact that it's racist. You are directly implying that non-Jews are a threat to the security of Jews, but Jews are not a similar threat to non-Jews.

                            Regardless of the history of persecution of Jews by non-Jews, this is still a racist argument.

                            You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

                            by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:32:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You've described the fundamental contradiction (5+ / 0-)

                            we struggle with.  There's no way around that.  In any true democracy there must be the potential for any minority to become the majority and rise to power (through elections, of course).  That cannot be permitted to happen in Israel if it is going to retain it's Jewish character as a safe haven state for Jews.

                            This is why the most just compromise must be to divide the land between Israelis and Palestinians.  It's very messy and neither side will ever be completely satisfied, but that's the nature of compromise.

                            Maybe if the two populations were alone on an isolated planet, they could somehow find a way to share the land, the state.  But given the larger context and history and the fact that the Israelis will always face other enemies who wish for their destruction, they will not willingly give up their sovereignty.  Even a tiny independent state will always be preferable than the mythical shared binational state that some here on the blog dream of.

                            Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                            by hikerbiker on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:35:00 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But, again, you're not addressing my point. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            soysauce, hikerbiker

                            This is why the most just compromise must be to divide the land between Israelis and Palestinians.  It's very messy and neither side will ever be completely satisfied, but that's the nature of compromise.

                            For the sake of my point, I'm assuming you mean that the division will be along the Green Line. If meant something else, please correct me.

                            In the case of a division of the land, then you're still left with this dilemma where 1 in 5 Israelis are Palestinian, and therefore, the potential for them to become the majority, which is something that all Israelis are aware of, is still hanging over Israel's head. Do you think demographic arguments will end then? Or do you think they'll be put off for a little bit to be resumed once Palestinians form a larger percentage of the population?

                            As long as you guys (not you personally) talk about Palestinians as if they're breeding-crazy rabbits whose behavior is threatening to the very nature of the country, the potential for them to become the majority will always be at the forefront of any policy regarding them. In this discourse, the only way to get rid of this threat is to eliminate their ability to become the majority, which, and perhaps this is a result of my poor imagination, would necessarily involve crimes against humanity.

                            I want to make clear, I'm not arguing against the two state solution. I'm arguing against your arguments, which I believe actually hurt its prospects.

                            Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

                            by unspeakable on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:49:55 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok here is my answer to this (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hikerbiker

                            and I know you did not ask me but I did uprate Hikers comment. I will answer this post and the next one here if that is ok.

                            I can't speak for Hiker here but:

                            For the sake of my point, I'm assuming you mean that the division will be along the Green Line. If meant something else, please correct me.

                            mostly correct with perhaps swaps in East Jerusalem (the Jewish quarter, Mt. Scopus) and the Galilee - basically what was agreed to at Taba.

                            In the case of a division of the land, then you're still left with this dilemma where 1 in 5 Israelis are Palestinian, and therefore, the potential for them to become the majority, which is something that all Israelis are aware of, is still hanging over Israel's head. Do you think demographic arguments will end then? Or do you think they'll be put off for a little bit to be resumed once Palestinians form a larger percentage of the population?

                            For me again, if we cannot hold a majority (being fair to the minority) starting from an 80/20 base then it is time to call it a day. That speaks to a problem in Jewish Nationalism far beyond anything now and if at that time that Jews were not a majority I would be ok with a democratic bi-national state. BUT.... I am pretty (no very) confident that we would stay as the majority.

                            As long as you guys (not you personally) talk about Palestinians as if they're breeding-crazy rabbits whose behavior is threatening to the very nature of the country, the potential for them to become the majority will always be at the forefront of any policy regarding them. In this discourse, the only way to get rid of this threat is to eliminate their ability to become the majority, which, and perhaps this is a result of my poor imagination, would necessarily involve crimes against humanity.

                            Here is where perceptions are so important. I don't think it is viewed as Palestinians as breeding crazy rabbits (at least not in the Liberal Zionist camp). I don't view it this way. I don't believe there is or should be any way that your "Poor imagination" :P would be engaged. Remember we have the non-birth control believers on the Haridim side. Shudder.... (just kidding).  But here is where we see the same thing completely differently.

                            As for this:

                            Do you really believe that Israelis will always be under threat of attack? I mean if you do, why do you then support peace with those who will eventually attack it again?

                            We do believe that Israel and Jews will ALWAYS be under attack from somewhere at all times. The question is how do we minimize that, along with maintaining a non- fear-based "bowels clenched" existence (See I can be funny - looks aren't everything)....

                            You make peace and you hope for the best. Why continue a State of War if you want eventually to end that state. As John Lennon said: "Give Peace a Chance".

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:37:36 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  hi. (3+ / 0-)

                            First let me say that I had only read a couple of comments in this thread when I jumped in to respond to yours earlier.  I'm back now but don't even have time now to read it all and understand more of the context of the discussion that preceded me here, but I have read the 3 responses.

                            Sooo here's 2 more cents to try to answer your questions:  I am no authority on the final form the division of the land should or might take.  Greenish Line with some adjustments and swaps seems most likely.  Dismantling many or most settlements, too.  (hopefully no civil war in Israel as they lure settlers back into Israel proper and forcibly remove others)  Jerusalem is a huge unresolved question, obviously.  If I had any good answers I would change careers immediately!  I don't think the exact form the final plan will take is that relevant to my earlier comment,anyway, although clearly it is crucially important for the people on the ground.

                            Your description of "breeding rabbits" is highly offensive to me as it is to you.  I never had any such notion.  Ever.  I realize that some extremists on both sides might perceive the Others in this way, though.  But this is no such case.  

                            Although I uprated a comment above which used the word "racist" I'm not sure that this is even the correct term at all.  It's certainly not a racial issue but is more of a nationalist one.  For Israel to be stable (as with any other state, for that matter) the majority of people there must identify as Israeli -- whatever their skin-tone, language, religion.  Members of my own Jewish family are much darker than most Palestinians, so the whole concept of race seems more bogus than ever. There is no good analogy, but I think that we can try to imagine a fictional scenario in the US where let's say Russians immigrated and wanted this country to become a satelite of Russia.  Eventually, this might no longer be the US.  Terrible analogy.

                            I am trying to be truthful and reality-based.  It may be painful to hear another perspective, but it's real.  And although you may think it hurts prospects for a two-state solution, I disagree.  I think that masking what issues are important to each side is more hurtful and unproductive and I won't do it.  

                            sortalikenathan once described a vision for peace that I thought was creative and reasonable.  It involved some kind of special status for minority Palestinian and Israeli populations within the neighbors' (P and I) states.  I'm no expert on these things, but it seems to me this conflict may well require unique and creative solutions which have not been tried elsewhere. There could be a chance for peace and mutual security if there were some guarantee, for both Palestinians and Israelis, that their new, smaller individual states would always retain their distinct identities, each as a homeland and haven for their majority population and each also protecting the rights of their minority population.  Then demographics would no longer be an issue.

                            Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                            by hikerbiker on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 02:09:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fine. Whatever. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            soysauce, hikerbiker, canadian gal

                            Not racist, certainly xenophobic.

                            In no other liberal democracy are the breeding patterns of a minority population the obsession of both the right and left of the majority. But of course, no other liberal democracy is not only occupying another people but also stealing and settling the land with its own citizens. This idea that the country must do everything it can to ensure that one group remains the majority forever is not something I can ever support.

                            This goes beyond the two-state solution because 1 in 5 Israelis will still be Palestinian after a resolution. And they will continue to identify as Palestinian, contrary to the preferences of Israeli Jews. What demographic threat will they represent to Israel's Jewish character?

                            I've tried getting just one person here to understand what I'm trying to say and it seems to be utterly fruitless. If you cannot understand how fundamentally dehumanizing Israeli discourse on Palestinians is, there is a lot less we (all of us) share in common than I thought.

                            Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

                            by unspeakable on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 03:39:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i for one, have heard you.... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hikerbiker, volleyboy1

                            and i agree - so its not fruitless.

                            "I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

                            by canadian gal on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:38:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I totally understand what you are saying. (3+ / 0-)

                            It's fucked up.  This is why my contribution to this discussion began with acknowledgement of what you were saying:  that you had identified the fundamental contradiction of democratic Israel.  I've understood for more than 20 yrs that Israel cannot be a true democracy and continue to reserve majority power status only for Jewish citizens.  That's the fundamental contradiction.  And the best solution, the only viable and justice-seeking solution, is 2 states.

                            I just looked online for a definition of xenophobia and the first one I found included the word "unduly" so I like it best for this context:

                            A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples.

                            Well, we had a cute poster in the 70's which said, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."  It's my favorite double negative and it applies here to Israel.  I don't consider it xenophobia because the fear isn't unfounded.

                            Putting all that (Israeli perspective) aside for a minute, I want you to know that I hear what you are saying 100%.  I mull over this every single day.  I swear, I wake up in the morning and begin to think about Palestinians before my shower and in the shower and on and on...and with a heavy, guilty heart.  And I have been sharing my insights with people who need to hear. (And you have had a signigicant influence on my thinking, so I can blame you!)

                            And I can see why what I've written here and what others are expressing is deeply offensive and painful for you. I get it. I am so sorry. I would be equally offended in your place.

                            But the troubles began long before you and I were born and we are left here to try to resolve it all.  I don't think it's honest or helpful to pretend that there aren't legitimate differences in our perspectives and the needs of our two communities.  

                            But I think that our basic needs are really the same.  Everyone wants a good, decent life for their family.  Everyone needs safety and opportunity.  Because our fundamental needs are the same we should be able to somehow come together to make it happen.  Please don't stop trying, as frustrating as it is...

                            Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                            by hikerbiker on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:42:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And by the way, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            soysauce, hikerbiker

                            could you explain this:

                            But given the larger context and history and the fact that the Israelis will always face other enemies who wish for their destruction, they will not willingly give up their sovereignty.

                            Do you really believe that Israelis will always be under threat of attack? I mean if you do, why do you then support peace with those who will eventually attack it again?

                            Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

                            by unspeakable on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:53:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  if i may... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hikerbiker, volleyboy1

                            add a couple of points...

                            your larger argument about israeli palestinians or however they choose to identify after the declaration of a palestinian state occurs, falls somewhat in the above, meaning that the reproduction rates and 'taking-over' majorities is plain absurd to base any sort of future plans on. that's doesn't include the right of return issues for the practical obvious reasons.... but i do agree that these demographic, birth-rate arguments are a bit odd and counter-productive as they embrace a world that is a century or more away if ever. hardly a method for negotiating a viable peace plan.

                            but i do think this fear stems from the continual detraction and revisionism that some hope to dismantle the state of israel. it is this worry of the loss of self-determination that drives it. the fact remains that jews learned hard lessons over the past 100 or years or so and this culminated in the concept and reality of a zionist state. this is not based on racism but rather on a bloody history of victimization and the embrace of the mantra 'never again'. so yes - israel will always, if not literally, than figuratively "be under attack."

                            my hope is that this worldview, after decades of calm and prosperity for jews around the world, israel at peace with its neighbours will reshape this thinking.

                            "I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

                            by canadian gal on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 11:13:16 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

                            my hope is that this worldview, after decades of calm and prosperity for jews around the world, israel at peace with its neighbours will reshape this thinking.

                            You can afford to go on this hope when you're not the target of these xenophobic arguments. Nothing excuses the obsession of Israeli politicians with Palestinian demographics as if they're wildlife control experts discussing the breeding patterns of dingoes in an area with a high population of babies. It's not just in Israel and occupied Palestine, they are obsessed with Palestinian demographics everywhere in the region. It's absolutely dehumanizing, and it's disgusting and disappointing that liberals buy into it.

                            And really it just makes Palestinians like me, who are trying very hard to incorporate Israelis' concerns into their thinking, not give a shit. Because if my cousin and his wife in Ramleh having a child is a threat to the "Jewishness" of the state, then there's very little reason to take Israeli concerns seriously.

                            Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

                            by unspeakable on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 03:49:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sigh... butq (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hikerbiker, canadian gal

                            your cousin living in Ramleh is NOT at threat. That is the point. Neither hiker, nor cg, nor I view things that way. Threat is not a word we use because it is simply not applicable.

                            Look, I am getting just as frustrated as you are in this discussion but we have got to keep trying. Arab birth rates, discussions of a demographic "Bomb" are all related to the contination of Israel as a Jewish state that is a democracy. The argument concerning demographics involves whether or not Israel could stay a democracy. By absorbing the Arab population Israel would cease to be that democracy and thus for many of us unviable as a nation.

                            No one on the Liberal Zionist side calls your nephew a threat to the State. If anything it is the Israeli right that is the threat as they expand into non - Jewish populated territory.

                            Does that clear things up?

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 04:45:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, it doesn't at all. (4+ / 0-)

                            The demographic issue is not about Israel continuing to be a democracy, it is about Israel continuing to be Jewish. For most Zionists, Israel's Jewish character is much more important than its democratic one. You prove it when you say that absorbing the Arab population necessarily means that Israel will no longer be a democracy (iow, Israel will remain Jewish, as in your opinion it must, but against the will of the majority).

                            When you guys talk about Palestinian demographics, you don't exclude Israel's Palestinian citizens. No, you add them to the Palestinians who aren't Israeli citizens. They are a factor in your "demographic threat" argument. You can't argue otherwise.

                            I'm thoroughly sickened by the fact that liberals have no problem with instituting policies that ensure that a native population of the area remains a minority.

                            Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

                            by unspeakable on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:02:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sigh... even more (0+ / 0-)

                            The demographic issue is not about Israel continuing to be a democracy, it is about Israel continuing to be Jewish. For most Zionists, Israel's Jewish character is much more important than its democratic one. You prove it when you say that absorbing the Arab population necessarily means that Israel will no longer be a democracy (iow, Israel will remain Jewish, as in your opinion it must, but against the will of the majority).

                            Yes it is about the democracy - stop telling me what I mean and listen. Look why do you think I want a two state solution? Well one reason is because it is the right thing to do. BUT the overriding reason is that Israel be a Jewish State AND remain a Democracy.

                            Your last sentence is off the mark. I don't see Liberal Zionism supporting a minority ruled state. The Jewish character is important but not at making us like brutes. If Israel annexes the WB I would say it has to become a One State bi-national state not a Jewish one, and I think then that it is the Israelis fault if they destroy Israel like that. Come on man - how do you not see this. Whether you like Ben-Ami or not - he is not your enemy.

                            I'm thoroughly sickened by the fact that liberals have no problem with instituting policies that ensure that a native population of the area remains a minority.

                            No Liberal Zionist encourages any policy that treats the Arab minority as less than full citizens unless you are talking of the Law of Return. In which case I cannot argue. But other than that - I don't see anything that would take away rights unless you include having to serve in the IDF after the two state solution is in place (in my plan anyway)...

                            I have said over, and over, and over, and over (to infinity) that I believe that if Jews can't hold a majority of population in Israel after a two state solution then they have to become One State.

                            I am trying to make this clear and you are letting biases not see this. I am trying... How can I do this...

                            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                            by volleyboy1 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:17:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please reread my words which you quoted. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thebluecrayon, canadian gal

                            I wrote that they will always face other enemies.  And yes, I believe this.  I specifically wrote "other" to suggest "other" not necessarily Palestinian. Do I need to list the potential enemies of today or the future?  There are millions of non-Palestinians in the region who would celebrate the death of Israel and Israelis, and if you think this is hyperbole then there is no basis for our discussion.

                            Now, I do believe that reaching some peaceful compromise with the Palestinians will diffuse the tensions between Israel and much of the world, but I have no illusions about suddenly becoming a welcome and adored group on this planet.  We have always been either tolerated or despised and one look at my own very hacked family tree will show what the result can look like.  Just yesterday I heard on NPR radio a quick statistic on a new report on hate crimes in this country.  I believe they said that 80% of religious-based crimes in the US last year were against Jews.  Would this be the case without Israel provoking so much animosity against Jews?  Uh, yes.  

                            There is no reason to think that the past two thousand years of attacks on Jews all over this planet were a fluke and that somehow magically the series of ongoing threats to our safety and lives will just poof disappear.

                            That said, I believe that there can be peace between Palestinians and Israelis and I feel us to be brothers and sisters.  I really do, as trite as that sounds.  

                            I hope I haven't sounded too snippy here.  I've been interrupted several times while typing by my kids and puppy and it's been hard to concentrate. We are both  (all, if anyone else is still there) legitimately frustrated by the situation.  It's unbearable and has to change.

                            Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                            by hikerbiker on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 02:24:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  I can only echo (4+ / 0-)

                      what unspeakable said. I don't think you or liberal Zionists generally are in any way "evil". In fact there are very few people around who could be described as such - most 'teabaggers' are not "evil", for example, they're just sincerely mistaken. One can criticise someone's politics very harshly without transferring that criticism to them as people. I agree with you, in other words, that "good vs. evil" is not a useful way to evaluate political doctrines - but I don't think anyone here has adopted that approach.

                      I do think that liberal Zionist politics have severe limitations, for the reasons unspeakable describes. Like I say, that doesn't make its adherents bad people, and you shouldn't confuse strong criticism of, say, the racist discourse of "demographics" to which liberal Zionists tend to subscribe with a personal attack.

                      I reject this:

                      "You are out an out reducing Zionism to cartoonish proportions"

                      Who's reducing liberal Zionism to a cartoon? It's a fact that liberal Zionism, with very few exceptions, endorses or at the very least acquiesces in some of the basic assumptions and arguments of the far-right. This has already been discussed elsewhere in this thread, so I won't go through it again now, but highlighting these shared premises and arguments is entirely legitimate.

                      You can of course make a counter-argument that the above is inaccurate or reductionist, but then you should make an argument: that is, you should try to back up your no doubt sincere assertions with something in the way of logical reasoning and/or factual evidence. This will not only make your claims more persuasive, but it is also a prerequisite for constructive (and interesting) political debate. If instead of making serious arguments you react to criticism defensively, as if it were directed at your character rather than a political belief to which you happen to subscribe, then it's difficult to move beyond each party to the discussion simply stating their opinion, and then everyone getting increasingly angry with each other.

                    •  Look, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jon the antizionist jew

                      reality isn't black or white. But IMO, there is value in forming a rhetorical argument in stark terms, for the sake of clarity.

                      I didn't say anyone is cartoonishly evil. I said certain people damp criticism of evil acts. I said they unintentionally further evil aims. In both cases, I am referring to evil actions and goals, and not to evil characters.

                      Seriously, though--why did you uprate a comment that labels an MLK Jr. quote as trollworthy? To me this is indefensible.

                      You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

                      by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:32:04 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  eh? (8+ / 0-)

            She didn't infer that volley was like the KKK - quite the contrary.

        •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)
      •  People (6+ / 0-)

        did respond about the Shaya family; they all said that this is hardly surprising, and they don't know what to do to help them.

        What I find very interesting is how you can't make the connection between the views of someone like Yehoshua, who is fear-mongering about Arab demographics, and the situation of the Shaya family. Don't you think the two things are related at all? You don't see the irony at all in framing the argument for a two state solution on preserving a Jewish majority, and the many-decades long systematic policies to evict Palestinians?

        It's the first thing I noticed about this diary. It's sort of this innocent call to save this family's home, which is great. But it's set right next to what amounts to a validation of the very idea of the demographic threat of Palestinians, a threat that is dealt with precisely by home evictions.

      •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

        If I sent Amidar an email telling them exactly what I think of their policies and signed it with my entirely recognizably Arab name, what effect do you think it will have? Do you really think either I or sorta, as Arab Americans marginal in our very own society, have any influence on a domestic Israeli bureacracy?

        Where the hell are the Israelis speaking up about this, and why isn't there more of an outcry in Israel about this 61 year old travesty? If anything you should be calling them out for not doing enough, instead of expecting people thousands of miles away to come to the aid of the citizens of this so-called liberal democracy.

        Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

        by unspeakable on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:38:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  See my comment above (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueness, Terra Mystica, unspeakable

          I agree - we Zionists need to be the ones

          Where the hell are the Israelis speaking up about this, and why isn't there more of an outcry in Israel about this 61 year old travesty? If anything you should be calling them out for not doing enough, instead of expecting people thousands of miles away to come to the aid of the citizens of this so-called liberal democracy.

          fixing this mess WE are making. Outside pressure helps though.

          I am disappointed in not seeing more support from "my side" of the aisle - it really is sad because we are the ones that should be working to fix this travesty of justice (as Assaf rightly points out).

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:43:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And the Shayas are the ones getting publicity. (4+ / 0-)

          How many more families find themselves in the same situation?

          That any government could do what was done, even though the rest of the family REMAINED IN THE HOUSE, it wasn't abandoned...sweet sufferin' Jesus...

          It's just such crap.

  •  The Status Quo and Two and a Half States (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karmafish

    Israel/Palestine is a conflict of two nations claiming the same territory as its homeland. Each side refuses to recognize the other party's claim on any of the land.  Both Israel and Palestinians work against mutual coexistence.  This has always been the status quo. So long as this is the status quo in the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians, settlement or movement towards settlement is impossible.    

    This status quo is tolerable, even preferable, for Israel. Jews have a state and  Israel  is strong.  Palestinians are stateless, divided and weak.  The status quo is not good for Palestinians.  

    Indeed, Palestinian political disunity is at a forty-year high.  Hamas and Fatah are at war.  Neither will give up without a fight.  And neither have the power to crush the other.  Because of this fracture, talk of a two-state solution is moot.

    Israel has quite successfully used force and diplomacy to continue the status quo.  So long as Palestinians allow the status quo to continue by not recognizing Israel, Palestinians will suffer.  The likely result is a two and half state solution: a strong Israel, an anemic West Bank and a besieged Gaza.  

    This would be a total victory for Israel.

    •  Interesting comment, Plubius. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JNEREBEL, Plubius

      I think that you may be right in your conclusion, but I would quibble with some of the things that lead to it.

      Each side refuses to recognize the other party's claim on any of the land.

      I honestly do not think that this is a fair statement.  The truth is the Jews recognized the rights of the local Arab population to a country in the late 30s by accepting the Peel Commission.  They accepted the claim of the Arabs of the Mandate to some of the land in '47.

      And, needless, to say Barak recognized it 2000, but the Palestinians turned the offer down.

      I also have to disagree with this:

      This status quo is tolerable, even preferable, for Israel.

      Nah.  I doubt a majority of Israelis believe that. And whether they believe it or not, it is quite obviously not preferable.

      I'm more or less with you on this, tho:

      So long as Palestinians allow the status quo to continue by not recognizing Israel, Palestinians will suffer.  The likely result is a two and half state solution: a strong Israel, an anemic West Bank and a besieged Gaza.

       

      I would argue that the very best way for the Palestinians to maintain the status quo is to get violent, launch another intifada.  This would suck for Israel, but it would be catastrophic for the Palestinians.

      It seems to me that the Palestinians have two reasonable options.  They can negotiate an agreement along the Clinton Parameters or they can declare their owns state... but do it in secret consultation with Israel so as to avoid serious conflict after the state of Palestine is declared.

      Anyways, thanks for the comment.

      As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

      by Karmafish on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:35:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would argue that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jon the antizionist jew

        there is no practical way Palestinians can end the status quo without the intervention of someone more powerful. No matter what they do, Israel has every reason to continue expanding their territory. Why would they stop taking more and more of something incredibly valuable?

        The only way to force Israel to cease continued territorial expansion is to credibly threaten to withdraw our funding for the IDF is Israel refuses to freeze settlement construction. And even this might not convince them to take their hand out of the cookie jar.

        You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

        by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:53:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree here (0+ / 0-)

          You said:

          Israel has every reason to continue expanding their territory. Why would they stop taking more and more of something incredibly valuable?

          For the arguments that Shalom Achshav makes I don't think so. I think Israel loses by expanding territory. I don't see long term any reason to do that.

          The only way to force Israel to cease continued territorial expansion is to credibly threaten to withdraw our funding for the IDF is Israel refuses to freeze settlement construction. And even this might not convince them to take their hand out of the cookie jar.

          I am not convinced that this is totally wrong but I am not yet convinced it is right either. I think we need to see what the 10 month freeze for talks brings.

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:59:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please explain to me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jon the antizionist jew

            how Israel loses by gaining further land and water resources.

            Also, please explain to me what could possibly happen that would convince you that it is worth funding the IDF even as they continued to expand settlements in Palestinian territory.

            You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

            by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:08:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Easily (0+ / 0-)

              You said:

              Please explain to me how Israel loses by gaining further land and water resources.

              Nationhood is not just about land and resources. How you rule, what you rule and what you do to maintain that rule is important. As Israel steals land (which they have done in the territories) they take on more population which threatens their democratic ideals. Also, at some point you cannot destroy the "soul" of your ideas without destroying your country.

              Also, please explain to me what could possibly happen that would convince you that it is worth funding the IDF even as they continued to expand settlements in Palestinian territory.

              This to me depends on what your enemy is doing. If there are strikes against civilians or suicide strikes all bets are off for me in terms of compromise. Again there are many scenarios that are neither black nor white but those are baseline terms.

              Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

              by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:19:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So when they expand the settlements, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jon the antizionist jew

                you're claiming that they take on additional Palestinian residents? I thought the Palestinians were forcibly kept separate from the settlers.

                And you're arguing that these non-Jewish citizens "threaten Israel's democratic ideals"? And that this threat posed by a small number of non-Jews is greater than the benefit of the additional strategic land and water resources, not to mention a guarantee that the Palestinians have no real economic or military might?

                With regard to the second point, you're arguing that you would fund an IDF that was expanding into Palestinian territory if it was also defending Israelis from terrorist acts? I suppose there is some logic to this, though IMO the territorial expansion is indefensible regardless of any extenuating circumstances.

                You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

                by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:40:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nope now stop being (0+ / 0-)

                  disingenous and putting words in my mouth (so to speak)

                  I didn't say:

                  And you're arguing that these non-Jewish citizens "threaten Israel's democratic ideals"?

                  you did. What I said was that Israel's Jews ruling over a majority non-Jewish population is wrong and would destroy the democracy that is important to Israel. I don't for one minute advocate moving anyone. I say that Israel should not expand to have this happen. Shame on you for trying to make me out to be something I am not. But I can see why we Liberal Zionists confuse you - we don't fit your cartoon version of Zionism. Sorry man. Such is life.

                  And that this threat posed by a small number of non-Jews is greater than the benefit of the additional strategic land and water resources, not to mention a guarantee that the Palestinians have no real economic or military might?

                  You haven't read my past quotes so I understand that you don't know this but I support a Palestinian state with a military that can defend it. I think they are going to need it from elements that try to disrupt a Peace they will have with Israel.

                  As far as your quote below you haven't been getting my argument. You don't understand or you won't understand I don't want an Israel that does what is happening described below. It wrecks the national "soul". Look at these websites to see what I believe (although I am to the Left of these groups on Palestinian self defense).

                  www.peacenow.org

                  www.meretzusa.org

                  Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                  by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:54:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So it is not the non-Jewish citizens who threaten (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jon the antizionist jew

                    Israel's democratic ideals, but their collective fraction of the population? This is a fine hair to split.

                    But there's no question that appropriating land devoid of Palestinians (per the below cite) has no effect on Israel's "demographic problem."

                    My point is, it may in your mind wreck Israel's soul (I agree that it does). But that doesn't change the fact that it makes Israel more defensible, more resource and land rich, more economically and militarily sustainable. There is a pretty powerful incentive for delaying peace and expanding the settlements, and it will take serious pressure from more powerful groups than the Palestinians to change this calculus.

                    You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

                    by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 10:05:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sigh.... (0+ / 0-)

                      why oh why do you deliberately mis-read or re-post deliberate misinformantion; Why?

                      You speak of this:

                      So it is not the non-Jewish citizens who threaten Israel's democratic ideals, but their collective fraction of the population? This is a fine hair to split.

                      But there's no question that appropriating land devoid of Palestinians (per the below cite) has no effect on Israel's "demographic problem."

                      The non-Jewish citizens DO NOT Threaten Israel's democratic ideals, this implies all kinds of the things none of which are true. A non Jewish majority renders Israel's identity as a Jewish Homeland that is a Western Democracy inoperable. But not through the fault of those people.

                      Taking peoples land in the West Bank and pushing them off is wrong. So your second paragraph is completely off the mark.

                      No one is splitting hairs except for your reading of what I am saying. Which btw, I am now convinced that you are doing on purpose just to print hyperbolic nonsense and turn around and say that the "Zionists say this...." it is a GOP trick and it fails everytime. Just ask Karl Rove how he is doing now.

                      Either discuss what I am saying or nothing at all but do not make what I am saying out to be anything other than what it is.

                      Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

                      by volleyboy1 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:49:36 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think there are numerous comments in this (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        soysauce

                        very thread by many other posters saying again and again that your focus on this "demographic problem" is racist. It isn't just me.

                        And you are not making any sense. "It isn't their fault, but their demographic effect is a threat to Israel's democratic ideals"? It is racist to warn of the "democratic threat" of other races. It doesn't matter that the threat you see posed by their race "isn't their fault." It is still racist to characterize them as a threat.

                        And the fact that to take peoples' homes and push them out of the West Bank is wrong doesn't change the fact that it's in Israel's best interest. I never argued it was right, I argued it was self-serving. Oftentimes immoral things benefit people. To be ethical, they are required to sacrifice their own interests.

                        You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

                        by Opakapaka on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 05:32:55 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Per Wiki: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza

                They claim that more than fifty percent of West Bank land has been expropriated from Palestinian owners "mainly to establish settlements and create reserves of land for the future expansion of the settlements". While the seized lands mainly benefit the settlements, the Palestinian public is prohibited from using them in any way.

                If true, this pretty much negates your first argument.

                You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

                by Opakapaka on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:45:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Expansion and "stopping Israel" (0+ / 0-)

            Expansion into the West Bank is worthless, so long as Palestinians live there, b/c Palestinians don't like living under Israeli suzereignity.

            For the foreseeable future, "transfer" is not on the table.  Neither Israel nor its ally the US supports that.  So the (Religious) Right pursues its slow-mo-displacement of Arabs around greater Jerusalem.

            This must stop.  Now.

            "Stopping Israel" will be done by compelling Israelis to comply where they do not believe of their own accord.  Israel is incapable of halting their slow-mo-displacement of the Arabs in the West Bank.  The US Congress is compromised by the pro-Israel lobby on this issue just as it is compromised by the NRA on guns.

            I believe we should deal with AIPAC and the jackass pro-Israel lobby.  Then go after Israel.

      •  thanks for the reply (0+ / 0-)

        RE: Each side refuses to recognize the other party's claim on any of the land.

        "There is no such thing as a Palestinian"
        -- Golda Meir

        Zionist mythology is predicated on the assumption that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jews, and only the Jews.  While Weizman et al may have cut deals, those deals in no way negate the underlying myth.  And in practice, Israelis are limited by power, not ideology.  Their ideology is exclusive control of the land.

        Likewise, Palestinian mythology rests on exclusivity.  Though Palestinians may one day cut deals, they will never recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish State.  

        RE: a tenable status quo

        Israelis are little different than any other: they have their polite fictions.  Bottom line: Israelis tolerate the status quo.   They do so b/c it is tolerable for them.  Its always a choice "between bad and worse."

        •  no this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plubius

          is wrong when you say:

          Zionist mythology is predicated on the assumption that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jews, and only the Jews.  While Weizman et al may have cut deals, those deals in no way negate the underlying myth.  And in practice, Israelis are limited by power, not ideology.  Their ideology is exclusive control of the land.

          well part wrong... Yes Zionist rule is predicated on retaining control as a Jewish state but the "myth" is not an exclusively Jewish population. The founders of Israel did not believe that. They believed in an eternal Jewish majority but not in only Jews being allowed to live there.

          Palestine must be built up without violating the legitimate interests of the Arabs.. Palestine is not Rhodesia... 600,0000 Arabs live there, who before the sense of justice of the world have exactly the same rights to their homes as we have to our National Home. [Chaim Weizmann, addressing the Fourteenth Zionist Congress in Vienna, 1925, quoted in Tessler, Mark, A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1994 p. 181]

          ahh but you mentioned Weizmann.

          How about Ben-Gurion:

          "We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland"   (David Ben-Gurion to Palestinian nationalist Musa Alami 1934), quoted in Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs: From Peace to War, London: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 140).

          or In the midst of wanton aggression, we still call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, with full and equal citizenship and due representation in its bodies and institutions - provisional or permanent. (my emphasis)

          We offer peace and neighborliness to all the neighboring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Hebrew nation for the common good of all." Israeli Declaration of Independence, May 14, 1948

          or perhaps:

          . . . Had we desired to disregard the interests of such workers of the land as are dependent, directly or indirectly, upon lands of the landlords, we could have acquired large and unlimited areas, but in the course of our conversation I have pointed out to you that this has not been our policy and that, when acquiring lands, it is our ardent wish not to prejudice or do harm to the interests of anybody. We feel it our duty to settle the workers and enable them to continue their agricultural occupation, either in the same place or elsewhere. But we have the possibility of acquiring 100,000 dunams without having to make any settlement for the tenants, since the acquisition of such an area will not cause harm to anybody and will not oust anybody from his lands; only after this area has been acquired we shall have to see to a proper settlement for the tenants . . . ."

          (Yehoshua Hankin concerning arrangements for Arabs displaced by the purchase of lands in the Jezreel valley. Letter of July 14, 1930, quoted by The Hope Simpson Report 1930  )

          Those do not sound like "exclusive use of land for Jews" quotes and these are the folks that founded the State.

          Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

          by volleyboy1 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:02:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Darn good discussion in my diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plubius

    If I say so myself. I would like to see some more Zionist support for the Shaya family. It is up to us to help right a wrong as some have pointed out. I really want to thank most everyone for a civil discussion on Two-States and Liberal Zionism. Whether we agree or disagree most everyone has been pretty cool all things considered.

    Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by volleyboy1 on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 09:32:20 PM PST

    •  Zionist Support for Shaya (0+ / 0-)

      The ideology behind Israel's national liberation movement (Zionism) --as far as Israel is concerned -- culminated in the late 1940s with the creation of the State of Israel.   Zionism, in many ways, poorly fit with the ideology of the the nation state.  Every time a new immigrant group comes in, the original mission comes up a bit, but, really, its more and more a historical artifact.  Over time, Israeli nationalism will supplant Zionism, and a gap will develop between Jews in Israel and American Jews.

      This can be seen in the growth of the Religious Zionists (American Christians included) and, naturally, secular American Jews.  Who unfairly, IMO, label themselves Zionists because they do not make aliyah.  

      American Jews who prattle on about support for Israel, give money and moral support are armchair Zionists -- living in the past.  Whether Liberal or Conservative -- it irrelevant.

      Israel needs bodies, not bones.

    •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1, canadian gal

      You've been called a hindrance to peace, a racist, and all kinds of nasty things.  I guess that's the pro-P strategy -- insult and drive off as many pro-I folks as possible who seek an equitable resolution to the conflict.

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

      by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 11:55:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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