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Is there a future for Palestinians?


The triumph of Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections was certainly a shock. Hamas, to remind everyone, has reiterated at every opportunity that they will not recognize Israel. Recently, at the Moscow conference, this appeared to be softened by a statement of Khaled Mashal that they would only recognize Israel if Israel agreed to repatriate all the Palestinian refugees. Since that would amount to the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, it amounts to the same thing, but with nuances and room for maneuver perhaps. It was quickly devalued by Khaled Mashal himself in interviews he gave to Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyah television. Those who think Hamas will adopt a realistic approach may be in for a big disappointment. Here are some quotes from the man himself:

Interviewer: "You've said that Hamas has adopted a realistic approach. What does this realism mean? In other words, what is the limit of the tactical concessions you might make?"

Khaled Mashal: "There will be no concessions. Some people believe that realism means making concessions. It doesn't. Concessions were made in the past, with no results. On the contrary, making concessions is not realistic, because it means you are not acting in accordance with your people's needs, or with the requirements entailed by the reality of the Palestinian people.

How can anyone be expected to negotiate with an enemy who insists that making concessions is not realistic?

Here is the Hamas's "realistic" "peace" plan, from the same interview:

"Hamas is realistic. It says to the international community: You talk about the 1967 borders - by all means, make Israel declare that it will withdraw from all the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, that it will accept the right of the refugees and the displaced to return to their lands and property,

So Mashal thinks it is realistic to expect Israel to dissolve itself by absorbing an Arab majority. That is his "peace."

At minimum, Palestinians should be alarmed by the fact that Hamas has refused time and again to agree to the simple and obvious coalition conditions of Mahmoud Abbas that must be the basis of any responsible government:

...to recognize past agreements with Israel, UN resolutions and Arab summit rulings.

Surely, that is the minimum. It doesn't even mention abrogating the racist and outrageous Hamas Charter. That is fundamental to assumption of national responsibility. It is what the Palestinians need for themselves.

The peace process reached an impasse because both sides could not make the concessions needed for peace. Palestinian leaders could not formally give up right of return. Israelis could not give up sovereignty of the Temple Mount. However, after the futility and destruction of the Intifada, it appeared that a way forward had been found. Until the rise of the Hamas, there was hope for a "live and let live" pragmatic arrangement: Israel would withdraw from most of the West Bank. The Palestinians would form a de facto state and cease terror activities. Both sides would get on with their lives. This is the scenario that Rami Khouri conjures up in the Daily Star. Khouri forgot or didn't read that the Hamas has no intention of becoming a responsible political movement. This is Mashal again in that same interview:

"...the demand to disarm and the demand to turn Hamas and the rest of the resistance forces into political parties is an unrealistic demand, because it has nothing to do with the Palestinian reality."

Mashal proposes a government of armed gangs, that insists that it will not even make a truce until Israel agrees to self-destruct. This is not a basis for coexistence.

Khouri, and other Palestinians, want to make believe that nothing happened when Hamas was elected, or that Hamas policies will depend on Israel only. This is alarming, because real change in the Hamas and Palestine can come only if the Palestinians want that change.

Bassem Eid, a Palestinian "moderate," wrote an article called "Is Hamas the Future of Palestine?" distributed by CIPS and reproduced below. Anyone who looks forward to see any discussion of the Palestinian future or the future of the Hamas will be disappointed. Eid doesn't answer his own question. Instead he writes:

Israel’s policy toward the new Hamas government will be the primary factor in determining the future of Israel/Palestine. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has entered a stage when it is no longer about Israel versus the Palestinians; now, the conflict is Israeli policy versus UN declarations and EU mandates. The conflict is Israeli policy versus the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law.

In other words, according to Eid, everything that happened and everything that will happen is Israel's fault. This cannot be a basis for peace, for reform or for a modus vivendi. Israeli policy toward the new Hamas government cannot bring about peace if the Hamas insists on continuing terror and full repatriation of refugees. Hamas policy is to destroy a member state of the UN. That is in conflict with Geneva Conventions, International law and all the rest of the rhetorical flags that Bassam Eid is waving. The signals are clear: at least a portion of Fatah have decided to legitimize Hamas and close ranks, rather than pointing out the dangers in the Hamas stance.

Palestinians and Israelis have to start doing some hard thinking about the future, devoid of rhetorical flourishes and posturing. There is no future for Israel and Palestine with the occupation, and there is no future for Israel and Palestine with the present policies of the Hamas. Eid is right about one thing. A people cannot live under permanent subjugation. It is not the basis for peace. It is not humanitarianism, international law or any of the other fine things that Mr. Eid invokes. Hamas would substitute subjugation of the Jews for subjugation of the Arabs of Palestine.

The future of Palestine is in reality in the hands of the Palestinians, because only they can make the concessions needed for peace. If they do, then Israel would face massive international pressure to withdraw and allow formation of a Palestinian state. Israelis must understand that no matter how Israel tries to whitewash the occupation, it won't wash. Palestinians must understand that with Hamas as it is, there is no future. They cannot paint it over and pretend it is just another political movement.

Ami Isseroff

Is Hamas the Future of Palestine?
By Bassem Eid

The Middle East is poised on the brink of a new epoch of Israeli-Palestinian relations. As the region prepares to enter a hot summer and turbulent fall, there is the understanding that this year could have more of an impact on peace and security than did Ariel Sharon’s provocation of the guards at al-Aqsa Mosque on 28 September 2000. Israel is frustrated: closures and checkpoints have increased, construction on the wall has been accelerated, and there are reports of soldiers telling Palestinian civilians to “let Hamas feed you!” Karni crossing has been closed for a week and there are indications that it will continue to be closed in the coming week. Palestinians are frustrated: if Karni remains closed then Gaza will starve since Karni is the only passage through which Gaza can receive goods. There are reports that Israel will cut power to the West Bank. Increasing frustration among Palestinians has already caused an outbreak of isolated civilian actions against soldiers and settlers.

As the future seems unsure, the international community is asking why the Palestinian people, in a moment of democratic choice, chose Hamas. The Palestinian people are also asking this question. Hamas is expected to form its new government shortly and the Palestinians are watching Israel closely, realising that Israel’s reaction to the change in political control will determine whether there will be a flare-up of attacks, assassinations and misery or a time of prosperity for the Palestinian people.

Intellectually, the choice to elect Hamas can be counted as logical. Fatah’s behaviour over the last twelve years had left the livelihood of the Palestinian people to the mercy of Israel’s political whims: at that time, there were no prospects for political or economic development in Palestine. Economic prosperity was tied with political favouritism and vital aid for food and businesses vanished into the pockets of corrupt Fatah leaders. Then and now, the election of Hamas was a conscious and rational choice. International threats to cut Palestinian aid are sterile against the logic of poverty and desperation.

Now, poverty and desperation continue to be dependent on the political whims of the conquerors. How will Israel react to the new Hamas leadership? So far, the main reaction is that no aid should be provided to a government that does not recognise the sacrosanct state of Israel. The problem with this thinking is that the UN resolution from which Israel derives its statehood provides for two states, not one. It is a double-standard of the cruelest kind that pushes Hamas to recognise Israel, but does not push Israel to recognise Palestine. In addition, no one thinks to explain that if Israel only recognises Palestine as a territory, then Hamas must also recognise Israel—as a territory.

Israel and the West have tried to place the responsibility for the poverty and desperation of the Palestinian people on the shoulders of the people themselves. The escape they offer is this: Hamas must recognise all agreements between Israel and the PA before receiving aid. This is an absurd request. By participating in elections, Hamas has indirectly recognised the Oslo Accords, which are the only agreement that allows Palestinians to hold elections every four years. This constitutes an indirect recognition of Israel, and already represents a major shift in Hamas’ policy toward Israel.

Again, using Israel’s foreign policy standards, indirect recognition should be enough. Indirect recognition for Israel is more than Israel has granted the Palestinian state: Israel is careful not to recognise a Palestinian state even indirectly, going so far as to list Palestinian nationality on Palestinian and Israeli-Palestinian passports as ‘Jordanian’. When it comes to implementing statehood and recognition Israel is even worse, increasing the population of the major settlements, increasing checkpoints within the Palestinian territory and building walls around major cities. In this way, Israel is moving in the opposite direction of recognising Palestine.

Dropping the theoretical arguments that Israel and the West have raised against Hamas, actual international policy toward the new government has taken a more practical shape. Thus far, the political strategy of the US and Europe has been to ignore Hamas and deal with Abu-Mazen as the policy head of the Palestinian government. To the West, Abu-Mazen represents the remnant of the old Palestinian Authority and the solution to the election’s outcome. However, the effect of these manoeuvres is that Abu-Mazen is quickly being transformed into a mediator rather than a President. If the West continues to follow this strategy, we can expect Europe and the US to hail Abu-Mazen as the voice of the people. While this prospect holds vast economic and status benefits for Abbas, it will benefit the Palestinian people and the real Palestinian government very little.

Of necessity, the economic strategy toward the Hamas government is taking a different form. At first, both Israel and the West took a flat-footed stand against providing any aid to the new government, but already this policy has been thrown out of the window. Now, the policy is to continue providing support only until the Hamas government ‘takes power’. Israel has transferred some of the tax income money it was holding to the PA and the EU contributed 120 million euros to the cause. Both transfers were supported by the US. However, this policy will also have to be discarded when the Hamas government actually does ‘take power’. The West understands that starving the Palestinian people will not turn them against Hamas, but will only increase the radical support base of the Palestinian government. Thus, the real issue is not economic, but political.

In the future, the Palestinian people will continue living as they live now, impoverished, dispossessed, and powerless. Whether the United States or the EU condemns their political choice matters little. Whether ten Israelis a year are killed by militants in suicide bombings and stabbings matters very little. What matters to the Palestinian people are internal conditions and the main determinant of internal conditions in Palestine is not Hamas’ recognition of Israel. The main determinant of poverty and desperation is Israel’s policy toward Palestinians.

As a result, in the future there are two scenarios that could occur under Israeli policy toward the new Hamas leadership. The first is disaster. Israel has already threatened to assassinate the new Palestinian Prime Minister if suicide bombings occur in Israel. This is pushing the region toward catastrophe: a single political or military group like Hamas does not have the power to end violence by militants and vigilantes in its current state. This kind of order to a besieged and fledgling government is as foolish as asking Ehud Olmert to end all Knesset infighting, domestic violence, and bar fights in Israel. The same kind of disaster will occur if Israel prevents aid from reaching the Palestinian government and tries to starve the administration into meeting its demands. The Palestinian people are already living in dire conditions. If Israel increases its severe measures of assassinations, detentions and surrounding economic centers with walls, it will provoke a Third Intifada that would be far worse than the second, because this time the Palestinians would not be fighting from frustration, they would be fighting for their lives.

The second scenario is cooperation. Whether indirectly or directly, Israel must allow the Palestinian government to receive funding and provide for the livelihoods of the Palestinian people. This includes abstaining from the assassination of leaders, allowing freedom of movement within Palestinian territory, freeing prisoners detained without being charged or allowed a free trial, preventing soldiers from harassing civilians, removing settlements from Palestinian territory and demolishing the portions of the ‘Security Wall’ which are built on Palestinian land. These elements are not about sovereignty and land rights, they are about allowing the Palestinian people to feed their families and develop economically and politically.

Israel’s policy toward the new Hamas government will be the primary factor in determining the future of Israel/Palestine. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has entered a stage when it is no longer about Israel versus the Palestinians; now, the conflict is Israeli policy versus UN declarations and EU mandates. The conflict is Israeli policy versus the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law. The conflict is Israeli policy versus democracy, and Israeli policy versus human dignity. The future is not the political choices of the Palestinian people; the future is the political choices of Israel.

Bassem Eid is the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG) based in East Jerusalem

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000436.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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Replies: 22 comments

"Palestinians make the concessions". A statement that seems to be popular on some sites. What more concessions can the Palestinians make??? How about they move out all together to some other country like some groups have been suggesting for some years now?
How can anyone expect the Palestinians to make more concessions than the 1967 border? It does not make any difference to Israel who leads the Palestinians. Israeli political people have an agenda and whoever does not follow it is not a good partner. It is very clear that Israel must accept the 1967 borders or we will never see peace in the middle east. When we stop making execuses for the leaders in Israel, the Israeli government would have to accept the 1967 borders. The refugees are a secondary issue. The so called "democracy" is not threatened by the arabs. Making such claims can not be taken seriuosly.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/10/2006 08:36 PM CST

There are certain parameters that have to be accepted by both Israelis and Palestinians for peace to be possible. And at the moment neither side is fullfilling these parameters. Putting all the responsibility on one side can only result in continued paralysis or escalation or unilateral acts by Israel which will be unsatisfactory.
1) Israel should accept that a Palestinian state will be built next to it. (Which it has).
2) Israel must accept that this state must cober 100% of the land seized in 67 or an equivalent (which it hasn't).
3) Israel must stop building settlements (which it hasn't completely)
4) Israel must recognize that some settlements must be removed (which it has).
5) Israel must stop land confiscation (which it hasn't)
6) Israel must reduce harm to Palestinian civilians to a minimum (which it hasn't done enough).
7) Israel should be willing to negotiate with an elected Palestinian leadership.

1) Israel cannot stop taking counter measures against terrorism such as the fence and roadblocks when the unofficial and now official policy of the Palestinians is to send suicide-bombers, and to bomb Israeli cities until Israel accepts their terms.
2) Israel cannot free Palestinian prisoners who will simply rejoin the forces of organizations attacking it.
3) Israel cannot give momey to a Palestinian government who will use it to buy weapons against Israel.
4) Israel cannot cooperate with a government that does not recognize the previous agreement with it, on which such cooperation is based.
5) It cannot negotiate with a government that does not recognize it or with a president who has no power.
6) It cannot accept an offer for peace that involves large numbers of Palestinian refugees coming into Israel. It definitly cannot accept a temporary truce based on complete withdrawl and entry of refugees.
7) Israel cannot look aside when the Palestinian government makes alliances with Iran and Al-Quida.
8) Irael cannot be expcted to trust a Palestinian government promoting hatred of Israel and Jews.
9) It definitly cannot put faith a in the establishment of a Palestinian state in which militias run wild and anarchy reigns.
10) Israel cannot trust an international community that condemns it but stands aside when Lebanon violates the UN recognized border and international observers escape when the borders with Egypt are breached.
11) Israel will also have difficulties negotiating with Palestinians who expect a state to be handed to them but do not help in figuring out the details of an acceptable agreement, but instead simply make demands on Israel.

Since all these things are happening, it is unfortunatly very likely that Israelis will support Kadima, who supports only limited unilateral withdrawl. Under the circumstances it is unlikely that Israelis who support peace, negotiations and withdrawl to 67 borders will gain the faith of the Israeli public. Sharon may have helped Hamas get elected. But then, they helped him get elected, and now they will help Olmert (at best) or Netanyahu.

Posted by Micha @ 03/11/2006 08:15 PM CST

Dear Micha. I agree with most of your comment. I think ( I am not sure) you are the first to write about the 1967 border. I think if you look at how the arabs in general behave, the issue of the refugees would be solved by dialouge when Israel agrees to return to the 1967 border. The arabs want and accept a 1967 border with Israel. Most of the points you stated in your comment would disappear with Israel accepting and withdrawing to the 1967 border. I would like to remind everyone about what the Lebanese did after Israel withdrew from MOST of the Lebanese occupied land. During the occupation, the Israeli's were attacked many times daily inside Lebanese areas. Once Israel left MOST of Lebanon, the attacks stopped. As to the UN, they are no friends of Lebanon. UN resolution 425 took more than 20 years to be resolved. The only reason for that happening was not the UN or the Israeli governments. It was the resistance in Lebanon and the outcry from Israeli's that made the Israeli government get out of Lebanon. Before we ask the UN to enforce resolution 1559 in Lebanon, why not ask the friendly UN to enforce any of the many resolutions against ISrael?????. The many governments in the UN are their as a number only. They follow the main players. Unfortunately, the Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians and Israeli's are considered small pieces on a chess board. Every few years, the big boys come up with a new monster that they promote as an evil that will distroy "Democracy". That monster today is Iran and Syria. Syria is a monster because they are not willing to give-in to all of uncle sams demands. So most of the world leaders follow, it's like the blind leading the blind. Iran is a monster because it wants nuclear technology for power use. Iran can not possess nuclear weapons because that would be a threat to Israel they claim. Neither Syria nor Iran are a threat to Israel. Israel has an arsonal of over 200 nuclear missles. Ops I let the cat out of the bag now, but of course no one wants to talk about the huge nuclear arsonal of Israel. I guess if Iran had nuclear weapons, then there would be a more balanced Middle east with two so called opposing forces with nukes ready to kill everyone. These so called monsters are no threat to Israel. I would like anyone to tell me when a single shot was fired between Israel and Syria from the Syrian occupied lands. None. It's more peacefull there than in most villages in the safest country in the world. As for Iran, the talk is big and that's about it. Once Israel goes back to the 1967 border, the problems and wars the middle east would be facing is the ECONOMIC world war. If the countries in the middle east including Israel of course continue to have outsiders try to solve their problems, the middle east will never see peace. The countries in the middle east must sit down and come up with a GREAT DEAL FOR ALL OF THE MIDDLE EAST. The only way this will happen is if Israel withdraws to the 1967 border. I know this may seem like a simplistic solution, but it really is that simple. It is the biggest step and the easiest step in resolving the middle east problems.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/12/2006 09:15 PM CST

As far as I am aware neither Israel nor Palestine recognised any part of the 1949 borders until very recently. The "recognition" of the 1949 cease fire line as the international boundaries of Israel was a de-facto decision by external parties. Palestinian / Arab League policy was for decades simply non recognition, and only began to waver in the 1970's. That wavering began with the recognition of the futility of war. The PLO did not recognise Israel's existance until the early to mid 1990's.
IMO the Palestine / Arab position seems to be this. Despite having actively sought the destruction of all Jewish institutions within the disputed region, and having carried out "ethnic cleansing" of Jews in areas controlled by Muslims & Christians in 1949. Then having spent the subsequent 4 decades seeking the destruction of the State of Israel but having failed, the Palestinians / Arabs now want Israel to return to the 1949 cease-fire line as though nothing had happened between times.
The return to pre-June 1967 requires Israel to remove all Jews east of the 1949 line, remove all Jews from Jerusalem and destroy the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. It means handing all power over the primary Jewish holy sites to a corrupt sectarian and violent administration.
Frankly I would say any proposal to return to the pre-June 67 position is a non-starter. Perhaps the first concession the Palestinians have to make is the recognition that the pre-67 position is untenable. The next concession would be start using their imaginations to find a solution that best meets everyone's needs.
Finally the Palestinians obsession with territorial control has been their undoing since the beginning of this conflict. What they need to focus on is good government. It doesn't matter how big or small your patch of land is if you don't have the systems in place to manage it for the benefit of everyone.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 03/13/2006 10:37 AM CST

I hope that Mr. Davies isn't suggesting that things should remain as they are now. If people want Israel to be Jews only, then yes they would have to be removed from the arab lands of pre 1967. Before the creation of Israel, jews lived with the arabs all over the middle east. The jews were a part of the country where they lived. There has been no mention of a 1949 border, all have accepted a pre 1967 border, I should say most and not all. If people keep insisting that Israel is for jews and the arab lands are for muslim and christian, then there is very little hope for a future middle east. SOme people are happy with the state of war in middle east, especially those in the west. The statement that Palestinians should accept whatever Israel feels they can give up is not a solution. If land is not something to want, then why is Israel not returning the occupied arab lands?. I hope that the statement of " Perhaps the first concession the Palestinians have to make is the recognition that the pre-67 position is untenable." is the view of a minority of people. If the majority of people feel the same way as Rod Davies, then the middle east will remain a battle ground for many years to come.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/13/2006 07:06 PM CST

Dear Mr. Jebara,
IMO the one thing that the Palestinians, and many others, fail to recognise is why the Zionists were successful and the Palestinians have not been successful in creating a state. Surprisingly it is neither money nor military equipment, but it is the presence, or lack, of effective civil administration.
The Zionist enterprise was full of committees, bureaucrats and policies, all directed at creating a homeland for the Jews from the beginning. It ran collective enterprises, health care systems, and social services. Thus even before WW2, the Zionists had civil admionistration in place and it was effective. Even after the War of Independence / Nakhba, Israeli politicians remained at least outwardly very economical. They eshewed the trappings of status and wealth. The Israeli Army started out as being subservient to the government under a single command structure. The Israeli judiciary was always independent. Israeli accoutancy standards accord to international standards.

Now compare this with the chaos and endemic corruption that is called Palestine. The chaos & corruption undermine everything. It undermines most of all the ability of the Palestinian people to create a viable state.

As any infantry man knows, it is not enough to capture the land, it has to be held and controlled. The same applies to building a state, just because you nominally have ownership of a patch of land does not mean that you have control of it. Without effective government administration there is no control, and that for the Palestinians poses a very serious problem. Unlike Israel where the IDF is subservient to the state, in Palestine the armed factions are a law unto themselves, and they are dominant. Civilian politicians constantly have to balance the potential and actual threats of the armed factions, and thus they are compromised.
Also armies are great consumers, but they are rarely if ever producers. Thus the armed factions are like leeches sucking away the life blood of Palestine. If a bullet costs 50 cents, then to blast away a full magazine costs $15 just for the bullets, never mind the cost of the gun. If ten Hamas "fighters" blast away at a funeral that is £150 dollars for no benefit whatsoever. Yet there are Palestinians starving for the want fo a $1's worth of food. But when I watch TV it's not ten fighters, it's twenty or thirty happily wasting the wealth of the Palestinians. Even when soldiers are not wasting ammunition, they need feeding and clothing and still contribute nothing to society.

No one in their right mind would invest in the Palestinian controlled areas, simply because the risk is far too high. Even overseas Palestinians who are often very well off and successful, fight shy of actually putting their own money into the area.

If Palestinians want an effective state they first need to address the construction of the machinery of state and ensure that the servants of that state do serve the state and the people. All the fighters have to be brought under a single civilian dominated command. The Palestinian treasury needs to conduct itself properly and according to int'l standards, so that Palestinians and others cans ee where the money is going. The legal system must be free and transparent, and laws uniformly enforced. Until this occurs there is no chance of having a state that meets the needs of the people. Until this is done, other countries, especially the immediate neighbours, will not allow open borders.

If Israel wants to create "Greater Israel" the fastest way they could do it would be to unilaterally withdraw from the OT's, close the borders and simply wait for Palestine to collapse into civil war. And the period 1967 to 1992 will look quite pleasant in hindsight.
Alternatively the Palestinians could put away their weapons and get on with the very boring job of building a country. However to date their leadership has neither shown the courage, nor vision, nor integrity to do this.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 03/13/2006 10:30 PM CST

Rod Davis 13 March tries compare Israeli success with Palestinian non success in establising an independent peaceful state.
He forgets that since Israel's founding by terrororism and support by U.S. Government and largly American Jews' investment protected by U.S. free modern arms, Israel has survived and prospered.
And from the beginning of Israel in 1948, Palestinians received no likewise support with little but token Islamic support.
It is not all as simple as that, but when every citizen of Israel received the benefits of some 1000 dollars a year of U.S. tax dollars to Israel gratis plus plus plus, and Palestininians received nothing, what can on expect but anarchy and resentment.
Today the realities of fact and on the ground are that the Evil Triad of U.S. diminishing ally Britain and Israel are in arrogant disregard of the treaties, law, covenents and the Charter of the U.N. of the now 6,446,131,400 (CIA facts) souls of the 191 nations of the world to which they are signatory.
And in fact, when the laws of mankind are not equally adhered to and enforced, there remains only anarchy, the law of the gun and bomb and God's law of jungle survival of kill first before being eaten.
And since most peoples adhere closely to law because it affords supposedly eqal protection, most peoples do not support those who think they are above the law of stopping at the red stop light and that the laws of the world of nations do not apply to them due to some sort of divine self stated mandate.
Result, the Evil Triad of a daily declining some 370,000,000 souls is facing the rest of a largely non supportive 6,446,131,400 souls (repetition for stark effect) of whom are most of the 1.282,780,000 (CIA facts) justiofiably more than angry Muslims of whom a large, daily increasing unknown number with each Evil Triad illegal atrocity are "the kid who looks like your own kid is the one who will push the button" as quoted by MK and former Israeli MOD, Benjamin Ben Eliezer after the Aug. 19, 20903 Egged bus bombing.
Therefre, the Evil Triad is without manpower, allies, respect, credibility and the means to further rampage militarily around the Mid East or anywhere else unless someone like China or Russia as an alliance attacks Americe.
Today, the U.S. is not in a position to even defend Tiawan.
And today, peace seeking Iran which never since the Persian Empire attacked another nations is under threat by the Evil Triad with a desultry self interested support half way by Germany, France and words from Russia et al.
This is a fluid situation where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad echoed my words to him by his saying "roll the ball" to my own "let the fun begin!" It is time for the bully armed bully of the block to get a bloody nose by being lured up a dark alley and dealt with, winner take all, as we as kids did to a bully in grade school!
So, I again sayO: Go to it children! Let the best with the mostest win!
Even an elephant trampling the trees, vegitation and anthills will sooner or later grow old or complacent or arrogant or stumble and fall to be attacked and ripped apart by hungry animals and vultures whose habitat he destroyed which will be followed by millions of ants cleaning up the remnants where the bones will lie as white, sun bleached monuments to the fact when man rejects his own law, God's law will take over.
Gonne be a great show folks! I'd say to Israel, be happy with your apartheid, racist all Jew state behind the green lines or get together and join the world and make that one state of all peoples with equal rights for all with one vote for every person!
The choice is Israel's to sink or swim. Sooner or later unless two states as per the law happen or one fully democratic state as per the USA happens, there will be many deaths - perhaps in the millions ending in catastrophe where there will be no Jewish state of Israel as such. Cheers, Jolly Uncle Jihad John W. Willmott, 206 Pershsing Way, WPB, FL 33401
And Mid East Web: I am not afraid to sign my name and give my address. Why is MEW so reluctant to name its board and directors and its addresss? Xcuse my flubs. Writing in a stupid window prevents off the cuff writing with Word Spell and word scan for better sentence and grammar!

Posted by John W. Willmott WPB 33401 @ 03/14/2006 05:09 PM CST

Mr. Wilmott,
To imagine that the Palestinians or rather their leadership have not received considerable aid from the international community is to delude yourself. The PLO has been able over the years to generate considerable amounts of money from it's legal and illegal activities. These are primarily narcotics, counterfeiting and money laundering. The British NCIS estimated that the PLO generates a minimum of $1Billion from crime each year - not an insignificant amount of money. It is commonly held amongst government agencies that the PLO is the wealthiest of all terrorist groups by far with assets in the tens of billions. The PLO is a major stockholder in many companies and property owners in many capital cities.
The continuing problem has not been that money has not been provided to the Palestinian political representatives for the benefit of the Palestinian people, but that the money has been siphoned off into individuals pockets.
From the UN the Palestinians have been recipients of WHO, Unicef, & UNHCR funds as well having the benefit of an entire UN department UNRWA. The Palestinians have been steady recipients of aid in cash & kind from individual European countries & the EU. There are problems with EU funding at present due to the inability of the PNA to account for the money. The PLO has been a steady recipient of moneys from Middle Eastern countries obtained by donation and blackmail.
The absence of effective government answerable to the people has allowed a massive kleptocracy to evolve. A kleptocracy to which you, as a US taxpayer, have kindly contributed to in a number of ways. I am sure you didn't intend that Mrs Arafat went shopping to Paris with your money.

A large proportion of US aid to Israel is little more than an indirect subsidy to US industry, and a lever to keep Israel out of US markets. Due to the quality of technology transfer exchanges between the US & Israel, it is really more appropriate to regard the aid to Israel like an investment or retainer.

Until the Palestinians get open, honest and responsive civil government that is answerable to the people, there is almost no chance that the resources made available to them will be used for their benefit. Without effective effective civil government there is anarchy where the physically most powerful prey upon the weak. Something like the worst of US ghettos magnified a thousand times, with no National Guard or Police Force to intervene.

As a young man I saw the product of terrorist enforcement. The knee-cappings, the punishment beatings, the young girls tarred & feathered, and for what? Speaking their minds, going out with someone of the wrong religion, simply saying no more violence, or encroaching upon the terrorist's turf & means of income - rarely was it collaboration or betrayal.

To berate the contributors to this site for not putting their names & addresses belies your ignorance. This conflict extends beyond the realms of this site, and to be identified as someone who speaks out for peace can place the speaker in danger. Job loss, imprisonment, injury, and death. Welcome to the real world!

Posted by Rod Davies @ 03/14/2006 09:39 PM CST


There is a significant minority of Israelis who support withdrawl to the 67 borders. I was active in Peace Now until about two years ago. We are not few. However, an accumulation of factors have caused this peace camp to be completely discredited with the Israeli public at large making it unlikely that it will gain enough power to promote its point of view. Instead of this camp there arose a new camp represented by Kadima that supports withdrawl, but not from all the territories, and that has lost faith in the possibility of peace (with reason).
The reasons for the weakness of the peace camp are:
1) During the time of the first Israeli government who was actually negotiating peace (although in a flawed way), there was a series of suicide bombings as well as a rise in crime originating from the occupied terrorism. The number of suicide bombings was eventually reduced by the Palestinians, but only after the anti-peace right wing government came to power.
2) When a second peace government, which was even more explicit than the first in its support for withdrawl from the territories and establishment of a Palestinian state, the peace process colapsed, apparently over the refugees. Views are mixed about why the peace process collapsed, but there is no doubt that when push came to shove, and the two sides met at the negotiating table, with the Israeli side quite willing to make peace, the process not only stalled, it collapsed, and a violent Intifada erupted.
3) The peace camp had no answer to the growing violence of the Intifada. The focusing on the suffering of the Palestinians and the movement of soldiers refusing to serve in the territories may have helped push the center to more awarenes of the bad aspects of the occupation. But by placing all the immorality on the doorstep of Israel, which at one point had suicide bombings on a weekly and daily basis, and by putting none of the responsibilty on the doorstep of the Palestinians, the peace camp was perceived as completley uncaring to the fears of the Israeli public.
4) The attempt to present the a model for an agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis -- the Geneva agreement -- was full of extremely unreassuring ambiguities and vagueness about the refugees and security, and had little support on the Palestinian side.
5) During the last fifteen years the Palestinians have been asking for confidence building measures from Israel, such as release of prisoners. But continued terrorism and hate rhetoric did noyt inspire much confidence in Israelis.
6) During the Intifada the pro-Palestinian voices challenging Israel's very existence became very vocal, causing even peace supporters to feel threatened. The rise of Hamas and statements by Iran were only the next step in this process.
7) The corruption and growing anarchy in the occupied territories, and the Palestinian leaderships attitude to these processes, which moved between actual support to impotence, did not inspire much confidence about what wil happen after withdrawl.
8) the continued shelling of Israel after withdrawl from Gaza.
9) The victory of the Hamas, which is unwililng to negotiate with Israel, or make peace, and supports continued terrorism, combined with the support in the fatah for terrorism, has pretty much made the peace camp seem as if they live in fantasyland when they talk of negotiations or peace.

It should also be added that withdrawl to the 67 borders does not mean simply rolling back the Israelis. Coperation is needed, redrawing borders and land exchanges, some way to organize things in Jerusalem, etc. For that to be possible ther has to be a willingness to come up with solutions, mutual respect and trust, all of which are non-existent on either side and for good reasons.
You expect Israel to hand over the whole occupied terrotories, and ignore all the problems, on credit that somehow all these problems wil vanish. Why will they?
You say that the Arabs accept peace based on the 67 borders. That is not true. Like the Israelis, some Arabs support it, some support peace but expect more than Israel is able to give (refugees), and others do not support peace at all. This is the same with Israelis. But at least with us you can pretty much tell who is who by looking at the composition of our parliament. And the different factions openly argue about these issues. This is not the case with the Palestinians.
Lebanon is the only country Israel occupied that it really didn't want to stay in. It never built settlement. It only stayed because of the Hizballa. It withdrew when it realized that staying helped the Hizballa more than leaving. It withdrew to the recognized border, but the Hizballa is still activly fighting against it. It refrains from escalating the conflict because it is afraid that an Israeli retaliation will make it look bad to Lebanese, so it keeps its efforts to the small area of the border which it claims for Lebanon (against the UN resolution). This is not very confidence inspiring.
Syria did not attack Israel from its borders because it was using Lebanon for that purpose.
There are three differences between Iran having nuclear weapons and Israel:
1) Iran might be crazy enough to use it. They are crazy enough to have a convention about a world without Israel and holocaust denial.
2) Iran my give these weapons to Al-Quida, which i crazy enough to use it.
3) Possesing nuclear weapons will make it immune to international pressure in response to it promoting terrorism in Iraq or elsewhere.

I am not saying Israel is OK. But for change to occur both the Israelis and the Palestinians have to take responsibility for their contribution to the mess we are in. You to expect Israel to take all the responsibility and withdraw, because somehow, only afterwards, the Palestinians, and other Arabs, will start behaving differently. Even if it was true, which is doubtful, Israelis will never give their vote for somebody willing to take such a huge gamble. So they wil vote for the party that tells them that withdrawl is necessary, but Peace wil not be acheived, and military strength, unilateralism and fences are the only way.

Posted by Micha @ 03/14/2006 11:01 PM CST

"Before the creation of Israel, jews lived with the arabs all over the middle east."

Before the creation of Israel Jews lived as a minority dependant on the unstable good will of their host countries. Everybody loves the Jews as a minority. Or maybe not. Even then people looked down on them. But they sure liked the idea that Jews are just a minority dependant on their goodwill. This is one of the reasons that the state of Israel was created.

Posted by Micha @ 03/14/2006 11:06 PM CST

when push comes to shove and if the local population feel themselvs to be in a gutter, rightly or wrongly they may either elect a extreme faction or let them in by a backstairs intrigue.,
in any faith or race or nation or state

Posted by moiz esufally @ 03/15/2006 03:58 AM CST

accpeting the violent foundation of hamas there are other 'good works' which make it popular including a actual or perceived anti corruption drive. can any of its detractors or opponents claim the same

Posted by moiz esufally @ 03/15/2006 04:00 AM CST

This is a very interesting debate. A few years ago in Ottawa, I was at a home of a jewish lady. She had a book on the table. I can't remember the title. I wish I could remember. Anyway, she noticed I was looking at the title which said something like "Jews before Israel". She said it was a very good book and she wished all jews would read it because it showed facts about how the jews were to be manipulated and placed in an endless war with the arabs. The countries behind this was the United States, England and France. Since I don't remember the title of the book, I wont go on about it.
I hope everyone knows that when a whole people is mentioned, it does not mean every single person. It means most of the people. The jews were a minority in arab countries. Before the 1800's the jews in arab lands had all the protection and all rights of a citizen in that country. Does this mean everyone was happy? No. However, to say because jews are a minority and they needed a country for that reason means that only jews should be in a state of Israel. So let's kick all those non jews out of the "democratic" state of Israel. While we are at it, let's kick all the jews living as a minority in all countries of the world, let's kick them out and send them to the jewish state of israel. We are living in the 21'st century, please please let's stop this none sense.
The arabs have accepted a 1967 border with Israel. No one is saying for Israel to just pull back and let all hell brake loose. Israel should signal it's intentions publically and then sit down with the arab countries and see how the withdrawls would be implemented. Israel is not willing to go back to the 1967 border. The matter of Al Quds would also be solved together. The Palestinians have not had the chance to truly govern themselves. As to Syria, they have been looking for peace with Israel based on the 1967 border. The Lebanese have accepted a 1967 border. Most Plaestininas have accepted a 1967 border. Hizballah is only hitting Israeli's in occupied lands. These are the three main peoples fighting Israel. If these three would accept a 1967 border and Israel continues to ignore them all, then war will be the only certainty for the middle east.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/15/2006 05:26 PM CST

Dear Rod. The Palestinians have not been financially supported by anyone in particular. I am no big supporter of the PLO. However, it can not be said that the PLO is a terrorist group. The PLO had a mission to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation. The state of Israel has been considered a terrorist state for many years for the ruthless mass killings and ethnic cleansing that they have done since it's creation. When talking about funding for the Palestinians, you should talk since the Oslo accord only. It is well known that the Palestinians received the least amount of support since that time. Yes major corruption was occuring with the blessing of most major players. Maybe Hamas won the free election due to the corruption. To say that the Palestinians should do like Israel did with it's economy you need many things to change. First off would be for Israel not to choke the Palestinians. Second, it would help if Israel did not allow for weapons from Israel to be sold to the Palestinians. There many ways that Israel is obstructing the creation of a viable Palestinian state. A proper Palestinian state is not in Israel's interest and so it will derail any attempt by the Palestinians to succeed. From your comments, Israel is not an independant country but it's a mini US state. Once Israel leaves all occupied territories within an overall peace deal, Palestine with the real help of the world would be able to slow corruption and create a viable country.
Corruption and wasting money is not unique to anyone country or people. As to terrorist affect on people such as you have been affected, I would like you to check out all the atrosities commited by the state of Israel and see why so many people are against Israel. Just check out the UN for the many reports of atrocities in Israel as well as other countries. Check out the torture methods used by the state of Israel. Let's not forget that Israel is the only country in the world if not in history to try and make a biological weapon that would kill only people with arab blood. I hope that Israel would never succeed with the creation of that biological weapon. It most likely wont succeed because the arab and jewish blood are almost impossible to distinquish between them since they are the semitic people.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/15/2006 07:00 PM CST

Dear Mike Jebara,
In the first instance there is plenty of independent documentary evidence to show that prior to European intervention that non-Muslims did not have legal equality with Muslims, nor were they regarded as citizens of the Muslim states. I draw your attention to the Treaty of Berlin Article LXII. The only country that has historically integrated Jews as equal citizens has been China, and the demise of the Kaifeng community was cited as a reason for maintaining total separation by some Jews. Chinese Jews simply blended in with their Buddhist & Taoist neighbours, assimilated and disappeared.

Secondly no other refugee group has it's own division of the UN to look after it. Despite recent savage budget cuts the UNWRA will receive $339million this year, about 50% of what it previously received. UNHCR & UNICEF also provide funds and services to the Palestinians. The EU has steadily provided funds and goods to the Palestinians for decades. In addition the oil states have provided millions of dollars worth of aid. Due tot he inherent secrecy of the PLO we shall never know just how much money went through their coffers.

Although national governments within the EU have fought shy of carrying out investigations into misappropriation of funds, MEP's have demanded that the auditors provide answers. Until very recently the PNA seemed incapable of providing the level of financial reporting that even the smallest community administration in the EU has to provide.

Of course Israel obstructs the development of Palestine, what on earth do you expect? For decades they have been at war, and arguably still are at war with Palestine. Hamas believes it's at war with Israel. Why should Israel want to see Palestine prosper if the current government states that it intends to pursue a war?

The future of Palestine is the responsibility of the Palestinians, and no one else. If the Palestinians want billions of dollars from the USA, then they have to make themselves useful to the USA. If the Palestinians want the Israelis to help them build a state then they have to do what is needed to be able to engage with Israel. Israel owes the Palestinians absolutely nothing. The Palestinians chose the path of war, and they must live with the consequences of that.

While we may all have sympathy for the Palestinians they have recently elected a political party that is committed to the destruction of Israel. It may have been an expression of frustration with the incompetence of Fatah, but it must have been obvious that the Hamas intends to take the Palestinians back into war. If the Palestinians were frustrated with Fatah, couldn't they have formed a "peace party" committed to peace and effective government? Or is the choice only Fatah or Hamas because these two factions are committed to ruling through the barrel of a gun, and that the many Palestinians who recognise Israel and want peace are too scared?

Posted by Rod Davies @ 03/15/2006 10:03 PM CST

Mike, you disappoint me. That you should believe such a lie as the story that Israel devloped biological weapons that target Arabs. It is amazing what people believe about Isral. I hope Ami will refer us to the source and details of this story.

Of course prior to 1800 Jews were dhimmis in Muslim countries and not equal citizens. In fact the idea of equal citizenship only started in Europe at that time, and very slowly at that.

I suspect the Jewish lady you visited was a Troskite, or a communist or something like that. They love the kind of conspiracy theories in which everything is maipulated by England and France or something like that. They tend to think of people as puppets. They just would like to be the ones pulling the strings.

I never said that only Jews should live in Israel. Jews are not the only ones living in Israel. 20% of the citizens are not Jews. I have neighbors who are Arabs. However, the same way that an Arab country would stop being Arab if the Arabs were less than 50% of its population, although Arab countries have non-Arab minorities. And Finland would stop being Finnish if the Fins wre less than 50%, although they have a non-finnish minority, and so on, so it is with Israel. Which is why for Israel to remain Israel the Jews must not become a minority. And that is why we should not annex the occupied territories and give the Palestinian citizenship, but work to create a viable Palestinian state instead. It's that simple.

The Hizbulla is attacking Israel accross the international border as recognized by the UN. I do not know if most Palestinians have accepted the 67 borders. I have no way of knowing. As for now, the Palestinians have elected a goverment that does not recognize these borders. I believe Israel has signaled very publically its willingness to withdrawl. There is also a minority but quite vocal peace camp in Israel that has signaled its willingnes for peace based on the 67 borders in many ways. It would be nice to receive a signal fron the Palestinians that didn't go boom when it hit the surface. But whenever I attended a joint Israeli-Palestinian activity, it was all about attacking Israel, never about peace. And whenever somebody considered talking peace or did talk peace it was with terrorism in the background.

The methods used by the PLO in the last 45 years were bombing, kidnapping, airplane hijacking, hostage taking, bombarding civilians, and recently suicide bombings. The best definition for these methods is terrorism, regardless of whether you like the cause the PLO fought for, or whether you think these methods were useful or justified. These were the methods, and they were terroist methods by definition.

Why do people find it so easy to throw around the word attrocities about Israel, while ignoring situations ten times worst all over the globe. I sat at a vigil next to the prime-minister's residence with a sign counting the number of Israeli and Palestinian casualties during the intifada. I was part of a candle vigil for those casualties that continued despite a suicide bombing a few blocks away (we heard the sound). I stood in a demonstration with two coffins with an Israeli and Palestinian flag. But Israel does not do attrocities or mass killings or ethnic clensing. It is because people exagerate what Israel does that people don't take seriously the protests against what Israel really does wrong.

Israel surely should not be held responsible for the guns the Palestinians have. That is surely absurd.

Posted by Micha @ 03/15/2006 11:23 PM CST

Dear Micha. I read the articles about the biological weapon Israel was attempting to make about 13 years ago. At that time the story ran in most Canadian news papers. The report attributed the information to people who worked on the project in Israel. An article as rediculious as it sounded would not be far fetched. The news of Israel having nuclear weapons were denied for many years. I blame the arabs for not working closely with Israeli's who were trying to bring attention to the fact that Israel was working on developing nuclear weapons. Maybe if the arabs had worked with those Israeli's opposesd to Israel having nuclear weapons, just maybe the middle east would not be a nuclear area today. Why not believe that Israel would attempt to make a biological weapon that would target arabs? why do they have all those nukes?????. Israel without it's nukes is considered one of the most powerfull countries in terms of it's military. Who do they plan to use them on???
As to the PLO being a terrorist group, Israel has done many things that the PLO did. Why is it when Israel assassinates some one it isn't called terrorism but when the Palestinians assassainate an Israeli, they called terrorrists?

Micha, Lebanon has not accepted the blue line as the border between Israel and Lebanon. It is meant as a temporary line only. When a Lebanese village is seperated by the UN blue line, it becomes very clear that the blue line is not the border. These are the disputed areas where the fighting takes place. While we are at this, why doesn't Israel respect any of Lebanon's lands. Every day they come in by land, air or sea. Hisballah has been more in line with the UN than Israel. If we are looking for anyone to blame, there is plenty of blame to go around for everyone. When you say that Israel is a democratic country, then more is expected of it. When Israel continues to ignore all UN requests, more would be expected of a democratic country.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/16/2006 06:27 PM CST

Dear Mike and Micha,
1- Jews in Muslim countries were (uaually) treated better than they were in treated in European countries. That doesn't mean that there were NOT episodes of forced conversion as there were in Spain of Maimonides' time or that Jews were not generally second class citizens. It was the custom in several Arab countries for Muslim children to throw rocks at Jews. It is absurd to insist that even in the best circumstance any minority wants to live as second class citizens. Muslim countries were fairly benign to Jews, but it was not "America" exactly. Jews were tolerated and despised.

2- I know of only two stories about Israeli biological weapons. There was a science fiction tale that won a contest in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper stating that Israel had developed a bio-weapon that could target Arabs selectively through genetic engineering. The genetic basis of this is impossible of course - there are no unique genes for Jews or Arabs. This bit of whimsy was picked up by Jane's and repeated by the New York Times as gospel truth. That may be what Mike is referring to, but it was much less than 13 years ago. The second story is apparently true - Israel experimented with the idea of developing LSD gas that would be sprayed on enemies so they would tune in, turn on and drop out. A comparatively harmless sort of weapon, but apparently not practical.

Posted by Moderator @ 03/16/2006 11:39 PM CST

Ami, thanks for the reply here and by E-mail.

Your most recent post about extremism answers most other parts of Mike's latest post. When Israel or Israelis do something that is like terrorism, I do not hesitate to point it out. I also 'don't hesitate to speak out against things that are not terrorism. Assasinating leaders of militias is not terrorism the same way that killng Israeli soldiers in the field of battle is not. But both are unwise.

Israel wants nuclear weapons for the same reason that any country caught up in a cold war like situation -- deterant. Since the countries surrounding us are only detered from eliminting us because of military force it is no surprise that we put much (sometimes too much) faith in it.

Israel is not a boy in a class, and the rest of the world are not the teachers. They don't get to expect more from us. As an Israeli I expect more from Israel. People from other countries should expect more of themselves. So should the Palestinians. If everybody took on the responsibility to make its society better, reaching peace would be easier.

Posted by Micha @ 03/17/2006 01:10 PM CST

I hope what Ami said about the biological weapon is true.
Terrorism is a common thing in the middle east, especially now in Israel and Palestine. Why is assassinating an Israeli minister called terrorism but when Israel assassinates Palestinian leaders it's not called terrorism??????
Micha, I am not a Palestinian, however I can understand and support what they want when it is logical and fair. So if my opinions appear to be an extremist view I have no problems being called that. If wanting a peace and just soultion to the arab-Israeli problem is considered extremist, then I hope the majority in the middle east will be extremists like I am.
Micha since you are an Israeli, you must expect more from Israel and arabs must expect more from their countries leaders. However, Israel does not live in a universe of it's own. Just like Israel expects from other countries like a "democratic arab world", or expects the US and other countries to do for Israel, so does the rest of the countries involved expect from Israel.
as to "People from other countries should expect more of themselves." I agree with you, however, why does Israel try to derail any attempt by the arabs to do just what you said?. I mentioned two Israel derailment efforts on the "Strengthening Middle East Moderates ".
As to having nukes:
Israel has enough nuke to wipe out the whole world and not just the militarily weak arab countries that you and many Israeli's appear to be affraid of so much.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/17/2006 05:52 PM CST

Assassinating an Israeli minister is a gray area as far as terrorism is concerned, whereas assasinating a child is not. Israel, I know, has killed Palestinian children but the Palestinians have targeted them. I believe Israel has shown criminal negligence about Palestinian life and I have attended demonstration in protest of that. I would have liked to hear about a Palestinian protest about the death of Israelis. Anyway, if there is a difference between assassinating an Israeli minister and a Palestian leader it is that the difference between military leaders and political leaders is not as clear on the Palestinian side,nor do political parties in Israel have militias. However, if all the Palestinian did was target Israeli political leaders it wouldbe nice.

I support a Palestinian state in the 67 borders. So does Ami (I think) and many other Israelis. I have been very active in Peace Now and with other more radical groups until about the summer of 2004, and I still believe their cause (more or less) if not the ways they go about promoting it. What I dispute is that everything the Palestinian want and do is logical and fair, and everything the Israelis want or do is illogical and unfair. I would like to attend demonstrations in which people say to the Israelis AND the Palestinians: stop this madness. What I like about this blog is that it does not hide the fact that in this story there are bad guys on both sides, few good guys, and madness everywhere.
I expect nothing from the Arabs and little from the rest of the world. I expect my country to refrain from occupation and unnecessary human rights violations, and to present a peacedeal based on two states and the 67 borders even if the Palestinians are incapable of stopping fighting Israel or accepting its existence. But if the Palestinians are not going to stop attacking Israel, and I don't expect them too, then Israel will have to use military force to defend itself, and perhaps use unilateral methods rather than negotiations.
I understand how you feel about Israel derailing moderates. The Palestinians pretty much demolished the Israeli peace camp 3 or 4 times. In fact, it is surprising that it is doing as well as it does (not well at all). However, when I was active (in the hight of the Intifada), I did expect the peacecamp to get over these difficulties and move on. Some did some didn't. Unfortunatly, some of those who got over these difficulties did so by ignoring them completely or even justifying them. As a result their ability to promote their ideas in Israeli society was compromised.
Why do arabs shift from claiming powerlessness and passivity to promoting violent rhetoric and actions that end up only harming themselves? When a country is too small to survive long wars and is surrounded by millions who were taught that it should not exist and who, most of the time, are willing to do and say the stupidest things to promote that, it seems logical and fair to be a little concerned so long as you do not let this concern push you to do something stupid yourself.

Posted by Micha @ 03/18/2006 06:01 PM CST

Hi Micha. I am glad they are keeping this comment going for this long. Murder of innocent people should be condemned by all. Now you said something that probably is the greatest idea and should apply to all and not just Israel and Palestine and that is "However, if all the Palestinian did was target Israeli political leaders it wouldbe nice.". Now I do have one acception to this rule, PLEASE PLEASE leave Canadians out of this. LOL.
Please do not accuse anyside of doing the "right" thing. Both sides have many faults.

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 03/19/2006 04:26 PM CST

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