MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
A confluence of events has created what might be an opportunity for peace -- or a dangerous mirage.
The most interesting aspect of this opportunity is perhaps on the Israeli side, and may overturn the conventional wisdom that insists that the Gaza disengagement, from the Israeli point of view was a disaster.
When the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, Israeli politicians assured the public that if problems developed, Israel could reverse the situation by military action. People believed that it was worthwhile to "take risks for peace." As it turned out, the situation is seemingly irreversible. The Palestine Authority government that was supposedly elected to make peace with Israel became progressively more inimical to peace, until finally, at the insistence of the US, the Hamas were allowed to participate in elections and they took over leadership of the Palestinian Authority. It is no secret that the Hamas do not want peace, as they say so themselves. Israel found however, that it was faced with a fait accompli in the Palestinian Authority and could do very little in fact to reverse the situation.
During almost the entire period of the Olso accords, and actually, going back before that time to the first Intifada, Israeli reaction to Palestinian violence was limited and governed by a predominant concern: Israel could never really respond to eliminate the basic threat, because in the eyes of "world opinion" -- including the US and the EU as well as China and Russia, Israel was an occupier, morally in the wrong.
This consideration governed responses to acts of terror and violence until the Gaza withdrawal. It meant, for example, that the supposedly mighty Netanyahu could not really react to the infamous "tunnel riots," and in fact had to conclude the Hebron agreement afterwards despite the riots. It mean that when the Bush administration took power in 2001, they initially imposed a spare parts embargo on Israel. It meant that Israel had to respond to EU requests not to take drastic steps following the Tel Aviv Discotheque bombing. It produced the "even-handed" Mitchell Report. In 2002, when Israel finally responded to a series of lethal suicide bombings by attacking terror centers in Jenin, there was a wave of protest from governments, journalists, the UN and NGOs in Europe and the USA, though the Israeli action killed far less civilians than the terror bombings had killed, and helped attenuate the suicide bombing craze.
From the point of view of the Israeli public, it became evident that Israel could not respond to terror attacks without paying a steep price in international public relations. Consequently, it became impossible to take risks for peace, because there would be no way to retrieve the situation if the agreement went bad.
However, the election of the Hamas, coupled with the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the illness of Ariel Sharon, led to a new reality. Whatever Sharon's merits, bad points and policies, he was a bogey-man in most of the Middle East. The US and EU could not side with Ariel Sharon too openly, and Arab governments could not remain indifferent to Palestinian pleas of aggression as long as Sharon was in power. Sharon after all, ate babies, as depicted in the cartoon in the Independent. How could anyone side with the baby-eating Sharon? Ehud Olmert, meek civilian, took over just in time to inherit the disengagement policy and the credit that Sharon and Israel got for it in Western capitals. He also promised a further "consolidation." When Hamas was elected to power, the quartet imposed economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority.
Coincidentally, the G-8 industrial powers were very interested in making a show of force against Iran and its agents in Lebanon, the Hezbollah, both in connection with the nuclear program, and because of their interest in disarming the Hezbollah in according with UN Security Council resolutions.
The stage was set for the events of this summer, that began with the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit in Gaza on June 25 and the Hezbollah kidnapping on July 12. Unlike the previous period, the "great powers" and even the Arab countries were either approving or indifferent when Israel used force in both cases. In a situation nearly unprecedented in history, Israel had about a month to operate against the Hezbollah with little real pressure or censure except a bad press that somewhat exaggerated civilian casualties in Lebanon. In the same period, IDF began massive operations in Gaza that went largely unnoticed. The world got bored with the Palestinians and the Arab governments washed their hands of the Hamas.
In Lebanon, inept Israeli military and civilian leadership largely wasted the opportunity. In Gaza however, the unrelenting military pressure, out of the spotlights, and the economic boycott of the Palestinian Authority, finally moved the Hamas to compromise and share power with the Fatah in a unity government that should happen any day now. According to Danny Rubenstein, there is not much in this deal for Israel, which is basically power-sharing with the Fatah, and a face saving vague formula whereby Hamas accepts "political realities" without recognizing Israel. In the right circumstances, it could develop into something. Mahmoud Abbas has said now that he is willing to meet and negotiate to "end the circle of violence," as well as "comprehensive peace." He insisted however that the peace would be based on "relevant UN resolutins" and the Arab peace initiative, and it is likely that in accordance with the Palestinian Prisoners Letter, Abbas would demand Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, which is a non-starter for Israel. It is not at all clear that the Hamas would agree to this hypothetical peace treaty in any case.
These positions would have to be moved and shaped to conform with reality. In order for this to happen, pressure must be applied and rewards offered, and this may not be forthcoming. Politically, Ehud Olmert's government has been weakened by the war. The right is "waiting for him." However, he could point out that Israel, due in part to his policies, has broken the taboo against Israeli self defence that was in force for so many years. If Israel takes risks for peace, it will be able to retrieve the situation.
The fact is that right now nobody knows what this Palestinian government is going to be, and what policies it might follow. Very probably, the policies it follows will be conditioned by the incentives - positive and negative - provided by Israel and by the quartet. Therefore a logically consistent, coordinated and cautious policy is the logical way to greet the new developments.
However, instead of this measured response, everyone seems to be reacting in their own knee-jerk reflexive way. Israel greeted the news of the unity government coldly. Foreign Minister Livni said that if Abbas "joins the terror government headed by Hamas, we will have a problem." That is not even a "wait and see attitude."
On the other hand, Ha'aretz editorial asserted:
The conclusion about negotiating peace is correct, but the editorial undermines its own conclusion:
So where is the peace?? "Shalom Shalom, ve'eyn shalom beyisrael." ("Peace, Peace, yet there is no peace in Israel"). Haaretz also tells us:
That is only true if the Palestinian government is ultimately interested in peace with Israel. If the Hamas are still plotting to eliminate the "Zionist entity" then an orderly Palestinian quasi-state would be much more of a threat to Israel than the present chaos. Nazi Germany would not have been more threatening to its neighbors if it had been less orderly! Why would Israel want to encourage efficient government in an entity that is out to destroy it?
If Israel said "no" reflexively, the European Union may be rushing off in the other direction. Miguel Moratinos was ebullient::
There might be an opportunity for peace here. However, unless both Israel and the EU show at least the rudiments of intelligent thought and statecraft, the opportunity for peace could very easily turn out to be a very dangerous mirage.
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/00000513.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.
Replies: 38 comments
The notion of "taking risks for peace" struck me, since it seems to imply that peace is nowhere near within reach. It implies that peace is not something that is visible "on the horizon" and being worked towards in a predictable and steady fashion, but instead is something that may or may not turn up when a dice is thrown.
I suppose some Palestinian people will always be dissatisfied with anything less than driving Israel into the sea, and other extremist Jewish Settlers will always be dissatisfied with anything less than attacking Palestinians.
There is a always a section of the population which wants peace, (in both groups) and there will always be a section in both groups which is happy to make war with minimal cause.
I think therefore Peace would be far more attainable if not everybody is included in the peace negotiations; instead only those who want peace should be included in negotiating peace for themselves - on both sides.
Posted by Joseph @ 09/14/2006 08:47 PM CST
Posted by Ami Isseroff @ 09/14/2006 09:11 PM CST
Why don't you spend a little time actually answering people's comments instead of blabbering on about new topics when they are all really related. Is it because you don't have the brains. Could be??
Posted by John @ 09/15/2006 03:51 PM CST
The situation is not as simple as (those who want peace) and (those who want to eliminate their nemesiss'). Not only is Israel, Palestinians, and Lebaneese involved in the equation; but there is United States, Great Britan, France, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser extent, more of a background suppot to the respective factions - Russia, China, Canada..etc...etc. This is a global flash point or fulcrum, if you will. The world powers have placed their bets and everyone is willing to stick their hands in the honey pot to ensure they get the spoils of war. The ties that are entanlged in the continuation of conflict in the middle east are so numerous..(Arms production corporations, Logistical Support corporations, Tactical support industries.....etc etc..). All of these players have deep pockets, as for the US, we have a system of leagalized bribary that is commonplace in our Legislative brach, providing these lobbyists can launder the payoff through some campaign fund to make it appear as though their bribes are not directly benefitting the bribee. Which of course is a syntactical farse. Everyone in the US is well aware that he who has the most money to put on elaborate song and dance routines, or has been surfaced recently: hire thugs to tamper with the voting system, is garunteed to win an election, thus directly benefiting the bribee. I'm sure these scenarios are not restricted to the US. And so my friends, you see, it is not a simple matter of wanting peace, you must fight for it. Not with guns or bombs. But with information. The more we educate and expose the filth that drives our world. The more ire we will raise in our neighbors. The less we will be tolerant of tyrants. The war in the Mid_East will not be won in the Mid-East. It will be won in the home lands of all those that have a buck to be made from perpetuating war. We are all responsible for cleaning our own yards. And as we do so, we will shred the web that holds the world hostage like a squirming fly.
Posted by OMFG @ 09/15/2006 07:02 PM CST
Posted by john @ 09/15/2006 07:09 PM CST
I suppose I was assuming that the potential troublemakers will always make trouble, no matter what happens. If they are more reasonable than that, then I see your point, and agree.
I think I should have a look around the rest of the site; it seems balanced from what I have read so far. I like it.
Posted by Joseph @ 09/15/2006 09:20 PM CST
This is obviously a site that is given to a genuine search for peaceful co-existence between Arabs and Jews and as such I welcome it. Though, I find it interesting to look at the situation through the eyes of Zionists not given to violent expansion, I still find several points of fact which I would regard as myths likely to lead to lead to errors in decision making.
One of the myths that is repeated over and over again is that of the "they want to drive Israel into the sea." I guess that those Israelis who are fully aware of the suffering their state has inflicted on their Arab neighbours, might have reason to suppose that that is what would be the natural Arab reaction. In fact ther eis reason to be more optimistic. History is full of examples of peoples who have been at war and who have subsequently managed to establish a mutually beneficial modus vivendi.
I have recently been reading Ahmed Qurie's "From Oslo to Jerusalem." Qurie, as head of the PLO's negotiating team, recounts the Oslo negotiations blow by blow. He makes a point which I think is very important for those Zionist who are genuinely interested in peaceful co-existence (but not for those still endeavouring to ignore opportunities for peace in order to extract further benefits at Palestinian expense.)
The Israeli delegation pressed him over and over again for recognition of Israel's existence (and thus for legitimacy in the eyes of other Arab states.) Qurie held out. This was not because the PLO had any particular desire to, or illusion that it could, "drive Israel into the sea." It was because it was the only bargaining chip that they held.
For them to give away this chip for ever, all it would take is the stroke of a pen. For the Israelis to deliver on their side of the bargain would involve many physical actions that would take a prolonged period of time. Striking such bargains with democracies - especially those which have a track record of flouting international law - is one which requires much confidence building. Prime Ministers get shot. New ex-generals come to power etc.etc. There is many a slip possible twixt cup and lip.
I think that the number of Hamas members who would not be prepared to negotiate seriously for a firm peace with Israel on a Taba type basis, is very small indeed. A grevious error was made when the election of Hamas was seen as anything more significant than a protest at the corruption that had crept into the PLO and also as a protest at the Likud's failure to show any rewards to those on the Arab side who were in genuine search of a settlement.It was most certianly not a vote for violence and has been mis-represented as such by certain elites who stand to benefit from so doing.
Posted by Hugh Steadman @ 09/16/2006 07:59 AM CST
I hear that muslim people feel offended by a quotation the pope made in Regensburg. Instead of listening to what Benedict XVI. exactly said (he said that the opinion expressed in that quotation would be too harsh), muslim people once again start to riot all over world. Islamic governments like the palestine demand excusions by the representative of Christ. Do you think you may threaten our pope? How long will our patiency last? Is christianity so weak and? We PAY the Hamas-government, and they are threatening us? This is my answer to all people, that think, their agressions against our western culture and our pope will be accepted: Do not dare to harm the heart of our culture, our you will unite the western civilization in order to stop your Jihad.
Posted by Severin @ 09/16/2006 11:44 AM CST
Speaking for the United States, we are not religious extremeist Catholicism is not the ruling majority and is looked upon by others as a classic novelty. We really don't care if they threaten a pope in Vatican City. That will not unite the western world. And we are divided still by a great body of secular people. So you see, religion is not the glue that binds us, unlike many Islamic ruled nations. No, I'm afraid they would have to destroy our true god...the almighty dollar. And that my friend is tangible and vulnerable. So, until they start threatening our economy, then I'll not loose any sleep.
Posted by OMFG @ 09/16/2006 04:21 PM CST
I have known both Jews and Christians take undue and unbalanced offence at honest attempts to comment on the truth as seen by the observer. Islam is not alone in this tendency. Study closely the words of Ahmedinejad about the annhilation of Israel. The best interpreters have it not as a threat that it was something Iran was planning to do (an attempt that would clearly be suicidal from Iran's point of view, technically impossible and in Islamic doctrine, immoral,) but as a comment on what he thought was likely to occur in future history if the current path of Israeli policy continued to be pursued. (Not an unreasonable view - show me an empire that has not ultimately collapsed or that does not contain the seeds for such collapse within it.)
Since WWII it is interesting to attempt to count the score in the clash of religions. I count approx 10,000 Jews and Christians killed on their home territory by Moslems - and something closer to 5 million Moslems killed on their home territory by Jews and Christians (the current civil war in Dafur could perhaps be counted as doing something towards rectifying the balance.)There were 7000 moslems killed by Christian Serbs at Sevrenicia alone. Half a million Iraqi children dead as a result of UN sanctions (a price Ms Allbright infamously considered "worth paying.") I don't know how many the Russians managed to score when they invaded Afghanistan - but it looks like the US and NATO are getting set to equal their score. Israel has just scored another 1500 odd Moslems in the last two or three months - against less than 50 Jews killed on Jewish soil.
In these circumstances, do you find it that hard to understand why Moslems are so ready to take offence when none was seriously intended? Jews know what it means to face universal persecution and attempts at genocide. As a result Israel has always had an undeniably paranoid world view. Moslems are equally human and we cannot be surprised if they have similar reactions in similar (not identical) situations.
If you want peace instead of hate, the first step is to try and see the world through the eyes of your enemy. If you are really imaginative, you might even realise that he is your brother and that there is desperate need for you to cooperate in saving the human family from its otherwise impending catastrophe caused by rapid climate change and nuclear poisoning.
Posted by Hugh Steadman @ 09/16/2006 11:35 PM CST
Mr. Steadman's claim that 10,000 Christians and Jews have been killed on their own home territory by Muslims seems rather low given that the Muslim Indonesians killed between 60,000 and 200,000 East Timorese during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. I recall that Christian Lebanese civilians also were subject to some pretty severe violence from the various Muslim factions. The Copt community continually cite that those in Egypt are subject to abuse and violence in Egypt. Also it is convenient to forget that the Serb population in the Balkans were victimised by the Hanjar SS (Muslim) during WW2, and not entirely surprising that the Serbs sought vengence when the opportunity arose. In light of what is happening NOW in Darfur where Muslim Sudanese are preparing to massacre the non-Arab / non-Muslim population after years of violence I am left wondering how Mr. Steadman establishes the criteria for his data.
As for Mr. Steadman's assertion that the Palestinians voted Hamas into government in the hope / expectation that Hamas would simply sort out the mess of corruption and put aside their other central policies is both arrogant and absurd. The election of Hamas was fair and democratic, the Palestinian people chose them on the basis of their charter. It is arrogant on our part to assign to this action anything other than what it purports - the Palestinians chose Hamas and all that it encompasses. Has the Palestinian people wanted some alternative then another political party would have emerged - unless the circumstances are that both Fatah and Hamas operate systems which threaten and intimidate anyone seeking to establish an alternative party. If this latter situation is the case then the election was not democratic.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/18/2006 10:46 AM CST
Rod Davies is correct about East Timor - that is one I missed off my list - but as I said , it was only a quick calculation. The Dafur one, I mentioned. His corrections however fail totally to answer the main purpose of my argument about the huge imbalance between the two scores. That is a point he is perhaps less happy to comment on?
I'd be interested to see how he'd score Israel's contribution to the West's body-count balance sheet. I'm sure its Arab neighbours would find the balance most impressive.
His comments about the Palestinian voters, currently suffering collective punishment for exercising their democratic choice, having had the choice of either voting for Fatah or for Hamas or of creating a third party if they weren't completely happy with the policies of either of the other contenders,is simply ludicrous. Has he ever tried to found a political party at short notice?
There is an Iraqi proverb when it comes to democratic elections - you have the choice of either drinking piss or eating ****. No party is ideal - but you just choose the lesser of the two evils. Everyone knows that all the vast majority of Hamas or Fatah supporters want is to get on with their own lives in peace. For this they need Israel to honour the undertaking it made in 1993 in the Oslo Declaration of Principles - "...a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338."
Were Israel to have honoured to the best of its ability the undertaking Peres and Rabin had the courage to make, it is most improbable that Israel would have the increasingly serious problem it now faces. But, as no doubt Rod Davies would be the firs tto confirm, the journey from Rabin to Sharon was a deliberate choice of the Israeli electorate. (Though I would accept that, as is nowadays the case in most Western democracies, it was not exactly kept in full possession of the facts.)
Posted by Hugh Steadman @ 09/18/2006 01:45 PM CST
The game of body-counts is frankly pointless, largely because reported body-counts are so corrupted by political posturing that is become meaningless. If there is any lesson to learn from them, it should be that undeveloped and dependent states are stupid in picking fights with heavily armed industrialised western nations. This is particularly the case vis-a-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when it would be so much more effective to use non-violent protest against Israeli troops. The Palestinian violence only serves to polarise the situation, and harden the IDF troops. The only people who benefit from continued violence are those who seek to use nationalism or tribalism or sectarianism to bind their group to the cause. Military activity only works if the nation state can take and hold territory, or deny the enemy the capacity to hold territory. The Palestinian forces since the 1920's have shown themselves to be particularly incapable of achieving this, and thus the Paslestinian leadership should seek an alternative strategy to achieve an independent Palestinian state. That they repeatedly revert to violence despite the benefits of peace is indicative of the degree to which they fear the establishment of a stable democratic civil society with an open and free public administration.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/18/2006 10:39 PM CST
Yes Rod, I agree with you entirely that nonviolent resistence to occupation would be infinately more sensible. At Bil'in for instance it doesn't seem to stop the IDF using violence in return, but it certainly increases the moral position of the Palestinians over the Israelis. It is a very big ask - but I would agree with you - it would be by far the best way forward.
It is Israel's as well as the Palestinians peace and tranquility that is at stake here. Don't you think it would be a good thing if instead of deliberately destroying their economy, their government offices, assassinating and/or imprisoning their leaders etc., Israel actually helped them to get on their feet in order to achieve all those things that you wish them to achieve? To an outside observer Israeli policy towards the Palestinians seems both needlessly brutal and utterly self-defeating.
Posted by Hugh Steadman. @ 09/19/2006 03:51 AM CST
Hugh, From my recollection Israel did much to assist the PNA following Oslo, including tax collection for them. It also continued to make health facilities available to Palestinians, even though the Palestinian economy could not pay for this. Unfortunately the chronically corrupt PNA prioritised the creation of a plethora of armed forces and other state agencies which had little or nothing to do with the creation of a viable state. The PNA used the state and proxy forces to attempt to compell Israel to acquiesce to PNA demands. Not unsurprisingly the Israelis tired of this and progressively withdrew.
The absence of any significant attenmpts to create a stable civil administration and an open judiciary which accords to international standards also inhibited any significant inward investment, and the PNA relied upon continued access to Israeli labour markets. It is notable that the Palestinian expatriates around the world are the best educated and most entrepreneurial of all Arab communities, yet the PNA could not attract investment in the Palestinian economy from them. (This is in marked contrast to Zionist Jews and Israel).
Frankly it would be unbelievably naive to imagine that the IDF would not become brutalised by the events in the territories. Experiences of other armies conducting policing activities in similar situations proves this conclusively. Armies are inherently blunt instruments primarily designed to capture and hold territory.
The Palestinians have been largely betrayed by their friends who have almost positively encouraged them to pursue politics by violence by legitimising the acts of violence, whilst not engaging in any consideration of what the logical outcome of that violence would be. These same friends have further collaborated with the "fascists" in Palestinian society by overlooking the occurrence and impact of Palestinian violence against Palestinians.
As I have written before on this site, the success of the Zionists was based on their prioritisation of the construction of a civil society before they obtained national territory. The failure of the Palestinians has been to focus on the acquisition of national territory exclusively, at the expense of building the machinery of state.
Even if magically Israel were suddenly out of the West Bank and Gaza, and the shooting stopped between Israelis and Palestinians, this would only be the beginning. Despite the superficial appearances of democracy, Palestine is riven with divisions and sectarianism. There is no legal system that approaches the standards that the international community demands. The constitution establishes a sexist and sectarian hierarchy. Religious minorities can and are victimised with no protection from the state. The ruling elites are totally corrupt, even the allegedly honest Hamas.
In my opinion the Palestinians voted for war by electing Hamas because it is so much easier than having to deal with peace.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/19/2006 11:00 AM CST
Just to add another perspective into the the debate of the alternative approaches to establishing a legitimate stance for both the Palestinians and the Israelis; It seems that the Paelstinans would be more likely to take a definitive non-violent stance if they had unconditional support from an active party. By "active party" I mean one that would stand up to Israel if they were to begin taking advantage of a peacefull protest. If the Palestinians cannot trust that the world powers would protect them from an agressive Israeli attack , then they must resort to violent resistance to protect themselves even though it is futile. As for Israel, they cannot take a definitive drive towards withdraw when the Palestinians may, without cause, attack. It seems oth sides are paralyzed from making a true commitment towards peace due to their mistrust of eachother as well as the lack of external support. This is why the US was supposed to mediate the peace process, but I'm afraid our government just does not care enough to actually stick with it and see it through. They are like children, and if any of you have children you know two squablling siblings will not cease fighting on without a mediator or without both being smacked physically stopped by a parent. Both sides need strong supprt from nations that are willing to publicly announce their support and protection. This model has worked for North and South Korea for many years now. They are not exactly friendly, but they don't live in constant fear of one another.
Posted by OMFG @ 09/19/2006 07:22 PM CST
Achieving a separation of Israel and Palestine is a minor detail. It is what happens afterwards that is critical. If there is a return ostensibly to May 1967 with Israel on the western side of the green line and the borders closed, then the Palestinians have a real problem. All movement between Gaza and the West Bank would have to be very circuitous through Egypt or Lebanon / Syria and then Jordan. Trade would be nearly impossible. Access to Israeli labour markets would not be possible. The net effect of this would be the rapid decline of Palestinian society to a level lower than it is today.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/19/2006 09:17 PM CST
The North has had heavy artillery pointed at Seoul for over forty years now, sure with that lumming over your head everyday, it's a bit tense. Thus far the North has not reinvaded the south. Isarel and the Palestinian territories can't say the same. Their children may not see their next birthday. The South Koreans are able to progress as a society because they are assured protection, Palestinians and Israelis don't have that luxury. Pull out the booga booga if you will, the facts remain the same. Israel and the regions surrounding it will see no peace until an external entity mediates and enforces a plan for peace, a plan that will take at least 30 years to implement. Without external assurance that your enemy will abide by an agreement, a treaty is as worthless as the paper it is written on.
Posted by OMFG @ 09/20/2006 04:12 AM CST
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/20/2006 03:59 PM CST
Yes I have noticed all these things, I did not suggest economic plans, I suggested a peace plan. Economic stability and peace does not go hand-in-hand as is evident by the Korean situation, though I'm sure it is what is driving the stresses between the North and the South. Your comment has only highlighted mine and further given creedence to my point that a "strong willed" external entity steps in and takes the reigns of the situation. If you had actually read my post you would have seen that I said the South is progressing, I made no mention of the North, yet they maint the borders. That is the first step towards peace, I'm sure in time the North will either rid themselves of Kim-Jong, or wait until he dies, and perhaps be able to take their place as a civilized nation. this is the same process that is needed in the middle east. Everything we have tried thus far has not worked. If we have a model that has been proven to work, why not give it a go? Why reinvent the wheel?
Posted by OMFG @ 09/20/2006 06:40 PM CST
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/21/2006 12:33 PM CST
You keep providing a solution that is doomed by the chicken or the egg scenario. It is impossible for a nation to gain economic stability (egg) if they are at constant war. They must first reach a state of quasi peace (chicken), so that they may divert their resources to improvement rather than sustaining a state of conflict. The Mid_east region does not seem capable of faostering this quasi peace satte on their own, and so they must have their hand forced to do so. This would be in the best intrest of the entire world as the middle east is a large geographical area that has political reaches in almost all of the eastern nations, as well as a region that is paralyzing the productivity and cooperation of many nations who have allied with one side or the other in the conflict. I'll make it simple, bombs and bang-bang sticks cost money, rebuilding what has gone boom costs money, training people to kill instead of advancing technology costs potential revenue. They will not achive economic stability until they stop warring.
Posted by OMFG @ 09/21/2006 06:42 PM CST
OMFG. In large part I agree with you. But if these "superpowers" impose peace they must be willing to defend that peace. As have the US and China been willing in Korea. I can recognise that the US can impose peace on the Israelis, I just don't know which bloc can impose peace on the Palestinians. There isn't any coherent bloc out there in the post Cold War environment. Europe won't do it, the Arabs can't, there is no USSR anymore. I cannot see that the USA would be willing to get embroiled further into the mess of the Middle East, their army is over-extended already. The UN has shown itself either to be too impotent or corrupt or partial to be deloyed effectively to keep the peace.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/21/2006 09:33 PM CST
Sorry to intrude between Rod and OMFG, but Rod you need to realize common sense. That common sense is that the Palestinians have no power to ruin a peace treaty. Sure they can commit murder through suicide bombers and other problems, but how different is that from the crime and murder in the United States. First bring peace between two nations, and then logically follow the police work. Isreal is just making exuses, and Rod you want to help them. Palestians have NO MILITARY POWER. Get that thru your heads when talking about peace. Isreal have enough power to go demolish Lebanon, but then they are worried about a few stones and suicide bombers. Please get real. Accept a peace, or at best give a little life and dignity to the Palestinians using Isreali power, and then police your borders to the best of your ability just as any soveirgn nation has to fight crime. Bottom line is all the talking you do does not stop the FACT that Isreal does not want peace. Yes that is a fact not an opinion. I just have proven this fact. A nation with power can bahave as a more powerfull nation and force a peacefull situation. Deal with the crime like all nations do.
Posted by john @ 09/21/2006 11:07 PM CST
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/22/2006 11:48 AM CST
"In the first instance the Palestinians have military forces and their entire strategy is based on their deployment."
You typed that as if I had not already addressed the military problem. United States criminals are also "armed". Actually they might be better armed than the common stone thrower.
"That Israel has the power to demolish Lebanon is an irrelevance"
See again Rod you fail to use common sense. I have already proven that my entire argument of this peace is related to WHO has the power in the region. Therefore the fact that Isreal has power to demolish Lebanon DOES MAKE IT RELEVANT. It is only irrelvent to you because you continue to make exuses and you do not want to hear the truth. ALONG WITH POWER COMES RESPONSIBLITIES. DO NOT TELL ME THAT IS NOT TRUE, BECAUSE YOU WOULD BE HYPOCRITICAL TO YOURSELF AND I. I repeat, the fact that Isreal does have the military power, means that they hold a higher responsibility to act. JUST AS THE UNITED STATES HAS THE POWER to be a huge force in the world. That is why the United States is often looked towards to solve world issues, or to at the very least intervene. So there it is again, please do not downplay the fact that POWER is extremely important for peace. All your points after your first two statements come secondary to the main issue of PEACE FIRST. Isreal's economy is doing just fine. That is another exuse. Is Isreal's economy worse of than Palestinians, or Jordanians, or Lebanon right now. NO.
Posted by john @ 09/22/2006 03:47 PM CST
By the way, I am sure you would like the Palestinians to "sink to eating grass" before their economy turns around and bounce back just as the United States stock market. Rod once again your brilliance shines. You talk about the poor economy of Isreal, yet YOU TYPE that the Palestinians are not eating grass yet. LOL. So are the Palestinians close to "eating grass yet?" If not at what point do you consider the Palestinians economy to be bad enough so that Isreal can just herd them like cows into Jordan. This is my 2nd comment in case you havent' noticed, so make sure you read the first one that I posted 5 minutes ago.
Posted by john @ 09/22/2006 03:57 PM CST
We all have power to a greater or lesser extent because we have agency, that is we are able to make decisions. Human beings are gifted with the capacity for intellectual creativity and analysis. We can observe what is going on around us, analyse those events, and synthesise plans of action.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/25/2006 12:03 PM CST
See now we are getting into morals, which is important. You are actually correct on this statement. Possession does not necessarily mean that the possessors are obligated to more responsibility. So what should they do because of what is morally right or wrong. Do remember that a nation with power, as I have stated, does have 2 choices, and that is to help or to be selfish. The point about power that I was making is NOT THAT nations with less power stop following the law. What I was saying is that nations with MORE POWER should help the nations without power to at least have a basic dignified life. Isreal does not have to help the Palestinians, but they should. If they don't then they are being selfish with their power and as I said earlier, they do not want peace. That was my whole argument. Because Isreal does have power, they CAN MAKE PEACE, BUT THEY CHOOSE NOT TO BECAUSE OF SELFISHNESS.
Your quote: "We all have power to a greater or lesser extent because we have agency, that is we are able to make decisions. Human beings are gifted with the capacity for intellectual creativity and analysis."
Yes we are all able to THINK of decisions, but depending on the authority of a government some people cannot ACT ON WHAT THEY THINK.
Your qoute: "Unless it is claimed that Palestinians are intellectual incompetants, such an argument is not sustainable"
No Palenstinians are not intellectually incompetants, agreed, but once again you are confusing independent personal intellectualism with powers of the nations. You have many smart palestinians and Isrealis. This is not a matter of "smartness". It is a matter of "selfishness". As I have metioned.
Your quote: "Both sides are required to act rationally in response to the environment they find themselves in"
Yes agreed again, but what is the environment that the Palestinians find themselves in??? I beleive you know the answer to that. That is why I keep saying that this is not a national state war. Terrorism and suicide bombers and firing a few rockets is the act of people that do not want peace. That does not represent or take away the fact that the Palestinians do want to live in peace. Again the power is with Isreal. You did address the power issue. So now it becomes a moral question?? Should Isreal do what is better for mankind and use their power to make the Palestinians happy with a two state solution that would make the majority of the Palestinians reasonably happy, and then STICK TO THESE BORDERS WITH ISREALI POWER. THAT IS IT PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
AND WHY YOU FIND IT OFFENSIVE FOR ME TO STATE MY ECONOMY ISSUES. THE FACT IS FORGET THE FRIENDS OF PALESTINE AND DEAL WITH THE BORDERS FIRST BETWEEN ISREAL AND PALESTINE. DEAL WITH THAT FIRST. WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS BEHAVE LATER.
Posted by john @ 09/25/2006 05:55 PM CST
Of course Israeli actions are driven by self-interest, altruism is a quality that is missing from nearly all inter-state exchanges.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/25/2006 09:43 PM CST
Rod you make this seem so difficult, just give the Palestinians what they want, and then use the power and police work of Isreal to patrol the borders. NO matter how hard it is. Or give make a Palestine that is not split geographically. What is this about total war if they fire katusha rockets. Rod you type as a politician, this is not chess, if people are suffering you fix it. I told you politicians are ignorant and selfish. When Isreal gives Palestinians what they want and be NICE to their neighbors, you would be amazed at what can happen. You still make exuses for Isreal again and again. Peace does not have to be pretty, but it is necessary first so things can get pretty later on. Look Palestinians are just as messed up politically. That is why I hate fixing problems because politicians make it out to be complicated. It is not complicated. A little more heart in politics would go a long way. The common man does not have enough power to solve world hunger, but politicians DO HAVE THE POWER. Again, if the desire and the will is there then it can happen. The common Palestinian citizen just wants to take care of their families and have an independent state, so that needs to be taken into account also.
I would like to make my point in an alternate way because I feel we are going in circles. Trying to negotiate between two politicians will never work. Both sides, Isreal and Palestine have crapy politicians, so the only way to have peace is for both politicians to worry more about the humans living in these nations rather than politics. This won't happen because of human nature. This is why I place PEACE in the hands of Isreal. There will never be an accepted peace agreement. So one has to be forced by the Isreali government, and then simply turn the majority of the Palestinian public opinion in favor of Isreal. The rest of the minor terrorists action has to be delt with with severe POLICE WORK. CRIMINALS NEED POLICE WORK. NATIONS NEED PEACE FIRST. If trade is a problem, then give the Palestinians two land masses that are together. Redraw the maps, if you have too. Sounds complicated, but like I say, if there is a will then there is a way.
One last remark, everything that I have been saying thus far is only possible in an ideal scenerio. That will not happen. I just am solving this issue if Isreal really is a Mother Teresa or something. That does not exist, therefore, there will never be peace. My proof of that, simple, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD PEACE IN THE WORLD, LOL. The problem is human nature. Most if not all humans place their self-interests before others. That is why the world is the way it is. The only hope is for people that do have the material and the power to do something about issues in a non violent manner and in a caring manner.
Posted by John @ 09/26/2006 01:06 AM CST
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/26/2006 11:10 AM CST
It is not reasonable to conclude that the majority do not want peace based on electing Hamas. Do remember, since 1967, there where other leaders. EVERYONE WANTS PEACE. The people that do not want peace are the people in power. Of course civilians from both Isreali and Palestinian side wants peace. Who would rather live in war conditions vs. peaceful conditions. Politicians are ignorant and selfish. read my last postings. Palestinian forces are not armed better than Isreali forces are they??? Look Rod the only difference between right now and Isreal giving up some land is just that Isreal giving up some land. Isreal can keep today's situation but give more land back to the Palestinians, and then patrol the new borders as they do now. The only difference that would happen from this scenerio is that you would make more Palestinians happy than right now.
Posted by john @ 09/27/2006 12:51 AM CST
Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/27/2006 04:36 PM CST
Rod now you are beginning to be very dishonest.lol.
That is an oxymoron. Does not make sense. You are saying that they want peace, and then in the same sentence you are saying they want Isreal to cease to exist. LOL. Are you finally running out of things to say and to support your statements. Common Roddy, the Palestinians cannot WANT PEACE and at the SAME TIME want Isreal to cease to exist. Stop deceiving yourself and maybe you will find some truth in life.
Your quote: "Of course it is legitimate to conclude that the majority of Palestinians support the objectives of the Hamas charter, because the majority fo the Palestinians voted for Hamas in an open & fair election. No other statement has equal legitimacy."
Rod you are running away from my argument and that is (for the second time), that Hammas was elected ONCE. What happened to all the other political leaders since 1967. They ALL were not Hamas, yet Isreal failed to form a peace.
Your qoute: "And if the PNA can't deliver then Israel has no business pretending that it can or wasting any resources on any pointless attempts at negotiations."
Yes Rod, lets not waste any resources, such as bombs and money from Isreal, INSTEAD LET US WASTE PALESTINIAN MONEY, KIDS, ECONOMY, FUTURE, LAND, POWER, SHALL I GO ON. SEE ROD, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, YOU ARE EITHER IGNORANT AND EXTREMEMLY UNINTELLECTUAL, OR YOU WILL SIDE WITH ISREAL EVEN IF YOU KNOW THEY ARE WRONG. SOUNDS FAMILIAR DOESN'T IT. JUST LIKE TRYING TO CONVINCE OSAMA BIN LADEN THAT WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG. YOU ARE SIMILIAR IN THAT YOU WILL NEVER ADMITT YOU ARE WRONG.
Posted by john @ 09/28/2006 11:28 PM CST
Posted by Rod Davies @ 10/02/2006 02:04 PM CST
Your qoute:"Wanting peace and wanting the elimination of a neighbouring state are both achievable objectives if you believe that one will achieve the other. If the Palestinians could destroy Israel and it's population there would be peace would there not?"
You are trying to save face and weasel your way out of the obvious blunder that you have mentioned. That is ok, WE BOTH KNOW that when you made the statement of peace, you are aware that when Palestinians want peace they are not at the same time talking about elliminating Isreal. First, it is impossible, second, it is just common sense. When you discuss peace negotiations Rod, you do not eliminate the other party. NICE TRY THOUGH, LOL.
Your quote: "I am under no illusions that the Israelis could have done things better. But ultimately the Israeli government exists to promote the interests of the Israelis, and not their Palestinian neighbours."
I DO BELIEVE THAT WE FINALLY AGREE ROD!!!!!!!
WE ALL STOP BEING SELFISH, AND SERVE OUR INTERESTS INSTEAD OF HELPING OTHERS AS WELL. IT TAKES A LITTLE CARING AND HONESTY. FIRST, ROD GO CONVINCE ALL THE MUSLIMS, AND CHRISTIAND AND JEWS, AND ALL OTHER RELIGIOUS IDIOTS, THAT GOD DOES NOT WANT MANY RELIGIONS, AND THAT IF THERE IS A GOD, HE ONLY HAS ONE RELIGION. GO TRY AND CONVINCE ALL THESE PEOPLE THAT GOD MIGHT NOT EXIST, AND THAT IF THERE IS A GOD, HE DID NOT SPEAK TO THEM. WHY DON'T YOU START WITH THE JEWISH EXTREMISTS, AND THEN WORK YOUR WAY TO OSAMA BIN LADEN. LOL.LOL. GOOD LUCK
Posted by john @ 10/02/2006 06:36 PM CST
Typing error on the last post, I ment that we should all stop being sellfish, and NOT only serve our interests, but to help others as well.
Posted by john @ 10/06/2006 04:56 PM CST
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