Delegitimizing Peacemakers

Caroline Glick at the Jerusalem Post writes a wonderful article that aims to delegitimize every Palestinian political group, no matter how prepared it is for peace. The standard is always the same: nothing short of total acceptance is okay, and nothing short of total obsequity is peaceful. I see it among pro-Palestinian extremists who portray Israelis as uniformly oppressive, and among pro-Israeli extremists who portrays Palestinians as uniformly pro-terror.

Glick’s first contention is that Fatah is just a kinder, gentler terrorist organization than Hamas. Presumably, that Fatah is prepared to recognize Israel and focuses on nonviolent resistance to the Occupation is not enough; as long as it doesn’t tell Olmert, “Sir, you’re allowed to arrest and kill any of our citizens at will without due process,” it’s a terrorist organization.

And, of course, there’s the ridiculous attempt to delegitimize half of the debate on the I/P conflict. The gamut of views ranges from wanting to wipe out Israel and wanting to keep Palestinians subjugated indefinitely. It’s possible in principle to exclude people who advocate violence against civilians, but that will leave maybe 20% of people in, which is of course futile. But it’s never sensible to exclude people whoadvocate violence only on one side.

Israelis like to believe that the first approach to the debate must be recognizing the validity of basic pro-Israeli promises: Israeli life is inviolable (while Palestinian life isn’t necessarily), Zionism is good, non-obsequious criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, and so on. So Glick makes the incredible assertion that calling Israel an apartheid state is somehow anti-Semitic because it denies Jewish self-determination.

Look, if you want to argue that every nation deserves self-determination, go ahead. Even the most extreme pro-Palestinian intellectuals in the West – Chomsky, Judt, Said – are officially left of Fatah, to say nothing of Hamas. The people who criticized South African apartheid didn’t ever advocate killing off white South Africans, even when they supported the African National Congress’s violent activities.

If you think the debate on abortion is marked by preaching to the choir, read some magazines that deal with the I/P conflict. On that issue preaching to the choir is not only normal but also seen as the mark of good citizenship. An Israeli who doesn’t refuse a priori to talk to anyone who’s more pro-Palestinian than Peace Now is seen as a traitor; a Palestinian who doesn’t refuse a priori to talk to anyone who’s more pro-Israeli than Rachel Corrie is seen as a collaborator.

Of course, different sides have different premises. Fortunately, the world tends to offer enough facts that anyone who’s sufficiently intelligent, sufficiently familiar with the other side’s contentions, and sufficiently right can make headway. Retreating to shrill papers like Z, the Jerusalem Post, Counterpunch, and National Review, and insisting on ridiculous ground rules is the mark of the intellectual coward.

The real danger here is of course not about relatively insignificant writers on partisan papers. Rather, it’s that governments will heed those writers’ requirements and stop negotiating. As Rabin and Peres emphasized time and time again in the wake of the Oslo Accords, peace is something you make with enemies. At the time, the Hamas bombings seemed to belie that saying; now that Palestinians are ready to move on and Fatah is no longer pro-terror, it makes perfect sense.

A pro-Palestinian purist would see Rabin as an oppressor. Why wouldn’t he? During the first Intifada, Rabin didn’t pledge support for the Palestinians, but rather said that the IDF should “Break their arms and legs” (variant quote: “break their bones”). He made peace not because of humanitarian concern with Palestinian suffering but because he realized it was in Israel’s best geopolitical interest. Fortunately, Arafat had other concerns, so he negotiated.

It’s attractive for the purist to look for like-minded idealists on the other side, but it’s not happening. There are no Zionists anywhere in mainstream Palestinian politics. Likewise, there are no heavyweight pro-Palestinians in Israeli politics, or any anti-Americans in American politics, or British patriots in French politics. In realist politics, each side’s politicians are concerned with their own country’s well-being no matter what side they’re on; those on the left just see peace as more beneficial than war.

But for negotiations to go anywhere, the governments need to make sure these purists who legitimize the peacemakers have no power. Palestine is trying to do that by ensuring that the people Israel negotiates with are Fatah members; but in Israel, where the nationalist parties are more popular, it’s impossible at this stage.

The only serious solution within Israel is to delude the Likudniks into thinking they have any power while shafting them in practice. Unfortunately, there are no sufficiently skilled politicians in Israel who can do that. Sharon could and for the most part did, but he’s incapacitated now.

To paraphrase Churchill, Fatah is the worst government the Palestinians have had and the worst negotiating partner Israel has had, except for all the other alternatives. Delegitimizing that party for no good reason is not something any responsible columnist who favors peace would do.

43 Responses to Delegitimizing Peacemakers

  1. muppt says:

    artificial pacemakers are pretty expansive these days

  2. SLC says:

    Re Glick

    Well, Mr. Levy has responded to the Glick column, a link to which I posted in an earlier thread, in an entirely predictable manner. I have only one question for Mr. Levy. Where is the Palestinian counterpart to Peace Now? The answer is, any Palestinian group with the same agenda as Peace Now would find themselves arrested and incarcerated by the PA, if not murdered by the terrorist groups supported by it.

    Re Jerusalem Post

    Mr. Levys’ attempt to characterize the Jerusalem Post as being associated with radical individuals who want an Eichmann solution to the Palestinian problem because they publish columns by Caroline Glick is seriously in error. They also publish OpEds by individuals who lean toward the other end of the spectrum, such as Larry Derfner and M. J. Rosenberg. The fact is that the Jerusalem Post publishes a wide range of views, unlike left wing rags like Haraatz.

  3. SLC says:

    Here’s a link to another column which Mr. Levy will take strong exception to.

    http://web.israelinsider.com/views/10695.htm

  4. SLC says:

    Re unity deal.

    Here’s a link to an OpEd by a Palestinian American who is not entirely fond of the unity deal. In fairness, it should be pointed out that the author is a Christian with a Jewish wife

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3365522,00.html

  5. Ran Halprin says:

    Here’s a link to another column which Mr. Levy will take strong exception to.

    http://web.israelinsider.com/views/10695.htm

    Excellent article, SLC… This part is especially true and astounding:
    news reports have rarely pointed out that in the Gaza Strip, where the Fatah-Hamas street battles have taken place, the “occupation” ended in August 2005, when Israel razed 21 Jewish settlements and expelled every Jew from the territory. For all intents and purposes, there has been a sovereign Palestinian state in Gaza for the past 18 months.

  6. mtraven says:

    Some of my thoughts on the abstracted (and possibly nonsensical) version of this problem are here. The problem of warmongers being able to trump peackemakers is widespread.

  7. SLC says:

    Re unity government

    Another individual not entirely fond of the unity government.

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1170359877027&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  8. Alon Levy says:

    SLC, the Palestinian party/interest group system is less fractured than the Israeli one. The Palestinian center – defined by support for suicide bombings a the primary means for achieving independence but willingness to stop then – entirely lacks an organized group. So does the Palestinian equivalent of Meretz or Peace Now.

  9. Alon Levy says:

    Ran, I’m pretty sure you linked to that same article a while ago (or was it SLC?). I say it because I wrote why it’s so terribly misguided in another comment I’d dig up if I didn’t have to leave my apartment in -8 minutes: Gaza Strip is part of a country two thirds of whose population is under occupation. Saying that Palestine is sovereign on Gaza Strip is like saying that Israel was sovereign in Tel Aviv on May 14th, 1948 and as such the Hagana/Irgun standoff proved that Jews weren’t interested in peace.

    On top of that, Palestine is still not a sovereign state by the classic definition of being authorized to issue passports.

  10. Ran Halprin says:

    I just quoted the link in SLC’s comment above, that’s why it seems familiar.

    “Gaza Strip is part of a country two thirds of whose population is under occupation.” – This has nothing to do with the fact that inside the Gaza strip, Israel has no influence and therefore cannot be held liable as “occupier” by any term. The fact that it is still being held responsible by most of the media is just another proof of extreme media bias.

    “On top of that, Palestine is still not a sovereign state by the classic definition of being authorized to issue passports.” – Israel has nothing to do with this. The recognition as a sovereign state is not Israel’s duty nor privilege. They have their own government, they have a military, they have their own flag. Let them request recognition from the UN as a country, and it will be all done with.

    Feels like the Palestinians don’t want to become a sovereign state. They gave up on many chances they had. Probably because this would end their ability to use terrorism against Israel (although Syria and Iran proved it’s possible to terrorize via proxy), and effectively means giving up on ever taking over Israel’s lands.

  11. Ran Halprin says:

    These three article are a must for anyone who even considers saying anything about the I/P conflict (mostly factual, not political). I Assume you are truly interested in the facts and not only Israel-bashing, so I recommend that you write a blog post about it, it deserves attention:

    Part I: And the world is silent
    http://forum.giyus.org/smf/index.php?PHPSESSID=84f719cd88b36fbb115e73677ffb4b48&topic=872.new

    Part II: And the world lies
    http://israelvisit.co.il/cgi-bin/friendly.pl?url=Oct-03-06!Perpetuate

    Part III: And the world pays
    http://nrg.co.il/Scripts/artPrint/artPrint.php?channel=1&channelName=channel_news&ts=11012007172443

  12. Alon Levy says:

    This has nothing to do with the fact that inside the Gaza strip, Israel has no influence and therefore cannot be held liable as “occupier” by any term.

    Presumably, by the same reasoning, black Americans who lived in the North before the Civil War were entirely unaffected by slavery.

    Feels like the Palestinians don’t want to become a sovereign state. They gave up on many chances they had. Probably because this would end their ability to use terrorism against Israel (although Syria and Iran proved it’s possible to terrorize via proxy), and effectively means giving up on ever taking over Israel’s lands.

    Aren’t you trying to convince me in another thread that you don’t hate Muslims? I mean, keeping lying about how Palestinians all want to destroy Israel even as they tell pollsters they don’t sounds like hatred to me.

  13. SLC says:

    Re Levy

    Maybe Mr. Levy should look in the mirror. The attached link appears to apply to him.

    http://web.israelinsider.com/views/10700.htm

  14. Alon Levy says:

    It applies to any Jew who’s to the left of the Zionist Organization of America. The notion that anyone who criticizes a state that claims him as a member even if he has no special allegiance for it is self-hating is based on a number of shaky fascist assumptions. The “Why do you criticize our occupation?” argument is at best concern trolling and at worst apologetics for oppression.

  15. SLC says:

    Re Levy

    Mr. Levy appears to have concluded that anyone who is less then enthraled with the intentions of the Palestinians and their leadership is a fascist. Well, I’ve been called worse then that. As a for instance, the late president of a company on Long Island, KLD and Associates, accused me of being anti-semitic, because I had the temarity to question the veracity of his vice-president.

    Re mtraven

    I’m sure that the Interfaith Peace Builders have good intentions. However, unfortunately for them, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  16. Alon Levy says:

    No, I’m talking about actual fascism, not the common left-wing insult. One of the central elements of Italian fascism is the notion that the you are your country; therefore, any insufficiently obsequious criticism of the country’s practices is self-loathing. I don’t hate myself. I only hate people who fire failure shots at 12-year-old girls.

  17. mtraven says:

    Yes, those peacenik Quaker types are wimps, and boring wimps at that. Hatred and self-righteousness are much sexier. I believe that to be the core of the problem.

  18. Ran Halprin says:

    Aren’t you trying to convince me in another thread that you don’t hate Muslims? I mean, keeping lying about how Palestinians all want to destroy Israel even as they tell pollsters they don’t sounds like hatred to me.

    As usual, you clamp to some unimportant bit of info instead of the main issues which I brought up. Re this issue, I’ve seen a different poll, in which the vast majority of Palestinians agree that killing Jewish Israeli civilians is a legitimate way to fight the occupation. When a majority of a group says killing a person by race, faith or citizenship, I think that hating them is not an invalid option. I personally prefer to pity them, both for their situation, and for their culture which is based entirely on war and hatred. I also prefer to fear them, knowing that with above 1/2 probability, a Palestinian I meet would kill me if he gets the chance.

    This, of course, has nothing to do with elections, presidency of the US, or Muslims. I have no idea what made you connect these two.

  19. Alon Levy says:

    The vast majority of Israelis support continuing the occupation. Is it okay for the Palestinians to hate them?

  20. Ran Halprin says:

    First of all, the majority of Israelis support withdrawal. This was shown both in specific polls, and in the elections where the winning party was the one calling for withdrawal even without agreement (i.e. without promises of peace from the Palestinian Leadership).

    Second, being a minority under rule of a country that does not share your beliefs is no picnic, surely. But it is quite different from murdering civilians. It is surely more legitimate to hate murderers or those who call for murder, then to hate those who call for political agenda X or Y, even if this agenda affects many aspects of your life to the negative.

    Third, re occupation, it also depends on what the word means. Most Israelis support “occupation” of Tel Aviv, while most Palestinians believe it should be Muslim land and part of Palestine. They hate Israelis for that. Is this “OK”? kind of hard to answer. In their opinion it is. Let me ask you – is it OK for a native American to hate white men who took over their lands and transformed them from rulers of the land to a tiny minority struggling to preserve their culture? Is it OK for an Irish to hate the UK for occupying half of his country (an occupation I did not see you object to)?

  21. SLC says:

    Re Halprin

    I might add how about the Germans kicked out of the Sudetenland after WW 2. Since Mr. Levy is a German citizen, would he advocate his fellow Germans who were the victims of this expulsion launching homicide bombings in the Czech Republic to overturn the verdict of WW 2?

  22. Alon Levy says:

    most Palestinians believe it should be Muslim land and part of Palestine.

    No, they don’t. Four years ago, when Palestinian support for terrorism was far higher than it is today, a small majority of Palestinians said the Intifada’s goals were to stop at independence for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

    Let me ask you – is it OK for a native American to hate white men who took over their lands and transformed them from rulers of the land to a tiny minority struggling to preserve their culture? Is it OK for an Irish to hate the UK for occupying half of his country (an occupation I did not see you object to)?

    No, of course not. And by the same argument, it’s unacceptable for anyone to hate the Palestinians, a small minority of whom commits terrorist attacks against Israelis.

    By the same token, is it okay for a Brit to hate the Irish because of the IRA? Is it okay for a white American to hate black people because of the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers?

  23. SLC says:

    Re Levy

    Is it unreasonable for Israelis who are the victims of Kassims and homicide bombers to be less then enthralled with the Palestinians. The fact of the matter is that the majority of the Palestinians support these activities, even if they don’t engage in them. I would remind Mr. Levy that the majority of his fellow Germans supported the Hitler regimes’ treatment of the Jews, even if they didn’t personally participate in it.

  24. Alon Levy says:

    They didn’t support, but were willfully ignorant. And for the record, I’ve never been into hating Germans, either (yes, even before I knew I could get a German citizenship).

    Meanwhile, a party representing about half of all Palestinians is doing its best to crack down on those activities, so comparing Palestine to Nazi Germany is a bit unwarranted.

  25. Ran Halprin says:

    No, of course not. And by the same argument, it’s unacceptable for anyone to hate the Palestinians, a small minority of whom commits terrorist attacks against Israelis.

    Then we pretty much agree.

    Meanwhile, a party representing about half of all Palestinians is doing its best to crack down on those activities, so comparing Palestine to Nazi Germany is a bit unwarranted.

    Is this the party whose head used the words “we must raise our rifles towards Israel” just last week? Or is the party that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist?

  26. Ran Halprin says:

    The party which’s symbol is the entire land of Israel + the Palestinian territories?

    A picture cannot mask the slippery politics of the tunge. Do you really think a group with this symbol gave up on the lands in it?

  27. Alon Levy says:

    Singapore’s flag is red and white and features a crescent and five stars. By your standards, we’d have to conclude it’s an Islamic state.

  28. battlepanda says:

    Halprin,
    Both sides of the conflict are as brutal as can be and you want to talk about symbols on a flag? Puleeze. What matters now is getting the conflict racheted down, not fisking the rhetoric of the other side for extremism that makes them unsuitable as a negotiating partner.

    Do I think the palestinians should dial down their rhetoric and their hatred? Of course. But hey, Israel has their country under siege. That’s gotta count for something too, right? Talking about rhetoric, on the Israeli side their whole country’s raison d’etre is that they have the right to that whole neck of the woods (“the promised land”). The point is, if we just look at the rhetoric, no solution is possible. That’s why talks are needed.

    Who knows, maybe if the Palestinians Ghandi-ed down Israel would have rewarded them with their own state by now (and perhaps also give them freedom of movement not making them carry israeli ID cards and shit). If you believe that, I have a settlement in the West Bank I’d like to sell you.

  29. Ran Halprin says:

    Both sides of the conflict are as brutal as can be – Israel has not retaliated with rockets, even when its civilians were attacked with rockets. I think Israel’s responses could be taken up a notch or two from “absolutely no retaliation” without reaching “brutal”.

    and you want to talk about symbols on a flag? – Yes, I want to talk about education. When the Palestinians official books teach that Israel does not exist, and that by blood these children will redeem the lands. As long as this education continues, there will be no peace.

    What matters now is getting the conflict racheted down, not fisking the rhetoric of the other side for extremism that makes them unsuitable as a negotiating partner. – Rice said today: “It simply can’t be the case that the political horizon can be built on the basis that one of the parties doesn’t accept the other’s right to exist.” Do you not agree? Isn’t recognition of each other’s right to exist a crucial step in negotiating any treaty?

    but hey, Israel has their country under siege – A siege that begun after they tried to destroy Israel – three times – in full-out wars.

    on the Israeli side their whole country’s raison d’etre is that they have the right to that whole neck of the woods (”the promised land”) – false. The group that believes that comprises app. 10% of Israelis. Over 70% of Israelis agree to full withdrawal, including destruction of Israeli homes. I havn’t seen the US, the Australians, or the British decide on destruction of homes of their civilians in order to return lands to the original owners, so meanwhile Israeli citizens are #1 in the world in giving up things for peace.

    Who knows, maybe if the Palestinians Ghandi-ed down Israel would have rewarded them with their own state by now – It’s not Israel’s duty nor ability to create countries. It’s a job for the UN, which already declared a division – but the Palestinians declined. If the Palestinians didn’t start three wars against Israel, there would be no need to “Ghandi-down”, there just wouldn’t have been any conflict to begin with.

    and perhaps also give them freedom of movement not making them carry israeli ID cards and shit. – They don’t have to carry Israeli ID cards. They only have to carry these cards if they want to enter Israel. Does your country allow people from another country (an enemy country, no less) to enter it without any suitable papers? As long as Palestinians can’t issue passports, Israel issues them passports. You think it would be better if they had no ID and could not leave their lands? Israel even lets them use the Israeli airport (despite the obvious security threats).

  30. SLC says:

    Re Levy

    I should have said that most Germans supported the actions the Nazi Government took against the Jews during the 1930s. Mr. Levy is quite right that the actions taken during the 1940s were hidden (they mostly took place in Poland).

    Re battlepanda

    If Mr. battlepanda thinks that the Israeli Government is being beastly towards the Palestinians, he/she should consider what would be the response of that government if the late and unlamented dictator of Syria, Hafaz Assad were in charge. In 1982, Syria was being harrassed by terrorist activities similar to the homicide bombing campaign of the Palestinians. His response was to surround the City of Hama, where the terrorists were operating from, with several hundred artillery pieces and bombard the town for two days, killing an estimated 20,000 or more inhabitants therein. This operation was completely successful and those terrorists who are still with us have not caused any trouble in Syria since those two days.

  31. SLC says:

    Re battlepanda

    Sorry, Ms. battlepanda.

  32. Ran Halprin says:

    Re SLC – if Israel would have takem Syria’s line (20,000 killed), or Jordan’s (Black September, 4,000 killed), or the US (100,000 in Iraq), or Sudan (200,000), it might be possible to call it Brutal. It might also be effective, as it was in Syria or Iraq, eventually saving lives for all parties involved.

    Maybe that’s why Israel is constantly in a conflict, it just doesn’t respond brutally enough. Actually, I know of no other conflict in the world where a country restricted itself as much as Israel does against the Palestinians, or a war in which a country restricted itself as much as Israel did in Lebanon.

  33. Alon Levy says:

    Ran, the number of Palestinians killed in the entire Intifada is already in the low thousands. Yes, Israel’s better than Syria or the US. But “We kill fewer civilians than American carpet bombing” isn’t an especially humanitarian tagline.

  34. Battlepanda says:

    Ran Halprin,
    Brutal. It might also be effective
    Yep. And if the black and tans only shot more Irish then all of Ireland might still be English. Actually, the IRA deliberately provoked the English army into brutalities so that the people will be on their side.

    Look, the extremist faction in the palestinian population knows full well that rockets bring reprisals. They do not care because they know that the rockets galvanize hatred — more support not less for their cause.

    war in which a country restricted itself as much as Israel did in Lebanon.
    The war was a disaster for Israel. Do you really think the result for Israel would be materially better if only it trashed Lebanon more? Hamas was the big winner out of the Lebanon war, and I be they would have been tickled pink if Israel had been more brutal.

    Sigh. Lebanon did not attack Israel. Hamas attacked Israel. Hamas attacked Israel because, frankly, it was losing legitimacy and influence in Lebanon despite being a formidible military force. So it baited israel and israel go baited.

    Mr. battlepanda thinks that the Israeli Government is being beastly towards the Palestinians, he/she should consider what would be the response of that government if the late and unlamented dictator of Syria,
    If we supported a nation like syria to the same extent that we support Israel, I’d be absolutely appalled too. Look, I’m not (and to my knowledge, nobody) is saying that we should move heaven and earth on the palestinian’s behalf. They are, to be honest, people suffering a tragedy in a world full of people suffering tragedies. But when we actively support israel, then we are party to a people’s incarceration and denial of nationhood. Simple as that. I’m not saying that the palestinan people are saints or that if I were in the place of the Israelis I would not be tempted to do the same as they are, just that we should butt the fuck out — israel deserves no special treatment.

    Israel has not retaliated with rockets, even when its civilians were attacked with rockets.
    Yeah. They don’t need to. Terrorism is always and everywhere the tool of the weak faction (not to excuse it). They have the put a whole people under lockdown, to raze houses at will. They can decide if your spouse can no longer live in the occupied palestinian territory. Isreali military have the ability to make incursions into the occupied territories at will. Why should they bother with rockets?

    including destruction of Israeli homes.
    Oh, that’s big of them. To give up the houses on land that wasn’t there in the first place. So remind me again why more settlements are being built on the west bank?

    Rice said today: “It simply can’t be the case that the political horizon can be built on the basis that one of the parties doesn’t accept the other’s right to exist.”
    Ah, yes, rice. That Geopolitical wizard. Ms. Birth Pangs of the New Middle east. Frankly, I think Israel should stop talking about the “right” to exist. Israel exists. Full stop. Talking about the right to exist smacks of saying “we had the right to drive the people who lived here before us from their homes.” The United States exists and should continue to exist. It would be wrong to talk about the rights of colonists to exterminate the Indians to take their land — the United State’s right to exist. I doubt many full-blooded indians right now talk of the colonial period as anything but an outrage for their people and a grievous wrong, but at the same time they accept, yes, the United States exists and they’re living in it.

    Israels should drop the ‘rights’ talk — they’ve got their country and from what I’ve seen they’re going to keep it, and good for them. Now making peace with the neighbors predicated on shoving the fact that you’ve carved territory from their backyard at the expense of their people seems rather gauche. They’re there. They’re internationally recognized. Palestinian suicide bombers and rockets are not going to change that fact. Start talking action rather than rhetoric would be the road to peace. Instead of seeking legitimacy from their neighbors, Israel should say, “Your people have lived on this land for generations? Well, we took it and now it’s ours. Now lets talk.” Will there be the odd crazy suicide bomber for which a two state solution is just not good enough? Yes, just like there are still IRA bombers as long as northern Ireland exists. But the magnitude of the problem is decreased and the welfare for both sides is increased by negotiations and ultimately the formation of an independent state.

  35. Alon Levy says:

    Just a small nitpick: the standoff in Lebanon was with Hezbollah; Hamas is a Palestinian group. But apart from that, it’s a great comment, Battlepanda.

  36. battlepanda says:

    Arrrgh! Embarrasing brain fart!
    Thanks for picking that up.

  37. SLC says:

    Re battlepanda

    Negotiate what with Hamas? The only thing Hamas wants to negotiate with Israel is an agreement that the latter will go out of business.

  38. Ran Halprin says:

    the extremist faction in the palestinian population knows full well that rockets bring reprisals. They do not care because they know that the rockets galvanize hatred — more support not less for their cause.

    I agree, with a small note – the rockets are fired since before Israel has existed, so assuming that if Israel doesn’t respond all will be well is a little naive.

    The war was a disaster for Israel. Do you really think the result for Israel would be materially better if only it trashed Lebanon more? Hamas was the big winner out of the Lebanon war, and I be they would have been tickled pink if Israel had been more brutal.

    That is not what I claimed. I claim Israel was far more careful in Lebanon then any other country was ever careful in a war. Israel also let Hizbullah launch numerous attacks before responding. How many countries let dozens of rockets fall on its civilians without responding? And how would you like your country respond to rockets falling in your city?

    Sigh. Lebanon did not attack Israel. Hamas attacked Israel. Hamas attacked Israel because, frankly, it was losing legitimacy and influence in Lebanon despite being a formidible military force. So it baited israel and israel go baited.

    Lebanon? Hizbullah? What is the difference? The prime minister of Lebanon said that Hizbullah are “the defenders of our people”. They have been allowed to be elected to the Lebanese parliament, they have been allowed to import rockets from Iran & Syria. The Lebanese government refused to disarm Hizbullah, nor to fight it, nor to prevent them from attacking Israel. Any offensive action by Hizbullah is therefore equivalent to an action by Lebanon.

    when we actively support israel, then we are party to a people’s incarceration and denial of nationhood.

    Israel has nothing to do with the Palestinian nationhood. It was the Palestinians who refused to become a nation in 1948, and didn’t make a move in the direction 1949-1967, times in which Israel did not occupy them. The occupation began in 1967 after they AGAIN chose to attempt to destroy Israel. I’m not saying this in order to claim that they are “pure evil” or that they don’t deserve a state, but rather because it’s important to understand that Israel does not prevent the Palestinians from attaining independence – it is their leaders who do this, because they know that if a Palestinian nation is formed, they will lose demands to Israel’s lands which they still claim as their own. That is why they support terror, that is why they teach their children hatred – all to make sure a Palestinian nation without Israeli lands is not formed. You have a solution? Let us know. Until then, Israel has a right to defend itself, and there is no reason for the US to stop assisting (and btw, the US is also assisting Egypt, the Palestinians, and numerous other anti-Israeli groups).

    They have the put a whole people under lockdown
    A lockdown that starts every time Israeli civilians are murdered, and ends whenever the attacks stop (up until the next murder).

    Isreali military have the ability to make incursions into the occupied territories at will. Why should they bother with rockets?

    And do you think they want to? Do you really think a 19 years old corporal in the Israeli army wants to spend in night at the middle of Gaza, and his mother wants another sleepless night? Do you think his commanding officer, not even 20, couldn’t even purchase beer in the US, really wants to be the one to visit the mothers of the soldiers killed in action?
    And yet, they do this, instead of 1:1 rocket retaliation, in order to prevent civilian casualties in the Palestinian side. This is honorable fighting, unlike fighting being done by ANY other nation or group (I’m not gonna start with the Lebanese letting Hizbullah store rockets under schools, or the Palestinians strapping bombs to children).

    Oh, that’s big of them. To give up the houses on land that wasn’t there in the first place. So remind me again why more settlements are being built on the west bank?

    First of all, destroying the home in which your child group up in is not a trivial matter. Don’t underestimate this, no matter what your political views on the subject are. To the point, there is no nation which was always held by the same people. Nations always lost and won land in war. In this extreme case, since there was never a Palestinian nation, and since no people lived there when the land was claimed by Israel (in a war the Palestinians started), there is no reason for Israel to give these lands to a Palestinian nation, if it is created. The native Americans have a stronger claim for the US lands. The Aborigine people have a stronger claim for Australia’s land. The Germans have a stronger claim for the Sudetes. The Irish have a stronger claim for Northern Ireland.

    Start talking action rather than rhetoric would be the road to peace. Instead of seeking legitimacy from their neighbors, Israel should say, “Your people have lived on this land for generations? Well, we took it and now it’s ours. Now lets talk.” Will there be the odd crazy suicide bomber for which a two state solution is just not good enough? Yes, just like there are still IRA bombers as long as northern Ireland exists. But the magnitude of the problem is decreased and the welfare for both sides is increased by negotiations and ultimately the formation of an independent state.

    Every time Israel attempted to negotiate, the Palestinian leadership refused to negotiate. Read this interview with the former Israeli foreign minister about what happened: http://www.factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000069.html

    As I said, they are probably still keeping in mind the goal of taking all of Israel’s land by war. You must understand, the terrorism in these parts is not some fraction like it is in Iraq or Ireland, it is the mainstream. PLO and Hamas, the two leading parties, are both terrorist groups actively attempting attacks on Israeli civilians on a daily basis. This will only become worse with the next generation, thanks to this leadership’s education:
    http://www.betar.co.uk/articles/betar1057183655.php

    Do you see a solution? I asked Alon, he said that even if he was the PM of Israel, he wouldn’t behave differently. Do you have a plan? Can you suggest even a hypothetical solution to the conflict?

  39. Crow says:

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  40. Crow says:

    Current timestamp is be70f7f44060277d64ce2882a0fdd0d2

  41. music says:

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