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Source: (consider it) Thread: Qalandiya
Autenrieth Road

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Qalandiya is, among other things, a checkpoint in the West Bank, and I am using the word as representative of the whole Israel-Palestine conflict. I choose it because I have recently seen a DVD about Qalandiya filmed and narrated by Neta Efroni, a member of Machsom Watch (Checkpoint Watch).

I've spent my whole life with a low level awareness of Israel and Palestine. I believed Israel to be a shining city on the hill and Palestine to be controlled by terrorists. Recently I've been learning more about Israel and Palestine, and it's shaking all my previous beliefs.

So I have a few questions. Actually I have a lot of questions, but for focus I'll start with just a few.

I understand that the current situation regarding peace negotations is that Israel won't pre-agree to stop settlements in the West Bank, and Palestine won't come to the table unless Israel pre-agrees to stop settlements in the West Bank. Is this correct?

What do you think the current Israeli government expects to happen with respect to Palestine? As far as I can tell Israel plans to continue to build settlements, build Israeli-only roads that divide up the West Bank and make life difficult for Palestinians, maintain internal checkpoints in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that make life even more difficult, and in general put great roadblocks (metaphorically and literally) in the way of the Palestinian economy. What is the end result the current Israeli government might realistically think will happen?

And what about the Palestinian government? What do you think they expect will happen? Why not drop the requirement that Israel pre-agree to stop settlements -- isn't the point of negotiations to negotiate? (I think the settlements are wrong, but in the world of realpolitik is this demand the right one for the Palestinians to be making?)

Outside of realistic expectations, what might the current Israeli government and its backers be hoping will happen? What might the Palestinians be hoping will happen?

What would radical peace-making in the region look like? What are the obstacles to it happening?

I guess for balance I should ask: what could help radical peace-making to happen? except the situation seems so hopeless that it's hard for me to imagine peace could possibly happen. Yet does that mean that I expect the situation will continue simmering at a low level of hostilities as it is at present? Or do I expect that some touchpoint is going to happen and some catastrophe will occur that totally changes the situation, not necessarily for the better? I'm not sure.

What do you expect is going to happen in Isreal and Palestine, in the long term?

[ 06. December 2012, 04:14: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
W Hyatt
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
And what about the Palestinian government? What do you think they expect will happen? Why not drop the requirement that Israel pre-agree to stop settlements -- isn't the point of negotiations to negotiate? (I think the settlements are wrong, but in the world of realpolitik is this demand the right one for the Palestinians to be making?)

I can't claim to begin to understand the situation, but I have come to the conclusion that trying to understand it from an outside observer's point of view won't get you anywhere. I think the only hope of understanding it depends on starting with internal politics, which quickly get very complicated and are always changing.

As much as I was against the Gulf War, I had some hope at its end that maybe Israel would feel less threatened with Saddam Hussein's military dismantled, and therefore a little more willing to negotiate, but that hope didn't last long.

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A new church and a new earth, with Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life.

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Mullygrub
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Thanks so much for starting this thread, AR! I also am very interested, but feel ill-equipped knowledge / comprehension-wise...

Mully,
waiting eagerly to hear from Them Wot Know Stuff

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
And what about the Palestinian government? What do you think they expect will happen? Why not drop the requirement that Israel pre-agree to stop settlements -- isn't the point of negotiations to negotiate? (I think the settlements are wrong, but in the world of realpolitik is this demand the right one for the Palestinians to be making?)

It seems like, on the part of Israel, saying, "Sure we'll negotiate but throughout the negotiations we must be allowed to go on punching you in the face."

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Leaf
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Thank you for that fair and balanced opinion.
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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I am also far removed from this with no local voices much interested. The general western Canadian perspective is that the territories currently inhabited and/or claimed by both groups are absolutely tiny. Myself, I cannot see how a Palestinian state could possibly be viable from such a small land base. Israel is also small, though not as tiny, and I wonder how it could be viable except without foreign money coming in.

Can both countries get some additional land from somewhere? I thought Jordan was historically part of Palestine and some have identified it as a Palestinian state. I also wonder about Syria and Egypt's territories. Is the deal required wider than just Israel-Palestine?

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MarsmanTJ
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It strikes me that Palestine saying: "We'll negotiate providing you agree to actually abide by international law," isn't a bad starting point for negotiation...
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Doublethink.
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Mildly neutral background resources, here.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Autenrieth Road

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quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:
Thank you for that fair and balanced opinion.

Leaf, what is your opinion?

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
Can both countries get some additional land from somewhere? I thought Jordan was historically part of Palestine and some have identified it as a Palestinian state. I also wonder about Syria and Egypt's territories. Is the deal required wider than just Israel-Palestine?

As I understand the history, the British Mandate of Palestine set up after WWI included what has now become modern day Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Then Jordan was set up as an independent state (originally known as Transjordan), reducing the British Mandate to just the lands west of the Jordan River.

In 1947 the U.N. proposed that the remaining British Mandate of Palestine be divided into two states: a mostly-Jewish state and a mostly-Arab state. It was put to referendum in the Mandate; the Jews passed it and the Arabs rejected it.

The British announced (for various reasons) that they would simply leave the Mandate and give up control of it on a certain date in 1948. On the day the British left, the Jews declared independence as the state of Israel. The neighbouring Arab countries immediately attacked.

In the Israeli War of Independence, Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip and Jordan took control of the West Bank (which had a slightly larger boundary then). They just held them as lands they had control over though; I don't think they incorporated them into their countries.

Then in the 1967 war Israel took control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank back from Egypt and Jordan, and for some reason that I'm not clear on the boundaries of the West Bank were shrunk (so people talk about pre-1967 borders vs. 1967 borders).

I don't think any of the surrounding countries are going to want to give either Israel or the Palestinians any land, but I'm not so sure that the countries aren't viable at their tiny size. There is much agriculture there, to start with, and if the Israelis didn't need so much military, and if the Palestinians weren't so blockaded in various ways, the economies of both countries might be far more able to survive with less foreign aid. And there are other viable tiny countries in Europe.

I suspect that the right-wing Israeli sentiment about the entire Cisjordan area has been that it is land up for grabs for Israel to control all of (but with what understanding of what would happen to the Arab residents of the land? Does the right wing think these people will just evaporate? Do they plan to simply make their life so difficult that they will emigrate? How can they justify that to themselves? Do they have some other expectation?)

quote:
Originally posted by MarsmanTJ:
It strikes me that Palestine saying: "We'll negotiate providing you agree to actually abide by international law," isn't a bad starting point for negotiation...

It's not entirely clear to me that the settlements do violate international law. My understanding is that the Israelis do not hold that the West Bank and East Jerusalem meet the definition of occupied territories, and therefore they are not in violation of international law by building settlements there. I don't know enough about the international legal definitions of occupied territory, and what the case is built on (that it is vs. that it is not occupied territory). Anyone know more details?

Regardless of the legal definitions, I do wonder what the Israelis in the government think should happen to the Palestinians living in the West Bank in the face of encroaching settlements which grab land and resources, and the Wall, checkpoints, roadblocks and Israeli-only roads which divide communties from their economic resources. But then I think about the 20th century opposition of the Arab world to the very existence of Israel, and I wonder whether I, from my safe American home, can say the Israelis should be different. But then I wonder about the very Balfour declaration itself, and the circumstances of the Israeli war of independence, and think that these problems were set in motion long before the modern state of Israel existed, and the current troubles are simply the heirs to a long and complicated web of injustices on both sides, and nobody can figure out how to unweave it now. Which is why I asked about what radical peacemaking would look like.

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Truth

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Bostonman
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
I understand that the current situation regarding peace negotations is that Israel won't pre-agree to stop settlements in the West Bank, and Palestine won't come to the table unless Israel pre-agrees to stop settlements in the West Bank. Is this correct?

What do you think the current Israeli government expects to happen with respect to Palestine?

It works in the Israeli government's favor to drag it out. The longer period of relative peace they have in which to continue building settlements, the more they come to the table with. It's all about changing the "facts on the ground," the status quo ante peace-talks.

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
Can both countries get some additional land from somewhere? I thought Jordan was historically part of Palestine and some have identified it as a Palestinian state. I also wonder about Syria and Egypt's territories. Is the deal required wider than just Israel-Palestine?

The claim that Jordan is the Palestinian state has typically had a few forms:
1) The Israeli government claiming that Jordan already is a Palestinian state, so that there need be no other. In other words, that the Palestinians can just go to Jordan and let Israel have the West Bank.
2) The opposite claim that the West Bank is rightfully part of Jordan, whose government occupied it for a period.
3) The claim by the PLO that they should be running Jordan. Led to a civil war with Jordanian authorities and the expulsion of the PLO from Jordan. See Black September.

Needless to say, none of these claims benefit the majority of the Palestinian people.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
It's not entirely clear to me that the settlements do violate international law. My understanding is that the Israelis do not hold that the West Bank and East Jerusalem meet the definition of occupied territories, and therefore they are not in violation of international law by building settlements there. I don't know enough about the international legal definitions of occupied territory, and what the case is built on (that it is vs. that it is not occupied territory). Anyone know more details?

I'd be interested to know what definition of occupation would exclude it. They control it and haven't annexed it. The people who live there have not been made citizens of Israel. What other word do you have for that besides occupation?

Ah. "Administered" territories. Sure.

As to violation of international law, you can google \do israeli settlements violate international law\ and get an eyeful. Here's just one article.

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Autenrieth Road

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Thanks for those links, mousethief.

Were the British occupiers of Mandate Palestine during the British Mandate? If not, why not? If so, why was immigration permitted (at least until the British banned it)? [ETA: I see the Fourth Geneva Convention, which covers this, was ratified in 1949, so wouldn't have been a legal issue in Mandate Palestine. Anachronistically applying the Fourth Geneva Convention definitions to Mandate Palestine though, would it be considered an occupied territory, and if so, would immigration be supposed to be prohibited?]

It is the following idea, from your first link, which had me wondering about the definition of occupied territory (and I was wondering about it before finding that this is the Israeli government argument):
quote:
[The Israeli] government argues that the international conventions relating to occupied land do not apply to the Palestinian territories because they were not under the legitimate sovereignty of any state in the first place.
I think that even if the strict definition of occupied territory were not to apply (and I'm still learning about this; I don't have a fixed position yet) there has got to be some kind of moral obligation to the Palestinians, the residents of the land, but I would like to know more about the strict definitions.

I'm trying to examine this from both sides, although I certainly don't fancy being on the opposite side of an issue from Human Rights Watch (as outlined in your second link).

[ 06. December 2012, 22:04: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Truth

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Autenrieth Road

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On re-reading mousthief's more closely, I'm now confused. From the first link:

quote:
Israel therefore denies the formal, de jure, applicability of the 4th Geneva Convention in the occupied territories.

Israel does formally accept the applicability of the Hague Regulations on occupation, and says it is acting under authority granted to an occupying power in international law (including in provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention). The 4th Geneva Convention and the Hague Regulations contain detailed rules on the administration of occupied territory.

The Israeli Supreme Court (sitting as High Court of Justice in Beit Sourik Village Council v The Government of Israel 2004) has noted: "The general point of departure of all parties - which is also our point of departure - is that Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation (occupatio bellica)."

The Israeli authorities seem to be willing to use the word occupation in some circumstances, but not in others. (Is the figleaf that "occupied territory" is a specific term with a narrowly defined meaning, different from things like "this land is occupied" or "we are an occupying power"?) OK, I've got a lot more reading to do to follow up on all the bits of statements and conventions mentioned in these articles.

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Truth

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mousethief

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Their strict interpretation sounds pretty farfetched.

"There was just this land sitting there. Nobody was in charge of it. It wasn't part of any nation. It was just sort of this undetached land, lying politically fallow. We had no choice but to, um, administer it. Not occupy it. Not annex it. Administer it."

(PS: does anybody else think Qalandiya sounds like a name from Tolkien?)

[ 07. December 2012, 01:04: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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It is complicated for sure. I'm also thinking of the occupation and eventual annexation of Hawaii and other Pacific islands, and Puerto Rico by the USA, as well as it's very great expansion after a war with Mexico. There's also its occupation of the Philippines which was eventually reversed. Then we have the British colonial occupations of a goodly part of the world, now mostly reversed as well. Sure, some of these are things that occurred longer ago, but still interesting in this context.

It does appear to be the fault of ethnic and tribal god images, with god clearly in lower case. Israel maybe is technically not a theocracy? Palestinians are technically not either? I think God understands war and killing whomever does it in his name. I just don't get that there could be any road to solution.

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Hawk

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Were the British occupiers of Mandate Palestine during the British Mandate? If not, why not? If so, why was immigration permitted (at least until the British banned it)?

From what I understand, Britain didn't occupy the land, since they didn't move any of their own population to it. Immigration to Palestine was allowed, though we could well see it was a massive problem and was seriously destabilising the region. We tried to restrict it, but international pressure forced us to ease the restrictions.

The immigration and integration of Jewish immigrants though was not British policy, but we administered the situation as the Jewish NGOs organised the facts on the ground. These NGOs were set up specifically to encourage Jews to come to Israel to found and join Kibbutz, villages and other communities. They hoped that if they could increase the amount of Jews in Palestine enough that the international community would have no choice but to give them de facto rule. Enormously wealthy donors funded the purchase of large amounts of land from rich Ottoman, and Arab landholders, and gave, or sold cheaply, the land to the settlers.

Basically, even when Jews were a minority in Palestine, their policy was the same as now. Before and during negotiation, they try as hard as possible to alter the facts on the ground to enhance their negotiating position. States do it all the time in war, you only want to negotiate the peace when your army's winning, the more it's winning, the more you can dictate the terms.

Unfortunately doing this during negotiations massively destabilises them. It's impossible to negotiate fairly when one side keeps changing the facts you're negotiating. It would be like two countries trying to negotiate a peace treaty while one army was still advancing and taking territory. That's why in war, it is vital to arrange a cease-fire before you can negotiate the peace. That's why the Palestinians insist on a halt to settlements in occupied terriroty. Israel though has refused to agree to this cease-fire in its war of social and territorial expansion.

The reason for this is that Israel knows it's fighting for its life, or at least, the life it is determined to have. The Arab population is increasing faster than the Jewish one. They will soon outnumber the Jews. If the Arabs get too numerous, they will start demanding more representation in government. If Israel wants to maintain the ethnic dominance of the Jews, which is its raison d'etre, it must fight to reduce the population of the non-Jews (fortunately not any more by directly killing them and clearing Arab villages like it did in 1949 - but by removing their citizenship and their legitimacy by calling anyone who opposes them terrorists), and reduce their territorial hold on the land. It can't afford to negotiate until they have completed this fight, and reduced their enemy utterly.

Israel has no desire to negotiate since at this point there is still a chance for a Palestinian state, and they don't want this. Once a Palestinian state is no longer a possible option because there are no longer any viable palestinian entities, I am sure they they will be perfectly happy to negotiate.

That's why Israel was so furious that Palestine got themselves recognised as a 'state' at the UN. And why they've stepped up their settlement building in response.

Of course, this is entirely illegal, unethical and abhorrent. But Israel is doing it quietly, and the US likes them, so it's okay.

quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Which is why I asked about what radical peacemaking would look like.

The only hope for the palestinians is for either or both of the current governments to fall. The Israeli government is curently right-wing and dedicated to the settlers. If it changes to a liberal government this will be a hope. This is unlikely though since Israel is still terrified of the people it's occupying and oppressing and needs a right-wing government to make them feel safe.

There's also hope if Hamas falls, and a pan-palestinan government is elected that has enough legitimacy among the fighters to renounce violence altogether, and recognises that the only hope for Palestine is not ineffective rockets that just bring more retaliation, but for international recognition of it's statehood and legitimacy. It needs to lobby the US, UK and the UN. If it can get them on its side, especially the US, and break the stranglehold of the US/Israel alliance, then they stand a hope.

Unfortunately this is also extremely unlikely since the Palestinians are (quite understandably) furious at the situation, and Hamas at least gives them a belief that they are fighting back against the injustice, even if its not in their interests to do so and they keep getting beaten. Its worrying that hardly anyone in Palestine was excited at the UN recognition, there was a scant few hundred cheering in the main square of the West Bank at the news I think. Most people didn't care. They don't want politics, they want action.

The only people who are popular leaders in Palestine are the leaders of the fighters. These leaders are the people that need to renounce violence and come to the table. But we've seen that when this actually happens, Israel just kills them anyway. There was hope with the Palestinan general who started negotiating with Israel before the current conflict. But Israel murdered him before anything could come of it.

With these two unlikely scenarios looking ever more further away I suspect the situation will get worse before it gets better. If it ever does.

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Autenrieth Road

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Thank you for that analysis, Hawk.

no_prophet, the examples you give do give one pause.

Here is an Israeli view on the use of the term "occupied territory," and on the status of the territories. I can't entirely argue with what it says.

When Israel declared independence in 1948, I wonder what boundaries she claimed? In the just-concluded United Nations vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member state, what boundaries did the U.N. recognize for Palestine, and with what justification?

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Truth

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Autenrieth Road

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quote:
Originally posted by Hawk:
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Were the British occupiers of Mandate Palestine during the British Mandate? If not, why not? If so, why was immigration permitted (at least until the British banned it)?

From what I understand, Britain didn't occupy the land, since they didn't move any of their own population to it.
I may not have been clear in my question. If, under the Fourth Geneva Convention, an occupier is not supposed to move their own people into the occupied territory, that implies that the Geneva definition of "occupied territory" is not linked to whether or not the controlling power moves their people in. What I was trying to ask was, would British Mandate Palestine count as an "occupied territory" under the Fourth Geneva Convention, if the Convention had existed in 1923?

quote:
Originally posted by Hawk:
The only people who are popular leaders in Palestine are the leaders of the fighters. These leaders are the people that need to renounce violence and come to the table. But we've seen that when this actually happens, Israel just kills them anyway. There was hope with the Palestinan general who started negotiating with Israel before the current conflict. But Israel murdered him before anything could come of it.

Details?

My understanding had been that Israel has tried pulling back from its military position towards a more peacful position twice, and each time the pulling back has been followed by attacks from the Palestinians, and this makes the Israelis leary of more peace initiatives. I'll try to find details of which situations are meant by this; at the moment it's just a statement I remember, but I don't remember the details.

[ 07. December 2012, 21:03: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Augustine the Aleut
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Hawk posted:

quote:
The only people who are popular leaders in Palestine are the leaders of the fighters.
Hawk must be talking to different Palestinians. At a baptism rehearsal (the Orthodox like long services) luncheon today, I would say that 4/5 at the table would disagree vehemently. Indeed, a delicate young student of dental technology, but a year in Canada, used very unladylike language in reference to the leaders of the resistance.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
I am also far removed from this with no local voices much interested. The general western Canadian perspective is that the territories currently inhabited and/or claimed by both groups are absolutely tiny. Myself, I cannot see how a Palestinian state could possibly be viable from such a small land base. Israel is also small, though not as tiny, and I wonder how it could be viable except without foreign money coming in.

Can both countries get some additional land from somewhere? I thought Jordan was historically part of Palestine and some have identified it as a Palestinian state. I also wonder about Syria and Egypt's territories. Is the deal required wider than just Israel-Palestine?

This highlights the real problem. Israel is a tiny piece of land, and even with the addition of the Negev and the old West Bank pieces from Jordan, the land is scarcely big enough to support the Israeli population, let alone the Palestinians. Then you add the emotional overtones of the Biblical promise of the land to the Israelites and the desire for a secure homeland following the Holocaust on 1 side, and the long history of Palestinians living there on the other. You end up with a problem which is barely soluble even had there been genuine goodwill on each side. And of course, there has been none.

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Nunc Dimittis
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:


(PS: does anybody else think Qalandiya sounds like a name from Tolkien?)

Yes! Or the name of an exotic and Edenic paradise of a planet in the Star Trek universe...
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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:

What do you expect is going to happen in Israel and Palestine, in the long term?

I expect nothing to change .

Not unless a fault line was to open up between the 2 regions and tectonic shift moved each to the opposite sides of the globe.
Even then I expect they'd still find a way to rip the shit out of each-other.

Sorry I can't add anything more positive. Gave up trying to unravel these people's problems a long while back.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3115 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
Yam-pk
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# 12791

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Having been a couple of times to Ramallah and used this particular check-point, I think the Israelis do have a particular problem with acknowledging Palestinians as fellow human-beings. It really seems like Israeli government policy racially stereotypes an entire people, and the check-points are the most obvious part of this.

Restrictions on freedom of movement, including of women and children, form the collective punishment melted out to ordinary Palestinians for having the temrity to demand basic human-rights and a homeland of their own.

[ 09. December 2012, 10:28: Message edited by: Yam-pk ]

Posts: 472 | From: The Grim North | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
This highlights the real problem. Israel is a tiny piece of land, and even with the addition of the Negev and the old West Bank pieces from Jordan, the land is scarcely big enough to support the Israeli population, let alone the Palestinians.

I'm having a hard time working up any sympathy here. They take in strays from all over the world, as long as the strays are of a particular religion. If they're overpacking the place (it was empty, or so they say, when they first got there; are they lying about that?) that's their own doing.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63209 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hawk

Semi-social raptor
# 14289

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
My understanding had been that Israel has tried pulling back from its military position towards a more peacful position twice, and each time the pulling back has been followed by attacks from the Palestinians, and this makes the Israelis leary of more peace initiatives.

That's what Israel says of course. The reality is very different. Israel may call what it does 'peaceful' but it is continuing its policies of seige and blockade of palestinian territory, construction of the wall, and illegal settlement building. As well as arrests, checkpoints and killings. And when this hostile behaviour is met with hostile retaliation from the palestinians Israel throws its hands in the air and says 'oh well, we tried, better start blowing up their children again'.

Look at the statistics, between the last Gaza war in September 2009 and September 2012, 25 Israelis were killed by Palestinians. However,perhaps this was because 314 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, with six more being killed by Israeli civilians.

The situation is far more complex than Israel trying to make peace while Hamas throws rockets at them. For a timeline fo the events leading up to the recent conflict see here. You can see how difficulut it is to establish who fired first, (if such a question isn't entirely irrelevent in the ongoing situation anyway).

And Israel's murder of Ahmad al-Jabari was counter-productive, since it was in the middle of a brokered cease-fire negotiation. Jabari was the key man in Hamas who was both interested in a long-term cease-fire and who had previously shown himself able to enforce cease-fire agreements. According to the Israeli negotiator Gershon Baskin, who had been brokering the cease-fire with him at the time: "with [Jabari] died the possibility of a long-term cease-fire. Israel may have also compromised the ability of Egyptian intelligence officials to mediate a short-term cease-fire and placed Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt at risk."

Read Baskin's account in the New York Times for details, and an editorial in Haaretz

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Posts: 1739 | From: Oxford, UK | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Hawk:
According to the Israeli negotiator Gershon Baskin, who had been brokering the cease-fire with him at the time: "with [Jabari] died the possibility of a long-term cease-fire."

Which is just what Israel wanted. Israel doesn't want peace until it has pushed all the Palestinians out of "Judah and Galilee" as it calls the West Bank.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63209 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Yam-pk
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# 12791

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Which is just what Israel wanted. Israel doesn't want peace until it has pushed all the Palestinians out of "Judah and Galilee" as it calls the West Bank.

I keep googling, without success, a quote from the mid 90s - I think from Netanyhu - where he says, yes the Palestinians have a homeland, and it's called Jordan...
Posts: 472 | From: The Grim North | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
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# 58

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Jordan has enough problems already, as do the other countries in the area, not only with taking in the Palestinian refugees, but also now with taking in a daily influx of Syrians. The countries surrounding Syria are all struggling with this and starting to show signs of internal tensions, and Jordan itself has had some rumblings of Arab Spring disquiet. Palestine has taken something of a back seat in the Arab World's priorities in recent months as many countries have perforce been preoccupied with their own internal affairs; and Jordan is less stable than it was. The King is granting democratic reforms, but there is a mood that feels this doesn't go far enough.
Posts: 25445 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by Yam-pk:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Which is just what Israel wanted. Israel doesn't want peace until it has pushed all the Palestinians out of "Judah and Galilee" as it calls the West Bank.

I keep googling, without success, a quote from the mid 90s - I think from Netanyhu - where he says, yes the Palestinians have a homeland, and it's called Jordan...
If Netanyahu said this, and he well might have, he was certainly not the first. This was a general sentiment in the 1960s and 1970s, I heard it used by several speakers in the 1980s and, during that period, the position of the Canadian government was that Jordan should be the interlocutor for the Palestinians, given the (then) unacceptability of the PLO and the (then) incapacity of the PLO after their expulsion from the Lebanon.

Jordan was far from happy with it and declared that it would no longer fulfill that role (1981?? I can't recall the date).

My own perception of Israel's generaly policy is not that of mousethief's, who describes the goals of one faction of Israelis. I suspect that Israel is not that sure what it wants, and would likely settle for its acceptance by the surrounding peoples. Until then, it pushes back with double or multiple force in response to attacks and incursions, making really stupid settlement decisions, behaving with incomprehensible ambivalence toward the Arab minority within the state, and generally not helping its own cause (in this, much like the Palestinians). However, my perception is that they are historically prepared to deal with their opponent -- if with much less optimism after the failure/limited success of the Camp David and Oslo agreements.

The real difficulty is that there are sizeable elements in both camps who will only be satisfied with that which seems to be impossible-- the eradication of their opponents. After half a century of mutual efforts at this, one is reminded of the phrase attributed to Freud that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action with the expectation of a different result.

Posts: 6178 | From: Ottawa, Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Late Quartet

Irredeemably speciesist?
# 1207

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quote:
Originally posted by Yam-pk:
Having been a couple of times to Ramallah and used this particular check-point, I think the Israelis do have a particular problem with acknowledging Palestinians as fellow human-beings. It really seems like Israeli government policy racially stereotypes an entire people, and the check-points are the most obvious part of this.

Restrictions on freedom of movement, including of women and children, form the collective punishment melted out to ordinary Palestinians for having the temrity to demand basic human-rights and a homeland of their own.

I've been through the Qalandiya checkpoint a couple of dozen times, most of it before and a bit after a new 'terminal' was built at the checkpoint.

I'm very conscious of the stress the IDF soldiers experience running the checkpoint and very conscious too of the stress involved for those who have their movements restricted by the checkpoint. I also have had some particularly stressful experiences there.

Yam_pk I'd think a couple of things you say need further nuancing.

The experience of people at Qalandyia may be indicative of an Israeli attitude, but since Israelis are people of many religions (for instance lots of Orthodox Eastern European Christians) as well as, obviously Arab Jews, Arab Christians and Arab Muslims plus Jews from the four corners of the earth, it would be difficult to say what all Israelis think about all Palestinians because of the behaviours of conscripted teenagers and young adults who are organized by military officers to run this (among scores) of checkpoints.

Even on the point of the Israeli government 'racially stereotyping', there's many reasons to suggest there's evidence for this, but it's vital to remember that even if your assertion that this is the case is true, there's a difficulty. All racial groups present in the West Bank and Gaza are also present in Israel. A greater variety of racial groups and minority groups live in Israel than just in the Palestinian territories/nation. How equalities is going for Israel is a huge matter of substantial concern to many people both inside Israel as well as those who are suffering under occupation.

But going back to the question of racism and occupation, if a different treatment is given to Arab people in Israel to that given to Arab people in the West Bank and Gaza, perhaps this goes against your assertion, that it's not on grounds of race but on grounds of location that discrimination is taking place? I am not arguing that it makes circumstances better or worse, I'm asking about the language and judgement your using.

A practical example is for instance, two Israeli-Palestinian-Arabs who happen to Muslim have many freedoms (not the same and not as many) as Israeli Jews, but they can marry. An Israeli-Palestinian-Arab can mary a Palestinian-Arab living in the West Bank or Gaza but cannot automatically bring their partner to live with them.

These treatments are very painful to be on the receiving end of. These treatments are not dissimilar to experiences people have in the UK of the Border Agency, of immigration control or checkpoints at point of entry into the country. I've been noticing that, more and more.

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Posts: 897 | From: Sheffield | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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