are jewish fundamentalism the biggest threat in the Israel-Palestine conflict ?

Aldebaran makes at least partial sense in his comments above. Certainly the U.S. needs to take a firmer role in pressuring Israel on meeting more of its road map obligations in the face of Palestinian non-compliance, and re the location of the security fence.

As to his other hopes:

Let’s hope that the USA gets a realistic government.
Let’s hope that the EU gets involved united.
Let’s hope that the Arab League comes to life miraculously.
Let’s hope that the UN can pass resolutions without the USA veto making it impossible.
Let’s hope that the most visible and vocal (and sounding) extremists on both sides get discouraged because people finally see some action and finally can have some hope on a solution.

Amen to #1 and #5.
I’ll amend #s 2-4 as follows:

Let’s hope that the EU can work out an arrangement with the U.S., so that the EU pressures its client (the Palestinians) to permit true representative government and end violence, even as the U.S. pressures Israel to act more reasonably.
Let’s hope that the Arab League behaves in similar fashion.
Let’s hope that the UN can stop its useless sniping and act in a more even-handed fashion toward the warring parties.

Fanatical partisans will find it difficult to let go of the concept that one party is entirely justified, and the other Evil. Such partisans (including religious fanatics) must be marginalized wherever possible.

By the way, Don, “Trust me” has about as much effectiveness in convincing people in GD as its does in getting people to believe in a used-car salesman. Take a cue from Avis and try harder. With evidence.

Well, Jewish fundamentalists are the driving force behind the settlement push. Not only in the sense that they are establishing many of the illegal settlements recognized as such even by Israel, either. Israel welcomes anyone Jewish with automatic citizenship, and thus the small percentage of Jews worldwide who adhere to the nutbag versions of the religion become a constant influx of population which must be put somewhere, and paid for somehow. And because of this influx they are pulling Israeli politics progressively towards the extreme.

But they are not by any means the stumbling block that is keeping things from coming together. Hamas is far larger, far better organized, and far more militant than Jewish extremists can hope to be for decades yet.

  • Radical Jewish parties have way more power than their size since they can shift and unbalance any election. So all big parties have to do their bidding or they won’t get into power.

CIte or take it back to your humble friggin O

This is actually somewhat true, but has nothing to do with their “Radicality” or “Religiousness”. Simply put, these parties - like any medium-small parties in a parliamentary, multi-party form of government where no major party rules the roost - always have disproporionate power. That’s what the parliamentary system is about - making sure “minorities” of all kinds have a real toe-hold in the power hierarchy (thereby making them less likely to lash out at the whole power system in unpredictable and/or violent ways).

Similarly, the “Shinui” centrist-anticlerical Isaeli party, 3rd largest in the Knesset with 12.5% of the seats, enjoys something of a “veto” power over Likud+religious parties on issues that it is concerned with.

So it isn’t the platform, it’s the system, which - for better or worse - is actually designed to work that way.

Dan Abarbanel

laigle: I agree that Jewish fundamentalists are the driving force behind the settlement push, but I don’t agree when you say that they are not by any means the stumbling block that is keeping things from coming together - they are.

her are some quotes from another article by Allan C. Brownfeld from 2001 about a related issue.

Extremism in Israel Is Fueled by a Growing Ultra-Orthodox Movement in the U.S

The preceding post is yet another example of the confusion that pervades all reporting of Orthodox Jewry. Ultra-orthodox Jews - whether Israeli or American - have no connection to the settlement movement and to Zionist extremists. Ultra-orthodox positions on Zionism range from anti-zionist to non-zionist, and the main leader of ultra-orthodox jewry in Israel over the last 20 years was a known dove on security issues and a vehement opponent of settlements.

None of the above is intended to endorse any negative view of the settlers and any other supposed “extremists” - merely to make a distinction between different groups. This distinction may not be important to many people, but it is to some. ;j

I’m not convinced Palestinians want peace. Maybe the news media, including Al Jazira, are not portraying things accurately but I’m under the impression that tribal mentality rules the region. Palestinian children are basically taught to hate Jews. That alone, is such a huge stumbling block. Blind hatred is, IMO, the most dangerous of social conditions. Fundamentalist Jews will offer nothing to the situation and may eventually start their own human grenade club.