Is Israel's position untenable?

The last pair of suicide bombers took out 15 israelis…and there are lots of fanatical, young palestinians willing to die in the same manner. The only way (I think) that the Israelis can be perfectly safe from such attacks would be to:
-expel all Palestinians from Israel
-build fences, walls, barriers around the entire country
-remove all Israel settlers from the occupied territories
forbisd entry into Israel, by any palestinian
Would such a policy work? I cannot imagine what life must be like, if you wake up every morning and wonder if the bus/cafe/office building that you will use that day might be blown up!
Which brings up the question: how long can such a state of war go on,until people get entirely discouraged by the whole thing? It reminds me of the end of WWII-in 1944, after almost 5 years of war, the British people were fedup with the sacrifices of the war-when the V2 rockets began falling on london, people reacted witha pathy and fear-unlike their response to the Blitz of 1940. The explanation was that people were war-weary, and had simply had enough!
Is Israel reaching this point?

This oughta be moved in about ten seconds…

This is open to debate.

Moved to GD.

General Questions Moderator

Going there at the end of the year. I’ll get back to ya (if I make it back) :eek:

I guess we need responses from people living in Israel to answer some of your questions.

From where I sit it is obvious their current policies are not working, not keeping themselves secure at all. But governments have a tendency to continue to pursue policies which are against their own best interests, through sheer inability to admit they were wrong and lose face.

Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly is all about this, from Ancient Greece to Vietnam.

Very good point. I’d also agree that Israel’s policies thus far have utterly failed to bring security to its people. their only response thus far has been to respond to attacks with brute force, attacking cars with missiles in the middle of busy streets, inevitably killing innocent bystanders and inflaming palestinian feeling even further.

It seems obvious by now that these tactics do not work - you cannot defeat terrorism with tanks, bulldozers, Apache helicopters and F16’s. So, yes, I’d say that as it stands, israel’s current position is untenable. They simply can’t remain locked in this vicious spiral of violence forever…

Isolating the palestinians completely wont help either… many of them work in Israel and they depend on that cheap labor. Even if they do isolate them… its hard to keep those borders 100% safe too.

The israelis are getting war weary… but then what option has been presented that works ? If there were some viable solution even one that was “bad” for Israel they might embrace it… same goes for the palestinians.

I think pulling out of the occupied territories and dismantling all the settlements would be a good start, but Sharon would never allow that as it would smack of weakness and defeat, and the settlers would scream bloody murder.

Painful as it may be, I think the best step forward would be for Israel to leave the lands it has illegaly occupied.

Let’s ask another question. Is the Palestinian’s position untenable? I argue that the current Palestinian strategy of massacring civilians at random has dramatically reduced their negotiating position. They have radicalized the Israeli street, and erased any sympathy they might once have had from Israeli liberals and moderates. What does a future Palestine look like? Given the current strategy, the future Palestine will be dirt poor, with very little economic ties with their wealthy Israeli neighbor. Palestine will of course be a dictatorship, probably theocratic once Arafat dies. They will be hated and despised and mistrusted for a generation by Israel. And their poverty and dictatorship will surely lead them once more into conflict with Israel.

The Palestinians can not hope to win what they want. But of course, the suicide bombings aren’t intended to force Israel to negotiate, they are intended to make it impossible for Israel to negotiate, they are intended to force an all out war between Israel and Palestine, one that the people behind the suicide bombings somehow think they will win. Of course that is a fantasy, if the Palestinians could win a war against the Israelis they would be fighting them, not engaging in suicide bombings.

If one claims that Isreal cannot tolerate continued suicide bombings, then how can Palestine tolerate continued retaliatory military strikes? Why do we assume that Palestinians don’t mind being killed, but Israelis do?

And I think that they can keep doing this pretty much forever, that’s the problem. While they keep electing governments that require support from fundamentalist parties, there is no real reason for the Israeli government to stop.