pro-Palestinian thread, part 2

I thought about that nitpick as well, but in all fairness many definitions of the ME ( a notoriously loose geographic grouping ) exclude Turkey.

Unfortunately, I do. A friend of mine who is an American convert to Judaism referred to Palestinians as “animals.” He said this without any compunction or hesitation. Rather than alienate him or cut him off, however, I chose to engage him and confront his views. All I managed to get him to do, however, was backtrack to where he said members of his own ethnic group were “animals” too. (He’s Latino.) Spread the racism out a little and that makes things better. :rolleyes:

Also, I try to avoid hurtful generalizations wherever possible. Please re-read my OP: I did not say that “people” do not think Palestinians deserve human rights. I said that you “often” hear careless or emotional arguments which can degenerate into racism. The word “often” does not in any way indict the majority of people, but it does allow for the existence of a racist (and loud) minority. I believe there is enough anecdotal evidence to support use of the word “often.” For instance, I couldn’t tell you exactly where, but I am certain that I have once or twice read those sentiments on these very boards; to the effect, “Those people don’t deserve their own state,” or something similar. And a viable community (a state) is on my OP’s checklist of human rights. And pardon me, but the generalization “these people don’t deserve” is racist as well.

I strenuously object to your use of the word “they”! We hold INDIVIDUALS responsible for their own actions. We (ideally) do not penalize the mother of the serial killer, or the suicide bomber, merely for raising the criminal from childhood, UNLESS they were an active accessory, before or after the fact, to the actual crimes committed. Anything else is a gross violation of Western principles of justice and jurisprudence.

Most Palestinians have never shot at or bombed an Israeli, or tried to. Yet the Israeli state’s sick and immoral policy of “collective punishment” (house demolitions, deportations and whatnot) simply spreads the pain to the innocent and creates more resentment and more enemies.

Too much thinking in “they” terms leads to ethnic cleansing, communal violence and yes, deep-seated racism. How would you like it if the rest of the world decided that “they” (Americans) are collectively guilty for invading the sovereign nation of Iraq, and therefore must be punished? It’s time to take a firm stand: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BLOOD GUILT. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GUILT BY VIRTUE OF COMMUNITY OR FAMILY TIES. For one thing, it was used too often to persecute the Jews.

The main branch of the PLO accepted Israel’s right to exist in 1991, making the Oslo negotiations possible. Presidents Bush I and Clinton would not have supported those negotiations otherwise.

The leader of the Palestinians right now is Abu Mazen, a fierce opponent of Hamas.

Gosh, if only that were true!!! “F—n anything”??? Including stopping or curtailing the settlements??? But, I am constantly reading in the news that they are giving Hell to Hillary about that very issue. :slight_smile:

Well, enlighten me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that cross-border suicide bombings and shootings have stopped, or at least become so rare that they don’t make the news here anymore. Back in the worst days of the Temple Mount strife, then-prime minister Sharon kept saying that all attacks must stop for 14 days in order for negotiations to resume. Well? Have enough 14-day periods gone by yet?? If so, then what’s the holdup? This foot-dragging is unacceptable.

Magiver – what the heck is a “cicada”??? Is that Doper slang for “one who starts a furious discussion and then walks away from it”? I can’t be on the computer 24-7 you know. I have to go out for groceries, etc. But rest assured I will check in every day to see the fate of my little thread. :slight_smile:

Well, I think you made my argument for me, with regard to “support” from other countries. I too think that the ostensibly “pro-Palestinian” countries should render REAL aid, in terms of investment and infrastructure, rather than blood money. But even if they did, would the Israeli government let such aid get through?? I think not, since they won’t even give up the tax money collected from Palestinians on the Palestinians’ behalf.

But support can be seen in a different way too. A pro-Israeli anti-Palestinian friend of mine (not the one mentioned in my previous post) once argued with me about the virtues of deportation, saying, “Why don’t the other Arab countries take them in?” Well, aside from the fact that it is immoral to uproot people from their own land, it is also very true that Palestinian refugees have not been well-treated in other countries. Support for refugees could be another aspect of support, and I think that’s what I was referring to in that paragraph you quoted.

A cicada is an insect that comes out every 17 years and makes a lot of noise and then disappears. Since you last posted this subject right after 9/11 and didn’t respond in the same time slot I thought maybe you were doing a drive-by post to stir the pot. Thanks for responding back and no you aren’t expected to be tied to your computer but as a thread starter it’s expected that you drop in and respond (which you have). Mods will close a thread if you don’t engage in it.

So, with that said, what are your comments of my earlier post (8).

Since my opponents in this discussion have been dwelling on the past, trying to assign blame for the present situation, I would just like to point out that it was not until the year 2000 that Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians via suicide bombings and shootings became common. That’s 33 years after the beginning of the occupation. Before that point, there certainly had been plenty of shootings and killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces – mostly for throwing rocks.

As for rock-throwing? It was 20 years of occupation before that started to happen. Prior to that, there were occasional murders of soldiers on patrol, but nothing frequent or major. Nearly all anti-Israeli violence occurred outside of Israel.

Even in the Temple Mount crisis which began in 2000, the first mass Palestinian action was a demonstration against Ariel Sharon’s visit, which was met with deadly force and bullets. After that, there was killing on both sides.

Add to that decades of low-intensity violence committed by settlers, plus the Temple of Abraham massacre, plus the car-bombings of the West Bank mayors in 1980 – and the real question is not “Why are the Palestinians so violent?” but rather “Why did the Palestinians wait so long to get violent?” I am against all violence, but I cannot think of any other situation of oppression that would wait 33 years to get deadly.

The Palestinians did not start the violence – as if that mattered.

As the stronger side in the conflict, it is mainly the Israelis’ responsibility to bring peace and justice to the situation.

I already answered the “support” part of your post. As for such a major land swap, I don’t think it would work, with either Gazans or West Bankers being uprooted from their homes. The biggest land swap proposed by Israelis themselves is a little bit of land around Jerusalem, containing Jerusalem-based settlements, to go to the Israelis, and a piece of the Negev desert to go to the Palestinians. That might have a better chance of working, but the Israelis may have to offer something a little more attractive than desert.

I think it is inevitable that a two-state solution would include cross-territorial rights of transit, from Gaza to WB and the other way.

On the other hand, you might get something like the separation of Pakistan from Bangladesh. Which was a bloody mess.

It wouldn’t just be land. It would have to be an equitable move for the Palestinians.

I just checked the Wikipedia chronology. Technically I am correct – suicide bombings weren’t “common” until well into the Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount Intifada, in the sense that there were never more than 4 attacks per year in the 1990’s, and in each of the years 2002 and 2003 the number of attacks skyrocketed to over 40. However, the first recorded suicide bombings did in fact take place in 1994, not 2000, and while the 90’s never saw more than 4 per year, there were 59 victims in 1996 – which is significant.

So, even though my words are “correct” in one sense, I apologize if I gave the impression that suicide bombing started in 2000.

And, that still makes 27 years of occupation before the Palestinians started mass killings of Israeli civilians.

Are we ignoring Munich 1972 for any particular reason? It wasn’t specifically a suicide attack, but 11 Israelis did end up dead.

In any case, I guess a valid question is if suicide bombings and terror attacks in general are likely to improve or not improve the Palestinians’ lot.

I guess I am not putting international attacks into the same category as attacks within Israel. West Bank and Gaza civilians are farther away from those, and their wishes would be less influential with a group of globe-hopping terrorists.

But OK, the Munich attackers were Palestinians, who did what they did in the name of all Palestinians – no matter how far the remove.

(I liked Steven Spielberg’s film, by the way.)

As an opponent of violence, my instinctual answer to your question would be, “no, violence does not improve anyone’s lot.” But an argument I have sometimes heard, which I find hard to refute, is, “When the Palestinians are peaceful, everybody ignores them. They can only get attention by killing people.” Is that statement objectively true or false?

Israel cannot be called a democracy unless all the people whose lives it controls can vote in Israeli elections. Either all West Bank residents must be allowed to vote for representatives in the Knesset, or none. If none, then they must be allowed to run themselves in a viable state with enough arable land and water resources.

It’s an easy question: Why should people in, say, Qalquilya and Ariel or Bethlehem and Ma’ale Adumim have different voting rights despite living just a few miles from each other in the democratic state of Israel?

My impression is that tclouie, like many Western supporters of the Palestinians, simply cannot wrap his mind around the idea that the Palestinians are not noble savages who are just shit-outta-luck because their land was stolen.

The Palestinians are, by and large, religious fundamentalists and extreme bigots by American standards. Most of them do not believe that Israel should or even does exist. They have third world social values. Like most Muslims, they don’t tend to support women’s rights or gay rights. They are strongly anti-Semitic, and contrary to the claims of their supporters, they are not anti-Semitic in some semi-constructive sense (“I dislike Jews because they support the Israelis who have taken away my homeland”); the Palestinians have had condescending attitudes towards Jews since before Israel existed. The same could be said of Muslims generally for the entire history of Islam, though Islam’s more enlightened years undoubtedly displayed some lightening up of the prejudice.

The idea, then, that the Palestinians would be a-okay if only the IDF stopped controlling their land is wrong. If the Palestinians were given more power, we have all the reason to believe that they would use all of it to try to destroy Israel. Like most Muslims societies, they value the concepts of honor and retribution.

/wanders in

I just find it hilarious that if the same thinking that is applied to the dispossessed Palistinians (they make it worse/they were asking for it/they shouldn’t have been living there/it’s there culture thats the problem) was applied to black culture in America, then you should be all for going in and banning rap music and gangs and telling them to get over it, yeh you were slaves, so what, accept it and move on.
There are Palistinians who remember being evicted from their homes, you can’t seriously expect them to just build a bridge and get over it, while still thinking that slavery a few hundred years ago gets you sympathy (or money).
The Palestinians are a people who had their homes, land and wealth forcibly taken from them, and they now live in the crappiest part of their country, in worse conditions then they had before. I don’t know how people expect them to just accept their conquerors as a fact of life.

/wanders out

Incidentally, in the last ‘quiet’ 8 years, and especially the 5 years since the wall was declared illegal under international law, the map showing the actual path of the wall has become ever more astonishing (PDF).

Nearly a third of a million people are now trapped outside the ever-shrinking land Israel calls ‘Palestine’, surrounded on 3 sides by land now called ‘Israel proper’, with their freedom of movement drastically diminished. (Around 26,000 are surrounded on four sides, with only a tunnel or fenced road into their village! Of course, why such an arrangement is not also appropriate for Ariel, Kedumim or Ma’ale Adumim is unclear without appeal to outright apartheid.)

The wall removes any possibility that the West Bank could support itself with its own resources since it effectively leaves only dry, barren hillsides as ‘Palestinian’. One ought not, therefore, be surprised what might emanate from those hillsides into the illegal settlements if said disenfranchised citizens of the democracy of Israel continue to be denied the freedoms granted to Jews, Jordanians, Syrians, or indeed anyone else living in that part of the world.

“international law” doesn’t exist.

/wanders in
I wonder why the Israel-Palestinian conflict produces so may articles in international media, condemnations by various NGOs and UN resolutions, etc., and why so many individual people who seem to have no apparent relation to either Palestinians or Israelis get so up in arms about the conflict, when all the other numerous conflicts, obviously tens or hundreds or even thousand times more bloody, why they produce so little noise in comparison.

About Israel and Palestine. Personally I pretty much don’t give a damn either way.
/wanders out

Funny, I could swear this institution isn’t fictional (there’s even a photo of it), especially since both US and Israel explicitly ratified the treaty which brought it into existence (heck, the US practically wrote it.)

If you mean that countries sometimes ignore the international treaties they have signed, that is trivially true. But those treaties are still legal entities.

I see a building that resembles a church. How very apt. The product they peddle is surprisingly similar. Here’s another picture much prettier – I guess that means God exists. Hallelujah!

A law with no sovereign power to enforce it is a mere suggestion.

The International Court’s decision on the wall is “non-binding”, as even it admits.

UN organs have as much power as they can muster by moral suasion, asking states nicely to comply, or by invoking the Security Council (i.e., by asking powerful states to enforce its “law”). Unfortunately, the moral prowess of the UN has been - weakened - by the fact that its member states quite evidently have zero interest in objectivity on the Israel-Palestine issue.

I say “unfortunate” because otherwise the UN could have had a very good effect. As it is, it has long ago decended into a sort of ritualistic condemnation of everything Israel does, which has had exactly the same effect as the Boy Crying Wolf in the Aesop fable - that even when Israel in fact does something truly repellent, yet another UN organ denouncing it has – no impact.

When they annexed the West Bank they definitely should have given the Palestinians full citizenship.

If any other nation were to pull that off, for instance, the United States vis a vis Puerto Rico, they definitely would not be a democracy.

The analogous suggestion being that there was no such thing as canon law, surely?

The ‘product’ of the ICJ is simply what the signatories of the international treaty of 1945 tell it to do: settle legal disputes between states. If some signatories ignore the judgments of a Court which they explicitly promised to obey, that’s hardly anyone’s fault but the hypocrite signatories themselves.