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Author Topic: The next obvious question
Briguy
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posted 29 January 2003 08:47 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What's the next step? Likud has won the election, and we all know what that means. How do we confront and force peace without alienating moderate Israelis, whose support the Palestinians desperately need? I think we need to continue sending international observers into the OT, but that tack has barely slowed Likud's colonial zeal.

At the risk of being repetetive, you know my answer:
Send in the UN. Now.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 29 January 2003 10:05 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That would be a great idea Sarcas, except that Sharon would allow that only over his dead body. So much is in flux at this point. It's unclear whether Sharon can form a stable government. It's unclear what the effect the war on Iraq will have. All that can be assured is that there will be more bloodshed. The best that can be done at this point is continued pressure for a settlement freeze and a return to negotiations. Not that Sharon would ever seriously negotiate.

Agree with those sentiments Mishei?


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Briguy
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posted 29 January 2003 10:19 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree with you Josh. I'm just trying to air my feelings of helplessness. It's tempting to just turn your back on the whole region and declare it unfixable when you feel this helpless. The election results are just too depressing for words.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 29 January 2003 11:35 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm still waiting for Mishei's response.
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Moredreads
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posted 29 January 2003 04:56 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The UN is great idea, but not something I can help you with. There are a number of ongoing campaigns that are putting preassure on Israel, including divestment drives, and call for boycotts. The best place to start is with the wallet.

Also there is a campaign to free the Palestinian Politcal Prisoners.

Frankly I have yet to see any of these being concretely discussed here on this site (which doesn't mean that people aren't doing it, just that they aren't talking about it. There is a lot of discussion, which is good, but...

I posted a letter from the free Marawan Barghouti campaign on the last Israeli election thread.


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Mycroft_
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posted 29 January 2003 05:38 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The effects of some sort of consumer boycott would be inconsequential. Israel's economy is already in the tank and is dependent on US bailouts rather than trade. The sort of sanctions being called for would only hurt the working class. What would be more effective is pressure on the US, both from abroad and from below, to cut its military and economic aid.
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WingNut
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posted 29 January 2003 05:51 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That will never happen unless the US for whatever reason found Israel to be a liability. As it is the most heavily armed and politically stable state in the region, that seems unlikely.

I think the change must come from Palestinians. As unpopular as they may sound to some, they must turn their backs on violence. They must stop looking at the false of hope of the US to provide them what they can't negotiate from Israel. They must begin a campaign of massive, peaceful, disobedience. Disobey the curfews enmasse without arms. Cross the road blocks enmasse without arms. Seize back their lands from the settlers enmasse without arms.

And this campaign must be in concert with an international campaign of boycott which will only grow stronger with every Israeli atrocity against unarmed civilians protesting in peace.

The Palestinians can win. But not with Hamas and not with US intervention. The US will talk forever so long as the Palestinians are prepared to remain part of a process to which they will only ever be losers.


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Moredreads
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posted 29 January 2003 05:53 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Strategically the result is the same, as losses in the Israeli economy must be made up with US funds. Further, and I don't really know what the Canadian situation is, but European are fed up, so perhaps the situatino is different. This arguement, that a boycott of Israel would only hurt those most vulnerable (Palestinians included), is very simillar to what was once argued about South Africa.
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WingNut
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posted 29 January 2003 05:54 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
True.
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Mycroft_
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posted 29 January 2003 05:54 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That will never happen unless the US for whatever reason found Israel to be a liability. As it is the most heavily armed and politically stable state in the region, that seems unlikely.

I disagree. The Cold War is over and Israel is no longer needed to balance out Soviet "client states" in the region. Moreover, Israel is increasingly becoming a liability and (from American eyes) a destabalising factor given the importance of the Palestinian question to ordinary Arabs and Muslims and the potential this matter has to destablise regimes, particularly as it fuels Islamic fundamentalism.

Lastly, Israel isn't a very compliant client state. It is becoming more of a rogue and the same sort of liability apartheid South Africa ultimately became.


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Moredreads
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posted 30 January 2003 09:03 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think the change must come from Palestinians. As unpopular as they may sound to some, they must turn their backs on violence.

I reject this construction entirely, however you feel abou militant resistance. It ignores a few basic fact:

1) The large majority of Palesinians have, and still do pursue a the path of non-violent resistance.

2) Suggesting that change must come from the Palestinians, adds credibility to the claim that the occupation is a result of Palestinian violence. The occupation continued with little resistance for many years and the only thing that changed was the number of settlers on the West Bank.

3) In fact during the years after Oslo and prior to the recent Intifada Palestinians were being killed at a rate of 5 to 1, as opposed to 3 to 1, as is the case now.

I don't want to sully this otherwise productive discussion with another round bickering, so I have started a new thead called violence and the Intifada, where Ali Abunimah, discusses these issues, while rejecting the tactic of suicide attacks.


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satana
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posted 30 January 2003 08:16 PM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Mycroft: ...Israel is no longer needed to balance out Soviet "client states" in the region. Moreover, Israel is increasingly becoming a liability and (from American eyes) a destabalising factor given the importance of the Palestinian question to ordinary Arabs and Muslims ...
Which is why the US is pushing the "two-state solution". Partitioning Palestine/Israel would create two economically and politically insecure states, constantly dependent on outside military and financial aid. It would only be an entrenchment of the status quo. A Palestinian bantustan would help contain Israeli economic and political power in the region. This unstable position is a bad deal for all residents of Israel/Palestine.

What is so frustrating is that Israelis can't seem to be able to get past their racism and pride to realize how much nationalism is keeping them down. Zionism is the only thing keeping Israel from gaining real independence and long-term security. This whole friggin' problem can solved tomorrow if Israel just gave citizenship to Palestinians. A unified state with secure borders from the Jordan to the Mediteranean, at peace with its neighbours, would have no need of so much military spending. It would become economically strong enough to cut its ties from US aid. Normalization of ties with the Arab world and acceptance by the local population is the only thing keeping Israel from capturing the Arab market and becoming the largest exporter in the region. Of course the US would never allow that kind of competition. But Israel is going nowhere the way it is now.

It seems to me the only just solution is also the only way both Israelis and Palestinians would ever finally realize their aspirations. Israelis have nothing to lose but their racism.

Anyway, if the situation in Israel/Palestine is ever going to change, my hope is that it would come from a new, more worldly, and open-minded Israeli generation.


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Apples
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posted 30 January 2003 10:22 PM      Profile for Apples     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Zionism is the only thing keeping Israel from gaining real independence and long-term security.

Zionism is what created Israel in the first place. It's hardly keeping Israel from gaining "real independence".

quote:
This whole friggin' problem can solved tomorrow if Israel just gave citizenship to Palestinians.

...effectively destroying Israel as a Jewish state, but hey, that's the idea, isn't it?

quote:
A unified state with secure borders from the Jordan to the Mediteranean, at peace with its neighbours, would have no need of so much military spending.

"Unified" being a relative term, of course. At peace with its neighbours, yeah...until the neighbours decide it's time for another round of "Drive the Jews Into the Sea".

quote:
It would become economically strong enough to cut its ties from US aid.

Oh, hell yeah. Three and a half million refugees, most of whom live in refugee camps, suddenly added to your six and a half million population? What could go wrong?

quote:
Normalization of ties with the Arab world and acceptance by the local population is the only thing keeping Israel from capturing the Arab market and becoming the largest exporter in the region.

That and the local population's deeply-bred hatred of all things Jewish.

quote:
Of course the US would never allow that kind of competition.

Of course! All those billions paid to Israel in military aid is a ploy to keep Israel from becoming the main exporter in the middle east. Why didn't I see this before?

quote:
It seems to me the only just solution is also the only way both Israelis and Palestinians would ever finally realize their aspirations. Israelis have nothing to lose but their racism.

Does "racism" mean "relatively well-off first-world democracy" on your world?


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Briguy
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Babbler # 1885

posted 30 January 2003 11:58 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Does "racism" mean "relatively well-off first-world democracy" on your world?


"Apples" pretty much defines racism for me, at this point.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 12:50 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Listen Apples, why don't ou start a thread called "Why all the Arabs hate the Jews, and throw a few facts our way?"
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Smith
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posted 31 January 2003 12:56 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And how about starting that thread on another forum?
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Michelle
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posted 31 January 2003 07:15 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Or how about not starting a thread like that at all?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 31 January 2003 08:49 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The best that can be done at this point is continued pressure for a settlement freeze and a return to negotiations....Agree with those sentiments Mishei?


quote:
Michelle
babbler
Babbler # 560
posted 29 January 2003 11:35 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm still waiting for Mishei's response.
My my it is so good to be popular. Sorry I didnt get on to this thread till this morning. It is hard to be the singular light in the tunnel on this board when it comes to supporting the only progressive democratic country in the middle east, Israel. Yes, I agree with Josh's statement above.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Mishei ]


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Smith
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posted 31 January 2003 09:12 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It is hard to be the singular light in the tunnel on this board when it comes to supporting the only progressive democratic country in the middle east, Israel.

Yes, Mishei, you are indeed singular.

Blind, unconditional support is always so refreshing.


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skdadl
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posted 31 January 2003 10:09 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moredreads, it seems to me that Wingy is saying that an oppressed people finally have to determine their own freedom and the means to get there themselves; it doesn't get given to them; and in vague fuzzy terms, I believe that's right.

If you keep saying that the Palestinians have not "caused" the violence and therefore should not be expected to take the responsibility to solve it, then you are leaving the resolution to the Israelis. And if it is the liberty of Palestine that we want, I cannot see that any Israeli government we can imagine -- or any U.S. administration, either -- is ever going to deliver that.


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Mishei
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posted 31 January 2003 10:28 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Blind, unconditional support is always so refreshing.


As opposed to blind criticism of the need to defend your citizens and country ?

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Smith
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posted 31 January 2003 10:29 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know very well that we aren't blind. And you yourself don't support the settlements. Why does it offend you that we don't either?

I believe I am pro-Israel myself. But that doesn't mean I can't be disgusted when it does disgusting things.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Smith ]


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 10:55 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If you keep saying that the Palestinians have not "caused" the violence and therefore should not be expected to take the responsibility to solve it, then you are leaving the resolution to the Israelis. And if it is the liberty of Palestine that we want, I cannot see that any Israeli government we can imagine -- or any U.S. administration, either -- is ever going to deliver that.

Saying what you just said is a little different than saying that: "I think the change must come from Palestinians."

There are really two currents expressed generally. One around means of resistance, and the other around how Palestinian should govern themselves.

In terms of the resistance: One suggesting a non-violent progam, and one of militant resistance.

As for governance there a various calls for reform from he PA fom various sources.

In the end it is the Palestinians who must resolve these issues on the ground. They are the ones who must live and die because of it. I am not going to sit in judgement as these are very complex issues.

Firmly I support the struggle, I will leave it to he experts to decide the means. In this case the experts, and he one most affected buy the decision of the the Palestinians are the Palestinians.

This does not mean being uncritical, it means keeping the focus on Israel, its abuse of international law, its abuse of basic human rights, and its ongoing attempts to subvert their right to determine their own future. I am not going to try and determine it for them, either.

That is what self-detemination is all about.

As for this idea that Israel is intractable, to say such is to play into Sharon's hands. We have all heard the 'non-starter' argument before. If Israel will not move on the key issues then it must be made to.

[ 31 January 2003: Message edited by: Moredreads ]


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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 11:07 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
As for his idea that Israel is intractable, to say such is to play into Sharon's hands. We have all heard the 'non-starter' argument before. If Israel will not move on the key issues then it must be made to.

I agree. The issue is how is Israel made to move? Israel can only be moved when it becomes a pariah state as had become South Africa. It will only become a pariah state when its violence, physical and emotional, is recognized as needless and cruel. And that recognition will only come when Sharon can no longer point to suicide bombers as justification for his violence.

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Briguy
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posted 31 January 2003 11:17 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moredreads, change does have to come from the Palestinians, partially. Regardless of the occupation, and the continued aggression from Israel, it still takes two parties to make a war. I know that the IDF is committing atrocities weekly, but that doesn't excuse the militancy of groups like Hamas and Al Aqsa within Israel. Bombing civilians is wrong, no matter the transgressions of the civilian's government. On top of being wrong, it only serves to increase the bloodshed within the Occupied Territories.

That's not to say that Israel doesn't have to change, too. Change has to come from both sides if this conflict is ever to end.


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 12:15 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And that recognition will only come when Sharon can no longer point to suicide bombers as justification for his violence.

...but that is not going to happen.


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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 12:18 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why not?
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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 12:21 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Because as Abuminah explained, someone is going to get sick and tired of being fucked around and go blow some people up.
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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 01:25 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not necessarily. It has been pointed out numerous times that suicide bombings are desperate acts by desperate people. The desperation can be directed. And that can be turned into hope. Who was it that said the journey begins with a single step?
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skdadl
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posted 31 January 2003 01:40 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I admit that it is hard for me to imagine how any of the current PA leadership can do much organizing, much less inspiring, given the occupation and the progressive devastation of communities.

I'm not just thinking about Arafat sitting there in the rubble of the building-and-a-half left to him. I'm remembering the young PA spokeswoman, a lawyer, I heard/saw interviewed a few months ago, who seemed resigned to defeat, who said that she expected that the Palestinians could now salvage little more than culture and cultural memory for at least the next generation, that too much had been destroyed to organize more than that for a long time.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 31 January 2003 01:53 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why didn't Israel become a pariah state before or between the intifadas?
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WingNut
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posted 31 January 2003 02:14 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think for a number of reasons, smith.

First, I think many people hold a deep respect for the aspirations of Israel. I think many people believed Israel was interested in a peaceful resolution.

Second, I think as a result of the various wars many believed Israel was in a defensive position.

Third, I think the development of peace with Egypt and the on going peace process with Palestinians as well as Oslo and the development of the PA led many to believe that peace was possible and possibly inevitable.

And then there were the assasinations followed by agonizingly slow implementation of the accords which in turn led to Arafat losing credibility with his own people followed by Sharon's infamous walk and finally a complete collapse of any process.

I would also suggest that during the initial intifadah, when youths battled armed Israelis with stones, public sympathy was moving behind the Palestinians. And it was that perception that led to the peace talks whether they were conducted in good faith or not.


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Moredreads
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posted 31 January 2003 02:26 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Also, the time that Hamas really started doing the bombings.
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