Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's Going to Get Ugly Tomorrow...

8 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...

What I don't really understand is why the IDF needs to handwalk the settlers out at all - why can't they take the Mount St. Helens approach and say, after a certain deadline, we can't guarantee your safety? Then they would avoid the histrionics of having to physically remove people. If the settlers (colonists) want to be martyrs, that's their right.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 8:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Very good question, that. I think the idea is that the settlers will start shooting at the Gaza Palestinians, and vice versa, and a full-scale war could break out, which is exactly what the settlers (and some militant Palestinians) want.

So, I think using the IDF is the right thing to do. What will happen -- or could happen -- is that the unarmed soldiers will be shot at by settlers. That'll be nasty.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:38:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Yeah I see your point. Makes a great deal of sense, as long as your prediction isn't borne out that settlers don't open fire on unarmed IDF (presumably unarmed as a nod to national sensitivities on the issue). If such a thing comes to pass, lets hope it will be a wake up call for those Israelis who are currently apologists for a minority community of fanatics that are currently holding their democracy hostage. I say this with the understanding that I'm an outside observer on this and probably a callous one at that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nah, not too callous. Many, many Israelis would heartily agree with you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

Saw a video diary type short on TV the other night, made by an Israeli woman, on the settlers situation.
This lady was not a journalist, lives in Tel Aviv, and had made this video to show how Israelis on both sides view it.
On one side, there would appear to be a definate lack of sympathy for the settlers from a large swathe of the Israeli population.
Ordinary Israelis do not have anything remotely resembling the large and lush properties and lifestyles, with 24hr security which the settlers have.
It would appear that many Israelis feel that they are funding this lifestyle and security, and have felt unhappy about it for some time.
On the other hand, the settlers feel that this land was given to them by G-d, and only he can take it away, and while they realise that the rest of the Israeli population are funding their exsistance, they feel that it should be so, as they are the vanguard of Israels expanding borders.
The BBC has shown footage of the Israeli Riot troops being trained in preparation for a possible conflict between the government and the settlers who may refuse to go.
My own personal opinion is that the settlers, no matter how tragic this sorry situation is, have to go.
Quite frankly, they should not have been there in the first place, and should be compensated by the Israeli government who put them there.
The land is occupied land. You cannot build on occupied land, you have to give it back to the people who were moved off it in the first place.
I sincerely hope that there are no problems in the moving of the settlers. It is a tragic situation on all sides.
Israel will live through this without problems, the state of Israel, despite many of the scare comments I have read by people on other sites on the internet, is a strong and secure state. It is not in imminenent danger,and will continue. BUT, it will have to wake up to the fact, that just as it has a right to survive, so does the state of Palestine. (and there will be a state of Palestine, so might as well call it that now).
While the Israelis feel that the Palestinians want to destroy them, the Palestinians feel that Israel will only be happy when they have driven all Palestinians into the sea.
The sooner we have two independant and two completely autonomous states living side by side,the better.
And ...with a definate border which is respected, without Israeli tanks going on manoueveres whenever they feel like it.

Doug, dropped in to say that I will have to take a break from visiting my favourite sites for a wee while, work is building here, and I`m up to my eyes in it!
Just wanted to let you know that I love your site, and will return the minute I have everything suitably under control here! I`m hitting my busy time of the year!
Take care, ...see you soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

See you soon, Zeppellina!

I think you hit the nail on the head, btw, in your comment.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


You know, it's not really the Israeli state that's subsidizing the settlers in the occupied territories, it's the American taxpayer. I doubt that a large percentage of Americans would feel comfortable supporting Israel if they knew the terrible things that were done with the arms and equipment sent to Israel since 1948. Of course, this applies in about 99% of our foreign aid, but country has recieved even a fraction of the amount Israel has received.

It's funny to me that most Americans do agree with one thing you said. Most Americans feel that Israel has, "a right to exist." Although for practical reasons I would never make it American policy to quibble with this belief, I have to admit, I have never seen any evidence of Israel's right to exist that has convinced me. Maybe in some abstract sense, but not a physical claim to Palestine. Who gave them the right? Ultimately, each nation has a right to exist which is dependent on their power to protect that land. I think it is unproductive to speak in terms of "rights" because the other side in this debate, the Palestinians, know darn well that they were kicked off of their land. They just get pissed off at the international system when the world powers use the idea of a Jewish "right" to a state on Palestinian land. Since we need to have them agree to stop the violence, we should show them basic good manners and try to buy their respect. Let's face it, their land was taken. Now, this wasn't the first time this has happened, and it's clearly one of the better intentioned "takings" of recent history. However, we need to compensate the Palestinians for what they have lost. I have a brilliant plan for how to do this.

The United States and other industrialized powers need to say "we were wrong to place Israel on your land, however, what is done is done. We propose instead a out of court settlement." The settlement would be for every Palestinian family which has lost land to make up the Israel proper. They would be compensated with an equal sized portion of land within the national boundries of countries of the industrialized countries and to be granted citizenship in said countries. This would be fair and just, and I have no doubt, very attractive to Palestinians who are living in pits full of human waste. It was our mistake, we need to pay to fix it. Let's have no more half-measures, let's finish the deal.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 5:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hmmmm...I very much doubt most Palestinians would want to leave Palestine. They are free to do so now, and many have gone to the US and EU and elsewhere.

I think a two-state solution (a real two-state solution) is the solution.

As for Israel having no right to exist -- I think all peoples have a right to exist in a nation or autonomous region or whatever. All history is the movement of peoples; most of it ugly. In this case, after centuries of anti-Semitism, much of it quite lethal, in Europe, and especially after the Holocaust in WWII, the world basically said, OK, we owe you big time, Jews. Here's the deal: two states on Palestine: one for you, one for the P's. The Zionists in place accepted it; the Arab nations rejected that and invaded from all sides, as you know.

Now I don't think that worrying about who killed whom more times at this point is all that worthwhile, but you asked for a good reason for Israel to exist. That's the reason -- not all that much different from any other group's right to exist, especially a long-mistreated group. I would think you'd agree that European Jews have been fairly ill treated for quite some time, and especially last century.

Now, none of that makes it "OK" in any sense to ghettoize the Palestinians or set up a wall or an apartheid situation, etc., etc. I think my posts pretty much bear that out. I just find it consistently curious that you see absolutely no reason, historically, for Israel to have come about. It wasn't always this ugly -- 1967 did a lot, ironically given the scale of the victory, to mess up that society. And you can't deny that the Arab neighbors, who invaded in '48, '56, and '67 haven't helped shape this mess. The Jordanians, especially, being Hashemite-run, have been intensely cruel to the Palestinians. Black Monday, 1970, etc. It's a little more complex than you sketch out above.

Furthermore, I don't think the US and European governments had any role in placing Zionists in Israel circa the 1880s to 1920s-ish. The Zionists did that on their own. And paid for much, if not most, of the land -- they didn't just waltz in and take over at gunpoint, or else they would have been wiped out. I mean, the Palestinians were and are neither stupid nor blind to their self-interest.

Remember, the original Zionists were socialists -- they just wanted a place to farm and not be pogrommed -- and they got along fairly well with their new neighbors. This fact seems to have faded into obscurity in the passions of the present generational moment.

So, being fairly hospitable, at first, the Palestinians didn't mind their new neighbors...but after the Holocaust, especially (and starting earlier on), when the Jewish population boomed through immigration, things got a lot more tense. It's simple economics and resource-sharing issues, etc. Well, not so simple -- the Muslim Brotherhood got going in Egypt in the '20s, and they weren't the most liberal group ever seen. Pretty ugly, in fact. And you had wackos on the Israeli side, too. I mean, isn't it always this way in any historical drama?

In any event, let's not be too swept up in the impossibility, supposedly, of a solution. (Not that you are, Andrew.) That actually aids the extremists on both sides. Let's not forget that Jews, Arabs, and Christians have lived in harmony in many times and places. E.g.: Many parts of the Ottoman Empire. Arguably, even now in the US -- at least pre-9/11. Not in love with each other, but not killing each other -- and I haven't heard of any Arab-Jewish violence in the US, even since 9/11. I could have missed it, but my point stands, I think. Egypt and Israel were arch enemies up to the time we were 10 or 11. Now it's a cold peace, but no one's killing anybody. I call that major progress.

The I/P conflict is so apparently intractable because it's akin to a Constitutional conflict: two rights are mutually exclusive. Two groups want the same land. Both groups deserve it, depending on the point of view. I can easily see both sides of the issue. It's strange to encounter those who can't, on either side.

Well, anyway it's finally dawning on the post-9/11 US (even GOPers like Lugar) that without an I/P solution that most Arabs and Muslims and Israelis and Jews can be moderately OK with, all hell is going to break loose. Or, that is, continue to do so.

Well, I'm all for a settlement, but the settlement you suggest, I think, wouldn't meet with much enthusiasm. The Palestinians don't want a permanent diaspora, I should think, any more than any other group.

Again: The Geneva Accord. I's and P's wrote it; looks good to me. Dig it.

Sharon's 77; he's not long for this world. Of course, Bibi's positioned himself to the right of Sharon -- no easy feat!

My sympathies right now are with the average Palestinian of the past 40 years or so. They have been screwed not only by Israel, but by their Arab brethren, who have used them as pawns, and much, if not most, of the international community, especially during the Cold War, when it was convenient for the Soviets to use them against the US, etc., etc. The PA has been awful for the average Palestinian -- partly due to Israeli shenanigans, partly due to homegrown corruption. It's a pretty sad tale.

One nice thing would be for the US and EU to offer the Palestinians equal monies once the state gets started. Which is kind of what you're getting at, I think. And I think that will happen. With a different party -- or even just a non-moron-neocon-Christer like the Bush admin -- in power here, much can happen. Clinton came pretty close to sealing a deal with Barak and Arafat. Carter sealed one between Egypt and Israel. Etc.

Keep hope alive, as Jesse said.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:52:00 PM  

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