Israeli Palestinian conflict in a nutshell PHOTO

...or should I say, one picture is sometimes worth a thousand words.

Anna Baltzer, peace activist and author of Witness in Palestine and Haithem El-Zabri, founder of the Palestine Online Store, Austin, TX, November, 2008.

As evident in this picture of two Americans: one Jewish, one Palestinian, their differing situations pretty much sums up the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One is being encouraged to join in the ethnic cleansing and colonization of another people's lands, while the other is prevented from returning to those lands, his country, or what is left of it.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz of Mondoweiss for this material.

Tags: Gaza, Israel, Palestine, Palestine Online Store, Witness in Palestine (all tags)



hating one self

is a common thing. its called "low self esteem." The girl on the left is the epitome. The boy on the right cannot grow up and accept his grandparents generation attempted to complete Hitler's genocide and supported the Reich with Al-Husseini.

by Lakrosse 2009-11-21 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: hating one self

Personally, I don't hold my German peers responsible for what their grandparents' generation did in the least.  In fact, I think doing so an ethical travesty and abomination.  Regardless of the degree of responsibility this man's grandparents had for intending or not intending to do something tangentially or potentially related, only a moral cretin would hold it against him.  And I will not mince words here or play games.  Lakrosse, you are a moral cretin.  The fact that the woman in this picture doesn't want to be subsidized to participate in something that she finds unethically untenable represents moral courage, not self-hatred.

by Strummerson 2009-11-21 06:54PM | 0 recs
so you think that Germans should have

a "right of return" to what was formerly East Prussia, now part of Western Poland, and a portion (Kaliningrad) to Russia? That was a small consequence for their crimes. 3 million Germans ethnically cleansed from East Prussia, approved by all the allies openly. At the time of the 1948 war, the Palestinian Arabs did not act as "Palestinians," but part of the Arab world, whose rulers wanted Israel to be part of Greater Syria. So the Arabs lost some land after the war they started. So yes, Germans still pay the price for their war, in the cost of East Prussia. The Palestinian Arabs must do the same. They can either have a state in the WB/G which is currently among the richest in the Middle East, or continue to suffer occupation.

by Lakrosse 2009-11-21 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: so you think that Germans should have

Why should the Palestinian Arabs pay the costs of a war in which they had no part? In the 1940's Palestine was occupied by the British and subsequently partitioned without an agreement.

And ofcourse the Palestinians have long been willing to accept a viable continuous state in WB/Gaza. That has not been however what the occupiers have been willing to give.

by vecky 2009-11-21 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: so you think that Germans should have

In the history of Europe many people have been displaced from their land.  However, in the 21st century, no ethnic group in Europe is systematically denied citizenship in the nation of their birth.  

Palestinians, victims of European ethnic cleansing and apartheidism, are denied citizenship in any nation.  They may not have passports, they are not allowed to travel or engage in commerce, they do not have the security of civil law.  They live under a brutal military occupation.  

These false analogies vomited out by Lakrosse are the last desperate lies to try to convince Americans that there is a national interest in denying a true peace and disposition for the Palestinian people.

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 02:06AM | 0 recs
Re: hating one self

"Regardless of the degree of responsibility this man's grandparents had for intending or not intending to do something tangentially or potentially related, only a moral cretin would hold it against him."

This man's grandparents nothing to do with the Holocaust in any of its form. The truth is that Lakrosse keeps implying that the Palestinians were in some manner implicated in the Holocaust, ala the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Al-Husseini. That title and position was given to him by the British, but after he fomented rebellion to Jewish immigration, he was exiled from Palestine in 1937. He no longer represented the Palestinian people. Later he met Hitler and created a company of Arab Nazi soldiers who did nothing more than march in parades.

Your statement implies some responsibility of earlier generations of Palestinians for the Holocaust based on this trivial contribution of an exile, for which you then say he is not responsible. Well, of course he isn't nor are the Palestinian people as a whole who were in any case probably oblivious Al-Husseini's trivial involvement.

Poor Lakrosse, but don't give him legitimacy, which is what your statement does.

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: hating one self

Your statement implies some responsibility of earlier generations of Palestinians for the Holocaust based on this trivial contribution of an exile, for which you then say he is not responsible. Well, of course he isn't nor are the Palestinian people as a whole who were in any case probably oblivious Al-Husseini's trivial involvement.

Poor Lakrosse, but don't give him legitimacy, which is what your statement does.

I'll wager that you are the only one who inferred any legitimation from my statement.  I think the qulifiers do the job of exposing the ridiculousness of the claim and my designation of Lakrosse as a "moral cretin" quite clear.  

Poor MainStreet, sorry your reading comprehension failed you again.    

by Strummerson 2009-11-22 12:31PM | 0 recs
Wow, jut wow

Is there anything in the photo that is factually untrue?

by Winston Smith 2009-11-21 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, jut wow

Yes, plenty.

First, the guy on the right was not born in Palestine.  He was born in the United States.(Source: Middle East Times, June 15, 2009).

Second, since he was born in the U.S. and has been a U.S. citizen his entire life, he is already in "his land," and, if he leaves, he can return any time he wants.

Third, Israel would not pay the women on the left to move to "his land" (the U.S.)

That's all I could find in about five minutes of Googling, but perhaps there is more.

by markjay 2009-11-21 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, jut wow

Though it was easy to score cheap points in response, let's look at the broader issue.  World War II resulted in many millions of refugees, a considerable number of whom were never able to return to their homes.  Then, after the war, more than 12 million Germans were permanently expelled from Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the USSR.  A few years later, 15 million refugees were created by the partition of India.  In other words, several tens of millions of refugees were created by wars in the 1940s, all of whom were absorbed in other countries, near or far.

Approximately 700,000 Palestinians became refugees following Israel's war of independence, the vast majority within a different part of the Palestinian lands.  Almost all of these 700,000 are now dead.  Yet the refugee status of their descendants remains an issue, and even those who were born and grew up in the U.S., as the gentleman pictures above, are portrayed as dispossed.  Perhaps we should have some discussion of why Palestinians are viewed differently then all other dislocated groups from mid-20th century wars.  

by markjay 2009-11-21 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, jut wow

Germany's borders were redrawn and the country was partitioned following their unconditional surrender to the Allied forces.

In India's case partition was agreed upon by both sides, a key element that was lacking in the Israel-Arab dispute.

Palestinian refugees are classified as such because that is what they are.

Besides it's a bit hard to argue that Palestinians, disposed as recently as 60 years ago many of whom still have papers and records of land and dwellings in Palestine, have less of a "right to return" than Israelis, whose claim dates back to something that happened 2000 years ago.

by vecky 2009-11-21 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, jut wow

Perhaps we should have some discussion of why Palestinians are viewed differently then all other dislocated groups from mid-20th century wars.

Yeah, maybe we should.  Many countries have had to reconcile with an unfortunate past.  The key to success is prohibiting discrimination against previously enslaved, occupied or displaced people.  

In the US, it is against the law to prohibit rights and equal access to all citizens.  Other countries had it harder than the US.  Consider the huge changes that South Africa had to undergo in the 1990's when it ended its own apartheid.

And now lets look at why Israel is wallowing in ethnic hatreds and strife.  Israel was founded as a European colony by racists who dismissed the humanity of the indigenous people, through a brutal process of ethnic cleansing, and the establishment of an apartheid government which restricts full rights to its European elite.  

Many other countries were founded the same way, but only in Israel is the process still going on.  Unlike the US, it is not only not illegal to discriminate against indigenous people, it is required by law.  

There will not be peace in Palestine until Israel recognizes Palestine's right to exist.  The massive colonization of land that Israel claims it is not annexing, the continued ethnic cleansing of the non-European class amounts to a vicious genocide that every ethical person opposes.  

Its easy to score cheap points in response to my comment?  Is it?  Palestinians are denied by brutal military occupation, freedom of travel, commerce, self determination, civil law, or international representation, and are daily subjected to a systematic policy of dehumanization that strips them of any dignity or hope for the future.  And you chuckle to yourself and think about how you can score points in a debate like a cheap lawyer, as you defend the indefensible.  

I dont give a fuck about Israel or its apologists.  I care about how my country enables this racism.  Every other country on earth has voted in general assembly of the UN that Israel is apartheid, and that its perpetual occupation of Palestine is illegal.  Only the US, by veto in the security council stands in the way Israel being reduced to rogue nation status.  I will do everything I can to ensure that my nation lives up to its own ideals, and stops enabling the horrors of Israeli ethnic cleansing and apartheidism.

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 12:25AM | 0 recs
I should so know better... ;~)

Israel was founded as a European colony by racists who dismissed the humanity of the indigenous people, through a brutal process of ethnic cleansing, and the establishment of an apartheid government which restricts full rights to its European elite.

Sounds like what happened to Hawaii.

Unlike the US, it is not only not illegal to discriminate against indigenous people, it is required by law.

...and that sounds like Quebec...

There will not be peace in Palestine until Israel recognizes Palestine's right to exist.

The baiting fallacy in that statement is no better than markjay's use of the term "Israel's war of independence" - they are both pure marketing dog-whistle phrases that have no technical use in solving the issue at hand.  The Kingdom of Hawaii's right to exist as a nation was not what turned out to be needed to secure peace and the wars between Europeans and native Americans wasn't the "American war of independence" it was a (successful) invasion of land by foreigners.

My only point in all of this is that we live in 2009, and reverting to some point in the past cannot be the answer to human conflict.  If it was, I'd have to get my German ancestors to reverse force-march my Polish ancestors away from the German coal mines and have my English ancestors give my Muskogee ancestors their land back.  Other than never having been born in the first place, I'd have to go live in a boat in international waters.

Israel was created following WWII for reasons we are all generally familiar with.  It exists today, and is extremely unlikely to be "wiped off the map" as some guy in a really bad dinner jacket would put it.  Unlike most defeated peoples, the Palestinians still have some of their "original" land left (I "" that because if we went back further in time Palestine - like all countries - had borders that flowed back and forth like the tides).

by chrisblask 2009-11-22 03:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I should so know better... ;~)

You said: "My only point in all of this is that we live in 2009, and reverting to some point in the past cannot be the answer to human conflict."

How true. Fortunately, the world as a whole has moved onto the point that we collectively no longer accept ethnic cleansing or genocide as a legitimate manner of gaining nationality. A good example is the recent Serbian ethnic cleansing in Korsova, for which even the US retaliated, if you recall.

History is therefore no basis upon which to judge international ethics and morality. And Israel must be judged upon the same modern appeal to humanism and justice.

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 05:00AM | 0 recs
Re: I should so know better... ;~)

(this is why I should know better: the I/P whirlwind resumes...)

I used Hawaii as an example because it is a contemporary case.  Hawaii became a state at about the same time Israel became a country.  The "Bayonet Constitution" and the Republic of Hawaii are (just barely) still within living memory.

The fact is that the creation of the state of Israel is now a historic event as much as WWII is.  The vast majority of the human population - including the vast majority of the population of the two definable sides of the I/P conflict - were born into a world with a nation of Israel in it.  Generations have unfolded - babies born at the beginning of this period are grandparents, adults from the beginning who have not passed away already are great-grandparents today.  Many nations have come and gone or changed size in that period, a period which began when Europe and the West was still referred to as "Christendom" by world leaders.

Time does in fact matter in these issues, and time is both shorter and longer than we often recognize.  Sixty years is a lifetime and several generations - it is a long time in the real world.    At the same time, our own nation is still so young that an eighty year old person today could have met an eighty year old who met an eighty year old who was born before it existed.  At some point we have to take the world as we find it and look for solutions there.

by chrisblask 2009-11-22 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: I should so know better... ;~)

Not even close. We have heard the American Indian story, even from Zionist historians such as Benny Morris, to justify the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, but no one has thus far proposed an analogy with the state of Hawaii, which went through centuries of transformation before it became a territory and then a state.

The rest of your post seems to be an attempt to disenfranchise the Palestinian people, not just from their state, but from their unique identity as an Arabic people, because of what?, time. Sorry, I can't believe you could believe such a thing. Maybe Jews should have called it a day after the Holocaust because, afterall, time moves on. Geez.

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: I should so know better... ;~)

I think you are agreeing with me or you have completely missed the point.  Stability can only come when countries dismantle apartheidism.  The US is a great example.  If it was policy in the US to ethnically cleanse California of Mexicans, or ethnically cleanse Hawaii of Hawaiians, there would be ethnic unrest.  

The US was founded by Europeans who created an ethnic apartheidism in a foreign land.  Slavery, and even genocide have been practiced.  But Americans have found stability and peace by criminalizing discrimination against formerly enslaved, or occupied people.  

Indigenous Hawaiians are full and equal citizens of the United States.  The are allowed protection by civil law, passports and the right to travel, the right to vote and fully participate in government.  They are allowed to buy land and travel freely throughout the state and the rest of the country.  

Palestinians have never enjoyed these rights under Israeli occupation.  Ethnic strife won't end until Israel recognized Palestine's right to exist.

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 05:49AM | 0 recs
Israel is in many ways a theistic or

ethnic state (and in many ways not, but still...).  There's not anything particularly good you'll find me saying about that, whether it is Israel or Iran we're talking about.


Ethnic strife won't end until Israel recognized Palestine's right to exist.

is too broad a statement to take at face value.  Personally I'd like to see a single state with no theistic implications whatsoever, but that's not likely to happen (unless Dante's right, and hell actually froze over).  Alternately, statehood for Palestine in the land defined as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank - however awkward that is - seems like the best path.  "Palestine's right to exist", however, can be read as "Israel's need to stop existing", which is why I think it is such an incredibly and intentionally destructive string of words.

Israel currently exists.  Palestine currently does not exist.  If we really must create legal ethnic enclaves for each conceivable human grouping, let's start by creating a Palestine.  Whatever.  But however this plays out, peace is not as simple as throwing around spring-loaded statements like the one above and acting all clown-faced innocent when folks fail to thank you for them.

by chrisblask 2009-11-22 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Israel is in many ways a theistic or

"Ethnic strife won't end until Israel recognized Palestine's right to exist.

is too broad a statement to take at face value."

Come again? This is part and parcel the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel's unwillingness to address the nationalistic needs of the Palestinian people after the UN inadvertently disenfranchised them of their country and opened up the path to their ethnic cleansing.

We must always keep in mind that the ethnic cleansing began two months before Israel was declared a state, and the UN had to know that it was going on. Sadly, not until six months later did the UN pass Resolution 194, which proclaimed the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and villages after the ethnic cleansing.

But as the Palestinian in the photo says, I am not Jewish, so that he and his relatives were not permitted to return home by the Zionist government.

Does anyone need a map to understand why Israel hates the UN?

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Israel is in many ways a theistic or

Again, in this thread, I don't think we are disagreeing.  

Israel is a nuclear-armed regional superpower, it does not need a group of displaced refugees to recognize its existence.

Palestine is a UN dream, kept from reality by Israel.  And yet the slogan chanted by Israeli apologists is that there can be no peace until Palestinians recognized Israel's right to exist.  How fucked up is that?

"Palestine's right to exist", however, can be read as "Israel's need to stop existing", which is why I think it is such an incredibly and intentionally destructive string of words.

This is your baggage not mine.  Israel needs to undergo a South Africa type transformation in the dismantling of its apartheidism, and an end to its vicious policy of ethnic cleansing.  Like South Africa, this will only happen when the US decides to stop it.  Israeli politicians, since the assassination of Rabin have made it clear that they will not make these moves independently.  

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 10:18PM | 0 recs
"This is your baggage not mine."

I think not.

It is the always responsibility of the speaker to choose words which can achieve the goal of forwarding his or her agenda.  When one is speaking to a room full of crazed cats the best choice of words is likely not the barking of a dog, whatever arbitrary merits dogs may have.

In recent conversation a person tried to convince me that Glenn Beck was "trying to unite us all".  I had to respond that, in my view, he is trying to unite some and repel others, that while the words he uses are a universal attractor among a given group, they are equal repulsive to everyone not of that group.  It is not the burden of the group he repulses to hear his words differently, it is his responsibility to choose different words if in fact he was interested in having sincere communications with them.

Similarly, in such an emotionally-charged environment as a discussion of the I/P issue, it is the burden of all speakers to choose words which could communicate intent to those who may not agree - while also leaving open the door to a progress-ive response.  When speakers choose words which are likely to trigger a well-known negative response, they - whether intentionally or through poor choice - bear the responsibility for the results of that choice of words.

The phrase we are debating, when used alone, is often intended to be read as "Palestine is the land defined as Palestine circa 1947, and should still be so".  It does not have to bear that meaning, but since it is so often used in that context anyone choosing to use it for other contexts must either couch it in other explanatory language or, as I believe is this case, expect negative responses from those with whom the speaker may not already be in complete agreement.

It is not as egregious a turn of phrase as "Zionist", to choose a word from a similar context, which is why we are still having this discussion.  Those who choose to repeatedly use the term "Zionist" in a conversation such as this one have chosen a particular conversational gambit that is either not intended to further the goal of progress-oriented discourse or is otherwise so poorly crafted as to fail the litmus test of those who do wish to use discourse to progress the issue at hand.  The same could be said for those who choose to use similar language from the other side of this (or any) debate, as I pointed out in my initial comment.

Conversation, as has been noted both recently and since the dawn of time, is an art of infinite subtlety when best practiced.  This conversational canvas is particularly poorly suited to the use of a roller as the tool of choice.

by chrisblask 2009-11-22 11:38PM | 0 recs
Re: "This is your baggage not mine."

60 years since the Nakba was condemned by the nations of the world, and 40 years since the occupation of the West Bank, and serious debate in the US is paralyzed by pissy little philological digressions?

If terms of the debate have not been settled after half a century, I doubt that more care on my part would facilitate a better discussion.  I would submit that reductionist escapes are the last refuge of those would chose to defend the indefensible.

I think something that we both can agree on is that Palestinians deserve to citizens of a nation, any nation, and that until they are protected by civil law, all Americans need to demand that the US not facilitate Israel's refusal to come to a disposition.

Then open Google Earth and scroll over the West Bank.  You can tell which are Israeli colonies and which are Palestinian refugee camps from 5 kilometers up.  Here's a clue: all those beautiful California type subdivisions are Israeli.  Why would Israel spend billions building houses and infrastructure on land that the country doesnt even formally claim?  Because Israel does not recognize Palestine's right to exist.  

by Winston Smith 2009-11-23 11:30PM | 0 recs
Re: "This is your baggage not mine."

As the title avers, the conflict in a nutshell: Israel wants land, the Palestinian territories to be specific, not peace, not yet anyway, given Netanyahu's openness about continuing the colonialism and the military occupation which supports it.

by MainStreet 2009-11-24 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, jut wow

You seem to be invoking a DOUBLE STANDARD, which is explicit in the photo.

Following the ethnic cleansing of 1948, the expulsion of Palestinians from over 470 villages and cities by Israeli militia and armed forces, by UN count, 711,000 ended up in refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries and the Palestinian territories. Although there are no statistics on the number, many refugee Palestinians also settled in Arab cities, and many eventually emigrated to the US and European countries where they became citizens. They nonetheless consider themselves exiles.

Anna Baltzer is also an American citizen, but if she wishes, she can obtain Israeli citizenship and move there; Palestinian-Americans cannot obtain dual citizenship in Palestine or the Palestinian territories.

Case closed.

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 04:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, jut wow

You are kind of nit-picking here.  The truth is that Palestine is governed by a foreign occupation army, and the Palestinian people have no say in who can travel or immigrate to Palestine.  Only the state of Israel controls the borders of Palestine.  

Israeli law allows immigration of Jews to Israel, whether they were born there or not.  Maybe Palestine, if there was domestic civilian law, would allow the same return.  Who knows?  Guess we wont know until Israel recognizes Palestine's right to exist.  

And for the record, we can imagine that the male in the photo was born on the West Bank, and the signs will still be as true.  If you are saying that Israel does not control the land of Palestine and does not prohibit free travel, then you are lying.  

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 12:36AM | 0 recs

Nobody in this thread is talking solutions, are they?  This is going to take at least two terms if not more.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-22 12:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

I am always talking solutions, Shaun.  The US stops providing diplomatic carte blanche in the UN security council, and Israel is forced to sit down as an honest broker in the peace process.  

See how easy it is?

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 12:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

I'm actually kind of with you on that but it is the nuance that matters.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-22 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

Well that is not exactly true. Lakrosse has consistently talked about solutions, and here it is, the Likud Charter. I put this up a few days ago.

This section is from Likud's (Netanyahu's)Charter.

PEACE AND SECURITY chapter of the Likud Party Platform

1. Declaration of a Palestinian State: A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration.

2. Settlements: The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria [West Bank] and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

3. The Permanent Status: The overall objectives for the final status with the Palestinians are: to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of a stable, sustainable agreement and replace confrontation with cooperation and good neighborliness, while safeguarding Israel's vital interests as a secure and prosperous Zionist and Jewish state.

4. Self-Rule: The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel's existence, security and national needs.

4. Jerusalem: Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem, including the plan to divide the city.

5. The Jordan River as a Permanent Border: The Jordan Valley and the territories that dominate it shall be under Israeli sovereignty. The Jordan River will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel. The Kingdom of Jordan is a desirable partner in the permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians in matters that will be agreed upon.

6. Security Areas: The government succeeded in significantly reducing the extent of territory that the Palestinians expected to receive in the interim arrangement.

As I said then, the Likuds do not see a Palestinian state in the future, and everyone should understand that the deception could implicate prolonged peace talks to nowhere as happened with the Olmert government. Netanyahu has already indicated that no sovereign Palestinian border is possible, the Jordan Valley belongs to us, Jerusalem will be undivided, there will be an Israel from the Jordan River to the sea, and so on and so forth.

Lakrosse's is one solution.

The one everyone else wants including the US is two-states. What is there to talk about? Let's talk about what is hampering this solution, and the answer lies in the above paragraphs from the Likud Charter.

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 04:27AM | 0 recs
What is there to talk about?

That's a good question.  Thoughts?  So far this is still finger-pointing.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-22 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: What is there to talk about?

You're not getting it, yet. Two states is the solution, but the Israelis are not getting it.

Israel does not want peace, it wants land, it wants a greater Israel from the Jordan River to the sea. I quoted the Likud Charter above which tells you everything you need to know about Netanyahu's positions, and what Obama is up against. The Likud plan is all of it; the Allon plan is 40-50% of the territories. Israel has that now. What is holding up peace is the Likud plan because there is a problem with what to do with five million Palestinians, and another five million waiting in refugee camps.

Unless one is a blind idiot, it is quite clear where the finger needs to be pointed. It has been going on for the past 18 years. Or if you are a Palestinian, you would say the past 60 plus years.

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 05:27PM | 0 recs
I Rest My Case

The finger pointing continues.  A solution would begin with a review of what the respective parties agree about and move on to establishing some framework of trust.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-24 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I Rest My Case

We're waiting for your guidelines about resolving the IP conflict, while you should probably send a copy to Netanyahu and Obama, because they could certainly use them.

In the meantime, people who want to keep arguing solutions find themselves wasting time, because, as I'm afraid to suggest, those main actors in this conflict today, just aren't reading MyDD.

Solutions, you want? Try reading my diaries about the boycott movement as the next stage of this conflict. In the meantime, I would like to take the trouble of letting people know what is going on on the ground in the Palestinian territories, as a way of pointing out what it is that is stopping progress toward a final solution to this mess.

Solutions? Shaun, it is probably better for you to keep out of this area. You just don't appreciate what is going on.

by MainStreet 2009-11-25 09:59AM | 0 recs
Ya' Think?

It's pretty clear what is going on.  Polemics.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-25 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Ya' Think?

I'd be inclined if I were you to write Anna Baltzer or Haithem El-Zabri and let them know your views or counterviews, and why they keep pointing a finger. Maybe they will return with some polemics, and then you will be able to point a finger back.

Frankly, I don't think most people who would read your above posts actually know where you are coming from or think that you know where you are. This is a left wing blog that is not read by the upper eschlons, meaning that any solutions you might have is water under the bridge even before  they are even written down.

It's the reality.

by MainStreet 2009-11-25 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Ya' Think?

So polemics are the order of the day?  Apparently so.  But for every citation you make your opponents make an equal but opposite one and on and on it goes.  I have learned a lot from reading your diaries, and just as much from reading some of the contrasting comments, to be sure.

But just to get down to business, what's the problem with the 2002 'road map' as a starting point?  That seems to be the intention of cooler heads whenever the dust settles long enough to consider wiser counsels.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-25 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Ya' Think?

You have already been told and should know that there is a solution out there, two states, that has been on the table, not since 2002, but since Oslo in the early 90s. As Erekat stated recently, we have been at this for the past 18 years, and nothing has come of it. Israel, whether under a Likud or Labor government has continued to colonize Palestinian lands incessantly, in an obvious lack of interest in peace. Israel wants more and more land and to continue to take it, continues its ethnic cleansing. That goes on week after week (check out the International SOlidarity Movement site for daily land confiscations and the killings entailed as well).

And yes, I am pointing the finger. If not me, who?

You seem to be satisified living in a world of censorship and propaganda about the reality. That's your choice.

by MainStreet 2009-11-25 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Ya' Think?

Man, there seems to be a lot of condescension in your remarks.  As you may have observed I am not actually positioning myself as an opponent, so to speak, but there doesn't seem to be much tolerance in your views in any case.  It does seem however that you feel the finger pointing is the important part, and fair enough, that's a task too.  I'm just not sure how it advances the issue at this point.  Maybe it just makes you feel better.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-25 11:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Ya' Think?

Finger pointing at the source of a problem is not what most people would consider a deficiency. But you may if you wish.

by MainStreet 2009-11-28 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Ya' Think?

No, but reading comprehension is a problem.  I said, it's a task too.  You really come off as narrow, polemic and impolite.  I wonder, sometimes, if you are doing those who share your views any favours.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-28 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

I think the solution has been pretty evident for years (though the path to get there is increasingly hard to find, given that both the Israelis and the Palestinians are distancing themselves from the possibility of compromise), with the main elements being:

* Israel relinquishes the territory seized in the 1967 war, with some major Israeli settlements near the border given to Israel in exchange for territories inside Israel (e.g., to create a land bridge between Gaza and the West Bank)

* Israel gets West Jerusalem, the Palestinians get East Jerusalem, and the Old City operates under some kind of joint sovereignty

* Israel permits a token number of refugees to return to Israel; the rest are settled in Palestine and/or receive financial compensation

* A Palestinian state is established recognized by Israel, the U.S., and the world; the Palestinian state and Arab countries recognize Israel and end the conflict.

by markjay 2009-11-22 04:11PM | 0 recs

But dozens of diaries later we're still in 1948.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-22 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

Now sell that to Netanyahu, or for that matter, to any leading Israeli politician, and we may finally have peace in the region.

However, the past 18 years of attempts to get there have proven a failure. During this period from Oslo forward, Israel has continued its ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestinian lands. During Oslo, in fact, Ariel Sharon headed the ethnic cleansing project as Minister of Agriculture.

PS: Do you really believe Israel will ever relinquish Ariel, the western most large city it has built in the West Bank, or the Jordan Valley, and permit Palestine to regain its natural border on the Jordan River?

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

I think we are going to have to sell it to both sides.  This is not that far from what Barak proposed a few years ago, and Olmert reportedly offered something pretty close to this before he left office as well.

by markjay 2009-11-22 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

The Barak plan did not have a Palestinian state, other than partial sovereignty over bits and pieces.

The Olmert plan was DOA before it was even announced.

by vecky 2009-11-22 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Yikes!

Sounds like Jimmy Carter's plan.  I think its a go on the Palestinian side, so I wonder why it can't be instituted.  

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 10:04PM | 0 recs
I will bite..

One state for two people.  Isratine.  Equal rights (starting with 1 person, 1 vote for a national legislature) for all.  Limited "rights of return" for both Jewish and Palestinian diaspora.  Special economic assistance for Palestinians.

by Ravi Verma 2009-11-22 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I will bite..

I think this would be the best solution, the establishment of a secular state in the land currently controlled by Israel, and universal suffrage, with special economic assistance to the displaced Palestinians.  I have no doubts that this would lead to sustainable peace.

Lakrosse calls this a "demographic time bomb," reducing the humanity of a race of people to a simple disgusting idea, of how their very existence in their own land is a threat to an ethnically-cleansed state of Israel.  

That is why there is no talking to the likes of Lakrosse.

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 08:53PM | 0 recs
I Suppose...

It could come to that.  Would love to see the religious freedom and racial villification laws you might propose in that case, though kosher and halal have much in common and so forth.  But a nuclear capable Isratine would take some getting used to in the region, I'm thinking.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-24 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

There is the Likud Charter on one side, and the Hamas Charter on the other.

by vecky 2009-11-22 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

According to polls, only 20% of Palestinians as a whole are supporters of Hamas, and only 25% of inhabitants of Gaza are Hamas supporters. Surprised?

As I have said before, Hamas is just a red herring Israel uses to avoid peace initiatives, and continue its colonization.

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

It's funny, even when Bush had 30% approval ratings, other countries persisted in acting as though he was the duly elected head of state and not a red herring.  Go figure.

by Steve M 2009-11-22 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

Meaningless reply, I must say.

Even Israeli politicians have stopped using Hamas as an excuse to continue killing Palestinians, since Hamas discontinued its retaliatory rocketry. So (state) terrorism is no longer greeted with terrorism.

Israel now claims that it is continuing its siege of Gaza due to Corporal Shalit's hostage situation. If it's not one thing its another. Since Abbas' compliance to Israel's demands, Israel is finding it harder and harder to find red nerrings. It is for that reason, I think, that Israel is trying to start another Intifada.  

by MainStreet 2009-11-22 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

I understand it would undermine your narrative to acknowledge that there are plenty of obstacles to peace on both sides, and thus that point must be avoided at all costs.

by Steve M 2009-11-22 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

Yes, the Palestinians could settle for the scaps of peace that Israel throws into their refugee slums.  

Lets see:

  1.  Post Facto consent for their ethnic cleansing.
  2.  Agreement to abandon the rights promised them by the UN and other nations including the US
  3.  Facilitate the creation of internal Bantustans where they would trade citizenship in any nation for a flag and national anthem, and be perpetually ruled by military occupation, while the resources of their land are turned over to immigrants with actual rights.

There is no parity between Israel and Palestinian interests.  It is transparent Israeli propaganda that the Palestinians are too difficult in peace negotiations.  Anyone who knows the history of the peace process in the 1990's knows that the Netanyahu faction killed the Rabin advances, and now blame the failure on the Palestinians.

Israel does not want peace.  It wants exactly what it has now.  The ability to continue massive settlement expansion in the West Bank, continuing the blockade of Gaza, destroying Palestinian homes, and shrugs when faced with concerns about Palestinian welfare, "they are not serious about peace."

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

It's as if you exist solely to make MainStreet sound reasonable.

by Steve M 2009-11-22 10:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

Dont respond to substance, just engage in ad hominem attacks.

by Winston Smith 2009-11-22 10:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

Lakrosse already brought out the "self-hating Jew" card to attack Anna Baltzer.

Maybe Steve will eventually bring out the old stand-by, the "anti-Semitism" card. Hard to believe that there are people who profess a belief in liberal principles, who routinely turn on a dime when it comes to criticism of Israel.

by MainStreet 2009-11-23 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

Or maybe I won't.  But it's not productive when someone's comments are nothing but nasty diatribes about how Israel is the most evil country ever, and anyone who refuses to engage with that kind of silliness is guilty of ad hominems or "slaying the messenger."

If you don't want to acknowledge that there are plenty of obstacles to peace on both sides of the I/P conflict, that's your choice, but you're going to remain nothing more than a guy waving signs on the streetcorner for the foreseeable future.  I think you guys write these things more to feel good about yourself than to effect actual change, because no one will ever listen to your polemics who isn't already a believer.

by Steve M 2009-11-25 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

"If you don't want to acknowledge that there are plenty of obstacles to peace on both sides of the I/P conflict, that's your choice:"

I can only acknowledge what is evident: there a long lasting military occupation by on people that is being used to colonize lands belonging to another people. Many are dying as a consequence, just for fighting back most often in retaliation for those killed in the process. That's the Palestinian side. Want to give the Israeli side and tell how the above reality is justified? Be my guest.

"you're going to remain nothing more than a guy waving signs on the streetcorner for the foreseeable future."

Believe me there are many of us out here waving signs and have been doing so for many years, and I suppose we will continue to do so until this thing ends.

by MainStreet 2009-11-25 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Israeli Palestinian conflict in a

I agree Hamas is just a Red Herring, before their surprise election it was all about how Fatah and Arafat were the big naughty terrorists.

Let's not forget though that Likud also only has the support of 25% of the Israeli populace, granted another 20% are even more to the right than Likud.

by vecky 2009-11-22 10:26PM | 0 recs


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