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Israel/Palestine

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 05-14-2002 08:16 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Enough already. I no longer believe in a two state solution. I believe we should go in and occupy the property.


Quick note: No, I haven't broken my own rules (Not yet, anyway). I am asking two questions here: what is soveignty and what determines sovereignty.


NapalmsConstantlyConfused
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1 posted 05-14-2002 09:57 PM       View Profile for NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Email NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for NapalmsConstantlyConfused

the problem with israel / palestine is that we went there in the first place. after the second world war, rather than asking around to find a country that was willing to host the jewish refugees, we stole a big chunk of land in the middle east to make a "homeland" for the israelis. that was wrong.
since then, the palestinians have been committing horrible acts of terrorism against israel, bombings, hijackings, and deliberately set fires and planned rioting. that's also wrong.

there is no right over there.

the israelis WOULD be right to defend their homeland - except it isn't theirs. the palestinians WOULD be right in their claims, except they have chosen to fight a war of annihilation against the nation of israel.

Now - there is only one real option for "peace," that being - let both sides take the gloves off. let the world sit back and watch, and let the war be waged to its ultimate conclusion. no matter how we in the US might think that a little more "help" might bring peace, keep in mind that the people proposing a peace plan are the same ones running a TELETHON for SUICIDE BOMBERS' BEREAVED FAMILIES.

there is no limit to the insanity over there.

national sovereignty is a moot point, as neither of the groups involved has a legitimate claim to the property in question anymore. if israel had NOT been created by stealing the land, then they would be well within their rights - regardless of international opinion - to defend themselves in any way they see fit. but it was.
if the palestinians had NOT turned themselves into a mob of terrorists, they would be right in pursuing the restoration of their homeland. but they have.

let them fight it out once and for all. in this people are in fact cousins to animals - sometimes, when there just isn't anywhere else to go, you have to fight to the death.

-Dave
Stephanos
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2 posted 05-14-2002 11:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Dave

You said:

"the problem with israel / palestine is that we went there in the first place. after the second world war, rather than asking around to find a country that was willing to host the jewish refugees, we stole a big chunk of land in the middle east to make a "homeland" for the israelis. that was wrong."



    
Given the history of the Jews, I don't think they would have seen this is an acceptable solution at all (getting another country to host them).  They would have still thought of themselves as "singing the LORD's songs in a foreign land".   It may have been fine for us, but their national heritage is deeply rooted in that land.  They are the descendents of Abraham, whom their history says was promised that very land of Palestine.  Given their religious zeal, and cultural roots, another land is unspeakable ... just ask any Jews that you may know (especially orthodox).  The conflict between the Arabs and the Jews go way back, aptly described in the biblical conflict between Isaac and Ishmael.  Both sides are bent on that land.  One has extreme nationalism and the Dome of the Rock for a  shrine to Allah, the other has a like nationalism, along  with a relentless dream of a restored temple and sacrificial worship.


The conflict will be not be solved with or without war until Christ returns... and until then, no peace, according to Biblical prophecy.


But my point is that these passions for the "Holy Land" go back alot farther, and alot deeper than western minds often understand.

And it's over simplification to say that the nation of Israel is "stolen land" that belongs to the Arabs.  

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-14-2002 11:10 PM).]

coyote
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3 posted 05-14-2002 11:08 PM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

I agree with you Brad. There is no two state solution, and I base that on biblical history, referring to the fact that 1948 wasn't the first time the People of Israel "occupied" Palestine.

After the Exodus from Egypt and those 40 years in the desert, when they were first "given" The Promised Land, it was done much more brutally.

Joshua, Chapter 6, verse 22, describing the battle of Jericho:
"And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and ass, with the edge of the sword."

In short, there was absolutely no living thing left to threaten the "security of Israel". And the era that followed, which lasted until the Asyrian conquests, was relatively free of the internal disruptions that have plagued the region on an almost daily basis since.

Moral: If you annihilate your enemies, you have none.

As to sovereignty, it equates with the power to do the annihilating, and having the ancient biblical stomach for it.

Not an answer I know, merely a strategic military observation.

coyote

[This message has been edited by coyote (05-14-2002 11:16 PM).]

Ron
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4 posted 05-14-2002 11:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Dave, I sure hope your suggestion was made tongue in cheek. Going from opening doors for women to suggesting genocide is not only contradictory, it's reprehensible.

Brad, the problem with sovereignty is that it ceased to exist nearly a hundred years ago. Nationalism is an obvious hold-over from tribalism, and makes just about as much sense in today's world. We are a single world, and no nation or religion or ethnic group can afford to ignore those with whom they share this world.

Sometimes, I think the most dangerous emotion we face isn't hate, or even apathy. It just might be pride.
NapalmsConstantlyConfused
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5 posted 05-15-2002 12:37 AM       View Profile for NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Email NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for NapalmsConstantlyConfused

[edited because this is just not gonna go anywhere it ought to.]

[This message has been edited by NapalmsConstantlyConfused (05-15-2002 12:55 AM).]

Ron
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6 posted 05-15-2002 01:20 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Okay, I'll see your edit and raise you one.

[This message has been edited by Ron (05-15-2002 01:36 AM).]

NapalmsConstantlyConfused
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7 posted 05-15-2002 02:12 AM       View Profile for NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Email NapalmsConstantlyConfused   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for NapalmsConstantlyConfused

good. let's agree not to go there, eh?

BUT AGAIN,

rather than reading someone else's post and replying to mine, i really seriously request that people read the actual words i use in my posts. i thought i was fairly clear in my thought that the US needs to stay out of this one, but i guess not.
my bad.
-Dave
coyote
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8 posted 05-15-2002 09:06 AM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Good sentiments Ron, but one world, one family of man, seems rather out of reach today, given the fact that everybody in the world seems to think they have the "right" plan, and are more than willing to force it on the rest of us.
  
I agree Dave, which was also my purpose in recounting the "reprehensible" side of even biblical history. We should stay out of this one. For some reason, in a free for all, the referee always becomes everyone's target.

O.K. Ron, I'm ducking.

coyote
Denise
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9 posted 05-15-2002 03:24 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The Middle East Crisis is alive and well in my neighborhood. This happened about 2 1/2 miles from my house.
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/05132002_nw_mailbox.html
Phaedrus
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10 posted 05-15-2002 06:17 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Brad,


quote:
Enough already. I no longer believe in a two state solution. I believe we should go in and occupy the property.


I’m unsure as to who exactly you mean by ‘we’, are you talking about an American peace keeping force or a coalition force based around the United Nations?

The latter would seem to be the most reasonable though intervention in the area by any third force is more likely to inflame the situation rather than ease it. Recent events seem to suggest that ‘peace keeping force’ tends to equate to ‘infidel invaders’ among large sections of the Middle East, any such force will undoubtedly become the targets of extremists. The snipers and suicide bombers will have a field day while the troops on the ground will be effectively de-clawed by the rules of engagement necessary in such a delicate police action.


quote:
Quick note: No, I haven't broken my own rules (Not yet, anyway). I am asking two questions here: what is sovereignty and what determines sovereignty.


Sovereignty, as Ron pointed out, has lost it’s literal meaning, there are very few (if any) Kings or Queens that command enough military or political muscle to hold sway over any real estate worth fighting for.

The modern version of sovereignty has transferred the right to command and hold lands into the hands of the state, governments backed by military prowess now decide and dictate borders. This modern notion is the catalyst that created the present problem, several large and powerful governments decided to put right a perceived ancient injustice by recreating the state of Israel in a land claimed and occupied by another state. When kings were king so to speak this could never happen, if the French king invaded Britain the old king was ousted and the king of France became the king of Britain. This transferral of sovereignty didn’t even need to involve invasion or bloodshed, if the king of Scotland died and the closest relative was the king of Britain the king of Britain became the king of Scotland (granted with a few dissenters). The answer to the problem would seem, at least following the lessons of history, to be more probably solved by the unification of states rather than their military segregation. Though the more likely scenario is that they’ll both keep fighting until they possess, and use, the weapons to make habitation in the area impossible for anyone not wearing an NBC suit for the next two thousand or so years.


Thanks for the chance to read and reply.
coyote
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11 posted 05-15-2002 08:19 PM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Denise,
I couldn't get the link you posted to load for me, but would be interested in reading the news article if you have it.

Phaedrus,
Thank you for your explanation of the literal meaning of sovereignty, which  nonetheless,I still believe equates historically with power; either kingly, worldly, or otherwise.

Harry Truman once said, "The only thing new in the world, is the history we don't know."

Historically, we know there is not one square inch of dry land, and much of the underseas of our planet, that is not claimed by somebody, or body of persons. And that so-called ownership/possession has at some point been purchased in blood, usually of the innocents. I believe "the greatest danger that we face", is the fact that mankind cannot seem to learn from history, and therefore it must inevitably repeat itself. Unfortunately, in this particular region, there is an ongoing historical record of refinance.

Brad,
You started the thread. Are you there? Please jump in here anywhere. There's been much said, and much still to be said.

coyote
Local Rebel
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12 posted 05-16-2002 12:13 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

What's really interesting about the current state of the conflict is that prior to Sharon's ressurection of Arafat he had become to his own constituency something of a footnote in Palestinian history and was as Sharon now calls him 'insignificant'.

Sharon needed him though in order to resurrect his own career.

This is more of a, um, (Ron how do I say peeing match in your house?)  personal match between two old nemesis than it is a Biblical war.

The lack of leadership on both sides is abominable and -- Netanyahu's latest denunciation of a Palestinian state is a clear political manuever to undermine Sharon with his core constituency.

In short folks... this is politics, Middle Eastern style.

Lest anyone think that we should, or even can, stay out of this though -- 911.

Peace can be achieved in the region though -- it was once unthinkable that Egypt and Isreal (though relations have understandably become strained of late) could forge a workable treaty -- but until Sharon started romping through the West Bank with tanks again it was working.

Does Isreal have the right to defend itself against terrorism?  Absolutley -- but there is a sharp difference between our war on terror and Isreal (still) adding to settlements in occupied territory.

If Arafat actually cared about his cause instead of his own power he would remove himself from the equation -- he should resign and let someone else negotiate the peace and the Palestinian state.

If Sharon actually cared more about security than his own position (as well as Netanyahu) he'd start withdrawing the troops and the settlers now and even possibly resign himself and let someone else negotiate for Isreal.

Bush was right when he called for the withdrawl -- but he didn't go far enough -- he should have attached an arms embargo to the demand (not cutting off aid to Isreal -- just that they can't turn around and buy arms from us anymore until they comply).

There is another angle to all of this -- but I'm not willing to engage that quite yet.
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


13 posted 05-16-2002 12:52 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It was Netenyahu's comments that triggered this. With the Likud vote, we now have a situation where a future Israeli government will effectively null the 1948 partition plan. If Palestine doesn't have a right to exist then neither does Israel.

If we rely on Biblical authority for Israel, we exclude those who don't accept that authority, we are essentially saying, "Because I say so."

Well, then let's say so. Let's say that self-determination was a bad idea after WWI after WWII (we conveniently drop this idea in other areas, don't we?) and it's a bad idea now. Let's stop pretending that these imaginary lines created by British bureaucrats actually mean anything. Let's stop pretending that Jews and Palestinians deserve their own state and start thinking about a way where we can separate the differing religious views from trying to do the work of running a country.

In other words, stop thinking about the past and start thinking about the future.

More later,

Brad    
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14 posted 05-16-2002 02:04 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Yeah I figured that's what set you off Brad.  Noble ideas--but law is based on precedent -- and even in international arenas possesion is 9/10ths of the law...

Regarding the original question the global community obviously decided intervention was necessary in places like Bosnia, Afghanistan, etc.

What is the common thread in those cases and how does the Isreali / Palestinian conflict differ??

Moreover -- how is China, North Korea, and Cuba different?

These aren't rhetorical questions folks -- lets find the common and uncommmon characteristics.
Madame Chipmunk
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15 posted 05-16-2002 04:13 PM       View Profile for Madame Chipmunk   Email Madame Chipmunk   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Madame Chipmunk's Home Page   View IP for Madame Chipmunk

I first would like to say that I am Jewish but what I am about to say here is something which I would never say to my family or any of my conservative Jewish friends from home.

Every war in the history of the human race can be traced back to a religious or ethnic rivalry, and so I think it is just our nature to defend ourselves in that manner, but it is a very primitive lifestyle because we have not pushed ourselves to mature...regarding this issue.
We are a people who has figured out how to navigate outer space and to cure many of the dreaded diseases of the past, but we still have not worked on our own psyches.  We still REACT in a primitive manner when we perceive that our religion, ethnicity or race is being attacked...in many cases there is good reason for this...such as Hitler and the holocaust.  However, we are all brothers and sisters...we are all members of the HUMAN race, and we MUST learn to live in peace with each other or our world will not last much longer because we now have the technology to blow ourselves up.

I really believe that we should live in TODAY'S world, not the world of biblial times.
It was a lovely gesture to give Israel to the Jewish people as a homeland in 1948, after the holocaust.  The gesture had a lot of symbolism associated with it.  But 2000 years had passed since the Israelites had called that land their home, and it had been occupied by the Palestinian people for many many generations.  I think that our whole middle east crises stems from that lovely and apparantly inappropriate gesture.
Personally, I find it hard to blame the Palestinians for fighting for their own land...although I do believe that they have taken it much too far and are now just as wrong as the Jewish people.

If they had first found places to relocate the Palestinians...if they had found THEM a new homeland as well, I think things would be much different today.
How would any of you like it, if the government told you that you had to give up your property and find a new place to live because you were living on Native American property....as we all ARE in this country?

I think its a shame that Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people wasn't better thought out back in 1948.
Perhaps a shrine to the origianl Israelites might have been a better idea...along with finding them another homeland which had not been occupied by someone else for so many thousands of years.
Even now, many of our big cities in this country are populated by more Jewish people than the entire state of Israel.
As for our involvement as a country...I think it would be much better to stay away and let the involved countries settle the conflict themselves.
Both sides in this conflict are WRONG so its really hard for us to really take sides...its even hard to mediate this crisis because it has really gotten out of control.

Lyra

copyright2002 Lyra Nesius

"poetry is life distilled"  Gwendolyn Brooks

Brad
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16 posted 05-16-2002 05:59 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm a little confused here.

Are many suggesting that we cut off foreign aid to Israel?

I still think we have political interests there -- we means the US and the West in general, Phaedrus --  (national security and humanitarian), but I'm suggesting that the current situation needs to be rethought without the two state solution. If you heard Netanayhu's words, I simply thought they should apply to Israel as well. Let's use that three billion to make the region more stable, not side with one state and one non-state. We need to think more about the administrative apparatus that we've come to believe is a state.

We need to stop holding on to a hope that no one there honestly believes in.

Brad
Madame Chipmunk
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17 posted 05-16-2002 06:51 PM       View Profile for Madame Chipmunk   Email Madame Chipmunk   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Madame Chipmunk's Home Page   View IP for Madame Chipmunk

"We need to stop holding on to a hope that no one there honestly believes in."


This is absolutely true, Brad...and thats why we need to let go for now.  It seems that no matter how much aid we pour into Israel, it backfires.

We need to let these 2 entities settle things amongst themselves without any outside aid because it hasn't been doing any good for anyone.

I truthfully (and I know that this is probably disgraceful for a Jewish person to admit, but I'll say it anyway)  don't think we are doing Israel any good right now with our foreign aid because it is angering the Palestinians.  Thats why there are so many suicide bombings and so much violence in that part of the world.  
It doesn't do Israel one bit of good, to have the Palestinians hate us because it makes them hate the Israelis even more.  Our foreign aid at this moment in time is just serving as fuel for the flame.  I don't think we should stop the aid forever necessarily, but right now, it is doing more harm than good.
I really believe that the Palestinians are good people who have been corrupted by what history has served up to them.  I know that the Jewish people went throught the holocaust and I have lost several ancestors because of it...and the Israeli homeland sounded like a great idea at the time, but in truth...it just transferred the burden onto the Palestenians.  Its probably too late now to take that land away from the Israelis and give it back to the Palestinians, but I think that if the rest of the world leaves them to settle it for themselves, they will finally come to some sort of agreement with which both sides can peacefully co-exist.
This is just my opinion...I would never tell this to my family or I would probably be disowned...they are all avid Zionists and hate the Palestinians.


Lyra

copyright2002 Lyra Nesius

"poetry is life distilled"  Gwendolyn Brooks


[This message has been edited by Madame Chipmunk (05-16-2002 06:53 PM).]

coyote
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18 posted 05-16-2002 09:42 PM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Because this is Philosophy 101, and in keeping with Brad's original question pertaining to sovereignty, which anchors the thread, I would like to take a poll.

Who would be willing to send multinational peacekeeping troops into the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict?

I would not. I believe it would be wrong.

But then I must confess that my son the Marine, is scheduled to deploy to somewhere in that region very soon, and in thinking about what he might be facing in a situation like that, I can't help but be "backward and opinionated". Contrary to popular impression, I am nothing more than an average family man, who sincerely believes all wars since the beginning of time have been wrong, but so have countless other people, and frankly, that sumtotal of belief hasn't kept any of them from happening. I also know personally that believing a war is wrong, cannot detract from the significance of the blood shed by those who died in it. Participants on both sides share this common right to claim meaning from supreme sacrifice. The Jews, I believe understand this more than anyone.

Again, in the situation at hand, I think we must let go of our Western Judeo-Christian "New Testament" belief that there is somehow a political solution to what is fundamentally an "Old Testament" religious conflict. In Israel or any other Middle-Eastern country for that matter, politics is religion, they are inseparable. Even in this country, our founding fathers tempered their insistence on separation of church and state, with the motto "In God We Trust". Like it or not, God is part of our culture too.

For Christians, the message of the New Testament supercedes the law of the Old Testament, as Christ plainly states in Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 35-40. So why do we Christians always seem to forget that by their own reckoning the Jews do not accept this? Just because the Bible has become the universal doctrine of Christian belief, does not change the fact that its Old Testament is actually a chronology of the People of Israel, and a cultural template by which they have always structured their lives.

The example of the Battle of Jericho, which I brought forth earlier from that history, the purpose of which was misconstrued as a "tongue in cheek suggestion of genocide", was intended to point out, albeit graphically, where the Israelis might be coming from in terms of their so-called "sovereignty". And to also illustrate that the walls of this great city were brought down, and all of its inhabitants rubbed out, not only with God's blessing, but moreover, with His help.

Which is a spine chilling thought, when we consider the similarity this description has to the statements made by Islamic extremists regarding the events of 11, September.

Given that knowledge, I realize the "New Testament/Golden Rule" Western philosophy behind the many "peace proposals" in this conflict, has doomed them from the start, and understand why the present situation has escalated/deteriorated into an action/reaction "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" stalemate.

For that reason and others, I say we must stay out of it.

No  U. S. troops.

coyote

[This message has been edited by coyote (05-16-2002 09:50 PM).]

Madame Chipmunk
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19 posted 05-17-2002 12:39 AM       View Profile for Madame Chipmunk   Email Madame Chipmunk   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Madame Chipmunk's Home Page   View IP for Madame Chipmunk

Coyote, I definitely agree with you...
As I said before, I think that ANY intervention from any other country or even from the U.N. will just fan the flames of this conflagration which has already spiraled way out of control.
Furthermore, the sympathy always seems to be with Israel, and I think that if we step back and take a rational look at this crisis, we will see that we are still giving them our sympathy vote because of how badly they were harmed during the holocaust.
I feel comfortable in saying that here, only because I am Jewish and won't be accused of anti-semitism because of these views.
I really do think that the mistake was takig the land away from the Palestinians in 1948 to create the Jewish homeland...but since then, so much brutality has occurred that I think that both sides are equally guilty...and that being so...I really cannot see how peacekeeping troops will do any good.
So....my vote is

Lyra

copyright2002 Lyra Nesius

"poetry is life distilled"  Gwendolyn Brooks

Local Rebel
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20 posted 05-17-2002 12:41 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Yitzhak Rabin's Last Speech

November 4, 1995
Tel Aviv City Hall Plaza

quote:
Permit me to say that I am deeply moved.

I wish to thank each and every one of you, who have come here today to take a stand against violence and for peace. This government, which I am privileged to head, together with my friend Shimon Peres, decided to give peace a chance -- a peace that will solve most of Israel's problems.

I was a military man for 27 years. I fought as long as there was no chance for peace. I believe that there is now a chance for peace, a great chance. We must take advantage of it for the sake of those standing here, and for those who are not here -- and they are many.

I have always believed that the majority of the people want peace and are ready to take risks for peace. In coming here today, you demonstrate, together with many others who did not come, that the people truly desire peace and oppose violence.

Violence erodes the basis of Israeli democracy. It must be condemned and isolated.

This is not the way of the State of Israel. In a democracy there can be differences, but the final decision will be taken in democratic elections, as the 1992 elections which gave us the mandate to do what we are doing, and to continue on this course.

I want to say that I am proud of the fact that representatives of the countries with whom we are living in peace are present with us here, and will continue to be here: Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, which opened the road to peace for us. I want to thank the President of Egypt, the King of Jordan, and the King of Morocco, represented here today, for their partnership with us in our march towards peace.

But, more than anything, in the more than three years of this Government's existence, the Israeli people has proven that it is possible to make peace, that peace opens the door to a better economy and society; that peace is not just a prayer.

Peace is first of all in our prayers, but it is also the aspiration of the Jewish people, a genuine aspiration for peace.


There are enemies of peace who are trying to hurt us, in order to torpedo the peace process.

I want to say bluntly, that we have found a partner for peace among the Palestinians as well: the PLO, which was an enemy, and has ceased to engage in terrorism. Without partners for peace, there can be no peace.

We will demand that they do their part for peace, just as we will do our part for peace, in order to solve the most complicated, prolonged, and emotionally charged aspect of the Israeli-Arab conflict: the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.

This is a course which is fraught with difficulties and pain. For Israel, there is no path that is without pain.

But the path of peace is preferable to the path of war.

I say this to you as one who was a military man, someone who is today Minister of Defense and sees the pain of the families of the IDF soldiers. For them, for our children, in my case for our grandchildren, I want this Government to exhaust every opening, every possibility, to promote and achieve a comprehensive peace. Even with Syria, it will be possible to make peace.

This rally must send a message to the Israeli people, to the Jewish people around the world, to the many people in the Arab world, and indeed to the entire world, that the Israeli people want peace, support peace.

For this, I thank you.


No one is talking about the fact that the peace process was torpedoed by a fanatical ISREALI when Rabin was murdered in 1995.

There are fanatics on both sides that have brought the current crisis to bear.  Yes the Palestinian people are good.  The Isreali people are good.  Just like in America there are extremists who attempt to dictate to the majority.

Rabin was killed because he was close to peace.  Arafat lost favor with the radicals because he was close to brining peace.  These radicals will not ultimately win though.

Aid from the U.S. goes (directly) to the Palestinians as well as to Isreal.  I am not for cutting out or reducing aid... only an arms embargo (to both sides).

It is the settlements that create the real sticky wicket right now.  There are close to a half-million Isreali settlers living in Palestinian territory who were induced into moving there by government subsidized homes (70 to 80 percent).  

These people vote.  None of them wants to make a land for peace deal.  This is how Sharon came back into power and why the peace Rabin was close to striking
caused so much turmoil amongst Isreali conservatives.

We back Isreal and call her an ally because she is a democracy -- and that's what we do in America -- promote democracy.  But it is a democracy that has been hijacked by extremists -- I don't think we have an obligation to back a democracy just because it is a democracy.

As long as there are settlers the democracy in Isreal will be broken -- because they represent a very large voting block -- so it becomes ironic that in this instance democracy is actually the problem.

coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


21 posted 05-17-2002 07:37 PM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Some very good knowledge to be gained here from Madame Chipmunk and Local Rebel's input.

Madame Chipmunk,
I very much admire your courage and appreciate your opinion from the perspective of a modern day Jewish American, and I agree with what you have so candidly expressed. You've greatly enlightened this discussion.
Please continue to enlighten it.  


Local Rebel,
I agree with your assessment that Democracy is the real problem, since I believe it is essentially a religious not political conflict. Israel is a "Religious Democracy", if you will. Sort of like some fundamentalist extremists would like to see here. Which wouldn't work for the same reasons, "too many Gods spoil the soup".

However, I can't agree that "radical factions will not win out in the end", I think that's a dangerous underevaluation of their destructive potential, for they have made great strides toward the finish line already, not only in Israel but worldwide. Our own national security has been threatened by radicals who exploited the very freedoms we venerate in order to accomplish their terrorism. And in so doing, have changed the American people's concept of "liberty and justice for all" forever. For me, the once "sovereign" estate of individual freedom now seems very fragile, and in need of constant protection. Since 9-11 we have taken several steps closer to "Big Brother", let us not panic and start running toward him, for he is latently an extremist in his own "right".

I'd like to continue the discussion, philosophically of course, along the lines of "sovereignty", and address your previous question regarding similarities, if any, to other regions where "peacekeepers" have been deployed.
Please, you first.

Coyote  


  

[This message has been edited by coyote (05-17-2002 07:45 PM).]

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


22 posted 05-18-2002 04:58 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I thought this account was interesting. It's a slightly more clear-headed account of my first statement:

http://slate.msn.com/?id=2065830

from the text:

An externally imposed settlement would bypass the warped motivations and incentives that have guided Sharon and Arafat so far. It could also address the trust problem. In a non-zero-sum game, third-party policing (which, admittedly, would be dicey in this particular game) can be a surrogate for trust—and a way of creating an environment in which actual trust can slowly be rebuilt. It's increasingly clear that, absent some such jump-start, trust may never exist in the Middle East, so continued lose-lose conflict may remain the "rational" option from both points of view.

To say that the Israelis and Palestinians need adult supervision isn't to patronize them. If we were in their shoes—recall those huge conversion factors, 50 and 100—we'd be as out of control as they are. Remember how Americans felt right after 9/11? Now imagine enduring an endless series of 9/11's. Our ratio of rage to trust would be approaching infinity.

[This message has been edited by Brad (05-18-2002 05:28 AM).]

Phaedrus
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since 01-26-2002
Posts 280


23 posted 05-18-2002 07:11 AM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus

From the article posted by Brad

quote:
Explanation No. 4: Lack of trust. Often players in a non-zero-sum game can't get to the win-win outcome unless they trust each other. In the Middle East, trust is famously lacking on both sides. Israelis feel that any concessions will be greeted by more bombings, and Palestinians feel all "interim arrangements" are designed to allow the construction of more Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Both sides have good grounds in recent history for mistrusting the other. In game theory, when there is no basis for trust, the endless retaliation that is deemed irrational under Explanation No. 1 can actually be rational. In the classic non-zero-sum game the prisoner's dilemma, you get more points for just refusing to cooperate than for trusting the other player and then getting burned.



Interesting article, though I have some reservations concerning the assertion that the ‘tit for tat’ methodology employed in the computer simulation to solve the prisoner’s dilemma is a viable or rational option with regard to Israel/Palestine.

The basic point of the simulation is to achieve an overall or majority societal evolution into a non-zero-sum situation, ‘tit for tat’ under such conditions does achieve the required goal on such a level but neglects to mention the individual zero-sum incidents that are necessary to achieve that goal. The ‘tit for tat’ model is however more seriously flawed with regard to Israel/Palestine on a more fundamental level. The rules regarding ‘tit for tat’ in game theory require any two exponents of this method to trust on the first encounter, the decision on subsequent encounters is based upon the results of their previous encounters. Using such rules two ‘tit for tat’ exponents would never disagree or mistrust the other, the Israelis and Palestinians do disagree and certainly mistrust each other which means the ‘tit for tat’ model is not in this case relevant to rationality but more a case of belligerence.

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (05-18-2002 07:13 AM).]

coyote
Senior Member
since 03-17-2001
Posts 1090


24 posted 05-18-2002 06:29 PM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Although the statistical analysis "non-zero-sum game theory" approach to the problem, is a rather unique, if not quaint, way in which a Western reporter would write positively about this negative situation, on a Saturday afternoon with a Monday morning deadline, I fail to see the correlation between the crisis in Israel and any sort of game.

Despite the fact that we, myself included, have used terms such as stalemate, or bluff, etc. in talking about it, this problem should not be perceived in game terms, for it is neither chess nor poker. If it was chess, all the board pieces would be booby trapped, and if poker, the players would all hold "aces & eights" in one hand, while holding their sixguns cocked under the table in the other. In such situations, one creates his own "trust".

In gaming terms, it is probably more of a "blood sport" than anything, and in blood sports, "trust" is placed only in steel.

You simply cannot explain in statistical "non-zero-sum game terms", the reason why an 18 year old girl with a young daughter, would decide to blow herself up in front of a supermarket.

In games there are rules and control, in Israel today there is neither. Arafat and Sharon hold no more sway over the advent of a suicide bombing, than my grandmother does over the neighbor's Great-Dane who insists on jumping the fence, and doing his duty on her favorite rosebush. Suffice it to say, she will not be lighting any candles at Mass in the name of St. Francis.

To address this problem pragmatically, one must get to the level of the street, and at that level there is religious fanaticism and chaos.

coyote  

[This message has been edited by coyote (05-18-2002 06:31 PM).]

 
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