Which Ha’aretz Writer Went Off the Deep End This Week?

Last week, we all enjoyed Amira Hass elaborating on the evils of Israel’s “hostile” control of Judea and Samaria/West Bank as she told us the story of the young Palestinian teenager who was arrested by Israeli forces. According to her claims, the boy was not only entirely innocent, he had to be told what a slingshot was. Oy, the pain! Her story failed to elicit much sympathy from yours truly since the very next day three young Palestinian teenagers were captured at a checkpoint with explosives and knives in their pockets. I didn’t report it, but the following day, a 16 year old Palestinian boy was also captured with explosives at a checkpoint.

Fortunately for Ha’aretz, they do not rely on just one columnist or reporter to regularly find fault with Israel, they have an experienced team in place. I thought today would be a propitious day to introduce Akiva Eldar’s latest wonder.

Akiva, like Amira, has no difficulty finding numerous faults with any of Israel’s activities. He has been a journalist for some decades and rarely misses an opportunity to attack Israel while giving the Palestinians a pass. Now, lest you think that I’m just making this up, be assured that he is not shy about providing this information himself.

The prominent Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in November 2000…that “there are Israeli reporters who do not pass the ‘lynch test.’” These, he wrote, are journalists who could not bring themselves to criticize the Arabs even when two Israelis were savagely murdered by a mob in Ramallah…I was honored to be mentioned as one of those journalists, alongside my fine colleagues Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

I admit to being guilty as charged. I am a journalist with a mission, and also no small amount of passion. Every Israeli with a conscience, in particular one who watches reality from up close on a daily basis, cannot write about the occupation from an objective observer’s neutral point of view. My parents immigrated to Israel in 1933 out of choice and hope, not out of despair or fear. Sixty years ago, shortly after I was born, they sat glued to the radio when David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of a Jewish state that would be democratic, egalitarian and peaceful. My primary mission is to leave behind for my children and grandchildren a state that is loyal to these principles and values. The occupation of a people, while denying its basic rights, robbing its lands and trampling its dignity, is turning us Israelis into prisoners–prison guards spend a significant part of their lives behind prison walls.

There are many Jews who believe that there is no difference between Hebron and Tel Aviv, or between West and East Jerusalem. As far as they are concerned, the Land of Israel was promised solely to the People of Israel. Yet anyone who perceives the West Bank (and not “Judea and Samaria”) and East Jerusalem as occupied territories cannot accept the policies of Israel’s governments for the past forty years. Occupation does not have two sides. There is no symmetry between the occupier and the occupied. This is true even if the occupied fight the occupier with despicable and contemptuous methods.

Well, it must be noted before I proceed that I, too, wish for an Israel that is democratic, egalitarian and peaceful. I, too, believe that having Israeli soldiers in the midst of another population is a terrible thing for Israeli society. I understand the difference between Hebron and Tel Aviv, although not so much the difference between West and East Jerusalem.

Yup, I dare say that I want peace just as badly as Akiva Eldar. Which is why I wish he would stop with his war-mongering.

The idea that the occupation is entirely Israel’s fault is absurd and flatly false. The idea that Israel isn’t peaceful by its own design is also entirely false. That’s even before we get to the contentious question of why one should accept the moniker “West Bank” for a territory that was so named during an illegal occupation that included a failed attempt at annexation by Jordan. Why is that narrative more acceptable than “Judea and Samaria?” Why is the true proposition that Jordan was the part of Mandate Palestine given to the Arabs so far-fetched that Eldar deems “West Bank” to be appropriate? How does he accord to the Palestinians lands that were never controlled by them?

Those are minor problems, nowhere near as great as his acceptance of the despicable and contemptuous methods used by the Palestinians to fight the Israelis. It is reprehensible and absolutely immoral to accept the violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians over these decades. To remind Eldar, this violence began long before 1967 and long before 1948. It was not excusable then and the Six Day War did not make it more acceptable now.

The idea, furthermore, that the “occupier” has an asymmetrical relationship with the “occupied” ignores Israel’s reality over these past decades. As has been noted elsewhere by others, it is not the “Palestinian-Israel” conflict, but rather the “Arab-Israel conflict.” Israel has built its army to fight other armies for good reasons, and did not construct their army around Palestinian violence. The asymmetry that exists between the Palestinians and Israel becomes symmetrical when one considers that other countries are involved in this conflict and Israel must remain on its guard. Example? Iran provides Hamas with its rockets…

Anyway, today Eldar blamed Palestinian violence on Netanyahu.

The cabinet’s decision to renovate Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron illustrate what awaits, reminding veterans of the Oslo Accords of Netanyahu’s directive in September 1996 to open the Western Wall Tunnel. Netanyahu’s weakness for Jewish heritage and his lack of sensitivity to the neighbors’ dignity cost dozens of Israeli and Palestinian casualties.

Eldar is referring to Netanyahu’s government’s declaration that Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are officially Israeli heritage sites. Of course, they are also Muslim heritage sites, which means that Muslim Palestinians might become very upset by this desire of the Israelis to proclaim these sites as having historical importance to them. Eldar obviously expects Palestinian violence to result from the assignment of Jewish heritage status to these sites, violence that he blames on the nasty Jewish Israelis who would dare to declare the cave of their patriarchs part of their heritage. The resulting violence, Eldar asserts, will be the fault of Israel, not the Arabs.

He dares to compare it to Netanyahu’s decision to open a tunnel at the Western Wall, which led to riots and violence instigated by Palestinians that left both Israelis and Palestinians dead. Then, too, the connection to a historic Jewish site was asserted by the state of Israel. Apparently, any action taken by Israel leads to Palestinian violence. Those snarky Jews in Israel should stop thinking they control or have any right to places like the Western Wall!

To recap: Eldar opposes declarations of this sort because they lead to Palestinian violence and any Palestinian violence is the fault of Israel because it is an asymmetrically superior power to the Palestinians who are therefore permitted contemptuous acts of violence against Israeli civilians. He forgot to add “while they pursue the destruction of Israel.”

Wait! He doesn’t really believe they’re pursuing the destruction of Israel. How do we know this? His wacky article tells us that he had a long chat with Saeb Erakat, the ubiquitous Palestinian bald guy spokesman, in which Erakat hinted that the Palestinians not seeking to destroy Israel. Erakat reported sending out a plaintive booklet to European diplomats outlining how Obama screwed disappointed the Palestinians by backing off on his hard-hitting agenda with respect to Israel and how this, not the Palestinian recalcitrance to negotiate, has led to the current impasse in talks.

Needless to say, there was no mention in there of the Washington Post article outlining the Palestinian leadership’s decision to boycott talks with Israel under the assumption that it would bring down Netanyahu’s government. Nope, Erakat’s world, like Eldar’s, is filled with underdog Palestinians and monstrous Israelis. Erakat can provide no evidence that he or his colleagues seek peace, while Israel can show three peace offers in the past decade, but according to the current Palestinian narrative, effectively conveyed by Erakat and echoed rigorously by Eldar, the fault for absence of negotiations or peace lies with Israel.

Nevertheless, Erekat in his document refuses to rule out the two-state solution. In the concluding section, he mentions the option of a binational state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, but stressed to me this is the worst possible option. He assured me that he would do everything possible to avert a descent into that abyss.

Gee, thanks Saeb! He “refuses” to rule out the two-state solution. Imagine a people without a state being so magnanimous! Better yet, it is a relief to know that Erakat believes that a single state “solution” is the “worst possible option” and that he would personally do everything to “avert” that outcome. This is indeed first-rate reporting where Eldar’s passion comes through loudly and clearly. All Israel needs to do is give in and then give in some more and then just maybe, the Palestinians will be willing to talk about peace. And if Israel doesn’t give in? They get the Palestinians going for a single state.

I love that Eldar appreciates blackmail of this sort with equanimity. With people like him having a soapbox like Ha’aretz, peace is surely just around the corner. If, that is, the Palestinians don’t believe that it’s the worst possible option. They wouldn’t believe that, would they?

Check out our articles about the Palestinian endgame…

First:
The Palestinians Think They Are in the Endgame

Second: The Palestinian Endgame Enters High Gear

Third: More About the Palestinian Endgame

Fourth: Palestinians believe they have Israel in the corner

18 Comments

  1. ck

    2/23/2010 at 12:05 pm

    Saeb Erekat???? How do you know when Saeb Erekat is lying? When you see his lips moving. Oy. I wish the Palestinians wanted peace with us. But I’ve had frank conversations with many of them and they had no problem letting me know very clearly that they still dream of the day that Israel is completely “dismantled.” Sigh. I continue to wait for the day when they finally wake up from their delusional slumber.

  2. Robin

    3/1/2010 at 6:14 am

    This post reveals a disturbing viewpoint. The Palestinian people, men, women and children, are locked inside cages – of the open-air and conventional variety. From Gaza, Hebron, and Qalqilya, to the little guantanamos all over Israel and the OT where Palestinians are held without due process.

    “The idea that the occupation is entirely Israel’s fault is absurd and flatly false.” Who else erects, operates and maintains these prisons? What Palestinians have asked the Middle East’s most powerful state to act as their overbearing (and abusive) parent? It should go without explanation that Israel is responsible for its own policies: ruling another population by force without making itself accountable to them. And that nothing could ever excuse such cruel and arbitrary oppression.

    Israel’s actions do not constitute acceptable behavior for any state, and certainly not a state that seeks acceptance from and partnerships with other states. A legitimate Israel would respect all its subjects and traditions equally, and share power without regard to ethnicity. It would naturalize all rightful residents, and renounce all territory it was not willing to fully integrate. To build this “legitimate Israel” (truly, an Israel/Palestine) is to give peace a chance. Anything short of that constitutes applied racism and violent aggression – wrong in itself, no matter how the victims may respond to it.

    • themiddle

      3/1/2010 at 5:25 pm

      Oh Robin, give it a break. You’re talking to a supporter of a two state solution along Taba lines and who would even accept Olmert’s “internationalization” of Jerusalem scheme. You’re talking to somebody who supported the evacuation of every Jew from Gaza and supported Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. You’re talking to somebody who wrote a much longer post than this about how Israel should get out of most of the West Bank/Judea and Samaria.

      The Palestinians are given due process, both military and civil. Look at how the courts ensure fairness. Look at the profound care they take to establish laws that find a way to fight their difficult fight within constraints.

      They live in prisons of their own making. Gaza had an opportunity to flourish, rebuild itself and position itself as a neighbor to both Egypt and Israel. Instead, they chose – and this was true of both the Fatah and Hamas governments – to use the place as a repository for more weapons, as a source of attacks against Israel and as a resource in the PR war, not unlike the decision in the 6th Fatah Congress to keep refugee camps open because it was effective propaganda. In Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians also brought upon themselves their own calamity (which is turning out to be a boon these days). To remind you, it was Netanyahu himself who signed the Wye Accords and then removed the IDF from Areas A to place them and the 98% of Palestinians in those areas under PA rule. Within the next three years, Israel would offer the Palestinians peace at Camp David and again at Taba. In return, the Palestinians offered Israel escalating wars. You can chart on a graph the increase in Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets beginning in 1998 and you will see it rise exponentially. The more freedom of movement and government they had, the more their energies were directed towards attacking Israeli civilians. This chart begins a downward slope only when Sharon sends the IDF back into Areas A. It drops further when the number of checkpoints increases and then further again when the security barrier is built.

      As for making itself “accountable” to the Palestinians, with all due respect, sell it elsewhere. Israel protects the PA and its leadership even while the PA runs a disgusting international campaign of smearing Israel. We’re talking about physical protection, political protection and even protection as a government. For example, facilitation of growth in the Palestinian economy of 7% last year and potentially another 12% this year, at a time when the rest of the world is in a recession or just coming out of one. Israel is letting the Americans train a Palestinian army of tens of thousands, despite the knowledge that this army could fight the IDF in the future. Israel is also permitting them to be armed. Two weeks ago we learned that the Israelis arrested a Palestinian whistleblower who turned in a Palestinian minister for demanding sex from a secretary, because of a request from the PA. That’s right, Israel does the PA dirty work and then you complain about who is accountable to whom. Also, when a Palestinian wants to petition the Israel High Court, he or she can do so. When a Palestinian wants to attend university, they can do so because 6 universities were established under Israeli rule. Likewise for hospitals, which most certainly weren’t there during the Egyptian and Jordanian period.

      That isn’t to say that Palestinians live a cheerful life under Israeli rule. They don’t at all. However, that is a far cry from stating that “nothing could ever excuse such cruel and arbitrary oppression.” There are instances of cruelty and arbitrariness, but they are not part of a policy and go against Israel’s policies. As for the policies which do exist, they have to overcome hurdles placed before them by Israel’s High Court. For example, it is the High Court which has demanded that Israel review the security barrier’s placement and has ruled that at times it can remain as built and at other times must be removed and placed elsewhere. Nothing arbitrary there and a legal process that isn’t cruel, but actually seeks to find a balance between fair and unjust. Likewise with the ruling on 443 which Israel has to address now. The story we focused on last week, by Amira Hass, had a boy confront a military tribunal and she was able to report on it because three women from a rights advocacy group were there to watch the hearing. According to Hass herself, the military judge found the case lacking and said so openly. Not arbitrary and not cruel. Hard and sometimes harsh, yes, but so is the enemy that has yet to make a single realistic offer for peace after a century of this fight. Israel’s policies stem from a combination of security needs brought on by the Palestinians’ own activities and the clearly undetermined status of the West Bank/Judea and Samaria.

      As for your final paragraph, Israel, like any other country, has a right to determine who should be part of its population and who shouldn’t be. That includes ethnic grounds for citizenship, as countries like Germany and South Korea will tell you, not to mention Arab countries like Jordan where a Jew cannot be a citizen. Israel has not excluded the Arabs and non-Jews in its midst from being citizens, but it has every right to keep those who don’t live within its borders and who reject the premise of a Jewish state – a perfectly legitimate demand for self-determination – as non-citizens. However, your demand that they “renounce all territory” that it’s not willing to integrate doesn’t address basic issues like UNSC Resolution 242 which makes no such demand and certainly doesn’t address the problem we’ve seen in Gaza which is that once Israel leaves an area with a majority Palestinian population, it can anticipate that the regime will import as many weapons as it can and will use them against Israeli civilians. That is what happened in Gaza.

      Finally, I really have to respond to the bad faith with which you write. Your lines about “Anything short of that constitutes applied racism and violent aggression – wrong in itself, no matter how the victims may respond to it” is about as offensive as “nothing could ever excuse such cruel and arbitrary oppression” and “[Palestinians] are locked inside cages – of the open-air and conventional variety.” Hyperbole upon hyperbole. False statements couched in misleading absolutes. Extremism that justifies more extremism. Try this on for size: “The Palestinians have to accept that Jews have a historic right to this land, and a right to self-determination. Denying Jewish history and historical ties to the land of Israel and using this denial as a basis for violence and racism is absolutely wrong, no matter how Israel behaves. Nothing could ever excuse the targeting of civilians or the terrorizing of every aspect of every-day life inside Israel, which has turned Israel into an open-air cage the only exit from which is the plane flying to the West, but inside which, every moment in a public space is fraught with danger or a sense that danger is looming. It is time for the Palestinians to end: their rejections of every peace deal offered by Israel, their demands to obliterate the religious and national heritage of the Jewish people, their use of measured violence to replace proper negotiations, the use of violence as political blackmail or as a tool with which to influence Israeli elections and especially to stop with the endless international campaign to depict Israel and its supporters in heinous terms that use terms like “racism,” “violent aggression,” “apartheid,” “abusive,””caged,” “cruel and arbitrary,” etc. as if these terms are correct, fair or anything but outrageous slander intended to undermine people who truly seek peace while eliciting sympathy for those who won’t agree to any compromise.”

  3. Robin

    3/1/2010 at 7:04 pm

    “The Palestinians are given due process” That’s a callous joke. Read about administrative detention. And while you’re at it, the torture of Palestinian prisoners (stoptorture.or...). If those practices aren’t cruel, arbitrary, and oppressive, then I don’t know what those words mean.

    Look, Israel is The State between the river and the sea. It has the power to give Palestinians civil rights, or relinquish control over the places where they live, or stop constructing Jewish-only colonies on stolen land. It has never done these things. 43 years of military rule. 43 years of continuous colonization. The state shouldn’t need peace talks to live up to its moral obligations. And in fact it has used the peace talks as cover for these moral outrages.

    And Israel’s support for the thug PA, its subcontractor in oppression, is not somehow a point in its defense.

    “accept that Jews have a historic right to this land, and a right to self-determination.” This is what it comes down to. Jews have a right to live and share power in the land. Not control it exclusively. Not build a state in the name of one group on land that is meaningful and home to many others.

    Do you support the right of all who were born in Israel and the OT to have the right to citizenship? And their children and grandchildren? Or just all Jews, as the case is today? Is what you want a cleansed Israel, which bars refugees from residence and power in their native land? In other words, do you want justice, or racial/ethnic exclusion and domination in Israel/Palestine?

    • themiddle

      3/1/2010 at 9:11 pm

      Xisnotx, I like the new smart-ass persona. It’s cute. Let me know if you catch me in any ham-fisted propaganda. ;)

      Robin, I’ll respond when I have a chance. In the meantime, enjoy the following.

      Establishing citizenship acquisition on the basis of ethnicity is actually quite common around the world.

      The list of nations which have similar laws?

      Armenia
      Belarus
      Bulgaria
      People’s Republic of China
      Republic of China (Taiwan)
      Croatia
      Cyprus
      Czech Republic
      Finland
      France
      Germany
      Greece
      Hungary
      India
      Iraqi Kurdistan [no such state exists]
      Ireland
      Israel
      Japan
      Liberia
      Lithuania
      Moldova
      Norway
      Palestinian Refugees [sic]
      Poland
      Russia
      Serbia
      Slovakia
      Slovenia
      Spain
      South Korea
      Ukraine
      United Kingdom

      Here’s a British MP on their reasoning behind their ethnic citizenship law:

      “MP Quintin McGarel Hogg stated that, “All the great nations of the earth have what the Jews call a Diaspora,” and affirmed that nations “special and residual obligation(s) toward them,” which include recognizing their right to citizenship.”

  4. Robin

    3/1/2010 at 7:18 pm

    “That includes ethnic grounds for citizenship, as countries like Germany and South Korea will tell you, not to mention Arab countries like Jordan where a Jew cannot be a citizen.”

    Look, to the extent that these countries have “ethnic grounds for citizenship”, they’re wrong. But to compare them to Israel is facetious. These places do not exclude large numbers of former residents, that they expelled violently, from citizenship on ethnic grounds. They do not exclude large numbers of people under their control from citizenship on ethnic grounds. And they do not officially enshrine and fixate on ethnicity the way Israel does.

    But, if these countries begin to approach Israel in these respects, then let’s certainly reprimand them.

    • themiddle

      3/2/2010 at 1:27 am

      But to compare them to Israel is facetious. These places do not exclude large numbers of former residents, that they expelled violently, from citizenship on ethnic grounds. They do not exclude large numbers of people under their control from citizenship on ethnic grounds. And they do not officially enshrine and fixate on ethnicity the way Israel does.

      But, if these countries begin to approach Israel in these respects, then let’s certainly reprimand them.

      Sure, Robin, we’ll reprimand them the way you and your friends on Left or the pro-Palestinian advocacy world reprimand Russia for what they did in Chechnya, or China for what they did and do in Tibet, or Iraq for what they did to the Kurds, etc. In other words, you will continue to fixate on Israel and only on Israel.

      And while I’m correcting you, let’s also correct your other statements. First of all, many of these countries absolutely do fixate and enshrine their ethnicity. check out Japan or Saudi Arabia, for example. Second, they absolutely do keep others outside their citizenship rolls based on ethnicity. Third, Israel only expelled, during a war where both sides were competing for one parcel of land, some of the former residents of that land “violently,” while many others (well over half, even if you go by Benny Morris whose numbers are much higher than those of other historians) left of their own volition. Fourth, they left because of a war they started and in which they set forth the rules of expulsion or extermination of anybody who was Jewish as was exemplified in Gush Etzion and Jerusalem. They were on the side that left absolutely not one Jew on land which they controlled after the ’48 war. The Jewish side permitted many Arab non-Jews to remain inside Israel.

      Now to your other points:

      Israel has not agreed that the lands it hasn’t annexed don’t belong to it. They have agreed that those lands, or at least most of those lands, are available for a deal, more or less along the lines of UNSCR 242, in which the other side commits to peace and in return gets to possess those lands and to have a state there. Of course the state of Israel needs to have peace talks and an agreement in place before giving up an inch. If there was any doubt of that previously, rest assured that the thousands of rockets from Gaza have taught everybody otherwise. The only moral obligations to which Israel is bound is to provide security for its citizenry and treat those who live under its control fairly. An argument can be made about the second point, because at times things have been extremely harsh for the Palestinians, but then again, an argument can be made that they have refused to sit and negotiate in good faith while continuing to reject deals in lieu of war and terrorism.

      Your suggestion that Israel needs to give up everything unilaterally is ridiculous. Yet another one of those hyper statements, along the lines of your other vitriolic comments such as “ethnic exclusion,” “ethnic domination,” “cleansed Israel,” etc. Cut out the hyperbole, it just makes you look like an extremist.

      Oh, we do agree that Israel should not be supporting the “thug PA.” Although we disagree as to whether that’s a point in its defense. If you prefer a Hamas government in Judea and Samaria, you should reread everything of which you’ve accused Israel and start laughing hysterically at your own hypocrisy. How many Jews live in Gaza today?

      The Jewish people have a right to self-determination, whether it pisses you off or not. They have a right to self-determination on their historic homeland; a right strengthened by the war launched by another people which tried to evict them from that land and certainly refused to share it with them. That the other side lost in the fight they instigated is a tragedy for them, but does not put an onus on the Jewish nation to put itself in danger again. Since 1937, the Jewish community of Mandate Palestine and then Israel, have offered the local Arabs, now Palestinians, a state of their own on a portion of the land of Mandate Palestine that was promised to the Jews. While they wait for the Arabs to stop refusing, generations of Israelis have been born, generations of refugees have moved to Israel, including hundreds of thousands from Arab and Muslim countries. The country has established itself as a democracy, an economic and scientific center, a cultural center and a military power. It has done these things while committing itself to being a state of the Jewish nation and while also committing itself to freedom of religion to all other groups who live there. If the Israelis want to declare that only Martians with green noses can become citizens, that is their absolute right. If they want to declare that Palestinians who are not already citizens can’t become citizens, that is also their right.

      The Palestinians can form their own state. Everybody has known the parameters of a deal since 2001 at Taba. All the Palestinians have to do is come to terms with Israel being a Jewish state and there will be peace and they can have their own state. It is not up to Israel to commit suicide of any form just because you and your friends want Israel to look like Lebanon or Jordan.

  5. xisnotx

    3/1/2010 at 7:23 pm

    i’d just like to add, they’ve got 22 states, we’ve got just one

  6. Robin

    3/2/2010 at 5:11 pm

    Your view of history is extremely distorted. If Morris is what you consider to be the pro-Palestinian extreme, then clearly you are not familiar with the modern historical consensus (which Morris is to the right of). I seriously hope you do read more, and outside your comfort zone of racist propaganda. Try people like Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim, or god forbid, Palestinian historians like Walid Khalidi or Rashid Khalidi (unless you find them inherently untrustworthy).

    But when you know what the conditions are today, you don’t need history to understand that the Palestinians are not free. And that they deserve either a say in their governance, or to be left alone. (I will not get in to your misunderstanding of the Gaza situation, but if Israel is unwilling to leave the West Bank, then it can allow West Bankers to vote. Certainly it wouldn’t let notions of “ethnic purity” come before basic civil rights, would it?)

    Your most fundamental misunderstanding is probably in your nonsensical use of the term “self-determination”. Self-determination is not a concept that applies along ethnic lines. States are bounded by land, not culture or genes. The relevant group that can self-determine is one that lives in a certain territory. What role have Palestinians had in determining the governing institutions of their native land? Essentially none. That is the basic problem here. That is not self-determination, but a fundamental LACK of self-determination for the people of Israel/Palestine. It is the domination of one ethnic group over another, an EXACT analogue to the “self-determination” of whites in apartheid South Africa. And I am very serious about this: read, try to understand, before you dismiss my arguments as hyperbole.

  7. themiddle

    3/2/2010 at 6:00 pm

    Your view of history is extremely distorted. If Morris is what you consider to be the pro-Palestinian extreme, then clearly you are not familiar with the modern historical consensus (which Morris is to the right of). I seriously hope you do read more, and outside your comfort zone of racist propaganda. Try people like Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim, or god forbid, Palestinian historians like Walid Khalidi or Rashid Khalidi (unless you find them inherently untrustworthy).

    Forgive me while I roll on the floor laughing hysterically.

    It’s okay, you’re new here.

    you don’t need history to understand that the Palestinians are not free. And that they deserve either a say in their governance, or to be left alone.

    They are not free because Hamas throws people it dislikes from rooftops or because the PA arrests people who dare to speak against it or sends them “messages” about their safety?

    The Palestinians have an internationally recognized leadership that can negotiate a peace agreement but chooses not to. The Palestinians cannot “be left alone” without some sort of agreement lest you want to see thousands of rockets launched at Israel while the Palestinians build up resources for another war which is exactly what we saw and continue to see in Gaza.

    Your most fundamental misunderstanding is probably in your nonsensical use of the term “self-determination”. Self-determination is not a concept that applies along ethnic lines.

    Tell that to the Kurds.

    Better yet, tell that to the Palestinians.

    What role have Palestinians had in determining the governing institutions of their native land?

    Um, you mean other than rejecting deals that would have given them states in 1937, 1947 and then again in 2000, 2001 and 2008? None. No role whatsoever. Are you being intentionally funny?

    It is the domination of one ethnic group over another, an EXACT analogue to the “self-determination” of whites in apartheid South Africa.

    No, it isn’t. It’s actually not even close. First of all, the Jews represent a majority between, as you put it, the river and the sea. The whites in SA were a distinct minority. Second, Israel is composed of citizens of numerous faiths, races, ethnicities, nationalities, etc. SA was divided along race and skin-color. Third, Israel does not place prohibitions upon its citizens in the way that SA did. Fourth, the restrictions which do exist inside the West Bank/Judea and Samaria are related to security issues and could have been resolved already in 2000, 2001 and 2008. Recently the Israeli High Court ruled, for example, that the state was discriminating against Jewish Israelis in Judea and Samaria by destroying their illegally built homes while not destroying Palestinian illegally built homes. Shades of SA! Recently the Israeli High Court ruled that security reasons did not justify the existence of a road that did not permit Palestinians to drive on it (note that Israeli-Arabs were permitted on it) because that was discriminatory. Whoa, shades of SA! Today, by the way, there was a shooting by a Palestinian on that road.

    I’m serious now: cut out the hyperbole and bullshit. If you want peace and you want a fair outcome for this conflict, use your energies to convince the people for whom you advocate, the Palestinians, to come to a peace deal with Israel. It will involve compromise, but they will have a state and will enjoy their rights to self-determination. Your continued vilification of anything Israel does and complete exoneration of what the Palestinians do and don’t do is exactly what keeps driving the prospects of peace farther and farther from happening.

  8. Robin

    3/2/2010 at 10:19 pm

    You didn’t address my alternative of giving West Bankers Israeli civil rights. What is the justification for not pursuing that route pending an independent state? I’m sure it has nothing to do with fascistic concepts of ethnic purity and ethnic control over state power. Surely democracy and human rights are paramount.

    And who cares about a High Court ruling when it hasn’t changed the policy? That is obfuscation. A nice fantasy world. Israel destroys Palestinian homes at blatantly discriminatory rates in Israel proper, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. It maintains segregated roads. That’s the reality. There are two legal systems that apply to residents of the West Bank, which map exactly onto ethnic lines. One group has full civil rights, one group has no power and no rights.

    And it’s designed that way, by those in power, to keep power concentrated in the hands of one ethnic group. That’s the meaning of a Jewish State. In a land of many non-Jews, who don’t voluntarily accept their expulsion, partition, occupation, and colonization, it takes violence, repression, and segregation to maintain a Jewish State.

    Just how it took violence and repression for South African whites to expel blacks to the Bantustans and claim that that land was not part of South Africa, and that blacks could have self-determination in their “homelands” (if they behaved themselves). That policy, exactly analogous to current and longstanding Israeli policy with the OT, was the backbone of apartheid.

    This is my position, which you will likely find extreme: Palestinians and Jews have history and connections to all the land of Israel/Palestine (presently under Israeli state control), and they should both have equal rights in all of that land. Equal rights to residence, citizenship, voting. A Jewish State (“Jewish” primarily meaning ethnicity in this case) is completely inconsistent with that ideal. As would be a meaningfully ethnocratic Palestinian state (where “Palestinian” refers to ethnicity rather than territory). But keep in mind that that does not exist. Palestinians do not come close to wielding the power of a state, let alone a state with the kind of power that Israel wields (and theirs would not necessarily be an ethnocracy).

    The Israeli state is the most powerful, all-encompassing institution in this territory, and it is clearly transgressing against ideals of equality and human rights. Conflict, violent or otherwise, will always flow from that. If you have a fair state, maybe conflict will end, maybe it won’t. But at least you will have a fair state, and the chance of peace.

  9. themiddle

    3/3/2010 at 12:53 am

    You didn’t address my alternative of giving West Bankers Israeli civil rights.

    You mean like voting rights? They can create their own country for that. Why should they have a hand in running a foreign country?

    And who cares about a High Court ruling when it hasn’t changed the policy? That is obfuscation. A nice fantasy world. Israel destroys Palestinian homes at blatantly discriminatory rates in Israel proper, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

    Actually, what was proven in court is that Israel doesn’t. What was proven is that the Palestinians build illegally and consistently get away with it. In the meantime, it was also proven in court that Israeli illegally built homes are destroyed or penalized at a far higher rate than Palestinian homes. This was in one particular area, but as of now, after that victory in court, many other groups are suing on the same grounds.

    It maintains segregated roads. That’s the reality. There are two legal systems that apply to residents of the West Bank, which map exactly onto ethnic lines. One group has full civil rights, one group has no power and no rights.

    False. Any Israeli in a car with Israeli license plates can travel those roads. Than includes the 20% of Israel’s population who are non-Jewish Arabs. You should really stop regurgitating all the propaganda you read.

    And it’s designed that way, by those in power, to keep power concentrated in the hands of one ethnic group. That’s the meaning of a Jewish State. In a land of many non-Jews, who don’t voluntarily accept their expulsion, partition, occupation, and colonization, it takes violence, repression, and segregation to maintain a Jewish State.

    I’m sure you’re really upset about Syria, where one small minority of Alawites dominates the majority of Syrians. Yup. I’m sure you’re weeping for Jordan, where one family of outsiders rules over a population that’s 60%+ Palestinian. And I hear you tearing your clothes in distress for the Palestinians born in Lebanon who have no civil rights whatsoever, just as you scream in pain at the eviction of 300,000 Palestinians from Kuwait, among them residents of that country who lived there for over 20 years.

    Unlike those countries, Robin, Israel has an elected Jewish majority in its parliament, the Knesset, because that represents the will of the majority of the population. The Arabs in Israel, the non-Jewish ones, have parliamentary representation. In poll after poll, they do not wish to leave Israel. Sometimes they vote for parties associated with the Jewish majority.

    The other non-Jewish Arabs, the ones in the West Bank, do not have civil rights because they are not part of the country and because they have their own leadership, their own nation and their own political and social goals. Those goals are tremendously different than those of the people who live inside Israel. Just as an example, when Arafat was asked what would happen if the Palestinians were to control the Western Wall again, he alluded to the arrangement that existed early last century where Jews could only visit their holiest site in very small numbers and at restricted times.

    If the Palestinians wish to define themselves as a political entity, they can. Tomorrow. As long as they don’t, they remain a people in limbo and they remain under military rule because it is very clear to anybody with eyes in their head that they have yet to give up on the dream of claiming Israel for themselves.

    Just how it took violence and repression for South African whites to expel blacks to the Bantustans and claim that that land was not part of South Africa, and that blacks could have self-determination in their “homelands” (if they behaved themselves). That policy, exactly analogous to current and longstanding Israeli policy with the OT, was the backbone of apartheid.

    Actually, for that policy to be analogous to Israel, Israel would have to send all of the 1.5 million non-Jewish Arabs who live inside it and have the same civil rights as all other citizens to Judea and Samaria and Gaza, eliminate the 25,000 soldier strong Palestinian army trained and armed by the US, eliminate the PA entirely, declare that Jews may not marry Arabs, declare that buses were segregated, etc., etc., etc. Cut out the bullshit, it’s sickening.

    This is my position, which you will likely find extreme: Palestinians and Jews have history and connections to all the land of Israel/Palestine (presently under Israeli state control), and they should both have equal rights in all of that land. Equal rights to residence, citizenship, voting.

    I do find it extreme because you would like to eliminate the Jews’ right to have a state of their own.

    A Jewish State (”Jewish” primarily meaning ethnicity in this case) is completely inconsistent with that ideal.

    If your ideal is letting people who deny Jewish history, as do both Fatah and Hamas and their supporters have equal say and equal votes inside a country that respects Jewish history, then you are right that a “Jewish state” is entirely inconsistent with your “ideal.” That’s because your ideal disrespects Jewish history and the right of the Jewish people to have their own state.

    As would be a meaningfully ethnocratic Palestinian state (where “Palestinian” refers to ethnicity rather than territory).

    You mean, like Jordan?

    But keep in mind that that does not exist.

    Well, it does, in Jordan. Except that the Palestinians there are ruled by the Hashemite family. They do, however, have a toothless parliament and I believe the Palestinians may hold a majority in there. Will you check for me? Thanks.

    Palestinians do not come close to wielding the power of a state, let alone a state with the kind of power that Israel wields (and theirs would not necessarily be an ethnocracy).

    Well, in Gaza, they evicted every last Jew and even the “moderate” Salam Fayyad has announced that in the new Palestine that resides in the current West Bank, no Jews will be permitted to stay. First he said otherwise in English, but then in Arabic he declared the truth. Recently, he confirmed in English that this would be so. You also have “ethnocracies” in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The former does not permit a Jew to be a citizen and the latter does not permit any non-Muslim to be a citizen. I’m sure you froth at the mouth when you hear about such “ethnocracies,” especially the one with the majority Palestinian population.

    The Israeli state is the most powerful, all-encompassing institution in this territory,

    It has to be, since at times it has had to fight seven or five armies at once.

    and it is clearly transgressing against ideals of equality and human rights.

    No, it isn’t.

    Conflict, violent or otherwise, will always flow from that.

    This conflict began early in the 20th Century, when there was a distinct minority of Jews living in the Ottoman province of Palestine, soon to come under the British Mandatory government. The Arabs, those that came to be known as the Palestinians, attacked the Jews numerous times back then. Unprovoked. The majority over the minority. It had and has nothing to do with the causes for this conflict. In 1964, before there was a ’67 war or a single settlement in Judea and Samaria, the PLO was formed. Its founder, Ahmed Shuqayri, stated publicly in June, 1967, before the war broke out, about the Jews of Israel, “Whoever survives will stay in Palestine, but in my opinion, no-one will remain alive.”

    So you see, you can blame it all on Israel and its power, or you can start to look at the other corner and demand from the Arabs, be they Palestinian or Syrian, or Muslims, be they Iranian or Lebanese, that they stop their instigation and war-mongering; that they stop their century-old fight to obliterate the Jewish presence in this historic land, and that they compromise.

    If you have a fair state, maybe conflict will end, maybe it won’t. But at least you will have a fair state, and the chance of peace.

    No, the solution is for there to be two states. In fact, if you would bother to read the polls on both sides, then you would know that your position is not only extreme, it is extremely misguided since neither the Palestinians nor the Israel want to share one state.

    You should use your hyperbole and your quest for justice to convince the Palestinian leadership to strive for compromise, to sit at the negotiating table and to close a deal that would be realistic for both sides. Otherwise, you are doing nothing more than being a useful idiot for those who seek to perpetuate the conflict in the hopes of overtaking Israel one day.

  10. Robin

    3/3/2010 at 3:21 am

    “Any Israeli in a car with Israeli license plates can travel those roads. Than includes the 20% of Israel’s population who are non-Jewish Arabs.”

    What you’re not getting is that that demographic (20% Arab) is engineered, through ethnic cleansing and gerrymandering. This is the “demographic problem” that is always on the tongue of Israeli politicians: how to keep Israel from having too many Arabs. That is self-preservation for the Jewish State, its central mission! Ethnic cleansing! That’s why the refugees can’t return (and were driven out in the first place). That’s why non-Jewish spouses of (Arab) Israelis can’t immigrate. That’s why West Bank and Gaza Palestinians have never voted in the elections of their sovereign state. Without a fixation on Jewish majority and supremacy, those policies wouldn’t be necessary (and there could be true democracy and equal rights).

    And, I shouldn’t have to tell you that the token Arabs who
    can (in theory) drive on those roads do not make up for the injustice against those (many more) Palestinians who are barred from driving on roads, and entering communities, in their own land. It’s decidedly NOT Israel, as you have made clear, but clearly it isn’t theirs either.

    “The other non-Jewish Arabs, the ones in the West Bank, do not have civil rights because they are not part of the country” So if the West Bank is not part of the Israel, how is it that Jewish Israelis live there under Israeli laws? All the justifications for the status of the West Bank (and Gaza) are contradictory. The truth is there is no justification.

    Would you tolerate living under foreign occupation for 43 years and counting? Having a different set of rights from your neighbors? You would expect, rightly, some accountability from the state that controls your life, and equal rights with all other members of that state – regardless of potential changes in your political status. (Human rights can’t be put on hold.) And that’s what Palestinians, most of whom have never taken up arms, expect. It’s in Israel’s power to do right by them, to open itself to them and not punish them collectively.

    And I shouldn’t have to justify my interest in the I-P conflict to you. It’s perfectly legitimate to focus on any situation of oppression in the world, and I deeply respect those who concern themselves with Darfur, Chechnya, Tibet, for example. But if I did need to justify it, I would have a good reason: no foreign country receives as much of my tax money as Israel. That gives me responsibility for the situation there (the conduct of that state), and some power to change it.

    And your examples of other countries I should be worried about instead, have nothing to do with Israel and do nothing for your argument in its defense. Are Israel’s policies just or aren’t they? Enough with the distractions.

  11. themiddle

    3/3/2010 at 4:13 am

    “Any Israeli in a car with Israeli license plates can travel those roads. Than includes the 20% of Israel’s population who are non-Jewish Arabs.”

    What you’re not getting is that that demographic (20% Arab) is engineered, through ethnic cleansing and gerrymandering.

    What you’re not getting is that first you called the roads segregated and then when you’re informed you’re wrong, you ratchet up the hysteria with more lies. What you should be getting is that this “demographic” has as many kids as they want, and in fact those kids until recently were subsidized by the state, are most certainly not gerrymandered and have been so successfully ethnically cleansed that they practically have a majority of the population in the Galilee.

    This is the “demographic problem” that is always on the tongue of Israeli politicians: how to keep Israel from having too many Arabs. That is self-preservation for the Jewish State, its central mission! Ethnic cleansing!

    No, actually, the “demographic problem” is what happens if you let the supposed 3.8 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and the other supposed 2 million Palestinians who live elsewhere come into Israel as full citizens. Sorry.

    That’s why the refugees can’t return (and were driven out in the first place).

    Oh, wait, now you’re talking about the 5.8 million, not the 1.5 million inside Israel?

    Okay.

    They are not refugees.

    Most of them are born outside of what is now Israel and according to the the rules of the UN High Commission for Refugees, only the first generation are refugees. The only group that has unique privileges in this regard are the Palestinians. However, they are not refugees except for the small percentage who are still alive since 1948. Israel has offered at Taba, Camp David and last year with Olmert, to permit a limited number of those refugees to return.

    That’s why non-Jewish spouses of (Arab) Israelis can’t immigrate.

    Congratulations, you finally got something right! This is a recent law, of course, that came into being because for some odd reason, out of the entire Mid-East, the only place where women did not leave their home and move into the husband’s home was Israel and the West Bank/Gaza marriages where inevitably the foreign spouse moved into Israel. I don’t agree with this law, but on your end, you should ask yourself why this odd sociological phenomenon exists.

    That’s why West Bank and Gaza Palestinians have never voted in the elections of their sovereign state. Without a fixation on Jewish majority and supremacy, those policies wouldn’t be necessary (and there could be true democracy and equal rights).

    Wrong. You keep ignoring the century of war, launched and maintained by the Arabs. I’ve given you plenty of information about this now. Try to pay attention.

    And, I shouldn’t have to tell you that the token Arabs who can (in theory)

    Not in theory. In practice.

    drive on those roads do not make up for the injustice against those (many more) Palestinians who are barred from driving on roads, and entering communities, in their own land.

    It isn’t their land. I’m not just talking about the fact they lost wars they started, I’m talking about the fact that even on the eve of 1948 when the Jews controlled about 7% of what was to become Israel, the Arabs controlled about 30%. There was no state there, no hegemony. In fact there was plenty of warring among their “families” and there was plenty of selling of land from their families to Jews.

    By the way, they used to be allowed to enter freely and in fact constituted a critically important part of the work force, even though rabid anti-Israelis like yourself would complain then that they were menial laborers and that this was unjust. It was unjust until they lost those jobs and were prevented from coming into Israel. The reasons, of course revolved around terrorism.

    I can’t help notice that you keep ignoring the reason that Israel has created roadblocks, checkpoints, stopped Palestinians from coming into Israel, built the security barrier and increased its intelligence gathering inside the West Bank and Gaza. Terror. Families getting blown up in restaurants and buses.

    It’s decidedly NOT Israel, as you have made clear, but clearly it isn’t theirs either.

    It could be theirs. It isn’t theirs because, as I’ve already told you, when Israel pulled their troops from population centers, Palestinian terrorism increased dramatically. If they want it now, they have to agree to a peace deal.

    “The other non-Jewish Arabs, the ones in the West Bank, do not have civil rights because they are not part of the country” So if the West Bank is not part of the Israel, how is it that Jewish Israelis live there under Israeli laws? All the justifications for the status of the West Bank (and Gaza) are contradictory. The truth is there is no justification.

    Why should there be non-Jewish Arabs living in Israel with full civil rights?

    Oh, because they’re citizens?

    Israelis and Jews did not live in Judea, Samaria and Gaza before 1967 because they WERE ethnically cleansed from there. A cleansing that began in the 1920s and was completed in 1948. Why can’t Jews return to live in those areas? Israel permitted Arabs to remain in Israel after 1948 and made them citizens. If Jews would like to live in lands from which they were evicted, they should be able to do so and when the Palestinians agree to peace and a state, they should absorb these Jews as full citizens.

    Would you tolerate living under foreign occupation for 43 years and counting? Having a different set of rights from your neighbors?

    I would not. I would either move away or demand that my government do something about it.

    You would expect, rightly, some accountability from the state that controls your life,

    Yes, I would.

    and equal rights with all other members of that state – regardless of potential changes in your political status.

    No, I wouldn’t. Not after wars launched by my side where all the indications were that the Jews would be exterminated. I would understand why they keep me under military rule, especially in light of the ongoing rhetoric coming from my leaders, my television, my radio, my newspapers and our terrorists.

    (Human rights can’t be put on hold.) And that’s what Palestinians, most of whom have never taken up arms, expect. It’s in Israel’s power to do right by them, to open itself to them and not punish them collectively.

    Israel has every right to defend its citizens, to determine for itself who can become a citizen or not and then, only after it cares for those critical issues, try to make them work with the needs of the people under its authority.

    This excuse that most Palestinians have never taken up arms and therefore anything that happens is a collective punishment is one that you need to take up with Fatah and Hamas, not Israel. If Israel could trust that it won’t be attacked, then it could provide a better quality of life to the Palestinians. Instead, it lives in fear. It lives in fear because that’s the objective of terrorism, to sow fear among a population using minimal resources. The Palestinians have excelled at doing this and as a result, even something as banal as opening a crossing, becomes a serious security issue for Israel.

    In other words, if you don’t want to see the Palestinian population suffer, make sure that the Israelis have nothing to fear. Last week they caught 4 boys under sixteen all carrying explosives and trying to move from one area to another. Last year they found a truck laden with explosives under a Haifa shopping mall. They have absorbed thousands of rockets launched at civilian centers. What do you think the Israelis should do? You’re living an absurd fantasy. Go and make the Palestinians STOP their incitement, their plans to destroy Israel, their terrorism and the international campaign of delegitimizing the state and then and only then can you come to Israel and ask them to stop the military presence among the Palestinians.

    And I shouldn’t have to justify my interest in the I-P conflict to you. It’s perfectly legitimate to focus on any situation of oppression in the world, and I deeply respect those who concern themselves with Darfur, Chechnya, Tibet, for example. But if I did need to justify it, I would have a good reason: no foreign country receives as much of my tax money as Israel. That gives me responsibility for the situation there (the conduct of that state), and some power to change it.

    Oh please, the old “my tax money” gambit. How much of your tax money went to Israel? Let’s assume that that you gave $8 in taxes to Israel this year. Of those, over half are a loan and 75% needs to be spent on American products in the US. Second, your taxes go to Israel because it’s a democracy in a sea of enemies that aren’t democracies. Why don’t you make them change their regimes to democratic ones so that Israel can live in peace and won’t need American support?

    Along those lines, how much money do you think the US government spent on keeping its arsenal of nukes pointed at Russia? Many multiples of what they spend on Israel, but for you the notion that creating a real democracy in Russia, with a healthy society that doesn’t launch self-serving semi-genocidal attacks on neighboring countries that use to be under its sphere as the Soviet Union, isn’t as important as vilifying Israel. No, you just have “deep respect” for the few Leftists who care and you’re going to get right back on that anti-Israel bandwagon because your tax dollars, all 2 of them that don’t make their way back to the US, are spent there.

    By the way, have you heard about the human rights situation in Egypt? They get about two-thirds of what Israel gets every year, $1.6 billion, but I don’t hear a peep from you about their numerous human rights abuses. Are you aware they are building a metal wall at the Gaza border to prevent arms smuggling?

    And please don’t use the excuse that Israel is the instigator of their wars, because I will provide you with a lengthy list of statements from Arab and Muslim countries promising the demise and destruction of Israel.

    And your examples of other countries I should be worried about instead, have nothing to do with Israel and do nothing for your argument in its defense. Are Israel’s policies just or aren’t they? Enough with the distractions.

    I’m pointing out your profound hypocrisy. You raise objections about Israel and when I point out to you that, for example, Palestinians in Jordan are ruled by a minority, you think that it does nothing for my argument. On the contrary, it makes you look ridiculous and hypocritical. Are you aware that Jordan has just removed the citizenship of over 3000 Palestinian citizens simply because they are Palestinians? ETHNIC CLEANSING! FROM A COUNTRY THAT RECEIVES $500 MILLION in ANNUAL US AID! Oh, wait, it’s not Israel, so you’ll just ignore it. Why would you care about human rights abuses against Palestinians?

  12. Robin

    3/3/2010 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t know if there’s anything more I can say to you to point out the flaws and the basic inhumanity of your arguments. It seems to me you need to think about the untenable positions you’ve been forced to take here, and maybe examine the assumptions you make about the inner motivations of others. But seriously, I hope there is a lot of soul-searching in your future.

    In the meantime, I would suggest that this blog lay off the ultra-nationalist politics. It’s not flattering on you.

    • themiddle

      3/3/2010 at 7:18 pm

      Robin, you’re the only ultra-nationalist here. You’re the one who would go against the wishes of both the Palestinians and Israelis to establish a single state. You’re the one who steadfastly ignores or excuses the Palestinian refusal to compromise and make peace. You’re the one who focuses on Israel to the exclusion of far worse offenses caused to the Palestinians by other countries or even their leadership.

      Where is your “basic humanity” when it comes to Lebanon refusing to grant any form of civil rights to Lebanese of Palestinian descent who have lived in Lebanon most or all of their lives (some since 1948!!). You choose to ignore that sordid fact but have no shame accusing Israel of being like South Africa even as the evidence to the contrary stands starkly in black and white before you in that Israel offers greater civil rights to its citizens – Jewish and non-Jewish, male and female, Arab and non-Arab – than any country in the Middle East.

      Your self-righteous hysterical accusations are those that take us farther from peace, precisely because of your support for the untenable.

      As for me, my positions are not only tenable, they are pretty much of the center. Nothing “ultra” about them. As a favor to you, I’m going to provide you with one final lesson.

      In 2001, Ehud Barak, under the encouragement of the Clinton administration, sat with the Palestinian leadership at Taba for a final series of talks. He ended up cutting them off because Palestinian terrorism did not end as the talks were ongoing and this made his position in an upcoming election impossible. However, he presented Israeli positions that were far more generous than those he offered at Camp David, and even though the Palestinians did not budge on Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and he so-called “return” of “refugees,” both sides publicly announced that those talks had brought them closer than ever to resolving the conflict.

      I wrote a post that I’m sure you’ll enjoy about Barak’s Taba plan. Make sure you read it. The highlights of the plan are:

      *A Palestinians state for the Palestinians
      *The right of Palestinian refugees to return to the Palestinian state
      *The Palestinian state to encompass about 97% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza and a connecting road
      *Land compensation on a 1:1 ratio from Israel to the Palestinians for the 3% of West Bank land it would keep
      *Removal of all settlements and Israelis who are not living within those 3% of land Israel keeps
      *Sharing of Jerusalem so that most of east Jerusalem goes to the Palestinians
      *Sharing of the Old City of Jerusalem so that Israel remains sovereign over the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter while the Palestinians get sovereignty over the Muslim, Christian and part of the Armenian Quarters.
      *Shared sovereignty over the Temple Mount
      *Compensation in the vicinity of $30 billion to the new Palestinian state, paid by the international community with assistance from Israel
      *An international force guarding the eastern border of the West Bank, with a renewable mandate that expires after several years
      *Resolution of numerous other issues such as water rights, sovereign borders, permission for about 40,000 Palestinians to move into Israel, agreement to allow international port and airport in the Palestninian state, etc.

      In return, the Israelis get:

      *End of conflict; i.e. permanent peace with no further Palestinian ambitions to overtake Israel
      *End to Palestinian terrorism
      *Control over Palestinian airspace, with permission to use it for military purposes
      *Retention of the 3% of West Bank land on which live about 75-80% of “settlers”
      *Theoretically, the Arab world stops treating Israel like a pariah

      I support the Taba plan.

      I even support Olmert’s proposal to make Jerusalem an “international” city provided some serious protections are afforded to Jews regarding their holy places.

      I support two states for two nations that share one city as their capital. I hope they live in peace, as good neighbors.

      For you to consider that an “ultra-nationalist” position is precisely what makes you an extremist. You should do some serious soul-searching and ask yourself how you’ve come so far that you would rather create another Lebanon or Jordan instead of two states, side by side, where each acts as a home for its nation.

      Really, your extremism is not flattering on you.

      • themiddle

        3/3/2010 at 9:43 pm

        Oh, and I guess there is one last thing to add, Robin. Any advocate for the Palestinians would serve them well by advising and prodding them to accept the Taba plan, give up their designs on the whole of Israel and accept compromise and peace.

  13. rozi

    3/6/2010 at 3:25 pm

    LOL @ Robin’s awfully shitty last rebuttal. just admit that you have no sensical response to themiddle’s arguments. i find it hilarious how you think this blog is “ultra-nationalist.” and soul searching? this isn’t yoga class, idiot.

    as we say in russia, idi k chortu :)

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