11 thoughts on “AGAIN”

  1. Date: 08/03/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Two comments: There were a number of terrorist bombings carried out by Jews in the 1940s. Second, the Israeli army’s own report on the War of Independence attributes most of Arab refugee displacement to actions by the Israeli Army (or its predecessors). The idea that the Arab states urged the Arab civilians to flee is, like the Danish King riding out with a Star of David, a great propaganda coup that I believed for a long time, but which is actually false.

  2. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    AL — The Palestineans have already ceded that territory in prior negotiations to Camp David, and the Israelis have an internationally recognized border at the Green Line. By seizing the West Bank (and the hundreds of thousands of Palestineans), Israel went beyond its borders and placed those people under occupation, which everyone acknowledges including the Israelis. Another major difference, of course, is that the West Bank’s residents are almost uniformly Palestinean Arab. In Israel proper, the population is mostly Jewish. In order to make the West Bank & Gaza predominantly Jewish, you must commit yourself to either ethnic cleansing or crowd them onto tiny reservations and surround them with Jewish settlements (oops, that’s already happening, isn’t it?).The difference between 1948 and 1967 is recognized by the reasonable people on both sides. Hamas is not reasonable, nor is IJ. The problem is, Israeli settlement and occupation policy push the great middle mass into supporting IJ and Hamas as the only effective/demonstrative way to resist said Israeli policies.

  3. Date: 08/02/2002 00:00:00 AM
    One should note that, prior to 1948, all Jewish settlements had been purchased (usually at wildly inflated prices) from Arab owners. While the majority of these settlements had been established prior to World War I, the Jews continued to purchase land when (and if) it became available during the 20s and 30s. Therefore, prior to the division of the Palatinate into Jewish and Arab states, the Jews were not occupying any land which had not been sold to them.This state of affairs ended when the UN split the area into two “ethnic” states, Jordan and Israel. At the time of the split, the Arab leadership pretty much forced a large percentage of the local Arab/Palestinian population to leave their homes in Israel. This abandonment had a three-fold purpose. First, it was to disrupt the internal economy of Israel. The second was to show Arab rejection of the UN mandate. And the third was to remove “friendlies” from the line of fire when the Arab armies moved to exterminate all Jews (men, women and children…old and young). Then the refugees could move back into the now vacant Jewish settlements and benefit from the fruits of their labors.Unfortunately, the vaunted Arab armies lost (badly), and suddenly all those Palestinians were truly homeless. Even then they could have returned to their homes, but they were more valuable to the Arab leadership as pawns in those squalid refugee camps. So there they stayed.It is true that the various tribal groups who inhabited the region from the time the Jews showed up a couple thousand years BC pretty much fought with each other over who was on top from about that time forward. In fact, the only time they weren’t fighting with each other seems to those times that an outside force (from the Babylonians through the Romans to the Ottomans) were occupying the area.Thus, to say that anybody has “clear title” to that region is false. However, that does not address the problem. The problem is that there is no single solution that the extremists on either side will accept. What needs to happen is for the moderates among both the Israelis and the Palestinians to get together to hammer out something they can live with. Once that is determined, brand the extremists of both camps outlaw and go from there. Unfortunately, moderates by their very nature are loath to commit to something like this. Which is another way of saying that I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

  4. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Eric, Simple history would show you that the Palestinians did not lose most of their land in 1948. The British actually placed most of Palestine under Arab rule when it formed Jordan and installed the Hashemites as the rulers. Palestinians lost a fraction of their land when the 7 Arabs were defeated in the war that followed their refused to accept the U.N. resolution in 1948 and those nations attack on Israel. Further, I would suggest that there are other modern cases in which people lost control of their land besides the portion of Palestinians who do not live in Jordan. Does China’s occupation of Tibet ring a bell? The point in writing the above is not to show that Israel is blameless ? it certainly is not. But, it is faced with an untenable situation. It is surrounded by hostile enemies who for 50 years openly sought to destroy it. It saw itself on the verge of peace, only to be plunged into the worst round of terrorist violence in its history when its “partner for peace” decided that he would rather support a campaign of violence and terrorist attacks than negotiate. The terrorist groups have a firm control over the political situation in the territories, and any unilateral withdrawal would not result in a settlement, but rather further violence. Israel would be suicidal to immediately withdraw. I am afraid that the Palestinians’ and Arabs’ actions have demonstrated that it has no choice but to wait for a reformation of Palestinian society and culture before it can ever realistically hope for peace. If you want to know how Palestinian culture might rid itself of terrorism, may I suggest you read Steven Debeste’s essays on the subject. http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/06/Thetheory.shtml I found them to be pretty interesting. As an aside, I also wonder why people unquestioningly accept the idea that a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip has to be ethnically cleansed of Jews. What’s wrong with forming a country in which the settlers stay and live among the Palestinians? The solution to the problems, in my opinion, is not to ethnically cleanse the West Bank and Gaza Strip of Jews (who, by the way, had lived there continually for thousands of years until booted by Jordan), but rather to create an open and democratic state that has a majority of Palestinians but in which Palestinians and Jews can live together. -Jeff

  5. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    AL — Maybe, in the 1940s. Benny Morris catalogues Jewish terrorist attacks (often in retribution for Arab rioting and shootings of Jews) before that era. The first bomb to be set off in a civilian area was in 1938 in an Arab market in Haifa that killed 25 Arabs, followed up a similar bomb in an market that killed 38. Members of Jewish terrorist groups often opened fire on Arab civilian buses as well. No phone calls were made in those cases. The British deny any phone call was made to the King David. I don’t have my copy of Benny Morris’ book in front of me, so I will fill in his sources and details when I get home.Us “occupying” someone’s economy is not comparable to the Israeli occupation and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza, and you know it.

  6. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    The only thing that will break the culture of self-destruction (suicide bombers kill the legitimate goals of the Palestinians) is an end to the occupation, removal of the settlements, and a fair settlement to the problem created in 1948. Saying “everyone occupies everyone else’s land” is completely false, no one is occupying someone else’s land to the extent is has happened to the Palestinians. Simple Zionist history (as you seem unlikely to pick up Tom Segev or Benny Morris) will clue you in to the simple facts behind this conflict: the Palestinians lost most of their land in 1948, and have had the rest occupied since 1967. There is no historical paralel for one modern society displacing another modern society and then occupying the remainder of that land for 35 years. That being said, it will be impossible for Israel to withdraw (something a majority of Israelis, myself included want) under the terrorist bombing situations. However I disagree completely with Sharon’s response, which is only fueling the conflict. Does anyone remember in December when we had close to 20 days of quiet on the Israeli side? Immediately after that Karmi was assassinated. It is a cycle that BOTH sides are perpetuating, and BOTH sides must be “broken”. Israel must break the fanatics who are driving the settlement policy, which is really the ethnic cleansing policy in slow-motion. Palestinians must break their claims to their former land and accept fully that their country will be on the W. Bank. Only once BOTH sides have been broken, when the extremist ultra-nationalists on both sides are in the margins, will we move away from this.

  7. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Hmmm. Henry, here’s a serious question: What’s different about the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank from the occupation of balance of Israeli territory?1948 vs. 1967? I’m genuinely not sure myself, and I genuinely wonder if the folks setting off bombs feel there is a difference either.As to our role in occupying the economies of much of the world, there is a large hole in Manhattan that speaks to the feelings some folks have about us…

  8. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Israel was founded in 1948 by the United Nations. The act was probably done because of collective guilt about the Holocaust, the rationale being that no nation on Earth could be trusted to take care of the Jews in their midst, unless that nation was governed and populated by Jews, and located in the Jewish homeland. The fact that that homeland had been occupied by Palestinians for centuries was ignored by the U.N., and the Jews themselves accepted the U.N.’s offer without consulting said Palestinians.That’s the foundation of this conflict, in a nutshell. Solid arguments on both sides of the issue. Jews really do need a nation of their own (anti-Semitism keeps cropping up in “civilized” countries even to this day); and Palestinians were indeed treated the way that Native Americans were treated (it’s a good analogy, Henry, though I’m not sure you were thinking of that).If Palestinians were to press their claims via nonviolent resistance I’m sure they would find many Americans and Israelis who would listen and make workable compromises. If they had done this thirty years ago they would have a nation by now.But as long as they press their claim via terrorism the U.S. and Israel will oppose them completely. We cannot negotiate when there are explosions in the background.I’m curious, by the way, about these Jewish bombings. Can you document? When was the most recent?

  9. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Uh, we aren’t occupying the land of a very large group of people who are willing to die to get us out. Like Tip O’Neill said, all politics are local. You can find some wackos all over the world ready to attack America, but you won’t find enough who have a real grievance who are willing to kill themselves to do it.So where will this pool of suicide bomb recruits come from? Native Americans, perhaps? That’s the only logical conclusion. What’s the difference between Hamas and Lehi? Other than the fact that ex-Lehi members could become Prime Ministers of Israel (Yitzhak Shamir). Let’s not forget that it was Jewish extremists who started the long habit of setting off large bombs in civilian areas like bus stations and marketplaces. Are we going to break Jewish culture, too?

  10. Date: 08/01/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Henry -Well, first off I think that the first bombing in the 40’s was the car bombing of the Jerusalem Post.The Irgun did blow up the King David (and a train station as I recall), but in both cases efforts were made to minimze casualties…in the case of the King David, a phone call was made some 20 minutes before the bomb went off; much like the IRA’s practices in London.And I’ll point out that pretty much everyone is occupying someone else’s land.We are “occupying” everyone’s economy, media, and attention…and as soon as the Islamists feel that they won’t win us over to their side with tales of suffering (real, and sometimes exaggerated), I think things here will get interesting and painful.A.L.

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