Pardon me if I jump back and forth and appear incoherent, it is for much of the same reasosn A.L. mentioned, thoughts evolving all the time, etc. It’s long too (two parter)
A.L.: Welcome to the club
zizka brings up a good point of the Palestinian conflict, that it is essentially a land war (if you didn’t mean it that way, then sorry but I think it is). Religion is secondary in the conflict. Religion is just how they draw their “lines on the map.” In Western conflict, nationalism had a bigger part in conflicts because most people in Europe were Christian (or else). So instead of us and them being “Jew” or “Muslim” it was “French” or “English.” Same old fight, just in a new, filthy way.
A.L.: But it is being fought in a fundamentally different way, dont you think? Thats whats of interest to me not that the roots of the issue are old and typical, but that the means arent.
I don’t think the WTC was attacked because of the “Jew York” stereotype. That stereotype is much more well known here than out in the M.E. As far as they’re concerned there are Jews all over. The WTC represents a modern Tower of Babel, a symbol of American engineering and technological prowess. Like th Harris article says, these guys live in fantasy land, they went for the major American symbols of might (Pentagon), economic/engineering (WTC) and gov’t (plane in PA headed for the White House?). These guys probably thought if we can take these out, the Americans will be demoraized and cave to our demands. Once we came out swinging, no demands were made.
A.L.: I think you make my case for me when you say The WTC represents a modern Tower of Babel, a symbol of American engineering and technological prowess. Like th Harris article says, these guys live in fantasy land, they went for the major American symbols of might (Pentagon), economic/engineering (WTC) and gov’t (plane in PA headed for the White House?) Dont you think its important that they are fighting a symbolic rather than practical war? They arent idiots
And then he continues:
And now for tangent #3 … Why do they use the methods they currently use? Because they have no better way and nothing to lose. On the Pal side you have a group of people who have been marginalized and lied to by everyone in their region including Arabs. The Israelis make peace concessions like Oslo, but continue to make things worse by expanding settlements. This does a couple things. One, it causes a distrust of the other side, which is a bad thing to perpetuate with peace deals. Two, it “supports” the old European stereotype of the “crooked Jew” in the minds of the Pals. The Israelis sign a treaty, but still build settlements, why WOULD they trust them. To Palestinians, the settlements are akin to the old British colonies, and also a reminder that they were removed from their old homes by these same people years before. They see these offerings the way the Native Americans saw and treaties with the U.S. in the 19th century.
A.L.: I agree with almost everything you say, except that the tactics they are choosing dig them into a deeper hole, and I believe that ultimately they have done and will do worse than they would have done with nonviolent resistance or even a true guerilla war. As I said, they arent stupid, so why are they making choices that take them so far from their stated goals? That the $64 million question/
Since these people have so little to lose there is not much we can do. All Israel can do is kill them and they taunt Israel by killing themselves and their enemies in a way that would make Samson jealous.
A.L.: Again, I think youre supporting me when you say they taunt Israel. Think about it. Do they want to get a state or taunt Israel?
I believe that they should be given something to lose. Start a gradual pullout of settlements and self rule over a small portion. Put a pullout and expansion of Pal border timeline on paper. Explicitly write the necessity of self policing and that allowing or harboring terrorist will result in the old status quo. Once the people have something to lose, they will defend it. Think of it this way, in elementary school, when everyone was being loud and throwing paper airplanes it was good fun. But once the teacher said “If I see another paper airplane or spitball, everyone loses recess.” There might be another spitball or airplane, but once the teacher takes away recess there’s a whupping coming from the rest of the class. The people who have spent the last few decades suffering and waiting for land aren’t going to let ideologues ruin it after all they’ve been through. It’s not the 70s anymore, the mainstream Arab world has finally (begrudgingly) acknowledged the existence of Israel. Peer pressure is an amazing thing.
A.L.: I dont disagree, but as Ive said a bazillion times here, it takes the survival of a vocal moderate group to make something like this work, and unless there is someone there on the Palestinian side, it wont happen. But thats another issue.
One last thing, Sharon can’t (or shouldn’t) expect peace before signing a treaty. Historically, the fighting stopped after the peace accords were signed, not before.
Sorry this was so long winded, hope you all enjoy it at the very least.
A.L.: No, was great thats why Ive moved it up.
— Mostafa Sabet