Why the Palestinians fight

but this is the best i can do so far: criticism from brian klug, one of the leading uk jewish critics of israeli policy:

Well to me this is an indication of how much people want to bury their heads in the sand about the whole conflict. Maybe people are generally so sick of hearing this kind of thing from both sides that it isn't worth a headline anymore? I find it gut wrenching that he would use such a term and casually get away with it.

oh, for feck's sake, when are they going to fecking well wise up, those fools? ARGH.

This is the problem BB, even for those that believe in Israels right to defend themselves against military attack how do you explain this problem away? I try to look at and explain both sides but every time I read about a new land grab or settlement I am left speechless. It looks as though they are aggravating the situation deliberately.

well, i think that we've achieved this with the palestinian equivalent of sinn fein - unfortunately hamas are more of the equivalent of the CIRA - and they're religiously, not politically motivated, which i don't think you could have said in the same way of the IRA.

I think religion was used just as much as a tool in the Irish conflict, it was the Catholics against the Protestants. Just look at people like the Reverend Ian Paisley, translate some of his speeches into Arabic and stick a turban on him and hey presto what do you have? Not that many of the fighters had strong religious beliefs if any but religion has always been a great battle cry, it is the mob mentality.

incidentally, i just got back from belfast. it was eye-opening and an example to follow.

I agree but my worry is that people are looking to Fatah to play the role of Sinn Fein and this cannot happen in my simplistic view. Fatah were taking US funds for their election campaign, they were deeply corrupt, Palestinians watched things under Fatah get worse not better and the people simply do not trust them. It either needs a strong country to step in and negotiate for Hamas (effectively separating them into political and miltary wings like in Ireland) or a new political party to emerge in Palestine. Egypt possibly has enough clout now to deal with Hamas and Fatah but the question is are they willing to put their head on the block if things go badly?

what i did however note with displeasure was a new republican attempt to rebrand their ideology

I think that was/is inevitable, the conflict went on for a long time and some wounds are not yet healed. They are left blowing somewhat in the wind and need to scrabble around for a new battle cry to keep up their power base, no doubt they will make silly mistakes along the way.

unfortunately, it's an illusion, just the way that it is an illusion of the israelis that if they hit hamas hard enough they'll lie down - they won't. i am tired of waiting for these imbeciles to realise they are at a stalemate.

That is the crux of the matter, they are at a stalemate which I think is what has led Israel to take this dreadful course of action (meaning the collective punishment). However this is just going to create more fighters that hate Isreal with a passion. I wish I could see a way out but I don't.

because they can't outfight the israelis - all this will lead to is an arms race and one which they can't actually win.

I agree they cannot win but this is always my argument with Bob, just because they cannot outfight or outarm them doesn't mean they should lie down and accept what Israel throw at them. I simply cannot accept the argument that Palestine cannot be trusted because it rearms whenever there is a ceasefire, when we know Israel are doing exactly the same thing. It seems to be accepted that because arms flow freely from the US to Israel that it is somehow legitimate but because Palestinians have to do it through the back door it is unacceptable and they bring everything on themselves.

if you want to know what i think they should do - i think change the school curriculum for a start, stop the death cult of martyrdom, change their political language - and, moreover declare independence.

I agree with you so far but how can they declare independence when Israel literally hold the purse strings and control the borders?

they should also explicitly recognise jewish links and claims to the land and jerusalem in particular (this doesn't mean they have to relinquish their own)

Now it gets more tricky. You say claims to the land but what land? Surely that is why this conflict continues, will Israel remove the settlements and give back the farming land it has taken illegally? Are you suggesting Jerusalem is simply handed over completely or that an agreement is found where both sides have rights and use of Jerusalem? Doesn't this go back to our other discussion about Al Aqsa?

if they really wanted to scare the shite out of the israelis, they could begin a campaign of gandhian satyagraha, in which they would be joined by israeli arabs.

I can see why you would suggest such a thing, I imagine if all Palestinians did this then world opinion would swiftly change the moment Israel sneezed in Palestines direction. One reason I think it would not work though is the principle of submitting to arrest and property confiscation. We have seen the world do exactly nothing as Israel continues to take Palestinian land and build settlements on it so would this not just open the door to mass stealing of land while the world looks on and shrugs?

unfortunately they are too keen on machismo and posing with guns and rockets for that

Hee, hee, the Arab my willy's bigger than yours game!!! I think it's a national sport over here, there are trophies and everything.

does it strike you as at all significant that much of the criticism of israel stems from the fact that people can find stuff out because it's an open society, whereas in terms of palestinian society that opposition and dissent is ruthlessly crushed - if you don't believe me, look up all the palestinian journalists that are persecuted for not being patriotic enough.

I don't need to look them up BB, I live in Egypt where just as many journalists are in prison, right beside high court judges for daring to speak against Mobarak or the state. We officially live under martial law but I have yet to see or hear of an Arab country that doesn't, if not officially then in principle. Yet as I did on another thread, I can look up Palestinian peace organisations and journalists that do speak up. They may not get the press coverage that the Israeli's do but they are out there and if you delve you can find them.

she was in a war zone. you cannot protest in a war zone in a risk-free way

I would agree completely if she had been hit by a stray bullet or a bomb dropped on her head but she was slowly crushed by a bulldozer. That is not collateral damage in a war zone, that is a p*ssed off driver that went way too far and unfortunately seen by many, myself included, as a demonstration of just how arrogant and hate filled some Jewish people in Israel have become.

you can't blame the israelis for the sykes-picot agreement, sally.

Come now BB Britain didn't just wake up one day and say "I know let's create a Jewish homeland". Weizmann first proposed this to Balfour in 1906. Later in the slicing up of land both France and the Arab states opposed the creation of a Jewish homeland in 'that area'. The Zionist movement and the State of Israel are joined at the hip on this one.

they wanted our EXTERMINATION. and that is a pretty big bloody difference in my book.

I can understand why it would seem a big difference to you but to me the initial years when Nazi Germany simply tried to make life so unbearable for Jews that they would leave does have a similar ring to it. I am not speaking about the final solution or the systematic murders from 1941 but prior to that. Perhaps it is too difficult for you to separate the two era's out?

But to house people in what is effectively a prison and shut off basic supplies is exactly what Nazi's did to Jews in the early years, before the camps were built or the mass killings began.

I am not suggesting the same thing is happening now on the same scale but my fear is what is to come? Israel appears to be heading down a similar road, once they openly admitted to collective punishment they began on a road that the world, I believe, would rather we never went down again.
 
. the reason i posted these extracts is so you can understand the group you are defending,

I am not defending Hamas nor any group or individual that fires off a gun or a rocket in this conflict. I am stating the fact that Hamas IS the DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED party and like it or not it is them that must be negotiated with. I am defending the very basic human rights of the ordinary citizens of Gaza who are being subjected to extraordinary brutal, oppressive and indiscriminate suffering using methods last seen in Nazi Germany.

Time will tell if I am lost in "the conspiracy". But for now I maintain Israel does not want peace and will continue to abuse Palestinians as an excuse to keep this conflict alive. The US will continue to fund and arm their nuclear ally, their threatened 'stick', in that region until they have sucked out of it all they want. Strategically the US would never have invaded Iraq without the Israeli platform and could not threaten Iran or Syria. At least not without the domestically unacceptable use of nuclear munitions. But to have a nuclear capable ally that can "take the flak" is strategic perfection. The US can do what it likes in the area in sure knowledge that it has an agent ever ready to do the worst should it be deemed necessary. This is why Iran and Syria hate the state of Israel, not because the people are predominately Jewish but because the know that Israel has them strategically hamstrung. Things will continue as now till the oil has been pillaged.

Tao
 
Muslimwoman said:
I find it gut wrenching that he would use such a term and casually get away with it.
so do i. it is surely a sign of the moral delinquency of much of the israeli political class.

This is the problem BB, even for those that believe in Israels right to defend themselves against military attack how do you explain this problem away? I try to look at and explain both sides but every time I read about a new land grab or settlement I am left speechless.
i'm with you on this, sally. it drives me nuts and makes it very difficult to maintain any sort of claim to the moral high ground, which is why i don't defend it. it leaves me speechless, too.

I agree but my worry is that people are looking to Fatah to play the role of Sinn Fein and this cannot happen in my simplistic view.
i agree - that's why i'm hoping for great things from marwan barghouti once the israelis decide to let him out of prison; surely by then he will have sufficient credibility to allow him to broker an agreement without compromising his moral authority within his own constituency.

Fatah were taking US funds for their election campaign, they were deeply corrupt, Palestinians watched things under Fatah get worse not better and the people simply do not trust them.
and now, surely, they're seeing the same happen under hamas as nothing gets *solved* and they merely perpetuate the spiral of violence.

It either needs a strong country to step in and negotiate for Hamas (effectively separating them into political and miltary wings like in Ireland) or a new political party to emerge in Palestine. Egypt possibly has enough clout now to deal with Hamas and Fatah but the question is are they willing to put their head on the block if things go badly?
i doubt it. i wonder which country would be trusted to do so. any suggestions? how about the norwegians?

I agree they cannot win but this is always my argument with Bob, just because they cannot outfight or outarm them doesn't mean they should lie down and accept what Israel throw at them.
no, i'm not saying that either - but i am saying that when you know you can't win by fighting, you have to accept trying something else. the same goes for the israelis. the trouble is that hamas think that the longer they keep up this low-intensity sort of warfare, the better the negotiating position they are in. i think they've really misunderstood the israelis if they think so. history will judge them for using the blood of their own people for political advantage, just as it will with anyone else, including the israelis.

It seems to be accepted that because arms flow freely from the US to Israel that it is somehow legitimate but because Palestinians have to do it through the back door it is unacceptable and they bring everything on themselves.
that's not what i'm saying. i'm saying that it's pointless to keep rearming for a conflict you can't win.

I agree with you so far but how can they declare independence when Israel literally hold the purse strings and control the borders?
oh, come *on*, sally. they can declare what they like - the israelis aren't going to invade because they declare independence; they'd be able to get a UN motion to recognise it and international sympathy from around the world. the purse strings are of course another matter, but how exactly will they be worse off? what have they got to lose from trying to avail themselves of the trappings of statehood?

Now it gets more tricky. You say claims to the land but what land? Surely that is why this conflict continues, will Israel remove the settlements and give back the farming land it has taken illegally? Are you suggesting Jerusalem is simply handed over completely or that an agreement is found where both sides have rights and use of Jerusalem? Doesn't this go back to our other discussion about Al Aqsa?
i mean the fact of jews being from israel originally, accepting that we are not interlopers, colonialists or foreigners and that our religious tradition and ethnicity comes from this spot, i'm not talking about borders in particular. even palestinian arabic is strongly influenced by biblical hebrew! in terms of settlements and other land and even jerusalem, all this can be resolved the way they resolved it at oslo - there was a workable agreement in place; there's no reason it can't be reworked or even resurrected - all it needs is the political will and no arafat or netanyahu to screw it up.

One reason I think it would not work though is the principle of submitting to arrest and property confiscation. We have seen the world do exactly nothing as Israel continues to take Palestinian land and build settlements on it so would this not just open the door to mass stealing of land while the world looks on and shrugs?
one of the key things about satyagraha, as i understand it, was the collectivism. it is not possible for the entire palestinian population to be arrested; the logistics would be prohibitive and i cannot believe the world would "look on and shrug".

Hee, hee, the Arab my willy's bigger than yours game!!! I think it's a national sport over here, there are trophies and everything.
if there's one thing that proves that israelis are indigenous to the middle east, it's their ability to join in with this!

Yet as I did on another thread, I can look up Palestinian peace organisations and journalists that do speak up. They may not get the press coverage that the Israeli's do but they are out there and if you delve you can find them.
but that's my point - they *ought* to get the press coverage. the reason that they don't is that they have not nearly enough support and not nearly enough press freedom either; they're regarded as at best cranks and at worst traitors and collaborators and we all know what happens to them in palestinian society.

I would agree completely if she had been hit by a stray bullet or a bomb dropped on her head but she was slowly crushed by a bulldozer.
again, that's not my understanding of precisely what happened, but i take your point about arrogance and indifference on the israeli side.

Come now BB Britain didn't just wake up one day and say "I know let's create a Jewish homeland".
no - it was part of a wider movement to allow national self-determination to different ethno-religious groups; there is no case for refusing that right to the jews alone.

Later in the slicing up of land both France and the Arab states opposed the creation of a Jewish homeland in 'that area'.
where else would you suggest a jewish homeland should be? uganda? birobidjan? the zionist movement thought long and hard about this and israel was the only logical and feasible choice. of course they were a bunch of eurocentric, chauvinist, utopian obsessives, but they were right about the area if nothing else.

to me the initial years when Nazi Germany simply tried to make life so unbearable for Jews that they would leave does have a similar ring to it. I am not speaking about the final solution or the systematic murders from 1941 but prior to that. Perhaps it is too difficult for you to separate the two era's out?
i would say, given that i've read mein kampf, which was written way before the nazis came to power, as well as being abundantly aware of the anti-semitic context of the time, that it was 1000% obvious what the nazis wanted to happen. the nazis didn't *let* the jews leave. they prevented them from leaving. the only benefit any of them saw in any jews going to palestine instead was that a) it would make problems for the british and b) it would be much easier to murder us if we were all together in one place. the israelis don't see the palestinians as satanic, or as some sort of human disease or cosmic evil, like the nazis (and, increasingly, many muslim and arab groups) saw the jews - they see them as a group in competition for resources with whom they can come to an eventual accommodation. of course it would be much simpler, i dare say, if they could convince, bribe or scare them into leaving, but if they were going to do that, they would have already done so, surely. all i can say is that i find it incredible that i should have to deny that the israelis are behaving like nazis. it ought to be obvious and it is very sad that it doesn't appear to be.

Tao_Equus said:
I am stating the fact that Hamas IS the DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED party and like it or not it is them that must be negotiated with.
and the fact that they think that the rotary club are agents of satan and that their ideas about jews are straight out of the loony-bin shouldn't affect this in any way? you still think this group (as opposed to the palestinian people) deserves the support of people like yourself? as for your point about "methods last seen in nazi germany", that is the worst kind of tendentious tripe and belongs with your other rhetorical mudslinging. tell me, tao, if israel doesn't want peace, what does it want? let me tell you, i know more israelis than you obviously do and all they want to do is to be left alone and come to some reasonable arrangement which will allow them and the palestinians to go about their business without worrying about bloodshed and death. as for your take on the geostrategic issues, it is utterly laughable. iran is *hardly* "hamstrung" by israel or even the US - it is financing both hizbollah and hamas and the shi'a insurgency in iraq, for goodness' sake. nuclear weapons are all very well, but they are absolutely no good at all for preventing terrorist attacks and mass waves of rockets - unless of course you are suggesting that israel would nuke lebanon. i can only conclude that you have no understanding of the middle east whatsoever other than what you've gleaned from george galloway's blog or wherever you dredge up this nonsense.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
BB,

You are always trying to associate my views with someone/group or another. I find this a rather curious need.

I cannot help if you wish to believe the picture painted is the real gameplay. Ask yourself this, what would Iran be now if there had been no US interventions in the region? How would Iran in control of all the oil reserves in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia effect the economic status quo? As soon as the US has sucked the area dry of oil they wont be back. Iran cant march in and take it because the US has the platform of Israel and its nuclear capability. Why else do you think Iran is so set on redressing the balance? Wake up and smell the coffee.

Tao
 
tao,

personally, if i found out i was in agreement with people i thoroughly disapproved of i'd want to understand why that was. of course, that assumes you thoroughly disapprove of. i'm not "associating" you with anyone - i'm simply saying that your views are similar. if that bothers you, perhaps you should re-examine where you get them from.

How would Iran in control of all the oil reserves in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia effect the economic status quo?
seriously, man, you just *can't* mean this unless you are completely out of your tree. moreover, the more people that think like this, the more chance the iranian government has of getting its way. i truly fear for the west if it won't even have the moral courage to stand up for itself - and, by the way, that should *not* be taken as support for george bush, or neo-conservatism, or military adventurism based on ignorance.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
tao,

personally, if i found out i was in agreement with people i thoroughly disapproved of i'd want to understand why that was. of course, that assumes you thoroughly disapprove of. i'm not "associating" you with anyone - i'm simply saying that your views are similar. if that bothers you, perhaps you should re-examine where you get them from.
There are a number of organisations and individuals out there that I find as distasteful as you. But the truth is the truth no matter who uses it and I have no apology to make because it is not them or I that make that truth but US/Israeli policy. Just because they and I see the same truth does not make me supportive of their wholesale chapter and verse. You have me down as a conspiracy theorist... I have me down as a non partisan truth seeker. My only concern in this matter is the downtrodden victims of Israeli apartheid. I have little sympathy for those that live within rocket range of Gaza, they have no right to be there and anyone who knowingly settles land stolen in this way has to accept the wrath of its legitimate owners. That is not anti-Semitic hate but cold hard reality. Or would you accept a family of Muslims setting up home in your living room, denying you access to your kitchen and bathroom and cutting off the power to your bedroom, without doing anything about it? I bloody well think not.


seriously, man, you just *can't* mean this unless you are completely out of your tree. moreover, the more people that think like this, the more chance the iranian government has of getting its way. i truly fear for the west if it won't even have the moral courage to stand up for itself - and, by the way, that should *not* be taken as support for george bush, or neo-conservatism, or military adventurism based on ignorance.

b'shalom

bananabrain

Seriously!! Do you think the Kremlin or China would be unsupportive of such a reality? Check out who Iran trades with.
And I am incredulous that you use the word "moral" for a course that has led to the vicious deaths of millions of truly innocent people just so the US can maintain its gross overconsumption of oil. There is *no* morality there and I cannot believe you *seriously* try to argue that there is.

Tao
 
Tao_Equus said:
But the truth is the truth no matter who uses it and I have no apology to make because it is not them or I that make that truth but US/Israeli policy.
but my point, tao, is that you are referring to your perception, not to the "truth". unless you are rather better politically connected than i suspect you (or i) actually happen to be then you are not in any position to say that *your* truth is *the* truth. if you are really a "non-partisan" truth seeker then you should have no truck with statements such as:

My only concern in this matter is the downtrodden victims of Israeli apartheid.
which is about as partisan a statement as i have ever seen, especially when coupled with:

I have little sympathy for those that live within rocket range of Gaza, they have no right to be there and anyone who knowingly settles land stolen in this way has to accept the wrath of its legitimate owners.
so people who live in ashkelon and sderot, nowhere near gaza, but within rocket range, have "no right to be there", do they? that land, according to you, is "stolen"? tell me, tao, if/when hamas get new rockets from the iranians which have the range to reach tel aviv, will you say they have "no right to be there", either?

and *this* you call "non-partisan"?

*this* you call truth-seeking?

this is the problem i see - i am concerned with the palestinians' plight and concerned to see they get a fair deal. *you* appear only concerned with justifying revenge - and, therefore, from my perspective, you're no friend of the palestinians. you're just another one of these grandstanding paraders of moral outrage with no concern for actually helping the people you profess to care so much about. you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

the kremlin and china, however, wouldn't even bother with their own domestic opposition, if there were any, let alone with international opinion, to the deaths of thousands of people if it got in the way of their national interests; the current situations in tibet and chechnya being cases in point. at least you are free to get angry about it in public and have political representatives who put your point of view. if you can't see the difference between this and the [comparatively] free and democratic society we both live in then i suggest you try it for a while. of course i could be on a hiding to nothing with this to you here because i seem to remember you think the iranians and libyans are more humane than the US or UK! of course, if i misremember, i apologise in advance.

i agree with you, however, that our reliance upon oil has put us in the insane position of cooperating with lunatics to get it, or sacrificing principle to short-term so-called "national interest". i am doing something about that by trying to reduce my need to rely on a substance which causes such terrible harm to planet and people; i assume you are doing the same.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
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