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Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Israel-Palestine peace process is over. Israel had been able to rely on domestic lobbyists within the United States, hardball negotiation tactics, and the simple brute fact that its military forces occupy the land in question, to stall any realistic solution to the problem.

quote:

Future historians will no doubt argue over the precise moment when the Arab-Israeli peace process died, when the last glimmer of hope for a two-state solution was irrevocably extinguished. When all is said and done, and the forensics have been completed, I am sure they will conclude that the last realistic prospect for an agreement expired quite some time before now, even if all the players do not quite realise it yet: anger and denial are always the first stages in the grieving process; acceptance of reality only comes later.

There are growing signs, however, that the realisation is beginning to dawn in Ramallah, Tel Aviv and, most strikingly, Washington, that the peace process, as currently conceived, may finally be dead.

Washington: hoping for a miracle?

We should begin in Washington, in the aftermath of the seven-hour marathon meeting between Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, in New York last week.

To view the apparent results of that meeting in context, one would have to recount the gargantuan structure of US military, intelligence, economic and diplomatic support to Israel, painstakingly constructed over many decades, for which there would not be space to describe it all here - if indeed one had the knowledge to do so.

The edifice is so extensive, including direct military aid, weapons transfers, access to US emergency weapons stocks, pre-positioning of US military materiel in Israel, US investments in Israeli technology development, US support for Israel's foreign weapons sales, weapons co-production agreements, all sorts of loan guarantees, assistance for settlement of immigrants in Israel - the list goes on - that literally no single entity in Washington is aware of it all.

In September, the US Congressional Research Service made a noteworthy attempt to capture it, but was probably only partly successful, having no access, for example, to classified US assistance. The annual value of all this is literally incalculable, and well in excess of the $3bn per year usually cited, to say nothing of critical US diplomatic support in the UN and elsewhere.

Given all this, confronted with Israel's refusal to extend its partial moratorium on new settlement construction in the Occupied Territories, and with anything more than verbal pressure on Israel literally unthinkable, the US was hard-pressed to come up with additional inducements which might extend the peace process even a little further.

Into the breach, as he has done so many times before, stepped the redoubtable Dennis Ross. Ross, in discussions with an Israeli counterpart, compiled an extensive list of motivators whose length we do not yet know, but which was verbally agreed between Clinton and Netanyahu in New York, and which will be presented in writing for possible approval by the Israeli cabinet.

We are told it includes a US commitment to block any Palestinian-led effort to win unilateral UN recognition of a Palestinian state; US obstruction of efforts either to revive the Goldstone Report at the UN, or to seek formal UN condemnation of Israel for the deadly Mavi Marmara incident; an ongoing US commitment to defeat any UN resolutions aimed at raising Israel's unacknowledged nuclear weapons programme before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); vigorous US diplomatic efforts to counter all attempts to "delegitimise" Israel in various world fora; and, most importantly, increasing efforts to further ratchet international sanctions on both Iran and Syria concerning their respective nuclear and proliferation efforts.

To this the US is adding a commitment to supply Israel with some 20 ultra-modern F-35 aircraft worth $3bn - so new they have not yet entered the US inventory - as well as a mysterious "comprehensive security agreement," whose details have not been revealed, but which may include unilateral US endorsement of Israeli troop deployments in the Jordan Valley, in the event of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

And what is Israel being asked in return? Consider this carefully: in return for the above written guarantees, Israel will consider agreement to a brief, one-time-only 90-day extension of the partial settlement moratorium, which excludes not only East Jerusalem, but also the cordon sanitaire of settlements which Israel has carefully constructed to ring the city and deny Palestinian access to it, after which the US agrees, in writing, never again to request an Israeli settlement moratorium.

After witnessing US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians for over 30 years, I had thought I was beyond shock. This development, however, is breathtaking. In effect, along with a whole string of additional commitments, including some potentially far-reaching security guarantees which it is apparently afraid to reveal publicly, the Obama administration is willing to permanently cast aside a policy of some 40 years' duration, under which the US has at least nominally labelled Israeli settlements on occupied territory as "obstacles to peace,". All this in return for a highly conditional settlement pause which will permit Netanyahu to pocket what the US has given him, simply wait three months without making any good-faith effort at compromise, and know in the end that Israel will never again have to suffer the US' annoying complaints about illegal settlements.

Leave aside the fact that as of this writing, the Israeli cabinet may yet reject this agreement - which seems even more breathtaking, until one stops to consider that virtually everything the Americans have offered the Israelis they could easily obtain in due course without the moratorium. No, what is telling here is that the American attempt to win this agreement, lopsided as it is, is an act of sheer desperation.

What gives rise to the desperation, whether it is fear of political embarrassment at a high-profile diplomatic failure or genuine concern for US security interests in the region, I cannot say. It seems crystal clear, however, that the administration sees the next three months as a last chance. Their stated hope is that if they can get the parties to the table for this brief additional period, during which they focus solely on reaching agreement on borders, success in this endeavour will obviate concerns about settlements and give both sides sufficient stake in an outcome that they will not abandon the effort.

No one familiar with the substance of the process believes agreement on borders can be reached in 90 days on the merits; consider additionally that negotiators will be attempting to reach such a pact without reference to Jerusalem, and seeking compromise on territory without recourse to off-setting concessions on other issues, and success becomes virtually impossible to contemplate.

The Obama administration is coming under heavy criticism for having no plan which extends beyond the 90 days, if they can get them. There is no plan for a 91st day because there is unlikely to be one. The Obama policy, absurd as it seems, is to somehow extend the peace process marginally, and hope for a miracle. The demise of that hope carries with it the clear and present danger that residual aspirations for a two-state solution will shortly be extinguished with it.

Tel Aviv: buyer's remorse?

Meanwhile, in Israel, we are seeing something akin to buyer's remorse. On the cusp of finally achieving the goal for which Likud has aimed since its founding in 1973 - that is, an end to the threat of territorial compromise which would truncate the Zionist project in Palestine - the Israeli military and intelligence communities, which will have to deal with the consequences of a permanently failed peace process and the dissolution of responsible Palestinian governance in the West Bank which could well follow, are actively voicing their concerns.

Even as ardent a Likudnik as Dan Meridor has recently said to Haaretz: "I've reached the painful conclusion that keeping all the territory means a binational state that will endanger the Zionist enterprise. If we have to give up the Jewish and democratic character (of the state) - I prefer to give up some of the territory."

The time for such second thoughts has passed, however. Having succeeded in creating irrevocable facts on the ground, settlements which no conceivable Israeli government could remove even if it wanted to, the territory which Meridor and company would conceivably part with now will not be enough to avoid the fate which they fear in future: the progressive delegitimation of the current state, and the eventual rise of a binational state in its place.

Ramallah: terminally gloomy?

The terminal gloom among the tired leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is palpable. They will not allow themselves to be openly complicit in a negotiated capitulation to Israel, and yet they cannot bring themselves to irrevocably abandon the process either.

The recent, relative success of Salam Fayyad, the prime minister, in bringing some measure of security and good governance to the West Bank notwithstanding, they know their legitimacy is tied to the hope of their people for a just peace - a peace they also know, in their hearts, they cannot deliver. They look to the Americans in hope of salvation, while the Americans can only hope, impotently, for the same.

Both Israelis and Palestinians know that the relative calm prevailing in the West Bank and Gaza cannot last indefinitely absent some prospect for an end to Israeli occupation of the former. No one can see the way to a near-term solution, and yet neither does anyone yet have the courage to suggest an alternative future.

That will be the task of a new and probably distant generation of Israelis and Palestinians.

Robert Grenier was the CIA's chief of station in Islamabad, Pakistan, from 1999 to 2002. He was also the director of the CIA's counter-terrorism centre.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.


America has been a worse than useless negotiator:

quote:

A tape has surfaced in which Benjamin Netanyahu, current prime minister of Israel, brags about how easy the US is to manipulate. In the video, which was shot in 2001, the then-out-of-office Netanyahu speaks bluntly with a group of West Bank settlers about how he had undermined the Palestinian peace process, Al Jazeera reports. “I know what America is,” he said. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

He described how he’d undermined the 1993 Oslo accords. He promised Bill Clinton he’d honor the agreement, but didn't intend to. “I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue.” The video aired on Israeli TV on Friday, and has caused an uproar, the Washington Post reports, with one commentator saying it should be "banned for viewing by children so as not to corrupt them."

Why should Israel come to the negotiationg table when the status quo is, materially speaking, far superior to any negotiated settlement? Hasn't it become clear that the longer Israel occupies the land the more goal posts shift? With no pressure to reach a settlement who could realistically expect peace to be achieved?



There is no realistic peaceful two state solution. That means that Israel is going to stay in control of the territory for the foreseeable future. The problem they face is how to maintain order.

Societies that habitually and consistently repress other societies cannot remain free indefinitely. With demographic pressures within Israel threatening to make Jews a minority and with a large occupied territory that is administer through force and through acts of collective punishment has Israel put its own democracy at risk? Has Israel placed itself a trajectory that will almost inevitably lead it to becoming an explicitly apartheid police state?

I recognize that a lot of people feel that the Palestinians brought these problems on themselves by failing to negotiate peacefully. I request that we try to avoid discussing that topic because it is hopelessly divisive. Instead this thread is devoted to the following topic: what will the twin impacts of a growing Muslim demography inside Israel and a permanent military occupation in the territories have on Israeli society? Do you think that Israeli democracy is at risk? Is there a solution to these problems that I've overlooked?

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peak debt
Mar 10, 2001
b& :(

Helsing posted:

what will the twin impacts of a growing Muslim demography inside Israel and a permanent military occupation in the territories have on Israeli society? Do you think that Israeli democracy is at risk? Is there a solution to these problems that I've overlooked?

I don't think there's really an internal risk to Israel. If the demographic pressure becomes too big there's plenty of ways to organize voter disenfranchisement. With the way the US has waved through anything that Israel proposes no one can honestly claim that some discrimination through qualifications that Jews meet but Muslims can't would create a big reaction from the US. You can create a permanent Jewish voting majority up until the point where the Muslim population becomes so big that a civil uprising against a proper army can succeed. And with proper ghettoization that ratio can be extremely large.

big fat retard
Nov 11, 2003
I AM AN IDIOT WITH A COMPULSIVE NEED TO TROLL EVERY THREAD I SEE!!!! PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY!!!

quote:

The recent, relative success of Salam Fayyad, the prime minister, in bringing some measure of security and good governance to the West Bank notwithstanding, they know their legitimacy is tied to the hope of their people for a just peace - a peace they also know, in their hearts, they cannot deliver. They look to the Americans in hope of salvation, while the Americans can only hope, impotently, for the same.

I take issue with this. Salam Fayyad hasn't unilaterally declared independence yet, and when he does, it will be interesting to see how Israel and the world reacts.

Also, within Israel proper, Jews will always be a majority when the demographics stabilize at 70-30 (which is a drat good incentive to withdraw permanently from the West Bank).

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


Helsing posted:

The Israel-Palestine peace process is over. Israel had been able to rely on domestic lobbyists within the United States, hardball negotiation tactics, and the simple brute fact that its military forces occupy the land in question, to stall any realistic solution to the problem.

You somewhat address this, but the peace process has been over for a long time. Israel gains nothing from pursuing it, all it really has to do is make noises about doing so and then do literally nothing to follow up.

You can't have a peace process when one side has no interest in making peace.

Fraternite
Dec 24, 2001

by Y Kant Ozma Post


THE HORSES rear end posted:

Also, within Israel proper, Jews will always be a majority when the demographics stabilize at 70-30 (which is a drat good incentive to withdraw permanently from the West Bank).

Yeah, this sounds about right. The dream of a Greater Israel died when Sharon forsook it in the late 90s, and now the only real question is to what extent more traditional market forces like gentrification will Judaise and Westernise Palestinian territory.

I think most seizure/settlement activity at this point is a distraction -- the real danger for Palestinians going forward is their land value in places like East Jerusalem and the temptation to sell (to Jews, naturally) that comes with that.

MotoMind
May 5, 2007



The last thread on this development is falling off the page, so I will repost my contribution here. I feel like it is important to look at the US negotiation tactics in the broader context of arms sales to Middle Eastern countries. For example, consider the news story that came out on Friday about the record $60bn arms sale to the Saudi government.

Protests were raised over this sale on account of it threatening Western interests in case of political change in Saudi Arabia, which produced the following response:

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/...view/full/97850

quote:

"America has long been committed to Israel's qualitative military edge (QME) - that is, its ability to prevail against any combination of regional threats," they said.

"While we understand the administration has worked productively with Israel to address Israeli security concerns, we would like to know how these arms sales will affect Israel's QME and what steps we have taken, or are planning to take, to maintain and strengthen Israel's edge."

Mr Gates and Ms Clinton responded in a letter signed on Tuesday that they were confident that Israel's military advantage would not be undercut by the deal because of "special attention" paid to its close ally through US arms sales and other measures.

"Our commitment to Israel's QME is rock solid and long-standing," they wrote.

Last month Tel Aviv signed contracts to buy 20 of Lockheed Martin Corporation's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for about $2.8 billion when the jet becomes available.

The White House has now offered 20 more of the fighters to Israel.

The story here is that the US government is concerned about the stability of the whole Middle East region and considers Israel to the the backbone of its security strategy. The whole logic of the settlement freeze and the peace process is tangential to the its use as a cover for US desire to sell arms to Israel to balance a strategic threat the US itself created.

The only winners are the arms manufacturers, for whom government is a great salesperson and provider of subsidies. The pitch back home is that it helps create jobs.

lurkaccount
Jan 4, 2009

by Diapered Witch


Israel has a democracy?

Handlebar Mustache
Jul 10, 2007

Resistin' Western aggression ain't easy!

Fraternite posted:

I think most seizure/settlement activity at this point is a distraction -- the real danger for Palestinians going forward is their land value in places like East Jerusalem and the temptation to sell (to Jews, naturally) that comes with that.

What are you basing this on? Clearly the illegal settlements and the illegal wall are meant to steal land, how is it a distraction?

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

peak debt posted:

I don't think there's really an internal risk to Israel. If the demographic pressure becomes too big there's plenty of ways to organize voter disenfranchisement. With the way the US has waved through anything that Israel proposes no one can honestly claim that some discrimination through qualifications that Jews meet but Muslims can't would create a big reaction from the US. You can create a permanent Jewish voting majority up until the point where the Muslim population becomes so big that a civil uprising against a proper army can succeed. And with proper ghettoization that ratio can be extremely large.

Obviously the Israeli state has the necessary firepower to destroy any organized resistance as well as the capability to disenfranchise its internal Muslim population. The question I'm asking is what the long term effects of permanently disenfranchising a large demographic chunk of your country based on racial/religious grounds will have on the Israeli government.

THE HORSES rear end posted:

I take issue with this. Salam Fayyad hasn't unilaterally declared independence yet, and when he does, it will be interesting to see how Israel and the world reacts.

Do you have evidence that such a declaration is forthcoming? What do you anticipate Israel's reaction to be?

quote:

Also, within Israel proper, Jews will always be a majority when the demographics stabilize at 70-30 (which is a drat good incentive to withdraw permanently from the West Bank).

The "problem" (obviously how problematic this is is a matter of opinion) is that Arab Israeli's reproduce faster than Jewish Israelis.

fzoul chembryl
Sep 6, 2010

by Ozma


Helsing posted:

The "problem" (obviously how problematic this is is a matter of opinion) is that Arab Israeli's reproduce faster than Jewish Israelis.

I've heard that Haredim have birth rates on par with Arabs. Or very close.

So when the demographics change, not only is it between Arab and Jew, but between religious and non religious Jew.

lurkaccount
Jan 4, 2009

by Diapered Witch


Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism

quote:

Among Jewish respondents, 55 percent support the idea that the state should encourage Arab emigration from Israel and 78 percent oppose the inclusion of Arab political parties in the government. According to a Haifa University study, 74 percent of Jewish youths in Israel think that Arabs are "unclean."
Israeli presence on Palestinian land 'irreversible'

quote:

In a report for the UN General Assembly, Mr Falk said Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem had become so extensive it amounted to de-facto annexation of Palestinian land.

He said this undercut assumptions behind UN Security Council resolutions which said Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory in 1967 was temporary and reversible.
Israel approves loyalty oath

quote:

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, had expressed his support for the proposal before the vote.

"The state of Israel is the national state of the Jewish people, and it is a democratic state for all its citizenship," he said. "There is no other democracy in the Middle East. There is no other Jewish state in the world. Unfortunately, there are many today who tried to blur not only the unique connection of the Jewish people to its homeland, but also the connection of the Jewish people to its state."

Fraternite
Dec 24, 2001

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Handlebar Mustache posted:

What are you basing this on? Clearly the illegal settlements and the illegal wall are meant to steal land, how is it a distraction?

At least in the case of many of the settlements, I don't think it is about the government wanting land -- it's more that there's no reason to stop the settlers, and there's a lot to be gained from opposing the settlers all the while letting them be. I think it's awfully similar to Republicans in the U.S. and abortion, for what that analogy is worth.

The wall too I think was less about land than about appealing to the masses in regards to security. The thing is that nobody in Israel understands the Occupied Territories to be part of Israel -- they're called "the Occupied Territories" in the public lexicon. I think the vast majority of the public and even members of the government actually believe that they will withdraw as soon as conditions permit (whatever that means) and that they have no interest in continuing the occupation.

Maybe an Israeli could offer a better perspective, but my take on things when I was there is that it's about optics and selling security to Israelis because hardly anybody -- not even Likudniks -- actually wants a longterm occupation on Palestinian territory. And for every reason why Americans can't seem to get out of Iraq and NATO countries out of Afghanistan, the Israelis just can't get out of the West Bank. Maybe even the idea of another Gaza is just too scary, or something. But it's not about land per se anymore than Iraq is about land or oil or crap like that; it's just that there seems to be a permanent temporary occupation, and there's a lot of bullshit that accompanies that.

fzoul chembryl posted:

I've heard that Haredim have birth rates on par with Arabs. Or very close.

So when the demographics change, not only is it between Arab and Jew, but between religious and non religious Jew.

Do Haredi kids stay Haredi? I'm not sure if the Haredi population will necessarily grow even if they have more kids than the rest of the Jewish population. There's bound to be significant defection, no?

Y-Hat
Feb 10, 2007

I'll get you, I'll burn you, I'll crush you, I'll flush you down, down
The toilet where you'll spiral around, round
Awwww tick... tick tick tick


I'm fully convinced that what we need is outside initiative. Israel and Palestine both have no motivation to change the status quo. The problem is that outside actors don't either. The U.S. has both parties knee-deep in Israel's poo poo (and there are plenty of people at my college who vote Republican because they think they're better on Israel, which is bullshit- you can vote for either party's candidate and it's a guarantee that they'll be unquestionably pro-Israel), while Arab countries will lose a convenient scapegoat if they get involved in the process.

As far as I'm concerned the situation's hosed for the foreseeable future, so I see no reason why I should care anymore. I want peace but can't see either government putting their hearts into it.

lurkaccount
Jan 4, 2009

by Diapered Witch


Fraternite posted:

At least in the case of many of the settlements, I don't think it is about the government wanting land -- it's more that there's no reason to stop the settlers, and there's a lot to be gained from opposing the settlers all the while letting them be. I think it's awfully similar to Republicans in the U.S. and abortion, for what that analogy is worth.

The wall too I think was less about land than about appealing to the masses in regards to security. The thing is that nobody in Israel understands the Occupied Territories to be part of Israel -- they're called "the Occupied Territories" in the public lexicon. I think the vast majority of the public and even members of the government actually believe that they will withdraw as soon as conditions permit (whatever that means) and that they have no interest in continuing the occupation.

Maybe an Israeli could offer a better perspective, but my take on things when I was there is that it's about optics and selling security to Israelis because hardly anybody -- not even Likudniks -- actually wants a longterm occupation on Palestinian territory. And for every reason why Americans can't seem to get out of Iraq and NATO countries out of Afghanistan, the Israelis just can't get out of the West Bank. Maybe even the idea of another Gaza is just too scary, or something. But it's not about land per se anymore than Iraq is about land or oil or crap like that; it's just that there seems to be a permanent temporary occupation, and there's a lot of bullshit that accompanies that.
Giving the greatest possible benefit of the doubt to the power holders? How novel!

If the wall wasn't about territory, why was it part of a land grab?

If the settlers are concerned about security, why would they deliberately contribute to the death of the peace process while expanding and stirring up (justified) resentment?

Truth is, Israeli leadership doesn't care about security, because any violence can be spun as a reason to further subjugate the Palestinian people and take more of their land and economy, because they see them as no better than rodents.

Handlebar Mustache
Jul 10, 2007

Resistin' Western aggression ain't easy!

Fraternite posted:

At least in the case of many of the settlements, I don't think it is about the government wanting land -- it's more that there's no reason to stop the settlers, and there's a lot to be gained from opposing the settlers all the while letting them be. I think it's awfully similar to Republicans in the U.S. and abortion, for what that analogy is worth.

The wall too I think was less about land than about appealing to the masses in regards to security. The thing is that nobody in Israel understands the Occupied Territories to be part of Israel -- they're called "the Occupied Territories" in the public lexicon. I think the vast majority of the public and even members of the government actually believe that they will withdraw as soon as conditions permit (whatever that means) and that they have no interest in continuing the occupation.

Maybe an Israeli could offer a better perspective, but my take on things when I was there is that it's about optics and selling security to Israelis because hardly anybody -- not even Likudniks -- actually wants a longterm occupation on Palestinian territory. And for every reason why Americans can't seem to get out of Iraq and NATO countries out of Afghanistan, the Israelis just can't get out of the West Bank. Maybe even the idea of another Gaza is just too scary, or something. But it's not about land per se anymore than Iraq is about land or oil or crap like that; it's just that there seems to be a permanent temporary occupation, and there's a lot of bullshit that accompanies that.


Do Haredi kids stay Haredi? I'm not sure if the Haredi population will necessarily grow even if they have more kids than the rest of the Jewish population. There's bound to be significant defection, no?

None of this says why you think that the land being stolen is just a distraction, you're just depicting the Israeli government as victims of Israeli public opinion.

Dr FreeThrow
Jul 3, 2005


Actually right now a major diplomatic effort by Netanyahu's government, the Obama administration, the European Union, Egypt, and others is being undertaken for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

quote:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's seven-member inner cabinet discussed Saturday an offer by the United States to reinstate a freeze on West Bank Settlement construction in return for a package of incentives.

Netanyahu presented Saturday the U.S. offer, which was discussed by Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday, to the forum of seven.
netanyahu - Reuters - November 11 2010

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at their meeting in New York, November 11, 2010.
Photo by: Reuters

According to the offer Israel would stop construction in the West Bank for 90 days. The freeze includes construction that began after the end of the first settlement moratorium on September 26.

The moratorium would not apply to construction in East Jerusalem. The U.S. will not ask Israel to extend the new moratorium when it expires.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator, said the Americans had not officially informed the Palestinians about the details of the proposal, "but they know we have a major problem in not including east Jerusalem".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will put the U.S. plan before Palestinian
decision-makers and call for an immediate session of Arab League officials before announcing an official decision, Erekat said.

In return for an Israeli freeze, the U.S. government would deliver 20 F-35 fighter jets to Israel, a deal worth $3 billion. Moreover, if an Israeli-Palestinian agreement is achieved, the U.S. would sign a comprehensive security agreement with Israel. The U.S. and Israel are to discuss the nature of the new security arrangements in the next few weeks.

According to "The Cable" blog, White House Middle East adviser Dan Shapiro told a group of American Jewish leaders on Friday that U.S. was committed to fighting delegitimization of Israel, and listed recent efforts to advocate on behalf of Israel.

Such efforts included: curbing actions by the United Nations on the Goldstone Report; blocking anti-Israel UN resolutions concerning the Gaza flotilla raid; defeating international resolutions aimed at exposing Israel's nuclear program at the International Atomic Energy Agency; and strengthening pressure on Iran and Syria in regards to their nuclear and proliferation activities.

U.S.-sponsored direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority broke down on September 26 when a 10-month Israeli freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank expired. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he would not restart negotiations with Israel while settlement construction continues.

Haaretz

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Those links really illustrate the phenomenon that concerns me the most: that a racialized state that is surrounded by enemies and has a large internal population of people that are being disenfranchised will almost automatically trend toward totalitarianism.

To this I think we can add the devestating psychological effects of having a country where massive numbers of 18-21-year-olds are put in combat situations. Here, for instance, is an article written by a soldier in community college who recently came home from Iraq:

quote:

War is a drug. When soldiers enter the military from day one, they begin to train and are brain washed to fight and to handle situations in battle. We train and train for combat, and then when we actually go to war, it is reality and worse than what we have trained for. We suffer through different kinds of situations. The Army never taught how to deal with our stress and addictions.

War is a drug because when soldiers are in the Infantry, like me, they get used to everything, and fast. I got used to killing and after a while it became something I really had to do. Killing becomes a drug, and it is really addictive. I had a really hard time with this problem when I returned to the United States, because turning this addiction off was impossible. It is not like I have a switch I can just turn off. To this day, I still feel the addictions running through my blood and throughout my body, but now I know how to keep myself composed and keep order in myself, my mind. War does things to me that are so hard to explain to someone that does not go through everything that I went through. That's part of the reason why I want to go back to war so badly, because of this addiction.

Over in Iraq and Afghanistan killing becomes a habit, a way of life, a drug to me and to other soldiers like me who need to feel like we can survive off of it. It is something that I do not just want, but something I really need so I can feel like myself. Killing a man and looking into his eyes, I see his soul draining from his body; I am taking away his life for the harm he has caused me, my family, my country.

Killing is a drug to me and has been ever since the first time I have killed someone. At first, it was weird and felt wrong, but by the time of the third and fourth killing it feels so natural. It feels like I could do this for the rest of my life and it makes me happy.

There are several addictions in war, but this one is mine. This is what I was trained to do and now I cannot get rid of it; it will be with me for the rest of my life and hurts me that I cannot go back to war and kill again, because I would love too. When I stick my blade through his stomach or his ribs or slice his throat it's a feeling that I cannot explain, but feels so good to me, and I become addicted to seeing and acting out this act of hate, and violence against the rag heads that hurt our country. Terrorists will have nowhere to hide because there are hundreds of thousands of soldiers like me who feel like me and want their revenge as well.

That quote, "War is a Drug", is repeated verbatim in Christopher Hedge's excellent book "War is a Force That Gives us Meaning." An excerpt from that book:

Christopher Hedges, War is a Force that Gives us meaning, New York: Anchor Books, p 10 & 21 posted:

From p. 10: Patriotism, often a thinly veiled form of collective self worship, celebrates our goodness, our ideals, our mercy and bemoans the perfidiousness of those who hate us. Never mind the murder and repression done in our names...

War makes the world understandable, a black and white tableau of them and us. It suspends thought, especially self-critical thought. All bow before the supreme effort. We are one. Most of us willingly accept war as long as we can fold into a belief system that paints the ensuing suffering as necessary for a higher good, for human beings seek not only happiness but also meaning. And tragically war is sometimes the most powerful way in human society to achieve meaning.

From p. 21: Lawrence LeShan in The Psychology of War differentiates between "mythic reality" and "sensory reality" in wartime. In sensory reality we see events for what they are. Most of those who are thrust into combat soon find it impossible to maintain the mythic perception of war. They would not survive if they did. Wars that lose their mythic stature for the public, such as Korea or Vietnam, are doomed to failure, for war is exposed for what it is--organized murder.

But in mythic war we imbue events with meanings they do not have. We see defeats as signposts on the road to ultimate victory. We demonize the enemy so that our opponent is no longer human. We view ourselves, our people, as the embodiment of absolute goodness. Our enemies invert our view of the world to justify their own cruelty. In most mythic wars this is the case. Each side reduces the other to objects--eventually in the form of corpses.

"Force," Simone Weil wrote, "is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates."

Zeitgueist
Aug 8, 2003


Dr FreeThrow posted:

Actually right now a major diplomatic effort by Netanyahu's government, the Obama administration, the European Union, Egypt, and others is being undertaken for the purpose of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.


Haaretz

Israel agrees to temporarily stop stealing land in exchange for more weapons to steal land with, truly a step forward for peace in the middle east.

Handlebar Mustache
Jul 10, 2007

Resistin' Western aggression ain't easy!

That's just a scheme to give Israel even more planes while adding the facade of a peace process. The last "settlement freeze" wasn't a freeze at all, construction actually boomed during the supposed freeze because the wording allowed illegal Israeli settlements to expand as long as they put down a basic foundation for building.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/se...eze-yeah-right/

9/4/2010

quote:

Construction may even proceed at a faster pace than before. In the West Bank, there are few signs that the moratorium has even been put in place. In dozens of settlements, excavators and cement mixers are a regular sight, and Palestinians work in temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Around 2,000 homes are currently under construction — and in most cases, work had begun shortly before or after the start of the moratorium.

One such place is Anatot, a settlement near Jerusalem, that is dotted with flower beds, trees, cute street signs at every entranceway and a street lamp every few meters. Anatot is the perfect suburban idyll. And it’s just one of many settlements where inhabitants can quickly forget that they are settlers.

Now there are plans to expand Anatot. A new neighborhood is being erected with 70 apartments, as the construction manager proudly states. The settlement is being expanded by one-third from its current population of around 200 families.

A few of the new homes have already been completed. They’re attractive cubes build of creamy white Jerusalem sandstone. A colorful sign at the entrance to Anatot advertises “cottages with quality of life.” It’s a dream that costs 1.02 to 1.4 million shekel (around €280,000) — less expensive than a small apartment in West Jerusalem. The construction in the West Bank is massively subsidized by Israel. The land is practically free. After all, it is “state” land. The development costs are paid by the state, and the residents get affordable loans.

Nevertheless, construction is not actually permitted here. The building project is not included in the list of 490 “legal exceptions” which the government managed to make to the settlement moratorium.

The Moratorium ‘Was a Fiction Right from the Outset’

“The construction boom here began shortly before the building freeze,” says Dror Etkes, who is perhaps the Israeli who knows the most about the settlements. For years he has been documenting settlement construction and submitting complaints against illegal projects.

Etkes is sure that active construction is taking place in at least 46 out of 120 settlements. Building projects have only actually been frozen in five settlements, he says. Even government inspectors have found violations of the moratorium in 29 settlements. So far, however, no construction firm has been called to account over those violations. That is despite the fact that the building freeze, for the first time in Israeli history, is not just a “political” requirement, but is actually enshrined in law — meaning that any violation should be legally punished.

Additionally, infrastructure projects are not included in the building moratorium. As a result, a number of sewage treatment plants and water reservoirs are being built in settlements — including on Palestinian land. In Beitar Illit, a new road is being built.

Neither were the associated financial incentives — the only reason that many Israelis choose to live in the West Bank — affected by the moratorium. Those benefits include cheap loans, subsidized rents, tax breaks and countless other perks, all of which could easily be cancelled.

“The difference between the level of construction before and during the moratorium is much, much less than the settlers claim,” says Etkes. “It’s not just that the building freeze has been undermined — it was a fiction right from the outset.” One of the consequences, he says, has been that construction activities have become even more focused on the eastern settlements — in other words, those small, isolated and often radical settlements that would need to be evacuated if a peace agreement were reached. It is expected that the inhabitants of those settlements would defend themselves with force against such a move.



‘Building Freeze Is More Harmful than Useful’
Construction work is also going on in Kfar Adumim. The settlement is significantly larger than the norm — 2,700 people live here in the hills between Jerusalem and Jericho. Among them are two members of the Knesset, the two hardliners Aryeh Eldad and Uri Ariel. 30 houses are to be built here and 50 Palestinian workers are employed on the site. One man, who is busy laying bathroom tiles, says they started work a month before the building freeze came into force. In the beginning, they had 300 men working at full speed to lay as many foundations as possible in the short time.

Etkes sees the circumventing of the building freeze here as a “classic example of the cooperation between the settlers and the government”: Some of the foundations were hastily laid before the building freeze came into force, some afterwards — but nobody bothers to police it. “The building freeze was discussed for half a year, that was enough time for all parties to prepare.”

This is no different from other settlements. Once the moratorium comes to an end, the settlers immediately begin to build. Or, if they do not need housing right away, they can save the foundations as a “reserve” in case of future building freezes. In addition, dozens of settlers’ organizations have submitted building applications to local authorities that could be approved in the coming months.

The tiler will not give his name because he is afraid of losing his job, which pays him a minimum of about €30 a day. But he did say that many of his colleagues began work on the site two days before the construction moratorium in the settlements came into force. He also said that building work is still going on in Har Homa in Bethlehem, even though the building freeze is in force there. Carpenters work at night so as not to draw so much attention.

Fraternite
Dec 24, 2001

by Y Kant Ozma Post


lurkaccount posted:

If the wall wasn't about territory, why was it part of a land grab?

Did you read my previous post? It was drawn to protect the most Jews as possible, with no regard to land. It's all about security for Israelis, cost or land or comfort be damned. The land is incidental.

quote:

If the settlers are concerned about security, why would they deliberately contribute to the death of the peace process while expanding and stirring up (justified) resentment?

Uh, settlers are pretty much the only people who do care about land and that's pretty much all they care about. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to identify them as the practical and political problem that needs to be managed.

quote:

Truth is, Israeli leadership doesn't care about security, because any violence can be spun as a reason to further subjugate the Palestinian people and take more of their land and economy, because they see them as no better than rodents.

This is as ridiculous as saying American leadership doesn't care about security because any violence can be spun as a reason to further pour money into the military-industrial complex to blow up sandniggers or something like this. It's just a bad and inflammatory explanation of why what is getting done is getting done.

The political elites in both countries are terrified of something really bad happening on their watch, and are even more terrified of getting outflanked on the security file by a party in opposition because the public demands total security at any cost. There's no need to draw a caricature of anyone involved.

And I say this not trying to minimise the impact of or justify such a security-at-all-costs mentality. It has a tremendously negative impact, and the people who feel the vast majority of the brunt of that impact are Palestinians. But the evil at play isn't malicious or spiteful or cartoonish -- it's way more banal than that.

Handlebar Mustache posted:

None of this says why you think that the land being stolen is just a distraction, you're just depicting the Israeli government as victims of Israeli public opinion.

That's what democratic governments are, by definition.

I'm not justifying anything, just explaining why the things that happen do happen.

Handlebar Mustache
Jul 10, 2007

Resistin' Western aggression ain't easy!

Fraternite, why is a massive land grab by the Israeli government a distraction?

DirtyDiaperMask
Aug 11, 2003

by Ozmaugh


Helsing posted:

I recognize that a lot of people feel that the Palestinians brought these problems on themselves by failing to negotiate peacefully. I request that we try to avoid discussing that topic because it is hopelessly divisive. Instead this thread is devoted to the following topic: what will the twin impacts of a growing Muslim demography inside Israel and a permanent military occupation in the territories have on Israeli society? Do you think that Israeli democracy is at risk? Is there a solution to these problems that I've overlooked?

Good to hear "Palestinians have contributed to the failure of the peace process through the use of terrorism" is hopelessly divisive but "Israel is a fascist state" apparently is not. Can we blame the Palestinian government for sitting on its hand for nearly the entire length of the 10 month settlement freeze and wasting whatever opportunity it had, since that isn't criticizing Palestinian violence?

The truth is that any sort of lasting settlement is very unlikely for the foreseeable future because no Palestinian government is likely to be willing to give up the right of return or sovereignty over East Jerusalem and no Israeli government is going to be willing to offer them in recognizable terms. At this point the best goal to shoot for is probably work on establishing what final borders would look like, avoiding the thornier issues mentioned above.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

The Israel government has been encouraging and subsidizing settlers to move into the occupied territories so it seems strange to argue that they only care about that land because there are already settlers on it.

For instance, it seems much more plausible to me that the reason the Israeli's don't want to leave is water.

quote:

Israel's control of Arab water
Since 1948 the Israeli authorities have sought to control the majority of the water resources in Palestine.

After the 1967 war Israel gained control of the main Arab water sources in the Middle East,

1. The upper Jordan River basin, which originates from Lebanon and Syria:

Israel Seized the Jordan River and stored its water in Lake Tiberius (the Sea of Galilee), then transported the water from north to south to feed the different areas of Israel. Israel gets 60% of this water, while Jordan gets 25% and Syria 15%, despite its source being within Syria’s borders. It has also prevented the Palestinians from reaching the Jordan River, destroyed all their pumps on the river and evicted the farmers.

2. As a result of the diversion of water from the river by Israel the land on both banks has been affected, while the salt level in the water has increased considerably.

3. Yarmouk River basin shared between Jordan and Syria:

When Israel occupied the Golan Heights, it prevented Syria from benefiting from its water; today 30% of Israel's water comes from the Golan Heights. It also captured the Syrian water source in the Yarmouk River Basin. The Golan Heights is the main source of water flowing to the Jordan River and Lake Tiberius, which provide water to Syria, Jordan and Palestine; this is why Israel refuses to give up these water sources in any negotiations with Syria.

4. Large underground reservoirs in the West Bank, known as the Reservoir of the Mountain and the Mountain-Well; the Palestinians have been unable to have access to them since 1967.

*
When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 it controlled nearly 30% of the Litani River, and during the occupation of Lebanon in 1982 the Israelis benefited from the Wazzani and the Litani’s waters, transferring water from them to Israel, while expelling the Lebanese farmers dependent on them.
*
In 1989 the Israelis took advantage of the Hasbani and Wazzani waters by installing pipes for themselves, and despite withdrawing from Lebanon in 2000 there are still many Israeli artesian wells on the borders which reduce the groundwater in Lebanese territory.
*
Israel uses various means to control the waters of the River Nile, which is 6825 km long and has two main sources; the Equatorial Lakes Region of Southern Sudan and the Ethiopian plateau. Israel tries from time to time to cooperate with Ethiopia to build dams and other facilities to control the Nile waters, seeking to reduce Egypt’s share of water and put pressure on it in order to secure its share of Nile water. This much has been disclosed by senior officials.

Control over the waters of the West Bank and Gaza and the water crisis threaten their populations

Since Israel began its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip it has striven to remain in control of the water resources and diverted water from the Palestinian territories to the cities and settlements set up on the ruins of Palestinian towns destroyed in 1948.

Abdel-Rahman Tamimi, a water expert, says that the water battle with the occupation started early on, with military orders and systematic control of water basins, wells and springs since the occupation of the West Bank started in 1967. According to Mr. Tamimi, the water sources were placed under the control of the Israeli Civil Administration in the 1970s, and even after the Oslo agreement they remained under Israeli control, "which exacerbated the water problem in the West Bank."

The Gaza Strip depends on the coastal underground water reservoir that lies under the Mediterranean Sea between Rafah in the south and north of Mount Carmel, a total area of 2200 km2, of which 400 km2 is located underneath the Gaza Strip. This groundwater is largely independent of the groundwater inside Israel because of the flow of water in an east-west direction into the reservoir; thus, the amount of water available to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip would be reasonable had Israel not confiscated more than 80% of the Palestinian groundwater to make up 20% of the Israelis’ total water consumption which stands at 2 billion cubic metres per annum. Due to this, it is estimated that this underground fresh water source will run dry within the next 8 years.

TOOT BOOT
May 25, 2010



DirtyDiaperMask posted:

Good to hear "Palestinians have contributed to the failure of the peace process through the use of terrorism" is hopelessly divisive but "Israel is a fascist state" apparently is not.

The Palestinian government is largely non-functioning because Israel keeps them from having a functional government. You can't be surprised they don't come up with great peace initiatives when they're kept hanging by a thread on a daily basis.

lurkaccount
Jan 4, 2009

by Diapered Witch


Fraternite posted:

Did you read my previous post? It was drawn to protect the most Jews as possible, with no regard to land. It's all about security for Israelis, cost or land or comfort be damned. The land is incidental.
So...Israel wants land, and part of the reason they want land is some nebulous security concern along with the other reasons I mentioned? What exactly are you arguing here?

quote:

Uh, settlers are pretty much the only people who do care about land and that's pretty much all they care about. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to identify them as the practical and political problem that needs to be managed.
Wait, if settlers are the main problem, and they care about land, why are you even trying to argue that land isn't the major problem? Or the major goal of the (settler-supporting) Israeli state?

quote:

This is as ridiculous as saying American leadership doesn't care about security because any violence can be spun as a reason to further pour money into the military-industrial complex to blow up sandniggers or something like this. It's just a bad and inflammatory explanation of why what is getting done is getting done.
But it's also just as correct, considering that everything we've done for the past several decades has directly increased the threat level against American citizens. The more imperialist we are, the less safe we become and the easier it gets to funnel money to the people who need to get paid. How is this even a controversy? Unless you have an authority fetish and assume the best about them while assuming the worst about...wait, I can see it now.

quote:

The political elites in both countries are terrified of something really bad happening on their watch, and are even more terrified of getting outflanked on the security file by a party in opposition because the public demands total security at any cost. There's no need to draw a caricature of anyone involved.
Yeah, we saw how 9/11 in the US destroyed Republicans and Bush in particular despite evidence that he knew about an imminent attack.

quote:

And I say this not trying to minimise the impact of or justify such a security-at-all-costs mentality. It has a tremendously negative impact, and the people who feel the vast majority of the brunt of that impact are Palestinians. But the evil at play isn't malicious or spiteful or cartoonish -- it's way more banal than that.
Racism isn't malicious or spiteful?

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

DirtyDiaperMask posted:

Good to hear "Palestinians have contributed to the failure of the peace process through the use of terrorism" is hopelessly divisive but "Israel is a fascist state" apparently is not. Can we blame the Palestinian government for sitting on its hand for nearly the entire length of the 10 month settlement freeze and wasting whatever opportunity it had, since that isn't criticizing Palestinian violence?

The truth is that any sort of lasting settlement is very unlikely for the foreseeable future because no Palestinian government is likely to be willing to give up the right of return or sovereignty over East Jerusalem and no Israeli government is going to be willing to offer them in recognizable terms. At this point the best goal to shoot for is probably work on establishing what final borders would look like, avoiding the thornier issues mentioned above.

The "who started it?" and "who is responsible?" arguments have already been played out on these forums endlessly. I thought it would be more interesting to start a discussion based around what the effects of a long term military occupation of the Territories would look like.

What do you think? Since you agree that the prospects of a solution are extremely likely in the short term what will the political and psychological effects of the occupation have on the Israeli population and government? Do you think that I'm overstating the risks? Why?

QuentinCompson
Mar 11, 2009


Fraternite posted:

At least in the case of many of the settlements, I don't think it is about the government wanting land -- it's more that there's no reason to stop the settlers, and there's a lot to be gained from opposing the settlers all the while letting them be. I think it's awfully similar to Republicans in the U.S. and abortion, for what that analogy is worth.

Thing is, if 'the government' (which you keep asserting is far removed from the settlers; this is not the case) doesn't want land, why are the settlements, on the whole, massively subsidized by the government to the tune of construction work, IDF guard, giant guarded roads and checkpoints, and huge incentives for regular Israelis to move to the settlements due to cheap housing and various offers from the government itself?

Your assertion would only work if that wasn't true.

Y-Hat posted:

I'm fully convinced that what we need is outside initiative. Israel and Palestine both have no motivation to change the status quo. The problem is that outside actors don't either. The U.S. has both parties knee-deep in Israel's poo poo (and there are plenty of people at my college who vote Republican because they think they're better on Israel, which is bullshit- you can vote for either party's candidate and it's a guarantee that they'll be unquestionably pro-Israel), while Arab countries will lose a convenient scapegoat if they get involved in the process.

As far as I'm concerned the situation's hosed for the foreseeable future, so I see no reason why I should care anymore. I want peace but can't see either government putting their hearts into it.

Are you going to post this South Park bullshit in every thread that mentions Israel or what? Palestine has plenty of motivation to change the status quo, but Israel won't accept any realistic peace offer, like 'hey maybe stop actively colonizing the land that you say you're ready to hand over to us,' or 'maybe let us have this half of the city that we've been the majority in for over a thousand years, also stop demolishing all the houses we build because it's loving impossible to get a permit for us to build anything while in the meantime you build all this Jew-only housing it's really kind of antagonistic.'

fzoul chembryl
Sep 6, 2010

by Ozma


Y-Hat posted:

I'm fully convinced that what we need is outside initiative. Israel and Palestine both have no motivation to change the status quo. The problem is that outside actors don't either. The U.S. has both parties knee-deep in Israel's poo poo (and there are plenty of people at my college who vote Republican because they think they're better on Israel, which is bullshit- you can vote for either party's candidate and it's a guarantee that they'll be unquestionably pro-Israel), while Arab countries will lose a convenient scapegoat if they get involved in the process.

As far as I'm concerned the situation's hosed for the foreseeable future, so I see no reason why I should care anymore. I want peace but can't see either government putting their hearts into it.

I think you were challenged on this in another thread and didn't respond, so I'd like to ask you what sort of benefit a divided Palestine gets out of this status quo? Israel gets more and more land for their wingnuts and enhanced control over the occupied territories, but I don't see what Palestine, outside of a few corrupt unelected leaders (through US and Israeli support) get for themselves.

I don't think both sides can be blamed equally.

Optimus Subprime
Mar 26, 2005

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?


Israel has no incentive to change course politically since they get everything they want in their slow ethnic cleansing of Palestinians as the Israeli lobby has so effectively created the perception that anything anti-Israeli occupation is racist. In addition to this, the Arabic governments of the middle east have become apathetic to the plight of the Palestinians as long as the refugees are dieing in Palestine as opposed to flooding over their borders. The US needs to pull the majority of aid to Israel to shift the issue, and that will only happen if both foreign aid and military spending are cut to the bone, and that's not too likely any time soon.

Watermelon City
May 10, 2009



Helsing posted:

Those links really illustrate the phenomenon that concerns me the most: that a racialized state that is surrounded by enemies and has a large internal population of people that are being disenfranchised will almost automatically trend toward totalitarianism.
I don't want to derail the thread into a who's the real bad guy debate, but even though Israel and the Arab states will not become close allies in the foreseeable future, things like the Arab Peace Initiative show a real attempt on the part of Arab states to resolve the conflict. Essentially, Arab states would normalize relations with Israel in exchange for Israel's full withdrawal from the occupied territories. Not an unreasonable deal by any stretch of the imagination. It seems like the Israeli government/public are just unwilling to take a chance on anything, even though the alternative to some sort of settlement is violence and Israel's continued status as a pariah state. This is especially frustrating because a two state settlement is not unpopular among Israelis.

Alejandro Sanchez
Apr 24, 2010



QuentinCompson posted:

Are you going to post this South Park bullshit in every thread that mentions Israel or what? Palestine has plenty of motivation to change the status quo, but Israel won't accept any realistic peace offer, like 'hey maybe stop actively colonizing the land that you say you're ready to hand over to us,' or 'maybe let us have this half of the city that we've been the majority in for over a thousand years, also stop demolishing all the houses we build because it's loving impossible to get a permit for us to build anything while in the meantime you build all this Jew-only housing it's really kind of antagonistic.'

Or 'could you maybe please stop assassinating our leaders and killing our civilians and surrounding our people with walls and settlements and soldiers and not letting us have freedom of movement its kind of demoralizing thanks'. Israel controls the peace process 100%. The only way they would let it end is maybe if Palestine ceded the settlements illegally colonized by Israel and recognized Israel as a Jewish-only state and gave up the right to any military, and even that would be a gamble on Palestine's part as there would still be no guarantee that the state of Israel would accept.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Guys I don't disagree with you but please, I really don't think that this forum needs to rehash the "who is responsible" part of the argument. Personally I think its pretty obvious who is responsible but we all know where that argument leads.

I was sorta hoping we could open up new avenues of dialogue by focusing how Israel is hurting itself through this occupation. Ideally we could get some pro-Israel posters to actually weigh in on that question, even if its only to explain why they don't think the occupation is bad for Israel's soul.

lurkaccount
Jan 4, 2009

by Diapered Witch


Helsing posted:

I was sorta hoping we could open up new avenues of dialogue by focusing how Israel is hurting itself through this occupation.

But they aren't hurting themselves at all because they are free from any ramifications of their actions. Only the U.N. seems to raise objections, and they're effectively stymied by the U.S. Israel has won, and will continue to do pretty much whatever it pleases and the only people who will ever suffer for it are the Palestinians and Arabs.

Gilles Duceppe
Nov 23, 2010

by T. Finn


Helsing posted:

the occupation is bad for Israel's soul.
Nations are constructed historical and contingent things, they don't have souls. Israelis can't really "hurt themselves" because they are a divergent group of interests, and you can't discuss those interests in a way that abstracts from causes of the conflict. Reification of Israel just perpetuates the idea that there are intrinsic interests to the state that make cooperation between, say, Muslims and Jews impossible. For example, without reference to particular interests, there is no reason why there would be any conflict at all.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

lurkaccount posted:

But they aren't hurting themselves at all because they are free from any ramifications of their actions. Only the U.N. seems to raise objections, and they're effectively stymied by the U.S. Israel has won, and will continue to do pretty much whatever it pleases and the only people who will ever suffer for it are the Palestinians and Arabs.

Well in material terms they are actually benefiting from the occupation. They have a cheap labour force and access to land and water that they wouldn't otherwise enjoy. My argument is more along the lines that "if Israel continues down this path it will unavoidably become a totalitarian state." A free people cannot subjugate another group indefinitely without doing irreversible damage to the social fabric of their society.

This really isn't supposed to be the next Israel Palestine megathread. In fact I'm sorta using Israel as a prominent example of a phenomenon that is evident in many countries. It could have easily been a thread about America and its imperial wars, I just happened to read the article posted in the op when I was browsing Al Jazeera and thought that it would be a good basis for discussion.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Gilles Duceppe posted:

Nations are constructed historical and contingent things, they don't have souls. Israelis can't really "hurt themselves" because they are a divergent group of interests, and you can't discuss those interests in a way that abstracts from causes of the conflict. Reification of Israel just perpetuates the idea that there are intrinsic interests to the state that make cooperation between, say, Muslims and Jews impossible. For example, without reference to particular interests, there is no reason why there would be any conflict at all.

I agree with this statement and have made similar arguments in the past when other people talked about "national interests." In this case I was using the idea of an "Israeli Soul" as a heuristic device for simplifying a very complex discussion. I admit that I've left myself open to precisely the counter argument that you just deployed, but let me try to reformulate that statement slightly: representative liberal democracy is incompatible with the military occupation of neighboring territories and the systematic disenfranchisement of your internal ethnic minorities.

Y-Hat
Feb 10, 2007

I'll get you, I'll burn you, I'll crush you, I'll flush you down, down
The toilet where you'll spiral around, round
Awwww tick... tick tick tick


Yes I will keep posting "South Park bullshit" in threads like these, deal with it. I just so happen to believe that neither side is worth supporting, is that so wrong? Palestinians are not completely innocent puppy dogs like everybody here has started to believe in the past two years thanks to LF basement jihadists shifting the point of view on this issue. I have never said that both sides have an equal amount of blame (Israel undoubtedly has more to go around).

fzoul chembryl posted:

I think you were challenged on this in another thread and didn't respond, so I'd like to ask you what sort of benefit a divided Palestine gets out of this status quo? Israel gets more and more land for their wingnuts and enhanced control over the occupied territories, but I don't see what Palestine, outside of a few corrupt unelected leaders (through US and Israeli support) get for themselves.
The wingnuts on the Palestinian side get to have an excuse to keep fighting.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

lurkaccount
Jan 4, 2009

by Diapered Witch


But Israel isn't a democracy. It can become more totalitarian, but they're already instituting loyalty oaths. Worrying about how much they have to lose is kind of missing the point, because it isn't much to begin with. And again, I don't think further degeneration concerns most Israelis that much (see my second post).

Y-Hat posted:

Yes I will keep posting "South Park bullshit" in threads like these, deal with it. I just so happen to believe that neither side is worth supporting, is that so wrong? Palestinians are not completely innocent puppy dogs like everybody here has started to believe in the past two years thanks to LF basement jihadists shifting the point of view on this issue. I have never said that both sides have an equal amount of blame (Israel undoubtedly has more to go around).

The wingnuts on the Palestinian side get to have an excuse to keep fighting.
This is an awful post.

What do you think the Palestinians should do? Bend over to make it go quicker?

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skindepth
Jun 22, 2010



Yes, bending over to make it quicker is the general consensus advice from Americans to the Palestinian people. The idea is that A: They can somehow live as second class citizens in a Jewish state and be much better off because Muslims are savages and white man's burden and so on, or B: That their culture will disintegrate amid poverty and occupation to the point that they just sort of end and then, BAM! A land without a people for a people without a land.

I'm expecting that once talks break down there'll be a resumption of suicide bombings and increased terrorism against the Israelis, especially the settlers in the West Bank. Sure Yahweh promised you guys that land, but he never said it wouldn't be littered with shrapnel, pipe bombs, and the corpses of your family. It worked in Gaza, it'll work in the West Bank once Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the PFLP takes control.

Fatah's days are numbered since even they know the peace talks won't work and they wont be able to cling to the peace process, and the Western aid they get for doing so, once that becoems apparent. If Abbas has the balls to unilaterally declare independence, it will still mean the end of him and Fatah since Israel will make a, uh "targeted killing" of him, but at least he'll do a service to the Palestinian cause.

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