19 thoughts on “Haaretz, Ynet Both Blast Olmert’s Permanent Border Plan Instead Calling for Return to 1967 – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. There is a significant difference between previous agreements with Arab states and what is on the table here. In this instance, the other side isn’t a state that can rest easy inside its own borders but a people that seek to move into the area west of the Green Line. In this instance, a part of Jerusalem that carries the ultimate importance to the Jewish people is on the table just as it has become an important symbol for the Palestinians.

    Of course, the biggest hurdle is wishful thinking about agreements and people on the other side with whom Israel can speak. How is Olmert wrong, exactly? He says that they will have a limited amount of time to come to the negotiating table. The terms are the Road Map. If they don’t, why should Israel wait?

    As we have seen, the Palestinians believe that it’s in their interest to wait and postpone any serious commitment to peace and a Palestinian state. Israel would be foolish to continue to let them waste time because time works against Israel in many ways, not the least of which is this cacophony of sites such as this one where the attacks on the state never seem to end.

    Once that fence is closed and a form of separation is imposed for the first time ever between the two peoples, both sides are likely to find that insularity shields them from this war. The Palestinians will truly govern themselves and the Israelis will be able to remove their forces back into Israel proper. At that point, the world will have an interesting decision to make: they could condemn Israel, vilify it and proceed with the usual ugly talk about its actions, thereby prolonging the conflict and ensuring that it takes on new fires; or they could shut up because for the first time in 100 years there will be some peace and quiet in this neighborhood. Needless to say, if the world chooses the second choice, there is a possibility that the Palestinians will revert to their international terrorism circa 1970s. But who knows, maybe they won’t and will for the first time ever actually focus on building the infrastructure of a state and learn to live in peace.

    The fence is a good thing, not a bad one. If the problem is which settlements are kept, the maps actually already exist from the Camp David and Taba talks. Israel can pull back to 2.5% of the West Bank and still retain 80% of the settlers in that small strip. This is how I know the Palestinians have not given up the dream of getting Israel for themselves. After all, if somebody offers you 100% of one territory and between 90%-97% of the other territory, after a century of war and without ever having had a state in hand, it is a no-brainer to accept the deal. Well, Olmert is saying that the key outlines to the deal already exist. If there’s a partner willing to talk and COMPROMISE, then they’ll talk. Otherwise, they should prepare to be shut out.

    Considering, Richard, how adamant you were that Hamas should avoid giving up any of its extreme demands prior to opening negotiations, surely Olmert’s far more lenient and reasonable position should make perfect sense to you.

  2. Once that fence is closed and a form of separation is imposed for the first time ever between the two peoples, both sides are likely to find that insularity shields them from this war.

    Ridiculous. If Israel believes that the Wall is to be the ultimate and unilaterally declared international border bet. the 2 peoples, then there will be permanent war in the minds of Palestinians. The Wall is no “shield” from war. It is a half measure that serves to conceal the need for a permanent solution.

    The Palestinians will truly govern themselves

    They will not govern themselves as long as they do not have a seaport, airport, free movement between Gaza and the West Bank & territorial contiguity bet. E. Jerusalem and the W. Bank. The Wall only contributes to the conviction that these conditions cannot be met & therefore the Palestinian “state” you envision is a non-starter.

    At that point, the world will have an interesting decision to make: they could condemn Israel, vilify it and proceed with the usual ugly talk about its actions, thereby prolonging the conflict and ensuring that it takes on new fires; or they could shut up because for the first time in 100 years there will be some peace and quiet in this neighborhood.

    Ah, yes in this best of all possible worlds, no doubt the world will turn to Israel, get down on bended knee and thank it for showing the way toward tolerance and understanding between peoples. You are living in cloud cuckoo land my friend.

    The fence is a good thing, not a bad one.

    The Wall, if built on the Green Line would’ve been an acceptable response to Palestinian terror. As it is built in contravention of international law and the Palestinians rebel against it, it can be nothing BUT a bad thing.

    After all, if somebody offers you 100% of one territory and between 90%-97% of the other territory, after a century of war and without ever having had a state in hand, it is a no-brainer to accept the deal.

    I love how you chicken hawks think. You enjoy promoting maximalist positions which you urge Israel to defend to the last ounce of their blood (not you own, mind you). And then you tell the Palestinian people what’s good for them. That’s what I call effrontery. If you think you know what’s best for the Palestinians perhaps you should join their negotiating team when they form one. I’m sure they’d welcome you telling them what’ s best for them.

    Considering, Richard, how adamant you were that Hamas should avoid giving up any of its extreme demands prior to opening negotiations,

    I don’t tell Hamas what it should do (only you do that). I merely suggested that some of the conditions that Israel has set for negotiations are unreasonable.

    surely Olmert’s far more lenient and reasonable position should make perfect sense to you.

    I don’t appreciate your snarky, goading tone. Would you can it? I’ve never used the term “lenient” or “reasonable” in describing Ehud Olmert and I doubt I ever will (though it would give me pleasure if he surprised me and adopted more reasonable positions regarding the conflict).

  3. First, Richard, thanks for this rather hopeful post – I’m glad that the notion of a withdrawal to the Green Line remains active in the Israeli politial dialogue.

    Secondly, it seems to me your commenter is arguing from a falacious premise – that the Palestinians are unwilling to negotiate. From this it follows that Israel must draw borders unilaterally and take whatever measures are necessary to protect itself from Palestinian attacks.

    When you look at the facts, this is sheer nonsense. During the whole time Fatah was in power, Abbas repeatedly requested final status negotiations. The Palestinian Authority had recognized Israel, and was entirely willing to negotiate a permanent peace with mutually agreeable borders.

    Israel threw away a desirable peace partner in Fatah, and now needs to deal with a tougher one in Hamas – but that does not mean negotiation is impossible. Quite the contrary. Hamas has refused to recognize Israel but has not refused to negotiate. The leadership has made it clear that Hamas would commit to long-term peaceful coexistence with Israel in the context of a territorial settlement based on the Green Line.

    In most cases, warring parties have conflicting claims and ideologies as is the case with Israel and Hamas. It’s absurd for one party to insist that the other recognize all its claims as a prerequisite for negotiations. Rather, the purpose of negotiations is to settle conflicting claims.

    As for the Road Map – Israel has violated its terms as flagrantly as the Palestinians, by expanding its settlements in the West Bank. As the Road Map calls for disarmament of miltant factions in the first phase, it also calls for a freeze on Israeli settlement activity in the first phase. The Road Map has proved itself to be – quite literally – a nonstarter and it is probably time to scrap it and come up with a new diplomatic framework for peace talks.

    I’d also point out that Hamas has adhered diligently to a ceasefire for over a year; while Israel has gone on killing Palestinians right and left, most recently a ten year old girl.

    Your commenter betrays himself as an advocate of Israeli expansionism and his argument is simply self-serving. He setst up a Palestinian straw man with statements like “the Palestinians believe that it’s in their interest to wait and postpone any serious commitment to peace and a Palestinian state,” and then knocks him down.

    It’s no suprise that the pro-expansionists rely on weak, mendacious tricks like this. What else can they do? There is no legitimate case to be made for Israel’s 30-year policy of illegal expansion beyond the Green Line. To support it rhetorically is simply to use words to rationalize theft by force.

    Needless to say, your answer is entirely convincing. Keep up the good work, Richard!

  4. http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/695844.html

    Read the bottom part of the article, Richard, where it tells us the Egyptians just stopped 1.5 tons (!!!!!!) of explosives from being smuggled into Gaza. This is just in light of your previous comments seeking evidence that the Palestinians have increased their acquisition of arms. If this one was stopped, how many do you suppose have gotten through?

  5. It is alarming to know such armaments are entering Gaza because one doesn’t know what will be their ultimate use–against Israel or against Palestinians. But one must also know which faction was doing the smuggling. If it was Fatah or Hamas this would be deeply alarming and cast doubt on the sincerity of either in saying it favors accomodation with Israel. If it was Islamic Jihad or PFLP, it would also be alarming but should be put into context of the hudna, which IJ has rejectecd.

  6. Why do you keep differentiating between the groups? Have they behaved differently with respect to Israel or have they all committed terrorist acts against Israeli civilians? Since when is Hamas willing to reach an accomodation with Israel?! That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. “Yes, we will agree to begin talks with Israel about a long term cease fire is Israel moves back to 1949 lines and lets all the Palestinians move into it.” Fatah isn’t any better. As I keep telling you, they have been responsible for more terror attacks than Hamas or Islamic Jihad combined.

  7. Why do you keep differentiating between the groups? Have they behaved differently with respect to Israel

    They most assuredly have. I’ve explained my position on this before here in conversations with you. Hamas and Fatah have observed a hudna for “over a year” as Andrew writes in his comment above. You mention that Hamas broke the hudna once but that appears the exception that proves the rule in this case. If Hamas observed the hudna but nevertheless smuggled weapons into Gaza which it stockpiled in the eventuality of renewed hostilites against Israel, then I’d be deeply disappointed in Hamas & might reevaluate my current cautiously optimistic view of them.

    Islamic Jihad never accepted the hudna. As far as I’m concerned they’re dirt. I have no use for them. I’m guessing without having any proof that such smuggling would be done on their behalf.

    The PFLP is, I’m sure, desperate to avenge the snatching of Ahmed Saadat from Jericho jail and I wouldn’t be surprised if they might be involved in such smuggling. If that IS the case, then this would be a perfect example of Israel’s bellicose actions inducing a terrorist response fr. the other side. I know this notion would repel you since you believe that Israel ONLY responds to Palestinian terror but never causes it by its own actions.

  8. “Why do you distinguish among the groups?” is one of those comments that seems to betray an underlying (I hope unintended) racism – as in “all the Arabs are the same, they all want the same thing – why distinguish between them?” Imagine if someone said “What’s the difference between Labor and Likud? – they’re all Jews.” That would be an offensive statement, and so is the same (lack of) reasoning applied to the Palestinians.

  9. Dear Andrew,

    Thank you for your kind concern about my views of other people and groups. Since we’re making generalizations I guess I should chime in. I think, for example, that all people who view somebody as racist because he argues that terror groups and their attacks on civilians with respect to their victims resemble each other, are profoundly stupid.

    Now, now, don’t get all upset. I’m sure you weren’t calling me a racist for bunching terror groups that target civilians. Right, I mean you’d have to be pretty stupid to connect those dots, and you don’t strike me as stupid.

    Of course, the irony of your comment should not go unmentioned. Dear Andrew, if you think that racism is defined by the inability to distinguish between groups such as, for example, Labor or Likud, then guess who meets your categorizations? That’s right, the people who send people out to bomb the shit out of any Israeli that walks, dines, gets on buses, studies at the university or is going home from the Western Wall be they Laborites, Likudniks or even Meretzniks. Care to guess who that might be (careful now, you don’t want to get into a racist mode of thinking here)?

  10. Did I hit a nerve there?

    Had you forgotten that the Israelis also drop bombs on apartments, cars, neighborhoods and residential streets in the teritory they occupy? And that they have killed four times as many Palestinians as the Palestinians have killed Israelis?

    In any case, you are confused. You are not describing discrimination, but indiscriminate violence.

    Force – whether it takes the form of suicide bombings, airplane bombings, missiles or territorial seizure – does not solve conflicts. It can influence the terms of the debate, giving one or the other side an advantage – but, at a terrible cost.

    There are huge differences between Palestinian factions, just as there are between Israeli factions. They have different philosophies, histories, goals and strategies. To understand this is critical in pursuing a political solution to the conflict. If we refuse to analyze what would motivate Hamas to make peace – what constraints and motives operate on the movement, the extent and conditions under which Hamas could be trusted – and instead dismiss them generically and naively as implacable terrorists, we forclose the option of a political solution. It often seems to me that this is exactly what Israel is trying to do, as it feels it has the upper hand and nothing to gain from negotiations.

    The bleak alternative to a political solution was summarized quite well by Jeff Halper:

    Israel believes it can beat the Palestinians so it takes a win-lose approach. “We can beat them. We can create a Bantustan in a way that South Africa couldn’t, because the credibility that Zionism has which apartheid never had, because of unequivocal American support, and because we’re able to demonize and isolate the Palestinians. We can get away with it and in the end we’ll wear down the Palestinians,” and we see this every day, “to the point where they’ll cry ‘uncle.’”

    The Palestinians, I think strengthened in that sense by Hamas, look at it in a very different way. They say, “You know what? Do whatever you want to do.” In a sense, I think their strategy is one of attrition. In other words, “We don’t have the power to fight you but we can take the punches. We can hunker down. We can survive, and in the end we do have the power,” because the Palestinians are the gatekeepers.

  11. Of course, I sympathize with Andrew’s perspective more than The Middle’s on this subject. But I have a slightly different take. Does the Israeli government and military act in ways that are racist toward Palestinians and Israeli Arabs? You bet. Not least of which is the perspective of Likudniks who love to lump all Palestinian nationalists together into the same Islamic terror camp. Netanyahu’s colorful, but mendacious “Hamastan” label for Palestine is but one example of such racism.

    The fact that some of what Israeli leaders say & do might not be intentionally racist makes it no less so, especially since the inherent racism has been pointed out to them by many sources including their own citizens.

    And such racism does not argue against Palestinian militants being racists too in the ways The Middle mentioned. Perhaps racism is too strong a word for this particular discussion. But I think indiscriminate violence & ideological slurs, whether perpetrated by one side or the other, do the most damage to hopes for a solution of the conflict.

  12. No, use of the term racism, like the use of the term bantustans, apartheid, etc., etc., is just bullshit use of language from other conflicts intended to provide shorthand for the less-than-knowledgeable observer.

    Oh, and Andrew, I was just making sure that the ignorant reader understood clearly that just because somebody accused another of racism, doesn’t make it so.

    Your comments about Israel indiscriminately dropping bombs are just as false as your assertion of racism. So is the assertion that somehow these terror groups are different when what it boils down to is that whether they are Marxists or Muslim Brotherhood, they go into crowded areas full of as many Jews as they can find and try to kill and maim as many as they can. Go ahead and dispute that point instead of all your dancing around the obvious and equivocation by trying to blame Israel for its defense of its citizens. Remember, Israel was out of Areas A. Completely out.

  13. No, use of the term racism, like the use of the term bantustans, apartheid, etc., etc., is just bullshit

    One man’s bullshit is another man’s gold (i.e. compost). I find these terms quite useful in describing living conditions for Palestinians & neither Andrew nor I are “less than knowledgeable observers.”

    Tell me, have you ever lived on the W. Bank (not in a settlement). Have you ever spent any time in a Palestinian town or village? Have you ever spent any time talking to a Palestinian living in the W. Bank? Gee, I’m guessing the answer would be no to all three. So how do you know what it’s like to be a Palestinian today? What do you know about living with roadblocks, impeded travel, checkpoints, land expropriation, settlement expansion that encroaches on local villages, etc. What gives you the right to call terms like ‘apartheid’ and ‘bantustan’ propaganda when you don’t know the first thing about real life in the Territories (except insofar as IDF spokespeople describe it for you).

    Of course those terms make you feel uncomfortable because in your world Israel is nothing like apartheid S. Africa. Israel has only good and noble intentions. Israel is the “light unto the nations,” right?

    I was just making sure that the ignorant reader understood clearly that just because somebody accused another of racism, doesn’t make it so

    First Andrew and I are “less than knowledgeable observers” and now my readers are “ignorant.” Phew, Middle, you sure know how to make friends and influence people, don’t you?! And what do you think you are–a tutor for my “ignorant readers” trying to prevent their being indoctrinated with anti-Israel propaganda? I bet that is why you hang out here. If so, it’s deeply insulting both to me and my ignorant readers.

  14. First of all, you should reread carefully. Rather than calling either of you unknowledgeable, I was referring to people out there who may not be aware of how false these terms are. In fact, what I am calling those who use those terms is – to use your excellent word – propagandists. You use this shorthand to manipulate those who don’t know enough to assess whether there is validity to the accusations or not.

    As for your readers, I have no idea who they might be and chances are you only know some. I’m sure many have a good handle on the conflict and many do not. Either way, using terms like bantustans is intended to evoke memories of South African apartheid and is pure manipulation.

    As for my interaction with Israel, Israelis, Palestinians, the territories, etc., I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed to know that I have had numerous interactions with all. I haven’t visited in a couple of years so you can make the claim that I haven’t been recently, but I have lots of friends there, including some of the far Left and some in academia with political science and modern history as their fields of scholarship. I’m afraid my information comes from many sources, although I do include the IDF spokesperson as one and I have great faith in what they announce. So should you.

    As for insulting people, I don’t recall calling anybody a racist, do you? I did note, however, that Mr. Schamess has still not addressed the simple question of how the Palestinian groups we’re discussing perceive Israelis in their violence and how that violence ties them all into one group. It’s okay, Andrew, you don’t really have a response because it’s clear I’m right.

    “what it’s like to be a Palestinian today? What do you know about living with roadblocks, impeded travel, checkpoints, land expropriation, settlement expansion that encroaches on local villages,”

    Well yeah, and also there is land expropriation by Palestinians like in the two villages that are forcing Israel to create the E-1 project because they keep expanding into each other. Or, for example, the large number of Palestinians who have moved into the Western part of the fence in Jerusalem so that they don’t – heaven forbid – not end up under Israeli jurisdiction. Or, for example, all the Palestinian villages that planted young olive trees aggressively right up to the borders of certain settlements because the Israel Supreme Court ruled that settlements may not grow by taking over Palestinian land that is being used for any purpose (yes, I am aware that some settlements have violated this rule). This is a war over land, Richard, and both sides are fighting it and doing so aggressively. As for checkpoints and roadblocks, you’ll forgive me but going from checkpoints and roadblocks to apartheid and bantustans is absurd. And again, I remind you for the umpteenth time, Israel was out of many of these areas and the Palestinians forced them to return with an orgy of attacks in 2001 and 2002. Israel could be out of there without the violence. Israel could be out of there if every time they let up some Palestinians wouldn’t try to come through and launch an attack on Israelis. Yesterday the Israelis opened the Karni Crossing for Gaza and within less than an hour they had to re-close it because intelligence notified them that there was a terror warning. They had re-opened it to allow food and humanitarian aid, but had to close it because some of these groups had decided that they would use the opportunity to attack. Is that racism? Apartheid? Nope, that is simple self-preservation in a time of war. Who should the average Palestinian blame for this? How about blaming the groups that wanted to launch the attack?

  15. I was referring to people out there who may not be aware of how false these terms are.

    NOT false & you provide no support for the argument they are.

    You use this shorthand to manipulate those who don’t know enough to assess whether there is validity to the accusations or not.

    Crap. My readers are far more intelligent that you give them credit for. And I’d thank you for not assuming they are dolts about this subject. You insult them & only betray your own condescension in comments like this.

    using terms like bantustans is intended to evoke memories of South African apartheid and is pure manipulation.

    More crap. If the shoe fits wear it. And it fits fairly well in this circumstance I’d say.

    As for my interaction with Israel, Israelis, Palestinians, the territories, etc., I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed to know that I have had numerous interactions with all. I haven’t visited in a couple of years so you can make the claim that I haven’t been recently, but I have lots of friends there, including some of the far Left and some in academia

    That is only a partial answer to my question. I asked how well you knew Palestinians or Palestinian life. I didn’t ask how well you knew Israel or Israelis since that is not relevant to my question or your arguments (which make claims about Palestinian life about which you know very little). You reply “I’ve had numerous interactions with all.” What is an “interaction?” It can meet slipped change to the barista or it can mean living with a Palestinian family for six months in their village. Which is it? And you never answered my question about the nature of your “interaction” with Palestinians. You say “I have lots of friends there” but appear to allude to Israelis (again a question I’m not asking). I’d like to know about your Palestinians friends (if you have any).

    my information comes from many sources, although I do include the IDF spokesperson as one and I have great faith in what they announce. So should you.

    I bet you do hold a valued spot in your heart for IDF spokespeople since they reflect your world view so well. I’d thank you for not telling me what I should think about such flacks. Think what you want about them & leave my own freedom of thought to myself thank you.

    it’s clear I’m right.

    And if you close your eyes really tight, concentrate really hard, & repeat it 30 times backwards, it just might become true. But I doubt it.

    there is land expropriation by Palestinians like in the two villages that are forcing Israel to create the E-1 project because they keep expanding into each other.

    This is really one of yr all time whoppers & I’d like to put flashing lights around it so all my readers can read it. Get this everyone, the PALESTINIANS are at fault for Israel’s land grabs because if they would just mind their manners, continue living in their dusty hovels originally meant to house 4 family members for those which now have 8 or 10, then Israel wouldn’t have to steal the land for its biggest new settlement. That’s rich. Thanks for entertaining me so with such vivid fantasy. You oughta take this show on the road. Maybe CAMERA would jet set your around the country talking to impressionable young people on campuses & telling them how the Occupation is all the Palestinians fault.

    the large number of Palestinians who have moved into the Western part of the fence in Jerusalem so that they don’t – heaven forbid – not end up under Israeli jurisdiction.

    More richness. The Palestinians actually want to live under Israeli law and are fleeing to what will supposedly become Israel proper in order to do so??? Are you sure you’ve not taken some sort of medication that induces delusions?

    This is a war over land, Richard, and both sides are fighting it and doing so aggressively

    More utter stupidity. It IS a war over land. A war in which Israel has almost all the weapons and the Palestinians fight with the equivalent of a slingshot. Israel not only has the literal weapons, it has powerful administrative tools which grab the land and flip it for Israeli use. To think that the Palestinians are equal adversaries in this war is simply another one of your preposterous, deluded statements. This again shows how woefully little you know what it’s like to live ON THE GROUND in the Occupied Territories.

    As for checkpoints and roadblocks, you’ll forgive me but going from checkpoints and roadblocks to apartheid and bantustans is absurd.

    More delusions. Checkpoints and roadblocks are critical tools in destroying the contiguity between Palestinian areas. If you can’t travel, can’t trade, can’t get to hospital, can’t get to school, and can’t get to your farmland, you’re in effect living in a bantustan. If one was being VERY charitable to Israel one might argue that the bantustan effect is not intentional because Israel is only using checkpoints for security purposes. But I’m of the opinion that these obstacle to human intercourse are intentional disruptions in Palestinian life. But even if they’re not they still create a bantustan and are reprehensible.

    the Israelis opened the Karni Crossing for Gaza and within less than an hour they had to re-close it because intelligence notified them that there was a terror warning. They had re-opened it to allow food and humanitarian aid, but had to close it because some of these groups had decided that they would use the opportunity to attack.

    Spoken like the red-blooded true believer that you are. How do you know whether the reason Israel closed the crossing was the one they stated? What evidence have they provided to substantiate this claim? None that I know.

    They only opened that crossing after some very hard lobbying by Condi Rice. Closing it after one hr. and saying it’s due to a terror warning allows them to mollify Rice by saying we tried and also allows them to close it once again since they never wanted it opened to begin with. After all, these are the same Israelis who constantly announce they’ve reclosed the borders due to terror threats WHEN THEY WERE NEVER OPEN TO BEGIN WITH. As the new Chuck Brodsky song (about Pres. Bush but apt in this case as well) says: “Liar, liar pants on fire.”

    You say I’m cynical. I say you’re gullible beyond belief.

  16. No, Israel has no reason to keep that crossing closed other than security. As we have seen numerous times in the past, when crossings open, terrorists use the opportunity to get through. Why do you not accept the relatively simple premise that these terror groups that have been more or less stuck in Gaza since the last opening of the crossing were itching to get out and cause some harm to the Israelis?

    This isn’t a far-fetched premise, this has happened numerous times.

    My interaction with Palestinians has been primarily with Palestinian academics and relatively prominent and well-educated members of the Palestinian “elite” (read: old-line families like Bargoutis and Nashashibis), as well as many Christian Palestinians. I’m not sure how that makes my points more or less valid. Nobody is debating that the Palestinians have it tough. I am debating that it need not be like this.

    —————–

    Apartheid (this is a cut and paste from a post of mine at a different site, I don’t have the time to rewrite):

    Finally, the key issue being apartheid or lack thereof in Israel, I don’t think that making this claim defines a person as an antisemite. It is simply a mistaken view that has been promulgated by people who have an interest in linking a grievous system in SA to one that isn’t in Israel. But why don’t I help by pointing you to your friend Mobius who gives us an article from a South African Jew living in Israel who fought against apartheid when he was still living in SA.

    http://www.jewschool.com/israpartheid.htm

    Oh, and all those Arabs living in Israel who are about to vote for their representatives of choice in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), as well as all those Arabs who live in the territories and have just voted in Hamas as their new government would probably also like to remind you that in apartheid SA, blacks were not allowed to vote at all.

    They may also want to remind you that they are free to marry whomever they like, including Jews, unlike in SA where blacks couldn’t even share the beach with whites, much less marry them. Of course, Arabs can also ride the same bus and sit next to Jews in Israel, as we well know from some very explosive suicide bombers who did just that, but would have had a challenging time doing so in SA. The list goes on, but I think the point is made. I know it’s easy to use shorthand to describe a situation, and it’s helpful to the Palestinians to paint their cause as this, um, black and white conflict where they suffer as did the blacks and coloreds in SA, but it’s just not so.

    Why not paint it for what it is: a war over land that two people seek as their own. One side is the weaker and one is the stronger, but at the same time, the stronger side is under constant threat of destruction and war, and happens to be far weaker than its enemies when they are looked at collectively.
    ——————

    Checkpoints: you can call them political tools, but the fact is that many checkpoints are mobile, not static. If your comment was right about them being used for breakup of contiguity, this would not be the case. Checkpoints make Palestinian lives much harder, but they also protect Israeli lives. They are there for security and have been effective in the past. Just the other day, I provided you with a link to a boy who had been captured at a checkpoint carrying a bomb. If you can find another way to protect Israelis, let me know. I have one, by the way, it’s called the Security Fence.

    ———

    Landgrabs: Why is it okay for you to claim that in these DISPUTED territories, only the Israelis may not build? We’ve discussed 242 and the issue of the territories being in dispute is clear enough that the PA tried in ’99 to establish a position that would make them “occupied.” But that’s minutae that makes your eyes glaze over. The question is, why is it okay for the Palestinians to build their villages to create facts on the ground under the assumption that they will not have to negotiate and that they have every right to do so while Israel has no right to do so? Why is it that Palestinians can do whatever they like and whatever it is – building houses, launching attacks, smuggling weapons, rejecting Israel as a Jewish state, launching rockets, teaching from textbooks that perpetuate the conflict, inciting against Israel and Israelis at the leadership and imam level, inciting against Israel AND Jews internationally and in diplomatic circles, nullifying Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, etc., etc. – you will defend them in one way or another?

    As for dusty hovels, you might want to revisit the territories some time soon. There are numerous homes that are anything but dusty hovels. Also, to remind you, the Palestinian standard of living used to be higher before their terrorist groups made it impossible for Israel to trust letting through any Palestinians. Also, Israel is not to blame for the high birth rate. As I recall, it was Arafat who told his people that the womb could be another Palestinian weapon against Israel. However, it’s interesting to see that you believe larger families deserve larger homes since that has been the Israeli claim with respect to growing settlements. I thought you were opposed to Jewish settlements in the territories.

    Palestinian poverty surely exists, but what does that have to do with anything, or does Egypt not have rampant poverty? Just as the Palestinians seek to secure access to Jerusalem and make it their own, the Israelis want to secure Jerusalem for themselves so if you wish to condemn one, you should condemn the other.

    But the most interesting point you make is that you think Palestinians are not fleeing into Israel proper before the fence goes up completely. Not only is there a flood in Jerusalem of these people, but in case you had any doubts, simply read up on the reaction of Arab Israelis whenever somebody proposes that they become attached to the Palestinian state when it comes about. They refuse mightily regardless of who proposes it. If it’s somebody on the Left, they object on the grounds of citizenship rights, and if it’s somebody on the Right, they complain that it’s racism.

    Anyway:

    http://www.jewishreview.org/Archives/Article.php?Article=2003-12-01-1301

    and just in case a Jewish publication doesn’t do it for you:

    http://www.palestinecampaign.org/archives.asp?xid=1507

    Hmmm…Palestinians clamoring to end up on the Israeli side of the fence…

  17. The Middle: I have absolutely no interest in our discussions droning on & on over these issues so I won’t be responding to yr last comment. And my silence in this particular case does not imply assent regarding virtually anything you said. Pls. find something new to comment on here & let this thread go.

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