Hamas and Fatah agree again

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  • #26
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Put simply, if you care too look, you will find much extremism and attacking of innocent civilians on both sides, and backing one over the other will only bring more death and destruction on both sides.

I am not backing one side over the other, in fact I believe both sides to be responsible for the continued conflict, and I hate the fact that my country has (at times) blindly supported Isreal.

But I also believe that only the Palestinians have the power to stop it by halting all attacks for good. Isreal could do the same (as they have in the past), but I have little confidence that would end the attacks from the other side.

So many seem so obsessed with the question of who is right and who is wrong and who started it etc., when all that talk will solve nothing. The only thing that will solve anything will be to stop killing eachother and end the cycle of violence.

This is esentially what the article you linked says as well:

I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country.

Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth.
 
  • #27
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kyleb said:
The "war" ends with ether Palestinians being granted civil rights by Israel, or Israel acknowledging Palestine's right to exist so they can finally have sovereignty over what little of their homeland they have yet to cede their right to. That choice is in Israel's hands given it's overwhelming military superiority, as it always has been, which makes this not rightly a war. From that position of dominance, Israel has long since "decided not to decide", and hence this conflict continues.

Anyway, for a bit of historical perspective on the conflict, I recommend this 1938 article from Gandhi.
Your arguments make more sense to me than the pro-Israeli nitpicking, and Gandhi's words are compelling.

In another thread you wrote:

kyleb said:
... I argue the details of the history are trivial for anything but discrediting those who choose to selectively recount it to perpetuate such conflicts, and most such people will simply jump from one argument to anther as they fall anyway, which becomes a massive waste of time. For the rest of us, effort is far better spent on understanding the current realities, so we can finally start working to achieve a just two-state solution under international law.
...
It means we need to address reality as it exist now, including Israel refusal to give Palestinians civil rights in defense of it's ethnic-nationalist nature, Hence, we must convince Israel to respect Palestine's right to exist as a sovereign nation in what little of their homeland Palestinians still hold legal right to, and arrange compensation for the refugees Israel has displaced. That is the two-state solution Israel has been allowed to disregard over decades of US backing.
...
Palestinians, refugees and otherwise, and Israelis as well, would be helped though a just two-state solution on the basis of international law, as outlined in the Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, as the vast majority of the world votes for, as they as has been done for decades, with only US veto power over the Security Council holding back enforceable resolutions to end this conflict.

Ok, so "address(ing) reality as it exists now" ... :

Given that the policies and actions of Israel and the United States have been the main obstacles to peace in the Mideast and to a just, two-state Palestine-Israel solution, then ... what?

Assuming that a two-state solution is possible (some commentators seem to think that it's unlikely, but if Hamas and Fatah can unite then that would help) what are some strategies for achieving it -- including what sorts of nonviolent things can interested individuals do to help?

Since it seems that a just solution to the problem isn't a goal of the major American or Israeli political parties, then where might one find a list of reputable, non-violent groups whose mission is to pressure the US and Israel to do right by the Palestinians.
 
  • #28
tiny-tim
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Gandhi 70 years ago

This is esentially what the article you linked says as well:

I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country.
Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth.

erm :redface: … Gandhi was a pacifist who believed that every international conflict could and should be solved by pacifism …

it worked for Indians in India because we Brits didn't (usually :redface:) use violence against the Indians …

it really doesn't apply when the pacifist side can't rely on the other side to renounce violence :frown:
Gandhi's words are compelling.

Gandhi's words are 70 years out-of-date, and even at the time were written by a South African with almost no knowledge of the Middle East.

Here's another extract from that article, showing his blind faith that pacifism by the Jews would be successful, and his generosity with Jewish lives …
And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it the wrong way.

They can offer satyagraha in front of the Arabs and offer themselves to be shot or thrown in to the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them.

He also advocates the following racist restriction on the Jews …
Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth.
… requiring Jews to behave better than everyone else is simply racist. :frown:
Given that the policies and actions of Israel and the United States have been the main obstacles to peace in the Mideast and to a just, two-state Palestine-Israel solution, then ... what?

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Yes, given that, the whole situation becomes remarkably clear! :biggrin:
:wink: we can all agree on that!
 
  • #29
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So many seem so obsessed with the question of who is right and who is wrong and who started it etc., when all that talk will solve nothing.
Who's right and who's wrong and who started it means everything. We Americans are supposed to be on the side of freedom and justice for all people. If we find that, instead, our government has occasionally taken the side of tyranny and oppression, then shouldn't we at least speak out about that?

My current personal opinion on this is that the US government should force the Israelis out of the occupied territories and facilitate the establishment of an autonomous, sovereign, and contiguous Palestinian state in the regions where it was intended to be established years ago. This could be done in an orderly and systematic way that protects innocent Israelis as well as innocent Palestinians who want nothing more than to live their lives free from tyranny and oppression.

The only thing that will solve anything will be to stop killing each other and end the cycle of violence.
There can't be peace without justice. A two-state solution already gives Israel a rather large portion of land that it's not morally entitled to. But it seems that they want all of it. And the intransigence of the Israeli position, for whatever reason(s), is what is perpetuating the suffering of millions of Palestinians.
 
  • #30
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tiny-tim said:
... it really doesn't apply when the pacifist side can't rely on the other side to renounce violence ...
The restrictions forced on Palestinians by Israel, and the continued colonization of Palestinian lands, constitute a most insidious form of violence imho.

I don't think Gandhi was being racist, and I don't think it's unreasonable to require (wrt the current situation) that the "chosen people" show just a bit less hypocrisy in their actions.

The right and wrong of the Palestine-Israel situation seems clear enough to me from what I've read so far, and of course it's in the interest of the oppressors to obfuscate things.
 
  • #31
Art
The US position seems to be definitely shifting. Indirect acknowledgement of Hamas by accepting a unity Palestinian body is a big step forward. The $900 million the US are pledging to rebuild Gaza is another indication of a major policy change. It is difficult to see the Obama administration using all this US taxpayers money to build Gaza back up and then allowing Israel to destroy it again using weapons supplied by US taxpayers money.

Obama's special envoy George Mitchell has said in the past he wants the economic blockade on Palestinians lifted, a halt on settler expansion and the closure of so called outpost settlements. Since his appointment he has already dismissed Netanyahus so called 'Economic freedom for Palestine' plan

How Israel will react is uncertain. Undoubtedly they will try to delay and circumvent these measures and although they absolutely need US monetary and military support they will probably try to do as little as possible without actually seriously teeing off the US. There were unusually massive shipments of arms in the last weeks of the Bush administration which suggests maybe Israel has been stockpiling in case of a cooling of Israel/US relationships with the new US administration.

With the war raging in Gaza, news reports earlier this month about the routing of an extraordinarily large shipment of arms from the United States to Israel through the private Greek port of Astakos caused an uproar among Greek bloggers. They used Twitter to investigate the matter and put pressure on the government to halt the transfer.

Delivery of the munitions was suspended, just as the Greek government was coming under fire from opposition parties, and Amnesty International was calling for an arms embargo.
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/01/18/greece-outcry-over-arms-shipment-to-israel/

George Mitchell has also told all parties to the conflict a ceasefire is a priority of the Obama administration which again seems to put the US at loggerheads with the Israeli gov't who do not appear to want a ceasefire at this time. The Israeli chief negotiator was suspended by Olmert last week for his public criticism of his own government when at the last moment they added a new demand which effectively killed the Egyptian brokered peace talks.

"I don't understand what it is that they're trying to do. To insult the Egyptians? We've already insulted them. It's madness. It's simply madness. Egypt has remained almost our last ally here," he was quoted as saying.

He said the soldier Shalit would be freed quickly if Israel approved a list of names of prisoners to be released in return.

"Did they submit a list?" said Gilad. "Did they submit names? They're only busy insulting Egypt all the time. At first we submitted 70 names, and that's it. Since then, we've disappeared. Is that how they want to bring Gilad [back]? Because if they decide tomorrow to release the prisoners, that very same day we'll get Gilad."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/23/israel-suspends-ceasefire-negotiator

A good analysis of the current state of affairs
After weeks of shuttling back and forth to Cairo, Hamas and Israel had agreed to a halt in hostilities – a source of considerable relief to the international community, which was ready to get on with the business of rebuilding Gaza, reconciling the Palestinian factions and looking for new pathways out of the impasse that has frozen the peace process for the past eight years.

Then, at the 11th hour, the Israelis backed out. There could be no Gaza truce, they said, until Hamas agreed to release Corporal Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held prisoner in Gaza since the summer of 2006. President Hosni Mubarak was livid: Shalit’s release was being negotiated by the two sides on a parallel track, and it was expected to come soon after a ceasefire agreement, in exchange for Israel freeing a large number of Palestinian prisoners.

The Israeli retreat is an ill-advised gamble, using the leverage of their chokehold on Gaza to press for the release of a captive whose continued detention is a symbol of humiliation in Israel. But it may be something even more alarming than a reckless roll of the dice: it could be a sign of just how dangerous Israel’s growing domestic political incoherence could become.
In the absence of a formal truce the outlook is grim
In the West Bank, meanwhile, many in the rank and file and the younger generations of leadership in Fatah view the Israeli election as having put the final nail in the coffin of the strategy pursued by President Mahmoud Abbas, of relying entirely on US diplomacy to coax the Israelis into ending the occupation. Plainly, there is no reason to believe that is going to happen in the foreseeable future, and the lesson has not been lost on Fatah members that Hamas’s confrontational strategy has actually forced the Israelis to make concessions that they wouldd never have dreamt of making to Abbas (the list of prisoners Mr Olmert had been planning to release to win Cpl Shalit’s freedom bears that out). Many in Fatah believe the only way for the organisation to redeem itself and begin to reverse its loss of support to Hamas is to return to the path of struggle, by confronting the occupation in the West Bank.
http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090222/OPINION/161849754/1080
 
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  • #32
kyleb
I am not backing one side over the other...
Not intentionally it seems, but your comments do condemn the extremists on one side while ignoring those of the other and such is effectively doing just that.

Gandhi was a pacifist who believed that every international conflict could and should be solved by pacifism …
That is a gross generation of his ideology, as most obviously evinced by his efforts recruiting Indians for WWI. You are also belittling the violence he stood against, taking his comment out of context to slander him as a racist, and apparently confused into believing he was from South Africa. I recommend looking deeper into his position rather than reflexively dismissing it as it seems you are compelled to do.

Given that the policies and actions of Israel and the United States have been the main obstacles to peace in the Mideast and to a just, two-state Palestine-Israel solution, then ... what?
The solution is in overcoming the inability of the populations in Israel and the United States to come to terms with this fact. As it stands, our governments are under massive pressure by a small yet vocal faction which vigoriously opposes all but the most delicate criticism of Israel, and are fiercely critical of Palestinians and Arabs in general. That lobby has effectively created a giant self perpetuating mass delusion which keeps us from bring an just solution to this conflict, and we simply have to build the critical mass to tear that illusion down. There are many grass-roots movements doing just that, but no unified front to take on AIPAC yet. As it stands, you can find lots of information from people working to resolve this conflict and much relevant information though http://kibush.co.il/" [Broken].

As for the conflict between Fatah and Hamas, it is primarily one of how Palestinians should respond to our rejectionism, with Fatah severely corrupted by indulging it, and Hamas having arose though opposition to that. They know this well enough, as do they know that such discord is only further harming Palestine, hence the reason they are actively working towards reunification.
 
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  • #33
tiny-tim
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Corporal Gilad Shalit

Then, at the 11th hour, the Israelis backed out. There could be no Gaza truce, they said, until Hamas agreed to release Corporal Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held prisoner in Gaza since the summer of 2006. President Hosni Mubarak was livid: Shalit’s release was being negotiated by the two sides on a parallel track, and it was expected to come soon after a ceasefire agreement, in exchange for Israel freeing a large number of Palestinian prisoners.
http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090222/OPINION/161849754/1080

Israeli insistence on the release of Gilad Shalit is not surprising …

in any international peace conference after a war, it is normal for the losing side to give up something to the winning side …

and for the "outside" countries at the conference to put pressure on the losing side to do so …

this is usually territory or compensation or trade concessions … but since Israel does not seek territory, and Hamas has no money or economy to trade with, it is difficult to see what Hamas can offer other than Gilad Shalit …

indeed the return of just one person is an extremely small demand for Israel to make.

The only alternative which would presumably satisfy Israel is a change of regime in Gaza.

From the same UAE website, we see the importance of this both to the new Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition …
Mr Netanyahu has long made clear his belief that there can be no stability as long as Hamas rules Gaza, while Ms Livni opposed any move to end the recent confrontation through a formal truce: she believes that Operation Cast Lead restored Israel’s “deterrent” power, ie, the idea that fear of further Israeli attacks will deter Hamas from resuming hostilities. She argued that Israel should not therefore allow its freedom of action to be limited by a formal ceasefire agreement.

If I may be forgiven for bringing this thread back on-topic :rolleyes: … if Fatah regains some control in Gaza and is able to assure Israel that there will be no more rocket attacks from Gaza on civilian targets, then maybe Israel will regard that as a change in position enabling them to lift the economic sanctions without the return of Galid Shalit.
 
  • #34
kyleb


Israeli insistence on the release of Gilad Shalit is not surprising …
Throwing in the condition at the last moment isn't surprising either, it is just another round in the the same old carrot on a stick game which has been used to perpetuate this conquest for decades.

in any international peace conference after a war, it is normal for the losing side to give up something to the winning side …

and for the "outside" countries at the conference to put pressure on the losing side to do so …
To an extent, but keeping the conquered under a state of siege for decades while colonizing their homeland out from under them isn't normal at all.

this is usually territory or compensation or trade concessions … but since Israel does not seek territory, and Hamas has no money or economy to trade with, it is difficult to see what Hamas can offer other than Gilad Shalit …

indeed the return of just one person is an extremely small demand for Israel to make.
Rather Israel has crushed Palestine's economy though decades of siege, and Israel takes whatever territory it likes with Palestinians being powerless to stop them ( http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067319.html" [Broken]), leaving Palestinians with little but hostages and terror to bargain with, which are levied as excuses to further smother Palestine's economy while taking yet more territory.

The only alternative which would presumably satisfy Israel is a change of regime in Gaza.

From the same UAE website, we see the importance of this both to the new Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition …

If I may be forgiven for bringing this thread back on-topic :rolleyes: … if Fatah regains some control in Gaza and is able to assure Israel that there will be no more rocket attacks from Gaza on civilian targets, then maybe Israel will regard that as a change in position enabling them to lift the economic sanctions without the return of Galid Shalit.
Great, still arguing for Fatah control, the terrorist group who shot rockets from Gaza while Hamas was attempting to maintain a truce, just as was done when persuading Fatah to attempt to coup Hamas, but only supporting them enough to try and fail. What goal do you hope to accomplish though such continuing such shell games, eh Tim?
 
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  • #35
kyleb
On the subject of Fatah and Hamas, http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1235859721/" [Broken]. I highly recommend reading the whole article, but most notably the conclusion:

MANY PEOPLE around the world believe in the anti-Semitic myth that we Jews are immensely clever and that all our actions prove our diabolical cunning. Therefore, the ascent of Hamas must be the result of a shrewd Zionist conspiracy. The existence of Abbas (and Arafat before him) hinders the Jews from taking hold of the whole country, because the world demands a compromise with the “moderate” Palestinian leadership. But the world accepts that there can be no compromise with the murderous Hamas, and therefore the clever Jews are interested in a Hamas victory.

On the other hand, many Israelis believe that our governments are composed of exceedingly stupid politicians who do not know what they are doing. These Israelis believe that the series of actions that have weakened Fatah and reinforced Hamas are just a march of folly, the result of Israeli stupidity.

I propose a compromise between the two perceptions: Israeli policy is indeed foolish, but there is method in this foolishness. It can go on only because it conforms with a deep-seated desire, which most people are not conscious of or do not want to admit: to hold on to all of Eretz Israel and not to allow a Palestinian state to come into being.

If we want to change this, we must drag the unconscious motivation up to the level of consciousness: what do we want? Peace or more territory? Co-existence between two states or occupation and eternal war?

It is too late to turn the wheel back. Hamas is now a part of reality. It is in the Israeli interest that a Palestinian unity government be set up, a government with which we can reach an agreement that will be kept. If we have already played such a pivotal role in turning Hamas into a central Palestinian power, by all means let’s talk with them!

This way we can also free Gilad Shalit in a prisoner exchange – before his 1000th day in captivity.
 
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