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News Israeli Palestinian Problem

  1. Nov 3, 2003 #1
    I think that besides the Iraq policy of the US government the biggest blunder of the current administration is its uneven-handed dealing with the Palestinian-Israel question. It seems like the bulldozing of Palestinian homes and the continuing infiltration of Israeli settlements get short shrift with our government. And the continuous decrease in the Palestinian quality of life due to Israeli checkpoints and everyday humiliation is given no attention whatsoever.

    No one says that Palestinian suicide bombing is a justifiable response to this. Killing someone that has nothing to do with the cause of your plight is always wrong - and thats what terrorism does. Yet Palestinians have been pushed to the breaking point by Israeli policy and the effect has been that the Palestinians have been broken. They have nothing left to lose and that's why suicide bombing holds the allure it does.

    So here is the controversial question, and I don't want any anti-semites to use this question as an excuse to wade in:

    Did the Holocaust of WWII have such a profound emotional effect on the citizens of Israel that the hawks there can't recognize that in this case the terrorism is simply a response to Israeli despotism? It may be that the Holocaust has given some (not all) Israelis the feeling that they are ALWAYS victims. Perhaps this is an unconscious national tendency that has never been dealt with openly. And if this is the case it may have the effect of creating situations where some Israelis can claim victimhood by terrorism. In other words, the Israel Palestinian problem may be a result of a psychological trap caused by the Holocaust.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2003 #2
    Of course it has...when the victim gets power, he becomes victimizer. It is human nature, and it applies at all levels. We all have a propensity to become what we hate, from the child abuse victim who becomes an abuser, all the way to teh killing fields of Kampuchea(Cambodia).
  4. Nov 3, 2003 #3
    Yeah, humankind is kind of like the Three Stooges. Moe slaps Larry, Larry slaps Shimp, and Shimp well... God, I love the three stooges. Them's us.
  5. Nov 3, 2003 #4
    More like children...'they hit me first, mommy!!' Of course, Jews have been commiting genocide since Biblical times, and persecuted just as long, so it is foolish to even talk of who 'started it'.
  6. Nov 3, 2003 #5


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    Many people, myself included, see the cause-effect relationship as existing in the opposite direction. A country defending against an attack cannot be expected to declare a unilateral cease fire - though Israel has gone to the extrordinary step of doing just that only to have peace rebuffed.
    Thats fine and I would tend to agree but clearly the Islamic terrorists do not.
  7. Nov 3, 2003 #6
    Re: Re: Israeli Palestinian Problem

    On the other hand, Russ, Israeli reaction is so over the top...missles into aparment buildings, blowing up cars with children in them...that they cross the line from defense, into outright attack.
  8. Nov 3, 2003 #7
    I find myself sympathetic to both sides. There is no clear moral distinction in this conflict.
  9. Nov 5, 2003 #8


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    And when Al Queda defends itself....
    The missiling of cars is the small end of the issue. There has been widespread concern over the disproportionate number of infants killed by the israelis etc.

    What they should do is none of the above. Because in all three of the cases you mentioned, it did not work and terrorism grew in strength.

    Woah woah... where the hell did you get this?
  10. Nov 5, 2003 #9


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    In 1948, Israel was only to occupy a small fractin of the land it now holds. The Arabs refused to accept this. I'm not sure if it was Palestinians who refused, or the Arab League. It definately was not Arafat though. He was no one at the time.

    After the 1948 war, the Arabs could have accepted an Israeli state that left more than the west bank and Gaza for Arabs. They did not. Again, not Arafat though.

    In 2000, Arafat rejected a proposal that would have given the Palestinians a state comprised of most of the west bank and Gaza. It was not as generous as the press reported, key water sources and highways would have been controlled by Israel. But, it was about as good an offer as the Palestinians could hope to get. Arafat refused.

    The problem is there are not 2 sides to this conflict. It is more of a four sided fight. Moderates on both sides would probably make peace. They would not like or trust eachother, but they would realize that they are better off with peace. The radical elements on both sides realize that they do better politically during war. Peace is the real enemy. Peace would lose elections for Likud. Peace would get Arafat killed.

  11. Nov 5, 2003 #10


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    Yes, though the real sticker in the 2000 case is the issue of Israel, or who holds it. In that case the old problem that both sides are essentially theocracies (the Israeli government depends on the support of hard-line zionists - zionists as in ultra-nationalist folk who look to the torah for justification, whilst religious group hold most of the power for the palestinians) rears its head and we are back to square one. Both administrations are stuck in essentially the same noose - that there is a growing element, especially with the atmosphere of fear and retribution, for which any sort of settlement will be unthinkable.

    Thinking of it objectively, that isn't all that bad an idea. It certainly can't be any less effective than what they are currently doing, and it will most definitely be cheaper. And scary pictures will be far worse at rallying support for the terrorists than parades of corpses, or territorial grabbing.

    At present, the IDF is far less an Israeli Defence Force than an Israeli Irrational Short-Sighted Retributive Killing and Persecution Force.
  12. Nov 5, 2003 #11
    First off, let me say that my opinion on the existance of Israel bears little impact on the issue, since the fact remains that Israel does exist. That reality needs to be dealt with, as does the reality that the Palestinians aren't going anywhere either.

    Now, on to your question. If Israel does everything you spelled out, I think that would go a long way towards peace. It would likely eliminate one kind of terrorism, the sort that I understand(not support, mind you). THere would still, of course, be the issue of the 'professional' terrorists who will do anything to destroy Israel. That sort of terrorism will probably increase as Israel moves towards more tolerance.
    Here's a harsh truth that I know you won't like, by my gut tells me is true: Israel will have to learn to 'accept' a certain amount of terrorism for the near future. It seems that every time peace begins to become a possibility, terrorists provoke Israel into lashing out at the nearest 'suspected terrorist'(and anyone within the blast radius of an Israeli missle or bomb). This is playing directly into the hands of the terrorists, who are happy when Israel attacks Palestinians.
    There is also a faction within Israel that wants to exterminate the Palestinians, or at least disperse them and take all of teh land they inhabit. Those people are going to have to be controlled almost as much as the Muslim radicals. To these people, Sharon included, ANY attack is seen as an excuse tok drop the entire peace process, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Israeli radicals tried to force situations to bait Palestinians to commit terrorism.
    As far as responses to Israeli casualties...they are going to have to risk losing some troops here, because it is not acceptable to fire missles from helicopters into apartment buildings. These are people., not 'collateral damage' America gets away with it because after we murder civilians, we move back home 8000 miles away. Israeli troops don't have that luxury. But, like I said earlier, it will be a different situation(hopefully) after Israel makes a real attempt at peace.

    Something that has always bothered me is the political aspect of the 'retaliation' against terrorism. A suicide bomber blows himself up...how do you retaliate 3 hours later? The person who committed the crime is dead, so not only is there nobody to punish, but if you can nail his 'associates' within a few hours with no evidence, then you could have stopped the bombing. It seems, therefore, that the 'retaliations' have nothing to do with the suicide bombings that they are ostensibly in response to. Instead, it is a political attack, so that Israel's government has some dead Palestinians to prove that they did something in response to an attack, even though the perpetrator is dead. This has got to stop.
  13. Nov 5, 2003 #12


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    Although I do appreciate your honesty, and feel that I've gained some insight into your views I also feel as though you've sort of "dodged" my question. My summation of your answer is thus: Accept that they will have to deal with terrorism and other then that you;'ve really not answered:
    Just don't do what you've been doing?
    Or am I missing something?
  14. Nov 5, 2003 #13
    Hmmm...kat, what my point was is that 1) Israel cannot react with overwhelming force in 'retaliation' for a crime in which the perpetrator is dead, and 2) in the future that we hope would be created by the points you outlined, the Palestinians themselves would assist in the apprehension of the 'professional terrorists' trying to destroy peace. The current strategy is not only ethically bankrupt, but ineffective. If someone is willing to strap a bomb to his chest to kill you, you can't 'get tougher' with him...the idea is insane!
  15. Nov 5, 2003 #14


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    Zero- Your doing a great job of telling me what you believe is not okay to use and what you believe is in-effectivebut you'll note that my question specificly focused on okay and effective

  16. Nov 5, 2003 #15


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    Talk. Understand. Compromise. Trust.
  17. Nov 6, 2003 #16
    How about finding an actual terrorist, and some proof that he is a terrorist?

    *EDIT* Let me be more specific. Most of what I have heard coming out of the area is 'Israel kills two suspected terrorists, 9 others', or 'Palestinian bomber kills 9'. In either case, the Palestinian involved is dead. How about capturing a few, maybe showing their bomb-building location? Some sort of evidence would be nice, you know? Again I ask: if an Israeli bomb can find terrorists immediately following a suicide bombing, why can't they find them before?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2003
  18. Nov 6, 2003 #17


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    Zero, you sometimes make me just want to bang my head on the desk repeatedly.....

    I really thought my question was clear (and remember this was in return for answering your question , which I think I did a pretty thorough job of).
    Is there a reason that you can't seem to lay out "what methods do you believe are 1. okay to use? and 2. would actually be effective?...#2 may or may not be morally acceptable to you, the only requirement would be that they are effective in providing security for the Israeli's. "
    I just don't see how criticizing what you feel they are doing (which I would love to discuss in-depth if you ever do answer my question)is telling me what you feel are "methods...you believe are okay to use...and those that would actually be effective...in providing security for the Israeli's"
    I'm pursuing this relentlessly, I know..I just really, really would like to see you give a thorough and complete answer on this subject..or can't you bring yourself to do that in regards to Israeli's? [b(]
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2003
  19. Nov 7, 2003 #18
    Don't get in a snit, kat...would you like me to print out a map for you? Like I said, a technique that I approve of is, since Israeli troops don't seem to have a hard time tracking down 'terrorists' to 'retaliate' against, it shouldn't be too hard for them to find some before an attack, should it?Then since they (illegally) control huge portions of Palestinian land, they should go in and snatch the suspected terrorists, and any evidence, and present it for the world to see.

    Or would you like me to spell it out more for you? Here's a for-instance: instead of killing a suspected terrorist, and his wiofe and children, by launching a missile at his car, why not pull up in a van behind him as he is going out to his car, grab him, and try him with the evidence that led them to suspect he was a terrorist in the first place?
  20. Nov 7, 2003 #19


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    I'm not, really.:wink:
    I'd like you to be as detailed as possible to avoid misunderstandings. I think we're having a very good dialogue, don't you?

    Well, before going further I think maybe we should discuss why you think they "illegally" control huge portions of Palestinian land? The interim (oslo 2) agreements spell out fairly clearly who is responsible for which areas. The area that most attacks are coming from is the area that (under the interim agreements) the PA has responsibility for policing. Yet they not only fail to police but are often complicit in terrorist activities. It's also interesting to note that in good faith the Israeli's armed and initially attempted to train the PA police force. (we did touch on this slightly months ago)
    This is one reason that in my outline I stress the importance of an international force to assist in developing security in the palestinian areas...unfortunately I don't think it's realistic that this is something that will happen anytime soon for multiple reasons.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2003
  21. Nov 7, 2003 #20
    BTW, I meant drawing you a literal map...with little triangles representing troops, and circles representing terrorists, and big red squares representing civilians that Israel should do more to avoid killing.
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