News What does Israel Seek to Gain?

Vanadium 50

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
23,322
5,687
It's hard to discuss the motivations of "Israel", just as it is hard to discuss the motivations of any group of people - "France", "Latinos", "Republicans" or "The New York Yankees". Individuals have motivations - groups at best have some sort of average motivation of their individuals, and at worst some sort of contradictory mish-mash.

That said, I think one can look at a few major events in Israel's history and infer a message they are trying to send: the events are the major wars, particularly the Six-day war and the Yom Kippur War, and the return of the Sinai to Egypt. That message is:

  1. An attack on Israel will not further your political goals.
  2. An attack on Israel will leave you worse off.
  3. Negotiation with Israel will further your political goals.

In this light, one could argue that Israel is trying to send the same message. I don't want to argue whether it's successful, as that is not a requirement to answer your question.
 

mgb_phys

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,744
11
It isn't 1500 anymore, when the governments were all monarchies and the people weren't even allowed to read (much less change!) the basis of their laws.
I was responding to the claim that you can only use fear of others as a political excuse for a couple of years - in fact you can use it for millenia.
 
101
0
It sounds crazy, but people have made similar accusations about Hamas using the same logic, I am not accusing, only adding a possible scenereo. Maybe they want to give global terrorism a boost, like a world wide commercial for Anti-Western/Israeli recruitment. Then with more terrorism, they gain support from other anti-terrorist nations, and they get an excuse to practice aggressive military action. Bush certainly gained a lot of power due to 911, if it weren't for that attack, he may not have been able to attack Iraq. Like they say in washington, "Never let a crisis go to waist."
 

Art

What does Israel seek to gain via their continued fighting?
Ultimately it's all about land as it has been since the creation of the state of Israel. The Palestinians legally own it, the Israelis illegally occupy it and the Israelis want to keep a large chunk of it (which grows daily with ever more illegal settlements) forever more. Another proviso the Israelis have is, it is not enough to control the land, they also want the Palestinians off it as they are concerned about the demographic effect on Israel if they absorbed all those Palestinians into Israel. This demographic issue is a red hot topic in Israel at the moment.

Israel knows it's only claim on the occupied lands is through force of arms but believes no doubt if they can hold the land long enough and make the Palestinians suffer enough eventually the Palestinians will settle for whatever crumbs Israel throws their way.

To 'morally' justify their treatment of the Palestinians the Israeli gov't have demonised them to their own people and to the world. Greatly exaggerating their potential to damage Israel whilst totally ignoring Palestinians cast iron grievances and painting them all as terrorists for resisting the illegal occupation of their lands. Friendly gov'ts such as the US have been quite happy to help Israel weave their grossly distorted view to the point where anyone who shows sympathy for the Palestinians is seen as a suspected terrorist sympathiser.

Successive Israeli gov'ts, chasing the Zionist goals of a Greater Israel, have been very successful in their propaganda endeavours but one result of creating this fictitious monster to frighten their population with is the population then demand their politicians slay the monster and so from time to time such as now when elections were due the Israeli gov't panders to the electorate and bombs the **** out of the Palestinians.

To answer your question directly Israel needs to keep fighting from time to time to perpetuate the myth that it's existence is threatened by the Palestinians and to further it's goals in demoralising the Palestinians to strengthen it's hand in any eventual agreement. The added bonus being of course, the more fighting there is, the less chance of a final settlement, and so the more land Israel grabs in the meanwhile.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

russ_watters

Mentor
18,967
5,130
I was responding to the claim that you can only use fear of others as a political excuse for a couple of years - in fact you can use it for millenia.
That doesn't make it any less of a non sequitur. We see that kind of logic in other forums all the time:

A-If you could travel twice the speed of light, how long would it take to get to Alpha Centuari?
B-You can't travel twice the speed of light.
A-But what if you could?
B-You can't, so there's no point in speculating.

You are not talking about the world we live in, mgb. The fact that it was once possible does not mean that it is possible.
 
Last edited:

russ_watters

Mentor
18,967
5,130
Ultimately it's all about land as it has been since the creation of the state of Israel. The Palestinians legally own it, the Israelis illegally occupy it and the Israelis want to keep a large chunk of it forever more.

Israel knows it's only claim on the occupied lands is through force of arms but believes no doubt if they can hold the land long enough and make the Palestinians suffer enough eventually the Palestinians will settle for whatever crumbs Israel throws their way.
Your argument is self-contradictory. Israel already has more land than it wants, as evidenced by the fact that in recent years, they've been giving it away in exchange for peace - there is no reason for them to fight to get something they already have. So your argument does not address the question at all: your argument does not explain why Israel continues to fight, but rather tries to explain it as a self-contradictory self-reinforcing action.

If the fighting stopped today, Israel has all they want, right? So why keep fighting?
To 'morally' justify their treatment of the Palestinians the Israeli's have demonised them to their own people and to the world. Greatly exaggerating their potential to damage Israel whilst totally ignoring Palestinians cast iron grievances and painting them all as terrorists for resisting the illegal occupation of their lands.
But if Israel could just end the fighting on their own right now, then all that would be unnecessary, would it not?
To answer your question directly Israel needs to keep fighting from time to time to perpetuate the myth that it's existence is threatened by the Palestinians and to further it's goals in demoralising the Palestinians.
Same as the first one: why would Israel need to fight to provoke Hamas to justify fighting Hamas? It's a circular argument and a contradiction. If Israel didn't fight from time to time, would there be peace or would they continue to be under constant attack?

Your argument sounds more like a justification for the constant attacks on Israel by Israel's neighbors than an argument for why Israel is fighting....which is, of course my point in starting this thread! Israel fights because they are being attacked. Period. Efforts to stop the fighting must therefore be focused on Hamas's reasons for fighting, only.
 

Art

Your argument is self-contradictory. Israel already has more land than it wants, as evidenced by the fact that in recent years, they've been giving it away in exchange for peace - there is no reason for them to fight to get something they already have. So your argument does not address the question at all: your argument does not explain why Israel continues to fight, but rather tries to explain it as a self-contradictory self-reinforcing action.

If the fighting stopped today, Israel has all they want, right? So why keep fighting?
But if Israel could just end the fighting on their own right now, then all that would be unnecessary, would it not?
Same as the first one: why would Israel need to fight to provoke Hamas to justify fighting Hamas? It's a circular argument and a contradiction. If Israel didn't fight from time to time, would there be peace or would they continue to be under constant attack?

Your argument sounds more like a justification for the constant attacks on Israel by Israel's neighbors than an argument for why Israel is fighting....which is, of course my point in starting this thread! Israel fights because they are being attacked. Period. Efforts to stop the fighting must therefore be focused on Hamas's reasons for fighting, only.
Try reading my post again. You do not appear to have understood it at all as I have already addressed the points you make. To be honest I thought it was a fairly simple read so maybe you are deliberately miscomprehending it

One glaring error you made which seems to have set you off on totally the wrong course is your assertion that Israel already has all the land it wants. This is fundamentally wrong. Israel is illegally OCCUPYING the land it wants which is a very different thing, and which is why they need to continue to fight for it for all the reasons I mentioned.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

russ_watters

Mentor
18,967
5,130
Try reading my post again. You do not appear to have understood it at all, though to be honest I thought it was fairly simple.
Lol, ok. Nice talking with you as always! :rolleyes:
 

Art

Lol, ok. Nice talking with you as always! :rolleyes:
You asked a question in the OP, I answered it, you apparently didn't like the answer and couldn't think of a valid rebuttal and so instead of directly addressing a single point I made you tried to obfuscate instead. I find that irritating and a dishonest form of debate. Just as you selectively edited my post above when you quoted it to make it appear harsher than the original so you could feign humbrance and avoid having to address the points I made. So yes, nice talking with you as always.

btw This notion you have that the Palestinians are the aggressors is curious; in fact downright Orwellian. Do you not consider the military occupation of their land as a continuing act of aggression? Or the imprisonment in the Gaza Strip of 1.5 million people an act of aggression, or the assassination of their political leaders an act of aggression, or the building of ever more settlements on their land as an act of aggression, or the daily beatings and shootings the Palestinians suffer an act of aggression? Or the hundreds of checkpoints they must pass through each time they leave their homes to go to work a humiliating act of aggression? Or the thousands of Palestinians kidnapped and held prisoner without any charge or trial an act of aggression?

In the past you have made much of the Hamas charter which refuses to recognise Israel. In fact this is often cited as the primary reason why Hamas can never be negotiated with and yet in the usual double standards applied to the ME there is never a word said about the Likud Party which says explicitly in it's charter they will never recognise a Palestinian state. What is the difference between these two charters which makes one a pariah and the other a legitimate candidate for gov't?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
2,903
13
Russ, you need to reread what Art has posted here. Thinking Isreal is simply a victim here is absurd, and shows a lact of understanding of facts. There is plenty of blame for Israel too.

Saying: "Israel fights because they are being attacked. Period. Efforts to stop the fighting must therefore be focused on Hamas's reasons for fighting, only."

Is pure nonsense and also blatantly false. Please gather more facts.
 
453
0
russ watters said:
To those who see Israel as an agressor in the ongoing fighting in their region of the world, I ask a straightforward question: What does Israel seek to gain via their continued fighting?
Those who enforced the establishment of the state of Israel were the initial aggressors. The concomitant Palestinian loss of life and homes is the initial cause of the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The problem has been aggravated by Palestinian retaliations, and Israeli retaliations to those retaliations, and increasing restrictions on Palestinians' freedoms and the resulting material deprivations that Palestinians have been forced to endure.

What Israel seeks is the continuation of the state of Israel more or less as it currently exists. What Palestinians' seek is a restoration of personal and civic freedom.

The restoration of pre-Israel, Palestinian freedom would lead to the end of the state of Israel. In order to ensure its continued existence, then, Israel has been forced, and must continue, to play the role of the oppressor of the Palestinian people.

If this is an accurate synopsis of the situation, then the mutually exclusive desires of both sides would seem to preclude a just, and also peaceful, resolution to the problem in the foreseeable future.

However, the long-term prognosis might be a bit different considering certain demographic trends. But that's a topic for another thread.
 

Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
6,987
14
Here's a news clip from earlier today: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/02/21/israel.lebanon/index.html
CNN said:
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A woman was injured Saturday when a rocket landed in northern Israel, a spokesman for the Israeli police said.

The Israel Defense Forces fired artillery toward the source of the fire, an army spokesman said, but he could not say from where the rocket originated.
...
The Israeli army fired artillery toward the village of Qlayleh, close to the port city of Tyre, according to the Lebanese army...
The Lebanese army also claimed that the rockets from Lebanon never reached Israel, but let's skip that point for now. Assume that the rocket did, in fact land in Israel and injure Israelis.

Given this, do you believe Israel's response was productive? It sounds to me (and I may be misreading this, or this may be an example of poor reporting, but it seems) like the Israeli military was doing no better than firing back in the general direction of the incoming fire, which was possibly at a Lebanese village several miles away. Is this really the best thought out response for a situation like this? Seems highly counterproductive to risk so much collateral so cheaply.

Is it really unfair or unrealistic to expect them to do any better? And if you think it is not (unfair), do you have any suggestions for alternative courses of response (over the extremely short term; I'm not asking about long term ideas like dismantling settlements)?
 

mgb_phys

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,744
11
That doesn't make it any less of a non sequitur. We see that kind of logic in other forums all the time:
So modern educated Americans can't be persuaded to hate/fear Muslims for political ends.
Like in the 50s they couldn't be persuaded to hate/fear communists for the same reason.
Or the Jews/Irish/Italians a century earlier.

People don't change - there wasn't suddenly a major change in brain chemistry at the renaissance or enlightenment, or industrial revolution or with the internet that stopped people being led like sheep.
 

kyleb

Your argument is self-contradictory. Israel already has more land than it wants, as evidenced by the fact that in recent years, they've been giving it away in exchange for peace...
Rather, you argument contradicts reality. Israel simply withdrew to the boarders of Gaza while continually expanding settlements in the West Bank. Granted, our government and mainstream media hyped the former to no end while effectively ignoring the latter, but Israel hasn't been making any bids for peace. Rather, Israel has been playing such shell games along with everything else they must do to avoid avoid peace.

Peace requires either giving up Israel's conquest over the West Bank so that Palestine can finally exist as a sovereign nation along side Israel, or giving Palestinians Israeli citizenship, and Israel has no interest in either option. The latter would dissolve the ethnic nationalist nature of Israel which the vast majority of Israelis adore, while the former is opposed for various reasons. Some misinterpret their scripture to believe continuing this conquest will bring Divine Salvation, some worship the money and power it brings them, while the the majority of the rest are simply mislead to point their fingers at anyone but themselves. The same motivations hold true for supporters of this conquest in the US and elsewhere. Which reasons motivate you?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kyleb

That 60 Minutes peace does sum up the problem reasonably well. For the answer in more simple terms, I recommend checking the charter of the party of the incoming Prime Minster:

Likud - Platform
...

Settlements

The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.
...

Self-Rule

The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.
...
http://www.knesset.gov.il/elections/knesset15/elikud_m.htm

Granted, some of the other parties aren't so forthright with such positions, but such policy is what has been driving Israel's conquest over what little is left of Palestine since the beginning, regardless of what party heads the government.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
1,827
7
What does Israel seek to gain via their continued fighting?
Israel seeks to gain peace while holding on to as much as possible of the occupied West Bank and perhaps the Golan Heights.


This means that they think it is possible to continue to bulldoze the homes of Palestinians to make room for expanding settlements, while at the same time not to have to deal with terrorism like they are facing now.


Apparently, the Israelis think that living under occupation, having to tolerate foreign strangers taking away your property, etc. does not lead to anger and ultimately to terrorism. They think that law and order should work under these condition because, surely, the Palestinians would notify the Israeli occupiers when they think their neighbor is planning some action against the occupier.


Now, the fact is that the Israeli theory based on wishful thinking about the behavior of a population under occupation has been debunked by their own observations. The Israelis, however, still insist that their flawed theory is correct. They theorize that the reason why their theory doesn't apply is the fault of the Palestinians. They seem to be an unnatural kind of people, more susceptible to using violence, sort of natural terrorists. This then justifies the use of harsh military action. By bombing them into submission, they may become "normal" people and then all will be well.
 

tiny-tim

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,790
249
wishful thinking …

Apparently, the Israelis think that living under occupation, having to tolerate foreign strangers taking away your property, etc. does not lead to anger and ultimately to terrorism. They think that law and order should work under these condition because, surely, the Palestinians would notify the Israeli occupiers when they think their neighbor is planning some action against the occupier.

Now, the fact is that the Israeli theory based on wishful thinking about the behavior of a population under occupation has been debunked by their own observations. The Israelis, however, still insist that their flawed theory is correct. They theorize that the reason why their theory doesn't apply is the fault of the Palestinians. They seem to be an unnatural kind of people, more susceptible to using violence, sort of natural terrorists. This then justifies the use of harsh military action. By bombing them into submission, they may become "normal" people and then all will be well.
But the Israelis don't think that.

They don't have such a theory.

You're just making this all up, aren't you? :frown:
 

kyleb

So, Tim, what is your argument; that Israelis know anger and terrorism are the natural reaction to brutal occupation and colonization of others homeland though overwhelming military force, but deceptively cast fault on Palestinians anyway?

While I'm I have little doubt that describes a faction of Israeli including much of their leadership, I belive Count Iblis' summation is more fitting to the Israeli population in general.

Regardless, here is another example of what Israel is gaining though their ongoing conquest of Palestine:

Rights group demands freeze on West Bank quarries
By BEN HUBBARD – 3 days ago

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Israel is violating international law by exploiting rock and gravel from West Bank quarries for its own benefit, an Israeli human rights group charged Monday.

In a petition filed to Israel's Supreme Court, the Yesh Din group says 75 percent of the rock and gravel removed from 11 West Bank rock quarries is transferred to Israel. The group wants a halt to all Israeli mining activity in the West Bank.

The mining activities are "illegal and executed though brutal economic exploitation of occupied territory for the economic needs of the State of Israel, the occupying power," reads the petition.
...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ioi_0jtO9RjMwPNRoXNCndRPRq3gD96QJJ300 [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

tiny-tim

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,790
249
wishful thinking …

So, Tim, what is your argument
uhh? my argument was very clear …

Count Iblis made up something against the Israelis, and then proceeded to criticise it. :frown:
 

tiny-tim

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,790
249
does the international law of usufruct prevent quarrying or mining?

Regardless, here is another example of what Israel is gaining though their ongoing conquest of Palestine:
This petition (full English translation http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q="Yesh+Din+petitions+the+High+Court+of+Justice"&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8") concerns the very unclear law on the application of usufruct to mining … something which the Civil Administrator's office "has never conducted a legal review of" :rolleyes:

(it may even turn out that the Civil Administrator does not eventually oppose the petition)

Fortunately, Israel is a parliamentary democracy with an independent judiciary, and any infringement of Palestinian rights will be stopped by the courts, with compensation paid, if there is a breach of the international law of usufruct. :smile:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

russ_watters

Mentor
18,967
5,130
Cyrus - I hadn't seen the link you posted until last night....

Recent discussion has centered on Zionism. No doubt, Zionism exists, but for it to be a primary motivator of Israeli activities, the philosophy has to be a dominant one in Israel. Does anyone know what fraction of Israelis believe it as that woman does?

The 60 Minutes piece seems to argue that due to the settlements, the two state solution is now a practical impossibility. I don't see it that way. If Israel chooses to cede a piece of land to Palestinian control and that land has Israeli settlements on it, so what? Why should Israel even bother removing the Israelis on that land? Once control of the land is ceded, the settlements are no longer Israel's problem and the people on them can decide for themselves (with help from the PA, I'm sure...) whether to stay or go. They are relevant only if Israel chooses to make them relevant but there is no functional reason why they must.

Zionism does seem to provide a different contradiction for Israel, though: it appears to me that Israel as a country supports, in principle, the two state solution and giving up land for peace, but the problem is in deciding what land to give up.

Now the question of Zionism doesn't actually directly address the OP. The question asked is why do they fight. Zionism does not provide a motivation for fighting for Israel, it provides a motivation for Israel to seek peace with the current status quo of land ownership.
 
453
0
Recent discussion has centered on Zionism. No doubt, Zionism exists, but for it to be a primary motivator of Israeli activities, the philosophy has to be a dominant one in Israel.
It wouldn't have to be the philosophy or political orientation of the majority in order to be motivating the policy of the government.

The 60 Minutes piece seems to argue that due to the settlements, the two state solution is now a practical impossibility. I don't see it that way.
If Israel chooses to cede a piece of land to Palestinian control and that land has Israeli settlements on it, so what? Why should Israel even bother removing the Israelis on that land? Once control of the land is ceded, the settlements are no longer Israel's problem and the people on them can decide for themselves (with help from the PA, I'm sure...) whether to stay or go. They are relevant only if Israel chooses to make them relevant but there is no functional reason why they must.
The hypothesis that the Israeli policy is to gain and keep all or most of Mandate Palestine fits the data. The Israeli government could have facilitated a two-state solution. Now it might be too late. They're not going to 'cede control' of lands where so large a number of Israelis live -- and without the intervention of the US, there's not much that anybody can do about it. It's a war of attrition, and Israel has most of the resources. All they have to do is wait it out -- more and more settlers, a bit of violence here and there, more outposts, and the Palestinians are, eventually, squeezed out of Palestine altogether, or sqeezed into an area that can be contained and managed, with minimal allotment of resources and collateral damages, and with the help of the US, for the indefinite future.

Now the question of Zionism doesn't actually directly address the OP. The question asked is why do they fight.
Rather than taking the initiative for peace and dismantle outposts, and prohibit future settlements, I think the strategy is to react to the intermittent violence and use it as an excuse to keep the squeeze on. It makes sense, especially if a Zionist philosophy underlies Israeli policy. Obfuscate and delay, and, eventually, it really will be physically impossible to have a two-state solution -- unless one is ok with the needless killing of a lot of hard line Israeli settlers and Palestinians, and nobody should be ok with that.
 
453
0
Re: does the international law of usufruct prevent quarrying or mining?

Fortunately, Israel is a parliamentary democracy with an independent judiciary, and any infringement of Palestinian rights will be stopped by the courts, with compensation paid, if there is a breach of the international law of usufruct. :smile:
Unfortunately parliamentary democracies and courts don't always work the way they're supposed to. No branch of government is truly independent. If the true Israeli policy is to push Palestinians out, to gain and keep as much land as possible, then all branches of government will fall in line with this.

As happened wrt the US invasion and continued occupation of Iraq, there has been overwhelming popular support for getting out for a long time. It was an illegal, preemtive attack on a sovereign nation. But we did it, and we're still there. And, the Democratic Congress has facilitated this.
 

kyleb

Cyrus - I hadn't seen the link you posted until last night....

Zionism does seem to provide a different contradiction for Israel, though: it appears to me that Israel as a country supports, in principle, the two state solution...
Did you not see the Likud platform I quoted directly under Cyrus' post, or are you just being intentionally obtuse here?
 

Related Threads for: What does Israel Seek to Gain?

  • Last Post
2
Replies
26
Views
4K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
54
Views
5K
  • Last Post
7
Replies
163
Views
18K
Replies
21
Views
7K
Replies
10
Views
3K
Replies
36
Views
6K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
58
Views
6K
Replies
128
Views
9K

Hot Threads

Top