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  • Technorati: graph / links

    The right for peoples to defend themselves


    by Sunny on 21st January, 2009 at 8:46 pm    

    I want to carry the conversation on, about Israel/Palestine, in a straight line if possible. So in response to my last post, a common reply has been:

    You seem to be stating that anyone who feels that Israel had a right to protect its citizens, is a warmonger, a hater of the Palestinians and someone not interested in peace.

    My position is that anyone who supported Israel’s right to invade Gaza over the last few weeks is a warmonger who had no interest in peace. My reasons are simple: it will destabilise the Middle East further, strengthen Islamist parties across the region, strengthen Hamas while weakening Fatah and needlessly kill many, many Palestinians. All of this has already happened. It also makes Palestinians more angry towards Israel and less willing to trust it as a partner who has their interests at heart. Now, I’m happy to debate these issues but most people don’t want to.

    Instead, the retreat to the lame position that Israel has the right to defend itself. Of course it does - Israel exists, should exist and I’m sure will continue to exist. I support its right to exist. But that does not absolve if of criticism.

    The real question is: if Israel has a right to defend itself, why don’t the Palestinians? I’ve stated my position on this - the Palestinians are being forcibly denied an independent and secure state they can manage themselves. So what right of self-defence are they allowed? Are Palestinians not allowed to fight for their own statehood, and only Israel is? And if yes, to what extent would their actions in self-defence be proportional?



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Middle East, Terrorism




    34 Comments below   |  

    1. blah — on 21st January, 2009 at 9:49 pm  

      Great post Sunny

      The irony of course in condemnation of the Palestinian using “terrorism” to fight their occupiers is that terrorism was the methodology used by the zionists to get the British out

      But of course thats different. Israel has rights ; the Palestinians none

    2. Hermes — on 21st January, 2009 at 10:15 pm  

      Yes, Israel has a right to defend itself, but the messages left behind by the IDF solders told the real story. The Guardian reported on some of the graffiti scribbled by soldiers on the walls of some of the houses they took over during the Gaza raid. One of them, written on a tombstone simply said: ‘RIP…Arabs 1948-2009′

      Ok, so that was the work of some young soldier feeling powerful after a rush of adrenaline, but it does betray perhaps what is in the hearts of these Zionist killers.

    3. douglas clark — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:21 pm  

      Sunny,

      The issue can be divided, I think, into three.

      1) Most people that respond to your articles agree completely with you that the Gaza incursion was counter productive. If you look through the numerous threads, that’s what you’ll see, an overwhelming degree of support for your point of view on that.

      2) A fairly strong counter current of people that think that lobbing missiles onto your territory and killing folk deserves a response. This degenerates into questions about proportionality, etc.

      3) The UK context. And this seems to me to be the big one. It is pretty clear that Jewish commentators on here feel that the ‘threat level’ has moved up a lot. They are the ones that feel isolated, and ridiculously, are having to pay for their own security. What is that about?

      This is perhaps equivalent to how Muslims felt after 7/7.

      I’d have thought that a straightforward post, saying that Jews under threat in the UK should be supported from all quarters, by all of us, would lance this boil.

      It is, I think, important to make that point.

      ———————————————

      Whenever I have joined or commented on an I/P thread, it has always ended in me wishing I hadn’t. There is quite obviously a different standard for posts than there is usually. I can say stuff on threads about UK politics and they don’t get the ferocious analysis they do on I/P threads. Apparently I have insulted Chairwoman. Can I be quite clear about this? I would never ever insult Chairwoman. But the rules on I/P threads are somewhat different from the rules elsewhere on here. What would pass as rhetoric or something is taken as deliberate insult.

      Chairwoman, contrary to what you might think, I respect what you have to say. If I disagree with what you have to say, it doesn’t make me an anti-semite. And that goes for bananabrain and Katy Newton too.

    4. Zak — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:23 pm  

      on last count it’s over 110 palestinians dead for every Israeli injured?

    5. Parvinder Singh — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:25 pm  

      The sheer scale of devastation of Gaza is tonight being revealed by journalists from ITN and BBC. Whole villages bulldozed…children witnessing their fathers and mothers as they waved white flags murdered in cold-blood. Another saw soldiers spraying bullets into a room and killing his young brother. A father in tears as he recalls how his daughter was shot in front of him. Nearly 500 children dead, and thousands injured. And the tenacity of the Israeli spokesman to suggest the children were under orders from Hamas to make these stories up!

      I support Isreal’s right to exist and defend it against Hamas, but what it has done in Gaza for all to see is shameful. These are war crimes pure and simple. The UN and Amnesty should immediately begin to collect testimonies and drag the IDF soldiers to the Hague War Crimes Tribunal.

    6. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:38 pm  

      I think Sunny we need to unearth more and more of what happened in Gaza. Let the facts on the ground speak for themselves.

      Those Israelis and supporters who cling onto ultra-defensive arguments ‘they asked for it’; ‘what else could we have done’; ‘we have no partner for peace’, are ‘on the wrong side of history’. And are not fit to lead.

      I think we should look a lot deeper into the social, cultural, psychological and political make up of Israel, if we are to understand whether we will ever see peace.

      You do have to wonder when some of the Israeli leadership went out of their way to cultivate fervent support from the rapture-prone wing of the American evangelical movement. That support is premised on all jews becoming christians, when the time came. I recall the response in debate to an obvious point - what will they do to the jews if they don’t convert? ‘We will worry about that when it comes’, was the response.

      Some pieces by Seth Freedman over the last year and particularly over the last few weeks tells me, they need to be led out of the wilderness of their own creation. The only defence I can see of any value, that Israel can put up, is one of diminished responsibility. Whether out of eternal fear or habituation.

      Their political class and mediaocracy does them no favours. They have betrayed whatever the concept of Israel was meant to be. The sooner the people come to terms with this the sooner we can appreciate the meaning of peace.

      With regards the mantra that Israel is democratic and is defending western values, I have come to the point where I actually want to understand how much truth there really is in this.

    7. Sunny — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:48 pm  

      Apparently I have insulted Chairwoman.

      Well, chairwoman also thinks I was egging on anti-semitic attacks here, so frankly I’m not going to bother engaging on that any more.

    8. Refresh — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:49 pm  

      Douglas, it was not very nice for that thread to have degenerated as it did. You are not anti-semitic and if there was a suggestion then it was in the heat of the moment. I am sure Chairwoman will agree.

      From my point of view there is so much we need to drag out into the cold light of day we must not let threads get waylaid through people misreading each others comments which immediately lead to unhelpful meanderings at a cost of 50+ posts. This has now happened on 3 or 4 threads.

      Its the first day of Obama, its important that if he is to assist Israel out of the wilderness he needs to see what the world sees and know that he would not be alone.

    9. Essential Dissent — on 21st January, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

      Related Videos:

      http://essentialdissent.blogspot.com/search/label/Israel

    10. douglas clark — on 22nd January, 2009 at 12:08 am  

      Och,

      someone talk him down.

    11. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2009 at 12:53 am  

      ‘ Maybe, best of all, was genetics expert Steven Rose who appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme to talk about a new study that’s located “morality spots”, the part of the brain that deals with our morality. Asked how we could know whether this was true, he said in a marvellously posh academic Radio 4 voice “Well we could test the brains of the Israeli cabinet and see if they’ve got no morality spots whatsoever.”

      And the most immoral part of all is the perfectly cynical timing, as if three weeks ago Bush shouted: “Last orders please. Any last bombing, before time’s up? Come along now, haven’t you got homes to demolish?” ‘

      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-now-weve-all-seen-through-the-israeli-governments-excuses-1452234.html

    12. Steve M — on 22nd January, 2009 at 3:06 am  

      Its the first day of Obama, its important that if he is to assist Israel out of the wilderness he needs to see what the world sees and know that he would not be alone.

      Obama is very interesting. His stated intentions are overwhelmingly positive. Perhaps you agree with me that he must have a core of steel, just to get where he’s got to and he’s got to have incredible ambition (always dangerous). I hope very much that his stated views are those he holds in his core and I believe that they are. I’ve just been watching a news item where children from around the world - Palestine, Israel, Indonesia, France, Italy and so on - were asked their opinions on Obama. They were all very positive. They like him. Children see things. The question is how much the actuality of an unimaginably difficult job will cause him to compromise his stated principles for the sake of political expediency.

      I feel that for the first time in years there’s hope.

      And that goes for the I/P thing too, despite the horror and despite appearances.

      I agree with your comment above but he’s got to see from the inside out as well as from the outside in.

    13. Hermes — on 22nd January, 2009 at 7:36 am  

      Zak,

      Yes…as the Biblical saying goes: One hundred teeth for a tooth, a hundred eyes for an eye. Or is that a bit revisionist?

    14. chairwoman — on 22nd January, 2009 at 10:27 am  

      Well, chairwoman also thinks I was egging on anti-semitic attacks here, so frankly I’m not going to bother engaging on that any more.

      I actually think that you were dismissive of them, and there was an element of “serves them right” about your posts.

      Look, go back, read them again. Or preferably, get somebody with absolutely no axe to grind to read them, and ask them what they thought.

      Douglas - Refresh is of course right, I don’t for one minute think that you’re antisemitic. I didn’t, however, much like being compared to Al-Qaeda.

      Let me state one thing.

      A major calamity has happened in Gaza. It has seriously damaged people’s opinion of Israel, but as for statistics, the truth, as in all wars lies somewhere between the claims of the protagonists. This is not making excuses, for human nature being what it is, both sides are bound to try and improve their position.

      Refresh - What was Israel supposed to be? Primarily a country where Jews could be normal. Where Jews could empty bins, drive trains, police their nation (do you remember me saying that when I was a little girl and said I wanted to be a policewoman (*chuckle), my father explained that Jews weren’t allowed to join the police force as the powers-that-be thought we hadn’t sufficient integrity to be non-partisan should one of our co-religionists be involved), farm the fields… In a nutshell, to have the opportunity not to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, estate agents etc.

      I am sure that should you ask the majority of non-religious Israelis if that’s what they wanted, to have a normal life, and live in peace next to free, peaceful Palestine, the overwhelming answer would be a resounding ‘Yes’.

      Governments are elected to serve the people, but invariably, once elected, they think that the people are there to serve them.

    15. bananabrain — on 22nd January, 2009 at 12:24 pm  

      My position is that anyone who supported Israel’s right to invade Gaza over the last few weeks is a warmonger who had no interest in peace.

      ok, then, sunny, what would you have done if you were running israel? and do you count airstrikes as an invasion too? what action would you sanction against 8 years of thousands of rocket attacks?

      like i say, i’m not happy with what’s happened, but presumably your response would be something along the lines of “talk to hamas”. what i don’t really understand is how that could be achieved or what would be the point.

      they’ve not given an inch on their ideology or political positions - which, incidentally, all the european nations consider a sine qua non rejection of negotiations and without which there’s no place to start from; they’re still firing and gilad schalit is still held hostage. what exactly would you expect talking to them to achieve, based around the fact that their basic demands are not actually meetable and not in their power to demand? (e.g. things to do with the west bank, which they don’t actually run)

      do you really think effectively allowing hamas to dictate the terms on which negotiations can proceed is actually feasible?

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    16. MaidMarian — on 22nd January, 2009 at 12:36 pm  

      ‘Instead, the retreat to the lame position that Israel has the right to defend itself.’

      I see the point you are making Sunny in your post overall, but you are too dismissive here. That statement is not lame, nor is it the side-issue you seem to suggest it is.

      Hamas appear to have wildly over stated their own strength relative to Israel following the ‘defeat’ (yeah-right) of Israel in Lebanon. The rocket barrage/strikes/attacks etc are not really defensive - at least not in any real sense of the word. There are a rather unbelievable attempt to force Israel’s hand into a settlement on Hamas terms.

      Hamas may be elected etc, but they are not international relations actors. Relations implies something other than unyielding islamist ideology. You appear to be making an assumption that Hamas (not Paelstine per se) is an international actor in the same sense as a nation-state and I am not sure that it is an assumption that holds.

      This is about international relations. Any degree of political nuance would be welcomed. Hamas works on what could be termed religious relations, not international relations. The conflict is stoked by this gap, its all about religion. It is, to my mind, for Hamas to close that gap. Assuming, of course, that they see themselves as government actors, which I doubt.

      Yes, it is glib to dismiss this as, ‘Israel has rights….’ But it is not glib to point out that they are the ones living within international relations.

    17. Steve M — on 22nd January, 2009 at 12:44 pm  

      My position is that anyone who supported Israel’s right to invade Gaza over the last few weeks is a warmonger who had no interest in peace.

      Sunny,

      That’s me then. Did you mean anyone who supported Israel’s right to invade or anyone who supported the invasion? The right to invade is an international legal issue, little to do with ‘your position’ and is addressed more thoroughly in this article by international law expert, Paul J Hayes:

      http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article5561997.ece

      The article also explains the meaning of ‘proportionate’ and the difference between its actual meaning and the absurd remarks often made about the ratios between deaths on one side and the other.

    18. Shamit — on 22nd January, 2009 at 12:54 pm  

      Steve M.

      I agree with you completely.

      Furthermore, these hallowed pages have been highlighted by posts and comments about how we should be speaking to Hamas, Hezbollah and LeT following attrocious attacks on innocent civilians in sovereign states.

      They have a right to attack and sovereign countries do not have the right to defend themselves.

      Yes response must be proportionate — and sovereign states must be held to a higher standard but it does not make me a war monger when I support Israel’s right to defend itself.

    19. Boyo — on 22nd January, 2009 at 1:17 pm  

      “I’d have thought that a straightforward post, saying that Jews under threat in the UK should be supported from all quarters, by all of us, would lance this boil.”

      I’ve been shocked by the anti-semitism on this site in recent days. As someone with sympathy for both sides (which in this playground has usually been interpreted as support for Israel) I understand now the threat to Britain’s Jews is far greater than I had previously thought. I have never witnessed the sheer viciousness routinely directed here against Jews used against Muslims, and this is plainly reflected in the stats.

    20. Sunny — on 22nd January, 2009 at 4:25 pm  

      ok, then, sunny, what would you have done if you were running israel? and do you count airstrikes as an invasion too? what action would you sanction against 8 years of thousands of rocket attacks?

      Bizarre, you don’t mention the bloackade then bananabrain.

      But, I don’t really want to be sidetracked into whataboutery.

      These were my questions:
      The real question is: if Israel has a right to defend itself, why don’t the Palestinians? I’ve stated my position on this - the Palestinians are being forcibly denied an independent and secure state they can manage themselves. So what right of self-defence are they allowed? Are Palestinians not allowed to fight for their own statehood, and only Israel is? And if yes, to what extent would their actions in self-defence be proportional?

      Would appreciate if bananabrain, Steve M, Boyo or anyone else answer them… then we can start having a proper discussion.

    21. Shamit — on 22nd January, 2009 at 5:31 pm  

      Sunny

      Palestinians have every right to have a secure State for themselves and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

      And, Israel needs to stop encroaching and building settlments as well as need to release the economic blockade of Gaza. I would also add that until we have some semblance of real governance in Gaza — Israel cannot deny moral responsibility towards the citizens of Gaza.

      An effort was made by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and others (with tacit support of Israel) this last September to create a National Unity Government of Palestinians. And, Abbas was ready to appoint Hamas members in the Government provided they agreed to live by the agreements already in place and let the negotiations with Israel go forward. But Hamas rejected the offers outright and claimed they would not accept the right for Israel to exist. This happened last September.

      There needs to be a two state settlement not a three state one — something which most Palestinians as well as Israel object to. Now, whether elected or not, Hamas is a terrorist outfit by every definition including that of unianimous resolution of the United Nations Security Council.

      And it is an open secret that paymasters of Hamas is Iran — and Iran does not want Hamas to agree to these settlements as that would reduce its influence in the region. But Hamas is a big blockage in the entire peace process and existance of Hamas gives too much ammunition to Israeli right wingers such as Netanyahu.

      In such a situation as I have argued before, why not put an United Nations peace keeping force and establish a UN mission such as East Timor with a mandate to secure Palestinian borders and help with the development of a viable state.

      With regards to Jersualem, let it be a city to be governed by UN mandate with representations from all three major religions — and maybe put law & order situation uin the hands of Swiss guards — not the ceremonial ones.

      The President of the United States could sell this solution to AIPAC and using vast improvement of US national security.

      But Hamas needs to go Sunny. They cannot be a part of this as they dont want a solution but glory in death and destruction.

      What do you think?

    22. bananabrain — on 22nd January, 2009 at 5:51 pm  

      Bizarre, you don’t mention the bloackade then bananabrain.

      ok then - has the blockade worked? has it stopped the rockets? has it achieved anything? not that i can see. ok, let’s remove the blockade, now what? do hamas stop the rockets? do they give up terror?

      OF COURSE THEY FECKING DON’T.

      so, my question remains, what, honestly, do you suggest? because it beats the hell out of me.

      The real question is: if Israel has a right to defend itself, why don’t the Palestinians?

      they do! BUT the firing of those rockets over the border is NOT self-defence, it serves no purpose whatsoever other than that of the iranians.

      I’ve stated my position on this - the Palestinians are being forcibly denied an independent and secure state they can manage themselves.

      the gazans are being denied it by their elected leaders’ refusal to come up to the minimum standard required by the international community (let alone israel) to be treated like a state. this isn’t happening in the west bank, remember, that is pootling along quietly along the negotiations track, which is, let us forget, not what the iranians and hamas want, otherwise G!D Forbid they might have to be reasonable about jerusalem and the right of return, or discuss reparations to be paid by the arab world to the palestinians on behalf of the jewish communities they expelled, a sort of triangular restitution.

      So what right of self-defence are they allowed? Are Palestinians not allowed to fight for their own statehood, and only Israel is?

      of course they’re “allowed”. the question is are they going about it in a “self-defensive” way and the answer to that is an emphatic “no, they’re acting as if they believe their own rhetoric about exterminating the jews”. which they are not capable of doing, but is what they are paid to do by the iranians.

      And if yes, to what extent would their actions in self-defence be proportional?

      the only reasonable discussion of the word “proportional” i’ve seen is in the opinion of the international law specialist linked to above and in that david aaronovitch article we discussed a few days ago. other than that, it’s just being used as a rhetorical device to show how one side are “goodies” and the other are “baddies”.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    23. MaidMarian — on 22nd January, 2009 at 6:34 pm  

      bananabrain -’the gazans are being denied it by their elected leaders’ refusal to come up to the minimum standard required by the international community (let alone israel) to be treated like a state.’

      Spot on. You are absolutely right in that Hamas seem to to regocnise that this is a question of old-fashioned international relations. Gaza is not some kind of post national entity where the rules don’t apply. What is needed is what used to be known as statecraft - but Hamas would not be able to produce that in a million years. The slightly worrying aside is whether anyone else in Gaza could do any better.

    24. Shamit — on 22nd January, 2009 at 6:42 pm  

      So why not go for an East Timor style solution

    25. sonia — on 22nd January, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

      Its pretty obvious to any sociologist.

      You only have the ‘right’ if you are a nation-state and YOU are/represent the govt. of that state.
      i.e. right as in “legally” understood. You could still get done for war crimes though.

      why do we think every nation wants a State? so they can do violence ‘legitimately’.

      Of course if there are enough people who think you have the right morally, then that may apply too. Otherwise, this situation is precisely what results.

      Until the Palestinians have a separate ‘State’ - what they do = will be recognised by some as terrorism, and some as ‘freedom fighting’.

      If people don’t like this, they should be more concerned about our global social system, of organising as nation-states and nation-states having monopoly on violence. I daresay the I/P situation is a good ‘case-study’.

    26. sonia — on 22nd January, 2009 at 7:34 pm  

      21. Shamit - good points and well said.

      I’m starting to think we should appoint you to go off to the region and bang some sense into them all!

    27. sonia — on 22nd January, 2009 at 8:00 pm  

      “they do! BUT the firing of those rockets over the border is NOT self-defence”

      Well said Bananabrain.

      I would say, its time to distinguish between what Palestinians might do in ’self-defence’ and what Hamas does.

      Hamas does not equal Palestinians. We can talk about what Palestinians want and we should. Lifting of economic blockades and self-governance are key to that. But talking about Hamas - well we don’t actually know that Hamas is actually wanting to ‘live’- rather than just keep the fight going on and ‘undiluted glory’ - that’s quite different to ’self-defence’. Self-defence is an ambiguous term, anyway. Are we talking immediate self-defence, are we talking ’self-defence in terms of a long-term strategy’ etc. Clearly lobbing rockets at a much more powerful enemy is an odd way to understand ’self-defence’.

      So we do know - that Hamas is interested in way more than ’self-defence’. Hamas, as far as i can see, is not interested, ultimately, in the general ‘good’ for Palestinians - in as much as that ‘good’ is life-affirming. to me, its more about ‘glory’ and ‘winning’ and ‘fighting to the death’. Which may be how nations and states see it, who knows. but it defines that ‘good’ in a very specific, unwinnable way.

      Palestinians need other options- I have not heard what Fatah have been up to lately - and no news is focusing on the West Bank either. Just Gaza. I don’t feel i have enough information to comment. But keeping Gazans locked up in Gaza, with just Hamas ’showing strength’ isn’t going to help anyone. Fatah, or someone else, and Israel - needs to see this.

    28. Sunny — on 22nd January, 2009 at 8:12 pm  

      ok, let’s remove the blockade, now what? do hamas stop the rockets? do they give up terror?

      One would think you would want to stop the blockade because it helps Palestinians live with basic amenities, but you’re still using it as a bargaining chip to control Hamas. In effect, you’re happy to penalise all Gazans because of Hamas.

      they do! BUT the firing of those rockets over the border is NOT self-defence, it serves no purpose whatsoever other than that of the iranians.

      Well, I’m assuming their thinking is that it forces Israel to constantly confront the fact that its own security will never be complete unless it allows Palestinians an independent state. In the same way - do Israeli incursions, blockades, checkpoints, illegal settlements serve any purpose?

      No they don’t? Then why the fuck do they keep doing them? And why do we keep seeing Jewish orgs in the UK support those actions?

      the gazans are being denied it by their elected leaders’ refusal to come up to the minimum standard required by the international community (let alone israel) to be treated like a state

      I find it rather amusing Hamas is being blamed for denying Palestinians a state… as if its nothing to do with the illegal settler settlements, the bloackades, the checkpoints and the fact Palestinians aren’t allowed easy travel in this own land.

      What about the wall? I find it rather sad that you’re willing to blame everything on Hamas while not accepting Israel, as the far stronger player here, hasn’t made any moves towards securing a Palestinian state.

      And then, when some Palestinians elect Hamas in their dire frustration, you again blame them.

      of course they’re “allowed”. the question is are they going about it in a “self-defensive” way and the answer to that is an emphatic “no

      What does this even mean? What self-defence are they allowed? After all, Israel just killed over 1,300 Palestinians in self-defence. Are Palestinians allowed the same?

    29. Shamit — on 22nd January, 2009 at 8:12 pm  

      Sonia

      Thank you — But alas got a business to run.

      The idea initially came from a Tom Clancy book - “Sum of All Fears” I believe — I just put in the East Timor analogy because it worked and I witnessed it first hand. And truth be told this idea has been making rounds in DC since the Clinton Presidency —

      But the biggest barrier to this would be that groups that want to fight (apparently in the name of religion) and not want solution. IRAN, HAMAS, LIKUD — along with Wahabi folks in Saudi Arabia and nutters such as Hermes, fug and the rest of the idiots including our favourite civil servant Azad Ali.

      Clinton’s proposal came very close to what has been suggested and Barak (then PM) was willing to go for it — but Arafat thought he could get Jerusalem which was not going to happen and obviously the whole thing fell apart.

      And then Sharon, after he became PM made an interesting comment about how perspectives change when you seat in that particular chair. And he offered a similar solution to President Bush but Bush did not want to do anything with Arafat.

      Now, Obama despite his massive approval ratings don’t have much clout with AIPAC but Hillary and Bill Clinton do. So, I guess the lady would be soon going there and may be she could bang some heads together.

      And, I am praying that Barak becomes Israeli PM — because like Rabin as one of Israel’s most decorated soldiers he has amazing personal clout and respect even in the right wing fringes of Israel.

      Lipzvni is a good politician but she is being undercut by ohmert and the boys in her own party and Yahoo ie Netanyahu would say she does not know anything about security. But he never could or even try to make the same argument about Barak.

      Another problem is if Hamas does not want to accept this — then force would have to be used albeit by an international UN led force and knowing Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran — we might see the same pictures again because thats the only way they know. That is the key problem.

      But sadly without an international force and mandate from UN this cannot be resolved. But Hamas and their paymasters wouldd resist any boots on the ground claiming Muslim land etc. But then would Jordan be willing to lead such a force (Egypt cannot)- they just might but that would increase the chance of assasination attempt on King Andullah even more. But his wife gives him a lot of clout in the Palestinian community — so may be there is hope. And Israeli politicians think they can do business with him and trust him to a large extent

      Well thats my two pennies worth of ideas9

    30. sonia — on 22nd January, 2009 at 8:13 pm  

      Now if we’re talking self-defence for Palestinians, perhaps it should take place along the lines of:

      arming ordinary Palestinians so that they can take on Israelis if they need to, or Hamas, if they need to. (e.g. when Hamas turns up and says you can’t pray outside the mosque)

      if people think they should have an army to deter Israel in the same way another nation does, well perhaps someone should provide them the manpower and the munitions. All these muslims who claim they are brothers with the Palestinian cause - can go off and be this army. (and the SWP or whoever else, like people who went off to Spain during franco’s time) (of course there is no guarantee they would just sit quietly though, so i doubt this will be a popular solution)

      Well sure Hermes, they’re are a lot of attempts at fostering more ‘guilty consciences’ right now. if there is a state of Palestine that comes out of it, and it later oppresses someone else, i daresay people will say the same sort of thing. OOh look the Israelis did x to them, people felt guilty, gave them a state, and look what they are doing now.

    31. Shamit — on 22nd January, 2009 at 8:27 pm  

      I find it sad that when solutions are discussed rather than building on them or finding better ones people love going back to entrenched positions and play on the blame game.

      is that being progressive?>

    32. Hermes — on 22nd January, 2009 at 8:29 pm  

      Sonia,
      How sad that your comment means little because my post has been deleted, and I simply cannot understand why. Why is PP so afraid of some pictures which compare the plight of Jews under Nazi rule to that of Palestinians now? Perhaps someone will enlighten me.

    33. Sunny — on 23rd January, 2009 at 12:16 am  

      Shamit:

      But Hamas needs to go Sunny. They cannot be a part of this as they dont want a solution but glory in death and destruction.

      What do you think?

      I’ve already stated I don’t have much sympathy for Hamas. But Hamas haven’t become popular and powerful in a vaccuum - they have been greatly helped by Israeli policy of previously trying to sideline Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.

      Last year we had a window of opportunity where Israel could have made a breakthrough deal with PA while Hamas was still not doing much. Mahmoud Abbas was the leader at the time. And yet they completely failed to make any progress, kept building more illegal settlements and tightened the blockade.

      How exactly is that meant to help peace? How does that NOT strengthen Hamas (which keep saying Israel will never be a partner to peace)?

      I have no sympathy for Hamas. But you can’t constantly blame them for all the problems Palestinians face.

    34. bananabrain — on 23rd January, 2009 at 9:59 am  

      sonia@25: a good point. ultimately, the nation-state is something we need to outgrow as a species. unfortunately, as hamas’s ideology is that of the ikhwan, they have already rejected it in favour of the “ummah”, which is why it doesn’t make any difference to them where the border of gaza is or where the israelis are. these people would think spain is occupied territory as well. i think i’ve pointed out elsewhere that they’ve said explicitly they don’t consider a state of palestine to be a legitimate entity according to islam.

      as sunny’s started yet another discussion thread, i’ll answer there.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

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