Letters to the Editor

Support Israel

May 21, 2011


To the editor:

There is a plan brewing in the United Nations to unilaterally give Palestinian refugees their own state, with complete disregard for the state of Israel. This state would include the terrorist group Hamas in its government, an Iran-backed, U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization that is responsible for firing thousands of rockets at civilian targets in Israel.

Palestinian leaders refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people and have stated that they wish to drive all the Jews into the sea. Israel has given many concessions and much land (Gaza, the Sinai) in a desire for peace, but in return has experienced deadly violence and bombings from terrorist groups such as Hamas. In fact, the destruction of Israel is a central tenet of Hamas’ mission statement. The Palestinians have yet to prove themselves capable of self-government without corruption and continue to spread anti-Semitic propaganda to their children.

I hope that our country will stand strong in the face of this terrible plan and support one of our closest and most dependable allies in the world: Israel.


uncleandyt 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel does exist. When will we figure out that it is Palestine's existence that is being refused. Some propaganda is louder , better funded, and spread wider and deeper than anything that Sean Hannity can make you believe is coming out of Palestine. Turn off the Hate-Radio. Oppression is not concession. If thousands of Hamas rockets were being fired at civilian , or heck, even military targets, I think Fox News would cover hundreds, or at least scores or dozens of those attacks. There's probably some video, right? stills ?, articles? Thousands...maybe they're counting rocks as rockets. I should perhaps do some research.

uncleandyt 4 years, 6 months ago

Not sold. Link one is the same as link four. Out of the Thousands of horrific attacks that we hear about, these 11 links show no convincing evidence of the stories we are told. I'm not saying that there are no rocket attacks. Link 12 is a dandy.

uncleandyt 4 years, 6 months ago

...and none of those youtube examples are from Fox.

rtwngr 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel has always been a friend and ally to the United States. The oppression that exists is a result of Israel trying to protect itself on all sides. Benjamin Netanyahu schooled our president yesterday in front of the world telling him that Israel is responsible for its own security and the United States doesn't have a thing to say about it. You could make every concession that Palestine asks for and in the end the final concession would be every jew in the middle east killed.

Brock Masters 4 years, 6 months ago

Is Israel our ally? Really? They are interested only in what is best for Israel and will use the US to acheive their end, but they are not our ally. keep in mind they have spied on us and kill our people in the past.

As Liberty One said, this is not our business and we should stay out of it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"Why doesn't any of the bordering arab states want Palestinians?"

The number of Palestinian refugees (including their offspring) in neighboring states is in the millions.

Israel won't give them the right of return, but hypocritically, will allow any Jew in the world to emigrate to Israel, even though they have absolutely no demonstrable ancestral connection to that area.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

So the only "logic" you can muster is a non-sequiter?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

And you could give up some of your land for Israelis.

Do you suppose they'll go for that? Will you?

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the Israeli's should just let the Palestinians built casinos in the West Bank and Gaza.
(said in a joking manner because it's too early to really get in an argument)

LoveThsLife 4 years, 6 months ago

Palestine has like 12 million people in it...how the hell are these bordering countries supposed to realistically support 12 million extra people dumped in their lap?

Brock Masters 4 years, 6 months ago

Maybe they could just start by telling their people that the 12 million are coming for a better life and to do the jobs that no one else will do. And, if anyone opposes the plan, just call them a racist.

Nah, that is too stupid of an idea. Only an idiot country would fall for that crap.

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 6 months ago

Estra - great letter. On the Today show a couple of days ago, there was some discussion about President Obama wanting Isreal's borders to go back to the pre 67 war. Clinton & Bush also wanted the borders back to the pre 67 as s starting point and any new realities should be reflected (ie the gains by Isreal based on the 67 war should be reflected). While President Obama was trying to push the peace process in the Middle East, he has allowed the Prime Minister of Isreal the ability to pick a fight with him and the fight will not hurt the Prime Minister of Isreal politically at home because Obama isn't as well liked as Clinton and Bush. Netanyahu picked a fight with Clinton over 10 years ago and the next elections, he was voted out of office.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"There is a plan brewing in the United Nations to unilaterally give Palestinian refugees their own state, with complete disregard for the state of Israel."

It was a "unilateral act" by the United Nations that created Israel in the first place (and the same act was intended to create a Palestinian state as well) and the government of Israel has been dominated by terrorists since its inceptions, and remains so to this day.

And pretty much everyone within the Muslim world, including Hamas and Iran, have now moved towards acceptance of Israel within its pre-1967 borders.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 6 months ago

Really? "Pretty much everyone within the Muslim world" recognizes Israel as a state? That's news to me.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Not Hamas. It doe snot recognize israel at all.

addley 4 years, 5 months ago

just so you know... God created Isreal not the UN.

TheYetiSpeaks 4 years, 6 months ago

"There is a plan brewing in the United Nations to unilaterally give Palestinian refugees their own state, with complete disregard for the state of Israel."

Funny.....That sentence roughly 70 years ago might have looked like this: There is a plan brewing to unilaterally give Jews their own state, with complete disregard to the sovereignty of Palestine......Weird.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

The original plan was a two-state solution. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine) Palestinians rejected it.

Immediately, eight Arab nations attacked Israel's newly formed state in an attempt to completely exterminate any Jews in the Middle East. A tiny country using a volunteer army overcame those incredible odds and removed the aggressors.

labmonkey 4 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone not know their history? Here's some education Bozo. The UN approved the Partition Plan for Palestine, and the Jewish community accepted. It was the Arab League and Arab Higher League who rejected it. They started a strike and started attacking the Jewish community (all within the still British Mandate). The Jews defended themselves, and went on then went on the offensive and declared independence. The new state of Israel was attacked by six neighbors and defeated. The UN had no choice but to accept them as a member. The UN did not create Israel, Israeli's created Israel.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"Does anyone not know their history?"

Looks like you know a very selective history, at best.

Jimo 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel's position in unsustainable. Absent massive U.S. aid, it would have collapsed already. Anyone who eggs on the current Israeli gov't's refusal to negotiate peace, is not friend of Israel. What does Israel expect to do the next time rockets rain down from Lebanon? They now have a long history of showing how incapable they are of defeating this type of aggression. What are they going to do now with an Egypt that can suppress popular outrage less well? What do they plan to do with a nuclear Iran? (Note: military experts are in agreement that attacking Iran cannot destroy their nuclear program.) What are they going to do when Arab Israeli citizens outnumber Jewish Israelis? Time is not on Israel's side.

"Israel has given many concessions and much land (Gaza, the Sinai) in a desire for peace"

Israel did not give up the Sinai, which they illegally occupied, for peace with the Palestinians but for peace with Egypt ... which continues to this day.

Israel did not give up Gaza, which they illegally occupied, for peace with the Palestinians but because the military found it impossible to occupy directly and believes they could seal it off an subjugate it. The results have been mixed.

Israel has not give up the Golan Heights, which they illegally occupy. Israel has not given up the West Bank, which they illegally occupy. Israel has not given up East Jerusalem, which they illegally occupy.

Israel endangers the safety and security of every American ally in the world. The U.S. must be a forceful friend bringing Israel and Palestine to negotiate and settle a peace. Obama should announce the time and place for negotiations and make it clear that attendance is not optional. The U.S. cannot be held hostage by a bunch of wacko religious extremists who view Israel as some expeditious route to the Second Coming.

At the end of this year, if no progress is made, the nations of the world seem prepared to move forward anyway by recognizing what is already reality -- a sovereign, independent Palestine, which has been the official policy of many nations--including the U.S.-- for a long time. For too long, Israel has used the delay in creating a Palestine as a bargaining chip. That chip will soon be played and Israel will be in a weaker position. Israel, if less foolish, would enthusiastically accept Obama's invitation and rely on their strongest bargaining chip -- the complete fecklessness of the Palestinians to seize opportunity.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, Jimo, but several of your statements are misleading and need to be clarified. Israel took lands in 1967, yes. But that was the result of wars of aggression by Egypt, Jordan and Syria. They lost lands because they started wars. It's that simple.
Many counties have lost lands when they waged wars of aggression and lost. That has happened many times throughout history. And the conquering country has kept those lands. It's a consequence of waging a war of aggression and losing. I am not advocating that Israel keep the lands they seized, nor am I saying that every inch of land needs to be returned. Keep in mind that a "return" of Gaza would mean it would go to Egypt and a "return" of the West Bank would mean it would go to Jordan. No one is advocating a true return, but rather that the land go to a separate third party. And Israel's problem with that third party has been that it does not believe that the third party can guarantee peace. The proof of Israel's true intentions lies with it's treaty with Egypt. Egypt received every inch of land it wanted in return for a guarantee of peace. That is Israel's history and a true indication of it's intention. The problem with your repeated statements of Israel having "illegally" taken lands is that you are holding Israel to a standard that no other country is being held to. Lands seized in wars of aggression throughout time remain in the hands of the victors. I am suspicious when someone holds Israel to one standard and the rest of the world to another.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"But that was the result of wars of aggression by Egypt, Jordan and Syria. They lost lands because they started wars. It's that simple. "

Well, no, it's not that simple. It was Israel who first attacked in 1967, not any of the Arab countries. That doesn't absolve those countries of their own belligerence, but in the history of Arab/Israeli relations, aggression and a preference for violence have been equally prevalent on both sides.

But that does bring up an interesting hypothetical. If there is another all-out war, and the Arabs manage to retake not just the territory taken in 1967, but all of Israel, would that mean that Israel has legitimately been removed from the family of nations? Would you similarly view that as justified because "to the winner goes the spoils?"

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Re: 1967 Again, Bozo, your are stating things that are not true. Egypt closed an international waterway, legally defined as an act of war. And they gave every indication that they intended to commit additional acts of war. That is historical fact. And it is the very definition of a war of aggression. Israel responded. As to your hypothetical, that is the very real possibility Israel lives with every day. If they had lost their war of independence, or the 1967 war, or some future all out war, yes. Israel will cease to exist because that has been the repeated stated intention of it's adversaries. That might come to pass at some future time. Interestingly, the reverse is not true. Israel probably has the military might to remove all non-Jews from Gaza. But they have shown no interest in doing so. They have the military might to remove all non-Jews from the West Bank but again have shown no interest in doing so. Even within the pre-1967 lines, over 20% of the population is Palestinian and again, Israel has given no indication that they wish to remove them. Contrast that with Gaza and the West Bank. Those are areas where those who advocate a Palestinian state wish to make those regions Jew free. Despite the fact that there have been Jewish enclaves there since biblical times. But to answer your question, if Israel began a war of aggression in an attempt to remove all Arabs from the region, but were defeated and driven out of the region entirely, yes, that would be the natural consequence of their actions.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

Everything I stated was true. Yes, the Arabs were saber-rattling, but there is as much reason to believe that that was all they intended to do as to believe that an attack was imminent. The Israelis chose not to wait to find out, which makes them as much an aggressor in the 1967 war as the Arabs were.

The problem with all of your arguments is that you want to claim some moral superiority by the Israelis, when there is none. The behavior of both sides of this conflict has been alternately reprehensible for nearly a century.

But this conflict began because of a romantic notion that Jews should return to a homeland the vast majority had left hundreds and even thousands of years ago. Given the persecution of Jews in Europe and elsewhere, that's an understandable desire. The problem is that the fate of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that would be displaced by this was barely even an afterthought.

So, any solution to this conflict requires two things.

  1. Palestinians need to accept the state of Israel (something that even Hamas appears to have nearly done, or is at least in the process of doing.) And that recognition will have to include accepting that some lands they consider sacred will remain under Israeli control.

  2. Israelis need to recognize that the establishment of their country necessitated grave injustices to the Palestinians it displaced. One way to do that is to at least go back to the pre-1967 borders as a basis for negotiations, likely including some land swaps.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

I really can't believe you believe that the events leading up to the 1967 was mere saber-rattling. The closing of international waterways, the expelling of U.N. peacekeepers, the massing of troops, tanks, aircraft, all into an agreed upon demilitarized zone towards the border with Israel. No one believes that it was mere saber-rattling, not even the Egyptians. I guess an analogy would be if someone robs a store and then points a gun at the police. They fire, therefore, the police instigated the violence????? No. Closing the waterways was the robbing the store, the other acts I mentioned would the pointing a gun at the police. If, under those circumstances you would be critical of the police then we plain see the world differently. It's a justified "reaction" to the events. Israel's "reaction" to Egypt's actions were perfectly justifiable.
I also can't believe how you come to the conclusion that Hamas, (presumably Hezbollah) and other belligerent countries in the region are accepting of Israel's existence. Some are, others are not and recent events in the region suggest that even those assumptions may be false. Who knows, Egypt may become a foe while Iran may become a friend. It's hard to tell. But the least likely to become friends are Hamas and Hezbollah. At any rate, I wouldn't stake my life on regional friendships, something you're asking Israeli's to do.
I'm sorry, bozo, you make statements of possibilities that I find hard to believe that even you believe are true.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

The problem with your analysis is that it begins in 1967, and requires an assumption that Israel had been pure as the driven snow right up to that point. (something you find remarkably easy to do.)

As I noted below, there had been a continual state of aggression from both sides since well before 1967. Arbitrarily choosing the actions by Arabs immediately before that war, while simultaneously ignoring all Israeli actions prior to that as well as the fact that Israel did indeed launch the first attacks of that war, is intellectually dishonest.

"I also can't believe how you come to the conclusion that Hamas, (presumably Hezbollah) and other belligerent countries in the region are accepting of Israel's existence"

I came to that conclusion because senior Hamas officials have stated that they would consider using the pre-1967 borders as the basis for negotiations on a comprehensive settlement.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

As to the continual state of aggression prior to 1967, yes, but there are things you can do to exacerbate the problem. Things like close international waterways, expel U.N. peacekeepers, re-militarize a de-militarized zone, state clearly to your adversary that you intend to attack, things like that. Again, keeping in mind that the closing of international waterways is an act of war. In the face of all that, you conclude that the prudent measure would have been for Israel to do nothing, wait for an attack by overwhelming forces. While we now know that Israel used far superior tactics to quickly defeat Egypt, we also know that those tactics depended upon surprise. We also know that in terms of sheer numbers, the Egyptian forces far outnumbered the Israelis. You are asking that the one advantage the Israelis had, they should not have used, even in the face of Egypt's behavior? Is that a fair assessment of your position?

Evan Ridenour 4 years, 6 months ago

You have zero knowledge of international law. Egypt committed several acts of war first. That made them the aggressor. It isn't exactly a complex concept.

You are spouting off inaccurate and ficticous ideas of the law and you are combining it with a bunch of historical "facts" that I can't even find stated by other nut jobs elsewhere via a google search.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

Ah, yet another defender of the infallibility of Israel.

I never denied that Egypt (along with other Arab states) was an aggressor prior to the 67 war. Clearly they were.

The fact is that there has been a continual state of aggression from both sides for many decades. Both sides were aggressors in fomenting the 67 war.

Gail Grant 4 years, 6 months ago

So the only difference is that Israel never tried to occupy any of the other established countries or to kill its civilian population while the arab countries attack Israel with the mere intention to kill ever men women and child and destroy the Jewish country. I would think that alone would make all the difference in the world. What about the fact that Israel accept the 48 UN resolution of small torn apart country and immediately attacked by multiple countries all with huge armies? What about the 73 war? When Israel got attacked 6 different armies? Then Israel was violent as well? I want to see how you behave when an army would stand not on the US boarders but rather on Lawrence entrance

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

" The proof of Israel's true intentions lies with it's treaty with Egypt."

What does it say about Israel that they are freaking out that military dictatorship in Egypt may come to an end?

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

It says that Israel does not choose the government of Egypt. As far as I know, every country on this planet dealt with the Egyptian government. Again, should Israel be held to a standard different than every other country? I'm curious as to your thoughts as to my response to your hypothetical.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

What it actually says is that as long as the brutal repression of the Egyptian people by the military dictatorship served their purposes, they were among its most fervent supporters.

Maybe it's OK by you, because everybody else does it, but it's no indication of moral superiority.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

First, because the government of Egypt was the recognized political entity, Israel and every other country in the world had no one else to deal with, unless you're calling for everyone to not deal with them. In that way, everyone on the planet was equal, but you mentioned only Israel's dealings with them. Why them and only them? And again, I'm still curious as to the answers to your hypothetical.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

" In that way, everyone on the planet was equal, but you mentioned only Israel's dealings with them."

The thread has been primarily about Israel. Not the rest of the world.

And your apparent belief that Israel was an innocent bystander in the geopolitical machinations that propped up Mubarek for so long is extremely naive.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

You give Israel too much credit. Their ability to prop up regimes such as Mubarek's Egypt is non-existent. If they could do such things, they would have done it in several neighboring countries throughout the region. Are you suggesting that Assad's Syria is the result of Israeli policies? Or that Lebanon's turmoil and Hezbollah's influence there is the result of Israeli policies? Nonsense. Israel simply does not have any more influence than any other country. And while this thread is about Israel, your condemnation of their behavior which was no better or worse than the behavior of all the other countries on the planet comes across as sounding like you're holding them to another, different standard.
Ultimately, it's the Egyptians themselves that get the government of their own choosing.
Again, you presented to me a hypothetical which I answered. I've asked for your reaction a couple of times. Please show me the courtesy of answering.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"You give Israel too much credit. Their ability to prop up regimes such as Mubarek's Egypt is non-existent."

Israel certainly didn't do it alone. It was part of a US policy of propping up despotic regimes to better project its hegemony over the region, initially as part of the cold war, and over subsequent years, US/Israeli policy in that region has been all but merged-- which is why the Egyptian military has received $billion in US tax dollars to consolidate its brutally repressive control over Egypt in exchange for making peace with Israel.

Bottom line-- Israel is perfectly OK making peace, as long as it comes wholly at someone else's expense.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

The peace Israel made with Egypt came at someone else's expense? Who's? Egypt got 100% of the lands back that it wanted. Egypt abandoned Gaza. The fact is that Israel's peace with Egypt should be a model for the resolution of other peace agreements. Land for peace.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

The Egyptian military dictatorship made peace with Israel. And they got $billion in US tax dollars for doing it, which they then used to make war on their own people.

"Egypt should be a model for the resolution of other peace agreements."

Yea, right, there's nothing that propping up military dictatorships with US tax dollars can't solve.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

If you don't like the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, you would replace it with what? And while you're at it, the U.S. did send money to Egypt during Mubarek's reign. And we continue to send money now. What will Egypt look like in ten years, or twenty? Who knows. Democracy? Theocracy? Another Mubarek? Our money will be blamed for supporting whatever is the result. My crystal ball is broken, I'm hoping for the best, as are our leaders who decide to send aid.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Upon further reflection, bozo, you are complaining about the continued state of hostilities that existed, you're complaining about a peace treaty Israel signed with a repressive Egyptian regime, you're complaining about a peace treaty Egypt signed with a repressive Israeli regime, you don't like the war and you don't like the peace. You ask questions which I strive to answer, you refuse to answer questions that are posed in the most polite ways possible.
You're a difficult person to understand.

Gail Grant 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel is freaking out not because the of Mubarac but rather because of uncertainty. When a country several times your size which you share boarder with becomes unstable, it is scary. When that country have internal forces that may come to control it that call for your destruction. It is something to fear from. Israel doesn’t have the luxury to worry about democracy or not democracy in other countries, when it needs to fight for its life.

Jimo 4 years, 6 months ago

There's nothing "misleading" about leaving out details that alter the situation not one whit. There's no 'you started the war so I can annex your territory rule' in the modern world. None.

"Standard no other country is being held to .... throughout time"

We're not talking about effete European cockapoos wearing velvet pantaloons, fake moles and powdered wigs invading and occupying Upper Ruthenia and the Silesian Concession! There is NO country in modern times that has been allowed to incorporate territory won by military conquest. None. Not. A. Single. One. Hmmm.....look at what happened when Iraq tried to pull an "Israel" in Kuwait!

There are plenty of examples of people trying to impose Israel-only rules (I'm looking at you, Bozo.) Occupying other's land isn't one of them.

In this, Israel is being treated precisely according the same rule that any other nation would. In contradistiction, it is you! who is demanding Special Rules for Israel. We need to side with our allies and demand that Israel follow the same rules as everyone else. Palestinian land isn't there for Israel to swallow like an anaconda and encouraging Israel in this false belief only guarantees endless future wars with its neighbors ... wars that Israel can't afford to lose even once, my false-friend.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

"There are plenty of examples of people trying to impose Israel-only rules (I'm looking at you, Bozo.)"

Please explain.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually, countries do lose land through wars of aggression. Both Japan and Germany lost territory and have yet to have them returned. And there is no expectation that they will ever be returned. I mention those two because the time frame is close, in historical terms. A little research could yield many more examples. What is unique in this case is for a country to lose land in a war of aggression and then simply abandon the land with the expectation that the land should then be turned over to a third party. I'll state again, a true "return" would have Gaza going to Egypt and the West Bank going to Jordan. That would be a true "return" of land and a true "return" to pre-1967 lines. To my knowledge, no one advocates that. So the establishment of a new Palestinian state should not be confused with a return of anything to anyone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

The lands that were taken from Germany and Japan had been in dispute for decades and even centuries.

And prior to WWII, neither Germany nor Japan had been created by a UN mandate that expropriated lands from other peoples.

Also, please keep in mind that for Palestinians, recognizing the pre-1967 borders is a compromise, given that those borders were imposed on the people of the region, along with the establishment of other countries in the region, as well as the monarchies that ruled them.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, lands taken from Germany and Japan were in dispute for a long time. As has been the case here. Lands have been lost in wars when the loser sided with the wrong party. That's how these lands went from Ottoman rule to British rule. And it helps explain (though not totally) why Jews coming into the region after WW II did not recognize Palestinian leaders as people with whom they could negotiate. Those same leaders supported the losing side in WW II, Hitler and his final solution.
As to the 1967 lines being a compromise, certainly. There have been offers of compromises in the past that were rejected. Compromises that would have left the Jews even less territory that the '67 lines. But they were always rejected by Arab leaders. And again, not just rejected but met with violence. That's the rub. Even when the '67 lines were in place, peace did not happen. Are you saying that a return to the '67 lines will bring peace? What's your evidence of that? Hamas' and Hezbollah's insistence of Israeli annihilation says that your belief is not founded in fact. You're asking the Israeli's to put their lives on the line, trusting that people who have waged wars for decades and say they will continue to wage war until Israel is destroyed, trust that they will change those policies.
I, too would like to see a true land for peace treaty. And when the Palestinians are able to guarantee peace, they will get their own country. Until that happens though, this impasse will continue.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel has also undermined efforts for a just peace - Rabin was assassinated by Israeli right-wingers, not Palestinians.

And, it's clear that Israel wants to continually expand, and build settlements in disputed territories, which is hardly a good faith effort to assure enough Palestinian territory.

Israel would also have to "guarantee peace".

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

It's not at all clear that Israel wants to continually expand. Their short history shows that they are willing to remove settlements in return for peace. They did it with the Sinai. They also removed settlements from Gaza which resulted in a new round of violence.
Israel has maintained their guarantee of peace with Egypt. With a legitimate peace partner, one that can guarantee peace in return, Israel has indeed kept it's promise of peace. Israel also has an understanding with Jordan. No rockets come over the border, no acts of violence on either side. Both countries control their people and control their borders. Peace.
As to the issue of settlements in the West Bank, that presents a problem where reality on the ground is going to trump what people want. There was certainly a time when they could be removed. Their numbers were small. But over time, they have grown to a level that they cannot be reasonably moved. There is a part of Israel's population that believes a return to historical Israel is their right. Coupled with the fact that Arab leaders refused to negotiate with Israel (the infamous three no(s)), the void was filled with now hundreds of thousands of Jewish residents of the West Bank. But there is a simple solution to that. Simply allow them to live right where they are, in a new Palestinian state. Just as Israel's population is over 20% Palestinian, a Palestinian state should not be a Jew free zone. They should be citizens and protected, as every country on the planet has an obligation to protect minorities within their borders. Some will stay, some will migrate back to Israel. Perhaps some Palestinians inside Israel will migrate also. Both should be free to follow their own path.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

If one is serious about negotiating a fair agreement, one doesn't keep building settlements in disputed territory.

There are Jewish folks that want Israel to expand, and Palestine to disappear, just as there are Palestinians who want Israel to disappear.

Palestine should have the freedom to set their own policies as far as who lives there, just as Israel does - if they want the territory for their own people to come back to, who has the right to tell them they have to leave Jewish settlements there?

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

"Palestine should have the freedom to set their own policies as far as who lives there, just as Israel does"? Really, so Israel could expel the million Palestinians currently living in Israel? That would be acceptable? And to expel them specifically because of their ethnicity. That would be abhorrent. Why is it any less abhorrent to expel all Jews from the West Bank? "If one is serious about negotiating a fair agreement, one doesn't keep building settlements in disputed territory" Well, if it's disputed, that's exactly the reason to increase your presence, to make the reality on the ground more favorable for your position. But while that's an valid argument, it's one I would choose not to make. The argument I would make it that Israel spent decades trying to negotiate a two state solution. It began before WW II and continued after. The other side rejected proposals and answered with violence or they simply did not negotiate. Frustrated after years of trying, Israel finally acted in a unilateral manner. They built settlements, at first knowing that they could be removed if the other side agreed to negotiate. That did not happen. Now the settlements are certainly too big and too many to remove. Reality on the ground trumps what was possible decades ago.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

What's the point of giving territory to the Palestinians, from their perspective, if it's all occupied already? It doesn't give them any more space to live and work, or space for Palestinians elsewhere to return to.

You seem to have a slightly biased view of the situation, it seems to me. I saw an interesting debate between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz on this issue. Chomsky made some very good points about the unfairness of various proposals from a Palestinian standpoint, and Dershowitz yelled and waved his arms around a lot.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel offered 97% of the West Bank to the Palestinians. That proposal was rejected. If every settler now in the West Bank stayed, they would represent less than 10% of the population. Compare that with the pre-1967 lines where about 23% of the population in Palestinian.
Every compromise is unfair. The pre-1967 lines had Jewish holy sites in Arab hands. Jews were denied access. Jewish headstones were used to make outhouses for Jordanian troops. But Israel lived with those lines. Muslims have free access to holy sites under Israeli control. Nothing is fair. Not pre-1967, nor post 1967. But if you're saying that a Palestinian state that is over 90% Palestinian and that they can't live with a small Jewish minority in their country, well, maybe that is itself an abhorrent attitude.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

One of the interesting things Chomsky said was Ok, let's reverse the proposal - would Israel accept it?

Lots of yelling and hand-waving from Dershowitz, and no substantive answer.

If "nothing is fair", then a just settlement is impossible.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

The reverse was acceptable prior to '67. Jewish holy sites were in Arab hands. Jews were denied access. Palestinians were living within the borders of Israel. You've suggested that Jews would not be acceptable in a Palestinian state. Prior to Israeli statehood, they were willing to accept an even smaller state, Arabs rejected that compromise. An even smaller state for Jews was proposed by the British prior to WW II and the Arabs rejected that. So, yes, Israel has shown a willingness to accept difficult compromises. The same cannot be said for the other side.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Jafs - One additional question, you asked if the reverse would be acceptable. Let me pose that question to you as it refers to where people can or cannot live. You earlier said that the Palestinians could expel all the Jews from the West Bank, they have a right to control their population as they see fit. I found that line of thinking troubling to say the least. Do you really think it's O.K. if Israel expelled all Palestinians from inside Israel? That is the reverse situation, would it be O.K. with you?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

So, if Palestinians were building settlements in disputed territory, despite international pressure to stop, and the territory was then determined to belong to Israel, yes, they should have the same right to remove the settlers from that area.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel was created at the end of WWII, not in '67.

If the current proposals are reasonable, then reverse them, and ask Israel to accept the other side. I can almost guarantee that they wouldn't.

Otherwise Dershowitz, a very pro-israel fellow, would have been able to do more than wave his hands around and yell.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm not clear as to what you're asking. Are you saying that all of Israel should get up and move to the West Bank and Gaza while the Palestinians should get up and move into Israel? Is that what you're asking? That would be a truly hypothetical question that is beyond fantasy. I could answer yes or no, knowing that it's such an absurdity that it would never happen. But when you asked earlier if Israel would accept the reverse, I mentioned that Israel has accepted difficult compromises. They were separated from their holy sites in the pre-1967 lines. They would have accepted an even smaller Israel immediately after WW II but that proposal was rejected by the Arabs. And before the war, the British proposed and even smaller than that amount of land in the Peel Commission's recommendation, but that was also rejected by the Arabs. If the question is will Israel accept difficult compromises, then history suggests that the answer is yes.
And I'm still interested in a response I posed earlier. You seem to believe it would be fine with expelling all Jews from the West Bank. Do you believe Israel has the right to expel the million or so Palestinians currently living inside Israel's pre-1967 lines?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

The point is clear - if the proposals are equitable, then either side should be willing to accept either side of them - if Israel isn't willing to accept the "deal" they're offering the Palestinians, then perhaps it's not adequately just.

Whatever decision is made about borders would include the right to deport, if the country chose to exercise it.

So, if it's decided that the new borders will be the pre-'67 ones, and both sides agree to that, then either/both sides have the right to deport, if they wish to, in my opinion.

Of course, if there are citizenship issues, then those would be valid, eg. if there are Palestinians in Israel who are Israeli citizens, then they should have the right to stay.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, the Palestinians living inside Israel are indeed Israeli citizens so you're saying they cannot be deported. I agree as I think deporting them would be nothing short of ethnic cleansing. The people on the West Bank are not citizens of Palestine, since Palestine as an independent country has never existed. Should an independent Palestine come into being, removing any one group would be ethnic cleansing as well. But you're saying that's their right. I would disagree.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

That's a thorny issue, due to the fact that there is no Palestinian state. But I'm wary of how much we can/should impose on them - how much of that sort of thing would we have tolerated when forming our country?

It's not "ethnic cleansing", it's deporting folks who have no right to live there, and chose to build settlements while land was being disputed and negotiated.

If they chose to remove all Jews from the entire state of Palestine, that would be "ethnic cleansing".

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

The net effect of the "Palestinian Uprising" of the 1930's was that Jews living in scattered enclaves throughout the West Bank fled to areas in which they were the majority. Those area are now within what we would call the pre-1967 lines. The settlements that have sprung up have been an attempt to repopulate those areas as well as to expand the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem had a significant Jewish majority prior to WW II. The settlements seek to expend that majority into East Jerusalem, a traditional Muslim majority area. To again remove Jews from their traditional enclaves, as was done in the 1930's seems to be a repeat of a abhorrent policy. The removal of settlements from East Jerusalem seems to be perfectly acceptable. A future division of Jerusalem, with each side controlling their holy sites would be necessary in my opinion. That would require drawing a border with a razor's edge.

Evan Ridenour 4 years, 6 months ago

You are making factually incorrect statements Jimo. The lands that you claim Israeli "illegally occupied" were not illegally obtained. It is a well understood foundation of international law that lands seized from aggressor nations in defense are not illegally obtained.

I find it hilarious that you are just throwing around hyperbole without having any idea of what the "law" actually is. There is absolutely zero basis in international law to claim Israeli didn't seize those lands legally. You need to review your history. Those countries tried to invade Israel, Israel had every right to keep the land just like every other country in the world would have a right to keep the land if they were in the same position.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

Please cite the passages in official book of international law upon which you base this interpretation.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

"Benjamin Netanyahu schooled our president yesterday in front of the world telling him that Israel is responsible for its own security and the United States doesn't have a thing to say about it."

WHY do we keep sending big bucks and weapons to Israel?

Israel is the 4th largest nuclear weapons power in the world with the help of the USA.

Benjamin Netanyahu is a violent dictator which does NOT necessarily represent the people. The people that I've met from Israel make me wonder how in the world did a Benjamin Netanyahu get elected?

One of the problems with the oil region and Israel is:

Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad.

The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke.

It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001.

Until 1948, the pipeline ran from the Kurdish-controlled city of Mosul to the Israeli port of Haifa, on its northern Mediterranean coast.

The revival of the pipeline was first discussed openly by the Israeli Minister for National Infrastructures, Joseph Paritzky, according to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz .

The paper quotes Paritzky as saying that the pipeline would cut Israel's energy bill drastically - probably by more than 25 per cent - since the country is currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia.

US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project has been discussed. One former senior CIA official said: 'It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of President George W. Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy supply as well as that of the United States.

'The Haifa pipeline was something that existed, was resurrected as a dream and is now a viable project - albeit with a lot of building to do.'

The editor-in-chief of the Middle East Economic Review , Walid Khadduri, says in the current issue of Jane's Foreign Report that 'there's not a metre of it left, at least in Arab territory'.

To resurrect the pipeline would need the backing of whatever government the US is to put in place in Iraq, and has been discussed - according to Western diplomatic sources - con't http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/apr/20/israelandthepalestinians.oil

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

Benjamin Netanyahu is a violent dictator which does NOT necessarily represent the people. The people that I've met from Israel make me wonder how in the world did a Benjamin Netanyahu get elected?

Then again people around the world must wonder how in the world do members of war mongering Bush Family and their extended poltical family become presidents and cabinet people.

The Los Angeles Times

Bush Family Values: War, Wealth, Oil by Kevin Phillips

Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry investigated the Iran-Contra and Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandals, both of which touched George H.W. Bush's Saudi, Iraqi and Middle Eastern arms-deal entanglements.

Washington lawyer Jack Blum, the ace investigator for Kerry's subcommittee back then, is said to be advising him now, which could be meaningful. Ironically, the Bush family's century of involvement in oil, armaments and global intrigue has never been at the center of the national debate since the Bushes starting running for president in 1980.

The reason? Insufficient public knowledge. Millions of Republicans who have loyally voted for Bushes in three presidential elections simply have no idea. Here are circumstances and biases especially worth noting.

The Bushes and the military-industrial complex: George H. Walker and Samuel Prescott Bush were the dynasty's founding fathers during the years of and after World War I. Walker, a St. Louis financier, made his mark in corporate reorganizations and war contracts.

By 1919, he was enlisted by railroad heir W. Averell Harriman to be president of Wall Street-based WA Harriman, which invested in oil, shipping, aviation and manganese, partly in Russia and Germany, during the 1920s.

Sam Bush ran an Ohio company, Buckeye Steel Castings, that produced armaments. In 1917, he went to Washington to head the small arms, ammunition and ordnance section of the federal War Industries Board. Both men were present at the emergence of what became the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Prescott Bush, the Connecticut senator had some German corporate ties at the outbreak of World War II, but the better yardstick of his connections was his directorships of companies involved in U.S. war production.

Dresser Industries, for example, produced the incendiary bombs dropped on Tokyo and made gaseous diffusion pumps for the atomic bomb project. George H.W. Bush later worked for Dresser's oil-services businesses. Then, as CIA director, vice president and president, one of his priorities was the U.S. weapons trade and secret arms deals with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the moujahedeen in Afghanistan.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

The line of questionable, illegal, and unethical businesses practices goes back at least to Prescott Bush Sr., George Bush Sr.’s father.

Prescott Bush was a Senator from 1952 – 1963. Previous to his time as a Senator Prescott was a banker and businessman. Prior to the American entry into WWII Prescott Bush was director of Union Banking Corporation. Union Banking Corporation helped to finance Hitler’s regime.

The Concentration Camps of Nazi Germany were labor camps that the Nazis used to make products for their regime as well as for sale to raise money. Prescott profited directly from the Auschwitz labor camp.

In 1942, after Hitler declared war on America the United States government seized the Union Banking Corporation under the Trading with the Enemy Act as a front operation that was supporting the Nazis. Much of the profits from the operation were already pocketed by Prescott however, and $1.5 million was put in a trust fund for George Bush Sr.

For more on Prescott Bush's ties to the Nazis see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1312540,00.html

============= Ever wonder why some countries take a dislike to the USA government? The USA government does not necessarily represent the people.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 6 months ago

Ancient history sighting! Haven't seen that ink in at least a couple of days, merrill! Posting the same drivel over and over and over = dumb and irresponsible!!!!!

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 6 months ago

Not if the 'drivel' is the truth. Which, in this case, it is.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 6 months ago

It is clear to me that neither Palestine nor Israel want to live a USA democracy style of government.

Then again pumping Iraq oil into Israel isn't exactly sweet foreign policy or diplomatic.

In fact none of the countries in this oil region where uncle sam has planted too many bases want our style of government. This is documented by the dictators the USA puts in place.

CreatureComforts 4 years, 6 months ago

USA style of democracy? You mean where there are two parties and all they do is bash each other and get nothing of any real significance done? I don't blame them for not wanting an American-style democracy...

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 6 months ago

Correction: One corporate party with two factions who pretend to be unrelated.

parco814 4 years, 6 months ago

Excuse me, those of us who pay taxes already support Israel, the recipient of the largest portions of US foreign aid.

No one has any business telling me or anyone else what opinion to have about Israeli foreign policy, because really, those opinions don't amount to much, unlike the funding we provide to Israel.

And if I want anyone's advice on my opinions there, Estra Grant would be one of the last people I'd ask. She's an alarmist who provides no evidence or citations for her outlandish claims.

funkdog1 4 years, 6 months ago

Why does the U.S. care about Isreal? Easy. Because we're afraid of making "god" mad by turning our backs on "his" people. Simple as that. Religion as foreign policy.

funkdog1 4 years, 6 months ago

As an addendum, I'd like to say that I honestly don't know enough about the history of the conflict between Isreal and Palestine to judge which side is "more right" than the other, nor do I particularly care ... I'm just disturbed by the fact that our politics is so obviously colored by religion in this instance.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 6 months ago

No that isn';t it. It is because the AIPAC gives millions of dollars to candidates it wants to be in office in the Senate and House not to mention the Presidencey. It is AIPAC money that runs our government. Think about that. And that is why so much goes to Israel. We are overtaken by this lobbyist group and there is nothing we can do about it until they stop lobbyists from funding our elections. We are not afraid of their God. We aren't afraid of anything but need AIPAC to pay our politicians. Every wonder why they go to Washington on a shoestring and come home mutlimillionaires? Think about it!!!

Flap Doodle 4 years, 6 months ago

Between this and the Koch article, the usual suspects have worked themselves into a frenzy today. Most amusing.

LoveThsLife 4 years, 6 months ago

Umm, actually he isn't waving an anti-anything flag. He made that speech hoping to deter the Palestinians from going to the UN in the fall to be declared an independent state. That is what Palestinian leadership is going to do. If Obama can get both parties to sit down and hash things out it will ultimately be better all around. Israel isn't going to like what the UN is going to do, because most countries are not as supportive of Israel as we are. In addition, when the UN recognizes Palestine as a separate state it will take away a bargaining chip that Israel has been using in negotiations for years. It's in Israel's best interest to sit down with Palestinian leadership and negotiate as it is in Palestine's best interest to get rid of Hamas and recognize that Israel isn't going anywhere.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

What Palestinian state. There has never been one. The area now being argued about was part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries before the British took it by war in 1918. They governed it under a League of Nations and then UN charter until the UN resolution of partition in 1947. The Brits and the French (not us) promised everybody the same land when they were scared of Rommel in WWII. Formal paper. Now they try to avoid their own complicity in this mess.

Promptly after that all the surrounding Arab states invaded the Israeli portion of the partition and promptly lost with Israel taking more land. This was repeated two more times. The Palestinians in refugee camps have been there since 1947. There were not millions of them then and they could have been absorbed easily. Nobody wanted them, particularly the states that invaded Israel on their behalf

If the Palestinian refugees were to return, they would overwhelm Israel. Not going to happen except if they try war again and win.

Where does all this misinformation about the Palestinians come from? They have never had a state - ever. They could have had one had they not participated in a war (three times) on their behalf by people who have done nothing to help them.

Is this anti-Semitism, ignorance, political correctness, or cowardice (selling out someone else in order to avoid a war that might involve us)??

And yes, I have been specifically educated on this subject by people with doctorates in it and not surprisingly by officers in the Egyptian, Israeli and Jordanian military. My dates may be off by a bit since I did not check them but the story is accurate and reasonably complete.

Those poor Palestinians could, be happily sitting in a state of their own with UN support had they not tried three times to annihilate Israel. Why should we care about their stupidity?

And yes, I fear a war, as the leaders of the Palestinians are promising far more than they can ever deliver by any responsible negotiation.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Seeker - Terrible racist rant. You really should be banned from this forum.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree with jhawkinsf on this one.

We can disagree on how the Palestinian/Israeli dispute should be resolved, but this blatant celebration of genocide and Nazism is really sickening.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 6 months ago

How about another move, maybe the U.N. could help again. Move Israel into Northern Mexico. We could watch the magic happen on our doorstep. Desert blooming, colleges opening, hospitals the envy of the world. A peaceful people could build wonderful modern cities and oft chatted LJW culture would blossom.

Then the Palestinians could destroy all the infrastructure and be raising goats in little time. Arab hatred then could return to Arabs hating Arabs again, just like it's been for 3000 years.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Well the hate Persians too - and crusaders.

Neat idea. Instead of an humongous people migration problem on our border, the Israelis’ will, put them all to gainful employment - a three-fer - neat!!

Scott Morgan 4 years, 6 months ago

What culture doesn't think they are chosen? This very second there is an argument in a Romanian bar about how they are the true leaders of the world. I would not argue, Vampires you know!!!!!

Why not let Jews build a homeland near the U.S.A. which they will do quietly. Me thinks it was looked into by the U. hack hack spit spit farmer blow spit N. in the 1940s.

Solve everything and Muslims can go back to whacking women and setting back education.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 6 months ago

For the last 2000 years where were the "Children of Israel"? did they disappear from the face of the earth to come back again in Israel? No they didn't. The late Debra Goener of Kansas University wrote that the Children as the years went by remained on the land and eventually accepted Islam and Christianity and became among the Palestinians. If these are the "Chosen People" according to the Old Testament, then they are in their right place. But we are told in the Quran that they are chosen to receive the admonishment from God for their wicked ways and it goes on to list them. Those of you who support Israelis should read more and find out exactly who we are talking about. They have assimilated into the Palestinian world. Those from Europe and elsewhere are not the Children of Israel even though they are Jewish.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

There is probably a good deal of truth in what you say, but the bottom line is that no matter how Israel came into existence, it does indeed exist, and its people have a right to a homeland and self-determination.

The tricky part is making sure that the Palestinian people, at whose expense Israel was created, get the same thing.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago


Both peoples were in that space. Jews and Arabs have been there forever. In fact, at one time the only difference was religion. The UN was forced to address this issue as it was in one of their mandates. They split the baby.

Why is it that the Jews should leave? Maybe the Palestinians should leave?

I asked a question above. Where does all this one sided bigotry originate. Certainly, it ignores history.

Why are so many of you siding with the Palestinians. Many of you have blogged your distaste for war. The Palestinians would be happy in their homeland if they had not made war on the Jews three times. Double standard, maybe??

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Good lord. If we drag religion into this we will spend forever citing texts

Armored_One 4 years, 6 months ago

We have an epic chance for the best of humanity to triumph, and yet we stand around, sticking our thumbs in our ears, making faces and blowing raspberries at each other.

One of the oldest concept of government could come into play, as well.

First, give the land to the Palestinians.

Second, establish Jerusalem as it's own, independant state, with a represenative government from all religions entangled in that ancient city overseeing it. Overseen by NATO until the government can be fully established and policies set in place, the US cannot be claimed to be interfering, since dozens of countries would be involved, many of which the US has little or no influence over. Sort of like Vatican City, just without all the Catholics.

Third, ask, yes ASK, the world if there is a country, or even a group of countries located near each other, that would be willing to sponsor a Jewish country to be established from lands given from those countries to the Jews.

Yes, I know there are large gaps in this idea that could seriously cause some major issues, but it could be a decent starting point to straightening this bag of snakes out. If nothing else, it would possibly ease some of the tensions between the US and the Arab nations that are torqued over Israel's existance.

Who knows, but it might actually work, but it would require a lot of people to actually move into the present and the future instead of dwelling on the past.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

All those who argue that one side or the other is at fault seem to be missing an essential point here - if this isn't resolved, both sides exist in a continual state of violence and stress.

Moderates on both sides want to live peacefully and with less stress - it's extremists on both sides that keep the fight going.

It's been 40+ years, don't you think if somebody was going to "win" here, it would already have happened?

And, for those that say Palestinians never had a "homeland" in the first place due to colonialism, isn't that even more of a reason that they should have one now?

Finally, my considered opinion is that both sides have acted badly, in different ways and times - nobody has "clean hands".

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Just to respond to one point here, when you say that both sides exist in a continual state of stress and violence, yes that's true. And if the only alternative to that were peace, everyone would say great, let's find a path to peace. But that's not the only alternative. Full out war is also possible. The fear is that if the stress is relieved that movement might result in either peace or war, not knowing which. That unknown, that fear of all out war also prevents the parties from moving towards peace. Because of the unknown. If a guaranteed path to peace existed, sure, everyone would follow that path.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Why would relieving the stress result in a full-out war? And, what is there right now that prevents that?

And, I think your last sentence is not accurate - there are those on both sides that would like to wipe out the other side completely, and reject peaceful solutions - that's the problem.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

There are those on both sides that would wipe out the other side completely? I don't think that's true. While Arab armies tried to do that and Hamas and Hezbollah continue to advocate just that, Israel has made no such effort. In fact, they probably have the military might right now to remove all Palestinians from within Israel's borders but have made no such effort. They could probably remove everyone from Gaza and have again made no such effort. They could probably do the same in the West Bank, again, they've made no such effort. The Palestinian population continues to grow in all three areas I mentioned. There may be some crack-pot in Israel who says things like that. But Israeli actions and Israeli elected leaders don't act in that way. Relieving the stress might cause all out war - that's what happened in 1967. Remove the peacekeepers, re-arm the de-militarized zone, and the mistrust of generations and the result was all out war. Maybe you're right, it won't happen again. I'm just suggesting that it's possible. It's a risk. Hey, I'm all for peace. But I think when asking someone else to take the chance, we can understand if they choose not to.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Those "crackpots" are the reason that the Israeli government can't actually come to a just agreement - they're the ones who killed Rabin, and who frighten whatever government figure exists at the moment.

Just as it was Palestinian extremists who frightened Arafat, who said if he had accepted a reasonably decent agreement, that he'd be "drinking tea in heaven with Yitzhak Rabin".

Until the extremists aren't allowed to frighten and influence those negotiating, no lasting (just) agreements will ever be made.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

I would beg to differ with you. The crack-pots in Israel are on a short leash. What you're saying is akin to saying the Oklahoma City bomber is why the U.S. can or can't do something. There will always be lone wolves, what there isn't is an official policy the likes of which you describe. Peace could have been achieved prior to WW II with the Peel Commission's recommendation. It could have happened many times after WW II. Israel certainly expected it to happen after 1967. They fully expected the Arab countries to offer peace in exchange for their land back. Everyone, including the Palestinians were dumbfounded when Jordan and Egypt just gave up claim to the land and somehow ceded the lands to a third party, a party that would continue it's hostility towards Israel.
Rabin's killing, like Sadat's did not kill the peace process. Both killings were horrible. But peace still exists. When the Palestinians rally around a government that can assure peace, they will get peace in return.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

There's no doubt that Israel could be even more murderous and violent than they have been.

But there are limits to their use of power if they want to remain part of the Western world. The current apartheid regime is the most extreme they've felt they can get by with, and that's already severely stretching the limits of acceptability for many (most?) in the West.

Nevertheless, many on the hard right in the Israeli government are right now calling for Israel to annex whatever land they haven't already annexed, and completely disenfranchising all Israeli Arabs. And I'm sure they'd use whatever violence they think is necessary to accomplish that.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Right, Israel can do worse. But the fact that they don't is an indication of their intent. Just like pulling out of Sinai in exchange for peace is an indication of their intent. Just like pulling out of Gaza or Lebanon is an indication of their intent. Many writers, yourself included, have attributed to the Israelis actions that are highly exaggerated. I used the above examples as an indication that those exaggerations are not warranted. Israel has no intent to wipe the Palestinians off the face of the earth. Their population continues to grow in every area they inhabit. They don't plan on driving them into the sea. But bozo, you've attributed to the Israelis things that are beyond their intent and beyond their power.
Again, to your above hypothetical, should Israel lose one major war, they're gone. The same has not been true for the Palestinians. And Bozo, I answered your question. You have refused to answer mine. If you cannot or will not answer them, at least tell me why. You're under no obligation, but usually when someone asks a question and receives a polite response, it is expected that that should be reciprocated.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Their intent to continue getting millions of dollars/year in aid from the US, perhaps.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

"The current apartheid regime is the most extreme they've felt they can get by with, and that's already severely stretching the limits of acceptability for many (most?) in the West."

Israel is not practicing apartheid. The Arab minority in Israel enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government.

Apartheid refers to the formal doctrine of the South African government that separated white and black people to ensure absolute white supremacy.

Israel has restrictions, yes, but they are a response to terrorism and direct threats, not racism. Unfortunately, people who are not violently opposed to Israel are affected, but I'd like to know what else you would have them do. What if Canada and/or Mexico had been violently warring with the U.S. since our existence? How would we have handled it?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago


And yes they should have a homeland but not until the renounce violence against their neighbors and negotiate within the possible. Israel, having been attacked three times despite having agreed to a Palestinian homeland, has an absolute right to demand defensible borders and an end to violence as a pre-condition for that homeland.

The rockets are not falling on Chevy Chase (Washington suburb)

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

So a pre-condition of being "allowed" to have their own country is that they renounce violence and accept an outside version of "the possible."

Gee, imagine if we were told that about this country.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I didn't say that.

I'm pointing at the absurdity of how much people want to dictate the terms to Palestinians.

Would you accept those terms as a condition for forming the US?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

Looks like "seeker" managed to get himself disappeared.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Saying that Hitler should have succeeded in killing all the Jews earned that disappearing.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

The site belongs to the JW, and they are the final arbiters of what is acceptable.

They clearly didn't think that expressing regret that the holocaust didn't succeed in exterminating all Jews was permissible under their terms of use.

verity 4 years, 6 months ago

  1. There are a lot of bad actors on both sides.

  2. There are a lot of people on both sides that just want to be able to pursue their every day lives peacefully.

  3. The bad actors on both sides keep stirring up trouble for their own gratification.

  4. Trouble in the middle east does affect the U.S. To say that we should just let them fight it out is naive.

  5. While the desire for the Jews to have a homeland again is understandable, especially after what happened before and during WWII, Jews have immigrated from the U.S. to Israel for the sole purpose of building settlements in occupied lands, thus angering Palestinians who owned and were forced off this land.

  6. Because most Americans are no longer tied to the land, they don't understand the fierce connection of people to the land where they were raised and their ancestors have lived for centuries.

All these factors (and many more) have to be taken into consideration, rather than a blind adherence to either side.

I do wonder about the Fundamentalist Christians who feel they have to help God bring on the end times---don't they think their Omnipotent God can do it by Himself?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

There is no such thing as occupied land. That term is inconsistent with history. The Palestinians never had the land and Jews have been there as long as their Arab neighbors have. History is above. What part of it do you find inaccurate???

verity 4 years, 6 months ago

As far as Israel being "one of our closest and most dependable allies in the world," that makes my eyes cross. What have they ever done for the U.S. that wasn't in their self-interest? Am I overlooking something?

It seems to me that they kick dirt in our face whenever the U.S. does something that they don't like---Netanyahu's remarks disrepecting our President being just the latest. Could the state of Israel could even begin to exist if the U.S. didn't subsidize them?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

I think this is a rather predictable outcome of A) the extreme persecution and nearly complete annihilation of the Holocaust, and then B) the establishment of Israel in a way that pretty much guaranteed the decades-long conflict that appears to have no possible solution.

Israelis (especially those on the hard right) don't feel that they can trust anybody, and the resulting narcissistic foreign policy creates a self-perpetuating, self-fulfilling prophesy.

And Palestinians, after having been subjected to similar persecution and oppression over the last several decades, are in many ways the mirror image of the Israelis, although nowhere near as well organized, armed or financed.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago


One of the ways in which this is a real tragedy is that the Palestinians and Jews have much in common that might ordinarily be expected to create friendship and mutual sympathy.

verity 4 years, 6 months ago

And in some cases it has.

Many of us feel that our government does not represent us, yet we sometimes seem to take it for granted that the government of another country represents all the people.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

That's a good point.

I have heard there are some interesting Palestinian/Israeli groups for peace.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 6 months ago

What have they ever done for the U.S. that wasn't in their self-interest?

How about being hit by missiles from Iraq in the First Gulf War and not responding due to keeping world peace.

How about not turning Egypt or Syria into burnt cinders? How tempting. How would we feel being threatened with annihilation by our neighbors ever live long day.

Is there somebody out there who thinks Israel could not hold more than their own in a all out war? Israeli joke. Want to save gas, shoot an Egyptian fighter pilot before he takes off. Why wait to shoot him down as he runs.

Before most Muslims get last good luck goat smooches in, and beat their favorite wife, the war would be over. For you younguns. The reason why Israel exists is the cowardly nations surround them know they would get their virgin loving butt's kicked.

Have any of you heard of Eagle Arms? It is the Israeli public arms distributor for a serious arms developer. You should see the stuff they don't sell over the counter. Our military uses Eagle Arms equipment and Israeli intelligence. Should I go on?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 6 months ago

And they can jump tall buildings in a single bound.

RogueThrill 4 years, 6 months ago

You make it sound as if they don't need our help.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 6 months ago

Yea bozo at least we can count something back in return for our billions in aid. Pakistan for instance????

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Where is the worship of the Palestinians coming from?? What have they ever done for us except attack an ally three times and now demand a forth opportunity?? And some of you fall for this garbage??

How about we give back to the Native Americans all the land here and go back to whatever country our lineage suggests. We took it all by conquest. They were here first! That, by the way is not true with the Palestinians - they were there together as far back as anybody rational can go!

Scott Morgan 4 years, 6 months ago

Moderate, If refering to me, I was making fun of the Pakistan, for they are really an enemy. An enemy who keeps raking in aid from us.

There is no Soviet Union anymore, and China looks at all nations as customers. Time we bid oil rich nations adios to sucking Uncle Sam's feedbag.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago


Not really. Comment was directed at a number of the above posts that appear to me to be anti -Isreal - if not anti Jew.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Good question.

What's your answer?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

One possibility - an agreement that both sides are content with.

Another one - an agreement that either side could accept either side of - ie. divide the land in two, and both sides would be happy living in either side.

Centerville 4 years, 6 months ago

Here's why the surrounding Arab countries won't let the "Palestinians" cross their borders: Those countries talked Arabs living in the newly formed Israel to leave, temporarily, the property they owned so that the Arab countries could swing through and wipe Israel off the map. There was a promise, by the surrounding countries, that those refugee Arabs could then regain the property that they had voluntarily abandoned. The surrounding countries invaded Israel and were clobbered. They like these refugee camps - it gives them an excuse for faux outrage so maybe we'll overlook the fact that those countries are responsible for that mess in the first place. 'Right of Return' is just more of their insane p.r. hokum.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

jafs (anonymous) replies… I didn't say that.

I'm pointing at the absurdity of how much people want to dictate the terms to Palestinians.

Would you accept those terms as a condition for forming the US?”

***What terms are we dictating? Remember the Palestinians tried three times to take all the land and failed at great costs to everyone. Now we should be nice to them?? Why??

Is this kind of like a "just agreement" where it sounds good but nobody knows what it means?? We have not negotiated very well - ever - under threat of violence. You want to start now. It is called appeasement. The Europeans did it in 1938 in the hopes that Hitler would be satisfied. He took all of Czechoslovakia instead. You planning on appeasing the "Arab street" by giving Israel away??
Appeasement has worked on occasion –usually when a bigger threat evolved. Most of the time it just buys time to either arm oneself to fight or to prepare to be eaten.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel took the land to start with.

Would you accept as a term of being "allowed" to form your own country (what gives anybody the right to allow or disallow that in the first place?) that you would never use violence?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Sorry JAFS that is just stupid. The UN awarded land to Jewish and Arab resident in the UN mandate called Palestine. The UN could do this because the British took the land from the Ottoman Empire (not the Palestinians).

The Jews accepted the offer and created Israel. The Arabs did not. They invaded Israel. Israel beat them and took land. They tried again and Israel took more land. That land Israel took last belonged to the UN mandate since the Palestinians never accepted the UN offer. There are no occupied territories.

The UN (and just about every nation state) recognizes the right of conquest as the result of a defensive war. They are less tolerant of land taken in aggressive war (not the case with Israel but the case here with our Native Americans although many would argue we paid them for the land we took)

Get out of the ideology and study the history.

The UN gave them the right to be where they are. The stupidity and arrogance of those speaking for the Palestinians messed up their chance. Despite all the quibbling on here the Israeli’s have the superior ARGUMENT TO THE LAND THEY HOLD.

Yes, I agree that Israel should relent and give land to the Palestinians. But - big but - not until the Palestinians agree to stop invading Israeli territory and agree to live in peace in an acceptable partition – acceptable to be decided by negotiation on the basis of where we are.

Any other solution IMHO rewards aggressive war, diminishes the UN and ignores the historical realities. Life is imperfect and one definitely needs to choose ones friends carefully or suffer the consequence.

Centerville 4 years, 6 months ago

Israel didn't 'take' the land. It won the land defending itself. Sore losers don't usually get their own state.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Of course they took the land - even the founder of Israel said "Why should the Arabs want peace - we took their land".

The US, British, etc. helped them take it after WWII.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 6 months ago

Where in the Bible did God say that? ("the founder of Israel")

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Wrong and stupid. It was not "their" land. What is there about the Ottoman Empire you fail to accept?? That was a Turkish Empire not an Arab one. It fought against all of us in WWI leading to the British mandate under the UN

You seem to think you can make war and not suffer the consequences. Just what justified the Arab invasion of Israel?? Just what justified the Turkish invasion of Egypt (a British Protectorate)

Your friends backed the wrong horse. You have no legal or moral basis to argue what you do. I will call you ever time I find you posting this trash.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I'll respond once, but in the future if you call me names, I will not respond to your posts.

Go argue with Ben-Gurion then - he's the one who said it.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Provide proof of this, please.

Lots of other people have posted actual facts about the founding of Israel on this thread. I could add to these, but I suggest you simply read them.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

What is it you want me to prove?

  1. That the Ottoman Empire ruled until about 1918 and that the British ruled under a League of Nations and UN mandate until partition?

  2. That the UN partitioned the mandate?

  3. That the surrounding Arab nations invaded the portion of the mandate provided to the Jews by the UN - three times?

Something else??

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Moderate -- not actually directed at you. Sorry if that was unclear. I agree with you! :)

I was asking jafs to provide proof of his/her claim, specifically the quote: "Of course they took the land - even the founder of Israel said "Why should the Arabs want peace - we took their land".

The US, British, etc. helped them take it after WWII."

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

If that's for me, look it up - it's a Ben-Gurion quote.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, that was for you. And "look[ing] it up"only provide misinformation, which is why I wanted you to cite where you found it.

In his book, The Jewish Paradox, published in 1978 (significantly after Ben-Gurion’s death), Nahum Goldmann claims that Ben-Gurion spoke these words.

You're confusing unsubstantiated hearsay with historical evidence and hoping it proves your point. ...It doesn't.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, this could be a lengthy issue to resolve, if we have to try to verify all sources, and agree as to their authenticity. I don't have the time and energy for that sort of thing.

If you think that Israel is legitimate and right, while Palestinians are wrong, we'll never agree.

I think the situation is vastly more complicated than that, with no clear good and bad guys.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Or, basically, you don't have a legitimate source, whereas the one I found is referenced in many respected places.

I don't think Israel is legitimate and right 100 percent of the time, and am willing to discuss this. I simply believe the discussion should be based on evidence and facts.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

No, the source is the same as the one I found.

You dispute the accuracy, that's all. And, as I said, I don't have the time or energy to do massive amounts of research on the topic.

The big picture, which I try to look at, suggests to me that it's a big mess, and extremely complicated, with many issues of legitimacy, bad acts on all sides, etc.

Those who want to simplify it, generally in favor of Israel, miss a lot of important points, questions, and empathy, in my view.

By the way, for what it's worth I'm Jewish, and I understand the desire of many Jews to create a homeland at the end of WWII.

But I also understand and feel for Palestinians, oppressed and scattered for many generations, who also want the same thing.

That's why it's a huge tragedy - in reasonable circumstances, these two groups would be allies, understanding and helping each other in their search for stability and peace.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Ironic, isn't it, that I am Jewish, too?

I don't want to simplify the issue, but I don't think Israel should simply hand over territory to the Palestinians. It's been tried and failed.

And the groups were allies for many years, until the 1920s, when the British enabled and turned a blind eye to the rise of power of anti-Semitic muftis who supported the Nazis. The British screwed up the politics by playing favorites within Bedouin tribes and promoting criminals and anti-Semitics in an appeasement attempt. Communities that used to exist peacefully were sparked towards hate and violence - beginning with the 1920s and Jaffa riots.

I could go on, but my point in disagreeing with you is that you don't seem to know your history. Perhaps you should look into that a bit more before misquoting Ben-Gurion or blindly supporting Palestinian nationalism.

I think they've had an awful lot of chances to make peace, and that Israel, until about the last five years or so, made a good deal of concessions. The thing is, you can't negotiate with terrorists committed to wiping you off the planet.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I think it's a good thing that we can both be Jewish and disagree about Israel, don't you?

I accept that I am not an historian, nor a history buff, and have never claimed to be.

According to you, it's the author of the book that misquoted Ben-Gurion, not me.

And I never blindly supported anything.

What's your solution?

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Except you're using this dubious evidence to prove your points...

Anyway, the solution has to be mutually agreed-upon, of course, for it to work. My point in citing the history is that the Palestinians have proved time and time again that they will accept nothing less than all. No Israel. Furthermore, as the letter to the editor that sparked this debates points out, no negotiating can be done with Hamas. A terrorist organization with the stated purpose of annihilating Israel does not come to peace talks in good faith.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

And, there are some Israelis and Jews who think that they should get the whole thing too.


It's a good bet that many Palestinians would welcome peace, and the chance to live normal lives, and create a society and economy that works, just as many Jews want the same thing, don't you think?

Lumping all Palestinians in with the radicals isn't any more fair, or realistic, than doing the same with Israelis.

I think it's actually a big mistake to insist on peace right away - given their history, I doubt that will happen.

Somewhere on these threads about Israel, I posted my best idea about how to move forward - I'd be interested in your take on it.

usnsnp 4 years, 6 months ago

This conflict has been kept going by hard liners on both sides, if it was up to the average person it would have been settlet long ago. And Israel has not always been our friend ask the sailors that were on the USS Liberty that was shot up, with many sailors being killed and wounded by the Israel Air Force and Navy. The USS Liberty was an unarmed Naval Vessel

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

The Liberty was armed not that such justifies what Israel did.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 6 months ago

President Obama, I call on you...I challenge you to set an example.

Restore some of the land originally occupied by Native Americans; I didn't say “all”, but at least the same amount of land you're asking Israel to give up.

Native Americans were cheated out of their land, they were forced out and they ultimately deserve it back more than the Palestinian terrorists.

Does anyone actually live under the delusion that the Palestinians would be content with this deal, and never want even one inch more? That they'd then publicly state the Jewish people do have a right to exist??

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Provide proof of this, please.

Lots of other people have posted actual facts about the founding of Israel on this thread. I could add to these, but I suggest you simply read them.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

What facts have been posted?? Everything that I read here starts with the assumption the land was originally or at least at some time Palestinian and that Israel took it away.

Perhaps we have a definition problem. Around the time of partition somewhere about 1.3 million Arabs lived in what we call Palestine or Israel. Somewhere about 500,000 Jews lived there. The numbers are soft because most administrative systems broke down with the event of WWII and the chaos that ensued.

What data there is suggests that there have always been Jews there but that Arabs were the predominant (but much smaller) population until the last 1800. Then both groups began to increase. By the by, there have also been Christians there (about 3%).

If living there make you a Palestinian than all of those folk would be such. But - big but - living there does not make it a Palestinian STATE. It never was and never has been. These people were in enclaves scattered about the mandate. There was no real central government other than the British (local government excepted). Same under the Ottomans.

How do we get a Palestinian state with "rights of return" and "occupied territory"? Somebody prove that one! It is not my job to prove the negative. It is your task to establish there was a legitimate Palestinian state in the generally accepted meaning of a state. I can find no responsible record of such by main stream historians.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Nobody has ever argued that there was a pre-existing Palestinian state.

Your facts indicate that Palestinians were oppressed and occupied for generations, with their people scattered and disunited.

That's part of the problem - imagine what that would be like.

Why would you accept yet another outside empire telling you what to do and where to live?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

Because the UN split it into Arab and Jewish parts. The pattern was India and the Hindu and Muslim mess there. By the time of partition the two populations were killing each other and both were killing the British. They had to do something as the British gave the UN a deadline for their departure – something about British casualties and the home front. What would you have done??

The Jews accepted the partition while the Arabs did not and immediately invaded the Jewish part. And it has been going down hill since then.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, the occupying nations could simply have left, couldn't they?

What gives them the right to dictate how the land is split up?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

And, since you have more details available, was the split proportional to population, ie. did the Arabs get 3x the land that the Jews did?

If not, perhaps that's a good reason not to accept it, I'd think.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

You can view the partition plan for yourself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine

The U.N. Resolution 181 partition plan was to divide the remaining territory of Palestine into a Jewish Palestinian State and a SECOND Arab Palestinian state (Trans-Jordan being the first) based upon population concentration. The creation of what is now Jordan removed more than 75% of the original territory of Palestine, leaving about 22% where the application of the Balfour Declaration calling for a "Jewish" national home could be applied.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, but that's too long.

Was the proposed division proportional to population, with Arabs getting 3x the amount of land as Israel was getting?

By the way, it appears that Israel, once founded, didn't accept the resolution either, if the quotes I've found are correct.

And continued to expand at the expense of Arabs living there.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

It doesn't work both ways. You can't refuse to read evidence I provide and then still ask me to believe yours.

However, to answer your question, the proposed division gave the Arab state 43% and the Jewish state 56%. The other 1% (Jerusalem) would remain under U.N. control. This was of the 22% left of Palestine after 78% was taken to create Trans-Jordan, now Jordan. So yes, the Arabs got more than 3 times the amount of land as the Jews, and all the fertile land. The Jewish state's territory was mostly the Negev, which is not suitable for agriculture.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I didn't refuse to believe anything - I just don't have the time to read massive amounts of stuff, and sift through it. If anything, I'm trusting you to tell the truth here when I ask the question.

If I'm reading your numbers right, Palestinians get 43% of 22% - I can sort of guess why they might be unhappy with that, can't you?

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

No, you're not reading the numbers right. Of the total Palestinian territory, Arabs received 87.46% of the territory.

So, no, I can't really understand why they were unhappy with the deal.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I suppose we should have asked them.

mstark85 4 years, 6 months ago

Disagree. They had plenty of chances to negotiate and bargain and you know what they chose instead? War. Three times. I lost any and all sympathy there.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago


Now you want me to defend the UN. They did what they did. We all live with the consequences. I might note partition did not work well with India either.

The Israeli's are willing to give back land and have given back land. They demand that the people to whom they give it agree to live in peace with them.

They hold the land legally under International Law. How about you defend the Arab attack on Israel in 1948. It seems your demands are all one way. IMHO the Palestinians are primarily responsible for their own problems.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago


Your conclusion is not at all consistent with your facts.

They had been occupied and oppressed for generations by outside empires - then, an outside force tells them what land they can have (I can only assume from your lack of response that it was not proportional to their population, so it didn't seem fair to them) - then, after that, according to some sources I've found, Israel doesn't abide by that split, and continues to drive them from their land even according to the UN rules. Now, we help Israel to the tune of millions or billions/yr, regardless of Israel's mistakes, and differences in opinion about what would be a fair outcome.

But, their problems are primarily their own responsibility.

"They did what they did" is an inadequate response to my question. If the partitioning wasn't fair, why should they have accepted it?

Google ben gurion we took their land, and you will find numerous examples of Israeli leaders expressing their views, which may surprise you, and aren't at all compatible with your presentation of Israel's views and goals.

One of them was asked what he would have done if he had been born Palestinian, and he said he'd have become a terrorist.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

JAFS you really do not understand history at all.

  1. Most Arabs have been under empires, kings, despots and the like for recorded history. Neither Israel nor we are responsible for that. There is no justification for holding us accountable for their problem and demanding that we sacrifice to fix it.

  2. I have never defended Israel. The fact that some of their leaders resisted the British mandate (the Arabs did too) is meaningless in the context of what happened thereafter. Using that resistance to justify terrorism in Israel is highly questionable. You might note that since Israel fenced out the Arabs terrorism has essentially dropped to zero suggesting, as Israel maintained, it was an external attack. It continues to be an external attack. Your want to set the precedence that if you kill enough women and children we will give you what you demand??

  3. So, if you do not agree with the decision of an international body you invade your neighbors with the intent of killing all of them. What was the UN to have done? Both populations were killing each other and the British. The status qua was impossible. Putting the Israeli population under the Arabs would have extended the holocaust. Nobody would take either population.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Wow again!

You describe a people that have been oppressed for their entire history, and yet have no sympathy at all for them.

You have continually made pro-Israel arguments, that they are more in the right than Palestinians - please at least be honest about that.

What gives us the right to dictate what happens in another country? That's a question you continue to duck, and it's a central one, especially from the point of view of Palestinians, I would think.

I don't defend terrorism - I think it's wrong. But I don't think Israel is right here, and Palestinians wrong - I think it's much more complex, and those sorts of simplifications don't serve any useful purpose.

Did you check the internet, or are you not interested in actual quotes from Ben-Gurion and others that conflict with your view?

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

You've spent a lot of time with this Ben-Gurion quote thing. I'm certain many people have said many thing over the years that if taken alone, would seem to indicate one thing, but when put in context with the words and actions of an entire people, would indicate something completely different. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was pictured with Hitler during WW II and was quoted asking Hitler to come to the Middle East and implement his final solution there as soon as Hitler was done in Europe. Does that mean that every Palestinian on the face of the planet is a murdering maniac like Hitler?
During Israel's war of independence, Arab political, religious and military leaders encouraged Palestinians to leave their homes, so they would not get hurt when the Arab armies invaded and drove the Jews to the sea. Does that mean there no acts that the Jews took to exacerbate the problem? Ben-Gurion may or may not have made some ill conceived statements during his life. That does not mean they represent anything more that a statement made by one man. Should every Palestinian be made responsible for the statement of the Grand Mufti?

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand your comment at all - I make no attempt to put all Jews in with Ben-Gurion.

But, he was one of the founders of Israel, and if the quote is accurate, it reflects his understanding of the injustice that he was doing by founding Israel.

I'm sure that there is a large majority on both sides who wish nothing more than to live peacefully, work, raise a family, etc. as I've said before. The problem comes from extremists on both sides who hamper the peace process.

It just bugs me when people give more legitimacy than I think is warranted to Israel, ignoring multiple questions and issues, and fail to see how this might look from the other side.

And, if you google what I suggested, you'll find many more quotes from other Israeli leaders, showing attitudes which are far less admirable than many would like to believe.

Assuming, of course, they're accurate (pace mstark).

For what it's worth, I happen to be Jewish, and I completely understand the desire of Jews at the end of WWII to have their own country. But, I can also look at it from the other side, and feel sympathy for them as well.

"Right of conquest" arguments don't impress me much - if I beat you up and steal your wallet, is it then rightly mine by conquest? And, if I offer you the chance to give up your wallet or be beaten, and you don't want to give it up and get beaten, should we conclude that you should just have given it up? The whole thing is wrong, and there are no good choices for the one forced to make them.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

Ben-Gurion was one of the founders, one of many. And his statements, as well as the statements of others are the statements of those people alone. There were many Arab and Palestinian leaders who sided with Hitler during WW II. Should we make something of that? As you probably know, Ben-Gurion moved to Palestine as a young man, determined to create a Jewish homeland on it's ancestral ground. It was not religion that drove him, though. It was European anti-Semitism that drove him to Palestine. He went there while Palestine was still under Ottoman rule. It was fully three decades after he arrived that his dream came true. Jews who came to Palestine prior to WW II struggled with many practical and ethical questions. They bought lands from it's Ottoman owners as well as other owners. They were confronted with what to do with Arabs who had lived on those lands for generations. Did they not have rights? But having legally bought the lands, could they not live on the lands that they had legally purchased? Tough questions. Not surprisingly, the Jews struggled both with the questions and with their own actions. I'm not surprised that people who are put in positions like that may come to question their own actions later in life.
Let me pose another scenario, rather than your stolen wallet story. Suppose I am in my living room, enjoying a quiet evening in from of the T.V. Suddenly, a man smashes in my front door, knocking it right off it's jam. He then runs through my home as fast as he can, smashing the rear window and leaves running through my back yard. Startled at first, and with no time to respond, I call the police. After all, this man has caused thousands of dollars in damages to my home. The police arrive and to my surprise, the man who ran through my home is chatting with the police while some stranger is in handcuffs. I ask what's going on and I'm told that the man who ran through my home was desperately trying to escape from an armed madman, both men just happened to be walking on the same street. Is the man who ran through my home guilty of breaking and entering? Is he liable for the damages? I think the answer to both questions is no. When one is fleeing for one's life, you may do things that you may not ordinarily do. Jews fleeing hundreds of years of pogroms, the holocaust, etc., may do things in desperation that they might not ordinarily do. Purchasing land, living on that land, increasing the Jewish presence with the hope for a future homeland, these things become acceptable even if later in life you wonder what ever became of those poor Palestinians who lived on those lands for generations and got evicted when we bought the land.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes - the leaders of any country are responsible for their statements, and who they choose to ally themselves with.

Leaders of countries are not simply individuals, in the way that you and I are - they represent an official point of view of the country as elected officials.

In that respect, the statements of many Israeli leaders I've found online are not as praiseworthy as many seem to think they are, in my view.

In your scenario, yes, it is understandable, but when you start something with violence and injustice, that will continue over time as it has, and color the whole picture. And, it may be "acceptable" to some and not others, like the descendants of those who were living on the land you got.

And, of course, none of this eliminates the original problem of anti-Semitism.

Finally, you should then also be able to understand the desperation of Palestinians, who have been oppressed for generations by various empires (according to George), and why they might engage in activities they might not under other circumstances.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

"When you start something with violence and injustice" - That's your assumption, one that I disagree with. Jews who had been in Palestine and Jews arriving in Palestine, like Ben-Gurion, arriving during Ottoman rule, did not begin with violence and injustice. They came to settle on land that they purchased. They fled European injustice, seeking to live peacefully on their ancestral lands. They did not force the inhabitants off their land, they bought the land and then lived on it.
This happened to me a few years ago - I was living in San Francisco. Married and with a new baby, we decided to but our first house. Unable to afford a house in S.F. proper, we decided to buy in a suburb just across the city limits. The owner of the home had rented the house to several people. Obviously, when we bought it, we evicted the tenants and moved into our new house. Did we do something wrong? Interestingly, had we purchased in S.F., the task of eviction would have been nearly impossible due to tenant right laws.
The Jews arriving in Palestine bought homes and lived in them. That is neither violence nor injustice. It might be a moral dilemma, but not injustice. As to the violence, though, look to the Palestinian Uprising of the 1930's. As the Jewish population grew in Palestine under British rule, they were met by violence. The British responded with the recommendations of the Peel Commission. That would have divided Palestine, Jews and Arabs alike controlling areas where they were the majority. The Arabs rejected that. The first Jews that came to Palestine engaged in neither violence nor injustice. They were received with violence though.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually, your tenant question is an interesting one.

You did nothing illegal, I'm sure, but if there was a pre-existing lease, then I think evicting the tenants before the end of that lease is somewhat unfair to them, don't you?

It would be better, in my opinion, if the tenants want to remain until the end of their lease, for the sale to include a clause allowing them to do so.

Tenants have fewer rights than property owners, in the same way that people living under the rule of an empire have fewer rights than that empire. That doesn't make any of that right.

The reason that tenants have fewer rights, and can't generally insist that their leases be honored when houses sell, is because the people that made those rules were land/property owners, and not peasants.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 6 months ago

There was no lease, nor was there a lease when the Jews moved to Palestine. But the important part to take from this is that there was no violence, and no injustice, not in the beginning. It did not begin with violence and injustice, as you asserted. The violence came later, when Jewish numbers became significantly high enough that a Jewish state looked as if might really happen. Then came the violence and it was not started by the Jews. It was started by the Palestinians.

gkerr 4 years, 6 months ago

Well Jafs, what is your solution to the problem of the Jews homeland in Israel? How would you have permanent peace brought to the region? Do you believe that Palestinians need to proclaim Israel's right to exist? Do you believe Israel deserves to exist in Judea? Do you believe that the Jews have been part of ancient Cana, Judea, Samaria, Palestine, for 4000 years? Do you think they were treated fairly or justly by the Babylonians, Romans, Persians, Assyrians, Syrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Europeans(Germans)?

What should Israel do to guarantee its survival, how does it guarantee defendable borders without resorting to nuclear weapons? Do you believe there is any point for them to discuss peace agreement with parties who vow their destruction and who have attacked them as soon as they were returned to their homeland by a mandate of the UN after the long lunacy of WW2? Why haven't the adjoining Arab states accepted the Palestinian refugees that they coerced to leave Israel in 1947?

Our talk about this is so easy and comfy for us, but for them it is crucial that they make no forced or unforced errors in judgment.

Do you think Iran should have nuclear weapons? Do you think that Iran would ever respect Israel's right to exist if Israel had no nuclear weapons which it has had for more than 30 years? Do you think Iran could go thirty years without using nuclear weapons? Do you think that Arab states in mideast want Iran to have nuclear weapons? Do you think it would be wise for Israel to unilaterally give up nuclear weapons? Do you think if Israel did give up nuclear weapons because Iran promised to give them up as well that Iran would give them up? Do you think Iran wants nuclear weapons because it feels threatened by Israel or because Iran wants to use them to threaten Israel, Arab states, USA, Europe, etc.?

These are all questions that Israel has considered and does consider every day.

There is no easy solution here. Someone is going to lose big time and it is not going to be Israel without one hell of a fight. What would you do if Israel was your home and heartland? Gkerr

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago


I do not know how to answer.

It is legal for me to defend my wallet It is legal for Israel to defend its turf because the turf Israel defended was legally given it by the UN.

What is your point??

I tried to duck your hypothetical question because I really didn’t want to get into what I think would have happened.

Basically I think the Arabs (Jordan and Egypt) would have done pretty much what they said and the few Jewish survivors would have been driven from the land. Since the UN gave the land to the Jews it is quits possible some of the western powers might have intervened on behalf of the Jews. The result might just be the same as occurred with a lot more dead Arabs.

I guess you did poorly in Geometry. Given: To be able to exercise the right of conquest as currently accepted in international law you must fight a defensive war. The Arabs could not invade Israel and have it called a defensive war. Given not met – no legitimate right of conquest. QED.

JAFS you are a true liberal. In my world a nation state can do anything it wants if it can get away with it. That means no other nation state stops it. The UN can yelp all the way to Brooklyn but it takes armies to stop armies. If the Jordanians and the Egyptians had invaded Israel and nobody stopped them somebody would hold that land by “right of conquest” but for what it is worth that conquest would not meet the international definition.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago


I am sympathetic toward the average Palestinian. But – big but- they need to be a bit more skeptical about their leadership and think a bit more for themselves.

I am simply stating history as I have been taught it. I am neither pro -Israel or anti Palestinian.

It does seem to me that you are anti-Israel and pro- Palestinian.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Then you haven't been reading my comments very carefully.

You come across as very pro-Israel, in general.

I think, as I've said before, that there are not clear good guys and bad guys here, that I understand both sides' desires for their own country, and that neither has "clean hands".

Not sure how you think that's pro or anti either side exactly.

gkerr 4 years, 6 months ago

I support Israel and here is why. Jerusalem and Judea are the homeland of the Jewish people and have been for thousands of years. The first modern era census of Jerusalem taken in 1844 counted 7120 Jews, 5760 Muslims, and 3390 Christians.
The Balfour declaration of Nov. 1917 promised a homeland to the Jewish people who had been in partial diaspora due to previous serial conquests by myriads of powers such as Assyrians, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians, Romans, Christians, Moslem Arabs, Crusaders, Syrians, Turks.

The English General Allen, conquered Jerusalem from the Turks in December, 1917.
Generally Arabs sided with Axis powers in WW1 and lost. Generally Islam and many Arabs sided with Axis powers in WW2 and lost. Jews were slaughtered in great numbers by the losing Axis Powers in Europe, dominated by the Nazi genocide of Jews. Many Jews were slaughtered by Axis Arabs in the MiddleEast during WW2 as well.

England, America and their allies won the war and conquered the Axis powers of WW2. America urges England to refer the Palestine issue to the UN, which it finally does. UN General Assembly establishes UNSCOP as special committee to study Palestine issue. Sept. 1, 1947 UNSCOP calls for partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

The rest is history of war, invasion, conquest, territorial expansion, territorial loss between both sides- pretty much the history of the region over 4 millennia but contracted time line.

Israel, suffered holocaust by Axis powers supported by most Arabs. Axis and Arabs lost to Allied Powers, Jews were on winning side after paying great and horrendous price. They deserve their homeland which is their ancient home.

Jew have nuclear weapons. They will use them. They will not be slaughtered again without a fight to the death. Hamas, Iran, and many Arabs and Moslems have promised to kill all Jews and drive them into the sea. Jews will not go willingly. If Arabs persist and destabilize Israel they will be met with nuclear holocaust that will begin a conflagration that will kill hundreds of millions.

Jews deserve their homeland. They are a democratic country- the only one in the middle east. Arabs and Europeans who persecuted Jews and killed them wholesale in WW2 lost.

To the victors go the spoils. Jews will kill those who try to kill them and they have the power to do so. Peace in middle east must ensure that Israel qua Jewish homeland survives and is defensible. Arabs must recognize Jews right to their own nation Israel or their will be no peace.

I support Israel. You should too. Gkerr

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 6 months ago

Remember the USS Liberty, which was intentionally and deliberately attacked by Israel in 1967, killing 34 US servicemen, and which was covered up by US officials at the time because of political convenience:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ussliberty.html

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

THERE was no cover up. The cover up, was later if there was one. Exactly how do you address and ally killing your troops and then claiming they thought they were killing enemies?? IMHO, it was deliberate to try to conceal that they started that round. That also failed!

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

jafs (anonymous) replies… “Then you haven't been reading my comments very carefully.”

Well, you keep disputing my version of history without any credible counters.

You seem to have focused on the Palestinians as much maligned. True. But not a part of the post partition problem.

Not once have you responded to things like the partition or the 48 wars. IMHO that makes you very biased toward the Palestinian position.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Read my comment again - it's not at all pro one side in the conflict.

Do you agree or disagree with it?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

I don't have a problem with your most recent - it is the totality that draws my critique

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

My most recent is the most succinct and clear statement of my position that I can manage.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

And to me your most recent and most balanced is at odds with most previous. And I might add that I may be reading what you wrote quite accurately while you may not be expressing yourself clearly since to me you contradict yourself.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, should we start arguing about this now?

I think not.

If we agree on my last post, I'd say we're generally in agreement, and there's no need to argue about anything any more.

At least on this thread.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago


IMHO the neutral way to address this is to note there was a misunderstanding not to blame me for it. . In rreturn it would be neutral for me to acknowledge there was a misunderstanding and not accuse you of causing it.

Bossa_Nova 4 years, 6 months ago

If John is a bully and steals property from Joe, does Joe have a right to have his property returned to him? Or since John is bigger and stronger, is the stolen property now rightfully his and no longer Joe's? Is Joe no longer entitled to what was taken away from him?

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

The assumption is it was John or Joe’s to begin with. In the Middle East that was not accurate. The property belonged to Alex WHO split it between Joe and John. John did not like the split so he tried to take it from Joe. He failed and Joe took some of what Alex had designated for John. John deserved to lose that property because he bullied JOE. The Palestinians were the bullies.

Bossa_Nova 4 years, 6 months ago

what makes you think i'm talking about the middle east?

Bossa_Nova 4 years, 6 months ago

yes but there were several references to native americans and so on. but it doesnt really matter does it, since your friend alex caused this big mess. you see, joe and john were getting along quite well until alex and his buddies got involved. and now alex is just a bystander rooting for whichever team suits his interest. and when that interest dries up, alex will walk away and joe and john will fight it out and someone will be the victor, unless joe and john decide to get along before that happens. that's why i've said several times, israel's existence depends upon her ability to make friends with her neighbors. the current way of doing things isnt working and never will, so i would suggest that she ignore alex's agenda and change her strategy.

George Lippencott 4 years, 6 months ago

we are not alex. Alex was the UN.

Yes we should all get along even Republicans and Democrats.

It take two to "get along" John seems to be resisting that notion for whatever reason. Joe certainly could do better.

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