Letters to the Editor

Israel interests

May 24, 2011


To the editor:

“Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem … shall come into existence in Palestine … not later than 1 October 1948,” — UN General Assembly Resolution 18, Nov. 29, 1947.

Eva Grant’s Saturday letter in the Journal-World expressed dismay that the United Nations may be going forward with what was promised 65 years ago in the resolution that established modern Israel.

Although the boundaries of the lands were established by that resolution, Ms. Grant says Israel gave the Palestinians land — “gave” the land in the same sense that the United States gave our Native peoples Oklahoma.

In her mind, the Palestinians have forfeited the right to a state because, among other reasons, they cannot have a state “without corruption.”

Neither Israel nor the U.S. is without corruption. True, according Transparency International, the two sections of Palestine are tied with eight other countries for 107th place in corruption. However, they are far out of the bottom 10 But does anyone say that Chad, ranking 159th, the world’s most corrupt, ought not to exist?

Grant writes of our long friendship with Israel. Maj. Stav Adivi of the Israeli Defense Force says that military checkpoints are “generating terrorists” and the occupation is destroying what Israel is meant to be. “There is no public energy left to deal with education, the environment, and other issues,” says Adivi. Therefore, to encourage Israel to remain as an occupying power is not in her interests.


Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

One thing that seems to always be left out is that the Gaza Strip is no longer "occupied", because Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005.

And then what happened? "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

This is a clip: Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip have occurred since 2001. Between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched, leading to 28 deaths and several hundred injuries, as well as widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life.

And on and on it goes. Some say it isn't really a conflict about territory at all, it's a religious conflict. No matter how much territory is given to the Islamic Arabs, they will never be happy.

Even if all of Israel were to be confined to one square block in downtown Tel Aviv, that would be anathema to a fundamentalist Muslim. Because, once a territory is governed by Muslims, it is to be always governed by them. It's in the Koran that the entire world is to all be Islamic one day. Fortunately, not all Muslims are fundamentalists.

One of the issues that is faced by Islamics is that there has never been a consensus about exactly how that government should work. A kingdom? A dictatorship? A caliphate?

Democracy? Well, that seems to be a rather new idea in the Islamic world.

And on and on it goes,,,

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

6 times as many Palestinians as Israelis have died since 2000. Why is it that Israeli violence against Palestinians doesn't even draw a mention from you, Ron?

And please be honest-- Israel pulled out of Gaza because it was much easier just to blockade it than to occupy it. Thanks primarily to the Israeli blockade, lIfe in Gaza is pure misery, but you expect Gazans to be cheerful about it.

George Lippencott 7 years ago

They could have accepted patition. The resulting wars have been costly to many. Now, the Israelis are evil because they have not suffered as many dead in wars they did not start. Humbug!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

They could have, but they didn't, and even David Ben-Gurion noted that if he were an Arab, he wouldn't accept partition and the taking of Arab lands, either.

The founding of Israel was largely an act of desperation. And acts of desperation rarely turn out well. This one is no exception.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

"Why is it that Israeli violence against Palestinians doesn't even draw a mention from you, Ron?"

If someone shot a gun at you, would you shoot back?

I can tell from your comment that the answer is "No, I'll roll over and let them shoot me again."

Abdu Omar 7 years ago

If your remember, in the beginning the Palestinians didn't have arms. They resorted to throwing rocks at Israelis who were shooting at them with American Weapons.

gkerr 7 years ago

Wounded_soldier, Sorry not true. Moslem Arabs were called out of part of Judea/Palestine by Arab league who intended to and did attack Jews in Partitioned Judea/Palestine which was partitioned as Jewish territory. Remember, Jews were on side of Allies that won the war against Axis powers that included most Arabs. UN which represented most of world at the time partitioned portions of Palestine/Judea to be Jews nation. This was part of ancient Israel that was and is Jewish homeland. America sponsored the partitioning. England was reluctant supporter but was sick of administrating the region they conquered under General Allen in 1917. They conquered Jerusalem from the Turks at that time. Jews had been in a majority in Jerusalem for centuries since the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and decimation of the Jews in 73 AD. Gkerr

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"If someone shot a gun at you, would you shoot back?"

What answer would expect if you posed this to an Israeli? Would you expect a different answer if you posed it to a Palestinian?

To my knowledge, I've only been shot at once. It was by a clueless guy doing target practice, and not considering the fact that the bullets he was firing could continue hundreds of yards beyond the tree line where he had set up his target. Even if I had had a gun, returning fire would not have improved the situation one whit.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

If he didn't know you were there, then he shot near you, not "at" you.

LoveThsLife 7 years ago

The problem with saying that it's a religious conflict is that not all Palestinians are Muslim.

rtwngr 7 years ago

Excellent reply, Ron. Hamas controls the Palestinian authority. The Hamas Covenant (charter) specifically calls for the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of Jews everywhere. Prime Minister Netanyahu was absolutely correct in telling the world that Israel would not negotiate with Hamas.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

A 'charter' that even Adolf Hitler would applaud. If only Nazi Germany were still around...all the extra support the Palestinians would receive....

LoveThsLife 7 years ago

Israel should not have to negotiate with Hamas, however, they should negotiate with Fatah.

Abdu Omar 7 years ago

Hamas is no more a terrorist group that Begin, ben Gurion and their comrades in the beginning. We call them freedom fighters. So are Hamas. They are heavy handed, I agree, but they are trying to keep the Palestinians from being massacred like Israel likes to do.

jafs 7 years ago

According to a speech by Netanyahu I heard this morning, '67 borders aren't acceptable to Israel.

If that's true, then our policy favoring them is in direct conflict with Israel.

Why would we keep pouring money and energy into the region if we don't even agree on what would be a just outcome?

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

The 1967 armistice lines (not borders) did not bring peace. They brought multiple wars. Why does anyone believe that a return to the 1967 lines will bring peace? Is it because Hamas and Hezbollah have pledged peace, no. Is it because Fatah has shown a willingness to control Hamas and Hezbollah, no. What reasons does anyone have that a return to those lines will result in a different outcome than before 1967?

jafs 7 years ago

That doesn't answer my question, does it?

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

If the U.S. determines that it's in the best interest of the U.S. to support Israel, we should. If the U.S. determines that it's not in it's best interests to support Israel, we should not.
I've always advocated an increased role for American citizens. Get out there and vote for candidates that represent your views. Write to your congresspeople and Senators. Write to Obama. Organize. Express your opinions. Go for it. I suspect if you feel strongly about an issue, you can change some minds and they can then change others. A free exchange of ideas. Hopefully, that answers your question. I also posed a question.

jafs 7 years ago

I have no idea.

But, apparently, it's been US policy for many years to support those borders.

Given that's the case, why are we sending so much money to Israel, when Netanyahu says those are unacceptable to Israel?

Our goals are different, and they won't consider our ideas for a solution.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

My question was that given peace did not exist when the lines being proposed were in effect prior to 1967, why would you believe that peace would exist with a return to those lines?

jafs 7 years ago

As I said, I have no idea why that's the policy of our government, to support those borders.

But it is, apparently.

So, our government's idea of what should be done is not even something that Israel would consider, thus our perspectives are in conflict.

That's fine, of course, but why keep giving them scads of money, and trying to get them to negotiate the way we think they should, which they won't even consider?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

" Is it because Fatah has shown a willingness to control Hamas and Hezbollah, no. "

I haven't seen too much "willingness" on the part of the Labor Party to control Likud, either.

Gail Grant 7 years ago

How can you compare two miltant (terrorist) bodies to two parties in a democratic country?

Abdu Omar 7 years ago

Because Hamas And Hesbullah are fighting for the freedom for Palestinians and Lebanese, we call them "terrorists:". Are they any differrent than the terrorists that created Israel? The whole idea of fighting for one's country is an honorable thing in America except for those who want freedom from us and Israel?

Cindy Yulich 7 years ago

The President did not say "return to the 1967 lines". He said borders should be based upon those lines with "mutually agreed upon swaps". Meaning, the 1967 lines are the starting point and not the end.

jafs 7 years ago


I heard more about it the other day.

But, I think if true, why would Netanyahu be so opposed?

Jimo 7 years ago

Despite the Obama-phobes' scandal-du-jour of the President's (re)embrace that the 1967 borders are the beginning point of any peace deal (U.S. policy consistently since 1967), Obama's policy contains 2 interesting and newsworthy items (both "pro" Israel).

a. A refusal to negotiate with Hamas, one of the Palestinian political entities.

b. A refusal to agree with a declaration of Palestinian statehood absent a peace agreement.

However unhelpful the current Israeli government's refusal to act for peace may be, it doesn't obscure the Palestinian refusal to be serious partners in any peace either.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Neither side has been a serious partner in peace. But thanks to $3 billion a year in US military aid, Israel is much better situated for the continuing state of war. And Israel and its supporters like to transform its well-provisioned military and its willingness to use it liberally into an indication of "moral superiority."

George Lippencott 7 years ago

Factual letter as far as it goes. Left out is the fact that instead of accepting the UN partition the Arabs invaded Israel three times. As a direct result, the Israelis now have all the land by right of conquest in a defensive war. For the UN to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state is tantamount to the UN unilaterally declaring California an independent state. As always, the devil is in the details. The Palestinians should have accepted partition those many years ago. Now it is much harder. Wars do that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

" For the UN to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state is tantamount to the UN unilaterally declaring California an independent state."

So, the UN declaration that made Israel a state is just as invalid, then, isn't it?

George Lippencott 7 years ago

Probably would be if that is what they did.

First: by right of conquest the land was British. Second: the British accepted internationalization of the land and accepted the charter to administrate it. Itbecame a UN mandate. Third: the UN had every right to address its disposition Forth: there was no way to address the future given that nether population would accept the other - hence partition. All legal

Then the Arabs invaded Israel and lost - the land slated for them became part of Israel by right of conquest – perfectly legal.

You can not make a Palestinian state out of land that belongs to Israel just as it is too late to nail us for our conquest of California and direct it be returned to Mexico (as some demand).

Abdu Omar 7 years ago

No, I beg to differ. The Palestinians were part of a huge empire and was seeking freedom from them when WW I started. They have not had a chance for their own state because the French and the Brittish occupied them after WW I. They want their own country and another country came along and gave it away to the Jews in the region who at that time were small in number. Certainly they are going to fight to gain their lands back. Wouldn't YOU? They have had nothing but struggle for over 70 years, let them have peace. If your land was taken wouldn't you fight for it? I would.

Abdu Omar 7 years ago

No, I beg to differ. The Palestinians were part of a huge empire and was seeking freedom from them when WW I started. They have not had a chance for their own state because the French and the Brittish occupied them after WW I. They want their own country and another country came along and gave it away to the Jews in the region who at that time were small in number. Certainly they are going to fight to gain their lands back. Wouldn't YOU? They have had nothing but struggle for over 70 years, let them have peace. If your land was taken wouldn't you fight for it? I would.

pizzapete 7 years ago

I like this idea of getting more land because of a defensive war. Does this mean the US now owns Afghanistan and would be justified in taking over the homes of the local people and in allowing some 100,000 Americans to emigrate to our new country every year?

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

We did get California, Arizona, New Mexico, and maybe a few other states that way. But, there is some debate about whether that war with Spain was defensive or not.

jafs 7 years ago

For those interested in some quotes from Ben-Gurion and other Israeli leaders, google ben gurion we took their land.

You'll find a number of interesting perspectives shown there.

Also, I found some information that Israel didn't abide by the UN resolution involving partitioning, and drove many Arabs from those lands early on, before the wars mentioned by George.

I can't verify the accuracy of all the sources, of course.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

I call on our President again...show the world and our own citizens that you can do more than 'talk the talk'.

Give Native Americans at least as much land back as you are asking Israel to hand over. This country (every one of us) has profited from lands stolen or cheated from people who occupied them long before the white man set foot on this continent. Compared to Native Americans, Palestinians don't even begin to comprehend persecution and injustice.

Native Americans are far, far more worthy of getting some of their land back than are a bunch of Palestinians. Show Israel’s Prime Minister that you can 'walk the walk'!

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

Native Americans are nothing like Palestinians. Natives have an expression "bury the hatchet" and an item known as a "peace pipe". Arab fundamentalist Islamics have what's called a "hudna" which does not translate into a single English word. It means a only a temporary lull in an ongoing battle.

And, Natives have a habit of abiding by a peace treaty, once it has been agreed upon and adhered to by the other side. It seems that we Europen Imports, along with some other countries, have a problem with understanding that concept.

But, back to the Middle East, the concept of "revenge" is deeply rooted in fundamentalist Islamic minds. If you read the news reports, you should be very well aware of that. Of course, not all Muslims are fundamentalists in that sense, just as Fred Phelps is not characteristic of mainstream Christianity.

And, you said: "Give Native Americans at least as much land back as you are asking Israel to hand over." That is simply not possible. Israel is only the size of New Hampshire. The Gaza Strip alone is only the size of Seattle, Washington!

Americans usually don't understand how small an area is being fought over. More land was taken by the American government by eminent domain to build our Interstate system than all those lands combined!

Abdu Omar 7 years ago

I hate to tell you that you are wrong. Arab Muslims are just like anyone else. If they agree on something they agree simply. But Palestinians are not all Muslim. And the Christian ones have a similar argument against Israel. Let me repeat something I said above. The Arabs lived on that land and it was partitioned by "occupiers" and the UN. THey didn't consult the Palestinians or get their input. They were told this land is for Israelis. When the event happened, the Israelis started a war for more land and of course with the aid of European countries of the UK and France, and later the USA, they won. How could they lose? I mean they fought with pitch forks and rocks while the Israelis had powerful weapons and bombs. It was a done deal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Americans usually don't understand how small an area is being fought over. "

I understand exactly how much land is being fought over.

But in your opinion, the small amount of territory legitimizes Israel doing whatever it pleases, and therefore, Palestinians should simply acquiesce.

At times, you seem fairly reasonable, Ron, but the preceding post reveals a good deal of bigotry towards Arabs and Muslims.

Bill Getz 7 years ago

Would that the United States were in a position to say simply "A plague on both your houses" and withdraw from this insoluble mess. This will not be possible until someone has the nerve to abandon the "Two-State Solution" and advocate the only possible outcome, which would be a single state with economic integration, shared security, a common army and foreign policy and Jerusalem as a free city. One day, generations from now, this would be the obvious solution. In the meantime, the US must try to keep its powder dry, and maintain contingency plans to evacuate Israel when the time comes.

jafs 7 years ago

Why couldn't we just stop, and let them figure it out themselves?

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

Someday this might all be a moot point. That will be the day that selling property to a Jewish person in Jordan won't carry the death penalty, and the day that synagogues are built in Mecca for Jews to gather in and pray for peace.

And of couse, that will also be the day that the Arab countries compensate for the property that Jews left behind in their hurry to leave - as Germany has already done.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

And all of this justifies attacks on civilian populations how?

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

It is not a justification at all, it's a hope for the future.

And for the present, the rockets should not be shooting from the Gaza Strip, trying to hit civilians!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I agree-- both sides should quit targeting civilians-- and everybody else, for that matter.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

The easiest way to avoid civilian casualties would be to have the combatants wear uniforms. The army, navy, air force, etc. of both sides wear a uniform designating private, lieutenant, general, etc. Obviously, having no hostilities would be preferable, but in an imperfect world where militaries will clash, soldiers become legitimate military targets while specifically targeting civilians is unacceptable.
If someone engages in hostilities while disguised as a civilian, that person will cause additional unintended civilian death and suffering.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

So, does that mean that you'd be willing to have US taxpayers send $3 billion a year to the Palestinians so that they and Israel could fight with proper etiquette?

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

It's simple common sense. Soldiers are legitimate military targets, civilians are not. However, if someone behaves like a soldier but dresses like a civilian, he protects himself, but puts real civilians in harm's way.
If by proper etiquette, you mean limiting the fighting between soldiers as best as possible, if you mean that in war there are legitimate military targets and targets that are not legitimate, if you mean obeying rules of war, then yes, both sides should fight with proper etiquette.

jafs 7 years ago


But in war there are often civilian casualties, called "collateral damage", and accepted by various military forces around the world, including ours.

It's just a little bit better than targeting civilians, in my book, and not worth much praise.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Collateral damage happens in war, always has and always will. It is regrettable and should be avoided if possible. But if a para-militay groups behaves like soldiers but chooses not to identify themselves as such, they make the likelihood of collateral damage much higher.
I was watching a video from a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah forces inside Lebanon. Rockets were being fired from the rooftop of an apartment building inside Lebanon into Israel. Israeli forces bombed the building, knocking out the rocket launchers. Was there collateral damage, civilian loss of life? Yes. But was it the fault of Israeli forces who bombed the building or was it the fault of those who chose to make an apartment building a military target, putting civilians at greater risk?

jafs 7 years ago

Accepting civilian casualties isn't much better than targeting civilians in my book.

It's a little bit better.

But, it's not a "good" thing, merely a somewhat less "bad" thing, so I don't like it when folks crow about how much "better" group A is because they don't target civilians, if they just accept "collateral damage".

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Every war waged by every country throughout all of history has produced collateral damage. Unless we can figure out a way to eliminate all wars all the time and in every place, then the best we can do is to try to limit it. But if you've got a plan to eliminate collateral damage, great. I applaud you.

jafs 7 years ago

Fighting fewer wars would probably help, don't you think, and finding better ways to resolve conflicts?

Here's my latest thought on the Israel-Palestinian mess - I'd be interested in your feedback.

Divide the country in half - line down the middle if it's possible - one side Israeli, the other Palestinian.

I imagine Jerusalem is considered holy by both sides, so it would have to be shared somehow, perhaps with a pledge that it will be a hostility-free zone of some sort.

Jewish folks in Palestinian territory would be given the option to become Palestinian citizens, if they want to, and can stay. Similarly on the other side. Perhaps dual citizenship would be a bad idea, so folks would have to choose.

If Israel did this, and Palestinians continued the conflict, I would become much more pro-Israel, and I imagine I'm not the only one.

It's understandable, of course, that Israel wants peace and security, but they don't have that now - would it really be any worse to carry out the above plan, and then just keep fighting?

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Drawing lines arbitrarily by colonial powers is what got us in this mess. These two groups will have to find some agreement that they can both live with. I have my own personal plan, though I've yet to hear anyone in power suggest anything close. But if you want to hear it, I'll briefly share it.
I wonder if Egypt and Jordan can be coaxed into reclaiming the territory they lost in 1967. Israel has made peace with both and I think the trust both enough to keep the peace. Palestinians would again live under Arab and Muslim rule, better than living under occupation but not as good as having their own country. What might induce Egypt and Jordan into getting back into this mess? Money, of course, and lot's of it. That might come from us, Europe but I also see a need for something akin to an E.U., an economic union that must include the wealthy gulf states. This economic union would need to pledge to build an infrastructure that makes the region one where people will prosper and feel safe. I firmly believe that the vast majority of Palestinians are good and decent people, but are mired in such poverty and with no hope to improve their lot in life that continued violence to them is an attractive way of life. However, once factories, roads and schools are built, the promise of a better life will diminish that attractiveness. If you've been accepted to medical school, or law school, you won't need to fight. As for Palestinian statehood, it has been put on hold for years. I propose putting it on hold for many more. But not forever. there needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Benchmarks can be set, but in general, I would say that after 25 years, Palestine could become semi-autonomous region. After another 25 years and more benchmarks, it could be a fully autonomous region, with Jordan and Egypt still in control of the military. More years, eventually and Palestine becomes it's own state. By then, with the help of the economic zone in place, it would be a prosperous area. Will it make Palestinian nationalists happy, no. Will the Israelis be happy, no. A good compromise is supposed to make everyone unhappy.

jafs 7 years ago

That's a much more complicated idea, I'd say.

What's wrong with my simpler one?'

It's not exactly arbitrary to divide the country in half, given that they both think they have the right to live there.

I'm not advocating that we impose this on them, but I think it's a pretty fair and workable possibility worth suggesting.

If they could find something workable on their own, don't you think they would have by now? It's been over 60 years.

In your version, Palestinians have to live under somebody else's rule for over 50 years - how on earth would they accept that?

I agree that there needs to be some serious investment in Palestine to help them create a decent economy and infrastructure.

But you're right that the problem started with colonialism - that's become abundantly clear to me from this thread.

And, given that there is no peace and security now, what is a good, valid reason for Israel to object to my plan?

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Israel won't accept any border unless they feel that the other side can guarantee peace. Right now, the Palestinians cannot guarantee that. One faction cannot while the other does not want to. My plan imposes non-violence upon them. The ruling countries must impose law and order on it's inhabitants. And if that sounds heavy handed, it's what's expected of every country.
Drawing a border is only a part of the problem. Respecting a border must happen also.

jafs 7 years ago

You state the "stuckness" of the situation quite well.

It seems kind of silly to me for Israel to be stuck that way, given that they don't have peace now.

And, yes, there are undoubtedly ways that the Palestinians are equally stuck in ways I would think unnecessary.

Your version is more of the same kind of colonial rule that got us into the problem, isn't it? I see no reason to think it will be much different.

In my version, it's entirely possible that they'll keep fighting - peace and mutual co-existence is the ultimate goal, but I wouldn't expect to achieve that overnight, given the long history of problems between the two sides.

But, there are many features of my idea that I think are a good start towards that goal, and that would improve things in a few ways immediately.

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

And how about the day when Palestinian refugees who have documents (deeds and such) ascribing them ownership of land in Israel can return and claim their property. Of course all the homes are long bulldozed and built over, but the land is theirs, right?

George Lippencott 7 years ago

That pesky right of conquest. Don't lose wars you start!

jafs 7 years ago


So if the Palestinians had won, you'd be telling everybody that they had the land by right of conquest?

No morality in your world there, just might makes right?

George Lippencott 7 years ago

Well Jafs, it frequently does.

Something has to make right. If not the UN in partitioning than I guess a war.

I suspect if the Arabs had won that one the world would be a lot different. Could have been positive. Wining can make one feel better about ines self and be more willing to compromise!!

I guess you would put it all up to majority rule?

jafs 7 years ago

I think it does not - and that's a basic disagreement between us.

Force and morality are two entirely separate things in my view - having superior force does not convey any moral legitimacy.

The fact that empires conquer and subdue other people gives them no legitimacy at all.

So, when they decide to divide up the land, I do not consider it as legitimate as you do.

I believe in self-determination and freedom from oppressive and dominating rulers.

Do you apply your theory in more individual cases - eg. If I beat you up and steal your wallet, do I then have a morally legitimate claim that it is mine by "right of conquest"? If not, why not? Why would something be invalid for an individual, but valid for a large group of them?

Gail Grant 7 years ago

Israel doesn't like being an occupying country and I think most people in Israel would like to see two countries living quietly side by side. However it can’t completely withdrawal from the occupied territory unless it has true peace or boarders that could be protected. Going back to 67 boarders with no agreement means destruction of Israel, as it will leave a very narrow area – smaller than 10 miles in between the boarder with the Palestinians and the sea.

jafs 7 years ago

According to what I heard on the news, nobody's actually wanting to reinstate the '67 borders - the idea is that the amount of land Israel gets is equivalent to the amount of land they had then, with "land swaps" to deal with security issues.

Palestinians are apparently ok with this idea, but Israel isn't.

George Lippencott 7 years ago

Well I think I heard their leader yesterday say they were although the specifics are subject to negotiation

Bossa_Nova 7 years ago

hey everybody, i think something that a lot of people are forgetting is the fact that after the oil in the middle east is all dried up, nobody will give a sh!t about what goes on over there. all the funding will go away and the people over there will duke it out with sticks and stones.

if i was an israeli, for the sake of my grandchildren, i would try to make friends with my neighbors NOW as opposed to later when the support from abroad disappears. that will be key to israel's future survival

verity 7 years ago

May be cynical, but probably very true.

George Lippencott 7 years ago


bEST i WILL DO IS simplistic. I like my car.

verity 7 years ago

Yeah, we all like our conveniences. Funny how fast a convenience becomes a necessity.

Centerville 7 years ago

We could get all warm and fuzzy about the pre-WWI Ottoman Empire, or we could remember that it was on the totalitarian losing side of that of that war, too. Wars do make a difference, no matter how much kumbaya you want to sprinkle on them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

The Ottoman Empire was Turkish, not Arab. Just because Palestinians were subjected to rule from outside during that time provides absolutely no justification for subjugation by the Israelis.

George Lippencott 7 years ago

I noted that. What it does suggest is that there was no Palestinian state - good, bad, or indifferent. The Israelis are "subjugating" them because they attacked Israel and lost. Losers pay a price. If they had just accepted the UN partition they would have their state. Why do you Palestinian apologists just avoid that reality and blame Israel for the outcome of a war they did not seek

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Israel for the outcome of a war they did not seek"

This is a lie. From the Arab perspective, the establishment of Israel was an act of war. Even Ben-Gurion recognized that fact. Why can't you?

George Lippencott 7 years ago

Because it wasn't??? No wonder we are so far apart if you consider an action by the UN in afdressing the future of one of its manadates was an act of war.


George Lippencott 7 years ago

jafs (anonymous) replies… I think it does not - and that's a basic disagreement between us.

Ok but I never said I support violence. I abhor it.

That said, I am allowed to use all appropriate force to stop you from injuring me and taking my wallet

Israel is allowed to use all appropriate force (as defined by the international community) to keep somebody from killing its citizens and taking its land.

If I injury or kill you in defending myself from your beating, you are SOL - no recourse under our laws - as long as the force I used is reasonable. The Arabs living in Palestine tried to hurt Israel and now they are essentially SOL.

However, Israel is willing to give back much of the land in the original partition but the price is peace. What is you problem with that??

And you have never answered how you justify the original 1948 invasion of Israel? That was the first act of aggression. Israel had nothing to do with the Western invasion of the “holy lands” or with the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. They did not oppress the Arabs living in Palestine until those Arabs attacked them.

Look, there are a lot of things the Israelis have done that I do not like. I do feel sympathy for the lot of the Palestinian people. But, I think we need to be clear about who did what to whom and not lay the whole sordid history of that part of the world on the Israelis.

jafs 7 years ago

You said it often does, in response to does might make right? I say it does not.

Ok, and if I win the fight, and take your wallet?

If Palestine had won the war, in your version, they are now the legitimate holders of the land, by virtue of "right of conquest".

I don't justify any of the acts of violence by either side, except in self-defense.

Nobody's trying to lay the whole thing at the feet of the Israelis, as far as I know. They're just pointing out that an oppressed people have few rights, and there's an injustice in that fact.

gkerr 7 years ago


No, I don't think Israel intends not to acquire net acres from Arab Palestine prior to the 1967 war. That war has cost them billions if not trillions of dollars and angst. That money and blood, sweat, and tears is worth something don't you think? Look Israel owned the land for centuries prior to a litany of conquerers who wrested control from them by overwhelming superior force. Unfortunately the history of world politics is that to the victor goes the spoils.

Further in justice most Arabs and Arab states supported the Nazis, in no little motive because they hated the Jews and promised to annihilate them. Since Mohammed, the Jews have been particularly hated and resented by Islam, war between brothers is oft the cruelest war and Jews and Arab Moslems are much like Sara and her Hand-Maid, Isaac and Ishmael. They are all Semites and of close blood lines. Well, thank God, The Axis lost and even though the Arab league declared war on Germany and Japan in 1945 it was only after it was clear that the Axis was doomed. Arab Muslims are not reliable friends or honorable enemies. The Koran is clear that in matters of war and domestic harmony lies are permitted and even laudable. Much like modern American courtrooms, corporate executive offices, Congress, the Oval office, and the Halls of Academe, especially in the offices of the so called climate scientists. Now I am not calling you a fool, but fools love to be fooled. The truth is something that they hope for, will, not know by either faith or reason, or at least not by reason. Perhaps liberalism is a sort of Religious belief as many claim. Most who abandon their faith in God gravitate to a faith, as Chesterton pointed out, in everything or at least anything they wish to believe. Gkerr

jafs 7 years ago

Your post seems oddly non-responsive to mine.

If might makes right, then whoever wins gains a moral legitimacy that I don't think is warranted.

George Lippencott 7 years ago

Like it or not "right of conquest" is a legal and legitimate consequence of certain wars. Take the issue up with the UN and the international community not with the Israelis

If the Arabs had won the 48 war I shutter to think what might have happened!

The 48 war was an act of self defense by the Israelis. ("except self defense")

A neutral stance would require you to accept what has happened or to judge it by legal not emotional criteria. Holding the UN action as illegal or forgetting the 48 war is not a neutral assessment - it is anti-Israel. Laying the many years of outside control of the area known as Palestine at the feet of the Israelis is not neutral.

I abhor moral equivalency. There are bad guys and really bad guys in this scenario and it is not neutral to deny that. I would find the Palestinian cause much more acceptable if they would drop the anti -Jewish rhetoric - it is unseeing and detracts from their cause. I also abhor “do-overs”. You live with the consequences of your actions and work it from there. Demanding a return to some temporary status in the oast after initiating a war you lost is despicable. Your negotiating position is forever compromised by your actions.

jafs 7 years ago

I'm taking it up with you.

If the Palestinians had won, do you think they would then be the legitimate holders of the land?

You're arguing with things I've never said, which is a sort of waste of time, isn't it?

If I beat you up, and take your wallet, is it then legitimately mine by "right of conquest" or not?

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

If it was "my" wallet, then fighting and taking it would be stealing. But in this case, the "wallet" belonged to someone else, someone who abandoned it, someone who went to an arbiter, someone who resolves disputes. That someone decide to split the "wallet". But one person did not think that was fair so they decided to start a fight in order to get the entire contents of the wallet. But the person who did not start the fight, the person who agreed to the arbitration, that person wound up winning the fight. Though they did not take all the contents of the wallet, they took more than what the arbitrator ruled. But clearly, the "wallet" belonged to neither before the fight.

jafs 7 years ago

That assumes that the colonial powers have a legitimate claim on the land, does it not?

If they got it by conquering and subduing the population, where does their moral legitimacy come from?

I think this is part of the Palestinian lack of agreement with the original partitioning idea - they didn't view the colonial powers as legitimately holding the land.

I don't know if your version is accurate or not - from a little bit of research, I find statements claiming that Israel did not consider the resolution valid, and took land in advance of the war you discuss.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

The problem is that no one had a legitimate claim to that land. It had transitioned from one colonial power to the next, year after year, century after century. The last people to have self rule while on that land was the Jews in biblical times. Ever since then, it was ruled by foreign powers. So no one's claim was any more or less legitimate than any other group's claim.
Arabs, of a variety of tribes, lived and traveled through that area for centuries. Jews lived in small enclaved, also for centuries. The Zionist movement beginning in the late 1800's sought to repopulate the area with additional Jews. They did that by purchasing land from it's Ottoman owners and living on the land. By the 1930's, Jews were the majority in some areas, Arabs in others. The British, now in control, proposed a partition along the lines where each was the majority. The Arabs rejected that plan. Additional Jewish immigration and more Arab partition rejections followed. The problem with history is you can't take a snapshot and say, see this is where things began. The other side will go back even further. You can't go back 100 years without going back 200. You can't go back 1,000 without going back 2,000. You can either agree to start at a specific date, or you can deal with things as they are now.

jafs 7 years ago


Then it would follow that the Palestinians had as much legitimate claim to the land as anybody else, despite the rather strong bias against that idea I've seen.

I think the only way is to start now, and try to move forward - all of the looking back just created more stuckness and bickering.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Certainly the Palestinians had a claim to the land, or at least some of it. The same is true for the Jews. Combined that with the history of violence and the probability of more violence, partition became the desired strategy of, first the British and then the U.N. It's too bad the Arabs rejected that strategy many times.
We've talked about "wallets" and such, let me give you an analogy. Suppose I want to buy a house and I make an offer. The person says, "let me think about it for a while". Time passes, I get tired of waiting for an answer. The housing market crashes and the house is now worth much less. The owner waits more time, hoping the value will rebound. It doesn't. The home value continues to plummet. Finally, the homeowner calls and says they will accept my original offer. Am I obligated to buy the home at my original offer? No. because events have made the offer void. The same is true with the 1967 lines. The offer was there. It was not accepted and events (wars, violence, settlements, etc.) have made the 1967 lines obsolete.

jafs 7 years ago

Interesting analogy.

I don't know what the law is on such things - there is perhaps a period of time during which the initial offer remains on the table.

Again, this whole thread is a microcosm of why they're stuck where they are - I think the only way is to move ahead from here.

Arguing about 67 borders is just another thing that keeps everybody stuck.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

BTW An offer on the table can be removed at any time.

gkerr 7 years ago

Jags, Not if the wallet was yours once upon a time and it was taken from you by conquest or if you attack me in an attempt to steal my wallet, and cost me bodily harm and much money to get it back, then if I end up with your wallet in the skirmish as well as my wallet I believe it fair to take reparations--And so does the course of human history. It is not seemly or compelling to make a squeamish and politically correct after the fact argument which comforts no one but the arguer which attacks me to take my wallet, losing your wallet to me in the battle which cost me dearly in blood and treasure, I am castigated for keeping my wallet and part of your wallet as well. Gkerr

jafs 7 years ago

I thought "to the victor went the spoils".

If so, then if it was yours a long time ago, and somebody else takes it, it then becomes theirs.

You can't argue both prior rights and "right of conquest" at the same time.

I say that conquest confers no moral legitimacy, and merely reflects greater force.

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