Hot Property - Israel/Palestine

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Rage, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Hot Property - Israel/Palestine

    Sometimes I think the Jews go overboard. Profligate excesses often recoil.

    On the 'Jewish settler' issue in 'Palestine'. Comments and opinions welcome.

    YouTube - Hot Property - Israel/Palestine
  3. alon9

    alon9 Regular Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    We, Jews, have a legal, moral, religious, historic and ancestral right to live in our land - the land of Israel, with our capital: Jerusalem.

    No one and nothing can take it or change it.

    I only bothered watching the first 10 seconds of the video you posted as I've heard all that crap too many times before.

    Instead of hearing just the extreme-irrelevant-left-distorted side of the story, I went and read the corresponding articles:
    Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood tense again | Israel Palestine-Gaza Conflict | Jerusalem Post
    Settlers take over east Jerusalem home - Israel News, Ynetnews

    In it, it is simply and clearly stated: “armed with a court order that named them as the property's owners,” which translates - this is 100% sanctioned by law.
    End of discussion.
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    I do not dispute your right to live in Yerushalayeem qedem, I dispute the means you take to acquire it.

    You may want to watch the video in its entirety before launching on an invective. It shows both sides of the dispute. This is not an Arab video, it is a journeyman documentary.

    There are very clear cases of settler courts positing a political, rather than a purely legal judgment, including in instances when the 'evictee' possesses all manner of land documents, title deeds, etc.

    There is also the corresponding question of why thousands of Palestinians, who claim to hold title deeds to property inside Israel, are not allowed to obtain court redressal, to which Andy David, representative of the Israeli foreign ministry's only response is: "there was a war", "and I think that it's also time for people to stop whining, you know". Surely Andy David is not transposing, without irrefragable apodictic backed by a court of law, the same measure of guilt and culpability he attributes to the ''Arab leaders'' for starting the war onto the same Palestinian settlers that claim land within the Jewish state.

    Surely you realize that that statement implicitly conveys that the legal process is being superceded by the political.

    Surely, also, you recognize that when your own own allies in the States and the European Union arraign the decision to demolish the homes of some 100 families in Selwan as being "unhelpful to the peace process" or "against the spirit of Annapolis", you ignore international opinion, perhaps somewhat self-defeatingly in the long run. Surely you do not accuse the states of the European Union of being "biased". Surely you recognize that despite the one hundred-odd homes the municipalities demolish every year, people still keep coming back, that despite your more longitudinal and protracted claim to "moral, religious, historic and ancestral" right to commorancy, the Arabs have a similar claim by virtue of the fact of their existence there since the 7th century, that you have to live side-by-side with the Arabs in the long run, and that the shibboleth of 'we are the chosen ones' seems to us, a manifestation of patent arrogance.
  5. alon9

    alon9 Regular Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Qedem in Hebrew means = ancient.
    If you were going for a “Holy Jerusalem” in Hebrew, it would be: “Yerushalayim Hakdosha”.

    And who appointed you judge, jury and executioner? :)

    Because you asked, I went and did my homework on the journalists who made the video, aka a “journeyman documentary”:
    Journeyman Pictures : about us : About Us

    They are some British folk who think they know something about fair journalism. That’s all well and good but that doesn’t change my mind about this video - not 1 inch.

    How nice of you to degrade and insult our top-notch legal system, a routinely left-leaning, dovish, peace-loving legal system by calling them “settler courts”. Just admit it and say it with me:
    “I know nothing about the Israeli legal system, nor do I wish to know” and “I understand little of the Hebrew language, nor do I wish to know”, before you slander Israel as a true Western Democracy.

    And he’s 100% right. They should stop whining and start working. They should stop playing the refugee card çãùåú nrg - AND THE WORLD PAYS and start integrating themselves into their host-country. Be it Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq or Israel.

    Let me ask you this Mr. Rage, where are the whining Jews, those who were left alive after the destruction of 6 million of them, not 3-4 years before the founding of the state of Israel and the war of Israel’s independence, hmm?

    Where are the 800,000 whining Jews who were expelled from all Arab lands after and because of the establishment of the state of Israel, and today comprise 60% of it’s Jewish population, hmm, Mr. Rage?

    As said: I live in a DEMOCRATIC country where there is a clear-cut desperation of politics and the rule of law, and where discrimination and racism are fought against, no matter where they are found.

    The people of Israel spoke very clearly in the last elections when they voted for a clear, strong and stable right wing majority. This trend hasn’t changed, unlike in the US where Obama is losing ground, and losing it fast. What you now describe are naïve left-wing dreams and hopes for a “peace process” or yet another Annapolis.

    Arabs never were and never will be interested in a true peace with the only country of the Jews.
    That, my friend, is a fact.

    You need to understand a few more things:
    1. We want peace - but not “at all costs”. Security is one of our top priorities.
    2. We already offered them 96% of the land in question, which the Philistines refused - not missed a single opportunity to miss every opportunity possible for peace.
    3. We will not accept any new “pre-negotiation terms”. If they want peace let them come and start negotiating for it - here and now!

    We strongly believe that if they give us peace we will give them peace. A fair trade. And if they don’t - it’s their problem, not ours.
    End of discussion.

    Of course they are biased. But why should you know, or for that matter, care?

    The European Union serves the interests first and foremost of the European Union. And what is more important, a tiny country with a mere 7 million people of the gratitude of 250+ million Arabs and the entirety of the “non-aligned countries”? You think that petro-dollars don’t speak the same language to the European Union? You think that after what happened in the second World War there is no more anti-Semitism to be found anywhere in the European Union?

    Take it from me Rage as I know exactly what I’m talking about for I have a stake in it’s outcome.

    So what else is new?
    I live in an apartment building with my family, just like most of my Israeli neighbors.
    They, on the other hand do not.
    They steal Israeli-owned lands and build super-cheap cottages and ground level grandiose homes for themselves, entirely disregarding the law and in fact spitting in the face of the law. They do not pay their taxes yet they enjoy all the comforts of living in a western society. They do not serve three years in my army even though it is 100% mandatory by law of any Jew living in Israel to do so.

    When finally the oh-so-slow wheels of the law turn, they come crying to a sympathetic British-Journalist ear.
    The courts of law in my land, which I’ll have you know are highly respected across the world, have said their piece - and enough said already.

    We, the Jewish people, lived in Israel more than a thousand years before either Christ of Muhammad - so don’t give me that crap.

    I had to look-up the word “shibboleth” in wiki to understand your meaning, since I knew only the literal meaning of the word in Hebrew. Shibboleth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    We do not see ourselves as “the chosen ones”. If fact, I am not a religious or practicing Jew, but I am a proud Zionist.
    We are exactly like any other people on this planet: unique. We suffered and we’ll continue to suffer for our differences, but that is part of being a Jew.

    Long Live Israel.
  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Whoa whoa whoa! son! Don't go all kibbutz on me now.

    The next time I'd appreciate you not separating my replies into individual lines but rather answered them as a cohesive whole. They're less prone to be taken out of context, and spirit, that way, and less fain to the topic being deviated with frivolities.

    Actually, I was gunnin' for 'East Jerusalem'.

    What? That is an opinion son, surely you can accept that without accusing me of something completely mundane and churlish.

    Journeyman is an independent, London-based (though not London-exclusive) distributor of topical news features, documentaries and footage. They publish Journeyman Weekly: a respected international analysis and socio-political coverage newsletter, faxed and distributed to TV buyers worldwide, broadcast and non-theatrical. They are also responsible for the filmography of such films such as Charlie Wilson's War, Manito, and the distribution of such films such as Half Nelson, Young Guns and La Ciudad.

    You may want to review a fair number of their videos on youtube before accosting them of knowing nothing "about fair journalism". Kapish?

    If you're trying to incite me, you really do not want to. Repeat after me:

    "You do not want to intimidate me."

    You may want to read this article from the Haaretz before expounding the virtues of your "dovish, peace loving, top-notch, left-leaning legal system":

    Court case reveals how settlers illegally grab West Bank lands - Haaretz - Israel News

    Surely you're not accusing the Haaretz of being biased.

    And the following by Amnesty International, particularly the section on Impunity and 'Forced evictions, destruction of Palestinian homes and expansion of Israeli settlements' :

    Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories | Amnesty International Report 2009

    And the following from your allies in the Jerusalem Post:

    EU protests evictions of Palestinians from east Jerusalem | Headlines News | Jerusalem Post

    I do not dispute the fact that the converse also exists, but the fact that Jewish, and international European newspapers report the existence of illegitimate evictions means that your "legal-system" is not entirely "dovish".

    I use the term 'settler courts' purely in reference to their role as arbitrators in settlement disputes. No offence intended.

    I do not claim to know everything about the "Israeli legal system". Why should I? I do not live in the Middle East, nor is that my area of expertise. Which is why you are here on an Indian forum, to share your views with us in a manner that discusses a subject academically and dispassionately. And dare you not fiddle or resort to ad hominem comments, because that will ensure you get nowhere.

    You've caught the bull by the tail. He may be "right" in all you mentioned, but he is not right in reference to the question he answered: namely, to why Palestinians have not been granted legal redressal to land they claim to hold within Israel. Very clearly the legal has been subverted by the political.

    Let me tell you this mr. Alon, you trying to raise sentiments and emotion about an issue that has no connection whatsoever to Palestinian land claims or the process of legal redressal will serve no purpose. Every nation has gone through its share of animadversion, but the very fact that you try to raise the issue to justify the present, moreover a present nonpartisan process, with the past means that 'jewish whining' is not dead. Do not confound behavioral, cognitive patterns with what is supposed to be a purely prosaic, arbitrary process.

    Do you set your standards to the Arabs? What Arab state pray tell do you set your purported "first world democratic Jewish state" to?

    Clearly they are not.

    Annapolis is an agreement. Perhaps you need to refresh your memory as to what it constitutes, and that international agreements signed between two mutually-recognized governments cannot be retroactively reneged upon, pursuant to a posterior and subsequently countervailing agreement, that in principle or in substance, abrogates its antecedent, no matter what electoral decisions entail.

    The state of Israel is strong enough to ensure indefinitely its existence, without resorting to extra-legal means, that is also a fact.

    I understand very well, coming from a country that has a 'land dispute' with a self-purported Islamic state myself.

    You need to understand however:

    - that this is not about "peace", it is about the subversion of a legal process by what are juridically defined to be extraneous political concerns. You have Arab citizens: nearly a fifth of your populace in fact, living in large concentrations in Nazareth, Umm-al-Fahm and Rahat for instance, and secure yourself from any happenstance without resorting to extra-ordinary measure.

    - that eviction is not conducive to any "negotiations", as your allies themselves have sought to bring to bear upon you, and which advice you seek to ignore to your detriment and to that of a 'final resolution'.

    You're meandering on the tautologic again. That goes without saying.

    The European Union is not biased, atleast on its judgments on international political and 'humanitarian' issues. You seem to impugn a direct and unimodal correlation to inter-governmental relations and regional public appeasement, when there are several other factors that influence that dynamic. Business will transact regardless, and most Arab states could care less about the 'Palestinian cause' when it comes to their interests. Take that from me as I know exactly what I'm talking about.

    In addition, the Jews have sufficient 'financial clout' in the business world to provide a potent counter-weight to any 'petrodollars'. I daresay you'd dispute that?

    I do not wish to purloin this discussion, but the European Union recently hosted 'Kashmir week' to " draw attention to the Kashmir issue ", sent the 'Troika fact-finding mission' to "interact with a wide range of stake holders" and "assess the situation in Kashmir" and established the 'Kashmir Centre' to "expand minimal awareness of Kashmir at the European Union-level". One would think that Europe's burgeoning trade with India, booming defense ties and a deteriorating Pakistani significance would prompt the EU to remain neutral in this 'dispute'.

    Living in "grandiose, super-cheap, ground level" cottages does not constitute valid, adequate legal reason to demolish their homes. Particularly not when its occupants claim to have the land deeds and titles to the property upon which it was built. Particularly not when the eviction is a unilateral measure that does not incorporate legal redressal for those who contrawisely claim possession to lands within Israel. Particularly when Arab cases are not discharged with the same manner of swiftness of attention as the Jews as the video seems to insinuate [I extrapolate from a single case here, but that does seem to be the turn].

    With respect to your own [rhetorical] question about "serving in the Armed forces", I believe you've answered it yourself: "They do not serve three years in my army even though it is 100% mandatory by law of any Jew living in Israel to do so." Interestingly, haredim that study in seminaries are also exempt from the law.

    I'll have you know that the "British journalist" was not there on some simpatico or druthers to turn a "sympathetic ear" to some evicted Arabs. She was there to cover a motif- both sides of it- and of which the socio-political, international, academic and expository ramifications are greater than any personal bias.

    What have the "courts of law" in your land said? I'd like to hear their piece.

    You, the Jewish people, have had the Ubeidiya precede you during the Pleistocene age, the Phillistines arrive and intermingle with the Canaanites during the Chalcolithic age - prior to the age of Saul, the semi-nomads from the desert fringes to the east, joined by elements from Anatolia, the Aegean, and the South settle in the hill country of Canaan during the Bronze Age (1500-1200 BC) and the Nabataeans, from Jordan and north Arabia build a separate Semitic civilization in the Negev in southern Israel that lasted until 160 BCE, all of whom are antecedents of the modern day 'Arabs' who claim domicile there.

    shibboleth: common refrain, catchword, often with little relevance or meaning

    You may want to reconsider that in view of the blithe arrogance demonstrated by the settler in the endung. I don't claim that of all Jews. But certainly, it seems, if this map is any indication, that most members of the Kibbutz movement or the communal settlements are:


  7. alon9

    alon9 Regular Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Point taken: You don’t like your replies being separated. Here is mine in a single piece for your convenience. :)
    'East Jerusalem' in Hebrew is "Mizrah Yerushalayim".

    Now, before you go calling anyone here “son”, kindly state your age. If you are anywhere near 32, than I am most certainly NOT your “son”. :) Truth be told, judging by the way you articulate yourself I guess you CAN call me son, that is that you are above 50 years of age... :)

    I just “did my homework” on this entire subject and will now refer you to its results. I did this only after I wrote quite a lengthy response though, but this homework of my is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - and it reflects and %100 backs up everything that I was trying to say. Lucky me, eh? :)

    Here goes:
    I’ll start with a newspaper you like and which later on I have completely trashed - "Haaretz”
    Darkness and light in Jerusalem, by Nadav Shragai Darkness and light in Jerusalem - Haaretz - Israel News - Talks about the rights of Jews to live in Jerusalem and the problems they face.

    Much more relevant and that much more important is an in-depth study made by the same journalist on the subject we are talking about here:
    The U.S.-Israeli Dispute over Building in Jerusalem: The Sheikh Jarrah-Shimon HaTzadik Neighborhood, by Nadav Shragai (27 July 2009)
    Jerusalem Issue Briefs-The U.S.-Israeli Dispute over Building in Jerusalem: The Sheikh Jarrah-Shimon HaTzadik Neighborhood
    A more in depth and full of facts report you simply cannot ask for. Using this, I am sure you will better understand the Israeli court’s decision.

    A little more about “Nadav Shragai”, from a Philistine source, here: Nadav Shragai (biographical details)

    This is a dedicated editorial from The Jerusalem Post about this very subject: “Jews & Sheikh Jarrah”
    Editorial: Jews & Sheikh Jarrah | Editorials | Jerusalem Post

    And this is the most perfect Israeli and Jewish response to this subject, straight from the guys who petition the courts of law and who live in East Jerusalem:
    'We're restoring Jewish character of neighborhood' | In depth | Jerusalem Post

    This, I guess, is the “latest” news about this subject that I found on the site: (Aug 5, 2009)
    US condemns east Jerusalem eviction | Israel Palestine-Gaza Conflict | Jerusalem Post

    This is my response to your opening sentence, and I quote you: “Sometimes I think the Jews go overboard. Profligate excesses often recoil.”

    PA court: Death to man who sold land to Jews
    PA court: Death to man who sold land to Jews | Middle East Conflict

    This is a piece that is very relevant and very interesting:

    “High Court: Demolish illegal Palestinian homes”
    High Court orders demolition of illegal Palestinian houses | Israel Palestine-Gaza Conflict | Jerusalem Post
    and it opens with ->
    “For the first time, the High Court of Justice on Wednesday ordered the state to demolish illegal structures built by Palestinians in the West Bank. Until now, the court had only ordered the state to implement demolition orders against illegal construction by Jewish settlers, since these were the only kinds of petitions that had been filed.”

    Please notice: “FOR THE FIRST TIME”. This goes to my assertion that the justice system in Israel is on the extreme-left/dove.

    This is an editorial written by one of my most favorite authors, Karoline Glick, titled - “Our World: Inequality before the law” Our World: Inequality before the law | Columnists | Jerusalem Post

    This, once again, goes to my assertion of an extreme left-leaning and politicized (but AGAINST the Jews, not for them!) legal system.

    This is just typical: “Bethlehem Muslim gang accused of using stolen documents to grab Christians' land”
    Bethlehem Muslim gang accused of using stolen documents to grab Christians' land | Middle East Conflict

    If you want to read and know the truth about Jerusalem, don’t go to “Haaretz” but to The JERUSALEM post. :)
    * * * * * * End of my “home work” :) * * * * * *

    All that you wrote about those “journalists” is all well and good, yet I haven't seen a single name nor a single meaningful credential that will convince me that the video you posted here is worth anyone time.

    Finding Arabs who hate Israel or Israelis or Jews for that matter is as easy as pie: I would wager that more than %95 of Arabs living in the Middle East, regardless of country, hate anything and everything to do with us - and in particular what they invented as "Zionists". I can write several detailed articles about it, all well sourced, and with endless videos, including honest opinions from top notch professors, doctors and other people of note completely backing up this assertion of mine in no uncertain terms.

    What will all this get me beside a total waste of time?

    Fact is I am not here to change anyone's mind once it is set. I am here to enlighten those who are still curious, open minded and with enough patience to listen. I do believe your mind is set, Rage. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    F.Y.I - I wasn't trying to intimidate anyone, nor do I believe that I could even if I wanted to. I do get passionate sometimes, but I do not start ad hominem attacks without cause or reason. Believe me, I have much better things to do than to insult a person I don't even know who lives half-way across the globe.

    I really appreciate how you described my role on this forum: "you are here on an Indian forum, to share your views with us in a manner that discusses a subject academically and dispassionately." I'll be more than happy to share my views - provided that I don't get attacked or insulted in return.

    As for the fringe newspaper called "Haaretz". Even though they are heavily backed by people with deep pockets, "Haaretz" can only claim to represent about %3 of the total population of Israel. In this light I wouldn't consider anything they have to say as more than what any cheesy tabloid would say in any western country. (including India of course).

    To backup my claim of "Haaretz being a tabloid representing a fringe minority”, I would kindly ask that you take a peek in the following link to understand a little more about Israeli politics:
    Elections in Israel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Listed in the link are the results of the last Israeli elections held this very year. "Haaretz" completely supports (and then some!) the opinions of an extreme left/dove-leaning party called "Meretz" - New Movement-Meretz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - who won just under %3 of the total votes, compared to the leading 6 parties on the list, most of which happen to be part of our current government, who have won over %85 of Israeli votes. (Kadima, Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Labor Party, Shas, United Torah Judaism…)

    Each and every party among those 6 (and there are more), are far more “right-leaning” or “hawkish” compared with "Haaretz/Meretz”, they are more patriotic and support the founding concepts of Zionism where "Haaretz/Meretz” deny and oppose and bemoan those concepts.

    On the other hand there are other newspaper in Israel who represent the opinion of the clear majority, they are are and îòøéá - çãùåú, ëìëìä, ñôåøè åáéãåø îäàøõ åîäòåìí nrg and éùøàì äéåí, while the leading Jewish newspaper in the world, with a far greater readership is The Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World .

    My point: please don't quote cheesy fringe “newspapers” and please don't show me videos made by foreigners who have totally opposite interests than I and the country that I love have.

    Thank you. :)

    Regarding "legal being subverted for the political". If you want a more in depth analysis - A.K.A a full answer, as to the background and reasons of "why Palestinians have not been granted legal redressal to land they claim to hold within Israel", kindly ask me of one and promise to keep an open mind. If you can do that, I'll be more than happy to oblige.

    Rage, you just accused me of trying to "raise sentiments and emotion" while your video is proudly posted right up here on this very thread raising MY sentiments and MY emotions - and greatly so!!

    As for a connection between whining Arabs and whining Jews, answer me this: why hasn't ANY!! Arab "legal process" been raised in Jordan? In Lebanon? In Syria? In Egypt? In Iraq? Are they not “brothers” of the faith, at least? Do you honestly believe that every time there was a war going on in the world and people fled that war, they all got back to their homes and lands? Have you ever read an article or a research done on the subject to form any kind of relevant opinion?

    I have.
    And the "philistines" are the biggest whining babies you’ll find anywhere in the entire world.

    You wrote, and I quote: "Do you set your standards to the Arabs? What Arab state pray tell do you set your purported "first world democratic Jewish state" to?"

    I set my standards to Western democratic countries, to your India, to take just one good example. I mention the Arabs because the “Philistines” are THE number one problem of the whole Arab world today.

    Ask anyone if you don’t believe me.

    You talked very highly about Annapolis using all manner of interesting words.
    Good for you.
    To make a long story short: Annapolis is nothing because they rejected it absolutely and without a second thought.


    Where were you when we were bombarded and terrorized for almost every single day for 8 long years from Gaza? Who’s to promise this won’t happen again?

    The only reason there are no more suicide bombers in Israel, as opposed to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, is because we control those area’s absolutely. This can’t happen after a “peace agreement”. Who will guarantee us there won’t be another suicide and terror war lunched against us? you? :)
    I don’t think so and neither do most of my Israeli brothers and sisters.

    You said, I quote: “it is about the subversion of a legal process by what are juridically defined to be extraneous political concerns”. I would kindly ask that you speak more plainly - thus I’ll understand you better. As for “subversion” and the rest of it - you are not aware of all the facts and what you are talking about only happens in Jerusalem - NOT in the rest of the country - not including Judea and Samaria of course. If you can prove otherwise, kindly do so. If this is “at the heart” of what you wanted to talk about, please kindly provide better sources than a single video.

    Thank you.

    You said it yourself: “I do not wish to purloin this discussion”. Neither do I. Thus I won’t say another word about the EU or the UN.

    You wrote: “Living in "grandiose, super-cheap, ground level" cottages does not constitute valid, adequate legal reason to demolish their homes.” -> yet you intentionally removed: “They steal Israeli-owned lands”.
    How interesting. By the way, this is fact, not fantasy. But I wrote too much too long already. Moving on.

    I hope I gave you something to think and I hope you appreciate my efforts here.
    Thank you for reading and have a good night.

    Ohh, and Long live Israel and JAAN HINDOSTAAAAN!!
  8. alon9

    alon9 Regular Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    oops, double post. didn't mean to .
  9. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
    Likes Received:
    161 | Betrayed By Obama

    View From Israel

    Betrayed By Obama

    As high as the hopes were then, so deep is the disappointment now. Worse, the Obama administration has shown by its actions and omissions that it is not really different from the administration of George W. Bush.

    Uri Avnery

    MAHMOUD ABBAS is fed up. The other day he withdrew his candidacy for the coming presidential election in the Palestinian Authority.

    I understand him.

    He feels betrayed. And the traitor is Barack Obama.

    A YEAR ago, when Obama was elected, he aroused high hopes in the Muslim world, among the Palestinian people as well as in the Israeli peace camp.

    At long last an American president who understood that he had to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not only for the sake of the two peoples, but mainly for the US national interests. This conflict is largely responsible for the tidal waves of anti-American hatred that sweep the Muslim masses from ocean to ocean.

    Everybody believed that a new era had begun. Instead of the Clash of Civilizations, the Axis of Evil and all the other *****ic but fateful slogans of the Bush era, a new approach of understanding and reconciliation, mutual respect and practical solutions.

    Nobody expected Obama to exchange the unconditional pro-Israeli line for a one-sided pro-Palestinian attitude. But everybody thought that the US would henceforth adopt a more even-handed approach and push the two sides towards the Two-State Solution. And, no less important, that the continuous stream of hypocritical and sanctimonious blabbering would be displaced by a determined, vigorous, non-provocative but purposeful policy.

    As high as the hopes were then, so deep is the disappointment now. Nothing of all these has come about. Worse: the Obama administration has shown by its actions and omissions that it is not really different from the administration of George W. Bush.

    FROM THE first moment it was clear that the decisive test would come in the battle of the settlements.

    It may seem that this is a marginal matter. If peace is to be achieved within two years, as Obama’s people assure us, why worry about another few houses in the settlements that will be dismantled anyway? So there will be a few thousand settlers more to resettle. Big deal.

    But the freezing of the settlements has an importance far beyond its practical effect. To return to the metaphor of the Palestinian lawyer: “We are negotiating the division of a pizza, and in the meantime, Israel is eating the pizza.”

    The American insistence on freezing the settlements in the entire West Bank and East Jerusalem was the flag of Obama’s new policy. As in a Western movie, Obama drew a line in the sand and declared: up to here and no further! A real cowboy cannot withdraw from such a line without being seen as yellow.

    That is precisely what has now happened. Obama has erased the line he himself drew in the sand. He has given up the clear demand for a total freeze. Binyamin Netanyahu and his people announced proudly - and loudly - that a compromise had been reached, not, God forbid, with the Palestinians (who are they?) but with the Americans. They have allowed Netanyahu to build here and build there, for the sake of “Normal Life”, “Natural Increase”, “Completing Unfinished Projects” and other transparent pretexts of this kind. There will not be, of course, any restrictions in Jerusalem, the Undivided Eternal Capital of Israel. In short, the settlement activity will continue in full swing.

    To add insult to injury, Hillary Clinton troubled herself to come to Jerusalem in person in order to shower Netanyahu with unctuous flattery. There is no precedent to the sacrifices he is making for peace, she fawned.

    That was too much even for Abbas, whose patience and self-restraint are legendary. He has drawn the consequences.

    “TO UNDERSTAND all is to forgive all,” the French say. But in this case, some things are hard to forgive.

    Certainly, one can understand Obama. He is engaged in a fight for his political life on the social front, the battle for health insurance. Unemployment continues to rise. The news from Iraq is bad, Afghanistan is quickly turning into a second Vietnam. Even before the award ceremony, the Nobel Peace Prize looks like a joke.

    Perhaps he feels that the time is not ripe for provoking the almighty pro-Israel lobby. He is a politician, and politics is the art of the possible. It would be possible to forgive him for this, if he admitted frankly that he is unable to realize his good intentions in this area for the time being.

    But it is impossible to forgive what is actually happening. Not the scandalous American treatment of the Goldstone report. Not the loathsome behaviour of Hillary in Jerusalem. Not the mendacious talk about the “restraint” of the settlement activities. The more so as all this goes on with total disregard of the Palestinians, as if they were merely extras in a musical.

    Not only has Obama given up his claim to a complete change in US policy, but he is actually continuing the policy of Bush. And since Obama pretends to be the opposite of Bush, this is double treachery.

    Abbas reacted with the only weapon he has at his command: the announcement that he will leave public life.

    THE AMERICAN policy in the “Wider Middle East” can be compared to a recipe in a cookbook: “Take five eggs, mix with flour and sugar…

    In real life: Take a local notable, give him the paraphernalia of government, conduct “free elections”, train his security forces, turn him into a subcontractor.

    This is not an original recipe. Many colonial and occupation regimes have used it in the past. What is so special about its use by the Americans is the “democratic” props for the play. Even if a cynical world does not believe a word of it, there is the audience back home to think about.

    That is how it was done in the past in Vietnam. How Hamid Karzai was chosen in Afghanistan and Nouri Maliki in Iraq. How Fouad Siniora has been kept in Lebanon. How Muhammad Dahlan was to be installed in the Gaza Strip (but was at the decisive moment forestalled by Hamas.) In most of the Arab countries, there is no need for this recipe, since the established regimes already satisfy the requirements.

    Abbas was supposed to fill this role. He bears the title of President, he was elected fairly, an American general is training his security forces. True, in the following parliamentary elections his party was soundly beaten, but the Americans just ignored the results and the Israelis imprisoned the undesirable Parliamentarians. The show must go on.

    BUT ABBAS is not satisfied with being the egg in the American recipe.

    I first met him 26 years ago. After the first Lebanon War, when we (Matti Peled, Ya’acov Arnon and I) went to Tunis to meet Yasser Arafat, we saw Abbas first. That was the case every time we came to Tunis after that. Peace with Israel was the “desk” of Abbas.

    Conversations with him were always to the point. We did not become friends, as with Arafat. The two were of very different temperament. Arafat was an extrovert, a warm person who liked personal gestures and physical contact with the people he talked with. Abbas is a self-contained introvert who prefers to keep people at a distance.

    From the political point of view, there is no real difference. Abbas is continuing the line laid down by Arafat in 1974: a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The difference is in the method. Arafat believed in his ability to influence Israeli public opinion. Abbas limits himself to dealings with rulers. Arafat believed that he had to keep in his arsenal all possible means of struggle: negotiations, diplomatic activity, armed struggle, public relations, devious manoeuvres. Abbas puts everything in one basket: peace negotiations.

    Abbas does not want to become a Palestinian Marshal Petain. He does not want to head a local Vichy regime. He knows that he is on a slippery slope and has decided to stop before it is too late.

    I think, therefore, that his intention to leave the stage is serious. I believe his assertion that it is not just a bargaining ploy. He may change his decision, but only if he is convinced that the rules of the game have changed.

    OBAMA WAS completely surprised. That has never happened before: an American client, totally dependent on Washington, suddenly rebels and poses conditions. That is exactly what Abbas has done now, when he recognized that Obama is unwilling to fulfill the most basic condition: to freeze the settlements.

    From the American point of view, there is no replacement. There are certainly some capable people in the Palestinian leadership, as well as corrupt ones and collaborators. But there is no one who is capable of rallying around him all the West Bank population. The first name that comes up is always Marwan Barghouti, but he is in prison and the Israeli government has already announced that he will not be released even if elected. Also, it is not clear whether he is willing to play that role in the present conditions. Without Abbas, the entire American recipe comes apart.

    Netanyahu, too, was utterly surprised. He wants phoney negotiations, devoid of substance, as a camouflage for the deepening of the occupation and enlarging of the settlements. A “Peace process” as a substitute for peace. Without a recognized Palestinian leader, with whom can he “negotiate”?

    In Jerusalem, there is still hope that Abbas’ announcement is merely a ploy, that it would be enough to throw him some crumbs in order to change his mind. It seems that they do not really know the man. His self-respect will not allow him to go back, unless Obama awards him a serious political achievement.

    From Abbas’ point of view, the announcement of his retirement is the doomsday weapon.
  10. alon9

    alon9 Regular Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Posting the words of "Uri Avnery" is exactly the same as posting the words of Osama Bin Laden: they are two extremes who represent fringe minority groups in their respective countries and who hold no credence whatsoever with anyone in power nor in the majority of the populace. The only difference is, apart from the obvious, that he is "for terror" while the other is "for peace". Do notice the quotation marks.

    Thank you.
    Long live Israel.
  11. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    alon9, thank you. That was more on the lines of something I was expecting from you.

    Your response is measured and well-written. And to the extent that you have argued your point about the Jewish court system well, my opinion stands amended.

    But this is about a process, a very specific legal process. And while your articles on Palestinian land-grabs and right-wing Jewish expostulations on restoring Jewish character in neighbourhoods serve to demonstrate the counter-point, it does not serve to refute mine, or the articles I quoted. I have also acknowledged, in the very beginning, in bold letters in fact, that the converse also exists.

    If your argument is that my sources are not of a sufficient statistical quality as to instill confidence, I readily accept that fact. I understand also that the video alone constitutes a fairly fragile evidentiary base. And I will not claim to, nor can provide you with detailed statistics of the number of Palestinians disenfranchised by politically-contoured Israeli court verdicts vis-a-vis Jews claiming to be dispossessed of their rightful chattel. Simply because there is no organization, to my knowledge, that has compiled a wide-ranging statistical survey of Palestinanians divested of their claimed landholdings and title, verified after the fact- in the West Bank or anywhere else. The evidence is at best analogous, and often from sources one might consider 'specious', just as you can understand the disquiet I or anybody else would experience with taking for face value the words of "right-wing Jewish" parties.

    I would also ask you to consider the argument of "restoring Jewish character" in light of the irrefragable empirical evidence that predecessors of the Palestinians also existed, in some cases more continuously in sizable demographic conglomerations than your own, in claimed "Jewish neighbourhoods", that right-wing Jewish groups wish to sanitize of all non-Jews. Consider this in light of the following, and your earlier implied claim that the Jews' right to domicile resided on the fact that you, "the Jewish people have lived there for thousands of years before Christ of Mohammad":

    "You, the Jewish people, have had the Ubeidiya precede you during the Pleistocene age, the Phillistines arrive and intermingle with the Canaanites during the Chalcolithic age - prior to the age of Saul, the semi-nomads from the desert fringes to the east, joined by elements from Anatolia, the Aegean, and the South settle in the hill country of Canaan during the Bronze Age (1500-1200 BC) and the Nabataeans, from Jordan and north Arabia build a separate Semitic civilization in the Negev in southern Israel that lasted until 160 BCE, all of whom are antecedents of the modern day 'Arabs' who claim domicile there."

    Due to pressing real-life obligations and protracted commitments over the next few days, I will not be able to answer you in any greater measure. There is more I wish to say about the issue however. Stay tuned tho, I will edit this space.
  12. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

    May 30, 2009
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    Come on Alon9.....calling Haaretz a "fringe newspaper" is just way over the top.

    If Haaretz is really that far out on the "fringe", as you say it is; then I would submit to you that its not Haaretz that is out on the Fringe, but rather the Israeli populace has moved to the fringes of the far-right.

    At the rate the Israeli right and Likud is going, you guys are all set to re-create a new apartheid state with Palestinians living in walled cantonments like goats in a farm.

    I am no Israel hater and would like to see a strong Israeli-India ties, but I have to say that with the Likud in power, Israel is moving further and further to the right and they are losing the democratic values.

    Even American Jews are starting to walk away from Israel.
  13. alon9

    alon9 Regular Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    Calling Haaretz a "fringe newspaper" is right on the money: it is an Israeli newspaper which represents %3 of Israelis. If that doesn’t make it into a "fringe newspaper", what does? You do remember that in a Newspaper, as in any money-making company, it’s not a democracy that runs it and chooses the themes and the line it wishes to follow, it’s the owners and the chief editor who have the final say and who dictate the exact policy they want represented in their newspaper - and that’s only logical, won’t you agree?

    I can even say that I don’t begrudge that newspaper nothing - it's a free country and a democratic one at that. But as far as using THAT particular trash-paper as a base to choosing and forming your political outlook on Israel and the Middle East, well, it’s not very smart as you must keep in mind that this toilet-paper... oops, I mean news-paper, can only claim to have a backing of %3 of those who live in Israel.

    Doesn’t that tell you something about its agenda and ulterior motives?

    The Israeli populace hasn’t moved an inch. I can give you direct quotes from Prime Minister Rabin himself, may he rest in peace, where he clearly states that he is against the creation of a Philistine state, yet today’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly states that he supports the creation of one and that peace negotiations should resume right now - with no prior conditions.

    You forget what the Israeli populace has endured these past years, from the first terror-wave (which was named something like “intiflala”), to the second one which included numerous suicide-murderers who indiscriminately bombed any and all Israeli civilians, through the heart wrenching expulsion of 8,000+ Jews from their lands and homes also known as “the disengagement plan”, culminating in 8 long years of terror through endless rocket and mortar bombardments.

    When you live through all of this and you sincerely offer the “other side” peace and %96 of what they wanted, even %100 - if they only just agree to land-swaps, and all you get is yet another resounding NO! and a “go f*ck yourselves” plus more threats of more terror waves to come, well, it’s hardly surprising at all that the people living in Israel had had enough. Don’t you agree?

    You can stop the “apartheid” song and dance now - we’ve heard it all before and I’m sure we’ll hear it again, yet nothing is further from the truth. The Arabs living in Judea and Samaria enjoy one of the most prosperous times in a very long time, and I would say that they enjoy far better living conditions in all areas of life than their Arab brothers and sisters who live oh so very close in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

    As for their insane Gaza-brothers, well, they brought it on themselves and they will keep at it for a long time to come. The Gaza Islamists are so bent in the head, they can’t even live in peace with their own Arab families in Judea and Samaria, and you expect US to do something about it? :) We had enough of that as well. We rather let Egyptian Arabs deal with the Arabs living in Gaza who used to be Egyptians before 1967 and who share a border. That’s the thing of it: how can anyone claim “apartheid” when all Arabs - from Gaza to Judea and Samaria all share long borders with their own kind and faith? For that matter, why don’t you blame their Jordanian and Egyptian cousins for instigating apartheid, hmm? :)

    Being an “Israeli republican” is the same as being an American republican - if you believe that it is bad being an American/republican and that it will cause the “loss of democratic values” than we really don’t’ see eye to eye here at all, but at least we understand each other well.

    As for the American Jews, I’m not worried in the slightest. They know better than any none-Jew what we are facing. Indeed, we do need to do more to bring them closer to our shared political reality here in Israel, but I’m sure my brothers and sisters are doing their best in this regard as well.
  14. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
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    The Fayyad plan
    A way to make progress toward a Middle East peace

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    ISRAELI PRIME Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took office in March after a campaign in which he refused to support Palestinian statehood, promised an expansion of Jewish settlement in the West Bank and hinted at a new military campaign to "topple" Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Eight months later, the Israeli leader is on record as accepting a Palestinian state, is deep in negotiations with Hamas over a possible prisoner swap, and -- most remarkably of all -- has dispatched inspectors and security forces to the West Bank to enforce a 10-month suspension in Jewish housing construction.

    You'd think all this would prompt at least light applause for Mr. Netanyahu -- who through most of his political career has been known as an intransigent nationalist -- and for the Obama administration, which has invested considerable effort and diplomatic capital in obtaining Israeli concessions. Instead both are being trashed in Arab and European capitals: Mr. Netanyahu for not accepting an absolute freeze on all construction outside Israel's 1967 borders, and the White House for not forcing him to do so. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas still declines to meet Mr. Netanyahu, and he is instead is threatening to resign. This is odd, because the settlement restrictions, while not exactly "unprecedented," as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton claimed, go beyond those observed by several of the Israeli governments with which Mr. Abbas has negotiated.

    Part of the problem is lingering suspicion of Mr. Netanyahu, who still appears unlikely to agree to reasonable terms for a Palestinian state. Part is the lingering effects of early missteps by the Obama administration, which demanded too much, too publicly from Israel. But the continuing impasse also reveals the underlying reluctance of either Mr. Abbas or Arab leaders to invest in a new peace process. That doesn't mean the Obama administration should give up on trying to start talks, since Middle East history shows that even unproductive negotiations are better than none. But it is a reason for the administration to escalate its support for the nation-building project being conducted by Mr. Abbas's nominal deputy, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

    Breaking with a long history of Palestinian passivity, Mr. Fayyad has vowed to build the institutions of statehood from the ground up over the next two years, with or without a peace process. He has made headway in creating more professional security forces and in stimulating the economy. Thanks in part to Mr. Netanyahu's willingness to remove roadblocks and other barriers to movement, double-digit economic growth is expected in the West Bank next year. If such progress continues, the momentum for creating a new state, at least in the West Bank, could be powerful within two years. So the Obama administration should continue cajoling Mr. Abbas -- but design its strategy around Mr. Fayyad.
  15. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 13, 2009
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    The Jerusalem Syndrome

    Neena Vyas, January 8, 2010

    Israeli workers dig up a walkway to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem’s Old City in this February, 2007 file photo. Israel said the centuries-old earthen ramp needed to be replaced, but those assurances did not calm Muslim passions over the project.

    Myth-making and demographic cleansing are central to Israel’s legitimisation of its illegal occupation of the Palestinian half of this holy city.

    The air in Jerusalem is thick with religiosity. Competing claims based on the three great Religions of the Book — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — cry out for the suspension of all disbelief. You are invited to walk several hundred centuries into the past to revisit the conflicts that in many ways are at the root of the 60-year-old crisis in the Middle East today.

    No wonder tourists, visitors and even residents are awe-struck by the holiness of the place and some are taken in by the Jerusalem Syndrome — waiting for Christ to return; or the advent of the Jewish Messiah, the Redeemer, son of King David, who will usher in an era of peace; or look in wonder at the Al Aqsa Mosque from where Prophet Muhammad ascended the golden stairs to the Seventh Heaven.

    “Jerusalem is a bubble,” said writer Shifra Horn over dinner. As we ate a delicious kosher meal in the city just a few days before Christmas — six Indian journalists were guests of the Israeli government — Ms. Horn talked about the Jerusalem Syndrome. “Haven’t you come across people waiting for the Second Coming of Christ? The Crusaders called it the Jerusalem fever… after a visit here people fantasise about the city for the rest of their lives.”

    Here is where myth blends into history, fiction and legend are presented as a melodramatic reality play, and history cannot be separated from mythology and legend without offending someone’s religious sensitivity. But most of all, Jerusalem and the legends associated with it are an intrinsic part of the political plan to legitimise the presence of a Zionist state in the midst of predominantly Muslim Arab nations.

    In the old walled city of Jerusalem — that was part of Jordan till 1967 and is now under illegal occupation of Israel — Jewish people from all over the world come to the Western Wall (popularly known as the Wailing Wall) to grieve over the two lost temples by which they define their nationhood. The old Wall, we were told, is what remains of the temple complex, marking the compound where the Biblical King Solomon’s temple stood, never mind the fact that the grand old Al Aqsa Mosque has been standing at the spot since the eighth century A.D. And as if this was not enough to make us tremble under the weight of the old conflicts, a few metres away Stations of the Cross mark the path Jesus took to Crucifixion. And the Church of the Holy Sepulchre marks the empty grave from where Jesus miraculously rose from the dead three days after his death.

    Myth and legend dating back some 3,000 years are an inseparable part of Zionism. This is the Biblical “promised land” and Jerusalem is central to it. The now non-existent Jewish temples on this Temple Mount are crucial to the Israelis’ claim that this is their ancient land.

    In 2002, Yasser Arafat had challenged Israelis to find a “single stone from the Temple of Solomon.” They have been digging around for 34 years without finding even one, he pointed out.

    Undoing the intervening centuries since King Solomon and pushing under the carpet the atrocities inflicted on Palestinians and Arabs has been an official Israeli project from the start. In a lengthy article “An Introduction to the Israeli-Palestine Conflict,” the radical American scholar Norman Finkelstein quotes the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, to make the point that “settlement” was the weapon used by the Zionist movement “to establish a great Jewish fact” in Israel.

    The “great Jewish fact,” it would seem, is being established by not only presenting religious beliefs as history, but by engineering the demography of the walled city.

    A Moroccan quarter was cleaned out to make way for the compound in front of the Wailing Wall; after the 1967 “capture” of East Jerusalem by Israel, thousands of Muslim Arabs left or were forced to leave. Israeli law prevents them from returning to claim their properties. We saw refurbished modern apartments housing ultra-orthodox Jews that have come up exactly across the compound.

    It seems the process is slow but never-ending. A CNN report said in 2008 that more than 4,500 residency permits of Muslim Arabs were withdrawn and more than 8,500 were “cleansed out” in the previous years. Mr. Finkelstein quotes British Labour MP Richard Crossman as saying in the 1940s: “Zionism is… the attempt by the European Jew to build his national life on the soil of Palestine…” and the Arab must “go down before the march of progress”.

    The former Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan (whose incognito visit to India in the 1970s led to India eventually establishing diplomatic ties with Israel) had admitted that Israelis were “a generation of settlers, and without the combat helmet and the barrel of a gun, we will not be able to plant a tree or build a house.”

    He might as well have added that without U.S. aid of some $3 billion a year and German guilt money totalling some €64 billion (including sums paid to private entities) the Israeli economic miracle of $24,000 per capita income, a war machine like no other, and lush fruits and vegetables in greenhouses in the middle of the desert may not have been possible.

    “There is a longing for peace... but in 1967 war was imposed on us [by the Arabs],” continued Ms. Horn over dinner. “Yes, we took advantage of that war to take and keep a bigger Israel [including the walled city of Jerusalem],” she admitted. “We are the survivors of the Holocaust… everywhere we lived as minorities… now we are settled here; for us this country is a shelter…”

    But what about the Palestinians, whose home this was? “I’m very, very sad we cannot live like in a normal country…we believe our [Muslim Arabs and Jews] DNA is similar… Palestinians were Jews converted to Christianity or Islam…”

    The script was familiar to Indians. After all, have we not heard the Hindu Right fanatics declare their love for Muslims (and Christians), for after all, were they not Hindus not so long ago?

    As Jewish settlers from around the world were invited to return to “the promised land” to resolve what some European scholars have described as Europe’s “Jewish problem,” the price of European anti-semitism and Hitler’s genocide began to be paid by the Arabs. Edward Said put it briefly: what the Holocaust was to the Jews, the Naqba (the day of disaster when Israel was created in 1948) is to the Palestinians.

    Just 20 months ago when Israel celebrated its 60th birth anniversary, some 100 Jewish intellectuals wrote a letter to The Guardian explaining why they would not celebrate the event. Even as Israel was born, Plan Dalet was put into operation, authorising the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of its people, they said. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. In all 7,50,000 Palestinians became refugees. They will not celebrate Israel’s birth.

    The question of refugees popped up during a conversation with an Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry official. “Yes,” he said, “there were refugees, but the total number was small. Instead of keeping them in camps, why couldn’t Lebanon and other Arab countries absorb this population? They want to keep the problem alive…” Of course, the question of Israel absorbing them did not arise, we supposed. Israeli law does not allow Muslim Arabs who have left their homes, for whatever reason, to return.

    Through myth-making or an act of faith, the repeated attempt is to prove that Jews have been here since Biblical times and that this land belongs to them. Arab presence is simply an inconvenient fact.

    It is the same theme everywhere. “Sixty years ago we were given this land to set up kibbutz Ein Gedi,” said Ron Meir as we were shown around the botanical gardens maintained by the kibbutz, situated not far from Jerusalem. “We were just 3 km from the Jordanian border. The idea was to establish a Jewish presence in this desert…”

    But the young in Israel may be changing; at least that is the hope, said film producer Sylvain Biegeleisen. “Hundreds of films have been made about the conflict… I made a series of giving cameras to children on both sides…when Rabin and Arafat shook hands I made a film on what people felt… on both sides they want peace… Yes, there is a censor, but few films have been banned...”

    There are strong, dissenting voices within Israel — even among the young who are forced to do military duty. But reports suggest that there is a renewed attempt by the Israeli government to muzzle all voices that question its militarist policies.

    Something needs to be done. “Israelis need to integrate with the Middle East. We cannot forever remain like some strange European bodies in the middle of the desert,” said foodie Janna Gur, noting the Lebanese, the Moroccan and the Palestinian influences on what goes as Israeli cuisine.

    When will peace come to the Middle East, pocked by conflict for 60 years? Why does Israel have to respond with such ferocity to every hostile act by Hamas even when that has not caused much damage or injury? David Goldfarb in the South Asia Department of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, who attempted an answer, was, perhaps, looking for a Second Coming of a different kind: “For that to happen we would need two Gandhis, one on our side and another on the other side.”

    The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : The Jerusalem Syndrome

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