Thursday, August 03, 2006

To Anyone Wondering Why Israel Opposes a Cease Fire

Thank the Iranian president for being kind enough to explain:

“Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate ceasefire must be implemented,” Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its website today.
In other words:

A cease fire is a necessary step on the path to achieving the goal of the destruction of Israel. Damn those Israelis (and the US, who unaccountably also would prefer not to see that happen) for not playing along. Who do they think they are, anyway, fighting to avoid being destroyed . . .


17 Comments:

At 8:43 AM, Blogger FZ said...

Akiva,

Come on now. Consider all the following quotes... should I respond by condoning the destruction of Israel as self-defense and Arab survivalism?

“We must expel Arabs and take their places."
David Ben Gurion, future Prime Minister of Israel, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.

"Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."
Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine,Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.

"We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves."
Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out’”
Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."
Israel Koenig, "The Koenig Memorandum"

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Akiva M said...

fz,

all of those quotes are from the 1930s or earlier, aside from the one by Heilbrun (how did that campaign work out for Lahat, anyway?). If I was pointing to quotes from the 1930s or 40s or 60s, that would be the equivalent.

TODAY, Israel has a stable peace with Egypt, based on a peace treaty that neither side has breached. Israel has a stable peace with Jordan, based on a peace treaty that neither side has breached. As far as Israel is concerned, the evidence is pretty damn conclusive: stop attacking them and they stop attacking you, agree to peace with them and they agree to peace with you. Is it a cold peace? Sure, particularly with Egypt. but it's peace, and that's a start.

But the fact is that TODAY, much of the Arab world would love to see Israel cease to exist, and groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad openly proclaim that as their goal.

TODAY, the president of Iran - who, not so coincidentally happens to be the biggest supplier and supporter of the aforementioned groups - openly calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

And the reaction to those comments? Well, in the west, it's outrage, appropriately enough. But in the Arab/Muslim world? Where is the outrage? Where is the condemnation? It's not there, and it's not there because - and this is me, and I would assume Israel, merely making the logical deduction - to the Arab/Muslim world, the comments are neither outrageous nor worthy of condemnation. Because that is still the goal, and it is still being worked towards.

You want Israel - and its supporters in the U.S., like me - to stop taking comments like that seriously, as indicative of a real threat? Then it's the job of the Arab/Muslim world to make it clear that the destruction of Israel is not the goal. Until then, comments like Ahmadinejad's and Nasrallah's and Mashaal's aren't historical anachronisms that can be brushed aside; they are promises (heck, just look at what Nasrallah decided to call his idiotic kidnapping jaunt across the border). And they are - and should be - taken seriously. Because they are clearly meant seriously.

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger FZ said...

Akiva,

The quotes are indicative of attitudes that, frankly, both you and I know very well still exist at the bedrock of Israeli political and military ideology and policy.

Today, as both you and I know very well, Israel continues to commit massive human rights violations against the Palestinian people in a visionless way that only solidifies and perpetuates the violence in the region. And the same thing, the same blind-sighted view, is happening in Lebanon.

Where's Middle Eastern outrage against Ahmadinejad's comments?

Maybe the fact that there's currently a raging war being conducted by Israel in Lebanon that has completely destroyed a nation-- people's lives and homes and families and history and land-- maybe that has something to do with with the reluctance of the populace to invest energy right now criticizing Ahmadinejad? Maybe the horrors of war in Lebanon and Palestine sort of obscure the focus on Amhadinejad-- what do you think? Maybe if you look to the middle of the stage, instead of the bizarre periphery, you will might recognize the play for what it is... a tale of death and terror in which Israel has a dramatic starring role.

But keep on finding a bogeyman to point at-- another figure to focus on, to rationalize bombing the shit out of the civilian population saying Didn't you see that guy standing in the corner? We had to make him go away-- and you are no better than the warmongers, than those idiotic American news analysts so focused on delivering the same tired rhetoric over and over again.

I'm sittin in the audience of rational people, Akiva, the horrified audience, the audience of Americans who are intimately familiar with both Israeli and Middle Eastern progressive circles, circles of intellectuals where no one respects or condones either Israeli crimes against humanity or angry Islamist rhetoric. These are dignified people shaking their heads sadly to see what their region has become- a burned, desolate, impoverished landscape of sorrow.

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger Rancher said...

fz

"Maybe the fact that there's currently a raging war being conducted by Israel in Lebanon that has completely destroyed a nation-- people's lives and homes and families and history and land-- maybe that has something to do with with the reluctance of the populace to invest energy right now criticizing Ahmadinejad?"

And before the war? It's not like he made the staements yesterday. Bombing the shit out of the civilian population? Please.

 
At 10:44 PM, Blogger Akiva M said...

fz,

first of all, just checked your profile, always nice to hear from a fellow new yorker (unless you're a giants fan, of course :)

As for the rest:

1) The vast bulk of Israelis would be very glad to trade land for peace with the palestinians, including joint sovereignty over jerusalem, if they had any reason to believe that they would actually get peace in return. They don't have that reason And if anyone really cares about creating a workable deal between Israelis and Palestinians, they need to realize that the key is creating that trust in the Israelis - because they are the ones being asked to make tangible concessions for promises they have no reason to trust and every reason not to.

2) I hate to break it to you, but Ahmadinejad is not out on the lunatic fringe of the Arab/Muslim world (and as Rancher pointed out, he's been saying stuff like this since long before his proxies set off this conflagaration, with as little response from the rest of the Arab/Muslim world). The Arab world is the center of holocaust denial, the home of the conspiracy theory (the mossad was behind 9/11?) and the epicenter of global antisemitism (which means "jew-hatred" in common parlance, to anyone who feels the urge to get into a pointless semantic argument about arabs as semitic people), with blood-libels and jewish control of the world/media appallingly common tropes.

Check out sandmonkey's post from a week or so ago on the little experiment he did in asking coworkers what they would think of a Hezbollah bomb hitting an Israeli apartment building, killing 30+ children. Those are the attitudes that come across from the arab world to Israel, and to its supporters like me. That's not a misinterpretation - that's too often seeing and hearing and reading people who can't write Israel or call it a state without using quotes, of people who talk about finishing what hitler started, of how the jews control the media. And they aren't the ones that really get to me - its the fact that the rest of the folks simply let those comments go by without quible or question, as though someone said "water is wet" or "sand is dry".

As long as those attitudes prevail in the Arab/Muslim world, and as long as the people expressing them loudly and openly are also armed and willing to use those weapons, then what you call a bogeyman I call reality. Ugly reality, a reality I wish were not real, but reality none the less.

Israel dealt with its militias (see the Altalena affair) and extremists (see Kach) and generally keeps the fringes on the fringe. In the arab/moslem world, the extremists have center stage, and moderates do and say very little to change that.

Peace can't happen like that, fz. It requires effort on the part of the arab/muslim world, not just from the Israelis. And too few people in that world seem inclined to recognize that.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger FZ said...

Akiva,

I'm actually a Californian, although I have travelled extensively and lived overseas.

I'm curious to know how much time you've actually spent in the Arab world, speaking and talking with the people you so readily categorize. I have to wonder: if you're using Sandmonkey's survey as a source for extrapolation, what is the standard of quality of your information and knowledge?

Understanding the complex modern reality of the Arab world isn't something that can be readily summarized in the blanket stereotypes you expressed in your response.

Both you guys could use a little one-on-one educational time with Gideon Levy.

You wrote: "The vast bulk of Israelis would be very glad to trade land for peace with the palestinians, including joint sovereignty over jerusalem, if they had any reason to believe that they would actually get peace in return."

Meaning: "the Arabs are bloodthirsty savages that want nothing more than to continue hating Israel blindly for no clear reason and will continue in irrational blood-seeking jew-hating fury and violence whatever the Israelis do"

How progressive of you, Akiva.

Let me just ask: How many Palestinians do you actually know? How much time have you spent in the West Bank or Gaza or within a refugee camp?

You wrote, "Israelis are the ones being asked to make tangible concessions for promises they have no reason to trust and every reason not to"

Meaning: Palestinians have a reason to trust the Israelis because the Israelis are rational participants who have everyone's best interest at heart. Are you kidding me? The Palestinians have absolutely no reason to trust the Israelis, as even a casual glance at the historical record reveals. Again, your assumption: the Palestinians are irrational, and need to prove that they can be trusted.

BTW, Sharon is a classic example of a lunatic who finally took center stage. He's the war criminal who also gets to be a "legitimate" politican. I hate to break it to you, kids, but compared to him, Ahmadinejad is just a featherweight.

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger FZ said...

Rancher,
How about... I give you a digital camera and a round trip ticket to Beirut, and you come back and tell us if what you find there is different from what the rest of the world has been describing for weeks? i.e. bombing the shit out of a civilian population and the destruction of a nation. Even Condi herself paused to stare in shock.

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger Akiva M said...

fz,

wow, when you misinterpret you don't do half measures, do you ;)

>>I'm curious to know how much time you've actually spent in the Arab world, speaking and talking with the people you so readily categorize. I have to wonder: if you're using Sandmonkey's survey as a source for extrapolation, what is the standard of quality of your information and knowledge?

Understanding the complex modern reality of the Arab world isn't something that can be readily summarized in the blanket stereotypes you expressed in your response.<<<

Not much; I've had discussions with Palestinians and other arabs at Columbia while I was there, and discussions online, but that pretty much covers it. However, I've also read Arab newspapers, viewed the dialog at sites such as islamonline and various blogs across the political spectrum, and it pretty much has confirmed my sense of the Arab world. Yes, there are many Arabs who don't fall into those attitudes. But by and large, that's the impression that the Arab world gives off. And if that impression is wrong, then people like you need to be far more vocal in presenting the other face of the levant, because the message is not getting out there.

BTW, hope you don't mind if I turn your question back to you - how much time have you spent in Israel and its civil, political and military society?

>>>You wrote: "The vast bulk of Israelis would be very glad to trade land for peace with the palestinians, including joint sovereignty over jerusalem, if they had any reason to believe that they would actually get peace in return."

Meaning: "the Arabs are bloodthirsty savages that want nothing more than to continue hating Israel blindly for no clear reason and will continue in irrational blood-seeking jew-hating fury and violence whatever the Israelis do"<<<

No, meaning that groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, Hezbollah and others continue to proclaim to anyone who will listen that their war against Israel isn't about territory but about existence, and that they won't stop until they reverse the "humilliation" of 1948. Throw in the fact that nobody on the Arab or Palestinian side seems to be doing much at all to fight these groups, or decry their stated goals or methods, or disabuse palestinians of the notion that they will be moving in to Haifa and Tel Aviv as part of some right of return, and Israelis have every reason in the world to believe that the attacks against them will - as Hamas, IJ, etc. have promised - continue regardless of any concessions they make.

And, of course, that view is only reinforced when things like the Gaza withdrawal are met with more violence and a constant barrage of Qassam rockets at cities in Israel.

>>>You wrote, "Israelis are the ones being asked to make tangible concessions for promises they have no reason to trust and every reason not to"

Meaning: Palestinians have a reason to trust the Israelis because the Israelis are rational participants who have everyone's best interest at heart. Are you kidding me? The Palestinians have absolutely no reason to trust the Israelis, as even a casual glance at the historical record reveals. Again, your assumption: the Palestinians are irrational, and need to prove that they can be trusted.<<<<

Again, that's not anywhere close to what I meant. Look back at what I wrote, and focus on the key word - TANGIBLE.

This goes back to the simple and inarguable fact that "land for peace" isn't. It's "land for the promise of peace." What the Israelis are being asked to do is make a tangible concession, immediately, in exchange for a promise with regards to future conduct.

Which is why the issue of Palestinians trusting the Israelis is largely irrelevant in this context. They don't need to trust the Israelis. If the deal is that Israel turns over land, well, then either Israel will have turned it over or not - it's a tangible thing, that can be tracked physically.

On the other hand, when Israel hands over land to the Palestinians, they are getting something intangible, something whose fulfillment cannot be immediately and finally determined to either have happened or not. They are getting the promise of peace. And that promise is capable of being broken at any time. A month after Israel turns over the land, Palestinians could resume attacks - and what would Israel have left? Nothing, except the option to retake the land, at a high cost.

Think back to grade school. You came to lunch with a fruit rollup, and another kid had a pudding. You wanted to swap - easy enough, you hand him the fruit rollup, he hands you the pudding. Trust doesn't matter - you do the exchange simultaneously, you get the pudding at the same time as he gets your fruit rollup.

Now what happens if instead of trading snacks today, a kid offers to give you his snack tomorrow if you give him your snack today? Now, trust is important; if you don't believe he will give you the snack tomorrow, you can't give him your snack today. Because all you are getting today is something intangible - the promise that you'll get his snack tomorrow.

And the only one who needs to trust in that situation is the one who is giving the tangible concession today. The kid offering you his snack tomorrow doesn't need to trust you; either you'll give him the snack today (in which case he'll follow through) or you won't (in which case he'll keep his snack tomorrow).

Which is why the critical issue of trust is that Israelis trust that when they give the Palestinians land they will get peace in return. Without that, no deal is possible. And, as I said, as long as the heroes of the Palestinian people are the ones proclaiming their will to wipe Israel off the map, as long as the "moderate" Fatah party is giving Samir Quntar honorary Palestinian citizenship for killing a four year old Israeli girl, as long as the death of Israelis is met with celebrations and candy, how can Israelis trust the Palestinians enough to believe that they'll get their pudding tomorrow for giving the Palestinians the fruit rollup today??

As for the comparison between Sharon and Ahmadinejad, I'll leave that alone, though I disagree. But I have a suggestion - look up the history of the Basiji, the kids Ahmadinejad was a trainer for back in the Iran-Iraq war days.

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger It is the economy stupid! said...

Akiva,
You mentioned: "But the fact is that TODAY, much of the Arab world would love to see Israel cease to exist, and groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad openly proclaim that as their goal."
Now as a lawyer, you have to get into the mind of the people and be investigative. Teh first question you should ask is: "WHY?", Is it because the Jews took teh land of the palestinians because the Jewish God, not the Palestinian one, promised them that land. Is it because tehy have seen so many innocent die? is it because they see daily humilation of the palestinians (and now unfortunately the Lebanese) on the TV?
The second question would be :" If the Arabs perception of Israel is wrong what to do about it?" I am really amazed with the PR campaign that Israel has done in the uSA. They literally brainwashed every US citizen to their case, Job well done. Why can't you do the same with the Arab world? I understand that the public opinion int eh Arab world is not important for their dictators, but it is for the Israeli - Palestinian case. The Israelis had some attempt with the Palestinians with this respect when Rabbin was governing, but everything atoped with his assasination.

Finally, making peace is not an easy task, making war is always easier. But a final question for you:" Why the Peace with Egypt is still lasting, although the egyptians people hates you (they do if you don't know that, just trsut me)? ... Let me know why, will you?

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger Akiva M said...

>>>Now as a lawyer, you have to get into the mind of the people and be investigative. Teh first question you should ask is: "WHY?"<<<

I'd start with the idea of "Arab dignity" and the "humiliation" of losing in 1948. I'd then add the usefulness of the "Palestinian issue" to arab dictators eager to distract their populations from domestic issues. Throw in old fashioned jew hatred, also happily supported by the leaders of various arab countries (think Knight without a Horse, the Protocols, and state-sponsored articles about how jews need muslim blood to bake hamantashen for purim), and it becomes easier to understand, particularly when considering the tribal tendency of Arabs to side with Arabs over outsiders.

The Palestinian issue is a sideshow to all that; if it weren't, Arabs would be more up in arms over Darfur - where actual genocide against muslims is taking place - than Israel. Or more up in arms over their own treatment of the Palestinians; the attitude that comes across is that Arabs are only upset by Palestinian suffering when it's brought about by jews. When other arabs do it, it's ok. That, of course, is a corrolary to the answer of why there was no Palestinian state on Gaza and the West Bank before 1967; those lands only became "occupied palestinian territory" when jews occupied them. As long as they were in Arab hands (Egypt and Jordan) nobody referred to them as the "Palestinian homeland." Hell, Arafat explicitly disclaimed any Palestinian interest in those lands.

>>>I am really amazed with the PR campaign that Israel has done in the uSA. They literally brainwashed every US citizen to their case, Job well done.<<<

Yup. given two populations, one of which is open, has had non-state owned media for decades and allows for a plurality of voices, and another which is just lately emerging from decades in which the state was the sole arbiter of information and still gets its information from only a few main media outlets, the first is much more likely than the second to be the brainwashed one. Makes sense to me . . . [/sarcasm]

>>>Why the Peace with Egypt is still lasting, although the egyptians people hates you (they do if you don't know that, just trsut me)? ... Let me know why, will you?<<<

1) because the public feeling in Egypt means little to nothing, seeing as how it's a dictatorship;

2) Because the Israelis were able to repeatedly pummel the Egyptians into submission, to the point where thinking Egyptians began to realize that they would not be able to defeat Israel (so why bother taking the losses that kept coming with trying); and

3) In the 2 decades that have followed 1978, Egyptians have seen the benefits of peace with Israel, leading to fewer who want to get into war again, even if they don't love the concept of a jewish state in the neighborhood.

 
At 6:00 AM, Blogger FZ said...

Akiva,

Political theory fails when it fails to incorporate psychological reality. It is frightening to me how many "instant experts" on the Middle East havent studied Arabic or even traveled in an Arab country.

The Israeli-Palestinian question can't be solved by an intellectualized debate about tangibilities and intangibilities without a recognition of the underlying psychology. You should check out Avner Falk, a scholar at Columbia who writes about the Israeli/Palestinian situation from a psychoanalytic perspective.


A kid is chilling on the playground with his fruit roll up. Another kid walks up and says, Get the fuck off that bench. Thats my bench.

The first kid says, No way, asshole.

A fight ensues, and then the first kid is picked up by the scruff of the neck and thrown over the fence into the vacant lot beside the school. He's standing there looking through the fence to where the other kid has picked up his backpack and started to eat his fruit roll up.

The kid behind the fence is furious, and when he looks around, he sees a bunch of other kids furious just like him. They start to shout at the occupier.

The occupier yells back. He has proceeded to dump all the first kid's belongings out of his backpack into the trash can. The occupier says, you and your children and your children's children can hang out in that vacant lot for the rest of your lives. Its not my problem.

The kids behind the fence are plenty pissed. One of them picks up an emtpy aluminum can, the other a stone. Fucking motherfucker, they say under their breaths.

They start hurling what they can over the fence at the kid who is sitting on the bench still eating the first kids fruit roll up.

Stop that shit, says the occupier. Look, do you guys promise not to throw any more things at me or beat me up if I let you back through the fence? You can go sit over there on the playground, but you can't sit on this bench again, okay? Ive got to watch you all very carefully, but you cant stand together, and maybe if I don't catch you talking to each other Ill throw you some scraps from the trash. But if I see that you guys looking kinda threatening or anything like you're planning something, back over the fence you go.

No, buddy, the kids say. We don't want that sorry ass bench you carved your initials into. We want you to fucking apologize for what you just did to us. We expect you to change your fucking attitude. We expect you to be accountable for how you just busted into our space, stealing our stuff, taking our food, throwing us over here.

Look, the occupier says. Im offering to hand you this kinda half chewed up fruit roll up wrapper, but I dont think I can accept your intangible promise of peace in return, cuz its hard for me to trust you're not going to beat me up the second you get over here.

The kids are looking at each other with incredulity. Finally they say, And we are supposed to put down our stones and cans with the trust that you're giving us the intangible promise of peace in return? What have you done to us that would enable us to trust you?

The occupier says: Its not up to you to trust me. I'm letting you back over here.

The kids: Dude, did you just hear what we said? If we are going to disarm, we have to trust we'll get peace in return. Or maybe, Disarmament For Peace Isn't?

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Akiva M said...

FZ,

Arguing the history is kind of pointless; we don't agree on that and we won't agree on that.

But the point is that the Palestinians wouldn't be trading "disarmament for peace". They'd be trading "disarmament/peace for land" (again, a tangible concession that can immediately be determined to have been given).

Look, there are two keys here. First, staying armed isn't going to get the Palestinians any closer to what they want anyway; as long as they continue attempting to kill Israelis Israel will continue to refuse to support them or provide them with a larger platform for doing so. Since 1947, the only thing armed attacks on the Israelis has achieved is steadily shrinking the land available for a potential Palestinian state. So while the Palestinians may have no guarantees that disarming will get them to their goal, they do have a guarantee that not disarming will keep them from it.

Second, disarming is reversible. Say the Palestinians disarm and Israel goes "ha! tricked you! now you get nothing!" The Palestinians can always rearm, as Israel's inability to forcibly disarm them or prevent them from supplying their suicide bombers and Qassam rockets inarguably demonstrates. And since Israel wouldn't be able to argue that it would make peace with the Palestinians if it could, it would lose US backing. Worth the risk for the Palestinians, I'd think.

This, of course, is quite different from the irreversible concession asked of the Israelis on nothing more than faith.

Personally, that's why I think that the ideal solution would be along the lines of what I described for the Shebaa Farms - a way of providing the Israelis with a money back guarantee, both as an incentive to the Israelis to take the risk, and to the Palestinians to act to curb their own terrorists who - if they keep to their word - will fight on regardless of Israeli concessions.

I.e., that a peace deal with the Palestinians include a maximum that the Palestinians get (joint sovereignty over jerusalem, 100% of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, minus monor border adjustments or land exchanges (of equivalent value) etc.) and keep as long as they keep their promise of peace. If they break it - if there are further Palestinian attacks ever again - then they irrevocably cede some of that territory to israel, beginning with sovereignty over Jerusalem and escalating from there. The theory is that the result of losing Jerusalem may deter the Islamists who have pledged to continue attacking Israel, and would simultaneously provide an incentive to Israel to take the risk in the first place.

At the other end, there would be a minimum that the Palestinians would get regardless of whether attacks ceased (say the Gaza strip and most of the West Bank) so that they would have their own state even if they could not control their extremists. The benefit to Israel in this scenario would be the end of world pressure for further concessions, having made all those concessions and not having received peace in return, and the Palestinians having irrevocably ceded their claim to anything they agreed to return to Israel if attacks continued.

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger It is the economy stupid! said...

"Yup. given two populations, one of which is open, has had non-state owned media for decades and allows for a plurality of voices, and another which is just lately emerging from decades in which the state was the sole arbiter of information and still gets its information from only a few main media outlets, the first is much more likely than the second to be the brainwashed one. Makes sense to me . . . [/sarcasm]"
If you are not convinced that the US media is not biased to Israel, we have a problem here. The problem is how you conceive things. The only reason I would write on a blog is if I am writing to open minded people (which I beleive you are). So I am inviting you to check this link:
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-7828123714384920696

I know you might not agree with this link, but let me tell you that what is missing in the US media is the understanding of the whole Middle east conflict, not the recent events, just like HA attacked Israel, but what made HA commit this attack: Shebaa farms and prisoners in Israeli jails. How often do they mention these? never. I agree with you, the Arab media is not even close to be unbiased, but check this link to see how you can show the other side of the story:


http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html

You definitely won't agree with what he is saying, but at least you have a different perspective.

Anyway, moving forward, I was interested if you would know the answer for the success of the egyptian lasting peace. Here I need to humbly advice you to read more history. The Egyptian won the war against Israel in 1973 I believe. This event helped broker a peace agreement. WHy? simply because the negotiations took place between two EQUAL negotiators. NOT one thinking he is ABOVE of the other. This is what is missing in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiation. If you read FZ story about the two kids, you can understand it. Also lasting peace takes place between two factions that they have mutual interest in doing so, you mentioned it yourself:" In the 2 decades that have followed 1978, Egyptians have seen the benefits of peace with Israel,"
Now ask yourself, what benefit can the Palestinians get from a Peace with Israel? a quarter of a country? a viable country? a decent life? otherwise, why they should sign peace with you.
Finally trust me, it was not submission that led the egyptian to sign peace, it was them winning the war.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Akiva M said...

economy,

I don't have an hour and 20 minutes to watch the first movie, particularly when it starts with: 242 "called on Israel to leave the territories . . . israel still has not complied". The fact that the movie begins with that statement, without referencing the reciprocal obligation on which that call was based - peace - pretty much obliterates any claim to it being an objective source. A biased presentation about how other sources are biased against the bias of the presentation itself is a bit too hypocritical for my tastes.

"Shebaa farms and prisoners in Israeli jails."

Hezbollah has openly said that is a pretext:

"Hezbollah's spokesperson Hassan Ezzedin had this to say about the Farms: "If they go from Sheba'a, we will not stop fighting them. Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine...[Jews] can go back to Germany or wherever they came from.” (the quote is from the Daily Star)

Add in the fact that the Shebaa Farms are clearly not Lebanese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebaa_Farms) and that the main prisoner Hezbollah wants freed is Samir Quntar, who brutally murdered a four year old girl and her father, and there's a reason nobody here is overly concerned with those claims.

As for the Galloway piece, I've seen it. Hard to understand how to take him seriously when he says things like "the US provides Israel with Nuclear weapons" or equates providing arms to a sovereign state with providing arms to a militia within a state that usurps the power of that state's democratically elected government (among other things).

Look, I know the Arab perspective, I understand it, though I don't agree with it. It's hard to understand how Egypt could have viewed 1973 as a victory, since despite complete surprise and gains within the first 24-48 hours, they were beaten back and half of their army was surrounded in the Sinai, and facing obliteration, when the cease fire was declared. But if the Lebanese (like the Egyptians) can convince themselves that the result of this war was a victory, and that assuages the need for "dignity" before they can bring themselves to make peace, I'm all for it.

>>>Now ask yourself, what benefit can the Palestinians get from a Peace with Israel? a quarter of a country? a viable country? a decent life? otherwise, why they should sign peace with you.<<<

1) A state of their own

2) No Israeli occupation

3) Not dying endlessly and in vain

4) A chance at a better life (can't say a better life, because that depends on them)

Look, if they feel like holding out for either the destruction of Israel, sole control of the Old City or the "right of return", they'll wait forever. And if they think that more violence will get them to those concessions . . . they'll wait forever. Either way, that's on them.

 
At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u want ahmadinejad to stop then isreal must stop brutalizing the palestinains
check points between their villages massive punishemts ,building settlements,throwing them out of their homeland and then asking them to shut up and keep quite untill all their land has been robbed or else they r terrorists and need punishment
arabs don't hate jews 4 the sake of hating them,jews have always lived in arab countries 4 decades be4 the state of isreal took place even in iran itself many jews still live there and nobody has thrown them to the sea
in egypt there were times where jews were ministers in the goverment and even well known jewish artists.
what the arabs hate r the isrealis and they hate them 4 what they do ,not because they r jews
if u don't consider what the egyptains did in 1973 a victory it doesn't matter, golda mayear herself considered it a victory she was the first to weep on phone to the americans calling 4 help and it was the help of nixon dear that gave the isrealis the chance to beat the egyptains back
and as 4 claiming victory over hezoallah it's clear isreal didn't
no capturing of hassan nasarallah
no disarming of hezoallh
more supporters of hezboaalh in lebnon even those who were opposing it be4.
isreal first target of that whole war remains intact if not left stronger
if destroying bridges,attacking sleeping children in qana and bombing over manual workers during their lunch break is considered victory then so be it isreal won
u always win u attack civilians

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another jewish zionist conspiracy theorist, and i thought arabs were

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger Akiva M said...

Conspiracy theory??? What are you babbling about?

 

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