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Bibi Steps

By Mahons On January 23rd, 2013

According to exit polls in Israel the Prime Minister has won, but his party has lost seats and a centrist party may turn out to have the second highest showing (and their leader is no wallflower).   Bibi is going to have a bit of a dust up on his hands to hold on to Likud’s leadership (the fur is flying I am sure behind closed doors).

Many (myself included) thought the lack of progress in peace talks and the continuing violence in the region would depress the voters and result in a national shift further right, which would be a long term disaster for Israel.   However, it seems that there may be some hope for a less aggressive and counterproductive government there, and that is good news.  I’d like to see a similar level of sanity on the Palestinian side.

59 Responses to “Bibi Steps”

  1. Jerry Haber says it straight as always:

    Don’t believe the spin you will hear that the center-left did really well. The Palestinian issue was not on the ballot; the majority of the country voted on economic and social issues. Most of the Israeli public could care less about peace and could care less about the Palestinians. And why should they? There is no terrorism, and they don’t even see the Palestinians who are behind walls or living in Gaza.

  2. The centre-left did to well. There is no real left/right split when it comes to the Palestinian/Security issue. There is a right wing and a far right wing. Petr’s links says “the majority of the country voted on economic and social issues”. How is that different from any other country?

    And for what it is worth Bibi hasn’t necessarily won. I think he will be Prime Minister but it will be very hard for him to form a viable coalition. Lapid could potentially form a coalition as well if he can get Shas and maybe UTJ to split from Bibi.

  3. Seamus — Point taken. I think what he’s saying is that some people (Mahons?) will believe that because the ‘left’ did okay that this will make some sort of deal with the Palestinians more likely; and as you point out, it won’t. There’s no real difference between right and left — or rather right and far-right – regarding ‘security’ and the Palestinians.

  4. No lads. What I am saying is a shift further right makes peace impossible. A shift back to the center makes it more possible.

    A two state solution through negotiation has now gotten a better chance than it did yesterday, and the Palestinians could use a little more centrist movement themselves if that is to ever be viable.

  5. It isn’t even sensible when one looks at Israeli history. David Ben-Gurion was a socialist. The Prime Ministers in both the Six Day War and the October War were both Labor Prime Ministers. Modern Zionism was an overwhelmingly left wing endeavour.

  6. I’d disagree Mahons. There is no stomach in Israel for negotiations or peace. Additionally almost no government can be formed in Israel without a religious party and even the less mental ones like Shas are still mental when it comes to settlements and Palestine.

  7. Hamas and Fatah a week ago agreed to strengthen ties with Hamas in the controlling seat. They are gearing up for a more aggressive stance with the Israelis than they have had over the past 4 years.

    Hamas is directly funded and supplied by the Iranians, the Iranians this week launched A fleet of Iranian Navy warships which is making its way to the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal for an extended deployment.

    Israels upcoming political star may want to negotiate with them, but they have no desire to negotiate in return.

    Bibi will give easily on economics and some social issues, but events will control what happens with the Pallies.

  8. Bibi Steps… lol :)

    disagree with your analysis, however

  9. //What I am saying is a shift further right makes peace impossible. A shift back to the center makes it more possible. //

    That sounds right in theory, but isn’t in Israeli politics. A strong government, whether on the right or elsewhere, might (just might) have the guts to go for a peace deal. With a government depending on a whole range of coalition partners, including some religious nutcases, that is less likely.
    Still, it’s good to see Netanyahu’s coalition lose over a quarter of its seats.

    //and the Palestinians could use a little more centrist movement themselves if that is to ever be viable.//

    All the Palestinians want is their own country. Not too much to ask for, I should think.

    I’d say what is required is a little more centrist movement in US policy. So far, it has backed the Israelis in practically everything they do, and allowed them colonise Palestine with no effective protest, when it could have stopped them at any time. Of course Israel is going to exploit this spinelessness as much as it can. Peace will only come when either the Americans change or when this central role is taken from them.

  10. And how many Palestinians really want peace with Israel, or even accept it as a Jewish state? How many do not regard Israel as their own land one day to be ‘regained’? When will Abbas ever go up for re-election? a little more centrist movement would be a fine thing, but there is a far deeper cultural problem.#

    As Ayaan Hirsi Ali last week at the NYT, when Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi’s anti-Semitic rant of three years back emerged, wrote:

    For far too long the pervasive Middle Eastern qualification of Jews as murderers and bloodsuckers was dismissed in the West as extreme views expressed by radical fringe groups. But they are not. In truth, those Muslims who think of Jews as friends and fellow human beings with a right to their own state are a minority, and are under intense pressure to change their minds.

    All over the Middle East, hatred for Jews and Zionists can be found in textbooks for children as young as three, complete with illustrations of Jews with monster-like qualities. Mainstream educational television programs are consistently anti-Semitic. In songs, books, newspaper articles and blogs, Jews are variously compared to pigs, donkeys, rats and cockroaches, and also to vampires and a host of other imaginary creatures.

    Consider this infamous dialogue between a three-year-old and a television presenter, eight years before Morsi’s remarks.

    Presenter: “Do you like Jews?”

    Three-year-old: “No.”

    “Why don’t you like them?”

    “Jews are apes and pigs.”

    “Who said this?”

    “Our God.”

    “Where did he say this?”

    “In the Koran.”

    The presenter responds approvingly: “No [parents] could wish for Allah to give them a more believing girl than she … May Allah bless her, her father and mother.”

    This conversation was not caught on hidden camera or taped by propagandists. It was featured on a prominent program called “Muslim Woman Magazine” and broadcast byIqraa, the popular Saudi-owned satellite channel.

    It is a major step forward for a sitting U.S. administration and leading American newspapers to unequivocally condemn Morsi’s words. But condemnation is just the first move.

    Here is an opportunity to acknowledge the breadth and depth of the attitude toward Jews in the Middle East, and how that affects the much desired but elusive peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

    So many explanations have been offered for the failure of successive U.S. administrations to achieve that peace, but the answer is in Morsi’s words. Why would one make peace with bloodsuckers and descendants of apes and monkeys?

    Millions of Muslims have been conditioned to regard Jews not only as the enemies of Palestine but as the enemies of all Muslims, of God and of all humanity. Arab leaders far more prominent and influential than Morsi have been tireless in “educating” or “nursing” generations to believe that Jews are “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.” (These are the words of the Saudi sheik Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, imam at the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca.)

    The level of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world is indeed one of the great unspokens of the debate on Israel and Palestine. Maybe that’s starting to change.

  11. //The level of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world is indeed one of the great unspokens of the debate on Israel and Palestine//

    Is it? It is certainly not a “great unspoken” arond here, where it’s reported practically daily.

    Much less spoken is of course the level of anti-Arab sentiment in the Israeli world, and specifically in Israeli government circles, where Arabs are treated as 2nd-class citizens in their own country and, with eyes firmly set on that racist clock, active steps are taken – yes, in a supposedly modern democracy – to limit the numbers and birthrate of these Untermenschen.

  12. Don’t suppose there being some Arab MPs in Israel counts for much then?
    Notwithstanding your attempt at some sort of equivalence consider Fatah.

    Fatah is not ‘moderate’, it is as bad as Hamas. It is based on the principles of terrorism, Jihad, genocide and nationalism.

    From Fatah’s charter:

    Article (5) Liberating Palestine is a national obligation which necessitates the materialistic and human support of the Arab Nation.

    Article (8) The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism.

    Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.

    Article (17) Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine.

    Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

    Article (22) Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian case or impose any international mandate on its people.

    Article (26) Avoiding attempts to exploit the Palestinian case in any Arab or international problems and considering the case above all contentions.

    Oh and btw, how many Jews are there now left in any Arab country? are they held hostage in some UNWRA refugee camp or two?

  13. //Don’t suppose there being some Arab MPs in Israel counts for much then?//

    Well, as there are only about 5 of them in a 120-seat parliament while the Palestinian population in Israel is over 20 percent, then I suppose you’re right – it doesn’t count for much.

    //Fatah is not ‘moderate’, it is as bad as Hamas.//

    But is it as bad as Israel? Is Palestine occupying and colonising Israeli land or is Israel occupying and colonising Palestinian land?

    As long as Israel continues a military occupation of another country, deprives the people there of basic human and civil rights and conducts a policy of ethnic cleansing in pursuit of some mad racist dream, it really can’t point the finger at anyone else, and neither can its supporters.

    Israel is running away from peace. That Fatah document is outdated. Palestine has recognised Israel, Israel does not recognise Palestine. The pleasure of grabbing someone else’s land is more irrestible for Israel than the lure of peace and security.
    That will hopefully change in the future; but at the moment it’s the way things are.

  14. = irresistable

  15. = irresistible (where#s the bloody editor)

  16. Thanks ron b for bringing a little reality to the discussion. Most bloggers here seem to hold highly emotionally charged extreme anti-Israeli views.

    Noel
    “All the Palestinians want is their own country. Not too much to ask for, I should think.”

    Priceless Noel. But the correct version is –
    All the Israeli’s want is their own country. Not too much to ask for, I should think.

    I see you have still not taken your own advice and read Wiki.

    One of the most effective obstacles to peace over the decades has been the rest of the world pressing for ever more concessions from Israel without reciprocation from the Palestinian leaders.

    The Palestinians should have had their own state long ago but repeatedly chose not to, presumably because of Muslim hatred of Jews.

    If Israel’s Arab neighbours had succeeded in their attacks on Israel in the past, it is unlikely that there would be either a Palestinian or Israeli state. The existing Arab countries would likely have taken their shares.

    Unfortunately Israel can win a thousand wars but only lose one.

  17. //pressing for ever more concessions from Israel //

    Those “concessions” are nothing more than than Israel stops taking Palestinian land.
    I know that’s extremely difficult for Israel to resist, I mentioned it above, but it’s Hitler complaining about being forced to make concessions by withdrawing from France.

    //The Palestinians should have had their own state long ago //

    All that Israel was ever prepared to allow (ah, another “concession”, I presume) was a string of isolated ghettoes. Palestinians have a right to the entire land of Palestine, Israelis to the entire land of Israel. Only one party disputes this.

  18. = than that

  19. As per the Israeli election, herewith the Arab and Jewish Arab (Hadash) MK’s duly elected. A tad more than 5 and name one Jewish equivalent anywhere else in the ME. As for Fatah’s charter, when was it repealed? when was the Pali education system overhauled? and what about Hamas’s charter?

    I digress, the MK’s are

    The United Arab List

    1) Ibrahim Tzartzur
    2) Ahmed Tibi
    3) Masud Ganaim
    4) Taleb Abu Arar
    5) Taleb el-Sana

    Hadash

    1) Mohammad Barake
    2) Hana Sweid
    3) Dov Khenin
    4) Afu Agbaria

    Balad

    1) Jamal Zahalka
    2) Hanin Zoabi
    3) Basel Ghattas

  20. Ron b.
    Good postings. I saw that interview re the little girl. I have seen these textbooks in Jerusalem too.
    It is so easy to criticise what you haven’t experienced, and any loon who thinks that

    “As long as Israel continues a military occupation of another country, deprives the people there of basic human and civil rights and conducts a policy of ethnic cleansing in pursuit of some mad racist dream, it really can’t point the finger at anyone else, and neither can its supporters.” fails to understand the mentality and the priorities of Israelis, that there is no emotionally provocative “ethnic cleansing”, that Palestine never was a country, and that Israel is one of the most democratic states anywhere, let alone the Middle East.

    In his way (and on this particular subject) Noel is almost as blinkered as Allan.
    Consistently these guys ignore the reality that no matter what concessions Israel might make, they would never be enough. Only the dismantlement of the State and the return of any Israeli survivors to the ghetto will satisfy.

  21. Noel – I think you are discounting anti-Arab sentiment the Arab world (or at least anti-Muslim sentiment in the Muslim world) see for example, Syria, Iraq, iran, Libya, Mali, Iran etc.

    There is no present strong sentiment for serious (and painful) compromise in either Israel or among the Palestinians (and the supporters of each tend to be blind to the positive in the other side and too excited about the negatives in the other side). So I am not hopeful for any significant developments towards a secure peace at the moment, but I am happier when events are better overall than negative.

  22. //There is no present strong sentiment for serious (and painful) compromise in either Israel or among the Palestinians //

    Mahons, in the 1948 war and its aftermath, almost a million Palestinians were driven from their homes and country, over 4 fifths of the total Arab population in Israel. Their land was stolen from them by deliberately sectarian laws and policies aimed at securing a Jewish majority in Israel by force.
    If Palestinian leaders now renounce this right to return, I would consider that a very major compromise.

    As far the land of Palestine itself, I can’t think of any people – but of course least of all Americans – who would be prepared to, or expected to, surrender parts of their country taken in war to an invader. And that is what you expect the Palestinians to do. Israel was already given more than its share of the land by the UN in 1948/49. It has no right to deprive Palestinians of their share, but it is being supported in this land-grabbing by US – official and inofficial – policy for half a century.

    What the Arabs or Muslims in neighbouring countries do or think is a matter for another post – they have offered Israel full recognition within secure borders, and that’s all that counts in this regard.

    Ron p, I stand corrected on the no. of Arab MPs in the Knesset. Cheers (although it’s still way below their pc of population)

    //fails to understand the mentality and the priorities of Israelis, that //

    Agi, I obviously couldn’t give a crap about Israel’s “mentality and priorities”.
    Let them keep to their own country and they can have all the mentalities and priorities they want.

  23. Noel – No, what Arab and/or Muslim regimes do does not happen in a vacuum. And their guarantee of security is neither a guarantee or security.

    You can do the 1948 etc lines which can be played as well from the Israel side. The truth is that a viable solution will require significant compromise on both sides and if achieved the far more difficult task of maintaining a peace in the midst of those on both sides who will shout traitors and attempt to provoke confrontation.

  24. almost everyday the Palestinians shoot rockets across the border aimed at schools yet people like Noel can say things like this:

    All the Palestinians want is their own country. Not too much to ask for, I should think.

    That’s because you accept Terror as a legitimate tool for of political discourse. I won’t repeat what I think of people and what they should suffer that hold those beliefs. (there are too many of the sensitive among us)

    What the majority of you are refusing to ignore is the Palestinians don’t want peace, they want dead jews. The are allied with and supplied by people who want dead jews.

    You can stick your hand out in peace, however what your going to pull back is a bloody stump not another hand in a shake of peace.

  25. I see the second biggest party wants to overturn priveledges for orthodox jews, such as exemption from miltary service. They also want a resumption of peace talks. The first is significant and the second may just be a wheeze. But even so, if it was on their platform and they just swooped into second then it does demonstrate that israeli sentiment on the street and that of its political leaders is quite different and should not be ignored.

    one thing is for sure, its all going to get very interesting. especially wrt the orthodox jews who are always among the most belligerent towards the palestinians and their own political opposition.

  26. “almost everyday the Palestinians shoot rockets across the border aimed at schools yet people like Noel can say things like this:……….”
    ………………….
    “That’s because you accept Terror as a legitimate tool for of political discourse.”

    Is that an Ivy League degree in Double Standards? How many civilians have been killed in drone strikes up and down the muslim world?

  27. so targeting of striking terrorists where there is collateral damage is the same in your mind as just shooting randomly into crowds.

    Yeah I guess than you can say my reasoning is Ivy League and yours is 3rd grade.

  28. //Noel – No, what Arab and/or Muslim regimes do does not happen in a vacuum. And their guarantee of security is neither a guarantee or security. //

    The funny thing (well, one of the funny things) is that when Arabs make this proposal for recognising Israel within its present borders and opening diplomatic ties, Israel not only immediately reject it in toto, but its very mention becomes tabu. And when Arabs go into more detail about Israeli security, talking about a demilitarised zone along the Palestinian side, which could be guardered and monitored by any international force etc, then Israel gets even more nervous.

    You would almost think they fear few things more than security, as all that bloody peace and security would only expose their pretence that the occupation of Palestine is for defence reasons and show it up as the Lebensraum dream it really is.

    But now I have to occupy my desk for some time. See you all later.

  29. Noel show us an Arab proposal that recognizes Israels right to exist that the Palestinians have proposed or even agreed to.

    Post link please.

  30. Lets go back to basics again!

    1937: The Peel Commission offered the Palestinians a state of their own. Rejected.
    note: the Palestinians were NOT a nation or even a recognised country.

    1947: UN resolution 181: The Jews and the residents of what was known as Palestine were offered their own states. The Jews accept. The Palestinians reject.

    http://www.bbsradio.com/cgi-bin/webbbs/webbbs_config.pl?md=read;id=12760
    http://www.mideastweb.org/peelmaps.htm

    In those two links you will find the original Peel Commission findings and their analysis of the underlying causes of the problems.

    Now depending on which side of the fence you place yourself..

    i.e. the anti Jewish, anti Zionist, self styled flag waving symbol wearing “Champion of the Peoples/Champion of the Underdogs/the Great Oppressed/ the “Whatever it is I am AGIN it” Brigades will come down on the side of the Palestinians.

    The pragmatists (Israel exists), those Acceptors of the usual understanding of how Israel came into being and the Friendly Critics of Israel Brigades will read the links. They will also acknowledge that not everything Israel has done/ is doing is automatically right, but accept that so far Israel has been given no real reason to believe that the concessions they might make will result in true peace and acceptance by those who quite freely admit their hatred for the Jewish/PsewdoJewish people.

  31. what we really need is an analysis from Felix….

  32. //1937: The Peel Commission offered the Palestinians a state of their own. Rejected.
    note: the Palestinians were NOT a nation or even a recognised country.//

    Actually, this offered the Palestinians much less than their numbers would have warranted. As usual the Zionists were given more than their share, the Arabs less.
    Certain population transfers were proposed. But you’ll never guess who was expected to up and leave their homes! – In fact it was 1,200 Jews and 220,000 Arabs.
    The Arabs had been promised full independence by the British; you shouldn’t be suprised that they rejected this offer.

    BTW, the Jews rejected this offer too.

    //1947: UN resolution 181: The Jews and the residents of what was known as Palestine were offered their own states. The Jews accept. The Palestinians reject.//

    And it would have been exactly the other way round if the offer had been the other way round – if the Palestinians were given territory in line with their population share and genographically arranged in the best possible way. The Jews were again offered more territory than was due on the basis of population share, and in fact got more than half the area even though there were more than twice as many Arabs. The plan again tried to accommodate as many Jews as possible into the Jewish state, even areas with Arab majorities were allocated to the future state of Israel once there was a sizeable Jewish minority (BTW, very similar to the way Northern Ireland was carved up, and with a very similar resulting mess).
    This was of course justified to an extent by the anticipated immigration from Europe post-Holocaust (it’s always comfy to get someone else to pay) and a lot of the Jewish land was desert. Still, the territory for Israel was made to form a cohesive whole and the Arabs again got a bad deal.

    The rest of your comment is your usual bullshit.
    One can let bygones be bygones, but you’re scoring an own goal by bringing up history.

  33. Noel,

    ” The first offer made by the Peel Commission in the 1930s offered them a vast piece of real estate much larger than that offered to the Jews… and … they turned it down.”

    There was never a Palestinian State or nation.
    Even a Palestinian official thinks many Palestinians are either Egyptian or Saudi..

    http://www.examiner.com/article/hamas-official-half-of-the-palestinians-are-egyptians-other-half-are-saudis

    The rest of your comment is your usual bullshit.

    Yeup.

    “The report recommended that the Mandate be eventually abolished — except in a “corridor” surrounding Jerusalem, stretching to the Mediterranean coast at Jaffa — and the land under its authority (and accordingly, the transfer of both Arab and Jewish populations) be apportioned between an Arab and Jewish state. The Jewish side was to receive a territorially smaller portion in the mid-west and north, from Mount Carmel to south of Be’er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee, while the Arab state was to receive territory in the south and mid-east which included Judea, Samaria and the sizable Negev desert.”

    Get a cloth, wipe the bullshit off.
    Look at the map.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

    The report recommended that “[s]ooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population” and that “in the last resort the exchange would be compulsory”.[5] The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey was cited as a precedent, while noting the absence of cultivable land to resettle the displaced Arabs.[5] The population exchange, if carried out, would have involved the transfer of up to 225,000 Arabs and 1,250 Jews.[5]

  34. //There was never a Palestinian State or nation.//

    What’s that got to do with it?
    There were people living there, had been living there for centurires. Their presence there may be uncomfortable for your view of things, but there you are.

    The rest of your comment underlines what I wrote, but you don’t realise it.

  35. btw,
    May I encourage all open minded people (i.e. Not Allan or Noel, you are excused)
    to watch this video clip and listen carefully to what the chap is saying and HOW he says it especially towards the end.
    This is I think a most revealing passage..

    “At Al-Aqsa and on the land of Palestine, all the conspiracies, throughout history, have been shattered – the conspiracies of the Crusaders, and the conspiracies of the Tatars. At Al-Aqsa and on the land of Palestine, the Battle of Hattin was waged. The [West] does not want this noble history to repeat itself, because the Jews and their allies would be annihilated – the Zionists, the Americans, and the imperialists.”

    here’s the clip..
    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/hamas-leader-half-of-palestinians-are.html

  36. “There were people living there, had been living there for centurires. Their presence there may be uncomfortable for your view of things, but there you are.”

    So there were people there.
    No one disputes that.
    But if that is the case, what is the real beef about another “group of people” coming in and settling?
    Either the Jews were invading a genuine and recognised State by stealth, or their numbers swelled especially after ww2, and put pressure on the situation.
    You can’t answer the fact that those people were offered their own state (not another state)and refused – twice.
    And by the way have a look at this article about Jordan..
    http://www.meforum.org/3121/jordan-is-palestinian
    Or is that bullshit too?
    In fact I suspect anything that disagrees with your position could be filed under the heading “Bullshit”
    Must leave a nasty taste in the mouth..

  37. Didn’t Troll make some erroneous predictions about this election as well?

  38. Because the states they were offered were derisory. Despite Jews making up a minority of the population and owning only 7% of the land Israel was given over half the land of Palestine. If that happened to any of our countries we’d tell them to fuck off as well.

  39. Agit8ed: You can’t answer the fact that those people were offered their own state

    Ill give you £5 for your house. Give me your email address and I will tell you where to send the keys. You’ve got a week to put your things in order, which I think is fair. After that I cannot be held responsible for anything that happens.

    Actually. I feel a bit bad. Tell you what, the garden is pretty good, you can live there, but dont leave the driveway because im not letting you back in if you do.

    Good luck making a success of your life. And remember, you HAVE to accept my offer.

  40. Paintstripper,
    I don’t think your analogy matches reality, but nicely done.
    As I said earlier, there are two main versions of how we got to this situation.

    I don’t mind reasonable people pointing out faults or failings in Israeli conduct or policy. Or how the State of Israel came about (British bumbledom).

    It is the loons who see it as oppression by the Joos, the Joos are the new Nazis, the Joos are carrying out ethnic cleansing, the Joos are oppressive etc etc. that put my back up.

  41. Most people who are opposed to the State of Israel and their actions don’t talk about the Jews. That is normally the supporters of Israel who only do it in an attempt to end any critique of Israeli action by invoking anti-Semitism.

  42. Problem is agit is that you just casually lump the reasonable people and “the loons” together. And to a person ive only ever seen the term “the Joos” used by so-called pro israel types.

    And the analogy was broad but captures the essence of your argument, which is certain people must accept any offer presented no matter how terrible. Notable in thats its the same people that you inherently dont seem to like.

  43. Last part first.
    I don’t support Israel because I don’t like the Palestinians.
    (But faced with the choice of living in a post Christian western society or the State of Israel, or an Islamic society; my preferred choices would be the first two, hands down.)
    I have provided evidence that the Palestinians (twice) and the Jews were offered their own internationally recognised state.
    You could try and undo history and I’d be very interested to hear how, but Israel IS. Full stop.
    If you actually watch that clip I offered of the Palestinian arguing that most Palestinians are of either Egyptian (Misrahi) or Saudi, you will see what he thinks the future of Israel, the US and the West should be…
    But for some reason certain people (perhaps like you) seem to blank it.
    Zooom!
    In one ear and out of the other.
    Why is that?
    Then there are the pink and fluffy liberal types. They too want to believe that if only Israel would do this and do that, all will be well.
    Falafels instead of rockets will fly through the air..
    That wall wasn’t built to give Wimpeys work or to stop nosey neighbours. It was built to protect people.
    Ron b spelt a lot of this stuff out for you, but you don’t bother with it because it doesn’t fit in with what YOU and others like you want.

  44. Most Palestinians are Egyptian or Saudi. Most Israelis are Russian, Polish, Moroccan, Iraqi, Romanian etc.

    The wall was built as a land grab. It doesn’t follow the Israeli/Palestinian border but instead annexes half of the West Bank.

  45. http://972mag.com/the-wall-10-years-on-the-great-israeli-project/40683/

    Good article.
    Written by an Israeli journalist though.
    So probably no good.
    Disregard.

  46. “Because the states they were offered were derisory. Despite Jews making up a minority of the population and owning only 7% of the land Israel was given over half the land of Palestine. If that happened to any of our countries we’d tell them to fuck off as well.”

    Look at the map. The land offered the Palestinians the first time was much greater.

    “If that happened to any of our countries we’d tell them to fuck off as well.”

    Doesn’t seem to have been very effective.
    Perhaps try another word.

  47. http://www.peaceandpalestine.com/img/history2.jpg

    Look at that map. The land offered to the Palestinians was a joke.

  48. I said they were offered their own lands TWO, 2, deux times.
    Look at this map from the Peel Commission
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

    “According to the Peel Commission report, Arab allegations regarding Jewish land purchase were unfounded. “Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased…There was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land.” The land shortage decried by the Arabs “was due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population.”

    No doubt Lord Peel and all of his Commission were Jews….

  49. They were offered part of their own lands twice. The Arabs had every right to say no. They had fought for the British in World War I in return for their freedom and were now being shafted by them.

  50. How do you turn desert into a citrus grove?

  51. “They were offered part of their own lands twice. ”

    On what basis was it their own land?
    Evidence the laws, the government officials, the defined and manned border posts.
    Was it an Islamic State?
    The currency was Palestinian?
    Did the British take it from the Palestinians or the Turks?
    How did the Turks come to own it?
    Did they shaft the Palestinians as well?

  52. I have this nagging suspicion that there is a certain amount of transference going on here..

  53. Paintstripper,
    I don’t know.
    How do you turn desert into a citrus grove?
    Or are you just being irrigating?
    btw
    What did you make of all the historical evidence I supplied.
    Plus the video clip?
    Or did it all end up in your bias bin?

  54. It was their land. They’d lived there for centuries. They were promised freedom by the British during World War I. The British then backtracked on the deal afterwards. The Arabs weren’t impressed.

  55. Yep, irrigation. Which gets right to the rub about land selection and expansion. But for most thats one dynamic too many. And to expand on seamus map, lets take a look at todays situation and see why palestinians dont take israeli platitudes about solutions seriously.

    http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/jan2009/shrinking_palestine_2.jpg

    Because their land has been carved up and comparmentalised, preventing any basic state infrastructure from functioning.

    I watched the video btw. So what? He forgot about the romans too. Its a vital region for supply to the west and has been for millenia. He knows his history and understands full well that israeli policy is a front (convenient, explicit or implicit) for western interests. Zionism merely represnts the latest in a long line.

  56. “I watched the video btw. So what? He forgot about the romans too. Its a vital region for supply to the west and has been for millenia. He knows his history and understands full well that israeli policy is a front (convenient, explicit or implicit) for western interests. Zionism merely represnts the latest in a long line.”

    Daytripper,

    I repeat my earlier questions,

    On what basis was it their own land?
    Evidence the laws, the government officials, the defined and manned border posts.
    Was it an Islamic State?
    The currency was Palestinian?
    Did the British take it from the Palestinians or the Turks?
    How did the Turks come to own it?
    Did they shaft the Palestinians as well?

    Here is another little link from the Arab and Middle East Information website. I can’t vouch for its origins but regarding Palestine under the Ottomans it is quite interesting.

    http://middleeastarab.com/ps/history-palestine-ottomans.html
    The point I want to make is that Palestine was never a recognisable state or country. It was a part of the Ottoman Empire, administered in districts rather than as a subjugated nation.
    quotes:
    Under Ottoman rule, the country was divided into districts which were administered by native Palestinians.

    In the 1830s, Mohammed Ali, the viceroy of Egypt, extended his control to Palestine where he modified the existing feudal order, increased agricultural production and improved the system of education.

    In 1840, the Ottomans once again took control of Palestine and set in motion reforms of their own.

    The point I am making is that a) the Jews had bought land from Arab landowners under the Ottomans. They had cleared and cultivated this land and formed kvutzahs (groups) based on socialist principles.
    Had Palestine been an actual country the Jews could not have done so. So although the area was populated, it was NOT a State.
    So (I think)(the objections to a growing Jewish presence can only be made on moral, not legal grounds.

    Moving on, it is a fact that those Palestinian residents did not argue that they were already a state, else how could the British and before them the Egyptians, have taken control from the Ottomans without international outcry?
    So the international community accepted that the Palestinians were twice offered their own internationally recognised territory and twice they refused it.
    One could argue the same is true of the USA or anywhere. The native Red Indians represented various nations, but they were not recognised as a State by the European nations. They simply occupied the land and along came another group of people who eventually took the land from them.
    Moving on further, the events of the Second World War culminating in the horrors of the Holocaust meant that the Jews themselves saw that the best guarantee of future safety lay not in trusting the Europeans (why would they?) but in bringing the Jewish survivors and dispossessed to Palestine.
    It was not a solution suggested and organised by the Western nations, the Jews did it.
    Obviously the influx caused further fear and friction.

    Moving more up to date, I do not dispute the problems the Palestinians face in creating a viable economic state, and I have acknowledged these difficulties before.
    As one population expanded and the other population felt increasingly threatened, the tit for tat stuff started (also similar to the situation in North America..)
    For you to argue that,
    ” He knows his history and understands full well that israeli policy is a front (convenient, explicit or implicit) for western interests. Zionism merely represnts the latest in a long line.”

    is almost ridiculous, as it was in Western Europe that the Nazi Party came to power with the twin aims of world domination and extermination of the Jewish people.

  57. Another interesting little snippet re the Ottoman Empire..

    “Ottoman expansion under Mehmed II’s successor, Bayezid II (reigned 1481-1512), was chiefly maritime in its thrust. The sultan’s new navy, reinforced by corsairs, displaced the naval power of Venice and Genoa in the eastern and central Mediterranean. Selim I, known as Selim the Grim, extended Ottoman sovereignty southward, conquering Syria and Palestine. In 1517 he drove the last of the Mamluk sultans from his throne in Cairo and made Egypt a satellite of the Ottoman Empire. Selim I was also recognized as guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. It was from this time that the Ottoman sultans adopted the title of caliph.

    http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Turkey2.html

  58. The point I want to make is that Palestine was never a recognisable state or country.

    Again so what? The concept of the state as you are defining it was/is a western construct. And as has been repeated nobody has to accept every crappy offer put on the table. It simply does not matter how the region was defined, people lived there and were booted off their land for no other reason than somebody else wanted to live there or wanted the resources (especially water) that lay under their feet.

    One could argue the same is true of the USA or anywhere. The native Red Indians represented various nations, but they were not recognised as a State by the European nations. They simply occupied the land and along came another group of people who eventually took the land from them.

    Thats only an argument for might is right.

    It was not a solution suggested and organised by the Western nations, the Jews did it.

    Zionisms aspirations suited the wests post war regional strategy. It was implicit, explicit and convenient. To call that ridiculous is to deny fairly basic history.

    Moving more up to date, I do not dispute the problems the Palestinians face in creating a viable economic state, and I have acknowledged these difficulties before.

    Well all im arguing is that giving the Palestinians what they rightfully deserve will resolve most of the problems faced in the region. Im not even arguing that the State of Israel is illegitimate, just that it was built on fairly rotten foundations and the misery of hundreds of thousands of families that had lived their for scores generations. But you have got to admit that many of the problems arose out of unfair policies from the outset and a continuing racist paradigm that clearly has no place for a coherent palestinian state.

    here is an interesting primer documentary designed for the uninformed US population, pointing out that the information and news they obtain about the region is almost exclusively one sided, just like state policy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_jvXnPG9Xc

  59. Noel C said “Much less spoken is of course the level of anti-Arab sentiment in the Israeli world, and specifically in Israeli government circles, where Arabs are treated as 2nd-class citizens in their own country and, with eyes firmly set on that racist clock, active steps are taken – yes, in a supposedly modern democracy – to limit the numbers and birthrate of these Untermenschen.”

    Let’s return to the Israeli Arab voting pattern:-

    Arab Israeli voters 56% turnout defies expectations

    This is the first time since 2000 that there has been an increase from the sector.

    Arab voter turnout on Tuesday increased by 3 percentage points over 2009 to reach 56 percent, according to statistics released by the Central Elections Committee.

    This is the first time since 2000 that there has been an increase from the sector. Nevertheless, the three Arab parties maintained the total of 11 Knesset seats they won four years ago.

    “The high voting rates reflect the will of the Arab public to take part in the Israeli political process,” The Abraham Fund Initiatives – an NGO promoting coexistence and equality among Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens, said in a report released on Wednesday.

    Despite a previous downward trend in Arab voting, this election showed that the Arab public believes in their representatives in the Knesset and in their ability to promote Arab interests, according to the report.

    Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of The Abraham Fund, told The Jerusalem Post that the voting data showed a higher turnout rate than the 53% in 2009.

    “We have been working hard to get out the Arab vote regardless of who they were voting for, just as long as they would use their civic right to vote,” Beeri-Sulitzeanu said.

    “What we saw [on Tuesday] night was a sign of confidence by Arab voters in their leaders and parties. It was also a signal from the Arab community that they want to be engaged in the political system.”

    He called this a “very significant” change.

    “In previous years we were talking about disengagement and alienation, but now it seems that there is a change in the trend and more will [become] engaged. They are seeking dialogue and engagement with the Jewish majority. Had Arab voter turnout stayed the same as in 2009, we would have seen a drop in seats for the Arab parties,” Beeri- Sulitzeanu said.

    Kafr Kasim, near Rosh Ha’ayin, led the Arab sector with close to 80% turnout, according to the Central Elections Committee.

    Other major Arab population centers also had a high turnout: Jaljulya at 70%, Kafr Bara 59%, Taibe 60%, Tira 59%, Rahat 57%, Umm el-Fahm 57% and Sakhnin around 80%.

    Some interesting results were seen in the Arab sector, for example in Kafr Kasim, where 12 votes were cast for Bayit Yehudi, 33 for Shas and one for Strong Israel. Many other Arab towns cast small numbers of votes for right-wing Zionist parties. For example in Sakhnin, in the Western Galilee, Strong Israel received nine votes, Shas 31 and United Torah Judaism 22.

    The Arab parties’ results were as follows: United Arab List-Ta’al four, Balad three and the Arab-Jewish Hadash four, with other Arab votes going to Meretz, which has Issawi Freij entering the Knesset on its list.

    He received strong support from his hometown, Kafr Kasim.

    Arab party leaders expressed disappointment that turnout was not even higher, saying more votes could have tipped the balance, preventing a right-wing government.

    UAL-Ta’al leader Ahmed Tibi told Ynet, “I have no doubt that we will continue to lead the Arab sector,” but if the turnout had “gone up by 10% we could have toppled the Right’s rule and pushed Netanyahu and Liberman from leadership. This was a missed opportunity.”

    The statistics contradicted expectations in the Israeli and international media before Election Day that predicted a drop in Arab turnout.

    Hadash MK Dov Henin told the Post that he is happy that the numbers of Arabs voting increased, because his party “worked hard” for this.

    He said that he was satisfied with Hadash’s results because it was able to maintain its strength at four mandates, although it had wanted to grow.

    In any case, Henin added, “we are happy because the Right got weaker.”

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plan was to hold early elections in order to win more mandates, “but he got fewer. His plan failed,” Henin said.

    Oh dear, not quite the Apatheid state then.

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