In the aftermath of the Israel-Lebanon War

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Postby politbureau » 09 May 2007, 22:48

fred smith wrote:
Do you believe the Palestinian people have a fundamental right to live in Gaza and the West Bank in a Palestinian state or that they should be transferred out -- forcibly if necessary -- because they don't have a right to be there?


Do Greeks have a fundamental right to live in northern Cyprus? Germans to live in Silesia, Pomerania, Prussia? Christians in the Middle East? Jews in the Middle East? etc. etc.

I think that the Gaza Strip is economically and politically unviable. That area should be "cleansed" simply because there is no other solution. Either that or make it part of Egypt. The Egyptians do not want it. They are not fools. Why take on 1.2 million unemployed with all the attendant terrorists. But as is, it is nothing but a breeding ground for corruption, terrorism and poverty. How that is done, I will leave to others, but I think there needs to be a very honest debate on just how such an entity could exist in peace with Israel, while surviving without massive dollops of aid.


Or put another, possibly more apt, way, do Greeks have a fundamental right to live in Greece, do Germans have a fundamental right to live in Germany -- and do Palestinians have a fundamental right to live in Palestine?

Thank you, Fred, for disabusing gao_bo_han of the notion that driving the Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza is just some crackpot idea I came up with on my own.
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Postby fred smith » 09 May 2007, 23:19

Or put another, possibly more apt, way, do Greeks have a fundamental right to live in Greece, do Germans have a fundamental right to live in Germany -- and do Palestinians have a fundamental right to live in Palestine?

Thank you, Fred, for disabusing gao_bo_han of the notion that driving the Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza is just some crackpot idea I came up with on my own.


Not exactly Spook, but I understand your eagerness to latch onto any excuse to justify your "interest" in this particular conflict. To some it might seem as anti-Semitism (of the Jewish kind so spare me the semantics)... but to you it is about "justice."

Okay, why not compare this matter with the East Prussia separation from mainland Germany issue. Why not compare how and why the Germans were deported from all over Eastern Europe with the explusion of the Jews from the Middle East. Examining the historical antecedents of many of those in Palestine, how are they different or unique from other Arabs say in Syria? Finally, given the very real defense and political parameters on the ground, what do you suggest in order to make Israel defensible. In a perfect world, the Palestinians would make peace with Israel to keep what they have. Are they willing to do so? Is the elected government of Palestine willing to do so? These issues do make for a very complicated mix. But to put the blame endlessly on Israel while ignoring the real threat and endless provocations and terrorism of the Palestinians may mollify any angst you have about your real "concern" but then you sort of take yourself out of the equation when it comes to actually discussing realistic policy initiatives and alternatives. Don't you see that?
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Postby Gao Bohan » 10 May 2007, 03:05

spook wrote:Do you believe the Palestinian people have a fundamental right to live in Gaza and the West Bank in a Palestinian state or that they should be transferred out -- forcibly if necessary -- because they don't have a right to be there?


Here’s the problem spook. The Palestinians perceive the entirety of Israel as their rightful territory and do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government any more than do other Muslim nations (with a handful of exceptions). The Palestinian government is brazen in its ambition to “drive the Jews into the sea.” I am simply not convinced the Palestinians are content to stay within their own borders. Are you?

Given the situation, I think it is silly to go around debating land rights. The Israelis cannot realistically hope to negotiate with a nation who is dedicated to their destruction. If the Palestinians recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and stop electing terrorists to lead them, then I do think negotiation is possible. Until then, I don’t see how questions of land and resources are going to be handled by anything but war.
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Postby politbureau » 10 May 2007, 05:43

gao_bo_han wrote:
spook wrote:Do you believe the Palestinian people have a fundamental right to live in Gaza and the West Bank in a Palestinian state or that they should be transferred out -- forcibly if necessary -- because they don't have a right to be there?


Here’s the problem spook. The Palestinians perceive the entirety of Israel as their rightful territory and do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government any more than do other Muslim nations (with a handful of exceptions). The Palestinian government is brazen in its ambition to “drive the Jews into the sea.” I am simply not convinced the Palestinians are content to stay within their own borders. Are you?

Given the situation, I think it is silly to go around debating land rights. The Israelis cannot realistically hope to negotiate with a nation who is dedicated to their destruction. If the Palestinians recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and stop electing terrorists to lead them, then I do think negotiation is possible. Until then, I don’t see how questions of land and resources are going to be handled by anything but war.


You didn't answer the question.
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Postby Huang Guang Chen » 10 May 2007, 06:26

gao_bo_han wrote:Here’s the problem spook. The Palestinians perceive the entirety of Israel as their rightful territory and do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government any more than do other Muslim nations (with a handful of exceptions). The Palestinian government is brazen in its ambition to “drive the Jews into the sea.” I am simply not convinced the Palestinians are content to stay within their own borders. Are you?


Wrong. The Palestinian authority has acknowledged Israel's right to existence. As Israel has consistently failed to honour the Palestinians with the same decency, it has caused all manner of hell for the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority among the Palestinian people. Unsurprisingly, this has led to the prominence of competing and more radical views.

You say stay within their borders, which borders are you talking about? The one defined by the great wall of Israel?

Now if you would be so kind as to answer Spook's question, well that would be an outcome.

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Postby Gao Bohan » 10 May 2007, 07:32

spook wrote:
gao_bo_han wrote:
spook wrote:Do you believe the Palestinian people have a fundamental right to live in Gaza and the West Bank in a Palestinian state or that they should be transferred out -- forcibly if necessary -- because they don't have a right to be there?


Here’s the problem spook. The Palestinians perceive the entirety of Israel as their rightful territory and do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government any more than do other Muslim nations (with a handful of exceptions). The Palestinian government is brazen in its ambition to “drive the Jews into the sea.” I am simply not convinced the Palestinians are content to stay within their own borders. Are you?

Given the situation, I think it is silly to go around debating land rights. The Israelis cannot realistically hope to negotiate with a nation who is dedicated to their destruction. If the Palestinians recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and stop electing terrorists to lead them, then I do think negotiation is possible. Until then, I don’t see how questions of land and resources are going to be handled by anything but war.


You didn't answer the question.


Yes I did. I said the question is meaningless in light of the circumstances. My answer is not “no” as you undoubtedly think. Nor is it “yes” at this point. Now if the Palestinians would stop electing people who have vowed to drive the Jews into the sea, would renounce terrorism and effectively suppress the terrorists among them, then I think a civilized discussion of land rights can take place at that point and YES I will support their right to the land. Until then, I don’t think either the Jews or the Palestinians have an inherent right to the land. And I say this DESPITE the fact the early Zionist movement consisted solely of buying Arab land –legally- and hauling in as many Jews as they could.

Are you reading me here? I am saying that despite the fact most of the habitable land in Israel was bought legally by the Jews from the Arabs (the largely uninhabitable Negev and Galilee were ceded to it by the British, which took it from Ottoman Empire), I am not so naïve as to say the Jews have a fundamental right to the land. The Zionists surely must have known there would eventually be resistance and displacement of the local Arabs, and one could make the argument the early aliyah settlements were the beginning of a quasi-organized invasion. That is certainly how the Arabs see it. Telling them, “your ancestors shouldn’t have sold the land if they didn't want this to happen” does not impress them. I was in their shoes I’d feel the same way.

Do you believe the Israelis have a right to all of the land within Israel? What about the Arab villages the Haganah forcibly evacuated and are now populated by Jewish settlers and their descendants? How about the Negev and the Galilee? The only reason the Jews got it was because they terrorized the British enough to cede it over before they left. Does this really give them a fundamental right to that land? The Bedouin don’t think so. As far as their concerned its their land and always was. To hell with the British and the Turks and even the other Arabs. Should we draw off 80% of Israel and cede it to the Bedouin?

Honestly, trying to determine land rights in these cases becomes absurd. I really don’t see how the question is going to be solved except through warfare.
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Postby Gao Bohan » 10 May 2007, 07:39

Huang Guang Chen wrote:
gao_bo_han wrote:Here’s the problem spook. The Palestinians perceive the entirety of Israel as their rightful territory and do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government any more than do other Muslim nations (with a handful of exceptions). The Palestinian government is brazen in its ambition to “drive the Jews into the sea.” I am simply not convinced the Palestinians are content to stay within their own borders. Are you?


Wrong. The Palestinian authority has acknowledged Israel's right to existence.


The previous PA government made an agreement to do so, but as far as I know never formally carried through. And the current government has reneged on that promise...with a vengeance.

Palestinian prime minister vows not to recognize Israel

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told thousands of Iranians on Friday that his Hamas-led government will never recognize Israel and will continue to fight for the "liberation of Jerusalem."Making his first visit abroad since the militant group took power in March, Haniyeh blasted U.S. demands that Hamas recognize Israel as a basis for renewed peace talks and before international aid to the Palestinians resumes.

The U.S. "and Zionists ... want us to recognize the usurpation of the Palestinian lands and stop jihad and resistance and accept the agreements reached with the Zionist enemies in the past," Haniyeh told worshippers at Tehran University.

The United States is pressing the Palestinian government to not only recognize Israel, but to renounce violence and form a national unity government with the moderate Fatah party.

"I'm insisting from this podium that these issues won't materialize. We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem," he said.

Ahmed Abdel Rahman, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party, said if Hamas wants to be part of a national unity government, it will need to abide by agreements the PLO has signed in the past. This would imply recognition of Israel.

"I can't criticize him (Haniyeh) when he is talking in the name of Hamas. But if he is speaking as prime minister, he should abide by the national agenda," Abdel Rahman said.

Since Hamas took power in March, direct international aid to the Palestinian government has been largely cut off. Iran has provided the government with $120 million this year, boosting its influence among Palestinians.

Haniyeh arrived in the Iranian capital Thursday for four days of talks with Iranian leaders including hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

The Palestinian prime minister is on his first tour abroad since Hamas took office.

Haniyeh called Iran, a longtime ally of Hamas, the Palestinians' "strategic depth" because they were bound together in their fight against Israel.

"They (Israelis) assume the Palestinian nation is alone. This is an illusion. ... We have a strategic depth in the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said.

Iran had close ties with Israel when the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was in power. When the 1979 Islamic revolution toppled him, Iran broke ties with Israel and turned the Israeli Embassy in Tehran into the Palestinian Authority Embassy.

Iran also hosts militant groups, including Hamas and Lebanon's Shiite Muslim Hezbollah. Hamas' representative in Iran and the Palestinian ambassador were both at the airport Thursday to welcome Haniyeh.

Along with his meeting with Ahmadinejad, Haniyeh is scheduled to hold talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006 ... OE=NEWISVA
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Postby Huang Guang Chen » 10 May 2007, 07:41

gao_bo_han wrote:Here’s the problem spook. The Palestinians perceive the entirety of Israel as their rightful territory and do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government any more than do other Muslim nations (with a handful of exceptions). The Palestinian government is brazen in its ambition to “drive the Jews into the sea.” I am simply not convinced the Palestinians are content to stay within their own borders. Are you?


The official line of the Palestinian Authority is that it accepts Israel. That's a cornerstone of the Oslo Agreement.

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Postby Gao Bohan » 10 May 2007, 08:18

Huang Guang Chen wrote:
gao_bo_han wrote:Here’s the problem spook. The Palestinians perceive the entirety of Israel as their rightful territory and do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli government any more than do other Muslim nations (with a handful of exceptions). The Palestinian government is brazen in its ambition to “drive the Jews into the sea.” I am simply not convinced the Palestinians are content to stay within their own borders. Are you?


The official line of the Palestinian Authority is that it accepts Israel. That's a cornerstone of the Oslo Agreement.

HG


Great. But the Palestinians elected a government that rejects all prior agreements with Israel and specifically does not recognize Israel. As I said, I am not convinced the Palestinians really want to live peacefully with the Jews. I think they want to do exactly what their leaders are promising to do -drive the Jews out and take the entire area back over. And who can blame them?
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Postby Huang Guang Chen » 10 May 2007, 08:35

I hear you, but I do think it is ironic that Israel's intentions are taken at face value while those of the Palestinians are automatically presumed to have a murky agenda.

The Palestinian view is that they were screwed hard by Israel, having offered considerable concessions and getting nothing in return. It is this, more than anything else, which has solidified the opposition to any more concessions.

As a side note I tuned into an interesting podcast the other night involving an interview with a chap who assesses the use of cluster bombs in colflict areas. Seems the bulk of the cluster weapons used in Lebanon were hurled in the last 72 hours of that conflict, with some of the weapons indicating a use by date of 1973 (read highly unstable). Clear evidence of a scorched earth policy by the Israelis on the Lebanese border. You can understand the desire, but crikey, what a shitty legacy!

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