Discussion in 'News and Articles' started by ACLJ, Nov 28, 2007.
New York Times - Israel and Palestinians Set Goal of a Treaty in 2008
good luck on that.
good luck indeed...so long as Hamas is in charge, and remains dedicated to the wholesale erradication of Israel as a nation.
Hamas has declared that they would most likely accept a two state solution as a temporary solution to the conflict.
And Hamas isn't "in charge" Abbas is not from the Hamas political party and the entire PA is not made up of Hamas politicians.
I personally don't think that we will see much progress made in peace talks. The big issues are still being ignored and neither side showed any desire to impliment even the first phase of roadmap for peace back when it was first tried. Israel actually outright lied to the United States about stopping settlement expansion.
-The destruction of Israel is the reason Hamas was formed, they have never supported the two state option, if they do so now it will only be under their interpretation of the right of return...which would destroy Israel demographically (win-win for Hamas) They have also openly stated that they will only make compromises as a stepping stone towards their long term goal...hence the use of the word "temporary".
-If Abbas is in charge why did he have to flee Gaza?
-I agree that it was ill advised for Israel to expand settlements...but contrary to popular opinion the land was not illegally obtained, it was captured in a defensive war. Since when have countries been expected to return land obtained in self defense against an outside agressor? And what of the land Israel gave up in Gaza...what is it like there now compared to under Israeli rule? When has surrenduring land ever given Israel any peace?
For more details regarding the issues at hand: http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/Annapolis_And_The_Core_Issues.asp
Israel told the international community that it would allow the right of return. It was required of them to abide by the UN resolution that would grant the right of return for Palestinian refugees who had their private property and citizenship status taken from them. Israel is now a member of the UN but has made no progress towards allowing the right of return as they promised to do.
Israel has made the same statements. Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister said himself that he would only accept the UN greenlines as a temporary solution while Israel built itself up. He then advocated abolishing the Palestinian state and expanding into the whole of Israel. The same thing was said after ISrael gave the Sinai back to Egypt. It was declared a temporary solution with a promise that Israel would once more expand and lay claim to all of greater Israel. Such though exists in modern Israeli politics as well.
"[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state--we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel."
-Ben Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel
"The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel [this includes all West Bank land and even part of Jordan] will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever."
-Menachem Begin, 6th Prime Minister of Israel
If Hamas is in charge then why are none of their government workers getting paid in the West Bank? Neither side is in absolute control and implying that Hamas is "in control" is misleading.
Private property both in Israel and in the territories was taken by Israel and the Arabs were kicked out under the absentee land laws that Israel passed (these laws didn't apply to Jews).
I don't care if Israel owns the land, the problem is that it is unwilling to extend citizenship rights and equal law protection to Arabs in the region. Thus trapping them in a legal limbo. Israel wants the land but not the people who come with it. This sets the stage for many human rights abuses, including several violations of the Fourth Geneva conventions.
The problem is they didn't simply take governmental control over it, they took private land away from civilians and gave it to Jewish settlers. They are pushing to expell Arabs from the region. I would have no problem with Israel annexing the land if this legal limbo didn't exist.
The term "given" is misleading. It was a unilateral plan. Israel still control the borders, the sea and airspace of Gaza and has retained the right to go into Gaza militarily when they feel that it is needed. Israel controls much of their Water, communications, and electricity. Israel collects the taxes on all foriegn imports to the Gaza and requires all imports from the Gaza to Israel to be taxed while all Israeli products to Gaza are not taxed.
The term "given" implies this independant Gaza state which simply doesn't exist.
The Gaza pull out was in no way meant to be a peace deal. It was done unilaterally and only in the interests of the Israeli people. Sharon specifically stated that it was not for peace, but rather for security reasons and to the better international image of Israel. It was a ploy to make Israel seem like a partner for peace even given the fact that they failed to even attempt to impliment even the first phase of the road map program.
There is also evidence that shows that it was also a ploy to freeze the peace process itself:
The Gaza pullout according to Dov Weissglas, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior adviser:
"The significance of the 'disengagement' plan is the freezing of the peace process, when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress."
Israel...Has anyone here REALLY taken a look at Israel...geographically speaking.
They are TINY. I mean...REALLY, REALLY tiny. I can drive from one end of Florida to the other in a few hours. We are a dinky little state. Yet, Israel would fit into Florida 7 times!!!
Take a look at the map. See the little red do surrounding by nearly every hostile country in the world?
What's your point?
By the way, many of those countries in green have very large Christian populations, such as Ethiopia which the CIA world fact book has as mostly Chrsitian (61.6%), Ghana (63% Christian), Togo, Liberia and Cameroon (where Christians outnumber Muslims), Benin, is not predominately Islamic either and Kenya is very largely Christian.
They also have Armenia as an Islamic country.
The map also did a very poor job with the political borders (Yemen for example isn't even on there)
Plus Muslim based population != hostile.
Did I say Muslims = Hostile? Why did you choose to assume that?
My point was completely and totally clear. They are tiny. That's all I said. TINY.
Well, you said: "See the little red dot surrounding by nearly every hostile country in the world?" And then linked me to a map that divided the world into Muslim and non-Muslim nations (though not very well).
I guess perhaps I made to hasty a leap. My apologies, but even if we only look at the countries directly around Israel we see that many are not hostile to Israel. Jordan is very moderate for the region, Egypt has officially recognized Israel, Lebanon is currently fighting anti-Israeli militants in southern Lebanon, Bahrain has been improving its relations with the country. Iraq is in the process of reforming its government, Saudi Arabia is too big a US ally to threaten another huge US ally such as Israel (even if the two have no formal communications with each other). Armenia certainly isn't going to invade Israel and Turkey is much to occupied with the Kurds and in trying to garner western favor to make a move on Israel (assumuning that it even wanted to).
The main threats to Israeli secuirity are Hamas, Iran and Syria.
Besides, why should it matter that Israel is "tiny?"
First let me state that I respect your views, and I respond in the interest of constructive discussion rather than hostile reproach. This is by nature a thorny topic, so please do not interpret my responses as indicative of a personal attack…that is by no means my intention.
The issue of the right of return was very carefully worded in the UN resolutions so that it could NOT be interpreted as a free ticket for all refugees to enter Israel, effectively undermining Israel as a Jewish state. It is disingenuous for Palestinians to call for their own state, while simultaneously demanding the right to immigrate into a different one (Israel)
Israel is in full compliance with UN resolutions, in spite of the fact that some people choose to redefine those resolutions to suggest they are not. Please demonstrate where Israel has violated UN resolutions or failed to comply with them…noting at the same time that many aspects of those resolutions are directly contingent on Palestinian compliance with those same resolutions for them to be fully enacted. You cannot point the finger of non-compliance at one party alone. The greatest stumbling block is not Israel, but Palestinian unwillingness to cease terror attacks against Israel…if they would stop trying to kill Israeli citizens there would be no reason for walls, checkpoints etc.
The refugee issue was initially addressed in resolution 194, which first requires Arab states and Israel to reach resolution to major issues;
Point 11 resolves:
"that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which under principles of international law or in equity should be made good by Governments or authorities responsible. Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees and payment of compensation...".
Notice the word “should be permitted”, obviously there are contingencies and this is not a unilateral or unconditional agreement for ALL refugees. Clearly Israel cannot be expected to allow an influx of people who pose a threat to their own security. Notice also that it is "Governments or authorities responsible" that are named…not just Israel. Arab refugees left for a variety of reasons…they were not kicked out by Israel.
To compare Israeli statements regarding “temporary solutions” with the statements of Hamas is hardly valid. Israel is a legitimate legal state…Hamas is a terror organization that rejects peace under any circumstance other than the eradication of the state of Israel. This is a common problem in the media…moral equivalence is implied where it does not exist. Israel has always sought peace, it is the Arab states that have categorically rejected peace so long as it involved the existence of Israel…it was never about land. Israel does not, nor has it ever, sought the destruction of any other state or people…they have simply sought the right to self-determination and self-rule…why should this be denied them when it is never questioned for any other nation?
If the Arab world had accepted the two-state solution in 1947, so glibly touted by peace advocates today…a Palestinian state would have existed from the beginning…and technically it always did…it’s called Jordan. Furthermore, there is a significant Arab population in Israel with full rights and citizenship. A Jew who set foot on Palestinian ground would be taking their life in their hands. How many Jews can live in ANY Muslim state as a full citizen, free to practice their own religion, be a member of parliament etc.? Ask how many Arabs OR Jews living in East Jerusalem would like to find themselves under Palestinian rule today.
Obviously because Hamas is not controlling the West Bank and there is a state of civil war between Hamas and the P.A. Hamas is, however, the elected representative of the Palestinian people. Abbas is only receiving overtures and inclusion in the peace process because he is perceived as being more of a moderate that Hamas…though even this is questionable.
This is pure myth I’m afraid. David BenGurion stated Aug 1948:
“When the Arab states are ready to conclude a peace treaty with Israel this question will come up for constructive solution as part of the general settlement, and with due regard to our counter¬claims in respect of the destruction of Jewish life and property, the long-term interest of the Jewish and Arab populations, the stability of the State of Israel and the durability of the basis of peace between it and its neighbors, the actual position and fate of the Jewish communities in the Arab countries, the responsibilities of the Arab governments for their war of aggression and their liability for reparation, will all be relevant in the question whether, to what extent, and under what conditions, the former Arab residents of the territory of Israel should be allowed to return.”
It was the Arabs who categorically rejected any and all compromise, and Israel could not safely allow all refugees to return without condition…they had just fought a defensive war that by all accounts they could easily have lost. In spite of this, Israel did release Arab refugee's blocked bank accounts of millions of dollars, paid cash compensations and gave thousands of acres of alternative land holdings.
Jews did not kick out Arabs and prevent them returning so they could steal their land and property. The Palestinians became refugees because the Arab countries refused to absorb them, it was they who relegated them to camps and squalor in order that they might become a convenient political pawn for further aggression against Israel…while tiny Israel absorbed more Jewish refugees from Arab lands than the total Palestinian refugees.
The Fourth Geneva convention, by the way, prohibits forcible transfer of individuals from one territory to another that has been occupied due to war and was designed to prevent local populations from being forced to move. Jews are not forced to move there, they choose to legally settle in land previously occupied by their own ancestors who had been expelled by others. The land never belonged to Jordan, Egypt OR Palestinians…Jews have as much right to it as any other local people. New settlements are only allowed on private land if no rights are being violated…most settlements were built on uninhabited land…and no Palestinians or Arabs are ousted to make room for them.
Jews have lived in the West Bank continuously since Biblical times…why should they not be allowed to settle there now? It only became “illegal” for Jews to settle there under Jordanian rule during the brief period between 1948-67…CONTRARY to the League of Nations Mandate which actually encouraged such settlement. The idea of West Bank settlement being illegal is under strong dispute, and UN resolution 242 actually grants Israel legal right to be there until lasting peace is achieved. The basis of the dispute lies primarily within propaganda and half truths. And again is not true that land was “taken away” from others and given to Jews.
Regarding Gaza, I do not pretend that Sharon’s motivations in withdrawing from Gaza were pure…but I fail to see how Israel can be blamed for the atrocious conditions now pervading Gaza; the violence, lack of social progress, etc. Vast amounts of money have been poured into Gaza, but it is the Palestinian leadership that chooses not to spend it for the betterment of living conditions and instead proceeds to fund weapons, launch rockets into Israel and educate their children to hate. Ask the people of Sderot how they fair with their new neighbors in rocket range. Ask the Arab residents who remained in Gaza whether they preferred Israeli rule over the current leadership.
Regardless of the motives for the disengagement, The Palestinians were given land…what have they done with it but use it as a more convenient base for further aggression against Israel? To say that giving them land stalls the peace process is rather absurd…launching rockets and killing each other does that just fine.
If Israel grants the right of return their nation would be so flooded with these psuedo palastinains that it would no linger be a Jewish state.
My reply was too long to post, and I don't have time to edit it now, but i'll be back in a little while to post it in two parts.
looking forward to your response
I just wanted to start off my echoing this statement.
I had a big long response typed up, but before we dive to deeply into debate/discussion concerning the topic I feel the need to make some general statements concerning my stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so that nothing is assumed with regards to what I believe. This I hope will make the discussion process easier for the both of us.
I would also, for the sake of organization and better discussion, like to talk about this conflict one topic at a time. It is such a big topic that if we simply dive right into it we will end up getting nowhere quickly, or end up going in circles.
First, I do not believe that it is a Christians duty to support The modern state of Israel in everything it does. I hold Israel to the same standards as I hold every other state and I am just as willing to criticize them for what I see as flawed policy as I am to criticize say Iran or even the United States. I do not believe that it is up to humans to force prophecy to happen, rather I believe that God will have prophecy be fulfilled when it is suppose to and there is nothing that I can do to facilitate/hinder that on my own. I view Israel for what I see it to be: a soveriegn nation with the same responsibilities towards its citizens and human rights as every other state. To summarize: I am not one to give Israel a free pass on anything simply because it is a Jewish state or simply because it is a state called Israel.
Second, I do not support either side of this conflict in everything it does as I do not feel that the situation is a black and white ordeal. I do not see either Israel or the Palestinian Authority as a partner for peace and I think that the situation is much more complex than commonly percieved (such as Israel=good and Palestinians=bad).
Third, though I may come off at times as anti-Israeli I can assure you that this is only because, due to the overwhelming support that Israel gets among Christians and even Americans, Palestinian flaws and war crimes such as Hamas' launching of Qassam rockets are very readily pointed out and well known, Israel's flaws in the conflict though are not as well known and often times I feel that they are even overlooked do to support for religious reasons. :israelI just wanted to point out that the only emote on this board with a nationality attached to it is one of a smile waving the Israeli flag).
Fourth, Just so that there is no misunderstanding of how I view the Palestinians I feel that Hamas is an organization that has engaged in terrorism and has commited crimes of war through the use of Qassam rockets, The use of suicide bombings (even if they officially "renounced" the practice), the use of human shields, and the slaughter of other Palestinians for political reasons. I do feel that it is the Palestinian civilian population who, on average, suffers the most from the effects of this conflict, but that does not mean that I favor the Palestinian government over the Israeli government.
Fifth, It is my love of my fellow man that drives me to support an end to this conflict whether through a two state solution or through a unified Israel. Personally, I would rather see the land unified under one democratic government both Arab and Jewish. I do not feel that Israel needs to be a Jewish dominate state, and worry that declaring themselves such without a formal constitution or bill of rights to protect Jewish and non-Jewish minorities, may lead to discriminatory state policies in the future, and a continuation of current discrimination. I would like to see Israel annex the West bank and the Gaza Strip and allow the Arabs living in the region to have a right to vote in the political system and to be protected equally under Israeli law.
Sixth: I am in favor of a united Jerusalem under the control and as the capital of of a united democratic Jewish/Arab state. In the case of a two state solution, I am in favor of what the UN origionaly wanted to do with Jerusalem and have it be controled by an international body as I feel that it is the only viable solution to one of the most disputed cities in the world.
Finally, I think that there are several areas that Israel as a state should work on in this conflict (the same is true for the Palestinians, but I am guess that we already generally would agree on those)
Issues concerning Israel
a.) Impunity practices
b.) targeted killing techniques
c.) movement restrictions, curfews, closure policies and the economic takeover of Palestinian regions such as Hebron
d.) the separation barrier
e.) the Palestinian right of return
f.) legal limbo of Palestinian civilians and refugees
g.) administrative detention policies and arbitrary arrest practices
I'll leave it up to you to decide which issue you would like us to talk about first (whether it is something I talked about in my six stances, or if it is on of the topics I have trouble with Israel over that I listed at the end), and then we can move on to another one and so on and so on. If you would like to add any issues of your own, feel free to do so. If you would rather me simply respond to what you have above instead of going issue by issue, then I will do that as well.
By the way, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to respond to me so fully, I truely appreciate it and hope to address every single one of those topics in the conversation to come.
Has anyone here read this book:
Joan Peters' book From Time Immemorial was commisioned by Yasser Arafat to show that the land of palestine belonged to tha arabs. In truth their never existed a palestinian people and most " palestinains" are infact from syria and surrounding countries. Indeed the average palestinian thousand of years ago was Jewish. Mr. Arafat offered Mrs. Peters a loarge amount of money not to publish this book.
Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, unto a land that I will show you:
Gen 12:2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing:
Gen 12:3And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
I choose to bless Israel and I know God's promise to her people still hold's true.
I have not read it, but Palestinians are simply Arabs. All the modern term Palestinian refers to is the specific Arabs now living in that region. Islamic Arabs have been living there for well over 1000 years now (not saying that the Jews don't deserve to be there, just saying that Arabs have been living in the region for thousands of years and Muslim Arabs have been living in the region for around 1300 years). The notion that Arabs only came to the region after modern Israel was established is wrong.
The question is, is this the Israel refered to by the Bible? How do you personally define the term Israel in that passage. Even if that verse does apply to modern day Israel, should we stand aside and support it in anything it does, even if that includes (to pick an extreme) genocide against the Arabs?
What worries me is that Christians may turn a blind eye to Israeli human rights abuses simply because of religious convictions. So much suffering has been justified in the name of religion in the past and I do not wish to allow those past activities to repeat themselves.
Criticizing certain policies != cursing Israel.
it is indeed refreshing to discuss this topic with someone as thoughtful and well-spoken as yourself.
I whole heartedly agree that we should not ignore Israels faults based on a preconceived Biblical bias...or for any other reason. I too desire to see Israel teated under the same standards as any other nation, that is precisely why I make the effort to speak out against media bias and misinformation. It is quite possible that I have overlooked issues or am ignorant of certain aspects of the issues at hand...therefore I welcome this discussion with an open mind.
I agree that this is a daunting topic, and that it would be more productive to take one issue at a time. Perhaps we should start with the "right of return". I offered several points in that regard in my previous post...perhaps you'd like to start be replying to those items?