Remember What Happened Here

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Remember What Happened Here

Postby bignaf » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:21 pm

Gaza is freed, yet Gaza wages war. That reveals the Palestinians' true agenda

ByCHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

Israel Invades Gaza. That is in response to an attack from Gaza that killed
two Israelis and wounded another, who was kidnapped and brought back to Gaza
...which, in turn, was in response to Israel's targeted killing of terrorist
leaders in Gaza...which, in turn, was in response to the indiscriminate
shelling

of Israeli towns by rockets launched from Gaza.

Of all the conflicts in the world, the one that seems the most tediously and
hopelessly endless is the Arab-Israeli dispute, which has been going on in
much the same way, it seems, for 60 years. Just about every story you'll see
will characterize Israel's invasion of Gaza as a continuation of the cycle
of violence.

Cycles are circular. They have no end. They have no beginning. That is why,
as tempting as that figure of speech is to use, in this case it is false. It
is as false as calling American attacks on Taliban remnants in Afghanistan
part of a cycle of violence between the U.S. and al-Qaeda or, as Osama bin
Laden would have it, between Islam and the Crusaders going back to 1099. Every
party has its grievances--even Hitler had his list when he invaded Poland in
1939--but every conflict has its origin.

What is so remarkable about the current wave of violence in Gaza is that the
event at the origin of the "cycle" is not at all historical, but very
contemporary.
The event is not buried in the mists of history. It occurred less than one
year ago. Before the eyes of the whole world, Israel left Gaza. Every Jew,
every soldier, every military installation, every remnant of Israeli occupation

was uprooted and taken away.

How do the Palestinians respond? What have they done with Gaza, the first
Palestinian
territory in history to be independent, something neither the Ottomans nor
the British nor the Egyptians nor the Jordanians, all of whom ruled
Palestinians

before the Israelis, ever permitted? On the very day of Israel's final pullout,

the Palestinians began firing rockets out of Gaza into Israeli towns on the
other side of the border. And remember: those are attacks not on settlers but
on civilians in Israel proper, the pre-1967 Israel that the international
community
recognizes as legitimately part of sovereign Israel, a member state of the
U.N. A thousand rockets have fallen since.

For what possible reason? Before the withdrawal, attacks across the border
could have been rationalized with the usual Palestinian mantra of occupation,
settlements and so on. But what can one say after the withdrawal?

The logic for those continued attacks is to be found in the so-called phase
plan adopted in 1974 by the Palestine National Council in Cairo. Realizing
that they would never be able to destroy Israel in one fell swoop, the
Palestinians
adopted a graduated plan to wipe out Israel. First, accept any territory given
to them in any part of historic Palestine. Then, use that sanctuary to wage
war until Israel is destroyed.

So in 2005 the Palestinians are given Gaza, free of any Jews. Do they begin
building the state they say they want, constructing schools and roads and
hospitals?
No. They launch rockets at civilians and dig a 300-yard tunnel under the border

to attack Israeli soldiers and bring back a hostage.

And this time the terrorism is carried out not by some shadowy group that the
Palestinian leader can disavow, however disingenuously. This is Hamas in
action--the
group that was recently elected to lead the Palestinians. At least there is
now truth in advertising: a Palestinian government openly committed to
terrorism

and to the destruction of a member state of the U.N. openly uses terrorism
to carry on its war.

That is no cycle. That is an arrow. That is action with a purpose. The action
began 59 years ago when the U.N. voted to solve the Palestine conundrum then
ruled by Britain by creating a Jewish state and a Palestinian state side by
side. The Jews accepted the compromise; the Palestinians rejected it and joined

five outside Arab countries in a war to destroy the Jewish state and take all
the territory for themselves.

They failed, and Israel survived. That remains, in the Palestinian view,
Israel's
original sin, the foundational crime for the cycle: Israel's survival. That's
the reason for the rockets, for the tunneling, for the kidnapping--and for
Israel's current response.
If that history is too ancient, consider the history of the past 12 months.
Gaza is free of occupation, yet Gaza wages war. Why? Because this war is not
about occupation, but about Israel's very existence. The so-called cycle will
continue until the arrow is abandoned and the Palestinians accept a
compromise--or
until the arrow finds its mark and Israel dies.
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Postby shostakovich » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:29 pm

I read this earlier today in Time Magazine. Krauthammer's writing has always impressed me, even when his views are counter to mine. In this case, I'm with him all the way. Fatah comes across as reasonable compared to Hamas.
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:41 pm

shostakovich wrote: Fatah comes across as reasonable compared to Hamas.
Shos

I assume you don't mean the Fatah are reasonable! :)
I think Krauthammer is the clearest, most realistic, most penetrating political (and otherwise) commentator I've ever read, I didn't read much though. I'm still young and prefer artistic writing, so my views in this regard are not very important.
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Postby BenODen » Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:16 pm

I don't like his facts. Israel still occupies the West Bank. The Palestinians want all of the occupied lands back, at the very least. It is true that Hamas may want Israel gone entirely... As it stands however, the Occupation hasn't ended yet. It's as if Mexico took over TX and NM, and only pulled out of New Mexico, but not out of Texas... And they don't plan to move out of the rio grand region of texas either...

Also, even from the Palestinians perspective, the offense is recent. In 1947, the UN created a Jewish country from Arab territory. That's not that long ago, especially since they've been squabbling about it constantly since then. But then you have the '67 and '74 wars where additional land was taken... It's true that mostly the Israelis have been defending themselves against Arab attacks, but they also have been guilty of retaliating tit for tat or even escalating, which doesn't produce peace, because the other side also does this in response. This is the cycle people talk about. Retaliation for retaliation. Applying enough force for one side or the other to give up just doesn't happen when you're not in all out war. But on the other hand, what does Israel do to stop this? Attempt genocide? That wouldn't be popular, even with the United States. Icky...
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Postby bignaf » Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:37 pm

Israel still occupies the West Bank.

So even by their logic they should attack settlers and soldiers in Judea and Samaria; they're attacking civilians in pre-'67 Israel.
It is true that Hamas may want Israel gone entirely...

may??? they say they do, why the doubt?

Also, even from the Palestinians perspective, the offense is recent. In 1947, the UN created a Jewish country from Arab territory.

what makes you designate it Arab teritory?
It's true that mostly the Israelis have been defending themselves against Arab attacks,

mostly? what is the exeption?

In your theory that the attacks are just to get Judea and Samaria you ignore the Palestine National Council in Cairo. were they just kidding? nothing they've done since seems to suggest so. it all is working according to plan.

I don't believe the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians are even interested in independence, they're just interested in setting their world right-side up. a world in which the dhimmi (monotheistic infidels) have an indepedent country in the middle of lands they have come to consider as their own over the last 1250 years, doesn't make sense to them.
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Postby BenODen » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:19 am

Israel still occupies the West Bank.

So even by their logic they should attack settlers and soldiers in Judea and Samaria; they're attacking civilians in pre-'67 Israel.

Well sure, they're subscribing to asymetric warfare, everything is fair logic, which isn't neccessarily fair or effective... But that doesn't mean they can't create a cycle of violence with that logic, though never reaching their goal.
It is true that Hamas may want Israel gone entirely...

may??? they say they do, why the doubt?

The doubt is that if they can be convinced that they won't get the remainder of Israel, perhaps they can be happy with a truely independent state. But no matter, I'm talking long term here. You could remove Hamas from the picture in the long term given the right climate and their wishes would not matter.

Also, even from the Palestinians perspective, the offense is recent. In 1947, the UN created a Jewish country from Arab territory.

what makes you designate it Arab teritory?

It was held by arabs for the prior 1250ish years, was it not? The jews argue there's no statute of limitations, but realistically, once the land is annexed and uncontested by governments for that many years, it's tough to argue that it's still your land. So, the land we seized in war with Mexico and Spain is our land, although I suppose that if Native Americans had the wherwithal to seize back the land, they would probably have the rights to it... The difference here is that the jews have been mostly gone from israel itself for at least 750 years (According to one source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews_by_co ... comparison) only 1% of the middle east was Jewish in 1900. Another source suggests that the middle east had a significantly larger population in the late to mid 19th century. A country breakdown is hard to come by, but suggestions are that they were in Turkey, not palestine. http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Give ... despop.htm) and there are still Arab governments that do not acknowledge the existance of Israel as an independent true country.. Just because the UN says it's true, the rest of the world doesn't neccessarily accept it. Now, lest you mis-understand me, I'm not saying Israel shouldn't exist. I'm just saying that it's tough to create a successful historical/political argument for the existance of a jewish state in palestine based on recent data. Perhaps given another 100 years of the existance of Israel as a peaceful neighbor (the peace is not likely at this point, I'm thinking..) the Palestinians could be convinced.

It's true that mostly the Israelis have been defending themselves against Arab attacks,

mostly? what is the exeption?

The exception is that during the struggles post 1974, there have been escalations with the palestinians that were out of proportion with the palestinian actions. This would tend to inflame a situation, if the will of the opponent is not broken.

In your theory that the attacks are just to get Judea and Samaria you ignore the Palestine National Council in Cairo. were they just kidding? nothing they've done since seems to suggest so. it all is working according to plan.

I don't believe the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians are even interested in independence, they're just interested in setting their world right-side up. a world in which the dhimmi (monotheistic infidels) have an indepedent country in the middle of lands they have come to consider as their own over the last 1250 years, doesn't make sense to them.

I'm not saying I have an iron clad solution here, but as we're going right now, this conflict will never end! I have heard stories that explain that are some within the Palestine that would be satisfied (at least for now) with an independent state, if Israel left the territories gained through conquest. Perhaps with time, the more radical factions can be minimized if there is relative peace. These radical elements of Palestine don't want peace, certainly, and will do what they can to make sure Israel doesn't settle down, allowing the radical elements to demonize Israel even more. I'm just saying it's a cycle of violence, at least partially. With continuing escalation on Israel's part, it plays into the radical element's story that Israelis are monsters and must be wiped off the earth... Without escalation and with true independence, it would be harder to cast them in that role and the number of people satisfied with two states might grow to a controling majority.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:27 am

BoD, how do you define true independence?
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Postby BenODen » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:05 am

True independence would be when Palestinians have territory to call their own that's not populated by Jewish Settlers and not policed/occupied by Israeli troops. There is the trouble of having 1947 Israel between the parcels, but that can probably be worked out somehow. You could perhaps argue that Gaza strip should qualify, sure, but it's not clear that even the moderate palestinianians would accept that. I'm looking for an action that would satisfy a majority of Palestinian people. Israel acted outside of UN mandate in taking the West Bank and Gaza Strip, so the Palestinian demand that these be returned is a reasonable demand.

What I hear in the various news reports is that the average Palestinian is sick of this war, and is willing to accept Israel's right to exist if Israel gives up the occupied territories. Hamas was elected because Fatah couldn't deliver mundane things like Trash pickup, employment, clean water, etc. Never mind that these things are hard to provide with Israel breathing down your neck, destroying infrastructure to undermine the terrorists.

How much longer do we have to put up with this conflict? The fact that this conflict rages on and on and on has ramifications well beyond the borders of Palestine and Israel; The terrorists list this conflict as their number one beef, and it's not hard to see that the Palestinians can not get on with any kind of normal, modern life until this is resolved somehow... Once Israel is inside its UN mandated borders, the UN could get involved again, helping to make peace between the two parties. Right of return for deported Palestinians is a very sticky subject covered in many UN resolutions, it is true, but perhaps a compromise could be reached.

I don't see any proposals for solutions coming from the 'Oh that's just the Palestinians acting out again' croud, though. Suppose all that Krauthammer says is true; Suppose that the Palestinans won't stop attacking until Israel is pounded into dust.. What then would you suggest for resolving this thorny issue?
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Postby Shapley » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:34 am

The occupied territories were occupied as a result of the six-days war. Israel was attacked by neighboring Arab states. They drove the attackers beyond the borders of the occupied territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Penninsula. These lands were occupied as a justifiable action following an unjustifiable act of war on the part of the Arab nations. To demand the return of these lands without demanding compensation on the part of the aggressor nations is not just. It also would not end the war, since the war began before the 'occupied lands' were occupied by Israel.

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Postby BenODen » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:04 pm

"I take your land because you attacked me?" What kind of logic is that? If we were to apply that to WW I and WWII there would be no Germany and no Japan. What compensation did we get from Germany and Japan for their agression? The simple form to the end of WWII is: "They surrendered, they ceased their hostilities, and we went in and helped rebuild them." After WWI we punished the agressors and that was one of the factors that lead to WWII with some of the same agressors. We helped create a better world for the agressors of WWII and we haven't had to fight them again. Can't this happen in the middle east?

Are you saying we just have to deal with this conflict until the end of time? I refuse to believe that. Refuse to accept that. I see signs of hope as well. No major Arab state has been attacked by Israel since 1982, no Major Arab state has attacked Israel since 1973. Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon all have peace accords with Israel, so now it's issues wigh Iran and the Palestinians that have to be resolved. It may be tough to do, but it seems like many if not most average Palestinians would accept some sort of peace accord with Israel. Somehow they've got to exit the cycle of violence, where the radical Palestinians are always drawing Israel back into violent conflict, giving average palestinians reason to hate Israel.. Electing Hamas has been attributed more to the failure of Fatah than the desire to follow Hamas' radical agenda, so there is room for change. It'll be tough, but continuing the conflict on the current terms seems doomed to ever increasing violence.
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Postby bignaf » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:14 pm

[quote="Artagel]
It was held by arabs for the prior 1250ish years, was it not?
it was held by Arabs from the arabian penisula, then on and off crusaders and muslim for a few hundered years, then by Mamelukes then by Ottomans (neither are arab), then by british mandate. so the answer is no, it was not. It was never held by arabs whose government seat was in the lands we're discussing.
A country breakdown is hard to come by, but suggestions are that they were in Turkey, not palestine.

I think a country breakdown is important. the lands under discussion are a very small part of the middle east. and while it's possible that the largest number was in Turkey (doesn't sound likely, Iraq would be much more likely), the highest percentage is very likely to be in the lands we're discussing. this is due to a little known fact, that most of the Arabs we now call Palestinians came around the same time as the Zionists. the Jews improved the economical situation which drew large numbers of Arab immigrants.

The exception is that during the struggles post 1974, there have been escalations with the palestinians that were out of proportion with the palestinian actions.

you were discussing wars in the original post.


I do agree with you that as we're going now, there's no end to this conflict. but this is not all that bad for the Jews. instead of being killed and persecuted all over the owrld, they'll be killed and persecuted as a independent country.
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Postby bignaf » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:26 pm

Artagel wrote:
True independence would be when Palestinians have territory to call their own that's not populated by Jewish Settlers

I never understood this Judenrein requirement. I mean, for their own safety they should leave, but if it's a requirement for true Arab independence, it should also be a requirement fir true Jewish independence, and Israel should be allowed to be Arab-free.
Israel acted outside of UN mandate in taking the West Bank and Gaza Strip, so the Palestinian demand that these be returned is a reasonable demand.

no question about that. the problem is they can't grant (the word "return" is nonsensical as explained in the previous post) them the lands for security reasons. because the Cairo resolution makes it clear they'll just serve as terror bases for eliminating Israel. another thing is, as you say, you need to be realistic. OK, the land was theirs by UN resolution, but the facts on the ground are that there are big jewish towns there now. the media say "settlements" and you think a bunch o mobile homes. but there are big, thriving almost-cities there. I bet an agreement can be reached keeping those settlement blocks in Isreal and giving the arabs some of the Arab-Israeli towns.

What I hear in the various news reports is that the average Palestinian is sick of this war

i think the election made it clear what the Arabs want. no amount of pseudo-analytical media spin can change that.
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Postby Shapley » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:30 pm

no Major Arab state has attacked Israel since 1973.


I take you are discounting the scud missiles fired into Israel by Iraq during the first Gulf War?

Israel continues to occupy the territories because the Arab nations have not declared and end to their hostile intent. However, I would point out that we occupied Japan, Germany, and other nations long after World War II, and that we still retain possessions from other conflicts. Many of these, such as the Philippine Islands, were not returned to their previous occupiers but were retained as occupied territories until they established an independent government.

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Postby Shapley » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:36 pm

BTW, you asked what compensation we received from Germany and Japan? We maintain operational military bases in both countries, and imposed limitations on their military capabilites as a result of the war. The Arab nations have not agreed to any such conditions.
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:56 pm

Artagel wrote:"They surrendered, they ceased their hostilities, and we went in and helped rebuild them." After WWI we punished the agressors and that was one of the factors that lead to WWII with some of the same agressors. We helped create a better world for the agressors of WWII and we haven't had to fight them again. Can't this happen in the middle east?


The Palestinians haven't ceased hostilities yet. I don't think anybody is demanding a surrender from them. It's hard to create them a better world when they bomb the power plants faster than we can build them, attack the teachers, and set the businesses on fire to protest cartoons in European newspapers.

Artagel wrote:Electing Hamas has been attributed more to the failure of Fatah than the desire to follow Hamas' radical agenda, so there is room for change. It'll be tough, but continuing the conflict on the current terms seems doomed to ever increasing violence.


I don't know about that. Hamas ran on an "eradicate Israel" platform, got elected, and are following the agenda they campaigned on.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:17 pm

Artagel wrote: Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon all have peace accords with Israel,

Yet they are delighted that the proxy Palestinians continue the onslaught.
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Postby bignaf » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:19 pm

BigJon@Work wrote:
Artagel wrote: Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon all have peace accords with Israel,

Yet they are delighted that the proxy Palestinians continue the onslaught.

it's even more than that. they forced them into it, by ensuring the continued existence of the refugee camps, and by not giving them independence (Jordan and Egypt) when they held the teritorries.
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Postby BenODen » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:32 pm

Ok, now we get some concrete proposals and suggestions...

Shapely, the point about bases in Germany and Japan is well taken. I don't know that they've even gotten beyond pointing fingers and shooting things at each other, and I don't know how you get there without either escalating things into a full fledged war, or setting the two sides truely appart for a time for a time out... Neither of which is very likely at this point...

I think it would be good to have this referendum that Abbas proposes, but I fear it won't happen. If it's a land slide against Israel again, then we know where the Palestinians stand, and Abbas becomes a non-player. If it's a majority for granting Israel the right to exist, then there is hope for some sort of peace...

Selma, it's not my understanding that the insurgents in Palestine are bombing infrastructure, but I guess I'm learning lots.. Do you have an article handy on that? Certainly true in Iraq though. Speaking of Iraq, I don't count the Iraq Scuds as signs of current hostility for two reasons:
1) There's been a major regime change, the new regime has the right to make its own relationship with Israel. If they do come out against Israel at some point then we judge, and that would devalue our war against Iraq even more.
2) They were most likely a calculated attack to draw Israel into the war creating tension with the other Arab countries in the coalition.

The point is also taken on the long succession of controllers of Palestine. Resentment of non-arab control of that region that is sustained such a long span of time, does bode ill for any sort of lasting peace.

I'm not winning any points here and I don't have time to address every point brought up (work, bah!), but I stand by my main assertion; There is a cycle of violence that allows the Palestinians to point at recent Israeli agression as justification for more agression, which brings more Israeli retaliation... If the cycle of violence could be broken somehow, the odds of winning people over to peace might be easier. I do take the point that this cycle is in addtion to whatever long time scale issues that are out there, and it may not be as simple as just handing back territory that was taken in war. However, the faceoff that is lurking out there, Muslim versus non-Muslim world, is just too big to go galloping into. I don't see that all this will be settled through war; How do we demoralize a whole ideology that would live on even if the warriors were defeated time after time? The people of thi ideology don'tt pride themselves on winning, they pride themselves on fighting at any cost... A real solution will take a longer term patient approach: convincing Muslims that the radical reading of the Qur'an is not going to bring them what they want. I am starting to agree that radical exclusionary religion is a major cause of strife in our world, but I dunno how you tone it down exactly, other than playing the game differently than they want us to play it.
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Postby Shapley » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:12 pm

Ben,

I agree that there has to be some change to the current way of doing business there - an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth will only leave everyone blind and toothless.

From my own biased point of view, I see all the concessions demanded of Israel, and none of the other parties. The Palestinians demand land in exchange for what? A brief delay before they demand additional land? The Palestinian 'refugees' are not, by the true definition, refugees. Less than a million Arabs fled the region in 1948, not because they were ordered out by Israel but rather because they instructed to leave by the Arab nations preparing to invade Israel. Of these, many have since been repatriated, others have died off. There are estimated to be about 200,000 remaining. The problem is that the United Nations defines not only these but also their descendants as 'refugees', even those who do not reside in the refugee camps. Those Arabs who did not leave in 1948 did not lose their lands nor their freedom, but those who left stripped of the lands and citizenship.

You also have to question why, nearly 60 years after they left their homeland, there continue to be so many still residing in refugee camps. The reason is that the Arab nations, with the exception of Jordan, refuse to patriate them, even those born on their own soil.

The only logical solution I can see is to require original refugees to either accept repatriation in their homeland under Israeli rule, with the requirement that they swear an oath of allegiance, or to surrender their claim. The Arab nations should be required to patriate the descendants born in their lands. This would leave only the issue of what to do with those refugees who will not pledge allegiance to Israel.

I don't see this happening, because there are many more issues than land and allegiance involved here. But that seems the only just solution to the problem, and it has been proposed more than once since 1948, with the same answer.

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Postby shostakovich » Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:43 am

I think the Palestinians (who are less industrious) are envious of Israel. The envy is converted to and hidden behind, anger. It's a matter of "face".

One of the jealousies is about the forms of government. A near democracy is better than a fanatical theocracy.

The Palestinian people would like to be on a par with Israelis in terms of life style. One way would be to improve themselves. Another would be to bring down the other. Their leaders can not see beyond the latter.
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