Israel

CBS 60 Minutes Segment on Israeli Settlements

2007-09-23-60minuteslogoI imagine that this video has gone viral by now, but if you have not yet seen it, make sure you do. It is only 13 minutes long.

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Discussion

103 thoughts on “CBS 60 Minutes Segment on Israeli Settlements

  1. QN,

    Thank you for posting this important clip, for all to see. Hopefully, some Jewish visitors as well.

    As an Israeli, I’m ashamed to say that consecutive administrations in Israel, from Labor to Likud to Kadima, have created, encouraged, and nourished this deep cancer within Israel and Palestine called “The Settlers”. While some settlers are well-spoken, educated, often sophisticated Jewish Israelis, I still view them as nothing short of scum-of-the-earth. That they believe that God himself gave them the right to this land is something I can “forgive” (people can also believe in UFO’s).

    But that they ACT upon this belief, and do so willingly, passionately, violently, and knowingly at the expense of 2.5 million people, is something I can NEVER accept, forgive, or forget. No Israeli administration has held guns to these fanatics’ heads, and forced to continue to occupy these Palestinian lands. No rule of law has forbidden them to return to Israel. Everything they do, they do out of choice. And as such, they have been and still are committing the worst of crimes against another people.

    I have in the past called the Occupation Israel’s “Slavery”. This has in the past, and will again soon divide our nation in two. If we cannot resolve this peacefully (i.e. remove settlers and settlements), we could experience a type of civil war, though probably limited mostly to the West Bank. Hundreds of thousands of supporters might have to face the IDF, and many would die. But in the end, if and when Israeli law demands the removal of settlers, it will be done.

    Personally, I can’t believe Tzipi Livni could ever do it (despite the “go ahead, make my day” expression on the 60 minutes clip). But I wouldn’t rule out Bibi Netanyahu. After all, it is usually leaders from Likud who do it best – remember Begin… and Sharon… There’s something “nice” about knowing that those who preach to never shake hands with “terrorists” (Arafat), to never relinquish control as award for terrorism, to never remove settlements, etc. are precisely those who end up doing all that!

    Btw, most in Israel still want a two-state solution (recent polls still show this), and most find the Settlers extremists. I’m not sure I want them back in Israel. Maybe we can enter negotiations with the Palestinians one day, over what I’ll have to pay to keep them in Palestine… Besides having a Jewish mother, I have absolutely nothing in common with those animals.

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 7:21 am
  2. As an Israeli, I’m ashamed…

    Shai, I’ve heard you say this so often, you may as well write it on a piece of paper and tape on your back.

    That they believe that God himself gave them the right to this land is something I can “forgive” (people can also believe in UFO’s).

    What’s your excuse?

    And as such, they have been and still are committing the worst of crimes against another people.

    Can you be more specific about what these “worst of crimes” really are? I wager you I can think of something worse than these “worst of crimes”.

    If we cannot resolve this peacefully (i.e. remove settlers and settlements), we could experience a type of civil war, though probably limited mostly to the West Bank.

    What civil war are you talking about Shai? Who will you be fighting? “Probably limited mostly to the West Bank”? How could there even be a chance of a civil war in Gaza, when there aren’t any Israelis there?

    Btw, most in Israel still want a two-state solution (recent polls still show this), and most find the Settlers extremists. I’m not sure I want them back in Israel.

    So your ashamed “most in Israel still want a two-state solution”? I don’t understand. Whatever.

    What is so extremist about wanting to settle in a part of Israel that doesn’t have a large Jewish population? Are Palestinians “extremist” for wanting to live in Israel? The only extremism I can objectively see is that the PA requires Jews to be kicked out of the areas under their control.

    Besides having a Jewish mother, I have absolutely nothing in common with those animals.

    What “animals” Shai? Glad to know your not an extremist;)

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 29, 2009, 8:08 am
  3. Akbar,

    The settlements are illegal and the settlers are criminals. That they imagine they are entitled to this land by God makes them extremists.

    Your argument about the extremism of the PA demonstrates that your pony knows one trick: the antisemitism dance.

    Nobody buys it. Not Obama, not 60 Minutes, not even George W. Bush.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 8:19 am
  4. QN,

    Seriously, can you explain to me the difference between Jaffa and a settlement, except that one was taken in 48 and the other in 67? Is Jaffa ok because enough Palestinians left or from their point of view were “ethnically cleansed” so there is a Jewish majority in the 67 lines?

    In short, what makes it ETHICALLY more right for a Jew to be in Jaffa or Haifa or Lod or Ramallah or Ramat-Aviv (Sheikh Monis) than in a settlement?

    I understand the pragmatic arguments for peace but please explain why the “settlements are illegal and the settlers are criminals” but that is not true about any Israeli living on what was Arab land in 48 (95% of us). Are Shai and myself also then criminals? And if not, why not?

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 8:46 am
  5. AIG,

    The difference between Jaffa and a settlement is that one was taken in 48 and the other in 67. One is legal and the other is not, according to international consensus and according to the United States government.

    If you want to talk ethics, let’s talk ethics. But I don’t think you do want to talk ethics, because whenever we do (as in the case of the demonization of pro-Palestinian voices in the U.S. by AIPAC, and Israel’s use of cluster munitions, white phosphorus, etc.) you never hesitate to bring up the LAW, and you use the legalism argument to wiggle your way out of anything.

    Now you’re coming here and trying to wiggle out of the legalism argument by playing the ethics card. You sound ridiculous.

    The two state solution and the existence of settlers are incompatible. If you are going to play lawyer with the ‘moderates’ on this issue, then don’t come crying to us when the hard-liners gain the upper hand.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 9:01 am
  6. QN,

    I am not trying to wiggle out of anything. I think what AIPAC is doing is ethical and can argue for that. My argument is that since it is legal, Palestinian or Arabs can do what AIPAC does. It is a level playing field. The AIPAC budget is just $60 million per year. Even Syria alone can manage that. So why the bitching about AIPAC instead of setting up a good counter organization?

    As for International law, I have said many times that I think it is a travesty and I do not accept it nor believe in it. Really, why does what Europeans and Americans think be a basis for any solution? What matters is what the Arabs and Israelis think.

    So yes, I want to talk ethics. What is the ethical difference between the settlers and Shai and me, except that he and I are sitting on land that was “ethinically cleansed” and the settlers are not? Is your argument really that land taken in 48 is different than land taken in 67? If so, why?

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 9:18 am
  7. AIG

    The difference lies in the fact that these people (the settlers) are purposefully undermining the existence of a viable future Palestinian state in the West Bank. Their existence is necessarily incompatible with the existence of a Palestinian state.

    In fact, it is worse than this. Their existence is necessarily incompatible with the existence of even a Palestinian population in the West Bank living under a humane occupation. The existence of settlers means that the West Bankers have to live like animals: cooped up in segregated cantonments, subject to the mercy of the IDF.

    By necessitating, enforcing, and perpetuating such a miserable state of affairs, the settlers are ethically responsible, AIG. Or else, why would so many Israelis be against them? You, who loves to play the Israeli opinion game with Shai, should answer that question.

    Shai’s existence is not incompatible with a Palestinian state. Shai can continue to exist without blocking the way to a two-state solution. The settlers cannot. This is the ethical difference between Shai and the settlers.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 9:37 am
  8. QN,

    The Arab world said in 48 something very similar to what you are saying now. They said that there could be a viable Palestinian state only in ALL palestine and not just in the West Bank and Gaza. Between 48 and 67, what was stopping founding of the Palestinian state? There were no settlers and no occupation.

    The existence of the settlers is not incompatible with the existence of a Palestinian state. In fact, the situation of the Palestinians is much better than that of many countries in Sub-Saharan africa and on par with the situation of the average person in Syria and Egypt DESPITE the Israeli occupation, road blocks etc.

    The settlers were there before the roadblocks. The roadblocks are the result of the suicide bombing campaign inside Israel. If the Palestinians stop violence, the roadblocks will also go.

    Shai’s existence is incompatible with the Palestinian state because he is sitting on land taken in 48 which most Palestinians still demand. Your argument only holds when a majority of Palestinians gives up the right of return.

    Don’t you see that you are just re-inventing the same fallacy that the Arabs formulated in 48? You are inventing out of thin air constraints on what at the minimum a Palestinian state should be like. The Arab view was unfounded in 48 and yours is unfounded now. Then at least the Arabs blamed all Israelis but you blame only the settlers. The point is that you are gambling with the Palestinian future just like the Arabs did in 48. You should accept ANY Palestinian country now and go forward from there. At least learn the mistakes of the past.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 10:00 am
  9. AIG

    I am not inventing fallacies or constraints. I am referring to the most basic agreements established by decades of international resolutions. It is a fact that the settlers have made the situation in the West Bank much worse than it has ever been because there are more of them now than ever before. The West Bank is not on par with Syria or Egypt. People don’t wait in checkpoints for hours to get to work in Syria or Egypt. People don’t have their homes bulldozed and their fields ruined. People are not refused entry to their home towns.

    Your arguments always amounts to these silly squirming maneuvers. “Since you all want to kill us no matter what we do, then why should we make any concessions?!” “We are no worse than sub-Saharan Africa!” “Look at the Arabs; they are dictators!” “You lost in 48! Don’t make the same mistake!”

    These are pathetic arguments AIG, and they all amount to one thing: a zero sum mentality to the conflict. Your strategy (like that of so many Israeli politicians) is to antagonize and humiliate the other side so thoroughly that they are forced to fight for even the smallest crumbs. If they fail at even securing the crumbs, they are eaten alive by the “rejectionists”. And if they refuse to accept what you throw them, you paint them out to be the rejectionists, and then they can be safely labeled as terrorists and destroyed.

    This is shameful.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 10:32 am
  10. QN,

    Yes, the settlers have mad the situation worse. That is the point. The situation of the Palestinians has gotten worse politically over 60 years because the Arabs, you included, have been GAMBLING with their future. You are continuing your irresponsible gambling even now.

    Wealth wise, the people in the West Bank are on par or better than the average Syrian or Egyptian. The point is that a state on what the Palestinians now have IS viable, once the roadblocks are taken down. And if there is no-violence, the trade with Israel will make them rich in a jiffy.

    I just do not see how your arguments are different than those of the Arabs in 48 and 67. You keep repeating the same line, “Israel is offerring crumbs”. Any Israeli success is an humiliation. Any Israeli move is antagonizing. What “crumbs” is just a moving target based on your whim.

    Unlike what you write, the “moderates” cannot reach any agreement with Israel because almost nothing that Israel gives is enough for the “rejectionists” who like you prefer on gambling on a future that will make the Palestinian negotiating position better. You should know by now that Israel has no grand strategy on how to deal with the conflict. Blaming things on Israeli politicians is a waste of time. NOTHING is going to change there. Yet, that is what you do instead of trying to get the “rejectionists” in your camp on board.

    Look at this from another direction. The Israeli strategy may be bad, but most Israelis have done ok over the last 60 years pursuing this strategy. The Palestinian and Arab strategy has been disastrous for the Palestinians because they never cut their losses. They always gamble, just as you are doing now. And that is truly shameful.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 10:57 am
  11. In my opinion, it is you who is gambling with Israel’s future. It is true that the Arabs failed in the past and they should learn from their mistakes. But there are two potential conclusions to reach from such a learning process: (1) Recognize Israel as Egypt did, and accept a two-state solution that both sides can live with. (2) Fight for every inch the way Israel does, and don’t accept anything until you are in a position of utmost strength.

    By making the first option less and less palatable, AIG, you are encouraging more people to reach the second conclusion. And you are doing this with an overweening arrogance, as if God will protect you no matter what Israel does. I am telling you, as someone who is willing to live peacefully with Jewish Israelis as my neighbors, that you are making it more difficult for peace to take hold. By going to the mat for a bunch of crazy settlers, you are making any other conclusion impossible.

    Do you want war? If this is what you want, then you will have only yourself to blame when the Iranians set off dirty bombs in Tel Aviv and Haifa, and Hizbullah unleashes tens of thousands of rockets all over Israel. On that day, the Iranians will be happy to paraphrase your great leader who said that it mattered not what others said, but what the resistance does.

    Learn from the past indeed.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 10:58 am
  12. What bothers me most here is the assumption that all Arabs should care about is making money, as if they are incapable of any sort of political or national consciousness, or dignity for that matter. I have been to Qalqilya, Ramallah and Beit Sahour, and I can tell you that if I had a family, I’d much rather raise it in Damascus or Beirut than in any of those places. Despiite what Netanyahu would have us believe, people (including Arabs!) are more than the sum of their per capita GDP.

    By this logic, Palestinians should be happy to serve as the permanent underclass to Israeli society and thank their lucky stars that they’re better off than people in Malawi and Angola.

    This is particularly ironic coming from a Zionist, because ostensibly, the whole point of Zionism is that Jews shouldn’t be content with just amassing material wealth in London and Paris, that they have a political consciousness that needs to be expressed through a Jewish state.

    Posted by sean | January 29, 2009, 11:08 am
  13. QN,

    You should know by now that the worst possible strategy is to threaten. It is what the Arabs have been doing for the last 60 years and it has gotten them nowhere. And your threats now are even less credible than they were 20, 30 , 40 and 60 years ago. The Arabs have proven time and again that they are not willing to fight for the Palestinians since 1973. What I am writing is not arrogance, it is just realism. You know better than me the mood in Lebanon. What percentage of the population are willing to fight a war for the Palestinians? I know you aren’t.

    I would put it this way: You will only have yourself to blame when Israel nukes Lebanon following an Iranian and Hizballah attack. Or do you think responsibility lies with only one side?

    Did Israel leave Lebanon in a position of “utmost strength”? Or Gaza for that matter? You are not categorizing fairly what Israel is doing. On the other hand, you are giving the gamblers and rejectionists on your side a free ride. And that is shameful.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 11:19 am
  14. Sean,
    In fact the vast majority of Jews were content with amassing material wealth in London and Paris until the Europeans made it clear to them that they will never stop being prosecuted as in the Dreyfus affair, the pogroms and the Holocaust. Zionism was not very popular until the Jews realized that Europe will not accept them.

    The Palestinians should care about getting a state, but if history has proven anything, they should not be picky about what kind of state it is. And if, the Palestinians do not like being a minority anywhere else, they can always move to that state.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 11:25 am
  15. Why would anyone want a state split into three parts in which they’re not allowed to have a military or control their own borders and airspace? That’s not a state; that’s a bantustan, and if the Zulu had taken your advice, they’d still be exploited by Afrikaners to this day.

    Posted by sean | January 29, 2009, 11:33 am
  16. Sean,

    If the Jews had a state split even into ten parts in the 1930’s, they would have been able to save millions of Jews. The Jews should have accepted the partition suggestion of 1937. We made the same mistake the Palestinians are doing now.

    Are Singapore, Andorra, Luxemborg and Hong-Kong bantustans? A state is what you make of it.

    You see, you exemplify the problem exactly. You are not willing to accpet what you can get now, but want to GAMBLE that in the future you will get something better.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 11:40 am
  17. AIG,

    The Arabs have had an offer on the table since 2002. We have effectively “cut our losses” and stopped “gambling”.

    Why don’t you take it?

    You see, the Arabs have learned the lesson that you so desperately want to teach them. They have largely abandoned the military option because it is hopeless, and have tried diplomacy instead. The trouble is, when Israel skirts this offer, the rejectionists find ammunition to continue the struggle. If Israel has no grand strategy, why don’t you accept our offer?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 11:51 am
  18. You are not willing to accpet what you can get now, but want to GAMBLE that in the future you will get something better.

    Look who’s talking!

    The difference is, historically speaking, when Israel has gambled, it has succeeded. When the Arabs have, they’ve failed.

    It’s an empirical reality, not an ontological one.

    Therefore, it is subject to change. And that is what fuels the rejectionists. If that is preferable to you than sitting down with reasonable people to find a solution, then … so be it, I guess.

    Again, don’t blame “the Arabs”. Blame yourself. We (“the Arabs”) have made an offer you should be able to accept.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 11:55 am
  19. I never thought I’d say this, but… thank God for Cedar Island and AIG. My hits are off the charts today.

    You see, AIG: Arabs and Jews can work together productively.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 11:58 am
  20. QN,

    Because the 2002 offer still includes the right of return and therefore is not an offer that “cuts losses” but a Trojan horse to annihilate Israel. Ask most Palestinians that support this offer, or most Lebanese for that matter. It is clear to them that the right of return is still in the offer because otherwise it means the Palestinians being naturalized in Lebanon.

    Just add to the 2002 offer CLEARLY that there is no right of return, and it will be very hard for Israel to say no. But on the other hand, it will probably get no support from the Arabs. But it is worth a try.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 12:00 pm
  21. QN, AIG,

    Just a reminder that I started this thread;)

    You are both right. But let us not lose focus on where we are. Per the last round of serious negotiations we established the following:

    – Jerusalem will most likely be shared

    – The major settlements will not be dismantled and an “equivalent” area will be handed to the PA

    – The “right of return” is, for all intents and purposes, is moot

    – the rest is details (unless you think I missed something)

    This is what Clinton and the GOI proposed, and this is what Arafat rejected (without proposing something else).

    QN –

    Just FYI, the Jews accepted the UN Partition Plan in 1947, which was even worse than what you claim is “crumbs” for the Palestinians! Why do you think “crumbs” were OK for the Jews?

    Egypt and Jordan claimed Gaza and the West Bank, respectively. What was illegal about that?

    The point is, a new people were born from 1964 to the present, and the borders and the relationship between the peoples has to be negotiated. Right now, the Palestinians are divided, and thus, incapable of being a serious negotiating partner. Further, the Oslo accords and the recent fighting shows that land for pieces of paper are not always in Israel’s best interest. The Peace Israel gets in return must have “teeth”.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 29, 2009, 12:00 pm
  22. The Jews should have accepted the partition suggestion of 1937. We made the same mistake the Palestinians are doing now.

    You see! You are capable of rational reflection. The Jews made a mistake by not accepting the partition suggestion of 1937! Bravo!

    Now then, why do you not regard the Jews as making a mistake by not accepting the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002? What are you gaining by not accepting it, in the long term? What would you lose by engaging with it seriously?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 12:01 pm
  23. QN,

    Glad to help with the traffic.

    And again, the Arabs as I explained above have not made a reasonable ofer that allows a Jewish state in the middle east.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 12:07 pm
  24. QN,
    Seriously, how can Israel accept the 2002 plan if it does not take the right of return off the table? That would mean no Israel. That is not a basis for negotiations.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 12:11 pm
  25. AIG

    Before I let QN answer that question, why don’t I let AIG answer it first.

    What do you mean, “That would mean no Israel.” Why can’t Israel accept the right of return? A state is what you make of it. Are you allergic to Arabs? That is just antisemitic. Etc.

    The initiative calls for a just solution in line with UNSCR 194. That resolution allows for compensation as an alternative to return.

    That, in my opinion, is a basis for negotiations. You start from there and hammer out the details.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 12:27 pm
  26. Not clear to me the Arabs would have accepted the ’37 Plan (Peel Commission). Ben Gurion was for it…

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

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 29, 2009, 12:28 pm
  27. QN,

    Come on. You want to negotiate? We have been doing that since 2002. We had the road map and Annapollis and we will soon have Mitchell.

    What you really want us is to ACCEPT the 2002 plan. If you just want it to be a BASIS for neogtiation then plenty of Israeli politiicans have agreed to that including Livni and Barak.

    And how can we accept the plan unless it is clear about the right of return?

    I am not allergic to Arabs, but I, like most Israelis, prefer the current state of no peace to accepting the right of return. What I am allergic to is the Lebanonization of Israel.

    Let me teach you a new concept. It is called ZOPA: Zone of Potential Agreement.
    For a negotiation to succeed there must be a ZOPA. If the least I willing to sell my car for is $2,500 and the most you are willing to pay is $2,000 then there is no ZOPA and the neogtiation will fail. If on the other hand you are willing to pay the most $2,600 for the car, the ZOPA is $2,500-$2,600 and we may reach it by negotiation.

    I am not sure there is a ZOPA between Israel and the Palestinians yet. I hope there is, but I am not sure. If the Palestinians would rather fight then give up the right of return, there is no ZOPA. If the Palestinians insist on a militarizes state, there is no ZOPA.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 12:43 pm
  28. AIG,

    Now that Obama is in charge, I’m more optimistic of the chances to find that elusive ZOPA.

    In fact, I’ll see your ZOPA and raise you some HOPA.

    I always knew you were a used car salesman.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 12:56 pm
  29. QN,

    I also sell bridges…
    I will send you my catalog.

    You really should be talking to Hamas and Hizballah and not to me if you want any hope.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 1:07 pm
  30. AIG’s argument:
    Look, we know the settlements are there to hinder the creation of a viable palestinian state, and that exactly is the point.
    But not allowing the establishment of a palestinian state will undermine peace, no?
    No, you shouldn’t believe that the settlers are impeding peace, and if you ever think of exacting violence on the settlers then you’re not for peace.
    But then, the settlers themselves don’t want peace no?
    Who told you they don’t want peace? they want peace but only a peace that will guarantee the security of Israel.
    But then why should I care about your damn security if you’re giving me nothing in return?
    Who said you get nothing in return? You can come work in building the settlements and then your income will surpass that of a Syrian or a Jordanian.
    But jordanians and syrians have their own states no?
    Yes they do, and who said that you can’t have yours?
    Dude, you just said the settlements are there to prevent my state from seeing the light.
    No, I said the settlements are there to ensure future security for Israel, ya3ni a first tier of defense.
    But man, the settlements are not making me feel that you should be more secure, you frisk my ass everyday at the checkpoint, your security means my constant humiliation, can’t you see that?
    What’s your problem with Humiliation? your fellow arabs get humiliated everyday by their despots and dictators, why do you think you deserve better?
    At least the dictators are there over everybody, under your racist occupation my land is eaten up by buffer zones and wiggle roads exclusively built for the settlers, don’t you know what happens to racist states?
    Are you threatening me?
    what if I am?
    Well, you arabs have been making empty threats for the last 60 years, you obviously don’t want peace, your tribe fight, your families bicker, your sects decimate each other, who wants to co-exist with bunch of violent sand niggers like you?
    So you eventually don’t want peace?
    Who said that?
    You just said the settlements are there to impede the creation/restoration of my state, have you changed your mind?
    I haven’t changed my mind, but do you think you have to have a state to live in peace? well, you’re safe now aren’t you? I mean, I am not shooting you even though I can, am I?

    Posted by offended | January 29, 2009, 1:18 pm
  31. Offended,
    My argument is simple, but you have a problem comprehending it.

    If you were around in 1948, you would have demanded a Palestinian state over all of Israel and would not have accepted the west bank and gaza which were there for the taking till 67. In 67 you would not have supported talking to Israel thus giving time for the settlers to emerge. And I can go on. You just do not know when to stop gambling.

    You want to cut your losses or you want to continue gambling with the future of the Palestinian people? Ofer Israel the 2002 plan in which it is clear that the right of return is off the table and see what happens.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 1:56 pm
  32. AIG said:

    Offer Israel the 2002 plan in which it is clear that the right of return is off the table and see what happens.

    It’ll probably happen in the next couple of years. We’ll chat then.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 29, 2009, 2:08 pm
  33. Israel’s “Aggression” circa 1956 (before the evil settlements;):

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 29, 2009, 2:21 pm
  34. AIG,
    What do you mean by ‘gambling’? And are you saying if the right of return is taking off the API (by compensating the refugees I assume?), then the majority of israeli public will accept it?

    Posted by offended | January 29, 2009, 3:13 pm
  35. The Arab Initiative, which was unanimously approved by all Arab states, on 3 separate occasions since 2002, calls for a “just solution to the refugee problem”. It also mentioned that this solution should be acceptable to all sides, including Israel. That is a VERY clear indication that “just” is a negotiable term, and therefore that a “Right of Return” is not a precondition.

    The reason Israel has NOT been negotiating the Arab Initiative since 2002, is because Israel has not decided yet to withdraw to the 1967 lines. All polls taken in recent years show that most Israelis still support the two-state solution, which inevitably means withdrawing from most of the West Bank. And yet, Israel is continuing to make the same mistake it has made over the past 40 years – waiting to give back territory in return for “something special” (namely, peace under our terms). But while this waiting takes place, hundreds of thousands of settlers move in, making the two-state solution less and less likely to happen.

    As other have voiced recently, the longer we wait, the more likely Israel will find itself with 3 bad choices to make:

    a. Ethnically cleanse the Palestinians out of the West Bank – quite unlikely.

    b. Annex the West Bank, and allow the Palestinians to participate in free democratic elections in Israel – very unlikely.

    c. Annex the West Bank, and not allow the Palestinians to participate in free elections – very likely, and is essentially an Apartheid rule. As we know, Apartheids tend not to last very long.

    To those who do not understand the difference between Jaffa and West Bank settlements, I advise to consider that one is inside the boundaries of the State of Israel, and the other is outside it. There is a reason Israel never annexed the West Bank (as it did the Golan), and that is that it too doesn’t see it as part of Israel. We’ve tried to create facts on the ground, by building settlements, and especially in three large blocks which are now likely to be incorporated into Israel proper as part of a future settlement, but in return for an equal amount of Israeli land that will be transferred and incorporated into a future Palestine.

    If I were a Palestinian, I would now completely reject any negotiation towards a two-state solution, and instead claim my right to Israeli citizenship, rights and responsibilities. I would take Israel to court, in every corner of this earth, demanding that they are illegally withholding from me my basic Israeli national rights. I no longer want to “free” Palestine, but I do want to live in peace inside Israel.

    Let’s see how AIG and AP respond to such peaceful demands by the Palestinians. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the abandoning of violence and terrorism, and award the Palestinians accordingly, with continued Apartheid rule.

    We want to have the cake and eat it too. Let the Palestinians give it to us, the whole thing at once. It would be so much easier for the Palestinians to fight Israel, if they did so by forcing us into one of the 3 choices mentioned above. As time passes, I think they’re starting to understand this. It is us Israelis who, typically, “get it” much too late.

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 4:27 pm
  36. AIG,

    Let’s say that all of your criticism of the Arab say is accurate. Let’s further assume that they are not interested in your admonitions. Do you have any program then? It seems like you’re advocating for a do-nothing. Yes?

    Posted by Rumyal | January 29, 2009, 4:31 pm
  37. Offended,
    Gambling is deciding to not accept the 47 partition and go to war. Gambling is sticking the Palestinians in refugee camps and not talking to Israel after the war. Gambling is not founding a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank before 67. Gambling is not talking to Israel after the 67 war. And the list goes on. Gambling is taking stupid chances with the future of the Palestinians when the odds are against you. Recently, Hamas, Syria and Iran gambled that Israel will not actually launch a ground incursion into Gaza if they continue shooting rockets. The Palestinians should cut their losses and accept what Israel is willing to give. Whatever Barack offerred at Camp David, Arafat should have accepted, but he gambled that he will get a better ofer or that the future would be better. The last 10 years have been especially bad for the Palestinians because of all the stupid gambles and they will never get as good an ofer as Camp David.

    There is a slight majority in Israel for the Arab 2002 plan without the right of return at least for the Palestinian issue. The Syrians can wait.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 4:36 pm
  38. One last comment.

    That Israel will withdraw from the West Bank is clear to me, and to most Israelis.

    Whether that will happen before a dirty-bomb (atomic, chemical, or biological) goes off in the center of Tel-Aviv, or after it, is not clear to me.

    I wonder what AIG will feel, if God-forbid such a bomb did go off, and if many tens of thousands of Israelis did die, in vain. The nice thing about it, is that AIG is safe and sound in his “Ramat Hasharon” residence in the U.S., so if such a catastrophe would occur, he’d have the opportunity to hear about it, and watch it on CNN. Fallout wouldn’t reach the shores of the U.S. But somehow, I don’t know, I have a feeling he’d be able to rationalize to himself the need for Israel to have waited with the West Bank. He would not feel responsible in any way shape or form, for this terrible disaster.

    In Israel we have a saying: “Far from the eye, far from the heart”. I think that might be fitting in certain cases…

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 4:38 pm
  39. Rumyal,

    AIG is a Likudnik. And the Likud is a party whose agenda consists of what they “won’t do”.

    Years ago I had a commanding officer over me say “Don’t be experts at how NOT to do something – be experts at how TO do it…” But, they don’t see it that way. To them, a clash of civilizations is inevitable. So, either consciously, or subconsciously, they drive us straights towards it.

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 4:42 pm
  40. Shai,
    You lack imagination. Israel has so many more options than you outline above. But I will not show our hand to our enemies and enumerate them for you. Here is one of the worst options: Build a good missile defense system and perform a unilateral withdrawal.

    Furthermore, I cannot see Hamas doing what you are advocating. So why should I worry about that? Isn’t it great that we have them as enemies? It makes our life so much easier.

    Rumyal,
    Until the Palestinians denounce the right of return, there is nothing much we can do. Not all situations have solutions.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 4:46 pm
  41. Shai,
    Again with your lies about me. And were you not arguing that we have nothing to worry about nuclear weapons because the Iranians are “rational”? And that is why we shouldn’t attack them? So are you changing your mind?

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 4:48 pm
  42. Rumyal,

    You gotta admit – there’s something about living on the West Coast (you can relate to that), that makes “peace” a little less urgent… isn’t there?

    AIG knows the answers, he just doesn’t want to “enumerate them” for our enemies (or for ourselves). That’s even better – we know what to do, but we don’t do it… Hey, AIG, why aren’t we annexing the West Bank? I don’t recall you ever answering that question… Have you?

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 4:52 pm
  43. AIG,

    It is YOU that came up with the “dirty bomb” theory. Remember? The plausible deniability one? You know, where a bomb goes off in Tel-Aviv killing tens of thousands of Israelis, and Israel can’t find anyone to hit back? That’s not my imagination, that’s yours!

    And let’s use your Jaffa=West Bank Settlements argument. If they’re the same, why aren’t we annexing the West Bank, like the Golan, and calling it all Israel? What’s holding us back? International law?

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 4:55 pm
  44. AIG,

    That’s ok, take a few minutes to answer that. It’s probably the fiber-optic connection between me and your “Ramat-Hasharon” residence… 😉

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 5:00 pm
  45. Shai,
    Annexing the west bank would be a huge mistake because it will end the Jewish majority in Israel. That is the worst thing Israel could do.

    By the way, enough with your lies. I live in Ramat-Hasharon. I do travel a lot to the US. All my family is in Israel. How many times do I have to tell you these things?

    Since most Israelis think like me and not like you, do you actually think that most Israelis are holograms and their real bodies are abroad???

    The action plans that I will not enumerate are a function of what the Arabs do and how the world around us will act. So far the Palestinians have been their own worst enemy. We cannot count on that continuing forever.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 5:01 pm
  46. Shai,
    So if you accept my theory do you accept the logic of attacking Iran? They go hand in hand. You cannot accept one without the other. I believe Iran will be stopped from getting a nuclear bomb. You believe they will get it but never use it. So how can the outcome of this be your scenario? It is impossible in both cases. Israel will not be attacked by a nuclear weapon.

    Is there any other scenario you want to try?

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 5:05 pm
  47. AIG,

    I don’t think you’re a hologram, I just think you make sense more than you spend time in Ramat Hasharon. I never quite understood your reluctance to admit that you’re not in Israel. Rumyal makes a lot of sense about Israel, but currently he lives in the U.S.

    And what Rumyal says about you is absolutely true – you have NO plan. If your plan is to “sit and wait”, that I’m afraid is not much for a political agenda. Although it is true that your leaders, Netanyahu, is very likely to be voted into power, despite not having said a single thing this entire campaign (or even agreeing to a single televised debate), can you imagine running in the U.S. with a “do-nothing” agenda?

    I also never quite understood how claiming that “most Israelis think like me” is supposed to reinforce the wisdom of your platform. Do you make the same statement about all decisions you make in life? For instance, would you follow the same when choosing a fund to invest in? Would you elect a senator based on how many people support him/her? Would you choose which highway to take, based on the one that had most people on it?

    That’s a neat advice – “Follow the Majority, you’ll be safe…” 🙂

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 5:10 pm
  48. Shai,

    If you have evidence I do not live in Ramat-Hasharon, bring it forth. Otherwise stop lying.

    By saying that most Israelis think like me I hoped to make you understand that arguing that my positions are influenced by the fact I supposedly live in the US is a ridiculous notion since most people living in Israel think like me. And since I live in Israel it is a moot point anyway.

    Of course I have a plan. It is an elaborate plan with many contigencies. I am willing to begin negotiations on the Arab 2002 plan if it is clear about the right of return. Until then, there is not much that can be done.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 5:19 pm
  49. Alright, at least where I live it’s now night time, so it’s time to say goodbye. But I’ll ask one final question, and will check the answer tomorrow:

    If annexing the West Bank is a bad idea (the end of the Jewish state), then assuming the Palestinians do not come to agreement about a two-state solution, what should Israel do? Should we stay like that, in an essential Apartheid rule scenario? Should we continue to occupy, suffocate, and subjugate another 2.5 million people? What if they never say “uncle”?

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 5:20 pm
  50. AIG,

    “Lying” is when you know the truth. I don’t know the truth about you. I do know that every comment I’ve ever seen you make, has come during “normal hours” in the U.S., hardly any during the daytime in Israel. I find it a bit odd that you’re such a nocturnal creature, that you spend most of your entire Israeli nights commenting on SC… 🙂

    Don’t forget, I’ve invited you to coffee before, in any Ramat-Hasharon cafe, and you found an entire slew of reasons not to meet me… That offer still stands… 😉

    You said: “Of course I have a plan. It is an elaborate plan with many contigencies.”

    Why do I seriously doubt that…?

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 5:25 pm
  51. Shai,
    Where you and I live it is about 11:30 at night. Not too late.

    Israel has so many options, one of which is to neogtiate forever. That is what we have been doing since 67.

    You see, the Palestinian society that can really make trouble for Israel is a society I would be happy to give a country to and live along side. That would be a society that does not advocate violence and accepts democracy. But as things are now, Israel has nothing to worry about your scenarios. The Palestinians are their own worst enemies.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 5:34 pm
  52. Shai,
    You are a great example why the “peace camp” in Israel is in such a dismal state. You trust Hamas, Hizballah and Asad more than you trust your fellow Israelis just because they have different opinions than you. You guys are abosultely going crazy.

    Oh, and thank you very much for being such a “liberal” and recommending I should be banned in SC. That was so democratic and enlightened of you. Will you also recommend that on this blog?

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 5:42 pm
  53. “Israel has so many options, one of which is to neogtiate forever.”

    At least you’re honest – that’s what you are able to come up with. And that’s called a plan?

    “But as things are now, Israel has nothing to worry about your scenarios. The Palestinians are their own worst enemies.”

    Sounds like you live in a vacuum. “Nothing to worry about…”??? And we are not “our own worst enemies”?

    Funny, last time I met with friends from Ramat Hasharon (I have a few living there), none of them expressed a “no worries mate” attitude… And most are not liberal leftists.

    So when are we having coffee? 🙂 Come on, I’m open-minded enough to hear you out, face-to-face, and give serious consideration to your thoughts. What about you?

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 5:45 pm
  54. AIG,

    You’re getting tired, in this late night in Israel… I never recommended banning you on SC… at least not in the past 8-10 months. But you might want to ask yourself why is it that many others have. They don’t like hearing AP’s comments either, but as far as I know, they haven’t asked to ban him.

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 5:48 pm
  55. Shai,

    I was effectively banned on SC a few months ago after YOU recommended it. I can’t believe you are now denying that. You really have no shame, Mr. Democracy and Enlightment.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 5:59 pm
  56. AIG,

    You’ve been banned so many times on SC, you’re losing track of who recommended it, and who hasn’t. I was disgusted by your performance in the first few months I spent on SC. But later, it seemed you were somewhat “tamed” and changed your style a bit. Please find these “recommendations” of mine from the previous few months, as you claim.

    By the way, even in a democracy, when a speaker gets out of line, he/she is occasionally asked to leave the room or, in more severe cases, is banned. I’ve called for “action” against your Finnish friend far more times than against you. Not that I particularly like your style – I don’t – but for the most part, you are able to carry on a civilized conversation. Here and there, you didn’t, and indeed deserved to be banned.

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 6:07 pm
  57. Alright, this time I really am going to sleep (over here it’s past midnight). Please try to answer the question I asked back in comment 47:

    “If annexing the West Bank is a bad idea (the end of the Jewish state), then assuming the Palestinians do not come to agreement about a two-state solution, what should Israel do? Should we stay like that, in an essential Apartheid rule scenario? Should we continue to occupy, suffocate, and subjugate another 2.5 million people? What if they never say “uncle”?”

    Posted by Shai | January 29, 2009, 6:10 pm
  58. Shai,
    You have a very selective memory. I was banned forever by being “moderated” on SC after you recommended that I be banned. I won’t forget that even if you have. Your democracy and enlightment posture is just that, a posture. You are willing to give a platform to Asad and Hamas and not your fellow countryman. This tells us a lot about you.

    The answer to your question is that we have many options and that your imagination is limited. We have many surprises up our sleeve.

    Posted by AIG | January 29, 2009, 6:20 pm
  59. Shai,

    Take it easy…

    You gotta admit – there’s something about living on the West Coast (you can relate to that), that makes “peace” a little less urgent… isn’t there?

    Not sure about that, if you take me as an example, that’s what I feel like: have you ever seen a zombies movie.. like this rate C movie “The Happening” where people start stabbing themselves and jumping off of buildings while the protagonist can’t do anything to save them? That’s what it feels like… For others I guess the effect is opposite, the distance allows them to be more extreme since they never have to suffer the consequences…

    AIG,

    Good luck with the “missile defense”! Now that’s strategic thinking! And to imagine that people dare say that the Jewish mind degenerates in Israel… But do let me know what’s your property’s worth once it’s first activated to protect your home in Ramat Hasharon, and how would that change your “time allocation” between Israel and US. Also do let me know that whether you’re still successful in brainwashing the elites’ kids’ in school that “Israel is the safest place for Jews”. And also let’s have another discussion once the Intifada in the Galilee and the Negev starts either due to the inevitable next atrocity or just because they reach 40% of the population and will have enough of being treated like 2nd class citizens.

    Here is my diagnosis of you. You are a European Jew who shudders to think that you will have people with galabiyas in the same coffee shop in Ramat Hasharon you visit all so often. You’d do everything that is necessary to live in a society that is passable as democratic as long as you don’t have to see galabiyas. So you have two constrains (a) passable democratic and (b) no galabiyas. When your maneuvering space will be limited (which is inevitable) you’ll leave. So you’re just buying a little time (and you admitted numerous times that that’s exactly your goal). Why? For who? Arab society is Arab society. You will not change it. If you can’t co-exist with it, what’s your endgame?

    What is really beyond me is what the hell you are trying to achieve by engaging Arab people here and in SC. According to your paradigms, there is nothing that you can actually want to do with them, so what is it that you are trying to achieve? Is it just a pastime?

    Posted by Rumyal | January 29, 2009, 9:24 pm
  60. AIG,

    In reference to your ZOPA example in post #27, I think you’re not disclosing the true details of the transaction (on purpose of course). Your ZOPA is better described as you stealing the car at Rifle point from the Palestinian owner (after beating him up and his children ofcourse), and then trying to sell it back to him for $2,500 while he’s only offering $2,000 since that’s all the money he has. Thus you keep driving the stolen car and feel proud and righteous about it.

    Well AIG, your ZOPA is nothing but a Ponzi scheme.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | January 29, 2009, 10:10 pm
  61. AIG it’s already 9:30AM in Israel, wakey-wakey!

    Posted by Rumyal | January 30, 2009, 3:34 am
  62. Mish m3oul ya Qifa, your blog has become occupied territory!!!

    As for the right of return, Israel has remained obstinate, and Palestinians have done all of the compromising thus far. No longer is there talk of an actual right of return (which would be the just solution and in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human rights to which Israel is a signatory), but rather a token return of a few families with compensation and resettlement in the West Bank for the rest.

    Israel sees that there is a viable offer on the table, the details of which are negotiable, but will not even acknowledge it. The failure of people like AIG to even consider the offer only strengthens the rhetoric of Hamas and Hezbollah, groups, by the way, who have learned the lessons that Israel has taught Arabs over the years. That lesson is to acquire territory by force.

    Historically, Israel has only given up land when forced to do so. The camp David negotiations were forced along by the Egyptian war of attrition, the Lebanese pullout by Hezbollah’s resistance, and the Gaza pullout by the more subtle force of the mathematics of Palestinian/Israeli demographics.

    The two-state solution is over, and even if there were a two-state solution, it would only postpone what is the ineluctable dissolution of Israel as a Jewish state. The question is whether Israeli Jews want Israel to look more like South Africa or more like Zimbabwe.

    I’d like to ask AIG a question. Let’s forget about Gaza and the West Bank for a minute. What do you think Israel should do about the 21% and growing segment of the Israeli population that’s Palestinian? Add to them the hundreds of thousands of Russians who aren’t Jewish, and what are you going to do when Jews are the minority in Israel?

    Aren’t you essentially gambling with Jewish lives in Israel? Isn’t it better to make a deal now from a position of power when ethnic and religious minority rights could be enshrined constitutionally, rather than unilaterally pulling out from the West Bank and then facing Palestinian-Israelis who will begin fighting for their civil rights as the majority and Gazawi and West Bank Palestinians at the same time?

    Put otherwise, aren’t you being pretty short sighted with your arrogant attitude that always assumes American support and Israeli hegemony?

    By the by, and in case you haven’t noticed, the tide is turning in America, and they are getting fed up with you. It is only a matter of time before Israel’s carte blanche goes the way of US “constructive engagement” with South Africa.

    Posted by sean | January 30, 2009, 4:26 am
  63. Also, not to steal QN’s thunder, or his traffic, we’ve been having our own little Lebanese/Israeli debate here.

    Posted by sean | January 30, 2009, 4:30 am
  64. >>> Add to them the hundreds of thousands of Russians who aren’t Jewish, and what are you going to do when Jews are the minority in Israel?

    Sean,

    It’s not about Jews vs. non-Jews. It’s about Europeans (mostly Jews) and European wanna-bes (the Arab/Sephardic Jews) newcomers vs. the native Arabs.

    Posted by Rumyal | January 30, 2009, 4:43 am
  65. Rumyal,

    I’m sorry, last night I did get carried away… 🙂

    Btw, if Jews in the U.S. feel that Israel is the safest place on earth for Jews, why don’t they move to Israel?

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    Posted by Shai | January 30, 2009, 5:14 am
  66. Rumyal,

    Long ago I’ve asked AIG what his purpose was on SC, as I too couldn’t figure it out. And then, I realized what it was. Since he’s certainly not there to build any bridges, he IS there to destroy anything we “peace camp” Israelis try to build. He’s there to remind all foolish Arabs who buy into our daisies-in-our-hair peace talk, that there’s no point building a bridge, because there’s no one there waiting for them on the other side. And in that, he is often quite successful.

    I suppose if I was him, I’d continue as well… He is doing a good job in alienating Arabs from Jews. Btw, have YOU ever understood why belonging to a “peace camp” is something bad, or something only leftists would do? Does it say anything about me, if I don’t want to belong to such a camp?

    Posted by Shai | January 30, 2009, 5:30 am
  67. Shai,
    I have to disagree with you. Because every time AIG tries to diss you or Rumyal either on SC or here, he’s subconsciously making us (gullible, pseudo-liberal, peace-loving arabs) trust your stance and understand the difficulty of your position more and more.

    So in short, screw ’em. He fails miserably 😉

    Posted by offended | January 30, 2009, 8:44 am
  68. Shai,

    It may have to do with this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_authoritarianism

    Posted by Rumyal | January 30, 2009, 3:54 pm
  69. Where do you find this stuff? 🙂

    My wife claims she was once a spelling bee. I think I’ll ask her to spell “authoritarianism” backwards… Btw, I agree with Sean – we’re turning QN’s blog into Occupied Territory. And with the amount of comments we’re making, it does seem like we’re almost establishing permanent settlements here.

    QN, I swear that’s not my intention! I’m going to take a bit of a break, and let others get a word in edgewise…

    Posted by Shai | January 30, 2009, 4:09 pm
  70. Sheesh!

    Qifa, are our Israeli bretheren here for a visit, or intent on occupying?

    Lets roll over and make peace with them now!

    We can argue over semantics later!

    We’l give them the rights over our Hummus, but suggest we draw the line at the Tabbouli!

    Any one care to negotiate?

    Posted by Enlightened | January 30, 2009, 9:10 pm
  71. Shai said”

    “Long ago I’ve asked AIG what his purpose was on SC, as I too couldn’t figure it out. And then, I realized what it was. Since he’s certainly not there to build any bridges, he IS there to destroy anything we “peace camp” Israelis try to build. He’s there to remind all foolish Arabs who buy into our daisies-in-our-hair peace talk, that there’s no point building a bridge, because there’s no one there waiting for them on the other side. And in that, he is often quite successful.”

    Amen brother!

    That is exactly his point, and Akbar’s as well.

    Posted by Enlightened | January 30, 2009, 9:13 pm
  72. Rumyal, thank you! .. now I have a sophisticated term to describe them “Right-wing authoritarians”

    So he did not wake up at 9:30 Israel time, did he?

    AIG … you are not banned from SC … I have been releasing all your comments from moderation.

    But you have a problem when you want to engage in real-time discussions with practically every single Syrian on SC … you don’t leave a topic without a negative or a derogatory comment … Education, honor crimes, Lebanese singer Fairuz concert in Damascus …

    You manged to spend your day attacking each on on SC over anything they write ….

    I asked you many times to slow down, to be selective (deal only with Israel related issues), but you did not want to.

    It took a year before you were put permanently in moderation, not banned from anything except real-time arguments.

    Mr. Shai,

    You see now how much trouble you got us into when you issued the order to ban him from SC?

    Anyway, you’re the boss, whatever you say, we’ll do.

    Posted by Alex | January 30, 2009, 9:40 pm
  73. Shai,

    You have AIG figured out quite well. He doesn’t have any genuine plan that meets the other side half way. Plus he has one unrealistic expectation after another, like he will only negotiate with Syria after it becomes more democratric than France or England. Let alone that he thinks the arabs have to concede on all points ahead of the negotiations like the right of return, etc.

    Heck why do you even need negotiations if he wants all of the conflict’s items to be resolved ahead of time?

    My take on it is that it’s just a strategy to kill time and change more facts on the ground (settlements), but in my opinion this time killing strategy might backfire vis a vis the demographics.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | January 30, 2009, 9:46 pm
  74. Shai said:

    Since he’s certainly not there to build any bridges, he IS there to destroy anything we “peace camp” Israelis try to build.

    Shai,

    What bridges are the Hamas-supporters building?

    IMHO, they use you to beat-up on the one country you’re always are “ashamed” of.

    It’s a wonderful relationship;)

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 30, 2009, 11:28 pm
  75. AP,

    Your questioning of Shai’s positions in one liners are cheap shots for a respectable man like Shai. In my view Shai is a man who’s looking out for your Israel’s true interests long term, and that is peacefull coexistance.

    I’ll give you a one liner question with a strict parameter of answering Yes or No like you often do, and here it is:

    Did Israel ever supported or encouraged Hamas ever? Reminder, it is a Yes or No answer ok. Nothing else, no monologue either.

    Let me hear your answer.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | January 30, 2009, 11:50 pm
  76. Ras Beirut,

    You won’t get a Yes/No answer from him … he will reply:

    “I don’t know, did the professor from Oklahoma University support Hamas? yes or no?”

    Akbar, here is the answer to Ras Beirut’s question:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123275572295011847.html

    Posted by Alex | January 31, 2009, 1:54 am
  77. Ras Beirut,

    Shukran, and yes, you’re right. AIG’s tactics are indeed to kill time. He shamelessly admits that “Israel has so many options, one of which is to neogtiate forever. That is what we have been doing since 67.”

    But if it was just time we were “killing”, I’d say yalla, let’s waste more precious years for us and our children, until some wise and courageous leader is found. But as we’ve recently seen in Gaza, and 2.5 years ago in Lebanon, it isn’t just time we’re killing. And that, to me, must end now. I can’t accept anyone, on my side, or “yours”, that wants to let time go by. To me, that is the greatest failure, and the most disastrous inheritance we can leave our children, and theirs.

    Posted by Shai | January 31, 2009, 2:39 am
  78. I’ve called for “action” against your Finnish friend far more times than against you.

    Well Shai I am not AIG friend. 🙂 Interesting to hear that you have called actions against me. I have never called actions against your “do not criticize Israel, we want to be friends with Arabs” more or less pathetic strategy/opinions.

    AIG and Akbar represent the mainstream thinking in Israel. You few peace doves in Israel can’t chance your countrymen’s views. Only a hard realistic show of utter contempt towards Israel’s policies and actions from the West will chance the mental climate of Israel. When “you” know you have no support in the West, “you” will change. My views represent the growing sentiment in the western countries, that the problem and danger in Middle East is Israel not the less democratic Arab countries with their faults.

    Shai you could see how the Gaza “operation” chanced the attitude of many moderate Arabs. What does it help that a handful of Israeli Jews preach about peace when millions of Israeli Jews (in Israel and USA) are shouting war? You and those few like you in Israel can’t change the tide, which is essential. It is not so essential to show to Arabs and the rest of the world that all Israelis are not warmongering religious nuts. The Arabs and the rest of the world already know it, but they also know you are a tiny minority who do not decide of the country’s policy and actions. The “AIGs” decide and control Israel.

    Israel has only developed to a more uncompromising and dangerous direction to the recent years. Sad but true.

    Posted by SimoHurtta | January 31, 2009, 5:10 am
  79. Your questioning of Shai’s positions in one liners are cheap shots for a respectable man like Shai.

    Ras Beirut,

    I’m not saying Shai isn’t respectable. I’m asking, what I think, is a very good question: what are the Hamas-supporters doing to promote peace?

    Do you have an answer?

    In my view Shai is a man who’s looking out for your Israel’s true interests long term, and that is peacefull coexistance.

    How so? What has Shai and his side been able to do to secure “Israel’s true interests long term”?

    Have they met with Hamas? Have they come up with a plan? Were they able to come up with a solution to stop missiles and mortars?

    I’ll give you a one liner question with a strict parameter of answering Yes or No like you often do, and here it is:

    Did Israel ever supported or encouraged Hamas ever? Reminder, it is a Yes or No answer ok. Nothing else, no monologue either. Let me hear your answer.

    Yes. So?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 31, 2009, 9:49 am
  80. Ya Akbar,

    You seem fixated on Hamas & Iran and that’s fine, but the lesson to be learned here is that Israel has no one to blame but itself for their introduction on the scene of the conflict.

    It’s that “Killing Time” strategy that has backfired, that has frustrated the moderate forces on the arab side as they haven’t been able to show their supporters and the general public at large any tangible results from negotiating with israel. As it has been clear from where we are today that Israel was not genuine about a final solution, or the solution that they have offered is a 50 cents on the dollar deal in terms of a viable palestinian state.

    This gave the rejectionists on the arab side (and now iranian side) more control of the agenda. Coupled with control of the rejectionists on the israeli side all along, and you got a situation that has spiraled out of control with tragic consequenses. These developments in my view do not serve the best interests of either side long term and could have been avoided if israel wnated to or was wise enough.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | January 31, 2009, 11:01 am
  81. Simo,

    The so-called “action” against you has always been exactly what you’ve seen on SC – nothing in private. You, like AIG, have all too often generalized against the other side, many times in nothing less than a racist fashion (in my mind), and certainly in far from civilized and respectable form.

    As for your claim that “You and those few like you in Israel can’t change the tide, which is essential.”, I find it the same defeatist attitude as AIG and AP ascribe to the Arab world. In essence, you are much closer to AIG and AP than you are to me. As such, I’ve always preferred you continue “talking” to them.

    When the next regional war takes place, and tens of thousands of Jews and Arabs die, the three of you can pat each other on the back. It is clear you’re in the same “no peace is possible” boat. Lead the way, surely it’ll lead you to safer shores, faster than any of our “pathetic strategy/opinions” would…

    Posted by Shai | January 31, 2009, 2:08 pm
  82. …Israel has no one to blame but itself for their introduction on the scene of the conflict.

    Ras Beirut,

    “Blame” for what this time?

    It is clear to me, Israel is to blame for everything including 9-11. Did you find something else.

    That the GOI tried to open a dialogue with Hamas is just a testament of Israel doing whatever possible to achieve peace.

    I’m reading the Hamas Charter, and I don’t see a peace partner. Obviously you see something I don’t.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 31, 2009, 4:57 pm
  83. AP,

    You want me to explain the “Israeli Blame” for the “Impass”? I think you are smart enough to know what has been happening since 1967 or you’re playing dead on me now and framing the conflict from a single frame perspective of today, which is that Hamas does not want to recognize Israel (which btw I disagree with hamas on this point big time). It seems that this is your marketing tool today as you’re probably welcoming it to further your project.

    For the record, my personal views are farther away from hamas/ha/iran & zionism ideolgies as anyone can imagine. As all of these ideoligies are based on mixing religion with the state. I believe in “Strict” division of state and church period, as it has proven over time to be the best formula of governance, and sorry your israel as the “jewish exclusive state” doesn’t pass my test, nor does other ME states either.

    You keep on bringing up hamas & iran etc. My point is that after 67 hamas & ha didn’t exist, and iran was too busy with the shah and saddam, and what did you do? you elected to defy the UN and the world and started building settelments and an “Apartheid” state because you can.

    Come on AP, even the US doesn’t recognize the settlements as legal. But the likes of you go on trying to justify the unjustifiable.

    AP, if Apartheid is what you are aiming for, then good luck to you if you can pull it off. My humble advice is that it won’t work long term, and when I say long-term, I mean in that part of the world it could take one or two hundred years to settle the score. Just read up on Darius & Alex the great to get my drift.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | January 31, 2009, 10:28 pm
  84. Ras Beirut,

    You are absolutely right. Many in Israel (and their Jewish supporters abroad) truly think that Israel can “pull it off”. To support this claim, they’ll cite the current situation, where supposedly the Palestinians will be forced to accept the WB less three huge settlement blocks. But what they don’t realize, is that there is a price we’re ALL paying for that “achievement”.

    First, the thousands that already died (and more that will die) on the way, and the many more that were injured. And second, that it any case for every square centimeter of WB land taken, Israel will have to give back the same amount of land in “Israeli” territory one day. It also doesn’t take a genius (or maybe it does) to recognize that if a Palestinian state will look more like a Bantustan, then the Israeli settlements that will be “annexed” will also make Israel’s Eastern side much more difficult to live in and to control, from every aspect imaginable (security, infrastructure, economy, taxes, etc.)

    But of course, what most of these supporters refuse to understand, is that in life you, you get back what you give. If we “screw” another people endlessly, they (and their friends) will do the same to us. These AP-characters truly believe they’re creating a safer state for the Jewish people. Why exactly they don’t live there… is another story, isn’t it? If they did live here, they might actually learn that Israelis feel far less secure today than they did in the 1970’s and 80’s. As you correctly stated, before 1967 there were no Hamas or Hezbollah. In fact, we ourselves created and nourished at least 50% (and now we don’t like it…)

    As we once considered Fatah and the PLO Israel’s worst enemy, and today we’re dying to have them back (instead of Hamas), if we keep “killing time” like this, we’ll one day dream of having back Hamas and Hezbollah. But arrogance, over-confidence, intoxication with power, and a touch of racism, will always lead a people down to Hell. Maybe that’s what we deserve… But I still have two little girls to bring up in this world, and I still intend to help make their future a better one. Maybe AP’s daughters won’t have to serve in the army, or to fight in a war, but if Jews and Arabs in our region won’t make peace, my daughters will.

    Posted by Shai | February 1, 2009, 1:05 am
  85. This is certainly not what I’d call a peace partner.

    Posted by sean | February 1, 2009, 7:28 am
  86. Sean,

    You’re right, it certainly doesn’t look like it. I’m not suggesting that I know otherwise (I do not), but there is a political absurdity in Israel that should be recognized, which essentially says that those who are the loudest opponents of peace are precisely the ones best positioned to deliver it. Go back to the 1970’s, and you’ll find Menachem Begin no less belligerent towards the Arabs (and of course the Egyptians). Netanyahu, just to remind us all, said in his pre-1996 election win that he will never withdraw from the Territories, including the Golan. That he will never shake the hand of “that terrorist” (Arafat), etc.

    And, what did he do after achieving power? He not only shook Arafat’s hand, he even kissed him on the cheek, and referred to him on occasion as “a friend”. He then gave the Palestinians control over major cities long before any Israeli PM did the same. And, most importantly perhaps, he sent his buddy Lauder (former Head of Jewish Federations in the U.S.) to speak directly with Hafez Assad, and offer him a detailed plan to withdraw from the entire Golan. This was August 1998. Of course, when this leaked out, Bibi vehemently denied it (and still does), but his own Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai challenged him in public to deny it (next to him), and Bibi never took up the challenge. Later, the actual “rough draft” copy leaked out, and today anyone can download it off the net.

    It wasn’t until 2004, I believe, that Lauder himself commented on the issue, trying to absolve Bibi of any knowledge, but admitting to the existence of the “rough draft”. Ya’ani, Bibi had no idea what Lauder was doing in Damascus, sitting privately with Hafez Assad, going over a plan to withdraw from the Golan. No knowlege… yeah.

    Bottom line, I don’t know if Bibi is the same Bibi, or worse, or better. Maybe he’ll do what I think he’ll do, which is to write himself down in the annals of Israel’s history as the PM to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Or, maybe he’ll contribute directly to the next all-out MIdeast war. Time will tell, but I am not allowing myself to be fooled by pre-election rhetoric, especially by someone who already proved himself as saying one thing, and doing quite another. Any which way, it does seem like he’ll win the upcoming elections in 9 days from now…

    Posted by Shai | February 1, 2009, 7:40 am
  87. QN

    It seems that the Daily star came back

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb

    Posted by Idit | February 1, 2009, 3:37 pm
  88. As for your claim that “You and those few like you in Israel can’t change the tide, which is essential.”, I find it the same defeatist attitude as AIG and AP ascribe to the Arab world. In essence, you are much closer to AIG and AP than you are to me. As such, I’ve always preferred you continue “talking” to them.

    Shai stop referring to me then I do not bother to waste my time with speaking with you.

    Any intelligent person would notice that the problem with Israel’s attitude is internal. What it would have helped that in 1938 a naive German peace dove would have been arguing endlessly with Poles, French, Danes etc on internet with the message “we can be friends”, when the ruling majority is on a aggressive mode drunken with the military power crying for more blood and land. Wouldn’t it have been more clever trying to “beat” some sense to the members of the aggressive nation than bat ones gums about “peace” to the future “victims” and “targets”.

    Surely the Arab countries have to change, but not with this peace issue. Undoubtedly Arab countries are much more peace seeking in concrete ways than Israel which only speaks about peace and does everything possible not to achieve peace. So Israel has to chance with the peace issue. Arab countries democracy level of which AIG peaches has to do with peace.

    Shai even if all Arabs around the world would say to Israeli Jews that we want to be friends, would that chance Israeli Jews attitude? Would the land stealing end, settlements been demolished and apartheid system change? I seriously doubt that. It will end only when USA and Europe say it must end. It has not ended even the Arab nations have clearly said what they want.

    Posted by SimoHurtta | February 1, 2009, 3:37 pm
  89. Ras Beirut,

    I’m on my cell phone, so I’ll have to keep this short.

    More misslies are falling into Israel from Hamastan. Perhaps you can advise Hamas on something this time. You like to advise pro-Israelis, so here’s your chance to “spread the love”.

    “Bon Chance” on your new quest. I hope this isn’t out of your “comfort zone”.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 1, 2009, 3:38 pm
  90. SimoHurtta,

    If I thought you were either capable of understanding us “peace doves”, or particularly interested in doing so, I’d actually bother myself enough to respond. But instead, I strongly suggest you follow your own advice and “do not bother to waste my time with speaking with you.”

    Posted by Shai | February 1, 2009, 3:55 pm
  91. I’ll let Khaled Abu Toameh speak for me:

    http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2009/02/a-minority-repo.php

    Maybe you will listen to him.

    Posted by AIG | February 2, 2009, 1:17 am
  92. AIG,

    No “peace dove” that I know of, has ever said it is nice and rosy on the Palestinian side. We know the reality, in fact quite a bit better than you because, unlike you, we actually talk to people like Khaled Abu Toameh all the time.

    The main difference, is that people like you think their job is over once they finish depicting the reality of “other side”. You neither acknowledge your part in helping create that reality, nor what you may have to do to change it. Certainly most of the burden on changing Palestinian society lies with the Palestinian people. But we cannot ignore the fact that the Occupation has, is, and will be effecting everything. That word “Occupation” seems to be a simple little concept, that has little meaning in real life. But if you’ve ever been to the West Bank, to towns and villages that are under Occupation for over 40 years now, you’d see the consequences of our Apartheid rule.

    It’s easy to simply say “there’s no partner… even Abu Toameh says so…” As I’ve accused you before of not only refusing to build bridges, but indeed destroying them, I think you’re rejecting the notion that you can help change reality. And that part is actually what I find the most bizarre. We are by far the strongest party in the Arab-Israeli conflict. We should be able to push things our way so much more easily than our neighbors can. But it’s always about the definition of “our way” – what should it be? I think most Israelis make the mistake (perhaps out of an intoxication with this power, or out of fear, or other psychoses that I can’t explain) of getting our way at the expense of the Arabs. Why not the opposite – why not make “our way” the way of both Jews and Arabs? Why always seek the upper hand, instead of the common hand? Why can’t Israel demonstrate its strength by fighting FOR Arab rights and freedom? And doing so by starting in Palestine?

    We can’t pretend to be a free, democratic nation, when we’re controlling the lives of 4 million people, without giving them rights. We just can’t.

    Khaled Abu Toameh said: “This operation makes the moderate Arabs look like fools. It makes them look as if they were on the wrong side.” Every action and reaction we’ve taken over the past 60 years should have had a cost-benefit consideration to it. If all we’ve done is strengthen the extremists, making them evermore popular and powerful, why are we continuing to make these mistakes? For deterrence? Yes, Hamas will think twice before lobbing further missiles (although it already has in the past two days). But how long will that last? And let’s suppose it lasts forever – have we weakened Hamas any? Listen to Khaled Abu Toameh – he tells us clearly that we’ve only strengthened Hamas. And who says the price Israel paid for this latest operation is behind us? What if it hasn’t even started yet? What if suicide bombings will return, or attacks against Jewish targets abroad? Will it have been worth it? I never said don’t fight Hamas, or anyone else that tries to kill us. But there’s a way to fight, and a way NOT to fight. There’s a way to humiliate your enemy, and a way not to. There’s a way to fight without killing 1,300 people, and injuring more than 5,000. There’s a way to show you’re targeting only militants, and way to show you’re aiming at schools, houses, and mosques.

    If Hamas was strengthened as a result of this operation, and if antisemitism only grew worldwide, and if there are many more young Muslims across the world ready to sacrifice their life in killing Jews and Israelis, more than there were before Gaza 2008-9, then we’re not learning our lessons. Our job should be to relentlessly seek solutions, not problems. Giving up on peaceful solutions, or worse, inciting against one side or the other, is a luxury afforded to people in Scandinavia maybe, not to people who live here (or who care about this region).

    Posted by Shai | February 2, 2009, 3:04 am
  93. AIG –

    Save this link. Save yourself valuable time (everyone is busy in this difficult economy), by just linking to this Khaled Abu Toameh story everytime Israel gets criticised on this and the SC forums.

    I’m guessing you’ll be able to save yourself at least two hours a day.

    Meantime, Shai is working feverishly to get that important meeting with the Hamas leadership nailed down. These peaceniks will save Israel just like Oslo did.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 2, 2009, 10:07 am
  94. Akbar Palace,

    When all else fails, blame those “peacenicks”. Shame you feel the “peace camp” is something negative…

    You know, indeed Oslo did not save Israel or Palestine. But I’d much rather have people trying for peace and failing, than sitting on their a**es, becoming experts at doing nothing.

    Actually, you ARE doing something. Like AIG, you’re destroying hopes. For you, even that is too much to handle.

    Posted by Shai | February 2, 2009, 11:35 am
  95. Shai,
    Get off your high horse. The Arabs themselves do not know what they want exactly. We are going to show them the way?

    Arab society and interactions within are too complex for us to understand let alone try to influence in any direction. The only strategy that works for Israel is to keep things simple. Build deterrence and hope for the best. I see no other “solution”.

    You want to seek solutions? That is fine. But so far what you are proposing is Israeli concessions that YOU BELIEVE will lead to solutions. The thing is, I do not see your solutions leading anywhere except to reduced security for Israel. Abu Toameh says it clearly; any concession we make now will lead to sniping at Ben-Gurion airport and rockets in Tel-Aviv.

    I see the situation in the West Bank as sustainable for a long time. The Fatah is doing most of the work for us and there is very little chance of uprising, especially after Gaza. I think the people in the West Bank are beginning to realize that what they have could actually be worse. It is like the people in Syria preferring Asad to Iraq.

    There will be wars in the middle-east in the next few years. But they will be CIVIL wars inside the Arab countries. Both Egypt and Syria are unsustainable entities, perhaps also Jordan. The combination of oil prices, the depression, lack of water and the crazy population growth will lead to a big explosion in the middle-east. This is really not in our own hands. We should wait patiently and see what emerges afterwards. This process may take 20 years to play out but it is NOT in our hands to influence. We are neither smart enough or strong enough and also we do not care enough. We have to mind our own very narrow interests and let the chips fall where they may.

    Posted by AIG | February 2, 2009, 11:49 am
  96. Like AIG, you’re destroying hopes.

    Shai,

    The reality is, everytime false hopes are dashed in the ME, violence immediately follows.

    Bring us real hope Shai. Talk to Hamas w/o getting killed. Translate the Arabic and tell us how much land we need to give up for Iran to stop arming Hamas.

    Don’t get too detailed; we need Peace Now more than anything.

    Thanks,

    Akbar “Ha Ma’arakhi” Palace

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 2, 2009, 2:21 pm
  97. Akbar,

    “The reality is, everytime false hopes are dashed in the ME, violence immediately follows.”

    There is truth in what you said. It is indeed a “risky business”, building false hopes. But, this building process indeed cannot take place without much thought and continued nurturing. At some point, quite late in the game, both sides in the N. Ireland conflict understood that it wasn’t enough for each side to do its share. In addition, each side realized it needed to reinforce the other, each step of the way. It is this mutual support that was so desperately missing in any of our attempts to reach peace.

    Of course, there were many other issues, some having to do with our adversaries, and others having to do with us. But no real peace could occur, until each side supported the other’s efforts as well – publicly, not only behind closed doors. Do I see Hamas able to do that with Israel tomorrow morning? Of course not. Sometime in the future? Yes, absolutely. There was an article yesterday in Ynet, which disclosed something that was already said a day or two into the recent Gaza operation, which is that Khaled Mashaal informed his visitor in Damascus, French-Jewish author, that he is ready to talk to Israel about the 1967 borders.

    The author asked him if he could pass this information on to Israel, and Mashaal said of course. In the end, the author passed it on to Sarkozy, who brought it with him to Israel, but it was too late, the operation had already started. But, this is very important news – Hamas is sending signals that it is ready to talk about permanent borders, and the same ones the 3 Arab summits since 2002 have all unanimously supported. Did Hamas send this signal because it suddenly chose to “recognize” Israel? Quite unlikely. But Hamas also wants to survive well into this century, perhaps to once again govern the entire Palestinian people, to bring about an Islamic revolution, etc. It needs peace no less than we do. So my guess is, that it too (like Sinn Fein), will be sitting with Israel at some point in the near future.

    By the way, as I’ve stated many times in the past, the political absurdity in Israel is such that the best ones in position to deliver peace are not the “liberal leftists”, but rather the Right (Likud, basically). So I’m not suggesting Meretz, Labor, or even Kadima, can go talk to Hamas, or anyone else for that matter. I do think Likud could deliver this peace, if Bibi should choose to become the next Menachem Begin of Israel. I’m hoping that he will, but only he knows if that’ll ever happen. In the meantime, “our job” is to try to wake up our nation, and our leadership, into realizing that time is not running in our favor, that sooner or later, these tough decisions will have to be made, that sooner or later, our worst enemies will sit across us at the same table, and that those we consider demons today, will become our friends tomorrow.

    If you know in advance that a compromise must be reached, sooner or later, then it should be in your interest never to stop seeking it. If it is clear to you that the only way to achieve compromise is by first understanding (empathizing) with your enemy, then you should seek to communicate with your enemy, not to isolate him. We need Hamas to one day have peace, no less than we need Fatah, Egypt, or Syria. What Livni thinks about restarting negotiations with the “moderates” is pure foolishness. She has no idea what is going on amongst the Palestinian people, what they think about Abbas, and what they think about Hanniyeh. Bibi, at least, has always known to talk to the enemy (Assad, Arafat), and didn’t seek the moderates.

    No need for you to join “Ha’ma’arach” (Labor) – I wouldn’t support them right now if they paid me. Barak has proven himself more of a war monger than almost anyone on the Right ever has. His personal interests and his political interests came before the interests of the State of Israel. That he dares talk of peace, while massacring 1,300 Palestinians, is even worse than dismissing peace altogether. Barak can no longer build “false hopes” amongst those of us who still believe in peace. Yes, we learn from our mistakes (supporting Barak). But we also can’t succeed, if we never make mistakes by doing nothing.

    Posted by Shai | February 2, 2009, 2:56 pm
  98. By the way, as I’ve stated many times in the past, the political absurdity in Israel is such that the best ones in position to deliver peace are not the “liberal leftists”, but rather the Right (Likud, basically). So I’m not suggesting Meretz, Labor, or even Kadima, can go talk to Hamas, or anyone else for that matter.

    Shai,

    If you really think about what you wrote here, you will, unfortunately, completely discredit your whole thesis about the country you are “ashamed” of: Israel.

    In the language of DSM-IV, these varying thoughts could be diagnosed as schizophrenia.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 2, 2009, 11:18 pm
  99. Akbar Palace,

    Like Schizophrenia, Selective Hearing is also treatable… You should consider having yours checked.

    Out of context, I can also find you quote of Hitler showing that he loved the Jews… (kind of “discrediting” everything he stood for).

    That I suggest Likud’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, might be best positioned to deliver peace in no way should confuse you into thinking I support Likud’s agenda. I thought it was clear when I used the phrase “political absurdity”, that this apparent reality is… absurd.

    I certainly don’t advocate people adopt Likud’s agenda. I am suggesting, that like Begin and Sharon went AGAINST their own Likud’s agenda, so too could Bibi. Whether he’ll choose to or not we’ll see. Of course, if and when he will, he’ll be deemed a traitor by Likud supporters (probably yourself included), as were his predecessors. In fact, if you think about it, 4 previous Likud top-officials (Begin, Netanyahu, Sharon, Olmert) have already proven themselves capable of doing quite the opposite of Likud’s main principles, and political agendas.

    The reason why “our” agenda is different, and should be adopted, is because it genuinely and openly supports precisely what Begin, Sharon, Olmert, and Netanyahu have done behind closed doors, against their party’s agreement.

    Maybe Wizart needs to come back to explain to you the difference between Schizophrenia, and Selective Hearing… 🙂

    Posted by Shai | February 3, 2009, 5:50 am
  100. Shai,

    From your post above, several questions come to mind:

    – If the Likud is interested in peace, why are they so bad?

    – If the Israeli Left and the Right are both interested in peace, why are you “ashamed” of your own country?

    – Why is it you never blame the enemy? Are they interested in peace?

    – If the Israeli Left had the “ideological upper hand”, why is it they never succeded in making peace with the Palestinians or the Egyptians?

    If a Martian unfamiliar with world politics were to read your posts over the past months and years, they would have gotten the impression that the Likud was:

    – never interested in peace.
    – could never make peace.
    – only promoted war.

    You’ve devalued your own ideology.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2009, 9:35 am
  101. Akbar Palace,

    You really should check that Selective Hearing of yours… it’s getting worse by the minute.

    “If the Likud is interested in peace, why are they so bad?”

    I never said Likud is interested in peace. I said precisely the opposite – that it isn’t! But I also said that Bibi might do the opposite of what his party wants… Capiche?

    “If the Israeli Left and the Right are both interested in peace, why are you “ashamed” of your own country?”

    The Right is not interested in peace. Apparently, through Barak’s own actions in Gaza, it seems the Left is also not interested in peace either. I’m ashamed of my nation’s continued Occupation, suffocation, and subjugation of the Palestinian people. I know it’s hard for you to understand that.

    “Why is it you never blame the enemy? Are they interested in peace?”

    The “enemy” to me, is not one big glob called “The Arabs”. Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, they’re right now our enemy. Why don’t I blame them for anything? Isn’t it obvious? Do I actually have to spell it out here, or on SC? Do you honestly think there’s one single Arab on SC or here who thinks I like Hamas? Only you and AIG seem to deduce that from my words… You can’t handle my criticism of Israel, so you conclude I’m Hamas’s best friend.

    “If the Israeli Left had the “ideological upper hand”, why is it they never succeded in making peace with the Palestinians or the Egyptians?”

    That is precisely part of the political absurdity in Israel. Those who openly seek peace, can’t get the support of most. But those who regularly preach against peace (Begin, Sharon, Netanyahu, Olmert), are exactly those who can deliver it – if they choose to go against their party. As I’ve stated already, and you somehow choose to ignore, 4 prime ministers from the Likud have already done that – go AGAINST what their party stands for? Capiche?

    “If a Martian unfamiliar with world politics were to read your posts…”

    You’re right – sometimes when I read your comments, as well as AIG’s, I do feel like I’m talking to a Martian.

    Selective Hearing, Akbar, it’s a killer… Treat it, while you still can.

    Posted by Shai | February 3, 2009, 9:47 am
  102. Israel is such that the best ones in position to deliver peace are not the “liberal leftists”, but rather the Right (Likud, basically).

    I never said Likud is interested in peace. I said precisely the opposite – that it isn’t!

    AIG,

    I give up. You have the baton.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | February 3, 2009, 12:39 pm
  103. Akbar,

    Here’s a enlightening fact for you, that you may not have known before: A party doesn’t make peace – a nation’s leader does. So when you, or I, or Ehud Barak, or Yossi Beilin, talk about a (party) making peace, they’re talking about the ruling Prime Minister.

    We can play these “no, I’m dumber” games all day long, but I think you have a basic problem understanding the difference between the anti-peace stance the Likud Party has always adopted, since it first came to power in 1977, and the pro-peace stances 4 different Likud-made Prime Ministers have adopted, AGAINST their party’s agendas and support.

    It’s really much easier than you think. Here, I’ll spell it out for you:

    Likud 1977: “We will NOT give back the Sinai!”
    Begin 1977: (To Sadat, via Dayan) “I’m ready to give back the Sinai…”

    Likud 1996: “We will NOT give back the Golan!”
    Bibi 1998: (To Assad, via Lauder) “I’m ready to give back the Golan…”

    Likud 2009: “We will NOT give back the Golan!”
    Bibi 2009: (To Assad?) “I’m ready to give back the Golan…”?

    Add to the above also Sharon with regards to Gaza and parts of the West Bank, and Olmert with regards to W. Bank and the Golan.

    And, there you have it Akbar! Likud leaders, going against what Likud says. NOW do you understand?

    Posted by Shai | February 3, 2009, 2:37 pm

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