First, it really depends on how you define apartheid... the Israelis don't have much choice since the Arabs strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves up in crowded public areas. When Israeli-Arabs sympathize with these terrorists and do it themselves, the government has a duty to its citizens to deal with them appropriately. Arabs have no record of being trustworthy, and it's inconceivable that the Jewish state should allow people who hate Jews to reign freely in Israel. Plus... in the greater political debate, a "second-class Arab-Israeli" has many more rights than first-class Arab citizens in the Arab nations. I don't hear you complaining about human rights in the Arab world. Honor killings, women's rights... where's the uproar over that?
The dictionary on my computer defines apartheid as "a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race or ethnicity." I think that currently the policies towards Israeli Arabs certainly fulfill that definition. I also find it fairly offensive to Arabs that you have lumped an entire people into the category of "being untrustworthy." The Jewish state you mention is supposed to be a democracy and yet Israeli Arabs do not have equal rights. That was my point. You are correct about not mentioning human rights abuses in the Arab world, that was not what this thread was about. Take that elsewhere, I will fully support you there.
Second, as far as the Arab League's offer, that's ridiculous. The 1967 borders don't work because... well, Israel's neighbors weren't so content with them back in '67. Any agreement has to be implementable. What on earth makes you think the Arabs will accept peace? If you want to talk about rejected offers, talk about the rejection of PM Barak's offer in 2000 when he offered up East Jerusalem and the West Bank (which was probably unimplementable anyway, but the difference is that the consequences of failure lies with the Israelis, not the Arabs). It was the best offer ever put on the table from the Arabs' point of view, and they still rejected it because it wasn't enough.
You may think it is ridiculous but apparently a lot of people don't. Being an optimist, i look at the example of Jordan and Egypt as Arab countries that want peace and hope that there are others out there. As far as the offer in 2000 goes, you are right, it was not implementable so why bother and act like the Palestinians should accept whatever is offered them.
Third, your biblical criticism is logically invalid. If you deny the biblical connection to the land, then you must also deny the biblical claim of genocide in the land. You can't have it both ways. As far as your claim of fables with no historical record... that's just false. Jewish archeological records in Israel are extremely vast and well-documented, and to claim otherwise is flat-out a lie and probably hidden with anti-Semitic hatred. It's like denying the Holocaust. Shame on you.
I did not deny the Jewish connection to the land, I denied the existence of of a scrap of paper, parchment, or stone, written by the hand of God
declaring the land of Israel to exist for his chosen people. Show me the archeological evidence of that. Read carefully. By the way, I don't deny the Holocaust, which has absolutely nothing to do with this subject other than try to brand someone as an anti-Semite just because they do not support Israeli policy. But as long as we are on the subject, why does Israel not recognize the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turks? A bit hypocritical I would say especially after Hitler noted when speaking of the extermination of the Jews, something to the effect of "Who remembers the Armenians" thinking no one would care or remember the Jews he murdered.
As far as Israel's strategic importance to the United States, there are two major reasons: intelligence and democracy. Israeli intelligence is second to none, and the military cooperation between the two nations has benefited both tremendously. Moreover, however, is Israel's commitment to democratic values. There's no Arab nation that has even a whiff of democracy in it. Egyptian democracy is a left-wing fantasy. Saudi Arabia anybody?
Granted, Israel has great intelligence services. I am not in a position to know what they have shared with us or what value it has to us, but I do know that they, through Pollard, did great damage to our own intelligence agencies. And again, why bring the lack of democracy in Arab states into this. There seems to be a pattern of Arab bashing on your part. What does the lack of democracy in the Arab world have to do with this subject? As for Israel being a democratic state, that has nothing whatsoever to do with being of strategic value to the United States. There are lots of democracies in the world that are of no particular strategic value to us.
The imposition of peace from outside derives its legitimacy from the idea of might makes right. You want to interfere with a sovereign state and impose on it - that presupposes that you can do that because you are strong. How ironic then that you charge that sovereign state with imposing its will on others. Seems like a contradiction to me. Of course you want to say that the difference is that you're "good" and they are "bad." Aside from being objectively wrong, that's hypocritical to charge Israel with using its might.
Might makes right has nothing to do with it, it is more like a court of law. When two parties have a dispute that can not be resolved, a judge steps in and makes a decision. Whether that is the world court or the United Nations, I still believe it is a valid idea. After all, they created the State of Israel in 1948, why can't they do the same for Palestine in 2011? I don't believe I charged Israel with imposing it's will on others, although one could certainly make that argument with reference to their illegal settlements and land grab wall.
Your solution has the head-in-the-clouds mentality and could never work. Jerusalem would never survive as a separate entity. The 1967 borders failed for a reason.
I see no reason that Jerusalem could not be a city governed by some sort of international or interfaith council. Why would it not survive, it has survived for thousands of years. Do you think it would vanish from the face of the earth if it is not run by Israel exclusively? By the way, this is not 1967, times have changed as has the balance of power in the region.
I agree with you on one point: the Israelis will do all that they can to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. I don't know that bombing them will work just because Iran's nuclear operations are more spread out than Iraq or Syria, but it's not impossible to foresee such an action.
Glad we agree on something.
If you want to understand the Middle East conflict, you have to understand a few points:
1. The term Palestinian was invented by the PLO... before 1964, the term referred to Jews living in Israel. Check the archives if you don't believe me.
I don't know what archives you are talking about, you should make a reference. Palestine was actually derived from the word Philistines. ( and that came from an Israeli historical site). It referred to an area of land and the people there. All people, not just the Jews. I might add that Jews were a minority in the area until the migrations starting in the 1930's.
2. There are 21 Arab states that are hundreds of times larger than Israel. Israel was created to be a Jewish state; the Arabs have more than enough land for these "refugees."
It sounds as if you are in favor of ethnically cleansing Israel, does that include driving the Arabs in Israel and the West Bank into the surrounding Arab states?
3. Only with the "Palestinians" does the UN include descendents of refugees as refugees. In Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia, etc. only those who were actually displaced got refugee status. The reason there's so many refugees is that Arab states are putting pressure on Israel by refusing to allow them into their own countries. The "Palestinians" are an Arab invention used to keep political pressure on Israel.
How can you say that the Palestinians are an Arab invention? They are people who live in an area that has historically been know as Palestine, whatever you may call them. Look on some old maps, I did.
4. Either way, Israel is legitimate. If you go by history, then Israel was certainly around well before the Arabs. If you go by the fact that the UN decided that there would be an Israel, then they're legitimate by the fact they've survived 60+ years. Arab legitimacy in the region is only by the fact that the UN originally intended that they'd be there. However, Arab aggression has de faco delegitimized their right to be there. They have no interest in coexistence with Jews.
Israel is legitimate within the borders that they were given, not the ones they have expanded to. Of course Israel rejects any border definition. Aggression is not necessarily a cause for giving up rights. Germany and Japan were both aggressors, yet they now both exist and have since the war. You are back to might makes right again, only this time in Israel's favor.
Again, I don't know what history you look at or who you call Arabs. There were people there long before there was an Israel. They were the Canaanites and other tribes that were conquered by Joshua. ( if you believe the Biblical accounts). Before that there were stone age peoples. So who is an Arab? If you define them and Muslims, then you are right, because that religion developed after the Jewish religion. If you define Arabs as a panethnicity then you are wrong because they may well be the descendants of the people who were there before Abraham.
Had not looked at this since i posted and am pleased to see it stirred up such great responses.