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Author Topic: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?  (Read 9849 times)

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Offline Morven

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #100 on: November 12, 2009, 01:41:54 AM »
I don't think that these days the UN could be considered a neutral arbiter either.  Few Israelis would trust it, for entirely the reason that, just as US support for Israel has been too unquestioning, support in the UN General Assembly for Palestinians has been a little too unquestioning as well, entirely because of the points it makes.

I don't think a UN General Assembly vote can be counted upon, these days, to treat Israel fairly; there will be much too much of a general anti-US vote, a general anti-colonialism vote.


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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #101 on: November 12, 2009, 08:09:46 AM »
I have mentioned that in regards to the UN, as the United States has been accused of using the power of veto in the UN security council as one of the five permanent members to block any thing sanctioning against Israel.  That this is true of other nations.  With vested interest in the region. 

However, to merely have stated such does not back up my counter point.   As I have pointed to the situation in Darfu of the Sudan.  I have researched and pulled up key points to back my point.   As China has consistently refused to end selling arms to Sudan,  to pressure the Sudan government to end the genocide happening in Darfu.    Through actual vetoes on the security council. 

2004
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21143-2004Dec22.html

2006
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/china-darfur_04-25-06.html

2008
http://www.cfr.org/publication/9557/

What is staggering is this area is listed with the UN World Food program as the number one are for famine and starvation.  Yet the amount of money that has been thrown into Sudan, for the oil while a major section of its people starve is staggering.    Plus what is applied to the United States regarding the Israel nation and I have shown with China with Sudan, can also be extended to China with Iran.

Now apply this to the noble idea of the United Nations working as it was intended.   You can see why it is only in a Utopian state of an idea, and nothing more.  Though I suspect it will not matter, as I have pointed out with my hypothetical question.   Once the oil is gone, no one will really care outside of the region amongst the rest of the world.  Through I might be underestimating the power of religion and if it still holds sway.  Not in with Israel and  Judaism or the Arab world and Islam.   No I might be underestimating the Christian world when it comes to the Holy land.   


Offline KateTopic starter

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #102 on: November 12, 2009, 09:38:34 PM »
Quote
I don't think that these days the UN could be considered a neutral arbiter either.  Few Israelis would trust it, for entirely the reason that, just as US support for Israel has been too unquestioning, support in the UN General Assembly for Palestinians has been a little too unquestioning as well, entirely because of the points it makes.

I don't think a UN General Assembly vote can be counted upon, these days, to treat Israel fairly; there will be much too much of a general anti-US vote, a general anti-colonialism vote.

Neutral nations abstain from voting.

UN counted on to treat Israel fairly from a pro-Israel point of view - I hope not.

Is retrained daily building (encroachment) fair ?
Is restrained daily bombings fair ?
Is leveling X suburbs of palestine killing hundreds a fair response to 1 rouge palestinian killing 3 of your people?
Is expecting palestine's government to have thorough control of the behavior of all individuals of their nation a fair expectation and demand to make ?

What is pro-Israel is subjective.
What "fair" is, is subjective.

Unquestioning ? Unlikely, perhaps their stances has appear from considering different questions... in light of these i am sure to them their own views seem very justified.

To abstract subjectiveness to something practical you get many from different nations to vote ... thus a international court.is created (GA/UN)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 09:41:53 PM by Kate »

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #103 on: November 14, 2009, 04:32:28 PM »
Neutral nations abstain from voting.

Neutrality doesn't necessarily mean you take no stance, it means you take a stance based on the facts of the matter and the circumstances that are factually visible, not the emotions or connections you have with one side or another. Probably objective would be a better word to describe a desirable position to take.

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #104 on: November 14, 2009, 10:41:02 PM »
     I have to admit I haven't really studied the Mideast at any length.  So I appreciate El's efforts to round up the history a bit...  It's still an area that I don't feel much connection with (and doubly so for being leery of uses of the Bible etc.).  But in a way, that is neither here nor there as I think most Americans could say about the same.  There's a lot of fumbling around in the dark with multiple elephants, but as a population (until our leadership cares differently at least) there we are.

     I don't know if a UN flag, or some particular countries working under a UN mandate, would do it.  At the moment, it seems like the demand would be for the UN to more or less enforce peace.  As I understand, the UN has a pretty bad history for putting troops that in the region; host countries have not been so accommodating and when violence breaks out, the casualties and chance of general mistakes are substantial.  The Somalia case, among many others, shows that at least if it is a use-of-force type of authorization and not a tripwire screen, there is more to what goes on than what UN Central rules on paper.  Even before the US went somewhat wild in its under-resourced heliborne manhunts, there was a common matter of the Italians, Pakistanis, and others all operating with their own narrow rules about how their forces should be used.  To my knowledge, the conventional wisdom is more that the UN is relatively good at "development," health, food, and infrastructure sort of programs but generally it turns into a fracture zone on multiple levels when there is any combat on the near horizon.  Even in Desert Storm (I'd say more a straight out military action "via" rather than under the UN flag), many of the "Coalition" troops were limited by their capitals to more or less defending in place -- a contribution of sorts, but a very restricted one.

     Kate is plugging, I think, for the US to back down and adopt a more idealized adherence to UN principles.  Without doing justice to that overall direction, I think it's worth pointing out that "multinational forces" under the UN have often fragmented into a geographically dispersed range of units each following the limits or expansions set by their own national capitals.  Now, Israel/Palestine is not such a huge land area.  It is a rather densely populated one, where some of the key arguments lie.  I wonder if this may be part of the reason we have seen as few UN forces in the area as we have to date.  There simply is not a lot of space for units to argue about whether they are each going to be civil security, boundary observers/tripwires, actively intervening, or what.  And there is plenty of history of both sides getting sniped and bombed in urban settings; it doesn't augur well for Western sources who tend to fret somewhat about operating among civilians and about losses among their own personnel.

     I don't want to go so far as to say it couldn't be done, but I think the big players in the UN are at loggerheads about what anyone would be trying to accomplish strategically.  Before the UN can act, there needs to be a stronger concensus on what the outcome should be and how much force will be put behind it.  I don't sense the Security Council coming together on that, though.  Sudan/Darfur have taken several long, bloody years of press and wrangling and in the meantime China has been developing more energy interests in Central Asia.  East Africa also seems just a long ways from what many of the big players consider a primary interest, whereas Israel directly abuts oil states here, Suez Canal there, contains its own nukes...  I'm not sure I see how a little sweetness on Darfur from China etc. (if it really, finally is that) translates into agreement on Israel/Palestine.  I also imagine there is a lot of uncertainty about getting other Mideast states committed to anything new, while they have several institutionalized interests in the status quo.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2009, 10:52:40 PM by kylie »

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #105 on: November 14, 2009, 10:45:44 PM »
     What it reflects to me, off the bat, is the rigidity of the Western state system in which any redrawing of borders or relocation of people is presumed tantamount to opening the floodgates to a wave of postcolonial grievances.  Even without "sacred ground," we're struggling with what the implications are any time a border is redrawn or territory shared under various terms: semi-autonomy, state, what have you.  Yet, we obviously have many, many countries and populations parceled across the political geography in ways that practically set them up to lack resources and community, or to gravitate toward conflict. 

     To put the problem in a speculative and rather radical form (yes, just pretending some "legitimate" international institutions could agree on anything except forcing all but the uber-rich into more debt)...  Should there be a Nuremberg-style round of hearings to address such grievances?  Perhaps the results, done in phases, might be somewhat less calamitous than Kurds gassed here (by American-supplied weapons) and Palestinians bulldozed and bombed (by American-supplied weapons) there every few years.  Whatever you make of postcolonialism, as far as I understand: it's hard to argue that the Palestinians have had the most choices in their situation for the last few decades or that they have been given sufficient economic and political standing to help themselves through much apart from "extreme" measures.  Well, they're extreme when anyone but the CIA, the special forces, Rumsfeld policy for Abu Ghraib, or destinations of rendition use them. 

     An occupation is just that.  Neither the military nor the economic playing fields are equal.  We are not seeing F-16's versus F-16's on the news.  When any journalists can and are getting in (setting aside where they can reach), yes we do typically see a handful of suicide bombs, a smattering of snipers and rockets that usually land somewhat randomly...  And lots of daily blockades, poverty in Gaza, little kids in the streets taking rocks to armored vehicles, and Israeli policy that appears to me as intransigent as the rest.  When Israel speaks about "defending itself," it often ends up bulldozing questionably-cleared residential blocks (Jenin/pick a village) or bombing some Palestinian office building from the air.  "They make human shields" on one hand and on the other, "Oh, we just happened to have scores in collateral damage."  It's all pretty sick to me.  And yet, one side actually has more choices and a wider range of options if it would back off a little more. 

One other matter I'd like to mention.
Quote from: Odin
To everyone who compares the Palestinians to the Native Americans the WWII thing is the big difference. Why isn't anyone in here complaining about how we keep the Germans or the Japanese on a short leash? Why is it not okay to do the same with Palestine? They're plight is a direct result of them siding with the loser.
     In addition to other points that have been mentioned...  1)  It's not clear whether you're meaning to argue "just war in 1940's necessarily = just indefinite occupation," or simple might makes right, but I wouldn't suggest tossing both at once -- and 2) You appeared to be assuming everyone here has an obvious desire to keep Germany and Japan down.  That is entirely your presumption and I didn't sign up for any of it.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2009, 10:58:59 PM by kylie »

Offline Neroon

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #106 on: November 15, 2009, 09:12:40 AM »
     What it reflects to me, off the bat, is the rigidity of the Western state system in which any redrawing of borders or relocation of people is presumed tantamount to opening the floodgates to a wave of postcolonial grievances.

I would say that this is the single most perceptive point in the whole thread.  In the end, most of what the West- often through the UN, it must be said- has done over the last half century has been to preserve the status quo.  After all, that was the main result of the Cold War: that neither side could gain too much of an advantage lest the delicate balance that kept the world from nuclear destruction would be upset.  While the world might have moved on since then, the mindsets of the politicians and more importantly their advisors have not.

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #107 on: November 15, 2009, 10:54:15 AM »
One other matter I'd like to mention.     In addition to other points that have been mentioned...  1)  It's not clear whether you're meaning to argue "just war in 1940's necessarily = just indefinite occupation," or simple might makes right, but I wouldn't suggest tossing both at once -- and 2) You appeared to be assuming everyone here has an obvious desire to keep Germany and Japan down.  That is entirely your presumption and I didn't sign up for any of it.

Why not? Don't we punish people by restricting their access to things and jailing them when they do wrong? When a whole country lets itself become an engine of war and is responsible for over 6 million deaths in the name of genocide why shouldn't we hold them accountable for their actions? I'm not sure what the problem you have with this is.

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #108 on: November 15, 2009, 11:21:52 AM »
Um - I hate to ask this, but...

The creation of Israel was immediately after WWII, so I'm assuming that there is an association with the time frame and this next part. 

The topic of restrictions against the Germans and Japanese for their actions in WWII keeps coming up.  Can anyone here name one restriction against those two countries that is still in effect?  Neither one is exactly being 'kept down', and has presumably 'served their time'.  In fact, if you look at the Marshall Plan and the economic balance between Japan and the US, both nations are hardly being 'punished'.

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #109 on: November 15, 2009, 11:24:47 AM »
Um - I hate to ask this, but...

The creation of Israel was immediately after WWII, so I'm assuming that there is an association with the time frame and this next part. 

The topic of restrictions against the Germans and Japanese for their actions in WWII keeps coming up.  Can anyone here name one restriction against those two countries that is still in effect?  Neither one is exactly being 'kept down', and has presumably 'served their time'.  In fact, if you look at the Marshall Plan and the economic balance between Japan and the US, both nations are hardly being 'punished'.

Um Germany and Japan both have restricted military power, that's blatantly obvious.

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #110 on: November 15, 2009, 01:08:02 PM »
     Actually, I think the whole WW2 comparison would take us off topic before it could be sold.  There are various potentially disparate parts to argue:

1) what US policymakers think about Germany or Japan (and it's crossing whole generations which I'm doubtful all think the same),

2) whether policy and the relevant context are actually consistent between either of those and Palestine and

3) presuming (I think at a great reach) we could nail down those two things neatly across 60 years and three countries, maybe we could stay on topic...  how many here would agree there should be any such consistency in place -- it's not a thread about what is, so much as what people believe is reasonable or justifiable

     Just to hint at the complexity involved here...  As far as what some policymakers think, sure, at least a few years back, US military strategists sometimes still described American troops in Japan as a "cork in the bottle" and their global plans warned that we wouldn't accept Japan fielding any carrier task force (with or without the task force, I forget but whatever).  There has been some diplomatic and arguably, domestic outcry about such things though -- the officer who made the "cork in the bottle" remark in a public form was forced to apologize, qualify, etc. and others had to "spin" the discussion differently before people would let it rest.  So the thinking is certainly not uniform about this everywhere... 

     Also if you look at Japanese public opinion, I can tell you from my own research that by the 1990's it was very critical of developing any stronger global military role.  Even in the 1960's, the Japanese government stopped short of sending out troops to deal with strong domestic, anti-military protests.  Ironically these were also anti-US protests but the point remains that the Japanese government had its own, domestic constraints that made civilian opinion a real force separate from value assigned to the military.  How one could actually get from a Japan that is economically strong, with a more unified civil society (as opposed to weak and being embargoed by countries like the US which in the 1930's could have known very well that would start a war) to some continuing sense of "necessity" for an occupation, I'm not clear.  That doesn't disprove your claim that US troops might be involved as a result of the past war (sure historically speaking: partly anyway), but it seems to problematize the notion that they naturally should be responding to WW2 indefinitely.

     As far as explanations, you'll also have to deal with the contention that today, Japan is not much of a military threat (small island, nuclear capacity kept more on the shelf, not so difficult to bomb critical facilities with longer-range aircraft) while US strategists (and some Japanese) are increasingly concerned about Chinese capacities.  Even among those who do think US troops belong in Japan, I'm skeptical that you can really prove everyone involved wants them there primarily to "hold Japan down" as it were?  One could easily argue the real reason they are there now has more to do with balance of power and questions about Chinese intentions. 

     Plus... That cuts partly against your ideas because if you recall WW2, the Chinese were generally seen as the greater victims.  We allow the atomic and fire-bombing of Japanese cities, carpet bombing of German ones on historical "moral" grounds, but under those same grounds the Chinese were innocent victims.  So if they can probably nuke or outmaneuver any Japanese invasion today, under your rubric of WW2 showed who was good and bad, why should the US be required to control Japan on top of it?  For that matter, why should the US arm Taiwan if we know Japan is bad by virtue of all the evils it inflicted on China.  That seems to imply, if the past is everything, that China should be the good one and we should leave them alone.  At the least, you would need to convince me that the Big Cop US is actually the Lone Good Ranger one before we have any serious, historical right to rule on the matter.  This assigning black or white to each national government for ever and ever thing really causes problems the longer you try to sit on it.

     And all that would be mostly about clearing #1 [edit -- okay, some the others too but see what is involved].  You might want another thread (or maybe two -- I'm not sure how similar the German situation is) if you're really interested in selling that.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 01:22:15 PM by kylie »

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #111 on: November 15, 2009, 01:21:33 PM »
What's reasonable? How about this, I think its completely reasonable to kick the shit out of someone for firing thousands of missiles into your homes and back yards, but that's just me.

That's why I can't feel sympathy for Palestine. If you're getting slapped around constantly the last thing you do during a cease fire is repeatedly break it.

You're drawing this all out and trying to stand up for the UN trying to help Palestine while doubting their abilities and what they still impose on Germany and Japan, who's to say they haven't again made the wrong choice in backing someone who not only doesn't adhere to the standards the UN tries to enforce, but has actually stolen from them and tried to use them as Human shields.

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #112 on: November 15, 2009, 01:49:49 PM »
How about this, I think its completely reasonable to kick the shit out of someone for firing thousands of missiles into your homes and back yards, but that's just me.
     "Missiles."  As I understand it, they have usually been rockets that can't hit anything.  Just another example of the general disparity in capabilities.   
Quote
If you're getting slapped around constantly the last thing you do during a cease fire is repeatedly break it.
     I don't have this impression that historically the Israelis have been the only ones getting slapped around.  Without going to the trouble to look up the history of how many ceasefires to actually examine the claim that only the Palestinians ever violate them (which I rather doubt over such a close-quarters, urban, often hit and leave by both sides kind of conflict)...  Consider how the entire term "ceasefire" is being used to swing global opinion while keeping economic exploitation and the positioning/acts of Israeli forces out of the picture.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7835893.stm
(There were just blank lines in the original where I added ... )
Quote
Israel's assessment is that Hamas is in a lose-lose position. It believes that if Hamas accepts a ceasefire, it will show that it is beaten.... And if it does not stop shooting when Israel does, then the Israeli army will go back on to the offensive.... If that happens Israel believes it will have increased international legitimacy because it has declared that it is ready to stop fighting....  Hamas has repeated its conditions for a ceasefire. It wants a withdrawal of Israeli forces within a week, and the opening of Gaza's crossings to the outside world...  Israel says Hamas has to take it or leave it. The question now is whether Hamas decides to lick its wounds and regroup - or whether it gambles on dragging Israel into a war of attrition.
     Whether or not you think some of Hamas' demands are overwrought (it's also common in some areas to demand much more than the end really must be), the point remains they have real interests and concerns.  It's certainly difficult to have stability without an open, egalitarian economy -- ask minorities in the US -- but around Israel there is so much more militarization of disparity.

Quote
You're drawing this all out and trying to stand up for the UN trying to help Palestine while doubting their abilities
     Are you referring to me?  I'm not going to play the tired old conservative game of "Don't you dare say anything is wrong unless you have the 12-point plan that's bulletproof to fix it tomorrow."  I'm simply saying there are issues with the UN in military capacities.  Someone can suggest how they can be managed (or ways to open up new thinking within the region first), or someone could suggest a more heavy-handed intervention if it's assuming more principle than what we have there now... 

     I'm not claiming to offer perfection or even a specific plan myself, but I am sick and tired of nay-saying that only comes in the form "If Obama [or whatever is up there] is not the perfect Savior, then woe to those who would pursue any kind of change.  You know not what monster you have begun -- you can't tell us exactly how much it will cost or help in advance, so it's too risky."  There are always unknowns and often, some less than balanced parties to be negotiating with.  Deal with it.  As I gather, that is true whether one is looking for information on a marginalized subculture in the US or fussing more speculatively about international relations. 

     There are usually some conflicting interests in any discussion.  What we have historically in that region, though, is a rather obvious occupation and a huge disparity in wealth and military power between the occupiers and the occupied.  If you don't address that, you can go on blaming the Palestinians for appearing more "violent" or (hinting) "primitive" because they will be more desperate (and possibly because they have somewhat less regular control of the media reports).  But from those certain facts that you like to require so much, history does suggest that Israel will not gain any security from this pattern.  Israel claims it is adding security, but it appears to me that things are going on and on as a result of its policies, much as they have been -- plenty violently from both sides.       

Quote
what they still impose on Germany and Japan,
     Sorry if I missed it in skimming through posts above.  Have you shown that the UN has "imposed" anything specific on Germany and Japan that's relevant to this?  I mainly recall you mentioning US troops occupying their territory, as if it were obviously (presently) forced and obviously entirely for that reason among everyone concerned.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 04:22:00 PM by kylie »

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #113 on: November 15, 2009, 01:58:59 PM »
Actually no I said that Germany and Japan aren't allowed a military over a certain size, I said nothing of us occupying their land.

And as for the capabilities of the Palestinians...is it then okay to fire at someone as long as you don't hit them? Should their repeated breaking of a treaty sanctioned by the UN and agreed upon by Israel be ignored because they didn't hit anyone. That's pretty bad reasoning. Tell you what, fire on any country's boat at sea, miss it and keep firing and missing. If they don't blow you out of the water with the big guns I would be very shocked.

Never before has another country's lack of ability been a free pass to do what they want. In fact, the Palestinians should learn that since they're so ineffective that they need to take more diplomatic solutions. Instead they have in the last three years fired thousands of rockets (for the sake of argument it doesn't matter if they were firing missiles, rockets or RPGs, they were firing during a cease fire) and in 2007 voted a recognized terrorist organization into their government as a defense force, an organization that has stated they want the destruction of Israel and its people, a group that uses Human shields, hides on top of Hospitals and Schools and has done nothing to spur the peace process along.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 02:00:31 PM by Odin »

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #114 on: November 15, 2009, 02:12:07 PM »
I think the two groups involved in this conflict are going to have to sort matters out on their own.

I'm tired of America trying to play kingmaker around the world.  Let the rest of the world solve its own problems.  What you've got here (to simplify, but not by much really) is two groups who each believe their Sky Daddy promised them the same patch of desert.  Sooner or later, they're going to have to either a) learn to co-exist, or b) duke it out the old-school way and settle it once and for all.

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #115 on: November 15, 2009, 02:18:33 PM »
I think the two groups involved in this conflict are going to have to sort matters out on their own.

I'm tired of America trying to play kingmaker around the world.  Let the rest of the world solve its own problems.  What you've got here (to simplify, but not by much really) is two groups who each believe their Sky Daddy promised them the same patch of desert.  Sooner or later, they're going to have to either a) learn to co-exist, or b) duke it out the old-school way and settle it once and for all.

Does us voting in the UN to veto something is us playing kingmaker? Likewise the UN's constant siding with a group who will follow none of the rules set up for them is okay? I don't understand how its bad that we're voting like the other members of the UN. We're not over there fighting their battle for them and if left to their own devices its a pretty sure bet Israel would take all of Palestine without any further help from us.

As I said before the Jews are very secular and don't believe that the land is a divine gift as much as they want Palestine to recognize their right to exist and stop firing at them. They've been saying that for a while.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #116 on: November 15, 2009, 02:20:51 PM »
Does us voting in the UN to veto something is us playing kingmaker? Likewise the UN's constant siding with a group who will follow none of the rules set up for them is okay? I don't understand how its bad that we're voting like the other members of the UN. We're not over there fighting their battle for them and if left to their own devices its a pretty sure bet Israel would take all of Palestine without any further help from us.

As I said before the Jews are very secular and don't believe that the land is a divine gift as much as they want Palestine to recognize their right to exist and stop firing at them. They've been saying that for a while.

And regardless, it's really none of our business.  These people have been fighting each other since the days of the Roman Empire, if not before.

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #117 on: November 15, 2009, 02:23:53 PM »
And regardless, it's really none of our business.  These people have been fighting each other since the days of the Roman Empire, if not before.

Actually pre-WWII it was supposed to have been relatively peaceful there. Especially compared to now.

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #118 on: November 15, 2009, 02:58:13 PM »
Actually no I said that Germany and Japan aren't allowed a military over a certain size, I said nothing of us occupying their land.
  Sorry if I mistook that part.  When talking about Israel, it's usually more outstanding to me that the Israelis have settled/occupied and then military continually, periodically patrolled and/or reoccupied the remaining Palestinian-assigned areas.  So I saw occupying forces as the one to compare.  There isn't much of a formal Palestinian military to limit, though.  And attempting to disband virtually all of the paramilitary forces, always a difficult endeavor it seems in the Mideast, isn't likely to be accepted after the history of occupation.  It's far worse than the "gun rights lobby" drifting into militia radicalism or arms at political events in the US -- themselves surprisingly intractable factors in American politics.  There is actually a recent history of conflict in the Mideast to make people skeptical, to make them hang onto their weapons and militant organizations tighter. 

     I don't believe that Japan is internationally, formally required to limit its military, at least in the present.  That is usually a domestic choice made with reference to % of GDP and a slippery claim to avoid more "offensive" forces.  There was I think a US-Japan agreement on a numbers cap somewhere between 1945 and the Korean War.  I can't say about Germany...  Except for noting a limit on forces in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, part of a formula generally credited with setting up yet another war.  Were you maybe trying to suggest a bilateral agreement on force cap for 2009 in Palestine?  Either way, the whole reasoning of comparable situations and even comparable justification really seems a tortured stretch to me.  Let alone getting general support in the present context.

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is it then okay to fire at someone as long as you don't hit them?
     I'm simply saying I can understand some people firing, when they are being regularly and forcefully denied all sorts of value, opportunities, and honor in life.  When they feel their land has been stolen and their people basically imprisoned in substandard conditions.  No quantity of high-level formalities alone - especially with the Israelis constantly stretching settlement further and further despite the treaties - is going to change that.  People will make suicide attacks on people who they feel have unjustly rendered their lives meaningless.  It may be the only thing they feel they can do, you may go on painting it as barbaric or ineffective if you prefer.  But they will keep doing it because it is one of so few available options that makes a difference to them. 

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Tell you what, fire on any country's boat at sea, miss it and keep firing and missing. If they don't blow you out of the water with the big guns I would be very shocked.
     I think you don't understand the distinction people can make between conventional war (of uniforms and formal borders) and total war (of whole peoples, guerrillas and ways of life).  I think for some Palestinians, this is more like total war.  Will you say the tanks should shoot back at every child who throws a stone too?  After all, they dared to take on something bigger than them too.  Are they all merely brainwashed by the barbarians?  I think something more socially endemic and more profound is going on there.

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Never before has another country's lack of ability been a free pass to do what they want.
   Umm, does this mean that the fact the Jews had been persecuted across Europe and finally dragged into the Holocaust had nothing to do with why people accepted the formation of Israel as a state?

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Instead they have in the last three years fired thousands of rockets
   This really isn't surprising.  If you're going to fight, you use what you can get.  More rockets = either more psychological effect or occasionally, a few meaningful hits out of the bunch (leaving "meaningful" itself open to point of view).  The Soviets in WW2 and in planning versus technically superior NATO would employ mass wave attacks; the Vietcong would use the jungle and attack by surprise.  And in the end, with your elegant emphasis on might makes right (since you apparently think we should be satisfied simply to notice who gets blown away), you would have to note they all were recognized as having a certain strength -- they all frightened their opposition substantially and/or finally won something. 

     What's more interesting about Israel is, their politics have taken such a hard turn that it sounds like their leadership, if not many of their people, are not really frightened.  They seem able to absorb the rockets endlessly without changing their fundamental approach.  They claim the only alternative would be to fold the entire state, but I find that rather difficult to believe.  When you have a military with that much reputation and the backing of the US, do they really believe serious, balanced coexistence would allow others to overrun them at an acceptable cost?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 03:10:07 PM by kylie »

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #119 on: November 15, 2009, 03:17:31 PM »
The Rockey firing was during the ceasefire is the issue here, not why they were doing it. They also tried to tunnel into Israel. All that time no one threw up a red flag, even the Americans. We all let them do it because they didn't hit anyone.

People are saying stay out of it, its their conflict, the issue is that people seem to think that we only need to step in when Israel acts out, which isn't right. As far as the Jews go, they were pretty bad off after the war and that's why their homeland was formed.

I don't think there should be a force cap on Israel or Palestine because of the fact that they're not really bothering the nations around them. Most nations have either closed their borders or spoken out but there's not much evidence of others stepping in to do something or getting into wars with either side, at least not at the present.

As for the Mandate, the people who owned Palestine in 1948: Britain, are the ones who split it, it seems.

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When the Second World War broke out, the Jewish population sided with Britain. David Ben Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency, defined the policy with what became a famous motto: "We will fight the war as if there were no White Paper, and we will fight the White Paper as if there were no war." While this represented the Jewish population as a whole, there were exceptions (see below).

As in most of the Arab world, there was no unanimity amongst the Palestinian Arabs as to their position regarding the combatants in World War II. A number of leaders and public figures saw an Axis victory as the likely outcome and a way of securing Palestine back from the Zionists and the British. Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, spent the rest of the war in Nazi Germany and the occupied areas, in particular encouraging Muslim Bosniaks to join the Waffen SS in German-conquered Bosnia. About 6,000 Palestinian Arabs and 30,000 Palestinian Jews joined the British forces.

I think its easy to see what I am talking about.

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #120 on: November 15, 2009, 03:30:25 PM »
Quote from: OldSchoolGamer
And regardless, it's really none of our business.  These people have been fighting each other since the days of the Roman Empire, if not before.
     Perhaps you mean to argue, it should be none of our business?  Since our business has certainly been very involved.  In particular, military aid and thereby the arms industries.  Whatever our positions on it, we have been contributing tax money to Israeli policies.

You can see the full Congressional report this chart came from (it's on p. 18) at
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 03:38:44 PM by kylie »

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #121 on: November 15, 2009, 03:54:29 PM »
The Rockey firing was during the ceasefire is the issue here, not why they were doing it.
    It's always handy to say something "isn't the issue" if you don't want to face it...  And here I thought (judging by the thread title) the topic was what America should or shouldn't be doing about Israel-Palestinian relations more broadly.  If you want to convince me that anything should or should not be done, you have to address why.  You seem to prefer to try to find a "winners write the rules" type of precedent, but that's just an exercise in selective historical revision as far as I'm concerned.  It's obviously taking a big detour to avoid moral issues of real importance to me -- while simultaneously attempting to paint some (actually unspecified which and why) Palestinian leadership (of today, no less) as "obviously" inheritors of some Nazi or otherwise inhumane set of values.   

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As far as the Jews go, they were pretty bad off after the war and that's why their homeland was formed.
  They were also historically oppressed, which can easily lead to one being "pretty bad off."  But now if the Jewish state, home of the downtrodden and oppressed, carries out policies for decades that ensure the marginalization of the Palestinians, you seem to be saying that's okay because apparently the Palestinians were all bad people or perhaps (arguably a very different model) because they followed the wrong people. 

     I'm sure plenty of people before 1945 around Europe were convinced that the Jews were untrustworthy, conspiring, and under questionable leadership.  Yet voila, when they are exploited enough, it contributes to their getting a state.  Is part of the difference - honestly, just throwing a guess - that the Palestinians are not wealthy and connected enough?  Or perhaps this is part of the overall European discomfort with the "Orient," more connected to the cultural histories of the Crusades and such?  There must be more explanation than simple WW2 where as you have noted Palestinians were not all on one side.  (I think I'd be divided too, if I had been colonized by one of the Allies before that mess.)  Whatever it is, I'm leery of allowing it to give Israel a clear pass to keep right on as it has been.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 03:55:52 PM by kylie »

Offline Cythieus

Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #122 on: November 15, 2009, 05:06:24 PM »
     Perhaps you mean to argue, it should be none of our business?  Since our business has certainly been very involved.  In particular, military aid and thereby the arms industries.  Whatever our positions on it, we have been contributing tax money to Israeli policies.

You can see the full Congressional report this chart came from (it's on p. 18) at
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf



101 Million over almost 60 years? That's chump change. We gave 800 million in funds for Tsunami relief in 2004. That crushes your number, but I guess that shit shouldn't be our business either, we certainly have no business helping others out, right?

    It's always handy to say something "isn't the issue" if you don't want to face it...  And here I thought (judging by the thread title) the topic was what America should or shouldn't be doing about Israel-Palestinian relations more broadly.  If you want to convince me that anything should or should not be done, you have to address why.  You seem to prefer to try to find a "winners write the rules" type of precedent, but that's just an exercise in selective historical revision as far as I'm concerned.  It's obviously taking a big detour to avoid moral issues of real importance to me -- while simultaneously attempting to paint some (actually unspecified which and why) Palestinian leadership (of today, no less) as "obviously" inheritors of some Nazi or otherwise inhumane set of values.   
  They were also historically oppressed, which can easily lead to one being "pretty bad off."  But now if the Jewish state, home of the downtrodden and oppressed, carries out policies for decades that ensure the marginalization of the Palestinians, you seem to be saying that's okay because apparently the Palestinians were all bad people or perhaps (arguably a very different model) because they followed the wrong people.

No, its easy to say it isn't the issue when it isn't the issue. I don't give a damn why someone blows up someone else if they did it during a cease fire that's in their best interest. That gives you free reign on them. No questions asked. If you want to break cease fires you better be able to back it up.


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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #123 on: November 15, 2009, 05:19:29 PM »
Being the numbers-geek that I am, I took the time to graph that out.  Since 1997, with the exception of 2000 and 2003, the amount of overall aid has been decreasing fairly steadily.  The military aid has been (again, with the exception of those two years) steadily increasing.  It would be interesting to see the 2008 numbers and where everything stands, as it looks ready to reach the 100% mark.

(If someone can tell me how to make an Excel graph into a picture, I'll upload it.)

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Re: America what is with your current stance between Israel and Palestine ?
« Reply #124 on: November 15, 2009, 05:54:25 PM »
Quote from: Odin
101 Million over almost 60 years? That's chump change.
      Look closer!  That's millions of dollars times the numbers in the boxes.  In other words, in 2007 alone it was 2.34 billion dollars for military aid.  Now if you really wanted to make it look small, I suppose you could try noting that's what we blow in Iraq every week, in a designated foreign combat zone with over 100,000 troops. [Edit -- well that was Iraq in 2006, but it only adds to the point: Iraq was arguably a hotter zone then.]  It sure isn't small change to me, even talking military hardware.
http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/09/28/cost_of_iraq_war_nearly_2b_a_week/

I went to double check my own words for big numbers...  And found that we have already been "locked in" to continuing, and increasing our involvement, for 8 more years.
http://www.counterpunch.org/christison03052009.html
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The United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2007 committing the U.S. to give Israel $30 billion in military aid over the next decade.  This is grant aid, given in cash at the start of each fiscal year.  The only stipulation imposed on Israelís use of this cash gift is that it spend 74 per cent to purchase U.S. military goods and services. [paragraph split] The first grant under this agreement was made in October 2008, for FY2009, in the amount of $2.55 billion.  To bring the total 10-year amount to $30 billion, amounts in future years will gradually increase until an annual level of $3.1 billion is reached in FY2013.  This will continue through FY2018.

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I don't give a damn why someone blows up someone else if they did it during a cease fire that's in their best interest.
     
     You may not care less -- and I wonder if you even care if our money (be it $10 or 2 billion) continues funding the military that is backing the settlements contrary to the agreements with more assassinations and bombings of its own -- but I suspect others feel it is their livelihood and society at risk.  Probably not every single Palestinian by any means, but then you have suggested that all of them who chose or happened to fall under certain leadership should collectively suffer...  (Sounds rather like social Darwinism?)  I think you would have to argue precisely why you see that particular cease fire as being in someone's best interest.  You seem to like to search for a just war or a "right" side in some ideal war, quite long ago.  What about pursuing a just peace, now.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 06:00:50 PM by kylie »