• Benkei
    4.5k
    Enough people want this conflict to go on. Especially the religious fanatics. People can have this strange discussion of who is morally more justified than the other in a long conflict like this. A better discussion would be how the conflict could be ended. Without the virtue signaling.ssu

    The problem is that there's a lot of misinformation out there that is a barrier to a fair and just solution. Peace brokers like the USA aren't good brokers for peace due to the persistent bias existing about Israel's role in the conflict and policy choices where they give billions to Israel. You can't negotiate peace if only one side's security is taken seriously when in fact it's the other side getting killed.
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k
    Yes, it was the failed Camp David talks, not the failed Oslo agreement. Hamas were asked to ratify that position on Israel: a) recognition of the state of Israel, b) commitment to non-violence, c) adherence to prior agreements from future governments of a state of Palestine. Hamas declined. Point remains: what inclination towards a peace treaty with someone who refuses to work toward peace?

    Like I said, I'm not defending Israel here, Hamas is on them. That's about as close to a defence of Israel I can muster.
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    c) adherence to prior agreements from future governments of a state of PalestineKenosha Kid

    I have no recollection of this or Hamas refusing this. They weren't part of the negotiations during the summit and the Camp David Accords (much older than the summit) was when Hamas wasn't a player. Do you have a link to it somewhere?

    Even so, Hamas has changed from their original more extremist views to more moderate views. And I don't think serious peace talks were had since 2008, when it was the first time they communicated a possibility for peace along the 1967 borders and right of return.
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k
    I'm still on my phone, on my way home though. It was back in 2006, right after they were elected. It shouldn't be too hard to find: Palestinian aid from the UN, US, EU was contingent on Hamas agreeing to a peaceful two-state solution (which encapsulates (a) and (b)) and sticking to prior agreements. By refusing, Hamas cost the Palestinian people a lot in terms of aid, so it was a pretty big deal at the time.

    I'm not sure Hamas are as much moderate as moderated, that is to say I'm less convinced they'd be as chill if they weren't in coalition. Btw I wasn't suggesting Hamas were at Camp David, just that they declined to continue along that course.
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    Probably 2007 when Hamas rejected entering into negotiations to begin with right after winning elections? It doesn't seem a Palestinian state was on the table then as Arab States were still pushing that the Arab peace plan should form the basis of talks. Any way, I'll wait until you find it.

    It is true, by the way, that they've rejected all the Camp David and Oslo Accords because those didn't establish a sovereign state and probably didn't adequately deal (in their view) with Jerusalem and the right of return.
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k
    So it was somewhat more reasonable than I remember. Here's a NY Times article:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/28/world/middleeast/hamas-is-facing-a-money-crisis-aid-may-be-cut.html

    I remembered this as a demand to recognise Israel as a state, which is an essential component of the two-state solution. Apparently we were just asking them to back down on their commitment to the destruction of Israel as per the Hamas covenant.

    Ah. So the US reaction references the more assertive demand of the two-state solution: https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pcaab448.pdf

    Interestingly, their analysis is that it was a ploy to stoke sympathy and attract broader funding. Personally I think it's just religious mania on the back of (rightful) indignation.

    A correction to my earlier correction, it was the Oslo agreement after all. The PLO recognised the state of Israel in 1993.

    EDIT:

    It is true, by the way, that they've rejected all the Camp David and Oslo Accords because those didn't establish a sovereign state and probably didn't adequately deal (in their view) with Jerusalem and the right of return.

    It's a simplistic-seeming summary, but I suspect it's the thick end of the wedge. Or rather Hamas came to power in the first place as a reaction to that. I think Hamas itself is just another bloodthirsty jihadist nutjob organisation, a sort of Palestinian Trump monster emerging like a cry of desperation from a thwarted people with no good options.
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    It's a simplistic-seeming summary, but I suspect it's the thick end of the wedge. Or rather Hamas came to power in the first place as a reaction to that. I think Hamas itself is just another bloodthirsty jihadist nutjob organisation, a sort of Palestinian Trump monster emerging like a cry of desperation from a thwarted people with no good options.Kenosha Kid

    Hamas was also democratically elected. The terrorist designation and unwillingness to deal with them is, as Italian foreign minister said in 2007 "not a good lesson in democracy". Hamas has a terrorist wing but also provides aid, runs hospitals and is a political party. Kind of like the IRA and Sinn Fein.

    We also need to see through the ploy of submitting demands to enter into negotiations. In some rounds to start negotiations, the recognition of Israel was a requisite to start negotiations. We see in the second link (can't read the first as I reached my limit) that the recognition is a prerequisite for aid and is about Hamas' charter. Hamas consistently says Israel's status and recognition is subject to negotiation and should be part of it, so they will always reject what the PLO did : recognise the State of Israel before negotiations start. They will not recognise Israel's right to exist in their charter because of this. I do think people read too much into that because It's about territory and we know Israel doesn't recognise Palestine either and Likud's charter pretty much denies establishing Palestine too. It shouldn't be a barrier to negotiations either way.
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k
    We also need to see through the ploy of submitting demands to enter into negotiations. In some rounds to start negotiations, the recognition of Israel was a requisite to start negotiations. We see in the second link (can't read the first as I reached my limit) that the recognition is a prerequisite for aid and is about Hamas' charter. Hamas consistently says Israel's status and recognition is subject to negotiation and should be part of it, so they will always reject what the PLO did : recognise the State of Israel before negotiations start. They will not recognise Israel's right to exist in their charter because of this. I do think people read too much into that because It's about territory and we know Israel doesn't recognise Palestine either and Likud's charter pretty much denies establishing Palestine too. It shouldn't be a barrier to negotiations either way.Benkei

    No, I think you've misunderstood. This wasn't about starting another wave of negotiations, it was about continuation of aid to Palestine following the election of an organisation that had declared the destruction of Israel as one of its aims. I don't think there's anything too dark going on in the quartet: it seems perfectly reasonable to me not to provide funds to such a party, whether or not one is sympathetic to the origins of that party (as one might be sympathetic to the IRA but not want to enable it's violence).

    I couldn't disagree more that failure to recognise the other side as a state is a barrier to the implementation of a two-state solution. You cannot have a successful two-state solution when one side will not recognise the other. It was a huge achievement to get Israel to recognise the PLO as the legitimate negotiator for a future state of Palestine: the Palestinian side was not a problem here until 2006 afaik.

    Likewise you cannot work toward peace with an opponent who does not have peace as a goal.
  • ssu
    4.1k
    The problem is that there's a lot of misinformation out there that is a barrier to a fair and just solution.Benkei
    Not only misinformation, but also simple ignorance.

    Just take for example the Israeli nuclear deterrence or it's biological and chemical warfare capability (Israel hasn't ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, hasn't ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention). Yes, informed people know of existence of Israeli nuclear weapons, but I would argue that many actually do not. That Israel has nuclear weapons alongside other WMD capability puts into another light the reasons of WMD projects of it's neighbors: they have been an attempt to create a deterrence and a balance.

    There are the populists, the religious zealots, but behind the bellicose threatening discourse there is logical thinking on both sides (if continuation of a conflict can be logical).

    Peace brokers like the USA aren't good brokers for peace due to the persistent bias existing about Israel's role in the conflict and policy choices where they give billions to Israel. You can't negotiate peace if only one side's security is taken seriously when in fact it's the other side getting killed.Benkei
    Put it another way, there isn't an urgent need for the US to do anything in this issue and the fact is that far more important to American politicians are the domestic votes in elections and the support of AIPAC and Christian Evangelists than a solution in the Middle East.

    For politicians to truly seek peace and to end an active conflict usually happens when the continuation of the conflict is simply unbearable and will likely lead to the downfall of the politicians. How many US politicians face imminent downfall if they continue the line of supporting Israel (and all the Judeo-Christian heritage etc.) and make the nominal peace proposals that benefit one side more than the other?

    And not to just single out the US, what other entity cannot continue with the old normal that has basically been going on from 1948? A 73-year conflict means that the conflict is normality for the people. That is the unfortunate thing here.
  • ssu
    4.1k
    Thanks for those words, Schopenhauer1!

    When we know we agree on those things, we can go further with the topic...

    How can it change for the better?

    How will it change?

    If Bibi is finally ousted and a new pro-peace Israeli government seeks to change course, can it? Is there a possibility of getting out of this rabbit hole?

    Can other countries besides the US, Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Egypt, Russia, Turkey etc. play a supportive role towards peace in the Middle-East?

    And if so, how can the Palestinians, be it the PA or Hamas or whoever, also approach this? Can they actually make and keep peace with Israel and then face the fact that there's Israel and they have all these problems...
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    It was a huge achievement to get Israel to recognise the PLO as the legitimate negotiator for a future state of Palestine: the Palestinian side was not a problem here until 2006 afaik.Kenosha Kid

    The end result of Rabin and Arafat was not going to be a Palestinian State though.

    No, I think you've misunderstood.Kenosha Kid


    We see in the second link (can't read the first as I reached my limit) that the recognition is a prerequisite for aid and is about Hamas' charter.Benkei

    ?
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k
    The end result of Rabin and Arafat was not going to be a Palestinian State though.Benkei

    Do you practically, or nominally? It certainly was the intention that the 5 year interim period would be used for negotiations for a permanent government of Palestine. If you mean practically, yeah well... look where we are. :'(

    No, I think you've misunderstood.
    — Kenosha Kid


    We see in the second link (can't read the first as I reached my limit) that the recognition is a prerequisite for aid and is about Hamas' charter.
    — Benkei
    Benkei

    Okay, maybe _I_ misunderstand. I don't see the relevance of:

    We also need to see through the ploy of submitting demands to enter into negotiations.Benkei

    to the quartet demands to continue funding, which is what I thought you were responding to there (although you didn't quote it).
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    Do you practically, or nominally? It certainly was the intention that the 5 year interim period would be used for negotiations for a permanent government of Palestine. If you mean practically, yeah well... look where we are. :'(Kenosha Kid

    From wiki (not my favourite source but since it confirms what I remembered from my studies I'll use it):

    The Oslo Accords created a Palestinian Authority tasked with limited self-governance of parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; and acknowledged the PLO as Israel's partner in permanent-status negotiations about remaining questions. The most important questions relate to the borders of Israel and Palestine, Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, Israel's military presence in and control over remaining territories after Israel's recognition of Palestinian autonomy, and the Palestinian right of return. The Oslo Accords, however, did not create a Palestinian state. — Wiki

    Now, if you look at the specific details the end result would never be called a Palestinian state due to no control of borders, air space or waters and, I believe, but I can't find a reference right now, no control of their economy.

    The language is the interim period doesn't talk about the end result being a State either. More like an autonomous region. Like Kosovo I suppose.
  • StreetlightX
    7.1k
    Ed Said's assessment of Oslo in '93 remains unsurpassable:

    What emerges from such scrutiny is a deal that is more flawed and, for most of the Palestinian people, more unfavourably weighted than many had first supposed. The fashion-show vulgarities of the White House ceremony, the degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for the suspension of most of his people’s rights, and the fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton’s performance, like a 20th-century Roman emperor shepherding two vassal kings through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance: all these only temporarily obscure the truly astonishing proportions of the Palestinian capitulation. So first of all let us call the agreement by its real name: an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles.

    ...In sum, we need to move up from the state of supine abjectness in which the Oslo Accords were negotiated (‘we will accept anything so long as you recognise us’) into one that enables us to prosecute parallel agreements with Israel and the Arabs concerning Palestinian national, as opposed to municipal, aspirations. But this does not exclude resistance against the Israeli occupation, which continues indefinitely. So long as occupation and settlements exist, whether legitimised or not by the PLO, Palestinians and others must speak against them. One of the issues not raised, either by the Oslo Accords, the exchange of PLO-lsraeli letters or the Washington speeches, is whether the violence and terrorism renounced by the PLO includes non-violent resistance, civil disobedience etc. These are the inalienable right of any people denied full sovereignty and independence, and must fee supported.

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v15/n20/edward-said/the-morning-after
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.4k
    And if so, how can the Palestinians, be it the PA or Hamas or whoever, also approach this? Can they actually make and keep peace with Israel and then face the fact that there's Israel and they have all these problems...ssu



    I'm convinced that there is some sort of grassroots Palestinian movement in Gaza that's actually interested in peace and may in fact not want to live under fundamentalist Islamic rule (who'd have thought?) I would love to see an uprising in Gaza where the population comes together and overthrows Hamas, but Hamas has all the power so I don't see this happening anytime soon. Their deep-seated opposition to Israel's existence is made clear in their founding documents. I just don't think peace is possible with Hamas in power.

    When you're dealing with the PA there's at least a glimmer of hope since they're secular, but peace with Israel is just never a popular move politically (by peace I mean renouncing further territorial claims as this is deeply unpopular). I know for a fact that the WB is doing better than Gaza and the people are a little freer. I don't know if the situation in the WB is in need of immediate international attention. Sure, WB isn't doing great but there's actually a lot of places that are doing worse.
  • ssu
    4.1k
    I'm convinced that there is some sort of grassroots Palestinian movement in Gaza that's actually interested in peace and may in fact not want to live under fundamentalist Islamic ruleBitconnectCarlos
    Gaza is one strange concentration camp, so having an effect from there is limited.

    First of all, the Palestinians would have to overcome the highly disruptive Hamas-Fatah conflict. The reconciliation process hasn't gone anywhere in over a decade. The 2014 unity government attempt wasn't successful and now you have the two opposing Palestinian governments. And, of course, both Israel and the US are opposed have effectively opposed reconciliation. This naturally is divide-et-impera tactics: never have your opponent be someone with one credible voice, if you can splinter it into different opposing groups.

    The problem perhaps is that of the structure of the PLO itself:

    The PLO was designed as a government in exile, with a parliament, the Palestine National Council (PNC), chosen by the Palestinian people, as the highest authority in the PLO, and an executive government (EC), elected by the PNC. In practice, however, the organization was rather a hierarchic one with a military-like character, needed for its function as a liberation organization, the "liberation of Palestine"

    How you a have a military organization having in itself a parliament and an executive representing the country, then all that still be lead by one leadership I find very difficult to fathom. Let's remember that Hamas came out from the dissatisfaction of Palestinians to the rule of the PLO and there the Fatah.

    I would personally see as the crucial voice here the Palestinians that are called "Arab Israelis", because as still considered as Israeli citizens, they do have ways to influence the political landscape and also Western views. Still, getting even them to be unified is a problem.

    How and what they can do, we will see, but the for the first time, Palestinians are going into the Israeli government:

    The United Arab List (UAL) is set to become the first party of Palestinian citizens of Israel to take part in a governing coalition after it agreed to join the new Israeli government to be led by Naftali Bennett – a former ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who had called for the annexation of the occupied West Bank.

    Abbas’s UAL broke away from the Joint Arab List, the main coalition of Palestinian parties in Israel, ahead of the March elections. Abbas decided to run independently, advocating at the time that he would work with Netanyahu and other right-wing parties to improve living conditions for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

    The split weakened the representation of Palestinian parties in the Knesset, which in last year’s vote won a record 15 seats in parliament.
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k
    Now, if you look at the specific details the end result would never be called a Palestinian state due to no control of borders, air space or waters and, I believe, but I can't find a reference right now, no control of their economy.Benkei

    Sorry for late reply, was tearing it up in London. Security Council Resolution 242 was the stated model of Oslo II (for the negotiation of further transfer of power to the interim government of Palestine to establish, within five years, a permanent arrangement), which included mutual respect and autonomous control of borders in the area.

    You're probably right that this falls short of an unambiguous acknowledgement of a state of Palestine being the endgame for Israel. Nonetheless, given that the two-state solution was the reigning paradigm, it seems to me that Israel were at least satisfied to give that impression. And it does seem like Netanyahu had a change of heart, from gradual retreat from occupied Palestine to a reoccupation of those territories, and that this was unpopular with his own cabinet.
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    No problem. I had two days sailing on sea. It was fantastic.
  • Benkei
    4.5k
    On the Wadden Sea. North of the mainland of the Netherlands but south of the islands there.
  • Kenosha Kid
    2.4k
    Looks nice. Most jealous!
  • Gregory
    3.3k


    Hamas targets civilians but, of course, the U.S. nuked two cities in order to get their way- Humans are like the "lower" animals when they are in a fight
  • Manuel
    984


    The history of the bombings in Japan are quite interesting, and horrifying. There maybe could be some kind of argument that could be made about using it in Hiroshima and it should still be considered a war crime, in my view.

    But zero justification at all for Nagasaki. While the US is responsible for the use of the bombs, there should be no doubt at all about that - the Japanese fascist government played a massive part in the tragedy too. The leadership, minus a small dissident camp refused to give up when they knew they lost the war. There's also the factor of using the bomb as showing off vs. the USSR and other things, but that would be good material for another thread.

    The idea w/ Israel is that, we'd like to think or at least aspire to the notion that we are being less savage than we used to be. Why bother then with all this rights of prisoners of war and non-killing civilians argument? So states know they have a minimum standard they should abide by, though they rarely do. But in 2021 to have a highly developed, industrial country bombing the crap out of an open air prison all the while starving its residents and then calling it "defense", is something that should not be acceptable.

    The reason Israel is singled out, is that there is already a known solution, short term at least, for the conflict: go to resolution 242 and abide by that. The US is also directly responsible for Israel's actions and this can do something about this.

    There are other horrors: Yemen, Kashmir, etc., etc. but these are much harder to do anything about.

    But yes, you are right, in war, people are like animals, but worse.
  • Gregory
    3.3k


    Jews themselves were persecuted in WWII, but, as you say, they are taking it out on other people. Blacks in America are taking out their anger by riots, and white conservatives condemn it. Yet Israel has done much worse damage in revenge and Foxnews and company supports it. Trump himself said that, when asked about Putin's crimes, "there is blood on our hands too"
  • Manuel
    984


    Yes. That's the evangelical dimension to Israel. Likely the most anti-Semitic people in the world are those who "support" Israel. Quite ironic.

    And Trump should be commended for saying that, because it's true. There's blood on every states hands. It's just that the bigger the state (generally) the more blood they spill...
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.4k
    Likely the most anti-Semitic people in the world are those who "support" Israel. Quite ironic.Manuel



    Yeah, sure, or maybe the anti-Semites are the ones who are actually attacking Jews worldwide over Israel's actions. Or the ones who are extremely critical of Israel while saying nothing of Hamas.
  • Manuel
    984


    I mean, there's everything. There are anti-Semitic people who praise Israeli and those who do not. And there are those who criticize Israel with no idea of Judaism in mind at all.

    Maybe the rest of the world is an exception, though based on what I've seen not really, in that hatred of Arabs and specifically Islam is often stated, by Presidents and Prime Ministers no less. No one in the "West" today would dream of saying 1/10'th of what they say about Arabs to Jews. It would be considered racist if done, and quite correctly.

    There is no shortage of criticism of Hamas or radical Islam at all. Some of it has merits, sure. But a lot of it is just racism.

    So it goes both ways.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.4k


    In my experience very few anti-Semites are pro-Israel. Israel is such a perfect lightening rod that I don't see why anti-Semites would avoid that opportunity. It's just so easy.

    What disparaging comments have western leaders and prime ministers said lately about Arabs? Could you mind citing a few examples? Anti-semitism is rampant across the muslim/arab world.

    There is no shortage of criticism of Hamas or radical Islam at all. Some of it has merits, sure. But a lot of it is just racism.Manuel

    A lot of criticism of Hamas is racism? Why would you say this about Hamas but not apply it to Israel and anti-Semitism? Radical muslims are universally despised even among other Muslims.
  • Manuel
    984
    In my experience very few anti-Semites are pro-Israel. Israel is such a perfect lightening rod that I don't see why anti-Semites would avoid that opportunity. It's just so easy.BitconnectCarlos

    Well take the Evangelicals. Or parts of the far right, like that guy from Norway, Breijvik. The idea is we don't like these Jews, but we like these Arabs even less so let the Jews stay in Israel and take care of the Arabs.

    But yes, you are also correct. There is bound to be anti-Semites who hate Israel.

    Could you mind citing a few examples?BitconnectCarlos

    You really need sources? I'll give a few. They're mixed in with Radical Islam to make it look less blatant...

    Macron:
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/2/macron-announces-new-plan-to-regulate-islam-in-france

    Trump:
    https://www.nilc.org/issues/litigation/trump-tweets-with-muslim-muslims/

    Australian Senator:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/australian-senator-fraser-anning-criticised-blaming-new-zealand-attack-on-muslim-immigration

    And etc.

    A lot of criticism of Hamas is racism? Why would you say this about Hamas but not apply it to Israel and anti-Semitism? Radical muslims are universally despised even among other Muslims.BitconnectCarlos

    The idea here is Hamas=Radical Islam, hence everything ugly Hamas does is because of Islam.

    The anti-Semitism in the Arab world against Israel, is overwhelmingly due to Israel's history in the region. You know this: the wars with Lebanon and Egypt and Syria, the way Palestinians are treated, etc.

    And to pre-empt a comment I know will be coming. Yes, there are legitimate criticisms of radical Islam. it exists and is quite ugly, just look at Saudi Arabia.

    But radical Christians started too wars just over 10 years ago, that have not ended in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And radical Jews (settlers) are the main reason as to why Israel is so vilified.

    Every religion and group of people have radical parts.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    1.4k
    You really need sources? I'll give a few. They're mixed in with Radical Islam to make it look less blatant...Manuel

    I'll hear about criticism or prejudice towards Muslims, but I was asking about Arabs earlier. The difference is that Arab is an ethnicity and there are Arabs of all religious backgrounds who live all around the world.

    Islam is open to legitimate criticism. Being an Arab is not.

    The idea here is Hamas=Radical Islam, hence everything ugly Hamas does is because of Islam.Manuel

    Well that's obviously wrong. I think there's just so much misinformation out there. Hamas is a fundamentalist Islamic organization but the people who primarily suffer due to that are the Palestinians living under them. Sure the Israelis face bombs and threats, but I'd much rather be fighting that than living under it.

    The anti-Semitism in the Arab world against Israel, is overwhelmingly due to Israel's history in the region. You know this: the wars with Lebanon and Egypt and Syria, the way Palestinians are treated, etc.Manuel

    I firmly disagree with this. Jews have been living under Muslim leaders for around 1500 years in the Middle East, and over that time there has been a long history of subjugation and abuse including plenty of massacres & repression depending on the ruler. Anti-semitism in the Arab world did not only begin existing in 1948, there's a very long history there. Israel currently is also at peace with a number of its Arab neighbors including Egypt whom it gave back Sinai to in... 1988? It's been some time since these countries were actually at war.

    There are Gallup polls that measure this type of thing that I'd be happy to show you if we wanted to pursue this further. These polls reflect deep-seated attitudes that extend far beyond Israel.

    And radical Jews (settlers) are the main reason as to why Israel is so vilified.Manuel

    Vilified by who? The Arabs? The western world? I don't deny that settlers in the WB can be provocative, but I don't see them as being the main reason that Israel is vilified. You also have to remember that there has been Jewish communities in the WB going back thousands of years.
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