Social Question

mattbrowne's avatar

Why does the government of Israel reject an independent international investigation of the aid ship attack?

Asked by mattbrowne (31451 points ) June 4th, 2010

I don’t get it.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/04/2918848.htm?section=world

“Israel has rejected calls for an independent international investigation of its raids on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla on Monday that killed nine activists. The raids have sparked international condemnation, with South Africa becoming the latest nation to withdraw its ambassador from Israel in protest. Israel has defended the actions of its soldiers from the outset, saying the deaths of the activists onboard the humanitarian ships in international waters was an act of self-defence by its commandos.”

How can Israel’s government be so extremely stupid? Only an independent investigation has a (small) chance of reestablishing trust. If this is not done, everyone will think that Israel got something to hide distorting the truth. Turkey was an important ally of Israel. It seems that the current Israeli government doesn’t care about destroying all good relations with other countries. In the end, only the US and Germany will be left. How can the Israeli voters let them? Where is the outcry of the moderate Israelis? Every new house in East Jerusalem creates at least 100 new terrorists. The incident on this ship will create 100,000 new terrorists over the next years. Unless, the UN can clearly show that weapons were smuggled and the activists tried to kill the Israeli soldiers so they had to defend themselves. Or Israel is guilty of violating international law and is willing to apologize and pay compensation to the families of the killed activists.

No one is above the law. This is a basic principle.

In many of my Fluther posts I made it completely clear that Israel is facing a very dangerous lunatic enemy. Hamas is a democratically elected terrorist organization promoting the one true religion in its ugliest form. Just to be clear who the opponent is here. I completely understand the concern of weapons being smuggled into Gaza. I’m a friend of Israel and I also appreciate all peaceful Palestinians (hopefully voting for peaceful governments). I’m concerned about Israel because this current government seems getting closer and closer to lunacy as well. Again I don’t understand how the current Israeli government doesn’t care about destroying all good relations with other countries. This is a diplomatic suicide.

Israel is a democracy. Israel appreciates pluralism. Where is the opposition? Where are the intellectuals whose voices do count? This lunacy has got to stop.

I just don’t get it.

Do you have an explanation why the Israeli government is so stubborn? What do they have to lose accepting an independent international investigation? The reputation can’t get any worse.

The bestselling Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell today accused Israel of murder, piracy and kidnapping after describing how the aid ship he was travelling on was seized by Israeli forces this week. Mankell, whose detective novels featuring the commissar Kurt Wallander have sold almost 30m copies worldwide, was aboard the Swedish ship Sofia, one of six ships in the flotilla carrying aid to Gaza. The 25-strong crew, including Mankell, were all arrested and held in custody.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian in Berlin, Mankell, 62, described the “horrifying moment” when he realized the Israelis had chosen to attack the ships deep in international waters. Our idea had been a non-violent, non-fighting back method. But we soon realized the Israelis had chosen the real, real ugly solution to attack in international water … It was only when I got on my flight home that I realized that people had died in the attack, when the stewardess told me on the plane,” he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/03/gaza-flotilla-attack-henning-mankell

There are so many contradictions between the news released by Israel and the news released by the people aboard the ship.

What can be done to improve the situation?

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69 Answers

zenele's avatar

Does the U.S. or Germany or any other Democracy have an international investigation into every matter? In Iraq and Afghanistan? The reason is – that we can’t have soldiers, who are just doing their jobs, have to hide behind lawyers everytime there are casualties.

zenele's avatar

“The bestselling Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell today accused Israel of murder, piracy and kidnapping after describing how the aid ship he was travelling on was seized by Israeli forces this week. Mankell, whose detective novels featuring the commissar Kurt Wallander have sold almost 30m copies worldwide, was aboard the Swedish ship Sofia, one of six ships in the flotilla carrying aid to Gaza. The 25-strong crew, including Mankell, were all arrested and held in custody.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian in Berlin, Mankell, 62, described the “horrifying moment” when he realized the Israelis had chosen to attack the ships deep in international waters. Our idea had been a non-violent, non-fighting back method. But we soon realized the Israelis had chosen the real, real ugly solution to attack in international water … It was only when I got on my flight home that I realized that people had died in the attack, when the stewardess told me on the plane,” he said.”

And Annie Lennox is a singer – so? Does that make their story more credible?

The pictures show the story – it was well planned, well financed – a cell of terrorists numbering about 50 attacked the soldiers who had notified again and again that they were boarding. They were armed with painball guns because they thtought their mere presence would be intimidation enough. No-one is allowed to smash a blockade – especially one that originates from Turkey an is heading for the Hamas.

The letters found on board, together with the envelopes of cash, talk of becoming Shahids. Well, sadly, they got what they wanted.

Watch

For a friend of Israel, your question is quite loaded and provocative and quite one-sided.

mattbrowne's avatar

Here’s one example of the Kunduz Bombing in Afghanistan:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,684411,00.html

There was an investigation in Germany and one done by NATO.

There was a public outcry in Germany and even the new defense minister came under a lot of pressure. The previous one had to resign because of the incident. The cover ups didn’t last.

And keep in mind, it was in Afghanistan. Not international waters. And there was a UN mandate.

The pictures speak for themselves? You don’t seem to understand the problem. How can the world trust Israel’s pictures? We all know there are video editing programs. A government who doesn’t cooperate with the international community is capable of creating fabrications. Israel’s foreign minister is a racist. Frankly, I don’t trust these kind of people. Therefore we need independent reports.

I trust you, my friend. But I’m puzzled by the lack of critical thinking when it comes to your government.

Can we stay in this thread?

mattbrowne's avatar

If the independent report confirms Israel’s view of the incident, fine. Then I know Mankell was wrong. But Israel obviously rejects an independent international investigation. That’s my issue.

Innocent till proven guilty.

dpworkin's avatar

No country allows its sovereignty to be violated by allowing officials of other countries to come in with subpoena power and investigate incidents that occurred within its own purview. Suggesting that Israel do this and then getting steamed up when it refuses is just a propaganda ploy which you have apparently fallen for.

The Israeli Supreme Court has shown itself much more capable than our own of taking on the government when necessary. The Israelis conduct their own investigations, and in the eyes of the world press they have generally been fair.

mattbrowne's avatar

@dpworkin – The incident happened in international waters. Turkish citizens were killed. Why not find out what exactly happened?

zenele's avatar

Why would the boat’s own cameras shots be faked? To what advantage? Believe you me, the Israelis are embarrassed at what happened – because it was a botched mission. They should have known in advance that they were carrying so many weapons and had planned to attack.

Would you have rappelled into the lynchmob if you knew?

There were three teams of 15 seals. Do you think we have that many to spare? Now three are seriously injured. What clips are being faked? And why?

Re. Int’l waters: where would you have them stopped before reaching Gaza?

When the US is out of Afghanistan and Iraq we’ll discuss International Waters seriously.

It’s a war – and Hamas is in Gaza saying they do not recognize Israel’s existence. Sadly, that little piece of shit land is just up the coast from us – where would you have the boats checked?

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – I was told there were no weapons. Just poles and kitchen knifes. No guns. No other heavy weapons.

Lynch mob? Maybe the soldiers attacked first and the people tried to defend themselves. Or maybe the soldiers were attacked first. Maybe the videos are fake. Maybe not. This is the issue. I don’t know what to believe. Investigation, please. This could prevent the recruitment of 100,000 new terrorists. It’s worth the effort.

Only Iraq is an illegal war. The one in Afghanistan is legal.

dpworkin's avatar

@mattbrowne It doesn’t matter how often you say it; no country is going to allow an independent investigation (made up of what investigators?) to violate its sovereignty. No country ever. Not even if you want it to, unless it has just lost a war, and the victors are conducting war trials.

You may continue to whine that they should, or that it’s not fair, or whatever else you please, but it ain’t gonna happen, nor should it. Do you want the UN to put together a commission to meet on German soil to investigate the treatment of Arabs in the Gastarbeiter program?

mattbrowne's avatar

@dpworkin – Investigators appointed by the UN for example. Analyzing the videos. Talking to all eye witnesses. Not in Israel of course. And the Israeli authorities can send the accounts given by their soldiers (without the names of the soldiers to protect them).

dpworkin's avatar

I notice that you persist without having answered my questions.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – You mean Hamas is now using kitchen knifes and wrenches to attack Israel from Gaza? I was expecting pictures of guns and ammunition.

mattbrowne's avatar

@dpworkin – What about my Kunduz example above? There was also a NATO investigation.

zenele's avatar

@mattbrowne Though you haven’t been in battle, you can see how dozens of “martyrs” carrying big knives and pipes, attacking soldiers before they even land on board – grabbing their guns and shooting at them with their guns – can be quite frightening. I can tell you from my own experience – when you’re mobbed it doesn’t matter what they are hitting you in the head with. If they are 10 to one even with this it would be a losing battle. THAT is the soldiers mistake.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – Then Israel’s government should not fear an investigation. On the contrary. The international investigation would help Israel. It would show the soldiers were the victims.

zenele's avatar

I already answered why I think there won’t be one, that President Peres doesn’t fear one – and dp has stated why there should not be one. Personally, I don’t think any more can be learned thanwhat we know. I watched the soldiers interviewed and I know what happened. I think the biggest mistake is that we have to play political defense all the time. And risk the lives of soldiers doing stupid customs work.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zenele – You’re not interested in what other eye witnesses are saying? What the exact sequence of the incident was?

zenele's avatar

@mattbrowne My dear friend – I fear we are going in circles. I am satisfied that the soldiers, the pictures and the chain of events speak for themselves. I don’t really need anyone else to tell me how stupid and sad it all was.

janbb's avatar

There certainly are a lot of conflicting reports about what happened and I would like to see some kind of investigation into it. I do see why a sovereign nation would not allow an international investigation, but it would be compelling if the Israelis would hold publicly broadcast hearings about the incident (which I’m sure they won’t.)

I saw in the Times today an article that Israel is considering changing it’s Gaza policy – haven’t read the details. Too many people in Gaza are suffering. Perhaps some good will come out of this.

josie's avatar

I am not Jewish, and I have no great sympathies for Israel. But, what would give any Israeli Jew any reason to believe that any International panel would look objectively at anything that Israel does. The entire history of the world is laced with chronicles of somebody conquering the Jews, somebody persecuting the Jews, somebody killing the Jews, somebody threatening the Jews, somebody blaming the Jews for just about everything from economic trouble to epidemic disease. Come on. No International panel is going to miss the opportunity to take one more shot at the Jews, and the Israelis know it.

zenele's avatar

@janbb What is official? ” Israelis would hold publicly broadcast hearings about the incident (which I’m sure they won’t.)” here’s the Official Ministry of Foreign Affairs take on it – it doesn’t get any more official than that. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA

zenele's avatar

@josie You lie – you do have sympathy for Israel.

janbb's avatar

I didn’t say anything about official – I said the investigations should be publicly broadcast (like the McCArthy hearings.) I have no doubt that there is a great deal of discussion and heartache in Israel over the incident; I know that for every Israeli, there are at least five opinions!

josie's avatar

@zenele I have no great sympathies for Israel. All I did was answer a question. Call somebody else a liar.

zenele's avatar

All – righty then. I know who isn’t in my fluther anymore.

mattbrowne's avatar

@josie – I resent any comments trying to make this an issue of religion and Judaism. Many people do not seem to be aware that some citizens of Israels are also Christians, Muslims and atheists. The issue here is about the Israeli government and their conduct in this particular matter and the international reaction to the incident. Many seem to overlook that Israel is extremely threatened by Hamas and other radical groups.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I wasn’t aboard the boat. I’m not in a position to pass judgment on Israel over the incident. How will an international investigation produce anything? The people on those boats had a specific political agenda. The commandos who boarded them had a mission and a protocol. All an international investigation can do is interview those involved. What are the boaters going to say? What are the commandos going to say? Why would they even cooperate with an international investigation?

In short – what kind of truth can come out of it?

gtreyger's avatar

The demand for a UN investigation shows a clear double standard towards Israel. It shows hypocrisy and singles out the Jewish State for special treatment. There is no case in recent history where a democratic country’s army has been involved in an overseas operation in which civilians have been killed, and has been subjected to an international investigation.

Cruiser's avatar

What would be helpful is to know what both sides “knew” in advance of this event. Clearly this was planned and IMO staged to achieve exactly the end result that happened. I really wish I had the link but yesterday I read an interview of one of the “activists” who was on board the ship. In his own words he spoke on how he and his fellow activists planned on provoking the Israelis and their plan specifically was to have no firearms in this attack and when the boarding was taking place he reiterated the need to not have weapons and shouted to his cohorts during the attack to not shoot back and throw the guns they captured overboard and to become martyrs.

WTH is Isreal supposed to do here? The blockade was started in 2007 because Hamas broke their part of the agreement that negotiated a long fought for peace in the region. What is Isreal supposed to do when they are constantly being rocketed? This “setup” by the flotilla was engineered to interrupt the meeting of Obama and Netanyahu and embarrass Isreal and make them look like thugs. For the most part I truly believe they knew this was a setup and hence boarded the ship with paintball guns little more than backup firepower to prevent a bloodbath. And when the activists saw they were not being slaughtered, and again in the own words of the activists, were to attack the IDF until people were being killed. And I evidence this by the fact that not one IDF soldier was killed. They had enough knives to fillet all those IDF soldiers but planned and even admitted to just keep beating on them till IDF gunfire breaks out. IMO it was a flat out planned setup and specifically to disrupt the US Israel meeting.

josie's avatar

@mattbrowne If you resent my comment, how do deal with truly serious disagreements in your real life in a healthy fashion?
That aside; The reason Isreal has a “problem” with it’s neighbors is not because there are Christians, Muslims etc. living there. It is because there are Jews living there. The Palestinian “issue” is a smokescreen that other Arabs use to disguise their distaste for Jews. My original statement is still true. The Israelis are reluctant to expose themselves to “Official” international judgement, because that judgement is generally negative without regard to circumstance.

kevbo's avatar

One doesn’t really need an investigation to know that the IDF boarded ships in international waters, and the legality or illegality of that under the rules that apply to blockades can be hashed out regardless of the level of understanding of whatever events followed. There’s no ambiguity regarding that, and undoubtedly Israeli defense from the top down knew exactly what they intended to do and whether it was legal and whether that mattered to them. So, there’s nothing really to be gained from a submitting to an investigation so long as they can weather the media storm.

If we’re going to do any international investigating, why don’t we look at some other recent illegal acts of war and violations of the Geneva Convention committed in recent years.

mattbrowne's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex – Exactly, an international investigation can interview those involved. If the people involved got an agenda trying to distort the truth inconsistencies will emerge. They can also analyze the videos.

What kind of truth can come out of it? One that is very close to the sequence of actual events.

mattbrowne's avatar

@josie – I don’t agree. The problem was created by the migration of foreigners into Palestine many decades ago. In principle it’s similar to the situation in the past when Americans settled in areas populated by Native Americans displacing them.

Religions can learn to co-exist. And there are many examples in history when this worked well.

Was the conflict in Northern Ireland a conflict between two Christian denominations? No, this conflict too had other reasons. There are plenty of conflicts between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Again these conflicts have other reasons. Political ones. Economical ones.

Anti-religious polemics, anti-Christian polemics, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and so forth, all of this is wrong and unacceptable.

mattbrowne's avatar

@kevbo – At the moment news released by journalists of the activists’ countries and the news released by Israel don’t match. Henning Mankell was just one example.

josie's avatar

@mattbrowne The political nation called Isreal was established around 1400 BCE. It is certainly true that migration of foriegners into the area created a problem. But the real problem ( for their conquerors) is that no matter who defeated or banished or enslaved, or killed the Jews, they kept coming back to that place. And today’s Jews are connected one way or another to the original Hebrew tribes of antiquity who first settled there, and to the later Jews who established Israel. The peninsula Arabs who despise them are also Semitic peoples, so it is not a racial problem. There is certainly a cultural problem. Muslim Arabs in particular are very aware that they are economically backward compared to the West. They do not blame their persistant tribalism, their refusal to accept some Western values ( Spain translates more books into Spanish in one year than any Arab nation has translated into Arabic in 100 years), as well as their reluctance to allow women to participate in their economy, thus taking half the team off the field. They blame the West. And to that extent they see Israel as a Western outpost. But the real problem is that the Jews keep coming back, and the Arabs see the implied heroism in that as an affront. So in fact it is a religious problem. Say what you will, it is. By the way, the conflict in Ireland is indeed a religious conflict.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@mattbrowne So it was in international waters, therefore we have to have an international investigation. By that logic, everytime the US Coast Guard stops a cocaine smuggling boat off the Coast of Mexico, we must have an international investigation.

dpworkin's avatar

@josie We pretty much know that current-day Jews in Israel have no genetic relationship to ancient denizens. Sorry, that’s what having a complete genome can do to bubbeh meisehs.

josie's avatar

@dpworkin Didn’t say genetic connection.

”... today’s Jews are connected one way or another to the original Hebrew tribes of antiquity”

As you know, one way or the other means that it could be genetic, could be by tradition, could be a common yearning, could be bubbe meises for that matter. After a few millenia, it may not really matter.

Zaku's avatar

That’s not much of a weapon cache. Poles, one actual dagger, a bunch of kitchen knives, some hatchets and hammers, slingshots and marbles. Chairs? Um. Not the way I would want to handle it as a navy blockade commander, unless I was ok with the result that occurred, or worse. But that’s unprofessional kibitzing without knowing much at all about the details and protocols. The Israeli official site and the news sites though seem pretty ridiculous in their attempts to vilify and make a big deal of the improvised weapons. I see better improvised weapons available on passenger ferries in the USA.

Zaku's avatar

To answer the question (“Do you have an explanation why the Israeli government is so stubborn? What do they have to lose accepting an independent international investigation? The reputation can’t get any worse.”), though, my impression is that they assert their right to use force in the region to protect their policies, and they may even like the reputation of being willing to use deadly force and violate some laws doing so.

There were several ways they could have used force to stop the ships. As Mankell suggested, they could have immobilized the ships, for example. Or in the method of boarding, they could have floodlighted the deck, saw and blinded the mob with clubs, and insisted they clear room to be boarded, and made it clear they would shoot anyone who came near the boarding zone, and thus avoided casualties to themselves. Instead they chose to insert boarders into a situation where they could be beaten up or even taken hostage unless the people on the ship were intimidated into not attacking. What this seems like to me, is they were willing to risk the lives of their commandos in order to demonstrate that they expect their officers to not be attacked even when they don’t have physical control, and that they may then kill people who resist. It’s an assertion of legal superiority where they are claiming the exclusive right to use lethal force. They carry guns and board a ship, and then vilify the people on board for beating them up, while exonerating themselves for using lethal force in return.

In other words, they’re saying they will kill your ass if you mess with them.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Trusting the UN with its less than fair treatment of Israel to appoint “independent” investigators would give no Jew or Israeli any confident expectation of fair or impartial investigations or of an honest assessment of what happened and why it occurred.

Israel does its own investigations because they will find their own at fault when they are and will no do so when evidence does not warrant such a finding. In the real world, Israel needs no further lessons to understand that they can count on justice from no other body or group of appointees.

It is not just about National sovereignty, but about well justified distrust of tribunals with no vested concern in the very survival of the only State committed to be a refuge for Jews around the world.

The list of countries that have not actively or passively supported efforts to discriminate against if not to outright annihilate the Jews is a short one, when the historical record is considered. We ‘People of the Book” keep good records and remember our long history of survival despite Inquisitions, pogroms, Crusades, and genocidal holocausts both big and small. If we do not submit our survival to be subject to the goodwill of beneficent others, who should be surprised?

Walk a few millennia in our sandals before advocating we trust our survival to foreign bodies of judges!

mattbrowne's avatar

@josie – I agree about the Arab countries falling behind because of their own mistakes. That’s not the issue here.

mattbrowne's avatar

@WestRiverrat – Stopping cocaine smuggling boats does not lead to diplomatic disasters. It’s in Israel’s own best interest to support an international investigation in this particular matter. They don’t seem to understand what’s at stake here. Plus their behavior increases the risk for other countries as well. This incident will create 100,000 new terrorists over the next few years potentially killing thousands of innocent people in the US, the UK, Spain, Germany and other countries. Eliminating the root causes of terrorism is key. It has happened in the past. And it will happen in the future again. Unless we do something about it. Like not allowing Israel to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.

If this investigation clearly shows that the Israeli soldiers behaved properly and some activists started a dangerous fight trying to kill the soldiers using poles and knives this would help everybody.

Ron_C's avatar

Here is the root of it all. Israel gives too much creedence and different to the ultra orthodox parasites that live in their country. The idea that this land was given to them by god is the root of all of this evil.

That lunacy combined with the land grab and repression of the original residents supported the rise of ultra orthodox Muslims on the other side. Both groups now claim that the land is sacred and given to them by god makes the situation impossible to resolve.

The religious war in Palestine is just an excuse to bomb your neighbors. The only way to resolve is is to have non-sectarian negotiations. The ultra orthodox of either sect have no right to dictate to the real, productive, citizens.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Ron_C – The ultra-orthodox folks are a huge problem, but they are a small minority.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I saw some pictures from the incident this morning. They would appear to back up assertions by the IDF that they acted in self-defense:

http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR2EV0A#a=1

I don’t know who took the pictures or at what point in time they were taken. The story is presented on Reuters without commentary.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@mattbrowne How is it different? Cocaine is sold to willing users, the rockets and bomb components the IDF looks for are often targeted at innocent school kids.

Ron_C's avatar

@mattbrowne that was my point. They seem to have an influence disproportionate to their numbers. There soul functions seems to study the Torah, breed more ultra orthodox kids, live on welfare, and exempt themselves from the IDF. I can’t understand why they are tolerated.

janbb's avatar

They are tolerated because a homeland for the Jews is just that; not just a homeland for some of the Jews whose ideas agree with ours.

Ron_C's avatar

@janbb frankly, this whole homeland business is beyond me. I understand that some Jews needed protection from the abuse and prejudice in Europe and Russia. I don’t understand why a group of them should set themselves above contributing to their country’s well-being and expect that the rest of the citizens should coddle them. I find it disgusting.

Besides, why should the non-Jewish citizens contribute to the support of these malingerers?

janbb's avatar

I don’‘t know enough about whether they live on welfare or not to defend them so I won’t wade into an argument. Believe me there is a lot of animosity to their Orthodoxy in Israel; I am not defending it, just that they have a right to live there.

mattbrowne's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex – Now imagine a situation when a UN investigation team comes to the conclusion that the IDF soldiers acted in self-defense. Therefore Israel’s government should not reject such an investigation.

We need to win the hearts of 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide. Most are decent folks who just want to live in peace. But anything that is seen as unfair and unjust will drive more of them into radical groups. The government of Israel creates new islamist terrorists every day. Every new house in East Jerusalem creates at least 100 new terrorists. The Israeli government no longer cares what countries like the US or Germany is saying. They want no advice. They think they are the only wise government in the world. This is an extremely dangerous path.

Hamas is a dangerous terrorist organization. Everything needs to be done so that no weapons reach Gaza. But if something goes wrong, the world has a right to know what happened. We need to rule out the hypothesis that some of the IDF soldiers committed a crime, for example because they are so angry as a result of Hamas shelling thousands of rockets into Israel.

We can’t have an international investigation for everything happening in the world. But this is a special case. And the Israeli government is foolish not to recognize it as such. This is a diplomatic disaster for Israel. Because the Israeli government is so extremely stubborn. Because this government has lost the ability to listen to friends from other countries.

We need to interrupt this vicious circle of escalating hatred.

mattbrowne's avatar

@WestRiverrat – It’s very different. Because of the diplomatic disaster happening right now.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Ron_C – Yes, they do have an influence disproportionate to their numbers. I think this should be changed. But how?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@mattbrowne , the scope of my comments was limited to the pictures I saw, and once again, I don’t know who took them or when they were taken.

Israel should stop building settlements in the occupied territories, and dismantle the ones they’ve already built. No disagreement there. But I won’t believe for one minute it will reduce the number of terrorists in the region or the world. Those people are after power, not justice.

mattbrowne's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex – But it will slow down the recruitment of new ones.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@mattbrowne , we need to make a distinction between terrorists and cannon fodder. A 19-year-old suicide bomber is just a delivery boy. The terrorist is the guy who convinces him to do it. What are his motives?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

A man bent on revenge should begin by digging two graves. In the case of our terrorist, neither grave is for himself. No, he wants something else. It still comes down to power.

Ron_C's avatar

@mattbrowne you asked how the ultra-religious minority’s influence can be changed. That is up to the citizens of Israel. The need to get beyond their superstitions and the idea that “God gave us this land” and become more secular. The also need to insure that their Arab citizens have equal rights and protection. I know that the law grants this, but is it really true? After all they confiscated the homes and property of the previous residents. They rightfully protected themselves during the six day war but never stopped fighting that war. They have only kept building settlements and building walls between them and their Arab brothers. The only difference between Jews and Arabs is religion and who is holding the land. That is an Israeli problem and only they can solve it. As long as both sides hide behind religion, the problem will never be solved.

mattbrowne's avatar

Thanks @Ron_C for sharing your insights. They make total sense.

mattbrowne's avatar

I’m glad the independent investigation took place. I wish the Israeli government had embraced this approach from the very beginning.

I’m deeply worried about the deteriorating diplomatic relations betweens Israel and Turkey. Not good. Plus even more settlement in East Jerusalem. Property claims from 3000 years ago. And 1100 new homes today equals 1100 new terrorists tomorrow. Right-wing zealots just don’t get it. And the governments in Europe and the US are very disappointed.

zensky's avatar

I disagree. And this thread is too old, and too long to go into it. For a real discussion, we have to address newer events like the UN speeches.

Europe has its own problems right now – and has always been biased towards the Palestinians. America is in election time.

mattbrowne's avatar

@zensky – I’m always biased towards people who suffer. In the Middle East both Israelis and Palestinians suffer. Being aware of Palestinian suffering does not mean being against Israel. I hope I can be a friend of Israel and still care about the fate of the Palestinians too. Yes, plenty of problems in Europe. But on a high level. Even the poor Greek is better off than the poor American.

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