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zensky's avatar

Come Friday - at the United Nations - the Palestinians will ask for an independant State. Netanyahu will be there and he, along with everyone else will vote YES. There will be peace in the middle east - swords will be made into ploughshares and gasoline will be a nickel a gallon. Right?

Asked by zensky (13357points) September 21st, 2011


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51 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not sure what you are really asking here. Your question is facetious, yes, but what are you hoping for? That someone will offer you hope? That someone has a real crystal ball? Are you just expressing cynicism? Frustration?

We have a long way to go in terms of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. It may take more generations. Maybe the Arab Spring will have to settle down before anyone can know how safe Israel can be. Netanyahu doesn’t seem to be big on peace. I’m not sure he believes it helps Israel. I suppose he could be holding his cards close to his vest, and maybe will spring a deal at some point, but I doubt it.

It’s just going to be the same old same old for a long time. Mistrust. Checkpoints. Rocket attacks. A lot of sturm und drang to indicate that both sides are still fomenting, but no useful response except to kill a few more people. Maybe that’s why the settlers have such big families—then they can absorb the loss of a few kids more easily. Their genes still get passed on down. There is a relationship between hard times and large families, but I wonder if it works the other way around: people who like large families choose hard times to have them in?

Right. Mr. 1997 (your lurve as I write this).

zensky's avatar

Thanks, Mr. 47769.

By the way, the settlers have the same amount of kids as the arabs do; as many as their God intended. Contraception is a no-no.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@zensky Your nation is still young and it was established by a struggle, so there’s going to be hard feelings on the other side. Don’t all people have a right to a place they can call home?

zensky's avatar

Are you asking whether I believe they should have a state? You haven’t read anything I’ve written on the matter? Here’s something I wrote the other day which clarifies how I feel.

I am asking this in such a way as to (hopefully) stimulate some kind of debate on this very important issue. It seems the deadpan approach by JLeslie just didn’t get anyone interested. I tried the other way.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@zensky I was trying to be careful because it is a sensitive and as you said, very important issue. Let me think on it for a few. And I have followed your posts.

wundayatta's avatar

@zensky If both sides in a place where there is a high likelihood of violent conflict have lots of kids that seems to me to be more evidence to support the theory. Again, I would think it likely that those who want to have a lot of children would be attracted to such areas because they would be given more freedom by society to be different that way.

They can think of themselves as pioneers and patriots and maybe front line soldiers, and this gives them the glory and the street cred to have as many new warriors as they can.

It is, I’m sure, a battle within a battle. It helps partisans to be sympathetic to their semi-legal (and certainly disputed) status.

I’m not exactly sure what kind of discussion you really want to have. Are you looking for new ideas for a solution? If so, do you expect anyone who basically knows very little about the situation to come up with anything even remotely interesting that hasn’t been thought of before?

I know next to nothing about it. I’m happy to shoot my mouth off, but I know next to nothing. There is only one thing I know about and that is solid waste disposal in the area. I know a little about the impact of water run-off. Which is, basically, that polluted water runs downhill. Onto the Israelis. But no one seems to care about things like that in a time of war.

zenvelo's avatar

Mr. Netanyahu could establish himself as one of the great peacemakers of all time if he were to do that. The US would support his “Yes” vote. He could rise above the quotidian politics of the ultra orthodox. But does he have the courage to do so?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@zensky What borders are they proposing? The 1948 and 1967 borders are essentially indefensible aren’t they?

CWOTUS's avatar

I’d like to buy the world a Coke.

zensky's avatar

@zenvelo Nope. Probably not. But a nice thought.

@Adirondackwannabe All borders are defensible when the neighbours live at peace.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@zensky Good point but we’re referring to humans. Logic doesn’t always apply.

zensky's avatar

Look at Israel’s geography and demographics.

It’s 2011.

Terrorist groups – either democratically elected or simply part of the governement in the southern and northern areas – i.e. Gaza (Hamas) and Lebanon (Hizballah) as well as angry neighbours who are either in internal chaos (Syria, Eypt) or external hatred (Turkey) are literally a stone’s throw.

Hizballah can hit all of Israel with its Iranian missiles. Hamas has shot over 10,000 (yep – in about 10 years) rockets all the way to central Israel.

Egypt’s army is about the size of Israel’s population.

Turkey’s too.

Should I go on?

People here who are likeminded agree that the only strategy, military or otherwise, is peace and peace alone. Anything else is playing with lives, temporary, insane and not very strategic.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Agreed, but I think if I had to go into a battle, there aren’t too many other people I would choose to have my back.

Qingu's avatar

@zensky, is it weird that I totally agree with you? Considering all the fights we’ve had about this issue?

Obama’s speech at the UN just now was downright bizarre and sort of infuriating. The US’s relationship with Israel makes my blood boil.

YoBob's avatar

Palestinians will ask for an independent state with great support and general hoopla from all of the rabidly anti-west members, thus forcing the US to use its Veto and giving the anti-west crowd the opportunity to (yet again) call America and Israel big old poopy heads, thus scoring the political black eye that was their true goal and intent from the start of this grandstand play.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, you don’t think the Palestinians should get an independent state?

Are you saying you support a permanent occupation of the Palestinian territories?

JLeslie's avatar

This is a sign. @Qingu and @zensky agree. That basically is a metaphor for peace in the middle east.

Thanks for the Q @zensky.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob If they get the state, the Palestinians, then won’t the world be watching for them to finally stop their terrorism and get to the job of building their country? You don’t see any positives in a two state solution? If the Palestinians actually do prosper, you don’t think they will want to maintain peace? It has worked between the Egyptians and the Israelis for many years. Both countries seem to want to keep the peace there, even though there were ciizens vehemently against that treaty, it basically was effective.

YoBob's avatar

The question of what, exactly, is a Palestinian territory and what should be regarded as an “occupation” is quite an open one, and is, in fact, what most of the fighting is about.

When and if the Palestinians decide to negotiate with Israel in good faith to establish an actual border and resolve the issue of territory then they will have met the minimum requirements of statehood. Until that time they remain little more than a political movement that has successfully used terrorism over the past couple of decades to call enough press attention to their cause that people in the international community now actually view them as a unified entity rather than the disjointed and unorganized loose association of tribal peoples that they were before Arafat (aka, the father of modern terrorism) decided that strapping bombs to children and blowing them up in public places was a great idea to further his vision.

Ron_C's avatar

They are essentially making a state in land claimed by another state that is like deciding that there should be a new U,S. state between Pennsylvania and Delaware because the Native Americans came back and decided that they don’t like either state. Really, we need them both to fight it out and deal with the winner. There is no blameless party on either side. Maybe we should put the Palestinians on a reservations. They can build casinos and take Israel’s money.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C Yeah, because American Indian Reservations have worked so well for that population.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, are you seriously arguing that the Palestinians are not clearly militarily occupied by Israel?

It sounds like you would then prefer for the Palestinians to be incorporated into the Israeli state, much like the black South Africans were incorporated into the (formerly white-ruled) South African state?

The same arguments certainly apply. Before the white man came, South African blacks were tribal and had no nation states; South African blacks used terrorism to further their political aims, etc.

@Ron_C, it’s not the same because the Native Americans would have either (1) belonged to their own country or (2) been citizens of the United States. Palestinians are neither. But if Israel wants to make all the ~4 million Palestinians citizens of the Israeli state with full voting rights, I’d have no problem with that. (Of course, Israel would then be Arab majority instead of Jewish-majority… oh well!)

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I think there are around 6 million Jews in Israel. I don’t think the Arabs wind up in the majority in that case, but the numbers of course would be very significant. I am actually unclear, because I have seen numbers that Israel has 2 million Arabs? But, would that be added to the 4 million you write about, or is the 2 million within the 4 million? I ask because a long time ago I asked about the future of Israel as a democracy regarding Jews become a minority population in Israel.

Qingu's avatar

I looked it up years ago and the Arabs would have eeked out a majority, but with the Jewish settlers breeding like rabbits it looks like the Jews will now be able to maintain a bare majority. (Wikipedia says Israel is 75% Jewish, 20% Arab; adding the Palestinian Arabs makes it a wash… I’m too lazy to do the math again).

Either way, wouldn’t bother me: Israel would finally become the “democracy” that it’s always claiming to be.

YoBob's avatar

Hmmm… I believe Israel cut a deal with the Arabs several decades back to give up over half of their territory in exchange for lasting peace. Last time I checked both the West Bank and Gaza Strip are on Israel’s side of the that border.

Can’t say that I blame Israel for claiming the territory as theirs and for distrusting the Arabs (Palestinians) to actually keep to any treaties they might negoatiate.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, okay, but the people in West Bank and Gaza are not citizens of Israel. You want to make them citizens?

You’re not being very clear here.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Palestinian state? Sure, but make them codependent on each other. Embargo both countries with heavy tariffs on imports and exports unless traded through each other and allow the ‘host’ nation to keep a portion of the proceeds. For that matter, institute revenue sharing from tourism and incentivize intrastate business relations through taxes. Require the Palestinian currency to be tied to be pegged to the Israeli currency. Will they like each other more? Of course not, but by doing that each will have to look out for the other to a limited extent if just to ensure their own success and they will have even greater incentive to corral extremists in their own countries as failure to do so would jeopardize their goals.

Of course getting the “interested party” nations to butt out would probably be a feat greater than peace they all claim to be so fervently working towards.

And there is always the question of, even if Palestine genuinely wants peace, are they even capable of holding back their militant factions. But there are ways around that too.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu – I think that is for the Israelis and Palestinians to work out before the Palestinians petition the UN for statehood.

Qingu's avatar

I see. Why’s that, exactly? Netanyahu has been completely unwilling to compromise with the Palestinians and has actually expressed a desire for a permanent extension of the status quo. In fact, when Netanyahu came into office, he unilaterally scrapped the negotiations that were well underway between Abbas and his predecessor.

What would you do if you were the Palestinians?

YoBob's avatar

“What would you do if you were the Palestinians?”

Well… strap a bomb to a 12 year old girl and have her set it off in the middle of a crowded market because we didn’t get our way and blame the other side for being unreasonable, of course.

However, being an American and not a Palestinian my solution would probably involve continued efforts to work out a reasonable deal that would address my opponent’s very real concerns over ongoing security.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob Do they get any credit for attempting to do this through the UN instead of strapping bombs on children? I think if I were Palestinian I would want to try this route. Or, any route that is not violent.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m getting a premonition here…

Strap a bomb to a 12-year-old girl and set it off in the middle of the UN.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, your statement is deeply ignorant and insulting to the huge number of Palestinians who champion nonviolence and deplore suicide bombings and Hamas’ terrorist strategy. Hell I doubt any Hamas officials would actually support using 12 year olds as suicide bombers.

You also don’t really seem to be aware of the fact that the Palestinians have been negotiating just that with Israel. The problem is that Netanyahu scrapped the negotiations wholecloth and then started building new settlements in the West Bank, which is exactly what the Palestinians were trying to negotiate not to do.

You sound like someone painting black South Africans as a bunch of savages who know nothing but tribal violence during apartheid.

Blackberry's avatar

Uhm, I don’t think so. If they’ve been fighting for this long, why would it be settled so fast?

YoBob's avatar

Well @Qingu, at least you are consistent. Obviously anyone who doesn’t share your world view is either a liar, dishonest, a moron, or ignorant. Are you this abrasive in real life, or do you save it all for your on-line exchanges?

Apparently you failed to recognize the dripping sarcasm (even delineated as such with the proscribed ”~” character used in this forum)

Qingu's avatar

Maybe it’s my abrasive nature, but I interpreted your sarcasm to be directed towards promoting a bloodthirsty view of Palestinians in general. Were you instead mocking people who hold this opinion of Palestinians?

YoBob's avatar

No, it was more of a general mockery.

If anything I was making light of your tendency to try to turn every semi-lighthearted comment (see original response) into a lengthy geo-political or economic debate in which there is no middle ground, only your world view placed in the sharpest contrast possible against the rest of the idiots out there who dare to have a differing opinion.

Qingu's avatar

I think it’s pretty important that people base their opinions on facts and well-considered reasons. And I didn’t see much of either in your posts about this topic. I also frankly still don’t understand the valence of your attempt at humor about the Palestinians; maybe you can explain the joke to me? (Even though that would of course make the joke not funny?)

YARNLADY's avatar

You’re kidding, right?

syz's avatar

How long and how often have direct talks been going on? That doesn’t seem to have accomplished anything. Building is still going on. Palestinians are still losing their properties and their rights.

You have an alternate suggestion?

zensky's avatar

I do.

Let’s start with some basics: 1. The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States was a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26 1933.

The convention set out the definition, rights and duties of statehood. Most well-known is Article 1, which set out four criteria for statehood, as quoted below.

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:

(a) a permanent population;

(b) a defined territory;

(c) government; and

(d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

Article 3 of the Convention also declares that statehood is independent of recognition by other states, so a country can exist even if other countries don’t recognize it.

I think that the Palestinians have to get their shit together first – regardless of the State of Israel’s internal political connundrum. However, if they wish to go to the UN and feel frustrated with the stand-off and endless to and fro of the negotiations with Israel, usually fruitless (both sides are at fault) then let them take their chances at the UN. The sad thing is that they are causing a small ripple in the pool by forcing the US to play the veto card; this is not the right time for the US to do this because of the delicate situation the US is in globally, vis a vis the Arabs, and with regards to the Palestinians for future talks. It’s a lose lose situation for the Palestinians to do this – as it will not get them a state – I wish it would – and will only make it easier for Israel, and I do not agree with Israel on this, to prolong the event.

Something must change profoundly for there to be peace in the middle east. Israel is becoming ever more isolated, partly because of the Arab spring and its subsequent events, partly because Israel still does not know what to do with regards to the West Bank.

It’s complicated, but I think it’s time for Israel to make a bold move. I just don’t think Netanyahu has it in him.

Israel should agree to a Palestinian state along the 67 borders with minor adjustments – hey, it’s been over 40 years and there are generations living there – settlers if you will, sent there by all the past governments so they are not entirely to blame.

Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, is de facto Arab anyway. Jerusalem, the holiest of cities to many religions, should become a wonderul example of peace and harmony – and if the Palestinians want to call their side Al Kuds (Jerusalem in Arabic) then fine with me.

The UN should sit along the borders and there should be buffer zones and a time table before they can arm themselves and form a military. After all, Hammas is a terrorist group funded by Iran. Which is also why the declaration of statehood is still kind of premature. But again, that’s their problem. If Israel has internationally recognized borders, it will be easier to defend against attacks anyway. Show me a country besides Canada with no terrorism issues on their borders, or smugglers etcetera. This will be Israel’s problem, but easier to deal with because a Palestinian State should also deal with this problem – it would be in their interest. Egypt and Jordan to the south and east would ally with Israel in this case, too. Everything would be so much easier – and besides, there will be so much prosperity that comes with peace that people will be too busy with start-ups to bother with terrorism. There is an infrastructure to create. It will take a generation at least.

This is my dream.

filmfann's avatar

This is of great concern to me, but I don’t have a clue what will happen.

syz's avatar

“I just don’t think Netanyahu has it in him.” So if you don’t think it will or can happen, then what changes? What hope do the Palestinians have?

(And it makes me squirm with discomfort that the US will promote and support the “Arab spring”, but vote against so much of the rest of the world [as far as UN representatives are concerned] by vetoing.)

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann Why, why such a concern? I am curious to know if people in your relgious circles might be talking about this, trying to create fear. What I mean is I know you are Baptist, I also know you will stand on your own thoughts and principles, you don’t just mindlessly go along with the Christian Right or the loudest voices in the media, but I wondered if Fox News (I don’t even know if you watch Fox News) or if the other Baptists you might interact with are paranoid about the Palestinians approaching the UN. On one of these Q’s I mentioned that I think the Christians would be more freaked about Obama voting yes than the Jews in America.

filmfann's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t watch FOX news, unless I need a laugh.
I am concerned, because up to this point, Israel has been able to use a measure of control to lower the amount of weapons going into Palestine, but now the Palestinians will be able to make agreements with other countries, and import whatever weapons they want.
When Israel strikes back, it will be bigger than it has ever been.
I have hopes everything will be pizza and fairy tales, but I have know how this can go bad very fast.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann I would have guessed you didn’t watch Fox. So you feel the Palestinians will have an easier time gettng weapons. I had not thought of that. Is it partly because if they have their own borders, they control the borders, and then any country who wants to export weapons to them will not have to deal with the Israelis trying to intercept?

filmfann's avatar

Sounds right.

Nullo's avatar

Not a chance. I don’t really think that the Palestinians have the best of intentions for Israel, and I don’t think that’s gonna change with any kind of formal recognition, or even statehood. In the meantime, though, this does give Palestine the ability to take Israel to before the world court and charge it with “war crimes”.

And since when is the UN in the business of granting statehood, anyway?

zensky's avatar

I also read about the world court thing – I’m wondering, though; after Operation Cast Lead (the Gaza mini-war) Israel was found to have been “right” all along – without going into detail – Richard Goldstone ultimately apologized for his faulty report. The latest report vis-a-vis the Turkish Marmara incident also found Israel practically faultless.

If Israel is committing war crimes – why would it take a Palestinian observer status to bring Israel to court? There is Egypt – who together with Israel secures its borders against Hamas Gaza infiltration and import of arms, and any other country – could throw their two cents in. It’s easy to blame – harder to prove. Especially when it’s not one-sided. Cast the first stone…

Nullo's avatar

@zensky I personally don’t buy the “war crimes” allegations, but (as I’m sure you know) there are those who want nothing more than to see Israel destroyed (or at least crippled), enough to cause trouble whenever and wherever possible. Somehow these people manage to appear more sympathetically to the UNions, critical thinking be damned and you can keep your benefit of the doubt.

Qingu's avatar

@zensky, I agree that the Palestinians being able to report war-crimes is a non-issue. I think it would actually benefit Israel because there’d be less of a sense that Israel/America is suppressing war crime reports.

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