What needs to be done

Israel gave them the land they wanted because so many people told them it would bring them peace. And how did the Palestinians react? See my post here.

And then how many days was it before that land was used for rocket attacks on Israel? I can’t find the information to confirm it but my recollection was it was less than a week.

And what was the stated objective of party elected to power in the most recent election? To wipe Israeli off the map.

It was my opinion when Israel gave the land back that the world would then see, beyond any doubt, what Israel was dealing with. That people would realize the culture of these people must be destroyed if we are to have any hope of peace in the mid-east. I was partially wrong. As usual I made the mistake of believing people would think rationally. At least among rational people who have studied the problem there is no doubt about what has to be done. Let me “spell it out for you”.

Israel has tried so many “diplomatic solutions” over the decades that it would take weeks to enumerate them and their failures due to Palestinian persistence in the eradication of Israel. If the Palestinian people said they just wanted to be left alone and to “live and let live” I would be opposed the destruction of their infrastructure–but they haven’t. On the whole, they have declared a war to the death with the Israel. Those that don’t agree with that agenda should leave while Israel gives the remainder what they have been demanding. Israel has no other viable options. If they could be contained while the world “corrupted” their youth and “incorruptible” elders died off I would suggest a 40 year plan to welcome them into civilized society.  But the Palestinians are just like Ted Bundy, he either could not or would not stop killing and he had escaped from jail twice (or was it three times?). He would be a threat to people as long as he lived. It’s distasteful, it’s horrible, and it will haunt many of us for the rest of our lives. But it’s the best of all the bad alternatives. I say to Israel, I’m sorry the job falls to you, but you have moral authority in this case to do what needs to be done. Just make it quick and be done with it. I’ll be looking the other way as the tears roll down my cheeks.

8 thoughts on “What needs to be done

  1. I have absolutely no idea why you think there’s only one “bad guy” here.

    You’ve quoted selectively in your “clue” article; the news article also said: ”In a last-minute reversal, the [Israeli] Cabinet voted to leave intact more than two dozen synagogues in the former settlements, despite warnings from Palestinian Authority officials that they could not ensure their protection.” and ”Palestinian officials had turned down an earlier Israeli request that they act as caretakers because of concerns that they could not prevent militants from defacing the synagogues as symbols of the Israeli presence. “It is a very unfair decision to put us in a situation where if we demolish them we will be doomed, and if we don’t, we’ll be doomed,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. “This is the last thing we want.””

    Did you really expect the Arabs to keep the synagogues — symbols of a 38 year old Israeli occupation — intact? And, why aren’t you upset that the Israelis tore down all the houses in the settlements? Their utility is far more obvious than that of synagogues.

    It’s also not as if the Israelis haven’t done the same, with over thousands of Arab towns, villages, and residences destroyed between the late 1940s and mid 1970s. Think any of the razed buildings might’ve been churches or mosques? The official Israeli party line on the issue was exemplified by Moshe Dyan’s “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages.” (google for it).

    “And what was the stated objective of party elected to power in the most recent election? To wipe Israeli off the map.”

    Hey, all those years that there were “peace talks” and “diplomatic solutions” between the previously elected party and Israeli governments? The Israelis never stopped building or expanding settlements in the occupied areas. What kind of statement does that make? To talk of peace and steal land at the same time, knowing full well that any final peace agreement will have to take into account the land used by settlements — are we to conclude that there is something about the Israeli culture that needs destroying?

    This is what the Israelis offered the Arabs in the 2000 Camp David talks: http://www.passia.org/palestine_facts/MAPS/wbgs_campdavid.html
    Do you think they were fools for rejecting that peace plan?

    (Hey, if you want to spend the time on it, find a map of water aquifiers in the West Bank, and overlay that on the above map. It’ll start to make a lot more sense.)

    “If the Palestinian people said they just wanted to be left alone and to “live and let live” I would be opposed the destruction of their infrastructure–but they haven’t. On the whole, they have declared a war to the death with the Israel.”

    As a matter of fact, most Palestinians do want a fair and peaceful settlement, and their own state (you’ll find poll results online). Many would be happy to have at least the same rights as their Israeli Arab neighbors. So why’d they vote for Hamas? Because Hamas is a social welfare organization with a history of helping Palestinian society by running hospitals and schools (the military wing didn’t come about until five or six years after Hamas’s founding), and the other party stole billions of dollars of aid money, didn’t get them peace, and didn’t make their lives any better. Peace with Israel wasn’t the top priority in the elections, a better life with a far less corrupt government was. And, for that matter, Hamas was peaceful: they had had an informal truce with Israel from early 2005 til the beach incident (google for that, too).

    Let’s not forget that Israel actually wanted Hamas or an organization like it in the occupied territories to counterbalance the PLO.

    “Israel has no other viable options.”

    Oh, really? Please tell me what the settlements are doing in the occupied territories, other than creating an atmosphere of animosity. Is Israel so crowded that they need to create settlments to house people in the West Bank? Please tell me why Israel is encouraging the growth of settlements in land that they’ll have to give to Palestinians under a peace agreement — unless they don’t plan to give it away, that is. Taking land is so important to them that they’d rather have the military escort Arab kids to school and back rather than uproot (officially) illegal settlements: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=715421

    They’re not the only ones who had a chance for peace and blew it: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150355517833&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

    Like I said, I have absolutely no idea why you think there’s only one “bad guy” here. Both sides are at fault here — maybe not equally, but the one with the bigger guns has been more comfortable with the status quo than the other.

    “I say to Israel, I’m sorry the job falls to you, but you have moral authority in this case to do what needs to be done. Just make it quick and be done with it. I’ll be looking the other way as the tears roll down my cheeks.”

    Tears in your eyes? Over what? I can’t discern any sympathy in your above post, nor in the previous ones.

  2. Faried Nawaz:
    You sound like a full on, mouth-frothing moonbat — but let’s ask ourselves a question:
    If the Palastinian terrorists such as Hamas, Hezbollah , Fatah etc disarmed tomorrow and declared their weapons gone, and they want to live in peace with Israel what would happen?
    then ask what would happen if the Israeli’s disarmed and said the same? — there would be a full on war to eradicate them.

    As for the chance of their own state, they could have had it — they chose to wage war against Israel and lost, and to the victor goes the spoils, e.g the land.

    Cry me a river, I personally would like to see a Israel from the river to the sea.

  3. Hezbollah’s Lebanese, not Palestinian. Their motives are similar to those of Hamas (their “war” is based on land), but I believe they’ll pretty much settle for just Israel’s withdrawl from all of Lebanon’s territory.

    The Palestinian armed groups have no incentive to disarm. With the settlements still growing in the West Bank, why would they? Hamas has repeatedly stated, both before and after the elections, that they’re ready for a long term truce if Israel removes the settlements. Israel has repeatedly stated that as long as their is terrorism, there will be no peace talks. All it takes is one random act of terror by anyone (even a deranged loner) to make the Israelis tell the Palestinians that they’re not working hard enough. In the meantime, the “fence” goes up on land Israel doesn’t own (why can’t they build it on the old border?), and the Palestinians depend on Israelis for their livelihood (Gaza’s unemployment rate is something like 30%). It’s a situation with no winners, and two losers.

    What do I think would happen if the Palestinian groups laid down their arms? Historically, when there weren’t organized groups with the same level of militancy as Hamas and the others (between the late 1960s to 1980s), Israel pretty much swept the issue of Palestinian autonomy under the carpet. I don’t know what would happen now. (How ironic that you’d ask me that in a blog with a strong pro-citizen gun ownership theme.)

    “Cry me a river, I personally would like to see a Israel from the river to the sea.”

    Your statement leads to a few interesting questions. The first one: what are the borders of Israel? Right now the Israeli armed forces certainly appear to patrol everywhere from the river to the sea. Maybe you can get into Gaza from the Egyptian border without an Israeli checking your passport, but I’m pretty sure Israel patrols the seaports (there are no functioning civilian airports). Israel captured the land in 1967, but didn’t annex it (except for Jerusalem). Why isn’t it already part of Israel?

    Next up: if the west bank of the Jordan river is the defacto border, as it has been for almost forty years, why don’t the people in the West Bank or Gaza Strip have Israeli citizenship yet? (We’ll ignore the fact that Arabs in Israel who were Israeli citizens had to live under martial law until 1966 or so.) There are about four million Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Why is it okay for some Arabs to be citizens and not others, when both reside inside Israel’s defendable borders?

    Israel may be the “only democracy in the Middle East”, but it also the largest (and, perhaps also the only?) military occupier in the Middle East. And, Israel will eventually have to choose between being a Jewish state and a democracy, and it’ll have to choose within the next fifty years or so. The Arab population is growing faster (~ 4 kids/family) than the Jewish one (with the exception of the Orthodox Haridim, who tend to have 10+ kids).

  4. So let me see if I have this correct, you think that Israel should remove the “settlements” in question, in order to abide with an organization that publically states it’s goal is to destroy Israel?
    Hey how about they withdraw from those areas so Hamas can fire even more Qassam rockets and Morters into Israel? — there have been approximately 300 Qassam rockets fired from Gaza into Israel since the withdrawal from Gaza. Tell me what incentive Israel has to give them anymore land, when the land that has been returned is used to shell civilian homes inside Israel?

    Your assertion that terrorism against Israel is done by ‘loners’ has one problem — that Hamas themselves condone it, like their comment after the Tel Aviv bombing as a legitimate response to “Israeli aggression” when the bombmaking and planning is done by Islamic Jihad, or other terrorist organizations are they lone acts still? should Israeli citizens be cowed by bombs in night clubs?

    I feel sorry for Palestinian citizens that rely on Israel for their livelyhood — perhaps if their Government stopped sponsoring attacks against Israeli citizens they could go to work?

    As at least ninety percent of all attacks by Hamas, and other Palastine “liberation” groups are against Civilian targets it seems you are rather pro-terrorism to push the palestine cause? there is an obvious difference between being pro second amendment and pushing the agenda of terrorist attacks against civilians as viable for a cause, no?

    I notice your objection of the Israeli fence? how about the one that seals Palestinian civilians from crossing into Egypt — is that one OK? or is only Egypt allowed to stop the incursion into their area from Palestine?

    Why didn’t you respond to the fact they could have had their state, but decided to declare war instead? Israel had agreed to it’s land boundaries and it was rejected by the Arabs — and they lost the war, and thus the land.

  5. “So let me see if I have this correct, you think that Israel should remove the “settlements” in question, in order to abide with an organization that publically states it’s goal is to destroy Israel?”

    No, I think they should either annex the land and give everyone the same rights as citizens, or roll back the settlements and leave. It has nothing to do with Hamas’s demands (or Fatah’s, or whoevers), it has to do with international law: the same law that lets them occupy the land also states that the settlements are illegal.

    The Israeli cabinet debated the forceable removal of Palestinians from the West Bank after they captured it, but eventually decided against that.

    In the peace talks (in the 1990s), though, they’ve said they’re willing to swap some land bordering the West Bank in exchange for keeping the settlements. The only problem is, that way Israel would need to have its own road system cutting across vast swathes of the West Bank, thus separating Palestinians on one side from another with an Israeli military checkpoint. Look at the map I linked to up above.

    “Hey how about they withdraw from those areas so Hamas can fire even more Qassam rockets and Morters into Israel? — there have been approximately 300 Qassam rockets fired from Gaza into Israel since the withdrawal from Gaza.”

    I believe all the rockets launched into Israel after Hamas won the elections were actually fired by other groups (until the beach thing). I don’t know how many of those 300 (as you say) were fired by Hamas; Hamas claims that after their truce agreement, they’d only fire in response to Israeli action (targeted assassinations, etc). Other militant groups probably don’t make any such distinction.

    “Your assertion that terrorism against Israel is done by ‘loners’ has one problem”

    I didn’t say that terrorism is perpetrated by loners. Please read my comment carefully. I said Israel blames the Palestinians for not doing enough, whether or not there is an organization behind any attack.

    Hamas’s line is that Israeli civilians are targets because there is mandatory conscription in Israel; nearly everyone will eventually serve in the military. I don’t agree with that line of reasoning.

    “perhaps if their Government stopped sponsoring attacks against Israeli citizens they could go to work?”

    Except that for twenty years, from 1967 to 1987, there was no organized Palestinian governing body in the occupied territories. And yet, Palestinians still had to go through checkpoints and roadblocks just to get from one part of the West Bank to another. And maybe the checkpoint would be closed at random for days on end (what’s that? it’s harvest time and you can’t get to your farm? too bad.). Or, Israel would give Palestinians work permits to work in Israel, but revoke them at random. This was long before things reached the suicide attacks and rockets launched into Israel stage.

    Twenty years of that led to the first Palestinian uprising. Few people really cared about them until they took the initiative and stood up against the occupation.

    “As at least ninety percent of all attacks by Hamas, and other Palastine “liberation” groups are against Civilian targets it seems you are rather pro-terrorism to push the palestine cause?”

    Like I said, I don’t agree with that line of reasoning. If they truly feel the need to kill someone, I’d rather they stuck to legitimate targets of the occupation: Israeli soldiers patrolling the occupied territories (and just the territories — no cross-border attacks into Israel).

    “there is an obvious difference between being pro second amendment and pushing the agenda of terrorist attacks against civilians as viable for a cause, no?”

    Indeed, but see, if the Palestinian government isn’t working for the Palestinians when it supports terrorism, who else but an outside army OR an armed citizenry is going to force them to stop?

    “I notice your objection of the Israeli fence? how about the one that seals Palestinian civilians from crossing into Egypt — is that one OK?”

    My objection to the “fence” is that it’s being built on occupied land, not that it exists. Some details: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A49363-2003Sep22?language=printer

    As for the border on the Egyptian side, it was a requirement for the Gaza withdrawal: Egypt has to patrol that crossing; see http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2376

    “Why didn’t you respond to the fact they could have had their state, but decided to declare war instead?”

    If you have a house with twenty rooms, and your local town council tells you that you must give nine of those rooms to someone else, what would you do?

  6. Faried, I have absolutely no idea why you think I believe there is only one “bad guy” here. There were things France, the U.K., and the U.S. did that contributed to WWII. That doesn’t mean the allies were wrong to go to war against and demand the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy, and Japan.

    It is not the responsibility of any government to provide work for the residents of that country. Hence the unemployment rate of the Palestinian people doesn’t enter into my considerations for the “goodness” of Israel in the conflict. And in any case my view of the situation is from a much higher level.

    My view of the situation is that Israel has been much more reasonable about the issues than the Muslim extremists. Muslim extremists have repeatedly stated their goal is world domination with the implementation of the law of Sharia and in many cases the elimination of the Jewish people. Their actions are consistent with their stated goals. The Israeli/Jewish position and actions have been far more compatible with my diversity goals. Israel has a mixed record with the attack on the USS Liberty and spying on the U.S. But I’ve never worried they would deliberately attack U.S. civilians or attempt to convert the world to Judaism by force.

    As pointed out by others, I fully believe that if Muslim extremists had nukes they would use them against Israel, the U.S., probably the U.K. (see my post later today), and do their best to implement Sharia, by force, worldwide. Israel does have nukes and hasn’t used them yet and if they were to use them they would only use them as a means to prevent nuclear attacks against them. Muslims extremists have been attempting violent conversion of non-Muslims for hundreds of years. I don’t think those attempts are going to stop any time soon. The only way they will stop is because the Muslim extremists are dead or they have an incredibly strong deterrent.

    Hence I view Muslim extremism as currently the greatest threat against freedom this world has. Not only from them directly but from the responses made by relatively free countries to attacks from the Muslim extremists.

    If the majority of the Palestinian people against the extremists who are waging war against Israel and the non-Muslims of the world in general they could almost completely stop the violence. They aren’t and they haven’t hence they are part of the problem. Over time more people will be hurt and killed if this is allowed to fester for even more decades. It’s time for Israel to put an end to it even if it means hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the next few months. Yes, there will be some innocent lives lost but in war that is always true. That doesn’t mean that no war should ever be waged.

  7. ”Faried, I have absolutely no idea why you think I believe there is only one “bad guy” here.”

    To put it simply, it’s because you only consistently describe one side of the story, which makes one group out to be the “bad guy”. You leave out or ignore what the other side does that can explain why things are as they are, or why they’re getting worse.

    For example, Arabs in the occupied territories don’t care about the USS Liberty, or Israeli spying on other countries, or the Lavon affair, or whatever. None of those events lead to or led to a rise in militarism and extremism among Muslims. What they care about is the land they live on, and they care about how it’s taken away from them by armed Israelis backed by military force. If you talk about Muslim extremists in the West Bank, and you don’t mention the actual, in-their-face events (growing settlements, denial of access to farmland, etc) that push them away from moderation, how can one not conclude that you’re painting one side as the “bad guys”?

    As a counterpoint, how many posts have you devoted to the Jewish settlers, who take pot shots at Arab farmers working their fields, and then the Israeli soldiers come and detain the _farmers_? Why not present that, and then claim that both sides are at fault?

    Here’s a quick one: how long before these Muslims take up arms, and if so, whose side will you be on? http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2004/35393.htm

    ”It is not the responsibility of any government to provide work for the residents of that country. Hence the unemployment rate of the Palestinian people doesn’t enter into my considerations for the “goodness” of Israel in the conflict.”

    Employment certainly isn’t a _right_, but a responsible government will act to provide jobs. Like the above case of settlers and farmers, this should be part of your considerations when deciding who is “bad” (or just “worse”). There’s a difference between a responsibility to provide work, and acting to deprive a population of their livelihood. There is a correlation between unemployment and crime, and between despair from unemployment and extremism.

    ”My view of the situation is that Israel has been much more reasonable about the issues than the Muslim extremists.”

    My view is that Israel has _appeared_ more reasonable about the issues than the Arabs. Israel let the Muslim groups grow because extremist Muslim groups acted as a counterweight to the (secular) PLO, and also so they could watch the groups closely, and see who joined. They wanted the groups to attract extremists so they’d know who to capture or kill (see any parallels between that and Iraq?). Only, things got out of hand when the Hamas and the others weeded out the informants and began striking Israel. It’s a problem of their creation — at any time, in the beginning, they could’ve shut them down, but chose not to.

    And now they can point to the groups and say, “see? these people can’t be reasoned with!” They win either way.

    ”Muslim extremists have repeatedly stated their goal is world domination with the implementation of the law of Sharia and in many cases the elimination of the Jewish people. Their actions are consistent with their stated goals.”

    Some extremists have said that (most are more concerned with their local “enemies”), but it’s not true that their actions are consistent with their goals. For one thing, no one seeking to impose Shariah by force seems to…live by Shariah law. Their actions are more consistent with those who seek power by military means, and are willing to kill anyone — including their own kind — to get it.

    There are many groups that aim to impose Shariah law, but the only ones that seem to make the headlines are the ones who use terror. The ones who don’t use violence have more long-term goals, and are willing to wait until the population votes them in or something (which is happening in several countries).

    ”As pointed out by others, I fully believe that if Muslim extremists had nukes they would use them against Israel, the U.S., probably the U.K. (see my post later today), and do their best to implement Sharia, by force, worldwide.”

    I do not believe that any Muslim state would use nukes as a first strike against anyone else: those in power will not act to endanger their grip on power. Similarly, I do not believe that any Muslim government, even Iran’s, would give nukes to militants, because there’s always the fear that the nukes will be traced back to the suppliers.

    Now, whether or not extremists groups that acquire nukes somehow will use them is a different matter. I don’t think religions is important here (remember the Aum Shinrikyo sarin attacks?), but I understand your concern that Muslim extremists have the most to gain (or largest score to settle, or whatever) by attacking Western countries or Israel. That said, I don’t see how that translates to a blank check to laying waste to Muslim societies. They do not breed militants any more than Sri Lanka breeds Buddhist terrorists, or Serbia breeds right-wing groups.

    ”Muslims extremists have been attempting violent conversion of non-Muslims for hundreds of years. I don’t think those attempts are going to stop any time soon. The only way they will stop is because the Muslim extremists are dead or they have an incredibly strong deterrent.”

    Red herring. Relatively, very few Muslims rulers or extremists have tried the “convert or die” route, as evidenced by the fact that most Muslim-ruled lands have significant non-Muslim populations (majorities, even). But, really, so what? Do you really think no one else tries to convert by force? How many Christians do you think have died in India at the hands of Hindus in the past decade or so? Most people in the world today don’t convert to Islam because they’re forced to. If you’re worried about forced conversions, you have a more immediate and local threat from evangelicals.

    ”Hence I view Muslim extremism as currently the greatest threat against freedom this world has. Not only from them directly but from the responses made by relatively free countries to attacks from the Muslim extremists.”

    Muslims who take advantage of the relative freedoms in European countries, who live on state welfare, and turn around and preach and plot against their non-Muslim neighbors, are simply hypocrites. Europe should do something about them, and I think some of the steps taken by the British government are a good start.

    In general, though, Europe does a terrible job at integrating immigrants (Muslims or otherwise); see this long article about Sweden: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/05/magazine/05muslims.html?ex=1296795600&en=722dbb00a718b0f9&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    If Europe continues to segregate Muslims from the rest of society by placing them far from employment or by denying them the right to build religious centers, it’s hardly unexpected for some of them to feel disfranchised and second-class citizens. They’ll look elsewhere for their sense of purpose and worth: with other disfranchised Muslims around the world.

    ”If the majority of the Palestinian people against the extremists who are waging war against Israel and the non-Muslims of the world in general they could almost completely stop the violence.”

    How, exactly? I can understand your frustration at Muslims who are practically neighbors of militants and don’t do anything about them, but what do you really expect them to do? The Palestinians had a non-extremist government for something like ten years, and they didn’t do anything except steal money. They’ve lived under Israeli military law, and seen how bad that was. Who are they going to turn to for help?

    ”It’s time for Israel to put an end to it even if it means hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the next few months.”

    Why must action be taken now? Why can’t Israel complete its “fence” and be done with it? Why is it also the only available action (you don’t seem to present an alternative)? “Violence prolongs hate, hate prolongs violence.”

    ”Yes, there will be some innocent lives lost but in war that is always true. That doesn’t mean that no war should ever be waged.”

    That’s exactly how all kinds of extremist groups justify their actions, too.

  8. Fences don’t keep out rockets or truck bombs.

    Hamas has declared war against Israel. Israel has two choices; surrender or win. It has been demonstrated over and over (proven) that there can be no peace without victory.

    The results of prime minister Chamberlain’s approach have shown us that.

    Defeat them now or defeat them later, after much more suffering.

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