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January 20th, 2009, 19:36
Palestinians remind me of my brother, Tom, whom I loved dearly and the way he suffered in his brief life. Blessed with abundant intelligence and charm, he stood out as a child and as a teenager everywhere he went and was often admired.

But he became a victim of drugs and alcohol, things that ruined his life and bestowed him with a skewed perspective. He became less and less capable and eventually reached a point where all he managed to do was hold on.

Throughout his life his family and friends all offered him help, but he would have none of it. It reached a point of crisis when he began living on the street. I went to him, determined to make a breakthrough. I poured my heart out to him, but he didn't seem to understand. He finally reacted to my persistence with violence.

All I could do was turn around and walk away. That's a feeling I will never forget.

Palestinians need what my brother needed, and that's a clearer perspective. Offering reason to them while their society is dominated with its current violent mindset will get the same kind of results I got by offering reason to my drug-addicted brother. It just won't work, not until they get out of their destructive bind.

There are those that claim their cause can be championed equally on the Internet, and some seem to believe it. But it's all just "stinkin thinkin" to me.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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January 20th, 2009, 19:39
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
What, where? How? Have I missed something?
What ?


(Yeah, it was an interesting article. It's also interesting how it mentioned several times that Hamas "seized power violently" in Gaza, without mentioning even once that Hamas won elections first, and seized power violently when the losers didn't want to give it up. Amusing little omission, don't you think, from the oh-so-pro-Palestinian media?)
Uhm, because when it's between Fatah and Hamas, you can be pro-Fatah and still be pro-Palestinian.
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January 20th, 2009, 19:53
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I came across a pretty cogent argument explaining why Palestinians should give up on violence. It was on Al Jazeera: [ http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/w…548942367.html ].
It's interesting how it says the Ottomans turned a blind eye the the Jewish land purchases … Why turned a blind eye ? Everyone can buy what they want, no ?

Also the article raises a nice point even though we talked about it already. Gaza was under Egyptian and Jordanian rule, but for 20 years they didn't mind being occupied. Then the PLO started in 64 and raised some trouble in Jordan and got blasted away from there. Only then did they decide to start against Israel. Would they stop if Israel blew them away in the same away ?

Personally, I'm not as optimistic about the prospects of non-violent resistance as Dr. LeVine here. The reason is that non-violence has been tried, and it doesn't have a very good track record. Israel tends simply to ignore the Palestinians whenever they're not lobbing explosives at them — and, of course, quietly and relentlessly expand the settlements.

Sit-ins and protests don't make the news and are therefore very easy for the Israelis simply to ignore, whereas economic actions like strikes or tax disobedience will hurt the Palestinians without even inconveniencing the Israelis. Gandhi and Tutu had the advantage of representing a majority population that the ruling minority depended upon for labor; Martin Luther King had the advantage of representing a people that was not under military occupation, and had all the tools of an advanced democracy at his disposal. The Palestinians don't have any of these advantages. They can protest peacefully 'til they're blue in the face, but I don't see any reason why that would net them anything more concrete than polite expressions of sympathy (and somewhat more lenient terms of incarceration).

Violence, OTOH, has ejected the Israelis from South Lebanon and from Gaza. These are concrete achievements the advocates thereof can point to. Until advocates of peaceful resistance have similar successes they can point to, they will be at a significant disadvantage in any debate.
Well, officially it isn't violence that brought Israel to disengage from Gaza, it was some plan from Sharon. Which in the end stopped because of his stroke.
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January 20th, 2009, 20:19
The rest of the article is very interesting.

Just want to put a little quote I found which I believe to be (almost) true:

'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel'-Benjamin Netanyahu
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January 20th, 2009, 20:28
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7…656311,00.html

Phosphorus shell shot by Hamas ? Possible ?
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January 20th, 2009, 20:28
Sure, there would be no violence. But there would be no hope, no freedom, and no justice either. I prefer the Magnes Zionist's take — the whole discourse of peace is fundamentally wrong-headed; what we need is a discourse of justice. If we have justice, peace will follow; without justice, peace will never be possible.
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January 20th, 2009, 20:31
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7…656311,00.html

Phosphorus shell shot by Hamas ? Possible ?
My guess: it's an unexploded Israeli WP shell recovered, (unsuccessfully) rearmed, and shot back by Hamas. This is especially likely since it didn't explode on the way back either.

If Hamas had had significant quantities of WP munitions, I've no doubt they would've used them.
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January 20th, 2009, 21:27
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Do you have any idea how many cases have gone thru those agencies that get patently ignored? Heck, the US is currently ignoring several decisions against it. You actually believe the UN can bring the big stick? Bah. A 103-year-old man can bring better wood to the party.

Count on the UN to do lots of talkie-talkie and a few decent relief/support programs (though, programs usually done better by various organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders). Beyond that, you're on seriously shaky ground.
Well.. the ICJ and ICCC arn't UN agencies, yes I know how many cases go through them (not that many) and how many have been ignored (supprisingly few). I'll be interested to see what happens to America's position now Obama is president.
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January 21st, 2009, 15:16
Israeli completes Gaza troop pullout
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January 21st, 2009, 15:32
Yep-o. They're also launching an investigation into those WP claims. Personally, I doubt they'll turn up anything — militaries investigating themselves rarely do; at most, they'll throw some low-level grunts under the bus.

Anyway, here's to hoping the truce sticks, and President Hope Change's special envoy, presumably the Hillasaurus, manages to beat some sense into all parties.
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January 22nd, 2009, 09:20
There was a pretty cogent and IMO surprisingly impartial op-ed in the New York Times, arguing for a one-state solution to the M-E question.

A two-state solution will create an unacceptable security threat to Israel. An armed Arab state, presumably in the West Bank, would give Israel less than 10 miles of strategic depth at its narrowest point. Further, a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would do little to resolve the problem of refugees. Any situation that keeps the majority of Palestinians in refugee camps and does not offer a solution within the historical borders of Israel/Palestine is not a solution at all.

For the same reasons, the older idea of partition of the West Bank into Jewish and Arab areas, with buffer zones between them, won’t work. The Palestinian-held areas could not accommodate all of the refugees, and buffer zones symbolize exclusion and breed tension. Israelis and Palestinians have also become increasingly intertwined, economically and politically.

In absolute terms, the two movements must remain in perpetual war or a compromise must be reached. The compromise is one state for all, an “Isratine” that would allow the people in each party to feel that they live in all of the disputed land and they are not deprived of any one part of it.
It was, of all people, by Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. He must've been prescribed new meds, or something. Check it out here:

[ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/op…ml?ref=opinion ]
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January 22nd, 2009, 10:24
Hey, Pladio: wanna play "One-State Solution?"

The reason is that I've been dismissing this out of hand for years. Perhaps it's worth a closer look. I'm wondering if it might be possible to arrive at a one-state solution that's acceptable to all parties after all.

This is a role-playing site, so let's role-play.

I'm Plenipotentiary Prime of the New World Order. I have carte blanche to negotiate a one-state solution on behalf of all Palestinian groups and every country in the world except Israel. That means I have the economic, military, diplomatic, and political resources of the whole world at my disposal to solve this problem. I'm also a pacifist, which means I will never use or threaten to use force to ram through my demands; my military resources shall be used for peacekeeping and stabilization purposes only.

You're Prime Minister Pladio. You've just won elections in a landslide; your party has a supermajority in the Knesset and you're the most popular Israeli leader ever; i.e., whatever agreement you reach, you'll be able to have it accepted.

I'll start.

My demands:
* A single state for Jews and Arabs within the borders currently comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
* Golan is to be ceded to Syria.
* Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to their homes.

My offers:
* Full diplomatic recognition and preferred-partner trade rights by all the Arab countries and Iran.
* Public declarations by, plus modifications to any charters of, all Palestinian groups, formally renouncing violence as a means to pursue their political aims. This includes rewriting the Hamas charter to get rid of the odious anti-Semitic language in it.
* Immediate disarmament of all non-state Palestinian groups.
* Incorporation of the official PNA police and paramilitary forces into the army and police force of Israel/Palestine.

Would you care to make a counteroffer? Don't worry about it being clearly unacceptable to me; I'd be very surprised if you accept my proposal as-is either. IOW, if the only offer you can think of is "All Arabs to be resettled outside the borders of Israel/Palestine," go ahead and make it; I won't accept, but I'll make another counteroffer. I'm curious to see if we two might be able to reach a compromise.
Last edited by Prime Junta; January 22nd, 2009 at 10:30.
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January 22nd, 2009, 13:47
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
There was a pretty cogent and IMO surprisingly impartial op-ed in the New York Times, arguing for a one-state solution to the M-E question.



It was, of all people, by Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. He must've been prescribed new meds, or something. Check it out here:

[ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/op…ml?ref=opinion ]
Wait, isn't Qaddafi, like a crazy dictator who decided to make peace all of a sudden but still hated the West…

I have to read more about him… Also, like before the problem will again be that Muslims will outnumber the Jews in a matter of a decade or so if there's another 4 million Palestinians in the country.
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January 22nd, 2009, 14:10
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
My offers:
* Public declarations by, plus modifications to any charters of, all Palestinian groups, formally renouncing violence as a means to pursue their political aims. This includes rewriting the Hamas charter to get rid of the odious anti-Semitic language in it.
* Immediate disarmament of all non-state Palestinian groups.
I understand that I'm dragging "what if" into places it's not intended to be, but I don't see much hope for these offers. That second one, in particular, would be nearly impossible to implement, completely impossible to verify, and extremely problematic to enforce. Would Prime al-Finni, Bringer of the Spitting Camels and Wearer of the Really Cool Turban of Influence, be able to tap dance well enough to avoid the wrath of Rabbi Pladio, Bringer of Good Deals and Wearer of the Snazzy Black Not-Quite-A-Derby, when the inevitable happened? Perhaps a public hanging or two after some nut blows the dust off a long-forgotten rocket in his garage and decides to get him a little justice for the past?

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 22nd, 2009, 14:11
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Hey, Pladio: wanna play "One-State Solution?"

The reason is that I've been dismissing this out of hand for years. Perhaps it's worth a closer look. I'm wondering if it might be possible to arrive at a one-state solution that's acceptable to all parties after all.

This is a role-playing site, so let's role-play.

I'm Plenipotentiary Prime of the New World Order. I have carte blanche to negotiate a one-state solution on behalf of all Palestinian groups and every country in the world except Israel. That means I have the economic, military, diplomatic, and political resources of the whole world at my disposal to solve this problem. I'm also a pacifist, which means I will never use or threaten to use force to ram through my demands; my military resources shall be used for peacekeeping and stabilization purposes only.

You're Prime Minister Pladio. You've just won elections in a landslide; your party has a supermajority in the Knesset and you're the most popular Israeli leader ever; i.e., whatever agreement you reach, you'll be able to have it accepted.

I'll start.

My demands:
* A single state for Jews and Arabs within the borders currently comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
* Golan is to be ceded to Syria.
* Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to their homes.

My offers:
* Full diplomatic recognition and preferred-partner trade rights by all the Arab countries and Iran.
* Public declarations by, plus modifications to any charters of, all Palestinian groups, formally renouncing violence as a means to pursue their political aims. This includes rewriting the Hamas charter to get rid of the odious anti-Semitic language in it.
* Immediate disarmament of all non-state Palestinian groups.
* Incorporation of the official PNA police and paramilitary forces into the army and police force of Israel/Palestine.

Would you care to make a counteroffer? Don't worry about it being clearly unacceptable to me; I'd be very surprised if you accept my proposal as-is either. IOW, if the only offer you can think of is "All Arabs to be resettled outside the borders of Israel/Palestine," go ahead and make it; I won't accept, but I'll make another counteroffer. I'm curious to see if we two might be able to reach a compromise.
I think we'll be able to reach an agreement, but that's because we're both leftist, at least regarding this matter.

My offers:
* Full diplomatic recognition and preferred-partner trade rights by all the Arab countries and Iran.
* Public declarations by, plus modifications to any charters of, all Palestinian groups, formally renouncing violence as a means to pursue their political aims. This includes rewriting the Hamas charter to get rid of the odious anti-Semitic language in it.
* Immediate disarmament of all non-state Palestinian groups.
* Incorporation of the official PNA police and paramilitary forces into the army and police force of Israel/Palestine.
I'll just call them 1,2,3 and 4 to make it easier, same with the demands later.
1 would have to include Muslim countries like Malaysia and others with don't have diplomatic relations with Israel, I believe, not just the Arab countries of the Middle East, but all over.
2 is fine, as well as 3.
4 would need some time to be implemented, since training is completely different and so is equipment… But yeah.

I would probably add my demands to it:[LIST=2]
5 Israel or whatever it's to be called will need to have a guarantee that it would allow people of all faiths and religions to immigrate and keep the right of return for Jews around the world.
6 The country will need to have freedom of religion, speech and all other "Western" modern values, which aren't there in most Arab countries.
7 Separation of Church and state, even more so than in the current state, since I wouldn't want fundamentalism to grab hold of power. Nor for the Jews.
8 No more anti-Jewish and/or anti-Zionist and anti-Muslim and/or anti-Arab propaganda by both sides, this would include imams speaking against the western world and condoning suicide bombers …


I might add a few more but that's it for now.

My demands:
* A single state for Jews and Arabs within the borders currently comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
* Golan is to be ceded to Syria.
* Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to their homes.
Those are 1,2,3 again.

1 Agreed, but need some international force to keep the peace for a few years and supervise the transition.
2 Same as 1, with small peacekeeping force stationed to make sure no troops get amassed on the border and to stop other military activities.
3 Agreed, but with the things that I said, where law has to remain Western (European) and not Shari'a and stuff like that EVEN IF they outnumber the Jews, these things cannot be changed. (Tyranny of the majority et al)

My offers:

4 Full and equal citizenship to Palestinians returning to Israel if they wish.
5 Full access to everything in Israel including universities
6 Arabic and Hebrew are both the official languages of the country, meaning both are taught equally in schools. As well as all universities start to offer courses in Arabic. Most books are still in English, but there would be Arabic lecturers.
7 Rebuilding of Gaza effort trebled so as to allow for normal lives to start.
8 Of course the breaking down of the wall
9 And the checkpoints removed.
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January 22nd, 2009, 14:13
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I understand that I'm dragging "what if" into places it's not intended to be, but I don't see much hope for these offers. That second one, in particular, would be nearly impossible to implement, completely impossible to verify, and extremely problematic to enforce. Would Prime al-Finni, Bringer of the Spitting Camels and Wearer of the Really Cool Turban of Influence, be able to tap dance well enough to avoid the wrath of Rabbi Pladio, Bringer of Good Deals and Wearer of the Snazzy Black Not-Quite-A-Derby, when the inevitable happened? Perhaps a public hanging or two after some nut blows the dust off a long-forgotten rocket in his garage and decides to get him a little justice for the past?
That's why it's a what if where PJ represents the world with enough influence for disarmament and I can stop everything in Israel. Unfortunately, neither of us have that kind of power.
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January 22nd, 2009, 14:20
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090122/…nians_politics
Hamas dismisses talking with Fatah.
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January 22nd, 2009, 14:21
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Wait, isn't Qaddafi, like a crazy dictator who decided to make peace all of a sudden but still hated the West…

I have to read more about him… Also, like before the problem will again be that Muslims will outnumber the Jews in a matter of a decade or so if there's another 4 million Palestinians in the country.
Only if "all of a sudden" means roughly 2 decades. He's still, as best as I can tell, batshit crazy, but he's much more quiet about it than he was before Saint Ron kicked him in the nuts in the early 80's. PJ will tell you that years and years of UN sanctions finally forced him to play nice. I would mention that 20 years is a damn long time to wait for a plan to work, tuck in a disparaging remark or two about my favorite CO2 emitters, and point out that after all these years a big box of ginseng and Viagra probably would have gained more influence.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 22nd, 2009, 14:37
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Wait, isn't Qaddafi, like a crazy dictator who decided to make peace all of a sudden but still hated the West…
The one and the same. I'm not entirely certain about his feelings toward the West, though, then or now. He's, basically, a loon.

I have to read more about him… Also, like before the problem will again be that Muslims will outnumber the Jews in a matter of a decade or so if there's another 4 million Palestinians in the country.
True, and I always considered that to be a showstopper. But is it? Hence my little role-playing game.
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January 22nd, 2009, 14:40
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I understand that I'm dragging "what if" into places it's not intended to be, but I don't see much hope for these offers. That second one, in particular, would be nearly impossible to implement, completely impossible to verify, and extremely problematic to enforce. Would Prime al-Finni, Bringer of the Spitting Camels and Wearer of the Really Cool Turban of Influence, be able to tap dance well enough to avoid the wrath of Rabbi Pladio, Bringer of Good Deals and Wearer of the Snazzy Black Not-Quite-A-Derby, when the inevitable happened? Perhaps a public hanging or two after some nut blows the dust off a long-forgotten rocket in his garage and decides to get him a little justice for the past?
Something like. But that's not really what I'm interested in here. What I'm trying to do is break out of a pattern of thinking. My line in these "negotiations" is that I'm not going to promise anything that I think is flat-out impossible now or in the imaginable future; instead, I'm going to try to keep it within the bounds of the conceivable. We'll see where it goes.
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