A lot of Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been saying that the Palestinians are attacking Israel because Israel stole their land. Once Israel returns the land, the attacking will stop. This warmongering doesn’t solve anything, they say. In fact, they say it exacerbates the problem.
But this land-for-peace proposal – how well does it work? Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip and in return, what happened? Gazans began shelling Israel incessantly.
There is no evidence whatsoever that withdrawal brings any peace. One may argue that withdrawal simply encourages the Palestinians to attack Israel unprovokedly with impunity. This is what recent events have demonstrated.
Much is said about the two-state solution to the drama in the Middle East.
What we may have missed is that a two-state solution is already in effect.
One state is in the West Bank and the other is in the Gaza Strip.
Now the Palestinians have two states instead of just the one proposed!
Now, in discussions regarding Israel and its borders, people will have no choice but to bring up a thorny issue: the Territories. This refers to what Israel calls “Judea and Samaria”, what is known more commonly as “The West Bank” (that is, area on and around the west bank of the River Jordan), and what many Muslims and others sympathetic to the Arab claimants thereof call the “Occupied Territories” (that is, the (Arab) territories occupied by Israel as a consequence of the Six Day War in 1967). Some mistakenly may call it “Palestine”. (See note 1 below.) Others use “the Territories” to include the Golan Heights in the north and the Gaza Strip on the west; hereinafter “The Territory” will refer solely to the Territories of Judea and Samaria. Although theories and ideas have been floated to the effect that The State of Israel should or would withdraw from The Territory, in effect an uneasy division has taken place wherein The State of Israel maintains control and hold over Israeli settlements, upon key resources, and upon roads and the like, while the Palestinian National Authority maintains control and hold over Palestinian enclaves, which are necessarily separate from Israeli enclaves (in some cases, physically so). Often, the Israeli enclaves (called “settlements”) are considered a major obstacle in any peace process by which Palestinians are granted exclusive control over The Territory. The existence and spread of these enclaves necessitate The State of Israel to maintain a large amount of oversight and control and influence over the entire Territory. The only solution — so it is said — whereby The State of Israel would be able to fully withdraw and grant sovereignty to the Palestinians over the entire Territory is the dismantling of these enclaves and the total withdrawal of all Israeli entities or interests from The Territory. But this oversimplifies the actual reality of the situation: Israeli enclaves do not constitute the sole reason The State of Israel retains a vested interest in The Territory. There are two other reasons why The State of Israel ought to retain control and influence over The Territory: resources and the anti-Israeli plank of the Palestinian platform. Read the rest of this entry »
The whole deal with Farfour the Mickey Mouse look-alike and now Nahoul the Bee (Türkçe’de: Farfur Sıçanı ve Nahul Bal Arısı) may demonstrate some reasons why I have little pity or compassion for many Palestinians.
Such hatred — being taught to children, no less! — is simply unacceptable and is quite vile.
Such characters — or, rather, the tendency to use such characters to teach hatred to Arab children — also demonstrate some reasons why there will never be peace in that region: every generation is raised to hate (for example: the Arabs) or fear (for example: the Israelis).
If there is any vicious cycle, here it is. And the fault lies squarely on the Arabs: if they did not teach so much hatred, they would be able to co-exist with the Israelis.
So don’t shove that “co-exist” dreck down my throat: convince the spontaneously explosive Arabs first.
Reading the comments at the Elder of Ziyon‘s blog reminded me of a very unpleasant truth: at times, we are forced to deal with and even support very unpleasant people. Two examples should suffice: Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and The House of Saud of Saudi Arabia. In a perfect world, we would be free to conspire to remove both from power, but these entities are the lesser of evils that would exist. As it is said, better the devil we know than the devil we don’t. Furthermore, Abbas and The House of Saud have a vested interest in ensuring not only that they continue to receive our support but also that they continue to support our interests. In some cases, our interests are their interests as well. But then one has to wonder to what extent certain problems (such as, the so evil adversaries of Fatah or The House of Saud which cause us to support people and entities we’d rather not) are perpetuated by those who receive our support. In other words, rather than solving the problems that cause us to support them, are they in fact prolonging them so as to continue to receive our support?
An example of this is Pakistan’s government and military and the issue of the Taliban. To a certain degree, the government and military of Pakistan do not and will not completely eradicate the Taliban in Pakistan or in any areas over which they exercise influence or authority, no matter how easy or possible it is. The same with Usama bin Ladin: Pakistan has a policy, unofficial, of course, of deliberately not taking him out and even of sparing him. Both of these exist for the same reason: if the Taliban were destroyed and/or Bin Ladin taken out or apprehended, The United States’ interest in Pakistan (and, importantly, in Pakistan’s ruling regime) would decrease. Pakistan’s government and military want to ensure the maximum interest of The United States for the maximum amount of time.
(When the Pakistani government hinted that it may not permit foreign forces to move against Bin Ladin were he found within Pakistan’s borders, The Government wisely responded quite severely, stating that if Bin Ladin were found, The United States would move against him whether Pakistan permitted it or not. This sent a very clear message to Pakistan’s government and military: that Pakistan’s intransigence would be tolerated only so much.)
The issue of what Pakistan can and cannot do, as far as potential and politics are concerned, is another matter all together. In certain areas and issues, Pakistan’s government and military are quite impotent.
Unfortunately, we have to recognize that reality is often complicated and quite inconvenient. As much as we may hate it, we have little choice but to side with our erstwhile allies (while, at the same time, keeping a watch on our back). And we need to remember this for the future: when conditions change, we should remember why we supported whom we supported, both so as not to falsely accuse our past actions of laziness or insufficient dedication to our ideals and also so as to analyze every situation to ascertain if we can finally end an unpleasant relationship and bring onto the world stage a better, newer partner.
One of the difficult aspects of politics of The. Palestinian Territories are the essential character and characteristics of its main players. The main players today, Fatah and Hamas, are basically militias with political involvement rather than political parties or social organizations that happen to have armed wings. That is, the primary element of the two groups is their armed natur rather than their political involvement. As they have shown, armed tactics is part of their modi operandi regardless of whether they are in power or not. Hence the civil war that has been raging in The Palestinian Territories.
(Sidenote: As “government” is often defined as that entity that has a monopoly on the use of force, and as entities such as Fatah and Hamas (and Iraq’s sectarian militias) demonstrate, for some people at least, why only state authorities ought to have the ability to project armed force, it seems incredible and extraordinary that in The United States the average citizen not only has the ability and permission to bear arms independent of the government’s forces but even has the right to do so. Quite remarkable indeed.)
So if we hear of any disarming or dissolving of militias in The Palestinian Territories, we must keep in mind that there is more to the civil war than just a few militias. Without an effective, legitimate, and able law enforcement body, how can one expect any Palestinian “government” to operate properly (that is, not engaging in a civil war with its political opponents)? It will, accordingly, take more to solving this war than the unilateral disarmament of one side: the normal characteristics of an effective government would have to come into being, which would include, most importantly and unavoidably, the disbanding of every militia or armed outfit in favor for an impartial and professional law enforcement force. Such a force would exercise its duties uniformly regardless of what party or faction may dominate whatever bodies of government.
But it is difficult to see this happening in The Palestinian Territories, and this because of what seems to be an endemic or systematic element of militia-mongering, with its associated instability, popular promotion for and propaganda for militias and violence, and the delegitimization of other factions, that can be said to characterize the Palestinian political milieu. Of course, various internal and external forces not only favor this situation but also perpetuate it: after all, without Hamas, whom would the Iranis sell weapons to in the Palestinian political theatre? (And a theatre it is: the play is a tear-gushing tragedy.)
The situation in The Palestinian Territories is quite sad indeed; but we should not ignore to what extent the Palestinians’ tragedies are cause by Palestinians, Arabs, and other players other than Israel: indeed, one may say that viewing who has a hand in the Palestinians’ troubles, Israel should be the least of the Palestinians’ concerns.
geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions has been doing an excellent job posting on what can be called the Second Cold War: the efforts of Russia and China to check, hinder, diminish, and threaten America’s influence (or, rather, that of capitalism and The West) just as The Soviet Union tried to do during the First Cold War. I do lament that this is something that has not been on the People’s mind lately. (Although I do know that certain agencies of the government have kept this on their mind, seeing it as a continuation of a traditional threat or issue rather than the resurgence of a new one.)
For more information, please read the following by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions:
- “The real problem with Iran”
- “More on Iran and its relationships”
- “The Sino-Russian clubhouse, and guess who wants in?”
- His comment on “On the question of more troops – addendum”
Now, let us delve a little into international relations. Read the rest of this entry »
Vital Perspective writes: “Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum says a new Palestinian government will not recognize Israel or accept a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.” (Do read the rest of the short post: “Hamas Says Unity Govt Will Not Recognize Israel or Accept Two-State Solution” at Vital Perspective.)
This is very bad news, and I suspect it means that a unity government will not be formed. Frankly, under pressure from certain allies of Israel in The West (namely, The United States), the international commuity will not accept any Palestinian government that does not recognize Israel or, at the very least, that does not recognize the two-state solution. The two-state solution is the foundation of Israeli-Palestinian relations and, indeed, the future of Israel and Palestine. Read the rest of this entry »
If you would like to see how deceptive the Arab media is with news and events regarding Arabs (including and especially Palestinians) and Israel, I suggest checking out Elder of Ziyon. The Elder of Ziyon does an excellent job of revealing discrepancies between reports in English and Arabic, as well as highlighting how much of Arab suffering is because of Arabs, although one would not know this if one is reading Arab media in English (or even in Arabic, in some instances).
Sidenote: “Ziyon” comes from a closer transliteration of the word usually rendered as “Zion”. This word is (ציון, tziyon) and occurs quite frequently in Jewish/Hebrew prayers.
A recent incident demonstrates why the mainstream media, or the legacy media as some call such entities, cannot be entirely trusted. Rather than reporting the news, some feel the need to make the news. This is unacceptable.
A Reuters cameraman, Imad Muhammad Intisar Boghnat, was arrested for inciting Arab children to throw rocks at Israeli vehicles. It is alleged that he participated in throwing rocks as well.
For more information, see:
“The Multi-Talented Cameramen of Reuters’ Middle East Bureau” by Patrick of Clarity & Resolve.
“Israel arrests Reuters cameraman for encouraging rock-throwers” by AllahPundit of Hot Air.
“Reuters Cameraman Caught Staging Photos of Rock Throwers” by Charles Johnson of LGF.
“Reuters Cameraman Remanded for Inciting Rock Attacks” by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz of Israel National News.
Sometimes, the civil war in the Palestinian Territories is amusing in a tragic way.
According to “Made by Islamic Jihad” by Elder of Ziyon: as various factions attack Israel, factions are upset that they are not getting enough credit. Not that Palestinians are not getting enough credit but that one’s own militia/gang of thugs is not getting enough credit. So, in order to get credit among Palestinians for their “brave” attacks on Israel (and to show the Palestinian how much they are “fighting” for them), they have begun labelling their rockets. In Hebrew. So that the Israel media can identify which terrorist group attacked them, so the group’s prestige among Palestinians will rise.
So the Palestinian civil war can be amusing in its own way.
I am very glad to say that the two kidnapped Fox News journalists, reporter Steve Centanni of The United States and cameraman Olaf Wiig of New Zealand, have been released after spending almost two weeks in captivity. I am grateful for all the bloggers who have been following and posting on this very disturbing incident.
I am very troubled and angered by the treatment these men received by the terrorists. Reminiscent of other cases, they were forced to make anti-Western statements on video; they were also forced to convert to Islam on gunpoint. Such tactics are absolutely and utterly reprehensible. And it sickens me that some will use this as pro-terrorist propaganda (“See! These Western people attacked the West and converted to Islam!”) – particularly since their supporters do not question claims made by terrorists and their sympathizers, claims that very often turn out to be false or misrepresentations.
In any case, the men are free and safe. For once, I am grateful to Palestinians, those Palestinian who protested and made much noise in support of Centanni and Wiig, condemning their kidnapping and demanding their immediate release. I hope and pray that this will be the last time any journalists are detained by terrorists. I wish Centanni and Wiig a peaceful time recuperating, recovering, and catching up with their loved ones.
For more information, please read:
“Captors Release Two FOX News Journalists Kidnapped in Gaza Aug. 14” by Fox News.
“Centanni And Wiig Released After ‘Convert Video'” by Michael van der Galien of Liberty and Justice.
There are a variety of people who root for terrorism-sympathizing peoples. This includes rooting for Hezbollah, Hamas, other Palestinian militant organizations, Islamist regimes and societies, and so on. This includes protesting against those people who are fighting these threats; these valiant warriors against oppression and terrorism include Jews, the State of Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces, the Armed Forces of The United States, The Government of The United States, and so on and so forth. This amuses me because these same people, in the lands for which they are protesting or rooting, would be oppressed, suppressed, prosecuted, persecuted, and most likely (considering their outspoken nature) killed.
Such categories, from which such amusing protestors come from, are: Read the rest of this entry »
Ever so often I read that Israel says it will be willing to negotiate a release of prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldiers. I must say that any such tactic is absolutely wrong. It is this willingness that prompted Hamas and Hezbollah to carry out its abductions, because in the past this is precisely what Israel had done.
As painful as it may be, all states need to make a very firm and unyielding policy never to negotiate with terrorists, let alone concede to any of their demands. It simply sets up the stage for further terrorist acts and concessions.
In “Fox News Cameraman, Reporter Now Missing 4 Days; Wife Makes Tearful Plea” by Vital Perspective, we are reminded that a reporter (from The United States) and a cameraman (from New Zealand) of Fox News are still missing/in captivity. There have been no demands made or any claim of responsibility. It has already been four days. I pray and hope for their swift and safe return, and I condemn this violation of journalists.
The two Fox News reporters who were kidnapped have not yet been released. The two kidnapped men are Steve Centanni (of The United States) and Olaf Wiig (of New Zealand). No one has claimed responsibility. Usually, when journalists are kidnapped, they are relased a few hours later. It has so far been a day.
From Reuters at Yahoo! News, Palestinian gunman in Gaza kidnap two personnel of Fox News. I condemn this kidnapping and demand the immediate release of the two Fox News personnel.
I do not know if they targeted Fox News deliberately or if were journalists there at the wrong time. Evidently Palestinians are wont to kidnap journalists (and their crew) and then release them after a few hours. I hope they are released unharmed.
I am a staunch supporter of Fox News. They are doing a magnificent job broadcasting accurate news and balanced interpretations throughout the world.
In “A Sailor’s Parable” by HayZeus of HayZeus, Inc., there is a link to “A difficult lesson” by The Braden Files. This post consists of a story told by someone who was in the Air Force; the poster uses that story as a parable to describe how Israel can put an end to its terrorism tzoris (troubles) once and for all. It’s very enlightening and certain made me think. I was a little shocked by what he had to say, but I must admit that he has a very good point. I want to say I agree with him.