Skip to main content

I'm back States-side after a two-week visit to Palestine and Israel.  I was immediately inspired to write about my family's treatment at the border by Israeli military.  That was an easy diary to write because I was already familiar with this aspect of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  It did not take time for me to process because of my extensive experience in Palestine throughout the 1990s.

I've been reading the accounts of individuals, particulary Jewish Americans, returning from their first visit to Palestine trying to come to terms with the magnitude of the occupation, the Wall and the checkpoints.  They are not easy to accept, write about, or explain; the racism behind these policies is ugly and unjustifiable.  Here's Philip Weiss on the subject:  

A typical scene in Jewish life is when a Jew walks away from Palestine reeling with shock and turns to Jews in his delegation who’ve been there before, and says, What do the Israelis think? Or, Have American Jews seen this!!??

And one of the other Jews says, "They don’t know about it." And another says, "They don’t want to know about it."

I think the second answer is the wiser one. Most Jews just don’t want to know. All the information has been in their laps, they know it’s true at some level, but they’re turning away, turning away, turning away.

Like these witnesses, I am finding it more difficult to write about the rest of my trip.  I hope you will bear with me in this diary as I reflect on what I saw and heard. Here's my main message:  The hatred between Jews and Palestinians, both in Israel/Palestine and in the United States, is manufactured by the right-wing powers that be, and when we give in to that hatred and misunderstanding, we allow the right wing to win.

Discourse in the United States is finallly opening up on criticisms of Israeli policies.  This is especially important among Jewish Americans.  For too long, Jewish Americans and progressives who support Palestinians have been unable to come to agreements on the way forward.  This is unfortunate.  The whole discourse of conflict, I believe, has been based on misunderstandings, rather than disagreements on final outcomes.  Progressives agree that the occupation must end.

The separation of Palestinians and Israelis is not about security.  Many would have us believe that the Separation Wall that cuts deep into West Bank territory (I could see the wall from the western mountains of Ramallah) is about keeping out suicide bombers and keeping Israel safe from a hostile population of Arabs.  

First, it is important for Americans and Israelis to understand that the Wall is not about security.  If the Wall was about security, the Israelis would have built it on the 1967 green line instead of snatching up Palestinian agricultural fields and cordoning off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.  The Wall does not provide security.  This point was driven home by witnessing how the Wall is permeable.  

My Palestinian-American cousin from Ann Arbor was also visiting the West Bank while I was there.  She has a West Bank ID issued by the Israeli military so she is unable to travel to Jerusalem without permission from the Israeli military.  The process to apply for a permit to go to Jerusalem is frustrating.  It takes a full-day of standing in line at the military headquarters and approval is at the whim of the Israelis. My cousin has applied several times in the last several years with no success. After 11 years of not going to Jerusalem (the old city is a mere 5 miles from Ramallah), she decided to take her chances and take an alternate route into the city where the checkpoint was not as difficult to get through as the infamous Qalandia checkpoint.  

The main road to Jerusalem from Ramallah is blocked by the metal maze of the checkpoint at Qalandia.  Here Palestinians are lined up in troughs guarded by metal bars on everyside, including above.  Palestinians must stand in lines for up to an hour or two to cross.  You present your papers to a teenage Israeli soldier sitting behind glass in air-conditioned comfort. When my family when through Qalandia, my elderly father-in-law was yelled at and my 7-year old son was caught in a metal turnstile when the soldiers had determined that enough people had passed for the moment.  When we tried to explain that our son was stuck and that we would not pass through the checkpoint without him, we were met with sneers and indiference from the Israeli woman behind glass.  And our trip was a one-off touristic venture.  Imagine facing this treatment each day to get to work or to visit a sick family member.

So when by Ann Arbor cousin made it into Jerusalem using another road into the city and was not even asked to present her papers, I had to wonder what is the purpose of the Qalandia checkpoint.  Obviously, anyone with the desire to commit murder and destruction in Israel would be aware of the gaps in security and would be willing to take a risk without permits through the more lax opening to the city.  Why is there such an elaborate system in place merely in the name of security?

It is clear to me that the Israelis are engaged in a game of social engineering with the aim of keeping Jews and Palestinians separated, not for security, but for purpose of fueling the conflict.  How can people make peace when they can't interact with one another?  The Israeli soldiers behind the glass can't help see the Palestinians has an inhuman mob.  The Palestinians can't help but see the Israelis in charge as merciless and corrupt.  It is clear from the conversations I heard that both Israelis and Palestinians have fallen into the trap of blanket condemnations of each other.  We are being duped.

I attended a beautiful concert at Birzeit University of the Palestinian Consveratory's youth camp.  The music was extraordinarily rich and beautiful, ranging from classical to jazz.  There were several youth participants with European features.  When I asked my friend if these kids were Israeli, she scoffed.  We don't believe in dialogue for dialogue's sake, she told me.  They were Italian exchange students.  Her statement is a commentary on the divide between people living so close.

I heard many diatribes against Hamas while in the West Bank. There is no tolerance for their tactics or their social goals.  There is an active progressive community that is fighting the conservatism that has infected Palestinian society.  These progressives agree that success on the political front is needed to confront the stranglehold of Hamas on Palestinian society in Gaza.  

In Haifa, I visited Palestinian Professor's cousins and their allies who are active in Hadash, the Israeli Communist Party, whose members are both Jewish and Palestinian.  Their voices were so hopeful, open and liberal.  They are immune from the social engineering machnications of the Wall and these Arab and Jews find common ground on progressive values for a better society.  

What if we were to recognize the common values and goals of the left in Palestine and Israel?  Woudn't we be a whole lot closer to bringing down Bibi, Lieberman and Hamas?  Shouldn't this be the goal of progressives in the United States?  If we fall into the traps of the right-wing nuts of Israel and Palestine, aren't we the fools?

Here's a video of the action of a group of Palestinians and Israelis who are not falling into the trap.  

hat tip:  zannie, mondoweiss

Originally posted to soysauce on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:55 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Thank you greatly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic, Assaf, canadian gal

      for writing a meaningful diary instead an ISM agitprop peace about some crappy movie or boatride.  While I disagree with much of what you say, I'm tipping you just on the basis of the sincerity of the diary.

      "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." --Barack Obama, June, 2008

      by oldskooldem on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:16:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  another excellent diary (5+ / 0-)

      thank you so much. i too have found my trip very difficult to write about. when i first read the weiss  text you blockquoted i recognized it immediately because this theme was repeated numerous times during our trip. there was a general meme forming that the occupation served to create a laboratory. the implications of generation after generation of a people who become accustomed to their role of being subjugated (including abduction/assassination) and the opposite from israelis. the closeness, the roadways. it is daring frankly. to have these 2 communities so close and interwoven yet intended to never coexist. mindboggling. standing there on a hilltop w/nothing but a wall and road separating and the views of the 2 sides aimed at eachother. staggering.

      I heard many diatribes against Hamas while in the West Bank. There is no tolerance for their tactics or their social goals.  There is an active progressive community that is fighting the conservatism that has infected Palestinian society.  These progressives agree that success on the political front is needed to confront the stranglehold of Hamas on Palestinian society in Gaza.  

      i met people in gaza who felt the same way. it is really imperative this hurdle can be overcome and i agree it must come from within palestinian society and hope it comes from engagement and not some bloody showdown.

      as an aside, i have no idea how many people in our delegation or the delegation who entered before ours (some of which joined ours weiss being one of them) were jewish. but clearly alot, probably more than half. while we were there i didn't  experience any palestinians indicating there was an issue w/the jewishness of our delegation. most of us were homestay and gazans seemed very eager to engage with all of us. if there is some ingrained hatred of jews it sure as hell was disguised during our trip. frankly most palestinians i met were very clear they just want peace and are quite open to people of any stripe who make the effort. there was a perception expressed they felt they were targeted for extinction, especially in gaza.

    •  Oh, soysauce... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zannie, rbguy, soysauce

      this is so beautiful to see...but also tragic.

      Thank you for taking the time to write what I know had to have been very difficult for you.

      I could feel the beauty of your soul.

      I've seen the images you speak of (those wire cages and the turnstiles).

      Please know, I resist with you and yours, the barbarous, inhumane treatment of your people.

      I resist the only way I can. I hold you in my heart and speak out whenever and wherever I can. I pray for protection always for the children...and I cry for them.

  •  you write beautifully, but (7+ / 0-)

    are you sersious about this?

    It is clear to me that the Israelis are engaged in a game of social engineering with the aim of keeping Jews and Palestinians separated, not for security, but for purpose of fueling the conflict

    I charitably assume that by "Israelis" you mean the government. But come on, they purposefully try to fuel the conflict? Come on!

    So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

    by skeptiq on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:10:04 AM PDT

  •  It really is difficult for us to appreciate... (12+ / 0-)

    ...just how radical the rightwing elements are on both sides. Expressions of rank bigotry are not uncommon from government officials both in Gaza and in Israel. Not even the vilest republicans in our government would dare say such things.

    Thanks for the diary. As you suggest, the radical elements on each side must be marginalized and discredited. Unfortunately, there's a long way to go to achieve that.

  •  Thanks for the diary soysauce! (10+ / 0-)

    I hope you plan on showing us some pics later on:)

    Perhaps as you mention wrt the power structures that dominate politics on both sides, that there is an economic factor that really dominates these issuses foremost. I only caught the beginnings of a diary by Alec the other day, but perhaps one needs to look at resources and the economy to understand a potentially more important part of the picture.

    Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

    by borkitekt on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:22:18 AM PDT

    •  I did not see Alec's diary. I can say (7+ / 0-)

      there is a lot of building in Ramallah, but the money is expat investment.  The economic situation of the typical West Banker has not been bettered by the recent investment.

      The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

      by soysauce on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:29:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think after reading the WB report.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soysauce

        ...that employment, even with an increase in growth of up to 7%, is probably going to suffer when Fayyad begins the budget cuts.  Public sector employment has skyrocketed, but he's under pressure from donors to fix the budget shortfall.  I'm also not sure how many jobs the current projects with funding will generate.  And there's still a holdup on telecommunications development, which has been a very successful method of promoting growth in Africa, from what I've read.      

        The IMF projections also warned that anemic growth in countries with large Palestinian populations would probably result in reduced investment, though.  And then of course there's the matter of Israeli disbursement of donor aid, which is not, shall we say, prompt.  Additionally, a large portion of donor assistance is aimed at the more pressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, for obvious reasons.  

        I'm not surprised to hear that whatever development there has been hasn't trickled down to the average WB resident, though.  What I'm not sure about is underemployment.  I'm pretty sure inflation has outpaced wage growth, so even those who are employed are hardly out of the red.  

        Great diary, btw.

        What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

        by Alec82 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:13:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The real I vs P (9+ / 0-)

    in Insane people of any religion or ethnicity vs Peace

  •  Thanks for the great first person account. (12+ / 0-)

    And for the call to come together and reject the right.

    A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:31:22 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, (7+ / 0-)

    not easy to experience or write about. I'm an observer, but I feel for all the people who are stuck in the middle of this seemingly never-ending and insolvable conflict. I hope the more forward looking and peaceful minds get the opportunity to make some progress.

    With US policy where it is, even with Obama, I remain skeptical.

    You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

    by FrankCornish on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:38:51 AM PDT

  •  Oppressor <> Oppressed (6+ / 0-)

    Your diary is informative but fails to prove or even attempt to prove the claim in bold about hatred being manufactured. Any "hatred" born by Palestinians against Israel is grounded is the stark reality you describe you well - oppression, based on the occupation of Palestinian land, not only on the West Bank but dating back to the Nakba, and the failure of Israel to implement the right of return for Palestinians that was guaranteed to them by U.N. resolution and international law decades ago.

    As for the Israeli "right-wing", as my friend Richard Becker put it, the choice (in terms of "mainstream parties," not including, e.g., Hadash) is between the right, the far right, the ultra right, and the uber right. There is nothing other than the right it Israeli politics any more.

    If you have a chance, see "The Land Speaks Arabic" which is a documentary about pre-1948 Palestine currently being broadcast on Al Jazeera.

    "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News
    "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

    by elishastephens on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:45:54 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for your comment. I don't (9+ / 0-)

      think we disagree.  I failed to mention that during my previous stays in the West Bank I found that Palestinians and Israelis were cooperating in the peace movement and on human rights issues more than they are today.  Israelis are not allowed into the West Bank by Israeli military orders.  Progressives Israelis are not as free as before to collaborate with their Palestinian counterparts.

      I have seen documentary "The Land Speaks Arabic".  It is a very important film.  

      I am not neutral on issues of injustice.  I am merely pointing out that their our points of convergence among progressives on both sides of this conflict.

      The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

      by soysauce on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:50:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  doing the math (6+ / 0-)

      Any "hatred" born by Palestinians against Israel is grounded is the stark reality you describe you well

      Ah, I get it. When an Israeli hates a Palestinian, it's the Israeli's fault. But when a Palestinian hates an Israeli, it's the Israeli's fault.

      See? I/P is easy!

      harps and angels! harps and angels!

      by zemblan on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:58:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spare us, will you, (7+ / 0-)

        from all this simpleminded flame-bating you inject in every other diary?

        Thanks.

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:00:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have the apostrophe placed incorrectly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, borkitekt, MnplsLiberal

        "But when a Palestinian hates an Israeli, it's the Israeli's fault."

        No, it's the "Israelis' fault". As in all Israelis. As in the policies and actions of the Israeli government, the collective voice of the Israeli people.

        Palestinians don't hate individual Israelis. They hate Israel and its policies.

        And "hate" isn't really the right word anyway. It's like the right was always accusing us of "hating" Bush. No, I didn't "hate" Bush. I despised everything he did. As far as Bush personally, I'm totally indifferent. "Hate" is an irrational emotion. The feelings of Palestinians towards the actions of Israel are entirely rational.

        Eli Stephens
        Left I on the News
        "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

        by elishastephens on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:04:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have it right (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, capelza, esquimaux, borkitekt

        That's how it works. In the American South the slave master feared and hated the slave but that is of course his fault because he created the conditions in the first place. The slave hates his master and that is also obviously the master's fault.

        In the American West we feared and hated the native Americans but it was we who took their land, divided them into "reserves" and destroyed their culture. When they fought back and massacred whites we proclaimed them as incorrigible but in truth their hate was justified.

        It's called projection, all occupiers do it otherwise they couldn't justify in their minds the violence they are committing.

        You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

        by MnplsLiberal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:30:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are wrong here (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          livosh1, Karmafish, blueness

          You said:

          When they fought back and massacred whites we proclaimed them as incorrigible but in truth their hate was justified.

          Their (the American Indians hatred) was justified but massacring innocents was and is never right or justifiable. Ma'lot was not justified nor was the killing at the Olympic nor were hundreds of other incidents. Just as dropping WP on people and burning their fields ever justified.

          That is what civilization is supposed to do - solve this not exacerbate it.

          Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

          by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:22:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I disagree with that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, Annalize5, callmecassandra

            "That is what civilization is supposed to do - solve this not exacerbate it."

            But they, Native Americans, the Palestinians, are not "civilized". Your solution can only exist with the frame of western civilization. It cannot exist outside of it. There all you have is a state of nature where violence IS the proper response to someone who seeks to exterminate you.

            The genocide in America of the native population was the expansion of European civilization onto the American continent. The current conflict in at various points in the middle east is one of Europeans vs an indigenous tribal culture. Their only possible response is to use greater force than their occupiers.

            The Palestinians will be utterly crushed and exterminated just as we in America crushed and exterminated our natives. Future Europeans living in what is now Palestinian land will weep for what was done in their name just was we weep. Not far from me is a place where Native Americans were rounded up and hung en masse in response to their uprisings. If it was happening today their cause would be just as hopeless but they would be using AK-47s and suicide bombers too and we would be shelling their homes on their Native Reserves.

            When someone seeks to murder you and take your land you have the right to return that violence. It's just that if the other is stronger then you will simply die and that will be that. That's how the world is, trying to pretend it is something other then what it is is a delusion.

            You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

            by MnplsLiberal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:02:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. Plain and simple. NO (5+ / 0-)

              You said:

              When someone seeks to murder you and take your land you have the right to return that violence.

              You have a right to resist - If someone takes your land strike at them. I don't have an issue with that - but, remember they will then strike back and you can't complain if you go down the violence path.

              But terror is NOT resistance. Going into a school - taking children hostage and gunning 26 of them down is NOT justifiable in any way, shape, or form. There is no justification for blowing up a pizza parlor filled with teens. Killing athletes at an international event meant to foster peace is even worse.

              I know how the "real world" works - I just want to change it and that can be done. Killing innocent people is murder no matter who does it.

              Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

              by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:19:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It amazes me that on a left-liberal blog (4+ / 0-)

                we actually have people promoting violence against innocent civilians.

                Promoting violence against Jews.

                It's just not acceptable.

                Period.

                As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

                by Karmafish on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:35:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Resistence is violence (0+ / 0-)

                "Striking back" is violent.

                "you can't complain if you go down the violence path."

                Sometimes there is no other path because the other gives you no choice in the matter. In the state of nature violence and force are how dominance is established. Somalia and other failed states are examples of where a state of nature currently exists. There is no legally constituted State. There is no Law. There is only the rule of the strongman. Eventually perhaps one leader will emerge and then maybe a State will be created under which Law can exist.

                "You have a right to resist - If someone takes your land strike at them."

                So you are ok with the Palestinians forming an army and striking back by whatever means necessary?

                You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

                by MnplsLiberal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:25:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I do not have a problem with (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueness

                  strikes against military targets. I mean if the Palestinians were to hit an Israeli base I would of course take retribution for that but, I would not call it a "terror" strike. The fact is if you are in the military and your country is at war - you are a legitimate target.

                  Of course, since I have friends in the IDF I would not want them to get hit - but, that has a different meaning than shooting up a school room of kids.

                  Using the Native American example - for them to take shots at the cavalry is not unjustified. BUT... for them to go into a settlement camp and kill all the men, women, and children. That is just plain murder. There are other ways to deal.

                  You keep talking about the state of "natural law" and you point out that it is a failure. You are right in that. SO the Palestinian leadership needs to come up an alternative to terror and they are seeming to do that.

                  I don't have that much of a problem with violence (other than it is stupid - but sometimes necessary) but I do have a problem with uncontrolled violence. That fact that you are making excuses for terror is just ridiculous. I hope that you or your family are never victims of that. I have a feeling if you were Israeli and some Hamas rocket landed on your kids school you would have a pretty freakin' different vision of resistance.

                  If you are going to shoot rockets - shoot them at bases or helicopters or soldiers but DO NOT send them into the middle of cities. That goes both ways btw.

                  Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                  by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:30:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  really? (0+ / 0-)

                    for them to go into a settlement camp and kill all the men, women, and children. That is just plain murder.

                    so by these standards to go into gaza and kill men women and children, that is murder?

                    •  No because that was during a military engagement (0+ / 0-)

                      it is wrong and should be condemmed and action taken against those who KNOWINGLY TARGETED AND KILLED CIVILIANS.

                      Killing Olympic athletes is cowardice not soldiering. When your target is civilians it is terror. When your target is firing from the middle of civilian areas it is military response and the death of civilians is on the people who are attacking from civilian areas.

                      Shooting rockets in S'derot is cowardice - and I would be happy to tell anyone to their face it is. Targeting civilians in Gaza is cowardice as well.

                      Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                      by volleyboy1 on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 12:03:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

                        No because that was during a military engagement

                        by the standard israel can declare anything it does is a military engagement. and palestinians can't?

                        i'm not so clear on your logic there. the only difference between hamas hitting a civilian area and israel hitting one is israel claiming there are militants in there.

                  •  hmm (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza

                    I don't have that much of a problem with violence (other than it is stupid - but sometimes necessary) but I do have a problem with uncontrolled violence. That fact that you are making excuses for terror is just ridiculous.

                    so we have a situation where we have a oppressed people where israel has a total stranglehold over society for the most part. the people do not have any kind of normal military as you very well know and there are no plans for them ever to have one.

                    so what form of civilized violence do you think is appropriate? say to compare w/israels moral civilized violence.

                    mind you, i am NOT advocating violence by any side. but i was wondering what kind of palestinian violence you think is justified? do you think the capture of a member of the israeli military is justifiable? would you advocate capturing their soldiers as a valid response?

                    would you advocate the US government to arm palestinian so they can offer israel a civilized response to match their violence. arms that could possible attack their main bases?

                    would this be more civilized? what if another country armed them w/weapons that could reach their bases.

                    i am not sure how rationa it is calling palestinian violence terrorism and calling the same actions by israel 'mistakes' or abberations or something..

                    i mean israel blows up whole houses with innocent people in them.

                    •  Yep... and when (0+ / 0-)

                      Israel kills civilians in a military action like Cast Lead it should be condemmed (which you have seen me do) but, zannie - how is killing children in a school defensible? Don't answer, well the Israelis do so and so because that is immaterial. How does killing innocents = soldiering.

                      It sucks when the Israelis do it and it sucks when the Palestinians do it.

                      OH and if the Palestinians hit an Israeli base my response would be to take out every militant possible but I would not call it a terror attack and there is a big difference.

                      You make the mistake of me saying I would support capturing soldiers but, I don't - it's just that I don't think the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit is terror. In my world and if I was in charge of Israel - hit teams would be killing every Hamas militant there is - but, I would not be bombing innocent civilians.

                      Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:59:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  how is killing children in a school defensible? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        callmecassandra

                        well i wouldn't defend any killing of civilians, but i can imagine how if a military of a country kept justifying its own terror and occupation just by declaring it part of their military operation, well then i would consider their citizens by the same standards.

                        this 'intention' thing ain't flying with me volley. that is the only thread between the idf and a terror organization by your own standards which is exactly why their investigation is going forward, exactly why the idf even tho invited is blackballing it, and exactly why people are protesting an independent investigation.

                        it is not me defending terror volley, it is you. it just so happens you are defending it by defining it in such a way as to exclude those you support. at least that is how it looks to me. there is no 'civilized' way to kill civilians. not even by calling it a military operation or claiming their is no intention to kill civilians.

            •  Please explain just why it is that (4+ / 0-)

              Israel was constantly attacked prior to the occupation.

              Please explain just why it is that Jews were often attacked even prior to the existence of Israel.

              Please explain.

              As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

              by Karmafish on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:34:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Israel did not exist prior to it's occpation (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zannie

                Israel's existence IS the intrusion into the middle east of European civilization.

                Your ideology distorts your very perceptions.

                You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

                by MnplsLiberal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:09:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  this is (5+ / 0-)

                  not really true, in the sense that the British and French colonized and carved up the Middle East long before Israel was established.

                  As well, civilizations are porous entities. "Eastern" civilization and "Western" civilization are not mutually exclusive, nor necessarily opposed, lest we start buying into Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" theory, which I think we'd all best avoid doing.

                  As for Israel's presence as a "Western intrusion"--Israel's population includes Arab Jews and Arab Muslims (yes, both of who are discriminated against), but I don't see it so much as an intrusion of European civilization (this is the discourse of Islamists which I reject) as much as another nationalist project, with origins in a Europe, but importantly so, in a persecuted minority group within Europe. It's not quite the same thing.

                  •  The violence goes back centuries of course (0+ / 0-)

                    But in the 20th century it was always about the oil. When you choose to divide a people up in order to better exploit their resources that is also an act of violence and one should not be surprized when it returns to you. Just as the violence we suffered when Iran struck back in the 70's was rooted in our previous support in the 50's for the brutal dictatorship of the Shah.

                    Why do people act surprized when the violence they sow returns to them?

                    Because people construct delusions, illusory worlds in which they are blameless and innocent. Worlds in which there are no consequences for one's actions. This fantasy construct is known as the Imaginary Real. It is a retreat, a flight from the harsh reality where we don't get what we want without paying for it.

                    But the Imaginary Real will always collapse. Just as the imaginary financial world built on the delusion of the "free market" also collapsed. The repressed will always return and throw you back into the Real. It is madness to then react by constructing yet even newer illusions in which to live.

                    You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

                    by MnplsLiberal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:43:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Ah. (6+ / 0-)

                  So you believe that Israel has no right even to exist.

                  That it's very existence as a Jewish state represents the "occupation" and therefore the effort to kill off the Jews of the Yishuv, after having just come through the Holocaust, was thus justified.

                  Got it.

                  As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

                  by Karmafish on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:36:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, you don't have it (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza, callmecassandra

                    You are projecting your own guilt yet again. If you are going to be an occupier then BE one and don't act all surprized when those whose feel your boot kick back a little.

                    One always has a choice and that goes for both sides in any conflict.

                    You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

                    by MnplsLiberal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:51:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      livosh1

                      But are you claiming that all of Israel represents the occupation or just the WB and Gaza after '67?

                      As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. - Mr. Carlson

                      by Karmafish on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:09:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  He's made it clear (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        livosh1, Doodad, volleyboy1, canadian gal

                        Israel's existence IS the intrusion into the middle east of European civilization.

                        Note that this requires a redefinition of what you mean by colonization. Suddenly, rather than individual states, suddenly an entire civilization is guilty of colonialism -- an ad hoc redefinition but a required one if you're going to fling the accusation of "colonialism" around.

                        harps and angels! harps and angels!

                        by zemblan on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:48:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Does the US have the "right" to exist? (0+ / 0-)

                        Nobody does and everybody does. We are all invaders, we're all colonizers. Every civilization, every nation, every people exist where they are because of some violent act. Either in conquering, enslaving or exterminating previous residents or in wresting the land from nature.

                        Homo Sapiens exsit because we exterminated the Neanderthals. When the Anglo Saxons invaded the Brittish Isles they found the Pictish, an aboriginal people, living there and they exterminated them

                        Israel does not have the "right" to exist any more than the US, the UK, Australia or pretty much anyone else. Rights do not exist "out there" and there is no Big Daddy In The Sky who gives us permission to subdue and subjugate others. God did not give the land of Israel to the Jews or to anyone else.

                        Life itself has no "right" to exist. Should a large asteroid hit, or a gamma ray burster explode, or the Sun flare out, all life on Earth would be snuffed out and the universe would not give a fuck.

                        Your god did not give you Jerusalem, you decided you wanted it so you took it because you could. That is the only justification any human has ever had for killing another, because they could, because they wanted to or because they felt it in their interest to. No one is better than anyone else. Afterwards we make up lies that we use to tell ourselves it was really ok and that is usually "because they are not of our tribe."

                        All of this is not to say that "Might makes Right". It is rather to point to the gap between what we say and what we do.

                        You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

                        by MnplsLiberal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:01:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  wow big stretch..way to strawman dude nt (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza
                •  I'd argue that (5+ / 0-)

                  Your ideology distorts your very perceptions.

                  Your false analogies distort yours.

                  No, the creation of Israel wasn't the Manifest Destiny destruction of the Native American, and your using that as a template is leading you into misapprehension of reality. Similarly there are people who are sure that the right template to apply is South African apartheid, and they're led into another kind of misapprehension of reality. Just as those who would apply the Nazi template to Hamas will be led into yet another kind of misapprehension.

                  harps and angels! harps and angels!

                  by zemblan on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:46:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, this is helpful. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Doodad, volleyboy1

              Seeing how utterly apocalyptic your view of Israel's intention are --

              The Palestinians will be utterly crushed and exterminated

              -- goes a long way toward explaining your sanguine attitude toward them. You're ready to punish them in advance for a genocide you think they're going to someday commit. And that says a lot.

              harps and angels! harps and angels!

              by zemblan on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:43:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  i was anticipating.... (6+ / 0-)

    this diary after reading your comment the other day. i will woefully rec this - not because i don't disagree with the title of much of its contents, but because i disagree with your framing of why or who is to blame for the manufacturing of this hatred.

    ill add another point to your checkpoint example above. it is my understanding that a palestinian group manages and controls the operations of the wall because apparently there are areas that jewish people are not supposed to enter. i find it strange that i have never once heard about this until i actually visited it.

    either way - couldn't agree more - the hate is manufactured by those that seek to maintain the status quo. let's not let them be successful by demonizing and minimizing either side.

    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

    by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:54:21 AM PDT

    •  Thank you. (6+ / 0-)

      Do you have a citation on the Palestinian group that controls a part of the wall?  I don't know anything about this.

      Israelis from inside are not allowed in the West Bank by Israeli military orders.

      The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

      by soysauce on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:56:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DoGooderLawyer, borkitekt

        when i was there and a leading archeologist explained it quite fully and i cannot remeber the particulars - and i just googled before posting the comment and found nothing.

        give a bit ill try and see what i can dig up. thanks again for this effort.

        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

        by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:59:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  okay.... (0+ / 0-)

        not easy to be found, but here goes. the wakf/waqf, or islamic trust of clerics, is charged with day-to-day administration of the haram al-sharif compound which includes:

        The Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif is the most important religious site in Jerusalem.

        Its Western Wall is the holiest site in Judaism. The mount is holy to Jews because it was the site of the First and Second Temple in ancient times.

        The compound also houses the Dome of the Rock, pictured here, and the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

        the waqf are appointed to administer the site by the palestinian authority. this apparently goes back to the 60's - via wiki:

        On 7 June 1967, soon after Israel had taken control of the area during the Six-Day War, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol assured that "no harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions". Together with the extension of Israeli jurisdiction and administration over east Jerusalem, the Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law,[17] ensuring protection of the Holy Places against desecration, as well as freedom of access thereto.[18] Israel agreed to leave administration of the site in the hands of the Wakf.

        and also:

        Controlled by Israel since 1967, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim sovereignty over the site, which remains a key issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. A Muslim council, known as the Muslim Waqf, manages the site. The Israeli government enforces a controversial ban on prayer by non-Muslim visitors.

        i think the only real problems amongst the 2 groups here i have found in my limited research on this is archeological.

        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

        by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:57:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CG, the haram al-sharif is in the Old City (5+ / 0-)

          of Jerusalem.  It is the third holiest site in Islam and is administered by Palestinian Muslims. It is not part of the separation wall.  Palestinians do not control the entry points along the wall.  You must have misunderstood.

          The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

          by soysauce on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 02:01:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ? (0+ / 0-)

            the wailing wall is situated on the western flank of the temple mount. i am not sure what an entry point means...

            at the time the archeologist had mentioned some strange and ancient jewish ritual/sacrifices that were practiced up top in the times of the temple - and that jews - save for rabbi's couldn't enter so the waqf did.

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 02:07:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Wailing Wall and the Separation Wall (2+ / 0-)

              are two different things.  How in the world did you spend time in Jerusalem and not see the thing?

              The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

              by soysauce on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 02:15:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1

                i think we were talking about 2 different things i see.

                what i meant was that israeli/palestinian cooperation happens everyday - not that most would hear about though.

                "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 02:18:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  i agree it happens daily (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza

                  every time a palestinian wants to go thru a check point he cooperates with an israeli. the state even supports this cooperation. i'm sure it happens over and over on a daily basis. but as soysause mentions 'Israelis from inside are not allowed in the West Bank by Israeli military orders'. there are lots of ways to get around that tho!

                  when i entered israel i had to sign a slip of paper saying i wouldn't go in to the west bank (or i would be barred from israel for 10 years and lots of other legal jargon that meant it would cost me 5000). but i went anyway.

                  the video soysauce put up in her diary is an excellent example of palestinians and jews cooperating together. also the ISM, the alternative information center, jeff harpers group. there are ways to get around the legal barriers attempting to separate people and it is done every day. we took a bus, got off on a dirt road, walked a ways and ran into some sheep herders, and finally was able to intercept with our taxis who we made prior arrangements to meet us. anyone can do it but it is illegal if you don't get a pass for the day or something.

                  inside israel i had lots of interactions everyday with palestinians who are israeli citizens, some were traveling with us as were jewish israelis. they had known eachother for a long long time and cooperated with eachother just fine.

              •  thanks for clearing that up (0+ / 0-)

                for a minute there i thought the 'wailing wall' had another meaning.

                /snark

    •  "Seek to maintain the status quo"? (6+ / 0-)

      Please cite a single Palestinian who "seeks to maintain the status quo." I don't know of one.

      And actually, most Israelis, at least, most Israeli politicians, don't seek to "maintain the status quo" either. They all seek to continue crushing the Palestinian people, extending Israeli settlements further and further and continuing to "Judaize" Jerusalem and other parts of "1948 Israel" by demolishing Palestinian homes under any pretext whatsoever.

      Eli Stephens
      Left I on the News
      "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

      by elishastephens on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:00:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well... collective blame for the status quo. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paul in Berkeley

        its quite simple to see really - all you have to do is climb out of a particular ideology.

        "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

        by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:10:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  instead of patronising him (3+ / 0-)

          why don't you answer his question?

          •  Because Heath his question (6+ / 0-)

            is framed in a ridiculous manner. Saying this is blatently untrue

            They all seek to continue crushing the Palestinian people, extending Israeli settlements further and further and continuing to "Judaize" Jerusalem and other parts of "1948 Israel" by demolishing Palestinian homes under any pretext whatsoever.

            They don't seek to continue "crushing" the Palestinian people - that is stupid hyperbole and it reduces the Israelis to cartoon characters. The issue of the settlements is complicated. It is not a single "Crush, Kill, and Destroy" mentality. At first the settlements were seen as defensive outposts and "eyes and ears" of the IDF - an early warning system if you will.

            That however, morphed as the more religious movements: Geula Cohen and Tehiya and the Gush Emunim (Bloc of the faithful) took it on themselves (with the blessings tacitly of Likud) to reclaim historical Jewish land lost centuries prior.

            A series of right wing coalition governments helped build this base and with the Palestinians pursuing rejectionist policies and armed resistance Israel had no reason nor will to give up the settlements. Frankly, had I been Head of the Gov't I would not have either (although I would not have expanded them as the right did).

            That now has changed with Fatah's recognition of Israel and the willingness of the Palestinians to talk and make peace. Therein lies the problem. There are 300,000+ settlers who now have homes, families and communities there. Even though they are living on land grabbed in extremely questionable circumstances they are still there and ideologically tied to the land.

            You and others don't really understand the underlying factors in the settler movement. This is not the "OH look let's oppress some people because it is fun group" it is a religious and political movement.

            I am just explaining this to the crowd I don't support settlements and think there should be an immediate freeze followed by a gradual evacuation. BUT just as many of you ask the Pro-I side to understand the nuance of Hamas - I would say the same here. The only difference is that I don't want the settlers in any power role whatsoever - they are not the good guys.

            As far as Jerusalem goes.... That is a whole other ball of wax. I would be curious as to How elisha would feel if the Jews took Al-Aqsa and used it as a stable because that is what the Jordanians did to the Western Wall. Plus while the right is building up around Jerusalem - the Jews were tossed out of the Eastern part of City in 1948. So.... I would not go around complaining there. Goose - Gander so forth.

            Personally I feel that the Old City should be it's own entity ruled by equal numbers of Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is too holy to everyone for a single group to control. That is my personal feeling.

            Look, elisha's hyperbole is ridiculous and out of line. It doesn't help anyone. Sorry.

            Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

            by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:28:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I generally agree with you (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zannie, capelza, borkitekt

              that the issue is more complicated than that, but I do have to nitpick with one thing:

              That now has changed with Fatah's recognition of Israel and the willingness of the Palestinians to talk and make peace.

              I don't know if this has really had any impact on the government's willingness to put settlers in the West Bank considering that the settler population doubled between Oslo and the second intifada.  I seem to recall studies that found that most of that increase occurred under Labor governments.  

              Text "Justice" or "Justicia" to 69866 to get action alerts on federal immigration legislation and campaigns

              by Dexter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:35:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As a percentage that is true - (0+ / 0-)

                and I think part of that is the nature of Israeli coalition politics. Well that an Shimon Peres is the Harry Reid of Israel. I met him once btw, (Peres) - I felt like I needed to take a shower after hanging out with him for five mins.

                That guy is a politician if I have ever seen one and that is not a compliment.

                But fair criticsm overall - thanks for doing it in a constructive way BTW - much appreciated.

                Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:03:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Wish I could give this a dozen recommends. n/t (3+ / 0-)

              "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by jrooth on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:57:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jon the antizionist jew

              "The issue of the settlements is complicated. It is not a single "Crush, Kill, and Destroy" mentality. At first the settlements were seen as defensive outposts and "eyes and ears" of the IDF - an early warning system if you will."

              I strongly disagree with that, but I agree it's more complicated than elisha's comment suggests. Nonetheless his challenge to canadian gal re. Palestinians seeking to maintain the "status quo" is a valid one, and she has not addressed it.

              "You and others don't really understand the underlying factors in the settler movement. This is not the "OH look let's oppress some people because it is fun group" it is a religious and political movement."

              Of course it is, and I've never claimed otherwise. So what? That doesn't mean it has been motivated primarily by security considerations, an assertion which, by the way, is flatly contradicted by the documentary record.

              "As far as Jerusalem goes.... That is a whole other ball of wax. I would be curious as to How elisha would feel if the Jews took Al-Aqsa and used it as a stable because that is what the Jordanians did to the Western Wall. Plus while the right is building up around Jerusalem - the Jews were tossed out of the Eastern part of City in 1948. So.... I would not go around complaining there. Goose - Gander so forth"

              volley, I'm sorry, but you're rambling. I don't see what in my comment triggered this discussion of the Jordanian administration of the Western Wall.

            •  about that nuance (0+ / 0-)

              You and others don't really understand the underlying factors in the settler movement. This is not the "OH look let's oppress some people because it is fun group" it is a religious and political movement.

              i must have missed the 'fun' comment you quoted. i think everyone knows it is a religious and political movement. i was wondering if you could elaborate on these 'underlying factors' or this nuance you would like us to grasp. or maybe what it is you think we should do with this nuance. since you claim it is not '"Crush, Kill, and Destroy" mentality' (too cartoony) what do you think it is? specifically.  would you call it dominate, humiliate, evade (no there aren't evading). since you do not support them by all means explain why and what exactly you think should be done with them since you do not think they should be part of any process in decision making. it sounds like the government used them as a useful tool and now i do not know how you can make that tool benign. if you ignore them won't it fester?  what nuance have the settlers offered us as compared to the 'nuances' of hamas lately.

              also, when you say 300,000 plus do you mean 500,000? do you know how many live outside the 48 border? the 67? where are you coming up w/the 300 number?

          •  why? (4+ / 0-)

            the onus is on me to explain why both the israelis and palestinians share blame for the status quo? am i being punk'd? if one wants to paint the israelis or palestinians as wholly innocent there is not much really, in my opinion, to take seriously.

            from the beginning were the palestinians doomed to become pawns in a regional political war against israel? or did they have free will? never mind - this is hardly productive or worthy of debate.

            but perhaps when even some of the most steadfastly engaged palestinians like rashid khalidi for example claim blame can be shared its a good idea to listen.

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:27:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jon the antizionist jew

              "if one wants to paint the israelis or palestinians as wholly innocent there is not much really, in my opinion, to take seriously"

              elisha asked you a simple question about who, on the Palestinian side, seeks to maintain the "status quo". You can, to be sure, agree with the rest of his comment, but telling to him to climb out of his ideology (as if you're somehow ideologically neutral) is not a persuasive response.

              •  i think you should reread his comment. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Karmafish, volleyboy1

                Please cite a single Palestinian who "seeks to maintain the status quo." I don't know of one.

                as for my ideological position - i don't think i claimed to be neutral although  i am certainly not an ideologue - but most importantly, i am also an advocate for peace. aren't we all supposed to be? so if one uses words to demonize and polarize, rather than discuss and persuade, there's no hope for conflict resolution anywhere especially the middle east IMHO.

                "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

                by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:11:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  since it is quite simple (0+ / 0-)

          Please cite a single Palestinian who "seeks to maintain the status quo."

          since you have climbed out of a particular ideology, unlike 'others' i look forward to your answer.

          •  i give up. (0+ / 0-)

            you're right - palestinians are wholly innocent. nothing and no one either a palestinian or an ally on their behalf has done a thing to cause the current and ongoing plight of the people.

            this crisis in the ME is simply the result of a barbaric and racist people (who are wholly responsible) - these jewish and european colonizers have used the holocaust to hold the world hostage and ethnically cleanse the inhabitants from their lands.

            now i wonder if aunt martha is around?

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:34:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  now now now (0+ / 0-)

              let's not get disagreeable and yank an overused worn out common diversionary propaganda crutch. here i will make it so easy for you.

              the hate is manufactured by those that seek to maintain the status quo. let's not let them be successful by demonizing and minimizing either side.

              so what i am reading here is that BOTH israelis and palestinians have members who want things to remain the way they are, according to you 'it is quite simple' . i can understand this for some israelis (after all they are running the show and keep expanding as we live and breathe which keeps the pals down dowen down), but which palestinians are .. NOT unhappy w/the occupation (status quo). why would any palestinian seek to maintain the status quo? some collabotator who is paid millions? i believe it was volley who made a similar claim recently about hamas.

              frankly i am baffled. what palestinian do you think is manufacturing hate to maintain the status quo?

              two times you have essentially neutralized the sides..why? their is no precedence in war to blame both sides equally. sometimes one sides acts w/a foundation of less morals. happens all the time. if you are going to argue about equal blame back it up. and if you are going to talk about equal motication by all means tell us ONE palestinian who seeks to maintain the status quo.

          •  i would just ask one more thing.... (0+ / 0-)

            didn't you just write this yesterday:

            it is not about willful ignorance, i would argue it is about (knowingly w/purpose)shutting out any information that does not support a vision that demonizes your opponent.

            i guess that doesn't apply in this case eh?

            "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

            by canadian gal on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:01:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i does!, i absoluytely does (0+ / 0-)

              please demonstrates how i am to apply it. i would look forward to it. i believe you chose an incidence with a very simple explanation available, instead we are getting an onslaught of uniform lockstep hasbara designed to focus on a very unlikely scenario that makes no sense and is supported by...nothing. and a willful enthusiastic group of israel supporters claiming the absurd.

              so by all means let me know how this applies to this nebulous arena you are avoiding like the plague .

              please explain to mean what information about palestinians wanting to maintain the status quo (which you have yet to identify) i am '(knowingly w/purpose)shutting out that does not support a vision that demonizes my opponent.'

              btw, dragging my comments totally out of context from any other diaries may not work in your favor. you may want to rethink the tactic.

      •  What?? (3+ / 0-)

        They all seek to continue crushing the Palestinian people

        Not even the most rabidly anti-Israel person could truly believe that.  It's as accurate as saying all Palestinian politicians seek the destruction of Israel and driving all the Jews into the sea.

        Regarding seeking to maintain the status quo - much of the Hamas leadership profits from the status quo in that it maintains them in power.  I find many of their actions very hard to explain any other way.

        There's a symbiotic relationship between the extremists on both sides.

        "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by jrooth on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:53:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Soy (12+ / 0-)

    For being a voice of reason. Your diary and your experiences speak volumes for the hope of our peoples.

    I too see the hatred as manufactured to keep people in line. The Right on both sides (Hamas and Likud) are extremely negative forces that feed on one another.

    Thanks for bringing that to light.

    Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

    by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:59:51 AM PDT

  •  Thanks soysauce (14+ / 0-)

    great diary. The point about the wall not being motivated by security concerns is an important one. Seth Freedman similarly noted, on a trip to Nablus, the permeability of the wall:

    "Having decided that the queue at the checkpoint looked too long and foreboding, the leader of our group decided to get us back into Israel via the "back route" and at the same time to teach us a valuable lesson about the true purpose of the security wall.

    For 10 shekels per head, a minibus driver took us on a convoluted journey through fields and olive groves, eventually delivering us onto the Israeli side of a checkpoint to our astonishment. It was like witnessing a magician pull a rabbit from a hat - at least, for those of us who believed that the labyrinth of checkpoints and the mile upon mile of security wall are completely impenetrable to intruders.

    Of course, the border is almost as porous now as it ever was; if terrorists wanted to smuggle weapons across in order to attack Israeli civilians, they're not impeded in the slightest, as our clandestine break for the border proved. Instead, as our guide stressed, the checkpoint system is designed first and foremost to crush the Palestinian economy under the guise of security measures, and to remind the Palestinians exactly who is boss."

    Indeed, thousands of Palestinians smuggle themselves into Israel every month in search of work. Ha'aretz recently reported that "giant gaps" remain in the wall, and that Palestinians still have "relatively easy" access to Jerusalem.

    In other words, the wall's role in stopping suicide attacks has been at best minimal. It's true purpose, along with the system of checkpoints and roadblocks, is clear to anyone who just looks at a map. Its route is, as Dror Etkes of Peace Now points out, "largely determined by the presence and needs of the settlers". It's a "de facto border" [.pdf] - a "land grab", as Amnesty International puts it, "aimed at facilitating the expansion and consolidation of unlawful Israeli settlements":

    "The fence/wall is routed so as to ensure the territorial contiguity of Israeli settlements with Israel and to encompass large areas of Palestinian land for the future expansion of the settlements."

    (For more on this, see my post here).

    •  Wow, thanks for the information heath! (7+ / 0-)

      I really like your blog too, I've been lurking as of late.

      Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

      by borkitekt on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:05:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is, incidentally, worth noting (8+ / 0-)

        that the real purpose of the wall is quite freely acknowledged by Israeli politicians, when they deviate from the script. Shimon Peres, for example, noted in 2003 (as leader of the Labor party) that the route of the wall "is following a certain vision of the future", constituting a "political fence" as opposed to a "security" one.

        •  I would agree on this point that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, jrooth

          the security barrier has become something partially different from it's original intent. I do think that security was a concern at first and was a factor in building it, but, yeah - I would say that part of it is a land grab and an attempt to redefine borders. That is my problem with it. Borders should be negotiated not simply grabbed IF and only IF you want long term peace. If you don't care about that - then grab away.

          Since I want long term peace - I say tear it down starting with the places where it has been deemed illegal by the Israeli Supreme Court and go from there.

          Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

          by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:33:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  From yesterday's Ha'aretz (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jon the antizionist jew

      another case of expansion over security:

      "The security fence places the West Bank Palestinian village of Beit Iksa on the Israeli side of the security barrier. The route is based on an Defense Ministry decision that runs counter to plans approved by the cabinet of then-prime minister Ehud Olmert. As a result, residents of the village, which is just north of Jerusalem, can enter Israeli territory without any significant restriction.

      The arrangement is also contrary to earlier recommendations within the Defense Ministry. Sources say the current path of the security fence is temporary and will not remain in place when a permanent barrier is constructed. Nonetheless, tens of millions of shekels have been invested in the present location of the barrier and in the paving of the road adjacent to it...

      Reserve Col. Shaul Arieli, who has dealt extensively with the issue of the security barrier, told Haaretz that "the defense establishment describes the fence as temporary, but in practice, it involves a huge expenditure of money and is detrimental to security. And all of us also know that there is nothing more permanent than [something deemed] temporary."

  •  The checkpoints and the wall (7+ / 0-)

    are actually quite easy to accept once you understand that it is said wall that tremendously reduced the number of suicide attacks in Israel.  Israeli actions are merely a response.  There is no wall between, say, Israel and Egypt or Israel and Jordan.

    •  Thanks for not reading the diary! n/t (13+ / 0-)

      The three hardest tasks in the world...: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong". Sydney J. Harris

      by soysauce on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:09:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The fact that the wall may be permeable (4+ / 0-)

        to smuggling does not mean that it fails to serve its purpose.  The attacks have bottomed out since the wall went up.

        •  conversely, then, perhaps it has no effect (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Thomas C, capelza

          at all.

          Right?

          Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

          by borkitekt on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:24:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Cause / effect (9+ / 0-)

          Addressing drgrishka: the cause / effect relationship between the construction of the wall and the reduction in bombings is not as clearcut as you suggest.

          The Shin Bet's statistics on terror attacks confirm the public perception that terrorist activity in 2005 dropped considerably compared to the previous four and a half years. The main reason for the sharp decline is the truce in the territories, the security service said yesterday.

          Terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 45 Israelis last year, compared to 117 in 2004, marking a 60 percent reduction.

          This is the third year in a row in which the number of terrorist acts has been reduced sharply. At the height of the intifada, in 2002, 450 Israelis were killed by terrorists. An equal number of Israelis were killed in traffic accidents in 2005. In other words, the number of terror fatalities in 2005 is less than one-tenth of the number of traffic accident fatalities.

          The Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces attribute the reduction mainly to the improvement in their joint capability to foil terrorist attacks and to act against terrorist organizations.

          The security fence is no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it. The fence does make it harder for them, but the flawed inspection procedures at its checkpoints, the gaps and uncompleted sections enable suicide bombers to enter Israel.

          Five suicide bombings took place this year - two in Netanya, one in Hadera, one in Tel Aviv and one, with no fatalities, in Be'er Sheva - compared to only two in 2004. The number of fatalities resulting from these attacks has risen a little, from 14 to 21.

          But the main reason for the reduction in terrorist acts over the past year is the truce in the territories, as partial as it may be. The fact that Hamas, in general, stopped engaging in terror activities changed the picture.

          haaretz source

          •  nice catch. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, heathlander, Terra Mystica

            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

            by borkitekt on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Also interesting, "drgriska" was banned, iirc, (0+ / 0-)

            And if so, I wonder what he is doing back.

            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

            by borkitekt on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:03:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Which part of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karmafish, Doodad

            "teh fence makes it harder for them" do you not understand?  I never claimed that the fence solved all of Israeli problems.  I said it greatly contributed to its security.  Especially in the early stages of fighting the intifadah.

            •  Making it harder (4+ / 0-)

              does not mean that it actually had any appreciable effect.  We're talking about people who are so devoted as to commit suicide to accomplish their goal...do you really think that making them travel a little farther is going to stop them?

              Text "Justice" or "Justicia" to 69866 to get action alerts on federal immigration legislation and campaigns

              by Dexter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:09:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it means that not (0+ / 0-)

                everyone who would want to, can cross into Israel.  because many of them get caught.  Incidentally, why do you think that majority of suicide bombings came from the West Bank and not Gaza?  Could it be because Gaza has been physically separated for years?!

                •  How many get caught? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza, borkitekt, heathlander, Alec82

                  All the evidence presented by people here indicates that its easy to get through and that these areas aren't very well patrolled by Israel.

                  Yes, the Gaza separation is more effective, because that separation is actually intended as a security measure and not a land grab or a means to separate "the other".  

                  Text "Justice" or "Justicia" to 69866 to get action alerts on federal immigration legislation and campaigns

                  by Dexter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:16:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Umm... the separation barrier (0+ / 0-)

                    in the West Bank is not complete.  Also, the plural of anecdote is not data.  So, there's no "evidence presented" here that "indicates" that it is easy to get through.

                      •  An op-ed piece does not constitute (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Karmafish, Doodad

                        evidence.  A link to a website that refers to Israelis as "zionists" (not being able to bring himself to even mention Israel) gets no credibility.  And in any event, no one ever claimed that the wall is perfect.

                        •  Evidence (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          borkitekt

                          Drgrishka: you are requesting "evidence" and "data" without presenting any of your own. If you presented a clear opinion backed up by evidence with links, you would be in a better position to demand the same from others.

                          •  I am not demanding anything (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Karmafish, Doodad

                            I am simply stating that with the barrier, the attacks emanating from the West Bank were reduced about 10-fold.

                          •  Causality (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            borkitekt, sortalikenathan

                            The issue raised elsewhere in this thread, with a link to analysis from Shin Bet and IDF, was that there was no clear causality between the barrier and the reduction in attacks.

                            Anyway, it appears that this thread has rolled off the page; I'm more interested in the public forum for exchange of ideas than in a folie-a-deux with an individual (no offense directed at you!); to wrap up from my side:

                            You (Drgrishka) clearly seem to believe that the wall has had a major effect in reducing attacks, and that the collateral suffering of the Palestinians is a price that must be paid to achieve this objective. I have not seen you address why the wall need extend into the West Bank, thereby enclosing Palestinian villages on the Israeli side, but perhaps that can be addressed in a future discussion.

                            I've presented a link to Shin Bet and IDF analysis which claims that the wall is not a main factor in reducing attacks. This leads to the logical next point: if the wall is of limited security value, then the collateral suffering would seem even harder to accept. And once again, the fact that the wall extends into the West Bank itself seems to lend credence to the claims that the wall has other purposes beyond providing security.

                            That's it for me. I largely disagree with you on these points, but appreciate that the debate focused on the issues and stayed civil.

                            Kudos as well to the diarist for the interesting personal observations and insights.

                          •  That is not at all what (0+ / 0-)

                            Shin Bet analysis said.  That analysis a) credits the wall with helping, and b) speaks mostly about situation today (several years after the wall was built) and not a few years ago when the wall was really the only thing available.  

                    •  I never claimed "data" (0+ / 0-)

                      But what has been presented here is evidence, even if it is anecdotal.

                      The fact that Israel has no intention of finishing the wall is a good indication of what their intentions are not...that is - the wall is not for security.  

                      Text "Justice" or "Justicia" to 69866 to get action alerts on federal immigration legislation and campaigns

                      by Dexter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:28:24 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  It is worth noting.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza

                    ...that the residents of the West Bank seem to have as much to do with stopping suicide bombers from crossing through the barrier as the the barrier itself does, at a minimum.  The evidence is, of course, highly anecdotal, but there was a recent press report on smuggling into settlements and Israel proper, and at least one individual involved stated that they made a concerted effort to prevent potential suicide bombers from going with them.  The incentive for this is obvious: they need the work they can get, and a single suicide bomber would result in a massive crackdown.  

                    What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:26:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Drgrishka1 basically adopts the Bush argument... (0+ / 0-)

              ..that torture helped U.S. security. Of course, it did no such thing, and Bush's claim would have been manifestly untrue even if torture had succeeded in obtaining reliable intelligence.

              The Wall may very well have contributed to the reduction in suicide attacks within Israel, but it almost certainly contributed to the conditions that increased rocket attacks, emboldened radical Palestinian elements, and created the conditions for the catastrophic Israeli incursions into Lebanon and Gaza. The Wall, like the settlements, is at the heart of the territorial dispute. Only radicals like Drgrishka1 and oldskooldem could possibly deny this.

              •  First, I disagree that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Karmafish

                Israeli responses in Gaza and Lebanon were catastrophic.  Well, except maybe to those who launched rocket attacks on Israel.  

                The wall has nothing to do with the problem because Hamas is simply unwilling to have any kind of a Jewish state in the Middle East.  

                •  "Except maybe to those..."? (0+ / 0-)

                  Drgrishka: are you suggesting that all of those killed in Gaza and Lebanon had been launching rockets?

                    •  Clear response (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jrooth

                      I am glad that you are not making the claim that all of those killed in Gaza and Lebanon had been launching rockets, since this is what your comment originally appeared to suggest.

                      If, on the other hand, you acknowledge that some (you will probably agree with "most"?) of those killed had not been launching rockets, and were therefore innocent, how is their death not catastrophic?

                      •  Innocent people die in wars (0+ / 0-)

                        That does not make every war a "catastrophe."

                        •  WOW no............... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          jrooth

                          The effects of Lebanon and Gaza are catastrophic - that doesn't mean you don't take action. I have been a proponent that Cast Lead was the right thing to do - heck I would have done it as an idea. They had to strike Hamas as they had to strike Hezbollah - but they did NOT have to level the suburbs of Beirut and they did not have us WP and shoot civilians up in Gaza. This could bave been done better.

                          Personally I have no prob. with taking out leaders (and yes I know where this leads) but, if you are a leader in a conflict you take risks.

                          War of any kind is a catastrophe by it's very nature - However some times it's a necessary catastrophe.

                          ALSO, look at the long term effects and radicalization that war causes. If you are a Palestinian child in Gaza - what do you know if peaceful co-existence. Hamas certainly propagandizes you to kill and the Israelis lived up to their propagandized image in Gaza. What are a signifigant those kids going to be doing as adults.

                          That is a "catastrophe"

                          Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                          by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:14:51 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  If you mean taht any war is (0+ / 0-)

                            a catastrophe, then I suppose so.  But generally, we don't refer to just wars as "catastrophic incursions."

                          •  That is true (0+ / 0-)

                            we don't refer to them as that but, at the same time we also try to get away from the.... Oh well casualties happen....sorry.

                            Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

                            by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:22:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fair enough. I will take this opportunity (0+ / 0-)

                            to revise and extend.

                            Here it goes.

                            "I don't believe that wars in Lebanon and Gaza were catastrophic incursions.  To be sure, innocents died and suffered, and their deaths may indeed be catastrophe for their families and communities.  For that matter, that applies to combatants as well.  That being said and acknowledged, the wars were just and efforts were made (even if imperfect) to minimize these catastrophes.  Thus, I would not classify either of those wars as any more catastrophic than any other just war."

            •  And your final opinion is? (6+ / 0-)

              Drgrishka: your position has now changed from "it is said wall that tremendously reduced the number of suicide attacks in Israel" to "the fence .. greatly contributed to its security.  Especially in the early stages of fighting the intifadah."

              In less than an hour, the wall has become a fence, and the obstruction (unclear which term you prefer to describe it) has changed from the factor to a factor, now with a time limit on its claimed efficacy.

    •  As for the checkpoints (8+ / 0-)

      it is worth restating that most of them do not separate Palestinians from Israel, but Palestinians from each other. The checkpoints and roadblocks serve, as the World Bank reports, to "[protect] and [enhance] the free movement of settlers and the physical and economic expansion of the settlements at the expense of the Palestinian population". The effect of the restrictions has been to split the West Bank into dozens of isolated cantons, as B'Tselem reports:

      "The restrictions on movement that Israel has imposed on Palestinians in the West Bank have split the area into six major geographical units: North, Center, South, the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea, the enclaves resulting from the Separation Barrier, and East Jerusalem . In addition to the restrictions on movement from section to section, Israel also severely restricts movement within the sections by splitting them up into subsections, and by controlling and limiting movement between them."

      B'Tselem reports that "a substantial proportion" of Israel's restrictions on Palestinian movement are intended not to defend the security of Israel proper but to "separate them [Palestinians] from the settlers and other Israelis on roads in the West Bank, and to create a rapid and convenient road network for the settlers". It concludes that "the restrictions constitute collective punishment, which is absolutely forbidden by international humanitarian law."

      These observations are shared by all the main human rights organisations and relevant UN bodies. They're not controversial.

  •  great diary, and I agree completely (8+ / 0-)

    more later, must catch that train!

  •  If the Wall were about security, (5+ / 0-)

    we would not be hearing the wailing of those who are so determined that Jewish Israelis be allowed to increase the number of homes in the Illegally Occupied West Bank, next to the supposedly very dangerous Palestinians.

    Thank goodness for the protests by the Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals. That Wall of Shame will come down.

    If we leave it up to our elected officials, nothing will ever get done - Kos

    by Tom J on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:33:15 AM PDT

  •  Soysauce, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jon the antizionist jew

    it's the end of a long day, it's late, I'm tired, I'm just doing a quick perusing, and found your diary, for which I am very glad.  Thank you, as always.

  •  Soysauce, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soysauce

    I just wanted to thank you for this diary. I'm so sorry I missed it when you posted it.

    Il7amdillah 3ala salamtik.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site