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A Debate on the Middle East

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Guest austen

regarding:

The suicide bombers are protesting against the occupation of their lands, not about the existence of Israel (that argument has already been won). The test of that will only come when Israel withdraw from these lands.

NO...there was never a country known as Palestine, never a people known as Palestinian. No language called Palestinian. NO currency called Palestinian. Never any borders of a country called Palestine. Simply NEVER existed, until the Mandate created by the allies after the defeat of the Ottoman Turks.

UK was given the "Mandate in Palestine" to hold that part of the former Turkish Empire, IN TRUST for the Jews.

Israel is 'occupying' territory IJudea and Samaria) that had been illegally annexed by Jordan in 1948..this illegal annexation was not recognized by any counries, other than Pakistan and the UK.

The 'Palestine Mandate' lands, 'trans Jordania' were given to the arabs, because they became enraged that the dhimmi Jews would have freedom and self determination, anathema to Islam. Jordan is the judenrein arab state in Mandate Palestine. (with a Hashemite from Arabia imported to be king.)

Egypt 'illegally' occupied Gaza after the 1948 attack on Israel by the arabs. The arab's attack and their subsequent defeat is the 'catastrophy, their naqba.

Arabs who had lived in Mandate Palestine are still in what was Mandate Palestine.

You imply that the arabs are not protesting the 'existance of Israel'?

I guess your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired, as you haven't been able to understand the PLO/PA covenant, nor the Hamas Charter.

Since when does a nation, who has won territory in a DEFENSIVE war, unilaterally withdraw from those lands, if there are no civil authorities who would govern and control the people on those territories?

There is no entity on these 'disputed' lands, who will or can control the violent terrorist gangs whose sole aim is to follow the teaching of the koran and kill Jews.

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Dear Austen,

" I do not agree with you but I would give my life to protect and defend your individual human right of freedom of speech", this was said by a famous German and when I read your latest posting this statement came to my mind immediately.

I agree to some of your points to others I strongly disagree.

The topic we are discussing is a very controversial one and it arouses many emotions, but despite this we all should follow and accept certain basic principles of a fair discussion. One of the major principles for me is that we question and discuss a controversial issue and not the qualifications and personal qualities of the persons involved.

I personally think that your statement:

I guess your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired, as you haven't been able to understand the PLO/PA covenant, nor the Hamas Charter

violates this principle and I would prefer to continue the debate on a certain academic level and with a certain amount of fairness.

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I must support Ulrike on this one. Austen your personal attacks are uncalled for!

And yes my spelling might be wrong, so be it.!

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Austen

thank you for correcting me.

I am happy to debate, but it is difficult when my opponent seems to be ignorant of the facts.

No one of us is ignorant of the facts we simply interpret them differently.

May I say that your choice of facts is rather selective and subjective?

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Austen,

in one of your postings you included a long list of the wrongdoings of the Arabic neighbours of Isreal. Did you mention Camp David or have I failed to notice it.

How about Oslo?

You do not differentiate between Hamas and the PLO. In know it is difficult to do this at the moment as both groups recruit and encourage suicide bombers but differences there are.

NO...there was never a country known as Palestine, never a people known as Palestinian. No language called Palestinian. NO currency called Palestinian. Never any borders of a country called Palestine.

True, but how do you explain that in the 60's the people who now call themselves Palestinians started to perceive and define themselves as a political, cultural and social entity different from the people in Jordan, Syria, the Lebanon demanding an indpendent and souvereign national home for themselves?

What is your position concerning the problem of the refugees, the Jewish settlements in the Gaza strip and on the territory of the Westbank? What about the role of the UNO and its declarations?

What about the political and personal biographies of Peres, Begin, the Rabins, and Sharon?

one wonders where such people are educated, and shudders at what they teach their students.

What I expect from my students is:

- to thoroughly research the origins and history of the conflict going back to Herzl's ideas;

- to try to understand the motives and aims of the people, groups, states involved;

- to analyse the impact of the Holocaust;

- to read primary and secondary sources offering them a multitude of perspectives and evaluations;

- to finally form their own opinion about the conflict, its origin, possible solutions etc., which might be different from mine or yours.

Edited by UlrikeSchuhFricke

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One of the most interesting questions about the Middle East is, why do so many people single out Israel as one of the most important issues in the global arena?

There are many reasons for this in my opinion. The tight relationship with America consistantly puts the issue in the press, and more coverage is given to the Arab-Israeli conflict, than Chechnya, Cuba, Columbia or Tibet, which are as pressing world issues and need attention.

Also there is the clash of religious beliefs which creates strong feelings in Jewish households, Christian households and Arab households. Hebron and Jerusalem hold powerful positions in all three religions.

Yet I believe the Arab-Isreali conflict strikes at the very heart of the human consciousness. Centuries of persecution and then Holocaust have all been contributed by the Jewish community to create the state of Israel. This is huge cultural burden for any set of people interested in creating their own community. This coupled with the fact that Israel propagates the image that they are 'the only democracy in the Middle East,' creates such an uneasy tension about human rights abuse and the right of the Jewish people to have a free country.

I think Isreal is the only democracy in the Middle East, as it fits all the 21st century criteria of a democracy. Human rights abuse, corrupt politicans, lack of any grassroots democracy, a McDonalds on every corner.

So has Israel learnt anything from History?

Perhaps the lesson has been learned too well by Israel. If for centuries a group of people (i.e - The Jewish diaspora) are hounded and the subjected to a plan to wipe them from the face of the earth, it can be rationalised that have a right to create a safe haven for Jewish people. If necessary to be taken by force. Isn't that what America and Britain have done for centuries before Israel? When I look at Irsael I see the massacre of the Native American Indians, the colonialsation of Africa. Crimes that have been commited to create a country.

Do I as white British person, non religious, coming from a position of affluence due to exploitation of my fathers and grandfarthers, have the right to say that what Israel is doing right now is in any why as bad as what the Britain has just done to Iraq? Maybe people in Britain and America should put more effort in holding their own countries to account rather than meddling in the affairs of others.

This is why in my opinion this issue strikes at our sub-consciousness. We can see in this slice of history the true human form unveiled, the real manifestation of mankind's hatred of other people. The lack of understanding between cultures, the inabillity to tolerate other people. I see myself in this conflict.

This is why I say "I think Isreal has learnt from the past." Now it has guns and tanks and attack helicopters and is perpared to butcher people for what it wants it is ready to join hands with us in the West. Welcome to the Western World Israel - I hope its all you dreamed it was.

Edited by John Kelly

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It is easy to brand anyone who criticises Sharon as anti-semitic and terrorist. Indeed Sharon does it all the time. When he was accused of complicity in the massacres of Sabra and Chatilah he made no response except to say that the specific criticism of Sharon's action was a "blood libel on the Jewish people." It was not. It was a criticism of Sharon made by many people in Israel as well as throughout the Arab world.

Likewise anyone who opposes the killing of Palestinian children by Israeli security forces is accused of being a terrorist and supporting Hamas. It is a fact that actually Mossad supported Hamas when they considered it would help them to destabilise the PLO (reference NY transfer )

It is a fake argument and it is on a foundation of such fakes that the regime of Sharon is founded. It needs the suicide bombers as an excuse for the inexcusable treatment of Palestinians. Quibbling about definitions of the Palestinian state do not alter the circumstances. They are just a smokescreen.

It has been used as an excuse for brutal repression against the Israeli Peace movement (reference PPW who are also ludicrously accused of anti-semitism

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Austen - I have a lot to discuss with you, however, I am very busy over the next couple of days. If you can be patient I will reply to all of the points you have put to me in your lenghtly post. I cannot agree with you about most of what you say, but I think it will benefit both myself and yourself, to discuss what is obviously a matter close to your nationality, religion and your heart. I would like to point out to you on personal point, that this is an educational forum and comments as such "What planet do you live on..." have no place in this arena. Lastly I do thank you for your time in this debate.

Edited by John Kelly

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Austen, you argue your case well. The Jews do have a strong historical and legal case for living in the Middle East. The problem is that Arabs also have a strong case for living in the same region. The current reality of the situation has little to do with political and legal arguments. Israel is the dominant military power in the region and to a certain extent can impose its will on surrounding countries. The problem for the Israeli people is that some Arabs feel so strongly about the rights of their claims that they will use any methods, including suicide, to undermine the power of Israel.

As you know, since the Second World War there have been several conflicts between groups using the latest technology and others using fairly primitive weapons. What we have discovered in that the latest technology does not win wars. You have to win the hearts and minds of the people you are trying to control. As the Americans found in Vietnam.

Nations in western Europe have been fighting over territory for centuries. In 1945 we realised this had to stop. One of the most important features of this new policy concerned the way we treated Germany. This was a case of politicians learning from history. The realised that the harsh treatment suffered by the defeated nations in the First World War led to disaster. This time the defeated countries were rewarded by being given large sums of money. (I agree there was another motive behind this – it was feared that the defeated countries would become communist states).

In 2004 it never enters the head of people in Europe going to war with other countries over territory. Each country still has a small percentage of people who still retain their hatred of other nations. Research suggests that the main reason for this is that they suffer from an inferiority complex. In some cases, such as the United States, governments have manipulated these emotions for short-term gain. This was brought to an end by peaceful pressure groups, led by people like Martin Luther King. (Although the antics of Bush’s supporters in Florida suggest that this racism has not yet been completely cleared out of the system.)

Although you will not like to admit it, the situation in very similar to the situation in South Africa after the war. The whites held control and they had plenty of legal documents to justify this situation. At first the blacks tried to use peaceful methods. Eventually, like the Arabs in the Middle East, some blacks resorted to terrorism. This of course included Nelson Mandela.

Most nations in the world supported the view that the all adults living in South Africa should have equal rights. It was clear that if all nations joined together and impose economic pressure on the white racist government in South Africa, the regime would have collapsed. Unfortunately, the United States, with the support of countries like Britain, were very worried about the type of government that would emerge if democracy was installed in South Africa (the same worries that the Americans have about Iraq). All the evidence suggested that a democratic election in South Africa would install, Mandela, a committed Marxist, in power. (Also the same reasons why the United States would not allow free elections in Vietnam).

Eventually the world nations did get together and impose economic sanctions and eventually white leaders entered into negotiations. The result was Nelson Mandela became leader of the country. Did Mandela take revenge on the whites? No. Mandela had also learnt the lessons of history and it is the main reason he is recognised as the greatest statesman of the last 200 years.

Today most of the world believes that the Israelis treat the Arabs badly. Most countries in the UN would like to impose economic and military sanctions on Israel. As you know the United States always vetoes these resolutions. It appears that the United States does not favour democracy when it is likely to be outvoted.

The reason that the USA behaves in this way is that it sees Israel as its representative in the Middle East. This is of course the same way that American saw the white South Africans as their representatives in Africa.

Eventually, I think the United States will eventually elect a president who understands foreign affairs. They will then apply political and economic pressure on Israel and they will be forced into meaningful peace negotiations.

I would be interested in hearing how you think this situation will develop. Do you think that Israel will be able to overturn the rules of history?

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I suppose the section is not closed.

Maybe we could now turn back to the beginning of the debate: how can the more than 50 years war going on in the Middle East be solved guaranteeing its right to exist, to be recognized as a souvereign state with accepted borders and guaranteeing the Palestinians a state of their own which can sustain itself and its people.

At the moment the signs seem to indicate a change of the Israeli attitude: the "deal" with the Hisbollah and now Sharon telling some settlers in the Gaza strip that their settlements will be torn down. The question for me is how serious is this change of attitude, will it survive the next suicide attack.

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Just to let members know that the regular posted in this debate"Austen" chose to resign from the forum last night.

This makes me sad. I´m truly sorry for that. Austen line of arguments was very good. There is a kind of “political correct view” about this conflict held by debaters in Europe which she/he bravely confronted. Austen ability to support her/his views with different sources was very good.

I think that this forum should be more often confronted by the debaters of Austen calibre.

Now I fear the debate will turn back to lukewarm repeating of the pointless arguments. Pitty.

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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Just to let members know that the regular posted in this debate"Austen" chose to resign from the forum last night.

This makes me sad. I´m truly sorry for that. Austen line of arguments was very good. There is a kind of “political correct view” about this conflict held by debaters in Europe which she/he bravely confronted. Austen ability to support her/his views with different sources was very good.

I think that this forum should be more often confronted by the debaters of Austen calibre.

Now I fear the debate will turn back to lukewarm repeating of the pointless arguments. Pitty.

Dalibor,

I'm afraid you only saw what we let through. Much of the rest was quite unpleasant. Austen withdrew in a blaze of glory when I politely asked him to abide by the forum guidelines.

Perhaps you can warm the debate up with a contribution?

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People with ”bleeding heart” for their cause argue often in an inpatient way. I know, I sometimes fail to the same trap myself. Nevertheless these same peoples can’t be disregarded in the debates.

How many of us, sitting comfortably in the chairs by a nicely warming fire woods knows about their plights? When reading through different debates I do feel that for many of us the debates are just “playing with words”. On the other hand for people like Austen it’s a matter of the truth. Matter of life and death.

The nation of Israel is clearly fighting for a survival. And this nation had done it for the last 60 consecutive years. Which other nation would have done better in such deadly fight?

The conflict in Palestine had to be viewed in the historic perspective of the last 100 years. I think that Austin, better than others, in the debate succeeded in seeing it in this way.

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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People with ”bleeding heart” for their cause argue often in an inpatient way. I know, I sometimes fail to the same trap myself. Nevertheless these same peoples can’t be disregarded in the debates.

How many of us, sitting comfortably in the chairs by a nicely warming fire woods knows about their plights? When reading through different debates I do feel that for many of us the debates are just “playing with words”. On the other hand for people like Austen it’s a matter of the truth. Matter of life and death.

The nation of Israel is clearly fighting for a survival. And this nation had done it for the last 60 consecutive years. Which other nation would have done better in such deadly fight?

The conflict in Palestine had to be viewed in the historic perspective of the last 100 years. I think that Austin, better than others, in the debate succeeded in seeing it in this way.

I assume this is a criticism of those who opposed Austen’s ideas. I am surprised you are so supportive of his racist views on the Arab race. If that is what you think, argue your case. I am sure several us will only be too willing to counteract your arguments.

You are wrong to suggest that Austen was speaking from firsthand experience: “When reading through different debates I do feel that for many of us the debates are just “playing with words”. On the other hand for people like Austen it’s a matter of the truth. Matter of life and death.” Austen actually lives in the United States.

It is true that Austen was well informed about the historical and legal rights of the Jews in the Middle East. What he completely lacked was any sense of empathy for the plight of the Arabs.

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