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A Debate on the Middle East

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I think no one really supports the suicide bombers and we all agree that this cannot be the way to put an end to the war going on in the Middle East.

What Derek wanted to explain by his comparison is how desperate people must be when they see no other way but kill themselves and murder innocents. I, too, think there is a difference between what the Russians did against the invading German army and what the suicide bombers in Israel do, but obviously a growing number of young Palestinians believes that the only way to realize their political aims is attract public interest by committing atrocious murders. Furthermore I think that those who are prepared to die for their cause and take large numbers of innocents with them can no longer be reached by words and rational arguments.

The only way to put an end to this terror is to analyse the reasons why young people are willing to sacrifice their lives. That they have been indoctrinated and believe that their deaths will lead them straight into paradise is not a sufficient explanation. The situation in the refugee camps and in the occupied territories

( see also the quotaion from Benny Morris book in one of my previous postings), the experience of being completely dependent on Israel, which can e.g. lock out the Palestinian workforce (which has happened rather often), of being harassed by the Israeli army, of schools and universities being closed and now the building of a wall on Palestinian territory which will cut off whole villages from their fields and water supply, families from the relations and children from their schools all increase frustration and desperation of many Palestinians. The PA is seen is incompetent and unable to improve the daily lives and the living conditions in the Gaza strip and on the Westbank, whereas Hamas has built up a strong net of charities and using this also able to recruit suicide bombers.

Oslo nourished high expectations on both sides and many of those were not realized. So for many the peace process has not brought any real change, has not made life better, but neither have the terrorist attacks or the murder of presumed leaders or members of Hamas.

For me these are the reasons why Palestinians resort to these suicide attacks and the Israeli peace movement has become a minority in their own land.

This is also a reason why John S. for example referred to South Africa where political leaders (one a former terrorist) dared something completely new, something without any historic precedent. But if South Africa really can serve as a role model depends on how it can solve its manifold social problems.

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Suicide bombers are an islamic phenomenon.

From New York, Morocco, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi, Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, India, Phillipines, Bali, Russia and Chechnya and some others I left out.

I don't recall any non-muslim suicide bombers...but maybe you can remind me..

Probably the first example of suicide bombers was the non-Muslim Japanese. During the Second World War kamikaze pilots acted as "human missiles" by flying their planes, heavily laden with explosives, directly into enemy warships.

It could be argued that the Jewish terrorist, Aharon Abramovitch, was also a suicide bomber. He was one of the Jewish terrorists who blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946. However, it is possible he was just an ordinary terrorist and was killed trying to escape from the building. Anyway, he was one of the 91 people (28 Britons, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews and 5 others) who was found in the rubble afterwards.

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Suicide bombers are an islamic phenomenon. ... I don't recall any non-muslim suicide bombers

As I cannot prove you wrong I suppose you are right, but what do you want to prove by this statement? What do you conclude?

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Ulrike you argue in your contributions with dedication and force. But …!!!

If the plight of Palestine and the people who lives there can be identify as the result of

Palestinians despair and also their longing for an independent Palestine which is blocked by Israelis occupation of the same territory than it is perhaps rational to ask for the “wise” and “human” politician who could stop this madness.

It’s also intellectually honest to ask for an independent state of Palestine. In hope that after that the peace shall prevail.

If you on the other hand look at this conflict in a longer perspective, say how was the situation before 1967, before the occupation, you discover with horrifying clarity that the Israelis were already then slain by Arabs in the terrorist acts which do very little differ from today’s hatred. (Just go to archives and look at the pictures of the killed from that time.) At the beginning of fifties over 900 Israelis were slain simply because the Arabs didn’t obey the UN resolution giving Jews the right to live there.

(Just think about all these debaters at this Educational Forum talking so nicely about our obligations to follow the UN´s resolutions when talking for example about the latest Iraq war!)

At that time in the late forties and the beginning of fifties the only support the newly created state of Israel was receiving was from the socialist countries which cleverly thought that this Jewish state with their socialist kibbutz’s must be a good Trojan horse in the area up till then dominated by British. It was with Czech arms the Israelis fought for their lives.

Of course if looking at today’s Intifada for many the situation is simple … and they start the mantra about American imperialism and occupation as a root of the evil and try to convince the others that if only the Palestinians will get their own …………

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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The problem is that it is not very simple but extremely difficult and the American involvement indeed is based on very complex domestic structures.

To counter your arguments we could go back to the time of the British mandate and compare riots and death rates of both sides then and there, but I think if we look at the conflict today and if a solution is what we are looking for, then - I am afraid- we will have to leave history behind, we will have to stop the "body count" and try to see how both sides can break through the vicious circle of attack/suicide bombs and retaliation. South Africa really is a very good role model especially the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.

The only solution, which was suggested and highlighted in different plans, is the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Even if we abhor the idea and if it is against our understanding of a democractic and multi-cultural society both systems will - at least for some time - be no multi-ethnical systems.

Edited by UlrikeSchuhFricke

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If you recommend us to read "The Haj" why not also "The Exodus" written by the same writer ...... ?

No problem, i enjoy most of Leon uris his works. I have read Exodus and The Haj and must say that in the haj both sides of the conflict get a more balanced view. It tends to be less one sided, at least from my viewpoint.

Edited by Marco Koene

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Please read The Haj (New York 1984) by Leon Uris.

You should have said that this book is very biased and anti-Muslim/Pro-ziionist. However, it does make for a good read and can be enlightening in certain ways. Just be careful and take everything with a grain of salt!

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I think it's the height of racism to hear what a group is saying and not take them at their word. With that thought in mind, here are a few excerpts from the Hamas charter:

The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just

as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed

memory)." Preamble.

"Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. " Article 13.

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." Article 13.

"Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions -

Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to coexist in peace and quiet with each other.

Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and

present history are the best witness to that.

It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the

sovereignty of Islam in this region, because the day these followers should take

over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror." Article 31

"The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook,

they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the

"Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of

what we are saying." Article 32

Full Text:

http://www.acpr.org.il/resources/hamascharter.html

These are the words of Hamas. These are the words of the people who organize suicide bombers. These are the words who hide behind children while they fight(http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040211/481/jrl12302112014) (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040211/ids_photos_wl/r1566466835.jpg), who deliberately target such high-value military targets as buses, schools, weddings, pizza parlors, religious celebrations, and private homes. It is futile to "negotiate" with such people. "What, you say you want to shoot me? Let's compromise. Why don't you just stab me instead? Does that work for you?"

Golda Meir once said that peace between Palestinians and Jews will only happen when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate the Jews. That was 50 years ago. How many more Palestinian children must die before their parents give up their hatred? And how many more Jewish children will they take with them?

J.

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from the Hamas charter:

"Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions -

Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to coexist in peace and quiet with each other.

Actually, Hamas is a more moderate organization (in terms of their political goals) than the state of Israel. While Hamas calls for the destruction of the jewish state, many people equate this with exterminating the Jews. This is not the case. What they want to exterminate is the jewish state. Israel, on the other hand, will not contemplate giving the Palestinians civil and voting rights, and wont consider letting Palestinian refugees back onto their own land! Why should Palestinians have to live in a Jewish state? (or even worse, under zionist military occupation, as is currently the case?) Why not establish an Islamic state instead in which the Jews would be given the right to live?

Actually, I am an atheist, and am against all forms of religious states. I think the best solution would be to set up a secular state for everyone to live in with equal civil and religious rights. This way, Jews could live in the West Bank or Gaza, while Palestinian refugees could return to Palestine (today's Israel).

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Actually, Hamas is a more moderate organization (in terms of their political goals) than the state of Israel.

Clintonite, I have to dispute this. There are mosques and churches within Israel. Hamas and Israel's neighbors explicitly forbid churches and synagogues in their territory. There are Arab and Muslim members of the Knesset (Israel's legislature). How many Moslem nations allow Jews to serve in their legislatures? (Trick question -- there aren't any Moslem legislatures, as in "democratically elected bodies of a constitutional republic that passes laws.")

Now, as far as "letting them back on their own land," most of the land was actually purchased by Jews back in the 40's or earlier. A lot of the rest of the land was abandoned when the nations surrounding Israel told them "get out of the way while we drive the Jews into the sea, then you can move back." They're still waiting.

According international law, land taken by the defending party in a war of aggression must be returned once the war is over and a treaty is signed. Most of Israel's neighbors are still technically at war with Israel. Egypt signed a treaty at Camp David, and was given back the Sinai. The other wars still technically consider to this day.

And let's head off the example of the 1973 War. While it's true that Israel attacked first, they did so after Egypt declared a blockade of Israel's Port Said, their only port on the Red Sea. Blockades are acts of war -- see the Cuban Missile Crisis for a non-Middle East example.

It beggars my mind Never before in recorded history has a nation been condemned for being the victim of a war of aggression (let alone 4) and punished for not surrendering territory it holds legally. Never before have aggressor states that lose wars had the (if you'll pardon the use of the word, but no other seems adequate) chutzpah to demand reparations from the side they attacked and lost to. And never before has so much of the world's general opinion been so bent on rewarding aggression and punishing successful self-defense.

J.

(Obscure trivia: Most everyone with a passing interest knows that 850,000 is a fairly accurate estimate of the refugees who fled Israel around it's founding. Far less well known is the number of Jews who fled Arab and Moslem nations to Israel around the same time. Ironically enough, it's about 850,000. And no one ever discusses reparations for the property they were forced to abandon... but then again, they decided they weren't going to BE victims and actually rebuilt their own lives, from the ground up.)

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Hi guys, or are you just only one guy under many alias? I mean Dolly and Clintonite and BunnyThief etc.

This debate about Middle East or Palestine could be divided into two parts. One where the debaters look forwards and try to find a way out, which probably will mean a painful solution for the start. Ulrike is probably very representative for this group of debaters.

The other half of the debate is describing atrocities and talking about a distrust for Palestinians extreme groups. When almost all arguments about this have been said, the documents supporting ones view have been pointed out, the URL addresses where opponents can find "the truth" have been shown I would like to ask a simple question thus returning to the aim of this debate.

Do you have (you guys) any proposal for the solution of this conflict?

Edited by Dalibor Svoboda

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Sorry, Dalibor, I'm just one guy, and I've only posted to this board twice before, both under this name.

My solution: the wall. Separation. Inside the wall, Israel exists, as a free and sovereign nation. Outside the wall, let the Palestinians do what they want. Let them declare themselves a sovereign nation. Let them re-merge with Jordan (and Gaza with Egypt). Let them slaughter each other. Let them paint themselves pink with purple polka-dots and call themselves "The Free Democratic Republic Of Hoogedyboogedystan." The only restriction: Any -- ANY attack on Israel will be met with instant, overwhelming force striking back. No more. Never again.

The Palestinians have never kept a single agreement towards peace with Israel. The pattern over the decades has been thus: attack Israel -- Israel strikes back -- negotiate some compromises -- wait for Israel to keep a few promises it makes -- condemn Israel for not moving faster or going further -- blame Israel for the "breakdown in the peace process" -- attack Israel again.

Notably missing from the above is "Palestinians keep some of their promises negotiated with Israel." They never have. While the world condemns Israel for "not doing more towards peace," the Palestinian Authority has yet to take a single step they promised to. In fact, after promising to crack down on "militants and terrorists," they said they wouldn't take any action against Hamas and the like because "it might trigger a civil war."

This isn't just ranting and raving and digging up dirty laundry. One classic definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results." For the Israelis, negotiating with the Palestinians and making concessions has, every single time, resulted in more dead Israeli civilians. It's time to say to hell with negotiations, to hell with concessions, let them stew in their own juices for a few years, maybe decades. Maybe once they've been denied the chance to kill Israelis, the militants will start blowing each other up for a change.

J.

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