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and then

Kerry's Peace might start a war?

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http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.567027

IMO president Obama is using the Israel/Palestinian issue for cover and distraction from his domestic woes. Kerry has been shuttling about the region for a few months and the only concrete event has been the release of 3 sets of 26 murderers from Israeli prisons. It is understood by all concerned that upon the fourth and final release - the "talks" will come to an end. - Understood but not admitted. I think this set of talks was designed as a trap for both the Israelis AND the Palestinians though. Europe has been making noises about sanctioning (by stopping the flow of euros) the Palestinians unless they get serious about a deal. Israel has already had some minor sanctions put in place over goods from the west bank being sold abroad. If Kerry and Ashton are planning to club Abbas and Netanyahu with economic broadsides then it is entirely possible that Abbas will simply set the "dogs" loose. Intifada 3.0 here we come - and of course the world will uniformly blame Israel - because that's what the world does. It's darned near Pavlovian. This uprising may get out of hand though and eventually the Israelis are going to get wise to the uselessness of their efforts. Poor John...

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Unless the Palestinians shoot first.

Then they'll be the villains, shooting someone holding a white flag etc.

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Unless the Palestinians shoot first.

Then they'll be the villains, shooting someone holding a white flag etc.

I try not to be too much of a cynic but it's hard to see the international press being objective about it all. Either way though, it will have begun due to pressure being applied to force two parties into a "peace" that neither are ready for. Eventually the world at large is going to get very sick and tired of the children's games between these peoples and they're going to DEMAND a resolution.

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If two kids can't share a toy, perhaps it is best that neither have it? Alaska has plenty of space for both the Israelis and Palestinians.

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Does anyone care about Israel anymore?

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Does anyone care about Israel anymore?

Bored, are we? This IS the Middle East Forum Richard. And whether you or any others like it or not, Israel IS the most talked about subject - has been for decades. I think it's because people - deep down - love a scrap, conflict - a FIGHT! But I can agree with you on one part - it does get boring at times having the same arguments when one tries to actually have a discussion and it quickly derails into Israel vs Palestinian AGAIN. Could it be because nearly every problem or issue in that region has it's roots in this conflict?

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I try not to be too much of a cynic but it's hard to see the international press being objective about it all. Either way though, it will have begun due to pressure being applied to force two parties into a "peace" that neither are ready for. Eventually the world at large is going to get very sick and tired of the children's games between these peoples and they're going to DEMAND a resolution.

Umm, And Then, people have been demanding resolutions for years.

Telling Israel and Palestine what to do IS demanding a resolution - neither side listens (you blame the Palestinians, other people blame Israel. I don't play favourites and BLAME EVERYONE).

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Umm, And Then, people have been demanding resolutions for years.

Telling Israel and Palestine what to do IS demanding a resolution - neither side listens (you blame the Palestinians, other people blame Israel. I don't play favourites and BLAME EVERYONE).

I must be more careful with my wording. Negotiators make demands but so do bankrobbers. It's the difference in seriousness that creates the desired effect. I'm trying to say that someday the world is going to REALLY demand - as in,if they don't both comply then crippling sanctions will be levied against them. Sanctions likely to cause them irreparable damage as national entities. The modern equivalent of banishing them from the tribe. I'm also saying that war will result from this.

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I must be more careful with my wording. Negotiators make demands but so do bankrobbers. It's the difference in seriousness that creates the desired effect. I'm trying to say that someday the world is going to REALLY demand - as in,if they don't both comply then crippling sanctions will be levied against them. Sanctions likely to cause them irreparable damage as national entities. The modern equivalent of banishing them from the tribe. I'm also saying that war will result from this.

Sanctions will only hurt Palestinians. It would do Israel’s work. The problem is that you have two peoples vying for basically the same land. If there is only one people then there is no problem. But what will the world do if there was only one nation there and Israel being that nation? In a few generations, the Palestinian will be absorbed into many other nations. Cultures come and go. Will the world take on the plight of the Kurds then?

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If Kurds were being surrounded and cut off from the world economically then hell yes I would stand with the Kurds in a New York Minute.

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I must be more careful with my wording. Negotiators make demands but so do bankrobbers. It's the difference in seriousness that creates the desired effect. I'm trying to say that someday the world is going to REALLY demand - as in,if they don't both comply then crippling sanctions will be levied against them. Sanctions likely to cause them irreparable damage as national entities. The modern equivalent of banishing them from the tribe. I'm also saying that war will result from this.

I think in the unlikely event of that happening, Israel will just sit out the sanctions and watch the Palestinians starve to death. Who has the fertile land? Who has the army to defend that land?

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If Kurds were being surrounded and cut off from the world economically then hell yes I would stand with the Kurds in a New York Minute.

Effectively, that is exactly what is happening. They are being denied a nation of their own and therefore being denied or cutoff from controlling their own economic destiny.

Using the pre 1948 borders, Palestine and Israel are basically surrounded, cutoff, and divided. With the 1967 borders, Palestine is surrounded, cutoff, and divided. That’s not Israel’s fault.

Edited by RavenHawk

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I think in the unlikely event of that happening, Israel will just sit out the sanctions and watch the Palestinians starve to death. Who has the fertile land? Who has the army to defend that land?

I think NO country in the world of the 21st century can truly stand completely alone. And for a culture that seems to crave the expression of life in all it's forms it would be much tougher on Israel. But you are correct that they would not starve. Indeed, the price of produce in Europe would rise first!

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The only Arabs which Israel seem to be at peace with for the past 65 years is it's own Arabs - some 20% of Israelis are basically Palestinians themselves (my boss is for example).

They will always remain part of Israel and they have been living as Israelis for almost 4 generations now.

A Palestinian state in the West Bank is an impossibility - too many problems, the first being that it will give Palestinians a possibility to cripple Israel's economy in minutes with only home-made Qassam missiles. Also, it will necessarily will always be half a state, for Israel will never allow a full fledged Arab army west of the Jordan river, and thus such a state will always be subjugated to Israel. Also economically, such a state will be tied to Israel, being that Israel's GDP is 32,000 USD a year, and the West Bank's only 3,000 USD.

Also, such a state will for sure be irredentist - it will always thrive to grow in territory and unite with areas inside Israel where Israeli Palestinians make up a majority. And ofcourse, it will always thrive to unite with the Gaza Strip, with Israel in the middle. Such a state will also draw into it Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syria, which are currently being used as a nesting ground for Al-Qaeda - you're basically going to import global jihadists into the West Bank.

You also must keep in mind that currently Jews make up 700,000 people in the West Bank - and there is no way Israel will be able to move the majority of them out (maybe only few thousands). In area C of the West Bank, totally under IDF control and where all settlements exist, which make up 62% of the area, only 4% of the Palestinians live, and Israeli Jews make up 87% of the population there.

With all of this in mind, I think the only solution would be for Israel to annex the entire West Bank, get rid of the antisemitic PLO/PA, and offer full Israeli citizenship to all the Palestinians in the West Bank, just like their Israeli Palestinian brethren already have, and that's it. The Gaza Strip is no longer our business - it has been taken over by radical Islamists and for all I care they can have their own independent state there.

The current problem this simple solution have, is that Jews have a very, very bad record as a minority, and so anything that might endanger Jewish majority in Israel frightens the vast majority of Jews. Also, we look up in Lebanon, which used to be 60% Christian and 40% Muslim back in the 1940s, and is now 70% Muslim and most of it's Christian population fled abroad as a result of the civil war.

But even if we annex the West Bank, which has 2.2 million Palestinians, that will still make the Palestinian population in Israel 3.8 million, and the Jewish one 6.5 million. It's still a Jewish majority, plus there are still 8 million Jews abroad and some of them might in the future make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel), being that Israel's human development index is now more than France's or UK's (it's 16th in the world).

As for the so-called "refugees" in the surrounding Arab countries - they should be fully naturalized in those countries as their grandparents should have back in 1948.

IMO, that's the only solution to allow stable, safe peace between the two people.

Edited by Erikl

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I wonder if it's even reasonable at this point to expect the Middle East to follow the model of democracy and all that it entails, including peace with Israel. Every day it seems to become increasingly tribalized. It's not just the conflict between Israel & Palestine that seems unsolvable to me. When the US invaded Iraq and toppled Hussein it seems that we destroyed a political environment that at least stabilized the area. Looking back, as loathsome as Hussein was, his presence may have helped keep the Middle East from deteriorating into what it has now become. Maybe tribal loyalties and royal families will always be the driving factors and our diplomatic efforts would be more successful if we dealt with that, I do know I'm discouraged by what seems to be an intractable and insurmountable problems that are gradually moving from local to global, and how little effect diplomacy has. Maybe there are some cultural differences that just can't be crossed.

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I wonder if it's even reasonable at this point to expect the Middle East to follow the model of democracy and all that it entails, including peace with Israel. Every day it seems to become increasingly tribalized. It's not just the conflict between Israel & Palestine that seems unsolvable to me. When the US invaded Iraq and toppled Hussein it seems that we destroyed a political environment that at least stabilized the area. Looking back, as loathsome as Hussein was, his presence may have helped keep the Middle East from deteriorating into what it has now become. Maybe tribal loyalties and royal families will always be the driving factors and our diplomatic efforts would be more successful if we dealt with that, I do know I'm discouraged by what seems to be an intractable and insurmountable problems that are gradually moving from local to global, and how little effect diplomacy has. Maybe there are some cultural differences that just can't be crossed.

I think there were many motivations and not all were altruistic but you touched here on a truth that I don't think was understood by TPTB at the time. These societies were forced together and were being held together BY force. Once that was taken away, chaos was the only possible outcome. The insanity is that we keep trying the same methods on other places with the same, obvious result. Either our leaders truly are clueless or there is something damned sinister going on.

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as loathsome as Hussein was, his presence may have helped keep the Middle East from deteriorating into what it has now become.

Partially. All dictators are transient. Even if one of his sons took over, there is no telling how long that regime would last. They usually don’t. Whatever stabilization that Saddam provided would not endure. The Shiite unrest was growing. France wanted to groom Saddam to tale on a nuclear Iran. But that was playing with fire. Removing Saddam when we did probably did more for stabilization than anything else, but that act was not enough. The solution would have been something like what the British did in India. Their century long occupation brought forth the largest democracy in the world. Even though socialism has crept into that system and has killed prosperity and there is widespread poverty because of it. But, the British did eliminate the war lords and unified a people at great cost. The ME is in the same situation. The turmoil is brewing under the radar, continually increasing. If nothing is done, it will erupt into a world conflict. To fix the problem requires a multigenerational investment of blood and treasure. If minimal investments aren’t made now, the bank will be broken later down the road.

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The status quo of Israel-Palestine is totally unacceptable for even one day, no matter how words like "war" and "peace" are thrown around implying acceptance and approval of it.

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The status quo of Israel-Palestine is totally unacceptable for even one day, no matter how words like "war" and "peace" are thrown around implying acceptance and approval of it.

Yes, it seems that it's much more unacceptable than what's going on in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon or even Egypt.

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Yes, it seems that it's much more unacceptable than what's going on in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon or even Egypt.

Care to guess why?
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I heard on the news this afternoon that the Syrian rebels are now fighting amongst themselves. They were labeled "fractious" in the news piece. It seems that the ME is pretty good at revolution/deconstruction, but not very good at building stable political/government organizations. Is it maybe because their history has no model for building a "democratic" organization? The seeds of democracy in Western culture go back as far as the Magna Carta, maybe even further, but there's no corresponding history in ME culture. Is the West so ineffective because it fails to understand the basic cultural differences, and/or to accept the notion that maybe democracy, as great as it is, is not suited for all cultures? But if not democracy, then what?

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I heard on the news this afternoon that the Syrian rebels are now fighting amongst themselves. They were labeled "fractious" in the news piece. It seems that the ME is pretty good at revolution/deconstruction, but not very good at building stable political/government organizations. Is it maybe because their history has no model for building a "democratic" organization? The seeds of democracy in Western culture go back as far as the Magna Carta, maybe even further, but there's no corresponding history in ME culture. Is the West so ineffective because it fails to understand the basic cultural differences, and/or to accept the notion that maybe democracy, as great as it is, is not suited for all cultures? But if not democracy, then what?

Without unduly disrespecting their culture I would guess it is impossible for them to embrace democracy due to their ages long control under Islam. Most think of Islam as just a religion and it isn't so. It is both a religion AND a political system tied into one package. Sharia is the instrument of governance and it is repressive in the extreme. But if generations have grown up under this and know no other way of life or tradition then it is nearly impossible to help them get past it. I would say all is well and leave them to their sacred beliefs IF they were willing to keep it to themselves. Unfortunately they cannot seem to do this.

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Care to guess why?

Because none of them are "friends" of America?

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Because none of them are "friends" of America?

Why is this about America? His point was that the horrendous slaughter in those nations is overlooked while the sins of this one nation is considered worse by most of the world. It is hypocritical in the extreme and there is NO excuse for it - none.
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Why is this about America? His point was that the horrendous slaughter in those nations is overlooked while the sins of this one nation is considered worse by most of the world. It is hypocritical in the extreme and there is NO excuse for it - none.

Those other nations are social pariahs if not outright outsiders on the international scene.

Israel is a major player. They're a mover and a shaker, they're sllies with the US and thus by extension everyone else in the West.

So... holding them to a higher standard makes sense.

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