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Local Proponents
[email protected]
Local Opponents
Davis Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice in the Middle East

A group of Davis and area residents [email protected] are proposing a campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions. The following comments were originally on a page about Davis Food Co-op elections; those interested in how this might relate to the Co-op should visit the Davis Food Co-op/Boycott, Divestment, And Sanctions page.


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2010-01-26 14:53:20   Kudos to the group who is working on this effort for human rights in Davis. The boycott, divestment, sanctions movement to end Israel's human rights violations is growing all over the world, including in Israel: As all who work for human rights know, there is resistance to change — many whites in the U.S. south opposed the civil rights movement and many whites in South Africa opposed the efforts to end apartheid there. Both of these human rights movements were successful and whites in the U.S. south and in South Africa are doing just fine. —Marsha

2010-01-26 17:01:30   I wonder why the supporters of the petition are singling out Israel. Hmmm... I don't see a petition to boycott the goods of pretty much every country in North and South America for displacing or killing the native populations of those regions, or demanding that the US return its land to the Native Americans, who clearly were there first. Nor do I see one proposing that the people who live in Israel who were driven from Europe and Asia during the Holocaust be allowed to reclaim their old homes in Europe. Nor do I see one protesting the wide variety of human rights abuses currently going on throughout the world. Nor do I see one protesting Hamas lobbing rockets into Israel. Or Russia doing all sorts of nasty things to Chechnya. Or China with respect to Mongolia. Or Syria with respect to Lebanon. Or Iran with respect to much of its own population. Or North Korea with respect to its population. Or...

Nor do I see any protests of the military and financial aid that the US gives to may other countries. The US donates or sells weapons systems to countries throughout the world. We give substantial aid to South Korea, but you aren't protesting that. We give substantial military aid to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but you aren't protesting that. We give all sorts of aid to all sorts of countries for all sorts of reasons, and that aid either benefits their militaries directly, or allows them to divert funds that would otherwise go to their militaries to supporting other projects. But you aren't protesting that.

So why then, are the protesters applying a different standard to Israel than they appear to be applying to the rest of the world? If these things bother them, why do they not protest all of the countries that violate their standards, rather than just this particular one? Why not create a petition that specifies standards of behavior that *every* country must meet, so that all such countries are boycotted if they violate them? I don't see them doing that. On the other hand, if these things do not bother them, why protest it at all? Seems like quite the double standard to me! —IDoNotExist

2010-01-26 17:08:49   I don't support the boycott, but I do generally think that "how can you oppose x when you don't also oppose y" is not really a useful arguement in modern society. There's just too much to oppose out there. If you went with that approach, you couldn't oppose anything.

I think the real question is: "why do you oppose x" with x = israel. But in this case that is kind of a long and boring conversation which I really don't want to have and now regret bringing up. Suffice it to say that I would never, ever join a boycott of all israeli businesses and I have reasons which I believe are sufficient for feeling that way but choose not to discuss based on multiple past experiences on the subject. —rfrazier

  • I agree completely about x and y and not wanting to talk about x. Also to assume that people DO NOT or are not making these decisions about products from other countries is a pretty big assumption. —pxlated
  • Pxl: While I don't doubt that there are lots of people who are, as you say, boycotting products from other countries, the protest described here applies to only one country. If you believe that human rights violations are bad, and that the Food Co-Op should take some action to protest those violations, then the protest should be against *any* country that violates those rights, right? Surely, it isn't good to support human rights violations in some countries, especially if you believe they are wrong in other countries. (What makes people in some countries more deserving of human rights than others?) And it would take just a few changes in wording to switch this from being a protest of one country's actions to those of every country that violates human rights. But I don't see that being done here. So it seems reasonable to conclude that the issue is not, in fact, with human rights violations in general (as that isn't what is being protested), but with one specific country. But there is tremendous historical evidence to suggest that there is something other than altruism at work here. —IDoNotExist

2010-01-26 17:25:10   rfrazier: I sort of agree with what you are saying (certainly the real question of "Why do you oppose Israel"), but I think that the other part is just as important. If you support human rights, then why are the rights of only a certain group of people important, instead of all groups who have their rights violated? (For that matter, why not protest the surrounding countries which have refused to let the Palestinians across their own borders, but have supplied them with arms and funding?) If you do not support human rights, then why be unhappy that someone gets their rights violated at all? It seems like the protesting group only cares about the rights of one specific group, which in itself is rather hypocritical. My guess is that the real answer has a lot more to do with politics, religion, antisemitism, and access to resources (especially water) in that region of the planet than it has to do with human rights issues. —IDoNotExist

  • I agree that your question is important in as far as it unmasks the true agenda, that is the support of Palestine against Israel on ideological, nationalistic and in some cases possibly even racist or personal grounds, not out of generalized concern for "human rights", that said, I wouldn't want the arguement extended to "we shouldn't do anything about human rights abuses in nation X unless we also do it in every other nation on earth" - that would lead to no action on vital causes ever. -rfrazier
    • If people were really outraged about human rights violations, they would be protesting against Iran or North Korea. Hell, even China. But then again, I'm politically conservative, what do I know? —hankim
      • Have you seen all the "Free Tibet" stickers around Davis? Thats about as far as most people go here except for eurocentric stuff like Israel-Palestine. I think there is still an active Amnesty International group here though, and there are human rights talks sometimes at the Davis Friends Meeting. I actually prefer simply learning the history of world conflicts to outright protest, and these groups work well for that. —NickSchmalenberger
        • I am no fan of communism, but I prefer it to a theocracy so I am sort of on the opposite side of the whole "Free Tibet" thing. —hankim

2010-01-27 18:16:15   Right On, "IDoNotExist"...hypocrisy and double standards are having a "field day" — rlibet —rlibet

2010-02-02 18:03:01   You people will really believe anything you hear about human rights issues, as long as it has a right context, without any concrete statistics or proof. Do you even know that Palestinians in general and the Arab world have created this problem for Israel in the first place? Why do you think Palestinians have such problems right now anyway? Yea, sure other Arab/Muslim countries could have taken in remaining Palestinians but they didn't, one of the reasons being to continue to hammer Israel politically and now socially by having internal unrest. And before you think about believing some of the half truths that are presented by Palestinians against Israel, read Alan Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel." Yes, he is a Jew, but he takes on an unbiased approach to the Palestinian/Arab-Israel conflict, providing statistics and facts rather than blurred ideological claims like most anti-Semites. And yes, I think this boycott is anti-Semetic because it affects the entire population of Israel and all the Jews living in there, including the Arabs and Palestinians and Christians because you are screwing up their economy, rather than making a point to the government itself. Now I'm not saying Israel is perfect or that Jews are perfect. I disagree with Israel on a lot of things, which I think is a good thing as long as it is done constructively, and I sure as hell met a number of egotistical, self-righteous, asshole Jews. Just please think twice before you believe what someone tells you without giving you actual proof, or citing actual information. Read "The Case for Israel" and you'll finally understand why there is still such a big issue in the middle east with Israel to this day, sadly.

By the way how do I get a hold of the Davis Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice in the Middle East so I can sign the counter-petition?

And by the way "IDoNotExist" I like your observation, particularly Israel has had to deal with double standards ever since their inception. God forbid Israel retaliates against Hammas military targets for launching missiles into Israeli civilian centers because the world doesn't want to upset the terrorists. People would rather blame Israel for even thinking of retaliating because that's the way it has been for a longer time (e.g. blaming Israel for starting the Six Day War and claiming Gaza, West Bank, and Golan Heights after victory according to rules of war and then being forced to return those territories) and it's easier. —DP2010

2010-02-03 10:44:13   @ DP2010, you say the following: "Yea, sure other Arab/Muslim countries could have taken in remaining Palestinians but they didn't, one of the reasons being to continue to hammer Israel politically and now socially by having internal unrest." OKKKK where do i start with this? alright, first of all i can tell you are a zionist. now lets think a little about your saying that the arabs should have taken remaining palestinians. As a palestinian, I will not and i will never ever want to live in any other part of the world but Palestine. Why? it is my country. since when? since Jesus Christ and before jesus christ. Once upon a time, when one of my great grandfathers was sitting under an olive tree in the mountains of palestine, Moses and the jews came by from Egypt and they asked for water. He gave them water and let them into his own house. My point is clear, Palestinians are palestinians, jordanians are jordanians, leabanese are leabanese, but we are all friends, or at least we were before the zionist injection into the area. So i will counter argue your point and ask you, Why did not america and the rest of the world take the jews? I would think that would have been a better idea. Palestinians are not Nazis, we didnt cause the Holocaust. So why do we have to pay the price instead of the Nazis? Just be fair mate, when you talk about palestinians please think of them as human beings not animals. Do not forget that Palestinians were jewish once upon a time, but some of us converted to Christainity, some to islam, and some remained jewish. Yes, Jewish palestinians do exist. The next point is that you refer to palestinians as terrorists. I dont want to argue much about this but i will say two things. Do you know what jewish hagana gangs are? (back in the 20s,30s, and 40s). my next point is simply "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". and may you live in peace and may peace be upon Palestine and Israel. Keep hope alive. P.S: Watch the documentary "Occupation 101" to understand why palestinians act the way they do. here is a link to part 1 and you can navigate from there:

2010-02-03 11:49:46   Actually, the US DID take in the Jews. After WW2, the majority of them went to one of several places. The middle east was one place. But an even larger number immigrated to the US (and also to Canada). In fact, there is a larger Jewish population in the US than in Israel.

I don't think that the claim that someone's ancestors lived somewhere therefore it is their own land makes sense. That area of the middle east has been under the control of quite a few different groups over the years, including the Romans and the British, the Persians, the Ottoman Empire, the Jews, and others. In pretty much every place in the world, groups of people have migrated over time, either because they wanted to, or because they were forced to for one reason or another (for example, because another group forced them to, or because of changes in environmental conditions.) But the fact that your ancestors once lived in an area doesn't give you the right to claim it for yourself. (Wow, if I could lay claim to all of the different places in the world that my own ancestors came from, I would own a pretty large chunk of the Earth's surface! Of course, so would everyone else whose ancestors lived in the same places, and the people who currently live there. That would be a terrible mess, with everyone fighting over random pieces of land that their ancestors owned hundreds or thousands of years ago, wouldn't it?) Just about everyone on the planet has ancestors in the Nile Delta region. Does it make sense for everyone to claim that as their ancestral home and then fight over it for the rest of time? The land that Davis is located on used to be owned by various Native American groups, by the Spanish, by people who came here searching for gold, by the Davis family (they owned the farm that became the City of Davis eventually), and by a whole succession of people who have owned various patches of land within it. Should they all lay claim to it and kill each other over it? There are far better and more productive things to do in life.

As for the use of violence, blaming all members of a group (no matter which one) for the violent acts of a small percentage of the members of that group is just dumb, and leads to more violence and hatred. However, it might be time for the Palestinians to try a new strategy. The use of bombings and missiles has not worked, and clearly does not work. Instead, it's lead to fear and anger on the Israeli side, and made it politically infeasible for its leaders not to take a hard line. This is not a good strategy. Look at what the use of fear and anger has done in other countries around the world. Usually, it leads to prejudice and hatred among the fearful, who often respond with violence, crackdowns, restrictive laws, or other unpleasant methods. It leads to a cycle of violence in which both sides lose.

I'm pretty sure that Hamas uses violence to promote itself and keep itself in power. Every Hamas attack leads to a strong counterattack from Israel, which increases Hamas' internal political support. (It also provides various services that also increase its political support.) So it's in Hamas' interest to continue the cycle of violence. But that's not going to improve the situation for the Palestinian people. Certainly hasn't worked for them so far! Every attack is a justification for a counterattack, which is a justification for a new attack. Stop it. It's not working. It's insane. It just leads to misery. Try something else.

It seems to me that a far better negotiating tactic would be to turn public support against the use of violence, withdraw support for Hamas, and to never again use violence as a negotiating tactic. The use of peace in negotiation has been proven many many times to work. For example, it got the British out of India. It was at the core of the Civil Rights movement in the US. And it forced the overthrow of various regimes throughout Eastern Europe many times since 1991. In Northern Ireland, decades of bombings left the population in fear and misery, which ended only when the IRA decided to negotiate peacefully.


1) Stop using violence. It doesn't work. It hasn't worked. It doesn't improve things for anyone. 2) Having ancestors who lived somewhere doesn't give you claim to that place. 3) Lots of people's ancestors lived there. So if ancestry DID give you claim to a piece of land, you'd still have a whole bunch of other people with ancestors who could also lay claim to it. 4) Not everyone within a group of people is the same, has the same views, or has the same objectives. I would imagine that *most* people on both sides of the situation really just want to live happily and peacefully. Rather than blaming everyone on either side for the current situation, why not find a way that you personally can contribute to a peaceful solution, without blame or hatred, and end the violence? —IDoNotExist

  • Bravo. Though I will say there are a few times in history where violence has worked but I don't think a concrete example of that exists past WWII.—OliviaY

2010-02-03 15:04:56   Palestina first of all you assume a lot of things in your argument. I am not a Zionist, I'm just a supporter of having a Jewish state to call a home. I am providing feasible evidence and nothing else. To call me a Zionist is a bit prejudiced on your part, especially because there are very few if any Zionists left to this day ideologically as Israel is now an existing state.

Second, you cannot assume that I am a Palestinian hater or treat them like animals. I respect all people. I have said nothing unfair or prejudiced or bad about Palestinians, in fact the only people I have called "some assholes" if you notice are some fellow Jews.

Third, as IDoNotExist says, you cannot lay claim to a geographic region just because your ancestors lived there. In fact Palestinians by law have not owned "Palestine", "Israel", "Judea" or whatever you want to call the region since 1880 because the majority of Palestinians legally sold their land to immigrating European Jews because they had no use for the land. It was nothing but sands and malaria-filled swamps. They couldn't grow anything on the land so they sold it to the Jews.

Fourth, America did take in Jews, maybe not during WW2 (maybe due to some anti-Semetism, but that's not the issue at hand) but before and after WW2 they certainly did. And IDoNotExist states correctly, the Jewish populace in the U.S. is greater than in Israel in fact.

Fifth, do not even start on the Nazi issue here because you apparently do not know that many Palestinians were in fact Nazis during WW2, communicating with Hitler for a plan to get Jews out of Israel and into Germany, as well as building concentration camps and gas chambers right in "Palestine" to kill Jews there and then. It was the Palestinian leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem who support this violence and even traveled to Germany to talk with Hitler and tour Auschwitz. So even though Palestinians may not have CAUSED the Holocaust they definitely contributed to it. In fact one of the reasons Jews got the land for Israel is because Palestinians were fighting along side Nazis and because Jews were fighting alongside the Allies in Africa and Europe.

Sixth, I did not say Palestinians are terrorists. I said Hamas is a terrorist organization which governs and controls most of Gaza and commits terrorist acts against Israel, including launching scud missiles into Israeli civilian sectors, which in fact is quite true. And yes I do know that the organized Hagana militia were Jewish freedom fighters who committed acts of terror. I do not agree with their tactics and neither did Ben Gurion, which is why Hagana was disbanded after the inception of Israel. I do not see such action taken by Palestinian people. In fact what I do hear about is continuing attacking Israel and continuing causing social unrest — very few Palestinians and Arabs for that matter are peaceful with Israel.

Unfortunately, as whoever reading this can see, I feel the need to repeat myself. Educate yourself and learn the facts before you start acting on this Boycott or start arguing that Israel has no right to exist or whatever. Don't succumb to propaganda half-truths and lies because people will find out the truth eventually whether you like it or not. Palestina, I'll even make you a deal — if you read Alan Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel" (the one book I ask anyone who cares about Middle East history, stability, or Isareli-Arab/Palestinian relations to read) then I will watch Occupation 101, even though I know why Palestinians act the way they do. Nonetheless I will watch just so you can read for yourself the sort of facts and arguments presented against many accusations against Israel and the Jews. —DP2010

2010-02-03 18:57:57   It's funny how a small piece of land with few strategically important resources has caused to much conflict and anger inside and outside of our wiki community. This is even more ridiculous than all of the past conflicts regarding ASUCD related issues. I think we should all handle this issue the same way we handled what happened in Rwanda in 1994 and move on. —PaulAmnuaypayoat

  • I think Rwanda was pretty glossed over from the beginning, with the Clinton administration being reluctant to call it genocide and everything. At the same time, I think the causes of genocide in general and the Israel/Palestinian conflict are really resource allocation problems and until these are solved violence will probably continue. My opinion has been there should be one democratic state and if Zionists are a minority in that state, oh well. Maybe I should read "The Case for Israel"... —NickSchmalenberger
    • I agree Nick. One state for all of them, where everyone is equal under the law and ruled by a secular government with no official religion, like our own country. I also never read "The Case for Israel", but I feel that our time would be better spent promoting the one state idea we seem to agree on. - Paul Amnuaypayoat
    • I suspect that the Israelis would not be at all happy with that solution. Such a state would be majority Palestinian, and would have radically different laws than the current state. Given that the Palestinians have been run by a series of dictators and violent terrorist groups (or in the current case, a weak and ineffective government plus a terrorist group which has the stated goal of destroying Israel) over the years, I wouldn't be too optimistic about such a state remaining a democracy for long. Also, you would have two very different cultures, with lots of people who strongly dislike each other, and with a record of violence towards each other, stuck in the same country. Not good. Generally, countries like that stay stable only when there is a strong dictator in power to quell any internal strife. When the dictator disappears, the two cultures start killing each other. Examples: Rwanda, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Chechnya, parts of Mexico, etc. (Also, possibly India and Pakistan, since those two were artificially split.) As for handling this the way we handled Rwanda, we pretty much ignored it, and several million people died in one of the largest genocides in history. —IDoNotExist

2010-02-05 01:55:04   alright, you say the palestinians shall stop the violence. Why dont we reverse the equation and say why wouldn't the IDF stop harrassing palestinians in the palestinian terretories? why wouldnt they remove all the settelments and let palestinans have control over themselves. Israel forced palestinians to carry guns and blow themselves up. Lets not blame palestinians for all the violence, where in reality most of the damage is done by Israel. Just look at the stats of killed, injured, imprisioned, people. Compare the numbers of houses demolished on both sides. 0 houses on the israeli side vs.thousands of palestinian houses. Lets not try to hide the sun with one hand. You ask me to educate myself. I really do not need your eduacation mate. I ve lived long enough under the israeli occupation that i know well enough about the conflict. Btw, History is usually written by the winner. SOME palestinians may have turned to germany in WW2 for 2 reasons. first, they wanted to get rid of the british mandate, which favored a zionist state over a palestinian state. second, they were alarmed of the huge numbers of jews coming into palestine at the time. Do not forget that arabs are simites so how could they be anti-simitic? Actually I am not very much supportive of this boycott. I do not care. This boycott will not bring me back my grandfather's house in haifa or his olive gardens in west jerusalem. In fact, I want people to educate themselves a little more about the conflict. I will read the book. I think you would enjoy reading "Blood Brothers" by Elias Chacour, a christian palestinian who lives inside the israeli borders.


2010-02-05 03:23:34   I'd agree that the boycott won't change anything (although it has apparently promoted discussion on the Wiki!) I'd agree that Israel shouldn't be building more settlements in the disputed areas. I imagine that's eventually intended to be used for negotiation, but it really seems dumb to me. No one has ever forced anyone to blow themselves up. That is a choice, and you get zero sympathy from most people when that happens (certainly not from most people in the US). In fact, any attack that deliberately targets civilians hurts the Palestinian case in the eyes of most of the world. If Israel does something that hurts or kills civilians, take the higher ground and tell the story, but don't kill more civilians in return. People just want to live their lives on both sides. They didn't do anything to deserve to be attacked. So don't do it.

As I understand it, Israel knocks down structures when they are used to store or launch weapons, or as bases for Hamas. If a house is used to launch a missile at Israel, Israel knocks down the house. That's a rather strong disincentive for launching rockets at Israel, don't you think? As for Israel causing more damage, there's a very simple solution to that. Just stop attacking Israel. Everyone knows that Israel will respond with more force than is used against it. It's done so for years. When the attacks have stopped, Israel has stopped responding. Seems pretty obvious to me. This obviously isn't the fault of all of the Palestinians - just the ones who choose to launch attacks. But you (the general you) KNOW that Israel will attack with greater force. Every time. So why in the world would you (the general you, not you specifically) keep doing it?! Certainly, you (the general you) shouldn't keep attacking Israel and then complain that they hit back harder. You (the general you) KNOW they will. So just stop! And you know that when Israel responds, it will have the effect of making things worse for innocent Palestinians who happen to get in the way. So don't attack them. Take the moral high ground. Protest non-violently. It consistently achieves better results. And seriously. Don't reject every offering in every peace negotiation. I've watched Israel make offer after offer over the years, and the various Palestinian governments reject every single one of them, no matter how good they were. It seems to me that those governments had two objectives: 1) Keeping Israel around as an enemy to perpetuate their own popularity and keep themselves in power, and 2) to take a hard line that NO solution would be acceptable except for ones that result in the end of Israel (which obviously no Israeli government could ever agree to.) It does not seem to me that those governments were interested in achieving any sort of real solution.

Personally, I think there should be two separate states. Even better if some other country has a strip of land between them as a buffer. Palestine agrees not to attack Israel. Israel agrees not to attack Palestine. Everyone lives peacefully. Hopefully, they even learn to get along with each other and cooperate. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I simply can't believe that people (on both sides) are spending their whole lives making both themselves and other people miserable over a tiny little strip of land. How many more people have to die before people come to their senses? If every attack has a counter attack, and every counter attack another attack, the cycle of violence will never end. Lots of people will die on both sides. The Palestinians won't improve their situation. You'll still be at it 300 years from now. I'm sorry that you can't live in your grandfather's old house. I can't either. I can't even live in the one I grew up in. But that's life, and I can't do anything about it. Seriously. You're not going to live in that house in the future. That's reality. So you can either choose to dream about living in that one house and choose not to be happy with any house but that specific house. You can yell and scream and boycott a food co-op that has absolutely no involvement at all in events in the middle east. Or you can do whatever you can to live the best life that you can given the life that you've found yourself in. Maybe you can make a major contribution to humanity. Cure a disease. Save a life. Protect the environment. Prevent a war. Encourage others to do the same. Or you can support an endless cycle of violence that won't bring back that house won't help the Palestinians (certainly hasn't yet!), won't help the Israelis (certainly hasn't yet!), and will just result in more death and destruction.

You can help stop this. —IDoNotExist

2010-02-05 11:50:26   I disagree with you IDoNotExist about a few points here and I will try to address them all. Since you mentioned the peace process, I will start with that one.

The Final status issues. It refers to the supposedly so complicated issues. By coincidence, these issues are to be addressed by the international court.

1. Borders. The court said the principle says that it is illegal to acquire territories by war. Same as in the situation when Saddam Hussein annexed Kuwait. The US intervened and said you are not allowed to that. This is fundamental. A country has to have their borders. This brings us back to the question of the wall. The wall is built inside the Palestinian territories. If Israel wants their security, they can build a wall inside their borders or at least on the borders. It’s like if you are neighbor decides they want to build a fence through your swimming pool. So for a two state solution as you mentioned, Palestinians must have their own borders in order to have a state.

2. Settlements. The court said it is illegal for an occupying power to transfer their population to the occupied territories (article 49 of the 4th Geneva conventions) . So all of the settlements are illegal. Just a side note about the settlements, I believe you should watch the documentary “The Iron Wall.” It is a good one about the settlements and the wall.

3. East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem was acquired the same way parts of the west bank were acquired. So East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians according to the court.

4. The refugees. Under international law, refugees have the right to return.

The vote was 14 to 1. No controversy. The only negative vote came from the American judge. These issues were simple under international law. Even the American judge was very careful to qualify his vote. He said “.in fact I agree with the majority” and about the settlements he said “ I agree with the majority”

So what peace process are we talking about? How can we start a process before we provide the raw material? how can you say that Israel has made offers? As you said, they build settlements to negotiate. Just to make it simple, X takes over all of your property then X agrees to give you everything but your favorite car because X has already given it to his oldest and favorite son. In reality, during the peace talks, the Palestinians offered to give up the right of return for the refugees and agreed to only take 95% of the land that belongs to them under the international law. So now tell me, who is making sacrifices? The Israeli government does not want peace. I will yet admit that many Israelis want peace but they do not have power over the majority.

As can be seen, a two states solution is impossible. I believe there is no such thing. How could the Palestinians have a country when they don’t have borders, they don’t have control over 42% of what is supposed to be their country, and they have a foreign nation (settlements) living inside their territories. Let us now talk about house demolitions, and checkpoints. I am sorry to tell you that house demolition does not only apply to bases of hamas. House demolition is a way to acquire land. Many houses have been demolished because they happen to be close to the newly built settlements or in the way of the wall. Since the wall and the settlements are illegal then Israel has no right to take one’s property to build the most racist and radical neighbor hoods on the surface of this earth. Settlements are occupied by the most radical jews, and more than 80% of them are armed. They often attack the neighboring Palestinians under complete protection by the IDF. When we talk about settlements, we are not only talking about a peaceful setting where people are there only to live. We are talking about Jewish militias who live inside the Palestinians territories, and are always harassing their neighboring Arabs. And as I said you should see “The Iron Wall”. It is on YouTube.

The checkpoints divide up the Palestinian cities. Between each Palestinian city, there are many checkpoints. Everyone has to stop and everyone has to be checked. You can only hope that the soldiers are in good mood for that day or you will not be able to go to school, work, or just visit your family in a different Palestinian city. I was once put on a checkpoint for 4 hours because the soldier noticed a picture of Jesus Christ in my wallet. He abused me and said a few things about Christianity that I will not mention here.

I know I will never return to my grandfather’s house, but I at least I hope that I could keep the house I own in Bethlehem now.

I beg you please to not only listen to one side have to offer but listen to the other side. A just small tiny example before I end this. X was shot by the IDF in Bethlehem a few years ago. X was a Christian. X was not involved politically. X was in his car going to place Y. unfortunately, the soldiers in the tank decided they wanted to kill X. 6 bullets in the head and X is dead. The news reported that X was Hamas militant (even though X was in a Christian community) and that he was driving towards them trying to blow up the car. How did they come up with this story? The media asked the Israeli officials what happened. I believe that even the worst murderer will not admit his/her crime.

To stop the violence, Israel has to take out all of the settlements, give back the Palestinians their land and allow them to have control over that land. Then a peace process could possibly start. I believe that even the most radicals of the Palestinians and the Israelis will give in at that point and support the peace process. It is simple, i can never see peace when one side conrtols the life of the other side. I cant see peace happen beofore justice is given to both sides.


2010-02-05 13:12:22   Ok, here's exactly where the problem is. You've just said, "to stop the violence, [X] must happen", and to even consider a resolution, all demands must be met. I'm sorry, but you just lost me there. You can't have a negotiation where you are unwilling to compromise or accept that you might not get everything you want. That's how negotiations work. Neither party gets exactly what they want. And you have to show a good faith effort to do something in return. But you've just said that you want violence to continue until you get everything you want. So even if Israel gave you *some* of what you want and asked nothing in return, you'd still be supporting violence against it! Doesn't sound to me like there is any willingness to negotiate there.

Why is there a wall? Because people kept coming into Israel and blowing themselves up in the middle of cities. Oddly enough, that wasn't a popular move, so they built a wall to keep the bombers out. Since the wall was built, there haven't been any bombings.

Why are there checkpoints? Because there are attacks. It's the same reason that we have increasingly invasive searches at airports. Because a few people have decided to use violence to make people afraid, and now everyone has to be inconvenienced to make sure that no one gets a weapon onto an aircraft.

Why is it hard to get things in and out of the Palestinian territories? Because the Israelis have to search everything to make prevent weapons or weapon components from getting in, because Hamas and company will use them to attack Israel again. Don't like it? Then you probably have to convince the Israelis that they won't be attacked.

And seriously, saying that violence will continue until you get what you want is NOT a good negotiating tactic, nor does it in any way get my sympathy. If you threaten to kill or hurt random people unless they do what you want, you immediately close off all desire to negotiate on the part of the other party. You've complained that they put up a wall, but then you say that the violence that motivated the wall must continue. So you've just established that they need to keep the wall there, because if they take it down, more people will blow themselves up in Israeli cities again.

I'm pretty sure claiming a "right of return" is equivalent to claiming that you have a right to live somewhere because your ancestors did. There's no such thing. If there were, anyone who has at any time been displaced from somewhere (or had their ancestors displaced from somewhere) would be able to claim ownership or entry into just about any place they wanted. Do you see that happening ANYWHERE in the world? I sure don't. But anyway, that's not the point. Back to the stuff about the violence...

Again, let me ask you. Has it worked for you before? Has 60 years of violence gotten you (again, the general you) what you want? Pretty clearly, not. If it had, you wouldn't be here protesting, right? If you keep doing something one way, and it doesn't work, why do you keep doing it that way? What has the violence gotten for the Palestinians? It's gotten them an Israeli public that keeps electing hard line politicians because they want to feel safe from suicide bombers and people with rockets. When a hard line politician gets into office, do you think they are more likely to negotiate, or more likely to use force? My guess is that they will prefer force, because that's what hard liners tend to do. If people attempt to perform suicide bombings, do you really think the Israelis are going to just ignore it? No, they're going to do something to prevent the suicide bombers from coming in. Same with any other form of attack. And if the Israelis figure out where an attack is coming from, do you really think they are going to just sit there and let them continue? I'm pretty sure that they're going to do everything they can to stop the attack. Wouldn't you?

Now imagine what would happen if one of these politicians DID give in following a wave of bombings. What do you think would happen? First, they would be thrown out of office. Second, Hamas would decide that violence DOES work, and would do more of it. So no politician in their right mind would give in to that sort of tactic.

So again, the strategy of violence DOES NOT WORK. It has not worked. 60 years of history shows that it does not work. And it has bad consequences for the Palestinians. It forces Israel to do things to protect themselves, some of which make the Palestinian's situation worse. It makes it much harder to negotiate. It hurts the Palestinians in world opinion. What it does NOT do is get the Palestinians what they want.

I do not understand the unwillingness to try a new strategy. I do not understand the unwillingness to try peace for 5 or 10 years and see what happens. Don't use the word impossible. Anything is possible if you really want it. Peace is possible. Right now. If you want it. A better life for the Palestinians is possible. Right now. If you want it. —IDoNotExist

  • I basically agree with everything you're saying with one caveat: Settlement needs to stop. Settlement is IMO an agressive act and goes a long way to make Palestinians feel that much like the way some Palestinians feel that the only acceptable solution is the removal of all Jewish people, the Israeli nation intends to ultimately drive all Palestinians out of the area.

2010-02-05 13:56:16   Please read what i said carefully. I said if israel continues to harass palestinians on daily basis, palestinians will for sure continue to attack israeli targets. why? because it is simply the right of each nation to resist their opressor. i did not say we will continue with violence untill we get what we want. i am not talking about the right to return. i am only saying If israel continues to spread tanks in the palestinian cities and bring in more settlers, take more land, and what not, then do not expect the palestinians to give up. I also said that the wall is illegal because it is built on palestinian property. I did not say it is useless. I said it is not where it is supposed to be. You ask too much of the palestinians while you never mention the removal of settlements from palestinian territories. How do you expect palestinians to react when the sewage from the settlements runs down into our towns. Believe me, you wouldnt want your neighbor's waste in your own back yard. I did not mention anywhere in my writing that i support violence. I only meant that if one side uses violence the other side will respnd with violence becuase thats how it is. You justify every israeli violent act and you blame the palestinians even though in reality the israel are the one who occupies, kills, shoots, harrases, and what not on daily basis. You keep telling me the ancestors story. Ok why dont you say that to the jews. they are the one who say God gave them that land. they are the one who use the ancestor story from 2000 years ago to take land. Just being jewish gives you the permission to live in israel where palestinians can not live. Everything you say is directed to one side of the conflict. Why dont you question the other side? why dont you ask israel to make sacrifices (in my previous post, i ve shown what the palestinians sacraficed)? Why dont you ask them to stop using God to acquire more land? They are the fifth strongest nation in the world and i believe they can help the palestinians to overcome the conflict. But no. Israelis want the whole Judea becuase "God promised them the land". I ve told you everything i have. Now, it is your responsibility to open your eyes and ears and to look at both sides equally and to listen to both sides equally. Watch "Occupation 101" watch "The Iron Wall" then come back and respond to me. —Palestina

2010-02-05 15:34:42   Actually, you did advocate violence, or at least it certainly came across that way. (Anyone read it differently?) You said "To stop the violence, Israel has to take out all of the settlements, give back the Palestinians their land and allow them to have control over that land. Then a peace process could possibly start." You've just said that the only wait to stop the violence is to do everything that you've asked for. Seems to me that that is advocating violence. Why not say "I'll advocate a cessation of all violence, and then we can come to an understanding and a mutually beneficial solution where everybody wins"?

You said "In reality, during the peace talks, the Palestinians offered to give up the right of return for the refugees and agreed to only take 95% of the land that belongs to them under the international law. So now tell me, who is making sacrifices?" That seems to be to be claiming a right of return! If you do not claim there is a right of return, then what value is there in offering to give it up in a negotiation?! That's offering nothing. Otherwise, you must be claiming the existence of one. How else could you give it up?

I did, in fact, say "I'd agree that Israel shouldn't be building more settlements in the disputed areas." And I'll go further and agree with you that it shouldn't knock down existing Palestinian settlements in Palestinian areas either. Neither side should be building stuff in each other's territories. Great. That was easy. :-) Now what about disputed territories? That leaves a little problem, since the Palestinians claim rather large chunks of Israeli land, and Israeli's claim rather large chunks of what the Palestinians consider their land. Seems like a reasonable solution is to say that if you control it, you can build on it, with the recognition that you may later lose control over it, and have to compensate the people who live there to relocate if necessary. Or, individual who wants to move there should be warned that if they move there, they may lose their house to border negotiations.

As I've said before, I don't think ancestry gives you claim over land. I also don't think that religious claims do. (In fact, you've got 3 major religions all claiming the rights to the same tiny piece of land. What makes one more worthy than the other?) However, possession certainly seems to. National borders change over time for all sorts of reasons. When they do, you can chose to accept it and move on, or you can kill each other over it. The first solution seems like a MUCH better choice to me.

If Israeli settlements are dumping sewage into Palestinian settlements, then yeah, of course they should stop that. Might be a good thing to work on together peacefully, no? It's not like that sort of thing never happens within the US, and it also gets resolved, peacefully, within the US all the time. Why not set up some sort of joint environmental monitoring commission, with an equal number of Palestinians and Israelis on it, and perhaps an equal number of people from other countries as well. Take samples. Get them tested. If they contain sewage, then whoever is responsible for creating the problem gets to fund cleaning it up and has to compensate the other for any damages, and they also have to take whatever steps are needed to prevent it from continuing to happen. I'll bet you could even find some labs that would donate their services. Easy. Fair. No killing or violence required on either side. Next problem? :)

It seems to me that Israel is being asked to give up both land and some of its security. So yeah, both sides have to give something up. The Palestinians don't get all the land they want. The Israelis don't keep all the land they have. A solution gets designed that prevents the Israelis from getting bombed or getting missiles shot at them. But you've got to be realistic about things. We're talking about a tiny country surrounded by hostile neighbors, and a tiny territory. They're not likely to give you large chunks of their cities or huge chunks of land. But looking at the region on a map (what a mess!), I can see several things that might help: 1) Trade Gaza for an area of contiguous land along the Jordan River. Being split into lots of little chunks isn't a good solution. This also helps protect both sides, since travel through one country to get to the other isn't required. You get additional fresh water access. They get additional sea access. 2) Lots of land swapping within the West Bank so that each side gets a contiguous area. If an area can't be made contiguous, then it gets swapped for another area that is. Result is a Palestinian state not divided by Israel, and Israel not divided by a Palestinian state. If land is near a major strategic resource, such as water, it can be traded for a larger amount of land that is not near a major resource. A ratio of strategic to non-strategic land is picked beforehand, perhaps randomly by computer, within some reasonable range. Each side agrees to fund the relocation of their own people, and to allow the other side to do so without interference. 3) Both sides agree not to attack each other. 4) Both sides agree that the deal goes forward EVEN if one side DOES attack the other. Why? Because this prevents a group like Hamas from sabotaging the deal by lobbing rockets into Israel. (It also prevents Israel from doing the same thing.)

If you want to skip the part where you argue over the value of every little piece of land, get a third party to write a program to randomly assign the land according to those rules. A third party writes the program, and everyone can see the code. Both sides agree to use what it generates. (This is a totally fair method since it is random.)

Everybody loses something. Everybody gains something. A contiguous Palestinian state is created. You learn to get along.

Perhaps Jordan could even be generous and throw in some land along the Jordan too? Just a thought.

See? Not hard. You just have to want to solve it. No violence required.


2010-02-05 16:43:08   Yes I said to stop violence, x must happen. It is a very general statement. To stop a reaction you must stop adding reactants. You see where I am going with this. I do claim there is a right to return. But the Palestinians wanted to help the peace process. The Palestinians did give up the right of return even though it is their right under international law, so that the peace talks would continue. The PLO did so in order to help the peace process. Israel said no. At the current time, they have to deal with Hamas who wouldn’t let that right go away. So if Israel had accepted the deal by earlier Palestinians in the 1990s, we would have been in a better condition. Now that Israel rejected that offer, the offer is no longer valid and many Palestinians are not willing to give up the right of return. “since the Palestinians claim rather large chunks of Israeli land, and Israeli's claim rather large chunks of what the Palestinians consider their land. Seems like a reasonable solution is to say that if you control it, you can build on it, with the recognition that you may later lose control over it, and have to compensate the people who live there to relocate if necessary” To make it clear for you, Israel controls about 42% of the west bank. The west bank is empty of Hamas. Rockets have always been fired from Gaza, so what is your excuse now? Should the wall be there? Should the wall be on Palestinian territories? Should the Palestinians have to lose parts of the west bank in order for the Israelis to be happy? Everything you say here seems to be simple but in fact it is far more complicated. I don’t see sense when you say “National borders change over time for all sorts of reasons. When they do, you can chose to accept it and move on, or you can kill each other over it. The first solution seems like a MUCH better choice to me.” So basically, you tell me to let them take land as they want. There is no way to stop it, so just accept it. OK, would you like your neighbor to push the fence of your backyard one foot everyday taking away your property? Regarding the sewage problems, there are many Israeli – Palestinian organizations that work to solve the problem, but their power is very limited and they fear settlers so they cannot really do anything about it. They do not have to take samples, because the source of the sewage is rather observable. The waste runs downhill from the settlements to the Palestinian towns. (Most settlements are built on top of Palestinian hills.) Israel is not asked to give up land because the land that the Palestinians are asking for belongs to the Palestinians according to the international court. The Palestinians even sacrificed to only take 95% of that land. The west bank must have that land in order to be one connected territory. The settlements divide up the west bank into little pieces or as many human rights organizations referred to them as big prison cells. Israel is not asked to give up security either. They can build their security on their own land. I am fine with that. It is up to them whether build a wall or whatever the hell they want to. I believe they will be more secure if they take out the settlements because most of the trouble happens as a result of settlers’ actions. I will repeat that the west bank does not have Hamas so there are no rockets as an excuse. Yet, the settlers are constantly harassing their neighboring Palestinians. They are not part of the army but yet 80%+ of them are armed. They use acts of terror against Palestinians so they are “terrorists”. Simple equation: Take out settlers= less violence which could lead to peace. The land swapping cannot work. You have to visit the area first then you will realize that it is impossible. You can do that when you are playing video games but not in real life. Even if you could do that, I think both parties won’t be interested. I ask you again to watch the documentaries “Occupation 101” and “The Iron Wall”. You can find more than fighting in these documentaries. There are many more issues regarding the conflict. The conflict is not just the Hamas rockets, the Israeli missiles, the F16, or the merkava. The conflict deals with much more than guns. So please watch both documentaries.


2010-02-05 17:06:35   So... what does this all have to do with the co-op's motion again? —JabberWokky

  • The proposed boycott is a protest of Israel's actions. The subsequent discussion is over the actual motivations for the boycott, whether or not such a boycott would have any effect on the world, and on the matter that the boycott is ultimately protesting, and on possible solutions to those matters. And yeah, it's been drifting rather far from Wiki matters...
    • Then how about link to resources that both sides feel represent the position best, or at the most have a few paragraphs that state positions? It might actually get them read rather than ignored as ballast that is overwhelming the co-op issue. -jw

2010-02-05 17:15:43   There are many excellent forums where you can debate Israel vs. Palestine: is one example.


2010-02-05 17:29:37   Ok, please tell me why the land swapping idea would not work?

Yes, I realize that Hamas is in Gaza. The walls are not there to keep rockets out. They're for the suicide bombers.

The argument that some land is Palestinian because an international court ruled it so depends on several things. I'm not aware of which are true and which are not. Perhaps you can point us to the actual court ruling?

1) The court has to be a forum that both parties agreed to, and that both parties consider binding. If Israel didn't consider it binding, the fact that someone in that court ruled in a certain way doesn't make it so. 2) The court has to have the ability to enforce its ruling. For example, in a US court, you can sue someone and win a judgment that awards you money. But collecting is another issue. The person might not have money. In the case of ruling against a country, it's rather hard to make a country do something it doesn't want to, except by diplomatic or economic pressure, or through use of force. What power of enforcement does (did?) such court have?

Apparently, whatever the court ruled, Israel didn't agree to it. That means that you are negotiating with something that you don't have. Unfortunately, you can't negotiate from the position you feel entitled to have. You have to negotiate from the position that you actually have.

The first solution I proposed addressed the sewage issue. The second addresses the lack of territorial continuity. In fact, it guarantees territorial continuity for both sides. If you don't believe me, get a bag and two marbles of any two colors you like, say red and blue. Pour them onto the floor (put something in the way so they don't roll around your room.) Pick any blue and red marbles as your starting point (one of each). Now take any red marble that does not border at least one other red marble for which there is a path leading back to your first marble without any blue marbles in the way, and swap it with a blue marble that does not border another blue marble for which thee is a path back to the first blue one. If there is no marble left to swap for, then swap with one that is already connected, but that is on the edge of the blue or red "territories". I guarantee you'll wind up with two contiguous territories every time.

I already agreed that the settling should stop. I agree that no one on either side should be harassing anyone else. I'm not the least bit surprised that the settlers (who shouldn't be there) are armed, as they are settling in an area where they are surrounded by people who are advocating violence against them. (The same goes for Israel in general. 1 day after the country was formed, 5 or 6 of the surrounding countries attacked it. They tried again several more times over the years. Iran keeps threatening to wipe Israel out, and appears to be developing nukes for that purpose. I'm opposed to weapons and violence in general, but honestly I can't blame them for being armed to the teeth when they are surrounded by countries that want to wipe them out.) But I do agree that the settlers should be removed.

So again, the solution I proposed: -Removes the settlers. -Removes the pollution problem. -Provides both sides with a contiguous territory -Provides roughly equal value to both sides in rearranging the map -Does so in a fair way, without either side being able to argue that they "must have a certain piece of land because it has some religious or political significance". You get what you get. -Doesn't give either side 100% of the territory they want -Gives the Palestinians greater access the Jordan river -Is probably a better deal for the Palestinians than you'd ever get in direct negotiation with Israel -Is completely peaceful -Is easy to enforce -Allows both sides to stop fighting

Is it the exact territory you want? No. Is it the exact territory Israel wants? No. Both sides have to give up something. But it solves the problem, and I seriously doubt that you'll do better with any other strategy. The strategy of violence has not worked. So why not try my proposal? —IDoNotExist

  • The reason that the land swapping idea won't work is simple: the Co-op already has a lease on the land it uses, and if it were to move to the middle east, it is unlikely that the majority of shareholders would be able to make it there to shop. For that matter, how popular are co-op run businesses in that region of the world? -jw
  • Jabberwocky: :-)

2010-02-05 19:35:40  

The International court is " is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. Its main functions are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and the UN General Assembly."

so here every country that is part of the United Nations is responsible to follow these orders. But since Israel has The U.S to protect it, the international court is not able to enforce much. Agian i have to say if the wall is going to prevent suicide bombers from doing it then i will give them full support to build that wall INSIDE THE ISRAELI TERRITORIES.

Regarding suicide bombing which only started less than 10 years ago, I want to go over the causes and the effects of such acts. Why do you think one would want to die? Palestinians are normal people and they would like to live like other humans, BUT Israel forces them to do such acts. How? Most of the suicide bombers have had very bad experience with the state of Israel. When I say very bad experience, I mean more than what most Palestinians have. Some of the causes may include; a death or an injury of a family member, a house demolition experience, imprisonment of a family member or self, and many other factors. All of these factors lead to a loss in hope in life, which leads to ideas of suicide and revenge. I don’t want to get into who started the fighting because really the fighting did not start when Israel was created in 1948 but it started when the Hagana gangs clashed with the Arabs back in the 1920s. The second Intifada started with the death of 24 (I am not 100% sure of the number but I know it is around 24-27) Palestinians in Jerusalem. They were massacred Ariel Sharon and company at al Aqsa Mosque. 24 deaths led to more rock throwing for almost a full year. Palestinians did not turn to guns until they realized that the world was going to stay silent. By the way, Palestinians in the West Bank bought their guns from Israeli soldiers and mafias.

Now let me go back to the land swapping idea. Yes, it is the significance of places that will be the problem. The Christians would not want to leave Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the Muslims would not want to leave Jerusalem, and the Jews would not want to leave Jerusalem. I can’t help but tell you that people over there think differently than you. If the significance of the place was not very important, the Christians would have left to live in the west, the Jews would have never came there at the first place, and the Muslims might have given up and left to live in other Muslim countries. The only solution that I could think of is a one state solution. It is possible. Arabs and Jews have lived together for so long and I believe they can do it. They were doing it in the 1990s, I remember my family visiting Jewish families over from Tel Aviv for dinner. In fact many Israelis are not Zionists. But the fact that a big portion of them are, makes the situation very hard. Zionists want the historic Judea EMPTY from Palestinians and Arabs.

I would like you to watch this video, it is a Jewish man from Jerusalem that once upon a time lived with the Arabs as he describes.

Also watch this rabbi talk about Israel:

These videos are just a proof that Jews and Arabs can get along. Many Palestinians and Israelis share those same feelings.

I am sorry, but a two state solution is impossible, and I know Israel would not want a one state solution. If Israelis and Palestinians put their hands together, I know they can do it. Both sides have to open a new page CLEAN OF VIOLENCE. Equal representation for all sects must be achieved as well. So for instance, the Jews will get this many seats, the Muslims would get this many, and the Christians would get this many. I think this a better solution for 2 reasons: Zionists will continue to want the land given to the palestinians so they would invade and occupy and we are back to where we started. the Palestinians will want their land as well and we are back to where we started.


  • Regarding amount of representation each group gets: The USA solved the issue of appropriate representation between different groups (states) by creating both a Senate, which gives equal representation for each of its states, and a House of Representatives, which gives representation proportional to each state's population. This could work in your proposal, but my concern with division by ethnicity would be the continued sense of difference between all of the people involved. We need to construct a system where both groups can be united by a common nationality, the same way both myself and our President would both regard each other as Americans, despite our differing ancestries. Currently, a majority of the members of our Congress happen to be White, but I do not consider that as being a reason for why my political interests might not be met. Following the American example, the differences from the past do not tamper with the prospects for a peaceful future. Afterwords, your new nation state of what is currently Palestine can assign representation based on division of ideas rather than ethnicity or religion. - Paul Amnuaypayoat

2010-02-05 20:47:13   Palestina, for your information the second intifada was started not by Sharon's visit to the Holy Mount but was planned and executed in response to Israel giving everything the Palestinians would have wanted at the Camp David meeting by Yaser Arafat because had he accepted the Israeli proposition and gotten everything the Palestinians wanted, including their capital at Jerusalem, then he would lose support from the rest of the radicals. Why is it you think Arafat declined that proposition? In turn he decided to create the second intifada and gain further support from the nations all over the world because he knew from countless past terrorist experience that if he can get Israel to over-react and make it look like they were killing innocent civilians then the rest of the world would judge Israel harshly. Why is that you might ask? It's because the Jews have always been held up to a double standard, including the only nation that was forced to give back territory won in a DEFENSIVE war. And yet they gave the Palestinians EVERYTHING they would have wanted at Camp David. So please explain that to me.

Do NOT tell me 0 houses were demolished in Israeli territory because you have terrorist actions that occurred in discotheques, buses, cafes killing innocent Israeli children, women, and pregnant women. That doesn't include the shelling of Israeli housing complexes during the day. And that is the reason there is "harassment" at the borders because wouldn't you agree that it's better to be safe and sorry? Do even know how many attempted suicides and terrorist plots those border stations have stopped? Thousands of terrorists have been arrested at those check points. Now the system isn't perfect and yes some innocent people get arrested but as usual people pay attention the minute details of the a couple failures of the check points (i.e. innocents getting arrested) rather than the bigger point and the bigger success of stopping terrorist plots.

You're telling me it's OK to help Nazis exterminate Jews, let's not forget that Europe alone lost 5 million Jews during the Holocaust, because they were scared of them? What happened to reasoning and talking and coming up with a peaceful solution? But that's not what happened and that's not what continues to happen. Palestinians have given up NUMEROUS peace negotiations because it would have meant that they would have had to live next to Jews. And you wonder why the land was given to the Jews after WW2? Not only that but the land that WAS given to them was in areas where Jewish majority or plurality existed. You don't see Jews being scared of Palestinians or Iranians or Syrians and coming over the border and trying wipe out the entire populations. Violently targeting a certain group of people because you are scared of them IS not and should NEVER be a solution! And that's why it is anti-Semetic, because history has repeated itself in targeting JEWS, not Arabs, with violence.

If shit keeps going downhill and not working on your behalf, you eventually have to stop blaming others and figure our what the hell you are doing wrong instead of blaming others. So instead of blaming Israel for putting up fences and check points and concrete barriers, don't automatically blame them for making that choice, rather step back and question the propaganda and the hatred that you are being fed. What is the purpose of the check points? To prevent terrorist plots. What is the point of the iron barrier in Gaza? To prevent extremists from getting weapons through tunnels running into Egypt. Why do you think even Egypt supports the wall? Because they're tired of dealing with extremists supplying each other. Why do you think houses are target for destruction? Because they harbor terrorists (and of course Palestinians are going to claim they were innocent because that gives them credibility). The Israeli government isn't doing these things for shits and giggles or to piss off the Palestinians. They are doing it to protect their own civilians. And unlike the Palestinians, they are tired of all this violence and on multiple occasions have proposed peace talks, giving Palestinians their own state, reparations, Jerusalem, and yet I still have not seen one accepted peace agreement. And in terms of the continuing housing developments, I also disagree with that. I do not think Israel should be building more houses because it ruins their credibility and it's degrading the peace process. So don't think I'm not critical of Israel or I think they're perfect.

You think a two-state solution is impossible because you are looking at extremists and not at the majority of people from both the Palestinian and Israeli who want peace and who are tired of the violence. A two-state solution can and will be made once the Palestinians accept that they will have to live with Jews and Israelis. Israelis will give them autonomy, as in Gaza, when the violence and smuggling stops and when Israel feels safe. In the meantime, there is no reason to let their guard down because that will be a sign to Palestinians and Arabs in general that they are weak, and will therefore be attacked. History has proven before that naive Jews are dead Jews, especially in the Holocaust.

So stop being ignorant and stop being brainwashed by propaganda and start questioning what the Palestinians are doing wrong because I have shown you that I am critical of some of Israel's policies. Only when both sides see the wrongs that they have committed and agree upon those wrongs will there be a peace.

By the way here's a link to part of the introduction to "The Case for Israel"

Don't pay attention to Ultra-orthodox rabbis because they are not the majority. Just as you shouldn't be getting information from extremist Palestinians.


2010-02-05 21:21:04   This is one point on the matter that I find very...revealing.

Sesame Street recently filmed in Israel and did a peace episode talking to Israeli Jews and Palestinians.

Meanwhile in Palestine (and other certain nations) children's shows depict Jews as evil, out to get them and encourage children to aspire to be suicide bombers.

That's all I'm going to say on the matter. I'm not interested in debating extremists from either side since they won't listen to me anyway. —OliviaY

2010-02-05 23:18:40   Hence the brainwashing and propaganda... —DP2010

  • You mean the big tomato sculpture at the entrance? -jw
  • But the tomatoes are the source of the power of all sauce. Well, all red sauces anyway. Not the white ones. But we'll just keep those quiet for now and add them to our pasta when no one is looking, OK?

2010-02-05 23:26:11   The International Court at the UN does not actually have the ability to make binding rulings against any state. It acts as an advisory body. States may comply with its rulings if they wish, or they may not. They can not be compelled to do so. The UN does not make law for individual countries.

A one state solution would, I imagine, not be an acceptable choice to the Israelis, particularly to Jewish Israelis. Israel is 75% Jewish. The majority of the remainder is Arab, with a few other groups mixed in. If Israel and the Palestinians unified, there would be a Jewish minority. Now let's've got two populations. One keeps choosing governments which have the stated goal of destroying Israel, and which support continuous attacks on Israel, and which is full of people who feel wronged for generations by the Israelis to the point where they are willing to support suicide bombers. The other, with good reason, believes that all of the surrounding countries plus the Palestinian population would like their country destroyed, and would like them removed through any convenient means. That population also has direct and recent experience with being on the receiving end of genocide by majority populations that don't like them. We can look at Iraq, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and many other countries as examples of countries where arbitrary mixing of groups of people who don't like each other very much results in genocide when there isn't a strong power in place to stop it. My guess is it would play out in the following way:

-Israel and Palestine unify. -A large number of the Palestinian diaspora move to Israel -An election is held. -The Palestinians take a majority. -Day one: laws are passed which convert Israel into a Palestinian state. Jews are most likely no longer permitted to hold office. -Day two: Jews are required to leave the country. Some do. Many want to stay. Violence breaks out -A few months later: Genocide in one form or another begins.

If you don't believe me, look at what happened in Iraq after Saddam was forced from power. Or in any of those other countries I mentioned. I think you may though, since you said that you know that Israel will never accept a one state solution.

Israel exists because the Jews there do not want to be the target of another genocide. I don't think that most Palestinians would support that kind of action. But it only takes a small number who come to power to do it, and so far, those are the people who the Palestinians choose as their leaders. So I can't possibly imagine that the Israelis would agree to a one state solution. Maybe if there had been 60 years of non-violent protest, they would agree to it.

Again, no one is FORCED to be a suicide bomber. If you believe that someone has wronged you, is the appropriate thing to do to go and kill someone else who wasn't even involved? Nope. There is nothing that could ever justify that kind of behavior. It doesn't solve your problem, and it just hurts someone who did nothing to you.

Yeah, anyone can be friends with anyone else. That's a really good place to start. In fact, working together and sharing things together is probably the best place to start.

OK, so why not do the land swapping on all of the disputed land *excluding* the areas that are claimed by more than one major religion? For those areas, place the religious sites themselves under the control of a neutral third party. If you want to access one, you go through strict security checks, regardless of where you came from. That protects everyone. The plan still works. This wouldn't apply to the entire city, by the way. There are specific locations in those cities that are of religious significance. Those remain "neutral". You don't get to claim a whole modern city because it was significant in your religion hundreds or thousands of years ago. That's the same as the ancestry claim. But if you have a specific location, then *everyone* gets access to it so they can practice their religion. Again, not hard to do. It can be done peacefully. —IDoNotExist

2010-02-06 01:02:20   This discussion makes me want to see the movie Exodus again, would anyone else be interested in that? —NickSchmalenberger

2010-02-06 01:50:00   I just would like to be more realistic. A two state solution is imposible. If you think it is possible then good for you, but from my experience I can assure you that even if such solution happens it will be unfair to the palestinians. Go back to the partitioning of Palestine.

the population by 1947 was 67% arabs(muslims + christians) vs. 33% European Jews. The majority of the land was owned by arabs. Yet the jews got 57% of the land and the arabs got 43% of it. not only they got more land, they also got the most fertile land.

A one state solution is the only solution, it may take time but it is very possible. "Extremist palestinians" ( which i am not a part of, since i am a christian palestinian) have said many times that they have no problem with jews (as in people who follow the jewish books (this includes the christians)) but they are in a war against zionists, who want an EMPTY land for themselves and their ideoligies. I firmly believe, if israel gives up its zionist plans, the palestinians will be more willing to recognized jews as part of the region (as they did many years ago in all parts of the arabic world). You only have to give it 20-30 years without violence and you will see both sides asking for a one state solution. 20-30 years of rest where no hamas rockets, no israeli tanks on the streets, no settlers, no checkpoints exist. these years are only to allow both sides to forget.

I do not have time to spend 3-4 hours each day on this ( i have midterms, essays and other school work that i have to finish by next week), so i will end this here. I will state my opinions and i will let you decide whether you want to accept my opinions or not.

1. Israel has the right to exist. 2. Palestine has the right to exist with full control over their land. 3. peaceful dismantling of settlements. 4. Signs of occupation must disappear. ( i believe the root cause for the hate by the palestinians are the many signs of occupation they have to encounter on daily basis). 5. a two state solution is not possible, therefore, a one state solution is the only solution i see for now.

I will again ask you to look at the conflict from both sides and consider watching "Occupation 101", "The Iron Wall" and may be you would be interested by what The israeli information center for himan rights in the occupied territories (B'tselem) has to offer.

I will say peace for now (salam/ Shalom) —Palestina

For those who say " Don't pay attention to Ultra-orthodox rabbis because they are not the majority. Just as you shouldn't be getting information from extremist Palestinians." I would like to consider B'tselem. they are a human rights organization so i do not think you can accuse them of anything eh?

2010-02-06 01:56:39   Once again, I completely agree with IDoNotExist. Someone who actually thinks rationally. A neutral third party to control Jerusalem sounds like a great idea to me and most likely many other Jews who have been looking for some sort of peace agreement. Maybe the Swiss Guard who take care of security in Vatican City can do the same in Jerusalem. The only problem I see is the logistics of the implementation. —DP2010

2010-02-06 02:10:50   There are no signs of occupation because if you read what I wrote earlier, the European Jews who came to Palestine or whatever you want to call the region in 1880 before even the first Alliyah bought the land from absent landowners. The Arabs who owned the land sold it because it was infertile. They couldn't use it for anything. There the Jews legally owned the land. And THEY were the ones that made it fertile and started using it for ag, not the Palestinians. Israeli land, agriculturally is what it is today thanks to the Jews who worked their asses off making the land fertile and the individuals who sacrificed their lives clearing out malaria filled swamps. Not only that but like I said earlier as well, Jews received the land they did also because they were the majority in those regions (e.g. Jerusalem, Hebron, Safad). Is it not fair that the people who were the majority in the region and the people that legally owned the land and the people that enriched the land have the land be called their home?

I think a two-state solution is best and can be achieved once Palestinians start thinking what they're doing wrong and why exactly Israel has such an aggressive stance on them, once Israel stops putting up settlements in areas that are supposed to be kept for Palestinians, once both sides realize and agree on their differences and on all the ways they've wronged each other, and once the Palestinian people stop supporting smuggling and extremists. In the past a two-state solution hasn't worked because Palestinian policy was to erase Israel off the map, then get back their homes, such as through Arafat and earlier Palestinian and Arab leaders. Now that is in the past. If both parties can sit down and diligently work out a peace plan then it will work. Israel has presented the two-state proposition in peace talks God know how many times now. —DP2010