I think this video, which I found on YouTube, courtesy of Moonbattery, does a fairly good job of explaining the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in easy to understand terms.
I find the comments for this video illuminating, at least the anti-Israel ones. The idea seems to be that since Israel doesn’t have a perfect record and may occasionally kill civilians used as human shields, than any atrocity committed by its enemies must be excused. There is also the idea that the Jews have no business being in the Middle East, that they stole the land from the Palestinians who are only fighting a just war for their own homes against a criminal state.
There are also the Muslim commentators who just think all the Jews everywhere should be killed because the Koran says so. There are also the usual anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Jews owning the media, although if they did why is so much of the world’s media anti-Israel?
I have heard it said that a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. By that standard, I am not sure that the comment that Mitt Romney made in Jerusalem regarding the economic disparity between Israel and the Palestinians really qualifies since I am certain he knew exactly what he was saying. But first, the story according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Governor Romney caused a stir when he said in a speech Sunday that “it is a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.” That actually sounded milder than what then-Sen. Barack Obama said in June 2008, when he insisted that Jerusalem must “remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
Romney’s statement on Jerusalem was not well received by the Palestinians, but the candidate didn’t stop there, adding a comment Monday about culture and prosperity that elicited even more condemnation.
Aside from angering the Palestinians, the problem with referring to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is that, officially, the United States – in line with most of the international community – does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Instead, it considers the city’s status an issue to be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, who claim East Jerusalem – seized by Israel in the 1967 war – as their capital.
As a result, the US keeps its embassy in Tel Aviv.
I think we should recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move our embassy there. Jerusalem has been the capital of every Jewish state since the time of King David and no one else has a claim on it, except the Jebusites, if any are still around.
At a breakfast fund-raising event in Jerusalem Monday, Romney said he couldn’t help but notice the “dramatically stark difference in economic vitality” between Israel and “the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority,” and he concluded, “Culture makes all the difference.”
No mention from the would-be US president of the trade and mobility restrictions that Israel maintains over the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza – restrictions that both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have said for years are key factors in hampering Palestinian economic growth.
Palestinian leaders quickly blasted Romney’s “culture” comment as “racist” and added that he failed to take into account the impact of Israel’s tight grip on the Palestinian economy.
Somehow, I find myself not caring too much what the Palestinians think. That culture makes the difference shouldn’t be a controversial statement at all. A country that educates its population in the latest in science and technology and allows freedom of speech and thought is always going to prosper far more than a country that trains their citizens in hatred and has a repressive and corrupt government. If it is a matter of geo-political considerations, than I would note that Israel has been a country under siege for its entire history and yet they have somehow managed to create a diverse and vibrant economy. And then too, Israel probably wouldn’t be imposing trade and mobility restrictions if the Palestinians had not been making it perfectly clear that they prefer war with Israel to peaceful economic development.
I have a feeling that the Palestinians would be a whole lot better off if they gave up on their death cult and learn to live in peace.
I saw this article from the Times of Israel on The Drudge Report. There is an Algerian writer named Boualem Sansal who won a literary prize but will not be receiving the prize of 15,000 euros. He has committed a crime serious enough that the Arab sponsors could not, in good conscience, give him the money. He visited Israel.
Well-known Algerian writer Boualem Sansal received a prestigious French literary award Thursday. However, he did not get the prize of 15,000 euros he had been slated to receive, as the fact that he had visited Israel prompted the Arab sponsors of the prize to withdraw their support, according to a report by French24.
The Editions Gallimard Arabic Novel prize has been granted by the Arab Ambassadors Council, which is based in Paris, since 2008. In the past, the prize was comprised of both an award and a cash prize.
Sansal was nominated for the prize for his book “Rue Darwin” (Darwin Street). However, after being named the winner, he attended the Jerusalem Writers Festival, which took place in May. He was invited to the festival as the guest of honor. Palestinian groups slammed his decision to attend, with Hamas reportedly calling his participation “an act of treason against the Palestinian people.”
After a protracted argument, Sansal was given his award on Thursday, but without the prize money, France24 reported.
At least he got the award. Sansal was not really happy with the compromise.
Commenting on the decision to withdraw the prize money, laureate Sansal said it was “completely unacceptable,” adding that Arab countries – and his home country, Algeria, in particular – had “shut themselves in a prison of intolerance.”
I wonder if he had just figured that out. Arab countries have been in a prison of intolerance for centuries and the “Arab Spring” is likely to make things worse.
Sansal added that in order to truly help the Palestinians, individuals like himself should be able to visit Israel freely. “Yes, there are complicated relations with Israel, but we are not at war with them,” he said.
He doesn’t seem to have gotten the message that the Arab countries are indeed at war with Israel, and have been since 1948. The spokeswoman for the Arab Ambassadors Council sees things somewhat more clearly.
A spokeswoman for the Arab Ambassadors Council claimed the council’s decision had not been influenced by the Hamas statement on the matter.
However, she said, “The Ambassadors are subject to the official position of the Arab League which considers itself effectively in a state of war with Israel. The council is obliged to follow directives from the Arab League. Every ambassador regrets that this has happened. They would never want to interfere with literature.”
I think that Boualem Sansal, and perhaps many other Arabic literary figures, would be well advised to move out of Algeria. Since he visited Israel and is considered a traitor, it is only a matter of time before they start saying he is a Zionist agent.
Barack Obama is looking more and more like the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Can an embassy takeover be next? From Fars News Agency comes a report that suggest youths in Egypt are thinking along those lines.
According to a report by Palestine al-Yawm (Palestine Today) news network, the young Egyptians have posted a request on their Facebook webpage and blasted Barack Obama’s speech after his presidency in Cairo in which the US President pledged a new approach towards Muslims.
They said that the threat by the Obama administration to veto the Palestinian bid for UN membership revealed the realities about Obama and the fact they “he is a liar and is no different with his predecessors in supporting Israel and blatant violation of the Arab nations’ rights”.
The Egyptian youths said the attack on the US embassy would serve as a strong message in response to the US hegemonic policies.
They further warned the US to refrain from vetoing the Palestinian bid, saying that such a move by the US would encourage violence in the world.
I start to wonder what move by the US wouldn’t encourage violence with these people. I like this paragraph at the end.
Palestinians stress that they have never gained anything through talks with the Zionist regime, mentioning that negotiation with the racist regime is a waste of time and gives the Zionists the chance to push their settlement construction plans ahead and come along with their international and internal problems.
Well, maybe negotiations with the Zionist regime might be a little more fruitful if the Palestinians acknowledged that the State of Israel has a right to exist. It is just a little hard to talk with people who want to exterminate you.
Anyway, I wonder if President Ahmadinejad is back in Iran yet. If not, maybe he could stop by Cairo and give these youths some tips on the embassytakeover business.
Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, Palestinians asked the United Nations on Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of failed negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would reenergize their quest for an independent homeland.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was greeted by sustained applause and appreciative whistles from the delegations in the General Assembly hall as outlined his people’s hopes and dreams of becoming a full member of the United Nations. Some members of the Israeli delegation, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, left the hall as Abbas approached the podium.
In a scathing denunciation of Israel’s settlement policy, Abbas declared that negotiations with Israel “will be meaningless” as long as it continues building on lands the Palestinians claim for that state. Invoking what would be a nightmare for Israel, he went so far as to warn that his government could collapse if the construction persists.
“This policy is responsible for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process,” said Abbas, who has refused to negotiate until the construction stops. “This settlement policy threatens to also undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence.”
To another round of applause, he held up a copy of the formal membership application and said he had asked U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to expedite deliberation of his request to have the United Nations recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
Abbas neglected to mention certain aspects of recent history.
The speech papered over any Palestinian culpability for the negotiations stalemate, deadly violence against Israel, spurned peace offers and the internal rift that has produced dueling governments in the West Bank and Gaza. It also ignored Jewish links to the Holy Land.
Abbas seemed to hold out an olive branch to Israel.
“We extend our hands to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peacemaking,” Abbas said. “Let us build the bridges of dialogue instead of checkpoints and walls of separation, and build cooperative relations based on parity and equity between two neighboring states — Palestine and Israel — instead of policies of occupation, settlement, war and eliminating the other,” he said.
I seem to have some trouble believing he is sincere. I am not sure why.
This will not result in a state for Palestine, since the US will veto the bid as soon as it comes before the Security Council. I suspect that that is not the point. Rather this is intended to be a propaganda coup to put pressure on Israel and bolster Abbas’s domestic position.
Abbas’ jubilant mood was matched by the exuberant celebration of thousands of Palestinians who thronged around outdoor screens in town squares across the West Bank on Friday to see their president submit his historic request for recognition of a state of Palestine to the United Nations.
“I am with the president,” said Muayad Taha, a 36-year-old physician, who brought his two children, ages 7 and 10, to witness the moment. “After the failure of all other methods (to win independence) we reached a stage of desperation. This is a good attempt to put the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people on the map. Everyone is here to stand behind the leadership.”
Yet by seeking approval at a world forum overwhelmingly sympathetic to their quest, Palestinians hope to make it harder for Israel to resist already heavy global pressure to negotiate the borders of a future Palestine based on lines Israel held before capturing the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967.
I have no idea what is going to happen next in that region but I am not optimistic.
With all the recent controversy about the plan for the General Assembly of the United Nations to vote on Palestinian statehood, it is important to recognize that there are other nationalities cruelly deprived of a state of their own. Jonathan Swift over at Pajamas Media makes the case for a homeland for the oppressed Prussians.
It is melancholy to contemplate the homeless condition of the Prussians, an ingenious people whose remarkable antics in prior ages did so much to enliven the politics of Europe. Indeed, now that world opinion has grasped the necessity of returning the descendants of the Arabs of Palestine to their ancestral residences, it must certainly be the hour for a similar service to be rendered on behalf of those belonging to the tribe of the great Frederick.
For while it has been some time since that glorious state known as Prussia graced the map of our fair continent, still the lands of the Prussians were theirs and theirs alone, until that fateful day not yet seven decades past, when the awful Poles, seeking to reestablish a country for which the world had no apparent need, rudely cast them out.
Thus exiled, at barely the same moment as their Arabesque counterparts, the poor Prussians have ever since been forced to endure life stateless, wandering amongst such diverse foreign peoples as Saxons, Westphalians, Rhinelanders, Bavarians, and, even in some cases, Americans, people with whom they have nothing whatsoever in common, and whose company they must certainly find nearly beyond endurance as they continue to pine away, yearning in eternal agony for their lost homeland.
Oh, the pity of it all! Does not Justice herself cry out in anguish, denouncing the continuance of such hideous circumstance? Surely all men of reason and good will must give their whole-hearted assent to the proposition calling for the rightful return of the Prussians and their reestablishment upon their native land in their natural state. But how can such a noble and necessary project be accomplished?
This done, a conference could be called of all the principle powers of the planet to agree upon new boundaries for the two states, Prussia and Poland, so as to enable them to live together amicably in accord with the principles of eternal Justice, in precisely the same wise manner as is now contemplated for Israel and Palestine. As a starting point for such apportionment, the borderline should first be chosen to be that which pertained in 1942, before the rude Polish annexations made during a particular moment of Prussian disadvantage distorted the previously established arrangements. These boundaries, however, could then be adjusted by such further trading of territories as might be mutually agreed between all the parties in attendance.
Clearly the illegal occupation of the Prussian homeland by the Poles must be ended!
Prince Turki al-Faisal, former ambassador to the US has written an op-ed piece in the New York Times. Essentially he is saying that if we don’t allow the Palestinians to declare their statehood this month at the UN, then Saudi Arabia won’t be our friend anymore.
The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world. If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has. With most of the Arab world in upheaval, the “special relationship” between Saudi Arabia and the United States would increasingly be seen as toxic by the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims, who demand justice for the Palestinian people.
Considering that Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were Saudi nationals and Saudi Arabia is still funding radical mosques and madrassas all over the world, and is one of the most oppressive nations on Earth, one would think that with a friend like that, we hardly need any enemies.
Israel should see the Palestinian bid for statehood not as a threat, but as a chance to return to the negotiating table and prevent further conflict. Recent polls show that up to 70 percent of Palestinians say they believe there will be a new intifada if the deadlock is not broken shortly; this should encourage Israel to seek peace with the moderate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
I can’t imagine why Israel would see a Palestinian state as a possible threat. Just because a majority of the Palestinians want to destroy Israel. Look at the map above. See how vulnerable Israel would be against a hostile Palestine.
The 2002 Arab Peace Plan must be the starting point for negotiations; a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders is the only realistic foundation on which to restart talks, seeing as how the Oslo Peace Process has proved fruitless.
Why has the peace process proved fruitless? Because the Palestinians don’t want peace or a two state solution. They want a one state solution with no Jews. I don’t really believe the Saudis are particularly sincere either.
Although Saudi Arabia is willing and able to chart a new and divergent course if America fails to act justly with regard to Palestine, the Middle East would be far better served by continuing cooperation and good will between these longstanding allies.
American support for Palestinian statehood is therefore crucial, and a veto will have profound negative consequences. In addition to causing substantial damage to American-Saudi relations and provoking uproar among Muslims worldwide, the United States would further undermine its relations with the Muslim world, empower Iran and threaten regional stability. Let us hope that the United States chooses the path of justice and peace.
A couple of questions:
1. If Prince Turki al-Faisal and Saudi Arabia are so concerned about justice in that part of the world, why don’t they take up the cause of the Kurds in Turkey, the Christians in Iraq and Egypt, or the Shiites in their own kingdom, all of which are being treated far worse than the Palestinians?
2. If the Palestinians want their own state, why don’t they show that they deserve one by learning to live at peace with their neighbors? This means openly acknowledging Israel’s right to exist, renouncing the use of terrorism, even against “Zionists”, and taking out the anti-Semitic propaganda from their media and school curricula. Maybe after five or ten years with no incidents, the Israelis will feel secure enough to allow a Palestinian state.
3. By the way, why have the other Arab states in the region ever taken in the Palestinians? Has Saudi Arabia ever offered these refuges a home and a chance for a new life?
If I had to choose between having either Israel or Saudi Arabia for an ally, it really isn’t a difficult choice. I would go for the country that has religious freedom and doesn’t treat women as sub-humans. I hope President Obama feels likewise
In an open letter published on the website of the non-governmental organisation, Americans for Peace Now, Mr Nimoy explains his support for a two-state solution.
He makes reference to his experience on the fictional Starship Enterprise to help express his views.
He characterises this as “a secure democratic Israel as the Jewish State alongside an independent Palestinian state”.
The 80-year-old actor argues that the two-state solution “is still critical in this region for both Israel and the Palestinian people“.
To illustrate his assertions that “the time for recriminations is over” and that “assigning blame over all priorities is self-defeating”, Mr Nimoy describes an early Star Trek episode entitled, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.
“Two men, half black, half white, are the last survivors of their peoples who have been at war with each other for thousands of years, yet the Enterprise crew could find no differences separating these two raging men,” he says.
“But the antagonists were keenly aware of their differences – one man was white on the right side, the other was black on the right side. And they were prepared to battle to the death to defend the memory of their people who died from the atrocities committed by the other.”
The actor goes on that he does not mean “to belittle the very real issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians”. However, he says, the fictitious scenario shows that “myth can be a snare”.
That’s all very well and he has a point, but I wish he would explain all that to the Palestinians. They seem to be the ones most interested in assigning blame and keeping the conflict going. The conflict would be over if they would just admit that Israel has a right to exist and actually negotiate in good faith. Until that happens there is not going to be peace.