The View From Here...

There are many different world disputes going on at any time. There are several that have gone on for years. There is one that has gone on for over 40 years and shows absolutely no sign of ever being brought to a fair and lasting conclusion.
I realize that there are a few bro's. in the forum that find this topic very sensitive, and to them I apologize if my repeated posting on this subject touches a nerve.
I am not focussing only on the Israeli / Palestinian issue, in the big picture, but this is the conflict which I feel is the most serious threat to peace in both the middle east and the world as a whole. Therefore at the risk of offending some people here who I have absolutely no problems with, I will continue to post news articles from both pro Israeli and Pro Palestinian sources. I will provide links to the articles as well, and I hope in the long run, this will help to bring this issue to the attention of more and more people so that as time goes by, eventually enough people will bring pressure to bare on their government's so that this issue becomes so evident everywhere that people eventually DEMAND some resolution to this UGLY situation, once and for all.
So here is today's submission, which comes from the Israeli Newspaper (online) Haarets.com

- 18:55 28/12/2009 Israel plan to build in East Jerusalem harms peace process, says U.S. official
By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent and News Agencies
Tags: Israel news, East Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to construct an additional 700 apartments in East Jerusalem is another blow to already stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a U.S. official said on Monday.
"We feel that unilateral actions make it harder for people to get back together at the table, and that's what our goals are," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity pending a formal reaction from Washington.
"We also have mentioned in the past ... that we consider all the Israeli settlements to be beyond the pale of what we wish to see going on, and are not helpful, again, to getting the two sides back to the table," the official added.
Under the new blueprint, the Housing Ministry has invited contractors to bid on the construction of 198 housing units in Pisgat Zeev, 377 homes in Neve Ya'akov and 117 dwellings in Har Homa.
Palestinians consider Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to be settlements and say such construction impedes peacemaking.
Israel claims all of the city its capital and does not consider those neighborhoods to be settlements. Israel captured East Jerusalem, home to sensitive Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites, in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Netanyahu did not include East Jerusalem in the temporary construction freeze he declared weeks ago, saying the slowdown applies only to the West Bank.
"We make a distinction between the West Bank and Jerusalem. Jerusalem is our capital and remains such," government spokesman Mark Regev said on Monday.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the plan, accusing Israel of exploiting what he called U.S. and international inability to halt settlement building.
"The Israeli government proves every day that it is not ready for peace," Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah said.
"We condemn this Israeli policy of continuing settlement activities, and we hope this will be an eye opener for the U.S. administration and other members of the international community," added Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.
Meanwhile, the state is considering appropriating private Palestinian land in the West Bank, the State Prosecutor's Office informed the High Court of Justice on Sunday.
Such a move would contravene Netanyahu's commitment not to seize land for settlement expansion.
The prosecution's statement to the High Court on Monday came in response to a petition by human rights group Yesh Din against the construction of a sewage treatment facility that would serve the West Bank settlement of Ofra.
Construction of the facility began in 2007, on private Palestinian land from the nearby village of Ein Yabrud, in contravention of the government's approved master plan for the area.
"The fact that today the state is trying to legitimize the land theft ... by seizing land retroactively, for the sake of a settlement that was not long ago classified as 'the largest illegal outpost in the West Bank,' is nothing short of an outrage," said Shlomo Zacharia, one of the lawyers representing Yesh Din. "No less grave is the fact that this conduct, which contravenes the explicit policy of the government and the prime minister, aims to cover up the failures and unwillingness of the army and the state in defending Palestinian property."
The state said the treatment facility was built illegally, without construction permits, and that demolition orders have been issued for its destruction. However, based on the state's response to the petition, it does not appear to be planning to enforce the law or return the land to its rightful owners. The state did say that it is examining various alternatives to dealing with the issue.
Flying in the face of commitments
The state's position on the treatment facility appears to fly in the face of commitments Israel has made.
"Land will not be appropriated for the expansion of existing settlements," Netanyahu said in a June speech at Bar-Ilan University.
President Shimon Peres made a similar statement at a press conference in Cairo several weeks ago, after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Eitan Broshi, Barak's adviser on settlement affairs, told the High Court that Ofra was the largest illegal outpost in the territories and said most of it was built illegally on private land belonging to the residents of nearby villages. He said construction permits were not issued and that no jurisdictional borders had been defined for Ofra.
Yesh Din asked the High Court in May to order a halt to all work related to the construction of the sewage treatment plant and to suspend funding for it. It also asked the court to order the Civil Administration and Shai District police, which are responsible for the West Bank, to enforce the demolition orders and destroy the facility. The petition was filed by Zacharia, Michael Sfard and Avisar Lev.
The sewage treatment facility takes up 37 dunams, of which 33 are underground. It costs an estimated NIS 7.8 million, which is funded by the government, according to official reports. Plans for building the plant were also carried out by government authorities.
In the early 1980s a different section of Ofra was appropriated for the construction of a sewage plant, but after Ofra's southern neighborhood was built next to that land several years later, it was decided to move the plant to a different location. That land, too, like the site of most of the homes there, is on private Palestinian land.
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Comments

  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    I would be interested in hearing from some of the bro's who feel Israel is justified in their actions in the occupied territories, respond to these types of measures which are taken regularly by Israel. Seems the Israeli's can't even make a commitment to themselves and stick to it. How could anybody ever feel that these people are good partners for peace or that you could hold fair and honest negotiations, with people who constantly change or alter their own position, and seem to contradict themselves constantly.
    Unless you are cynical like I am, and believe it is all part of their negotiating strategy. This would include the half measures taken by the Israeli Government, always followed by un uprise in the far right leaning parties, which seem to suggest that the government has gone as far as possible on a given issue. I believe this is all an elaborate performance very carefully orchestrated by the Israeli side to make it appear that they are moving as far and as fast as they can reasonably do so, without causing some kind of uprising within Israel.
    But of course, that is The View From Here.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,803 ✭✭✭
    Well stated view, very similar to mine on Isreal...the way we consider them a full ally for peace in the world borders on the absurd---not to mention the oft changing stance always leads me to believe they are scheming something while we sit idly by in a way we would never with out other allies.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    My opinion. The land belongs to the Jews, they can do anything they like with it. They have a historical claim to not only what they have now but much more IMO, they currently possess it because their neighbors saw fit to attack them with the stated objective of their utter destruction and promptly got their tail whipped. There has never been a nation called palestine, only a geographic region. As far as using privately owned lands for public works projects, all nations do that including this one. You asked! BTW, I am not Jewish, but I love the way they take care of business.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    fla-gypsy:
    My opinion. The land belongs to the Jews, they can do anything they like with it. They have a historical claim to not only what they have now but much more IMO, they currently possess it because their neighbors saw fit to attack them with the stated objective of their utter destruction and promptly got their tail whipped. There has never been a nation called palestine, only a geographic region. As far as using privately owned lands for public works projects, all nations do that including this one. You asked! BTW, I am not Jewish, but I love the way they take care of business.

    Thanks for your opinion. I do not agree with it, but I can appreciate your views.
    One point I would like to clarify about something you said is that while all countries do indeed expropriate land for Public Work Projects...NOBODY other then the Israeli's expropriate land from within borders they do not own. Read the article, even the author agrees this is STOLEN land and not expropriated by a state from one of its citizens, but stolen from someone who that state has no legal authority over in the first place. That is NOT expropriation. It's THEFT, even acording to the Prosecutor from Israel, so I won't argue that point.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Comment / Settlement freeze is like racial segregation in U.S.
    By Karni Eldad
    Tags: Israel news
    Once upon a time there was a black woman; her name was Rosa Parks. There were racially discriminating laws in the United States, but she continued to sit on the bus even when she was told to vacate her seat for a white person. She was arrested, which set off a process whose end saw the abolishment of racial segregation on American buses. How is it possible that one little black woman, a dressmaker by profession, could change history simply because she remained sitting? Her protest was stronger than any demonstration, op-ed piece or Knesset vote. She opted for the natural choice; that is why she was triumphant.
    People get married and have children. The children need space. The children grow up and get married. The children need a house. That is known as life. No one has ever managed to stop it. But every time another evil person arises who plans to destroy us, he does not succeed. And he does not succeed in destroying life itself.
    We have enemies who are big and strong. But the defense minister and prime minister are apparently too small to contend with them, so they contend with us instead. That is how we were defined as the enemy. My family and friends were outlawed. Why? Because we are building in the Land of Israel. After all the permits and approvals, in recognized and orderly settlements in which a third generation has already been raised, we woke up one morning to the humming of drones in the sky, taking pictures of us and the situation on the ground. It is forbidden to build. Not even a storeroom. Not a kennel. In certain places, it is even forbidden to add an air conditioner.
    The security forces have plans to cut off the area and act with paralyzing force; to achieve the element of surprise. They have a bank of targets that must be evacuated, and they screen mobile telephones to prevent us from calling up reinforcements against the demolition. This is humiliating, insulting and outrageous.
    The freeze is an edict that the public cannot tolerate. It is not democratic, nor is it humane. It hits hard at the pockets of law-abiding citizens and embitters their lives. But at its foundation, either intentionally or by accident, is pure and basic apartheid - it is forbidden for Jews to live in certain places. It is forbidden to build. It is forbidden to develop. And it doesn't matter what the reasons are.
    What makes me most furious is that there was no normal decision-making process for approving the move in the cabinet and Knesset. It was a wicked act done stealthily. On Wednesday night, the inner cabinet met, and the minutes are classified, of course. On Thursday there were already drones in the sky taking pictures of us. Suddenly there are no individual rights or civil rights because the law is above everything. This is a move that contravenes the substance of democracy, because democracy is the government of the people. And here rights are being trampled on.
    And if we are talking about democracy, how is it possible that the system of government in Israel always lets down the right? It happens to us time and time again. We elected a clearly right-wing leader and we got uprooting, evictions, freezes and delegitimation. What are we supposed to do to make our voices heard? The Knesset elections, after all, don't change a thing. Should we demonstrate? We've already had demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people that have had no effect whatsoever. What is left for us to do? How can we stop what is clearly going to happen? How can we influence the reality?
    Despite the fury and the insult, let's not turn to violence. There is a simple, natural solution that is full of life - continuing to build. That will perhaps embarrass the prime minister in front of U.S. President Barack Obama, but that's precisely the point. A person with a manual cement mixer in Samaria can change history. Sometimes the man in the field can be a lot stronger than the great leaders. Just like Rosa Parks.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Laker... Stirring up some Sh%t again.... hehe. Your my number 1 source for middle east news! hehe...
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    phobicsquirrel:
    Laker... Stirring up some Sh%t again.... hehe. Your my number 1 source for middle east news! hehe...
    Actually, I just thought I would post one from the other side of the arguement, for balance purposes.
    Here are two links to the sources I use most of the time. One is pro Israeli and the other would be considered pro Palestinian. I wish everyone here at the forums would make these a part of their daily reading. It is NEWS, not just me trying to stir the pot. Not that I don't enjoy doing that from time to time.
    http://www.haaretz.com/

    http://english.aljazeera.net/
  • HaysHays Costa del Sol, SpainPosts: 2,338 ✭✭✭
    Hey Laker

    I'm not intending to bash you or your views in any way, but what's with the numerous political posts lately? I know this is the Non-Cigar Related section, but I do believe it's generally intended to be lighthearted. Not that I'm against intelligent debate - certainly not, and quite enjoy it - but I think it's been shown more than once on these boards how quickly political threads can go downhill. Just food for thought.

    Oh, and while I would love to read your posts in any case, it does make it a little overbearing being in large block paragraph format - maybe some self-formatting to break it down into smaller chunks for easier reading? But then again, maybe it's just my own personal preference to read online articles in smaller paragraphs.
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • Cooper33Cooper33 Posts: 168
    I don't want this to seem like a flame, because it isn't, however, it is quite easy to judge the situation from the safety of North America. I consider myself a patriot, but our patriotism is nothing compared to the average Israeli's. In my opinion, it is without a doubt the most patriotic country in existence..and with good reason. They are surrounded by people that want nothing less than their destruction. In a hostile situation they've thrived, building up land that was generally desert and worthless into a thriving industrial/agricultural region.

    I can't really relate to the situation that is going on in the middle east, so feel that I make a poor judge in general. However, in an attempt to explain in terms I do understand:

    I am single, no kids, and a democrat. Hell, I'd say I border on socialist to some degree. In north Louisiana most of my friends constantly deride me for my liberal attitude. So let's say a convicted pedophile moves into my neighborhood. No big skin off my back, he has every legal right to build/live on land he owns. While I probably wouldn't go out of my way to illicit any type of friendship, I would accept it. But assuming I have little kids..I think my perspective, rationality, and behavior concerning the experience would all most likely change. This is the best analogy I can come up with to describe the situation between Israelis and Arabs. Except in this instance the pedophile doesn't want to just touch your kid, he then wants to kill your family.

    Now I hate the entire argument above because it seems flippant, and stereotypical. I do not belive most Arabs want the total destruction of Israel. I do think that most just want to live in peace, and Palestinians desire the same things that Israel desired over 40 years ago. But again, I believe their has been enough history to support Israel's lack of trust and faith that I can understand a lot of their perceived injustices. I don't have to support them, but I do understand myself enough to know that if I was in their situation I probably wouldn't behave much differently to protect what I love.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    Very well put Coop
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Hays:
    Hey Laker

    I'm not intending to bash you or your views in any way, but what's with the numerous political posts lately? I know this is the Non-Cigar Related section, but I do believe it's generally intended to be lighthearted. Not that I'm against intelligent debate - certainly not, and quite enjoy it - but I think it's been shown more than once on these boards how quickly political threads can go downhill. Just food for thought.

    What you see as a POLITICAL article, I see as a HUMAN INTEREST article. I know they can be confused, particularly in situations like this, but I assure you as I have said before my interest is in people and not politicians or politics. Oh, and while I would love to read your posts in any case, it does make it a little overbearing being in large block paragraph format - maybe some self-formatting to break it down into smaller chunks for easier reading? But then again, maybe it's just my own personal preference to read online articles in smaller paragraphs.
    LOL, actually, these articles have been formatted by myself so they look exactly as they appear in the original articles. I don't know what I can do except for adding an extra break between the paragraphs if that would help. I'll give that a go and see if it cleans it up a bit.
    AGAIN I just want to state clearly that my interests are of a humanity nature, and while I do rail against the Israeli government sometimes, they ARE the ones in control in the area and it is their actions which have the largest impact on the lives of both Paletinians and Israeli's alike. IMO
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Cooper33:
    I don't want this to seem like a flame, because it isn't, however, it is quite easy to judge the situation from the safety of North America. I consider myself a patriot, but our patriotism is nothing compared to the average Israeli's. In my opinion, it is without a doubt the most patriotic country in existence..and with good reason. They are surrounded by people that want nothing less than their destruction. In a hostile situation they've thrived, building up land that was generally desert and worthless into a thriving industrial/agricultural region.

    Is this comment in regard to today's posting? Today I was posting something from a frustrated Israeli, I am a little confused.

    I can't really relate to the situation that is going on in the middle east, so feel that I make a poor judge in general. However, in an attempt to explain in terms I do understand:

    I am single, no kids, and a democrat. Hell, I'd say I border on socialist to some degree. In north Louisiana most of my friends constantly deride me for my liberal attitude. So let's say a convicted pedophile moves into my neighborhood. No big skin off my back, he has every legal right to build/live on land he owns. While I probably wouldn't go out of my way to illicit any type of friendship, I would accept it. But assuming I have little kids..I think my perspective, rationality, and behavior concerning the experience would all most likely change. This is the best analogy I can come up with to describe the situation between Israelis and Arabs. Except in this instance the pedophile doesn't want to just touch your kid, he then wants to kill your family.

    I am sorry, but if I were to use this anaolgy to rebutt what you said it would sound totally disrespectful to Israeli people, and I don't want to do that. I would ask however, using your analogy... who is the pedophile?

    Now I hate the entire argument above because it seems flippant, and stereotypical. I do not belive most Arabs want the total destruction of Israel. I do think that most just want to live in peace, and Palestinians desire the same things that Israel desired over 40 years ago. But again, I believe their has been enough history to support Israel's lack of trust and faith that I can understand a lot of their perceived injustices. I don't have to support them, but I do understand myself enough to know that if I was in their situation I probably wouldn't behave much differently to protect what I love.


    This statement causes me to ask what you feel about the Palestinians? DO they NOT have a right to also distrust the Israelis, given the same history you speak of?

    You never addressed the land which has been occupied and expanded on for years and years.

    How about private (for Israelis only) roads which cut thru whole villages cutting off Palestinians from their lands, even in areas which Israel has no claim or interest in?

    There are always two sides to every situation. I have NEVER condoned Palestinians trying to fire missles, or the killing or injuring of Israeli's, nor would I. Why then would I think these same things are OK when done to Palestinians by Jewish settlers or the Israeli government?

    I would definately agree that most Palestinians AND most Israeli's want peace. SO DO I, and a lot of other people in the world as well. Why then is it then that these posts are taken as POLITICAL, or the hatred of the Jewish people? I don't know how much more clearly I can state what my intentions with these posts are.

    There are other conflicts going on in the world, I know this. This conflict has ramifications for world peace or world war, and has been going on for over 40 years. I am a firm believer in doing a job, doing it well and moving on. If we try to concentrate on too many things at one time, they all suffer from the lack of attention. I believe that this is the most important issue to deal with in the world right now, and if/when it is resolved fairly a lot of other issues in the world will sort themselves out fairly quickly. again this is all just my opinion, and I thank you for yours.
  • Cooper33Cooper33 Posts: 168
    Eh sorry Laker, somehow I thought I was posting on the topic that concerned the man who wanted to build a house on land but wasn't being allowed to by the local government. That is sort of why I used my whole analogy about someone moving into the neighborhood. I also noted that it sounded flippant and stereotypical, but for me to really give an honest opinion I have to reference something I could understand that might cause the often irrational behavior that results in that conflict. It is easy to sit back and judge without the forethought of using empathy. I wanted to make sure I did not do that so I created the analogy. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I'll be more careful in the future :)

    As far as peace in the region, it is a noble concept. For the record I don't have an issue with your posts at all.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Cooper33:
    Eh sorry Laker, somehow I thought I was posting on the topic that concerned the man who wanted to build a house on land but wasn't being allowed to by the local government. That is sort of why I used my whole analogy about someone moving into the neighborhood. I also noted that it sounded flippant and stereotypical, but for me to really give an honest opinion I have to reference something I could understand that might cause the often irrational behavior that results in that conflict. It is easy to sit back and judge without the forethought of using empathy. I wanted to make sure I did not do that so I created the analogy. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I'll be more careful in the future :)

    As far as peace in the region, it is a noble concept. For the record I don't have an issue with your posts at all.

    Not a problem Coop. I was concerned with that (confusion) when I started to write these posts and that was why I was separating them from each other until it was requested that I put them under one generic topping.
    I will make sure in the future to indicate that a new article or statement is what I am discussing.

    It will get confusing if people were to refer to old articles once a new one has been put up, but it seems to work itself out in the Puro's Rants thread, so I am hoping the same will happen with this thread.

    You mentioned Empathy in your post. I think that if the people from both sides who are involved in this conflict would show more empathy to the concerns and rights of the other side this conflict could actully end some day. Until then... I keep hoping.

    Please do keep reading this thread, and like I wish from others, please contribute any articles or opinions you have here for discussion. There is no reason for this to be taken personally by anybody, it is NOT intended in that manner.
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    This war has been going on for over 40 years? Try 5000 years.

    We are talking about deeply religious people here, people who choose martyrdom over disobeying god's law. This conflict goes back to the sons of Abraham and God himself (back when God used to talk to people directly). If you remember from your Sunday school lessons:

    God told Abraham he would give him a son and heir. Abe got tired of waiting and had a child with his maid. God told the maid to name the son Ishmael. God came back and said Abe (100) was still going to have a son with his wife (90) and he did, naming him Isaac.

    Then God told Abraham his sons would become kings of great nations, but Ishmael "will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." Ishmael became the patriarch of Islam and Isaac the patriarch of judaism.

    How can there be peace over there, they are scripted by God to war with each other.

    There, I've done it, I've mixed POLITICS and RELIGION in the same CIGAR forum! Beat that!
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    Harpoon, well said. That sums it up in a way everyone can understand. There can be no easy resolution to this conflict.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    bigharpoon:
    This war has been going on for over 40 years? Try 5000 years.

    We are talking about deeply religious people here, people who choose martyrdom over disobeying god's law. This conflict goes back to the sons of Abraham and God himself (back when God used to talk to people directly). If you remember from your Sunday school lessons:

    God told Abraham he would give him a son and heir. Abe got tired of waiting and had a child with his maid. God told the maid to name the son Ishmael. God came back and said Abe (100) was still going to have a son with his wife (90) and he did, naming him Isaac.

    Then God told Abraham his sons would become kings of great nations, but Ishmael "will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." Ishmael became the patriarch of Islam and Isaac the patriarch of judaism.

    How can there be peace over there, they are scripted by God to war with each other.

    There, I've done it, I've mixed POLITICS and RELIGION in the same CIGAR forum! Beat that!
    If only I was a religeous person, that would make me feel so warm and fuzzy, cause all would seem as you said...scripted.

    Didn't the Bible also mention Peace on Earth? And about 10,000 other conflicting statements, like, Love thy neighbour, and an eye for an eye.

    Yup, religion and politics, been causing nothing but conflict for centuries. Wonder if we will ever wake up?
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Today I came across this piece and thought it was such perfect timing considering it is directly related to what I posted yesterday. This makes for some interesting reading regardless of your views or which side you believe to be in the right.

    Here is a link to the original story...http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1138787.html

    Dear settler, please respect Israel's democracy

    By Carlo Strenger

    Tags: Israel news, Carlo Strenger

    At first, I did think you were using a cynical ploy in comparing the settlers to Rosa Parks.

    Dear Karni,
    Reading your op-ed piece I first felt that I must be dreaming. You are using the same words that Israel's liberals are using all the time. We speak of racial discrimination against Palestinians, of attempts to pass fascist laws that want to forbid Arabs to commemorate the Naqba. We feel that Israel's democracy has failed us time and again; because governments since Yitzhak Rabin have promised to move towards peace, and at the same time allowed settlements to expand, making the two-state solution ever more difficult to implement.

    Hence for a liberal, it might be easy to think that you are just using a cynical ploy in comparing the settlers to Rosa Parks, the African American woman who played an important role in sparking the civil rights movement in the U.S. The natural reaction for a liberal is to tell you, "how can you conceivably say that you, the settlers, are being discriminated against? It is you who discriminate; you think that the rights of Palestinians can be trampled without end; that their lands can be taken away, their olive trees uprooted, and that they can be kept endlessly without civil rights! You are not the analogue to Rosa Parks; you are the analogue of the white supremacists who seriously thought that whites have rights that blacks do not have!"

    To tell you the truth, this was my first reaction. I thought, "What a joke! Here a settler seriously trying to play the role of the victim, whereas they have been the victimizers all along! Here one of the settlers who have undermined every democratic decision of Israel's government and citizenry to move towards a two-state solution, complains that she is let down by the democracy that they are pushing to the brink through their colonialist undertaking!"

    I wanted to tell ask: "Can you now understand what Palestinians felt when they were torn from their homes, not of three generations, but often for hundreds of years? Can understand that we Jews, who have been the victims of persecution and who were denied the most basic political rights, must not continue doing the same to another people?"

    But then I realized that you mean what you say. You feel let down by the State of Israel, because for 42 years, the state has kept telling you that you are the outpost of the Zionist project, that you are the halutzim of the present, who settle the land of Israel with Jews. As you say, there are already children who are the third generation of settlers in the West Bank. And now you feel that the same state that encouraged you to build your home and your family in the West Bank no longer allows expanding your home.

    The question is this: How do you and I communicate across the abyss between our world views? This abyss is tearing apart Israeli society and endangering our democracy, because we live in two different languages. You have grown up in a family that speaks in the language of the eternal right of Jews to live in all parts of what you call the greater Land of Israel. I speak in a language based on the idea of universal human rights irrespective of religion, race or ethnicity.

    I believe that Israel will not survive if we do not leave the West Bank; I see no alternative to the two-state solution, because there are two peoples here who have a right to live in dignity. I am deeply convinced that the connection between Messianic dreams and politics is a recipe for disaster, tragedy and bloodshed, and that we all, Jews and Palestinians must speak in a universal language of international law and human rights, if we are ever to live in peace here.

    Two-thirds of Israelis want the two-state solution, because most of Israel's citizens have realized that religion and politics need to be separated to the fullest extent possible. Israel's impossible political system is what requires Benjamin Netanyahu to go through the contortions of playing both sides, even though even he seems to have come to the conclusion that there is no alternative to the two-state solution.

    I have little hope that my words will reach your heart. And yet I wonder: Is the only way to reach peace through another painful process in which you and many others will have to go through the trauma of the settlers of Gush Katif? Is there any way in you can be prevented from feeling that Israel is failing you?

    I am skeptical, because the dream of peace and Israel as a democracy that respects the human rights of all requires you to give up your dream of Jewish sovereignty over the Biblical Land of Judea and Samaria.

    I respect your call to refrain from violence. But I don't think that your proposal to continue building in the settlements is a solution. Hence I can only ask you: please respect that Israel's democracy has come to the point at which we must fulfill the obligation towards the international community, the U.S. and the Palestinians. Maybe it will be easier if you realize that this is also an obligation we have to create a future without bloodshed for generations of Israelis to come.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,803 ✭✭✭
    Laker....how dare you, we have been sent people like Sarah Palin to wake us up to the lord and politics--- a good looking, intelligent woman, who is well informed and well spoken-----what more could we ask for? LOL
  • laker1963:
    bigharpoon:
    This war has been going on for over 40 years? Try 5000 years.

    We are talking about deeply religious people here, people who choose martyrdom over disobeying god's law. This conflict goes back to the sons of Abraham and God himself (back when God used to talk to people directly). If you remember from your Sunday school lessons:

    God told Abraham he would give him a son and heir. Abe got tired of waiting and had a child with his maid. God told the maid to name the son Ishmael. God came back and said Abe (100) was still going to have a son with his wife (90) and he did, naming him Isaac.

    Then God told Abraham his sons would become kings of great nations, but Ishmael "will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." Ishmael became the patriarch of Islam and Isaac the patriarch of judaism.

    How can there be peace over there, they are scripted by God to war with each other.

    There, I've done it, I've mixed POLITICS and RELIGION in the same CIGAR forum! Beat that!
    If only I was a religeous person, that would make me feel so warm and fuzzy, cause all would seem as you said...scripted.

    Didn't the Bible also mention Peace on Earth? And about 10,000 other conflicting statements, like, Love thy neighbour, and an eye for an eye.

    Yup, religion and politics, been causing nothing but conflict for centuries. Wonder if we will ever wake up?
    religion or no religion, faith or no faith, God or no God. These people hate those people, and have been not getting along for 5000 years, Why now because the world ralliies interest, does any one think we will end it, becuase those people took land in a war 40 years from these people. If these people could have their land back then they will quite hating those people? Sound to me that these people have just found a ralling cry to get more people aganst those people.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    mustluvcigars:
    laker1963:
    bigharpoon:
    This war has been going on for over 40 years? Try 5000 years.

    We are talking about deeply religious people here, people who choose martyrdom over disobeying god's law. This conflict goes back to the sons of Abraham and God himself (back when God used to talk to people directly). If you remember from your Sunday school lessons:

    God told Abraham he would give him a son and heir. Abe got tired of waiting and had a child with his maid. God told the maid to name the son Ishmael. God came back and said Abe (100) was still going to have a son with his wife (90) and he did, naming him Isaac.

    Then God told Abraham his sons would become kings of great nations, but Ishmael "will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." Ishmael became the patriarch of Islam and Isaac the patriarch of judaism.

    How can there be peace over there, they are scripted by God to war with each other.

    There, I've done it, I've mixed POLITICS and RELIGION in the same CIGAR forum! Beat that!
    If only I was a religeous person, that would make me feel so warm and fuzzy, cause all would seem as you said...scripted.

    Didn't the Bible also mention Peace on Earth? And about 10,000 other conflicting statements, like, Love thy neighbour, and an eye for an eye.

    Yup, religion and politics, been causing nothing but conflict for centuries. Wonder if we will ever wake up?
    religion or no religion, faith or no faith, God or no God. These people hate those people, and have been not getting along for 5000 years, Why now because the world ralliies interest, does any one think we will end it, becuase those people took land in a war 40 years from these people. If these people could have their land back then they will quite hating those people? Sound to me that these people have just found a ralling cry to get more people aganst those people.

    I am not sure what you are getting at here, other than, they hate each other, always have, always will, so just let them go at it forever?
    My question to you then would be... should the US pay for this conflict to continue infinatley?
    If these people will fight just because they hate each other and have always done so, is the US choosing to aid one side in all matters over the other side, having an effect on the safety and security of US citizen's within the US from these Islamic Terrorists?
    Seems like a VERY HIGH cost to ask US citizens to bare, if like you say they will always hate each other and the fighting will continue dispite efforts from outside sources to bring it all to an end.
  • Yeah, not the most coherent thought there.lol. Guess I was trying to say its not fair to be dismissive of religion. I guess we all find out in the end what the ultimate truth is. Dont really care to debate religion or faith, but the Bible does offer an explanation of why things are the way they are, and to an extent an accurate historical record. Now whether is Bible as we know it is the end all be all or not, things are the way they are, and the situation has existed in that region for quite a bit longer than 40 years. So basically my point there is that this situation is not new or caused by anything that has happened in the last 40 years, and really dont see it as they hate each other. I believe one side hates the other, and the other just wants to exist. and after 5000 years the WORLD (U.N) has decided to give them their home (promised land in thier view) and soveriegnty(sp).
    To answer the question: I dont see that the U.S. is open endingly backing and/or supporting Isreal, they sure didnt for the first 20 something years, and Isreal recieved no military support or arms from the U.S. till after the Six Day War, their equipment at the time was French. and dont think that US troops have been on the ground in Isreal to fight any wars for them.
    on the other hand, We have for some of Isreal enemies. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait! We defended and protected the Saudis, liberated Kuwait and eventualy destroyed their opposer. and now remain there in hopes of restoring some stability. These terrorist(fundies, fascist whatever you wanna call em) are against the Western way of life. We could turn our back on Isreal, They will still hate us. They will still attack us. Isreal is an excuse, not a reason or a justification.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    mustluvcigars:
    Yeah, not the most coherent thought there.lol. Guess I was trying to say its not fair to be dismissive of religion. I guess we all find out in the end what the ultimate truth is. Dont really care to debate religion or faith, but the Bible does offer an explanation of why things are the way they are, and to an extent an accurate historical record. Now whether is Bible as we know it is the end all be all or not, things are the way they are, and the situation has existed in that region for quite a bit longer than 40 years. So basically my point there is that this situation is not new or caused by anything that has happened in the last 40 years, and really dont see it as they hate each other. I believe one side hates the other, and the other just wants to exist. and after 5000 years the WORLD (U.N) has decided to give them their home (promised land in thier view) and soveriegnty(sp).
    To answer the question: I dont see that the U.S. is open endingly backing and/or supporting Isreal, they sure didnt for the first 20 something years, and Isreal recieved no military support or arms from the U.S. till after the Six Day War, their equipment at the time was French. and dont think that US troops have been on the ground in Isreal to fight any wars for them.
    on the other hand, We have for some of Isreal enemies. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait! We defended and protected the Saudis, liberated Kuwait and eventualy destroyed their opposer. and now remain there in hopes of restoring some stability. These terrorist(fundies, fascist whatever you wanna call em) are against the Western way of life. We could turn our back on Isreal, They will still hate us. They will still attack us. Isreal is an excuse, not a reason or a justification.
    Well I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one.
    I feel that it is only the support of the US which makes the Israelis as arrogant and chest thumping as they are. Take away that support (financial / Miltary arms etc.) and the whole dynamic changes.
    This support is in my view THE reason for the hatred of US citizens by the Arab (some) world. I don't believe anyone HATES anyone without reason, just doesn't add up in a part of the world which is full of reasons.

    Happy New Year bro'.
  • Happy New Year to you too!!!

    Its great that we can disagree without have to threaten each others existance. and that we can have a civil discussion about it.

  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    mustluvcigars:
    Happy New Year to you too!!!

    Its great that we can disagree without have to threaten each others existance. and that we can have a civil discussion about it.

    Yeah, discussion works better. At least until you have your troops into position... have you looked out your backyard window this morning? LMAO
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Last update - 11:53 01/01/2010
    Construction in West Bank settlements booming despite declared freeze
    By Akiva Eldar
    Tags: George Mitchell, settlements

    Despite the construction freeze, dozens of settlements in the West Bank are experiencing a building boom, even on the eve of another visit to the region by U.S. envoy George Mitchell to try to restart talks for a final settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    Construction is being carried out mostly to the east of the separation fence; it began shortly after warrants were issued on November 26 freezing construction.

    Haaretz toured the area on Wednesday and witnessed work being carried out in the Barkan and Ariel industrial zones, as well as the construction of housing at Ariel, Elkana North, Peduel and Kfar Tapuah. A sign at Kfar Tapuah announced plans for the construction of 65 new housing units. Israel patrols were evident, but not inspectors of the Civil Administration enforcing the construction ban.

    In all the sites mentioned there is evidence of heavy equipment preparing the ground for construction or for the creation of suitable infrastructure.

    According to data collected by Dror Etkes of Yesh Din, and by Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, construction is being carried out in more than 50 settlements and in two other industrial zones - Mevo Huron and Gush Etzion.

    On December 7 a tender was published for the sale of a large plot for the construction of a commercial structure at the Gush Etzion junction.

    Etkes also recorded the takeover of Palestinian farmland by settlers near the settlements of Bracha, Kochav Hashachar, Kfar Tapuah, Itamar, Elon Moreh, Susya and the outpost of Ivei Hanahal.

    In a dozen settlements there was evidence of construction that had stopped, possibly because of the warrants on freezing building, or because the settlers had rushed to create facts on the ground before the order went into effect and stopped temporarily.

    The Civil Administration has made it clear that "warrants for the suspension of construction" are relevant only for buildings for which the foundations were not laid on the day a warrant was issued.

    Around 3,000 housing units, whose foundations had been poured at the time the order went into effect, have not been affected by the temporary freeze in construction. These are in addition to 492 housing units already approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    According to Etkes and Ofran, the building boom began while the United States was demanding a construction freeze in the settlements. The local authorities issued a great number of new construction permits, mostly to isolated and relatively small settlements, but also in the larger settlements.

    Contractors and settler leaders expect that some of the sites where construction was frozen, such as Beit Aryeh, will eventually be granted permits to build. A committee evaluating the demands that the ban be lifted in certain areas is set to consider the possibility, but it is still unclear if the meetings will be open to the public or if the criteria guiding the proceedings will be announced.

    According to the Civil Administration, officials are busy enforcing the warrants for a construction freeze, both in settlements and in industrial zones. In areas where violations have been noted, appropriate measures have been taken in the form of investigations.

    It was made clear that in cases where warrants ordering the cessation of construction are violated, further enforcement will be undertaken.

    The regulations state that after such a stoppage warrant is issued, a hearing is held; only then will an order to raze the structure may be issued.

    Ofran said yesterday that the real test of the ban on construction will be if the large contractors who violate the warrants are indicted and fined.

    Meanwhile, according to data collected by Peace Now, construction authorized in the territories within the framework of the government-ordered freeze exceeds that which has been permitted in Israel. A total of 1,167 housing units have been permitted in the settlements per 100,000 citizens, while in Israel only 836 housing units have been built per that number of citizens.

    For example, during the period of the construction hiatus, in Ma'aleh Adumim 476 housing units will be built, compared to cities of similar size inside Israel such as Rosh Ha'ayin, 149 units, Kiryat Bialik, 160 units, Dimona 59 units, and Or Yehuda, 12 units.

    During the same period in Ariel, 146 units are scheduled for construction, compared to 21 in Beit She'an, 51 in Kiryat Tivon, and 32 in Sderot.

    In most of the work sites, the construction is carried out by Palestinians. Kfar Tapuah is one of the few places in the territories where the settlers insist on Jewish workers.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Israel rejects bill allocating equal land to Jews and Arabs
    By Jonathan Liss
    Tags: Israel news, Ahmad Tibi

    The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday rejected a bill proposed by MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al) proposing that the state enforce equal allocation of land to Jews and Arabs.

    "Yet again, the Israeli government has proven that it is avoiding the principle of civil equality," Tibi said in response to the ruling. "The same government which approved the selection bill of [Jewish] MKs David Rotem and Israel Hasson, ignores Arabs' rights, and hasn't approved the building of a new Arab village since 1948. The government failed at the challenge I placed before it, and that saddens me."

    The bill's authors stressed the importance of it in an explanation to the committee.

    "Since the foundation of the state, the Israel Lands Administration is solely used as Jewish land administration. The director of the Israel Lands Administration has used all the tactics, with the help of the Jewish Agency, to allocate state land only to Jews. Despite the bitter attempt over the decades, not even one Arab town has been established since the state's foundation. Therefore a bill must be passed which stipulates that the Israel Lands Administration will serve all the state's citizens without discrimination on religion or nationality, and will promise an equal allocation of land to better the Arab population of Israel."

    Tibi's proposal was intended to counter a bill passed two weeks ago which states that reception committees of Israeli communities can decide who will reside in their towns. One consequence of that bill is that Israeli Arabs would not be able to live in those towns if the reception committees decide so.

  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,803 ✭✭✭
    surprise, surprise
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Israeli settlements 'witness boom'

    Under US pressure, Israel pledged to halt settlement growth for 10 months in certain areas [AFP]

    Despite the suspension of settlement growth announced by the Israel government in November, dozens of illegal settlements in the West Bank are experiencing a building boom, an Israeli newspaper reports.

    The revelation by Haaretz comes on the eve of another visit to the region by George Mitchell, President Barack Obama's special envoy, to try to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    The 10-month "moratorium on construction" in the West Bank, declared by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, under pressure from the US, excludes public buildings and building on 3,000 settlement homes already under way.

    Construction is being carried out mostly to the east of the West Bank separation barrier, and it began shortly after warrants were issued on November 26, suspending construction.

    Haaretz's correspondents touring the area on Wednesday witnessed work being carried out in two industrial zones, as well as housing construction in Ariel and three other settlements.

    A sign at one of the settlements announced plans for the construction of 65 new housing units, the report said.

    No inspectors present

    Israeli patrols were evident, but inspectors of the Civil Administration department in charge of enforcing the construction ban were conspicuous by their absence.

    Civil Administration has made it clear that "warrants for the suspension of construction" are relevant only for buildings for which the foundations were not laid on the day a warrant was issued.

    in depth

    Israel vows action against settlers Video: Israel's settlement subsidy policy Riz Khan: The Middle East peace process Video: Israelis protest settlement freeze Blogs: Mitchell has a point Settlements strain US-Israel ties Video: Palestinian anger over settlements Video: US opposed to Israeli settlements Video: Living in fear of eviction Q&A: Jewish settlements

    In all the sites, Haaretz reporters found evidence of heavy equipment preparing the ground for construction or for the creation of suitable infrastructure.

    In most of the work sites, the construction is being carried out by Palestinian labourers.

    Yesh Din and Peace Now, two Israeli non-governmental organisations (NGOs), have found that construction is being carried out in more than 50 settlements and in two other industrial zones.

    The building boom ironically kicked off while the US was demanding a "construction freeze" in the settlements, the two groups say.

    The local authorities issued a great number of new construction permits, mostly to isolated and relatively small settlements, but also in the larger settlements.

    On December 7 a tender was published for the sale of a large plot for the construction of a commercial structure.

    One of the NGOs also recorded the takeover of Palestinian farmland by settlers near several settlements.

    In a dozen settlements, there was evidence of construction having been stopped, possibly because of the warrants on freezing building, or because the settlers had rushed to create facts on the ground before the order went into effect and stopped temporarily, Haartez said.

    Around 3,000 housing units, whose foundations had been laid at the time the order went into effect, have not been affected by the temporary suspension in settlement growth.

    These are in addition to 492 housing units already approved by Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister.

    East Jerusalem housing

    In December, in move that elicited strong Palestinian and US criticism, the Israel housing ministry approved plans to build almost 700 new apartments in three illegal settlements in East Jerusalem.

    And in November, Israel gave its approval for 900 new housing units in another settlement in the same area.

    Palestinians have refused to reopen peace talks, which broke down a year ago, until Netanyahu halts all settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of any future state and consider Jewish neighbourhoods there to be settlements.

    East Jerusalem was annexed after the 1967 Middle East war, a move not recognised by the international community.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Last update - 03:00 05/01/2010
    Italy-based group accuses Israel of poisoning Gaza land
    By Cnaan Liphshiz
    Tags: Gaza, Italy, Israel news


    The Italian New Weapons Committee accuses Israel of contaminating Gaza land through bombing, and the president of the European Jewish Congress termed the claims "unfounded blood libels reminiscent of tales of Jews poisoning wells."

    The Italy-based group of researchers studied Israel's use of ammunition and said the population of the Gaza Strip is "in danger." It based the claim on soil analysis of four bomb craters. "It is essential to intervene at once to limit the effects of the contamination on people, animals and cultivation," the researchers stated. Their findings grabbed headlines in Italian, European and Middle Eastern publications, including Terra, Ambito, the Turkish Weekly and Tehran Times.

    "This so-called research is eerily reminiscent of ancient blood libels against the Jewish people, when rumors were spread about Jews poisoning wells," said Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress. "Today we are seeing a recurrence of all the worst excesses of anti-Semitism and diatribes that we perhaps naively thought had remained in the Dark Ages." Advertisement

    Paola Manduca, the committee's spokesperson, declined to comment when contacted by Haaretz. "Our study indicates an anomalous presence of toxic elements in the soil," she stated. This included metals that "can cause tumors and problems with fertility, and they can have serious effects on newborns, like deformities and genetic pathologies."

    The researchers hailed from the universities of Rome and Genoa and elsewhere and listed the dangerous metals: tungsten, mercury, molybdenum, cadmium and cobalt.

    Professor Gerald Steinberg, founder of the Jerusalem-based, non-governmental Monitor organization, said the study did not present enough evidence to support its claim. A lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, he said the committee's "accusations are designed to stigmatize Israel and erase the context of mass terror." He said he considers the accusations "a modern form of blood libel," which quotes "many NGO reports that are a mix of false or unverifiable claims." In September, the New Weapons Committee accused Israel of experimenting with new non-conventional weapons on the civilian population in Gaza. Fabio De Ponte from the committee's press office said the group's work "is strictly scientific and its seriousness should be self-evident from the publication itself."
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