Questions for Palestinians, Israelis, others in Middle East?

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The_Face_of_Boo
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23 May 2021, 6:23 am

Jiheisho wrote:
It is not just 1948. Palestine was a part of Syria before the Europeans carved it up. And before then, part of the Ottoman Empire.


Being part of former empires don't make them less natives.


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Mona Pereth
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23 May 2021, 8:11 am

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
Being part of former empires don't make them less natives.

Indeed it doesn't make them less natives. But it might affect what kind of strategy is best for protecting their interests. More about this later.


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Jiheisho
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23 May 2021, 10:17 am

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
Jiheisho wrote:
It is not just 1948. Palestine was a part of Syria before the Europeans carved it up. And before then, part of the Ottoman Empire.


Being part of former empires don't make them less natives.


No, it does not. But it shows the complexity of a place's history and the identity of that place. And that goes for all groups in this conflict, including the European actions in this issue.



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23 May 2021, 11:46 am

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Israel is the last form of White-European colonialism; countries such as USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia .... are all formed in this same manner (mass immigration-> settlements -> killing and displacing natives). The only difference that those countries made finally peace with the natives and integrated (somehow) into their newly founded nations, it may take few more decades before that happens.


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The_Face_of_Boo
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23 May 2021, 12:00 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
The modern state of Israel has existed for approximately 73 years now. (2021 minus 1948 equals 73.) However one feels about the state of Israel, it does not seem to me that it will be going away any time soon.

That being the case, how can peace be achieved on terms acceptable to both sides?

It seems to me that an important key to peace might be to focus less on land claims and more on finding ways to radically improve living conditions for the Palestinian people, not only in Palestine but also in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, where many Palestinians still live in refugee camps. (See What Are Palestinian Refugee Camp Conditions Like? - Anera.)

Does this idea make sense?

73 years is an awfully long time for someone to be living in a refugee camp! Many Palestinians have spent their entire lives in refugee camps. No wonder they hate Israel and want it gone!

However, not all displaced people cling to the hope of getting their land back. For example, after World War II, huge numbers of Germans who lived in what is now Poland -- and whose ancestors had lived there for centuries -- were deported into a now-much-smaller Germany. But, as far as I can tell at least, most Germans don't obsess about getting that land back from Poland.

The key difference, it seems to me, might be that Germany is now a thriving nation, and has been for decades -- thanks, at least in part, to generous Marshall Plan aid after World War II.

So perhaps the key to peace in the region might be the equivalent of a Marshall Plan for Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria?

The U.S. already gives various kinds of aid to Lebanon and Jordan. But perhaps not enough aid, or perhaps not the right kind of aid?

One basic and critical issue is water. As of this past fall at least, one problem seems to be that the Lebanese government can't get its act together to build a water desalination plant. (See Water as a Building Block for Peace in Lebanon and Beyond by Gabrielle Guerra, Geopolitical Monitor, September 1, 2020.) Perhaps either the US or some international organization could help here? On the other hand, it appears that the U.S. has recently helped to restore a war-damaged water desalination plant in Syria, despite lack of official diplomatic ties to Syria. (See USAID Restores Sustainable Water Access to Communities in Northeast Syria - Sunday, March 14, 2021.)

Seems to me there might be other kinds of infrastructure that could be built in Lebanon, Jordan, and/or Syria that might help their economies get off the ground?

Perhaps such aid should be given on the condition that the Palestinian refugees who have been living in Lebanon, Jordan, and/or Syria be allowed to benefit from the aid and be given full citizenship (or, at least, a reasonable path to full citizenship) in the countries where they have been living for lo these many years? Currently their rights in these countries are limited. (For example, according to the Anera article I linked to earlier, the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon "lack many important rights. They cannot work in as many as 25 professions. As a result, there are more Palestinian refugees living in poverty in Lebanon than in any of the other areas where UNRWA works.")

One hypothetical compromise that has been talked about now and then, over the years, is the idea of the Israeli government giving Palestinian refugees monetary compensation for the loss of their land, in exchange for the Palestinians dropping all attempts to get their land back. This seems to me like it might be a basically good idea, but it has never gotten off the ground, apparently because the amount of money offered by the Israelis has never been anywhere near enough to satisfy the Palestinians, and because of various other issues. (Just today I looked at Compensation for Palestinian Refugees: Law, Politics and Praxis by Rex Brynen, Israel Law Review, Volume 51, Issue 1, March 2018, pp. 29 - 46.)

But I wonder if it might be easier to work out a compensation deal if it were to be part of a larger international agreement involving a sustained effort, by the U.S.A. and/or by some international organization, to build the economies of the countries that host Palestinian refugees, in addition to Israel giving compensation to individual refugees.

The above are just my thoughts as an ignorant American who has never visited the Middle East. So I would be very interested in any comments, from all sides, by people who do live in the Middle East.



One practical solution would be a secular non-Jewish nation, non-Jewish in the sense to be fully secular, like the France for example, which is not a "nation for Christians"; and both Jews and Palestinians to be full citizens with equal rights. I know that Israelis claim that their current regime is secular but we all know that's bullocks, that would require the change of their flag and their anthem too. Otherwise one side will have to exterminate the other.

For the refugees scattered around, the hosting countries should give them citizenships....except in Lebanon because the local Christians would never accept them ; maybe the ones in Lebanon will have to be returned to the new founded nation.

But for that to happen, world's countries will have to force them with sanctions; Israel's majority (according to election results) are Right Wings; they won't accept it easily.


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The_Face_of_Boo
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23 May 2021, 12:29 pm

https://scontent.fbey5-1.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=60CFBAFE


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23 May 2021, 12:31 pm

The best solution is still the “two-state” solution. Israel should remain a “Jewish state” but must give absolute equal rights to non-Jews.

Jerusalem should be jointly administered by both “states.”



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23 May 2021, 4:09 pm

^will the stronger side accept a 50-50 split?

A cramped land is not a livable country.


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23 May 2021, 4:33 pm

As an outside observer, it seems like most Israelis view the West Bank as their territory. They seem somewhat indifferent to the smaller, more built-up Gaza strip, but clearly see everything west of the Jordan River as theirs.

Palestinians, generally speaking, see ALL of Israel as occupied Palestine. (Perhaps not the Golan Heights, formerly Syrian.) It's not just the GS or the WB, but all of it.

Hate to say it, best bet would be for Egypt to annex Gaza, offering the people there full citizenship. Jordan would then annex the West Bank and make the Palestinians Jordanian citizens. The remainder of Israel would then be its current recognized borders. All sides would have to agree.

Not sure Egypt and Jordan want those territories, or if Palestinians want to be Egyptian and Jordanian, but it's the only way I see some stability. Don't think 2-state solution will work. Too many Jews in the West Bank, too many Palestinians (both Muslim and Christian) in Israel proper, some with Israeli citizenship.



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23 May 2021, 5:36 pm

salad wrote:
No self respecting Palestinian would ever acquiesce to a deal that allows a foreign power like Israel to rule over us and subject us to their discriminatory laws and draconian apartheid system and especially to inject their settlers on our land.

The settlers are the scum of the earth. They regularly harass native Palestinians, burn our olive trees, start fights with us, and they act like they're invincible because the Israeli army protects them. If Israel wants to build settlements then prepare for more war.

Yikes!! ! Burning your olive trees???!?!?! This is horrible!! !

This is not something I've ever heard of before. Googling, I found the following Reuters story: West Bank Palestinians' olive trees burn as U.N. urges protection for harvest by Ali Sawafta, Rami Ayyub, October 29, 2020. I also found this Time magazine story: Olive Groves in the West Bank Have Become a Battleground. That's Why Volunteers Come From Around the World to Help at Harvest Time by Noor Ibrahim, Nov 1, 2019.

These were the only mass media stories I found in the first page of Google search results for the string "israeli settlers burn olive trees." I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of Americans, and the vast majority of people in other English-speaking countries too, have never heard of this particular issue at all.

Now that you've mentioned it and I've looked into it, I can understand better why Palestinians feel that it is so important to keep Israeli settlers away from the olive groves, at least. Previously, I had envisioned a situation more like rival urban street gangs fighting over turf, or like New York civic associations objecting to new construction in their neighborhoods and thereby creating a housing crisis.

One interesting (and IMO very important, for a reason I'll explain later) thing in the Time news story is a link to the website of a volunteer organization called To Be There, which offers guided tours of the holy land. Its website's page about the olive harvest says:

Quote:
"One of the most important roles you play during your visit as that of a witness. From experience, we have observed that Israeli settlers and soldiers behave differently in the presence of ‘internationals’ which contributes to a greater sense of safety felt by Palestinians. They feel more assured in the knowledge that they, and their plight under occupation, are not being ignored – that they are not invisible.

The ability of international tourists to help protect Palestinian rights is consistent with my own feelings about the value of extreme cosmopolitanism. More about this in subsequent posts below.

On the other hand, however:

salad wrote:
Do people forget that the land of Palestine is no less holy to Muslims than it is to Jews?

I understand that Israel/Palestine contains sites that are holy to Muslims and sites that are holy to Christians, and I understand the vital importance of protecting these holy sites.

But I don't understand how you can say that the land is as holy to Muslims and Christians as it is to Jews. Jerusalem is the most holy city for Jews, whereas, for Muslims, Jerusalem is only the third holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. Jews traditionally pray facing Jerusalem, whereas Muslims traditionally pray facing Mecca, and, in the more traditional branches of Christianity, church congregations pray facing east, not any particular city.

Most importantly, for Muslims and Christians, there is no traditional religious obligation to live in the holy land if possible. That's fortunate, because there would be no way to jam-pack all the world's billions of Christians and Muslims into that tiny land. Jews, on the other hand, have always had this as a traditional religious aspiration, at least in the eventual future if not as a practical possibility within their own lifetimes. For centuries if not millennia, the Jewish seder has ended with "Next year in Jerusalem!"

Therefore it seems to me that Zionism is something that was inevitably destined to happen sooner or later no matter what. The Holocaust didn't cause it, but only made it happen in a much faster, more disruptive, and generally nastier fashion than it would have happened otherwise. Even the longstanding persecution of Jews in Europe is by no means the sole or main cause, although it (along with the rise of nationalism in Europe) was the immediate impetus for the origin of Zionism in the late 1800's.

In my opinion, the invention of passenger airplanes, enabling much easier overseas travel than at any time before in history, would have been a sufficient trigger to enable the beginnings of Zionism in the 1950's or so if it hadn't started happening earlier. And it would still have had the blessing of the most powerful religious subculture here in the U.S.A., evangelical Christians.

(I should mention that I personally am not religious, but I come from an evangelical Christian background and I am familiar with how evangelical Christians think.)

salad wrote:
Do people not remember that the earliest Christians in the world are Palestinian Christians, who also take part in the Palestinian struggle?

To whatever extent today's Palestinian Christians are descended from the earliest Christians, they were originally Jewish.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 23 May 2021, 8:49 pm, edited 7 times in total.

Mona Pereth
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23 May 2021, 5:37 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
One practical solution would be a secular non-Jewish nation, non-Jewish in the sense to be fully secular, like the France for example, which is not a "nation for Christians"; and both Jews and Palestinians to be full citizens with equal rights. I know that Israelis claim that their current regime is secular but we all know that's bullocks, that would require the change of their flag and their anthem too.

This sounds to me like a reasonable idea.

In order to work well, it seems to me that the government of a unified Israel/Palestine would need to be ruled by a parliament containing not only representatives of the country's own citizens but also a small percentage of parliamentary seats representing some international Muslim and (traditional) Christian religious bodies, to help ensure that both the holy places and the rights of indigenous Palestinians are protected.

If even a mere tourist can help protect the rights of Palestinians just by being there (see my previous post above), then all the more so could an international religious body, with representation in the parliament of a unified Israel/Palestine, do a far more effective job of protecting the rights of Palestinians. The specific international religious bodies could be chosen by the Palestinians themselves.

Also, it now seems to me, there probably should still be some mostly-rural areas of the country (e.g. the olive groves discussed in my previous post) in which only indigenous Palestinians would be allowed to be permanent residents, as a way of protecting their traditional way of life, for those Palestinians who choose to continue it.

These exclusively Palestinian land areas would be analogous to "Indian reservations" here in the U.S.A., except that hopefully they would contain much better land than "Indian reservations" typically do. The Palestinians should not be confined to these reserved land areas, but should be allowed to live anywhere they want.

I am under the impression that the vast majority of Jews, worldwide, have never lived in a rural area and don't need to live in a rural area. In Europe at least, Jews have always been more urbanized than most people in general, if I'm not mistaken.

Hence I now think a unified Israel/Palestine should probably have an official policy that any and all new housing -- especially for anyone who is not an indigenous Palestinian -- must consist of compact clusters of tall apartment buildings (as tall as the land can safely support, and perhaps the buildings should also be slightly pyramidal for the sake of earthquake-proofing), located in places not near any indigenous Palestinian-owned olive groves or farm land, and also not in places (like east Jerusalem) where a Palestinian presence needs to be maintained to help protect the non-Jewish holy places. Such a policy, too, could help protect the traditional rural Palestinian way of life and limit the danger of crowding out Palestinians in cities as well as well as in rural areas.

(Googling for photos of current Israeli settlements, it appears that some are large apartment complexes, while others appear to be rows of smaller houses.)

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
For the refugees scattered around, the hosting countries should give them citizenships....except in Lebanon because the local Christians would never accept them ; maybe the ones in Lebanon will have to be returned to the new founded nation.

What beef do Lebanese Christians have against Palestinians? Do they have a problem even with Palestinian Christians, or just with Palestinian Muslims? And, in either case, why?

Is it just, or primarily, that the country is so poor that any immigrants at all are seen as an unacceptable drain on scarce resources? If so, would the Palestinian refugee families be more accepted in Lebanon if there were an effective international program to help build a water desalination plant and other needed infrastructure in Lebanon?

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
But for that to happen, world's countries will have to force them with sanctions; Israel's majority (according to election results) are Right Wings; they won't accept it easily.

I think Israeli Jews would accept it more easily if they could somehow be assured of a Jewish majority. It seems to me that the key to peace would be to find a way to ensure a Jewish majority while at the same time ensuring that said Jewish majority doesn't get to mistreat the indigenous Palestinians in any way whatsoever.

Hence the importance (for the sake of Jews, not just Palestinians) of compensatory benefits to Palestinians living in nearby countries outside of Israel/Palestine, as a sort of bribe to coax at least some (though by no means all) Palestinians into leaving the country, thereby ensuring a Jewish majority.

Anyhow, thanks very much for your reply!


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 23 May 2021, 10:06 pm, edited 26 times in total.

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23 May 2021, 6:03 pm

salad wrote:
"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" said Thomas Jefferson.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Also said by Thomas Jefferson.

"Give me liberty or give me death," said by Patrick Henry.

But somehow when Palestinians say the same about an infinitely more oppressive government than the British ever was to the Americans who, mind you, were British themselves, somehow that's hard to grasp and a foreign concept. :scratch: :scratch:

What I personally have a hard time relating to is the whole idea of an ethnically homogeneous state as a means of liberation.

And I especially have a hard time understanding why an autistic person would feel that way. As autistic people, we're a lot like foreigners in any country, it seems to me.

As I've said elsewhere, I live in a neighborhood that is extremely diverse, with immigrants from all over the world, and this is the kind of neighborhood in which I personally feel safest.

What do you think of my post immediately above this one?

salad wrote:
So long as the settlements are allowed peace isn't an option. Settlements are illegal under international law, illegal according to even Israeli Legal Advisor Theodore Meron, and are an affront to all respect and dignity of the Palestinian people. Also the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is illegal under all international law, specifically UN Resolution 242.

Here you're just describing the current legal framework and some associated beliefs and attitudes. I'm trying to understand deeper questions, such as what purposes the current legal framework serves in the first place, why it's necessary, and what kinds of changes to it would or would not be acceptable and why, in order to attain something that both sides can actually abide by. It seems obvious t me that something needs to change, because the current legal framework, in its current form, just isn't working.


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23 May 2021, 6:11 pm

I was aware of the olive trees being burned and cut down.
I know exact how I’d feel if someone came on my land and started to cut down my fruit and nut trees.
First I’d ask them to stop, if they didn’t then I would have no choice but to hit them with a rock or another hard object.


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Mona Pereth
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23 May 2021, 6:59 pm

It doesn't seem to me that a two-state solution is happening any time soon. How many decades has it taken to try to hammer this out already? As far as I can tell, popular support for a two-state solution seems to be waning, with more and more people on both sides wanting the entire country to themselves.

Obviously this is a recipe for endless war, unless someone can somehow come up with a creative new idea that somehow manages to address, adequately, the underlying needs of both sides, even while, perhaps, scrapping much of their current strategies.

Any such idea will likely require a radical re-negotiation of the current legal framework.

One big problem with a two-state solution is that it would cut the already-tiny country into two even tinier countries that would be much harder to defend, militarily, than a single united country.

The idea of giving the Palestinian territories to Jordan and Egypt would be even more unacceptable to Israeli Jews, for the same reason.

On the other hand, in order for the idea of a single unified Israeli/Palestinian state to be acceptable to Palestinians, at least most of the land in what is now the Palestinian territories, plus at least most of East Jerusalem, would still need to be reserved for exclusive use by indigenous Palestinians (similar to an American "Indian reservation") while at the same time allowing Palestinians to live or work elsewhere too if they so chose. It seems to me that the Palestinians would have a much better chance of having their rights to this land respected if they had representation (even minority representation) in the national parliament, plus a few additional parliamentary seats representing international religious organizations, both Muslim and traditional (Orthodox or Catholic) Christian.


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23 May 2021, 10:17 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
As an outside observer, it seems like most Israelis view the West Bank as their territory. They seem somewhat indifferent to the smaller, more built-up Gaza strip, but clearly see everything west of the Jordan River as theirs.

Palestinians, generally speaking, see ALL of Israel as occupied Palestine. (Perhaps not the Golan Heights, formerly Syrian.) It's not just the GS or the WB, but all of it.

Hate to say it, best bet would be for Egypt to annex Gaza, offering the people there full citizenship. Jordan would then annex the West Bank and make the Palestinians Jordanian citizens. The remainder of Israel would then be its current recognized borders. All sides would have to agree.

Not sure Egypt and Jordan want those territories, or if Palestinians want to be Egyptian and Jordanian, but it's the only way I see some stability. Don't think 2-state solution will work. Too many Jews in the West Bank, too many Palestinians (both Muslim and Christian) in Israel proper, some with Israeli citizenship.


You sound like you are not aware of a little something that happened in 1967 called...."The Six Day War".

Prior to the Six Day War the Gaza strip WAS part of Egypt, and the West Bank WAS part of Jordan (and the Golan Heights belonged to Syria).

What youre proposing would be simply "returning to the borders that existed prior to the Six Day War".

Israelies didnt like those borders because they were hard to defend against Israel's Arab neighbors



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24 May 2021, 4:15 am

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What beef do Lebanese Christians have against Palestinians? Do they have a problem even with Palestinian Christians, or just with Palestinian Muslims? And, in either case, why?

Is it just, or primarily, that the country is so poor that any immigrants at all are seen as an unacceptable drain on scarce resources? If so, would the Palestinian refugee families be more accepted in Lebanon if there were an effective international program to help build a water desalination plant and other needed infrastructure in Lebanon?



Past bloodsheds. The PLO literally occupied Lebanon for years ,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLO_in_Lebanon and the local Christians felt harassed the most by them.

http://www.liberty05.com/civilwar/civil.html


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