Showing posts with label settlements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label settlements. Show all posts

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Tens of thousands of people murdered, raped and displaced all over the world - overshadowed by new apartment building in Israel...

...Western governments, including Obama administration officials had no comment on the continuing violence in dozens of nations throughout the world but were quick to condemn the new building.

United States Vice President Joe Biden stated emphatically that the new building was "an impediment to world peace," adding later that "if only the Israelis would stop building schools, roads, farms and electric grids the smoke monster would be imprisoned forever on the Lost island and we would finally get an answer as to why Walt was so important to the Others. Also, settlements are an impediment to world peace, did I mention that yet?"

Experts calculated that in the time it took Biden to make that statement an additional 139 Darfurians had their houses burned down by pro-Sudanese government militias, 54 Congolese people starved to death due to war-induced famine and 11 Rwandans were killed in tribal warfare.

Obama administration officials would not comment on any of these ongoing international conflicts but indicated that they would be happily discuss the newest snow removal laws passed in Jerusalem.

Has there ever been a more ridiculous rift between two allies than the recent scuffle between the Obama administration and Netanyahu over the new housing project announcements in Jerusalem? In all sincerity, I'm serious - historically, have two friends fought SO PUBLICLY over something as absurd as a new housing unit that it becomes an international incident, discussed by pundits at every level of the political spectrum? Think of the town you live in...can you imagine if anytime you wanted to widen a road or build a new community center or pass a new littering ordinance, that the leaders of 95 different countries would weigh in and gave you their opinion on what they thought about it? It would be crazy!

Regular readers will recall that I'm a firm believer that until the Israelis have someone legitimate to actually sit down at a negotiating table with (that isn't plotting their destruction as soon as the class is dismissed for the day and the teacher's back is turned), that they shouldn't alter any of their settlement plans for anyone.

I also am in firm agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Jerusalem (that's the Israeli CAPITAL for those keeping score at home) is NOT a settlement, is NOT negotiable and should NOT be treated in the same way as a random trailer park in the middle of a sea of Gaza or West Bank Arabs. And I've also made it very clear that even these "illegal outposts" are just used as scapegoats anyway by anti-Zionists and as excuses for why the Palestinians just can't resist the urge to shoot rockets at innocent men women and children in Sderot and Ashkelon.

But to even discuss this issue and the public spectacle Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made of it in this context is lending too much credence to it. This isn't a core conflict issue at all. The Israelis haven't changed their housing policy in Jerusalem since the Johnson administration - including all through the Oslo Accord negotiations! Hillary's husband never had a problem with Jews living in Jerusalem...why does she?

By the way, here's another reminder that a few thousand people senselessly died today between Congo, Rwanda, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Iran, Mexico and the Philippines due to starvation, drug wars, ethnic cleansings, communist insurgencies, Islamic fundamentalism, sectarian violence and other ills of society that all the wonderfully tolerant idealists were supposed to have solved back in the 20th century. Maybe it's time we started spending our time/resources fixing these problems instead of telling Jews where they are or aren't allowed to live? Oh wait, nevermind - none of those countries threaten to shut off our oil faucets if we don't do what they say.

Finally, doesn't anyone else see it as more than just a little racist that there is all this uproar when Jews want to build new houses or expand old ones in this part of the world? Can you imagine if you wanted to expand your attic in order to add another room to your house but were told you couldn't...not because of safety or occupancy issues but rather because you were Italian or Irish or Mexican or whatever and the United Nations had zoned your street as an "immigrant-free" zone? Ignore for a minute the Biblical or historical ties to the land that Jews claim...strip away for a minute the conflicts and the talking points and whatever side you're on.

You have a group of people who LEGALLY PAID for property but are being told "sorry, you can't live here because you don't celebrate Christmas or Ramadan" - I'm pretty sure that's the kind of completely institutionalized racism entire liberal civil rights movements have been based on. Think about it, would that attitude be acceptable in ANY other part of the world that isn't a complete fascist cesspool?

And yet, who are the ones screaming to keep the Jews out of Jerusalem (along with the West Bank and elsewhere)? You guessed it...

Discrimination against Jews: not just for southern country clubs anymore

People who call themselves "liberals" or progressives. Also known as the same people that demanded equal rights for Blacks in the 60's...so why the double standard when it comes to Jews living in their historical homeland?

As if that wasn't enough, anti-Semitic violence was up over 100% in 2009 - good thing we elected a hope and change president who was going to make us all much safer than his cowboy predecessor the through dialogue instead of action. And lest you think that this only about the president, here's some additional less-than-startling news from Rosner about the widening divide in Washington between Republicans and Democrats on the topic of Israel:
In a poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute last month, respondents were asked whether Obama should "steer a middle course" in the Middle East - code for not clearly supporting Israel. "There is a strong divide on this question," Zogby reported, "with 73 percent of Democrats agreeing that the President should steer a middle course while only 24 percent of Republicans hold the same opinion."
Can you honestly consider yourself "pro-Israel" and call for moral-equivalence between Hamas and Israel?

So fellow Jews, I ask again, is it time yet to start admitting what a terrible mistake approximately 77% of us made? Or are we going to keep pulling the wool over our own eyes and pretending we aren't completely burying ourselves like we always do? I mean hey, Ed Koch is willing to man up and admit it, can you?

Because admitting our problem is step 1 on the path to rectifying it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The sanction of the victim and the guiltiest man in the room, Part II: SANCTION

This post is the second part of a multi-part series on the stubborn habit of Jews to perpetuate situations where they are the victims of their own actions. If you haven't read the introduction yet, I encourage you to check out Part I before continuing. If you're pressed for time, while highly recommended, it isn't required to go back in order to understand what we're talking about in this post.

____________________________________________



They are willing to bear nothing. You are willing to bear anything. They keep evading responsibility. You keep assuming it.
--Francisco D'Anconia

If it is now believed that my fellow men may sacrifice me in any manner they please for the sake of whatever they deem to be their own good, if they believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it—well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act.
--Hank Rearden

We will return to Jaffa, to Acre, to Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, to Ramle. We'll play soccer, Saraa. I'll be happy when we go back there.
--Hamas puppet "Nassour" to young girl host of children’s program

Until victory, always.
--Ernesto 'Che' Guevara


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PART TWO: SANCTION


Picking up where we left off last time with that ridiculous picture that encompasses much of what is wrong with the state of the American Jewish community...for a long time I thought that simple ignorance of reality was what drove these people to embrace the paradox of their own demise, but it goes much deeper than that.

Because you see, the Jewish lesbian who supports Hamas (who if they had their way would execute her, which eliminates her support for them - hence the paradox) in all her absurd irony, answers the immortal question posed by Francisco D'Anconia to Hank Rearden about midway through Ayn Rand's epic, Atlas Shrugged:

If the things I said are true, who is the guiltiest man in this room tonight?

While it is hard to boil down a 1,000+ page book into a single sentence - for the purpose of this post - the Francisco/Hank exchanges say it all. If you haven't read the book yet, go now and read it. I'll wait right here, patiently until you return.

While Atlas Shrugged is host to many themes, messages and subplots, the storyline that I always most identified with was that of Henry "Hank" Rearden. Rearden, a self-made, multi-multi-millionaire is a ruthlessly confident businessman and consummate professional with only one major weakness...he (like the entirety of the American society presented in the book) has been taught his entire life that it is his responsibility to support everyone who does not support themselves. His wife, family and the general public deride him as a greedy, selfish bully whose only concern is the bottom line - all the while living off the fruits of his labor even as they abuse him at every opportunity. Rearden's personal life is a truly miserable one as he is bound by a morality whereby he feels that by suffering at the hands of his tormentors and appeasing them, he is somehow a more virtuous person.

Even as society and the economy is decaying around him as the "looters" and "moochers" seize more and more of his wealth, property and freedom, Rearden continues to suffer and work harder because he loves his work and is driven by a desire to produce and progress - even though by the end he is producing almost exclusively for the thieves and murderers that make up the government in the book. The irony of course is that the people condemning him as being greedy and selfish NEED him to continue to produce because THEY themselves are incapable of it and without him they would be lost. Since everyone around Hank lives off of his production, if he refuses to produce, refuses to be "greedy" and behaves in the way his enemies pretend to want him to behave, they would ALL starve to death.

His willing subscription to their morality, his tolerance of their evil, his continuing to play their game with their rules is the only way they can destroy him. His enemies cannot succeed without the sanction of their victim. And it is thus the same with our enemies.

Since the first halutzim (pioneers) began working the fields and improving living conditions in what would become the modern state of Israel, Arabs against the Jewish state have demanded they vacate the land and "return" it to them.



Really? Where were these claims when Israel was a barren, backwater desert administered by the Ottomans for half a millennium? All of the sudden the Jews bring irrigation, highways and Tel Aviv to Israel and Arab residents who for 1500 years of foreign Muslim domination never even knew how to spell "nationalism" become the world's greatest political refugee problem. You don't think the Jewish presence in Ottoman and British Palestine significantly improved conditions for the native Arab population? How else would you explain 64,790 Arab immigrants to areas that became part of 1948 Israel? From that link:

The Arab Palestinian populations within those sub-districts that eventually became Israel increased from 321,866 in 1922 to 463,288 in 1931 or by 141,422. Applying the 2.5 per annum natural rate of population growth to the 1922 Arab Palestinian population generates an expected population size for 1931 of 398,498 or 64,790 less than the actual population recorded in the British census. By imputation, this unaccounted population increase must have been either illegal immigration not accounted for in the British census...

That means that 14% of the ENTIRE ARAB POPULATION of British Mandate Palestine was made up of IMMIGRANTS from just the nine years between 1922-1931! If the Zionists were so bad for the natives, why move to be CLOSER to them? End the occupation? And do what? Turn the entirety of the West Bank into Gaza City? Or into the pre-Israel swamp and desert that the Gallilee and Negev were, respectively?

And lest you think that these migration patterns ceased in the 20's and 30's...every single day anywhere between 68,000 to 115,000 Palestinians cross either legally or illegally into Israel for work or work for the very West Bank settlers who they claim to seek to displace. Apparently Zionist occupiers and Jewish settlers pay much better than Arab "freedom fighters". Just to put this into perspective, that works out to approximately 10% to 20% of the ENTIRE West Bank labor force is employed by Jews or Israelis.

What happens when Palestinians work in Israel or for Israelis/Jews? They pay taxes on that income to the Israeli government...which then hands the money right back to the Palestinian government. When the 2nd Intifada broke out and when Hamas came to power Israel caused an international uproar by withholding the estimated $50-$60 million a month that they transfer to Fatah and Hamas. For those mathematicians not named Hugo Chavez, that works out to between $600 and $720 million per year.

If you clicked the link that had to do with the Palestinian labor force, you would have read on the CIA Factbook that the ENTIRE PALESTINIAN REVENUE COLLECTION for 2006 was $1.63 billion. That means that nearly HALF of the TOTAL Palestinian intake (which is then used to purchase guns, print schoolbooks that talk about eliminating Israel and fund TV programs that brainwash children into thinking that they should throw rocks at Israeli tanks) is funded by the VERY PEOPLE they seek to destroy. And oh, by the way, in 2009 an additional $900 million was pledged to them by the US and A State Department.

How about the case of route 443, a road that links central Israel to Jerusalem? Or any of the "Jewish-only" roads that I'm sure you've heard the people crying crocodile tears about for that matter. Since the 2nd Intifada, several roads through the West Bank have been closed to Palestinian traffic due to DAILY shooting attacks on Israeli civilian vehicles left many innocent civilians dead or injured. My own cousin's car was firebombed while he was driving home from Jerusalem with his wife and baby girl.

Since the closure, this has for the most part ceased to be an issue. Now the Palestinians are demanding that this road be open to their traffic and in fact, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled in their favor. In a few months, the new rule will go into effect and many Israelis will be avoiding this road out of fear that their families will be targets again. The road (like the rest of the infrastructure in Israel) by the way, was built by Israelis.

Want more? Because we have it. Along with the "end the occupation!" refrain which we seem to have had since time immemorial, the newer, hipper catchphrase of the late 00's was the "end the seige!" mantra - referring of course to Israel's closure of Gaza in response to daily rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. From the Sderot Media Center:

Most English dictionaries define siege as an “act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies...”

Indeed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website has reported that in the year 2009 alone, Israel allowed for 703, 224 tons of humanitarian aid and 105,600,128 liters of fuel to be delivered into the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead.

“The IDF invested major resources to enable the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip” stated Col. Moshe Levi, the head of the IDF’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, in November 2009. According to Levi, humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip increased by 900 percent compared to the previous year. Over 22, 893 humanitarian aid trucks entered into Gaza throughout 2009.



Aid trucks ready to enter the Gaza Strip in the background. (Photo: Jacob Shrybman/Sderot Media Center)


Blockading the Truth: Getting the facts straight on the ‘Gaza Siege’

Let's for now grant that "humanitarian aid" is just that (ignoring the propensity of Hamas to seize medical supplies in order to sell them and use the money for guns and rockets that kill civilians) and just think about those 100+ million liters of fuel.

What basic thing do all militaries need in order to succeed? The ability to move. What enables a military unit to move quickly, set up a rocket and then flee the scene before the return fire lays waste to it? An automotive of some kind, be it a car, truck, van, motorcycle, rocket sled whatever. What do all of these things need to operate? FUEL. Who gets first dibs on all the fuel that comes into Gaza (as well as everything else)? HAMAS. What does Hamas do with their fuel? KILL ISRAELIS. Who provides Hamas with fuel? ISRAELIS. Who provides the vast majority of electricity and water for the population that put Hamas into power? ISRAELIS. What do 68% of Palestinians think is a legitimate way to defend Islam? SUICIDE BOMBINGS AGAINST CIVILIANS. What people do 77% of Palestinians have an unfavorable rating of? AMERICANS. Who are the loudest supporters of Palestinians? AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS.

Who suffers for all of this? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who allows it to happen? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who, often FUNDS and ENCOURAGES their own suffering? Israelis. Americans. Jews.



Sanction of the victim.

Is it starting to click yet? In the end, it's not about Palestinian radicalism, Palestinian corruption, or ineffective Palestinian "leadership". The guiltiest man in the room isn't Hasan Nasrallah, Ismail Haniyeh, Mahmoud Abbas or even Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

It's you. It's me. Like Hank Rearden WE are the ones that perpetuate this situation. WE are the ones that allow it to happen. And it is our fault because we should KNOW BETTER. And it isn't even that Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton's or Ehud Olmert's misguided policies allow the other side to succeed. Who put these in power? WE DID.

And by we I mean Jews who overwhelmingly swept Obama into power by giving him 77% of their vote and continue to defend their decision STILL TODAY, even as Iran continues to move towards nuclear weaponization and Israel's future hangs in the balance. This isn't to say of course that everyone who voted for Obama doesn't like Israel, but it's hard to claim you are a pro-Israel activist if you don't do the most basic thing you can do in a democracy if you care about something.

That is to VOTE for the people who will support it as opposed to people who will throw it under a bus.

This should be so obvious to us and yet still we pretend that it somehow makes us more virtuous to work (or at least vote) against our own best interests even as our actions directly or indirectly aid our would-be murderers.

This HAS to change. The clock is ticking.

____________________________________________


In the next installment: PERPETUATION, we will explore the roots of this desire to suffer and learn why this phenomenon is found in both the left and right wings of the international Jewish community.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Two-states of confusion

Two states for two people. Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and harmony. A Jewish state and a Palestinian state. People talk about this as if it is the magic solution to not just the Israeli/Palestinian issue...according to President Hussein it will cure the Iranian issue, the General Motors bankruptcy and pancreatic cancer. Only one of those is true but they're all equally likely.

There is no magic pill to the Israel/Palestinian issue because it's not really about Israelis and Palestinians. Nor is the issue restricted to just Israelis and Palestinians. (Or even humans at all...)

In order to understand the roots of the conflict you have to go well beyond 1948. Muslims have been killing Jews since they rejected Muhammad almost 1,500 years ago...so the roots of the conflict go well beyond "disproportionate force" in Gaza. Now you could say to me "that's not true, Jews flocked to Islamic-controlled lands all through the Middle Ages" or that under the Moors in Spain the Jews flourished...until the Christians took over and threw all the Jews out during the Inquisition.

This is partially true, since in many cases Jews did have a significantly better standard of living under Muslim rule as compared to Christian rule - but it's only comparative. They were still treated as second-class citizens and forced to distinguish themselves by wearing certain clothing (yellow turbans for example) to distinguish themselves from non-Jews. If that sounds familiar, it's because Hitler used this idea as the basis for the yellow star that he forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust.

Jews under Muslim control had to pay a jizya (tribute/tax) and could not build any synagogues or houses that were larger than the local mosque of their town. They were not allowed to mock the Qur'an, Islam, Muhammad or other Muslims - on penalty of death. They were not allowed to serve in the military or bear arms. They were regularly forced to convert on pain of death when the locals decided to get up in arms about something or other. It was only when compared to Inquisition-style organized attempts at genocide that went on in Europe that they "had it better". All this occurred over a thousand years before the very first "European Zionist invader" set foot in Ottoman Palestine.

And it is this same system of control that al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah and other Islamist organizations want to re-institute for Jews and Christians. Except they don't want to limit themselves to just Israel or the Middle East this time. They want everything.

So it's not just about Zionists and Palestinians or Israel and Syria or Hizballah or Hamas or any of the buzz words that are thrown around in the media. It's JEWS and MUSLIMS. That's the bottom line. It does not surprise me at all that when Jewish pioneers returned to their ancient homeland of Israel in the 1800's that they met riots, hatred and violence. Please note the violence referred to in that link took place in 1921...27 years before the "Nakba" and 46 years before the "occupation".

But anyway...enough of the history lesson for now...let's talk about the present and the future.

The most common answer given to this problem is the one that's been championed for decades - mainly the two-state solution. Palestinians will have to be content with the West Bank and Gaza and Jews get the rest. There are however, several problems with this alleged solution:

1. Contiguity. If I live in Ramallah (in the West Bank which is attached to the Jordanian border) and I have a cousin in Gaza (which is attached to the Sinai Peninsula, currently owned by Egypt) I have to cross through Israel. This creates a security issue for Israel and a travel issue for the Palestinians.

2. The aforementioned pioneers/settlers. After the 1967 war (when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza), the government, whose initial offer of land for peace was rejected by the Arab dictators, decided to do what any nation that had just tripled its land size would do...they settled their new territory. Today there are over 400,000 Jews living in the West Bank as pioneers/settlers. The vast majority of these Jews are law-abiding citizens who just want to live in peace as normal people. Many of them are Americans who moved to Israel out of religious idealism.

You see, most of the land that we have in today's Israel is not biblical Israel. Many of the towns that are mentioned in the Bible such as Jericho and Hebron are today not in "Israel proper". They are in the West Bank. So this is a big deal for Jews.

It's easy to paint them as fanatics because they have long side-burns and pray for a Messiah to deliver the Jews from their problems. But that doesn't make them crazy, it just makes them devoted to their religion. Most of these people are no different from the average devoted American Christian. They pray everyday, don't work on their Sabbath and believe in the 10 commandments. If we give up the West Bank, what happens to these people? Remember that the last time we evacuated a group of settlers - was Gaza and look at what that got us. Is there any question that the same exact thing will happen in the West Bank (which is much closer to the major Israeli population centers than Gaza is) when/if we retreat from there?

3. The "Right of Return" for Palestinians. After the 1948 war and then again after the 1967 war Palestinians left Israel en masse. Today these "refugees" and their descendants number in the millions (as do the descendants of the nearly 1 million Jews tossed out of Arab countries at the same time). Fatah and Hamas both insist on allowing these millions of refugees back into Israel proper. This will effectively end Israel as a Jewish state or a democracy because the Arabs will be able to vote their people into the leadership through demographics. Either the Arab majority runs Israel or the Jews bar the not-Jews from holding office. Lose-lose.

4. Jerusalem. It's been the capital of every Jewish state going back about 3,000 years. Palestinians want it as their capital. It's the third most holy city in Islam...but the most holy place in all of Judaism. When it was under Jordanian control Jews were not allowed to go to the Western Wall (the holiest place in Jerusalem to Jews) and before that under Islamic rule it was used as a garbage dump. Israel allows all religions access to their holy sites.

5. There are currently three entities in power within the borders of Israel. Not two. There are the Jews who control Israel. Palestinians under the banner of Fatah who control the West Bank...and Palestinians under the banner of Hamas who control Gaza. Hamas is dedicated outright to the destruction of Israel and rejects any deals that Fatah makes. Even if there was a "two-state" solution negotiated with Fatah, it would not apply to Hamas which will still fire rockets into Israel...making any peace agreement worth......precisely zero.

6. Independence. Today fuel, electricity and jobs are supplied to the Palestinians by Israel. The Palestinians have been recipients of billions upon billions of dollars of foreign assistance (over $10B since 1999 alone). I don't know too much about power plant construction but this article says a plant that generates 3,600 Megawatts of power in India is projected to cost about $370 million. Couldn't they have used some of those billions of dollars of aid to build a power plant somewhere so they could avoid Israeli "blockades"? Maybe Hamas could put some of that Iranian cash to more than just death, destruction and violence? Before a nation can prove that it is ready for an independent state, it should show some proof that it is capable of actual independence.

By the way...take a guess at who the single biggest individual Palestinian aid contributor is. If you guessed Saudi Arabia you were.....

WRONG. Israel, the source of many Palestinians' jobs, transfers hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority every year in income tax revenue. Income taxes that if Israelis worked in those jobs would go to the Israeli infrastructure instead of into rockets and machine guns.

7. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Palestinians have rejected every offer the Israelis have ever given them...up to an offer that gave them 97% of the West Bank, all of Gaza and part of Jerusalem as their capital. That offer was made in 2000...



They rejected it and almost immediately began the 2nd Intifada which killed thousands. In 2007 Peres and then Olmert offered them 97% of the West Bank, all of Gaza as well their right of return for thousands of Palestinians...they rejected that as well.

Let's also not forget that the initial UN partition of Palestine created a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, side-by-side that was supposed to live in peace and harmony. Palestinians would have gotten even more than the most generous Obama-supporter could dream of. Their response? Invasion. War. Violence.

So a two-state solution in any form has not been the answer so far. Even if the Fatah government negotiates in good faith and fully intends to stop the violence, it's hard to imagine the peace holding for very long since Iran and other Islamic countries incite the Palestinians to continue to fight with Israel so they don't have to. Furthermore, even if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict miraculously comes to an end - that doesn't end the threat Iran poses to Israel and the West, it doesn't finish the support for the Taliban and al Qaeda. It doesn't solve the issue of Islamist hatred for America, the Jews and anyone who doesn't eat hummus five times a day.

To end the conflict the only solution is to cure the disease not mask the symptoms. We don't need Advil to stop the headache, we need an operation to remove the brain tumor.

The only option Israel really has is to wait it out until there is better leadership for the Palestinians that is more open to real progress. Don't build any new settlements, but continue allowing the existing ones to grow. Finish building the security fence and keep going after terrorists wherever they operate from. If Hamas fires rockets from Gaza, level it again. When they rebuild Gaza and start firing rockets again, re-level it. It doesn't matter what the rest of the world thinks because they have no idea how to prevent disaster...witness WWI, WWII, the Cold War, Vietnam...

This depressing status quo will likely remain until two things happen:

A) The Middle East is no longer run by dictators
B) Children in the Middle East are no longer brainwashed in schools and on TV to hate Jews, Americans and the West

Odds are that B cannot happen without A happening first. In reality neither option is likely without C) WWII-style regime change all over the Middle East. Remember that Japan and Germany were also aggressive, expansionist nations with warrior cultures that dated back to the Middle Ages and earlier. Today they make Mercedes Benzes and Nintendo Wiis. But C) is not happening anytime soon and should obviously be seen as an absolute last resort. The tipping point is rapidly approaching however...and I'm not talking about "climate change".

For the Israelis, Palestinians and rest of the hopelessly oppressed people of the Middle East...until the day that the rest of the world gets its act together and addresses the much larger issues than settlers, check-points and final status negotiations - the entire concept of a "two-state solution" (or any solution for that matter) will remain little more than a buzz-word and should be treated as such.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's the settlements, stupid!

set⋅tle⋅ment
  /ˈsɛtlmənt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [set-l-muhnt] Show IPA
–noun
1. the act or state of settling or the state of being settled.
2. an arrangement or adjustment, as of business affairs or a disagreement.
3. an agreement signed after labor negotiations between union and management.
4. the settling of persons in a new country or place.
5. a colony, esp. in its early stages.
6. a small community, village, or group of houses in a thinly populated area.


Netanyahu and Obama!

No-holds-barred, no disqualifications, in a STEEL cage ONLY on PAY-PER-VIEW!!!!

Or at least that's how it seemed like last week's meeting between the two leaders was billed in the media. It was the "fateful encounter of two world leaders since Kennedy met Khrushchev" according to noted Israel-basher Professor Juan Cole (Guess who is Khrushchev in this analogy).

Jerusalem Post columnist David Horovitz, noted in his analysis of the meeting that:

Don King himself would have been hard-pressed to outdo the pugilistic hype...ahead of Monday's first White House meeting between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu. Viewers and readers would have been forgiven for anticipating anything up to and including fisticuffs in the Oval Office...

Even our insane conspiracy theorist friends from last month got into the fun. So after a week that saw our friend the president declare his undying love for the Jewish people, who did Obama pin the blame on for the continuing never-ending violence in the Middle East? Was it:

a) The Muslims

b) The Jews

c) Hamas

or

d) Sally Struthers

From the aforementioned David Horovitz article:

Undaunted by past failures, Obama is reportedly setting up a hugely ambitious sequence - Israel freezes settlement building, the Arab world begins normalizing relations with Israel, and Israel and the Palestinians then enter substantive talks.

Number 1 on the agenda? Why those evil, dirty, sneaky Jew settlers of course!

Not to be outdone, Hilary Clinton (another recipient of undying affection from "liberal" Jews) echoed her former hated rival's instructions for Netanyahu:

"We want to see a stop to settlement construction, additions, natural growth - any kind of settlement activity"

Right. Of course. Stop the settlements and everything starts to work out! No settlers in the West Bank = peace. So sayeth the administration of hope and change.

Oh and another thing Benjy my man...about that city you thought was your capital...you know where two Jewish Temples stood almost a thousand years before Muhammad was even born...yeah that place...you know, Jerusalem:

"Jerusalem is a final status issue. Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on all final status issues," a State Department spokesman said when asked to respond to Netanyahu's proclamation that Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.

But then, it's not like anything readers of this blog haven't known since December of 2007. Obama blames the Jews.

Or is it just the settlers? This goes back to the anti-Zionist/anti-Jewish debate that was the very basis for this blog's formation. Can you be pro-Israel and anti-settler? Well, in theory you can be but first we need to establish that the settlers cause Israel more harm than they do good. The most common example of this is that, like Obama (and Hillary) says...remove the settlements and you remove the barrier to peace. Less settlements = less war (and therefore less dead Israelis). More settlements = more war (and therefore more dead Israelis).

Well let's look at some history.

Before 1967 there were no settlers at all. The Jewish population of Gaza, Judea and Samaria was zero between 1948 and 1967. Israel fought three wars with its Arab neighbors. And before that, Jews had been hunted across the world for millennia. There were Holocausts and Crusades and pogroms and Inquisitions and riots.

Then the evil settlers came.

Israel has not fought a war against its neighbor states since 1973. The Jewish state has not been faced with a true existential war since that time. IDF military operations have consisted mostly of defensive incursions and riot control instead of full-scale military operations against states. Israel has seen a dramatic increase in American Jewish immigration as well as immigration from other Western countries. Oh and those evil settlers? They (along with other Orthodox Israelis) are the ones primarily responsible for staving off the "demographic time bomb" that was supposed to end Israeli democracy or end Israel within a few generations.

Now let's look at historical examples of post-settlement reality.

Well, Israel evacuated the Sinai settlement of Yamit after the 1978 Camp David Accords and returned the land to Egypt. Technically, the two states are now at peace so that's nice. Still no Palestinian state though.

The other case is Gaza. Before there were any Jewish settlers in the Gaza strip Palestinian fedayeen forces regularly used the territory to conduct attacks on sovereign Israeli soil. After 1967 (and subsequent settlement establishment in Gaza) these attacks became a thing of the past. I don't think I need to remind you what happened after the Gaza settler evacuation in 2005. In case you don't feel like reliving the past few years - here's a chart showing the documented cases of rocket attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip:



You see those gigantic spikes from 2006 and on? What do you think they coincide with? Ariel Sharon visiting the Temple Mount? New Gaza settlement construction? Another Muhammad cartoon hitting the press?

Well, in August/2005 Israel committed the awful crime against humanity of daring to give the Palestinians what they wanted...






The Gaza settlements along with several West Bank settlements were evacuated.

Families were ripped out of their homes in a show of good faith to the Palestinians despite their continuing terror campaign against Israeli women and children.

And so what happened the following year?

A 30% INCREASE in rocket attacks over the previous FIVE YEARS COMBINED. If (as Obama says) the obstacle to peace is the settler movement...but then the settlers are removed in tear-jerking, heart-wrenching fashion and the result is not only war but exponentially MORE war then before...

Well then the settlers are NOT the problem.

The SETTLEMENTS are.

The Oslo settlement. (1993)

The Wye River settlement. (1998)

The Camp David settlement. (2000)

The Taba settlement. (2001)

The "Road Map" settlement. (2003)

And finally the "End of the Gaza settlers" settlement. (2005)

Every time without fail the blame falls on the settlers. The blame falls on Israel. The blame falls on the Jews. And we offer more concessions to placate the Obamas of the world because that's what we do.

But what has it brought us exactly? Nothing but rockets, according to peace-process-believing, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

Tired of being asked for concessions, Peres told his guests that the side making concessions was Israel, which was not getting anything in return from the Palestinians other than the rockets and mortar shells being fired from Gaza.

It's not the settlers. It's the concessions. It's the retreats. It's the surrenders. It's the settlements.

At the same time, the most popular leader in the Arab world is ruthless dictator Bashar-al-Asad. In third place is notorious terrorist Hassan Nasrallah. Two men who are essentially glorified mass-murderers of both Arabs and Jews. Oh and our friends the Egyptians who received their permanent settlement back in 1978? Well they're stripping the citizenships of any Egyptians who dare to marry an Israeli citizen. Even ARAB Israeli citizens. How enlightened. How peace-loving.

To say nothing of the Hamas "leadership" that just can't get through a week without killing their Palestinian brothers or the supposedly "more moderate" Fatah "leadership" that is still naming computer centers and schools after a person who murdered 37 civilians (including 12 children). Because of settlers?

No my friends, it's because of SETTLEMENTS. Not settlers.