Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Israeli Government Gets It Wrong

In my mind, one thing is clear in the aftermath of the latest conflict- the only way to counter extremism and instability is too deal with the underlying causes. Instead, Israel is hardening its stance and effectively providing more fuel for radical points of view, at the expense of moderation:
The Israeli government's plan to dismantle some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and redraw the country's borders is being shelved at least temporarily, a casualty of the war in Lebanon, government officials said.

The plan, which propelled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to victory in March elections and was warmly endorsed by President Bush as a way of solving Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, is no longer a top priority, Olmert told his ministers last weekend, according to one of his advisers...

"I think that it is clear to everyone that the unilateral disengagement is a mistake," said Eli Yishai, minister of industry, trade and labor in Olmert's cabinet. "It's wrong to give up land unilaterally. It's clear to everyone that now it's canceled."

Not to split hairs, but withdrawal really means returning occupied land, not "giving up land" as Yishai attempts to argue. I have always viewed Israel's "unilateral" policies as flawed, in that it doesn't engage the Palestinians directly, but arbitrarily decides it own terms in a patriarchal manner that lacks respect. That criticism aside, Israel now appears poised to assure further agitation by abandoning withdrawal plans. What message does this send to Palestinians? Doesn't this policy play into the hands of Hamas? Tangible proof that Israel intends to occupy Palestinian land forever, which translates into the need for "resistance".

Now is the time to speed up withdrawal, remove some of the irritants that fester the wound. Instead, we see a hardening of positions that sends the wrong message and undermines the moderate Arab voice that argues for peaceful dialogue. I don't understand how the Israeli government doesn't see the longterm impact of its policies. Maybe it is time for the international community to demand a seat at the table and "unilaterally" decide on its own what is required to stop this endless cycle that effectively holds the world hostage. Neither side can be trusted to act in the best interest of the region, we need a detached voice to dictate the terms once and for all. The state of the world supersedes the state of Israel, everyone has a stake in the outcome, it's time we acted accordingly.


Larry Gambone said...

By deliberately planting colonies in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, Israel is clearly its own worst enemy, if peace is what you really want.

Steve V said...


It destroys all the "right to defend" arguments, as though purely on the defensive.

Anonymous said...

Ummm...the Israelis withdrew from Lebanon, Gaza, and were withdrawing from the West Bank. Despite this appeasement, the radicals still want Israel destroyed. Did Hezbollah say "okay, Israel is gone,maybe we should disarm" or did Hamas say the same thing when Israel pulled out of gaza and began to withdraw from the west bank? No, they both laughed, because the Israeli moves made it easier for them to attack the "Zionists". No all that progress is destroyed thanks to the aggression of Hezbollah that proviked an Israeli response.

These facts have not shut you up?

Steve V said...


It really does come down to a few simple questions:

Are there currently Israelis on Syrian terrority, Palestinian terrority and disputed Lebanese terrority?

Are the Israelis currently building settlements on disputed terrority, despite world disdain?

Are the Israelis in violation of any UN declarations concerning occupied lands?

Your "facts" are selective and incomplete.

As an aside, until the question of Jerusalem is dealt with in a way that gives the Palestinians dignity, peace will be a pipedream.

generalmoron said...

The Israeli government has been dealing with these people for over 50 years. I think the might have a better idea of what works and what doesn't than some Canadian sitting in front of a computer screen.

generalmoron said...

BTW I guess the minister was right.

The Israelis under Sharon made HUGE concessions to the Arabs... They were about to take huge steps, unilateraly, to give Palestinians back a big chunk of "their" land, for almost nothing in return.

Huge numbers of Israelis thought it was a mistake. It cost Sharon his party and almost his career, but he did it anyway.

How did the Arabs respond? Like many Israelis predicted, they saw it as an act of weakness, gave more support to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and stepped up attacks against Israel.

Well, now the Israelis are pissed, have realized their mistake, and probably wont make anymore conessions for another 10 years.

Way to go Islamic Militarism!

generalmoron said...

Steve V,
How about this simple question, whos land does "Canada" now sit on? Certainly didn't belong to the people who now call themselves "Canadians" did it?

Where are the original Canadians? Stuffed in specific enclaves, ignored and almost extinct, while we've built cities and "settlements" where they used to live.

The world is rough isn't it?

So we are allowed to do that, but the Israelis aren't because some dude in New York City doesn't like it?

I bet theres plenty on our reserves who wish their people were dealt with dignity. With that in our history we have NO right to condemn Israelis.

The world is a shitty place. Land is traded back and forth through wars and deals constantly. The Arabs will never get "their" land back just because it USED to be theirs. They will have to accept the fact that Israel is there and will stay there, agree to a deal admitting that, and then MAYBE they will get some of it back.

Steve V said...

"I think the might have a better idea of what works"

Yes, success after success, who could argue. Your name works for me :)

generalmoron said...


You are damn right the Israelis have been successful... They've taken an infertile strip of dirt on the Med and in 50 years turned it into probably the most successful non-oil economy in the Middle East. Their high tech industries flourish, they have probably the highest Middle East living standard outside of Saudi oil sheikhs, and are the only country in the middle east where people of all races, religions, sexes (cough cough, homosexuals) are free to live, vote, and work. Hell, they even let Arabs live, work, and SERVE IN THE MILITARY. I'd like to see you show me one Jew in any Arab military ;) .

They've successfully beaten back 3 serious military attempts to destroy their nation, in 48, 67, and 73, all of which saw 3-10 much larger countries contribute forces towards their destruction.

They've survived almost 50 years of constant sneak theif terrorist attacks including attacks on airliners, schools, politicians, athletes, public buildings, restaurants, embassies, religious sites, and many more. In most cases fighting back and taking a higher toll on those responsible (Entebbe, Munich).

As a country of 6 million people, they've succeeded in bringing a country of 20 million (Syria) to their knees militarily on several occasions, and have beaten back Egypt and Jordan so bad that they have both persued peace agreements to avoid future military engagements with Israel.

Yes, I'd say in Israels 50 years they've been pretty successful as a country considering what they've been put up against.

I'd like to see how any other country in the world, including Canada, would look after 50 years of what Israel has gone through.

Of course you are going to bring out the "Well the US does everything for them!" card, but Israels existance is due to to more than just American weapons. Hell, the US military has an endless supply of American weapons and look how much trouble they are having in Iraq and had in Vietnam. Israels success is more than just weapons, its the people, society, and ideals behind them.