Don't Read This (the Middle East conflict)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MACDRIVE, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #1
    Now that I have your attention, read this:

    http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/DennisPrager/2006/07/18/the_middle_east_conflict_is_hard_to_solve_but_easy_to_explain

     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    Do you have any views of your own or is just posting links and quotes to start a thread your idea of starting a debate?
     
  3. MACDRIVE thread starter macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #3
    I'm not trying to start a debate, if anything, I'm trying to stop them. I'm trying to get everyone to take a step back and look at this latest conflict from the Israelis perspective rather than throwing out accusations everywhere.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    I wouldn't listen to anyone who tells you that the ME conflict is simple to understand.
     
  5. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #5
    Wow, is that a distorted view of history! There were no Palestinians in the territory from which Israel was created? There is nothing simple in trying to solve this conflict and trying to reduce it to the bad Arabs who want to destroy Israel is ridiculous. Let's start with an agreement that all people, Israeli and Palestinian included, have basic national rights to security, self-government, and the end of foreign occupation. How one balances those competing rights in a very small bit of land is extremely complex. Let's not fool ourselves otherwise.
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #6
    I count this as thread number six on this topic.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    When you can't win on the merits of your argument, try to overwhelm them...
     
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #8
    Keep in mind that the OP has such a fine understanding of Israel that he didn't even know that it's smaller than California.
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Sayhey, before 1947/1948, the people living the area which included what is now Israel were not known as "Palestinians". Back when the maps showed Mandates and Trans-Jordan, what might be called "Greater Palestine" included both Arabs and Jews.

    The mullahs started the drumbeat of "The Jews will eat your babies!" and that's when the exodus of many Arabic residents began. For all that Israeli law did not affect Arab ownership of land and homes, Arabs left. They didn't have to leave, but fear was the goad. They weren't allowed to immigrate into the surrounding Arab countries, but were forced into the refugee camps--and fed mostly by US funding of the UN efforts. (Multitudes of Life magazine photo-essays on the refugee camps.)

    The mullahs and others started the unending "The Jews stole our land!" Nasser, et al, the UAL, provided all the assistance necessary for the attacks on Israeli communities; other Arab leaders have unceasingly supported the effort to eradicate Israel.

    I do see one aspect of all this as very simple: As long as there are Jihadists who hate non-Islamics and particularly Jews, there will be warfare at some level which is directed toward the eradication of Israel as a nation.

    'Rat
     
  10. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #10
    I found the article quite interesting. I also found the thread title rather annoying :D

    I can't help but think there is a little more to it though, I mean that article is overwhelmingly pro-Israel.
     
  11. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #11
    [QUOTE='Rat]...SNIP...Desertrat other Arab leaders have unceasingly supported the effort to eradicate Israel. ...SNIP...
    [/QUOTE]
    To my understanding that is not exactly true - As far back as the initial attacks on the Israeli nation, many Arab leaders have been decidely lukewarm on the idea at best - but, they were driven by the fear that they might lose bargaining power/credibility if some other Arab Nation decided to mobilize around such a cause.

    Perhaps I am splitting hairs...or just wrong.
     
  12. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #12
    Sorry, 'Rat, I've been away most of yesterday and didn't see your post.

    You seem to accept quite a few old propaganda myths in this post. First, let's not play semantical games about the name Palestine and Palestinians. It doesn't matter which name is given to the people who populated the land of Palestine before the creation of Israel. The problem is the quoted statement in the OP says "All of this took place before Israel occupied one millimeter of Palestinian land and before there was a single Jewish settler in the West Bank" and this is just a plain old lie. The Arab people of the British Mandate territory owned and occupied this country for centuries predating the creation of Israel and only the most tortured use of semantical games can hope to establish that they were not forced off their land.

    Second, 'Rat, I've posted it before and I'll post it again, but you know full well that the Palestinians refugees created after the start of Israel and the war in 1948 are not the result of some campaign of the "mullahs" to get the people to move. There were very real atrocities committed, at Deir Yassin and other places, by the Israeli armed militias (would you consider them "terrorists") in order to get the Palestinian civilians to move in fear for their lives. To whitewash this dark page of history with old myths about the "mullahs" is absurd.

    'Rat, I would submit that you miss the entire point of this conflict. As long as both sides are denied secure, national rights as a people to decide their own destinies this conflict will go on. A bias view to only look at this from the perspective of Israel, with only Israelis entitled to the same rights you and I enjoy, will only help prolong the bloodshed.
     
  13. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #13

    There are many threads to post your insights/opinions in.No need to start a redundant one.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    I believe there is a measure of truth and exaggeration (or let us say, an emphasis on one set of facts), on both sides of this argument. This one salient characteristic of this part of the world: one can always find a set of historical facts to back their position, and to motivate their actions. It's one of the principle reasons why Arabs and Jews have been killing each other for so long -- they both are completely convinced that they've got the only valid historical claims.

    At what point does this become ridiculous, counterproductive, tiresome and just plain idiotic? A long time ago, I would have thought. But then, I'm not a middle-easterner, and consequently not practiced at internalizing historical wrongs and hatreds, and passing them down through the generations like prized family heirlooms.

    I think 'Rat was correct to at least allude to the fact that Israel is a product of colonial immigration policies, and no small amount of fear (and let's be frank, built-in hatred) for the people the British were committed to allowing to settle in Palestine. The conflict was almost immediate; it did not take statehood for Israel to produce it. I think 'Rat was also correct to point out that the neighboring Arab states used the emigration of Jews to Palestine for their own political purposes, and did nothing to aid the Palestinians, who for whatever cause, were displaced.

    My point here is that history provides no solutions, it only provides more rationales for continued conflict. Unless and until the people of this region get over their collective histories, they are doomed to repeat them.
     
  15. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #15
    IJ, for decades it has been a continual refrain from Israeli politicians that the Palestinians really didn't exist. A picture of Jewish immigrants coming into a land devoid of people and transforming the desert into orange groves was put forth to justify the actions against the Arab people of Palestine. They were really just "misplaced Jordanians" and had their own state there or some such nonsense. My problem with the original post and 'Rat's defense of it is that they both repeat these old canards. Until the Palestinians are viewed as full people with all the rights as everyone else, nothing can be resolved in this conflict. That was my intended point in my post. Now, if we want to talk about the problems of old Arab regimes and their lies used to justify both their inaction and ill-informed actions, we will probably agree on most of the topics.
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    As I say, in this part of the world at least, history is only valuable as a way of rationalizing eternal conflict. It does nothing to make a future for anyone.

    Currently, Israel is committed to a two-state solution. The US is likewise committed to this course. Israel withdrew from Gaza, withdrew from Lebanon, and is dismantling settlements on the West Bank. Are Hamas and Hezbollah committed to a two-state solution, or are they still committed to the destruction of Israel?

    This is what we need to consider now, not the history.
     
  17. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #18
    Are Hamas and Hezbollah committed to a two-state solution? No, not in any meaningful way. There seems to be few regional politicians, other than the increasingly toothless PLO, committed to a real implementation of this formula. Unfortunately, the politics of Israel have shifted away, since the Temple Mount incident and Sharon's ascent to the Prime Ministership, from any meaningful commitment to this solution as well. Instead we have a "two-state" solution that entails settling all questions with Israeli guns. A "two-state" solution by creating bantustans that are a meaningless distortions of a Palestinian state.

    Israeli politics have swung so far to the right that Sharon's new party is considered the political "center." Amazing. Now, we have his political heirs attempting to use the provocations of Hamas and Hezbollah to show how much they can destroy of any hope for settlement. Not to mention killing hundreds of innocent Palestinians and Lebanese in the process. Some history, at least recent aspects, would be well to be remembered.
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #19
    "...we have a "two-state" solution that entails settling all questions with Israeli guns."

    'Scuse me? Israelis take guns into Palestinian lands and into Lebanon just because they're Blue Meanies?

    I've not seen Israelis wandering off into those areas wearing boom-vests. Nor have I read any daily paper reporting of Israelis doing suicide raids in Palestine on schools, restaurants or buses. Israeli rhetoric from their governmental people does not speak to the eradication of all Palestinians.

    The only way the Israelis won't be accused of "over-reacting" to being killed is if they just sit back and die.

    'Rat
     
  19. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #20
    You're excused, 'Rat. ;)

    The quote you are referring to relates to Israel setting boundaries unilaterally based on their superior military rather than through negotiation. Not as a response to Hezbollah rockets or as a response to suicide bombers. I've raised questions about an overreaction to those type actions, but I've never said Israel shouldn't protect itself or have a response to such attacks. I also don't recall using the Blue Meanies metaphor, as colorful and '60s appropriate as it is.
     
  20. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #21

    well, you haven't really "raised questions" so much as denounced Isreal for pretty much everything........so instead of telling us what they shouldn't be doing, why don't you tell us what you think they should do about Hezbollah's continuing attacks?

    Basically Hezbollah are using "innocent civilians" as human shields for their military activities. What's an "acceptable" response in your view?
     
  21. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #22
    Actually, I've raised many questions in these debates but in answer to your question, don't overreact and cause the hundreds of civilian casualties that are taking place as well as destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon. If Israel was combining carefully defined actions at Hezbollah military assets with calls for international action to help secure the border, then I would have no problem. I've said it before and I'll say it again, both the Israelis and their Palestinian and Lebanese neighbors have a right to defend themselves, but these current actions go far beyond that.
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #23
    An interesting excerpt from http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1825721,00.html is

    "Regional experts agree that one factor above all drives Arab governments' hostility to Hizbullah: the conviction that the militia is the creature of Iran, financed, armed, trained, succoured and directed by hardline elements within Tehran's security apparatus and used to project its influence in the Arab sphere. Iran is widely believed to be intent on asserting its regional leadership. And that in turn is reviving ancient enmity between Arabs and Persians that puts problems with Israel in the shade."

    sayhey, as for the Israelis going too far in their response, here's an excerpt from an email I got this morning. FWIW:

    "Major 'Y', an F-16 pilot in the Israeli Air Force, writes about his unusual experiences of the past several days.

    Wednesday 1000
    Returning back to my base from a routine practice mission. Taxiing back to the parking area, I hear "Zanek" (Jump) on the radio. What? I asked myself. Everything was calm when I took off, just one hour ago. By the time I get out of the plane, I hear the roar of the heavy takeoffs. There is something different in the sound of a combat takeoff with a full load of bombs: the takeoff is long, the planes are heavy, the afterburner is used longer - not the light and quick training takeoffs. Something is definitely happening, I say to myself.

    1100
    Major E, my formation leader walks into the briefing room, still in his jeans. He's been called to come ASAP. What's happening? He asks me. I update him, and we brief for our mission quickly. He is concerned about making mistakes, and bombing the wrong targets. He is experienced, and has been around long enough to see mistakes happen and innocent civilians killed. A friend of his, a helicopter pilot once mistook a letter in a target's name, and ended up shooting at the wrong target, killing a whole family. Major E does not want the same thing to happen to us. He emphasizes that there is no rush, that we must check and recheck every coordinate we receive, make sure we understand EXACTLY what we are supposed to target.

    1430
    The siren blows. We run to the planes, start the engines, power up the systems. Ground crew running around the plane, the tower gives us permission to take off. We are told to head north, to Lebanon. "Get ready to receive targets," announces the flight controller as we approach. Major E and I read back the information, verifying with the flight controller that we have no mistakes. We head to the coast of Lebanon. It looks so small from above - Israel on the south, Syria in the east. I shake myself - no time to enjoy the view… hurry through the switches, procedures, arm the bombs, check the systems, head to the target, follow the range 10-9-8 Pickle! The plane violently rocks from side to side as two bombs fall off each wing, few seconds apart. I look down at the ground - we are flying so high, it's hard to judge where my bombs are going to hit, but the explosions catch my eye.

    We head back - "mission complete. 4 direct hits," reports Major E to the controller. The rush and adrenalin gone, thoughts enter my head. I sure wish I hit the "bad guys" and that there were no civilians hanging around the place. Hizballah cynically often uses civilians as a shelter from Israel's bombings.

    1630
    We land in the base, and are relieved to learn that we went for a Hizbullah post. Probably unmanned. It's strange how the focus in these missions is not to succeed, hit the target precisely, but rather - not to make any mistakes. The message is clear all the way from the Squadron commander to the last pilot. One mistake can jeopardize the whole war, like in Kfar-Kana, in one of the last operations in Lebanon, where artillery bombarded a refugee camp, killing over 100 people, which resulted in international pressure that halted the operation. Hitting the target is expected, no misses are acceptable. There aren't any congratulations for a well-performed mission. Only a hammer on the head if something goes wrong. Personally, I think it's a healthy attitude; it causes the whole system to be less rash and hot on the trigger."

    Stipulating the email isn't BS: It sounds like the Israelis are doing as best they can to hit the Hezzies and avoid civilian casualties as much as possible. When the people who intent on killing you are deliberately mixed in among non-combatants, "collateral damage" cannot be avoided.

    Whille all these "peace negotiatins" have been going on for all these recent years, China and North Korea have been providing rocket technology to Iran. Iran is then passing on the materiel to Hezbollah--as shown by the hits on the ships offshore of Lebanon and the reataliation by Israel on the coastal radars. Hezbollah has become entrenched in Lebanon, including elected positions in government; some 27% of the seats--which means that any Lebanese Army won't make any effort to oust Hezbollah. It is known that Iranian military types are on the ground with Hezbollah, per StratFor and others.

    For all practical purposes, leaving out lawyerese, Israel is now at war with the countries of Lebanon and Iran, with the immediate fighting near the Israeli border.

    Given the history of the results of "negotiations" with the Hezzies and Hamas and all those hate-Israel groups, I see no point in cease fires, peace talks or any other wishful thinking. All that would be accomplished over time is more dead Israelis.

    'Rat
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    Something the superior force has the luxury of deciding isn't it? Can you honestly say that if you were leading men from a position of military weakness that you wouldn't take every measure possible to ensure that your - and their - mission was successful? Or would you bravely sacrifice yourself and your men on the alter of "an honorable fight" by marching them outside the city and putting yourselves in the open? Would you march in columns like the redshirts, prefering to die rather than win?

    And while we're at it, aren't we talking about some of the most densely populated regions in the world? Not a lot of area worth occupying that isn't full of civilians already, no?

    And there is some smart conservative guy in the Middle East making the same argument about supplying weapons to the enemy about us and Israel. Yet somehow you're convinced that despite the similarities in your arguments, you are right and he is wrong. Until the US stops treating Israel to a smorgasbord of high-tech weaponry, we will be seen by them just as you view Iran, China, and North Korea.

    Now at war? There's been open conflict since Sharon took his deliberately provocative squat on the Temple Mount.

    All that's being accomplished now is dead Lebanese. Are you saying those are worth less than dead Israelis?
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    How do you support this statement? Are you suggesting that this was Israel's only purpose?
     

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