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Daoud Kuttab

Jerusalem/Amman, Jordan

Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist. He was born in Jerusalem in 1955. He is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the United States. Mr. Kuttab is the former director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Ramallah, Palestine and the founder of AmmanNet, the Arab world's first internet radio station. His personal web page is www.daoudkuttab.com. Close.

Daoud Kuttab

Jerusalem/Amman, Jordan

Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist. He was born in Jerusalem in 1955. He is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the United States. more »

Main Page | Daoud Kuttab Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Too Many Unanswered Questions

Annapolis raised America’s profile, but left too many issues unaddressed.

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All Comments (117)

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

WITH RESPECT TO THE ASSASSINATION OF BENAZIR BHUTTO

This is a glimpse of the world’s future if the Zionist so called “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA don’t wise up and vacate the Middle East.

That’s right Victoria, they can’t blame this one on the general Muslim population.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/yossi_melman/2007/12/bhutto_conspiracy_theories_wil/all_comments.html

We may find out, however, that the culprit is the Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) who are enabled by the foolish greed of the colonial USA and Israel.

Certainly Musharraf is one of those with the most to gain. He can now postpone elections indefinitely and hold onto his power, although he may have quite a revolt on his hands if he does so.

On the other hand, Bhutto was a strong ally of the US and an outspoken opponent of the Islamic fundamentalists. That is the kiss of death in this region of the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/28/world/asia/28pakistan.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

“In October, Ms. Bhutto survived another deadly suicide attack in the southern city of Karachi on the day she returned from years of self-imposed exile abroad to contest the parliamentary elections. Ms. Bhutto blamed extremist Islamic groups who she said wanted to take over the country for that attack, which narrowly missed her but killed 134 people. But she also complained that the government had taken insufficient steps to safeguard her parade…

She was openly critical of Mr. Musharraf’s ineffectiveness at dealing with Islamic militants and welcomed American involvement…

The assassination comes just days after Mr. Musharraf lifted a state of emergency in the country, which he had used to suspend the Constitution and arrest thousands of political opponents, and which he said he had imposed in part because of terrorist threats by extremists in Pakistan…”

So this is how my crystal ball has it. We just took another step along the path to WW III. The Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) hold all the cards. Musharraf may or may not be making a serious effort to rein them in. He may be playing live and let live as they build their strength in NW Pakistan and continue to weaken Afghanistan.

The Zionist invader in Palestine keeps the entire Middle East inflamed at both them and the USA for supporting them. Of course our preemptive attack on Iraq and continued occupation of Afghanistan just adds fuel to the flames.

China, India and Pakistan’s thirst for Middle East oil makes them natural allies of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other Arabian Gulf oil states. They will be eager to supply whatever these countries need in the way of precision guided land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) like the US Tomahawk. These are precision, Global Position System (GPS) satellite guided, low flying cruise missiles that hug the earth and can be programmed to attack Israel from multiple directions. Israel will never know what hit them. These will not be like the thousands of ballistic Katyusha rockets fired from Southern Lebanon, which mostly land in the olive orchards and sage brush fields. These missiles will each have a high rise building or other high value target and street number programmed in them like our Tomahawk attacks on Baghdad in 1991 and 2003.

Our thirst for oil and 10 Trillion dollar national debt, with much of it owed to China, puts us in a very weak strategic position. China could bankrupt us at will by flooding the market with our worthless paper IOUs. That’s why the US dollar has lost ~33% of its value relative to the Euro, which is on its way to becoming the world standard currency. The US dollar will soon be known as the US Peso.

Israel only produces ~1% of its required oil from its own oil wells, and must import 99%, 90% from Russia. Russia is anything but a reliable ally and is known to have used its natural gas supplied to Eastern Europe as a political tool in the past.

So standby for action the so called Zionist “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA. We live in interesting times.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

PRO-ISRAEL FORCES WANT TO RE-OPEN A PIPELINE FROM IRAQ TO HAIFA, ISRAEL

The fact that American-Israelis in our government are endeavoring to use the war on Iraq as a way for Israel to gain control over oil in the Middle East is rarely reported in the mainstream pro-Israel US media with your average American readership, however it has been reported in Jewish newspapers with Jewish readership and in Israeli papers.

A case in point is the fact that American-Israelis in our government want to "re-open" or re-instate, the pipeline that used to exist between Iraq and Palestine, which is now specifically Haifa, Israel. When Israel was created in 1948, that pipeline was re-directed by Iraq to Syria. Now pro-Israel forces are actively seeking to cut off the pipeline to Syria and re-direct it to Haifa, Israel. For more information on this, please do a Google-search using such keywords such as "Iraq oil pipeline to Haifa, Israel" and see what you come up with.

Just as Israel's connection to the war on Iraq has been kept out of the US mainstream media (as you may have noticed, Israel has not even been mentioned as one of our "allies" in the war on Iraq), this choice nugget of information with regards to Israel's ambition to get a basically free supply of Iraqi oil is also kept out of view for vast American public consumption.

Father Christmas:

Rick Jones:

Ho, ho,ho, young Rick....

Coal in your stocky this morning, for you young Ricky.

Santa thinks you have been a bad boy.

You and your buddies have started three wars to eliminate Israel, and you have lost each time (and I am not even including two, how do you Arabs call them, "intifadahs").

Now to complain about the results of starting those wars is really poor sportsmanship, young Rick.

If you had chosen building a country instead of trying to destroy one in 1948 and again in 2000 you wouldn't be in this predicament on Christmas day 2007, now would you.

Santa doesn't like whiney sore losers.

No he doesn't like them at all.

No, no, no, they turn the insides of his jolly jelly belly, really they do.

Santa can not abide poor sportsmanship, at all!

He's putting you on his naughty short list, and putting coal in your stocking.

Ho, ho, ho, and Merry Christmas habibi!

There's always next year...

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

More from B’Tselem on International Law relative to water rights:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/International_Law.asp

International law on water

“The water resources in the Occupied Territories were integrated into the legal and bureaucratic system of Israel, severely limiting the ability of Palestinians to develop those resources…

Article 55 of the Hague Regulations limits the right of occupying states to utilize the water sources of occupied territory. The use is limited to military needs and may not exceed past use. Use of groundwater of the Occupied Territories in the settlements does not meet these criteria and therefore breaches article 55…

Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits an occupying state from discriminating between residents of occupied territory. The quantity of water supplied to the settlements is vastly larger than that which is supplied to the Palestinians. Similarly, the regularity of supply is much greater in the settlements. This discrimination is especially blatant during the summer months when the supply to Palestinians in some areas of the West Bank is reduced in order to meet the increased demand for water in the settlements receiving their water from the same pipelines…

Under international law, the main principle for division of shared water between states is the principle of equitable and reasonable use. This principle is based on the limited-sovereignty doctrine, which provides that, because all parts of the drainage basins of watercourses are hydrologically interdependent, states are not allowed to utilize water located in their territory as they wish, but must take into account the other states that share the resource.

This principle does not state a precise formula quantifying the rights of each state sharing an international watercourse. Rather, it lists the factors to be considered in negotiations between the states to determine the division. Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses enumerates seven of these factors:

1. The natural features of the shared watercourse (geographic, climatic, hydrologic, and the like);

2. The social and economic needs of the watercourse states;

3. The population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse state;

4. The effects of the use of the watercourses in one watercourse state on other watercourse states;

5. Existing and potential uses of the watercourse;

Conservation, protection, and development of the water resources of the watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect;

The availability of alternatives to a particular planned or existing use.

Taking into account the components of the principle of equitable and reasonable use, examination of the current division of water between Israel and the Palestinians leads to the conclusion that this division violates Palestinian rights and contravenes international water law.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Omar of Arabia,

Hey Bro’, long time no see. How have you been? I’ve missed you.

Here’s a new link for you to check out:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0712/22/tww.01.html

CNN - THIS WEEK AT WAR WILL DOBSON FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE-
transcript of show

It seems that even the young American Jews have are fed up with Israel.

"FOREMAN: A very controversial idea is your next headline here. American Jews turn away from Israel. What do you mean?

DOBSON: Well, as we know, the U.S. foreign policy is made up by many different lobbies and one of them that's often credited that's being particularly powerful is the Israel lobby. Well, right now in America, a new study that really was just completely overlooked, it appears that though Americans, young American Jews, are beginning to feel less of an attachment to Israel. In a survey that was done, young American Jews, 48% under 35 said they would not consider it a personal tragedy if Israel was destroyed. That's compared to 77% of those 65 and older. Likewise, 54% of young American Jews said that they felt no - they were even uncomfortable with the notion of a Jewish state compared again to 81% of those 65 or older. So what's clearly there is a shift, a generational shift going on in the Jewish community in America today.

FOREMAN: Well, that must cause enormous angst among the older Jewish community. So many of whom have memories of World War II and who feel like Israel was so hard-won to the young people saying you must understand your heritage.

DOBSON: That's exactly right. I mean, clearly what we're seeing and the authors of the report said one, this is a by-product of intermarriage between faiths. People are feeling less of an attachment to the homeland. And it's also a little bit of distance from history. They don't remember the holocaust as being the personal experience that their grandparents do. And so clearly, it's causing a weakening among Jews in America of seeing their jewishness as a collective identity."

That is very interesting indeed, eh bro’. There will be very little weeping in the world when the racist, terrorist, war criminal, so called “State of Israel” expires, and hopefully her demise is not far away.

Here is an article from B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization:

http://www.btselem.org/english/Water/Without_Running_Water.asp

“Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the local population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

Even Israel’s own human rights organization considers them to be racist, illegal and “discriminates on racial grounds”. Israel hogs 80% of the regions water supply to keep their swimming pools full and lawns green, while leaving the Palestinians less than half the amount considered necessary for minimum health requirements by the WHO and USAID organizations.

Omar Khyam-That old black magic has you under its spell...:

Rick Jones:

Churchill bucked the anti-Semitism of his time, and old Rick aids and abets the new anti-Semitism of his.

Too bad.

The old resentments never die; they just get transmogrified.

I'm not anti Semitic. I'm just anti Zionist.

I'm not anti Israeli. I'm just critical of its policies, as if the two can not be distinguished.

Oh, and by the way don't even mention anti Semitism.

You're not allowed to discuss that, because it is only a ploy to squelch discussion.

There's none of that old poison around.

It's just paranoia.

I'm calling a spade, a spade, bro'!

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is an open letter to my friend Alan from another site:

Alan,

Concerning your ridiculous claim that the Jews “may have” purchased 95% of the land of the so called “State of Israel” legally, here is an interesting article from Middle East Quarterly that claims that the true number is 16.4%. So I stand corrected, all Israeli Jews may not be land thieves; only 83.6% of them are:

http://www.meforum.org/article/370

What do you think about them as a source? I’m sure that they are not as unbiased as The Jewish Virtual Library, but they claim to be an honest source of information. Here is what they say about themselves:

“Since its founding in 1994, the Middle East Quarterly has become America's most authoritative journal of Middle Eastern affairs. Policymakers, opinion-makers, academics, and journalists turn first to the Quarterly, for in-depth analysis of the rapidly-changing landscape of the world's most volatile region. The Quarterly publishes groundbreaking studies, exclusive interviews, insightful commentary, and hard-hitting reviews that tackle the entire range of contemporary concerns – from politics to economics to culture, across a region that stretches from Morocco to Afghanistan. The Quarterly, founded by Daniel Pipes and edited by Michael Rubin, appears in a print edition, and is available in full-text (except the current issue) on this website.

The Quarterly welcomes submissions of original articles, and will consider pre-publication of chapters from forthcoming books. The Quarterly specializes in timely and expeditious publication of articles that impact on today's critical issues.”

[I would say that they are about as unreliable as The Jewish Virtual Library given the pro-Israeli slant on the article that follows; nevertheless it will prove useful for our purposes. It will show that in 1901, 8.7% of the current land area of the “State of Israel” had been purchased by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). More than 70% of the remainder was public land vested in the British Mandatory Authority (Meaning that it was owned by the people, and the vast majority of the people were Palestinians).

With the establishment of the “State of Israel” in 1948, the new government inherited the state-owned lands formerly in the possession of British Mandatory authority as well as property abandoned by Arab refugees. The situation today is that 80.4% of the land is owned by the government, 13.1% is owned by the JNF (These lands were never sold, either to Jews or Arabs, but instead were leased on a long—term basis for kibbutzim and other forms of Jewish settlement), and only 6.5% is evenly divided between Arab and Jewish owners. So the 13.1% of land owned by the JNF plus 3.25% privately owned by Jews amounts to a total of 16.4% of the land of the current “State of Israel” that was actually purchased by the Jews; a far sight from your 95% number.]

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

An interesting article in today’s WP:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121301470_pf.html

Churchill's Other Alliance
Why the British leader bucked the anti-Semitism of his time.

Reviewed by Glenn Frankel

Sunday, December 16, 2007; BW04

CHURCHILL AND THE JEWS

A Lifelong Friendship

By Martin Gilbert

Henry Holt. 352 pp. $30

"Even Winston had a fault," Gen. Edward Louis Spears, a dear friend of Winston Churchill, once told historian Martin Gilbert. "He was too fond of Jews."...

Churchill's profound admiration for the Jews, which was not shared by many of his closest political colleagues, was all the more amazing because it survived the rise of Bolshevism, which Churchill abhorred and which he believed was dominated, intellectually and politically, by men and women of Jewish origin. It even survived the turbulent years during and after World War II when Zionist extremists conducted a campaign of political murder against British officials, policemen and soldiers. That campaign reached its nadir with the 1944 assassination in Cairo of Lord Moyne, Britain's top colonial administrator in the region and one of Churchill's closest friends, and the 1946 bombing of British administration offices at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 people died...

Why did the great man shower his affection on a people that could be, by his own reckoning, so cantankerous and problematic? It was, Gilbert writes, partly because Churchill saw Jewish ethics as the foundation stone for Western moral teachings... [Codswallop!]

It's also the case that Churchill had little use for Muslims... [A true anti-Semite]

Churchill was often accused by political opponents and anti-Semites of being in the pocket of wealthy Jews...

Lord Alfred Douglas, the poet and former lover of playwright Oscar Wilde, alleged that Churchill accepted bribes from Jewish financiers during World War I to manipulate wartime information for their financial advantage while he was secretary of the Royal Navy. Douglas was convicted of criminal libel and sentenced to six months in prison. [Let that be a lesson to you, it never pays to speak truth to power.]

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Scanning the newspapers this morning I see that Paris conferees have pledged $7.4 Billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying that an infusion of cash would help the peace process begun by the United States last month in Annapolis, Md.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121700210.html

“But some delegates said that pumping money into the West Bank and Gaza Strip would not lead to long-term economic growth or political moderation as long as Israel continued expanding Jewish settlements and imposing a regime of checkpoints and closures that was strangling the Palestinian economy...

"Economic development is the best guarantee of lasting peace and long-term security for Israel," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the conference host...

But it was unclear how much of the $7.4 billion pledged Monday would go to Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, a radical Islamic group whose forces expelled the Palestinian Authority from the strip in June.

Events that followed the Nov. 27 Annapolis conference contributed to Palestinian resentment here and in the territories leading up to the Paris meeting. A week after both sides pledged to adhere to the U.S.-backed "road map" for peace -- a plan launched in 2003 that calls for Israel to stop settlement activities and for Palestinians to disarm militant groups and boost security -- Israel announced the construction of more than 300 homes on occupied land on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

"I'll be eager to implement all our commitments under the road map, and I expect the Israeli side to do the same, comprehensively, and without excuses from our side or theirs," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the delegates. "I expect them to stop all settlement activities, without exceptions."

There is a fat chance that the Zionists will let up on their expansionist settlements and strangle hold on the Palestinian economy. They will prefer to keep their West Bank settlements, hog 80% of the water supply to keep their lawns green and swimming pools full, while denying the Palestinian natives the right to drill wells; even though both the UN and USA agree that the Palestinians are being deprived the minimum amount of water to maintain health.

Some people cannot be lived with; they must be expelled once again from the Middle East.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here’s a good example of how AIPAC is not the only source of Israeli influence that misled us into the disastrous preemptive invasion of Iraq and continues to stoke our world wide War on Islam:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/opinion/12dowd.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

December 12, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist
The Dream Is Dead

By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

“The man crowned by Tommy Franks as “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet” just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet.

Doug Feith, the former Rummy gofer who drove the neocon plan to get us into Iraq, and then dawdled without a plan as Iraq crashed into chaos, was the headliner at a reunion meeting of the wooly-headed hawks Monday night at the American Enterprise Institute.

The room was packed as the former No. 3 at the Pentagon, previewing his upcoming book, “War and Decision,” conceded that the case could be made that “mistakes were made.” His former boss, Paul Wolfowitz, and the former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle sat supportively in the front row.”...

“In “Fiasco,” Tom Ricks wrote that Feith’s Pentagon office was dubbed the “black hole” of policy by generals watching him drop the ball...

Jay Garner, America’s first viceroy in Iraq, deemed him “incredibly dangerous” and said his “electrons aren’t connected.”

Feith’s disdain for diplomacy and his credo that weakness invites aggression were shaped, Ricks reported, by personal history: “Like Wolfowitz, Feith came from a family devastated by the Holocaust. His father lost both parents, three brothers, and four sisters to the Nazis.”...

What’s the answer to bin Laden? According to Feith, it was an attack on an unrelated dictator. He oversaw the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group, whose mission was to amp up links between Saddam and Al Qaeda...

It defies reason, but there are still some who think the chuckleheads who orchestrated the Iraq misadventure have wisdom to impart.

The Pentagon neocons dumped Condi Rice out of the loop. Yet, according to Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff, Condi has now offered Wolfie a job. It wasn’t enough that he trashed Iraq and the World Bank. (He’s still larking around town with Shaha, the sweetheart he gave the sweetheart deal to.)
Condi wants Wolfie to advise her on nuclear proliferation and W.M.D. as part of a State Department panel that has access to highly classified intelligence.

Once you’ve helped distort W.M.D. intelligence to trick the country into war, shouldn’t you be banned for life from ever having another top-level government post concerning W.M.D.?”

Anonymous:

Here is an article that shows what we are up against. It shows how Barack Obama executed his abrupt flip flop on Palestinian support when he began his campaign for a US Senate seat from Illinois:

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6619.shtml

How Barack Obama learned to love Israel

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007

...“In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”…

…“But Obama's gradual shift into the AIPAC camp had begun as early as 2002 as he planned his move from small time Illinois politics to the national scene. In 2003, Forward reported on how he had "been courting the pro-Israel constituency." He co-sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code allowing the state of Illinois to lend money to the Israeli government. Among his early backers was Penny Pritzker -- now his national campaign finance chair -- scion of the liberal but staunchly Zionist family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain. (The Hyatt Regency hotel on Mount Scopus was built on land forcibly expropriated from Palestinian owners after Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967). He has also appointed several prominent pro-Israel advisors.”…

…“If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising. He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power.”…

“Only if enough people know what Obama and his competitors stand for, and organize to compel them to pay attention to their concerns can there be any hope of altering the disastrous course of US policy in the Middle East. It is at best a very long-term project that cannot substitute for support for the growing campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions needed to hold Israel accountable for its escalating violence and solidifying apartheid.”

It is clear to me that our only hope for an honest government is campaign finance reform with total taxpayer financing of political campaigns. All lobbying must be totally banned.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is a fascinating link. I find it very interesting indeed. When are we going to figure out how to give the American people as much pull with the Congress as AIPAC has?

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11302007/transcript2.html

Here is the part I like best:

BILL MOYERS: But in this country the right wing, the radicals, if you will, you call them radicals, they are radicals. They're organized. They have the money. They have this alliance with the Republican Party. And AIPAC and others make it impossible for Democrats to have the kind of conversation that you're having here. I mean, you don't hear this debate in the Democratic debates, do you?

M.J. ROSENBERG: You don't. And that's-- it's so amazing that no one asks the candidates about Israel and Palestine in debates, ever.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

M.J. ROSENBERG: I think the reason they don't ask is that they know what the candidates are going to say is, "I love Israel. I stand with Israel. Israel is great." End of the discussion.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

M.J. ROSENBERG: Because they are intimidated...

BILL MOYERS: By?

M.J. ROSENBERG: By the lobby which basically does not want a debate on this issue. But, you know, I don't blame the lobby. I blame the politicians. They're not going to lose their seats in Congress. They're not going to lose the presidency because they endorsed a two-state solution. The-- it is not losing that they're afraid of. They're afraid of getting any static from a couple of right wing donors...

BILL MOYERS: --I mean, you have seen the candidates for Congress lose because of opposition from supporters of Israel.

M.J. ROSENBERG: You know what? I think that the only people say that candidates for Congress have lost because of that opposition is, one, the lobby itself to tout its own power. And those candidates who lost for other reasons and want someone to blame. No, I can go over those case by case--

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, but-- but in your newsletter you keep talking about the power of the lobby to intimidate the discussion among Democrats in particular...

BILL MOYERS: --talk about Barney Frank, who's a good liberal Democrat but never discusses this. You talk about Nancy Pelosi writes a letter to Bush before the Annapolis conference and says the only solution can be one that deals primarily with what Palestinians are doing and has no reciprocity from Israel.

M.J. ROSENBERG: Oh, absolutely. The-- they have a real chilling effect on debate...

BILL MOYERS: More so than CUFI, don't they?

M.J. ROSENBERG: Oh, much more. CUFI doesn't really-- I don't see them as really counting on this issue. No, they have a much more-- I go up to the Hill all the time, talk to members of Congress. And what they always are say is, "I'm with you 100 percent. I'm for the two-state solution. I know it's the best thing for America and it's the best thing for Israel. But you really don't want me to go out and say that in public." So they say, like, in my heart I agree with you. But that's not good enough.

RON SIDER: I think that MJ's basically right on that. And I'm sorry about that. I wish they did. I wish they had the political courage to-- in fact, say what they think. Because I mean, it's really momentous in terms of the U.S. and the history of the world and our foreign policy. Because 1.3 billion Muslims in the world tend to judge the U.S. and see it through the lens of Israel-Palestine. And all those Muslims perceive the U.S. as very one-sided. If we would solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, that would remove one major problem in the huge dangerous relationship between the U.S. with its large Christian majority and the Muslim world.

M.J. ROSENBERG: And, you know, on top of it, you have in the Jewish community some 70 percent of our community supports the two-state solution, supports the peace process, supports what Bush tried to do this week in Annapolis. But under our current system, it isn't majorities that matter, it's special interest groups based in Washington. It's a problem with our system right now and how it works.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is the 2nd of two articles in the WP this week about the exhumation in Washington D.C. and reburial in Israel of Theodore Herzl’s grandson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120502025_pf.html

Here is the link to the 1st.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/29/AR2007112902368_pf.html

This is the tragic story of the Zionists’ greatest hero. The first article mentions in passing what an incredible simpleton Herzl was. It never occurred to him that the Palestinians would not readily give up their land and welcome the invading Zionists with open arms.

"Historians and others still sift through Herzl's writings and see many legacies. They note that he envisioned a Jewish state where people spoke not Hebrew, but German; that he and other early Zionists failed to understand Arab nationalism; and that in a utopian novel Herzl wrote, he describes a binational, egalitarian state."

From the 2nd article:

“Sixty years after jumping off a bridge to his death, the last descendant of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, was buried Wednesday in a Jerusalem cemetery bearing his grandfather's name _ bringing an end to a torturous family saga and finally fulfilling Herzl's century-old will.

Herzl's son also committed suicide. He had a daughter who was mentally ill and another who was killed in the Holocaust. In the past year, three of the founder's four descendants have been buried in Israel_ no easy task because of rabbinical injunctions against Jewish burials for those who have killed themselves or converted to other religions.”...

"His vision was realized, and now there is an exemplary nation," said Liora Herzl, the great-granddaughter of Herzl's cousin. But she noted that Zionism's founder left behind a broken, cash-strapped family. "He was completely consumed with his commitment to the Zionist idea, and his family ultimately paid the price for that."

“Norman was the lone family member committed to Herzl's Zionist cause. He read about his grandfather's work and was active in his movement.”

So here we have the idealist Zionist simpleton who is the principal founder responsible for the incredible mess we have in the Middle East today. The question for us to unravel is: what are we going to do about it?

Clearly, the rightful owners of the land of Palestine are in no mood to welcome the Zionist invaders with open arms and they continue to demand the return of their land. The USA is stuck with the consequences of its incredibly poor judgment in siding with the Zionists on this issue.

We are stuck with only two very unattractive options that I can see:

1. Continue with the present approach of funding (with my tax dollars) the slow genocide of the Palestinian people through the denial of their basic human rights and dignity. This is a fate worse than death as evidenced of the tasteless joke of the occasional exploding Muslim. The Israelis confiscates most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

2. Admit what horrendous mistakes were made by the League of Nations in the 20th century with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN Partition of Palestine in 1947 and correct them. How do we correct them? Restore the original pre-1947 boundary of the map of Palestine, go back to the single state solution, recognize the Palestinian Refugee right of return, form a UN mandate to control the allocation of water and enforce the peace. The Israeli planes, tanks, ships and nuclear weapons and all Palestinian arms would be destroyed.

To my mind the 2nd option is the clear choice. What are the odds of this happening? I would say not so good; it is very difficult to admit when one has made a mistake.

Omar Khyam of Arabian Sands:

If that is a threat, then I have no recourse but to paraphrase the great Union General William Tecumseh Sherman to you:

"If the Palestinians want war (which apparently you do in their stead), the IDF will show them what war is!"

Thus far, war has not worked well for the Palestinian cause.

In fact, war has brought them only death, suffering, less land and drought, by your own posting.

A thoughtful observer wonders why you and they would think war that will work well for them in the future.

Unless you and they prefer to cut off your noses to spite your faces, and those of your children.

I prefer that the Palestinians seek peace, lawns, and swimming pools, but if they choose cruise missiles then what can I say.

They are in for an even drier future.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Omar of Arabia,

You know what they say; he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.

Do you hear the Cruise Missiles coming yet? Just be patient, they are on the way.

Omar Khyam:

"So Israel confiscates most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians there do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

Well, I bet if the Palestinians had chosen to build a country in 1948 or even in 2000 rather than to pursue a futile war to eliminate the Jews they to would have a better water supply.

Probably the Palestinians would have lawns and some swimming pools too, who knows.

Now all they have is chaos, suicide bombing, and less water.

See now, that's the problem when you choose war and lose.

The winner generally ends up calling the shots.

I'd say the Palestinians ought to think about settling for the best deal they can get, as soon as possible.

That way they can start thinking about building swimming pools, if that's what they want, rather than building bombs.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is another interesting site on the Israeli technological marvel.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/america/2007/12/israel_silicon_valley_entrepreneur.html

Yup, Israel is a technological marvel. That’s why the Israelis need to hog 80% of the Palestinian’s water supply.

http://www.fmep.org/analysis/articles/water_policy_maher.html

…“According to recommended standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), a minimum of 100 liters a day per capita are needed for balanced and healthy domestic consumption in rural households. In contrast, BâeTselem, the Israeli human rights organization, documents that Israeli per capita consumption of water already reaches 350 l/day, about five-times Palestinian consumption. Per capita consumption of water in Israeli settlements, most of which are strategically located directly above main water extraction sources, can reach even higher levels, estimated at seven-fold the Palestinian consumption rate. In contrast, Palestinian consumption rates per capita vary between 35-80 l/d, well below WHO and USAID recommendations, and in some communities, water consumption can dip to as low as 7 l/d under certain conditions…”

So Israel confiscates most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians there do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

So you folks go ahead and live well at the expense of your oppressed neighbors on your stolen land. My government will guarantee the continuation of your illegal existence and fund your atrocious behavior with billions of my tax dollars. Live long and prosper, until the world wakes up and puts a stop to your despicable treatment of the rightful owners of your stolen land.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/04/AR2007120401669_pf.html

The Myth of the Mad Mullahs

By David Ignatius
Wednesday, December 5, 2007; A29

…“All these strands converged in the bombshell National Intelligence Estimate on Iran that was released Monday. That document was as close to a U-turn as one sees in the intelligence world. The community dropped its 2005 judgment that Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons" and instead said, "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program" because of international pressure…

The most important finding of the NIE isn't the details about the scope of nuclear research; there remains some disagreement about that. Rather, it's the insight into the greatest mystery of all about the Islamic republic, which is the degree of rationality and predictability of its decisions…

The debate about what the NIE should mean for U.S. policy toward Iran is just beginning. But for the intelligence community, this rebuttal of conventional wisdom will restore some integrity after the Iraq WMD debacle. In challenging the previous certitudes about Iran and the Bomb, the NIE recalls the admonition many decades ago by the godfather of CIA analysts, Sherman Kent: "When the evidence seems to force a single and immediate conclusion, then that is the time to worry about one's bigotry, and to do a little conscientious introspection."

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

The Iranians and Israelis can relax. We have no plan to end our dependence on Middle East oil any time soon.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/opinion/05friedman.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

December 5, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist

Intercepting Iran’s Take on America

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

There are two intelligence analyses that are relevant to the balance of power between the U.S. and Iran — one is the latest U.S. assessment of Iran, which certainly gave a much more complex view of what is happening there. The other is the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America, which — my guess — would read something like this:

To: President Ahmadinejad

From: The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence

Subject: America

As you’ll recall, in the wake of 9/11, we were extremely concerned that the U.S. would develop a covert program to end its addiction to oil, which would be the greatest threat to Iranian [and Israeli] national security. In fact, after Bush’s 2006 State of the Union, in which he decried America’s oil addiction, we had “high confidence” that a comprehensive U.S. clean energy policy would emerge. We were wrong.

Our fears that the U.S. was engaged in a covert “Manhattan Project” to achieve energy independence have been “assuaged.” America’s Manhattan Project turns out to be largely confined to the production of corn ethanol in Iowa, which, our analysts have confirmed from cell phone intercepts between lobbyists and Congressmen, is nothing more than a multibillion-dollar payoff to big Iowa farmers and agro-businesses…

Omar Khyam-Here to help dispel your confusion:

Rick Jones:

You missed the point of your genetic citation entirely, but why am I not surprised.

Your study confirms that both the existing Jews and Arabs are Semitic people, that is they are both originally from the Middle East.

That shows that in fact the Jews are indigenous to the Middle East and not Europe.

It does not, however, show that they are part of the same ethno/cultural group as the Arabs.

The Jews were an ethnic group with a separate language and religion from the Arab, and are indigenous to Judea in the Levant.

The Arabs were indigenous to Arabia with a separate language and religion (in fact when the Jews were in Judea, the Arabs were still pagans).

The Semitic Jews got kicked out of the Levant by the Romans, and were dispersed into Europe and other parts of the Middle East.

The Arabs swept out of Arabia to conquer the Levant, other parts of the Middle East, and Europe.

That's what your citation really shows, bro'.

It shows that the Jews are not Europeans, but have merely returned to the region they were exiled from on a tiny tiny portion of land in the Middle East (around 0.2% to be exact).

Michael O.:

Jones:

"Yup, as cruel as it sounds, that is the only solution. Either finish them off, or give them back their land."

You are all heart, Mr. Jones. Have you asked the Palestinians If that's their choice too, before taking it upon yourself to speak on their behalf?

You have just admitted that the Israelis have been a lot more humane in their treatment of the Palestinians than the Americans in their treatment of the Indians. Someone else in your place would have drawn the right conclusion and stop sermonizing to the Israelis about imaginary "atrocities", "ethnic cleansing" and the rest of that crap.

Contrary to the myths fed to you daily by the Arab propaganda machine, the Palestinians are not defenseless, are not being slaughtered and are not suffering "a fate worse than death" (are you sure you're being quite melodramatic enough?). They have the option to end this conflict any time they want, just as they did at any time since the start of this conflict. As long as they don't do this, they have no business complaining about their situation.

"You will need them, and then world opinion will really be against you. You think that we don’t like you now? You aint seen nothing yet."

Ooooh, scary stuff. So now you're talking not only on behalf of the Palestinians but on behalf of the whole world. A true leader type. And what would the whole world do to the Israelis if it didn't like them, pray tell? Hunt them down like animals? Lock them up in ghettos and starve them? Put them on trains and ship them to gas chambers and kill half of them and uproot and expel the rest across the sea?

Wait a minute, this sounds familiar, I'm sure I've heard about something like that before. Isn't that what the world did to the Jews before there was a Middle East conflict or even a State of Israel? So what was the reason back then, could you remind me?

Remember what I told you before about a concept you cannot be expected to comprehend? This was exactly it. No matter what you threaten them with, no matter how dire the situation is for them, there's nothing they have not already been through. The only difference is that before they were completely helpless. Now they are not. Just as I thought, you did not grasp the meaning of that before, and I don't think you ever will. Be well.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here’s a study that finds (not surprisingly) that Jews and Palestinians are genetic brothers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/742430.stm

...“These signatures were significantly different from non-Jewish men outside of the Middle East. This means Jews and Arabs have more in common with each other, genetically speaking, than they do with any of the wider communities in which they might live.”...

So much for the theory that the Palestinians swept into the region with the Arabs several millennia after the Jews...

Joseph:

Why don't you give me part of your net worth, "Omar?" You're not some sort of greedy bastard who claims EVERYTHING you own, are you? Idiot.

Omar Khyam:

Joseph:
"You dope, "Omar." Palestine/Israel was also conquered many times, including once about three thousand years ago by the armies of the Israelites. And yet it is insisted by many that this conquest, of all of the conquests, is the only valid conquest in perpetuity.

Strange concept, indeed."


Not at all.

The British Mandate in Palestine has been shared between the Arabs and the Jews.

The Arabs got Jordan which was the greater part of Mandate Palestine, and were offered the greater habitable share of the remaining Palestine Mandate in 1947. Those lands were in fact part of the ancient Judea that you refer to, and the Jews accepted the tiny portion they were offered most of which was the Negev Desert. The West Bank of the Jordan River was also a major part of ancient Judea, and the Jews have already agreed to give that to the Arabs.

But that's really not enough for the Arabs, because they claim EVERYTHING, and they want the Jews to have NOTHING.

That is because in the Arab imagination any land ever conquered by Arabs for Islam is WAQF!

Isn't that right, habibi????

Joseph:

"Such is history, except of course in the Arab imagination, where the Arab conquest is the only valid conquest in perpetuity.

Strange concept, no?"

You dope, "Omar." Palestine/Israel was also conquered many times, including once about three thousand years ago by the armies of the Israelites. And yet it is insisted by many that this conquest, of all of the conquests, is the only valid conquest in perpetuity.

Strange concept, indeed.

Omar Khyam:

Native Americans and Meso Americans are true indigenous people, native to the Americas since prehistoric times.

Palestinians are the descendants of Arabian Islamic invaders who are native to Arabia, and who colonized the Middle East as recently as the 7th century of the Common Era.

They are not indigenous to the Levant in the same way Native Americans are indigenous to the Americas.

The Levant has been conquered and changed hands many times in history.

Those Arabian invaders lost control of the territory they conquered, including the Levant, eventually to the Ottoman Turks and then to the British.

Such is history, except of course in the Arab imagination, where the Arab conquest is the only valid conquest in perpetuity.

Strange concept, no?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Yup, as cruel as it sounds, that is the only solution. Either finish them off, or give them back their land. They give you no choice. Your current policy of slow ethnic cleansing, through degradation of quality of life, is a fate worse than death. This has long ago caused world opinion to side squarely with the Palestinians. Either finish them off, or come join your brethren in America. The world is fed up and will tolerate these atrocities no longer.

Of course, when you slaughter the defenseless Palestinians, you may still have a fight on your hands. We will have to research the number of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Then you must consider what the response of the rest of the Middle East will be. You may have to wipe out all the Arabs as well.

While you are at it, just to be safe, you had better kill all the Persians too. That I’m a Dinner Jacket guy is a pain in the butt anyway.

Then the entire Muslim world will probably be upset, so you will have to take care of them. I wonder how many of them are in the world. The answer is 1.84 billion in 2007.

http://www.islamicpopulation.com/

How many nukes do you have anyway, 200 or so? You will need them, and then world opinion will really be against you. You think that we don’t like you now? You aint seen nothing yet.

Michael O.:

Jones:

What kind of an argument is that? Are you giving the Americans a free pass because they were more brutal with the local population? In that case, no problem, the Israelis could follow your moral dictates, wipe out the Palestinians, and then everything is OK, right?

Or are you suggesting the native Americans were not as brave as the Palestinians, or did not love their homes and land as much, because they "gave up the fight"? Why don't you try going to some Indian Reservations and air your views there, see what kind of response you get.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

Good point! OK, how about this? The Native Americans seem to be reconciled to their fate as it is today. At least they are no longer fighting us. For one thing, we darned near wiped them of the face of the earth; there are not that many left.

This is not the case in Palestine. The Palestinians are still fighting the illegal invaders/occupiers with everything they’ve got. They prefer to die rather than give up their homes and land; and they still equal the invaders in number.

Therefore we should be siding with the people who are trying to defend their land; not the invaders.

Michael O.:

Jones:

"I think the point is that there is nothing that I can do about what my country did 200 years ago, or even 60 years ago; but I can speak out against what it continues to do today."

If there's nothing you can do about what your country did 60 years ago, then why do you keep going on about the UN resolution and Harry Truman and the British mandate?

But that's an aside. The main point is, we are talking about what your country is doing today, not 200 years ago. It continues to occupy Indian lands today, by your definition, and the injustice has never been rectified. You seem to believe that history can be reversed. So either be honest and start screaming that all non-Indian Americans should go back where they came from, or be honest and stop screaming that the Israelis should go back where they came from. But what you're doing now is dishonest. The standards you apply to Israel are different from those You apply to your own country and to the rest of the world.

"For one thing, the article shows what a simpleton Herzl was. It never occurred to him that the Palestinians would not readily give up their land and welcome the Jews with open arms."

As much a simpleton as Washington, Jefferson and Ben Franklin were.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

For one thing, the article shows what a simpleton Herzl was. It never occurred to him that the Palestinians would not readily give up their land and welcome the Jews with open arms.

"Historians and others still sift through Herzl's writings and see many legacies. They note that he envisioned a Jewish state where people spoke not Hebrew, but German; that he and other early Zionists failed to understand Arab nationalism; and that in a utopian novel Herzl wrote, he describes a binational, egalitarian state."

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

I think the point is that there is nothing that I can do about what my country did 200 years ago, or even 60 years ago; but I can speak out against what it continues to do today. That is what I am doing. We are backing the wrong side in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and behaving nothing like an honest broker.

No point in the Herzl grandson story. I just stumbled across it and thought that people who visit this blog would be interested in it.

Michael O.:

"So what? What has that to do with Palestine?"

Everything. You said the reason for the sharp increase in Jewish immigration in the 20's and the 30's as opposed to previous years was the result of the British "giving" the country to the Jews. I showed you the real reason for the increase.

BTW, what's with that story about Herzl's grandson - Is there a point there somewhere?

"But as I have often explained, without the Balfour Declaration, the rioting Arabs protesting the illegal Zionist immigration would not have been the law breakers."

And as I have explained to you twice before, if they rioted they would have been the lawbreakers no matter what's the cause. The various Jewish undergrounds were fighting the British at the same time, and were subject to raids and arrests just like the Arabs, and if you went to Israel today you could visit the British era prisons where Jewish and Arab insurgents were awaiting their execution side by side in the same cell blocks. So what's your beef?

"The British, the League of Nations, the UN, the USA, we all gave it to them."

How many times can different entities give the same object? Once you give something to someone it's theirs. What part of that simple concept are you having difficulties with?

Let me try to approach it from a different perspective. Why did the Arab nations attack Israel on May 15, 1948 and not on Nov. 29, 1947? Because unlike you, they understood that the UN resolution was worthless, beyond its symbolic meaning, and did not really result in the Jews having a state of their own. The Israel declaration of independence, did have that result. Are you beginning to see the light yet?

The UN resolution of 11/29/1947 (which, BTW, "gave" a state to the Palestinians too) did not stop the Arab invasion, and did not stop a single Arab bullet. So in what respect did it "give" the land to the Jews? Had the Arabs won, they would have divvied up the land between Egypt, Jordan, and perhaps Syria, and the UN would have given them its blessing. So don't give me that crap about the UN "giving" the country to the Jews.

"Just because we were the world’s greatest land thieves during the 19th century, doesn’t justify our continuation of this flawed character trait during the 20th and 21st centuries."

GOOD. So what are you doing about it? Why are you so preoccupied with demanding that some small nation 8,000 miles away give up its land while you yourself are not giving up yours? Why are you not going back to wherever you or your ancestors came from? What's really so mind-boggling here is not only the extent of your hypocrisy, but the fact that you're PROUD of it!

And trotting out Joseph's argument is not going to improve your position either. Both of you fail to understand the simple concept of discrimination. The fact that everyone else does something wrong does not make it right. But deciding that only one nation should be punished and everyone else (including, conveniently, your own nation) is exempt, that's discrimination and it voids your entire argument.

Omar Khyam of Arabian Sands:

Ricky Jones:…

“That is a good parallel between how we treated the Indians (and Mexicans) stealing the western US from Mexico and the Indians, and the eastern US from the Indians. One difference is that we have only occupied this land for about 200 years, while the Palestinians had occupied Palestine for about 2 millennia after the Israelis were kicked out by the Romans plus who knows how many millennia before that”...

Your arguments are ridiculous, but fun to play with any way.

Native North Americans and Meso Americans (Mexicans) were indigenous people to the Americas.
There was NO one in North America when they came
in PRE-historic times.

They took their land from no one, unlike the Arabs, who invaded the Middle East out of
Arabia and tried to conquer Europe as far as Vienna.

The Arabs are invaders and conquerors in the lands of the Middle East, having swept out of Arabia in the seventh century AD. They stole the land from the original inhabitants, and have no more historical claim to anything, then any other invader and conqueror.

The whole history of nations is replete with migrations of people, displacements of people, wars of independence, and the establishment of new nations.

The only two thing that are unique about the founding of Israel are the following:

1. It is the only nation created in the modern world with the blessing of the world community at the U.N. in 1947.

2. Israel was founded in a region of Islamic Arabs, in whose vivid Medieval imagination rules the notion that any land ever conquered by Arabs for Islam is forever, in perpetuity ARAB/ISLAMIC land.

Well, the sad fact is that the Arab imagination has created a fantasy which may have had a place in the Medieval world, but has no place in the modern world.

The main reason the modern world attempts to placate this Arab imagination is the following:

Saudi Arabia sits on the world's largest proven reserves of crude oil, and Saudi Arabia is mightily offended by the presence of a militarily strong and independent Jewish state on the edge of Islam. Their continual military losses to the Jews humiliates and rankles them.

That combined with the residual resentment the Jews engender in Europeans, allows the Arabs to continue to use the Palestinians in their political games against the West.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

…“The bigger waves of immigration starting in the mid-20's and continuing through the outbreak of WW2 coincided with the rise of fascism in Europe, the passage of race laws in Germany, Hungary, Italy and other countries, and all sorts of official and unofficial persecution which made the life of the Jews in Europe unbearable.”…

So what? What has that to do with Palestine? As I have explained to you many times, the Palestinians were not responsible for the mistreatment of the European Jews. If not for the Balfour Declaration and British Mandate from the League of Nations, they would have been no more welcome in Palestine than anywhere else. I will patiently stand by waiting for you to ask this question again.

…“As far as the British were concerned, they were maintaining law and order in a colony under their rule”…

But as I have often explained, without the Balfour Declaration, the rioting Arabs protesting the illegal Zionist immigration would not have been the law breakers. The illegal Zionist immigrants would have been the law breakers, killed by the thousands and chased from the land as they should have been. I will patiently stand by waiting for you to make this silly argument once again.

…“If the British "gave" it to them, that means the country was theirs, so how could the UN "give" it to them again 30 yeas later”…

The British, the League of Nations, the UN, the USA, we all gave it to them. As I have explained to you before, it was just one gigantic conspiracy of thieves. What part of this simple concept do you find so difficult to understand. Harry Truman new better, but alas it was an election year; and he lacked the courage of his convictions. So much for the buck stops here. I will patiently stand by waiting for you to ask this question again.

…“what gives you the right to moralize to other people about giving or taking land when you live comfortably on a land that was taken from another people by force”…

Good question. The answer is still the same as when I last answered it @ November 28, 2007 3:49 PM:


…“That is a good parallel between how we treated the Indians (and Mexicans) stealing the western US from Mexico and the Indians, and the eastern US from the Indians. One difference is that we have only occupied this land for about 200 years, while the Palestinians had occupied Palestine for about 2 millennia after the Israelis were kicked out by the Romans plus who knows how many millennia before that”...

And again @ November 30, 2007 10:55 AM:

…“But who says that anybody should “give” them a state. They deserve a state at our expense much less than do the Native Americans.”…

Since I know you will still find it difficult to grasp this simple concept, I will explain it yet one more time. This means that we have treated our own Native Americans atrociously, as well as the Mexicans, in taking their land by force. If a powerful alien were to come along, decide to take North America away from us and return to the Native Americans and Mexicans; they would have much more justification for doing this than we have for giving Palestine to the Zionists.

Just because we were the world’s greatest land thieves during the 19th century, doesn’t justify our continuation of this flawed character trait during the 20th and 21st centuries.

As another poster put it @ November 29, 2007 9:51 PM:

Joseph:

“Please abandon the "everyone does it" arguments about ethnic cleansing. They would, in the first place, be more accurately, "everyone DID it," and if we open ourselves up to that sort of justification, slavery ought to be okay, too.

Slavery was considered by most "civilized" people to be okay in the mid-19th century; this does not make Hitler's nor Stalin's slavery in the middle of the 20th century acceptable. Nor does the fact that most "civilized" people in the mid-19th century considered ethnic cleansing to be okay make Israel's ethnic cleansing in the middle of the 20th century - nor their current policy of slow ethnic cleansing through degradation of quality of life for the West Bank Palestinians - acceptable.”

Since I know that you find these concepts difficult, I will patiently stand by waiting for you to ask these questions yet again.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is something that you may find of interest:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/29/AR2007112902368_pf.html

A Family Reunion for Grandson of Zionism's Founder

Rockville History Buff Lobbied to Have Man's Remains Sent to Israel

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, November 30, 2007; B01

Sixty-one years after he was buried at a windy hilltop cemetery in Southeast Washington, Stephen Theodore Norman, the only grandchild of Zionism's founder, was exhumed yesterday after a five-year campaign to have him buried near his family in Israel.

As morticians in plastic jumpsuits sifted with their gloved hands through mud and water in the five-foot grave crater, Jerry Klinger stood alongside. Klinger, a passionate Jewish history buff from Rockville, was watching the realization of years of intense -- and often ignored -- lobbying for what he sees as a battle for the legacy of Theodor Herzl and the Zionist movement Herzl founded more than a century ago in Europe…

Herzl, who died 44 years before Israel's establishment, envisioned a utopian, egalitarian society and peaceful relations between Arabs and Jews. But by 1975, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling Zionism a form of racism. The resolution was rescinded in 1991, but advocates of Israel worry that the stigma will never disappear.

Herzl's name has also been attached to great tragedy in his family. The Hungarian-born journalist died at 44. His elder daughter suffered from mental illness and apparently died of a drug overdose. Her brother, who had converted to Christianity, committed suicide when he learned of her death. Herzl's younger daughter, who was in and out of mental institutions, was the only one to have a child -- Stephen Norman, who became a captain in the British Army and was posted to the embassy in Washington in 1946.

Several months before, he visited Palestine, the only member of his family to go there. Norman wrote in his journal from the trip that he "believed in the idea and the aims of Zionism, and in the moral, ethical, economic, and social need for it that had been made even more urgent and important by world events and the tremendous problems created by the new scientific anti-Semitism of the last decades."…

Soon after arriving in Washington, Norman learned that his parents had been killed in a Nazi concentration camp. At 28, he plunged to his death off a Massachusetts Avenue NW bridge…

Jewish law also forbids suicide and the burying of people who commit suicide in Jewish cemeteries…

Michael O.:

Joseph:

Glad to see you ran out of all substantive arguments. Be well.

Michael O.:

Jones:

"A total of 352,000 (84%) of the 417,000 total immigrants prior to 1939 arrived during the 22 years after the Balfour Declaration.

Only 65,000 (16%) arrived during the 35 years prior to the Balfour Declaration.

You be the judge."

You could be the judge too if you had a little knowledge of history combined with a little common sense. The bigger waves of immigration starting in the mid-20's and continuing through the outbreak of WW2 coincided with the rise of fascism in Europe, the passage of race laws in Germany, hungary, Italy and other counries, and all sorts of official and unofficial persecution which made the life of the jews in Europe unbearable. Capiche?

"But more importantly, the native Palestinians clearly did not want to allow the Zionist immigration but were forced to accept it by the British."

Nonsense. I already explained that point to you. As far as the British were concerned, they were maintaining law and order in a colony under their rule, just as they were doing, at the exact same time, in other colonies around the world. They were fighting Arab insurgents and Jewish insurgents alike, and did not give a second thought to either Balfour or the league of nations. In fact the white paper of the Peel commission was a de facto overturn of the Balfour declaration.

And by the way, isn't there a logical flaw in your claim that both the British and the UN resolution of 1947 "gave" the country to the Jews? If the British "gave" it to them, that means the country was theirs, so how could the UN "give" it to them again 30 yeas later?

Last but not least, I'm still waiting for you to explain what gives you the right to moralize to other people about giving or taking land when you live comfortably on a land that was taken from another people by force. You are a land thief by your own definition, not just because of your poor syntax, but by virtue of your living where you are. Stop waffling and answer the question.

JustWondering:

As for the solution of Middle East crisis:
How about arguing for a form of governament which can provide food and basic necessities to the population, instead of a "publicly elected demacracy". Because we woun't like the results of the elections (saw it in Lebanon & Palestine).

Let's have an honest discussion. The poor & middle class Americans (Blacks, Hispanic, Whites, Indians) are so busy working two jobs to meet both ends, that they have no time to read about any politics or taking arms against the "Wealthy Oppressors"

Let' get these Middle Easterners busy into those two job lives and we will have peace.

Need an example: look at how the Prince of Dubai is keeping not only his people busy but have slaves come from all over the region to work on his projects and he gives them food and they have no time to revolt or whatsoever. And the Rich Keeps Getting Rich!!!

Let's Get Practical...

JustWondering:

Hey Guys,
Just waondering where everyone is talking about the wandering of the JEWS through out the history. From Egypt, Middle East, Europe back to Israel.
Has anyone noticed that where ever they went, their neighbors started to HATE them to the point of persecution killing and kicking them out of their lands?
With the exception of America they were kicked out from where ever the went!!!

Any reason in particular???

Omar of Arabian Sands:

Rick Jones wrote:

"The appeaser and collaborator Abbas who wants to coexist with the Israeli occupier does not represent the Palestinian people. The elected sovereign democratic government of the Palestinians is led by Hamas.

The days of the Zionist invader/occupier are numbered, and a small number it is indeed.
Your call for war will go unheeded."


Rational Israelis and Palestinians want nothing to do with more futile killing.

Of course if there were another war, the Palestinians will again lose and with their defeat they will lose more land and feel further humiliation.

That is the sad history of the Arab wars against Israel since 1948.

Then you and they will again whine about Israeli aggression, before the cheering chorus at the U.N.

You are the classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Are you sure you live in the Old Dominion and not in Gaza City????

Asalam Aleikhum, habibi....


Omar of Arabian Sands:

Rick Jones wrote:

"The appeaser and collaborator Abbas who wants to coexist with the Israeli occupier does not represent the Palestinian people. The elected sovereign democratic government of the Palestinians is led by Hamas.

The days of the Zionist invader/occupier are numbered, and a small number it is indeed.
Your call for war will go unheeded."


Rational Israelis and Palestinians want nothing to do with more futile killing.

Of course if there were another war, the Palestinians will again lose and with their defeat they will lose more land and feel further humiliation.

That is the sad history of the Arab wars against Israel since 1948.

Then you and they will again whine about Israeli aggression, before the cheering chorus at the U.N.

You are the classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Are you sure you live in the Old Dominion and not in Gaza City????

Asalam Aleikhum, habibi....


Joseph:

Michael O, get this straight: I'm not paying very much attention to what you write. You don't pay very much attention to what you write; why should anyone else?

M.Kerjman:

Mr. Daoud Kuttab,


The Jews live around a globe continuingly, and year by year the Arabic Diaspora has been growing around a world, following a modern trend of democratic (non-forcible) globalisation.

Then, what is a point for the Arabs to establish a next Arabic state-in Palestine, this time?

It is clear - your respondent is, perhaps, not an exception among many – vocal leaders of a local Arabic population seek better opportunities for their folks in a state arranged for their tribe exclusively.

That is why Israel is the JEWISH State established and based on western democracy principles surely, of which a historical / modern capital partitioning to discuss is a counterproductive issue.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Omar of Arabia,

There is nothing sovereign about people who gain their land by theft from the rightful owners.

The appeaser and collaborator Abbas who wants to coexist with the Israeli occupier does not represent the Palestinian people. The elected sovereign democratic government of the Palestinians is led by Hamas.

The days of the Zionist invader/occupier are numbered, and a small number it is indeed.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

…“Floodgates my foot. Jewish immigration To Israel had been going on for 40 years prior to the Balfour declaration, and continued thereafter, except for the period when the Jews were barred from entering the country by British battleships and by WWII. So in what respect did the British "give" the country to the Jews? It was not theirs to give and they did not.”…

Well, let’s put it this way:

http://www.tomhull.com/ocston/projects/ajvp/wp1.php

1878: First Zionist settlement in Palestine at Petach Tiqwa.

1882-1903: 1st wave of 25,000 Zionist immigrants.

1906-1914: 2nd wave of 40,000 Zionist immigrants.

1919-1923: 3rd wave of 35,000 Zionist immigrants.

1924-1928: 4th wave of 67,000 Zionist immigrants.

1929-1939: 5th wave of 250,000 Zionist immigrants.

So, 35,000 Zionist immigrants arrived during a 4 year period just after the Balfour Declaration, almost as many as arrived during an 8 year period just before the Balfour Declaration.

A total of 352,000 (84%) of the 417,000 total immigrants prior to 1939 arrived during the 22 years after the Balfour Declaration.

Only 65,000 (16%) arrived during the 35 years prior to the Balfour Declaration.

You be the judge.

But more importantly, the native Palestinians clearly did not want to allow the Zionist immigration but were forced to accept it by the British. So the British obviously gave the country to the Zionists as authorized by the League of Nations. No, Palestine was not theirs to give, but they did give it to the Zionists anyway.

They tried to stop the illegal Zionist immigration with their 1939 White Paper, but they couldn’t. The Zionist terrorist group Irgun led by Menachem Begin fought to continue the illegal immigration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irgun

“Well-known attacks by Irgun were the bombing of King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946 and the Deir Yassin massacre, perpetrated together with the Stern group on 9 April 1948. British authorities condemned Irgun as terrorists already in the 1930s. However, Irgun also had considerable support within the Zionist movement.”

Omar Khyam:

Earth to Rick Jones:

This is 2007.

Israel is a sovereign state and U.N. member.

The Palestinians have now recognized themselves as a people (at least since 1967), and as of last week they clearly wish to have an independent state cheek by jowl with the sovereign state of Israel.

The question that is before us today in November 2007:

How do we get the Palestinians from where they are today to where they wish to be?

Your rumination and resentment does not help move us any closer to solving the dispute, that keeps the Palestinians in their wretched state.

What is done is done.

You can not unmake Israel just like you can not unmake the U.S.A., Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or any other country.

You need to be thinking positively:

How can we create something for the Palestinians; not, how can we destroy something the Israelis built?

You are mired in negative vibes, man...

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Awabnavi,

Thanks for the posts. I find them very interesting, but I’m not quite sure what your point is.

In the first, in response to Omar of Arabia, you correctly point out how unfair and biased in favor of Israel the 1947 UN partition was, giving 52% of the land to Israel, who only constituted 31% of the population, and who only owned or had settled upon 6% of the land; while only 48% of the land went to the Palestinians, who constituted 69% of the population and owned or were settled upon 94% of the land.

In the second post you lead us to a website that is obviously maintained by the Israelis, although they are not honest enough to acknowledge that.

First, right off the bat it states that the only purpose of the British Mandate was to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. Codswallop, nothing could be further from the truth. The requirement to provide a homeland for the Jews was just one minor, and very controversial, provision of the mandate, which was never accepted by the Arabs who had also been promised Palestine (the part of the total British Mandate west of the Jordan River) for their support to the allies during WW II.

Second, it complains that the part that the total mandate that the British chose to divide between the Jews and the Palestinians was only 14,000 km. Actually, it was 13,700 km based on their own table: 8,000 for Israel + 5,700 for the West Bank. Note that this gives Israel 58.4% of the land, not the 52% that you cited in your first post; and it gives the Palestinians only 41.6% of the land, not the 48% that you cited in your first post.

Michael O.:

Joseph:

So let me get this straight: First you deny vehemently that Israel kept records of absentee property, then when I point to the absentee property law you acknowledge it, and then you accuse ME of waffling and backpedalling?

Michael O.:

Jones:

"The Balfour Declaration was the letter from the British Foreign Secretary (Arthur James Balfour) to the Zionist Chief Lobbyist (Lord Rothschild) that formally and officially opened the flood gates of Zionist immigration to Palestine."

Floodgates my foot. Jewish immigration To Israel had been going on for 40 years prior to the Balfour declaration, and continued thereafter, except for the period when the Jews were barred from entering the country by British battleships and by WWII. So in what respect did the British "give" the country to the Jews? It was not theirs to give and thet did not.

Sure, the British fought the Arabs at the time of the Arab revolt. They fought any uprising in any of their colonies, in India, in Africa, wherever. They regarded themselves as the sovereign power in all the colonies, and regarded it as their duty to suppress the rise of any other military power. So What's your point?

"I am anti-Zionist land thief. I am not anti-Semite (either the Jewish, Arab or Armenian variety)."

I have already realized that you are an anti-zionist, but I'm surprised to hear you are a land thief as well. That's not nice. As to your antisemitism, you have already established your credentials with the usual antisemitic claptrap about "the lobby" " America went to war in Iraq to defend Israel", the reference to America's Jews as "the American Jew" (Aren't you a regular visitor to Stormfront.com?) Your suggestion that the Israelis should go back to living in Ghettos (but not in your neighborhood) and your ugly suggestion that they should "Learn to live and let live" (because they are inherently prone to violence, no doubt).

As an aside, I also noticed your Freudian slip in calling Lord Rothschild "The chief Zionist Lobbyist". He wasn't, of course. The chief representative of the Zionist movement in England at the time was Haim Weitzman. But wouldn't it be just like a dyed-in-the-wool antisemite to come up with a knee-jerk association between Zionists and money.

Awabnavi:

As the modern state of Israel exists and will continue to exist irrespective of how much we rehash history, and the Arabs try despereately to show that somehow Israel's history is an anomaly, I offer you this citation to refresh your memory about the British Mandate in Palestine and its size:

http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_mandate_overview.php

awabnavi:

Omar Khyam:
2. Most of Palestine was given to Palestinian Arabs in the form of Trans Jordan.

Read this --- "A look at the critical numbers demonstrates why the Arabs rejected the U.N. Partition Plan. The Jews, who constituted only 31% of the population and owned or were settled upon only 6% of the land were awarded 52% of the land, while the Palestinians, who constituted 69% of the population and owned or were settled upon 94% of the land were given only 48%. Moreover, before 1881, the year of the first wave of European Jews migrating into Palestine, Arabs constituted 95% of the population and owned 98% of the land."

Joseph:

Omar's Arab hatred: "It is you and the Arabs who are the great pretenders...."

Where's the love, Omar?

Are you Mandean?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

“The pre-1947 backing of the British is a myth.”

Here is yet another reference to refute this ridiculous notion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab-Israeli_War#The_Great_Arab_Revolt_.281936.E2.80.931939.29_and_its_aftermath

As the Palestinians tried to resist the Zionist invasion in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they engaged in grass-roots anti-British and anti-Zionist activism.

The death of the preacher Shaykh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam at the hands of the British police in November 1935 generated widespread outrage. A few months later a spontaneous Arab national general strike broke out. This lasted until October 1936.

During the period from 1936–1939, known as the Great Arab Revolt, British suppressed the widespread riots with overwhelming force. This resulted in the deaths of 5,000 Palestinians and the wounding of 10,000. In total 10 percent of the adult male population was killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled. The Jewish population had 400 killed; the British 200.

During this time the British officer Charles Orde Wingate (who supported a Zionist revival for religious reasons) organized Special Night Squads composed of British soldiers and Haganah mercenaries. The squads were rumored to have used excessive and indiscriminate force, which has been cited by Israeli academic Anita Shapira. From 1936 to 1945, whilst establishing collaborative security arrangements with the Jewish Agency, the British confiscated 13,200 firearms from Arabs and 521 weapons from Jews.

When the Palestinians faced their most fateful challenge in 1947–49, they were still suffering from the British repression of 1936–39, and were in effect without a unified leadership. Indeed, it might be argued that they were virtually without any leadership at all.

It became clear that the two communities could not be reconciled, and the idea of partition was born. The British responded to Arab opposition with the White Paper of 1939, which severely restricted Jewish immigration. The White Paper policy also radicalized segments of the Jewish population, who after the war would no longer cooperate with the British.

So the 1936-1939 Great Arab Revolt was the Arab response to the illegal Zionist invasion. The British brutally responded by killing, wounding, imprisoning or exiling 10% of the Palestinian male population and decapitating its leadership, which directly led to the Arab defeat in 1948.

Omar Khyam:

1. Israel is not an apartheid society. Twenty per cent of its citizens are Arabs, have all the rights of Israeli citizenship, and representatives in Parliament. You are pretending again.

2. Can you please show anywhere in what I have posted where I have shown hatred for Arabs?

I do not want to drive Arabs out of the Middle East.

I do not hate their religion.

I want an independent Palestinian state.

I want all Palestinians wherever they are to be able to return to that new Palestinian state when it is finally formed.

Show me the hatred, or are you pretending again?

Joseph:

Omar, I can think of one other Western state in recent history that made distinctions between its citizens based on nationality, but the Apartheid Regime of South Africa fell in 1994. That would tend to make Israel an anomaly today.

Also, you seem to have a lot of irrational hatred toward Arabs. You really are Persian rather than Iranian, aren't you? Are you a Zoroastrian? I'm guessing that you're neither Jewish nor of the Baha'i faith. Why do you hate Arabs so much? Why are you so biased?

Omar Khyam and don't tell me who I am...:

Joseph,

I am not "pretending" Israel is not an anomaly.

Check out a book on the history of the nations of the world and read it.

You will then find that it is you and the Arabs who are pretending.

Pretending that countries don't arise from wars of independence, pretending that people have never been displaced before by the creation of new nations, pretending that immigration has never before occurred during the creation of new nations, pretending that the Jews are not a people or discinct ethnic group as well as a religion, pretending that the Jews have/had no historical connection to a homeland,........and I could go on and on........

It is you and the Arabs who are the great pretenders....

And oh yeah, you pretend that the Arabs are not as much a cause of the plight of the Palestinians as the Israelis.

In fact, the Palestinians are being held hostage to the politics of the Arabs as anything else.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Chicagoan,

Where have you been?

Our young men’s lives (and national wealth) can only be squandered in the oilfields of Iraq, making sure that the tanks remain full in our SUVs, and the Middle East remains safe for our Zionist ally. We can’t even tolerate a tax increase to pay the bills, let alone be bothered to don a uniform and join the fight. We prefer to borrow from the Chinese.

Soon the Chinese will not have to raise a finger to defeat us. They will only need to flood the market with our worthless paper money. The value of the dollar has plunged from 1.0 to 0.67 Euros in just the past five years. Next year we will rename it to the US peso. The Euro is becoming the new world standard.

The Israelis, who import 90% of their oil (from the Russians) are in the same boat as we are, and will collapse with us of their own greed and stupidity. So much for the world’s last remaining super power and its number one ally.

Joseph:

Michael O, you do an awful lot of waffling and backpedaling. Would you like to explain how the Absentee Property Law deprived Palestinians who became Israeli citizens of their property, under their Kafkaesque categorization as "present absentees?"

"Omar," by pretending that Israel is not an anomaly in recent world history and in its existence today, you reveal your prejudice. You should be a slave to someone, Omar - you wouldn't pretend that slavery is an anomaly in human history, would you?

Also, it is curious that an Iranian would use the term "Persian."

Chicagoan:

Ricky Jones writes from the safety of Virginia. No doubt he will demand that OTHERS force the Israelis from their homes. His command of the facts is indeed shaky. The Arabs, who out number the Jews some 40 to 1, have tried numerous times to force them into the sea.

And each time, without a single American soldier on their side, the Jews defeated the Arabs.

Contrast that to the Kuwait war. Which requires Billions of Dollars and hundreds of American lives to "liberate" one Arab country from occupation by another Arab country.

So, Ricky, unless you are willing to walk the walk and force the Israelis out of their homeland yourself, don't be in such a hurry to commit the sons and daughters of other Americans to your hate filled cause.

Omar Khyam-A Persian Arabian:

Ricky Jones:

Write your Congressman and your Senator bro' if you don't like the way your tax dollars are spent.

It's a free country.

In a free country, everybody can express their views without fear.

If you can get the majority to buy into your views your tax dollars might be spent differently.

And oh yeah, you can also form a lobby if you want.

That's how it works, brother.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Omar of Arabia,

People can emigrate, and immigrate, and conquer, and oppress the innocent and defenseless all they want as long as my tax dollars don’t finance it.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

“The pre-1947 backing of the British is a myth.”

Please, how can you write such nonsense? The Balfour Declaration was the letter from the British Foreign Secretary (Arthur James Balfour) to the Zionist Chief Lobbyist (Lord Rothschild) that formally and officially opened the flood gates of Zionist immigration to Palestine.

Then on top of that, after World War I, the League of Nations formally assigned the Palestine mandate to the United Kingdom, endorsing the terms of the Balfour Declaration and additionally requiring the British to set up the Jewish Agency that would administer Jewish affairs in Palestine.

An additional treaty was signed with the USA (which did not join the League of Nations) in which the USA endorsed the terms of the mandate.”

What more could they do? Physically pick the Zionists up at their point of origin and taxi them to their destination in Palestine?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration_of_1917

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Israel

“Whatever else you may say about them, they are not dependent for their safety on the fleeting tolerance of antisemites such as yourself.”

Please, try to grow up and cut out the childish name calling. I am anti-Zionist land thief. I am not anti-Semite (either the Jewish, Arab or Armenian variety).

Omar Khyam from the Arabian Sands:

Joseph:

My father was a Persian who moved to the Lebanon, that was conquered and settled by Arabs when they swept out of Arabia to invade and colonize the Levant.

You see that is how a Persian ends of being part of the blowing Arabian sands,... migration, emigration, and conquest-that is the history of the Middle East and the entire planet.

You see by pretending that Israel is some anomaly in human history, you reveal your prejudice.

Populations have always moved, migrated, or conquered new regions, just as the Arabs did.

Only in the Arab mind is any land ever conquered by Arabs forever Arab or Islamic.

Time for you to leave your Medieval Arab thinking and prejudices behind.

Persians can be from Arabia, Arabs from Persia, Egypt, or the Lebanon, Jews from Israel, Persia, Arabia, or even Brooklyn. In fact, there are even Palestinians from Brooklyn.

I'm surprised you didn't know that.

Michael O.:

Joseph:

Regarding the absentee records, you're getting tiresome. If you've never heard about the Israeli Absentee Property Law and the Absentee Property Register, then you have a little gap in your education and you can fill it by googling the subject. Frankly, I'm not sure why we are arguing over that and what difference does it make one way or another.

"No, it is not "just as you said," because you wrote, "There was a displacement of population on both sides in 1948." Not AFTER 1948, but IN 1948."

Tiresome nitpicker does not begin to describe you. All Right: The 1948 war started by the Arabs has caused a displacement of population on both sides, during the war years and in the following years. Happy?

"Also, your bias shows in your claim that everything was caused by "Arab actions." That's your opinion, and the facts point strongly toward you being wrong yet again."

What facts?

"Finally, you may have heard on occasion that two wrongs do not make a right. So why are you implicitly arguing that the crime - and it was, in many cases, a crime - of the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands corrects the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israelis?"

I'm arguing no such thing, neither implicitly nor explicitly. As far as the displacement triggered by the war is concerned, if you choose to ignore the displacement caused by by nations other than Israel then don't go around accusing others of bias. You are the biased one. As far as the present day is concerned, I'm still waiting for you to offer a single shred of evidence that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing today. So far all you could offer is something about the distribution of water. Whether it's true or not, I don't like what the Settlers are doing in the occupied territories and I don't think they should be there at all, and the sooner they are removed the better. But that's not ethnic cleansing, so don't change the subject.


Michael O.:

Jones:

"The “State of Israel” would not exist today but for the pre-1947 backing of the British and the League of Nations, and the post-1947 support of the USA."

It most certainly would, because it's a historical inevitability. The pre-1947 backing of the British is a myth. They did not lift a finger to help a single Jew immigrate to israel, and as of 1929 they actively opposed that immigration. By 1936 they slammed the gates shut and kept them so until they left in 1948. To say that they helped the Jews is not even a bad joke. They did everything they could to thwart the arrival of Jewish refugees from Europe, during the years when the Jews needed a refuge most.

As to the Post-1947 support of the US (I thought you said the UN before, but you're so mired in inconsistencies that one more or less would make no difference), that did not begin in earnest until after 1967. American support was the result, not the cause, of Israel's success.

"No reasonable person would think that the American Jew is at risk. It is the Israeli Zionist who is in danger of extinction."

No reasonable person thought that the European Jews were at risk until they were. The Israelis may be at risk too, but unlike their predecessors, they can defend themselves. That's a difference that you cannot be expected to comprehend. Whatever else you may say about them, they are not dependent for their safety on the fleeting tolerance of antisemites such as yourself.

Joseph:

Also, Omar Khayyam was Iranian, not Arabian. Your ignorance is on full display.

Joseph:

"Omar," let's take the "almost" out of your statement: I think you are ignorant.

You, for all your accusations that others are cultivating hatred, can only see hatred when in fact a lot of Arab anger at Israel is well grounded in a sense of justice. What you are too ignorant to recognize is that the Arabs feel that the Palestinians were wronged in the creation of Israel, and they obviously were. Insistence on justice is not hatred, no matter how much you cultivate its perception as such. And it is a very human thing to insist on justice; what you seem to want is for the Arabs to act like whipped dogs and to submit to the greater military power of Israel rather than to act like human beings and insist on dignity. This attitude is very much like hatred, isn't it?

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Omar of Arabia,

…“The hard liners are Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda and the like, and they are filled with hate.

You say they are right, but you don't have the courage to admit your animus as openly as they do.”…

Keep trying young man, this is not so difficult. You will eventually get it, no matter how determined you may be to cultivate your ignorance.

Yes, the hard line freedom fighters are filled with hate, as well they should be. The cowardly Zionist invader, backed by the world’s super powers, with their planes and ships and tanks and nuclear arsenal, have slaughtered thousands of innocent Palestinians (including many women and children), and driven hundreds of thousands of families from their homes and land into refugee camps, where the living conditions are unimaginable.

Of course they are filled with hate. I, on the other hand, am only filled with disgust for my despicable government, which is responsible of this atrocity, and which uses my tax dollars to continue the support of this atrocity.

Now, do you get it yet? If not keep trying, we will take it again yet once more from the top.

Omar Khyam from the Arabian Sands:

Joseph:

It's almost like you don't want to believe there will be a two state solution.

It's almost like you think I am ignorant, because I believe that Arabs can ever stop hating the Israelis enough to live peacefully with two separate states.

Well, if you are right and I am just plain ignorant of how deeply the Palestinians hate Israel, then their situation (the Palestinian) is one of everlasting chaos, poverty, and death.

And that is because no matter how you or they feel about Israel or its creation, the fact of the matter is that Israel is not going away.

Denial of that fact is in fact denial of reality.

Omar Khyam from the Arabian Sands:

Sorry above anonymous post was from Omar Khyam

Anonymous:

Ricky Jones:

Come on man, show some courage.

You can jive and shuck all you want, but this what you wrote:

"The hard liners of the region will never permit the “State of Israel” to remain on Arab land, nor should they. With the advent of the modern Cruise Missile that is low flying, GPS guided and impervious to radar detection, it is only a matter of time until downtown Tel Aviv and other major Israeli targets are flattened. Russia, Iran, Pakistan or someone will give or sell these weapons to the Arabs. They could but won’t use nuclear warheads because they want the land to remain habitable. They can be programmed to fly various land hugging profiles, approach from multiple directions, and no one will know where they came from."

Just as you said:

"The hard liners of the region will never permit the “State of Israel” to remain on Arab land, nor should they."

The hard liners are Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda and the like, and they are filled with hate.

You say they are right, but you don't have the courage to admit your animus as openly as they do.

Jive and shuck, jive and shuck, but what you wrote betrays the way you feel. There really is no logic to be defended.


Joseph:

"Omar Khyam," I would put it differently: you have hope because you don't understand the situation very well. Sometimes perceptions between two groups are so far apart that there is no hope for a negotiated settlement, and this is such a case. You can hope all you want, but don't place any bets on your hopes being realized. You've (mistakenly) accused me of cultivating hatred; let me now accuse you of cultivating and embracing ignorance.

Michael O.: "Israel has also kept meticulous records of the properties of absent Arabs."

No, they have not. You're an idiot or a liar if you say otherwise. In fact, when the IDF stormed the Orient House, where the Palestinians kept the records they had of property ownership, they ransacked the files there.

"In the few years following the 1948 war, the Jews living the surrounding Arab lands were forced out ... So there was a displacement on both sides, just as I said, and that displacement was caused entirely by Arab actions."

No, it is not "just as you said," because you wrote, "There was a displacement of population on both sides in 1948." Not AFTER 1948, but IN 1948. That is what you wrote. That you cannot clearly state your position is not my fault, but please don't try to pretend that the facts are other than what anyone can verify simply by scrolling up on this website.

Also, your bias shows in your claim that everything was caused by "Arab actions." That's your opinion, and the facts point strongly toward you being wrong yet again.

Finally, you may have heard on occasion that two wrongs do not make a right. So why are you implicitly arguing that the crime - and it was, in many cases, a crime - of the expulsion of Jews from Arab lands corrects the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israelis? Someone once cheated me out of $100; would that excuse me for stealing $100 from you? Of course not. You are honestly really deficient both in your facts and your reasoning, Michael.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Lawrence of Arabia,

Ah yes, the classic defense, if you can’t win in the marketplace of ideas, conducting a civil debate based on the strength of your logic, then resort to childish name calling. That’s very honest and mature my friend.

Omar Khyam from the Arabian Sands:

I could disagree with your hateful opinions and respect you if you were merely honest about who you hate and why you hate them.

Your opinions and how you articulate them drip with a profound animus.

By denying what your statements reveal, you merely show that you don't have the courage to face the emotions behind your statements.

I disagree profoundly with Hamas, but I do respect their courage.

They hate Jews and they make no bones about it.

Their charter is an honest statement about how they feel.

You should learn some courage from Hamas.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

“Both the Balfour declaration and the UN resolution were symbolic acts that remained on paper. Neither one of those acts had the power to give the Jewish people a state, and neither one of them did. The State of Israel was founded by the Jewish people who emigrated there, and by no one else.”

Believe such nonsense if you wish my friend. I do not. The “State of Israel” would not exist today but for the pre-1947 backing of the British and the League of Nations, and the post-1947 support of the USA.

No reasonable person would think that the American Jew is at risk. It is the Israeli Zionist who is in danger of extinction.

Michael O.:

To Rick Jones:

Both the Balfour declaration and the UN resolution were symbolic acts that remained on paper. Neither one of those acts had the power to give the Jewish people a state, and neither one of them did. The State of Israel was founded by the Jewish people who emigrated there, and by no one else.

"the 5.7 million Jews living in the USA seem to do OK for themselves."

For now. Up to 100 years ago they were mostly Europeans. Where are Europe's Jews today? two thirds of them have been massacred and the rest have been uprooted and driven away. And how long can you wander from one country to another before realizing you need a country of your own?

Michael O.:

To Joseph:

Israel has also kept meticulous records of the properties of absent Arabs. So what? Keeping records does not mean either side ever intends to return them. During the 1948 war, all Jews living in areas captured by the Arabs were forced out (except for those who were massacred first), and when I say all, I mean to the last one. That is not the case for all Arabs living in areas captured by the Israelis.

In the few years following the 1948 war, the Jews living the surrounding Arab lands were forced out as well, in numbers greater than the numbers of the Palestinian refugees. So there was a displacement on both sides, just as I said, and that displacement was caused entirely by Arab actions.

As to your dying moose argument, I understand that in your eyes it is the natural state state of affairs for the Egyptians, Syrians and Moroccans to live in poverty, but in the case of the Palestinians, it is Israel's fault. Sounds like a lame excuse to me, and given that the rate of emigration of Palestinians to the West has not been higher than the rate of Egyptians, or other Arabs, or for that matter any other migrating people around the world, I think you will need a much better evidence of a deliberate policy on the part of Israel to drive them out. And, I hate to bring up the subject again, The West Bank could still be Arab territory today, if not for Arab actions.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Lawrence of Arabia:

...“It doesn't matter now when the modern state of Israel came into existence, or when the Palestinian Arabs discovered they were a people.”...

I expect the Philistines new they were a people long before Yahweh commanded the Jews to exterminate them; even though it doesn’t matter.

...“You do not have hope, because you cultivate hatred.”

I don’t hate anybody. I just hate to see my tax dollars misspent in such an atrocious manner, to rob the Palestinians of their heritage and oppress their basic human rights and dignity.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O:

...“Who gave them a state?”...

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 that accelerated the illegal immigration of the Zionist Jews into Palestine was the worst decision of the last century.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".

The UN partition of 1947 that enabled the establishment of the ‘State of Israel’ was the next bad decision. Truman new better but caved in to pressure in an election year to public opinion and the political attacks from the Republican candidate Dewey. So much for: “The buck stops here”.

These dreadful decisions are only rivaled by the disastrous decision of this century to invade and occupy Iraq; all for our unquenchable thirst for Middle East oil, and the Neocon Israeli lobby pulling the strings of our government.

...“Your proposed solution has been tried for 2,000 years. It doesn't work.”...

I don’t know; the 5.7 million Jews living in the USA seem to do OK for themselves. What’s wrong with that?

Michael O.:

To Rick Jones:

"Yes the idea of “giving” the Israelis a state in the USA is bizarre, but not nearly as bizarre as giving them a state on Arab land in the Middle East."

What is bizzare is your insistence on the bizzare notion that someone has given them a state. Who gave them a state? And where have you learned history

"but they will eventually get over it and learn to live and let live like everyone else."

Your proposed solution has been tried for 2,000 years. It doesn't work. The reason they were eventually forced to seek a state of their own is precisely because they were not allowed to live like everyone else as long as they were living in other peoples' lands. Now do you understand?


Omar Khyam from the Arabian Sands:

Jonesy and Joseph:

The ultimate solution in the sands of the Middle East is for the Arabs to recognize that there are two peoples who need to live side by side the Palestinians and the Israelis, and for a Jewish Israel to be able to evacuate the West Bank to a peaceful Palestinian population.

It doesn't matter now when the modern state of Israel came into existence, or when the Palestinian Arabs discovered they were a people.

There is presently a modern and sovereign state of Israel with a Jewish people who deserve a homeland, and a Palestinian Arab people who deserve a homeland as soon as possible.

Peace will come when Israel is able to leave the West Bank and recognize the mistakes it has made since 1967, and peace will come, when the Palestinians are able to peacefully rule the West Bank and Gaza without the terrorism they directed at Israel since at least 1967.

Either you want a peaceful solution based on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, or you want to continue the killing in pursuit of a dream you will never accomplish, the destruction of Israel.

If your dream is to eventually have cruise missiles with which to attack Tel Aviv and see the Jews flee, then I would suggest that you are so poisoned with hate that you are beyond hope.

I have hope.

I hope to see a peaceful economically viable Arab majority Palestinian state living side by side with a peaceful viable Jewish majority Israeli state.

You do not have hope, because you cultivate hatred.

Joseph:

Micheal O, there was relatively barely any displacement of Jews in 1948. And in fact, in 1967, when Israel began its occupation of the West Bank, they found that the Jordanian authorities had kept meticulous records of which properties belonged to Jews who had been forced out in the 1948 war - Israel, contrarily, has gone out of its way to destroy and obliterate any evidence of property owned by displaced Palestinians within its borders.

And your points about the quality of life in the West Bank as compared with Morocco, etc., is irrelevant. A dying moose is also in worse shape than the Palestinians - so what? What is relevant is that Israel confiscates most of the West Bank water, to the point that Palestinians there do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells. This deprivation of water, the most basic necessity of life, is the doing of the Israelis, not of any Arabs, so your comment about the degradation of quality of life in the West Bank being "due far more to the actions of the Arabs than to those of the Israelis" is flatly false, whether due to your ignorance about the matter or to dishonesty.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

Yes the idea of “giving” the Israelis a state in the USA is bizarre, but not nearly as bizarre as giving them a state on Arab land in the Middle East. The idea was only mentioned to illustrate that fact. But who says that anybody should “give” them a state. They deserve a state at our expense much less than do the Native Americans.

The best solution is for the Israelis to relocate to a more favorable climate in the USA, Europe or any place of their choosing. If they congregate in a common locale, they will still have practical control of the government of their choice via their vote and influence (lobby).

They will probably have to be more considerate of the basic human rights and dignity of the minority population of the region where they land, but they will eventually get over it and learn to live and let live like everyone else.

Michael O.:

To Joseph:

There was a displacement of population on both sides in 1948 as a result of the war started by the Arabs. Israel is most certainly not engaged in ethnic cleansing today, and what you call "The degradation of the quality of life in the West Bank" is due far more to the actions of the Arabs than to those of the Israelis. With all that, the standard of living in the Palestinian territories is still higher than those of many other Arab countries, including Egypt, Syria and Morocco. If you don't believe that, you are welcome to check out the 2007 UN Human Development Index, just released 3 days ago:

http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/

Michael O.:

To Rick Jones:

Now that you've wisely abandoned your bizzare idea of giving the Jews a state of their own in the U.S., you can take the next baby step and realize that we are not giving them a state at all, and nor is anyone else.

And if you have gone that far on the road to a better understanding of reality, you can also grasp that the U.S. has not amassed a $10 trillion debt in order to help Israel, and that Al-Qaeda and the other Islamic nuts could not care less about U.S. aid to Israel and would not start loving you if you stopped that aid. Their hatred runs much deeper than that.

And as far as your tax dollars are concerned, we live in a democratic country and if a majority of the people wanted the country to redirect its spending priorities, that's what would happen. The fact that it has not happened so far may be an indication that you are in the minority. And trust me, Israel will manage just fine without your tax dollars. I'm sure it appreciates the assistance, but it's a very small percentage of its GNP.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Here is an exchange of posts that Elevate and I had on a different board the may be of interest:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/america/2007/11/hezbollah-america_lebanon.html#comments

1. “We can't let them go at it because that will disrupt our oil supply (one of the reasons if not the main reason we are so interested in the region).”

Excellent point; you are exactly right. That’s why we need to develop alternate energy sources to end our dependence on Middle East (and other, including domestic) sources of oil. The Greenies are right; damaging our environment is not required. Thankfully, the Google geniuses are now getting into this big time, so expect major advances in this area soon. See my previous post on November 28, 2007 8:44 AM.

2. “The Jewish people have done and continue to do a lot for this country... So ask yourself where would your loyalties lie?”

My sympathies lie with the oppressed Palestinians. No amount of contribution to our society or lobbying (purchasing) of our politicians can justify the illegal theft of Palestinian homes and land and atrocious oppression of basic human rights and dignity that has been and continues to be perpetrated on the Palestinians with the aid of my tax dollars.

3. “As for the North and South Korea example I believe that the DMZ and the largest landmine field in the world has a lot to do with the peace over there.”

Another excellent point; maybe we should surround Israel with an equivalent DMZ and police it with UN or US forces. It would serve a similar function as the Israeli wall, but would divide the land more equitably between Israel and Palestine. The water supply would also be UN controlled and equitably distributed between the two sides. Our billions of dollars of foreign aid would be shifted from Israel to Palestine until their economy recovers to a point equal to Israel’s.

Thanks again for the post; you are clearly an honest broker and great thinker. Now all we have to do is convince our geniuses in Washington D.C.

P.S.:

Unfortunately, after a moment of euphoric optimism, reality sets in and we realize that this approach is also doomed to failure. The hard liners of the region will never permit the “State of Israel” to remain on Arab land, nor should they. With the advent of the modern Cruise Missile that is low flying, GPS guided and impervious to radar detection, it is only a matter of time until downtown Tel Aviv and other major Israeli targets are flattened. Russia, Iran, Pakistan or someone will give or sell these weapons to the Arabs. They could but won’t use nuclear warheads because they want the land to remain habitable. They can be programmed to fly various land hugging profiles, approach from multiple directions, and no one will know where they came from.

Joseph:

Please abandon the "everyone does it" arguments about ethnic cleansing. They would, in the first place, be more accurately, "everyone DID it," and if we open ourselves up to that sort of justification, slavery ought to be okay, too.

Slavery was considered by most "civilized" people to be okay in the mid-19th century; this does not make Hitler's nor Stalin's slavery in the middle of the 20th century acceptable. Nor does the fact that most "civilized" people in the mid-19th century considered ethnic cleansing to be okay make Israel's ethnic cleansing in the middle of the 20th century - nor their current policy of slow ethnic cleansing through degradation of quality of life for the West Bank Palestinians - acceptable.

Omar Khyam :

Ricky Jones asks:

"Does the world need yet another racist, apartheid, theocratic, oppressive regime? I don’t think so; "

And Americans agree with you.

That's why our tax dollars go to support the most tolerant and democratic sovereign state in the Middle East-Israel.

The problem is that if we aren't careful in how the next Palestinian Arab state is formed we could end up with just that, a racist, theocratic, aparthied, oppressive regime similar to most other Arab states in the Middle East.

I'd say our support of Israel is well worth the bucks, and Israel could provide a model to Palestine, on how to fashion an economically vibrant multi-ethnic Arab majority state.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

But why should we knock ourselves out borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from the Chinese when our national debt is already $10 trillion (and rising), antagonizing the Muslim world, spawning more freedom fighter organizations like al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah to attack us, just to give the Zionists a state of their own? Does the world need yet another racist, apartheid, theocratic, oppressive regime? I don’t think so; certainly not on my tax dollars.

Michael O.:

"What do you mean, “clear it with the native population”? What kind of silly idea is that?"

Beats me, it was your idea to give them a piece of the U.S., not mine.

"It’s always much more fun to give away someone else’s land than our own isn’t it?"

I wouldn't know. I'm not aware of any such case in history.

But I'm gratified to see that once you realize we're talking about a country of their own, then all of a sudden you're so not keen on giving them your own state. You're not alone of course. It's been pretty much the case throughout history. That's why their only choice was to return to their old homeland. Congratulations Mr. Jones. You have just made your first baby step towards understanding the idea of Zionism.


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Michael O,

Well, if you are going to put it that way, I will choose to give them 20,000 sq km (1/34th) of Texas. We will also make sure that it includes Crawford as their national capitol, as George will want to entertain them frequently at the ranch. We will be sure that they have control of 80% of the state’s water supply as is their custom, and they can feel free to launch all the illegal settlements that they wish in the remainder of the state. They can keep their planes, tanks, ships and nuclear arsenal; and in case that isn't enough security, we will pledge the full power of our military might to help them subdue any disgruntled Texans who don’t want to go along with the game plan.

What do you mean, “clear it with the native population”? What kind of silly idea is that?

It’s always much more fun to give away someone else’s land than our own isn’t it?

Michael O.:

Excuse me, Rick Jones, what do you mean "Sure, we would be glad to have them in Virginia"? What you said before was, I quote, "USA land is ours to give". We're not talking here about "HAVING them", we're talking about GIVING them an independent country of their own. That means, in case you still don't get it, that Virginia will be a sovereign Jewish state, no longer a part of the US. Have you consulted the other citizens of Virginia, or, for that matter, the federal government, before making this rather generous offer?

Adios:

Rick
Bobl
Victoria

Thank you all.

My point exactly.

Rick Jones, Federicksburg, VA:

Hello Omar Khyam from the Arabian Sands,

What a dashing name. If you are from the Arabian Sands, why are you such a staunch defender of the Zionist invaders?

Please name one discarded fact.

There can be no compromise with the man at the door of your home who wants to steal your life, limb and property.

There is nothing sovereign about people who gain their land by theft from the rightful owners.

The term Tolerant Peacemakers hardly applies to the racist, apartheid, theocratic people who now comprise the illegitimate “State of Israel”.

Omar Khyam from the Arabian Sands:

Rick Jones is an interesting character.

He discards facts he doesn't like.

He justifies war over compromise.

He accepts the rejection of the existence of a Jewish majority state in the Middle East and justifes the destruction of a sovereign U.N. member state.

Blessed be the tolerant and the peacemakers,... and he wonders why the Jews need to be heavily armed and supported by the US of A.

If they weren't the Arabs and the likes of Jonesy would have already reaped the whirlwind with their bigotry and hostility

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Hello Michael O,

Sure, we would be glad to have them in Virginia:

From Wikipedia:

The total area of Israel, based on the frontiers established at the end of the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949, is about 20,700 sq km (about 8,000 sq mi).”

The area of Virginia is 110,862 sq km, so could hold the entire “State of Israel” 5 times over.

However, the area of Texas is 678,051 sq km, so could hold Israel 33 times over.

They may be happier in Texas close to their “good buddy” George W. Bush.

Michael O.:

Every "argument" made by Rick Jones on these pages is such a joke, I'm having a hard time deciding which is the best one. But I think I like this one the best:

"Yes they do and are welcome to come to the USA and settle in the state of their choosing. USA land is ours to give; Palestine was not."

So which state would you give them? Yours, perhaps?

Anonymous:

rick jones is making a foolish argument, if he thinks that it is even possible for Israelis to leave what they truely believe is there homeland then he is a fool. To say that the only way to solve the problem is for Israel to cease to exist is ludicrous. We have a problem two groups of people who want the same thing. In order for there to be any peace both nations must make comprimises. Until then there will continue to be violence and divisions throughout the middle east and the rest of the world.

Anonymous:

rick jones is making a foolish argument, if he thinks that it is even possible for Israelis to leave what they truely believe is there homeland then he is a fool. To say that the only way to solve the problem is for Israel to cease to exist is ludicrous. We have a problem two groups of people who want the same thing. In order for there to be any peace both nations must make comprimises. Until then there will continue to be violence and divisions throughout the middle east and the rest of the world.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

BobL-VA:

“I concur that history is full of people taking over land and claiming it as their own, but normally this is done where the side doing the taking completely overpowers the other side. In the case of Israel it's completely reversed.”

Yep, but in the case of Israel, their security is guaranteed by the world’s greatest super power. It’s time for us to get out of the way and let the Israelis fend for themselves. Actually, we should borrow hundreds of billions of dollars from the Chinese to give to the Palestinians over the next 60 years to even the score, give the Palestinians access to our best military hardware, and guarantee their security until they are able to take care of themselves; i.e. kick the Israelis out of Palestine.

BobL-VA:

There are 400 million Muslims in the ME and only 6 million Jews. If the United States was surrounded by 1.98 billion Indians who wanted what they consider their land back don't you think the United States would be in the fight of it's life? Of course they would.

I concur that history is full of people taking over land and claiming it as their own, but normally this is done where the side doing the taking completely overpowers the other side. In the case of Israel it's completely reversed. The Muslims won't stop until they drive Israel out of the ME or die trying.

victoria:

actually form the days when it was called judea, the newly formed jewish people were fighting a group of people who were already living there-

they were called phillistines- the progentiors of what are called palestinians

as for being indigenous to the area- again palestinians beat out the israeli interlopers-

the group that had the highest chromosone of smeitic blood?
african hebrews beat out their israeli counterparts

what is the conversation based on?

historical records or biblical?
religious or political
science or what?

theres alot of angles- but if you want to go political-

if the formation of israel is in your opinion validated by the united nations-

then the over 200 resolutions against israel by the unbited nations must also be valid and abided by

but theyve been- well--just ignored.

compare that to the 0 ZERO reolutions agaisnt the people of the occupied territories of palestine (thats how the UN refers to palestine)

ok, poliical doesnt work so well?

how about the false religious argument?

zionist colonialists were all- to every man- atheists

incovenient but true fact

ok, the israelis today are relgious so it doesnt matter what the founders were?

well, according to judaism, the jewish people are not to return from the diaspora (to israel)imposed b g-d for their disobedience until g-d sends the mossiach (messiah) to them.

there are even many warnings to the jewish people from their own commentators from people like maimonides (who flourished unmolested in a muslim ruled spain(andalusia) to not try to FORCE THE HAND OF G-D BY RETRUNING PREMATURELY or impose all osrts of evils upon thier own people.


which way do you want to go?
historically?, indigenous rights?, biblically?,politically?,religiously?...

pick a starting point, and build a constructive theorem for us-


Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Hello Omar Khyam,

Thanks for the post. Such a distinguished name, where are you located? Let’s address your facts one by one:

1. “Some Jews had lived in Palestine longer than Arabs, from the days it was called Judea.”

So what? At the turn of the 20th century, the population was only 2% Jews. That’s what it should be now. Just like the good ole US of A, no illegal unwanted immigrants are allowed.

2. “Most of Palestine was given to Palestinian Arabs in the form of Trans Jordan.”

Nope, the British Mandate consisted of Palestine (west of the Jordan River) and Trans Jordan (east of the Jordan). Trans Jordan was given to Arabs (not Palestinians) as promised in return for Arab support during WW II and is now called Jordan. Palestine was also promised to Palestinians but was not delivered.

3. “Israel is the only nation on the planet created by the United Nations in 1948.”

So what? Palestine was not the UN’s to give away. The “State of Israel” is illegitimate.

4. “Most of the Palestinian Arabs lost their homes as a result of a war initiated by Arabs to destroy Israel in 1948.”

Yes and the Arab cause was just. The “State of Israel” was and is illegitimate.

5. “The Jews were offered a tiny portion of the Palestine Mandate and the Palestinian Arabs were offered a greater part in 1948. The Jews accepted and created a country. The Palestinians rejected this compromise partition and began a series of wars.”

Yes, as they should have. The Jews should have no part of Palestine after being absent for 2 millennia, except for a small 2% minority to which they are still entitled.

6. “There were as many Jews expelled from Arab countries in 1948 as Arabs that lost homes in Palestine.”

The Jews deserved to be expelled from Arab countries after the atrocities that they committed against the Palestinians.

7. “The Jews deserve a homeland as do the Palestinian Arabs.”

Yes they do and are welcome to come to the USA and settle in the state of their choosing. USA land is ours to give; Palestine was not.

8. “The Palestinian Arabs will probably be able to negotiate for an independent country when they are finally able to say that they recognize Israel as a Jewish nation.”

They will never recognize the “State of Israel” on Palestinian land, nor should they.

Adios:

The footnote will read: "Truman trying to cash Balfour's check with the blood of Palestinians and Hebrews alike".

Lisa:

Who in the world is providing political advice to Abbas? He needs a new advisers. If the Quartet and the UN are going to allow only the US to drive the peace process that is a mistake. There might be a Palestinian West Bank only-Federation w/Jordan but there will not be a Palestinian state. I am glad the next round of talks are in Russia. Hopefully with a more objective host there may be more substance. The the rest of the Arabs States need to INSIST that the UN/Quartet remain involved in the process. Do they really want to rely on Elliot Abrams, Stephen Hadley, VP Cheney guiding this process?

Wiz Clique:

Here are some words from UN Resolution 181 for Daoud Kuttab to read: "Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine"
We all, except Mr. Kuttab of caurse, know who accepted this resolution, and who didn't.
So, after 60 years of trying to exterminate Jewish State, and being defeated, the best, so called "Palestinians" can do, is to ask very politely for some part of what they rejected in the first place.

Andy:

Omar Khyam makes a good point that the Rick Joneses of the world need to understand.

If we're going to kick the Jews out of Israel, then a few other things logically follow:

- shouldn't they be entitled to go back to any country -- including Lebanon, Iran, Syria, etc. -- they came from? What happens to the people occupying their homes and their land now?

- shouldn't Muslim Istanbul become Christian Constantinople again? It's not like 1453 was a peaceful takeover

- shouldn't the Greeks get Turkey back?

- shouldn't the Christians get the Holy Land back?

You see where this is going - if you start down this asinine road, you will never get off. Pretty soon, we'll be cloning Neanderthals from old DNA and sending all the homo sapiens back to Africa where they came from.

Omar Khyam:

Michael O:

"On the other hand, the movement of peoples into new lands and the displacement of the locals is more the routine than the exception in world history. This applies not only to the U.S. but to all countries in North and South America, as well as Australia and New Zealand, and, depends how far back in history you go, to most of Europe, and much of Asia."

Your point is very well taken.

That is what makes the discussions of Israel's presumed sins in the Arab world and on the Left so hypocritical.

Israel is treated like it is some immoral anomaly in human history, when in fact the history of its creation is no different than that of most other nations on the planet, except for one thing.

The creation of Israel on a tiny sliver of land was sanctioned by the family human nations at the U.N. in 1948.

Michael O.:

Not surprisingly, Mr. Jones got a little mixed up in his own logic:

"One difference is that we have only occupied this land for about 200 years, while the Palestinians had occupied Palestine for about 2 millennia"

The analogy, of course, was between the Palestinians and the Indians, not the Palestinians and the white settlers of the U.S.

This analogy is only half-valid. On the one hand the white settlers of America had no historic claim to the land, had not come to America because it was a matter of life-and-death for them, and had treated the Indians infinitely worse than the Israelis had treated the Arabs.

On the other hand, the movement of peoples into new lands and the displacement of the locals is more the routine than the exception in world history. This applies not only to the U.S. but to all countries in North and South America, as well as Australia and New Zealand, and, depends how far back in history you go, to most of Europe, and much of Asia.

Joseph:

The whole summit is just lipstick on a pig.

The American people hold a slim possibility of actually starting to take seriously the problems between Israel and the Palestinians and our role in those problems - we arguably were subjected to the worst terrorist attack in our history and to the ridiculous war we are in over this. And if the American people start to look closely at the matter, they are likely to learn that Israel is not as squeaky clean as it has generally been presented to us. Can't have that.

So the dim-bulbs Bush and Rice through together this conference; they're on top of the problem, don't you know? Nothing to see here. Go back to watching American Idol.

The Arab leaders probably only showed up to maybe talk about Iran, and more directly to stake a claim on whatever money we start throwing around to 'ameliorate' the situation.

When is the President going to convene a summit on preparing New Orleans for the next hurricane?

Michael O.:

"Twelve months from now, we will be able to see how serious the Bush administration is about using the power of the presidency to do what is needed, pushing the Israelis to cede land and conclude a serious peace agreement."

And who will push the Arabs to stand by their commitments under the Road Map? Mr. Kuttab doesn't know, Mr. Kuttab doesn't care. As far as he is concerned, the Arabs don't need to lift a finger to make peace. only the Israelis and the Americans do. If the Arab side in this process follows Mr. Kuttab's line of thinking, then yes, this peace effort will indeed fail.

As an aside, if Mr. Kuttab is so ignorant as to believe that the Israelis "have not yet agreed" that Israel is a Jewish state, he has no business being on the panel of a serious publication such as the Washington Post.

Omar Khyam:

Some facts for Mr. Jones:

1. Some Jews had lived in Palestine longer than Arabs, from the days it was called Judea.

2. Most of Palestine was given to Palestinian Arabs in the form of Trans Jordan.

3. Israel is the only nation on the planet created by the United Nations in 1948.

4. Most of the Palestinian Arabs lost their homes as a result of a war initiated by Arabs to destroy Israel in 1948.

5. The Jew were offered a tiny portion of the Palestine Mandate and the Palestinian Arabs were offered a greater part in 1948. The Jews accepted and created a country. The Palestinians rejected this compromise partition and began a series of wars.

6. There were as many Jews expelled from Arab countries in 1948 as Arabs that lost homes in Palestine.

7. The Jews deserve a homeland as do the Palestinian Arabs.

8. The Palestinian Arabs will probably be able to negotiate for an independent country when the are finally able to say that they recognize Israel as a Jewish nation.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

David, Philadelphia, PA:

“...then Rick Jones should go back to Europe since this land is truly not his to occupy.
Of course I'm kidding, stay and enjoy...”

Thanks for the reply David. Yup, that must be a good response, because I get it all the time. That is a good parallel between how we treated the Indians (and Mexicans) stealing the western US from Mexico and the Indians, and the eastern US from the Indians. One difference is that we have only occupied this land for about 200 years, while the Palestinians had occupied Palestine for about 2 millennia, after the Israelis were kicked out by the Romans plus who knows how many millennia before that.

I find it particularly distasteful, however, that the world superpowers (League of Nations) ganged up on the Palestinians following WWI and WWII to install the hated Jews in the Palestinian’s homes and land, and today’s most powerful superpower continues to aid the Israelis (using my tax dollars) in robbing the Palestinians of their basic human rights and dignity.

David, Philadelphia, PA:

As a reply to the first post (Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:)...

If the logic is that Jews cannot be in Israel because they have been absent for 2 thousand years, then Rick Jones should go back to Europe since this land is truly not his to occupy.

Of course I'm kidding, stay and enjoy...hopefully the American Indians do not decide to start demanding that you leave...and encouraging you to leave by killing children and women sitting in restaurants and on buses.

Populations shift and through hard work and lots of blood, the Jews have reclaimed a small sliver of land. Time for the arabs to raise their kids and to build a life...not spend another 60 years trying to kill Jews.

jkoch:

Kuttab's comments might be useful if he would lay out a set of mutually agreeable terms, rather than chide shortcomings. Were he in charge, exactly what might he get both sides to agree, rather than fester. In truth, his position is probably not much different than Sharon's, albeit from the other side. In other words, don't expect much, and certaily don't cede anything if the other side does not.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Daoud Kuttab (Palestinian Journalist):

“The U.S. has given itself a major responsibility. Twelve months from now, we will be able to see how serious the Bush administration is about using the power of the presidency to do what is needed, pushing the Israelis to cede land and conclude a serious peace agreement.”

Actually, this peace process will fail no matter what Bush, Olmert and Abbas do, because the two-state solution is a nonstarter. Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah will never accept it. The Jews have no right to a piece of Palestine after being absent for almost 2 millennia prior to 1947. The 5 million Israeli Jews should join their 5.7 million brethren in the USA and form a true Jewish homeland with 80% of the Jews on the planet. We can support it; Palestine cannot.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.