Nov 192012
 

I have waited to write on the latest Middle East conflict, until I had a better understanding of what actually happened.  Ahmed Jabari, a Hamas leader and former terrorist, was working to stop the occasional rocket attacks against Israel.  Israel targeted him for assassination, and killed him in an air attack.  Palestine reacted with increased rocket attacks against Israel, and the conflict escalated from there.

19JabariJabari was killed in a surgical airstrike on Wednesday as part of a larger Israeli offensive in Gaza. "This is an operation against terror targets of different organisations in Gaza," an Israeli spokeswoman said at the time.

Called Operation "Pillar of Defence," the offensive dashed hopes of progress toward a truce between Israel and Hamas that might have ended months of roiling tensions and violence in the region.

Since Wednesday, conflicts has escalated. Palestinian militants reportedly "barraged Israel with nearly 150 rockets on Thursday," and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated plans for "significant widening" of military strikes…

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

The best coverage I have seen on this story came from Chris Hayes.  He covered the story in four segments with Noura Erahat, Noam Sheizaf, Yousef Munayyir and David Frum. His panel was balanced and provided all points of view, some of which differ from my own conclusions.  In the first, he outlined how the most recent conflict came about.

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Note that previous Israeli attacks on Palestine, this year, have killed 314, compared to 25 from Palestinian attacks on Israel.

In the second, they discussed Israel’s tactics of targeted killings.

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Targeted killings and military assault by Israel is not a long term solution, and cannot lead to peace.

In the third, they discussed the context of the most recent conflict.

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It certainly appears that Israel prefers maintaining the status quo of occupation and attrition through illegal settlements rather than implementing a two state solution, to which they committed themselves in Oslo.

In the fourth, they explored incentives for peace.

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The prospects for a long term solution look grim.  For there to be peace, Israel must abide by the terms to which they agreed in Oslo and stop trying to pummel Palestine into submission.

As much I tend to place the bulk of the blame on Israel, doing do will not help the prospects for peace either.  Therefore, in the meantime, we need to support those people on both sides who are working for a nonviolent resolution of the conflict instead of taking Israel’s side as a knee-jerk reaction.

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  21 Responses to “The Middle East Conflict”

  1. Israel's cause is supported by rabid right-wingers who only want to "save" the Israelis for their End Days scenario. The Supply-side Messiah will return, the Jews will convert, then the evangelicals and a few others on the Christ Squad will waft up on heaven in the Rapture.
    That's akin to the Aztecs holding hostages and saying "Just lay still and we'll rip your heart out for the gods. Won't that be neat?" 
    Not just Muslims hate Jews. Right-wing Christians do, too, but they see Israel as a holding pen for sacrifices. 
    Personally, I think the UN should have given the Jews Germany for their homeland in 1948. That would seem more appropriate than the British handing over an area they didn't "own" in the first place. Jews could have migrated to Palestine and blended in with the Arab population to build a strong and peaceful Holy Land.
    This is just another of the millions of examples of how organized "I'm right, you're wrong" religion harms the world. 

    • Marva, wonderful analysis of the situation over there.

    • Now I couldn't have put that better nor more succinctly myself.  I think you must be living in my mind.
      There is also the more subtle and insidious motive of escalating the conflict to include Iran, which I believe "Bibi" and others in the U S A  seriously desire.

    • Marva, I agree with most of that.  Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians think that all but 600,000 Jews will become crispy critters.  If the prophesy is not, as I believe, allegorical, they are the ones that will go crunch.

      In spite of their crimes, the Germans also needed a homeland, but I think it would have been reasonable to remove the Germans from a part of Germany that borders on the Western powers as a homeland for the Jews.  The problem is that Zionism was well underway even before Germany attacked Poland.

  2. This is just another of the millions of examples of how organized "I'm right, you're wrong" religion harms the world.

    Marva
    Thank you for helping me to understand this never ending conflict as I have Jewish friends but am always afraid to speak to them regarding the middle east conflicts…
     

  3. A textbook situation of moral ambiguity —Both sides  have equal claim—IMO- there is no peaceful solution posiible , that is imposed from without-
    Both sides have equal claim to ' I'm right; Your wrong.'. I think Marva nails it –

  4. Don’t you think that if the US occupied part of Canada, and then decided to populate it with lots of Americans, began building new cities and decimating native Canucks with barbed wire, road-checks, and economic isolation … that some Americans would – or at least should – object?  Wouldn't some of us support undoing the occupation and settlements as opposed to bombing the crap out of Vancouver or Calgary or Edmonton?
     
    The passion embroiled in the Middle East conflict is part of a tribalism that now both sides of the conflict appear to be addicted to.  The merger of religion and politics has always been abysmal – but throw in the factor of territorial gripes, and you’ve reached a new nadir.
     
    With each missile fired, Israel is now intent on alienating the next generation of Arabs.  It appears that Bibi is either dedicated to, or at least content with, a lifetime of constant Israeli warfare against ALL of its neighbors.
     
    I pray for a two-state solution – but I fear that Bibi’s war-mongering is going to get a lot – A LOT – of innocent people killed.

    • Now there's a scenario I can picture if Rmoney had been elected. He would think he was "entitled" to rule a larger country. Maybe as Emperor with his new clothes?
       
      Itoo, pray for a two-state solution. It is the only sensible one. But we're dealing with Bibi's ego.

    • Very, very well said Nameless.

      Now, when do we occupy part of Canada? ;-)

  5. When I think of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, I think of the picture of 2 boys, probably about 8 years old, one wearing a keffiyeh, the other a yarmulke, arms around each other's shoulders.  I can hear the little snickers and whispers, the hopes and aspirations of these two boys who enjoy each other's company.  What has happened?  Where are these boys?  This picture is what should be!
     
    Both Israelis and Palestinians have their roots in the Semitic peoples.  Both lived in this area of the world for how many thousands of years.  Both have religions, although very different, based in the Abrahamaic tradition.
     
    Yousef Munayyer — "… no military solution to this issue.  You simply cannot bomb people into liking you . . ." — Trying to bomb people into submission only grows bigger seeds of hate.  Greater hate only begets more violence.
     
    Yousef Munayyer — "… if you seed with hate, mowing the lawn just isn't going to work."  — There is a book "I Shall Not Hate – A Gaza Doctor's Journey" by Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish which is autobiographical but also looks inside Gaza at what is happening.  It is an incredible journey that Dr Abuelaish is on, and an example of  "… if you seed with hate, mowing the lawn just isn't going to work." 
     
    Noura Erahat — "… in order to move to the next step, there must be some sort of accountability for Israeli aggression and war crimes in order to rein in.  It cannot have a blank cheque. …" — I agree.  There must be some accountability by Israel. But I also think that Israel needs to stop falling on the sword of the WWII holocaust.  I heard a Jewish acquaintance argue that the situation in the Middle East is an extension of the holocaust, but I think it is time to move past that (not forget, but move forward).  But there must also be some accountability from Palestinians who are often, I think, used by the more radical factions.
     
    David Frum — "… these conflicts are becoming less violent and more symbolic …" — I don't think grieving families on either side would agree with him.
     
    Noam Sheizaf — "… basically the Palestinians have only gotten things through violence … there is an international indifference …" — When do we, as citizens of the West, hear about what is happening in the Middle East, specifically Israel and Palestine? — When there is violence!  There has to be a sustained effort from outside of the arena to encourage peace in Israel/Palestine. 
     
    Are we, as human beings, so fixated on violence that that is all we understand?  Sometimes I feel like shouting STFU and then rolling up my sleeves to get at the heart of the matter and get down to peace and justice.  Let's plant the seeds of hope, love, justice, and peace.  And yes, because human beings are so tribal, I think a two state solution is the best, but that too requires seeds of hope, love, justice and peace.
     
    What is the sound of one hand clapping?  Silence.  It takes two hands to clap, and it takes two peoples to sound the notes of peace.

  6. As I sit here I'm watching the news and they just announced that Secretary Clinton is on her way to Israel. She is seeking to negotiate a truce. I wish her well but am very doubtful. Both the Israelis and Palestinians are very stubborn for different reasons.

  7. There are many young Israeli people who refuse to join the IDF and are thrown in jail repeatedly for their refusal.
    We need to somehow encourage these brave young people and the other Israelis who abhor their governments  treatment of the Palestinians, the USA must stop  funding the IDF and the Israeli war machine. I am sick of hearing how many rockets have been fired into Israel but no mention of how many bombs and how many shells have been fired into Gaza.
    Genuine dialogue between the two sides is I fear impossible as long as BIbi and his facsist supporters are in power.

  8. Apart from my remarks to initial posting I fear there is no solution whilst religion rears it s ever ugly head.I opposed the establishment of an Israeli State back  in 48 knowing full well what the future hatred it would entail.  That being said the one thing in favour of Judaism (NOTE NOT ISRAELIS). is that unlike Islam, or many Christian sects, Catholicism included, there is no intent to religiously convert and conquer the world nor impose their beliefs, laws or systems.
    None are without sin but like hell they still keep on casting stones.

  9. I'm really sick of Israel and everyone else over there fighting with each other. I'm gonna use the mom voice with all of them and tell them to Knock it the fuck off!