It is impossible to negotiate a peace settlement if the war is still going.
The jostling over pre-conditions is an aspect of this on-going war, not a sign that the war is over. Propaganda has always been a major weapon for Israel.
A war is over when people put their weapons down, and start to examine the damage. This war from the 1940’s is not yet over, because Israel has the freedom to continue annexing Palestinian land – that is an on-going aspect of the war.
A war is over when one side is beaten and the other believes it has won, or alternatively, a war is over when both sides decide they have had enough of the fighting.
Sussan, If the Internalionls would just butt out than the Palestinians would be defeated and broke with an UNWRA welfare system to fall back on. and abandoned by their brethren in the Arab countries.
That is the tragic aspect about this. There are so many Israelis and Palestinians tired of the war. I dealt with a man in Gaza, who said at a town forum, "We want peace, but not just any peace." Now it is trying to turn that concept of any peace into an established peace. Because there are a lot of war weary people in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. It helps to turn this from generalizations into personal testimony.
Tim. This is the de facto problem that humans have. We hear only what we want to hear. Based on what Sussan writes, she wants peace but her concept of peace has no relations to my idea of peace and my idea of peace has no relations to your vision of peace.
If we are going to debate peace, lets at least be truthful to ourselves and relate to what we mean by the word "peace". What do you believe that he meant by"..but not just any peace."? What was the background of this man? What was the town forum all about?
Let’s look at your comment: both sides are going to have some bitter pills to swallow.
Palestine has swallowed all the bitter pills. It is Israel’s turn to concede to the needs and entitlements of Palestinians. It is Palestinian land, and Arab soil on which Israel now resides.
there never was any acceptance – by the UN - of the idea that any Palestinians be removed/transferred from their homes. The manner inwhich Arabs were forced from their homes was extremely violent, and unbelievably ruthless. It is Israel’s turn to give, and unless they do, there will be a one-state resolution. No one is going to spend the next 10 or 20 years discussing various peace possibilities. Either Israel makes a proper move to relinquish West Bank settlements, or there will be a one-state solution.
What is needed is: good compensation for those who were forced beyond the borders, and an optional return of Arab families who were evicted, along with the removal of ALL settlements from the West Bank is the only resolution that is going to be even half-way fair and reasonable.
The reason for all the fighting and killing - over the last 65 years - is Israel’s refusal to let the Arabs return. Peace will come when the Arabs return.
I still like what White Hall -- Great Britain's Foreign MInistry -- is proposing, that both the Palestinians and Mizrahim just drop their claims. Because holding on to them is first of all unrealistic, and second of all just holding up the process of enacting a two-state solution. The only the thing the United Nations General Assembly did in 1947, was to vote for the partition of Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state. But when we get into what were the determining factors for the Palestinians to be today in the West Bank and Gaza, then it can be like getting into the Khazar theory, an extension of "armchair activism." With the West Bank settlements there should still be the option of returning the settlers back to the pre-1967 borders, or letting them stay and become citizens of Palestine. Because the given is both Israel is always going to have an Arab minority, and Palestine is going to have a Jewish minority. That can be a future subject to look at is the 1929 massacre in Hebron, because their were 19 Arab families who took get risk to hide 432 Jews when that happened. Going back to the subject coexistence, it is going to have to be there.
Tim/ Are you familiar with the law of contracts and if you are than you will realize that the partition plan died an inglorious death as a result of one party not signing on to that plan and in fact violently opposing it through a war of annihilation. The only agreement that is still valid is therefore the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine voted on and agreed to by all parties. That calls for a Jewish Homeland in all of Palestine East of the Jordan River. For clarification that means the pre 1967 borders as well as Judea and Samaria and Gaza. That is the prevailing law that the UN should adhere to. BTW both houses in the USA voted for this agreement and ratified it.
That is Israeli democracy for you. Remember when Ariel Flatto-Sharon started his own party. He was wanted in France for embezzlement charges. So his party got elected into the Knesset, and as a member he could avoid extradition back to France to face embezzlement charges. So it is like American democracy, you can accuse of someone you do not care for to be nothing but a petty criminal.
Tim There really is no Democracy in its purest sense in the world, in fact I am not sure what that word means, The Communist system , if enacted verbatim would have been the closest but human foibles got in the way and it failed miserably. The USA, France, The UK and 1930 German Democracy have had a miserable track record on Human Rights and White Collar Criminal Behaviour as well as self enrichment.
So what would you suggest we institute instead? Everything else is much, much worse.
If you are breaking this down on the Israeli model, all legal age adults there have the right to vote, unless there is some type of criminal restriction, like in other democracies, criminal probation. If the West Bank were to be annexed and become a part of Israel, then the citizens there, irrespective if they are Jewish, Arab, or other type of minority such Circassian or Armenian, would fall under the legal right to vote, as with all other citizens of Israel. You can say the Palestinians can go along with that, just like the Circassians and Armenians. But these two groups of people do not have a history of being restive in any of the Middle Eastern countries. But the Palestinians have been. Belgium is divided up into two linguistic groups, Flemish and Walloon. Extremist elements on both sides have applied for separate membership into the European Union. But Belgium has never had referendum to put partition up to a vote. The reason why is that is would be a fiscal nightmare to partition the country into a Dutch-speaking state and a French-speaking state. So despite all the threats from nationalist elements in both groups, Belgium still stays together as one kingdom, like it has since 1830. Could that apply to Israel and the West Bank? But they are not as deeply economic integrated with each other as the Flemish and Walloons are in Belgium. It would not be a fiscal nightmare for the two to separate. So politically they can do so, and this would lead the Palestinians to do something like voting for succession from Israel. The only way that could be negated, is if Israel did not allow them to vote in Israeli elections, and then the international condemnation against Israel would be so great, that it would be like apartheid in South Africa. For Israel does not deserve it.
In Israel, you have two groups that cannot or will not co-exist whether in peace or otherwise. You have Arab villages and towns and Jewish villages and towns. Co-existence in Jaffa, Haifa, acco and other mixed towns is tenuous at best, with both communities eyeing the other with suspicion.
At best we can have is autonomous enclaves where Arab town and villages have their own mayor and civil administration and likewise the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria. Gaza should be either reunited with Egypt or declared a Palestinian State. All UNWRA services have to be suspended and all refugees born in countries outside of Israel to be declared citizens of these states.
This, at present is probably the best that can be attained. Almost like the Native Indians in the USA and Canada. The difference is that just like the natives the jews cannot go to another country while there are at present 22 Arab States with the same language, history and customs and religion.
Indian reservations in the Canada and the United States, are complex political entities. They are suppose to be nations within a nation. Indian reservations have their own license plates, schools, and law enforcement, but still pertain to the overall society they live in, such as paying taxes and correctional systems. Only 7% of Montana's population is Native American, but they make 45% of the prison population. I would love to see the dismantling of UNWRA, because it such an archaic agency of the past. Gaza originally was under Egyptian administration, then Egypt relinquished control over it. When Israel did the same thing, then Egypt did not resume control over it, because Gaza is just as much as a headache for them as it is for Israel. When we look at autonomy within Jewish or Arab towns and villages, it is hard to determine what that level of autonomy should be. Just like the Indian reservations in Canada and the United States. No one is calling for the expulsion of Native Americans, Jews, or Arabs, but it is the level of autonomy to be allow? Because if Jewish or Arab town and villages have their own autonomy, they will still have to answer to a supreme authority, just like Indian reservations do now. So these entities all have autonomy, but who is going to be the supreme authority, e.g,, taxation, defense -- because that area of the world is so small and condensed -- foreign policy? The model can be the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but once again, the Welsh, Scottish, Manx, Cornish, and English all have their own geographical area to live in. God Save the Queen.