Dear friends,


 We are in time of change, where hope and fear is blended by events in many Arab states. This year we are going to have a lot of activity here in Palestine and Israel.


 I pray that this year we will have proper declaration of a Palestinian state, A proper territorial agreement and clearer forecast of the future we need to create together.


 Please avoid this blame discussions as I see too much here, there is a lot we need to do together and blame game of who's suffer the most and who to blame split us and weaken our ability to influence a future the include all of us as one human tissue.


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Hi Neri, I agree in constructive dialogue. The challenge is to get some commonality in history. We don't have to be agree on everything, but there needs be some at least some basic respect for history. The events of 1917, 1920s, 1948, 1967, 1993, 2000 shape so much for how we view the conflict. It is inevitable to have robust discussion on history. The challenge with mepeace is the old timers avoid public discussion on this issue. It is left to new participants who come and go.

Our world view is shaped by our historical memory which we either personally experience, passed down from our respective tradition or has been actively sought out and tested. That is why getting to some form of agreement on fundamentals is essential to move forward.

eg acknowledging Jewish and Palestinian trauma.
acknowledging the Jewish communities present existential threats - Hamas, Iran
acknowledging the 90% non-Jewish community in 1917
acknowledging the conflicting and broken promises of the British to Palestinian Arabs
acknowledging the failure of the international community to take on Jewish refugees and to protect those during the Holocaust

acknowledging the rockets, past suicide attacks etc

acknowledging the devastating impact of settlements, siege and the continued occupation and control of Palestinian people

acknowledging the diversity of Israelis and Palestinians alike

etc etc

It is not about blame. It is about understanding and acknowledgement. In restorative justice: truth and apology are a powerful force to healing and reconcilitaion.

ackowleging that the Jews also have a historical connection to the land
agreed - acknowledging the Palestinian and Jewish connection to the land

Jeff, what is it that you want, out of all this dialogue ?

What you say leads me to think you are interested in nothing other than the total annihilation of all Palestinians, for no reason other than you believe them to ALL be members of an 'evil' organization called HAMAS.


(My apologies, Neri, I am sure this is not the direction in which you wanted this discussion to go. I agree with your sentiment - concerning blaming.)

Neri, it seems to me that there will be a Palestinian state very soon, but  it will only work if it's based on honest recognition of mistakes and a will to work out problems peacefully.  Yesterday's demonstrations may have been very exciting and exhilarating, but I can see Israel calling out the IDF to defend the borders and using those demonstrations as an excuse to impose more repression.  This won't stop the formation of a Palestinian state in the long run, but it will mean that the state will be formed with more violence and that more people will be hurt and killed, and that there will be more violence, both among different Palestinian factions and between Palestinians and Jews--not a good way to start a new nation.

Naomi, are you suggesting the IDF will withdraw from the Occupied Territories, and that this withdrawal will constitute the commencement of a Palestinian State?

After what happened in Gaza (ie, Hamas in power, the rockets, Gilad Shalit's capture), I'm afraid Israel can't simply withdraw without careful negotiations.  Rightly or wrongly, there is a feeling among the more conservative supporters of Israel that any concessions by Israel empower and encourage the most militant and least conciliatory factions among the Arabs.  I don't know if it's that simple, but what has happened in Gaza has been a tragedy for both the Israelis and (even more) for the Palestinians.  If I can penetrate the technological hurdles (for me) of this website, I would like to post an op-ed that Abbas published in the NY Times yesterday.  His basic idea is that once a Palestinian state is established in the territory defined by the UN in 1948, Israel's occupation will be seen as acts of war on a separate nation.

The Long Overdue Palestinian State


Yay! I did it!

I am not sure why you keep on bringing up hateful comments and blame, especially in a post where this was not asked for.  I actually mostly agree with Stewarts comments, similar to a diffrent discussion we had on a similar topic.  I was simply addng something on that I felt was missing.  Its hard for me to understand why you would say this is "you are interested in nothing other than the total annihilation of all Palestinians".  I would appreciate that in the future you stop this and be a positive contributor to a peaceful cause.


I also want peace and I think this is a great way to discuss it even though my way of getting there might be a bit diffrent.  I would hope you could appreciate this diffrences and work with me and everyone here in a discussion, even a heated one, on how to make peace.  Not with inflamitory, baseless accusations of hate.

If you Jeff, had the power to proclaim a long lasting peace throughout all of Israel and the occupied Territories, what would it look like? 

This is the same question you asked me last time in a discussion directed at me : and I gave you my perspective.  I would appreciate if you would respond, in a civilized non-combative matter.


I believe that in order to have peace all the fighting must stop... No rockets, no missles. When this happens I believ Israel should move quickly on getting teh Palestinians on a track to statehood - help build economy, build new joint projects remove as many checkpoint and the blockaid of Gaza.


After trust has ben restored I think an agrement can be hammered out.  I believe the basis to this agreement should be an Arab and a Jewish state in line with 181.  I would avoid transfer of people fom their homes as much a spossible.


  In terms of settlements, I believe there will be a need to take down all settlements that do not allow for a continant Palestian state but would leave all large settlemnet blocks...


In exchange for the settlement blocks I make up for teh land I would give the PA control over the "Arab Triangle" in Israel that contains ~million Palestinains Israelis and make them full fleged Palestinain citizens (of course without removing a single person from their home) - simple redraw the border.


The new state would have to be demiliterized. 


In terms of the right of return I believe for the sake of family reunification a limited amout of Palestinains should be given the right to live in Israel and made full citizens and the rest should be settles in the new Palestinain land.  In terms of compensation, I think this should be worked out with Arab countries in terms of compensation for Jewish refugees from their countries as well and perhaps make a fund from all parties to compensate both Jews and Arabs from both Israel and Arab countries.


In terms of Jeruslalem I think it should be the capital of two countries with the general rule of wha is Arab remain Arab and Jewish remain Jewish... In terms of the holy sites they should be open to all religions and an international force should be placed in the old city, city of david and mount of Olives... Prayer should be allowed for all at all sites, including allowing Jews to pray on teh temple mount. The same shoudl go for the holy sites in Hebron.


In terms of prisoners.  A line should be draw... those who are convicted of murder or attemetd murder should finish theri sentances for both Jews and Arabs in prision.  All other should be released after signing a document where they promise to keep teh peace.

Thanks Jeff, for answering my question – twice. I like a number of your ideas: they are good negotiating points.


I am no longer confident there will ever be a negotiated settlement. For a start, there is no one with any credibility - representing Palestine. Plus, the negotiators for Israel are adverse to making any commitments.


There were many times the Palestinians would have settled for much less than what they desired. For many years, every year, I used to say (to myself), things could not possibly get worse, and yet, every year, things got worse.


I believe it is in Israel’s best interest to promptly make an offer that is so good it cannot be refused. I suspect this is the only way Israel can avoid a one state solution. I also know no one else is thinking this way.



Jeff, I often ask people (on peace forums) these questions about peace in the Middle East.   Mostly people do not reply.

 I ask myself these same questions, every day, and have done so for many years.


   As an Israeli I can tell you all I want is peace.  But from most Israelis perspective Palestinians can not be trusted.  Israel left west bank cities they got suicide bombers, they removed all settlers from Gaza they got rockets... this is a pattern.  A Palestinian state can very easily turn into anothe Hamas strong hold, an internationally recognized terrorist group that still calls for teh destruction of Israel and "Zionists".


This mere fact makes, for Israelis, peace for now just another pipe dream.  Look at the Arab spring, how can anybody make peace with an arab country not knowing who the rulers will be in the next few years.


Israel does not want, checkpoints, fences, walls or blockaids but these were put in as a response to security threats and are a neccesary evil in the current situation.


As for settlements, many Israelis see this peace of land their home as well.  And while I am 100% against taking any private land for settlements, I do not believe that a certain nationality or religion should be ban from building homes.  This includes in Israel "proper" and in the West Bank.  This includeds Jew and arabs.  On a more practical level I think it is a mistake to build new settlements which will obviously have to be taken down  for any peace acord to happen on the otherhand large settlement blocks of hundreds of thousands of people will never be removed so I see no reason to stop construction WITHIN their bounds. Children grow up and want to live near their families, only natural  Israel took out its settlements from Sinai and Gaza, Israel already made peace offers in which it was willing to transfer many settlers in teh west bank from their homes.  I simply think these are temporary and therefore shoudl not interfere with talks, seems like an excuse.  Talks would be the quickest way to take down the settlements, while preconditions on building seems the best way to keep building there.

I understand Palestinians longing for a state but they have to realize that Israelis also have a right to live on this land and that  their personal security must trump any nationalitic ambitions that the Arabs may have.


How do you see the Palestinains can calm the Israelis fears and alow for a process to continue? 



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