The Biggest Obstacle of Them All: The West Bank and the Israeli Settlements

When looking deep into the concept of Israeli-Palestinian peace, what will always come up is the issue of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.  What do to do about them?  It has to be addressed.  It began when Menachem Begin first led the Likud party to victory, and he stated that he wanted to create a Jewish presence on the West Bank.  Begin was of the old school of Zionist thought, the creation of a Jewish homeland.  But also he was a part of the transition of Zionism from creation of a Jewish homeland to the Jewish homeland co-existing with its Arab neighbors.  He welcomed Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem, he agreed to the peace treaty with Egypt, and the withdrawal of Yamit in the Sinai.  So it was not that Begin was an evil Zionist, he was a man of transition from the old school of thought to the present school of thought.  When it comes to the removal of the settlements it is basically the work of non-government organizations (NGOs), and how much influence they have on the political parties of Israel.  One Brit Tzedek v'Shalom is calling for the complete removal.  When I asked Marcia Freedman, the executive director, about Ariel, a settlement of 15,000 people, about its removal, she said "yes" we want to see the removal of Ariel as well.  This leads to the question, how much influence do NGOs such as these have on the three major political parties that have ruled Israel -- Likud, Kadima, and Labor?  Likud started the Israeli settlements, but are the incapable of removing them as well?  Kadima and Labor both support a two-state solution, but how are they going to enact it?  Apparently, there is a non-partisan movement in Israel called "Blue Arrow" calling for the removal of settlements, but I have not heard as of yet, how they plan to start the process of removal.  Removal of the Israeli settlements has to be a process within Israel, it cannot be a U.N. resolution or an American president saying they are illegal.  It must be an Israeli decision, and Israel starting the process of removal, just like when Yamit was dismantled in the Sinai. What happens if the settlers start an armed resistance to removal, will it lead to civil war?  First of all, the settlers in the West Bank do not have the population numbers that the Palestinians in the West Bank do.  Second of all, they would not have the arms equivalent to the Israeli military.  There can be resistance, but not to the magnitude of civil war.  That leads to the next question, can the settlers stay there, and become citizens of an independent Palestine?  At first the Palestinian Authority said they could, then they changed their statement saying first they would  have to leave, then they could come back.  So what is that suppose to mean?  That someone in Ariel would have to go and stay at a hotel in Tel-Aviv, then later they could come back to their home in Ariel?  Which is the reason why Israeli-Palestinian peace needs international mediation, the same way that the Israel-Egypt peace treaty required it.  Start using examples, such as when the Soviet Union broke up into separate independent countries, but ethnic Russians stayed behind.  Latvia held a referendum on whether to make Russian into the second official language.  It was voted down, because Latvia did not want to use the language of the oppressive Czarist empire and Soviet dictatorship.  If Israeli settlers are allowed to stay, then it will have to be the decision of the Palestinian Authority.  But if a Palestinian dignitary were to agree to that, they would risk assassination?  Yes they would.  Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated because he started negotiations with the Palestine LIberation Organization, and allowed areas to be under their control.  Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated because he allowed the partition of Pakistan from India.  But what led them to agree to autonomy?  Not being able to suppress a restive population.  Which leads us back to Israeli-Palestinina peace, not being able to suppress a restive population.  So there are two risks, assassination or even greater yet, not being able to suppress a restive population.  So when it comes to international mediation, this should be the first thing on everybody's mind, this is being done so there will no longer be a restive population.

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TIM. I am sure that there are, on an individual level. a few people in the Syrian ruling elite that are against what Assad is doing. I a also sure that percentage wise only a small percentage is giving the orders and they well may be in the tens rather than higher and yet thousands have been murdered so far by Assad as were murdered by Assad seior as were murdered by Qaddafi etc, etc, etc. The Nazis were not a majority by any means and yet over 23 million people were murdered.

I am aghast that you would dismiss as inconsequential events that are being reported almost on a daily basis in the Western press and would in fact treat that as if they do not exist. I don't remember the number of girls that were burned to death because the morality police in Saudi Arabia would not allow them to escape without being modestly dressed in their burqas.

It is imperative that we do not take the Politically Correct interpretation as you seem to be doing and instead we should concentrate on changing these wrong headed social interactions as this is part and parcel of why Israelis are so vary of making peace. We must also apply pressure to the Arabs to change their behavior from being a violent society to embrace modern thinking with dialogue and not terrorism. That is the solution and no matter the amount of demonizing will change Israelis mind and bring us closer to peace and in fact will with time take us further away.

Explaining away something that is not logical is not the way.We can yell "Apartheid,Occupation, Land Theft " all we want and Israel will not yield, as these are simply untenable lies.

Tim: How many meetings have you attended between Jewish men and Muslim women? That would tell me something.

That is the reason why it is hard to generalize, because there so many exceptions.  If you are looking at the news on an evening television broadcast, they are just going to give you a fraction, because that is the only time allowed to them to perform the broadcast.  So that is the reason why I get on everybody's mailing list, so I can get a variety of information.  It is not a case of dismissing, because after 9/11 in New York City, people were unrealistically hysterical.  They were terrified to leave the United States, and everyone who looked different then they do, was not to be trusted.  I knew a student who was Native American, and she had her car fire bombed.  The graffiti sprayed painted in front of her house, said "Go Home Dirty Arab."  This woman was made into something criminal, because people thought she was of a bad element.  It was hysteria that made this woman a victim to her perpetrators.  That is the reason everybody needs to stop and think, because it can lead to serious crimes committed.  Just as much was Hamas thinking when it wrote up their hateful doctrine?  That is the reason international mediation needs to be used for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Because one thing I have learned is that both Israelis and Palestinians are capable of irrational thought.  So does that mean that all Israelis and Palestinians are capable of irrational thought?  No, I have met both that are very much capable of rational thought.  So it is reaching out to people such as them.  I do not see that as anything irrational.  It just takes perseverance.  I do not know about the specific relations between Jewish men and Muslim women, but I do know there is a strong intermarriage rate among Jews and Muslims within Israel.  The specific number is not known, because they will all go off to Cyprus to get married.  I knew a woman, who was the product of a Muslim father and Jewish mother.  She said what she hears all the time is "which one did you live with, when you growing up?"


Reminds me of the three monkeys.




I believe it evolved into the current saying of


Well, here's your answer, Tim:  There are relationships in Israel and in Israel/Palestinian Territories between Jewish women and Muslim men.  Many of these women have had to be rescued due to their having been treated as outcasts and slaves.  In fact, there is at least one organization of women who investigate these matters and take part in the rescue of the Jewish women and their children and bring them into Israel or into a Jewish part of the state of Israel.  Let's turn this around now:  What about Muslim women who marry Jewish men?  Tim, it simply does not occur.  That's what Igor Gonev was getting at.  Any Muslim woman who marries out of her faith puts herself at risk.  She is subject to death by her extended family members and the justification is found in interpretations of the Koran and the subsequent Hadiths.  As to meetings between Muslim women and Jewish men, unattended by their (Muslim woman's) family members, well, it just won't happen (explanation above).

I have known couples within Israel, that were both either Jews or Muslims intermarrying.  So we cannot go by this rigidness that they are ostracized and immediately put to death.  That is just like saying that the consumption of alcohol in Islam is forbidden. I have known my shares of Muslims, that love to drink alcohol.  When I was in Borneo -- the Malaysian state of Sabah -- the Dusun tribesmen that I was with, were all Muslims.  I asked them about the fact that they ate pork and drunk alcohol, and how that is against Islam.  They told me that they realized it was forbidden, but they still did it anyway, because that was their centuries' old customs as tribal people.  So Islam adapts to local cultures, and it is not this rigid, if you violate you die.  So get away from the hysterical stories, and start meeting the real people.  It has been suggested that I do not research, but I have been and lived in enough countries in this world to know something about the people who live on it.  Jewish women have been rescued and bought to Israel, it would be interesting to know precisely where these women came from.  Because I think the answer more lies from the specific societies where they came from.  Once again, Dar al-Islam is not a monolithic entity, it will very much differ from country to country, and from society to society.  What is law in Saudi Arabia is not the same as what is law in Morocco and Pakistan.  Right now women cannot drive in Saudi Arabia, but they can in Morocco and Pakistan.  I knew a couple in France, where is was Algerian Muslim, and she a French Orthodox Jew.  They wanted to married, but his family was dead set against it.  It was not because of religious differences, it was because his family was in France illegally.  If they got married, and got a marriage license from the government, it would have been found out that he is was an illegal alien.  Situations such as these more determine outcome, then I will die and I will kill for my religion.  That sounds more like something out of the Middle Ages.  I think will all live in the 21st century.

You must be unaware of Yad L'achim, Tim, an organization which has been in existence since 1950 to assist new immigrants in assimilating in Israel.  Through evolution, it has also turned its attention to rescuing Jewish girls, women and children who are living, virtually prisoner style, in Arab villages.  You can search its website and, as a result, educate yourself with facts.

I know all about the organization, and what it does.  It deals with the rights of Jewish women.  Muslim women are another subject.  With the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, that does not mean that not one of them that is a lesbian or having an affair with another man, besides her husband.  You can say if these women are ever caught, they will be executed.  Once again, it depends on if they are ever caught, and if they are, will they meet certain death.  So it is really the broader subject of women's rights, whether they are Jewish or Muslim.  But it cannot be assumed that Muslim women, because of their religion will always be living a sub-human lifestyle.  For the work of Yad L'achim, to make sure Jewish women are not living that way in certain areas of the Disapora.

Tim. What does all this, I am right Human Rights violations have to do with settlements. Next you will tell us that the descendants of the Phillistines or Canaaites (depending on the time of day) are the true heirs of Judea and Samaria and Gaza. These poor folk are just defending themselves by using their food money to send rockets and/or suicide bombers to Israel. The settlers have no claim whatsoever (contrary to 242). If there were no settlers than the 1948 Arab invasions would not have happened and neither would all that terrorism up to 1967. The 1967 war would only be a figment of ones imagination.

The battle cry of the terrorists is not Allahu Ahbar but rather- The Settlers Made Us Do It!!!!!!

The question about the settlements is what is the future status of them?  One option is to have Israel annex the West Bank.  If it did, then all of the inhabitants there would become Israeli citizens, with the right to vote in Israeli elections.  On the surface, that can sound great.  But under the surface, would the restive population that makes up the majority of the West Bank, go along with it?  If it is dismissed that they are just trouble-making Muslims, then Israel will have continue to use the measures that it is being so strongly criticized for in maintaining that restive population.  So if Israel was to force all of the settlers back to the pre-1967 borders?  It can do that, but what about the settlers who refuse to go along with that?  What about the settlers staying and become citizens of an independent Palestine, or what former British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested, they have dual citizenship of both Israel and Palestine.  The accusation is that the Palestinian Authority would never agree to that.  With the Palestinian Authority being so reliant on international aid, it may not be that difficult to get them to reconsider.  As for the descendants of the Philistines and Canaanites, they have been absorbed into today's present-day populations, so these two people that we know under these names do not exist.  To some degree, we have to throw history out of the window, and deal with the current situation.  So that gets back to having to solve the current problem -- two people trying to share a piece of land the same size as the state of New Jersey.  It looks like a two-state solution is the only answer.  So with a two-state solution, how will be it determined where this two people live?  So it is not saying the settlers are evil or occupying Palestinian land.  But with a two-state solution, what will become of the settlers?  Stay there in the land designated to an independent Palestine, or return them to the pre-1967 borders of Israel?  In a way, the 1956 invasion of Sinai by Israel, was a figment of our imagination.  Israel took it all over in 1956, and under intense pressure by President Eisenhower, withdrew from it.  Eisenhower was alive when Israel retook it in 1967.  So was he a dumby for doing that?  It was President Jimmy Carter who negotiated the peace accord between Israel and Egypt, for the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai in 1979.  Israel dismantled Yamit in the Sinai -- a lot less people than in the West Bank today.  Despite all of the fear, the Muslim Brotherhood and its presidential candidate said they will honor the 1979 peace accord, and called upon Hamas to follow that as a role model of coexistence.  So are they liars?    One thing Egypt cannot do is go back to the massive militarization of the Nasser Era.  The Soviet Union funded that, and now it is the United States.  But American aid, is not going to massive military capabilities.  Egypt just does not have the ability to wage another war with Israel, and if it tried, then Israel has the military options way beyond that of 1956 and 1967.  The battle cry of the terrorists is Islamic on the surface, but underneath it is just hatred and anger.  The is the challenge of creating a Middle East peace, to eliminate that hatred and anger both sides have for each other.  To start looking at each other for what they are:  human beings.

Tim There is another option based on the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and the Arabs could be absorbed into Jordan or get a long term Autonomy State in Judea and Samaria that is currently beyond the fence demarcation. It would be administered by both Jews and Muslims and after a lengthy trial period elections could be held to determine the final status.

Lord Caradon and Eugene Rostow have made it known that Israel must have defensible borders and only Israel can determine what is defensible. They both stated and especially Eugene Rostow that in the "disputed territories" Israel has a more valid claim, so it is imperative that we look at the settlements in that light as well as in the international convention that there should be no discrimination as to where people settle. The vast majority of land in Judea and Samaria is not owned by individual Arabs and because there has not been a sovereign in these areas since the dispersion than the Jewish provisional government under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine has the best claim and not Jordan and not the Palestinians.

The only thing I question about a lengthy trial period, is that the Oslo Accords began in 1993, and the principles that it stated in still ongoing in 2012.  The Oslo Accords stated "all outstanding final status issues between the two sides would be addressed and resolved.  Permanent issues such as Israeli settlements were left to be decided at a later stage.  Interim Palestinian self-government was to be granted by Israel in phases." So it looks as though the Oslo Accords, signed by both Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, has been frozen in time and is not moving forward.  What was stated as a League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, and enhanced by the Oslo Accords has not moved forward.  The reason why there is on-going carnage today.  That is true the vast majority of land is not owned by individual Arabs, much of it is owned by absentee landlords.  Jordan renounced all claim to the West Bank in 1988, so yes Jordan is out of the picture.  But if it states not the Palestinians, then that is negating the Oslo Accords of 1993.  The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine was 1922.  In 1922, that is also the year that Great Britain formulated the boundaries of Palestine.  So which wins the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine or the Oslo Accords?



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