If we are looking at a way of ending violence between Israel and the Palestinians, then we can say go back to the original proposal of 1947 of dividing Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state. President Mahmoud Abbas said it was a mistake, not to accept the United Nations vote. So now it is trying to go back and correct past mistakes. In order to do so, now we have to look at how to make the West Bank and Gaza into realistic candidates for a nation-state. First of all, the West Bank is going to have to be a contiguous entity. It cannot be a patch quilt of an Israeli settlement here, and a Palestinian village over the hill, both flying their own flags, and having their own municipal services. So it breaks down to either have the Israeli settlers return to the pre-1967 borders, or stay and become citizens of Palestine. Now this leads to the next issue, an economy for Gaza. Israel no longer has a presence in Gaza, except for the airstrikes. But the problems in Gaza are manifold. Despite what the press portrays, Hamas does not have absolute control over Gaza. Hamas has to deal with other factions such as Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees, Salafists, and uncontrolled drug dealing. You can blame it on the Israeli blockade, but it seems to go beyond just that. Palestinian elections are scheduled in May, and it is hoped that Al Fatah can take over administering Gaza. But does that means that Gaza's problems will disappear? Factious vying for power, 98% of its businesses not operating, and 45% unemployment seems like great obstacles to overcome. When Yasir Arafat was alive a lot went into international assistance for developing a Palestinian economy, but many allegations were made that Arafat handed this aid over to his cronies, who were expatriates living in Western Europe, like his wife. It did go into building an airport in Gaza, which was destroyed during the second intifada in 2002. But there is the ability to rebuild, and have the airport be a location where Israeli farmers can bring fresh fruit and flowers to be flown to markets in Europe, as oppose to going all the way up to Ben-Gurion Airport. Thus creating a service sector within Gaza. It seems grandiose, but so is the probability of peace between Israel and Jordan, to jointly work on environmental problems affecting the Dead Sea. Israel and Jordan are now at peace, and they can work on environmental problems and economic development of the region. But back to Gaza, the 1.5 million citizens deserve something better, and to take it a step at a time, to address the political instability, and more important of all, economic viability of the region. Peace is not impossible, it just takes hard work.
I realize over the last two years, Sussan, that it is ridiculous to even try to respond to your obsessive campaign to demonize the state of Israel. You are tireless in your campaign but, as has so often been pointed out, your perspective is exceedingly limited, you have no genuine understanding of the cultures of the Middle East nor do you have a grasp, neither of the facts nor their significance. I, Jeff Stern, Zsuzsi Schindler who wrote that he was so stunned by your comments, "a hate and judge game", and several others before him, are commentators who have attempted to give you the benefits of our collective knowledge but nothing, absolutely nothing, is able to penetrate your mind. You have described yourself as "spiritual" but I view you as astonishingly unreflective and, quite frankly, as evil. As a result, I refuse to play this mug's game any longer and will not respond to your continuous ugly propaganda. As Mr. Schindler concluded, that you represent Mepeace is, in and of itself, an attack on the very foundations of Mepeace.
sounds just now like a story from an other planet, to remove all settlements or make them all Palestinian citizens?well I don't see who can or want do that in Israel? and how can Israel help in the building an economy in Gaza, they don't want us!!! I remember Peres wanted an Industrial zone once..with Jordan and Gaza.....anyway I like wishful thinking and join the idea of praying and meditating...helping too but a for tango you need two...I just see that others wrote before me, I am stunned by this accusations and judging Israel; I am not even willing to relate; if that's how you people see mepeace, there will be never peace; this is a hate and judge game.
Wars will cease when justice prevails.
There are several NGOs operating in Israel, that are calling for the removal of the Israeli settlements. As of yet, I am not aware what political parties, if any, are calling for this. But in Israel, it is so easy to start a political party, so that cannot be ruled out. As for making them into citizens of Palestine, it is the Palestinian Authority that has extended that offer. It would be no different that the breakup of the Soviet Union, when ethnic Russians were allowed to become citizens of the countries that emerged out of the Soviet Union. Today, 40% of the population of Latvia is ethnic Russian, and voters turned down a referendum to make Russian into one of the official languages of Latvia. So the option is there, either return them back to the pre-1967 borders, or let them stay and become citizens of Palestine. Israel can participate in building an economy for Gaza, for it was involved in the grand opening of the airport there. Rebuilding the airport, can make it a location where Israeli farmers can bring fresh fruit and flowers to be flown to markets in Europe. But all of that will depend on whether Al Fatah can take back control of Gaza after the May elections. Right now governing bodies within Gaza are factious, and that goes back to what both Prime Ministers Sharon and Barack said, there is no negotiating partner, because your tango for two is having partners that can negotiate. As for judging Israel, I personally want peace and prosperity for Israel, that is the reason why I want it to be able to live with its neighbors. Peace is possible, it is just that it takes hard work. President Peres said peace with the Palestinians is urgent, I share his urgency, and everybody else can to by going into his website on Facebook. In working with both Israelis and Palestinians, I have heard their pain, grief, and frustration. and I have also heard that this cannot go on.
Something you are not aware of Tim, is that the creation of the state of Israel was always a giant gamble, dependent on attracting either a substantial majority of Jews to the HolyLand, or alternatively, persuading the traditional Arab residents to leave.
Neither has been achieved.
This leaves Israel fighting a PERPETUAL war.
The refugees always believed they would return.
The only peace that is possible between Israel and Palestine will be one where Israel accepts back the refugees from the ’48 and ’67 wars, or pays them comparative compensation. Palestinians are unlikely to accept less, and they are prepared to fight on indefinitely.
The concept of compensating Palestinian refugees goes back to 1948, when the United Nations passed Resolution 194. In a fund set up by international donors, and Israel contributed U.S. $280,000 to this, the 2 million eligible refugees would be allowed U.S. $20,000 for loss of property. This was to be administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which then and today provides education, healthcare, and social services for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The money that suppose to be allocated never was, for numerous bureaucratic reasons. Compensation can look very easy on the surface, but when it comes to administering it, that can be an enormous headache. Armenians in the Ottoman Empire before World War I, took out insurance from American insurance companies. When they lost their homes and property from being deported and placed on death marches, they and their descendants tried to collect from these insurance companies. But it was bureaucratic because of changes in addresses, they were now citizens of other countries that had different laws then the former Ottoman Empire, and trying to itemized what was exactly was lost and the financial value of it. To this day, their descendants are challenging these insurance companies in court. Israel placed counterclaims for Jewish property in Arab countries, which Israel dropped in 2000. American President George Bush placed a block on Palestinian Refugee Compensation in 2008, because he wanted the Palestinians to crack down on terrorism, which convulsed Israel at that time. But it is just like what I had a Palestinian Christian Minister say to me "a suicide bomber is not born, they are made." This gets back to providing economic opportunity for Palestinians. With bi-lateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, were to consist of the Palestinians saying Israel must compensate us. Israel would say but the United Nations has it all set up for you. The Palestinians can say where is our money? Then they can go to the UNRWA and say where is our money? Either the UNRWA gives them a check, or like the Armenians, they can challenge it in court, which they have the legal right to do. As for the Palestinians returning to where they lived before 1948, the argument that Israel provides, is that it would be overrun. In providing housing, employment, and social services, the Palestinian population now is estimated to be 4.4 million. So it is a question about whether Israel can provide these services to this number of people. As for fighting a perpetual war, both sides have suffered badly. I have seen this working with Bereaved Families, where both Israelis and Palestinians says we all lost relatives in fighting each other, this simple cannot go on. They are right too. Also you cannot group Palestinians by nationalistic pride, for they are individuals like we all are. So it is hard to say Palestinians are prepared to fight on indefinitely, because I have met a lot who are war weary, they want peace. I had man in Gaza once say to me "we want peace, but not just any peace." He was perpetual in finding peace, but not in fighting.
Tim, do you know why the Occupation has been on-the-go since 1967?
It is because the Occupation is meant to NEVER END.
Palestine is to become Israel – with a small Arab minority.
This is the reason why there is never a peace settlement.
The Palestinians are meant to pack their bags and leave.
It has always been this way: past, the present and the future.
... Jerusalem, borders, compensation, refugees, 1 State or 2 States ... It is of no consequence.
The Holyland was always meant to become one continuous Zionist country – this was always the plan, from the earliest of days. If you don't believe me, check the diaries of the early Zionists.
Why else would so many settlers’ houses be built of land that is obviously Palestinian?
However, there is one big, never-ending problem. Those Arabs are proving to be very tardy over moving on to another Arab country.
One of the topics for our future discussions will be about Zionism, when and how it developed and how it has evolved, and especially how it must continue to evolve. Going back into history assist in finding and espousing solutions, but there is big danger with becoming obsessed with history. This has become a problems with both Israelis and Palestinians, and I mentioned this in Shimon Peres' Facebook, where he has it open for input by all concerned citizens now matter where they dwell. I have also been sending input into the U.S. State Department for Hillary Clinton to act upon. She has a lot of experience as former First Lady on the Israeli-Palestinan issue. But I see it as oppose to looking at Zionism as an evil ideology, looking at it as an ideology that has evolved, and needs to evolve even more. Because the Palestine LIberation Organization is no longer branded as a terrorist organization, it has evolved into the Palestinian Authority that can be seen as a legitimate governing body to negotiate with.
You continue on this track in spite of my having given you references to the contrary. Ben Gurion, in notes taken at meetings of the Jewish Executive Committee, said that he had no intention of removing the Arab population from what was to become the state of Israel but, rather, to grow Israel as a Jewish majority state through the immigration of Jewish people. This can be found in Efraim Karsch's book entitled "Fabricating Jewish History". There seems to be no point in even trying to discuss issues with you, Sussan, as you lack the requisite necessity to deal with the actual research and historical facts. I am writing this because others might be persuaded by your bogus postings.
Once again, we will be having a discussion about Zionism. Its origins, how it evolved in earlier times, the non-European influence, and how it continues to evolve. It is an interesting subject on its own, so that is the reason why for the separate discussion. Try make yourself available to participate in this, because we need all the feedback possible.
Hamas, which more or less controls the Westbank, has made it clear (see Charter) that the "Zionist state of Israel" must be destroyed, exterminated, in terms of its political, economic and military systems as well as its culture.
Sorry, Tim. In an article posted in Ynet, Mohammed Abbas made it clear that when and if a Palestinian state were to develop in the Westbank, no Jews would be allowed.