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Not that enthusiastic about the so-called peace proposal

It's always so depressing. And it just gets worse. Buidling walls may slow down violence between two peoples but it won't stop it. Peace will.

So Israel has proposed a peace plan to the Palestinians. The Israeli government wants to keep all of the major settlements in the West Bank and the land on the Israeli side of the Wall -- remember when everyone said the Wall wasn't permanent. It can be torn down. Don't worry! It's just an effort to stop violence and bring about peace.

Yea, right! It's a land grab that also helped block, in a shortterm way, violence and resistance.

And, the Israelis want to take about 10 percent of the West Bank (and that doesn't include the chunk they took in annexing East Jerusalem and all that land which includes half of the illegal settlements), and give the palestinians about 6 percent of land in the Negev Desert.

No sharing of Jerusalem. East Jerusalem stays with Israel.

Israel isn't saying, we can talk about Jerusalem sharing later. They're not saying, the wall is temporary -- like they used to say over and over again about the wall, and about the settlements. Remember that one? Oh, we need the sewttlements for "security." Sound familiar. The settlements were supposed to create security. Now, the settlements need security and the Wall is supposed to provide security. Pretty soon, Israel will be building a wall around the wall to make the wall secure.

Well, if there ever was a plan to ignite continued conflict, that's it.

I don't know. I'm a big supporter of two states. But this will kill the idea if it continues. Sounds more like a politically-driven plan to make the fanatics in Israel happy, like Nejamin Netanyahu and his street crew. Or, maybe, it's a plan to make the Palestinians say "no" since the Israeli government knows it is a lousy plan and the Palestinians won't accept it and the priority isn't peace but to create a political diversion to impact Israeli politics.

Too bad for peace. We knew thee well ...

Ray Hanania

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Comment by Seth Levy on August 13, 2008 at 5:44am
I wanted to add, you don't see the multitude of Jews demanding a state in the many Arab countries they were forced out of. Why? Because Israel understood its responsibility to take care of them.
Comment by Seth Levy on August 13, 2008 at 5:42am
What bothers me most about your argument Ray is that if the Arabs lose a war, they get chance after chance to fight again, however if Israel loses only once they are gone forever. This is mostly due to the fact that the massive Arab countries are seeking to take over and eliminate Israel while Israel simply wants to live in its borders as given by the original mandate. Now, this is obviously not possible now because the multitude of Arab countries refuse to help the Palestinians for reasons I cannot comprehend. Israel is not looking to take over Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, or Syria, however all of them would jump at the chance (as they have in the past) to take over Israel. This should not be about blame, it should be about accepting responsibility, especially on the part of Jordan whose job it should be to take care of the Palestinians, especially after losing the 1967 war.
Comment by Ray Hanania on August 13, 2008 at 4:52am
Hey Yigal. I think that Israel can't defeat Hezbollah or Hamas or the Islamicists as long as the conflict exists. But, once it is gone and we do have a fair peace -- not an easy peace, a tough peace that is as fair as possible -- then secular Arabs and Muslims will also turn away from fighting Israel to fight the extremists. I don't likw Hezbollah and I know many Arabs don;t like them either. But wer'e caught fighting two battles, with Israeli extremists and with Arab extremists. End the Arab-Israeli conflicta nd the new front because the fight against the Islamicists.

The real fight, in my opinion, is between extremists and moderates. One day, Israeli moderates and Palestinians moderates will reach a compromise that is as fair as possible. And then together we can defeat the extremists.

As for the extremists,t he best thing you can do is ignore their taunts and baiting and provocations. They like that. They know they can;t win but as long as they can perpetuate the conflict, they can survive.

Ray Hanania
Comment by Ray Hanania on August 13, 2008 at 4:48am
Well, John, Israel did help create Hamas. It's Ariel Sharon's Frankenstein, isn't it? John, you're not worth speaking with because all you want to do is argue and fight. Why waste your time fighting here? I'm not taking a powder. I just think your views are too extreme for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Everyone has a right (no pun intended) to their opinions. I think you and I are finished, wouldn't you say?
Comment by Yigal D. Kahana on August 12, 2008 at 11:12pm
Very nice, Ray.
How about:

"I, as a Jew and/or Israeli, am sorry for the hardships Jews have caused Palestinians before and after 1948. And I, as a Palestinian and/or Arab, am sorry for the hardships Arabs and Palestinians have caused Jews before and after 1948. We promise to use our very best efforts not to repeat these past mistakes in the future."

And we move forward.

As for Olmert - he is unable to sign any document at this point, even if he wanted to.
He no longer has the authority and it would be an 'ultra vires' act, completely void.

One question.
You wrote:
"...the Islamicists, like Hezbollah, are tough and determined and very strategic. They don't compromise on their faith and will fight until they win. You can't beat them."

But if they won't compromise on their principles, and those principles include eliminating Israel completely, then there is no alternative but to beat them.
"Not beating them" either means losing to them or perpetual war with them.

Given that, what are you really saying here about how to get to peaceful coexistence?
Are you proposing beating them and not beating them at the same time?
Comment by Ray Hanania on August 12, 2008 at 10:53pm
John ... one point about your argument above. It's a good point. And what it says is that the Israelis beat the Palestinians and they should just accept whatever ... but the Palestinians and Arabs look at it and say, hey, if beating someone is the solution, then let's fight forever. Don't be so comfortable to believe that you will always win ... it might not happen one day. And, I wills ay that the Islamicists are not like the secular Arabs who blustered and bragged but failed ... the Islamicists, like Hezbollah, are tough and determined and very strategic. They don't compromise on their faith and will fight until they win. You can't beat them. The secular Palestinians and Arabs are slowly disappearing. One day, we might be gone and any hope for peace will be gone with it. Then, Israel can live day to day hoping they don't lose.

Yigal, I do agree this is all about politics and not a genuine peace. It's just to help with the upcoming elections. But, if it were up to me and I were Olmert, I'd quickly sign a "fair" deal one the Palestinians can accept -- which will be rejected by most Palestinians ... and by most Israelis. But in the end, forcing a settlement will eventually be accepted the way things are accepted today.

-- and for someone else, I can't remember, the settlements were temporary. They were justified as "security outposts." Sure, the world has changed and I could even accept some of them remaining ... life goes on ... but to make a demand like that and not make a similar counter offer to keep the settlement is just not fair. No matter how much you support peace, you don't just say yes to make someone happy. You insist that the peace must be fair as possible.

just my thoughts
thanks
Ray
Comment by Ray Hanania on August 12, 2008 at 10:43pm
How much? How about fairness? Respect? How about we stop blaming each other and stereotyping each other and saying it's the Palestinians' fault or the Israelis' fault. Individuals are at fault. People are victims. My relatives live in the West Bank (East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Beit Jala) and in Israel (Nazareth, West Jerusalem, Haifa) so I know what they go through and I know their attitudes. Living there doesn't make a difference, except make it possible for you to do more to make peace happen.

It's attitude that really makes the difference. What if the Israeli government said, "This is our proposal. We want to work towards an open and sharing Jerusalem where Palestinians can also have a piece to call their capitol but we need to work towards that ... we also wan tto be fair to trade land for land equally, and are willing to do more ...w e take one dunum we give one dunum.

These are things that make a difference.

And, wouldn't it be nice if we all said to each other, I, as an Israeli, and sorry for the hardships we caused for the Palestinians who lived in Palestine before 1948 int he parts that are now Israel. And I, as a Palestinian and Arab, am sorry for the hardships caused Jews who lived in the Arab World before 1948. Let's show compassion. That's what genuine peace is all about. Compassion.

Peace driven by politics is not peace at all. It's just an excuse to keep the conflict going.

Thanks
Ray Hanania

PS ... is finished a podcast with Eyal Raviv about mepeace.org that I posted on my web site (www.TheMediaOasis.com) and also it is available on iTunes to download to your ipods)
Comment by Neri Bar-On on August 12, 2008 at 8:24pm
Ray,

Great point and a job security for you, can we say that ?

The real work is within our culture and your kind of activity has higher value the all this peace agreements paper these guys are signing.

Instead of looking at peace as a goal we should look our task as a vast social shift in the mind of people that we share one future.
Comment by Yigal D. Kahana on August 12, 2008 at 8:18pm
Ray,
Look a little deeper, please? This is a moot point.
You should see this as the desperate ploy of a government with about one month left in power.
Even in the unlikely event the PA did agree to it, Olmert would not have the ability to close the deal.
Let's see what happens in September before submitting to gloom and doom?
Comment by Neri Bar-On on August 12, 2008 at 8:06pm
John,

The settlers symbolize the forces within the Israel public that act to take ownership over the full Palestinian territory.

Within the Settelment you can find all spectrum of people and many people who can accept agrriment of withdrew.

Since we have the Gaza experience we can expect the Settlers to be very aggressive to fight such agreements from within by creating more incidents that will attack to possibility of trust from the palestinians that Israel as a whole will free them fair cut of the land to build their own country.

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