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People got really upset with yesterday's diary on the position expressed that falls between peace and annexation of the Palestinian Territories, i.e., partition. (They also seemed quite upset, for a number of reasons, with the proposal that Israel respond to Hamas's rocket attacks with equally erratic rocket attacks with the same explosive power and lack of aim. No one offered anything better, however.)

So perhaps I should expand on what I suggest when I discuss partition. First, however, a note that everyone should read: My personal opinion is that Israel should return to its May 1967 borders. Period. Any deviation on this should only happen when this is agreed upon by both sides.

On to partition...

First, it is necessary to state that I don't prefer partition to peace, nor do I see partition as a permanent solution to the impasse or as the road to Palestinian statehood. Rather, with Hamas in de jure power over the Palestinian Authority and de facto power over Gaza and a likely far-right government about to be installed in Israel, peace negotiations will get nowhere.

OK, so I've covered myself on that part. Now: Partition in the place of peace would obviously need to follow guidelines, and I generally find that the Clinton parameters work well here. This would necessarily have to exclude Jerusalem — again, for the time being, bearing in mind that a permanent solution would not involve unilateral disengagement by Israel but a negotiated agreement between parties both interested in peace.

Here are the parameters from the U.N. Web site. (I think it's probably safe to bet that nobody is going to accuse the U.N. of being "pro-Israel.") The parameters number five and most are worth looking at w/r/t a partition situation pending worthy peace negotiators re-arising on both sides:

  1. The establishment of a "sovereign, viable Palestinian State that would accommodate Israel's security requirements and the demographic realities". It would include the Gaza Strip and "the vast majority of the West Bank", while settlement blocks would be incorporated into Israel "with the goal of maximizing the number of settlers in Israel while minimizing the land annex, for Palestine to be viable must be a geographically contiguous State"; some territorial swaps and other arrangements would be needed to make the agreement "durable".

I would argue that the entire West Bank (not including East Jerusalem) should be evacuated by Israel and that settlement blocs cannot be incorporated into Israel absent a negotiated settlement.

This necessarily brings up the issue of the current "security barrier" that Israel has erected in the first place, which has been remarkably successful at preventing suicide bombings but which, at the same time, should it form a permanent border, would expropriate large amounts of Palestinian territory.

In a partition situation, particularly because it is not a peace scenario, the barrier would have to remain. I would suggest that it be redrawn and re-erected in such a way that it conforms as closely as possible to the Green Line and that settlers be moved to the Israeli side of the barrier. Then the IDF should leave the West Bank. By the way, if and when peace negotiations begin again, this removes the settler issue from the table.

  1. A solution for the Palestinian refugees that would allow them to return to a Palestinian State, those who so wished, or find new homes in their current locations or in third countries, including Israel, "consistent with those countries' sovereign decisions". All refugees should receive compensation from the international community for their losses and assistance in building their new lives; the US would take a lead in raising the money necessary to relocate them in the most appropriate manner. One should not expect Israel to acknowledge an unlimited right of return to present-day Israel, as that "would undermine the very foundations of the Israeli State or the whole reason for creating the Palestinian State".

This is apparently where peace talks fell apart at Taba. Clearly it is not even on the table when discussing partition. Refugees remain refugees when peace is absent. Sorry everyone.

  1. An "international presence in Palestine to provide border security along the Jordan Valley and to monitor implementation of the final agreement" as well as "a non-militarized Palestine, a phased Israeli withdrawal, to address Israeli security needs in the Jordan Valley, and other essential arrangements to ensure Israel's ability to defend itself.

If Israel stops occupying the West Bank — whether in times of peace or partition — I see no point in having an international force stationed in one state and not the other. I don't expect a non-militarized Palestine even in a peace agreement, so I can't realistically expect one in a partition.

  1. Four "fair and logical propositions" regarding Jerusalem: (a) It should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all, encompassing the internationally recognized capitals of two States, Israel and Palestine, (b) "[W]hat is Arab should be Palestinian" and (c) "what is Jewish should be Israeli", while (d) "what is holy to both requires a special care to meet the needs of all", with "mutual respect for the religious beliefs and holy shrines of Jews, Muslims and Christians".

I agree with this parameter and think it should probably be part of a final status agreement. But that's not what we're talking about here. In a partition situation, Israel keeps East Jerusalem. But to keep the door to peace open, I would suggest the following: (1) That Israel withdraw its unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem, in order to indicate that it will negotiate its status at the right time; (2) That the Old City be demilitarized to the greatest possible extent, perhaps with the assistance of the U.N.; and (3) That both Palestine and Israel seriously consider having their capitals elsewhere.

  1. "[A]ny agreement would have to mark the decision to end the conflict, for neither side can afford to make these painful compromises, only to be subjected to further demands".

Not relevant here, as this is partition and not peace.

I realize that this will upset people, which is why I don't suggest that it be the final status arrangement or even the basis of further peace negotiations. Rather, I am suggesting a reasonable set of steps by which violence can be reduced in all of post-1922 Mandatory Palestine by the Israelis and Palestinians being separate from one another.

One thing that must be consistently remembered, however, is that Israel has a right to defend itself. This right should be exercised within reason, of course, but nobody reasonable should expect that (a) Israel negotiate with an organization that is dedicated to destroying Israel or (b) Israel have missiles lobbed into its borders and do nothing.

And yes, I suggested the lobbing of missiles right back. More on that in tomorrow's diary.

Originally posted to aemathisphd on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:30 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Give me tips on whether... (7+ / 0-)

    ... this is more clear. Thanks.

  •  curious (10+ / 0-)

    One thing that must be consistently remembered, however, is that Israel has a right to defend itself.

    Do Palestinians have a right to defend themselves? How would this defense look?

    •  Pretty Straightforward (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfounded, zemblan

      "..Do Palestinians have a right to defend themselves? How would this defense look?"

      Actually, I do believe that the Palestinians have the right to defend themselves.  It would help if they would realize that their anger should be directed at the IDF they encounter rather than civilians.  In many respects, even suicide bombers could target Israeli military inside Israel pretty easily, since Israeli soldiers walk the streets everywhere.  The almost deliberate targeting of the weakest, most defenseless individuals rouses the greatest anger against the Palestinians.  It's almost as if they can't understand that bullies pick on the weakest, not the strongest, targets and that Palestinian tactics evoke the response against a bully.  It would certainly help their PR.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 09:46:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If there is an incursion on their territory... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      golconda2

      ...then, yes, they have a right to defend themselves? How would it look? I have no idea. I would expect them to shoot at ground troops and respond to rocket fire with rocket fire.

      •  are the (4+ / 0-)

        permanent occupation troops in the West Bank considered "incursions"? Or is that state of affairs "normal" and acceptable?

        •  Did you read the article? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kellogg

          I very cleared stated in the article that partition would mean the IDF leaves the West Bank.

          •  I read the article (4+ / 0-)

            but that is not the question here. The question was about what resistance is legitimate or not. I was responding to a comment you made about resistance against incursions, and I asked whether permanent troops in the West Bank are to be considered incursions or a normal state of affairs to which resistance is not acceptable.

            •  I believe... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kellogg

              ... that the Palestinians have the right to resist any occupation. The means by which they do this would depend. Suicide bombings inside the Green Line or bombs dropped inside the Green Line isn't an attack on the occupation.

              •  Well hang on there. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza

                Attacks on civilians are wrong full stop.

                But if they have a right to resistance then I would not see attacks against military or ecconomic targets inside the green line as being in some way illegitimate, during WW2 did we only attack German troops outside Germany, during Gulf War 1 did we only attack Iraqi troops in Kuwait.

                I would prefer both sides chose not to "defend" themselves and they managed to talk their way out of the situation but while we are not there the right of legitimate self defence extends both ways and thus neither action is truly illegitimate.

                •  But the whole point is that... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kellogg, zemblan

                  ... Palestine doesn't attack Israeli military. It attacks Israeli civilians, making it terrorism, and not resistance.

                  •  They attack both (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Euroliberal, capelza, sortalikenathan

                    Can you say Cpl. Shalit?  Of course, that was also labeled as terrorism by most of the pro-Israel crowd.  

                    Saying they only attack civilians is painting the whole resistance movement with a pretty broad brush of "terrorism".  

                    The irony is that, when they attack military targets, the response from Israel is often even more vicious.  

                    Now the real work begins!

                    by Dexter on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:45:23 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That is false. (5+ / 0-)

                    Much of the recent evil perpetrated against Palestinians stemmed from the death and capture of Israeli soldiers. Have you forgotten that Palestinians are still in possession of a soldier and that was part of the "justification" for the recent slaughter of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Ghetto? Have you forgotten that release of that soldier was one of the Israeli demands for a truce?

                    We forgot. Not just MORE Democrats. BETTER Democrats.

                    by edg on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:51:18 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You target civilians and it's terrorism. (0+ / 0-)

                      You target combatants and it's war.

                      Limiting attacks to legitimate military targets might prevent you from being accused of terrorism.  But it doesn't mean you're not fighting a war, and it doesn't mean you can't expect to be shot at.

                      Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. And it went Democratic.

                      by Anarchofascist on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:03:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  They attack both, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Anarchofascist

                    and the definition of dual use, or "legitimate" ecconomic targets will be open to argument in war, but I can not see how it could be stretched to a Pizza resuraunt so yes lots of the attacks are terrorism, but because of what the target is not which side of the green line they are.

                    In terms of Mortars and rockets if they are pretty inaccurate but it is the best they have available is that any more or less legitimate than USAAF or RAF Bombers of the 1940's who at least initially had an average accuracy of plus or minus a few miles?

                     

    •  It might look like (0+ / 0-)

      Accepting truce agreements with Israel rather than saying "We're going to launch rockets at you night and day and never agree to a truce"

      Just sayin'

  •  Better (9+ / 0-)

    This is clearer than your last attempt, which 95% of readers appeared to find confused and unfocused.

    I certainly won't oppose Israel ending the Occupation and pulling back to it's border.  I imagine others will oppose it loudly, however.  You'll have to ask them why.

  •  "Contiguous" Palestine, including Gaza and (0+ / 0-)

    the West Bank will necessarily mean a non-contiguous Israel.  Israel will be as opposed to non-contiguity as Palestine is.

  •  Please tell me... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JPhurst, 1918

    why an Armistice Line (not a border, that would have required the Arabs to talk to Israel) that existed for a grand total of 18 years is so magical.  

  •  Proportional attacks (0+ / 0-)

    ever used successfully in the past?

    Examples?

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

    by JNEREBEL on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 10:13:00 AM PST

  •  Round and round we go (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weasel, capelza

    Where will it end . . . nobody knows.

    How old are you anyways? It's not a dig, because i really appreciate the sincerity in your posts. However, I think you're missing that these exact proposals have been on the table for decades and nothing is doing.

    One thing to chew on to start with: the Israeli government does not have the power at present to remove the settlers from the West Bank. Those settlers will never leave voluntarily, and significant segments of the IDF would mutiny before carrying out orders to violently remove them. In any event, the settlements are still growing with Israeli government protection and support, as they have been for every year of the supposed "peace process."

    So, go back to the drawing board and see how your "partition" plan can work given that fact above.

    For what it's worth, from my perspective the solution is simple and straightforward -- one state, equal rights for all. Kind of like . . . oh, um, the country that we live in and are very proud of (assuming you are also an American), but which was forged out of some pretty wicked religious and ethnic/racial divisions as well.

    •  Well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kellogg, Euroliberal, capelza

      While I agree completely with your first two paragraphs, I would rephrase this:

      the Israeli government does not have the power at present to remove the settlers from the West Bank.

      Rather, the Israeli government is not willing to pay the price of removing the settlers, even if it wanted to (though there is no evidence that it currently desires to do so).  Unless the price of removing the settlers drops, or the price of supporting them rises dramatically, I don't see Israel removing them.  

      •  As Karmafish suggests, no need to (0+ / 0-)

        remove the settlers. Let them stay after a peace deal is signed under the protection of the Palestinian police.

        "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

        by JNEREBEL on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:02:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It really is not... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Karmafish

        ...a question of a price to pay.  Settlements have been removed without major difficulty.

        It's a question of the benefit received.  Olmert said that he planned to follow up the disengagement with removal of more West Bank settlements.  Then Hamas won elections, Hamas took one Israeli soldier hostage, Hezbollah took two Israeli soldiers hostage (later returned in coffins), and Hezbollah started firing rockets into Israel.

        If removing settlements would decrease violence, it would happen, most likely even with Netenyahu as PM.  But removing settlements has had the opposite effect.

        If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

        by JPhurst on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:06:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about removing them because they are wrong? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, Lefty Coaster, unspeakable
          •  Because Israelis have never gotten peace... (0+ / 0-)

            ...from "doing the right thing."

            If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

            by JPhurst on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:23:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why should you expect anything (0+ / 0-)

              from doing what's right? That's what you're supposed to do in the first place.

              Did we demand that Kuwait do anything vis-a-vis Saddam Hussein before we kicked him out of there? Did we demand that the blacks in South Africa do anything in particular before we ended apartheid?

              If something is wrong, then it should be rectified regardless of what they get "in return."

            •  Israel has never tried "doing the right thing" (0+ / 0-)

              Your claim is FALSE!

              nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it. - Barack Obama

              by Lefty Coaster on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:39:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kellogg, capelza, unspeakable

          Violence from the settlers has been steadily increasing, not just against Palestinians, but against Israeli leftists and IDF/police.  Additionally, settler infiltration and support in the IDF is growing.  Their base was always in the West Bank, where 400,000 of them live, not in Gaza, where 7,000 lived.  The cost of removing them would be extremely high in money, blood, and national trauma.

          Olmert's plan never seemed to remove more than a token, even had it been carried out.

          As for the benefit: we're actually saying the same thing.  Once the Palestinians raise the cost of the occupation high, Israel will be more willing to pay the costs of ending it.  

          •  They don't have to... (0+ / 0-)

            "raise the cost of the occupation."

            They have to lower the cost of ending the occupation.

            If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

            by JPhurst on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:22:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Possibly (0+ / 0-)

              But after 40 years, I think they are right to be skeptical of Israel ever just deciding to leave Palestine.  And since the settlers would certainly extract a high cost to remove the settlements, Palestine will have to extract a higher cost for maintaining them, in order to give Israel the incentive to make the hard choice.  

              •  Or.... (0+ / 0-)

                ...Palestinians could agree not to launch rockets at Israelis from areas where settlements were removed.  Gee what a concept.

                For all your talk about Israelis needing to "pay a price," Israel has repeatedly given Palestinians the opportunity for statehood.  That has repeatedly backfired.

                Basically, you are admitting that you want to see more Palestinian violence.  That's just disgusting.

                If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

                by JPhurst on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:02:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                  Palestinians could agree not to launch rockets at Israelis from areas where settlements were removed.  Gee what a concept.

                  As concepts go, it's not bad, but Israel didn't ask anything.  The pulled the settlements out of Gaza while refusing to negotiate and while occupying the bulk of the Territories.  That plan, it turns out, was not problem free.  But no serious person believed it would be.

                  For all your talk about Israelis needing to "pay a price," Israel has repeatedly given Palestinians the opportunity for statehood.  That has repeatedly backfired.

                  Well, it has given a "opportunity" on Israel's terms.  Palestinians have repeatedly said they want Israel out of all of the Occupied Territories, not just the parts Israel is willing to leave.  So again, problems.

                  Basically, you are admitting that you want to see more Palestinian violence.  That's just disgusting.

                  Want?  No.  But where peace fails (as it has so far) and where the Palestinians refuse to surrender (as they have so far), more violence will be inevitable, and will continue until there is some negotiated end.  I do not see Israel willing to negotiate an end until the costs of the current state of affairs outweighs the cost of change.  It's very sad, and it's not what I want.  But I'm sure you are happy to have an excuse to call your opponent "disgusting."

                  Cheers.

      •  I understand that point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        But from what I can gather, it is not a matter of choice. They simply cannot do it. An increasing proportion of the settlers are far-right religious Zionists who believe that it is a great sin against G-d to give up one single inch of the Holy Land to non-Jews, once it's been reclaimed. An increasingly large percentage of IDF troops fall into this category as well.

        Many of these people are far more loyal to "G-d", i.e. their conception of Judaism and Zionism, then they are to the State of Israel, which many view askance in any case because of it's secular nature. There are upwards of 500,000 of these settlers, if the ones in Jerusalem suburbs are included. Given those facts, many have concluded that even if an Israeli government were to somehow take power with the intention of uprooting the settlements, it simply would not happen "on the ground."

    •  I disagree that... (0+ / 0-)

      the Israeli government does not have the power at present to remove the settlers from the West Bank.

      It does have it, and has used it.  It doesn't see a point in using it now, because settlement evacuation has not led to peace.  See Gaza.

      If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

      by JPhurst on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 11:03:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gaza is nothing similar to the West Bank (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weasel, capelza, unspeakable

        in this regard, either quantitatively (there were like 8000 people at issue) or qualitatively (the West Bank is the biblical Judea and Samaria, the traditional home to the Jews, the specific lands that G-d gave to the Jews, the location of all of the biblical sites, tombs of the patriarchs, etc.).

    •  Thirty-nine years old (0+ / 0-)

      and never been kissed.

      Seriously, though, re-partition has been proposed? By whom and when?

      •  I still don't understand how this proposal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, RandomActsOfReason

        is different from what has been the basis of every "peace process" for the last 20 or so years? It's a two-state solution, whereby Israel exchanges land gained in the 1967 war for peace with its Arab neighbors.

        •  Except there's no peace (0+ / 0-)

          And Jerusalem isn't being negotiated.

          •  Well, if that's the case, (0+ / 0-)

            what incentives are there to continue negotiations? If Israel has Jerusalem and all the settlers are out of the occupied territories, why would it care to talk to the Palestinians?

            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

            by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:15:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you give some... (0+ / 0-)

              but not all of what the Palestinians want, then maybe they'll bargain in the future

              Remember that economic cooperation is key to success of both states (it's one thing about which Bibi is right). With partition, that doesn't happen. With peace, it does.

              •  But what's Israel's incentive to continue (0+ / 0-)

                dealing with Palestinians in your scenario?

                Essentially, Palestinians get some of what they want, and Israelis get virtually everything they want. So why should Israel even care that the Palestinians want further negotiations?

                So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:00:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Region-wide agreement (0+ / 0-)

                  Only a viable Palestinian state will fit the Saudi plan that (and I know I'll catch hell for this) seems reasonable.

                  Partition as I suggest wouldn't fit that bill.

                  Remember that economics drives a lot of this.

                  •  Not that I agree with the premis of your response (0+ / 0-)

                    but for the sake of argument, I'll go along with it.

                    Israel has survived economically for 60 years without significant Arab investment. So while it certainly would be a good thing for Israel, it doesn't need to have economic relationships with Arab states.

                    So I ask again, why should Israel care what Palestinians or Arabs think about this issue?

                    So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                    by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:21:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  *premise (0+ / 0-)

                      So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                      by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:21:31 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't think... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      littlebird33

                      ... American aid will last forever with Israel, particularly as you have more and more pressure on Israel now from BOTH major political parties to finalize a peace agreement. Obama hired Rahm Emanuel for many reasons, but one of them may very well be to have him play hardball with Israel on his behalf. Hard to call an IDF civilian volunteer and the son of an Etzelnik an anti-Semite.

                      •  Well, if pressure is increasing (0+ / 0-)

                        to reach a deal, why go through the trouble of creating this roundabout step? Why not negotiate a final deal?

                        I'm sorry but as far as I'm concerned, your plan, if Zeus forbid it's implemented, would in effect be a land grab by Israel, not of the West Bank, but of all the territory of Jerusalem. I don't see Palestinians getting anything on Jerusalem out of your proposal.

                        It just weakens the Palestinian negotiating position and basically frames them as ingrates who will never be happy with what they get, if they push on Jerusalem, for example.

                        So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                        by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:36:03 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Zeus, eh? (0+ / 0-)

                          Cute.

                          Why not negotiate a final deal? Because neither Israel nor the Palestinians have elected the proper leadership to conclude such a deal.

                          Yes, it's a land grab on Jerusalem. Absolutely. Tant pis for the Palestinians if they don't want to cooperate. (Same with the Israelis, for that matter.) The Palestinians don't get anything on Jerusalem, as you say, with this proposal because it isn't a peace plan. It's a placeholder.

                          Look: All I'm really suggesting is more of the same of what Sharon began with Gaza in 2005. But I'm suggesting, coupled with this, a sensible defense strategy (more on that later). I don't think it weakens the Palestinian position at all. If Israel withdraws its annexation of East Jerusalem, that's a strong message to the Palestinians that negotiators are at the ready on Jerusalem when the Palestinians put a gov't in place that will work for a real peace agreement.

                          The deal suggested by Sari Nusseibeh several years ago now was East Jerusalem in exchange for refugees, i.e., give us E. Jerusalem and we'll drop the demand on refugees. This is where Arafat faltered, after all. I think Israel owes the Palestinians something, mind you, for lost property, but repatriation isn't going to happen. Everybody but the most intransigent among the Palestinians knows this.

                          But I digress. No, the Palestinians got nothing on J'lem on what amounts to a long-term ceasefire. Sorry.

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                            When Israel is constantly creating facts on the ground, you'll have to forgive me if I don't trust that this "transition" won't become permanent.

                            And that's why your proposal is unrealistic. Palestinians do not trust Israelis, period, and vice versa. With good reason, of course.

                            You suggest that neither side has the correct leadership for a direct deal, but then want me to accept that Israel would de-annex East Jerusalem under those same parties?

                            What your asking is that Palestinians make an very large leap of faith, while asking of Israelis very little. So I'm incredibly doubtful about your plan's benefits, much less its workablity.

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:49:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  2005 called... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...and it wants its facts back.

                            Israel hasn't been "placing more facts on the ground." They have removed four large settlements in the north West Bank.

                            But more to the point: I think I'm asking an awful lot of Israel, i.e., trading land without peace, which Israel is in no way bound to do.

                            Remember this: Israel's occupation has been, IMO, morally wrong and the settlements are undoubtedly illegal. But the occupation itself isn't illegal if peace is not in the offing.

                          •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RandomActsOfReason

                            You're denying that the settlements aren't being expanded in and around Jerusalem?

                            You're denying that roads have been and are being built all over the West Bank that only Israelis can use?

                            You're saying that that's not creating facts on the ground?

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:56:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, around Jerusalem (0+ / 0-)

                            absolutely, and point taken.

                            And the roads, yes. "Facts on the ground" has consistently been used by some to meant "new settlements" particularly in the WB. That hasn't been the case.

                          •  You just lost me (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            unspeakable

                            as someone who has visited the area frequently since 2005, and whose mother still lives in Jerusalem, I call you on your false assertion.

                            Israel has been consistently and aggressively moving to redraw the borders and has continued to build up the population of illegal settlements so as to make it more difficult to trade land for peace.

                            This has continued under the Kadima government. Israel did not, contrary to what it agreed to do at more than one point, frozen settlement expansion. At all. Ever. And the process has only accelerated over the past ten years.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 05:59:58 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  By the way, (0+ / 0-)

                            for people like me, that is, Palestinians who weren't born in modern-day Israel, you're right that we won't have the right of return. Personally, I'm not interested in that right, and I don't think it'll come as too much of a surprise when or if a final deal is announced without it.

                            However, for people like my two grandmothers, who were born in what is now Israel, I will not accept dropping the right of return. For them, and them alone, right of return should be granted. They have a right to visit their childhood homes, and a bunch of septagenarians are no threat to Israel's existence.

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:52:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A decent point on your grandmothers (0+ / 0-)

                            I think Barak suggested 100,000 refugees actually come back into the 1949 borders. That would include your grandmothers, inshallah.

                          •  Well at least we agree on this. (0+ / 0-)

                            So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

                            by unspeakable on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:56:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'd say that's progress... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... please understand, and this may sound hokey, but I want statehood, real statehood, for your people and for justice to be done to them and for them. But not at the expense of the lives of Jews. Or more Palestinians.

          •  Yeah, that's my point (0+ / 0-)

            Whatever the particular subjects that are being negotiated through the "peace process" be it removing settlements, limiting them, issues around Jerusalem, ending Palestinian terrorism, etc., etc., in the end there is always just the "peace process", and never a peace agreement. At most there is an agreement to continue the peace process (Oslo).

            I personally don't think it's possible to have a peace agreement there. As groups, there's too much interest in the status quo of continued occupaton and terrorism. If the paradigm were shifted from "two-states, nationalistic, hating each other for eternity," to one-state, equal rights for all, then you could marginalize the extremists on both sides, and deal with people more as individuals with individual rights, as opposed to groups.

            •  People would stop hating each other if there (0+ / 0-)

              were one state?  Tell it to the Croats and Serbs.  Or the Estonians and Russians.

              Hell, BELGIUM is in friggin' danger of breaking up.

              And Canada isn't exactly falling apart at the seams, but even Canada -- the ideal of a binational state, pretty much, is full of an awful lot of resentment and hate.

              Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. And it went Democratic.

              by Anarchofascist on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:34:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How would that be different? (0+ / 0-)

                the ideal of a binational state, pretty much, is full of an awful lot of resentment and hate.

                Of course there are examples all over the planet of "nations" within states who don't get along as well as nation-states that don't get along. For every bad example of a binational state, I could cite a good one. For every bad example of two nation-states going to war, you could cite two that have not.

                In this particular case, there's a number of reasons why I think the one-state solution should be put on the table:

                1. We tried the other one for 60 years and it hasn't worked.
                1. Both Jews and Palestinians are intensely interested for historical, cultural and religious reasons in maintaining a physical presence in each other's respective "territories."
                1. As "progressives" we generally advocate policies that discourage nationalism and separation and emphasizes secularism and pluralism.
                1. The two-state solution is a moot point because of the scale and persistence of the settlements, so the sooner we realize it, the sooner we'll get on a real path to peace.
                1. The Israel-Palestine question is only a subset of a much bigger conflict between Islam and the West, and that conflict will only be solved by learning to live and work together so we might as well get started there.
                1. Israel-Palestine as a joint entity could be incredibly prosperous as it would be able to fulfill the role currently held by places like Dubai, i.e. techno/business/cultural meeting point between the Arab world and the West, except much more successfully and at a bigger scale.

                There are other reasons, but I'll leave it at that for now.

            •  Neither Israelis nor Palestinians want one state (0+ / 0-)

              continuing to push it is as an imposed solution (and will would have to be imposed by force) is colonialist impulse at its worst.

              You might as well tell the Jews they should move to Uganda and form a state there, or tell the Palestinians there already is a Palestinian state, its' called "Jordan".

              It's a nonstarter, and frankly offensive. Both peoples have a right to self-determination and both have national aspirations  - aspirations, incidentally, that were recognized under international law, which authorized TWO states in the former Mandate of Palestine - one Jewish, and the other Arab.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 06:03:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  As someone who saw first hand Saddat visit (0+ / 0-)

      Jerusalem and speak at the Knesset, I wouldn't be so hasty to talk about old assumptions and dismiss new possibilities. Egypt went overnight from being Israel's greatest and most implacable foe - and Saddat from being a Hitler-worshipping anti-semite - to being a partner for peace. Literally overnight - I was part of his guard in the Old City of Jerusalem, and had the unique experience of sitting in full uniform, with my semi-automatic rifle in my lap, sipping tea with a Palestinian merchant as we watched Saddat's speech live on his television, slapped each other on the back and talked about our children (future children in my case) living in peace together side by side - where, merely a few days earlier, I would have been viewed with hostility, fear and possibly outright hatred in the same shop.

      Your proposal of "one state" is neither simple nor straightforward, as it is rejected by all parties to the conflict.

      At least the diarist is referring to borders that were accepted by all major parties in the region as the foundation for an ultimate settlement, with adjustments to be mutually agreed upon - including the Arab League and the non-extremist Israeli parties, including Kadima and Labor.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 05:21:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Correct me if I'm wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza

    But:

    1. During the election cycle, when Bush made that speech before the Knesset, the reporting was that Israel was well into working out a peace deal with Syria under which a good bit if not all of the Golan Heights was to go back to Syria. If that worked for Israel a year ago, and Bush didn't want them to do it, why does it not work now?
    1. I thought that a great problem with the refugees was that there was probably not enough room for all of them in the "Palestinian" sections of a partition, both literally and in the sense that a family of four needs X amount of water, etc. How can you do a durable partition if one side has aggregated to itself most of the water in a dry land. And the best crop lands. You could do the partition but starvation and drought would require it to be reworked immediately. And what then would happen to Israeli Arabs, citizens of Israel who never left and are not party of the return. Are they to be chucked out? What about their rights?
    1. If one is going to internationalize the Old City of Jerusalem because it is sacred to so many disparate groups, why doesn't someone consider putting the transfer points between North and South Israel, and East and West Palestine right there as part of the internationalized area. It makes for long drives, but that way neither is in fact cut in half, although the air pollution from the traffic would be hell on the historic sites. It also makes neither nation landlocked in material part.

    OK, I am hiding under my desk. You can reply now.

    •  Response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza

      (1) It does work now. And it will work w/someone other than Bibi in office.

      (2) Partition isn't meant to be durable. It's meant to be a stopgap measure to stop violence. That being said, water shouldn't be a problem if Syria is supplying it, which is linked to (1), obviously. Plus there's desalinization. Also, it's widely said that Israel has the best land in post-1922 Mandatory Palestine. It doesn't. The most arable land was and still is on the West Bank.

      There's no reason Israeli Arabs should have their rights abrogated at all. They would be treated as Israelis first and foremost.

      (3) Putting a transit point in Jerusalem is interesting as an idea, but it would still require a corridor from Gaza to Jerusalem.

  •  Juan Cole on the proposed aid to Gaza (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomActsOfReason

    Informed Comment

    So people are asking where the US government is going to get a billion dollars to give to the Gazans. That's easy. The US should take it out of the over $3 billion a year it gives to Israel. Israel aggressively launched that war, which it planned out for six months beforehand, even while Olmert was ostensibly indirectly negotiating a truce with Hamas. The war was fruitless and accomplished none of its goals. There is no reason for the US government to be giving the Israelis, who have a per capita income of $17,000 a year, money in the first place. But it certainly makes no sense to reward them for bad behavior, especially given that we are living through the great crash and incipient depression of 2009.

    nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it. - Barack Obama

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:42:13 PM PST

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