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The Middle East has seen much drama in the last few days, so I've collected a survey of four articles reflecting different points of view to stimulate discussion.

Working backward in chronological order for those of you are are busy and may only want to hear the latest in just the last hour, Micheal Gordon, and Isabel Kershiner report in the The New York Times thattt,  

Israel Calls Off Prisoner Release as Kerry Seeks to Keep Talks Alive

ALGIERS — Israel has called off plans to release a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners, people involved in the threatened peace talks said Thursday, an indication of the severity of the impasse between the two sides despite the pressure from Secretary of State John Kerry to keep the negotiations alive.

This decision was in response to the decision by Palestinian President Abbas to sign the application to join 15 UN organizations on Tuesday and threaten to join the International Criminal Court to have Israel prosecuted for war crimes.

Abbas says he took this action because Israel reneged on its promise to release the fourth batch of prisoners previously promised.

The Maan News Agency quoted unidentified Palestinian officials on Thursday who described the nine-hour meeting in Jerusalem as a “fierce political battle” in which Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, announced that he represented “the U.N.-recognized State of Palestine,” not the Palestinian Authority, “whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.”

Israeli negotiators responded with threats of “endless” sanctions on Palestinians, Maan reported, and Mr. Erekat made threats of his own about prosecuting Israelis as “war criminals” in international institutions, while Martin Indyk, the American envoy, struggled to control the “heated exchanges.”

Prime Minister Netanyanu was reported to have been shocked to see the news broadcasts of President Abbas signing the UN applications but as been unusually quite which has been interpreted as a sign he does not want to inflame the situation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The dramatic turnaround, on Tuesday,  of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for membership in 15 UN organizations creating confusion for Israelis and Americans about his intentions with regard to the peace talks. A senior Fatah negotiator clarified, as reported by the Times of Israel, in Palestinian official: Talks can continue, but only on borders, by saying the" ‘door still open,’ challenges Israel to produce map based on pre-1967 lines."

Palestinian negotiators would be willing to continue peace talks with Israel, but only to discuss defining the borders of a future state, a senior Palestinian official said in comments published Thursday. ... but should they fail, they will seek to join 63 international organizations including the International Criminal Court."

If Palestine were recognized as a state by the International Criminal Court, Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank and the destruction of Arab housing and forced evictions from their homes could be considered war crimes under existing international law, potentially placing Benjamin Netanyahu in the same category with Serbian President Slobodan Milošević.

President Netanyahu's counter threat is that President Abbas were to join any UN organizations, or attempt to join the ICC, he would have all American aid to Palestine cut off, and he appears to have the power to do this.  

To be clear Abbas has not applied to the ICC yet, but only 15 other humanitarian organizations, but is threatening to, should Israel not return to the table and start talking about specific border swaps based on the 1967 borders which Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects. Dozens of Congressmen have made it clear that Netanyahu only needs to say the words to cut of Palestinian aid

Abed Rabbo, a PA spokesperson said President Abbas remained committed to the US peace process.

Israel said the move by Abbas "torpedoed a complicated deal Israel had proposed to extend negotiations for 15 months, if the U.S. released Jonathan Pollard, and Israel released the final 400 prisoners, the PA says were already promised. They said they have become tired of such tricks and no longer believe Israel is serious about peace.

Also, the proposed release of notorious convicted spy Jonathan Pollard had raised outrage in the American intelligence and military communities whose members have died to protect our country against traitors like Pollard who confessed to stealing U.S. nuclear targeting codes for Israel almost 30 years ago.

Israeli officials were quoted earlier Wednesday saying Abbas had “torpedoed” a nascent, complex, three-way deal under which Israel would have freed a final batch of 26-30 long-term Palestinian terror convicts and also released 400 more Palestinian security prisoners not guilty of violent crimes, peace talks would have extended beyond the current April 29 deadline, and the US would have released American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

Livni also says she believed talk would continue, however, some conservatives in Prime Ministers Netanyahu's Likud Party are demanding her resignation and that Israel renounce peace talks and annex East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank.


Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin lambasted Livni for meeting with Erekat, saying it was “a disgrace to the State of Israel.”

“The time has come to stop being the go-to sucker of the Middle East,” he said. “I call on the prime minister and Minister Livni to end the entire negotiation process so long as Abbas doesn’t withdraw his request from the United Nations, and unilaterally implement the many measures Israel has in order to convince the Palestinian leadership that it doesn’t pay for them to fight us in the international arena.”

The U.S. State Department has said that in the last 36 hours there have been "unhelpful statements," on both sides.

Barak Ravid, of Haaretz writes and editorial Mr. Kerry, go home: Netanyahu, Abbas must be made to realize that without U.S. they're knee deep in mud – or blood.

Neither the Israeli prime minister or the Palestinian president are prepared to carry out the historic compromises that might lead to a breakthrough. The two figures are mirror images of each other. They each want chiefly to preserve the status quo and shift the responsibility for the talks’ failure to the other. ...

Kerry must go home. He must tell American envoy Martin Indyk and his team to pack their bags and take the first flight out of Ben-Gurion International Airport to the United States. He must ask the U.S. ambassador in Tel Aviv Dan Shapiro and consul general in Jerusalem Michael Retney to give the same answer to the calls from the prime minister’s office and the Muqata — “You didn’t want us, now get along by yourselves.” ../

From the moment the Americans leave, it won’t take long before both sides scream "gevalt" and beg Kerry to return. If the Americans wanted to get involved in the peace process again after such a crisis, they could do so on their own terms. They could demand that the leaders make decisions, not just continue the process or negotiations. They could put a draft framework agreement on the table and tell Netanyahu and Abbas: Sign here, please.

And, this from the staff of the Jerusalem Post, Palestinians warn: We will join the Hague.

A focus on border negotiations would show if Israel and the US are serious about reaching an agreement, he said, adding that the PA planned to join 63 international organizations, including the International Criminal Court, if the talks did not produce a border deal.

PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour suggested that PA President Mahmoud Abbas might apply for even more memberships in international organizations, as the PA is eligible for up to 550, according to a report by Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

But Abbas's decision could backfire on him in the US Congress, where pro-Israel sentiment runs high. Several lawmakers warned on Wednesday that a Palestinian resort to international agencies could trigger a cutoff of US aid.

Netanyanu demands Abbas renounce the refugee Arab Israeli's "right of return," something he says he has no legal right to do," and also as a prerequisite to negotiations recognize Israel as a "Jewish State." Abbas, and the Palestinian authority has recognized Israel as a state but say they cannot, and should not get involved with Israel's internals affairs as that would be unfair and a potential violation of the human and political rights of Israel's 30% Arab non-Jewish citizens, as well as secular Israelis and that that both of these issues, are off the table.

In an odd way, perhaps, this nearly total breakdown might represent progress. Israel does not need permission from Abbas or the Palestinians to exist. They exist, and the whole world know it. They have 75 to 400 nuclear weapons. No country dare to attack them. Netanyahu does not really need this symbolic gesture from Abbas, it has mostly likely way of stalling.

Israel has already made itself a religious state, it does not need permission from Abbas.

Similarly, the UN, the US and nearly every country in the world recognizes the 1967 borders as he base lines border for negotiated swaps to minimize problems with settlements ending up on the wrong side. Let's get down to drawing the lines.  

Similarly, with having Abbas renounce the "rights of return" for the millions of former non-Jewish citizens of Israel scattered around the globe. As Abbas has pointed out, he has no legal authority to speak for refugees outside of Palestine.  And, Israel does not need his permission to either refuse them entry or not. This is really none of Abbas' business.

But, whatever, our opinions do not really matter, only those of Israel and Palestine. but it would seem that the only urgent business Israel and Palestine really have is to resolve their borders and withdraw to within them. Let's hope this apparent crisis, weeping, and gnashing of teeth is a sign they are about to get serious.

PS I know some people have some sensitivities around I/P issues. I've tried to steer clear of the more controversial areas. If I've accidentally stirred anything up, let me apologize in advance, as I am hoping for just some "light" discussion tonight. It's been a long day. -- Cheers. (My Mom used to say "Sticks and stone may break my bones but words can never hurt me."  I think maybe she was wrong about that. lo )

Poll

Do you believe Israel and Palestine should get on with negotiating their final borders?

54%28 votes
19%10 votes
9%5 votes
5%3 votes
9%5 votes

| 51 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  FYI your title has a misspelling (3+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 03:49:24 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't "Right of Return" negate Borders? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Smoh

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 04:02:57 PM PDT

  •  The territories are vanishing day by day (12+ / 0-)

    It would be like trying to make a state out of swiss-cheese. The only hope is to increase international pressure on Israel to give up their ill-gotten gains.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 04:07:28 PM PDT

    •  It's very simple - there are two possible (11+ / 0-)

      end results: (i) Israel leaves the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem with the eventual boundary being close to what it was in 1966, or (ii) there will be a single state, with a Palestinian majority.  If (ii), the only question is whether the Palestinian residents of this eventual Israel have a vote.

      •  No (4+ / 0-)

        First of all, Israel would never include Gaza in any sort of state - even with that, there wouldn't be an Arab majority. And they will not divide Jerusalem - that's just not going  to happen - at best, the Palestinians will get a suburb and they can call it Al Quids as much as they want. Israel will be keeping the major settlement blocks including Ariel.

        One day the Palestinian majority will come to rule Jordan and that may change things.

        Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

        by Zornorph on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 06:55:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why is it that a certain category of posters here (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Johnny Q, Karl Rover

          have this wonderful fascination with how Jordan is supposed to absorb all the Palestinians and so make the Israeli dream of a Palestinian-free state come true without conflcit or disagreement? I'm not sure they had a Canaanite-free state in the real old days either.

           The folks who are Jordanians have their own right to their own nation and not to have it overrun with folks from somewhere else to solve the problems of a third party as a freebee, especially when the overrun will also overrun essential resources like water, of which they already do not have enough for humans already there.

      •  Yes, one state, is the unavoidable solution; (0+ / 0-)

        a state called Palestine.

        The state of Israel is, and has always been, an aberration.

        And I blame the precursor to UN, not the Jewish community, for all the angst everyone has gone through since the creation of this aberration.

        Dissolve Israel; stop distinguishing between jew and non-jew in Palestine.

        by high5 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:25:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The 'one-state' solution is a fantasy filled with (3+ / 0-)

          death.

          The state of Israel is not about to commit suicide as much as some may wish.

          Only a massive military defeat would.

          How many must die for this fantasy to end?

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

          by JNEREBEL on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 07:19:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Until Israel recognized the right of Palestine to (4+ / 0-)

            exist then a single state solution is what we've got.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:13:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Israel would also have to recognize (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Karl Rover

              something it does not want to recognize, namely the right of the Palestinian nation to land on which it has lived for centuries, which land was sufficient in amount in prior times.

               This is in contrast to to the odd notion now afloat that perhaps recognizing that Palestinian nation would be all right as long as it had no land accompanying the recognition  to which the nationhood could attach which would have enough room for members of the nation in question, since all of that land according to Israeli right of righties belief carried into political effect  is given to the Israeli people by God already, and settlers with Israeli government money are busy filling every useful bit of it up.

               There is some irony to the notion as it is a form of history repeating itself, except that the first time it was the Jews who were scattered and homeless by Romans and then made second class citizens and sojourners only by a lot of cultures, and now it is the Israelis wanting to do the same thing to someone else, while pretending to be modern men and women.  

              With the wrinkle that as time goes by here, the number of Palestinians to be housed grows larger and larger, but the amount of land available after settlement building grows smaller, and the amount of water and essential resources smaller still as Israeli land projects monopolize the water.

            •  Yes, that's the answer. n/t (0+ / 0-)

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

              by JNEREBEL on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 12:43:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What is? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                callmecassandra, Karl Rover

                Ignoring the fact that Israel continues to refuse to recognize Palestine's right to exist?

                You and other people who support Israel make a huge deal out of the fact that some group of Palestinians or another doesn't recognize the right of Israel to exist and yet when Israel takes concrete steps to stop Palestinian statehood there's no more talk about a right to exist.

                And of course, since there is exactly one state currently and because Israel and the US are actively working against the existence of a Palestinian state currently, I can only assume that the preferred "resolution" for the US and Israel is a single state, the state of Israel.

                Obviously you don't support that, but it's the fact of the matter. There is a single state and any action taken to change that fact is ruthlessly challenged by the US and Israel.

                It's not an answer, it's the problem.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:25:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  We're not discussing fantasies here - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karl Rover

            we are talking about realities that will become unavoidable if Israel continues to chew away at the Occupied Territories.

            What can't go on, won't.  And the situation in Gaza and the West Bank will in the end become something that cannot continue.

  •  Peace is coming in the Middle East. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Minas, HoundDog, JNEREBEL

    It will happen.  Will this treaty be the one to usher in peace? Maybe.  But eventually peace will come to the middle east.

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 KJV

    by looking and listening on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 04:10:42 PM PDT

  •  This is entering a new phase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    could be a good thing.   Some tough choices ahead for everybody, including us.

  •  Did the Israeli PM really say this? (8+ / 0-)
    President Netanyahu's counter threat is that President Abbas were to join any UN organizations, or attempt to join the ICC, he would have all American aid to Palestine cut off, and he appears to have the power to do this.  
    Note, he isn't president, but Prime Minister, Shimon Peres is President for another little while, but his position is mostly ceremonial.

    If the Palestinians apply to participate in any UN Orgs, Congress is on record saying we should withdraw and not fund that org.

    That would be bad for us.

  •  I suspect the problem is not the borders as such, (6+ / 0-)

    but the status of the illegal Israeli settlements outside of Israel's 1967 borders.

    And this will never be resolved.

    For by now the illegal settlements (and their approriation of water sources) are just too large to be withdrawn, and any Palestinian State that would accomodate the annexation of the illegal settlements (and land access to them!) to Israel would not be territorially viable as a state. Hence the 2-state solution is effectively dead.

    The 1-state solution is inevitable, but at the moment unacceptable to Israel, for it would eventually spell the end of Israel as a "Jewish state" if it wants to be a truly democratic one as well.

    So fighting will continue, for this enables postponing facing up to the realities of the situation.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 04:32:59 PM PDT

  •  Palestinians have nothing left to lose (15+ / 0-)

    They will get nowhere sticking with the farce that is the current "negotiations."  And never should have agreed not to go international without Israel agreeing to a settlement freeze.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 04:41:37 PM PDT

    •  Had the Obama laid down a proposed structure, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      it might be different, but at the end of this round they were unwilling to take the risk of doing it, which means this nightmare will go on and on.

      Possibly the only good thing coming out of this is that   Bibi cannot wave his nukes at the PA because the two are geographically so close, and the settlers in so many places in between that there is no part of old Palestine which could be nuked without Israelis taking a lot of that hit themselves.

  •  with blessing from congress (12+ / 1-)

    bebe continues to behave the way he wants to .  it is israels way or no way at all.  the last thing zionist want is peace.  they want a jewish land for zionists only.  their psuedo democracy is a sham and they are violating the human rights of palestinians on a daily basis.  israel does not fear america because talk is cheap.  they know they will not have to pay any price to come to the table and negotiate in good faith.  

    •  It really is time we started referring (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      to these talks as the US-Palestine peace talks and not the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as per US law the US is not an honest broker.

      Dissolve Israel; stop distinguishing between jew and non-jew in Palestine.

      by high5 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:33:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like a new ballgame (0+ / 0-)

    The US put a full court press on the 2012 UNGA vote to designate Palestine a member state, and came up way short.  WE bought some time with the attempt to broker a definitive deal to end the dispute, but now it is 2014.

  •  Hi HoundDog, (11+ / 0-)

    Israel cancelled the prison release BEFORE Abbas asked to join 15 treaties and conventions. That's why Abbas went ahead.

    US diplomats even told Israel they (Israel) had breached the agreement.

    Israel's failure to release a final batch of Palestinian prisoners, scheduled for Saturday night, amounts to a violation of the terms of the original agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinians at the start of talks nine months ago, brokered by the United States, US officials have told their Israeli counterparts.
    http://www.jta.org/...

    See my upcoming diary.

    The easily offended deserve to be easily offended.--God

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 06:24:38 PM PDT

  •  Hidden cause of inaccurate title (0+ / 0-)

    The Palestinians have NOT joined 15 UN organizations. They have only applied to join them. A big difference.

    Will remove Hide mark if changed.

    •  I've changed the title HenryJones. While I (7+ / 0-)

      appreciate the heads up on making the title more accurate, I believe you have misused you hide rating, which is for hate speech not for errors. Regardless of that it was totally unnecessary, as I always thank readers for any and all suggestions for improvements and am eager to make them.

      I have never resisted making a correction of an error.

      So, yes, I thank you for calling my attention to this one. In the future, a simple friendly not, and/or message to me through email would have worked just as well. Regrettable, I have four open posts up right now, and haven't been back here for three or four hours, So you conspicuous troll rating has given people passing by he impression we have a controversy here that we do not appear to have.  

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 07:55:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I find the whole thing dumb (6+ / 0-)

    There are people living in a region. The people need a government to make sure they have basic needs like transportation, food, water, energy.

    How can we, in the 21st Century, screw this basic concept up so bad?

    •  Agreed. I think it well past time to recoginize (7+ / 0-)

      Palestinian government and let them negotiate their final borders with Israel. But, our right, our U.S. Security Council veto seems to be denying the Palestinians basic human rights to self-government and I do not see how we can continue to justify that.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 07:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  someone should buy out the right of return (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, jan4insight, PrahaPartizan

        so the events of 1947 can be acknowledged as an historic injustice

        but the remedy should be constructive - i doubt an actual return would be constructive (which would never happen unless everyone boycotted Israel)  I just don't see a 1 state solution as being very happy or good for either side.

        but the Israelis can turn over some settlements intact and build more housing, etc. and pay some indemnity

        •  That's an interesting idea. We need some creative (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco, jan4insight, PrahaPartizan

          thinking here. We haven't done so well so far.

          I just read a discouraging post written by Eternal Hope reporting Israel has launched airstrikes against Gaza in retaliation for some rocket fire.

          "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

          by HoundDog on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 08:36:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Boycotting Israel is not going to force the (5+ / 0-)

          state to commit suicide.

          Only a massive military defeat could do so.

          How many people must die to dissuade the fiction that a full 'right of return' is a feasible option to ending this conflict?

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

          by JNEREBEL on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 09:15:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is the the 'wrong' fictional? (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think so, as far as the mass expulsion of Arabs in 1947-1948.  I think the intransigence stems from the choice of words, that the two sides are really talking about two different aspects of those events.  And that different words might lead to more agreement.

            The term 'right of return' is an unfortunate phrase.  It muddies the discussion.  Because it seems to mean both (1) the wrong or harm done (that expulsion) and (2) one possible traditional-ish remedy (mass repatriation) for that event.  This cure seems to follow in the Hammurabi ('eye for an eye') tradition. Only here it's 'land for land').

            But different language might
            (1) find some mutually acceptable non-blaming language on acknowledgement of the injury and

            (2) define some fair compensation to the injured equivalent in value to the land lost.  So I don't think that some mass repatriation is the only fair remedy. (In fact I it don't think it is fair at all, to either side).

            Your objection to 'the right of return' and, perhaps Israel's objection are focused on the second meaning of the phrase. As I said I agree with you about the likely consequences of mass repatriation.

            But if were phrased as something like (1)'expulsion' or even 'unfortunate movement of people' and (2) 'just compensation to extinguish weak land claims' agreement might be easier.

          •  So reversing ethnic cleansing is suicide (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            callmecassandra, Johnny Q

            I love it. Glad that you can admit it.

            But it's totally not an apartheid state, nope.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 11:27:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  an eye for an eye (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              isn't really process justice

              but what would you suggest?

              •  I don't have a solution (0+ / 0-)

                But giving the Palestinians a right to return to their land would be a start. Especially the large numbers that were forced out through violence and threat of violence.

                What I think doesn't really matter, unfortunately. Israel is going to continue its expansion and we'll see Greater Israel become a reality. Maybe not in my life, but eventually.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 11:08:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What I think doesn't matter either but (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  The expulsion of the Palestinians in 1947-48 was one of a series of expulsions.  At the end of World War Two 15 million ethnic Germans were expelled mostly from territory annexed to Poland, but also from Soviet Union, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, etc. More than a million Ukranians and Poles were likewise forced to move to conform to new borders, largely drawn by the Soviet Union, though agreed to by US and Britain.  And, almost simultaneously with that  first Arab Israeli War, millions of Muslims and Hindus moved to Pakistan and India, respectively in a very bloody conflict.

                  None of the expelled got much compensation.  Though - unlike Palestinians who went to places other than the West Bank - most were given a chance to become citizens in their new homes.

                  And all of these expulsions resulted in more culturally or linguistically or religiously homogenous countries.

                  So I am just trying to be note that the Palestinians aren't unique in suffering such injustice.

                  And at the same time, I'd say that a one state solution wouldn't work.  Multi-ethnic democracies are still pretty rare; and many multi-ethnic states in Europe have broken up, quite recently, sometimes violently (Yugoslavia and then Bosnia and then Kosovo), sometimes peacefully (Czech and Slovak).

                  And Israel would never accept a one state solution - and there is nowhere for the Israelis to go.  Many are from the middle east or eastern Europe where are there few Jews left.

                  Although the may end up in one by default.

                  •  In practical terms Israel supports a one state (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    callmecassandra

                    solution. The one state would be Israel, not multi-ethnic, or not more multi-ethnic than Israel is currently. I expect that a single state will be the end point as well.

                    In regards to the other ethnic cleansings, I don't know that comparing the purge of Germans from various places after WWII is really comparable. And I think the rest should be rightly condemned, as we should condemn the Russian annexation of Crimea.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:20:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Certainly (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      However much guilt the German people had for the holocaust committed by large numbers of their leaders and armed forces, etc. I doubt  all of them were guilty.  And only some were punished  in this extrajudicial way, arbitrarily, only because of where they lived.

                      So while all those acts were unfortunate and ought to be questioned, only the Palestinians are still demanding their land back.

                      My argument is that they could drop the demand for the land per se and take some compensation.

                      And I share your concern  that the settlement movement and others  will push Israel towards annexation of most of the West Bank.

                      Military occupations don't work for very long.  

        •  To buy out the right of return, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          first you have to have another place, not a refugee camp but a permanent and liveable place, to put all those refugees who have been two generations in places not much different from prisons, support on a continuing basis until a new society with businesses and other social tools can be both started and settled.

          Putting people who have been barred from that sort of thing anywhere without those structures is a recipe for disaster. And eliminating the one permanent place those people had, in Israel,  means another place, another land,  must be found, money alone not making up the difference.

          There is no alternative location, as Jordan does not have the room or the water for more than its own in the longer term, remembering, oh posters, that there really are Jordanians who were not Palestinians before, and a lot of them are Bedouin and there is already not enough water there.  

          Syria is now too busy exporting half or so of its own existing population and the rest shooting at one another busily.

           Lebanon already has refugees in the tens or hundreds of thousands not from Lebanon, but from both Israel and Syria.

           Egypt has only so much Nile waterfront with water attached, and its own internal issues right now.

           I do not see any European country or group of them willing to take five million people, nor the US nor Canada nor Australia willing to take that many folk from a differently structured society either.

          And then you have to get the US to pay for the whole thing and get nothing in return, a trick in the time of Republicans who don't want to pay for government for Americans and have this teeny tiny problem with all Muslims, five or so million in this case, and probably, given what I have seen muttered about in the Israeli papers, also to have to pay for what those who were forced or encouraged to move to Israel from other places after WWII, lost in that move.

           For those who missed it, this compensation to Israelis whose ancestors were forced out of other lands in 1948 and suffered losses in the move, is  something Bibi put into the mix  on his everfilling wishlist of stuff other people are obliged to give him while he gives nothing.

          When actual people are involved, simply buying out the right of return without having another viable place for the people to go  is not a viable option. The money will go, with the Israelis bargaining with others to get it, and then the people will still be sitting where they are now, with even less than before.

          •  i think its the right way forward (0+ / 0-)

            of course a large grant of money is open to corruption;

            but you have to assume that the money can be used to make the west bank and gaza a place where refugees will want to move.

            i just don't see how you can make everyone want to live together in the same country; even czechs and slovaks - who shared a lot more - decided to part ways.  so this might not be 'fair' but it might be something everyone can live with. sometimes that's all you can get.

            as to potential US share, we do spend a lot in the region already, mostly on military aid, mostly because of this ongoing tension.  It would be nice to divert that to more constructive

  •  Correction to your headline: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom

    You have the timeline wrong.  Israel, at the start of the current round of pre-negotiations agreed to release this tranche of prisoners in March.  Abbas agreed to not seek statehood at the UN groups.   Israel failed to release the prisoners in March and Abbas, on April 1, moved for statehood recognition.

    While I definitely fall on the "I" side of the I/P divide, and, while there may be reasons (legitimate and not) for the failure of the Israelis to release those prisoners, the fact is that the PA decision to hold back on seeking UN recognition was based on the talks pre-conditions.  When Israel failed to live up to their promise, it was inevitable that the PA would take this sort of action.

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:31:26 AM PDT

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