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A failed Israeli society is collapsing
The International Herald Tribune - first appeared in English in The Forward (New York), was adapted ^ | Saturday, September 6, 2003 | Avraham Burg

Posted on 09/08/2003 8:40:30 AM PDT by US admirer

A failed Israeli society is collapsing, The end of Zionism?

JERUSALEM The Zionist revolution has always rested on two pillars: a just path and an ethical leadership. Neither of these is operative any longer. The Israeli nation today rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice. As such, the end of the Zionist enterprise is already on our doorstep. There is a real chance that ours will be the last Zionist generation. There may yet be a Jewish state in the Middle East, but it will be a different sort, strange and ugly.

There is time to change course, but not much. What is needed is a new vision of a just society and the political will to implement it. Nor is this merely an internal Israeli affair. Diaspora Jews for whom Israel is a central pillar of their identity must pay heed and speak out. If the pillar collapses, the upper floors will come crashing down.

The Israeli opposition does not exist, and the coalition government, with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at its head, claims the right to remain silent. In a nation of chatterboxes, everyone has suddenly fallen dumb, because there's nothing left to say. We live in a thunderously failed reality.

Yes, we Israelis have revived the Hebrew language, created a marvelous theater and a strong national currency. Our Jewish minds are as sharp as ever. We are traded on the Nasdaq. But is this why we created a state? The Jewish people did not survive for two millennia in order to pioneer new weaponry, computer security programs or antimissile missiles. We were supposed to be a light unto the nations. In this we have failed.

It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies. A state lacking justice cannot survive. More and more Israelis are coming to understand this as they ask their children where they expect to live in 25 years. Children who are honest admit, to their parents' shock, that they do not know. The countdown to the end of Israeli society has begun.

It is very comfortable to be a Zionist in West Bank settlements such as Beit El and Ofra. The biblical landscape is charming. From the window you can gaze through the geraniums and bougainvillea and not see the occupation. Traveling on the fast highway that takes you from Ramot on Jerusalem's northern edge to Gilo on the southern edge, a 12-minute trip just west of the Palestinian roadblocks, it's hard to comprehend the humiliating experience of the despised Arab who must creep for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to him. One road for the occupier, one road for the occupied.

This cannot work. Even if the Arabs lower their heads and swallow their shame and anger forever, it won't work. A structure built on human callousness will inevitably collapse in on itself. Note this moment well: Zionism's superstructure is already collapsing like a cheap Jerusalem wedding hall. Only madmen continue dancing on the top floor while the pillars below are collapsing.

Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of Israeli escapism. They consign themselves to Allah in our places of recreation, because their own lives are torture. They spill their own blood in our restaurants in order to ruin our appetites, because they have children and parents at home who are hungry and humiliated.

We could kill a thousand ringleaders and engineers a day and nothing will be solved, because the leaders come up from below - from the wells of hatred and anger, from the "infrastructures" of injustice and moral corruption.

If all this were inevitable, divinely ordained and immutable, I would be silent. But things could be different, and so crying out is a moral imperative.

Here is what the prime minister should say to the people:

The time for illusions is over. The time for decisions has arrived. We love the entire land of our forefathers and in some other time we would have wanted to live here alone. But that will not happen. The Arabs, too, have dreams and needs.

Between the Jordan and the Mediterranean there is no longer a clear Jewish majority. And so, fellow citizens, it is not possible to keep the whole thing without paying a price. We cannot keep a Palestinian majority under an Israeli boot and at the same time think ourselves the only democracy in the Middle East. There cannot be democracy without equal rights for all who live here, Arab as well as Jew. We cannot keep the territories and preserve a Jewish majority in the world's only Jewish state - not by means that are humane and moral and Jewish.

Do you want the greater Land of Israel? No problem. Abandon democracy. Let's institute an efficient system of racial separation here, with prison camps and detention villages. Qalqilya Ghetto and Gulag Jenin.

Do you want a Jewish majority? No problem. Either put the Arabs on railway cars, buses, camels and donkeys and expel them en masse - or separate ourselves from them absolutely, without tricks and gimmicks. There is no middle path. We must remove all the settlements - all of them - and draw an internationally recognized border between the Jewish national home and the Palestinian national home. The Jewish Law of Return will apply only within our national home, and their right of return will apply only within the borders of the Palestinian state.

Do you want democracy? No problem. Either abandon the greater Land of Israel, to the last settlement and outpost, or give full citizenship and voting rights to everyone, including Arabs. The result, of course, will be that those who did not want a Palestinian state alongside us will have one in our midst, via the ballot box.

That's what the prime minister should say to the people. He should present the choices forthrightly: Jewish racism or democracy. Settlements or hope for both peoples. False visions of barbed wire, roadblocks and suicide bombers, or a recognized international border between two states and a shared capital in Jerusalem.

But there is no prime minister in Jerusalem. The disease eating away at the body of Zionism has already attacked the head. David Ben-Gurion sometimes erred, but he remained straight as an arrow. When Menachem Begin was wrong, nobody impugned his motives. No longer. Polls published two weeks ago showed that a majority of Israelis do not believe in the personal integrity of the prime minister - yet they trust his political leadership. In other words, Israel's current prime minister personally embodies both halves of the curse: suspect personal morals and open disregard for the law - combined with the brutality of occupation and the trampling of any chance for peace. This is our nation, these its leaders. The inescapable conclusion is that the Zionist revolution is dead.

Why, then, is the opposition so quiet? Perhaps because it's summer, or because they are tired, or because some would like to join the government at any price, even the price of participating in the sickness. But while they dither, the forces of good lose hope.

This is the time for clear alternatives. Anyone who declines to present a clear-cut position - black or white - is in effect collaborating in the decline. It is not a matter of Labor versus Likud or right versus left, but of right versus wrong, acceptable versus unacceptable. The law-abiding versus the lawbreakers. What is needed is not a political replacement for the Sharon government but a vision of hope, an alternative to the destruction of Zionism and its values by the deaf, dumb and callous.

Israel's friends abroad - Jewish and non-Jewish alike, presidents and prime ministers, rabbis and lay people - should choose as well. They must reach out and help Israel to navigate the road map toward our national destiny as a light unto the nations and a society of peace, justice and equality.


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: avrahamburg; israel; palestinians; separation; sharon; zionism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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The writer was speaker of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, from 1999 to 2003 and is currently a Labor Party member of the Knesset. This comment, which first appeared in English in The Forward (New York), was adapted by the writer from an article that appeared in Yediot Ahronot and was translated by J.J. Goldberg.

Although I am not familiar with the author, I asume he is a respected Isreali politician with no particular axe to grind, although the Arab American Institute has labelled him a racist for remarks made on Thursday, August 2,on "Nightline" (so I would take it he is unlikley to be labelled a Palestinian sympathizer or dupe). Regretfully, I believe he makes much sense. I am posting this for the benefit of those who have not had the opportunity to consider his opinions rather than to argue the issue with those who disagree.

1 posted on 09/08/2003 8:40:31 AM PDT by US admirer
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To: US admirer
I asume he is a respected Isreali politician with no particular axe to grind

You assume wrong. He is a bitter, angry old leftist who is still seething that his party was knocked out of power after the Oslo debacle.

2 posted on 09/08/2003 8:44:36 AM PDT by Alouette (The bombing begins in five minutes.)
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To: 1bigdictator; 2sheep; a_witness; agrace; American in Israel; Anamensis; anapikoros; Ancesthntr; ...
MAJOR CHUNKY HURL ALERT!

FREEPmail me to be added or removed from this Mideast ping list.

3 posted on 09/08/2003 8:46:25 AM PDT by Alouette (The bombing begins in five minutes.)
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To: Alouette
He is a bitter, angry old leftist who is still seething that his party was knocked out of power after the Oslo debacle.

Accurate summation.

4 posted on 09/08/2003 8:48:08 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo
Leftists do not usually call for facing reality. He must be really desperate.

A lot of what he says actually makes sense. It is rather similar to my take on the problems Israel faces. I am a white Protestant old-line conservative.
5 posted on 09/08/2003 8:54:56 AM PDT by proxy_user
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To: proxy_user
A lot of what he says actually makes sense.

He puts all the blame on Israel, and none on the Palestinians. How does that make sense?

6 posted on 09/08/2003 8:56:31 AM PDT by Alouette (The bombing begins in five minutes.)
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To: US admirer
This op-ed is yet another recycling of the "root causes" argument which underpins every leftist viewpoint.

It's not a new view and it belongs in the same category as "9/11 happened because America is mean."

It's a pathetic, childish argument no matter what rehtorical flourishes it is couched in.

7 posted on 09/08/2003 8:56:52 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: US admirer
You forgot the

Leftist Anti-Semitic Double Standard Hurl Alert!

8 posted on 09/08/2003 8:57:15 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: pabianice
http://www.aaiusa.org/pr/release08-06-01.htm

Israeli Speaker calls Palestinians "Unhuman"
Official Wrongly Uses U.S. Visit for Incitement

August 6, 2001
Washington - In a letter to Israeli Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, AAI President James Zogby condemned as "racist" the Speaker’s recent remarks about Palestinians on ABC’s "Nightline." Speaker Burg’s appearance on the program took place during his recent visit to Washington.

The text of the letter, including Speaker Burg’s excerpted remarks, follows:

On Thursday, August 2, you appeared on the U.S. television program "Nightline" and described Palestinians as "people you do not want your daughter to get married to" and "unhuman." Frankly, I was stunned. These remarks were racist and quite painful to hear.

At a time when Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a deteriorating cycle of violence, it is inappropriate to fan the flames of violence by engaging in such incitement.

As the United States works to bring calm to the region, it needs Israeli and Palestinian leaders to support a dialogue of peace not one of hatred.

If Palestinians and Israelis are ever to reach a just and lasting peace, then they must begin by recognizing the other’s humanity. I ask that in the future, you reflect on your position and use it for positive outreach instead of your own personal feelings about whether or not Palestinians share your ‘humanity.’

AAI is a national organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.



9 posted on 09/08/2003 8:59:43 AM PDT by US admirer
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To: US admirer
He doesn't make any sense at all, and he's in complete denial. The issue of the "settlements" is a convenient ruse for the Palestinians, but the fact is that they consider all of Israel to be "occupied territory", and they have no intention of making peace with the Jews under their current leadership system.
10 posted on 09/08/2003 9:00:22 AM PDT by jpl
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To: US admirer; Alouette; Mr. Mojo
Avraham Burg is on the left wing of the Labour party. He was rejected by the party when he ran for the post of party leader, with the voters preferring the more moderate Binyamin ben Eliezer.

I completely disagree with MK Burg's assessment of the state of Israeli society and Zionism. In my view both are alive and healthy. Most Israelis, and most Americans who are in Israel often, seem to be very optimistic about Israel's future. The pessimism comes from two corners: the left wing, who no longer has the influence it once had, and indeed very little influence at all; and American and other diaspora Jews who have not been to Israel lately and make their judgements based on what they see on CNN and the nightly news.

I agree with Avraham Burg on only one fundemental point: there must be a separation between Palestinians and Jews. This does not require "transfer", the mass expulsion that Burg talks about and National Union advocates, nor does it require adandoning all of Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Sharon has said that Israel cannot rule over 3.5 million Palestinians, and he even dared use the Palestinian's favorite word: occupation. That does not mean that Israel must succumb to terror.

I have long been an advocate of separation, or as then Prime Minister Ehud Barak put it, "Us here. Them there." However, that has never meant a retreat to 1967 borders. IMHO, those in Labour who advocate separation, including Mr. Burg, fail to realize that any unilateral redrawing of Israel's borders must be done in a way that will not be seen as weakness by the Arabs. Weakness, as President Bush said in his speech, invites more terrorism.

Similarly, the right doesn't get it either. They read the biblical promise and history and assume that the Jewish people have a G-d given right to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Look at those biblical maps again. Most of Gaza isn't included, and staying there serves little purpose other than to create a flashpoint. Judea and Samaria, as well as parts of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon were promised to the Jewish people, and will be Jewish when meshiach comes, not because we put up settlements next to Arab cities.

I believe Prime Minister Sharon must finish the security fence. It should take in settlements that were built for security reasons along the green line, major blocs of Jewish population, and all of Jerusalem. Unlike Mr. Burg I believe that the IDF can seriously damage the terrorists' ability to strike Israel. Once that is done and the fence is completed we can leave the Palestinians in their walled-in pseudo-state to do whatever they will so long as they do not threaten Israel. The IDF will, of course, deal with any threats.

Once the Palestinians are walled in and basically powerless perhaps they will see the value of compromise. In any case, Israel will no longer be ruling over them, nor will we be providing services to them as we do now. Whatever the fate of the Palestinian Arabs, it will be their own doing.

I must ask US admirer: Have you been to Israel lately? Have you lived in Israel? What is the basis of your agreement with MK Burg?

Sometimes I think I should give up my career and start a new, centrist political movement. Then I realize that nobody will listen to me anyway :)

11 posted on 09/08/2003 9:15:41 AM PDT by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: US admirer
The writer was speaker of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, from 1999 to 2003 and is currently a Labor Party member of the Knesset.

Maybe that's why Israel is in such trouble?

12 posted on 09/08/2003 9:16:51 AM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: Jim Noble
Labour controls 19 seats in the Knesset out of 120. Mr. Burg's views do not represent the majority of Labour, IMHO. How do his views or his seat in the Knesset translate to Israel being "in trouble"? He has little or no influence on Israeli policy, hence the bitterness of his tone.

If you can read the original Hebrew you should.
13 posted on 09/08/2003 9:21:12 AM PDT by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: Alouette
The Palestinian resistance was never as deadly as it is today. The major reason is the resistance movement has taken on a zealot Islamic fanatic religious hate. The hate has infected both sides, and even traveled across the oceans to infect America (born again evangalists), and Asia Indonesia, Pakistan, the Phillipines...). Is there an end to that hate? Or a cure to that disease? The writer made several good points; however, we all have to start thinking outside the box. If we are going to be blinded with that hate, or assume it does not exist as a factor in our attitude towards others, we will be callous in rendering a moral guidance to our people.
14 posted on 09/08/2003 9:30:20 AM PDT by philosofy123
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To: US admirer
Although I am not familiar with the author, I asume he is a respected Isreali politician with no particular axe to grind............

WRONG! He's a leftist fool who blames it all on settlers. Fact is Jihad continues even if every Jew is uprooted from the West Bank. You know this, I know this, he pretends he does not know this.
15 posted on 09/08/2003 9:32:01 AM PDT by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: Alouette
It figures that the story would be picked up by the PARIS FRANCE based International Herald Tribune!!
16 posted on 09/08/2003 9:38:26 AM PDT by Napoleon Solo
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To: US admirer
http://www.wzo.org.il/en/resources/view.asp?id=7

17 posted on 09/08/2003 9:38:47 AM PDT by witnesstothefall
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To: Alouette
Jim McDermott, I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Sheila Jackson-Lee, 2nd , I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Howard Dean , I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

John Conyers, I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

David Bonior ,I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Barbara Lee,I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Terry McAuliffe,I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Patty Murray ,I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

You get the idea. If you inhabit the far left, he's a respected Isreali politician with no particular axe to grind. Absent knowledge of a situation, it's dangerous to make assumptions.

18 posted on 09/08/2003 9:40:05 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: US admirer
Jim McDermott, I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Sheila Jackson-Lee, 2nd , I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Howard Dean , I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

John Conyers, I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

David Bonior ,I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Barbara Lee,I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Terry McAuliffe,I asume he is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

Patty Murray ,I asume she is a respected Isreali American politician with no particular axe to grind.

You get the idea. If you inhabit the far left, he's a respected Isreali politician with no particular axe to grind. Absent knowledge of a situation, it's dangerous to make assumptions.

19 posted on 09/08/2003 9:40:46 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: Alouette
18 not meant for USAdmirer, not you
20 posted on 09/08/2003 9:44:34 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: US admirer
Interesting, other posters accurately point out that Burg is an inhabitant of the far left, as as apparent refutation you post an article where he's accused of being a racist.

Leaving the accuser out of it, what does that mean, that if he's a racist (I don't know if he is) he can't be an inhabitant of the far left?

Racist=conservative or racist=Israeli mainstream?

21 posted on 09/08/2003 9:49:17 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
22 posted on 09/08/2003 9:50:08 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: US admirer
What an embittered turkey!
23 posted on 09/08/2003 9:52:48 AM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: SJackson
if he's a racist (I don't know if he is) he can't be an inhabitant of the far left?

No, it means the Palestinians hate all Jews, even the ones on the far left.

24 posted on 09/08/2003 9:56:05 AM PDT by Alouette (The bombing begins in five minutes.)
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To: SJackson
I read this tripe elsewhere. Naif-ish idiocy by an Israeli leftist. Appeasement swill written by a nitwit, serving only to give anti-semites more ammo against Jews.
25 posted on 09/08/2003 9:58:52 AM PDT by veronica (http://www.majorityleader.gov/news.asp?FormMode=Detail&ID=123)
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To: US admirer
Alert: Arab societies have already collapsed.

Roadmap? What a farce.

One of Bush's most lamebrained, halfarsed, numksull notions.

And for what? To appease the Saudis and give the Palis one last chance? For what? To dismember more Israelis? Both Jews and Arabs and visiting tourists.

26 posted on 09/08/2003 10:01:50 AM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: US admirer; Alouette; dennisw; SJackson
I am surprised at your reaction: there is not a sentence in this article that is factually correct or even logical.

The Zionist revolution has always rested on two pillars: a just path and an ethical leadership.

Wrong. Judaism has these as pillars. The Zionist "revolution" (not a complete misuse of the word: there was no revolution; there was a movement; the man can't think) was about creation of a home for the Jewish people. Once created, of course, that homeland was desired to be just, fair, etc. Just as our own Founding Fathers, just as any society being reborn, they were concerned about the nature of the society being reborn in Palestine and then Israel. But that was NOT the "pillar."

Diaspora Jews for whom Israel is a central pillar of their identity must pay heed and speak out.

This moron should speak for himself. I am a Jew, and Israel is NOT a pillar of my identity. Surely, Israel is very important to me --- as a hope that my almost continually endangered people will survive. Israel is important to me because it is comprised of so many survivors of the Holocaust, in which a large part of my own family has perished as well. But Israel is not a "pillar of my identity."

We are traded on the NASDAQ. But is this why we created a state? The Jewish people did not survive for two millennia in order to pioneer new weaponry, computer security programs or antimissile missiles.

Certainly not. And Israel would not be doing such things had it not been attacked at least once every decade of its existence --- with the purpose not to annex SOME territory but complete and final annihilation of the nation. This purpose is still in the charter of the PLO. Is the author unaware of that? Is there any other nation on earth that does not do the same in similar circumstances? Have we not invested trillions of dollars into our own defense when faced with the danger from the Soviet Union? Not that we have not been attacked: there was only a threat thereof. Israel has been attacked --- on the second day of its existence and repeatedly afterwards. And the author expects him NOT to invest in weapons?

Furthermore, why bring up NASDAQ as a measure of success? Anti-Semites usually do that --- Jews and money, you know. Is the author unaware of the HIGE numbers of persons of Jewish faith and/or upbringing among in the sciences, literature and arts, including so many Nobel Prize winners? Author's retention of information is very selective and prejudicial, wouldn't you say? Incidentally, when speaking of NASDAQ, he should not be using the word "we." This is because (i) the companies created by entrepreneurs are traded on NASDAQ; he has not created anything but trouble, and (ii) if the is successful in rebuilding the Israeli, and world, society, there will be no NASDAQ. Right here you have an explanation for his unduly strong focus on NASDAQ: as a leftist, he hates it as a symbol of productive capitalism. He would rather replace it with a redistributive socialism. We were supposed to be a light unto the nations.

Oh my, I never thought I would hear HIM say that. That is the purely religious, Judaic concept. Ask this Leftists scum when he last set his foot into the synagogue. I mean it, go ahead, write to him, and ask. This anti-religious bigot appeals to religious notions when it suits him. Pure hypocrisy. And you find that he "makes sense?" The Israeli opposition does not exist This is a joke. With the number of parties and coalitions comparable only to Italy, which had 50 governments in 50 years, Israel does not have an opposition?

What he means is that Leftist extremisms is under-represented. American communists and Barbara Lee supporters complain about the same thing: they want to see the red banners on every street an America, and we fail them. We live in a thunderously failed reality.

I wonder whether he has a high school diploma. Failed reality? Perhaps someone should inform the author that reality is what it is --- it's the plans that may fail.

I am willing to respect an opinion that differs from mine if its bearer has arrived at it in an intellectually honest way. As you can see, neither intellectual honesty nor intelligence have not even visited the author of the article. I am really, really sorry that you found sense in his vitriol. Perhaps you should really ask yourself how it could've happened and whether your own opinions have been formed trough an intellectually honest process.

27 posted on 09/08/2003 10:19:18 AM PDT by TopQuark
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To: US admirer
Unfortunately, it looks like Israel will have to abandon the settlements (at least most of them), retreat to its previous boundaries and build a wall around itself.

I don't agree with everything that the writer said. Not for one minute do I believe suicide bombers are motivated by despair. On the contrary, they are motivated by peer pressure and religious fanatism.

But, the settlers are fanatics too. Israel should cut them loose.

28 posted on 09/08/2003 10:22:51 AM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: jpl
The issue of the "settlements" is a convenient ruse for the Palestinians, but the fact is that they consider all of Israel to be "occupied territory", and they have no intention of making peace with the Jews under their current leadership system.

This is very true. But, the settlements should be abandoned. It's just too difficult to maintain them.

29 posted on 09/08/2003 10:24:52 AM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: anotherview
It should take in settlements that were built for security reasons along the green line, major blocs of Jewish population, and all of Jerusalem.

That's a good route for the fence.

30 posted on 09/08/2003 10:27:17 AM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: US admirer
The author is simply another sad instance of that lamentable (but understandable) modern-day phenomenon: the Self-Loathing Jew.

Case in point: "The Jewish people did not survive for two millennia in order to pioneer new weaponry, computer security programs or antimissile missiles."

No, we did not... but, in blaming the victim for arming and defending itself, rather than decently laying down and dying quietly -- instead of the actual, bloody-minded aggressor -- the author gives intellectual aid and comfort to those for whom the very notion of a free and independent Jewish state is anathema.

31 posted on 09/08/2003 10:32:21 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("The Clintons have damaged our country. They have done it together, in unison." -- Peggy Noonan)
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To: ARCADIA
Can you please explain why you believe that "the Settlers" are a homogenous group, and by what measure they are "fanatics?"
32 posted on 09/08/2003 10:42:33 AM PDT by adam_az
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To: US admirer
Here is the counter to his nutty claims:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/978246/posts

Am Israel Chai! (The People of Israel Live!)
33 posted on 09/08/2003 10:43:51 AM PDT by adam_az
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To: ImaGraftedBranch
ping
34 posted on 09/08/2003 10:51:50 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic (Hit it Marines! Go, go, go! The Corps ain't payin' us by the hour!)
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To: ARCADIA
the settlements should be abandoned. It's just too difficult to maintain them.

On what do you base this? Have you ever been to a "settlement"? Most are suburbs of Jerusalem, or Israeli towns built at high points along the green line.

I have family in Alfei Menashe. It is nine miles from the sea at a place where Israel is just seven miles wide. It sits on a high hill in the west of Samaria. On a clear day you can see from Haifa in the North, to Hadera, to Netanya, to Tel Aviv, and all the way to Ashdod in the south. Alfei Menashe overlooks about 70% of Israel's population. Do you know what it was before 1967? A barren hill with a Jordanian gun emplacement on the top. It was a place for Arabs to reign down death upon Israel.

Tell me, should Israel give up Alfei Menashe?

FWIW, Alfei Menashe is on the Israeli side of the fence. It is about five minutes from Kfar Saba.

75% of "settlers" live in such places, close in suburbs of Jerusalem or key strategic points along the green line.

35 posted on 09/08/2003 10:53:38 AM PDT by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: wideawake
There's historical blame on both sides. Both sides are locked-in and trapped in hate. And there is no solution.
36 posted on 09/08/2003 10:53:53 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: pabianice
All leftist Jews are ani-semitic?
37 posted on 09/08/2003 10:55:26 AM PDT by philosofy123
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To: ARCADIA
the settlers are fanatics too. Israel should cut them loose.

On what do you base this claim? I ask again, have you ever been to a settlement?

Many "settlements" are bedroom communities for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Netanya. People moved there for inexpensive, government subsidized housing, not out of any strong beliefs. Many vote Labour. Some even vote Meretz.

Are there fanatics among settlers? Yes, certainly, especially in some small settlements deep in the territories. They are a small minority of the total.

You have been watching too much of the mainstream American media who take a pro-Palestinian line. Why not come to Israel and learn the truth for yourself?

38 posted on 09/08/2003 10:57:15 AM PDT by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: ultima ratio
There's historical blame on both sides.

I'm sure there is.

But Israel has uniformly proceeded with a measured military response while the Arabs conduct themselves with unexampled savagery.

Both sides are locked-in and trapped in hate.

I disagree.

Going by the Israeli press, only a small percentage of Israelis seem willing to characterize Arabs as non-human animals. Going by the Arabic press, only a small percentage of Arabs seem willing to admit that Jews are human beings.

And there is no solution.

There is a solution, but precisely because Israelis don't really hate Arabs they can't bring themselves to use the solution.

The solution is to drive all Arabs unwilling to be productive citizens of Israel over the border.

That solution is still more humane that the one the US meted out to Indians who were not willing to be productive members of US society.

Something tells me if Apache terrorists were blowing themselves up in American casinos and strip malls we'd adopt even harsher tactics than Israel has.

39 posted on 09/08/2003 11:03:34 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: ultima ratio
There's historical blame on both sides. Both sides are locked-in and trapped in hate. And there is no solution.

Such a strong definitive statement. Tell me, have you spent much time in Israel? Do you know first-hand what most Israelis think?

Let me tell you, most Israelis, left to center-right, want peace. Most Israelis, Labourite or Likudnik, will make painful sacrifices to have peace. You can only have peace if both sides are willing to have it.

Show me where the Palestinians have ever been willing to compromise?

Israelis are not consumed with hate. Far from it.

Blame? The only reason the Palestinians don't already have their own state is their unwillingness to compromise or to allow Israel to exist in peace:

Tell me, how is Israel to blame? What historical fact can you use to justify the Palestinians refusal to compromise and live in peace with Israel?

The Palestinian people suffer mightily because of their own leadership.

40 posted on 09/08/2003 11:09:22 AM PDT by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: ARCADIA
29: This is very true. But, the settlements should be abandoned. It's just too difficult to maintain them.

30: That's a good route for the fence (... take in settlements that were built for security reasons along the green line, major blocs of Jewish population, and all of Jerusalem...)

Are you aware that your statement's 29 and 30 are mutually exclusive?

41 posted on 09/08/2003 11:12:56 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: wideawake
Jews hate Palestinians--though they don't advertise their hate the way Arabs do. Since each threatens the other, they hate each other. That is human nature.

As for a solution--there is always the temptation in war to go beyond the parameters of civilized behavior. It is not a lack of hatred that inhibits Jews, but an unwillingness to be uncivilized.
42 posted on 09/08/2003 11:22:09 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: anotherview; ultima ratio; wideawake
Both sides are locked-in and trapped in hate.

Right, I've noticed that at the funerals, guess theres theres hate

Limor´s Message



August 29th, Shalom Harmelech, 25, from Homesh was shot dead, his wife Limor, who is seven months pregnant was moderately wounded, when their car came under Palestinian attack Friday on Alon Highway east of Ramallah. Limor was taken to Hadassa University Hospital, Ein Karem in Jerusalem, where doctors delivered a healthy baby girl by caesarian

and hate


43 posted on 09/08/2003 11:30:17 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: ultima ratio
Jews hate Palestinians--though they don't advertise their hate the way Arabs do.

Uh-huh.

Let's see. They hate them, but they don't say they hate them.

The Arabs suicide bomb them but, even though they hate the Arabs, Jews don't retaliate in kind.

The Arabs don't permit Jews to live in Arab countries, but Jews allow more than a million Arabs to live in the heart of Israel.

The Arabs teach their children in school that Jews are evil, but Jewish schools prefer to teach literacy and mathematics instead.

Sorry, I just don't buy your thesis.

Since each threatens the other, they hate each other.

The threats seem to run one way: I don't recall Israel ever threatening any Arab group with extinction.

That is human nature.

Perhaps. But I see that the Israelis restrain this impulse of human nature quite strongly, while the Arabs give that impulse free rein.

As for a solution--there is always the temptation in war to go beyond the parameters of civilized behavior.

Exiling those who are leagued against you to kill you is well within the parameters of civilized behavior.

It is not a lack of hatred that inhibits Jews, but an unwillingness to be uncivilized.

Your ability to see into the heart of every Jew is a remarkable skill, I'll grant you. But if they refuse to act on this hatred out of a sense of moral compunction, I don't understand your larger point.

44 posted on 09/08/2003 11:31:34 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: ultima ratio
Jews hate Palestinians--though they don't advertise their hate the way Arabs do. Since each threatens the other, they hate each other. That is human nature.

Tell me, what gives you such an insight into the Jewish or Israeli soul? You have made a blanket statement which is patently false.

My cousin, who lives in Samaria, said he would gladly give up his home to the Palestinians for peace. He was very close friends with the muchtar of the neighboring Palestinian village when he was administrator of his town. Their families would visit each others' homes during holidays. Is that hate?

Tell me, do I hate? Do I want to kill Palestinians?

You still have not answered my question: have you spent any time in Israel?

Do not presume to judge people you don't even know, or to assume you understand their motivations.

45 posted on 09/08/2003 11:32:35 AM PDT by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: anotherview
"What historical fact can you use to justify the Palestinians refusal to compromise and live in peace with Israel?"

Are you kidding? 800,000 Arabs were either expelled or left voluntarily in the war of 1948, depending on which authority you listen to. What is undisputed is that they were not given the right of all refugees to return to their homes and villages. Instead 400 Arab villages were deliberately bulldozed by Israel. Elsewhere in towns and cities Arab property was confiscated--and not a dime given to the true owners afterwards in compensation. Let's be fair here and not pretend Israel is blameless and is an innocent victim of Arab irrationality. These are a pretty poor and militarily defenseless people. They are using home-made bombs to fight a regional superpower.

46 posted on 09/08/2003 11:47:02 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
I wrote: "What historical fact can you use to justify the Palestinians refusal to compromise and live in peace with Israel?"

Are you kidding?

Not at all.

800,000 Arabs were either expelled or left voluntarily in the war of 1948, depending on which authority you listen to.

770,000, but close enough. For every Arab that left Israel when the Grand Mufti told them to get out of the way of the conquering Arab armies who would drive the Jews into the sea, more than one Jew was expelled or persecuted and driven out of Arab countries. Most of these Sephardic Jews were resettled in Israel. Tell me this: Why didn't the Arab countries or the Palestinian Authority resettle their refugees as Israel did?

I'll tell you: they were forced, by their own people, to live in squalid refugee camps in order to be used as a political tool and to breed hatred. You know what, it worked. You've even bought into it.

What is undisputed is that they were not given the right of all refugees to return to their homes and villages.

Actually, in the 1950s Israel did have a program to allow Palestinians to return, mainly to reunite families. Most chose not to. So, your "fact" is not undisputed, sorry.

Instead 400 Arab villages were deliberately bulldozed by Israel. Elsewhere in towns and cities Arab property was confiscated--and not a dime given to the true owners afterwards in compensation.

Documentation please? Let's see some backup for this?

Let's be fair here and not pretend Israel is blameless and is an innocent victim of Arab irrationality. These are a pretty poor and militarily defenseless people.

Actually, the Arab people control 22 countries that have an amazing amount of oil wealth. They are poor because their leaders keep all the money and give none to the people, as is the case in most despotic regimes. Yasser Arafat's estimated net worth is US $11 billion. Tell me, how many refugees could he resettle with that money? In what kind of homes?

You are right about one thing: Arabs are not irrational. Far from it. They kept their own people poor and oppressed for political reasons and their tactics have convinced many around the world, including you.

Oh, and for defenseless people they are very good at blowing up a bus here, a restaurant there, a teen disco in Tel Aviv, filled with families and children.

They are using home-made bombs to fight a regional superpower.

Tell me, why did Israel become a regional superpower? Was it because of Arab benevolence, or was it because the Arabs attacked and repeatedly tried to destroy Israel?

47 posted on 09/08/2003 12:00:06 PM PDT by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: ultima ratio
"They are using home-made bombs to fight a regional superpower."

The same way their terrorist brothers used box cutters to take over our planes and crash them into our buildings.
Go peddle your bullsh*t somewhere else!

48 posted on 09/08/2003 12:07:00 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: anotherview
This is your reading of history. There is plenty of evidence the Grand Mufti was not the cause of the exodus, but the Haganah and Irgun and Stern were. Come on, you are being self-serving. Even if you are right, it was a deliberate violation of the Geneva Convention not to have let these people return to their homes after the conflict had ended. Instead they were killed if they ventured back. And 400 of their villages were systematically destroyed. There is blame on both sides. It depends on how far back you want to go.

I don't intend to get into this back-and-forth stuff with you. You will ask why other Arab countries did not take in the refugees. I will say this is a red herring--they had a right to return to their homes, not take up residence elsewhere. And they had a right to compensation at a minimum for what had been confiscated by Israeli authorities to be used to provide homes for new Jewish immigration. And so it will go--as always. Jews are perhaps more arrogant than full of hate. Palestinians more full of hate than arrogant. I think Arafat is evil. But Sharon is no prize either and was directly involved in the slaughters at Shabra and Shatila.
49 posted on 09/08/2003 12:23:09 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: TexasCowboy
Israel is not free of blame in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Deal with it. It's the truth. The attempt to connect this conflict to 9/11 is a stretch.
50 posted on 09/08/2003 12:35:19 PM PDT by ultima ratio
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