Intifada: 6 Years Later

Sunday, October 01, 2006

10 comments
Six years after the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada, the casualties have mounted to exceed more than 5,000 people, including more than 800 children. The statistics from B’Tselem as of September 2006 indicate that 4,039 Palestinians and 1,011 Israelis have been killed.

Both sides, when addressing the International Community, claim to want peace. After six years of violence and bloodshed, however, I wonder what actually has been accomplished?

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Both sides, when addressing the International Community, claim to want peace."

dave, you like to think of this as a complicated conflict. it servs you best to think of it this way.

now, lets put ideology aside, if you can, and try this simple game.

Bob and Joe are two adults.

Bob has both hands on Joe's neck. it seems Bob is strangling Joe.

A bystandar (you) sees the fight and asks them both: Why don't you end this fight. Do you want to end this fight?

Bob says "yes" and Joe says "yes"

But Bob keeps shoking Joe and the bystandars is frustrated because Bob and Joe don't want to end this fight.

Dave, you have to be a total dimwit, a racist, or a racist dimwit to pretend that there is anything the palestinians can do to stop the killings, since no matter how many times Hamas and the other resistance groups offered Israel a truce, Israel kept on assasinating and killing.

10/14/2006 3:43 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Anonymous,

You can try to justify one side or the other, but both sides are at fault here.

Your illustration shows a singular political bias. The way I see it, Bob hurls a rock at Joe, who in turn hurls a rock back at Bob, who hurls a rock in retaliation and the conflict escalates. Eventually you end up with a Hafields verses McCoys type of feud. Each side denies being the cause of the conflict and neither side seems too willing to end it.

10/14/2006 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Markus said...

Joe should end the occupation. Then the conflict will end, blaming the vistim is adding fuel to the fire. Coming from an American, your credibility here is .......negligible so to speak my hombre......so it'd be better you keep to your race politics, somthing you are better informed about

10/17/2006 10:23 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Markus, I believe my nationality lends itself to a less biased opinion, as opposed to being born in the Middle East with a natural racial bias.

As far as the conflict goes, both sides can argue towards a homeland, and both arguments are valid depending on how far back you go. So who is right and who is wrong? Neither and both. Occupation precedence isn't going to be the deciding factor here.

It’s completely irrational to suggest that “Bob” or “Joe” leave their homeland. If both can’t/won’t/shouldn’t leave, then a solution of peaceful co-existence must be upheld. The other alternative is to continue to wipe each other off the face of the earth.

10/18/2006 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Markus said...

I will to facts here:

1- Being an American makes for a very very biased opnion, even more biased than many Palestinains, me included

2- Co-existance is the only realistic non-genocidal way to forward

3-Zionism and the jewish state concept is a racist one dimensional idea that cannot comprehend the "others"
4- there is no palestinain idiology, not even Hamas's that does not accept Jews in Palestine

5- Jews were lving peacfully in Palesitne, there si no problem with that, no one argues that truth

6- When you unnaturally and forcefull inject hundreds of thousands of ILLIGAL IMMIGRAnTS into a small country , you ar the aggressor, Jews existed naturaly, and they were a minority in Palestine for many years the ZIONISTs tipped the balance of nature here and cause this catastrophe, Lets opne the tijuana crossing to all the mexicans who want to move to Cali and lets see what will happen to californian culture, economy and politics. If you accept ths on yourself then I will accept it in the Middle East. I woul like an unbiased, un-hypocritical opion here if you would "PLEASE"

10/20/2006 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Markus said...

Most Importantly Dave,

Israel is the occupier here, they are in violation of UN resolutions that are decades old, and Palestinain society, collectivly accepted the borders of 1967, there is an occupier and an occupied here, you cannot equate the 2.

10/20/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Markus,

I'll address your comments in order.

1. I disagree. While the American government does tend to lend it's favoritism in the direction of Israel, not all Americans have such leanings. Obviously my feelings on the matter would be less clouded by the fact that I have no personal or vested interest whatsoever in the parcel of land, nor am I related to the people groups involved.

2. I agree, which is the point I am trying to make. Both sides are having a hard time allowing that to happen, however.

3. Zionism does appear to be a racist ideal. There are many Jews, however, who do not consider themselves as “Zionists”. The idea of a Jewish State is not necessarily racist, and is just as valid as the idea of a Palestinian State. Where each side crosses the line is when they choose to create the state at the exclusion of the other race. On the flip side of the coin, I know many Palestinians that are equally as guilty of racism concerning the Jewish race.

4. I’m not sure what you’re referring to concerning a Palestinian ideology, but I am aware that Palestinian governments do not recognize Israel as a state. Accepting Jews in the country is a different matter.

5. That is a historical fact. I’m not sure what the point is, however.

6. It seems to me that there are some extreme hard feelings now that the tables have been turned (and I don’t blame you for those feelings). What I don’t understand is how a nation can “unnaturally” and “forcefully” inject “illegal immigrants” (read Jewish citizens) into its own state (unless you are referring to the Jews who were escaping Nazi persecution in Europe during WWII, only to find themselves in British detention camps)? Is it wrong for a people to desire to return to their original homeland? If so, then Palestinians are just as guilty.

If you would like to use historical evidence, I would prefer that you back up your statements. I’m not sure which UN resolutions that the State of Israel is guilty of violating, so it would help me if you would state those resolutions so that I could research them for myself.

And since we’re dealing with historical issues, I will outline a general and extremely obtuse timeline of Holy Land events in the first half of 20th century.

• The Ottoman Empire controlled the Palestine/Israel lands from the late 13th century until the fall of the Empire in 1917, when they sided with the Central Powers in World War I.

• With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations entrusted administrative control to the United Kingdom.

• During World War I the British had made two promises regarding territory in the Middle East. Britain had promised the local Arabs independence for a united Arab country covering most of the Arab Middle East, in exchange for their supporting the British; and Britain had promised to create and foster a Jewish national home as laid out in the Balfour Declaration, 1917.

• In 1921, the British gave semi-autonomous control of Transjordan to the Hashemite family in return for their support in the Great Arab Revolt.

• In 1922, the League of Nations passed the Palestinian Mandate, which included "securing the establishment of the Jewish national home", and "safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine".

• During the 1920’s, initial Jewish immigration to Palestine met little opposition from the Palestinian Arabs. As immigration as a result of anti-Semitism in Europe increased, however, the influx of Jews alarmed Arab inhabitants in the region, and Muslim religious leaders helped to foment hatred for the Jewish inhabitants which led to periodic violence.

• In response to numerous Arab attacks on Jewish communities, Jewish paramilitary organizations were formed. Tensions led to widespread violent disturbances on several occasions.

• Due to Nazi persecution in Europe in WWII, Jews began to flee to other parts of the world, including America and the Palestinian Mandate. The British placed a ban on immigration and only allowed specific numbers of Jews to enter the country.

• Following WWII, confrontations among Jews, Arabs and the British began to spiral out of hand, causing the British to announce their desire to terminate their mandate and to withdraw by May 1948.

• The United Nations, the successor to the League of Nations, proposed a plan in 1947 to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in the British Mandate of Palestine. The proposal called for the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states in Palestine, with Jerusalem to be placed under international administration. The partition plan was rejected by the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs and by most of the Arab population while most of the Jews accepted the proposal.

• The State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948, one day before the expiry of the Palestine Mandate.

• The failure of the British government and the United Nations to implement the Partition Plan and its rejection by the Arabs resulted with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Arab armies of Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq, attacked the newly established State of Israel which they refused to recognize.

• In 1949, an armistice agreement between Israel and the Arab armies. This officially ended the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and resulted in a failure to remove the “Israeli problem” from Palestinian lands.

• In 1956, Egypt used its control of Sinai to impose a blockade on the Israeli port of Eilat. Israeli forces, aided by Britain and France invaded Sinai, and took control over the entire peninsula within a few days. Several months later, Israel withdrew its forces from Sinai, following strong American and Soviet pressure. Following this, the United Nations Emergency Force was stationed in Sinai to prevent any military occupation of the Sinai.

• In 1967, Egypt expelled the United Nations from the Sinai Peninsula, increased its military activity near the Israeli border, and blockaded the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships. Fearing an imminent attack by Egypt, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt's. Jordan in turn attacked several Israeli cities. In a matter of six short days, Israel had gained control of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. The Sinai Peninsula was later returned to Egypt in a 1979 peace agreement.

I could keep going from there, but I believe this sufficiently tells the story. You can’t blame Jews for wanting a homeland any more than you can deny your own feelings for a Palestinian one. If you’re looking to cast blame, start pointing the finger at the Turks for occupying Palestine for 700 years. Or perhaps the British are at fault for taking over after World War I or for desiring to create a shared homeland for both Arabs and Jews?

10/20/2006 11:29 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Also Markus, if you're going to accuse me of being a hypocrite, please point out my distinct hypocritical flaws. Rather I would argue that denying the Jews the desire to create a homeland—which in essence is the same desire of the Palestinians—is hypocritical, especially when neither side can claim legal ownership of the land for several hundred centuries (excluding the past 58 years, of course).

10/20/2006 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Markus said...

Ok Dave, there is really no point to discuss history with you, you choose to look at your own version of it, thats fine. To pint out one of your facts "jews returning to their homeland" thats the end of the story if its their homeland , as you put it then the palestinians dont belong there, thats the end of the discussion, why talk, those arabs that happen to be squatters need to pack and leave, or fight till they cant fight anymore......people who believe that this is the homeland of the jews, when international conventions and laws clearly say otherwise are just not people you can dicuss this issue with, enjoy your stay in jordan my friend.

10/20/2006 10:39 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Markus,

You’re missing the point and putting words in my mouth. I can’t follow your historical claims because you fail to back them up. I never implied that Palestinians were “squatters” or that “they don’t belong there” (as you put it), but rather that both Palestinians and Jews have a right and a valid desire to occupy the land.

According to God’s covenant with Abraham (Ibrahim):

I (God) will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. And in you all of the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2,3b

Then [God] brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And [God] said to [Abraham], ‘So shall your descendants be.’” – Genesis 15:5

On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying: ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.’” – Genesis 15:18-21

“’And I (God) will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. As for Me, behold my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’” – Genesis 17:2, 4 and 8

Both nations have the right to claim inheritance to the land through the promise of Abraham (Ibrahim). Thus both must find a way to co-exist in the land. Attempting to exterminate or remove other is not only costly, but wrong and destined to fail. Unfortunately that is what each side is attempting at the moment.

10/21/2006 8:27 AM  

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