Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

What is a workable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Asked by Demosthenes (12588points) May 13th, 2021
72 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

What do you think would solve the conflict in that region? I’m sure this has been asked many times before, but I think it’s time to ask it now that Israel and Palestine are on the brink of war once again.

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ragingloli's avatar

The first step is both sides recognising that they are both at fault.
And that is never going to happen.
So the solution is UN intervention and permanent occupation.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Pistols at 10 paces?

product's avatar

@ragingloli: “The first step is both sides recognising that they are both at fault.”

There are very fine people on both sides?

Maybe the first step is acknowledging that Israel is a brutal apartheid state.

zenvelo's avatar

Replace Netanyahu,

Break the grip of the ultra Right wing parties by restructuring the method of apportioning seats in the Knesset.

Give non Jewish citizens the right to vote.

Turn the illegal West Bank settlements over for Palestinian housing.

seawulf575's avatar

Ask Trump. He managed to bring peace to the area. All this aggression is a result of Biden scrambling to undo everything Trump did.

kritiper's avatar

A workable solution? And these people have been going at it for 1300 years?? Try total genocide.

Demosthenes's avatar

@seawulf575 How, exactly?

The current situation is untenable. Just because there are moments of peace doesn’t mean there has been a “solution”. As long as Palestinians are treated as second class citizens and corralled in two small non-contiguous zones (and yet still evicted from their homes), there will never be peace.

elbanditoroso's avatar

With the current leadership of both Israel and the Palestinians? not a chance.

And Trump did not bring peace to the middle east. He ignored the Palestinians and worked around them, which made Israel happy, but didn’t solve or even try to solve the underlying issues. Learn some history, please.

SergeantQueen's avatar

There isn’t one.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

There has been fighting in the region since the Hittites and Egyptians more than 3000 years ago.

For today NATO forces !

Nomore_lockout's avatar

@seawulf575 Delusional much?

JLeslie's avatar

I used to think there would be peace eventually between Israel and the Palestinians, but now I have little hope. First you have to get rid of Hamas, put a woman in charge, go ahead and put a woman in charge of Israel also. Get rid of all the ego and religious and cultural bullshit. Good luck. I don’t mean get rid of religion altogether, but the fundamental groups have got to have little to no power for anything productive to happen.

Two states is probably the only way. It’s unfortunate. Israel can not be a true democracy with equality for all as one state. It doesn’t seem possible to me anyway. Very sad.

Trump brought peace? LMAO. So, people are willing to kill each other just because some other country changed presidents? Yeah, that makes tons of sense.

Kropotkin's avatar

Israel has absolutely no reason to seek peace. The ambition of Israeli ethno-nationalists and Jewish supermacists is colonial expansion, and it is these kinds of extremists who most significantly influenced the founding of Israel, and its political course ever since.

Israel is a nuclear power with one of the most advanced military forces in the world, economically, diplomatically, and militarily backed by the USA, which regards Israel as a strategic ally in the region. Israel has no incentive to make any concessions to Palestinians, who have absolutely no leverage over Israel, and whose meagre threat comes from largely ineffective homemade rockets.

About the only possible route to peace would require the US to put pressure on Israel to make peace, which would mean having someone like Sanders as President. It’s more likely that the US could in future elect someone like that, than it is for Israelis to elect someone who isn’t a raging racist anti-Arab and fascist—where nothing but the most extreme and hostile stances toward the Palestinians is deemed palatable.

Israel has all the power, and the onus would be almost entirely on Israel to reconcile with the Palestinians, to apologise for the Nakba, to apologise for the decades of humiliation and brutality inflicted on the Palestinians, to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their home, to rebuild the homes and villages destroyed by Israel, to pay reparations and damages to Palestinians, and then stop being a racist, colonial settler state.

A two-state solution means Israel dismantling its settlements and returning to its pre Six-Day War borders, and all of the above. A single state solution would mean a federated state, a unified Israel-Palestine, and no Jewish ethno-state, and all of the above.

It’s not going to happen. Climate change will sooner make the whole area uninhabitable before they choose peace.

gorillapaws's avatar

We force Israel back to its original borders, create a demilitarized zone of x miles between the 2 states. Have the UN enforce the boundary. We guarantee Israel’s protection from existential threats. Israelis (Netanyahu) and Palestinians are charged with and placed on trial for war crimes. The US will only supply Israel with defensive weapons (Iron Dome). Humanitarian aid will be brought in.

If Israel doesn’t agree then we blockade them and cease all aid until they agree. They lost the moral high-ground decades ago. Israel is being run by right-wing extremists and they are a threat to the security of the region.

JLeslie's avatar

Realize some of the violence in the streets is people like the WS in America! They are extremists. Far right wing lunatics who do not represent the sentiments of the average Israeli. There is violence between citizens of Israel, Jews and Arabs in Israel. Cities that are diverse are now becoming more and more divided. It is the same evil that was happening in America.

flutherother's avatar

The only thing that is clear to me is that what is going on in Gaza right now is not a workable solution and should be viewed as state terrorism. Stop the bombing, lower the tensions, talk to one another and marginalise the extremists.

Kropotkin's avatar

@flutherother It’s referred to as “Mowing the Grass”. Every few years, Israel bombs and invades Gaza to militarily weaken Hamas and demoralise the Palestinians. Sometimes it’s because Netanyahu needs a distraction from his own corruption scandals, or wants to increase support ahead of an election.

Usually a pretext is needed, so Israel ramps up its provocations, until Hamas retaliates with rocket attacks, which invariably do very little.

Israel then “defends itself” and launches a bombing campaign that claims to target Hamas sites. Once they’re done, the bombing stops and they withdraw.

Gaza slowly rebuilds, Hamas makes new rockets and builds new tunnels, until Israel feels it’s time to “mow the grass” again.

Smashley's avatar

@seawulf575 – seriously? Not even close to an informed answer. I expect you to challenge my assumptions, not reinforce stereotypes.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Isreal won that land in 2 wars. They will never give it up.
Palestinians lost but still claim it. They will never give it up.
Give those admittedly extremely simplistic statement we need to think out of the box.

Set up a homeland for the Palestinians on the east bank of the Jordan River and the lower portion of Syria. The population of Israel and Jordan are similar, ~10 million, but Jordan has 4 times the area. Wealthy Arab nations can start building settlements for Palestinians much they way Israel is building now. They can offer to buy out Palestinians in disputed lands and help them move. At a minimum, the 3 nations who attacked Israel in 1967 should fund these payments and write them off as war reparations. Jordan can either donate the land or demand payment from Arab nations. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and others could be part of this program that has the potential to enrich the lives and pockets of all willing to participate.
Payments to Palestinians forced to move would be sufficiently high to encourage 90% to move. The remaining 10% would receive no payment and would be given one year to voluntarily move or be moved by force.
There would be plenty of construction jobs, education, health care, etc. And people would actually own something they can pass down to their children.

And while I’m throwing out unconventional solutions, let’s mandate some kind of birth control for the region. Both sides are using procreation and large family size as a political tool. I’d limit family size to 4 children. After the 3rd child is delivered, the father is offered a choice: a vasectomy within 90 days or loss of all financial aid from the government.
This would apply to people on all sides of the conflict.
Most mammals have a form of birth and litter size control that is based upon the living conditions. If there is no food or limited water the mother will not produce live healthy offspring. Only humans have politicized and militarized the process.
You live in a desert! Stop it!

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy I thought the Palestinians aren’t willing to consider going to another area in the Middle East? Has it changed? I realize a lot of Palestinians live in Jordan already. I like the solution of giving the Palestinians a different homeland, but they have been very stubborn to date. Part of me has thought what if we move the Israelis. If it ever happens we destroy the infrastructure on the way out.

@Kropotkin So, do you view Hamas as a terrorist organization? Or, just the current leaders of the Palestinian government? You don’t think Hamas is part of the problem? I can tell you the Palestinian woman I used to walk with in my neighborhood back in 1999–2000 blamed Hamas for a lot of the problems that occur between Israel and the Palestinians.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Try to find the book, “A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East” by David Fromkin. Succinctly explains how the Middle East became the fuddle fuck that it is, after the First World War.

Kropotkin's avatar

@JLeslie I will not reproach an oppressed people for how they respond to their oppression.

Hamas is “problematic”, but Hamas exists because Israel has dispossessed and brutalised Palestinian people for decades.

I also avoid using “terrorist organisation”, which is an ill-defined and value-laden term. If we’re going to compare “terror” inflicted on civilians, then the Israeli state is quantifiably and by orders of magnitude worse than Hamas.

Israel should really stop using Hamas as a pretext for their own illegal and abusive actions against Palestinians, but of course they won’t, because it’s too convenient for them.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m curious how @gorillapaws plans to “force Israel back to the 1948 borders”.

Were you thinking genocide? Concentration camps?

And who does the “forcing”? Would you leave it to Iran or Saudi Arabia to do?

What an utterly idiotic idea.

gorillapaws's avatar

@elbanditoroso I LITERALLY explained it in the same post. We blockade them until they agree to do it. No violence. It might take years, but eventually I think they’ll want to trade with the rest of the world again. But thanks for trying to make me out to be a Nazi, very classy of you.

zenvelo's avatar

It would be helpful if the US or NATO brought a case to the UN or World Court to prosecute Israel for genocide.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Let’s all fantasize for a moment.

What would have happened if the invasion into Israel in 1967 made it all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, wiping Israel off the map and calling it Jordan. An aside… In 1987 we had to do business in that area, automotive business. The maps in Jordan did not show Israel! The map called that land Jordan all the way to the sea. – I said nothing.)
OK here’s the hypothetical question. How many of the 2.3 million Jews living there at the time would be alive in 1968? Of course we do not know. This is hypothetical.
But if you had to bet real money , what is your guess? 2.3 million? Nah. No chance. Zero? Maybe. So the answer is somewhere between zero and 2.3 million What’s your guess?
I’m guessing there would have been mass slaughter leaving closer to 100,000 and 200,000.
What is your guess?

@jleslie Correct. They say they do not want to move. But would they move if they had comfortable housing for their families? Would they move if they had jobs and security for their families? That has never been offered.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m an engineer. Not religious at all. In fact, I despise the whole concept. Given that here are some observations:

I have personally been to the area.- a couple of times in different capacities.
Driving through the desert was a striking and eye opening experience. In the middle of nowhere there was a chain link fence topped with barbed wire, and who knows what else, guarding it. On one side of the fence there were lush trees growing. On the other side of the fence there was desert and a few “Arabs” with a couple of goats tied to stakes. They were sitting around a black, smokey fire that looked like tires burning. It was hot. I thought: What the f*** are they burning??? Why are they sitting around burning that crap??? I can assure you, on the inside of the fence there were dozens of people working the soil, laying water pipes, planting trees. processing olive oil, etc. Being productive.
Meanwhile the Arabs on the outside were sitting around burning tires.

That sight – and the fact that I could have been killed if I stopped for the wrong person – brought the argument home to me. (BTW- To increase my chance of survival I was told to have Palestinian plates on my car. I did.)

If I were the “owner” of that land I know who I’d grant stewardship to.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@seawulf575 The Trump peace deal was between Israel and the UAE not the Palestinians so trying to blame Biden displays an astoundingly arrogant lack of understanding of the situation. In fact the very fact that Trump got UAE to sign could be seen by the Palestinians as one of their staunch supporters ‘changing sides’ and probably caused an increase in tension within the Palestinian groups.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy I have always been in favor of spending money to help the Palestinians have better lives, be more prosperous, if they would then leave Israel alone. How many Palestinians are in the Palestinian territory? Hell, I would be in favor of allowing a few million to come to America if they wanted, some might stay in the Middle East, some go to Europe. Give them money to help get them started, maybe Israel could even expand then. Although, worth noting some wealthy Arabs have developed some very nice apartment style housing in the Palestinian territory, I don’t know if the building are all occupied in the newer areas.

The land in Jordan would it be under a Palestinian government, or still governed by Jordan?

@Kropotkin I’m not going to say the Israelis have been angels, because I do find some fault with their actions, I am very saddened to see the far right gaining strength in Israel, just as I am saddened to see it in the US, but I also think almost the entire Middle East was put in a horrible situation between the remnant problems from the Ottoman Empire and the UN deciding where borders go and creating Israel. When you talk about the Palestinians being oppressed, don’t forget that their own leadership is oppressive. Don’t forget how they use their religion is oppressive. Don’t forget that their cultural norms regarding women are oppressive. If they were given the land of Israel tomorrow, and all the Jews left, do you believe the Palestinians would suddenly be democratic, give equal rights to women, and have a total turn around?

Mind you, I have a reporter in the Palestinian territory who went to school in London, another who went to school in NY, and I’m not sure what country she is in now, and I have had Palestinian friends here in America, and I know not every Palestinian is uneducated and a religious fanatic, I am not wanting to overgeneralize. My Iranian friends, I grew up with many, fled Iran for American freedom and I think of them as exactly like me, just another American. They got out of the religious oppression of their country, and I just use them as an analogy to many Palestinians who are educated and want better lives, and the oppression is among their own.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JLeslie From what I can see, you could put Israelis in the middle of the desert and within 10 years it would be green. That’s not just my opinion. Landsat reconnaissance photos back it up. So does Google Earth. If Israelis were forced to leave I doubt they would leave the infrastructure and lush gardens for the next inhabitants. They would likely leave the place as they found it – a desert.

If Jordan gave up ¼ of their land, for a massive fee, that would give the Palestinians a homeland the size of Israel and leave a natural barrier, the Jordan River, between both parties. Rather than throwing stones, Palestinians could work and make the new homeland into something beautiful. Israel managed to do it in 20 years – 1 generation.
Do Palestinians think they are not as capable as Israelis? This would be their opportunity to show the world they can do more than throw rocks.

JLeslie's avatar

@Luckyguy Oh, if the Jewish people have to leave Israel I’m all for blowing up the infrastructure on their way out.

Kropotkin's avatar

@LuckyGuy You are aware that Palestinians are blockaded, and don’t have access to the same resources that Israelis have. They can’t trade by sea, they’ve no airport, no ability to trade freely across borders. Their imports are rationed and highly controlled—and you’re wondering why they’re not building as much as Israelis?

ragingloli's avatar

And they are getting bombed to shit every few years.

flutherother's avatar

@LuckyGuy Israel appears greener because since 1967 Israel has had control of Palestinian access to water which has meant that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have a restricted supply.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It is green because they got water somehow. The dug wells down to China. They took it from rivers. They desalinated sea water. They did something! Egypt would be happy to pump water from the Nile into a Palestinian nation.
Israelis were not sitting around burning tires.

If the Palestinians settled on the East bank of the Jordan river they could use that as well. There are dams up north that supply Jordan with water.
Israel got a lot of resources and support from the parts of the world. They needed it to do what needed to be done. They were starting from nothing.

Why are the Arab nations not supporting the Palestinians – in productive way? By that I mean infrastructure aid, not M-302 or Qassam rockets or Fajr-5s or Grads or WS-1Es. One intercepted boat load of M-302s from Syria, e.g.the Klos-C, and Israel is forced to shut them down. What would you do?
Start helping them build a nation – in Jordan.

Do it before some ultra right-wing organization with ties to Iran gets a nuke and turns it into glass.

JLeslie's avatar

@Kropotkin Why stay? I can appreciate why the Palestinians feel they have a right to the land, truly I can, they live there too, but they have these so called horrible Israelis torturing them. There are Arab dominated lands all around them, why not go live in one of those places? Many of them have. Jews have had to move many many many times. Now, people in the world want us to give up a small piece of land that we can go to if no other place in the world will take us.

See, the problem is the world has abused the Jewish people so much, the Jewish people have been oppressed so much, that the Jewish people are full of PTSD and fight. Never again. Here’s an analogy: take a woman who has been raped, and if you do anything to imply you might want to harm her and she will scratch your eyes out and defend herself until the person is disabled or dead. The Jews have been abused, enslaved, and murdered for GENERATIONS. Does that figure into your calculation at all? Then, the UN decided to give the Jews Israel, and most of the UN countries voted yes, I am sure they liked the idea of Jews leaving their own countries, or not trying to come to their countries. Is there any other country that was created like that?

I don’t think the UN should have made the decision they did, but they did. I think the Jewish people should have been given half of Germany, put a nice big blue and white flag with a star on the Capitol building of a few of the German states in West Germany. Imagine it. Maybe a lot of Russian Jews would have located there instead of the US. The holy lands in Israel possibly could have been a neutral territory governed by several governments. But, we can’t go back. It’s too late.

There were already lots of Jews living in Israel at the time of the UN decision and more and more were buying property at the time anyway from what I understand, wanting to return to Israel, either because their family was from there or they were zionists. My husband’s grandparents had actually left “Israel” in the 30’s because of antisemitism rising, but much of the family remained.

I’m pretty sure Pres. Clinton’s deal included water rights for the Palestinians (correct me if I am wrong) and also the Arab area of Jerusalem, and other concessions that seemed very fair. The Palestinians should have done the deal. The Palestinians seem to not want to make a deal at all, they want all the land. So how do you solve it?

If the Israelis go back to the borders in the UN agreement and promise not to attack the Palestinians, then are you saying the Palestinians will let the Israelis live in safety and peace?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I decided to look at Israel’s water sources. Half comes from desalination and waste water reclamation. There are different aquifers and the sea of Galilee but for security reasons Israel is making capacity to avoid using it. Wow.
I wonder what that costs. I pay $2.57 for 1000 gallons of fresh water. 1500 liters per $1.00. I’m guessing desalinated water is a whole lot more.

Kropotkin's avatar

@JLeslie It’s an ongoing tragedy that’s very likely intractable.

I find it utterly tragic and sad, given the long history of oppression and murder faced by Jewish people for centuries, that the same sort of xenophobia and dehumanisation of others would be reproduced in (some) Jewish people. From being oppressed, to becoming an oppressor.

Historic trauma is not an excuse. We’re all humans with the same tendencies and impulses, and can be either monsters or angels given the right or wrong conditions. Jewish people aren’t unique, and have same tendencies and impulses as any other people.

Feed people with enough fear and threats, give them powerful and nationalist symbols (and sometimes religion) to attach their egos to, and they too can turn into monsters, regardless of past history.

Cornelis1977's avatar

Its a very complex situation, many threads in a big clew. Historical, religious and political. But as western citizens, we often lack insight and tend to moral masturbation.

Too many different major interests of local, regional and global powers. Its about oil and economics as well, the control of perhaps the biggest fossile fuel reserves on earth, concentrated in the mid-east. Add the history of colonialism, religion and cultural differences and we have a very explosive situation.

The past makes it hard, but at the moment too many parties have reasons to prolong the current conflict. You need to adress multiple issues to unravel the clew in the long term.

There are no strong democratic traditions in the region, due to colonialism and the western thirst for cheap oil, ignoring despotism or even encouraging or supporting it. And local leaders like to divert criticism about their politics towards external issues like the palestinian matter.
Export of fossil energy stimulates corruption and economic inbred, economic diversification is difficult. Most very developed countries lack such rich natural resources.

As sober notion and consideration can help. As said by someone: it seems about hatred, religion and retarded politics. But the common inhabitants want a job, a decent standard of living and some freedom to make their own choices. Thus: freedom and money talk.

Not everything can be simplified towards povery, but its a basic issue as well. Its also about honour, rights and acknowledging the needs and desires of others. Lucky Guy has some good practical ideas. We need a sober approach as well.

Demonizing the opponent is not helping in the long term. Most parties in the region have both great moral debts as great moral rights. There are no angels, but also no devils. People feel powerless or use power to control others.

Arab nations treat Palestinians within their borders as crap, second or even third-class citizens. As political change versus Israel. Or just because discrimination. Every nation in the region should vow themselves to adopt and integrate some refugees as full and worth subjects of their country.

Western nations should stimulate and enforce democratization of the region, as well economical prosperity. The pool of extremism and dispair is not only in the Palestinian zones, but a broader regional issue.

If the Western doesnt take their own responsibilty in this matter and doesnt confront the lack of Arab development, there will be no leverage to confront Israel nor the credibility to ask for another policy regarding the Palestines or colonization of land.

As western citizens, we first should realize we are a part of the problem. High moral standards and judgements are shallow, when we dont take in account our own interests and explotation of the Mid East. We have no mandate to adress the sins of others, if we dont correct the sins of our fathers and our own generation.

JLeslie's avatar

@Kropotkin I completely agree being oppressed does not give a people a right to be oppressors. In fact, I would argue most Jewish people are some of the first to empathize and sympathize with other groups who are oppressed. In America Jewish people prove this over and over again.

In Israel, the Jewish people are under threat. They have neighbors who don’t want them to exist.

I still say put women in charge of both countries. It’s the best bet. Maybe they will go for @LuckyGuy’s idea or some other compromise. @LuckyGuy just said half the water is recycled in Israel. Why don’t the incredibly wealthy Arab countries help the Palestinians build some infrastructure if that’s part of the problem. Infrastructure doesn’t do enough when you have religious macho fanatics in charge. My guess is a lot of the men like their situation there.

Do you ever watch NAS? He’s a Palestinian Israeli. Here’s a few links if you’re interested.

Actually, one of the videos has the multi-billion dollar city in Palestine that a billionaire built for the Palestinians. I don’t know what that city is like today.

Kropotkin's avatar

@JLeslie “In Israel, the Jewish people are under threat. They have neighbors who don’t want them to exist.”

No. They’re really not. Absolutely no one has anywhere near the capability to threaten Israel.

Women can be fascists and reactionaries too.

I found @LuckGuy’s “ideas” to be some of the most appalling racist and authoritarian nonsense I’ve ever read on this site.

Kropotkin's avatar

As you’re crafting that response, Israeli mobs are terrorising and lynching Arabs, and the IDF murder and maim scores of Palestinian civilians and children. But I’m meant to go “oh well, but Jews suffered in the past, and they’re really scared of their neighbours there in Israel—what are they to do?”

kritiper's avatar

Yepper. Shit happens…...even in the Middle East.

JLeslie's avatar

@Kropotkin Of course I completely condemn any violence or rioting. You have seen me condemn it over and over again regarding my own country and the lunatic WS QAnons here. I certainly am not defending Israelis doing that sort of violence. Do you actually think all Israelis are like those horrible alt-right people doing those things? Are all Americans like Chauvin who squeezed the life out of George Floyd? Don’t over-generalize.

Don’t you think I can pick out instances of Palestinians doing horrific things to Israelis? Easy to cherry pick on either side. Just like I’ve said about America, the violent hateful fringe on both sides need to be condemned.

Have you been to Israel? I haven’t. I think it’s hard to really know what it is like to be in a country unless you have been there, so I realize I am at a disadvantage. @LuckyGuy is just trying to stop the conflict and give the Palestinian people a place to live of their own. It seems that’s what they want. Like I said above, I would have them come to the US if they want to come here. They will likely get Americanized in a generation like most other immigrant groups. Is that racist?

The Israelis have done too much to make Israel prosperous, they will not leave. The Palestinians seem to be complaining they have nothing and their life is hard in Palestine. If they can resettle in a verdant place and be set up with the basics and build from there, it’s worth considering I think. Although that billion dollar city looks attractive.

I sat in on a lecture about immigration. The speaker was a retired professor from West Point (our most prestigious military academy in the US for the Army) and before that lived in the Middle East, and his wife is Iranian I think. He said that he believes climate change will be causing a lot of migration over the next 20 years, and he thinks the countries first to be affected will be in the Middle East. Both within country borders and across borders. So, people might start moving around anyway if he’s right.

flutherother's avatar

@LuckyGuy There is no question that Israel has worked wonders in greening its deserts and ensuring an adequate supply of water far into the future. The problem is that Palestinians in the West Bank require permits from the Israeli army to do the same and these permits are rarely granted. Palestinians are unable to drill new water wells, install pumps or deepen existing wells. It isn’t that they are lazy and can’t be bothered.

JLeslie's avatar

I want to add that the cities having the rioting are multicultural and usually the people get along. It’s very upsetting this violence is happening there and I blame the far right mostly. My guess, and this part is a total guess, is outside forces like QAnon are probably influencing Israelis and Palestinians making things even worse. I saw an interview in Japan a few weeks ago about QANON there!

What is happening is fear and racism and horrible. Both sides are being horrible. How can anyone blame just one side. I didn’t understand blaming one side in the US either. The fringe is the enemy both left and right. Defending them backfires.

The news reports the worst of everything. Never forget that. Jews, Christians, and Arabs get along and work together every day in Israel.

product's avatar

This is not “conflict”. You wouldn’t describe the relationship between murderous cops and their victims as “conflict” or the relationship between a rapist and his victim as “conflict”. To frame this as “conflict” is to flatten the power dynamics and put the oppressor and oppressed in the same positions of power.

JLeslie's avatar

Ok, let’s just make the Jews move AGAIN. Just keep pushing us around and out. Israel was supposed to solve that. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind my people getting out of the Middle East. Sometimes I wish the Jews had been given Alabama or Wyoming. I think the Israelis are used as pawns by the Western World. The Palestinians are used by the Arabs and Iranians.

I still don’t see anyone coming up with an answer that will fix it.

If there are two states and the Palestinians get direct access to water will it stop? Will the fighting stop? Can the Israelíes and Palestinians live in peace?

Like I said earlier, Clinton had brokered a decent peace treaty, the Palestinians wouldn’t sign.

JLeslie's avatar

Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are right and both are wrong. To see it as one sided completely baffles me.

JLeslie's avatar

Article from NYT. The following is a quote from BERNIE SANDERS:

“Israel has the right to defend itself.”
These are the words we hear from both Democratic and Republican administrations whenever the government of Israel, with its enormous military power, responds to rocket attacks from Gaza.

Let’s be clear. No one is arguing that Israel, or any government, does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people. So why are these words repeated year after year, war after war? And why is the question almost never asked: “What are the rights of the Palestinian people?”

And why do we seem to take notice of the violence in Israel and Palestine only when rockets are falling on Israel?

In this moment of crisis, the United States should be urging an immediate cease-fire. We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.

Palestinian families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have been living under the threat of eviction for many years, navigating a legal system designed to facilitate their forced displacement. And over the past weeks, extremist settlers have intensified their efforts to evict them.

And, tragically, those evictions are just one part of a broader system of political and economic oppression. For years we have seen a deepening Israeli occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a continuing blockade on Gaza that make life increasingly intolerable for Palestinians. In Gaza, which has about two million inhabitants, 70 percent of young people are unemployed and have little hope for the future.

Further, we have seen Benjamin Netanyahu’s government work to marginalize and demonize Palestinian citizens of Israel, pursue settlement policies designed to foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution and pass laws that entrench systemic inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

None of this excuses the attacks by Hamas, which were an attempt to exploit the unrest in Jerusalem, or the failures of the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, which recently postponed long-overdue elections. But the fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control.

Over more than a decade of his right-wing rule in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism. In his frantic effort to stay in power and avoid prosecution for corruption, Mr. Netanyahu has legitimized these forces, including Itamar Ben Gvir and his extremist Jewish Power party, by bringing them into the government. It is shocking and saddening that racist mobs that attack Palestinians on the streets of Jerusalem now have representation in its Knesset.

These dangerous trends are not unique to Israel. Around the world, in Europe, in Asia, in South America and here in the United States, we have seen the rise of similar authoritarian nationalist movements. These movements exploit ethnic and racial hatreds in order to build power for a corrupt few rather than prosperity, justice and peace for the many. For the last four years, these movements had a friend in the White House.

At the same time, we are seeing the rise of a new generation of activists who want to build societies based on human needs and political equality. We saw these activists in American streets last summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. We see them in Israel. We see them in the Palestinian territories.

With a new president, the United States now has the opportunity to develop a new approach to the world — one based on justice and democracy. Whether it is helping poor countries get the vaccines they need, leading the world to combat climate change or fighting for democracy and human rights around the globe, the United States must lead by promoting cooperation over conflict.

In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior. We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses.

This approach must recognize that Israel has the absolute right to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinians. I strongly believe that the United States has a major role to play in helping Israelis and Palestinians to build that future. But if the United States is going to be a credible voice on human rights on the global stage, we must uphold international standards of human rights consistently, even when it’s politically difficult. We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.

Blackberry's avatar

Electricity, running water, education, shelter and freethinking.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Cornelis1977 “Its a very complex situation…”

It’s not complicated”—The late Michael Brooks.

@JLeslie “Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are right and both are wrong.”

It’s true but it’s also kind of missing the point and creating a false equivalency. It’s like saying “all lives matter.”

One could make the statement that George Floyd and Officer Derek Chauvin were both wrong. Floyd shouldn’t have (knowingly or unknowingly) tried to pay with a fake $20 and should have “gotten over” his anxiety about being confined in the back seat of the police vehicle, and that Chauvin shouldn’t have murdered him. Doing so completely ignores the asymmetry in the power dynamic as well as the severity of the harm done.

Let’s make a few points clear. And just to preempt the inevitable charge of anti-semitism (looking at you @elbanditoroso) and make myself abundantly clear, these statements are being made about the political entity of the Nation State of Israel, not its people, faith or ethnicities of its citizens, and certainly not being made about Jews around the world.

1. Israel has complete control of the region and absolute authority.

2. Israel is legally classified as an occupying power under international law.

3. It is a violation of international law and a war crime to build settlements in an occupied territory.

4. The Palestinians have a right to exist in their territory as free citizens with autonomy over their resources, freely engage in commerce and trade with their neighbors, come and go as they please and develop their land as they see fit.

5. It’s a violation of international law and grossly immoral to forcibly dispossess the Palestinians of their territory and homes.

6. What is occurring in the occupied territories is ethnic cleansing. Full stop. Anyone who supports Israel’s presences in the occupied territories are advocates for ethnic cleansing and the commission of war crimes as well as human rights violations.

7. The US and its citizens are complicit in this process. Israel has been allowed to continue this process of ethnic cleansing without consequence from the UN because the US has stopped any action that may enforce international law or bring war criminals to justice. Furthermore we are spending billions annually in military and direct aid to Israel.

8. Netanyahu initiated this current round of violence to distract from his political misfortunes and to avoid personal responsibility for his criminal activities.

gorillapaws's avatar

Let me just add one more:

9. If an occupying nation with complete control and absolute authority over a territory engages in provocative activities designed to instigate violence from the aggrieved population (e.g. raiding a mosque during prayer, hospitalizing hundreds of the worshipers and also engaging in illegal, forced evictions), they do not get to use “self defense” as justification for extreme, violent and asymmetric retaliation with exceptionally high civilian casualties.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Kropotkin I have no dog in this fight. I’m just looking at it from an economic and practical view.
Clearly the solutions proposed so far have not worked. I threw something out there that in my engineering mind seems to make sense.
What would you suggest? Who will enforce the rules? Whatever it is, what will be the penalty for anyone who violates any of the rules you state.
In the ~2005 land for peace deal, after removing the Israeli settlers and their settlements from Gaza rockets were fired into Israel – the very first day! Can you see why Israelis would be more than a little miffed and untrusting?
This mess has been going on for centuries. What would you suggest?

YARNLADY's avatar

I think we should stop sending them money and mind our own business. The US has got to stop trying to police the rest of the world.

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are right and both are wrong. To see it as one sided completely baffles me.”

You’re either against the violent oppression of a people or you’re not. It’s not that complicated.

JLeslie's avatar

Still no answer how to fix it. Let’s agree the Israeli government has been awful. Ok, get rid of Netanyahu. Israelis leave the occupied area. They don’t control anything in the Palestinian areas. Now, is there peace? The Arabs leave Israel alone? Two states exist? The Palestinian people feel free? Hopefully, eventually, Palestinian-Israelis can become equal citizens within Israel, that’s sort of a separate issue. Many Arab-Israelis will want to stay in Israel I think, but they are treated as second class citizens in many ways, so that’s a problem.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie I think that’s the best possible outcome. There will undoubtedly be bad actors in both groups that want to instigate tension/hatred/violence for their benefit (the US is no stranger to this pattern). If we can continue to improve defensive technologies like the Iron Dome, apprehend and prosecute offenders, and work on mutual prosperity, I think there’s hope for a much better future for all of the people in the region. I’m sure it will never be a perfect place, but it certainly has the potential to be orders of magnitude better.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts on the topic, it’s pretty difficult to convince someone to blow themselves up if they’re living normal lives with reasonable standards of living and hope for future opportunities.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws Both sides need to punish their bad actors or it is the same as supporting their actions. Do the Palestinians do that? I know the Israelis have been imperfect when it comes to this, but I honestly don’t know if the Palestinian government does anything to discourage suicide bombers, rockets, etc. etc. Look at the example @LuckyGuy gave.

Nothing would make me happier than for the Palestinian people to live free and prosperous lives, and for there to be peace and harmony. I wish that for all people. I have zero bigotry towards the Palestinians. Like I said, I would be happy to open America to them. I do find issue with suicide bombers, not being willing to negotiate peace, not responding positively to efforts made by Israel in the past, and I never like the idea of religion in government.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie How should Palestinians resist being ethnically cleansed and oppressed? As Bernie mentioned in the quote you referenced, the only time there is ever any attention from the international media is when there’s rockets being launched. Meanwhile, every day Israel is committing war crimes, human rights violations, and ethnic cleansing against international law with complete silence from the international media. They deny building permits to Palestinians and grant them to settlers. The map is shrinking for them every day. I don’t agree with the violence, but I understand why it’s being done.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws Do you think the UN, Germany, other allies of the Nazis have any responsibility? When the Jews were given Israel it seems to me the Arab world was really pissed off. So, Jews were given a hostile place to go to. I realize some Jews were Zionists and wanted that part of the world, but some Jews were just leaving the horrors of antisemitic Europe and other parts of the Middle East.

I don’t question for a second the alt-right and religious zealots in Israel are a serious problem. The problem is here in the US and many places around the world and now they can all communicate with each other easily through the internet.

I haven’t seen any sign historically that the Palestinians will be satisfied with the original borders and simple autonomy. The Hamas charter talks about getting rid of Israel and the Jews from every inch of Palestine.

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Cornelis1977's avatar

Again: question was: what is a workable solution? A very wise terminology.

When seeking for justice, peace and reconciliation, you need to look to the big picture and not only the actual injustice and frictions. When i say its complicated, its not meant as an acceptance of current status quo or fatalism. Neither im taking sides, except for righteousness. But even then, in a humble approach instead of moralism.

In the long term, most Israeli acknowledge the right of an autonomous palestine state. On reverse, Fatah endorses the existance and rights of Israel – and more Arab nations are going that way. Hamas still needs to. On the pragmatic side, most people simple want a living , some freedom and a peaceful environment.

If you sincerly want to bring peace and justice like an angel, you also need to talk with the devils of war and injustice. It means getting in the mess till your neck and making tough considerations. So a heart of richteousness cannot work without a mind of pragmatic wisdom. Short-term justice can be impossible, so its sowing for long-term enduring justice.

Thus, you need to analyse, determine and collect the long-term rights of all parties involved. As well the willingness to talk with people you disagree with, even with repulsive political or religious ideas. If you dont see them, they will force you to see them. Its not about approval, but tolerance for the benefit of communication in a long-term process.

Reality check: sowing is something different then reaping peace. Maybe the time isnt ripe, but still its better to sow more seeds of peace and justice, hoping for a better season to manifest, when the momentum is strong enough. Or you can sow more injustice, division and violence. You can take a (moral) side, do nothing or strive for peace. Three choices.

Kropotkin's avatar

I have to love the liberal pearl clutching around Palestinian violence. For one, the Palestinian protests are overwhelmingly peaceful—and utterly ignored.

But I imagine if I had my home destroyed, saw relatives and friends maimed or killed, if I were harassed by fanatical settlers, had to go through checkpoints every day—I would be swearing bloody murder against my enemy, and I’d probably be supporting the guys who promise some sort of retribution against Israel.

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JLeslie's avatar

The way I understand it, Hamas builds military installations right next to or under residential. Israel usually warns civilians before they fire, giving them a chance to leave unharmed. I realize that is only unharmed physically, the psychological damage is still there from having their home blown up and losing their belongings.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie “Do you think the UN, Germany, other allies of the Nazis have any responsibility?”

Historically? of course. I have very mixed feelings about the initial creation of Israel. Throughout history, when borders have been drawn by European powers it has resulted in very bad outcomes (Africa in particular). In this case, the Nakba happened and resulted in 700k Palestinians being dispossessed of their homes. That’s not a recipe for long-term neighborly harmony.

Having said that, I understand the motivation for the creation of Israel. The Jews of Europe were the victims of probably the most grotesque genocide in human history (the slaughtering of the native peoples of the Americas being the other example that comes to mind). Giving these survivors a refuge and a place to call home makes a lot of sense in that context. It logically follows that the area chosen for Israel was appropriate given the historical connection to the land as well as the existing population of Jews in the area. I must confess ignorance about the exact process used to determine the geometry of the original borders.

This was a unique time in human history, and the world leaders were facing an unprecedented challenge trying to find some solution to helping the holocaust survivors. Sadly, I also imagine there may have been some antisemitic motivations as well, similar to white supremicists cheering on the Back-to-Africa movement following the emancipation of the slaves.

Regardless of the history, the state of Israel was created by the UN. It has a legal right to exist. Full-stop. It has the right to defend itself, but must adhere to international laws in doing so. It has the obligation to follow international law. As for the current situation, I think the power dynamic is very asymmetrical and Israel bears the lion’s share of responsibility. Velshi has a pretty sobering take on the situation, which is not a perspective that is really ever presented in American media.

@JLeslie “The way I understand it, Hamas builds military installations right next to or under residential…”

Show me on the map where Hamas is supposed to build military installations. Can you find any spaces that aren’t close to residential areas? Explain what the appropriate form of resistance is to being ethnically cleansed?

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JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws I don’t get the impression Hamas would warn Israeli civilians they were sending in a suicide bomber or rockets.

I’ve said for years that Israel can’t be a true place of equality and Democracy as long as some of its own citizens can’t serve in the military, let alone some of the other examples we can give. The settlements are wrong, I think the majority of people feel that way including the majority of Israelis. That’s my impression, I haven’t seen data.

Several years ago I think it was Biden who said Israel can’t be a Democracy if it continues in the direction it is going. The right wing in the US went insane, they didn’t listen to or understand his point at all. Too much of the right are Evangelicals supporting Israel blindly for the second coming of Christ.

There are HUGE Arab lands all around with tons of wealth. It seems like those countries could help the Palestinians have water, electricity, whatever. Help with negotiations with Israel to make the Palestinians more self sufficient and less interested in bombing Israel and at the same time stop the settlements. I don’t understand why people look to the US to broker the deal. Why not the King of Jordan? Why not a European country? They seem very empathetic towards the Palestinians.

The Arabs keep making babies. Jews will have a major issue as a Democracy if the the Arabs living in Israel don’t feel some patriotism to Israel. Some do of course, but many don’t.

Velshi talked about healthcare, the Israelis give treatment like cancer treatment and other medical treatment to the Palestinians because the medical treatment doesn’t exist in the Palestinian territory. Why doesn’t it exist? It’s not because the Israelis blow up everything all the time. It’s not because the Palestinian people are not smart enough to be doctors. I really doubt Israel would blow up a hospital unless it doubles as a military installation. I understand your point that there is not much room for military installations, but certainly enough for a medical center to not be next to a military base.

In the Documentary Precious Life the Israelis are treating a Palestinian baby paid for by an Israeli donor. The Palestinians have to go through the hoops of crossing the border. I’ve mentioned the documentary before, maybe you have seen it.

canidmajor's avatar

I don’t remember seeing this mentioned above, but it’s a long thread and I may have missed it.
Can any of the staunch supporters of Israel’s actions e plain the reasoning here, please?

From this:
“JERUSALEM — Twenty-seven days before the first rocket was fired from Gaza this week, a squad of Israeli police officers entered the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, brushed the Palestinian attendants aside and strode across its vast limestone courtyard. Then they cut the cables to the loudspeakers that broadcast prayers to the faithful from four medieval minarets.

It was the night of April 13, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It was also Memorial Day in Israel, which honors those who died fighting for the country. The Israeli president was delivering a speech at the Western Wall, a sacred Jewish site that lies below the mosque, and Israeli officials were concerned that the prayers would drown it out.

The incident was confirmed by six mosque officials, three of whom witnessed it; the Israeli police declined to comment. In the outside world, it barely registered”

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