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Collapse of another Middle East peace plan?(25 posts)

Collapse of another Middle East peace plan?PdxMark
Jun 11, 2003 9:52 PM
I was glad that GWB had finally pulled his head out of his post-election isolationist sandbox to try to broker a peace deal between Isrealis and Palestinians. I was impressed that he had somehow reigned in Sharon and got him to accept a deal. (I'd love to know how GWB did it.)

But was there really any surprise about how it would end? Militant Palestinians have a virtual veto over any peaceful settlement of the problem there. At the first sign of a peaceful settlement, the militants unleash one or two terrorist attacks, Israel obliging responds, and the peace deal is dead -- contrary to the apparent wishes of the Palestinian government and likely the majority of Palestinians. Maybe Sharon agreed to the deal knowing it wouldn't last, that Palestinian terrorists would obligingly kill the deal.

So how do we break the cycle?

Sharon's latest (or next-to-latest) scheme has been to crush the Palestinian government as a collaborator (or architect) of the attacks, and to search through all but the largest Palestinian towns for terrorists. Short of a state of war or a complete lock-down of Palestinian areas, that plan hasn't worked. So does Israel permanently lock-down the Palestininan areas? That seems financially unaffordable for Israel, in terms of military burden, and rather inhumane to boot.

Can Israel afford not to retaliate for every terrorist attack? Would the attacks escalate or dwindle away? Escalation seems unlikely. The militant terrorists seem to be doing as much as they can. What is the purpose of retaliation? To show strength and resolve, and possibly to exact revenge for the victims. But does it work to prevent other attacks? It hasn't for years...

Palestinian terrorists have to be stripped of their power to kill any peace deal. Waiting until there are no more terrorists seems pointless. So what else is there to try?
At this point...Dwayne Barry
Jun 12, 2003 3:26 AM
the only solution is for Israel not to respond. I don't get it either, everyone involved knows this and it's not like responding seems to actually do anything towards preventing future attacks. The only way to ultimately get peace is to make the terrorists irrelevant, because extermination doesn't appear to be an option. This is what it took to bring peace to Northern Ireland. I don't think Sharon is the man for the job anymore than Arafat was.

I've never understand the logic of "we must retaliate" when retaliation doens't achieve the ultimate goal of providing peace for your citizens. Especially when the retaliation the Israeli's prefer seems to kill as many women and children as actual terrorists, only furthering support for the terrorists themselves in the long run.

Of course the whole psychology of the failed strategy of terrorism is a mystery in itself. If the Palestinians would have adopted peaceful resistance or at least resistance that only struck military targets they would probably have a state by now since I think most people recognize the ultimate justice of their cause.
Dwayne, I think you hit the nail squarely on the head.sn69
Jun 12, 2003 7:47 AM
The lost opportunity for undeniable righteousness throughout this entire tragic affair has been a non-violent reaction on the part of either side. Public sentiment both here and abroad tends to sway with the varying nature of the ebb and flow of violence over there. The IDF kills a bunch of innocent children with supposed non-lethal rubber bullets (yeah, right), and the world favors the Palestinians. Hamas or Hezbollah blow up civilians in busses, discoteques, pizza parlors, etc, and the world favors the Israelis. I won't even go into the '72 Munich massacre and Arafat's role in that.....

In the end, however, it's the citizenry of both groups who suffer at the hands of the inflexibility and deep-seated hatred that lie in the putrid hearts of the foul old men who control both sides.

To that end, I've long suspected that either group who adopts the high ground for eny reasonable period of time will unequivocally win the support of the world community. ...A Ghandi-esque show of force-of-will without the use of senseless violence cannot be ignored or written off by the global community. Had that murderous fool Arafat run the Initfada as a non-violent operation, this chain of events would have ended a decade ago and there'd a far greater measure of stability over there, possibly even equitable statehood for Palestine.

Likewise, if that genocidal maniac Sharon hadn't toppled the Barak government, then the last substantive peace initiative would have worked as well.

The reality, however, is far different. Does Sharon want peace now? I suspect he does, but only because now that he's the PM he realizes the economic ramifications of this continued lunacy. The new Palestinian gov't is much the same. Still, forces that continue to exist in the shadows (and in the open) oppose the process because peace means that they lose power and wealth. Make no mistake, the Lubovitch movement in the settlements wants this to continue as much as the bloated leadership of Hamas. Neither side wants to lose their economic, territorial or financial gains as a result of a lasting, EQUITABLE peace deal.

In the meantime, the first side who honestly adopts a non-confrontational policy will win the publicity war. Remember, though--Hamas brought the last major deal down too after Erekat convinced Barak to pull out of the Bekkah.

As an AMERICAN Jew, I empathize every bit as much with the Palestinian people as I do with any other oppressed group. And, yes, I feel for the average Israeli citizen who is not necessarily indicative of the hard-line policies of fools like Sharon. Still, I recognize that there are forces at work who don't honestly want peace over there. Too much is at stake in their sad, sordid little worlds of power and wealth.
You guys both have nailed it pretty goodNo_sprint
Jun 12, 2003 8:09 AM
and of course, what is going on there and really in that entire section of the world for centuries goes far beyond logic and understanding. Hatred, fear and religious fanatacism rule, not logic, peace, love or desire for peaceful relations or politics.

There are some things that are simply part of human nature.

What we can interpret from afar is incomparable to being right there. Sure, all things change and this particular situation will too, with lots of time, and likely not under our direction, which is fine. Should we try and help? Sure.

I too have ancestors that were American Jews, they too had full understanding that an Israeli living in Israel is one thing, an American Jew whose ancestors descended from one of many many other countries is simply an entirely different thing.
As a wise neighbor once advised...PdxMark
Jun 12, 2003 9:08 AM
in regard to parental conflicts with young children... "Someone has to be the adult." Forebearance by Israel seems like the obvious option.

By avoiding its usual retaliation, it seems that Israel could weaken public Palestinian support for terrorist attacks. It would certainly mean pain for Israel, and maybe Sharon is the guy who could (if he would) do it. No-one could accuse him of being soft. Like that old saying on Vulcan "Only Nixon could go to China."

But maybe such forebearance isn't possbile for Israel. It seems that part of it's post-Holocaust culture (reinforced by historically hostile Arab neighbors), Israel can't tolerate attacks against it's people. Of course, no-one really can, but it seems that for Isreal self-defense takes on a much greater significance because extermination was once a real possibility. It's not good or bad, but I think it just IS.

So it would take immense political will for an Isreali PM to stop the retaliation cycle, because it would run counter to some fundamental notions of what Israel is. But it seems like it is the only option left.
Retaliation vs. justiceSpoiler
Jun 12, 2003 10:06 AM
How many times is Israel's retaliation directly targeting the people responsible for the bombing. I'm talking about the terrorist who pulled the trigger or pushed the button. Finding and killing them would be justice.
But we always see a counter strike within a couple days or sometimes later that night. Does this mean that they found out who is responsible withing 48 hours?
Maybe they have the world's most amazing investigative branch. Or maybe they're credo isn't "The persons responsible will pay." It's more like "Someone will pay."
It's called a vendetta nmLive Steam
Jun 12, 2003 10:17 AM
Then there is the other side - pure indiscriminate terrorism.No_sprint
Jun 12, 2003 10:18 AM
Suicide murderers and terrorists indiscriminately taking out cafes, discos, weddings, buses of civilians and lastly military targets. The Israelis by and large are attempting to hit terrorist targets. If they wanted to indiscriminately murder as some Palestinians, there would be no Palestinians left by now.
Oops, the voice of realitySteveS
Jun 12, 2003 7:22 PM
You got it right, somebody else who posted previously got it all wrong, the Israelis aren't nearly so indescriminate as the Palestinians. I read an essay yesterday by an Arab who had been under Israeli occupation in Palestine and Iraqi occupation in Kuwait, he said that it would shame and embarrass Muslims to know that the Iraqis were far worse than the Israelis.

If Israel really were indescriminate, they could make the Palestinian death toll in the thousands daily. Nor do Israelis seek out Olympic teams, cafes, discos, weddings, or school buses when they target Palestinian terrorists.
How did that Palestinian Olympic team do in 2000?TJeanloz
Jun 13, 2003 10:36 AM
Oh yeah, they don't have a team. Or a country...
ButSteveS
Jun 13, 2003 2:05 PM
They were not murdered by Israelis at the Olympics as the Palestinians did to a sizeable segment of the Israeli Olympic team in 1972. Think Arafat and crowd must have been behind that one.

And is would be a very poor bet that Israeli terrorists would murder Palestinian athletes at the 2004 Olympics.
Israel doesn't need terrorists, it has an army..TJeanloz
Jun 16, 2003 12:32 PM
And any Palestinian athlete would likely fall within the Israeli Army's target market - men between 18-35. I wouldn't bet money that an Israeli rocket wouldn't find its way into the crowd. But they wouldn't be "terrorists" then, would they?
Israel doesn't need terrorists, it has an army..SteveS
Jun 16, 2003 5:27 PM
Well, goody, let's make it apples-to-apples shall we? I bet that Israeli soliders will not burst into any dormitory at the 2004 Olympics and take Palestinian (or any other Arab group, to give you more room) athletes hostage, and then proceed to murder them. That's what the Palestinians did in 1972. So you want to take up the bet that Israelis will repeat what their Palestinians neighbors did in '72 for the greater glory of Palestine?

The day that Israelis seek out discos, wedding receptions, school buses for the specific goal of murdering as many people as they can, will be the day when I turn against them. Actually, if Israel really wanted to off a large number of Palestinians, they should do a nice missile attack during one of the Palestinian funeral processions. Funny, but for some reason, the Israelis don't take advantage of that opportunity. On the other hand, if Hamas, Al Fatah, or Arafat had the opportunity and capability of doing the same to Israelis, I fully believe that they would do it. And then trill in the streets as they did on 9/11.
Israel doesn't need terrorists, it has an army..wilki5
Jun 17, 2003 12:19 PM
Thank you for discrediting your point at the end. You specifically point out hat it was Hamas, Al Fatah and Arafat. Theses groups in individuals are composed of Palestinians but do not stand for all Palestinians. Many of whom have been innocent when they were killed by the Isreali army or had their land taken away by the Isreali govt. While their actions are not identical Isreal (the govt & its supporters) have no stronger a moral footing than the Palestinian terrorists who they are fighting. And on both sides innocent civilians suffer.
each side must reign in their ownDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 7:39 AM
As you suggest, each side is going to have to take responsibility to reign in their own terrorists and retaliators. Until then, each side is all talk and no action. Not restraining your own is about the same as supporting the terrorism.

While probably a horrific predicament to put the U.S. (or maybe the U.N., if it had any balls) in, we could say that neither side can retaliate, and the U.S. will directly and solely police the terrorism and retaliation. Ugly prospects, though.

Doug
rein nmDougSloan
Jun 12, 2003 7:39 AM
FutilityJon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2003 8:00 AM
I agree with everything that Scott says. In the end I don't think any amount of policing by the U.S., the UN or anyone else will keep the peace. The Palestinian authority itself has to want peace. When that political will takes hold, if it ever does, then the U.S. or the UN can assist it in supporting an effective Palestinian police force which can then begin to deal with the terrorists. On the Israeli side, there has to be some leadership with a different vision. Sharon's responses are stereotypical and obviously haven't worked.
Right on.No_sprint
Jun 12, 2003 8:11 AM
and don't forget that many Israelis feel much like Sharon.
What Gandhi said...Dale Brigham
Jun 12, 2003 12:42 PM
Mahatma Gandhi's famous remark that "an eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind" aptly describes this tragedy.

Breaking the cycle of vengeance is the only solution to the problem, and one of the two parties will have to be first in doing so. That will require great forbearance and courage. Who will step up to the plate?

Dale
Consider it collapsed...rwbadley
Jun 12, 2003 4:28 PM
The last I heard, Hamas was set to go to the mat and create an 'earthquake' of retaliation.

Please excuse me if I am wrong, but the timeline for the latest round of nastiness seems to have started with the Israelis launching those missiles at Hamas leadership.

Not taking sides, but it appears the Israelis have not been the best of neighbors either.

Since the Palestinians aren't supplied with high tech Apache copters and such, they have shown their commitment to the cause in all ways possible. This bodes ill for the future peace of the region as the Arab world views our support of the Jewish state with suspicion as we appear to be in Sharon's pocket.

What response will the Bush administration take? Much stamping of feet I suspect.

I am all for mideast peace, it just appears to not be in the cards in the foreseeable future.

I'm just curious what the course of events might have been had 'the roadmap to peace' not been laid down. Better? Worse? The same?
The same. (nm)Jon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2003 7:06 PM
When will Palestinians stop letting Hamas speak for them?No_sprint
Jun 13, 2003 10:44 AM
To have a self admitted terrorist organization do most of your politicizing and talking and acting is probably equatable to suicide. Only Palestinians can stop them from doing so, though Israel is going to give it one good shot, or lots of good rockets so to speak.

What if a road map is fully agreed to by Israel and some Palestinians? It is already proven that terrorist attacks by Hamas are unstoppable.
When some other group sticks up for them? (nm)czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 5:04 PM
Part of the problem may eminate from ...Live Steam
Jun 13, 2003 2:39 PM
our friends the Saudis. They continue to provide stipends to the families of suicide bombers. I do not see how this helps at all. When a Saudi Minister was asked why, he replied that it was not as a reward for the act, but out of compassion. I want to know how the family is able to distinguish this difference.

Personally I have a problem with both sides in this conflict. I especially have a problem with the Israelis since Bush specifically asked them to step down. If the Israelis wanted to "cut off the head" they should have done it a long time ago, and not waited until a time when real efforts from all parties were being made to ensure a resolution to this. The World community expected Hammas to act the way they have, but I think they also expect Israel to act responsibly and with restraint.
May I suggest a solution?Noam
Jun 15, 2003 6:28 AM
Convert the Gaza strip into a parking lot.