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JakeS:
Whether it'll be a one-state or a two-state solution is going to be entirely up to Israel, but in the long term they cannot afford to maintain a permanent state of low-grade civil war. Eventually, Israeli mainstream opinion is going to realise this, or have it dictated to them by the outside world, and tell the extremists to take a long walk off a short pier.

I wish I could be quite so optimistic.  I think the civil war option is precisely what "mainstream" opinion has adopted because it allows them to grind the Palestinians into dust and gradually realise the dream of a Greater Israel.  Everything less that that is tactics and gameplaying for the optics to be seen as being "reasonable".  The risks and costs of the conflict, for Israel, are currently less than the potential gains because of Israel's overwhelming military superiority which is the one thing that will never be ceded - even if Iran has to be nuked into the dust to ensure its continuance.

There isn't really a civil war going on here.  Its a slow policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide.  The Palestinian people will be extinguished and a deal made for Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt to absorb the leftovers.  Israel will have succeeded with the Palestinian people where Hitler failed - one of the cruelest ironies of history.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:23:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the civil war option is precisely what "mainstream" opinion has adopted because it allows them to grind the Palestinians into dust and gradually realise the dream of a Greater Israel.

Except that it's not working: More Palestinians are born than get killed. As genocides go, it's one of the least effective ones on record. And various Israeli governments have been trying various tactics and strategies to break Palestinian will for more than half a century by now. So far without success.

And I disagree with you about the costs of the conflict for Israel. Even leaving aside the human cost to entire generations of conscripted Israeli youths - which are substantial - it has made them universally despised in their entire region. And I believe that we are entering an age in which regional institutions will become increasingly important, and the US will become correspondingly less so.

Which regional power bloc will Israel turn to? The EU? Not a chance, unless the Union is going to play even more fast and loose with the whole human rights shtick than we're doing now. Russia? Why should Russia support them? They have lots of friends in the region left over from the Cold War that they could re-activate. China? Again, I fail to see that happening; they'd have to start from scratch in any case, and both geographically, politically and resource-wise, Iran makes a lot more sense as a starting point. The African Union? If they think so, then they're smoking crack. UnaSur? They're a long way away, and I don't really see them having any serious interests in the region in the foreseeable future. The US? Maybe, but talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. And not a particularly solid one at that.

No, Israel will find some accommodation with her neighbours, or Israel will cease to exist. It's their choice, and I just hope they're going to realise that that's the choice they have before it's too late.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 09:41:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree with the mainstream analysis and agree with yours - except perhaps the last paragraph bit about Israel ceasing to exist,  I can't see any scenario short of WW3 under which Israel would disappear.  That is the canard extremists use to scare the moderates with to prevent rather than encourage any accommodation with Palestinians.  The reality is Israel is overwhelmingly dominant, militarily, with a seriously large nuclear arsenal.  Their problem is the low level suicide bomber stuff.  All the Arab states (with the exception of safely distant Iran) know and accept this.  The argument is no longer about Israel, but about what kind of Israel...

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 10:29:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're wrong about that. If Israel insists that the conflict will only be resolved when one of the sides is no more, then that side will be Israel. They can't round Palestinians up and murder them by the millions, for obvious historical reasons if nothing else. And as long as the Palestinians are kept in a third-world economy they'll have third-world demographics, which in turn means that Israel can't outbreed them either. They can't turn to their neighbours for support, because their neighbours only support them because of the Big Neighbour in the West, and the Big Neighbour is not going to last forever. When their only present ally is gone, where are they going to turn?

They may or may not be able to fend for themselves in purely military terms, but they are not able to maintain the current level of militarisation of the economy without outside help, and all the shiny military hardware in the world matters not a jot if your economy collapses. As the Americans are learning. Painfully.

In short, their long-term strategic situation is as tenuous as the DDR's: They exist only because they are protected by powerful outside interests. Those interests will eventually cease to protect them, and when that happens, they had better already have found an accommodation with their neighbours.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
I think you're wrong about that. If Israel insists that the conflict will only be resolved when one of the sides is no more, then that side will be Israel.

I don't agree that Israel's very existence is in play because it has independent nuclear capabilities, but the Zionist answer to the Palestinians is to persuade Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt etc. to absorb them perhaps in exchange for Sheeba farms, Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and other "incentives" which an increasingly prosperous Israel can provide together with its remaining friends.

The sad fact is that the Saudis etc. care no more for the Palestinians than the Israelis do and might be persuaded by the US to help fund such a deal.  As part of a final settlement Israel may agree to absorb the west bank population but with no right of return for Gaza and all the other Palestinians in neighbouring countries and refugee camps.  

That should keep Israelis in the majority overall especially with continuing immigration of Jews.  They have already successfully absorbed a c. 20% Palestinian population and they have been quite docile despite being a disadvantaged minority.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:56:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're thinking in the short-run rather than the long-run. What happens in 50 years?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:58:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're all dead as our leader tirelessly reminds us.

5 years is very long term in politics.!

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:03:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry - I was being snarky!

I am articulating what I understand the "moderate" Zionist position to be.  The extremists don't want any Palestinians in Israel whatsoever but don't articulate what they will do with them - buy them out as many previous settlers have been?  I really don't know.  Extreme Zionists never seem to refer to Palestinians as a people at all - they are simply Arabs who wandered into Palestine, or Terrorists, and either way don't seem to warrant much consideration.  When you have God on your side its not really your problem. He shall smite them as he smote the philistines before them....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:15:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, if it weren't for our friend Mordecai I'd have thought that the last sentence was hyperbole. I wonder if he realises how counterproductive it is to try to beat people over the head with a religion they don't recognise as authoritative... From my experience with creationists, I'd say he doesn't.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 02:14:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel can't nuke Gaza. Even leaving aside the obvious historical and political reasons for this, the simple fact that the fallout would contaminate pretty much everything south of Jerusalem if the wind was in an unlucky direction puts the kibosh on that idea. So in terms of the Palestinian problem, Israel's nuclear deterrent might as well not exist.

And if the Zionists believe that they can just expel what? five million people? into the surrounding countries, then they're smoking something unhealthy.

For Israel to annex the West Bank and all countries agreeing to assimilate the people currently residing within their borders could be A Good Thing or A Very, Very Bad Thing, depending on whether there is actually any political will to genuinely assimilate the Palestinians into those societies. If not, then the conflict will only metastatise, not resolve.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 02:10:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt can have Gaza if they promise to take the people and Hamas as well and stop the Katyusha rockets at the same time.  Why do you think the settlements there were withdrawn and destroyed?   So technically you're not expelling anyone, you are offering them a new home in a new (friendly) state which has shown it is on the right side of the war on Terror.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:09:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt. Doesn't. Want. Gaza.

Honestly, I don't know why I need to keep saying this.  Sadat turned it down 30 years ago, there is no Earthly reason why Mubarak would want it now.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:42:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
with the Zionist argument.  They want to offload most of the Palestinians on someone else and are very bitter that their "Arab" cousins won't take them for love nor money or even land.  They argue that Jews have been ethically cleansed from Islamic countries so they are only doing the same. They've integrated their Jewish "refugees" but Arab countries won't accept/integrate the Palestinian refugess.  Off course there is no equivalence in reality, but that is the mindset which is driving Zionist policy.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But... But... But... If Israel is prepared to give up Gaza to Egypt, then why aren't they prepared to give up Gaza to, well, Gaza? I mean, if they gave up Gaza to Egypt (assuming that Egypt would be insane enough to accept it), they'd have to lift the blockade anyway? And there's no way in Hell that the Egyptians can stop the Qassam attacks - if they think so, then they're smoking something unhealthy. But I guess we already established that they are...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 02:08:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I really don't know, but I'm guessing the thinking is that Egypt is a major power, firmly on the right side of the war on terror, utterly ruthless in dealing with internal dissent, and that it would then become their problem to deal with the border security etc.  Perhaps many Gazains would migrate to jobs in Cairo etc. and the  beach area could be cleared to become a tourist resort - who knows?  Terry was arguing that Jordan should take it over - something which makes no sense to me whatsoever even from a Zionist perspective.  The one thing they don't want is for Hamas to stay in control and gain more access to weaponry.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 05:07:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
jobs in Cairo

Ha ha.  You're a real comedian.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 05:16:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey - I'm trying to articulate a Zionist mindset here.  No need to give me personal grief!  Part of the Zionist mindset is that many Palestinians only came to Palestine because Jews provided work for them!

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 06:06:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you should concentrate on articulating your own beliefs instead of what you think others believe.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 06:10:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because we cannot understand the conflict if we do not understand the mindsets of the main protagonists

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 06:36:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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