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The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Nickhere BS: Israel Moves in. (1634* d) RE: BS: Israel Moves in. 09 Jan 09

BBruce... I presume you looked over my threads in detail, as I haven't had time to. Not sure what qualifies as 'no real comments' to you, but I'm fairly sure that my protest about rockets / attacks on Israelis by Hamas (or whoever) above is not my first.

Since you don't live in my neck of the woods you wouldn't have seen me protesting about the Russian invasion of Georgia, as I didn't post any comments here about it (as far as I remember). But protest about it I most certainly did.

I found myself at odds with some of what you might call my 'long haired, muesli munching lefty friends' over that one. They generally seemed to have felt that Russia was defending breakaway regions from Georgian aggression. It was yet again one of those 'chicken and egg' things that infest our world, a Russian-doll of wars and historical aggression (no pun intended). Georgia, the big bully of Ossetia was being attacked by bigger bully Russia. Ossetia wanted to be part of Russia, but was part of Georgia. You could even argue it was Russia being spiteful towards the West for recognizing Kosovan independence in spite of Serbian displeasure. You could go on forever about who was right and wrong there, it was highly complex, sprang up out of nowhere and disappeared just as fast, leaving hundreds dead in its wake as these things do, before you'd even have a chance to get a handle on what it was all about.

But what I did feel was that yet again the human primate was resorting to violence to sort out its problems. So I protested, for whatever good it might do when people are determined to hurt each other.

You know, when I was a younger man, I often felt angry, ready to aggression - "kill em all! Nuke 'em!" It seemed the best way to deal with life's obstacles - from bad neighbours to truculent countries or people who didn't think the same as me. Thankfully I never killed or nuked anyone, and as I got older I began to question this worldview.

You may laugh at me for quoting this example but in such cases I often think of what Gandalf said to Merry when Merry drew his sword, ready to kill Gollum: "put your sword away, do not be so hasty to take life! Can you give it [life] as easily?" (Lord of the Rings)

There's also the example of the Aesop's fable where the wind failed by force to get the man to take off his coat, while the sun by shining warmly, did.

You have to ask yourself, what do you want? If you really want an end to this particular spot of violence in the Middle East, it will require looking outside the 'iron fist' worldview. Have Hamas and Islamic Jihad's rockets brought about a Palestinian homeland? Do you seriously believe Israeli missiles will make groups like Hamas disappear and everyone live happily together?

As I said before, there are root causes here - something has to be done about what Palestinians want in relation to a homeland. Now before you barge in and say 'but what about...?' let's remember Israelis now HAVE a homeland. I believe if you look into it carefully you'll find Hamas have moderated their position somewhat from their original 'charter' and have accepted this fact.

The two main problems are that Israel has tried to expand that homeland well beyond what was originally envisaged and to that end have taken over territories such as the West Bank which they are now settling with their own citizens regardless of the people who live there already; as part of this strategy they have strangled the economic and social life of both Gaza and the Palestinian West Bank.

Once again, before you say "but Israel was entitled to defend itself against aggression etc., and its exapnsion is part of that"

Yes, of course, it was - and is - entitled to defend itself against aggression, but that does not permit it to expand the original territory allocated either. It can defend itself effectively, crossing its borders to do so if attacked along those borders, then withdraw to within its borders. Curently it's sprawled well past the original Homeland allocated. It has to be said this seems quite intentional.

And before you say "but that's why Israeli army is in the West bank, to defend Israel from suicide bombers etc." let me state the obvious: If you want to protect your citizens from suicide bombers, you do not send them out to settle among their would-be assassins, and secondly, the occupation of the West Bank is the cause of the attacks, not the consequence.

Anyway, in short, you can't have your cake and eat it; Israel cannot occupy the lands and destroy the livelihoods of its neighbours and expect to live in peace with them at the same time. If these issues are dealt with, terrorist organisations among palestinians will dry up first to a trickle and then to nothing. Yes, there will always be a few individuals on either side who might actually go as far as carrying a life-long hatred of their neighbours. Humans are not always rational, and sadly both sides have reasons to harbour grudges. How will that be achieved? A two-state solution? A single state where (Muslim?) Palestinian arabs live as equals with Israeli (Jewish?) brethern? I don't know, and it doesn't matter as long as it works. But the sum of violence WILL decrease dramatically.

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