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Obama's Middle East Speech & this September

GUEST,lively 21 May 11 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Desi C 21 May 11 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,lively 21 May 11 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,lively 21 May 11 - 02:29 PM
Don Firth 21 May 11 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,lively 21 May 11 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,999 21 May 11 - 03:29 PM
Joe Offer 21 May 11 - 03:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 11 - 05:15 PM
bobad 21 May 11 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,livley 21 May 11 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,lively 21 May 11 - 05:50 PM
bobad 21 May 11 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,number 6 21 May 11 - 07:42 PM
Steve Shaw 21 May 11 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,lively 22 May 11 - 05:38 AM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 06:10 AM
bobad 22 May 11 - 07:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 11 - 07:56 AM
artbrooks 22 May 11 - 08:07 AM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 08:11 AM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 08:13 AM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 08:20 AM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 08:27 AM
Stringsinger 22 May 11 - 12:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 11 - 01:14 PM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 01:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 May 11 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,lively 22 May 11 - 01:30 PM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 01:36 PM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 01:45 PM
bobad 22 May 11 - 01:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 11 - 01:49 PM
Steve Shaw 22 May 11 - 01:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 11 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,lively 22 May 11 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,lively 22 May 11 - 02:24 PM
Stringsinger 22 May 11 - 03:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 May 11 - 04:11 PM
Keith A of Hertford 23 May 11 - 03:10 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 11 - 09:06 AM
bobad 23 May 11 - 09:23 AM
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Subject: Obama's Speech, Palestine & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 21 May 11 - 06:24 AM

There have been mixed reactions to Obama's speech which addressed events currently unfolding in the Middle-East, including the US stance on Palestine:

From the BBC" "President Obama said the borders of Israel and a Palestinian state should be based on pre-1967 borders, referring to those that existed before the Six-Day War.
The approach was immediately rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the 1967 lines "indefensible"."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13450481

The Guardian argues that Netanyahu's reaction is a bit of a front, as the position laid out by the Obama administration in this speech, remains the same as that of his predecessors Clinton and Bush.
However that is something of an aside.

I'm wondering, if this speech is an indication that the US may not perhaps use their Veto this coming September (as one might otherwise expect) to prevent the UN recognising Palestine as an independent state?

As far as I am aware the US has already declared it's rejection of the Palestinian attempt for Palestine to be recognised as a country. Is it simply a matter of getting in ahead of this September? The language Obama used included a reference to "land swaps", thus allowing in theory for the Israeli retention of currently illegal settlements on the West Bank. I believe that the Palestinian Authority will not include any proposed "land swaps" in the resolution to be put before the UN in September.

My guess is that Obama will Veto the resolution (following the use of his Veto in February) on this basis. But I would be interested to hear other people's take on the situation.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 21 May 11 - 02:17 PM

As with myown country Ireland, the who's right and who's wrong and who started it are lost in the mist of time and will never be agreed. The solution is either wait several hundred years for all the vested interests to die off and evolve into something approaching sanity such as modern Ireland where just a few sociopathic morons remain. Or Divide up the total land inch by inch into two equal halves, force them to draw straws to have first choice, and each party live in whatever half they get or be anhialated by the rest of us who really can't be bothered to care anymore who's fault it all is. I rest my case. I'll be in Ireland same time as you Mr Obama in case you want to offer me a job


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 21 May 11 - 02:23 PM

Mmm, no thoughts on how the US are going to play this then?

After all, irrespective of the supposed rights or wrongs now lost in "the mists of the past" in the present moment, it is the US who have the deciding hand in all of this.

Considering the Arab Spring, it is a fascinating time for matters of world "diplomacy", involving the US in particular.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 21 May 11 - 02:29 PM

"As with myown country Ireland, the who's right and who's wrong and who started it are lost in the mist of time and will never be agreed. The solution is either wait several hundred years for all the vested interests to die off and evolve into something approaching sanity such as modern Ireland"

Well your example - specifically your reference to the "mists of time" made me think on two counts:

a) how long it has taken for Ireland to find something akin to peace
b) how much, much younger Israel (the current borders) is than Ireland


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 May 11 - 02:36 PM

Why is this in the music section and not in the BS section below?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 21 May 11 - 03:05 PM

I'm sure a moderator will be along shortly.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 May 11 - 03:29 PM

The US will veto the vote. It's not like they have a choice.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 11 - 03:50 PM

Click here for the text and video of Obama's Middle East speech, 19 May 2011.

One aspect of the pre-1967 boundaries puzzles me - can Israel be secure without control of the Golan Heights? My understanding is that the Sea of Galilee was unsafe when the Syrians had gun emplacements on the eastern shore of the lake.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 11 - 05:15 PM

Rockets or mortars a few miles back of the Golan Heights could be just as effective as gun emplacements on the heights themselves, if Syria was resolved to bombard the Sea of Galilee.

The only longterm security for Israel lies in a just peace settlement which would reverse the injustice imposed on Palestinians. Otherwise Israel has about the same longterm prospects for enduring as had the Crusader Kingdoms.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: bobad
Date: 21 May 11 - 05:43 PM

No mention, I see, of the injustices imposed on Israel by the wars it has endured since 1948.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: GUEST,livley
Date: 21 May 11 - 05:47 PM

"No mention, I see, of the injustices imposed on Israel by the wars it has endured since 1948."

How do you think Obama should have addressed these issues in a speech specifically concerned with the current situation in the Middle-East? That is intended as a direct question.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 21 May 11 - 05:50 PM

Beg pardon:
How do you think Obama should have addressed those issues (etc.)
Straight question (no sarcasm intended).


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Subject: RE: Obama's Speech & this September
From: bobad
Date: 21 May 11 - 05:51 PM

My comment was directed at McGrath.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 21 May 11 - 07:42 PM

I'm not surprised with Obama's speech at all .... the next year will be very trying in regards to peace in the middle east, we can only hope for the best ... if anyone knows where I stand they will know I desire peace for the whole region but will also know my concerns are with Israel ... and that's all I'm contributing to this thread.

biLL


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 May 11 - 09:09 PM

There can be no meaningful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. Israel wants those settlements more than it wants peace. Israel has Obama, like all US presidents before him, twisted round its little finger. Obama cannot seriously confront Israel in any meaningful way (and the best way would be to threaten, seriously, to withdraw its military aid, $3 billion this year) because it would be political suicide. The Israel lobby in the US, led by AIPAC, has so much influence that it will automatically nobble any politician who speaks against Israel. In the land of the free, it's the most undemocratic organisation you could ever imagine could exist: unelected, relatively few members but with a total strangle-hold on politicians. Speak against Israel and they will wreck your funding and brief against you at every opportunity. You're dead. Obama is all too aware of this, and if he so much as threatens to withdraw that military aid the Democrats would be sunk without trace. I think they call it realpolitik. Bibi has got everything he wanted from Obama, in spite of his bluster. The code in Obama's speech indicated that the settlements are safe and the borders (flexible via those land-swaps) are just hunky-dory. He will not abandon the obligation to maintain Israel's security, because he can't.

I'm not sure whether the US can veto the move for a declaration of a Palestinian state in September, but if they could they would. Suppose the Palestinians get their state. All they get is a name, and all the expectations deriving from statehood will be frustrated. So there will be big trouble, a new uprising. Suppose they don't get their state because of a US veto. That will be seen as Obama the wrecker, and there will be trouble, and Obama will be seen to have failed on a major foreign policy issue, and just in time for an election year. Whatever the stimulus for a new uprising, it will play straight into Israel's hands. They will be able to say that there is no point in negotiating with such a violent bunch. There are elephants in the room, such as the unpredictable outcome of the Arab Spring (looks like two of Israel's erstwhile allies, Turkey and Egypt, are melting away) and the fact that Cast Lead stretched the tolerance of many countries, some in the EU, to the limit. Israel may come to depend almost solely on the US for moral and military support if a new Intifada erupts. Unfortunately for world peace, they will be able to rely on it utterly.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 22 May 11 - 05:38 AM

"Whatever the stimulus for a new uprising, it will play straight into Israel's hands. They will be able to say that there is no point in negotiating with such a violent bunch. There are elephants in the room, such as the unpredictable outcome of the Arab Spring (looks like two of Israel's erstwhile allies, Turkey and Egypt, are melting away) and the fact that Cast Lead stretched the tolerance of many countries, some in the EU, to the limit. Israel may come to depend almost solely on the US for moral and military support if a new Intifada erupts. Unfortunately for world peace, they will be able to rely on it utterly."

Ahh, according to a former US envoy quoted in Jerusalem Post, the US does not have veto powers on this matter. So all presuming that the US are pretty much alone in their unconditional support for Israel (such is my understanding at least. I believe Europe in general and Russia are in favour of a Palestinian state - not sure where China stands?) my guess is that the move will go through. This will indeed lead to some issues, as the Middle-East shakes off US influence.

As for AIPAC I read a piece in Al Jazeera (clearly from an opposing perspective to the Jerusalem Post) which argued that something like a mere 530 business men run the US, and control foreign policy.

Then again, we can hardly claim Democracy in the UK either, where we now have a cobbled together government with no mandate suddenly doing a multitude of things that they never said they would do in their pre-election campaigns.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 06:10 AM

Just as Netanyahu is in Washington, almost two thousand new settlement dwellings are announced. The same thing happened last year when Joe Biden visited Israel, making him look a fool. No coincidence. Israel has the US wrapped round its little finger. Obama can't afford this state declaration to go ahead. It will be a state in name only, no agreed borders, settlements still going up inside the new "state," the same routine daily repression going on, no lifting of the Gaza siege. The Palestinians will want more, they can see progress in the Arab states around, but they will get nothing. No-one is even talking at the moment and Israel has used the Fatah/Hamas reconciliation as an excuse to refuse to talk. A new uprising, which I see as almost inevitable, will play straight into Israel's hands and may even get rid of Obama, whom Israel hates.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: bobad
Date: 22 May 11 - 07:24 AM

So, the Jews control the US and, by extension, much of the world -- hmm....where have we heard that before?


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 11 - 07:56 AM

So far as the siege of Gaza is concerned, the complicating factor is that this has been dependent on having a government in Cairo ready to cooperate in maintaining it. That seems unlikely to continue.

I am inclined to expect that at some point there will be an Israeli military move to close off the Egyptian border with Gaza, and occupy a strip of Egyptian territory to achieve this. Or perhaps more likely, to re-occupy a strip of Gaza along that border.

It seems a bit odd that the Israeli government should view a formal assertion of a Palestine state within 1967 borders as something to worry about. After all, that would seem to involve a retreat from the position which has increasingly been voiced, that, in face of the refusal of Israel to negotiate the setting up of such a separate Palestinian state, it is time to abandon that ambition in favour of a state made up of Israel together with the West Bank and Gaza, with equal rights for all its residents.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: artbrooks
Date: 22 May 11 - 08:07 AM

While anyone who thinks that the US has any control over Israel is a fool, foreign aid or not, I'd be interested in knowing if anybody thinks the US should agree to guarantee Israel's borders once Jordan or a Palestinian state is back within artillery range of Tel Aviv.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 08:11 AM

"It seems a bit odd that the Israeli government should view a formal assertion of a Palestine state within 1967 borders as something to worry about. After all, that would seem to involve a retreat from the position which has increasingly been voiced, that, in face of the refusal of Israel to negotiate the setting up of such a separate Palestinian state, it is time to abandon that ambition in favour of a state made up of Israel together with the West Bank and Gaza, with equal rights for all its residents."

Personally I agree with you about the single state, but the impetus, if there is any, seems to be going the other way. I think you're slightly conflating two things here. The declaration of a state in September, whether it mentions borders or not, will have no teeth. I don't think it need worry Israel at all because they know it will be a state in name only, and an uprising resulting from Palestinian frustration at that will suit Israel very nicely. What Israel will not tolerate is a state with settled pre-67 borders. Obama is in cloud-cuckoo land if he thinks that's anywhere near, and the Israelis know it. It's talk, no more, and we've been there before.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 08:13 AM

"While anyone who thinks that the US has any control over Israel is a fool, foreign aid or not, I'd be interested in knowing if anybody thinks the US should agree to guarantee Israel's borders once Jordan or a Palestinian state is back within artillery range of Tel Aviv."

The US will always guarantee Israel's borders. Any politician who dares oppose that is instantly belly-up, and he'll take his party with him.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 08:20 AM

"So, the Jews control the US and, by extension, much of the world -- hmm....where have we heard that before?"

I sense a straw man coming on. We are not talking about "the Jews" controlling anything. We're talking about an inordinately powerful lobby group (or groups, to be more accurate, of which AIPAC is the most influential) who dangle the sword of Damocles over any politician who dares to murmur against Israel, and it works almost perfectly. Unfortunately for US citizens, they have to dig very deep indeed to get the true picture from Israel/Palestine, as their media is also ardently pro-Israel, and, of course, not many of them do that digging.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 08:27 AM

Ah, sorry, McGrath, I think I slightly misinterpreted your post there. Apologies.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 May 11 - 12:23 PM

Noam Chomsky originally advocated for a one state solution, socialized, whereby Israelis and Palestinians would share authority.

A two-state solution will always be about border disputes somewhat like the American Civil War or the "troubles" in Ireland.

Obama's speech is politically astute but empty with rhetoric.

There is a deeper problem, that of Judaism and Islam that might not be resolved.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:14 PM

Judaism and Islam? As religions they have an enormous amount in common. The dispute is not between them as religions, but between two peoples for whom the religious identity is a marker for which side you are on. And of course not all Palestinians are Muslims to start with, and not all Israelis are Jews, let alone religious Jews.

It's analogous in this way with Catholicism and Protestantism being used as markers for two peoples in Northern Ireland with different aspirations about secular matters, such as the border.

In both cases the sectarian divide is the superficial problem, while the deeper problems are about allegiance and so forth. Without those things members of the different religions generally get on very well.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:25 PM

Agreed. So many conflicts are fought "in the name of religion," whereas in fact they are almost always not.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:26 PM

Israel will never allow Palestine to exist as a viable state. Talk, whatever the content, is only that.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:30 PM

"The dispute is not between them as religions, but between two peoples for whom the religious identity is a marker for which side you are on."

Arguably it has nothing to do with religion at all, but rather power granted by an outside group to a transplanted group over an indigenous group.

After all Catholics and Protestants have happily co-existed in Ireland in the past, much as Muslims and Jews have done elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:36 PM

"Obama's speech is politically astute"

In fact, he gave Israel everything it wanted. He condemned the attempted September declaration of a state. He said exactly the same thing as all the US presidents before him about borders - nothing new there. Surely you noticed the bit about "land swaps." Ah, how the devil is in the detail. That bit was code for "we'll be as flexible as you want so that you can keep all your illegal settlements." He also concurred again about Hamas, even though, one fine day, in any meaningful talks they will have to be included, just like the IRA had to be included. History tells us that excluding the most radical interested party from talks means that the terrorism just goes on and on. I suppose it was politically astute in that he seemed to be talking tough, and he elicited a synthetic indignant response from Netanyahu, yet he actually conceded everything to Israel. He has to, as AIPAC are already making noises and AIPAC scares the shite out of every US president and congressman.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:45 PM

Israel will never allow Palestine to exist as a viable state. Talk, whatever the content, is only that

Agreed. At the moment they are not even talking, and none of the talking for the last ten years or more has been in the slightest bit meaningful. Israel will concede nothing. They simply don't have to, because the US will never abandon them. The Israel lobby will see to that. Israel wants those settlements, it has a massive army so doesn't need to worry about peace, and thousands more housing units are in the pipeline. Almost half a million Israelis now live in illegal settlements, and they are never going to be shifted, yet this is the number one demand of the Palestinians. There is one factor that interests Israel, and that is that they keep getting unconditional military aid from the US, and that comes with an absolute cast-iron guarantee.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: bobad
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:48 PM

"power granted by an outside group to a transplanted group over an indigenous group."


Jews also make valid claims of indigneity to Israel. There is an enormous body of archaeological and historical evidence demonstrating a long connection that the Jewish people have to the land.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:49 PM

If Israel refuses to allow a separate Palestinian state, and refuses to accept Palestinians as citizens of a unified state, its future existence is inevitably time-limited.

Many Israelis realise this, and it can only be hoped that in time such views will prevail, both in Israel itself and among those outside Israel who seek to support Israel.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:55 PM

Israel is quite content to keep the world at bay by holding sham talks for year after year in which they will concede nothing. That will go on sporadically for ever (of course, every now and then the talks, like now, get called off on the grounds that we can't negotiate with unreconstructed terrorist savages like these), until the US stops the aid, and that is not going to happen.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 11 - 01:55 PM

"There is an enormous body of archaeological and historical evidence demonstrating a long connection that the Jewish people have to the land."

Most Americans have a very long connection with various countries in Europe from whence their ancestors came. I do not think many would see this as any kind of justification if they were to seek to displace the present inhabitants of such countries.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 22 May 11 - 02:15 PM

Indeed the whole of the US should be returned to it's indigenous population if such a policy were followed through properly.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 22 May 11 - 02:24 PM

But the point I made was specifically about the interventionist measures of third party groups, including both Britain historically and the US presently in this instance, which have determined to impose land rights upon one group over that of another.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 May 11 - 03:11 PM

Actually, religious differences are more culturally rooted than the political/economic
ones. Israel is a Jewish state. Palestine is a Muslim country. To say that wars are not fought over religious differences doesn't point out that Balkanization is based on religious differences between Catholics, Muslims, Orthodox Eastern Church and these are not economic differences. The US and Obama doesn't get this about the religious differences between Israel and Palestine and that is why his speeches on the Middle East will remain platitudinous.

What do you think that the occupation of Gaza is all about?

The "right of Israel to exist" is based on Judaic religious beliefs.

This is not about economics.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 May 11 - 04:11 PM

In most places where the population is made of of Christians, Muslims and Jews we seem to get on pretty well. The same goes for Catholics and Protestants, of Shiites and Sunnis.

When religious affiliation gets mixed up with other issues, such as national or ethnic identity, things can go wrong, with terrible results. But the religious differences aren't the source of the problem, they are a convenient way of deciding who is the enemy, or who can be used as the enemy.

It wasn't religious differences that caused the Indian Wars in the USA, or the repression of Black people.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 May 11 - 03:10 AM

Never mind historical evidence, there have been Jews there continuously.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 11 - 09:06 AM

Jews were living alongside their neighbours who were Christian or Muslim. They were all Palestinians, and for all of them it was their country.

Most of the Christian and Muslim Palestinians were subsequently driven from their homes in what is now Israel, by newcomers who happened to be Jewish. If the newcomers displacing them had been some other religion, I doubt if those driven into exile would have felt any happier.


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Subject: RE: Obama's Middle East Speech & this September
From: bobad
Date: 23 May 11 - 09:23 AM

Just as were Jews dispossessed and driven from Arab countries and Native Americans exiled into reservations -- this is the reality of geopolitics -- live with it.


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