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Re: Israel

Postby Dream » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:03 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:It might be 'complex', but it's by no means unclear. This isn't a parking lot fence you can hop over, it's a high fence, barbed wire, patrolled roads with fine sand used to check for footprints around it. It's not a 'maybe' fence, it's a 'DON'T FUCK AROUND' kind of fence.
Indeed it is. As I've said, I've had personal experience of this kind of thing, and it is very intimidating. But the motives that people have to cross borders are more powerful than the fortified borders are scary. It may be clear that the borders are dangerous, but it should also be clear to those manning the borders that that danger does not deter non-militant activity around and across them.

Furthermore, the fence in question also happens to be the Gaza perimeter fence, which *is* 'clean', 'straight', and doesn't divide any communities.
You're contending that there are no people within Gaza who are cut off from friends and relatives outside its borders? That is hard to believe. Not all meanings of "community" have mappable, physical characteristics. I agree though, that it is much simpler to avoid such a border.

And finally, you're right: there is a gulf between white flag waving and gun-toting. In a war-zone, it's the individual's responsibility to ensure they stay out of that gulf and stick towards the white flag waving side.
Now you're not just presumed guilty, but are constantly expected to prove civilain status outwardy, even where you're not engaging in suspectable activity? (This one I'm not limiting to border crossing.) To me, that is circumstancial evidence of a military's disregard for the sanctity of civilian life. To even consider taking a life, a soldier should think "I suspect that's a militant", not "that person isn't definitly a civilian".
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Re: Israel

Postby yoni45 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:17 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Indeed it is. As I've said, I've had personal experience of this kind of thing, and it is very intimidating. But the motives that people have to cross borders are more powerful than the fortified borders are scary. It may be clear that the borders are dangerous, but it should also be clear to those manning the borders that that danger does not deter non-militant activity around and across them.


Sure, just as it should also be even more so clear to those who do choose to cross a tense border that what they're doing is *incredibly* risky.

While the idea that there might be non-militants who choose to cross said border should be accounted for, so should the idea that there more than likely *will* be militants to with either the recognizable or non-recognizable ability to harm.

The soldier does not owe the individual the benefit of the doubt. Seeing as the individual could just as easily be a terrorist as much as a civilian, it is up to the individual to ensure that anything he does cannot be interpreted as hostile.

Dream wrote:Now you're not just presumed guilty, but are constantly expected to prove civilain status outwardy, even where you're not engaging in suspectable activity? (This one I'm not limiting to border crossing.) To me, that is circumstancial evidence of a military's disregard for the sanctity of civilian life. To even consider taking a life, a soldier should think "I suspect that's a militant", not "that person isn't definitly a civilian".


I'm not talking about cases where the individual isn't engaging in suspectable activity. If he's just walking down the street, then I obviously wouldn't consider the soldier to shoot him on sight because the guy reached into his pocket.

I'm talking specifically about cases where the individual *is* engaging in suspectable activity, such as breaching a perimeter fence, where the *default* is 'i suspect that's a militant'...
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Re: Israel

Postby Dream » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Sure, just as it should also be even more so clear to those who do choose to cross a tense border that what they're doing is *incredibly* risky.

While the idea that there might be non-militants who choose to cross said border should be accounted for, so should the idea that there more than likely *will* be militants to with either the recognizable or non-recognizable ability to harm.

The soldier does not owe the individual the benefit of the doubt. Seeing as the individual could just as easily be a terrorist as much as a civilian, it is up to the individual to ensure that anything he does cannot be interpreted as hostile.
Bold for being very important. The person concerned has no influence over this interpretation. Digging in a pile of trash? Could be planting a roadside bomb. Pointing at the guard tower? Could be planning an attack, or spotting for one. Depends on the interpretation. Yes, the border crossing is inherently risky. But the principle can't be extended to cover all activity that could possibly be misconstrued, because that set of activity places far too much of the burden on the civilian, and not enough on the soldier.
Dream wrote:Now you're not just presumed guilty, but are constantly expected to prove civilain status outwardy, even where you're not engaging in suspectable activity? (This one I'm not limiting to border crossing.) To me, that is circumstancial evidence of a military's disregard for the sanctity of civilian life. To even consider taking a life, a soldier should think "I suspect that's a militant", not "that person isn't definitly a civilian".


I'm not talking about cases where the individual isn't engaging in suspectable activity. If he's just walking down the street, then I obviously wouldn't consider the soldier to shoot him on sight because the guy reached into his pocket.

I'm talking specifically about cases where the individual *is* engaging in suspectable activity, such as breaching a perimeter fence, where the *default* is 'i suspect that's a militant'...
As I said above, you might well have a case for suspicion in an actual breach situation. (I still think there hs to be some restraint, though.) But the idea that suspectable activity will always be obvious to the person engaging in it is naive. Only the soldier has the information necessary to make the judgment in such a situation, and at least some, and I think most, of the burden of reasonable suspicion must lie there.
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Re: Israel

Postby yoni45 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

Dream wrote:But the principle can't be extended to cover all activity that could possibly be misconstrued, because that set of activity places far too much of the burden on the civilian, and not enough on the soldier...

...But the idea that suspectable activity will always be obvious to the person engaging in it is naive. Only the soldier has the information necessary to make the judgment in such a situation, and at least some, and I think most, of the burden of reasonable suspicion must lie there.


That's fine - I didn't say the principle must be extended to cover 'all' activity that could possibly be misconstrued. Hmm, maybe I did vis a vis 'in a war zone' - I guess I can take that back. But, in regards to a breach of a clearly marked border, I'd say it's pretty safe to say it's reasonable to expect the individual to know what's going on.
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Re: Israel

Postby Dream » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:06 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Dream wrote:But the principle can't be extended to cover all activity that could possibly be misconstrued, because that set of activity places far too much of the burden on the civilian, and not enough on the soldier...

...But the idea that suspectable activity will always be obvious to the person engaging in it is naive. Only the soldier has the information necessary to make the judgment in such a situation, and at least some, and I think most, of the burden of reasonable suspicion must lie there.


That's fine - I didn't say the principle must be extended to cover 'all' activity that could possibly be misconstrued. Hmm, maybe I did vis a vis 'in a war zone' - I guess I can take that back. But, in regards to a breach of a clearly marked border, I'd say it's pretty safe to say it's reasonable to expect the individual to know what's going on.

This is true.

I can't see us agreeing the acceptability of lethal force in Israel in particular, or borders in general though, which is the natural extension of this topic. Or for that matter, whether the Israeli border is designed to maximise the amount if Palestinian territory it intimidates or outright annexes, and the morality of that.

Shall we leave this one here?
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Re: Israel

Postby yoni45 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:12 pm UTC

Dream wrote:This is true.

I can't see us agreeing the acceptability of lethal force in Israel in particular, or borders in general though, which is the natural extension of this topic. Or for that matter, whether the Israeli border is designed to maximise the amount if Palestinian territory it intimidates or outright annexes, and the morality of that.

Shall we leave this one here?


Hah, I think we shall, that's an entirely separate (and rather exhaustive) can of worms... ^_^
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Re: Israel

Postby westcydr » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:25 pm UTC

Back to the OP, Israel:Nukes..
There is still no official claim from Israel that is has Nukes, but IF it does, and has had them during any of it's past wars, at best, morality, and at worst, geography and politics, has kept them from even using their existence as a threat. There are many enemies of Israel who have no real regard for the nearby nations or the opinion of the world at large, and, were they to have such weapons, very well may use them.
Thoughts?
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Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Jack21222 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:38 am UTC

(I'm starting this thread instead of tacking it onto the Israel thread, because this has nothing directly to do with Israel, but rather the neighboring territories of the Gaza Strip and West Bank)

This recent breakdown in the Egyptian/Gaza border has got me thinking about a possible solution to the Palestinian situation. I know that Egypt rejects this idea, but it's still early in the game, but if neighboring countries were willing to "take one for the team" and annex these territories, a lot of the problems in the area would be diffused... at least in my estimation.

The reality of the situation is that the occupied territories, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, are dominated by extreme poverty and oppression. The people living in these areas are in a desperate situation, which is the root cause of most of the violence in and around Israel. Notice that the Palestinians that breached the Egyptian wall aren't looting and rampaging as much as they're consuming and purchasing. They're visiting relatives they've not seen in a while and buying much-needed supplies. The "visitors" from Gaza are experiencing a taste of freedom for a change. Some are calling it a vacation.

So far, Israel suggested that Egypt take the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian leadership doesn't want this because it would alienate their brothers in the West Bank. Egypt doesn't want to take on the responsibility.

Here is my proposal:

Egypt takes Gaza Strip. Jordan takes the West Bank. This way, neither is being abandoned. Egyptian and Jordanian authorities can better crack down on the extremists than a quasi-foreign force (the IDF) could. Plus, the renewed infrastructure and established economies would eliminate part of the root of the problem... the poverty and oppression. The fact that both Gaza and the West Bank are being taken care of would eliminate part of the objection that the Palestinians have.

Coaxing Egypt and Jordan to agree to this undertaking would be difficult. They may need to be bribed by the international community, or some other diplomatic deal may be worked out, but I believe that this solution would be viable enough that all parties involved could benefit. It would be a win-win-win-win situation for Egypt, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, if some careful thought were put into the terms of the deal.

What are your thoughts? Would this stand a chance?
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:47 am UTC

These territories exist in a large part because the host nations, (and this is back in mandate times) would not allow the naturalisation of Palestinian refugees, and the Palestinians themselves would not allow themselves be made part of a foreign nation. The main problem with your plan is that you don't address the issue of whether the Palestinians or Egypt/Jordan would be interested. History says no. And considering Lebanon's experience, who wants to share more border with Israel?
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Jack21222 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:54 am UTC

Judging by the actions of the Palestinians that made it to Egypt to get supplies, I think they'd find rule by Egypt preferable to the siege they're currently under by Israel. I think the Palestinians (at least the average citizen) would be more likely to support such an annexation than Egypt or Jordan would.

However, I believe with sufficient compensation from the international community, Egypt and Jordan could be convinced to help out.

Hamas and Fatah may not be happy to give up power, but they may be able to be convinced as well.

From a humanitarian point of view, I can't think of any better solutions.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:15 am UTC

Jack21222 wrote:Judging by the actions of the Palestinians that made it to Egypt to get supplies, I think they'd find rule by Egypt preferable to the siege they're currently under by Israel. I think the Palestinians (at least the average citizen) would be more likely to support such an annexation than Egypt or Jordan would.

However, I believe with sufficient compensation from the international community, Egypt and Jordan could be convinced to help out.

Hamas and Fatah may not be happy to give up power, but they may be able to be convinced as well.

From a humanitarian point of view, I can't think of any better solutions.

I don't think then, that you understand nationalism. Palestinians want a state of Palestine. They do not want to be a satrap of Egypt or of Jordan. These people die for the cause of their freedom on a daily basis. They will not go quietly into the night as a prize for a powerful neighbour. Even if the decision could be forced for the Palestinians own "good", it would do nothing to solve that problem.

On top of all that, Palestine is an impoverished, underdeveloped buffer zone between Israel and the rest of Arabia. It is useful to Israel in its current form. Israel woudn't let it go, as Israel would then lose influence over it, and have to face a future where its borders are set in stone adn policed by stronger, more implacable foes. With Israel opposing, and by extension the US, this is a non-starter.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby eds01 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:16 am UTC

The one thing I want to know is why we still have refugees and refugee camps. If this had happened in America, with American's giving $SMALL_STATE to the Native American's, or what have you, I assure you that 50 years later everyone would have moved to some other state.

Admittedly, these are different countries instead of different states, but they were all still part of the British Mandate and French Mandate, etc. (and earlier the Ottoman Empire) until around the same time as the creation of Israel. I don't see why Egypt, Libya, et. al. haven't opened their borders and accepted the refugees.

Also, I think that if they annexed these territories, it would be a good thing - if there continue to be terrorist attacks from them, and Egypt (or Libya) do nothing about it, it would qualify as an act of war against Israel, so they'd be invaded.

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yoni45 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:12 am UTC

I'm going to go ahead and argue against this one from the opposite side of Dream.

First of all, the average Palestinian (overall) is actually in a better position than the average Egyptian. The Palestinians have higher literacy rates, higher life expectancies, and a higher Human Development Index (which includes those two metrics among others). As much as the media might regularly put the Palestinians on center-stage, they've stayed well above much of the middle-east under Israeli occupation.

Now, this doesn't necessarily apply to Gaza, especially ever since Hamas took over, but it should put things in perspective.

Moving onto security. One of the benefits is that the Jordanians and Egyptians would apparently be able to better take care of the security situation vis a vis the Palestinians. They wouldn't - they've tried. A quick google search of the Lebanese civil war is a prime example of a worst-case scenario situation of what happens when an Arab state tries to quell the Palestinians. The best case scenario can be found by googling the events of Black September in Jordan. The former resulted in over 100,000 dead over a decade long war. The latter also resulted in a conflict, but the Jordanians ended it rather quickly after essentially killing off over 5,000 Palestinians within what I believe was about 2 weeks.

Israel's tendency to try to limit civilian casualties as much as possible doesn't exist in situations where the Palestinians are against their Arab brethren. If they screw around, they will not hesitate to crush them mercilessly. I guess, arguably, that is a better job of ensuring the Palestinians comply, but I doubt it's what we're looking for.

So, win-win-win-win? Not so sure.

The Palestinians don't win - they don't get a state, they don't get *that* much of an improvement in their life, and they lose all nationalist claims.

The Egyptians & Jordanians don't really win either - they now have to deal with a potentially hostile populace, the ramifications of which are potentially devastating for themselves *and* the Palestinians.

And Israel? I guess Israel mostly does win... But even that's probably mostly in the short-term - see Lebanon as an example of what happens when Israel gives up control of hostile territory...

Dream wrote:...And considering Lebanon's experience, who wants to share more border with Israel?


We do, for the record, realize Israel already shares extensive borders with both Egypt and Jordan with basically no problems whatsoever?
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby westcydr » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:29 am UTC

I think it's already been said, but to summarize: Besides all parties that would be involved not wanting it, it's not a bad idea...
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Minchandre » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:44 am UTC

As said above, but just to emphasize it: the Arab nations don't want Palestinians. They never did. The "Palestinians" largely moved to the British Mandate of Palestine in the 20s and 30s when the presence of European Zionists improved living conditions immensely (infant mortality rates among Arabs in Palestine were about half that of Arabs elsewhere in 1930, and life spans were more than 10 years longer). In 1948, the Arab nations asked the Palestinians to move aside during the war for convenience of movement. Immediately afterwards, the Israelis kinda-sorta said they could come back (the offer was made, but it could effectively be argued it wasn't sincere - except, oh wait, there's a million Arabs that stayed in Israel and are doing fine), but more importantly for this topic, none of the Arab nations let the Palestinians in. It's important to recall that at the time, the Palestinians weren't a bunch of dirt-poor perpetual refugees: they were normal Arabs who considered themselves Syrians if they were anything. Some say that the Arab nations wanted to create a perpetual refugee problem to haunt the Israelis for ever, some make the simple point of few nations welcoming immigration on such a large scale.

Nowadays? Jordan doesn't want the Palestinians because, frankly, any more and Jordan would become the Palestinian state; the rich and powerful (including the king) don't want that. Egypt doesn't want Gaza because it's a logistical nightmare - there's a huge desert between it and Egypt proper. Plus, the Palestinians would be a loud minority calling for a disastrous war with Israel at every turn. As long as the Palestinians aren't Egypt's problem, Egypt can continue acting macho for the other Arab nations while not engaging in an idiotic war with Israel. With Palestinian Egyptian citizens that would get hard.

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Re: Israel

Postby Minchandre » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:59 am UTC

westcydr wrote:Back to the OP, Israel:Nukes..
There is still no official claim from Israel that is has Nukes, but IF it does, and has had them during any of it's past wars, at best, morality, and at worst, geography and politics, has kept them from even using their existence as a threat. There are many enemies of Israel who have no real regard for the nearby nations or the opinion of the world at large, and, were they to have such weapons, very well may use them.
Thoughts?
(yes, yes, were I to put more effort in, I could have made this statement much clearer grammatically... sorry)


It's pretty certain that Israel has nukes - the best estimates (Jane's :P) puts them at about 270 adjustable yield strategic devices; they might have some tactical ones, too, but I consider that unlikely. As for why Israel hasn't used them yet - well, they haven't needed them. The best estimates suggest that Israel got Da Bomb around 1979 - since then, they only wars Israel has fought are the nasty urban low-intensity kind that are the opposite of what nukes are good at.

Israel actually had 8 nuclear armed fighter craft readied during the 1973 war, but chose not to use them due to the concerns westcydr pointed out, as well as a lack of need.

Even in a conventional war, it's unlikely Israel would use them, largely because of geography and politics, as westcydr said. I mean, there's no place in the Middle East Israel could drop a device (especially not a large strategic one) and not have the fallout reach them.

Still, if Israel's back was, for some reason, really far against the wall...

EDIT: Wrong info. Further research = good.

EDIT2: This is an interesting read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_Option

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:52 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:We do, for the record, realize Israel already shares extensive borders with both Egypt and Jordan with basically no problems whatsoever?

Israel isn't an island??? :P

I meant those borders in particular. Looking at the West Bank border between Israel and Palestine, I'm sure Jordan is quite happy with the Jordan River, and ditto Gaza vs. the Sinai desert. More specifically: no-one in their right mind wants more border, along with a few million pissed off Palestinians to try to control. It's far more complicated and dangerous.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Iv » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:39 am UTC

Two simple solutions from my point of view :
* the classical two-states solution, where Palestine really becomes a country with elections and control over its borders.
* Israel really annexes Gaza and the west bank and gives its inhabitants full Israelian citizenships and rights.

Keep in mind that Palestinian territories have an undefined status, some might consider that it is Israel's duty to protect it from foreign invasion. I am not sure anyone wants to start a war right now.

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Number 6 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:20 pm UTC

I have my doubts about whether a two-state solution would really work. I think the best solution would be a federal state consisting of the autonomous states of Israel and Palestine. On the federal level a representive democracy constructed so that the only majority government possible is a coalition of Israelian and Palestinian parties. This should have a constitution making sure everything that can be dealt with on state level will be dealt with on state level.

How I'd work this out:
45% of the seats are divided acording to elections in Palestine.
45% of the seats are divided acording to elections in Israel.
10% of the seats are 'safety seats'. These will go to senior (they can not use this to start a political career) academics in relevant fields such as law and political science. The occupants of these seats will normally be expected to withhold from voting and check if proposed laws or actions of the government don't threaten the safety, stability and peace of the country.

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Maurog » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:43 pm UTC

Good luck selling the idea of shared government to both parties involved.

This will never happen.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Minchandre » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:39 pm UTC

Iv wrote:* Israel really annexes Gaza and the west bank and gives its inhabitants full Israelian citizenships and rights.

Keep in mind that Palestinian territories have an undefined status, some might consider that it is Israel's duty to protect it from foreign invasion. I am not sure anyone wants to start a war right now.


A lot of Israelis really wanted to do this - the UN and Arab League wouldn't let them. Personally, I think that would have been best for everyone - including the Palestinians, as Israel's HDI is way higher than anyone else in the region, and while the Arabs living in Israel may be considered to be a disadvantaged minority, they're hardly an oppressed one.
Number 6 wrote:I have my doubts about whether a two-state solution would really work. I think the best solution would be a federal state consisting of the autonomous states of Israel and Palestine. On the federal level a representive democracy constructed so that the only majority government possible is a coalition of Israelian and Palestinian parties. This should have a constitution making sure everything that can be dealt with on state level will be dealt with on state level.

How I'd work this out:
45% of the seats are divided acording to elections in Palestine.
45% of the seats are divided acording to elections in Israel.
10% of the seats are 'safety seats'. These will go to senior (they can not use this to start a political career) academics in relevant fields such as law and political science. The occupants of these seats will normally be expected to withhold from voting and check if proposed laws or actions of the government don't threaten the safety, stability and peace of the country.


That worked so well for Lebanon... :D

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Iv » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

Minchandre wrote:A lot of Israelis really wanted to do this - the UN and Arab League wouldn't let them. Personally, I think that would have been best for everyone - including the Palestinians, as Israel's HDI is way higher than anyone else in the region, and while the Arabs living in Israel may be considered to be a disadvantaged minority, they're hardly an oppressed one.


Is that so ? I thought that this never getting done was due to a big opposition of Israel population to give equal rights to Palestininans, including political rights. As there been such a proposition formally presented by Israel ?

( Please, please, I have seen this degenerate in flamewar in so many internet forums and I really try to get some constructive discussion going, so please everybody don't take this issue to much at heart )

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:42 pm UTC

Minchandre wrote:That worked so well for Lebanon... :D

Save your sarcasm for an assembly that isn't the regular target of assassins. The people in Lebanon's parliament display more bravery in just showing up to vote than is asked of most people in thier entire lives. In spite of regular bombings and murders of political figures, these people insist on voting the "wrong" way, and regularly die for it.

On topic. Palestinian self determination should be top of the pile in reasos not to simply tack Gaza or the West Bank onto Israel or Egypt. On top of this, the implications for stability and security in the region would be dire. What more reason does there need to be to see that this will never, ever fly?
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Re: Israel

Postby mosc » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:13 pm UTC

I've always felt there was a risk of a first strike against Iran that nobody seems to pay attention to. When a country repeatedly declares that you should be wiped off the face of the earth and is developing a weapon that can actually accomplish that, you tend to be pro-active.

People forget Israel bombing Iraq back in the 70s over similar issues. I don't think we're very far from a repeat with Iran.
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Re: Israel

Postby westcydr » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:25 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I've always felt there was a risk of a first strike against Iran that nobody seems to pay attention to. When a country repeatedly declares that you should be wiped off the face of the earth and is developing a weapon that can actually accomplish that, you tend to be pro-active.

People forget Israel bombing Iraq back in the 70s over similar issues. I don't think we're very far from a repeat with Iran.

80's, and they did not use nukes there either, it was a surgical strike..
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yoni45 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

Iv wrote:Is that so ? I thought that this never getting done was due to a big opposition of Israel population to give equal rights to Palestininans, including political rights. As there been such a proposition formally presented by Israel ?

( Please, please, I have seen this degenerate in flamewar in so many internet forums and I really try to get some constructive discussion going, so please everybody don't take this issue to much at heart )


I'm pretty sure that the Israeli populace is pretty set against such a proposition. Not so much for 'equal rights' in general, but specifically for political rights within Israel. I can't particularly see giving a hostile, much more dependent population a free pass as Israeli citizens as anything more than a security and economical disaster...
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Re: Israel

Postby Yakk » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:43 pm UTC

If a nation is facing an opposition that does not respect the articles of war, and uses plain-clothed forces to engage in war against it, it has the moral right to treat civilians with intense suspicion.

Remember, those conventions are signed between parties who both agree to the conventions. Among them is that you don't hide as a civilian, and in exchange civilians don't get shot at.

Those rules of war are not a carte-blanc to hide as a civilian and thus avoid being attacked, which is what huge numbers of asymmetric warriors do today. And any interpretation that encourages that kind of behavior should be treated with the utmost caution.

If you defend a community by hiding among it, you are guilty of inviting attack on the civilians.

....

Second, X being used in support of a position (Y is useful so long as X) does not mean that X is sufficient for a position. Ie, "the use of lethal force to defend a border can be morally acceptable when it is the effective option" is not the same as "whatever option is most effective is morally acceptable". Using grade-school logic, one of the above is a sufficient, and the other is a necessary clause.

Sufficient and Necessary are not the same thing.

...

If you sneak over a heavy guarded boarder which the state you are sneaking into is trying to prevent terrorists, asymmetric warriors, or armed forces from crossing, any reasonable person should know that you have been warned that you are going to be shot if you are caught. The "halt or I'll shoot" is etched into the architecture of the boarder.

And I'm aware that this will not stop everyone. But the more dangerous and fortified a border is, the louder the implicit "halt or I'll shoot" is, and the more suspect the person trying to sneak over it is.

...

And yes, Israel has nukes. They developed them in concert with South Africa in a joint program. South Africa later admitted to having nukes and disarmed itself. It would be strange for two nations that worked on nukes together ended up with only 1 of the two having them...
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Number 6 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:24 pm UTC

Maurog wrote:Good luck selling the idea of shared government to both parties involved.

This will never happen.


Yeah, I know. There's too much hatred on both sides. Maybe if the situation reaches some kind of calm equilibrium in a far future.

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:35 pm UTC

Number 6 wrote:
Maurog wrote:Good luck selling the idea of shared government to both parties involved.

This will never happen.


Yeah, I know. There's too much hatred on both sides. Maybe if the situation reaches some kind of calm equilibrium in a far future.

No, you really don't understand. All the Palestinians want is what the rest of the world takes for granted as a natural right: To be allowed govern themselves, and be free of oppression. Annexation by another country is not a solution at all. It doesn't matter that you can imagine an ideal situation for this to come about. It has no relation to the problem at all.

Perhaps you are under the impression that all Arab countries are interchangable, and can be substituted for one another any time it is expident to do so? They are not. They are as different and separate as any other nations.

Arbitrary border drawing started this mess, and it will not end it.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yoni45 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

Dream wrote:...All the Palestinians want is what the rest of the world takes for granted as a natural right: To be allowed govern themselves, and be free of oppression...


*One of* the Palestinians' demands is that of self-determination and freedom from oppression, depending on who you ask. It makes your statements far more credible when you don't narrow them to your own biases.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:23 pm UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Dream wrote:...All the Palestinians want is what the rest of the world takes for granted as a natural right: To be allowed govern themselves, and be free of oppression...


*One of* the Palestinians' demands is that of self-determination and freedom from oppression, depending on who you ask. It makes your statements far more credible when you don't narrow them to your own biases.

Ok, I'll reword that: Full self determination would address the majority of Palestinian's grievances. I'm sure they want much more than just a state, but that is the kernel of the problem.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Number 6 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:39 pm UTC

Problem is that the Palestinian state consists of 2 parts, with Israel in the middle. A Palestinian state cannot exist without an enormous amount of coöperation with Israel. What I proposed was not annexation by Israel, but 2 equal and autonomous states with a minimal federal level above them for anything that cannot be organised by the states themselves (Jerusalem, infrastructure). They can have as much self-determination as Israel, but simply need to govern some things jointly.

And why would I be under the impression that all Arab states are interchangable? There are many different Arab peoples. This does not always corrospond as well with borders of nations as one could wish, but either way, I see no connection with my post.

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Dream » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:00 am UTC

Number 6 wrote:And why would I be under the impression that all Arab states are interchangable? There are many different Arab peoples. This does not always corrospond as well with borders of nations as one could wish, but either way, I see no connection with my post.

My bad. I was thinking of the "annexed by Egypt and Jordan" thing, which you were clearly not referring to.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby JoshuaZ » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:51 am UTC

Jack21222 wrote:(I'm starting this thread instead of tacking it onto the Israel thread, because this has nothing directly to do with Israel, but rather the neighboring territories of the Gaza Strip and West Bank)

This recent breakdown in the Egyptian/Gaza border has got me thinking about a possible solution to the Palestinian situation. I know that Egypt rejects this idea, but it's still early in the game, but if neighboring countries were willing to "take one for the team" and annex these territories, a lot of the problems in the area would be diffused... at least in my estimation.

The reality of the situation is that the occupied territories, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, are dominated by extreme poverty and oppression. The people living in these areas are in a desperate situation, which is the root cause of most of the violence in and around Israel. Notice that the Palestinians that breached the Egyptian wall aren't looting and rampaging as much as they're consuming and purchasing. They're visiting relatives they've not seen in a while and buying much-needed supplies. The "visitors" from Gaza are experiencing a taste of freedom for a change. Some are calling it a vacation.

So far, Israel suggested that Egypt take the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian leadership doesn't want this because it would alienate their brothers in the West Bank. Egypt doesn't want to take on the responsibility.

Here is my proposal:

Egypt takes Gaza Strip. Jordan takes the West Bank. This way, neither is being abandoned. Egyptian and Jordanian authorities can better crack down on the extremists than a quasi-foreign force (the IDF) could. Plus, the renewed infrastructure and established economies would eliminate part of the root of the problem... the poverty and oppression. The fact that both Gaza and the West Bank are being taken care of would eliminate part of the objection that the Palestinians have.

Coaxing Egypt and Jordan to agree to this undertaking would be difficult. They may need to be bribed by the international community, or some other diplomatic deal may be worked out, but I believe that this solution would be viable enough that all parties involved could benefit. It would be a win-win-win-win situation for Egypt, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, if some careful thought were put into the terms of the deal.

What are your thoughts? Would this stand a chance?


There are many problems with this. The Egyptians and Jordanians would never do it. Keep in mind the barrier between Gaza and Egypt is maintained by Egypt; they don't want any Palestinians. They've spent much of their time recently herding up Palestinians who were trying to stay in Egypt and putting them back over in Gaza. Similarly, prior to 1967 Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt controlled Gaza. There were still the same problems; the Egyptians and the Jordanians don't want the Palestinians at all (although there is some evidence that Palestinians actually make up the majority of Jordan's population at this point). The Palestinians are valuable to them as a bludgeoning tool and for assisting in making Israel a scapegoat for their own problems. This is not to say that Israel is blameless; far from it. But Jordan and Egypt have no interest in absorbing the Palestinians or annexing them. And this is even aside from the fact that the more nationalist Palestinians would have no interest in such situation anyways.

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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Jack21222 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:40 am UTC

Dream wrote:
Number 6 wrote:And why would I be under the impression that all Arab states are interchangable? There are many different Arab peoples. This does not always corrospond as well with borders of nations as one could wish, but either way, I see no connection with my post.

My bad. I was thinking of the "annexed by Egypt and Jordan" thing, which you were clearly not referring to.


I'm quite aware that Arab states are not interchangable. However, people living on one side of an arbitrary border often have a lot in common with people living on the other side. Even though they speak different dialects of Arabic, though, I believe that Gazans and Egyptians would get along just fine under one government.

I just don't think the Palestinians have self-determination as a group as their main priority right now. I think basic civil rights as individuals, like not having their homes arbitrarily bulldozed, is higher up on their list.

Anyways, you all are probably right that nobody would be happy with that solution I proposed; I'm just brainstorming.
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Re: Israel

Postby yelly » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:04 pm UTC

I never understood why Israel's nukes are so interesting. Yes, we have quite a few (there really is no doubt, unless we are trying to get the world to think we have them even though we don't, which is unlikely). And no, we aren't going to use them. People don't use nukes anymore, they are stupid at the most basic level. We can achieve whatever target we have for less money, less international political money and less unintended destruction with conventional weapons. And I guess that if we ever attack Iran, it will be more like the Iraq attack and the recent Lebanon nuclear facility attack (that still no one is talking about), small and precise, taking out only the target.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yelly » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:33 pm UTC

Jack21222 wrote:Notice that the Palestinians that breached the Egyptian wall aren't looting and rampaging as much as they're consuming and purchasing. They're visiting relatives they've not seen in a while and buying much-needed supplies. The "visitors" from Gaza are experiencing a taste of freedom for a change. Some are calling it a vacation.

The Palestinians might be quite happy with the wall between them and Egypt down, but the Egyptians are far from it. Over the past few days, the inhabitants of Sinai (mostly Bedouin) have been driving Palestinians away, sometimes even with guns. These Palestinians are frightening away customers (a large amount of the business in Sinai is from Israelis), which in turn losses them business and is raising the price of products. The last thing Egypt wants is an open border with Palestine, let alone responsibility over it.

The way I see it, there is only one solution to the Palestinian problem. Give them a fucking state!. The borders aren't even that important to me, just get it done. Occupation is stupid and it isn't good for anyone, and annexation is even dumber. The whole idea of having a nation state is that it is a nation state, and if you have 2 nations living beside each other that both want a nation state, then you make 2 nation states. It is that simple. Making a Palestinian state would even make waging war with them much easier. You hold the state accountable for every rocket that is fired from it (like any other state), and if you see fit, wage war with it like you would with any other state. This makes so much more sense than occupation, no?
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby Maurog » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

Yeah, but is it really a solution? So okay, their dodgy government failed to prevent the rockets, after so many rockets we declared official war, entered with tanks and whatnot, and leveled anything which resembled a rocket-launching military outpost. Now what? Annexing the territories back would just raise a yell from all the neighbours that it was an Israeli plot to begin with and various conspiracies about how it were Israeli spies launching Israeli rockets at Israel to create a casus belli. Not to mention it means we get the Palestinians after all. Withdrawing back and declaring the war is over would mean the rockets are coming back in a matter of weeks. Leaving the troops there is exactly what the situation is now, and nobody is happy about it.
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby yelly » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

Declaring war does not mean you must occupy. Specific attacks on "military" targets would do quite well thank you very much. And I think we are capable of stopping rocket launching in this manner (see the disgrace of a war we waged in Lebanon, when we managed to stop the rockets despite the disastrous way in which we did it).
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Re: Possible solution to the Palestinian situation

Postby mosc » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

yelly wrote:The way I see it, there is only one solution to the Palestinian problem. Give them a fucking state!. The borders aren't even that important to me, just get it done. Occupation is stupid and it isn't good for anyone, and annexation is even dumber. The whole idea of having a nation state is that it is a nation state, and if you have 2 nations living beside each other that both want a nation state, then you make 2 nation states. It is that simple. Making a Palestinian state would even make waging war with them much easier. You hold the state accountable for every rocket that is fired from it (like any other state), and if you see fit, wage war with it like you would with any other state. This makes so much more sense than occupation, no?

I basically agree with you but it's not that easy. Giving them a state is important yes but it doesn't really fix much. Lebanon is a great example in recent years. Nothing short of a temporary (but full) Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was sufficient to reduce attacks. Lebanon may be a sovereign country but that fact did little if anything to reduce the attacks in and of itself. Israel still had to use the blunt end of the stick to restore relative peace. Of course going through Israel's short history, there are dozens of other similar examples. Governments that are not strong enough to control their own country are not an effective deterrent in protecting the nations that border them. Again, I agree with you but giving them their own state is far from the only issue.
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