Israel’s future depends on Palestinian state

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has warned that a failure to establish a Palestinian state will lead to the end of Israel at a conference in Annapolis on the Middle East peace protest.

Olmert was responsible for the unilateral withdrawal of Israeli settlers from illegal settlements in Palestine a few years ago.

Hamas, which won control of the Palestinian Parliament in elections earlier this year, and Iranian president, Machtwo Inadinnerjacket says that the Annapolis conference is a failure.  The Hamas government – which is seperate to the Hamas terrorist organisation in the same way that Sinn Féin is different to the IRA – is not recognised by the US and other western governments because of it links to terrorists.  A slightly hypocritical view when you bear in mind that the US let Sinn Féin and the IRA recruit supporters and fundraise in America.  But that’s history now.

The important thing is that Olmert has taken an important step by making sure that his country knows that they have to make the peace process work for their own good.  How long he stays in power going against US policy of keeping Palestine under Israeli control is a mystery.  Whether the US pressures him out of a job will be a good indication of whether they are taking an end to the occupation of Palestine seriously or not.

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  1. George (16 comments) says:

    I have to say I am not anti-Jew, in fact I am no anti anyone. However I would be really pissed off if a group of people decided to take my home and my country simply because they claim God said it was theirs. I often wonder if it is coincidence that God chose one of the best piece of real estate on the planet, or if the Jews would be so willing to live in the Promised land if it was in the middle of Siberia. Sadly I expect my grandchildren to be old before this conflict has any chance of being resolved.

  2. charliemarks (7 comments) says:

    Not sure the desert is a prime piece of real estate, george.

    Anyhoo – it’s worth bearing in mind that Israel wouldn’t be able to sustain the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories if it weren’t for the generous US subsidy. With the US economy going belly-up, it’s not certain that such largesse can continue…

  3. George Ashcroft (122 comments) says:

    Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert faces assorted critics of his role at the Middle East conference of Nov. 27, mainly on the grounds of jeopardizing national security. Many have pointed out that, while he acknowledged the suffering of the Palestinian people and its right to self-determination, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab speakers who followed him, pointedly omitted to reciprocate. On the contrary, the Arabs were seen to have retreated en bloc from their past recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as incorporated in previous documents they signed.

    Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Olmert’s concessions at the conference set Israel on a slippery slope towards a breakdown of national security, while Abbas refused to give an inch. In Annapolis, the Palestinian leader stood firmly by all his demands for a state in all parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jerusalem its capital, the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return,” and the release of all Palestinians jailed as terrorists.

    Israel is further being asked to relinquish part of the Negev for the sake of a Palestinian passage between Gaza and the West Bank.

    Likud MK Limor Livnat argued that the Palestinian refugee issue is contrived. Arab hostility and hatred for the Jewish national entity predated the refugee problem by decades, long before the 1967 – or even the 1948 – wars, which they fought against Israel’s presence in the Middle East. Those hostile emotions are at the root of the conflict and persist.

    Recent polls indicate that the popularity of Ehud Olmert has reached an all-time low. According to Fars News Agency, only eight percent of those who took part in a recent poll approved of Ehud Olmert, while 22 percent preferred the new Defence Minister, Ehud Barak.

    36 percent opted for Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Likud.

  4. charliemarks (7 comments) says:

    Right, so. Netanyahu gets in. And does what the US government wants. He who pays the piper calls the tune – and the tune from the US government might just be, “you’re on your own

  5. George Ashcroft (122 comments) says:

    The real facts of the matter are that if the Israeli’s withdraw entirely from the West Bank and Gaza, the entire region would become open to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Queida, you name it. The Israeli’s leave and they come in. These organisations will sense Israel’s weakness and will exploit their monumental opportunity. Does anyone seriously think that their ambitions will stop there? Jerusalem is the target. Rather than the two-state solution heralding the end of conflict, what these groups could unleash, in the face of Israeli weakness and withdrawal, could in fact be the beginning of unimaginable conflict and suffering.

  6. charliemarks (7 comments) says:

    I suspect that if the lives of ordinary Palestinians were to be drastically improved rather than continually worsened, the base for the groups you mention would shrink. This isn’t likely to happen if the occupation continues.

    I think that it’ll be negotiations between Hamas and the Israeli government which secure peace for both peoples. Like Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, support for the armed struggle will diminish as the prospect of an increase of living conditions appears – a lesson to learn?

    The irony is that Hamas were supported by Israel in the 80s to split the secular PLO and that various Islamic fundamentalists got a lot of support from the US in Afghanistan – another lesson to learn?

  7. George Ashcroft (122 comments) says:

    Hammas and the Hezbollah don’t want to improve the lot of ordinary people. Look how their operatives fire rockets from within residential areas. It suits their agenda to see the palistinian people in ruin and squalor-it feeds the on going hatred of the Jewish people.

  8. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Just like the IRA, George?

  9. George Ashcroft (122 comments) says:

    The Northern Ireland peace process is often cited as as example for Israel. I believe that it represents a false analogy. But let’s put my opinion aside and read the words of Lord David Trimble, a key player in the Northern Ireland process.

    24 October 2007
    Launch of “Misunderstanding Ulster” by Lord Trimble

    “Over generous flexibility towards Hamas is like giving sweets to a spoilt child” says Lord Trimble

    Lord David Trimble warned today that the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process have not been properly understood.

    At the launch of his pamphlet “Misunderstanding Ulster”, published by Conservative Friends of Israel, David Trimble called on the Quartet and the international community to stand firm on its stance on Hamas ahead of the Annapolis Israel/Palestine peace conference in November or December.

    In the text of the comprehensive document David Trimble re-examines the Northern Ireland Peace process ‘model’ and exposes limits of the analogy in the context of the Middle East Peace Process.

    Trimble argues,
    “Nowhere is the analogy applied more vigorously than in the case of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. For those eager to inject a ‘creative breakthrough’ there, the lessons from Northern Ireland are often cited as an inspiration. The foremost expression of this can be seen in the response of many to the growing status and influence of Hamas in recent years.”

    He says,
    “It is essential to recognise that Northern Ireland’s peace process operated within a distinct context – and one scarcely repeated elsewhere… this narrative which has been transported – often uncritically – to the Middle East, is fundamentally misleading about the true achievements of the Northern Ireland Peace process.”

    “If there is one lesson to learn from Northern Ireland’s experience – contrary to what is often recommended in relation to dialogue with Hamas – it is that ‘pre-conditions’ were crucial to ending the violence in producing a settlement.”

    Within his report, Lord Trimble cites the near total collapse of the Northern Ireland peace process on ‘Bloody Friday’ in 1972 as evidence that weakening pre-conditions to dialogue makes violence more, not less, likely.

    At the launch David Trimble questioned whether players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were seeking victories or accommodation – whereas majority opinion in Israel is in the market for “accommodation” he argued Hamas may still be on the lookout for “victories”.

    “Hamas don’t want accommodation; rather, they have played into the hands of the most intransigent elements in the Middle East”

    And there Wonko, in that last sentence is the difference between Hamas et al and the IRA during the Northern Ireland peace process. Those terrorist organisations that operate from without and within Israel must be tackled and ultimately disarmed if there is to be peace in the region. The political will must exist from among the Arab world to do so. That desire as far as I can see does not exist and shows no sign of becoming apparent.

    As I have said on this forum before, there can be no compromise with terror: to do so emboldens the perpetraitors of violence. Only when the IRA announced a cease-fire in 1995 did a breakthrough occur in Northern Ireland and only recently with weapons decommisioning has democracy flourished. There is precious little sign of these kinds of gestures from the Arab world towards Israel. Half of them still dispute Israel’s right to exist.

    I acknowledge that some progress has been made towards achieving the road map. However, I remain concerned that all the movement is coming from Israel and that she may leave herself open to an even more violent and terrible situation in the future, particularly if those who would do her down sense any form of weakness or surrender on the part of Israel in the face of terror or even simply with the threat of terror.

  10. charliemarks (7 comments) says:

    Really, George, “all the movement is coming from Israel”. What, the Israeli govt’s offered to give up the occupied land that has been unlawfully settled (Israli law, as well as international law!) – pulling out of the West Bank… News to me, mate. To be honest, I think that if the PLO were hegemonic, you’d be saying much the same thing. Olmert seems to be talking some sense, and I just hope he doesn’t end up like Rabin – shot by his own bodyguards.

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