Saturday, September 02, 2006

Without Justice, There can Be No Peace

Reader S. T. has some interesting things to say and wanted a place to say it.

===

It sounds reasonable. Justice is a pillar of civilization. When there is justice, people have confidence in authority and when there is no justice, they don't.

But not everybody who says this, or something like it, is saying something reasonable. When the subject is Israel, this phrase can often be more correctly interpreted as a direct threat. In the language of terrorists and their abettors, "justice" means the eradication of Israel, and "peace" means the successful conclusion of jihad. So the statement really means, "until Israel is destroyed, there will be no end of Jihad".

Here's a fairly typical example:


"A just peace or no peace"

"The problem is not with any particular Palestinian group but with the denial of our basic rights by Israel. We in Hamas are for peace and want to put an end to bloodshed."
.. yada
yada yada

For perspective, let's look at how Hamasnicks speak when they're speaking plainly:

"Zahar: Israel must change its flag"

Note the difference between the message above and the message given to the outside world:

"Hamas: No peace until Israel pulls out"

So there's a lot of double talk and flat out lying, but you probably already knew that. The double talk can be fairly simple, such as the example above, but it can also be subtle. Terrorist Abettors, as I like to call them, can be more transparent (eg- ISM), and
sometimes less so.

Here's an example of the less transparent sort:

"Lessons from history". Nevertheless, statements like:
"It is Israel’s barbarous behavior that turns the Jews – unjustly, but unsurprisingly - into targets of wrath, even in places with no significant history of anti-semitism."
certainly do get ones attention.

Of course there's nothing you can do to counter this argument because to
do so you would have to prove a negative, that some Pakistani or Malaysian who has never met a Jew in his life would hate the lot of them less if they were just a little more understanding about this whole suicide bomber thing.

As the reader, you're supposed to come away with the impression that the Jews could have peace if they could only be more peaceful themselves, notwithstanding what you already know about their enemies.

But if you give the statement a moment or two to settle in, then the real horror of it becomes apparent. It's a vicious accusation, almost worthy of the Jew hater tradition of blood libel, though done up here in pastels instead of the usual harsher tones, while the author expects to be applauded for his wisdom and peace loving nature.

Was it innocent and sincere; or could it possibly have been sinister? Do peaceniks really fail so completely to understand the dangers the Jewish state faces, or is there something else going on?

The answer is often "both". It is true both that peaceniks are too preoccupied with their image of themselves (as peace makers deserving of praise, sometimes even awards!!) to give as much thought as they should to the hard questions of war and peace, and, that the gap in their knowledge is readily filled by a script provided by people who, themselves, do indeed have a sinister agenda.

Let's just summarize that last point. The world is filled with people who will readily sacrifice Israel's safety on the alter of their own self image. They come from all classes, races, and social circumstances. They follow a script.

While they can be more or less transparent, in the more transparent cases you can see easily that the script is a sort of burned out pseudo Marxist screed where the Jew hatred is barely disguised (Jews are barbarous baby killers. Zionism is Racism. etc). But the essence of the script is always the same, and in this sense they are always transparent; it aims to de-legitimize any effort the state of Israel makes to defend its people.

There's a scene in La Femme Nikita where the character Victor, played by Jean Reno, is coming out of a building after having finished a kill that Nikita herself could not manage to finish. The police have already been called to the building, so as Victor comes down the stairs in front of the hotel lobby, three policemen approach with their guns drawn. He has one hand on his gun, but it's concealed. With the other hand, he signals to the police to stop, stay calm, stay quiet. Everything is under control, his gesture implies. This buys him a moment in which the policemen are off guard, and in that moment he shoots all three of them dead.

Something similar happened for real on 9/11. (9/11 recordings)
"Nobody move. Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet."
And on three of those four planes that day, that's what people did.

I actually started writing this article, or one similar to it, a few months after 9/11. Then my personal life got very busy and I never finished it or any of the others I was working on. In the years since then, I've been happy to learn that lessons such as this one have been absorbed by a great deal of the American public. More than that, I've discovered that rhetoric that at that time was exclusively being used by the Abettors has since been co-opted and is being used in turn by supporters of Israel. No Peace without Power.

Things have really changed. This Lebanon war has been full of surprises for the enemy. I'm discovering, to my delight, that the Jihadi had better get used to surprises.

23 comments:

Chas said...

You know M I have only posted here a few times .. I don't really know you, but this post makes me feel I owe you something of an apology. I had forgotten (and I am truly sorry) what a deep gash the 9/11 attack/outrage/massacre made in the American psyche. The suffering inflicted on that day was and remains unforgivable.

I am not from the US. I am from Ireland, where I lived throughout the days and nights and years of terror.
I watched (and participated to some small extent) as dialogue slowly moved the situation towards peace.
I had also watched as invective had moved us to war. And the choice for peace and dialogue, for me, was not easy or safe.

Now I see similar processes on a global scale .. I can't remain silent, but please believe me that, even if my posts may seem abrubt, I mean no disrespect.

Now,
Can you not imagine some legitimate claims that the Palestinians might have?

Can you not see some small concession that Israel could make without compromising their security?

It is on these small, painful steps, and I regognize that no movement here is without risk, that a real future for Israel and its neighbours can be built.

Peace

Chas

Anonymous said...

Chas,

I'd be interested in having this dialogue with you. But I want to be sure first that you have some idea what you're talking about.

Can you name the Israeli leader who is famous for talking about "painful steps"? And can you list any of the painful and/or risky steps Israel has already taken for the sake of peace?

I just want to be sure we're aware of the same history so we're talking to each other and not past each other.

Anonymous said...

FROM CAROL HERMAN

We already know that passengers on airlines are not just sitting there to obey "just sit quietly" instructions. We've heard about flights disrupted when passengers didn't want to fly, after they saw muslems sitting and chatting about "ending all in 30 minutes." Pilot couldn't fly forward. But had to come out into the passenger section. Took the passports.

Again, during WW2, lots of Americans were the eyes and ears ALL OVER. It wasn't a passive nation. But one fully engaged. And, supportive of our troops.

That the terrorists want to scare us? Now they think only a nuke will work? They think we wouldn't throw one. AND, THIS IS TRUE! It is INSANE to throw a nuke! Kills too many people. And, when people are faced with the kinds of fire power America and Israel have, they actually seek "cease fires."

If Condi wasn't so incompetent; and America had a better set of criteria; what happened this summer would not have led to the American Made #1701. But we're not at the point yet, where our politicians are speaking for us.

They also spend our money as if they have no regard for us.

Doesn't mean that there isn't NOW a much more radical feeling towards Islam that what had existed. No matter what Bush says. Most people know the Saudis are his friends. And, most people see he has the ability to throw a staff person under the railroading; because he thinks Scooter Libby is a HUMAN SHIELD.

Bush is very misguided. If he can figure out he's not on the right road, though, he can, perhaps, change course; and not spend GOP capital. Not his capital, anyway.

If he doesn't change, then he keeps people less enthused about voting for the GOP. Even if they vote for the GOP.

I can point to two recent events that shows how this works. TRUMAN, in 1948 got the public's vote. But their confidence levels weren't all that high. Along came IKE, and Truman high-tailed it home. Letting someone else (Adeli Stevenson), face the IKE onslaught. And, the presidential loss in 1952. Ditto, 1958.

Then, move forward a little. See LBJ? He got the vote, in 1964. Goldwater did not. But by 1968, just four years later; he, too, ran away from the contest.

That's politics. People step up to the plate. But few of them win accolades. Some are definitely forgotten.

Since Bush tends to exhaust the public; rather than be good at public speaking, so he could refresh people and perk them up, instead; I'll guess that he exits "lackluster." And, he disappears along with his dad.

That's the problem when a man enjoys fighting people like Harry Ried. He really does enjoy that! Instead of concentrating on satisfying the public's wants. And, needs.

Okey, dokey. Watson at IBM once laughed at the idea of a personal computer. Thought his typewriters just sewed up all the markets. Funny, but he was wrong.

If you bought ENRON, you bought a bill of goods.

Bush had a lot of opportunities. Most of the time he just comes across as snarky. And, ya know what? That's his problem. But we are on the right road! Someone else won't be so exhausting to watch. And, no. He probably won't be a donk. Or McCain. Or a right wing nutter, either.

Americans really like to pay attention when the time comes.

Can Bush redeem himself? Isn't that his job? It's not mine.

Anonymous said...

FROM CAROL HERMAN

By the way, whatever else will get recorded, in time Israel's moves will be seen as BRILLIANT.

Just as Ulysses S. Grant carried the day for the UNION. He was beset with a president who didn't like him, much. And, who much preferred playing the "warrior," himself. So the Civil War went on for three extra years; and 400,000 needless deaths.

But then in the beginning, Lincoln wasn't willing to free the slaves, either. So the TIME it took worked out politically.

Up next Israel will return 1,000 prisoners. (But not Bargouti.) It will be done in 3 different programs. With anything the Palestinians do to SET THIS OFF TRACK, will keep the worst of the prisoners still sentenced to jail.

On the other hand, given how few arabs actually ever meet Jews; it's a brilliant tactic. (And, one used by Ulysses S. Grant, as well. He let 29,000 prisoners go home. He knew the word of mouth was gonna be good. AND, he knew it would cause DEPRESSION in the Confederacy, when these prisoners, after some fort fell; knew they were facing certain death. But were surrounded by Union troops. So they couldn't just run away.)

Grant got the unconditional surrender. (This is the will now lacking in Condi.)

But it doesn't matter. Half a loaf is better than none. If nasrallah wants credit that he won, sure. Give it to him. Better for Israel to keep her secrets. In time the military maneuvering gets analyzed.

It was the British Military that discovered Grant's genius. Too bad, but then, the American press was more concerned on all the Union Battles lost in the EAST. WHile Grant, when he was finally able to do so ... (And, Lincoln did send him a letter of apology ... stating "you were right, I was wrong. Showing that Lincoln really was a very good man. Unlike most of our recent presidents.) ... The truth comes out because battle plans can be analyzed.

You think Bush is qualified? HA!

You think Condi is a warrior? HA!

I think Condi is a spinster, with a personality of a school marm. And, a career that just hit the skids.

Not because #1701 hurts Israel. THIS WAS AMERICA DEALING AT THE UN. She lost because she let the french take advantage. And, it's about on par with folding a pretty good hand. But that's Bush. Typical "C" student behaviors. And, arrogant.

He's just lucky that his enemies are who they are! He'd never have made it if, for instance, his competition was someone of FDR's stature. And, abilities.

Lucky Bush. I can't wait to 2008, so he can go home.

Chas said...

Shahar,
You are the same Shahar quoted in the post?
Thanks for your response.
I was not deliberatley paraphrasing Sharon. But it is interesting that I did.
Certainly dismantling a (limited) number of settlements was internally devisive as was the withdrawal from Gaza.
Withdrawing from the Sinai and Barak's final withdrawal from Lebanon after the first invasion could certainly be seen as risky.
Whether Sharon's motives were peace driven or strategic moves in a longer game is hard to know. He seemed to be very fond of conflict. And he was never really clear about what more "painful steps" he planned and where the process was intended to lead. I think the question of whether it was primarily about peace or about Israel's security was left open. (I realize the two overlap)
I do find Israeli politics confusing .. it is not that i don't care or try to know what is going on .. it is just that i find it hard to read.
I have a feeling that Olmert revealed the real drift of Sharon's intent when he talked about "imposing" a solution, during the pre Leb invasion trip to the US.
Whatever actions Israel takes for peace will mean little unless they are (or at least seem to be) the result of negotiation.
Unilateral concessions will have no lasting effect, unless of corse the scale of the concessions were to be truly overwhelming.
Much smaller "negotiated" concessions, which need not be one-sided, would mean a lot more.

Peace

Chas

Anonymous said...

> Much smaller "negotiated"
> concessions, which need not be
> one-sided, would mean a lot more

I think OSLO counts in that category. Israel made it official state policy to seek a viable Palestinian state. In fact that still is official state policy. In practical terms a lot was done to make it a reality, including arming a police force. That was a risk Israel took that turned out quite badly.

Can you point to any peace gestures the Palestinians have made? I'm not even asking for "painful steps". Maybe if they just stopped educating their children to hate Jews and glorify terrorists, it would be a start. Or if the PA took actual responsibility for the violence that emanates from their cities, that would be a start. BTW they're both empowered and required by agreements that they've signed to do those things.

> Certainly dismantling a
> (limited) number of
> settlements was internally
> devisive as was the withdrawal
> from Gaza.

But still not good enough? So OSLO didn't count for you, and unilateral withdrawals don't count for you. The facts are there, but you rationalize your way around them.

At some point you have to either admit that Israel has in fact taken more than its share of risks for peace, or it begins to look like you're not being objective.

And, at some point you should start demanding that the Palestinians take some risks for peace, or begins to look like you're not taking a balanced view.

M. Simon said...

The Palestinians cannot take any risks for "peace". Their business model is: we fight the Jews, you give us money.

Peace would mean working for a living.

At the very least the leadership is not up for that. The people either, if you trust the polls of the Palestinians.

I think Sharon saw what the outcome of returning Gaza would be. I certainly did:

The Sharon Plan

Chas said...

M,
I am glad to see your views on the Sharon plan .. it is more or less what I thought, strategic manouvres rather than part of a real quest for peace. In fact simply put, a quest for a more "winnable" war.
Sharar,
I didn't mention Oslo because in my experience debate about it seems to generate more heat than light. But since you bring it up, I think it was, essentially a good process, but please do not jump on me for that.
Look at my first post .. I am not Israeli or Arab or Palestinian. I could just walk away and say "OK you guys want to kill each other .. go ahead .. not my problem"
So I am not speaking for either side, I am just speaking for a process .. dialogue (in good faith) which may, if a lot of effort is put into it, yeild a lasting peace.
M
Actually the thing that surprises me about the Paleatinians is not that they fight and hate Israel, it is that you can still find moderate and reasonable people amongst them.
Now i repeat my original, unanswered challenge:

Can you not imagine some legitimate claims that the Palestinians might have?

Can you not see some small concession that Israel could make without compromising their security?

And, to balance it out:

Is there some small, but meaningful move the Paleatinians couls make?

Peace, Chas

Anonymous said...

M. Simon,

Yes of course. The Palestinians have taken substantial and repeated risks to keep the conflict alive, some for the sake of ideology, others for money. I only meant to point out that Israel has done what Chas and others have asked of it, and more, while the Palestinians get a pass.

Chas,

I can understand how someone observiing superficially might think OSLO was a good process. It was flawed. Since you've run around this tree with others before, I won't get into it.

> So I am not speaking for
> either side, I am just
> speaking for a process

I see that clearly. You're the peacenik in my article. Look, I want to be clear. I wrote that article about this discussion we're having, not about israel/palestine itself, and that's why I keep coming back to your conduct and attitutes *in this discussion*.

Your posts in this blog alone would make the basis for a very good article on the rhetorical tactics and anti-israel bias of the peace camp. Would you be interested in reading such an article?

> Can you not imagine some
> legitimate claims that the
> Palestinians might have?

already answered that

> Can you not see some small
> concession that Israel could
> make without compromising their
> security?

I've shown that Israel has done that and more, even taken steps that did compromise security. You've shown that no matter what Israel does, it will not be enough for you, and that you will dismiss any affirmative answer given to your question rather than acknowledging it.

Chas said...

Shahar,
There is a strong bias in the peace movemnent. It is regretable I know, but we are all, without exception anti-war.
We are all, also dedicated to the idea that conflict can and should be resolved peacefully.
If wishing to see Israel at peace with its neighbours in a prosperous and inter related community enjoying trade, tourism, cultural exchanges and all the rest of that good stuff is anti-Israel then a lot of people, including Israelis are "anti-Israel".
Is the alternative to being pro-peace being pro-war? If not, what is the alternative, where does it lead and what are the possible outcomes?
There is very little point in me suggesting to you what the Palestinians should do or could do .. that is really for them to say.
The other point .. and it is significant. Israel has been fighting now for how long? 60 years? Is it not obvious by now that the military strategy was only successful when there was no alternative and when it was followed by peace talks? (I am thinking of Egypt and Jordan)
Add up the amount of time, money and people that have been consumed in the "war process", specifically with respect to the palestinians, and do the same math for the peace process. (this arguement could apply to both sides).
Now ask yourself why? Why does expending resources for war seem so much more attractive than expending a much smaller amount for peace?

Damned if I know!

Peace,

Chas

Anonymous said...

> There is a strong bias in
> the peace movemnent. It
> is regretable I know, but
> we are all, without exception
> anti-war.

There is a strong bias in YOUR posts. Let's keep it real.

> dedicated to the idea that
> conflict can and should be
> resolved peacefully.

Speaking of delusional.

kill them where you find them

Actually I'll bring back something from the article. "Zahar: Israel must change its flag"

Somebody has to deal with this. The PA won't deal with it, so Israel has to deal with it. Then we can talk about resolving things peacefully.

> Is the alternative to being
> pro-peace being pro-war? If
> not, what is the alternative,
> where does it lead and what
> are the possible outcomes?

Now you're starting to ask useful questions. If every effort to make peace fails, then yes, Israel is required for the sake of its own preservation to become pro-war.

You dismiss all of Israel's efforts to arrive at a negotiated settlement as being insincere, which is both facile and specious. While it says nothing about Israel, it says a lot about you.

It's also insulting. Do you think you can dismiss decades worth of diplomacy on one side of the conflict and expect to be taken seriously as a peace maker? Even Prime Minister Siniora called on the Arab world to stop making war on Israel, placing the blame where it belongs.

> the military strategy was
> only successful when there
> was no alternative and when
> it was followed by peace talks?

Your implied assumption, that Israel fights wars because it is aggressive, rather than because it has no choice.

> Why does expending resources
> for war seem so much more
> attractive than expending a much
> smaller amount for peace?

again. your implied assumption is that Israel prefers expensive wars to a less expensive peace.

Chas your biases have so overwhelmed your thought process that you can hardly make any statement at all that is not reflexively anti-israel.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you never intended to be anti-israel, but that it's just a consequence of the way you've been educated about this conflict. But still you need to look deep inside and examine this.

M. Simon said...

Chas,

Yes I can see some small concession the Israelis can make to advance the peace.

They could stop occupying Gaza and let the Palestinians there govern themselves. If they made such a grand gesture I'm sure the Palestinians would gain confidence and make at least some small reciprocal moves.

M. Simon said...

Chas,

It would have been easy for the Palestinians to defeat the Sharon plan.

1. No firing rockets into Israel
2. No smuggling weapons from Egypt
3. Avoid electing Hamas which is more rejectionist than Fatah.

Sharon gave them a chance. If the Palestinians chose peace well and good.

If they chose war Gaza/Palestine as a defacto state gets treated like a state in a state of war.

Sharon was counting on the fact that the Stupidstinians could not stop being stupid although there was nothing in the way of them wising up except themselves.

The Palestinians are getting what they voted for. The fact that they are no longer happy with their choice is not my problem.

Lessons in democracy are hard.

Anonymous said...

I surrender. Do I get a cookie?

Chas said...

M,
I kinda agree with you that the Palestinians did have an opportunity to "beat Sharon at his own game" and that they blew it! Tragic mistake for everyone involved I think.
I take it your concession remark was sarcasm? If I have misunderstood, please elaborate.

Adam,
if I were posting to a group of palestinians they would be accusing me of bias as well. It is simply a way of dealing with criticism .. you can do better.

If it will help I can say that the Palestinian reliance on terrorism is no more productive .. I did clearly say that the arguement applies to both sides, the fact that you chose not to hear that may indicate some bias as well.
I tend to believe that in most conflicts the extreme positions on both sides feed off each other.

The "expenditure" remark was also clearly applied to both sides ..the 'bias' was all yours.

"If every effort to make peace fails" ... I guess, if you are serious in this remark, then the only difference between us is exactly how much effort is "every effort".

I don't think that Israel is inherently aggressive, but I do believe that the self-perception of Israel as being beleagured and surrounded by enemies, while completely understandable, is out of date. I don't think it has really been true since the end of the Yom-Kippur war. Israel is in fact a regional superpower.
I think that this self perception has led to something of a hair-trigger reaction.
Now, although that analysis is probably different from your own, it is a valid analysis not bias.. if you think it is, then maybe it is you that needs to do the inside looking thing.

Peace

Chas.

PS I may not be able to revisit the blog tonight'cos I actualy have a life .. sort of. But I would like to thank you all for a serious and reasonable debate. I do take your points seriously and continually re-examine my own position. I would like to cordially invite all or any of you to post on emspeace.blogspot.com
(I don't know how to make links work so you have to copy and paste.) Chas

Anonymous said...

> I don't think that Israel
> is inherently aggressive

That's not what you've said in previous discussions here. You do have a right to change your mind, however.

> Israel is in fact a
> regional superpower.

A tiny country with one of the most effective armies in the world. One some level it's clear that people's attitudes towards Israel are simply a function of their attitudes towards the military in their own countries. US => favorable. EU => very troubled history. etc.

M. Simon said...

Chas,

The only thing sarcastic about my concessions idea is that it has been tried and failed.

Otherwise it is totally serious.

I was in favor of giving the Palis an opportunity. I never believed they would take it. Cynical? Maybe. How do you know if they really want peace unless you give them a real opportunity?

The move had the added effect of destroying the illusions of a lot of the left in Israel and America.

I thought it was a good idea. I still think it is a good idea. A monument to the value of good intentions.

Chas said...

Brief post then I gotta go to bed.
M. - the way i understand it Gaza is no longer, technically under occupation. The present situation is more like a siege, but since the Idf comes and goes at will it really amounts to the same thing.
That said, I totally agree with you as long as it is, as you say "a real opportunity" not any sort of set-up. And there would need to be lots of gaurantees all round to ensure Israel's security and a genuine disengagement.
It would be a substantial and courageous move.

Adam
I don't recall saying Israel is inherently aggressive in any post. But I am not going to make an issue of it.

I agree with your second point. During my formative years we were under military occupation. It is not a pleasant thing and certainly has coloured my opinions. But I did come to the view, even when in that situation, that the military presence was regretable but necessary. I guess a lot depends on which end of the gun you are!

Goodnight and Peace,
Chas.

Anonymous said...

> I don't recall saying Israel is inherently aggressive

not in so many words. What you said was "I am not opposed to Israel, just to militarism as an end in itself, ".

You might equivocate about the meaning, but the message is clear.

linearthinker said...

Wow. Spent a couple hours tunin' the chainsaw and cuttin' brush, and look what I missed.

Couple thoughts, linear of course:

1. Cookie for Shahar!

2. Adam, et al, waste of time debatin' the obvious with Chas. Blinders to the flanks, and rosey lenses to the fore. Reactions to reading the back-and-forth were y'all might as well be talkin' to the door, or a hamas delegate.

3. I did notice all Chas can do is beg others to give arguments, which he then puts through his own custom grinder. Those cogs are gettin' worn out, Chas.

4. Chas, you tell me what small concessions and proactive steps you envision the Palis bringin' to the banquet, for certainly we'll have a potluck before gettin' down to business, eh? I mean something other than the obvious, like stopping firing rockets into civilized neighborhoods, blowing up old folks and kids at restaurants and pizza parlors and on their buses, y'all know the list. If I'm at the banquet, ever' body gets frisked on the way in.

4. Interesting post, simon.

5. Nighty-night, Chas. So glad to hear you've gotta life.

Peace through superior firepower, y'all.

LT

linearthinker said...

"If the middle ground contains no stable states, then the situation will inexorably tend to one or another extreme."

C. Owen Johnson, responding to Charles "Chas" Stuart, "Reasons for Optimism" comments thread, Shrinkwrapped. September 3, 2006 at 5:25 am.

Hence, if I'm attending the banquet, ever'body gets frisked at the door.

LT

Chas said...

LT,
my response to C.Owen if your interested .. things take a long time to appear on that site :

C.Owen
actually, errrr, I don't quite know how to say this, but I agree!
Extreme outcomes in the present situation do seem to me increasingly likely.

Alternative means a choice limited to two options (look it up). The word "possibility" is a better choice when reffering to a range of options.

"The stable states" between the extremes is exactly the area that interests me. I look for it here as I do in other places. Like I said in my first para, it is getting harder to find .. but I think there is still hope. I think that these are the areas where rational debate is possible and where minds can be changed rather than blown up.

The problem with extremism, in any form, and fundamentalism for that matter is that they are very comfortable places to be. They don't have to bother with the niceties of debate, they don't have to consider the position of the "other" .. they already have all the answers. They have a certitude denied to people like me.
**********

I like my rosy glasses! and I assure you I do not wear blinkers.

The real waste of time is debating only those people you agree with!

Once again I am challenged to come up with ideas on behalf of the Pallies. OK, since it seems to be a sticking point I will try, but I do not speak for anyone but myself, so this is what I would say:

1) Do the obvious stuff that LT mentions. -it may be obvious, but it is still a good idea.

2) Get your own house in order .. reduce corruption, find common ground and stop feuding.

3) Do what you can to get your economy moving (and here there would have to be co-operation from Israel) give your people some hope.

4) In tandem with the above .. reduce your dependancy on aid .. this would be in your own interests.

4) Reform your education system. Although it would be very hard for you to be totally objective about a conflict you are still in the middle of, at least try!

5) Lose the "victim" mentality. No matter what the situation, oppression is, to some extent a state of mind.

6) Be proud

7) Don't fixate on Israel (I know this is a tough one). Take responsibility for your own situation.

8) That is about it .. now you are ready to start talking.


Peace, Chas

linearthinker said...

Chas,

That's a good list. I imagine you've communicated it to your friends on the other side. Did you get any feedback that wasn't laden with equivocation? That seems to be the norm.

Haven't those suggestions been offered by Israel, and others, for well over forty years, when circumstances permitted? To what end?

When the middle ground contains no stable states, and the situation has inexorably tended to the extreme, the only sane response is a wary defense, including targeted preemption on avowed murderers when warranted. Anything less would be suicide. All this touchy-feely dialogue about negotiating and finding middle ground and making more concessions piled on the last round of same has to be viewed through a prism that reveals reality sooner or later.

Turn the other cheek in a street fight, and you'll be handed your ass.