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Stop killing Palestinian children, release all political prisoners, and LEAVE.
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Aug. 23rd, 2006 @ 06:55 am Understanding the Middle East Conflict
Israel is having more and more trouble putting down this popular revolution over the Occupied Territories. The repression of the Palestinians and the Lebanese is not qualitatively different right now from what it was 40 years ago -- it's just that it's escalated in scale sincee the Palestinians and the Lebanese started fighting back. For the Palestinians it started during the Intifada. So the brutality you see occasionally on television has in fact been going on for the last 40 years, and it's just the nature of a military occupation: military occupations are harsh and brutal, there is no other kind [Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the Six Day War in 1967, and has controlled them ever since]. There's been home-destruction, kidnappings, torture, collective punishments, expulsion, plenty of humiliation, censorship -- you'd have do go back to the days of the American South to know what it's been like for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. They are not supposed to raise their heads -- that's what they say in Israel, "They're raising their heads, we've got to do something about it." And that's the way the Palestinians have been living.

Well, the United States has been quite happy supporting that -- so long as it worked. But in the past few years, it hasn't worked. See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence. If violence is effective, everything's okay; but if violence loses its effectiveness, then they start worrying and have to try something else. In fact, the occupation's beginning to be rather harmful for Israel. So it's entirely possible that there could be some tactical changes coming with respect to how Israel goes about controlling the Territories.

Outside the United States, everybody knows what the solution for resolving the conflict in the region would be. For years there's been a very broad consensus in the world over the basic framework of a solution in the Middle East, with the exception of two countries: the United States and Israel. It's going to be some variety of two-state settlement.

Look, there are two groups claiming the right of national self-determination in the same territory; they both have a claim, they're competing claims. There are various ways in which such competing claims could be reconciled -- you could do it through a federation, one thing or another -- but given the present state of conflict, it's just going to have to be about the modalities -- should it be a confederation, how do you deal with economic integration, and so on -- but the principle's quite clear: there has to be some settlement that recognizes the right of self-determination of Jews in something like the state of Israel, and the right of self-determination of Palestinians in something like a Palestinian State. And everybody knows where that Palestinian state would be -- in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, along roughly the borders that exsisted before the Six Day War in 1967.

All of this has been obvious for years -- why hasn't it happened? Well, of course Israel's opposed to it. But the main reason it hasn't happened is because the United States has blocked it: the United states has been blocking the peace process in the Middle East for the last twenty years -- WE'RE the leaders of the rejectionist camp, not the Arabs or anybody else. See, the United States supports a policy which Henry Kissinger called "stalemate"; that was his word for it back in 1970. At that time, there was kind of a split in the American government as to whether we should join the broad international consensus on a political settlement, or block a political settlement. And in that internal struggle, the hard-liners prevailed; Kissinger was the main spokesman. The policy that won out was what he called "stalemate": keep things the way they are, maintain the system of Israeli oppression. And there was a good reason for that, it wasn't just out of the blue: having an embattled, militaristic Israel is an important part of how we rule the world.

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Nov. 18th, 2004 @ 05:56 pm Dear Israel,
I don't understand - what is the point of demolishing settlements even in case of "disengagement"??? Why can't you just be kind enough to leave the houses to the already impoverished and unjustly treated Palestinians? Or would that be considered some sort of "reparation" and therefore an admission of "fault" on your part?
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Oct. 31st, 2004 @ 04:02 pm Dear Juvenalian
I've been looking at your posts, and also your very moving weblog about your experiences in Lebanon. One thing that your blog made me realize was that your often very vocal opposition to Israel seems to be based on the Jewish nature of the state (I'm thinking of, for example, the first and second paragraph of this post). I can understand that- I also don't think that it is truly democratic to have a nation that discriminates based on religion, or that makes one religious culture the one whose history is taught, whose prayers are publically commemorated. I think that a state that is diverse ought to reflect that diversity in its self-definitions and national narratives, and that that diversity is a blessing rather than a problem or a threat. And I am Israeli, though I live in the US. And I'm not the only Israeli that feels this way- most of my Israeli family do not agree with the Jewish nature of the state. My aunt can speak very movingly on how she merely identifies with where she was born and raised, and if that land is Palestine then she can be Palestinian, but that she is not a stranger to the only place she's known.

One thing that deeply bothers me about your posts is that you often say, "Israel, leave!" or, "until Israel is ended", and the like. After reading more of your writing I think I understand that you mean the concept of the Jewish state, not the individual people who live there- at least, I think so, and please correct me if I'm wrong.

If that's the case, that you object to the Jewish character of the state (on the grounds that it is hurtful and unfair to its non-Jewish, and quite native, minorities), then I wonder why you choose such extreme and hurtful rhetoric. It hurts me when I read it- it makes me feel that you want to attack Israel, as in the people, as in people like me and my family, and we are certainly not against the Palestinian cause, and some of us (like myself) are actively involved in it and in promoting it.

I know many people in Israel, fellow activists, that don't agree with the idea of Israel being a Jewish state. But we say that, specifically, and we don't lump all of Israel into this one aspect of her government. We, who are part of Israel and who try to make her a truly democratic state, we are Israel just as much as those parts of Israel you abhor. The worst parts of Israel do not define all of us, and moreover, do not define what Israel is, in essence, anymore than the worst corruptions of Arafat's government define the Palestinian people, or the possibilities of a Palestinian state. When you say, "Israel, be no more", that is my culture too that you are telling to disappear, the culture that produced Ilan Pappe and Amira Hass and Uri Avnery and Azmi Bishara. None of these people say "Israel, begone!". They say, "Israel, become what you claim you are, what you thought you could be. Become a state of all your citizens, become a democracy, become a partner in the Middle East."
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Oct. 7th, 2004 @ 11:22 am Dear Israel,
Is this your idea of terrorists? Or perhaps "demographic threats"?

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Oct. 3rd, 2004 @ 04:03 pm Dear Israel,
What about Palestinian dignity, freedom, and property rights?? Or do they not qualify as "human beings"?

Does this come to mind:

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Oct. 2nd, 2004 @ 06:51 am Dear Israel,

Will you give reparation payments to Palestinian families for all the lives and property lost in Israeli massacres, like the Germans did to the victims of the holocaust?
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Sep. 30th, 2004 @ 06:06 pm Dear Israel,
"I told my mum I couldn't see. She said that the lights had gone out in the whole world." - Huda Darwish, 13, blinded by gunfire

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