Why won’t Israel stop the settlements ?

_39119656_westbankPresident Obama is very clear :

“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. “

_45792522_isr_us_afp226bBenjamin Netanyahu is equally clear : (according to a spokesman)                         ” I have no intention to construct new settlements, but it makes no sense to ask us not to answer to the needs of natural growth and to stop all construction, there is no way that we are going to tell people not to have children or to force young people to move away from their families”.

The U.S special envoy, George Mitchell, has begun a visit to the region to push for peace , and will, of course be calling on Palestinians to take steps in the direction of an agreement too, but this issue – over settlements which are illegal according to international law (though Israel denies this) – has had a lot of you talking .

We’ve got an audience in Portland Oregon today who’ll be sharing their views with the rest of you.

Why can’t Israel just stop the settlements ?  Or should they be allowed to accomodate “natural growth” ?

123 Responses to “Why won’t Israel stop the settlements ?”

  1. 1 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 13:51

    Isn’t it a bit hypocritical for the US to ask Israel to stop building settlements when the entire US is a giant settlement on other people’s land as well? Can the British ask Israel to stop while they have a huge presence in N. Ireland? Russians expanded into Asia… So is the rule, if you make a massive expansion, it’s fine, but if it’s only a few hundred square miles, it is verboten? Why the double standard?

    • June 9, 2009 at 17:15

      It is hypocritical and a serious blot on the consience of our country. I hope that we will grant Native Americans their due, wether in land or in fair compensation, in order to clear our slate.

      The fact that we have not yet done so does not in any way mean that Israel has any right to contune to break international law and violate moral and ethical codes.

      And I wish that you would raise this issue more often than just when Israel is the topic of discussion. It demonstrats a shallow lack of empathy with the Native American community that I am positive does not reflect the real you. Surely, you are more compassionate than that.

    • 3 GTR5
      June 9, 2009 at 20:05

      Thank you Pink for your courageous comments. I am a real Native American and seldom read of any support for the Native Americans. It is long overdue. But for the question of population growth in Israel there is a better solution. Instead of ripping us (the US taxpayers) off of our tax money we should send them boxes of condoms instead.

  2. 4 J in Portland
    June 9, 2009 at 14:11

    I don’t believe that there will be any resolution to this issue, at least not in my lifetime. It is clear in Netanyahu’s statement that Israel wants the outside world to believe that Israel doesn’t want to expand, but still claims that the outside world can’t ask them not to expand. Israel’s statement of position and actual position are a contradiction, I don’t think you can get a resolution of any sort with this kind of logic and rhetoric.

  3. 5 Ann
    June 9, 2009 at 14:23

    A very worthwhile and contentious question – not one I’d like to try to answer. But I’ll share with you something I read (the following quote does not reflect my own opinion)…

    “Repeated charges regarding the illegality of Israeli settlements must therefore be regarded as politically motivated, without foundation in international law. Similarly, as Israeli settlements cannot be considered illegal, they cannot constitute a “grave violation” of the Geneva Convention, and hence any claim that they constitute a “war crime” is without any legal basis. Such political charges cannot justify in any way Palestinian acts of terrorism and violence against innocent Israelis.”

    Quote taken from Israeli Settlements and International Law, May 2001. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org
    A Division of the American – Israeli Cooperative Enterprise

  4. 6 Jennifer
    June 9, 2009 at 14:43

    Re: Why can’t Israel just stop the settlements ? Or should they be allowed to accomodate “natural growth” ?

    Ok, so the United States wants Israel to stop thriving and growing because it undermines “peace” because it uses land that Palestinians believe they own?

    Israel has the right to exist; the right to expand, and the right to land for growth.

    I don’t understand why the Palestinians are still in Israel. They have not worked to achieve “peace” so why not choose Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia for their home. Because they want the Jewish people out of Israel. They have no growth issues because they only want to destroy…..They are the mouthpiece which speaks for the rest….and will continue.

    • June 10, 2009 at 07:23

      Jennifer’s logic is strange beyond belief. If your family grows too big for your existing house, do you break into your neighbour’s house and expropriate a part of his house or steal his land and build on it? How civilized is this behaviour?

      There is a UN Security Council resolution asking Israel to stop the settlements. One of the accusations against Saddam Husseim was violating Security Council Resolutions. Why should Israel get away with violating UN resolutions?

  5. June 9, 2009 at 14:49

    I am sick and tired with the issue of illegal settlement by Israelis on Palestanian territory. If there is no more land for the Israelis to build on why can’t they ask the United Nations to negitiate or advocate for land for them instead of just settling on other people’s land. Are they not just inviting problem between they and the Palestanians? Or are they not tired with violent on the Globe?

    Mohammed Kondawa

    Monrovia Liberia

  6. 9 ecotopian
    June 9, 2009 at 15:11

    The only reaction that Israel gets when it builds new settlements is “Please…don’t….do…that.” There isn’t any teeth to a statement like that. If the US were to, say, cut back on the funding it gives to Israel, it might take notice. It might not, though. Israel seems to want to do what it wants to do. World opinion isn’t important to them.

  7. 10 deryck/trinidad
    June 9, 2009 at 15:13

    They probably see the need for housing their people more important than the rights of the Palestinians. Who can find fault with that? That’s a powerful premise to stand on and therefore unless a viable option is proposed they will not stop building.

  8. 11 Ann
    June 9, 2009 at 15:42

    @Jennifer 14.43

    Would you be kind enough to clarify what you mean by “they are the mouthpiece which speaks for the rest…and will continue”


  9. 12 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 15:43

    Nobody sames to Condemn protestants for building homes or giving birth of protestants in Northern Ireland. Why the double standard? Last time I checked, Northern Ireland is MUCH larger than the West Bank.

  10. 13 VictorK
    June 9, 2009 at 15:57

    Presumably this is a subject that requires answers from predominantly Israeli respondents and will have a studio panel composed mainly of Israelis?

    Not being an Israeli I’ll keep my opinion of this to myself.

  11. 14 Anthony
    June 9, 2009 at 15:59

    They are just trying to show that they are strong, and that the muslim nations can’t walk all over them. Shoot, with all the anti-semetism surrounding them, I don’t blame them for flexing their muscles.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  12. 15 globalcomedy
    June 9, 2009 at 16:08

    The won’t stop because they think they’re entitled to do anything they want. And, they know that when push comes to shove, no Stateside politician has the guts to stand up to them.

    They torture, we torture. They assassinate, we assasanate. Therefore Netanyahu could tell Obama who the hell are you to lecture us? Obama would never cut off Israeli aid in a million years.

  13. 16 Ann
    June 9, 2009 at 16:09

    @Jennifer 14.43 “I don’t understand why the Palestinians are still in Israel”

    Are you aware that since 2007, 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza have been blockaded by Israeli forces?

  14. 17 Jennifer
    June 9, 2009 at 16:18

    Re: Would you be kind enough to clarify what you mean by “they are the mouthpiece which speaks for the rest…and will continue”

    The Palestinians are the mouthpiece for Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia…everyone in the Middle East except Israel. Palestinians have the same goal; the destruction of Israel and are being played like a card in a poker game to win sympathy. It will continue until people realize that it is all a strategic game to them.

  15. 18 Michel Norman
    June 9, 2009 at 16:19

    Let us take Hebron as an example, there was continuous Jewish Settlement there for thousands of years, even after the Romans expelled most of the Jews, from hundreds of years before the Arab invasion, and it came to an end in 1929 when, as the British avoided interferring, the Arabs murdered the Jews of Hebron. So to say that there were no Jews in Judaea and Sumaria before 1967 is for a reason. Not a single Jew was left alive there after the 48 war. The old City of Jerusalem, where there had been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem sice the 1880’s was ethnically cleansed in 1948.

    Jewish history since the explusion by the Romans has been a history of a nation wandering in exile, expelled from one country, moving to another to suffer there instead. The world would not us accept us saying no Arabs allowed to live in Israel, but the Nuremburg laws can be adopted in Palestine. Is it reasonable for an Israeli government to say no Jews allowed here. Would it be acceptable for the British government to say no Jews or Moslems allowed to live in Scotland.

    What this policy on the part of the PA does achieve is to raise serious doubts about what sort of peace we could achieve by giving up part of our country.

    At the end of the day there is no difference between a Jew living in Beit El or in Tel-Aviv or an Arab living in Nazareth or in Ramallah. What is needed is a re-partition, based largely on the 67 borders, whereby a majority Palestinian state is created and Israel exchanges territories and populations.

  16. 19 Steve/Oregon
    June 9, 2009 at 16:27

    If mexicans or canadians were building settlements in america there would be war to route them from our land. If isreal does not have enough land for its people then it might be time to implement some population control….. or start building up.

  17. 20 patti in cape coral
    June 9, 2009 at 17:02

    I don’t think Israel will ever stop the settlements. Obama, in the same breath he called for cessation of the settlements, said that the US and Israeli relationship is unbreakable. Because of this unbreakable alliance, Israel has nothing to lose.

  18. 21 UMOH AMOS (Ondo State, Nigeria)
    June 9, 2009 at 17:04

    The proper question is not “why won’t Israel stop the settlement”. The proper question should be “why would Israel stop the settlement?”

    Something tells me that Israel will not stop the expansion of settlements, talk less of removing settlements. Over the decades, Israel has a way of always being stubborn and getting away with her stubbiness.

  19. June 9, 2009 at 17:06

    Let’s even the playing field. Can we refer to Arab residential locations in Israel, pre-67 that is, as “settlements”? And so, if we are to achieve peace, as we are told by the Arabs, Jews can’t live in Judea and Samaria, – just like 10,000 Jews were forced to dismantle their homes and evacuate Gaza – then the Arabs should be confronted with a “what’s fair is fair” situation: they too must consider their future. It would be quite odd that two Arab states are to be formed out of the former Palestine Mandate (and maybe three if Gaza is to remain Hamas and Judea & Samaria will belong to Fatah), but just one Jewish state.

  20. 23 Dan
    June 9, 2009 at 17:06

    The Arabs lost their land when they waged war. Israel hold title to the West Bank and Jerusalem and can build whatever they wish on their own property. Had the Arabs won would the world be screaming for the Arabs to stop building settlements?
    The 1967 borders are long since dead and it is time for the world to face reality.

  21. 24 sk8sonh2o
    June 9, 2009 at 17:19

    Stop the expansionism, respect other’s rights and stop claiming heritage rights to land which has been disputed for thousands of years. Stay within your 1973 borders.
    I can’t afford to live in the New Jersey town where I grew up, but I’m not complaining. Israeli settlements are too expensive in security terms, too expensive for Israel to protect and too costly for the US as well. The US cannot go back to the policy of Manfest Destiny and start expanding beyond its borders, why should we tolerate or condone Israel doing the same thing?

  22. 25 deryck/trinidad
    June 9, 2009 at 17:25

    That’s life Tom the opressed and abused become the opressor and abuser.

  23. 26 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 17:26

    @ Tom D Ford

    Sorry, but a couple of square miles doesn’t compare to the Nazi’s lebensraum or the US and its expansion. If you look at a map of the middle east, even WITH the occupied territories, Israel still accounts for less than 1% of the middle east.

  24. 27 adam in portland oregon usa
    June 9, 2009 at 17:33

    It’s about time a US leader took a balanced stand on things in the Arab Isreali situation.

    adam zt pioneer courthouse square

  25. 28 Tom D Ford
    June 9, 2009 at 17:48

    Karen Armstrong wrote a book about these problems: “The Battle For God”, about religious fundamentalists and the problems they cause.

    There are so many different factions around Jerusalem, some who want peace and some who want to keep peace from happening and sabotage every effort at peace.

    American Conservative Fundamentalist Christians are involved as well as Fundamentalist Jews, and they both work to sabotage efforts at peaceful resolutions.

    Fundamentalists, AKA extremists, are a problem in all three branches of the Abraham, “One God”, religion.

  26. 29 Bazia Morris, Maridi WES, South Sudan
    June 9, 2009 at 17:51

    It is a right and US should not interfere. These two country should learn to live and tolerate other people among them.

  27. 30 Crispo
    June 9, 2009 at 17:51

    Why would Israel not stop the settlement? So should the question read. Obama to me clearly has forgotten some importance of being an American president. Opposition to Israel to me is Obama’s unsuccessful attempt to appease the Moslem world. The cost might be dire for him.

    Back to the question of Israeli settlement. Some time back, i wrote to Bbc saying that, the dynamics of peace in Great Palestinia is: if not an impossibility, then far from reality. Living on a most fragile peace, freely maiming, and committing terrible crimes against each other remains very much a daily activity.

    Israel, its true won’t quit these settlements whether it’s USA demanding so, as long as her peace and existence as a sovereign state continue to be disputed by the majority of Arab states.

    The palestinians’ rumbles, grumbles, and occasional ranting from the international community only succeed in strengthening her grip on these territories.

    These are hard questions and hard times indeed for palestinia but a challenge to the international community.
    I’d like to hear what those at the centre of these conflicts think on today’s show.

  28. June 9, 2009 at 18:00

    There is no Palestine. There is no Palestinian people. Israel won the war against her neighbors, but the UN has prolonged the war for 40 years.

    • 32 Dennis Junior
      July 13, 2009 at 01:57

      Portland Mike:
      True….But, you forgot to mentioned in your remarks! USA has prolonged the war also…

      ~Dennis Junior~

  29. 33 margot in oregon
    June 9, 2009 at 18:06

    I so agree with Obama. Israel does need to quit building/expanding settlements in the West Bank. It would be preferable for them to also abandon those that already exist but don’t think that’s likely. It’s about time that we had a US leader that speaks the truth to Israel.

  30. 34 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 18:09

    Imagine Obama telling Protestants in North Ireland to stop having children or for those children to not be able to build homes for those children when they are adults and want a place of their own.

  31. 35 Brian from Ca.
    June 9, 2009 at 18:10

    @ Palestinians
    Cut a deal! Ever decade your negotiating position worsens.
    You would have had a better deal in 1948 then 1966, 1967 then 1983, and 1984 then now. Cut a deal!

    Land as territory is important but usefulness of the land is more important. The world will fund land improvements if a deal can be reached. Do it!

    The on going historical grudge match is a waster of time

  32. 36 saad,jaffarabd Pakistan
    June 9, 2009 at 18:10

    The permanent solution of Arab-isreal conflict is two state solution and the settlements are major impediment in the materilization of this solution. Israel should stop all settlement blocks for with in the larger interest of the World .

  33. 37 Tom D Ford
    June 9, 2009 at 18:16

    @ steve
    June 9, 2009 at 17:26

    “@ Tom D Ford

    Sorry, but a couple of square miles doesn’t compare to the Nazi’s lebensraum or the US and its expansion.”

    Yeah, just wipe out a couple square miles of the Krakow ghettos, that didn’t really matter did it? No big deal, right?

    Your argument does not hold water.

  34. 38 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 18:17

    YOu have to admit, she speaks the truth about Khartoum. Israel did offer to return ALL of the occupied territories in 1967, the arabs said no. So the arabs are the reason why the lands are still occupied. Why does the world ignore what the arabs did at Khartoum when they responded with the three noes?

  35. 39 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 18:19

    ! Tom

    The Nazis didn’t clear out the Ghettos for Lebensraum, they wanted to eliminate the Jews. Your argument does not hold water. Again, I ask you, which constitutes vastly more land, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Russia, France, BeNeLux, every other nation the Nazis invaded, or the West Bank, and Gaza?

  36. 40 Anthony
    June 9, 2009 at 18:20

    @ Brian from Ca.

    They cant cut a deal, because then that would be admitting that Israel is an actual country. They can’t accept something from a country that doesn’t really exist.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  37. 41 Brian from Ca.
    June 9, 2009 at 18:23

    Why should we be funding Israel? We have no grievance with anybody. Why are we taking sides?

  38. 42 Kurt From 1.75km Away
    June 9, 2009 at 18:23

    This caller brings up one of the main problems, getting your history from the bible. Wake up people this is the 21st century, quit beliving mythological drivel.

  39. 43 Anthony
    June 9, 2009 at 18:23

    @ steve
    June 9, 2009 at 18:09

    Lol, yeah, the “Troubles” is the same as the conflict in gaza/west bank. That’s like comparing my high school basket ball team and the NBA. Just silly.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  40. 44 Ahmed
    June 9, 2009 at 18:24

    The truth about the settlements is that their real purpose was/is a means of occupation. President Obama did mention terrorism / violence by Hamas and Palestinians in general in his speech but he did not mention the ongoing violence caused by Israel in the form of an apartheid wall, checkpoints, segregated roadways, razing of Palestinian homes etc. Nevertheless, I think that Obama’s speech was a clear and refreshing step in the right direction.

  41. June 9, 2009 at 18:24

    Everyone has a notion about how the Jews should live and behave. Who is going to enforce these opinions when the world finally come to an agreement?

  42. 46 KN
    June 9, 2009 at 18:25

    Question for the folks who are pro- settlement growth: What about the growth of the Palestinian people? What kind of land should they have? How about a proportionate distribution based on population numbers?

  43. 47 Tom K in Mpls
    June 9, 2009 at 18:25

    I can not understand why the US financially supports one side of a religiously fundamental dispute. There is no answer in history, in any document or in current debate. We are supporting one side of a cold war that has no bearing on our country. Why?

    From what I see and hear, neither side has one single valid point, and yes, I have been listening.

    • 48 Ann
      June 11, 2009 at 12:19

      @Tom K in Mpls June 9th 18.25…

      A very moot point Tom – haven’t read this yet, but a book review about a 2007 publication called Isreal Lobby and US Foreign Policy states…

      “Mearsheimer and Walt, political scientists at the University of Chicago and Harvard, respectively, survey a wide coalition of pro-Israel groups and individuals, including American Jewish organizations and political donors, Christian fundamentalists, neo-con officials in the executive branch, media pundits who smear critics of Israel as anti-Semites and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, which they characterize as having an “almost unchallenged hold on Congress.” “

  44. 49 Melissa
    June 9, 2009 at 18:29

    I’m tired of Israel pushing their boundaries of their country. They were given the land and are now just greedy! Stop the greed and stop the hate!!!

  45. 50 Tom D Ford
    June 9, 2009 at 18:29

    Why can’t the Israelis build skyscrapers to make room for their families, the New Yorkers do so, the Japanese do so, Singaporeans do so, many people in the world build up when they need to get more room to live?

    They could build upwards instead of stealing other peoples land and thus avoid the problems but they choose to steal Palestinian farms instead.

  46. 51 Adam
    June 9, 2009 at 18:29

    Israel should definitely stop the expansion of settlements. Why do they want to keep provoking Arabs? I’m a huge supporter of the right of Israel to survive and thrive in the Middle East, but they sometimes rightfully deserve the ire of Arabs (and others in the Middle East and neighboring areas). They should be content with the land that’s already under their control and stop trying to take, take, take (which they justify as Israel/Jews simply fighting back against Arab discrimination, etc.). Israelis reach back into the past too often and blame too many of their problems on anti-Semitism. When are they going to stop focusing on the past and start moving forward? Arabs/Muslims must do the same.

  47. 52 Tracy Fox
    June 9, 2009 at 18:30

    Hi I’m Adam’s wife.. Gee I think the US needs to expand. Canada looks good. We have as much right to be there as anyone else. Right??

  48. 53 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 18:30

    Any American or Canadian who is not a Native American/Canadian has a LOT of nerve telling Israel what to do when they aren’t willing to do it themselves. Remember, EVERY square inch of the US and Canada was taken from the natives. So why is Israel held to another standard?

  49. 54 August in US
    June 9, 2009 at 18:32

    The answer is simple: Draw a line right down the middle. Jews on one side, Muslims on the other, now everybody act like adults.

  50. 55 Adam
    June 9, 2009 at 18:33

    Why can’t Palestine just be absorbed by Jordan or something?

  51. 56 David
    June 9, 2009 at 18:34

    What is at stake here is peace of the Middle East and the World at large.

    I would rather see some dialogue than stubbonness. America can only do so much, it is the UN that needs to work, find the solution and implement it.

    The UN needs to act decisevely to implement international law that they inacted to rule the globe without cherry picking.

    Let us all be consious of global peace. The world needs peace now, not tomorrow.

  52. 58 Saleh
    June 9, 2009 at 18:35

    All of these illegal settlements in the west bank were stolen and confiscated from Palestinian people and farmers who were living from these lands. My family has lost 20 acres as it confiscated to build an illegal settlement on it.

    Settlements and the people who live on them are threat to peace for the Israelis and the Palestinians. Those settlers are extremists, armed and dangerous. They should live within Israel and the rest the Israeli society. Just to listen to Eva on the air. Her thoughts and ideologies are potent.

    All settlements should dismantled or evacuated.

  53. 59 Louis
    June 9, 2009 at 18:36

    My question is this, can the controlled Palestinian people live in the settlements that are in the West Bank? If all the land does belong to the Israel, will the Palestinian people be allowed to live and work freely in Israel?

    Whats the panels view on the Zionist movement.

  54. June 9, 2009 at 18:36

    The Israeli settlements are highly illegal under international law and their continued expansion is deeply destructive of any future peace. The US should cut off all aid to Israel if Israel will not obey international law. Israel is building an Apartheid system to put the Palestinians into a permanent occupation as prisoners of Israel’s settlement project.

    If this goes far enough, Palestinians will have no choice but to give up on a two state solution demand that Israel make them citizens and transform Israel into a democracy for ALL of its people.

  55. 61 Tirana
    June 9, 2009 at 18:36

    Obama is right.

    steve says: “Isn’t it a bit hypocritical for the US to ask Israel to stop building settlements…?”

    uh, we may be colonialists, but we don’t expect China or England or the Netherlands to send us billions of dollars every year in order to maintain our colonial state and give us guns. colonialism has horrible problems and permutations. however, MY native american ancestors did not always inhabit North America. EVERY group of people somehow emigrated to other geographical locations once the human race was born in Africa.

    i believe that the United States should pull a great deal of its financial support to Israel, not just to manipulate that country into doing what Obama wants, but because our own country has a failing infrastructure and needs help.

    also: #1) many Israelis and Zionists are angering people all over the world. guess what? this drives anti-Semitism! just on a strategic level, that is STUPID. #2) the Israeli cultural focus on militarism contributes to this problem. young Israeli soldiers, like many American soldiers, are not welcome in some South Asian hotels and tourist bars, for example, because in the past they have acted so obnoxiously and violently. again, THIS INCREASES WORLDWIDE ANTI-SEMITISM. this is not what we want!!

    by the way, i married into a Jewish family on the West Coast. my child’s great grandparents are Holocaust survivors. and my Jewish husband is opposed to the violent expansion advocated by the Israeli government.

    –from Tirana, in the Pacific Northwest

  56. 62 Kellen
    June 9, 2009 at 18:37

    Actually the settlement activity that is underway in the West Bank is not all due to natural growth. A great deal of it is coming from immigration from within the rest of Israel. This immigration is subsidized and encouraged by the Israeli government.

    There is a close historical analog to this process in the United States. During the “natural expansion” into the West by American settlers promoted by and subsidized by the US government. That expansion ultimately left the Native American population and civilization devastated.

  57. 63 Bruno
    June 9, 2009 at 18:39

    It’s about time America begin to take a balanced stance on this issue.
    Indeed It will be painful as the previous administration let it run unchecked for too long, but settlement are nothing but an abberation, and their expansion a land grab.

  58. 64 Fred
    June 9, 2009 at 18:39

    Why can not Jews continue to live where they want just as Arabs want to have

    the right to live any where and everywhere they want ?

    In a real peace how can one contemplate moving people out of their towns

    and villages ?

    If Arabs live in israel and why can not Jews live in Arabs controlled territories ?

  59. 65 Mohamed
    June 9, 2009 at 18:39

    The fact that the Jewish / israeli lady who was talking in an American accent and keeps referring to the illegally occupied West Bank as “judea and samaria” speaks volumes of the general Israeli attitude towards their neighbours.
    They have no more right to that land than say Greece has a claim on Anatolia / Turkey. Vague references in the Bible is no legal claim in today’s world. If all the Moslems decided to live in Mecca or all the catholics in the Vatican what chaos we would end up in !

  60. 66 Simon in Corvallis, Oregon
    June 9, 2009 at 18:39

    Hello Ros and welcome to Oregon,

    Do people not understand that this is a problem that will not go away, only change locations as long as we insist on a two state solution. As long as there is a border between the Jews and and the Palestinians, there will be fighting over it.
    I don’t blame the Palestinians for wanting their own land because they do not trust the Jews to give them their rights. And I don’t blame the Jews for seeking a safe homeland. However, the best way for this to happen is to create a state that has sufficient protections for the minority.
    A two state solution will just end up like apartheid South Africa. The settlements need to end and the bombing needs to end. I say that the Jews need to step up and recognize the Palestinians as their brothers and sisters and stop killing them indescriminately. The Palestinians need to step up and recognize not only Isreal’s right to exist, but also their right to thrive.
    The only solution is to get Palestinians and Jews to intermarry.

  61. 67 alicia from portland
    June 9, 2009 at 18:40

    Will you please address ther fact that isreal receives billions of dollars in military aid from the us and perhaps obama could be more effective if he threatened to stop this.

  62. 68 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 18:40

    Ah, so your guest is admitting Palestine MUST be 100 % free of Jews. Which state will be the apartheid state now? I remind you, 20% of Israelis are arabs.

  63. 69 Scott [M]
    June 9, 2009 at 18:41

    What happened to my comment? There was no reason for it to be censored. I expect an explanation.

    • June 9, 2009 at 18:45

      Scott, anything longer than a Twitter tends not to make it through. Thereis an After Hours site where longer posts are accepted.

    • 71 Tom K in Mpls
      June 9, 2009 at 18:52

      Scott, I have the same question on several posts, one today. I have found that it is acceptable to point out that the Taliban and Iran are fundamental Muslim organizations. But it is wrong to point out that Israel is a fundamental Jewish organization.

      • 72 Scott [M]
        June 9, 2009 at 19:18

        I didn’t really want to deal with this today, but I suppose like much of what fuels the conflict in the middle east—it is a feeling of injustice on both sides. And, when you feel injustice it is incredibly hard to let go. It appears you can challenge any ideology on WHYS as long as it isn’t a religion, or maybe just Islam. You can also call both sides children, or talk ill of any number of leaders and people—but you can’t choose one religion over another? Our society will never change and overcome the burdens of enslavement to mediocrity of thought and dumb objectivity with this type of dialog.

      • 73 Scott [M]
        June 9, 2009 at 20:19

        Another take. You can despise all religions equally, but you can’t take a (perhaps) more nuanced view and dislike some more then others. As a result, we consider it acceptable to dislike a larger number of people, rather then to distinguish amongst the segments. So, it’s better to “discriminate” against the whole group collectively. This seems like a terrible philosophy. Unless there is some side I am not considering.

  64. 74 nasill
    June 9, 2009 at 18:42

    So long as Israel continues to expand into Palestine Territory or “Israeli Land”
    the conflict between Israelis and Palestines will never stop. So long as there is this conflict and tension, it will be manipulated by leaders from both sides to remain in power. Israel must be willing to take the first steps towards peace, by stopping its expansion.

  65. June 9, 2009 at 18:43

    “Natural Growth” is completely misleading term. What is natural about continuing to steal other people’s land? Why can’t expansion be halted until AFTER a formalized peace treaty is created that lays out which settlements, IF ANY, that Israel is able to keep? Stopping settlement expansion will force Israel to come to the negotiating table, otherwise, they can simply continue expanding and say they are “negotiating”. As someone noted, it is like two people arguing over which slices of pizza each will get while one of them continues to eat the pizza.

  66. 76 MIGUEL (California)
    June 9, 2009 at 18:43

    This land belongs to the people expansion can not be stopped but a legalization of the land is imperative, if Israel wants this land should present proof in an international court or if this land belongs to Palestine should also present proof, if they lost the war then they lost the land, just like when US expanded buying some land from Mexico.

  67. 77 Anthony
    June 9, 2009 at 18:43

    Why doesn’t the world just draw lines, and force both parties to stick to the borders? That would be much easier.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 78 Tom K in Mpls
      June 9, 2009 at 18:56

      Anthony, it’s been tried and isn’t working. That is what this question is all about. What should be done to make it work?

  68. 79 Jennifer
    June 9, 2009 at 18:44

    Re: Why can’t Palestine just be absorbed by Jordan or something?

    Yes, why not? It sounds reasonable…..BUT this “conflict” is not really about land. It’s about a problem with Jewish people.

    • 80 Jim Newman
      June 10, 2009 at 11:23

      Hello again
      And hello Jennifer. I disagree with you about palestine being a problem with Jewish people. The problem is the zionist ideology which is a cruel racist ideology with the aim of creating a homeland for zionism in Palestine to the exclusion of the the original Palestinian inhabitants.
      We’ve seen it all before. We shouldn’t blame all of the Jewish people for the crimes of the zionists any more than we should blame the crimes of the nazis on the whole German nation.
      Yours respectfully

  69. 81 Louis
    June 9, 2009 at 18:46

    Palestinians had lots of people that were and still are Christian. Arabs have already shown respect for other religions.

  70. 82 Simon in Corvallis, Oregon
    June 9, 2009 at 18:46


    I have a question for your guests: what is the current level of mixing between the Jews and the Palestinians? Is there any intermingling between the Jews and the Palestinians? If there is none, how can we expect there to ever be peace? Even if they build a big enough wall around settlements, walls only delay conflict they never prevent it.

  71. 83 Mercy
    June 9, 2009 at 18:47

    The settlements are the excuse to grab more and more palestinian land. Israel never had the intention to stay put in the territory given to them. The ambiguity of the settlements issue is the opportunity to steal more land. The settlements have to stop. I am proud of the way President Obama spoke about the whole situation. I support him.

  72. 84 Anthony
    June 9, 2009 at 18:48

    A single country would be like the KKK and the Black Panthers living in one house. Eventualy something crazy will happen.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  73. 85 Mark Sandell
    June 9, 2009 at 18:48

    Scott, you can “expect” all you like – the rules are the rules and that goes for all of your (i.e all of you, not just you Scott!) comments that haven’t been approved – or “censored” as some of you prefer to say.
    If you answered the question, treated fellow posters with respect, and didn’t write an essay, your comment will be approved.
    If you want to SHOUT at each other, send us convoluted history lessons or just deliver a regular rant, there are plenty of other sites out there for you.

    It’s as easy as that.

    • 86 Scott [M]
      June 9, 2009 at 18:54

      Thanks Mark. Was my post a rant? I read the rules? What rule did it violate?

      I find your comment incredibly offensive. My comment was well thought out and as on topic as any comment on this page.

      I still want to know why it was censored, because your rules and reply don’t answer the question.

    • 87 Jim Newman
      June 10, 2009 at 08:22

      Hello again
      And hello Mark. I notice the zionist lobby is still strong in WHYS.
      Let me try again. Jews came from Europe and took over someone elses land without the permision of the inhabitants.
      That, in my book, is called squatting. The ideology that provoked this squatting is zionism. Hence the term zionist squatters. Although not all Jews living in Palestine are zionists the regime since 1948 has been zionist.
      To answer the question. The zionist squatters will not stop building and developing settlements because it is the main pillar of the ethnic cleansing strategy. The zionist regime wants to rid Palestine of all Palestinians.
      Other methods are assassinations and destruction of property.
      One thesis of the zionist ideology, the racial purity and superiority, is now coming under severe attack from ADN researchers.
      But that is another question.

      • 88 Tom K in Mpls
        June 10, 2009 at 15:34

        ‘the main pillar of the ethnic cleansing strategy’. You imply a grand conspiracy. I have to disagree. On the whole it is not a plan. What it is, is simply the result of their faith and family upbringing. They live their life by a reasonable set of rules. The problem comes when this way of life, their rights, comes into conflict with the rights of someone else.

        This is when indignation, intractability and religious rhetoric come along and make a real mess. Other than the conspiracy thing, I agree completely

    • 89 Jim Newman
      June 10, 2009 at 10:53

      Hello again
      Hello there is there anyone at home. I think the only one doing the shouting and the ranting is you Mark. I know you are under a lot of internal pressure but to be fair to everyone you should let the world have it’s say.

  74. 90 Tirana
    June 9, 2009 at 18:48

    and i want to say: so cool that you mentioned Voodoo Doughnuts on the air. they are a portland institution.

  75. 91 Simon in Corvallis, Oregon
    June 9, 2009 at 18:52

    You must begin somewhere. Stop the growth outwards and begin growing up.

  76. 92 Jose
    June 9, 2009 at 18:54

    It’s my understanding these territories were won in the 1967 six day war. It would be absurd to ask the USA to give California back to Mexico. My father is from Mexico. He is not demanding it. It belongs to him.
    The people there do need to grow up and learn to live as one people under one state.

  77. 93 Jason
    June 9, 2009 at 18:54

    To both sides of this argument:
    I’ve become something of a nihilist, entirely convinced that humanity is a dead-end species.When people recoil at that, they demand to hear my proof. Most commonly I point to the very issue you’re speaking on today. Both sides of this argument keep falling back on history, kvetching about how long each other has suffered. So, what you’re saying is, you’ve had thousands of years to work this out, but absolutely refuse to.


  78. 94 A.J.
    June 9, 2009 at 18:55

    The settlements are purely a provocation by the extreme Zionists, some of which are American ex pats. Once the Palestinians STOP their violence against Israel, Israel must start easing restrictions and dismantling settlements. While Israel tears down Palestinian homes it keeps expanding Illegal settlements. Either that or these two sides just keep hating each other forever. Too bad.

  79. 95 Louis
    June 9, 2009 at 18:55

    Cant the state of Israel offer the Palestinian people that have had their houses and land taken and allow them to live in the settlements along side the Jewish population.

  80. 96 Adam
    June 9, 2009 at 18:56

    Anthony, drawing lines in the sand is only going to make things worse. It sounds cleaner and nicer, but nobody will abide by those jurisdictional delineations. Trying to draw a line through Jerusalem hasn’t worked so drawing a line on a larger scale will not work either.

  81. 97 steve
    June 9, 2009 at 18:56

    Israel should agree to Obama’s demands when The US returns all lands captured from the natives back to the natives. I mean, why ask someone else to do what you aren’t willing to do yourself?

  82. 98 Brian from Ca.
    June 9, 2009 at 18:57

    Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting over.” – Twain.

    Thank you for focusing on the effects a development can have on ground water, utilities, transportation routes, sewage, et cetera. This is why settlements should be restricted.

    We should decrease funding for Israel.

  83. 99 shelly
    June 9, 2009 at 18:58

    The idea that not growing Israel’s boarders means the death for Israel is a fallacy. There are many island nations that have persisted just fine. All that will happen is real estate will become more expensive and those that can’t afford to live there won’t. That land is not so great anyway, religion is influencing all parties to act crazy killing for this piece of desert

  84. 100 oregon606
    June 9, 2009 at 18:58

    I wish Obama would just leave the middle east. I mean think about it. Someone has been attempting to fix the middle east for 1000s of years. and it THEY have never tried to fix their own problems.

  85. June 9, 2009 at 18:59

    Eve goes on and on about how free Israel is, but human rights group after human rights group have all affirmed that Israel actively discriminates not only against Palestinians in Israel, but against non-Ashkenazim Jewish people. Look, ma, no history book quotes.

  86. 102 Anthony
    June 9, 2009 at 19:01

    @ Adam

    Really. Those lines seem to be doing OK around the Gaza strip, on both the Israeli side and Egyptian side.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  87. 103 patti in cape coral
    June 9, 2009 at 19:02

    My comment was not shown either. I don’t think it was offensive or too long. I am guessing maybe it was just a little off topic. In any case, the more I hear, the less hopeful I am for a solution. I wonder if Obama reads these blogs or listens to this show?

  88. 104 Adam
    June 9, 2009 at 19:03

    Oregon606, the problem is that the Middle East has changed hands many times over thousands of years so everyone wants to say it’s theirs. America will never simply leave that area of the world partly because Israel is the only fully democratic nation there. We will always support democratic countries over un-democratic ones.

  89. 105 Dan
    June 9, 2009 at 19:23

    There is NO palestinian territory. They waged war 5 times and lost. The land is now part of Israel as California, New Mexico and Arizona is part of the United States.
    The Palestinians have Gaza. It is a nice seaside community with an enlightened Government.

  90. 106 Elias
    June 9, 2009 at 19:35

    For the same reasons that a number of palestinians wont stop their violence and terrorist behavior. Under the present state of affairs, assume there was a Palestinian State, The Iranians and Syrians would pour arms into the state and conditions would be far worse than it is today.
    Settlements can be built and settlements can be removed provided all palestinians accept to live in peace with Israel, which is not the case at present.

  91. June 9, 2009 at 19:54

    No one seems to have noticed that Israel had dozens of settlements in Gaza and withdrew from every one. Has there been peace as a result? No – just a never-ending barrage of rockets on Israeli towns.
    If Israel withdrew its settlements from the West Bank, we could expect there would be no peace either unless the Palestinians renounced violence. The West Bank is strategically even more critical than Gaza as it is only a few miles from Tel Aviv and Israel’s densely populated heartland.
    The settlements issue is basically a red herring, designed to distract the world’s attention from the real issue – the Palestinian iunwillingness to renounce violence and terrorism.

  92. 108 Fred
    June 9, 2009 at 21:27

    When people write ” settlements can be removed ”
    have any of the contributors who write this ever been to see the towns and villages where the Jewish people live and what they have built up
    – real communities .

    Not tents Not caravans
    but homes schools libraries and places of worship

    What needs to be removed is Arab lack of willingness to live in peace with their neighbours . The average israeli has only become more suspicious as they have seen no leadership on the Arab side saying we can accept living side by side with Jews .
    The only place where Arabs and Jews live together is In israel
    No Jew is allowed to live in Arab controlled and occupied areas and an Arab selling a house or farm to a Jew will be sentenced to death by a PA Court

  93. 109 Mohamed
    June 10, 2009 at 00:56

    We witnessed the state sponsored terrorism and violence on a massive scale from the israeli war machine of terror on poor defenseless Palestinians.
    Nothing can justify such murderous actions and wanton destruction by the so called “only democracy in the middle east”. Settlements were and still are built on illegally confiscated stolen land by International Law even if they are wonderfully designed and built for a bunch of settlers who are simply volunteers and willing pawns in israel’s expansion policy.

  94. 110 viola
    June 10, 2009 at 05:58

    Possibly, Israel won’t give up the settlements because, if you look at a map of the area, it is clear that the natural defensible border is the Jordan River. History shows that Israel must be prepared to defend itself at all times as illustrated by the fact that, when it declared itself an independent nation in 1948, its neighbors immediately started shooting.

    No defensible borders, no nation. Survival of the nation trumps just about every other consideration.

    What I wonder is whether the Palestinians who claim their land has been stolen were compensated for that land, what the compensation was, and and if it was done in a lawful and moral manner.

    It’s interesting to speculate what the state of affairs would be in that region if the original war of aggression against the new nation of Israel by its neighbors had not happened.

  95. 111 archibald in oregon
    June 10, 2009 at 06:22

    Because they have lost the ability to see themselves as the oppressors that they have become. The character of the jewish people was profoundly damaged by the Nazis during WWII, to the point that it has bred an indifference to the suffering of the Palestinians. Israel sees the Palestinian people in much the same way Germany saw the Jews, as inferior and ultimately expendable. Why stop the settlements? Eventually there will be no place for the Palestinians to go, problem solved, at least in the Israeli mindset.

  96. 112 Suomalainen
    June 10, 2009 at 07:41

    And how will the Palestinians accommodate natural growth without becoming refugees again (and in another country)? Will Palestinians be allowed to grow naturally into Israel? Hmmm…… S

  97. 113 Ann
    June 10, 2009 at 08:36

    At the beginning of this debate I didn’t want to state my opinion because I didn’t really know how to answer the question with any degree of accuracy. Having read all the above comments, and those that have subsequently been removed, I’m not sure I’m any further forward.

    But to get back to the original question… Why doesn’t Israel stop the settlements?

    As far as I can understand, and at the risk of being shouting down as being anti-semetic (which I’m not), it seems to me that the present Israeli government will not stop the growth of settlements because they believe that they have a God given right to do do so. Believing such a thing is a powerful driving force. And each attack on Israel further justifies the Zionist cause and intensifies fear and bitterness.

    Moving away from the original question…for both sides in this conflict there has been so much bloodshed, so much suffering. The fear, bitterness and violence is understandable given the terrible circumstances all the people in that region are living with. And suffering is suffering regardless of whether one is Jewish, Muslim, Christian etc. We are all human beings with good and bad in us. We all have hearts that break. The death of a little child is tragic -it matters not what religion that child belongs to or what language it speaks.

    There are no easy answers.

    But peace can happen, as it did in Northern Ireland, but it requires dialogue, understanding, compromise and most of all hope.

  98. 114 Ann
    June 10, 2009 at 11:30

    @VictorK 15.57

    You and I have had differences of opinion previously, but I’m increasingly inclined to agree with your wry observations on this issue. I’ve had two comments ‘disapproved’. The first of which was an ironic comment on the logical impossibility of someone’s post – maybe it was interpreted as sarcastic? (in my view, the post I dared to challenge was a sweeping statement that did not make sense)

    But the second of which, I can see no reason to not show it. I was not being racist or anti-semetic when I put forward my opinion. Is one not allowed to challenge or be critical of the Israeli stance?

    I don’t understand why a contentious question like “why won’t Israel stop the settlements” would be posed, if a serious debate is not allowed.

  99. 115 Ann
    June 10, 2009 at 12:44

    Correction – it just took a long time to be moderated!

  100. 116 Sumedh
    June 10, 2009 at 13:07

    hey it was amazing for israelis to pick out such point as to continue their settlement.
    our country Nepal is between China and India both having dense population so if they claim to extend their settlement so as to meet their growing popln our country would not exist no more

  101. 117 Tom D Ford
    June 10, 2009 at 15:56

    Hmm, If I recall correctly, it was Rabbi Hillel who taught that the whole of the Torah is “do not do unto others that which you would not have done to yourself”.

    So. Compare and contrast that with the behaviors of the Jewish settlers. Aren’t they acting in an anti-Jewish manner?

  102. 118 Margaret Harris
    June 10, 2009 at 17:02

    The problem with the settlements is larger than the fact that they take up some Palestinian territory. Rather they are like a hydra, branching out into various areas, with highways going to all of them. The highways and settlements are surrounded by barbed wire or cement fences. They cut though Palestinian family farms, and even some houses. It is almost impossible to get from one place to another without having to go around these branches. Families are divided, because if someone want to go to work and has to go around a couple of these hydra branches it can take all day to get through checkpoints etc. So people who are working, are gone for weeks at a time because it is impossible to go back and forth. Families are cut off from their suppliers. Many families who farmed find that half of their land is on the other side of a highway and they can’t care for it. People have problems getting supplies and groceries. The rise of Hamas is because they have tunnels and they can get food and supplies for people. They feed people. They may be oppressive, but they take care of families. They express everyone’s anger and frustration at being oppressed by Israel. The settlements are cruel and vicious. They look like lovely cities with grocery stores, etc, while on the other side of the fence people are starving. Israel needs to remove the settlements. It should never have put them there in the first place. I know that conditions are crowded in Israel and they need more room, but the way to get it is not the way of the settlements. Instead they need to negotiate and pay for a single piece of property, and they need to allow Palestinians a productive life. This has been going on for generations, and deep intervention will be needed between the waring factors. Children have been raised to fight. They have been raised to hate. This is true on both sides. Like the wars in Ireland, this will take deep determination to find peace on both sides of the border. Obama is wise to tackle this problem. The US has stood by far too long.

  103. June 10, 2009 at 20:50

    There is no ambiguity about “rightness,” a legal variable which is clearly defined under international law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes every person’s right to a home, thereby prohibiting Israel from arbitrarily destroying or confiscating Palestinian properties (nearly 24,000 homes and over a million olive and fruit trees to date). The 4th Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transfering its own population onto occupied land. The settlements are entirely illegal, not simply their continued expansion. Since our own Foreign Assistance Act prohibits foreign aid to any country exhibiting a consistent pattern of human rights violations – which have been abundantly documented over many years by multiple international watchdog organizations as well as Israeli and Palestinian NGOs – US foreign aid to Israel should be terminated altogether pending their complete compliance with all international laws it has heretofore imperiously ignored, including over 100 UN resolutions of censure and condemnation.

  104. 120 Pam in Portland
    June 11, 2009 at 00:17

    Margaret Harris
    This is part of what is very concerning to me about the settlements–the very strategic and I believe insidious nature of the development. It’s appalling really and I think the more people saw this–like literally, aerial views, pictures on tv–the less support Israel would have. It clear what is being done and I think that Israel is on the precipice of the big “G” word when it comes to the Palestinians. Genocide. And we in the US are complicit if we don’t fight US support.

  105. 121 Chrissy in Portland
    June 15, 2009 at 22:24

    I’m not really seeing any mention of all of the Russian and other eastern block people that are being sponsored and allowed to immigrate to Israel. If Israel is so concerned with “natural growth” that they feel they have to build Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands to accomodate their expanding population, maybe they should consider limiting the number of these “refugees” they allow to enter Israel.

  106. 122 stephen/ portland, Oregon
    June 20, 2009 at 04:18

    Just watch any of the Televangelists on the CBN network any day of the week and you will see heart warming commercials for sponsorship of poor Eastern block “Jews” (individuals and entire families) so that they can be sent to Israel to live in occupied areas. Not only does this sponsorship pay for their transportation there, but it also helps get them set up in a house and a job. Evangelical Christians (Christian Zionism) have raised massive amounts of money for this cause. Ultimately is not really about supporting the Jews, but more about making sure that we send as many Jewish people back to the Holy Land to fulfill Biblical prophesy. The first time I saw an ad like this, I happened to be watching the 700 club and not 5 minutes later heard Pat Robertson say that Palestinians are trouble and that the west bank should be ethnically cleansed.

    The Christian Zionist movement is a powerful force, with the Christians United for Israel (CUFI), co-founded by Falwell, claiming over 40 million members, predominantly in the U.S. and Canada. Its grassroots have poured millions of dollars into Israel, pressuring the U.S. to advocate a staunchly pro-Israel policy that rejects returning Palestinian land, and sponsored the migration of thousands of Jews to Israel. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews holds an annual Day of Prayer, which draws support from 20,000 U.S. churches. Individual members have donated over $100 million in “humanitarian aid” for Israel. — article, author, publication

  107. 123 globalcomedy
    June 29, 2009 at 19:41

    They won’t stop because they know that Obama doesn’t have the guts to cut off their daily aid. Politically he’d be finished if he did.

    So they’re not afraid to use their power over the U.S. in their Middle Eastern policy.

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