On air: Should Israelis and Palestinians be left to make their own peace?

The Palestinian leadership “wants a deal with Israel without any negotiations” and Israel’s leadership “wants negotiations with the Palestinians without any deal.”

And given the latest offer by the Israeli government and the negative response it had from the Palestinian authority, it looks like neither negotiations nor any deal are on the table at the moment.

The Israeli government has offered to stop settlement building in the West Bank for 10 months. But the Palestinian authority is not impressed and officials say that this is nothing new and unless it involves East Jerusalem it was unacceptable.The US said Israel’s decision would help “move forward” peace efforts. But Senior Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti says:

“What Netanyahu announced today is one of his biggest attempts at deception in his history.”  This article by Anat Shalev argues that the gesture is aimed at the USA not the Palestinians.

So, a step in the right direction or yet another stalling point? A real offer or a form of deception? And unless the two sides sit together to reach a solution instead of learning to live with an ongoing problem what can a mediator (big and powerful as the USA is ) really do?Below is Mark’s original post discussing Thomas Friedman’s article about the Middle East peace process and whether both sides should be left to get on with it.

Mark’s Post

Here’s an article from a few weeks ago in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman. There are many memorable phrases and anecdotes in the piece but the message to both sides in the conflict is :“When you’re serious, give us a call: 202-456-1414. Ask for Barack. Otherwise, stay out of our lives. We have our own country to fix.”

There are no talks underway at the moment, the so-called “road map” has long since been discarded”, so maybe what Mr Friedman is advocating is the best way forward.

This piece in the Jerusalem Post says he’s wrong…but demonstrates a division of opinion in the Israeli press.

While this piece….in the Global Arab Newtwork also calls for the U.S not to withdraw from the peace “process”, and takes issue with Mr Friedman’s assertion that :“if the status quo is this tolerable for the parties, then i say, let them enjoy it…i just don’t want to subsidise or anaesthetise it any more”Is there an argument that says the best way forward for the Middle East process to let them get on with it ?



139 Responses to “On air: Should Israelis and Palestinians be left to make their own peace?”

  1. 1 Chintan in Houston
    November 23, 2009 at 12:51

    “let then get on with it?” – this is absoulately impossible. The pro-Israel lobby in the US would not let it happen. But the issue if settlements has touched a nerve not only in the American poplulation but also the American Jewish community since it being a secular nation supports a non-secular country that completely puts US on the back burner while deciding on its policies while receiving the most amount of aid than any other nation in the world.
    The true problem i think is the Arab world thinks Obama sympathizes with their situation while the right wing Israeli government US is trying to influence is untrustworthy.
    I don’t believe abandoning talks is an answer especially in the face of a nuclear Iran!!

    • 2 Carl Wilcox
      November 26, 2009 at 20:39

      The world cannot disengage with the peace process because the world – mainly England and the US – are responsible for the problem. The Balfour Declararation and the Sykes-Picot agreement started us on a path toward disaster.

      The solution is for for the UN to immediately enforce ALL UN resolutions in the area starting with the UN Resolution on Partition in 1947. At the same time, the International Court should be used as a mediator.

      As a member of the UN, Israel agreed that it would not gain territory by warfare and this is regardless of which side starts the war. In 1967, there was no imminent threat of attack from Egypt (Moshe Dayan said as much), so all settlements in occupied land are against international law. Under the UN charter, territory gained by Israel would not be legal even if Egypt had attacked.

      As with any other nation (e.g. Iraq), which ignores UN Security Council Resolutions, Israel should be placed under international sanctions until Israel complies with every applicable resolutions including 242 and 338. If 242 had been enforced, there never would have been a settlement problem and there would have been a 2-state solution decades.

      US hypocrisy is shown by the fact that 242 was passed unanimously, but the US has vetoed any attempt to enforce it.

      If Israel will agree to the conditions of the original UN partition plan of 1947, the Palestinians, Hamas, and all Arab countries in the region will also agree.

      • 3 jaysonrex
        November 27, 2009 at 11:56

        Carl Wilkox would like to wipe off nearly a century of historical facts on the ground. Just another fool, not to use a more adequate but harsher term, that hopes to see the Jewel of the Middle East destroyed. Sorry, but it will never happen!

      • 4 losing_it
        November 27, 2009 at 23:51

        Carl, I agrre totally.

        If the UN do not enforce the 1947 Resolution on Partition, then they have no purpose to issue comments and directives, as the Israeli’s will ignore further communications from UN, they play at keep the UN waiting game far too often.
        Its not time they are wasting, its ground they are building on and taking over, knowing the US wont do anything to push any UN resolution points to any degree.
        The UN isnt just having to deal with the 2 parties its the LACK of support from US , who are 1000% behind behind Israel, due to their influence that they have in USA.
        Like Global trading currency, USA is losing its power and perhaps we should treat objections by USA with a pinch of salt, as they in the past have treated the UN with such contempt its has SCREAMED around the world so loudly as their bias towards Israel has.
        International affairs within previous US goverments have done so much damage to many countries around the world, that I dont think the 2 terms Presdient Obama has, will be enough time to get a fair and balanced support out of USA goverment. Miracles dont come that fast in 8 years!

      • 5 Ronald
        November 29, 2009 at 16:12

        I couldn’t agree more with Carl Wilcox. The world is fed-up with this prolonged conflict. It’ showtime for the UN, either enforce resolutions or become irrelevant. Eliminate double-standard enforcement. Israel is either committed to the UN charter or it isn’t and should be expelled.

        Israel doesn’t seem to realize the damage it has done to itself in recent years. World opinion has solidified behind the Palestinians. The jewish persecution complex continues to their foreign policy and it seems they actually want this complex to be self-fulfilling .

      • November 29, 2009 at 18:13

        Carl Wilcox, is spot on. The UN Security Council is biased and spineless when it comes to passing resolutions that adversely affect Israel, but quick to enforce sanctions against weaker countries. Indeed, if the UN imposed severe sanctions against Israel for thumbing its nose against UN resolutions, the Middle East, nay the whole world would be a peaceful place. The UN should step in.

  2. 7 Ibrahim in UK
    November 23, 2009 at 12:55

    If the US “would let them get on with it”, then much of this conflict could be settled through enforcing UN resolutions. However, the US has and utilises veto powers to block every action and criticism against Israel, while supplying Israel with the financial and military support to continue it’s occupation and international crimes.
    The US has granted Israel the money, the power and the immunity to make the status quo for Israel comfortable. The status quo for the Palestinians means that their land is still occupied, their refugees are still not allowed to return home, and their population is still being evicted to make way for illegal Jewish settlements, not to mention the seige on Gaza; all highly intolerable to say the least.
    The US is involved in the process, but it is not involved in peace. It is involved in elevating Israel’s status and interests above all others in the region, and you have been subsidising it for decades with your taxes.

  3. November 23, 2009 at 14:04

    If I were to buy a new house, then a few years later annex my neighbor’s front yard and driveway, patrol it with a gun, block it off and make him go through a checkpoint to go from the street to inside of his own house, I’d be locked up. If that neighbor began throwing rocks at me and I shot him, I’d be arrested for murder. That’s called theft and thuggery, and it is what Israel has been doing for far too long. They continue to expand far beyond the original accord, and while the Palestinian border attacks aren’t a good thing, how long could you accept being in their position. The US FINALLY has a president who isn’t blindly following the orders of the Israeli masters, who isn’t caving to Israel’s every whim. The only hope in this world for tensions to wind down and go closer to peace is to establish the Palestinian State and for Israel to withdraw it’s illegal encampments.

    • 9 Joe Soap
      November 26, 2009 at 15:31

      Well said!

    • 10 Yasha Sturgill
      November 26, 2009 at 19:33

      Nice illustration – clearly put.

    • 11 jaysonrex
      November 27, 2009 at 12:19

      To: mikehowardswfl

      Very well said even if entirely wrong. But then, this is the standard for most comments made by … we all know who. And we all know why. For nearly 2000 years it is fashionable to follow the percepts of the Christian religion and blame the Jews for everything – starting with the crucifiction of one of their own by the Romans.
      Now, we have Israel to replace the Jews. Well, it will not work, believe me.
      And while some people are busy attacking Israel, the ONLY DEMOCRACY in the entire Middle-East, Africa and South-East Asia, Islamists are slowly setting up their final attack on Christianity. Now isn’t this funny?

      • November 30, 2009 at 12:02

        I believe in any dogmatic religions and I don’t have to toe anybody’s line. I stand for jusice and truth. mikehowardswfl has illstrated the situation in an impartial manner. That is the truth. When people start claiming other peoples’ land on the basis that it was given to them by some God that lays foundation for endless troubles. Unfortunately, this fanatic view has been upheld by the US, and supported in the UN for decades. Israel has perpetrated its barbaric acts on its neighbours condoned by the West. The inevitable comeuppance is what we are reaping today as Islamic terrorism which too should be condemned with equal vigour.

  4. 13 piscator
    November 23, 2009 at 14:48

    Israel is just a piece of Cold war agenda, like the Berlin Wall, and relations with China.

    Israel should now be left to fend for themselves, without American aid and weapons, so that they are forced to make peace with their neighbours.

    Unfortunately, the July meeting Obama had with the Jewish Lobby groups in New York, suggests strongly that his nomination was very much on condition that nothing awkward happens to the Israeli Manifest Destiny of land grabbing.

    Israel is in a very good position to make peace now, with the goodwill of more of the Worlds population than ever – so why won’t they take it?

    Power means leadership.

  5. 15 Ronald Almeida
    November 23, 2009 at 15:00

    No country cares about peace elsewhere when they have to gain from war. The U.S. we know has always been the worst example of it.

  6. 16 Eric in France
    November 23, 2009 at 15:01

    To get peace, do not wait for the others. The ones to make peace are the USA, the EU, China, or who knows who. It is the Palestinian state and Israel. As long as the political leaders will not favour peace rather than a crawling conflict, there will be no sustainable peace.
    USA and others can, if they want, put pressure on the Palestinian state and Israel. But without committed leadership in middle-east, Oslo treaty or any new one will not survive the reality test.
    My perception is that, today, Israel (i.e. did Netanyahu ever want it!) has no will for sustainable peace as it continually want conditions on pieces of an overall agreement and seem to do everything they can to sabotage those efforts.
    Hamas was created out of a frustration of the 80s, and it is not military force that will defeat those convictions, but only that a future is possible. The worst will be to get the same fever catching up in the West bank.
    Due to the economic crisis, I do not think that M. Obama can act much as he needs part of the opposition to work with him and cannot let that conflict influence his policies. The citizens will hate him if he was to take strong actions to curb a deal without having in priority solved internal matters.
    So: process is USA to keep alive, but peace is for Palestinian state and Israel to make not the others.

  7. 17 viola
    November 23, 2009 at 15:32

    Friedman has a good point. To illustrate: Just about everyone has had the experience of trying to mediate between two quarreling friends or, perhaps, two quarreling fellow workers in the workplace. Eventually, one tires of shuffling irate messages back and forth and being used in such a cynical way not to repair the relationship but to continue the quarrel.

    Mr. Rubaiz’s conclusion that, “The three sides, America, Israel and the Arabs must work out a win-win peace plan.” says it all. Three sides? That is a narrative invented by the Arab world and the fundamentalists to explain the fact that the Arab world failed to prevent the establishment of Israel in the first place after many all-out attacks to drive the Jews into the sea. Mr. Rubaiz ignores the fourth side: those mid-east countries that still believe that the destruction of Israel is the only and final solution to the Zionist problem in the middle east.

    When Israel was founded it was obvious that the new state would have to deal with many different cultures from all around the world as Jews longing for the ancestral homeland returned. Now, my hope is that Israel will apply the experience they’ve gained (in molding different cultures that share one religion into one nation) to the much more difficult task of molding different cultures (that don’t share a common religion) into one nation.

    A monumental task, to be sure, but so was Israel’s re-creation in the twentieth century. Who would’ve believed in the eighteenth century in a resurrected Israel?

  8. 18 Tony from Singapura
    November 23, 2009 at 16:13

    This article resonated with me, the author has stated a few hard truths about this conflict and the various 3rd parties impotence in relation to achieving a resolution. I also apprecaited the satirical style liberally sprinkled with tit-bits of the truth.

    I see very vigorous pursuit of recalcitrant states and individuals from the Serbia conflict, the Cambodian Pol Pot era currenly in the news, etc, however I see no equal willingness to address atrocities committed by Israel against the citizens of Lebanon and Palestine. So this confirms for me that nobody really wants peace in middle east seriously enough.

    The day that Israel is called to answer for its illegal occupation of neighboring states lands through settlements, the murder and torture of citizens including women and children, the use of illegal munitions against the civilian populations of Gazza is the day the Middle East peace process can start.

    • 19 Megan
      November 27, 2009 at 20:04

      I dont see how the US can even be a third party since they are so heavily supporting the Israeli government? It doesnt make sense for them to mediate. And Israel does everything in their power to discredit any other third party. They have the strongest propaganda machine in the world. I fear that everyone’s eyes have fallen under the veil of their influence. I just want what is fair and just for everyone. The truth is so plainly visible for everyone if people would just take the initiative to go and look for it, rather than be spoon fed propaganda from this source or that.

    • 20 losing_it
      November 28, 2009 at 00:51

      For Tony in Singapura

      The day that Israel is called to answer for its illegal occupation of neighboring states lands through settlements, the murder and torture of citizens including women and children, the use of illegal munitions against the civilian populations of Gazza is the day the Middle East peace process can start.

      Surely history has seen this before……is this the new holocaust? ethnic cleansing …maybe extreme in the words, BUT as long as Israel commit these crimes, the world is reminded that it happened to many of their citizens family history in Israel…….yet Israel have not learnt a thing….only to repeat it.
      Check points into the ghetto’s, armed soldiers asking for ID, torture and abuse if they fail to comply, and thats just to get a few yards to their home, which is always spied upon, by land, sea and now outer space.
      Will the ICC do their duty in this? or was Nurembourg trials a pure waste of time. and the ‘never again’ words be lost where the Israeli’s are concerned.
      The UN must carry out there objectives and resolutions more quickly, for the sake of history and the never again’ policy’.

  9. 21 T
    November 23, 2009 at 16:49

    Friedman’s missing an important point. Obama will NEVER do anything that Israel sees as a threat. Which means that this whole “process” is a perpetual political football. Don’t criticize Israel and you’ll keep getting elected.

  10. 22 Mark Sandell
    November 23, 2009 at 17:14

    Ok, thanks for the above comments and the stuff we haven’t approved, if thanks is the right word.
    Lets be clear about this : what we are asking here is whether- if the rest of the world stayed out of it – that would represent a great chance for peace.
    lectures about who invaded who, copious amounts of dates, history lessons and copy- and- paste rehearsed arguments won’t get posted.
    Please try to look at the question and give an honest answer. As much as i respect you, i have never in 4 years of this blog seen anyone post “fair point Ahmed/David, i’ll concede that “…but perhaps i’m naive.

  11. 23 Elias
    November 23, 2009 at 17:21

    The only way to proceed in the peace process, is for Israelis and Palestinians to sit together and negotiate by themselves and not have any third party present.
    Any agreement reached should be binding once and for all. In the past an agreement was reached, but Yasser Arafat reneged on the deal. The first step is to find a way forward and fix the problem between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority who do not agree a common interest for peace, its like puting the cart before the horse.
    The Palestinians should realise Israel will not accept and agree to imposible demand that are unrealistic in the present state of affairs, what was possible decades ago is impossible today. Its time they realised Israel is not going to agree to give them terms that would harm Israel.
    For Palestinians to have their own State would be great for peace, for Israel no peace is better than a belegerant Palestinian State.

  12. 24 patti in cape coral
    November 23, 2009 at 17:30

    Is there an argument that says the best way forward for the Middle East process to let them get on with it ?

    Well, mediating certainly hasn’t helped. And how can the US mediate if it is an ally of Israel? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a mediator? I can’t remember which blogger it was who said a pox on both their houses, but I am starting to agree. Honestly I wish I could just grab both their heads and knock them together! To tell you the truth, I think there will be no peace no matter what the approach is. They hate each other more than they want peace.

    • 25 Tom K in Mpls
      November 24, 2009 at 05:41

      ‘Them’ is the key word. And sorry patti, I agree with you. I am highjacking your post because every time I post what you are saying, they never publish it. 😦

      • 26 patti in cape coral
        November 24, 2009 at 15:57

        No need to apologize Tom, I’m usually the hijacker myself!

      • 27 BRINDA
        November 26, 2009 at 17:52


        I totally agree with you. I think both the sides hate each other so much that no intervention will help.

        I don’t think PEACE will ever happen.

  13. 28 piscator
    November 23, 2009 at 21:21

    Mark Sandell,

    I know the argument you are trying to lead, but I think your question is too simple. To ask America’s client state, and a potential client state of the Middle Eastern powers, to negotiate on their own is a bit like asking why everybody cannot be reasonable and sensible, and solve the problem for the good of the majority of the people concerned.

    There are so many interested, and unfortunately unreasonable, parties on both sides – Fanatical Muslims and Jews, who take their desires straight from God, and wont give an inch; Politicians bent on gaining or retaining power; crazy soldiers; international schemers and business interests.

    At bottom, I believe that there is no such thing as racial or religious conflicts. There is only one conflict everywhere, and that is power over people, and that means power over land. Greedy people are never going to stop trying to take land from other people. That means that the strongest side will continually try to bully the weaker. In stable places, like Europe, the status quo can last for centuries, but if power shifts, the land grab starts – see Serbia. The Middle East is not yet stable, so nations will try to exploit their neighbours, and the weaker neighbour will appeal to stronger friends, like the US or Iran.

    What would you do to stop it? I can only see the way ahead as allowing Israel to have enough strength to defend it’self, but not enough to pick fights with it’s neighbours. That means the US withdrawing the bulk of their financial and military support, and the ME states not arming the Palestinians.

  14. 29 J
    November 23, 2009 at 21:27

    Letting them get on with it without a neutral third party would be a disaster. If Israel is allowed free reign to decide all the conditions of the negotiations, without any mediator, then you will end up with an apartheid state or an ethnic cleansing as they expel the Palestinians from their remaining West Bank enclaves in order to make more ‘living space’ for Israeli Jews. As Israel has the upper hand economically and is militarily dominant, a third party is essential to negotiations. Otherwise, a real, just peace will be completely impossible.

  15. 30 claudine
    November 24, 2009 at 01:33

    I can understand Palestinians frustration and unwillingness to negotiate.

    If the situation would be the other way around, if the Palestinians would have the power and build illegal settlements with no one who can do anything against it, then also the Israelis would not want to talk before those illegal actions stop.

    Sometimes I got the feeling that provocations from both sides are intended and that no one really wants peace.

  16. 31 Alan Beutal
    November 24, 2009 at 06:49

    “Elias” is right, as he so often is, that Israel cannot agree to terms that were possible decades ago but are impossible today. Yes, Israel has settled land that could and perhaps should be part of a Palestinian West Bank state but the Arabs have only themselves to blame for that. From the United Nations “two-state” resolution of 1948 to Ehud Barak offering Palestinians close to everything they wanted at Camp David in 2000 (and even closer still a little later at Taba) the Palestinians have always said ‘no’ and in that time, after wars and infifadas in which Israel was attacked by the Arabs, Israel has only got bigger and stronger. As Abba Eban, the former Israeli foreign minister said, “the Arabs have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity”. There may not be much of an opportunity for peace with Netanyahu but if it were a Yitzak Rabin or an even more dovish Shimon Peres as an Israeli negotiating partner today, would it make any difference? It never really mattered much before and I highly doubt it would make any difference now.

  17. 32 Roberto
    November 24, 2009 at 12:10

    RE “” Lets be clear about this : what we are asking here is whether- if the rest of the world stayed out of it – that would represent a great chance for peace. “”

    ———- No offense Mark, but the thread is very cloudy as to what you are asking.

    The world has never left this region alone for long. It’s like the Balkans, the Afghan region, ect, continually overrun by invaders. It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up what would happen if the UN withdraws and Europe and the US stopped subsidizing Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians to let them have at it.

    Peace requires leadership and the Palestinians have no leaders interested in peace, no peace movement except for a few weak citizen groups who’s lives are in danger if they attempt to talk to Israelis outside of Hamas and PLO.

    • 33 Megan
      November 27, 2009 at 20:19

      That’s not true. I lived there for over a year and the citizen’s there are not weak and the greater majority of citizens ARE peaceful people and ARE interested in peace. All of the sudden this blog has taken a sharp turn and we forget that it is the international community who completely undermined their leadership and who tampered with their democratic process. If they are at all considered a country, they also are a democratic country. They hold fair open elections that are monitered by the Jimmy Carter Foundation. THEY all want peace and free will. I lived there as a member of the community. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT LIVING UNDER OCCUPATION IS LIKE. Especially being a white middle class American as I myself am. OF COURSE the citizen’s want peace. How can we have peace if the leadership is constantly undermined. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened there. I don’t know why we are having this conversation. Things will never get better because behind the scenes forces are working against us and we are talking about something that supposedly exsist, however, it does not.

  18. November 24, 2009 at 16:43

    Roberto, “Peace requires leadership and the Palestinians have no leaders interested in peace, no peace movement except for a few weak citizen groups who’s lives are in danger if they attempt to talk to Israelis outside of Hamas and PLO.”

    The Israelis do have a “Peace movement” but it seems powerless in the face of the militaristic junta which has held the field for almost the entire six decades. The Israeli government exhibits NO INTEREST in any just settlement. If you don’t believe me, just read the “”roadmap” and the Israeli “Reservations” available at mideastweb, or also search out Pulse or tipiglen primer

  19. 36 Alan Beutal
    November 25, 2009 at 03:39

    As Roberto said, the Palestinians have no leaders interested in peace. Abbas might be interested but unfortunately he isn’t a leader. To be a leader he needs a significant mass following but, as history continuously teaches us the Palestinians will never follow what is in their minds a ‘weak’ leader. (Weak as an willing to compromise). I think Marwan Bagouti may well be the next Palestinian leader. He’s a strongman, someone with blood on his hands, so he will have mass popularity amongst the Palestinians. But who knows? Maybe in time, perhaps he will be the one to be able to make a deal. The Israelis have dealt with him before and know him well.

  20. November 25, 2009 at 13:47

    Any potential Palestinian leader is immediately jailed by the Israelis, including the bulk of those elected in the most recent electoral exercise.

    Check B’Tselem:

  21. 38 steve
    November 25, 2009 at 16:14

    THe liberals want a one state solution, because Israel would cease to exist. My question is, do you really think it will turn out anything other than like Yemen?


    I know it’s convenient to ignore this, but religious minorities in muslim majority nations are treated horribly. Why doesn’t WHYS do a show on the treatment of christians in Egypt, or Jews in Yemen?

  22. November 25, 2009 at 16:36

    “I know it’s convenient to ignore this, but religious minorities in muslim majority nations are treated horribly.”

    And in occupied Palestine, everything is rosy…

    Any “single state” would have roughly equal numbers of Jews and Muslims. Is that too frightening for you? I remind you that at the time of resolution 181 (partition, 1947)
    The population of Palestine was approximately 33% Jewish, and the “Jewish State” was to be allocated 55% of the land. In the event, the maority rejected partition, but the UN ignored its basic principle of “self-determination for indigenous peoples” and attempted to impose partition against the will of the local majority.

    Plenty of backrouynd material here:

  23. 40 steve
    November 25, 2009 at 16:44

    @ Ed

    So in your view, Israel simply cannot exist. How do you propose a peace deal when you are asking one party to cease their existence as a state. Sorry, it’s 2009 now, not 1948. Israel is here, it’s staying and there is NOTHING you can do about it.
    The question is, do the Palestinians want a state more than they want to destroy Israel?

    I can list you many muslim nations where religious minorities are heavily persecuted. Why would a destroyed Israel be an exception?

  24. 41 Alan Beutal
    November 26, 2009 at 01:15

    Exactly, Steve. Is it too much to ask for the Jews to have a tiny, oil-free spot out there in the middle of the desert? Barak offered Arafat so much at Camp David and Arafat said no. But at least come back with a counter-offer. Arafat never did. It was always ‘no’. Even Clinton told him face to face when Arafat told Clinton that he was “a great man”. Clinton said he was a failure and that Arafat had made him so. Over the 60 years of its existence Israel has got bigger only because of continued Arab attacks on the Jewish nation. Ariel Sharon pulled out of the Gaza Strip. Ariel SHARON? And what do the Palestinians do? Instead of trying to set an example with all the money coming in from the United Nations and other charities, they use the area to fire more missiles into Israel (as well as fighting each other). Well, that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? We will never see a Palestinian state in my lifetime and the Palestinians have only themselves to blame for it.

  25. November 26, 2009 at 12:40

    Salaam guys,
    A fair, just, and total peace in the Holy Lands is a dream that we all should aspire to achieve… But the crucial problem is that Israel wants peace with the Arab world according to her own conditions, even if that means shamelessly breaching the international law, pushing boundaries to the xtreme, and crossing over many red lines which if other countries have even thought of crossing, they’d get soooooo doomed… I wish if I were Israel, then I could do whatever I want and I’d always get away with it, and no matter what I’ve done, the whole “civilised world” is gonna stand firmly and frankly by my side, even if a report by a well respected South African Jewish judge stated that I’ve committed war crimes, then my loyal friends are just gonna ignore the report and throw it in the trash… But unfortunately, I am Iraqi… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  26. November 26, 2009 at 13:41

    Peace is such a precious concept that no stone should be left unturned until it is achieved. Israel and the Palestinians need to bury the hatchet. They should think of the generations to come who need security not bullets and bloodshed. Sincerity in trying to find pragmatic solutions should be the attitude. Alas this seems to be a pipe-dream. Both sides are guilty of intransigence.

  27. 44 Methusalem
    November 26, 2009 at 14:43

    No, they should not be left alone. There will never be two states in Israel. Israel is one — and both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims could only be united to live in a united state of Israel under the umbrela of Christianity. I hope, by now, every rational human being could be able to see this clearly.

  28. 45 Tom Hastings
    November 26, 2009 at 15:00

    The primary obstacle to peace in the region are the external actors–the US supplying the IDF and various externals supplying Hamas and others. Stop supplying arms and the BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) changes for everyone. Then we might see progress. As it is, there are no strings on US military aid to Israel and they act with impunity. The various suppliers to armed Palestinians expect violence or they have made a poor investment, so they are culpable as well. But the arms supplied by the US are overwhelming and the first item of business to eliminate as the first block to honest brokering of peace in the region.

  29. November 26, 2009 at 15:00

    No.Both the parties must be arm twisted(there is no other alternative,as Israel is always recalcitrant ) into a brokered peace and implementation is to be monitored
    US must be advised(!?) not to support Israel’s unjust demands and behavior.

  30. 47 Fran, from Spain
    November 26, 2009 at 15:03

    I think the only way to reach peace will be when Israel withdrow their borders to the ones before the invasion 60 years ago, they are occupying a territory which belongs to palestinians, this is something acknowledged by international law, the UN and everybody. Palestinians will never accept an agreement if this doesn’t happen.

  31. 48 steve
    November 26, 2009 at 15:04

    The UN always seems to condemn Israel, they have commissions focusing on Israel, yet I post an article about the treatment of Jews in Yemen (let alone the many other countries in the middle east they are treated horribly in ) and there’s no UN investigations, no condemnations, no nothing. Why?

  32. 50 Linda from Italy
    November 26, 2009 at 15:37

    Depends what is meant by “left to themselves”. If the US really did pull out, including withdrawing all their arms and cash support, that might just level the playing field, although of course there is no guarantee that with US out of the way, Iran/Syria et. al. wouldn’t tip the balance the other way.
    If Israel is still holding all the cards (arms and money), there has to be a third party mediator, but it should be someone genuinely impartial (Scandinavian countries come to mind or someone like Desmond Tutu a real “man of God” if ever there was one). The US should also stop all their vetoing at the UN, as someone else has pointed out and given that, both sides may just come to their senses, but I still think they need that mediator. Obama unfortunately has far too much on his plate at the moment, and even if he is a more reasonable, intelligent and fair-minded individual, as an American, he is unfortunately still tarred with the pro-Israel brush.

    • 51 Gary Paudler
      November 26, 2009 at 16:42

      The parties, left alone, will get nowhere. If the US is going to continue mediating, we have to be genuinely impartial which, historically, looks impossible. The US should use all leverage to force both parties to negotiate in good faith. What if the US took all the billions of dollars that we shovel at Israel, split it in half and spent half of that money on civil infrastructure, schools and hospitals in the occupied territories? No additional cost to the US and the Arab world would see the US as a fair partner in negotiations. If the US suspended arms sales and military aid to all nations in the middle east, our Arab clients would step in quickly to affect a solution and Israel’s “natural growth” might suddenly look more like urban in-fill, but the US arms lobby will never allow our government to do that. Truly pathetic that under Democratic administrations or Republican, special interests in the US dictate foreign policy.

  33. 52 William Beeby
    November 26, 2009 at 16:03

    In the end , when Americans get tired of funding Israel to the extent they do, it will come down to Isarelis and Palestians.I just don`t see peace though , too much water under too many bridges.

  34. 53 Roberto
    November 26, 2009 at 16:21

    RE “” THe liberals want a one state solution, because Israel would cease to exist. “” & “” I remind you that at the time of resolution 181 (partition, 1947)
    The population of Palestine was approximately 33% Jewish, and the “Jewish State” was to be allocated 55% of the land “”

    ——– Mr. Steve and Mr. Ed represent typical unfounded misrepresentations that politicians use to block equitable agreements.

    Mr. Steve ignores that the US has been the strongest supporter Israel ever had regardless of which party rules which branch of government. It was democratic administrations that brokered the Egypt/Israel 78 peace agreement and secured the Israeli signed recognition of the Palestinian state in 2000 that Arafat threw in the trash.

    Mr. Ed ignores that 77% of the Palestinian Mandate was set aside for the state of Jordan in 1946 that no Palestinians or Arabs declared war on. Israel’s territory is 55% of 23% remaining Palestinian territories, or less than 13% of the total Palestinian Mandate territories.

    Here are the only two census figures for the area prior to the creation of Jordan, Israel, and remainder Palestinian territories:
    1922, First British census of Palestine shows population of 757,182, with 78% Muslim, 11% Jewish and 9.6% Christian.
    1931, Second British census of Palestine shows total population of 1,035,154 with 73.4% Muslim, 16.9% Jewish and 8.6% Christian.

  35. 54 T
    November 26, 2009 at 16:28

    If the States had been occupied for as long as the Palestinians have been, Obama would stop Israeli aid. This in turn would force them to negotiate a settlement. But it’ll never happen.

  36. 55 seaAdamwestiii
    November 26, 2009 at 16:38

    There is no way peace and a two state solution will come to fruition with only Palestinians & israel negotiations. Israel needs to comply with International Law and return the stolen land back to the Palestinian people. Once a war has ended, the occupiers must returned the land back to the rightful persons. I believe the UN should resolve the issue and with an Up & down vote. Another way to influence Israel is for the US to comply with the law regarding NPT that forbids providing foreign aid to a country that is not a member of the NPT and possesses nuclear weapons. Secondly, boycott all companies that do business between USA & Israel.

    For a number of decades the US has strongly supported Israel and in many cases have vetoed UN resolutions that were not favorable to Israel. This indicates the US is not an honest mediator.

  37. 56 Michel Norman
    November 26, 2009 at 17:19

    The first problem is that the rest of the world is not staying out of it – Hammas is basically an Iranian sponsered puppet whose strings are controlled by the pupper master in Damascus whose strings are in turn pulled by the man who would be Hitler.

    Both Israelis and Palestinians are basically split down the middle between those who say look this land is mine but I want to live in peace so I am willing to give up part of my territory to achieve that peace, and those who speak in God’s name or he in theirs and who beleive that the other side has no rights to be on the land.

    We are effectively paralyzed, with our respective governments passing the hot potato of peace to each other, and time is not on the side of the peacemakers, violence will inevitably erupt when the extremists wish it and those who want to live in peace will inevitably drift away.

    The refugee problems need to be solved, both Palestinian and Jewish refugees need to be compensated and massive investment is needed to kick start the Palestinian economy. Outside help is needed.

    Our leaders are too week to acheive peace without help

  38. 57 Michel Norman
    November 26, 2009 at 17:21

    I don’t beleive that either side is having a love affair with the other anymore – we are not looking for a marriage – we want to get divorced.

    Do you leave a divorcing couple to fight it out for ever or do you provide them with faciliatators to split up their property and get on with their lives???

  39. 58 Ibrahim in UK
    November 26, 2009 at 17:37

    Zionists took Arab land, forced out the indigenous Arab population and created the state of Israel in their place. The question is: How does Israel live at peace with the Arabs it has dispossessed?

    1. Continue the conflict until either side achieves total victory whether through force of arms or through “facts on the ground” (like settlements)

    2. Agree to abide by the UN and withdraw to the ’67 borders creating 2 states, removing the settlements and walls, allowing the dispossessed to return home and all agree to end hostilities (favoured by the 2-state solution)

    3. Agree to abide by the UN, make amends for dispossessing them in the first place, allowing them to return home, all agree to end hostilities and create a single state for all (the issue of settlements, walls, borders becomes obsolete in a single-state solution)

    I would personally prefer to see the third. Arabs and Jews living together in one state. I don’t think either side’s mindset is ready for that reality or presented it as a viable alternative.

  40. 59 steve
    November 26, 2009 at 17:39

    @ Ibrahim

    There were tens of thousands of Jews in Yemen. Today, there are a couple hundred. you don’t see any issue with that? The Palestinian population has exploded. The Jewish populations in muslim nations besides Iran is practically zero, even even most Iranian Jews have left Iran.

    • 60 Ibrahim in UK
      November 26, 2009 at 19:07

      Yes there is a problem with that and the Jews who were forced to flee their homes in Yemen and the rest of the Arab world should also be given the same offer of repatration or compensation. The increasingly anti-Jewish sentiment in Arab countries is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict will go along way in resolving Arab-Jewish animosity.

  41. 61 Livia Varju
    November 26, 2009 at 17:42

    I don’t think we can abandon the Palestinians because they are too weak to stand alone against Israel (and the US). How to solve this conundrum, I don’t know, but professional experts of conflict resolution should be enlisted. Also the imams could do much to negotiate and convince. Livia

  42. November 26, 2009 at 17:55

    Palestinians simply can’t achieve peace with Israel on their own.
    Tel Aviv will not freeze construction of settlements in occupied territories.
    Jordan, the traditional homeland of Palestinians, is fanning the flames of contention.
    Al-Arabya is regularly focusing on problems, not solutions.
    Lebanon and Hizbollah sympathize with Palestinians.
    Syria has a stake in the future of Palestinians. It has supported them since their ouster from Jordan.
    Israel knows Palestinians are against the ropes. It is alternating between provocation and appeasement in its dealings.
    Iran has problems of its own and in no hurry to solve the problem but if the nuclear issue is resolved, Tehran could bolster the peace process.
    Unless something drastic happens, the stalemate will continue into 2010 and beyond.

  43. November 26, 2009 at 18:00

    As long as there is mutual suspicion between the Palestinians and the Israelis on achieving a final settlement of their disputes, each side will try to portray the other as intransigent. The argument the Israelis have is that there are hardliner Palestinians like Hamas who won’t rest until the Jewish state is wiped out of the map. Israel considers many Palestinians as die-hard terrorists who are waiting for the right moment to strike with whatever weapon they have.

    For Palestinians, Israel is unlikely to give them the land they’re asking for and they can’t have a fully independent state.

    As such, the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis will continue as long as they can’t yield an inch on matters they consider as vital for them, including the future of Jerusalem and how it should be shared or divided between them. They need good mediators that create a rapprochement between them, instead of using their conflict for their own sake to have more political influence in the Middle East, like Iran.

  44. 64 Billy Wachakana
    November 26, 2009 at 18:04

    The Israelis have been behaving like babies since 1948 when they were settled where they are now. why should the depend on another force to solve their own problems? i think its time the US and other mediation powers leave them alone to solve their conflicts with Palestine.

  45. 65 JanB
    November 26, 2009 at 18:26

    Maybe we do have to let them work it out themselves, even if that means maintaining an uneasy cease fire. It’s not like we care about similar situations elsewhere (Kashmir, Georgia, Sudan, Congo/Rwanda, Western Sahara, Iranian Baluchistan, Kurdistan, Cyprus, former Prussia, etc…) but somehow we spend billions on negotiations between two relatively small peoples who both want the same thing. There’s no way either of them is going to release their claim to East Jerusalem and while Israel might someday offer to pay off relatives of 1948 refugees (if Arab nations agree to pay off relatives of Jewish refugees), I don’t think Palestinians will let go of their “right to return” as long as Israel continues to be richer than the Palestinian territories.

    The whole issue seems deadlocked, the only way out I see is that the Palestinian territories be divided among their Arab neighbors, because history has shown Palestinians don’t mind occupations, only Jewish occupations.
    Of course the Arab leaders don’t like this solution because with this conflict resolved they’d have to go through the trouble of finding a new scapegoat to blame all of their internal problems on.

    No way out for the time being, so maybe it’s time to stop interfering in the process, just like we don’t interfere when the same thing happens in Cyprus or Georgia.

    • 66 Ibrahim in UK
      November 26, 2009 at 19:16

      Except that the Arabs joined the British and French to fight off the Ottoman occupation and then fought off the British and French occupations. In general, Arabs don’t like to be occupied by foreigners, be they Muslims (Ottomans), Christians (British, French) or Jews(Israel).
      Strangely, no occupation in the world is funded by a foreign power as heavily as the US funds the Israeli occupation of Palestine. How do US taxpayers feel at spending billions of their taxes to fund foreign occupations, foreign dictators and illegal wars, instead of funding healthcare for their own people.

  46. 67 viola
    November 26, 2009 at 18:36

    Yes, indeed. Leave them to go at it. As if that’s ever going to happen.

    Saw a great debate on bbc tv (the Doha Debates?) that was won narrowly by the winning side’s question, “Do you want peace?” That argument was, however, effective only after the winning side also made clear that, like the opposing debaters, they too hated Israel and supported Palestine.

    Conclusion: If you’re not talking to an Israeli in the Middle East, expecting someone to consider your points is only a pipe dream if you do not first declare that Israel is always wrong and Palestine is always right.

    And that great debate was about the whole Middle East. If dialogue about peace in the entire region can only take place with that pre-condition, how much more so is that the dynamic in the actual dialogue between Israel and Palestine?

    How many other dialogues in the world require one side to declare itself wrong before the dialogue can start? It’s crazy.

  47. 68 Robert Macala
    November 26, 2009 at 18:39

    But what does the Israel Lobby and the neo-con supporters and, of course, what does Fox News think about all of this. These forces control American policy, but of course, the American People are paying 650 Billion a year on national defense. Friedman has been explaining the Israeli/Paletinian conditions for years, but no one listens because he is part of the problem. He’s a Israeli support first, an “international expert” second or third.

  48. 69 Elina, Finland
    November 26, 2009 at 18:47

    “Should Israelis and Palestinians be left to make their own peace?”

    In all honesty, it’s hard for me to believe these two people could ever share a country together. A two state solution is the only viable solution for all parties — and it would be fine if the Israelis and the Palestinians could make their own peace. But I tend to think it’s unrealistic to expect permanent peace could be achieved without the US mediating.

  49. 70 Ranon
    November 26, 2009 at 18:49

    For sure the best thing would be for the U.S. and E.U. to stop pushing the parties around. In fact, peace initiatives are merely euphemisms for pressuring Israel to make concessions. There have been no Palestinian concessions, not one; neither have any been seriously demanded from them. The latest demand from the U.S. that Israel stop building homes—note that Palestinian Arabs were not asked to stop building—had one major effect: the Palestinians upped their demands. In the sixteen years since the Oslo agreements in 1993, the Arabs had never made a total settlement freeze a condition for talks.
    My advice: leave both sides alone and let them get used to living side by side. It may take years, but ultimately a generation will be born that will not be affronted by the sight of the other. The beginnings may already be visible in the “West Bank.” Since the Second Intifada was put down and violence pretty much stopped, the economy has been booming (despite the astonishing corruption in the Palestinian Authority), and daily life has become more and more attractive. Meanwhile in Gaza, where Hamas and other groups keep the fires of violence stoked, the economy is in a shambles and daily life is awful. At some point the Arabs of Gaza will wake up to this too.

  50. 71 Tom K in Mpls
    November 26, 2009 at 19:07

    I cannot overstate how wrong it is to support either side, in any way, in any dispute based in fundamental religious beliefs. The end is up to them, and I have no interest in how it turns out. I just hope it happens soon. Press coverage, which is normally tainted with sensationalism doesn’t help. Ignore it as long as it stays within their borders.

  51. November 26, 2009 at 19:13

    Israel has stolen Palestinian land by force for 61 years and is an occupying power with overwhelming force. There is no symmetry in this relationship, no equivalence in power, responsibility, legality, or validity of claims under international law or the facts of history. Without a balance of power, negotiation is impossible.

    Only external, non-violent force in the form of boycotts, divestment and sanctions can create balance and make a solution possible similar to what ended apartheid in South Africa. The so-called “2-state solution” is a Bantustan model proposal, an effort by the party in power to isolate an unwanted population, that failed in South Africa.

    Palestinians under occupation, within Israel, and in the refugee diaspora demand Israeli compliance with international law ensrining their right of return and restoration of their stolen property. For Israel to accept this, they must abandon Zionism and its insistence on Jewish majority and supremacy. The only viable solution will be a single, democratic state with equality for all.

    Friedman is right in calling for disengagement by the US, which has supported Israel with massive funding and military assistance and blocked international sanctions against Israel by 42 Security Council vetoes.

  52. 74 Nan Rebo
    November 26, 2009 at 19:20

    Nobody has mentioned that maybe left to themselves it
    would sort itself out by the little mentoned solution that
    Jordan is Palestine. 80% of the population of Jordan
    (about 2 million) are Palestinians. They would have their
    own football fields,parliament, schools and all the money
    given to the situation by Europe and America could be
    used to build cities in Jordan which is four times the
    size of Israel..lovely dream if it were to come true.Based on
    the real truth of the real situation.

  53. 75 K in Washington DC
    November 26, 2009 at 19:24

    Absolutely! And we, as Americans, can’t wait to rid ourselves of this dispute. The problem is Israel is our only ally in the Middle East. So, it comes down to American military station in Middle East, or no?
    My position: I decry Israel’s evasive political rhetoric and blatant lies. I say, let America step out of the picture and let them go at it, no holds barred.

  54. November 26, 2009 at 19:29

    it’s true once Isreal really try’s to make peace it wil happen, if the world just lays off peace will never be achieved. Isreal is to blame cause they are only consurnt about there own savity.
    building wall? off all religions around the globe the jews should know best not building walls disconecting familys. fuelling anger by offensive defensive actions.
    sorry for the poor spelling

  55. 77 steve
    November 26, 2009 at 19:37

    Notice your palestinian guest basically said if Palestinians don’t get Jerusalem, there will be war not only with Palestinians, but all Arabs? Sorry, but it’s the Capital of Israel. SHould have thought about that before you built your holy sites on top of someone elses.

  56. November 26, 2009 at 19:37

    I was not going to put a post on this one.1948-2009,and not a glimmer of solution.But having read and listened to some of this,I have to come down on the side of,Patti,Tom and Brinda.The exception: instead of hate try detestation.

  57. 79 steve
    November 26, 2009 at 19:39

    What does your palestinian guest think about Jordanian occupation of the west bank from 1948-1967? Notice when he talks about occupation, it’s only if Israel does it? Why ignore EGyptian and Jordanian occupation of palestinian land, and they didn’t give Palestinians independence.

  58. 80 Fran from Spain
    November 26, 2009 at 19:41

    Israel should accept their borders like was arranged in United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_UN_Partition_Plan
    It’s the only way to reach peace.

    • 81 Larry
      November 29, 2009 at 20:42

      To Fran from Spain,
      Israel did, in fact, accept the borders dictated by the 1947 Partition plan (and the 1936 Peel Commision plan before that). It is the Arab side that has always rejected the Two-state-for-two-people solution. They attacked the newborn Jewish state in 1948. They never created a Palestinian state when Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt occupied Gaza from 1948 to 1967. They rejected generous offers to create a state made by Barak in 2000 and Olmert in 2008.

      THis is all due to their refusal to acknowledge that the Jewish people have any historical connection to any part of this land. They deny that there were two Jewish temples long before the Dome of the Rock was built. They paint the false picture of themselves as victims and the Jews as outsiders. That’s why they deny that Jews have any rights at all to ANY parts of this land. They are the true intransigent side.

  59. 82 steve
    November 26, 2009 at 19:42

    He used the term “palestinian jews”. He doesn’t even accept that Israel exists.

    • 83 Halima Brewer
      November 27, 2009 at 08:33

      It goes both ways, If Israelis do not accept that Palestinians have equal rights, of course there will always be resistance. Israelis are in the position of the most power, therefore have the most to concede to equality. That does not presuppose that Palestinians must concede something as well, but their position is far, far weaker, therefore most of the onus for change must necessarily be on the Israelis.

      Only by everyone adopting the concept of equal human rights – right of movement, right of representation in government, right to property, right of access to infratructure (roads, schools, etc) on an EQUAL parity with everyone else, then there will NEVER be peace.

      if I were a Palestinian, I am not at all confident I could be a pacifist. If I were an Israeli, I would join a peace movement to foster awareness of the plight of the Palestinians and insist that my own identity could only be maintained by understanding and having some sympathy for the other.

  60. 84 Adam
    November 26, 2009 at 19:42

    I’m in Portland, OR, USA. These two guests agree on everything but settlements and east jerusalem. if they trade on these two issues, they’re talking about the same peace outcome.

  61. 85 Tom D Ford
    November 26, 2009 at 19:51

    No, Friedman is wrong. Neither side can be trusted, so outside international parties need to be seriously involved.

    I don’t see the way through, but I appreciate people like Ramy Khouri who approach it rationally and logically.

    But there are so many different factions even within each side, that have to be brought together to negotiate that the sheer complexity is nearly overwhelming.

  62. 86 Ernest, Lithuania
    November 26, 2009 at 19:51

    Each side in this process knows settlement is inevitable and both try to bargain out the most using all leverage they can.The only obstacle is lack of courageous leaders like Itzchak Rabin, who would be ready to accept being “defeated “( in the moral argument of who is the victim / agressor) in the greater interest of his nation. This lack of leadership is evident on both sides.The common people should understand that there is not going to be no condemnation and punishment for any side in the conflict. They are like siamese twins that just need to learn to live with each other,

  63. 87 Matt (from Canada)
    November 26, 2009 at 19:51

    To say that you are a refugee and it’s taken 1900 years for you to return home, to me, is a preposterous notion. It is proof that Israel has no intention of compromising on the land claim issues.

    I find this line of thought troubling. If it were embraced by all indinginous peoples around the world then we would be buried in hundreds of confilcts stemming from land claims that are centuries old and not relevent to the current global situation.

    Complete compromise is the only way. Logic and reason must replace religion and history.

  64. 88 Yasha Sturgill
    November 26, 2009 at 19:57

    One person’s “holy sites” are not the same as others’. I find people’s insistance that the bible is some god’s word actually laughable. However, the fact that I have to live with the ridiculous fallout from this childish baloney from the palestinians and the israelis is crazy-making!

  65. November 26, 2009 at 19:58

    Both sides need pressure applied them otherwise nothing will happen,both a peaceful and violent solution is possible it is up yo the protagonists to choose which one they want.Israel has to reach a compromise because the USAs relative power will decline .

  66. November 26, 2009 at 19:59

    Both sides need pressure applied to them otherwise nothing will happen.Both a peaceful and violent solution is possible it is up to the protagonists to choose which one they want.Israel has to reach a compromise because the USAs relative power will decline .

  67. November 26, 2009 at 20:00

    The US “money wasted” is not spent on peace-making, but on arming and supporting Israel at $3+ billion/year, with another $3+ billion/year given to Egypt and Jordan to induce (bribe) them to keep the peace with Israel and suppress their own population’s discontent. Palestine receives only 1/40th the foreign aid given Iarael and 1/80th the money spent to suppress them. It is indeed money wasted.

  68. 92 Penelope
    November 26, 2009 at 20:04

    from Narbonne, France

    I cannot believe how utterly patronising your caller Barbara was – she appeared to consider the Palestinians as “untermenschen”: her attitude reminds me of the racist attitude of certain white South Africans before the era of the rainbow nation: as long as Israelis think like that there will be no solution. I have lived in Israel & Palestine & if you dig a little into the so-called “liberal attitude”, unfortunately this is often what you find.
    I agree with Friedman – cut off ALL the money & I would go further: the moment that either of the 2 sides do not respect their promises (viz Israel & the EU, Palestine authorities & aid), terminate all contracts, all sporting engagements & all cultural exchange – ALL!
    It worked in South Africa…eventually.

  69. 93 Michel Norman
    November 26, 2009 at 20:05

    Ranon – 20 years ago tens if not hundreds of thousands of Palestinians worked in Israel – there was day to day contract and both sides were humanized.

    The first intifada put a stop to this, and the two peoples no longer had contact except in a confrontational situation.

    Unfortunately when Arafat had to make the tough decision to make peace he could not do it and launched a wave of suicide bombers which led directly to the building of the wall -and now neither side has any contact with the other and each side has become dehumanized in the eyes of the other.

    So until we have some sort of peace and fixed borders and can visit each other’s countries then no generation will rise up

    Leaving the situation alone is a gift to those who speak in God’s name or put words into his mouth that the other side has no rights.

  70. 94 Motek
    November 26, 2009 at 20:05

    The Palestinians don’t have strong enough leadership to make peace with Israel and along with Hamas in Gaza it’s never going to happen. The best way for peace to occur is for Egypt to govern Gaza strip and for Jordan to govern the west bank; as both areas used to belong to those countries and Israel is a peace with both Egypt and Jordan. Conflict resolved.

  71. 95 Michel Norman
    November 26, 2009 at 20:16

    Jayyab – If you read this it was good to speak with you, and I am sure that one day you will get your passport. You spoke eloquently of Jerusalem, well just as Moslems pray to Mecca, we pray in the direction of Jerusalem, we pray for our return to Jerusalem three times a day, we recall our grief at the loss of the temple at the height of the celebrations of our weddings and that has been the state since 70AD. I am not denying your right to Jerusalem, but neither can you deny ours. Just as the Settlements are a sore point for you, from our perspective, denying Jews a right to live over the Green line draws up memories of the Mufti of Jerusalem and his friend Adolf Hitler and making land Judenrein.
    Your heartfelt desire to return to your land is matched by our need to maintain our majority in our land because as you now understand living as a refugee is something that nobody wants.

  72. 96 Michel Norman
    November 26, 2009 at 20:21

    Jayyab – to continue

    I don’t know what a fair solution for the refugees is, Israel will never accept massive repatriation, especially when accompanied by a mass expulsion of Jews from the West Bank. It sounds to us like a salami action – first the West Bank and then an Arab majority in Israel and then the end of Israel – that is the 2 sides of the coin. Personally I think that There should be 2 states with both of our peoples having the right and the opportunity to visit each others countries. There were actually more Jewish refugees in 48 than Palestinians, and they too deserve compensation.

    I very much hope that one day, when you are living in a Palestinian State in the West Bank and later Gaza as well, we will be able to visit each other – I get the feeling that we both want the same thing.

  73. 97 viola
    November 26, 2009 at 20:29

    I enjoyed hearing Barbara say out loud what lots of people think: The natural border of Israel is the Jordan River.

    Not only that, but if a world body can decide that Palestine would be an area with borders as drawn by that world body in 1948, what’s to stop that world body from now changing its mind and deciding that a new Palestine will be created in part of what is now Jordan? Or both Israel and Palestine being “disappeared” by world action and some other group of people looking for a country getting possession and all Palestinians and Israelis sent to refugee camps for the next 2000 years? Since the 1948 border was resoundingly rejected by the Palestinians and the rest of Arab Middle East, the United Nations should have felt free to move all the Palestinians to Jordan. There wouldn’t have been any more wars fought over that than have actually been fought.

    Sound ridiculous? Hey, maybe they need to negotiate and settle or have someone else do it for them. The whole world is sick of being jerked around by this never-ending stupid story.

  74. 98 Joseph
    November 26, 2009 at 20:52

    If their positions were equal it would be fair. But in the situation where one is totally crippled by the other one that was and is well fed getting absolute support from worlds number one superpower well that is not fair. Even with international pressure on Israel they are still building more and more settlements behaving the way – we have naturally more rights because we are Israel that God has chosen, there is never going to be peace. Without international involvement I dont want to imagine what would Israel be doing then. Their settlements are giving clear signal to palestinians that their land is never going be their state as settlements are not going to be removed it is going to be more and more of them. There is nobody who can put pressure on Israel while US stands behind them. And US has to support Israel as AIPAC controls US. So put together there is no superpower backing palestinians, they mean nothing to US economy, they dont have anything like AIPAC, they are doomed nation and would need a miracle to have their own state ever. And that kind of miracle doesnt happen

  75. 99 theo Tatsi
    November 26, 2009 at 21:48

    I will say yes. These are supposedly descendants of two great religions that is Judaism and Islam with a mixture of Christianity. These great religions all have extensive codes of conduct to resolve conflict. The Israelis should stop what they do best that is build settlements and oppress the Palestinians and the Palestinians should also stop their murderous subversion. They should have a period to fast and purity themselves then meet in their beloved Jerusalem and if their faith in their God is worthy and as strong as their various passionate pursuits to destroy each other then in Jerusalem Allah or Jehovah will deliver them and I think he will do.
    The question is whether they have faith enough to believe in their beliefs allowing the Almighty God to come and resolve their conflict?

  76. 100 archibald
    November 26, 2009 at 22:23

    The US. and Britain need to find the courage to simultaneously take responsibility for their ill conceived step child (Israel), cut off the allowance and get it into counseling for anger management, a show of good faith which will go far in the Arab world toward brokering a lasting peace.
    Only by example will anyone be able to lead the region out of strife. Despite all of the hard liners who argue force over fraternity, who have had their way for centuries, we have barely progressed beyond tribal bickering, murder and destruction to solve all disputes. There is another way which requires much more courage than pulling a trigger, but as long as someone is aiming their rifle at another human being, it cannot happen.

    • 101 Michel Norman
      November 28, 2009 at 23:17

      How exactly is Britain of all places responsible – It hived off 80% of the land to create trans-jordan, it prevented Jews from escaping from Germany to the mandated territory (the mandate stated specifically that Britain was to faciliate the creation of a Jewish State in the mandated territory) – it set up concentration camps in Cyprus for holocaust refugees, while turning a blind eye to massive Arab immigration, when it left it handed over every single military instillation to the Arabs, it provided arms and officers for the Jordanian army, arms for the Egyptian army, the RAF even flew on the Egyptian side. Britain could not have done anything more to stop Israel come into existence, this was Albion at its most perfidious.

      Anger management – We sufferred thousands of rockets fired at our towns before reacting – how many rockets were fired at your towns before you invaded Iraq killing countless times more civilians than Hammas managed to get killed by the IDF by hiding among civilians.

  77. 102 Aryeh Wetherhorn
    November 26, 2009 at 22:37

    The whole settlement issue is just a red herring. The Palestinians, both Hamas and Fatah, are still dreaming that tey can make Israel disappear. If Abbas and his crew were serious about a peace agreeent of any kind would they still be teaching their school children that Israel is a temporary entity? They haven’t suceeded with any tactic tried up to now so they want someone from outside to force the Israelis to give them what they (the Palestinians) want without having to even make a commitment to an agreement that they probably wouldn’t intend to honor anyway. The road to a lasting agreement starts with enough pressure on the Palestinians, and their other Arab friends, to recognize that a real 2 state agreement is in their own best interest. The Israelis have accepted this starting with the original 1947 partition agreement. The Arab side has always rejected it. Leave Israel out of the picture until the Palestinians are serious about accepting the 2 state idea. Don’t look at what they say for the Western media. Watch what they say and do to educate their own people.

    • 103 Hali
      November 27, 2009 at 13:08

      Why do you think that is, Aryeh? The original partition still meant taking half of the land Palestinians lived in. Would you like it if someone ordered you to give up half of your home to someone else?
      Israel is part of the problem because it is occupying land originally belonging to others. The problem stems from seeing Israel as having rights, but denying the same rights to anyone who raises an objection to total Israeli takeover.

      It could equally be said, leave the Palestinians out of it until Israel decides that it wants peace, which would necessarily mean equal rights. As long as “peace” means for the Israelis, but no concept of the needs or aspirations of Palestinians, it can only be peace of submission or peace of the dead.

      Peace must come with justice or it is no peace at all. Justice means equality. Both sides must have equal land and autonomy rights.

  78. 104 Jayson Rex
    November 26, 2009 at 23:42

    All kinds of arguments will be brought forward regarding this never-ending conflict – pointing out what the Arabs or the Jews, or both, ought to do. These arguments are totally useless because the main ingredient – mutual confidence – is sorely missing.

    What most people don’t seem to understand is that confidence, just like credit, must be earned, usually the hard way, and can never be imposed, much less by outsiders, even when their intentions are beyond reproach.

    Let Israelis and Palestinians negotiate directly without interference from any nation or organization or association or committee or … God only knows who else would want to intermediate such complicated project.

    As Dr. Aumann, the 2005 Nobel Prize laureate would say, through his famous Repetitive Games Theory, negotiating means giving something in exchange for getting something equally valuable to both parties – without winners or losers. All
    for the sake of peace.

  79. 105 Joy Wolfe
    November 27, 2009 at 00:19

    Whatever the Israelis offer it will never be enough for the Palestinians who only want the destruction of Israel as included in the charter of Hamas and the Palestinin Authority.
    The international community sought agreement for a building freeze from Israel.
    Now that has been given the Palestinians come up with new demands.
    The minute there is any sign of peace the Palestinian leadership manages to sabotage it. And let’s not forget it was only just over a week ago that another rocket hit Sderot. Yet still Israel keeps trying to make peace. The international community needs to put pressure on the Palestinans to show that they actually want a peaceful solution as thus far there is no ev idence they do

  80. 106 Ed Russakoff
    November 27, 2009 at 01:04

    As always happens whenever any aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict is debated, the discussion here has taken a familar turn. All of the fault rests with Israel and with its enabling, dysfunctional parent, the United States. The Palestinians, who for close to a century have had a national movement replete with leaders, institutions and ideology, bare no blame for their predicament whatsoever.
    Regardless of whether the United States becomes actively involved in fostering peace talks, progress will not be made until the Palestinians begin to question whether the strategies they and their leaders have adpoted in attempting to advance their national cause have worked. Such questioning might just lead them to pursue a pragmatic course that promises some success. The choices the Palestinians have made right from the beginning have lead to only one place – absolutely nowhere. Ongoing castigation of Israel and threats of boycotts and outright obliteration only makes Israel intrasigent. Why should Israel make any concessions at all when the Palestinians and their acoloytes in the Arab and Muslim worlds insist on its extinction?

  81. 107 Tan Boon Tee
    November 27, 2009 at 04:00

    Believe it or not, for more than 6 decades both camps have never been that sincere or frank in their negotiations, let alone agreed on a compromise.

    When disrespect and mistrust continue to exert their ugly pressure, how could anything tangible emerge?

    And the conflict drags on, and on.

  82. 108 Keith
    November 27, 2009 at 05:45

    The USA should stop any sort of foreign aid to any country whether it be military aid or any other sort of aid. The USA should pull its troops out of all foreign countries. The USA should ignore what happens in other countries on a political level. The USA should lift any embargos it has on communist countries and any embargo it might have with any islamic countries. Military isolationism is not isolationist because America would be still trading with other countries due to the global nature of the market. America is acting like a paranoid country. We used to have a communist scare. Before that we had a native american scare. Now America is scared of muslims. There is nothing to be scared of. America should just relax and enjoy its wealth. The paranoia of America has reduced the quality of life for Americans.

  83. 109 Elina, Finland
    November 27, 2009 at 07:13

    Thanks WHYS team, it was a great programme last night! And special thanks to Ros for giving Miche and Jayyab the time to have their conversation, it made very interesting listening indeed.

  84. 110 Michel Norman
    November 27, 2009 at 08:54

    Matt – your comment about 1900 years- The Jews were expelled from their land by the Roman invaders and their experience in exile has been overwhelmingly horrific -when in your view does the right to return expire? – are you saying the Palestinians have had 60 years, that is long enough – should Israel just wait 100 years, 200 years and then Palestinian claims become irrelevant??? We are two peoples who will have to learn to share this slither of land – It did not help that the British hived off 80% of the land to create Transjordan so we have to make do with what is less, both of us have legitimate claims – what causes this conflict to continue is the continued denial of the other side’s rights to a country and the need to compromise. Perhaps if you directed your comments less at a re-hash of propaganda and myths and more at a practical solution we would be getting somewhere.

  85. 111 Hali
    November 27, 2009 at 13:17

    This is the third or fourth time I have tried to make a point – for some reason my comments before have been rejected. I have not said anything rude – I have argued for human rights. Israeli AND Palestinian human rights.
    For peace to even be possible, it is necessary to consider ALL human beings as equal before the law. That means freedom of movement, autonomy, and religious worship.
    A two state solution means two equal states – both with rights of self-defense, and clear defensible borders. It means Palestine must have definable and continuous borders, with its own relationship with other countries. It means Israel cannot say what can come in or go out of it, and cannot decide if it has a military or not. Obviously it would mean a viable peace treaty. At present, Palestine consists of a set of small enclaves surrounded by Israel and ruled by Israel. That is not sustainable in any case. To have a viable state would mean several city sized settlements would have to be abandoned. That would evoke a huge outcry – as these places are now well-established. But how else is it possible to have a state of Palestine?
    A single state solution would necessitate a acceptance of a secular state where all citizens have equal rights to movement, property, education, and access to infrastructure including jobs. That would necessitate Israel becoming officially more secular and tolerant.
    In either case, it means more to give up by the Israelis, but the alternative is continuing oppression and conflict with Palestinians – the status quo, but getting worse.
    Until all human beings can be regarded as equal, there is no solution, by anyone anywhere and all “peace processes” are empty lies.

  86. 112 James Ian
    November 27, 2009 at 13:36

    Sure, let them duke it out and get it over with. May the best god and country win.

  87. 113 JanB
    November 27, 2009 at 16:53


    Israel is more secular and democratic than any other state in the Middle East, save maybe Turkey, a few weeks ago an Arab member of the Israeli parliament called Hamas “martyrs”, and got away with it because of freedom of speech.

    Thinking that an independent Palestine would be a responsible democracy is ludicrous. It would most likely be a dictatorship run by a “strong man” (both Hamas and Fatah are clearly not suited for democracy) with widespread corruption and arbitrary detentions and executions and religious discrimination, like Egypt or Jordan.
    So its pretty easy to understand why even the most secular Israeli wouldn’t want to live in an Arab-majority state.

  88. November 27, 2009 at 17:22

    What happened to the “Peace-Processing-Is-Us” thread?

    I received email notification of a comment, but the included link draws a “not found” error.

  89. November 27, 2009 at 17:29

    JanB, “Thinking that an independent Palestine would be a responsible democracy is ludicrous. It would most likely be a dictatorship run by a “strong man” (both Hamas and Fatah are clearly not suited for democracy) with widespread corruption and arbitrary detentions”

    Israeli “democracy” specialises in “arbitrary detention” (where are most of the democratically elected Hamas folk? Israelalso specialises in making sure no Pal;estinian leadership is allowed tyo emerge, so that “strong man” types are the only ones left in the field. And if “strong man” isn’t an appropriate descriptor for Ariel Sharon and Bibi, I can’t think of a better term.

    But perhaps you’re unaware of the irony in your comment.

    • 116 Michel Norman
      November 27, 2009 at 18:36

      Ironically – Bibi is certainly not strong – to stay in power he has to rely on a coalition that effectively stops him ruling, Sharon was in the same position. To say that Israel stops a strong Palestinian leader from emerging is the diametric opposite of the truth. Arafat was rescued by Israel and every time that Abu Mazen is in trouble we are called upon to make yet another gesture to support him. The problem is that we simultaneously need 2 strong committed leaders on both side or one very commited American President who is willing to put pressure on both sides and knock heads together to make progress.

      Having said that – it actualy looks that the PA is doing an excellent job in the West Bank and really building towards statehood. The test comes for both sides when they have to implement the really tough decisions that will need to be taken to disengage our peoples and finalize a peace treaty.

  90. November 27, 2009 at 19:01

    Hali, “A single state solution would necessitate a acceptance of a secular state where all citizens have equal rights to movement, property, education, and access to infrastructure including jobs. That would necessitate Israel becoming officially more secular and tolerant.
    In either case, it means more to give up by the Israelis,”

    Discussion on a single state solution is linked here:
    And as to “more to give up”, you’re forgetting that the Palestinians once had all of Palestine…


    • 118 Michel Norman
      November 28, 2009 at 17:20

      Ed – can you tell us when the Palestinians actually had Palestine – most of the land was held by effendis who lived in places like Beirut, there never was an independent state called Palestine – ever – the “Palestinians” themselves for the large part considered themselves as part of the syrian province of the Turkish empire before the British arrived – and when the British left the Jordanians and Egyptians took over the land that should and could have been Palestine.

      I am not denying that there is a people who now condider themselves to be Palestinians and who should have a homeland – but at least get your historical facts right.

    • 119 Hali
      November 29, 2009 at 10:04

      Yes, I agree with you Ed. But that was then. I think that despite the injustice of history, the best bet now would be to acknowledge a Jewish state of some sorts, but only if there can be some equality and justice for Palestinians. I do not see how a Jewish state as now will ever have, nor ever deserves peace unless they can give up considerable land or share it with equal rights with Palestinians. It means the most “giving up” of the status quo. I suppose what probably WILL happen – as is the present policy of Israel, is to keep eating up Palestinian land until any semblance of Palestine is gone and those of Palestinian origin become refugees in a diaspora.
      I believe that is the policy and is backed by the US and all noises about so-called “peace” is merely a way to keep human rights activists as silenced as possible, and to keep an ignorant and biased public in various countries appeased. Keep it up about persecution of Jews, and it shuts up a lot of people for fear of not being politically correct, and keep on about how horrible and terrorist Palestinians (or for that matter, Muslims in general) are and that is present policy. I see no end to that at present. The present situation and ongoing policy is racist and apartheid.
      Any long term solution must include a vision of universal equality of human rights for all ethnic groups and individuals. That is the key – and really the only real obstacle.

    • November 30, 2009 at 02:21

      Ed Iglehart , you forgot that the Israelites got more lands in the six days war. Also, we should not forget that were it not for the Romans, Israelites will never leave their land. It is true Palestine people took the land in war, which made them stay on that land for centuries. If we are to judge on lands acquired through wars, then the Israelites should keep all the land they took since 1948. But they are of the same father, what belongs to Abraham belongs to them all. They are both hospitable group of people on earth. Let the terrorism stop, I am sure Israel will pull down the wall. Their children and families deserve to be safe in their own homes. May the Lord perform a mirracle of peace in Israel.

  91. 121 Leonel Contreras
    November 28, 2009 at 06:39

    The first step to fix this problem once and for all is to democratize The United Nations assembly .One country one vote,as long as the five veto powers remain, it will be a fantasy, to think it will ever be a permanent solution to this.Stop wasting tax payers money on expensive meetings .The UN needs a real democratizing revolution to stop this madness tyrannic DICTATORSHIP of the nuke five veto power machine.No wonder they do not want anybody else to posses the bomb

  92. 122 Ronald Almeida
    November 28, 2009 at 09:43

    Usually it is best for third parties not to poke their noses in conflicts that don’t concern them, and let the two with the misunderstandings solve their differences by themselves. But in this case, where innocent people are loosing life and property it’s not that easy to stand by and do nothing. There are also those involved with an axe to grind.

  93. November 28, 2009 at 12:35

    When Israelis and Palestinians start to see themselves in their true identity as Middle Easterners, then they will have acquired the level of intellect necessary to begin to solve the problems.

  94. 124 Tony Baker
    November 28, 2009 at 13:29

    As the Channel 4 programme ‘Dispatches – Inside Britains Israel Lobby’ showed, while politicians are receiving money from from the Conservative Friends of Israel and the Labour Friends of Israel lobby groups and members of those lobby groups, it is highly unlikely that British politicians are going to speak out against Israel.

    The AIPAC lobby group does the same in the United States, which is why American politicians won’t criticise or speak out against Israel.

    As both the Britain and the United States are permenant members of the UN Security, Israel can be sure that none of the UN resolutions affecting Israel have ever or will ever be enforced.

    It is hard to see what Israel would gain from either a single state solution or a two state solution. A single state solution could eventually mean the Israeli population being outnumbered and out voted by the palestinian population. A two state solution would mean an end to further settlements and expansion, and control of the West Bank and Gaza. A two state solution would only benefit the palestinians. In fact any solution would only benefit the Palestinians.

    I know this is probably a bit cynical, but the other problem with finding a solution is that the politicians would also lose the funding they receive from the lobbying groups and members of the lobbying groups.

    • 125 Fred
      December 2, 2009 at 10:14


      That Channel 4 programme in UK set out with an anti Israel and anti Jewish


      . Firstly they distorted the intrepretation of some of the interviews [e.g Prof. David Newman ,left winger from Ben Gurion University fro one]

      Secondly they conclued at the end they they had found no secret conspacy after all .

      Thirdly if the “pro – israel lobby ” is so strong why does israel get such a bad press ?

      • 126 Tony Baker
        December 3, 2009 at 16:51

        I don’t think the program set out to be anti Israeli or anti jewish. It just put the spotlight on the very influential lobbying groups the Labour and Conservative Friends of Israel.

        I don’t remember anybody saying anything about a conspiracy.

        What examples are there of Israel getting a bad press.

        The strength of the Israeli lobbying groups is evidenced by the unreserved support for Israel by the British and American governments, and the fact the Israel is able to ignore the numerous UN resolutions and international law.

    • 127 Amanda Thomas
      December 2, 2009 at 13:08

      It is a shame to be so cynical. Is that really how it is?

  95. November 29, 2009 at 16:01

    Just think, if Palestinians and other Arab states had welcomed back the Jews to a small piece of land that no logic can deny them, how different it would all be.

    But Israel was born at the end of European colonisation in the middle East and Arab nationalists , dictators all, couldnt accept a democracy in their midst. Jews and Muslims have lived side by side throughout North Africa for 1500 years.

    The Arab and Muslim world will not remove Israel from the map. How many more innocent people will die before Palestinians realise that they are fighting a losing battle.

    I believe that the Palestinian people are led by criminals who line their own pockets at the peoples expense. But thats the way they have always done it.

  96. November 30, 2009 at 01:52

    Israel and Palestine should never be left alone to make their own peace. We should not forget that if the Nazis did not destroyed the jews, they may not even think of returning home. But Israel is their land, they have no where to go. But so are the Palestine people. The world should continue to pray for the two brothers, who are killing each other because of land. If Abraham should wake from his grave, he would be the most unhappy man. Thank god that is sleep is sweat.

  97. 130 patti in cape coral
    November 30, 2009 at 14:01

    I just glimpsed at an entry that said that the Jordan was the natural border of Israel, but I remember a geography class in high school where we were told rivers make bad borders because they move over time.

  98. 131 David
    November 30, 2009 at 15:34

    You can not use double standard in law otherwise it is not a law any more. UN should look carefully to see whether it is enforcing its laws. Otherwise I do not see its relevance.

  99. 132 harrison
    December 1, 2009 at 09:47

    the desire for bilateral talks concerning the potentially bacchanalian like recognition of both parties desire to be free from being, at times, exploded, should grow as a child would a man. no one likes to be blown up, it would be childish to think so. were be these enemies anyway.

  100. December 1, 2009 at 16:50

    “The present situation and ongoing policy is racist and apartheid.
    Any long term solution must include a vision of universal equality of human rights for all ethnic groups and individuals. That is the key – and really the only real obstacle.”

    All the present problems were identified in 1919 by a group of over 300 prominent American Jews in a petition to President Wilson. A link to their remarkably prescient remarks has twice failed moderation, but can be found in the ‘primer’ link in one of my previous posts.

    As to getting my history right on the matter of landholding, tenure, and the occupation of Palestine by its native people, see the Hope Simpson Report, available here:
    and a note on ‘denial’:


  101. December 1, 2009 at 17:36

    November 25, 2009 at 16:44

    @ Ed

    So in your view, Israel simply cannot exist.”

    My reply to the above seems to have been lost when the thread transmogrified. It follows:

    Steve, “So in your view, Israel simply cannot exist.”

    I didn’t say that, but it is true that I consider the attempt to establish a state based upon an ethno-relious colonisation rates as one of the greatest mistakes of the past century. That it was certain to lead to injustice and bloodshed was predicted in 1919 by some of the most eminent American Jews

    Would that their wisdom had been heeded.


  102. 135 mike Johnson
    December 2, 2009 at 07:25

    Frankly the answer is yes. I am so tired of hearing about their problems, really only an idiot would try and solve a problem that has lasted millenia. The only real answer to all of this will be israel attacking Iran. Then Pandora’s box opens and perhaps things will not go to plan for the IDF. The war is coming and expect it to start when we are all on holiday sitting down to Chrimbo supper. “We interupt this programme to bring you developments…..”

  103. 136 Amanda Thomas
    December 2, 2009 at 13:21

    I feel too ignorant of all the facts to make a meaningful contribution. Everyone seems to speak with wisdom but from a slightly different viewpoint, born of different experience.

    As a mother, it would be nice to just get everybody together to say sorry, (for any misdeeds/misunderstanding, shake hands (truth and reconciliation could perhaps involve trying to make amends even if only in a very humble way) and make friends.

    Is this what all religions are trying to get at?

    Love one another.

    • 137 jaysonrex
      December 2, 2009 at 14:09

      To: Amanda Thomas

      I am sorry to have to say that but “this is the way it is”! In fact, this is the way it has always been.

      More aberations and mass murders have been committed in the name of religions, all religions, than for any other reason, in the history of humanity.

      Don’t get upset. After a little while you will get used to it.

  104. 138 Amanda Thomas
    December 2, 2009 at 13:32

    I feel too ignorant of all the facts to make a meaningful contribution. Everyone seems to speak with wisdom but from a slightly different viewpoint, born of different experience.

    As a mother, it would be nice to just get everybody together to say sorry, (for any misdeeds/misunderstanding), shake hands (truth and reconciliation could perhaps involve trying to make amends even if only in a very humble way) and make friends.

    Is this what all religions are trying to get at?

    Love one another.

  105. December 2, 2009 at 14:34

    “alan garfield
    November 29, 2009 at 16:01

    Just think, if Palestinians and other Arab states had welcomed back the Jews to a small piece of land that no logic can deny them, how different it would all be.

    But Israel was born at the end of European colonisation in the middle East “

    In the early days they were in fact welcomed for the most part, but some of the already-resident Jews were wary of the Zionists’ attituders. Do you somehow imagine that the overt intention to establish a State based upon ethno-religious criteria would be welcomed by any native population???

    The final sentence above says it all – colonial arrogance.


    A link to the UN’s rather comprehensive history of the problem:

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