Thursday, February 3, 2011
A response to the protests- and my response to the response
Talk of the Nation - February 2, 2011
What the Protests May Mean For Middle East Peace
(and when we say peace, of course we mean how will this affect Israel...)
In the first minute, Halevy tells how Israel sees the region- Iran "coming closer and closer," Iranian proxy (Hezbollah) to the north, Hamas to the south (sunnis aligned with shi'ite Iran), and then Egypt and the threat of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover. "The ultimate Israeli nightmare," he says.
So, I forgot to put what I was thinking here... Edit 2/10/11:
This view of the region Israel has really explains a lot, which is why it grabbed me. This is the answer to why do they constantly use disproportionate force to the threat, why do they keep who they can under lockdown, why do they disregard international law, etc. They feel they are the victim, the underdog when in fact the reality is that they are Goliath if Goliath had God behind him. I would like to say that I regret the comparison of the US with God for any other implications this might have for anyone, but this is only to make a point and has no other implications whatsoever.
5:17 Neal Conan asks guest Halevy if Israel is regretting having not made peace with the Palestinians in the 30 years it had before things may change with a new leader or new Egypt.
First, Halevy knocks off 15 years by saying that Palestinians didn't recognize Israel until the mid '90s. I was thinking, ok... that's still 15 years. What does he have to say about that?
He repeats the standard Israeli line. A total myth as it's commonly been called by those who respect human rights and recently- exposed to all. He says Israel made several offers. A long standing myth some still stubbornly fall back on... Clinton proposals Dec 2000- Arafat launched 4 year war of suicide attacks, 2008 or 2009 Olmert put a detailed map on the table, offering over 99% of "the territory" (of Israel/Palestine?, of Gaza/West Bank?, of the West Bank?)- didn't lead to an agreement. He says both sides made mistakes, but blames Palestinians. He says the crux of the issue is refugee return (covered in Palileaks...) which he thinks is code for "demographic disruption" which I see as code for we like apartheid and want everyone else to accept it. He says Palestinians must change their position, much like Israelis have in the willingness to give land for peace. Palestinians must offer on their part for a peace agreement a substantial concession on refugees. I say, first, what about international law? Does this matter at all? All people are supposed to have the right to go back home after war. Israel has not allowed this since its beginning. Now there's a backlog of refugees. Whose fault is that, really? Second, Palestinians did offer (in the past 10 years) a substantial concession on refugees and what did it get them? A "we appreciate it" from Livni and a big fat "no; all of our demands must be met, not just 99%."
Did he miss the Palestine papers leaks of recent weeks? Does he discount them? Does he know or suspect they are a pack of lies as Erekat says? Neal Conan missed a chance at a good question. Wish Diane Rehm was there.
~17:00Caller (Yanika in Washington) talks about the paranoia of Israel about its neighbors being exaggerated and compares Israel and Egypt's blockade of Gaza to Warsaw ghetto. This wasn't the focus of the comments, but it is what Halevy zeroed in on.
"What a comment," he said first. You can tell he wants to cuss her out... or laugh. He then justifies the paranoia and extreme military responses and dismisses the Warsaw ghetto comment as offensive. This type of response that nothing can compare with the Nazi holocaust kind of leads to thinking the Jews having a monopoly on suffering or that anything the Jews do to "defend themselves" is justified no matter how brutal because nothing compares to the holocaust. I just don't think you can use the holocaust to justify the type of collective punishment Israel is inflicting on Palestinians. Why Palestinians must pay for Nazi crimes anyway is a mystery that no one has explained. Why must they be the ones to concede on refugees, have a state with no army, accept a foreign army presence, give up Jerusalem, move to another Arab state, etc? They have already had to make the concession to be driven from their homes, have a large number of Europeans living on their soil, in their houses; what are Israelis prepared to offer in return? No one asks that. They didn't give; they took more land in 1967. They are still looking to take. Or at least make more of what they took unable to be contested- permanently. If it weren't for those pesky UN resolutions and international law to muddle things... Back to my other train of thought...
I definitely take issue with this superiority of Nazi holocaust suffering. Maybe that makes me a holocaust denier. There are so many similarities between the two when you look at Israel chasing out the refugees from their homes in 1948, among other times and various forms of collective punishment. Why can't you compare tragedies? The very fact that Israel is so focused on terrorism and yet is willing to torture and terrorize all Palestinians to force political change and that this is the very definition of terrorism is rich with irony that needs to be discussed, especially as the US has such a favorable opinion of that state.