Israel rightfully own the West Bank . - Page 9

September 26th, 2011  
It would appear that Israel is building settlements as fast as they can on Palestine territory so that in few few more years any land that can be put to use will be under Israeli control. The Palestine people will then be offered what little amount of land is left as there own providing they dint complain about the land grab
September 26th, 2011  
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
It would appear that Israel is building settlements as fast as they can on Palestine territory so that in few few more years any land that can be put to use will be under Israeli control. The Palestine people will then be offered what little amount of land is left as there own providing they dint complain about the land grab
The growth of settlements, both legal and "illegal", has been going on for years, and the interesting part here is that even the "illegal" settlements recieve some degree of support from the Israeli government.

Not all of these settlements are based on farmland, quite a few are situated on hills and other (strategic?) heights in the Palestinian territories.
As such they are rarely self-sustained, but recieves funding trough different organizations.

The real problem with the settlements isn't just the piece of land where they are situated, but the secure roads connecting these settlements together, and linking them to the Israeli highways accross the border.
These secure roads are strictly for Israeli use, and no Palestinians is allowed there, the few crossings where Palestinians are allowed to travel over from one piece of Palestine territory to another is heavily guarded, and the time window for the Palestinians to cross these roads are narrow.

When the Israeli government offered the Palestinians the West-Bank in a trade for peace back in the days when the so called "Roadmap for Peace" was launched, the press noticed that the Palestinian authorities rejected the deal as unacceptable, but they never really discovered why.

The West-Bank offered to the Palestinians was more or less like a Chess-board where you could have all the white squares, but you were not allowed to move around between them.

Interesting enough, the logic was drowned in a new wave of blood, as ususal..
September 26th, 2011  
grey shadow
“Let me stress one thing. Peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a vital interest for us. It would be the realization of a powerful and eternal dream. But it is not a panacea for the endemic problems of the Middle East. It will not give women in some Arab countries the right to drive a car. It will not prevent churches from being bombed. It will not keep journalists out of jail.

What will change this? One word: Democracy - real, genuine democracy. And by democracy, I don't just mean elections. I mean freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, the rights for women, for gays, for minorities, for everyone. What the people of Israel want is for the people of the Middle East to have what you have in America, what we have in Israel - democracy. So it's time to recognize this basic truth. Israel is not what's wrong with the Middle East. Israel is what's right about the Middle East.”

Netanyahu addresses the AIPAC Policy Conference 2011

Here’s our PM in plain view of the entire world, demonstrating in first person what is domestically known as the Ugly Israeli: a ridiculously arrogant, pushy, free-riding, zero-self-awareness caricature of a person. (For Americans, think about that rude sloppily dressed Yankee tourist barging into a vegetarian restaurant in India and demanding a hamburger.)
Or as Carly Simon would put it: “You’re so vain; you probably think this song is about YOU.”

But seriously. Leaving aside the pitiful circus that Congress becomes when they do Israel, and also leaving aside Bibi’s bad personal taste, most Israeli Jews would agree with some version of his statement, and a majority is suspicious or outright hostile towards Obama’s gentle attempts to nudge us towards acknowledging reality.

How can we be so collectively blind? What follows below is not a polemic, but rather an attempt to provide some insight to a nation that sees itself, in some ways, as sitting outside history and not subject to its laws.

What is this History that we are ignoring?

One problem when discussing Israel-Palestine, that the first thing to go down the drain is that simple beautiful principle: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.”

To try and mitigate this problem, below is a simple (incomplete, time permitting) list of major, glaring, important existential facts that most Israelis nowadays either completely ignore, or brazenly defy that they have any practical implications.

A friendly tip: this can be used a self-selection list. If you find most of the facts in the list unbearably false, twisted, maliciously selective or unfair, just save yourself the time and go elsewhere.

But before you do so, consider this: the point in this is not to claim who’s morally “right” or “wrong” (my stand on the matter is well-known, and although it is not 180-degree opposed to Bibi’s, it is certainly well over 90-degrees away from him).

The point is to demonstrate that from a practical standpoint, Israel is now facing a multi-dimensional historical train wreck, mostly of its own making. Yet it is precisely this train wreck that the Israeli mainstream – whether in its brazen Bibi version, or in its more savvy Olmert-Livni-Barak version – is still ignoring.

And I further try to explain why this deliberate blindness to history, from an Israeli insider’s perspective.
Here goes:


- Historically, for centuries Jews in Palestine were a small minority with no national aspirations until near the end of the 19th Century;

- The trickle of national-minded Jewish immigrants to Palestine (later known as Zionists) received a major boost when they became officially sponsored by the British colonial power that took control of the country in 1918;

- Around 1950, following the Holocaust, a local war and Nakba, Jews became a majority in the land and a 90% majority within the new State of Israel, largely emptied of its Palestinian population.

- World powers (which earlier pushed a Jewish state down the region’s throat via the UN) were lightning-quick to recognize and integrate Israel into the world community, even though in 1950 it was little more than a huge refugee camp for people sharing little in common except a religious heritage and nowhere else to go. The West went on to bankroll Israel’s economic stabilization, and to abandon and punt towards the future the teeny side problem that the majority of Palestinians in the land have, virtually overnight, become penniless refugees.

- Fast-forward 57 years: in 2007, Jews once again stopped being a majority in Israel-Palestine (due to “demographic realities” – genuine ones, not the fabricated one of settlement-building). They are now still a plurality, but are scheduled to be outnumbered by Palestinians sometime over the coming decade AFAIK. Outside Israel, Jewish demographics are stagnating at around 5-7 million worldwide, and most of the young generation lives an affluent secular life, tends towards mixed marriages and is not expected to generate a mass immigration wave to Israel in any foreseeable future.

- Last but not least: the less than 6 million Jews now living in Israel are surrounded by over 150 million Arabs, who unlike them are quite aware of this history, roughly in the context in which I presented it – and whatever spins Bibi or “moderates” like Thomas Friedman might spin about the Arab Spring, the issue of injustice to Palestinians still matters very much to citizens across the Arab world, and ranks very high on their to-do lists for their governments. Yes, those would be the same citizens who just rebelled against their leaders and are installing popularly-based governments.

In short, your average Middle Easterner might disagree that Israel meets the definition of “What’s right about the Middle East.” But as we sadly know, 1948 is not the end of the story.


I don’t want to add 50 bullet-points here and lose the audience. So let’s summarize in a paragraph: even though the initial economic integration and exploitation of the Occupied Territories and their residents had generated for Israel what is to this date still the greatest economic boom in Israeli history, in 1967-1973 (don’t believe? check it out on – Despite this, continuing to stick with Occupation has exacted an increasing toll upon Israel in every conceivable way. Moreover, no country – not even the US – has recognized Israel’s claim to control any of these territories by right (as opposed to as a “temporary measure”).
September 26th, 2011  
grey shadow
Are We Really Ignoring This?

In one word: yes. Consider for example the single biggest cost, in my opinion of Israel’s Occupation: the loss of its democracy. Any typical Israeli, not just wing nuts like Bibi, will argue with you blue in the face that Israel is a democracy, and that the Occupied Territories have “nothing to do with it”, are “irrelevant” or whatever. Forget for a moment the West Bank; bring up the issue of what the regime is in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem and they’ll say “East Jerusalem Palestinians are all citizens.” Wrong, of course; they are only residents; the Shin Bet secret police keeps a close tab on them; their rights to residency, property ownership and travel abroad are far more limited; and most saliently – if they linger abroad too long, they lose their residency rights automatically and simply cannot return except as “tourists”.

Most Israelis – including, to my astonishment, my own mother who is progressive, well-educated, has mostly “lefty” offspring and has lived in Jerusalem for most of the past 65 years – did not know that simple fact, that the Palestinians who live in her city have to live under a structurally inferior citizenship status. Heck, most Israelis don’t know anymore where the 1967 lines pass on the ground, because the settlements and “Israel proper” have been so thoroughly integrated in so many places. But tell Israelis that the integration of our flagrantly undemocratic control of the West Bank, with the supposedly pure democracy of “Israel Proper”, means that Israel is not a democracy anymore – and they will throw a hissy fit and see you as a lunatic self-hater (if you are Jewish) or an anti-Israel type (if you’re not).
Moreover, tell Israeli Jews that we must, must, must end the Occupation or Israel might simply implode or explode – and they will shrug “what’s the rush?” Most will add some lip-service saying that the “settlements” (which – see above – they cannot really identify; what they mean is places with people who look like settlers, Orthodox and crazy) – the “settlements” are wrong of course, Palestinians need their state of course – but, but – the punch line will be some currently-fashionable version of “there’s no one to talk with on the other side.” Which really boils down to the immortal Bibi phrase opening this diary: the rest of the Middle East, esp. the Palestinians, is just innately wrong, and we – the innately right ones, will just have to stiffen our upper lip and hang tough until they become more civilized.
This is what some 80%-90% of Israeli Jews think nowadays. Everything else is semantic decoration.

So Why This Blindness?

I mean, ok, you don’t have to like or even respect your neighbors, esp. considering all the bad blood. But where’s the pragmatism? I mean, 6 million and 150 million, loss of majority in the country itself, erosion of popular support across the entire world, the refusal of any country even our friends (upon whom we rely like air to breathe) to recognize any part of the Occupation, etc. etc.?
Here’s the deal. Any person, any group, any nation has their share of exceptionalism – some irrational level of hubris and unwillingness to acknowledge their true nature. But in Israel this is taken to the absolute extreme: we honestly think that history, and the laws of nature in general, do not apply to us.
There are very good reasons for this. It is easy to forget, especially in the US (where nearly all 535 members of Congress are thoroughly trained to forget it). But Israel itself is neither a natural, nor even a likely, phenomenon. The Jewish national project in Palestine was spearheaded by a band of misfits with various extreme ideologies; it had taken 50 years – against immense odds – for it to even reach the mainstream of the Jewish world.

But what the leaders of soon-to-become Israel have demonstrated at nearly every turn is an uncanny ability to leverage and surf the huge historical upheavals of the 20th Century, and to take advantage of every lucky break. Time after time has the Zionist train seemed to head into a brick wall – and time after time the wall miraculously crumbled at the last moment, or a side-spur materialized out of thin air, and Zionism – later Israel – emerged not only unscathed but actually empowered.

I am not giving specific examples. If you know any of the history, you will find them yourself.

Moreover, another tendency that Zionism and Israel have demonstrated is a brazen willingness to experiment on itself. The Hebrew language which seems so natural on the lips of millions of Israelis (including myself) is really known to linguists as “modern Hebrew” (opposed to Biblical Hebrew). As recently as 1900, according to accepted linguistic definitions, it simply did not exist. It was created by thousands of those crazy initial pioneers forcing themselves to talk with their children not in their native languages (mostly Yiddish), but in a language they were inventing on the fly based on the ancient Biblical structures. It worked; in my opinion, Modern Hebrew is Zionism’s greatest unqualified success. A more famous social experiment – the Kibbutz movement – while posting great achievements, is now largely seen as a failure with generations growing up in kibbutzim mostly deserting them with deep psychological scars, and others not taking their place.

But a far greater experiment is the Occupation itself. The mere willingness of a nation to tamper with its own regime and shatter its own laws in order to achieve some limited practical outcome (in this case, de-facto expansion of borders without acknowledging the expansion) – is so unimaginable to people outside Israel, that foreign leaders and even experts continue to misunderstand what has actually transpired on the ground post-1967.

But in Israel this tinkering is taken for granted and seen as natural. We can fly through walls. We can jump off buildings. If we say we are a “democracy”, we can re-define the term as we wish so that we still fall under it – or simply stare at our non-democracy in the face and ignore its true nature. We can subjugate our entire society to a huge and corrupt military, and still claim that it does nothing to us, that we are in fact a vibrant life-loving civil society.

Instead of counting our blessings, being grateful for the immense, truly generous breaks history has afforded us over 63 years, and moving off the fast lane – we Israelis delude ourselves that these astounding privileges and being bailed out for failure after failure are our God-given right, and are insulted to the point of hysteria whenever reality manages to bite us. Like the famous quote from George W. Bush’s inner circle, Israel believes in making up its own world, its own reality, and its own rules.

It is this deep self-conviction with which most Israeli Jews communicate their delusional and a-historical view of their nation that fools many outside observers, most of all Diaspora Jews with longstanding ties of friendship and family. These “friends of Israel” then go on to promote the delusions as if they were the Gospel Truth, and thus help Israel continue running away from itself and gamble the entire nation away – straight into the increasingly unavoidable abyss.

I know I sound like an angry bitter old man. But I'm tired of living in this state of war every day.
September 26th, 2011  
Thank you. It was very informative.
And sometimes it requires an angry old bitter man to give the politicians a huge kick in the ass.
September 26th, 2011  
[quote=senojekips;608103]WRONG, Palestine is Nation State as defined in Wikipedia.
WRONG Palestine was a conventional name to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands. The State of Palestine was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988 by the PLO
The fact that both of these groups were 'States" has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimacy of Israel's occupation of Palestine, or the west Bank in particular.
You deny the facts you don't want to hear.
WRONG,.... again, The Palestinians had asked for a homeland of their own, and were in fact promised it by the British, in agreement for their help in defeating the Turks. It was only after this, that Lord Balfour came on the scene wanting a Jewish homeland, something that the Brits were in no legal position to offer as the land in question was not theirs, they were by their own admission only the mandated administrators, hence the name, The British Mandate.
WRONG - The Arabs started asking for their own state in the British Mandate of Palestine AFTER the British supported a "Jewish national home in Palestine"
[quote=VDKMS;608056]They were offered the land they want now but refused.
They were only offered what was left, after the Israelis were given all of the most productive and economically viable land. Why should they settle for that, after all it is their land,... all of it.
Since when did the Kurds live in the west bank??? That is nothing to do with this debate, but feel free to start another thread if you wish.
WRONG - there are Kurds living in the West Bank together with Arabs and other (Circassian, Armenian) 83%, Jewish 17%, Samaritan (few hundreds). But I agree, it's a minority within the Arab community. But the Arabs don't support a Kurdistan because the Jews are not involved there.
Well, I'll tell you one thing,... It wasn't Israel.
first picture : Designed by architect Hadi Simaan (Qatar)and AREP and engineer Ove Arup and Partners (Anglo-Danish)
Second picture - Raffles Dubai by Raffles International Limited (Singapore)
Third picture - Bahrain World Trade Center build by Atkins (UK)
Last picture - Cairo - I think some buildings were built by the Egytians
September 26th, 2011  
Grey Shadow......That was nice and fairly balanced bit of writing
September 26th, 2011  
Originally Posted by VDKMS
WRONG Palestine was a conventional name to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands. The State of Palestine was proclaimed in exile in Algiers on 15 November 1988 by the PLO
Read my source again, Palestine has been a "Nation state" as recognised Internationally, ever since they were referred to a Palestinians.

Originally Posted by VDKMS
You deny the facts you don't want to hear.
I think that you make up the facts you wish to hear.

So,... if Statehood is the answer, by your own reasoning, the WWII German invasion and occupation of Belgium was legitimate and the allies should have left them to it?,.... because Germany was a declared State? No!.... "Statehood" has no bearing on the legitimacy of Israel's occupation of the West Bank. The land was already occupied, and it was occupied by people known as Palestinians, you need to read up on the internationally recognised convention, "Terra Nullius".
September 27th, 2011  
Grey Ghost

I enjoyed your post, very informative.
September 27th, 2011  
Originally Posted by Seehund
Thank you. It was very informative.
And sometimes it requires an angry old bitter man to give the politicians a huge kick in the ass.
yup, sometimes that's necessary.

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