Friday, 20 August 2010

I/P Negotiations.....or maybe not

The BBC is reporting that
Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resume direct negotiations for the first time in 20 months, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to Washington on 2 September to start the talks.

They have agreed to place a one-year time limit on the direct negotiations.

But correspondents say prospects of a comprehensive deal are slim, as serious disagreements exist on the core issues.
Elsewhere, a pro-Stalin and pro-Palestinian website reports that Hamas and other groups have issued statements opposing such negotiations and preferring instead "the choice of resistance to liberate the land and end the occupation":-
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine joined with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the DFLP and 7 other Palestinian factions to issue a joint statement in Damascus in opposition to the resumption of negotiations, direct or indirect, with Israel
The statement called for an end to internal division and urged that instead of negotiations, the Palestinian Authority concentrate on building national unity, "and to stop betting on the futile negotiations, and instead adhere to Palestinian national rights and constants and the choice of resistance to liberate the land and end the occupation."
Hmmm. Refuse negotiations and choose 'liberation' instead? And build national unity? Why the need? They're admitting they are deeply split, that there is no national palestinian unity? That Hamas and the rest of these people are not fully supported? That they're acting contrary to the wishes of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority? Who knows? Anyway - clearly they are against negotiations and prefer (surely violent) 'liberation' instead. This is what the Freedom Flotilla supported? Armed resistance over negotiation?


socrates said...

What about Israeli military violence perpetrated against Palestinians? Why are you so one-sided? Asymmetrical warfare is going on. You link to pro-Israeli websites. Then you mention how you don't really know what's going on there. I don't understand your fixation on supporting Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

the_last_name_left said...

S: What about Israeli military violence perpetrated against Palestinians?

Such as?

Notice you say "Palestinians"? Is there any surprise Israeli military uses violence against Palestinian sources of violence - eg Hamas? Is there any surprise Israeli military uses violence against Palestinians engaged in indiscriminate rocket-fire on Israeli civilians? Such people are "palestinians", right? It's too hazy a term for your use there.

If such is the Israeli military violence you are on about, what am I supposed to say about it? Say that it's perfectly legitimate for Palestinians to fire rockets but not for Israelis?

There's violence on both sides. Each side has elements that believes its own use is justified and that other parties are the cause of the problems. I'm not surprised Palestinians respond with rocket-fire to oppression, dispossession, cruelty whatever - if that is what is happening. But is it? Because likewise I am not at all surprised Israel attempts to curb extremism and undertakes violent measures against the terrorism of palestinian groups which mix palestinian nationalism in with jewish exterminationism and launch attacks on Israeli citizenry. Why shouldn't Israel use its military for such a purpose? That's what it is for? I'm a pacifist, but I wouldn't just lie down and let someone kill me - that's just stupid - and applies to both I+P.

I quoted Palestinian elected representatives and other groups saying they refused to negotiate towards a settlement and preferred continuing violent resistance. They may have very good reasons for being suspicious of negotiations - but the fact is it appears they prefer violent resistance over negotiation. That is the Palestinian representation/government!

What's "one-sided" about noting that?

How does it show any support for "Israeli military violence against Palestinians"? If those Palestinians are firing indiscriminately at Israeli civilians, suggesting Israel not respond is denying her a right to self-defence.

Of course similar arguments and positions hold for the Palestinians too - they're entitled to self-defence. But are suicide bombers and missile attacks on civilians legitimate self-defence? Such arguments go round and round.

What you see as my being "one-sided" is doubtless a product of my disillusionment and suspicion over pro-Palestinian positions - I refuse to simply accept the paradigm that 'Israel is responsible'.

Interesting that simply adopting that position seems to suggest I am "pro-Israel". That suggests I am right to be uneasy about simply accepting the paradigm.

Maybe that is the objectively correct position - that it *is* Israel's responsibility. I don't know enough to say - and I just don't think it's so simple. So I try to avoid self-righteousness about it, and try to stick to what I know and do feel I can confidently say.

I link to pro-Israeli websites? IS that not allowed then?

What exactly is wrong with doing so?

S: I don't understand your fixation on supporting Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

I don't understand where you get that from.

I'm happy to pursue the point though, so be specific? let's take an example and see how it shows I am 'fixated on supporting Israel's policies towards the Palestinians'?

What policy, for example? Where exactly have I supported it?

socrates said...

Sorry late answering. By the way we're talking about you behind your back at DFQ2 concerning your use of question marks. Donkeytale was also slamming socialism, and I told him I wasn't into debating it, but maybe you'd be into it. I advised he could post here, but he might be kind of lazy like that.

Ok, here goes. I'm going to use a cliche of I'm not going to do your homework for you. A suggestion is to search with the phrase asymmetrical warfare. There is violence on both sides, definitely. But one side is a military power, and the other is occupied. I agree the Palestinians could do better going with civil disobedience.

As to the website you linked to, it turned me off due to its association with someone named karmafish.

I see your points. I'm just holding your feet to the fire blog style, just saying don't forget to play devil's advocate with your writing.

I guess I crossed the line saying you are supporting Israeli positions in regards to Palestine. I actually don't know much about what's going on there.

I hate blogger compared to forums, where you can more easily see when new comments are made. I guess I should subscribe to follow up comments. I apologise if I've ever missed any of your posts in the past.

the_last_name_left said...

just saying don't forget to play devil's advocate with your writing.

hehe - maybe you're mistaking a little of that for an apparent pro-Israeli position on my part?

on the other hand i think you're right to notice that I'm .....hmmm, what? 'Pro-Israeli' sounds too much of an endorsement. And what does being pro-Thailand mean, for example? Was I pro-Iraqi to oppose smashing Iraq? It's not quite the right phrase.

I heard about the murder of 4? Israelis last night, one of whom was pregnant....and Hamas claiming they did it, as part of a chain of operations which will continue. Hamas don't want negotiations.....such killings don't help them at all. Seems an obvious motive, but it's one that escapes Rivero apparently.

Sad episode. What are the families of those people going to think? Hamas seem to believe they have justification; the occupation and illegal settlements. Round and round.

socrates said...

I wish I knew more about the Middle East. A big deterrent to this is that internet discussion seems to consist mostly of stereotypes and flame fests.

Rivero is the worst at not playing devil's advocate. Excellent point, TLNL.

Another thing I sense is wrong with Israel's position, in addition to asymmetrical warfare, is their building of new settlements. I've also heard that the right wing in Israel encourages excessive childbirth to skew the voting process. Liberals and progressives tend to be satisfied with 2.6 children, though I'm too lazy to try to find links backing up this paragraph.