Monday, October 09, 2006

A Palestine/Israel Dialogue For Everyone.

Last week I wrote a post concerning Condoleeza Rice's visit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and her pledge of U.S. help. The point of the post was to express the contradiction in actions as I see it. I would like to present to you the dialogue between a commenter "programmer Craig" and myself because I feel some key points were brought up and I would like to share them with everyone. This is the type of post in which I anticipate dialogue from the readers. Because of the nature of the topic, Palestine/Israel, I would like to remind everyone that I expect respectful and constructive dialogue, please refrain from childish name calling and violent rebuttals. (unless you find it absolutely necessary, haha ) In advance I would like to say thank you to Craig for providing the dialouge, I respect your right to disagree.

First Craig's comment and then mine.

Yes, the US does support Israel. You're absolutely right. And that is not ever going to change. I do believe the US wants peace, though, and a mutually agreeable solution. The US does not view Palestinians as an enemy now, and it never has. That's as good as it gets for US positioning towards Palestinians, and it's probably better than it should be. Palestinians forced two US journalists to convert to Islam at gunpoint just a couple months ago. That's not good. To say the least.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend-Arab proverb

Wouldn't a variation of that be "the enemy of my friend is my enemy," DB?

Are you advocating that the US should treat Palestinians as enemies of America?

You provide the bombs that are dropped on Palestine

We sell weapons to all of our allies. We even sell weapons to neutrals. We sell weapons to Egypt, you know?

you provide the construction equipment that is used to build homes in the occupied territories

You'd prefer if Israeli construction companies bought heavy equipment from Russia? Japan? China? Europe?

What possible difference would it make?

you provide the training that is used to sweep the homes of families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

This is untrue. The US does not train Israeli military personnel. Trust me, I would know, if we did. The US *does* train Egyptian military personnel, though.

you provide the money and the legislation that has greatly diminished the Palestinian quality of life.

Egypt and Israel *both* recieve money, as agreed to by the Camp David accords. That is a matter of treaty, agreed to by Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin.

Nothing to so with Palestinians.

As far as Legislation, US lawmakers do as they see fit, and as their constituents will support. We don't work for Palestinians over here in teh US, and we don't work for the Israelis, either.

If you think Palestinians should be treated better by America, try doing something that merits better treatment. And if you'd prefer Palestinians be enemies of the United States, I'm sure that could be arranged. It wouldn't take much.

Yours Truly
Craig-"Are you advocating that the US should treat Palestinians as enemies of America?" I'm certainly not advocating that, my point is a cynical one. The U.S. DOES in fact treat the Palestinians as enemies by financially backing a country whose biggest door mat are the Palestinians.

I certainly don't agree with the actions of many Palestinian groups however the Palestinian people are being blended as enemies alongside Jihadist groups. You can say the people support them etc but by that logic it's justifiable for Al Qaeda to target American civilians because we support our troops.

You cited several examples in which the U.S. provides assistance and you asked would i rather china, japan or Russia provided it, "what difference does it make"? The difference is obvious. While funding and supplying the slow and cruel genocide of Palestinian civilians we are pledging help to the Palestinian leadership. It is the pure definition of Cat and Mouse Game.

As far as the money Egypt and Israel receive as agreed to by the camp David accords. Its not an eternal payout. The amount goes up, it goes down and it can stop, in fact congress votes on whether to continue funding to Egypt each year and this was a key issue previous to the "democratic" elections in Egypt this past year. The reason our government supports Egypt is because Egypt is considered a potentially large threat to Israel if not kept close to the American bosom. Tactically it is crucial to Israel and the U.S. that Egypt stays an ally and not an enemy. Do you think if the Muslim brotherhood gained control of the Egyptian Government the U.S. would continue to fund Egypt because of the camp David accords?! Obviously not.

Craig do I believe the U.S. works for Israel? Well Israel is the only country whose Bonds are redeemable in the U.S. Israel is the only country in which American citizens can fight in its army. The Israeli lobby is the second largest and most power full in the country after AARP and during the past presidential elections John Kerry and George W. Bush both stated "I will do what is in the best interest of Israel and the American people" Respectively. This has become standard protocol for American voters but as far as I'm concerned I don't want MY president doing anything in the interest of another country. We the American people should be their first priority.

Do I think the Palestinians should be treated as enemies of the U.S.? I don't see how they are not! Does anyone else?


At 8:11 AM, Blogger Rhino-itall said...

I have to go with craig on this one. As i said on the original post i really believe the U.S. desires peace in that region.
To say the palestinians are suffering genocide is a gross misstatement. When Israel was first formed there was no Palestinian state, the Egyptians didn't give a shit about these people back then, when they were starving, nor did anyone else in the region.
They are a backwards militant people whose leaders use Isreal as a excuse for their failures and their corruption.
I don't think you can say these people are an enemy of the U.S. just because we are allies of Israel. We are allies of Egypt and Jordan as well, and when we finish kicking ass and rebuilding Iraq we'll be allies of theirs as well. All of these countries would prefer it if Israel did not exist (putting it nicely).
I think you need to look at the Palestinian situation as a Palestinian problem, it's their own fault that they are where they are. They were poor and starving and dying before Israel, and the only difference now is that they have a Jewish state to blame it on.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger D.B. Shobrawy said...

Rhino my good friend you have alot of your facts backwards. First of all.

As far as Genocide is concerned, there was an Israel scholar who is very respected by the Jewish community named Benny Morris. Benny Morris stated, not only was there a genocide and ethnic cleansing of palestinians in 1948 but that Israel didnt do a good enough job getting rid of palestinians. He added that Israel should displace and kill palestinians just as the U.S. had displaced and killed the naitive americans. His words not mine.

What do you mean the Egyptians and arabs didnt give a shit about these people!? They Fought FOUR wars over it. Most notably in 1948 and 1956. True they were not a country before Israel because they were occupied by the british HOWEVER they were hardly starving then. Both Jewish and Arab historical accounts concede that there were NO conflicts between palestinians and jews in the holy land or elsewhere prior to 1948.

TO say "they are a backwards militant people whos leaders use israel as an excuse for failures and corruption" Is border line prejudice, to say Palestinians are a backwards people. To blame their leaders for failures is cruel and naieve of reality, how can you beat a people mercifully, put check points throughout their country, strangle them economically, drop bombs on their civilian territories and then blame them for resisting and failing politically. If I was under constant attack from my enemies I personally would vote for the first guy who swore their destruction, thats just me.

I cant say whether the palestinian problems would exist with out israel however to say Israels almost 60 year military occupation isnt a reason for the poverty, political failures and militant extremism then we cant even argue this because we have two different realities.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Egyptian magician said...

I vote for DB!!

Israel is a definite FACTOR is the palestinian situation. Not everything, but a factor. Even if we support Israel, we cannot deny this. True and unfortunate.


At 10:51 AM, Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Yes we have 2 different realities.

First let me tell you that i am not nor do i claim to be an expert on the conflict there, and i do not have any kind of Jewish,Muslim,Arab or any other blood/background related to the region.

Here's how i see it from a laymans point of view. Someone who didn't grow up with any prejudice for or against any people in that region.

1948, and 1956 were fought AGAINST Israel, not FOR the Palestinian people. The British controlled the region from 1922 until it was granted to the Jewish people.

Why did the other Arab nations all of a sudden find interest in their Palestinian "brothers"? Enough interest to fight a war?

I say the people are backwards and militant not because i think they are inferior, but because they are raised in a society that is backwards and militant. This is not meant to be racist or prejudice, it is just what i honestly think. Again you can blame that on Israel if you want, but i don't see it that way.

They lost the wars, that's that. Others call Israel the terrorist state, but i don't see it that way. The Jews were granted that land from the previous owners, they were attacked by their neighbors when they were still in their infancy, and they won the war. They have in fact been under constant attack since their existence and have continued to win. They have given back land that they took beyond what was originally granted and the result was not peace but more war.

Finally, the "leaders" of the Palestinian people have misled them for decades. The Oslo accords weren't good enough? Well i'm sure the emporer of Japan didn't want to admit to his people that he wasn't a God, and i'm sure Germany wasn't happy happy about the U.S. occupation for decades, or a lot of the other parts of their agreement, but "to the victor belong the spoils"

A true leader would have signed that agreement and been recognized as a state. A people that desires peace would have taken the gift of the Gaza strip and used it as a face saver and a start to negotiate peace, not burned it to the ground and rally for more jihad.

If we are going to be honest, lets be honest. The Palestinian people desire the end of Israel. That's it.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger D.B. Shobrawy said...

Let me share with everyone my history with the palestine israel conflict.

It was never ever a topic in my house, my parents didnt talk about it and I dont think they ever contemplated it. Being the curious person that I was I looked out towards the world for opinions and found television. As a result of common media exposure I weighed the factors presented to me and came out with an opinion which is very different from the one I now have. For a very large part of my life I blamed the palestinians for their situation, I cited that Israel was only defending itself and I even grew a prejudice towards palestinians which I now regret.

A couple years ago I decided to stop being an audience to the TV, newspapers and Internet headlines and unearth what ever possible truths there might be out there.

What I found truly shocked me, I found a completely alternate reality presented to me without any bias.

Now that I have been on both sides of the fence I try not to hold support for israel against anyone, I just wish many more were with me when I was unearthing reality. Rhino, i'm not saying you're wrong or I'm right I only wonder if the things I read and the voices I heard would have changed other minds as well.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Hi DB,

Do you think if the Muslim brotherhood gained control of the Egyptian Government the U.S. would continue to fund Egypt because of the camp David accords?! Obviously not.

No, obviously not. That's because the funding is contingent on peace between Egypt and Israel. And I could make a pretty good argument that the Muslim Brotherhood not only would break that peace, but they have in fact already been breaking that peace via HAMAS.

While funding and supplying the slow and cruel genocide of Palestinian civilians we are pledging help to the Palestinian leadership.

I don't understand this claim at all. There are more than 5 times as many Palestinians alive today as there were in 1948. I don't understand how a claim of genocide is rational under the circumstances. Ethnic Cleansing, perhaps, but it's not the same thing. Ethnic Cleansing can be no more than forcible relocation of a group. Genocide is the attempted extermination of a whole people.

I won't argue about the power of the Israeli lobby. Seems people always complain about the power of whatever lobby that presents the most opposition to their views. A few years ago people were saying the NRA had driven the democrats from Congress. Which they may have done... but it wouldn't have worked if the NRA didn't have a persuasive case to make.

DB, I used to try to look at the wrongs of both sides and trat them both equally. Or, at least, fairly. I don't do that any more. Largely because of what I read on arab blogs. I see Israelis reaching out and trying to discuss issues and move forward. I see Arabs being hatemongering racists on all issues relating to Israel, and calling for violence. Yes, It's subjective. All of my personal opinions are subjective. I'm a human being and that's how I form my opinions. My opinion is that Palestinians and their supporters do not want peace. They want victory.

Kudos to you, though, DB... this is the most reasonable discussion of the issue I've seen so far on a blog :)

At 2:20 PM, Blogger D.B. Shobrawy said...

Well i really thank you for participating in a respectful dialogue

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Rhino-itall said...

DB, since you shared your learning process with me, i will share mine with you.
About 7-8 years ago (pre 9/11) there was a Palestinian protest/march or whatever in NYC. Right on broadway, right outside my office. Donkey can attest to this, i spent no less than 3 hours and possibly 4-5 (long time ago so i don't remember exactly) outside in discussion with the people involved.
I had some discussions, and many arguments with multiple people, sometimes groups of people.
In the end, of the people who would talk to me they all said the same thing, Israel has got to go.

I asked them about the Oslo accords and they said it was a "Jewish trick" when i asked about coverage of terrorism etc. they said the Jews control all the media, and all of this was bullshit.
I found them to be ignorant, and hostile. This is my only real experience with any Palestinian people, and i know it's only a small sampling, but the attitude seems to be continually reflected by all the news accounts and quotes that i read from that part of the world.
Like craig said, this is subjective, but then so is your experience.
Either way, craig is right. Your discussions are reasonable and i appreciate it. I hope you will still consider me as a candidate for president of your fan club.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger D.B. Shobrawy said...

Well I'm sorry you had such a hostile and unfriendly expierience. Its people like that who hurt their own cause instead of helping it. However I would encourage your to research further I have alot of material that i would be more than happy to share with you.

As far as being the president of my fan club, OF COURSE! I see no better canidate, however I think EGYPeter might want that seat, maybe you two can fight to the death for it.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

I will do whatever to reclaim my rightful spot as president...even if it means killing rhino :)

DB - Of course, I have my own opinion on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict but I am quite content just listening to all the points on this thread.

I think both sides have valid points on this thread. All I can add is that I just wish the damn problem would go away and the Palestinians and Israelis would just love next to each other in peace.

But I am SURE that this will never happen, during my life time, at least.

Anyway, DB, just the fact that you as an Egyptian muslim can have an open, frank, kind-hearted diologue regarding this hot-button issue speaks volumes about you.

And that is why I will reclaim my rightful position!! :)

Keep up the great thought-provoking posts man!

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Donkeyhue said...

You know I really would have liked to participate in this discussion but the strict expected "respectful and constructive dialogue" guideline kind of ruled me out.

Like Rhino, I have been in similiar discussions at Palestinian rallies and have found the sentiment to echo exactly what he encountered. That being said I dont pay too much creedence to those discussions as people at rallies such as that generally speaking are the extreme fringe of any cause (and that applies to all sides...Im a bit of a rally whore, as there always seems to be one near my work and its a good excuse to take a few hours off)but I have also have been in many talks with cab drivers (and Im not saying that to be a smartass or stereotype)and a good majority feel exactly the same way, or maybe they are just trying to agree with the 6'00" 200lb drunken mick maniac screaming anti-brit and anti-semitic remarks in the backseat damned if I can tell. Was I just disrespectful and un-constructive out loud. My bad, disregard.

It seems that the office of Treasurer is up for grabs, and if I dont mind saying so myself I am a professional...I can turn millionaires into thousandaires overnight*. Do I have the job?

*line stolen from Conan O'Brien

At 10:36 PM, Blogger D.B. Shobrawy said...

Donkey I promise to have a post eventually which promotes insults, curse words and vulgarity, I actually didnt think anyone would follow the rules, I expected at least a lil indecency.

P.S. I'm a sucker for toilet humor!

P.P.S Treasurer is deffinately up for grabs or we can give you one of those lame student government titles like Sergeant at Arms I dont know exactly what you'll do but I looked it up and there is an allusion to "keeping order".

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Twosret said...

This post is entertaining for sure LOL

At 4:31 PM, Blogger halalhippie said...

Interesting for sure


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