richardf8: (Ensign_Katz)
[personal profile] richardf8
The Israeli Palestinian Conflict: Not a Civil Rights Issue.

I want to get a few thoughts down here. American liberals tend to view the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a Civil Rights issue. It's a narrative we are comfortable with, that we understand well, and that we know how to pick sides in. The basic assumption is that the Palestinians are fighting for a right to self determination that is a threat to Israeli hegemony, and if Israel would only give them this freedom, there would be peace. If this were true, the Oslo accords would have resolved the conflict. But there are larger goals in play here.

It is important to understanding the current condition of the conflict to read Hamas' charter. It is a thick read, written in lovely regal language. But its thesis is clear. I will distill a few things here that I think are pertinent.

1. What does Hamas mean by liberation and resisatance? We liberals love these words. We hear them and our sympathies are immediately awakened to poor, hungry masses yearning to be free. But it is not people that Hamas is looking to liberate. It is land. (Article 6 and Article 15). The land is "every inch of Palestine." And that would be Palestine as it looked at the time of the British Mandate. Liberation of the land entails bringing the land under Islamic rule, as Hamas understands it (ibid).

2. Where does Hamas fit among Islamic movements? Hamas is a unit of the Muslim Brotherhood, specializing in the Liberatioan of Palestine (article 2). What this means is that the goals of Hamas are in service to the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.

3. What about the two state solution? Article 13 of the charter should be read in its entirety to understand why this will not work so long as Hamas holds poltical power, but here is a brief quote."There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce."

So, what we should be noticing here is that what Hamas wants for the land it calls Palestine (which is to say the 1947 borders) is the same Islamic rule that, over the past few years was selected and rejected in Egypt, the Egyptians ultimately preferring the political oppression of a military government to the religious oppression of rule by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The next question is what do the Palestinians want? I can't answer that. The Palestinians, if offered an election, will find themselves in the unenviable position of choosing between Hamas and Fatah. I am convinced that the election of Hamas a decade or so ago was less about alignment with Hamas' goals than it was about throwing the Fatah bums out. I think that during a period of calm, throwing the Hamas bums out would be a real possibility, but that during a time of live fire, there is a tendency to cleave to the more belligerent party which would work in Hamas' favor.

Eliminating Hamas is essential to being able to give the Palestinians the freedom to explore their desires. Achieving this would mean reoccupying Gaza without settling it, and subjecting it to the political oppression now found in Egypt, while working assiduously to improve prosperity. When there is a strong, moderate Gazan majority, it should fight, and win, a war for indepedence that would culminate in its having its current borders with, depending on Egypt's goodwill some additional land in the Sinai. The West Bank could be part and parcel with this or not depending how West Bank and Gaza Arabs feel about each other.

Current liberal attempts to influence the peace process or to coerce Israel into yielding too much too soon do not ultimately support core liberal values like equality or self-determination, because they enable Hamas, for which these values are best relegated to the dustbin.

Date: 2014-09-26 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jordan179.livejournal.com
The land is "every inch of Palestine." And that would be Palestine as it looked at the time of the British Mandate. Liberation of the land entails bringing the land under Islamic rule, as Hamas understands it (ibid).

Since a common slogan of both Fatah and Hamas is "Jews into the Sea," I think we may logically infer that both organizations want all of Palestine, and would also kill as many Jews as they could in the process. Since both organizations also strike at non-Israeli Jewish communities, we may also infer that they would keep on killing Jews even after they destroyed Israel -- though admittedly they might be less focused on that objective after they killed most or all of the Jews in the Mideast.

Still, the attacks on foreign Jews would eventually force other countries to make war on the new country of Palestine, so even the destruction of Israel would not bring peace to Palestine.

What about the two state solution? Article 13 of the charter should be read in its entirety to understand why this will not work so long as Hamas holds poltical power, but here is a brief quote."There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce."

The reason the two-state solution won't work is that the Palestinian state would immediately attack Israel, Israel would defeat and destroy the Palestinian state, and we would be right back to square one, only with a lot more dead.

Honestly, I don't think that Fatah can live at peace with Israel, or the rest of the world (please remember what Fatah did in Jordan and Lebanon) either. Though they have more chance of doing so than does Hamas.

... the Egyptians ultimately preferring the political oppression of a military government to the religious oppression of rule by the Muslim Brotherhood.

A moment's thought reveals why. The Egyptian military dictatorships are authoritarian -- they control politics, but they mostly leave people alone to live their private lives. The Muslim Brotherhood is totalitarian: it demands compliance with their interpretation of shari'a, including in their private lives. And of course, it wants to control politics as well.

What is more (though I don't know if this is a factor) the Muslim Brotherhood is committed to aggression against every other nation on Earth which does not share their goals, including Israel -- which would translate into practice into constant and probably disastrous warfare. In an all-out war with Israel, Egypt would suffer horrible devastation; among other things, the Israelis could drop the Aswan Dam and devastate a huge corridor along the Nile Valley; the death wave would destroy everything well north of Cairo before spreading out to relative harmlessness, because the geography of the valley would channel it.

Date: 2014-12-10 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davidfcooper.livejournal.com
10% of Egypt's 87 million citizens are Christians. To the 8.7 million Egyptian Christians add another 1 - 3 million Christians in the fertile crescent countries. Nearly all of the mideast's Jews are in Israel where they number around 6.5 million. So for the time being Christians still outnumber Jews in the mideast.

Date: 2014-09-26 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deckardcanine.livejournal.com
I quite agree.

Date: 2014-09-28 10:20 pm (UTC)
cellio: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cellio
Yeah. Hamas will never be anything but a conquering bully willing to kill its own people to tell a lie to the world, and Fatah really isn't much better in terms of long-term prospects. They're not openly shooting, but they are not partners for peace either.

We need somebody else to conquer and dismantle Gaza -- another Arab nation ideally, so they can stop playing both the Jew card and the west card. Won't happen, though, for the same reason that the Arab world has been happy to create and perpetuate a "refugee" problem.

Date: 2015-12-21 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] allaboutweather.livejournal.com
Didn't palestine (which is really jordan) reject the original two-state solution? Arab Muslims invaded israel from the very day it became a country and lost each time.

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